Disclaimer, this series is meant for teen and up audiences, with depictions of violence, abuse, mysogyiny and death of the fantasy sorts, nothing too graphic. I won't put an M rating for the future chapters so be warned of the topics in this series. Now, you can start reading.
This is how the war truly ended. In a large field, flowers blooming in white were tainted as blood splattered on them. Under cloudy skies, two armies had entered a battle of the decade spanning-war. On one side were the Natumagi people. With nature's power within their grasp, they fought for hours an army of black-clothed cultists riding along horrifying monsters.
It was hard to face the monsters. They had white empty eyes, their lack of pupils made it impossible to tell what they were looking at. They seemed like regular animals, however, their skin was made of liquid, dripping ever so with every move, and their limbs were deformed, creating another limb the moment they were cut of by the opposing soldiers. They screamed, similar to a child calling their parents for help.
"General Alfred! Look out!"
The battle was nearing it’s end, and all the soldiers find themselves exhausted and losing morale. Even their general, Alfred Coalheart, started to lose steam.
A giant wolf like being, it's teeth sharper than the sharpest of knives. It's skin was liquid. Dripping of it's white skeleton with every movement it made, until only it remained. It had bitten into his sword and ate it in one bite.
“Why you,” giant flames sparked in his arms, he shot them at the sinful being, but they remained noneffective.
Come on Fred, Think! What can you do here-Of course!
After coming up with a plan, Alfred's red cape got dirty as he slid under the wolf's leg thanks to the ground being muddy enough for him to do so. The wolf tried chasing after him, but it tripped, and the cultist riding atop of him fell too.
"Soldiers! Finish that thing off," Alfred picked up the cultists by the collar, "Where is he? Your leader! Spit it out!"
"Heh, you want to meet our savior that badly? Too bad. He didn't find it necessary to waste his time on people who aren't as brilliant as him."
"So he fled the battle, crap!"
This is bad. Who knows how many of those things he still has at the ready. The army is getting exhausted and losing morale. We need to find him as quickly as possible.
As one of the flying beasts almost fell on Alfred himself, he was pushed away by a fellow soldier, his helmet falling off when the being slashed through his his armor.
"Heh, pathetic," the cultist ravished at the moment, his arms surrounded by a black flame.
"You," Alfred knocked him out, the flames disappearing, freeing the beast from the cultist's control. Just as the beast was about to fly away, he created a streak of fire with his sword, and so, he burned the beast's wings off.
"Ugh, that was a close one," he got back to his feet, "Peter! Are you alright?"
"First of all, It's Petar*, and secondly, we're in the middle of a war, so no. But yeah I'll survive this."
"Well, I see you're good then," he helped him get up, "Are they any more remaining?”
He looked around to see his men, mages wearing thick cloaks and fully armored soldiers, standing above many dead cultists and monsters. They were all clearly exhausted, unable to properly breathe.
"We were able to get rid most of the arm,” Petar said, “However, we still could get a hold off that man...”
“Was that guy saying the truth. Damn it!”
He carefully helped his friend find his way to some mages, who quickly puled out some bandages and medicine, “Akihiko, could you do something about the rain, it simply won’t stop.”
"I apologize sir, but as you see my platoon is too exhausted to do anything about the weather."
“Shit, anything from Briggs?”
“Nothing, he’s been gone for an hour now. Could he have run away?”
“Knowing him I doubt it. I’ll go look for him while you all take care of Peter, alright?”
“On it sir!”
So he left, on his path Alfred found many injured soldiers. Some were tending to their own wounds, while others were praying for their dead companions.
He had no choice but to walk past them. For ten years they’ve been fighting, for ten years they met grief time and time again. The battle was over, the war is soon over, and yet, things still need to be changed.
He stung himself. Looking ahead he saw vines bigger than the world’s oldest trees, a luscious green especially compared to the now wasteland that was this field.
Several soldiers came climbing down the vines, “General, we have an emergency!”
“What is it?”
“It’s General Briggs, he’s in danger-”
Casting enormous fires, he flies up to the top of the winds, reaching the other side.
“Briggs, are you there? It’s me Fred! What happened-”
Before Alfred could finish his sentence, the ground below began to shake. In an instant, a giant ravine formed.
"Don't," a knight without a helmet whose face was covered with a smudge of blood, came and grabbed him before he fell.
"It's too risky, We need to stop it first!"
"It? Oh don’t tell me there were more beasts-"
Out of the ravine came out a giant mole! Shrieking right through their ear drums.
“We need to go after it!
Briggs casted a spell, the giant vines around them began to moved, carrying the two men away.
Just like that day, when my kingdom fell into ruin. An earthquake, beasts breaking through our walls, my friends and family losing their lives, all as that man watched. How he smiled seeing his creatures tear through the body of hundreds of innocents like they're just some livestock. And it keeps happening, even as he did absolutely nothing! Nothing! Gods, please. Let them survive this battle
His eyes widened, the mole had jumped above ground, landing an attack with its enormous skeleton claws.
After growing another set of giant vines, this time covered in spikes. the beast cut right through them.
"Peter! Akihiko! Is everyone alright?"
They find the soldiers hiding behind a giant shield of ice. Some were horribly wounded. Barelz able to stand up because of their bleeding and exhaustion.
“Are you two alright?”
"Honestly Peter, don’t ask. Briggs, you fought these right? Any plans?"
"These beasts are blind, but have good hearing, so we must be as quiet as possible to land a hit on it."
"Got it, Peter, you distract it while we try cutting off its claws!"
"Really, I'm the sacrificial lamb? Have you seen these wounds Fred? Are they wounds of a lamb?!”"
"Yes. That's exactly why you're it."
Briggs chuckled as Petar was two second away of causing a scene.
“Have you two forgotten the danger we’re in?” Akihiko said gritting his teeth.
“You’re right. Petar, please, the plan is you cause a giant shout while Akihiko and I go in and stab it right through it’s chest. Got that?”
Despite it all, Petar managed to get up, "Hey big hands! Want a snack? Then come and get me!"
The beast chased after his voice, hitting it’s head against the ice wall.
It was crawling on the ground, Alfred made a giant ring of fire surrounding it. It was then when Akihiko sat on the ground, just a meter away from the flames.
"Uh. Captain Akihiko, mind hurrying up a bit?"
"Patience young one, for this creature must be handled carefully, for even the slightest of movement could have consequences. So we must-ah, never mind."
A giant javelin made of ice was formed out of the rain, stabbing the beast to the ground.
"Sorry general, hope you don't mind me taking it out."
"...I'll live," he extinguished the flames, "What happened to Captain Briggs?"
"He was stuck trying to fight that mole thing. They probably kept that thing as a last resort. Do you think there’s any more remaining?”
Through the fields filled with corpses, their eyes gazed upon a giant gray wolf, it’s skull lacking any flesh. It ate it’s rider, looking upon the two soldiers with it’s empty white eyes.”
He grabbed his sword, "That one is mine."
I'd recognize you any time of day. You, who has slain my wife and our child. The one who sliced the king's head before he could escape. You, who exist all because of that man.
"Come forth, I'll bring you to hell!"
Running through the field, Alfred raised his sword in the sky. Now covered entirely in flames, Alfred sped through the fields. The wolf at first was able to dodge him, but as it did, it got trapped as he got stuck inside a circle of fire. He jumped into the circle and was ready to take it out. Every moment he got closer to it, the flames surrounding them got larger and larger. Sparks flew high into the sky as the wolf tried jumping over the fire, only to get blinded. Alfred took off his helmet, his blond hair flowing as his eyes had no remorse for the wailing wolf in front of him.
"May the gods curse you!"
He stabbed right to its chest, leaving it gone for good. The wolf's body had slowly spurred into dust flowing onto the cloudy sky, yet he kept stabbing it. All the cultists and beasts were done with and injured soldiers were immediately looked after, yet he kept fighting nothing. The soldiers watched in silence, and maybe pity, at their general, who kept striking a hole on the ground, until he ultimately fell of exhaustion.
The others tried to pick him up, but he somehow managed to get up on his own, "Where is he?"
The captains stood looking at one another to find a way a tell him, so Petar decided to step up
"My troops are going to look after him from the skies, you try and rest while we’re at it.”
Several knights cast tornadoes, through which they flied up high in the sky. Alfred simply sat down on a nearby rock, watching them fly around the thick cloud, injured soldiers barely holding on from their wounds.
How long has it been? Five years? Five years since we lost our homes. Five years since we had banded together to fight him and his creations. Five years of enduring all the pain he made us went through over again. Betrayal, loss, death. And for what?! For him to run away, leaving millions to die in his stead. What was I expecting?
“Emperor of anguish, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
"My, is that what you're calling me these days," throughout the wide fields, everyone heard a menacing laugh, "How cute."
After hearing that voice, laughing so loud his eardrums began to ring, Alfred didn’t know what he was seeing. The entire area was covered in fog. He was able to hear the others calling after him.
But they would dissapear in seconds.
He tried shouting back, unable to see or find anyone familiar.
He took out his sword from the ground, searching for his friends, his enemies, anyone at this point. But he found nothing, followed by a cruel laugh that would not stop. Alfred ran through the fields, unable to tell the time. How long has he been running? Hours? Days? Yet he still found nobody. It was just himself and the laughter that haunted him like a ghost.
"I’ve had it with you! Come and face me already! I won't let you escape after everything you have you have done!"
"My," a shiver came down his spine, a man suddenly held his shoulder, whispering into his ear, "Why so agitated old friend? Can't I have just a little fun?"
He went to attack, the man his face under a black cloak, snickering as he dodged all of Alfred’s attacks with his spear made of several animal bones.
"Hasn't anyone taught you proper manners? I'm just trying to have a nice little chat."
"A chat," Alfred yelled, striking the spear with flames, "Do you have any idea what you have done?!"
"Hm, what did I do? I can’t recall" he had a smug smile on his face. "Oh, now I remember! Well, you can't get angry at me can you? Your parents were in the way of my beautiful creations. Had they simply listened to me none of this would have happened. Even though, their bones did fix up my spear a tiny bit."
"You piece of shit," Alfred's flames were burning throughout his entire body. The Emperor of Anguish was unaffected by them. He kept grinning as he passed through the fire and pushed the general on the ground
"Oh this is disappointing my friend. There you getting your promotion as a general and yet you can win’s against a simple guy like me. Oh well, I’ll spare you the embarrassment anyway-”
With a familiar voice echoing from behind, the fog disappeared as giant vines grew from the ground, entangling the emperor in just a few seconds.
"Heh,” a black flame appearing in his hand, he burned the vines to a crisp, “Did you really think this would work-"
While the emperor got distracted by the arrow, Alfred with all his might stabbed his chest, making the fire and fog disperse into the sky.
"General Alfred," his fellow generals immediately came to help, "Told ya it was him!"
"I'll be fine, Briggs."
"The emperor," Akihiko looked down on him, seeing his face covered with his long brown hair, covering the wound with his hand, "I though he ran away..."
“Well he’s here so,” Petar commented, “Alfred, you can go and imprison this guy, alright?”
"After everything," he picked the emperor's spear from the ground, his eyes devoid of life, "I'll end it right here and now."
"General, wait," they all tried to stop him, but flames appeared as they attempted to reach him. Alfred now alone with the emperor, pointed the spear at his head.
"My," the emperor chuckled, "You're the judge, jury, and executioner now? Wonder how your king will react. Oh right, he's dead, and your kingdom died with him. What good times those were. I remember how these cultists, as you call them, have helped me back then, and yet they couldn't even defeat you! Shame really, if you didn't capture them I would have killed them all myself-"
Before he was able to finish speaking, Alfred cut his arm off, mercy didn’t exist in him anymore, "Those your last words?"
"…What if they were?"
"Fine, I'll tell them right now," he took out his hand, carrying a glass orb with a gray smoke seen inside of it.
The other took immediate notice of it, "General! Look out!"
Crashing the orb in his hand, a large flame had suddenly burned from his hand, and everyone around him fell to the ground. A giant wind had subdued the flames surrounding the two of them and the entire army felt an overwhelming pressure stuck against their back, gray flames surrounding every part of their bodies, making childlike laughs that sounded distorted.
The emperor laughed maniacally as he slowly got back on his feet, a sinister smile on his face, "Finally!"
The flames had risen from the ground, flying into the sky to form a sphere. Horrid screams reached everyone’s eardrums, they fell to the ground, unable to move an inch. Barely seeing with his own eyes, Alfred though he was going insane.
"What the hell is that?"
"My old friends, can't you see, that's my final creation."
A pair of arms sprung out of the sphere. Shattering it into pieces. With lifeless white eyes, and claws on it fingers, they saw a creature bearing a mermaid’s tail and demonic wings.
"Come forth, Beast of Sorrow!"