William felt sick. He’d been quite healthy in his current body, so it was somewhat of a surprise to feel sick. As for how he was sick, it wasn’t anything particular. His stomach was upset, making him not want to eat. He thought perhaps he had a slight fever, but he didn’t have a thermometer to tell. His bowels were also upset, which was the most unpleasant part.
He expected it to pass in a day, or at least within a few days, but instead it grew worse. He finally went to full bedrest, instead of continuing his worse. If his condition deteriorated any further, his parents planned to immediately call a doctor. William wasn’t sure if they could help or not, and he didn’t like the idea of the expense, but he wasn’t going to be so stubborn as to risk his life and ask them not to call a doctor for the sake of money.
Things hadn’t gone exactly as planned, but the results were tolerable. He stood alone in a dark room covered in magical formations. Well, perhaps saying alone was slightly incorrect. After all, there were still bodies all around him, covering the floor. They weren’t arranged in any particular pattern. That was unnecessary. As he looked at the corpses of humans and demons on the floor, he also felt that one of those sets was unnecessary, but they had died to make this work. A noble sacrifice.
The room was sealed shut. He couldn’t afford any interruptions, nor could he allow the energy here to escape out of the room. Today, he would perform a grand feat of magic. Well, perhaps it was more than magic. Regardless, he sat in the middle of the room, focusing on what he wanted. He wanted a weapon, and he had the perfect materials and environment to make it. He began to chant, at the same time extending his soul out to cover the room. He felt the others, and even thought they could almost be considered alive… if only for a short time.
He continued to chant, his voice echoing throughout the chamber, heard only by his own ears. Soon, he had exhausted all of the mana in the room, but that was not a problem. He had something better for what he intended. All around him, glowing particles were being born, an excellent substitute for mana. No, instead of a substitute, they were exactly what he wanted. The chant worked, exactly as she promised. It was longer than could be spoken in one breath, but he knew a special method of breathing that allowed him to sustain a chant almost indefinitely. That was necessary for any longer ritual. However, the chant was half over, and he was less than half done. He needed to accelerate that process, and put more effort into producing those glowing particles, which then swirled around in front of him in a spiraling vortex.
Now came the critical part. Tearing apart a soul was one thing, but it was quite another to take those pieces and create a solid form. It was much easier to add soul to soul, mixing like with like. Still, it was worth the effort. He needed a good weapon, one that would last and possess great power. More than that, it would be like a part of himself.
Sweat dripped down his forehead, though the moving air currents in the room didn’t allow it to flow directly with gravity. He couldn’t be bothered with something so mundane as wiping sweat, and he didn’t have the concentration to spare. Before him, something was finally taking shape. He built it up, layer by layer, but also let it take its natural shape. A beautiful sky blue crystal formed and continued to grow taller, soon topping his sitting form. Finally, he said the last word in the chant, at the very moment he intended.
Now, the room truly was empty. In it, there was only himself… and a crystal staff. He was drained of all energy, so much that he could barely even stand up. As he looked at the marvelous weapon in front of him, he smiled. It was worth it. He stretched out his hand to take it. With this, he could make the world right.
His hand gripped the staff, but it suddenly wrenched out of his grip, striking him. His body was trained and hard, so this was merely a bit unpleasant. What was more concerning was that it had happened at all. He could feel the connection to the staff. Linked to him, it shouldn’t have done anything of the sort. Then, it did it again. And again. He could have easily blocked it, if there had been anything in the room to do so… and if he were not so tired.
He slowly backed toward the door. He would have to consult her on what went wrong. It was surely because he’d never done anything on this scale before. He’d think about it later, when things were more clear. He reached the door, preparing to unseal it. However, it didn’t open. Did he misremember the chant? Was he too weak to do anything? He couldn’t tell… and had no time to think about that, as he was stuck once again by the staff.
He reached out to grab it, trying to wrestle it into submission… but his body was as tired as his soul after the ritual. He couldn’t keep his grip. More than that, it was as if the staff became slick as soap as soon as he got a good grip, though it hadn’t been that way when he first grabbed it. He wouldn’t be able to deal with this trouble alone… but he didn’t trust anyone enough to have had them present. If only he could open the door… Then, his outstretched arm was broken. Soon after that, a blow to his skull knocked him unconscious… never to wake until the next cycle.