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Soul Tower by The A.C.
Babarao Village is dim; the only remaining light is coming from the glow of the disappearing sun. All buildings are locked up as their residents prepare to retire to bed.
Itida is a stranger to this village, and the only person still walking about outside. “Hmm, guess I got here too late. At least I found an inn.”
The building he is referring to does not appear much different than the surrounding ones. Only the faint outline reading BABARAO INN above the door makes him assume this is the village’s inn.
“Hello? Is anybody home? It is getting dark out here, and I am looking for someone who should be here.” The door is locked, knocking proves useless, and now Itida’s shouting is getting no response.
The sun’s lingering glow has completely faded away, but in its place shines a small light from the end of this village’s only road. Standing tall at the end of this road is an ancient tower known as Soul Tower. At one point this tower was the pride of the village, but now it is more of a curse. For an unknown reason, tourists who have visited Soul Tower started to disappear. It is because of those disappearances that Itida has come to Babarao Village.
Soul Tower becomes more prominent the closer Itida approaches. The tower itself does not look very impressive. The size is actually smaller than he imagined. There are not any special features making it stand out, although, he does feel some kind of ancient energy radiating from it.
There does not appear to be a way into the tower from the base. However, there is a steep set of worn wooden stairs leading up the side. At the top he finds a small windowless door, which he barely has to push for it to crack open and let some light slip through.
Itida steps inside and hears a gasp, followed by a thud. He looks around the small room for the source of the noise, but the single candle by the window does not entirely light up the room.
“Who are you?” A soft voice comes from a dark corner across the room.
“Who are you?” Itida repeats back with slight confusion. He still cannot see who the voice came from, but it sounded like it is the voice of a young girl. Why would there be a girl up here at night?
“Oh, I thought you were…,” her sentence trails off. “All of a sudden the door creaked open and a pale man wearing a weird, old, red robe appeared,” she sounds like she should be muttering this to herself. “You just startled me.” A girl, half the height of Itida, walks into the candle light.
“Who are you to criticize my fashion,” Itida snaps back. The girl’s description of his robe is accurate, but her plain, raggedy clothes look like she may as well be wearing a burlap sack as a dress.
The girl notices him eyeing her and puts her arms up as if trying to cover herself. “Now that I can actually see, you look like an ugly girl wearing an ugly robe. Why is your hair so long? You are not even an adult, probably only barely older than me.”
“You look like a little boy,” Itida interrupts to stop the string of criticism coming from this complete stranger. She is accurate once again, but so is he. Her hair is shaved short and her body is still undeveloped, so the resemblance to a boy is abnormally true. “And, I am close enough to being an adult.”
“Well I am a teenager…so…,” she trails off again.
There is an awkward moment of silence as the two stare each other down. This first meeting has somehow gotten off to a very defensive start.
Itida is the first to break the gaze. “My name is Itida. So, who are you?”
“Aloa,” she answers reluctantly. “Why are you here?”
“I was supposed to come to Babarao Village with Master Erota to investigate this tower. I think I got here late, though, so I do not know where he is now.”
“Does your master look as dumb as you?”
Itida does not answer her question, because his whole look mimics Master Erota. “Why are you up here?”
“It does not concern you, and besides, you should just leave. Soul Tower has been sealed off; there is nothing you will be able to see.” Aloa’s guard seems to drop, and her bitter face saddens.
Just then, Itida notices incenses burning next to the candle. After a brief moment of thought on Aloa’s condition and hostility, he concludes that she must have lost someone recently. She was most likely up here praying before he accidentally startled her. He does not say anything about it to her, though, since it is not really any of his business.
“I need to go further in. You should go home; it is not going to be safe for a little boy-ish girl like you.” Itida makes his way to a door by the corner Aloa appeared from.
“I can take care of myself,” Aloa is back to being defensive, “and I told you no one can go in there anymore.”
Itida sees why she believes that. The door had a seal recently placed on it, so normal people cannot get through it. However, this seal is similar to one Master Erota would use, which means he could already be inside. It also means he can easily get through, since he has been taught how to use and diffuse these kinds of seals without a problem. While not giving Aloa anymore attention, he steps through the door ready for whatever is on the other side.
The room he walks into is an ordinary room just like the previous one, and it seems as if this room had been used until recently. There are no signs of danger or anything weird, so he relaxes a bit.
“This room was still being used until some old man sealed that door a few days ago.” Aloa follows behind Itida into the room.
“I told you to go home,” Itida scans the room.
“I will do what I want,” she scoffs back.
A faint sensation catches Itida’s attention. He detects a sort of green energy trail leading down a staircase.
“If you are not leaving, just at least do not get in my way,” Itida tells her as he starts down the staircase.
“Those stairs have been sealed for a long time, though,” Aloa mutters quietly.
The winding stairs seem to go down forever. There are no lights, so the energy trail is the only way Itida is able to see where he is going. He walks in silence with Aloa, almost forgetting she is there until she bumps into him.
“Watch where you are going,” Aloa grumbles, her face pressed into Itida’s back.
“You walked into me,” he corrects her.
“Well, I cannot see anything…”
Itida realizes a normal girl would not be able to see the energy trail he is following, so to Aloa this stair case must be pitch black. He takes her hand and places part of his robe in it. “Here, hold on to this to help get around better.”
Aloa complies without saying anything as she follows him, pouting about her damaged pride.
“Earlier you said someone sealed the door a few days ago, which means it was not Master Erota. The seal was similar to his, though. Why was the door suddenly sealed?” Itida is mainly talking to himself. “I can tell you know something about what happened, so does it have to do with the person you lost?” This time he directs his question to Aloa.
“How did you…,” Aloa starts to respond. “A couple weeks ago a man showed up in the village. His name was Udea, and he was so much fun.” Her voice lightens up, and she finally sounds like a gleeful little girl. “He was really nice, played with all the children in the village, and told the coolest stories.”
“Then I found out he was here to investigate Soul Tower, just like you.” Her voice is right back to being cold. “Five days ago Udea suddenly disappeared, and then strange things started to happen around the village. Everyone said it was because he trespassed into this tower, and broke the original seals. A couple days after that, the old man resealed it. I wanted to go look for Udea, but since I could not get in, I just waited at the top of Soul Tower every night and prayed he would return.”
“Hmm, someone else actually came in here before me. Who is this Udea?” Itida is even more confused now. “I told you I am here to investigate Soul Tower, but honestly, I am not even sure what to look for in here. Argh! Where is Master Erota? This is entirely his fault; he was supposed to explain everything to me before we got here.” Itida is mixing talking to Aloa and just talking to himself.
“I can finally see,” Aloa interrupts his rant.
The two finally reach the bottom of the, seemingly endless, stairs. They walk into a dimly lit, large room, but there are not any apparent sources light. If Aloa can see now, it must be due to them getting closer to an incredible amount of spiritual energy. The other unusual part confirming this is all the different colors floating throughout the room.
The room itself is also strange. It is much too large to be inside the tower and the stairs were also abnormally long, so they must be deep underground. Adding to the uniqueness are semi-transparent walls throughout. They do not seem to be glass, more like magic barriers. That is just the start; there appear to be hallways across the room that most likely lead to more confusing rooms. The layout of this section of Soul Tower was obviously designed as a maze.
“I see a shadow moving over there,” Aloa points out as she walks in the direction of the closest clear wall.
“I know, get behind me now.” Itida’s tone becomes fairly serious as he steps in front of her.
The shadow they see is no mere shadow. It is pitch black, tall, slender, has a humanoid shape, and the dark energy coming from it signals danger. What they see is something that no longer exists in the world. All that remains is a dark silhouette of what used to be here, just like a lost shadow refusing to move on.
The shadow now creeps along the wall, and Itida notices it is going towards an opening only a few feet away from it. He races to the opening hoping to get there before the shadow comes through. He makes it just as the shadow is crossing through.
Face to face with Itida, the shadow expands as if it is stretching its arms and screaming without noise. Suddenly it lounges and grabs at him.
In an instant Itida raises his hands and traces the frame of the door. As he does, a sheet of pink light appears.
Unable to stop itself mid-lounge, the shadow dives directly into this sheet of light and disappears with contact. In only a second the shadow is gone, as if it was never there to begin with.
Itida drops his hands, and the light dissolves. “Woo, almost made it too late.” His voice sounds cheerful, but his face is tentative.
“What was that? What did you do? Why was it pink?” Aloa is almost yelling her questions from the shock of the unknown.
“That shadow was a mass of dark energy. It is what is left of a soul long after it has vanished from this world; it is almost like a ghost of a ghost,” Itida explains.
Aloa gasps, “Could that have been Udea?”
Hearing Aloa genuinely worrying kind of makes Itida want to comfort her. “Oh, no, shadows are ancient. Whatever happened to that one, happened centuries ago. Actually, that was the first time I have faced one. I beat it pretty easily, though.”
“Who are you really, and how did you do that pink light thing?” Her questions are calm now.
“I already told you my name is Itida. Master Erota and I are, hmm…,” he takes a moment to think of the best, and coolest, way to say the next part, “…oh, we are exterminators of all things that should not exist.” A cheesy smile spreads across his face.
“You make it sound lame,” Aloa’s face is unamused. His obvious attempt to sound impressive did just the opposite.
Itida ignores her remark. “That technique I used with the “pink light thing” is my go-to move. It is a wall of energy I form to remove other energies. Master Erota taught it to me in order to exorcize ghosts and similar beings. I was not sure it would work on a shadow, but it has not failed me yet.” He acts extremely proud of his skill, even if it may be more about luck.
“Well if that was not Udea, he must be further inside.” Aloa puts on a strong front; anyone would believe she was not scared. On the inside, though, she is terrified of what could be ahead. It is too late to turn back now. Moreover, Udea could be close, and she is desperate to help him if at all possible.
Itida does not know what else is ahead, but he knows there is no point in trying to stop Aloa from following him. She has come this far with him already; her determination will not allow her to turn back.
“I assume there is no way to convince you to go back even now, so if you are going to keep following me then you better listen to everything I tell you.” He tries to keep his tone light, but it comes off as a little demanding. There is no way he could have guessed he would end up having to take care of a girl in such a dangerous place like this, especially one acting so independent and stubborn.
Aloa nods with a strong look in her eyes as she takes the lead.
Navigating through the maze of nearly invisible walls is annoying, yet not too difficult. It is now possible for Aloa to see, somewhat, thanks to the energy light, but it is still not completely visible for her. Due to the semi-transparency of the walls, all the light becomes blurry. This leads her to bump into the walls more often than she wants.
It is obvious to Itida every time she tries to play off not bumping into a wall. He avoids saying anything, since he already knows, from their short time together, how prideful she is. Instead, he slyly starts to guide her by stepping in between her and the walls or by manipulating the energy light the best he can to make it easier to see.
Aloa’s confidence gets a boost when she thinks she is getting better at leading, even though she kind of has a feeling Itida is helping, somehow. Nonetheless, they make it to the hallway without either of them acknowledging it.
What they believe would be a hallway, however, turns out to be a short entryway into another room. The reason the misjudgment is caused by the dark energy of the shadow blocking their way. Being only a completely plain black silhouette, it is hard to tell where the shadow is looking, but it seems like it does not notice them.
“Hang on I got this,” Itida sounds cocky. He creates the same screen of light as before and quickly runs forward. The shadow hardly has time to move before disappearing into his light. “Too easy,” his cockiness increases.
Aloa walks up and interrupts his boasting. “It is not that amazing. Now, actually look ahead, there are still more.”
Itida’s peppy cheeriness turns to bothersome annoyance, “more is an understatement.”
What these two see before them dampens their enthusiasm of continuing. This new room is setup similar to the previous, except it seems endless. There are no other doors or exits visible; it appears the room just continues until it fades away. All they can see is the colorful mix of energy light, the maze of semi-transparent walls, and lingering shadows sprinkled throughout.
“How do we get through this? Should we turn back?” Aloa does not sound like she is worrying; more like the situation is irritating her.
“There is probably no point in turning back. I am sure this whole place is just like this room.” Itida ponders about the situation. “Besides, I can get through this, no problem. Now, come on. I will take the lead, so do not fall behind…or run into anything.” He could not resist taking a jab at her earlier clumsiness before entering the next maze.
Aloa just scowls and growls. She is not able to verbally express her anger towards his remark before he walks away.
Itida’s confidence does not come from nowhere. To Aloa, the energy light just looks like a mix of colors, but for him there are clear trails to follow. The trail he chooses is solid bright green, and also the most dominant in comparison to the others. He is no longer worrying about all the lingering shadows. The ones he dealt with already were superbly easy, so he is sure whatever else shows up should also be easy enough to deal with. Yet, he does have a gut feeling something much more dangerous is still waiting ahead.
Itida’s progress accelerates as Aloa starts struggling to keep up. He eliminates every shadow he encounters with ease while following the energy trail. He actually seems to be enjoying himself, until he suddenly realizes Aloa is not with him anymore. “I told her not to fall behind.”
Itida backtracks, while speeding up more, to look for her. It takes less than a minute for him to spot her running his direction. Following her, though, are so many shadows it looks like one giant black mass about to engulf her.
“Itida!” Aloa yells, desperate for help.
When Itida reaches her, he swings her behind him and quickly throws up a light barrier in front of them. A few shadows disappear as they smack into the barriers, but there are too many and start to get around. To make the situation worse, more shadows are approaching from behind them as well.
Aloa crouches on the ground covering her head. Itida can tell this is terrifying her, but he is not sure what to do. Without being sure what would happen, and not thinking too much about it either, he repositions himself and spins in a circle. As he spins his barrier follows, creating a pink dome encasing both Aloa and himself inside.
Itida can feel the pressure of the shadows smashing into his dome and then disappearing. The shadows are making contact all around the dome, so he has to focus intently on keeping the dome secure at every spot. Once nothing is hitting his dome anymore, he finally lets it down while staying on guard. The barrage of shadows lasted only a couple minutes, but to Itida it felt much longer and left him exhausted.
“Woo, I have never done that before,” Itida sighs. He sees Aloa still crouching in the same spot, and plops down next to her. “Hey, are you okay?” He reaches out to nudge her shoulder, trying to be uplifting.
Aloa waves his hand away. “Do not touch me.” Her voice is calm and monotone, and her eyes show no emotion. “Come on, we need to go.” She slowly rises, and continues down the hall without another word.
Itida gets up and walks along with Aloa. They walk in silence as he tries to figure out what is bothering her now. He figures it must be from her pride being damaged once again, but maybe she is mad about him leaving her behind. He decides not to start a conversation; her mood seems genuinely upset instead of the playful undertone like their previous banters.
After walking completely quiet for a while, Itida realizes the green energy they are following is the only trail left. It has become a darker green shade as another dark energy mixes with it. Another realization hits him; they have not come across anymore shadows. Their earlier fiasco must have drawn in and decimated any surrounding shadows.
“Hey, wait a second,” Itida holds his arm out to stop Aloa, “something feels wrong.”
Aloa pushes his arm away and continues walking.
“Listen, I am serious.” Itida is now certain something is wrong. “Whatever is upsetting you is not helping anything. Put your pride away before you get into more trouble. I can take care of things, so just do as I say.”
Aloa stops and turns in spot. “I can take care of myself!” She stresses this to get her point across. “You are too full of yourself, you cannot do everything. I came here for my own reason, so I do not need you.” She turns back around, and continues to angrily walk away from Itida.
Just as Aloa is about to turn a corner, the green energy trail disappears. Itida’s instincts and reflexes kick in, and he pulls her back while simultaneously puts up a light screen in front of them. A green flash of light erupts from around the corner, and the atmosphere turns an eerily green hue.
“What is going on?” Aloa jerks away from Itida and rubs her eyes to try to clear the green out of her sight. Green turns to pink, and she sees Itida place a box around her. “Let me out of here!” She screams while banging on the hard walls.
“Stay in there; you will be safe.” Itida’s seriousness has continuously grown the longer they have been in here. He knows whatever is waiting will be extremely dangerous. Even trapping Aloa in his box does not leave him certain she, or even himself, will get out of this safely.
“No! No! Let me out!” Aloa’s screaming and pounding continues as Itida disappears around the corner.
Waiting around the corner are two large doors with something sticking out from in between. There is an overwhelming energy Itida has not felt yet, and it feels like it could explode from behind the doors at any second. As he approaches to observe closer, the green energy atmosphere starts concentrating in front of the doors.
The green energy forms a humanoid shape, and, unlike all the shadows from earlier, detailed features can clearly be made out. A warrior now stands before Itida. The attire is nothing special, just regular light hide armor. The posture, and presence of the green energy cloaking whoever this used to be, makes it clear how highly skillful this person once was.
Itida approaches the mystery warrior. Even though this warrior is obviously powerful, there does not seem to be any hostile intent or weapons. Itida’s attention is mainly concentrating on the evil presence emitting from the doors behind the warrior. As he gets closer, the warrior’s guard goes up. A few steps more and something materializes in the warrior’s hand. In seconds a green glowing sword is pointing at Itida.
“That is not good,” Itida puts his guard up as well. He is not exactly sure what this warrior actually is. It does not seem like a regular spirit; it is almost as if the warrior has a physical form. Upon closer inspection, he notices a trail of energy connecting the warrior directly to the object sticking out from the doors. This object could be projecting this warrior as a way to intimidate anyone trying to approach. If this is correct, than this warrior is just for show, but its presence is so strong and different from the energy coming from the doors. It feels like the energy wants to come out, so it does not make sense for there to be something trying to scare him away.
“Who, or what, are you?” Itida questions the warrior.
There is no answer.
He tries approaching again, and a green streak slashes in front of him. “Guess I do not have a choice. I need to get rid of you first.” Itida starts to enclose the warrior in a pink energy box, the same kind he left Aloa in. Before the box is complete the warrior breaks through and instantly lounges at him.
“You really are as strong as I thought,” Itida remarks as he throws up a pink barrier to block the incoming green slash of the warrior’s sword. The warrior cuts through his barrier like it is not even there, along with half of his right hand.
Itida screams from the pain of having part of his hand cut off. He never experienced this extreme level of pain before, but he has to ignore it since the warrior’s onslaught of attacks continues. He keeps jumping back to avoid the green sword swinging inches from his body. He is close to the doors now, but this just means he is about out of room to dodge. He does one final roll in the opposite direction of the doors and puts a fair amount of distance between himself and the warrior.
With the warrior back in between Itida and the doors, the attacks halt. It is definitely obvious now; the warrior is protecting the doors. Itida takes a moment to catch his breath and check his wound, but there is nothing actually wrong with his hand. The place where his hand should have been cut is just a glowing green line. It seems the warrior’s sword does not do any physical damage, but the pain is still real and severe. This assures him there is a way to beat the warrior. However, the pain is still agonizing, so his body is hesitate about approaching again.
Whatever is sticking out of the doors must be the source of the warrior’s power if it is under such phenomenal protection. Itida thinks he can get close enough to enclose it with a strong enough barrier, and it should stop the warrior, hopefully. He readies his strongest barrier in order to make another attempt at the door.
“Udea!” Aloa is here, now, staring at the warrior. Itida must have accidentally released her from his barrier box due to the shock of the pain. “Udea, that is you, right?”
“Aloa, you should not be here.” She ignores Itida and slowly moves towards the warrior. “Stop! It is dangerous to get close.” She continues ignoring him, and now the warrior’s attention is drawn to her.
Itida sprints to intersect Aloa and regains the warrior’s attention. He puts up his strongest barrier, which he was already readying, and then grabs Aloa and jumps back. The warrior slashes through the barrier in an instant. Even his strongest barrier does not slow the warrior down.
“Udea, it is me, Aloa. Please recognize me,” Aloa begs the warrior. “Itida, that is Udea, but what is wrong with him?” Aloa’s question is full of confusion and desperation.
Seeing Aloa in such a desperate state, compared to the independent front she put up earlier, really saddens Itida. “Aloa, I do not think this is the same Udea you knew,” he tries to speak as gently as he can.
“What do you mean?” she does not want to believe him. “This is Udea. I know it is him.” She directs herself back to the warrior. “Udea, I have been worried about you; I came here to find and help you.”
It seems like the warrior’s guard is actually starting to lower as she talks. Even as Aloa slowly approaches, the warrior responds to Aloa without raising the sword back up, he must really be the Udea she talked about. What happened to him, though? He obviously does not have a physical form, but he does appear human enough.
“Okay Aloa, this is Udea, but he is not human anymore,” Itida tries speaking in a manner that will not escalate her emotions anymore.
“I know,” Aloa’s tone is calming down, “but I really want to help him. I cannot leave him like this, but…but…,” she does not finish her sentence. Tears stream down her face, and Udea looks like he is ready to attack again.
“Please stay calm Aloa. If your emotions get the better of you, Udea will attack us.” The situation they are in leaves Itida in a confusing position. Aloa is really attached to Udea, but if Udea attacks again, he will have no choice in continuing the fight.
Udea’s sword rises.
“Step back Aloa.” Itida’s voice is gentle, yet stern, as he steps in front of her. He prepares himself for his next and, if this idea works, last clash with Udea.
Udea charges towards him. The green sword is about to swing, but it suddenly stops.
Itida stands within arm’s length of Udea with a smile on his face. He launched three consecutive miniature barriers into Udea’s arm, successfully stopping the attack. Now he knows most of Udea’s power lies within the green energy sword he is using. Udea jerks furiously, so Itida rapidly flings more miniature barriers all throughout the rest of Udea’s body. With this, Udea is completely unable to move, and the struggle ends.
“Stop! Do not hurt him anymore!” Aloa stands strong behind Itida clenching her hands with hanging her head down.
“I have already told you this is not the Udea you know.” They both know what he has to do. Itida expands his miniature barriers, and Udea starts disappearing into a pink light.
“No,” Aloa whimpers as the last of Udea vanishes.
There is a moment of silence as the remaining green energy condenses down around the object stuck in between the doors. With the path clear, Itida is finally free to investigate the door. The object that has been intriguing his curiosity is a sword, the real physical form of Udea’s green energy sword. The sword, somehow, does not surprise him, but the mystery of its purpose for being there is still puzzling.
“This is Udea’s sword.” Aloa also notices, of course she has. After risking her life to come here in order to find Udea, she would not miss a detail like this.
The two energies coming from the sword and doors are still separate. This whole time Itida never felt any negative intent from the sword’s green energy. The energy trying to burst through the doors, on the other hand, feels like pure evil and is growing. Suddenly, it occurs to him why the sword is there. After everything he heard about Udea from Aloa, and all he has experienced leading to this moment, the situation should have been obvious.
While lost in thought, Itida realizes too late when Aloa grabs the sword. “Aloa stop! Do not pull out the sword!”
A tear runs down Aloa’s cheek. “This is the last thing left of Udea.” In one jerk the sword slides out.
Itida instantly grabs Aloa’s hands on the sword’s hilt and shoves it back in between the doors. “Udea put the sword here to place a seal on these doors. He put in all his life energy for the seal, and it was the last thing keeping the evil energy locked in behind the doors. That is why the manifestation of Udea attacked; I should have realized it sooner.”
“Itida, what is that?” Aloa stares at the dark energy slowly squeezing through the doors. She is getting a feeling of absolute fear.
“No, the seal must have been completely broken once the sword was pulled.” Itida has no time to panic, because more dark energy keeps seeping out at a faster rate. He puts up a pink energy barrier to cover the doors, but the dark energy eats right through it. “I do not know what else I can do.”
Itida is exhausted from his fight with Udea, but the dark energy gets closer to being completely free with every passing second. With very limited energy left and no remaining options; he is desperate. He looks at Aloa still holding the sword stuck in the doors, and knows what he has to do. He grabs the sword’s hilt again, pushes it further into the doors, and pours all of his remaining energy into it.
This is Itida’s last gambit. He came here trying to follow Master Erota, but never even found him. Now, Itida feels like he is failing him and Aloa. She came here looking for Udea and, even if she would never admit it, trusted Itida to protect her. He wishes he could apology for everything, but he does not have the chance.
Pink energy thickly seeps from the sword. It consumes the dark energy as it covers the doors. All of Itida’s and Aloa’s vision turns pink as they also become enshroud in pink energy. With one final push, the last of Itida’s energy burst from the sword like a bright pink flare.
Everything finally settles. In the remains is a solid pink wall sealing the doors and dark energy, as well as Itida and Aloa in suspended animation.
There is silence. Itida opens his eyes and sees wisps of red energy flickering in the darkness. He realizes he is lying flat on his back and lets out a defeated sigh.
The sound of two footsteps echoes near him against the hard ground. He turns his head to the side to see a robed figure with a red glow. The face is shroud by the shadow of a hood, so the only feature visible is the long silver-grey hair running out the front.
“You need more training, Itida.” The words of the robed figure are light-hearted, but the weight of the truth of them is heavy.
“Master Erota…,” Itida feels shameful from being in this pathetic state.
“Do not talk, just rest and focus on regaining your energy as I explain what you just went through.” Master Erota speaks softly, yet clearly, when he starts his explanation. “Once again you got ahead of yourself and left early without any details. Luckily, I noticed and made it here in time, at least before anything more permanent happened.
Behind Master Erota, Itida sees an unconscious Aloa on the ground with Udea’s sword lying across her small body. “Aloa…”
“Ahh yes, the girl.” Master Erota kneels down next to her. “I do not know what her affiliation is with that sword, but the energy from it seems to have become permanently infused with her life force. This may be due to her, a normal girl, being sealed together with yours and the sword’s energies. I was able to separate your energy from her, but her deep connection with the sword’s energy makes another separation impossible in these circumstances. For now she will need to keep the sword with her since its energy is the only thing supporting her life.”
Itida has nothing to say. It is all his fault Aloa is in this condition.
“Unfortunately, there is another problem,” Master Erota’s tone does not change, even with this next announcement. “The seal I used to replace yours is only a temporary solution. This is a much graver situation than I originally expected.” He stands up with Aloa in his arms. “Come now, while the path is still clear. We need to leave here in order to regroup and rethink of a plan to rid that dark energy for good.”
Itida gets up and follows after, the still glowing red, Master Erota. He takes a look back at the doors now encased in a solid red wall of energy. He does not know what the dark energy is, but he feels as if he now has some kind of connection to it.