Musa turned back one final time, imagining what his friends and family were up to and whether he will lose something precious to him again, before steeling himself for the ordeal that was to come.
He was going into the darkness again.
Both internally and externally. He wasn’t sure which was more of a threat.
As soon as he entered, all light, all sound, all sensation and all awareness was snuffed out.
Then he could feel the abyss in his head from the loss of Niyi, synchronising with each other and continued surging. Ideas and pathways to weaving dark energy was just the beginning; soon he delved into the properties of dark essence and even what to be conscious of about his behaviour.
Musa’s enlightenment was not static.
He began to shift through the darkness. He could even comprise himself of dark essence to move fleetingly through shadows. In addition he could compress dark essence to create unstable miniature dark holes with suction and corrosive force.
This corrosive force was his greatest gain from his shadow immersion in the dark world reflection of the Leviathan’s Fall, particularly its ability to devour other forces which were responsible for the nature of this place.
However, the Leviathan’s Fall was not dangerous only because of the suppressive darkness, rather there were many descendants of magical beasts that although could no longer catalyse magic in others, still maintained ability due to the nature of their environment.
Musa started paying more attention to his environment as he felt the presence of other beings circling him. There was no longer any fear in him. He was not excited either. It was just a cold calm attention as he unsheathed his daggers.
When Musa left the Leviathan’s Fall, walking through it as if it was as clear as day, the dark beasts had learnt who the real master of darkness was. In addition, Musa, who had lost his dark sight had now evolved a shadow awareness which revealed 3 Dimensional space in layers of darkness.
Musa was still three days away from the border of the Abasi empire when he had a sudden thought. He concentrated on compressing the darkness essense around him and attempted to mold it into the form of a gigantic shadow hawk. It however appeared ephemeral, made completely of darkness. In fact, he was only able to manifest this shadow beast due to his battle with the dark beasts.
Focusing completely on his creation that had form but no life, Musa whispered, “Arise Niyi”
A shadow hawk exactly the same form as the full grown form of Niyi that appeared years ago during the battle with Nze materialized with substance oozing shadow aura that dissipated some distance from the creature. But the creature was just a puppet.
Nevertheless, Musa assimilated his dark energy into dark essence and delved into the shadow hawk’s shadow which allowed him to soar faster, back into the battlefield.
As Seun searched the corpses of the guards for useful materials, saving the disgraceful Warrior torturer for last, he sensed an abundance of energy of a different element. Seun’s eyes were attracted to a strong white glow that competed with the setting sun.
The light flashed like a heartbeat with the full intensity of a star in the silhouette of a woman before dying out. Before him lay an impossibly radiant woman, still covered in rags, but without any blemish on her; all her wounds had disappeared without even leaving a scar. Ubong looked back at him with tired but clear eyes and new found vigor.
Seun was about to speak when his pre-cog ability screamed warnings.
Grabbing whatever he could around him, he signalled to Ubong, “Take as much as you can as fast as you can. Only what is necessary: water, weapons and rations. Leave everything else behind. We will use the horses to send them on a false trail but we need to leave this place immediately, then hide.”
“Hide?” Ubong asked in a croaky, raw voice, “shouldn’t we try to break through any encirclement?”
“Trust me. That is impossible with just the two of us. We are located too close to a particular group of enemies not sure who they are but believe me. Our best bet is to sneak towards the east where there is a prisoner escort of a famous caravan guard team to the capital. It’s not much but it is our best chance to get a team large enough to escape. But we have to move strategically.”
They quickly put Seun’s plan into action and departed from the battle scene. No one could have guessed the effects of Nnenna’s simple merciful solution days ago.