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The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) - Literature (7) - Nairaland

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Chasing Love (A Clean Romance Novella) On Okada Books / THE MARKED - White Sight: The Inbetween -- Sneak Peek / Ndidi And The Telekinesis Man (A Fantasy Romance Novella By Kayode Odusanya) (2) (3) (4)

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Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 1:18am On Jun 03, 2019
@cassbeat yes oh, we have to wait and see what Nebud will find when it gets there

@HotB thank you so much! I appreciate that!!!

@Peaceyw Confused good or confused bad? lol. So, the thing about the scene that Nebud saw, is that we don't actually know who was actually seeing it. It was a scene in the standard existence, and from what we know, Nebud has never been to the standard existence, so now the question is, who was seeing that scene and why/how was it shared with Nebud?

@Fazemood thank you!!! Yes, Nebud has gained spectra, but can it challenge Fajahromo....? Remember, there are different types of spectra 'powers'. Fajahromo has all of them, Nebud only has one, so, I don't know how well it would do in a fight against Fajahromo

Okay, there are four existences: supreme, standard, spectral and the fourth. The supreme existence is where the elements, Nature and Duraya reside. It is where the elements come from and it's probably the existence that was referred to the most in the in-between (because that is where Duraya is, and the ancestry worships Duraya and all that). The fourth existence is one that was spoken about the least in the last book, but it was where Osezele went first. It's were she went to the nothingness and she had that vision about Nosa stabbing her in the heart and fighting the merged imps again (if you remember all that). The spectral existence is where this book is based. It's the existence with the uspecs and the imps, and it's the existence that Osezele had to go into at the end of the last book, to fight the imp. The last existence is the standard existence, which is the regular existence. That is where humans live, so that's where St. Luke's and the community and all of that is. That's also the existence that the war in the last part I posted took place. Hope that helps!


Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 10:35am On Jun 03, 2019
It did. I appreciate wink
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Mielekcezylil(m): 7:03pm On Jun 03, 2019
I finally catch up, this story is spectacular nice work @obehiD

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Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by decoderdgenius(m): 4:44am On Jun 04, 2019
Finally arrived! Great job here.

1 Like 1 Share

Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:53am On Jun 05, 2019
@Fazemood that's great! I'm glad

@Mielekcezylil thank you! Welcome to the story!!! So happy you're enjoying it! grin

@decoderdgenius Thank you cheesy
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:54am On Jun 05, 2019
Part 5

I walked until the orange dots gave way to red clouds. It was an entire day of walking, and by the end of it, I was still in a swamp, still surrounded by large trees and pink liquid. I started to wonder where the imp had come from. If not for the occasional glimpses of my face which I caught, reflected from the pink liquid underneath me, I would have begun to believe that I had made the entire encounter with the imp up. But my face showed three eyes, and so, I knew that it had not been imagined. I had already walked for hours before it occurred to me that it may have been wiser to begin my expedition by confronting the imp whose eyes I’d stolen and asking where it came from. At that point, I had already walked too far, I doubted I could find my way back if I tried. Instead, I continued walking further.

I paused by a tree trunk. The roots of this tree were the biggest I had seen throughout the day. It was so tall that the top of it rose above the surface of the liquid, and it was long and wide enough that I could lay fully on top of it. I decided that that root was as good a place as any to rest for the night. So, I placed my black satchel bag at the head of the root, where it emerged from the tree, and sprawled myself over the hard wood. I used the bag as a pillow and stared straight ahead, into the red clouds in the sky.

The root was not wide enough to accommodate all of me, and so the sides of my ailerons sunk slightly into the warm liquid. I did not mind the wetness too much, it was actually somewhat relaxing to feel the gentle sway of the liquid against me. I was finally able to allow my mind to escape the thoughts of walking and focusing the energy I had to completing that task. Now that my body rested, I was made aware of the fact that I had not eaten in…I could not even recall the last time I had eaten. Yet, I did not feel weak. The energy gained from the weed-fruit which I had dug up from the okun still burnt brightly within me. Regardless, my body made it clear that it was in need of sustenance. It wanted food. I could not blame it, but as a yawn escaped my lips, I decided that tomorrow was soon enough to go searching for food. For that night, I could close my eyes without the fear of Fajahromo, and I could sleep. I desired that peaceful respite more than food.


I groaned. “I know.” I spoke out, my voice breaking the silence of the swamp. “I will go to your blasted port. I could go back to the pits and kill my enemy, exact my revenge on an individual who has stolen so much from me, but no, instead I go to your port.” My words trailed off. By the time I was done speaking I was simply muttering the words. Even my voice sounded strange to me. I realized then that it had been a long time since I had spoken.

But the silence returned. The voices in my head were quiet and the swamp was as devoid of sound as it had been before. I noticed then that the keen senses I had developed from eating the weed-fruit had long waned. I could no longer hear the sounds of the creatures swimming in the okun. The thought of the creatures rose the familiar hunger pangs. Tomorrow, I promised myself as I closed my eyes for the night.

When I awoke, it was to the insistent poking of a sharp beak on my right thigh. I jumped to a sitting position on the tree root, and instantly stretched out my right hand ready to kill the creature which assaulted me. My arm froze in the air.

There are very few things that uspecs’ respect, very few creatures that we honor, very few sights which fill us with awe. Foremost amongst these creatures are the frosted beasts. For every spectrum-soul there is a frosted beast, a species of creatures said to be born of the soul and is the living embodiment of the purity of the body which birthed it. For the Kute spectrum, the frosted beast born of the okun is the swan. It is a creature of pure white, with a long neck, and four legs.

It was with awe, that I moved to kneel on one knee before the swan which had awoken me. Its head moved off to the side, its long neck bending at an angle as it observed me. I stretched out my right hand and gently stroked the white wings of the okun creature. It moved closer towards me and I watched in awe as it emerged from the pink liquid and stood on all four legs on the root of the tree.

It was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen.

For a moment, it let me stroke it, and it did nothing more than observe me with its pink eyes, and then it leaped up. It flew, its wings flapping in the air as it surged far above my head. I could do nothing more than tip my head backwards to stare at the creature, until it came back down, landing on my shoulders. The pointed ends of its web feet pricked my skin lightly, but I did not care, I was too awestricken to complain. I was in the presence of a swan. I had been taught that a meeting with a swan was comparable to communing with the okun itself. To touch a swan was like reaching into the heart of the okun.

The swan moved forward and its legs slipped backwards as if it was trying to move into a more comfortable position. I stayed still until at last, I felt the undersides of its flank rest steadily on my shoulder and its feet brushed against the front and back of my chest. Then its long neck curled around mine. I felt the tip of the creature’s white beak scratch against the bottom of my earlobe. The communication I felt in that instant is indescribable.

Put simply, it was pain. I felt pain, but it was pain of a type that I had never before felt. In some ways, its beauty reminded me of the pain which I had felt coming from the imp young which I had encountered at the pits. In other ways it was pain of an amount with overshadowed that which I had felt from the multitude in the pits. I had learned from my time in the pits, that there was always a story behind the emotions of others, and that if I focused hard enough, I could tell where the pain came from and how much damage it could cause. Somehow, I knew that the only way to reach this swan was to go into myself and focus on my pain.

It had been so long since I’d tried to draw on the lifeforce in my pain, so long since I had felt it, that for a moment, I doubted it was still present. But it was there, as constant a force as my beating heart. I closed my eyes, blocking out the rest of the world as I reached for my pain and through it, the swan’s. The swan’s pain told a beautiful story. It told a story of its source, a deep pond with sparkling pink liquid, surrounded by a sludge ground. There were jejas in that pond, a variety of them that made my stomach grumble, awakening its hunger pangs. The swan’s pain had what I interpreted as a longing. I could only understand its pain in terms of severity and cure. The swan’s pain was severe, it was so severe in fact that if it was an uspec, I would say that the pain was fatal. But I could also tell that there was a cure, and the cure was the source of the pain. And so, I deciphered that pain as a longing to return to the pond.

The swan’s neck uncurled from mine and it flew off my shoulder. I opened my eyes and was blinded by the orange light. It was bright, too bright. I squinted, shielding my eyes from the glare of the light. I felt a throbbing pain in my head as I tried to push myself to my feet. I was too weak. It was as if I had lost all my energy from communicating with the swan’s pain. I put all of my effort into forcing my arm up and I was rewarded when my arm rose slightly off the root and fell back down.

Through my squinted eyes I saw the swan rise from the pink liquid with a black object within its beak. It brought the object to me, and placed it in front of me, on the tree root. My heart leapt at the sight of the weed fruit. Again, I channeled all of my strength to my arm as I tried to reach for the fruit. I was just about to get it, when the swan poked at my weak hand with its beak. It reached for the black fruit with its beak and then it bent its long neck so that the end of its beak was close to its webbed foot. Using that foot and its beak, it separated the fruit from the weed, then it flew unto my shoulder with the fruit in its beak. I wondered if there was any significance to the separation of the fruit from the weed, but I was too weary to dwell on it for long.

The swan brought the fruit to my lips with its beak, and I gratefully accepted the fruit from the creature. I chewed, perplexed by how much effort the simple gesture took and wondering why I had suddenly become so weak. Then I swallowed the chewed fruit and felt the energy flow back into me. The swan flew off my shoulder and landed in the okun in front of me. Moments later, I stood to my feet, grabbed the black satchel bag from the head of the root, and joined the swan in the okun.

I walked behind the swan as it glided through the liquid. I followed it through the swamp walking by endless large trees. My stomach growled, reminding me of the promise which I had made to it the night before. I remembered the sight of jejas in the pond and wondered if I could wait that long for food. I had energy, the energy which the fruit provided was just like the energy which I felt in the okun. It was enough energy to keep me going, but it did nothing to stave off the hunger. I listened for the sounds of see creatures swimming. I had heard those sounds after I’d eaten the weed-fruit the previous day, but this time I heard nothing but the sounds I made as I walked in the okun. I wondered if perhaps eating the weed along with the fruit did have some significance. I remembered experiencing a heightening of my senses after I’d eaten the weed. Even the surge of energy had felt somehow superior to that which accompanied just the fruit. Maybe there really was some significance to the swan separating the weed from the fruit.

I shook the thought off and brought my mind back to my surroundings. But my mind trailed back to its ministrations. I began to wonder if perhaps my sensitized ears from the previous day had not heard sounds of creatures in the swamp but outside the swamp. Had I heard the creatures in the pond which the swan led me to? If so, it couldn’t be too far away, and if it wasn’t, then perhaps I wouldn’t have too long to wait for sustenance. That thought did nothing to quell the rumbling of my stomach, but it did bring me hope at least, and hope proved to be a powerful motivation to ignore the hunger.

I had been wrong in my musings, as we did not reach the swan’s pond until the end of the day. By that time, my hope had given way to resignation. I was so downcast that I did not even notice as the occurrence of the large trees became more and more infrequent. By the time I realized that we had left the swamp, the red clouds had filled the sky for hours and the liquid in the okun had become so shallow that it did not fully cover my feet as I walked in it. We went on for about an hour longer before the pink liquid completely disappeared, and I was walking on sludge. Looking ahead, I noticed that the ground underneath the swan had pools of pink liquid, as if the liquid had come out from the swan. It was an intriguing thought.

A spot of pink caught my eye. It was still a ways off from where we were, but I could see glimpses of the pond, hidden behind a wall of shrubs. As we got closer to the shrubs, my mouth hung open. Previous thoughts of food and hunger fled, as I prepared myself for the sight. I had never seen a shrub before. We’d had an okun and trees in the slum, and so those were not new sights, but these shrubs were foreign. I knew from the passing traders’ stories, that things like plants and shrubs, and even the trees in our slums, were all a result of imp magic. None of those grew naturally. The Kaiser of Hakute considered it a waste to have food bearing plants grow in slums. If not for the wood gotten from the trees, we’d probably not have had trees either.

I stopped in front of the yellow shrub and stroked the leaves. Their texture was surprising, slippery and soft. It was something I had never felt before. As I ran my fingers over the leaves, and put my hand into the shrub, I caught a glimpse of small berries. Like the shrubs, I had seen pictures of this from the passing traders. I remembered learning that they were sweet. I reached to pluck a few of the berries, but the swan suddenly appeared in the shrubs. It scratched at my hand with its webbed feet, forcing me to let go off the fruits. Then it flew down from the shrubs and continued its graceful walk, on the other side of the shrubs.

I took that as a warning to leave the berries alone. It was a warning I heeded. Pushing the thin stems away, I made a path through the shrub which I could walk through. After releasing the branches, I turned around one last time to watch the shrub move back in place. I took one last look at my first shrub, and then I turned back around.

I froze and my lips parted as I stared.

It still surprises me how much differences can exist between okuns. At this point in my life I had seen a number of them. I had seen so much pink liquid in different states of purity, that I found it hard to believe that I could still see an okun which shocked me.

But this okun was different.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:54am On Jun 05, 2019
It was pristine, it was purer than anything I had ever seen and it had a glow of pink which rose above the surface of it. The swan turned around and moved towards me. It wrapped its long neck around the bottom of my leg and stroked the side of my feet as I continued to stare at the liquid. Even without exerting too much energy to study it, I felt the swan’s pain. This close to the pond, the pain appeared different in a way that I could not place. There was also something about the gesture of the swan’s beak scraping against my feet which gave me pause. I had no time to contemplate these things as the swan uncurled itself and then walked back, away from me. Its wings spread and slowly, one after the other, they began to flap. Then the swan rose. It flew away from me and dove, beak first into the okun. As soon as it entered the okun, the swan was gone. No matter how much I searched, I could not feel its pain.

That was when I realized what the gesture had been, and why its pain had appeared different. It dawned on me then, that with its gestures, the swan had been saying goodbye.

I just stood there for minutes trying to wrap my head around the loss I felt. What was it about the swan that made me ache to see it again? Was it the purity? Being in the presence of a frosted beast was not a thing that many could boast. I had been taught that frosted beasts rarely ever left the body which birthed them. It had been said that on rare occasions when a frosted beast was separated from its home, it sought an uspec companion. Had I thought that I had been chosen, that I had been found worthy for such a position? I laughed at my stupidity then. Whatever reason there was behind the swan finding me, I was just grateful that it had. I was grateful for the fruit it brought me, and grateful that it led me out of the swamp and to this pond with food.

I placed my black bag on the sludge ground and ran towards the okun. Then I dove in and spent more time than I would have thought endurable, just enjoying the feel of the liquid. It had been a long time since I washed, I long time since I simply enjoyed the pleasure of swimming in an okun. As a kute, I was an okun person, it felt like a wrongdoing to have been so long separated from the okun. I swam for what could not have been more than a few minutes, although my stomach complained as though it had been hours. At my stomach’s hungry urging, I dove deeper into the okun and searched for jejas. I kept an eye out for the swan, but I knew that I would not find it.

Instead, I saw a school of yellow jejas swimming towards me. I lashed out with my arm and grabbed three of the streamlined creatures before they could escape. The rest of the group scattered, swimming in different directions to get away. I had caught three small ones. I was sure three jejas would be enough to start. I could always jump back in for more.

With one hand, I swam out of the okun, and took the three jejas I had caught back with me, to sit on the sludge ground by my bag. For a moment I thought about cooking them. I had never eaten raw jeja. In the slums, we had left the jejas out over days to dry or smoked them over a fire, when we ate them alone. My stomach rumbled, reminding me that I was too hungry to either search for a fire or leave the jejas out for days to cook.

I slit the jejas’ throats with one of my neck scales and waited as long as I could, holding the jejas upside down, for the blood to drip out of them. Then I proceeded to eat them, one after the other. I did not have time to clean them as we usually did in the slums, cutting of their tails and fins and heads. I did not even take care to debone them. I just tore into the flesh and ate a bite at a time, till all that was left was the long center bone. Even after eating all three jejas I still felt unsatisfied. However, I remembered the warnings from so long ago. I remembered that it was better to eat in small amounts after a prolonged fast. So, I crawled back to the okun and drank fistfuls of the pink liquid, filling up my belly with that instead.

Then I crawled back to my bag and sat by it. I stared up into the night and like the night before, I felt at peace. I was actually excited at the thought of sleeping on the sludge ground. It had been a long time since I felt the warm embrace of the sludge. A long time indeed.

I was just about to lay down, when a foul feeling stole into me. I knew at once what it was. I sprung to my feet, grabbed the black satchel bag and set off on the trail of that foulness. Like a beast hunting a scent I followed it mindlessly. I paid no heed to my surroundings, placing only as much forethought as was needed to push a branch away from my path before I brushed past it, or to move around potholes.

As I got closer to the source of the feeling, I heard the sounds of an uspec grunting, followed by the sound of a whip hitting flesh. If those sounds were all I had to go on, then I would have been unable to tell if the subject of the lashing was an uspec or an imp. But I was following the feeling of fouled pain, and I knew that only an imp young had pain which could be fouled as such.

There was something about this pain that was more compelling than the others. If likened to a smell, then the foul pain of the others could be compared to an offending stench which I found unbearable. This one, on the other hand, drew me to it. From the distance which I had walked I could tell that this imp was further off than any whose fouled pain I had ever felt. It was further off, yet I was able to sense it. It compelled me to come to it, it drew me in a way that none of the others had. I did not think of what dangers I could be walking into, or what rights I had to intervene, I could not think on that. All I could think of was my desperate desire to remove the foulness from the pain of the imp young.

I stopped at a deserted sludge road.

Off to the side, I could see glimpses of artificial light, proof that there was some sort of settlement not too far off. But in front of me, only a few paces away, was a short kute uspec wielding a tail, and an imp young, tied to a tree. The imp young wore two sets of clothing. The shirt it wore to cover its top half was ripped to shreds. There were lines of blood on its back.

I stopped and watched as the uspec pulled the whip back and then brought it down hard on the imp young’s back. The imp young did not move. No sound came out of it. It was so still and so quiet that I wondered if it was dead, even though I knew that such a thing was impossible. Still, from the ripping of its shirt and the amount of blood which I saw, I knew that this beating had to have gone on for a while. Where were the tears? If there was anything which had become obvious to me about the imp young, it was that they were weak. They cried when they were in pain. Why did this one not cry out? Perhaps it was mute? Three more lashes landed, and still the imp remained silent.

The imp’s pain was not as silent as its owner. The foulness in that pain increased to sickening proportions.

“You there!” I called out, before completely knowing exactly what I would say.

The uspec did not acknowledge me, it just continued its whipping. I marched forward, and stopped the whip with my own hand, taking the force of the blow. Irritated, I yanked the whip from the uspec and threw it on the ground.

That caught the uspec’s attention. It stared at me, frowning, as if it could not fathom my existence, or at least my sudden appearance. Then it took a step back and bowed slightly. “Noble one.” It greeted me.

I was so shocked by the greeting that my mouth hung open for a long time. Too long, I realized as the uspec lifted its head and smirked at me.

“One of those then.” It said jeeringly. Then it bent, reaching for the whip.

I had to shake of the shock of been greeted as a noble one. I couldn’t understand why this uspec would refer to me as one. Did I look noble? I placed my foot on the whip, holding it down firmly so the uspec couldn’t take it.

Suddenly, a cyan blade flashed just an inch away from my throat. I took a step back, barely avoiding it. The uspec stood with the small dagger in its right hand. Its feet were spread and it made jabs in the air, as if it was prepared to fight me. I had my first good look at the uspec then. Its feet were covered with a mixture of caked and fresh brown sludge, a clear sign of an uspec who spent much time in the sludge. It had nothing on, save a belt attached to its waist. That was most likely were the dagger had come from. The uspec had three of its outer eyes formed, but none of them filled. It only took one quick glance at this uspec to know that it was a commoner, probably wasn’t much of a fighter either. No good sport could come of brawling with it.

I found myself acting in a way that was so uncharacteristic it puzzled me. A part of me wanted to kill the uspec and just get it over with. But another part of me, an alien part which I had never before been acquainted with, argued against it. What had this uspec done to deserve death? It had every right to discipline its slave. In fact, if the imp didn’t happen to be an imp young, I would not care. So why take its life? This new part puzzled me. Where had it come from, and why was it denying me an easy resolution? Still, I found myself heeding it.

“I mean you no harm.” I spat the words out, eyeing the uspec and its dagger.

“Then be on your way imposter.” Its voice was hostile.

“Imposter?” I asked, truly perplexed.

“You wear the collar of a banneret, but you are not noble, are you? You were probably just a guard who stole it from its unsuspecting owner.” After saying that, the uspec moved closer, jabbing its dagger some more.

The collar! I had completely forgotten about that. I stifled the urge to laugh. “Is this your slave?” I asked instead.

“What is it to you?”

“I want to buy it.” The words came out of my mouth before I had truly reasoned them out. But what else could I do? “I’ll pay you well.” I promised.

As if it could smell the money, the uspec’s eye darted greedily towards my black bag. “Maybe I’ll just kill you and take the money.” After saying that, the uspec rushed at me. It ran towards me tactlessly.

I stepped to the side quickly and grabbed hold of the uspec’s wrist as it ran past me. With my free hand, I grabbed the uspec’s shoulder and pulled it closer towards me. Then, with my hand on its wrist, I controlled its hand, turned the dagger around, and drove it into the uspec’s neck.

It fell to the floor, its blood flowing into the sludge.

What a waste, that foreign part of me whined. I could have paid it off instead I thought. I was so irritated with this new part of me that I reached for the dagger and pulled it out of the uspec’s neck. It wasn’t till I rose the dagger up that I realized my intention had been to cut out that annoying, weakling, part of me, which was mourning the death of an uspec I did not know. I had done the fair thing; I had offered to pay good money for the imp. Instead the uspec chose to attack me. What was I supposed to do? Reason with it, I answered myself.

Shaking my head forcefully, I took my attention from the dead uspec to the imp tied to the tree.

That was when I noticed that the imp was looking at me.

Its face was a dark shade of brown. It had empty eye sockets and streaked skin, the sign of an imp with magic. I reached out with my pain for the imp’s but I found nothing. There was none of the foulness which had drawn me to the imp, none even of the beautiful pain I had come to associate with the imp young. I felt nothing. It reminded me of Xavier, and how the imp had hidden its polluted emotions from me. I knew then, that this imp was hiding its emotions. To do that, it would have to have pansophy.

Did I want an imp with pansophy? An imp with magic I could tolerate, in fact, an imp with magic was useful. But an imp with pansophy? Especially when I didn’t have the magic myself? No, it wasn’t worth it. Without the foulness in the pain, there was nothing pulling me to the imp anymore. I decided to leave it as it was.

I was just about to turn around when I remembered that the imp was tied to the tree. I walked closer to it then, intending to cut it loose before leaving. But as soon as I got close enough to see the imp’s face, I stopped. It stared back at me, with its empty eye sockets, and I was filled with a haunting sense of familiarity. I had seen this imp before. A blurred picture formed in my mind as I tried to remember where I had seen it, but the picture was too incomplete. I just couldn’t figure it out.

“What is your name?” I heard myself asking.

“Musa.” The imp replied.

Immediately, pieces of a memory filled my mind. I remembered watching the imp die from a cutlass wound to the neck and then picking the imp up and taking it away. But taking it away from where? And how could an imp die? My thoughts didn’t make any sense to me. Hadn’t it been a dream? But what were the chances of me having a dream about an imp one night, and then meeting the same imp the next day?

I did not know. There was so much I did not understand, but I knew one thing, I knew that I could not leave it. The imp belonged to me now, whether I wanted it or not.


Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 4:42pm On Jun 05, 2019
Oga Don get first slave, cool
He has been he money to buy as many as he wants, so not a big deal. wink
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:37am On Jun 08, 2019
Oga Don get first slave, cool
He has been he money to buy as many as he wants, so not a big deal. wink

LOL!!! Yes oh, it has money!
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:37am On Jun 08, 2019
Part 6

The last burg in the first metropolis of Hakute

I took one last look at the streaked skin of the imp’s face before walking around to the other side of the tree trunk. The imp’s arms had been spread so that they were wrapped around the tree, reaching as close together as they could. Then the rope had been wound around both wrists and knotted in the middle of the space between them. I cut through the ropes binding the arms together and watched the arms draw back to the other side of the tree. The imp’s legs were tied in a similar way. I went on one knee and cut through the ropes binding the legs as well.

Once the imp was free, I walked back to the other side of the tree, and leaned causally against the tree trunk. With my arms crossed in front of me, I watched and waited to see what the imp would do.

The imp, now freed, rubbed at the indents in its wrist which had been formed by the ropes. It rubbed at its sore wrists for some time. Then, as if suddenly recalling that it wasn’t alone, it rose its head up so that it’s empty eye sockets were in line with my eyes.

I noted, as I watched it stand still before me, that it was the tallest imp young that I had seen. The imp was tall enough that the top of its curly black hair reached over midway past my chest. I found its height pleasing.

The imp appeared unsure. After peering up at me for minutes and watching me do nothing more than observe it, the imp’s head bent downwards, as if in a bow. I waited for it to raise its head and fidget, or perform some other gesture of impatience, but it did nothing more than stand with its head bowed. I cannot tell how much time passed in the silence that followed.

Finally, I spoke. “What is your name?” I heard myself repeating the redundant question.

“Musa.” The imp repeated its answer as it had the previous time. Then, as if as an afterthought it added, “Master.”

I could still remember the first time I had heard tales of imp slaves. I did not know yet, why at such a young age, I had felt drawn to be an owner, but at that point in my life, I could think of nothing greater than owning an imp slave. It was my sole ambition. Before I dreamt of eyes and the magic they would bring, before I wished for feathers to fill my ailerons, and before I dreamt of my tail growing longer, I wanted a slave. Now I had one, and I had no idea what to do with it. I had spent too much time alone, too much time with no one but myself to worry about and care for. What would I do with a slave? The rebuke lay on the tip of my tongue. I wanted to chastise it for the title it had given me, to tell it that I was not its master and that it was free to do as it pleased, but I didn’t. Why?

The longest interactions I had had with slaves had been to rebuke them for insults against me. But this one made no move to insult me. It hid its emotions, which meant it had pansophy like Xavier, yet it made no attempt to get itself free. Why was that? And why did I care?

“Can you move?” I spat the words out callously.

The imp’s head snapped up. “Yes master.” It replied.

“Do you not want to be free?” I teased it. Was that cruel of me, to tease an imp with a freedom I was not willing to give it? And why did I care what the imp felt?

The imp’s head moved backwards, and its lips parted as if in shock. “No master.” It replied.

“Why not?” I pushed.

“Because I am a slave.” It replied with content.

Slowly, I moved myself away from my relaxed position leaning against the tree trunk, stood upright, and stalked towards the imp. I stopped in front of it and waited for it to crane its head backwards so that its gaze met my face. It did not. It remained standing as it had been, with its head pointed at my chest.

I bent so that my ear was on a level with its ear. “So, you will serve whichever uspec claims you?”

“You killed my master, so now you are my master.” It stated as if the answer should be as plain to me as it was to it.

“And what if I don’t want a slave?” I asked.

The imp tilted its head backwards then, its eyelids pulled all the way back, and I could tell, even with its empty eye sockets, that it was staring right at me. “Do you not want a slave?” it asked. The question was stated simply, there was no taunting in the imp’s tone which I could hear, but I knew that the question in itself was impudent. But what was I to do? Should I discipline it, start off the relationship the way I expected it to be? I found that instead of finding the impudent question disrespectful, I was slightly amused. A willing slave with spirit. If nothing else, the imp promised to be amusing.

I nodded curtly at it. “My name is Nebud.” I informed it. “I am your master now.”

The imp nodded, and then it stepped three paces back and dropped to its knees in front of me. I was suddenly aware of my own level of ignorance. What was it doing? The imp held its hands behind its back and then it bent its upper body, bowing its head until its forehead touched the sludge ground. Was I supposed to do something now? I wondered as the imp remained in its supine position.

“You can stand up.” I said, after a few minutes had passed and the imp remained as it had been. I heard the slight undercurrents of amusement in my voice and was slightly puzzled by it.

The imp stood up. A smudge of sludge was stuck to the imp’s forehead. I found myself wiping away the sludge before I realized what I was doing. Wasn’t the imp supposed to be the slave and I the master? Then why was I cleaning it. I brushed off the sludge with my other hand, slightly irritated with myself.

“Thank you master.” The imp said.

I jerked my head forward and began walking. The imp followed behind me. Traveling by myself, there were many things that I had never stopped to consider. One of those things was the speed at which I walked. I walked at a speed which I found satisfactory. But now, with the smaller imp following behind me at a pace which even I could tell was not comfortable, I found myself making the conscience effort to slow down. Now I had to measure my movements for the imp’s sake? Why had I been so eager to own a slave? I could hardly remember.

“Master, if I may?” the imp sounded as if it was out of breath, like a winded runner after a race.

I stopped altogether, giving the imp a chance to rest. I nodded brusquely at it, in answer to its question.

“Where are we going master?” it asked.

Again, I wasn’t sure if this question was impudent or if questions like this were expected from slaves. I truly had no knowledge of what it took to own an imp. I decided then, that I would treat the imp as I would any other uspec. I had never really had any problems with imps, that is, with imps who knew their place. As long as this imp obeyed me, and it spoke in a respectful manner, it could say whatever it pleased. Having made that decision, I felt a lot more confident in my new role as master.

“Katsoaru.” I replied.

The imp’s lips parted, and its mouth hung open in shock. It stared at me with that ridiculous expression on its face for at least a minute before it composed itself. “Master,” it spoke slowly as if taking care to measure its words, “do you know where we are?”

The corners of my lips twitched as I thought about the question. Then I shook my head. “Not exactly.” I replied.

The imp smiled. “We are in the last burg in the first metropolis of Hakute. It is a slum border master, as far away as you can get from the inter-port trail.”

“The inter-port trail?” I asked.

“Well, yes master. The inter-port trail connects different ports. It is the only way out of, and into a port.”

“Do you know the way?”

“Yes master.”

“Then lead it.”

The imp hesitated. “Master,” it began, “perhaps we can find a place to stay for the night and then continue the journey tomorrow? It is at least a day’s walk into the main hamlet. Once we get there, seeking transportation to the inter-port trail will be easy.”

I started to shake my head and then I remembered the beating the imp had taken. Although I was not tired, I thought, maybe it was. With a sigh, I nodded. I took my bag off my shoulder and placed it on the sludge ground. Then I lowered myself to a sitting position. I was just about to lay on the sludge ground, when my eye caught the look of alarm on the imp’s face.

I sat up then, and stared up at it. “What is it?” I asked.

“Master…” its head turned to look around the empty area, before focusing back on me. “Surely, master, you don’t mean to sleep right here, on the sludge ground, in the middle of a path?”

I frowned at it. “Of course.”

The imp shook its head, its widened mouth hanging open. “But, perhaps master, we could walk for a while and find shelter. The sludge gives way to more comfortable ground a few paces ahead, and there are empty tents erected specifically for travelers.”

“I am fine with the sludge.” I replied.

“But master, I … I … it’s sludge.” The imp exclaimed as if my suggestion that it was a good sleeping ground was insane.

I was suddenly irritated with this imp. “Find your own place to sleep then.” I snapped. “I have no problem with sludge.” After saying that, I lay down, using the bag as a pillow again. I turned my back on the imp, closed my eyes and did my best to fall asleep.


Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:38am On Jun 08, 2019
Then I waited, straining my ears for sounds of the imp walking away. I could not say with any degree of certainty if I wanted the imp to stay, or if I preferred it to leave. I was certain of one thing though, if the imp left, I would not go after it. After waiting for a few more moments in the unenlightening silence, I turned around. The imp lay quietly on the sludge ground. Its eyelids were pulled close. The corners of my lips crept up, the smile coming unbidden to my face as I turned back around. I closed my eyes then and willed myself to sleep.

I woke to a sound that I had never heard before. It took me a while to place the gentle tunes of the high-pitched voice. I recalled where I was then and the imp slave I had acquired the night before. Slowly, I pulled myself to a sitting position and turned around to face the imp.

It knelt with its back to me. A number of things had changed while I slept. It was obvious that the imp had gotten a change of clothes. The shirt it wore was made of a light blue material, unlike the shredded cream one it had worn during its whipping the night before. Its trousers appeared to be the same, but it had none of the sludge stains I would expect after a night sleeping on the ground. There was also a worn looking sack bag by it. The sack bag was made of a brown material, and it had a black strap sewn onto it. The sack bags I had seen in the slums were much bigger and did not have the strap. But I could imagine how the strap would make the bag more convenient for travels. I couldn’t help wondering where the imp had gotten the change of clothes and the sack bag.

I cleared my throat, making my cognizance known to the imp.

The imp jumped to its feet and turned around to face me. It had a cheerful smile on its face as it bowed slightly and greeted, “Good morning master. Would you like to have breakfast first, or shall we go to a pond for cleaning?”

I was dumbfounded. Thanks to my newly gained outer eyes, I was able to clearly see the bowls which had been hidden by the imp’s kneeling form, without moving my head. Those bowls were placed on top of a wide black tarp.

“Breakfast?” I asked, my voice breathy with shock.

The imp fell to its knees immediately. “Forgive me master. I woke early and so I thought that master wouldn’t mind if I left to go back and get my belongings from the tree my previous master had tied me to. The food and change of clothing were there. Please forgive me master.”

What was there to forgive? I wondered. I stretched my legs out and placed my hands on the sludge ground behind me, as I observed the kneeling imp. “Why were you whipped the night before?” I found myself suddenly curious.

The imp’s voice shook. “I displeased my previous master.” It replied vaguely.

“By…” I prompted.

“It did not tell me what exactly.” There was a distinct note of sorrow and self-disappointment in its voice, as if it felt its old master’s displeasure as a personal failing.

“Get up.” I said. “I don’t care if you go about before I wake.”

The imp’s smile was so wide it shocked me. “Thank you master!” it exclaimed. “Shall I bring you some food then? It is not great, but it is well prepared. I used the last of the old master’s foodstuff.”

I nodded hesitantly. It felt very strange to have an imp waiting on me, very strange. The imp grabbed the larger bowl from the black tarp and brought it to me. I stared up at the imp, took the bowl from it, and nodded in thanks. It went back to the tarp and stood by it. My gaze moved from the wooden object sticking out of my bowl, to the imp standing by the tarp.

“What is this?” I asked, pointing at the long wooden object.

The imp’s eyelids pulled up and its eyebrows rose, its face forming a picture of shock. For a moment it just stared at me with its mouth hanging open. Then it made a visible effort to compose itself, before answering. “It is a spoon master.”

A spoon. Suddenly I remembered the pictures in the passing traders’ books, of fine dining and utensils used for eating. I had only ever eaten with my hands. I looked at the soup in the bowl and thought better of using my hands. Food like this would have come with bread in the pits. Warily, I picked up the spoon and pulled it out of the bowl. I examined the contraption, studying the bowl end of it, and then I put it back into the bowl and scooped up a spoonful of the soup. I noticed then that the soup was not as light as I had imagined. Its texture resembled that of the gruel we had been fed in the pits. Warily, I took one spoon of the meal.

It was impressive. My taste buds did not suddenly explode with the delight of a fine delicacy, but it was a more subtle succulence. This meal would not be served at a ball for a Kaiser, but it was the type of thing that I liked. It was much better food than I had eaten over the past years in the pits, and for that alone I was grateful. I took three more spoons before I remembered the person who had made it.

I rose my head then to study the imp, and I could not help but be baffled at the look of pure delight on its face. It was as if the simple act of watching me enjoy its meal was pleasing. “It is good.” I said.

The imp’s smile got even wider, a feat I had previously thought impossible.

“Have you eaten?” I asked.

The imp shook its head. “I would not dare eat without master’s permission.”

The imp’s words took me by surprise. My mouth hung open with shock. Was the feeding of this imp also to be my concern? Would it starve if I did not specifically tell it to eat? I could not think of anything I would like to have less in my care. “Whenever you are hungry you will eat without my permission. Is that understood?”

“Yes master.” The imp replied.

I nodded and took my attention back to my meal. I was almost halfway through the meal when I realized that the imp was still standing. With a sigh I put the spoon back in the bowl. “Eat imp.” I said, gesturing towards the bowl on the tarp.

“Now master?” it asked, “while you eat?” It spoke as if such a thing was unheard of.

“Yes, while I eat.” I replied, suddenly finding this whole business of slave ownership amusing. What other rules existed between master and slave?

The imp moved around awkwardly. I watched it edge closer to the tarp and then observe the material as if it was a foreign body it could not approach. Finally, it knelt on the tarp and then grabbed the bowl. It bowed its head and said, “thank you master”, with a forthrightness that awed me.

I was suddenly filled with an overwhelming urge to know more about this imp. “Is it comfortable to eat while kneeling?” I asked, truly curious.

The imp’s head rose so that it looked at me. “I would not dare sit to eat while you sat to eat master.”

“Dare.” I said, jerking my head to the tarp. What a strange imp, I thought as I watched it awkwardly maneuver to a sitting position. Minutes rolled away as the imp did nothing more than stare, with its bent head, at the bowl in its hand. It did not eat, it simply looked at the contents of the bowl.

Then, after a while, it rose its head up and stared at me. “Truly master, you do not mind if I eat with you?” it asked. I shook my head, and again its answering smile and “thank you,” were candid.

“Tell me about yourself Musa.” I said, after taking another spoon of the meal.

The imp was just about to put its first spoon into its mouth, but then the spoon went back into its bowl. It stared at me and then it chuckled. “But master, you just said that I could eat.”

I frowned in confusion. “You can eat and talk.” I stated.

“It is not considered acceptable in polite company.” The imp’s words almost sounded reproachful.

“Are you saying that you decide what is considered acceptable?”

The imp dropped the bowl and went back to its knees. “Forgive me master…”

“I was only teasing.” I said, and it surprised me to say it. Teasing. When was the last time I had teased another person? A vague memory formed of a childhood in the slums, but even then, I had never been the one to do the teasing. I had however been the one teased.

The imp went back to its sitting position on the tarp. “It has been a long time since I have been teased.” It stated simply, before taking a spoon of its meal. Suddenly, with its solemn words and expression, this imp appeared much older than an imp young. The sadness in its bearing told of a pain that I could not fathom.

The thirst to know more reappeared. “Tell me about yourself Musa.” I prompted. This time, my voice was gentle, cajoling, yet firm and unyielding. “I want to know everything.”


Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 2:48am On Jun 08, 2019
Hahahaha I am going to love this relationship.

Nebud has found a companion maybe a friend. cheesy
Next part obehid. Waiting....
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by decoderdgenius(m): 3:19am On Jun 09, 2019
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by tunjilomo(m): 12:31pm On Jun 09, 2019
Something tells me this two will fit themselves.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by correctguy101(m): 6:55pm On Jun 09, 2019
This ObehiD of a somebori, your mind is too broad. You just be sending pesin mind on too many errands.

Pls, help this daddy remember how imps get their magic and why they couldn't just take over this spectrum since without imp eyes, uspecs got no ,magic...

Don't blame o, my brain is too slow sometimes cool

nice worl miss wonder
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by spixytinxy(f): 4:01pm On Jun 10, 2019
See friendship, just hope musa won't f up
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 4:20am On Jun 11, 2019
@Fazemood lol yeah, I think I'm going to love the relationship too wink A friend...? I guess we'll see. Next part coming soon

@decoderdgenius haha, I like that, please keep thinking on it grin

@tunjilomo I like where your mind is going cheesy

@correctguy101 lol, prepare your mind for more, more errands coming soon haha. Blame you? NO! I love that question, it shows that you're really getting it grin So, I haven't really gone into that much detail on imp magic, but you're right about the imp eyes being the source of their magic (one type of magic that is, there are others they don't need the imp eyes for). But, an imp with eyes is an imp without magic, they have to lose their eyes before they can get any of the magic of the spectral existence (more on this coming up later) and so, it's really just a matter of strength when an uspec tries to take an imp's eye. The imp can fight back, but if the uspec is stronger, the imp really doesn't stand a chance. As to the imp magic, I'm going to go into this in much more detail later in the book, but I'll just say here, that the majority of imps with magic have siphoned magic, which means that they are siphoning the magic from their owners. Because of this, the owner pretty much controls the magic that the imp can use and what the imp can use that magic for. It is very very rare to come across an imp with magic that is not siphoned. This is what Xavier (magic imp from the pits) tried to explain to Nebud when it was talking about how it came to work for Fajahromo. So, to answer your question, if the imps wanted to take over the spectral existence, they would have to rely on more than just magic, because in terms of spectral magic (in general) the uspecs have them beat. As to whether or not the imps can take over the spectral existence... well, I guess I should say that anything is possible. Hope that helps you understand better smiley

@spixytinxy as soon as Musa entered I was excited, but I don't know if it will be a friendship, or something else...Anyway, I hope neither of them messes it up
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by correctguy101(m): 3:47pm On Jun 11, 2019
@Fazemood lol yeah, I think I'm going to love the relationship too wink A friend...? I guess we'll see. Next part coming soon

@decoderdgenius haha, I like that, please keep thinking on it grin

@tunjilomo I like where your mind is going cheesy

@correctguy101 lol, prepare your mind for more, more errands coming soon haha. Blame you? NO! I love that question, it shows that you're really getting it grin So, I haven't really gone into that much detail on imp magic, but you're right about the imp eyes being the source of their magic (one type of magic that is, there are others they don't need the imp eyes for). But, an imp with eyes is an imp without magic, they have to lose their eyes before they can get any of the magic of the spectral existence (more on this coming up later) and so, it's really just a matter of strength when an uspec tries to take an imp's eye. The imp can fight back, but if the uspec is stronger, the imp really doesn't stand a chance. As to the imp magic, I'm going to go into this in much more detail later in the book, but I'll just say here, that the majority of imps with magic have siphoned magic, which means that they are siphoning the magic from their owners. Because of this, the owner pretty much controls the magic that the imp can use and what the imp can use that magic for. It is very very rare to come across an imp with magic that is not siphoned. This is what Xavier (magic imp from the pits) tried to explain to Nebud when it was talking about how it came to work for Fajahromo. So, to answer your question, if the imps wanted to take over the spectral existence, they would have to rely on more than just magic, because in terms of spectral magic (in general) the uspecs have them beat. As to whether or not the imps can take over the spectral existence... well, I guess I should say that anything is possible. Hope that helps you understand better smiley

@spixytinxy as soon as Musa entered I was excited, but I don't know if it will be a friendship, or something else...Anyway, I hope neither of them messes it up


Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by decoderdgenius(m): 10:07pm On Jun 11, 2019
Please Obehid, what's taking so long? I know that coming up with such masterpieces as this could take a while but coming up here everyday and going empty-handed is too great to bear.
I'm in sifia pains already. Come ooo!
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:02am On Jun 12, 2019
@correctguy101 great!

@decoderdgenius haha, I'm happy you're enjoying it! I have to work, so I can't write every day, but I try to keep my posting consistent at two posts a week on Saturday and Wednesday mornings. If I need to cut back on that, then I'll try to let everyone know before hand, but those are the set posting dates as for now. Hope you enjoy this next one grin
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:03am On Jun 12, 2019
Part 7

“I was born in the standard existence, in a place that is now known as the Western part of Africa, about 3 millennia ago. I died in the middle of a land dispute after I had lived for fourteen years. In those times young imps, such as myself, were taken as pious slaves. Some where trained solely in the acts of a specific order, some were trained to have a deep knowledge of all orders.” The imp paused in its speech to play around with the spoon in its bowl. I thought of scolding it, urging it to eat and talk, but I could sense a pensiveness as it spoke, one that did not invite interruptions.

“The first requirement for a pious slave is the knowledge of pansophy. An imp cannot die and so, the wisdom, the knowledge that pious ones deem too sacred to write down, are committed to an imp’s mind. To ensure that knowledge is never forgotten, the imp’s mind must be strong. The imp must master pansophy, it must know it better than any uspec would ever be required to. Just a simple study of lifeforces and their internal manipulations, a study that uspecs are taught in years, we are taught in centuries. Some imps, those that are considered promising are singled out and taught to master all forms of pansophy. I was one of those.” Again, the imp stopped speaking to idly stir the meal in its bowl.

When it spoke, its voice was lower, pregnant with emotion that I could not decipher. “It was a position that no sane person would want. You are taught to push your mind beyond its limits. Imps do not die, but we feel pain. We feel the pain of forcing each receptor in our brain open, of pushing it to work, to accept the knowledge of pansophy. We feel the pain of the internal meditation, the probing of our lifeforces, the manipulations. It was all pain. Centuries of pain to master pansophy, and eventually become tutors of it. We were to be kept secret, to be owned only by the pious, but everything changed when Chuspecip selected a line to serve as the Kaisers of Lahooni. The first Kaiser of Lahooni was the strongest Kaiser that had ever existed. It did not only thirst for wealth and territory, it yearned for knowledge.

I remember that year, it was after my first millennium in the spectral existence. I was owned by the order of procreation, but in that year, I was sent on loan to the order of adjudication. The Kaiser of Lahooni had a dispute with the magistrate of the order and was determined to see it end with the magistrate’s life. The magistrate of procreation intervened. It made the Kaiser aware of a secret that very few knew. Prior to this time, pansophy was thought to be a form of magic which could only be manifested by the pious. But the magistrate confessed the truth to the Kaiser of Lahooni, it confessed that pansophy was a gift which could be given to anyone with a strong enough mind to possess it.

That marked the birth of a new era. Before that time, only the pious had pansophy. After that, pansophy became a gift that was shared between the pious and those of the line of Kaisers. And it all began with the first Kaiser of Lahooni. That Kaiser was wise, too wise to accept the magistrate’s offer to learn from the magistrate itself. Instead, it found out about the pious slaves, the ones who had trained for centuries in pansophy and agreed to forgive the magistrate of adjudication only if one of the pious slaves was given to it in perpetuity and in its entirety. That meant that the slave would no longer owe any fealty to the pious, from that moment on, it would belong to the line of the Kaiser of Lahooni.

I was the slave chosen. The Kaiser chose me itself. The Kaiser was an imposing uspec. It was the first giant I had ever seen. Nine feet tall, and built with a bulk that perplexed the pious ones. The ground shook whenever it walked. On the selection day, we were all lined up in front of the Kaiser, and each of us deemed suitable for the position, prayed not to be chosen. But I was. Years later I asked the Kaiser why it had chosen me, and it said that it had been drawn to me. Its exact words were, ‘you called to me, as if I’d known you in a different life.’

I had prayed that the terrifying giant would not pick me, but it did, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

The Kaiser treated me like family. It had a strange fondness for young imps. Not that it was cruel to other imps, it wasn’t, it just had a different relationship with the young. It filled its palace with young imps, and every imp it chose served it loyally. Before I met the Kaiser, I had thought of my slavery as an injustice thrust on me by an alien race, but with the Kaiser it became more than that. My eternal life was suddenly filled with purpose. I had found a master worthy of the name. I learnt the true value of service.

The Kaiser’s vision was big, much bigger than its lifetime. It did not simply want to conquer the entire existence and sit as Kaiser of it all, it wanted to build a port flourishing with enlightenment. Its dream was so engrossing that it became mine. The Kaiser knew that it would die and so it conferred upon me the position of osin, the favored one. It was not a position that existed before, but by its words the Kaiser formed it into existence. I was the first osin, and the only osin to ever serve the Kaisers of Lahooni. I carried the first Kaiser’s vision with me for the following millennia and ensured that its descendants completed the work it had begun.

And so Lahooni became the most developed port in this existence. It became the throne of power, and the Kaisers of that line became de facto leaders of the spectral existence. They settled disputes between quarreling Kaisers, and the size of their armies ensured that their word was adhered to. Through it all, I acted as tutor to the imperial ones, the offspring of the Kaisers. I taught them every tongue spoken in the spectral existence, I taught them to read and write, I taught them the rules of society and, most importantly, I taught them pansophy. With this knowledge, the skill for pansophy grew stronger in the Lahooni line, stronger than any other line of Kaisers.

It made other Kaisers jealous, it made them envious of the power of the Kaisers of Lahooni.

As osin, I did not only act as tutor to the imperial ones, I acted as a secret adviser to the Kaisers. It was my job to be informed, to know of all that happened both within the port and outside of it. So, I should have known when the plenum was created. I should have known when they formed and set their sight on Lahooni. I should have warned the Kaiser. Perhaps if I had, the Kaiser at that time wouldn’t have become the last Kaiser of its line.

Master Calam.

In many ways it reminded me of the first Kaiser. I think that master Calam was most like the first Kaiser. It was most methodical. It was not a giant like the first, but it came close, it was eight feet tall. The Kaisers of the line of Lahooni were always about six feet tall. Master Calam and the first were the only exceptions. Master Calam added much to the riches in Lahooni, it dedicated its life to technology and using pansophy for innovations that no one else had imagined. Wars are fought for power, bitter wars fought between siblings all for their progenitor’s favor. That had never been the case amongst the Kaisers of Lahooni, because the first decided that there would never be more than one offspring, never more than one imperial heir to the line of Kaisers of Lahooni. Another could only be made if the first died. But to ensure continuity of the line, a Kaiser’s first duty was to procreate.

And so master Calam had only one offspring, master Calami. Master Calami was like all the other Kaisers in height and bulk. It did not have its progenitor’s extra length, or its aptitude for innovations, but it had all the thirst for war that its progenitor never did. Master Calami had a short temper, it was a thing I tried hard to correct, but regardless of how desperately master Calam and I wished that master Calami would change or grow out of it, it never did.

Instead, its temper led it to a war with one of the offspring of the Kaiser of Hakute. At first, it was a petty thing; both imperial ones would play little pranks on each other. Somehow it escalated, it grew to the point where neither imperial one was willing to let it go regardless of the scolding of their progenitors.

They were determined to fight it out. A fight to the death. I tried to talk master Calami out of it, I tried to reason with it, but it would not relent. It would simply smile at me and say, ‘do you really think that spoilt brat can beat me?’ But of course I didn’t. There was no better fighter than master Calami, no one. That was why I wanted it to relent. It was an imperial one, destined to be the next Kaiser of Lahooni, I did not want it entering that position with a blood feud against the line of the Kaisers of Hakute. It did not listen.

And so, the Kaisers got together, master Calam and the Kaiser of Hakute. They decided that instead of tainting the reputation of their lines, they would turn the challenge into an honorary one. The only way to make a challenge to death honorary, is to fight for births, that is, to make it a procreation bout. That way an offspring would come out of it.

It was a thing unheard of. Two imperial ones never challenged each other in the hatch, nobles barely ever challenged each other in the hatch. It was a fight usually done between a noble and a commoner. The commoner died most of the time, but in the cases where the commoner emerged victorious, the progenitor of the noble chose whether or not it wanted its offspring’s offspring. If it decided it did, it would become its sire and pay the commoner off.

But master Calami and the Hakute imperial were determined, they would not be swayed.

I should have known it was a trap when they insisted that it had to be done in the pits of Hakute. Master Calami was so confident, it swore that it would fight, and win, anywhere. The day of the fight was the last time I saw master Calami. Master Calam and I accompanied it. We watched it walk into the hatch, and waited on the other side of the opaque fog for its emergence.

Instead, a pious one tried to enter. That should have been my first clue that everything was not as it seemed. But at least I was fast enough to stop it. I pointed out that the pious one had no business entering the hatch, not when master Calami’s progenitor was present. I suspected then that master Calami was dead, and that the pious one was trying to bond to the new imperial one. It is the most despicable sacrilege to manipulate a birth that way, but I had seen it done. I had seen pious ones force orphaned nobles to cast their first gaze on them, and by so doing have a noble that was forever bonded to the pious one.

Master Calam walked into the hatch instead.

I will never forget the look on its face when it walked out with the newborn. Back in that time, there was no middle ground when it came to iriras. An irira was to be killed, it was a sacrilege to do otherwise, but master Calam could not kill its own descendant. Master Calam was an uspec of enlightenment, not one of religious superstition. Even if it was the law, master Calam thought the law was wrong, and so it took the irira back with it, to raise as its heir.

That marked the beginning of the end of master Calam.

I begged it to procreate. I told it that an irira could never be Kaiser of Lahooni, I told it that the uspecs would never allow it. But it would not listen. It loved that newborn. I must admit, even I loved the young master too. I saw master Calami in the newborn’s face, I suppose master Calam saw the same thing. I did not want the young master to die, I simply wanted master Calam to appease its people by giving them an heir they could stand behind. But master Calam would not listen.

The night of the birth, word spread that the newborn was irira. I could not even begin to imagine how the news got out, but by the next day, master Calam was holding court with other nobles in Lahooni and it told them that its decision was irrevocable. It told them that it had already named the irira newborn as heir to Lahooni. The nobles promised that they would not let it stand, but master Calam was sure that their grumblings would cease after years had passed and the newborn became the kind of heir that they would all be proud of.

I told the master that the nobles wouldn’t wait that long, but it wouldn’t listen.

The assassins came at the end of that week.

It was a good week. I could tell from the second day I spent with the young master, that it would be great. I knew that it would be one of the taller Kaisers in its line, and I could tell that it would be a great fighter. Those things were evident from the very first day I spent with it. I developed a bond with the young master, and I found myself spending more time with the newborn than I did with its sire, the progenitor of its progenitor, master Calam.

I think, deep down, on some level, I knew that the young master was in danger and that was why I spent so much time with it. I wanted to be there to protect it. But when the assassins came, I was in Hakute. Master Calam sent me back to the pits. I think it was beginning to have its suspicions. We both knew that there was no way the Hakute imperial one could have beaten master Calami, not if the fight was honest, as it was supposed to be. So, I was sent to investigate.

I knew the moment master Calam was hurt. I tried to get back as quickly as I could, but by the time I got back to the palace in Lahooni, master Calam and the young master were both dead.

I never even got the chance to tell master Calam what I learnt of the pious one who had tried to walk into the hatch. I never got the chance to tell master Calam that I had found out its name, that the pious one was called Gerangi and that it was rumored to have worked for the plenum. I never got the chance to tell master Calam that Gerangi’s specialty was poisons, that I suspected that Gerangi had somehow put poison in the hatch and that was most likely what killed master Calami.

I never got the chance to tell master Calam goodbye.

All I got was its body. I got the body of the last two masters I would ever happily serve, the last two Kaisers of the line of Lahooni. I wept by those bodies. I wept for the masters that I should have protected. A millennium training on pansophy and two millennia spent serving the most noble and most worthy line of Kaisers to ever exist in the spectral existence. But where was I when I was truly needed? Nowhere to be found.


I let my masters die before their time.

But I performed the burial rites. I at least did that for them. I made sure that they rested forever in the royal okun, with their ancestors.

A week after their deaths the plenum came to the palace. They came parading around the noble grounds as if they owned it, and installed a Custodian, as if they had the right. Master Salin, loyal to the plenum, was made Custodian of Lahooni. I had always been kept a secret. The Kaisers of Lahooni never committed my role to paper and so the new master did not know that I was trained as a pious slave. I became a kitchen slave. Some of the older imps, osins of the new master, decided that they hated me.

They picked on me and regardless of what I did, their hatred of me grew. Our altercations began to grow in size and scale, until it got to the point that their hatred of me was made known to the master. The master could not abide such squabbles between imps, so it dealt with us. The master’s osins were scolded and I was ‘punished’ and sold to a passing trader.

I’ve been the trader’s slave ever since. It was the trader who you killed last night.”


Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 9:41am On Jun 12, 2019
Wow ... Superb story.... Intriguiging I must say
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by decoderdgenius(m): 10:38am On Jun 12, 2019
Wow! I suspect Nebud just heard the story of his life.
You are special Obehid. Your mind is strange. Keep it up. I'm loving everything. Thanks
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by HotB: 12:08pm On Jun 12, 2019
Breathtaking as always
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by tunjilomo(m): 1:07pm On Jun 12, 2019
Nebud just heard the story of how it was brought to existence.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Mielekcezylil(m): 2:44pm On Jun 12, 2019
@Fazemood that's great! I'm glad

@Mielekcezylil thank you! Welcome to the story!!! So happy you're enjoying it! grin

@decoderdgenius Thank you cheesy
it has been really superb. nice work
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 8:18pm On Jun 12, 2019
This is who Obehid is, a very awesome person. Wow is what I can say. You are too good. Keep giving us joy through your skill. Thank you dear
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by spixytinxy(f): 10:18am On Jun 13, 2019
Wow! Dis is just too good, c how u shed light to everything. Thanks alot @ obehid. Pls make saturday's update very long. Can't wait for Saturday.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Tuhndhay(m): 3:50pm On Jun 13, 2019
Been away for a while......i know I have lots of catching up to do.....
OBEHID, I salute your writing prowess
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Peaceyw(m): 9:47pm On Jun 13, 2019
Wow, this musa has really tried a lot, been a slave for so long, maltreated and stuff. His mind is very strong.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by decoderdgenius(m): 10:45pm On Jun 13, 2019
Wow, this musa has really tried a lot, been a slave for so long, maltreated and stuff. His mind is very strong.

As in... no be small.
Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Taniaa(f): 10:31am On Jun 14, 2019



(A Spectral existence word which represents one of the five spectrums in the spectral existence. This word refers to the people of this spectrum, that is the uspecs of the Kute spectrum who have a tail as their distinctive feature. The uspecs in the Kute spectrum are sometimes called okun people as they are so tightly bound to the okuns in the spectral existence. As such, kute eyes give an uspec the magic of the okuns, which allows them to use the okuns to harvest the power needed for spectra from any creature. The uspecs in the Kute spectrum are also bound to the pain emotion.)


Part 1

Outside the pits. The third burg in the second metropolis of Hakute

A half-naked imp, with streaked skin and empty eye-sockets, sat on a wooden platform a few paces in front of me. The imp’s arms moved in a somewhat circular motion as it moved the oar, using it to displace the liquid in the okun, and propel the open-top canoe forward.

My eye stared emotionlessly at the ripples in the pink liquid made from the moving paddle. Occasionally, another vessel would come into our path and the imp driving it would nod in a passing greeting at the imp driving ours. Then the vessel would move away, out of my field of view, and I would continue to stare at the pink liquid.

In a part of my mind, I registered that the world I now inhabited was so much different from the world that I had spent my first years in. That world, the world of my slum, was a world filled with sludge and hovels. This world, outside the pits, had okuns everywhere. I could not recall how many days had passed since we’d left the pits. I did not remember how we happened upon this canoe, and I did not know where I was being taken. All I knew was a depression that had stolen my ability to care.

I heard feet shuffling behind me and interpreted the sound as one coming from another uspec’s pacing. I knew who it was that shared the canoe with me, but even if I hadn’t, I would not turn around to find out who the uspec was.

Gone were the instincts that I had been forced to learn in the pits. Gone were the days when the sound of the unknown would have me leaping to my feet and preparing to face the coming threat. Now I was a fragmented mind trapped in a carcass. It seemed so long ago since I had last moved my feet, I could no longer recall how, and I had no desire to find out. My hands remained immobile, resting on the arms of the wheel-stool in which I sat. My head did not turn to take in the new sites in which I passed and the marvelous world of okuns and the burg built around them. The only part of my body I still controlled where my eyes. I knew I could shut them when I pleased, and that I could open them when the fear of the darkness pushed me to.

Fear, had there been a life before it? I could not remember. But it was the only stimulation I now knew, the only thing that made my heart race. Every glance from a strange uspec reminded me of Fajahromo’s cunning eyes, and every loud sound reminded me of its jarring laughter. I saw Fajahromo everywhere I went, and I remembered how easily it had manipulated me. I knew that it would find me, and I knew that it would kill me, it was only a matter of time.

But not even the fear could make me rise to my feet and take control of my fate. Because everywhere the fear went, the sorrow accompanied it. I remembered Fajanux as it died with its eye open, staring into mine as if demanding answers it deserved from the one who gave it life. I recalled the first day I had seen it as an uspec, the day that Fajahromo had brought it into my cell. It had done to me what I had done so carelessly to so many others. It had infested me with polluted emotions and then it had looked up for approval from Fajahromo.

I think I would cry if I had enough feeling to shed tears. I mourned an offspring who loathed me and was responsible for the state I was currently in, one where the sorrow in me was so deep and so overwhelming that I could not summon the will to move my own body. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I simply continued to stare ahead, not able to turn my own head around and meet the eye of the uspec behind who touched me. The uspec let out a deep sigh of sorrow and then its hand left my shoulder. I heard it move backwards, away from me, and all I could do was continue to stare ahead, at the wide end of the oar displacing the pink liquid.

As the canoe continued to rock in the vast okun, I shut my eye and simply waited in darkness for the fear to override my desire to escape the sights in front of me. It never happened instantly. Sometimes the fear was so slow to build that I could keep my eye shut for minutes, but then it would bear down on me, and become so imposing that I would have no choice but to open my eye and reassure myself that I was not back in the pits, hanging from shackles in the wall. I had not slept since I left the pits, but I knew, from the changing lighting in the environment I inhabited, that several days had passed. Although I had not slept, I had many moments of detachment, when my sorrow, the depression, overrode my fear to such a degree that just staying cognitive in my mind was too much of a burden. And so, with my eye open, all thoughts would cease and I would simply exist, if it could even be called that. That was the closest I got to resting. In those moments, I longed for the use of my limbs so that I could give myself the eternal release of death. If I had enough strength to move my limbs, I would have ended my life a long time ago, regardless of Gerangi’s presence.

It took me a while to realize that the canoe had stopped moving. Perhaps I had gone to that phase where my mind was too exhausted to keep thinking and had simply stopped. I do not know. But when the fear rose up, coursing through me like a violent wave, I opened my eye, and watched the imp jump down into the pink liquid of the okun. It bent, doing some work below the level of the canoe. When it rose, the canoe was secured to a wooden post.

The sound was slightly startling. I was still positioned with my eye staring into the okun, and although I could see the post which our canoe was secured to, I could not see anything else. But I knew there had to be a platform of sorts somewhere close, from the faint sounds I heard.

Suddenly, a green body appeared in my line of sight. The uspec cast a pitying glance my way, before turning to the imp still standing in the okun.

“How do we get to the island?” Gerangi asked.

“Where?” the imp asked. “Coulda been go Hamlet Kook?” the imp’s voice was scratchy, and it spoke a broken Kute tongue which I could barely decipher. It was obvious that this imp had not been in a Kute port for long. “Or coulda been go Hamlet Asha?”

“Kook.” Gerangi replied.

The imp nodded. Then it climbed to the top of the wooden post and balanced itself on one leg. Perhaps if I cared enough to be impressed, I would have been astonished at the imp’s expert ability to keep balance while standing in such a precarious position. But I did not care and so I simply stared emotionlessly at it all.

The imp placed both of its hands around its mouth, and when it spoke again, its voice sounded much louder. “Ahhh! Kooka-kooka-kooka!” it repeated its bellow a number of times before I heard a voice from further off reply,

“See me.”

“Come!” the imp yelled, before jumping down from the top of the post into the canoe.

Gerangi turned sideways and I could see that it was staring at something. Then the corner of its lip tipped upward in a smile of satisfaction before it turned its back on me. “How much?” it asked.

“Only three pieces of merit.” The imp replied.

“Only?” Gerangi scuffed. “One for your master, and two for yourself, eh? Do I look like a fool?”

What followed was pointless haggling that I quickly allowed my mind to escape. A part of me remembered our money. It had been so long since I’d seen the white square pieces. I knew that one piece of merit was a lot of money. And so, I imagined we must have been on this canoe for a long time if the cost was only payable with merit, as opposed to value, which was our lowest denomination. Worth was the highest, but a single piece of worth could buy a tract of land. I doubted I would ever see that much money.

“Greetings!” A cheerful voice called out. The voice came from my side, and since I would not crane my neck to see the owner, I could not tell what it was.

“Greetings domina.” The voice spoke again. This time, Gerangi turned. It grumbled at been ripped off, but then it pulled out two white pieces from the sachet bag it had carried out of the pits and gave them to the imp who’d driven the canoe. The imp was all smiles and gratitude as it accepted it.

“Help me canoe boy.” The new voice called out. The imp who’d driven the canoe, quickly hid its money in its trouser pockets and then it walked over to me. The imp walked out of my line of sight and a few moments later, I was lifted out of the crater in the canoe where my wheel-stool had been placed to keep me from rolling around in the canoe, and was carried off our canoe, onto a wooden platform. Then I was carried up a slight ramp by the two struggling imps and left to rest on another platform.

I stared ahead as I heard more feet climbing unto the platform. The sound of the feet was followed by the bang of wood against wood. Then more feet shuffling. I felt my stool move a little, and after a while it stopped moving. It was held faster than it had been in the canoe.

“What is this?” Gerangi asked.

“A mobile domina. It is a platform that moves. It’s used all around Hamlet Kook domina.”

Both voices came from behind me.

Suddenly, the platform lurched, and we were moving. Gerangi let out a low sound of shock. As we moved, we got closer to the source of the sound that I had heard. I could faintly make out an end to the okun, and solid ground with people milling about.

“Fascinating. Where are these mobiles from?” Gerangi asked.

“They are made in Lahooni domina.”

“What are you?”

“Me domina?”

“Yes, you. Who owns you?”

“Oh!” the imp chuckled. Although I was still yet to see it, as it had not once entered my line of sight, I could tell from the way it spoke to Gerangi that it was an imp. “I belong to the Hamlet domina. I am a runner.”

“Do you have a name?” Gerangi’s voice sounded amused.

“You may call me whatever you please domina.”

Gerangi’s laughter was dry. “What were you called in your umani life?” it asked.

Silence followed the question.

“I don’t mean to pry.” Gerangi’s voice was cautious.

“Oh no, it’s nothing domina. It has just been so long since my umani life ended that I must think to recall the name. It may have been Promise.”

“Have you been in Kook the whole time?”

The imp laughed. “No domina, I cannot stay in any one place for so long. I have been in Kook for ten years though.”

“Who owns you Promise?” Gerangi asked again.

The imp laughed. “You are very perceptive domina.”

“No slave can come and go as they please.”

“I was owned once. I was a slave for my first fifty years in the spectral existence, but then my master died, and I could not serve its offspring. So, I ran away.”

“How much do you charge for your services then?”

The imp gasped in shock. “You will pay me even knowing that I am a runaway?”

“Slavery is such a terrible institution. There is more than enough wealth in the spectral existence for all imps to be employed and paid for their time. But for a twist of luck, I could have been born umani and you uspec.” Gerangi sighed. “I will pay you Promise, and I will pay you well.”

“Thank you domina. I will take whatever you give me.” The imp’s voice was filled with awe.

A few moments passed in silence before Gerangi spoke up again. “Tell me Promise, have you ever heard of ‘The Isle of Brio’?”

“No domina. It cannot be in Kook, I know everywhere in Kook.”

“Perhaps not in Kook, but very close to it. Are there any imps in Kook who’ve been here for centuries?”

“Only one I know of domina. Her name is Mel and she owns the border motel Last Chance. It will cost you to speak to her though.”

“The imp is free?”

“She served the most prominent Kook line for over a century and in return they gave her freedom, a home, and a source of income.”

“All she had to do was remain a slave for over a century.” Gerangi’s voice was thick with sarcasm.

The imp laughed.

The platform stopped moving and moments later, I felt my stool move underneath me.

It was as if we had docked at a market. I heard a cacophony of voices, none of which held any particular meaning to me. The platform had stopped by a plankway which extended from the land I had seen. I was rolled onto the plankway and then to the land, where I saw uspecs and imps brushing past each other, running from one spot to the other. I watched emotionlessly as other canoes and some platforms docked by different plankways, and their inhabitants walked off their modes of transportations and came to a stop, where I was stopped at.

It was only then that I noticed that there were barriers cordoning off the section I was in, where the arriving platforms and canoes had docked, from the rest of the hamlet. As we got closer to those barriers, we were formed into lines.

I was only a few people away from the front of the line when I heard a familiar question.


I could not hear the answer, but it was followed by a large uspec picking up an axe with a cyan blade and swiping it in the air. I watched detachedly as four uspec heads were cut off from their bodies and the heads rolled on the soft ground. One of those heads stopped in front of me.

I got my first view of the imp Promise, when it walked around and stopped in front of me, bent, picked up the head, and then tossed it aside, as if it was trash. Then the imp walked back behind me and my stool rolled forward.

My gaze remained ahead, and I was suddenly staring at wispy green legs, and blood-stained cyan axes. We were next in line, and an uspec asked, “Tiyoseriwosin?”
Started reading since last night. lntriguing so far

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