There were many health issues that had been ignored. At some point during childhood, everything concerning his own health just became too much to talk about out loud. How could they tell anyone about these things without it sounding like he was ready to fall apart? Yet bit by bit, the young looking man had started talking about things since joining. It hadn't been everything, but maybe that's how the pale ice skinned person ended up on this task. No, it wasn't that. The issues didn't go unnoticed, even if not spoken on. This was what lead him to fixing the large gaping hole that had once existed in the frail sphere that held his existence within their flesh and bones. That's right, this was still a disease. His demon side wasn't the same as having a darker half as it was a legitimate disease. A disease with its own life, its own pulse, but his strong defenses against it had made the issue easy for him to ignore. That definitely made it a ticking time bomb, what made it worse was that in the time this disease was more common? An antidote was never really found, and the only treatments involved trying to help you outlive the burning feverish death that cooked the flesh while it ate the persons magic. If it was removed carefully than he could prevent the spread of a horrible disease that as far as he was aware of only had one infected person left with it. One might think such a fact should have lead Haraka to seek some help out in removing the demonic force within sooner, but there was something useful with being infected with it. This usefulness was also part of the reason that he couldn't argue that this current state wasn't stable.
There was once a country built upon holy ice created by two holy twins. When one made a sacrifice to try to save the people, she was rewarded with death. Since than those nobles found out they needed her, for she was the only thing the lower class believed in. She was the one who had protected them from oblivion. They seeked her again through what little remained of her in the spell that was built to keep the holy country from melting. With each copy that was made, a small bit of her essence was in them. They had hoped if enough of the most perfect ones had been given to the temples in hopes that that the real thing would be born again. It was something the doctor hadn't had to think on, at first because his mother protected him from that fate. After that though? It was something of the past, the ridiculousness and cruelty within that had been ignored. It was easier to ignore the symptom of a bigger issue. It was one of many things that had bricked together the current way of working that the man had been trying so hard to break out of. It wasn't okay to pretend everything was alright. these selfish desires of royalty and nobility had caused many to be born like him, with frail, vulnerable, and damaged souls. All people who would have been born even if that spell hadn't been in effect, that could have lived normal and healthy lives if it hadn't been. This meant the horrible state his soul was in was caused in part by the royal family, his family. The disease had only gotten bad in that country in the first place because of how many there had damaged souls.
A deadly sickness that had demonic properties spread because certain people wouldn't accept the mess they had made, nor the consequences of it. It would have been rare at best if it hadn't been for that. This should all be historical information that had nothing to do with present times, but that would be wrong. It was that demon side that held his frail and cracked soul together in the first place. It also got in the way of the healing to some extent, but at the least it kept everything together. This meant he could function as a normal person so long as that balance was kept. Why couldn't it be enough anymore? It was a lot of work, but it worked, right? The soul damage had only ever been fixed on a deep level in any sort of way when wind had placed the essence of death within him, the creatures blood. Cracks continued to continue to appear no matter how good the elder Omaras seemed to get at figuring out ways to repair soul damage. This prevented him from doing treatments on the deepest parts of his soul, on the cracks that effected things like his physical body. One of those cracks were likely the reason he couldn't physically age. Some were without a shred of doubt the the reason he had trouble using magic in the first place. It caused enough trouble that the man hadn't been able to use any magic for thousands of years. He joined the West Fiore Trading Company in order to stop running, right? It didn't just include the past, or people out for revenge. This meant he even had to stop running from the ticking time bomb of a mess that was the state of the mans health. This was how he ended up taking a wakusei portal to tetsukazu.
The sage that was seeked in one of the portals. Haraka wasn't just blindly picking one of them. He had done some research in some libraries, which wasn't as helpful as one might have guessed it might be in finding the location of someone who had been written about before. Public archives hadn't helped much either. In the end the place he was going to was a lead from people that had been hard to find themselves. It wasn't that good, going to a location based on the word of a few people. This was better than nothing at all though, which was what he had before. But the sage being so hard to find likely meant that this person didn't want to be found. Not being found there would actually explain it if he did find that person in tetsukazu, it wasn't exactly well known for having cities or towns. This was why the vice president was climbing yet another stupid mountain after crossing yet another stupid forest. It wasn't to say he didn't love animals, rocks, trees, and life. He loved all of those things in all their glory. The young looking old man had just been hoping this journey was going to be a lot shorter. Not being able to work was annoying and getting to the location the sage 'might' be at had certainly been taking far more time than he liked. The night was rolling in again, but there was no point in sleeping when one had night vision. The mixed blood continued traveling by foot. It was dawn when the the location was finally reached.
Every muscle felt sore, a headache mixed with a strange loopy feeling had kicked in hours ago sat that point from the lack of sleep. The beautiful pastel colors in the bright morning sky with the sun still making its way up just made the headache worse. It was typically a thing he admired and brought forth a sense of comfort. There was a cave, just as they said. Inside it was a thickly dressed and very annoyed looking grey haired woman. Was that her? ...For someone who doesn't see people very often, she didn't exactly look thrilled to see a new person. "Go away, take a bath, and get some rest. Don't come back." That... wasn't actually anything he expected at all. Had she just said that? After he had come this far? All the work in even trying to find her! "Please, please just hear me out. I've come so far-" The old woman cut him off. "I can smell your effort from here. Wash off and sleep if you want to talk." With that she got up and grabbed a large chunk of flattened carved wood before... shoving it at the caves entrance. At least she didn't say no? But that wasn't exactly a yes either, that was a 'you smell to bad to deal with right now'. Why wouldn't she accept him under slept? Why can't he just wash up and go in? He didn't even need a water source in order to wash up, he could make as many fluids as he needed. Actually, wasn't the last time he cleaned off before he went through the portal? Couldn't actually smell that bad, right...?
It didn't matter what he thought though, only what that sage did. Her current thoughts of him were unlikely to be good, nor would going back in without listening be likely to get her to take a shine to him. So... the mixed blood didn't want to, but he did move from the cave to rest at a lower secure area f the mountain. He woke up with a strange small animal searching their clothes. A small short of water was enough to spook the animal away. Now Haraka didn't want to undress in public, but there wasn't exactly any nearby bathrooms. Clothes were quickly stripped away to allow cleaning. Of course it was after scrubbing away all the sweat and dirt that the pale ice blue skinned person decided their clothes needed a deep clean as well. After everything was clean and dry it was time to head back to the sage to talk them into helping, somehow. So far she didn't actually seem all that keen on people, or maybe just him? Well that was fine, as long as they could just convince her to help. She didn't seem like the type that fancied when people tried to get them to like her. So he climbed back up to where her cave was on the mountain, only to see the wood covering wasn't there anymore. The woman was sitting on the ground with each hand resting on the floor. The sage looked annoyed and bored, but at least wasn't immediately telling him to leave. "Hello miss Julia Copernicus." Oh no, she looked annoyed. Right to the point then? But part of him still wanted to run away from all this. It felt to soon now that he was here, but there was no running anymore.
This was the goal when joining the guild, to not run again. He took a deep breath before speaking again. "I need need help removing my demonic virus." The womans voice responded quite quickly, an annoyed tone to her voice. "Say something I don't know." This wasn't something the doctor had really expected. How many had actually encountered a sickness like this? Well she had and clearly he had but... Asking her how she knew might just annoy her. Don't panic, try to focus. What does she not know? He had no idea. If you don't know then its time to ask questions and sound stupid."May I ask what you know about me?" Her position didn't change, but her eyes certainly seemed to gain an amount of focus that made him a bit more uncomfortable. It was hard to not squirm from the sensation. "You're Haraka Omaras, son of Fennos Omaras. You were born infected and likely started to ruin away from the issue before you even walked. Children don't discard parts of their souls on a whim because they have accepted its the only way to be the hero." He winced a bit. It sounded like she had read quite a few books already. Some of those had definitely involved him. None of them mentioned his sacrifice but there was certainly enough in formation on him to take a guess if you knew enough about the soul.
"Around two years ago I joined a guild called the West Fiore Trading Company because... it was too exhausting to keep running. I've been running forward towards the future to be someone I can look at, that others can rely on, and will ask for help when they need it. Its harder to keep running, but it's more exhausting to keep going backwards. It can't just be with my emotional issues, but physical ones too. At some point I started saying everything was fine and I've said it for so long that I had convinced myself that it was so. I'm here because someone I couldn't ignore said I was a ticking time bomb and needed to take care of it. I'm so terrified, but I would rather be terrified of the unknown than the familiar pains I've been pretending aren't there."
He was terrified of changing so much so fast, of so many things. Even saying everything had been terrifying, but the only way to stop running away was to step forward. He had never been okay. How could he? "Since before I was born... as I ever had to do was listen to the voices of the dead. That's all it would take... They were always there I-" The old woman put one of her hands up, a clear signal for him to stop talking. Did he say something wrong? Crap, did he blow his chance? No, she was motioning him to come closer. Why did he feel intimidated of a frail looking old woman? But still, he found himself slowly walking closer, like a child inching into the living room when they expect something terrible. "This is doable. Follow the dead to find your demonic virus. It's a demon. You will need to tell it to leave and mean it with every fiber in your being, otherwise it will wake up and kill you."
The man froze in his tracks, their deep dark sapphire blue eyes slowly filling with horror. The words had sunk in, but the thought of doing it sounded insane. "The dead will kill me if I follow them!" But she didn't take any of her words back, nor argue against what they would do. He would need to avoid them touching him... while following them. There were a lot of them too. There were so many dead connected to him. "You can always run away." She may have been wise, but this woman had a horrible attitude. Still, he couldn't run. He wanted to so much, it would be so much easier that way. It was terrifying enough to leave his body trembling. Still, this was how she offered to help, right? This was likely something she did herself. That meant it was possible to live though this. What should he do then? He stopped slowly inching over towards the woman, sitting himself on the ground in her cave. If only things would be easier, or more fair. This simple wasn't how the world worked though, it never had. It did what it wanted to and everyone in it were tiny specks that could only scramble to find their way without stumbling too far down. But not it was time to remove his inner demon, the demonic virus. It was the bandage that held things together while causing more bleeding. He didn't want to die, but this was a tricking time bomb. He wanted to get back to the guild, to go home, work, and for once fear less what that group might try in the future. Nobody ever said that going forward would be easy, but why did it have to be so chilling and intimidating?
Even if nobody was going to do it, part of the man just wished someone would hold his hand and say everything would be okay. So now it was time to face it, nothing good would come from further stalling, this was just the fear being well set in. With his eyes closed, the man started to meditate in order to enter within himself without using sleep. Of course as always if its not by rest, entering inside was a vast empty looking space. There were doors, each one would lead to something else. There were cracks, but that was more or less just a reflection of his health. The cracks weren't everywhere anyway. Most space here looked like and endless white, because it was what everything connected to, the injury that created space for spirits to connect to him in the first place. Of course it was time to do it, wasn't it? Follow the whispers and try not to die. "Why does everything in my life always lead back to death? Why, since before i was ever born..." There was a brief feeling of envy before it washed away. Some people would never experience the deepest depths of the darkness, nor have to realize there's much worse waiting around the bend. So many of those voices were ones he knew from different times. They would know he could hear them as soon as he started to react to it. But he had to listen in order to find their door, to get to their location. So with trembling steps he begun to head towards the one with whispering weaving from within.
Stepping inside felt the exact opposite of standing in the core. It was the first time in his life that there was a darkness he couldn't peer through. There was a feeling of countless sets of gazes set on his figure. The whispers sounded more like hushed voices. This was horrifying, if any of the dead touched him here... But there was no point in giving into that fear! Of course this was terrifying. Just like the test Sol gave him when joining the guild, he was over thinking and over complicating everything. Just because everything looked like and endless darkness didn't mean there was nothing to feel. That's right, it was still possible to make everything out. But it was hard to calm down when there was so much fear swirling inside. He would definitely die if the mixed blood just let themselves blindly stumble around! So they started taking a long deep breath, physically and mentally. It was a good reminder that this was through meditating. It would be okay, he was awake enough to calm down and do things properly. The half ice dragon could feel where everything nearby was bit by bit the more they calmed down. That's right, everything would be fine. "Just stay calm so you can continue on with this song until all is finished and done. Damnit Wind!" Even when the spirit wasn't meddling with things the being managed to pop up. That was the sort of thing that breath of death would have said. That crazy dragonfly had influenced him more after he had actually started listening to them. But that was more than alright. As psycho as the creature seemed he was actually very wise. He had been stupid to ignore wind for so long. Because of lost memories the doctor hadn't even been sure if wind was real he had healed enough to remember more.
That's right, if he stayed this way than more precious memories would slip away. You can't write everything down to preserve it, the memory of a memory. Is the memory that a memory existed really anything compared to actually knowing? No, this mess had to stop. The pale ice blue skinned person started to walk through the inky coloration, the air thick with energy and sounds. His movements became a bit quicker once he figured out the direction to move in. Those quiet murmurs started to sound more like hushed voices. There was a fearful sensation that rooted through their being, following meant the voices would get louder. Of course it meant he was getting closer towards the goal of all this. Avoiding touch became a step harder than just stepping over or moving around. It wasn't much harder yet, but the man knew it would more than likely just keep getting worse. Quiet voices spoke words that were garbled and mixed, as if their deaths had coded the voices after not passing on. He had to side step, dodge, and rush in movements now. When or where he did it was muddled by the darkness over everything. The voices were now loud enough to sound like normal talking. Was he almost there? Was he running deeper within himself towards freedom possible, or a certain death? Everything felt chaotic and blurred, the voices were getting louder, too loud. How hard did this really have to be? This was too stressful, but there was no turning back now.
It didn't matter if it would be as easy to end as opening his physical eyes, there was no running away! And he sure as hell wasn't ever doing this again. What did father used to say? "When everything seems mad just take a deep breath, take in your surroundings, and reevaluate." If anything could describe how this moment felt now, it was absolute madness. There was no time to stop and take a deep breath, but the memory had helped them keep it together when falling apart could very well mean loosing their life. The voices where screaming in volume now, it was feeling like running, side stepping, ducking, and dodging wasn't enough anymore. That's how it felt until... it was all silent. The elder Omaras stopped running, falling to his knees. There were bright salt crystals everywhere, illuminating the space. For a moment it felt like this was the resting place he needed. Tears only stopped streaming when the doctor heard a breath. A breath? Wet and tired eyes looked up, spotting why it was quiet. A woman that looked like a full demon. She looked asleep, coating the area in bright sea salt. The same salt he was resting on. That was enough to get Haraka to look over his legs. The salt had eaten through the pants like acid. The fear rushed so fast that the mixed blood nearly stumbled over them self while getting back up. That was the demonic virus, wasn't it? Would failing to remove it mean it would wake up? It was suddenly a lot easier to understand what the sage meant now.
Any pieces of him that had wanted the demon side to remain were instantly lost. This was the most literal and clear representation of it and what it was doing that he had ever seen. It was slowly destroying him from inside, patiently biding its time. This was so... "I want you and whatever poisons you left inside me to leave and never return ever again! Don't even touch my future corpse!" Then like that he was forced out of that space. It was a strange sensation, like getting smacked awake. He wasn't sure if it worked until he started to bleed. This was at least a sign that it was gone. The pieces of his soul couldn't hold together without it, unless... "I accept the blood I have been gifted by my parent, the morning hour dragonfly." Just like that, all hopes and dreams involving ever aging had been dashed by his own lips. It had been a beautiful dream, one where he could wrinkle and become grey. It shouldn't be so upsetting, he was better now. The bleeding had stopped, everything had changed. He couldn't be considered a dragon anymore either, could he? Both things had been tossed aside today. It was going to be a strange adjustment, reddish brown skin instead of pale ice blue, nails instead of talons. Any other details would have to be figured out when he could get in front of a mirror. Looking over at the sage, the man had a feeling that if he didn't leave soon that she would yell at him. But still, at the least.. "Tha-" "Get out." Yep, he was right. So started his journey to get back to the guild...
The Blood of death kept me breathing. From that fluid birthed a new rhythm.