Chapter 25: The Continuing Deceptions

Sneha: “If the dragon is trying to do something like that, we need to stop wasting time.”

She says as she looks at Ethan with a face of panic, but sees him only smiling like usual.

Ethan: “Well, don’t worry. I knew he wasn’t really here since the start. If there was a need to go after him, I would have told you as soon as you woke up.”

He says in a casual manner. Barry looks at him with narrowed, suspicious eyes.

Ethan: “What?”

Barry: “I don’t understand how this is not a cause of concern for you.”

Ethan: “Well, do I have any need to tell you? I don’t think I do.”

Barry sighs.

Barry: “Yeah, that’s fair.”

Sneha: “But what exactly do you mean?”

Ethan: “Hey now, don’t get violent, I’ll tell you, okay?”

He says as he sees Sneha glaring at him with hostile intent while clenching her fists. A punch from an Aural could potentially knock him unconscious and that’s a thing he can’t be okay with at this moment.

Ethan: “The dragon is trying to deceive us and also has sent that little girl watch us so he could safely get a head start in catching up to Kais.”

Sneha: “Do you have some proof of this exactly being his reason?”

Ethan: “Yeah, I do.”

Sneha: “And what is it?”

Ethan: “The fact that the girl is spying on us right now.”

Sneha: “Huh!?”

Barry: “Huh!?”

Sneha and Barry remain speechless for a moment before the both of them sigh.

Barry: “So she is hearing all of this, right?”

Ethan: “Yeah.”

Sneha: “So now he knows his bluff is up. What will he do next?”

She says turning her attention to Ethan as he tries to think for a moment.

Ethan: “Well, for whatever reason, he wants to get to Kais before any of us do so I assume he’d be doing just that, maybe with a little faster pace.”

He looks at Barry asking for confirmation on his reasoning.

Barry: “I can’t really think of any reason why he’d need to get to Kais. In fact, he’d probably need to send you to him.”

There is a job he is bound to that Barry knows about. And in order to do that job, he’d need to break Kais’ mind. He’d need to stay true to Ozyllus’ orders and let the man with Eyes of Truth clash with him. But for some reason, he’s not doing that.

Ethan: “Whatever the case maybe be,”

He sighs.

Ethan: “he only has four days left to live. Actually, since it’s almost night-time; three and a half days left to live.”

Barry: “Yeah, about that – there was a prophecy or something you did that the island would be destroyed when he dies. What is that?”

Barry asks with his hands folded. Ethan has no reason to not answer the question – other than that he would be giving valuable information to an enemy.

Ethan: “Well, let’s see. I wouldn’t really call it a prophecy, but a cold calculation.”

Ethan says in a serious tone which is rare for him, to say the least.

Sneha: “Oh?”

Sneha asks as she narrows his eyes.

Ethan: “Something wrong?”

Sneha: “You say it is a cold calculation, but is that all it is?”

Both men look at her curiously.

Sneha: “If it is a cold calculation, then just how did you ‘calculate’ it?”

Ethan smiles as he sees the suspicious look on her face.

Ethan: “Well, I would say gathering the information needed to ‘calculate’ it was very hard. But I guess ‘calculating’ it wasn’t.”

Sneha: “And that’s your answer?”

Ethan: “Yeah, it is.”

Barry: “Okay, I’m lost.”

Ethan: “Aren’t you someone I shouldn’t give any detrimental information to?”

Ethan says as his eyes turn towards Barry. Barry smiles as he asks,

Barry: “So you are telling me this information is detrimental to you? Well, that’s something.”

Ethan bursts out laughing as he hears that.

Barry: “What’s wrong now?”

Ethan: “Nothing, nothing at all. I was just … thinking … you guys are really fun to talk to.”

Sneha and Barry glance at each other both asking the same question, “what twisted sort of fun is that?”

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

Dragon: “Well, he called my bluff, huh? But I would expect at least that much from that Ethan Kales. ”

The dragon says as he leans by a tree to rest his body. He had sent out the little girl controlling her to spy on them as soon as he got a little away from the beach. Now he is almost at the half-way-point between the tomb and the beach.

Dragon: “Since Sona left that place a while ago and didn’t pass through here till now, that probably means she turned to a different direction for whatever reason.”

And due to her taking a different direction, the dragon has no idea that she met Kais and that the both of them had actually known each other from their childhood.

Dragon: “Either way, I think she should be able to summon any spirit she wants right now. But I doubt she would have made another contract with anything as powerful as Death.”

Having two of those ridiculously powerful spirits would be to her detriment. They would only try to compete with each other rather than trying to fulfill the role she gives them.

Dragon: “Yeah, two spirits on that level is not something ordinary humans can control.”

By ordinary humans, he means all humans. There is no one in the world that is so powerful that the dragon would consider them special. Maybe this is because he ends up comparing all of them to Ozyllus and they all end up lacking in one way or another in that comparison. But regardless, there is no one who would be able to handle two high-class spirits like Death at the same time.

Dragon: “So now the only thing that’s left for me to do is to see that she is not able to escape.”

If she escapes from the island, she will be able to form a contract with another spirit. And seeing how she wants to kill him within the short time he has left to live, she might end up doing the same thing she did last time. It’s not that any spirit would be capable of killing the dragon but it will be an annoyance if she keeps bringing spirits to attack him.

Dragon: “Well, if I am correct, because she is a spirit-user, she should be capable of leaving the island by a means no other type of person would be able to use.”

In which case, since the dragon also knows what that means is,

Dragon: “What I need to do is to first of all; block that path before she gets a chance to use it.”

And so, deciding on how he would proceed, this dragon whose actions don’t make sense to anyone else on the island takes his next step.

Dragon: “And I also need to let that kid come to know about everything I’ve been hiding so far.”

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

Kais: “I … see. So when you said the man who ruled over this island, you meant –”

Fish: “Yeah, I meant Ozyllus”

She says with an annoyed voice asking as is asking, ‘wasn’t that obvious?’

Kais: “I-I see. If that’s case, then this pond in itself wouldn’t just be a mere pond either.”

Supernatural energies work much like air. They need to be constantly recycled by a process similar to respiration. So, in order for the fish to keep harnessing psychic energy, the pond needed to keep recycling that energy. This is necessary because while there’s a lot of psychic energy on the island, this fish won’t be able to consume it from air. She will need it to be present within water.

Fish: “Well, duh.”

I sigh. She is being a little irritating to be honest but I need to put up with it.

Kais: “So, exactly how does this pond keep recycling the psychic energy?”

The golden fish stays silent for a while making me anxious over what she may say next. And then, as if to mock all my worries,

Fish: “I don’t know.”

Kais: “Huh?”

Fish: “I said I don’t know. I can’t know every single thing you know.”

Kais: “You are telling me you have been here for a thousand years and you still don’t know how your pond works.”

Fish: “Yeah, so what? I am not some genius in how these things work.”

Kais: “Right, sorry, forgive me.”

I forgot you are just a fish after all.

Fish: “Hey, I don’t like the expression you are making right now. Stop pitying me.”

It says in a violent tone.

Kais: “Yeah well, all that aside,”

Fish: “What do you mean ‘aside’? Do you know how much older I am to you? You need to start respecting me, kid.”

I try to act like I didn’t hear any of that, partly to annoy her back for earlier and partly because there is a more important question in my mind right now.

Kais: “You said you are an archive, right?”

The fish didn’t respond immediately. She really is pissed that I didn’t pay her words any mind, isn’t she? But finally,

Fish: “Listen – just because I am an archive doesn’t mean I know everything that is stored in my brain.”

She seems to have understood what I was getting at, but

Kais: “That kinda sounds illogical.”

Fish: “What? There’s nothing illogical about that. Does a librarian have all the books in the library in his mind?”

Kais: “Some really good ones do actually.”

Fish: “Tch!”

Actually, I have no idea if that’s the case or not, but I just wanted to annoy her a little more.

Kais: “Anyway, so you are telling me that the knowledge stored in your brain can be accessed to find things out but you yourself don’t know all of it.”

Fish: “Exactly!”

She is sounding really annoyed. I shouldn’t tread any further on this path or ‘negotiations’ may break down.

Kais: “Well, so can you tell me how I can access that information.”

-Because that is exactly why I came here in the first place.

I figured that if Barry wants me to not remember about my demonic side coming out on the island and Ozyllus also tried to not let me remember that he invaded my consciousness, then there is surely something in my own memory that can cause them harm.

That being the case, why exactly would they be so worried about me learning/remembering something about the demonic side, it should be beneficial to them. Anybody should be able to understand that I would want to keep that side at bay myself and so it would only benefit them if I were to learn about it. After all, none of them want my demonic side to take over so why would they try to not push me in the direction where they have better chances of their wishes being granted.

The only explanation I can think of is that after learning something about that demon, I may become inclined to let it out. And regardless of whether I do so or not, I need to know what that piece of information is.

Since going in the tomb once again would be leaving things to chance as there’s no guarantee if I’ll learn anything or not, the only other place I could try to check was this inconsistency in the story – the pond. And that brought me here.

Fish: “Well, if you want to access that information, you will need to access it using spiritual energy.”

Kais: “I see. Wait! Spiritual energy? Not psychic?”

Fish: “Yes, you heard me right.”

But what does it have anything to do with spiritual energy. Do those two types of energy have a relation to each other I am unaware of? Because as far as I know, they are two completely different vectors with the only similarity being that they both concentrate on a person that has affinity to them (psychics for psychic energy and spirit-users for spiritual energy).

Fish: “What’s the problem?”

Kais: “Huh?”

Fish: “You went silent all of a sudden, is this really that big of an issue?”

Kais: “Well,”

It’s hard to say if it’s a big issue or not.

Fish: “From what I can tell, there is a spirit-user on the island, so it shouldn’t be that hard.”

I sigh. There’s no point in trying to explain things to this fish.

Kais: “Well, I’ll try to convince her.”

We just aren’t on the best footing but it’s not like we have any reason to be against each other either. At least I don’t think there is any reason for that.

Fish: “Wait!”

Kais: “Huh, what?”

Fish: “There’s a distortion … in the energy around you.”

Distortion? If there’s a distortion in the psychic energy around me, does that mean there’s something that energy is directed towards?

Fish: “Is there a reason for this energy to concentrate so heavily on you suddenly?”

Kais: “Well, when exactly did this change occur?”

Fish: “When I mentioned there’s a spirit-user on the island.”

I see. At that moment, my mind immediately thought of Sona. So did that cause a distortion to occur?

Fish: “And why the heck are you smiling now?”

I didn’t even notice until she said it but I really I am smiling.

Kais: “Well, it’s just that now I have a theory that may help me progress a lot faster than I initially would have.”

If I am right, then this distortion is happening because the abilities used to lock up my memories in the depths of my own conscious or subconscious were all psychic abilities. Maybe when I accidently think something that may trigger those memories, this distortion occurs.

Let’s say I see a unique bird I had seen many years ago. I don’t remember I had seen it because that memory has been locked along with others. But now that I am seeing it again and thinking like ‘I have never seen something like this before’, maybe that triggers my memories because that is a point where those memories would get connected to my thoughts and remind me that I had seen it. But now that they are sealed, all they can do is try to break the psychic barrier that is placed upon them. Since the barrier will slowly lose some of its energy, the energy balance with its surrounding will get distorted. The barrier would slowly regain the energy as my thoughts would shift to something else and the memories will stop being triggered.

Obviously this is just a theory but I’d buy it. And if it’s true, there is something about Sona that I have forgotten. In that case, I need to take a chance here and act like I remember. If this bluff works and (fingers crossed) we had a friendly relationship in the past, she might be willing to help me for the past’s sake.

I don’t even realize how this theory so easily fell in my lap. It is as if I had known all this too at some point, even if only for a moment. I am automatically walking towards it. But I didn’t realize, because I had no memory of coming to know everything when Ozyllus invaded The Cage.  Just like I didn’t realize how I so conveniently started thinking that Sona and me were similar in that we were being controlled by others. I didn’t realize … just how much someone inside me is helping me.

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

Ro wakes up and sees an odd scene – Ethan, Sneha and Barry calmly talking to each other.

Ro: “What the-”

Barry: “Oh, so you are up.”

The trio spots him and makes different expressions on seeing him. Barry’s expression remains simple and unchanging while Ethan smiles and Sneha looks uncomfortable as if the guilt in being a part of his murder is creeping up on her.

Ethan: “Well then, I guess you guys would want to clear up all the misunderstandings we have with each other and set things straight, right?”

Ethan is referring to the fact that they all had a very confusing conversation the last time with an abrupt end to it when the dragon and Kais came there. Now that it’s back to the four of them, they should continue the conversation – is what he is saying.

Barry: “That doesn’t sound very bad, would do you say?”

He looks at Ro who has grasped the situation with the little time he got after waking up. The few habits he had as a Vermillion agent helped him in doing so.

Ro: “I am fine with the idea.”

Ethan glances at Sneha to see her showing no objections either. So,

Ethan: “Well then, what were we talking about again?”

Barry: “I think you had told us that you have ‘Eyes of Truth’ and that’s how you were able to see through the invisibility we were trying to create around our jet.”

Ro: “Yeah, I am pretty sure that conversation was over.”

Sneha sighs.

Sneha: “It doesn’t really matter what we were talking about, because we weren’t really talking. All three of us were just asking and you were being snarky.”

Ethan: “Uh … that’s a little too true.”

Ethan frowns on hearing her words.

Barry: “Yeah, that does sound like what was going on.”

Ethan: “I guess. But anyway, isn’t there anything you people want to ask me or something? I mean a lot of things, okay not a lot, but a few things have happened since then.”

Ro: “Huh?”

Ethan: “Yeah, I mean – we now know there’s a normal human, a spirit-user, a psychic, a dragon, a spiritual mass of energy, an Aural, a ghost and a half-psychic-half-ghost on this island.”

An awkward silence falls upon them as Ethan finishes.

Ethan: “Huh! It’s almost as if there’s a rule against two of the same kind being here.”

Barry: “Yeah, that is somewhat unsettling.”

Barry says as he looks at the ground while thinking about it.

Ethan: “Well furthermore, I think we have top products of every type, don’t we?”

Ro: “Could you do me a favor and not refer to living beings as products?”

He says as the scene of vampires looking at him hungrily as if he is a food product flashes through his mind.

Ethan: “But not all of us are living being either, right?”

He says sarcastically.

Barry: “Yeah, yeah, that aside, what exactly did you mean by top products?”

-To which one of the two not-living-beings replies with a question.

Ethan: “Well, in case you didn’t know, Sneha here is one of the most talented Aurals and I would consider myself a very talented human being, I mean, who else has gone up against you guys without any special offensive and defensive abilities.”

Barry: “True enough, I guess.”

The last part is said by Barry intentionally to make Ethan’s boasting sound unimpressive.

Ethan: “Anyway, that woman Sona came to kill the dragon, so she definitely has a few cards up her spirit-summoning sleeve.”

No one objects.

Ethan: “Everyone here knows Kais is ridiculously talented. The dragon is someone who befriended Ozyllus so obviously he is special even among other dragons. Well, Barry’s probably the strongest ghost out there because of his psychic and all. Ro’s someone who knows a lot about psychic and can definitely really use that info as a ghost.”

Barry sighs.

Barry: “I agree with most of the points, but there’s one thing you said that might not be correct.”

Sneha: “What’s that?”

The other three look at Barry who had folded his hands as he looked like he is pondering something.

Barry: “Well, let’s just say there’s a ghost out of there who might be stronger than me. The last time we fought, neither ended up on top.”

None of them say anything.

Barry: “He is a Spectre.”

Ro takes a glance at Ethan and Sneha. From their expressions, he could tell they knew what a ‘Spectre’ is? So he would need to ask Barry later to find out.

Barry: “And … his name, if you wanna know, is Dyne.”

As soon as Sneha hears that, her eyes widen in surprise.

Ethan: “What’s wrong? You know who this Dyne guy is?”

She doesn’t say anything for a while as she looks troubled while remembering something. But after a brief moment of silence,

Sneha: “Yeah, I do.”

Ethan narrows his eyes as he doesn’t understand why she took this much time in saying that.

Barry: “I suppose it’s only natural for an Aural to know. After all, he is …”

All eyes focus on Barry.

Barry: “The commander of the army of ghosts.”

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

Author’s Notes:

Spectres are related to ghosts and will be explained upon further down the line. In case anyone’s wondering why Sneha would know about Spectres when she didn’t knew about ghosts? (Just a question I thought may occur to some)

She had heard legends surrounding ghosts and Spectres were an integral part of it. What she didn’t actually know was that they are not just legends and actually exist. When she came to know that ghosts are real, she understood that Spectres probably exist too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *