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Chapter Thirty- Seven

There were colossal webs of rugged rock surrounding this horrid place. The gigantic web of sharp rock loomed far above the gloomy clouds. The sight was surreal; the mist creating a veil, only revealing the preternatural stone formations in the distance.

“What-? “ I uttered as I slipped on the moist mud, falling down a small but steep cliff.

I slammed down onto the jagged rock beneath, gazing up at the colossal craggy rock, interlacing with the others.

Still utterly confused, I gazed around attempting to deduce where the peregrination crystal might have led me, but I couldn’t recollect any land on earth which could bear these otherworldly formations of stone.

“Where have you sent me?” I shouted, hoping that the Forn could hear me.

“You are where you want be,” a chilling raspy voice uttered in my head.

I quickly turned around, with my legs trembling and eyes dancing.

“Who speaks?” I panted.

As I turned back forward, I was awe stricken by his presence. My throat clenched and my muscles tightened.

“I knew you’d come,” Velkagon calmly answered. There he was, simply standing there, on the edge of the rock on which we stood, gazing straight at me with his hollow dark eyes. “It was, but a matter of time.”

“Where are we?” I trembled.

“We are where you wanted to be,” Velkagon turned his gaze forward.

I came closer to the edge and gazed down at the massive hole in the ground, surrounded by a colossal maze of web-like rock.

“The abyss…” I murmured.

Velkagon turned his head towards me, and I was too frightened to reciprocate.

“Don’t worry, Augustine. It is just you and me here.”

“So, this is it,” I stuttered whilst gazing at the dreaded abyss.

Velkagon continued to gaze at me, as the wind blew his incense in my direction.

“You can simply give it to me, and this will all be over.”

I stood in silence, staring out at the dreaded abyss.

“I know this wasn’t your choice.” Velkagon slowly approached me, and my heart began pounding while cold sweat accumulated on my face.

“You are but innocent in my eyes, and I shan’t pursue you any longer if you simply- hand it over.”

He stretched his abhorrent arm of rotten flesh and moss toward me; the incense barley masking its smell.

I had no other option, so I opened my satchel and slowly removed the dagger. As it began to glow in my hands, I glared at it as its alluring glow. Turning my gaze toward the abominable hands of Velkagon

“And if I don’t?” I shivered in dread.

“Then you’d be but a fool.”

My hand began to grow numb and tremble, as did my legs. I stared at Velkagons palm, contemplating what to do.

In a swift move, I lifted the dagger, and sliced Velkagon’s hand, hastily running down the cliff and entering the maze of colossal jagged rocks.

I panted and clumsily tripped on my way towards the opening. My legs felt light and my chest like an anvil.

“Why do you run?” Velkagon’s horrid voice tortured my mind.

I ignored his calls, persistently jumping from one rock to another.

“Augustine!” His voice echoed once more.

“GET OUT OF MY HEAD!” I ordered, as a shadow of a chain smashed through the rock, forcing me to collapse on a slab below.

I quickly hid behind a jagged pillar which intersected the rock on which I stood. Panting in utter dread I clenched the dagger, gazing over my shoulder at the opening.

“You are making this harder on yourself.”

“I’m finishing it.”

With a jolt I leaped from the rock and onto jagged surface below, crashing harshly. Quickly recovering, I ran towards the abyss...

I ran as fast as I possibly could. My breath coming in short gasps. A few more meters and I arrived. A faint smile had formed on my face, for at last this was over.

Out of nowhere a black chain pierced my shoulder, sending me backwards. In utter panic I attempted to rise just as another chain pierced though my abdomen.

I continued to struggle to gain my freedom. I was so close.

The final two chains burst through my legs, wrapping around them and tying me down to the ground.

With my dagger I cut through the chain which pierced my left shoulder. Just as quickly another tied itself around my arm.

“Let me go!” I shouted as Velkagon slowly approached me.

I heard a hissing sound as the chain forced me around to face Velkagon.

Continuing to squirm, I desperately attempted to stand, but the black chain held me down on my knees.

Velkagon halted in front of me, gazing down at me, as if he were disappointed.

“I thought you were smarter than this.”

“Go AWAY!” I yelled, desperately attempting to free myself.

“What intrigues me is, why?”

I persistently screamed out , gazing into the hollow eyes of Velkagon.

“Why go all this way, for people which would pay to watch you burn.”

“Because it’s the right thing to do-“

“Oh, spare me of your feign morals!” Velkagon squatted in front of me as I shivered in fear, “Tell me, Augustine, why?”

I stared at Velkagon, with my head held high, attempting to shroud my dread.

“I didn’t want to; this is not my war-“

“If you wanted to be rid of this burden, you would have done it long ago, but alas you are here.” Velkagon motioned with his hand towards this perplexing place. “You want to be here, your heart longs for this-“

“You don’t know me!”

“Perhaps I don’t, but I can deduce your actions, Augustine,” Velkagon drew closer to my face. “I think you don’t want this to end. I think you know, that after this is gone,” Velkagon slowly put his finger on the sharp point of the blade, “you have no one waiting for you at home.”

My heart sank, as I turned my gaze to the floor.

“Come with me, Augustine, come back home. Come back to where you belong-“

“I don’t want to be with a bunch of murderers!” I angrily exclaimed.

“We do what we do, to protect our people-“

“That never justifies anything.”

Velkagon stood up and turned his back to me. “Sometimes, you must fight fire with fire, and with it comes- collateral damage.”

Exhausted from my loss of blood, I bowed my head, gazing at the pool of blood which poured from my wounds.

“Why don’t you just take the dagger and get this over with?”

Velkagon turned his head, and slowly walked towards me.

“I want you to give me the dagger. I want you to follow me, and release your people- If you do this, you will finally have a place to call home.”

“And if I don’t want to?”

Velkagon stood silent, staring down at my feeble state.

We gazed at each other, uttering no words. Many thoughts rushed through my head as I attempted to concentrate. All my efforts however were futile since all I could fathom was the pain of chains rattling inside my muscles.

As Velkagon once more turned his back on me I desperately cried out.

“Fine! I’ll do it!” I slightly released the grip of my hand and let the dagger dangle.

Velkagon turned around and approached me, stretching his arm out.

“It is good that you came to your sense-“

In a rigorous jolt, I jabbed the blade into the arm of Velkagon, pulling him close to me. Brutally and quickly I stabbed him in the neck.

Velkagon grabbed my hand and began crushing it. Screaming in agony, I thrust the blade deeper into his neck.

As the crushing pain in my hand grew stronger, with a loud scream and all my strength, I threw him behind me, hastily cutting through the loosening chains.

Painfully, I cut though the black chains, cautiously pulling them out of my flesh, whilst gazing back at Velkagon’s slow ascent from the ground.

Cutting through the last chain, I barely stood on my two feet, blood dripping from my gashing wounds, but I hesitated not.

Pushing myself forward and clenching onto the blood smeared luminescent dagger, I approached the wounded Velkagon. When he at last, turned his gaze towards me it was too late.

Viciously, I thrust the dagger into his foul heart, staring at him with eyes of wrath and vengeance.

“You can have it all to yourself now.” I whispered to him, releasing the dagger and watching Velkagon plunge into the dark abyss.

Watching him and the dagger dissipate into the darkness, I felt an odd sense of emptiness. No heavy load was released from my back, and no sigh of relief was emitted. I was simply- numb.

There was no grandiose applause from the background, or cheer of the crowd. Simply- silence.

I turned away from the colossal abyss and pulled myself as far from it as I possibly could, passing grand obscure formations of stone, with fog suppressing its true glory.

The quiet was worse than the pain from my gashing wounds. It was near maddening.

At last I approached a muddy shoreline with dead trees scattered about.

I neared the waters and sat down, gazing out into the misty sea, suppressing my thoughts which threatened to engulf me with utter dread and helplessness. It was truly a battle in which loss was inevitable.

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