“I’m scared… I don’t wanna be alone… Don’t leave me alone… It hurts… Help me…” It sounded like the voice of a little girl, but when I turned my head and jumped away, there was nothing there. After standing up off of the floor and being thankful that I didn’t break my arm, I let out a long sigh.
“Goddamn it, I must have passed out…” Whenever I’m about to go to sleep, I always have creepy auditory hallucinations, so I didn’t really worry about it too much. I just went back to cultivating, while listening to the sound of thunder and watching the beautiful light-show in the sky.
However, right when I closed my eyes, I felt a freezing cold breeze brush past my face. Considering that it was super-warm outside, I immediately looked around to see what the hell was going on. Unfortunately, nothing was out of the ordinary, aside from the aching pain on my left cheek. I reached up and felt a bunch of swollen bumps, so I quickly went into the bathroom to take a look in the mirror.
“What the fuck?!” It looked like a bite mark, but it was more like someone branded me with some scalding hot metal teeth. When I touched the wound again, I saw a bright-red skull floating behind my shoulder for a moment. The instant I blinked, it was gone and I couldn’t help grumbling “Shit… Ugh, I’m probably gonna regret this…”
I didn’t bother putting on a shirt or pants, since it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway. Also, Di hadn’t given me any shoes to wear or even sandals. He claimed that it was better to build up the toughness of my feet, in order to practice martial arts.
The doors were locked and sealed shut with some kind of weird magic, so I had to climb out my window. My room was on the first floor, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Then I started walking towards that giant jungle gym in the distance.
When I touched the metal, I felt a sharp pinch on my right hand and a tiny arc of static jumped off onto me. However, it wasn’t enough to actually cause any damage; I was already used to it by then. Xiaotong had zapped me so many times that I really did build up some kind of resistance to electricity, though I didn’t want to find out what real lightning felt like.
As I gazed up at that tree-house, I saw a crimson skull occasionally popping out of the circular door, to make sure that I was still there. Then it would go back inside, as if it was hiding from me. I took a deep breath and muttered “It’s gonna fine… This is just a part of my training… If I don’t go up and catch that bitch now, then she’ll probably be mad at me for a while. I need a Spirit Companion as soon as possible… Like that crazy old bastard said, cultivation is all about taking risks!”
That’s a lie, he actually told me “Don’t take risks ya stupid Brat! Ya got that there Heavenly potential, so don’t waste it chasing after Worldly bullshit!” I’m pretty sure he was just lecturing me about staying a virgin though.
Anyway, I grabbed hold of those slippery metal bars and began climbing the thirty-meter long ladder. As I reached the bottom of the tree-house, a bolt of lightning struck the metal rod on the top of it; arcs of crimson electricity jumped off of the wood and hit my right shoulder. It shot out through the bottom of my shoulder blade and I thought that I was going to die for a moment there. However, aside from a few horrible burns and losing all feeling in my right arm, I was perfectly fine.
“Cuntballs, ugh~, no, no~, it’s all good… I’ll get Di to heal me tomorrow…” I only stopped for a few seconds, before continuing upwards. When my left hand reached inside of that circular door, I felt a familiar pinching sensation on my knuckles. My right arm was totally useless, so I had to use a decent amount of strength to pull myself into the hole.
“I’m scared… Don’t leave me alone, please… It’s so painful… Help me…” That same voice was whispering into my mind again, as I glanced around the surprisingly spacious room. There were paper talismans all over the walls, floor and ceiling, but most of them were either torn apart or faded to brown.
The glowing red skull was munching on my hand and illuminating the darkness in front of me. At the farthest wall away from the door, I saw a headless skeleton sitting cross-legged on the ground. All of the bones were charred black and arcs of crimson lightning constantly jumped off of them. Judging by the size, I could tell that the person hadn’t been much older than myself, or maybe they were just a perma-loli.
I ignored the ghost and walked over to the remains, reached down and picked up the jade dragon ornament that was resting to the left side. It was a cute little figurine that seemed to exude a powerful aura of Nature. However, the moment when I gazed into the crimson orb it was holding in its hands, a beam of red light shot into my eyes.
“Ow, fucking holograms!” I quickly aimed it towards the center of the room and saw the projection of a very young teenage girl. My vision was all blurry for a while after that, but it was still better than in my past life, so I was able to cope rather easily.
It didn’t surprise me that the kid was Asian, from what Di told me, it seemed like most Humans on Genesis were. She was pretty, though I didn’t notice anything particularly special about her appearance. Her irises glowed bright-orange, she had long and straight black hair, with pale white skin. She was wearing nothing but a black sports bra and tight yoga pants. That girl reminded me of a certain old man who usually walked around shirtless all the time.
As she placed the ‘camera’ down onto the floor, she sat down cross-legged and closed her eyes. After sighing dramatically, she seemed to gaze directly at me. Of course, that was just because I was holding the jade dragon trinket in my hands.
“Grandpa Di, I’m sorry… I’m sorry that I’ve caused you so much trouble over the years… I’m sorry for being so useless and lazy… I know you would be willing to die in order to protect me, but I can’t let you do that. If you’re watching this, then I couldn’t break through… Please, don’t be mad at Sparky! It wasn’t her fault that I died! Don’t lock her up in the Spirit Vault… I know you hate Momma and the Rong Clan, but please don’t do anything stupid! Everything happens for a reason… and Karma never spares anyone. Maybe someday… I’ll see you again. I love you Grandpa…” By the end of the holographic message, there were tears streaming down that girl’s cheeks.
I put the badass magical dragon-camera thing back down next to the corpse and stared at the ‘Thunder Spirit’ that was still nibbling on my left hand. Then I walked over and sat down in the middle of the room, waiting for my right arm to regain some feeling, before prying the translucent skull off of me.
“Are you Sparky? Di always calls you Xiaotong though… So what’s your real name? Hmmm~, we’re you that little girl?” No matter how many questions I asked the ghost, it didn’t seem to understand anything. It just constantly struggled to escape my grasp and kept trying to bite me, while electrocuting my palms.
From the way that old bastard explained things, a soul needs to latch onto something physical in order to stay tethered. Since there was a headless skeleton a few feet away and I was holding a similarly sized skull, it wasn’t too hard to put the pieces together. Basically, the girl probably died while trying to use some kind of dangerous method to break through into either the Adept of Expert Stage, though it was most likely the former.
All of those talismans were either to preserve her corpse or to keep her soul from escaping after she died. Sparky was most likely that creepy and sexy ‘Spark of Chaos’ that I masturbated to every night… I mean, maybe if Long Di wasn’t so cryptic every time I asked him about that thing, it might have been more difficult to find the connection.
Either way, none of that really mattered. I gazed into those empty red sockets and smiled, whispering “My name is Levi Ares… Don’t worry kid… You won’t have to be alone ever again. Become my Spirit Companion and give your pain to me, you’ve suffered for far too long already…”
The skull split in half and transformed into two red bolts of lightning. Both of my hands were burnt black, while the veins and arteries in my arms all burst open, creating beautiful crimson tree patterns. My lungs collapsed and my heart stopped beating, then it felt like my intestines were ripped to shreds and finally, the Thunder Spirit reached my Dantian.
At that moment, when I was on the brink of death, it was almost as if my consciousness managed to reach inside of my body and metaphysically see what was happening. Within that spherical organ, there had been a swirling vortex of bright-green gas. I watched as a crimson skull materialized at the very center. When it opened its mouth, that tempest was slowly sucked inside.
All of my cultivation had been consumed, yet shortly afterwards, Xiaotong started spewing out a dark-red fog. Eventually, the skull started turning black and seemingly losing power. It felt like my head was going to explode, then thousands of crimson lightning bolts started shooting out from the clouds within my Dantian, continuously striking upon that obsidian cranium.