Reverie's End: Blades of Malice
Day: 10/7/991; Time: 12th hour
Beowulf had been in the Cana jungle for several days now. Traveling through the dense jungle was difficult and getting lost was easy; Beowulf began to wonder if he would ever make it to Taramor. "I'm running out of time! They could have easily translated Jala's writings by now," thought Beowulf to himself as he walked through the jungle.
The weather was nice at least, although windy. As he stood there enjoying the breeze and wondering if he was going in the right direction for the nth time, he heard the sound of neighing in the distance. Curious as usual, Beowulf decided to go and investigate; he had not seen anybody for days and wanted to find out who it was. Perhaps he could ask for some directions.
As he approached he noticed a campfire had recently been put out. He saw a horse tied to a tree and nothing else. Beowulf sighed and decided that it probably wasn't worth the wait to see if they would come back. He turned around and started walking towards his horse. It was at that moment that he was attacked from behind. His battle instincts did not fail him; Beowulf managed to unsheathe his sword and block the attack just in time. He caught a glimpse of his assailant, before she jumped back to safety. She was a slender woman with black hair, probably in her 30s. The weapon she used to attack Beowulf was a short sword.
"What is a Paladin of East Valis doing all the way out here? Isn't this enemy territory for you?" asked the woman in a sarcastic tone.
Beowulf laughed and replied, "I'm only a former paladin; this armor is merely a reminder to me about what the war has cost me. I am on an important mission right now; I hope that is okay with you. I do not wish to engage in needless battles." He held out his sword and took a defensive stance.
"That's fine with me; I have a mission of my own to attend to," said the woman, as she put away her blade. It was then that she noticed the man's sword; she had a look of amazement on her face. She had seen the sword before. Then she looked at the man's face; at first she thought it was a coincidence and that her eyes were playing tricks on her, but eventually she came to the conclusion that she knew the man that was standing before her. She could never forget those gray eyes and golden hair even if the face had aged significantly.
At this time, Beowulf came to a similar conclusion. He stared intently at the woman's black hair, dark hazel eyes, and her facial features. His body began to shake and he dropped his sword out of disbelief.
The two stared at each other for several seconds; they did not know what to say. Everything around them ceased to move; it was as if time stood still. Finally, they both realized that they needed to face the reality of the situation.
"I thought... you were dead," stammered the woman.
"As did I," said Beowulf, who was still shaking.
"Beowulf!" screamed Lita.
"Lita!" yelled Beowulf at the same time. The two were finally reunited after 10 long years in a jungle that was only days away from the city that tore them apart.
The two continued to stand there for almost a minute; neither knew what to say. They were feeling many different emotions; Beowulf and Lita were sad, angry, excited, and filled with joy at the same time. Once they cooled off a little, they finally mustered the strength to speak.
Beowulf spoke first, "It's been 10 years; I don't even know what to ask you first. Has the world treated you well? I thought that I had lost you forever! I still cannot believe that you are here before me, Lita!"
Lita's emotions had turned cold over the years; even her second marriage did not completely rid her of the negative emotions she had incurred over the years. But now as she faced Beowulf, her cold heart was beginning to melt. Lita looked at Beowulf's face one more time, and said, "As you can see with your own eyes, the years have not treated me well and it looks like you have gone through your own share of turmoil as well, Beowulf. The years have not treated us kindly."
"Your face has not aged a day, Lita." declared Beowulf.
Lita chuckled loudly; she did not remember the last time she laughed so earnestly. "You flatter me, Beowulf. My body is covered in scars; the line of work I'm in takes a toll on your body. It seems that you earn a living with the blade as well. Why do you still wear that wretched armor?" asked Lita.
"This armor is a constant reminder to me of that day so that I will never forget what I lost. But seeing you here right now makes me wonder if there is a need to wear it any longer. As for what I do, I am an Enforcer of Reverie's End. Despite the high-ranking title, most of the time I'm either capturing thugs or serving as someone's bodyguard. It is unfortunate that you had to take up the blade and become a mercenary, Lita. If only the war never happened! We could have still been living happily together!" declared Beowulf.
"I'm not a mercenary, Beowulf, just a common assassin. And you're an Enforcer? I've heard of Reverie's End; seems like a group of vigilantes trying to right the wrongs of the world. You have not lost your faith in humanity it seems," replied Lita.
"An assassin? Forgive me, Lita for not being able to protect you from such a cruel fate. And yes, I still believe humans can be good as long as they are given some guidance," reponded Beowulf.
"So what do we do now? We are two people that have been dealt a cruel fate, standing here before each other. I'm at a loss for words and don't know what to do anymore," said Lita. She was uncharacteristically emotional.
"Let us start over, Lita. Our daughter cannot be brought back and we've lost many years, but perhaps we can build upon what we have left!" declared Beowulf.
Lita tried to hold back tears and began to breathe heavily. The path that fate had taken was cruel indeed. Once she regained her composure, Lita was finally able to utter some words, "I don't think… that is possible. That door has been closed… for quite some time," replied Lita with hesitation in her voice.
Beowulf was taken aback. "Why? What happened?" he asked.
"I have… a husband and a two-year old son," said Lita, almost blushing.
Beowulf was silent for several seconds and then replied, "Of course, that is to be expected. It has been 10 years after all; fate has certainly been cruel. I hope that you are at least happy with your new family. But why are you all the way out here then by yourself? Shouldn't you be with them? Why did your husband allow you to choose such a dangerous profession?" He would have asked several more questions, but Lita interrupted him.
"The situation is… complicated. There are reasons for why I must live like this; it is all to protect my family in Scorched Castle. There exist people that wish to take away the peace that I desire; they will pay with their lives. I will have my revenge against those that have harmed them," replied Lita in a serious tone of voice.
"If you do not wish to see your loved ones fall again, then I can understand that. But the best way to protect them is to be with them. You cannot protect them all the way out here. Do not make the same mistake I did; It was because I was not with you that day that the tragedy happened and we were separated," replied Beowulf in a compassionate voice.
"The past cannot be undone, but we can at least avenge the fallen. It was a pleasure to see you again, Beowulf, but I must continue my journey to Agra," reponded Lita.
"It is a shame that we must depart so soon. It has been 10 years since we've seen each other; is this really where our conversation ends?! I am on my way to Taramor, can we at least travel together part of the way?" asked Beowulf.
Lita was acting cold, but she too wanted Beowulf's company. She was reluctant, but had to decline his offer. She replied with, "I am sorry, Beowulf. But my mission is dangerous and highly secretive. I must travel alone."
"What must you do in Agra that is so dangerous? How can you expect me to just let you go like this?" asked Beowulf.
Lita hesitated, but responded after a few seconds, "I cannot lie to you, Beowulf. You may regret hearing the truth after I tell you."
"I don't care what it is. Please tell me what drives you to live like this when you have a family waiting for you at home?" asked Beowulf.
"I am on a mission to search Agra for weaknesses and to cross off the last name on my list," replied Lita.
"Someone wants to attack Agra? Have you been commissioned by the Blades of Malice?!" replied Beowulf. He was shocked; this was not the way he envisioned Lita was living her life.
"Yes, I do work for the Blades from time to time. It helps me get closer to my goal of ridding the world of those that wronged us. King Shima VI was a victim of my blades and King Dallos will be next! It is a shame that some psychopathic wench had already killed King Theodore; I would have been happy to see his last moments in person," responded Lita in a cold voice.
Beowulf could tell that she wasn't lying although he didn't want to believe it. "So, you were involved in the downfall of Balassar? And now the Blades are planning a takeover of Agra? This is madness, Lita! Please turn back before it's too late," pleaded Beowulf.
"Don't you want revenge for our daughter? Revenge for your fallen friend? Revenge for all the years that we've lost?" asked Lita.
"Of course I do. My anger has not gone away; I still relive that day in my mind sometimes. But killing King Dallos will not bring back the fallen," answered Beowulf.
"I know that. But the anger within me refuses to go away as long those smug bastards sit upon their thrones and act like nothing happened!" retorted Lita.
"Is there anything I can say to make you change your mind?" asked Beowulf.
"No. Perhaps after I complete my mission we can decide what to do next. Do not follow me, Beowulf," said Lita.
"I am afraid that I cannot comply with your wishes, Lita," declared Beowulf.
Lita's body shook for a moment and she breathed deeply. Then she looked Beowulf directly in the face, and said, "Then I must apologize for what I am about to do."
Beowulf did not have a lot of time to react; Lita's body vanished in front of his eyes and quickly reappeared next to him. The last thing Beowulf saw were the tears in her eyes as she began to prepare a spell. She put her left hand in front of his face and cast sleeping magic. The sweet aroma created by Lita knocked him out in just a few moments. Beowulf fell to the ground and lay motionless. Allaron was still tied to a tree and began to neigh angrily at Lita.
"I'm sorry, Beowulf; this was the only way. I'm not sure if we will ever see each other again," she said, trying to hold back tears. Lita ran over to her horse, got on, and galloped away.
Several hours later, Beowulf awoke from his slumber. The first thing that he noticed was that Lita and her horse were gone. "She really did a number on me. It seems that she has picked up some tricks over the years. Never thought she'd knock me out like that," thought Beowulf to himself. He stretched his arms out and then looked around; he noticed light hoof tracks going towards the southeast part of the jungle. Without any hesitation Beowulf declared, "I guess we're going to follow her, Allaron."
He got on his horse and followed the same path that Lita took; Beowulf had a new mission. Stopping Taramis from obtaining Jala's writings no longer seemed important to him. Beowulf was going to Agra to stop Lita from certain death.