The Oreburgh mines were dark and damp, a surrounding most people would find avoidable, but Alex felt more at home in these tunnels than anywhere else. He was huddled against the wall with his knees tucked firmly to his chest when he first heard it.
"Can it be? After all this..unf..time you came back here? No...something is..mmrnh...different...ahh, the boy. That is why your spirit seemed to be his."
"H-hello? Who are you...show yourself!" The voice seemed so close, it was as if someone was right on top of him. Alex stood and spun around the cave, searching for the one who was speaking to him.
"Heh...if you insist I shall...unf...show you."
Alex felt a quick and sudden breeze blow by in the tunnel just before he was thrown to the ground by the sheer force of something hitting him right in the gut. He cried out in pain, the sound echoing off the tunnel walls and bouncing back at him as if a crowd had gathered to mock him.
"Yes...share my pain and understand what it means to...hhrrun...use its power."
The voice was coming from iside of him, like it was his own thoughts, but Alex certainly wasn't the one creating them or this pain he was feeling. He slowly crawled to his feet to stand as the pain dwindled down to a more tolerable level, four sleak wings now stiff at his shoulders. The mine was more alive than he had ever noticed before, sights and sounds were all around him.
"What is happening? Who are you?"
"I am you as much as you are me now...and we..unf..are hungry."
Alex sat up sharply, breathing heavily. "Still feels like it was yesterday when that happened..." but the truth was it had been longer than that. The town had been abandoned for awhile, save for the few who wandered in to town in search of food or shelter. But this was his home now and he had no intention of sharing it or leaving. Alex stretched and walked to the entrance of the mine, cool air covering him as he reached it.
"Let's see what's going on..mmmrh...in the forest tonight."
Alex sighed as he approached the old gym. He knelt down for a moment as the wings sprouted from his back before leaping high into the air and landing on the roof of the abandoned building. "Not much...wait, there I can smell them...almost feel them. They are different. Seems like some of them are in eternia city already."
"Ah yes, a spirit is much more...unf...filling anyways. Time to go greet our visitors accordingly."
Alex hopped down from the building and as soon as he hit the ground he took off sprinting, though he seemed to hover a few inches off the ground as if he was ice skating. Sounds came at him from all directions, but he had become used to tuning out the noise and to listen for certain things like voices or movements.
Cycling road had seen better days. Overgrown vegetation crawled across the once smooth pavement and in some places the road had collapsed altogether. Alex used to fight Jaqen's urge to feed on anyone or anything in the past, but as time carried on it became easier and easier to justify it as a means of survival. Sure, he wasn't proud of it, but it had to be done, at least that's what he told himself. Alex crept towards the southern gate leading to Eternia city with caution. He kept to the thick grass and the shadows to try and stay out of sight. Once at the gate he sneaked his way to the roof to get a better look.
There were a few off to the west, how many he wasn't sure of, but at this height he could see a boy in a tree. Perhaps he was searching for someone too. Alex jumped down and landed quietly on the ground below, re-assuming his normal human form. He took a deep breath and casually walked into the city making his way towards the western gate that led to the forest.
"Stay sharp, I never know what to expect, but I know I can count on you to keep us both alive."
"That will always be my priority no need to...hrrnnh...worry yourself, boy. We are much stronger than you give us credit for. After all we...unf..are still alive aren't we?"