11 – Seekers

Teddy brought her hands up to her face, pushing the goggles up on her head so she could look at Askasa with her bright green eyes. “Well, that’s easy enough. We’re Seekers.”
Tootz came toward Teddy, putting her arms around the other’s shoulders, with a smile, “And we’re seeking.”

Askasa stood up, having fully recovered from the electric shock. “For what?” Fortenra had never heard of seekers before.
Ismaru cocked his head to the side.

“Oh my gosh,” Tootz brought her face to Teddy’s ear. “They don’t know what Seekers are?”
Teddy frowned slightly, “Dexterity is so behind the times. No wonder nobody comes here.” She shrugged, forcing Tootz off her. “Well, no matter. I’m up for a history lesson!” she brought her hand up, pointing to the sky.

“Long a go, there was a legend of the perfect soul, the Fire Phoenix. This soul was the only soul that was truly immortal, and rendered its hostbody very powerful. The problem with this soul is that it has its own personality..”

“Yes!” Tootz jumped in, “Because personalities are different from souls. They’re part of the body and mind. The soul is something alltogether different.”

Teddy pushed Tootz over, “Don’t interrupt!” she whined.

Ismaru and Fortenra blinked in awe. They were trying to process the information they were given, however, they were also trying to understand what was wrong with these two girls.

“Anyway,” Teddy continued, dusting herself off. “Prophecy states that at every reincarnation of the Phoenix soul into another body, it always destroys the body and those around it. So there are people who’s sole purpose is to figure out a way to permanently kill the Pheonix.”

“But there’s a problem! Since mass can never be created or destroyed, you’d think you can’t de–” Tootz’s mouth was covered by Teddy’s hand.

“I SAID,” Teddy growled, “Don’t interrupt me!” Tootz was given a small electric shot.

“So then, Seekers are the ones trying to find the true way to kill the Pheonix soul?” Ismaru asked, trying to not laugh at the two.

“No,” Teddy laughed to herself. “Killing the Phoenix is a job for the Monte Cristos.”

Fortenra took step back, thinking to himself. “Edmond..”

“There is another group,” Teddy said with confidence, “Well, I guess it’s not really a group, as only one of them is in existance at a time.” Tootz opened her mouth, a squeak came out, and she immediately closed her trap when Teddy gave her a dirty look.

Once Teddy looked back to Ismaru and Fortenra, she continued to educate them. “The Soul Stealer. His purpose is to obtain the perfect Soul, the Phoenix Soul.”

“Soul Stealer?” Ismaru questioned. “Is that like another name for a grim reaper?”

Teddy burst out laughing. “Oho, dear god no. No. Soul Stealers have a powerful Resonance Soul. They have the ability to reach into a person and pull out their soul. But they can’t just throw the soul anywhere, that’s why they’re not Grim Reapers. They can only move the souls around. They can switch people’s souls, like placing souls in different bodies. They don’t normally do that, though. Their true power is when there is no host around for them to put the soul they’ve stolen. If that’s the case, they take the soul into themselves. When that happens, the Soul Stealer can use the Rez of the soul they have stolen. In theory, the Soul Stealer can accumulate an unlimited number of souls and rez, and can use them all.”

Askasa quirked a brow. “But?”

“Ooo, you’re smart to think there is a but, because there is one.” Teddy replied, smiling. She felt like a teacher who had just given a failing student an A for the first time. “Even though Personalities and Souls are technically separate, they are intertwined. The Soul Stealer, when he steals a soul, has to merge with the being of the other Soul. He takes on some of the personality traits of the the person who’s Soul he has stolen. What ends up, is one soul, with the traits of many souls, hence the multiple rez.”

“That seems like some kind of design flaw,” Ismaru piped up. “Wouldn’t he get really confused?”

Teddy pointed to Ismaru, her hand shaped like a gun. She tched as she pretended to shoot him. “That’s right, it is. There have only been three Soul Stealers, according to the history books. While they all took different tactics to try and handle their power, they all eventually went insane with internal conflict if they absorbed too many souls.”

“Then why would they want The Phoenix? It seems like it would be more trouble for them,” Askasa thought aloud.

“Well, that’s my personal favorite part of the story!” Teddy proclaimed, putting her hands on her hips. “The Phoenix is always looking for the perfect host, and the Soul Stealer is looking to become immortal and all-powerful. Although Soul Stealers’ personalities are strong, so far history has told us that their mental capacity has been weak. The Phoenix, when absorbed into the Soul Stealer… Well it’s never really happened, but it’s noted that the most likely situation — and my personal belief is this, too — is that the Phoenix can take over the Soul Stealer’s body for itself. And since it is the perfect Soul, it will have the ability to steal any souls it wants, become one with them, become more powerful, and achieve its goal of consuming all life.”

“And then no one would be able to stop it because then not only would the Phoenix be immortal and powerful, but it would reside in the only host it couldn’t destroy. So it could continue to steal more souls and become even more powerful,” Tootz had been serious instead of playful, that time. She and Teddy were both afraid of that happening.

“And that’s what Seekers are for,” Teddy stated. “We travel the world, looking for the Soul Stealer. Our job is to kill him, so he can’t merge with the Phoenix.”

Askasa was finding this hard to believe, since he had known Tali for a long time. She wasn’t evil. Nor did she let her power consume her. She wouldn’t have killed herself to use her power…
“Wait,” he finally spoke up again. “You said the Phoenix destroys all its hosts. But it can’t destroy the Soul Stealer. How is that possible? The Soul Stealer seems like a normal person like any other.”

Tootz stepped forward, answering this one. “The Phoenix has such a strong personality, that it feels strapped down by a normal body built for a normal soul. Since Soul Stealers were built for housing more than one soul at a time, it does not have the same problem. Eventually, all Phoenix hosts either are consumed by their own power as the Phoenix attempts to free itself, or killed off by a Monte Cristo.”

“But I know this Phoenix,” Askasa rebutted. “She would not have been consumed. She was not corrupt. She was perfect.”
Ismaru looked back to his surrogate brother, who appeared to be remembering his best friend. It was clear Askasa missed her deeply.

Teddy shrugged, putting one hand up. “My grandmother knew a Phoenix, and she felt the same. The ending was brutal. Your friend is no different.”

“How dare you say that!” Askasa roared. “She was my best friend!”

Teddy jumped back, her arms giving off slight sparks, ready for a fight. This boy obviously had a short temper. However, she was still confused. “Was? What do you mean ‘was’?”

“She was shot in the head by a sniper yesterday, and then was kidnapped today by a man with a tail. She hasn’t revived yet,” Ismaru sighed.

Tootz gasped. “A man with a tail? That’s the current Soul Stealer! We’ve been looking for him forever!”

“He’s been a wily one. We can’t track him because he uses a limiter. No one can feel him. He’s been the only one to go with such an awkward approach to his powers,” Teddy placed a hand on her hip, closing her eyes in a disgruntled sigh.

“What’s a limiter?” Ismaru asked.

“Jesus, they don’t teach kids in Dexterity anything, do they?” Teddy groaned. “It’s a mechanism that negates the use of ki and Rez. There are two types.” She held up her hand, with only two fingers raised. “One renders the Rez unusable. They are Rez Suspenders.” She curled in one of her two fingers. “The second stops both ki use and rez use. They are Negators.” She lowered her hand, looking toward Ismaru. “You noticed he runs slow, right? It’s because he can’t use ki to enhance anything about him.”

Ismaru frowned. No wonder.

“Anyway!” Tootz jumped up, trying to lighten the mood. “We heard as we were passing someone say the Phoenix was in the castle. The voice came from here, but of course by the time we got here you two were being silly and fighting over why she didn’t say that information earlier. If you care so much about your precious Pheonix, then maybe you want to come with us to kill the Soul Stealer?”

Askasa smirked, and looked to Ismaru. Ismaru didn’t look as happy about it as Askasa did. “Sure. Sounds fun.” The response was from the waiter.

“But Insom was talking about the Castle of Monte Cristo… You said the Monte Cristos are the ones that try to kill the Phoenix. We should be saving the Phoenix, not killing the Soul Stealer,” Ismaru suggested.

“No,” Fortenra butted in. “We’ll go in one big burst. I bet that Tailed guy works for Edmond if Tali’s at the castle. We’ll kill the Soul Stealer and Edmond at once.”

“But Edmond’s strong… Nobody’s ever beaten him before,” Ismaru interjected.

“You shouldn’t be so self-conscious, Ismaru. I know you can beat an old fogey like that.”

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