Blake gasped and clutched at his head as Marian called for him. Blake shook his head a few times before glancing down at his hands. He could feel a powerful presence floating within his mind. It drifted around his thoughts and guided his actions. Time seemed to move slowly as he observed his surroundings. Even Marian moved as though in slow motion within the air.
"So we are the same person now?" Blake questioned as he closed his eyes. A figure stood before him. The person looked exactly like him except for the long hair that rolled down his chest, and the stern expression that blanketed his face. Their surroundings were black as though they were standing within the night.
"You are still you, and I am still I." The man answered, Blake heard his own voice answer him. "I believe that when I cast the spell to seal my powers I was stiffing you in turn. I did not teach you the ways of my magic when you were young and I was ignorant." The stranger raised a brow as though reflecting on his actions.
"This clearly is miraculous that you are the one to inherit my powers." The figure whispered as he rounded Blake twice and observed him closer. "We look so similar."
"So then, I can assume you are Aion?" Blake asked quietly. The figure nodded his head slowly. Blake noticed his eyes were similar to his, but they appeared a vibrant electric green.
Blake pondered on the strangers words and asked "so now that you've returned, there is no place for me?" He bit his lip and lowered his eyes.
"We are the same." Aion's voice boomed in his ears and commanded his attention. Blake eyed him warily.
"If we can operate together than I believe we can destroy Asmodian-"
"Tanner." Blake corrected with a slight smirk. Aion crossed his arms.
"Do you want my help to save the woman or not?" He questioned and raised a brow. Blake sighed and shrugged his shoulders. When Aion took over his body he hadn't felt remotely like he was in control.
"I need your help Aion." He whispered softly after a few moments. He hadn't stood a chance against Asmodian's power- even Marian had been thrown into this wasteland with him without being able to raise a finger.
"That's all you needed to say." Aion smiled and moved toward Blake. The duplicate stood before him and raised a hand to touch Blake's forehead. Blake closed his eyes in response to the motion and waited for the Cast next move.
"That pendant you found and placed within your vehicle. . .carrier . . ." The caster seemed to hesitate. "Honda." Blake finished for him with a soft smile. He briefly opened his eyes to stare at Aion whose hand still rested on his head. He didn't dare question the powerful being.
"That is the only way we can co-exist. It has specific properties that should be able to merge us together as master and successor. The medallion appears to the one whom has been chosen and will inherit the spell caster's abilities." Aion tilted his head and paused for another moment.
"And also your friend has discovered it. . anything you'd like to say to him?"
"Randy?" Blake questioned, his voice echoed around him in the dark space. A loud male scream echoed off around them and they both flinched. A loud bang followed shortly after by several loud scuttling noises.
"Hm. . .well I think you scared him, we can only talk to him if he maintains contact with it." Aion stated after a few moments.
"I think so too." Blake answered and pressed his lips together. "So how are we going to get out of here?" How did that even get in my car?
Aion glanced over to the wall as a soft breeze past by them and ruffled their clothing. "I'll find a way, probably should capture one of the Forgotten and pressure it out of them." Aion spoke out loud and then clenched his fingers in a fist.
"Let me take the lead in here Blake Hazelren and I guarantee we will get out of here quickly and safely." Aion promised and reached out his hand for Blake once more. A gentle gold mist drifted through the air and Blake knelt before the being.
The power that emitted from him was impeccable and he agreed with Aion. The safest way to escape from this horrid place and save Winter was to use the caster's power. He could not summon it on his own before- just with the necklace; of which Aion had been inside.
"When the time is right we will become one once more and have full strength." Aion nodded his head and pressed his fingertips to Blake's head. The gold mist blanketed Blake and he felt his body gently disappear into the air and vanished within the blackness.
When Blake re-awoke he could still see everything around him, but could not move his arms or legs. He rode within the backseat of his body while Aion controlled what happened on the outside. It was an uncomfortable feeling.
"Are you alright Blake Hazelren?" Aion's voice crept into his mind and Blake would have nodded, but he had no head to nod.
"Yes Aion." He answered without moving his lips. He watched Marian from the small binocular view and smiled.
"Do what you need to do."
"Marian." Aion motioned for the small girl to follow him through the abandoned wasteland. The Forgotten had turned and fled for the hills after encountering just a taste of his magic earlier.
"What's the plan, sir?" Marian questioned and scooted past him. Since Aion's return, her small figure emitted a beautiful light that brightened the path all around them. However, she was still unable to open a portal to lead to the mortal world.
"We must find one of the forgotten, preferably one that speaks, and ask him to tell us what Asmodian has done here for the past century." Aion spoke swiftly and kicked aside another pile of rotten memories with Blake's shoe.
Aion glanced down toward his feet and then toward Marian.
"What are these awful things?" He exclaimed and eyed the footwear as though it was ridiculous. "I believe the people call those convarsee sneakers, sir."
Aion's mouth opened and closed and he continued on without saying anything else. The pair seemed to wander for at least an hour without seeing anything. Aion scowled and placed his fingers against his face to think for a few moments.
"These foolish creatures think they can hide from me?" He challenged and turned his head from side to side. "I can't see with all their horrible memories in the way!"
"If it was me, I would just torch the place." Blake's voice rung within Aion's mind. "It would be easier to see."
"My successor has read my mind." Aion smirked at that answer and with a flick of his wrists out to the side, light emerged within his hands. A soft hum floated throughout the air as the light grew to encompass a large mass of area. It hovered around Aion like an orb and followed with him as he walked forwards. Everything the light touch exploded into flames and disintegrated just as the Forgotten had before when they touched his magic.
Blake could only stare as the area around them radiated the light of the sun. "So this is what I could have done this whole time?" He thought to himself in amazement.
The smell of burning ash and paper filled the air. Loose articles of paper floated around within the smoke. Aion continued to burn pile after pile as he walked. The smoke was enough to choke anything out, but not for Marian and Aion as they walked under the protection of his magic. Several screams caught Aion's ear and he turned to see a handful of darkened shadow creatures within thirty feet of him.
His eyes narrowed as they began to run away.
"Foolish Forgotten." He spat and raised a hand toward the ones who ran away. That same golden mist seemed to appear within the air and blanket the struggling figures as they were pulled toward him against their will.
"If you run far from your memories you will disappear!" He shook his head and warily eyed two of the Forgotten as his magic pressed them to the ground before him. He eyed the first Forgotten and immediately noticed the massive white marking upon it's shoulder. The figure glanced up at him while he examined it and it opened it's mouth to let out a shriek that sounded like a young woman.
"I suppose you are her by the looks of that mark." He tusked under his breath and glanced toward the burning heap of rubbish behind him. Several loose checks floated within the air behind him. He muttered to himself and with a wave of his hand, his magic surrounded her and forced her to stand before him.
"I know that Asmodian escaped from here. What has he been doing here with you the past century and how did he escape?" Aion asked smoothly with cold eyes. He wished direly to extinguish this soul, it's blackness was sickening, but he needed her alive for information.
The creature remained silent and then rasped in a deep woman's voice.
"Why don't you just kill me Aion and leave me of my misery. I have suffered nearly 100 years in this place you banished me to."
"I cannot do that." He stated coldly and motioned with his thumb as the magic tightened around her body. The creature shrieked again in the younger woman's voice and struggled against the bonds.
"Asmodian did not leave by our hand." The woman rasped and clenched for the bonds that held her.
"Another Caster rescued him." Aion frowned at her response.
"Who?" He questioned quieter, a soft pang of fatigue made itself apparent in the back of his mind.
"Do I look like the type of woman to know every caster by his appearance?" The old woman cackled and shook it's blackened face. "You'll be best to find out on your own."
Aion scowled and with a wave of his hand the woman vanished from sight as the magic caved in on her. The figure did not scream for mercy- but accepted the freedom he granted her. He glanced to the other shadow creature who trembled at his magic.
"Three hundred years in this Hell you've created for us has done nothing to ease my pain." The Forgotten responded and met Aion's gaze easily. The Forgotten was blinded and had extremely weathered skin. It's greasy hair hung about it's face and thin hairs protruded where the jagged cuts did not. His naked body was covered neck to toes in long jagged cuts and some pieces of him were missing as though cut completely clean. He was not man or woman due to the multiple murders of both genders, and did not speak with a different tongue because his victims were silent.
"I know, Jack." Aion stated quietly. "Have you not understood what you've done?" He whispered even quieter as the pair stood about within the flames.
"Someone like me cannot understand human emotions." He confessed and glanced at the ground.
"I cannot understand what I've done wrong."
Aion thought over his answer and nodded his head. "Perhaps with some more time the answer will become clear." He waited a while before asking.
"Do you know anything of Asmodian?" He asked patiently. The broken Forgotten seemed to ponder a little while. He motioned with his hand and Aion released the magic that hung around him.
"Asmodian did leave with another Caster, however, they found a spot with a reverse tunnel where the magic was weakest... near the mill." The cursed figure met the his eyes once more and moved to stand.
"Tread carefully Aion as you venture that way, some Forgotten are not as pleasant as I. . .and there are many that linger within the mill seeking purpose. Even if the mill is broken, they wish to empty their memories quickly to escape. They will not be happy to see their jailer roam free within their cage." Jack turned his back and without a second glance, he disappeared into his pile of memories that had fizzled out.
Blake let his jaw hang open in amazement at all he had seen and the pair progressed with their conversation.
"Is that how they escape?" Marian questioned. She peered up toward Aion who was still deep in thought.
"They work away their life?"
Aion nodded his head. "Either their memories all need to be burned or worked off through time as they wait here impatiently to be returned to their proper course. This place is just prolonged suffering to help them repent."
"We must head to the mill, we have a long walk ahead of us Marian." Aion frowned and held out his arm to Marian who transformed back into the small constellation and leapt upon his shoulder in the shape of a small chickadee.
"It is odd how much of my power has disappeared since my absence. Just that little usage has made me tired." Aion confessed and took a deep breath in.
"I hope those humans do not do anything foolish with Blake's medallion or I will never have the strength to challenge Asmodian in battle. For now I am just a spirit in a humans body."
"Another Caster?" Marian reflected on what the Forgotten had said.
"Who could that possibly be? Who would risk their powers to rescue Asmodian from banishment?" She questioned and thought about the amount of casters that co-existed within the world. It could be anyone. There were a number of new casters that had just recently been selected.
"Well, let's hope for the best because I do not know if I could handle two against one in battle."
They stayed quiet as they thought to themselves and continued their way through the land of the forgotten. A scream sounded in the distance and the piles of rubbish Aion left behind continued to burn.
A massive factory stood before them and cast a staggering shadow across the wasteland. Fires blossomed within the air and smoke, heavy and thick, rolled across the empty black sky. Aion stood with his arms out to the side, his fingers still ablaze with a shimmering golden light.
He eyed several of the Forgotten that seemed horridly bent over, carrying armfuls of their possessions to bring to the mill to set aflame. It was the curse that plagued this place. Only through burning each and everyone of the memories they possessed, could they escape Aion's curse.
"Near the mill." Aion whispered and glanced upwards toward the empty sky. A faint trail of white seemed to linger above a spot near the entrance.
Aion's lips drew into a straight line and he pressed forwards towards the spot.