The Void of Stars is a realm cut off from the rest of existence by an ancient primordial. Very few can enter this realm and fewer can survive in the ever changing atmosphere. For one to be called here, their renown should be great and their skill greater lest they fall to the trials present within the broken, divine realm. Should the realm reappear to the rest of existence, a calamity tied to the fates of Aether, Nether, Divine and Forsaken is imminent.
EX 000: Phantasmal Distortion -Act One: It awakens...-Edit
"Sometimes, I wonder why the world works the way it does."
"For what reason, Annie?"
"It often sees as if the worlds are held together by the thinnest of strings, dangling ever closer to the scissors that will eventually sever them and start 'That'."
"Anira, you're worrying too much. When the time comes, you'll be ready. We'll all be ready. It's that or death, no middle ground to stand on."
"That wasn't reassuring, Akua."
"It wasn't meant to be. We don't have much time left before our connection is severed by dimensional interference and boundary feedback, I have to tell you something before that happens."
"I see. Speak quickly the- What the hell!?"
"Annie, get yourself and my daughters out of there!"
"What's going on!? Alisa! Iylessa!"
"That was rather disconcerting," mutters Volmond, sipping a cup of tea, "Those three are rather important to my plans... Seraph, could you awaken Helios and Asteria? It seems that I will need them to do something for me." The doctor receives no verbal answer from his "assistant," instead he senses a slight energy fluctuation that notifies him of her departure. Several seconds pass and another energy fluctuation occurs, signaling the girl's return. Volmond does not turn around, knowing he will be displeased at the sight behind him, and continues to sip his drink.
"Did you not have the time to make yourselves decent? For shame," he sighs. What sounds like twisting and tearing metal being ground against stone fills the doctor's head, followed shortly by the sound of a sorrowful angel's song. Volmond's eyes narrow and he glances at the two indecent beings standing behind Seraph. "Dress yourselves and activate your vocal modules before you return. People must be able to understand you for the job I have in store for you two." He receives a pair of nods before the two beings behind Seraph vanish. A moment later, he sighs. "I'm beginning to understand why you chose to do what you did, Seraph." A rare look of longing enters his eyes. "Just as you would do anything for the Judge, I would do anything to have 'her' back."
The doctor receives no answer again, though he does not expect to. The longing in his eyes diminishes just as the two beings return. He is greeted by the sight of his two masterpieces in their peak forms.
On the right stands Asteria Adventus, a slender six foot tall female humanoid with piercing red eyes, wild forest green hair that flows to just below her waist, skin the color milk chocolate and several patches of scales grouped in symmetrical pairs. She is clad in a combination of black leather and cloth styled into torn jeans, a corset under a thin jacket, boots, several overlapping belts and a choker with a red heart insignia. On her hands rest several rings decorated with various inhuman skull, partially obscuring the swirling tattoos that flow up her arms.
On the left stands Helios Avant, a being better known as Heaven, a male humanoid standing slightly above Volmond's five feet and seven inches of height. He is fair in tone and slim in build with honeyed blonde hair and turquoise eyes that gleamed even in shadows. He wears a simple white coat with white fur lining the hood over a cyan, short sleeved turtleneck and silver jeans with golden stitching. His feet are shod in what appear to be simple sneakers, but on closer inspection tiny blue flames erupt from their soles.
Volmond smirks at his two creations before giving his orders:
"Asteria, I need you to locate several willing people to help me with a... Project of mine." The female humanoid nods before vanishing in a plume of flames. "Helios... I need you to visit Yosai Fortress and request a favor from Lady White in exchange for a favor greater value from me."
"And what would I be asking for, Volmond," questions the humanoid.
"The assistant I picked out during my last visit," answers the doctor, "Her assistance will be required before the day is over and done with."
Helios nods then vanishes in a storm of feathers. Volmond sighs.
"Today shall be long."
-Interlude- The Doctor's ReasonEdit
The Void of Stars, empty. The usually quiet realm had grown eerily quiet during the time in which Volmond left to deal with White. When he returns with Nezumi, he notes the difference.
"...The stability of this realm is worsening. It may be best if we process with-" before the word "caution" can leave the doctor's mouth a large blade erupts from the ground, creating spreading white cracks as it slides through the ground then returns to beneath the surface. "...The message is clear is it not?"
"Yes, it is. I will follow directions you need me to do."
"Then my first instruction is simple: Loosen up," replies the doctor, moving himself and Nezumi out of the path of another blade and the paths of those that follow. Initially, he had been surprised by the blades, but now he appears to expect them and know where each one is at any given moment. "I don't know what White told you to make you this stiff, but for your sake ignore it. I know that she trusts me to be within a yard of her, but a large amount of her wariness is unneeded... Ah, we've arrived."
The area Volmond notes doesn't appear much different from the rest of the Void of stars, but the air is different. While the rest of the realm felt cold and distant, this area pulsed with the power of the eight elements and another, older power. Additionally, there were several bookshelves, each crowded by dozens of books, and a large crystalline orb that floated several meters above ground.
Volmond snaps his fingers and his desk appears, messier than before if possible.
"Make yourself at home, it will take me awhile to decipher why there is such a clause within the spell," says Volmond, shifting papers around on the desk and opening the books around him to specific pages, "Until I'm finished, read a book or do what you normally would. You don't have to worry about safety, only the people I allow can enter this place and no outside interference can enter this place."
She quietly sits down and does little else except look around.
She doesn't get out much, does she? I find that rather sad, but I cannot judge White for that.
"Is something on your mind?" Volmond continues to shift the mess around until something catches his eye. "Aha!"
"Nothing. I am just waiting. Have you found something?" She asks impartially.
"Possibly, though I can't be sure... Hm, it may work... or it will exile us to the Tartarusian Quarter... I'll see if I can find a safer method," mutters the doctor. "By the by, do you absorb knowledge and power like the other one like you? Not the one Lady White lost, but the one beside her at nearly all times."
"All of us have powerful minds. How we use them is subjective. All of us have the power to aquire new abilities, however. White creates batches of us to determine the most favorable attributes that can be produced, and through process of elimination has found her preferred variances for my generation. Our generation, the Eta will be made as long as White is content with us. She always looks for new ways to hybridize and improve us. When she finds the next race of interest, she will merely replace us with the generation that will result, and we will simply sleep until the time comes she has want of us."
She says this with no emotional intonation of how she feels about what she has said.
"That is indeed saddening, then. You've described your brethren and yourself as tools...," Volmond says. Suddenly, his eyes light up only to dull. "No, Antiva isn't fruendly this time of year... Or anytime of year for that matter..." He sighs before gesturing for Nezumi.
She gets up and walks over to him. "What is it?" She asks.
Volmond gives her a hug.
"Don't demean yourself, it leads to a cold existence... And no, the Land of Departed Souls would only reject the Realm and expel it this world," says the doctor before growling, "This is going to be a long day...!"
"Are you looking for locations to send the realm?" Nezumi asks. She looks at the books, curious.
"No, trying to keep is from being warped to inhospitable dimensions," replies Volmond, smiling, but annoyed at his lack of progress, "And so far, I'm failing~"
"I see. How did you learn of my mistress, if I may ask?" She pauses. "And no, I'm not being told to ask that by my mistress. She's meeting with the others." She laughs, weakly, though not out of an attempt to hide something, more of just seemingly unsure how to laugh, strangely enough.
"Oh, that orb. Phoenix has been on one of its displays since White I and Hadari seperated," answers the Doctor, "I only really took interest during the previous generation. Also, please inform your mistress that I am somewhat, actually very disappointed in her treatment of your kind... Now if you'll be a dear and take a few steps back, I'm going to get serious and I don't need you to have a mental overload."
Nezumi takes a few steps back as he asked her to. "Interesting. That long? What exactly does it do?"
Volmond snaps and the crystalline orb roars to life, becoming blindingly bright before several circles appear on it, one of which has the image of Yosai Fortress. Not looking up, a storm of papers and eldritch sigils erupts around the doctor, thousands of equations and phrases phasing in and out of existence each second.
"Just what are you...." She wonders for a moment, then shakes her head. "Why do you care about what our mistress does with us? ....Sleep is better than the waking world...."
Call it an interest of mine. I care for beings such as yourself because your situation is similar to mine or at least was... Volmond's mental voice trails off after connecting to Nezumi's conscious.
She sits down and watches what he's doing, quietly thinking to herself.
Hours pass with little success on Volmond's end. His frustration mounting, he stops and slams his hands on the desk before taking deep breaths.
"Ask me a question," he more so commands than requests.
"...Is there something I can do to help? You are.... trying to banish? This realm somewhere?"
The doctor grows more irrate, but reins in his temper.
"Depends," he pauses, "Can you understand Chaosian, Eldritch and Aetheric Languages? If not, no, ask something else. I am trying to permanently seperate this realm from your plane of existence, something that is already grossly complicated. Then there are the secondary effects I'm trying to avoid as well, mainly expelling us to another, locked dimension."
"Do you know of the seven beings that guard Yosai? White never tells me much of them, she largely ignores the questions about them I ask."
"Elemental Warlords. They are 'allies' of Phoenix and are related to their swords, the Slayers from what I recall. There are eight, but the eighth is ALWAYS with White from what I recall. Anything else?"
"....I don't know what to ask to be honest...." She trails off.
"I have a story to tell, but... It isn't for eavesdropping ears..." Volmond trails off...
"I understand.... White is too stubborn to relent.... I'm sorry."
"I wonder," says Volmond, a thoughtful expression, "Could you ask White what her opinion of dreams and ideas?"
"....She asks what are you implying by that? She also says that dreams and ideas are pointless in a world where Mythos are denied their existance and hunted like animals. The Second World shall put an end to the days of oppression and fear. That's what she said at least."
"A thing or two... Could you ask if she has five minutes?" The look on Volmond's face is priceless.
"She would like to know why you're asking these things. Very much so," She says, a little nervous.
"She can ask in person when she arrives~" Volmond smiles eerily as the crystalline orb begins to spin. The image of Yosai Foryress is replaced by a feed of White's face with several icons floating around it. "White, care to hear a story? You may even bring your two protectors and the Warlord at your side if you'd like."
White sighs. "Fine. I'll hear what you have to say." She rubs her forehead.
As White speaks, the image of her brightens then swirls before drawing White into the realm.
"It seems my job is to pester you at this point in time," Volmond smiles, "At least until I come up with a new possible solution to fixing Grand Schism's flaw. Have a seat please, I'll begin my tale shortly."
She sits down next to Nezumi with a sigh. "Very well....."
Over the next hour, Volmond explains his rather difficult life, though he does not over act or embellish the story. He explains how he met Aeon and how he got her body in return for a homunculus body and how she reacted when she found her powers limited. He goes over the creation of Helios and his betrothed, Asteria, and the story of Seraph, who was once a human in love with the embodiment of order. The only part he seems to skim over is his time with the Lord of Inverse.
White sighs when he finishes. "A rather interesting story you tell Volmond. Though it worries me that you have such enemies." She looks at him. "What was the point of the questions you asked of me? I despise cryptic conversations."
"I wonder," smiles the doctor eerily, "Maybe I was curious, maybe I was bored, maybe I had some reason I'm not interested in disclosing... Indeed, I wonder."
Her next sigh comes with a bonus of smoke and cinder that lightly bellows out of her mouth from her annoyance. "Whatever...."
"Please be careful with any flames," Volmond chides, "I cannot allow anything to be caught on fire at least not at this moment."
"Then don't annoy me further...." There is still a hint of smoke in the air from her slight outburst.
"Lighten up," Volmond pauses then erupts into laughter as if he heard an amazing joke, "S-sorry, I realized that wasn't the best thing to say, but seriously, relax White, a little fun never killed anyone... Oh wait, I DO have coffee, just not very strong coffee... Have some." Three cups filled with steaming coffee appear on the desk before two float away, one towards Nezumi and one towards White... Before all three cups promptly explode in the faces of the recipients. Volmond is not amused.
If it was just that particular moment, or just a result of pent up stress, he doesn't know, all he knows is a definitive 'snap!' in her mind goes off when she looks at her slightly singed hair. She lets out a growl and a jet of white fire spews at his general direction, aimed at his face.
Volmond dodges the flames and prepares to apologize when he sees his diagrams and books burning. Immediately his irises become the color of the sun and six armored wings sprout from his back.
"Those papers were IMPORTANT," he roars, clenching his hand in White's direction. A moment later, an explosion of black flames jettisons the chair white was sitting in skyward.
".....Volmond." Nezumi speaks up. "I don't think that's normal paper. Look."
Volmond holds a silencing finger in Nezumi's direction, but glances at the papers anyways. Much to his surprise in the papers aren't completely gone. In their stead are thin, sturdy metal frames that form parts of a picture. His anger drains and he immediately begins to arrange the frames until a genuine smile forms on his face. He cheers loudly, then runs to Nezumi, twirls her around then activates a different function of the orb. The crystalline mass begins to slow before it stops entirely and glows a faint white. Shortly afterwards a complex seal with various ancient symbols and equations form within the sphere.
"That's it! That's the flawless version of Grand Schism," Volmond gushes, "White, I'd actually kiss you for this, thank you... Oh, oops..."
She slows her ascension with large white dragonic wings, letting the chair fall unceremoniously back to the ground.
"Ah, you aren't a stain in the sky," sighs the doctor, his wings melding into a coat with three tails, before repeating what he did to Nezumi, adding a kiss on her cheek. "Thank you very, very much, White! It's complete!" He plants another kiss on her cheek before releasing her and surrounding himself in a rapidly fluctuating storm of sigils and ancient symbols.
She flaps her wings, before gracefully landing. "That was... rather frightening."
As if on cue, maniacal laughter bubbles from the storm before Volmond reaches out to White telepathically.
Don't think for a second I'm done with you. I have to reward you, even if yyou didn't intentional aid me. Corvus, Kokua, Freischutz, take your pick.
.....And... those are....?
Are you sure you want a cryptic answer?
Just what are you offering to give me Volmond?
For one reason or another White sees the mental image of Volmond's eerie smile, often accompanied by his cryptic "I wonder". Volmond does not say the words, instead answering vaguely.
I don't really care Volmond... whatever you want. I'll take whatever....
The lack of anger makes me think either that you've developed a slight, molecule sized soft spot for me or I've simply broken your drive to be angry with me... Take Kokua, which I will not explain how to use. Outside the storm materializes a pair of black metal loops with four oily colored metallic feathers connected to each. Shortly following is a black gauntlet with the crest of a crow on it.
"What is the gauntlet for?"
"Accuracy and precision," replies Volmond, stepping out of the storm, "Nothing else to say. Now to actually prepare for the spell. White, since you are here, you may as well enjoy the show... Things are about to really kick off."
-Interlude- The Inverted KingEdit
The Void of Stars. A mysterious place with an even more mysterious inhabitant. Very few recognize the name Volmond Blatt, and fewer have seen the secretive man without him wanting them to. The man claims to be a doctor of sorts and indeed does practice the art of mending, but there is far more to him than simply healing and dealing with others... What motivates the enigmatic man and why does he go through such lengths to to conceal his past?
"It seems that Asteria has returned earlier than anticipated," observes Volmond, "And it seems she has brought...!" The doctor chuckles then adjusts his glasses. "It seems she's brought something... Rather someone I'd never expect to be outside of that realm. It has been some time since I last dealt with a Relic God..."
White looks at the newcomers with equally distrusting gazes as she has for Volmond.
Nezumi pays them little attention, instead merely sitting quietly.
"Volmond, there is an issue," states Asteria, letting the one she brought with her fall to the ground. "Is the barrier up?"
"The barrier is always up, why," asks the doctor, confused.
"We were followed by something, something very powerful and very dangerous." As if on cue, static and high-pitched whine begin to ring in everyone's ears.
White's eyes narrow. "You dragged it along for a ride...."
"It was after me for some reason, but I don't know why," admits the humanoid. Volmond narrow's his eyes at Asteria, but for a different reason than White does. He prepares to ask her a question when the volume of the static and whine increases. Shortly afterwards, a being similar to a large mass of white noise materializes at the edge of the invisible barrier around Volmond's domain. The color drains from the doctor's face when he hears the being's voice.
"Sylvanea, did you really think that a place like this would conceal you from..." The entity trails off, "turning" to Volmond, "You... It has been some time since we've last seen each other? How is Koku-" Volmond unleashes blast after blast of black flames at the entity, rage etched into his normally calm face. At the same time, a long golden cloth gently wraps around White, Nezumi, Asteria and the woman she brought with her.
"What is going on here...." White is now thoroughly irritated with the situation.
"White, now's not the time to ask questions," hisses Volmond, "You can ask when the God Eater leaves!"
"You make it seem as if I'll leave on my own accord, without my prize," responds the entity, "Hand over Sylvanea and Algiata and I'll leave you all intact. This barrier..." The entity moves into the invisible field, causing it to ripple then boil before shattering, though at the cost of some of the being's mass. "Will not protect you, nor will the Fleece... At least not for very long."
White quietly grabs an amulet around her neck, a faint blue light emitting from it.
Volmond's wings reform and his eyes turn cobalt. "You aren't going to harm anyone..."
"And you'll stop me, I presume? Unlikely, not even that wench of a deity could stand toe to toe with me and she eclipses all but Sylvanea," scoffs the entity before sending what appears to be a particle in the group's direction.
Around White, a thick red energy begins forming over her, then sections of it snake towards the others, its presence powerful but subdued, and begins wrapping itself around the others inside the Fleece, slowly enveloping them as well, those being touched by the energy feel an extremely old, powerful force behind it, though if a conscious being is directing it is not apparent.
Volmond blocks the slow moving particle with an outstretched hand, but is forced several meters back. Soon his being ripples, then cracks, but before any more can happen to the doctor, he repels the particle back towards the entity. The being disperses, but reforms into a smaller mass of white noise that vaguely resembles a humanoid in size and shape.
"Is that all you can do? I expected more from you," mocks the being as it waves a hand in White's direction, sendig several particles towards her and the others.
A sound akin to laughing, only inhuman and electric in nature quietly echoes, and the presence detected in the energy surrounding them becomes apparent to both the being of white noise and Volmond, as a faint red 'shadow' appears in the space of Volmond's realm, too hazy to make out for sure, but some sort of humanoid creature, baring an energy signature of something from non existence. The particles approaching White and the others dissolve upon touching the being.
"I see... That's who you are. Interesting," says the entity, uncaring. "My time is up for now, I'll return in the future and I'll show you both what nonexistence truly is." The being loses focus, then entirely dissipates, much to Volmond's relief. He collapses to the ground and glows brightly before reconstituting himself and sighing.
"Talk about saved by the bell," he huffs. Strangely, his left arm hangs limply at his side.
The red shadow slowly dissipates, drawing into the amulet and disappearing, White appears to have a much more pale, unhealthy cast to her skin, and is sweating, even as the amulet's glow returns to blue, then fades altogether. They hear one more inhuman chuckle, before its presence is gone for good.
"Doctor Vol-" begins Asteria only to be cut off by a wave from the doctor.
"We'll speak in a moment, Asteria," he says pointedly before stepping over to White and placing his hand on her forehead. He mutters something and emits a green pulse to speed up White's recovery. "Are you alright?" There is a genuine note of concern in Volmond's voice.
"I'm.... I'm fine.... ....it just drained some of my energy to use as its medium.... by some.... I mean alot...." She pants a bit.
"I noticed. Here, let me help you up," the doctor says, slowly pulling White to her feet and sitting her in a chair. "I'll let you have some of my energy, I don't need nearly as much as I have." Volmond glows a soothing blue and transfers the aura to White. "Feeling better?"
She lets out a breath. "....Yes."
Is he honestly concerned about me? ....This just gets odder and odder....
A distant look goes in her eyes as she checks up on the situation at Yosai.
Still fighting.... that man.... ....is going to be an issue.
"Thank goodness..." Volmond trails off before the name that came to mind escapes his mouth. A conflicted look enters his eyes before he rubs his temples. "Asteria, please explain why you were being chased by the Lord of Inverse and why you've effectively become a goddess in terms of power and explain quickly. The fact that he knows who you are means he'd been watching you for some time..." The goddess swallows hard before explaining what happened in the Tartarusian Quarter.
White listens to the conversation dully, eventually pulling her attention from the battle over Yosai.
Nezumi, monitor the situation, and let me know if anything happens.
Volmond sighs once Asteria has finished her tale.
"That was... most enlightening," he says after awhile. He looks at the goddess beside Asteria and sighs again. "Asteria, be a dear and take Cruxia to the lavatory and clothier. While she may be fine with being covered in dry blood from however many people she's tortured, I am not." The humanoid goddess nods and vanishes in a twister of floral energy withe the other goddess in tow. When the two are gone, the doctor clutches his unmoving arm and slumps against a bookshelf, his mask of being unaffected falling. "Long day indeed..."
Nezumi looks at his arm. "What's wrong?" She asks quietly.
White sighs. "I must have either the worst or best luck to be stumbling into affairs of the gods... I had hoped to be done with the subject after I defeated Jibaku and Valeric.... ...just my luck..."
"Well, my arm is sort of completely hollowed out. That particle I blocked basically erased the inside of my arm on contact and started to do the same to the rest of my body before I repelled it," he explains, "While it doesn't hurt, it's not going to heal for awhile and it's going to be very, very useless until then." He looks at White. "That's this issue. The moment you get involved with gods, it is impossible to avoid running into them. I should know, somehow I always manage to encounter gods when I decide to do something productive and end up sucked into their business. Luckily, I have a weapon or two capable of felling most gods." Volmond summons his rounded stone tablet from his operation on White.
White sighs. "Wonderful."
Nezumi looks at the arm. "....Would my Restoration be of aid?"
"Not really, but thank you for offering Nezumi," Volmond smiles, "For all intents and purposes, it's as if I have a prostetic limb... Well more of an arm shaped shell actually. Until my body can 'remember' how my arm worked and what composed it, healing will have no effect."
White looks over at Volmond. "So. What happens now?" She asks quietly.
"We wait until Helios returns from the errand I sent him on. I do not know where Seraph went, but I know that she is on Echo doing... something," he says, "After that, we begin the operation... Oh, you may return to your base of operations if you wish to. I will not keep you longer than you want to be here."
White looks at Nezumi. "....I think I shall remain a while longer. My guardians are.... entertaining a.... ....guest."
"Let me guess, it's either some strange woman punching titanic craters into the fortress and walking through everything thrown at her or its an armored figure with about a hundred floating gauntlets emitting Primal Force," says the doctor without looking up. "One or the other, those are the only two I'd know to do something like that... Grand idiots as they are."
"You're quite good at guessing. He's currently busy with the Avatars. ....Starkiller huh? Kagayaki seems to be ramping up the heat." She laughs.
"...That may not be good. If it is indeed the king of the Endlos, his seal is probably broken and he's going to use Hecatonchieres," says the doctor, "You'll know it if a giant ball of white and black energy forms... Warn your guardians to avoid that like death itself, they won't want to get hit by that or its follow up, Infinity."
"I see. I'll keep that under consideration. Out of curiosity, how much do you know of Phoenix, and that of my predecessors?"
"Not very much, I don't tend to watch over you as much as I do the others that appear on the orb," he admits, "I at least know that you are the eighth and possibly last White, and that there is more to your plans than you are letting on, but I will not pry."
-Interlude- The Calm...Edit
The Void of Stars. The eerie calm about the realm remained, though upon the return of Seraph, Helios and their acquaintance, things began to change....
"KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAahhhhh!" A crash followed the piercing, high pitched scream, very feminine scream that escaped the boy's lips before he fainted and crashed into a bookshelf upon seeing White, Nezumi and Asteria. Volmond sighs and rubs his temples with his good arm while Helios and Cruxia stifle laughter. Seraph looks torn between helping the teen and remaining angry at him, while Asteria looks on confused.
White smirks faintly. "I didn't realize a man could make such an embarrassing sound. .....My day has now been officially made delightful."
Nezumi blinks in confusion. "Why did the man scream like a girl?"
Helios and Cruxia stop restraining their laughter and fall to the floor at Nezumi's comment, confusing Asteria more.
"I am confused as well, why did the boy emit such a sound?"
"Alexiel has a certain phobia... of women," explains the doctor slowly, "I don't exactly know what happened, but something terrible scarred the boy into doing what you just witnessed shortly after he and I met... The only exception appeared to be Seraph, women whose gender he could not discern and goddesses, but apparently the latter most is untrue. He will not wake up for a few hours at least... Hopefully."
White smiles. "I think I'm going to have way too much fun with that fear." She looks at Seraph and Helios for a moment, looking at the two, before rubbing her forehead.
"Please limit whatever you have planned," sighs Volmond, "I need the boy to be more than slightly alive and sane."
White sighs. "A joke. It was a joke."
"You make jokes, my lady?" Nezumi says in wonder.
".....Don't you start."
"Nezumi, I believe she does, she just pretends not to," says Volmond, signalling for Helios and Seraph to carry Alexian to another location, "Heaven, make sure that he doesn't wake up screaming. Get the good sofa." The angelic humanoid grunts before materializing a fine black leather couch and having Seraph dump the unconsciuos teen on it.
White sighs. "An interesting group you've assembled here, Vol."
"I'd agree, but wait until the Kaiju and Phoenixes arrive before saying anything else about it," he answers, "Are you by any chance hungry or thirsty?"
"....Noooo....." She says, and then her stomach gleefully betrays her with a loud rumble. ".....Damn it. ....Anyway.... Kaiju? Phoenixes?"
"You'll see when Alexiel wakes up. Until then, tell me what you'd like, I'm actually a very good cook."
White sighs. "I like sweets. And various meats. ....I occasionally delve in red meat. Though anything with meat .......or ice cream..... will work fine."
"One moment then." Volmond disappears in a flash then reappears with various gallon containers of Ice Cream, each of a different flavor. He sets them on a counter that he materializes before White. "Take your pick, I'll return in a few moments with meat... Fried, Roasted, Grilled or Baked?"
White looks over the icecream, her dragonic pupils now seem almost catlike as her eyes scan the containers of icecream, greedily taking a cookies and cream flavored bucket.
Volmond suppresses a smile as he vanishes again, reappearing several minutes latter with roasted ham, turkey, chicken, shishkabobs with mushrooms, pineapples, ham and peppers, grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon, piping hot stuffed baked potatoes and a large garden salad. "Food for you and anyone else."
At this point Cruxia gapes at him then turns to Asteria.
"Where does all of that come from, Sylvanea?"
"I do not know, Cruxia..."
"Do you think he...?"
"It's rather obvious... I think."
White ignores them and goes for a plate of roasted ham, Nezumi eating some of the salad.
White pauses after a few bites and blinks. "Oh. Thank you. I appreciate the meal." She resumes eating.
The doctor smiles again then vanishes this time reappearing in a different location.
"What is troubling you, doctor," asks Seraph, stepping out from behind the doctor, "It is rare to see you distance yourself like this. Is something wrong?"
"Sera, I believe I understand your feelings for Alexiel now," says Volmond. He chuckles, "You know, before I became who I am currently, I felt that I had a heart. I remember everything I felt and how it was ripped away from me when the Lord of Inverse captured me and Kokua... I remember shutting down my emotions and banishing my heart... Then I meet her and I feel everything I locked away rush back. She reminds me of Kokua, of the path she could've taken, but chose not to..." The doctor looks down.
"Zwei, please don't cry. Tears don't fit beings such as us," replies Seraph, "Until our ambition is reached, we must discard our tears. You told me that when you saved me from breaking again... I will not allow you to break." The doctore scoffs.
"Thanks Sera. I'll try to remember my own words." The doctore returns to the populated area of his domain, a calm overtaking him as he sits at his desk.
White's interest turns towards that of the icecream, eating some of it from a bowl. After a while though, she sighs and closes her eyes not eating anymore. A slight look of exhaustion is on her face.
"Don't even ask.... I feel like I'm getting too damn soft...."
Volmond sighs then rests his head. "Wake me in exactly two hours." The doctor then falls into a quiet slumber.
White quietly sits on her chair, occasionally saying something to herself, such as, "Listen...... ....No I don't care what the excuse is. .....I understand, but tell me, how many divine or otherwise otherworldly beings have managed to slip through your damn fingers this past week? .......That's what I thought. Why don't you try harder and make sure this doesn't keep happening without advanced warning? ....I understand, but next time it happens, I'm pitching you off the side of the fortress, then you can make all the excuses you want before you fall into the ocean."
About an hour into Volmond's rest, he begins to sleeptalk in an unintelligible language. At first nothing happens, but shortly afterwards blue lights fly around the area, slowly forming into a projection of a massive battle taking place in a place of sorts. Dragons breathe flames and other elements at one another, armies clash only to burn under light from some sort of divine being, angelic beings swarm the skies fighting off equally demonic beings. In the center of the battle are two figures, one of them cloaked and masculine, the other has iredescent hair and eyes.
White quietly watches the projection, though seemingly not surprised by it. Nezumi also watches, but is likewise seemingly unconcerned, or at least not bothered.
The projection continues before all sense of coherence is lost and cacophony of sounds reverberates around the area as the scene blurs. A moment later the projection comes back into focus, this time focusing on a black haired person with icy blue eyes. The person focuses on Volmond for a moment then the scene explodes into blue particles and Volmond partially stirs.
White looks at him for a moment, curious as to what happened. ".....this man is full of surprises...." She mutters.
"Trust me, that's an understatement" says a now awake Alexian. His eyes are covered by a scarf and his ears are plugged. "Just wait until he transforms or uses a person as the base for a complex seal." Despite the fact that he cannot hear or she White, he is speaking to her.
"I'm well aware of his nature, thank you very much lady-man." She says dully.
"Who're you callin' a lady-man, man-princess!?"
"I'm not the one who went: KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAahhhhh!" She perfectly mimics his voice, and dramatically falls out of her chair.
"I'm not the one who looks like a prepubescent boy crossdressing as a woman," says Alexian nonchalantly.
White keeps her temper in check. "You remind me of the little brat...." She gets up and moves away from him off where no one else is sitting, and sits down, though her pearl white claws are now showing.
"Struck a nerve, did I? I won't apologize. Anyways, you should probably wake Zwei up."
She looks at him with an irritated expression. She then snaps her fingers, creating a sonic boom that deafens them and shakes the area.
"Alexiel, stop antagonizing White," chides Volmond, now awake, "I wasn't aware that you performed that bizarre courtship ritual that humans do."
White sighs with a 'tch!', spouting a small white flame between her teeth as she does so.
She wearily sighs again, and looks at Volmond out of the corner of her eye. "The fool finally quit.... he should have minded his own business...." She growls.
"Still, she's a-"
"Alexiel, I will rip the cloth off of your eyes and paralyze you until I need your talents," growls Volmond. The teen goes silent and the doctor nods, "Good. Now sit and be quiet." Alexian grumbles, but listens.
White sits in her chair, and closes her eyes, her face slowly changing to become much darker in expression. ".......Did I hear that right....? .......Took everything...... ....and just left.....? .....I see. .....When I get back.... .....we will hold a meeting to discuss..... .....their punishment." She says to herself quietly, a steeled anger in her voice.
"It is time," says Volmond, standing up. "Nezumi, would you say you are ready to begin?"
"I have been so. What is my instructions?"
"Well..." Volmond explains how Grand Schism works and its aftereffect will overcharge her for a few hours. "Expect giddiness and random laughter... among things." He continues, outlining the timing and duration of the spell. "The spell will not activate the instant you cast it, it will activate approximately five seconds afterwards." Additionally, he emphasizes not draw from the Aether for focus. "The Aether Realm is currently collapsing. Drawing upon it will only hasten that process and warp the spell, which I may not have fully emphasized as a bad thing. It is, don't question me on that, you already will have enough cut out for you." Lastly Volmond specifies the location of the spell. "We are aiming for the space between realms, which isn't exactly hard to access. The hard part is the timing and focus."
The doctor turns to Alexian. "Alexiel, you will need to delve into the Realm of Wayward Souls to find Anira and his friends. I will not say that your task is easy, but with your familiar and Seraphim's aid, you should be able to find them and bring them back." Finally he turns to Helios, Cruxia and Asteria, explaining to them that they will need to sever the bonds connecting and attracting the Void of Stars to the universe. "Ready?"
Nezumi nods quietly. "I have understood and created backlog memory as to assure no corruption or error will occur, even if my mind makes a mistake, the correct version will overwrite my actions. I shall follow your instructions carefully and accurately."
The feather like metal attachments on her head begin to sprout and grow into a full headpiece that completely covers her face, the main portions are black metal with red highlights detailing the headpiece's sidings.
"I am ready to begin. I will await command to begin operation." She now says in a more robotic sort of voice.
Volmond sends the others to preform their various tasks before beginning the spell preparation. Suddenly he grows pale.
"White.... I suddenly have a job for you to do as well..."
"What is it?" She stands up.
"I need you to act as my left arm... I need two hands to begin the preparation and keep the spell stable..."
White's eyes become normal pupils, and she walks over to his side. "Alright then, I understand. I'm ready when you are, just tell me what to do."
"First, drape your right arm over my shoulder then place your left hand above mine and concentrate on a sphere," says the doctor, not looking at White, "While you do that, I'll concentrate on the formula and algorithims needed along with the formation of the seal."
She drapes her right arm over his shoulder and places her left hand above his and begins concentrating.
Slowly but surely, a sphere of energy forms in front of the duo, followed by the seal from earlier and strings of symbols and numbers. All at once, the sphere blinks out of existence and the crystalling orb begins to ripple then disolve into thousands of tinier orbs that form into the seal, this time all of the key points having a crystalline spike.
-Act Four: The Storm-Edit
The Void of Stars, warping. The pillars linking it to the universe have been severed and the spell cast, taking the realm on journey into what lies between realms. Unfortunately, something appears to have other plans...
"White," Volmond groans, getting up from the ground after the jaunt between dimensions knocked everyone out from its intensity, "Are you alright?" The doctor looks around, eyes cloudy as he tries to make out the others in the now darkened domain. Everyone appear to be there... Everyone, but Seraph... Right, at the last second she was pulled back into the Realm of Wayward Souls... Poor Alexiel, poor Helios...
"....I'm fine. I don't see why you'd be worried about me. Nezumi, are you alright?"
"Mmmmmmm..... I... think so?"
"...Nezumi, this is going to come off as strange, but do you feel happy," asks the doctor warily, "Or excited or like you drank a barrel of sugar?"
"......Hee hee, kinda...." She has a faint smile as she laughs.
White rolls her eyes. "A hyper Chaos Engine.... ......great. I'm glad I didn't send Azula...."
"Trust me, it can get worse... Nezumi, you there? I need you to take a seat and count to twnety seven times then close your eyes and think of your happy place or something that makes you happy..."
She complies, counting slowly, then doing as he said. "Hmmmm..... .....I'd love to go back to sleep......"
"Now Nezumi, if your lady was in danger, do you think you could protect her," Volmond asks cautiously.
"Of course I could! It's what we were made for."
"Good because we will have company of the unneeded sort soon and I'd prefer she not exhaust herself against something we could easily defeat another way... White, Inverse is back and this time with a more permanent form... What class I do not know, but be wary."
White looks at Nezumi, and the look in Nezumi's eyes grows bleak and dull. "....Acknowledged..." She says quietly. "Eta Class Chaos Engine: 'Draken' 310 Activation Authorized. Class response?"
White says quietly, "Archangel."
An incandescent glow comes over Nezumi, as her eyes grow blank and lifeless, and the headpiece grows down to completely envelop her body in pure black metal armor with red trim, and from her back five golden wings erupt forth from her back, followed by an equal number of mechanical winglike structures that refine the feathers of the wings into serrated blades of Divine energy.
"Archangel Mode Engaged." Her voice comes out completely robotic and devoid of emotion this time.
"Disengaging Access Lock. Code Phrase: Moon in Full Bloom," intones Volmond, his eyes glowing a faint red as a golden scarf wraps around his neck and over a dozen scalpels float around him. A single sword hangs from his hips, the hilt wrapped in chains, and an iron gauntlet with a red stone fused into the knuckle appears on his hand. "Mind Stabilized and sharpened."
A moment later a familiar static sound enters the area, though accompanied by ghastly wails and pain filled shrieks.
Panels open on the metallic wings, revealing concealed missiles of some kind. A series of seven blades of divine light appear about Nezumi, arcing with brilliant power, and creates two broadswords of the same energy in her hands, then settles in a fight stance.
The sound increases in pitch and discordance until a figure emerges from a distortion of space. The figure towers above Volmond in terms of height, but is extremely slim. Its skin is plated and covered with layers of black and orange scales, its eyes burn with a lifeless light and various spiked portrusions come from its body. Six tassel-like tails fall from its waist, the flesh and scales arranged in such a way to appear as clothing or rudimentary armor.
"You are... Requested.... Cannot Eat... Comply or be slain..."
"Protection of Mistress takes priority over all actions. Protocol commands to ensure safety and to eliminate threat. Will not comply until condition of Mistress is assured. Threat level SSS."
"Nezumi, you keep it busy, I'll handle weakening it," says Volmond, grabbing six floating scalpels between his fingers.
"I'll eat you both... Even if against my master's wishes... Be killed!" The creature seems to glide towards Volmond, arms outstretched and mouth gaping, revealing thousand of rotating fangs. Just as the creature appears to grab the doctor, Volmond phases through it, leaving several deep gashes in its hide as he does so.
Nezumi begins launching missiles, they spark with some kind of energy. The beast begins to dodge, when Nezumi speaks, a ripple of energy flowing from her.
"Time Distortion Unit Engaged."
The beast is reversed back to its previous position, just in time to be bombarded by the missiles. In the midst of the explosion, Nezumi sends the floating blades in a spinning fashion and they begin to slash at its eyes, face, legs and arms at blinding speeds. Her missiles recharge.
Volmond phases through the creature again, leaving a large cross shaped gash across its chest as he passes.
"Nezumi, aim for the bleeding areas," says the doctor before vanishing nd raking his scalpels across the creature's torso. The creature growls and attempts to recover from the damage take, but the momont its wounds clos, they burst back open as if made anew.
"This... Will not be tolerated," it growls, black and white energy crackiling from its hands, "Be... ERASED!" The creature hurls two balls of nothingness, both eating away at the space and time that they interact with as they jet towards Nezumi and the doctor.
A section of panels open up on her chest, revealing a strange device, which suddenly charges a condensed sphere of energy.
"Chaos Drive Activated. Doctor. Evade."
She lets out a highly condensed burst of what seems to be time space energy, which overrides the sphere aimed at her, then sweeps and blasts the one imbound for Volmond, missing him narrowly, and then sweeping back towards the being and blasting it straight in the section Volmond had cut open, beginning to devour its being and converting it into energy as it drills deeper into it.
"Close shave," comments the doctor phasing out again, "Nezumi, good work. I'll handle it from here." The doctore warps under another attempted attempt to erase him. "Yes, yes, Erase us, Eat us, Slay us. If you could even competently use your power, this would be more difficult."
The creature bellows in pain and anger before it forcibly expels the burst. It's eyes darken and its scales lose any gleam they may have had.
"K-kill you!... Kill you both!" The spikes on the creature begin to elongate and grow bonier in appearance. Scale is replaced by plate and the creature begins to twist into another, more sinister form when Volmond appear just above its head, a dull look in his eyes.
"That's good and all, but you've overstayed your welcome," he sighs, raising his good arm as a wicked black blade emerges from the palm of his gauntlet clad hand. "Do me a favor and die." The doctor makes a quick and fluid slash through the base of the creature's neck, black and white 'blood' spewing from the injury as the creature tries and fails to regenerate from becoming akin to a pez dispenser. slowly, black and white particles emerge from the creature as a low static whine begins. The creature contorts, against its own will, as the whine increases in pitch. The doctor tackles Nezumi to the ground and commands his scarf to wrap around them as the whine reaches an earsplitting pitch. A moment later, what sounds like a static discharge goes off and a faint shockwave hits the trio. The doctor orders the scarf to return to its normal size, allowing the three to see the large open void left by the creature's demise.
Nezumi flies over to White. "Threat appears terminated. Threat perhaps to increase in a possible future encounter. Recommendation to summon the others. Word?"
White looks at Volmond.
"Hm... Ah, one more visitor," says the doctor, annoyance clouding his face. "White, please have Nezumi disengage her combat mode, our next visitor will not respond well to any attacks or hostility..."
The headgear clicks open, and her wings fold up and disappear, as does her various weapons disappear, though most of her armor remains visible.
"Acknowledged." She says in a bit more of a normal voice, still marred by a robotic edge. She stands in front of White defensively all the same.
"Hm, seems like I just missed him," says a female voice behind the trio, "That's a shame, I need to keep him out of this realm." Volmond doesn't turn to face the person.
"Alara, how are you," he asks.
"I'm well. Tempted to set your 'biggest fan' on your trail, but I'm not cruel, besides, I'm less interested in you and more interested in the artificially created being," she responds, keeping her tone level.
White glances at her, then closes her eyes. "Do you mean my lovely Nezumi here?" She pats Nezumi's head, who turns to face Alara and keeps herself between the newcomer and White, her eyes still half empty, but has a degree of her normal sentience.
"Nezumi, I see. A being such as myself, but closer in nature to a machine than I," the woman comments, "I did not think that beings like us could be made... Then again, she is more of an amalgamation of beings than I am..."
"You would be surprised of what methods exist in this world... though I don't see how I am deserving of any of attention, much less my creations."
She glances at Volmond, and sighs. "Thank you ever so much for bringing all of this unwanted attention to me. If I keep getting visits from the almighty beings of the world, I'm going to go insane."
White rubs her forehead. "And all I wanted to do was recover, do some research, beat down some of my enemies.... didn't ask for or need this divine intervention nonsense."
"I'd make a snappy comeback, but now's not the tiime," replies the doctor, "Besides Alara isn't an almighty being, she's far from it in fact."
"...If it was anyone else, I would have hit them hard enough for them to wake up in an alternate reality, Volmond," responds Alara before sighing, "So there were no casualties, correct?"
"None besides the Advanced Avatar."
"Good, keep yourself out of trouble... You too- Oh wait, you want your name to remain a secret don't you? Ah well, just try not to get into any trouble until you reach your destination, I'd hate to have to fight a boring opponent." With that, Alara fades away, the void left by the other creature returning to its prior state.
White sighs. "Dare I ask who that was? ....My headache just increased by a magnitude of ten...."
"Imagine that the universe had an immune system. She would fill all of the roles within it, the maintainance, the homeostasis, the virus anti-bodies... Basically she prevents unwanted things from happening or entering the universe... Also, you should probably lay down and rest. I don't know if it's simply stress or stress in addition to the jaunt made here and some leftover fatigue, but you look paler than usual."
"Don't treat me like a child..... I'm fine.... just annoyed." She says irritably. She leans back in her chair.
"So is everything said and done then?"
"Just about, we're almost to our destination," says Volmond, "Besides, I wouldn't treat you the way I do if I didn't care about you." The doctor doesn't seem to realize what he just said. "Ah Nezumi, here have this." Volmond tosses what looks like a disk of black metal to Nezumi. "That's a Data Core. It'll teach you a couple of things or update a few things you have."
She grabs it, looking at it curiously. ".....Thank you, Doctor." She says, her eyes now more full than they were when Alara was around, also much brighter.
White silently looks at Volmond, her gold eyes locked on him, as she analyzes what he just said.
An image, a long suppressed memory bursts into her vision, and she hastedly buries it before she can fully recall it.
No.... No.... Those days are gone. I am no longer that person. I am not.... not.... not.... not.... NOT her.....
I am no one.... I have nothing.... I want nothing..... I am nothing....
She slowly reigns in control of her mind.
His behavior.... what he just said.... ....it isn't my imagination, is it....
She ponders, before closing her eyes.
"Nezumi, by any chance can you directly download information? If not, I'll show you how to do so," says the doctor, "Are you interested?"
She grips the disk and slides it into part of the headgear, and she seems to jerk, before collapsing onto the ground haphazardly.
White lets out a sharp tsk. "Seriously Nezumi? You are so worried about information retention and efficiency you damn forget to leave room for maintaining balance.... ....geez, that girl....."
A spark goes off, and she stirs. "S-s-sorry, my lady." She stutters. "I redistributed data management...."
White shakes her head. "You're just like a child, Nezumi. Think a little bit more carefully when you do that." She smiles wearily, looking at the fallen Chaos Engine.
"Nezumi, can you stand," asks Volmond offering the Chaos Engine a hand. He smirks at White's statement. "That means that she cares about you, even if she won't admit it."
Nezumi adjusts herself to sit up and be in a more comfortable position. "I'll be fine sitting down. Easier to concentrate. One minute to download."
White opens an eye. "I never said I never cared about my subjects." She says dully.
"You're words implied it, Milady," smirks Volmond, materializing what looks like a winged staff from a cluster of blue lights. He spins it once, then places his arm through the subsequentlt formed ring of light. Bright blue light envelopes the doctor for a moment then gradually fades, revealing the doctore flexing both of his arms. "Much, much better."
She closes her eyes. "Words, actions, few things are certain. In all honesty I'll be glad when this is all over with.... I...." She pauses, a frown and her eyes narrowing crease her face suddenly. She thinks of the meal Volmond had made, and another old memory burns at her vision. The sight of it makes her scowl and let out a growl.
"Go away damn it...."
Volmond strides over to White, a more concerned look on his face. "What's wrong?"
White suddenly bites her hand, drawing blood with her sharp teeth quickly, and refuses to let them pull her hand out for a full minute, after which she seems to calm down and remove her hand, the wounds close quickly, and she has a bit of a ragged breath, then seems to let out a mix between a relieved if not pleased sigh, the pain had drove away the memory. Her eyes blaze with a emotion he can't place, though it seems to be close to anger.
"........Nothing. It was nothing, Volmond." She says quietly.
"And that's the reason I worry about you. The more you distance yourself from others, the more of yourself you lose. One can only close off their heart for so long before it shatters its bindings."
"....I don't care...... ......My life isn't worth anything anyway. All that matters is my goal. My past.... who I am.... it's all meaningless and won't matter once the plan is done...." She closes her eyes. "All that matters is the plan. Next to it, my existence is worthless."
"If your life wasn't important, you wouldn't be here. You wouldn't be among the living, you'd probably never have been born," He seethes, "You wouldn't have anyone who cared for you and your plan certainly would be of no real meaning to... I wouldn't be able to care for you if you weren't important. Stop depreciating yourself, you aren't just someone with a life to throw away..."
White opens her eyes partially. "You said it again. You care about me." Her eyes close again. "Perhaps you don't even realize yourself. It's becoming obvious your behavior has changed, Volmond."
Her eyes partially open. "But I'm afraid you see but a doll. One who has but one purpose and beyond that purpose there is nothing." There is no emotion in her eyes this time.
"White, I say this with all due respect, but you're an idiotic fool. Utterly and without a doubt. Please clean your ears and listen to someone besides yourself for a change, it seems you've completely brainwashed yourself into thinking that beyond your goal, nothing remains. Something always remains and if it means putting my goals to the side to prove this to you, I will... Ah, Nezumi, download complete?"
She nods, the disk coming out, but she seems completely startled by White's change in attitude.
White simply stares at him quietly. "I suppose there is one thing left after my goal..... .....Hell. A fitting end to one such as me...." She says quietly.
"White," Volmond's eyes narrow dangerously as he draws out the name, "I'd hope you aren't planning on getting yourself killed... I would be very... displeased if that was your intention..."
She looks away, closing her eyes. "It is not your concern, Furue..." She opens her eyes and blinks. "....Furue....?" She puts a hand to her face and sighs.
"....I do not understand this.... ....why do you care so? There is no reason to care for one such as me. What would you even do even if that was true?"
Behind her words, her mind threatens to crumble. I have accepted it. I am no one. I have made myself a shell. I gladly accepted it. I want this.... nothing else matters to me.... ....only the plan matters to me. It is all I live for....
Her thoughts echo numbly.
I abandoned everything. Even my name. And I would do it again.
"No reason? I have plenty of reason to care about you, idiot," lashes Volmond, his eyes bright and red, "I'd try to stop you if that was your plan because maybe I don't want to lose someone I've grown to cherish! Maybe I don't want to see another person throw away their life because of their ambitions! Maybe I remembered what Lo-" The doctor catches himself at the last possible moment, but his message is clear. His eyes darken and he turns away. "We've arrived at our destination."
His voice doesn't register to her, fading out as a memory finally tears through her restraints and dominates her consciousness.
"Shinwa! You can't be serious! I won't let you do that!"
"I don't care, Furue! I saw it! I have to do this! I-I can't let what I saw happen! I have to do this or....."
"Just forget about that and those damn Phoenix freaks! There's no way that would happen to...."
"Shut up Furue! I saw it! I saw it with my own eyes! If.... If... If I don't do this, there will be no future! For any of us!"
"Shinwa! I won't let you do this!"
Who..... is...... this......
......No...... .......no...... ......please no.....
"If you don't move Furue....."
"What are you going to do?! Just come back already-"
I killed..... I killed him..... ....Furue.... ..........my first love.......
White nearly completely collapses, shaking. "......I....see.... ....it should be time to leave soon then...." Her eyes close once more, her head lowering, her hair obscuring her face as she almost begins to shed tears.
"Damn it, why won't you let me love you," chokes Volmond, "I... I can't..."
"Kokua... What are you-"
"Zwei, go... He's almost here... I'll keep him at bay."
"But you'll die!"
"If that's what it will take to keep you safe, I'm willing to...."
"Goodbye Zwei... We'll meet again..."
The doctor sighs, but returns to White's side and rests her head on his shoulder.
"It'll be alright, let everything out, I'll listen..."
"I... I.... .....I can't.... ....it hurts too much.... I don't want to... ....I.... killed.... the one I loved....I torn away myself.... ....so I wouldn't have any regrets.... so I could bare the weight..... ....of what I had to do..... ....what I still have to do...."
Her shaking becomes violent and her breath unstable. She seems much more diminutive than before, and seems to partially be losing control of her form, her tail, wings, and horns starting to grow without restraint as she starts to bitterly cry.
Volmond envelopes White in with two silvery black wings as he pats her on the back.
"Sometimes, tears are the best solution. I'll stay with you until you feel better. Until then, cry to your heart's content, I'll listen."
White struggles to regain herself, but continues to fail as the past of Shinwa threatens to overwhelm her.
".....V-V-V-Vol-mond.... ....I.... ...can't... be happy.... ...not.... not until...." Her tears now threaten to consume her.
She slowly, weakly begins to explain the truth behind her actions, the true nature of her goal and explains the extent of how far her plan has already gone, and how it's already too late. She constantly breaks off during this, consumed by the memories she tries to bury as she speaks.
"....I have to do it..... for..... his sake..... ....it's the only thing..... I can do as..... his sister...... I have to see this path to its end.... I can't.... let... that happen."
She begins to cry heavily.
"I don't want to remember..... it hurts......!" She chokes out.
Volmond simply hugs White.
"....Volmond..... ....now that I've told you.... do you understand....? I.... have to keep him on his path... it's my duty. How can I have a future now, when I have already set the world against me? ...No one seeks despair.... ....but how can I be happy now? All I see is the slowly looming dead end that this fate has woven for me...."
"If anything, you need happiness, White. Even without the world against you, the best laid plans rarely come without unexpected hindrances and outcomes, but you must keep faith. Besides, in this aspect I'm your senior, the world being against you is meaningless compared to the ire of the forces keeping the world in balance... If fate leaves you at a dead end, find another path and if one isn't available, cut the tapestry and weave you own path."
"My brother.... after what I've done, to him and to others, none of them will be satisfied until I am dead, Volmond." Her shaking eases, and she appears more steady.
"I have to continue to the end Volmond. ....I owe him that much. To turn back and do what? Pretend it never happened? No. If I did that.... I really would deserve nothing less than Hell. ....I have to let them have their closure. .....I have to ensure my brother does not fall into the destiny I foresaw...."
Her hands weakly grasp his chest. ".....I can't fail him now...."
"I wonder if that's how destiny works... Time will tell, until then I'll stand by your side." The doctor writes a quick note then sets it on his desk. He snaps his fingers, calling forth the bulk of his research materials, tools, books and equipment towards him. He makes a gesture and all of the items swirl into a small box.
The doctor takes a quick glance at the seven unconscious figures before taking White's hands. "I believe that it is time, let us go before the others stir."
She looks up at him, her face seems softer and her presence seems diminutive, and her golden eyes are warming with facets of emotions he can tell were long and painfully suppressed.
"Why are you taking up your things.... aren't you coming back here...? ....Do you.... intend to stay with me....?" Her voice is confused and pained, she seems to still be struggling with herself, he can practically sense all of the raw emotional energy ravaging her mind, the energy of the past, as well as the events of now.
"Of course I'm going with you, I thought I made that clear," says Volmond, twirling a strand of White's hair, "Besides, I'm going to give Asteria and Helios a break, well try to. Helios will probably try to find Seraph with Alexian. I don't know what Cruxia will do, but she will most likely follow Asteria. As for the others, I'd prefer to not be here when they awaken. Now, shall we?"
She slowly nods, Nezumi standing next to them, seemingly unsure of what to make of what she had seen.
White appears to slowly be steeling her mind, her form stabilizing and shifting back to normal, her claws, scales, and tail retract, and her horns on her head shrink down to much smaller delicate ones.
"....Volmond.... ....I give you permission to address me by name..... ....Shinwa. ...but keep it for yourself and mine ears....." Her tears cease, she seems to be hardening somewhat, though his presence seems to keep her from completely closing up.
"Likewise, you may address me as Legna, Shinwa. Zwei and Volmond are names I took up after I lost my original self. Now let us go." Volmond snaps his fingers and the trio is enveloped in light, returning to Yosai Fortress.
Shinwa, I won't allow you to die that easily, not when I can foresee your happiness...
The Doctor's ReturnEdit
Volmond warps into his domain, appearing next to his Crystalline Sphere.
"Naki, I'm here," he calls as he directs all of his equipment and books to organize into the usual positions. He notes the lack of Alexian, Helios, Asteria and Cruxia's presences.
Naki is struggling to prop up Shinwa, who is still unconscious, sleeping soundly. He can't tell if she's breathing or not. "Welcome back, Master Zwei... she still hasn't awoken... ...what's wrong with her?"
"Just Zwei, Naki," sighs Volmond before setting Shinwa in a chair and covering her more. He checks her pulse and to see if she's breathing. "She's had a rather stressful ordeal recently, she needs her rest..."
At first he thinks she isn't breathing, but on a much closer investigation, he determines she is breathing, just very rarely and softly. He hears her make one breath, and doesn't seem to make another breath for several minutes. He notices that there is no heartbeat, but there seems to be a very steady pulsation of energy focused where her heart would be, making a very faint thumping in her chest, though it sounds different from a heart's. It's clear to him after examining her energy, she has become a Spirit, the interior of her body made of pure energy, her exterior a shell to contain it. Her markings cast a faint shimmering light around her section of the domain.
After he is done inspecting her, Naki looks at Shinwa and realizes she's different now. "....What's with the markings? ...And it seems like she's physically different than when I saw her last... ....She's kinda pretty when she sleeps...."
She blinks. "Oh, my buddy here can travel to retrieve things for me, it's pretty cool. Do you want coffee or something Zwei?" The ropy creature that had wound itself around Naki earlier appears to still be around her, it makes a small wave at him when it notices him.
"That would be nice, Naki," says the doctor, slightly nodding at the creature. "Well, I'm a bit confused myself." The doctor explains how Shinwa split into two beings, but doesn't go into much detail about what the Shadowy figure showed him or said. "Now, we wait until she reawakens."
The being rapidly uncoils, and jumps into a nearby shadow and is gone, a few minutes pass and it pops up in front of Volmond with a plate of coffees.
It swirls back to Naki, who pats the creature on the head. She looks at Volmond for a moment. "Do you think a good name would be Janpu? You know, for mister Springy here."
"I believe so," says Volmond. He summons a clone of himself and has it give Naki a tour around his domain while he sips his coffee then dozes off beside Shinwa.
Naki and Janpu follow the clone, though Janpu seems to insistently keep wanting to touch things, shrinking back whenever he is looked at.
"The doctor expects curiousity, Janpu," says the clone, "As long as nothing is broken, he is fine with you borrowing it." The clone continues the tour, finally reaching an area with a golden ring. "If you have mastered teleportation, this will take you to your quarters. The doctor told me to inform you that you design the room with your imagination and that if you cannot teleport to ask me."
Naki thinks for a moment. "I wasn't trained to teleport... ....sorry."
"It is fine, I shall feed you the knowledge." The clone draws several sigils in the air then directs them into Naki's arm, transferring information regarding teleportation and clone creation. "It is done. Please attempt to teleport, Naki."
She imagines a room like that back at Yosai, then attempts to teleport, awkwardly landing on her rear. "Ow ow ow... Dang, I keep forgetting that's one of my....powers. Wow..... I wonder why my 'kind' even went extinct.... I wonder if the doctor knows...."
The clone of Volmond nods, as if affirming that Naki made it to her room before fading, leaving the girl to her own devices for the rest of the night.
As Volmond sleeps, the quiet Shinwa unknown to him is slowly revitalizing herself off the energy around her, her consciousness growing slowly every hour, the heartbeat in her chest and her breaths slowly become stronger as the very last stages of her birth are taking place, the close of the metamorphosis from Mortal to a Spirit eternal.
The doctor sleeps on, unconsciously taking Shinwa's hand.
Later the next morning when Volmond wakes up, he can feel her breath as well as hear it, her heartbeat very loud and powerful. Her markings seem to be glowing with increased intensity.
"She's almost awake," whispers the doctor to himself. He waits for Shinwa to wake up, having several sets of clothes prepared by a clone as he does.
The first thing he sees is Shinwa's head shift, the hair on her head falling in her face. The movement causes her to slide in her chair, and the Fleece shifts with her partially. Over the next few long moments, she makes various minor movements, mostly as though in deep sleep. Finally, after a long time, he sees her eyes shift for the first time, and he watches as her eyes open for the first time since her birth, though very slightly he catches a sight of her eyes with lavender as the main color, but also specks of gold.
"Shinwa? It's me, Legna. How do you feel?" The doctor's eye smile as he does upon her awakening.
Her head shifts toward him weakly, her eyes slowly opening further, until at last they open to their full extent, though her pupils are gone, but slowly come into being as she listlessly looks upon him. When they appear, the reaction to his visage is not immediate. Her eyes slowly recognize him.
Her mouth cracks open, and she makes a soft croak, the noise sounds as though she hasn't had anything to drink in days. She pauses for a moment, then she makes another attempt, also a croak, but a different one all together. She seems to start making noises he identifies as basic parts of speech, attempting to form words, the noises all sound incredibly dry though, and he suspects she needs to drink, she confirms this with,
"Oh!" The doctor immediately gets a pitcher of water and a cup, helping Shinwa down the liquid if needed.
She greedily takes down two whole cups before she lets out a large gasp, then when she catches her breath, she blankly looks at Volmond for a moment, before she whispers both in a question and recognition, "....L-L-Leeeggnaaa?" Her voice is improved, though still dry.
The doctor nods, offering her more water, his eyes watering joyfully.
"Yes, Shinwa, it's me. It's good to see that you're awake."
She tries to sit up, but lacks the strength and only makes more of the Fleece shift out of place, and she shivers, covering her body meekly with her arms.
"L-L-Leg-g-nna....." She cries piteously, trying to cover herself and reach out for him at the same time, which doesn't work at all, he can sense desperation in her movements.
Volmond presents Shinwa with the sets of clothing after having the Fleece shift into a more blanketing form before hugging her.
She puts the clothing on, struggling with the shirt a moment, then letting out a warm sigh of contentedness at feeling his touch.
"I'm.... I'm.... happy.... ....warm... ....I.... love you...." She says, to Volmond's surprise he can feel all of her emotions simply by being in contact with her.
The doctor nods, continuing the hug. "And I you, Shinwa." He shares a tender moment with Shinwa.
She quietly closes her eyes, he feels that her mind is still developing from the split, and that she is tiring out quickly, her mind already drifting off into another quiet slumber in his arms, though she opens her eyes only ten minutes after, rubbing her eyes and looking up at Volmond.
"I'm.... hungry.... ....so hungry...." She says as her stomach growls, and she becomes heavier, changing into a full physical form.
"Is there anything in particular that you want," he asks.
Her eyes look pleadingly at him. "Any... Anything...." She holds her stomach tightly.
The doctor has several platters of assorted meats, pancakes, eggs, biscuits and fruits delivered by a few clones. He also has a clone call Naki and Janpu.
Shinwa immediately grabs an apple, and bites in with a large crunch, eating it rather quickly, then grabbing some white grapes, she greedily devours them, and after that calms down a bit in her frenzy to eat, and much more steadily takes a plate with three pancakes and begins to eat, as Naki and Janpu come out, yawning.
"What's going on....? ....Good morning...." She yawns, not noticing Shinwa awake.
"Breakfast," says the doctor, getting himself a plate of eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, pancakes and strawberries with jam and syrup. "Dig in."
She sits down, then pauses when she sees Shinwa. "Oh you're awake mistress! How are you feeling sleepy head?"
Shinwa stops eating a pancake at looks at Naki with blatant confusion. "Mistress?"
"Legna, who is this?" She turns and asks Volmond with absolute confusion on her face.
"Shinwa, this is Naki. She's an aquaintance of ours who lives here. We met under, shall we say strained circumstances, but we've since reconciled. She's a nice girl and quite the reader," says the doctor, "She's rather fond of titles, but if you do not wish to be called by one, please let her know."
Naki looks flabbergasted. "What? Mistress? You don't know who I am? Zwei, what happened to Shinwa? Did she hit her head too hard? And why does she look different?" She gasps. "Don't tell me you modified her too and tragically made her memory wiped out?!"
Shinwa looks back at Volmond and blinks. "My head hurts.... ....Why is everyone so loud.... ....and why does my head feel empty....?" She says softly. The confusion on her face is almost cute.
The doctor introduces his palm to his plate at Naki's statement. "No, Naki..." The doctor sighs. "It's a long story that doesn't involve the modification of Shinwa." He turns to Shinwa. "To tell you the truth, you lost your memory after a very recent incident that literally separated your former self into two beings: you and another who is your exact opposite. I tried to prevent it from happening, not realizing that this would happen, but I failed nonetheless... I'm sorry for that and your loss of memory."
She looks at him for a moment. "....Legna." She rests her head against his shoulder. "Only thing.... that matters.... is you....." She says quietly, closing her eyes. Her physical form destabilizes back to just a shell.
"I'm sleepy.... Can you.... lay me down Legna? Prefer.... a bed... ....no... no more chairs..." She tiredly tries to rub her neck.
Naki blinks. "Is she still tired? Dang I didn't know someone could sleep that much..."
"....You like.... books. ....I.... like sleep...." She replies quietly, eyes still closed.
Volmond nods and carries her to his room, setting her in his luxurious bed and waiting for her to fall asleep before returning to the where he was eating breakfast.
"Wow... she's more than I expected... ....I knew you guys liked each other after I saw you around each other enough, but she must have had a really strong connection if even a mind wipe didn't stop her from loving you, Zwei..." Naki says thoughtfully when Volmond comes back. She smiles.
"But wait... if this mistress is all rainbows and smiles and loves you, what does.... ....that make the other one?"
"About that," says Volmond, sucking in air, "Apparently she... Her other half may be evil incarnate and retains all of her their memories... among things."
Naki blinks. "Oh.... do you still care about that half of her? I mean.... she's evil right? Are you going to let her do as she pleases?" She asks more of curiosity than with any opinion toward the issue.
"The lines of good and evil are often so blurred and tarnished that it becomes difficult to figure out which is which," says the doctor, "Take me for example. Many would consider me to be evil, but few know why I am what and who I am or why I chose the path I walk now. Most don't recognize that sometimes to prevent a greater evil from gaining power or surfacing, one must become a great evil to prevent the other from leaving the world in mangled, broken pieces... Shinwa used to tread that path, before the split. I wanted to save her from what she considered to be the end outcome, her death, but I failed in that too. I could only save half of her... As much as I hate it, I cannot save White without breaking my promise to her in the process... Even though I love both halves of her." The doctor sighs raggedly. "Naki, love is a powerful, confusing, convoluted feeling. It takes even the most prepared by surprise and is so fickle that it becmes hard to tell if your heart is for or against you."
She smiles faintly. "I can see that. I can tell by looking. I had a thought, Zwei, can you tell me why you're creating Etherites?" She looks at herself for a moment. "You said they were extinct, so I imagine you must be doing something for you to want to bring back a race or something like this."
"Well, the first Etherite I recreated was an accident. I was trying to create a stronger homunculus base using an Aetherae's and a Netherim's genetic material. The result was Marda, the first Etherite subject. After Marda came Taea, then Algir... I can't really explain why I started creating them, but I get an interesting feeling here when I do." Volmond gestures to his heart. "As for why they went extinct... It was a power struggle. One side favored conquest, the other tranquility and harmony. When the conflict grew too intense, their leader intervened and divided the race into two separate ones: the Aetherae of the now lost world Aethera and the Netherim of the Endless Expanse."
Naki frowns. "That sounds rather foolish... just because you have power doesn't mean you should use it for...." Her eyes close. "Man... I really hate that kinda crap... that's just.... uggh..." She sighs. She looks curious at his gesture.
"Maybe you look at your creations like children almost?" She says thoughtfully.
"Maybe? I don't really know... That might be the case though."
Naki sighs for a moment, then eats some pancakes. "I wonder if my brother is still in that facility... ....wonder if he's doing okay... probably would revile me as a monster now. Heh, ironic that used to be my position... ...now I'm the one who will get called that... ....Karma's a funny thing I guess..."
"You have no idea," mutters Volmond, finishing off his plate.
She finishes a bit after him. "So what are you going to do now Zwei?"
"The way things are now, I have a three year lull before I have to finish my plan... But I could expedite the process, unfortunately I'd have to do worse things than I've done already to do so." The doctor looks up. "As much as I'd like to get rid of Inverse and end my role, I think I'll take things easy for once... I guess this is long needed vacation time."
Naki looks at her claws, flexing them experimentally. "You know, I think that while this past day or so has been pretty rough, don't you think it could be for the better? I mean, sure Shinwa broke and all, but you still have the really good piece, the one that remembered you and still loves you even after all that happened to her, even remembered your name. I lost my humanity, but heck, I can freaking read, ....and I must admit having rainbow hair and eyes isn't that bad.... being able to learn anything I want.... and I must admit... ...you guys I could almost consider family.... and Shinwa, sure a lot of stuff happened, but in the end, she found something worth hanging on to, you."
She smiles faintly. "I could just be talking though."
"That's nice Naki... I could see you being a younger sister or someone along those lines," says the doctor, smiling, "Maybe I should enjoy this peace while it lasts... Thank you, Naki."
She smiles, leaning over to hug him sighing. "Anytime."
They feel a strange disturbance, and a brief flash of light appears in the sky, and from it comes a pure white blade that impales itself in the floor.
Naki blinks. "Isn't that Mistress Shinwa's sword?"
"It is... While that is something quite pressing, I think we should wait until Shinwa wakes up. I don't think the sword will allow us to touch it," Volmond says before reaching his conscious out to the sword. I know that you are in there, Light Warlord. Is the matter so urgent that I must wake the recently asleep Shinwa or can we wait until she awakens?
There is no response from the sword at first, in fact he is about to have more coffee when he hears its voice.
The sleep you speak of you could not wake her from if you tried. How much do you know of spirits, one who calls himself by names other than his own? At its basic concept, what are spirits, could you say?
My incomplete knowledge matters not, only the potrntial urgency of the situation. Is there an issue to be resolved or not?
Spirits are beings of energy. While they can sustain themselves on eating like most, when it comes to a new born spirit, they need large stores of energy to ensure they develop properly. In a natural environment, this might not be a problem, but here.... She has been sleeping a lot, yes? You can hear a strong heartbeat, am I correct? In this situation, she's been running on what you could refer to as a spirit's, 'Low Power State'.
She needs a large source of power from she can constantly feed from, else she will continuously slumber off and on, and will develop poorly. In this case, something as simple as a electric generator would be an excellent help. Electricity is a very direct type of energy a new born spirit is often known to tap if they can find it. Judging from what I can sense.... two electric generators will probably suffice to feed her to a healthy level. Once she is full, you'll start to see her glowing brilliantly, or since she recently awakened her Dragon Spirit form, she may change into that form upon satiation. You'll also notice she'll be more alert and less confused, she'll probably regain stronger speech patterns.
Ah, I can provide energy then. I may not have electrical generators persay, but I have something that may suffice.
The doctor draws a few symbols into the air and waits for a moment. Soon afterwards, what appears to be a pendant with a neon blue gemstone falls into his hand.
This should suffice... An Infinity Shard.
Infinity Shard? Very well, if you believe that will work, lay it upon her, she might have difficulty pulling it from further away. Preferably on the chest over the 'heart'.
Volmond nods faintly. "Naki, I'll be back in a moment." With no other words, the doctor blinks into his room and places the pendant on Shinwa, making sure the stone makes contact with her as he positions it above her heart. He then returns to his seat.
Deep in slumber, Shinwa's consciousness is drawn by the energy of the crystal, and she feebly and greedily begins to suck the energy into her being, her spiritual form small and childish in appearance as opposed to her physical form. She is only able to take in small portions as a time, but as she does so, her spiritual form grows larger and bigger, little by little maturing, her thoughts growing stronger and more complex as her soul slowly gains strength and definition.
"I wonder... How should today be spent," ponders the doctor, speaking to no one in particular.
Naki looks at Volmond. "Maybe you could help my train my powers? Make me better? I don't know?" She smiles for a moment. "I could use some practice lock picking...."
"Imagine that you have a flame in front of you," says Volmond, "Do it until a flame appears before you."
Naki looks at her hands, and slowly starts concentrating. "Are you saying I have the potential to make fire?" She sounds amazed.
"Fire, Ice, Lightning, Earth, Wind, Water, Light, Dark and even Ether itself," says the doctor, "Now focus."
She starts concentrating harder, a determined look on her face, and when she finally makes a fire appear she jumps, almost losing control of the flame and it nearly sputters out, but she regains composure and stares at the fire in wonder.
"I made fire....." She says in a hushed awed voice.
"Good work. Now try to do the same with the other elements, save for Ether. Earth may be difficult to create and Wind, while easy to create, should be visible to prove that you can properly summon it." The doctor gives Naki an inpressed look.
She reluctantly manages to dismiss the fire after a moment of staring at it, then appears to be attempting to make lightning, as occasionally he hears occasional snaps of static electricity, though it's not until a good while that she finally makes a bolt appear, but she shocks herself only a minute after its creation, and she sits down, dazed, occasionally shaking her head.
"Man that hurts...." She grumbles.
Volmond chuckles. "Do be careful, some elements aren't as easily controlled. Maybe you should try ice or water instead."
After she rubs her arms to relieve the stinging, she puts out her hands in an effort to create water.
Shinwa's spirit begins to grow into an adolescent in size and form, though still far from mature. As her being slowly becomes more complex, she starts to become afraid of the loneliness of the spirit world, and her being begins to call for the only one she knows to call, though her physical body still sleeps.
Volmond is watching Naki make small droplets of water start to condense together, when he feels a sensation of a faint whisper of Shinwa's voice in his mind, though the call seems to be on a subconscious level. Le.....gnaaa.......
I see she's starting to mature more. Her being is attempting to locate you, must be feeling alone, she was probably relying on her spiritual senses to 'see' and 'hear' what was going on around her, though that sense probably only applies to living things, so she probably is having the sensation of being completely isolated at the moment. She doesn't know how to tether herself to her body as strongly as more advanced spirits, so physical sensation takes more energy to do right now.
The voice within Light Slayer says to him.
"Naki, I'll be right back." The doctor teleports to his bed and checks on Shinwa.
He notices she is still sleeping, but he can feel a faint agitation in the air, which slowly changes into a sensation of relief, then turns into a steady hum of more warmer sensations, as subconsciously she is eased by his presence, and even a small smile crosses the sleeping Shinwa's face as a result. Just before he goes to leave, he notices her eyes open, and her head shifts to look at him, her eyes seem stronger and more alert than when she first woke.
"Legna...." She say quietly. "You will visit me soon.... ....right....?" She asks hopefully.
"I will, Shinwa," he says with a smile. "All you have to do is call and I'll be here in half a beat."
Her eyes start to close. "....Next time.... I want to cook you a breakfast... you always treated me so...." She begins to drift away into sleep. "......I want to return.... favor..... hmmmmm........" She quietly begins to fall into a peaceful slumber, though unlike before her face is warm with happiness and a deep, warm smile. As she drifts off to sleep, the crystal on her chest glows, and he hears a heartbeat match in sync. Each time the crystal glows and her heartbeat sounds off with a thud, he senses her being swell slightly larger and her consciousness grow more stable and coherent. Volmond now feels her spiritual energy more strongly in the air, an aura of contention and happiness, though faint, he can feel its effects.
The doctor smiles again, this time a melancholy one.
"If only I deserved such happiness," he mutters to himself wistfully before returning to check Naki's progress.
He comes back to see her goofing off, with a orb of water she is juggling while she wears a cheerful smile. She looks over and sees him and starts, causing the orb to fall and splash on her.
".....I deserved that...." She laughs.
The doctor chuckles half-heartedly. "It seems you can summon Water. Have you had any luck with Ice?"
Naki thinks for a moment. "Haven't tried...." She starts concentrating, and after a few minutes she interestingly makes it start hailing.
"Now what did I do wrong there?!" She cries. After a bit of an effort, she gets it to stop, and one last small pebble of round ice bobs Volmond on the head.
"...Sorry." She concentrates again, and slowly makes a snowball. "Oh hey! I got it right!" She cheers. She gives him a mischievous grin and throws the ball into his face, and she starts laughing.
Volmond retaliates by having a summoned pile of snow fall onto Naki from above.
"Good effort," he says, evaporating the snow on his person. He draws a square in the air and waits for Naki to dig herself out.
She emerges with a gasp a few minutes later. "Note to self... don't prank the better magician...."
"Indeed... Well it seems that you can summon at least four of the elements, though you some control troubles with Lightning. Let's try that one again after you dry yourself off, we don't need you accidenatally electrocuting yourself."
She focuses a bit, and a slight aura of heat appears over her, though a occasional burst of flame appears.
"Hmm, I meant with a towel, but that will suffice," shrugs the doctor.
Naki laughs, then slowly focuses on creating lightning again, and it comes much quicker, and she manages to avoid shocking herself, but the lightning is still very strong and difficult for her to maintain safely.
"Hmm, you'll need to practice with Lightning for awhile to master the basics of it, then," comments the doctor, "If you're up to it, try Wind and Earth."
Naki nods, then begins concentrating hard, and she eventually begins to sweat hard until a small pebble forms. ".....that's.... just disgraceful isn't it.... I feel sad just looking at it...."
She lets out a sigh. "Might as well try wind."
She concentrates again, and soon Volmond can see her hair start to flow on its own.
"Good, good," says the doctor, "actually, you did rather well for your first Earth conjuration. Earth is the hardest to summon as its form is less maleable than the other elements and it is far more... solid."
With a bit more difficulty, she manages to create a small white sphere of rushing wind, but cautiously lets it disband.
She smiles at Volmond. "This feels like so much fun.... I feel like a little kid.... ....never really did have much of a childhood though...."
"Better having none than a terrible one," Volmond says after a few moments. "Still, it's glad you are enjoying yourself."
She walks up to Volmond and gives him a hug, smiling happily. "Zwei, thank you so much for this. I feel so alive now! I feel wanted, I feel happy, I feel like I'm finally loved and cared about.... thank you so much! I don't regret becoming your subject anymore, this is the best thing that could have ever happened to me...!" She gushes out of joy.
"...Disciple," says the doctor, "I've said it before, you aren't an experiment or test subject in my book, you're a person- almost a little sister, I guess."
"But a disciple can also be called a subject." She says with another smile. "I mean subject as in someone who follows a leader or figure of great important in their life, someone they'd let take care of them and rule over them with benevolence. I'll follow you anywhere." She says with devotion.
"I'm not worthy of that... As much as I tell others not to devalue themselves, I'm not worth having subjects..."
"Nonsense. Worthy or not, I consider you my master, so do I consider Shinwa. You gave me this form and this new life, and out of my thankfulness I will gladly follow you, regardless of what worth you see in yourself." She hugs him tighter. "I have to show my thankfulness somehow. Even if it is something as getting you coffee everyday, I want to make myself useful to you."
"Ha... I'll have to get used to it then..." The doctor sighs, "Try Light and Dark now. If you manage to master them, I'll show something interesting."
She begins to concentrate, trying to focus on summoning a light, but has much more trouble.
Suddenly the two hear soft footsteps approaching and they turn to see Shinwa, glowing and awake, the light brimming off her is soothing, though she seems to still be drawing energy from the crystal, as it is still attached to her chest and glowing in unison with her heartbeat.
"Good.... afternoon?" She guesses with hesitation, then speaks to Naki. "You're doing it wrong. Calm your mind, focus on something like a flame flickering on a candle or fireflies, then slowly imagine their light grow brighter." She says softly.
"Ok..." She tries again, this time calming down a bit more and focusing quietly.
While she practices, Shinwa walks up to Volmond with a smile, before hugging him.
"Thank you for taking care of me.... .....I was so sleepy.... .....still kind of am...." She lets out a small yawn.
"It's nice to see you're awake, Shinwa," he says tenderly, returning the hug. "Oh, you have a visitor..."
"Visitor?" She asks quietly.
Volmond nods at the Light Slayer. "He came while you were asleep."
"He?" She looks at the sword in a strange way, as though she faintly recalls the sword, but the look is lost, and she smiles. "What a beautiful sword...."
Are you not going to greet her? I'd like to not appear more insane than I already do.
Hee hee hee hee.... The being laughs. Hello young Shinwa.
Shinwa blinks when she hears the voice, both surprise and deeply rooted faint recognition in her eyes.
"What is that voice.... .....why does it sound so familiar?" She asks breathlessly.
"He knows you from before you lost your memory."
She tentatively begins to reach out for the sword, but hesitates.
"Is something the matter," asks Volmond concerned.
She silently picks up the sword and sheathes it with a smile. "No, nothing really. I appreciate the concern though, Legna." She doesn't appear to notice she has a rather bad case of bedhead.
"What have you and Naki been up to?"
"Talking, letting her practice with elements, not much," Volmond responds before pointing out the bed hair.
She looks up, and starts trying to fix it, while nodding. After a few minutes, she manages to tame her hair.
You could have just fixed it with a thought.... though as a baby spirit like yourself, you wouldn't have come to that conclusion. The sword remarks.
"Spirit?" She asks, now looking at her arms, which have some of the glowing lines on them. "Is that what I am now?"
Yes. ...Physical weapons and attacks might as well be worthless to beings like us. You also have an infinite lifespan.... basically.
"So I am.... ....immortal?" She asks, confused.
In a way. Though far from true immortality. Far far from it. You merely have an infinite lifespan. You can still be cut down.... though that requires significantly more effort. In a way, her change serves yet another purpose, Volmond. Most foes will not be able to harm her. Only energy can affect spirits, and even that is difficult enough: the greater the spirit the more energy required to harm the spirit. Some spirits are almost untouchable.
That sounds similar to the 4th-D Slip... Interesting to know.
Heh... amazing what the descendants of dear Aza are capable of...
The Transcendent Eye... Now there are two... Volmond. Protect her from the other bearer of The Eye.
You mean White, I assume... I'll do my best.
Yes... I assume you do not know of what I speak of when I say 'The Transcendent Eye', right?
The Ability to learn and acquire any skill and technique regardless of racial and physiological boundaries and with near equal mastery to the one that the ability was copied from, correct? It was that or the ability to see through the fabric of dimensions and spirit to see the absolute truth or the ability to Observe and verify the existences of transcendental beings, allowing them access to this plane.
First one is most correct, yes. However the full range of her power is unknown as of now. It's the source of the CE's ability 'Mythologic Adaption', probably over ten times more effective. Shinwa is the origin of that power of the CE's.
Volmond rolls his shoulders. "I'll return in a moment, I need to shower."
Shinwa looks over at him. "Mmmm...." She curiously looks at the Slayer, regarding it with an awe at its simple white beauty, so ignorant of the blood it once shed and the lives it had torn apart.
Volmond disappears then returns after ten minutes with wet hair and some steam rising from him. His glasses are gone and he wears a semi-formal set of clothes. He stretches then sits down with his legs crossed. "Any luck with Darkness, Naki? If not, concentrate on your shadow or envision an inkwell or heavy, black storm clouds as you focus."
She is focusing on maintaining a sphere of light, which glows softly in the room, and gradually dispels it. She then tries darkness, and is surprised when a large amount of it is summoned rather quickly and quickly escapes control and lets off a small explosion in her face.
"D-Damn... what happened?" She coughs.
"Hmm.... Maybe you have a high affinity for Darkness, after all you made Janpu from shadows, technically. Almost everyone has an affinity to an element and partial affinities to others." Volmond shrugs. "That or you bit off more than you could chew..."
Naki stares at her hands for a moment. "It felt like it was.... drawing from my past and feeding itself...."
"I see... Hmm, while that isn't uncommon, it is rather alarming... Are you alright?"
"....Yeah... it just scared me, that's all. It came out of nowhere."
"Ah, maybe we should move on from the elements for now... Is there anything in particular you want to learn?"
"You said I might take another form if I... accept myself? Can you tell me more about that?"
"Your appearance changes based on your personality and how it changes. If a great change occurs, you'll change to fit it physically... Also, you'll be able to transform into different beings depending on your mood."
Naki looks at herself for a moment, processing his words. "Just how powerful have I become? And what do you mean by different beings? Am I capable of evolving even further then? This is.... so... overwhelming.... it's.... amazing...."
"I could give you an example of what a transformation of yours could be like, though you and Shinwa would need to step back..."
Naki and Shinwa steps back, though Shinwa sits down and grows out her tail, which has fur like the form she took right before she had split, the tail raises up straight in the air and curls around, the tail eventually wraps around her neck like a white fluffy scarf and then looks at Volmond with a half childish curiosity in her eyes. Naki notices and curiously pets the soft fur, and Shinwa quietly looks at her and smiles, then leans again a bookshelf and closes her eyes for a moment, then watches Volmond.
Volmond snaps his fingers and all of the basic elements appear and form a ring around him. With a gesture, they begin to rotate around him, slowly but gaining speed until a ring of blue energy is visible. The ring implodes upon the doctor, engulfing him in a sphere of blue energy that rapidly expands until it is larger than a castle, at which point it fades and reveals a massive tiger in the doctor's stead.
The tiger has dark blue stripes lining its lightly blue tinted body and icy eyes. It is clad in regal ivory and silver armor with gold and azure highlights and silver, gold and azure blades float around it. On each paw burn two of each of the elements and at the tip of its tail burns a mysterious blue flame.
"I believe this should be a sufficient example of the future," his voice rings with power beyond comprehension though he does not speak loudly, "Someday, you may acquire a form such as this, Naki."
Naki looks at Volmond awed. "Awwwwwwwesommmmee......" She whispers.
"Hmm, that was the indeeded purpose, to strike awe in my opponents," muses Volmond, "Maybe you will achieve a more magnificent form at some point, Young One..."
She shakes her head in protest. "I couldn't, I'm not anywhere near that magnificent or awe inspiring enough!"
"Someday... Not necessarily soon, but possibly. Do not doubt your own potential, Naki, it is far beyond what mine was at your age. With age comes knowledge, but said knowledge comes in different quantities depending on your experiences..."
"Potential....?" She seems more confused.
Shinwa seems to be thinking about something else, though she does seem fascinated by Volmond's form, it's clear she has something on her mind.
"Every being has potential to do an infinite number of things, all they need to do is harness it... You are luckier than most, having an easier way to grasp your potential, Young One. As for how you will do that, only you can figure that out," Volmond glances at Shinwa, "Is something conrcerning you, Lady?"
"....I feel like there is something I must do.... but I can't remember.... why I feel that way....."
The doctor reverts to his human form. "I see... Do you have an idea as to what that something is, Shinwa?"
She shakes her head, and looks at Light Slayer. "....There are two.... ....I don't know why I know this.... but there's supposed to only be one.... ....why is there two....? ....It feels like.... ....I'm supposed to use this.... .....and I don't know why.... but.... I feel like that something I have to do... ....has something to do with redeeming.... something.... there's a voice within my soul.... it's calling me to use this sword to.... ....right a wrong."
"I see, then maybe we should find the one this is linked to... Do you remember the name Kado by any chance?"
She slowly looks at Volmond. "I hear it in dreams. So many dreams."
"He's... Important to you. He's your younger brother, though things aren't very good between you two thanks to a certain someone's ploys and lies..."
Shinwa's eyes close. "Brother..... .....the name I kept hearing in my dreams.... in those dreams..... .....I was comforting two little boys and a girl... they were crying.... alone... confused.... ....I felt.... guilt.... ....they couldn't hear me.... even when I cried out to the depths of my heart...."
Volmond gives Shinwa a hug. "If it means anything, I'll help you out."
She hugs him back. "Thank you.... but I don't even know where to find him.... ....what if he... rejects me....?" Her voice is edged with a sudden fear and worry.
"I'll handle that," soothes the doctor, sending a mental signal his Crystalline Sphere to have it activate. "If he rejects you... I guess we'll find out how that will work out..."
Volmond leads Naki and Shinwa to the now spinning orb and has it lock on to Kado's location.
"We'll be making a jump to... somewhere. We'll be at the outskirts of the area and the people there may not be used to Mythos. As such, I'll be casting a mild illusion on the both of you in transit." Not waiting for a response, Volmond has the sphere warp them to their destination.
The doctor and the sword sage appear in the doctor's study, untouched and unaffected by the passage of time.
"It's been awhile since I've been back here," he says, "Now, what would you like to talk about."
"Your relationship with Shinwa Dragonclaw, a Niniscien, youngling of mine. Unfortunately given certain circumstances the position of head of family has been placed unto me, and Sabireta, her mother, isn't available or you would be discussing this with the two of us. Her father would be involved instead in the conversation, had he survived the destruction."
He breathes. "Much to my dislike, these matters have become my concern, but because of that duty I made the decision to come to you and your brother's aid, as I said: 'you are a relation to a relation of mine.' ...I would much rather sit and have this conversation, as opposed to standing up, if you don't mind. These are delicate matters."
The doctor snaps and two chairs appear. "Please, continue if you would."
Nobuyuki sits down, almost wearily. "What is it that you plan on doing with your relationship? Or more accurately perhaps, what is the relationship you desire?"
"I wish for Shinwa's own happiness before my time comes," replies the doctor, form being replaced briefly by an armored figure comprised of black metal, gold tassels and ash. He winces, a faint trickle of metallic blood visible from a corner of his mouth before he wipes it away. He mumbles something about Gordias and a faint blue band appears on his arm. "Were i possible, I'd stay with her for the entirety of my time in this world remaining, but I've much to take care of..."
"Hmm. Then perhaps this will be of relevance." He brings out the sphere.
"She told me to give you this." He flexes his grip and then the sphere shatters, the dust like diamonds as they circle around the doctor.
In the mad dance of light, he sees a number of visions.
The first shows Shinwa, Vulkas, Nobuyuki, and Kyomu facing off against eight cloaked figures, two of which he remembers instantly; a yellow and white one. In the middle sleeps the Child.
The second shows Shinwa's group taking a stand against a vast dark cloud with the vague shape of a humanoid, and it is Kyomu who stands before the creature, before glowing iridescent and the two beings warp together, soon replaced by a gigantic black sphere with cyan runes of sealing engraved on it.
The final vision appears to be the last battle against the Child, with two outcomes. As a mysterious woman with long braided hair emerges from the black sphere, in one, Shinwa is freed of her role, and reunited with the Doctor. However, in another outcome, she and the surviving Avatars of Alpha and Omega shatter and turn to dust, the dust disappears into the endless beyond the veil, lost forever.
The visions end.
Volmond is surprisingly calm. "So, that happens depending on what happens to the other avatars I take it and whether or not Stagnation peaks and the other three origins have to face it." He looks far away. "Was there anything more?"
"More aptly, it has to do with what Kyomu was born to do, and what that purpose entails for the fates of the avatars. In one senario, the purpose destroys the avatars. In the other, their fates are not bound to Kyomu's purpose. I can tell you that Omega and Alpha cease to be regardless of the final outcome, should the task Kyomu was created for take place."
" I see," says the doctor, standing. "Come, I've a thing to show you as well."
Nobuyuki quietly stands, letting the doctor lead.
The doctor leads the man to a large crystal. "Here we are." He taps the crystal then swipes his finger across its surface several times, the crystal darkening until near opague. The crystal then reveals the scene of earth from space, a dark figure clad in black flames floating above it. The figure drops something towards the planet and the color is drained from the world before it crumbles away. The figure then raises their hand, a black spear of flame forming in their hand as they hurl the spear at an unseen force, stars winking out until all of space is black and barren of life. The scene then expands further out, galaxies and nebulas blinking then dimming to nothing until all that is left is the black clad figure. They turn, but nothing more thsn their eyes, piercing crimson, can be discerned before the scene is abruptly cut.
Nobuyuki seems unperturbed. "Hmm. More work for me in the future, I take it."
"Potentially, but also an averted outcome to an extent," says the doctor. "Angelius, though his will is strong, his emotions are... Intense. If what we dealt with was him being angry, imagine that scenario as true outrage. Thankfully him being a sage dampens his emotions, but that doesn't mean much if an emotional extreme is reached."
"Mmm, I figured it was something of that nature."
The doctor then taps the crystal again, a new scene appearing with Luciel, Auros and a familiar teen facing off against a pure white sphere connected via chain to two beings.
Elsewhere a woman with red and black hair faces the doctor, their conversation cut out but a symbol everchanging, flowing, growing and shrinking simultaneously forms above her. The doctor cuts through the symbol, a look of surprise then resignation forming on the woman's face as she begins to glow and the scene transitions again, this time showing Angelius sitting near a child with a mess of colored hair staring out into a vacant ocean. The child's eyes seem ancient, akin to Angelius' eyes, though even older.
"An interesting toy you have there," Nobuyuki remarks.
"Less a toy and more a crystalization of possibilities I've seen or foreseen," the doctor says as the crystal returns to normal.
"Hmm, so does it just record anything or are the things it show have relevance?"
"Both, more than likely thanks to Drei and his influence, but primarily relevant things to myself," replies the doctor with a sigh. "I'd rather not see that particular outcome though, that'd be essentially leaving Angelius near alone with that woman as she recovered her memories and would sacrifice his happiness."
"An interesting statement. In any case, for what it is worth, I wish you the best. I only wish you would take better care of yourself. The woman is strong, in the same way glass can be in the right circumstances. But without that strength she is... ...fragile. She is finally beginning to develop the will to redefine herself, awakening her potential. It would be disheartening to see that tarnished..."
A sad smile forms on the doctor's face. "I'll keep that in mind."
"Mmm. I should stress that finding the Relic God and her counterpart needs to happen before the Ashfallen is awakened. We may not have time to defeat the Heirs and deal with the inevitable retaliation of the Avatars if we keep remaining at a loss for their presence and searching for them.
In any case, I've just picked up the Lambda King's location, I'll need to have Vulkas hunt the boy down before he does something incredibly stupid. Have you any remaining business? If not, I must warn my nephew and then speak to Sabireta, she will want to hear of this conversation, and indeed you may hear from her sometime later. I'll warn you that while soft spoken, you should know that Shinwa gets that mountainous dragonic temper from her Spirit Dragon mother. I would be careful with what you say to her."
"I'll keep that in mind as well," says the doctor, a faint aura pulsing from him. "Interesting. I'll search for those three in the meantime before I return to Atlantis."
The Sword Sage flickers before disappearing.
As Nobuyuki leaves, the doctor's aura pings from the south east. He taps the crystal and the scene of a bedridden Asteria and Cruxia plays out before him, red cracks visible on their being. Heaven stands near them, eyes narrowed. He looks up, as if staring at the doctor.
Anything you can do here asks the angelic being. I got Nothing permanent.
"I'll see what I can do. On my way."
You've my thanks.
As this is happening, Heaven can sense a rippling from behind him, as though something dangerous was beginning to approach.