“Azkaban?” Dustin was alert when he heard the name. Azkaban was known throughout Balerno. Rumors had it that the inmates here were either extremely wicked or caused great harm to the country. And there were all sorts of criminals- assassins, despised martial artists, bloodthirsty maniacs, and more.
The prison had one rule: once you entered the place, there was no way out. Unlike other prisons where inmates who performed well would be given chances to reduce their sentences, the inmates here only had two choices. They could either stay here for the rest of their lives or die.
Therefore, no one has ever left or escaped the place. This was also the place where Duane Welch had been sent to. “Do you understand the seriousness of the situation now?” The older man asked, concerned.
“This place is a different world. Everything on the outside no longer has anything to do with you now.”
“Is there no way to get out?” Dustin questioned.
“Get out? How?” The older man shook his head with a bitter smile. “The cells are made of indestructible dark steel. Beyond this, many checkpoints and skilled martial artists guard the place. Nothing could get in here, not even a fly.”
“Now that does sound worrying,” Dustin muttered.
“Stop overthinking, kid.” The older man patted Dustin’s shoulder. “You’re lucky you met us instead of those wicked men or you’d be dead meat by now.”
“You’re one of us now, so you definitely won’t starve!” The bald man patted his chest confidently.
“Thanks, guys.” Dustin smiled politely. He could tell that these men weren’t evil.
Suddenly, sounds of metals clanking resounded through the corridor. Instantly, everyone shrank away from the bars and huddled in the corners of the cell, terrified.
Dustin followed the sound and looked toward the dimly lit corridor. A plump man dressed in fine clothes was approaching them with several fierce-looking prison officers. He held a metal rod and kept striking it against the iron doors, causing sparks to fly.
“Hey, kid. Did your family members bribe the guards before you came?” the old man asked.
“No.” Dustin shook his head.
“Then do you have any valuables with you?” the old man asked again.
“I’m completely penniless.” Dustin spread his hands.
“Oh, dear.” The older man sighed. “Those money-grubbers are here. You might have to endure some pain since you didn’t bribe the guards and have no money.”
“Don’t worry, kid. It’s just 50 canes. It’ll be over in the blink of an eye. It might keep you in bed for
about a month, but it won’t k ill you!” The bald man promised.
“He’s right. You just have to remember not to resist, and everything will be over soon,” Others echoed, having gone through the same thing.
If someone had money, they could bribe the guards so that their punishment was milder. But if someone had no money, they’d have no choice but to suffer.
Those who were lucky would suffer from a bruised bottom, while those who weren’t might end up disabled.
The well-dressed, portly man continued striking the cages before stopping in front of Dustin’s cell.
“I heard a new guy arrived. Who is it?” The well-dressed, portly man scanned the cell with cold
eyes. Those who met his eyes instinctively lowered their heads, scared of these men who controlled their lives.