Book 5, Chapter 1

Eternal King

A curtain of darkness fell upon the earth as blazing clouds constantly gathered and scattered like celestial horses charging across the sky. There was no sun to be seen, but the world was illuminated by a million flames.

This scene of black and crimson was not a plane of fire but the last throes of a dying land. There was no water to be found anywhere, all life burnt to cinders. Even the flames would not last much longer, soon exhausting their fuel as they gave way to eternal darkness.

The entire plane trembled slightly as a gigantic rift tore apart the blazing skies. Ink-black teeth seemed to tear through the space of existence, silent flames pouring out like a rain of fire. The charred soil was engulfed once more, the ember turning into ash. Everything happened in absolute silence, but the last dregs of the world’s energy were being consumed in abyssal flames.

There was no sound to be heard in the emptied atmosphere, but one could still feel the tremors from the earth as it wept for its death.

The ground was covered in deep fissures that occasionally spouted bursts of dark liquid. However, this was not water but condensed energy. It burnt viciously once it left the ground, forming a terrifying pillar of fire that was a thousand metres thick. As the temperature continued to increase, these crimson flames slowly turned transparent and faded away.

There was no wind here, only streams of fire that destroyed any remnants of this plane.

One could still see mountains in this world, some that had existed for thousands of years and others that had been ripped out of the earth only a short time ago. These mountain ranges crossed over each other in all sorts of strange shapes, looking like the sinister scars of the world’s heart.

One could still make out ruined cities next to the dried riverbeds, indications that there had been life here once that had branded the world with their existence. However, these brands that had survived wars and natural disasters were insignificant in the face of this apocalypse, constantly being wiped out by the turbid flames. These flames were not normal either; they were fuelled by the origin energy of the plane, by the very death of the world.

The skies themselves were tearing apart, the clouds spilling fire as they faded into the dark. However, they gave way to magnificent expanses of light that floated and danced in the void, appearing and disappearing without any rhyme or reason. As these strips made contact with the last vestiges of existence, the earth seemed to be wiped away by an invisible yet omnipotent hand.

Any expert from a primary plane would be able to recognise these strips of light for what they were— spatial turbulence. Everything they touched was transported to a different world, sometimes a plane full of life but most often other lands of despair that had died eons ago.

At the centre of it all was a mountain. It wasn’t particularly tall nor majestic, but right now it seemed extremely striking. This was because this mountain was the only part of the world that seemed to be safe from the apocalypse outside. It still retained some traces of life.

However, the grass and trees had been dyed red with blood. Bodies littered the entire mountain, most humanoid in nature but few actually human. The bodies of the humans and this other species were intertwined, limbs stacked on each other until armour and clothing could no longer be seen. Weapons had often pierced into so many bodies they could barely even be seen. However, one could still vaguely tell that there were quite a few bodies from this other race piled up with every human corpse.

The closer one got to the top of the mountain, the more crowded these bodies were. The number of injuries they had sustained were also growing, while the armour and weapons had survived the battle with much less damage. The alien race was still completely unarmed, but the bodies were evidently bulkier than those of their peers underneath.

One could see that many powerhouses were present halfway up the mountain and higher. They had endured even more injuries, reaped even more destruction. However, all of them had already been dead for a long time.

This was an incomparably wretched battlefield.

The foreign race was visibly extraordinary. Regardless of strength, every creature bled in hues of gold that refused to join the now-crimson earth, instead forming small puddles that glowed like the stars in the sky. Every puddle of this liquid emanated a trace of divine power.

The only gap in the battlefield existed at the very top, where the bodies of this foreign race were stopped in a circle around the centre. A bird’s eye view would show the entire mountain to be covered crimson spiral of deep gorges that split apart the stone earth, revealing the crust that had lasted millions of years and the boiling waves of energy below. At the centre of it all was a figure that one would look up to despite its average build. This was a man who stayed propped up against his sword, eyes gazing into the distance. The damage ended right at his feet.

Next to him, a tall man dressed completely in sinister black armour had knelt with one knee on the ground, the sharp spikes on his armour almost completely destroyed. It was apparent that he had survived the terrifying battle. These two silhouettes seemed to occupy their own world, separated from the rest by a blanket of green grass.

The most eye-catching sight amongst the pile of bodies were two enormous armoured warriors. Each one had a small hill of bodies piled up in front of them. These were Kaylen and Kayde, two of Gaton’s thirteen. Looking more closely, one could see other figures from Gaton’s entourage as well. They had all turned into corpses, but just like the two warriors there were mounds of bodies next to them.

This was an indescribable battle that had started off with a divine smite that tore the skies asunder. Gaton had naturally stood at the very top and blocked the attack, all of his followers and soldiers behind him. Afterwards, the enemies had surged forth like the tide as they crashed against this sole mountain over and over before dying on their path to the peak. All of Gaton’s warriors and knights had fallen in battle.

Nobody knew how long the war had lasted, but Gaton still stood tall as ever at the highest point, blocking all the attacks from the sky. This was a place nobody could step foot in, a place belonging to the eternal king.

The world was dead, but there was one person who remained alive. The man called the Devil King remained in his kneeling position, waiting patiently for his master to move.

The river of time seemed to have stopped the moment the world died, but there were many heads next to Mordred’s feet. Their faces were humanoid in nature, but there were many differences as well. They looked dignified and grand, as though crafted by the very heavens themselves. Even in death, an onlooker would feel the urge to worship their golden eyes.

However, similarly golden blood was constantly flowing out of their mouths. Golden hair seemed to be flying despite the lack of wind, but if one looked closely they would find that it wasn’t hair but streams of divine power being burnt.

These heads were everywhere, on the grass, buried in the soil, one even under Mordred’s steel boots. There was one similarity between all of them; they were burning their power with all their might in an attempt to turn to ash. However, the incomparably pure power seemed to be bound by a terrifying strength, forcing them to suffer this humiliation. In actuality, their godfires had already petered out; as the plane died, their divinity had disappeared completely.

When Mordred eventually shifted, dust fell off his helmet. The deep red of his eyes faded into a boundless black like in the skies above. As he gazed at Gaton’s unmoving body for a long while, traces of despair started to appear within his eyes. Eventually, he produced a guttural sigh from his throat, “My King…”

The Devil King finally stood up, movements extremely rigid. The joints of his armour creaked, as did the joints of his body itself. He evidently hadn’t moved in a very long time.

When he finally stood up, his steps seemed to cause the entire mountain to tremble. The head that had been crushed under his feet finally exploded into streams of golden flames and liquid. However, it still could not dissipate. The head that had been turned into a pulp still maintained its physical form, as though it would remain alive to suffer for all eternity.

Gaton’s body swayed with the trembling of the mountain. Mordred’s eyes widened as he reached out, but his movements suddenly froze in mid-air. Gaton’s position eventually stabilised and he remained standing, but the huge sword he was leaning against turned into dust right under Mordred’s gaze.

A long while later, another deep sigh rang through the mountaintop despite the lack of air. Mordred had known that there were no traces of life left in Gaton’s body, but he had still wanted to wait; to wait for the moment a miracle would happen. He believed his king would always be able to create such miracles.

However, this time there seemed to be no such thing.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA