The dolorous, alien chime of healing magics flowed from fingertip to skin, washing the warriors in its cool light. Pained expressions softened to calm, peaceful slumber, and the consternation of the Sage before them transform to exasperated relief.
Erebos snapped awake, a hiss of pain involuntarily coming from his mouth as he gripped his chest. Something was wrong, but he wasn’t dead. Certainly a good start. With a huff, he sat up straight, surprising himself with the ability to do so.
”Okay… Namekian architecture, Namekian soothesayer, Namekian… Air? Certainly isn’t my version of heaven, but it’s close enough.”
His estimation was correct, in some ways. Though this was not some construct, the design of the home was certainly of Namek make. Sleek, rounded stone walls with bubble-like windows. Minimalistic decor, and a leathery-faced Namekian standing a little too close. Without a word, the Sage hurried off, looking for someone to inform about the awakening of their guest.
Left to his own devices, Erebos surveyed the room more properly. Crotona was here, too, being tended to by her own healer. Not quite awake yet, but the magic seemed to have done wonders on him, so what was taking her so long?
”I swear, if Kamae actually came back here to drop us off and blow up a city with a damn ice cream cone or something, I’ll cut his damn— Ggh!”
The pain in his chest pulsed again. Louder and ruder.
As Erebos spoke about giving a stern talking to Kamae, Crotona's eyes snapped open. However, they were not brimmed with life. Instead, they were glazed over. As she was moving while unconscious. 'Crotona' would lightly push the healer aside. "Well we are alive this is quite a surprise. You must be the one she finds quite..grand. Well, that won't matter now since Konats is a wreck. Faith is something that can be easily shattered when expectations of grandeur and victory are meant with defeat and pain. Even more so since you said you'd serve Kamae in defeat? Guess, that didn't work out huh? Words can be quite hollow when they need to be."
'Crotona' would keep the healer away as they tried to heal the injuries that Crotona had. The wound in her chest was in quite a bad state. But demonic bones began to grow to cover the wound as 'Crotona' used Belial's power to create those demonic bones. Then scales from Zoroth and Leventrasn would cover the wound. A fusion of 'Crotona' monstrous abilities used to cover the wound, not to heal it. "I need to stay awake after all, and I can't be healed just yet. She is not ready. She needs more time to rest. To drift in her thoughts of a dream. She may not want to live in this nightmare we have all caused." 'Crotona' would slowly stand up sensing outward into the distance. "We are on Namek? It been a long time since I have been here. I should introduce myself since we shall be talking. Plato of Konat's." 'Crotona' would offer their hand to shake Erebos.
Erebos shook his head, rolling his eyes as a strange voice came from Crotona. A possession? Perhaps. Or, concerningly, a second soul in the same vessel that actually OWNED the body. Kashvarian magic, while spoken of in hushed whispers among the few mortals who know of its potential, was a rather common subsect of dark incantations in Erebos’ home realm. If Crotona was a true-born Konatsian, this may well be a deeper connection than the usual foreign invader.
”Oh goodie. A loser.” Erebos shifted in his bed, allowing his feet to dangle over the edge as he sat up straight. ”Words share the property of wind and stone. It’s the weaver of the words who decides which holds true on the day.” He narrowed his eyes. Critical glare staring deep into Crotona’s vacant expression. ”I meant what I said. Kamae’s the one who left me for dead… Or, tossed me here?”
Memories slowly began to unfuzz. He could recall something about a magic bubble. Kamae’s doing?
Offering a shadowy hand to Plato, he—
No shadowy hand?
He had cast the spell. A tap of his finger on his thigh, and a slight nod to the left. And yet no shadow came forth. Usually the little shadow attached to the backside of his scarf would lean over and say hello, but not this time.
Sighing, Erebos offered his actual hand, reciprocating the gesture with a firm grip, betraying no sign that something was wrong with his magic.
”Erebos. Erebos Herosbane. Guess you’ve been snooping, eh? Could you tell me her favorite breakfast food, or do you not have full control over this stolen body yet?”
Clearly distrustful, the Demon gave a glance to the door. No weapon and no magic meant if a fight broke out he’d be in trouble. Not an impossible win, but certainly difficult…
”Do me a favor and skip all the cryptic talk us otherworldly folk love so much and just tell me what you’re here for.”
“A loser? I’ve done nothing that would quite dignify me as a loser. Oh, well I suppose I am controlling your friend’s body at the current moment. Or that how you’ll perceive this situation? Whatever the case, you are right. Words are fickle. It is actions that matter.” ‘Crotona’ glanced as Erebos tapped his hand to his thigh before moving his own hand to shake his. “Not sure what you were trying to do. Either way good to meet you Erebos Herosbane. If you want to know what her favorite food you can ask her another time. But, you seem to be confused. I didn’t steal this body. You must of ran into many phantoms or demons who have taken control of the bodies of other’s. I am not one of those. I can assure you of that.”
‘Crotona’ waved there hand at Erebos. “You run into a lot of phantoms I image. As I said I am Plato. I was a Konatsian Philosopher, Warrior, Demonsmith and all sorts of other talents. I lived on Konats many years ago. I was a friend of her familys ancestors. When I died, I bound my soul into this sword.” He would draw the stump of the Z-Sword. “It used to be a rusted old thing, but the blade corroded with time. Instead it became a blade that used one ki and emotional state. I also can control her body when she is unconscious or when tempered into a great emotional state. She is compromised between her morals and her actions. When she killed Maxsuz, that broke her. Even if she didn’t realize it. She killed in fear for what might happen. Justifed fear, the man was a evil bastard. Now, she grappling with her power. Her emotion. Her purpose.” He was still vague, it was still something he was trying to grapple with Crotona’s own feeling on the matter.
This was quite the whirlwind day all of a sudden. Some time ago, Nero had found two friends of his crumpled over in a small crater near Grand Elder Village— they were not in a good way whatsoever, and he didn’t waste any time in bringing them into the village to receive some sort of healing and medical attention.
Erebos didn’t necessarily have a gaping wound in their chest, but something about him wasn’t right either. Like he was lighter, spiritually speaking, and something that gave him his whole general vibe seemed to not be present. Crotona on the other hand, had really gotten the shit kicked out of her, she was definitely only a soft breeze away from being in a worse state.
Either way, Nero left them in the care of some reputable and reliable healers, some Namekian, some not. Nero himself hadn’t strayed too far from the building, he had gone to get some food for when the two woke up and were feeling well enough to eat. As he returned, one of the healers hurried past him, saying that he was going to get in touch with one of the resident Oni mages, but that at the very least, Erebos had awoken.
Nero had arrived in the room the two were resting in just as their conversation had begun; overhearing most of it if not all of it. It was immediately clear to Nero that Crotona wasn’t the one speaking through her own body, it was someone else entirely, and they were sharing a lot of lore it seemed. “Hey you two.” Nero finally spoke up, making his presence known. He stashed the crate of foodstuffs on a nearby table and approached the injured duo. Regarding Erebos with a concerned smile first, he tried to better assess what was wrong with the guy by getting a read on his energy. “I’m glad you’re awake, friend. Don’t strain yourself now.” ‘Crotona’ on the other hand, was regarded with a rather firm yet kind expression. “Plato, was it?” Nero began, wanting the phantom’s full attention. “I hope you won’t cause any trouble, especially for Crotona. Mark my words, if you give me even a single reason to, I will pull you out of her and seal you in a very uncomfortable rock, understand?” Nero said, very much intent on following through with what he said if he had to do it. “That said, if you’re chill, you’re chill and we won’t have any problems!” He added, with a more relaxed and casual tone.
"Phantoms, specters, poltergeists and devils. I guess you could call exorcism a hobby of mine. Already done it to a handful of folks on this very planet, in fact."
He rubbed his fingers together, his lips pursing. Plato was an interesting sort. The kind Erebos probably would've teased endlessly, judging by the story he told. On another day, he most certainly would have. But that pain in his chest, it was... Dampening his playful demeanor. Only a bit, though.
"Might be best to let her grapple on her own, eh? Never known a soul who appreciates being butt in on, especially not a warrior like her."
He was going to speak up more, raise that tad bit extra stink, but another figure entered. One known as Nero, the Saiyan who'd first met him here almost a year ago. Erebos smiled as he entered the room, but it faded into a wince as he held a hand to his chest.
"You're looking better than I remember. New conditioner?" He winced again, and groaned. "Okay anyone ELSE sick of the random shocks of pain running up my body? Just me? Okay."
With a grunt of exertion, he tore his chestplate in two, revealing his body underneath. Pulsing on his chest was a black spike, protruding a few inches out of the entry wound. It hummed with a dark power, and it seemed to be deeply set. Black ichor ran across a few of the veins underneath the skin, and the flesh closest to the entry point was darker than pitch.
"A void burn? Really?"
Tapping it with his finger elicited a sharp hiss. It was stuck. Well and truly.
"Well, that explains the lack of magic. This thing's sucking up all my shadow essence. Like a leech or... I dunno, a space leech. Guess I'm stuck with my natural charm for defense until it pops off."
With a sigh, he turned back to Nero. "So, you wouldn't happen to know how we got back to Namek, eh? Last I recall we were on Konats throttling Kamae, then he pops me in the chest with one of these, and now I'm here."
“Grapple on her own? Yes that would be good for her. I must admit, I was expecting you to already be trying to rip me from her body.” He would wave and then glance as Nero arrive. ‘Crotona’ tipped their head to the man “Greeting’s we meet again. I remember watching you. Nero was it.” But Nero, made it clear right away if he caused trouble for her, then he would seal him into a rock. He put a hand on his chin smiling at Nero. “Big words. But I hope you’d understand I’m not someone who crafted my magic to be so easily ripped away from her soul. Kashvarr magic can be woven in quite dangerous ways. Ways I came to understand quite well. If I was to be ‘ripped’ away as you suggest. Crotona would cease to exist. I don’t mean she’d die. So don’t misunderstand me. Her soul would be torn apart. We are one of the same being now.” ‘Crotona’ face glanced at Nero with a hardened and serious expression. As if asking the man to try him.
After a few moment’s, ‘Crotona’s’ slapped her knee. “Or maybe i’m bluffing! That would be quite the bluff to throw out would it not?” ‘Crotona’ formed a jolly grin as ‘she’ looked towards Erebos and Nero. His face and posture read off as not being a bluff. But at the same time, it was a good defense to claim removing him would kill Crotona. Only way to find out would be to take a chance. Something ‘Crotona’ doubted would come to pass.
‘Crotona’ would however now focus on the wound that Erebos sustained. It seemed he had been trying something earlier. Interesting. The Void burn seemed to limit his magic draining it away. “Quite the dangerous set of magic. This Kamae guy really is a menace. I could never hope to do such a thing.” ‘Crotona’ may of like to act high and mighty but he had not been that powerful. In fact, when he had been alive, he was even weaker than ‘Crotona’ was. It was only when ‘Crotona’ surpassed him, however, that he began to be able to affect her soul at all. Alongside her weakened mental state in killing Maxsuz. Though he was curious like Erebos said that both he and ‘Crotona’ somehow were transported to Namek from Konats. Now that was an odd circumstance.
Nero nodded, he understood what Plato was implying, but he was no stranger to danger and overcoming it. “Big words, bigger actions. I’m well aware of risks, magic as a whole presents quite a bit of danger.” Which meant he too, with his own set of blessed skills was pretty dangerous to nefarious beings. Honestly, his blessed skills were a lot more powerful than Nero knew himself! “All I’m saying is don’t try something you’ll regret. I don’t think the other guys would be happy about it if you did either.” Nero was of course referring to the other mysterious monsters that Crotona had within her.
On the plus side, this disembodied old mage had a sense of humor, Nero couldn’t help but snort. “At least you’ve got some wit, I respect that.” Erebos made a joke about Nero using a new hair conditioner, which got a bit more of a laugh. “Hilariously, yeah, I’m trying something new. I gotta style up for my badass girlfriend, you know.” Nero said with a smirk. “You’d probably get along with her, she’s really cool.” It was kind of a shame that Erebos and Zhalla hadn’t gotten a chance to meet under better circumstances, but maybe that could be changed soon enough.
Upon Erebos revealing the nasty leech, Nero grimaced. Yeah, that wasn’t a pretty sight. “Jeez, that iiiiis grrrrross. Want me to get rid of it? I can’t imagine that’s comfortable.” Besides, Nero wouldn’t want that thing skulking around either way.
As for how the two got to Namek, Nero didn’t have much to say. “I mean, I found the two of you in a small crater dimmed lightly by magical shadows that dispersed just as I got there. You were really running on almost empty, but you probably pulled off some teleportation on instinct. With how beat up you are, you’re lucky you even got here.” Nero was sighed, he was worried but at least they weren’t dead. “Still, you got here. That counts for something.”
"I was worried about that." Finally, Erebos stood up, sighing. "Bluff or no, Plato knowing Kashvar even exist is proof enough they meddled in his existence. It'd be wise to let he and Crow figure out how to share the body between themselves for now. Joint custody isn't that rare among the cosmos."
Shrugging, he circled the girl curiously. It was odd, talking to someone who wasn't conscious. Not a very common spell to come into contact with, but certainly becoming common. Nasu had a similar problem with that demon rooting around his brain, only not as sticky.
"Oh my GOSH you got a girlfriend?! Not that I thought you couldn't do it but that's great! I bet she's a sweetheart-- or a rough-and-tumble type Rough and sweet? Whatever floats your boat."
Sighing contentedly, he was happy at the least someone's week was looking up. It wasn't perfect, but something was better than nothing.
"Normally I'd say go for it, but this thing is deep set. Kamae himself probably didn't even realize what he was doing, but when two dark magicians duel, the feedback loop can create one of these in the loser. It's probably best to let it drink its fill and fall off naturally. Trying to pry it free while its so fresh might disconnect me from the Shadow Realm permanently..."
That, and he thought it was too gross to touch right now. He'd work up the courage in a day or two... Or sixty.
"Hmm. I do wonder how I managed that, though. Kamae got me good, and little Crow wasn't near me in the slightest. Could be that they took pity on us. I remember being bubbled somehow, but I assumed it was for storage, not for protection..."
Rubbing his hands together, Erebos moved over to the window, breathing deep to drink the fresh air as best he could. Things were strange lately to be sure.
"It was bad, Nero. Real bad. I tried my best and I lost hard." He turned back to the Saiyan. "In two hundred years I haven't lost a single real battle. Spars here or there, and the occasional game, sure, but nobody has bested me in the mortal plane when my sword swung free. Not once."
There was indignance lacing every syllable. Disappointment, regret, fury- all mixing and swirling behind the words. He wasn't sure which to pick, which was the true emotion behind his explanation.
"I need help, I think. More than a warm bed and a pat on the back. He won't stop with one measly city on Konats. He'll move to the next world, suck a few trillion souls out here or there and keep the hunt for power up until he cannot possibly be stopped."
It hurt to admit. That he needed help. He never denied it before, but he surely never requested it.
"We need to get in touch with some of our old pals. If only I knew where Fend was..."
Plato tipped his head to Nero as he noted as long as he didn’t cause any trouble then he should be fine. Of course he be causing trouble. But he was not going to state that out loud. He would nod to Nero. “Fair enough I’ll keep your words in the front of my mind.” Erebos also seemed to be aware of the danger of his magic. Guess he ahd learned much about the Kashvarr when he was on Konats. He was not sure of their current status since he had been dead a long time. It was not as if he was aware of things outside of Crotona’s consciousness. Plato would go on to listen to Nero and Erebos going back and forth. Something about Nero having a Girlfriend, it was nothing that he found very interesting.
No, what he found to be interesting was how they had gotten here. Nero explained that that he had found the two of them in a crater covered in magcially shadow. It must of been some sort of telportation spell that brought the two of them from Konats to Namek. Maybe it had something to do with the void wound Erebos had now and the feedback between Erebos and Kamae. But it also possible it was just luck that that he somehow was able to teleport him and Crotona to safety. “The void wound could been made worse by your body instincts to save yourself and Crotona. As a result, the void wound festers and make you unable to cast your magic. You were already at your limit and pushed beyond that. Of course, just a theory from what you said.” Plato was going to offer what advice he could.
Erebos then spoke on his feeling on the matter of their defeat. Kamae was not just going to stop with Konats. He had wrecked an entire city and he was sure to keep going. Erebos, someone who had never faced defeat seemed to be somewhat broken about that. At least that what Plato took from it. “It is true Kamae won’t be stopped. That Marrow fellow won’t be either. But, you’ll have to figure that out on your own. Unless, they decide to attack Konats. Crotona won’t be running around to hunt them. At least that what I believe that is the case.” Plato would slowly get up and lean against the wall. “He will see what he does though, if he gained the power he desired, you probably won’t be able to stop him. None of us will be able too.”
All Nero really wanted to give was a warning, he was sure Crotona would prefer Plato was kept in check at the very least if she was to ever find out about him. Otherwise, Nero was reasonably sure that Crotona could get the upper hand eventually and assert her will once more. She was a stubborn one, that Crotona, for better or worse. “I’m sure something will come of it either way.” Nero knew what he was going to do no matter what happened, but that wasn’t something to bother with at the moment.
“Indeed!” Hilariously, Erebos more or less hit the nail on the head regarding some of what Nero saw in Zhalla. Nero let out a short snorty laugh “Well, you’re not far off with that guess.”
Regarding Erebos’ injury, Nero understandably wasn’t happy. While he was quite confident in being able to rid Erebos of this nasty thing— there was likely more to it. Erebos had some sort of knowledge on the subject, so in this instance Nero decided to defer to the shadowmancer’s judgement. He wouldn’t be much of a shadowmancer without that connection that he mentioned anyway, and that would be sub optimal. “Alright then. Whenever it happens to drop off though, let me know. I can at least properly dispose of it if you aren’t up to it.”
The recount of events from Erebos’ perspective was quite hard to hear. It sounded like his first big loss in many many years, and it was understandable to be shaken by it. Nero could hear it in Erebos’ voice clear as day. Disappointment, regret, fury all in one. “You’ve come to the right place, even if it was possibly by accident.” Nero looked to Erebos, a determination growing in the Saiyan, a fire in his eyes. “So, we’ll train. I’ll teach you what I know. We’ll get stronger, then stop them when they show their ugly mugs.” A flash of gold swirled in his eyes for a fraction of a second. “Nobody ruins cities or does shit like this to my friends and gets away with it.”
Speaking of friends, Erebos had an idea on who else to try and get into contact with. “Fend? I’ve heard that name before. A masked swordsman by chance?” Nero had a few ideas of his own. “I think Ward and Nasu are people we’ll wanna get in touch with too.” Nero also considered Saiba-Ban as well, but that guy was probably dealing with a lot of his own problems right now too.
"Tch. Nobody's unstoppable, Plato. You can thank me for proving that."
But he did raise an important point. Crotona's allegiances lied elsewhere. Despite his wishes, the girl would definitely return home soon. Namek was simply a stepping stone; a place of refuge while her home was locked away. He could respect it, he supposed. If Earth were in trouble, he probably wouldn't spare it much mind. The folks there disliked him anyways.
But he pushed the thought away for now. Talking about where Crotona might go or who she might help was no good if her body was commandeered for the time being. So instead, he focused back on Nero, a smile forming on the Demon's features when his request was approved.
"I appreciate it. If nothing else, I have high hopes for Namek. We're on a hot streak. From Phakk to Nasu, we've quelled threat after threat. Hard to tackle us when we're all well rested and ready to kick ass."
Erebos snapped his fingers, trying to summon a scroll with which to write down names, but nothing came of it. He pinched the bridge of his nose, and sighed. "That's gonna take some getting used to," he sighed out, mostly to himself.
"Right anyways... Fend is a masked swordsperson yes. Ward's been a little... Funky, lately. And Nasu? He hasn't been returning my calls." He pulled out his cell phone, and double-checked. About a hundred or so unreplied texts, and fourty-four missed calls. Shame. "I'll keep trying, but there's no telling how long we actually have."
Turning to Plato, he cocked a brow. "And uh... How long, exactly, are you planning on sticking around? If I need to I suppose we could spar or something while Crow naps."
“Nobody Unstoppable? Can’t say I agree. It is just that no one is unstoppable forever. You were unstoppable for a long time and bought into your own hype. So you got weak, or you didn’t grow more fearsome. That’s what I believe afterall.” Plato crossed their arms and just went back to listening. He really didn’t have much else to say. Just making sure to listen to the information that was being thrown around. Plato knew he needed to listen and gain all the information across the cosmo’s. He had been dead for a long time, so he needed to figure out what he could use to his advantage. Plato planned to become invincible to protect Konats. To keep it safe and destroy any menace to the planet. Through any means necessary.
However, as they mentioned Phakk and Nasu, Plato grabbed their head. What made it even worse was when Nero mentioned that maybe that was someone he wanted to get in contact with. “That bastard. He tried to kill me. And he tried to corrupt the Mazoku.” Crotona's voice called out with pissed off. “What the hell happened? What did I miss.” Crotona's anger at the situation lets her break free of Plato’s control. At least at the moment. But now, seeing where she was, she tilted her head around. “Were on Namek? How did we get to Namek.” She didn’t seem to share Plato's memories, so this was news to her, unlike her counterpart. She did turn her head towards Erebos he was asking about some form of spar while she napped. “What are you saying? I was napping? But how can I spar if I’m asleep?” Crotona titled her head. “What I talking in my sleep or something?”
Last Edit: Dec 26, 2022 12:58:14 GMT -5 by Crotona
Nero blinked, bemused as Erebos and Plato conversed on the nature of ‘unstoppability’. Man, this was kinda dumb, Nero thought. Ultimately, nobody was unstoppable, no matter how long they had a winning streak or whatever else. “A bit miserable to think like this though, right?” Nero raised a brow at Plato in particular. “Obviously, I don’t know you very well, Plato. But, you don’t seem like a nihilistic defeatist. Why else would you persist in stasis, effectively banking on someone picking up your sword? Seems to me you’ve got some faith yet to give.”
While he agreed with Erebos, Nero would understandably want some more assurance that their set of allies was tough enough to basically out-unstoppable other people with less than kind intentions. “I’m sure those guys are still around somewhere. I can’t imagine many other folks on this world will be sitting idly by for long either.”
The mere mention of past foes (turned friend or otherwise) had seemingly sparked Crotona to wake up and take control of her own body. Okay, Nero could understand Crotona being rather rowdy and passionate when confronted with something of ill intent, but this was whack, even for her. “Woah, woah, Crotona. Simmer down. Ward didn’t do any of that, it was the nasty purple-haired witch that strung him along with false friendship.” As for her confusion, Nero simply nodded. “Yeah, you’re on Namek. You can thank Erebos for the rescue.”
Discussing Plato’s existence was a bit different though, while not unsure of telling the truth, he had a habit of being quite blunt and he wasn’t sure that Crotona would be happy about it. Oh well, the truth is the truth. “Also, your sword had the ghost of some old fella called Plato in it, so now he’s partially bound himself to your soul now as well, while you were out like a light, he had control.”
To say Erebos was confused would be a rather vicious understatement. Not only was Plato suddenly gone, but Crotona, who was now very much awake, had no idea what was actually going on. Complete lack of awareness? Not even the most potent possession could truly pull that off. Curious indeed, and a conundrum to be sure.
"Yeah, what Nero said. You've got a ghost in your soul. Something akin to spiritual hitchhiking rather than a proper possession, if anything. You'll have to figure out a way to handle that."
The Demon sighed, scratching his face in a mix of frustration and confusion. He needed to draw up plans. Decide who to call and how to sell the problem to them. Kamae was a big problem, and worse yet was that he probably wasn't even the biggest threat to come. Surely someone bolder and fiercer would arrive, too, spurred on by the victory of the demon before him.
Perhaps a rowdy Saiyan, or a cold calculating Tuffle. A mutated Namekian? Only time would tell, but it seemed, if nothing else, they were all drawn to Namek like flies to a trap. Powerful, magically-attuned folk loved to try and flex their muscles here.
But these were all concerns for another time. A time when his brain wasn't half-numb.
"I think we've got a long road ahead of us before this place is calm again." He placed the back of his thumb beneath his bottom lip, partially ignoring Crotona's confusion and speaking on as if Plato were still here. "And I mean long. Kamae won't be the last threat. Hell-- he won't be the NEXT threat. He's probably busy yucking it up in the ruins of his city."
Shaking his head, Erebos made his way for the door.
"I ought to check on my garden. Shall we reconvene in a few days? Once I'm not so sore, and all."