The sound of waves rolling on a seashore accompanied by eager squawks of seagulls gently woke him. He grabbed his phone on the bedside drawer and swiped on the screen turning the alarm clock widget off. Another day in prison... Being isolated had taken its toll on him, and after more than three months of being unemployed because of the COVID pandemic and not being able to go outside -or rather more accurately not being able to see and meet strangers on his usual commute to work- slowly solidified his belief that nothing in his life would change; That there will only be this familiar kind of hell he had been living waiting for him in the future. He still continued with his routine though. He went to the bathroom and made sure he had brushed his teeth thoroughly. He then took a quick cold shower using the last bit of soap in the bathroom sink before drying himself off. Looking back at him in the mirror were two blue eyes that never gave away anything except a tinge of sadness despite the burning fire behind them. Having finished with his hygiene ritual, he put on his usual set of clothes that he had lain on the bed before he had taken a shower and went to the living room to meditate. As a child he had learned through his own experience that life will never be easy nor accommodating for him. That if he wanted something, he had to be willing to fight to get it. And whatever he choose to do there will always be a struggle. Because of the harsh experiences he had, he understood early that such woes was just part of the price of existence. And so, having learned meditation had helped him a lot in managing not only his emotions but also his thinking process as a whole. He had sat on a meditating pose and had closed his eyes when a knock on the front door startled him. He hadn't even heard a sound from outside his house, how had this person snuck up to his doorstep without him noticing? He stood to his feet and got to the door in a second. "Yeah?" he said as he opened the front door to reveal a young Asian man who looked like he was in his early twenties holding an umbrella in one hand and a briefcase on the other. The man was sharply dressed in a black suit and tie, reminding him the way 'K' had always dressed. The only difference was that 'K' in his attire had radiated life and vigour while the man in front of him had reeked of death. "Good day! My name is Dave Crettin and I'm here to give you an offer you can't refuse!~" How could it be an offer if there's no other choice. Crettin he said?... "I refuse." he said while he started to close the door. The man was quick on the uptake though and had already shoved his left foot in between the door and the door frame preventing it from closing. "What?! Why?! You haven't even heard the offer yet!" the man said while adopting an expression of mock panick at his abrupt answer. "I don't make deals with your kind." he said, as he looked back at the man through the narrow slit of the almost closed front door. "Well... that's a shame then" the man said, looking genuinely sad at his retort. The man pulled back his foot from the wedge between the door and the door frame and let him finally close it. ......................... It was eerily quiet that morning and he had heard the mans' muffled voice through the door. A name stood out from the rest of the words. "Yuber>" "What did you say just now?" he unintentionally ripped the doorknob from his front door trying to re-open it as quickly as he could. The rest of the now knob-less door slowly creaked open. Had he heard him right? Upon seeing his reaction the man in the black attire took a step back. His face plastered with a cruel grin that looked as natural as a snake swallowing its' prey whole. The man knew he had his full attention. "Yes, you've heard it right!" "My benefactors are willing to give you information about his... Its' current whereabouts." the man was beaming now, showing a row of perfect white teeth. "What's the catch?" he asked, feeling a knot forming in his stomach. "You will join the Ascension Games as my benefactors' champion!" He had always managed to track it down on his own without resorting to sell his soul. Well, if he had one anyway. Somehow it had always managed to escape him though. And after a long time had passed with him not catching even a whiff of its' presence, he seriously considered what the man had offered him. And besides, this world was already on its' way out. It had been already at the point of no return when someone like Donald Trump won the election to lead the most powerful nation. "Details." he said, warily eyeing the man. "Does that mean you accept? Wonderful!~" the man said, trying to clap but had failed miserably due to him still holding the umbrella and the briefcase in each hand. "Unfortunately only my benefactors can discuss that with you." the man said, looking like his excitement had gone down a notch. "I will have to take you to them personally or you can also just take the offer at face value?" the man said in a sickly sweet voice that almost hinted poison. "Take me to them." He knew it could be a trap. Most probably a trap. Knew that what the man had said could've been lies. He knew nothing of the other party, of these benefactors offering him a lead on what he's been chasing all his life. What other choice did he have though? An opportunity to fulfill his purpose showed in front of his doorstep, was turning it down even an option? However slim it was he had decided long ago that he was going to cling to whatever chance he had to get revenge. The man turned his back on him and set the briefcase on the ground. He quickly dialed the password one after the other using the rotating mechanical lock of the briefcase. The lock gave a soft 'click' then opened to reveal a glowing dagger adorned with many precious stones. "Do you have anything else you want to take care of first before we proceed?" He closed his eyes for a brief moment, the only noise in the quiet Sunday morning were the chirping of small birds nesting in the trees he had planted on his backyard from thirty years ago. "No. Let's get this over with." "Hai! This will hurt a lot!~" the man grabbed the dagger from the briefcase and closed the distance between them. It was nice conducting business with you, Pesmerga-san! I'd love for us to meet again! Don't die until then! Well, not after this at least!~ were the last words he heard from the man before his heart stopped beating from being stabbed with the dagger while his body started to rapidly disintegrate into nothing... Authors' Note: This concludes the first chapter. Thanks ##username## for reading! If you enjoyed it and would like to read the next one please give a spook! I welcome any and all kinds of criticism from my readers and I encourage you to write down your comments below. That's it. Stay safe people!