Glacious and Etora talked late into the night about the outside world, leaving everyone else to their own devices.
Kazuki sat in the center of his bed, legs crossed in a meditative position. Lamia had approached him before he went to his room but he could only come up with an excuse to avoid her, as he had something to do.
With his eyes closed, he focused his mind and entered his soul world.
*Bang bang Bang*
Kai and Danny exchanged several blows with one another. The two were only using branches from Kazuki’s soul tree, yet the clashes sounded similar to metal crashing against metal rather than wood. Danny slashed in front of him and cold energy flew forward towards Kai. Kai though wasn’t worried in the least. With a sidestep, Kai turned with a slight pivot and the cold slash flew past him. Using his body to turn, he picked up momentum in his spin and shouted.
“Second Form, Shapeless Cloud!”
The branch in his hand seemed to divide rapidly into hundreds of branches all at once and from every side, they rained down like daggers upon Danny.
Danny remained in his spot and took a familiar stance. One that seemed to mimic Kai’s. At the same time, he slashed with the branch in his hand.
“Third Form Severing Tempest!”
A single blade of cold energy struck out and swept away most of the raining branches but it wasn’t quite enough and several blows managed to hammer him left and right.
Danny collapsed to the ground and Kazuki rushed over in worry.
Danny looked over with a smile.
“Kazuki, what’s up?”
“You, I thought you were injured.”
Kai teleported behind Kazuki in an instant and thumped him on the back of his head.
Kazuki rubbed his head in pain.
“What was that for?”
“Little dummy, I can control my own attacks, you know that right? Danny has nothing to worry about from me, you little fool. Besides, since he is a part of your soul world, any damage he takes, he can recover as long as you live. Use your head little brother.”
Kazuki was unaware of that but now that he thought of it, it made sense. Danny’s soul was fused with his soul world. As long as it existed as long as Kazuki was living, then Danny’s soul would exist as well.
Danny slowly stood up and brushed nothing off of his clothes. After a moment he realized he was getting a weird look from Kai.
“Danny, why do you still do that? Remember, there is no such thing as dirt in here. There’s no exhaustion, no heavy breathing, no food, and no water. Wiping off dirt from your clothes that doesn’t even exist, there is no point.”
“True, It’s just a force of habit. Being knocked to the ground, it’s only natural to dust yourself off, even if there’s no dirt or grime.”
Kazuki looked at the branch in Danny’s hand as well as the one in Kai’s. Although both were still clearly branches from his soul tree, their shape resembled closer to rods than branches. As if someone had shaved them down with a knife and given them this form.
Kai noticed Kazuki’s look and pointed out.
“If you’re curious about the change with these branches, then blame Danny. He’s learned how to mold these rods out of the branches. It makes it easier for us to practice if we have something that resembles swords a little closer.”
Kazuki was surprised.
“You can do that?”
Danny rubbed his head shyly.
“Seems so. I guess being fused to the soul tree lets me do it. Ah but don’t worry, this won’t affect your soul in any way shape, or form.”
Kazuki wasn’t worried but rather grew curious.
“What else can you do?”
“Hmm, besides that, not much else. I can look through your memories and like always I can observe the outside world from within here, that’s about it.”
Kai slapped Danny on the back.
“Danny’s being modest. This kid is better than you were with the sword. Since he’s et most of his burdens go when he died, he’s been learning my sword forms rather quickly. Glacious is still the fastest and he’s basically mastered my technique but that’s because the dragon’s a literal monster. Danny though isn’t far off the mark. Since time in here is different, the actual training time Danny has practiced is close to 100 years. It would actually be weird if he learned nothing from me. Still, his talents are not bad.”
Kazuki froze for a moment.
(It’s been that long already for Danny and Kai’s been here for even longer.)
Kazuki went quiet for a while and Kai was becoming annoyed.
“Little brother, you’ve come all this way, don’t tell me you want us to stop watching when you have fun with that Lamia woman. You know entertainment is light for us in here?”
Kazuki wasn’t thinking about that at all but now that Kai had brought it up, Kazuki felt the oddity of the situation. He looked at Kai who had no change in expression nor did he show any signs of guilt. He then turned to Danny who shook slightly and gingerly took a step back while looking down. He clearly was guilty.
Kazuki shook his head.
“Though it’s weird that you all watch me do those things, it’s understandable. I too would most likely peep if I was stuck in such a place with little interaction with the outside world. No, I didn’t come here about that. Instead, I’ve come to ask Danny something.”
Danny felt as though he were sweating. Even though he clearly couldn’t since he was dead, he didn’t know what he’d do if Kazuki told him to not peep anymore. Watching the outside world through Kazuki’s eyes was more than just peeing and looking at Lamia’s lascivious body. More than anything it was entertainment. Seeing the happenings around Kazuki was better than reality tv for Danny. Not only that, after a while conversations would become dry and boring if it were just him and Kai this whole time. Watching Kazuki’s life, gave the two things to talk about.
They would often laugh and have fun discussions about Kazuki’s successes and mess-ups. They even guessed how Kazuki would do or decide things based on what they knew about him. This was the most fun either of them had in a long time and to take it away would be beyond depressing. Danny and Kai both felt a sense of relief when Kazuki said it wasn’t about the peeping but at the same time if it wasn’t about that it had to be about the other thing.
Danny interrupted Kazuki before he said anything.
“Kazuki is this about telling them that my soul is still around and it’s fused inside here?”
Kazuki wasn’t surprised he knew. After all, Danny most likely watched and heard that conversation between Kazuki and Glacious.
“That’s right. The fact is, I don’t want to lie to them and if I don’t tell them and they find out, they will most likely blame me and that may just be the final straw for them. To repair the trust between us after that…It most likely isn’t possible.”
“No, do you think so little of them? Do you think they think so little of you? Bringing up the fact that I’m still around yet bound to this place, trapped in here until the day you die, what do you think that will do to them? I must remain a secret forever. There is no reason for them to know unless you want them to be burdened with that. They may never get over such a thing if they know. However, if you remain quiet, how will they ever find out. If you stay quiet, the pain they feel toward me, it will fade in time I’m sure of it. Let it end like that. Let them slowly forget me, let them move on. This is what I want. I can’t imagine how Tsura will feel if she comes to know I’m still here. That will haunt her for all of her days. I can’t let that happen, not to her. I want her to be happy. I want her to find fulfillment and joy. She can’t have those things if she knows of my presence. Kazuki, I don’t care what Glacious says, this does not make you a liar. To me, this makes you a true friend. Continue to be a true friend and take all knowledge of me to the grave. Please.”
Kazuki could feel Danny’s pain. He could tell how heavily such thoughts had weighed on him and how much he really cared for Tsura. Kazuki thought about what would happen if everyone found out he hid these things from them all. He knew if they ever learned of it, no matter how much he explained, they would not forgive him but at the same time, here the person in question was asking him with everything he had not to tell others.
Kazuki felt the weight on his shoulder increase slightly but in the end, he nodded.
“I understand. To the grave.”
Danny relaxed and he hugged Kazuki.
Kai laughed at the side.
“Danny I didn’t know you swung that way. Haha, little brother you as well are so close to him. I’ve heard of sword fights but isn’t that too much.”
Danny immediately let go in embarrassment and Kai began to laugh out loudly. Kazuki simply shook his head before disappearing from his soul world.