CHAPTER 15 (REMIX / RETURN OF THE MASTER)

ILLUSTRATION / EDUARDO BAZAN

Lin Shantou giggled uncontrollably. He placed his ghoulish hands over his mouth as streams of drool escaped his lips. He has executed the first part of his plan. The thought of finally obtaining the Neverending Master’s soul excited him beyond belief.

His alliance with one of the most powerful crime families in New York City would ensure that his plan was successful.

Before the meeting, he specifically requested that Mr. Lo, bring along three of his most competent and capable men. They too, would play a great role in his master plan.

Mr. Lo and the three men sat on their knees before the statue of Yan Lou. Lin Shantou had provided each of the men with an amulet, forged in a demonic rusted metal. While the Soul Stealer prepared the altar for the ritual, Mr. Lo studied the amulet which hung around his neck. To his surprise, there was a name inscribed on the amulet, a name that would soon be of great importance to him.

He then looked at the Soul Stealer, realizing his plan. His scheme, was to use the power of a famed master of old. On this evening, the Soul Stealer would command a soul of legend.

Mr. Lo’s concentration was broken by the muffled sound of one of the four men who hung over the altar. He studied their faces, these are Chinese men of various ages. Their bodies were hang, battered and mutilated.

Tony Jai stood at the entrance of the facility room. He wondered why he did not receive an amulet. Although, fearful, he was curious. He wanted to know what the Soul Stealer had planned.

Lin, emerged from the altar with a rusted metal cup. Mr. Lo accepted and as soon as Lin removed his hand, he felt a great chill, followed by intense pain. He considered dropping the chalice, but there was something, urging him to hold on.

Lin nodded at Mr. Lo, then gestured with his hand.

Mr. Lo nodded and then proceeded to drink from the goblet. Although the goblet was cold, the thick clotted blood potion was warm. He felt a warm sensation in his stomach.

“And now the others” blurted Lin.

As Mr. Lo passed the goblet to the men who were on their knees behind him. The man looked at Mr. Lo and shook his head in refusal. The Soul Stealer cursed him and the man was so terrified that he drunk from the cup. The other two men did not man his mistake and drank as soon as they received the cup.

The Soul Stealer walked towards Mr. Lo and as the chalice was returned to him, he tossed it onto the floor and began laughing.

He clapped his hands and at that moment the incinerator was ignited. The flame was a series of colorful changes, first blue, red and finally a violent orange rage.

The Soul Stealer clapped his hands again. A lever was switched on in the far corner of the room, the four ghastly bodies that hung by chains were slowly lowered into the incinerator. The four men screamed uncontrollably as their flesh was consumed by the blaze.

Mr. Lo is repulsed by the pleas of agony and as the bodies are devoured by the flame he looked at the illuminated face of the Soul Stealer, who took delight at not only seeing these men die, but their bodies burned.

The wailing from inside the incinerator stopped. The flames turned into to an orange-greenish color. As the flames changed color, a wailing sound, a grumbling was heard emerging in the room. It sounded as if several men were vomiting, which turned into a roar of anger.

Tony Jai has been pinned to the wall of the room by some unseen force, crippled by fear.

Lin Shantou then stood before the statue of Yan Lou. He raises his hands and spoke to his master saying “Yan Lou, God of eternal death. God of eternal darkness, father of the souls, keeper of the souls…”

As the Soul Stealer prayed the eyes of the statue turned bright red.

ILLUSTRATION / EDUARDO BAZAN

“…I ask you to grant my request, please humbly accept my offering of these four new souls. In return dark father, release the souls of…”

The Soul Stealer, although evil and diabolical he knew his history well. The four souls he had summoned — they were famed men of China’s past.

Four spirit like creatures rised from the incinerator and the blaze illuminated the entire room. Mr. Lo and his men covered their faces in fear and awe.

The Soul Stealer recited his prayer repeatedly. The spirits creatures circle the room several times before they flew into Mr. Lo and his men. At that instant, the incinerator’s fire went out. The room was completely dark.

The Soul Stealer laughed harder than he had in over one hundred years. He clapped his hands and the torches in the chamber were ignited.

The Soul Stealer grabbed a torch and walked slowly towards Mr. Lo. Mr. Lo turned towards him and he examined Mr. Lo’s new features. His hair was frazzled, long and white. His facial hair, eyebrows and goatee turned white as well.

The Soul Stealer looked into Mr. Lo’s eyes and there he saw a great master of the past.