Chapter 22:

Fleeing Seeds, and the Forsaken Blade

Setting Sun Story: Beta


East End Rubble - Adam - EveningBookmark here

Adam wakes up to the sight of the ground bobbing up and down beneath him, and the feeling of a rod slapping against his face.Bookmark here

As his interpretation expands, he realizes that he’s being draped over the back of the white coated man, his contained spear continually bouncing as they run.


It nails Adam a few more times.Bookmark here

“Ok, stop! Stop!” Adam yells as he’s bucked around.


The carrier stops, and Adam looks up behind his ride to find Arrabelle, wide-eyed and white as a ghost.Bookmark here

“Waah-!” Adam yelps as both Arrabelle and his chariot crouch down to the ground behind a heap of coming metal wreckage.


He slithers out from his saddle, crawling onto the stone of the alleyway pavement.Bookmark here

Arrabelle’s hand touches his chest, beckoning his eyes to the source.


She looks down at him, a finger to her lips, pleading with him to keep quiet.Bookmark here

Adam’s brow furls as he takes his first look around, spotting war-stained alley walls, piles and mounds of broken buildings, and a red sky, written in the dark crimson of nighttime.


The hand on his chest flattens and pushes harder, practically ripping the air from his lungs.Bookmark here

“Wha-?” He tries with no breath, as Arrabelle wags the other finger over him.


It stops, and points to something just beyond his view.Bookmark here

Something massive grinds along the ground, before lifting, and pressing with a thud.


The slow march is followed by a low reverberating growl.Bookmark here

It’s a sound Adam has never heard before, but the kind of terrifying resonance that any human would instinctively know to fear. He keeps his head down, watching Arrabelle’s eyes as the patrolling beast passes.


And a few moments later, it does.Bookmark here

The tension between his two waking guides fades.


Arrabelle takes a heavy breath, lifting herself from the floor, and clambering over the rubble.Bookmark here

“Finally,” she whispers, sliding down the other side.


A white glove is handed down in Adam’s direction. Bookmark here

He has no choice but accept the help of the foreigner.


“What’s going on?” Adam asks him at full volume.Bookmark here

The white-garbed man throws a palm against Adam’s mouth.


“For starters,” he says in a calm, yet urgent demeanor, “keep your voice down, Doofus.”Bookmark here

He smacks the back of Adam’s head, nodding toward the road ahead as he climbs. Adam stands back, watching in confusion.


“Where are we going then?” He calls over them.Bookmark here

The man descends, then turns and ushers Adam across.


“The Luminian forces are moving in toward the City Center. We were told to reach the tower at all costs. Only second priority was to slaughter everything we see,” the foreigner informs him with self-disgusted steel blue eyes.Bookmark here

Adam steps onto the shifting metal, hugging the wall with his hands, nervous not to be cut by anything. His eyes fall on Arrabelle as he crests the top of the mass.


“The Deacons’ High Tower?” Adam asks her.Bookmark here

She nods.


“Gives one opportunity to live... Aside from that, thing. So we’re taking it,” Arrabelle admits.Bookmark here

The man gives Adam another hand, helping him down.


“But… all these people…” Adam questions with somber eyes.Bookmark here

The “Luminian,” as he put it, and Arrabelle look to one another.


“Well if you have some kind of lingering latent power, speak up now. But as far as I know, the three of us can’t take on an army,” Arrabelle lectures.Bookmark here

Adam silently nods, and agrees to follow along.


After a few steps:Bookmark here

“Hang on a sec, he’s one of them!”


Both of the older escapees freeze. Arrabelle throws her hands to her head.Bookmark here

“What did we say about keeping your voice down?” She whispers to him as loudly as she can.


Adam purses his lips, remembering his order. Arrabelle leans in closer.Bookmark here

“It seems you’ve been spared the sight of watching that thing violently kill everything around it; enemies included. I urge you not to draw it back here, ‘cuz I really, I mean… really, don’t think you want to see it happen to you,” she says.


“G-got it,” he returns hastily.Bookmark here

Ven has already moved on, peeking around the corner of the nearest alley intersection.


“I think we’re clear for now. C’mon,” he beckons.Bookmark here

Central Square - Taron - NightBookmark here

“Captain! We got a problem!”Bookmark here

The white-clad forces have slipped into the square, leaving the last of the Baustians to crowd around the steps to the High Tower.


The central square is absolutely destroyed. The café looks as though the a train was driven straight through one end to the other, the marble fountain is now a flat surface, and two halves of a dragon’s corpse hit so hard they seem to be embedded in the side of a building on the Northwestern side of the square.Bookmark here

Everything has been silent at the High Tower for some time, surely a reason that defenses fell so suddenly.


With the West End sealed off by the crumbled tower, only two approach from that direction: Erin and Jun.Bookmark here

Taron watches them leap over the makeshift barricade from the front-line, holding off three enemies with his spear.


He drives forward, blowing back every guard, ripping to the side, killing all three. Grabbing a shield-bearing ally to defend the position, Taron falls back to receive his unit.Bookmark here

“Captain, there’s, something… I don’t even know what the fuck to call it!” Erin yells, running up behind the Baustian’s South flank to grab Taron’s shoulder.


“Get a grip on yourself,” Taron barks, shaking the redheaded New Blood.Bookmark here

Jun sprints up too, nearly tripping as she drops her hands to her knees in exhaustion.


“There it is,” she says, spotting the rim of a white light folding over the fallen tower.Bookmark here

“What do we do?” Erin asks, hopeless.


The spinning rings of metal are the next to come, circling fast as the source of the light begins to appear.Bookmark here

Without another word, Taron drops his spear, which garners two worrisome expressions from the New Bloods.


“The Deacon’s orders must be superseded to claim victory. Does that make me more or less of a true patriot?” Taron asks the coming light.Bookmark here

His hand reaches around to his back, undoing the straps on the leather satchel bound there. 


The object in white cloth falls from its package.Bookmark here

With a single flick, the cloth is thrown to the wind, revealing beneath a rapier of odd make. Of smooth, white metal, so light and soft to the touch it could be mistaken as wooden, a thick non-bladed edge, with a hand-guard of three tips, reaching down over the black-metal handle sits in Taron’s grip.


The guard itself defends not the hand, but the second-most peculiar thing on its design, apart from the baton-like attacking end. A large crystal of translucent sanguine coating the long hilt spins freely as Taron brushes it with his off-hand fingers, like an engine powering the weapon.Bookmark here

An aura begins to vibrate around the baton, summoning a red, spiraling tip to it; the only Chaos that can truly pierce any Light.


The Saturation caused by the crystal continues to grow, glowing so furiously around the sword that it changes shape, a dark red ooze, liquidated Aether, slowly bubbling and washing down the blade.Bookmark here

A power alights in Taron’s veins. A dark energy, blooming in his fingers, and drawing up through his arm, centering itself heavily in his chest.


This is the gift of the Chosen One, a tempered fire surging through every limb in his body. A warm blessing that calms the mind so softly that war feels like ecstasy.Bookmark here

Taron forgets his own existence, becoming a vessel for the infinite Chaos of this rapier.


The Deacons’ High Tower - The Liberators - The Night Before the FallBookmark here

All five of the Special Tasks soldiers kneel before the Deacons, who just like any other day, watch down in a submersed air of judgment.


“Taron, Zalach… We thank you for joining us,” the Head Deacon announces, officially beginning this proper initiation.Bookmark here

“As always, great prophet,” Taron responds in his low tone.


“Likewise,” Zalach drops, retaining just a sliver seriousness uncommon of him.Bookmark here

Taron shoots a side-eyed glance at Zalach for his still prevalent casual tone.


Zalach smiles back.Bookmark here

“As is known now, the New Blood has been selected for the first time in twenty years, and of course, it is our plan to continue improving and adding upon the Special Tasks unit as time permits,” the Head Deacon states.Bookmark here

“Of course,” Taron confirms.


“This will lead to new and expansive missions, operations, and a reinforced guard of the city. This new Special Tasks will be a reformed era for the Savior’s guardians. As such… the Chosen One must outfitted accordingly.”Bookmark here

Taron is confused by the announcement of ‘Chosen One.’ Such a term has been hinted for as long as he can remember, but he always believed it to be a driving bit of fiction.


“Chosen One? Upon whom-?” Taron begins to ask.Bookmark here

Zalach can see it pretty clearly, choosing to drop his eyes to the ground, and avoid listening in.


“Taron Tallsoul! How many years have you served the Savior?” The Head Deacon asks.Bookmark here

“Thirty eight years of my life.”


“To the day,” the Head Deacon smiles.Bookmark here

After such an announcement, the Head Deacon descends, walking down the high chairs to the center of the floor, atop the spread of arms of the Savior’s symbol.


In his hands, the rapier of white metal.Bookmark here

Taron stands, approaching.


“What is this?” He inquires of the Deacon.Bookmark here

“With a new era of the Savior’s plan… we believe that the time has come to take back the world without color.”


Zalach turns his head away entirely.Bookmark here

“The wielder of this blade shall be the embodiment of the Savior’s truth. The Savior’s Deity. He wishes for you to take up this weapon, Forsaken by the world of the savages.”


Taron hesitates for a moment.Bookmark here

“It’s only proper, Taron, take it.”


He reaches his hand out, grabbing the base.Bookmark here

The deep power surges here, prompting Taron to take a deep breath.


“You feel it?” The Deacon questions.Bookmark here

“Yes.”


“The Savior has accepted you.”Bookmark here

“Thank you, prophet.”


Taron holds the blade to the air, standing before the smiling Deacon as he shakes his bald head.Bookmark here

“You are one with us now, Taron. Thank only the Savior, and be ready… as everyday, new forces seek to keep the world in such darkness. With this blade, you will use the might of the Savior’s Chaos. Drive them from our lands, wielding the Forsaken Blade!”


Central Square - Taron - NightBookmark here

Taron takes two fingers, planting them in the wetness of the blade’s neck, and sliding the liquid down to the tip. It drips down to the ground, and hangs on Taron’s fingers as he flicks it away.

“With me, Jun!” Erin yells as the Old Angel Monstrosity blinks one of its animated stone eyes.Bookmark here

A blast of its ray blows the collapsed tower open, and begins to carve up the square toward Taron and team.


The two nod, signing Chaos in front of them.Bookmark here

Punching both hands through the symbols, they let out everything they have in an attempt to stop the Light.


It’s useless, carving right back through their assault.Bookmark here

Diving away, Erin and Jun miss getting hit, but Taron remains unmoving, so still that one could question whether he even breathes.


The beam curves upward at the wolf-faced warrior, who, jamming the rapier into the path of the beam, slashes against it, a line of Chaos firing out from the weapon, straight into the charged eye.Bookmark here

The outermost layer begins to spin again, firing a random laser out into the East End.


There is a surge at Taron’s legs.Bookmark here

A wind, birthed from his own energy, lifts from the ground as he jumps, blasting off toward the Old Angel.


Seeing him in its many eyes, the stone rings begin to act as a defensive shield, swinging around and around, blocking a straight shot at the being of light in the middle.Bookmark here

Taron cares not, letting out three strikes on each ring, pushing them away as they come to stop him.


With a supernova of intense light, he disappears into the Old Angel, masking the entire square in a moment of uncertainty…Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.