Lord Joyde The Madman: Heylo, everybody! How're you all doing?
Well Alrighty then.
Fk all of my plans for this ARC.
Let us re-organize the timeline and forget that these first few chapters, aside from maybe The Black Cathedral, ever existed in the first place!
Anyways, here comes the next chapter of EUPHORIA! I sincerely hope that you enjoy, let us begin!
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
Tomorrow Noon - Zatara Family Mansion - Leonardo's Point Of View...
"Haaaaaah..." I yawned out loud as I finally felt good enough to get the hell out of my bed.
Turns out that I didn't need to sleep that much. My regenerative capacity has most certainly been upgraded in comparison to how I was before.
|That's 'cause I upgraded the nanites again!|
"Hmm? What did you do this time, honey?" I asked with a bright smile on my face. I've honestly never felt this good before.
An imaginary snort echoes in my mind."It seems that our little daughter is a genius. We were talking about magic and your current state as a Revenant. At one moment, we came to the part where I explain how your body naturally hungers for life force and that you don't make enough to sustain yourself which means you need to kill other people in order to take theirs. Suddenly, all the nanites in your body are doing strange experiments and then she asks me how to locate this *new energy* I called life force."
"Don't tell me, you managed to somehow manage to produce essence, Aria?" I asked somewhat flabbergasted as I dressed myself in my usual murderous garb, mask and all the weapons, as I ascended up the stairs.
|It wasn't that difficult.. "_"
In the end, all I needed was to learn how to "notice" the energy and once that was done, figuring out how a little bit of it is produced by the very cells which burn food to create energy within the human body was child's play!
"So its in my stomach? Hmm, can you analyze my body and see if my essence is concentrated somewhere? Like a golden ball of energy?" I spoke out loud as I walked near some guardsmen, who merely blinked at my antics.
Talking to myself was probably not the weirdest thing I've ever done in their presence... then again, there was that one time when I cut off my finger in order to please Yomi.
Yeah, I don't think talking to myself will get me very far up their fuck-this-shit meters. Oh well.
Suddenly, an imaginary sigh escaped Yomi's ethereal lips."Don't waste your time darling, you don't have a Dantian anymore... In fact, I don't think you've ever had one with how you were basically born a Revenant."
Stopping dead in my tracks and tilting my head in confusion, I asked."How does me being a Revenant prevent me having a Dantian? And besides, isn't there more than one?"
She sighs again and then seems to place a finger to her chin in thought."No.. perhaps I phrased that wrong. Its not that you don't have a Dantian, darling. Its more like that the energy which makes it up is spread all across your body, like a true lake of Qi and not just focused into one place, thus making it a lot less concentrated, even if far larger than normal. You see, when essence/Qi has a high enough concentration, it begins acting like a miniature black hole, continuously consuming more and more Qi in order to become stronger and stronger... yet, yours is the complete and utter opposite."
"So my Qi is trying to escape from my body?" Blinking as I asked this, I suddenly found myself wandering around the outside. Managing to remember to take my mask off just in time to prevent a random passerby from seeing it.
"In a way, yes. However, this should not be possible, because when this happens, people usually become sick and quickly die. You don't seem to be dead, neither clinically or soul-wise. Mentally is up for debate, but who even needs sanity these days, am I right?" She joked with no small amount of amusement and I sighed."I see..."
Suddenly, the image of a massive plaque formed in my mind, an infestation corrupting everyone and everything... but the people weren't fighting it. No, they seemed to be welcoming the plague. Ha, see what I did there?
Hmm... Is my Qi trying to escape my body in order to infect everyone? But for what reason? And, if this is true, what exactly is it even doing once the infection settles in?
Come to think of it, the guards around the mansion were quite quick to adapt to the existence of vampires and I heard one of my new maids say how, and I quote, *The Humans here are strangely easy to get along with, unlike most of the outside.*
Hmm..."Yomi, I have a question for you."
An imaginary shrug forms."Well, shoot."
"Please don't take this the wrong way but, uh, have you felt like you're becoming more human-like ever since I became your host?" A blink, and another, a third one as well, as realization dawns upon her frame."Leonardo, are you saying that your Qi is... making those around you more human?... That's very... racist."
I shook my head in negative."No, not human... it would be more accurate to say that its making people conform to my will. Imagine if I could get more of it, if I could manage to produce a high amount of Qi... hell, I might be able to control the entire world one day."
A nod of approval forms in my mind. "Well, those vampire girls that Helix brought you did act fairly strange and friendly to their suddenly human allies, especially considering they are women born in the middle ages. Those tend to be quite... angst-y."
"Would the Qi have a higher effect on those I interact with regularly or does it not matter so long as they're close to me?" She laughed at this, almost as if something ironic suddenly started making sense to her. It was a hollow, truly empty laugh."The way you are asking these questions is almost as if you already know the answer... In short, yes. Believe it or not, people who interact with one another also share some of their Qi whenever they do so."
I blinked."Wait, so that time when you said how you understand why Harold became what he is today a little more was because of this?"
She shook her head in negative."No, back then, I only knew what was going on but not what was causing it. As in, I knew that Harold became how he is today by interacting with you, because the questions you tend to ask are intrusive and because of your honest, if incredibly brutal, way of conversation."
"But could my essence really be transferred such a large distance? I mean, Harold is all the way in Japan." She nods, almost as if saddened."Yes, it can... but much of what is transferred is lost. Harold cannot create essence on his own, so if you one day decided to stop talking with him.. well, the conversations he has with others would probably help him stay as he is for a while, but eventually his AI status would crumble and he would turn back into a very complex program."
"What about his soul though? You did say that he had one." I pointed out in confusion as I stopped in a park, watching the auburn evening sun go by."He does and, even if you stopped interacting with him, it would remain right where it is. My guess is that Gaia herself gave him that soul, because it seemed to be perfectly suited to him and him alone, but it was his interactions with people, mostly you though, that brought his true potential to life."
|Wait but... does that mean if dad takes me out of himself and gives me a body.. I would one day lose myself and become a VI again?!|
Smirking at apparently nobody, I said."Already planning to coerce me into giving you a body, eh? Clever girl."
|In all honesty, dad? You'd give me a body one day even if I didn't want one. For science! !_!|
Well, I can't exactly deny that... I mean, I've already been thinking about it.
"You've probably also though about eventually fuc-I mean, making sweet love to your AI daughter." Yomi's amused snort was so loud that it penetrated reality, I swear.
I shrugged."Well, what can I say, I'm a pervert and proud of it."
|O_O Dad pls, I'm right here!|
"Yeah, you're right here." I say whilst pointing towards my head, making a few people blink in confusion as they look at the crazy person in the middle of the park."You've probably already been exposed to more bullshit than you care to admit, anyways."
|._. Ok. I admit defeat, that is a good point.|
Deciding to stop freaking random passerby out anymore than I already have, I stood up from the bench I had been sitting on without even noticing and begin walking away. Suddenly, the image of a cross filled with blood forms in my thoughts and I feel my head doing a sharp turn towards the left.
To my surprise, a somewhat hidden little chapel comes into view. Its Gothic style shows that it is incredibly old, albeit I've never seen it before, which is high is implausible, considering how this is basically my home turf.
.. Wait a moment. Closing my eyes and getting a feel for my energies, I notice how my mana is flowing directly into my eyes.
My Auspex activated itself again without me even noticing.
Blinking twice as I reopen my eyes to find myself staring directly into the chapel, with nobody directly around me and the people far away seemingly not even realizing I'm here."HEY YOU!" I yelled out loud to no avail as nobody of the people around twenty meters away reacted.
Almost as if I no longer existed on the same plane of existence."Hmm, it seems that you've walked into some form of anomaly... although not one caused by time magic.. or any form of magic I know of."
Shrugging in a somewhat bored manner, I shove my hands into my pockets and walk towards the chapel, fully realizing that the place is made up of souls once I touched the door."Woah..." I let myself fall into Euphoria as the mass of soul-matter made its way into me and thus, destroying the large, seemingly wooden door.
What revealed itself was a lonely altar, with an immense cut out piece of ground below it, taking the shape of a Crusader's Cross."Something is incredibly wrong in this place, Leonardo... we should leave quickly.."
|Yeah, daddy.. this place is creepy! ;_;|
"The heck you guys talking about? This place is awesome." I heard myself say as I watched with a child-like interest as the very reality around me started to shift, objects disappearing only to reappear a few centimeters next to their original location, the imagery seeming to twist upon itself continuously.
Why, its almost as if I've entered a realm which represents someone's collective seizure.
Soon, I find myself standing in front of the altar, in the middle of the cut-out cross which stretches across the chapels entire floor."Aria, please focus on my blood production as much as you can. Yomi, can you cast some healing spells on me?"
|Well.. I mean.. okay dad?|
"Of course, Leo.. but may I ask, to what end?" Yomi says with an incredibly questioning glance.
I simply smirk."You'll see."
Within moments as I sit down into a meditative position and extend my hands toward the altar, a steel stake reminiscent of a nail appears upon it. The image of Christ appears in my mind for a brief moment and I pause, blinking in surprise as I see myself taking the nail and plunging it into my left hand. Blood seeps downwards and into the cut-out cross of the marbled floor.
Soon, the entirety of the cross is filled with my blood and the reality around us starts to fix itself. Objects no longer teleport but appear where they're supposed to be, reality shifting into place... and the strange feeling of belonging disappearing with them.
I stand up from the ground, the blood which should have stained my clothing seems to avoid it altogether as I walk out towards the outside, the sound a grinding stone filling my ears as the cut out cross raises itself, filling the chapel entirely with my blood. It pours into the cracks and crevices, raises into the ceiling and filling the chandelier, lighting its candles... bringing this place back to life. Soon, the altar splits itself open to reveal a grandiose golden Cross filled with a massive diamond in its center.
The diamond drinks of my blood and spreads it equally across the cross, which then takes the shape of crimson cloth, not all that different from a bishops."I... this is... that cross is.. its a Divine Artifact, but I've never seen anything even remotely alike to it."
|Image Analysis suggests that it comes from the times of the Crusades. Its some kind of Jerusalem Cross, but.. magic?|
"No. Not magic. Chaos." I say with glee as I reach out for the cross and take it into my hands. It feels heavy, just as gold should be, but also weightless at the same time, almost as if ridding me of sin... No.. not ridding me of them, merely declaring that my sins are meaningless.
"Done in the name of God." I hear myself mutter out with a bloodthirsty grin going from ear to ear.
Suddenly, a click is heard inside of my mind and the cross melts into me, eliciting a confused sound to escape my lips."Huh?"
"Ha! The first item you bind to yourself and its a fucking Divine Artifact! You know, I don't think I should even be surprised at this point..." Yomi exclaims with no small amount of insanity within her voice."What?"
Snorting loudly at my very intelligent reply, she continues."As a revenant, you have the power to bind items to your soul. These items then become your physical connection to life, thus their destruction means your end as well. Luckily for you, it also means that you can store them inside of your own soul and summon them back into reality from anywhere. However, this can only be done to items which have special meaning to you."
Summon them to reality? Bind them to myself? What the hell is all this now?"I just want the cross back, dammit!"
I exclaimed out loud as I rose my hand into the air and, as you might've guessed, said cross promptly forms back into existence and dunks itself onto my head."OW!"
Recovering to the rather sudden and really heavy blow to my skull, I open my eyes to see the cross, utterly innocently, laying on the cold marble floor."Well fuck you too then."
Taking the cross back into my hands, I feel myself reaching into it and finding an endless source of life-force... my, life-force.
No, not endless, merely filled up to the brim by my act of self-sacrifice just now. I found myself peering deeper into the cross... and then, I realized it."This... this cross. Its just one piece, a shard!"
"A shard? Of what exactly?" Yomi asked with confusion evident in her tone and I merely smiled."Your roommate."
Her eyes grew wide with that realization as the name of the blade echoed in my mind."The Cross is a shard, of Eadom." Yomi repeated to herself several times inside of my head, almost as if convincing herself to the truth of the matter.
Conjuring the image of that eternally burning blade in my mind made me aware that I could not fully recall what it looked like, but thinking of the blade seems to have had some effect on the cross, as its longer part suddenly melts and elongates itself into a long, burning blade akin to what a crusaders claymore would look like if it had a Cross for a handle, which is cool if you ask me. The blade never looses its white-hot coloring and I find myself touching it to find that it does not burn me, but sure enough, as I let it down onto the ground, the marble floor seems to seethe at the merest touch of the thing.
Within moments, the chapel mends the tiny crack formed because of the blades heat and another click is heard resounding inside of my mind as the space around me finishes repairing itself, re-connecting me back into reality. The songs of the birds, the falling of leaves... all the glorious sounds of life re-enter my ears and I find myself realizing just how much they mean to me.
I like this. I like life.
My moment of peace is however, completely ruined as a form of barrier forms around the chapel, shutting out all of those sounds and I quickly turn around, putting on my mask without even realizing it. My Auspex activates again and familiar souls come into view.
"Ah, so it seems that you've caught on to my actions... oh well, it was about time." I said as a trio of vampire hunters, one of which is Palmira herself... wounded and bleeding, just barely alive enough to hold her scythe high."YOU MONSTER! YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU'VE DONE!"
"Oh?" I tilted my head in confusion, forcing her and her comrades into even greater rage."Because of your betrayal, The Shivering Cross has been hunted to extinction! Hundreds dead within a single day! We know full well that we wont live to the end of the day, but at least we shall have our revenge!"
"My, oh my... Helix sure does work fast, doesn't he?" I asked with a bright smile on my face as I took one look at Eadom and found myself smiling again under my mask."What have you done to deserve this fate little hunters, I do truly wonder... But now, you shall be the first to slake the hunger..."
A reflection on the pure marble walls reveals my golden eyes shining in the darkness as the auburn sun falls and night begins to take hold over Rome."... Of Eadom.."
Fear and panic quickly forms in their eyes as I find myself leaping towards the guy on the right. His weapon, which appeared to be some sort of holy pike, is clumsily pushed forward in an attempt to impale me. With a laugh, I welcome the blow, taking the pike through my stomach before grabbing the hunter by the throat and raising him up high."N-NO! P-PLEASE! H-HUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" My blade sinks easily through his abdomen, singing flames erupting around the seared flesh as he is split in two with a single quick strike.
"M-m-monster!" The girl on the left screams out in horror as I merely laugh even louder and, pulling the pike out of myself, promptly fling the thing right through her skull."Boom, headshot."
My amusement seems to wake Palmira out of her stupor as she attempts to block my advance with a series of very skillful movements with her scythe. She is quite skilled, not wasting a single step, ensuring not to reopen what were obviously hastily bandaged wounds upon her body.
She may have been a challenge for me if she were at her best. Alas, twas not to be."Hrngh!" She grunted out in pain as one of my attacks forced her to lose her footing for a moment, a moment too long it seemed, as I found myself removing the brain limiter on my left hand and plunging it through her chest with terrible ease."G-..gj... ghaaa..." Her last breath was not to be had and I watched with interest as life vanished from her eyes.
A gleeful final moment indeed, but as I attempted to remove her from my hand, something stopped me.
I found myself looking at Eadom. Hunger, rage, life-force... must... feed.
An incredible hunger suddenly took over me as I stared at the corpse of Palmira, still impaled upon my hand. I felt myself crushing her heart with my hand and soon, her flesh withered in front of my very eyes, the full remainder of her essence flowing into me, throwing me into yet another spree of euphoria.
After managing to get my hand out of her body, I noticed how her heart was missing from her now unrecognizable, rotting flesh. Turning around toward the other two I killed, I find myself cutting their chests open and devouring their essence as well.
Finally sated, I unsummon Eadom and walk out of the chapel to find how much more time has passed than I originally thought, as it was now clearly around midnight. I felt myself grin again as I took off my mask and stared at it for a brief moment before binding it to my soul by instinct much like I did with the shard of Eadom.
For a moment, I stopped and felt the magic barrier shatter. I breathed deeply of the night air and took a moment to re-collect myself. There appeared to be no blood upon my clothes, which means I must've absorbed it somehow."Man, dad is not going to believe this!" I heard myself exclaim with glee.
But soon, another voice broke that glee."Your dad?! What about the two of us?! What the fuck just happened there? Did you just.. eat someone's entire existence?"
I blinked in utter confusion as Yomi's disbelieving voice erupted into my mind."What?"
"Leonardo, you just utterly devoured a persons entire makeup. Their mental, physical and spiritual selves, all absorbed by you. How are you not crumbling from memory overdose yet!?" She yells into my mind.
"Memories? What memori-ARGH!" I clutched my head in pain as several images formed. An unfamiliar burning mansion, blood-drained vampire hunters, a vault hidden deep within... another cut-out cross. Another piece...
"... Of Eadom.." I muttered out with glee clear in my voice as I turned towards the skies and noticed that it is currently housing a blood-red moon. Looking at the time, I see that it is currently 00:42."Hmm, another piece of the puzzle reveals itself. All I need to do now, is find out where the Vampire Hunters hideout was before Helix burned it to the ground."
"So you aren't gonna explain whats going on to us?!" Yomi exclaimed in disbelief once more.
|Yeah, dad! What the hell? ._.|
I merely laughed at their antics."You two wouldn't understand even if I tried my best to explain. For now, know that Chaos has shown me the way forward... and I intend to follow it by the letter!"
"... okay then... I guess? Do what you want..." Yomi quiets down, almost as if in deep thought.
Seeing no reply from Aria means she must've descended into a state much alike to her mother, which makes me smile again.
God, I've been smiling quite a lot recently... must be all the essence I've devoured. Its having an effect on my mood, makes me happy. Good thing that I kill people when I'm happy... and torture them when I'm sad.
Aaaanyways, time to call Helix. Quickly dialing his number into my Huawei Android, I hear his questioning voice."Yes? Is there something you need, boy?"
"Good work on that Vampire Hunter hideout, you managed to wipe them out rather quickly." I state with a chuckle.
He grunts in surprise."H-h-how do you know about that?"
I wave my hand in negative as if he could see it happen."It does not matter, Helix. What matters is that you get me to their burning mansion... there's a... a piece of me that I didn't know was lost there which I must pick up."
"Another directive from Gaia? And so soon? Oh well... I'll send a taxi for you at the place where we met, on Palatine Hill. The Mansion isn't far from there... I just hope that you can get what you need from it before its utterly ruined. It has been burning for quite a while now."
With that, I disconnect the call and make my way to Palatine Hill with clear excitement upon my entire frame.
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
And that is it for this chapter of EUPHORIA! I sincerely hope that you enjoyed it as much as I have.
... I think we can all clearly see just how different, how better my writing is when I enjoy it myself.
I mean... 1.5k words vs what, 5k by now? The difference amazes me.
WE ARE BACK ON TRACK, BABY!
Anyways, read and review! And Good Morning/Day/Night to you all! ADIOS FOR NOW!1