Arc 2: Chapter 1: Reminiscing

12 years ago, I realized that this world was twisted beyond belief. I realized that as I saw a demon capable of splitting time and space. And then I realized … that demon was none other than me. That realization horrified me. But, what could I do? I had no power, or so I though at least. In that fragile state I was in, there was one helping hand that I saw, and it was the hand of the devil. I took the devil’s hand and freed myself, temporarily, from the pain that I were to bare.

But 12 years past that, in present, that hollow freedom broke apart when I was confronted by Embers, low-ranking members of a psychic organization called Vermillion. They wanted me to join them, in a war that, at the time, had still not begun. But, I denied them. I wanted nothing to do with the world of supernaturals and so I denied them, for nth time, I denied them. However, this time they weren’t ready to take no for an answer, and so I was attacked, somehow overpowered and then taken to an island who many believed to only exist in myths, an island where only psychics lived.

However, those psychics who lived there were long gone by then. The only residents of the island, who weren’t animals, were a dragon and an artificial little girl. I met the girl, who seemed like a girl. I mean, she didn’t understand the value of remembering her own name but she did name animals around her. She truly was a child, an innocent one at that. The dragon, on the other hand, was a full-fledged adult. Even that maybe an understatement though, seeing as how he was more than a 1000 years old.

This old dragon had stayed on the island for past 1000 years trying to guard a particular place on the island against anyone who comes here. That particular place was a tomb made for … well, god.

However, I wasn’t the only visitor of the island. No, no, not at all. There was a woman too, about my age, who had visited the island. But unlike me, she was there by choice, and she had an objective.

That blond-haired woman, with a beautiful slightly-less-than-perfect oval face and almond emerald-colored eyes with a fair-skin told me her name was Sona Pectus. A name that I didn’t realize, but my subconscious did, was familiar to me.

Her goal in coming to that place was clear – to kill the dragon. Why? Well, she didn’t exactly tell me at the time, but it was revenge. It was revenge for a truly horrible deed that the dragon supposedly did.

And in order to carry out that deed, she had made a contract with a high-class spirit named Death, a tiger-like figure covered in blackness as if he’s a shadow. As she confronted the dragon however, she realized that the dragon looked like Ozyllus, the one called god. This dragon, in his human form, was a dark-skinned man with a slightly muscular build and had green-eyes to compliment all that. He had brown-hair and his face was diamond-shaped. Overall, he was quite handsome. I had never seen Ozyllus, so I couldn’t tell from just her saying it, but then the dragon questioning how she knew what Ozyllus looked like told me that he really did look like Ozyllus.

Actually, that might sound like a leap in logic when I say it like that but that’s what happened. In any case, what followed was a brutal beat-down by Sona’s spirit, Death, and the victim of it was obviously the dragon. For the entire time the fight continued, both I and Sona believed that the dragon would fall. However, as he had never stepped out of this island, and let’s just say that collecting information about this place wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, neither of us knew what his power truly was. So, when it finally surfaced, it shocked both of us beyond belief. It was the power that would kill anyone who comes close to killing him. Basically, it was the power that made him immortal and … a murderer.

As I explained my hypothesis about his power to Sona and the dragon, the dragon confirmed that I was right. The dragon then asked me to go into the tomb, as I was supposed to meet someone there. That someone, by the way, was Ozyllus, but the dragon didn’t tell me that back then.

He sent the artificial little girl with me whose body features can only be described as child-like. She was round-faced, cute, brown-haired like the dragon and overall, just petite. That human-like figure, however, was made of energy and needed a stable host to keep her functioning well. That host, obviously, was the dragon. Far from him, inside the tomb, she was unable to sustain herself and withered away back to the tomb through what was supposed to be the entrance of the tomb, but wasn’t. Even though I had stepped in the tomb, I had been pulled into a completely different dimension. This was the doing of Ozyllus and the dragon intended for me to meet him. But, Ozyllus had changed his plans. He wanted me to meet someone else, someone quite interesting.

Before I had been attacked by the Embers and brought to the island, I met a man with brown hair, triangle-shaped face and hooded-eyelids colored-black, who looked pretty normal. For some reason though, even a handshake with him gave me chills. He was Ethan Kales.

That was the man Ozyllus had made me meet in the place where I was transported to as soon as I stepped into the tomb. And there, he pretty much dropped a bombshell on me. He said Barry, who I once thought of as my brother and was also the ghost of my past, was still around – as a ghost. Well, it wasn’t that big of a revelation to know that ghosts exist, but the fact that Barry would be one of them, was something I had trouble taking in.

After casually dropping that bombshell though, he told me an even harsher truth. The reason he knows of Barry and me and everything that happened 12 years ago was because he was a witness, or rather, the only witness to the calamity that shook the entire world. He had the eyes of a legend, the eyes that can never be deceived and always show the truth, fittingly named Eyes of Truth. Well, after telling me all that, Ethan left as if he had no care in the world. I was left there to think about the things that had happened and how clueless I truly was about everything dawned on me as I kept thinking, and thinking … and thinking … doing nothing.

At the time when I first met Ethan, he also had a friend/partner/accomplice with him, who was a woman named Sneha Stone, a woman with upturned eyes colored-gray, heart-shaped face and black-hair complimented beautifully by ivory-skin. She was also rather tall, only about two or three inches shorter than me and Ethan, who both are, by the way, 6’1. I mean, Sona is pretty fine too, with a height of approximately 5’6, but that still is relatively normal for women. Sneha had a height that is rare for women to reach, especially Indian women.

Well, where was this unusually tall woman back then? I didn’t know. Only she did.

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Sneha was left wondering about everything that had happened and will happen. As she waited on one of the terminals for Ethan to arrive at the airport, she was left with nothing to do but reminisce. And so she did.

She played the scenes of the day previous to that again and again in her head. She remembered how she used aura-swapping, an ability that literally was the same as the psychic ability called apportion. The ability basically swaps two items once you get a clear image of both in your head. She used that ability to change a single coin in Kais’ wallet to a round-object and then used magnets to attract that object towards her when Kais took it out of his wallet. That led to him encountering Ethan by the excuse of picking the object up.

She was, until that day, working for Vermillion. And she had gotten an order to carry out, that order being that of helping two Embers, Ro Garland and Mohammed Al Hassan, bring Kais to the psychic island. All she had to really do was knock him unconscious. They were to take care of the rest, and so that’s how it went.

But that was the order she had gotten from Vermillion. She had other plans too. And those involved Vermillion was desperately looking for, her partner Ethan Kales.

When she saw Ro enter a public phone booth, by using aura-swapping once again, she had made sure that the call, to wherever he dials it, will go to Ethan. Ro never realized until it was too late that he had fallen into Ethan’s traps.

But when the three confronted each other, Ethan didn’t simply kill the half-psychic Ro. He told him, and also Sneha, a shocking truth. It wasn’t that unexpected to be completely honest, but it was something they didn’t wanted to hear. He told them that ghosts exist. Sneha, Ro and pretty much everyone else in Vermillion have had their hands dirty. They have killed people in life. And so, they were both afraid that the ghosts of those who they killed might be around too.

However, what Ethan considered a bigger concern though was the existence of a particular ghost, the ghost of the man responsible for the disaster that shook the world 12 years ago, the ghost of the psychic named Barry.

She personally didn’t even know Barry, but from what she had heard, she could tell that man was … dangerous.

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After having his life cut short by the seemingly ordinary man named Ethan Kales, Ro was left to wonder what would happen to him. As a ghost, the first thing that did happen to him is meeting another ghost, named Barry.

This ghost was someone, it’s fair to say, he had heard about … a lot. And yet this man didn’t look like the evil maniac who would commit an atrocity like killing thousands. This black-haired, warm ivory-skinned individual with close-set blue-eyes was rather good-looking but what was really striking at one glance was the outfit he was wearing. He wore a light blue cape with stripes on it, the dress hidden within the cape being crimson-brownish. It was like a uniform of some sort. And well, soon enough, Ro found out what it was the uniform of.

The place Barry took Ro gave the answer to where it was the uniform of. Barry worked for the Vampire Kingdom, where this dress was code among soldiers and commanders. Obviously, Barry’s dress was made with a different substance since it was made for a ghost but the dress was the same in appearance.

So, being in the middle of the court of vampires surrounded by people like Barry, Reid, the four vampire supreme generals and the only one who wasn’t wearing the army dress, the queen Valdis, Ro was left to wonder what would happen next.

Valdis seemed like the most logical person in that room, discounting Barry. So, Ro had to bet on her logic to help her through the situation. He took a chance and it paid off. That brought about the situation of being with only three other members in the court room, them being Barry, Valdis and Reid.

If Ro hadn’t trained himself in endurance, he might have even been captivated queen Valdis’ beauty, but fortunately for him, he was trained; so even as he saw the porcelain-skinned, monolid-ivory-eyed, 6 feet tall beauty in front of him, he was able to think calmly. And think calmly he did.

There he was told about how the current situation of the war truly is. As an Ember who only knew that a war was brewing and that Vermillion would be helping the fighting factions by supplying weapons and capable fighters, this was the first time he was truly coming to know of the situation with the war.

Apparently, the Vampire Kingdom were to fight three factions, Vermillion, all the remaining dragons in the world and the Ghost Nation, who had all allied to form The Dragon Alliance. Things were, putting it mildly, desperate for Vampire Kingdom. But there was one surefire way of turning things around – to bring Kais on their side. And this was the objective given to Barry and Ro which made them leave the Vampire Kingdom. The reason they left it in a hurry though, was because they understood that Ethan Kales is someone who may have predicted everything up until that point and that he might be someone whose actions cause problems for them. So, they couldn’t let him get to Kais first.

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The reason the dragon had sent the girl inside the tomb alongside Kais had nothing to do with Kais. It had to with Sona. It was to deceive her.

As Sona wondered why the girl was outside the tomb, the dragon could make up any lie and persuade her to leave the place. Even being certain of his words being lies, she was left with no choice but to think of the possibility that they could be the truth.

And well, aside from that, she had also heard something really peculiar. She had heard that there existed a psychic-ghost who could even be more powerful than the dragon. There were a lot of things Sona had to think about, one of them being the state Kais would be. Even though it had been years since then, this woman still held onto the connections she had made in her childhood. No, it was because it had been years that she valued those connections so much. So, she couldn’t help but worry about her first and last childhood friend of her own age, Kais.

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As I came out of the tomb, I saw the people who should be present there missing and ‘WAR’ written in blood on the ground. When the dragon came and told me it was Barry’s blood, even being as skeptical as I was, I still doubted if the possibility existed. However, I came to realize it was all false when I saw the gathering at the beach.

Ethan and Sneha had tricked Barry and Ro and had ended up coming to this island right after the two of them did. And seeing the gathering of those monsters, all I could do was lose myself to the killer of my past.

A second personality that had been hidden within me for so many years after it first appeared and killed Barry, had once again been unleashed. Because of Ethan’s manipulation though, no one ended up falling a victim to it.

They did, however, fell victim to an illusion that was created just so they get terrified and I get a chance to run away from the place. I used that chance quite well, if I do say so myself.

As I realized how desperate the situation was, I decided to try to find a missing piece in the legends, a pond that was supposed to be near this tomb.

When I did find that pond, I met a psychic fish who had been created due to the experimentation conducted by Ozyllus about 1000 years ago.

That fish told me (yes, it could speak) that it was an archive and the only key to accessing the archive was spiritual energy. The only way for me to move ahead then was get Sona’s help, but as I thought about her, the fish told me that a fluctuation in the energy around me occurred. I came up with a theory that it was because I somehow knew her in the past and my subconscious mind was trying to remind me of it.

I did not realize that Abyss, who was in The Cage inside my head, was helping me get all these close-to-accurate guesses and theories. But regardless, I kept using his help and acted like I had remembered everything, which made Sona willing to help me, for the sake of whatever our relationship in the past was.

But before we could actually access the archive, the dragon stopped us and told us that everything the archive has to say is mixed with lies. He told us that Ozyllus, the so-called god, had manipulated everything to fit himself. He told us that the only way to find out the actual truth is to go to The Psychic Library, a place no one at present seems to know the location of.

That caused me to remember everything that devil had done for me. That caused me to remember how he had taken all my burdens on himself all these years ago so I could stay safe. That caused me to remember everything about my past I had begged Abyss to make me forget.

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Strangely, when Ethan and Sneha came across Barry and Ro after awakening from the illusion, the thing that they decided to do was have a chat.

For some reason that none of them except Ethan understood, they didn’t wanted to throw any hostility against each other, other than what was already there.

Something like the two of them sharing information was quite the surprise for anyone seeing it but it was what had happened. And as they shared information, there came the topic of the war, obviously.

The strangest thing about this war was the fact that the Vampire Kingdom was completely dependent on its strategist. They were much weaker than the three factions they were up against, so they should have no chance in hell against The Dragon Alliance. But that’s wrong. The Vampire Kingdom believed their strategist, the one man who doesn’t even have any powers, can turn things around.

But, what about their enemies, especially The Ghost Nation? And that was when Barry told them their ace. Their army, hailed as the strongest force in the world, was made up of Spectres, artificially created ghosts. According to Barry, their leader Spectre Dyne was as powerful as Barry, which, in simple terms, was terrifying for everyone.

When this discussion finally broke up, Ethan accepted to let Barry and Ro go in the forest first. However, the reason he did so was because he had predicted that someone was coming to the island, someone from the Ghost Nation. What he didn’t predict is that they will send the leader of the Spectres, Dyne, and the strongest man in the world, Walter Schmidt, there.

While Dyne had a dark brown robe and a black cape with his face hidden beneath a golden helm and stood about as tall as Sneha, Walter was something else. From head-to-toe, this man just an inch taller than his partner was dressed in black, be it his jacket or trousers, they were all black. His face was at least visible and that, in complete contrast, was milky white. With deep-set hazel eyes and a rectangular face complimented by (again) black hair, he was quite a handsome person. No matter how you look at this man, he seemed to be perfect. Whether he was or not, even Ethan couldn’t tell because his Eyes of Truth, meant to never deceived, where unable to pick-up anything on him. That, in essence, was the true extent of his power. And two said their goal was, to end Barry.

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After my plan succeeded and the three of us got Barry and Ro as hostages for each other, we made them explain what was going on. I am sure the cowardly parts of us would have wished we didn’t do that, as the things we learned changed us completely

Sona’s revenge was misguided at the dragon; her pain was caused by Ozyllus.

My hatred was misguided at Barry; the reason for my pain was Ozyllus.

The dragon’s allegiance was misguided with Ozyllus, as the reason for his pain too was Ozyllus.

And so was true for Barry, whose sister had been attacked and turned into a vampire on Ozyllus’ order.

Our lives, till then, had played out just like he wanted. That was till then the case. It changed.

It changed when we were told to go inside the tomb by the Dragon as he, Barry and Ro held Walter and Dyne off.

I, Sona and that artificial little girl followed their advice and went inside the tomb, after joining up with Sneha, who had similar intentions.

At the time, the time-axis had changes its speed as a day was passing in a couple of hours.

Needless to say, we didn’t have a whole lot of time to do everything we were meant to do, but still, it was enough for us to find out that Ozyllus’ coffin was empty. That, soon after, led us to a black hole where we came face-to-face with the original owner of the Eyes of Truth, Sagax.

That man, his ghost at least, asked all three of us the same question, “What is your objective?”

The girl chose that she would die by the dragon’s side.

Sona chose that she would destroy Ozyllus and his plans.

I chose that I will bring justice to Abyss, basically, doing exactly what Sona would do.

I don’t clearly understand what the purpose of meeting Sagax was but it did help me gather my thoughts.

After that, I met Ethan Kales.

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Barry had shown Dyne an illusion of a future that was formed by Dyne’s own memories, and something in his memory showed a despaired figure of a man whose very name meant ‘hope’. Dyne saw that man standing among the corpses of all the Spectres … and Walter.

Dyne did not believe something like that was possible, but he felt the rage of the figure was somehow too real.

Even as he broke out of the illusion, he had to keep convincing himself that what he saw could never be possible. By the time he had defeated Barry, Walter had defeated the other two.

Barry knew what would come next and he accepted it without resisting. He accepted having his existence ended.

And since that was over, the only thing left for Dyne and Walter to do was bring Kais on their side.

*******************************

Ethan heard everything that had happened from Sneha. He heard about how Sneha found the girl, at death’s door, and gave her a name before she died, that name being Lilly.

He then met Sona and heard everything that happened with her. And so, by the time he came across Kais, he knew what would have happened.

In the talk they had at the moment, the two men confirmed their intentions were the same.

“To bring justice to Abyss by destroying Ozyllus completely.”

It wasn’t something that’d be easy to do, but that didn’t matter to either of the two, or even Sona.

What mattered to them, however, was to defy the request/order they were going to get to join The Ghost Nation.

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Defying that order did pose a problem, it was the fact that they will have to fight against possibly the two most powerful people on the island.

Even Kais, Sona and Sneha, as talented as they were in their own fields, could not defeat Spectre Dyne on their own, much less Walter Schmidt.

Fortunately for them, they weren’t the only ones who constituted ‘the third faction’ of this war. There was also Ethan Kales.

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Ethan, while his three comrades went outside the tomb, decided to stay back. Why? That’s because he needed to tell his predecessor something. So when faced with him, he came out with it,

“You are weak, incapable and your losses mean nothing.”

He said to Sagax and even though the original owner of Eyes of Truth tried to defy him, the current owner of Eyes of Truth made it certain that it was definitely the case. He did all that just to tell him,

“Since you are weaker than me, even if you failed, it doesn’t mean I will. So, now that you know there might be a chance of success still left, you can rest in peace.”

Ethan said as he left the tomb.

*******************************

When Ethan finally stepped out of the tomb, he saw the strongest and second-strongest person on the island defeated by his comrades. He understood from that, his plan had succeeded.

And so, as the evening came and the dragon’s time on earth was about to end, the four members of the third faction who were to carry his will had a final talk with him, for which, the two from The Ghost Nation respectfully let them be as they conversed with Ro.

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Dyne: “You are a ghost, Ro. You obviously should be aligned with us.”

Even though Dyne says so in a calm tone, Ro’s reply comes in an agitated voice.

Ro: “At this point, I don’t know who I am aligned with.”

Ro remembers the hostility he felt in the Vampire Kingdom, but now that he has gotten a better picture of how desperate their situation is, he understands that the hostility they showed him was justified. Can he truly ignore everything he saw back then, even the sentiments of people as kind as Valdis and as loyal as Reid? Can he really do that?

Ro: “hah!”

He sighs.

Ro: “I really don’t have any idea of who I should align with. All the factions sound equally dangerous to someone like me who had little idea of how things were just a few days ago.”

He says in a reminiscing voice as he look at the night sky … which reminds him of something important.

Dyne: “What’s wrong?”

Dyne looks at the face of the ghost in front of him that showed confusion, and so he asks but,

Ro: “Nothing.”

He looks down and says nothing in reply to Dyne. The thing that he has remembered can even be inconsequential, but it still bothers him.

On the night he was killed, he had sent a text message asking for help to a friend, just so he could be safe. That ‘friend’ didn’t arrive in time to save him, but he probably would have arrived at some point and found out that Ro had died.

Ro: “Okay, I think I know what I should do.”

Ro needs to find that friend of his before things get bad, for which though, he might already be too late.

Ro: “I need to find someone quickly. So,”

Even so, he states his goal clearly.

Ro: “I’d need to join up with the third faction now.”

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