BECOMING OF CHAOS
It happened suddenly, before any of the three could react; the earth beneath them split open into a wound-like crevice, rumbling into the sky, splinters spraying out, showering the surrounding world in molten rocks. The black mist around and above them vanished, seemingly sucked away from their reality, revealing the dead and dying world that, no doubt, once used to be a lush, vibrant one. Mountains rising in the distance cleaved as Ella reached out and caught Lino, while Amadeel managed to barely stabilize himself before falling into the crevice.
She spun rapidly on her heel, her eyes growing into saucers. A creature ensconced in shadows hovered right there, barely a hundred meters away from them, looming above. Draped in black mist and shadows, its pair of eyes were utterly different – one white, one black, complete opposites. Chains hung on the sides, clanking against themselves, as thick as an ancient oak, looping over themselves. A faint trace of wings emerged from the back, countless pairs fighting for the poignant existence.
It stood erect at over a mile, seemingly bounding the physical laws themselves. It had no discernible shape, save for a few contours occasionally flashing into existence. Amadeel stared stupefied and horrified, his entire body beginning to shake. Even Ella had to bite her tongue to jolt herself awake from the sensation. The only one who appeared relatively unaffected was Lino, who was mostly surprised.
“—Your Majesty…” a voice, which used to be hoarse, deep and distorted, was now far more feminine and clearer. “Aah, Your Majesty…”
“—what… is that?” Ella asked as she sent a sliver of Qi into Amadeel, waking him up. The latter, however, quickly looked away, draped in sweat, breathing heavily.
“… something I have to deal with myself,” Lino replied, pulling himself away from Ella’s grip and stepping forward. “You two go and find the Dragon.”
“… are you insane?” Ella questioned, frowning. “I’m not letting you fight that alone. It’s beyond your ability to handle.”
“—go,” Lino glanced back, smiling faintly. “This isn’t your battle.”
“Do you trust me, El’?” he interrupted.
“… that’s unfair.” Ella said, sighing.
“… trust me,” he smiled once more, patting her head. “I’ve got this.”
“… anything happens—”
“Nothing will happen.”
“But if anything—”
“Just go,” he pushed her gently. “You’ve got a job to do. And if you stay any longer, he just might go insane.” he pointed at the shivering Amadeel who glanced at him thankfully.
“…” Ella said nothing, looking deeply into his eyes for a moment before pulling Amadeel and vanishing further toward the north.
The creature didn’t even seem to notice them, its eyes fixated wholly at Lino who turned around and faced it squarely. He managed to somehow put down the instinctual fear through the Primal Chaos, though he still felt somewhat queasy.
“… hello.” he said lowly, smiling. “My name is Lino. What’s yours?”
“… don’t hide His Majesty, boy,” the creature replied. “We belong together. You can’t stop it.”
“Tell me who you are, then.”
“… why?” he tilted his head sideways, though still taking out the Edge from his void world, gripping the handle tightly as the blade cried out lowly, shimmering in deeply purging light.
“MOVE!!!” a surge of soul-crushing energy washed over Lino, causing his hair and clothe to flutter backward violently, though he himself remained rooted, seemingly unaffected.
His two eyes suddenly flashed, one growing a full shade darker, while the other turning eerily white. The pupils spun unto themselves, repeatedly rotating like gears. Four pairs of wings sprung from his back, belting out in black and white flames, covering the bounding horizon. The Edge cried out in concert as Qi around him combusted, turning the reality dry as streams of Chaos swelled into him.
“Make me.” his voice turned choral as silence overtook right after. For a brief flash, the two stared at one another, four eyes reflected within two pairs perfectly, bounding shadows and the mist holding the world in stillness.
Wholly black flames suddenly erupted beneath Lino's feet, jetting him up into the sky as he fluttered his wings, spinning around and diving from above straight at the creature, cutting through its head directly and arriving on the other end, crashing into soft and corrupted earth, immediately creating a massive crater. Without even landing wholly, he spun once more and flashed the Edge backward to propel himself back into the sky rapidly; just a breath later, a piercing pillar flashed through the crater, boring a bottomless hole in the earth.
The creature shifted into cradling shadows, losing its massive size and suddenly appearing wholly humanoid, save for the lack of distinguishing features past the remarkable pair of eyes. Lino froze for a moment, as the shape almost perfectly reflected his when his body is swelled with Chaos beyond the point and capacity of being able to handle it. Shadows… ash… black smoke darting all about.
“—you have earned my ire,” the creature extended its right arm whereupon an exact replica of Lino’s edge appeared, save for bearing the complete opposite element. “Now endure my fury.”
The shadow flashed in and out of reality, appearing right in front of him as he slashed the Edge upward; two blades met, the clash causing a violent explosion to blast both of them back as the reality began cracking like an eggshell. Lino's hair grew unraveled, strands of white glowing intensely as he forcibly cut off his backward momentum, fluttering his wings and propelling himself forward, breaking past the speed of sound and beyond.
The creature matched him, the two of them once more frantically crashing into one another, their blades crying in unison, colors of black and white soon overwhelming the world around them. Another explosion fractured the sky, splitting it across the crescent line, dividing the world in two – yet, they weren’t distinct realities… but complete copies of one another.
The world lost its faint luster, all color having been seemingly sucked out of existence. Objects lost their visible edges, becoming faint taints in the cascade of the perception. Two abominations heaved high in the sky, splitting apart once more as shockwaves blasted through them. Recovering just as rapidly, they heaved back at each other, flashes repeatedly showering the sky, violent explosions shaking the world. Smoke and ash draped over their ever-fleeting figures, leaving behind lengthy, winding and bizarre trails as though they were brushes on the canvas that was the world itself.
Lino felt a rapid sensation of growth, his soul seemingly undergoing a primal reckoning; inside those eyes, he saw a reflection of himself, the reflection of his ideas, desires, raw beliefs and emotions. His thinly-veiled lips curled up into a smile, a pair of impossible eyes widening as he sped down once more, somersaulting as to garner some momentum, met by an upward, backhand slash, violently thrust back before recovering once more.
The creature suddenly fashioned some distance between the two, pulling the blade over upfront, lifting it perpendicular to its body, closing its harrowing eyes. Tendrils of shadows suddenly erupted from its back, turning into a massive swarm that coveted the whole sky under its reign. The sensation of chaotic dissonance split the world at its foundations, blinding life to death, light to dark, chaos to order.
The tendrils swirled in a wide circle, flanking Lino, as the latter's grin grew wider. Winding the Edge and bending forth slightly, he pressed the index finger against his lips, closing his eyes for a second.
“<Sword of Chaos>,” his choral voice bound a whisper, tenderly caressing the world. “Seventy-first Form – Live by Chaos, Reign by Chaos—"
Just as the tendrils collapsed unto him, his body shook, blending with the reality itself. Edge fluttered in his hand seemingly of its own accord, dancing in crescent and arched motifs, splitting away tendrils with ease, causing wriggling shadows to collapse unto themselves, sucked away by the whims of existence itself. Arched, bladed lights erupted from the silver-shimmering blade, quicker and quicker, as the arm holding the sword blended into a blur due to the insane speed.
The creature suddenly split into the vanishing tendrils aimed at him, its body hidden among them; Lino ceased slashing away the Edge upfront, spinning halfway through a full motion and slicing in a full arc. A metallic clash quickly broke out as white and black sparks arose, the burst of energy momentarily collapsing into a singularity before being released into a violent backlash, blasting both of them from the sky and into the earth, splitting the entire Island itself due to the sheer force.
Lino lifted himself up slowly from the crater as the colorless dust settled. Opposite of him, the figure arose as well, standing squarely as they faced off once more in complete silence.
“… will you tell me now?” he asked slowly. “Who you are?”
“… His Majesty hasn’t?” the figure asked back in a feminine, though slightly distorted tone.
“… he’s ashamed, for some reason.” Lino said.
“He shouldn’t be.” the figure said, the featureless face doused in shadows, smoke and darkness suddenly splitting open, revealing a face of a woman seemingly in her mid-thirties. “He’s done no wrong.” her voice cleared up completely, her rather lush lips curling up into a faint smile.
“… my name is Biyung,” she said as shadows once more closed down the split, consuming her face and removing the features. “And, though I am many things, I am His Majesty’s Queen and Princess first and foremost.”
“… you’re the mother of Primes?” Lino quizzed solemnly.
“…" she said nothing, merely smiling.
“…” he remained silent for a moment, as this revelation shook far too many core beliefs he held all this while. “You’re also the source of the Dragons’ corruption, no?”
“..." she still remained silent, her smile widening.
“… ah,” something clicked inside Lino’s mind as he sighed. “Dragon of Chaos… that’s you, no?”
“… I can see why His Majesty chose you," the figure said with a strange, somewhat maniacal chortle. "But, you are no longer necessary. I am here to serve Him, once more, the same as before.”
“—you’ve condemned almost the entire Race to painful, grueling deaths… because of power.” Lino said. “End justifies the means, huh…”
“… enough of this.” the figure said. “Move.”
“My reply is still the same,” Lino replied, sighing as he gripped the Edge tighter. “Make me.”