Lydis only had vague feelings of being dragged across the floor. Something was grabbing her arm. Slow, jagged movements until another pair of arms grabbed her legs. They moved in unison, dragging her away. Feeling extremely tired Lydis let herself fall into the abyss of sleep.
All around her was darkness. Lydis lifted her head and saw a black figure illuminated by a faint glow. She found that she could suddenly move her body again. Getting up Lydis walked over to the figure in the darkness.
"Lydis… It's time to make a choice." Ebi turned around, her stone face showing no emotion.
"What kind of choice?" By then Lydis was already next to Ebi.
"Your soul is unstable. Just now when you recalled your past your soul rejected the slyphir from Katos. If that keeps happening, it'll tear your soul apart." Lydis groaned loudly. She squatted on the floor and ran her hands through her hair.
"Why am I having so much difficulty in just being able to stay in this world?" Ebi turned around and looked at Lydis.
"The false pity of another god. Whether it was out of impulse or sympathy, they're the ones who allowed some of your past memories to remain. Those memories caused a disturbance in the fusing process of your soul. It was supposed to be an almost cleared out soul mixing with Katos's slyphir, not one that was still imprinted."
"So what kind of sacrifice do I have to make now? I've barely been able to piece my past memories together over two years and now you want me to discard them?" Ebi shook her head.
"You need to either accept them, or discard them. Either choice works fine."
"Accept?" Ebi sighed, bracing herself for a long talk.
"Right now there is a bit of you not believing in this 'other world' from your memories. You see it, feel it, even dream about it, and yet you don't believe it. You believe you died once but, not in another world. You believe that I'm a part of you, not just a hallucination. Why can't you accept your old memories?"
"See? This is why your soul is so fragile." Ebi sighed and placed a hand on her black core. "I'm not sure how you feel about death but I don't want to disappear yet, not even a decade of existence and I'm about to die because my host is still in denial like a child? I'll never allow that." Ebi's arms began to change shape and slicked to the floor, a pool slowly forming around her.
Lydis eyed Ebi's changing arms.
"Really? Back to brute force?" Lydis raised her arms, her eyes darting to the multitude of arms forming from Ebi's goo. They were formless tendrils at first but the shape of fingers and hands soon became recognizable.
"Accept them or forget them! If you don't I'll have to do it myself!" Ebi was sounding desperate now. The multitude of arms began to extend towards Lydis. Some crawled along the floor, some just slithered closer while others extended through the air. Ebi's face twisted in rage, fear and desperation. Although they had made up two years ago, now it was a matter of life and death, one much more real than Lydis simply being rough with Ebi. The hands were getting closer now. They surrounded Lydis with a wall but, before Ebi could move in Lydis lowered her hands.
"You're the one who doesn't understand!" Lydis's sudden outburst caused Ebi to pause. Lydis continued to rant regardless if Ebi was listening or not. "You don't know how it feels to see things, memories that don't belong to you from an outsider's view. Nothing I have in my head is actually mine except for these past two years. What 'other world'? Lydis Huwen? I might as well be an imposter with different people's memories! Using someone else's name, face, their life… How can I be sure that those 'other world' memories are even mine?!" Lydis stopped and looked at the floor, her eyes stinging with tears of frustration.
Ebi's face softened and she retracted her arms. Slowly reverting back to her humanoid form. Lydis continued, not wanting to wait for Ebi's response.
"Each and everyday I live, I feel like it's a lie. That I'll wake up back in that darkness from before. Floating endlessly in nothing. If I accept those 'other world' memories, won't who I am now disappear? Lydis Huwen is already a part of me but, that other 'me' doesn't seem real."
"If you're so conflicted then toss them. Discard your other world memories and live as the Lydis Huwen who already died once." Ebi was completely back to normal now. Lydis lifted her head and saw the conflicting pity and sorrow on Ebi's face.
"I… I can't do that either. That other 'me' might be fake but at the same time, she could be real." Lydis wrapped her arms around her chest. "There are so many things swirling around my mind I feel like dying again. In a sense, death would be bliss compared to living like this. Barely knowing who you are, living a life filled with lies, not even sure what you're feeling are your true emotions… It's hard. Especially the times when I'm reminded of what I am around people I consider my family and I'm forced to fake a smile, unable to say anything to them. This burden… Can I really live like this?" Ebi stayed silent, her voice choked in her throat. Words of comfort laid on her tongue but Ebi couldn't bring herself to say them.
Lydis looked at Ebi and laughed, her self-pitying laugh was short and sad. Even Lydis was surprised by how easily she let her burdens out.
"Ebi, is there no other way? Accept, discard, or die… Either way I'm killing some part of me, who's to say that nothing besides that will change?" Lydis hung her head. The weight of her words hung over them. Ebi's form was wavering a little while Lydis stared at the darkness around her. Would she return here when she died? In this never ending void. Or would she just simply stop thinking, stop feeling, and vanish into nothingness?
High up a small door opened above them. The small door opened slowly, something red laid on the frame. It turned it's head and smiled.
"Looks like visiting Ebi is always fun. Although I'm a bit concerned, what they do isn't really my problem but, just once, I'll lend a hand. Things were just getting good, I'd hate for it to end here." Extending one hand the red figure's hand slid off and dropped in between Lydis and Ebi. It saw their shocked faces and started giggling before disappearing.
Ebi whipped her head upwards to see the last bit of light from the red figure's door vanish.
"…" Although she was angry Ebi couldn't ignore the look of surprise on Lydis's face.
"Ebi, what's this?" Lydis pointed at the bloodied hand splattered on the floor. The area surrounding the hand turned white, burning away the darkness. As Lydis leaned over the hand it began to twitch and writhe wildly. Fingers bent in all directions, the hand flopping like a fish. Ebi pulled Lydis away from the hand.
"Stay back Lydis…" Lydis wanted to ask Ebi more question but the hand was acting different. It stopped wiggling and now folded in on itself. Fingers squished together to form a ball. The ball rolled closer to Lydis. Seeing this Ebi stomped with one leg and a black wall appeared in it's path. She stomped again and more walls appeared to surround the bloodied ball.
The ball unfolded and a small humanoid figure took shape. A formless head was attached to a blob body with two small wiggling arms.
"What? That's the kind of greeting I get when I try to help?" The small red figure inched closer to the black walls. It placed one hand on them and the walls began to disintegrate. Soon a hole big enough for the blob to pass through formed.
"Ebi, what is it." This time Lydis's voice was more insistent. Ebi saw the blob come over and felt the pressure from Lydis increasing. Seeing how she was cornered Ebi decided to give up. She sighed and turned to face Lydis.
"Lydis, are you really sure about this…"
"Get on with it Ebi. I'm currently dying so I have all the time I need." Lydis raised her arms to add emphasis. The red blob was closer now. Less than a meter was left until it was next to Ebi's foot.
"That is another part of you. I-"
"I can take it from here." The red blob stood at Ebi's foot. It looked up and what looked like eyes stared into Ebi's coal like eyes. Gripping her jaw shut Ebi stopped and nodded at the blob. The blob moved on from Ebi to Lydis.
"I am a vast amount of power gifted to you by the Great One. Given that your body sucks at the moment I was told to wait on standby by the Great One and to let 'Ebi' over there handle all your current affairs' but, seeing as how both of you were going to kill each other at that rate I decided to step in."
"…" Lydis looked at the red figure and saw a small red gleam on it's chest. The small glint looked like the core embedded into Ebi's chest. Gears clicked in her head. "You're connected to me as well." The red figure laughed.
"True, I may be connected to you but, unlike 'Ebi' I'm not a part of you. I was just left here by the Great One." Lydis looked at Ebi. Ebi nodded her head to confirm the question on Lydis's face.
"Why are you here?" The red figure jumped up and floated towards Lydis's face.
"I'm here to give you a bit more time. I'll use a bit of my powers to suppress the changes in your soul and in that time you decide on how you want to live in this world. I'll give you… two months. Yeah, after that you better have an answer ready or else your souls' going to fall apart." Ebi clicked her tongue.
"Why don't you just solve this yourself? You're strong enough." The red figure turned and looked at Ebi, a cruel grin forming on it's small face.
"Why would I do that? Watching you struggle and fight with your emotions is the best! Seeing all that happy, mushy love these past two years was so boring…" The red figure spun and twirled in the sir, eventually stopping to face Lydis. "You have two months, got it?" Without another word the red ball threw itself towards Lydis. She saw it pass through her and suddenly a heavy weight pulled Lydis to her knees. Gasping, she clutched her chest. Ebi stood there and looked conflicted at the situation. Although she did want the red figure's help, it was only prolonging things. Whether Lydis could decide or not depended on the next two months.
Seeing how Ebi wasn't hit by the sudden pressure Lydis knew it had to have been the red figure who did something to her. The burning in her chest intensified. Like her whole body was being cooked from the inside out. Feeling drowsy Lydis blinked slowly, Ebi's face fading out of view. From somewhere inside her head the red figure's voice echoed.
"Remember, two months… Struggle more and entertain me… I'll be waiting for a good show…" Lydis wanted to ask who they were but something sucked her away from the dark world, from Ebi and the red figure.
Something wet his Lydis's face. She jolted upwards, flinging off someone's arm and a ball of fur. Panicked, she saw a familiar room but the bed she was one wasn't the left one but the right bunk. On the walls were posters of famous Banes from her memories and most noticeably there were two boys in the room as well. One with black hair was sleeping on the left lower bunk while the other one with brown hair stood next to Lydis, his hand holding a dripping towel.
"H-hello… I-I um, I'm Bennox!" The brown-haired boy bent forward and offered Lydis a handshake. He faced the floor with one hand extended in front of him. Lydis looked at him in confusion. She tried to speak but her head throbbed every time she tried to move her jaw. Lydis reached one hand up to touch her sore jaw. Having been left hanging Bennox raised his head and saw Lydis messing with her jaw. Seeing this Bennox quickly placed the towel down and retrieved the ice pack on the small dresser. He handed it to Lydis.
Valfafer had woken up by now. Seeing that Lydis was up and well he couldn't help but be overwhelmed with joy. He thought that Lydis was dying, leaving him alone in an unfamiliar world but, even more than that if she died he would also die due to the contract. Valfafer pounced at Lydis and began licking her face wildly. Bennox saw this and quickly scooped up Valfafer, placing him on the floor next to Lydis.
"You shouldn't do that to your owner. She's still sore from whatever it was she came back from ." Bennox turned around to help Lydis with her ice pack. The black haired boy began to stir from Valfafer's yips and scratching at the floor.
"Bennox, what's with all the noise?" He rolled over to face the rest of the room. Seeing how Lydis was up he quickly turned back around. "If she's good get her out, you're disturbing my sleep." The black-haired boy shifted in his bed and fell back asleep. The blankets on top of him rising and falling steadily.
"Sorry about him. That's Owen by the way. Although he seems to hate everyone he's actually the one who found you." Bennox went over to the dresser and pulled out a clean towel. He dipped it into the bowl of water on top of the smaller dresser. Handing it to Lydis Bennox stared at Valfafer before finally looking Lydis in the eyes.
"In case you didn't catch it earlier I'm Bennox. What's your name?" The ice-pack had worked surprisingly fast, Lydis's sore and swollen jaw didn't hurt as much now. Forcing her mouth open Lydis barely whispered.
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