Author: kimicatdemon PM
After finding out how to keep his own inner demons at bay, Phantom is confronted by an old friend with an even bigger problem than he would have ever thought...Rated: Fiction T - English - Luminous & Phantom - Chapters: 6 - Words: 28,778 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 33 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 09-09-12 - Published: 07-19-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8338396
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The next month or so was a rather eye opening experience for Luminous over all. He had finally given in and accepted help from Phantom, possibly the last man he would ever expect to turn to, and as a result, ended up remaining on his ship as part of "his training". And of course, by "his training" Luminous meant his. Phantom was supposed to have his own schedule going on, but he somehow always went missing approximately ten minutes before it began. Gaston would constantly go wandering about to look for his master in hopes that he could be dragged off to training. And of course, Phantom would show up about ten minutes after it was scheduled to end as well. Luminous had no idea where the man hid, and he didn't even bother to know.
"You know, for someone trying to help another man train, you seem to skip it frequently yourself." Luminous remarked on evening.
"Oh don't be silly~! A thief's training is done best as actual experience, none of this set up, predictable stuff!" Phantom retorted.
Luminous shrugged. He really wasn't one to judge how a thief did and did not train. It just struck him as odd that a man helping him train hardly trained himself. But this wasn't the only thing he noted…
When Luminous had decided to accept Phantom's help, he had almost feared that Phantom would be the sort of thief that would be constantly planning his next steal or bragging about his previous ones, but to his experience, Phantom really didn't boast his treasures nearly as much as he boasted his own ego. He didn't even make any remarks about planning on stealing anything. He simply made his "master thief" claims and moved on to being quiet… lazy.
He was almost shocked by how lazy Phantom was on his ship. He would loaf around on his bed and whine about being bored, but as soon as training was suggested, he would be off to check in on his secretaries, or check one of his hide outs, or something along those lines. Very odd things.
In short, Phantom was a lot more childish than Luminous had ever imagined. Maybe it was due to the timing of how they met in the past, but Luminous had never once thought that Phantom would act like this. It was shocking to him personally. His crew didn't seem to help much on maturing the thief, except for Gaston, but even then, Gaston seemed to just work as the anchor for Phantom that clung him down to some level of maturity, not really teaching Phantom how to simply grow up. However, despite being a thief, his crew seemed to adore their 'boss'. They loved his flamboyant personality and cheerful perks. They enjoyed how easy it was to talk to him when they needed it, and most of all, they seemed to find great respect in Phantom's kindness towards them. They couldn't see it all the time due to Phantom constantly running around and about, but when it showed, it showed.
It made him sick. Sick to his stomach. There was, in no way shape or form, this man could ever be any kind of a hero! He didn't take anything seriously at all and quite frankly, it was slowly pissing Luminous off. Luminous was raised in a way where one would always have to take their role in life seriously, so he learned early on in life the importance of not goofing around, whereas Phantom seemed to live by this life style. On his ship, few things were taken seriously by the thief himself. His crew was just as carefree and… the whole thing just filled his body with anger.
Luminous proceeded with his own training. It was simple little excercises for him to refine his light skills, hoping that he could still force the dark out if he made his light stronger. "As if I'd take that thief's advice." Luminous thought. "Use the black mage's power as well as my own? What does he think is going to happen?" He threw light energy towards a few of the practice dummies. "I'll just be able to use them both with no problem? If I even touch that guy's magic then…" He shivered. He could only recall fuzzy memories of what happened when he lost control like that, and none of them seemed to pretty. Luminous realize he was getting worked up like this. He just needed a moment to calm down. He walked over to a nearby wall and sat his staff against it, before sitting down on the floor and relaxing a bit, trying to empty his thoughts out.
Sadly, Phantom's secretaries weren't familiar enough with how the old language worked, which meant Phantom and Luminous were the only two that could read through Freud's notes, but considering how old they were, it was a bit hard to work out. Phantom took on the job of reading through them a few nights a week and would be up until early in the morning looking over everything. So it wasn't like Phantom wasn't trying at all. He just probably didn't have an idea of where to start. Of course, figuring how the man behaved, that came as no surprise. Maybe he was growing impatient. He was nervous. He wanted to find a way to stop the dark magic before it controlled him again. If it grabbed him on a ship with people on it thousands of feet in the air… That would be bad. Really bad. Phantom was the only one that would have any chance of stopping him, but the others… He didn't want to risk it. Luminous sat up and walked over to the book keep where Phantom kept Freud's notes. They were rather vague over all, as he didn't exactly study the Black Mage's magic for a cure, but for simple observational purposes. He grabbed them gently and looked over them. It was obvious these notes were written well before the Black Mage became the full terror he was, as it seemed to be a bit more in depth, almost as if Freud was able to experience this magic first hand or something. "What was he trying to pull?" Luminous thought as he flipped through the pages. The seemed to be a key question that, while it did not help Luminous, it did seem to peak his interest. What use would the black mage have for using this sort of magic anyway? Black Magic like this was a taboo back then. He knew this too well. His village that had specialized in light magic had always put great emphasis on the taboo of dark magic, calling it horrid and vile.
Luminous set the notes down and chuckled a bit. "Feh… If my village saw me now, I wonder what they'd think…" He took a small breath and thought. Beowan was kind enough to help him get through the struggle of fighting against the darkness in him, giving him tips and advice on how to get through and keep himself in check. Had Beowan never stepped in, Luminous would have probably still been a reckless murder machine. He had to hand it to him, for being a ghost; the man looked out for Luminous quite a bit. He was really grateful for this fact. He was actually grateful for quite a bit. He just never stopped to realize how lucky he was. He still had a chance at keeping himself. He just needed to be careful.
Later that night, Phantom and Luminous sat down and ate a rather fancy fish dinner. Luminous had always thought Phantom's taste were rather over the top, but he could deal with it. A meal was a meal. "You know, I realized something today. The halls would look much better with a bit of color in them… Maybe like… red or something like that." He remarked.
"I suppose. The ship itself is fairly white." Luminous responded back. He found Phantom's topics rather odd at times. The man didn't seem to talk much about the past or present occurrences, but rather silly notices and findings. Luminous wondered if maybe Phantom was nervous to talk about it because of their past standing on each other or something else. He never said anything though. He just listened and replied. Truth be told, he didn't care about the color of his ship or any of his little findings. He only cared about getting rid of this curse. That was it.
Phantom went into the book keep later that night and began to take out Freud's notes and a few other findings. "Ah, one day I need to teach Colette how to read these books or something. She would be much faster at finding information that I." He sighed out. He set the notes on the table and began to think of where he currently stood as far as progress went. "The curse was meant to be a way to transfer powers from one to another. It would spread darkness around and depending on the corrupted one, it would have various effects." Phantom looked at some of the former victims of the curse. "Some would have dark powers to use freely, others would be controlled and become monsters with it." He rolled his eyes. "And of course Luminous is the latter case… So how did the others have control over it?"
Luminous walked in after Phantom's little self-chat. He looked over Phantom's shoulder. "Anything interesting?"
Phantom sighed, "Not yet. I'm looking up biographies of those that were also corrupted and my research has shown that it is not impossible to gain control over the black magic, but it isn't clearly stated how they did it… it's like… they just did."
Luminous sat down in an empty chair and quietly huffed, "Well, good for them."
Phantom let out a weak chuckle, not quiet knowing how to respond to that. He went back to the notes and looked at them. "Maybe we could find some kind of connection of some sort? I don't see anything that would stand out from here though…"
Luminous sat and listened to Phantom rummage through the paper work. He took a breath and decided to discuss with Phantom what he came for. "Phantom…Listen… I understand you're working hard on a rather… scarce subject, however…" Luminos took a small breath and looked at his own hand, "I fear I might be running short on time again…"
"Huh?" Phantom looked up, "What do you mean?"
Luminous looked at Phantom, "It's been awhile since the darkness got out, Phantom…" He sighed, "I can feel it crawling out slowly… It's only a matter of time before it takes over again." Leaning in the chair, he tried to relax a bit. This wasn't exactly easy for him to admit either.
Phantom's eyes grew concerned. He tried to think, "Well think you just don't need to train and you can just sit around and…"
"Phantom…" Luminous interrupted, "It doesn't matter. I've tried 'resting' before. I rested for years and all that happened was it sat for years on its own before forcing its way out, and when that happened, it took quite a bit to snap be back out of it." He stood up, "That's why I am asking you to let me leave your ship. I understand it's a place where you can keep tabs on me, but it's also thousands of feet in the air with defenseless servants of yours on board." He walked up close to Phantom, looking him dead in the eyes, "We cannot take that risk. Not even for my sake."
Phantom looked down at the desk and then back at Luminous. What was he supposed to say? He didn't exactly want Luminous to leave, as Phantom had his resources on his ship and he could keep an eye on his darkness, but Luminous had a point. Someone would surely end up dead if he lost control on board that ship, if not everyone. Phantom sighed, "Alright." He submitted, "Anywhere you may want to go?"
Luminous thought for a bit. He wanted to go somewhere quiet. Some place where he could be alone. He knew his dark self would probably seek out enemies, but if Luminous could get far enough… No… he knew there would be no point in running like that. His mind settled on a place. A familiar place. "I'd like to go to Victoria…"
Phantom thought. Why would Luminous want to return the—It hit him. Luminous didn't have much at all. He didn't have anything there… What he did have on Victoria though, was memories and some value of a home. The very place he had destroyed. Why he wanted to go back there was beyond him, but he wasn't going to question it. Luminous probably wouldn't answer anyway. He was far too aloof to discuss personal feelings and attachments. "Very well. I will see that we are around Victoria within an hour…"
An hour passed and Luminous and Phantom stood on the deck of Phantom's ship. The moon shined brightly in the back, giving a soft blue tint to everything. "Heh… This is odd…" Phantom remarked, "For once, I think I might actually be sad to see you go."
"I'm fairly indifferent." Luminous remarked. He wasn't quite sure how to feel with Phantom. When he first encountered him years ago, he felt nothing but disgust for a man that made his living off of stealing and low tricks. He refused to have anything to do with him. Years later, he found that same thief being the only one that would work to help him. "…..Phantom… I have a question…"
Phantom raised his brows up. "Hmm?" The breeze of Victoria's shores swept across the deck with a slight force, letting Phantom know they were close.
"Why would you…. Why DID you stick around?" Luminous asked. It had really confused him. He and Phantom had a bitter relationship in the past, so why the change? "You weren't like this before…"
Phantom shrugged and laughed a bit. "Time passes and people change. It's all about moving forward, I guess. I have learned that staying still for too long can get you into some trouble."
"Heh… Is that so?" Luminous remarked. People changing? Well, Luminous certainly fell under that category, but he wasn't sure if the change was good or not.
After a bit of time, the ship stopped. Luminous walked up to the top part of the deck and turned around and faced Phantom. "You sure this is gonna work?"
"Works for me!" Phantom remarked calmly.
Luminous took a deep breath and relaxed a bit. He looked down at the ground. It was odd leaving the ship. It had actually started to feel very comfortable and familiar to him. Like another home almost. But he couldn't stay… He felt the dark feelings inside of his swirl, telling him to sit back and stay, to let him give it easy targets. He had already ruined one home before, and he was not going to let himself destroy another one...
Phantom pulled a blank card out and twirled it, "I supposed I could always come check in on you every so often… Just to be safe."
Luminous felt a strange bit of comfort in those words. He didn't see Phantom as a thief or as an annoyance. He actually was starting to see him as a genuine ally. "Tch…My home town would think I've gone mad… Well… I suppose I have…" Luminous thought to himself. "That would good." Luminous told Phantom. "Although…" He started . He looked up at the moon shining in the sky, "If the me you know now isn't there…"
"I'll just beat sense into you again." Phantom remarked strongly. He didn't want Luminous to think he was weak after all.
"What if… What if you can't?" Luminous remarked quietly. It was his fear. His biggest fear would be that he would lose himself and become someone entirely different, being completely unaware of the change.
Phantom took note of Lumious's reaction. It was rather heavy just to look at. "…I'll find a way." Phantom assured.
Luminous wanted to protest, but he felt it was pointless. Phantom was already sure that he could pull Luminous out anytime he wanted. Luminous hoped that this was true, even though he strongly doubted it. "Well, in that case, I guess I should be off…"
Phantom gave a rather confident grin, "Don't worry, I'm not going to stop any research here. I'll just fill you in or something."
Luminous gave a slight nod. Phantom threw the card he was twirling up in the air and with a flash and strong winds, Luminous was gone.
Phantom stared at where the mage once stood a bit more, almost as if he was still there, but he knew that Luminous was probably already on ground.
His heart felt heavy. It felt painful. He let out a slight sobbing noise before landing on the wooden deck. This pain was new to Phantom, but he was all too familiar with the pain it would bring. If nothing changed and everything progressed as it was now, Luminous would possibly die, if not worse…
"This…" Phantom remarked weakly, letting his strong façade fall apart. "This isn't fair…" He sobbed out. "I already paid a price with two of my dearest treasures, did I not?" He clenched his fist, "Why? Why is it everyone I turn to for trust is destined to fall down this path?!" he tried to look for an answer. He tried to think. He stood up and looked at the moon with a fierce look, "Is this your idea of a game?! Just letting karma play me as some kind of fool at EVERY TURN?!" He yelled at the sky. "Every single turn…" He repeated quietly. Looking down at his hands, he formed his cards with Aria and Freud on it. "I don't get it. I've changed, right? I'm working for the greater good, am I not? Then… why? Why am I… Why is those around me…?" He dissolved the cards into light and sighed. "What's the point of moving on if nothing changes?" He thought a bit over the situation. He was powerless. There wasn't a thing he could do.
…No… No, he could do something. This new pain… it was a forewarning of what would come, not that it had come! He still had some time! He just needed to look carefully, look harder. He could do something and prevent this; he just had to apply himself. "Alright." He told himself, "No more Mister slacker, I need to work if I plan on fixing any of this." He walked off towards his cabin door, taking one last look at where Luminous once stood. "Hang on a little bit longer… I'll fix this."
Down on Victoria, Luminous looked around carefully. He was familiar with the island to an extent, but he had to make sure he at least knew how to get home… "I don't think I'm too far…" He said to himself. He figured he could just keep moving and he would probably be at his destination by tomorrow afternoon… or later today. He wasn't sure what hour it was, but it was important that he get to somewhere quiet before the monsters and people started to stir around. He could feel the darkness in him clawing at his chest, like some vicious tiger swiping its paw outside of its cage.
Luminous looked up to see if he could see the moon, but he noticed a lot more clouds than usual. "Hmm? Is it going to rain?" Luminous thought to himself. Shrugging about it, Luminous walked on forward.
The walk home was a bit tiresome. He wondered if he should have considered resting before making the trip, but when he considered it, the painful lash of darkness would remind him of why he wasn't too comfortable sleeping in the first place. He had to be awake to keep that in check. Luminous also tried to avoid fighting… He just needed to stay calm. Right now wasn't a good time for him to do much beyond this. He just needed to isolate himself and hope that his darker self wouldn't try to run about too far.
He was thinking on the way back. He was thinking of a way to keep everything intact, a way to keep himself sane. He wasn't strong enough to force the darkness back and keep it under wraps… He was basically a puppet for it. It would let him walk around and play his little game for a bit before taking control and having him act out on its behalf, all for the sake of flaunting its power. How was he supposed to stop something if he wasn't even around when it was out? How was he supposed to control something stronger than him? How could he grab his own strings and get the darkness to do what he wanted? It baffled him, but tried not to get too much into it. The confusion worked him up far too much.
He looked up at the sky and noticed it getting darker. It wouldn't be long now until the rain settled in and started to pour, but the good news was that he wasn't too far off from home. He could probably beat it. He walked on, slowly quickening his pace.
Luminous had reached a rather ugly part of the forest. There was wreckage and disaster all around, with no orderly sense of nature around. The grey sky didn't help either. It was dark and ugly. Luminous cringed as he realized this ugly part of the woods was once called his "home". It used to be beautiful like the rest of the woods, until that horrid day. Oh, how he wished he could suppress that day and pretend it never happened…
He got up closer to his house and felt a familiar presence. "Hmm?" He looked around a bit, trying to find what it was… "Beowan?"
Beowan's ghost appeared in front of Luminous, "Luminous! There you are!" He said in his ghostly state, "Luminous, can you feel it?"
Luminous blinked, "Feel what?" He had been so distracted by the carving pains of his inner darkness that he didn't note any external pains. Luminous could easily fight all of the monsters in the forest anyway…
Beowan waved his staff around, "Luminous, this is serious! I am picking up on strong dark forces up ahead!"
"Dark… Forces?" Luminous repeated, "Are you sure it's not just some remains of… when…"
"No, Luminous, this different. This is NEW. Something dark is crawling around here! I was hoping to find it myself but it seems like it insist on staying hidden from me. Almost as if it knows I'm here…"
Luminous thought for a moment… "What kind of dark forces would be around here?" He couldn't get an answer. He shook his head, "Wait here Beowan."
"Alright. If you need anything, just yell out." Beowan agreed with ease.
"Heh." Luminous laughed. If he yelled out, it would probably be because of the darkness taking over, which made Beowan's words feel like some kind of a sick joke, even though he probably didn't even mean it that way.
Walking up ahead, Luminous took a deep breath. He didn't know what was going on, he wasn't in a state to deal with too much, and the whole thing was making him feel worse than he did.
"The forces of darkness… it's getting stronger…" He told himself as he walked on. It was clear to him that whatever he was dealing with here wasn't usually around to begin with…
He stopped walking. There was something about this darkness. Something familiar. He felt a huge pit form in his stomach. Something he couldn't bear with right now. "….This…. This can't be…."
"Luminous…!" A voice yelled.
Luminous's eyes snapped open and he looked around. That voice… No doubt about it, that voice was hers… it was Lania's voice! But where?! "Lania? Lania!" he yelled out.
"Luminous!" Her voice yelled back, "Please… go! Run Luminous!"
Luminous stepped forward, "What? Why?!"
Lania stepped out from behind the trees. Her skin was sickly pale and her eyes were completely empty. The way her body was being held looked as if it were being forced up by something.
"Lania!" Luminous yelled out. Why was she here? What was going on?
"Ahhh!" She yelled out. Luminous tried to run forward to help her. He wanted to help her. He hated seeing her this way. "Luminous no!" She yelled "Luminous…. Ahhh!" She yelled as a black magic engulfed around her.
"Lania!" Luminous yelled out. It was no use. He couldn't even see her in the black magic. "The magic is growing around Lania?!" Luminous thought to himself, "…Is there a way to change her back?!" Luminous thought hopelessly.
The black magic subsided and Lania stood in front of Luminous again, her posture was much more concrete, as she stood with a chilling smile on her face. Chains wrapped around her body and her eyes gave an eerie glow. She chuckled, "Luminous, for my lord the Black mage, you must die…" She spoke calmly.
"Black Mage?!" Luminous said out loud before having Lania lash chains out at him. Luminous didn't want to fight her. He couldn't bring himself to do so. He simply teleported out of the way quickly. "Lania!" he yelled, hoping he could snap her out of whatever got a hold of her.
In his efforts to call out to Lania, he was reminded that he needed to be careful himself. He felt a strong pulse from the darkness inside of him. Stronger than usual. Was it because of this dark magic? He didn't know what caused it, but he felt it. It sent him straight on his knees. "Ughh!"
Lania laughed, "What's wrong Luminous? Why are you acting so weak?"
Weak nothing, Luminous felt the darkness surfacing. He was all too familiar with the process that he went through when it took over by this point. It started off with his eye changing red, then came horrid pain, after that…
After that were those horrible, hideous, despicable thoughts that Luminous felt ashamed to ever have inside of his head…
"She's no different from a monster now."
"Are you going let that weakling toss you around when you can snap her neck?"
Luminous grabbed his head in frustration. "No!" He yelled out. He couldn't bear it. He had killed Lania before… did he really have to go through the pain a second time?! Did he really have to wake up and find her body again? He couldn't do it… He couldn't bear the thought of anything like it. So why were these thoughts flooding into his head, repeating themselves over and over?
Lania raised her hand up, "Die for my Lord!" She yelled and sent more chains flying towards Luminous.
Luminous looked up and managed to teleport away just in time. He rose to his feet after jumping to safety. He saw it wrapping around him. The dark magic inside of him was leaking out, wrapping itself around him, trying to consume his mind and control his body. It felt odd to look at it… he had never gotten to the point of seeing it go this far.
Lania laugh and looked at Luminous, "How long can you go like this, coward?"
Luminous felt a rather cocky laugh escape him, "Coward? I'm far from it…" He took a deep breath and grabbed at his throat, trying to control himself. He watched the darkness sink into him, slowly turning his white robes into a dark shade of black. At this point, he was practically already consumed by the darkness, his last bit of sanity, his last bit of hope, being that his opponent was Lania herself. No matter how much pain it put him in, no matter how tired he was, he refused to let his darkness take over him again. He refused to hurt Lania again. But what could he do? The vile thoughts in his head were screaming various things, all yelling for him to kill her. He tried to shake it off and found himself kneeling on the ground again, realizing he was practically choking himself.
"Oh?" Lania chuckled, "That's a much more suiting color for you. I wonder if my Lord would like that." Lania walked up to Luminous. "You shouldn't fight against the darkness. It's going to win eventually."
Luminous looked at Lania. There had to be a way to stop this. He just needed to find out how he could get this under control. He wasn't strong enough to fight back. He could accept this. He could accept it and it still tried to control him. He tried to think, tried to make a conclusion…
Then for some reason, he recalled Phantom's words that night… "… I don't want you to become our enemy. I want you to stay with us."
Luminous felt the same. He didn't want to become some crazy killing machine. He didn't want to hurt people recklessly. He didn't want to be anything like THAT MAN, and still, STILL, he was turning into him! He tried to focus on that thought with Phantom, trying to wash out the screams that the darkness placed inside of his head. "That idiot…." He grumbled as he stood up. Standing up turned out to be very difficult. Luminous couldn't even stand up straight. He had to use his staff for support. Taking deep breathes and focusing on Phantom's words, he managed to relieve the smallest amount of pain from the curse, but he knew it was only temporary.
Lania jumped back, "Being resistant? Well, if you insist…." She charged up a large amount of Black magic, "I'll just kill you off!"
Luminous stood there and watched. He watched, but he couldn't process what was going on. His head was fuzzy and he was tired. He was lost and confused. He simply had no answers.
…No… He had an answer… a choice he hadn't tried yet. "Try using the Black Mage's power as your own!" Phantom's voice rang. "If you can learn to use it like your current magic, it should obey you, right?"
Luminous watched her charged the black magic above herself. Luminous took note of how slow she was. Probably because she wasn't used to fighting. He stood up and grabbed his staff and prepared to attack. He tried not to think, he tried not to let his mind wander off from its focus. He was shooting a gun with a blindfold on and hoping that it worked.
If not… then surely all hope would be lost…
"Sorry, Lania!" he said quickly before lashing out the strongest ability his darkness held towards the girl. It shot her back instantly, letting her chains dissolve as she laid motionless on the ground.
Luminous took a few deep breaths. He had just used one of the Black Mage's skills on his own. He had just used and attack that the Black Mage used…. He used the Black Mage's magic. He stopped and came to a realization.
The pain, the screams, even the black aura that was around his clothes and person… it was gone? …No… Not gone. It was weakened. Luminous could tell that he was back to his usual light state again, but it just seemed to be really quick. He looked up and saw Lania laying on the ground still "Lania!" he yelled as he tried to run up to her. Just as he reached the halfway point between them, he heard a laugh. A familiar laugh. "Black mage!" He yelled out loud.
The Black Mage appeared in a wisp behind Lania, slowly clapping his hands.
"You!" Luminous growled, "What did you do to Lania?!"
"Child of light…" The Black Mage started, "no… I suppose that would not be accurate these days… Child of the light AND the dark…"
Luminous grumbled a bit and kept a fierce stare.
"I suppose my powers are too good for the likes of you?" the Black Mage remarked, ignoring Luminous's question.
"Don't ignore my question!" Luminous barked out. "Why is she here?!"
The Black Mage waved his hand out, "A simple game I suppose."
"A game? What kind of game are you PLAYING at?" Luminous yelled at.
The Black mage wisped beyond Lania and in front of Luminous. Luminous had forgotten how tall the man was. He tried to stay calm, but couldn't help but flinch back a bit.
The Black Mage gave out a light chuckle. "Don't be scared now." He said calmly. With a quick yet gentle movement, the Black mage placed his hands over Luminous's eyes. He wanted to jump back. He wanted to move away, but Luminous found himself too scared to lift his feet. "Let me what has become of my precious darkness inside of you…"
Luminous felt the Black Mage's power enter his body. His body stiffened as a cold, empty feeling flooded through his veins. "Auughh!" Luminous yelled, hoping the Black mage would stop. The Black Mage continued until he found the spot where Luminous's body has kept the darkness inside of him. He let out a small grin as he tampered with it a bit, just to see what it was like.
Luminous felt the darkness flood over his body again, but it was much different this time. The darkness and the light were both in pain. He let out a loud scream, trying to move his arms up to the Black mage's hands to move them away, but he couldn't. His body was basically paralyzed. His scream continued as the Black Mage continued to peak at the darkness inside of Luminous. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, he removed his hands. "My…" The Black Mage spoke in some value of a twisted happy tone, "Your darkness is quite the charmer. It's practically uncontrollable."
Luminous couldn't even look the mage in the eyes. He was still in a state of shock from what his body just went through.
"It's a shame you reject it so. You could be quiet the useful general." The Black Mage spoke on.
Luminous, finally regaining some value of his composure, looked up at the Black Mage, "Like hell I will!"
The Black Mage remained quiet and watched as Luminous stood up. "And who's to say that? As you just saw, I can drag your darkness out whenever I want. You're basically a wandering doll that I can toy around with at any point in time."
Luminous snapped at that statement. He twirled his staff and held the front end towards the Black Mage. "I am NOT your doll! "
The Black Mage laughed, "Are you trying to fight me, child of light and dark?"
Luminous remained quiet, letting his piercing glare do the talking for him.
The Black Mage shook his hand, "No…Now is not the time… For now…" The Black Mage looked at Lania, "Let us continue our little game until the time is right. You can have her…" he waved his hand over Lania's body. "I've no need for such a weak person." He said before laughing and vanishing in a dark wisp.
Luminous watched as the wind died down from the Black Mage's exit. He tried to process what just happened, but his mind couldn't grasp it. He could grasp one thing though. Lania was still on the ground in front of him. He ran up to her and kneeled down, shaking her gently. "Lania? Lania!" he yelled out.
Lania slowly opened her eyes. "Ahh…" She breathed out. She looked up and faced Luminous. She sat up and gave Luminous a sad look, "Luminous… you're not… I'm so sorry I…"
"It's okay, Lania." Luminous said quickly, "I'm just glad you're back to normal." Luminous sighed. Really, if he was honest, he was tired. Very tired. But he could always rest later.
Lania looked at Luminous with a bit of confusion herself, but was quick to accept her new found life again. She smiled and helped Luminous walk to their home.
The two walked inside to find the place a mess. Lania was ready to clean up right this instant, while Luminous barely made it to a nearby chair. He rested his head on the seat and fell into a deep sleep while sitting on the floor.
"Ah! Luminous, your robes are going to get dirty!" Lania whined a bit to herself. She smiled a bit looking at Luminous. She rarely ever got to see him sleep before, due to him falling asleep after her and waking up before her, but on those rare instances where she saw it, she was always happy to see him look so peaceful. "Just don't hurt your back." She said. She turned around and started to clean the house up while Luminous too his nap.
The next few weeks would pass by quickly. Luminous felt a lot of the work should have been difficult, but for some reason, it felt relaxing. He felt at ease. He was able to let a warm smile come across his face from time to time as he and Lania rebuilt their home as best as they could.
"Ah, Luminous, can you clean the kitchen up? I'm going to get some vegetables from the garden!" Lania yelled out to Luminous.
"Be careful!" Luminous warned, "I think I saw some monsters swarming around there the other day…"
"Oh I'll just take Penny, I'll be fine!" She grinned.
Luminous sighed. Lania would be quick with her job which meant he would have to be fast at his… And cleaning wasn't exactly his strong point. He jumped down to the kitchen and started to clean up the dishes. He remained quiet, trying to focus on where to put the clean dishes and hoping none of the shelving would break. "We have GOT to make new shelves for this kitchen, they can barely hold the pots…"
"Ahhh!" A scream was heard.
Luminous turned around. "Lania?!" He looked out the window, but he garden was out of view. "Damn it, I KNEW I should have gone out there with her!" he cursed himself as he ran outside. He ran around the house to find Lania in the garden on the ground…
…With Phantom pointing a sharp arrow from his own weapon at her.
Luminous jumped back a bit, using his own powers to teleport between Lania and Phantom. "Stop!"
Phantom's serious glare widened into a shock. "Hm?!" He set his weapon down quickly and regained his serious composure. "Luminous…." He started up carefully, "What is she doing here?"
Luminous was going to say "picking vegetables" but he knew that wasn't the answer Phantom was looking for… No… he wanted to know why she was alive. Phantom had actually seen her dead himself. Luminous had to accept that Phantom had all right to feel a bit shocked and threatened by Lania's sudden reappearance. "Look…" Luminous started, "I can explain, but I do ask that we step over to the side a bit. That's all I am going to ask…"
Phantom looked at luminous then down at Lania. He turned around and walked over to the opposite side of the house. "I'll be over here then…"
Luminous took a sigh. That was way too close. He had completely forgotten to give Phantom and update on what happened and Lania almost had to pay for it. Luminous gave a soft look to Lania, "Don't worry, I'll deal with that idiot. You just wait right here, okay?"
Lania gave a quiet nod.
Luminous walked over to Phantom and gave a sharp glare. "Was it really needed to jump to an attack like that? She's just a girl."
"Considering she's alive when I saw her dead, I think there might be reason to believe there is some wicked work at hand." Phantom started up. He was no stranger to death and he knew that no one simply "came back". That wasn't how it worked.
Luminous sighed. Phantom was going to think he was crazy for this, but he really didn't have any other choice beyond it. He explained the story of Lania and the Black Mage to Phantom, explaining that the Black mage was playing some kind of game with Luminous and his darkness, with Lania being some kind of tool and prize in it.
"Are you MAD!?" Phantom remarked loudly. "You're going to TRUST the black mage just GAVE you her?!"
Luminous remained quiet. Maybe he was going mad. Maybe the darkness in him had a strange grasp on him to where he felt like he could get away with trusting the Black Mage like that.
"You just…. You…." Phantom was at a loss for words. Luminous, of all people, had been foolish enough to fall for one of the Black Mage's tricks. Phantom was sure this was a trick. He was sure. "She could easily back stab you and have you dead in five seconds!"
"I don't care." Luminous stated, "I made up my mind a few weeks ago and this has been my choice since then."
Phantom looked at Luminous, "I didn't realize it was so EASY to earn your trust!" Phantom barked. He almost felt hurt by this. Trust shouldn't be something that you hand out like that.
"Say what you want, Phantom." Luminous calmly stated, "You would have chosen the same path if he brought Aria back."
"Don't you dare bring Aria into this, you lowly coward." Phantom growled with anger. "Her name doesn't deserve to be spoken by anyone that trusts the Black Mage at all."
Luminous stayed quiet. Phantom sure was being stubborn about this, He wasn't too shocked, but he didn't like the scene Phantom was making. "Phantom, can you keep it down? I would prefer it if Lania DIDN'T hear this?"
"Why?" Phantom remarked, "So the Black mage can just THINK you're eating this whole 'win her back' thing? I'll let you know, I'm not fool, Luminous! I know a trap when I see one!"
Luminous growled a bit. He turned and faced Phantom while slamming his hand against his shoulder forcefully. His right eye had turned red and began glowing brightly, leaving a dark shadow around his face. "Do not make me hurt you, Phantom. I will."
Phantom looked at Luminous's eye. It was glowing in a manner similar to the Black Mage's eyes himself. "Lu-Luminous… what on earth….?"
Luminous removed his hand and calmed down a bit, letting his eye stop glowing, but still remaining red. "It's something else I picked up that day."
Phantom looked at Luminous's eye. Usually one eye being red wasn't a good sign, but it seemed like Luminous forced it out himself.
"The Black mage sent Lania after me…" Luminous said quietly. "I was one step away from losing control and possibly killing Lania again, when I just decided to take your advice and used the Black Mage's powers as if it were my own magic." Luminous looked Phantom dead in the eyes. "So I had thought that maybe you would be a bit more open to this story, but I guess a spoiled child is always spoiled."
Phantom huffed, "What's that supposed to mean?!"
Luminous shook his head, "Figure it out yourself. I'm going to help Lania."
Phantom stopped Luminous after his second step, "Oohhohoho no. No you don't. You gained control over your darkness and never told me!" Phantom whined, "I've been studying for weeks!"
Luminous raised a brow, "And you're only just now coming down?"
"Gaston said it was this or training."
"Of course." Luminous rolled his eyes. "Look, whether I am crazy or not isn't a problem right now. My main concern is just to help Lania get back on her feet and then continue my training."
"Continue?" Phantom asked.
Luminous tapped his chest a bit, "I know…I can tell… this darkness still has a chance of going out of control. It's not a magic one is supposed to fully control. But now that I know how to control it, I just have to keep my chances as low as possible."
Phantom looked at Luminous. The man was being completely serious about everything. Including the girl. He looked over at her. She LOOKED innocent, but he… he couldn't feel right about her. And as much as he hated to admit it, Luminous had a point. If Aria had been brought back, Phantom probably would have taken her back in a heartbeat. He sighed. "Fine." Phantom said, giving in, "I suppose it wouldn't hurt to believe she was played like a trophy."
Luminous glared. Not exact a nice comparison, but an accurate one.
Phantom walked up to Lania himself first, "I do apologize." He said, offering his hand to help her stand up, "It seems your journey has been rather difficult itself. I am sorry if I frightened you with my actions." Phantom held his hand up with a card and turned it into a dazzling rose. "Please take this as a token of my apology."
Lania's eyes glistened at the rose, "Oh wow, it's pretty!" She remarked while taking it into her hands. The rose was really glowing!
Phantom gave a small grin at the joy of the girl but was given a nice hit on the back of the head a mere moments afterwards. "Don't you dare give her roses!"
"What?! It was an APOLOGY gift."
"I don't CARE Phantom, make it a tulip or something! Not a ROSE!" Luminous yelled back.
"I DON'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE TULIPS!" Phantom retorted. "WHO'S EVER HEARD OF A WOMAN LIKING TULIPS ANYWAY?!"
"They like flowers FINE, Phantom!" Luminous continued. Lania giggled a bit. Luminous was acting kind of silly with Phantom. It was almost another one of those rare gem moments.
"It's pretty. Thank you… Uhh… Phantom?" Lania smiled shyly.
"Why thank you!" Phantom remarked, "I'm glad to see some appreciate the value in a gift." He growled at Luminous.
"I get the value, I just don't like what you GAVE her." Luminous remarked back.
Lania laughed a bit. "Well, you two can stay out here. I'm going to prep dinner!" Lania smiled. "Will you be staying with us Mr. Phantom?"
Phantom laughed, "Probably not. I'm not accustom to staying in one place for too long. I'll probably be gone in the next half hour."
"Good, we don't need spoiled brat manners at the table anyway." Luminous added in.
Phantom sneered at Luminous while Lania left the two alone. She really wondered about Phantom and what kind of relationship he shared with Luminous. He seemed like a friend, but at the same time… Oh well, she would just ask at dinner.
Meanwhile, Phantom and Luminous sat outside of the house and watch Lania leave. Luminous turned head to Phantom once Lania was out of view. "You're here for less than five minutes and you already managed to piss me off."
"Piss you off?! You're the one that never informed me of anything!" Phantom remarked back.
"Well you're not exact easy to find in the first place." Luminous added back. Phantom found himself unable to argue with that. It was sort of his thing to remain hidden.
"Well…" Phantom rubbed the back of his neck, "So the Black Mage really is back…"
Luminous sighed , "Seems so… apparently he wants to keep testing my patience as far as his dark magic goes. He thinks it's some kind of game"
"Well I wouldn't exactly see him having much of a normal definition for a game anyway…" Phantom rolled his eyes.
"So basically I'm his lab rat now. " Luminous sighed. "Didn't he test this on others before?"
"Yes, but they all happened to be in the support and defensive mage group similar to Freud. I think you're the first offensive mage he has ever affected, and what's more is your light attribute."
"It's the exact opposite of his." Luminous finished it off. "Well, I just have to plan ahead and I should be good."
Phantom thought a bit to himself. "Plan ahead?" How would that be possible? No one could predict how the Black Mage would work. All Luminous could do is build a bit of support and…
Support! That's it! Phantom jumped up, "I got it!"
Luminous looked at Phantom , "Oh this should be good."
Phantom lowered himself in defeat a bit. "Hey, this is a good idea… Luminous… Join the Maple Alliance with me!"
"The what?" Luminous asked.
"Aria's niece has formed the largest alliance throughout the entire world. There's thousands of fighters involved in this. Some are a bit weaker, some are stronger, but they have so many people in it that we could easily win with a bit of skill!" he clenched his hands into fist. "You could help teach the mages! ….Or at least … uhh…" Phantom began to think again, "….Freud's… little… mini version…self. Oh I forget his name."
"You forget everyone's name." Luminous remarked unamused. "What about him?"
"Well, he's quiet young and in need of a good teacher.. I'm sure he would LOVE meeting another mage!"
Luminous rubbed his neck a bit. "I dunno… Sounds a little too risky for me. I may not have a high chance of losing myself any more, but it is still there… What if I go dark there? Will they even accept me like this?"
"Oh trust me, Aria's niece has a very similar heart to her own. She'll take you in with open arms!" Phantom the rubbed his chin, "I hear her tactician is a bit of a bother for everything though."
"Well at least someone can hold the fort down." Luminous remarked. He thought over everything for a bit. Really, he couldn't find a good reason to say no. He was a hero and he had the job of wrapping his mission up from years ago. "Fine." Luminous said, "If you can get them to accept me in, I'm in."
Phantom smiled, "Perfect! It's almost like we're going to be a whole team again!" Phantom cheered.
"Almost a whole… wait, who all is there?"
Phantom smiled, "Well, I'm there. Mini Freud is there too… Aran is there, but they don't have their memories and… yeah… oh and Mercedes is there too!"
Luminous rubbed his eyes with one hand. "It sounds like we just got even more dysfunctional than before."
"Oh don't worry, everything should work itself out, right?" Phantom smiled, "We just have to trust each other. We've been given a second chance at it and we can do it right this time."
Luminous looked at Phantom, "Well I guess if I can trust you, I can trust anyone…"
Phantom laughed. "Alright, I guess I'll jump over to Ereve and filled Cygnus in on what's going on. I'll be back with news in three days Luminous."
Luminous nodded. He watched as Phantom vanished in his usual flashy show of cards and left the area quiet. "That guy…" Luminous remarked. Three hundred years ago, Luminous would have never thought he would be working with Phantom like this, but he supposed time and fate just had a few things planned for him that he wouldn't ever expect.
Phantom appeared on his ship. The wind blow marvelously, giving Phantom a good feeling about the future. "Aria… Freud…" He told himself, "I really wish you two could be a part of this… No… you ARE a part of it." He said as he stepped down, "Just watch over this and hope I don't make too many mistakes. It's a little new, being that dependable guy." He chuckled a bit before stepping into his cabin, having his ship head straight for Ereve.