Renovation, Gummi Ship "Renovation's Might"
"As for me and the Master of Trickery, we will be going to seal the world's Keyhole - A Keyhole is a special entrance into the Heart of the World, which if left open will allow the Heartless to eat the World's Heart and doom it to being consumed by Darkness.""Tocsax, I don't think Yuuta can go. He's pretty much incapacitated."
As soon as Astus finished speaking, Yuuta stumbled out of the hallway leading to the pantry holding an empty bottle of wine."Let's kill 'em! I'm going to rip the silly man's moustache off and wipe my ass with it!"
Yuuta then did a couple of inappropriate ballet spins and cartwheeled up to Hirutila. "See, a gun's a pretty little instrument of death. Point the nozzle, pull the trigger, and phsew pshew pshew! Death sauce will splatter over the ground and that insufferable asshole you've wanted dead all your life is dead! Ka-bam!"
His speech was accompanied by wild gestures and motions, reminiscent of a certain little dimwit
."Don't worry, I can explain."
The Day Before
Astus had struck another bargain. For a long time, his bargains and deals meant nothing much to him. What else would they cost but a ruined day for an unfortunate simpleton, anyway? However, this one was different. This one would cost the fate of the Merged World, the only place that he could ever come back to when all of this was over.
He began learning how to cast Aero. At first, he began visualizing a tornado, ravaging the landmasses of the earth and sending them into disarray. He got very tired from that, and then remembered that he was not exactly Astus. He wasn't the cosmic being who could cause discomfort with a single premonition, rather than that, he was a wimpy little house cat. He closed his little cat eyes once more and envisioned a ball of yarn, except that it was formed by raging air currents. He opened his eyes and saw it in front of him.
Within moments Astus took to manipulating wind in its purest and most essential form. He first used it to propel himself upwards. He then used it to create a miniature tornado. Things got out of hand quickly, and Astus, having used up so much mental energy, forgot that he was in the pantry. He ended up coating the walls with mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, squashed tomatoes, and many other foodstuffs he wasn't familiar with. After using Aero again to fly across the walls and wipe them with an assortment of towels, he sat down and meditated to regain his lost strength. He then popped another telepathic message into Yuuta's mind.Yuuta, we need to talk.Are you Astus? Do you possibly need anything from a wee little mortal like me? As a matter of fact, yes. Our world is in grave danger.I thought I'd never agree with Astus himself, but hey, you're right. Diplomats keep stuffing their pockets with tax money, gangs keep splitting the heads of helpless people open, and I can't get a damn job. Yes, those are certain, but they, and many other atrocities committed upon our people, and caused by the divergence of the World of the Gods and the World of Man. To put it rather bluntly, God and Man cannot live without each other. Without Man, the Gods will become primordial masses of cosmic energy, and Man will fall into disarray and wage war with one another.Wait, weren't the two worlds always, uh, together? Like, they were two places but also one place?
Astus tightened the psychic bond between the two of them in case anyone tried to listen to their telepathic conversation. He was sensitive to fluctuations in mental energy, so he could react to any unwanted listeners and even punish them. However, other powerful beings might've sneaked onto the ship, and it was better to be safe than sorry.Ideally, that is the case. However, they are moving apart. You can't feel it, being the mortal you are, but I can. Now listen to me and, for your own sake, keep this between us. I've observed that Light and Darkness are two forces that keep the world in balance. While those people have tasked you with fighting in order to preserve Light, I theorize that we instead need to fight to retain the balance between Light and Darkness. The realm of the Gods, being the moral guardians of the world, may primarily contain Light, and the realm of Man, who are capable of free thought and therefore harm, may be attributed to Darkness. The divergence of the worlds might be caused by an imbalance between the two. We at least need to retain the natural order in our world, and to do that, we must partake on certain actions here that might diverge from the goals of Tocsax and the rest of the group. In fact, I hate to say it, but I think I agree with Leo the Second Mathematician. What kind of lame stripper name is Leo the Second Mathematician?Were you even listening?I think you lost me before you even started. You're making my head hurt.
Astus cut the psychic connection between the two of them and approached Yuuta in order to make an even stronger connection. If he couldn't convince that simple-minded two-bit troglodyte to cooperate with him, then he'd force
him to do so. He needed manpower, and that manpower was going to be Yuuta.
"Sorry kupo, but all the paperwork and scheduling got to me and I got you on the wrong ship!""What are you talking about? That Tocsax guy and his merry crew are here."
"Actually, I think nothing bad really came out of it. There was a siege on the castle that the crew was brought to, and they might've been really hurt!"
Yuuta laughed to himself and smiled until he saw a visibly disturbed kid holed up in a corner of the ship. "Actually, something bad came out of it. I could've saved that kid from almost getting killed or whatever happened and she wouldn't have been that shaken up. Say sorry to her. Also, shower her with candy from the pantry or something. I heard that works."
The Moogle was about to protest as there was another Moogle already taking care of the kid, but the thought of Yuuta appearing behind it and chopping its head off entered its mind and it headed off to the pantry, drafting the curtest apology it could give in its mind. As it headed off towards a hallway, Astus came out of it.
Astus concentrated, and without any warning, his consciousness began to merge with Yuuta's. Given that Yuuta was sleepy, he could've easily issued him some commands. However, to truly manipulate someone, one must know who he is inside and out. Astus visualized a simple hallway, much plainer than the gummi ship's ornate ones, and began to rush down the metaphysical memory lane.
"Aaaaaaaand that's a twenty-one!"
Yuuta wore a massive shit-eating grin on his face as Hans and another idiot gasped at what they were seeing: a six, nine, and another six. In order to win a game of blackjack, one must either be dealt the right combination of cards valued higher than the dealer's cards without exceeding 21 or risk everything on getting a 21. Usually, blackjack players only dealt with luck and misfortune, but Yuuta didn't. By memorizing the cards that had been dealt and the pattern the tired dealer always used to shuffle them and using his enhanced senses years of training had given him, Yuuta knew which position he needed to be in order to get a blackjack, a pair of cards valued at 21. All he had to do was inconspicuously switch places with Hans, and the money was his for the taking.
What a slimy excuse for a human being. Astus dived deeper.
"Go, Shizue! Show 'em that cleavage equals power!"
"Did you seriously bet on Shizue just because she was a looker?"
Yuuta, Hans, and the rest of the idiot gang were crowded in front of a TV. In the Eastern Lands, instead of playing volleyball, girls in sportswear fought each other with various magic weapons and martial arts across marked arenas reminiscent of volleyball courts. However, these courts were levitating on Magitek-powered platforms and if one girl got hit too hard, she'd fall off the arena. The winning team would be the one with the last remaining player. Most people voted on players based on their records, but Yuuta voted Shizue because she was "cute as heck". Needless to say, he walked away with his pockets empty.
Astus was getting tired of Yuuta's horseshit, so he decided to take a leap. He forced himself out of the hallway, making a small hole in it, and reentered it at a further part. As he re-entered, however, the hallway had become a stony dungeon beset by chains, rusty blades, and faceless prisoners hiding behind wilting bars. As he went further, his body yelled at him for pushing against a force he understood yet still found immensely dreadful.
What he saw made him nauseous.
He saw a battlefield stained with blood and sweat and whatever bodily fluids were left of the people and creatures that fought in a grand war. The ground was dry and cracked, the sky grey and lifeless, and what little light the sun seemed to emit revealed horrors no living being would ever wish to see. Whatever life the Gods had given Man was so utterly violated. What were once living men and women with families to attend to and goals to fulfill were now corpses helplessly strewn about the ground. A man in cracked battle-armor raised his hand and gasped for breath, then fell into a void so empty and lifeless that he couldn't comprehend it.
A young boy painted the unmistakable red of carnage walked around aimlessly. Whatever ambition he had was robbed by the sight of those rotten pigs raising the white flag, a symbol of the very hopelessness they had so greedily avoided. At one point he fell to the ground and clenched his teeth."DAMN IT ALL! DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!"
Tears made their way from his eyes to the ground his crippled hands touched. He cried, and his cries made the earth shake, along with everything that wearily rested upon it. He punched the ground, sending cracks rushing as far as they could. Those diplomats and politicians that had negotiated the end of the war thought they heard thunder, and drove away in their flying ships at full speed. The boy cried and cried until he heard a voice, a faint light that glimmered in the vast abyss he had fallen into."Yuuta?"
The boy turned around to see a familiar figure wearing a ponytail, dressed in green robes, and carrying an unsheathed sword."Elise?"
He then rushed over to her and hugged her with all his might. Finding such warmth within the coldness of the battlefield gave him more comfort than he ever needed. "Are you okay? Do you need any help?"
Elise did not need to answer. As soon as the boy took his hands of her, he saw them soaked in the same red his body was drenched in. He then saw her body leaning heavily against him, her breathing becoming more rushed and agonized. She tightened her grasp around his hips, pulling at the only hold she had left on what was alive and what wasn't. Her breathing ceased, her rival-turned-dear friend desperately tried to shake her awake, and she drifted away.
And with that, Yuuta let out a scream that pierced the heavens.
Astus wrestled the force that strangled and choked him. He had trouble visualizing it, he couldn't in the midst of all that was happening. Slowly, he tried to close his eyes and imagine a being of pure hatred, one that he'd encountered and dealt with before. Everything is okay
, he assured himself, things won't go downhill from here
He opened his eyes and saw Yuuta, his body lined with scars and wounds, lifting Elise's blade upon him. For that moment, he had stopped being a God.
Astus cried, shook, shouted, he did everything that denoted shock and fear. He closed his eyes again and shut out everything. From there, he opened them again, not to see Yuuta, but to see his own little cat body cowering before the colossal figure of an enraged man bringing a sword upon him.
His view zoomed out and his eyes flew upwards. His own body was nothing but a small dot, but the apparition was now just the size of a regular person. It went further and further until he was only a speck of light, a small fragment of existence, lying across an endless sea of stars and celestial bodies. Soon enough, all those were but a stain on an otherwise perfectly empty universe.
Whether you were a God or a Man, you were but a tiny and insignificant part of the world around you. Astus took comfort in such a thought. It meant that he was no different from any living being, whether they were weaker or more powerful than he. Everything was bound by Fate and Fate alone.
Yuuta sure wouldn't.
"Do you understand the struggles of being thrust into a situation so unusual that it makes you feel completely helpless? Yuuta here definitely did. That's why he went to the pantry and downed at least thirty different kinds of alcoholic beverages and is now currently able to fight or do anything that will benefit the team."
However, it was too late. Yuuta had already stumbled into a Gummi Shuttle and set it off."Either that, or Leo and his forces are at work here. By looking at footage of the recent incident, I've seen how efficient they are at sabotaging our efforts. I will investigate further. Anyways, have a great trip, you beautiful people!"
Astus then gave Tocsax a telepathic message.Could you give me some time to telepathically sober up Yuuta? He can't be that far away, I might still be able to establish a psychic bond with him.
(i'm editing my character post for real tomorrow)