FCM Chapter 1:
A concentrated crowd is gathered on the outskirts of the largest square in Las Vegas while the leftovers gathered in the nearby skyscrapers.
A massive car is parked at one side of the square, its idling motor, with its load road, bearing resemblance to a crouching beast ready to pounce on its prey. The atmosphere brimmed with muted excitement as the spectators fixed their eyes on an intricately-designed black coffin.
The coffin blocked out light, allowing unnerving darkness to fill the tiny space within. Slow and heavy breathing sounds bounced off the heavy coffin wood as a tall and bulky figure crouches within.
Likewise, the coffin blocked out Mu Yuan’s line of sight while the endless silence eats away at his calmness.
In contrast, random conversations mixed with the loud roaring of the engine from outside the coffin pierced his eardrums.
“Oh my god! This magician from Country Hua must be crazy by wanting to perform coffin escapism!”
“That is Master magician Hai Ge’s representative magic trick six years ago. Nobody had ever succeed in replicating it! What is this Country Hua magician thinking?!”
“There are rumours that he wanted to invite Master Hai Ge to witness the performance but was rejected.”
“Oh god, are those petty close up magic tricks of Country Hua magicians even worth anticipating?”
“I have faith in this Country Hua magician. Don’t you think he’s very handsome?”
These surrounding disdain and mocking laughter stabbed at Mu Yuan’s heart mercilessly like sharp knives, causing his breaths to quicken.
His second-class identity as Country’s Hua’s citizen had made his exchange experience at Country Mi arduous ever since he left his mother country ten years ago. To make things worse, this closed doors to sponsors for him. Hence, this performance that he had worked on for nearly three tears must succeed. He must let the world know that Country Hua also possesses superb magic tricks!
Muting the pain and bitterness in his heart, he quickened his hands in untangling the thin rope that bounded his wrists behind his back. However, after multiple tries and methods, he still cannot untangle it!
Meanwhile, the roar of the engine gradually masked the voices. A buzzing noise sounded in Mu Yuan’s ears and the beads of perspiration dotting his forehead trickled along his cheeks and down his shirt.
The more he fumbled around with the thin rope, the more it tightened and cut into his flesh, bringing bouts of pain. Mu Yuan shivered from the cold within, the searing pain leaving his fingers limp.
The performance time draws near. If he still cannot untangle the knot, he will be mercilessly run over along with the coffin by the readied car.
There is no escape route, death is imminent!
Mu Yuan’s lips turned pale, desperation shadowing his eyes and face. Escape is impossible.
This is not the planned knot. That props master, that he had known for a long time and claimed to support him forever while blushing, had tied a dead knot.
Moreover, the escape trigger beneath the coffin would not budge no matter how he pressed it. Bo Ge is out to condemn him to death!
In reality, magicians do not possess supernatural powers. Every magician prop is designed with intricate triggers to unleash the wonders. Basically, every magician has an accompanying props master to be responsible of supporting tasks but Mu Yuan’s props master had betrayed him.
It was he who pulled this skinny boy called Bo Ge ● Li Ang out from the slums. That boy had once pledge allegiance to him with his soul out of gratitude!
Yet, what he is doing now is practically betray
Hatred and fear tore at his mind, causing Mu Yuan’s rigid body to cramp up uncontrollably.
The coffin is nailed shut. It is impossible to even terminate the performance. What is waiting is only death!
The piercing roar of the motor coupled with the sharp screech from friction replaced the voices outside the coffin in an instant. The car operating at a high speed resembled an enraged beast growling and pouncing fiercely at its prey.
Mu Yuan woke up with a start and struggled desperately with his thick wrists for the last time. He did not want to give up. His dreams are not fulfilled yet. However, that thin rope is now sharper than a knife blade, tightly cutting into his flesh and latching onto his wrist bone.
I cannot die… I cannot die… At least not like this…
He slammed his body against the heavy coffin, trying to alert the crowd to the unforeseen circumstances. Nonetheless, it was all in vain as the heavy coffin is not minutely affected by the weakened him.
The large Hummer came rushing towards the black coffin with a roar while the crowd is shrouded in silence.
ꟷ ꟷ BANG!
With one loud crash, black wooden pieces were flung into mid-air as the coffin disintegrated. A black-haired slender body resembling a destroyed wooden doll was flung out from the wreckage. He crashed on to the coarse floor in an extremely twisted stance…
ꟷ ꟷ SCREECH!
Other than the high pitched sounds of the emergency brakes and the outstanding sound of the car engine, the square is dead quiet with the lagged reaction which sustained for a few seconds before chaos ensued. On-looking spectators covered their faces and screamed. There are also some who constantly motioned crosses along their chest.
However, there was one person who stood vigilantly at the edge of the crowd, chuckling obscurely with his head lowered.
Mu Yuan felt that his body was knocked into pieces as all his senses gradually faded. The searing pain in his chest made him feel that his organs had shifted.
When he landed, his cornea glutted with blood, painting his vision of the sky red…
His breathing was made difficult by the endless emergence of blood into the lungs. The surrounding screams sounded further and further away.
It’s over. His dreams were not realised yet. Hate and regret filled his consciousness.
This deemed accident during performance and the sight of the black-haired man staring at the sky while weeping blood was etched in the memory of many spectators. Nonetheless, the chaos had distracted them from hearing this man lying in the pool of blood muttering,” I really want ꟷ
ꟷ ꟷ even if it means I can never reincarnate, give me a chance to drag that wretched betrayer into hell!”
“Reject the light and pledge allegiance to darkness. Thou shall become a blood relative. Give up your past, surrender your memories and thou shall welcome a new life. Give up your freedom, present thou soul to the god of evil and thou shall have eternal life.”
Who… Who is talking…
Mu Yuan yearned to get up to find the source of the voice but realised that he is paralysed in mid-air.
“Shall we seal the contract now?”
Mu Yuan’s eyelids flickered open but blackness is all he sees. The sense of barrenness and solitude overwhelms his senses and taints his soul.
“Are you a devil?”
“Devil?” The hidden man chuckled softly,” Considerable so.”
That voice paused momentarily before continuing in a positive tone,” Are you going to seal the contract? If you are unwilling, I will play by your wishes and send you off for reincarnation.”
Uncertain if he’s overthinking, Mu Yuan sensed an undercurrent of eagerness in that monotonous voice. The other party… seems really eager for him to agree?
Is this a conspiracy? The other party possessed absolute power and had no need to do this.
Moreover, he summoned the other party unknowingly…
Quelling his worries, Mu Yuan licked his dry lips and croaked,” I am willing to commit my faith to darkness and present my soul and flesh, only if I can stand on that stage and push those betrayers down into the abyss. But…”
Mu Yuan paused and cocked his head in confusion,” Why do I have to surrender my memories? What difference is that from reincarnation?”
The man cloaked by the darkness did not answer his question and silence returned to that space for a moment.
“Will it do if I leave your deepest obsession?” A large figure slowly emerged from the empty darkness and Mu Yuan noted the expanding giant shadow trailing behind.
Despite being uncertain whether his deepest obsession is revenge or magic, Mu Yuan knew this was the other party’s ultimate compromise.
Just as the words were out, a searing white right imploded from the dimension. Mu Yuan could not avoid it and was blinded by the bright light. His consciousness seeped out of him.
“What kind of life am I expecting after I wake up?” he murmured anxiously without any form of reply.
By the second he loses all his senses, his body felt like it was wrapped in many soft materials that exuded a calming scent…