Chapter 1: Living as the Top Dog in the Cell
Hira Kammon, a former swindler, found herself in the worst prison on Earth, Niflheim.
‘Damn, luck really isn’t on my side.’
She possessed sharp wit and a captivating charm that could deceive others. She was an exceptional mind and had ‘Kia’ that could enchant people; it was her greatest asset. Kia was a power that held all the mysteries of the world and among them was a rare mental ability to mesmerize others.
“Listen carefully, you dogs. I’ll explain it only once.”
The prison guards referred to the inmates as ‘dogs’. They considered everyone to be no different from dogs. In a way, the guards didn’t discriminate among inmates. Perhaps it was because they viewed everyone as equal trash.
Usually, guard’s first and last act of kindness was during the introduction of the place.
“This place is divided into three main area: the central ‘Tower,’ the east and west building, and finally, the recreational area.”
The building where female inmates resided was located in the east, while the main building where male inmates resided was in the west.
As soon as Hira stepped out of the solitary cell, she saw a massive garden surrounded by walls. It was like a colosseum, with a huge circular wall surrounding it. The wall appeared formidable, as if warning against any thoughts of escaping.
“Except for a single path that leads to the continent, we’re surrounded by the sea.”
She heard the guard while gazing at the garden.
Although it was referred to as a garden, a majority of the ground was either withered or bare soil, with only a few patches of greenery. In the center, prison fence* displayed its grandeur, where people gathered to engage in simple card games or even physical fights.
*TL/N: I was so confused about this, the raw was written as 쇠창살, some said it’s grating, iron bars, etc and I still couldn’t picture them being in the center, like that doesn’t make sense? yep so prison fence for now.
“This is a common gathering place for you dogs.”
Beyond the garden, at the center, stood a huge tower. It was so huge that she couldn’t recall seeing a tower this big before.
“Pay close attention. Apart from sleeping, you’ll spend your time either here or up in that tower.”
In front of the prison fence, she saw a woman slowly sweeping the area with a large broom. She seemed to be in her twenties and had an unusual feature: her hair was a vibrant shade of green. To be precise, it was a lovely mint color. Moreover, her eyes, which could be described as a mix of red and pink, had a completely different hue from her hair. It was impossible not to be captivated by her stunning beauty.
Her flawless appearance, resembling a perfectly sculpted figure, made it difficult to determine whether she was a prisoner or she was a masterpiece of a sculpture placed in a prison. Her soul-piercing face was nothing short of a national treasure.
‘Wow, that face..,’ she thought to herself.
With a face like hers, her beauty would appeal to both men and women.
While Hira was lost in her own thoughts, she heard a piercing scream nearby. When she turned around, she saw a thin man being beaten by other men.
“The prisoners here are divided into ranks. As a newcomer, you start from the lowest rank. Depending on how you fare… your rank may rise.”
“Of course, until the day of your release, whether you will remain at the lowest rank or die is an uncertain matter.”
“Help! Help! Please!” a desperate voice cried out.
“Did you hear that? The lowest-ranking prisoners here are treated even worse than dogs.”
If she wanted to be treated like a human, she needed to increase her rank, that was what the guard meant.
“How can I increase my rank?”
“See that tower over there? Do you think it’s just there for show?” The prison guard with a sinister expression pointed his finger toward the tower.
“If you participate in the weekly matches held in that tower, you’ll have a chance to increase your rank.”
Once again, she realized that this place was no ordinary prison. It was a strange one. After all, it had earned the title of the worst place on earth, and it showed. Fights were rampant, and the hierarchy was evident.
For instance, the large man was sitting on the back of a thin man made to act like a quadruped was a great example.
Some women sat on human stools, looking down at the men sprawled out in front of them without any enthusiasm. Jungle. No, this was a lawless zone.
Hira’s head spun around in confusion. In this new world, she had to familiarize herself with the rules befitting this place. Soon, her eyes shifted back to the woman who was sweeping again.
“By any chance, does the assigned work differ according to the ranks?”
The guard nodded.
So, was the woman who was sweeping while others who were resting was one of the lowest-ranked prisoners?
As Hira got closer to the woman who was sweeping, the woman suddenly looked up and stared intently at her. For some reason, the guard also stopped in his tracks.
The woman had a very beautiful and gentle voice.
“I see. But… you’re standing on the spot I just cleaned.”
The woman pointed her broom toward the ground.
Hira blinked her eyes. What does she want her to do? Apologize? But it was the guard who brought her here. It wasn’t her fault for coming here.
“I didn’t come here because I wanted to. It was the prison guard who guided me here.”
“Ah, then the prison guard should be scolded.”
What was this person saying? It wasn’t an incorrect statement, but it sounded too reasonable for this place.
“Cleaning is good for character training. Would you like to give it a try?”
“Just hold this. If you hold it, you won’t be blamed.”
Strangely, when Hira turned her head to see the guard, he had taken a step back.
What’s going on? Why did the guard stepped back?
“What happens if I… hold it?”
“…? Nothing happens.”
Hira was taken aback.
“But if you intrude more than necessary, who knows, the broom of justice might just sweep your head off,” the woman said with a distinct tone.
In that moment, a man spat right in front of the woman who was cleaning. Two men, one large and the other relatively small, blocked the path of the delicate woman.
“Wow, there’s a good product in this cell?”
“Huh? Just when I was bored after coming in. There was no beauty like her yesterday or the day before, right?”
The woman slowly raised her head, showing no change in her expression as if it was a familiar occurrence. Judging by their speech, it seemed like they were newcomers who arrived not long after Hira.
A nearby guard muttered, “Tsk, pointless actions…”
Hira could clearly hear the faint annoyance in his voice.
“…It’s bothersome to dispose of corpses.”
Oh, was that woman going to die soon? That’s a shame…
Hira, with her keen eye, could tell that the man in front of her was quite skilled in combat. However, it was clear that the woman doing the cleaning was a low-ranking prisoner, and the predictable events that would unfold were apparent. As if sensing the fear, the woman brought the broom close to her chest and clenched it tightly.
“This place is quite nice, gathering women like them in one place.”
“There are scary woman, but there are also weak ones like you who are pretty. It’s a good thing for us, you know. Hehe.”
“Don’t be scared. They said we can do anything here, right? So let’s have a goo~d time.”
When the woman stared intently at the men, Hira briefly felt a sense of unease. However, she dismissed it as a misunderstanding.
The woman’s eyes seemed pitiful, like a trapped beast. Given the situation, it was undoubtedly fear that overwhelmed her.
“Wow, this… it’s a product I’ve never seen even in the capital.”
The man suddenly grabbed the woman’s hair as she was cleaning. It was then that Hira felt uneasy once again.
‘What was that just now?’
In that brief moment, all the prisoners in the facility seemed to be focused on the scene. Hira quickly moved toward the guard. She felt the need to say something, even if it meant going against the rules.
“Um, sir. Don’t you think that looks dangerous? Shouldn’t you intervene?”
“Well, obviously, that man…”
When she heard the guard’s indifferent and annoyed voice, Hira had only been concerned about the pitiful and beautiful woman.
“Ah. You. I’m. I’m so scared.”
The dry voice that mechanically uttered those words was hauntingly beautiful, yet at the same time, it lacked any trace of emotion, making it unsettling.
───── ⋆⋅☆⋅⋆ ─────
Want to read more advanced chapter? Visit my ko-fi page!