The『D』Project Ch. 2
Updated: Mar 11
If I had a moment to pause and think about what I was doing, I would probably realize that I was making a huge mistake.
Unlike its calm façade on the outside, inside the fog was pure chaos.
The [WILL] of the fog whipped and thrashed around me as it tried to grab a hold of me.
Unlike before, it had a hard time doing so. The [SPARK] had fused my soul more closely with my mind and body.
As a broken soul, we tend to lean towards one or two essences of our being - mind (knowledge), soul (emotion), and body (action). But the spark allows us to temporarily unite all three.
As sophisticated as the fog trap was, it targeted only the flesh.
There are traps that target the mind.
There are traps that targets the soul.
And as crazy as this fog was, it was designed to destroy the body.
A soul-fused body is much more slippery - especially since I had no intention of fighting in the first place. I had no reason to.
As the [WILL] of the fog crashed against my body, I moved with the force of the strike. If I had allowed even a piece of myself to resist, I would have been instantly smashed. As it was, it felt like the weight of the world was constantly pressing against me as I furiously raced away from it.
As easy as this sounds, nullifying attacks coming at me like this from all angles is humanly impossible. It was the spark that allowed me foresee each attack and jump away with the flow of the strike.
There were two problems creeping up in the back of my mind. One was that I was at complete mercy of the flow - a literal human pinball zipping around the fog.
If I'm suppose to be walking in a certain direction inside this fog, that would be an impossible ask. Riding the torrential waves of attacks was like white water rafting in a river made of great white sharks. A wrong move, a wrong step, and it would have been the end.
The second was about time. No matter what, the spark is temporary. The longer I hold onto it, the more I run the risk of not being able to remain as a Wanderer.
You see, a broken soul does not have mind, body, and soul wholesomely connected together. That is the opposite of being broken.
We have brief glimpses and moments when it happens in the [PRESENT]. It could be an instantaneous reaction. A performance that went so well, we could never repeat it. Words that just came out of nowhere, but it just made the moment priceless.
And yes, it's a fantastic state to be in, but if my soul fuses permanently, I will not be able to enter fragments anymore. I can't let that happen - not yet, at least.
After avoiding a few dozen attacks, the few seconds that passed seemed agonizingly too long. And apparently, my host felt the same way.
A shadow silently stepped forward and appeared out of the fog.
Dee: (.....a gatekeeper.)
There was a guardian residing inside this fog. If it was another soul or spirit, it would have been obvious, but there was no one inside that armor. This thing was just as much a part of the fog as the water molecules composing the mist. It was another essence of the host's defenses.
The sword the knight held was a huge problem.
Dee: (...that can't be [SOUL FIRE]...right....?)
I continued to dance around the fog's attacks as I watched the knight approach.
The sword was engulfed in blue, fiery flames, and the aura emanating from it was enough to let me know that if the fog was designed to destroy the body, that sword was probably meant to destroy the soul. No one I know around these parts uses Soul Fire - theoretically speaking, a broken soul should not be able to. The nature of the two are complete opposites.
I've only heard of one other mythical sword wrapped in Soul Fire - another guardian and gatekeeper that prevents spirits and souls alike from entering a garden.
As the knight darted forward, I had to contend with two dance partners now - one wanted to crush and disintegrate my body and the other wanted to erase my very being. I've become so popular now since exiting the [PRESENT].
I kept one eye on the sword's arc as it hissed past me with menacing speed.
The knight twirled the sword in one hand, switched it to his left to thrust, cut, and whirled and spun his body making two circling slashes where I was standing moments ago. I had to admit, the guy had had skills. I noted his movements as I jumped over his strike, and sailed over his crouched body.
The fog lurched for me while I was in the air, and I twirled and spun to avoid being snatched.
A vertical sword slash threatened to slice me in half, but I caught the blade's flat end with my palm and hit it so both the blade and my body moved in opposite directions.
I wish I could say I did this on purpose, but that would be a flat out lie. I had no time to think. I could only respond, and my body felt like it was moving on its own.
A few moments from now, either the fog or the sword would rip right through me. It was just a matter of time.
The knight regained its balance and swung horizontally.
Without thinking, I dodged. But as the sword's blade passed just millimeters from my throat, I placed a finger on the back of the passing blade ー and transferred the momentum I've been piling up from dodging the fog into its swing. The blade still cut through the flesh and blood sprinkled out with a puff of a scarlet cloud.
In that instant, I felt kinetic energy from my body course through the tip of the sword. It then traveled to the knight's hand, and subsequently through its entire body. Unlike my soul-fused body, the knight was not as lucky.
Bones, muscles, and joints creaked under the tremendous transfer of energy, but the knight used it to whirl around for another strike.
The human eye can perceives 30 to 60 frames a second. A soul, at its max, can perceive light moving through the air. It was only a fraction of a second that I let the spark ignite - light exploding before my eyes before I completely let it go.
In that insignificant amount of time, I managed to parry the horizontal strikes to continue spinning the knight faster and faster, and before long, a violent tornado erupted as the knight whirled in place - unable to stop. The wind threw me as I rag dolled back onto a grassy field.
The fog was now caught in the violent circulation of air. The dullish gray of the fog began to turn into a rosy shade of glowing red as the knight's armor began to crumple under the pressure.
The armor's metal twisted and screeched as the laws of physics must have finally kicked in. The knight moved so fast that the friction it built ignited the ground and surrounding air, and fire leaped up around us. I ducked and buried my face into the ground as flames washed over me.
In the last moments, both the fog and knight collided violently, as both, undergoing shifts in their original properties, were now unable to recognize each other. Both were designed to destroy intruders, and both now saw the other as the bigger threat. The fog tore away the knight's armor as flickers of the Soul Fire spread across the mist in all directions.
The air cleared as the fog vanished, and I was left to extinguish the embers all over my clothes. But with the fog gone, the fires died quietly as I stumbled towards what I guessed was the center area of the fog.
As if caught between a dream and reality, I felt woozy as the backlash of losing the spark hit me like a train. I shoved the familiar pain down and out of the way, as I waddled uncertainly towards the sound of a crying voice. Exhausted, I had nothing left but to stare at a face that stared right back at me.
It was a child. A wounded, scarred child that was crying moments ago in pain was now looking curiously at me.
Without a word, I picked her up to wrap her with my cloak. Her eyes grew into round plates as I did so, but feeling the warmth of my body, she soon snuggled and fell quickly asleep.
There were so many questions, but all that mental noise was deadened by a white blanket of fatigue that overtook me. I found myself lying down with the child in my arms. We laid in the grass together and fell asleep in each other's arms. I didn't even notice my boss arrive or the field blooming with flowers and covered in butterflies.
None of that mattered right now. I just let my eyes remain closed and let my consciousness drift into emptiness.
That was the day I met Amy.