Prologue: A Mess


The start of the next book! Yay!

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A thank you for another month to Charles, Dave, and Turean! ❤


Prologue: A Mess

“It failed?”

“Yes, it failed. Did you think we would be 100% successful? Maybe, if you had allowed me to collect data the first time I proposed we do this the results would be different.”

“Don’t blame me for your inadequacies, Sulma. I did warn you that shooting for efficiency was the wrong mindset at the start.”

“At the start? Yeah, a century ago before you abandoned me and this project. So don’t talk like you understand the intricacies of the magic I created ALONE.”

“Whatever, so, tell me the results of the failure. My name is riding on this too now I’m the one who secured the last of the materials mind you.”

“Haaa, fine let me look at the log again.”

“Let me see… All inputs were correct, data, soul traces, astral, and even essence. For good measure, the bus was included. However, warnings began to show up the moment the transfer was about the complete. We don’t know the exact cause yet, but we do know it has to do with the summon location. Meaning we shouldn’t have expected mana to compensate the change in astral coordinates of two different worlds.”

“Mana didn’t compensate… I wouldn’t have expected it either…I wonder if it was due to their bodies not possessing no mana at all?”

“Possibly we think so too, but we’re in the preliminaries of the investigation to adjust future uses.”

“There is more than just this right?”

“Yes, the souls did complete the transfer we know that for a fact. However, they instantly entered the flow of reincarnation when their bodies did not appear with it.”

“When you say bodies you mean internal ones as well?”

“Correct.”

“So, where did these souls go?”

“…”

“Don’t just smile and shrug. This is a huge deal! What the hell am I going to tell the sixth cardinal? He’s the one backing us. Scale herself might smite me down if this turns into something big. Their souls are ticking time bombs with the amount of power they can wield are they not?”

“…”

“Stop shrugging! Ahhh, I feel a headache. Every time I visit you and this stupid dingy lab I get these horrible migraines.”

“I was joking.”

“…”

“Wait so we succeeded!”

“No, no. It failed.”

“Ahhh, my head! It’s coming back.”

“I mean I was just joking about the souls scattering off in random directions.”

“Oh? My head, it’s feeling a bit better… go on…”

“We planned for possible failures. As in bodies and no souls, or souls and no bodies. When the souls arrived without their bodies we turned to the compensating plan. The souls, while we couldn’t have total control, they should have reincarnated within the Scale Allegiance.”

“Ohh! This is good!”

“I knew you would like that.”

“Ahem, while it is unfeasible to send the few soul experts to go look for them and I also very much doubt Laurent would grant us use of his akashic orb. They should show an extreme to ridiculous levels of growth.”

“So they’ll stand out in time for us to recruit them young. Does this mean there is no longer a need to forcefully control them?”

“They probably won’t get their memories back so instilling our values should be enough for them to fight for us. I think it better this way do you not?”

“No, I agree it is better. Honestly, I didn’t like the idea of having them captive who knows when they would finally snap and bite back.”

“My thoughts too. If they don’t get their memories by the time they are finished being apostles then it will be impossible for them to recover their ‘old’ selves.”

“It’s odd to call this a failure when the outcome was this good…”

“No, it is a failure for the initial goals.”

“What happens if, no, I should say when they reach strength above us? Do you think they would be angry if they found out?”

“If they don’t have their ‘self’ of their past lives I doubt that would you be angry about possibly becoming the personal disciple for the Goddess herself?”

“True…”

“I’ll go report this, we should be good enough to warrant more funding and personnel. I’ll message you when I’m done. Maybe they’ll grant you a better lab…”

***

“Can you move any faster? We need to get out of here especially with me in his err my body…”

“I’m trying, but I’m not used to having legs Eurval. I keep lifting my hands when I try to walk faster. Where are we going anyways?”

“We are leaving the UNSA as fast as we can.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because Laurent killed Lucid, Alra.”

“What! Master is dead!?”

“Alra! Come back right now! Where do you think you’re going?”

“I’m going to go get revenge so don’t stop me!”

“I said killed, not that Lucid is dead. The shard wouldn’t have fused with each of us had he really died. Not counting the fact that you’re a little kid in both forms, Laurent would squash you in an instant…”

“So master is alive! Then let’s go look for him!”

“That’s what we’re going to do. First, we need to leave the populated areas. I’m sure someone like Laurent wouldn’t want word that he killed Lucid for the ether shard to get out. Then we can start trying to figure out what to do.”

“So, hurry up let’s go and don’t call Lucid ‘master’, just call him Lucid.”

“Alright, coming~”

***

A splitting headache attacked me waking me from sleep.

—Uhhhh
I groaned as my body felt completely sore.

“Laurent!” My eyes shot open remembering the man that had killed me.

Or so I thought.

The familiar smell of rotting flesh greeted my nose and the sticky-slimy sensation covered my entire body as if coated in the sour muck of undead.

Did they just dump me in a mass grave?

Eurval have you heard anything?

Nothing.

Worse I began to notice could see no clock, no biometric readings, no maps of my location that were always overlaid in my vision turn on.

A floating feeling hit me in the pit of my stomach.

“Eurval?”

‘Eurval!“

“No! No! No! No!”

My anxiety flashed into anger. Anger at myself for having been weak and anger at Laurent for what he had done.

“LAURENT!”

“You will pay for this…”

Is all I could muster at the moment. My body felt weak and my mana low.

I summoned a small flame to see around me. The night sky was cloudy, blocking any light from the stars only showing the outline of a covered moon.

“Holy shit!”

I really was thrown into a mass grave. All around me where countless naked bodies thrown in piles, dumped here like trash.

I gagged at the sight of half-rotten bodies, some bloated ready to explode in a slew of rot. Closest to me were the most ‘fresh’ I willed the flame a little closer as I crouched down to one that had been partially laid on me before I moved it.

This is my?

No, I mean, Lucid’s face!

The pale skin, the silver eyes, the white hair. Everything, the height too felt similar. I turned around to another ‘fresh’ body. The same thing. The same face, the same body. The only difference being that they seemed a tiny bit younger.

A chill from the night air caused me to shiver as I stood back up realizing all of these bodies shared the exact same traits.

Clones.


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