finishing placing the three bodies side by side to each other, I finally felt clarity and peace return to my mind as I experienced this unique sensation once more. Putting off that experience for a minute, I began to think about the strange feeling that was to ‘suck’ a soul out of someone, as I let my fingers trail to my lips and began to think back on the experience.
Unlike what might often times appear in other stories, I could not find any taste to souls. Instead, the only ‘pleasurable’ feeling from the action was the increment to my power that I could feel, as I fully devoured someone else's soul. Unlike previously, where I would absorb a soul from the body of a dead person, I could now directly take it from them at a greater efficiency.
With my [Soul Devourer] ability rising to tier 4, I was now able to tell that the method I was using previously, and that Ailya is currently using, to gather souls and along with them their xp and vitality, was allowing some of these properties inherent in all souls to ‘leak’ into the environment. As a result of this, the amount of xp and vitality we were receiving from whatever we killed was seeing a loss of around 20% for both xp and vitality.
Despite this however, I wasn’t too interested in using the ability that I took the liberty to name Life Drain. The reason being that while in did allow me to fully take a soul into me, it also required direct contact with the target, which would be night nearly impossible in a battle with multiple enemies. Not only was the ability incredibly inconvenient in its use, It still allowed my opponent to fight back even after I had activated.
Luckily for us, the highest level among them was ‘only’ at level 17. As a result, using the Life Drain aspect of [Soul Devourer], I was able to fully subjugate both Brent and Kevin. Once I caught my opponents with Life Drain, they would begin to significantly weaken as their vitality was drained from their body, eventually passing out when a bit over half of their vitality had been taken. However, during the time in which this was occurring, my opponent could still fight back and, if they had a weapon on them, could use it harm me while I was occupied ‘devouring’ their soul.
Since Brent was at level 17, he had actually managed to resist slightly against me once he noticed what was happening. Luckily for me however, the vitality of someone at level 17 wasn’t that high, which allowed me to quickly drain enough of it to the point that he passed out. From that point on, it actually became even quicker to drain his remaining vitality in his.
Since Kevin had been armed as he was returning from patrol duty, I had decided not to take chances with him and deal the first strike. Since he had become unstable after seeing me ‘kiss’ Brent. I was able to use that moment when we first saw each other to catch him by surprise and stab him where his kidney was. As a result of the injury I gave him, I was able to use my ability and devour his soul.
Aside from being able to test out my Life Drain ability, the three had also proven very useful for me to make a few discoveries. The most recent, as well as important and pressing while also being quite terrifying, was the discovery I had made about that something that had been guiding me previously
Once I had finished carrying out the last body, and felt tranquility return to my mind. I noticed that I no longer felt the same impulses as before that had led me to use Life Drain, though I didn't necessarily feel too guilty about my actions either. Since I had already experienced such post-action clarity once before, I knew what this feeling implied.
It was clear that following my promise to not allow anything to take control of mind after what happened with Ailya, that that something had been more discreet in its actions and in the way it influenced me. Unlike the previous time where I was able to gain clear signs that something was influencing, even though I had ignored them, this time it appeared as though that something had been influencing my thoughts and feelings slowly until I finally reached a breaking point, after that, it was able to easily influence me and push me to kill the three boys and try the new aspect of my [Soul Devourer] ability.
This would mean that for the second time straight, something had wanted me to use one of my abilities, though I couldn't necessarily tell what reason it had in me to do so. Nonetheless, it was clear that I was still very much vulnerable to its influence, and seeing the two scenarios in which it was able to get a grasp of me, I had an inkling of a thought about what the conditions needed for it to control me, were.
The first time it had occurred was after I had received a great shock from hearing Ailya’s story and felt my emotions become unstable as I was furious with the injustice of the world. At that moment, the change in my thoughts had been sudden, going from anger and indignation about what had happened to the little half-elf, to wanting to control her. As a result, I felt clear signs in my mind of that something trying to influence me. This time however, the change was gradual as my thoughts and impressions of the three slowly began to deteriorate. Not only was I not able to feel the moment at which that something had begun it’s influence over me, but it wasn’t until something felt as if it had ‘broke’ inside of me, by which point it was too late, that I could even feel a sign that something had tampered with my mind previously.
It was clear that my emotions played a great role in whether or not that something was able to get a grasp on me. This meant that anytime I lost control of my own sensibilities and allowed myself to get too agitated, I was at risk of allowing that something to guide my decisions for me. Not only that, but considering my lack of feelings at their deaths even after clarity had returned to my mind, I was beginning to worry that the influence of that something may be having long term effects on my mind that I wasn’t aware of, after all, even after using [Veritas] on myself, I still could not find a single trace of that something just like the time when it took control over me to subordinate Ailya.
It was clear that from now on, I would need to be more careful of my own emotions and need to make sure I was always calm and in control of my own emotions. I could not continue to allow that something influence me any further, as I was bent on still being the same me that had crossed over from Earth and living my own life following my own desires. It was necessary, therefore, that I discovered not only how that something was capable of exerting its influence over me, but also the reason as to why I’m even able to passively resist it’s influence under normal circumstances.
It was a little scary to think how both times it had been able to guide my actions and even dictate my logic. Both times I had been able to reason things in my mind that I would have normally thought of, all while being none the wiser. However, its effects towards me weren’t the only thing I had to worry about.
After all, I wasn’t only responsible for my own actions and thoughts, as I had full control over Ailya and had even involved her in my plan, having her kill offl Roger. Though it’s not as if I expected that Ailya would be able to keep her hands clean for all eternity, it was obvious to me that I had just had her cross a line that could never be returned from, as I had her kill Roger off in a cold-blooded fashion, all the while without her even questioning about committing such an act or even batting an eye at taking the life of another.
Turning to look at the girl who was staring at me worriedly from the side, since she could tell that I was yet again feeling agitated, I promised to myself to make sure to always remain composed and aware of my emotional state, as I refused to let that something exert even a tiny fraction of its influence over my Ailya…