Artist:Adrian Von Ziegler - Song:Necromancy - Word Count: 1741
It was a small raid, but an effective one. The small battalion of Hollows ravaged the northern districts of Rukon, fires lighting up the darkening sky and plumes of smoke rising up. They wouldn't have much time to work with though, so the spearhead was intent on keeping the remaining forces of the Gotei at bay as long as possible so his minions could collect. Each soul the Hollows devoured, both Shinigami and plus alike were drawn right into Gaia, a dark artifact that was ripe with potential from the conquest of another nation deep in Hell itself. All those souls had allowed the piece to evolve, hovering just on the edge of becoming something truly terrifying. With the energy being siphoned from the explosive battle between Demonic and the Captain Commander themselves, it wouldn't take too much longer to reach their goal.
The puppet Ruvik bent to his will grasped their zanpakto. The silver blade unsheathed, hovering directly ahead of them and poised toward the northern gate to seireitei. The first wave of defenders was on their way, each of their powers clear in the Hollow's senses. Using their will alone, the Hollow forced the blade to shift. The spirit locked inside was nothing more than a fading corpse, another victim of the Hollow King's will. Their sword glowed an ominous black, steel shifting to jagged, razor-sharp edges that could rip and tear through flesh with ease. The thick spiritual pressure resonating from him increased even further, the ground quivering and cracking under its immense weight. Reishi was drawn in from the world around him, the sword devouring it and empowering both itself and its wielder with even greater stores to work with. Their hand outstretched, poised at the oncoming attackers. Numerous attacks all darted toward the lone pale-skinned Shiinigami leading the assault. Kido, flames, electricity, and any other unique powers the oncoming squadron had at their disposal. The weaker lines had no chance against him though, all of their attacks moments from being reduced to ash.
Their words calm and reserved but carried with them a feeling of dread. A spark of crimson electricity crackled by the outstretched palm, drawing on just a trace of the bloodlust and malice of his own kind, as well as his newest ally and their almighty opposition in the world below. Crimson flames built up along their hand, traces of spiritual energy flooding from their fingertips. Though a simple enough kido, it had been corrupted, contorted and made even more powerful by the one behind it. It took only a moment to harness, the weaker projectiles heading toward him barely registering as a concern. A tidal wave of flames burst free from Ruvik's palm. The inferno devoured everything, easily breaking through the barrage of attacks aimed at them and pressing onward. It scarred the earth, broke down nearby buildings, and reached high into the sky above! The soldiers that tried to escape wouldn't have much luck, the blast darting forward like a bullet train, intent on consuming anything and everything in its path. It washed over them, the raw destructive potential was immense, even without a proper incantation! The weakest were obliterated in an instant, while some of the more durable managed to make it out alive, but seriously wound. The pillar of flames smashed right into the barrier surrounding the seireitei, a flash of red light flaring throughout the darkness above. The barrier was strong, only a few small cracks appearing at the point of direct impact. It would take a lot to shatter, but fortunately, the seireitei wasn't the objective.
The explosion waned, leaving arcs of burning terrain behind. The first wave was crippled in an instant, the man's power displayed without regard for conservation..Because despite how powerful the blast had been? With the zanpakto absorbing reishi at a rapid rate, what little energy he did lose was already being quickly restored. But at that moment he could also feel something else...Not far away, a few of hi small battalion faded away, crushed under the weight of another power..Something slightly considerable in comparison to the first responders. It seemed he missed one...But no matter, they were close. Keeping their hand raised, the parasite-ridden host harnessed the power of the contract, summoning a creature from the rear lines to hold off the next wave of fodder while he took care of the potential pest. Dark energy built up before him, a large pillar of it that cast an enormous shadow on the seireitei's barrier. Through the touch of his essence in their soul, the Hollow summoned one of the empowered menos right to the front lines! The giant appeared after a moment's focus. It towered over the gate, its lanky limbs outstretched with that serpent-like armor. While not remotely as powerful as its summoner, the Menos was still a monster for your average warrior. Decently fearsome on its own, but a terror for your average footsoldier with the augmentation its master had given it. The enormous creature didn't charge though. It remained in the first district right by the gate, waiting patiently for the next wave of soldiers to spill out and rush to defend Rukon. Only then would it attack, focused purely on crushing the weaker soldiers that sought to end the invasion..While the master of it all?
He'd handle any real threats personally. Ruvik knew exactly where his soldiers had fallen through the link they shared. Any other Hollows in the area were instructed to move out, getting farther away from Momo's district as they could so they could continue to feast without worry of being slaughtered or caught up in the crossfire about to happen. In a single step, the Shinigami-clad Hollow burst through the air at sonic speeds, shattering the sound barrier in an instant. They darted through the sky, coming to stop at the high-points of one building to take a step and appear at another a far distance away. The spiritual presence became closer and closer, approaching the primary defender at the moment with unease-breeding speed. Within moments it'd be upon them. High above where Momo had taken out a smaller group on the front lines, the Shinigami puppet stood at the very edge of a crumbling tower's roof. Its crimson iris fell right on the woman, the thick veil of killing intent and corrupting spiritual pressure bearing down on them in force. The visor wrapped around their face scanned the girl, pulling up any data Shadowfall had acquired on them in the past, but there wasn't much to go on but a few cliff notes. Going by their energy levels, their strength had increased tremendously since the last time it was on record as well.
..No matter, it was still nothing he couldn't handle on his own. Ruvik cut the feed to the battle with the Monsuta, giving the girl his full attention. With a step, the man descended to the ground below. He landed gracefully, a wisp of dark spiritual energy washing over the ground when his feet touched it. The jagged blade in his hand glowed ominously, consuming reishi from the realm around it, physically breaking down buildings, pavement, and even the dying remains of the few Hollows that perished a moment ago. The husk of a puppet spoke, their dull, raspy voice echoing with the backdrop of burning embers.
"Hm...I don't think I've ever seen you before...I'd love to stay and pick your brain, but I don't have much time to waste for this operation. I'll give you one chance to run to the seireitei and save us both some time. I have no interest in conquering anything right now, and I'll leave on my own accord with my army once I have what I need...But if you're going to keep fighting, I won't be able to leave you be. And it'd be terrible for someone that has gone through so much to acquire the shred of strength they have to...meet their end so abruptly.
The garganta ripping apart the sky started to close. The majority of the invading force had already landed with little intention of reinforcements. A small group was left in reserve, but strictly for an emergency, if one were to arise. Elsewhere, the Hollows continued to ravage the districts. Several fell to the combined efforts of the Shinigami on guard, but the majority continued to feast, growing stronger and feeding Gaia with every soul, as well as their master himself. A faint spark of red electricity crackled around Ruvik, his entire being breathing in the chaos and destruction, feeding on it, growing stronger from it by the second. Multiple power sources were directed through him at once, a network he bent to his will, finally realizing some of the potential that took so long to achieve.
Powers in use.
- Soul Contract Manipulation:
Soul Contract: Perhaps the second most potent ability at the parasite's disposal. The Soul Contract is the second best thing to fully infesting a person's body and claiming their strength as its own. The process is a simple one, but very effective and diverse in what occurs. To incur a soul contract, the creature simply need ask them if they accept a contract that will be told at the time of through any medium. The terms are usually vague, promising power and aid in fulfilling some kind of vendetta or revenge against another in return for a favor or two in the future. If they accept, then the creature can make the deal official by any means it desires. There isn't a specific ritual to it and could be made painfully over-the-top, or as simple as a touch on the forehead. They need not even be close to one another for this to take effect. However, there is a way to force the contract on to another, but it is much harder to do. The first is that the subject in question be drastically weakened. If they are near the creature's level or even decently powerful, they would need to be in a state of great emotional distress or decreased willpower. The second medium is if they simply are drastically weaker than the parasite. In which case the contract can be forced upon them.
Now, what does this contract do exactly? As in the name, it is a contract of the soul. Unlike traditional demon cliches, this isn't an ownership of the one in question, but a deep link put in place between the soul of the parasite and the subject in question. There is no limit to how many people can be linked this way, but it can also be broken should the subject desire it and have the willpower to do so. Power isn't even needed to break the bind, only willpower. The contract has benefits for both parties that make it a less-than-easy choice to simply request the contract be removed or force it off themselves. Starting with immediate effects. The contract will put a seal somewhere on the subjects body. This seal will be pitch black in color and has the mold of a serpent's head.. While this is in place, the effected will gain an enormous rush of energy and even the parasite's regeneration immediately after the contract begins. This only lasts for the thread in question, but is still useful. The second and more long-lasting change is in the subject's intent. The seal brings out the darkest parts of who they are, be it greed, lust, or just wrath and hatred. These aspects are amplified multiple times over, turning minor flaws into the biggest parts of who a person is so long as the contract is in place.
This seal will allow the parasite to give the subject in question immense power, No matter how weak they were before, this can raise them up to a level just one tier lower than the parasite itself. If someone is already at that level or above, a bonus is still obtained. The limt will change to instead offering only a half-tier bonus ( 1-1 -> 1-1+ etc). Like all other things, the parasite controls how much power it offers and can alter the tier anywhere from their base level to the maximum on a thought. Additionally as a bonus, the creature can allow someone access to the darkness cloak ability with the same benefit it has while using it. However, unlike the host, that is the only ability it can offer through this medium, and a seldom one. Only the most useful of contracted combatants will be allowed to use it. A bonus of such power is life changing for some, but it isn't without flaws. Naturally the parasite has benefits from the ordeal as well.
The first is an always active effect that slowly drains the soul of the one effected. This is so ridiculously slow that it can't be noticed for an exceedingly long amount of time. This is a medium for the creature to gain energy from other creatures aside the host and even gain the essence of races it can't normally infest, such as Quincy. The process is very slow though, not having much effect until weeks have passed with the seal active. At that point the subject may begin to feel minor illness that fades away in a few hours, only coming back every few weeks for short bursts of time. Only after multiple months does it become worse and last for longer periods. This can never kill someone, but eventually can build to serious migraines and other pains. The more power they gain compared to their original tier, the more these effects manifest and plague them throughout a month.
The creature also has extensive control over the contracted subjects. A number of simple powers can be accessed relating to those in question. The first is summoning, a basic technique that can take away someone under the conscription from the area they are in and bring the person directly before the parasite and their current host. This takes the form of a mass of dark energy manifesting around the target and consuming them to nothingness; rebuilding their body under the guise of another energy mass directly before the creature. The opposite can also be done. Through the contracted, the parasite can warp its own body to the same location as any that are linked to its soul. At the time the host will also be brought along by the extension of the parasite's will. These methods both take a full post to complete, making it unwise during battle where a distraction isn't available.
The second means of control is sensory. At any time the parasite can telepathically communicate with any contracted soul whether they want to or not. At this time the creature can read their thoughts and project its own at light speed. Aside being nifty communication, this telepathy has controlling properties. The words and commands spoken over this medium have an alluring effect that makes the subject desire to follow them. This is not control, but an extremely effective passive suggestion, One can easily ignore, or alter the orders given enough willpower, but since most subjects are treated as friends and associates, it isn't as easy as disregarding an enemy. It has the same effect as a request being given by a close friend. Sure, anyone could turn it down. They're not being forced to obey. They just want to. The second effect is sensory intake. At any time the parasite can tap into the senses of those affiliated with the contract and hear what they hear, see what they see, so on and so forth. It is like looking at a video through the eyes and ears of the subject and makes for useful tactical application. That is as far as it goes
The last effect of the contract is the most useful for the parasite,. While in place, the creature can use any powers that the contracted can utilize in all but their peak state, unless the person only has one state; in which case all powers will be available. This will only apply to personal ability, not racial skills or natural talents. For example, if a fire bender were to be contracted under this ability and they had access to their bankai, the parasite, and thus the host could utilize all powers and techniques available to the subject from their base form and shikai. The techniques follow the same guidelines and barriers as the original user, but do not require the same medium. Rather than a sword, the parasite could bend flames through its body, or the host's physical appendages. Any power generated via this medium is composed of malevolent energy and altered so that it can not harm the parasite or its host. This, combined with the initial benefits of its parasitic nature give it one of the widest potential arsenal of techniques in existence! Due to this, it hasn't come to develop many skills of its own, leading to a fatal issue down the road. Should all the contracted subjects break free or die off, or even the host killed, the parasite has extreme difficulty managing on its own accord alone. This dependency keeps it in check, needing to keep some subjects appeased to stay in power.
These contracts can be broken in three ways. The first is to overcome the will of the parasite and free yourself through excessive effort and energy expenditure. The second is if the terms of the contract are violated. The contract, though often vague is important. The terms must be fulfilled on the Hollow's end to remain active. Once those terms are shattered, the contract is removed. However the rules toward it are very literal, so if a technicality permits something, there are no drawbacks to it. the last medium is to kill the parasite itself, which will remove all influence it has on the world and the souls that reside in it.
Malevolence: Malevolence is the term used by the Hollow for its second most potent power. The creatures gains strength from the vile and malevolent emotions in the world. The killing intent of others and the hatred people have for one another. These emotions, thoughts, and actions all fuel the creature with greater strength and power than it already has! The darker a dimension it inhabits is, the more powerful it becomes because of the average intent of the realms people. This increases the fiends already monstrous strength, its speed, ability, and energy vastly by unknown intervals that constantly shift. This augmentation is influence by the entire world on a small scale, but people directly in interaction with the parasite influence it much more. It can draw power from the hatred and killing intent of the very foes it fights! Even the malice of the host can be drawn in to increase its overall ability. It is even worse when the source of their hatred and malice is the Hollow itself. That directed evil, a feeling of spite that can only be sedated by the creature's death offers the most power of all! Though these buffs are all undefined due to how radically they change and differ, the bonus is immense , and make the parasite one of the most deadly threats to those that oppose it and desire its end. It can range anywhere from a a minor increase of 1.1x to as large as multiplying the fiend's overall ability five fold in peak conditions!
Malevolence can be used for diverse purposes. It isn't just a raw power upgrade, but an energy that can be forged from the world around it. It takes the form of crimson sparks. It will mix together with the darkness cloak as an aura during battle in especially vile areas or against opposition desiring the creatures death. These sparks can be infused into any technique the parasite is associated with, such as the host's powers and any other the fiend can come across. These sparks bolster the offensive power of any skill. Minor changes often occur due to the corrupt energy. These things are minor, but showcase a shift in desire for something more destructive. A barrier may grow spikes that cut open any that touch it, or a blast of energy will become more explosive and have a minor change in color. Nothing too substantial, but the will of damnation is showcased in every ability altered by the crimson sparks. This electric energy can be unleashed on its own as a form of offensive. It can be shot into someone through contact, or release in a bolt of lightning that moves at incredible speed. The range is roughly half a mile, intended to strike a target at a large distance and moves at speed ten times greater than an actual strike of lightning, making evasion extremely difficult. When struck by either method, the electricity will burn the victim internally at a fast pace and even start to cook them! The pain is immense, and given prolonged contact or a continuous stream of lightning, the eyes will begin to boil and the lungs will cease to function. mIt takes only a post of continuous contact for the effect to reach that state, and given time could cook someone to death if they can't escape the effect. The unique thing about this lightning is that while harming a target, regeneration will be completely negated. Additionally the effected won't be able to use any healing effects for the duration of the post they are struck. This only lasts for the post itself, but given continuous strikes can seriously hinder those that overly rely in healing factors.
The last effect of malevolence is a form of sixth sense based on the concept. Whenever someone has vile intent toward the parasite or host, the parasite can sense it and feel through it with ease. This can even sense people that it doesn't even know exist if they are near and have this intent. It is an ultimate sense that can see through any disguise, acting, or illusion so long as the subject in question has that dark intent present. It helps see through surprise attacks and works in an instant. Sudden changes from a lack there of, to being effected by this can predict and help evade sudden assaults before the muscles in the body even move to act out their new malevolent will. It puts the subject in question on an invisible radar, allowing perfect tracking. Clones can be distinguished due to a lack of free will of their own in most cases to feel malice. The range of the ability is roughly two miles around the parasite and is very precise. Unfortunately it can not sense out raw attacks like beams or underground surges of stone rising up to strike. It can only sense the person directly and how intense their will for deception, destruction, and harm is.
Those free of ill intent are entirely immune to every aspect of this sensor, and should their intent be pure; can bypass most things related to malevolence entirely. Though the evil of the world will still fuel it to some degree, the opposition is the primary factor and heavily influences the effects in play.
- Host and their related skills: