20 – The Prophecy

FIFTEEN YEARS PRIOR

“This is it, Eiki,” A Monte Criston said as he lay on his stomach, a large barrel gun in hand. He wore a black vest with gold trim over a black dress shirt. Even his hair was black. It went down to his shoulders. His name was Shoy Dantes.
“Remember the plan?”

Eiki, just a teenager, wore a blue dress shirt and khaki pants. He also had black hair, but it was short and cropped above his ears. He was not a Monte Criston. He had been paid by Shoy to be there because of his Resonance Soul. It had been a lot of money, too. But he was beginning to have doubts about his ability to do this.
“I don’t think this is going to work,” the teen admitted.

Shoy looked through the scope of the Incinerator, a weapon specifically designed to blow up the Phoenix. Normally a Monte Criston would lure the Phoenix to a deserted area and then use the weapon. But Eiki had the ability to temporarily create separate dimensions within a set of barriers, so Shoy believed he could use this ability to blow up the Phoenix anywhere without harming anyone else and without wasting valuable time trying to lure the Phoenix away, which was often the hardest part of the job.
“Why not?” grumbled Shoy, fixating his gaze on the current Phoenix.

“I can’t do it,” Eiki complained.

“Don’t say that. Think about how long it took us to get here. To gain the Talvian’s trust to be on their land. You can do this.”

Eiki shook his head. “No I can’t!”
Typical rebellious teenager.
Shoy growled, his mood fouled.
“Eiki, I am going to shoot this Incinerator and when the bullet reaches the Phoenix, you are going to put up your walls to contain the explosion. And if you don’t, then everyone will blame you for murdering half of Talvia,” Shoy spat.
His finger tightened on the trigger. “Now get ready.”

Eiki didn’t think he could do this, but he didn’t want to be considered a murderer. Shoy pulled on the trigger and when the Talvian Phoenix went down, Eiki put up his barriers. But as the Phoenix exploded, the walls collapsed. Shoy got up as the explosion came toward them and began to run. He tried to pull Eiki, but the boy was in shock and there wasn’t enough time to save both himself and the boy.

One week later, Shoy found himself blamed for the attempted genocide of the Talvians. The Trisks, The League’s version of a jury, said the most effective punishment for Shoy would be to banish his four year old son. Because of Shoy’s failure and resulting punishment, his wife left him and he lost all respect he had in his home country. His younger brother, Edmond, inherited most of his property when Shoy’s title was stripped.

Around that time, Shoy decided to leave his country. He did not believe in what the rest of the Monte Cristons did. Monte Cristo was a country with a strict religion. They believed in a prophecy that would destroy the world unless they prevented it. The Monte Cristons subscribed to the belief that the Phoenix Soul had a plan to kill every host body so Resonance Souls could roam free. The Phoenix was a martyr for the Resonants. And in order to protect the human race, the Monte Cristons killed the Phoenix host at every reincarnation, both to prevent the Phoenix Soul from finding a way to separate itself from its host, as well as to protect the cities that were reduced to rubble when a Phoenix finally destroyed its host body.

But then the Soul Stealer was discovered. And the Monte Cristons believed that this Resonant would find the Phoenix. And upon the Soul Stealer absorbing the Phoenix Soul into itself, the Phoenix would take control of the Soul Stealer’s body and cause mass chaos by stealing every Resonance Soul on the planet. For, as it was believed, every Resonant stolen by the Soul Stealer was removed from the reincarnation cycle. So the Monte Cristons vowed to kill every Soul Stealer host too, for the good of the world.

This was where Shoy disagreed with the Prophecy. Shoy believed that, with training, the Soul Stealer could steal the Phoenix Soul and remove it from the reincarnation cycle forever. But everyone else disagreed. The Soul Stealer could use the power of every Rez it stole, said the others. But it was known for taking on personality traits of the stolen souls and going mad after absorbing too many.
Since the Phoenix was a Resonant with a personality unlike normal Resonants, surely the weak-minded Soul Stealer would succumb to the will of the Phoenix Soul. And should the Soul Stealer try to kill itself as past ones had, it would simply revive itself with the Phoenix Soul’s power, bringing the Phoenix’s personality closer to the surface.

Shoy eventually gave up on trying to convince the others, but he knew his theory was right. The Soul Stealer could end this trouble with the Phoenix forever, and he could make it happen.
The Monte Criston changed his name from Shoy to Kingsley and traveled the world looking for both the disappeared Soul Stealer and his banished son.

Eventually he wound up in Dexterity, and after he befriended Amigo, finally succumbed to the futility of the tasks of finding people who did not want to be found. He became a teacher, helped Amigo adopt Sim, and was living a pretty ordinary life as a Dexterian. That was, until fate graced him with the Soul Stealer, reviving his faith and drive to do what was right and kill the Phoenix once and for all. That mistake with Talvia would not happen again. He would succeed this time. And the world would thank him by giving him back his son.

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