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The Dark Side

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“Oh? In this case… You touch anything or anyone here and I will touch you with my pistol.” Said another voice, this time from in front of him.  

He was surrounded.  

The one who was the nearest and standing with a gun uncomfortably close to his head and with vicious glare was Su Mucheng.  

Behind her with a cannon stood Dancing Rain. When he looked at who was holding another gun, he frowned. 

He didn't know who it is. Sun Xiang knew that he is looking at an avatar but he didn't recognise its name nor class. Was it a Spitfire? He has only one gun. Then he looked at Mucheng’s weapon. It was the same as the unknown’s one. He must be a Sharpshooter then. 

‘It can’t be worse…' He thought. But the world must be hating him. 

"A shame I don’t have a gun. It… it would be more interesting this way.” Said One Autumn Leaf that was slowly standing up while groaning loudly. Sun Xiang took a small step away from the avatar remembering how effortless it was to make him almost commit suicide. Not to mention that reading his grandfather's journal made him conscious of how dangerous was the Battlemage even before joining Excellent Era. One thing is facing an unconscious avatar but it's completely different if it's awake.  

The first generation was truly something to be feared of. 

Su Mucheng hastily threw the gun towards the unknown Spitfire who caught it effortlessly. She practically hauled One Autumn Leaf onto his feet and started to check him over to see whether he was hurt in any way. The avatar closed his eyes and silently endured Mucheng’s groping.  

A mere seconds later he looked much better. As if nothing occurred.  

First time from their previous encounter Sun Xiang locked eyes with One Autumn Leaf. And then he immediately looked away. There was something in avatar’s gaze that made him extremely nervous.  

Sun Xiang almost yelped when a cannon touched his back. And it didn’t help when the Sharpshooter came closer, one hand aiming at his head and other at his chest and positioning himself between One Autumn Leaf who was being almost dragged away from Sun Xiang. 

After that, Sun Xiang tried to look at what is happening but Sharpshooter before him kept blocking his view. He could only hear how Su Mucheng ushered the avatar to go with her inside her room. 

One Autumn Leaf’s card disappeared most likely taken by his teammate. 

Now that he was left with those two avatars, he had no idea what to do. One shot from any of those weapons and he will be nothing more but a pool of blood. 


 

 

One Autumn Leaf was confused as hell.  

From what he could sense, he was most likely laying on the floor. But it wasn't something he cared about now. 

He finally got a message from Ye Xiu. Unfortunately, he couldn’t comprehend it all because he was still regaining lost power. Ye Xiu was giving back energy he took steadily in small amounts to not shock him more than it is necessary. But the fact that he couldn’t move didn’t mean he can’t ask the human what is going on right now. 

One Autumn Leaf didn't know what to say when instead of an answer he got a visual from Ye Xiu.  

The Battlemage remembered his brother very clearly as if their last meeting was a mere moments ago... this is also why he was so horrified to see the state the older avatar was in. Even more rage boiled within him. He didn't know whether be angry at himself, Excellent Era, Sun Xiang, Ye Xiu, his raised-from-the-dead brother, the human race or the whole world. But as soon as he went furious, he felt as the anger left him.  

‘Damn you Ye Xiu.’ He thought. Because he knew that the sudden disappearance of hatred was his doing. It was as if he had a personal emotional sponge. He could only mentally groan in annoyance as he always does.   

After that, he looked closely at their bond. And stared confused at what he is seeing.  

Ye Xiu always was a bit different. When looked at in the way he does now, instead of the human was a burning source of energy. Of course, One Autumn Leaf, with his large appetite for it, literally wrapped him up in his own energy and bond wisps. It also managed to hide Ye Xiu away from other avatars.  

This time, his bond with Ye Xiu was a tad bit weaker, his own few wisps ripped away or nudged aside and in their place were ones that belonged to Lord Grim.  

But he himself had no link with the avatar.  

Ye Xiu was like a buffer between them. At the same time, he felt the fear for his human subside. With such a bond formed, Lord Grim can’t do a thing. Why? One order from Ye Xiu and he will have to do it. Nah. Far from that. He will willingly do it. 

This was the crueller side of the bond. 

Ye Xiu has a very strong mind. If he wills One Autumn Leaf to do something, the avatar won’t even notice that the will is not his own and do it, thinking it was his own idea to do it.  

Lord Grim was extremely stubborn and resilient so he will most likely recognise it's Ye Xiu who wants him to do something but will do it anyway.  

How it works the other way? If One Autumn Leaf wants something, Ye Xiu, as long as it is possible to him and agrees on, will do it. Given his hypersensitivity, he will do it even before the avatar will be aware of it or without the other requesting it. It was like being an empath but only for avatars. This ability was further enhanced with the bond they had. Moreover, it enabled a better communication, basically using telepathy, while other avatars had to verbally communicate with their handlers.  

It also led to funny situations since they could talk even when One Autumn Leaf was inside Glory. 

Anyway... 

One Autumn Leaf sighed and finally managed to move and open up his eyes... only to be greeted by the sight of a human he yearned to die as fast as possible.  

Thankfully, it seemed that Su Mucheng, Dancing Rain and even Autumn Tree was on the sight and stood with their weapons aimed at Sun Xiang.  

Truly a shame he didn’t have a gun to join in. 

He tried to stand up but his energy levels were still quite low. He barely took notice of what was happening around him, fully focused on Ye Xiu and replenishing his own reserves.  

When he finally received over 70%, he started to pay attention to his surroundings. It was the minimum level he could work on. A bad habit of reaching to Ye Xiu the moment he has even a slight energy drop led to increasing the minimum. It wasn't anything good but he never anticipated that the human won't be there to back him up.  

Apparently, he was dragged away by Su Mucheng into her room. Speaking about her... Mucheng was staring intensely at him, her almost ever-present smile was different this time.  

‘Oh shit.’ He thought. 

It was THIS smile. 

The 'you fucked up badly' smile. 

But then it dropped.  

One Autumn Leaf could feel his chances to get out without questioning plummeting and hitting the bottom of hell.  

In a span of one day, he managed to anger Ye Xiu and disappoint him and get on Su Mucheng’s bad side.  

This day was getting better and better.   


 

 

When Lord Grim managed to get to his senses, he felt as if he were about to die. Again.  

Why again...  

He tried to remember what happened but it was all vague.  

He reluctantly checked his energy levels and noticed they were at almost striking 50%! How did he gain so much?! But unfortunately, it was hastily dropping because he used it to heal himself.   

40%  

30%  

10%  

He can work on 1% just fine. After all, it was the amount humans kept him at.  

Then why did it increase?  

It was something that kept gnawing at his mind.  

The pain was still there but he got accused to it. The pain was good. It meant he was still alive. But... he was dying...  

And then he remembered how he is still alive.   

The lockdown on his card was removed when someone started to use it. But to use it, one has to at least give the feel of their energy.  

And he remembered how he latched onto the energy source when it got close enough.  

Lord Grim opened his eyes, not blind anymore, to take in his surroundings.  

The first thing he knew was that he laid in a bed. And holy shit that felt good. Well, anything is better than concrete, steel table and hanging mid-air chained to the ceiling. He still couldn’t move much but his movement wasn’t hindered. Also, this ceiling was much different.  

He looked to the side to see a human staring lazily at him. No lab coat, no evil and wicked grin, no look that made him uncomfortable, not even a gun in hand. And that was confusing. Humans didn’t look like that, right?   

He searched deep down into memory to find that humans not wearing those or a gun truly existed.  

He looked at the background. Was he in some sort of storage?  

He could see but could barely hear what the human was saying. When Lord Grim didn’t answer, the strange person before him shifted and said something again, this time shifting head to the side. When he again didn’t utter a word, the strange man raised his arm.  

The avatar closed his eyes and waited for beating, cutting and probing...  

Only to be further confused.  

With a twinge of curiosity, he opened his eyes to see that the human placed his hand on the bed, just within his reach.   

And then he stared mesmerised and totally confused at the energy dancing on the palm before him. Lord Grim shifted to lay on his side, which he started to regret the moment he did so but it enabled him to get a better look at what he is seeing. He had seen once a human that could manipulate his energy but it didn’t compare to the light show he was now receiving. He didn’t even have to look at the special plane to see the dancing golden tendrils changing into different shapes.   

What was this human doing?  

What did he want to accomplish by doing this?  

Was this some kind of trap?  

But then he thought, what kind of shitty trap it might be if it only gives him more strength to break free.   

Lord Grim lifted his own hand to hover it over the golden marvel.  

What is wrong with this human?  

Is he willingly giving him the energy?  

It looked like that. Even so, Lord Grim was still wary of the human before him and retracted his hand and looking around as if to anticipate something. But there was nothing.  

It was concerning.   

A human not wanting to kill him or cut him or whatever else was already suspicious.  

And then he chose to close his eyes to check something.  

He stared dumbly at the bond between himself and the mysterious human.  

‘Oh, no, no, no, no, no!’ Like hell he is will let himself be bonded!  

So, without even considering it, he tried to break it, stretch it, cut it... but he could do nothing.   

Tears welled up in his eyes. Why he couldn’t break it!? He looked closer at the bond and stopped short when he recognised the type. No wonder he can’t break it.   

A blood bond .  

With a human.  

He looked up at the unmoving presence before him only to make a double take on it. And then he looked to the side. Was that another avatar? It seemed so.   

He frantically tried to remember where did he saw such energy pattern. It was like a fingerprint on avatars. But that wasn’t important now. The type of the bond the other had with the same human...  

A...  

Double bond?  

WHAT!?  

He exited the special plain and recoiled from the man before him, hitting the wall in the process.   

He gasped in agony. He was so tired he wished he could just... die and be over it.  

If he could, he would have jumped as something made a contact with his outstretched hand. He opened his eyes to see that the human leaned closer to him, still stubbornly stretching his hand.   

If it’s a trap and the man before him will try to harm him, he will die this time, right?  

He will die sooner than later without the energy, so FUCK IT.  

He moved his own hand to lay down onto the proposed palm. He closed his eyes in content when the energy started to slowly replenish. He silently thought about another avatar.  

His eyes snapped open when he realised who was it.   

No wonder he has a blood bond without remembering doing so!  

It was someone he never wanted to see again.  

One Autumn Leaf  

 

 

tbc.