So this is what death feels like? It’s kind of boring actually thought the princess, or rather, the queen of Kassivir, Tiela.
As the last surviving member of the Kassivirian royal family, she was now technically the queen, though it didn’t matter much. Kassivir, her citizens, her royal family, and all of her lands are gone now. Swept up with most of the continent to the Storm Hole, as everyone takes to calling, or they did… Before the end of the world, of course.
The Storm Hole was exactly as it sounded, a gigantic hole the size of several kingdoms with a storm raging above it.
Everything in Tiela’s eyes was dark, the last time she had seen anything had been during her battle with some demonic creature that had crawled out of the Storm Hole. It had been a short creature, no taller than herself. However, it carried an unusual strength in its pale, lanky arms. She had almost been unable to defeat it, being continuously pushed back. Until the whirlwind of the Storm Hole pulsed and put it off balance, giving Tiela a chance to plunge her lance deep into its chest.
After pulling her lance out of the demon’s chest, she saw a flash of red light to her left. The light coming from a large fireball that had just exploded out from a hooded man’s palm, rocketing towards another of the pale demons. The flames engulfing the demon did nothing to stop the hooded man from charging another spell, this one a bolt of lightning.
Tiela herself was running low on mana, she had been fighting non-stop and only had enough to keep her muscles strengthened at the moment, nothing fancy like throwing a fireball. Though she feared she'd soon run out completely, she was beyond exhausted.
Just before the flames died down the man shot the bolt of lightning at the demon, creating a blackened hole in its chest the size of a bowling ball. This nearly cut the demon in half, save for a few inches of flesh on both of its sides, however, it still wasn’t enough to kill it.
The man turned his back just before the demon charged at him, who had let his guard down. Probably thinking the lightning bolt to be the end of his opponent.
As the vile claws neared the back of the hooded man’s head, a flash of metal intercepted them, Tiela had seen the demon lunge and moved into position to protect the man. Judging by the crest on the man’s crest, he belonged to the kingdom of Yar, who had been at war with the kingdom of Kassivir until just a few weeks ago. She had lost many good men to his kind, still, yesterday’s enemies are today’s friends. They needed everybody that they could put in front of the Storm Hole to keep the demons from spreading even further.
As she maneuvered her lance around the demon’s claws, the hooded man spun around. Seeing the demon close enough to bite him, he fell backward in shock. Meanwhile, Tiela fell into a crouch of her own, only to lunge forward. Bringing her lance to the demon’s neck in a circular motion, cleanly piercing through its neck. Though even this didn’t kill it.
After unsheathing the long knife she kept on her hip, she plunged it into the crystal buried within the demon’s left chest. Shattering said crystal that took the place of a heart, the demon finally died. One didn’t have to shatter the crystal to kill a demon, however, they could tank a lot of damage and the easiest way to kill one was to shatter its crystal. Though cutting its head off would have worked, it would have also worked to dull her blade. Shattering its crystal is usually the most efficient way to dispatch a demon.
After dealing with the demon, Tiela looked back up. Locking eyes with the hooded man, she gave a crooked smile.
“Guess you Yar types aren’t too good up close?”
The man, about to give thanks, stopped upon hearing this. Giving her a closer look, he saw the emblem of Kassivir on her left chest. Yar had lost a lot of men to the kingdom of Kassivir as well, and not a small number to Tiela, who had led multiple campaigns against them.
Deciding that since they were tentative allies, he wouldn’t give her a snarky reply, though he also withheld his gratitude. He felt he should be the bigger person and just walk away, he truly was a magnanimous person. Unlike the Kassivirians he mused.
The Storm Hole pulsed once again at that moment, just as the hooded man was taking a step. Causing him to misstep and fall flat on his face. Tiela, who was standing still, was able to keep standing and burst out laughing, thinking maybe the storm hole isn’t so bad after all!
The man angrily stood back up and was about to reply something nasty, when his face changed to a shade of purple. Tiela turned to the direction he was facing -the Storm Hole- upon seeing his face change. Just in time for her own expression to drop. A wave of blue light was roiling out of the Storm Hole and spreading in a ring in every direction. As it passed the torn up vegetation from all of the battles that had occurred over the past half-year, it all soon withered and died. Taking the hooded man running as her cue, Tiela started her own desperate sprint away.
Alas, it was far too late, the ring of blue light was gaining on them far too fast and would be upon them soon.
As she ran, she saw the hooded man trip on the vegetation. The Yar mages usually focused solely on long-range attacks and completely ignored physical tempering, the fools. So he wasn’t as sure on his feet as she was.
As she was sprinting, she soon passed him. She felt bad for him as a person, but as he was Yarrish, she did secretly feel a little vindictive as the blue mist roiled over him.
While sprinting, she witnessed as he turned into a dried-out husk of himself. His screaming drowned out by the pounding of her heartbeat in her ears as she pushed herself even harder.
Still, it wasn’t enough. Despite training her body for decades, pushing herself beyond her physical limits more times than she could count, training her muscles until they tore, it wasn’t enough. Only a dozen seconds after the Yar mage fell, she too was engulfed by the blue mist. All the years of training were for naught, at least she’d be able to meet her family soon.
She didn’t feel any pain but soon tripped on her own feet. As she was falling she could see her own body withering away, but that soon fell away to darkness. She tried to push herself back up but couldn’t feel her arms, she couldn’t feel anything. The darkness surrounding her was almost suffocating, but this didn’t seem like the death she’d always heard of. There was no pain, even when she was engulfed in the blue mist, even when she saw her body withering, she didn’t feel it.
Well, not like she could feel anything now anyway. Though it was weird, she still ‘felt’ alive, maybe this was a dream. Or maybe when people die they stay in this black space? Though if she was dead, why could she still think? Can you think when you’re dead? She’d never given what happens after death much thought, it always seemed to be a ‘fade to black’ type of thing. When you’re dead you’re dead. Who thinks after they’re dead?! She thought that’s just weird.
Though her racing thoughts did nothing to stave off the darkness, she couldn’t tell how long she’d been in this darkness. Her thoughts had turned to and fro the notion of thinking after death more times than she could count.
What a confusing line of thought pondered the princess. Even the word thought sounds wrong to me now… Gods this is boring. I wonder if everyone is here being bored too. Thought the princess.
With that idea in her head, she tried calling out, but she couldn’t feel anything, let alone her mouth. Still, she tried to at least call out with anything, her voice, her magic, hell, even her will. Though, after trying for an embarrassingly long amount of time -she didn’t even know how long, just that it was far too long- she gave up.
Sitting in the darkness her thoughts turned to her family. Her father had been king for her entire life and had been married to her mother, the queen for forever. They were the power couple that everyone in the kingdom of Kassivir seemed to love and talk about. Even outside of Kassivir the king found friends in all the surrounding nation’s leaders. All save for Yar, of course.
Though their happiness wasn’t to last forever. Queen Tieravela died of poisoning on the eve of Tiela’s twentieth birthday. The worst birthday gift she could imagine. Afterward, her days blended together in a mush of grey.
Tiela was always a talented mage, but after the death of her mother, she pushed herself even further. She turned her tears of grief into the blood of never-ending hard work.
Becoming one of the most powerful mages of her generation did nothing to take away the pain, so she trained even harder. The kingdom of Yar had been sending raiding parties to the border, at first causing only minimal casualties. But they had grown bolder, raiding even deeper into Kassivir’s territories. Even going so far as to raze a lord’s keep.
She immediately volunteered -much to her father’s protests- to lead an army to defend the border. She was assigned a position as a vice general. Although she didn’t see many battles during her first campaign, she learned much of the intricacies of war. She was mainly stuck with the logistical portion of the command, learning just how much an army is dependent on its stomach. Though she did also learn her fair share of strategy from the general of that campaign -she couldn’t remember his name- and was able to effectively lead on her next few campaigns.
Her thoughts then turned to her younger sister. Although her sister was four years younger than herself, they didn’t mind the gap much. They were as close as can be until their mother had died. At that point, Tiela had pulled away from everyone. Thinking back on it now, she felt great shame at that time in her life. Her sister was barely sixteen, she had to have had it much worse, but rather than be there for her, Tiela had pulled away and been focused solely on herself. She felt deeply regretful, wishing she could do it all over again, be there for her sister. Maybe she could have stopped her father from going on the campaign that led to his death, maybe she could have saved his-.
That thought was forcefully interrupted by a flash of white light. The entire dark space was lit up like the sun.
As the light turned to colours, she began to notice some specific colours around her. Above her was a pale blue, yet below was a smattering of brown, red and green. As more time passed, her vision clarified even further. She could tell the pale blue was the sky, with a few white clouds splattered here and there. While the bits of brown and red were actually a fairly tall hill, the green being a lush forest.
By this point, her vision cleared enough that she could make out a city below her, situated on the foot of the large hill. This city, she couldn’t remember the name of it but she knew she had visited it before, she also knew that it was a part of her kingdom and had been destroyed in the mage storm.
At that moment, a feeling had crawled its way to the forefront of her mind. This is the past, she didn’t know when, but she was certain she had somehow travelled to the past. Of course, this could all be a dream, but she felt nearly certain that this was the past.
Twisting her ‘head’ around, she tries to get a view of herself, seeing only saw a globe of pale yellow light. So I guess I really did die, then? Is this my soul? She questioned when she suddenly felt a pull. It was a physical pull, which was weird, seeing as she was merely a ball of light. But just like she knew she was in the past, she knew it was her body pulling her. The tugging grew and she started to be moved towards wherever her body was.
As she got closer to the city, the tug strengthened. Soon, she was flying at breakneck speed through the throngs of people. Dodging and weaving through the gaps between them, she felt a thrill. She had never moved this fast before, and she was about to change everything! This was her chance, she’d been given a second chance and she’d change it all!
While flying forward she spotted the most important thing she’d ever see. It was the royal parade! The parade had a group of knights in white leading at the front and a group of grandly dressed knights with red sashes following up at the rear of the parade. These were The White Order and Saitus’ Order respectively. Between the two sets of knights was a grand float, and seated upon that float was the princess herself, beside a few other people. At least, a younger version of the princess was there.
She had light pink hair that reached her waist, and the princess possessed a beautiful face, with fine pale skin. Her eyes were the colour of sapphires, showing the strong will hidden behind them. As the princess of the future saw the princess of the past, she felt hope. A hope that she hadn’t felt in a long time. The past decade had been one of constant war, until that all peaked with The Mage Storm and the formation of the Storm Hole. However, she could change it! She would save her family, her mother, her kingdom! She’d save them-
Though that thought was interrupted as she slammed into something. It took her a moment, but she realized she had slammed into the back of a teenage boy. He had been knocked off of his feet and she found herself wedged into the right of his chest. While trying to pull herself out, she noted she was kind of stuck. Redoubling her efforts, she saw the boy himself seemed to be unconscious. It was only now that she realized the pulling sensation from the past princess was gone, What the hell?! She thought, as she kept trying to pull herself away from the boy, the past princess got even further from her.
Just as she thought she was about to free herself from this stupid prison of a boy, the pulling sensation started again and she found herself glad. She almost got stuck in some random person! Then she realized the pulling sensation was coming not from the past princess, but the very boy she was currently stuck to.
Shortly thereafter, she was pulled directly into the boy and for the second time that day, everything went dark. Though, this time, she had no thoughts.