Stanley – 31


 STANLEY

Season 2

Part 31

Rated M for mature content.

Previous Chapter


The dark-haired young woman and her more-light-colored-hair friend were about to move out of the apartment towards the staircase when they suddenly heard the police sirens that had been in the background since a few minutes ago ring out much closer and tires screeching as cars came to a halt in front of the building. They both stopped in their tracks as they were about to walk towards the elevator and looked at each other.

“Do you think we should go check it out très chère?” Asked Michel after a few seconds spent trying to figure out what was indeed happening.

Stephanie simply nodded before rushing back into the apartment and looking out the window. She immediately froze as she saw almost a dozen policemen in uniforms rush out of their cars and enter by the front door. The young woman somehow immediately knew they were coming exactly where they were, how she knew that would remain a mystery but somehow she did.

“Damn it!” She swore as she backed away and looked at Michel who had looked out the window too.

“What do we do maintenant?” He asked with a tense expression.

“I don’t know…” Replied the young woman as her brain fumed, trying to come up for a solution to get out of the hellhole they were trapped in.

They couldn’t leave by the front entrance, it would seem to suspicious but they couldn’t very well stay there either because it would almost certainly insure their capture and their prosecution as The Duck’s murderers. No one would believe them if they tried to explain what they were doing here, especially not her. Plus everything would come to light, everything she had had to do. The young woman shivered at the thought. No, it couldn’t happen, they had to get out.

“This way?”

She turned towards the bearded man as she heard his voice, he was pointing towards the window. As her eyes followed his well muscled and tanned arm she imagined herself being wrapped in it and relishing the moment as her mind went back to the previous night. Then she saw the staircase and it all became clear, the fog clouding her mind seemed to go away and she let a smile spread across her face as she understood what he meant. Of course! She thought. The emergency staircase! 

“Yes, you’re a genius!” She exclaimed as she gave him a kiss on the cheek before rushing towards the red metallic structure outside the window.

Michel followed her closely after closing the window as best as he could behind him. They ran as fast as they could up the stairs, hearing the sounds of policemen entering the apartment soon after they had exited it. The young woman thanked the upcoming summer and all those sessions at the gym for her cardiovascular system’s good shape. They finally arrived on the roof after a few seconds of silent effort and she didn’t have time to catch her breath as they started moving again.

To be continued…


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The rider in the storm

Image source unknown


Night. The darkest hour. When all hope disappears. Thunder is rumbling, the wind is howling madly. The grass on the hills is bending under the power of the storm. Rain is falling hard on the ground, plundering the earth. A dark shadow is moving. A horse is running, a rider on its back. Running as fast as it can, as if its life depended on it. Running as quick as the wind. He rides, never looking back, hoping they are okay. Praying to reach them in time. The world seems against him; as if the gods were mad at him. As if they had unleashed Hell on Earth. Droplets of water, as cold and hard as ice hits him in the face, rendering him unable to see more than a few meters in front of him.

Lightning strikes, once, twice, giving shape to the shadow of a ghost. A ghost from the past that is catching up on him. He knows he should run away but he can’t. He has to cope with that growing unease growing inside him. They need him! He has to get there at all cost! He has to make it, his steed knows it also. The mighty stallion gains speed, outrunning the heavy gusts of wind. Its mane buzzing frantically as it gains more speed, sparks forming around its legs. Getting bigger and more frequent with each new step. Suddenly it lights up in a thunderous boom, thousands of tiny lighting bolts coming out of its mane and its tail, covering its entire body. It gains even more speed, running so fast it outruns even the heavenly flashes. Cutting through the mad rain, leaving a burnt trail behind it. He runs an impossible race. A race for his friends. A race against time, against himself. A race against death…


Here is a text I wrote some time ago, a scene from one of my stories that I have had in mind for some time.

The Celestial Rift

Long ago, when the skies were still young and the earth was vast and wild, they reigned over everything that was.

The Sun, bright and powerful, was the king of Day, bringing warmth and power to all.

The Moon, softly glowing and graceful, was queen of the Night and mother in the dark sky.

Each of them was the ruler of an endless kingdom; they followed each other, dancing a never-ending dance.

But the Sun, even in his infinite brilliance and power, was jealous of the Moon and her soft beauty.

He saw the charming radiance of his nocturnal counterpart as an unequalled perfection, more beautiful than his own.

He therefore devised a plan to gain supremacy over the Moon. For days and nights he tirelessly worked to breathe life to a new creation.

On the fourth day he finished and on the fifth night he finally revealed his creation to the Moon.

As soon as the last lights of day vanished he released thousands upon thousands of shining jewels into the aether.

“I have named them Stars”, he said to the Moon as she curiously watched him unveil his work. “A gift for you my Lady.”

The Lady of the Night revelled in this newfound beauty and found herself unable to look away for a long moment.

Finally she praised the Sun for his marvellous work, enthralled by its magnificence.

“How shall I ever repay you for this infinite kindness my Lord?”, she finally asked.

The Sun replied it was a gift and therefore there was no need for repayment but the Moon insisted and the Sun replied he would think about it.

By the second day after his work had been completed the Sun returned to the Moon.

“There is no need for you to repay me other than with the joy I saw in you at the sight of my creation…”, the Sun said.

“But,” he continued as the Moon was about to protest once more, “if so is your wish then here is what I offer…”.

The Sun asked the Moon with giving ‘substance’ to the aether, a task he knew impossible, even for him.

Giving ‘substance’ to a void of substance so vast and dark was something unthinkable…

But the Moon in her excitement at the idea of being able to repay her counterpart, agreed with no reserve.

For many days and nights the Moon lay pensive, under the newly created shining dome that filled the sky, trying to solve the Sun’s unsolvable puzzle.

Finally, after what seemed like and eternity to her, she realized the only way to do it would be to use all her power.

It was a dangerous task, even for her, an astral being, but she was willing to try to repay the Sun’s kindness.

The Sun watched all of this with a fierce fire burning inside of him.

The Moon, once her task was decided, set on to complete it, just as the Sun, she tirelessly worked but for many more days and nights.

Her brilliance was even more beautiful and graceful as she worked hard on her task and the Sun couldn’t help but being captivated by it.

Finally her own creation was ready and she waited the following night to unveil it to the Sun.

The Sun, of course, had watched all of it and he knew the Moon had put all her heart and her soul into her work.

Her genuine will to repay him stirred a wave of remorse inside him as she was about to unveil her creation.

But it was too late, the Moon offered him the gift and the Sun had to accept it.

He opened it, releasing the newly created ‘substance’ into the aether and for a moment he thought she had succeeded.

He stared into the endless sky, amazed by the ocean of shimmering beauty that was spreading between the stars and filling the void.

The Sun almost wished that it didn’t stop and that it completed itself.

Unfortunately the magic didn’t last, it was not powerful enough, and the spell broke.

The ocean fell apart and faded into the void, leaving only a feeling of emptiness inside the Sun’s heart.

He turned to his nightly counterpart to comfort her, unable to withstand the wave of sadness he knew would fill her whole being but it was too late.

The tears had already rolled on the Lady of the Night’s ivory skin and she was pointing an accusatory finger at him.

“You set an impossible task for me,” she said in a voice as cold as ice, “you knew it was impossible and yet you still asked this of me.”

“My heart and soul went in this gift for you and yet you cannot be contempt… Your wish cannot be fulfilled…”

“I will remember this ’til eternity, the shame, the anger and the emptiness will never leave me…”

“Living with this knowledge will now be your burden, your curse… For I curse you to know the pain I feel!”, the Moon said before vanishing.

The Sun, for the first time since he could remember, felt something far greater than physical pain and far more real than excitement: regret.

He tried to help her but it was too late, the Lady of the Night was gone, her brilliance had faded away, her power was gone and her heart was empty.

Never did he see her smile or her pale grace tenderly wrap around the world again, the nights had gone dark and cold with only his creation to light them.

He could feel the regret, the anger and the bitterness that were slowly eating at her heart and consuming her but was cursed to be unable to help.

Another eternity seemed to pass as he waited, looking at the lost Lady who was now unable to shine her peace on the world and longing for her return.

She was but a lost child, wandering the sky without a purpose or a goal… longing for her lost radiance…

But it would never returned, it could never return. He had made sure of that he had thought up the task he would give her.

Nothing would ever be the same again. But what was all this power and brilliance if he couldn’t share it with her? His heart wanted to break a million times.

The Moon was consumed but her emptiness and her regret, slowly her heart turned dark with thoughts of revenge.

Making the Sun know and regret what he had done wasn’t enough anymore, she had lost it all. He also had to feel it…

She thought of many ways to get revenge but in her immense knowledge she knew of no solution… None she could use now at least…

Her despair was growing and she thought it was all lost, however the demon race offered her a pact.

Her brilliance and power restored in exchange for her blessing.

Blinded by pain and the prospect of revenge the Moon gave way to her hatred.

The demons taught her a powerful but complicated spell and helped her use it to restore her power.

She thought of having been betrayed once more when, once the spell done, nothing had changed.

But her power was indeed restored and slowly she felt her aura become more brilliant once more.

It grew and grew, brighter and brighter, lighting the heavens and the earth in a light even more brilliant than that of the Sun.

Too late however the Moon realized her mistake, her aura had become crimson red and her once brilliant and pure blue glow had transformed into a blood-red light.

Too late she realized that the demon race was planning to use the spell to do the unthinkable.

The Sun rushed to her help, using all his power to free her from the spell but the harm had been done.

“The harm you have done me, nothing can ever repair it, nothing can ever heal the wound inside my heart…”

“But I forgive you for now I understand how foolish one can be when blinded by temptation…”

“It is too late for me my friend… No longer can I share your burden, no longer will the world know my love for it…”

“But you know. Atone for your sin by remembering my legacy…”

The spell the demons had created was too powerful to be fought and the Moon could barely resist it.

The Sun could only watch with despair as the queen of the Night let herself be consumed by it.

“It is the only way…”, he heard her whisper as she faded away into the void, leaving behind her only a large scar in the heavens.

A scar of dust glowing in a soft blue light.


Okay, this is something that I’ve been thinking about for a few days now and that I’ve spent the whole evening writing.

I’m really inspired by this story and I think that I managed to get the story-telling right and the character quite right too.

It is still far from finished/perfect, -though I’m a bit proud of myself, it’s not so bad for a first draft is it?- and will need some rework but I wanted to share it immediately with you guys.

Hope you enjoy! ;)

 

The demon

night sky

Credits to Elias Stern / LordDoomhammer for this amazing piece called Graceful Moonlight.

It the olden days there was another,

A sphere of light high up in the sky,

That lit up the world just like a mother

During the dark nights, high up it would fly.

 *

The night was dark but the sky was clear. One could see the stars and the soft light of the moon. The night was dark and the air was cold. He could see the creature’s breath shimmer slightly before disappearing mysteriously. He should’ve been cold but the fight had lit a fire in his heart, each breath spread the warmth all over his body. He could feel his blood pumping in his arms, in his head and in chest. He was alive. No, he was still alive. How could he still be alive? How could he have survived so long against such a monster? He saw its red eyes shine in the dark, looking intently at him as if they were piercing his mind, as if it could see directly into his soul. His breath was heavy as he tried to recover from the exhaustion. His muscles were burning, his mind was getting fuzzy by moments and, even if he was still standing, he knew it wouldn’t be long before he crumbled under the immensely powerful attacks of the beast in front of him.

The only thing that kept him alive and standing was that he couldn’t fail. It wasn’t a question of honor or pride, no, he simply couldn’t fail. He had to protect them. He had to protect everyone. If he died here it didn’t matter as long as he took the creature with him, but he couldn’t be defeated, he couldn’t lose. For if he was… He shivered as images of the burning village flashed in his mind, his wife and child, his friends and his neighbors, so many innocent slain by one single being. No! He definitely couldn’t let it happen. He was the only one that could stop it, the only one that had a chance. He couldn’t lose but he didn’t see how he could win either. They had been at it for so long and he hadn’t managed to injure it even once yet. How do I defeat that thing? How? The question echoed endlessly through his mind as he parried and counter attacked over and over again. How do I kill it?

He had felt its aura long before it had reached the village, the deathly smell that characterized its kind. He had known it was coming long before he had seen its bloody eyes glow menacingly at him. He hadn’t been able to believe it at first; they hadn’t been seen for centuries. Why had it appeared now? And why here? How could it be possible? He had no answer to the many questions that had flooded his mind, answers were not important though, action was. He had known what he had to do almost immediately: he had to go face it. He had to kill it before it killed them. Night had already begun to fall when he had jumped on his horse and had left them, not even looking back once as he disappeared in the horizon. He had ridden for hours before reaching the place where it had appeared and a few more before he had encountered it. The night was dark but the light of the moon offered just enough vision to survive its attacks, at least until now.

It was tall, much taller than him, with long limbs and skin darker than night, red eyes and claws so long and so sharp they could tear a man apart without difficulty. The only reason he had managed to survive until was because he had been a royal knight in another life, he had become the protector of the village after years of faithful services and the armor he had donned all these years was reinforced with magic. His lion shield had been enchanted to resist to the strongest blows as well as the passing of time and his sword was a cursed blade, it was the only way to injure a magical creature. And boy, what a creature he had in front of him. Easily over two meters tall with sharp with teeth and deadly magical power, it was easily a mediare daemonis, a middle class demon. A very powerful creature that was said to come from the burning fires of hell. One must have been crazy or foolish to go up against such a monster but he hadn’t lost his mind, he had no other choice if he wanted to keep them safe.

Claws clashed against shield and sword against scale, over and over, relentlessly. Each time he could see the hellish fire burning in its eyes and felt as if the demonic glare was tearing his mind and soul to shreds. He parried and counterattacked, throwing mad sword thrusts at the dark limbs but never succeeding in wounding them. The demon would smile from time to time, as if it enjoyed toying with him, displaying blood-red teeth as sharp as knives. Suddenly he jumped and rolled to the side to evade another blow, the large arm passed right by him and hit the ground with so much strength it crumbled the rocks beneath it. He used this single instant to get back to his feet and thrust his sword at the creature’s exposed chest but the demon was faster and caught the sword between its claws, turning towards him with a wicked smile.

“Foolish human… You cannot defeat me, not even with your sacred weapons…” Its voice was deep and it seemed to echo in darkness.

No, he thought, not in darkness. It was as if its voice was the darkness and as if it took form as it left its mouth. I’m never going to be able to kill that thing… he thought, his mind slowly going numb. He felt as if his body had suddenly been tossed into water, his movements were sluggish, his breathing was ragged and he had difficulty moving his chest to take in a new wave of oxygen. The world had suddenly solidified around him and he could literally feel the weight of it on his shoulders, forcing him to the ground, dragging him to the depths of the underworld. He fell to his knee, only managing to stop himself from falling to the ground by burying the tip of his sword in the dry dirt under his feet. Images flashed before his eyes, the village in ruins, every house burning up in flames as dark as the night, his family lying on the ground, in each other’s arms, dead. No… No! This can’t be happening, no! His head was about to explode, he couldn’t go on anymore, it had to stop.

“Do you see now, it will only end in death and suffering… And that will all be my doing. You cannot stop me, it is already too late!” The demon spoke again, boring its eyes into his, breaking every wall and piercing every barrier to touch his soul.

As soon as it happened he felt a searing pain, this time his head had exploded, it couldn’t be otherwise. He had died and gone to hell where the demon was tormenting him. Hahaha. You are a mine and so are all the others, I will crush you like the insects you are… This time the voice was in his head, it echoed endlessly, sending flashes of unbearable pain and images of his family. His wife, bloody and crying over their son’s body, all torn up and burnt. A sword pierced her heart and a single cry echoed in the night before she fell to the ground next to the young boy. Now die! The voice added and he felt a searing pain in his mind as the demon’s consciousness retreated from it.

He felt it was an eternity before he finally opened his eyes again, he was still on his knees, his body completely paralyzed by intense pain. The demon was towering over him, its dark form expanding in two large wings on each side and its eyes glowing a deep dark shade of red. The creature was holding a large silver blade in its hand, its edge seemed like it was made of a different material than the center and glowed with an eerie purple light. The sword was much longer than what he had ever seen and the edges seemed to be made like teeth of a saw, as if it had been forged to tear apart instead of cutting. The creature lifted it in the air and displayed a wicked smile.

“Now die.” Its voice sounded mocking and amused as it brought down its large and dark arm.

As the deadly weapon was about to hit him an image flashed in his mind, the last look of his wife as he had left and the fear in his son’s eyes. He felt a sudden warmth in his chest as his blood started to boil again, anger coursed through his veins. He couldn’t let it win, it was simply not a possibility!

“No.” He managed to reply, planting his foot on the ground and raising his shield once more to protect himself.

He parried the blow and quickly took a step back, readying his sword once more. He would not fall now, he would not let his loved ones get slaughtered by this monster. He saw surprise flash in the demon’s eyes as he got back up and could have sworn he had seen a hint of fear.

“Impressive…” The demon’s voice was still as calm and deadly as before, there was no hint that he was worried by his opponent just getting back up. “You have a noteworthy resolve for a human.” The creature added before thrusting his sword forward.

He parried with difficulty, feeling his arm go numb as the sword hit his shield. The lion head resounded for a few seconds as the shield shook powerfully under the assault. He could only try to parry as best as he could as the creature attacked relentlessly, over and over again with a blood lust and rage he had never felt before. Its aura was overwhelming and had he not known that they would all die if he didn’t kill it he would have succumbed to it and been utterly destroyed. Dust flew around them as the danced furiously under the moonlight. One might almost have viewed this scene as poetic if they hadn’t known it was a fight.

He tried to fought back, parrying and counterattacking as fiercely as he could, but he was still getting overwhelmed and he knew it was only a matter of time before he would be defeated. Even with the sacred weapons that had been given to him by the royal smith himself he couldn’t match the creature’s natural raw power and strength. It was from another realm and very few men had fought one and lived to tell the tale, all of which were far stronger than he had ever been. Still he hung on, still he fought back. He couldn’t let them be killed, he was the only one who could protect them.

Another unbearably strong hit on his shield, then a clash of swords that sent him a few feet backwards, his arms were starting to give out. His armor was dented and bent everywhere, his shield was close to breaking, he could feel it, and his sword never got close enough to lend a hit. Blow after blow he was pushed back and toyed with, as if the demon was taking pleasure n chipping away his spirit and soul, piece by piece. Another block with his shield, it effectively cutting of the trajectory of the ethereal sword but this time his legs gave out and he was sent flying backwards, landing painfully on his back.

As he tried to get back up he felt something wet on his side. A large gash was open in his top and blood was flowing from the wound, tainting his armor with a deep red color. The demon had finally managed to wound him seriously. He felt the cold spread in his left side, the arm with which he was holding his shield was starting to grow weak. Damn it! He thought, it can’t end like this. I can’t die now! Ugh! A wave of pain coursed through his body and he winced as he tried to get back up. The demon was looking at him, slowly walking to him, as if it enjoyed this moment.

“Sadly you are still nothing but a human…” It said as it stopped before him, preparing to strike.

Finally, with great effort and a wave of pain he managed to raise his shield to try to protect himself. The demon was about to strike when suddenly the light of the moon changed, it went from the usual bluish shade to a deep red one, the reflection of the light on his shield seemed to take the creature aback. Its eyes widened with surprise and fear and it took a step back. He used this moment of distraction to get back up and, stumbling to keep his balance as his wound hurt, he got back in a fighting stance, readying his sword to strike once more. The demon got its balance back, suddenly looking at the moon and letting out a furious roar.

“How?! How could you…!” It turned back towards him, the fire in its eyes burning with much more intensity as it let out its rage.

The demon raised its sword once more and launched a furious series of attacks. However he was ready for this and he managed to block the first two before the creature’s unmatchable strength blew his shield away. He was wounded once more on his right arm this time and almost dropped his sword as his hellish opponent caught him by the throat and lifted him up from the ground. Then, before he could even have a moment to notice he couldn’t breathe, the creature readied its sword again and struck. He felt a deathly cold pierce his chest as the silver and violet blade plunged in him before a hot searing pain took over.

This time he couldn’t suppress the cry of pain as he felt his mind explode in a myriad of pieces. His vision went blank for a second before he saw the fire once again. Its eyes that had been burning with an intense and hellish fire up until now were dark, the fire had turned black and seemed to suck out any light around as if it was consuming it.

“You are just a puny human, you are not even worthy of my efforts…” The demon said as he looked directly into his eyes.

It was all over. He had lost. He was going to die here and so were all the other, massacred by a ruthless creature that took pleasure in inflicting pain in others… Damn it… How could I let this happen…? He thought with dejection as he felt his consciousness slip away. He felt the weight of his sword in his hand and as he felt like his soul was slowly getting sucked in by the darkness in the creature’s eyes another image flashed in his head and realization dawned on him. This was his chance! He just needed to get close enough to land a blow, this was it… He felt the pommel of his blade start to slip away and swore inwardly. Come on! You can do this! He grunted, trying to make his hand move.

Everything was happening in slow motion now, he felt his fingers move, gripping the blade as he caught it before it fell. He then looked into the demon’s eyes and tried his best to display his determination. He readied his arm, tensing at the pain he felt and he was about to feel. The creature’s eyes narrowed a split second before he struck. Its mouth opened and slowly his opponent looked down at its chest, following his arm, the pommel of his sword and finally the blade which had sunk all the way in its chest. After what seemed an eternity it looked back up and stumbled on its feet.

“H- How…?” Asked the demon, its voice was soft, almost a whisper as incomprehension took the place of surprise.

He saw the creature look up at the sky and the reddish colored moon, its eyes now back to their normal hellish fire and filled of fear. He felt all the anger and the determination he had swell up inside him and forced himself to smile. His breathing was ragged but he still managed to get the words out, the first one since they had started the duel.

“Humans… are not weak…” He said and the creature looked back at him.

“No… no…” The demon’s voice was but a whisper now. “No, no, no… NO!!!” Its voice became louder each time it repeated the word, not believing what was happening.

He felt the grip on his throat loosen and fell to the ground. His vision was getting blurry but he still saw the creature fall to its knees as it pulled his now blood-red blade out of its chest and threw it on the ground. A dark liquid was gushing out of the large wound, forming a pool around the creature’s knees. Come on, die you bastard! He thought, almost praying to all the gods he knew for it to die. The demon looked at the moon for a moment, its breathing getting heavier, before raising a raging fist and letting out a deafening roar. It seemed like an eternity before the sound faded away and he saw the monster slowly fall to the ground, face first.

Its body jerked a few times before becoming completely still. At what seemed to him to be the same time as it drew its last breath a flash of light momentarily blinded him. As his sight came back he noticed that the silver and violet sword had disappeared and that a pool of blood was forming around him too. Breathing was getting more and more difficult, he didn’t have the strength to move anymore but still a small smile formed onto his face as he realized he had killed it. Finally… He let out a painful sigh. Thank you, thank you… He didn’t know who he was thanking but only the gods could have allowed such a miracle to happen. He had defeated the demon… Now they were safe. You are safe… The world around him went dark as the thought crossed his mind. He felt his consciousness slip away as a comfortable cold slowly took over his body.

He was dying and he knew it, but he didn’t care, they were safe and that was all that mattered. They were safe. As the man that his village would later know as a hero lay there, unmoving, the moon’s light slowly went back to its usual bluish color. A small breeze blew over the two corpses, slowly blowing away the demon’s body as if it was sand. That night would later be known as the first night of the red moon, when a demon had been defeated by a brave human who had managed to protect everyone by sacrificing his own life. None knew what happened to him after that though, his body was never found, only his shield with the mighty lion head engraved on the front side, planted in the ground where the fight had taken place.

Death is but a transition

“Does the people wish to hear the last words of the criminal?!” Asked the head judge as he stepped on the wooden platform where the man was chained.

Many hands shot up as he asked this question, more than three-quarters of the crowd cheered to manifest their wish to hear his final pleadings to the judges and to the sky to let him live, while the other part of the crowd just wanted to see the execution and the monster, that was still breathing, die before their eyes. None of them were particularly excited by the idea of someone dying before their eyes but he was different, he had been such a pain in their life in his foolish quest to destroy everything. Now he was being punished for his countless crimes and they wanted to see him pay. The soul lance was almost ready and in a few minutes he would his existence would have vanished from this world and they would be at peace again.

“Very well, criminal, you may speak one last time…” Said the middle-aged man who had been presiding over his trial, scratching his long bear at the same time.

The executioners walked to the chained prisoner and proceeded to unbound his mouth before taking a step back to let everyone see him as he spoke. He had short brown hair and a short, well-trimmed beard. His eyes were of a surprising color, in-between pale blue and grey, as he lifted his head to look at the crowd that had gathered before him. He stared at them for a long moment during which everyone held their breath in anticipation before he spoke. His voice was deep and calm as he started to pronounce his last words.

“I am Ascendi, I am the prince and today I am to be executed like a vulgar criminal, here are my words to you. Death is but a transition, life may be taken away from me, I may be reduced to ashes, my soul may leave my body, but do you think that it will stop me? I am Ascendi and I will make this continent crumble, I will make your houses and you palaces, your cities and you countries, turn to rubble under my foot. This will no stop me, nothing will stop me. Death is but a transition…” As his words echoed around the wide square no other sound could be heard, all held their breaths either in shock, fear or anticipation.

The judge gave the order and the executioners took the veil off the large spear that had been levitating over the wooden platform, it started glowing brighter as the put their palms out towards it and started chanting in the ancient language. A few seconds passed, during which they were the only ones who dared speak, then slowly the air started blurring around the length of the lance and red flames appeared, quickly growing and turning to orange, then yellow and finally pure white.

The intensity of the heat and the light that emanated from the flames could be felt all the way to the back of the crowd, people could barely keep their eyes open. The executioners’ chant started getting louder and louder to finally reach its peak as they gave the final words. They both took a step back and the soul lance slowly started getting closer to the man in chains, he stared at the sacred weapon with pride until it reached the center of its chest.

Then it stopped moving but kept getting brighter. The man closed his eyes and opened his mouth, letting out all his rage into a single but powerful cry. It lasted for a number of long seconds, only his voice could be heard now as he was completely engulfed by the light. Then, suddenly, there was an even brighter flash of light that encompassed the whole square. As quickly as it had come the light had vanished, along with the echoes of the criminal’s voice.

When the crowd opened their eyes the only thing that could be seen were the chains that bound him earlier, nothing of the man remained, he had completely vanished and the spear had found it place back in the center of the wooden platform. It was once more covered with the veil by the executioner before the judge walked to the crowd.

“The criminal has been executed!” He exclaimed before turning around and leaving the platform as cheers erupted from the crowd.