His mind straining, like it was peppered with hot sand, he clenched his teeth and tried to open his eyes to a bcolourless landscape. He was dreaming, barely able to stay the darkness of a deeper sleep, but he was curious.
He could feel his curiosity driving himself forward, slowly as if moving through a bog. Gradually, he was making progress through the wispy... Corridor? Or was it an open landscape hemmed in by fog?
I... I don't know
His own mind was a tangle of questions and answers, clashing and grinding throughout his head.
A grating whisper rattled through the landscape, echoing through his being. He tried again to peel open his eyes and began to notice a faint trail of dark... Was it mist?... There was also a low buzzing sound echoing in the distance.
A vibrant flash of red and white in his vision, as if he had been struck and was seeing stars, the pain in his head made a sudden increase, a veritable sandstorm was beginning to cascade through his brain.
He didn't seem to notice the string of dark energy moving about him and rising above his head, only a momentary sensation as it suddenly latched on. He could also feel it begin to take hold, restrictive, it was slowing him down. He reacted in irritation, trying to yell against what was happening.
"NO!.. I want... I need to see."
That's when it began to come into view, a vibrant black orb of crackling energy about 2 metres in diameter, it's low buzz had developed a pulsating rhythm as he drew closer. Suddenly, the strings wrapped about him were holding him tight. He was becoming angry now, he wanted to see what was inside the orb. Somehow, he could feel it held the answers he was seeking.
He began pulling against whatever was holding him now. The tension intensified as he became more frantic. He imagined he was caught in a spider's web and in an instant, he could see them, not one, but thousands of threads restricting his movement, small spiders climbed towards him from every angle. He screamed, closing his eyes as the pain began shooting up his up his arms and legs.
He opened his eyes in terror, pleading to the orb before him, trying his best to cry aloud, but his throat was dry and cracked and all he could manage was a whisper.
The whisper above was intermingling menacingly with the pulsating rhythm of the orb. The web began to cut into his skin now. Blood began dripping down beside him, clothes becoming tattered. Spiders and their webbing were causing him increasing levels of pain all over his body, but it only made him struggle more frantically.
As if attempting to swim against it all, he began clambering in the air towards the orb, reaching ever closer. Suddenly, two fingers were dissected from his right hand, then his entire left hand was severed and still he struggled.
The last whisper finished with a boom, the resounding soundwave increasing in volume and pitch, merging in a sudden crackle within the orb. It's dark surface began shedding a black mist rapidly like steam as it's surface began to ripple and swirl.
Then he saw it begin to emerge. Wrapped in tendrils of constantly wavering wisps of shadow, a pointed nose and razor sharp teeth, menacing and angry. Following were two bright red eyes and pointed ears along with a vicious disposition and a low, guttural growl.
A wolf made entirely of shadows, was slowly stalking towards him. It began to gradually reveal more teeth as it came closer, causing Kai to scream and begin flailing in the other direction.
Its right foot emerged from the orb, then its left before it hunched a little lower, shuddering all over with its growl intensifying. In his last moment, Kai went limp and simply gripped his eyes closed, bracing for impact.
It leapt towards him, gripping his midriff between its massive jaws and tearing him side to side. Web snapping all around him, spiders scattering in all directions before he felt his left forearm and his left leg remain behind as the wolf began dragging him back inside.
He tried to resist, landing partway on the cold damp stone in front of him, attempting to grasp at anything he could with his bloody stump and his other hand, still missing fingers. Blood trailed behind him as he screamed, then all went black...
That is, for a moment...
Flashes of bright light, so intense, then suddenly;
The teetering ruins of a landmass, jammed between two mountains, a small overgrown abandoned town or village perched atop, surrounding a small stone tower that rises above the rest,
Gold trimmings, bright reds and blues fluttering before his eyes in silken robes, moving away to reveal a skull and a bony hand suddenly reaching out to him,
A snake emerges and bites onto its tail and begins rippling, it's flesh explodes into a floral bloom. A kaleidoscope of red petals from some unknown exotic flower emerge and dance in a pattern of colourful bloody hues.
He sees himself, hanging like a marionette on strings, along with many others, flailing about helplessly before the shadow of a puppet master, laughing maniacally in response.
An image of a young boy, angry and brooding with reddish brown hair stares him down, sharp angry eyes turn to disappointment as he turns away and splits into pieces in a spray of red mist.
Emerging from the spray of blood is an image of Miss Akane Takahashi, holding her hands in front of her. She appears to start laughing silently before his entire vision cracks before him and shatters into a sudden vibrancy of colours.
A soft breeze reassures Kai, who is now standing on the edge of a great floating island. A sea of endless blue stretches before him. Wispy clouds swim alongside it, the opening between revealing open plains, mountains and thick forests below.
Nestled amongst the landscape is a small stone city crowned with a castle of some kind, shielded with high stone walls. It sits atop a plateau, the bottom of which is hugged by one of many sweeping rivers meandering across the land below.
Large propellers made from polished timber and white canvas rotate softly in the wind as extensions of the island. Brass and copper chimneys jut out at a variety of peculiar angles, glistening in the sun.
With a warm smile, he breathes deeply the crisp cool air, turning about to see the island's village, but swallowing up its beauty is a the large silken cloak, housing same skeletal figure he saw before. It raises its hands towards him and suddenly, with a mighty roar the entire landmass comes crashing down.
With that, everything goes black.