[WAR VII] The Ancestral
WAR VII Entry
Before the languages of modern ages, in the immemorial times of coliseums and gladiators, of grand emperors and mythic beasts, dominion over the world was not merely decided, but proven, by the superiority of individuals. What might be considered barbaric in a different era was an event of much honor and prestige. The title of 'Master' was a thing to be won, to be conquered.
He could hardly keep breath within in his chest. Amber light shone delicately on his battered figure. Three days of battle left his body hunched and sickly tired, struggling to still the legs that wished to buckle. Blood and sweat soaked what little armoring covered his flesh, dirty and shredded pieces scattered across the ground. Beneath a darkening sky, his feet shifted in their leather and metal, and his bare arms locked into place stubbornly, holding sword and shield against his younger, sturdier foe.
He knew this to be the end. He had seen it coming since long before the battle began, but even now, he did not welcome it; he did not submit to it, and he refused to understand how a man of pride could resign himself to the Reaper's grasp. As his gaze met that of his companion, he knew that relinquishing victory here would be the same as spitting on the memories that the two of them had carved into this world together.
The aged canine eyed him only for a moment, time enough to exchange a silent understanding, and then leapt right back into the fight, intense flames crackling in its wake. Crimson and black fur shook and flowed wildly with each movement, uncaring for all the gashes and scorch marks riddling its body. Each step was a leap for a man, bounding toward the fiery-tailed dragon ahead.
Searing flames spilled forth, swirling between the two monstrous bodies. Each snapped at the other, gnawing for a piercing grip with its mouth, and each pulled back and lunged forth with the other's movements. The red dragon's wings bent out at broken angles, rendering the creature incapable of flight, but the large dog knew better than to think its opponent very much weakened. The fight remained in a deadlock since morning, and both still ignored the fatigue tugging at their flesh.
The man's own opponent stared back at him with determined vigor. This enemy of his, one who sought to seize his world from him, was a mere child to his eyes, a boy in the body of a man. He utterly dreaded this enemy's victory.
Both having long since shed their spiked helms, each individual's gaze rarely left the other's, as they both recognized wordlessly, a battle of spirit and will. He charged forward, yearning to forever know the rush of wind against his graying hair and dust-smitten face, and thrust his thick blade straight ahead. His young challenger knocked it away with a swing of his scuffed shield and lunged back in a sideways slash. Blades caught each other, metal on metal, and for a moment, both men could only listen to the grating edges over their own wearying groans.
In an instant, the challenger slung his shield forward and created a narrow opening.
Flat iron plunged through his chest. Dark liquid gushed forth, dripping from both his lips and wound. His gaze fell down, burning the image of his skewered body into his mind, too shocked in that single frame of time to feel pain. The challenger tore the blade free through a stream of blood, and the old Master dropped in a cloud of dust.
His mind and body wrenched together, feeling greater agony than he ever expected. He felt his life waning before him, as if wanting to show him something, but he just gritted his teeth and ignored it. A lust for battle still lingered in his head, but even more than that, he sensed the desire to continue the fight alongside his closest comrade, his lifelong ally. Forcing his eyes open, he threw his gaze at his lone friend.
The relentless dog thrashed through the battle in a frenzy, igniting the night with blinding flames, as if trying to replace the very sun itself. But the creature was outnumbered now. The dragon and human challengers closed in to decide everything together. The ancient canine roared its ferocious refusal, and the dying man felt a pang of desperation pull him to a knee, murky blackness clouding the brims of his vision.
He heard the moment of strike. The flaring dog cried out in mortal pain as he watched his friend fall to the ground, sword and dragon's teeth piercing its thick, trembling neck in unison.
Still, he struggled. Still, amidst the chains of the Underworld clamoring around his arms and legs, his body clashed against the crippling burn in his muscles, the sting that penetrated all the way to his heart. His vision trailed in every direction, seeing the red pool of his own life growing around him, seeing the uncontrollable tremors in his hands, seeing the fiery light dwindle from his dog only a short distance away.
But feeling left him. His body tried to rise without help from his conscious mind, leaving him a mere spectator of a lifetime's worth of anger and fighting, a most adamant world condensed into a few short moments. Flashes of his kingdom distorted his vision, flashes of his subjects, of his wife, his children, his treasures and all things dearest him.
Death took him, leaving his body there alone, standing on his forgotten feet, and it was then that he truly knew the meaning of an honest heart's desire.
Last edited by Galleon; 06-17-2008 at 04:06 AM.
Reason: Couldn't help myself. -_-