“Feast or famine, night or day, heat or cold, my people will never stop hunting you! You people will pay for your crimes!” -Last words of Karrian, Barbarian of the Southern Tribes.
I had won.
Looking around the bloodied plaza, I watched as the specters just stood still and unmoving. As if on cue with my sight they all started to collapse as their bodies began to disappear into the ground the same way they arrived. It was a sight to behold.
At the edges of the fight were the debris left from the torrent of flame surrounding us in a perfect circle. Crimson blood, mine with it, decorated the deathly stage like an elaborate embroidery with me and the knight as its centerpiece. A spectacle painted by death itself.
I couldn’t stand it.
I promised myself that I would find my humanity yet here I was, fighting like a madman. I was still dancing like a freak on the phantom strings of my former masters. How do I end this cycle?
“Why do this? Why endorse this hell of mine?” I whispered. I guess he heard me because what he said surprised me.
“Because we’re both beasts of this inferno, boy.” Even though his voice was nothing louder than a whisper, the statement resonated within me.
“I’ve spent years, decades, even centuries in this abyss. Forcibly trapped here by an outsider like you. He made me watch as he killed my people, my Lisandra!” the old knight explained.
” He trapped me here with what was left of my people, blood and dust. Tell me young man, would that not vex you. You bear the same kind of devilish armor as he. Imagine my surprise when you came tumbling here, enshrouded by void energy as strong as the chains that held me here. If you were me, would you not attack yourself? The same kind as the monster!” he said as his flaming eyes burned brighter than the torrent from earlier.
It infuriated me.
“My kind doesn’t exist, old knight. Those that defied our masters died, but I did not.” My voice grew with every limp towards the knight.” Do not compare me with those I once considered my siblings. I am no longer a slave!”
“You say that yet here we are! Bloodied and wounded as we dance between life and death. Its always there boy, whispering like a siren.” As the knight’s flaming eyes began weakening, the ground beneath us began to shake. Amid this violent earthquake the knight continued.
“The void energy that covered you is beginning to break this place apart. Finally… I can die.” He said with peace behind his voice. He raised a hand,” I have one last request, young man. Continue my legacy and remember my name, Gherian, last of the Black Banners!”
Limping closer to the man, the ground beneath us began to tremble stronger and crack. Taking his hand with a firm grip, I accepted.
The ground beneath us crumbled as I felt something seer my back. Then everything went black as ice seeped into the edges of my vision.
“Your Majesty!” a young servant cried while on a lush red carpet leading towards a throne. The throne was made from glistening gold seemingly carved from the rock that surrounded it. Around the throne were gigantic pillars that supported a roof. Each pillar was sculpted with the stories of past kings slaying dragons, leading armies and their times of greatness.
On the throne was an elderly man with a long, gray hair and a crystal crown. At first glance someone would think that he could barley walk, but the closer you look the more impressed you would get.
Under his wrinkled skin was chiseled muscle while his eyes were sparkling with youth, strength and wisdom. Beneath fancy robes were thin layers of light riveted chainmail and padded armor. To the king’s side was an ornate encrusted broadsword and a single edge dagger the size of a bowie knife. Clearly this was a man of both words and action.
This was King Holm, also known as the Holm the Steel King. Famed for his ruthlessness to those that sided against him.
“What is it Gerhald? Is this about the northern ruins? If it is, then tell me about it tomorrow. It’s getting late.”
“No, your highness! It’s the Starfall! One of the stars fell at the ruins of Havan!” this made the king’s eyes go wide open.
“Havan? Quickly! Tell Naia to investigate it, but also warn her. The stars are foreign to Logus, we don’t know if it is even safe.”
The king’s warning had good reason behind it. The Starfall was considered by many scholars as the coming of mana from the Abyss, an astral realm beyond their own that protects Logus and its gods. While many consider taking its foreign and radiant mana as a grave taboo, the Starfall is undoubtedly the strongest magical yet natural phenomenon in Logus.
Pre-Imperial records talk of great weapons capable of mass destructions, Dark and twisted creatures, even outside gods coming out of the fallen stars.
“Gherald, send some soldiers with her as well. I have a feeling that she would need them.” Said the old king.
“At once your highness!” the meek boy said before leaving.
Holm didn’t know what was going to happen, all he had was a feeling that a storm was coming.
As Holm stood up and left, a strange eye in the shadows floated out of the room through the seems of the stone brick at it turned to mist. It had much to report to its master.