Chapter 18:

Vol. 2, Chapter 18: At World's End

Dungeons of the Abyss and the Unchosen Heroes

One step at a time, a man slowly climbed up a grey flight of stairs. His breaths were heavy and labored, and on his right arms, a dark, crystalline growth ate away at his flesh, reaching into his bone. Still, in spite of it all, he climbed.Bookmark here

Outside the windows, the sun could be seen setting. It was a big, red sun, dyeing the cityscape in a blood-red veil with the shadows of gigantic buildings appearing as if looming gravestones.Bookmark here

The man kept climbing and with the end of each flight of stairs, he would turn and find yet another. The steps were seemingly endless. Still, he climbed, as this was going to be his last sunset. Never before has he ever felt anything about a setting sun and neither did he feel any beauty in it. However, knowing that this was going to be his last, he suddenly felt a sentiment he had not felt before.Bookmark here

In time, he reached the top, greeted by a gust of wind as he pried open the door to the rooftop. He has made it. The large sun could still be seen from this height. And there, sitting upon the horizon just before the sun, dark crystalline spikes could be seen. The sunlight does not reflect off these crystals, for they devour everything that comes into contact with them and multiply without an end in sight. Brush one's skin against it, and it would invade one's flesh. Breathe in its dust, and one's lung would be torn by its growth. The 'World Eater', they called it, one of the 'Beasts of Calamity'.Bookmark here

The man turned his eyes away from the sun and began scanning the rooftop. Before long, a checkered pattern scarf came into his view. There, with her silver hair flowing in the winds, a woman stood by the edge of the building. She wore a long skirt, a khaki cardigan over a white blouse, and on her neck, there was a checkered scarf.Bookmark here

"Sarah, it is done. I've sent every one I can to the 'other side' with Remigia. Where are the others?"Bookmark here

The woman turned slowly, her bright, golden eyes, reminded the man of her otherworldly nature.Bookmark here

"They did not make it. You're the only one to return," she said.Bookmark here

"So this is it then," the man said with a sigh. "Everything we've built, everything we've fought to protect, gone just like that."Bookmark here

As if letting go of what was left of his strength, the man fell onto the ground, seated with his legs spread wide.Bookmark here

"We've fought for so long, watched empires rise and fall, protecting, preserving our civilization, all so that it could end like this. You knew it would go this way, don't you, Sarah?"Bookmark here

"I have no power to change fate. I am merely a guide," said the woman, Sarah.Bookmark here

"So there was no point after all, then?"Bookmark here

"......"Bookmark here

The man sighed again. This time, it was deep and lengthy, as if he was trying to empty out his lungs.Bookmark here

"Well, it was fun while it lasted, with you, with those guys."Bookmark here

"......"Bookmark here

Suddenly, the red sun turned white, showering the sky with unprecedented brightness.Bookmark here

"Will this stop it?"Bookmark here

"The Alva people hope that it does, but it will not. The Beast shall feast upon it and grow in both strength and size, and soon, with its insatiable hungry, it will seek out the other stars, devouring each one till the sky becomes completely dark."Bookmark here

"And nothing can stop it?"Bookmark here

"Nothing. Not a single thing in this world can stop it now."Bookmark here

"This is the end then."Bookmark here

"The beginning of the end, yes."Bookmark here

"Sarah."Bookmark here

"......"Bookmark here

"Thank you, for everything. But next time, find someone else. I'm done."Bookmark here

With those last words, the white light consumed them all, all but the World Eater, who consumed the light and continued to hunger for more.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

End of Chapter 18Bookmark here

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