1 The First Nightmare

Inside a hospital, in a bedroom, a five-foot-tall young man lay in a bed. He had short blonde hair and a mustache, and he wore thin red pajama pants and a shirt.

A Samsung Galaxy S24 was in his hands. It had a black case with a green clover symbol on the back.

An oxygen mask was attached to his face. It pumped oxygen into his lungs from a storage tank beside the bed. A cane also lay against his bed. His body was connected to many different machines.

The walls, floor, and ceiling of the room were grey, and a door stood at the opposite of his bed. Abruptly, he winced as blood dripped from his nose and mouth. He took off the mask and coughed blood as tears fell from his eyes.

'It hurts...' The young man looked out and yelled. "C-Come here! I need help!"

Five seconds later, the door opened, and a young nurse entered. "Yes, Mr. Tyrel? What do you need?"

Tyrel grimaced and spoke. "My body is acting up again."

The nurse sighed and hesitated. "Tyrel, you're going to die soon. Your body's DNA can't be restored. Your body is rotting while you're in it. Do you want your life to be prolonged as long as possible, or do you want to pass on quickly?"

Tyrel closed his eyes as his body shivered. His eyelids opened, and he spoke. "Let me pass on quickly. The afterlife awaits me.

The nurse nodded and took away the mask and the other machines. She left afterward.

Tyrel closed his eyes and sighed. 'At least I can read the last chapter of The Forgotten Shore before I die.'

Tyrel spent ten minutes reading the chapter, and he frowned. "Poor Sunny. He was enslaved."

Tyrel grimaced as he struggled to keep his eyes open. 'I hope the afterlife is a wonderful place.'

His eyelids closed as his heartbeat and breathing ceased.


[Aspirant. Welcome to the Nightmare Spell! Prepare for your first trial...]

'Why?! I wanted to enter the afterlife!'

Tyrel dreamt.

He dreamt of a field of corpses that stretched as far as the eye could see in three directions. Blood covered the grass beneath. Rust-covered weapons littered the ruined landscape. To the south, an eerily calm sea lay bordering the land. Multiple ships lay wrecked far away from shore. Up above, a yellow sun shone upon the carnage.

Abruptly, everything froze in place before moving backward. The star moved eastward as the clouds and wind moved backward. The corpses became alive and moved backward until passing the horizon.

Centuries passed, and the corpse field was no more. In its place stood a beautiful meadow filled with many wonderful flora.

[Aspirant. Welcome to the Nightmare Spell! Prepare for your first trial...]

A wave of pain assaulted Tyrel alongside the feeling of being wet. He opened his eyes and looked around himself. Behind him was the sea. Its calm waves moved against the shoreline.

Tyrel peered at his reflection. He looked like he did on earth, except many wounds covered him. Wood pieces were lodged in his legs and arms. He wore a simple soaked tunic and was barefoot.


Tyrel looked in the other direction and froze.

A beautiful four-tailed fox stood before him. It was massive and had glowing golden fur. Its eyes locked with his, and it approached.

Tyrel backed up and grimaced as some of his injuries worsened.

The fox paused and lowered its head. Its head was as long as he was, and it sniffed him.

"Please don't hurt me..." Tyrel's lips quivered, and his body shivered.

The fox opened its mouth and gently licked his face. It carefully bit onto the largest wood pieces and pulled them out individually.

Tyrel winced as the fox took the wood out of his injuries. When it was done, it turned around and wrapped its tail's around him. Together, the four appendages lifted him into the air, holding him gently but firmly.

'It feels so soft. This creature seems too nice to be a nightmare creature.' Tyrel thought as he let his guard down and hugged one of the tails.

The fox chuckled as it ran into the meadow while its tails gently cradled him. Its speed was impressive, and Tyrel fell asleep.


Tyrel woke up, and he couldn't see. He felt hugged from all sides by fluffy material.

"Did you sleep well, little guy?" A sultry and feminine voice spoke.

Tyrel tried to speak but couldn't. Abruptly, he was let go. His eyelids opened and widened. He was in a large cave with an opening next to the sea. His head turned right, and he saw the back of a towering female humanoid.

She had golden fox ears on her head and four long and wide glowing golden tails. Long glowing golden hair cascaded down her back. A red kimono with silver symbols covered her voluptuous frame as she sat on the ground. Her face tilted in his direction, and a smile grew on it.

She spoke. "Come closer. I won't hurt you, human. I'm not corrupted."

Tyrel slowly walked toward her but winced. He looked down at his body and the bandages that covered it.

"Human. Are you alright?" She got up, turned around, knelt, and held her hand out.

Tyrel stayed silent for a moment before answering. "I'm still in pain, miss...thank you for taking care of me." He looked left and right. "If it isn't too much to ask, why did you take care of me?"

She sighed, picked up Tyrel, and placed him on her lap. She pulled him into her buxom bosom and smiled. "Don't worry about the reason, little one. What matters now is your recovery. Now, may I know your name?"

Tyrel replied. "I'm Tyrel. May I know your name?"

She smiled as her fox ears twitched and her tails wagged. "I'm Saphira. Or the guardian of the meadow."

"It's nice to meet you, Saphira." Tyrel said before thinking. 'I don't know if I should ask her if she's a nightmare creature.'

Saphira chuckled and ran her left hand across Tyrel's back. "Tyrel, would you like to live with me? It's been centuries since I've had any human visitors."

Tyrel's eyes widened. "Wait, are there cities in this land?"

Saphira giggled and smiled. "Of course not. The nearest kingdom is across the sea." She pulled him closer as a tear fell from her eye. "Please accept my offer. Please don't leave. The loneliness is driving me insane."

Tyrel replied. "Why don't you travel across the sea?"

Saphira sighed. "The ocean is too vast. And the kingdom exiled me here."

Tyrel paused before speaking. "Why are you exiled?"

Saphira pulled Tyrel closer. "It's because I helped the enslaved escape their slavers. I've been sent here so that I couldn't help them anymore."

Tyrel grimaced. "I'm sorry that happened to you."

Saphira chuckled. "Don't worry about it...I do miss saving enslaved people, though. I miss giving them hope."

Tyrel clung to Saphira. "Saphira. You're so kind."

Saphira giggled, got up, and walked to the entrance of the cave while princess carrying Tyrel. She looked at the ocean longingly. "I miss my home."

Tyrel spoke. "Can you put me down?"

Saphira shook her head. "You can't walk right now. It would be best for you to rest. Besides, I'm faster than you in my human form anyway."

"Okay. Um, have you heard of nightmare creatures?" Tyrel asked.

"No, I haven't, Tyrel."

"Saphira, when I feel better, can you teach me how to fight?"

Saphira frowned before she shook her head. "No. I won't let you fight. I said I would take care of you."

Tyrel spoke. "I need to learn, Saphira. What if you're not home, or I get separated, and I die?"

Saphira paused before sighing. "I won't teach you how to fight personally. Instead, I'll watch over you, and you can fight weak, corrupted creatures."

Tyrel nodded. "Thank you, Saphira."

Saphira pat Tyrel's head and chuckled. "You're welcome, pup."

Tyrel spoke. "Saphira, can I rest and listen to your heartbeat and the calm sea?"

"Of course. I don't mind." Saphira replied.

Tyrel thought. 'Status.'


Name: Tyrel

True Name: —

Rank: Aspirant

Soul Core: Dormant

Memories: —

Echoes: —

Attributes: [Anomaly Progenitor], [Necrotic Frame], [Necrotic Healing], [Necrotic Blood].

Aspect: [Whisperor of the dead.]

Aspect Description: [You can communicate with the dead.]

'At least my aspect isn't useless. Perhaps I can use this to my advantage. Dead things can have information on things that are lost. Perhaps I can communicate with the gods?' Tyrel thought before taking a look at his attributes.

[Anomaly Progenitor] Attribute Description: "You're the firstborn of the anomalies. The longer you stay in the world, the more anomalies will appear."

[Necrotic Frame] Attribute Description: "You can eat raw and rotting meat without repercussions."

[Necrotic Healing] Attribute Description: "Your wounds heal unnaturally fast if you consume raw meat from corpses."

[Necrotic Blood] Attribute Description: "Your vile blood causes all who touch it to rot. The more blood someone touches, the faster they rot."

Tyrel smiled, looking at his attributes.

'My attributes are amazing! Wait...' Tyrels grin turned upside-down into a frown. 'That probably means I'm going to face something horrifying in this nightmare. The Nightmare Spell doesn't create easy nightmares.'

Tyrel closed his eyelids before they flung open. 'Crap! Saphira touched my blood to bandage me! She's slowly dying right now! What should I do?!'

Saphira gently patted Tyrel's head. "What's wrong, Tyrel?"

Tyrel closed his eyes and paused. 'I have to tell her. I'll feel horrible if I don't.'

Tyrel opened his eyes and spoke. "Saphira. My blood is deadly! We need to find someone who can purify quickly!"

Saphira looked at Tyrel before sighing. "I doubt that little one. You aren't corrupted. Please go to sleep."

Tyrel looked back and forth frantically and spoke. "Saphira. Do you have any raw corpses? If I eat some, my body will heal. I want to prove I have that type of power."

Saphira spoke. "l have the corpse of a corrupted creature. I don't mind letting you eat some."

Saphira brought Tyrel deeper into the cave, and a carcass of a giant grey rabbit with tusks lay before him. She placed him down in front of it and smiled. "Go ahead and eat your full little one."

Tyrel grabbed a piece of meat and peered at it. 'I can't believe I'm going to eat raw nightmare creature meat. But I need to prove it to Saphira.'

Tyrel fit the piece of meat into his mouth, chewed, and swallowed. Within moments of his action, some of his wounds healed rapidly. He turned around and saw Saphira staring wide-eyed at him.

"Are you sure your blood causes living things to rot?" Saphira asked.

Tyrel nodded. "If you can find something alive and bring it here, I can prove it."

Saphira closed her eyelids and furrowed her brows. A minute later, her eyelids opened, and she replied. "Alright, Tyrel. If this is true, then I have a request."

Saphira let Tyrel eat his fill, and his injuries heal before bringing him to a small room in the cave. There were lots of pillows and blankets in the right corner, and a glowing stone hung from the ceiling. She placed him on the pillows before leaving. Not long after he fell asleep.

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