Berserk energy was infuriating. That was Nilima’s opinion at the current moment. When she had first learned to control energy, gentle energy made no sense. Sure, she understood the idea that she could slip past enemy defenses, but controlling it was… too easy? Except it wasn’t exactly easy, just that forcing it to work with her didn’t work. Meanwhile, berserk energy only worked with her when she forced it… and while she thought she would like that sort of thing it still hurt her even though it was nominally under her control. Trying to force it out on its own caused more damage, using gentle energy to push it out caused more damage, and just leaving it in her caused damage. There was no way to win.
She could expend all of her ‘normal’ energy to remove the berserk energy, but then she couldn’t do any exploring of the Valley of All Souls… and she still needed to go deeper inside. That was the only thing that made sense, because she hadn’t found whatever it was that was here. Though… maybe she wasn’t the one who was supposed to find it. Master Hykel and Reina had already been here searching for a while. The prophecy said… something something Barrett something something Valley of All Souls. The thing to help him was here, somewhere. Presumably, she would know it if she found it… since it would be the only thing besides a few rocks.
The problem was she kept running out of energy. There was no way she was going into all that death energy without protecting herself- even a strain of hair shrivelled and fell apart when she threw it nearby. Maybe someone like Master Hykel could protect himself with the strength of his body, but she didn’t have that.
After she removed all the berserk energy with her own gentle energy, Nilima didn’t have much to do but sit around waiting and thinking. Maybe she could do something with the death energy. She certainly hadn’t trained to control it, but if she could just keep it away from herself… However, all attempts to control it did nothing. Perhaps if she had a method to draw it into herself she could learn to control it… or perhaps she would die. Either way, she couldn’t do anything at a distance, and she sure wasn’t going to just stick her hand in it unprotected.
Later when she had recovered some energy, she decided to try with it surrounding her. That meant she couldn’t remove the berserk energy… but she could live with it for a bit, despite how unpleasant it was. That said, it probably would kill her if left too long.
As she stepped into the death energy in the Valley of All Souls, she protected herself and felt around her. It was… death energy. She wasn’t sure there was much else to it. It embodied decay and all sorts of unpleasantness, and she definitely wouldn’t let it touch her. As for controlling it… she let it get as close to her as she dared then tried to move it. There was something… but she couldn’t really sense any death energy responding to her. Then she was running out of her own protective energy. She was quite capable of keeping the death energy away while she still had power but gentle energy didn’t hold up to sustained attacks as well.
Nilima retreated away from the death energy and was left with just berserk energy and a trace of her own energy. Expelling it directly would be disastrous to her health, so she tried to see if she could minimize its impact as it remained in her. Berserk energy liked to move chaotically, randomly… unlike her gentle energy which settled into a nice flow throughout her almost on its own. When she tried to make the berserk energy do the same… well, it turned into a predictable and steady amount of damage everywhere, but she had to hold it into the flow with constant willpower. For a small portion of berserk energy spreading the damage throughout her body would make it pretty inconsequential but if she was full up on it… it wouldn’t be the same. If she became tougher like Barrett when she took damage… then it would eventually balance out and be alright. Unfortunately, she didn’t train in the Immortal Berserker Style… not that she would have wanted to risk a potentially greater than fifty percent chance of death just to start training anyway.
After some sleep, Nilima was almost full up with berserk energy and gentle energy sort of filling her up. Her sternum was still broken and barely recovering- or sometimes getting worse. Soon enough, her body would fall apart, even if she spent all her effort to remove the berserk energy.
Stepping back over the threshold of the Valley of All Souls, Nilima once again tried to control the death energy. She felt something moving… but this time she discovered it wasn’t death energy. It was tiny traces of… gentle energy and berserk energy? She adjusted her senses to feel at the smallest scale she could. Indeed, there was gentle energy, berserk energy… and a bit of everything else. Well, she couldn’t definitively say there was everything. She didn’t know what it all felt like. She didn’t think there was any life energy, for example. She didn’t feel the tiniest bits of that, except what was inside her.
Once again outside the threshold of the valley, she felt inside herself… and besides berserk energy and gentle energy there was just a bit of everything else. It was a completely different scale from the Bicentennial Conflux where all sorts of energy were everywhere… and hadn’t caused any real ill effects.
Nilima cursed. Was this some sort of stupid balance thing? That was the dumbest sort of stuff. Taking two opposites to work together… didn’t even make sense from a basic standpoint. What even was an opposite? Fire and ice? Not opposites. Fire was heat and air, ice was water and cold. Heat and cold were opposites… sort of… but if you called them ‘temperature’ then they were just the same thing. Life and death? If you were talking about the death energy in the Valley of All Souls, maybe it was opposite life… but also just not having life was basically the same.
She supposed it didn’t matter. Some people trained to control multiple types of energy or magic. However, they had to do so from a starting point. It was a bit late for Nilima to learn to control such powerful berserk energy… and more importantly for her body to handle it. But maybe… well, she could use a nice power source to help sustain her gentle energy against the death energy… If she failed, what was going to happen anyway? She might die slightly faster. That was better than doing nothing.