“Father?” Josef walked into the throne room to find the Master reading.
“Hello, Josef,” the Master gave a welcoming smile and closed his book. “Are you here to give me your status report?”
Josef nodded, returning an excited grin, “It was nice to finally leave the Castle after so long. Although, I would much rather be in New Perfi with Melodie now.”
The Master sighed, “I wish I could have let you out of the Castle sooner, but keeping you here was the safest way to keep your Essence under control. You harness an incredible amount of power, Josef. Allowing you to go to New Perfi before you could contain such vigor would not only harm you, but other Guardians that would have been fighting alongside you.”
“Yes, I understand,” Josef frowned, “It just...gets a little lonely here without her.”
“Melodie will return soon. I have just received word that the Rogues are being pushed back by our might. The Order will win this battle in due time. For now, however, I would like you to recount Old Tenebris for me.”
Josef did not hesitate recounting his experience, “Old Tenebris...I don’t even know how Elijah and Wyatt managed to live there for so long. It seems like every corner you turn, a Dweller will be there. There were several times when they would pester me for food, and other times when they just attacked us for no reason. Luckily, I managed to hold back my Essence, but...it was even harder to restrain in Old Tenebris. I’m surprised Elijah’s Essence didn’t manifest sooner under those conditions.”
The Master stroked his beard with intrigue, “Go on, son.”
Josef cringed at his memories, “Everywhere I walked, I felt something...latch onto me. At first, I believed it was the twilight, but now I’m not so sure. Of course, when Elijah asked, I told him otherwise. No one else knows about this but you.”
“What do you mean it latched onto you?”
“I can’t really explain it, but...something was tugging on my Essence. It made my body heavy, and sometimes I would have to stop and take a few deep breaths to regain composure. Then, my conscience spat ridiculous things at me, trying to tempt me into doing terrible things.”
“What exactly did it say to you?”
Josef remained silent. He appeared lost in his mind.
Josef sent a melancholic gaze to his father.
“Josef, what did it say to you?”
“It wanted me to…”
“To what? What did it want you to do?”
The Master’s son collapsed to the ground, squeezing his head in his hands. Josef suffered from an excruciating migraine as he tried to utter the words. He became consumed in his own violet aura, trying to protect itself from whatever was causing him pain.
“Josef!” the Master yelled, running towards his son and picking him off the ground.
After a few moments, the migraine subsided, and Josef’s Essence returned to his body. Josef took a few deep breaths, shivering from what just occurred. He looked up to his father, who wore a startled expression on his face. Josef stood up, dusting his body off.
“Son? Are you alright?”
“Yes, I’ll be okay. Now, what were you asking me?”
“What did the voice tell you to do?”
“Oh, right. It told me…” Josef pondered through his memory. “That’s strange. I don’t remember.”