Chapter 10:

The Storm continues...

The Advent of Dual Sentience

The Princess stood quickly to her feet, "What!? What happened!? Where's General Sung!?"

The decorated soldier signaled her to come, "Come he's over here, he will give you the full report!"

The Princess looked at the Spirit Guide and signaled with her head, "Thank you Setsuna but I'll be leaving now. I leave the rest to you, find me if anything else happens okay?"

Setsuna nodded her head, "Understood your Majesty, please take care."

The Princess then rushed out and her Advisor followed right behind. They ran through the camp with great haste, soldiers were quickly on the move and the winds were stronger than before. Before long, the sight of the massive General entered their view. The Princess called out while waving her arms, "Sung! Sung! What's happening!? What's going on out there?"

The General turned around and saw his alarmed Leader rushing toward him. The General rushed quickly to meet her halfway, "Your Highness we are unsure of the sudden change in their movement. My men were scouting for awhile then suddenly a loud roar erupted somewhere in the forest. It was confirmed by multiple squad leaders that once the Blight heard the loud cry, they all stopped and listened, then all at once they changed their course and started moving towards the camp!"

The Princess became more overwhelmed, "Just what is happening today!?" She then took a deep breathe then asked, "If your men made it here before the Blight, then that must mean they are moving really slow or being stalled by something. Do you know how long it would take for them to get here?"

 The General pondered for a bit, "Yes, I believe it would take maybe 3 to 4 hours at most? Their pace is steady and no more abnormalities have been sighted."

The Princess nodded her head, "Hmm yes but at this point we should be ready for anything. If they are moving that slow, then that also means the horde is quite big am I right?"

The General nodded his head, "Yes your Highness, the horde was reported to be gathering together from the western part of the forest. Their objective is still unclear to us."

The Princess thought to herself for a bit, "This all makes no sense to me, why is all this happening? If this is all connected somehow and not some random coincidence, then the spirit consuming monster is behind it all. It could be an attack from one of the 3 Imperial Kings but I've never heard of anyone with a power like that? Unless it was a well kept secret? Wait does that mean they know where we're at!?"
Many possibilities and scenarios swarmed her mind but she knew they were only theories. The Princess then realized she needed to stop thinking of possibilities and start thinking about solutions!

The Princess then looked up at the General, "Sung, we need to advise the Court on everything going on right now. Will you come with me?"

The General nodded, "Yes my Lady, lead the way."

Thus they went off looking for all the Court subjects to address the crisis before them. There were so many things they didn't understand and so many risks ahead. The Princess knew this crisis wasn't a coincidence, she knew there was something pulling the strings but she didn't have the final piece of the puzzle. She then went onto gathering her subjects by name one by one till they were all assembled in the tent. 
"A Storm is brewing out in the West.. are we ready for it?"

A few hours before, deep in the Forest...

"Other Me are you there? You've been pretty quiet this whole time?"

The Voice in my head stayed silent, I feel as though he's busy right now. My whole body was exhausted after that fight with the Alpha, I somehow pulled through in the end. I am now sitting down under a tree getting back some strength before I move on.

I looked up at the tree behind me, "It won't hurt to steal from these trees again right?" I then raised my hand and placed it against the bark of the tree I was sitting under. I began to focus on the Gem, I took a deep breathe and embraced the spirit within the tree. Small thin blue strings were then being pulled out and drifted towards my Gem.
"Aaah that feels good~." A refreshing feeling washed over me as I absorbed the life force of the large tree.
"Sorry about that Mr. Tree, but I need this more than you."

I stood up and stretched myself, it feels as though I've been rejuvenated once again! After a few minutes of letting my blood flow, I began to make my way deeper into the forest, "How do I know where I'm even going anymore? What direction were the people at?"

Soon I heard the Voice within speak up, "How are you holding up there Me?"

I stopped and looked around for a bit, "Pretty good so far, not that tired anymore. Do you know where to go? I think I got turned around?"

The Voice took a short pause, "Hmm I'm not too sure either, I don't know if you can feel it, but I feel a large number of presences towards the right of you?"

I looked over to my right, "Over there? Is it evil or is it good?"

The Voice replied, "I can't tell from this far, but it seems like they are getting closer to us. I guess we can go check it out then?"

I nodded, "Yeah I guess so, let me know if you feel anything else alright?"

The Voice replied sarcastically, "Yeah yeah of course just keep walking and stop worrying."

I continued my walk, the skies outside are starting to get dark and cloudy. I felt a large gush of wind brush past me with the scent of moisture. The leaves crunched with every step I made, cicadas cried and mosquitos buzzed everywhere. I continued onwards moving through the uneven terrain. I ventured for over 30 minutes with nothing in sight. However, I saw something move in a bush rattle intensely.

"What is that?"

My inner Voice called out, "What is it Me?"

I peered at the sight of something rustling in the bushes, it seemed big because the bushes themselves were quite big. I then walked up more towards it to see what it is, then as I approached it, I heard my inner voice shout to me, "HOLD IT! Something's not right!"

"What? What do you mean?"

The Voice said, "Do you hear that?"

I listened but heard nothing, "No I don't hear anything, what is it?"

He spoke back but with a stronger voice, "That's the thing. We don't hear anything! Something is watching us, I just felt a something from above. Get ready!"

Without hesitation I raised my guard and looked all around the trees above. I didn't see anything but an idea popped in my mind. 

"Wait let me cast a sonar!" I raised my hand upwards and focused to build up a burst of Power. 

The Inner Voice then shouted, "Release!"

I then unleashed the sonar to the surrounding area, after a short moment I realized that we weren't alone at all. I saw the many tongues of blue fire appear all around me all at once. 

My Other Self said, "See! I told you, start priming your Power, break time's over!"

I readied my stance and focused the Power onto my arms and legs! "Damn it! Here we go again!"

The Essence seeped into my all my limbs and even overflowed out of them, I tried containing as much as I could but there was so much! I began to emit a blue fire from my body and the creatures above started moving around fast! I then focused my hand and unleashed a burst of essence to cover the field in blue haze. The creatures had me completely surrounded again, there were too many of them and more importantly, they felt stronger than the last!

"Shadow Me, looks like we have another sticky situation. Can you help me again?"

The Inner Voice replied, "Yeah sure, but if things get dicey, don't be afraid to call me out alright?"

"Yeah you got it."

It was all that moment that I felt a creature suddenly and silently rush towards me from behind! I turned around instantly and swung my arm to counter!
I impacted with whatever ambushed me and sent it flying back into a tree! It made a small crash as it slammed into it. I looked upon the creature to see what it was and to my surprise, it looked nothing like the feral beasts from before!

"What is that? It looks ugly as hell!"

The culprit was a small grey skinny hairless creature with no eyes but a very large nose and boney limbs. 
"This thing looks creepy, are all those surrounding me!?"

Soon another rushed from the back and I quickly side-stepped and rammed my fist into it's stomach sending it flying back again. I looked at the one I just hit and it was just as I thought, "Yeah it seems like these are all the same."

All of a sudden, I felt three presences rush behind me at the same time and I quickly jammed my leg with power and swung at them with a devastating round house kick!

I kicked all 3 of them at once and sent them flying to the left. I then heard my Other Self call out to me, "Other Me, these little bastards seem cowardly and only attack when you're turned around. They don't seem too strong but their presences are quite powerful compared to the beasts? Stay wary for now!"

"Yeah I got that much, these guys are weak by themselves but it could be a problem if they ganged up on me."

He replied, "Yeah just stay alert and keep unleashing power, maybe they'll run away if you scare them enough."

"Got it!" I then readjusted my stance and built up more power in my body. I can see all their locations but there are a lot of them so I can't be too careless. Soon I felt a small group of them ambush from the back again.

"This is getting annoying!" This time I unleashed a small explosion of essence to repel them!

The little bastards got repelled back and crashed into the ground. I saw them begin to run because they had caught on fire by the Essence. They let out high pitched squeals as they scorched on the floor. Soon they crumbled up and died after a few seconds of agonizing pain, their spirits then got dragged out into my Gem.

I felt a gust of fear hit me as the small group burned to a crisp, it seems like they didn't like that. I kept my guard up and kept looking around, "One of these has to be the leader? Which one though?"

Then out of nowhere, the feeling of fear changed into a wave of rage! I heard a mighty war cry sound from all around me, "HAAAAAARRRGHHH! HAAAARRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHH!" "RAAAWWWWWWGHHHHH!"

"Damn it, what the hell is this!?" All at once, I felt almost all of them swarm me from every direction! My Other Self called out to me, "Here they come, finish this!"

I began to unbind exponential amounts of Power from the Gem! The Storm needed to be stirred up once again! A small fiery whirlwind bloomed around me again as they all tried jumping on me. 

"Take this you ugly bastards!" I unleashed another small explosion from the Gem and knocked them all back!
The first wave went airborne but the next kept coming. I unleashed a flurry of punches upon them in different directions. I saw them one by one getting flung back, but there was still a ton of them! 

The Other Me called out, "Hey switch with me already, I wanna have some fun too!"

I replied while attacking, "This isn't really the time to be having fun! There's a a ton of them!"

The Voice insisted, "No, let me have some fun! You already had fun last time, it's my damn turn!"

He sounded pissed, maybe I shouldn't antagonize him, I reluctantly accepted his request, "Fine but make it quick, we don't have time to be screwing around all day!"

The Voice chuckled, "Hehehe oh it's going to be quick alright..."

I released another surge of power to knockback all the creatures. "Hurry up!" Soon my vision began to fade black, I then heard him say in a devilish tone, "This is going to be lovely hahaha..."

I reciprocated what we did last time, I closed my eyes and concentrated on his will. Slowly I withdrew myself and succumbed to his will. 
"Other Me it's time, show them what you got..."

 The next thing I knew, I was drifting in the Abyss once again, "Looks like we're getting the hang of body switching, it's becoming easier every time we do it."

"Hahaha oh I've been waiting for this..."

It's now the Shadow's turn to play....

I felt the limitations of the flesh once again, "Hehehe hahahaha HAHAHA! This always feels amazing!" I looked around myself and saw the ugly bastards that tried teaming up on my Other Self. 
"When the Veil gets removed, a new terror is revealed..."

I gripped my right fist tightly, "Hahahaha I was getting bored in that place! Let's have some fun!" I strengthened myself again, I grabbed hold of the forest around me and altogether, I ripped the life straight out of them!
The raging winds began to transform the beautiful forest into a desolate warzone! The winds tore through everything and fire swallowed the carcasses of all that once inhabited life!

"Surrender to me, give me everything. Submit and concede!"
Large strings of power were being drawn to me by the masses. A strong wind and blaring whistle noise surrounded me as the Maelstrom consumed the forest once again. The little monsters weren't even attacking anymore, they all started running once they saw my power!

"Cowardice only begets death..."

I then aimed my hand towards the frightened and fleeing creatures, then in the next moment, I unleashed multiple large blue tendrils towards them! In a fleeting moment, I heard the beautiful harmony of blood splatter as my tendrils impaled the little bastards from behind. 
"Hahahaha HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I never thought such ugly monsters could become so beautiful at the face of terror!" Their souls began to recede from their bodies and drifted towards me!
"Yes yes! Come to me, come to me! All who wield life, come to me hahahahaha!"

Before I was about to pursue the fleeing enemy, I felt a stronger presence move towards me. I turned around with an hysterical look in my eye, "Oh do we have a new challenger...?"

As I turned around, I saw a taller creature enter my view. It was around my height, wore a skull mask with hides for garments and many necklaces, he also held a small scepter with a smaller skull on the top. 

The creature then did something completely unexpected. He looked at me, bowed his head and said, "Please quell your wrath Reaper. I only wish to speak with you."

I answered back to him confused, "Did you just talk?"