Chapter 17:

Kaleidoscope of a Lucid Dreamer

Setting Sun Story: Beta

In the Presence of the Bubble - ZalachBookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

Another memory takes its turn.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

"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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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

He felt the power.Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

He was dead where he lay...Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

He smells it for the last time.
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It's cool and pleasant to take in.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"Arrabelle... Treat her well."Bookmark here

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