Chapter 89: Are you listening to yourself?
Th’Rut, Kanti and I hover over the woods behind Eliza’s house.
Kanti sits, stoically perched on his thick purple haze. “I suppose it may be beneficial for Emery to train with you.”
“Training? How am I supposed to train him? I told you, we flew up here because I felt Aemon reaching for Eliza. Open your eyes, there were traces of him all around her… inside of her.” He stares at me and grabs the cloak’s collar. “I know you know what Aemon is up to, and you’re going to tell me.” Th’Rut demands. “If anything happens to Elisabeth, her death will be on your hands, and I’ll bury you with your regret.”
Kanti tackles Th’Rut off of me. “I dare you,” He growls.
Aemon’s voice echoes. A hazy silhouette leaves my body and patiently walks on the sky in front of me, almost examining the two deities with its own eyes.
Kanti and Th’Rut turn to me when Aemon reaches them. Hopefully, it’s the first and last time I’ll ever see them look afraid. Whether or not what Aemon says is true, this isn’t right.
I stare at Kanti and nod, “He’s… here. Sort of…”
We hover to my room as I tell them about my encounter with Aemon: the broken bones, the emotional manipulation, the vision of me killing Kanti, his threat of killing Eliza, and his essence within every human on the planet. I tell them about the keepers, and about Aemon’s proposition to stop the Deus Magna by not consuming Nothing.
Kanti silently examines me, and glances at Th’Rut.
Th’Rut nods in understanding, then shakes his fist. “That damn cloak…” he roars. “That’s the only thing keeping him safe.”
“What? Weren’t you listening? It’s the only thing keeping reality safe.” I regress to a human and fall back onto the futon. The sky looks so different through the windows in the ceiling… I wonder if this is how Aemon sees the world through me… small, fragile and out of his reach.
“This changes everything, kid. The Nothing in Times Square… You absolutely need to banish them now. There’s no telling what Aemon’s presence in every human can do, not to mention what he can do to Shaik-Tael. For all we know, Aemon is creating conditions that would allow those five to implant themselves in millions of hosts…”
“Could you force them out by possessing their hosts?” Kanti asks.
“Nope… There’s nothing I can do if other Onthiems get to the humans first. When an Onthiem attaches itself to a soul, that soul partially resonates at that Onthiem’s level… like humans, individual Nothings, despite having a range, all have different resonances. No creature can possess its own kind, without vibrating outside of their species’ relevant resonance range.”
“So… I can possess them, if things go awry?”
“You’ve had the cloak for less than a week, you’re nobody yet. You think it’s great you can go ethereal—”
“Astral’s cooler… just sayin’.”
“Fine, astral… the point is you might have all these abilities that seem extravagant and might make you feel powerful, but your new-found abilities are what the entities of the Abyss take for granted. You can’t fist fight an Onthiem into submission…”
“I did… with Kanti’s help… but, I did…. Well, actually Kanti did all the work, but I was able to—”
“—She was a fledgling. 80 years is barely enough time to get used to humans when you come from a realm where time does not exist. You need to harness your power—”
I clench my fists. “If you’d listen, you’d know that I already can. I can manipulate objects and matter easily.”
“Making eggs and heating toast is not a huge feat, Young Emery. Having the Moon as a warping point, assisting Raunch, and fighting Mymud were perhaps the most significant displays of your power. Not to diminish your natural capabilities, but again, much of your adeptness is due to Aemon.
For a recent cloak bearer, it is impressive, even astonishing; manipulating trash, clothes and other inanimate objects is child’s play when it comes to combat…. I believe it best for you to hold your pride, and my praise, and listen carefully to what the exile has to say.”
“Exile. Hmph. Well, thanks, Wishbone… is that still a—” Th’Rut says nonchalantly. “—Never mind. Emery, have you moved people yet?”
“No, but I manipulated fire and I—”
“Stop.” Th’Rut puts his palm up to my face. “Just answer the question: yes, or no?”
I shrug. “No.”
“Ok. Next question: do you understand that life on the entire planet, including your mother’s life, is in your hands?”
I nod indifferent.
“If I didn’t know your emotions were sealed, I would’ve lost my mind. Your indifference is killing me, kid.” Th’Rut turns to Kanti, “So he knows how use energy to attack, move and incapacitate sentient beings, be they ethereal or physical.”
“He was able to subdue my essence, so I would dare say yes.”
Th’Rut’s eyes light up. “Go astral, and follow me!” He flies through the front wall of the room. “Well?” he says, staring through the window.
I hover after him.
“Times Square, pooch! Scope it out. I want to see if Emery can take one of my hits.”
I feel Kanti’s energy vanish from behind me.
The clouds roll beneath us and the cloak flaps when Th’Rut releases some of his energy. I feel souls screaming in pain and agony.
“This is less than point-zero, zero, zero one percent of my power. Probably on par with the Onthiems you’ll face.”
“They sound weak.”
“In comparison to me. Ready?”
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