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"In your search for occult mysteries you will come to realise that there is always a duality. The body and the soul. The material and the immaterial world. Reality and illusion. Life and death...", Eli paced back and forth as he instructed his daughter, hand vividly moving about to emphasise his words.

"So it should not come as a surprise to you, my prodigious child, that one day you will come to meet the Otherworld. Your soul will step out of its fleshy coil and see the realities of the universe. Realities kept hidden from us by layers of deceit imposed by society's fear.", he would turn around, eyes big and looking deeply into the young kid that sat before him, trying hard not to be bored by his lessons. She would much prefer to go out and play.

"A silver cord ties the soul to the body at all times, but it is only visible when your eyes are nod blinded by the dirt of the world. In other words...", his words discontinued as he expected the girl to answer for him. "In other words, Lais?"
"When the soul is out of the body, dad."
"When the soul is out of the body, indeed. You're paying attention, good. It goes without say you should never ever cut that cord or your soul will wander the Otherworld forever without any means to return. Your body will die off and you will be lost to the universe."

The kid didn't care. Her Jugo blood burst with life and potential. She wanted to be out, live in the now. Cherish the world she knew rather than one she couldn't see. Wild, feral, impatient. Lais couldn't even meditate properly because of the Beast's driven passion to make itself known, so why would she ever be able to do such a weird thing as leave her body?

Nobody could see a wandering soul anyway.

Ever since her training with Lamya, the nightmares had increased. The Snake Sage had shown her once more why she was to be feared. The smudge of her insurmountable power already imprinted in the aura of the Crow Sage had been enough to create the shades that lurked in the corner of her eyes, always watching, but her most recent lesson had so much as drowned her mind with the sensation of fear and despair for that woman. That fear had grown so deeply she could no longer sleep comfortable at night, the two golden eyes always watching. It disturbed her sleep at best, and denied any sort of rest at its worst.

Laïs rose up, bathing in sweat as once again familiar nightmares pulled her out of her night's rest. Two golden lights slowly fade before her eyes as the remainders of that nightmare slowly faded away under the sensation of the cool wind of the night. She already knew what this meant. She would no longer be able to sleep this night, heart still pounding heavily while she tried to still it. Under the guise of darkness, she rose up to greet the midnight sky but stopped in her tracks as she saw a persistent shadow at the door. A shadow not taller than a kid, obviously staring at her without eyes. Lais would normally be able to see the contours of the body with such low light, her sage senses telling her a presence was there, but in this case her senses were... off. She registered something that should not be there by any means.

Dismissing it as a fragment of the nightmare, she would move on to pass through the door and get outside but at the door itself an invisible barrier blocked her path. A barrier of strange energies. The kid looked up to her. She could feel it somehow, yet her senses still told her it should not be possible. The shadow raised a hand. Pointed at something behind her. With a hint of curiosity, Lais' gaze followed her direction.

A silver cord.

There was a cord running from where she stood to a profound mass still lying in her bed. Lais blinked, confused. She couldn't believe this. Her father's lessons were not forgotten, but her disbelief for that occult mystery wasn't either. The echoing giggle of the girl next to her pulled her attention. It was gone. Or rather, like a flicker, it moved on to a new place. The shadow was not gliding over the land but rather appearing and reappearing as if briefly vanished out of existence as it moved on. Tracing her trail as she walked behind the apparition, the echo of crows could be heard in the distance. The young woman was of a mind she was till dreaming. A lucid dream. But having crows around her slightly shook her believe. There was always something unfathomable going on when the crows were around. Or was it?

The world around her was like a handful of ethereal copies of the real one layered upon each other in an imperfect way. It was a strange sensation to the lines that shaped the building flicker and wave like an invisible ebb and flow had grabbed hold of it. On the ruinous roofs sat perched the crows, looking down. Along the streets wandered other shades, wailing, lost, raging. Like memories. Remnants of the people that had died in the assault against Suna. Disbelieving their own deaths.

"What a surreal world this is.", Lais thought.
"So real. So real.", her mind's voice echoed through the air.

The crows cawed, mockingly bobbing their black heads. The child apparition continued her path knowing Lais was following her. With every set of crows she passed, the birds took flight. And with them gone, so did the otherworldly light. The path back became shrouded in darkness, only the silver cord shining brightly through the non-existence of it all. Lais had seen strange things before when she went to the world of the Corvus, but this was new.

The apparition moved on, flickering forward until she waited at a black spiralling tower. The stones looked old, close to turning into ruins. Ill advised to scale them or enter them. The area around the tower must have been a complex of sorts. Perhaps a fortified lookout, perhaps a small garrison, it was all in ruins now. Black stones in an equally bleak world. The apparition beckoned, stepping inside the tower. Considering this still a dream despite the silver cord, Laïs stepped inside to spot a spiralling set of stairs going up and disappearing in the shadows. Other than that, there was nothing to be seen. The crow sage started the long walk upwards.

The girl didn't appear during the long climb upwards and the stairs didn't come to an end as they should have been doing. Below her the ever devouring shadows swallowed step after step, above her they withdrew to reveal the steps that had been taken away. Time ticked away. An eternity swallowed whole even though in reality it might have been a mere few seconds. The girl sighed at its cruel joke, not amused by the idea of running in circles. She halted and sat down, watching briefly the shadows above and below her. The sound of an amused giggle resonated in the tower. The apparition reappeared, pointing in a direction through the walls.

"Really?", she asked, giving a pointed stare at the kid before her.
"Really. Really.", her mind's voice echoed through the air.
"How am I supposed to get through the walls?", she spat, her annoyance clear.
"Turn the walls. Turn the walls.", her mind's voice echoed in answer.

Shaking her head, Laïs rose up and pressed against the wall. The stones' grinding sound became louder under her effort, the world giving way to an exit that should not have been. Stepping outside, she stood upon a thick wooden perch that allowed her a clear view of the immediate surroundings. Behind her, a door in a cone shaped roof had allowed her passage. Genjutsu, on any normal day. Anomalies, in a world as this. She was not alone on the roof. A murder of crows had flocked together around the tower, their claws digging tightly wherever they could find a spot to land. Black beady eyes were watching her, reflecting her own appearance with such detail it felt like she was looking into a set of small mirrors. Laïs decided not to watch too deeply, somewhat worried she would otherwise be victim to yet another strange event and instead crouched to observe the surroundings.

"Watch.", the crows cawed in unison before they lifted off one by one. The circled around the young woman, diving down, swirling up, their flight always bigger and bigger until the shroud was driven back to the point she could almost see the horizon. In the process, ruins were revealed, streets made of grey sand riddled with the footsteps of people no longer around. She recognised this area. It was part of Sunagakure's slums.

"War is atrocious. People see the terror it causes in their world, the destruction that follows upon carefully constructed architecture. But they do not understand the impact such crude hostilities cause within the Otherworld. The aftermath of such disasters kills more than what mere eyes can see."
"What does this have to do with me?"
"Show me, show me.", her mind's voice echoed pleadingly. Laïs was growing annoyed with this distortion.
"Blind is the one bound to the body, true power curbed by prisons of mortality. Strong spirits hide among the living. Reveal them. Release them. Restore what can not be seen."
"I'm not your errand girl, neither am I your hero."
"Help the many and you'll help the one."

Feeling someone push her in the back, she could feel her soul fall down from the dark spire. As she tumbled down, she could see the apparition wave her goodbye just briefly before she hit the floor, the height of fall deadly for any person.


Last edited by Laïs Crowly on Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:00 pm; edited 2 times in total



"Harken the flap of my wings and hear my cry...
The ash crow will herald the arrival of Yomi under the World's bleak sky,
but when the dead shall walk the World and the Serpent will swallow the sun,
neither you nor I will be crying when all is said and done."

 Demonic Arts II: Trial of the Right Hand Path [Solo | Training] Banner
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"Remember what I told you about Left Hand and Right Hand Path?"

The girl nodded. Another boring lesson on occultism to swallow, spoon-fed by her father who was all about it. It wasn't that she wanted to disappoint her father but she had no interest in following footsteps that lead into a world that could not be seen. The abilities it offered might be interesting to have, but she had hers. She could grow small claws, she change the shape of her fangs, she could change the texture of her body to slip through barriers. Little things like that. Small changes that did not require her to have invisible powers no one else could see or would understand.

"The Right Hand Path is not about yourself, but about others. I told you that. While a person can grow just fine on their own, their perceptions in the world are limited to their own. When you reach out to others, not only can you improve upon their talents and skills, but you'll also improve your own perceptions and understanding of the world. Give, and you shall be given."

She truly was not interested in giving anything to others. She wanted it all for herself. The candy, the attention, the fun. Her parents had always been there for her, spoiling her, showering her with praise. All for her. Why did she have to give to others now? Give just to get? What a stupid thought.

"But I don't want to give. It's mine.", she said with a pout.
"Of course it is yours, dear. Just think of it as borrowing. You give it now for someone else to use, and it will be returned to you with a little extra. It's only fair. The Right Hand Path allows you to grow as well, just differently."

Her father patted her head with a grin. Of course it was hers. Even he knew that. Laïs ruled this place with her metamorphosis. Everyone was scared, either appeasing her or trying to stay out of her path. She didn't need others, but perhaps she could be a little nicer to those who treated her fairly. Like her parents and the old blind lady with her candy sticks.

"A good occultist knows about the different paths, but a great occultist uses both. And you, my little wonder, as my daughter should learn to use both"
"Okay, papa."

As if she would ever, old man.

With a gasp and a shock, Laïs woke up for real this time. Looking about her room with disbelieve, she remembered her lucid dream as clear as crystal. Sweat clung to her body, her throat parched from thirst. Whatever this dream was supposed to mean or why old lessons mingled with nightmares, she couldn't say. Stepping out of her bed, again, Laïs moved to take a look at herself in the tall mirror that stood in the corner of her room. She looked bewildered. Horrible. The young woman sighed. She'd go to take a shower first and have her bed linen be refreshed. The ruined tower from her dream looked familiar. She was fairly certain she had seen something like it before somewhere, but at this point it was very hard to distinguish reality from the persistent fragments of her lucid dream clinging onto her memory. As if reality and dream were blurring one into another.

Perhaps it was.

Total: 2272


-2000 Doton C -> B



"Harken the flap of my wings and hear my cry...
The ash crow will herald the arrival of Yomi under the World's bleak sky,
but when the dead shall walk the World and the Serpent will swallow the sun,
neither you nor I will be crying when all is said and done."

 Demonic Arts II: Trial of the Right Hand Path [Solo | Training] Banner
View user profile

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