Maiko's vision blurred, and her head swam as she attempted to reconnoitre where she now was. It was cold, dark, and familiar.
She knew immediately, she felt it, Typhenon was dead. Part of her cried out in anguish as she felt part of her die, and immediately the despair hit her like a wave.
'You have failed. All was for nothing. You simply weren't good enough. You left them to die and saved yourself.'
The voices assailed her mind, and she felt her resistance waver, for it was echoed from within; it wasn't enforcing guilt upon her, it was reverberating guilt she felt herself.
'There is no hope. There is nothing. The champions of light fall, and the world is doomed.'
She was ready to yield, ready to give in and accept that it was al over, when something within her snapped.
It was hate. Hate, and malice and a desire for vengeance, the kind she had not felt in a long time. The kind she did not know she was still capable. Even as it surged within her, giving her strength, she felt herself corrupted by it, but she didn't care.
The haze lifted before her newfound determination, and she found herself in a familiar hellish place. The demon had tried to draw her into it's fold once again, but it had only succeeded in bringing her very close to the one place she wanted to be now.
She wasn't the most learned in the nature of spirits, but she knew enough. Spirits drew power from concepts, and even now her soul was re-writing hers. Benevolence? Pah, in this dark world, one could never derive enough power from that. But there was one thing she could channel quite easily, and there was fifty years of trapped, tortured souls who just might be willing to be channelled.
Vengeance would be hers.
As if drawn to it, she quickly found herself in the room she had been trapped in before, and immediately the walls cried out at her.
“Maiko!” “Maiko!” “You said you'd free us Maiko” “You lied to us” “You shall pay”
“No!” she cried back, so firmly the room silenced instantly. “I bring you the chance to escape this place. And the opportunity for revenge.” Even as she spoke, she felt her shape begin to change. “Join with me, lend me your strength, and together, this cursed place shall burn!”
It began as a trickle, then a flood, as the souls were drawn into her, flying free from the walls and being sucked into her form, which changed more rapidly. From her wrists, long, thin blades sprouted; delicate, precise. Her hair grew longer, yet thinner, as it fused into a single thick strand extending from the back of her head. Sharp. So sharp, and small, and weightless that it might effortlessly slice through anything. Her body grew into an impossible design, made to deliver optimal manoeuvrability and speed, sleek and hard to strike at. If she had needed muscled or internal organs, there would not have been room, but she was beyond such things. Now, she was the perfect hunter; fast, deadly, ruthless.
The souls she absorbed altered her mind as well, she they did so only to augment. She cut away at their individuality, lest it overwhelm her, and only used their minds to make her smarter, more alert, able to react faster. Part of her knew that Jin would disown her for doing such a thing as this, but she cared not, Jin was gone. It was too late for any other options. This was the only way to stop the evil. And to pay it back for the pain it had caused.
Fifty years worth of horrors. Fifty years worth of suffering. Fifty years worth of torment. Fifty years worth of hate. All of it within Maiko. Or rather, the spirit that once was Maiko. Giving out a frightful screech, it sprang into action; would it be able to purge this place, one couldn't say. But it would fight, no, massacre, until either it, or the demon lord and every one of its servants was dead.