Chapter 8: The birth of the Soul Eater

A loud gunshot broke through his strange mental state. It was closer than he expected and the sound of angels disappeared from his mind.

Instead, he heard the scream of a young girl. He turned his head and watched as his sister fell from her horse and tumbled roughly across the ground.

“NO!!” Aleks shouted, pulling the reins of his horse violently which caused the horse to throw him.

He flew off the horse and hit the ground almost causing him to become winded. He could hear the laughter of the soldiers as they slowed their horses and surrounded him.

“The girl is dead for sure. The son seems to be the only one left of their family alive.”

Aleksandros could hear the dragoons talking to each other, and he knew. They were all dead. His father, mother, and his sister. It was too late, but he realized that there may be a chance he actually loved them in some strange and twisted way.

The world suddenly went dark.

A thunderous and agonizing scream broke forth from his lips without him being aware of it. His mind went blank and then filled with the sound of a thousand wails like the harrowing screams of a horde of banshees. Strange numbers and symbols flitted across his eyes which reminded him of the computer screens he once stared at while avoiding sleep developing the technology necessary for the Tower of Babel. He was only partially conscious unable to fully process the extreme amount of information flitting across his eyes and drilling into his brain. His body shook and twitched violently shocking the soldiers who were previously laughing at his misfortune.

“What’s going on? What the hell is wrong with him?”

“I don’t know. Let’s just kill him quickly and get out of here. This kid is freaking me out!”

The soldier next to the officer nodded his head in agreement and lifted his magic pistol to fire at Aleksandros.

But before he could pull the trigger, the soldiers were suddenly blinded by an excruciating light that exploded like a flash of lightning. The wails and cries that blared in Aleksandros’s mind were no longer just figments of his imagination but had become tangible and real.

The Banshee’s wail, the souls of the departed wailing in despair and in grief.

Strange, eerie, and ephemereal wraith like beings flew out of Aleksandros’s body and released their soul crushing screams. The horses of the dragoneers went wild, throwing off the soldiers as they crazily jumped around in fear and madness. The thrown soldiers covered their ears and shouted in pain as they rolled on the ground. Their pain was not from the collision with the earth, but a soul searing pain that drove them insane. They felt as if their very souls were being brutally torn from their bodies in the most excruciating way possible.

They weren’t wrong.

Their bodies soon shriveled up as the ghastly wraiths released from Aleksandros’s body savagely ripped their souls from them, turning their bodies into decayed husks. The experience wasn’t any better for Aleksandros whose brain felt like it was being clawed and dug into by ravenous worms. His hands grabbed viciously onto the side of his head as his nails dug into his skin cruelly. He was unaware of what was happening as the pain he was feeling was too great. An exorbitant amount of power was fluctuating rapidly around his body as the wraiths swarmed around him feeding off the souls of the dead dragoneers. A gleaming pillar of light soared into the sky seemingly piercing the heavens with its majesty and power.

Brock who was still engaged with several dragoneers turned along with them to look at the pillar of light coming from where the others had run off to. Their fight halted momentarily and the dragoneers shuddered in fear. Brock steeled his nerves and pulled on the reigns of his horse, driving it towards the light. The other dragoneers who were making quick work of the convoy saw the pillar of light as well. The massacre had temporarily ended as they stared into the sky, their hearts slowly being overcome with dread.

They had already killed hundreds of those who had fled with the convoy and hardly any of the kingdom’s soldiers remained. The body of the Duchess was visible and unmoving within a pool of blood on the floor. She died with a look of self-pity and grief.

The soldiers of the kingdom and the Duchess had fought them with murderous fervor but had been outnumbered and defeated with little effort. They couldn’t match up against the dragoneers with their magic pistols and superior mobility.

All eyes within the area were staring at that strange and unyielding pillar of light which was gone almost as quickly as it had appeared. A loud rumble shook the earth in the vicinity of Aleksandros, and his body finally calmed from the violent shaking. He had regained his consciousness but was shocked into silence.

What is this?

Words flashed across his eyes. It reminded him of the visors some wore in his original lifetime which were computer screens. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

How is this possible?

Booting… Tower of Babel activated… Refreshing and analysing status… Can not connect with host frame… aborting… loading local data…

“I can’t believe this. This screen, this information. Tower of Babel? I don’t understand, the tower was destroyed.. Wasn’t it?”

Aleksandros muttered under his breath with confusion. This was clearly the operating screen of the Tower of Babel, but how was it visible within his mind’s eye?

“Is it within my mind… Could it be connected with my soul? Is this the reason I was able to deviate from the gods’ plans for me?”

Checking Status…

Class: Soul Eater (Level 10 MAX)

Race: Human Ascendant

Health: Injured

Soul Potential (SP): 10017

“This… I know I devoured the potential that was in many souls, but Soul Eater? I have a class? Wait, this is similar to the system that the gods created, but I have never heard of this class before. Also, it is impossible for someone to view their class and status without seeking the gods at a church or temple. How am I able to see this? It must be connected somehow to the events that took place at the Tower. It’s all too much for me right now. I will have to carefully review this at another time.”

Aleksandros shook his head and cleared his mind. The information continued to process across his retina but he wasn’t in any condition to look through it now. He willed it away and the information disappeared from his sight. He realized he could control whether the information was present or not.

“Ugh.. my head is pounding. I feel like someone beat me with a hammer.”

Aleksandros struggled to his feet and finally realized where he was and quickly glanced around is surroundings.

“It’s too quiet…”

All of the dragoneers were dead to his surprise but even worse was the state their bodies were in. They were dried husks and decayed corpses.

“What could have done this? Did I do this? I vaguely remember something strange happening. Even the horses are dead…”

Aleksandros stumbled his way around the area inspecting the bodies. The corpses didn’t bother him in the least. He had already witnessed countless deaths. After inspecting the bodies he was uncertain what to do, but he knew he had to get as far away as he possibly could. He saw the silhouette of a single rider approaching in the distance. Aleksandros couldn’t recognize him at first, but then he realized who it was. It was Brock, and he was riding fast towards Aleks. Once he could clearly see Aleksandros standing there surrounded by corpses, his first reaction was relief and then shock.

“Young master! You’re okay! What.. happened here?” He was at a loss for what to say and could only stutter as he spoke.

Aleksandros observed the state that Brock was in. He was visibly ragged with cuts in his uniform in several places. Blood stained the lapels of his uniform and also smeared his chest. He frantically looked around the area with his sword still unsheathed but couldn’t find a single enemy or strange occurrence remaining.

“I don’t know Brock.. I blacked out, and when I came to, they were already dead.”

Brock looked at Aleksandros for a long time before finally sheathing his sword. He felt like he had truly gotten old.

“Your sister.. I’m sorry I couldn’t save her.. And your mother..”

“That’s enough, don’t say any more.”

It was clear that anger frosted his voice which surprised Brock. He had never seen such emotions of rage in his young master but thinking about what had transpired he could understand. Even though Aleksandros had been one who never showed emotion or care for anything, Brock thought it would be more monstrous of him to not show any at this moment.

“Young master, we should quickly leave this place before more dragoneers come.”

Brock walked his horse over to where his master was struggling to keep on his feet and dismounted. He helped lift him carefully up onto the horse and got on the horse in front of him.

The two rode off into the horizon in search of safety. Neither of them knew what was to come.

“They will pay Brock. I will make them all pay. Every. Last. One.”

Brock could feel the determination in his young master’s voice, but he completely misunderstood his words. In his mind, his master was seeking vengeance against the countries that caused the death of his family.

However, this was only part of his intent. It was the gods that he wished vengeance upon within his heart.

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