Chapter 5:

Crimson World (Part 2)

Last Tale: Return of the Guardian Knight

Starting with a single crack in the sky across the dark-red moon, the world Leo was in came crumbling down. Akin to shattered glass, everything descended into a void, patiently waiting for its meal.Bookmark here

With the world withering away into the void below, Leo's returned to his senses and regained his composure. He was sad and angry; he was no longer empty. His restored memories became a part of him like missing pieces of a puzzle. On any other occasion, he would be rejoicing about having his memories back.Bookmark here

However, he did not have the luxury nor the time to do so. Having remembered things, Leo noticed that the place he was in did not make sense. What was worse was that he was plummeting into a void.Bookmark here

"Think! Think! Think," Leo chanted!Bookmark here

While he continued to hype himself up to think of a plan of action, he had already made contact with the pitch-black surface of the void. Much to his expectations, he got pulled in by the void. The fluid-like black surface gripped and wrapped itself around Leo like slime and sucked him in.Bookmark here

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Getting sucked into the void, Leo finds himself thrown into another place. He took a few moments to give his eyes the time needed to adjust to the dim lighting. Pulling himself together, Leo looks around to take a look at his current situation.Bookmark here

The first thing he noticed was the feeling of the soles of his bare feet making contact with some liquid. The liquid was thicker than water but thinner than slime.Bookmark here

His next observation was the smell; a strong rusty odour dominated his olfactory senses. The rusty smell was accented with hints of a dry metallic scent.Bookmark here

The two observations were more than enough to give Leo a general idea of what he was touching. Hoping to be wrong, Leo looked at his feet to find his feet covered in dark-red liquid. Blood!Bookmark here

A sense of terror flooded Leo's thoughts. For a split second, he wondered about how he was managing to stand on liquid. He dismissed the thought to focus on more pressing matters. Looking up and around, he found himself to be standing in the middle of an endless still ocean of blood. The sky reflected the blood sea with a shade of dark crimson.Bookmark here

Fear accumulated in his stomach as nervousness and uneasiness. He was on the verge of hurling due to the strong smell. Leo's glowing body reflected in the blood he stood on, and his presence was comparable to that of a lone star in an empty sky.Bookmark here

He was emotionally and mentally strained, as his imagination ran wild, wondering how something like this came to be.Bookmark here

"Who are you?" A soft and gentle feminine voice echoed in his head. The voice imprinted itself directly in his mind and not through his ears. Leo flinched at the unsettling feeling of hearing someone's voice transmitted directly in his head.Bookmark here

But that was not something he was unfamiliar with. Telepathy! A skill used to transmit thoughts directly to the minds of the target. According to his recently recollected memories, Telepathy, even though it was an easy to use skill, could only be used by those who have surpassed a certain limit.Bookmark here

Leo tried to focus his thoughts on literal observations to deal with the possibility of his thoughts being read. It was an instinctive response. Tightening his lips shut, he looked around for the source of the telepathic message.Bookmark here

"I'll ask you again, who are you" repeated the soft voice?Bookmark here

Leo stayed quiet and warily stood guard.Bookmark here

In the next instance, a presence stood before him. It had a humanoid shape and was dressed in a long black cloak. It was a person: a humanoid female. Leo recognized the identity as female because he managed to get a peek at her body during her appearance and her long hair slipped out of her cloak hood. Combining that information with the voice, Leo concluded that the one before him was a female humanoid. In addition to the cloak, she also donned a half mask covering the lower half of the face. The half-mask started from the middle of her nose and over her cheeks. Her eyes, like the sky, glowed dark red.Bookmark here

"Who are you," she repeated telepathically. She stared Leo in his face while waiting for an answer.Bookmark here

Upon his failure to answer her immediately within the next second, the female reached out and grabbed Leo's throat.Bookmark here

With a threatening and soft tone, she repeated, "Who are you?"Bookmark here

Rather than not answering, Leo was too shocked and surprised to answer her.Bookmark here

Interpreting his silence as a refusal to answer, the female tightened her grip on his throat and initiated to strangle him. She repeated telepathically, with the same threateningly soft tone, "Who are you?"Bookmark here

Struggling to breathe, Leo grabbed the female's hand and attempted to loosen her grip by strength. She did not move and instead strengthened her hold on his windpipe.Bookmark here

Suffocating, Leo reflexively lifted his legs and kicked the female in her stomach. The kick did not damage her, but it was a threat, minor enough for her to let go of his throat, allowing him to retreat.Bookmark here

Leo started to consider his options. Before he could think, he had started sprinting away from the dangerous female. His body had acted and moved without him having taken the time to think. He no longer had a choice to consider options and focused on sprinting away from her.Bookmark here

As he ran, the iridescent glow in his body grew brighter. His body beaconed his location to any threats looming in the vicinity. Leo had covered a significant distance.Bookmark here

Right as he was a little relieved to have escaped, the female appeared out of nowhere to his right and matching Leo's momentum, she placed her palm on the back of Leo's head. The next thing he knew was his face hitting the surface of the blood ocean.Bookmark here

He expected to drown as one would in a regular ocean, but his face slammed against the surface as if it hit the floor. Leo's senses got disoriented the moment he hit the floor. Following his face, his body hit the surface of the blood ocean.Bookmark here

Intense pain covered his face. His vision blurred and doubled as his awareness of his surroundings diminished.Bookmark here

His eyes closed; he just wanted to go to sleep. Forcing himself to stay awake for as long as he possibly could, Leo sensed the female step closer. He could hear her footsteps through the splashing on the surface of the blood ocean. He sensed her approach his body and grab him by his hair.Bookmark here

He could feel the pain of his hair being pulled via the nerves at the root of his hair. The female was dragging him somewhere.Bookmark here

Moments later, Leo sensed a few more footsteps approach him and join the escorting task being carried out by the female. He wanted to stay awake and listen or feel to get more information. No one said a word; the only sounds he heard were the splashings of blood caused by footsteps; the only feeling he sensed was of himself in pain and blood spurting on his face as he got dragged somewhere.Bookmark here

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That was the last bit of information that Leo sensed and remembered before losing the strength to stay awake.Bookmark here

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