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The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) - Literature (38) - Nairaland

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Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 5:02am On Mar 14
I apologize in advance because this update runs on the shorter side. I've been a bit busy, but hopefully the next one will be longer.


Part 9
-------

The blows rained down. I realized, as I lay half sprawl in the position that Checha had knocked me into, that it had every intention of literally following each word it had said. By unending, it really did mean unending. The blows did not stop. It felt as if I was in a mejo port suffering the pelting of particularly large pieces of uncouth hail. I had not enjoyed the pelting on Nefastu, and I enjoyed this even less.

I took one last punch, before I swept my right leg out, catching Checha by surprise. The uspec stumbled back. It caught itself quickly, but the stumble gave me enough time to jump to my feet. I came up swinging. My first blow landed right on Checha’s chin. It was a blow so hard that Checha was forced back a few more steps. Then I went after it and followed the first blow with another. And another. It was my turn to strike back, and I wasn’t taking any chances.

Checha’s fists came up. It managed to dodge a punch from my right hand. It took the left hand blow and returned a blow of its own. That blow landed on my exposed belly. It took some effort, but I managed not to let the punch slow my attack. I kept lashing out, kept aiming blows at the uspec. Checha responded by attacking my stomach. Blow after blow, until the pain became too much to endure. I took a step back, doubling over a little.

Checha came after me. It flew after me, and descended with its fist extended. I managed to maneuver myself out of the trap between Checha’s awaiting fist and the boundary of the fog walls, but just barely. In my attempt to move away quickly enough, I had to bend over, and I found that once I was that close to the floor, I almost lost my footing. The pain in my stomach was much more than I’d first thought. I caught myself before I could fall, and, using the ground as a support, I pushed myself back to my feet.

My opponent was standing in front of me when I finally managed to rise. It dealt me a blow much more intense than the first one it had given. Somehow, I managed to stay on my feet, and to raise my hands up to shield my face when it tried to hit me again. A punch to my stomach revealed the extent of exposure of my lower half. I dropped my arms and Checha countered with a blow to my face. I absorbed the punch, shaking it off as I thrust my fists out. My left blow was deflected by Checha’s arm, but the right struck true. It was the heaviest blow that I had struck so far. Checha was forced a few steps back.

There was a slight pause then. A little break in the fight. It did not last long, but it was long enough for me to take stock of my injuries. My stomach hurt. I did not know the state of things within it, but I could tell that there were organs that had to be damaged. And my face, it was a wonder that I was still able to see out of my eyes.

Checha began prowling towards me. It took its time, like a predator stalking its prey. I used that time to prepare myself for the next round. When Checha’s first blow came, I deflected it easily, swinging to the side. I had my arms stretched out as I returned to the upright standing position, expecting to land a blow on Checha’s face. My blow landed, but Checha’s did as well. And Checha’s blow proved far more ruthless than mine. The blow was aimed at my side, and it hit its target. I felt as if someone had hit me with a large ball of metal. I coughed, letting out a mouthful of blood. I was still coughing when Checha aimed another blow at my other side. I sprang up immediately, striking out with a punch of my own, but I was too late. Checha’s fist slammed into my face.

I fell down hard.

This time, there was no pause, no break in the fight. Checha followed me down. it bent. As soon as I saw its hand reaching for my neck, I turned around. My turn forced my face abruptly into a pool of okun. I had not expected that, and so I ended up breathing the liquid in through my nose. I’d avoided Checha’s hold on my neck though, so that was a positive. I did not even have time to contemplate how truly positive that was, because I felt a hand tighten on my arm. That hand turned me over. I barely had enough time to register that my eyes had gone from staring into okun, to staring into an orange-red sky, when Checha’s second round of blows started. This time it pinned me down with a leg on my chest, and its hand on my arm. I felt its punch from its right fist. It smashed my nose and I heard bones break. My teeth were the next to go.

I tried to push it off me, but it was heavy, and I was already weakened by the injuries that I’d taken during our short time fighting. With each blow that the uspec rained down on me, I felt my head get heavier. The pain was not one I was unused to. Granted it had been a long time since I had taken a beating of this magnitude, but I had survived the pits, I was not unused to the crunch of skin against mine. But this was different. This time, I was in an equipoise, there was no magic that I could call on, and even if I could, Checha had me beat in that department.

It wasn’t till I started to feel my grasp on reality fading, that I fully came to terms with the fact that I was going to die. There would be no magic to save me this time, no uspec to run to my rescue. I was going to die. Right here, in this hatch, in Lahooni, the port of my ancestors, by the hands of Checha, a Kaiser from the plenum. The same people that had caused the death of my line. The reality of death had never hit me quite so hard.

Perhaps there is a final burst of energy that one feels at the brink of death, one last desperate attempt to save one’s life. Or perhaps I was stronger, and had more fight in me than I had ever known. But as I felt my consciousness slipping, and as death drew near, I summoned the strength for one last act. Checha’s blows continued, my body was in excruciating pain, but I found the strength to wrench my body from Checha’s grip, and roll, over. This time, I did so with a plan in mind. As soon as I was free of Checha, my face immersed in the familiar okun, I took a gulp of the okun, for additional strength perhaps, and reached for the scales on my neck. I pulled one out.

This time, when Checha’s hand came to force me back around, I was prepared. My hand rose, the scale pinched between my fingers, and I aimed right for Checha’s face. I knew its neck was covered, and so I could not cause much damage there, but there was no shield on its face, over its eyes. I was aiming for its eyes, but I got its mouth instead.

Checha let out a loud howl of pain as my scale slashed diagonally through its lips. It stumbled more than a few steps backwards, giving me enough space to push myself to my feet. The first time I tried, I failed, and landed back on the quicksand. Then I went to my knees first. I struggled to set myself on my knees, and from my knees, I placed my hands on the ground first, and then struggled to get myself in an upright position.

It took some time, but I managed to stand. I was panting when I finally stood. My head felt as if an anvil had been taken to it. My stomach and sides were in unbearable pain, and with each thump of my heart, it was as if pain was being pushed through me along with my blood. My gaze no longer appeared clear. Two of my eyes were shut, and I could only see slits through another two. The one at a corner of my face had somehow managed to survive most of the assault intact and my center eye was still open. I saw double through my center eye vision, but it was still open.

I blinked, trying to reorient myself.

By the time I could finally see clearly enough to even contemplate attacking, Checha was recovered. Whatever anger I’d thought had been in it before, was now gone. What I saw now, was the real anger, if rage this broiling could even be called that. Before we had fought with fists, now, the tide of the battle had turned. I knew this, and I knew that by attacking with my neck scales I had caused this change, but it was quite discomfiting to watch anyway.

Checha’s hands rose to its scalp. Those hands wrapped around the base of two horns, and yanked. They yanked, and in one tug, the horns came free of the uspec’s head. This time, when Checha came charging at me, it was with horns in each of its hands, and with its tentacles raised and ready for attack.

I could not help it, I took a step back. I took one step back, and then another, and I would have continued to retreat if the hard fog around the hatch did not immediately cut off my retreat. I sidled to the side as Checha’s approach continued. Then it was looming over me, and retreat was no longer an option.

I felt pain. Every part of my body felt as if it was in pain. My legs were sturdy, thankfully, but above my legs I felt a rainbow of agony. Still, I forced myself to fight. I had no other choice. And so when Checha attacked, aiming its horns at me, at the same time as it lashed out with its tentacles, I bent low, missing the swipe of its horns, and struck out with the scales in my hands. My neck scales were sharp and thick enough to take off two of its tentacles. I aimed for a third, but the tentacles got a hold of me before I could complete my mission.

Three tentacles wrapped around each of my arms. The tentacles held me fast. There was no shaking these tentacles off, not when the uspec they belonged to had so much bulk. Still I tried. I was desperate and so I tried. When I found that I could not break myself free of the hold. I leapt off my feet, like an imp dancer, I thought. I allowed myself to balance on the hold of the tentacles on my arm, tilting backwards into it, as if I was lying securely on a bed. Then I pushed back with my feet. The uspec’s chest was filled with spikes, it was a fact I’d been aware of the moment I decided to make the desperate gambit, and so I was prepared for the pain of the spikes drilling into my flesh. I forced my mind to ignore them, focusing instead on putting all my weight into repelling both parts of my body. I pushed forward with my feet and backwards with the rest of my body, that way, I forced Checha’s tentacles to stretch farther than they were used to. Checha released me a little too late. Two of its tentacles ripped right off its waist. I dropped to the ground with those tentacles still loosely attached to my arms.

My fall this time was even harder than it had been before. But I could not dawdle. I had done my best to anger the uspec even more than it had been before. So, as soon as my back fell on quicksand and okun, I let my wings flap, using them to raise myself up. It took strength to fly, and it was strength I was quickly losing, but I still had enough. I had enough to hover in the air.

Checha rose as well. This time, it flew towards me, and I flew away. I tried to fly higher, hoping for a break in the fight, a little break no matter how short. As my ailerons continued to lift me up, I felt the temperature drop. The fine falling hail turned uncouth and the gentle fogs began to form into a vortex. That vortex spun me around and then spat me out, right into Checha’s waiting arms.

The uspec was hovering just a few levels beneath me as I dropped. I saw an appendage lash out, and I thought that it was reaching out with one of its tentacles. It wasn’t till the tip of the tail punctured my flesh that I realized I’d been wrong. It had reached out with its kute tail, releasing its venom into me.

I dropped, paralyzed, onto the hatch floor.

Whatever chance I’d had of winning, quickly went away in the face of my paralysis. I could not move. In all my readings, I’d come across several tomes with tales of the kute venom used in fights, but the memory of seeing it all those years ago in my slum, still lived on in vivid detail in my head. I remembered the noble one who’d come into the slum, and the guards it had brought with it. I remembered those guards using their tails to poison my friends. I also remembered the paralysis that followed. I remembered how those guards had positioned my friends on their knees, and then cut off their heads.

Checha landed, right as this thought filled my head.

Whatever sense of honor or camaraderie there’d been at the start of our battle was gone now. Checha wanted me dead, and as it moved determinedly towards me, I could see that it had every intention of accomplishing its task.

As soon as it reached me, it knelt on the ground beside me. It lifted the horns in its hands up and brought them down, stabbing them into my stomach. One passed all the way through. I felt it poking out my back, the other I felt buried deep within me. If I was not paralyzed by Checha’s kute venom, if I had the strength to speak, I would have cried out.

Now, this, was the pain of death. I knew it. For the first time in my life, I was truly at death’s door. My eyes closed and I could feel the air coming slower. My breaths were short, and strained. I could not move, but I could feel Checha’s hands wrapping around my neck. I could feel it tightening around me, strangling me. The uspec meant to squeeze the life right out of me, and even if I could move, I did not have the strength to stop it.

I felt my breaths coming slower and slower.

Then what little was left of my consciousness began to leave me. I was dying. Perhaps I was already dead.

3 Likes

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 7:03am On Mar 14
Hmm. Obehid this is intense, very intense. I felt every punch in this update. Nice one, and very interesting too. Wow! I feel like I am watching the movie. Wonderful!
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by doctorexcel(m): 8:50am On Mar 14
Wow. Next plssssssssss
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by barag(f): 1:53pm On Mar 14
Obehi ooooooo. Weldone. I enjoyed every bit of this update. You are too much. I sha Nebud would survive .
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by olite93: 3:54pm On Mar 14
Dope update... Enjoyed the fight alot... Nebud lives.... He'll die and come back as the last brio transformed by chuspecip.... Something must happen
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by ayshow6102(m): 8:41pm On Mar 14
Thanks for the update obehid this suspense won't kill me I hope
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by eROCK247(m): 12:02am On Mar 15
I never ever felt I'd see Nebud in this situation again... Always close to death. I'm sure he'll survive though. I don't know how but this actor nor go fit die for middle of this film.

obehiD you're a good writer! One of the best I've had the privilege of encountering on this platform. May your ink never run dry. Amen.

1 Like

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:32am On Mar 18
@Fazemood Thank you, thank you! I'm glad that you enjoyed the punches

@doctorexcel it's coming now

@barag wink THANK YOU!!! I'm so happy you're enjoying it

@olite93 hmmmmm, let me not come and say anything now....I like your guesses sha

@ayshow6102 no no the suspense won't kill

@eROCK247 Yeah, always close to death, well let's see what happens this time. I'm very happy that you enjoy my writing, means a lot grin Truly very flattering words (I wish there was a blushing emoji cheesy)
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:38am On Mar 18
Part 10
---------

“Oh Cala, how life comes full circle. I did not want this for you, I did not want this battle to be yours. But it could not have been mine.”

The uspec speaking to me was much taller than I was, much taller, and much bigger. It was one that I was bonded with. It was the first face that I had seen. The first hands that had held me, the first heart that had loved me. It was my first everything.

“Sire.” I reached for Calam, but I could not reach it. It was floating away.

“They killed me Cala. They killed me and they killed your progenitor. They slaughtered us like lambs because we chose to serve our god, because we chose to serve the founder. They butchered us Cala, and they meant to do the same thing to you. They would have killed you if I had not sent you away. Everything in your life, every pain, every suffering, every wound, it has all been for this moment. Now you are to be complete Cala, to grow into what you were born to be. Fight Cala, fight for me. Fight for the progenitor you never got to know, fight for the port that is in your blood, the people that you were born to lead. Fight so that their lines may never know the suffering of ours. Fight Cala. Fight!”

“I am not strong enough!” I yelled back at the floating form. I heard the suppressed tears in my voice, tears of pain, of sorrow for a loss I was only just discovering. “Please don’t leave me, I don’t want to be alone.”

“You are not alone Cala. You are Lahooni. As long as there is quicksand in this port, you will never be alone.”


I woke with a gasp.

For a second, before consciousness fully returned to me, I was free of the pain of my battle wounds. Just for a second. Then my eyes opened, and my body rose from the ground.

Checha’s back had been turned to me. As soon as it heard my gasp, it spun. Startled eyes bore into my face.

I felt as if someone had infused me with strength. The feeling reminded me of that which I felt right after consuming one of the okun fruits. I jumped to my feet. I could feel each wound. I felt the wounds from the spikes which had lanced the soles of my feet. I felt the injuries from the pounding to my belly and face, and I even felt the horns still buried deep within me. I felt it all, but I also felt the strength to withstand them, to fight despite them.

Checha was still in shock when I reached it. I bent to a squat and grabbed onto its tail. It tried to pull the tail free, but I had already cut it off before it could force it out from my grasp. The tentacles rose next. I cut them off, all of them. I swiped my scale through each tentacle, shearing it off before it could latch onto me. To me, the time felt as if it passed slowly, but I knew, I knew that it was done quickly. It was done too quickly for Checha to react until it was too late. It stood in front of me now with two less features than it’d had at the start of the fight.

Once I stood at my full height, the uspec had shaken off its shock. It prepared to face me then, and as it prepared, I pulled one of the horns it had stabbed me with, out of my belly, and stabbed it into an eye on the outer perimeter of the uspec’s face. I knew from experience just how painful that could be.

Checha screamed. I was impressed by how quickly it shook of its pain though. The uspec managed to summon the strength to pull the horn out of its face. The outer eye came out with it.

Checha swiped for me. This time, its blow was clumsy. It swung a little too far to the left. I took the opportunity to dodge just underneath the blow, and then cut a deep gash underneath its arm. Checha’s cry of pain was like a balm to my wounds. I felt my strength continue to grow, giving me the fortitude to withstand my injuries. Checha tried to attack me again, this time with a different arm. I pierced my scale into the knuckle of that fist, but Checha managed to pull it back, and hit me with a dizzying blow regardless.

The blow stung, but in my heightened state, I was able to shake it off. I could have attacked, but I didn’t. I waited for Checha to come to me. I waited for it to make its move. It ripped out two more horns and approached me with the both of them held securely in its hands. Then it began to attack, swiping as one would when fighting with a weapon. It made careless moves. I dodged the pointed edge of the swinging horns. It became clear, as I watched Checha fight, that it had never actually fought with horns as weapons before. I had, and so I knew the best techniques to use. You don’t fight with horns as if you’re fighting with daggers, because daggers are sharp on all sides, horns are only sharp on one end.

Checha attacked, moving the side of the horn on its right side towards me face. If it was a dagger, the attack could have done serious damage, as it was a horn, it wouldn’t. I let Checha’s horn sting a mild blow to my already smarting face, and then I retaliated. I grabbed onto the wrist of the hand holding the horn and twisted it, forcing it into an unnatural angle. The horn dropped from its hand. It tried to pull its hand free from my grasp, and I used that momentum to twist its shoulder, pulling the bone there out of its socket, before releasing the arm. That arm now hung uselessly at the uspec’s side.

I saw the pain in its face, pain mixed with anger and pride. I wondered if it could already tell that it was over.

Checha tried to hit me with its one remaining hand, but it was not effective. It should have reached for the scales on its neck then. My chest was unprotected, it should have reached for its scales and tried to throw them at me with its free hand. But it didn’t. Checha was used to hiding its features, it did not know the best way to use them all in a fight. That was the only advantage I had at that moment, and so I used it. I did what I expected Checha to do. But, instead of aiming for its chest, which, as it was covered with spikes would have been useless, I aimed for the legs I’d exposed by cutting off its tentacles.

My scale lanced Checha’s thigh, and the uspec stumbled back. It bent, reaching for the scale which had dug into its flesh. This was the time to make my move.

I flew. I let my ailerons flap, lifting me higher in the air, and then I rushed over to Checha. It was still bent over when I was hovering in the air above it. I moved, so that I was standing by its dislocated arm right at the moment it noticed my presence there. It made to turn, but I struck out with my tail before it could. I lanced the tip of my tail into its arm and released my venom into the uspec’s bloodstream.

Checha’s eyes widened. In the moment before my poison took effect, I saw the uspec’s eyes fill with fear. I knew the exact moment that Checha realized it was going to die, that it had been defeated, by me. Its mouth parted, as if it was preparing to speak, but before it could talk, the paralysis set in. Checha dropped onto a patch of quicksand and okun. I went on my knees beside the uspec.

The first thing I did was pull out the other horn that it had stuck into me. I felt the pain as the horn left my body, but I ignored it. I could not tell now if it was the surge of strength I’d woken with, still driving me, or if it was my impending victory.

I tipped the uspec’s head backwards and drove the horn underneath its chin, thrusting it into its head. “This is for my progenitor, Calami.” I said, as blood began to run out of the uspec’s nose and ears.

I pulled the horn out, and then I moved it over to the spacing between the spikes on its chest, around its heart. I was careful to avoid the spikes as I drove the horn into the uspec for the second time. This time, I drove the horn into its heart. “This,” I said, as I watched the life drain out of it, “is for my sire, Calam.”

By the time I released my hold on the horn, the uspec was dead.

Checha’s eye.

The voice in my head prompted, reminding me of my true purpose here. For a second I thought to deny the voice, to claim a double victory, but then I remembered the migraine. I sighed. My fingers found the scale I’d thrown at Checha’s leg and managed to pry it free. I used that scale to remove the center eye from Checha’s dead face. Then, I took that eye and put it into my last remaining outer eye socket.

I waited.

Like all the other times that I’d put an eye into my eye sockets, I expected to be knocked out of consciousness. I expected to dream a dream I would have no memory of, save for a vague feeling that I’d had the dream, and then awaken to the prompting of the voice in my head telling me what next it expected of me.

This time, none of that happened. There was no loss of consciousness, no dream, and no voice.

I waited a few more moments on my knees, before giving up. Once I decided that nothing was going to happen, I placed my scale back into my neck.

That was when it happened.

I saw myself. It was as if I was having a dream, but I knew I wasn’t. I saw myself on a horse, in a strange land, surrounded by umanis. I was on a higher plane, looking down on the umanis, and it appeared as though the umanis were fighting a war. I saw an umani, a little boy I felt an instant kinship with. It was Musa. I shook my head. None of this made any sense. How could I have seen Musa before it was in the spectral existence?

Then I saw other things. I saw myself talking to an uspec I called Maraci. But Maraci was younger, much younger than it had been the last time I’d seen it. Then there was Monica, being whipped. I freed it, and then I teleported it to Musa because I knew that Musa had power over the wrath, I knew that Musa could convince Monica to tell me the truth. And it worked. I found out that the plenum was responsible for leaking the location of the spectral portals to the other existences. Then there was Sophila, only Sophila was much younger, and there was another uspec, an uspec I referred to as Arigad. But Arigad was dead, so how could I have seen it?

Suddenly, I was in a green room. I recognized this room, it was the room that Gerangi had taken me to, it was a place in the Isle of Brio. I was talking to my offspring, a young uspec I called Cala. I told Cala to come back here, that the place would kindle its link to its ancestors. And then I took Cala back to the lab where Animaon was waiting. Animaon called me sirga. Chike was there. I tried to make sense of it, but the more I tried, the more my head hurt.

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Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:39am On Mar 18
Then I was in a room surrounded by pious uspecs. I knew that Takabat was one of them. Also Gerangi, but Gerangi was younger. Fajahromo pinched me. I was suddenly filled with a loathing for Fajahromo. But the uspec was so young. How could I have known Fajahromo when it was so young?

“Nebud.”

I heard the voice in my head. I heard it clearly, as if it was in the hatch with me, standing in front of me. But it wasn’t, it was in my head. Somehow, its communication with me was clearer, stronger.

“What is the last brio?” I heard an imp voice ask. Suddenly, I was back in the room with the young Fajahromo. Except Fajahromo was no longer there. It was just Takabat, an imp, and another pious one. Somehow, I knew that the pious one was Isthum. But how could I know that when I had never met the uspec?

“The last brio is not a what.” Takabat stated. “It’s a who.” They turned to stare at me.

“Nebud.” The voice in my head called again, pulling me back to the hatch.

My eyes opened. The room was no longer brightly lit with orange and red light. It was dark. So dark I saw nothing.

“Nebud. You are mine.” The voice in my head said.

It was strange, I could no longer just hear it, I could feel it. I felt its emotions. I felt its anger at being trapped. I did not know who it was, but whoever it was, it was trapped in a place where it could not free itself. It was one that was used to power, vast amounts of power, power so great I could not even begin to fathom it. Now it had none of that power, it had none of that power and it was angry, and pained.

“You are mine.” It repeated.

“I belong to no one!” I yelled out. “I belong to no one but myself.”

As soon as I was done speaking, I prepared myself for the headache. I knew the migraine would come as it always did.

The voice laughed. “You belong to no one but yourself and me.”

I gritted my teeth. There was no pain, only a certainty. The voice was sure that it was right. I felt that. I felt the link it shared with me, and I knew that somehow, that link was complete. That was why I could hear it clearly.

“Yes Nebud, we are one.”

My hand rose of its own accord. No, I shook my head, not of its own accord, but of the will of the owner of the voice. It was showing me that it could now control my body too.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“You know who I am.” The voice replied. “You know what you must do.”

And then my head was filled with thoughts. The dreams that I had seen and forgotten came back clearly to me. I could tell that it was Calami who’d been with Maraci in Aboga. Calami who’d freed Monica. I knew it was Calam who’d taken me to that green room. I saw Calam return from the Isle of Brio and lance its scale into Animaon’s neck. I saw it happen and I knew the importance of that, just as I knew the importance of each eye that I had taken.

“You are not nothing. You are what my progenitor would call darai, alive. I come from a long line of Uspecipytes. I broke off from them of course, the kuwor is our true god, but my line is old. Not as old as the line of Lahooni, but second only to them. After Chuspecip started the line of the Kaisers of Lahooni, it chose other Kaiser lines. Like Vatikute, Aboga, Noarusoaru, Katsoaru, and my port, Monachooni. Our lines are old, and those with knowledge of the old Uspecipyte religion can sense things. Now that I stand close to you, now that I let myself look, I see. There is an aura around you Nebud, there is life in you that surpasses that of any regular uspec. You are what Gerangi said you are. You are the last brio.”

Checha’s words from our first meeting came back to me, and in that moment I could clearly map each eye to each line that Checha had mentioned. The first eye I’d been tasked with taking had belonged to Marcinus, an uspec of the line of the Kaisers of Katsoaru. Then there was Sophila’s eye. Sophila’s eye which Arexon told me had belonged to Arigad, of the line of the Kaisers of Aboga. Then there was Animaon’s eye. Animaon’s eye was the puzzle, but now I understood. I understood that Animaon’s eye had been required as a result of the scale that Calam had stabbed into its neck. Checha was the last, and Checha was of the line of the Kaisers of Monachooni. I understood now, that each line Checha had mentioned had been created special. They were all gifted with Chuspecip’s lifeforms.

The irony was not lost on me. Checha had been so desperate to destroy Chuspecip’s lifeforms, not knowing that it was itself, carrying the lifeform within it. It was a lifeform that Calam had transferred to Animaon when it stabbed its scale into Animaon’s neck, and a lifeform that I had taken from Animaon when I claimed its eye. Animaon must have known this, that was why it had removed the eye, keeping it for me.

Suddenly, all the pieces fit. Each eye collected was a lifeform of Chuspecip. Each eye I took was to strengthen me, to strengthen the brio within me, so that the link I shared with Chuspecip would be complete, and strong enough that the founder could speak directly to me, so that it could use me.

I was what Gerangi had said I was. I was the last brio, and from the moment that I inhaled the green fumes in the Isle of brio, I had activated the link I shared with Chuspecip. The headaches I felt, suddenly made sense. The link had not been complete and so Chuspecip could not control me, could not force me to its will. But it had managed to make certain things slip. Like when it had revealed Arexon’s pansophy to Sophi. And when it had confirmed that pansophy to Sophian. And the fight against Fajahromo in Damejo, the fight that had led to Musa’s samu bite, and my journey into Nefastu. Chuspecip had had a hand in that too. It had wanted me there.

Now I could see far, to the repercussions of each eye I’d taken.

“Watch Nebud,” the voice said, “watch your offspring being born.”

I rose my head.

The hatch was no longer dark, it was now lit with green light. The bottom had turned into a pool of green, just as it had my last time in the hatch. For some reason, I had not thought through to this, it had not occurred to me that this would be the eventual conclusion of the fight. An offspring. Mine.

I rose to my feet.

All the wounds I’d taken throbbed. The burst of energy that I had felt was gone now. I was exhausted and in pain. The majority of my outer eyes were swollen shut, and my mouth was filled with blood. Blood trickled down from my nose, and from the wounds on my body, but none of that mattered to me.

Nothing mattered, not in the face of the red form that was rising out of the green liquid.

I watched mesmerized, as my second offspring came into the world. As it rose, its green form hidden by the red goo, I knew that I would always love it. In that moment, I felt the love that Calam had born for me. I remembered the bond that I had shared with my sire.

Then the uspec emerged fully. It made to move, but it was too clumsy, it stumbled and fell. I walked over to the young uspec, and guided it to its feet. It was young, smaller than any other uspec I’d ever seen, smaller even than my first offspring had been when it was born. I could hear my thoughts reminding me that this uspec was made from Checha, which meant that it would be an irirakun of all five spectrums, just as Checha had been. I did not dwell much on that thought.

I was lightheaded, but I kept my sanity long enough to see to the uspec. The first thing I did was wipe away the red goo on its face. That revealed a smooth green face, with nothing on it, save a nose, a mouth beneath that, and a little eye above the nose.

That eye opened then. The eye stared at me, and in that gaze, I saw the progenitor’s bond form. This was what I’d been denied with my first offspring. This bond of mutual adoration. It was a struggle, but I managed to pull my gaze away from the uspec.

I turned instead to cleaning off the red goo from the rest of it. I wiped the goo off with my hands. I could feel my offspring’s eye on me, tracking my every movement, and I tried to be strong and gentle. My body ached and I could feel the effects of the loss of blood, but I did not allow any of that to take away from this moment.

I was so engrossed in the little one’s care, that I did not even notice when the light from the hatch turned from the green of the incandescent liquid, back to the regular orange and red of the celestial bodies. It wasn’t till I was done cleaning it off, that I noticed this.

I pushed myself to my feet then, unsure of what to do with the uspec now that the task of cleaning off the red was done. The little one stared up at me, and then it put its little hand into mine. I felt as if someone had placed a hand on my heart and was squeezing it. I held on tightly to the little hand as I took my first step out of the hatch.

One foot after the other, we made our way out of the red fog surrounding the hatch, and then out of the surrounding green.

Fabiana was waiting on the other side.

I could read the lines of worry that had been on its face as it watched me fight. I tried to be strong for it, and for the little uspec who was now leaning heavily on me. It took me sometime to note that it was shy, afraid of Fabiana, and so it leaned on me, because it trusted me, it knew that I would protect it.

“It seems you greatly exaggerated the situation Musa.” A familiar dry voice drawled. “Nebud is not quite as close to death as you would’ve had me believe.”

There was something about hearing that voice, and then gazing on the smirking face of the uspec who uttered the words. For Fabiana and my offspring I had to be strong, but not for this uspec. In fact, this was the one uspec whose strength I could rely on.

It was as if its presence there flipped a switch in my brain. As soon as I saw it, I felt my hold on my offspring loosen.

I collapsed onto the floor, succumbing, finally, to the injuries I’d taken in the hatch.

2 Likes

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Madosky112(m): 4:55am On Mar 18
Madosky112:
Nebud was the key to isle of brio, could it be chusp in his head? If is him then the plenum have chew what the cant swallow once he has gather all his lifeform
,,, thought as much, I knew it.
Congratulations Nebud. .. Thanks Obehid hot update,, wait could that be Arexon? , so he came to cheer up his friend,,,
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by lukfame(m): 5:12am On Mar 18
This is a masterpiece. You are a rare gem obehid. How I wish we can be getting 3 updates per week..
Thank you for this wonderful update
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by OluwabuqqyYOLO(m): 6:55am On Mar 18
Arexon is here.

Obehi, you keep blowing me up.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Tuhndhay(m): 7:25am On Mar 18
Am drinking a bottle of American Honey to this recent update, Obehid...... Am wowed
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by barag(f): 10:35am On Mar 18
Yeeeeeeeee we won the fight. Obehi you are just too much. Kudos
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 11:05am On Mar 18
Just as I expected. An outstanding bout and a good result. This second part of today's update is really touchy. Nebud is now a progenitor and has form a bond with its offspring. I nicely scripted novel Obehid. I am glad that I followed to this point.
Thanks
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 8:25pm On Mar 18
This update got me grinning from ear to ear.... Thanks for this obehid ...
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by ayshow6102(m): 10:58pm On Mar 18
Thanks for the update obehid please name the baby ayshow or ayo
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by olite93: 8:50am On Mar 19
Wow... one his u too try. .. arexon IS here nebud and arexon will rule the existence and fix everything. .. they'll deal with the wrath of sada and the plenum though the war will not be small... obehid there's gonna be a war BTW the plenum and uspecipyte ports... the surrender shouldn't be easy. . Nebud will kill salin and become kaiser, he'll free marcinus and mk him kaiser of katsoaru .
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Madosky112(m): 12:57am On Mar 21
olite93:
Wow... one his u too try. .. arexon IS here nebud and arexon will rule the existence and fix everything. .. they'll deal with the wrath of sada and the plenum though the war will not be small... obehid there's gonna be a war BTW the plenum and uspecipyte ports... the surrender shouldn't be easy. . Nebud will kill salin and become kaiser, he'll free marcinus and mk him kaiser of katsoaru .
true even chechen cognate to checha might turn a new cause against the plenum.. But wnt be easy atall now that the know who to target.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 2:10am On Mar 21
@Madosky112 lol, you were right. Next update coming soon!

@lukfame wow, a gem, thank you so much! I appreciate it and I'm glad you've enjoyed reading

@OluwabuqqyYOLO lol, I'm glad and I hope to keep blowing you up until the end

@Tuhndhay American Honey ehn? Lol, as long as it made your mouth sweet, haha

@barag Thank you, thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

@Fazemood I'm glad that you followed to this point too...and enjoyed the sweetener at the end

@cassbeat I'm glad the update got you grinning grin

@ayshow6102 thank you for reading. Sorry but Nebud has to name the child after itself now cheesy That's how these noble uspecs do

@olite93 Predictions, predictions, predictions...I guess we'll have to wait to see what's going to happen
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 3:38am On Mar 21
Part 11
--------

You belong to me.

I could sense the owner of the voice. Chuspecip, I reminded myself, Chuspecip, the coward god.

The coward god responsible for saving your life.

Get out of my head! I yelled the words within me, loudly, hoping that the force of it would be enough to knock Chuspecip away. It was weak. Wherever it was, it was weak.

A voice, but I could not hear it. This was not an internal voice, one determined to drive me insane, but an external one, a real one. But I could not hear it, and I knew who was responsible for that.

You belong to me.

I sighed. How long had I been unconscious? I was healed now. Magic, certainly magic. A smile formed on my lips as I thought of the uspec I’d collapsed in front of. I could trust that the uspec would have made certain I was seen to by the best. It would have added its own magic, giving me growth to further boost the healing. How had I ever become lucky enough to gain the friendship of an uspec so great?

It was I. Every friendship was my gift to you. Every loyal uspec, your birthright.

Was it possible to lobotomize oneself? Chuspecip. It would not allow me to forget it, it would not permit me to ignore it.

You belong to me. You are mine.

At least it wasn’t yelling this time, perhaps that was something that I could be grateful for. I heard the voices again, and again I tried to listen, to understand the words they said. I wanted to open my eyes and reveal my recovery to them. But Chuspecip would not let me. I knew that it was blurring the words, forcing my eyes to stay close.

Just tell me what you want, it’s what you’ve always done. Coward. You hide away somewhere and use me to fight your battles.

You are mine, Nebud, acknowledge it, know it, and I will let you be. Know it. You belong to me.

My mind drifted to the vision of Calam I’d had when Checha’s strangling had knocked me out. It was that vision responsible for saving my life.

It was I responsible for saving your life.

I tried to ignore Chuspecip’s voice in my head, choosing instead to think of more pleasant things. The first pleasant thought I could summon was the sight of my offspring. It was perfect. Small and precious. There was so much I wished to do with it, like carry it the way that Calam had carried me.

That thought gave me pause. Since when did I remember how Calam had carried me? But the memories were back. All of them. I remembered each day I’d spent with my sire. I remembered Animaon in vivid detail. I had not spent so many days with them, but the time I’d had with them had been filled with joy. Animaon had made toys so spectacular I’d sworn to learn how to make toys of that kind myself. They were words I’d thought in the moment, but had been too young to say. My speech did not develop as quickly as other young ones did. If only I had learned to talk a few days earlier, I would have been able to tell Calam how much I cherished it. But I hadn’t. I’d learnt late, while I was being transported in a coffer.

My first words had been spoken to Chike, not my sire. It was a thing that had brought me pain then, and it brought me pain now, to remember it. But even that painful memory was tinged with joy. Because it was a memory of Calam’s love, of Chike’s care. Chike had promised to teach me how to fight. I smiled a little to myself now, thinking of how far I’d come, and all that I had missed out on. This me, the uspec with memories of another life, of other loyalties, hated fiercely. I had been loved, I had been loved and the plenum had taken that love away from me. They had sought to end my line. And for what?

To steal my existence.

For a few moments, I’d almost forgotten that the voice in my head existed. Chuspecip, I reminded myself. This eventuality had never even occurred to me; that the voice in my head could be Chuspecip. I had expected an uspec, an uspec with pansophy. I’d expected that even before I’d known that messages could be planted the way Gerangi had planted the implicating revelation of myself as the last brio. I should have known though. The voice had always been more than just a voice. It had been able to control me, to force me to stay in places I had not wanted to. There had also been more subtle manipulations. I was suddenly remembering an imp I’d strangled in Lastmain, and the guilt I’d felt after doing that. That had been Chuspecip’s doing, not mine. It was the one that treasured imps so much. The same imps that were now planning to take its existence from it.

All I wanted to do, was to take my offspring away, to a place where it could be safe. I would take a few uspecs with me of course, and Musa, I added reluctantly. We could spend the rest of our lives there, away from the craziness of the wars. The plenum, the invasion, both possible usurpers. Either of them could win. As far as I was concerned, they could kill themselves fighting over what was left of this existence.

But I could not leave. I could not run away from this war. As much as I wanted to, as much as I wished I could, I could not. Why not? The answer was simple.

I am Lahooni.

It was in my blood. It was me. I had known this from the moment my feet touched the quicksand floor of the commune road. I had known it as the Lahooni fogs embraced as me. This was my home, it was the port I was born to lead. I had known it before, but now, with my memories back, I had a whole new level of appreciation for my heritage. Calam’s words from the hatch filled my head.

“They killed me Cala. They killed me and they killed your progenitor. They slaughtered us like lambs because we chose to serve our god, because we chose to serve the founder. They butchered us Cala, and they meant to do the same thing to you. They would have killed you if I had not sent you away. Everything in your life, every pain, every suffering, every wound, it has all been for this moment. Now you are to be complete Cala, to grow into what you were born to be. Fight Cala, fight for me. Fight for the progenitor you never got to know, fight for the port that is in your blood, the people that you were born to lead. Fight so that their lines may never know the suffering of ours. Fight Cala. Fight!”

Fight. I had to. I did not have a choice. I had to protect Lahooni. It was my birthright, my duty, my curse. I had to protect this port. Whatever else happened in the spectral existence, I had to ensure that my port survived. I could not abandon it. I could not run away and hide in some place where no one would ever find me. I could not take my offspring away, and give it a life of peace and happiness. My offspring mattered, but Lahooni mattered too.

Again, I could not help but feel the irony. Fabiana had told me that the Lahooni nobles worried my loyalties would be divided because I was irira. They had thought that Hakute would have a claim on me. They had been wrong. I’d spent most of my life in Hakute, but I had never felt, not for one second, the bond I felt to this port, the duty I felt bound to. It was my job to protect Lahooni. The only problem was that I had no idea how to do that.

You know what to do.

The familiar urge to lobotomize myself returned. Chuspecip. Of course, I knew that it was right. I could not align with the plenum. I could not bow to them. Not when they were responsible for my progenitor and my sire’s deaths. Not when I knew of their hypocrisy. All irirakuns of five. Just as my offspring was. It would grow up in a better world than I did. It would grow up in a world free of the chasm, where it could walk around without coverings on its body to hide the fact that it was irira. None of that could happen unless the plenum was destroyed, and the chasm ended. There was only one person that could do that, only one person that could end all the wars.

Yes, Nebud, yes.

Yes. Coward god. I retorted.

Am I a coward? See.

Suddenly, I saw. I saw things, understood things. Most importantly, I saw how Chuspecip was caught. I saw how it was trapped, and where it was trapped. I saw how much pain it carried, how much strength it had lost. And all for what? The first sacrifice it made, the one that had ultimately led to its capture, it had made it for my line.

Am I a coward?

No.

My ears cleared and my eyes opened. I woke in a large room. One look at the grounds showed that it was in the Palace. I was still in the Lahooni Palace. I looked at the quicksand on the grounds, and I just knew where to unleash my newly gained hooni magic. I could see how the magic of the hooni eyes were built into the Castle. And I knew that only one of my line could traverse through it. My lineage was strong. Calam may have been the most renowned genius, but I knew that there were many who came before it.

“You’re awake.”

I smiled even before I sat upright, and turned around in the bed, so that I was staring in the direction of the uspec who’d spoken. I would recognize that voice anywhere. This room was special. It had been mine.

I found my footing, and rose from the bed. Arexon was seated on a stool behind a desk made out of a mixture of hardened fog and quicksand. The desk had belonged to Calami, as had the suite this room was located in. As soon as I was standing, I bowed to Arexon.

“Gratitude sirga.” I said.

Arexon chuckled. “You know,” it began conversationally, its voice a little dry, “this is starting to become a bad habit of yours.”

“What is?” I replied.

“Falling unconscious at my feet.” Arexon stated.

I laughed. I couldn’t help myself. I laughed loudly, and it felt good to laugh.

“Why are you here sirga?” I asked.

“In this room?” Arexon asked with an eyebrow quirked.

“No,” I shook my head, “in this port.”

Arexon’s head tilted backwards. It rose to its full height. As it stood, its earrings dangled, drawing my attention to them. I stared at those earrings and remembered Yakubo. Grief washed through me.

1 Like

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 3:39am On Mar 21
“Did you really think that I would leave you alone when I knew that you planned to challenge Checha?” Arexon asked the question and then continued speaking without giving me the chance to respond. “I negotiated to drop Animaton off here. It took some time for the plenum to agree, but they accepted since they knew Checha would be here. I arrived the day of your fight with Checha.”

“Gratitude.” I said. I could not think of anything else to say. Again, I thought of how lucky I was to have a friend like Arexon. But then, I became aware of the fact that luck had very little to do with it. Chuspecip had brought us together. Arexon was descended of one of the lines that Chuspecip gifted with its lifeforms. Arexon carried a lifeform of Chuspecip within it. Just as Marcinus did.

“So,” Arexon walked around the desk and came to stand in front of me, “is it true?”

I frowned at it. “Is what true?”

“Are you the last brio?” Leave it to Arexon to ask a question like that so plainly.

I could not help smiling a little. I nodded. “It seems so.”

Arexon grunted. It studied me, subjecting me to one of its intense looks. I’d hated those looks when I’d served as a soldier reporting to it, and I disliked them now. Its eyes scanned my face, scrutinizing each part of me, as if it could read some secrets off my face. It was annoying, it made me feel small, and it filled me with an indescribable urge to fidget. I managed to overcome the fidgeting. I was relieved when Arexon’s gaze became a lot less intense.

Whatever information it gained from studying my face, Arexon chose to keep to itself. It tilted its head in the direction of a leather bench. “Your belt.” It said.

I nodded, turned my back on the uspec, and walked towards the bench. As I fastened the belt onto my waist, I asked, “where is my offspring?”

“Playing with your imp.” It replied. “You have been out for a few days, Nebud.”

Days. I shook my head, of course it had been days. The wounds I’d taken in the hatch had been severe. It made sense that I would need days to recover from them. I suddenly had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. As soon as the nagging feeling came, the answer was provided. Marcinus. It had been set to die the day of my fight with Checha. Had it been executed?

No. I felt it. It carried one of Chuspecip’s lifeforms and so I could feel it. I could feel the life in it. I knew it was not dead.

“Can you take me to them?” I turned to face Arexon. “Musa and my offspring, I mean.”

Arexon’s keen eyes studied me again. This time, its perusal was short. “There is someone you should see first.” it said, then it walked around me, and moved towards the thick curtains that led out of the room. I knew that questioning would be futile, and so I simply followed behind the uspec, letting it lead me to whomever it was it thought I ought to see.

We walked out through curtains that led to a short corridor. That corridor connected several rooms in the suite. It was shocking how vivid my infant memory of this place had suddenly become. I could look at each curtain and remember what it was that I had found there the last time I’d been here. Chike and I had gone on a number of explorations of this suite. It had been so eager to share memories of my progenitor with me, and I had been eager to let it. I knew that the black curtains, embroidered with silver and gold satin, had been Calami’s weapons room. I’d been amazed by the collection of weapons the first time that I’d seen it. I remember wondering if I would ever know how to wield those weapons.

It was not to that room that Arexon led me. It led me past those curtains, to a set of dark blue curtains beside it. I knew that those curtains led to another room. It was the room that Chike had slept in.

“I think that this part is best left to the both of you. I will be waiting in the entertaining room when you are done.” Arexon nodded at me, and then it turned around and walked away, past the curtains to the room I’d woken in, through a set of red curtains. As soon as those curtains parted, I heard a rumble of sound come from the room Arexon walked into. Was that Fabiana’s voice I heard? Musa’s laughter? The curtain closed behind Arexon, and the sounds went away.

I turned my focus back to the blue curtains. Taking a deep breath, I steeled myself for the coming confrontation, and then I walked into the room.

The room was just as my memory told me it had been. It was about the same size as mine, the room I’d woken in. There was a large bed, but this one had no holes for ailerons. There were several shelves. Those shelves were empty now, but when Chike had lived here, they’d been filled with tomes. So many different tomes telling so many different stories, and I used to love to run my fingers over them. I could not read them, but I imagined that one day I would be able to. Now the shelves were empty. There was a large desk, and a stool behind it. The stool used to be a highbacked chair.

The sound of a large tome hitting the ground, filled the room. I turned to my left and found another new addition to the room. It was a lounging bed. An uspec was draped over the lounging bed, or at least it had been before I entered. Now it was sitting up, staring daggers at me. It rose slowly.

As it approached me, I could not help but stare at the empty eye socket which had once been filled. Now the eye that had been on that socket was in one of mine.

“My friend.” Marcinus said, sardonically. Then it reached out and struck me with its fist.

I had not expected that blow. Perhaps I should have, giving the way we had left things the last time we’d seen each other, but I had not. I was dazed. Partly by the occurrence of the blow, and partly by the strength behind it. Marcinus had added some bulk.

I started to smile, and another punch landed on my face. That had the effect of wiping the smile away.

“I trusted you.” Marcinus said, as it struck out yet again. I could have stopped it. While it had added some bulk, it still had nowhere near as much bulk as I did. I could have stopped it, but I didn’t. “I befriended you.” The punches continued to come, and I continued to take them.

“Fight back!” Marcinus yelled. It almost looked deranged. I reached for its emotions then. I’d expected anger, but all I felt was pain. It was in pain, an avalanche of pain.

Marcinus struck out again, but this time I caught its fist with my hand. ‘No pansophy,’ my ring declared.

“What happened?”

Marcinus’ glare deepened. “You happened!” It yelled at me. “You!” It struggled to free its hand, but I held it fast. “You destroyed me.” It sounded defeated then, exhausted.

I released its hand, then prepared myself for another blow. None came.

“Apologies.” I said. “I didn’t want to. Marcinus, you were the first friend I ever had, the last thing I wanted to do was cause you harm. But Manus was determined to kill you, and Chuspecip wanted your eye, it just seemed like the right thing to do. It was the only way I could think of to save your life.”

Marcinus shook its head. “Why didn’t you just tell me about Manus’s plans. Why didn’t you just tell me? If you’d told me, things could have gone so differently.”

“What things?”

“Mater is dead, Nebud, and I was too weak to save it. You took my eye, I was shamed, I was sulking. I sulked while Manus did all the plenum asked to appease them. I sulked while Manus handed over our progenitor to Salin for an interrogation. By the time I stopped sulking, it was already too late. I came here as fast as I could, as fast as I could, but my mater was already dead. My mater died because I was sulking, because you took my eye. We killed it, you and I, we killed it.”

“Interrogation?” I reached out to Marcinus. I wanted to touch it, to somehow physically comfort it with my own arms, but I could not. I did not know how. Not that Marcinus was willing to let me. As soon as it felt my touch, it shrugged it off, glaring at me. It was in pain, it hated me, but I could see that it hated itself more.

“For the fabled wealth of Lahooni. Somehow Salin decided that my mater knew where it was. It couldn’t come into our port, not with the thought bubble there, but Manus was so eager, so desperate to impress the plenum, that it just gave our progenitor to Salin.”

“It handed Maraci over to die? Its own progenitor?”

“It didn’t know what Salin would do, how far it would go. Salin didn’t stop. Mater gave it everything it knew, it gave it everything. It even gave it the one thing it swore never to divulge. It gave it the name of the one uspec living, who could remove the thought bubble from Katsoaru. Mater did not want to, but the pain was too much. It gave Salin the pious one’s name, but Salin still didn’t stop. It wanted the wealth of Lahooni. It just wouldn’t believe that mater didn’t have it. There was only so much pain that mater could take, only so much suffering. It died. It died because I wasn’t there to save it. And I wasn’t there because of you. As long as there is life in me, I will hate you. I will hate you with every breath I take. You destroyed me.”

Maraci was dead. I hadn’t expected that. Shouldn’t I have known? I could feel Marcinus pain, but I didn’t know how to help it. It hated me, just as I hated Fajahromo for taking away my offspring’s life. It had not wielded the dagger, but it was responsible. And while I may not have done the interrogation, I was in part responsible. Not just because of the eye I had taken from Marcinus, but because of the wealth Maraci had died for. Somehow Salin had found out that my progenitor had sent me to Maraci, it must have known of the link our lines shared. And when it found that link, Salin must have decided that Maraci would know other secrets of my line, secrets like the location of our wealth. Maraci had not known, and so it was dead.

“Apologies.” It was all I could say. “Apologies Marcinus, I did not mean for this…”

Marcinus whirled around. It came towards me, and it all happened so quickly, I was in shock. I’d forgotten how skilled Marcinus was with blades. It managed to pull my dagger out from my belt without me noticing. Then it was standing in front of me, so close that our noses almost touched. It held the sharp point of the dagger, right underneath my head. It was a pose I had taken with Checha when we’d fought. I’d driven its own horn into its head. Did Marcinus mean to do the same thing? Would I let it?

No.

How had I ever thought Chuspecip was a coward god? I learnt now just how ruthless it was. It needed me, it needed me to free it, and it would kill anyone who hindered that. Now that it had control of my body, it would use it. It knew spectra, it created spectra. It did not have the hindrance with emotions that I did. It could create lit okun much faster than I could. I could already feel the pain gathering like a storm cloud within me. Chuspecip was already preparing to kill Marcinus.

No. I tried to reason with it, but there was no reasoning.

I turned my focus to Marcinus instead. It held the tip of the blade to the bottom of my head, but something kept it from pushing the blade in. As much as it hated me, it did not want to harm me. Perhaps I was not its Fajahromo then. I knew that if I ever got this close to killing Fajahromo, I would not hesitate.

“I can see that you are in pain, and your pain grieves me. If I thought that taking it away would give you solace, I would do that. I did not mean for this to happen to you Marcinus. You were…you are my friend. It pains me to see you like this, to know that I have a part to play. Let me make it up to you.”

Marcinus pushed the blade in, and I felt the pain begin to communicate with the okun. This was like nothing that I had ever done. When I used spectra, I reasoned with the okun, I pleaded with it. Now, I commanded it. I could clearly see the difference between lit okun and regular okun, and I knew that Chuspecip meant to use the lit okun.

“Please.” The word was geared at Chuspecip. I was begging for my friend’s life. For mercy. But it was Marcinus who was affected by it. It took a step back.

“You cannot make up for my progenitor’s death.” It stated sadly. “You cannot.”

Of course not. I should never have said that. “I can help you to get vengeance.” I pressed on.

Marcinus eyes caught and held mine. “How?”

“By killing Salin.” I replied.

2 Likes

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Madosky112(m): 9:09am On Mar 21
keep brewing the plot. Thanks boss
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 11:19am On Mar 21
Marcinus is really suffering, but that's by the way my main question is, how will chuspecip be freed since it's inside Nebud's mind?

It really interesting seeing how it can make use of Nebud's body for its own purpose without leaving Nebud much chance to object. This is total imprisonment for Nebud. I hope chuspecip will not make thing awkwardly difficult for Nebud especially now it is close to getting its life back to normal.

Gratitude Obehid , just keep bringing them.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 1:01pm On Mar 21
Well I guess it's time for revenge, already beginning with Checha.... Obehid ride on....
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Jackossky(m): 8:50am On Mar 22
Following
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Smooth278(m): 8:53pm On Mar 22
Intrigue upon intrigue!!! I'm guessing Chi... is currently battling the invasion from the other existences... Probably the person Nebud saw when he was looking for Musa...
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by eROCK247(m): 5:19pm On Mar 24
Wednesdays and Saturdays have had a different meaning entirely! I knew that Nebud would win this battle! All at once Uspecipytes have the upper hand in Lahooni once again.

I'm so happy for Nebud! He's finally gotten in touch with his heritage!
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by eROCK247(m): 5:22pm On Mar 24
As an afterthought; If procreation only occurs when an uspec dies during battle in the hatch, it means the uspec population will always be reducing (since some uspecs will definitely die OUTSIDE the hatch).
And if that's the case, how did this existence come to be populated by Uspecs? There's got to be another means of procreation
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by lukfame(m): 6:55am On Mar 25
Good morning. Hope all is well obehid. Was awake for 2 hours over the night waiting for update till I slept off. Checked back again this morning still no update. Someone should please check up on her. Stay safe people.

2 Likes

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD: 7:00am On Mar 25
@Madosky112 thank you for reading

@Fazemood It's not fully inside Nebud's mind, there are parts of it somewhere else...that's all I'll say for now. I will, as long as you keep reading wink

@cassbeat thank you, thank you!

@Jackossky thank you, glad to have you

@Smooth278 Well, I like the way you're thinking!!!

@eROCK247 Yeah, Nebud is finally starting to find itself. WoW! I love your question about procreation! So the answer is that Chuspecip can create more uspecs than in the hatch

2 Likes

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