Angel: “Is this valid, RB? Can he change the villain to a queen after you gave instructions that his character should be a king?”
Rb: “Who am I to stifle creativity? He kept with most of the parameters, so I’ll allow it. It’s an interesting twist.”
Angel: ” Wha- Wait… but… Ugh! And I can’t believe you named your villain after me!! It looks like I’M WORSHIPPING YOU!!”
Demon: “Hell yeah!”
Angel: “No! This is blasphemy!”
Demon: “No, it’s fiction. Get over it.”
Angel: “Is that why you wanted to ‘proofread the entire story for inconsistencies’ so you could change your character? And is that why you agreed to my ending so easily?”
Demon: “Why thank you!!”
Rb: “Shhhhhh, I’m reading.”
SIPPING TEA WITH THE EX-ASSASSIN AND THE TYRANT PART 3
The Temple of Light and Dark was the greatest authority in all Mysteria. There were many kingdoms and municipals in the world that governed themselves, but everyone in Mysteria – kings, queens, priests, peasants, human, elf, faery, troll – paid homage and bowed to the creed of the Temple.
Serving all races, species, and classes, the Temple priests did the works of the Light to illuminate the hearts and minds of the many.
Every one hundred years the temple closed its doors letting Dark find footing in Mysteria to freely strike out at all that might know hope. Never mind that the Dark always existed in the heart’s shadow, because now it flourished and bloomed into soul poison in every creature.
Even those who held a firm discipline of Light suffered the sickness of Dark.
Mecten had never been a righteous citizen. There was no love in him for the Light or the Dark, but the closest he ever got to Light was the sensual voice and soothing nature of Sherris.
Those delicate hands on his skin was Light.
Dark was the day he dimmed that carefree smile and those brilliant eyes.
Memories played out causing pain within. He had caused the look of blended betrayal, sadness, mistrust, anger, confusion, and fear on her beautiful face. How would he ever forget that nameless expression? What he would do, give, or take to undo history’s cruelty.
Vividly, he remembered the tears that were there, edged at the cliff of her lashes as he killed the target with his bare hands. She didn’t say a word while the target’s pulse faded against his fingertips. Not a single word or whimper escaped her lips when she backed away, out the room, leaving silence and sorrow in his soul. That was the last time he saw her… the last time he ever took a life.
Mecten lay on his stomach looking out over the valley towards the grand structure of the great Temple perched high in the Halo Mountains. Though his eyes fixated on its majesty, his mind held open the memories of his one and only everything. When focus finally returned to him, he raised the binoculars to his eyes and spied across the grassy expanse to the purple/green foliage of the towering sacred mountains. From the overhang of the cliff, the view was excellent. He numbered every caravan and traveler headed toward the Temple. All attending the Tea Festival – the ceremony to end the long reign of Dark.
Crossing the valley and the climb to the Temple would take average humans days to make.
Mecten wasn’t average.
Jumping to his feet, slinging his pack on his back and hooking his hood over his head, he jumped over the side of the cliff. Leaning back to keep from falling forward, his boots skated down the rocky side of the ridge. Several feet from hitting level ground, he jumped and landed planting both boots firmly on even terrain.
Brushing off dirt and dust from his descent, he checked his surroundings. No trees to cover him in shadow meant pretending to be the everyday traveler. A pilgrim, that’s what he would be. A pilgrim of Light heading for such a virtuous event. Sounded good.
As the sun rose higher and the air grew warmer, Mecten decided to take a break. Finding a small channel of water, he dropped to his knees and buried his face in to drink. He’d better get some to go as well. After filling up his canteen, he stood to his feet, spied the midday sun, the surrounding camps, all while screwing the lid back on his container and sliding it back into his pack.
He peeled off his heavy coat knowing he didn’t need it in the sunny weather of the valley. It helped not to display where he traveled from, and the coat announced cold weather. Flexing his arms, rotating his shoulders, he continued his long trek across the breadth, toward the Tea Festival Tournament. A race for the ages where anyone could participate, but only one would win and few would survive.
The history of the race was brutal. All participants battled through the old ruins of Blighting Kingdom, located behind the Temple mountains. The barbaric lands were a test in itself where only the strong survived, maybe. Needless to say, few who entered the race, lived.
Once riddled with war and famine, Dark paraded through the kingdom, creating nothing more than a desolate wasteland of depraved creatures. Blighting was a constant reminder of what could happen when Dark took over completely.
He was half way through the valley when the sounds of screaming and the smell of smoke turned his attention behind him. White and red horses rode across the terrain leaving a trail of fire. The riders on the horses’ backs were winged creatures stringing deadly arrows.
“What in the name of-” Mecten turned back toward the Temple and began to sprint. Huffing in air, he sucked the magic from it to fuel him. His body lightened letting his feet take him farther and faster, quailing distance. He hadn’t a clue what was going on but those butchers behind him would have to catch him if they wanted to kill him.
Mecten stopped and hunched over at the Temple gate to suck in breath. The inhale and exhale was so hard, his muscles quaked and his lungs strained.
Two temple priests stood at the open gateway, bowed. “Welcome.” Dressed in white ceremonial robes trimmed in black, the priests were calm as if the valley wasn’t burning and screaming.
“Don’t you see the massacre going on down in the-“
“All are welcomed,” They said in unison, not caring in the least that they were volunteering to be slaughtered.
He opened his mouth to protest, or curse some sense into them, when the sounds of terror rose signaling the advancing army.
Mecten glanced back down the side of the mountain. Everything scorched with fire and blood. When he saw the butterfly like creatures with spears flying over the valley, he knew.
There was only one kingdom of faeries in the world who would dare raid neutral territory: Faerus Kingdom, a nest of helpless faeries enslaved by that evil sadistic Queen Angelus.
Sherris’s baby sister.
Of all the people he hoped to never see again… What a bad time for him to give up killing!