1

“Ha… Mmm… Fwah…”

A trail of blood streamed down on a body void of any imperfections.

Due to an unexpected incident while sailing through the River of Flames, Erinys’ boat was dragged off by a great flood of fiery, hellish waters that surged out of nowhere.

Using everything she had to prevent the boat from capsizing, and prevent William from falling into the River of Flames, Erinys was able to steer her boat to safety.

However, she collapsed afterwards because she had bumped her head hard when she was blown away by the hellish waters at the beginning.

She only held on for as long as she could because he didn’t want the Half-Elf, whom she had forced to remain inside the cabin, to be tainted by the flames of the Underworld.

The boat that had lost its Master wandered aimlessly as it was carried away by the current, far from their intended destination.

Several days passed before Erinys regained consciousness. William, who was trapped inside the Cabin, was unable to help her because the Half-ling had shut it tight using the power of her Divinity.

Without her permission, no one would be able to break through it. If they did, she would receive a backlash that would make her suffer internal injuries.

Knowing this fact, the Half-Elf could only helplessly call out to her from within the cabin while pounding the door.

Perhaps due to her head injury, or perhaps due to exhaustion, her body was paralyzed from head to toe.

After hearing William’s constant calls from the cabin, Erinys lifted the seal, allowing the Half-Elf to come to her side and tend to her injuries.

The Half-Elf did his best to care for the injured Half-ling, but nothing he did worked. Erinys had told him that healing potions that belonged to the Surface World had no effect on the denizens of the Underworld.

Only the Medicines from the Underworld would heal their injuries. Unfortunately, the Half-ling didn’t have those things because she never thought that she would receive any injuries while traveling through her birthplace.

The days turned to weeks, until a month has passed.

Although Erinys was slowly recovering, it was still too slow for her to move her body. The only thing she could move was her eyes, and mouth that she used to talk to William.

To make things worse, William had also run out of blood packs. Staying within the River of Flames exposed his body to fumes that were stronger than miasma. These fumes were fanning his blood thirst, making him use more of the blood packs that Erinys had packed for their journey.

The Half-Elf had also noticed that after his battle with Aka Manah, his bloodthirst had somehow increased to the next level. Even so, this wasn’t a problem because there were many women who were more than happy to give him their blood.

Unfortunately, there was no steady supply of fresh blood in the Underworld.

No matter how much he tried to hold on, William was nearing his limit, which would make him lose all reason and attack the person closest to him, which was the immobile Half-ling who was unable to defend herself.

Finally, on a day that he was using massage therapy to help Erinys recover the feelings on her body faster, William subconsciously brushed his lips on the nape of her neck, licking it as if to stave off his hunger.

“It’s okay, Will,” Erinys had said back then. “You don’t have to endure. It will be more dangerous if you went berserk and started tearing my limbs to drink my blood. You’re not only doing this for your sake, but doing this for my sake as well.”

Gaining her permission, and left with no other choice, the Half-Elf finally gave into his instincts and sank his fangs on her delicate neck, drinking a mouthful of her blood.

“Ha… Mmm… Fwah…”

A sigh escaped Erinys lips as her body, which had grown numb over the past month, suddenly tingled.

Just like a dried up field that hadn’t received a single drop of rain for several years, she started to regain the sensations that she had lost, as an unfamiliar wave passed over her body, making a soft sigh escape her soft lips.

A line of blood flowed down her young body that was devoid of imperfection, making the Half-Elf, who had nearly lost his senses, stare at it with ragged breaths.

A moment later, he licked the trail of blood, up to its source before kissing it, closing the wound completely.

As if the month-long suffering they experienced was a lie. Erinys regained full control of her body, breaking free from the paralysis that had taken hold of it for weeks.

Right after that, she willed the boat to fix its course, so they once again sailed towards their destination.

Even so, the journey towards the Plains of Wrath would take another two weeks. Leaving the Half-Elf no choice but to rely on the Half-ling for sustenance, which the latter willingly gave him.

Two weeks later, they finally arrived at their destination.

“This is the Plains of Wrath?” William inquired as he stared out of the cabin’s window.

“Yes,” Erinys replied as she leaned on the Half-Elf, who had just finished drinking her blood. “This is the Fifth Layer of the Underworld, and the place where I have seen the lady that bears the resemblance of your Master, Celine.”

Hearing the weakness in her voice, William lifted her up in a princess carry as she laid her down on the bed.

“Rest first, we can explore it tomorrow,” William said softly as he hugged the Half-ling who had done so much for him.

“Might as well,” Erinys commented as she buried her head on William’s chest. “I am really tired. It has been a very long journ… Zzzz.”

The black-haired teeenager held the naked girl in his arms. Ever since the day he had drunk her blood, the two would sleep together without wearing anything, holding each other in an embrace.

They hadn’t done anything sensual, because the two of them only longed for each other’s warmth during that long, and perilous, journey to their destination.

William cared for Erinys and the Half-ling understood this. This was why she trusted him with every fiber of her being, knowing he wouldn’t do anything to harm her.

Although she still wasn’t sure what to feel about him, one thing was for sure. She liked being together with William.

She liked being hugged by him, with their skin touching each other, and her body pressed over his. Just as they were doing now, making her feel safe, and warm.

As the black-haired teenager held the sleeping girl in his arms, he pondered the true meaning of Hope.

Now that he was in the Underworld to see his wives, and negotiate with the God of Death, he didn’t know where Hope came in.

He didn’t know what role would “Hope” play in his life.

‘Perhaps I will know the answer to the question once all of them have been gathered to one place,’ William thought. ‘Haleth, Amelia, Pearl, Priscilla, Anh, Vesta, and Erinys. These seven hold the key to Hope, and whatever that would give me in the end, I’ll take it whatever form it may take.’

——-

Plains of Wrath…

A green-haired demon threw black fireballs at his enemies before summoning a dark whip to lash at the foes that tried to surround him.

Within the Plains of Wrath, everything was a free-for-all.

With each person you killed, you gained one Hell Credit, which was a pittance compared to what you could gain from the first few floors of the Underworld. However, this was the law in the Fifth Layer, and they had no choice but to gain a Billion Hell Credits, in order to get a chance to enter the Cycle of Reincarnation.

Everyday, everyone would die countless times as they are killed by the people who were farming these precious credits to end their suffering.

Within the Plains of Wrath, every sensation was multiplied a hundred times. A single stab wound would send anyone screaming in pain, as if their entire body were on fire. Only the strong remained,

The surprising thing was, everytime a person died, they would also gain one Hell Credit.

Simply put, this place was Hell.

So whether you killed others, or died in the process, you would gain one credit in the process. However, due to the extreme pain that one would suffer at the moment of their death, everyone preferred killing other people over experiencing a pain that transcended the bounds of mortality.

“She’s here,” Felix muttered right after pulling out his black sword from the chest of the person he just killed. “I can feel it. My bride is here.”

The Heir of Darkness gazed towards the North where a giant Black Tower stood. No one could see the top of the tower because it was hidden above the clouds. Even so, Felix could feel the connection between him and his prophesied bride, which surprised him.

He didn’t expect to find Celine in the Underworld, but this surprise soon turned into desire. Now that his bride was on the same plane as him, there was nothing to stop him from going to her side, and staking his claim on what rightfully belonged to him by birth.

“Wait for me, Celine,” Felix stated as he walked towards a group of men that were running in his direction with weapons at the ready. “I’ll be there soon.”