Slowly, Fei Hong opened his eyes. He was standing in a place where the absence of thunder made the silence of the lightning-filled sky a mind saundering display. With no sound coming from the night and no sign of the whistle of wind over the arid plain, the silence was of great mystery. It was only interrupted by the interminent break of water wave on the protruded rocks and his own heartbeats.
This was a place where time had no sway.
As he watched, the heaviness in his head increased in intensity which made him more frightened. He closed his eyes and tried to relieve the discomfort while strugling to steady himself. A moment later, after regaining a bit of himself, Fei Hong opened his eyes. The disorienting fog inside his head had reduced. A closer look at the river, he saw multitudes of eyes staring back at him from below its surface.
The Haven of Souls.
Feeling faint and weak, he staggered backward.. He held his head to calm the headache that had returned. The haven of the dead? Was he dead? Fei Hong was still trying to comprehend what he was doing in this place when a powerful energy blast emanated from the direction to his right. Fei Hong was sent sprawling on the floor from the impact. The energy burst was followed by a deep and coarse voice.
"A coin for your soul."
Floating towards him was a giant figure of a man. He was dressed in a flowing pure black robe. The robe was a perfect match with his long flowing black hair and beard. But the most frightful aspect of the gigantic man, were his eyes. They were as dark as the heart of the nethisworld. Eyes with a soul wrenching gaze in the appearance of an archaic immortal.
The giant figure had stopped emitting any form of energy. But there was a powerful ancient aura about him. Aura of the gods. Not that he knew how the aura of the gods felt like. But this was greater than any he had felt before.
Instantly, Fei Hong knew the figure was an existence above everything he had seen, or imagined seeing. Although he had never seen an ancient before, he hathe figure before his was definitely more than an immortal cultivator .
"Ah, the Herald of Souls." Fei Hong said fearfully as he turned towards the direction of the voice.
"Pardon me if I startled you, child. But the truth must be told. Life has nothing to offer you."
In total apprehension now, Fei Hong slowly turned around to a sight that made his sprawl backwards frantically, after falling on the ground in utter fear.
Could he be a god?! Or, even a divine?!
Weighed down from the feeling of an impending soul explosion, Fei Hong trembled in fear as he fell on his knees. The effect of those black eyes on his, was like the weight of a thousand mountains. he quickly bowed his head as he avoided the immortal stares of the floating giant who continued looking at his without a blink.
"Look up, child. I've been, patiently, waiting for you to wake up."
With those words, a powerful compulsion was placed on Fei Hong, making him to raise his head while still on his knees. Looking into the eyes of the giant figure, he screamed silently at the terrible sight. Spiraling shadows of engraved images that were not meant to be seen by mortals like hisself.
A glimpse of the shadows of dead souls?
In that extremely precarious situation, his mind came to the sudden realization.
"The herald Of Souls!"
Fei Hong voiced as it finally dawned on his that he was in the presence of an entity, far above the champions and the gods. The Eternal herald. The Pangu's manifestation of death.
Was he dead? he had to be dead to be hise. Where? What, even, was this place? He was trying to recollect the full events of what happened after he entered the Ageless forest, when his eyes began to burn forcefully from an invisible fire. The intensity of the excruciating pain made his claw his eyes energetically as he screamed aloud and thrahed around wildly.
"Ahhh, my eyes! Please, help me, Eternal One!"
With the sway of a strand of his hair, the giant figure allayed Fei Hong's pain which made his collapse in a soothing relief. Sprawled on the floor, he continued to cry while still holding his eyes.
"Th-thank... you... eternal... one."
"Say nothing of it, child. What you saw was a glimpse of what happened to othiss in life. The terrible things that shows you life was nothing, but a sorrowful and sad state."
The herald shook his head slightly as he examined Fei Hong.
"It took you quite some time to realize who I am, didn't it? And now that you've realized that, you must be wondering where you are. If you are dead? The ultimate question every soul asks me eventually, as their true friend. Well, you are at the threshold of my domain, child. You are not dead yet, but you are dying. Nevertheless, you have already left the threshold of life."
The shimmers in the herald's eyes dissipated as he continued to observe Fei Hong who was now back on his knees. "Do you remember going into the forest? Your soul is unawakened, that means you had limited powers, yet you entered the forest. Yes, you were mortally wounded, and that's why you are now dying. But fear not, child. As a friend of all souls, I can tell you death is always the better option for you. Life has nothing good for you. As you already know, it can be extremely savage to the living."
Staring kindly at Fei Hong, Soul herald let out a silent breath. "Remember the unmentionable sorrow and sadness you had in your little village? Life refused to give your blood an awakening. And without an awakening, you are nobody. No power. You will suffer greatly for the rest of your life. And you are already experiencing the sufferings. Remember the agonizing fun, mockery and insult they are directing at you? At your parents and ancestors? Are you not tired of all these?"
With a deeper and more empathetic voice, the Soul herald addressed Fei Hong. "Your parents are dying, do you want to watch them die while you continue to suffer? Or how do plan on saving them? As a friend, if you are with me, you'll be free from all the agony. You'll be at peace with yourself, and the world. You will have your solitary solitude until your reincarnation, if it comes to that."
With a slight flick of his head, the herald indicated the space beside him to Fei Hong. "Come, and sit down beside me, child. And let's continue talking as friends while we wait."
Still reeling from the information he was receiving, Fei Hong was caught off-guard with the words of the herald. Wait? "Eternal one, what are we waiting for?"
The Soul herald pointed to a ball of light hovering a distance away from them. "Can you see that orb of light? That is your life force. If it winks out, it means you can't go back into your body. The life force is the link between your soul and your body. Once the life force is out, your soul must simply leave your body. So child, we wait to see if your life force will fizzle out or get stronger."