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The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) - Literature (37) - Nairaland

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Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by eROCK247(m): 7:26pm On Mar 06
The suspense and twists in this story are simply too notch!!! obehiD you're doing well!
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:24am On Mar 07
Thank you @popeshemoo glad to see you're still reading and enjoying grin

Fazemood:

Tomorrow meaning Saturday we will be in the hatch where we take checha's eye but that will be after we almost died after being beaten to stupor grin

This made me laugh sooooooo hard! Well Saturday is here, maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong. I just want to say, for all of you that think Nebud cannot die because it is the narrator, well all that means is that when the narrator dies the story ends tongue...lol

@olite93 Can they really teach it to suppress the voice? Who knows, but I like the way you're connecting it back to Nefastu

@phoenixchap You are right, this has been a LONG one and I am sure that there are many inconsistencies and things that I dropped. Although some of them are done purposely. Like not everyone in the spectral existence drinks from a goblet. The rich ones do, but the poorer ones will manage cup like the rest of us. But you are right though. If I end up deciding to publish this, then I'll have to go through and fix all those inconsistencies. Thank you for being so observant and pointing this out to me! I truly appreciate it!!!

@eROCK247 thank you thank you thank you, I'm happy you're enjoying getting twisted! Haha
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:51am On Mar 07
Part 7
-------

That night I slept well. With the unchanging red patch as the only light source, it was, of course, impossible to tell when day gave way to night, but whenever I slept, and however long that sleep lasted, it was good. A strange peace fell on me. I knew that the new day would bring a fight, a fight to the death, against a Kaiser in the plenum. Checha was no fool. If it chose to fight me without magic or poisons, as it had promised, then it must have skill. It was irirakun like me, that I knew, and so I knew that it would have a tail and neck scales, just as I did, and those would be weapons it could use, but they were weapons we both shared. It would be dangerous, I thought, but that thought was quickly chased away by the eager pumping of my heart. It would be thrilling, I decided. And so I had fallen asleep as I had so many times in the pits, thinking of nothing more than the fight that would come the next day.

I had problems. There was Fajahromo, my enemy, who’d appeared before my cell with an imp from Permafrost, and spoken in strange tongues with that imp. That, I knew, was important. And Fajahromo’s sudden desire to come to my aid simply because I was the last brio? That had bearing. But I did not dwell on that. Neither did my mind dwell on Musa and how it was surviving, traversing the familiar Lahooni Acropolis without me. Every time I thought of the imp I felt its betrayal as if I was rediscovering it for the first time. And so I took my mind away from the imp and found it on Fabiana. Fabiana and its Kuworyte family, its coward progenitor and its scheming cognate. In my state of enhanced-battle-induced-exhilaration, not even worry for the uspec could break through. When I closed my eyes, it was with a mind free from worry, and when I opened my eyes the next day, it was in the same state.

It wasn’t till I rose, stretching my limbs as I made the short walk from the bed to the bucket of okun, that I started to let fear in. Why would Checha choose to fight me in a battle of equals? It was no fool. To do this, it must believe greatly in its own skill. Where once I would have thought it impossible for any uspec to best me in a fight of strength and skill, now I knew better. I could be beaten, I could be killed. And for what? For the voice in my head? The alien voice that barked out commands and expected obedience. The voice that I could not shake, that I bowed to, that I danced for like a puppet on a string. There was always Fajahromo. Perhaps it was not too late for me to send a message to Fajahromo, to join forces with it. All Fajahromo wanted was a world where iriras could be free. It wanted a better place for our kind. Surely, I could not fault it for that. And maybe I would not have. In a different life, I may even have joined it. I could have befriended it even, I already had when I was younger. But that was before my offspring, before I watched the little uspec die. There is no pain like it, no sorrow, no grief. And that was all thanks to Fajahromo. Because of that, I would never be able to think logically around the uspec. I would never be able to see reason if reasoning meant joining with it. I wanted it dead. That was as far as I could reason when it came to Fajahromo. Dead.

Which left me with the battle against Checha.

I placed my cupped palm into the bucket and pulled out a handful of warm okun. I gulped the okun down and then repeated the process until the level of the liquid in the bucket had been reduced by half. Then I took out some more liquid and splashed it on my face.

The anticipation of battle was one that I did not realize till this moment how much I’d missed. Perhaps I was a fool to believe that Checha would keep its word and keep the fight fair, but I believed it, I could not help myself. And so I anticipated this fight as I had all others in the pits. I was filled with bloodlust, pure and simple. There would be no magic, just the beautiful contact of flesh on flesh. A pugilists bout. What could be better?

“Sirga.”

Fabiana’s voice came to me as if carried on a tide of pain. I felt its pain, like a blow against my head. This pain was not one caused by pain, it was one linked to another emotion, sorrow, I guessed, although I could not say for certain since I did not have the magic of that emotion.

It took me a while to brace myself for the sight of Fabiana in pain. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not make myself turn. And so, I did the only thing I could, I exhausted its pain. It let out a loud cry, a gruesome sound of ache, and then it was silent, and the room was free of its pain. It was easier to breathe. That was when I turned around.

Fabiana was standing in my cell. It must have been let in when my back was turned, my focus on the pail of okun. It did not matter when, or how, but it had been. It held a brown disk in its hand. I found that curious, but my attention quickly lifted to its face. It appeared drawn, tired. I hoped its current state was not a result of my presence in the cell.

“Sirga…” Fabiana began again. Then, it shook its head, cut itself off, and it fell to its knees in front of me. It knelt on both knees and bowed its head low.

I was stunned.

I cleared my throat a number of times. Each time after, I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. This was the first time that anyone had ever knelt to me. Fabiana was a majestic, the offspring of a duke, and it was kneeling to me. Something about its posture sent a bolt of awareness through me. I was Cala, Calami’s offspring, Calam’s heir. I was the rightful heir to Lahooni. And by kneeling, Fabiana was acknowledging this.

“It is customary to give your subjects leave to rise.” A teasing voice said.

Another shock rocked my system. That voice could only belong to one person. I set my gaze roving around the cell, and as I made my sweep back, I saw brown begin to appear by Fabiana’s side. Musa stood there. In the sudden jolt of seeing it, I forgot my anger at its betrayal, all I felt in that moment was joy.

I smiled, Musa smiled back at me. And for the second before my pride reminded me what this imp had done to me, life was perfect. Then I remembered and the smile went away. I cleared my throat, and turned my gaze away from the imp, ignoring the look of pain that had colored its features once my smile went away.

I walked over to Fabiana and grasped it around the shoulders. “Don’t be silly majestic, stand up before someone sees you and thinks you’ve lost your mind.” The fogs guarding my cell had been returned to their blackness so no one would see, but it felt like the right thing to say, and I was proud of myself for the teasing notes which had accompanied the words.

Fabiana’s head rose. It stared me in the eye. “If they think I’ve lost my mind I will tell them I have not. I am in the presence of the Kaiser of Lahooni, what else can I do but kneel?”

The Kaiser of Lahooni. I tried not to let the words get to me, not to let them infect me with hope and pride and joy. The Kaiser of Lahooni, a title, an identity, a life. I sighed. It was my birthright, but I was a long way from claiming it. “Stand up Fabiana, please, we need to talk.”

Fabiana bowed, and then it rose. It stared silently at me, waiting for me to speak. I was the one who asked to speak with it, yet I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was that I had wished to say. I hadn’t known what it was at the time I made the request, and I still did not know now. “How is your progenitor?” I blurted out the question. “Well, I hope. And is Salin keeping to its word? Has it made any move to subject you to the inquisition again?”

Fabiana swallowed, it shook its head. “I have been treated well, thanks to you, but it is not me I am worried about. How are you sirga? I’ve told people.”

“What?”

“I’ve told people.” It was whispering now. “I do not care about the deal my mater made, or even about keeping my life. All I care about is your security. I’ve told some of the nobles, the ones I feel I can trust. I’ve told them that Calami’s offspring lives. All I need is time sirga, a few more days, and I’ll have amassed enough support to force Salin into releasing you. The plenum may not like it, but they don’t have enough troops here to stop us. By the time they send for more troops we will have freed you. I can promise you that. You just need to wait a few more days and you will be out of here.”

A few more days. I smiled sadly at Fabiana. Its loyalty warmed my heart. The fact that it was willing to risk so much for me was a gift that I would never forget. “We do not have days.” I said. “We have hours, maybe, but not days.”

Fabiana appeared shocked. “What do you mean?”

Musa had moved closer to me. It was standing so close now that I would be able to touch it if I reached out to do so. I did not.

“I made a deal with Checha.”

“You did what?” Musa’s shocked voice rang in the cell.

I almost smiled at it. “I made a deal with Checha.” My gaze was on Fabiana as I spoke. “We will fight a progenitor’s bout in a hatch built within an equipoise. It will be fair.”

Fabiana shook its head. “Have you lost your mind?” It screamed. “You cannot do that. We cannot lose you, not when we just got you back.”

I tried not to be offended by Fabiana’s lack of faith in my fighting abilities. “It will be fair, that is more than I could have asked for with the way things unfolded. It will be fair, I will have a chance.”

“A chance against Checha?” Fabiana’s fears were now plainly written on its face. “Checha is a renowned fighter. No one has gone up against it and won. No one. They say that there is no better fighter in this existence, than Checha.”

“Whoever they are, they have not seen my fight.” I responded with a touch of levity. It did not come as a surprise to me that Checha’s fighting skill was well known. The uspec had agreed to fight me in an equipoise. It was plain to see from my bulk that I was a brawler. It would not have agreed to a fair fight unless it thought it could win. I knew that, and I was prepared for that. It would be a good fight, one that would live on forever in my memories.

If I survived.

I realized, as I stood there, in this room filled with people I valued, that I was not afraid to die. For me death might even be a mercy. No more voice in my head driving me to do things I did not understand or want. No more Musa with its sad face, telling me that it had been happy with my ancestors but not with me. No more Fabiana and concern for the uspec’s safety, especially with its stupid faith. I would be free. It would be them, the ones who lived on, who would be most affected by my death. I would feel nothing. And if I was to die, what better way to go than in a fair fight against the rumored best fighter in the existence. All the worries of an invasion, of uspecs serving imps, of losing Lahooni, all of it gone. No, I was at peace with death. But I would not go down easily. I would fight Checha with everything I had.

1 Like

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:52am On Mar 07
I saw the black begin to lighten, signs that my time with Fabiana was about to come to an end, and I heard myself speak. Suddenly, it became all so clear why I had asked for Fabiana.

“Make sure Chechin is there.” I said.

“What?” Fabiana’s mouth hung open, its brows furrowed with confusion.

“I am going to fight Checha in an equipoise, I need you to make sure that Chechin is there. Chechin, Checha’s junior cognate, has to be there, it has to see the fight. Can you do that?”

Fabiana appeared shocked, too shocked to form words.

Three soldiers stood in front of the entrance to my cell. I could tell that the fog had been removed. “The mighty one sent us to get you.” One of the soldiers announced.

It was time for the fight. I’d thought I’d have hours, but I was wrong. Only minutes, but I was ready. The peace I had fallen asleep in had not shaken. I was at peace with myself, and at peace with the fight that was coming. I was so at peace that I shot down the thought of escaping. Checha was the only one who could take away my pain before I could summon a lit okun. Without Checha, I could gather enough pain to create a lit okun and kill these soldiers while they escorted me to Checha, then I would be free. I could escape.

Checha’s eye!

The voice in my head chose that moment to return, bringing a migraine with it. The pain went away quickly, as did the voice, but they only confirmed what I already knew. It was now. This would be the best chance I would have of getting Checha’s eye. Outside an equipoise the uspec had spectra, and emotions, and probably even pansophy. Its skill with magic surpassed mine, it had already proven that by taking my pain away. I still did not know what it had done with that pain. An equipoise was the only place I stood a chance.

I nodded.

“No.” Fabiana cut in front of me. “Only a few days sirga.” It panicked. “Just a few days.”

I smiled at Fabiana. “Can you do what I asked?”

It could not reply.

“Yes.” Musa’s voice was soft, a whisper that came to me from a person without appearance. It had removed its appearance once the guards arrived. Now it whispered. “Yes, we will find a way to get Chechin there, but you must survive master. Hate me all you want, but you must survive.”

I chuckled at that. “I do not hate you Musa, I am not sure I could. Take care of yourself.”

And then I walked out of the cell.

The guards formed around me. One stood in front of me, positioned to lead the way, I assumed, and the other two behind me. I could easily have killed them if I chose to, but I did not. We walked. The opaque fogs cordoning off my cell drifted away. The guard in front led us through and we followed.

As I walked past the quicksand hallway, I turned to catch a glimpse of the soaru uspec who I’d seen from my cell. The uspec lay on its bed, its hands underneath its head and its eyes trained on the ceiling above it. For some reason, it turned its focus from the ceiling to me, at the exact moment that I had turned to gaze at it.

We both froze.

There were certain things I had come to accept about my life. From the first time I had heard the voice in my head and knew that I was bound to it, that I had to obey it, I had known that I was different. Or perhaps I had realized that earlier. Certainly not in the slum, but after. After I became aware of my irira status. After the noble took me from my slum and delivered me to Fajahromo. My life from that point had become nothing more than twists of fates. One twist after the other. From de trop to irira, from irira to banneret. From the pits to the Isle of Brio. From having nothing to having more money than I could spend. From having no purpose to following the voice in my head. Twist after twist, but no twist appeared greater than the one staring me in the face.

This twist rose. It shook off the shock and stood, while I remained the gaping fool rooted to the spot. It stood from its bed and it walked towards me. There was hard fog separating us so it could not walk out of its cell, but I could tell from the look on its face, that if it could, its first act would be to take my life.

I had never been the target of hatred so pure and unflinching that I wished for cover. And if it had been anyone else, anyone else, the hatred wouldn’t have mattered. I would have shrugged it off, but I could not shrug this uspec off. Not when it was the first one that I had ever called friend. Katsoaru came back into my mind. Not the early days, when we had been strangers, but the latter days. After I’d saved its life and it had spent hours scouring its Acropolis so that it could do the same. We should have been lifelong friends. But I had stolen its eye, and that betrayal severed whatever chance of friendship we’d ever had. Now it was standing in a cell in front of me, staring at me as if it would give anything to see me die. Had I become to Marcinus what Fajahromo was to me? That thought brought me nothing but sorrow.

What peace I’d felt before was gone.

“Marcinus.” I didn’t hear sound, and so I knew that the words didn’t come out, but I said them, or at least my lips moved to say them. Its center eye was missing, that eye was one of five that I had on the outer perimeter of my face. I had taken its eye. I had made it shun. Now it hated me, and I could not blame it. I remembered enough about Marcinus to know that the uspec staring at me with such vitriol appeared so different from the happy, carefree uspec I’d last known in Katsoaru. What had happened to it? How had it come to be in a cell in Lahooni? So many questions, but no time to ask them.

“Keep moving. It is bad luck to stare at one so close to death.” The guard behind me said.

I turned to that guard and glared at it. “I am not as close to death as you might think.” I spat the words out through clenched teeth.

“I was not talking about you.” The guard tipped its head towards Marcinus in the cell. “I was talking about it. By the high one Salin’s decree, and with the plenum’s blessing, that uspec is set to be executed in an hour.”

What? Set to be executed in an hour? How? Why? Maybe I was wrong, maybe that wasn’t Marcinus. But it was, it was it. Marcinus. How had the uspec come to this end? Set to die in an hour. The guard behind me pushed me and I found myself walking. I could not look away, but Marcinus did not appear to have that problem. It turned its back on me before I was even out of eyeshot. The Marcinus I had known in Katsoaru was gone, but who could blame it when I had forced it to live the life of shun, subject to the whims of its sibling, Manus. Katsoaru seemed like another life now, but it was a life that had left me with scars. One of those scars was about to die.

I was so distracted by my thoughts of Marcinus that I did not notice when we reached the quicksand and were pulled into it. I followed behind the guards while my mind contemplated Marcinus. It wasn’t till I felt the chill, that I allowed my mind to return to the present. I wished for the inner peace I had found before. I wished for that calm acceptance in the face of death. But I could not find it, all I saw was Marcinus, staring daggers at me from its cell, an hour before it was set to be executed.

The hatch was as beautiful as I remembered it being from Hakute. This was a different hatch of course, one surrounded by equipoise, but somehow the orange hue seemed to mix well with the green. The guards left and I was alone with a single pious one. My mind was still reeling with the discovery of Marcinus that it took me much longer than it should have to note Checha’s arrival.

When I did note it though, it was too late for me to go back in time and try to escape when I had the chance.

I almost laughed at myself. I should have known. I should have known that it would not be as easy as fighting an uspec like me in an equipoise. I should have known that it was a Kaiser in the plenum for a reason. It should have occurred to me when I linked its bulky clothes with the fact that it was trying to hide its irira crossbreeding. I had been right on that count, but so wrong on everything else.

I had thought that Checha was like me, a hooni-kute crossbreed. Now, seeing Checha unclothed, I knew that I was wrong. No wonder its control of emotions had been so strong. Suddenly, the insane fear I’d felt when I first met it made sense. It had put that fear in me.

Now, seeing it in its full splendor, I felt an all-natural fear of my own.

Checha was not just a kun of two, it was a kun of five. It was a crossbreed of all the spectrums. Not only did it have the scales of a hooni, it had the tail of a kute, the horns of a mejo, the spikes of a boga, and the tentacles of a soaru. This was why the plenum dressed so bulkily, this was what they tried to hide. They were irirakuns of all five spectrums. They were the very thing they persecuted Chuspecip for being. And I was about to fight one of them. There would be no magic, but the features of the spectrums were weapons, and Checha had far more weapons than I did.

The pious one began reciting its prayer, and I felt the certainty of death envelope me. No wonder Checha was not afraid of fighting in an equipoise.

I was a fool.

I took a deep breath and tried to prepare for battle. I tried to shake off the fear of Checha’s hidden features, but I found that to be a formidable task.

5 Likes

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 9:24am On Mar 07
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Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by HotB: 9:33am On Mar 07
damn! See fight...
I pity Nebud
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by dominique(f): 9:46am On Mar 07
Wow! This story is still running shocked

I was following it sometime last year but couldn't continue when I got sick around June/July. I can't even remember where I stopped. I might have to start from scratch before you take this one away too(I can see that you've removed the White Sight story from your profile sad)

@ObehiD when are we going to get another Crimson Night sequel? I miss Osezele and the rest of the St. Luke's crew.

2 Likes 3 Shares

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by eROCK247(m): 9:54am On Mar 07
The story can't end now cos it was written for his offspring, an offspring he is yet to have. And while writing the story, The mighty undead, Nebud Kaizer of Lahooni was an old man. He'll definitely survive these battles, assume his throne and get his offspring...from Checha.

We're getting closer to the climax and I can't wait!!!

2 Likes

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by maynation(f): 1:29pm On Mar 07
I am not just enjoying this story, I am also learning new words.
I can bet my left kidney that Obehid has all the words in the dictionary in her head. cool

Gratitude Obehid.

4 Likes

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 6:24pm On Mar 07
Fight loading in 5.........
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by ayshow6102(m): 7:19pm On Mar 07
Thanks for the update obehid I hope theres a way we can stop Marcinus execution, and as for checha it's like he don forget say na over confidence make February to be uncomplete this hatch is made specially for nehud and I see checha begging us to spare his life in the next update, more palm oil to your elbows obehid
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by olite93: 12:15am On Mar 08
Nebud wins.... Who wan bet... ObehiD, post r getting shorter ooo... Pls do smtin,.. We agreed for 2 long posts weekly na
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 12:26am On Mar 08
@HotB Yes oh, this is going to be a fight to remember cheesy

@dominique lol, yeah, this is a LONG one. I had to remove the white sight story after I signed my publishing contract. But, we're working on that, I actually just finished working on the third draft for that this last Sunday, and the story has changed and it's been revamped, and we're not even fully done with the editing process yet, so when it's complete, I'm hoping it will be even better and worth the long wait. Thanks for the patience grin

@eROCK247 lol! I like the way you're thinking!!! But what if the real twist is that the Nebud we're reading about now is actually not the Nebud that wrote it, but that those Nebud's memories were switched/changed with pansophy, so the Nebud that started writing could be a different character that we're just overlooking...

@maynation HAHAHA!!! Well I'm glad that you're learning new words, me too I'm learning new words to right this sha wink lol

@cassbeat 4.3.2......................

@ayshow6102 I'm happy you saw Marcinus! I thought more people we're going to notice Marcinus peeping in then, but...oh well. As to its execution, only time will tell

@olite93 This is about the regular length of the updates oh, some are longer, some are shorter, but this is about average
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Tuhndhay(m): 2:53am On Mar 08
Egungun be careful nah express you dey go.... E don happen, E don happen, Checha don jam am..... Ooin Nebud is doing well. This is Fantabulous.
Coincidentally by stroke of luck, Nebud escapes getting killed because Arexon storms the location and Fahjaromo does something.
Did he get the "eye"? I will leave Obehid to write on that and how the voice got beaten out of him but I think the voice was planted by "pansophy"........ Have I said too much.... I think yes
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 7:55am On Mar 08
obehiD:


@cassbeat 4.3.2...................
Nah I'm counting at my own pace.
Fight loading in 4.................
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 7:56am On Mar 08
olite93:
Nebud wins.... Who wan bet... ObehiD, post r getting shorter ooo... Pls do smtin,.. We agreed for 2 long posts weekly na
Bros calm down no go let obehid do Nebud strong thing o
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by tunjilomo(m): 10:48am On Mar 08
I think I know now the reason Fajahromo wanted to have a kun of five. Possibly he wanted it as a way into the plenum, having a kaiser of the plenum you can control is really thrilling.

As to why the plenum wants to get rid of Chuspecip and the iriras (irirakuns are their main targets), I think it is evident that they are possibly the only thing that can threaten their continued existence.

I seem to remember Gerangi lecturing Nebud about the magics of the spectral existence and telling him something like route is the magic of ascendancy, it is a combination (I guess that is what he used. I am not going back to check) of all the magics and one thing.

The question now is what that one thing is, could it be a brio (the last brio). Does the plenum truly wants to destroy the last brio or they want to use it.

The motive of the plenum itself for doing all these is still a mystery to me. Do they want to achieve route, or they are after something different entirely.

Now I leave it to the master, Obehid to guide us to the answers we are patiently for. I am sure she will surprise us over and over again as is her usual self.

I can't just wait.

1 Like

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by olite93: 8:17pm On Mar 08
Very wonderful observations up dere... I also know dat its either chuspecip lives in nebud n is controlling the uspec or its sire the mighty calami planted the whole stuff with pansophy.. . I know nebud lives and is the uspec telling its story... I know calami took cala to the isle of brio as a little imperial... It must have known of the plenum and planted the voice and its scheme as last resort.. Cos the voice was activated after gerangi died in the isle... And the same passion that made it take the eye in the isle was d same passion that pushed it to kill that osin in d beginning.... I think thats chuspecip or calami
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by popeshemoo(m): 11:23am On Mar 09
obehiD:
Thank you @popeshemoo glad to see you're still reading and enjoying grin

Oh.. I never left
I was practicing pansopy..kinda took away my appearance and forgot how to put it back on..

A kun of five...nebud is clearly outmatched
..but my money is still on him though!
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by eROCK247(m): 5:25pm On Mar 09
obehiD:


@eROCK247 lol! I like the way you're thinking!!! But what if the real twist is that the Nebud we're reading about now is actually not the Nebud that wrote it, but that those Nebud's memories were switched/changed with pansophy, so the Nebud that started writing could be a different character that we're just overlooking...

That won't be nice...but still Nebud was introduced as Kaizer. He's got to win at least this battle ain't so?
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by HotB: 5:52pm On Mar 09
obehiD:


@eROCK247 lol! I like the way you're thinking!!! But what if the real twist is that the Nebud we're reading about now is actually not the Nebud that wrote it, but that those Nebud's memories were switched/changed with pansophy, so the Nebud that started writing could be a different character that we're just overlooking...

I'm going back to the beginning. Don't do abracadabra pls
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:56am On Mar 11
Part 8
-------

“Two as it was in the days of the firsts,
two duel for life, thus two duel for births.
Of you both the founder has chosen,
to make one progenitor, and the other reposing.
And that which survives shall become undead,
to lead a young as it too was led.
And that which is gone forever the offer,
forever exists in what is left to the other.”

The pious one concluded its chant and the silence that followed needed no explanation. It was time for the fight. A round wall of green stood in front of us. That wall showed that Checha had kept its promise, that we were indeed to fight in a hatch made within an equipoise. The eyes on the outer perimeter of my face chose that moment to stray to the side, catching glances of Checha’s body as it moved. I saw each boga spike on its chest and remembered the boga giant I’d fought the last time I’d been in hatch. The challenge with fighting bogas was to stay away from their spikes. I knew that. Normally, I would evade the chest spikes by aiming for the legs. My eyes glanced downwards and were faced with the reality of soaru tentacles, covering its legs. Those tentacles could lash out and latch onto an uspec. The hold of those tentacles were strong, much too strong to be removed by anything less than severing them. My first battle in the pits of Hakute had taught me that. A hard cyan tail rose from behind the skirt of tentacles, and the pointed tip of that tail turned upwards, reminding me of the poisoning powers it had. Of course I had a tail of my own to counter that, but still, if I was stung by the uspec’s poison, I would be paralyzed. I had never used my tail before, never used it as a weapon, never used it to weaken an opponent. I’d never had to, but I knew how. My eyes moved upward then, going back over the completely shielded legs, and the completely covered chests, to the completely covered neck. Its neck was filled with hooni scales. Hard scales that I knew from personal experience would be impossible to cut through, no dagger could break them. That was why daggers were made from them. My eyes continued to rise, past the face with completely filled eye sockets, to the head covered with mejo horns. Each of those horns were natural daggers which could be removed and used for fighting.

Checha turned to face me then. I gulped. An irirakun of all five spectrums. This was what Gerangi had told me Fajahromo had tried to create with my offspring, all those days past, in the pits of Hakute. Now I had to face one. As if its excess of features was not enough, it had bulk. It had bulk which could rival mine. This bulk had been hidden by the baggy clothes it wore. Now it was revealed, and I could see that Checha’s fame as a pugilist was not exaggerated.

“Shall we begin Cala?” Checha asked.

It was a struggle to keep my gaze from shifting to the exit. I should have escaped while I had the chance. I should have created the lit okun and killed the guards. I could have escaped with Fabiana and Musa. Checha would have scoured the entire existence for me, but at least I would have had a chance. I should have…

Checha’s eye.

The voice in my head prompted. The sound of that voice, right at this moment when I was facing my own mortality. The sound of the voice right when I knew I was doomed, it proved to be more of an agitation than it ever had before. I almost reached for the dagger in my belt just to stab myself in the head, and finally shut the voice up. Checha’s eye. Why Checha? Of all the hooni uspecs, why Checha? I could have lived long, I could have reclaimed my port, instead I was here, about to challenge an uspec with all five features.

“Your belt.” The pious one was in front of me, pointing at the belt. It expected me to take the belt off and relinquish it to its care. I knew that I had to. I had insisted on the fighting in the hatch being fair, and it wouldn’t be fair if I had weapons and Checha did not. Although, it was not really fair for Checha to have so many more features than I had. Fair. I scoffed at the word. Why had I ever thought that fighting Checha could be fair?

A part of me thought that I should have known. I should have known that Checha was a kun of all five spectrums, I should have known that it had to have had some advantage on me, to be willing to challenge me without magic or poison. I should have known. But the reality was that I couldn’t have. The features were covered. Before this moment, I had not even known that kuns of all five spectrums existed.

It took a lot of work to create a kun of five from scratch. It took several battles in the hatch, several deaths, before an uspec crossbreed of all five spectrums could be made. How was I to know that the Kaisers, the very ones who swore disgust at all iriras, the ones who couldn’t bear to live in the same existence as iriras, were themselves iriras? The hypocrisy of it…I just couldn’t have known. And I was not alone in this. No one else in the entire existence knew. My gaze locked on the pious one waiting for my belt, and I amended my thoughts. Others knew, others had to know, but those who knew where loyal to the plenum. And that was why word of the hypocrisy had not spread. If people found out, there would be chaos, an uprising. There had to be. The Kuworytes where meant to follow the Kuwor, but everyone knew that they really followed the plenum. The one thing they despised the most, was crossbreeding. If they found out that the plenum Kaisers were iriras? The chasm would escalate. It wouldn’t just be Uspecipytes against Kuworytes, it would be Kuworytes against themselves. The bloodshed…

The pious one cleared its throat and I was forced out of my thoughts on the plenum’s hypocrisy and the chaos which would unfold if it was revealed. Not that I would have a chance to see it, I thought, as I reached for my belt. It was with slightly shaking hands that I reached to undo the belt. I took it off, handing it over to the pious one. It made no remarks as it took the belt from me.

“Let it be done.” The pious one announced, bowing as it extended its free hand towards the green fog.

Checha nodded at the uspec before it began to walk. Checha was a few steps ahead, of me, just about to walk into the equipoise, when I had a panicked thought and ran a fear-inspired final gambit. I summoned all the pain that I could find. I thought of my offspring’s death, of Musa’s betrayal, of the look of hatred which had been on Marcinus face when it saw me. All of it, every painful moment I had ever endured, I relived, and ever scrap of pain I had felt, I scavenged. Until I felt the life in it. I felt the gulf of pain from the okun calling out to me, and I knew that I had created a lit okun.

Checha whirled around.

One moment, I had a beautiful lit okun at the soles of my feet, growing out of me. The pious one was standing too close. The lit okun spread to just underneath its toe. As soon as it touched it, the pious one convulsed and fell dead to the ground. The pain in me only grew as I harvested the spectral magic from the dead uspec.

And then the pain was gone, snuffed out.

Checha frowned at me.

It took a step forward, and I prayed as I turned my gaze down, that the lit okun still remained. It did not. It was gone, just like my pain.

Fogs gathered, filling the room. The previous empty surrounding was now filled with red fogs, making their way towards me. I reached for my fear, and since I had so much of it, I had no doubt that I could create fogs to counter Checha’s. Before the fear could form in me, it was taken away, removed, no doubt, by the irirakun stalking towards me.

The fogs continued their convergence and I was powerless against them. I could not hold onto my emotions for long enough to use spectra to fight back. Checha had meant to fight me fairly in the hatch, but by trying to kill it with the lit okun, I had changed its mind. It meant to kill me now, with fogs.

The fogs encircled me. I felt them inching towards me, closer and closer, so close I could feel the death they brought with them. Then they stopped.

“You are a child Cala.” Checha’s flat voice came through the fogs. “Against me, you are a child. I surpass you in power and skill. Your use of emotions is like a party trick compared to what I can do.” It stopped speaking and the fogs inched closer.

Then the fogs were gone. “Don’t forget that.” Checha said, as the last of the fogs drifted away.

Without the fogs obstructing my view of the uspec, I could see its face. I could stare into its determined eyes. What I saw in those eyes made me nod in acquiescence. I could not beat this uspec with magic. I’d known that from the moment it had stolen my pain during the interview with Salin.

This time, when Checha turned around and began walking towards the equipoise, I followed silently in its wake.

As soon as I stepped into the equipoise, I felt my magic leave me. The life I usually felt in my emotions was gone. I was left feeling flat, somehow different, but also, somehow better. Magic could be a distraction. I knew this already. There was nothing purer than fighting with a clear head. Besides, my lack of magic meant that Checha also had no magic. One look at the uspec reminded me that a lack of magic was not a disadvantage for it. It had more features than I did, and those features were both weapons, and shields.

The air around the hatch was as chilly as I remembered it from the last time I’d been so close. A wall of opaque red fog stood in front of me, blocking my view of what was to be the last place I would ever fight. I tried to laugh off the silly thought, but even I knew that I had no chance of beating Checha. That had been why I’d made that last gambit. And I had failed.

Checha stopped right before the wall of opaque red fogs. It put its hand into it, and the opacity of the fogs went away. I could clearly see to the hatch within. I could see the mixture of orange and red light. I could see the white hail flakes falling within it, to the ground. The ground was a mixture of quicksand and okun. Through it all, light red fog drifted about. I had not realized this the first time I’d seen the hatch, but now I knew more. I could now tell that the hatch was so mesmerizing because it had all of the souls of the different spectrums present within it. Was that what gave it the power to make new life? I wondered, and then immediately turned my mind from that. This was not the time for existential thoughts or questions.

“You know,” Checha began, its voice low as it continued to stare at the hatch, “I’m surprised you didn’t kill yourself last night. I expected that. How did it let you reach this point?” Then Checha turned around, and I realized, as it stared keenly into my face, that it was not crazy. It actually expected me to know what it was talking about.

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Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:57am On Mar 11
I did not.

“You don’t know, do you?” It didn’t wait for me to respond before it continued speaking. “I’m talking about the voice in your head.”

I gaped at it. How did it know? Pansophy? The uspec had never touched me. I’d at least had enough sense to make certain of that. Then I remembered Arexon and the creative way it had siphoned my thoughts the first time we met. Checha must have done the same thing. It must have taken appearance from a pansophy conduit so that I would not have known as it siphoned my thoughts.

“Pansophy.” I said, in response.

Checha chuckled. It shook its head. “No, actually, not pansophy. Fabiana’s cognate, Foild. It has spies in Fabian’s house. Those spies overhead you talking to your imp about a voice in your head which sets your course.”

Foild, I’d known I hated that uspec the moment I saw its ambitious face. What did it matter now? “Do you know who the voice is?” I asked. I did not expect an answer. It was my voice, how could Checha know anything about it?

Checha nodded.

“Who?” I asked.

Checha laughed. “You are the last brio, and you know nothing about what it is you carry within you.”

“I am not the last brio.” I spat out. “The last brio is a coffer, an object. And by the time you get that through your thick skull, Fajahromo will already have it.”

Checha’s laugh deepened. “The only thing Fajahromo has is frostbite. It knows that the plenum is hunting it. Before we could get our hands on its traitorous neck, it ran to Damejo. I’ll find it though. As soon as I’m done with you, I will find it.”

Fajahromo was on the run? Why did this not feel me with more joy? I would have been happier if Checha had said it was dead. Fajahromo was sneaky, too sneaky. Where would it hide in Damejo? The answer came instantly. There was no place safer than the mausoleum. Fajahromo already owned the attendants and its siblings room-vaults. No one could come in without the key and Fajahromo alone would have that.

“I am not the last brio.” I said, although I could tell from the look on Checha’s face that it did not believe me.

“You are. Why do you fight it, when you do not even know what it is?”

“I know it’s a weapon. I know that destroying the last brio would lead to Chuspecip’s death.”

Checha shook its head. “You misunderstand. If destroying the last brio would lead to Chuspecip’s death, then the voice in your head would not have sent you on all the missions it did. Haven’t these missions struck you as a little suicidal? Surely a voice that leads you to me wants you to die.”

I thought about that for a minute and chose to refrain from answering.

“Your death, the destruction of the last brio, protects Chuspecip, it doesn’t kill it. There are only two things that can lead to Chuspecip’s lifeforms, Chuspecip itself, and you, the last brio. If I kill you, this information, this map, dies with you. Which is why I refused to let you get consumed by fog. I need the last brio to find Chuspecip’s lifeforms, and destroying Chuspecip’s lifeforms is the key to destroying Chuspecip. I need you, but as you will never cooperate with me, I will use the offspring created from your corpse instead. How do you think the brio transferred to you? You inherited it from your progenitor, Calami. And my offspring, the one I create from you, will inherit the brio from you. It will be bound to me, and it will lead me to the lifeforms.”

I was speechless. Checha truly believed what it was saying. It believed that I was the last brio and that killing me would create another last brio, one that would be loyal to it. It was insane. How could Checha believe this? What happened to make it so sure that I was the last brio, and that if I was, the brio could be transferred? None of it made sense to me. None of it.

“I am not the last brio.” Was all I could say in response to Checha’s words.

Checha smiled. “It matters not what you think you are.” It said, and then it walked into the hatch.

I took a step back. I did not have to go into that hatch. My wings began to flap, and I had another desperate thought of fleeing. Checha did not want me dead. It had just confessed that to me. Its previous show with the fogs had been that, nothing more than a show. It believed that killing me would destroy the last brio and it needed the last brio. I did not have to believe it, to use it. I could run. I could run, Checha would not kill me. I turned around and put more thought into flying.

CHECHA’S EYE! YOU BELONG TO ME!

I tried to fight the voice, but I found that my ailerons no longer flapped. But I could still control my legs, and so I made to walk away, but my head exploded with pain. The pain dropped me to my knees. Still, I tried to fight it, to crawl on hands and knees away from the hatch.

YOU ARE MINE NEBUD! YOU ARE MINE. YOU BELONG TO ME! YOU BELONG TO ME!! BRING ME CHECHA’S EYE! I WANT IT! I NEED IT! YOU WILL GIVE IT TO ME! YOU ARE MINE!

No! I tried to scream but I could force no words out through my lips. The pain was too much. I did not know that this level of paralyzing pain existed. But I could not willingly walk into my own execution, and that was what fighting Checha in the hatch would be. It believed that killing me would give it everything it wanted, everything it needed. I could not do it, not now, not like this. I needed time. I needed time. But the pain wouldn’t let me. I could not move. It was as if my body no longer belonged to me. I tried to fight the voice. I tried to crawl, but I could not.

CHECHA’S EYE!

The voice repeated those words like a mantra. Like it was a spell and that repeating it could work magic on me, could make do that which I knew would lead to my own destruction. Was Checha right? Not about the last brio, but about the voice wanting me to die.

CHECHA’S EYE!

The pain was too much. I couldn’t take it anymore.

‘Later.’ I tried to reason with the voice. ‘Later. I will take the eye, but not now, not like this. I need time.’

NOW!

Was the response.

NOW! NOW!! NOW!!! I WANT CHECHA’S EYE. YOU BELONG TO ME. YOU WILL OBEY ME. NOW!

No. I tried to fight it.

NOW!

It felt like a dagger was being used to separate the sides of my brain. The voice was tearing into me, pushing me, forcing me, it would not go, it would not wane. I lay on the floor, shivering with pain.

“Fine.” I yelled, giving in. “Fine.”

Suddenly I was myself again. The pain was gone. There was nothing left to even remind me of how bad it had been. It was almost as if the pain had been a memory, a dream I’d made up myself.

I pushed myself off the ground and onto my feet. Then I steeled myself for the fight, and walked into the hatch.

There was a knowing smirk on Checha’s face, as if the agony I had endured was confirmation of its words. Perhaps the voice did want me to die, perhaps that was why it had sent me on all of these missions. But I had survived each one. Against all odds, I had survived. I had every intention of surviving this one too. I would survive this and I would find the voice in my head. I would find it and I would shut it up, for good.

As I walked through the fogs, I felt the thrill of battle fill me. I was suddenly thirsty for Checha’s blood. It was bloodlust, pure and simple. I wanted Checha to die. And from the way Checha looked at me, it was feeling the same thing. I remembered this from the last time I’d fought in the hatch, the way that the fogs altered my senses.

Then there was a gasp.

Checha turned. I found myself turning too, despite the bloodlust.
I turned, and through the translucent red fogs surrounding the hatch, on the other side of the green equipoise, standing by the dead body of the pious one I’d killed, was Fabiana, and Chechin. The uspec had done what I’d asked it to.

It wasn’t till that moment, as Chechin stared with horror at Checha, that I understood why I’d made the request. I’d wanted to make sure that Chechin saw its senior cognate this way. I’d wanted to ensure that Chechin saw Checha was an irira. But how could I have known to ensure it before I even knew that Checha would be revealing itself during this fight?

I did not have the time to contemplate this. The bloodlust began to rise, like a wave of carnage roiling within me.

A blow knocked me off my feet. “I had meant to make this bearable for you, but now I’ve changed my mind. For revealing me to Chechin this way, I will make sure your final moments are filled with unrelenting pain.” And then Checha proceeded to make good on its promise.

3 Likes

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Smooth278(m): 4:45am On Mar 11
More, more, moreeeeeeeeeee.... Lol.

The suspense is killing!!!
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Madosky112(m): 5:28am On Mar 11
Hot update....... Thanks Obehid..
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by olite93: 7:13am On Mar 11
eROCK247:


That won't be nice...but still Nebud was introduced as Kaizer. He's got to win at least this battle ain't so?

No...kaiser Nebud is writing these things to his son... Which means he became kaiser
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by olite93: 7:16am On Mar 11
What if the plenum is the kuwor's way of punishing chuspecip... Just teachin it that its the real god and father while chispecip is an ordinary founder of dat existence and son of kuwor... The kuwor has to intervene and defend chuspecip... I think nebud is more than just the last brio... Obehid kwantinu....

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Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 12:09pm On Mar 11
Checha has a well baked out plan on how to destroy chuspecip, if it manages to get what it wants then plenum will rule and it may even go.as far as making itself a deity. A god who uspecs will worship.

The voice is eager for checha's eye, does it have that confidence the Nebud can secure what it wants? Nebud is strong but compared to Checha and it's features, Nebud stands a zero chance of victory except what we know of Nebud is not complete. There maybe something we haven't been told about this Nebud, it is not ordinary. Being the Brio isn't just a title with responsibility, there has to be some other benefits to it.

I hope for a surprise. Although this update came and left too quickly. The suspense is real.

Thanks for this one Obehid
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by eROCK247(m): 4:27pm On Mar 11
olite93:


No...kaiser Nebud is writing these things to his son... Which means he became kaiser

I don't think you understand my statement
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by eROCK247(m): 6:43pm On Mar 11
obehiD this is not fair. They should finalise this battle na...it's running into two weeks now o!!!
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by doctorexcel(m): 7:16am On Mar 12
The last update is dope. Am anxiously anticipating the outcome of the battle with my heart in my handing doing gbim-gbim gbim-gbim. I pray checha gives in to emotional anger and lose his focus
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by ayshow6102(m): 6:00pm On Mar 12
Thanks for this extremely long update obehid and I can see the death of nehud in H-D/4D I just hope you prove that I should clean my polarised glasses

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