Chapter 17:

Kaleidoscope of a Lucid Dreamer

Setting Sun Story: Beta

In the Presence of the Bubble - Zalach

Before departing for his celestial exodus, Zalach's memories flow through him in a black and white haze.

At the age of twelve, Zalach was once the child of a large family, living in a shining city far from the fortress of Baustas, on streets that were brighter than the Sun.

The vision of this moment would replay indefinitely throughout his life.

A mansion, composed entirely of marble, raised above a street that in its own dazzling glow, reflected the infinite waters that washed up just South.

The mansion burned in this hot day, Zalach watching as it fell to pieces, the roof slowly caving over the top floor, until every inch of the house was rubble.

He didn't seem to care; nobody really did.

As brightly dressed civilians walked along, they paid no attention to the fire, in fact, they seemed to smile at the defeat of his family.

That house never brought him any joy anyway. No happiness, and absolutely no constitution of morals or rightness came from such a place.

Above the colorless world, Zalach looked out into the ocean, monotone in its rolling black waves.

In the gray horizon, a green light flashed just at the tip of the waters. It was nearly invisible, but the boy Zalach still noticed, and put his hands to his ears, cupping them to listen in on what the green light had said.

The far off blinking left him entranced where he stood, disconnected as his childhood crumbled beside him.

Another memory takes its turn.

At the end of a dark cliff, Zalach, his mother, his father, and his two younger sisters were held with spears to their backs. Posh and fancily clothed people watched on at this execution in wonder.

He learned here that such a thing was normal... Exciting even.

"As much as it told me to, I couldn't stop such grand ideas as the cults and oligarchies," Zalach admits to himself, free from intrusion in his infinite abyss.

They were given a choice in that moment: to throw themselves into the waters hundreds of feet below, or fall just the same, their head instead mounted on a stick.

These events, commonly referred to as Trials of the Rebirthed Fallen, happened often, a different outcome for every family that was in time, pulled out of the games, and down to their knees, begging for redemption.

They were lucky to have this trial. Zalach was possibly even relieved at the outcome, a forgiving fate lay in front of his siblings.

Of course, his parents couldn't leave each other's sides, and chose decapitation as if it were just cause.

While his sisters sobbed over the corpses, clutching to what remained of their loved ones, Zalach refused to move, refused to even acknowledge them, to comprehend their existence in the first place.

As a quick death was brought, (reluctantly, with heavy disappointment from the crowd), to the  two girls, a violet flow began to swell in Zalach's eyes.

"I even yearned for some of the power in their evil. I lied to myself, saying that I'd use it for good... in reality I just wanted some revenge. Not even for my family, but personal spite."

Watching nearby, for reasons unknown to Zalach, was Taron. A much younger man at the time, recently blessed with a newborn daughter.

Already he donned the wolf's helmet, though no long hair jutted out the back, and his eyes, still in their crimson hue, shone a tad brighter.

Zalach had a plan. Pulling back his sleeve to reveal a hastily hidden blade, his forearm was scratched and cut.

The executioner came to deliver the finale. The end to his family's seed.

Zalach turned around, latched one hand on the executioner's shirt, and pulled himself up, driving the dagger into his neck.

He felt the power.

As the executioner fell, blood weeping from the artery in which the dagger struck, Zalach fell with him, finding himself surrounded by approaching spearmen.

Lightning blasted out in all directions as Zalach was attacked, his body still impulsively shaking in the adrenaline fueled rage.

At the time, he wasn't sure why this happened, but all that mattered to him, was the power... building and building inside.

The other mercenaries closed in, leaving him unsure how to continue.

A nobleman from the crowd let loose a Fireball, striking Zalach on his side, breaking a rib and knocking him to the ground, embers fluttering against his shirt.

He was dead where he lay...

"I'm not sure why he saved me... but if he didn't, that would've been the end of me, or the beginning of something worse."

The young Zalach could feel himself losing control, the thundering boom of his blood taking over, and Aetherical Lightning mixing in his veins.

Taron entered the fight at some point, Zalach can't fully remember, but he killed the spearmen where they stood, looking into the group of spectators with a darkened face of which Zalach always shuttered to remember.

The next part is hazy, but he could've sworn that Taron killed everyone there... including him.

"Do you think I turned it around though, Boss?" Zalach calls out to the universe, holding in his hand a suddenly appearing yellow dandelion. 

He smells it for the last time.

It's cool and pleasant to take in.

"Do you think I may have sown the seeds? You think that I might live on... even after this?" He asks, tears streaming down over the pedals, and out like a river into the stars.

"Arrabelle... Treat her well."