Lord Joyde The Madman: Heylo, everybody! How're you all doing?
Finally, we've arrived to Japan! (Maybe not, its really late so I might just type the next part tomorrow... (its 5:19 AM here, at the time I'm writing this)
Prepare for an intense increase in Animus-cringe-disease.
Its gonna be a Nippon-wide epidemic!
... Is that written with two p's or am I just being both really cringy and idiotic at the same time?
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...
Unknown Place - Unknown Time - Leonardo's Point Of View...
"H-huh?" I felt myself opening my eyes painfully slowly, each moment passing by revealing a rather grotesque image in front of my eyes.
While what I was seeing was clearly one of my... err, episodes!, it was also not a crusade or any other battle."What the fuck... where the hell am I?
A massive plateau taking the shape of a floating island in the middle of an Ocean.
With the difference being the fact that the Ocean was an Ocean of Blood.
And the Island made out of flesh, skin and bone.
A click resounded inside of my mind and I knew: the blood of those I had slain, the flesh of those I had eaten, the bones of those I had broken, the skin of those I had tormented.
"This is the inside of my soul..." I whispered low, my voice echoing loud either way, almost as if in defiance of the reality which aimed to bind it.
A burst of laughter tore through the air... if there even is any air in here, behind me and I turned around to see a flayed, burning angel with a sash over where his eyes were supposed to be. He wore a pair of pants which seemed to be made out of pure-white skin, most likely his own. His wings, torn full of holes and bloody, waved around defiantly in the air, seemingly ready to take flight at any moment, despite their apparently sorry state.
The image... To put it bluntly, I..."Am totally speechless?" The voice was silent, even if I could tell by the expression on the Angels face that it was not meant to be a whisper.
Another roar of defiance, another denial of reality itself."Do not bother to attempt to explain what is going on around us, Leonardo. This place is, after all, the part of you which is closest to Chaos."
I blinked."My soul." I repeated, realization dawning upon me as I finally note the tone of the voice and focus myself upon The Flayed Angel."Eadom?"
He laughs again and spreads his arms wide."The one and only! Its nice to finally meet you in person, Antioch."
Quirking an eyebrow at him, I asked."Antioch?"
A slow nod."Indeed, though the true meaning of the title will only reveal itself to you with time, that is not why you are here today."
Tilting my head in curiosity, I approached a strange pillar of bone and looked upward to see the soul of a certain someone impaled upon it."Carol Wright?"
"Ahh, you remember her? She's the last normal human being you've killed in the entire last week. Her soul, alongside many others, is now bound to yours, made to burn forever as fuel in this artificial Hell which represents your soul." Eadom spoke with amusement as he approached me.
Then he stopped and quirked at eyebrow at me."That being said, are you sure you don't want to know about me?"
I let out a sigh."Mate, if you wanted to tell me about yourself, you'd already have spilled the beans. If I have to guess, the *heavenly metal* that Eadom was made of if was actually you."
A nod."Indeed, the flesh of an Angel is tougher than any metal of Eden, at least non-artificial. Although, that alone does not explain why I ended up as I am."
His gaze landed onto my frame like an iron sledgehammer, cruel and unyielding. This was a test of some sort."Didn't you get cursed by some ancient vampires?"
A laugh escapes him and I grit my teeth, fully realizing that was probably just a dumb fake."Is that something you heard from the synchronization nightmares? Well, nice try but fuck no."
That last part was spoken with clear defiance as he pointed towards the skies, which appeared uncharacteristically white in contrast to the crimson ocean around us... not to mention the entire bloody island, pun intended."It was the very creation of Eadom, which is my actual name by the way, that sparked its chaosborne power to rise."
"Don't tell me... God made it that way?" I asked, tone sounding quite cynical as the Angel snorted."Is that cynicism I smell? You do realize that you're talking to an Angel, right?"
Receiving no real reply as I turned my head away from him and back onto the tortured soul of Carol, he let out a sigh and continued."But to alleviate your concerns, no. God did not grant Eadom its powers. What God did do, was issue a Law. A law which prevented any heavenly or demonic entity to influence Eden in any way, unless directly or indirectly summoned by someone on Eden. Thing is, I was a very rebellious, not to mention quite edgy, teenage angel with quite a big inferiority complex who hated God for... I don't know, laziness most likely. However, I was also impossibly zealous to the point where I resisted several attempts to make me fall."
I blinked and turned my head around again."You sacrificed yourself, your own flesh, blood, bone, soul and mind... your entire existence, so that my ancestor could create a blade grand enough to destroy the undead legions attacking him."
A nod with a smile."Yes, I did. And I did it just to spite God."
"But because it wasn't an particularly evil thing to do, God could not punish you for it. However, since it was a pretty insane thing to do, God instead pointed Chaos your way." I take a guess.
The Angel shrugs."Nah, God didn't do that. God just shook his head in disapproval and looked away. Chaos however, just happened to be staring right at me and decided to infuse my newfound physical form with a massive portion of its power."
I frowned."No lie on that laziness part, huh?"
He laughed out loud but this time it was a truly loud, joyous laugh."Pretty much. Although, God tended to call it, unwillingness to cause unwanted damage to the progress of Humanity."
I turned my head back around with a frown."Pitiful fool."
A blast of thunder struck the ground next to me."WHOAH!?"
A snort came resounding from behind me as the flash of thunder left me momentarily blinded and also made me fall onto my ass."The truth of that statement aside, God is still God. There is a good reason why there has been no other *God*, although *gods* do exist."
I blinked."So you mean guys like Thor and Zeus are a thing?"
"Well actually, Zeus not so much anymore from what I've been hearing but Thor is a certainty." He shrugs and says before re-focusing onto me."Funny you should mention Thor, though... considering what you are here for today."
"So what am I here for exactly?" I asked with curiosity clear in my tone and Eadom merely smiled at my antics."To put it bluntly, we're way over the limit for the amount of souls a person may have bound to their own soul."
I quirked an eyebrow at him."And how do we deal with that?"
A nod from him as he lost his amusement, apparently trading it for full concentration as he spoke."You see, while the normal limit for it is exactly two-hundred and fifty, another of Gods ridiculous laws so don't ask, we can bypass that rule because we fall into the category of joined souls, which makes our limit five hundred. However, we have more souls bound to us than that and we need to fix that."
Rolling my eyes at him, I repeat."Once again, how do we deal with that?"
Taking in a deep breath, he said."In short, we need to crate... vassals."
Blinking at him several times, I asked."You mean like, choosing a soul from the pile of those we've already bound?"
A nod."Yes, but since vassal souls can only bind one hundred twenty five, we are going to need more than one, three of them to be exact."
"In order to hold eight-hundred and thirteen souls, huh... wait, is that why God is watching us right now?" Another nod from him."Yeah, God is watching us in order to ensure that we adhere to the law... apparently, its to ensure the progress of Humanity, again."
I call bullshit on that. Its probably just something to keep Lucifer from binding a grotesque amount of souls and challenging God to some outrageous duel... Oh dear lord, after countless millennia, how many times has Satan done such a thing?
Okay, now I kinda pity God just a bit. Might be a good idea to send a prayer or two sometime..."You still with me here?"
Shaking my head out of my stupor to find myself feeling strangely rejuvenated, I replied."Yeah... just... having strange thoughts, I guess?"
He laughed."Yeah, that's going to happen a lot in the future."
I sighed and he continued, utterly amused."Anyways, I've done some digging and collected the most powerful souls you currently have on you. Remember, even if we chose to make a vassal out of someone now, we can easily undo it and grant the power to someone else later."
With that said, three separate souls form in front of my eyes and I let out a massive sigh. Although, considering how I've only been killing humans up until now, I guess I should not be too surprised.
"Ah... it would seem that my torment has ended..." A ghastly figure is the first to open its eyes and Eadom looks at me with pity."Lets... start off with the only actual, possibly-permanent vassal of the three."
The massive, fully plated figure is the very same skeletal Templar, the guardian crusader whom had slain all those master vampire hunters. If his soul is here... then that explains why the souls of the master hunters were bound to me. I received them along with his soul.. but I do not remember consuming it.
The skeleton noticed me and laughed."Ah... so you've come this far, lad. Its good to see that a truly worthy master has gotten its hands on The Living Crusade... I had almost forgotten how... relieving it was to burn in purified Hellfire."
I blinked at him."Umm... what?"
He snorted, a ghastly echo turned to a whisper."I... I am Holmir of Vestiland, bringer of Terror and Knight of the faith, at your service."
A nod from me is all it takes for the skeletal crusader to continue his tale."I was born in a village within the land you now refer to as Island. My younger days were spent raiding, raping and pillaging, as was normal for any aspiring viking of that time."
He laughed, mostly at himself."In fact, I was one of the few to be actually named; Viking, by a king, no less!"
A breath taken and a sigh given as the story continues."But it was not to last... during one of my raids, I had contracted The Great Pox, or Syphilis as it is known to you today. The sickness tore through my body, mind and soul until I was about to give up on life. The elders, hoping to drag as much of my martial prowess as they could before Valhalla took me, ordered me to train others of my age, granting me the title of Jarl... no matter for how little a time."
Another deep breath as the skeleton seemed to lower in reminiscence."During my short time as Jarl, christian rulers had decided to send an entourage of priests to our lands to spread their religious. One of these priests spoke of a gathering of warriors in the east... at the heart of Europe. A war-band the kind of which the world had never seen at the time... the creation... of the first Crusade."
He rose, full of pride."And I, not willing to let myself waste away, decided to leap at the opportunity at joining the Crusade. The priests were delighted at my decision, the shamans not as much. In the end, I survived the trip to the lands you now know as Spain where I was treated by a strange priestess with long pure white hair and an angelic figure... At first, I thought that I was dreaming, but when I woke up, I realized that my sickness, that the cursed Great Pox was gone."
Another laugh escaped his skeletal lips."Now, the very first thought I had was to abandon The Crusade, to leave my newfound brothers in arms and run away, back to the life of raping, raiding and looting... but I realized then and there, that I had been saved on the order of God. The thoughts of cowardice and fleeing? Those were the unspoken words of Lucifer and I, a former viking turned devout christian, would not obey the Ahriman."
He started pacing around, a crusaders claymore forming in his hands."I never decided to join any of the orders, preferring instead to gather my own fame. In truth, my past would forever haunt me as those who had learned it decided it would not be a good idea to join my little troop. But, I had done enough to be awarded that prestigious title; Knight Templar."
Another sigh."In the end, my past was also enough to prevent any of the so-called Crusader Kings to grant me a landed title. It was apparent that I would never become a lord of any shape or form, so I returned to the battlefield... and there, I had met my true master. One of the first wielders of The Living Crusade... his name, his glory, his power... it is something I cannot be allowed to tell you. It is something you must find out on your own... but know that, during my time with him, I was offered to drink his blood. This seemingly-glorious act of brotherhood was exactly what damned me to eternal servitude, a living chain binding me to The Living Crusade... but I had drank the blood willingly, whi-."
I blinked."Wait, drinking the blood of the wielder bound you to the sword?!"
He nodded, seemingly shocked from my sudden question as I had been silent all this time."W-w-well, yes... why do you ask?"
Turning around to face Eadom, I felt my jaw drop to the ground."What? Its not like what you did was a bad thing..."
"I bound a fucking ANTEDILUVIAN to our soul! And you didn't even tell me?! What happens if he dies sometime in the near future?!" I screamed at the angel and he shrugged."Then he is ours, forever to burn in pure Hellfire... or serve as a powerful Vassal Soul."
"And you didn't even consider the fact that HE JUST MIGHT HAVE A WAY TO KILL US FROM THE INSIDE?!" My scream elicited a smirk from The Flayed Angel as he merely pointed a finger towards nothing and then fired an overwhelming blast of magic, promptly stunning me into silence."Well, lets just say that I'll welcome the challenge."
"Man, flayed or not, I guess you are an Angel in the end." I said dumbly as I blinked. To his credit, Eadom merely smiled."Arch Angel, actually. But, we can talk about that later, let the Templar finish."
Turning back to the Templar just to see him lamely rubbing the back of his head."Actually, that's about all I had to say... could you just make me a vassal and be done with it? Its not the first time I've done this."
Eadom muttered something to himself."THAT'S TRUE..." A loud voice suddenly shook through my ears as I turned around to face him as he just coughed into his mouth."Argh, sometimes this realm is just a little too difficult to control."
Shaking my head out of my stupor, I asked."So how do I make him a vassal anyway?"
A finger is pointed into the sky as The Flayed Angel spoke."Simple really, just order him to kiss your right hand and pledge himself to you in the name of The Living Crusade."
"There is no need for any kissing. I merely need to bow and I shall do so willingly, arrogant angel." Holmir said with irritation clear in his tone as Eadom turned his head away with a cheh. The Templar then knelt in front of me and said."I, Holmir of Vestiland, Viking and Templar Knight of the faith, now pledge myself utterly to your service, to my lord and master, Leonardo Zatara!"
His bones and plate armor turned gold, almost as if molten hot, identical to the usual state Eadom's physical form looks like. Then he stood up and said."There, it is done... if you ever need me to aid you in the real world, merely call upon my name and I shall manifest unto reality, for a brief time. This, alongside freedom from Hellfire, shall be my reward and duty gained for becoming your vassal."
A nod from me is all it took for the knight to move away and stand proudly beside me as I turned to look at my other potential... vassals.
Namely Palmira and that ridiculously strong, ridiculously cruel old man who remained behind with the trainees of the Vampire Hunter organizations...
Sigh, the sooner I do this, the sooner I'll be out of here."Alright... lets do Palmira next, I guess."
And with that, amethyst eyes opened and an immaculate scream tore through the skies of this world of flesh, blood, bone and skin.
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
Yeah... ten minutes after I wrote that extra part of the intro Author Note... I've given up.
Time to go to sleep, you'll get the next part tomorrow.
Although, I'll probably skip Palmira and the old man's introduction... maybe not, could be a good way of presenting their characters.
And they will be important in the near future...
./le mayor sigh
Anyways, read and review! And Good Morning/Day/Night to you all! ADIOS FOR NOW!