Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Page 3251 -- CCLXXV.

"Well, in any case, I don't know if there's much you can do help me just yet," said Hector. "I'm gonna try to force myself back through Banda's stomach, first. If that doesn't work, then maybe I'll take you up on your offer."

'How do you intend to "force" yourself back?'

Hector took a deep breath as he began to regather his focus on his materialization. Being able to breathe again might improve his concentration now, he hoped. "I guess I'll figure that out, right now."

'There is more I would tell you. Specifically, regarding how to get into contact with me again after you return.'

"Keep talking while I work, then."

And the world of iron began to tremble once more.

Chapter Two Hundred Seventy-Five: 'O, boiling Brew...
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Banda Toro felt like absolute shit. His stomach had never ached so badly before.

And it made no kind of sense. None whatsoever.

In the middle of pan-rozum like this, he should have been unable to feel pain. The numbing factor provided by his reaper should have been built into his very being.

Yet this pain was undeniable. It was struggle enough just to maintain pan-rozum through it, to maintain his presence of mind. If not for Grigozo's help, they would have separated by now. The Chaos form was certainly unsustainable in this state. The threat posed by the damned souls within him would prove too great.

Hell, even now, he could still feel them. Perhaps that was the true source of this pain. In fact, perhaps that was the only explanation. The pain could not be physical in nature, surely. It had to be metaphysical. Imaginary.

But how, then, to escape it?

That was what Grigozo was thinking. Somehow, the reaper's mind was able to remain largely clear, even while Banda's own mind burned with agony.

This had to be Darksteel's doing. It defied explanation, but it had to be. The pain erupted almost instantly upon devouring that bastard. That was obviously no coincidence, but then did that mean Darksteel was struggling to get out? Still fighting from within the brew?

Impossible. Utterly impossible.

He wanted to use mementori again in order to perhaps discern something new, but he didn't dare risk it in this state. The Chaos form was too volatile now. And there was a pursuer. That much, Grigozo could still sense. Someone was giving chase.

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