Reincarnated as a mana core - Chapter 81
Mana, an energy source that represented the potential of existenz, polluted by the intent of the existing, brought no small amount of change with it. Some of the changes were small, some went by unnoticed and some were of such grand importance and scale that not even the spirit of the universe would believe them, should she ever be told.
One of those changes was the creation of a magical depth, a world made of colors that were usually so pale that someone able to perceive them would miss their existence, yet the more intent polluted mana was, the stronger and the more vibrant those colors would become as they were the representation of intent themselves.
These colors however depended on what their source associated with the intent and were as such not a safe means to decipher said intent. They were only a clue as to what one might be looking at.
The most convoluted and most difficult to understand intentions were feelings. The more aware something became, the more complex and the stronger those feelings became and as such the more the being polluted mana.
A prime example for this was the origin of mana herself. She was the origin of massive amounts of intent, though they were counter acted by the even larger amounts of energy she created. It was certainly ironic that a being of unpolluted mana was only able to produce polluted mana itself and had to filter the pollution out of the energy to grow.
Another good example was the human species. They were a chaotic bunch that tended to shatter expectations every now and then. There were also a lot of them, but they weren’t able to create mana themselves. Because of this in places where many of them gathered together, in towns and cities, intent pollution started to accumulate only shortly after the mana integration. Except for the relatively slow movement of mana there was nothing to counter this pollution however so the world of colors became more and more vibrant in and around these settlements.
This continued for a few months until a tipping point was reached. While mostly passive, the intent pollution rose to such a level that it influenced the free potential and the energy reacted. Magical phenomena that consumed both intent and potential started to occur, be it a sudden growth spurt of all plants, the miraculous recovery of a wound that would lead to certain death or the creation of areas where the light broke in unusual ways and these were only some of the nicer things happening, not that people had taken notice of them yet.
One such event in a mostly abandoned city was different however. It did not influence the world around it, no, it created a magical entity. The being that awoke that day was a blank slate. It was bodiless, it had no destined purpose and the only thing it could follow was its instinct to consume.
But without a body what was there to consume, without the designated organs how was it meant to consume?
The answer was surprisingly easy since the entity had no knowledge of the material world yet and found itself surrounded by colors. So, without further ado, it ate or rather absorbed the color blob closest to it, an amalgamation of despair, hate and greed.
The moment the entity did this it changed, attuning itself to the mixture of feelings. It formed an unstable magical body that flicked between different forms as if the entity was unsure which body it wanted. All of those forms had something together, they were humanoid and of a shadowy murky red coloration.
When the entity was done eating it stayed idle. The desire to consume was satisfied, for now and it did not know that moving was even possible. It hovered there in the same spot in a hidden cellar with multiple large cages and just was for a few days.
Then the desire came back and it consumed again, this time apathy and death. The entity’s body became somewhat more stable and its color changed to something more gray.
This cycle of waiting and consuming continued with only one minor problem. The more it ate negative emotions and intents the more difficult it became to eat positive intents and since it attuned itself to negative feelings first and knew not better, it started to avoid the positive ones.
Time went by and at some point the entity learned to move, which enabled it to go and hunt the intents it desired. Its life wasn’t very interesting and it lacked the curiosity to try and figure out the world around it.
Only when it came across another humanoid form of colors did it try something new, it tried to eat this humanoid form. The form, that was in truth the mana and its signature of a human, was completely different from the entity however and when it latched onto its victim it was hurt for the first time in its life.
It had not known the concept of pain before and truth be told, it didn’t like it either so the entity avoided the moving colors from then on.
More time went by and the entity began to do something that it also hadn’t done before, it started to doubt its decision to avoid the color blobs. There had to be at least some it could eat, or not?
So, it started to search for a moving form that matched its own attunement more. It figured, if it was easier to eat these colors when they were inactive, it had to be easier to eat the moving ones that were similar to itself.
It searched and searched until it found a suitable target.
It was dusk in Newport and the population used the last light to eat dinner before they went to bed. Only the inns and taverns stayed awake, light being provided by children that were able to cast a little bit of magic.
A black man with broad shoulders was one of the few that ignored the slowly sinking sun. He was sitting inside of a dimly lit study in the less nice parts of the city and seemed to be inspecting a spoon of all things.
The man was annoyed and frustrated because of something, but before he could voice out his feelings his body froze and his face impacted the table he was working on. His hands let go of the spoon and it fell to the ground, clattering loudly.
The entity shivered in delight. This time eating did not hurt, no, it felt incredibly good. It continued to greedily absorb its target, avoiding the few smudges of intents and colors that it didn’t like. There were no words to describe the pleasure it felt and it stayed put to enjoy the afterglow of its meal for some time.
It didn’t want to remain for too long though, there had to be more food that felt this good and it needed to consume them!
There was a problem however, it couldn’t move. No, that was wrong. It could move, only it couldn’t do it in the way it used to do it.
The entity didn’t care too much so long as it could still get to its delicious food and opened its eyes.
A man was standing in front of the door. He had been on his way towards the entity, but stopped when it opened its eyes, snapping to attention. “Sorry boss! I didn’t mean to intrude, but I heard a loud sound and thought I should check it out.”
The entity was somewhat confused. There were colors everywhere, yet they did not exist. There were things around it its body couldn’t move through and for some reason it understood things once the problem arose.
It sat itself upright and moved its new body experimentally, all the while the hired guard was watching. “Uhh, boss?”
The entity looked up again, checked the mana signature of the other man and grinned in delight, another meal!
The guard was at a loss of what to do, though the moment his boss began grinning eerily whide he became worried. His instincts were screaming at him to get the hell out of this room and this city, but before he could do anything his boss lurched at him from behind the table.
The guard could hear muscles and tendons rip as the table got thrown over and his boss came flying towards him. He could only stare frightened at the body as he started to back away. It was already too late however and the two bodies connected with a sick crunch of bones as the nose of the boss broke, not that it mattered.
The being inside the body couldn’t feel the body’s pain and didn’t care for the body. There was a new one already there and the meal was more important right now.
The two bodies crashed into the floor, both unmoving. A moment later the guard stood up with the same eerie grin that had been on the face of the boss before and made his way out of the room with unnatural and jerky movements.
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