Lydis continued to swing at the dark figure. Her arm feeling heavier and heavier with each swing. After a few more desperate attempts Lydis slumped over, her back heaving up and down.
"Hey hey. What's wrong? Tired already?" The dark figure hovered over Lydis like an insect. Appearing on her left then her right. "Have you finally given up? Huh? Now do you realize that it's futile no matter what you do?" The dark figure's smile wobbled up and down, almost like it was laughing. It continued to make inaudible sounds as Lydis's senses suddenly became heightened. She could see the black sludge slowly creeping up her legs. The way that the sludge on the dark figure changed direction before moving. The small, almost unrecognizable, strange lump near the middle of it's chest that pulsed ever so slightly. As the dark figured continued it's frenzy of verbal insults Lydis suddenly charged at it, throwing her entire weight at it. Caught a bit off guard the dark figure was pushed to the ground, it's body splattering black ooze in all directions like blood. Lydis rammed her hand into the chest of the dark figure. It started screaming so loud it almost shattered Lydis's eardrums.
"Get off! Get off! Get off!" The dark figure wiggled and thrashed wildly trying to fling Lydis off. Her hand scrapped the hard core and sensing this, the dark figure's almost solid body, slowly began to turn into a mush. Moving away from Lydis. She scrambled after the hard core and dived after it. Her body sliding on the slick goo, in a last attempt to grab the core Lydis reached out her hand and grabbed at whatever was there. Her hand closed around a small, hard object. Not even thinking about whether she succeeded or not Lydis brought her hand closer and rolled away from the dark figure. She rolled to a stop and used her legs to stand, her left hand firmly gripping the core. The dark figure had assembled itself but seemed a little off. It's head bigger than usual, hands that looked like they belonged to a giant and a gaping hole in it's chest.
"You! YOUuuu! You little B***H! Give it back! Give it baaack!" It's voice no longer resembled Lydis's but was instead a gurgling mess of high and low tones. It dragged out the sound of the last word till it became nothing but a wild howl.
"Oh, you mean this?" Lydis opened her hand and revealed a dark core that seemed to emit a black mist. Against the red of the world around her the black core shined like a gem. She tapped it with one finger and the dark figure wiggled in pain. It's screeches lost in gurgles as it folded into itself again and again, seeming to never get smaller. Lydis watched with joy as she tried different combinations. The dark figure responded well. When she dropped the core on the red road the dark figure collapsed and flattened itself against the road. It extended a wearily arm with a wobbling hand and tried to reach for the core. It's process was slow but Lydis wouldn't let it have the chance to get close. She raised her foot and placed it on the core, pushing it into the road slightly, while moving her foot back and forth. Rubbing the core against the road. The dark figure instantly took back it's hand and continued to writhe on the road in agony.
"M-meerrrcy! I…b…eegg…uu!" The dark figure looked a bit smaller than it had originally. Lydis was still not satisfied. Having insulted her mother and father it couldn't be allowed to live, no matter what 'it' was. As Lydis was still torturing the dark figure another horrid face entered the red world. His steps were loud and heavy, seemingly making the red world shake. Lydis stopped tapping the core and turned around, her face instantly filled with rage and disgust. From a black portal a tall man with flowing black hair, draped in a red cape with a color darker than the red world and golden eyes that seemed to pierce her mind. As the man glanced around him he smiled when he saw Lydis.
"Ah, finally. We meet again little wolf." Upon hearing those words, like a trigger, memories flooded into her mind. Another world, another life. Reina, blood, Katos, swords, death, Reina. Images of a bloodied classroom, a happy family, a dead mother. Suddenly a searing pain in the side of her head caused a new gush of blood to trickle down her eyes. She wiped them away but found that it was never ending.
*tsk tsk* "Look what you did to yourself. Don't you know what that is?" The man pointed at the black core in Lydis's hands. The pain had increased and felt like a drill was making a hole in the side of her head. A small pool of blood was already formed around her head. She stared weakly at the man who looked so familiar. Seeing as she couldn't speak the man sighed. He took two steps and was next to Lydis in an instant. Bending over his long fingers pried the black core from Lydis's grip. She stared at the man's back as he approached the squirming puddle of dark ooze. Without a care he let the core drop into the puddle and, just like that, the dark figure was back. It's morbid head was still donned it's creepy smile while the features on it's head became more and more like a face. Indents for the eyes, a bridge for the nose and little flaps for the ears.
"Y-you bastard…" Lydis had just gotten the core out and now this random man had taken it and given it back to that ghoulish ooze. "F**K!" Lydis slammed her hand against the red road. All her hard work for nothing! The impact of the memories was fading with only a few snippets of her childhood as Reina remaining.
"Listen, if I didn't interfere now you would've killed yourself. I'm only this nice once so you better be grateful." The man turned to face Lydis, his golden eyes seeming to glow against his black hair. "That 'thing' is a part of you. Especially the core you were playing with. Should that core break you will no longer be able to use slyphir. Not now nor in the future. It is your embodiment of slyphir." Lydis wasn't sure what the man was saying but she could feel herself getting better. Did it have something to do with him giving the ooze back it's core? The idea seemed too farfetched for Lydis to believe.
"Why are you here Katos?" Lydis had to spit the words out. Her hatred for him had been reignited since she recovered parts of her memories. Especially the ones from before she got transported here. Katos seemed a bit surprised at hearing his name.
"You remember me? That shouldn't be possible, unless…" Katos mumbled to himself. His mind raced as he though about who could've interfered with his plans and only one candidate came to mind. Having found a possible culprit Katos smiled to himself. Lydis was watching as Katos tapped his chin, seeming to be thinking about something deeply.
"Katos, why, are you, here?" Although still weak she could feel herself getting stronger bit by bit. This time Lydis was getting impatient. The first time she had met Katos he had taken her to this world against her will. And that wasn't even counting what he made her class do to each other.
"I'm just here to make sure you don't try anything stupid like this again," He pointed at the wobbling black ooze that was becoming more and more humanlike as time passed. "and to give you some advice."
"Who needs your advice!"
"Oh, I'm sure you'll want to hear this." Katos opened his palms and shrugged his shoulders. "But, if you really, really, don't want it then I guess I can't force you?" His mocking voice made Lydis's face twitch in anger. A few moments passed before Lydis finally gave in, this being in front of her has no need to lie when he could easily kill her with a snap of his fingers, literally.
*sigh* "So, what is your advice?"
"Good girl." Katos was treating Lydis a bit like a dog. Seeing this she almost lashed out at him but instead bit the inside of her mouth to keep calm. It wouldn't do any good to her to lose a chance at information. Katos's eyes gleamed with victory.
"Since you insisted so much I guess I have to…" Katos's face became serious. "Lydis, this 'thing' behind me is the very source of your power in this world. Since your soul is not part of this world's soul cycle it hasn't been blessed by the goddess Sylphina. I had to implant a part of my own slyphir into your soul. Since you didn't have any in the first place it was safe. What took forty years while you were slumbering was your soul fully absorbing and mutating to accept this slyphir, although, looks like your mind has yet to believe me." Lydis was cautious of Katos. His words seemed true but there was something he wasn't telling her. Something he was deliberately keeping avoiding.
"How would killing that 'thing' kill me?"
"Since that slyphir has already combined with your soul, destroying it would be like destroying half of your soul. People can't live with half a soul, so you'd end up dying. Simple as that."
"Why'd you come tell me this?" Lydis was still feeling skeptical of Katos coming here just because he was 'worried'. He always moved with the next couple of steps in mind.
"Can't I be worried? Didn't you miss me?" Katos leaned over Lydis, a smirk on his face.
"Never. Is that all you came for?"
"Yup. And now I must bid you adieu, little wolf." Katos did a slight bow and snapped his fingers, a black portal appearing behind him. "And get along with 'it'." As he said that Katos fell backwards into the portal. It disappeared after him, almost like he was never there. The moment he left, the black ooze began to shift towards Lydis.
"What? You wanna go another round?" Lydis put her arms up and bent her knees slightly, prepared for any attacks.
"No you idiot. I've come to talk about the future."
"Yes. I am you and you are me. We can no longer deny that fact. Earlier too, when I insulted your mother and father that was to see if the pain you felt could be transferred over to me too. Luckily I've had the pleasure of knowing what true pain is." The dark figure touched her core and resumed talking. "For both of us to live we need to work together. If it's too late we'll be killed instantly in the outside world." The black ooze changed shape and compressed itself, refining it's human form until it was about the same size as Lydis.
"If you make yourself look like me I'll punch your core." Lydis's eyes were dark and merciless as she said that.
"I'm not! Besides hurting me will only hurt you so stop acting like a brat." The black figure contined to shift until slowly it started refining it's features. Shoulder length hair so straight, it looked like it pieces of paper, coal like eyes, a thin mouth with black teeth, and a dress that covered until it's knees. It looked human except for the glossy shine of it's ebony skin and the occasional drip of ooze from her hands or dress.
"I guess I'll take this as my main form. Now, back to business. In order for your small body to be able to use slyphir I've channeled and limited the amount you can use now. It'll increase as you get better managing slyphir. When you set on what kind of user you're going to be, bane or ghost, and begin to properly develop I'll unlock more."
"For now give me your hand." Lydis reached out and the ebony girl placed her hand in it. "This should help you sense the slyphir of the world but I would recommend you keep quiet about it. If government officials knew about your abnormal talent they would probably capture us and force us to be their weapons or experimental subjects." Lydis nodded and let the ebony girl pour a bit of slyphir into her. Though faint she could feel a slight warm energy enter from where their hands touched. Gradually the feeling spread from her arm to her torso, then to her legs and feet, to her other hand and finally to her head. Her entire body felt wrapped in the warm slyphir, her fingertips tingled with power. In the next instant the ebony girl took her hand away from Lydis.
"Can you feel it now?" Lydis nodded her head. It felt exactly the same as when she punched Blair in the face. An overflowing and enormous power all around her. She clenched and opened her fists, allowing the slyphir to maneuver around her hands. Seeing as Lydis was experimenting with the slyphir the ebony girl nodded proudly.
"What?" Lydis was a bit annoyed.
"Mhmm. Nothing. I think that's everything? Just keep working on your slyphir."
"This slyphir is actually pretty amazing huh? I feel like there's endless possibilities with it." Lydis had formed a small slyphir ball and was tossing it between her hands and rolling it over her fingers.
"There are. Humans are just so narrow minded that it's potential has been cut short." The ebony girl shook her head and sighed.
"Hmm. Wait, what's your name?"
"Name huh? Uhh… I'm not sure. Since we share one body and are the same how about I just be Lydis as well?"
"No no no. It'll be confusing when I talk to you, calling out my own name. Would you be fine if I gave you one?"
"I don't see why not."
"Alright then, from now on your name is Ebi."
"Ebi? Why that?"
"It's partially because of your color. It looks like ebony. And it sounds nice don't you think?"
"Ebi… Yeah, I could get attached to it." Ebi smiled at Lydis. "Thanks for the name Lydis!" In that instant Ebi almost looked human. Smiling and seemingly full of life.
"Alright, so how do I get out. This is just inside my mind right?" Lydis looked for an exit of some sort.
"It is wherever you want it to be." As soon as she said that Lydis thought back to the road suddenly forming and the door she had seen. From that one thought the same door appeared before Lydis, this time a soft light glowing behind it.
"See you Ebi."
"Yeah." Lydis reached for the door and swung it wide open, stepping inside without hesitation. Ebi stood there and watched as Lydis and the door disappeared. At the same time a white door opened near the top of the red world. The blinding light it released lessened as the door opened and out appeared a humanoid figure made of blood. It's foot rested on the bottom of the door and it stuck it's head out to look around. It fell forward and splattered onto the red road. When it touched the red path the red world suddenly turned white. Ebi was still staring at where Lydis had been when the bloodied figure wrapped it's arms around Ebi's neck. Ebi was unfazed as the blood figure snaked around her and stood in front of her. The blood figure placed a hand on Ebi's cheek, sliding down and resting on Ebi's neck, leaving a trail of blood to dribble down Ebi's body.
"I'm jealous. I don't have a name and yet you do, even though I came before you!" Ebi stared at the bloodied figure blankly, it's head bobbling and wiggling with every word. It didn't have a face, just a big hole where the mouth should be.
"These things come with time, you know it's not the time." Ebi shook off it's hand and walked away before turning around to face it again. "Intrude on my area again and you'll face the consequences." And with that Ebi walked into a door made of black wood. She walked in and disappeared. When she did the white world around the bloodied figure disappeared as well, leaving nothing but an empty black. The bloodied figure curled up into a ball and floated into a nearby white door, disappearing back to wherever it came from.
Lydis's eyes popped open, her head feeling fuzzy while a high pitch whine caused her eardrums to throb. She sat up and found herself in an empty room, the cot she was on was messy and had a few jackets thrown on top. Way to treat an injured person. She sat still for a moment, allowing her senses to get their bearings and slowly slid her legs to the side of the cot. She let her feet dangle a moment before getting the energy to get up. Her eyes still felt heavy and the cold floor instantly made her want to crawl back into the warm bed. Lydis leaned on the drawer and paused for a moment while her eyes adjusted to the darkness.
A dim light filtered through the flaps of the tent. A breeze caused the flaps to open a bit revealing a the outside. Her eyes widened and horror filled her mind. All at once her numb senses awoke. She felt the cold floor below her freezing her feet, the tangy sweet metallic smell in the air, the noises of countless battles and clashes of metal when an unmistakable howl rang out above all the other noise. It brought both dread and anticipation as even more howls responded to the first one. Her mind cool and clear, the thought of a battle with an old enemy cleared away the ringing in her ears.
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