This is a serial, first part HERE
Chapter 57: The Root that Pierces the Root
Nothing changed as Doctor Bones drew close to the mysterious patient. No one movement came from the figure caged in brambles. With his special medical sight, Doctor Bones could see that the true form of the patient was a skeleton… yet…
There was no bone left.
The corpseflower had long since devoured all the bone, all that remained was a frail stubborn spirit in the form of a skeleton, radiating the most absurd quantity of will that Doctor Bones had ever felt. It was more than a little suffocating. Just what manner of life had this man led, to put up such resistance, to deny death to such an extent that the corpseflower grew endlessly without blooming?
-Just who are you?- Doctor Bones questioned, reaching out a hand to the tightly wrapped body.
Finally, there was a reaction. The sigils of Latent Corpentsis shattered, twisted and warped into the form of a shadowy robe, an echo of an echo, a transient manifestation of will! Something more like a message in a bottle than a true avatar of a living being.
-So, the myth exists and I am saved or doomed. I ask that you heal me of my affliction, before that corpseflower began to grow I had endured all. I am he who survived, no matter a wicked or a virtuous deed my only aim was survival-
-To end up in Necrobyssal either you must have lasted beyond the age deaths of dimensions or you failed in your ambitions, truly nobody can escape the limit of limits- Doctor Bones mused.
The echo barely looked at Doctor Bones, but when it spoke again it had clearly reacted somewhat to what had been said.
-I was betrayed. The betrayer was my own self. As I survived, as I watched others die, as I damned dimensions in the name of my own survival… it is a bitter lonely thing… I began to wish for the survival of others. I finally heard the cries of those who also wished to survive. So, bit by bit, my resolve to survive at all costs crumbled. My intent, my will was no longer as pure and terrible as it had been before.-
Shadowy figure flickered, there was not much time left to it.
-I now survive because I have become a pillar of dimensions. Rooted in me is the lives of countless others. Because of this I endured many battles, in the end my flesh losing its life. Yet I continued, even keeping my bonds unbroken. Then the corpseflower grew, and I fell to Necrobyssal. Unwilling. I, name forgotten, ask that for the sake of the dimensions that depend on me, heal my affliction-
The echo of will shattered, and Doctor Bones was left staring dumbly at the patient.
-How noble- he said uncertainly.
Was it admiration or scorn?
-After words like that, how can I bear to not make the attempt? Still, I shall see the truth of your words-
With one swift motion, Doctor Bones plunged a hand into the writhing mass of brambles, pulling out the limp spirit hand of the patient. The corpseflower mouth-less still screeched in fury, but from the glow of Doctor Bones’ horn it did not dare to encroach again upon the hand that had been pulled out. The hand itself was actually quite painful to hold, even with the magical protection Doctor Bones had.
Such was the burning will that resided within.
Sight pierced spirit flesh, and the world within a will, within the patient was revealed. No, the level of this being…
Not all beings that have dimensions within them are powerful, but it is very common for powerful beings to cultivate dimensions filled with lesser beings in their own body. Naturally having become undead, the patient’s dimensions were also filled with undead. However what was more shocking was the knot within the core of the spirit.
All beings have a core essence. The most vital part of a being. It is called many things throughout the dimensions. Some claim it is the soul, some the self. Record however is a common term. All beings have within them a record of their being.
As long as that record exists a being can be said to be ‘alive’. Only when this record vanishes does a being experience true death. As for what waits beyond true death, if anything? That’s the stuff mages murder dimensions over in desperation for answers.
Doctor Bones looked with amazement at the vibrant Record before him. To describe how it looks… what does survival look like? You can show scenes of such, but a physical symbol of it? For all the patients talk about impure intent, his very Record was survival. A life filled with it. A knot of the stuff.
Rooted in this knot were two other things of note. Twisting through space, were dimensions that did not dwell within the patient’s body. The Record was the foundation of these dimensions. Once it was gone, those would in time crack and break into pieces. The foundation being in the Necrobyssal was likely not doing those dimensions any favours.
Necromancers and the like were probably running wild. Golden ages for any forces that weilded the powers of death and undeath.
The real issue however was the other thing rooted in the Record.
The corpseflower itself.
These roots were like hands, like claws, like pincers like teeth. As vibrant as the Record was, it was being eaten. The shape of the roots as they extended out was not unlike a mighty dragon, there were similar corpseflowers, but if it was one that Doctor Bones knew of, the thing had changed too much from feeding on the will of the patient.
This was one of the main issues with being a dimensional doctor. It wasn’t enough to have knowledge because through the many dimensions all manner of things arose.
-It isn’t unlike the dragontree devouring dragon corpseflower, but it a violent nature more like the worldbandit. Still, this confirms that it is a recordblight rather than spiritbright. This makes things more troublesome… just a few tests and then I’ll attempt a treatment perhaps-