1 Morgana

The Underworld: A shadowy realm beyond the living world where the souls of the deceased were sent to be judged and get punished, or incorporated into the reincarnation cycle.

At the very bottom of this desolate realm, far below the cries and wailings of the tortured souls, there was a small room with two entities sitting across a small obsidian table as they engaged in a friendly game of chess.

A beautiful silver-haired woman with piercing red eyes, wearing long silky pants with a black tank top that barely covered her chest, placed her hand on her chin as she slid a piece on the board.

Sitting across, a two-and-a-half-meter tall skeleton, who wore a long purple robe with green runes encrypted on it, tapped his bony chin with his finger deep in thought before making his move.

The room was bathed in flickering green torchlights, a thick scent of incense, and the walls were lined with macabre decorations that included skulls and bones of mythical beasts.

"Seems like this match has been decided…" said the robed skeletal entity with a deep, intimidating voice.

"It does seem that way. Chess isn't really your forte, eh Zaudan?" replied the silver-haired woman with a teasing tone as she leaned back in her chair and stretched her arms up.

"Even when I can predict your future moves, the unpredictability of blunders and other variables truly makes this game fit for kings." Zaudan said as he let out a satisfied sigh and leaned back in his chair.

"You wanna play something else? We've been playing chess for… What? Five or six years? Let's play some backgammon or checkers. I'm feeling a win streak today." said the woman with a cheeky smile as she waved her hair back with confidence.

Zaudan grunted, shaking his head slowly to both sides. "It doesn't seem like we have time for another game, Morgana…" he said, his tone and aura feeling much more serious.

"Huh? What are you even talking about, man?" refuted Morgana with her light and frivolous tone.

"They are calling for you… back in Aegis."

Morgana's expression changed. Her eyes widened as she noticed a white mist enveloping her body.

She shot a glance at Zaudan, who was now standing up from his seat. "I'll keep some of your levels, or else 'his' seal will break too…"

"Wha-?" Morgana tried refuting, but Zaudan spoke up.

"Come visit some other time… I can't just leave it on a loss like that…'' were the final words that Morgana could hear from Zaudan before getting whisked away and disappearing into thin air.


In the realm of the living known as Aegis, a veil of darkness shrouded a dense and foreboding forest on a mist-laden night. Despite the presence of three shining moons adorning the starry sky, their collective radiance wasn't enough to penetrate the dense fog enshrouding the towering trees.

Perched atop a small hill, right in the heart of the forest, a dark cathedral made of stone stood tall. The paved path towards its entrance guided by flickering torches.

Inside, there was a room dimly lit by the gentle glow of an array of candles.

Here, an assembly of twenty figures adorned in somber black robes stood in carefully arranged rows. Their leader, distinguished by a resplendent crimson robe, commanded attention as he faced the imposing circular present before him.

In the center of it lay three teenagers' tortured and lifeless bodies that filled the stone carvings with their blood.

As the red-robed figure raised his left hand, a member of his retinue stepped forward, bearing a young blonde-haired girl.

Her delicate frame was ensnared by chains encircling her neck, wrists, and ankles. The remnants of her once-intact leather armor bore witness to her brutal beating, leaving her mobility impaired amidst her grievous wounds.

Upon being forcibly delivered into the clutches of the red-robed figure, the girl crumbled with profound despair, tears streaming down her cheeks in silent anguish. Fraught with sorrow, her gaze fell upon the grim scenery before her.

"N-no… please!" she pleaded the cultists desperately.

A heart-wrenching moment where her cherished friends lay lifeless at the heart of the altar, their bodies drenched in a tapestry of blood, their vacant eyes eternally wide in a state of shock, and their throats and wrists bearing the cruel marks of violent knife cuts.

In a resonant voice that carried through the chamber, the red-robed man chanted his prayer.

"Oh, Zaudan, God of Death!

We beseech you to accept our sacrificial offering!

Bring to us the fabled 'Demon Lord!'

The entity who proudly wears the title of 'The Cursed!'

Destroyer of the Holy Kingdom and formidable leader of Oblivion!"

His invocation reverberated with fervor, meant to reach the ears of all assembled in attendance.

The altar began emanating a black and white mist that swirled around, undulating in a mesmerizing dance that produced gusts of wind palpable all around the room.

A few seconds later, a figure appeared in between the swirling mist, right in front of the red-robed cultist with her back against the lifeless teenagers.

Gazing through the dissipating smoke, the mysterious figure revealed piercing crimson eyes gleaming with intensity.

As the mist dispersed further, a cascade of lustrous silver hair fell down her back, an ethereal testament to her beauty. With bare feet making deliberate contact with the ground, she gracefully advanced a few steps, fixing her gaze upon the stunned cultists, their expressions showing a mixture of disbelief and awe.

"Demon Lord Morgana!" exclaimed the leader of the cultists, his voice resonating with a mix of elation and relief. "I am gratified to witness the success of our summoning ritual. It required considerable power to shatter the seal…"

As the words reached Morgana's ears, a flicker of bewilderment flashed across her face, her eyebrow arching in perplexity.

'Summoning?' she pondered, her mind grappling with the unexpected turn of events.

"Ah, you must be famished!" declared the red-robed figure, his voice tinged with disturbing anticipation.

"We have prepared yet another offering specifically for this occasion." With a merciless tug, he forcefully yanked on the chains that bound the blonde girl, rendering her speechless and trembling with fear, causing her to stumble before him.

Morgana's gaze bore into the unfortunate girl, her expression morphing from confusion to an unmistakable malevolence. Her eyes, now honed to an even sharper intensity, scanned her surroundings, taking in the grim scenery of the three lifeless teenagers behind her.

"Ah, those unfortunate souls served merely as catalysts for the summoning ritual. Of course, you can eat them too if you want!" the cult leader remarked callously, observing Morgana's lingering gaze upon the lifeless bodies.

'Eat them?' She thought with a mix of disbelief and repulsion, her piercing gaze returning to rest upon the assembled cultists.

With calculated steps, Morgana approached the chained girl who knelt on the ground.

The girl's tear-filled eyes met Morgana's once again, brimming with sadness and despair, as Morgana extended her hand toward her.

Anticipating an inevitable demise, the girl closed her eyes, tears tracing a path down her cheeks, and awaited the embrace of death. However, to her astonishment, as Morgana's hand made contact with her head, a surge of warmth enveloped her.

In an instant, the shackles that had bound her neck, wrists, and ankles shattered, dissolving into thin air before they could even touch the ground.

As the girl opened her eyes once more, an inky shroud of dark, shadowy mist enfolded her form, gently caressing her body and mending the wounds that marred her.

Feeling the restorative power of the mist, she gazed up, her eyes widening in astonishment. There stood Morgana, her face adorned with a subtle, reassuring smile before shifting into a serious expression as her gaze pierced through the robed men with unwavering intensity.

"Hey… Who the hell gave you guys permission to break my seal?" Morgana's voice reverberated with commanding authority, her tone leaving no room for negotiation.

"P-permission? We... we didn't think..." stammered the red-robed man, his confidence shattered in the face of Morgana's unexpected query.

"You thought what? That I would be happy that you killed some kids to bring me back to this awful place?" Her words sliced through the air, interrupting the cult leader's feeble attempt to explain himself. Meanwhile, she extended her hand, firmly grasping the hand of the blonde girl and aiding her in rising to her feet.

"B-but you are the Demon Lord! 'The Cursed One' fated to bring destruction!" the cultist pleaded, desperately clinging to his misguided beliefs.

"Demon Lord? Man, what the hell are you talking about…" muttered Morgana, her left arm slowly ascending, revealing the radiant green glow emanating from the mark of death etched upon the back of her hand. Simultaneously, a resplendent arcane ring adorned with intricate runic inscriptions materialized around her arm, further testament to her formidable power.

"Zaudan's Gate." Morgana commanded with unwavering authority, causing a colossal pair of demonic double doors to materialize at the far end of the room, situated behind the altar. "Let's do a trade… Take all these people in robes and give these kids their souls back."

The cultists, now fully grasping the gravity of the situation, recoiled in fear, their earlier arrogance melting away in the face of Morgana's proclamation.

From beyond the doors, a deep, slow voice could be heard laughing, filling the chamber with its foreboding presence.

"To think that you would call me so soon… Deal accepted." proclaimed the haunting and intimidating voice that was so familiar to Morgana, promptly opening and revealing an endless darkness where skeletal arms sprung out, snatching and yanking the cultists inside. Starting with the red-robe leader, whose cries were drowned out by the merciless embrace of the abyss.

Panic ensued, sending the cultists into a frenzied scramble as they desperately sought an escape route through the darkened room. However, their frantic movements were abruptly halted by the emergence of sinuous black roots that sprouted from the very ground beneath them, ensnaring their flailing arms and legs.

"Curse: Shadow Root." muttered Morgana with a voice laced with quiet determination, as the same shadowy roots encased a small portion of her own bare feet, binding her in solidarity with her captive adversaries.

Morgana's head shook in a gesture of disapproval, a silent reprimand directed at the captured cultists. "So, after all this, your plan was simply to flee?" Her gaze bore into each entrapped figure, witnessing a cacophony of desperate screams and paralyzed silence stemming from overwhelming terror.

With a wicked yet strangely captivating smile playing upon her lips, Morgana issued her chilling command.

"Clean up your own mess, won't you?" In response, the skeletal arms extended outward, their elongated reach spanning tens of meters, forcefully dragging the cultists into the gaping abyss that yawned before them. The echoes of their cries faded as they were consumed by the unfathomable depths.

The blonde girl, still reeling from the shock of the events that unfolded before her, stood beside Morgana in a state of awe. Her eyes widened as she witnessed the collective fate of those who had once held her captive.

As the last remnants of the cultists vanished into the depths, a final skeletal arm emerged from the abyssal doorway. However, this arm stood apart from the others, adorned with an exquisite robe of white and gold.

The skeletal arm, positioned above the lifeless bodies of the teenagers, caused a surge of fear to course through the blonde girl, prompting her to gasp in apprehension. Nevertheless, her worries were swiftly eased as Morgana tenderly placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry. You will all be okay..."

In perfect synchronization with Morgana's words, the skeletal arm extended three bony fingers, directing a small droplet of golden essence, similar to honey, to descend upon each of the fallen youths.

As the droplets made contact, a radiant aura enveloped their lifeless forms with a luminous glow.

Drawing closer to the revived teenagers, Morgana extended one arm and cast the same healing spell that she had employed on the chained hostage earlier.

"Shadow Mend," completely healing their awful wounds as the demonic double doors slowly evaporated into thin air.

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