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Apocosmos Book 1

Dimitrios Gkirgkiris


Exile amongst the ruins

1. I am above

2. Smokers outside the hospital doors

3. Inis Mona

4. A man with a plan

5. I will build you a Rome

6. Fee Ra Huri

7. I wanna be your dog

Incense & Iron

Interlude I

8. Money for nothing

9. Highway tune

10. Diggy diggy hole

11. Equilibrium

Blood of Heroes

Interlude II

12. Child in time

13. Turn the page

14. Eyes of the beast

15. Mercenary Man

16. Battle hymn

17. Of doom and death

18. Tears of the dragon

Last man standing





A big thank you

LitRPG Syndicate

LitRPG Groups

LitRPG Group

About the author

Exile amongst the ruins


It was a cold night outside the slave barracks, colder than it was inside the patched-up building that served as a dormitory for hundreds of working-hands and gladiators. However, the rain had stopped pouring and people of all races and genders had set up small bonfires throughout the camp. That is, those of them who had managed to survive another day in the arena.

Once every five days, the fighting pits would claim some of them. The lucky ones. The unlucky were healed just enough to escape death and be useful to their dominus on the next fighting day. Not enough to be saved from the aching though—pains so terrible that they would bring them in and out of consciousness. Not enough to spare anyone from a night filled with screams of agony as their wounds festered. And certainly not enough to ignore the smell of burnt flesh under hot steel as the gashes left by the monsters they had fought were cauterized.

One would have expected the dampness in the air to cleanse the foul odors. That is, if one had never been enslaved in the ludus, on the outskirts of the nine hells. Humidity only made the sourness of sweat more pungent. The smell of iron slowly faded as the blood of the victims of today’s massacre washed away, but this strange combination of odors somehow formed a pattern of its own. Perhaps the stink of despair. The aroma of slavery.

A dozen warriors argued in hushed voices around a crackling bonfire, their words unintelligible between the pained moans around them. Around them, the last raindrops slid slowly off the leaves of the thick trees surrounding the camp, tapping down onto the tin roof of their dormitories. The fire danced between the charred logs it devoured. Its flames were oblivious to the pain and suffering surrounding it, unaware of the sinister words exchanged between each of its cracklings. For the words promised only death and violence.

“This is a piss-pot of an idea, Yalfrigg,” a lean elf said as he outstretched his hands to the fire, “and you know it. We all remember what happened last time we stood up against our dominus.”

The elf was wearing black leather gloves, the fingers of the left cut down to account for his missing fingertips. His long greasy black hair was caught in a bun, allowing his squinting black eyes to shoot daggers at a dwarf who was sitting on the other side of the fire.

“Aye,” the stout gray-bearded dwarf said. “I do fuckin’ remember, Neleth. They butchered us. They boiled us and they skinned us. They took my brother.”

The sound of leather rubbing against leather cut through the distant screams of pain as the dwarf clenched his gloved hand, his tattooed muscles flexing and glistening under the soft light of the fire. The doctore was never a man of many words, but this conversation could not be swept aside by a swing of the powerful greatsword hanging on his back.

The muscular dwarf removed his gloves and stood up. The way the dancing light of the fire illuminated him from below made his tattooed face look even scarier. This was someone who inspired respect through fear. A trainer and a king among slaves.

“Never before have we been so many,” said another figure, who was completely enveloped in a dark-brown oversized coat. The majority of people sitting around the fire were now nodding. “The dominus is getting lax.”

“Yeh, the fucker is giving around top-tier equipment as if it’s candy,” said a battle-scarred orc towering over everyone even though she was sitting on the short stump of a tree. “But we’re still not enough to take them on. And we can’t break out of the barrier keeping us here.”

“Not yet,” the dwarf continued. “First we need to reclaim our brothers and sisters and attack as one strong fist. Nobody wants to see their friends and family serve masters like fucking zombies.”

“Reclaiming them is difficult enough,” the elf retorted. “Doing so in secret is impossible.”

“There we go again with the nay-saying and the bitching,” the orc said, but only got a flick of the elf’s wrist in reply. “The man obviously has a plan and he’ll reveal it when the time’s ready.”

“I need you to keep the people of your squadrons tight as a dying man’s jaws,” Yalfrigg said, and threw another log on the flames. “We’re constantly getting more recruits. Stronger ones, like him.” He pointed his thick index finger at a man in his mid-thirties who was leaning forward while seated on a wooden stool.

The human stared at the dancing flames, his piercing blue eyes unmoving. A scar ran straight from his left ear down the side of his neck, where it slipped under his leather vest. The sides of his head were shaven, but the dark-blond hair on top was tied at the back of his head. Both the white cloth covering his armor and his thick beard were stained with blood from his battle.

The middle-aged berserker had a completely different disposition to the one he’d demonstrated when he frenziedly carved down and slaughtered two demons—one for each of his swords—in the arena only an hour ago. His face looked serene, focused even. He looked like no hell would get to him, and this place was as close to any of the hells as one could get without

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