THE RIFT'S DIVIDE - P.3
Mithril called and yelled, along with Aoife, who had run over to the rift.
But there was no response. The rift seemed to have consumed the lon completely up, and this worried Mithril immensely. No one was to go into the rift until the first team was sent by Princess Naia… They were supposed to scout and make sure it was safe to cross first!
Normally, the sheer fear of the unknown was what kept most away from entering the rift. It was successful ever since the quakes had stopped… But regardless, Aiza had went in, even knowing the risks… Why had she gone in?
Mithril grit his fangs…
“That-dense-clam-of-a-non-noble’d-fool!” He hissed worriedly.
The vespire’s four eyes darted around as his mind raced.
“I must get to Princess Naia.”
“The princess? But why?” Aoife asked, with a worried look.
“I’m going to convince her to let me go in after Aiza…”
Mithril clenched his grip on his trident, staring deeply at the rift.
“I owe her one.”
He was firm on his word. The pouflon had helped him back at the kelp village, and he felt indebted to that. When he was at his lowest point, about to throw himself at the monsters back then… She had refused to give up on him at that moment. And it was something he still needed to thank her back for. That, and for her effort in trying to redeem him from exile.
Hoh… Looking back, that pouf really did deserve to be called more than just a sea sponge...
“Please look after the rift while I go. I will return shortly.” The tentacled vespire said, to a nodding Aoife.
“You can count on me.” She responded, and stood tall next to the rift, observing it closely.
In a big motion, Mithril flipped backwards in the center pool of the temple, and swam frighteningly fast towards the temple entrance.
If it had a physical definition, Aiza would have called it cold and vast.
After she entered the rift, she felt like a droplet of water entering an empty sea. Nothing was here. Only pitch black, with red particles lingering about, as if a fire was put out here long ago. There seemed to be no floor, yet Aiza was able to continue walking. And as she went onwards, her footsteps gave no sound, as if any noise created was immediately consumed by the darkness. Despite no obvious light source, the pouflon was still able to see herself clearly, as if she was unlit. She glanced around, looking for any landmarks-- anything at all. But look as she may... Nothing was out there. It was like she was staring into an empty universe. A forgotten dimension.
She began to lose her sense of touch at every footstep, but the pouf continued on, walking forward.
Find the truth…
The enigmous voice whispered again. A sharp tone, distant.
“What truth?”, Aiza asked, her brows furrowed. “Where’s Uncle Klein!?”
The void around her echoed a laugh. A cold, characterless laugh.
You didn’t come here for him… You wanted to know the truth… Of yourself.
“That makes no sense!”
Aiza wasn’t sure why she was drawn into the rift, but she knew it was to try and find Uncle Klein… Right?
But, still, she couldn’t deny that her curiosity ultimately led her in…
Two red eyes watched her from the far distance, unblinking, surrounded by darkness. She took notice of them, and cautiously approached...
So, do you want to know the truth?
“My truth..? What?” Aiza cautiously spoke.
The truth… to why you faint when you use magic. A flaw of yours ever since you were a bloom…
A white, jagged mouth with sharp teeth grinned at her, under the red eyes.
Aiza stopped in her tracks.
“How the hell do you know that?!” She asked, the hairs on her neck frayed. No one beyond Seren knew about her fainting condition. She never told any-lon about it in her life.
The void laughed again.
Do you want to know?
The pouf felt every hair fiber on her stick up. There was something insidious about this question. She felt that if she accepted, it would haunt her in some way. Perhaps she shouldn’t say yes. Maybe she was better off not knowing. Like they say, sometimes it’s better not to know.
However… She wanted to become a mage detective, and she knew she had to dive into hard truths one way or another. It was bound to happen. And it seemed that this will be the first of many on her journey. Aiza raised her head calmly.
A wave of cold nothingness washed over her. For a split second, she felt a chilling sensation and then a complete loss of all senses. She heard nothing, saw nothing, felt nothing. This frightened her, and she couldn’t feel herself backing up. The pouf fell onto her haunches, and the red eyes and teeth began to laugh and circle around her slowly. When she regained her senses, she stared back at it, half in fear and confusion.
The white floating grin widened.
Your very soul inherited a vast darkness, from all kinds of universes, some connected here in this very place. It is a black hole. Always consuming magic, your magic.
The enigma laughed.
You faint because your body is so starved of magic.
And because of that, you’ll never be able to rise as a great mage.
It laughed louder now.
Aiza hung her head in disbelief. No way… That can’t be true.
You couldn’t save Klein because of it.
He fell to corruption because of you.
“No, you’re wrong! It’s because we couldn’t make it in time!”
You could have run faster. You could have teleported. You could have thrown a fireball at it.
But you were incapable.
Aiza roared and jumped up, charging at the circling void’s face, trying to headbutt it.
The being simply laughed and began to enlargen, towering over her, its large red eyes covering most of her vision, yet she couldn’t touch it.
Useless. That’s what Seren and Klein think of you.
That’s the truth.
“Shut up!” Aiza yelled, attacking the void again.
But yet again, she could not touch the being. It encircled her again, continuously laughing, before moving through her and disappearing, its white fanged grin the last thing Aiza saw.
Its words echoed throughout the vast nothingness, and it no longer pestered Aiza. Whatever it was, it was gone now, and the pouflon was surrounded by the pitch black again.
Aiza felt the loss of her senses. Darkness… Again.
That was a lot to take in. Her soul was a black hole? What in lon-heck did that mean?
But it would explain why it always seemed like she had a very limited amount of magic energy…
And that whole bit about Klein and Seren....
Did they really think she was useless?...
She frowned, looking despondent.
...No, that was a lie, she believed.
She didn’t even know what that being was-- was it someone, or something? After years of being an assistant to Seren, and investigating all sorts of strange anomalies, she knew better than to listen so easily to strange voices.
However… Something about this being was different. Rather than being a manipulative sounding elemental spirit or sprite, it definitely felt more like a… Mirror’s reflection…
Like... She had talked to her own shadow.
It knew things about her that only she knew… Things that she told no one, except for maybe Seren.
Only extremely powerful elemental spirits could peer into the memories of victims. Seren and her had had a run in once or twice with that type of spirit… But they normally associated with an element. Yet this being definitely wasn’t tied to any kind of conventional element she knew of.
Was it.. The embodiment of shadows itself?
She shivered, remembering the chilling words the being had told her. Some semblance of truth were in the being’s voice, and she couldn’t get them out of her mind. For several minutes, she sat there, processing what had happened. She was shook to the core, and the fear left her paralyzed…
When she grasped her bearings, the pouflon shook her head, and felt her senses come back. She stood up slowly, and began walking again. Something weighed on her mind… Or body. Like something was clinging onto her from that encounter.
That aside, she knew she had to keep going on. She had to find Klein. She thought maybe the ursuki had wandered in here…
Aiza began walking again, and bit by bit the darkness around her faded away into a rainbow-like light.
She was relieved to see light again, even if it was the strangest beams of light she had ever seen…
The sky was a mosaic of colors, weaved together with lines of white cracks, like an organic quilt. It seemed to breathe, its light slowly pulsating and moving. Each piece of the sky was a different color, and when stared at, one could almost see a different dimension within it. Aiza perceived it like a giant Kaleidoscope, and she marveled at how beautiful it looked. But when she gazed down, it was a different story. Before her lay a desolate looking field. Swords and weapons prickled the landscape as far as the eye could see, frozen in time. There were barely any tarnishes on the weapons, as if no weather had ever occurred here. The only wear the weapons bore were scrapes and nicks from clashing with others.
“Weird..” Aiza muttered, as she passed by the deserted field. A battle had clearly transpired here. But she couldn’t remember if Bellacoste had any sort of battle in a location like this…
There was the great war, but that didn’t take part under this rainbow sky.
Then again, she felt she was no longer in the world she was a part of.
She heard a clang.
In the distance, a large shadowed being sat. It had the shape of a vespire, and was roughly the size of… Aiza gasped.
“Seren!” She yelled. The silhouette greatly resembled her guardian, and she ran towards it. She was relieved to see her there. The encounter with the shadow being had left her confused and scared, and she was relieved to see someone familiar. Maybe Seren had come into the rift to do some research?
That was very much the character of the vespire. The old lady couldn’t keep her hands off looking into the unknown. Of course she would enter and explore this strange place. She had to get more information to sell back to Bellacoste.
The pouflon smiled as she neared the vespire.
“Typical to see ya here… What are you researching now? How these swords got here? Why the sky is weird?” Aiza chuckled.
The vespire gave no response.
“Hey… It’s rude to leave me hanging!” Aiza yelled, grabbing the vespire’s shoulder with her hoof. What gives? The old lady normally would acknowledge her at this point with a grumpy answer…
Then, to Aiza’s horror, she saw a black and red tar like substance grow on her hoof.
“Seren?!” She exclaimed.
But it wasn’t Seren. It was a large, black and red creature in the shape of a large vespire… And bits of its original color peeked through. In pockets of the black tar substance, were a teal color. The being used to go by the name of ‘Hibiscus’, but now it was just a thoughtless creature. No more emotions seemed to reside in it, and there was clear turmoil inside of it as it screeched at Aiza. A faint orange glimmer glowed within its eyes for a second, but it was quickly overtaken by a deep, wild, uncontrollable red.
Aiza gulped and backed up. This wasn’t her guardian. And she was about to run into a world of trouble.
the next part! after a break with mage quests, I have returned to skyfall for a bit :3c
This time, a strange thing has happened to aiza... what the heck was that?
Submitted By teadino
Submitted: 5 months ago ・ Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
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