"Sorry," Nik pursed his lips after hearing how Mj's birthday ended. Well, the blessing of a goddess didn't really serve to cover her losses, the organization, the Hand, did. Right now, miraculously, Mj's mother and sister were alive but that was it, she explained. She had never been close to them for various reasons but she didn't wish them death at the hands of her father. Joining the Hand after their proclamation of reviving her sister and mother was an outrageous feat which she wouldn't have believed if not for witnessing a goddess.
"Hey, you never told me the goddess part," Ray mumbled, snuggling up to Mj with the lady surprisingly gripping the youth's head and then throwing him away. Smiling sadly, she looked at Nik, "What about you?" she inquired, "Did you earn the favor of some god or goddess?" Ray did keep on pestering her about meeting Vanish, but Ray never really identified the youth. Shaking his head, Nik sighed, "Well... in this world's term, I'm the one you would call a god's offspring. You know, popping out of women graced by a god for the night. Olympians have actually turned this into an eager tradition." Nik referred to one of the bloody games where Anna slaughtered the Greek gods. That game was... brutal!
"What?!" Mary's brows furrowed as she looked at Nik closely, "And you didn't tell me when we were together."
"Well, I only knew it after a kick to the balls," Nik replied, "Never want to go through such enlightenment again."
"What do you mean?" Mj unpacked the lunch she purchased and placed it in front of Ray. "I'm sorry, I didn't know you would be here, too. I didn't bring enough."
"No worries," Nik smiled, "Not that hungry. As for your question, I mean to say is that I didn't know about my identity when I was with you."
"You two dated?" Ray inquired from the sidelines as Nik nodded with a grimace touching Mj's expression.
"Until Anna decided otherwise."
"You do know that you dumped me, right? I've never even corrected others cause you blamed everything on me," Nik shrugged.
"Yes, because you were being a snob. Back then and now, too."
Nik tilted his head in confusion, "Well, back then, maybe. But I've done nothing right now." Nik remarked. If Mj couldn't move on from the break-up, that would be her issue, not his, so he refused to take part in the charade. After all, even Ava tried a similar thing and that bothered Nik a bit.
"Anyway," Not giving Mj the time to refute, he looked into her green pupils eagerly, making her flinch, "What about it? The goddess. What's her name? How did she look like? Did she bless you with something else other than the mastery of all 'mortal' weapons? Did she define 'Mortal' weapons?" Of course, Nik was interested in a goddess. He would always be interested in one. But simultaneously, he was interested in the term 'blessing'. None of the books in the library delved into the concept and even claiming to be rightful goddesses, Yu Yan, and Samya, did not have the ability to 'bless' others with skills and powers.
"Uh, mortal weapons are bladed weapons. So guns and other stuff, I am still practicing," Mary replied after a moment of thought, not pursuing how Nik was acting like a 'snob' at the moment for he stood true, he didn't do anything. "And... I didn't see the goddess. She called herself Scathach and um... she also granted me a title which comes with a few benefits..." her tone turned slightly sour. "Still, who would have thought you were Vanish... did you know that the Hand is interested in you... like in a creepy manner? I've seen them reviving my family, so I know what kind of things they are into."
Ray gasped, "Mary! I never took you for a rule-breaker, you naughty minx. One look from your ex and you instantly betrayed the organization? Who would have known?!" Seeing Ray's exaggerated acting, Nik sighed and looked at Mary, "Do you plan to attend school once again? Anna really misses you."
This was the thing that confused Mj the most. By every right, Anna seduced Nik but still continued to play and hang out with Mj with the widest smile possible. At first, Mj thought that Anna was gloating but her initial impression was changed. Seeing Mj's expression, Nik smirked, "Anna's selfish in that matter. She wants everything but also wants others to be happy. Kind of stupid if you think deeply but she managed to pull it off regardless."
"Yeah..." Mj mumbled with a defeated look, "I'm not going back to school. I like hunting down men and women like my father... rest, like that Matt Murdock," she looked at Ray, "gets handled by... him. Hey, Nik. You two seem close, too. Did you two ever..." Mary inquired with her gaze narrowed as both Ray and Nik scoffed at the same time.
"Ooh! Same time! Jink!" Ray quickly added.
"Oh..." The redhead still looked suspicious but what could Nik and Ray do. They were both appealing to the eye and well... Nik did sleep with Yar, who was an extension of Ray itself. But it was a competition back then, how could he have backed down.
"Anyway, you still owe me a date," Nik stood up and informed Ray. Before he could refute, Nik snorted, "You got Daniel and I introduced you to Strange and all you did was make Mj go through awkwardness right now. So, boy, you owe me one. Equally ranked at that, remember it well!" And then he looked at Mj, "Say, you're here for a long time, right? Be sure to visit Anna cause I'm definitely telling her that you're back in the city and you don't wanna disappoint sweet Anna do you?" He smirked with a knowing grin as Mj bit her lips with an aggravated expression.
"You're an ass!" She growled.
"I believe, you said You've got a sweet ass!" Nik shrugged and disappeared before Mary threw the dagger belted to her thigh. Seeing the dagger missing the arrogant face and lodging itself into the wall, Ray sighed deeply, "Well, sweetheart, we just lost the security and you'll explain it to the HQ."
"This day just keeps on getting worse..." Mj mumbled and retrieved the weapon.
While the two agents from a cult-to-organization the Hand started to discuss the finances with Ray finally able to make Mj grasp her hold over the money lose by a margin, Nik returned to the apartment and retreated into his spiritual world. Instead of entertaining his spirits, something he does 24/7 regardless of the location, he lied down on the crimson ground and focused on the living totem over his spiritual avatar. Why would his ravager bloodline choose to show its mark if all it needed was to connect with his soul? Nik, after constant interactions with high-ranked beings of the world, realized that when it came to one's body, every mark is etched for a reason.
By right, he would never be able to understand the mystery of the soul until he reaches rank 6. This meant that the soul belonging to Ray's sister would remain planted within him for quite a bit of time. In Sky's words, she could move it only after gaining a soul herself. She was a spirit without a soul, bound to Nik. Just like Asmodeus and Lilith but Pure was different. She was a true rank 6 being within him. Her energy and status as a rank 6 tutored by Sky but she seemed rather adamant about helping Nik only after he passed her ruthless and cold exam. And somehow, Nik felt that Pure's would be easiest to complete. It's just surviving within an icy hell that would even freeze one's spirit and affect the body itself. Only that.
'Only that, she says,' Nik scowled with his eyes closed. He was getting closer with every participation of the test but that was it. Each step closer only made him progress by a microscopic margin. The worst part was, despite his affinity with the Eternal Frost, he still needed to grind and struggle his ass off for each margin of progress. He did not like that but this area was something where his feelings about a particular matter the spirits never cared about.
Clearing his mind, Nik focused on the totem once again and came into contact with the mysterious force within him. It wasn't a warm of healthy sensation but what Nik 'felt' from the supposed Beyonder Bloodline was a form of cruelty and malice like nothing else. A pressure that surpassed the sense of spirit leaking from the now fallen true clone of Lucifer. This wasn't the first time he meditated on the totem after having a conversation with Newton and every time, the sense of suppressed malice made Nik nervous. With the primary racial ability brought to him being Purification, how could he have ever thought of the totem festering with such gruesome forces?
But theories mattered not to him. He couldn't do anything about the soul, or the tests, or the unknown marks still lingering within his body. What he could do something about was the second bloodline attached to his soul.
'Slowly... slowly...' Nik cautioned himself again and again as he continued to interact with the projected malice. Surprisingly, he didn't hear blood-curdling screams or squelching sounds of slaughter. He didn't face any towering beast or a cold general. Much to his expectations, he didn't face any beauties bathing in blood or monstrous girls willing to devour people than to 'devour' people. No, it was silent and cold. Everything was. His gaze continued to shift from one dark color to another, his senses shifting from one cruel thought and plan to another.
"Haaah!" Nik's eyes snapped open as he gasped. "Damn, this thing can produce purification? It's a scam all it is!"
Taking continuous shallow breaths, his thoughts regarding cruelly killing his ancestors finally subsiding, Nik hissed, "Nirdai and Khooni will be whores! I'll see to that. Nobody will kill them!" Snorting as he once again made the plan of the construction of whorehouse for his enemies the objective in dealing with them, Nik crossed his legs and pondered on the matter.
Each bloodline at a greater level has a true form. The ability to awaken the form depends on the connection with the origin with 90% being the minimum threshold. Unlike differences in race, the form of the bloodline is always the same except for gender differences and a few minor shifts in features depending on person to person. With that being said, Nik's bloodline Evolution was 1% shy of achieving the said form but should he and Pickle achieve the next evolution where the threshold is met, they could turn into another being completely, and then, the difference between them won't be of slime and humanoid body but simply gender and other features like face and stature.
Similarly, his beyonder bloodline had its special form, too. He had been in one but could never actually see it completely. From pieces of evidence gathered, the form was draconic, or at least, serpentine in nature. This proved to be insightful as to why there would be such a source of malice within it. Maybe some dragon got crazy and slaughtered many? That was Nik's thought regarding the matter.
Sighing to himself, Nik moved out of the spiritual world, unknown to the complicated thoughts of his spirits after his departure for the man's totem came to life and snuggle coiled around his neck when he was deep in meditation.
Alas, Nik still had to face Anna's wrath in bed after she found out certain things. Not that Nik didn't enjoy it.
Support novel through powerstones and/or