~Nightmare’s Kingdom. 14 years ago~

Horror was watching the dungeon, as always. It was his job: Watching the prisoners. He never saw any point to it, though. The only prisoners were stone statues, with no way of even thinking. He wanted to quit, but he knew the king would never let him.

“Stupid 15 year-old king,” He muttered angrily to himself, “won’t let me quit. Why do I have to stay down here and waste my life? This is pointless!”

He kicked a pebble that was on the ground, in front of his foot. It hit against one of the cell bars, and landed right back at the tip of his shoe. He repeated this, making him think more and more of how much time he was wasting down here.

After an hour had passed, he had finally gotten sick of it. He was going to take a big risk: Disobeying orders. He was going to leave his post. He didn’t think he’d get in trouble. All he had to do was get back in an hour or two. As if Nightmare would come down to the dungeon today of all days when for the past week he hasn’t.

Horror left his post, careful not to let anyone notice. He left the castle and went out to have fun. He had a snack, tried out knitting (and gave up), talked with some friends he had been unable to talk to for a while because of how long he had to work, and just got to relax.

Two hours later, he went back to the castle and returned to his post. Surely nobody would’ve noticed that he was gone. Barely anybody went down there. However, soon he was called to talk with Nightmare.

“Your majesty, what is it that you have called me here for?” Horror said, feeling that if he addressed the king in this manner he wouldn’t seem suspicious.

“What were you doing away from your post?” The young king asked, nearly blank expression aside from his squint.

“Uh...” Horror was confused. How did the king find out?

“I had a prisoner.”

“Uh... I-I’m sorry! I didn’t think there’d be anything today because for the past seven days I haven’t been doing anything here! I thought it’d be alright if I just slipped out for an hour or two! And I came back!”

“For your insubordination, you must be given the appropriate punishment.”

“W-Wait, don’t kill me!! Please!!”

“I’m not going to kill you. I still have uses for you. However, you still must be punished.”

“W-Wait, please forgive me!! I’ll never do that again, I swear!! Just... what’re you doing?... No, please... NO... NO!!!”

Screaming follows, along with a loud “CRACK!!!” sound. In the end, Horror was left lying on the ground, at the feet of the king.

“Now... have you learned your lesson, or should I continue?” Nightmare smiles slightly.

“N-No... p-please... I’ll never disobey you again, just... no more... please, no more...”

Blood was pouring from the new hole in his skull. He was in extreme pain. Nightmare, who he once saw with contempt and frustration, was now seen with intimidation and dread.

“Good. Now, get back to your post.”

Horror tried to get up, but he could barely move.

“Oh, I see. Take the rest of the day off. However, I expect that as soon as you recover enough to move you come back to your post.”

“Y-Yes, my king...”

Red had to take Horror home, as he couldn’t move himself. His friends took care of him for a while. Once he was able to move on his own, he went back to work. Even when given the suggestion to stay for a little while longer since he still had trouble moving and could easily pass off as still incapable...

“N-No... he’ll find out... I can’t... not again... NOT AGAIN!!!...”

...Nightmare had clearly left a scar in Horror’s mind.

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