Book 3 Chapter 170

Losing Control

Leguna left after Kurdak's explanation. He returned an hour later and went to Eirinn's room. Her hands had yet to heal completely, so he didn't want her to move unnecessarily.

"Innie's left?" he asked.

"Yes. She said it's time we left, so she went to bed early," Eirinn answered.

"Isn't she a bright one?" Leguna laughed.

Innilis was naïve, but sharp.

"I like Innie. And she likes you a lot."

"... I think it's mostly because of what I did for her," Leguna scratched his head awkwardly.

"What about you? What do you think of her?"

"I… She's like a little sister..."

"She doesn't treat you like a big brother." Eirinn smirked.

"Let's not talk about this now," Leguna forced a smile, "I have to tell you something."

"Oh? What?"

Leguna sat down and told her what really happened to Cook.

"Don't worry, the one who killed him is in the ground as well."

"Really..." Shadow flashed across the girl's eyes.

"I did this for your sake."

"He didn't hurt me, though," she murmured, "Why kill innocent people? It won't bring Mister Cook back."

"He's not innocent. Mister Cook is definitely not the first person he's had killed and he certainly wouldn't have been the last. I've saved countless lives by killing him."

"But how many have you killed? How many will you kill? Can't someone else make the same argument for killing you?" Eirinn asked hesitantly.

"You!" A trace of anger flashed. His gaze became unbearably cold.

However, Eirinn stared back fearlessly. She knew many had died by her big brother's hands, but she wasn't afraid of him because he promised he hadn't changed. At the very least, he was still the same towards her.

Leguna's stare only lasted a few seconds. He humphed coldly and clapped.

The fat owner came into the room, shivering. She didn't understand what was going on. Leguna had killed somebody in her tavern before, but he had promised he wouldn't hurt her. So, though she was on edge, she wasn't frightened so much she felt she had to flee. Earlier, however the kid burst through the door to her room and demanded she follow him.

She had no idea what was going on, but the kid's eyes told her what was going to happen to her. His black pupils looked at her like she was prey, about to be devoured and spat out like rotten meat. When the image of what happened to the bandits crept into her mind, she started sweating and shivering. But, no matter how afraid she was, she didn't dare try to escape. Running would only make her situation worse.

"This sow poisoned Mister Cook. What will you do about it?" Leguna drew Ebony and slapped it against the owner's swollen face.

"No...no... I didn't kill Cook... I didn't! I had nothing to do with it!" she wailed like a witch about to be burned at the stake.

"Shut up! I'll have your tongue if you don't.

"Don't do this," Eirinn interrupted.

"Eirinn... Eirinn... I admit I didn't treat you very well, but I gave you food and a place to stay. I never beat you! Help me! Please stop him! I know you're a good person, a fine lady! Gods above, I beg you!"

"I might think about considering letting you keep your life, but only if you admit what you did." Leguna hissed, tugging on the owner's hair.

"It was me! I poisoned him!" she yelped, "The syndicate forced me to do it! He said he'd kill me if I didn't! I had no choice!"

"Then there's nothing to be said. You killed someone who didn't deserve to die, you should die as well to pay back the karma," Leguna said matter-of-factly as he raised Lighteater.

"Big Brother!" Eirinn cried and jumped at him. She grabbed the hand holding the blade, her eyes bloodshot, "Didn't you say you'd leave this to me?"

"What? You want to let her go?" Leguna frowned, "She killed your benefactor!"

Eirinn didn't answer.

"I owe Mister Cook a debt for saving you. This is the only way I can repay it. I will kill her." Leguna shook his hand free and raised it again.

"No!" Eirinn reached for his hand again, but Leguna shoved her aside. She was a frail girl to begin with, and her years as a slave and her recent wounds did nothing to remedy that. She staggered and fell on her back.

{Brat, snap out of it!} Gahrona roared.

Leguna came to his senses again. He immediately turned to Eirinn and helped her up.

"You alright? Eirinn?"

He could not believe what he'd just done.

"I'm fine." Eirinn mumbled, her face was full of tears. "Big Brother... What's going on? You... you shouldn't act like this..."

"I... I..." Leguna shook his head. "I don't know..."

"Can you please... let the owner go?"

"Fine."

"You owe Eirinn your life, not that it's worth anything. You will swear on pain of eternal suffering that you will not say or write or mime a word of what happened."

"I won't say a word! I swear!"

"Fine. Get lost."

Eirinn felt like the boy standing next to her was a complete stranger. He looked like Leguna, but he wasn't. For his part, Leguna couldn't look at Eirinn.

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay," Eirinn shook her head, "I only fell. But Big Brother, you..."

"I don't know why I did that," Leguna sighed, "But I promise this won't happen again!"

"Okay..." The half-elf nodded.

"Okay--" Leguna took a deep breath. "--Get some rest. We'll leave for Melindor tomorrow. Don't tell anyone."

"I won't. But you have to promise you will tell me if you need help. We'll help you anyway we can."

"I promise," Leguna nodded.

......

Leguna rolled around in his bed, unable to sleep. He couldn't stop thinking about what had happened. He had this nagging feeling that something wasn't right about him, like there was a shadow, a dark side to him, growing somewhere inside him. But, no matter how hard he looked, he couldn't find it. It was as elusive as a shadow at the edge of his vision. He would think he'd noticed it, but when he turned his eyes to look, it was gone.

{You've been bloodthirsty for a couple of days now. You go into a kind of trance when you kill people,} Gahrona poked.

{What's going on with me?}

{I don't know either. But you've been out of control for a while now."

{What should I do?}

{I will keep an eye on you. Make sure you control yourself better. And... it's best if you use Host of Darkness as little as possible.}

{Host of Darkness? What does that have to do with it?}

Host of Darkness was his most powerful ability, the core of his strength. If he stopped using it, he would be just another weakling who couldn't protect the people about whom he cared!

{I don't know, but I can't shake the feeling it's linked to your recent troubles. It might be that Host of Darkness injects shadow aspect power into your body and converts it into a kind of shadow matter. I believe you...} Gahrona paused, {can't be considered human in that state.}

{Then what am I?} Leguna didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Could he become a dog using Host of Darkness?

{A shadow creature. Your body is pure shadow aspect energy. Most shadow realm beings are like that.}

{I...} Leguna was shocked.

{Shadow creatures have no feelings and can't feel pain, but they're sentient and filled with bloodlust. You behaved a lot like they do when you use Host of Darkness.}

Leguna mulled over her words. He'd used Host of Darkness a lot in this last month and a half. His teacher might just be right. This might be a side-effect of using Host of Darkness.

{It's only a guess. Just pay careful attention to yourself from now on. We still don't know much about your abilities, but we should learn more as time passes.}

{I hope so...}


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