I remembered. I remembered the the flowing channels traversing within my chest. The ever present node of energy was there, faint, but persistent. I became conscious of my still body, resting on the floor, unmoved by the ice cold air around me. I was so close to the void, so close to being completely dead, so close to some rest. But I couldn’t leave now. How was I about to leave Daniel? He needs me… I need him. All I had to do was to pour in a small amount of my power into the node. Just a drop, and my eyes shot open.
I gasped for air, my gaze shot in all directions realizing what had just happened. I looked at all the spikes impaled on my body, small trickles of blood pouring out of the wounds. The large spike was still there, at the center, where my heart should be.
“It’s me,” I muttered to myself. “I’m the heartless one.”
“No going back from this point, cub.” Fumus’ voice echoed within my head, I shook my head to try and ignore him. I gathered myself, trying to return to the present. I did my best to gether energy into my hands, however my right arm wasn’t moving. The last blow had not just punctured my chest, but also perforated my arm, there were too many shards dug into the flesh to count. My arm was a mess of eviscerated bone and sinew, yet the ice shards itself was preventing me from feeling the full extent of the pain, and from bleeding out as well.
I forced myself to focus, using the arm that still worked I gathering an orb of pure white mist. I slammed it into the floor underneath me and instantly felt a wave of relief. A pool of shadow and mist began to form underneath me, the blood that had pour out me had begun to raise off the floor and went back into my body. I could feel all my senses returning. After releasing a sigh it all returned to me. I was fighting before I lost consciousness. I began to glance around the room I was in, ice clung to the floor and walls and to me to some extent. I glanced at the far end and saw Daniel on his knees, with Salus raising a monstrous hand of ice to strike him down.
The human was too distraught to react. I had to move quickly. I got on my feet, shaking off some of the ice that had built up on me. Without thinking I used my left arm to pull out the massive spike at the center of my chest, I barely even felt the pain. Blood began to pour down the gaping hole on my chest , and I took some of it, feeling the raw power within. I considered my idea for only a brief moment, it would possibly harm me permanently. There was the theory that my missing memories were not allowing me to fight at my full potential, and there was an instance where I remembered it all. For a short time at least. I needed to remember, for a spell.
I took the blood and wiped it across my eyes. The reaction was instant.
My head began to flood with images, scrambled information being jammed into me all at once. I saw the sunset in Ashford, a set of amber eyes staring at me in the darkness, Thoc’s smile when he would finish an invention, the emerald book, my body caked in blood that wasn’t mine. I was drowning in a maelstrom of spite, and becoming its incarnation. I released a wailing roar into the air, drawing the attention of both Daniel and Salus.
“WHAT?!” Cried out Salus. “HOW ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?!”
“That should be self evident, Salus,” I hissed as I bore a ravenous grin, like a predator looking at its next meal. My body was shivering from the sudden burst of power, and from the power I could sense from Salus. “Your aura, your power, it smells…exquisite.” I wanted his power, I wanted it all for myself.
I gathered my own energies and the energies of the long dead. Faded traces of those who had once died in the area. Then I began to weave vessels for them, constructing bone and flesh from my energy alone, constructing vessels of shadow, constructing abominations.
“Come forth my flesh golem,” I whispered into the air. A hulking beast materialized in front of me, bones and spines forming horns and claws, tendons and muscle keeping it together. My magic was weaving a monstrosity that would destroy Salus. The creature stood silently awaiting my orders. Salus’ form still stood, watching me in what I assumed to be shock.
“It’s you…” said Salus in realization. “You’re the heartless one.” I simply smiled at him.
“Kill him,” I commanded, and my flesh golem charged in. The creature sprinted, its hulking form reaching Salus in mere seconds, crashing into him with violent force. The Spines it had for horns and claws dug into the elementalist’s frozen armor. Large fragments of ice flew off as Salus did his best to fend off the creature. Both behemoths wrestled, my golem trying to knock Salus off his feet while Salus tried to freeze my golem. Small coats of ice began to form on the golem, but then it began to flail its arms around, repeatedly stabbing into the human, more shards of armor flying off.
I began to stride forward, gathering more powers as I did. I began to create more vessels, smaller abominations began to form around me, some made of shadow, others made of writhing masses of flesh and bone. I commanded them to swarm Salus. They charged in, leaping on the human, gnawing at his defenses. I could hear a howl of rage coming from Salus. Spikes emerged from the armor, impaling every minion I had sent in, some faded instantly while others continued to fight, yet with less efficiency. My golem was noticeably slower, but still in the fight. It tackled Salus again, but I could see that it would not be able to continue the fight if I did not do something soon. I was exhausted however, both from the previous fight and from just summoning a legion of minions.
“I need more,” I whispered to myself as I reached over to my right arm, gently tracing the eviscerated flesh. It was stiff to the touch, the ice cold air already trying to claim it. “I. Need. More.” I braced myself and squeezed the flesh, the blood began to gush out as I squeezed my arm like a soaked sponge, the shards on the arm digging into my hand drawing out even more blood. I began to drink in the energy flowing from me. It hovered in front of me in the shape of a crimson orb. Instantly more and more minions began to spawn around me. They all charged into the fray. Soon Sallus was getting swarmed, however I was beginning to feel dizzy.
I need to focus, I thought to myself. I have to kill him, I have to feed. I must take his power.
“You have done enough, Anavari.” I heard a voice echo in my head. It was not Fumus, it was Slim. I began to scan the room, and I spotted the tiny asura by the entrance. Slim looked at me with his eyes glowing, I could feel his presence within my mind. Oddly enough I did not resist him
“Come now Anavari,” Said Slim within my thoughts. “Let me handle things from here, rest for now.” I immediately fell to one knee as I obeyed. I could see the asura smile as he drew closer to Salus. My minions began to immediately retreat, not though my will however, it was all Slim. They returned to my side, standing infront of me, and a human that had been standing besides me. I glanced down at Daniel, who was looking up at me with watering eyes.
“Anavari?” The human said with a trembling voice. “That’s you isn’t it?” My whole body froze before his gaze, my state of rage began to subside and my minions began to collapse. I was beginning to forget again, returning to who I was before I placed the blood in my eyes.
“I’m…” I said as I returned from my trance. “I’m back.” The human immediately embraced me, hiding his face to me, burying himself into my chest as he screamed out. My body grew heavy, and I slumped back to the floor, watching Slim approach Salus. The asura drew out a thin golden blade, it’s sheen apparent from across the room. It carried about a sort of distortion with it as it was waved in the air.
“Salus my dear,” said Slim as he pointed the blade towards the elementalist. His other remained empty, yet was carried about in an elegant fashion, occasionally twitching with a purple glow. “I thought we had something special!” Salus faced the asura, more spikes spreading outward from his crumbling armored form.
“Even in these situations you continue to jest,” Said Salus.
“You know me,” said Slim. “I’m a funny guy.” the asura gave Salus a wide grin, except you could see malice in his smile. Slim was definitely not happy about being betrayed. “So Salus, how about one last dance before I give you the traditional Secro farewell?” There was no traditional Secro farewell.
Salus bounded towards Slim, the asura immediately vanished, leaving behind small fragments of glass the at quickly disintegrated. Slim appeared behind the the ice monster.
“Seeing things, Salus?” Said Slim, Salus immediately rounded and began to shoot out a barrage of shards. Suddenly Slim began to multiply, three, six, twenty. Suddenly the room was filled with copies of Slim. Each one bearing a bloodthirsty grin. “Which one is the real one Salus?” they all said in unison. The ice hulk hesitated, looking at all the copies before him. He began to flail about, shattering as many clones as he could, they all leaped in. Despite being clones they were dealing a bit of damage to Salus’ armor, however their true use came from when they shattered. They exploded with a violent wave of energy shattering the elementalist’s defenses. In mere moments Salus was torn out of his armor, the ease at which Slim could throw out clones and shatter them was unbelievable. Finally once all the clones died out only one Slim remained, the original I assumed.
Salus stood with surprise at how easily his defense was ripped apart. Now Slim stood before him, slowly circling him with his sword drawn. Slim readied a defensive stance at his enemy, he taunted Salus with a wink. The human appeared to have other plans however. Salus sprinted forward, however instead of striking Slim he used his magic to bound over him, barely evading the asura’s upward sweep. He began running towards the wall of the room and with a great burst of energy he blew past it. He lingered for a moment and turned to Slim.
“For the record,” said Salus. “I’m not the only fringe member in the Secros. Good luck finding them.” With that he leaped out to the city. An eerie silence crept into the room, for a brief moment I didn’t believe it myself. We had survived.
“Disappointing,” Sail Slim as he sheathed his sword. “Didn’t even give me a chance to leave him a sign of my affection.” The asura glanced over me with a smile. “Oh well, we’ll get him next time.” I snapped back to reality, realizing Daniel was still holding on to me. I found my arm around him, the arm that worked at least. Slim approached us and stopped with his hands on his hips. “You alright there, Daniel?” Daniel jumped and moved to glance at Slim, his face showing a mixture of distraught and relief.
“Yeah,” he said weakly. “I’m fine.” As soon as Daniel said that I began to feel weaker.
“Well I won’t bother asking if you’re alright,” said Slim as he glanced at me. “You’re a mess, and you’ll probably pass out from blood loss in about…twenty seconds.” That realization came crushing down on me as I collapsed onto the floor.
“Anavari?!” cried out Daniel as I fell.
“Fret not, Daniel,” Said Slim as he held an orb of energy in his hand. “We’ll get him to a healer. Stand by for teleportation.” Slim dropped down his orb and it began to expand. It enveloped us in a curtain of purple and pink energy, suddenly we all vanished and were transported somewhere else. I lost consciousness during the trip.