Chapter 2: And That Was It
The Fifth Month, Leo
The Fourth Week, Caligos
The Third Day, Bellum Lux
I continued hurrying down the road. The sun hit the back of my head like the world’s largest lamp, the heat searing into my skin. If I had been born on the Fourth Year, Fumos, I would have melted right through the shadows in a puff of smoke and made it back home. Clearly Destiny wanted me to be born on the least useful year, a year for just meddling with technology.
I sucked in my teeth. Pfft! Clearly being born on Logicum simply had to have some uses, not just cheating off answer sheets. Maybe mum can explain; after all, she had always said that we all had a reason for setting foot on this ground. I just didn’t understand.
But Timidus and Gemmeus understood. Timidus was the earthy boy, and he usually stayed silent and listened to everyone’s point of view before piping up. Gemmeus was the watery kind, so she would slip into people’s tight grip and coming straight to the core of the situation; that way, she knew what was going on, and would settle for a long peace treaty.
Me? I’m not sure. I was mostly the type of person who would bring the argument into action. No, I don’t mean me starting the whole thing! Rixator, that lousy goon, he would bring something onto my shoulders, and then I would add extra flair to it, and…that’s the end of my explanation, because you get it.
I rounded the street and stared down the familiar dark alleyway. As said, it was dark compared to most alleys. It always had this dark aura, but I was completely fine with it; I had accustomed to its musty smell, and the shattered glass shards that were scattered everywhere. Someone had graffitied the walls with spray paint, words drawn with droplets of colours in a bubbly font.
But today, something seemed a little…off. The dank odour wasn’t all inviting as it had been before…and that was saying a lot, considering that this alleyway reeked of decaying flesh and rotten food. The shadows of the dumpsters that lined the street were darker, almost pitch black, as if they were holes in the ground, leading deep into the earth…
Nevertheless, I wanted to get home fast. This was the only way. I strode through the alleyway with my hands in my pockets. My footsteps echoed quietly – much too quietly, for my taste.
And that was when it struck.
A force as strong as a speeding truck slammed into me, driving me back into a wall. Pain shot up my shoulder, and I groaned. Great, Rixator had already found me, I though bitterly.
But what made my stomach drop into my shoes wasn’t anything about Rixator. The thing that had pinned my body against the wall was more of an intimidating beast of shadow and darkness; a looming figure of pure blackness, its form made of swirling smoke, but despite that, its grip was solid iron.
It tightened its gripped, and pain exploded in my head as an uncomfortable and unforgettable memory slipped into the recesses of my mind. A memory that didn’t belong to me.
It was a storming day…a day where the clouds that rolled across the sky were darkened to the colour of onyx. Thunder rumbled. Lightning flashed, streaking jagged white bolts of electricity across the sky in the storm’s wake. I was in a mountainous landscape, the peaks of snow-capped rock jutting out from the ground below me. The wind tore at my clothes – that being golden armour clothing my body, a scabbard hanging at my side – threatening to pull me and throw me off my feet.
But, strange enough, I knew it wouldn’t do that – the wind would never dare to throw me off a mountain. I was a leader, a ruler over the storms. The lightning was my fury, where the bolts of burning fire would burn the evil to its ashes; the thunder was my pounding of tossing aside those who dared to work against the laws of good; the wind was my cocoon of will, the ability to slip through the tight bonds of evil.
But I wasn’t the only one on this mountain.
Standing directly in front of me was the smoky-black figure, only this time, he wasn’t made of smoke. He was taller, broader, stronger. His body was clothed with gleaming titanium armour, a large curved blade in his tight grip. He was handsome in a brutal, despicable way; but what was unnerving were the glowing red eyes of this figure, the boiling light of vengeance.
I had never seen this figure before, but I knew who he was.
‘The Fallen One,’ I say, and I was surprised that this wasn’t my own voice; it sounded deeper, as if I had encountered thousands of years of experience.
The Fallen One threw his head back and roared with laughter. His sword shone a toxic shade of dark maroon. ‘The Chosen One,’ he said curtly, and I felt a stab in my chest, because I knew this voice…
‘How long has it been since we last battled?’ the Fallen One inquired, taking a step forward; I mimicked him. ‘How long has it been since good and evil clashed together?’
‘A few thousand years,’ I reply. ‘It took you long enough, I must say.’
‘Merely!’ thundered the Fallen One. ‘Every time, the good wins, but the pity of it only comes when it has to perish. And look what happens! A new hero is born, only to be given the name Audax! These years, mortals are becoming lazier.’
I was shocked. My name was Audax, and yet I never had been in a battle with the Fallen One himself. Besides, if what the legends say are true, he could crush entire armies with only his bare hands; he could severe the hardest substances on earth with a clean slice of his sword; in short, he was the strongest form known to man, and there would be no stopping man.
But at the same time, I’ve definitely heard of the Chosen One. After all, if there was evil, good would always be there for a showdown. The legends have always described the Chosen One just as powerful as the Fallen One; in fact, they were both equal, so it would be as if they were fighting twins.
And here I am, Audax Ignis, standing before the mighty form of the Fallen One.
And here I was, facing the Fallen One, a being who could easily tear me to shreds.
The Fallen One raised his sword, the metal on his armour and weapon flashing. I reached into my scabbard and withdrew my own sword of burning bronze, the blade’s colour shifting between red and orange and yellow as if it were a solid form of fire.
With a cry, we both charged at each other, and I aimed my weapon at his sword arm. The Fallen One faked a left, then twisted and drove his sword into my side. I screamed as I crumpled to the floor, my sword clattering to the ground. Where his sword had driven into me was pain so great that even with my eyes squeezed shut I could not block out that pain. Above me, the Fallen One towered over me.
I whimpered. Oh, I could not bear this pain. Not for long. Not ever. I was the Chosen One, the one who was destined to banish all evil! And yet, here I was, squirming at the feet of the darkest being.
The Fallen One raised his sword, the tip hovering inches above my sternum. And the blade suddenly plunged into my chest. The toxic poison that had been stowed away in its metallic blade finally seeped into my body, clouding my mind and shadowing any rational thought. Time slowed down, then completely stopped. And it stayed that way.
And that was it. Good had lost, and evil had finally won.