Chapter 17: Soul puppet (1)

(Lenia’s P.O.V.)

“How did you know that they would follow me?” Lenia’s voice was wavering, she had after all just witnessed her master end the lives of three men in mere seconds.

Although she didn’t want to feel fear for the one who created her, her voice nonetheless was still shaky. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking especially as his face was now covered in cloth. There was so much she had yet to understand but for the first time she felt slightly anxious towards the unknown.

“I was watching you.”

Lenia looked inquisitively at her master. She didn’t understand what he meant by saying that?

Was he following me without me knowing it? She asked herself.

“I don’t understand….”

She wanted to say more but couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence. The walls of the small room felt like they were enclosing her within their suffocating embrace. Her very soul seemed to beat to the drum of her overworked heart. It was as if her entire being would burst from her chest. That was the power of the ability that her master had used, ‘Banshee’s Wail.’

“Yes, it would be confusing to you. I was watching you, although not physically but with my soul. It is an ability I possess, ‘Astral Projection.’ With it I can propel my soul out of my body and observe the physical realm through your senses.”

Such an ability, wait does that mean he could see everything I did!?

She suddenly became very nervous and she struggled to keep her embarrassment in check.

“Master, were you able to see everything?”

I really hope not! How embarrassing! Did I do anything to bring him shame? I didn’t get lost and followed his directions perfectly but I was followed so easily…

“Yes, I saw everything. I was with you the entire way.”

Lenia’s face turned almost beet red at his response. She could no longer keep her embarrassment from creeping up to her face. She could barely bring herself to look at her master.

Is he disappointed with me?

The young woman immediately got down on her knees and bowed, hoping he would be merciful but her master only seemed to look at her with confusion.

“Please master, please forgive me. This shame I have brought upon you is unbearable! If my life will wash this stain from me then take it, I beg of you!”

Lenia began to hysterically beg, not to keep her life but just for his forgiveness. Her master tried to speak but couldn’t get a word in. He didn’t quite understand the reasons for her hysterical breakdown and was a little out of sorts that she would so quickly offer her life.

“Enough!”

Without being given a chance to speak, he finally yelled at her over her words which caused her to shrink back in fear while still prostrating herself.

“Lenia, stand up, there is no need for you to beg for forgiveness on the floor and don’t ever offer your life up like that again! You did nothing wrong. All was according to my plans. Even that bracelet you found was taken into consideration. I knew very well you were hiding it from me and what it meant. I allowed you to carry it with you to the marketplace and I watched every one of your actions.”

His words seemed to have calmed her down enough that she could now stand.

“You aren’t angry with me?”

He derisively snorted at her ridiculous antics but stopped himself and remembered that she was still developing. Her ignorance was understandable.

“I am not angry with you Lenia, you have done exactly as I hoped you would. You brought these men to me.”

She wished he would explain more because she had no idea what was going on. However, not wanting to look the fool she kept her mouth closed. If her master wished to explain himself he would and if not, then she must do the best she could to understand his plans.

“Watch and learn.”

Aleks walked over to the three corpses and knelt down over the former leader of the group. The two weaker members had already been devoured by his ability but the soul of the one who was their leader remained within its corpse. He had another purpose for that particular body and didn’t devour its soul. Instead,  he activated a third ability known as ‘Soul Puppet’.

This ability would allow him to control the body of a formerly living being as if it were still alive. The ability would only last for three days because that was the limit for how long a soul could remain within a body if not properly bound with magic, like in necromancy. His ability was not a type of necromantic magic, but something which was both greater and lesser at the same time.

The ‘Puppet’ would retain its memories and personality but would be entirely dominated by the ‘Soul Eater’ and would carry out his will. The ability was somewhat similar to raising a corpse from the dead but it also had its differences.

For one, the ability carried with it a powerful illusion that made the corpse appear to be in the same condition as of when the original body was alive. There wouldn’t even be a pungent smell and neither was there a way to see through the illusion. Not unless one possessed an equally powerful ability or spell to dispel it that is. The body would also retain its former fighting strength. The only downside to this, again, was the limited time it could remain a puppet.

The former assassin’s body began to jerk as it returned to some semblance of its former life. Before long the body rose and stood at attention waiting for Aleks to give his orders.

“What is your name, puppet?”

The ‘Soul Eater’ placed extra emphasis on the word ‘puppet’.

“I am Roderan. Boss, what is it you wish me to do?” Its voice sounded strangely normal.

Lenia was expecting the voice to sound somewhat disembodied or eerie but instead it sounded the same as when it was alive.

“Listen well puppet, you are to return to your former boss and you are to report the death of your subordinates. You will also tell the Don that his most powerful rival laid a trap for you and your men. That this was all a plot to weaken him and that his goal was to start an all-out war for control of the city’s underworld. Once you inform the Don of this, you are to create an opportunity to attack his rival. That should be enough to get these petty criminals to kill each other.”

Lenia listened intently to the words of her master and wracked her brain trying to piece everything together so that she could better understand her master. She wanted to be of use to him and more than just a tool for attracting enemies.

“Now go and do as I commanded. Once you have completed your objectives, return and report to me.”

The former lieutenant to the Don bowed to his new temporary master and left to carry out his mission.

“These criminals, or Dons as they call themselves are naught but fools. They believe that they have true power because they can make people do as they wish through fear. They use their money and their power for selfish ends without any real purpose. For what? So that they can live a life of luxury? In the end, their bodies will return to dust and their souls will return through the veil only to start over yet again as nothing. An endless and pointless existence. The aristocrats of this place are no better! These so called officials and representatives living in their glass bubbles. Those sick and demented individuals, I will kill every last one of them in the end. This republic is nothing more than a twisted joke which should be wiped from the face of the continent!”

Lenia was surprised by her creator’s outburst of anger. It seemed very much unlike the man who always appeared to her composed.

Are we so different?

She thought this for a brief moment but shoved it back within the recesses of her mind. It was wrong to be so disrespectful towards her creator. How dare she compare herself to him?

“Uh… “

She wished to say something to get rid of the awkwardness caused by her master’s rant but she didn’t know what to say.

“Forget you heard that. It was unsightly of me … I apologize. I have a lot of anger towards this place.

Aleks took a moment to collect himself.

“What’s wrong master?”

Seeing her master act in such a way hurt her heart. She felt great anguish for him. Lenia never wished to see her master in such pain.

“This place is one of those responsible for the death of my family in this lifetime.”

Lenia was surprised, she never even knew her master had a family.

“I didn’t know master.”

Aleks waved her concern off and placed his hand on her head in a warm gesture.

“Let me tell you a story I read in an old book in my childhood.”

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