The moment Jordan fainted out of the physical realm, his eyes opened to the soul realm. Not the soul realm that he expected though. It was not his, but from someone different and very sad. The atmosphere around him felt heavy as if gravity wanted him to be on his knees. The dark and depressing clouds that hovered over him, brought chills running down his entire body.
The dark and gloomy place on where he currently stood, prompt Jordan to be on his guard, as he felt that the moment he let his defenses down, he'll be swallowed whole.
"Be careful not to wander around this soul carelessly" Antara warned Jordan, as his nine tails glowed eerily "I do not like this soul realm!"
"You and me both" Jordan muttered in agreement.
The place was and is unsettling, that's the pure unadulterated fact, but the other fact that there's something amiss that Jordan couldn't pinpoint what, made him more unsettled than anything.
The soul realm on where Jordan currently stood on is nothing like his or Scott's soul realm. It was more "small" and felt more suffocating. It felt cramped and claustrophobic compared to his and Scott's vast lands that stretches out as far as the eyes could see.
The gentle blowing of the breezed that passed by sounded like the cries from a person in deep sadness and pain, caught Jordan's attention, causing him to turn his head.
There he saw a man with long blonde hair, fair skin and a sad smile on his face. The black ichorous tears streaming down his cheeks marred and stained his once and familiar handsome face, while he stood in front of Jordan.
"You're that guy!" Jordan yelped that moment he laid eyes on the person in front of him.
The sad smile of the person in front of him turned even sadder when he heard the hint of anger and despise in Jordan's voice.
"Why did you bring me here?" Jordan demanded, as he started becoming overwhelmed by his emotions.
"Calm yourself child!" Antara scolded Jordan with a calm voice, "I do not detect any malice from him"
Hearing what Antara had said, Jordan did his best to reel in his emotions and took a few calming breathes.
Now regaining his calm, he faced the person once again and asked once again.
"So, why did you bring me here?" Jordan said more calmly
"Please kill me" The person in front of him said, which made Jordan's eyes widen in surprise. He was definitely not expecting that person to ask him what he heard him ask him to do.
"I'm sorry what? I think I misheard that, you're asking me to do what now?!" Jordan asked, since the request really caught him off guard.
"Please kill me. Please you have to hurry, before that thing comes. Please I'm begging you! Kill me before I hurt more people. Please, you're the only one who can do it" The man begged as he began sobbing.
Something in Jordan kept telling him that he shouldn't do as the man requested, but on the other hand, the memories of what the man did was unforgivable. So the conflicting sides inside of him, made him wanna pull his hairs out. Jordan knew that something in the whole situation was amiss. He finally realized that it was "this", whatever "this" is. The thing is he couldn't comprehend what "this" meant.
He was no June, he needed detailed explanations so that he could comprehend stuff. One wrong move, one wrong rash decision could make him greatly regret a mistake that he could never right again.
Jordan was still deep in his frustrating dilemma, when a loud unholy screech resounded, almost piercing his eardrums.
"It's here, It finally noticed" The man said in terror, as all hope left him. The man dropped to his knees, leaving him in a dazed state.
"What is it?! What's finally here?!" Jordan rushed to the man and shook his shoulders, trying to snap him out of his daze.
The man's eyes just kept starring at a far away place but finally spoke.
Just as the words left the man's mouth, a colossal shadow passed by above them. Jordan turned his head, only to be greeted by the thing the hunted his nightmares ever since its encounter with him.
"Antara are you seeing this?!" Jordan said as his voice trembled in fear and panic.
Jordan wasn't able to get a clear answer from Antara since the ginormous black bird in front of him decided to let out another unholy screech that shook the sky and the ground they're standing on.
This particular black bird is a thousand times bigger from the first one that Jordan encountered. And with the increase of size also came with the increase of power. Jordan felt overwhelmed by the immense power that the raven emitted, making him stagger even when he's soul could use his Gift's full potential.
As Jordan was thinking of a way to live through the situation, a hand grabbed the hem of his hakama pants, making him turn to the trembling person behind him.
"Please you have to kill me" The man sobbed, "That thing already absorbed my physical body, I can't let it take my soul too."
"What happens when that thing gets your soul?" Jordan asked with a hard voice
"It will absorb it and my Gift, thus making it more stronger than before. The only reason why Master Scott can still go head to head with that thing is because it hasn't fully grown yet." The man answered with trembling voice. "I did my best to hide and buy some time. I did by best fighting control over it, but now I have nowhere else to hide and already at my limit. You have to kill me so that it can't take my power. Please you have to kill me! I don't want to hurt more people that I care about" The man begged.
Clenching his fists, Jordan racked his brain, if killing the begging person in front of is the only way. At that time Jordan finally knew what the "this" was. The person in front of him is the true and genuine owner of Arthur's body. He was overthrown and overwhelmed by the gigantic black chicken behind him. When he was finally defeated, the raven took control over Arthur's physical body, making him act like a new born child throwing a tantrum, just like the newly hatched raven. And in the process it hurt the people that the person in front of Jordan cared about, in the form of Arthur.
Jordan pitied the man in front of him as he was also a victim. He tried his best to fight, but was ultimately overpowered. He blamed himself for the tragedy that befall the people that he cared about, when it's not even his fault. Now the man in front of him is at the end of his line, begging to be killed. Still thinking for the sake of others, rather than himself.
"Argg! Is there no other way?!" Jordan growled in frustration.
"This is the only way" The man said with a sad smile on his face.
The raven let out another screech before flapping its gigantic wings, readying itself for the kill. At first the raven was startled when it saw two souls, but like a little chick, it got excited with having two worms to eat instead of just one.
"Hurry, you have to kill me now!" The man shouted in urgency, prompting Jordan to act begrudgingly.
With a pained scream, Jordan unsheathed his katan and stabbed the man straight in the chest. The man let out gasp as the katana penetrated his chest, before letting out a deep sight of relief. Relief of finally being free.
Jordan on the other hand, kept his head down while breathing hard, as his body slightly trembled.
"Thank you" The man said with a soft voice, "You know you're an amazing kid. You and the others. please tell them I'm sorry and thank you."
The man thought he could finally die in peace, but what he didn't know, Jordan had other plans.
Lifting his head up, Jordan finally revealed the smirk that he's been hiding all this time and said "You gotta tell them yourself, cause you ain't dyin' on my watch."
"Wha-" The man's eyes widen in surprise
"Sheathed Style: Soul Bond"
Jordan's katana glowed with a purple eerie aura as one of his nine tail slowly disappear and got transferred to the man, giving him a single white fox tail.
Seeing that one of its prey has been taken, the raven let out an angry screech as it dive bombed towards Jordan.
"This is your loss, sucker!" Jordan said with a triumphant smirk, as he and the man vanished the moment the raven was about to hit them.
Jordan and the man materialized back into Jordan's soul realm, just seconds away from being skewered by a gigantic bird.
"Wha-" the man was rendered speechless as he still can't make heads or tails of the situation or what just happened.
"Whew! I thought we were a goner back there!" Jordan said as he sat at a nearby rock and let out a tired but happy sigh. The moment his bum hit the rock, he suddenly felt an immense pain at the back of his head than made him bend over in pain. "Ouch!"
"I'll make that happen if you dare pull that stunt ever again!" Antara growled angrily, her paw still steaming from disciplining Jordan.
"I'm sorry! I'm not going to do it again!" Jordan apologized as few tears escaped from his eyes. He gently rubbed the back of his head, trying to ease the pain, as it was really painful. Jordan has Antara discipline him and hit him a few time, but it was never that painful compared to just recently.
"You better keep your word child!" Antara said with a cold and menacing tone her voice.
"Yes ma'am!" Jordan immediately replied.
Letting a sigh, Antara turned her head to the other person besides them, who stood stunned in place all the while watching the whole situation that went down with wide eyes.
"You" Antara spoke with a clear intimidating voice, which made the man flinch.
"What is your name?"
"Arthur ma'am" Arthur answered with a small voice. Not knowing what else to say when a huge nine tailed fox spoke to him.
"And Arthur, do you have any idea what this troublesome child had done?"
"No ma'am" Arthur answered, while slowly shaking his head.
Letting out as sigh, Antara sent Jordan another glare, to which the young youth raise his hands in the air in surrender.
"I can't believe that you are able to do something that is beyond your years." Antara said has her expression soften while facing Jordan.
"What do you mean?" Jordan asked with furrowed brows
"Explaining this in one sitting is impossible, so I will just give the introductions, so to speak. So both of you listen very well, " Antara said turning to Arthur before looking back to Jordan.
"Soul Bond by its name alone, means to bond one's soul to another, and that is just what you did Jordan. Bonding your soul to another means that you are creating a connection; or a special bond in which you the host who will be sharing a portion of your power to another soul. In return however the receiving soul will have to pledge utter loyalty to the host, giving the host power over their soul. That means mind, will and emotion." Antara said
"Wait wait wait back it up! This wasn't suppose to happened! My plan was just to bring Arthur to my soul realm to escape the raven. I mean, I just thought that it would be possible since Arthur doesn't have a body anymore. I was planning on planting his soul to another body when all of this chaos is done! I never expected him to be connected to me, much less having control over him. I didn't ask for this! I don't want to control people!" Jordan rambled on
"And yet that is what you did my child" Antara said with a sigh "That is why I previously said that what you did was beyond your years."
"What does that even mean?!" Jordan almost shouted, as the gravity of what he did finally dawn on him. The immense feeling of pressure starting to weigh on his shoulder has got him panicking.
"Creating a bond meant that you will have to take responsibility for the souls that you link with yours, as this bond cannot be broken and is lifetime. Knowing how young you are now, I don't think that you can carry that responsibility yet, as you are not matured enough. But alas, now you will have to grow and mature faster, and start learning to take responsibility for your actions, as the link as already been made." Antara said a tough voice of a parent.
"But I didn't even ask Arthur if he wanted to be linked with me. I didn't even ask him if I can have control over his soul. I basically dragged him into this without even asking for his consent!" Jordan is full on shouting now. Jordan knew the feeling of being controlled when he was still under his parents. He felt suffocated and wanted nothing more that to break free. He never wanted other people to feel what he felt.
"Then why have you done what you did?" Antara asked
"Because I thought that there has to be another way I can save him without killing him. So I did it!"
"Is that so? then you should have killed him, just like what he was begging for you to do" Antara said, stunning Jordan. He felt his heart drop to his stomach when he heard what Antara just said.
Just the image of him killing someone innocent, made stomach twist in the most painful way, making him wanna puke his guts out.
"I- I- Just wanted to save him" Jordan chocked, as his legs finally cave in, making him fall on his bum.
"And that is why, child, you have to take responsibilities for your actions." Antara said as her voice turned soft. "Although your Gift is about souls, there are certain rules for you to follow, otherwise you'll be no better than those Chaos, doing whatever they want. I have thought you this, remember?"
Jordan nodded his head in replied, while keeping his head down as silent tears stream down his face.
"You cannot forcefully take another one's soul out of their physical body. I know that you thought that he lost his physical body, but Arthur didn't lose his physical body, it just turned into something different."
*sinff* *sniff* *hic* *sniff
"Did you regret what you did?" Antara asked softly, to which Jordan immediately shook his head.
After Antara's lecture, silence filled the air. The only sound that could be heard are Jordan's sniffles as he cried quietly. He felt that he had no right to throw tantrums and sob like a little kid as he knew was in the wrong.
"Antara, *sniff* I'm sorry for always acting rash. I'm *hic* sorry that I shouted at you." Jordan apologized with deep regret.
"It's alright my child" Antara said with a tender voice as she sat beside Jordan as he continues to cry, being the comfort that he needed.
Jordan lifted his head up to Arthur who just kept quiet the whole time, and said "*hic* I'm so sorry, I dragged into something that you can't get out of. *sniff* I'm so sorry *hic* I- *hic* I'm just so sorry" Jordan his apologized.
Seeing Arthur's silence, Jordan's head hang low once again, deep in regret.
After a moment of silence, Arthur spoke with a clear and calm voice.
"You know, not to boast or anything but I'm a pretty intuitive person if I say so myself" Arthur spoke as he began walking towards Jordan. Once he's at least a couple of feet from Jordan, he sat down, making Jordan lifted his head in surprise.
"It came from the years I had ahead of you. Although not perfect, I can say that I trust my intuition a lot. With everything that happened, I can finally see that I was right. You have pure heart." Arthur said with a soft smile on his face. "You never looked at me like I thought you would've, although initially you did. With disgust. You never saw me as a murder. You saw me for who I was and what I went through. I saw all that when I looked into your eyes as you struggled to make decision on killing me or keeping me alive."
"But you're not a murderer! You weren't that one that killed, it was the raven that did it!" Jordan argued
"In your eyes I might not be since you saw and understood my whole situation. But others might not be able to easily accept it."
Jordan turned silent once again, knowing that Arthur does have a valid point.
"With what happened in the past already, we have no choice but only to move forward" Arthur said, which made Jordan's eyes widen in surprise.
"When I was back in that dark place, I had already resolved myself that I was going to die. I would have never thought that I get a second chance at life. I begged you to kill me, but no cap, I wanted to live so bad. And I'm really thankful, because you saved me."
"No cap?" Jordan chuckled
"No cap" Arthur nodded before continuing "I figured from all the things I've observed. that you still needed to learn a lot; and I as well. We both went into this 'bond' blind, so we're in this together. We'll make it work. What do you say?"
Arthur stretched out his right hand towards Jordan, with a smile on his face. Jordan being overwhelmed with joy just grabbed Arthur's hand with his and shook it, as tears of joy started falling.
After shaking Jordan's hand, Arthur stretched out his hand towards Antara next.
"Ma'am I will be in your care"
Antara let out an amuse laugh, as she stretched out her paw to shake.
"You're quite the sensible and understanding man. It must have come from being a doctor"
"Don't ask, Antara knows everything" Jordan said with smirk, which only left Arthur nodding.
"Okay, so now that everything's settled, what's the plan" Arthur asked, finally feeling more comfortable and relaxed. He felt more free, as if he could finally breathe. He's been fighting for control for as long as he could remember. Now he felt like could finally be at peace. Who knew that letting go of control would be so liberating.
"While we look for you a proper and a perfectly functional new body, you will stay here in Jordan's soul realm. In your stay here, you will train with this child. I will train and teach the both of you everything that you need to know about the link and bond that you both have with each other. Also while Jordan is in the physical realm, I will be personally be training you to use your gifts better, as you now need to adjust, since you are now linked to Jordan. Any questions?" Antara laid out the plan in the most simplistic way possible, wanting to avoid more misunderstandings and such.
"I have one" Arthur raised hand "You said that my soul is now connected to Jordan right?"
Antara nodded in response
"What happens if Jordan dies?" Arthur straight up asked, making Jordan suddenly feel unsettled.
"Once bonded, when the host dies, all the linked soul to it will also dies with it." Antara answered, give Arthur a straight forward answer as well.
"Understood" Arthur nodded in understanding and didn't say anymore.
"I do have one, but it's kinda different from the topic" Jordan said sheepishly
"Then answer the question first, before asking your question!" Antara said with a growl
"Yes ma'am, I understood everything" Jordan immediately said, making Arthur chuckle.
"Now, what is your question?"
"Okay, so I was wondering why I felt so overwhelmed when I faced the black bird? I mean, you thought me of my capabilities and whatnot, but that time if felt so different. I felt helpless." Jordan asked with wonder, as he was finally able to asked the question he's been meaning to ask.
"It is a fact that you are more powerful than that bird, but it was your fear that weakened you." Antara replied
"So, it was fear?" Jordan was flabbergasted, to which Antara just nodded.
Leaving Jordan to ponder to himself, Antara approached Arthur and said "That tail on your back is the representation of you bond with Jordan."
Arthur was confused as to what Antara was saying, only to be greatly surprised when he saw that he indeed has a tail. It was not long before his surprise turned to curiosity, as he reached out to touch his tail. Once again becoming surprised with how soft the fur was. His now surprise turned to wonder as he gently stroked his tail. Making Antara grin in amusement.
Time passed by as Jordan meditated, while Antara talked with Arthur. As Antara talked with Arthur her ear suddenly twitched, gaining her attention. Seeing Antara's sudden change of mood, Arthur went silent, as Antara began walking to where Jordan sat cross-legged.
"Child, it's time for you to wakeup" Antara said as she places a paw on Joran's leg.
Eyes slowly fluttering open, Jordan opened his eyes.
"It's that time already?" Jordan was a little down that he couldn't meditate more.
"You have plenty of time later, but now you will have to wake up, as you will be playing a significant role in saving the man named Scott." Antara informed
Hearing the name of his guild master Arthur rushed to the two.
"What happened with master Scott?" Arthur asked in concern
"You don't have to worry child. Jordan will take care of it" Antara just said, making Arthur turn to Jordan with pleading eyes.
"Don't worry, I'll do my best to save Scott" Jordan said in reassurance to Arthur
"I believe in you" Arthur said with a small smile.
"Alright, I'll see you guys later" Jordan said before vanishing, leaving only the chime of an eerie bell.