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Entry G - Eclipse: Crystalline Ocean
 
Old 27 Aug 2008, 21:13   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,807
Default Entry G - Eclipse: Crystalline Ocean

Eclipse: Crystalline ocean…

Chapter 1: A sea of rainbows

He couldn’t tear his gaze free from it, it laid everywhere, spanning for what seemed to be an eternity. It kindled so many memories…of a life long past, of loved ones, long forgotten and long buried. Why wasn’t he buried? Maybe he was already dead, a soulless shell? No, he was over exaggerating, he had never felt so flooded, with life in any other point in his time. He couldn’t fall, not here, there were many things that remained on his agenda. Besides, he had a vow to fulfill, he had never broken one, and he didn’t intend to make a start.

Everything flashed by so…so quickly, only to be replaced by a near exact replica. He could not escape it, this was his destiny, here lied his destination, in the midst of crystal seas. Never thought he’d return, to a land long devoid of natural life. He couldn’t believe it had only been ten years. The ever flowing passage of time that never stagnated; rushing like the steady rivers in the lush valleys of Irothis, had seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye. Now everything seemed to be slowing down again, grinding back into its normal pace, though he knew, such a pleasant calm never endured for long, not out in this wilderness.

Stretching passed the limits of his vision, an endless, rugged plain of ice, that rose and dipped in large portions of the land, like an expansive valley. Though no ordinary ice was it, no, truly, one could not call it ice. It possessed similar tributes, it was frozen, skin numbing, and nearly rock solid to the touch. Physically, it resembled a gigantic, thick sheet of crystal, smooth yet worn from decades of weathering. Various formations randomly littered the landscape, just as random as the colors they displayed. Jetting spires of fiery orange, small bushes of blood red, entire hills and pits of violet. All of it seemed to glimmer, radiating with some unknown aura as it basked in the white light of a beaming full moon accompanied with a sea of stars. Yet it wasn’t crystal, it broke and crunched just like ice, it cumulated and hardened as if it were cobbled snow eventually frozen over from winter nights.

Even so, the view was beautiful, ensnaring…Despite the throaty bellow of a sole engine, the constant crunch and grind of wheels of crystalline ice, the howling, artic breeze that whipped and whispered its screaming music on the wind, nothing could take away from such a scenic view. A view that only so few receive the opportunity to gaze upon. It only grew out in the artic waste of the far north, though it grew from one edge to the next within its borders. Even so, not many came to see such a sight…indeed, hardly anyone with common sense passed the border into the Kingdom of Valicia. Many creatures guarded their borders and the wastelands, though only one are infamously known among human kind…

The sleek form of his four wheeled jeep was a dark shade of camo-green against the ice. Brewing up a powdery, rainbow mist beneath its canopy as its all terrain traveling wheels grinded the rare substance into dust. Overworked engines roared their delight as they reached their limit, pushing itself to its maximum speed in return for its driver’s content. It was a mere speck in an ocean of crystal ice, that was what they had named it, spewing a powdery fog behind it, that rose like smoke belched from the heart of a raging inferno to inevitably dissipate across the sky. He couldn’t help sparing a glance into his rear view mirror to watch the mist shift in colors, indirectly catching a glimpse of himself in the process.

Honestly, it was more than a bit difficult to see everything through the sleek pair of sunglasses shielding his eyes. In fact, it was incredibly difficult to see much at all…if he had not been given such enhanced sight. Even so, he could imagine his surroundings just as well. It was still dim, but over the years of constantly wearing them in similar conditions, he had grown use to it.

His pale white skin was mostly concealed in baggy, matt black pants, a sleeveless, black shirt. Over lapping those was an unzipped leather jacket-coat that dropped to his calves, stopping just at his slick, jet black boots. Despite being fully unzipped, the jacket effortlessly hid the pair of finely polished, golden, customized revolvers hanging from either side of his belt, along with a variety of items. That and the sheath of his most treasured and sacred sword of immense power, said to have been blessed by the Emperor himself with the power to pulse with electrical energies. But the jacket did fail to cover the three necklaces swaying freely from his neck round his chest. The largest at the fore was a glittering, silver cross chain etched with tiny prayers and blessings. The second was a golden Aquila his parents had gifted him with when he was but a child. It was too large for him to wear at the time, but he felt compelled to keep it for some reason. They had told him it held the power to ward off evil, if that was true, he was still waiting for such to happen. The third, was the icon of a moon, three fourths of it being pitch black while the other was a gleaming silver. It was a symbol of an eclipse, some sort of icon he had failed to find the meaning of, but had decided to keep it anyway.

Long, flowing, jet black hair fell well past his shoulders before coming to end at his waist, with the bangs dropping to the half point of his forehead. A thick, lit cigar jetted between two rows of perfect teeth, smoldering with a cloudy aura of smoke.

Jasairis Sil, a naturally intimidating figure, about six foot seven. Though muscular, he was more of a lean, kind of thin man. A soft spoken individual that rarely spoke much, and when he did, his smooth, not too deep voice rarely ever ascended above a loud whisper. He kept mostly too himself, but wasn’t afraid to communicate with others either. Not many things are known about his childhood, in fact, not much is really known about him at all. Save for the fact that he was born in human kingdom of Irothis.

Jasairis remained silent as he kept his view focused on the road ahead, occasionally edging the vehicle to the side to avoid incoming obstacles. The man only added to the racket of his engines with an inaudible sigh as he released another cloud of drifting smoke. A random cough beside him, gained his attention for a split second. He shifted gaze to the left to see a coughing figure in the passenger seat.

He was shirtless, exposing a heavily muscular frame, slightly bulkier than Jasairis, yet a few inches shorter in height. Short, rough, blonde hair nearly draped his cyan blue eyes, narrowly squinted to shield them from the freezing wind. His face was contorted into an irritated expression, something Jasairis had seen a lot since the two had met. His skin, usually a tanned color, was notably pale in the bone chilling coolness, magnifying the many scars that criss-crossed his body. His simple, beige pants were partially covered in scraps of gleaming, scaled, sky blue armor, trimmed with a bone white round the edges. Slung over his shoulders over his back was the a large, one handed shield, also a sky blue color, trimmed neatly with white. It was rounded, slightly curved, expertly crafted thick sheet of metal that looked cumbersome in hands of anyone else. Clutched in both of his hands each was a average metal axe.

Kynvas was a brash, somewhat arrogant type of man, cocky, fearless, always willing to accept the challenge. But being born in the old world of Balewind, such an attitude was not unexpected. His voice was resounding and naturally raspy, not really matching his face. He was veteran from the Ashina wars a few years ago, rewarded with many metals that honored his valor and skill. He was quick to boast and to fight, but lacked the fiery temper usually associated with it.

“Its damn cold out here!” Kynvas abruptly spat, scowling to display his discontent of the situation. “I swear its colder than home in the worst of winters, and that’s saying something.”

“Does this thing not have air conditioning?” A youthful voice, vibrant and unmistakably female was muffled under the torrent of wind despite shouting, came from the rear of the vehicle. Jasairis took another glance in his rear view mirror…

The figure was fully erect in between the seating, gripping the end of the heavy bolter built into the top of the hood for dear life. She was a thin, wiry muscled figure, dressed in the standard Snow white, lavender fatigues associated with one of the Imperial guard regiments only founded in the modern country of Hailadon. They were pretty tight on her slender frame, hugging her deep curves. Slung over her shoulder was her favored las-gun.


Silky, lavender hair that would have spilled over her shoulders was pulled back into an arched pony tail. Two separate braids that hung from either side of her forehead flanked her sparkling, ocean blue eyes. She licked her dried, pursed lips in a vain attempt to moisturize them, knowing full well the rushing breeze would deny her such a comfort.

Ailina muttered a soft curse under her breath, forced to endure the ramshackle ride while standing. Easier said than done, at some points she was almost thrown out, the vehicle was speeding so quickly. Maintaining a vigilant watch was nearly impossible due to the clouds of rainbow mist they were kicking up. The freezing touch of the whipping breeze effectively clogged her numbed ears, basically rendering any methods of staying alert nearly useless.

A trio, a triumvirate; three various people, from various walks of life. What goal have they set themselves to accomplish? That they would endure artic weather, for a chance…a chance to set things right. Each possess their own story, ambitions, dreams, regrets. It all comes back, all is linked to a crystalline ocean; that floods the northern lands. An ocean of solid substance, that sparkles and shines as if pulsating from within by day, glimmering and radiating with majestic beauty by night. What bought these three together? Well, that would be quite a tale…another circuitry of fate.

Chapter two: In pursuit…

A rushing breeze swept through the heart of Uridene woods. Kindling a drowning chorus of rustling leaves, chiming in unison with the gentle swaying of dense, lush foliage and boot high grass that concealed its floor. Various, local birds would occasionally chirp in rapid succession, darting from tree to tree as if dancing to their sing-song music. If any animals were dwelling in the area, none made their presence known. The beaming light of a midday sun, unchallenged by humble, drifting clouds, cast the ancient woods in an enchanting aura. Effortlessly blaring through the gaps that distanced the trees from one another.

She weaved through them effortlessly, gracefully twirling and leaping in high arches among the multitude of various flowers, before inevitably landing on the bare tips of her toes. She laughed as she did so, a carefree and gentle laugh. The billowing wind ran a its invisible fingers thoroughly her silky, tan brown hair that had to have fallen to her knees, splitting it into a flurry of strands as they were swept off into the sky. Her overlapping bangs were pushed before her cherry blossom pink eyes. Her eloquent temple shrine robes fluttered in the ensuing gust. Her pants were a burning sapphire, trimmed with golden markings he wouldn’t attempt to discern the meaning of. They seemed oversized for her slender frame though, but tied in place with her enwrapping belt. Tucked in was her snow white robe cloth, it too slightly large to fit.

Iylia merely continued to dance, seemingly oblivious to the world. She had always loved dancing, but she never could get the grasp of it…until now. Even so, Jasairis barely took notice, stalking behind a few paces back as he continued his silent observation. He was still dressed in his normal wardrobe, the leather jacket and all, though his hazel brown eyes were fully exposed without a pair of sunglasses.

Honestly, Iylia was happier than he had ever witnessed her to be. Maybe it was because she could actually dance now. She had invested years into it, such an explanation wasn’t too far fetched, but he knew that wasn’t the answer. Within his heart, he would have been content with the thought that maybe it could’ve been love. After all, they were eventually to be wedded, it wasn’t anything guaranteed, but that gut feeling Jasairis tended to rise occasionally told him that it would one day be reality.

“I really tried…tried to make you change your ways, see the world as I see it, Jasairis. Even though I know my efforts are in vain, I try because I do love you.” Iylia’s voice pierced silence, abruptly cutting Jasairis from his thoughts and he shifted his view to see that she had stopped dancing. Her back was turned, sweeping a free hand through her hair as she stared off into a crystal clear sky.

Jasairis merely stared at her, remaining silent as he tried to contemplate those seemingly random words, or the meaning of them. Few seconds passed when he smirked weakly, relaying his response in the same moment.

“What?”

Iylia suddenly spun around to face him, her gentle, smiling face faded into a grim expression. “You are like all the others, you willingly blind yourself to the truth. You have taken faith in false words, of a false deity, and you have enslaved yourself to his cruel will. You would waste away under a tyrant’s rule, instead of living your life in freedom?”

Jasairis’ expression would’ve lit up with shock, but his instincts instantly overrode the expression with a hardened look. If his mind hadn’t been so occupied with discerning her random outburst, perhaps he would have detected the ascending tone of malice in her voice.

“What are you talking about?“ He eventually questioned, his voice was nearly inaudible over the wind, but Iylia’s acute ears easily registered it as if he had shouted.

“I’ve tried to show you, the changes I have undergone, subtly pushing you in my direction.” The priestess merely sighed, sorrowfully shaking her head as she resumed. “But your mind is too engrained in his dogma to see the world beyond the looking glass, a narrow glass that is isolated from so many possibilities. Well I have, and truly, it is beautiful.”

Jasairis noted a fleeting moment of hesitation, Iyria appeared to be uncertain in her next choice of words. But she spoke anyway, confident and calmly.

“I have forsaken the bonds of a rotting corpse, who cares nothing for me nor his followers. A corpse obsessed with a dream long passed, shattered, and forgotten. I have rebuked my allegiance with him for years now, instead I have given myself fully to one that constantly showers me with his love. Have you never noticed? How I danced? Something I could never accomplish in years. My sword techniques have been honed to the point of perfection! I am…perfect, in my master‘s image. Slaneesh has gifted me with much.”

Iylia awaited her loves’ response, anticipating the fiery, murderous rage to envelope him at any moment. That rage never came, Jasairis merely reverted his gaze away from her. His expression remained impassive, not even the tiniest change. He remained stationary, allowing the ensuing silence between the pair to fall upon them, only to be disturbed by a relentless wind and the noise it generated. All was just as he feared it would be, now there was nothing left to him, not anymore, save a sole option, the only option.

A full minute had passed before he finally spoke, this time firmly, but solemnly.

“We are now mortal enemies.”

“We are lovers!” Iylia squeaked, vainly blinking her watery eyes to stem the stream of rushing tears.

“No longer.”

“It’s not too late…forget the blinding rays of the sun. The sparkling moon awaits to cast its holy aura upon you.”

“The time has come, and it is gone. It has fallen like the setting sun on the distant horizon. Like the moon, which will always bear witness to the sun’s light, strives to be like the sun. It glows with a majestic beauty when the sun falls, but in the end it knows that it can never be like the sun, for it only shines because of the sun, and a sea of stars in night sky. Without the aid of the stars, the moon is exposed in its true, honest form: a dark, barren, wasteland, a rock devoid of life destined to eternally dwell in jealousy among the sun. I guess that’s one way of viewing damnation.”

“You are a fool!” Iylia spat in a venomous hiss, her thin lips stretching from cheek to cheek in a gleeful smile, revealing a glittering set of perfect teeth, and a glimpse of insanity. “We are mortal enemies…” The priestess snarled as she entered a combat stance, running a hand of the hilt of her sheathed katana. “Will you slay me, love? Can you? I pray that you can, its no fun to dance with a partner with a soul uninvolved, it leaves you…out of sync.”

Jasairis remained silent, he had prepared for this moment, masterfully suppressing whatever feelings his body was experiencing at the moment. Both of his hands unconsciously snaked their way to the holsters of his prized pair of golden revolvers concealed beneath his jacket and he readied himself. No looking back, a deep inhale, a loud exhale.

Iylia spotted her moment of opportunity and sprung forward with a speed no human eye could easily spot. Even so, she had narrowly planted her first foot ahead of her before the loyalist before her flipped out both of his handheld weapons, raising his arms and leveling them in one fluid motion.

Numerous birds scattered in random directions, spurred to a quick escape from the resounding thunderclap that pierced the silence…

~~~~~
AuinMyrrath is offline  
Old 27 Aug 2008, 21:14   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,807
Default Re: Entry G - Eclipse: Crystalline Ocean

Despite firing a split second shot from his right revolver just as he pulled it free, Jasairis took care to aim for his former lover’s head. No hesitation. The weapon bucked reassuringly against the bare skin of his hand, dispensing an accurate shot with a thunderous crack that boomed in his ears.

Iylia easily ducked at the last possible moment, the bullet streaking overhead as she darted forward in a crouched run. Before Jasairis could even realign his aim, she pulled her free hand off the hilt of her sword. Instead, extending both of her hands out before her, despite the couple of feet still separating the dueling pair just out of arm‘s reach. It soon proved that distance wasn‘t an issue for the priestess, the slender pair of short swords she had concealed in her sleeves suddenly slipping from either of her arms neatly into the palms of her hands. Without a second thought she lunged out with both, wedging her left blade into his still smoldering revolver, splitting it into two halves; her right thrusting for his throat.

Instinct overrode Jasairis’ surprise and he instantly fell backwards into a roll. A muttered curse slipping from his lips as he caught the muzzle half of his stricken pistol disappearing under the swaying grass in the corner of his eye, but forced himself to ignore it. At the moment, he had to gain distance.

Iylia watched her strike fly passed its intended target; no bother though, she had expected such. With a predatory glint, she eyed Jasairis as he rolled some ways before flipping to his feet. Once more she shot forward, exerting all her breath into an ear cringing scream before leaping high overhead.

The priestess seemed to hang in midair for a fleeting second, straightening herself before beginning her inevitable descent in a downward spiral. She crossed her swords into an “X” as she did so, once more singling out Jasairis’ throat as she closed distance.

Even so, he remained stationary, grudgedly tossing his broken weapon away, hastily holstering its whole counterpart while bracing for impact. This was it, a sole chance, a narrow window of opportunity. His muscles involuntarily tensed, his adrenaline was flowing, and he vainly attempted to control the heaving in his chest.

“Hah!” Iylia bellowed against the gust, breaking out of her spiral as she swiped her blades for a clean decapitation.

A resounding clash of steel on steel rang out through Uridene, piercing the silence, tearing through the breeze with a lingering echo.

The ever flowing stream of time, that never stagnated, stopped in that instant, or slowed to the point of nigh being stationary. There they were, in the very center of this paradox, their eyes locked with one another‘s, exchanging a thousand unspoken words in an instant. Even the wind had fallen upon now death ears.

Jasairis had a foot entrenched behind his stance to compensate for the sheer force of her attack, leaving a trail of gouged dirt where he was slowly skidding back. A shower of sparks littered the air from where his inactivated power sword “Eclipse” , had parried both of her short blades. The muscles in his arms bunched with effort, desperately pushing themselves to their limits to turn Iylia’s full bodyweight in another direction. Though in the end, it was a vain attempt, for she had budged only slightly with her gained momentum.

Whatever spell that had been cast upon these mortals, these cursed lovers, in one moment, shattered.

Iylia, somehow still in mid-air, shifted her strength into her arms, effortlessly breaking the deadlock with a graceful leap overhead, allowing Jasairis to stumble drunkenly forward. Exploiting his weakened stance, she fell into a straight dive, arms pointed downward.

He didn’t even have to look over his shoulder, already calculating Iylia’s position by her growing shadow against wild grass. He didn’t even stop to recover his balance, instead letting his body fall into another roll, narrowly escaping the kill zone.

Judging she was well within range, no sooner did Jasairis raise himself into a kneeling position did he slice through the breeze behind him with a swift uppercut.

But air would be all the blade would clove, Iylia masterfully somersaulting over the power sword and over Jasairis himself in the blink of an eye. Her gleeful smile stretching wider as she felt the tip graze the cloth of her shirt round her stomach, but failed to pierce it.

A fluid dodge that no normal body that seemed to deny gravity.

“Great.” Jasairis mumbled under his breath. But despite his situation, his adrenaline driven mind failed to feel worried about it, such an evasive maneuver failed to go unanticipated. He whirled his blade round in perfect sync with his spin to face his opponent just as she landed and before his mind could register his next move, he swiped his two handed sword for a swift decapitation.

The strike found moss infested wood instead as Iylia avoided the fatal blow with a quick duck. A grinding scrape following suit as the power sword effortlessly carved through the hardened bark of the ancient redwood tree, such was the strength behind it.

Spotting her chance, Iylia sprung forward out her crouch, once more stabbing out for a weak spot in her opponent’s defense with wild and random thrusts. The knowing smirk on her lips contorted with effort as she struck out.

Jasairis braced himself as Ilyia’s offense hit home. The priestess attempted a broad arched swing of left blade, destined for his temple. He automatically jerked backwards in response, reversing his previous swing back to parry it. He couldn’t help but smirk at Iylia’ sudden scowl of frustration as her strike was deflected outright. Her arm ricocheted off of Eclipse in the sheer force of the impact and she hurriedly pitched herself to the right, thudding hard off the forest floor to avoid Jasairis‘ momentous swipe. But she wasn’t so careless to leave herself in a position of vulnerability.

Landing on her hands and the very tips of her toes, Iylia was able to immediately recover with a quick leap onto her feet. Almost instantly retaliating with a lightning stab of her right sword to his lower ribcage.

Jasairis spun to his left, narrowly avoiding the thrust that ripped into the thick, matt black hide of his leather jacket. Somehow, the blow had completely gutted his right pocket and disgorged the packet of cigars and the pocket lighter from its stomach. His eyes wondered over the gaping, bloodless wound in the fabric of his coat a split second before banishing the thoughts to the corners of his mind. But that split second was all she needed.

There was a sickening, gut wrenching tear that followed suit.

He felt his clothes dampen with flowing stream warm, oozing liquid originating in the lower left side of his ribcage. His muscles seized up in an instant, suddenly contracting with a crippling pain that seemed to have occurred out of nowhere. His breath immediately shortened in incessant, ragged gasp as it abruptly became difficult for his lungs to accomplish a regular inhale of fresh, forest air. His stance seemed to waver, though he remained upright while trying to blink away his swirling vision.

More out of reflex than skill, Jasairis’ left hand unconsciously shot out; clamping round her wrist and holding in place to limit the damage. He gnashed his teeth through a contorting expression of paralyzing agony; exerting his effort into stifling a feral roar of pain.

Jasaris had lowered his defense for only a split second, and had been dealt a punishing blow in return for his foolishness. Reluctantly, he let his head dip for a second to bear witness to the twin blade imbedded deep into his ribcage, its blood soaked tip protruding from his back. The sensation was surprisingly nauseating, that first experience all warriors are destined to share at one point along their lives. Even so, he had never been stabbed before, but then when he thought about it , he had never faced an opponent such as Iylia either.

As if just a fleeting thought of her was enough to goad the priestess, Iylia smiled her triumph; saying nothing as she lessened the grip on the short sword that had inflicted the wound onto her love. Jasairis was too frozen with the shock to contest her movement and she effortlessly jerked her hand free from his grasp. Instead of delivering a killing blow, Iylia merely stepped back in a calm demeanor, measuring up her handy work with an enthusiastic eye. Jasairis responded with a light headed fall to his knees, only able to watch as that same smile abruptly fade into a frown of disappointment.

“Hmmm…I would’ve expected you to pass out by now…” Iylia suddenly mumbled to herself, her words nearly lost to Jasairis’ ears in the midst of a renewed gust of wind sweeping pass. Really, the fact that the man was still glaring at her reported the fact that she had failed to hit anything vital at all. Such a blaring error, Despite it, she felt a sudden need to boast anyway “It seems you can’t kill me, not yet, my love. Though I must admit, you had me on edge for a moment. But alas, the inevitable has come to pass…”

The priestess paused in her speech to take a step forward into her previous position, descending into a submissive kneel to come face to face to Jasairis. That malice, that hint of insanity that had overwhelmed her expression just moments ago, had vanished. It was now replaced with a soft, worrisome stare, complemented with watery eyes that pierced Jasairis’ very soul. Wordlessly, she flipped her free short blade down before stabbing it deep into the forest floor by her side.

Feeling secure enough to draw closer, Iylia planted a gentle hand upon his cheek, messaging it lovingly as she gazed into the endless depths of Jasairis’ hazel brown eyes. She sighed breathlessly in response, relishing the feeling of rushing adrenaline flooding free from her body; her muscles unwinding in a new sense of calm. “Tell me, are you done? Is this game over? Is it time for me to bask in my victory, to claim my prize?”

If Jasairis had attempted to respond, Iylia failed to decipher a word through the mouthful of blood spewed from Jasairis’ mouth; nearly splattering her clothes in the process. A series of slow, hard intakes of breath and hoarse coughs followed suit and the priestess gave him a comforting pat on the shoulder.

“There there, love.”

Jasairis vainly attempted to focus his swirling vision with the common method of blinking furiously. Though he was forced to stop some seconds later as it continued to grow worse. He felt his bowel rise with a nauseating feeling in his gut as he continued to perceive the world through an ocean of forest colors.

“Disappointing.” Iylia displayed her discontent with a depressed frown, keeping her hand on his shoulder as she swept its opposite through his hair. “You’re leaving me dancing alone out here; I’m in no mood for solos.”

Her words fell upon deaf ears when Jasairis clamped his eyes shut, remaining stationary to limit the explosive jolts of agony from his weeping wound. Ilyia’s voice resembled more of a distant whisper evaporating in the wind under the hard thuds of his beating heart. For the moment, he was solely occupied on recollecting himself.

There was an occasional chirp sang high in the labyrinth of branches of Uridene’s trees, shattering the silence that had descended upon the pair once more. Piercing the rushing wind as it flew by. His muscles relaxed at the touch of the refreshingly cool touch of it, allowing it to drown him completely in its renewed fury. Despite the chain of events that had just transpired, he had, for one fleeting moment, experienced just a taste of serenity.

Jasairis forced his eyes open to a lush forest floor, teeming with lush green grass that swayed in the ever flowing stream of wind. The rustling of a thousand leaves echoed their chorus once more from the highest perches in the vast array of various trees. A blanket of ever falling leaves somewhat blurred the holy aura of light raining from a crystal clear sky.

“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”

Jasairis suddenly realized why he was bearing witness to such a scene, and his gaze shifted only slightly to his right. There she was again, spinning and twirling so gracefully, with only the slightest amount of effort. Only a few feet away, Iylia danced away, so care freely.

“Uridene I mean, I doubt there is another that could hope to match.”

“W-..why?” Jasairis finally managed to gasp out.

Iylia failed to halt in her new found profession. “Why?” She repeated innocently.

“You never told me why?” Jasairis repeated, this time with a sterner edge in his voice.

The priestess slowly grinded to a halt, lifting her gaze towards the sky before mustering a response. “Time passes in the blink of an eye. In time, planets are undone and Gods arise and fall. In time, our lives fly by like a passing wind. I am dying, Jasairis. Within my heart lies a complexity of emotions. I feel distressed, for I have no one to turn, no other paths for me to take. Sometimes I feel like my life should end.”

Iylia paused to spin on her heel, running a hand through her hair as she faced Jasairis with a depressed expression.

“But, then I come to this place of my ancestors, and I remember…Are we not all dying, to know, life, in every breath? Oh Jasairis, our lives are so short, yet so, so sweet. Yet there are so many who live out the duration of their time in this realm, in misery, discontent, displeasure. I don’t want to be the one who had been cheated life to disease. Nor the one who lives isolated and alone. I don’t want to spend my life laboring in work I find undesirable, or in a cause I don’t believe in. I want to accomplish my dreams, do whatever it is I set my mind to. I want to spend what time I have left being…me.”

A smile stretched across Iylia’s lips, not one of malice or insanity. No, this was a tender smile of love, joy, and beauty. Though Jasairis could barely make it out with his dimming vision. He had allowed his wound to bleed freely till the point the was nigh unconscious.

“I’m leaving, Jasairis.” Iylia whispered, almost to herself. “I won’t come back, I’m going to see what lies beyond these borders. I’m going to see the world, for what it truly is. I hear there are a few Slaneesh cults in the northern nations, half way across the world. Maybe I’ll settle down there, but not after a year or two has passed. I wonder, would you follow me across continents?”

“Only if you make me come after you.” Jasairis stated bluntly, exerting what remained of his energy to make the sentence as smooth as possible.

The priestess’ smile widened, giggling light heartedly to herself before turning away from her love. “Don’t worry Jasaris, I’ll be swift, I’ll be gone…”

Ilyia breaking off into a blurred sprint toward the distant horizon was the last thing Jasairis saw before blacking out.

~~~~~~

The wind had died some time ago, leaving a trail of dead silence in its wake. Honestly, it was unnerving, as if the forest life all together had come to an abrupt halt. Not even the birds stayed to sing any longer. It was now only a sole figure that laid face down in the midst of a sea of stagnant grass.

Something moist poked his cheek and he instinctively swatted it away. Only when it responded in an alerted grunt did Jasairis finally stir from his slumber, shooting his gaze upward to meet the eyes of the mammoth buck staring down upon him before hastily taking flight. He merely listened to gallops fade as his mind was instantly flooded with questions.

How long had he slept? It was still daylight, but he could’ve easily been at rest for over a day with his injury. Injury…

With a grunt of effort, Jasairis pushed himself to his knees, running a hand over his wound should have been. His eyes naturally widened when he finally realized it had vanished.

A dream? No, there is no such possibil…

He paused in his thoughts as he caught a sparkle in the grass by his side. Jasairis pushed the foliage aside to reveal a muddied box of cigarettes, two halves of a split, golden revolver, and even a pocket sized lighter lying half concealed before him.

He gave it no other thought, instantly reaching out for the cigar and box and ripping it open before snatching up his lighter. He pulled free a short, fat cigarette, placing it in his mouth before kindling a spark to light it up. Few seconds passed when he lied once more upon the forest floor, exhaling a mouth full of scented smoke.

“So it begins…”
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