The space Damien found himself in was yet another space of blackness. Yet, this one was quite different from the rest.
This blackness didn't come from the excruciating presence of darkness or any abyssal substance, it came from the literal absence of all else.
The space Damien stood in was best described as nothingness, the Void.
But Damien knew that the Void wasn't just something as simple as nothingness.
Whether it be existence or nonexistence, these concepts were contained within the laws of the universe. Without one, the other simply could not be conceptualized.
When Damien was young and came in contact with the Void, he originally thought it was something like the power of nothingness, but that was just a naive thought.
The Void…was far more esoteric and profound than just that.
The current space he found himself in was an example. Yes, it was a space filled with the air and essence of nothingness, but didn't he still exist? True nothingness was still impossible.
Existence within nonexistence; nonexistence within existence, the duality between these two was only a single concept of the Void.
And this was the concept Damien drew upon after coming in contact with the comprehension egg.
His eyes closed on their own as he sunk into his own thoughts. In the Real Plane, currents of Void Mana began swirling around his body, dancing as he became more and more familiar with their origin.
What was the Void?
The Void was what existed before anything else. All creation existed within the Void.
But then, what difference was there between the Void and regular space?
Naturally, just like all others, space was a concept birthed from the Void. But unlike the rest, it was one of the most interlinked with it.
Space and Time were born not long after the universe sparked into existence. These two concepts allowed beings to exist and have them a flow to follow. They were personifications of Order and Chaos.
The Void didn't have such personifications. When Damien felt its raw essence around him, he realized that there was no such thing as "flow" within the Void.
'Do not succumb to the Void.'
Damien remembered Tilis' warning advice. Feeling the Void so closely now, he felt he somewhat understood those words.
This power had no structure. When one believed it was chaotic, they'd find order, but when they believed it was orderic, they'd find chaos. These two were only concepts birthed from the Void, so how could they encompass its existence?
The blackness of the Void was like an amalgamation of every law or idea to ever exist. If one wanted to, one could look at the Void as a sum of these parts, and while this viewpoint would allow one to view the Void much easier, it would also skew their perception in a way where comprehending it would become exponentially harder.
Damien didn't choose this method. He already understood from long ago the significance of the Void. Just calling it a sum of its parts didn't do it even the slightest bit of justice.
All things were birthed from the Void, but all things did not limit the Void. The only reason existence and nonexistence weren't continuously expanding and being evolved was merely because the Void had no desire to continue building the universe.
Was it bored?
Damien always viewed sentient beings as sentient beings, never putting one above the other merely due to their physical presence. This was because he was well aware of how much more powerful a weapon spirit could be than a human if it was given the time to train.
That kind of discrimination was simply asking for death.
The Void was also a sentient being. When Damien watched his Void Mana, it always seemed to be in an excited state. It always seemed to be looking for fun, for a challenge, for a reason to rebel. This quality always caused him harm, but was there truly a good reason for it?
If the Void was bored and decided to send a portion of its power into the world, if that power landed in a boy who misused it and didn't bring it justice, would the Void be happy?
While Damien did his best to understand and adapt to his power, it was true that he spent many years idling! If he thought of his current predicament as something like petty revenge from the Void, it would make his mana's mischievous behavior that much more understandable.
Nevertheless, it was true that Damien somewhat understood now.
The "something within nothing" and the "nothing within something."
The meaning of these phrases was simple. It was almost so simple that Damien wanted to slap himself across the head for not realizing it earlier.
But this simplicity…
The darkness around Damien faded. He found himself back in his spiritual world, facing the pitch-black comprehension egg in front of him.
The egg still retained its beautiful metallic sheen. It still retained that deathly aura it carried. However, the profound patterns decorating its surface had already disappeared.
'I see…I guess I'll have to do a considerable amount of devouring to experience that again…' Damien thought to himself,
His mind returned to his body thereafter. The first thing he saw was the swirling Void Mana.
"What, are you that excited to see me?" He asked with a smile.
The mana whirred as if voicing agreement. It swirled around his body even faster, dancing up and down like a little sprite meeting its first human.
"Hahahaha! Interesting little thing."
Damien reached his hand out, causing the mana to fly into it and swirl around his fingertips. Looking off into the distance, Damien spread his hand wide.
The waters of Aquazyl shook. Where Damien's intent was targeted, a large structure erected itself from the ground. It was a castle of pure sand and limestone, dragged to the surface by a mere thought.
Within this palace was a fully decorated set of halls, functioning lights, anything else one would expect from a true residence. It was hard to believe Damien erected it only moments ago.
The castle drifted into the proverbial wind. Its existence was broken down into chunks and then dismantled, completely taking it off the face of the earth. This wasn't a surface-level disappearance either, no, it was a complete erasure from existence.
Something within nothing and nothing within something; while Damien didn't have access to the peak abilities of these two concepts, he could at least begin to manipulate them.
"Aha…" Damien exclaimed in interest, "this power…will be a lot of fun."
A savage grin lit up his face. It was just coming time for him to leave Aquazyl, and he'd received such a good gift. He really didn't expect it.
After all, the main reward from his stint in Aquazyl would only reveal itself many years in the future. He didn't expect to make any short-term gains here.
But that didn't mean he didn't welcome it.
This new powerup was sudden, but wholly needed. When Damien thought about it, he had so many more options available to him.
Especially when it came to preparing his second present…
A present that was currently waiting patiently for him in the Emperor Bone Sea.