Chapter 45:

Chapter 45 - Epilogue


It was several years later. The sun shined brightly. The birds sang and danced in the warm breeze. Butterflies fluttered and bees pollinated beds of flowers. It was a new Ethros, a restoration to a former Ethros. Clean, pristine, beautiful. Neighbors chatted without a care in the world. Mimic children played, unbothered. Dragons soared the air freely. A young girl, no older than five or six, energetically ran through the streets. She stopped at a large, metal statue in the center of the city square.

"Mommy! Mommy! Is that the hero I was named after?!" She enthusiastically pointed.

"I've told you a thousand times, Elizabeth, yes." Queen Vera sighed. The girl quickly attempted to climb onto the statue's pedestal.

"Dear, please be careful!" King Isaac called. He turned to Vera. "I swear, either she has a memory problem, or she'll grow up to have the biggest ego in all of Ethros."

"Well, if it's the latter, we'll know for sure she's our daughter." Vera snickered.

"I guess that's true, we used to be so arrogant." Isaac smiled.

"Used to?? You still prance around boasting about how you're the King of Ethros!"

"And you still brag about how you're a prodigy, AND how you're the Queen!" They laughed together, watching their precious daughter. She jumped off and sprinted towards a wooded area of the kingdom. "I still can't believe it's been years since she left us."

"Yeah, it feels almost like yesterday we were bickering about food prices."

"Or fighting monsters."

"Saving the kingdom."

"I miss that."

"Yeah, I do too." Isaac's chest suddenly felt tight. An immense pressure pushed on him. He coughed, for the first time in years. He covered his mouth with his hand. They didn't think much of it, until Isaac opened his hand. Down at the edge of the forest, little Elizabeth played in the grasses. She picked flowers and grabbed cool looking rocks to show her parents. She minded her own business and tuned out the world, only snapping back to reality when she looked into the trees. A man, or what's left of one. Half of his body was completely decayed, missing all skin and exposing all bone. The other half wasn't much better, still rotting away. Isaac and Vera stared at his hand in disbelief. Horror shocked their systems. Blood covered Isaac's palm. Little Elizabeth stared at the creature, who just lifted his finger and placed it over his mouth.

"Shhhh." He hushed. "Hello, Lady Elizabeth. Long time, no see."