As he gazed at the terrifying view that came into his sight, Vidio thought back to what it felt like to be within Cori's arms. Nothing that could let him feel any safer. The future Master felt his body freeze immediately. He expected to wind up in a common Dungeon bustling with low-level regular monsters. However, he was now standing in front of an endless wasteland which stretched for several kilometers. The Quest would seem to have far exceeded his expectations.
At first, Vidio thought he'd better protect himself from the Dungeon monsters and Beritius' hit men. Nothing too unusual really. Though, what lay before his eyes was beyond any imagination.
An enormous dead body covered in a black scaly armor. It was several meters tall. A gigantic shield lay in his right hand. In the left was a broken sword.
Vidio's muscles contracted. He couldn't take a single step forward. Given the Aura exuded by the body once dead, that creature must have been some extraordinary being. Vidio had already seen Immortals in his life, but none of them would exude such a terrifying natural pressure.
The being Vidio was standing before was far stronger than any member of the Mana Congregation, and anyone in the Capital even. It might as well be stronger than any living being on that planet.
As he was deep in thought, Vidio heard a voice resound around him like a thunder. "Don't step too close, little one. What's left of my Aura could kill you." It was a clear lively voice, as if the speaker was talking through laughs. Quite a striking contrast with the spooky surroundings.
Vidio began to sweat. He slightly bent down, his hands cupped: "I pay my respects." Despite the arrogance of his young age, Vidio knew how to hold back.
"Hahahaha! No need, really. I've long been dead. This you're hearing is just some leftovers of my Soul, that got stuck to my body. You don't need to worry. Just don't come too close, or you'll risk being crashed by the excessive pressure."
As the voice spread out through the floor, Vidio felt a shiver down his spine. A dead body's pressure could kill? Seriously? Wasn't that something that only occurred in tales? It was indeed true that Auras exuded a pressure which, if used properly and given a fair Phase gap, could injure or - under extreme circumstances - kill someone. Though, he had never heard of a Soul that could kill even once reached a quiescence state.
"Yeah, yeah, I know. But since I've died I have had no control on my Aura. Luckily, I've been fairly severely mutilated, so time has helped wear my Aura down. Or otherwise, I'd be as dead as a doornail myself! Hahahah!" The giant was quite lacking in humor.
"May I ask who you are, honorable ancestor?" asked Vidio, as much respectful as he could.
The Dungeon walls suddenly trembled, as if the whole world was about to crack open. It only lasted a few instants, which however were more than enough to scare the crap out of Vidio.
A whitish translucent soul materialized over the dead body. It had the same facial features as the giant. The soul was sitting cross-legged. One palm lay on his knee, slightly forward. The other one held a pumpkin water bag.
A kind smile hung on the giant's face. Despite his Aura and body size, that did arouse quite a fright in him, the giant wouldn't seem wicked nor dangerous. Vidio thought it best to let down the guard. After all, if the giant had wanted him dead, he would have already been turned into dust.
And honestly, Vidio was growing somehow fond of that kind venerable giant.
"But first, tell me what turns of fate have brought you here, little one. This Dungeon would be a hard task for someone in the Second Phase. Your Aura though is not one of the common type, which suggests you're pretty talented. Well, who knows, maybe you'll make it. Something though makes me think you didn't wind up here searching for Demon Mallow, did you?" The giant blinked and took a sip from his pumpkin water bag.
Vidio took notice of the water bag surface. It was engraved with some strange patterns. He was afraid to sound too disrespectful though, so he didn't bring it up and resolved to just answer his question.
"It's Quest that brought me here, actually. Well, more like someone is trying to do away with me…" Vidio began to unfold the story of why he had stumbled on the Dungeon. He spared no details. After all, he was chatting with a superior creature who, most likely, would detect any lie. Vidio wasn't sure about how the giant would react. At the end of the day, he cared pretty much for that plebeian skin of his.
As Vidio talked passionately about the string of events that had turned his fate upside down, the giant would raise an eyebrow, burst into laughter, be moved to tears. An endless flow of emotions flashed on his face sequentially. For how strange it may seem, that giant looked extremely compelled by Vidio's storytelling.
Helial wondered how could such a creature take interest in a common mortal like Vidio. As he pondered, he suddenly caught sight of a movement out of the corner of his eye. The Devil had just materialized beside him. It was the weirdest feeling when the Devil stood physically by his side, outside his Soul. Especially when he wore such a contrite expression on his face. All of his attention was drawn to the giant.
When the story ended, the giant said: "Well, my little friend, my turn. My name is…"
"Perion," the Devil whispered.
"... and I once was a warrior. I chose not to let my Soul dissolve. Once at my level, I can live as a Soul eternally. It's quite painful actually, but I'm finding my ways to give back to the world all of what I've had in life. Quite a few privileges, I must say."
Vidio furrowed his eyebrows. "And how would you do that, if I may…?"
"Sure you may, since this is exactly what I got down to!" the giant said through laughs. "Until my Soul extinguishes once and for all, I will hand down the story of the greatest man whose footsteps echoed through this universe. A man who accomplished deeds as no other person has ever had."
Vidio slowly nodded. His Soul was seething, as if by some sort of prediction.
"Destiny clutched him in the fiercest grip. But not once did he step back nor fall into despair. His blood was shed, and yet his soul remained untamed. For how winding was the road, for how much suffering his choices would bring, he was the ultimate master of his destiny, the very captain of his unconquered soul…"
Here comes a string of wildly beautiful chapters. *cries*
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