For a while, Azeal tried his best to get that final glimpse he thirsted for. To see the beauty, unmatched. But, he was unsuccessful in his attempt. She would never appear again in his sight, only a forgotten memory filled with cracks; nowhere near the mosaic, it should have been. Unworthy of who it portrayed. Saddened by this, he felt himself fall into a dangerous state. One of sadness and hopelessness.
But as he noticed it, Azeal quickly nipped the emotions at there buds. His Raug emotional limiter that had been forcefully turned off due to the instability his Blind Emotion skill caused helped him overcome this horrific feeling; all without his knowledge. Not finding it odd that he could suddenly pass the massive grief that had grasped his heart, he continued on to his inner look into mana.
He hardening his eyes, imagining himself the death he had been. The world steadily darkened as his eyelids closed. He, unhurried in his attempt, was determined to feel it all. To explore the familiar feeling of Mana that had been called by the weird personality shift. He wanted to feel the burning fire that had coursed in his veins. Giving him energy beyond his wildest dreams. And glimpses at power only for those purely made of it; glimpses of Surt’s domain.
He wanted to feel the darkness that had inhabited his heart, mind, and eyes. Speaking to him of injustices that had been done in its name. Wishing to be rid of those that would sully its existence. For the darkness was not meant for the thieves and assassins, but a resting place for those of justice.
And lastly, he wanted the earth that stood under him, a throne ever so large, to remain. So that he may mold them to his wishes, and they to beg for release from their comfortable fold. To be his pillar in a meteoric rise.
Slowly, as he meditated, three swirling masses each equidistant from the other appeared in the darkness of his closed eyelids. Each one individual in its make. Bright and chaotic they span, attempting to grab his attention. But also orderly in their light, defined by what they were meant to be. The farthest to the right was a bright red that glowed strongest of them, yet its swirling mass middling in size. As he focused on it, a sudden burning sensation assaulted him. A pure fire grabbing his mind, attempting to do what it was created to do. To destroy those that thought themselves capable of handling its might.
Forcing himself away from the fire, he almost lost his ultra meditative state. But somehow retained it at the end. Much more cautiously, he approached the one in the middle. It was difficult to understand, its make so unusual. It was a ball of darkness wholly surrounded by a thin layer of light. Its size was the smallest of them all. It caused Azeal to question its existence, to ask why would it be there. To question why he was there. Why should he ever leave? Who made those out their worthy of him? Why would they -
Gasping as he turned his eyes away, Azeal finally noticed its most subtle effect. It was not overtly apparent like the fire. No, it came slowly and without your notice. Taking you out before you ever had a chance to defend yourself.
This time, when he looked towards the brown and glossy silvers of the last mass of confusion, he was astonished by the vast difference in size. It was massive compared to the others. Making it seem far more potent than it should have been. Azeal tried to merely watch it from his peripheral vision, but how does one not stare at a mountain when they stood at its feet? He felt like a bug next to a wall of stone and metal that extended beyond the grasp of even his enhanced sights. But as suddenly as he lost himself in its sheer size, it pushed him away.
It seemed to attempt to force him away, demanding, with a resounding ‘Dong’ that left no bickering, that he goes. That he escapes what was yet to come. Just as his mind was pushed farther than the swirling mass could take him, he looked back at the others, to find them pulsing in fear. Begging him to leave. To get away from whatever existed in the darkness.
But, Azeal was ignorant of it all. Oblivious to the dangers that lurked in his Affinity Realm. A place no mortal was meant to see. But unfortunately for him, the combination of his Blind Emotion and the sudden activation of his emotional limiter left open a crack he mistakenly entered. The only good thing, nothing could leave it other than him.
As he watched them repeat their cry over and over again, it finally struck him. “I need to leave!” he called to himself. Hoping the vocalized words would help him separate from this realm he did not understand.
Slowly the colors dimmed as he felt himself exit it completely, but without warning a tendril, of every color imaginable and even those that are not, latched on to him. Grabbing him desperately, so he never leaves, then dragging him back into its embrace.
A broken voice called, crazed beyond what Azeal could conceive. The laughter continued, echoing in the dark realm. Happy it had caught prey within its barren world.
FiNaLLy! SomeThInG To DEvOuR! SomeThInG My B… BLinDnEss cAn FeAsT UpOn!
The insane thing shrieked more than spoke. Its glee obvious even to those deaf, having heard no words. Azeal was afraid, more than ever before. He felt useless in front of whatever this was. Fighting his best to get away from the darkness, he wanted to leave. To get away and never return.
Slowly, as though a source of light had appeared, the being became visible to him. And what stood there shook him to the core. An exact copy of himself was standing there, but with a small difference and a face without blood, completely pale. As though death had touched upon it. His horns were chipped away, instead of the refined and sharp ones he had. The metal that covered the abomination was duller and cracked as well.
It was then that he understood what was before him. The sudden change in personality, his desire to destroy and kill, the coldness he had when he slew those bandits or when he crucified the bodyguard. It all clicked together, for what stood before him was the evil of his heart, made into physical form. The thing that took control of his being when he felt the greatest emotions.
This all made him struggle all the harder, to get away and remain in denial. This was not him! It should not exist! He would never rationalize an innocent death! This shouldn’t be him! Azeal fought and fought, but the more he did so the clearer the fate, that was his, became. Alone in this realm, he would not escape. He would not get away from this thing.
There were only three other existences here other than the two, and they were powerful in their own right. Individually they might be weak in comparison to this creature, but the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. With determination unrelenting, Azeal reached out to the pure clusters of mana. He reached out to earth, fire, and darkness, and then pulled with all his might.
They answered his call, rushing towards him until they collided at the center of the magnetic force. Hitting Azeal and the tendril that had slowly pulled him towards the abomination. He watched as the tendril broke, while he gritted his teeth in absolute pain, though it had been dulled through the emotional limiter without his knowing. The pure mana of three affinities coursed through him, opening his pathways forcefully. Each finding those that matched them, the fire burning in his arms, the earth all over his thighs and core, while the darkness spread like poison in his chest.
Finding the sudden freedom, Azeal ran with all his might. Forgetting the pain and the affinities all together to escape. In the final moments, he looked back to see if it had followed, only to find it standing there content. But frighteningly, a smile crept on its face showing the most significant difference between them clear. Fangs were quite apparent in the hideous smile it had.
I WiLl HaVE My FeAst OnE DaY! THaT Is AsSurED!
It spoke in the shriek it had made Azeal all too familiar with, but he did not truly hear the words only the echoes that rang into his mind. For a single thing occupied his thought, a myth that should not exist.