Tag Archives: soul

Bleach: The Hollowfication Question

Number one pic

Sometimes we see this when the main character of a story is fighting against an enemy of seemingly unsurpassable might; with no other power to turn to, the main character resorts to teaming up with evil in order to defeat evil.  And maybe, maybe, he’ll even draw his strength from this person or source of evil.

BACKGROUND OF BLEACH

(If you already know all of this, I would encourage you to skip to the section in bold which reads “The Question”)

Ichigo Kurosaki is such a main character.  The manga and anime Bleach is easily one of the most popular Japanese comics and television shows out there, particularly in the shonen (boys) category.  The story follows the adventures of fifteen year-old Ichigo Kurosaki, who becomes a Soul Reaper in order to protect his family from the hunger of a Hollow: a fallen soul/spirit of the underworld.

Ichigo as a Soul Reaper battles a Hollow
Ichigo as a Soul Reaper battles a Hollow

Ichigo is plunged into a life of protecting innocent souls from Hollows, as instructed by Rukia Kuchiki, the Soul Reaper that gave him his powers as a Soul Reaper.  Soul Reapers have the duty of saving souls from Hollows, sending those souls to the Soul Society, and purifying the Hollows so that they too may be admitted to the Soul Society.

THE ZANPAKUTO

Every sword that a Soul Reaper has—called a “zanpakuto”—possesses a spirit in itself.  This spirit, in both its form and personality/countenance, is a reflection of the Soul Reaper that wields the zanpakuto.  There is also an element of mystery encompassing the nature of the spirit which is within every zanpakuto.

The spirit of Ichigo's zanpakuto, Zangetsu
The spirit of Ichigo’s zanpakuto, Zangetsu

These spirits have minds of their own; and although they cooperate with their Soul Reaper in order to further the advancement of power their Soul Reaper is able to unleash, sometimes the spirits might endeavor to control their Soul Reaper.

Once a person becomes a Soul Reaper and possesses a zanpakuto, his soul becomes intertwined or merged with the spirit that fills his sword.  The Soul Reaper draws strength from his zanpakuto, and the spirit of the zanpakuto teaches the Soul Reaper how to wield and unlock the power that the spirit possesses.  This bond between Soul Reaper and zanpakuto is intense.

Which is why, if a Soul Reaper isn’t careful, the spirit of his zanpakuto might turn on him.

THE HOLLOW WITHIN

Ichigo's inner Hollow is exactly like Ichigo but all light and darkness is reversed
Ichigo’s inner Hollow is exactly like Ichigo but all the light and darkness of his appearance is reversed

Ichigo’s zanpakuto, and the spirit accompanying it, is named Zangetsu.  Originally unknown to Ichigo, there is another side to Zangetsu—a darker side.  Zangetsu is one with a Hollow; they are the same person, but one side is good while the other is evil.

The evil side of Zangetsu was said to have been “born” when Kiskue Urahara—Ichigo’s hippy-of-a-mentor—forced Ichigo into regaining his Soul Reaper powers by using a method called “Encroachment”.  Encroachment caused Ichigo to run the line between turning into a Hollow himself, or becoming a Soul Reaper (since he had lost his power as a Soul Reaper).  The result on the surface appeared to be that he became a Soul Reaper again—clean, plain and simple.  However, underlying his transformation was the merging of Zangetsu with Ichigo’s inner Hollow, who was brought about by Encroachment—as a side effect, so to speak.

Ichigo's Hollow mask begins to form as he undergoes Encroachment
Ichigo’s Hollow mask begins to form as he undergoes Encroachment

Yet, it proved to be a much bigger “side effect” than Ichigo expected.  When Ichigo battles Byakuya Kuchiki, captain of Squad Six of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, in order to save Rukia from being executed, Ichigo is suddenly possessed by his inner Hollow.  The Hollow saves Ichigo’s life, but states that Ichigo is too weak to be using Zangetsu/himself.  At the time, Ichigo is unaware that the Hollow and Zangetsu are the same person.

Ichigo is possessed by his Hollow as he fights Captain Kuchiki
Ichigo is possessed by his Hollow as he fights Captain Kuchiki

Ichigo regains control of himself.  But ever since his battle with Captain Kuchiki and his possession by his inner Hollow, Ichigo is now always subconsciously aware of the Hollow within himself.  And the Hollow wants to come out—to control and possess Ichigo.  The struggle to maintain control of his own body and soul steadily grows more intense for Ichigo.

At the same time, Ichigo’s enemies become greater too.  After Ichigo saves Rukia from being executed in the Soul Society, Captain Aizen of Squad Five rebels against the Soul Society.  Aizen is incredibly powerful, and he plans to completely wipe out Ichigo’s hometown and kill the king of the Soul Society.  Aizen is also surrounded by an army of Arrancars—Hollows with the abilities of Soul Reapers—and the Espada, who are high-ranking, super strong Arrancars.  These Arrancars, along with Aizen himself, present a huge threat to Ichigo, his friends, and both the members of the Real World and the Soul Society.

Aizen in all of his evil glory
Aizen in all of his evil glory

Ichigo knows he isn’t powerful enough to defend everyone he cares about.  What’s more, whenever he fights and uses more of his own spiritual power, the chances of him being possessed by his inner Hollow skyrocket.  His resolve being torn down by the emerging of his inner Hollow, and the threat of exceedingly strong enemies, leaves Ichigo confused and unsure of how he can protect his friends.

THE VISOREDS

Shinji and the rest of the Visored crew
Shinji and the rest of the Visored crew

Shinji Hirako, along with his team of rogue Soul Reapers, invite Ichigo to become a Visored; a Soul Reaper that learns to subdue, control, and use the power of his inner Hollow.  They are called Visoreds for the Hollow masks they wear, which are the center of their power.  If Ichigo learns how to control his inner Hollow and use its power, he’ll gain an immense amount of spiritual strength.  Without the knowledge of how to maintain his inner Hollow, and facing the danger of Aizen and his Arrancars, Ichigo turns to the Visoreds for assistance.

In the end, Ichigo goes within himself and battles his Hollow, defeating the dark form of Zangetsu and therefore being able to harness his energy.  The Visoreds continue with his training, and Ichigo gradually learns to control and use his inner Hollow.  The more he battles, the more power he possesses, and the more he relies on using “Hollowfication” as the source of his might.

THE QUESTION

Is it right for Ichigo to resort to using the power of his inner Hollow for the sake of fighting Aizen and saving his friends?  Zangetsu, or the dark side of Zangetsu, is clearly something evil by nature.  His appearance, his motives, his methods—everything about Ichigo’s inner Hollow possesses some sense of malice and morbidity.  Ichigo fights his Hollow and conquers it.  Nonetheless, the Hollow doesn’t go away; instead, he allows Ichigo to draw power from him.  This power is clearly something dark; Ichigo joins with the evil-side of his soul in order to produce intense spiritual attacks.

So, what’s wrong with this picture?

In order to answer the question of whether it is right to use evil to fight evil, we need to look at the situation from a logical perspective.  All of this can be simplified by this basic moral truth:

The end doesn’t justify the means.

This logical statement works could be explained with this example: Say a man wants to become rich.  Becoming rich is the “end”.  Let’s say further that the man’s “means” of achieving his “end”—becoming rich—is robbing a bank.

The example with the man is similar to Ichigo’s: both ends are good.  Ichigo wants to protect his friends and save the world; the man wants to become rich.  Nothing is wrong there.  But if we say that “the end justifies the means”, then, according to that statement, any means found necessary is “okay”.  Why?  Because the end, in-and-of-itself, is something good.  However, we can see that this is flawed from a moral perspective.  Just because the end is good, that doesn’t mean it’s right to reach the end using immoral means.  That’s a problem.  We could win all wars by torturing the enemy’s citizens until the enemy surrenders—winning a war: good; torturing people to do it: bad.  (#lameexample…I know)

So here’s where the truth comes in: The means justifies the end.

This is a logical/moral principle that encourages people to build good upon good.  A good means should bring about a good end.  Let’s go back to the man that wants to be rich, but make the example different; now his means is getting a job and working hard, and watching his everyday budget: good.  The end?  He becomes rich: good.  That’s the way it’s supposed to work.  Not everybody will become rich, of course, if they work hard and watch their budget.  But you get the idea.

But then, what’s wrong with Ichigo?  What’s wrong with his means?

The main thing wrong with the story, in that Ichigo obtains his source of strength from his inner Hollow, is that the line between what’s good and what’s evil becomes blurred.  Ichigo takes on the form of something evil, bringing down his own good character, for the sake of something good.  This can lead some people into confusion: is that what heroes do?  They join themselves with evil to do good?  Do heroes turn into monsters or evil spirits for the sake of what’s right?

The answer is simple.

And ah: monsters and evil spirits don’t do what’s right.

“No, but Ichigo does.”

In a sense, Ichigo does do something good.  After all, his end is pure.  But his means is not.  Evil doesn’t produce good.  We can become stronger through dealing with a form of evil that surrounds or threatens us.  But evil is never the producer of good.

This might sound like a story from the Bible, to some viewers.  Joseph, the son of Jacob, (the one with the swagged-out, colored-cloak) is sold by his brothers into slavery to the Egyptians: bad.  However, he rises through the ranks of Egypt to become second-in-command and help his family in a time of famine: good.  The “bad” stuff—being sold into slavery—didn’t produce the good—Joseph becoming second-in-command and helping his family.  In the story, God gave Joseph a way to react to the evil, so to speak; a loophole.  But the evil didn’t create the good.

Nevertheless, Ichigo clearly endeavors to do the opposite.  He draws upon the power of evil and assumes an evil form itself.  A flaw, or falsity, therefore, corrupts the nature of the story of BleachBleach, whether or not the author Tite Kubo intended this, preaches that we can reach into ourselves and pull out our “inner Hollow” and use it for good.

If we think about it, we can see how this negatively morphs society’s perception of heroism.  If Ichigo is equated with being a hero—the one who “defeats the bad guy”—and at the same time is merged with a form of evil, isn’t there a chance those people that look up to Ichigo will think it is right to merge with evil to produce good?  To the people of the anime world, Bleach is saying, in however an indirect way, that the face of a hero…well, may indeed look like this:

Ichigo in his "Hollowfied" form
Ichigo in his “Hollowfied” form

The face of something good is portrayed using the face of evil…doesn’t this seem twisted in any way?  Doesn’t that bother you, or seem wrong?

Ichigo’s means? Using evil.

Ichigo’s end? Saving his friends and the world.

Logical? No.

Moral? No.

The means justifies the end, not the other way round.


Tell me what you think and share your thoughts…I’m really looking forward to hearing your take on this!

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

P.S. Through the end of July only, my eBooks are free at Smashwords.com!

P.P.S. Just a shout-out to my really smart dad who helped me with all of this logic and philosophy 🙂  You know your stuff, Dad!

Bleach: The Hollowfication Question

Number one pic

Sometimes we see this when the main character of a story is fighting against an enemy of seemingly unsurpassable might; with no other power to turn to, the main character resorts to teaming up with evil in order to defeat evil.  And maybe, maybe, he’ll even draw his strength from this person or source of evil.

BACKGROUND OF BLEACH

(If you already know all of this, I would encourage you to skip to the section in bold which reads “The Question”)

Ichigo Kurosaki is such a main character.  The manga and anime Bleach is easily one of the most popular Japanese comics and television shows out there, particularly in the shonen (boys) category.  The story follows the adventures of fifteen year-old Ichigo Kurosaki, who becomes a Soul Reaper in order to protect his family from the hunger of a Hollow: a fallen soul/spirit of the underworld.

Ichigo as a Soul Reaper battles a Hollow
Ichigo as a Soul Reaper battles a Hollow

Ichigo is plunged into a life of protecting innocent souls from Hollows, as instructed by Rukia Kuchiki, the Soul Reaper that gave him his powers as a Soul Reaper.  Soul Reapers have the duty of saving souls from Hollows, sending those souls to the Soul Society, and purifying the Hollows so that they too may be admitted to the Soul Society.

THE ZANPAKUTO

Every sword that a Soul Reaper has—called a “zanpakuto”—possesses a spirit in itself.  This spirit, in both its form and personality/countenance, is a reflection of the Soul Reaper that wields the zanpakuto.  There is also an element of mystery encompassing the nature of the spirit which is within every zanpakuto.

The spirit of Ichigo's zanpakuto, Zangetsu
The spirit of Ichigo’s zanpakuto, Zangetsu

These spirits have minds of their own; and although they cooperate with their Soul Reaper in order to further the advancement of power their Soul Reaper is able to unleash, sometimes the spirits might endeavor to control their Soul Reaper.

Once a person becomes a Soul Reaper and possesses a zanpakuto, his soul becomes intertwined or merged with the spirit that fills his sword.  The Soul Reaper draws strength from his zanpakuto, and the spirit of the zanpakuto teaches the Soul Reaper how to wield and unlock the power that the spirit possesses.  This bond between Soul Reaper and zanpakuto is intense.

Which is why, if a Soul Reaper isn’t careful, the spirit of his zanpakuto might turn on him.

THE HOLLOW WITHIN

Ichigo's inner Hollow is exactly like Ichigo but all light and darkness is reversed
Ichigo’s inner Hollow is exactly like Ichigo but all the light and darkness of his appearance is reversed

Ichigo’s zanpakuto, and the spirit accompanying it, is named Zangetsu.  Originally unknown to Ichigo, there is another side to Zangetsu—a darker side.  Zangetsu is one with a Hollow; they are the same person, but one side is good while the other is evil.

The evil side of Zangetsu was said to have been “born” when Kiskue Urahara—Ichigo’s hippy-of-a-mentor—forced Ichigo into regaining his Soul Reaper powers by using a method called “Encroachment”.  Encroachment caused Ichigo to run the line between turning into a Hollow himself, or becoming a Soul Reaper (since he had lost his power as a Soul Reaper).  The result on the surface appeared to be that he became a Soul Reaper again—clean, plain and simple.  However, underlying his transformation was the merging of Zangetsu with Ichigo’s inner Hollow, who was brought about by Encroachment—as a side effect, so to speak.

Ichigo's Hollow mask begins to form as he undergoes Encroachment
Ichigo’s Hollow mask begins to form as he undergoes Encroachment

Yet, it proved to be a much bigger “side effect” than Ichigo expected.  When Ichigo battles Byakuya Kuchiki, captain of Squad Six of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, in order to save Rukia from being executed, Ichigo is suddenly possessed by his inner Hollow.  The Hollow saves Ichigo’s life, but states that Ichigo is too weak to be using Zangetsu/himself.  At the time, Ichigo is unaware that the Hollow and Zangetsu are the same person.

Ichigo is possessed by his Hollow as he fights Captain Kuchiki
Ichigo is possessed by his Hollow as he fights Captain Kuchiki

Ichigo regains control of himself.  But ever since his battle with Captain Kuchiki and his possession by his inner Hollow, Ichigo is now always subconsciously aware of the Hollow within himself.  And the Hollow wants to come out—to control and possess Ichigo.  The struggle to maintain control of his own body and soul steadily grows more intense for Ichigo.

At the same time, Ichigo’s enemies become greater too.  After Ichigo saves Rukia from being executed in the Soul Society, Captain Aizen of Squad Five rebels against the Soul Society.  Aizen is incredibly powerful, and he plans to completely wipe out Ichigo’s hometown and kill the king of the Soul Society.  Aizen is also surrounded by an army of Arrancars—Hollows with the abilities of Soul Reapers—and the Espada, who are high-ranking, super strong Arrancars.  These Arrancars, along with Aizen himself, present a huge threat to Ichigo, his friends, and both the members of the Real World and the Soul Society.

Aizen in all of his evil glory
Aizen in all of his evil glory

Ichigo knows he isn’t powerful enough to defend everyone he cares about.  What’s more, whenever he fights and uses more of his own spiritual power, the chances of him being possessed by his inner Hollow skyrocket.  His resolve being torn down by the emerging of his inner Hollow, and the threat of exceedingly strong enemies, leaves Ichigo confused and unsure of how he can protect his friends.

THE VISOREDS

Shinji and the rest of the Visored crew
Shinji and the rest of the Visored crew

Shinji Hirako, along with his team of rogue Soul Reapers, invite Ichigo to become a Visored; a Soul Reaper that learns to subdue, control, and use the power of his inner Hollow.  They are called Visoreds for the Hollow masks they wear, which are the center of their power.  If Ichigo learns how to control his inner Hollow and use its power, he’ll gain an immense amount of spiritual strength.  Without the knowledge of how to maintain his inner Hollow, and facing the danger of Aizen and his Arrancars, Ichigo turns to the Visoreds for assistance.

In the end, Ichigo goes within himself and battles his Hollow, defeating the dark form of Zangetsu and therefore being able to harness his energy.  The Visoreds continue with his training, and Ichigo gradually learns to control and use his inner Hollow.  The more he battles, the more power he possesses, and the more he relies on using “Hollowfication” as the source of his might.

THE QUESTION

Is it right for Ichigo to resort to using the power of his inner Hollow for the sake of fighting Aizen and saving his friends?  Zangetsu, or the dark side of Zangetsu, is clearly something evil by nature.  His appearance, his motives, his methods—everything about Ichigo’s inner Hollow possesses some sense of malice and morbidity.  Ichigo fights his Hollow and conquers it.  Nonetheless, the Hollow doesn’t go away; instead, he allows Ichigo to draw power from him.  This power is clearly something dark; Ichigo joins with the evil-side of his soul in order to produce intense spiritual attacks.

So, what’s wrong with this picture?

In order to answer the question of whether it is right to use evil to fight evil, we need to look at the situation from a logical perspective.  All of this can be simplified by this basic moral truth:

The end doesn’t justify the means.

This logical statement works could be explained with this example: Say a man wants to become rich.  Becoming rich is the “end”.  Let’s say further that the man’s “means” of achieving his “end”—becoming rich—is robbing a bank.

The example with the man is similar to Ichigo’s: both ends are good.  Ichigo wants to protect his friends and save the world; the man wants to become rich.  Nothing is wrong there.  But if we say that “the end justifies the means”, then, according to that statement, any means found necessary is “okay”.  Why?  Because the end, in-and-of-itself, is something good.  However, we can see that this is flawed from a moral perspective.  Just because the end is good, that doesn’t mean it’s right to reach the end using immoral means.  That’s a problem.  We could win all wars by torturing the enemy’s citizens until the enemy surrenders—winning a war: good; torturing people to do it: bad.  (#lameexample…I know)

So here’s where the truth comes in: The means justifies the end.

This is a logical/moral principle that encourages people to build good upon good.  A good means should bring about a good end.  Let’s go back to the man that wants to be rich, but make the example different; now his means is getting a job and working hard, and watching his everyday budget: good.  The end?  He becomes rich: good.  That’s the way it’s supposed to work.  Not everybody will become rich, of course, if they work hard and watch their budget.  But you get the idea.

But then, what’s wrong with Ichigo?  What’s wrong with his means?

The main thing wrong with the story, in that Ichigo obtains his source of strength from his inner Hollow, is that the line between what’s good and what’s evil becomes blurred.  Ichigo takes on the form of something evil, bringing down his own good character, for the sake of something good.  This can lead some people into confusion: is that what heroes do?  They join themselves with evil to do good?  Do heroes turn into monsters or evil spirits for the sake of what’s right?

The answer is simple.

And ah: monsters and evil spirits don’t do what’s right.

“No, but Ichigo does.”

In a sense, Ichigo does do something good.  After all, his end is pure.  But his means is not.  Evil doesn’t produce good.  We can become stronger through dealing with a form of evil that surrounds or threatens us.  But evil is never the producer of good.

This might sound like a story from the Bible, to some viewers.  Joseph, the son of Jacob, (the one with the swagged-out, colored-cloak) is sold by his brothers into slavery to the Egyptians: bad.  However, he rises through the ranks of Egypt to become second-in-command and help his family in a time of famine: good.  The “bad” stuff—being sold into slavery—didn’t produce the good—Joseph becoming second-in-command and helping his family.  In the story, God gave Joseph a way to react to the evil, so to speak; a loophole.  But the evil didn’t create the good.

Nevertheless, Ichigo clearly endeavors to do the opposite.  He draws upon the power of evil and assumes an evil form itself.  A flaw, or falsity, therefore, corrupts the nature of the story of BleachBleach, whether or not the author Tite Kubo intended this, preaches that we can reach into ourselves and pull out our “inner Hollow” and use it for good.

If we think about it, we can see how this negatively morphs society’s perception of heroism.  If Ichigo is equated with being a hero—the one who “defeats the bad guy”—and at the same time is merged with a form of evil, isn’t there a chance those people that look up to Ichigo will think it is right to merge with evil to produce good?  To the people of the anime world, Bleach is saying, in however an indirect way, that the face of a hero…well, may indeed look like this:

Ichigo in his "Hollowfied" form
Ichigo in his “Hollowfied” form

The face of something good is portrayed using the face of evil…doesn’t this seem twisted in any way?  Doesn’t that bother you, or seem wrong?

Ichigo’s means? Using evil.

Ichigo’s end? Saving his friends and the world.

Logical? No.

Moral? No.

The means justifies the end, not the other way round.


Tell me what you think and share your thoughts…I’m really looking forward to hearing your take on this!

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

P.S. Through the end of July only, my eBooks are free at Smashwords.com!

P.P.S. Just a shout-out to my really smart dad who helped me with all of this logic and philosophy 🙂  You know your stuff, Dad!

Special Sale on Volume 2!

BUM-BUM-BUM BUM!!!! 

TODAY AND TOMORROW ONLY (UNLESS I FORGET TO CHANGE IT BACK) VOLUME 2 IS ONLY $0.99.

(Smashwords, Nook, and iTunes versions only [and it might take a few hours for the price to change at Barnes and Noble])

Want a preview?  Okay!  I’m just going to assume that you do because no good salesman waits for a reply 🙂

And you know that you do.

😀

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

PLOT SUMMARY:

John and Faith now know the plot of the Evil that kidnapped Soror and Frater, John’s little sister and brother; they, along with a host of other humans, are to be sacrificed to the ominous god of death. Meanwhile, Faith is realizing the true, dark nature of John’s desire to hunt the Evil. Can she stop him before his thirst for vengeance consumes him…or will it consume her instead?

SNEAK PEEK:

PROTAGONIST: FAITH PINCK

I step behind my tree and run.  As I do, I see an arrow whiz over my head, and my heart jumps.  “That was close,” I think, swallowing.  Ahead of me, I see a tree with big roots next to a little ditch, and preceding it is about twenty feet of open forest.  Perfect!  I can bunker down behind the tree, and the Evil will have to come out into the open to get me.  For a moment, I feel a glimmer of hope.

Then an arrow zips right past me, the same height as my heart, and it hits the tree I’m heading for.  I jump behind the tree, landing on my knees, and I stab four arrows into the side of the ditch as fast as I can.  Then I look up, searching for the beasts, but mainly for him.

I see him.  I immediately look away and load an arrow, shooting one Evil down as he enters the clearing, and then another.  The other beasts shuffle behind trees, and once again I glance at the archer.  I grunt with alarm, and fling myself to the side in the direction of my tree.  As if time suddenly slows, I watch the archer’s missile fly through my hair as I dodge.  When I’m successfully being covered by the wood, I reach to my left and grab the two arrows stuck in the ground and rise.  I’m breathing more heavily than I should be, and my mind is too frantic to devise a plan.  I hear the Evil rushing this way from behind their cover.  I nock and arrow and peek out from behind my tree, and I fire.  I can’t seem to focus; I’m too afraid—too jumpy.  The projectile only hits my target in the thigh.  Why is what I saw bothering me so much, when I glanced at the archer?

He was smiling.

My pursuers are growing too close.  I rise and run.  Now I know why I’m so afraid; why this archer petrifies me.  It’s his confidence; he and all these beasts.  They don’t fear me.  They know they can kill me.  It’s their own certainty that makes me lose mine.

The ground dips in front of me, and I see that I’m approaching a large gully, a giant, empty bowl in the forest.  I reason as I dart forward that if I go into the gully, the Evil will have a hard time approaching me.  I hop onto my butt as I reach the edge of the gully and slide down to the center, careful not to stab myself with the arrow I’m carrying.  I get to my feet and turn to face my enemies, fitting the arrow in my hand to my bowstring.  I look up and see that one Evil is already descending the gully.  I aim and shoot, killing the monster with a chest-shot.  I release a breath of confidence as I reload, and I shoot another Evil in the stomach as he arrives at the top of the ravine.  “Okay,” I think as I reach back into my quiver for another arrow, “maybe I can do this!”


Tell me if you enjoyed this!

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

Volume 3 Cover

I guess I should apologize for keeping you guys in the dark about this.  The cover for Volume 3: The Ghost of Hedekira, has been finished for quite some time now!  I never got around to revealing the cover, however.  If you’ve purchased and finished Volume 2, then you’ve technically already seen Volume 3’s cover, because I always put the cover for the next book in the back of the book you’re reading.  (Confusing, I know…)

So, after a lot of ups and downs and modifications, here’s the cover for Volume 3!

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

As can be blatantly seen, this volume possesses a sense of mystery and intensity.  I’m not going to release a plot summary yet, as I want to give some of you time to finish Volumes 1 and 2.  But, as I’m hoping you can tell, Volume 3 is going to be very exciting!

Any thoughts?  Which cover do you like the best so far?  I’d love to know!

Just a reminder that Volume 1 is still a free download at Smashwords, Barnes and Nobles, and the iTunes store!

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

Oh God, How We Need You!

Have you ever thought about just how much God influences every good action we do?

Have you ever thought about how much we need God to do anything good?

Sure, we need to agree with His grace; we need to choose to cooperate.

But even making that choice to cooperate—God is the One that empowers us to choose to act on His grace.

Not enough credit goes to God; it’s our fault.  Even if we aren’t crediting ourselves, even if we aren’t being prideful, still we allow the Truth to wash over us.

Yet, we must drink the Truth.

We have to remember that we aren’t the ones that are powerful.

We aren’t the ones that are strong.

We aren’t our own stronghold.

As Christians, we’re called to do the extraordinary sometimes.

We’re called to persevere and do things no one thinks possible.  Only things people imagine and daydream about.

It’s like were called to grasp the stars…

…but in reality, without God, we don’t even have the strength to reach…

…let alone to grasp.

Oh God, how we need you!


God bless,

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

Volume 2 Paperback Copy XD

oh yeah

Guess what came in the mail???  The paperback copy of Volume 2!!!   I’m really excited…everything looks perfect.  This means that it’ll be ready for Amazon very shortly.   Unfortunately, I made the same mistake with Volume 2 as I did with Volume 1.  I forgot to change in the document “published at Smashwords” to “published at Createspace”.  Oh well…it should be an easy fix.

I’m sure you’re dying for a picture…

vol 2 paperback

Everything is looking good.  I also made this cover the “coming up next” picture at the back of Volume 1…only for the paperback.  Smashwords won’t let me do it for the eBook.  But I’m okay with that now.

Thanks for being such great followers!

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

Bleach Fanfiction, Chapter 3

Fan art Ichigo

Chapter 3: Answers

We run down the streets to Urahara’s shop. We occasionally after look like we completely don’t know the naked person running alongside us, or we just smile awkwardly and say, “Don’t mind him!” But thankfully, what with a storm beginning to start, there aren’t very many people out. I just hope no one calls the police…

We arrive at Urahara’s shop within a couple of minutes. Kisuke Urahara is an ex-soul reaper that runs a store for soul reapers in this world. He’s always been a good friend; in fact, he’s taught me much of the basics of being a soul reaper, and even more. I wouldn’t be the warrior or the person I am today if not for Kisuke. And he always seems to have an answer for everything. Although he can be both a perv and a lying scumbag, he’s a pretty good guy. And we trust him.

Urahara’s shop is in the center of a desolate, discrete lot between two buildings that dwarf the store. We approach the front of the building, and then I turn to the other me and say, “You just wait outside for a moment. Don’t go anywhere.”

“Fine,” he replies. “Just don’t take to long…It’s kinda cold.”

“No kidding!” I say, turning back towards the shop.

Rukia and I open the door to the store and walk in. From the looks of the interior of the shop, you couldn’t really even guess what Kiskue and his crew sell. Boxes are piled in one area, and some items are set out in a store-like fashion. Everything is swept nice and clean, although I wouldn’t use those words to describe the store as a whole. “Hey Kiskue!” Rukia calls.

At the end of the room, a sliding door opens and Kiskue enters the room, gently waving a fan by his face as he approaches. His clogs clap as he walks. I believe he’s what you would call a “hippy”. “Is that the voice of my favorite member of the Kuchiki clan?” he asks in his cool voice. He peeks up at us from under the brow of his white and green hat. “What can I do for you two today?” His two employees, Jinta-a bratty boy who looks like he’s eleven-and Ururu-a timid girl with two big pony-tails of about the same age-both follow him.

“We have a few questions to ask you about this guy we found,” I say.

“Oh yeah, well bring him in,” Kiskue says cheerfully.

I frown, “Maybe you should have Ururu leave…”

“Oh?” Kiskue says. “Why is that?”

Suddenly the door of the shop slams open. The other me stands there. “Geez, I told you to be quick,” he says. “I’m freezing up out here!”

I yelp and cover Ururu’s eyes and Jinta points, crying out, “GOOD GRIEF, HE’S NAKED!”

Everyone calms down after a moment. Kiskue squints, growing pensive and lowering his head, and he states, “It would appear that that’s the least of the problem.”

The other me scowls, staring at Kiskue. “I know you,” he says. “Your name is Kiskue Urahara.”

“That’s right,” Kiskue smiles. “I’m flattered to hear that you know me. But I think the question we’re all begging to ask is-” he raises his head and looks intently at the other me, “-who are you?”

The other me pauses, as if unsure how to answer. “I’m,” he starts. His eyes flick to me for a moment, and I feel like I know what he wants to say. The words form on his lips, but he doesn’t allow himself to speak them. He clenches his fists and averts his gaze, stating through his teeth, “I don’t know!”

“Well then,” says Kiskue, raising a finger, “why don’t we start with the first thing you can remember?”

The other me thinks, and then says, “I remember lying on a cold, metal table. There was somebody standing next to me, but I couldn’t see all of him. He was holding a syringe. There was blood all over my face. Then I was taken to a cell.”

“And how long ago did all this happen?” Urahara asks.

“Five days ago.”

We all gasp. Five days ago? That can’t be! “You mean you’re only five days old?” I question, incredulous.

“I’m telling you,” the other me says, frustrated, “that’s all I know! I don’t remember anything before that!”

“Well then,” Kiskue says, his voice becoming grave, “why doesn’t Miss Kuchiki here tell us about the report she got from the Soul Society.”

Rukia grunts, growing stern like Urahara, and she says, “We believe that someone in Hueco Mundo has created a new form of life. Members of the Stealth and Punishment Force have been investigating it, but as of now, we still aren’t certain.” Rukia glances at the other me, “Do you know if you were in Hueco Mundo.”

“Hueco Mundo,” the other me says under his breath, as if trying to remember. He raises his head after a moment, declaring, “Yes, that’s where I was.”

“Then I think that settles it,” Rukia says. “The new form of life is a clone.”


Sorry it took so long for me to post the next chapter.  Things have been kind of crazy with The Golden Lands (TGL).  If you guys like my writing, I really think you’ll enjoy my, free, downloadable self-published work: The Golden Lands, Volume 1: Shadows in the Sunlight.    Also, if you have any questions about Bleach, TGL, or me, please feel free to comment or contact me!

Dom

Bleach Fanfiction, Chapter 2:

Okay! Just a note from the author: I’m not so sure, in relation to the actual Bleach anime, when all of this is taking place. All I know is that it’s after Ichigo saves Rukia and learns how to control his inner hollow. I guess the whole Aizen incident could be completely resolved, but it doesn’t matter either way.

Fan art Ichigo

BLEACH: DARK DOUBLES

CHAPTER TWO: THE OTHER ICHIGO

PROTAGONIST SWITCH: ICHIGO KUROSAKI (…the real one)

LOCATION: KARAKURA TOWN

TIME: 7:24 P.M.

“Thanks for dinner, Mr. Kurosaki!” Rukia says cordially, bringing her plate over to Yuzu who’s begun to wash the dishes.

“Not a problem, Miss Kuchiki,” my dad says. “It’s not too often that my son brings home a girl.”

My face turns bright red and I stick my tongue out, freezing up awkwardly. Rukia is not my girlfriend. I still can’t decide if I like girls or if they’re still…well, you know, weird.

“Oh daddy, you made Ichigo turn red again,” Yuzu comments.

“I’m just glad both of you were on time for dinner,” my dad continues. “Dinner at this house is at seven o’clock.”

“Yeah, I think I know that now,” I say. He still surprise-attacks me if I come home late.

“What are you kids gonna’ be up to after dinner?” my dad asks, suspiciously.

“What? I don’t know!” I say, flustered. Man, so many questions. I really feel like we’ve gotta get out of the house. Otherwise, we’ll never get any privacy. Everyone is too excited. It seems best to act like I don’t know what we’re going to do. In part I don’t. However, there is a reason as to why Rukia is here. She said she’s got some news for me—interesting news. I’m guessing that overall, it isn’t going to be good.

Sensing my indecisiveness, Rukia suggests with a smile, “Wanna see what Chad and Orihime are up to?”

“Sure,” I say, lowering my head with determination. Maybe they need to hear this too.

“Be back by eight-thirty!” my dad calls as we exit the door. Karin and Yuzu both look at him accusingly, and he laughs, chuckling, “Kids…”

Once we’re outside, we start walking in the direction of Chad’s house. “So, Rukia,” I address, stopping in my tracks so that we can talk, “what’s all this about?”

She keeps on pacing forward, saying, “I’ll tell you once we meet up with Chad and Orihime. It’ll be easier to explain this just once.”

“It’s bad though, isn’t it?” I ask, following her.

She looks over at me, “Yeah, I don’t know if I’d call it ‘good’.”

There are a few people out on the streets, and fewer cars. A couple walks towards us, and two girls exit a store. The sky has grown dark, and I think I hear the sound of thunder rumbling. Everything looks rather gray. Wind sweeps up around us, rustling our clothes and hair as we continue silently towards Chad’s house. The quiet is both peaceful and epic; a storm may be brewing, but just the fact that something so simple as a storm can bring about a bit of excitement—maybe that’s what makes it peaceful. Little things making my life feel exciting. Little things making a positive impact.

I hope that whatever Rukia has to say doesn’t disturb this peace too much.

Thunder rolls through the clouds, louder this time, and I stiffen. I suddenly sense something, and I feel like I see something on the roof above me at my right. I glance upwards. Nothing there. Huh, maybe I just imagined it. We keep on going forward, and I get the feeling we’re being followed. I don’t like it. Something feels wrong. I look over my shoulder. Nothing there.

Then Rukia grunts and says in an annoyed voice, “Ichigo, what are you doing making your spiritual pressure fluctuate like that? It’s starting to get annoying.”

“What do you mean?” I inquire, confused.

“Exactly what I said,” Rukia states. “Are you trying to send out some sort of signal?”

We both stop walking, standing beneath the awning of a diner. “I’m telling you, I’m not doing anything,” I say, starting to grow frustrated. I’m an easily angered person. Rukia probably knows that better than anyone. But it’s true: I’m not raising my spiritual pressure. I can do that at will, as I’m a soul reaper. Usually, spiritual pressure increases whenever you’re fighting someone, or when you’re…well, expending the energy of your soul. I’m not doing that right now. I’ll admit, I’m about as crappy as ever at detecting spiritual pressure. I’ve never really been good at that. But I think I would know if I was increasing my own!

Then I feel it too. It’s big. The effect of massive spiritual pressure—it’s hard to explain. It feels like your about to be lifted off your feet, and at the same time, like the air is being sucked from your lungs, and your body becomes weak and frail in comparison to the energy rushing through and around you. At first, the shock of experiencing another’s surge of spiritual pressure intimidated me. It put me on edge, like I was in the sights of a deathly hungry lion. Like I knew someone was near me, staring at me, and they wanted to kill me. As I thought before fighting Kenpachi Zaraki, a soul reaper Captain of the Soul Society, the intent to kill can be so powerful, it feels like you’ve already been stabbed.

Only this is different. I don’t necessarily feel like someone is about to attack me. But whoever it is, they are powering up, and making their presence known.

Rukia doesn’t even have to ask if I feel it. Our eyes widen, and my hand drops down to my belt where I keep hidden my Substitute Shinigami Badge, a token given to me by the Soul Society. It enables my soul to exit my body immediately so I can act as a soul reaper.

I wait before turning into a soul reaper…I don’t want to unnecessarily freak out any of the people around. Once I become my soul alone, my body becomes utterly lifeless. It can cause some people to panic. So I wait.

There’s another flash of movement, this time above me on the buildings across the street. And I see a figure standing there, lingering in the shadows. Wind tears around me, and thunder tumbles once more through the skies. I raise my eyes to the figure, and he slowly emerges from the shadows, saying in a voice that I know too well, “Hello, Ichigo Kurosaki.”

I know the voice because it’s mine.

I stiffen, gazing up at the person atop the building across from us. Squinting, I peer at him with suspicion and amazement. “Ichigo…” Rukia says in a breathless voice.

“Rukia,” I say, “stay back.” Rukia is no longer powerful. Being reduced from a soul reaper to an average human by Sousuke Aizen, she can only cast a few spells. I’m the one with all the power. “Just who the hell are you?” I shout at the person.

“I came here to ask you the same question!” he yells back. “I want answers.”

“Look, I don’t know who you are, but why do you look like me?” I ask. It’s true; the same hair—only his is interestingly black—, the same eyes, the same face shape, the same body, the same voice, the same…everything.

He seems to sigh, and he drops the challenging, mysterious attitude. “Look, I just want to talk, for now.”

“Then come on down here,” I say. I haven’t dropped my guard.

He leaps down from the top of the building, soaring down to me and Rukia. I grunt, and freeze. Rukia sticks out her tongue and looks away, blushing. At first, I can’t help staring, and then I quickly flick my head to the side, shouting, “WHERE THE HELL ARE YOUR CLOTHES?!”

Maybe I shouldn’t have shouted that.

A man walking down the street across from us yells, “Hey, don’t you have any shame, boy! Just what do you think you’re doing?”

Then the woman that runs the diner comes hurrying out of the restaurant, broom in hand, exclaiming, “Go on! Get out of here! Get! Get!”

“You clown…” I growl at the other me.

“Come on, let’s get out of here!” Rukia says, still not looking.

Instead of running for Chad’s house, we run to the place where we know we can talk and get some explanations: Urahara’s shop.

Possession

This is something historical that happens in the world of my series The Golden Lands.  It DOES relate to the actual series, so it’s not totally random.

WARNING****FOLLOWING CONTENT IS VERY DARK AND VERY VIOLENT****


World: The Gray Lands

Protagonist: Anna Veera

Profile

Age: 19

Race: Femina

Height: 5’4

Eye color: Brown

Hair color: Black


I’ve been running for so long.  I’m too afraid to go back.  He’ll find me.  They’ll kill me.  I don’t know who to turn to.

The wind blows swiftly over the plain.  The blades of grass whip back and forth, flashing their white undersides so that the field appears as a pale, eerie, rolling sea.  I lurch, as if the ground actually shifts beneath me, so uncertain, so disoriented, so fearful.  The eastern sky is black utterly with shadow; the western sky is a deathly white.  I am alone in the midst of this ghostly, grassy sea, beneath the looming convergence of shadowy darkness and pale death.

And I raise my face to the sky, tears of sadness and frustration running down my face.  I don’t know who to turn to.

The wind picks up, high above me in the sky.  The clouds twist, and the darkness seems to grow.  A shrill moan comes from the clouds, and the world seems to shake in response.  I don’t know who else to turn to.  I spread my arms out wide as the spiraling clouds touch the earth.  From the mist emerges a figure, standing aloft.  He is almost transparent, his form distorting the air around him like fumes rising above a flame, and a red and black glow seems to emit from his body.

I don’t know who to turn to.

I need power.  I need to kill them.  I need to crush them.  They’ve killed the people I love.  They’ll kill me.  I can’t do this alone.  I’m not strong enough.  I’m desperate.  “Please,” I whisper to the evil spirit, blinking tears from my eyes.

“Together…” he hisses, drifting towards me.  I can vaguely distinguish the form of a hand reaching for me.  “…You and I will be…”

I reach out and grab his hand.

“…Immortal.”

I need power.

I can’t do this alone.

I don’t know who to turn to.

He clutches me by my shoulders and runs his body right into my chest.  At first, it feels painful.  We both gasp, choking and screaming at the same time.  Then he enters me.  I lose control.  I convulse, whipping my head back and forth, veins bulging in my arms and on my neck.  I need this.  I need the power.  We both scream again, and I arch my back.

And then comes what I was hoping for.  A transformation.  A new creature.  A new me.  And a feeling of succulent pleasure and power.

PROTAGONIST COMBINATION: ANNA VEERA AND DEMON

We love the feeling.  The power runs through our veins.  We stand, and instead of the old body, a new one has formed.  We are tall, and thick, and burly.  Our hair is black, and our skin dark gray.  Our eyes are yellow.  And we are naked.  That’s okay.  There is nothing left to hide.

We are strong.

This is what we wanted.  There is no more pleasurable a feeling than that of power coursing through us.  Supernatural abilities that mere humans could only dream of.  It is like we are above all else.  We are the rulers.  Nothing can stop us.  And we are in control.  Nothing can control us.  We are god—

A huge bolt of lightning strikes the ground in front of us.  We step backwards so that we can see.  Who challenges?  The dust begins to settle.  Ah…it’s him.  We both know who he is, now that we are one.  We are afraid of him.  We know what he can do.  But we will still challenge him.  We will still fight.  He will not defeat us.

He raises his head from the dust.  His ice-blue eyes glow, and his deep red hair is tussled softly by the wind.  His sword is beaming with an unnaturally large source of charia.  And his body radiates zoecharia, even as from his heart he bleeds unceasingly.  Logos.  The first Soul Bleeder.

“What are you here to do, Soul Bleeder?” we question, smiling.  “Anna is mine.  I will not let go.”

“I’ll give you a chance to release her,” states Logos.   He glares at us, the wind picking up around him.  He’s preparing to strike.

Fear enters our hearts.  But we love this glory too much; this sense of dominion and lust.  Therefore, we do not back down.  “Never.”

“Then I’ll make you!” declares the Soul Bleeder.  And he charges us.

We know how to react.  We are powerful.  We bound backwards, warping space so that we move quickly.  And orbs of energy form on our palms.  Ahh, the feeling!  We release our first attack: the might!  The might!

The energy explodes all around Logos.  Yet then our eyes open wide; his head is suddenly right next to ours at our right, and his sword flashes.  “How did he—” we think.  Then we feel our arm drop from our body, and blood erupts from the stub.  We cry out in pain.  But we have regenerative properties; we cannot be defeated so easily.  Our arm grows back—first the bone, then the muscles and tendons, then the skin.

We land on the ground, and he alights right in front of us.  We are much taller than him, and our arms are the size of one of his legs.  We claw once, then twice.  He dodges, weaving and bobbing his head, and then he spins, and his sword slices right through our stomach.  We scream.  The flesh on our abdomen begins to mend immediately, but he’s too fast.  Both of our arms fly off as he uppercuts twice.  We can’t stop screaming.  It hurts!  He won’t stop!

We reform and look for him; we hate him!  How dare he interfere!  How dare he fight us!  How dare he hurt us!  Enormous orbs of energy, warping the air around us, form once again in our hands, and fire flares to life in our throats.  We spray out the flames and shoot with abandon our blasts of energy in every direction.  He dances backwards, and immediately dons his armor.  The transformation is unnaturally quick.  Neither of us have ever seen him in his armor; both helmeted and with a shield.  Perhaps, we should be honored that he even considers us worthy enough to witness this.  Yet really, it just brings fear into our hearts.  Maybe that’s what he wants.  But it’s working.

We start to panic, screaming flames at him and clawing at him.  Our blasts of energy have the power to make mountains crumble into dust—all we have to do is hit him.  He can’t dodge forever.  So he blocks.   He deflects two torrents of power with his shield, ducks our claws, and then air climbs right up to our face.  He front flips over us, slashing for our head as he does, but we warp space and zip underneath him, turning around to face him again.  He pivots to face us too, and the charia on his sword stretches out, as if extending his sword, and the extension behaves like a whip.  He cuts diagonally upwards, and the extension sizzles towards us.  We form a shield of energy around our left arm and block the blow before it can rip through our body.

We smile; maybe we can hold him.  But we think so too soon.  Suddenly, he is lunging at us, right for our belly, and he drives his sword into our stomach.  We crouch over, gasping as the air leaves our lungs, and pain sweeps through our body.  Before we can react or even heal, he steps forward and uppercuts with his shield, catching us under the chin.  Our head flies off, and though we now have no mouth, our spirits moan in pain.  He has us.

“Let her go!” he commands, driving his blade upwards in our stomach.  He’s doing it; he’s cutting through our body to reach our spirits within.  He will try to separate us.  He will try to free her/me.

We cry out, our head regenerating.  “Let her go!” he shouts again.  Our shrieking reaches an unearthly, deafening pitch.  He cuts us open even higher.

“NO!” we scream.

PROTAGONIST SWITCH: ANNA VEERA

I see him.  From within the depths of this body, from within the hole he cut in this magical, powerful, and yet dark form, I can see him.  He’s reaching for me.  “Anna,” he says, “it’s going to be okay!  I can help you.  You don’t need to turn to evil to fight evil.  I will help you!”

I hesitate, but consider his words.  I am still attached to the demon.   I am still gloriously possessed by him, and therefore possessing power and might and experiencing inexplicable pleasure.  I both love and hate this.  I look into the Knight’s eyes.  I want to be able to trust him, to let go and take his hand.  “Anna,” he speaks again, “this is what you want.  Let me help you.  Just trust me; everything is going to be fine.”

I reach for him.  I thought I didn’t have anyone else to turn to.  I thought only by joining with evil, I could defeat the evil in my life.   Is there another way?  Is this what I want?  I stare into the Knight’s eyes.

But then I reconsider.

This feeling, this glory, this lust, this power…do I really want to let that go?  I close my eyes—I mean, do I really want to let that go?

PROTAGONIST SWITCH: LOGOS

The hole suddenly closes.  I lose contact with her.  I bound backwards, scowling at the demon before me.  He’s pulling her back; but I won’t let him.  “Enough of this!” I cry out.  “Release her and return to the darkness you chose!”  I don’t hold back now.

I shoot an enormous blast of charia from my hand that completely engulfs the demon.   I can hear it scream beneath the torrent of power, which mercilessly eats away at the body of the beast.  I will not let evil take control of this person.  I will not let her be taken over against her will by this spirit.  I will beat him down until he releases her.  I cease firing the charia.  The demon thrashes on the ground, crying out, “Wait!  Wait!”

I pause; perhaps he’s come to his senses.

“What will you do, Soul Bleeder?” the demon wheezes at me, slowly regenerating.  “Will you force us to goodness?”

What is he talking about?  No, I force no one to goodness.  That’s not who I am.  I would never deprive someone of their free-will.  But why does he even bring this up?

“Are you giving her up, or aren’t you?” I question.

The demon begins laughing.  “No,” it says, rising to full height.  Its body has completely reformed.  With a look of deviousness, it smiles down at me.  “You don’t understand,” it says.

I squint…what could it mean?

“SHE IS CLINGING…TO ME!”

For a moment, all that can be heard is the wind tearing through the fields.  My mouth falls open, and I lower my weapons.  “What would you do, Soul Bleeder?” the demon asks again.  “Are you going to destroy us?  Are going to officially damn her soul by killing her while she is united with me?”

I feel my heart drop in my stomach.  I don’t want to.  If I kill them, she’ll go down into the deepest trenches of the world.  Her only chance to return to her natural form is if she remains alive, and one day turns away from the evil spirit she has joined herself with.  But, by joining herself with this demon—she’s unlocked an entirely new power, a new form of being, that, if introduced to the world, could be duplicated.  She could wreak havoc upon society, and have others join her to do the same.  I clench my sword with frustration.

“Well?” the demon taunts.  “Will you destroy us?  I can’t say it would surprise me.  After all, you were the Soul Bleeder that destroyed an entire nation in one night!

Immediately, flashbacks of me obliterating the race of the Black Suimar come to mind.  Explosion after explosion, me rising into the sky and releasing a circular blast of power that ruptured the enter city, it all comes back.  What I did was necessary.  But that was because they deserved the punishment, and I knew their thoughts.

“I won’t kill you,” I finally say.  “But by doing this, Anna, you have brought evil to both yourself and your entire race.  If you do not give up the evil spirit inside of you, all your people will suffer.”

“Even as we shall be saved,” the demon replies with a smile.

“Do not think you have won,” I say.  “If you or your kind threaten another nation while in the form of a demon, I will kill all who take the form of a demon and any who try to stop me.  Abide by these rules, or just like the Black Suimar, your nation will perish.”

“We are the new Black Suimar,” the beast answers.  “We will resurrect what was once destroyed.”

“Then hell will be your resting place.”

“I’d rather experience hell than part with this glorious form.”

I bow my head, discouraged and sad.  I grit my teeth; why?  Why?!  I offered her a chance.  I revealed to her my power; my power over evil!  Why does she not accept me?  Why does she choose to ally with the Evil?  “So be it,” I say.

And the demon transforms in an instant into a glowing, almost electric form of energy.  It looks as if the demon has turned to water, the way the red light flows and pulsates through its body.  Then the Evil zips away.

I follow a moment later, assuming the same form, only I travel in a white body instead of red.  The demon takes me to the homeland of Anna, where the White Suimar reign.  The settlement lies between two great mountains.  And from the top of a hill looking down into the valley, I watch the chaos start.  A terrible unveiling of power initiates, the demon slashing through members of Anna’s race, exploding home after home.  People shout and cry out in pain, begging for mercy.  Even from a distance, I can hear the new creature laughing, howling with delight.  And in response, the people ask, “Who can we turn to?”

And a host of demons arrive at their call.  If only they could have power like this.  If only they could trade their human nature for this form of mightiness and evil.

And what was once light became dark.


Well!  That took long enough XD  I hope you enjoyed this.  Thanks for reading and comment if you have any questions!

Dom

 

BLEACH FANFICTION….Again…

Sorry, I know that all I gave you last time was a link to my new Bleach fanfiction.  Here’s a way more convenient way to read it:

CHAPTER 1: DARKNESS, INSANITY, AND ESCAPE

The sirens won’t stop blaring throughout the building. I grip my head, feeling blood run down my face and through my fingers. I’m losing control. Losing sanity. What’s going on? Why am I here? Who am I?
The air is both cold and refreshing. But it is also harsh; I don’t feel comfortable in it. I’m naked. A shiver runs through my cold body, even as my head burns with pain from the hole in my forehead. The ground shakes beneath me as some explosion erupts somewhere in the building, jostling my cell. My legs are still adjusting to the hard, lifeless stone beneath me. The lights won’t stop flashing, the sirens won’t stop ringing. I’m so confused. What’s happening?
The last thing–or maybe it’s the first thing–I remember is pain running through my body. I was lying on an icy, metal table, and I noticed someone next to me. He was holding a long syringe, empty of whatever fluid it had previously held. I couldn’t see him; he was drenched in shadow. But he spoke to me, his voice rich and yet eerie, saying, “You are the final experiment, the most prized of my creations. Come, and I will teach you how to serve me.” And he put me in this cell.
That was only five minutes ago.
I was born five minutes ago.
I remember nothing before that; I don’t know if I ever existed before waking up on that metal table.
But then it happens for the third time: a flash of remembrance courses through my mind. “Ichigo Kurosaki”
I see a Soul Reaper with orange hair and a huge sword. I don’t know how I know he’s a Soul Reaper, or why I even know he exists. But this keeps on happening. “Who is he?” I wonder, lost and confused. Another image flashes in my mind. The Soul Reaper stands around a group of friends; two girls and three boys. “Ichigo Kurosaki”
And then after that, all that comes to mind is my own appearance. I raise my eyes, peering into the glass wall surrounding me, and I see my reflection.
Though mine is black, I have the same spiky hair. The same angry eyes. The same body. The same everything. I look exactly like him. “Ichigo Kurosaki”
But…why?!
The ground shakes beneath me again, and this time I am thrown from my feet. I land on the stiff stone, bruising my knees, and then another explosion occurs. The glass walls of my cell burst and shatter, thousands of shards clashing against the floor and rebounding off each other as they plummet. I raise my head, and through the demolished wall of my room emerges a dark figure. His long black hair flows behind him, held back from his face by white headpieces. He wears a long black robe, topped with a shorter white one. Thousands of small, black objects hover in the hair around him.
An image flashes in my mind again. It is of the same person. Only he is not so dark. He is surrounded by light and pink petals, which are sharp as daggers. This person is surrounded by a black cloud of tiny knives. “Who are you?” I shout.
He doesn’t answer.
Then a name comes into my mind. I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know where any of this knowledge comes from! “Byakuya Kuchiki”
Then he speaks. “I am…your death.”
His army of petals sail towards me. And a pang of understanding rises within me.
“Ichigo Kurosaki”
I cry out. I don’t know how it happens. My battle drive is activated. I don’t know how I know, but I do. The knowledge has been with me since I was born. Now I know how to make sense of this knowledge. The knives fly towards me.
“Getsuga…Tensho!” I spread my arms out, like a dragon about to take flight, and a huge blast of power, whipping and dancing, black and wrathful, discharges from me towards the other Byakuya. He gasps.
The explosion destroys half the building.
For a few moments, there’s only dust, and confusion. Everything happened so quickly. And for the first time in what feels like forever, there is silence. I don’t know if anyone died. I don’t know if anyone survived. But I was able to escape.
I alight on the roof of the building, the building where I was born, deep within this dark world. I look upon what my power has wrought. I don’t understand. I don’t understand who I am. I don’t understand this power. Who am I? Why was I created? I clench my fists, my own confusion making me frustrated and full of rage. “Dammit!” I think.
I raise my head to the sky. “Who am I?” I say aloud.
“Ichigo Kurosaki”
Then I suddenly know where to go. Another image flashes in my mind. This time, it’s of a town. And I don’t know how, but I know it’s name: Karakura Town.

Just a reminder that my book The Golden Lands, Volume 1 is now a free download for a limited time at Smashwords.com (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/535151).  Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity!  You WON’T be disappointed!

Dom