Wandering Phantom-A Shadow Slave Fanfic

After Dane completes his First Nightmare and receives a mysterious divine power, he is overjoyed. But, said joy is short-lived as he finds himself cursed by a divine being, literally. Follow Dane as he wades through the Dream Realm and fights for the survival of his legacy clan, which is at risk of falling due to the pressure of Great Clan Song. Art created by catphine on discord. Disclaimers I do not own anything but my created characters. Everything belongs to Guiltythree and/or his respected publishers.

FieryBaldachin · Book&Literature
Not enough ratings
81 Chs

Chapter 54

TRIGGER WARNING: If you have any of these triggers, I suggest you do not read this chapter any further. This content might include graphic references to topics such as self-harm, violence, eating disorders, and so on, and can take the form of text.

The Great Beast seemed surprised. Locking eyes with the bloodthirsty monster, Dane transformed. His heart did not hammer like before, for what would fear do? Death was at hand, and it wasn't leaving.

He had to keep a level head. His life was no longer his own. Flynn was right; they had to burn themselves to prevent their reanimation. They must ensure it never enters the Waking World.

With a single corpse, Morren's, in its possession, maybe it could not safely reach a Gateway, but what if it had his and Jeanne's?

He soared through the tunnel behind him, swerving through turns as they came. He kept the two souls in his periphery at all times. Thud. Thud. Thud. Walls came crashing down, but no sand fell into the free space, obstructed by an impenetrable darkness. Naught could enter. Naught could leave.

Dane wondered where it all went wrong. When had they attracted the skinwalker's attention? How did it find them? They were worthless questions, but he yearned to know.

He saw Jeanne's soul creeping along a wall. Dane phased through the wall and stopped before her, human once more. She said something incomprehensible.

"Flynn's dead," he said, his voice thick and somber.

Jeanne covered her mouth, stifling a gasp.

"I killed him," he informed. She staggered backward and pointed her gladii at him. He turned his head and looked toward the vile tenebrosity darker than night making its way closer. Thud. Thud. Thud.

He told her why he did what he did. He held his sword in one hand and a canister of oil in the other. She eyed the oil fearfully. She lowered her swords and stepped closer. He linked their minds.

"You're immune to heat, right?" he asked.

She nodded, trembling as the thuds became starker and louder.

"You'll have to kill me first. Then the fire will work," she said. How bizarre it was, he reflected. They were plotting their deaths. Even more bizarre was the truth that it was the best course of action. There are things worse than death, after all.

"It—It was nice knowing you," she whispered, whimpering.

Dane was choking up. He was a disgrace unlike any other. The first to earn a Divine Aspect. A Legacy born to lead humanity to victory. An elite who received a True Name in his First Nightmare. That's what he was supposed to be. But he was a failure. Lower than swine. He would be the first to murder his cohort and kill himself shortly after.

She hugged him, crying against his chest. Acutely aware of how close the monster was getting, he hugged her back. It was now or never. "I'm sorry," he apologized. She mumbled something as she wept.

He squeezed her tightly for a moment. Exhaling, he let go. "Close your eyes," he said. Shaking, she did. "Your nightmare is over." 

He hacked her head off.

[You have slain a dormant human, Jeanne.]

[You have received a Memory.]

He spilled the oil over her corpse and himself. Listlessly, he summoned the Herald's Light. He dropped it. FOOSH. The fire consumed everything, and he was burning. Howling, he rolled on the ground, squirming and writhing. Excruciating agony washed over his soul as the fire ravaged his eyes, nose, lungs, and throat. His legs hurt worst of all. Yet, he would not turn to ash quickly enough this way; he was still regenerating.

Amidst bestial howls, he held his sword by the blade and drove it—his hand froze. Involuntarily. 

[Your Memory has been destroyed.]

He had no eyes, but he saw the evil soul. His cries turned more frantic than should have been possible.

"Please, please, no," he wanted to say. Anything but that. How laughable. He had failed once more.

The vile murk bent low and reached for him. Dane rolled wildly, thrashing and weeping tears that evaporated the moment they came. The shade caught his arm in an iron grip so cold Dane almost forgot about the fire. He screamed through black gums and teeth.

The coolness spread its baleful will, and then they were one. Dane sensed it. The fires snuffed out. The pain vanished as he was perfectly healed.

His soul had merged with whatever that thing inside Morren was. He was dying. His consciousness was fading, and a plague overwhelmed his soul. He could hear it speak…or think…inside his mind, a foul language filled with ungodliness. He couldn't even cry if he wanted to. Impossible strength burgeoned through his soul, sending ripples through his fragile vessel. And for a moment, fury burned through the haze.

He capitalized on the fury, using it to anchor himself. Storm Forged blazed a path through the malevolent will that had possessed him, and he flicked the switches.

He placed on it a desire to do nothing. It would only last a moment or two, he knew; they shared minds now. It would immediately know to take control of his Heart. But it didn't matter. All he needed was a moment.

He shed his flesh and blood, becoming a spirit. Morren's body also turned. Their ghostly apparitions cut through the darkness like a knife through butter, and he saw the battlefield of the dead. Dark on a day with no moon, there was no light, but he could see the figures break and bash each other.

They soared high into the sky amidst the giants and dragons of bone that could defeat Saints and hold candles to Sovereigns and receded all the fog on his soul. Blinding light filled the battlefield, and an uncountable number of eyes fell on him.

"Die!" he roared, and the beast felt fear.

But they did not attack him. No…the Great and Corrupted nightmare creatures turned and fled, tumbling and turning over each other. It was colorful. A thousand hues of blues, reds, greens, and colors he could not know coalesced around him, coming from the west. They captured his soul. They constricted him, and he felt as if he was being pushed through a tube.

Human again, he fell on the sand, held tightly by Morren's corpse. It ripped his arm off…no, something pulled it away, and it pulled his arm off in desperation to escape.

In front of him was a nightmare. A true nightmare. A thousand hues cloaked the looming giant standing there. Its fingers were as big as he was, and it had pinched Morren's corpse between its thumb and index finger.

It had a single eye that flickered infinitely. In it, he saw glimpses of the past; he saw his cohort journeying to the ruins when they saw the light and mere moments ago when he had flown into the sky to have the dead kill him and the beast.

Excruciating pain jolted through his soul, and the giant pulled the Great Beast's soul out of him and Morren. It crushed the vile thing in a light-enveloped hand like an ant. Just like that, the Great Beast was dead.

It picked up the bone dagger tightly held in Morren's hand and dropped the corpse. Then, it vanished.

What on earth had just happened? Dane lay on the wet sand, hyperventilating. That light…it had been spying on them yesterday as they traveled to the tunnel ruins? It had been targeting the beast…and they were its bait?

His teeth ground together. All that pain…all that horror and death…for them to be bait? Shivering against the night's chill, his eyes fell on Morren…and a strange instinct came over him. He crawled to the corpse. Something was glowing inside it. Inside its heart. Dane gave into his instincts and transformed. His foggy hand reached Morren's heart and pulled something out. Oddly, he could touch it.

A diamond-shaped object filled with gray, chilly fog. A soul shard. Astounded, Dane looked at it. It looked an awful lot like his own Soul Core. When he and the beast merged and transformed, had he turned it into a Phantom? Or was it a Phantom to begin with? When the giant killed the beast, it died and left this?

Soul shards didn't benefit him, but this one was different. He knew. He gripped it tightly, brought it to his chest, and crushed it.

[Your heart grows stronger.]

A torrent of power flooded his body, and he felt his soul reach its capacity. He summoned the runes.

Phantom Fragments: [1000/1000]

"Argh," he groaned, losing all strength and buckling over. What was happening?

[...your heart is overflowing with power.]

[Your heart is taking shape.]

Suddenly, his soul began to radiate a powerful chill.

[Your heart is complete.]

Something inside of him exploded, drowning his being in indescribable suffering.

"AAAAHHHH," he screamed.

Dane knew what it was like to have bones crushed or even burn alive. This was different. This came from the soul. He thrashed on the wet sand as something inside him changed. It didn't last too long. The pain eventually lessened, vanished, and left him feeling oddly refreshed.

[You have acquired a new Attribute.]


He stood, checking on his body and soul. He felt stronger, faster, more resilient. 'What's happened to me?'

Dane summoned his runes.

Name: Dane.

True Name: Heart's Bane.

Rank: Dreamer.

New, unfamiliar runes shimmered below those.

Class: Monster.

Phantom Cores: [2/7].

…monster…two out of seven. Dane couldn't believe it. Was he even human anymore? He feared the opposite. His Aspect was changing him. Making him something inhuman. Taking a deep breath, he continued reading.

[Aspect: Wandering Phantom].

Aspect Rank: Divine.

Attributes: [Beholder of Souls], [Storm Forged], [Cursed Soul],...[Wight].

He knew he had received a new Attribute, so he wasn't surprised. He looked for its runes.

[Wight] Attribute Description: [Your soul's might has overflowed into your body. Your flesh is colder than ice, your bearing more regal than kings, and your voice horror-inducing.]

Come to think of it, he had stopped shivering. Though he had been exposed to the frigid air, he was only shivering…it seemed his cold body was resistant to the cold.

Startled, he realized why his Aspect had destroyed his [Nightwalker] Attribute…it was remaking him into something horrifying. He wondered what would happen when he became a demon, and so on, and finally a Titan. Cold water lapped at his feet as he thought…water? Right, why had the sand been wet before?

He turned, and before him was a pitch-black ocean reflecting a starless sky. Slowly, a sun rose on the horizon. It was not the blinding silver disc he had grown to dread but a regular Sun. Suddenly, the opaque, black water seethed and surged like a living creature desperately trying to avoid the pale light of the coming dawn. Slowly but surely, the entire sea retreated and vanished. They revealed red underneath them.

With a shadow cast over his heart, Heart's Bane found a colossal forest of crimson before him.


With this chapter, I conclude Volume 1 of my fanfiction, 'O Ye who art Faint of Heart, Take Heart'

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