Legacy of the Forgotten
A bit of time had passed since the initial lighting of the pile before the Prince looked up towards the burning pile of corpses, seeing the size of it decreased with flames consuming the bodies of those who had fallen to fuel it. Avorion and Alcides remained silent as they watched the fire dance among their dead brothers with them both sharing a single thought. That they were both incapable, for Avorion it was his inability to help stop the loss the others who stood around the pile doing the same with the only sound that was heard was that of crackling fire. Jeremy and a Baxter meanwhile were finished being patched up at the infirmary with Baxter taking off his helmet. Jeremy looked at Baxter as he was a bit surprised that he revealed his slick back blonde hair, and chiseled chin and violet eyes. Jeremy was a bit perplexed by this as during their time in the training he never once revealed his face, so that was the genuine first time he’s able to see Baxter’s face.
“Is that what you look like Baxter? If so, I'm glad you kept it covered during training.”
Baxter looked at Jeremy, a bit surprised at his comment, and responded in kind.
“Oh and why’s that? You never seemed interested in things, not even in basic training, but over the years I came to the conclusion that you never really cared about something unless you genuinely were intrigued or just trying to get laid."
"So I have to ask, why the sudden interest?”
Jeremy responded with his voice showing a bit of embarrassment from Baxter’s assessment of him.
“Well it’s embarrassing when you put that out there before asking, it sort of puts me in the wrong light. I was just saying that it’s good you kept your face covered till now cause you would’ve killed my chances with the ladies if you didn’t.”
Jeremy shakes his head in disbelief that the one time they speak it’s about women. Jeremy then continued to try and justify his words to him.
“Look, all I’m saying is you're a very handsome man, and all the girls would’ve been going nuts over you.”
Jeremy laughed a bit as the idea seemed so ridiculous to him, but he eventually calmed down before taking a deep breath.
“I didn’t expect you to be a comedian either but I can certainly say it's not a bad thing.”
Jeremy looked confused but before another word was said, Baxter got up and began to walk towards the door, and said one thing before left the infirmary.
“We’re running out of time Jeremy, so we need to make use of what we got before our hourglass is empty”.
Baxter put in his helmet and left the building, leaving Jeremy absolutely confused as he mumbled to himself.
“Before the hourglass is going empty. The frozen hell does that mean?”
Jeremy shook his head, giving up on trying to figure out what Baxter meant, before looking up to see the smoke. Immediately he knew what that meant and walked towards the group as he left the infirmary with the smoke from the fire acting as a beacon for him to talk towards. It took him a little bit to get there as he saw the Prince sitting down on a crate, with Avorion and Alcides standing around the last of the burning bodies with the other knights doing the same. The atmosphere was too serious for him to try and lighten the mood, and the fire hadn't fully died, so even attempting to do so would bring him contempt. He thought about all those who died, and what a pointless loss of life it all was but something happened that restored his faith along with the wavering faiths of those around the fire.
Everyone knew what they saw, but not a word was allowed to be spoken, as the lingering wills of their fallen brothers and sisters manifested themselves. Each knight gasped at the sight of their friend manifested in the armor that died in, but each of them held their helmets at their waists and looked towards the Prince. The Prince saw this and quickly grew nervous as everyone’s eyes were set upon him. The adolescent Prince slowly stood up from the crate he sat on and bows to the fallen and silently spoke, but each of the fallen understood what was said and smiled before silently putting on their helmets and slowly vanished.
The fire soon faded afterwards with Jeremy leaving to go to a near by pub with some of the other knights that weren’t to injured. Avorion saw this and held his damaged arm before looking towards the Prince who was looking at the ground. Avorion then turned to Alcides who was looking at the remaining ashes of the fire that had yet been swept away by the wind in a trance-like state. Avorion used his right arm and gently nudged Alcides’s side to get his attention. This broke
Alcides said in a tired tone, as he looked at Avorion, now snapped out of his depressive trance. Avorion moved his eyes and gently motioned his head backwards for Alcides’s attention to be moved towards the Prince. Avorion then started to speak with a slightly labored breath.
“You think you can talk to the Prince, I usually would but I have you to get my arm tended to.”
Alcides nods and patted Avorion’s left shoulder, having the man jump a bit in pain. This made them both realize that Avorion’s arm, up to the shoulder, was badly hurt. Alicides stepped back and quickly removed his hand in response.
“Just tell me if I trust you to take care of the young Lord while I get my left arm treated?”
“Yes, of course you can Avorion. Now go get yourself looked at before anything worse happens to you.”
Avorion nodded and walked past the Prince, with his student visually following him with his eyes though the messy blonde hair of his. The Prince then takes a deep breath and slowly exhaling as the sinking feel of his failure just seeped in more. However to his unexpected surprise Alicides walked to his right side and patted the Prince’s shoulder. This made the Prince break his focus on Avorion and turn the right and look up towards the mighty man. Alcides was of course heartbroken after battle, but he did his best to put up a strong front for the Prince’s sake despite his own pain.
“Hey, cheer up my lord. Sure this battle was hard on all of us, but in the end we won, and the kingdom is safe. Sure some bad calls may have been made on other’s parts, but we learn from those bad choices and move on right? ”
The Prince nodded, with Alcides patting his back again, and letting out a mighty roar of laughter. The Prince couldn’t help but smile a little bit as Alcides truly was as his nickname, with the knight’s laughter being a little contagious as it didn’t take long for the Prince to laugh a little bit after Alcides. The two laughed for a bit while the sky grew dark and the town’s people that were evacuated started to come back into their homes as the danger was presumably over.
However, unexpectedly the Prince and Alcides the screams of civilians broke their peaceful moment. The two of them looked around to see if they could see anything that was causing such commotion, but to their surprise, saw Navis running to them in a panic. The Prince looked at her worried and she leaned over a little bit to put her hands on her knees before she tried to catch her breath. The Prince looked at her, seeing that she was wearing a white torn up mermaid style dress with a torn up flounce. The adolescent lord recognized Navis’s attire due to his mother having something similar, with each one of these dresses being specifically made for the very few cryomancers in the city.
“Navis what’s wrong?”
The Prince asked in a concerned tone, before he got on one knee and looked up towards her. What Navis said next sent a chill down both the Prince and Alicides’s spine.
“P-Prince Axelon Y-your mother, woke up. S-so much blood, my liege, we need to get you out of here.”
The eyes of Alcides and Prince both widened as it was forbidden to speak his name unless spoken by the King and Queen. Alcides remembered this rule when he and his brothers were being fitted for their armor. He never tried asking Avorion why the boy couldn’t be called by his name, but when Alcides was knighted and officially sworn in to the King’s Stride his curiosity got the better of him. So he asked his new King the reasoning, the King, understanding his new knight’s curiosity, was more than willing to explain. The answer was something he wished he would forget but never could. Those very words from the King krept into Alcides’s mind as he remembered.
“Once my son’s name is spoken, it’ll be too late to save Fortis Gelu.”
On the other hand the Prince was told this by Avorion during their early years in training, but he never really believed it. However, seeing what happened today, the Prince was starting to think that anything’s possible. Axelon looked towards Alcides with him and the knight meeting each other’s gaze and nodded.
“Alcides, take Navis to the gate and get whatever civilions that are close by. I’m going to get Avorion and find Jeremy.”
Navis protested loudly to his declaration.
“Axelon, you can’t its way too dangerous. Please reconsider.”
The Prince sighs slowly before turning away from her and Alcides, with the knight throwing her over his shoulder and starting to carry her out of the kingdom where the main gate was.
Navis continued to call to him, pleading for him to reconsider but her pleas fell on deaf ears as Axelon lowered his head and spoke to himself.
“I can’t let any more good people die here.”
He looked up towards the castle and started to run where Avorion was, bolting towards the infirmary.
Meanwhile Jeremy was drinking with the five or so knights that survived the massacre that took place by the main gate. Each one of them were about three drinks in at this point, drinking Geluian Wine. This was a special blend of fruits that had been aged and finely mashed up making it light colored liquor. The knights were trying to forget what happened with these drinks, as what they saw almost broke them. However, until a few moments ago they were in the middle of a toast before they heard the blood curdling scream before a sudden silence. Jeremy desperately wanted to ignore it, so did the others that accompanied him. Jeremy thought back to the blood shed, and how sickening the enemy was, but he then thought about the Prince and how he wished to be someone worth serving. Jeremy shook his head and slammed his drink on the table, thinking that this would be a terrible idea. He then looked at the others who suffered the same mindset as him, and were yet unsure on what to do. Jeremy sighs and slowly puts on his helmet, before he begins to walk out of the pub, with a few of the knights reluctantly following his example and doing the same. In total it was just Jeremy and three out of the five that came with him, heading to where the scream was heard from. What they saw would change their views on Dark Hearts.
The knights saw a few young teens with bloody lips, with their hands holding something that leaked blood as if it were just torn from an animal after a hunt of some kind. Upon. Lose inspection, Jeremy immediately recognized them as Dark Hearts as their eyes, hair, and hands were all as dark as the abyss. Three knights looked down at teenagers' feet and gasped in shock as they saw a woman lying in the pavement with her stomach torn open, guts strewn about as if a hungry animal that was eager for its meal dug into her. The teens tilted their heads to the right then left, sizing them up as Jeremy and the others seeing more crazed civilians coming towards them.
Jeremy told the other two to take their weapons out and assume a defensive triangular position as he thought to himself.
“I really fucking hate it when I’m right.”
Axelon was about to enter the infirmary, taking a hold of the handle before the door was pushed open by Avorion with his left arm in a sling. Avorion looks at the Prince with them both looking behind him as they heard screeching in distance along with the screaming of more civilans being heard all around the kingdom with this bringing a panic to Axelon’s face. The adolescent teen looks to his mentor and simply asked him one question.
“What is going on Avorion?! First it was those things, now the kingdom is in a sudden panic, its as if the we’re being pulled into darkness. I-”
Avorion simple covered Axelon’s mouth and sighed deeply before he looked at his pupil with regret and simply said.
“That's enough! Where is Alcides?! I told him to watch over you!”
“I told Alcides to take Navis to safety after she came running to us as if her life depended on it, in her ceremonial dress that was torn up for some reason. Navis called me by my name, and something about my mother waking up. She didn’t say much about it just that there was “There was so much blood”. Thats all she told me before I had Alcides take her and whoever he can safe to safety before I came here to find you.”
Avorion took this information in, formulating for a moment before he began to speak.
“I see, well you made a good call sending Alcides to take Navis to safety incase the worse scenario is at hand. However, we have to get to your father immediately because only he’ll really know if it’s too late to save Fortis Gelu or not. We must hurry time is of the essence.”
The two of them make to make a run towards the castle, ignoring the cries for help and calls for back up from the other lower knights. They both ran as hard as they could, being one hundred percent focused on what was ahead of them with them side flipping over boxes that blocked their way. It took them a little bit but they finally made to the stair case that led up to the castle door that was slightly left open.
“That was probably Navis from early when she barely made it out.”
Axelon said, before taking a deep breath to replenish his somewhat exhausted stamina, with Avorion leaning over with his good right hand on his right knee, take deep breathes. Axelon looked towards Avorion and recalled their stamina training, as this would usually be light work for his mentor. Alexon thought about it and figured that their hard sprint probably aggravated his damaged arm.
“You doing okay Avorion?”
Alexon asked in a concerned tone.
Avorion nodded and slowly stood up straight before taking the lead with him walking up the steps..
“I’m fine Alexon, we don’t have the luxury of be worrying about a broken arm. Lets go.”
Alexon nodded and slowly followed Avorion up the stairs that led them to the slightly opened castle doors. Upon entering the now darkened castle the two of them felt a foreboding breeze blow past them. Avorion tried reaching for his sword’s handle with his right hand, only to remind himself that he gave it to Alexon, who he looks behind to see that he had forgotten it. Avorion shook his head out of frustration and took a deep breath to relax his nerves in order for him to better suppress a gnawing feeling that was eating away at him. This sensation was new to Avorion but he continued to hold himself together and push forward towards whatever was giving off this suffocating feeling that seemingly grasped at his throat with every step he took.
Axelon meanwhile followed closely behind Avorion, trying to ignore the crushing sensation that surrounded them as they proceeded through the castle. However this cold feeling that he was getting from proceeding further was a oddly familiar cold sensation to him. He then took a few moments to think back on where he felt this sensation before reaching into his pouch that he put into his left pocket at the start of this crazy day. He then slowly withdrew the gem his mother gave him, the dark sapphire like appearance still captivated him despite the intense freezing sensation he was getting in his hand. Axelon remembered what Navis said about the gem and how it was made using his mother’s power. Axelon snapped back to reality, quickly put the gem back inside the pouch before putting the concealed item back in his pocket.
Avorion stuck his good arm out to stop Axelon from proceeding forward, the made the Prince look at Avorion curiously before seeing the massacre in front of them. The gore that laid in front of them was unspeakable as all they saw were several bodies that were crucified onto the walls with what appeared to be ice spears. Avorion stepped forward to the first body, before getting on his right knee to inspect the crude instrument of death. The weapon was a bit rough in design as instead of a smooth and refined shape, but instead it looked jagged and sharp.
“Any idea who could’ve done this Avorion?”
Axelon said in a curious tone.
Avorion shook his head in response to Axelon’s question before replying.
“Whoever did this really wanted it hurt’em and make their deaths a extremely slow and agonizing. The spears are clearly made of ice, so it’s obviously a cyromancer; however the culprit still remains a mystery to me because these are very unrefined.”
Avorion slowly got up from his knee and looked up at the skewered knight. Avorion gently set his right hand on the corpse’s chest before looking at the knight’s short sword that had yet to be drawn and then back up at the knight. Avorion began to speak in a gentle tone, honoring the fallen man and those who’d died with him.
“Please rest easy now brothers. Your service has been most invaluable, and I shall carry on the task for your sake.”
Avorion slowly reached for the sheathed weapon before slowly drawing it from said sheath and placed it within his, the blade did fit but it only used up one third of Avorion’s scabbard. After putting his newly acquired weapon away, he motioned his Alexon to follow. Axelon did so, following his mentor down the dark hall, with the hall getting colder the further down the hall they went. When the two of them started to climb the stairs at the end of the hall, it felt as if a strong cold wind was blowing down onto them. They slowly made their way past the many bodies of the other impaled knights and those who died cowering in the corner, expecting a savior of some sort to save them from their icy execution. Alexon didn’t know what was worse, the fact that all the hall was now dimly lit as if the thing that did was expecting them, or that he could see the victims with their dead fish eyes that had come once death had whisked you in that quiet night, all seemingly staring at him.
Avorion, being ever so wise, spoke to Axelon as if he could since his student’s uneasiness.
“Don’t get too worked up, we’re almost there. So brace yourself for whatever lays behind the throne room doors.”
They saw the throne entrée doors closed shut with ice covering the outline of them. Avorion then shouted at Axelon to get behind him as he closed his eyes while dashing towards the ice sealed doors. Axelon watched, as Avorion pulled out the short sword he took from his slain brethren and the ferocity of a man who was desperately trying to hold onto whatever he had left, summoned all the strength he could muster into his right arm and cleaves the doors into many pieces. They were met with the backs of the remaining three knights and King himself, Avorion was caught off guard at this sight, but quickly sheathed the sword he was using and kneels to show respect to his lord.
The king looks at Avorion and Axelon with shock.
“What the hell are you two doing here?!”