Chapter 51: The Soul Wind
The sea of stars glittered. Flickering comets of shifting hues cruised through the void, zooming before my very eyes, merely passing, and soon vanishing behind a trail of cosmic spiritual dust or whatever. Like me, its destination was to the unknown. I seemed to float in the vast expanse with my interstellar spacecraft, a large block of old wooden house with its roof missing, offering no cover for any meteor shower that could strike it.
There was no way that the spirit realm I had imagined in my head was like this. The entire universe unfolding before my eyes was far-fetched from the garden of Eden or Arthurian Avalon concepts I had dreamt of, you know, the elvish archetypes with a lot of flowers, that type of spirit realm.
Instead, what I had my eyes on now was this random interstellar type spirit realm I had imagined. Put a fortress-like star fleet and a goddamn Gundam somewhere around here, and I’m sure this won’t be a magical world anymore, but a freaking hardcore sci-fi stuff my ex-boyfriend loved so much. I’ve read a lot of those during my travels, but never liked it as much as those dramas and romance.
I turned, gaping at little Maggie. I thought she would just churn out some rare spells which spirits were the only ones capable of casting. She flipped through all my expectations again. So yeah, I gawked, my voice shaky. “T-The fuck is this spirit realm?”
I almost broke my neck gazing throughout the entire space, savoring the fact that I was literally going through an out-of-this-world adventure. I inhaled and realized that I could still breathe, although I’m in the outer space in which air couldn’t even exist. I lifted my hands, touching my neck, checking whether I earned some space gills. There was none. Anyway, under my feet was the floating house of the village head, which Maggie dragged along for some unknown reason.
“Victoria? Where are you looking at?” A nagging pitch echoed throughout the spatial plane.
Though the voice had no malice, it trembled akin to crackling thunder. My ears rang, and I wobbled, staggering on my feet as I lost all my sense of balance.
Perhaps seeing me teetering on my feet. He subdued his tone into these tiny whispers. “Focus on the little brat. Might get in trouble soon if we don’t take care of her. Ah! There’re no world barriers to filter my presence…”
“Trouble, heh!” I glared at the proud blob’s direction and remembered how he tore the Dead Forest asunder. The green wind spirit had turned into the same fist-sized blob he was when we were on the other side. I thought some big change would occur if they were within their original plane, but I’m wrong. No major changes aside from his thundering full volume voice.
“Look,” bobbed Alistair, hopping wildly as he tried to point in a direction through his roof-flipping winds.
I shifted my gaze and watched the tiny skittering blob skipping around the village head’s wife. Hild, the scarred priest’s wife, resembled a frozen corpse with thrashing shadows struggling to get out of her body. The revolting dark matter tossed as it tried to separate itself from Hild.
“The curse?” I asked.
My question made the little blob jump up and down, confirming my thoughts. A weird viridescent light spiraling below her feet, uh, arched bottom. Based on her enthusiastic bobbing, she had earned some big gun as a skill, new abilities that would soon see the light.
The excited little blob chirped. “Come windy thready!”
Answering her weird naming sense, a verdant pulsating thread-like wind akin to waves waltzed, flowing out from the spiraling green below her arched bottom or whatever they call it. It flooded a minuscule part of the unbridled ocean of stars. The origin. It was the tiny inconspicuous blob. The emerald wind rippled and swirled, slowly circling the entire village head's house, leaving only a small area that would serve as a type of prison for curses.
The struggling darkness originating from the village head’s wife wiggled, distress by the sudden change in its surrounding. It poked through the swirling verdant in search of escape, threatened by the looming wind. Yet, it was a step too late. The thread-like wind had already frolicked its surroundings, sealing its retreat with thin threads of green.
The dark shadow coalesced into the form of the woman before shifting into a dark ball, hoping to do one last scheme to escape. It gathered all the looming darkness infecting Hild. It had thrown its lot on the use of magical brute force, soon rushing against the green wind that trapped it, but all its effort did was to bounce off. It tried another route while resisting the rushing green waves, turning into a sphere of black fire. A few dark-colored serrated things flew out from its body, firing them like missile projectiles against the cloud of green mist. In response, the wavy threads vibrated, wallowing like waves near a seashore, snuffing the blaze the cursed slab of darkness had thrown, foiling its plans. Failure after failure.
“It’s trying to escape,” I said and sneered. I’m tired of this. “Too bad it can’t run. Let’s end this, Maggie. You had your fun.”
The little blob pouted, I sensed. She’s enjoying this too much. She followed my words and immediately directed the verdant threads to whirl around the blonde lady. The verdant wind thickened, tightening its defenses, reinforcing some parts with more wind.
Soon, the wavy wind inched closer, laying a siege against the trapped eerie black slab.
“Can I go inside the mist?” I asked, ogling the mysterious mist that acted akin to a liquid but had the properties of the wind. It’s interesting.
“Hm.” Little Maggie hummed.
I strolled inside the green mist and felt nothing. It had no effect against transmigrating aunts; it seemed. I peered and scanned the dark ball buckling, sensing my presence, it weirdly retreated. It twisted like dough as it expressed its fears. I heard the eerie dark curse’s shrieked as it grew faint, turning grey. The eerie dark ball’s trembling increased as I made my way closer. It felt threatened. It packed itself up, fleeing after catching my visage.
“Is it scared of me?” I asked and stopped my steps before glancing at the two blobs. “But why?”
The two blobs merely shrugged since they also didn’t know the answer and instead chattered about what Maggie’s wind does. Apparently, little Maggie’s new ability had the power to repulse and seal souls and spirits. Is that the reason the dark curses retreated from me?
Anyway, the dark mass crept, sliding back inside Hild's body after confirming that it didn't have a way out. It bunkered inside it's she'll who was the village head's wife to slip its way out of danger.
The little blob harrumphed. She did her best to copy the proud blob to the best of her abilities but failed because of her cuteness. Her actions stunned Alistair, earning his ire. He knew what the little blob was doing.
“W-What are you doing?!” The snarky fist-sized blob shook. If only he had a handful of fingers to use, he would have pointed at Maggie in disbelief. I could even imagine his face, and a thin smirk arched on my lips.
Little Maggie ignored him, focusing instead on the wiggling miasma that had taken control of Hild’s body. The little blob chuckled as if everything was under control. She ignored the screaming evil slab’s actions as if it was nothing but a futile struggle. It was one weird sight.
“You’re not running away from me!” The little blob giggled, thinking she had copied Alistair but had failed, only turning a little snarkier for comic relief. I continued to walk near the boundaries of the green mist.
“N-no!” Hild opened her mouth, the words she uttered sounded as if it was coming from hundreds of men practicing some speech choir. Her quivering voice expressed how stressed out the stacks of curses were. And unlike the first time I’ve met it, pity was what I felt, not a tinge of dread. “L-leave me alone! A-away from me! Away! You monster! You're ugly!”
A frown slipped out of my lips. I’m now sure it’s reacting not because of the spirits but because of me.. Truthfully, I never knew that being called a monster would make me feel tingly. But ugly, ugh, that’s crossing the line. I lowered my gaze, checking if I grew some horns, tails, or even fangs. I assured myself that it wasn't happening soon. Yeah, Maggie was right, this one was indeed a bitch.
“Maggie...” I glared at the bitch that had taken over the village head’s wife. “... screw it!”
The little blob bounced giddily after hearing the order. "[Soul Wind]!"
With my eyes wide open, I bore a hole through the mist, expecting grand things to appear. But nothing. Nothing happened. The green thread-like mist floated still, flowing freely as if it didn’t hear little Maggie’s call.
Before I could ask the little blob what happened, Alistair responded. A gust blew, weaving a spherical barrier, enshrouding me akin to a greenish bubble.
"Tsk, that spirit art," Alistair said, envy dripping from his voice, peeking at me from time to time, expecting that I would also hand him a new toy, I mean, art.
Wait. Where’s the little blob’s new ability? I tilted my head, searching for any change either around Maggie or in the surroundings. I waited and waited, but nothing came out of it.
“You're playing with me?” My eyebrows jumped as I glowered at the tempest spirit.
“That’s funny.” The giggling voice of the little blob echoed in my head. “Do you know that spirits never lie, Victoria? Not even in a thousand years.”
“I’m not lying,” Alistair said, flinging his thoughts through the line once again. The temperamental blob didn’t snap. He seemed to be a little more patient.
“[Soul Wind] is not a shabby spell. It’s a specialized spirit art exclusive to the king’s bloodline. And the brat simply called it but can’t control it. She only turned herself into a beacon for the soul wind.” He said, tutting with zeal and admiration. For a minute, I almost thought he had turned into another blob. He turned into a zealot after hearing little Maggie’s new spirit arts. “It’s the amalgamation of the power of the Wind Spirit King and his wife, the Death Spirit Queen. So it’s not a thing that you could just…. Oh, it’s here, look up!”
I lifted my chin, gazing above the now roofless ceiling. The shimmering stars turned deeper whilst the heavenly bodies scattered around as if it was about to meet its maker, scattering in all directions.
“W-What the hell is that?” Then I reeled, falling butt first. I glimpsed a few comets and asteroids exploding after banging against the dark green tsunami, bursting forth into explosions of metallic dark emerald. I reminisced about my favorite DC superhero Green Lantern since it had the same glow.
Ain’t this a bit of overkill? My face blanched. My entire body involuntarily quivered, knowing that the spell could very well kill me.
“That’s the [Soul Wind]!” The fist-sized blob uttered with glee. Then he started roaring, er, singing despite being a tone-deaf bastard. He sounded like those crazy soccer fanatics I had met during the World Cup. All he cared about was he could unleash the barbarian in him. Can I mute this shit?
“Hell! That’s anything but wind!” I shuddered, overwhelmed by the surging metallic dark-green matter.
The entire void recoiled. A ripping sound filled my ears. The [Soul Wind] rushed unimpeded towards our direction. Damn, hold your bladder, Victoria! “Alistair! W-what does it do!?”
The howling blob stopped for a moment. “It’s the cleaner of wandering evil spirits that escaped from the Sheol. Surely it'll take this lingering soul of that dark bitch inside the lady's body. After all, its job is to catch the dimwits from all the planes, bringing them back to the Sheol for punishment. Around a thousand-year of roasting, if I remembered right. The Death Spirit Queen is not someone who you could just play with, unlike the Wind Spirit King...”
“It won’t kill me, right?” I asked, ignoring most of Alistair’s babbles while poking through the green barrier surrounding me. “Will this protect from the Soul Wind?”
The fist-sized blob turned quiet, expressing its thoughts after a few seconds of thinking. “... Not sure. You better asked the brat.”
Okay, that’s so assuring. Very assuring. The sides of my lips twitched along with my eyebrows. A cold sweat trickled from my back, making me feel clammy. My chest pounded as I inhaled what I could fit in my two lungs. I’m once again in some type of absurd situation. I stared at the rushing sea of emerald green and quivered. Calm down. Huff. Huff.
Alistair’s simple answer was marvelous.
“Little Maggie…” I sent out a mental note on the contract line. “Will I be fine? Nothing’s going to happen to me when the [Soul Wind] hits right.”
“As long as you’re not some evil spirit.” She uttered with a giggle.
I held my chest and sighed in relief. Thank goodness.
Then it slammed into us. My entire intergalactic spaceship specially crafted from wood exploded into smithereens. I cackled like a loonie, thinking how would I explain this shit. That's... If I still survive.
The wind bubble Alistair gave me stopped the incursion of the [Soul Wind] tsunami. And before I realized it, I was already floating in outer space as unwanted space junk. It submerged us inside its belly - the ocean of [Soul Wind]. I also caught sight of a few evil beings shrieking inside, clawing everywhere.
"This is what the [Soul Wind] do." The wind spirit sitting on my shoulder said. "These vile things would surely suffer a lot once they go back to Sheol. The lady boss, I mean, the Death Spirit Queen will rip them apart. And now look."
I shifted my gaze back to the little blob and the village head's wife. The dark slithering tattoos on her body receded, a greyish sludge rushed out of her mouth. No, rather, it was being sucked out of his mouth, vacuumed by the raging [Soul Wind].
Soon, Hild's wounds began to heal as if time was on rewind. Her complexion returned to its once healthy hue. She slowly floated towards me, landing on my arms. Ugh, she's heavy.
"Victoria! Alistair!" The little blob said. "I did it!"
I could see the little blob jumping up and down after accomplishing the feat. And that made me smile.
I heard reverberating gong echoing in my ears. I felt nothing, but for the evil spirits floating everywhere inside the [Soul Wind], they shuddered. They all cowered, twisting their abstract bodies to the deepest part of the [Soul Wind].
A tiny black hole appeared and sucked all the raging tides of [Soul Wind].
Then a loud voice trembled from the spinning black hole. "Maggie, is that you?"
The little blob turned and said. "Yes, mom. Maggie reporting!"
I tried asking Alistair who it was, but he refused to answer, keeping himself inside my breast pocket.
"When are you going to visit me and your dad?" The churning voice asked. And I felt a gaze scanning me, "And you have a new young friend… hm? The first Spirit Magus in a thousand years?"
"Mom. You won't believe this! I now have a contract with her!" The little blob bobbed, her proverbial chest puffed. "I'm going to be as powerful as you and Dad soon!"
"That's interesting, dear." The voice from the black hole said. "But when are you going to visit, hm?”
It stumped little Maggie. "Er, a hundred years? No, a thousand years. I promise!"
"That will not work on me, you little minx." The voice chortled. "Visit after a year or I'll go visit. Now choose."
"Mom! That's hard!" The little blob struggled but soon deflated. "Alright, a year. Promise."
"I hear you, dear. Remember spirits never lie," giggled the little blob's mom. "You can bring your friend as well. It'll be interesting to talk with someone that's not a spirit."
"But she's not a spirit, and she's still alive." Maggie sighed. "She can't pass through the barrier."
"Don't worry, Maggie," she said. "I control death."
After hearing that, I shook. I-Is that a threat? Still, I knew how to keep my trap shut, so I kept the thought for myself. The presence coming from the dark hole was no joke.
"Alright, bye-bye now sweety. And Alistair! Protect Maggie!"
The blob hiding inside my pocket shuddered. "Yes, Ma'am!"
"Bye, Mom!" The little blob tittered.
A heavy gaze landed on me, making it a little difficult to breathe. "See you soon, young Spirit Magus."
Then the black hole vanished along with [Soul Wind]. The suffocating presence disappeared, and a long-suffering sigh dripped out from my chest.