Fear
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(Ryoto's pov)

I don't know where I am, but it's dark. I couldn't see through darkness even while using my eyes.

From the darkness, I saw the light that was coming closer to me. I couldn't see who or what it was, but I could hear a voice coming from there.

«Curious... Why can't I see you?»

The only way I could describe this voice was otherworldly, and I met 2 otherworldly beings. Maybe because they didn't behave as such, I didn't get that feeling, but I felt powerless in front of this being. It didn't help that I couldn't move.

I could feel a hand around my eye, forcing it to open wider.

«And these eyes, they don't belong to you, but at the same time, they do... Is it because of them?»

Its 'hand' moved to my chest.

«This soul... why does it feel so familiar but foreign at the same time.»

I tried backing away, but I still couldn't move, as if some unknown force was holding me in place.

«Do not struggle. I wish you no harm and only desire to examine anomalies such as yourself. That was the only way to accomplish this.»

I have a guess who this 'thing' is, and I don't like it one bit. Better ask some questions. Maybe he'll answer some of them.

"....."

...I can't talk. That makes communication more difficult.

I don't know what to do. I'm at his mercy. Even using my eyes doesn't help in this situation. Maybe because I'm inside my mind, so they can't work or something. The last thing I remember was a small hand reaching my eye, so that's possible.

«I see that you are trying to speak your thoughts. Forgive me, for I don't have full control over my powers because of my circumstances. I would like to have a talk with you as well, and I am doubtful we will get the chance to repeat this meeting in the future.

This is the first time for me, to not know what's coming... but I don't hate it. Maybe you'll change an outcome set in stone.

Will it be for better or worse is uncertain but allow me to gift you something for allowing me to experience something new.»

He touched my forehead with what seemed to be his finger.

As soon as he did it, I felt an incredible headache spreading across my skull. It felt as if my head would split at any moment, but no matter how much I tried to thrash around and scream as much as I possibly could, nothing happened. which only made the pain worse as my complete focus was on it and couldn't distract myself with anything.

«May your journey be a fruitful one, traveler. I wish you luck.»

(E/D: Genshin vibes. Maybe he will go there in the future. I want that. Who else wants that? Come join me and pressure the Author for that. Brothers we shall prevail.)

---

My senses returned, but I was in the middle of backing away, and because of the sudden return, I lost control and slammed into the wall, breaking it a bit.

I was breathing heavily and sweating a lot.

I just got a reminder of why people fear the unknown. The Soul King or Mihigami somehow got inside my head, I assume. He could have done anything he wanted with me, and it made me feel anxious like never before. Even while facing Gid, I had a plan. It was a risky one, but I knew that I had a chance to get out alive from that situation. This time though, I had nothing. 

Nothing I could do. No plan to speak off.

It's the first time I felt this powerless in a long time, maybe even ever.

I need to prepare myself better, and the only one who can help me right now is Kisuke, with his knowledge about the Soul King. The only thing I know is that he was sealed for a long time and maintains the three worlds. He is also the first being that wielded the powers of Shinigami, Quincy, and Fullbringer.

"Ryoto-kun, are you alright!?"

Jushiro-senpai ran up to me, and probably seeing my state, he was rightfully worried.

"Y-yeah, I'm alright."

He obviously didn't believe me, and I don't blame him.

"Sorry for that, but I think we'll cut short this examination. I need some time for myself..." I never sounded weak right now, but meeting the Soul King left an impression on me and not a good one.

As I was about to exit the room but Jushiro-senpai called me out.

"Remember that if something bothers you, you can always talk with me. Not only because I'm your senpai but also your friend."

I turned him and nodded my head. I appreciate his concern. I really do.

---

'Zangetsu, Gyaku, do any of you know what happened to me?'

"It annoys me to say it, but I have no idea."

"I'm also lost. It felt like nothing had happened, but I can feel something had changed. What happened?"

'Soul King,' I grimly answered.

"That living but not really bastard!? How the hell could he do anything!? He is barely a corpse at this point!"

'I don't know either, and that was a blunder on my part to not anticipate anything from him. I assumed that he couldn't do anything as he allowed himself to be slain even though he foresaw it.

We'll be focusing on figuring out what he did to me. You two look if anything changed in my inner world, and I'll gather the necessary information. I'm not taking any chances if he is somehow an enemy.'

"...You're scared."

'Of course, I am. Who wouldn't be? He even knew that I was not from this world, but I won't allow it to slow me down. It will only make me stronger as I'm not scared that he will do something to me but to others dear to me, and I'm not allowing anyone to do anything to harm them.'

'...You've grown a bit, but you're not thinking it straight. Remember what Koro-sensei was always saying. 'Before you start panicking, observe first and then find the answer.' 

If you met Soul King as you said and he meant harm, you wouldn't be able to talk with us as you do now. I'm not saying to not prepare for the possibility but don't become paranoid. I know that you are stressed because you'll soon be a father, but you need to calm down."

...

Zangetsu is right. I was being restless, so I took a few deep breaths to calm down.

The Soul King allowed himself to be sealed even though he probably knew what was going to happen to him. I also know that he must care for humans in some way, as he was ready to kill all Hollows, even knowing the consequences. The Hueco Mundo sand is literally the ashes of all the Hollows he killed.

He also said that he wishes me luck but I won't take his words at face value. It would be dumb to do that.

Before panicking, I need information.

---

END

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