Chapter 13:

The Soul Devourer recedes his fangs, while the first Flakes of Snow fall

The Advent of Dual Sentience

The Storm arrives at the Epicenter of the Battle after a turbulent journey in the unknown. 

"Other Me are you seeing this? I think I found the other humans but I'm not too sure? They look really similar to us compared to the others we met back there."

The voice inside me answered, "I can feel a lot of emotions spewing from the outside. I think it's safe to assume we made it to the people."

"Yeah it appears so, so this is where all the little guys were running to. I thought they were just scared of us."

The inner voice replied, "I think that's also another reason Other Me. I would run to if I saw someone decimating everything."

"I guess that's where we're different, I on the other hand would gladly accept a good fight. Even against an overpowering foe."

The inner voice paused for a second, he then spoke up saying, "Hey aren't you supposed to be doing something? We didn't come all this way for nothing."

I took a quick scan of the rampaging battle in front of me, "Yeah looks like they're outnumbered and losing, maybe we can do something about that."

The voice agreed, "Yeah go help them, this may be our chance to finally get some answers."

As I looked on the field, it was quite obvious who was prevailing. The 'humans' seemed to be getting pushed back to their huge encampment. The battlefield was definitely huge and there was a large yellow dome that hovered over the entire encampment. There were piles of corpses from both sides, and blood ran down like a stream.

A mischievous smile streaked across my face, "Looks like this Storm is about tear some sh## up..." 

I stretched out my hand and grabbed hold of the lingering essence that was loose on the battlefield. Soon the lovely cyan strings began to get pulled in towards me again. As the essence entered me, I felt the power rising up again, "Yes just like that, come to me. Offer yourselves once again..."

I lifted my eyes to the human encampment and my eyes were caught by something completely unexpected, "Who is that..?"

I locked eyes with a Snow haired beauty with some sort of illuminating white symbol in her hands. Even though she was leagues away, I saw her so clearly. I lost all focus on the battle at hand and seldom averted my eyes from her. "Who is that...?"

Just then I heard the inner voice call out to me, "Aye Other Me, what's going on, why did you stop for?"

I snapped out of my entranced state, "Oh sorry, something just caught my eye. Let's hurry and finish this!"

I felt a surging power beginning to erupt in the Gem, "I think it's feeding time again..." I focused my momentum on the Gem and opened the flood gates once again, "Release..." A massive whirlwind exploded around me in an instant, everything with life near me instantaneously wilted over and became crusted. The raging Maelstrom continuously devoured everything in it's path, all of my enemies begin to run for it again.

"Such cowardice... Turning tail the moment someone stronger appears." 

I receded the raging storm around me and blended it into my body, every muscle in my body released every restraint! It felt as though shackles were unbounded and every spirit connected itself to me.

"The Spirit wavers, and it's battle cry was resounding..."

I packed my fists and legs with overwhelming amounts of essence, a engulfing cyan flame covered me from head to toe. The warmth of the maelstrom swallowed me whole, "Rage, resentment, regret, remorse...." These words echoed around me as the Maelstrom unleashed it's unrelenting fury.

I looked at the group of monsters with a fierce hunger in my eyes, "Scorch.."

I step-dashed head on to the first group of monsters, they were ganging up on one human and were about to make him mincemeat! I reached my fist back and focused aim on them, and in one deadly strike I released on the potent power into the first one I saw!

The little bastard exploded into pieces as soon as I impacted him! I readied my fist again and unloaded a flurry of punches into the others! They cried out in agonizing wails as their bodies ripped apart violently!

After a few moments of rapid punches, their bodies released the essence and fed my hungry Gem. "Delicious.."

I felt many gazes on me at once, I looked around really fast and saw everyone just staring. I called out to them, "What? Is there something wrong!? Hurry up and fight!"

I rushed the next group of monsters with haste, they were surrounding a human but saw me rushing at them. I reached out and grabbed the first one by the face and lifted him up, I looked at his face and realized something about him, "Damn you are one ugly bastard!" I squeezed and crushed his head in the palm of my hands. 

Blood splattered everywhere and splashed on me, I tossed the corpse aside and consumed the spirit. I turned my head to the soldier I just saved, he was completely frozen in fear in my presence, I asked him, "Why are you scared for? I just saved you, shouldn't you be thanking me?"

He trembled profusely and nodded his head frantically, then bolted off in the other direction.

I looked at the fleeing human, "Jeez, am I really that terrifying?"

The small inner voice answered back saying, "Yes... Yes you are Other Me..."

I continued to devour every bit of essence that came across my path. I shredded and annihilated every small bastard on the field. The other humans steered out of my path and others simply gazed at me with horrified expressions. 

"Why are they so scared for? I'm helping them!"

I continued to wipe out the little dark grotesque creatures in rapid succession. They were just as cowardly as they were in the forest. They singled the humans out in groups and attacked simultaneously, I felt no remorse as I obliterated their ranks. Showering myself in their blood gave me such an overwhelming ecstasy, I just couldn't resist it! 

"The feast never ends when you're in the Eye of the Storm.."

Within the frontlines, the Snow Haired Princess focused on the rampaging Storm running amok on the battlefield.

"That's the beast over there!? He wears the flesh of a human but has the heart of a demon! How is such a power even possible!" the Princess exclaimed.

Setsuna fixed her eyes on the devouring monster, "I can't believe it, it's just like the Spirits said. He's consuming the Spiritual Essence and using it as power. Such a thing shouldn't exist! It's wrong and inhumane! Those poor souls.. my friends..."

Soon a familiar green haired servant came rushing towards the Princess with great speed, "Your Highness! What the hell is happening out there!? What is that thing!? He's obliterating every Blight he comes across! He's also setting the battlefield ablaze in some weird blue fire!?"

The Princess raised her voice, "I don't know! He's definitely the monster that's been causing all the anomalies in the forest no doubt."

The green haired advisor then stood before the Princess, "What do we do then!? So far I've seen him only obliterate the Blight's, he even saved a couple cornered soldiers from certain death! However, there's a viscous and blood thirsty aura flowing out of him. I just don't understand!?"

The Princess nodded, "Yes I can definitely feel the malice and corruption from him, but he's only killing the Blight's! It highly likely he's on our side but I can't tell for sure!"

The shadowy Advisor answered back, "Wouldn't it be more wise just to observe his movements for now? He's too unpredictable, and we shouldn't make any presumptuous moves against him. Not now at least..."

The Princess nodded, "Yes I agree with Lady Chhaya, let's just watch him for now. If he starts attacking us, then we fight back with everything we got. Does that sound good?"

Setsuna nodded and agreed, "Yes ma'am!"

The Princess turned and watched the raging Storm wreak havoc on the battlefield. He jumped from Blight to Blight without delay. His killing methods were brutal and extreme in her eyes, yet he seemed under control. She noticed him ambushing the small groups and saving whatever soldiers he could, all while consuming Spiritual Essence in the process.

"Is he a friend... or foe...?" This question festered in her mind, there's too much about him to tell for sure. His malice and killing intent was bleeding all over the battlefield, but at the same time he aided the rebel army. Making any bad moves against him would be extremely unwise because of the unknown power he possesses. 
"It would most definitely be a slaughter if he became our enemy..."

Princess Tsuki looked at Setsuna and noticed her disgruntled expression, "Are you okay Setsuna..? You can head back if it's too much for you.."

Setsuna shook her head, "No it's fine my liege, I can handle it."

The Princess knew she was in a deep sorrow, Setsuna was a Spirit Guide that firmly believed in the Balance of Life, she knew seeing this soul eating demon was very difficult for her. Setsuna was always close to the Spirits even in the days of her youth. She had spent countless days and nights communing with them. Now she can only helplessly watch them cower in fear and turmoil, while being consumed and used as food.

The Princess began to notice the hordes being pushed back. She felt the morale of the soldiers raise as the unlikely hero tore through the masses, however the Blight were still a great many!

The Princess called out to the Advisor, "Chhaya, what's the ratio between our army and theirs?"

Lady Chhaya scanned the field quickly, "Looks about 1:3, our current estimate is 1,250 and theirs is around 3,100."

The Princess gritted her teeth, "Looks like numbers aren't in our favor huh..? Well we still have tactical advantage on our side and our skill surpasses them by a landslide. We might still be able to turn this around... Unless..."
The Princess peered at the rampaging Storm running amok, "Unless he decides to fight us too..."

The Advisor sensed her Majesty's concern, she reassured her in confidence saying, "Well if he had wanted to destroy us, wouldn't he have done that already? He has only shown hostility towards the Blight, some occasions he would rush to the aid of a helpless soldier. I think we should be okay my liege..."

The Princess hesitantly nodded, "Yes I hope so... All we can really do is wait and see."

The Princess continued to eye the rampaging Storm, he relentlessly destroyed every afflicted creature that stood against him. Mountains of corpses were left in his wake, he drained every bit of essence from every single corpse he got near. Some of the Blight even began to flee the battlefield, who could blame them?

The Hordes of Blight became noticeably smaller and smaller with every minute that passed. The Princess took notice of it and even saw some of the Blight escaping into the forest. She knew they just needed one final push to win this battle once and for all!

The Princess shouted for all to hear, "Keep fighting my warriors, show them your pride and courage! Victory is the ONLY answer against the Blight!"

Legions of Blight were getting slaughtered by the rebels, only a few known casualties were seen from the rebels side. The battle was playing out much better than anticipated despite being outnumbered by almost 3 times their numbers. 

More and more of the Blight began to turn tail and retreat back into the forest, soon it looked as though their numbers were completely cut in half! The more the rebels pushed, the more relieved the Princess felt. She thought to herself, "It seems we may have overestimated them by a lot. I should've had more faith in my people."

The Princess kept a close eye on the Storm, she knew very well that this man may be the turning point in the battle... or even the Imperial War itself...

The Princess declared to the two girls, "This monster... no demon... may very well be the turning point in the war..."

The rebel warriors fought with pride and dignity, even with the rampaging Storm unleashing hell in their midst. The Princess kept a close eye on the Storm, he was shredding them by the multitudes as if there was an endless crimson fountain following wherever he went. The rebels needed to do one final push to ensure victory!

The Princess turned towards her Advisor and said to her, "Lady Chhaya, go and get General Sung-Lee. I want you to bring the soul eating monster to me at once."

The Advisor turned towards her Majesty with a disgruntled expression, "What!? Are you out of your mind!? Absolutely not! I will not permit such a thing my Lady!"

The Princess turned towards the Advisor and adamantly demanded her, "Lady Chhaya you will NOT refuse this order. Get General Sung-Lee and have him assist you in bringing the monster at once!"

The Advisor saw her Highness's determined expression, she couldn't refuse a direct order like that. She knew her Leader had a plan but she couldn't resist her sworn duty to defend her safety at all cost. However she had no choice but to reluctantly accept it despite how dangerous it would be, she hesitantly agreed, "Y-Yes your Majesty, I will do so at once!"

The Advisor descended herself into the Shadows underneath their feet and was seen no more. The Princess knew what she had to do, and knew the risks involved with this. However she needed to know whether this 'monster'  was friend or foe.


"Aye Other Me looks like the little bastards are starting to run for it again. Are you ready to takeover and finish this for me? I think the fun part's over already."

The inner voice replied, "Finish it? Are you sure about that?"

"Yeah it's pretty much cleared up, not too many beasts are fighting anymore. They're just running at this point, looks like the humans are about to launch the final push."

The inner voice accepted the body swap offer, "Well if you insist, okay get ready for the mind swap Other Me."

I nodded my head, "Yeah yeah whatever, hurry up I'm tired." I closed my eyes and focused on his will, I felt my soul sink into the Abyss. Soon the restraints released and then they were no more.

I smiled one last time, "Good luck Other Me..."

One consciousness fades to the Abyss of the Mind while the Other takes the Key to Sentience...

I opened my eyes and was greeted with an unfamiliar sight once again, "Woah, are these the humans!? And look at all those dead bodies!"

My vision was filled with an extraordinary amount of blood and empty cadavers all over a large plain field that stretched on further than the eye could see. They were silver and iron armored humans fighting off creatures really similar to the ones we encountered in the forest, it looked like the humans were pushing them back into the forest. I looked around myself and noticed quite a large trail of essence drifting towards me, "Damn Other Me, you never fail to tear sh## up huh...?"

I walked forward towards the large encampment of humans and braced myself, I had no idea what I was stepping into, but I'm sure they had just as many questions as I did. Many of the soldiers stared at me with apprehensive looks, some seemed even hostile.

Soon two individuals caught my eye as they seemed to be approaching me. The soldiers around them moved quickly out of their way and stood in certain formation in their presence. One of the individuals was an intimidating man at least 2 times my size and wore a really shiny golden armor, the other was a shorter girl with long wavy green hair and a strange black, gold and green garment with many jewels aligning it.

I turned my whole body to face them, they were closing distance with every step they took. Soon the two intimidating figures stood before me, they stared at me but said nothing. Finally I spoke up to break the silence, "What? Who are you guys?"

The Gold Armored soldier stepped forward, "Greetings warrior, your assistance in the battle was greatly appreciated, however we would like to----" 

Then the smaller green haired girl interrupted him abruptly and said, "Save it for later old man, Hey you listen up, to make a long story short, we need you to come with us quietly. We have a few things we want to ask."

"Wait hold on a second I have some questions for you too."

The Green haired one answered back, "You can save your questions for when you meet our Leader, I'm sure she will be willing to answer anything you may want to know. Now stop wasting our time and follow us." 

She seemed quite serious, and somehow pretty intimidating despite her small stature. The Golden warrior simply nodded his head at me and stayed silent.

"Well if it's going to answer some things for me, then I have no choice. Alright let's go."

The two individuals turned around and began walking back towards the camp, I have no idea what's about to happen but it seems like my fighting stood out to the higher ups in the battle. They are probably wondering who the hell I am and want to know things to. I only hope I can answer all their questions without fail.

We passed by many soldiers standing around and conversing to one another, many marveled at us with curious eyes, do we stand out that much?

Soon we enter the threshold of the camp, the winds were bustling and the skies were darkened. I heard many voices around me, I could barely make out anything they were saying but I can tell they were indeed talking about me.

Soon a familiar figure was seen ahead of me, the same one I locked eyes with earlier? It felt like I once knew them, in a previous life perhaps? Her luxurious snow white haired flowed with the wind, her eyes were sharp but also glistened vividly. The closer we got to the 'human', the more intense the feeling became. After a few minutes, we finally reached the Woman with Snowy White Hair. 

She smiled sweetly and spoke to the two humans that retrieved me, "Thank you very much for bringing him you two. I pray all went well."

The Green Haired girl bowed her head, "Yes my Lady, all went smoothly. He showed no resistance to our offer." 

The Gold armored human crossed his arm over his chest, "Yes and Lady Chhaya didn't go berserk either." 

The Green Haired girl quickly glared at the Gold Armored human and shot out 3 black spears from her shadow! They stopped right before piercing his neck, the green haired girl then said, "Watch your mouth General, last warning..."

The Gold Armored human stayed silent and said nothing more. The Princess clapped both her hands together, "Alright enough you two, please stop your bickering and step aside."

The two individuals looked at the Snow Haired Woman and complied immediately, "Who is she? They listened to her without question!"

The two people moved out of her path and stood next to her on both sides. As I glanced upon the Snow Haired Woman, my heart skipped a beat and I felt such a strange sensation boil down all over my body and it felt... amazing, just what is this strange but blissful feeling!?

The Other Me then called out, "Other Me! What is this? What's going on out there?"

"I don't know, I can't explain it myself!"

"Well hurry and figure it out, it feels weird!" He exclaimed.

I couldn't avert my gaze from her, it was like I was being mesmerized but an unknown force. The Snow Haired Woman smiled at me and said, "Your accomplishments on the battlefield were extraordinary! Unlike anything I've ever seen before, however I don't recognize you from anywhere. Would you mind answering some questions for me?"

I choked on my words, the strange overpowering feeling seemed to hinder my speech! 
"Q-Questions? W-What questions? I don't even know who you are?" I replied.

The Voice within called to me, "Other Me, what's going on with this body, why are acting so weird for?"

"I don't know, I can't help it though!"

The Snow Haired Woman added, "You don't know who I am? Hmm, that's very interesting. Well would you mind coming with me to my tent? Maybe it would be beneficial to both of us if we talked inside."

"J-Just us alone!?" I said without thinking.

She chuckled, "No silly, some of my Court will be there with us. We just need to ask you some things regarding the recent phenomena that happened in the forest. Are you willing to cooperate with us? We promise to refrain from doing anything hostile to you."

I gulped really loudly, "O-Oh! Yes I'm willing. P-Please take me"

The Snow Haired Woman leered at me with a focused eye, "Are you okay? You seem a bit unwell? Do I make you nervous?"

Nervous? Am I being nervous?

I answered back to her, "I don't know, I just feel strange right now but I can still answer your questions. However I want to know some things too."

The Snow Haired Woman smiled and chuckled, "Oh my, well we shouldn't waste time then. Please everyone follow me."

The Snow Haired Woman turned around and walked off deeper into the camp, the two individuals that brought me followed right behind her, I followed right behind them.

I called out to my Other Self, "Other Me I think we found what we're looking for."

He replied, "Yeah, just remember what we came for. We need clues about our past, and even information about this world we live in."

"Yeah I will try to get as much as I can."

Soon we made it to a large brown covered structure with a large opening in the middle. The Snow Haired Woman walked straight inside followed by the two other individuals. I stopped at the threshold, I called out to my Other Self, "Hey I don't know what's about to happen, but can you stay prepared for me?"

He laughed, "Other Me you worry way too damn much. Stop being scared and go inside already."

Without another moments hesitation, I walked inside the huge brown shelter, "Alright then, here it goes."