408 Lost Little Mouse

    A few hours went by, and Daniel found himself in a room within his black castle alongside Aeron, and an unconscious Edmund. The two of them were observing as the latter groaned in his sleep, almost as if pained by what he was seeing.

    While his mind had been anchored by Aeron's powers to his body, his consciousness was still being rocked around by the powerful and complicated laws that went beyond the perfect comprehension of spatial essence. A sense of confusion that made it difficult to distinguish where he came from, and how to wake up.

    In the next room, Emelnie and their younger son Tigue were waiting for good news.

    "Are you sure this could work?" Asked Daniel to Aeron with clear doubt.

    By the annoyed sigh that Aeron let out next, it was clear that Daniel had asked him the same question more than a few times before. "He needs someone familiar to latch on to, and find his way back to this dimension.. And again, I am not sure of anything. There is no record of either mine, or his powers. I just feel that this might work." He said with a matter-of-fact tone.

    "Okay, but why me? There are his wife and son next door." Said Daniel.

    "They don't have the mind power to handle this. One of my powers makes my consciousness, as long as I am careful, virtually immortal. You on the other hand, are the only one amongst your friends who has a mind powerful enough to resist even the reduced effect of his powers. So we are the only ones who risk nothing by doing this."

    Slightly nervous, Daniel paced around the room for a few seconds, then said, "It didn't look pleasant the last time you did it."

    "It wasn't." Responded Aeron with a stern tone.

    "Alright." Said Daniel before taking a deep breath. He then walked next to Aeron, and after placing his hand over his shoulder, said, "Let's do this."

    Aeron nodded faintly before placing his hand over Edmund's forehead. The moment their skin touched, Daniel felt himself being pulled right out of his body, and forced into Edmund's mind.

    In such an occasion, "to see one's surroundings" would not be the appropriate figure of speech, as the mind in itself lacked eyes. However, once successfully entering Edmund's mind, the world around Daniel and Aeron appeared normal. They could see things just like one could see a thought, and yet the inability to change these flick images, made them feel extremely uncomfortable.

    Most of what they were seeing were images that depicted the darkness of space, which could hardly be distinguished between the one from which they came from. More rare, were the images that showed different civilizations, different forms of powers, different structures, scenery, and magical beasts and territories.

    In the midst of all of this, was the solitary figure of Edmund, who was in a state of confusion that was caused by the, while reduced, still massive amount of information that constantly weighed on his mind.

    Unable to differentiate between the dimension from which he came from originally, and the one where he was at the moment, he kept feeling the surprise, confusion, and horror that came with each new one.

    Visibly pained by these images, Daniel dropped on his imaginary legs, and felt himself on the verge of vomiting. His figure was wobbling, as if a gelatinous substance was left to withstand the power of a powerful earthquake. Yet, he did not disappear.

    "W-What do I do now!?" He asked with a clear amount of hurry.

    Aeron, on the other hand, was keeping his eyes closed, and soaking his mind into the sea of torture to which they were being exposed to. "I get it now." He then said.

    "Get what?"

    "His gift, it's not made for high immortals. It is made for people who cultivate the mind and the body." Responded Aeron while still focusing on the effects that Edmund's peculiar power, was having on his mind.

    As an ascended mental warrior, Aeron's only way to cultivate was through the strengthening of his mind. Be it by strengthening his control over it, developing his gift, or tempering it by exposing it to powers that would cause him heavy mental strain. That meant that for Aeron, this was not a torture, but a training opportunity.

    That was not the case for Daniel, who being a true immortal, could only cultivate the mind, spirit, and body at the same time. His mind was bound to his spirit and body differently than any other cultivator, and it was impossible to strengthen one without strengthening the others. Unfortunately, he was only there as a consciousness that was being supported by Aeron's mental power.

    "So, now that we are here, what do we do now?" Asked Daniel once again.

    "Actually, 'We' do nothing. He does not know me, and if I were to talk to him, my voice would pass as that of any other voice that comes from these infinite dimensions. His consciousness is hooked, now it's your turn to reel it back in." Responded Aeron before sitting with his legs crossed, and trying to enter a meditative state.

    "What about you?"

    "I will keep your consciousness from falling apart, and try to cultivate while I am here with you." Responded Aeron before turning quiet, and focusing on refining his mental power.

    Left with no other choice, Daniel turned to look at the confused figure of Edmund, and started to call his name.

    After more than an hour passed without any apparent results, he turned towards Aeron with dejection, and asked, "Are you sure that this will work?"

    "Keep trying." Responded Aeron while keeping his eyes closed.

    Daniel once again observed his surroundings, and right away, he noticed that, compared to the moment that they had arrived, something had changed. The images which depicted the dimensions were still changing, but at an almost imperceptibly slower pace.

    Reassured by this small amount of progress, Daniel stepped closer to Edmund, and said in his ear, "Wake up. Your family is waiting for you."


    This went on for a seemingly endless amount of time, and in the blink of an eye, six months went by.

    The sceneries that were surrounding Daniel and Aeron were not blurry anymore, and were changing very slowly. The pressure that the two of them were feeling had decreased to an inexistent level, and that had lead Aeron to find no reason to cultivate any longer. He was now observing as Edmund's unconscious would narrow the scope of dimensions from which this familiar voice could possibly be coming from.

    In the past few days, Daniel and Aeron had understood what, along with being conscious of every dimension at the same time, was destroying Edmund's psyche. And that was the nature of a few dimensions which he, as a living being, should not be perceiving.

    Between the shadow realm, the corrupted land, the spiritual plain, and even dimensions which attracted the homeless spirits of the dead like different kinds of underworlds, and heavens. Each of them shocking enough to cause a person to fall into madness, they all took a toll on Edmund's weak mind.

    From Edmund's perspective, during the past six months, he had kept hearing Daniel's voice, which had caused him to regain a portion of his calm. At the same time, his control over his power had slowly grown, and while unconsciously, from being in every dimension at the same time, he started to limit his presence to the dimensions that were not hurting him.

    Soon enough, he was able to put aside most of the dimensions that were not similar to the one he was most familiar with, finding himself within hundreds of different worlds of cultivation.

    Most of these dimensions were inhabited by weak individuals which, by using a power similar, yet different from mana, were able to perform magical skills, strengthen their bodies, or even display supernatural talents, but nothing that could be compared to the world of cultivation to which he belonged.

    This sort of spectacle kept going until he found himself stuck in a dimension in particular, which showed nothing of that dimension, with an exception made for a massive hall.

    This hall was filled with people who kowtowed in orderly rows that were directed at an altar, on which a naked middle-aged man was standing. Edmund was standing in the middle of this group of subjects, while observing what the middle-aged man was doing.

    As he watched, the naked man pointed his finger towards a naked young boy that was lying unconscious on the altar, and whom soon after, began to float.

    Edmund could not understand the nature of the man's powers, but for some reason, his mind was shrieking at the thought of encountering him in person. Unfortunately, something was keeping him locked in this dimension, making him unable to shift back.. be it willingly, or not.

    After the young boy was raised to about two meters in height, his body began to wobble and contort, until finally, the horrifying noise of flesh melting and bones crashing could be heard. His skin became darker in color, and as his muscles and bones lost solidity, his body began to cave inwards.

    Compressed more and more by the second, this went on until nothing had been left of him but a brown fist-sized sphere.

    WA%E  £P!

    Once completed, the sphere moved towards the palm of the middle-aged man, who after grabbing it from the air, moved it above his face, which he then turned in its direction. After that, he opened his mouth, and let out his oddly long tongue, which wrapped around the sphere, and pulled it into his mouth."

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    The sphere seemed too big to be ingested, but the middle-aged man was not a simple man. Like the body of a snake would, his neck began to stretch to give way for the passage of the sphere, which made his throat bulge to an absurd degree.

    Once the sphere went all the way down and reached his stomach, it dissolved completely, turning into a form of unnatural power flushed over the middle-aged man who in the span of a minute, seemed to become at least twenty years younger, and go back to his early twenties.

    As this process was completed, the now young man turned around in satisfaction. However, instead of looking at those who appeared to be his subjects, he was looking at the spot in which Edmund was standing.

    "Oh little mouse, little mouse. Why are you lurking in my house?" He sung with a playful tone while gliding over the air, and towards him. Once in front of him, he added, "What are you? A spell? A saint art? No.. no you are not from here. From which dimension do you come from, little mouse?"

    Edmund was utterly terrified. The sheer look of this man was enough to make him fall on his knee and implore forgiveness, and that was what he would have done, if he wasn't a simple incorporeal consciousness. All he was hoping for, was that this man could leave him alone soon, so that he would be able to shift into another dimension.

    ..KE UP!

    "Don't fear little mouse." Saide the man with a reassuring tone, almost showing that, if he wished to, he could have easily taken Edmund's consciousness with his hands, and kept him there forever.

    EDM.. ..ME O..

    "I will take care of you. I will keep you with me, so that you can squeal to me the stories of the place from which you come from." Added the man before raising his right hand, and reaching for him.

    WAKE UP!!

    Suddenly, Edmund felt an enormous power pull him backwards, and forcing his mind to go blank. Right then, he felt another form of essence encapsulate his consciousness, making the power that had kept him stuck in his mind for months now, disappear completely.

    What he felt instead, was the sudden pain that caused him to be shaken awake with a bright red handprint on his left cheek, breathing heavily, covered in sweat, and confused beyond comprehension.

    In front of him were Daniel, and Aeron.
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