Of These Passing Stars; Part VII

Ariex, have you known all along? The demons of this world don’t have horns. They walk beside us unto the sound of creation, destruction, and resurrection. I was an idiot to think that the sides are so easily divided. The two marks have taught me that we are wrong. But my duty remains the same. And you will need to follow your own duty.

My body can’t handle both the darkness and the light. You’ll know what we should do but I can’t give you my burden. We’d be playing right into their hands and our suffering won’t end with death. Who are they? Who made these monsters both human and not? Two brothers recreated among creation endlessly to guide everything. A differing point of view created a war that has no victor in sight. Futility is in our nature yet we succeed.

We started as kids running on meadows of grass. Those days we believed in adventure and fun. Tragedy haunted on the outskirts of our Eden like a serpent. He watched us grow from children into men. We walked separate paths and met him along the way. My heart poisoned when everything came crashing down. The tragedy of laying your love to rest. And the darkness I found myself in blinded me from Ariex’s darkness.

He abandoned the Royal Protectorate. An order made him question his humanity. The High General decided to execute unaligned Mist Alchemists in Southern Dragacia. He saw a kid lose his father because no one would help. Orders are orders. Ariex repeated that a lot to justify the past. On different paths we sat there and stared at nothing for months. We lost sight of the endless blue skies of our Eden.

I grab a corner of a stone wall. The memories stimulate the marks making my blood feel like it’s boiling. I try clearing my mind to no avail. I begin inching my way towards where Ariex will be waiting. The guards and the people laugh at me like some drunk. Tears roll down my cheeks but I keep moving.

Suddenly I lose my balance then fall on my back. I gasp out air and gaze at the cloudy sky concealing the Sun. A desire to give up washes over me. I shakily reach my hand out towards the sky. Someone gently grabs my hand. The warmth of this person keeps the doubts at bay long enough for me to get on my feet. The person laughs at me but never turns to face me.

“Synji, you idiot, did you really let yourself get cursed again? What would our parents say? We only have one choice if you don’t want to die.” Ariex’s deep voice carries a sense of rationality.

“Well Raejak and you agree I’m an idiot. Thanks! Asshole. And do you mean we should do an absolution? You know that only makes things worse. An Endarkened and an Envoy of the Mists? Are you flipping insane? The tale of Karthentrex and Pan should tell you how terrible of an option this is.”

“And you think dying will be better? The curses will dissolve whatever remains of you. If you live that is more time to change fate. Choose against life and you never existed at all. You can’t leave me all alone. I know this choice will condemn many to pain but they’ll survive because that’s what we know to do. Survival is a part of human nature.”

“This is from the person who also says that laziness is a part of human nature.”

“I’m not going to waste energy on barely surviving. We have minds so use them. When survival is easy and we can relax then we can learn. I learned that an absolution blends the existences of the two participants. We’ll know everything about each other even the things we don’t want to. The only thing is that the hearts must be aligned. Do we truly do this just to save you?”

“No. My life isn’t worth that much to me. We do this with the intention of reversing fate. Too many people accept what they’re given. Screw everything and we will rise.”

“That’s my brother! By the light granted through Karthentrex’s knowledge and the darkness created with Pan’s death the tree of chaos arose. The choice to mend the Universe tree was made when nothing should be allowed to live. If they had walked away everything would have faded. A Universe sentenced to deletion that refused its fate. We are the children of a forbidden plane.” Ariex grabs my hand creating a powerful light in our palms.

A warmth washes over the coldness of my heart. The clouds above start swirling and create an opening for the Sun. Light focuses on my chest where the Mark of the First Blight rests. Painfully the light burns away every trace of the curse. No one else sees the absolution because the residents of this city are blind to the Mists. But the High General watches from the castle and knows who is responsible. The light from the Sun turns dark with the curse.

Something keeps the light from finishing the absolution. My memories of the Endarkened emerge in the city. Three portals appear above the city. An eye, a staff, and a gavel come forth. They judge our worth. A arrow flies from where the High General is and pierces the eye. Raejak comes from nowhere and closes the portals with some complex Mist Alchemy.

“You have no power here Grand Judge. The eye is blind. Go back to the Stones of Fate because someday even you will fall. I’m sorry. You will not erase another Universe because it wasn’t perfect. Let these two be free from your judgment. We might be damned but there is still hope. I, Raejak, will atone if we fail. These are my conditions.”

“This is Raejak? You’ll be a great pawn in the End. Your belief in hope will diminish in the future. The Stones of Fate only says that I’m more sorry than you. I’ve forgotten so much but I feel like I must erase your Universe. You all remind me about something I hate. Rintaen made a similar bet with me. I accepted his because I wanted this to be entertaining. I’ll accept yours because this is my only way to win. You can’t deny fate.”

Everything returns to normal. The Mark of the First Blight rests on its new bearer. Ariex and myself stare at each other. He touches the mark and winces from pain. I pat his back. We look up at the still cloudy sky. Randomly another arrow with a letter zips by into the stone wall. I open the letter and find detail orders for Ariex and myself.

Ariex grabs the letter from my hands. He starts laughing then hands it to Raejak. Strangers give us very frightened glances. I sit down and rest my head in my hands. Raejak tears up the letter, they both sit next to me, and we stare at the castle.

“We aren’t allowed to ever return. Our last mission for the Royal Protectorate has begun. Can someone tell me what the fuck just happened?” Ariex asks with some unease.

“First, we made a deal with something from the Mists. The Grand Judge was unexpected. I was briefed by the High General on the chance of failure. If we didn’t make a deal the First Blight would start and we’d be unable to stop it.

Second, the orders are the true objective of the Royal Protectorate. Have fun fishing for the next two years Ariex. Be sure when you meet the kid you don’t kill him. He is a good kid just the hate he has for the Royal Protectorate makes you the best candidate. You only need to bring him to the Devil Straits in Aldrassil. After that the dominoes will fall.

Third, Synji and myself need to destroy the home of the Endarkened. The Gorundin Mountains have a huge secret that we’ll unravel. If we are successful the world will have more hope. We all may end up being despised by history though. We are knowingly creating a disastrous future that will undo everything the Grand Judge hopes to accomplish.”

We look back up to the sky. The clouds are clearing up. Perhaps a city divided but at this moment it’s beautiful. The people living their lives unaware of the scary truth. Us three must protect all of this because although they may be wrong they’re happy. Whatever may come I’ll do my best to live and protect this city divided.

sa;bdry

Of These Passing Stars; Part VI

“The experiments conclude that there is no easy way to balance the two energies within you. We really should find an alchemist with the knowledge about the Marks of the Forsaken Brothers. More specifically we are after disciples of Pan and Karthentrex. The intelligence branch sent me details on a lead north of Dragacia. Do you have anything left to do in the capital?” the doctor taps his foot and anxiously glances at the door.

“One thing. This needs to be off the records though. My sources spotted Ariex, my brother, and arranged a meeting. He worked with alchemists of the sect we need. If you want I can go by myself.”

“No. My duty is to watch you . Even if we raided a garrison I’d have to be your accomplice because the High General hates loose ends. Screw him but I have my orders.”

“Damn. I’ll be ready in a second Raejak just get the one device I’ve seen you used to sneak out.”

“I know not what you speak about Synji. I’m a good medical doctor of the Royal Protectorate who respects the Mist Ban.”
“And we totally aren’t the only regiment who uses Mist Alchemists. The taboo is stupid and everyone knows that. Society uses the alchemists unjustly to hide the true issues we face. My brother left the Royal Protectorate for that reason. I envy his strength for walking away from what’s wrong.”

Raejak tosses his arms up then walks into the other room. A few books fall to the ground. He curses the realm of physics for scheming against him since the day he learned about the Mists. He tosses a little metal orb with engravings all over its surface. I glance at the surface and realize there is a map of the capital on it.

“Synji where do we need to head? Also grab my shirt because I don’t think you’ll want to walk there.”

“District Nine.”

He turns the orb until he finds the place. A ray of light emerges from a hole and touches Raejak’s eye. The light thickens up until his eye can’t be seen. Suddenly light rays shoot off from the first one then crisscrosses around Raejak and me. I get all dizzy but hold tightly to Raejak’s sleeve like an anchor.

We appear in a filling bathtub with two naked men in it. Me and Raejak stare at each other for a few seconds. One of the men gets all angry while the other hides his junk with his hand. We start laughing uncontrollably. The angry man punches Raejak in the face making him fall out of the tub.

I get out and grab Raejak by the leg then pull him to the door. The two men keep watching us. We both put our index fingers over our mouths and shush them. When we get out of their house we begin laughing again. Strangers give us mean glances. Raejak finally stands up and I pat his back.

“The town never changes. We get looked at like some disreputable vagabonds. Decades of isolationism but society is the same. It is a wondrous quandary!” exclaims Raejak.

“Raejak, shut up. These people have been controlled by things they barely question. We have competitive sports, competitive politics, competitive jobs, competitive beliefs, and competitive everything. They wouldn’t realize equality and respect if they slapped them in the face.” I grab a cigarette and light it.

“What’s your proof?”

“Look over there. A crime scene where someone got shot. There is an angry crowd standing over there blaming injustice. It isn’t that and they should know that. History says there was a time when people didn’t even have to mass together to express how they felt. We have lived in the same world for centuries. They have much to be happy about but no they all want to extrapolate the situation for their egos. Kind of tragic if you ask me.” I puff out a cloud of smoke.

“You have a point. I just wonder how others see it. Do they truly believe they’re right or were they never taught to think? Education is the first step towards leading a better life. The education system keeps getting worse. Less free thinking and more memorization. All the schools do is perpetuate the problems. Some good teachers still try but the majority just do what they’re told. When in war for us soldiers we must follow our general’s orders no matter what. If we don’t we are labeled deserters. And if we follow the orders and it creates a travesty we’re labeled tyrants. Both things are wrong but society gets to dictate what’s right or wrong.”

“People need to just walk away. Follow your heart and if you’re wrong accept it then move on. And if it gets too hard take a nap. Everything will be better when you awake.”

“I’m not sure laziness is what we need.”

“Would you rather be a lazy bum or someone who only does what he is told?”

“Valid point King of Sloth. Well go find your brother I’m going to drink this bottle of wine and take a nap. Use the code phrase to wake me up.”

“What code!?!”

“The High General’s wife is a slut.”

“Really? That’s the code? Fine! Just don’t go into the brothel because I’m not pulling you out of that diseased cesspool.”

“Probably was caused by the High General’s wife.”

“You don’t like him do you?”

“Fuck you. Go talk to Ariex and remember the code. It’ll save your life.”

sa;bdry

The Hearth of Darkness

A star sent spiraling into nowhere.
The journey has been abandoned
And there won’t be any light forever.
I am sorry my friend. A rope I should sever
But never do. Your life stationed
At the end. I still look for you somewhere.

Among the stars your light faded and I grew jaded
Towards a world I never knew. I’ll forever be faded.

Young hearts pierced by a rusty blade
Then torn apart. You got this way of twisting
Your words into weapons and leaving me silent.
Oh, truthfully I resent you. But it was you I fought for
And who I’d die to protect. I didn’t know I’d bury you
Among the ruins of a life we failed to achieve.
Did I deceive you when I made forced your final breath?
It mirrored the ecstasy of your nighttime moans
Yet I cry for you because I didn’t want you to die in my arms.
Why do I say such hateful things at your grave?
Sins sealed your fate my dear and now I must go.

I raised my sword to fight the unseen threats.
As I trusted you you became the unseen;
Lust danced in your mind. A smart man retreats
From that situation. I had to be so mean
And slay you when the darkness consumed you.
My town sacrificed for carnal desires
Then I came back afraid of everything. The few
Unchanged told me about your hearth of dark fires.

Enter Fear

You were the woman I always knew, a lie for my heart,
And I entered your sin without fear. I’m unable to depart.

The darkness started ebbing from your body
Like some tainted spring. I drank deep. A curse
I willingly accepted. Flames of darkness danced
Around your undressed body and I reached through.

Enter Passion

Shadows in the light of dark flames
Merging. Midnight struck as our fingers
Tensed and mouths tasted of sweet wine.
Your words danced in my head like flower petals
Caught in a gentle breeze. We lost all sense
In the delicacy of flesh. Like two molten metals
We became an alloy, the same. Twine
Around your soft wrists where fire lingers.
Playing games against sanity’s frames.

The darkness claimed us both. Falling into your Hell
I knew it was my fault for leaving. But you are a shell
Of your former self. I made sure to kiss and never tell.

Enter Light

My eyes opened up. The corpses on the walls
All had mouths opened and eyes closed.
A sigil burnt upon my chest from our love
Eats away at the sanity to resist this beast.
You turned into a beast and left me here
All alone. I looked inside to see darkness everywhere,
Your eyes mirrored the night, the screams of the dead
Remain in this room, and you’re their Endarkened Queen.

“Oh, my love for you has no end so sweet dreams forever.
Find yourself reborn in the light and remain there forever.”

ENTER FEAR, ENTER PASSION, ENTER LIGHT

I made a grave marker after I burned everything down.
The sigil remains but my duty isn’t over. Wear the crown
Of my heart, my dear, and break the curse of your nightgown.

The weight of your death oddly gives me clarity.
I miss you and for that I continue on with sincerity.
sa;bdry