To be lost in an abyss of darkness was a tragic fate. The concept of time is an illusion when nothing exists.
Deep in a dark and endless void, an uncountable number of souls of the banished flowed through space and time. They were all infantile and floating on their backs, staring blankly into the darkness. They were merely traveling through the abyss with no consciousness, no free will, only the impulse to drift ever forward as if there was some mysterious law pulling them like a soul stream. From a distance, it appeared to be an endless river of infant souls. This river was wide by thousands of kilometers, infinitely deep, and it seems to go on forever and ever without an end in sight.
For countless millennia this darkness remained the same. Unchanging, and unfathomable. Until one particular day, which marked the start of a series of variations in this unchanging samsara. First, there was a soul with a unique seal floating in one spot, without moving an inch. Whereas from a certain angle the other souls were all laying on their back and staring upwards as they drifted feet first in one direction, this new entry just didn’t move at all, and it was actually facing down, head first towards the direction the others souls were moving in. This soul maintained this state for a millennium until there was another change.
There was another soul that experienced specific changes after it passed by the stationary soul. Almost at the instant, it floated past, this new soul suddenly begins to glow in bright color. As time moved that soul, which was initially pale grey like all the rest, first changed pale green, then blue, then silver, and finally it turned golden and released an intense light wave that instantly wiped out millions of souls in the surroundings.
Then this golden soul transformed into a golden sword of light, and shot into the distance, crashed into a wall of chaotic space and exploded through the barriers of this plane with a ‘BOOM.’ There was a blinding light, and deafening sound before the light and noise vanished utterly, the void mending itself instantly. After that big, even nothing major happened. The former soul remained stationary. For a few years, tranquility had returned.
Until suddenly…there was another light.
More precisely, there was a flame. Deep in the mass of grey clouds, there was a green fire slowly burning brighter until it begins to affect the souls surrounding itself. Suddenly, every soul within seven kilometers of the flame was instantly burning until nothing remained. Then the glow vanished.
Sylvester Tricko slowly regained consciousness but awakened to utter darkness, amidst a splitting headache. He grimaced through the pain and tried to clear his mind.
‘What is this?’ He seemed able to recall only his name. Any complicated thought made him feel a hot and painful sensation as if his skin was being seared.
After an unknown period passed, he was finally able to think a little more clearly. For a moment all was blank. He did not know who he was. He did not even know if he was. What exactly was the state of ‘being’ anyway? Did he genuinely exist just because he questioned it? What was existence? He felt unsure, but he knew it should be more than this. Suddenly, his consciousness shook, and in the pupils of his eyes, one could see two small green and black flames dancing. He could finally remember himself.
“I am Prince Sylvester Sylknarius Tricko, heir apparent to supreme Sephiroth of the Anubis Great World. The most extreme talent with the purest god beast bloodline ever born in the history of the royal family,” the prince arrogantly proclaimed to absolutely no one, “I have perfectly inherited the World Devouring Sky Jackal and Infinity Black Phoenix’s ancient bloodlines, I am a second generation, Sky Jackal. Or more accurately I’m a noble Sky Wolf. I had just achieved dominance in the academy’s assessment by defeating every other genius from the age of 11 years old to up to ten years older than this. Including the number one powerhouse in the academy, Luerong Blakrok. Of course, this was by a human standard… However, why can I not remember what happened after…”
Prince Tricko was pondering while he floated through the abyss, “Well no matter. Let’s first figure out where we are.”
It was at this moment Prince Tricko realized that he had no physical form. This caused great anguish to wash over his spirit in a wave. What the hell had happened? The last thing he could remember was the most glorious moment out of his entire fifteen years of life. Of course, those were Fey years, different from how human’s age. He slowly came to terms with what this discovery most likely meant. Infinity Palace. The Great Beyond. He had heard it called a great many things. However, it all said one thing in the end.
He was already dead.
Or at the very least, Prince Tricko’s body was definitely gone.
However, he didn’t dare accept this fate. As Prince Tricko begin to survey his surrounding, he became depressed. None of his mortal senses were active. He could see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing. He instinctively swept his perception over his body. He was merely a spiritual baby, despite being a rather handsome one. His body was opaque and his legs nonexistent.
‘Is this what it feels like to die? How uninspired.’ Thought Prince Tricko, ‘No, this is unlikely. If I have perished, then how is it I am still conscious?’
No, that was it!
How did he know he was a spiritual baby?
How was he aware of how his form looked?
Because his soul consciousness had not ceased its functionality!
Prince Tricko immediately attempted to urge his spiritual awareness to take the shape of his eyes. The first thing he saw startled him greatly. There was a face flowing directly past his and then another. Followed by another and then another. The eyes looked devoid of any emotion or reaction. This would have been far more unsettling if they weren’t all ghost babies.
“So do we all return to being infants upon death? Or perhaps this is that human cycle of reincarnation?” The young prince was startled. Reincarnation? For some reason, this word reminded him of a very vague memory. However, it was fleeting. His mind begins working ceaselessly, trying to remember something, “High-level heroes are able to forcibly bind the souls of those they kill to the hero clan’s fate laws, forcing these souls to enter the hero’s cycle of reincarnation! So this must be the fabled river of samsara!”
Prince Tricko then extended his spiritual awareness to cover 10 meters around himself before he was forced to stop. Spiritual awareness could allow one to view the world from a third person’s point of view, and at higher levels from above, like watching it on a broadcast screen. Green-hued light suddenly flashed in Prince Tricko’s eyes and all the souls around him suddenly burst into flames.
As the souls burned, the purified soul power made his own soul much more powerful. His mind became clear, and his soul light changed from the dull grey color it was initially, to a forest green.
Prince Tricko and all the souls surrounding him have initially been like drained husks. Devoid of energy, and thus dormant and easily manipulated.
The prince was able to reason that this dark-green light hue surrounding his spirit form must provide some indication of a higher tier of soul power. Best of all, he had regular legs on his spirit form now! He had evolved from ghost baby to ghost toddler, he had slight facial features. This seemed somehow significant. It was all thanks to that green and black flame.
“Hahaha, the Sky Fall Flame, of course!” Prince Tricko laughed joyously, “It seems I have truly been banished to the nether realms of death. This fabled river of forgetfulness! The legendary Samsara Road of Fate, in which time flows backward. That b***h! How could she be so vicious?”
The prince was livid now that he understood his current circumstances in full. He could finally remember the that after defeating Luerong, her b***h of a master, Sansa Blacc, cornered him outside the venue and attacked!
Worst of all, his younger brother tried to protect him in their last moments. Such love for the familiar was genuinely touching. To be frank, Prince Tricko had never even liked the kid before that moment. He was also planning to kill him eventually; less the talented brat try and compete for the title of Sephiroth. Sylvester would never allow this to happen, even if they were his father’s only living sons.
“In reality, Xavier’s True Hero bloodline has already disqualified him the throne,” Sylvester mused alone, “My worries were baseless.”
Of course, now his father seemed to no longer have a son left living. His brother and himself had both been murdered!
“That should have been the case. However, my nirvana flame has rewritten our almost abysmal fate. I should remember to kiss my mother when I return to the world of the living, haha.” Though he spoke harsh words to cheer himself up, hope was ultimately dismal. Unlike his brother Xavier Tricko, Sylvester Tricko was not a human, and he knew only a limited amount of information regarding the affairs of the hero clan.
Prince Tricko’s mother was an Infinity Black Phoenix, an original pharaoh beast of the Pharaoh Bird Clan, and a progenitor of the Infinity Monster race. This was one of the twelve primordial antiquity races. His father was also an original pharaoh beast, a mighty World-Devouring Sky Jackal of the Heavenly Dog clan. His father was a true king amongst his race, and the absolute monarch of the Anubis Great World.
Due to his mother unexpectedly experiencing her third phoenix nirvana during her pregnancy with the prince, he who had endured it with her could manipulate her nirvanic fire since birth. Essentially this flame was born within them both at the same time. From another point of view, this flame also gave birth to Sylvester.
The Nirvana Flame. The bane of all souls.
The flame that the original pharaoh beast, the Phoenix, produces during their rebirth process, the Nirvana. There is nine nirvana of the Phoenix, and the Nirvana Flame is a gift born from the first, third, or sixth nirvanic tribulation. The birth time and level of the nirvana flame decide the talent of the Phoenix. These flames are unique to the Phoenix but could be shared with offspring through a single method. Rumor suggested that the Queen Mother of Prince Tricko’s Nirvana flame was stronger than most Divine Flames.
What kind of concept was that?
One must know that sky flames were naturally created by the laws of the universe, they could not be replicated or mass produced! They were each existence unique to themselves. A divine flame was the highest tier of sky flame! Some of these flames had even evolved into solar stars, and many had sentience! His Queen Mother’s nirvanic flame could even swallow a small sun!
This was the Sky Fall Flame, also known as the devouring flame! Unknown to all but Sylvester and his mother, the Sky Fall Flame actually tried to devour him while he was in the womb! The end result? 65% of the flame’s essence was instead swallowed by the yet born prince.
This meant that his mother made her mark with a flame that only possessed 35% of its original might. The remaining fire was within her son.
This was a child that caused even such a heaven-defying existence to suffer a loss.
This happened even before his birth.
Due to the flame’s eruption, Prince Tricko’s soul was sublimated, and he once again recovered more of his memory. This time he indeed remembered how he had ended up here.
“That damn hag dares to banish my soul? MY NOBLE SOUL!? Should it then be my fault that her disciple Luerong Blacc was not my match? My fault that her trash disciple lost in three moves? To think, I even had the thought to spare the lass.” Prince Tricko shamelessly referred to a girl who was at least ten years his senior as a child. Afterall appearances aside, heroes aged differently from the fey.
“Alas,” sighed the prince. “I wonder what happened to my little brother. Before I was hit with the spell, he jumped in the way and released his power. Such a freakish ability definitely has something to do with the current circumstances. And to think, I had even been thinking of ways to kill him. I almost feel guilty or something.” He didn’t feel guilty. In fact, the prince wasn’t sure what such a thing actually felt like. Who told him to be born amazing, attracting this catastrophe because of his outstanding performance? It was a freak accident at best.
Prince Tricko slowly floated on. Time was irrelevant here. There was no way to know how long he merely floated there, ever drifting forward. The only one among a sea of souls sitting with crossed arms and legs. As what seemed like years passed by in silence, Prince Tricko felt like he understood new mysteries about the inner workings of time laws.
This was naturally incredible.
As a member of the monster race, his law comprehension ability was actually lacking. He was only proficient the laws recorded within his lifeblood, as he didn’t need to understand them, they were apart of who he was. However, even though it was harder for monsters to grasp laws, it wasn’t impossible. After being trapped in this temporal zone for so many countless eons, Sylvester had, of course, began to comprehend some things. This would benefit him much if he weren’t merely an apparition. The idea that caused Prince Tricko to be baffled was that there was one soul different from the rest.
When he first sensed this abnormal soul, he was still very far away from it. What he found odd at first sight was that, unlike the rest of the infant souls, this soul was completely stationary.
Or, at least it WAS utterly immobile. Up until the day he finally moved past its location.
The moment Sylvester reached it, that infant soul immediately begin float around him in an orbital pattern. It was as if this soul had taken the prince was its sun, it’s everything. So every few seconds he would see lifeless husks where the infant soul’s eyes should have been, as it kept passing the front of his own face.
Occasionally the Sky Fall flame, which was merged with the soul of Prince Tricko, would erupt and devour all infant souls in an ever-increasing range. At first, it was merely ten feet. It evolved to be a few kilometers. Then, it expanded to swallow a few dozen kilometers worth of souls. Finally, over 100 kilometers worth of souls were devoured and converted into pure energy. The energy fed the nirvana flame and sublimated Prince Tricko’s soul.
Sylvester had no idea how many poor souls he had exterminated, but he was unconcerned with this. Was their current fate much better than obliteration?
His soul light turned from forest green to baby blue. Prince Tricko, however, had no control over these eruptions of the sky fall flame at first. It was involuntary. Perhaps it was the nirvana flame’s own survival instinct, or maybe it was his own. The line that separated his spiritual awareness and the fire was obscured. If before this the two could be considered close to merging, then they had now finally fused completely.
However, despite the constant eruption of power, the soul who was treating him as the center of its universe remained unaffected. It was as if it could never be destroyed, or the Sky Fall flame simply had no effect on its divine soul. Every time the blaze erupted Sylvester felt a profound aura of dignity from the orbiting infant soul. In fact, the more the sky fall flame erupted, the more this parasitic infant soul begin to glow in golden soul light.
“Is this the so-called disaster that attracts a miracle? What’s the deal with this guy? My Sky Fall Flame basically can’t even sense him, it’s like he doesn’t exist. The only other existence this flame does not react too is my mother. Totally weird.” Thought the wandering soul of Sylvester.
He had recently spent his days incinerating and devouring other souls, plundering all that remains of them. Many fragmented memories and thoughts were burned away as well as he assimilated the purest soul force he had ever known into his own soul.
“Curious, curious…” said Sylvester, “Come on little guy. Is it not a bit rude to just sleep and eat? At least wake up once for this prince, it’s so boring here.”