It was all that Johann would see when he opened his eyes, all he could feel around him when he awoke. The scorching desert heat had vanished entirely. There was no trace of sun-bleached rocks or fine sand that piled up in large dunes, or indeed, the beast he had just fought. Within a moment it had been over. He recalled unleashing a good portion of the mana that his runes used, transforming it into force that normally should've crumbled any living thing it encountered like naught more than a piece of paper, but ... it hadn't, and in a moment of genuine honesty with himself, it had shocked the Ambassador, so much so that he had frozen. The next thing he remembered was a lightning-fast shadow that rushed towards him, a dull, heavy impact, and then silence. Johann would've sighed if his lungs had filled with air, but no matter how much he would try, he knew that he wouldn't be able to draw but a single breath. He wouldn't hear the Fairy Tail mage, nor would he be able to acknowledge the arrival of the Rune Knight bunny girl. The wounds he had sustained in this one defining moment weren't simply just scratches and bruises, too severe to be healed by magic earth, too severe for arcane barriers to make any difference. It was a familiar sensation, a familiar sight, and he knew that death had taken him once more."Got a little ahead of yourself, didn't you, vessel?"
. Of course, the Second Seal was here, too. Two souls inseparably linked together meant that if one would transition to limbo, so would the other. He knew that they wouldn't be here for long, though this was one of the rare few times when Johann could physically interact with the Nephilim, its pale and distinct form approaching the other from behind as if walking across a flat of ink-black water. The Ambassador sat up, his gaze staring off into the darkness. "I underestimated the thing, yes"
, the silver-haired man replied without looking at the Seal, instead closing his eyes. "Is that all? Weren't you a little bit ... reluctant there, hm?"
, the deep voice would ask, a snicker accompanying the question, the Nephilim already knowing the answer. Mars, of course, could feel what Johann felt, see what the other saw, and vice versa, and so had sensed the moment of hesitation when the man could've fallen back on the Seal's power. "You will die, over and over and over, if you choose to ignore the gifts that have been bestowed upon you, Johann. Use my powers. Free me, if you must"
. Johann scoffed. He recalled with perfect clarity the last time he had listened to Mars' words on Kenrojima. The Nephilim had said similar things, and in the end, all that it had brought him and the others there was suffering. Even though he had stopped his onslaught just
before losing control entirely, it had still been a massacre. "I refuse. I am not a beast like you, and I will not become one"
The Nephilim chuckled, his arms wrapping around the Ambassador from behind, though the man remained unmoving. "You already are, my dear vessel. We are one and the same, or have you forgotten our little agreement?"
. Johann's mind would involuntarily evoke images of the Cursed Lands on a day that had passed a several years ago, his brows brows inching closer together as he opened his eyes once more. He would repeat his refusal once more, his tone growing more insistent. "I will not become like you"
. "Fine with me ..."
, the Seal would reply with a wide grin, the embrace of his arms loosening as Mars stood up, "... but while you lie here, reveling in your own suffering, the Fairy Tail mage is still fighting the beast. Will he have a chance without your help? Tssehehe"
. Johann's eyes widened. Mars ... the Nephelim was right. If Johann was having trouble with the beast, what would that mean for Aven Alveron? Or any other mage who wasn't as strong as either one of them? Johann felt anger well up from within him, confronted with the fact that, from a realistic standpoint, he had no choice in this matter, and he had been too naive to realize it sooner. He stood up, red eyes, dominated by the same anger, falling upon the Nephilim as the Ambassador turned around. "Fine. Open the Seal and take care of the thing, but I want you to hand control back to me as soon as it's done. No adventures, no risks, or I will personally rip your soul from this vessel. Do you understand me?"
. The man's expression remained stern, though he would stretch out his hand. The Nephilim grinned broadly, flashing his sharp teeth. "But of course, oh my dear vessel ..."
. Mars would stretch out his own arm, his pale hand wrapping around that of the Ambassador tightly.
At once, the seemingly unconsciouss Johann would rip open his eyes with a gargled breath, revealing that the white in his sclerae had been replaced by a sanguine red, the formerly normal, red irises twisted into reptile-like slits suspended within his oculars. The vessel's lungs were filled with blood, a cough expelling most of the red fluid from his mouth as he raised himself up. Of course, it was now no longer Johann who was in control of this body, Mars firmly taking the reigns as the consciousness that guided the vessel's actions, a broad, toothy grin spreading across the Ambassador's face. Raising a hand to his head, he would, with some force, snap his neck back into place with a sickening crack, all othe injuries he had incurred healing within a matter of moments. Deep gashes in his skin and flesh closed instantly, broke bones snapped back into place, damaged tissue and organs would restore themselves back to a perfect condition as if he had not suffered damage in the first place. Simultaneously, a profoundly unsettling aura would begin to permeate from the possessed vessel, spreading out for hundreds, thousands of meters around him, steeped in a feeling of deep rage and killing intent. Slowly, the man would rise until he stood back at his full height, though he had lost his coat and hat somewhere along the way with the last attack, his face and remaining clothing smeared with blood, the demonic eyes falling onto the creature once more and paying the other two mages only little mind. A deep, almost distorted voice would echo forth from the man with an amused cackle.
"Looks like it's time for us to play ...".
1,116Personal Word Count Total: