The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 42

by Mark Figueroa | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen


Chapter 42: Weakness in its purest form is really just a lie. Primarily, the ones we tell ourselves.

“Kanti, how much negative energy exists in nature?” I ask after warping to Eliza’s roof. Silhouettes roll in front of the full moon. “Does eating meat make me resonate lower since I’m technically eating human souls?”

“How much evil exists to begin with?” Kanti responds. “A bird, Young Emery, is not evil because it eats worms. A bear is not evil because it attacks humans in its habitat. Man is not evil for protecting his way of life, even if done with manmade tools of destruction, so long as there is no malice, sorrow or pleasure from the act of destruction.”

“That’s impossible. Even for sociopaths.”  

“Yes. And, that comprehension will be apparent in his soul upon death,” Kanti says staring into the distance. 

“What if a person kills because of their beliefs, and it’s considered a victory for a majority of people like them? That spreads positive resonance, doesn’t it?”

“Any belief that drives man to kill, or hate due to race, beliefs, sexuality or a difference in way of life, is negative. Those trivial victories only matter to those who are incapable of true faith. Faith drives creatures to aspire, achieve and transcend. A creature whose faith is placed in an ideology that encourages oppression, destruction, and the like, is destined to a life of misery. Every creature should carefully examine themselves and those around them before subscribing to any ideal, even if it is centuries old.”

“I got it… or most of it…” I say warping to my room. Oh, yeah! My phone’s at 100%!  

“Young Emery, I shan’t lie. It is concerning that your corporeal being and physical being are so deeply intertwined.” Kanti pauses. “I do not know what effects that may have on you.”  

“So, it adds a little mystery. What’s so bad about that?”

“It does not seem natural to have a physical body that can traverse the Abyss. The effects can be devastating to the realm separating the physical reality from the metaphysical reality. Furthermore, your physical body is truly invincible. If you never donned the cloak, Aemon could have wreaked unfathomable havoc: he would have a body that meets all of his desires.”

 Aemon’s name runs across my mind. “We have more training to do, right?”

Kanti nods. “Though we must exercise caution,” he sighs. “Young Emery, tell me, has Aemon contacted you, or spoken to you? When you feel those negative thoughts, do you feel another presence? Have you—”

He better stop asking stupid questions. “No. I don’t see why that’s relevant Kanti. I need to practice transcending.”

Kanti stares suspiciously. 

I avoid his eyes.

“It is relevant because we are in the presence of an unimaginable unknown. The more you learn to wield your power, the more powerful those dwelling inside you become. We need to consider the possibility of uncontrollable, unimaginable catastrophes.”

“I know that! Aemon isn’t in control of me! Let’s just do more training, Kanti!” I don’t like thinking about that. With everything that’s happened… Aiven. Finding out about Aemon. Almost eating Raunch… Eliza being my mom. “I’m just not ready to accept that.”

“Forgive me, Young Emery.” Kanti locks eyes with me. I feel the pain in his eyes. “There is strength is knowing one’s weaknesses. And, despite your inconceivable progress, it has only been one day.” 

I smile. “It’s all good. I’ve been used to being weak my whole life. I just want to be strong.” I don’t want to be Empty Emery.


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