5 The Sealing*
Rassa had never heard of the Chaos, not in his tiny corner of the world where all that existed was farmland and peaceful trade. He had heard talk from the merchants of grand cities, and grander dynasties, but they did not exist in Rassa's reality, only in his dreams.
"Why...why do you want me?" asked Rassa hesitantly, he did not want to anger them, but in order to get out he had to know.
"Do not fear us, Rassa, you are the most suitable candidate we have ever come across, we will never hurt you...in fact, we can only make you strong, strong enough to compare to a god," red eyes insisted as he appeared once more in Rassa's vision, the red eyes the only thing Rassa could see amongst the blackness.
"I...I do not need a god's strength," Rassa insisted.
"That is exactly why you are who we have selected," Red eyes insisted, "After all, we cannot entrust power to someone who could not control it or themselves".
"Enough, you are who we have selected, Rassa, so you have two options. Either consent to the pact, and hence allow us to bestow our Seal upon you, or you will be trapped in this darkness with us for eternity," red eyes stated.
It wasn't exactly a choice. One would allow him to leave the cave, the other would not.
"What...what must I do?" asked Rassa.
"Just repeat the words after me," red eyes replied, "And then you are free to leave".
Rassa let his final tear drop, then nodded.
Red eyes chuckled, clearly pleased with Rassa's resolve, "I hereby consent to allow my being to be changed wholly".
Rassa frowned, not liking the sound of those words. But with no other choice, he repeated the words.
"I hereby consent to allow my being to be changed wholly".
Rassa didn't know how he felt it, but somehow the air became still, everything around him seemed to pause in anticipation.
"My body, my mind, my soul, all shall be rewritten".
"I submit to the grace of Chaos, and in turn shall relish in its darkness".
"Marr my body, mind and soul with your Seal, and from the time of my acceptance, let its power fill me".
"So shall it be, so shall I never regret".
Rassa finished repeating the words, and the world filled with silence and darkness. Then Rassa threw his head back and screamed as felt an immense pain cover his back. He imagined it to be similar to a fire poker stabbing threw his skin and into his muscles, then dragging across and through his back as if drawing something. But it was not only on his skin, Rassa also felt it deep within himself and within his head as well.
It went on for so long and the pain was so much that Rassa lost track of time, he wished to escape it, but it was if it was forcing him to keep conscious, to experience every miniscule bit of pain. If that was not enough, Rassa could feel his body taking on subtle changes, every parts of his body hardening as if it was stone. His heart beat accelerated, pumping so fast and hard he was sure it would burst from his chest. His nails hardened and grew forming what he could sense was sharp points. His eyes, ears and nose all ached before he opened his eyes to find he could actually see the cavern. He was wrong before, there were not just hundreds or thousands of creatures in that cavern with him, there were millions.
He had barely a second to think about it before his mouth began to ache with increasing urgency. Two of his front teeth grew to sharp points which tore into his tongue and lip. He screamed at its pain before both his injured muscles seemed to knit themselves back together with a tingling sensation that was probably the most pleasant pain out of all. Finally, perhaps the most painful of all the changes, Rassa felt his back swell, and beneath the skin he could feel something growing, he hunched forward tensing before the skin on his back burst off, and Rassa felt two massive appendages hand from just below his shoulder blades, wet and sticky with blood. The skin on his back mended with the same tingling sensation, as the pain began to subside, and Rassa gasped for breath, his throat raw from screaming, but even then that tingling feeling came again, and with a swallow, Rassa slowly raised his head.
"What have you done to me?" Rassa asked, his newly improved vision focusing on the black, spirit-like mass in front of him. Red eyes moved forward, a hand touched Rassa's cheek almost affectionately.
"We have set you free".
Rassa opened his mouth to reply, and the black mass moved to quickly that Rassa had barely a chance to react with anything but shock. It had gone inside him.
And it wasn't the only one. Rassa's mouth seemed to be forced open as one by one, all of those millions of dark spirits Rassa had seen in the cavern began entering his mouth.
Rassa could do nothing but struggle against it as they consumed him, and he consumed them. With each new edition, Rassa could feel himself growing stronger, though how he did not know. His muscles and bones were like stone, he could not feel it physically, but he could feel it. Was it his soul? It seemed to be the case.
Rassa had no idea how long it took for them all to fill him, but as the last of them entered him, the chains that bound him broke, and a feeling of weightlessness overcame him as he began to fall. It was to this, and the vague understanding that the cave was crumbling around him, that Rassa was finally allowed to fall into unconsciousness.
When Diggory passed the border line, Anne's anxiousness had increased. He ran about a hundred metres past the border, only to pause amongst the many trees and look around in confusion.
"I don't get it," Diggory stated in panic, "There was a cave, right here!"
Anne frowned, looking around, about twenty metres away, she spotted a small, pale figure lying on the ground, the black hair unmistakeable to her.
"Rassa!" Anna called, dropping her axe and rushing over to her son as the other villagers around behind her.
She knelt down by her son's side. His shirt had been torn off, but there were no claw marks or bites. He was curled up on the ground, his dark hair covering his pale face. Too pale. Anna chocked on a sob as she leant forward and touched him. His skin was deathly cold.
"Rassa!" she shouted, shaking her son. Her shaking turned him onto his back, but he did not respond. Anna took a deep breath and leant forward to place her ear to his chest. She waited a moment, and when she was about to burst out in tears, she heard it. A heartbeat, though very feint.
Her eyes widened and she looked at his little face, "Rassa".
She looked up at the villagers, "Help me get him back to the doctor, he's still alive!"
The villagers nodded, and the butcher stepped forward to pick him up, though as he did, Rassa's back was exposed.
The villagers gasped in shock, Anna included.
"What in this world, is that?"