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Skill-Trees and Summons




Skill-Trees and Summons


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Post by Professor Velox on Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:18 pm

Shirou opened his eyes to see a pitch-black sky above him, obscured by thick fog. The ground beneath him was hard. His eyes quickly scanned the area around him. Despite the absence of any apparent light source, the space him was perfectly illuminated. The ground was caked in dirt and looked black. There were trees around him, decayed and hollow, the bark white as snow. He was in a petrified forest. He had been here before.

He looked down at himself. He was no longer naked. He was wearing a plain, green t-shirt and black pants. His feet were bare and he no longer had his weapon.  It was nice to have clothes again, though. Shirou also felt around his body. Nothing hurt and there were no injuries. His flesh was smooth and undamaged. So, was he dead again? He certainly had enough blades in him to not be considered alive anymore.

He stood up and walked forward. He felt as if he kept moving, he would eventually find a purpose. A reason for why he was here and now swimming in the River Styx. He had concluded that he wasn’t dead, but he wasn’t alive either. He was in some sort of limbo, between life and death. As to why he was here, Shirou was unsure. Would he wake up where he had died or would he never wake up again?

He heard movement nearby and stopped. He tensed up for a second before remembering where he was. Nothing he would run into here would be enough to put him down. Right now, he was probably the most dangerous person here, in some way or another.

From the shadows came a familiar face, one very similar to Shirou’s own. They kept walking towards him until they were only a few feet apart and stopped.

“Hello, Caelestis. Long time,” Shirou said with a small nod.

His nobody nodded back, his face expressionless. Shirou noticed that there was no longer a hole where his heart would be.

“You’re whole again?” he asked his other, an eyebrow raised in curiosity.

“Yeah, ever since you decided to jump ship and come to a place country, your biology changed to match your new reality,” Caelestis replied. “String, who you reincarnated me into, was no longer compatible and reverted back inside of you, lying dormant as hearts did not work the same in that new home of yours. When you came to this new place, while reality was slightly different, it was very much close to our native reality. My heart reawake and I’m whole once more.”

Shirou cocked his head and crossed his arms. “I can’t tell if you’re happy about this or not. Did you remember being String?”

Caelestis shook his head. “You wiped my memories and created a new personality out of your own. I was simply a vessel for your technology.”

Shirou frowned, suddenly feeling a twinge of guilt. “Sorry,” he said, looking down. “It was the only way I could make it work, where I felt like I was whole and I made use out of you as well. I didn’t want to just leave you in a jar somewhere. I had…limited resources.”

“I know you’re lying.”

“…yeah,” Shirou said, his voice low and quiet. He knew his lies would be seen through. After all, he was basically talking to himself and who knew him better? “Truth was, I was afraid of you. If you came back as an active part of my life, I wasn’t sure if I could contain you. I was worried you’d want to be back in control and I’d be trapped somewhere in my own heart.”

“If it is any consolation, I would have no intention of trying to take over your body,” Caelestis said. “I don’t think I could, even if I wanted to. Though, it would be nice to breathe again.”
Shirou nodded, looking up now. “If I get another chance, if this is redemption instead of a goodbye tour, I’ll make things better for you.”

Caelestis smirked. A knowing and arrogant one. He then turned around and started to walk back into the darkness of the forest.

“Wait, what am I supposed to be doing here? Why am I here?” Shirou asked, reaching out to Caelestis, wanting to get to him before he disappeared.

Caelestis was already too far gone, but he said something over his shoulder. “Resolve your conflicts.”

“Resolve my conflicts?” Shirou muttered to himself, confused. With a shrug, he continued to walk forward.

He soon met his Darkness, Lapsus. His heartless side that he never met. No words were said, though. They exchanged blows until they were both on the ground, out of breath. As Lapsus faded, he smirked. Not one of malice, but of relief.

Shirou laid there, resting. He stared into the dark sky and wondered why they were no stars. Was there really no light here?

Footsteps were heard. Shirou sat up, expecting to see a younger version of himself. That was who he saw last time. However, he was surprised when instead, he saw a man who was probably the last person he expected. An enemy, once, though he also saved Shirou.

“What are you doing here?” Shirou asked, narrowing his eyes. He stood up and patted dust off of his jeans. “How?”

The man brushed snow-white hair out of his face and grinned a smug grin. “I’m not here. Not really. Let’s just call me a manifestation of ya regrets. Like how ya ran like a lil’ bitch at the first chance you got.”

“I didn’t run away,” Shirou snapped, clenching his teeth.

“And why did you run? ‘Cause you were afraid. Not ‘cause of me, who kicked ya ass by the way, but ‘cause of yourself. You were afraid of losin’ control, so you ran like a bitch with her tail between her legs.”

Shirou didn’t say anything. He was angry. This guy was right. He hated to admit it, but he was right.

The guy cocked his head, apparently amused by Shirou’s reaction. “So why did you leave that comfy lil’ reality you found? With the demons and what not? Were ya tryin’ to get back home? Did you actually get homesick?”

Shirou rolled his eyes, just glaring at him.

“Or…or did ya come back to redeem yourself?” The guy laughed. “What a fuckin’ fool.”

“So what if I did?” Shirou asked, coolly. “Everybody wants redemption when they’ve messed up. Maybe I wanted to come back to see old faces and make up for what I’ve done.”

The guy continued to laugh. “Oh my gawd, ya gonna make me bust a gut. Oh boy. So fuckin’ pathetic.”

“You done yet?” Shirou crossed his arms, fists clenched.

After a second, the guy stopped laughing and regained composure. “Listen here, kid. Ya lil’ quest is dumb. Wanting redemption? Pathetic. You’re supposed to be better than that. Move forward, not backwards. I was supposed to be the push to move ya forward, not keep you stuck in the past.”

Shirou was silent. The guy shrugged and walked away, disappearing into the forest.

Shirou continued to stand there and he lost track of time. He didn’t know if had been hours or seconds. It felt like both an eternity and an instant. He thought of what he was just told, of Lapsus and Caelestis. The last time he was here, it was because he had locked away an important part of himself because he was afraid. He had come to terms with that. But then he got messed up and ran away. And he kept running and hiding until he felt like he could control himself. So he recklessly jumped back, in attempt to find home.

There was no point in finding forgiveness. He didn’t need it. He needed to just move forward.

Suddenly, Shirou was falling. He felt through the ground as if it was nothing. Everything went black.

Shirou woke up underwater. Deep underwater. Things were moving by him, drifting. He realized they were people…or rather, ghosts. Or souls. But he wasn’t like them. He was solid. He had an actual body. He looked above him and saw the bottom of a boat and an oar in the water. He quickly swam up.

Shirou surfaced and grabbed the side of the boat, pulling himself in. It was empty. As Shirou caught his breath, the boat drifted to land. He noticed that he was in a cavern in the Underworld. It would explain the souls swimming around him, which meant that he had really been dead. Or perhaps, he still was.

He jumped out the boat, landing on solid ground.

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Professor Velox
Professor Velox

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