Actions

Work Header

Scars Left by Dark Reef

Work Text:

Every man or woman, or better yet, every being in this universe are tightly wounded by principles of all kinds. Even those seemingly without one, will soon come to realize in their lives that they do not wander without purpose. Every step one takes, every motion one chooses to ride, every single action conducted. They are all made to fulfill the wishes one's primal instincts have deep within. Some are as simple as the need to survive and live long, while some have more contrived motives of wanting to answer a higher calling. What influences each individuals' actions, and the underlying principles that dictate those actions can be influences by intangible factors both seen and unseen. A wealthy being born to highly privileged conditions may not necessarily heed the call of greed and hedonism in the end. The death of a loved one, the disappearance of a dear friend, the seizure of one's greatest treasure, or any sort of life-changing experience. One's possessions, family, and sanity might irrevocably shift and change to unrecognizable extents, moulding the driving force that guide one's way to live. Why? It is simply because the fate of one being does not truly rest with themselves.

They are ultimately guided by the actions of others that wish to have their way before yours.

Slark understood the matter behind fate and principles well and dear. The things he's seen others do just to get their ways, and the things he's done to get his own as well. The journey to becoming a leader cannot be made without leaving many as followers, whether the rest would like it or not. This was the reasoning behind why the thought of his time in Dark Reef never for a second faded from Slark's memory.

In his early life within the deeps, he was subject to some rather harsh physical training as part of the frequent scholastic visits to the Meranth capital, forced upon him by his guardians. Eventually, he simply couldn't take the subjugations directed towards him. In fact with the skills he learned and acquired through his training days, he was able to eventually escape his unwanted lifestyle and transition into what he was truly fated to do. During his sessions, he had discovered that he was somewhat prodigious in combat, particularly of the stealthy variety. He was always careful and had kept his own abilities under secrecy, being very careful not to demonstrate the potential of his self-taught underhanded tactics. Partly due to necessity, as the combat style taught at the school was of the more direct one-to-one fighting approach, however moreso due to the fact that the school shunned any form of arts deemed 'dishonorable'. What little free time he had when he wasn't resting was spent eavesdropping on the deals and exchanges made by the higher-ups that were in charge of the training facility.

He was a curious one, as this was what mostly filled his free time during the breaks. Though it wasn't very fair to say "creeping from the sidelines and listening in to adults talk" would actually qualify as a hobby, that's what Slark did nonetheless. His eerily prodigious maturity allowed him to connect the dots between all that he could gather during his frequent spying sessions. Despite (or perhaps, due to) his relatively smaller size as a Slithereen compared to other merfolk race, Slark had a lot going for him in the brains department. Something as complicated as planning ahead to avoid being found while listening from the shadows only took him a few days to master. The habits and movements of all the characters present in the facility were all so easily mapped out in his mind, almost as if they were telegraphed to him.

He wanted to forge a path of his own. He knew that the eventual cushy, idyllic life of being a guardsmen was not for him. His own motivation to create an alternative path admittedly did not manifest overnight. The voice within himself steadily crept out with each passing week, as he continuously saw the monetary exchange that went on in the background during his little observations. Why were the idiotic guardsmen and instructors in charge of teaching the students get paid so little, compared to the regularly flaunted sacks of gold traded between the higher bureaucratics, diplomats, businessmen, and all sorts of posh looking fat cats? It's almost as if the muscleheads were sytematically indoctrinated to be pawns, for the perusal of all the officials that had none of the physical prowess, but all the commanding power.

Power that he realized should not have been there, if they do not attain it by their own hands. This twisted line of thought seemed logical to him at the time. The world seemed to be ruled by coin alone, which seemed to be the main ticket to answering many of the inquiries he'd developed over the years. All the weeks and months spent merely peeping at the cash that was being traded from behind the scenes, it finally dawned on him; what's stopping him from overpowering the ones that forced him such a restrictive life in the first place? The first line of restriction over him would be his own guardians, who had absolute control over all things related to Slark's life. That was the time when his personality started to become melded by this principle; whatever he wanted, he could have it, using the many underhanded tactics in his arsenal. The first step of his plan to complete self-liberation was to overthrow his own caretakers. The overthrowing of his entrusted homely guardians was done much too easily for his liking, however. All it took was the addition of a loosely calculated dosage of barbiturates into the meals of his guardians. All he needed to do next was collect every little piece of gold and trinkets he could find, in order to kickstart is life as a renegade. He wondered to himself why they sent after the very guards that he trained under to detain him, as eluding them was easier than poisoning his own guardians. He also knew the general laxness of the local security forces when it came to a case as small as a runaway adolescent. The Deep Ones wouldn't even entertain with the pleas of his guardians once they woke up, let alone send out a small search party.

Slark's departure from the Meranthian realm finally gave way to finally realizing his dream. The rogue life was what truly gave him all the means to acquiring what he needed, when he needed it, and more importantly WHAT he needed. Cold hard cash was the name of the game, but the thrill of the hunt also lingered in his veins during and after each heist. His drive once again moulded into an evergrowing darker sense, taking a more chaotic form that encapsulates the lifestyle of a villain that takes pleasure in committing a crime and getting away with it. The satisfaction of having to plan the number of throats he had to slit in secrecy became more tantalizing than the process of procuring the targeted prize. Money would no longer become an issue as he would learn the ways of the world, and have many resources to spend in order to get things how he wanted it. Over the years, as he approached early adulthood, the guiding purpose behind his actions start to become more rigid and has little to no plasticity left in them. This was the fate that he thought was final to him, the life of a thieving crimelord that is very true to his actions. Despite the nature of his actions, he never felt that he was in the wrong whatsoever. For all the intellect that he possessed regarding all manner of ruthless tactics and physical combat, what little compassion he had was very much repressed due to his dedication towards achieving his nature's call. It's as if he had made a dark pact with the satanic gods overseeing his destiny, which gave him just the edge to overcome any bind, trap, or snare in his quest for obtaining any kind of riches.

His appearance started to grow drastically murkier and scarred, as did the same cowl and tattered undergarments he worn in nearly all his heists (which he oddly enough never seemed to outgrow). It seemed almost like a sign for him to slip up soon. The thought crept up inside of him when he nearly made an extremely costly mistake just for one moment during his escape from the Roseleaf vigilantes that gave a frightfully good chase in the jungle. Despite his best efforts at studying the earthen terrain ahead of time, the greenery contained many surprises, and he almost paid the price for overlooking the fact that certain parts of the forest grew at an accelerated pace thanks to the large mana reserve within the gardenlike vista. The rapid growth of the greenery had basically changed his escape route into something he almost couldn't recognize, causing him to panic over the fact that the full knowledge of the exit is lost to him. The decade long lifestyle of devilry has started to caught up to him, creeping into his thoughts as he hid behind a tree, assessing his surroundings for the next course of action. It was incredibly uncharacteristic of this one slip among many, to be triggering some unwanted sentiments, sentiments that he thought he buried long ago when he go a first taste of how rewarding the dirty life was for him.

Unbeknowst to him, it was the purity of the mana within the Roseleaf landscape itself was what "poisoned" his mind. His body was birthed and shaped to withstand primarily the pressures of the deep seas. He had not foreseen just how penetrative the effects of the mana-enriched forest were not only to his bodily state, but largely his mental stability. The minute essence of purity, what little good he had left inside of him, heeded the call of the earth. The innate property of Mother Nature's powers in promoting growth and restorative effects were based on the natural kindness of the heart. It finally crossed his mind that the Tome of Earthly Conduct he stolen was the catalyst to strengthening the land's grasp over his inner feelings. His inner compassion screamed at him, overtaking all his actions and nearly all his thoughts, to return one of the village's treasured item to its rightful owners.

In due part to the combination of the extremely rapid pace of mana flow within Roseleaf's locale and Slark's lack of resistance over the earthly effects that strangely felt like it was wrestling for control over the good within him, he finally snapped. He did the unthinkable, and handed himself over himself to the vigilantes. Weapons thrown aside, the prized village artifact chucked back to the protectors, and he simply let himself be detained and immobilized. Just as the effect of the nature's grasp over him slowly faded, he regained sobriety just for a fraction of a second in the process of his capture. It wasn't even nearly enough time for him to plan a counterattack before the final safety precaution used by the vhouls in sedating their captives was applied; the injection of a powerful sleeping agent. The forces of the earth simply did not allow him to channel his pact to cleanse the strong drug out of his system. The last thing that he saw before he finally lost consciousness were the anxious wolf-like faces of the vhouls that still remained cautious in his presense.

As his consciousness began to reenter himself, the first thing he felt all around were the shackles bound to his legs, which were also connected to his tailfin. He didn't know what it was at first, but long years of thievery made body checks for restraints almost second nature to him, and he caught on real quick to the sturdy chains holding him in place. His cowl and undergarments were exactly how they were, but missing many of his tools of trickery such as his lockpick and preserved Tango rations. Despite the darkness of the jail cell that he was in, his Slithereen eyes was able to slowly adjust to the lack of light and he could finally see just how large his room was. No windows, no cracks on the transparent cell gate, not even a visible light source from the hole in the ground. With barely enough space to pace around, the room was about four of his steps length and width-wise, and a thin ragged cloth tacked on the floor as a sorry excuse of a bed. With further inspection, an unwelcome open hole is also situated at the corner of his cell for presumably... excretory purposes.

Then, everything fell together in place. He could feel the humidity in the ambiance. The solitary atmosphere of each individual cell. He was in Dark Reef prison. Just a few minutes after he came to, the area within his prison cell was revealed by a creeping light penetrating through the transparent door of his block. Accompanied by slimy-sounding movement, a large bulky mass of what can only be described as a huge shell-less "uggo sluggo" with facial scales and whiskers, armed with a trident and finely secured body plating, showed up right outside his door. He recognized this particular species as one of his own, but one that belonged from a region of further depth due to their larger builds and supposedly more brutish intellect.

"Detainee number 524. It falls upon me to inform you of your punishment for the numerous crimes of theft, robbery, and murders that you have committed. Your sentence will be imprisonment for life within the confines of the Dark Reef Correctional Facility-"

"B-buhWHAT??"

He cursed himself for not holding in that loud exclamation. Though he was never one to mince words (or exasperations), showing signs of unfeigned weakness would lead to nothing but a worsening scenario. But he really couldn't hold back his initial reaction. It didn't backfire this time fortunately, for it was only in the face of an oaf of a guard that wouldn't put that information to any good use.

"Ahem. You will be given a month grace period for a fair trial. Within the month, we will permit for an external representative to visit and arrange all the necessities to make your case. After which, the trial to appeal your case will be conducted, within which your final verdict will be delivered. For the duration, you must submit to the rules within the walls of Dark Reef, or face undue consequences. Your day as a prisoner begins tomorrow. In order to exit your cell and obtain access to food and water, it is mandatory at all times to wear the prison uniform, which will be provided to you tomorrow. Don't even try to harm anyone or even attempt escape, as we have eyes everywhere." Finishing his message, the guard left a pitiable meal, fit for possibly only prisoners... of war. It was a bowl of water, with some strands of what looked like some of the blandest seaweed jerky imaginable inside it.

'External representative'? He had no one left he could call family in the past 20 years of his life, and always worked alone. With the only mediatory option out, he knew things are going to get rough. Even with outside assistance, he knew understood well enough how grave his crimes were. The Slithereen guard's words were merely lip service to him at this point. He had to think of a way to get out of here. But for now, under the whims of watchful authority, he can only go with the flow in order to continue living and plotting his escape. While he'd been in various detainment centers, Dark Reef presented a whole new challenge due to its historic status as the only facility with zero successful escape attempts. Those who had tried were met with swift justice in the form of a strict kill-on-sight policy. It was a struggle to get back to sleep as he had just woken up from a long nap. The tasteless seaweed didn't help at all, but it was better than going back to sleep on an empty stomach. Almost. At least it didn't alter the taste of the plain water in the bowl too much.

Day 1.

His initial hope was that it was merely a dream, and that he successfully escaped from the mana-laden forest scot free. Slark was certainly disappointed waking up to the opposite of his wishes. Mandatorily, he began to inspect his physical condition. The small. aquatic-colored, lithe Slithereen started patting his body up, from his tender fishy torso right down to his scaly hips. At least for now, he seems unscathed from the previous ordeal. He stared at the folded orange vest and pants set, just lying on the floor of his cell. The vest itself is of the sleeveless kind, but of a rather lengthy size. Inlaid within the vestment are runes capable of sealing one from actively casting incantations as well as holding back any innate abilities, both of the natured and nurtured kind (i.e. passive skills one has acquired through training or learned to control since birth). He'd worn his usual shadowy attire for longer than half his lifetime now, and to part with it for an extended length of time is not something he's looking forward to. While he did don the occasional disguise in his many heists, he was still in full control of his power over the principled pact within himself. Guess he'll have to start wearing the prison suits, should he wish to leave the cell for any sort of activity. Or receive nourishment. That second part was sort of a condition for staying alive, so the newer gear will have to make due for now.

For an outfit made for criminals to wear, Slark certainly noted that it was made of highly durable materials. It seemed very unlikely for it to be cut up with any ordinary weapon, as he failed to leave even a minor scratch after stretching and clawing the vest at differing intensity levels. It fit surprisingly snugly onto his figure, even complete with proper holes to allow his dangly fins and tail to move freely. It made him pause to think just how impressive and terrifying it is that they managed to perfectly analyze his physique within just a day, and create a suit to fit him in the next. Once the prison vest was completely strapped onto him, he noticed a warm tingly buzz all over his body. Almost instantly, the trims at the bottom of the vest and the waistline of his pants seamlessly merged together, locking to form one single garment. In a panic, Slark thrashed about to force the newly formed jumpsuit off of him. In all manners of weird body contortions, he tried to pry apart at the seams connecting the vest and pants together. Try as he may, but he couldn't tear open the fabric to get the jumpsuit to separate itself into their individual components again. At this point, he was just wondering how he could possibly 'relive' himself with this thing practically attached to his body. While pacing about the room, he had discovered by accident that the suit loosened itself almost instantaneously... when he walked across the unflattering hole at the corner of the cell. He guessed that the same runes used to inhibit his powers would have similar applications when embedded in surfaces. Not that the details mattered to him, what's important is that he could remove the suit again should he need it so just by walking near the toilet.

After some time has passed, another armored Slithereen sluggo guard showed up outside his cell, wielding a large spear in both hands. After confirming that Slark has indeed put on the power-limiting suit, the guard opens the door by placing a keystone on the handle. Just out of curiousity, he sauntered over to the hole at the corner of the room just to see what happens then. Just as he expected, the suit did not unlock itself. Seems that the cell door and whatever keystone the guard used also controlled the permissions provided by the toilet hole in terms of suit removability. The guard seemed to be aware of what he was trying to do, but didn't bat an eye. Instead, he continued intently stared at Slark, non-verbally suggesting him to get the fuck out of the cell already. Prior to exiting, the spear-wielding guard shackled Slark's arms and feet together, keeping them apart at shoulder's lengths. Leaving the dark and confined cell, he finally saw just how spacious the entire hall containing all the cells were. Constantly coming and going are guards carrying new inmates, most of them unconscious, however not too much of a challenge for the guards to simply carry in on an enchanted carrier. On each side, he could make out about 30 cell rooms horizontally placed across the building space. Above his cell alone, there were about a dozen cell rooms stacked vertically. This meant that within the holding block, there had to be about over a thousand cells in existence. Eerily, outside of the hustle and bustle of the busy guards, there is not a lot of sound to be heard from other criminals within the building. Soundproofing technology has really come a long way for it to be implemented this extensively in such a grand prison. Situated sporadically between every stretch of cell blocks are pulley-based elevators operated kinesthetically by magic, which can be used to access the cells located on higher ground. He didn't really give much thought into why he happened to be placed in one on the ground floor, but at least he wouldn't have to use the arcane elevator each time he had to return to his room.

As he was led outside, he could finally see the walls he had to overcome in order to attain his freedom. As expected, the heavily fortified prison had walls so tall, he could barely make out the multitude of barbed wires and sharp steel affixed upon the top of the walls. Rogues, thieves, murderers, psychopaths, political leaders, from all sorts of species and social status, wearing the same type of orange jumpsuit on himself. at a glance he could spot a few choice characters as he slowly trekked through the landscape with his assigned guard. What actually surprised him was just how large the open field was. He had to squint his eyes to see the different building segments from afar, which seemed to look about a thousand units (or 1 kilometer) from his current location. The only thing that was certain to him was that the facility is within an underwater dome, as the "ceiling" was basically a large and expansive concave surface equipped with a faint yet strong glow (which he assumed was magically sourced) to simulate an irritatingly constant pseudo-daytime atmosphere the entire faciity. As he kept on walking with the guard at his side, the size and breadth of the facility never ceased to amaze and terrify him. Even after what seemed like half an hour of walking, he noticed that was still within the bounds of the Dark Reef facility, which meant that he was still within a territory maintained as dry land. Just how far does this underwater prison extend? It could very well be its own damn town, with how much ground he's covered so far. A few minutes later, the guard called for a halt. In front of his eyes lied a large plot of land, easily the size of 1000 or so acres. Rows after rows of what seems like various cultivars of kelp seem to be growing in each of the alloted growing space. "Throughout your period of staying here, you are required to perform manual labor. The task is simple. You will need to harvest a daily quota of one bin," as the guard points to a nearby rattan basket, "-of an assigned type of kelp species. Your cell number was, let's see... come with me."

Lead through the fields, Slark is treated to a sight of way too much botany for his liking. He knew his way around nature, and certainly know a handful of useful herbs and plants that can be used as makeshift medicine, but he never really gave a damn about plants outside the basic edible stuff. To him, it's just an array of colorful vegetables, where each lot had a stack of baskets placed next to them. While the guard is busily going through the records provided to him, it finally sunk into Slark. One of those baskets is about the size of his goddamn scrawny body. He's going to have to fill one of those DAILY!?

"So you are assigned to harvest the... fibrous Jidi kelp, in Lot 57. Lucky for you, this one's near the entrance. It's right over there, the one with orange coloration and thick, stringy leaves." The guard then points to a specific long row of kelp beds. For one thing, he should be glad that he's not the one having to tend and care over the growth of these kelp beds. He wouldn't stand the monotony of having to manage the 200-odd spaces, all of them filled with the Jidi kelps at varying ripeness levels. Before he could turn to ask about the harvest readiness of this type of plant, the guard seemingly read his mind and quipped "The ones ready to be plucked have an orange shade, compared to the still-budding green ones. Be sure to pull them out gently by the root, to make sure the soil is preserved for their next regrowing periods. Failure to reach the alloted quota will be punished by forfeiture of your daily meal. I will also warn you early on that all plants grown in the farm are highly toxic when eaten raw, so don't get any funny ideas unless you long for an early grave. I'll check back with you when you're done."

On that note, the guard procured a keystone from his plating and removed Slark's shackles, and immediately slithered in the direction from whence he was dragged out of. The instructions were delivered so clearly, Slark was left wondering for a moment if the guard had some kind of gardening experience in the past. Either that, or he was well-versed in imparting the details written for each prisoner's labor assignment due to repetition.

With nothing much else to contemplate upon, Slark decided he should get starting to work. It was just literally a few hours after he woke up, and he's already out having to serve time for his crime. At the very least, the duty isn't some grueling, intensive job. It was merely mind-numbingly boring, but he was never the type to have an idle mind. This was the perfect task for him to recollect all that's happened so far, and calmly rationalize his situation. The first thing he tried was channel the dark pacts from within.... and it failed. He sort of had a hunch that he's locked out of his powers when he did not recover from his fatigue much quicker after he woke up, as his cryptic arts also allowed him to regenerate from harm at a hastened rate. His shiv and other survival equipment are very much expendable, so it didn't bother him at all to forego them. On the way to the fields, he recalled passing through many building sections he has yet to explore, and many more yet strangers. Strangers of all sorts of races, both land-dwelling and from the sea, passed by his glance on the way to the harvesting field. But what really mattered were the constructions he came across. None of them had windows nor any sort of paneling, from the outside at least. That ruled out any possibility of routing across building openings. The buildings are also segmented such that it does not even come close to the walls surrounding the prison perimeter, which are sealed within a dome-like structure in the first place. That also rules out any vertical escape options. His last option in mind is through tunneling underground. However it's also the hardest option due to his physique and inexperience in conducting such an operation. Since he didn't have a chance at looking into any of the facilities yet, he wouldn't completely rule out most options either. But he knew he had to start scheming now, as time is of the essence. But with lack of information, he can only do so much. He decided to save his energy from thinking too much for now.

Several hours of tediousness later, his quota grows closer to being met. While the artificially simulated sunlight by the dome somewhat twisted his sense of time, he could at least tell when it was approaching evening. Right as the basket is full, a soft tingly light emanated from the side of the basket. It legitimately surprised him just how many things are actually enchanted in this place. A sluggy guard came within a minute of the magical alarm activation, and promptly told Slark to follow him. As much as his feet were tired, he was just happy to be walking away from his job for now. At the very least, he wouldn't have to walk back with the shackles on again. After another agonizingly annoying 30 minute walk back to the inmate building quarters, the guard introduced him to rather long building stretch, about half a kilometer long. The building is about a mere 5 minutes away from where his whole cell block is located.

Entering inside, he laid eyes to what was simply a large and open structure filled with sanitation and recreational facilities. Hundreds of showering stations are located in all 3 sides of the buildings, all of which faced the center of the room. The middle of the room had all manner of gym equipments and weights, some of which are used by several inmates. Why anyone in their right mind would decide to work out after a long day of working is lost to Slark. But he knew that he could use some rehydration, as his species was built for a more aquatic environment. While he had definitely trained his body to endure long periods of stay on dry land, he wouldn't pass any chance at all to naturally reenergize himself.

To his left, Slark could hear the guard clearing his throat. "From here on out, you will be on your own. Your room is stationed in Block 1, room 57, on the ground floor. Try not to forget. The standard curfew is up till 8pm at night. From 7pm and onwards, your suit will radiate a glow to indicate that it's close to the curfew period. If you do not reenter your designated prison cell by 8pm, I will only say that I cannot guarantee for your wellbeing." This was something Slark simply can't let go without knowing further, as it might impede any possible operations that might happen in the nighttime.

"Now hold 'up, you can't leave it at just that? What really happens past the curfew!?"

"I cannot reveal that to you. Just know that the suit will always be watching over you, and any carelessness on your part cannot guarantee that you will ever leave this place in one piece". Not wanting to stay for any longer, the guard immediately about-faced towards the door and into some other building sections. Being brushed off didn't really miff him too much, but only because he had other more pressing matters. He was tired as fuck, and he knew some full body washing would do just the trick. As he entered one of the empty showering stations, he is treated to the sight of a hole at the corner, and a showerhead above it. He noted that the lock on the door had a similar inscription to the door in his cell. Walking within the vicinity of the hole instantly unclothed him, leaving the suit hanging by his ankles, and a portion of it held up by his tail. Just as he'd surmised, the lock on this beastly thick surface of a door absolutely wouldn't open afterwards. Not wanting to overthink things for now, he turned the dial on the wall surface and took that very much needed shower. It was so soothing, he couldn't help but simply let himself just slide onto the floor and rest his legs as well, taking care not to land anywhere too near the filthy hole. Just about few more minuites later, his uniform hanging on the wall started to faintly glow a soft green light, as if it was breathing. He didn't have to guess to know that it was 7pm already.

After lightly patting himself dry, he immediately suited up to be able to gain access to the door once more. Just when he thought he couldn't be further surprised, what little water that was absorbed into the fabric of his suit removed itself almost instantly. He did panic for a moment thinking that it would burn his skin somehow, but the suit simply had amazing hydrophobicity within its material. The water seemed like it just melted off the surface of his suit and drained down his legs. With a skin-dry suit, he was sure he could get some good night's rest. Not wanting to prolong his stay outside the curfew any longer, he made haste towards his cell block. Amusingly, this was the first time he actually got a good look at his cell door. The only thing there was a greenly lit surface the size of his palm, securely placed on a thick plating one would loathe to call a door, if not for the hinges allowing it to move. After looking at the surface for just a few seconds, a scanning light briefly flashed itself onto Slark's chest. After another second, the door opened itself. Once he had passed through the door, it slowly closed itself until it came to a screeching halt. Too tired to even gloss over the day's events, he just crashed himself on the rag-bed and snoozed himself off. He didnt even notice the secondary meal that was already prepared at the door.

 

Day 2.

As he woke up from his slumber, Slark really noticed that he somehow felt worse than yesterday. At the very least, due to the completion of his job, he had a much more humane meal this time around. Boar soup, with bits of savory mushrooms. After scarfing down his meal, he knew that he had to get back to his post as soon as possible, so he could finish his daily task and begin scouting for information. After leaving his cell, he made way to his same designated spot in the fields. Putting his genius adaptability to use, Slark already knew just how he needed to extract each kelp cleanly purely from muscle memory alone. What should have taken most inmates a whole evening, he cleared the task in just under 2 hours. With the radiant glow of a full basket confirming his met quota, Slark dashed right away to get a head start in observing what he neglected early on; the people he's with during his stay.

Making his way to the gym, he did recall catching the stares of some of the other workers in the field, mostly from neighbouring lots. As he experienced the same thing on his first day, he never really decided to further ponder upon it. He theorized that they were merely just taken aback by just how swiftly and efficiently he worked. Slark knew that the common rabble couldn't turn their eyes away from even the smallest of wonders. If anything, he was just glad that while he had no control of his dark powers, his instincts still remained keen.

Reaching the recreational building, he noticed that there were only 3 men lounging around while doing some . An oglodi, a vhoul, and what seems to be a large polar bear with... tusks? With features likened to that of a lankier but still muscular version of the mythical orcs (sans protruding canines), the red-skinned oglodi with white hair seems the be the loudest of the bunch. The grey-furred vhoul and pure white walrus man seem to be the lackeys, or at least the passive ones. All of them are in the same suit as Slark's, with the vhoul and walrus man sharing a similar hole for a tail. These men were interesting to Slark in the sense that he'd NEVER seen any sort of conversation happening between inmates. For the past 2 days, the only voices he'd heard were from the guards' mundane reports to each other, the groans and grunts of inmates who were working or exercising, and his own. Despite the relatively loud babbling of the oglodi, Slark couldn't make out the details of what was spoken. He couldn't get too close to them to eavesdrop due to the openness of the gymnasium's structure. The shower cells are also fully soundproof from the outside, so it's definitely not an option.

After some time of ruminating, the oglodi seem to have piped down, and signaled the other 2 men in a dismissive manner. After which, all of them collectively walked into a shower room and went on with their business. It seemed like they didn't want anybody to be listening in on whatever they were talking about. This slightly confused Slark, as the oglodi of the gang didn't seem to show even an elementary grasp of being discreet. However, if he could get there earlier for their next congregation, he might be able to get the scoop on whatever they're talking about. All he needed was a stealthy angle to approach from. Due to the unusual lethargy creeping up inside him, Slark decided to get to bed early.

 

Day 3.

After waking up this time around, he knew he wasn't imagining the atrophy that he experienced the morning before. It almost seemed like the suit was not only inhibiting the hosts' latent abilities... but also drained the wearer's strength in order to power itself! It did seem odd to him that such an intricate piece of clothing was freely distributed to hundreds of prisoners without any qualms of having to supply it with power. It turns out that the suit is literally powered by the wearer's energy. From that moment onwards, Slark decided that he must try to sleep naked, in order to preserve what little strength he could for the remaining period of his stay there. Granted, it was easier said than done, as it required him to sleep at a location that is very much undesirable for getting a good night's rest. But for the sake of survival, it's nothing he couldn't adapt to.

 

Day 7.

He had scouted the gym within the similar timeframe as his last encounter for the past few days, however the men he's after were nowhere to be found. However, he stumbled upon a separately strange discovery in the weekend. The gym that he had frequented was completely empty. Before he could enter, a guard came from around the corner of the door, halting him in place. "...You must be new around here. The gym is closed for maintenance during the daytime in the weekends. You'll have to come by here around 6pm if you want to freshen yourself up. Now beat it." Alright, at least it was something to take in. More information about his surroundings can never go to waste. As he had completed his duties for the day, he went back to his cell to save his strength.

 

Day 10.

After days of patience, he finally struck gold. It was very early in the morning, and he saw the 3 men from before, but now with 3 additional men. A stern yet tough looking insectoid man with scaly-green features, a blue-skinned bald man with pale complexion of which he recognized as part of the race known as the prognosticators, and a troll with bluish hair, though he looked much more feeble than the white-haired one oglodi. No one else was in the gym other than the six, which made sneaking up on them a lot more risky. But it is imperative for his eventual escape to pluck out any bit of information that he can from any party whom were willingly open enough to share them. As sharp as his eyeseight were, the only details he could make out were the same as before; superficial colors and distinctive body figures, one of them moving about and talking raucously. Being more careful not to reveal himself early on this time around, it was about time he tried to channel his ability to stealthily dance through the senses of friend and foe alike.

Unbeknownst to all but himself, after his daily rounds of harvesting duties and looking out for the wanted men, Slark had devoted most of his spare time to refocus the dark shadows that lied dormant inside him. Despite the fact that every single construct of the prison (even including his own garment) was made with materials containing anti-magic properties of industrial level quality, he knew his art was the type that could counter the exact purpose of such entrapping magics. In his days of isolation, he had spent many hours attempting to regain even a sliver of control over his cloaking abilities. With each attempt, he could certainly feel the manifestation of his dark ambition coursing through his being once more. Despite being in relative safety, putting it into practice is much riskier. For one thing, he had no observer to test on whether he was truly able to hide his presence, and if not, to what extent. Furthermore, he was able to practice without being caged in the suit that was inhibiting his powers in the first place. While he did practice with the suit on as well, it was his opinion that the results were not too favourable.

But it was now or never. In order to gain even the slightest amplification to his abilities, he walked outside to the shadows, on the side of the gym. He knew that this area was the most laxly watched over by the guards. After confirming that there are absolutely no witnesses nearby, he started to channel his Shadow Dance. It took nearly all his effort to maintain a veil of darkness to hide inside, but he was eventually able to erect a shadowy and murky wall of pure stealth, covering out any sight, smell, or sound of himself. What was special about his ability is that he is also able to his mana traces from inanimate objects, meaning that he is also able to shield himself from the effects of externally disruptive sources, such as the prison walls in-laid with the magic supressing materials. Maintaining his crouched stance, he made his way slowly into the gym. He was usually able to channel this skill not only effortlessly, but maintain it in high mobility. The restrictions imposed by the suit however made him become more careful in moving about. While he should have been near invisible to anyone, he made sure to time his entrance at a time when no guards were patrolling, just to be safe. In accordance to his prior planning, he navigated his movement near the shower doors, so he could enter one of the rooms as a backup plan.

Making his way inside, he was finally able to make out the actual words that were exchanged in the conversation. Steadily, he managed to get within 2 meters of the group. He is not only within earshot of the group, but also close enough to make out some actual facial features of the gang. The bluish-haired troll seemed to be the oldest of the bunch, as he had a decent amount of wrinkles. In his controlled state of concentration, he noticed that none of them even turned around to look towards his general direction. Feeling assured that he was successful in his cloaking, he shifted his focus on making out the contents of the discussion. Seeing that only the loud white-haired oglodi is talking, he seems to be the boss of the group. As Slark lied to the side, and straining to maintain his aura of secrecy, he had to listen to some of the most inane contents one could posibly blabbler on and on about. The oglodi was definitely not alone in their aloof discussions, as all 6 members had something as equally dumb to utter. Topics ranging from how awful the food was for the day, how "hard" their eventual harvesting sessions will be, and even how horny all of them were due to the lack of any females in the prison. Perhaps he had given these bunch of loudmouths too much credit. The blue-skinned man did seem the smartest of the bunch, but not by a longshot, based on how he seemed to share similar sentiments with the topics being discussed. The only useful things he got out of the whole tirade were their names. After a long while of listening to the useless woes of the common folk, the leading oglodi of the pack, who's name is ascertained as Ismaen, changed his seating position and toned down his boisterous laugh from a particularly bad joke.

"...so, how's work on the tunnel going? Last I heard from Yadwin, he'd manage to finally get enough Blink Dagger shards smuggled in. From Reave's little looksie of the tunnel spot, he did discover that even everything underground within this prison has got air in 'em. So our next move is to find out the best spot to make our underground base, and work from there to dig the closest we can near the outside."

"But boss," inquired the deep-voiced walrus who came to be known as Musa, "what about the hole ya told me to keep watch over in my harvest area? We're not using that anymore?"

The blue-skinned baldy referred to as Basrif chimed in to answer, "That's why I'm called here. My work zone is positioned the closest to the exit. Not only that, my station deals with deep-rooted rhizomes. So the land is much softer, but also more stable, and we could get a digout much faster. I got the gist of the whole report, but I think our plan could come together much sooner than I thought. Wnat me to give these guys a do-over?"

The big boss oglodi, looking slightly taken aback, stammeringly replied "Oh uh, yeah sure, I knew the whole thing from top to bottom, but I thought I'd rest my jaw for now. Take it away."

Stretching his legs out to make himself comfortable, Basrif begins his summary.

"Simply put, our plan is to escape by using a Blink Dagger through the prison walls. This has never been attempted before, however the newer models of the dagger had a specialized mana receptacle built within the hilt, so beings who are not enabled by mana attunement can use it as well. While this model is extremely hard to procure and is usually reserved for wars, it's our only means of escaping with every single conspirator. The biggest part of the planning was in obtaining an actual Blink Dagger for us to use, and after months of daunting smugglery, 6 of our men were able to accomplish this task and obtain all parts required to be assembled. Meanwhile, our side of the dozen had the task of finding a location where the dagger is actually usable. Thanks to information obtained from one of the 6 men, we found that within the dome itself, only tools made with specialized Dark Reef Emeralds can be utilized. Not only are the emeralds only mineable at a secret location, the emeralds are also fairly limited in use, as it is only used for opening and closing things like a lock-and-key set. But when the emeralds are deactivated, it becomes an extremely hungry energy drain, absorbing mana of all kinds from the hosts nearby. The prison walls in-laid with these deactiavted emeralds are the main reason why it's impossible for even the most masterful of magic users to escape that easily. So-"

The grey-haired vhoul with a surprisingly high-pitched voice named Hesten then interrupts, "So that's where I come in! I've been saving up scraps of all the glowy emerald pieces I can find, and keeping them safe in my stash. These keystone shards are still active, I can assure you. I was taken in to help because vhouls are born to be able to sense mana more acutely than most others... and because I'm the only vhoul here that speak the common language. So you can trust that all the fragments I've stashed up is not only enough, but also still active."

With that last statement, Hesten exhibited a facial expression particularly beaming with pride. Not wanting to be stopped any longer, Basrif resumes, "That's enough now, thank you, Hesten. So, aside from the problem that none of us are mana users, the walls themselves don't allow for mystical energies to escape. The shards on their own are very much worthless, since it's not even strong enough to be used in escaping the mana-infused shackles. But by smelting the active emeralds into the blade of a Blink Dagger, it becomes a tool that's attuned to the resonance of the material within the prison constructs, allowing us to pass through. Not only that... but the exact direction where our getaway spot is located, there are also The last stage of the operation is to locate a secure place for us to perform our escape. We can't simply just use the dagger under the watchful eyes of the guards.", he ended, before immediately staring at the older but meeker blue-haired troll of the group.

Staring back at the blue-skinned being, Janos then followed up his statement in a surprised manner, "Oh... well, it's true that my harvesting area is very rarely frequented by the guards... but it's also because the plants that I care for are extremely aggressive aerators. In fact, the portions that I've harvested are used for maintaining the air in more confined spaces, like the adminstration offices. And my job is to stash some of the plants aside for use in the next phase of our plan."

"You're right on all of the accounts, but it's also because you're old. They wouldn't cast any kind of suspicion when an old-timer like yourself is up to weird things like keeping some herbs to yourself.", chided Basrif, knowing that the geezer is basically the group's verbal punching bag. "The next, and potentially most crucial part of the plan, is gonna count on you, big guy.", said Basrif as he attempted to hug one arm around the walrus with unbelievably kept fur for a prisoner. "Musa here is the muscles of our team. We know that operating in groups will definitely arouse some suspicion, but we also need all the manpower we can get. But that's why we had him dig a deep enough hole, just to see how much of the air plants do we need to bring underground. But it turns out that Janos's job is a lot lighter now thanks to what Reave managed to find out."

The green antropomorphic insectoid, whose name is apparently Reave, who was rather silent the whole time finally stood up and opened his mouth, "After completely burying my lower body within the testing hole, my abdomen sensed very little breathing problems. Just as Ismaen had said, the aeration system provided within the prison space covers not only the surface, but also beneath it. I would dare even say that a properly built underground hideout would be habitable for quite some time, without needing any ventilation." Crossing his arms, he confidently sat down to show a form of non-verbal affirmation over his statement.

When given the room to speak up once more, Basrif continues, "With that in mind, we know now the tunnel size can be made much smaller than originally planned. No need to make extra room for air, when we know it's very much breathable down there. The final phase of the plan, is to designate a strategic spot for the digging to take place. It is fortuitous that my newly assigned harvesting location happens to have cloes to the most ideal soil condition in the entire farm, but also located rather close to one of the prison dome walls. This breakthrough is what will eventually allow for us to escape. In fact, this reduced the expected active digging time required from a week down to about less than a day! Ismaen, be sure to listen well and relay this to the other group as well. Our final stretch will proceed as such; for about an 30 minutes of every day, Musa will come by to my area, and dig out on a specially reserved location. I'll let you know the exact place and time that's isolated from guards. That spot is real easy to dig into, but the ground underneath is structurally sound. Since we can have a smaller sized hole now, I'm able to hide the spot with a basket. This will progress over the course of 14 days, starting from tomorrow." Basrif then turns to Ismaen and asks, "Do you think the guys can get the Blink Dagger supplies outside of the prison ready in time? And how about getting the smelted dagger ready? Hesten should've had all the shards by now to deliver to them."

Puffing out his chest, Ismaen answers noddingly, "Just getting information out should be easy. I'll get the exact info of your farming spot, and send the message out. The modified dagger though, I honestly thought it'd take some time, but 14 days should be just perfect."

Right as he wanted to ask about this part, the blue-haired troll was shut down merely by a glower from Basrif. "Good. We will meet immediately by the 7pm timer of our suits. This may sound risky, but it's actually a time when the guards are most lax. At that point, the underground passage should have been ready, and I will immediately use the dagger to teleport out. At that point, the deactivated prison 'wall' should be passable through regular magical tools, thanks to the emerald-modified dagger. I will then search for the Blink Daggers that should have been prepared from the guys outside, and bring a bunch of them in by blinking right into the underground passage again. I'll drop it off, and you guys can retrieve the daggers to use on your own to escape. That about covers the whole thing. I don't have time to explain it again for those who didn't get it, but Musa, I need you to be here first thing in the morning tomorrow."

Sensing that it was about time for them to start working again, Ismaen immediately called off the meeting. "We've been here for about 2 hours now. I've been maintaining my good boy status with the guards for months now, and I ain't gonna want to start losing it. Let's get outta here."

How convenient for Slark, that the very first stake out he commited happened to yield the most results. He basically hit intel jackpot, and had all the material he needed to work with in order to infiltrate their operations, and leave using their precious Blink Dagger. He was only left to wonder what role the loud oglodi of the group had played, though his talkativeness might lend credence to his ability in communicating between the two seemingly separate groups of 6 that work in unison. After patiently waiting for each member to leave the gym, Slark slowly started to fade out from his hiding stance. As the fog cloaking his stimuli from the outside world finally fades out, he immediately stumbles onto the floor and collapsed in exhaustion. While his overexertion wouldn't normally lead to any permanent damage, he knew that having to fight the suit's mana-blocking mechanism had put some insane stress on his body.

Being the last one to leave, Basrif had noted the sudden presence from someone inside the gym. In a panic, he ran inside to see if he had been careless in the meeting. He was damn sure that there wasn't anyone even close, as he could have sensed them. Once inside, he only saw a wet splotch on the ground near one of the shower doors, close to their meeting spot. Upon closer inspection, he immediately reeled in disgust as the scent of strong sweat assaults his senses. Brushing it off as simply a guy that didn't dry off properly after being too... 'intense' in the shower, he left the building without giving it as much as a second thought.

On the other end of the shower door next to the sweat-stained carpet however, Slark was face-down under the shower still drenching his whole suit in water, hoping to get the scent out. He had barely made it into the shower room after he crashed to the ground from exhaustion. The hardest part was lifting his body up to get to the door scanner on time. He knew that after he recovered from the fatigue, he can efficiently finish his harvesting duties. And so with only thoughts of reprieve in mind, he let himself be taken away by the flow of water, coarsing through his aching body and much more aching head. Literally hours later, he left the shower room, did his harvesting tasks with due diligence, and trapped himself in his room. In one fell swoop, he managed to pinpoint not only his ticket to getting out, but also the full details of the modus operandi. All he needed now is a plan to go about in seizing the opportunity.

 

Day 16.

Quite some time has passed, and while he he still hadn't discovered Basrif's location yet, Slark still tries to keep an eye out for Musa as well. Even in the mornings, they seem to have stopped meeting with each other. Another problem is that he could no longer channel his Shadow Dance once more, after the arduous strain he had to undergo from the previous successful attempt. While he could a fraction of the effect while training in isolation without the suit, he simply couldn't bring himself to full power again. While it certainly put a major dent into his further plans, he was half-delighted to require some actual strategizing this time around instead of having to further subjugate his body to more bruteforcing.

The extra sleep he had from not having to scout all the time certainly did wonders to his body, however. He was able to think more clearly and take in the environment much more closely. It certainly paid off when he noticed the relative nobody of a tough guy he'd always neighbour with acting a little funny. The slightly larger-than-usual bearded human with blonde hair was usually stalwart as the mountains, not showing a single expression as he toiled day by day on his assigned plot of land, however he today he demonstrated some sluggishness in his motion. His gait seemed to show that he was not at peak physical condition, at least compared to how he normally moved. He did pick up on the fact that the guards were somewhat chatty today. By working a bit slower, he had managed to listen in on a few of the guards gossiping about what happened to him. It was related to this group called the Dark Reef Dozen, exacting some kind of retaliation against him, or something to that effect. This gave Slark a tiny glimmer of insight. While he certainly hadn't tried conversing with a lot of the men out of fear of revealing himself too much, this was probably one exception he can make.

 

Day 17.

"'ey there fella. Can't help noticing that you barely filled your basket the past few days. Wouldn't want a man like yourself to still be out here by 7pm. Need a fin?"

With a cheeky yet diplomatic smile, Slark was also tryinng to hide that he in fact knew the hairy muscle man did not finish his quota for about 2 days, making it especially hard for him to work today due to being extremely famished. While Slark certainly made the harvesting job look extremely easy, he was indeed a one-in-a-million specimen when it comes to workflow mastery. Depending on the simplicity of the task itself, he could perform nearly any sort of duty after merely observing how a job is done for minutes, compared to most others that would take about a month just to learn a few shortcut tricks.

He knew the human couldn't decline his offer, as survival was on the line. "...I will accept your help.", was all he could say before dropping down to rest for a bit after a relatively large root pull-out.

While Slark was always focusing on his own farm, he did pick up some hints on how his neighbours' farms were to be harvested. Something as simple as gardening would definitely be child's play to a criminal mastermind, after all. Hearing the affirmation to start from the man himself, Slark got to work. As he passed by every single rooted vegetable, he meticulously exerted just the right amount of pulling and tugging action to cleanly remove the plants without harming the base root. His movements were gracious, the way he moved from plant to plant was almost rhythmic. Grasp, pull, tug, and throw. Despite not all of the plants sharing the same size or quality, he did not fail a single time and continuously carried out his task in harmonious motion.

In about 2 hours, Slark managed to top up the basket that was initially only 10 percent full, nearly all the way. The human seemed to be too tired to even move, Slark noticed. It made sense, as a man with such size would certainly suffer when deprived of his nutrition. But he knew he had a bargaining chip with that 90% full basket.

"Say, who did this to ya anyway?", said Slark trying to sound as kind as possible. He wasn't sure if his false mask was read through or not, but he knew it didn't matter. After a while of silence, Slark decided to make it more interesting, "Oh I just realized I haven't finished my own task yet, and I'm pretty starved! You can handle the rest, I'm sure." Right at the end of that sentence, Slark swayed his hips right to where his station is located.

"Ngugnh!"

Lunging himself towards Slark, the man didn't even get remotely close to Slark's feet, as he landed chest-first on the hard ground before whimpering pathetically, "Please... don't do this to me..."

Crouching down to condescendingly meet the eye of the destitute man, Slark tries to remind him once more, "Listen bud, I'm trying to help you here. Just tell me who did this to ya, and I'll make sure he won't come after anyone else in here again."

It was a bold-faced lie, since all he wanted was more information. If what he surmised is true, then this 'Dark Reef Dozen' was exactly the same dozen that he's looking for. If anything, Slark's interference with their plan would only guarantee them being stuck in the prison for even longer, causing this man further unwarranted problems.

In desperation, the man relents, "Just... I don't want to die yet. When I have my rest... I'll tell you everything. I swear... on my... honor..."

That was all he could say before finally succumbing to his intense hunger. Slark knew better however, and recognized that he simply fell asleep to preserve his strength. Within a few minutes, Slark basically had the man's basket full with no trouble at all. After the guard came in, Slark asked him for a favor to carry the man back to his cell, as his survival is imperative to him getting the intel he needed. The rest of his day was simple enough, as he just closed out on his duties, took an extended bath, and worked on further regaining his dark powers back up until he felt like it was time to rest.

 

Day 18.

The next day, Slark went to check up on the man. Seeing how inefficient pretty much everyone there worked, he knew that he didn't have to come at an exact time at all. As he arrived at the location, the bearded blonde man was indeed still working on his part of the field. At least, he seemed stable enough now after getting some good night's rest and most importantly, and actual meal. Luckily, he was almost done with his daily harvest, so Slark finished up his farming duties as well in the meantime.

After waiting for the man to be finally done, Slark walked up to him and and asked very bluntly to describe what happened from top to bottom. It started 3 days ago, when he was very desperate to finish his duty on time.

"I overdid myself in the gym the day before, and so I woke up rather late from taking too much rest. It was nearly 4pm by then, and I had to rush to the fields to finish up my job. I wasn't even sure if I was going to make it, but at the very least I had to try. Just as it was, my fortune that day was extremely terrible. All the baskets in my area was missing, likely to be stolen from others who were also rushing. After running around for some time, I finally spotted a lone empty basket near the edges of the wide farm. I didn't think too much of it, and I nabbed the basket and immediately ran to my station. Little did I know, somebody was watching me, and I was caught by the inmate in charge of that place. He sent in 2 of his lackeys, an oglodi with bright hair and a Frostwrack walrus, to capture me. Despite my tough exterior, the pain from my previous mishap in the gym prevented me from fighting back with all I had. But even through all the beatings they gave me, I was mostly struck with confusion. I have never been beat up over a stolen basket before, nor have I beaten someone over taking an empty one in my spot. It just happens sometimes that the guards got lazy, and our containers just wasn't restocked properly. But from the injuries I sustained, I didn't manage to finish my job in time. Not wanting to risk staying out, I just limped over to my cell, hoping I would be fine the next day even without food. Needless to say... the hunger really got to me, and it simply cascaded from there. If it wasn't for you, I would have probably died. Seeing as I hadn't done it properly before, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Eeehh, things got a bit too clingy for Slark at that point, but at least he got what he wanted. Not wanting to reveal exactly what he knew, Slark simply asked him, "As it so happens... you can easily repay that debt very easily. Just tell me, where did you exactly take the basket from?"

"I didn't remember exactly where it was, but you must head directly southeast of where our stations are, and keep going. I recalled vividly that the spot where I took the basket from had long tendrils growing around the plants nearby. The plants grown there are rather thick, so it's very hard to miss. I can only tell you this much, I'm very sorry that I couldn't be of much more use to you."

"Naaah, you just rest up for now. Thanks for that."

Now he knew where he needed to look, in order to get right to the bottom of their plans. Slark wasn't being sarcastic in that thank, as he really was grateful that the man had commited the mistake. Without his slip-up, Slark wouldn't have been able to get the right lead that he needed."

 

Day 22.

For the past few days, Slark had been staking out for this exact location, even sometimes foregoing his practice sessions. As time is of the essence, he knew where his priority lied. Eventually, he finally struck gold as he finally found the two most incriminating figures he was looking for. Despite Slark being close enough to hear them, they seem to not notice him, on the account that Basrif seemed to be really pissed off at Musa.

"You forgot to block with more than basket again!? I swear, we're lucky enough that we manage to catch the last guy trying something funny, but it happened because you were stupid enough to not use proper coverage in the first place!"

Even though they were walking away from their initial location where the outburst began, Slark managed to finally reached the motherlode. The final piece of the puzzle that he needed in order to concoct the perfect plan for getting himself out of this hellhole. He had spied with his little eye a patch of ground that very obviously seems uneven to the trained eye.

After Basrif finished his little spat with Musa, who looks very much defeated, the blue humanoid creature hurriedly walk towards the entrance of the farm. The discovery of his ticket to freedom provided new found strength, and surges of adrenaline started to course through Slark. He then decided to slowly tail Basrif, hoping to get any last tidbits of info he can get, for use in perfecting his plan.

After a long trek back to the prison facilities, he found that Basrif was headed towards the gym. Peering from outside, he noticed that the charismatic oglodi Ismaen lied there in waiting, near a corner within the gym. Seeing as the gym was slightly populated by a few users, Slark would typically not risk trying to channel the Shadow Dance and eavesdrop in their conversation. A quick tally in his mind recounted one very important fact, however. The day of the escape attempt is done just 2 days from now. With newfound sense of urgency ticking through his brain, and the rush of adrenaline coursing through his veins, he had to make a decision that can only be classified as a 'stupidly dangerous'. Rushing to the side of the gym, he channeled the darkness from within once more, and the dark mist enveloped his figure at a faster pace thanks to his heightened state of emotion. The intensity of having to channel it through his suit still weighs heavily upon him, but there was no turning back.

While walking in relative invisibility, he made sure to take a path leading to both of them where there were the lowest chance of bumping into a patron. Even to his own surprise, he managed to slowly crawl within earshot of Basrif and Ismael. Now all he needed to do was settle down and regulate his presence. Just as luck would have it, he got seem to have arrived just in time for the good stuff, as Ismaen was talking.

"...you really didn't have to it to him like that, though. He had to work so hard every day digging out a tunnel that can fit most of us. I think you went a bit too far, man."

Smirking, Basrif replied with an amused expression, "Who cares about that idiot? Literally everyone is expendable anyway. I feel no attachment whatsoever to the tools. Besides, don't you remember? None of them will even have a chance to see the light of day."

"Yeah, but that's the problem. The changes you made to the plan was pretty fucked up, after I told you the news. Look, I did tell you that we can only get 1 dagger with the built-in mana parts from the outside, but can't we just delay the date a bit more so I can make sure we have enough for everyone? I just don't feel so good abandoning those guys I've been with for so long..."

Angrily, Basrif snapped back at Ismaen, "And risk having our plan be revealed even further!? No, I'm not dealing with any other bullshit. We must do it tomorrow, 7pm, right at time when our suits light up, and there's no going back on the plan. Everyone knows this, even the guy who's supposed to drop us the complete dagger, and we can't change it again. Do you have any idea how close we were to just spilling it all, just a week ago? We would've been completely fucked had you and Musa not been there with me at the time-"

"AAANGRH!"

In a flash, all eyes were upon the tiny blue-scaled fish-like being lying on the floor, a few steps away from the two men privately chatting in the corner. Turns out, one of the gym patrons were trying to enter one of the shower rooms and accidentally stumbled into Slark. Thankfully, Slark didn't spend too much time in his cloaked state, and therefore had just enough energy to bolt it out of there. When Ismaen and Basrif finally processed what had occurred, they realized just how potentially fucked they were. Like the maddest of men, they jolted out of the gym, and managed to find Slark trailing in the distance. When they finally caught up to the final turn after seeing Slark enter the main building hosting the cells, they can only see the long row of prison cells, with no sight or sound of any blue gremlin. While Ismaen looked visibly upset, Basrif only had a sinister grin on his face. He seemed to have pick up on something Ismaen had not.

"Don't worry, Ismaen. I may have the means to corner our little rat... and maybe have some fun with him too. You remember the first small talk we had when we met? About how pent up you guys were? Well, even though not everyone will be able to leave this place, I can certainly give them another kind of reward. I'll need a little bit of help from your connections, though..."

 

Day 23.

Right before dawn had even broken in, Slark rushed out of his room, and did his harvesting duties the fastest he'd ever done before. He was still extremely mindfucked by what had transpired yesterday. However, he knew this chance wouldn't come again so easily. In order to prepare for the next day, he decided to simply rest in his room for the rest of the day, and begin scheming his plan. As of right now, he knew that staying outside can spell nothing but trouble. The new information unveiled to him about how only 1 extra functional Blink Dagger can be brought in from the outside actually mattered quite a lot, as his number of chances in obtaining a working escape tool went down to 2 from the initial 12. While he did have a contingency plan in mind, his first strategy was to simply use the Shadow Dance to sneak among them, and emerge from the shadows to quickly snatch the dagger from Ismaen's hands after Basrif had passed the dagger to him after returning from his initial jump. While he has plenty of time to spare before tomorrow's evening, he decided to further practice channeling his powers while still wearing the suit, in order to prepare for his heist. Knowing that it's extremely imperative that he could pull it off flawlessly, he chose to practice during the entirety of his waking hours, only stopping to eat the food that was delivered, and finally to sleep.

 

Day 24.

'THWAP!'

"Finally, he's up! Man, now I KNOW for sure I put in a bit too much of that stuff in."

Opening his eyes to the stinging pain in his face, Slark was greeted to the sight of the three men he'd spied upon, and a random Slithereen guard he'd never even seen before. First and foremost, he noticed that everyone was stark naked including himself, with the warm air kissing against his skin serving to highlight this even further. He couldn't move his body whatsoever, as he was tied down on his back on top of a workout bench. He knew this due to recognizing the texture of the object, and that he wouldn't ever forget this same dreary looking ceiling. Control-wise, he could only move his upper neck, and his two legs. Curiously, he felt that his legs were only moveable as a pair. Instead of shackles, lifting up his legs revealed that he was attached with... spreader bars??? Why the fuck would a prison stock such a thing!? Finally, after lifting his head up, he finally noticed that he was tied to the end of the bench, which explains why he could droop his legs down, and he his tail did not feel any pressure at all for lying on his back. At his dormant state, Slark's little fish slit was in full frontal view to everyone in the vicinity, still hiding his genitals inside.

Knowing that he'd escaped out of various situations such as this before, Slark tried to tap into the pact within him, in order to free himself from the bindings. To his absolute surprise, he couldn't channel a damn thing. He couldn't feel even the slightest bit of mana channeling through his body. It was then that he observed that the 'rope' was just multiple prison suits tied together around his torso to bind him to the bench, from his shoulders all the way down to his upper hip, keeping his arms to his side. So at this juncture, he was neither able to magically get out of this mess nor physically.

"What THE!? WHAT IS GOING ON!!??", screamed out Slark, as the gravity of the situation finally dawned on upon him.

Alongside himself, Basrif was accompanied by the oglodi Ismaen, the walrus man Musa, and one of the slithereen guards, with absolutely nothing on. Basrif knew that Ismaen's connection with one of the guards could finally be of some use. While he had the resource on hand the whole time, it was not something he would consider unless there was absolutely no other choice. Using someone among the guards as part his escape plan is will carry far too great of a risk, after all. However, for the purpose of silencing an obstacle to his plan, he didn't really need to reveal his full intentions at all. All he needed was to have the right motivation for the guard to want to help out. The guard's keystone was absolutely necessary to gain access to Slark's clothes, cell block, suit, and to lock the gym out in the weekends. While the gym maintenance did not always require a full lockout, it wasn't uncommon to require it either, meaning no one would be any wiser to check on what actually went on inside. The sedatives, which are usually reserved for handling prisoner emergencies, were just as important to be aquired from the guard to ensure Slark was fully knocked out. His reward for the guard was fairly simple, yet very irresistable.

"Okay boys," began Basrif, "now I know all of you wanted a turn with him, but I promised Mr Helper here that he'd get the first go." As the guard slowly made his move to Slark who is lying helplessly on the bench, Basrif huddled his two lackeys closer together and whispered, "He's not going to last long anyway. I know how just how much he needed this."

"O-oooh man... finally, I'm about to get my first!" Compared to a normal deep-water slithereen, this 'Mr Helper' was actually not too large in size. Physically, he wasn't any much bigger than Slark. Even down there, he sports a somewhat unimpressive erect size of 3 inches, with girthiness rivaling that of a household bamboo stalk. Looking in from behind, the 3 men were in no rush at all, as each of them sat down on various gym equipments strewn about. Before getting their dick wet, they might as well enjoy seeing some action between two virgins while they wait for their turn. Basrif was just extremely glad that he did not ever consider having to rely on this rank-and-file guard, as he seemed like a completely unreliable character.

"Don't you even DARE!" threatened Slark, though he wasn't sure saying anything would change this man's mind at this point. He felt like he needed to take action, or things could get pretty ugly. Admittedly, Slark had never spawned yet. His whole life is devoted to commiting crimes and pillaging whatever loot he could get just for the rush of it. Money or carnal desires had never even crossed his mind, despite having encountered many situations of others doing it while he was sneaking around particularly lecherous areas.

Creepily stroking his tiny penis, he seemed to be really nervous for some reason. Likely due to his inexperience in distinguishing between a romantic love-making session and a gangrape, the man certainly didn't know a damn thing about having actual sex. Even for a virgin's standard, he was very much the definition of pathetic. Very gently, he stroked his straight cetacean penis that retracted out long ago out of his slit, before Slark had even woken up. Being the dictionary definition of a beta male, the small guard could only rely on imitating what he saw on romance movies, as he didn't want to mess anything up. He nervously climbed up on top of Slark, not even noticing his penis coming into contact with the other fish's instead of his tailhole. Very gently, he placed his scaly purple hand upon the captive's face, and gently stroked his cheek, feeling their scales being rubbed together. Looking wistfully at Slark's face, he crept up closer to give him a kiss. Not wanting to reciprocate, Slark hawked a spit right into the guard's face, and thrashed his legs about, ramming the spreader bar against the skinny back of the Slithereen's tail.

The struggle went on for an unuusally long time, causing even the men watching to have a bit of chuckle. The guard didn't like any of this, and somthing finally snapped inside of him. Feeling irritated, the guard did the unthinkable, and socked Slark right in the face. A part of his hand even slightly grazed against Slark's teeth, injuring the man's hand very slightly. This not only surprised the guys overlooking, but apparently caused the guard to feel slightly conflicted internally as well. Immediately, he hopped off of Slark's body, and forcibly lifted the spreader bar above his head, with a sturdy grip Slark never thought was possible from a man his size. What was most striking is that the guard displayed a rather somber look, as he hopped closer to Slark's tailhole, and met with him face to face once more, albeit at a longer distance to avoid being spat at again.

"Why must you be like this? I'm trying to make this at least enjoyable for both of us... and here you go making it all worse! I'll be honest, I was hesitant at first to accept their offer, knowing that it was very well going to be a guy being my first time. But I knew that I'll probably never have another chance in life again to do this. I would've really enjoyed it if I could make you like it somehow... but now I don't even care. I'll get my spawn whether you like it or not." The guard then moved his head under the spreader bars, locking his slid-out penis against Slark's uneager hole. Losing all inhibitions, the guard put everything he had into one full pelvic thrust.

What followed was a sudden scream and desprately rapid movement from the fish on the bottom. While the Slithereen's penis was naturally lightly lubricated, his body was very much made for procreating underwater. The insane pressure that went into the thrust, and the general dryness of Slark's tailhole left him in agonizing pain. Try as he may, Slark's smashing about of the spreader bar could not go past the determined guard's shoulder, keeping his lower body still very much open for more dicking. After savoring the warmth of Slark's innards, the guard finally exhaled. The fidgety legs of the fish did not bother his shoulders one bit, as despite his extreme naivety and rather uneducated upbringing, the Slithereen was still foremost a fit and strong guard, exhibiting the naturally durable physique of one.

He lowered his body to approach his face closer to Slark's, and very slowly moved his meat out of Slark. When only an inch was left in, he slammed right into the fish boy once more, eliciting another scream from Slark. Though he wasn't yelling as loud as before, the pain was still searing in Slark's bottom. As he tried to clench it out, it only slightly worsened the pain. All Slark could do was stare back at his perpetrator, and bare with the pain for now. While he had no notion of being fucked solely by this guard, the best he could do was save his strength instead of wasting it trying to fight back. Even if he managed to try something, he recounted the fact that he's heavily outnumbered.

"You're so tight..."

Slark had never been touched at all down there, save for that time he had to apply some gels due to getting bad itches from sitting on some irritating grass. It was a stroke of blessing that his very first time happened to be with a beta male with a disproportionately small pecker. With each stroke delivered into him, the pain continuously lessened as he is starting to get used to the size. Despite the gradual increase in speed of the thrusting, he was able to take it relatively well now. Feeling no longer the need to struggle, Slark thought he could try something to at least end this sooner.

"Mmmm, yeah... You know, I'm starting to like this. I'm sorry for being so feisty before. Come 'ere, get close to me, I won't 'urt you." He didn't really mean it when he said it, but Slark thought that this innocent man could use some pep talk to be able to ejaculate faster. He derived no pleasure whatsoever, especially not after his rectum got used to this pencil-dicked creature. Hell, it might even arouse the other guys watching, and cause them to last shorter. Seduction was not a tactic he'd ever thought to employ, but Slark has always been one to quick to pick up on the situation and adapt accordingly.

Sensing that his words do ring true, the guard let himself get more comfortable, and approached Slark for a kiss. Through a splendiforous display of romance, Slark went in for the kill and tried to give him the best kiss of his life. What followed soon after was a dance of tongue and fangs, the exchange of heat and saliva between two passionate scaled men of the same species. The guard certainly enjoyed it, as he retorted with moans only a virgin could utter. As he grew into a euphoric state of arousal, the guard planted his head on Slark's chest, and turned his thrusting motions into speedy long strokes with piston-like intensities. Each pump into Slark's ass was accompanied by a groan, in the typical imperfect sync of a first-time lovemaker. Slark could sense that he was getting close, and he knew just how to deliver the finishing blow.

"Oh my... go- hngghnAAHHH!"

With a timely clench of the ass, Slark manages to catch the guard off his... guard, which earned him a generous coating of semen within his botttom. Not wanting to leave just yet, the guard remained in a cuddling position for some time, with his head lovingly nudged against Slark's chest. With a few more tugs and pushes, he tried to get the most out of this heavenly sensation and milk the moment for all it's worth. After a few minutes, he pulled out, leaving behind a small dripping mess on his tail. There wasn't much jizz for Slark to squeeze out, as Slithereens are known for having a 'quality over quantity' sorta thing in their reproductive juices. Sliding himself out of the spreader bar headlock, he gently let Slark's foot bend naturally and touch the floor.

Landing shakily on his serpentine body, he slithered over slowly to retrieve his platemail and weapon. Reaching up behind the guard, Ismaen gently grabbed him by the shoulder and spoke, "So, I see you had a good time. That's the perks of bein' my buddy, ey?" After a friendly tap on his back, Ismaen showed him out with a kind message, "Thanks a lot for helping out and keeping watch for us, Graslein."

"You have given me something that I could never hope to attain in my entire lifetime. I'm a man of my word, even if it should go against my position as a Dark Reef watchman. I am honor-bound to repay with whatever I can. Please, notify me at any time when you're done."

With a relieved smile to his face, the Slithereen guard that entered the gym as a boy have now left as a man. While Slark was certainly treated well by that man, he sensed that it would only go downhill from here on out. The first one to approach Slark was Basrif himself. Sauntering over this Slark's left, he gave some very light taps over his stomach, feeling just how sweaty the fishman had become after such an intense session.

"Well, looks like someone enjoyed being a bitch. How's your hole holding up?"

Lifting Slark's legs once more with carefully placed force, he manages to get a full view of the damp, tight anus staring right at him. Basrif didn't think it was posssible for something so scaly to turn so red, but it was certainly a treat to see such a well-used hole. Surprised by the sudden lift, Slark reflexively bared down on his clenches, squirting out some of the guard's would-be babies. Leaking out ever so slowly, the white-scaled coloration of Slark's ass became extra shiny as it slowly traveled down his tail, and onto the matted floor beneath him. Feeling rather embarrassed by being in such a position, Slark tried his best to keep his asshole from moving too much, but it only served to make it wink even more. Control over his rectal muscles was literally the only thing he had no practice in, and it certainly showed. Prying apart his cheeks, Basrif got a hearty look at the sore hole.

"Goddamn, he's actually got a pretty sweet ass on him. It's always so easy to fuck you sea dwellers, because I can just pretend that your slit is just another pussy."

Ending on that note, he finally propped up his already hardening penis. Prior to this arrangement, all three of them agreed to never even attempt oral with Slark, because no amount of hormonal influence could ever drive any of them to risk losing their manhood to his killer nasty mandibles. With that option out of the way, the only remaining choice is pretty obvious. And by the name of all the deities, Basrif will readily admit, that ass is some choice fuckin' ass. Walking over to Slark's side, he decided to taunt Slark just a little bit with his 6 inch shooter, with the girth of an average male human.

"...I know that I can't tell you to stop, so just do it. Fuckin' get it over with already."

"Gladly."

Within less than a second after Basrif's quip, he slammed his whole damn rod inside Slark. Although it only went up until the 5th inch, Slark already shrieked from the sudden and painful intrusion. Basrif was even prepared for the reflexes to kick in, and firmly held Slark's feet in the air with both hands. However, this forced him to move out of Slark by a few inches, causing a bit of annoyance to his fun time.

"HEY, you two! Come here and hold this bastard's legs down, will you!?"

True to his instruction, both of them simultaneously took a side each. With Musa on Slark's left, and Ismaen on the right, they both practically forced Slark's knees straight by holding them down to point in the direction of Slark. With his legs now practically inches away from touching his shoulders, Slark was completely held down in a position readily fit for a forced mating session. In the process, Basrif's dick did remove itself out of Slark, with a satisfying pop. His new position also necessitated for him to actually climb on top of the bench, his blue dick aiming downwards straight towards Slark's waiting, but not gaping, hole.

Like an eagle claiming his prey, Basrif slammed down once more onto Slark, reaching slightly deeper this time, however still leaving room for some more. Visibly cringing in pain, Slark didn't think he could ever get used to such a foreign object entering himself. In an impulsive, lightning-like motion, Basrif kept pulling out all the way, and jamming his manhood as far as it could go. At this point, the resistance that he felt at the initial penetration is starting to break down. The gross sounds of his balls constantly slapping against Slark's cheeks were music to his ears, as was Slark's extremely awful attempt at hiding his suffering. It was a feeling that he didn't want to ever let go of. As the thrusts keep coming, Slark kept on getting louder and louder, and at some point the volume was even higher than the noises emitted from all the skin contact. But it was music to Basrif's ears, the sound of a virgin getting some REAL dicking, from a real man. The warmth and slipperiness of Slark's interior was just pure bliss. He was actually quite grateful for the initial guard to have such a pathetic tool on him, so Slark wasn't too loosened up.

Looking downwards to see his cock leaving and entering the pert ass, he also noticed something pink coming out of his slit. In was at this moment that he realized the resistance he's been hitting was Slark's prostate. Mainly due to the angle in which his hips had to curve to keep his ass upright, he constantly had to clash his dick against the strategically located prostate within his rectal passage. No matter how good it felt though, he was still disappointed that he couldn't bottom out, no matter how hard he tried to push down. Quickly, he pulled out with no regard for Slark's comfort, eliciting a hiss from him by such a raw pull out.

"Guys, could you hold his feet a bit straighter up?"

Instantly, Slark was adjusted to lie down straighter, with his butt firmly planted perpendicular against Basrif's waiting fuckstick.

"Much better."

With a liberal coating of spit rubbed throughout his dick, he readied his dick by precisely aiming for Slark's vulnerable hole. One mighty push was all it took, and Slark's insides finally caved in. He finally went all the way in, causing Slark to forcibly lift his ass up, as his thighs reverberated from having his medial ring broken in. Not able to hide it anymore, Slark broke out of his facade and dropped the tough guy act.

"SHHI- HAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!"

Not only was he completely unaccustomed to the size, but he completely lacked many of the options usually employed by the body to reduce such intense pain. His chest was tied down rather pat, making the whole 'deep breath' thing to relax more of a detriment to his current condition. He didn't have anything to bite on, and they're probably take it out just to keep hearing him scream. His arms are his remaining bastion of solace, as he was at least able to fidget about by clawing on the leathery surface of the bench. What's especially brutal is the fact that Basrif was anything but a gentle lover. His thrusts were harsh, and he used most of his body to push himself in, making it especially easier for him to penetrate Slark's still freshly popped cherry.

It started to get to a point where he purposefully rammed his hips all the way in, and kept it inside for long durations. The stinging pain only increased over time, as Slark's body is forced to adapt to the ever deepening reaches of his invader's probing cock. One particularly nasty slam forced Slark's entire body to react though instinctively fearful vibrations, as it was all he could react with to lessen the pain away. His body started to grow warmer as the fucking progressed. In and out, in and out, it just never seemed to end. Basrif on the other hand, kept his eyes closed for most of the act, as he was fully taking in the experience. It's not every day you stumble upon such a fine piece of ass, and one that deserved to be drilled so hard, might he add.

The blue-skinned man came from a race beings known for scholarly pursuits and obsession for knowledge. It wasn't really to Basrif's liking to be holed up in the locale for such a long time to just be staring at books, however. Despite his bloodline, he had a more adventurous spirit, and was very much a free bird and a seeker of all things that bring pleasures to life. His day to day adventures lately mostly consisted of daily perversions of all kind, usually more often than not, laced with alcohol. He earned his keep to maintain such a debaucherous lifestyle through applying his early education as a scribe. Within the same city itself, he manages his clients in the day, and indulges in all manner of sensualities wherever he is permitted. Thinking back on it, he never even deserved to be thrown in this hell hole. It was all because he was found out by a villager who happened to recognize him, and an extradition was ordered by the village to punish me for not following their godforsaken 'tradition'. The tradition that dictates an absolute law of no fornication, no consumption of alcohol, and worst of it all, having to serve the village once the citizen has reached a certain age. All of these archaic laws... they're the main reason why he's now stuck in this shithole. Being so far away from such pleasures of the flesh after being exposed to it practically daily, it certinly hit Basrif the hardest. Despite all the man talks that went around about being horny and pent up... in secret, he was the one that felt the effects of withdrawal the hardest.

But he's finally got what he deserved, after being patient for so long. As he kept hammering into Slark's ass, he suddenly longed for something more intimate. He wanted something that reminded him of back home. The longing for his lavish lifestyle manifested within him so suddenly, creeping up inside him in the form of homesickness. He didn't really know why such thoughts had to come now, but he could only answer his heart's call. Slowing down his thrusts, Slark finally managed to get some time to rest. Eventually, he halted his gyrations completely, and pulled out of Slark's markedly stretched hole.

"...Raise his ass up again."

Not wanting to question their de-facto leader's wishes, Musa and Ismaen quickly pushed Slark's legs all the way once more. The slick and shiny pucker is now on full display once more, ripe for the taking. Climbing up again on top of Slark as he previously did, but this time he mercilessly jackhammered into Slark's booty, not caring for how roughly he rubbed against Slark's prostate. Being one to live a life of celibacy, Slark had no idea what stimulation to one's prostate was capable of. Imagine to his surprise, how he is now sporting an erection, as he was continuously railed hard by the brute on top of him.

"Yeah... I'm gonna make sure you enjoy this..."

With a twisted smile plastered across his face, Basrif just kept going at it. Slark had no idea what he meant, but the stinging within his bottom area never ceased to fade. It was nearly impossible for his body to truly adapt to such a large intrusion constantly entering and leaving him at blistering speeds. His prostate was also rather sensitive, due to it not receiving any attention throughout his whole life. Each jab that clashed against the sweet spot within Slark, he couldn't help but utter a sound that was Slark couldn't believe actually came out of his mouth. The pain from the penetration did not lessen whatsoever, but his body is starting to show another natural reaction that Slark was not aware of at all. Over several more punches to his prostate, it finally unveiled itself. Slark's cock popped from from his slit, revealing a pinkish-purple stick of meat of disappointing thickness, yet it stands firm at about 4 inches.

Grasping the penis in his hand earns Basrif a loud moaning gasp from Slark. He knew that it wasn't enough just getting off on his own. He had to show his dominance over his little bitch by forcing him to enjoy the suffering he's inflicted upon him. By timing his deep pushes with stroking Slark's exposed cock, he knew he got this man by the balls. Slark didn't want to think that such an act could be enjoyable, as he is still hurting from all the expansion his gut had to make to accommodate for the foreign insertion. Every single stroke of Slark's fish meat was done hand in hand with the rough sinking of Basrif's cock inside him. The overstimulation of it all was far too much for Slark, as he was approaching close to his climax. Throughout all of this, the two lackeys simply stared incredulously at what was transpiring.

"I'm gonna... fucking BrEED YoUUU, AnD yOUR'E gOING to LLLIKE IIITT!!"

With one final stab to his guts, Basrif managed to hit Slark's prostate dead center, causing the fish beneath him to scream out bloody murder and uncontrollably vibrate all parts of his body. With expertly done swift strokes, Basrif managed to read his bottom's condition and give Slark's aching cock a good rubout, causing for it to eventually erupt with white goo, most of it splattering towards Basrif's face. Slark's completely shriveled expression and loud outbursts showed that he was indeed new to this sensation, as even Musa and Ismaen had a hard time keeping him completely pinned down. Meanwhile, the tightening of Slark's muscles gave way for the blue man to shoot a geyser of a load deep inside Slark all the way into his large intestines, carrying the worth of a few months of stored up baby batter. Bashrif's instincts tells him that it was definitely about the volume of half a cup. Feeling his insides coated rather intensely with a new layer of goop, Slark could only stare wide eyed at the ceiling, trying to stabilize his breathing after having experienced such an overwhelming moment.

At once, Basrif pulled out his entire unit. The friction caused from from all the pounding left his cock relatively dry, which certainly hurt Slark as it was pulled out so suddenly from his still aching hole. His face still covered in streaks of white, Basrif didn't even care to wipe it off just yet. Instead, he gathered as many cum stains from his face as he could onto one two fingers, and proceeds to use it as lubrication... for fingerbanging Slark's freshly filled ass. He understood just how sensitive his muscles still were, and wanted to see one his most favorite moments after each of his sessions back home. Vigorously, he kept on digging his fingers inside Slark's freshly coated ass, and refused to relent. Judging by Slark's wildly crazy expressions, he knew that he's close to what he's getting. Continuously, he just kept on blasting his fingers in and out of Slark, generating a slurping and popping noises, all the while keeping a large majority of the cum inside of him while Slark's hole is kept in an upright position. Steadier and steadier, his tempo kept in increasing, making the sounds ever more tantalizing. He kept a close eye on Slark's expressions and voice as he just kept going ham on the poor fish's sore butt. In a flash, he noticed Slark's iris begin to roll up into his eyes, signaling a complete loss of inhibition over the muscles. And so, one expertly timed push and pull later, nearly all the cum that was stored inside of Slark, probably some from the guard as well, shot up right out of his ass at tremendous heights. All throughout this scene, Slark unleashed the deepest and most desperate moan for relief, as his muscles finally reached the apex of what it could contract to. What follows each squirt of the cum geyser were bubbly sounds of air struggling to come out of Slark's still-tight hole, and his hauntingly long sustained groans from being too stimulated in the anal region by the repeated fingerings. The squirtings reached heights that went higher than Musa, and splattered all over the floor in front of Slark very satisfyingly.

Finally having calmed down, Basrif stood up from the bench, acting like it was nothing, "Damn... I can't remember the last time I did something this hot. I almost got hard again from digging such a sweet ass." At Basrif's, signal, the two of them finally stopped holding Slark down, and allowed for his leg to extend naturally once more. After a few minutes of rest, it looked like Slark finally recovered from the adrenal high provided to him by Basrif's impressive finger work. He was still at a loss for words, though. His body had just been used as a cumrag, but his rapist also took measures to force his body to enjoy the ordeal, in more ways than one. Seeing as it was just a sex act, Slark didn't want to dwell upon it any further, nor did he have any strength to even ponder through what just happened. He was just hoping for it to be all over.

As he walked to the door to peek outside, he noted that it was still shining brightly. It was still in the middle of the afternoon. Noticing the light, Ismaen an Musa's face lit up in a similar fashion. The implications were obvious, and became even more so when Basrif put his hands on Ismaen's shoulders, giving a side-nod of approval. Curtly returning with a smile of his own, Ismaen wasted no time in getting himself hard. Flip flopping his wiener up and down as if he was trying to power up an old device, he did the usual routine to get some blood flowing into his junk. When he completed his turn around and came face to face with Slark's sexy, tied down lithe body, the gears started to turn instantly for him, springing his cock at full mast.

Slark wished he hadn't lifted his head, but the red spear that was about to pierce him looked absolutely terrifying. Towering at 7 and half inches, its thickness was close to the entire length of the first guard that fucked him. He had spent most of his energy resisting the first two tops that had their way with him, so much so that Slark was not even considering fighting back. Preparing for the worst, he practiced his breathing to the best that he could before his violation will begin. In and out, one deep breath after the next, he closed his eyes as he tried his best to ignore the nasty sounds of the oglodi trying to lubricate his meat. His calmed state was interrupted by the oglodi's sudden grabbing of both his feet. The other 2 men just stepped back, and obeyed the wishes of Ismaen who wanted to enjoy his sensual moments the only way he knew how; one-on-one, by his own hands.

Similar to how the positioning was in the first penetration, the oglodi preferred to lock himself between the spreader bar. Anatomically, he was very much bigger than the guard, permitting him to only use his muscular biceps to hold Slark's legs in place. Letting out a gasp, Slark was surprised to also feel Ismaen's open palms feeling up Slark's hips. Slark wanted to close his eyes and let it be over with... before he felt a slap on his face, and one the hands cupping his chin. Staring intently into Slark's forcibly opened eyes, the oglodi used his other hand to adjust his tool and place it right on top of his sub's waiting hole. Slark felt the man's unbelievably large tool kissing against his sore hole that was in dire need of some rest. Heavily breathing, he couldn't look away from the somewhat blank yet lusty expression of the dominator on top of him.

The few attempts Ismaen had at wedging his rod inside Slark proved to be rather unsuccessful. He wasn't sure if Slark was actively resisting by clenching, or if he was actually that big. After one particularly forceful thrust, he managed to enter about a third of himself into Slark.

"OUGHH- YOUUCH!!"

He could see that Slark was clenching his fists hard, and moving his eyes further down, he also noticed just how stretched the fish's asshole was. The tightness was absolutely to die for, and Ismaen was even somewhat worried that the vice grip induced upon his manhood might cause him to blow his wad too soon. He still kept his hands on Slark's face, as he knew the bottom wouldn't want to waste any energy to protest. From afar, Musa and Basrif did seem somewhat worried that a fleeting moment of carelessness might cause him to lose a few fingers to Slark's shark-like teeth. However, Ismaen knew that he was in full control. An oglodi very rarely ever fails to maintain complete physical ruthlessness over their subjects.

After it seemed like Slark had calmed down, Ismaen thought he could move in much further without brutalizing him too much. He lifted his head back to drool out a generous amount of spittle around the rim of Slark's ass, and wiggled his dick in place to liberally get it all in place. This caused Slark to shudder, as he STILL had not been adjusted to the raw thickness of the protruding object. Without any warning, he then shoves himself in harder, eliciting an impulsive yell from Slark. Shaking his head left and right, he thought he had finally reached his limit. He was now quivering all over, his muscles trying their damndest to relax and lessen the pain somewhat. Fortunately for him Ismaen didn't go much deeper in that stroke, reaching only up to 6 inches, where Basrif had left off.

But Ismaen didn't want to settle for anything less than the full experience. Letting go of Slark's face and hip, he placed both of his hands to the sides of the bench, gripping the edges tightly. What followed was several impulsive thrusts, one pistoning motion after another. He had to retract nearly his entire length during each push, but always ran into the same 6 inched wall placed upon him by Slark's limited physical capacity. With each push however, Slark was getting notably noisier and noisier. While they sounded like they were moans, it seemed like it was hard for his body to gain pleasure out of such an extreme size difference. Ismaen could feel that it was getting close, however. With each push, the sloppiness of his entrance gradually increased, which meant that Slark's body was attempting to adapt by producing more lubrication within. His dick was gaining more purchase with each long stroke, feeling less and less friction the more he thrusted in.

After one amazingly hard push, to the point where even the bench moved, he had managed to get all of him inside. He had finally broken through Slark's rectum, and felt his tool clashing against the intestinal walls. Ismaen's content purr however was largely overshadowed by Slark's eardrum shattering cry. Had the gym walls and doors not been modified by the soundproofing minerals, such a terrorizing shriek would have easily been noticed by any and all inhabitants within a mile of the gym. Slark could no longer feel control over his body, as it was starting to convulse over the extreme pain in his nether regions.

Not wanting to stop at that, Ismaen simply kept at it and went to town. Never in a million lifetimes has he ever felt his dick in such a deep place with ridged walls, though that was likely due to the narrowing rectal passage connecting the intestines. In between his stuttering screams, Slark had to take in rapid breaths in order to keep himself from passing out. Now a ragged mess of tears and mumbling noises, Slark had to resort to losing all inhibitions in order to keep his body from sustaining any injuries due to the rough fucking it had received. As Ismaen kept on pounding Slark in places not meant to be reached, he moved one of his palm near Slark's lower torso to feel if his cock managed to induce any abdominal bulges. Not feeling anything of the sort, he moved his hands once more onto Slark's face, not caring at all about coming into contact with Slark's flowing slobber.

True to his intial gut feeling, Ismaen could feel that he couldn't hold it in for much longer. Not wanting to hold back any more, Ismaen stood up from the bench, and flailed his body back and forth, crashing his hips to the sound of Slark's agonizing wails. Both hands firmly grasping Slark's thighs, he tried to endure for as long as he can while incrementally keeping up the pace of his deep drilling. Repeatedly faster removals and reinsertions of the entire 8 inches was far too much for his body to handle, which caused him to even lose control of his bladder, causing very slight drips of piss to pool onto his chest. A particularly sharp thrust caused Slark to immediately relieve himself on the spot, wetting the bench and most of Ismaen's chest through a surprisingly not so pungent-smelling spray of urine. Despite such embarrassing acts, Slark's expression had only changed slightly from the terrified look exhibited after the deep penetration. After the initial shock from having his insides violated had faded, his expression remained in a state of blankness, with twitching eyelids and the iris rolled up. His squeals have certainly died down as well, probably due to his aching throat at this point.

Accompanying his climax, Ismaen folded and pinned Slark's knees to his sides, and let loose the iconic primal roar of the oglodi. The flood of cum was simply too fierce and plentiful for Slark's bowels to handle, as it also went into the far-reaching depths of his colon. The forcefulness of Ismaen's last thrust is just as intense, causing Slark's hole to twitch uncontrollably, resurfacing old pains within his ass that he thought he'd got used to by now. With streaks of tears falling across his ear, Slark had no choice but to lie down and take it. After about half a minute of waiting in the mating press position, the flow of spunk had finally ceased. In one swift move, Ismaen removed himself entirely, triggering a moan of relief and slight pain from Slark. The moan then picked up once more, as Slark heaved himself with a deep and sore voice to unlease an arcing torrent of pure white oglodi cum across the gym. The thin sticky rope traveled much further than his last expulsion, though it's highly unlikely he's going to get it all out this time. When all is squirted and done, Slark's hole looked like a creamy gaping mess of reddened flesh. Despite his attempts at trying to reflexively clench it shut, his anus seemed to have permanently grown a few sizes larger and won't close tight for quite the foreseaable future.

"Phew... you weren't kidding, Basrif. This bitch really is some prime fucktoy material." Wiping the sweat of his brow, followed a pat down of his glistening body covered in fish pee, Ismaen has finally returned to earth from his cloud nine.

Quietly, Musa just stood there, not wanting to even suggest that he should have a turn, "G-guys... I think we should set him free for now... We'll let the guards handle-"

Before he could even finish his sentence, he noticed that Ismaen had already finished untying the immobile blue fish from the bench. What ensued next completely took Musa by surprise, as Ismaen tied Slark's hands once more around his waist up to his shoulders with the plethora of suits. This caught Slark by surprise as well, as all the jerky movement had finally woken him up out of his reverie. Before he could even attempt to do something with his free legs, Basrif came right around to assist Ismaen in keeping the captive pacified. With the spreader bar in place, Slark couldn't do anything anyway, even if he had wanted to.

"Did you think I'd forget how you like your boys, Musa? I take my locker room talk very seriously, I'll have you know. All your little fantasy talk having your partner straddle your hips, and all those other details... I remembered them well. I'm actually glad that you decided to open up to us about all that, big guy. It sorta helped us trust you enough to include you in our operation in the first place. And thanks to your help, our freedom seems closer than ever. We couldn't have finished prepping the hidden passage without your help. Here's your reward for being part of the Dark Reef Dozen. Dig in, buddy. I even unlocked the shackle for ya, cause I know how grabby you like to be."

Right at the last sentence of the touchingly bromantic speech, Ismaen motioned over to Musa to claim his rightful prize. Not usually one to show his true emotion, Musa finally relented and thanked Ismaen for being a great and understanding friend. While he may be the gentle giant of the group, in bed, Musa's desires can only be described as animalistic. The number of times he has mated was so little, he could recall every one of them in his head. And his last one was, suffice to say, nearly a decade ago. It wouldn't do good at all not to take the chance while it's presented in front of him.

While Ismaen and Basrif held Slark down on his side in the fetal position, Musa had the time to prep himself up. Gently pushing his two friends' hands aside, he went right in for Slark's booty. Now on his belly, Slark couldn't really see what went on behind him, the prospect of which terrified him somewhat. Despite all that he had been through, as long as he ended up alive, his resolve to survive still burned bright inside him. He had to admit however, that his spirit had been shaken multiple times in the last session. He was just glad that the worst that happened was him relieving himself from all the overstimulation. His insides are still raw from such a deep insertion, but he'll have to think about recovery at another time.

Interrupting his thoughts, Slark felt a disgustingly slippery object grazing the rim of his tailhole. With Ismaen and Basrif still holding his stomach down on the floor, he couldn't turn to see what it was. But just from the texture and smoothness alone, he knew that it was Musa's gigantic walrus tongue. It was... actually soothing, and very delicate. While it did sting when the stiff tongue climbed inside of him and poked at the anal walls within, the analgesic effect provided by the saliva also served to ameliorate the pains from his previous incursion. The strangely therapeutic treatment definitely got to Slark's head, as he had relaxed and let his guard down. Little did he knew, Musa purposefully applied his wintery essences just to make sure that Slark won't end up a complete wreck by the time he's been done in.

Rendered awestruck for what's to come, Slark was more than happy to breathe easy for once after the ravaging he had to go through. The skillful movements of Musa's tongue, his lapping and lickings hit all the right spots within Slark's aching canal. He tried his best to liberally coat both the inside and outside of Slark's stretched out chute with his viscous man slobber. Lulling his tongue out and keeping his head flat on the floor, each jab of the tongue grows deeper and more sophisticated, healing all the strained marks left from the previous devastation. Slark couldn't help but let out more than a moan or two, as the organ also slid appreciatively against his prostate.

Just as Slark was getting used to the easing rimjob, Musa lifted his face off his rear. As much as Slark was disappointed, his gut feeling told him that disappointment was not the appropriate emotion for what's to come. A large hand rears itself from under Slark, lifting him up in a tenderly clutching bearhug. Musa then sat himself down on one of the sturdier chairs with a backrest, placing Slark on top of his exposed lap, leaving room for Musa's collosal donger to be propped up next to Slark's. Already slicked up and standing strong at a whopping 11 inches, Slark didn't even know how to process the beast that was in front of him.

After a long period of silence, finally protested with what little recovered voice he had, "Wh- are you SERIOUS!? That thing will fucking kill me!! It's as thick as my ARM!"

Anticipating the outburst, Musa kept a tight hold onto Slark. No matter how much the little guy fidgets, he's not escaping from the carnal desires of a Frostwrack walrus. It wasn't much of a fight anyway, as Slark was just shaking his head like a child refusing to take his bitter medicine, coupled with the occasional harmless tail slap. The rest of his body was too tired to even attempt a struggle of any kind, or at least a meaningful one. Well, no matter how much he refuses it he's certainly getting an injection, one way or another.

Belying his soft fur and tender smile, this man was rock hard and utterly thirsty for some relief. Lifting Slark up by his thigs using only a single hand, he used his other to ensure that the gargantuan pole was planted right below the recipient's hole. After confirming the position of his tip as directly in contact with Slark's asshole, the madman moved both his hands to fully grip Slark's tender thighs, and mercilessly pulled Slark downwards as far as he could in one go.

The perforation only managed to get about 6 of the total 11 inches in one go, but Slark was already quaking and squealing from that single move. What preceded the move was what truly spelled dread for Slark's internals, as Musa instantly hammered in repeatedly afterwards. The inverse jackhammering that Slark had to undergo could very well be lethal had Slark not already been broken in by the other 2 guys. The next few pumpings that took place grew even more brutal over time. The banshee-like screams that came ouf of Slark signaled just how much more sufferable this fucking session was compared to the past ones. The tear ducts that was thought to be dry now flowed freely. The pumpings now slowed down in speed, however they grew much more potent in impulsiveness. During each thrust, Musa removed Slark all the way up until his cock was no longer inside of him, before impaling him downwards with such vigorous ass-destroying intent. And the sounds that accompanied each entry and exit of Musa's cock were all of the disgusting variety.

Noises sourced from both the slimy, squelching lubrication and flatulation of forced air into Slark's ass were repeated like clockwork, as Musa kept on the cradle-fucking with such ferocious effiency. Musa's own heavy and ragged breathing also clouded the environment, making it the noisiest it has ever been since the start of the kidnapping. In between the deep strokes, Musa liked to lift Slark for extended periods of time, just to allow for a rush of cool air to brush across his penis, but primarily to hear the irregular winking noises of Slark's anal muscles. After lots of forced entry attempts, a fateful stroke finally reopened the rectal passage inside of Slark, granting Musa full physical access to rail his entire rod into Slark's body.

Oddly enough, Slark could no longer yell anymore, and instead started to gasp for air. A frightening push resulting in a total 10 inches of Musa to enter caused Slark to notice that his torso had bulged. The only reason he was able to feel it was due to the nauseating sensation cropping up in his belly, and the extra pressure felt by the ropes pushing against his protruding stomach. Mouth agape, he could only let out a tiny squeak as his ass continues to be ravaged.

Wanting to see his handiwork, Musa spun Slark around to see the sniveling wreckage that he had created. Putting his hands on Slark's hips, he then continued to initiate another furious vulcan of fast strokes. He was being a lot more foreceful this time around, as he started to add the crashing motion of his hips in addition to the pulls from his vice-gripping hands. This sprang some life into Slark, as the destruction of his insides triggered some sort of emergency survival instinct inside of him. Tragically, he had no means of removing himself from such harm, as he could only cry harder as the pole digs deeper into him. All he could do was not hold back in body's natural response. Slark was honestly starting to become worried for his life, as shown by his increasingly dilated pupils.

"Ahh... Ahhhh... Hnngghhhhhhh F-fuck, ffffucking YES!"

Eventually, Musa was able to get his entire gland inside of Slark. With a silent expression devoid of any emotion, Slark couldn't even move his head, as it drooped to the side lifelessly. Musa grabbed his head by the top and forced it to stare directly into the satisfied giant's face, partly because he wanted to see what a defeated man looks like. The pain was simply so much for Slark and too much for his body to handle to exhibit a proper reaction. He was essentially fisted, and both him and his nerves udnerstood that their body will never be the same again. Gently pulling out his dick, Musa noticed that a part of Slark's insides clung tightly onto him, not letting go. Roughly pulling the whole thing out, Musa noted just how red his insides were, with some of the internal walls even loose enough to occupy the entrance. While it wasn't as bad as a prolapse, his organs was certainly rearranged for the worse. The now-awakened Slark was sobbing the whole time, as he tried in utmost vain to squeeze his hole close once more, or at least into a more comfortable state. Due to the throbbing ache he received from each attempt, he eventually gave up.

"Jus'... finish... please..."

What was once a prideful bandit that possessed seemingly otherworldly talents, is now a heaving mess of cum, sweat, and tears. Unsympathetically, Musa grabbed the floundering body of Slark in between his hands, and moved out of the chair. Landing right by the same bench he was tied to, Slark was insted place on his belly. Musa stroked his tool once more, prepping it up for possibly the last lay he would need. Climbing on top of Slark, he no longer needed to really aim his rod, as the hole is loose enough for the initial entry. After moving Slark's tail away, he assumed the position by placing both palms right next to Slark's head. He then inserted himself gently, however that didn't stop Slark from still hissing a couple of 'ows'. After he was merely 3-4 inches in, Musa suddenly moved his hands by wrapping them around Slark's skinny arms, and locked Slark's legs in place by pinning them with his knees. Panic started to settle inside of Slark, causing him have a change of heart, however futile his beggings may seem.

"Wait... waiwaiwaiwaiwait-"

Fallen upon deaf ears, his request was only answered by a meteoric hump, sparking his insides to burn once again. Reignited once more, Slark could only respond with very desperate sounding grunts and squeals. This time around, the fucking got seriously more intense. The bulging sensation within his insides only served to remind him of just how disfigured his body is, and he will need to go into hiding and stay inactive to recover from this fiendish sexual assault. The rippling slaps of Slark's ass against his thighs were music to Musa's ear, as he also enjoyed the stretchy and sticky noises emitted during each pump. Not letting up on his sodomizing whatsoever, Musa lowered his head next to Slark's, and decided to lick a bit of the tears from his eyes. This caught Slark by surprise for sure, which was Musa's intention in the first place; just to show some more dominance how he could. He was getting so close now, he could feel the tightness of the intestinal tract rubbing against the head of his cock.

"Haaaaaaa, hnggggg, nnnyyyYYYEAARRHHHHGGGHHHH-!!!"

With one final, forceful push, Musa bellowed a battle cry as he finally laid claim to the fish beneath. The orgasm lasted only a few spurts, but it was nonetheless plentiful. Slark felt the need to scream himself, as his torn insides were further deposited with a tidal wave of of a cum bath. It went in so deep inside Slark's excretory system, he knew he'd be shitting out a turbid mix of cum for the next few hours. Even after blowing his seed, Musa kept on fucking Slark with the afterglow of his erection. This only served to churn the cum to exit Slark's loosened hole. When he was certain to be done, Musa finally got off of Slark and admired the masterpiece he had made. Even the smallest bit of inhalation of air from Slark caused a bit of the cum to seep through the anal cavity, mixed with some light streaks of red coloration. What used to be a tight and untouched virgin tailhole is now a crater filled with the remains of those who took advantage of him.

As his erection finally died down, Musa's senses returned once more to his usual aloof personality. He very much clearly understood what he had done, but he simply didn't care. When he noticed that Slark wasn't moving at all by an inch, he walked up closer to feel if the veins are still running in his arm. Whichever the result, it was just a matter of disposing of the body in a shower room with or without the suit on. Fortunately for him, as he didn't want to be bothered with having to do extra work, Slark was still breathing. After informing the inquiring Ismaen, they decided to simply untie him, and wear their respective prison suits. With the last remaining suit belonging to Slark, Ismaen gently inserted each cloth piece onto Slark, until it manifested itself once more into the standard unified prison outfit. Musa unlocked one of the shower doors with Slark's suit by just grabbing and displaying his unconscious body on the scanner, and Ismaen then gently closed the door, leaving him as nothing more other than example to be set for the next prisoner to discover his body. Or at least, if there is still a body left, should he remain still past 8pm.

As the trio exits the gym, leaving behind a mysterious mess to baffle the first stranger that comes in afterwards, Basrif first informs the patiently watching guard that they're done.

"Oh, you're done now? You guys sure took your sweet time. Anyways, it's already 4pm right now. You guys better hurry up if you want to get your duties done in time."

Smirking, Basrif responded with a reassuring tone, "Oh don't worry. We'll be done with our things in no time." And with no time to waste, all three of them headed for their unnamed meeting spot, during which the completely smelted Blink Dagger can be procured.

Meanwhile, in his knocked out state, Slark was starting to come to, murmuring to himself and trembling in his dried up suit. His tailhole had a smidgen of red from what is assumed to be his own bodily fluids. In a flash, his paralyzed body suddenly wakes itself up, with the power of dark ambition coursing through his blood. His body was finally reacting to all the horrors it had to be subjugated to, in the form of a strengthened will to live. From the maintenance the room had to undergo, mana flowed freely across the walls of the shower room surfaces. With newfound strength, Slark was finally able to get on his feet. Feeling curious, he took off his clothes for one last time, to inspect the damages he had incurred. Ugh. There are slight tears on the outside of his flesh, which burned like hell every time he tried to bend his hips formidably. Fuck, it even stung when he tried to even walk, since his tail swayed to the motion of his hips. At the very least, the pain is not life-threatening, and nothing some balm and a week's rest can't fix. Disregarding the pain in his nether regions, Slark was rather inquisitive about the strange surge of strength within him. Perhaps the use of mana in replenishing the gym's power was actually compatible with his inner element, with Slark being a rather proficient mana user. Or maybe the adrenaline rush of the fight-or-flight response triggered by his body from the previous encounter unlocked a new avenue for channeling his powers, allowing him to adapt to mana conditions in which he previously were not able to? In any case, Slark was pretty damn happy that despite him needing to take it easy on the running for now, he was able to channel his mana flow once more, despite wearing the prison uniform. Putting it to the test, he was immediately able to channel a successful Shadow Dance on the spot, within the shower room itself. It then dawned on to him that if he was to put this new ability to the test, why not use it in the most beneficial way possible to his situation? Rushing out as limpingly as he could, when he opened the door to the gym, the weather within the dome seemed to have turned dark already. Thinking that it was close to the 7pm mark, Slark hurriedly dashed to the farm spot, enduring the burn for now as best as he could. However, due to the tunnel visioning of his one goal, Slark got uncharacteristically careless as his clumsy walk and slight whimpers caught the ears of several guards, who were curious enough to tail him from behind.

With all 12 of the Dark Reef Dozen in the underground shelter, Basrif walked up to the small goblin-like keenfolk and picked up the dagger, before the bladesmith could even get a word in.

"Heh heh, so... this is the key that will be the undoing of our shackles."

While Ismaen didn't really want to interject Basrif's moment, he had to walk up to him just to brief him on what to do when he's outside, "Okay man, so I've got the men waiting outside with the extra daggers. The pile is northeast from here. The guys should be able to pass to you the daggers when they spot your glowing uniform." Indeed, it was close to 7pm, the time at which the uniforms will give off a gentle light. It was ironic that the same mechanism to be used by the guards in spotting any curfew-breaking stragglers could also be used as a beacon of some sort. Wistfully looking to the side, he saw all of his 10 other compatriots, some with content looks on their face, but a noticeable few of them were hugging each other, whispering congratulations and sweet praises between themselves. it hurts him somewhat on the inside, knowing that these guys weren't going to make it at all. Musa in particular looked calm as usual, but from the months that he knew the guy, he could see through the excited demeanor that he was trying to hide.

After a while, their suits begin to light up a soft glow. This was the supposed cue for Basrif to make his move. Turning to his so-called associates, he grasped the dagger tightly in his hands and nervously spoke, "Well... here goes nothing!".

And... nothing happened. Merely a faint hum can be heard from the dagger, and nothing else. Trying once more, Basrif concentrated the hardest he ever had in his whole life to utilize the magical tool. Again, only a minute fading noise can be heard from the dagger, usually indicative of a lack of mana. Then, it hit Basrif HARD.

"What... THE FUCK!? The slot!?? The- but- there's supposed to be- WHERE'S THE MANA STONE!!??? THE RECEPTACLE IS EMPTY!!!!!"

Looking as surprised as can be, everyone could only stare in awe at what had just transpired. At the same time, they all realized that Basrif made WAY too much of a noise, and it was also getting too close to the curfew to be out so late. Not wanting to risk their lives over a failed operation, they all decided to head back. But lo and behold, right outside of the underground hideout were about half a dozen guards as well who arrived from tailing a certain sneaky fish. The fish that is currently in perfect hiding in his Shadow Dance, overlooking the entire spectacle.

"What are all of you doing out here!? And where did you all come from?", yelled one of the commanders of the guard. "Take them all, boys. Knock em out with your auxiliaries, if they ever resist."

And none of them gave much of a resistance... save for Basrif, who was still in hysterics over what went on. "NO, NO! I WAS SET UP! I COULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF HERE! FAR AWAY FROM THESE IDIOTS!!!".

The time is now for Slark. It was do or die, almost literally. The time was getting closer to 8pm, and he did not want to know what happens to prisoners wearing active suits by that time period. Sneaking into the tunnel, he managed to score the dropped Blink Dagger on the ground. It wasn't the first time he'd used one of these, luckily. And thanks being at the right place, and at the right time, it wouldn't be his last either. Grasping the blade tightly around the handle, Slark instantly feels the blade glowing with magical might, and poofs right through the wall. As the magical sparks faded around him, he had noticed that he's actually underwater. However, he wasn't completely safe yet, as he was still wearing the glowing uniform. However, due to no longer being confined within the customized mana field that overflowed inside the Dark Reef Prison, Slark was able to unleash the Dark Pact he held with the demonic ambitions inside of him, tearing down the suit to its pant and vest compartments effortlessly. While it was pitch black, the environment was extremely suited for his body, as he knew very well how to get around the dark underwater depths. With his custom made Blink Dagger, he could score a good room for the night once he's out of this hellhole.

Once he'd reached the surface and beached himself on dry land, a sudden pain suddenly wracked inside of Slark's stomach. The literal gravity of what he was put through for the past few hours finally sank into his body, as the adrenaline started to wear off. He couldn't even breathe normally, and the air seemed so thick that he's choking in the process of trying to catch even a gasp. Crawling in the night, he laid himself down next to a well-hidden bush, and hoped that his body will be much kinder to him in the morning. While he knew his body wouldn't really ever be the same again after such a traumatic experience, he could hope to at least recover from the damages his internal organs had suffered, as well as his pride.