The Dark Dungeon

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Inside the damp and dusky dungeon where Yuanji spent the last couple week in captivity, he reached for his shoe he placed to catch the dripping water from the wall. He had been deprived of proper nourishment without getting enough food to eat or water to drink. The princess ordered his meals to come once every other day. 

Starving her prisoner was one way to gain their compliance, according to her. 

On the contrary, her technique only made Yuanji's hatred grew stronger and darker each passing day he stayed locked up in the dungeon, starving and alone.

Yuanji lost a lot of weight, one can tell by his sunken cheeks, the rims around his eyes and his ever-diminishing muscle mass.

His hips poked out of his pants, the same pants he wore the day of his captivity. He had not been given permission to change, get cleaned, or bathe for that matter.

He groaned as he pressed his lips on the slope of the shoe drinking the little bit of water he collected. 

How long had it been? He wondered. Yuanji had lost track of days already. 

Inside the dungeon, there was nothing but darkness, no life, no indication of anything from the outside. Only the company of crawling insects and underground rodents to remind him of life. 

His bones and every inch of his muscles hurt. Sleeping on the hard stone floor took a toll on his body. Not just that, he also got a daily dose of beatings from the guards who found joy inflicting pain on him.  

He stood up, his chains made a dragging sound as he crept back to the wall. 

The door soon slammed open, and it was something he expected. One of the guardsmen rushed inside the room snarling angrily. He darted his eyes inside the dark room, searching for the only prisoner. 

"You!" He growled once he spotted Yuanji and yanked him easily by his robe. "Stop making such noise!" He backhanded the handsome lord on the left side of his cheek that left a red imprint of his knuckles. 

It only pissed him off that Yuanji made no reaction, not even a wince of pain. 

"Not so handsome now, are you?" The guard sneered.

Yuanji only smiled and spat blood on the ground. "You slap like a bitch. You can backhand my face a million times, and you still won't be as handsome as I am." Even after all this time, even after weeks of captivity, his spirit remained intact and unbroken. Yuanji was as defiant and stubborn as he ever was.

This made the guard even angrier. He backhanded Yuanji one more time, and this time, he meant to make the blow crippling. "How about now?"

The pain resonated on Yuanji's cheeks that made him suck his breath. "Heh, still slap weaker than my little sister." Yuanji laughed. 

A growl, the guard was quickly losing his patience. He raised his hand about to backhand the handsome lord for the third time when someone interrupted. 

"Put him down!" A hiss came from behind. He hardly noticed the princess arrived. She has the tendency upon sneaking undetected. The princess was a highly skilled martial artist just like the rest of her family. She towered the guard while her brother, fourth price Jingqi stood beside her.

The guard slackened his hand releasing Yuanji immediately. He stepped away nervously. This is the first time he was caught abusing the prisoner and he knew what the captive meant to the princess.

Princess Li stepped forward, she carried a stick lit with fire and brought it close to Yuanji's face. She could hardly make up Yuanji in the darkness but saw the clear imprint of knuckles on his cheeks. She leaned forward, her cautious hand caressed the marks on his cheeks. 

Yuanji flinched at the sting of her touch.

"How much does it hurt, my love?" She cooed.

Yuanji made no response as he kept to his silence.

This made the princess frustrated, there are countless times when she made her way to the cell to check on him, only for him to ignore her existence. She turned and focused her anger on the guard instead.

"You!" She snarled. "Why were you touching my prisoner?!"

The guard flinched. He knew he'd pay for it somehow. "The prisoner was making a lot of noise, I was trying to shut him up."

Yuanji snorted, "you're a dead man and you know it." That was the most noise he made so far since princess Li's arrival. 

"No, you were clearly doing more than shutting him up." Princess Li whipped around and made her way toward the guard, Danger reverberated in each step she made. 

A hand stopped her, it had been her brother, fourth prince Jingqi. "Leave him to me, little sister." He murmured with maligned delight. "I haven't had any fun in a while."

The princess nodded and stepped back making way for her brother. Fourth prince Jingqi drew his blade from its sheath. For a moment the glimmer on his eyes looked like he was deciding whether he wanted to make his kill slow or quick.

If he was to do it fast, it would take away the fun. Although, it'll fulfill the rush he'd been craving for a while. 

If he were to do it slowly, there's always a tendency for things to get boring and from the look of the guard's terrified eyes, he knew it'll be a boring kill for him.

"Hey, little sister..."

"What?" 

"How do you want me to kill him?"

Princess Li sighed. "Are you bored with him already?"

He shrugged. "I'm not too keen on killing ugly humans." He smiled and drew his attention to Yuanji. He lifted his sword and place it just underneath Yuanji's chin, making the handsome lord swallow a painful spit. "Him now, I would find great delight tearing him from limb to limb. I might ever keep his romantic eyes as a souvenir."

Princess Li knocked the sword away. "Keep that away from him. If you must be told how you must kill..." She looked at the guard and sneered. "Do it quick, he dares put his hand on my beloved."

Fourth prince Jingqi grinned and stepped toward the guard. The space around them was so small that it would be impossible for the terrified guard to make a clear escape. Not with the fourth prince and the princess both standing there. 

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