The throne where the past king would sit loomed in an ominous stony ruin. Blocks of limestone and marble from the roof lay scattered on the ground. Tall pillars that once stood parallel to the walkway had either collapsed across the room or still stood, snapped somewhere in between. Pieces of once brilliant banners swam afloat in the lake around the castle. Soggy, charred crimson carpet creepily emerged from underneath the throne, slumped down the steps, and stopped hideously shoved beneath two massive moldy wooden doors. Distant, wet steps echoed in the corridor behind the slabs of old mahogany. Then a grossly loud creaking filled what corners of the castle were left as a tall silhouette pushed its way through. A tall woman stood stopped, short of breath, beneath the craggy concrete arch. Her gentle muttering caressed the ominous silence. The woman was speaking to a small handheld shell, the screen at its base gently shading the loose garments draped over her body with a faded smalt. “The throne room itself was just a mess...bloody hell, it still is!”
“Careless as he was messy, the past king never had an awareness for time; always doing random mundane tasks from sunrise to sunset. But his companions never seemed to mind — in fact, they behaved as though he wasn’t even there! Each continued taking care of their duties, managing the lands and quelling disputes among the continents. After Fleur died and the Ames instigated primitive nuclear war, seeing her death as an opportunity, the world was riddled with chasms and deformities. Thankfully, the radiation was hurriedly contained by what humanity was left. Soon after, people came together addressing their selfish pettiness as a memory. The planet no longer stood bound by borders laid by selfish lunatics, instead by relatively civilized discussion and slow societal restructuring lead by several unique individuals.”
Briskly clapping the small compact mirror closed, which also acted as an audio recorder, a woman dressed in long, wedding dress-like robes strolled up the seared red velvet carpet. The forest outside glowed amber beneath the night sky, ablaze. The castle, where the mightiest king once resided, was filled with bloodstained portraits and scorched books. The walls had nearly crumbled to the ground, decimated by recent battle. Walking down the the cobblestone path towards the shoddy marble steps, the woman’s curled red tresses bounced behind her shoulders. Her bare feet made small splashing noises as they stepped into the pools of blood gathered in the small craters on the floor. Her eyelids were painted a similar crimson, coming to a pointed tip as they crossed her eye sockets. “Maybe I’ll have this redesigned similar to his style, with spires reaching beautifully towards the skies,” she whispered as she outstretched her arm upwards, taking in a quiet small breath after her journey to the castle.
Climbing the final steps, smiling bashfully to herself, a man sat in the throne, meeting her gaze. “Here so soon, Vinny my girl?”
She paused, a blank look washing over her face. “...Get off. I wanted to finally sit in that chair!” she pouted, stamping her foot into the squishy carpet.
The man grinned, the black stripe running from each end of his cheekbone stretching outwards, “Gently then. We don’t want any of our friends waking up.”
He sat up, outstretching his arms like a composer bringing his symphony to a close, gesturing the woman’s attention to the setting around them. Glowing white tendrils flowed out from his chest, dancing and swirling around his tanned arms. Sparks flew from his fingertips, hissing as they met the rain. Dismembered bodies were pinned to the walls, heads stacked in a corner; arms, legs, and bones flung around the room like toys in a child’s playroom. A single body was intact, impaled into the wall by a long golden blade.
His eyes barely parted, blue irises glinting beneath the moonlight, devoid of life. Disheveled golden hair covered his face, frost forming at the ends of his beard. His arms and legs were limp, blood slowly dripping from his fingertips; pooling beneath his feet. The fight was recent. His once kempt clothes were torn at the sleeves revealing ancient birthmarks. Midas’s bare feet were black, severely frostbitten. Vinera avoided the sight.
The enigmatic man bowed, his shining hair mopping over his face as the skies cried gently onto the two of them, “Do take your seat, madam.”
“Spare me your Victorian banter. I’m just taking a break, my back aches,” Vinera replied.
Walking to the edge of the staircase, the man looked outside to the raging flames. “It’s like a much better bonfire. If only the others were here to see.”
“Yeah, if only they weren’t obliterated by the Aeon.”
He laughed quietly at the remark. Taking a seat on the steps, the man gazed down the black corridor into the abyss and reminisced to the time, which felt like moments ago, when he was together with his team of four.