Alex had been sitting there inside his soul for quite a while now contemplating what to do about this orb. He suspected that if he willed it to consume more mana that it would and that in doing so the runes would be able to fully complete. ‘But what would it do then? It had been labeled as a tool of the Architect so I really doubt it’s designed to kill me after I managed to pass the tests to obtain it but I don’t really have any idea of its true purpose either.’
‘Hmm well, I should go over all the pros and cons once more at least.’ He thought to himself and made a sort of mental list.
Pros: Possible weapon, possibly get the orb back in the real world again (to do what? study?), maybe it will strengthen my mana pool somehow after stressing it
Cons: Could kill me, could explode inside my soul, could do any number of bad things
BONUS PRO: Will sate my curiosity either way
‘Welp so far following my gut has worked out pretty well with all this craziness going on. Every time I try to sense the orb I don’t get any bad feelings, only good ones, so let’s get this show on the road!’ He thought to himself with conviction.
Alex floated back over to the orb and gently put his hands on it. The orb felt warm and solid but yet like there was a film around it that could be broken. ‘It’s now or never.’ He thought with determination and began pushing mana into the orb. As soon as he did the runes lit up brighter and now that he knew was to pay attention to he saw the missing sections begin to fill at a trickle.
‘I need more!’ He thought before pushing a veritable raging river of mana into the orb. Being that he wasn’t manifesting the mana outside his body like in the real world or transforming it into anything, just raw mana manipulation, he was doing pretty good despite the massive amount. ‘The lines are filling much faster but I already feel the effects of using too much mana. It’s faint, but growing.’ He pondered as he stopped for a moment to see how the lines had changed.
“What!” He shouted aloud when he saw that the runes that had filled in were slowly darkening again while the parts lit before stayed lit. ‘So it needs a constant source in order to fully light those? I wonder if it will shut down again as soon as I stop if I force a large amount in all at once…’
He once again placed both hands on the orb and mentally prepared himself for some pain. ‘GO!’ He screamed both mentally and physically as he willed his entire ocean of mana to hit the orb at once. For a split second, he saw all of the runes light up finally before a giant crack split down the center of the orb. The next second his world was pain and Alex saw no more.
“Ah! Ha..ha…ha…….” He breathed heavily as the pain receded while he sat up in bed. After the orb had cracked the pain had made him wake back up it seemed. ‘What the hell happened there?’ He asked himself as he began meditating to try to see what had changed within his soul.
!!! “WHAT IN THE!” He screamed and fell off his bed in a panic as he jolted out of his meditation. “Ow!” He exclaimed when his fall was broken by an elbow on the hard floor. Suddenly his door flew open and Jeod jumped in looking slightly panicked.
“What happened? Are you alright Alex?” Jeod asked with a concerned voice.
“I… I’m not sure, honestly,” Alex replied in a shaky voice while staring down at his hands. “There was one part of my story I did not tell you about, but with your wide knowledge maybe its time I do so.” He said slowly.
Jeod raised one eyebrow in suspicion. “I can’t exactly help you with your powers if I don’t know all the details Alex. You know that.”
“Well, it’s not exactly part of the magic, just related to it in a way.” He responded sheepishly.
Jeod sighed heavily. “Let’s move to the living room and settle into some comfy chairs and you can explain what you need to explain and I will help the best I can.”
“Yes, sir.” Alex responded and followed him downstairs where they both took up posts on comfy looking cushioned armchairs.
Both settled in, Jeod looked Alex in the eyes and asked: “Now what is this other problem and what happened this morning?”
As Alex began the retelling of the orb dubbed one of the true tools of the Architect, of it being made of solid white mithril and engraved finer than anything he had seen, Jeod’s eyes lit up more and more. By the end of the tale, ending with the events of last night, his knuckles were turning white from gripping his armchair so tight and he was in danger of falling out of his seat from sitting so far off the edge.
“Amazing! Oh, what I would give to study that orb! Such a shame it vanished from the physical world when it merged with you. Shame shame shame….” Jeod muttered quietly and shook his head side to side. Then his head shot up to stare at Alex again with a mixture of worry and excitement on his face. “But so what had you in such a panic this morning? What did you see after looking again while awake?”
Alex took a deep breath. In, and out. In, and out. “I saw…. A girl.” He said simply.
Jeod cocked his head to the side with a confused look. “Could you elaborate? You said you saw a girl? Surely that reaction was a bit much for a simple wet dream Alex. It happens to all of us from time to time.”
Alex’s face lit up beet red. “It wasn’t a wet dream Jeod!” He shot back defensively. “The orb is no more and there are no shards or remnants. Instead, floating curled up in a ball right above where the orb used to be, sits a young woman or something resembling one. A single tendril of mana flows upwards from the ocean and is connected to the back of her, its, whatever’s, neck, supplying her with the energy she needs to live I assume.” He explained, his response getting quicker the longer it went on and a tinge of panic becoming audible in his voice.
Jeod’s face was an interesting combination of emotions at the moment. Excitement, worry, confusion and more all fought for dominance. Everything this boy did or was a part of made history! If he kept assisting him along his path they would both be a force that helped to change the world itself for sure.
“Calm down Alex. The situation is… unique, but panic will not help you.” Jeod tried to sound reassuring. It wasn’t exactly his strong suit, being a recluse and a scholar, but it’s the thought that counts. “Wait right here while I go fetch something that might help out a bit.” He said before getting up and walking out of the room.
He came back moments later with a copper cup holding some sort of odd concoction and a few unidentified pills that also looked hand made. “What is this stuff?” Alex asked with trepidation. That green concoction in the cup didn’t look the most appetizing.
Jeod smiled knowingly. None of his potions looked or tasted appetizing but they got the job done. “The cup is a special brew that will temporarily heighten the strength of your soul in case whatever that is inside you starts trying to do any damage. It will only last a few hours however and the effects dimmish with every repeated use, so that is where the pills come in.”
Jeod smiled here, knowing what kind of face Alex was about to pull. “They will knock you out quite quickly and keep you down for a while so that you can go back in there and do whatever needs to be done about this girl or thing as quickly as possible. This is not something we have the ability or time to study and it needs to be sorted out fast before it or she does anything bad.” Jeod concluded.
Alex took the cup and pills and in one swift motion tossed the pills into his mouth and downed them with the potion. “Gurgh!” He half choked half heaved as the liquid went down. ‘This is the worst thing I have ever tasted!’ He thought to himself. Next to him Jeod grinned and handed him a glass of water he had been hiding behind his back. “Thanks…” Alex mumbled as he swished the water around to rid himself of that horrible taste.