Chapter 24

The body hit the ground, the slap of meat hitting the cold stone floor echoed out as the flesh sack bounced. As it hit the floor again it landed with a very solid crack, almost completely opposed from the sound before. Peter sighed, the scent was getting stronger, but his prey, his prize, had moved faster and faster since their first encounter in the primeval land. He could only assume that his draining of the souls of so many people was what kept him stuck behind her, but that would soon stop.

 

He did not have to stop rending people asunder, really, but he knew the clans looked down on it in the great cities. The process of soul thievery was something that the Mephisto clan kept very tightly under wraps, because of its twofold benefits to them. They did not want word of how powerful their secret skill actually was to get out, to the point where they bound every incoming potential and outgoing branch member with a soul contract that would kill them and wipe them from the cycle of rebirth if they revealed it.

 

In the time Peter had been travelling, he had stolen almost a thousand souls. Whether old or young, he had pulled them out of their original homes, then slowly sewn them together, a hundred at a time. Now he had nine souls that would take his place of he ever received enough damage to kill him. Sadly it was still not enough to be considered complete. He knew that the only way to truly become complete would be to gain an Ascendant Immortal soul as a shield, an Ascendant Immortal Oversoul. It would take a hundred Immortal ranked souls to make one, and a hundred Heaven ranked souls to create an Immortal Oversoul. The same was true for the Heaven tier with Saints. It was a long and laborious path, but it was the end goal for every member of the Mephisto family. Every child dreamed of having an indestructible soul. Peter had felt the same way, until he found his target. He needed to possess his target more than anything else in the world. It was his, and he could feel the mana trail that it made from a world away. He just could not catch up. Now, though, he was only ten days away. He could still feel the path that it had taken through the city. It could run, it could hide but he would find it.

 

There was no escape from Peter in Spirit. The requirements for the eleventh floor were too steep for his target to achieve. He laughed to himself bitterly at the thought, ‘Be a Saint of at least ten years of age, or be Heaven ranked’. The former was infuriating to him, at seven and a half years old, while the latter was impossible to him. Even at peak Sainthood, like he was quickly approaching, the gap between knowing everything in a Book and understanding everything in a Book was immense. Generally even a Golden Child would not reach Heaven rank before the age of fifteen.

 

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Exiting the dark alley, Peter meandered amongst the bustling crowds of the city as he followed the mana trail, keeping up just enough that it was never too faint for him to follow. He could tell that his target knew he was coming, he didn’t know how, but he assumed that they must have some way of tracking his ill intent. He sighed as he looked at the people rushing about. He would need at least twenty more souls before his tenth Oversoul was complete, and even then he would not be confident about dealing with a more skilled combatant than himself. Comfortable, but not confident.

 

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With the power of ten Saint Oversouls Peter was assured of catching his target. He just had to find them first. He was tempted to make another Soul Shaking array with the skulls of people nearby him, but he did not think he could get away with such brutal murder. Not without his family being informed.

 

If his family was informed before he caught his prize then he would lose it for sure, so he had to be careful. He had to take care around the city because of Sir Robert’s army. There were many men from the Mephisto clan within the Bobbies and they might recognise a soul devoured corpse. While them recognising the state of the corpse might not reveal Peter immediately, it would not be too long before he was a prime suspect. This he could not stand.

 

He watched as a couple of young men, both in shabby clothing, walked into an alleyway. They seemed to be following a more well dressed girl who had no idea that they were behind her. In Peter’s eyes, they definitely looked like they were up to no good. As they disappeared from sight, Peter upped his pace, and began cracking the joints in his hands. He was going to get three more souls today, then he would call it a rest and begin to assimilate them into the amorphous mass that made up his tenth Oversoul.

 

He walked into the alley and looked at the trio that stood in its middle. The young woman looked pleadingly at him as the two men shook her down for anything she might have on her person. When they saw Peter the taller elbowed his friend. “What do we do, Mort?” he said.

 

“Move along, boy. The less you see of this, the better it is for you”.

 

Peter smiled. He loved it when people underestimated him. Unfortunately for the woman, and really for the men as well, it simply was not their day.

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