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The Dark Side

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Sun Xiang was extremely smug with what happened. When Ye Xiu gave him One Autumn Leaf’s card, he felt a surge of powerful energy flowing through it. This avatar was truly a strong one. From his previous one, some useless berserker, he felt nothing. But judging on how weak his former team- Conquering Clouds, one couldn’t get their hand on stronger avatar unless he goes and finds one himself. But that’s a hassle. The amount of time you have to put into strengthening the spirit was astronomical. It was much easier for Sun Xiang to transfer into a stronger team with stronger avatars.

Sun Xiang. His grandfather was a spirit hunter before retiring and passing away. An exceptional rookie who debuted in the 7th season. His first spirit was of berserker class. After burning through this avatar, he was given a place in Conquering Clouds and given a stronger spirit, Berserker, Cross Knife. Sun Xiang’s transfer to Excellent Era resulted in abandoning the spirit. Were he to stay as its master any longer, the avatar would have shattered from the strain.

Humans and avatars could affect each other. If spirit grew too strong for its handler to take, it could break free and break havoc. Their ‘master’ end up being injured or disintegrated into a mere dust. There were also cases when handler was weaker but could gain control through “breaking”. In those cases, it was the avatar who was straining to get stronger or else it will perish.

“Breaking”. A simple word for extremely forceful creation of bond at avatar’s weakest point, which was reversing the effect and damaged the avatar instead of the handler. After the card has been given to someone else, the avatar is at its weakest, their overall statistics would be far lower than before being caught. One Autumn Leaf was no exception to this rule. In fact, after being under one player for so long, he was even weaker.

When Sun Xiang saw how Ye Xiu’s hand is trembling, he laughed at the former Glory’s number one. He could barely take a hold of One Autumn Leaf! It was obvious he was past his prime to command this avatar!

After being left alone in a special, empty room, he could finally start. He spins the onyx card in his hands before progressing. The faster he does it the better. Even in this state, he can feel how much energy is being emitted from the card. He laid the card on the floor and walked away a bit. He was wearing his grandfather’s hunter gloves. They were made from a strange material and covered in engravings and tech that enabled to use “breaking” if you know how to properly use them.

He waited for a minute.

Two…

Three…

Seven…

But nothing was happening. After getting a bit closer and waiting for the next four minutes, the card finally started glowing. Oh, Sun Xiang always loved this moment.

A silhouette of One Autumn Leaf appeared before him in all its glory. He had to admit it. From up close the spirit looked even more incredible than from crowd or player seat. And the raw power… incredible. He grinned at his victory as he succeeded in creating the bond. He was so happy that he didn’t notice there was something wrong with it.

After a second, everything faded into darkness.

“-Xiang!” ‘Huh?’

“-get-“ “-there-“ ‘What are those voices?’

“Sun Xiang! Snap out of it!” As if woken up from a dream he blinked rapidly taking in his surroundings. He almost tumbled forward when he noticed that he is standing on a window frame. He fell backwards and was caught by Chen Yehui and Liu Hao. They stared at him extremely worried.

Later he found out what happened. After making the bond he must have blacked out. Once he did so, he was seen walking slowly in a daze towards the closest window. Thankfully, Chen Yehui chose to go to talk with Liu Hao and noticed the strange behaviour and called for help. In the end, these two saved his life.

When he finished listening to their story, he started frantically searching for One Autumn Leaf’s card.

Only to find out he didn’t have it. He rushed back to the room leaving the others confused. He was sure they went to look for Tao Xuan. This had to be reported. When he rushed into the room, he managed to catch a glimpse of the card rotating itself only for it to disappear a moment later.

How can he explain this!? What was even worse, it looked that the bond he managed to establish already started to weaken. He has to find the card in the next two weeks or the bond will break and the avatar will be set free.

‘How it even moved its card!?’


 

 

One Autumn Leaf was grumpily sitting on the roof. He kept glancing in the direction where he was sure, Ye Xiu left. Not to mention he could feel his presence there. He was a bit ashamed of his actions. Not the ones against Excellent Era but those against his Ye Xiu. When he was being handled over he started trashing and clawing so hard that even Ye Xiu’s ever-steady hands started to tremble. Because of that Ye Xiu was ridiculed! And it was his fault!

They knew Excellent Era’s machinations but his handler was really too lenient towards his former friends. When he promised Ye Xiu that he will make them pay, the other only gave him a small, tired smile and said:

“I know.”

What was worse, in his weakened state the brat somehow managed to make a bond with him. He ached from it even now. Now he just have to avoid him for two weeks and he will be free to go. He was sitting here through one day already. Well, that and a few other things. He is still thinking about what to do with Liu Hao. He sighed and focused on the warm, shining aura he grew to love over the years.

‘Ye Xiu.’

‘Give me a minute.’ The other’s thought gently nudged him. He felt something was wrong.

‘Ye Xiu.’

‘I told you to give me a minute.’ Now, something was definitely not right.

‘Ye Xiu!’

‘OK, ok. I am coming out. I need to smoke anyway.’

‘What are you doing? What happened?’

‘Don’t try to play an idiot. We talked about it earlier.’ One Autumn Leaf’s face was now so terrifying that even Desert Dust and Troubling Rain would run away in fear.

They talked about it indeed.

Sometimes a monster appeared in the human world. Only avatars and their handlers from Alliance were sent to deal with them because others were simply too weak. But lately… the monsters were getting stronger and started to develop characteristics from various classes. They were harder and harder to deal with. And it all started because humans started to haunt the spirits. The spirits that were weakening the monsters and make them easy to kill. With them being gone. Monsters grew stronger.

At the beginning, there were nine of avatars. No less, no more. The first four joined humans and wanted to coexists. The other five wanted to destroy humanity. The four were: Desert Dust, Vaccaria, Swoksaar and One Autumn Leaf. The others were almost all killed.

Almost.

One has been caught. It was killing the masters so quickly that it was given to a strong-minded family. Su family. This is why Su Mucheng has no parents. This is why Su Muqiu is dead. Not letting Mucheng succumb to her fate, Ye Xiu took the card himself. And for now, it was working.

The only reason why he could persist for so long was because of One Autumn Leaf. Their bond wasn’t normal. Theirs was called a “Blood Bond”. It tied their lives together. If one lives, the other does too. This is how One Autumn Leaf saved Ye Xiu’s life. By bonding them together. Because of that, there was no strain on either side. A perfect balance. No other spirit was crazy enough to bond its life with a mortal like that. And this was also why almost no one knew about it.

‘You used him.’

“It’s kind of obvious you know?’

‘Have you seen him?’

‘No. It’s as if the card is empty. He must have locked himself down seeing he can’t affect me.’

‘That’s possible.’

‘One Autumn Leaf…’

‘What?’

‘The bond… there is another one.’

‘I know. I couldn’t do anything really. I need to hide from the bleached brat for two weeks for it to fade.’

‘Ah. What about you know…’

‘Gave everyone nightmares. I tried to choke Chen Yehui but Liu Hao walked in. I tried to make the brat commit suicide but both Chen Yehui and Liu Hao interrupted.’

‘What about Tao Xuan?’

‘I killed his rat and wrote “PK” on the wall. I think he got the message because he runs out the moment he saw it. Still didn’t come back. Coward.’

‘Tao Xuan doesn’t have a rat… where did you…?’

‘There was one which was making some strange noises.’

‘Are you serious?’

‘What?!’

‘It’s a dog. A chihuahua.’

‘A rodent.’

‘A dog.’

‘A rat.’

‘A dog.’

‘Meh. Go inside now, kid. It’s getting cold.’

‘I am not a kid anymore.’

‘Ye Xiu... That avatar… please be careful.’

‘I will be. Try to rest and be careful yourself.’ They nodded to each other mentally and Ye Xiu went back inside.

One Autumn Leaf was glaring at the Happy Internet Café.

If Lord Grim tries to even touch Ye Xiu… he won’t show mercy like the last time.