AN: This one has a pretty dark undertone, , , but fear not. That's all imma say on that front.
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Oh, and Desafinado, I saw your comments a few minutes ago. Glad you like it so far.
Will edit this later.
When she returned home she went straight to the study, awaiting their return.
After only a few minutes a gust of wind gently hit her face along with a flash of light.
She couldnt help staring at them.
Lyle was covered in wounds that were quickly closing up at an absurd rate even for him, holding his sister's unconscious body tightly in his arms.
A'daire was the same, but he was simply lifting her husband like a sack of potatoes.
The first thing she noticed was the agitation of her son, the brooding aura he exuded. He looked cut off from the other two, not sparing them a glance and merely holding onto his sister as if he couldn't bear letting her go.
He didn't even greet her as he walked past in an abrupt manner.
She caught his shoulder just as he went by
"Son, what happened? Iris, why is she--?!"
But her hand was shrugged off.
"Ask your husband." He snapped angrily.
As he left she felt a weight in her heart. His voice sounded so cold, so unfamiliar, that she couldn't stop feeling walled off from him. Never had he spoken so rudely towards her. Never did he pull himself away as if he couldn't even stand the sight of her.
As he walked out, she could only look at A'daire with a worried, questioning glance.
He smilled bitterly, not quite meeting her eyes.
He carried Iris to her bed quickly, feeling exhausted.
Ever muscle felt like they were tearing each other apart and there were vague, indistinct voices at the back of his mind that made his head pound as if someone took a hammer to his skull.
His body was ready to give out but through sheer force of will he held on until she was safely in her bed.
He didn't know what happened next, but very soon his eyes closed and he went into a deep slumber.
He looked dead.
He had a nightmare.
First it was of Iris, her small body falling into a deep void in the ground that seemed to appear out of nowhere.
He called to her in desperation.
She looked at him in disbelief and reached for his outstretched arm...but it was useless.
Again and again the scene repeated itself.
A cry, a tearful gaze, the loss of her weight as she slipped from his hand.
Falling, reaching her small arms out for him in vain.
An infinite loop where he failed to hold onto her, allowing her to drop into a dark abyss.
Then once every detail was seared into his memory, once the feeling of self-loathing and helplessness set in, the scene changed dramatically.
The landscape was desolate, the floor littered with all kinds of dead bodies. It seemed every race, human or otherwise, was thrown on the ground in a bloody mess.
The whole ground was soaked red.
A sharp, metallic scent forced its way down his throat, chocking him.
The sky was dark, the sun was red and the moon was up as well,looking fractured while glowing a pale white.
A man was staring at him.
It we his own face, looking maybe just five or ten years older than the current him and much more weary.
There was a deep sadness in his gaze that made Lyle's heart feel as if it were held in a tight grip.
But he looked off.
His maroon hair was much longer, reaching his lower back. His left eye was a demonic red with a slit pupil while his right was shining with a malevolent golden light. The gold eye changed every so often. From its usual color to a vivid green, then a deep blue, a startling violet color, and then becoming the exact same as the left with its draconic look.
The left side of his head bore a long horn, broken, and his right hand had a green serpentine design on it that he couldn't see the exact shape of. It coiled up and around with its head by his wrist.
His clothes were a mere tattered piece of cloth that gave him a wild look.
There was a desolate, isolated feeling coming from him.
This face was his own, but everything else was so different that it felt alien.
The man stared at him and spoke, almost tiredly.
"Do you see?" he asked.
Lyle felt his heart pounding, unable to speak.
The man asked once again, more insistent.
"Do you see?"
Now he pointed behind him.
Lyle couldn't help following the direction.
What he saw sent a sort of dread into him.
The man disappeared, and a third Lyle came into existence with chains that stuck deep into the ground.
In front of this other him was a giant cross. No. Several.
And pinned upon those crosses were unknown figures.
Lyle couldn't see their faces, knew he had never met some of them before, but he felt a deep familiarity with them all.
Blood ran down the metal crosses, staining it a reddish hue.
The other Lyle in chains was unlike the first. This one was exactly like him, just a bit older.
He was naked, bearing scars by his wrists and ankles where the manacles rested.
He didn't look up. He didn't respond to the scene around him.
But his golden eyes were dull, resigned. Hazy, as if unable to make heads or tails of his own suroundings.
Then he, too, disappeared.
"Do you see them? Do you see what you've done? This is your world. You did this. Every choice you made was a wrong one... even when it wasn't."
The other, unfamiliar version of himself was back. He stared at Lyle with hatred. " Why couldn't you just die? Why did you have to bring them down with you? They loved us, followed us, supported us. Not just them. The others too. Our brothers and sisters. Our comrades. They all looked to us to save them. Yet you--we--failed. And killed them. Our own hands, stained with their blood. Before that, even she was lost to us for a time. We failed them all. " A mournful sigh escaped his lips.
He wound a hand around Lyle's throat, squeezing.
" You only know how to destroy. Every time I try to stop this, we falter. Maybe I can't stop us. Stop you. I've tried. The heavens know I tried. But I'm tired. So tired. We escape her control only to sow discord and strife with our very existence. Then, in the end, merely wind up her slave once more. If this is what awaits us, if I can't stop you from harming those precious to us, then I should just..."
His grip tightened and Lyle couldn't break free.
He was confused. His mind was a mess and he couldn't make sense of what was said. He wasnt able to do anything, say anything. He was a mere passenger, forced to go through the motions.
As the hands around his throat continued to exert more and more pressure, his vision slowly went dark.