Chapter 9. The Death of Elyren
Of all stories and legends I have documented, Elyren was my most reluctant work. Insisted by Werva, who forced me to write this, I have written this tale of horror and death.
Some men and women are allowed to live their lives, have their fantasies played out in the most exquisite of ways, and then will they die in their own paths.
But some are shaped by fate and destiny, and are cheated by the same just to accommodate a few events into the directories of history.
Treason killed Elyren as a child. He acted in a manner befouling his father's orders, but why send him to the army for that?
Fate killed Solere, his reason for existence. And yet he existed, why else but because the same fate desired his actions to change the world?
Nesinre followed, dead for the sin of wanting to live with the one she loved.
No, destiny and fate are bitter foes of love. They kill and maim love as if they were the waves angry at sand; thrusting their countless hands at the chaste sand which prevails, nevertheless.
Lord Arell died, by his own hands, while his blood soiled mine. Torlel Arell died at Durmalenes, though he reached the Hermit with all the populace of that sinful city.
The destruction of Durmalenes, I fear, was just the gods' way of making us realize the truth. Did they ever care for, or need prayers? The men and women of Durma's city, all were devotees of multiple gods, and their sacrifices were well known. Yet sin does not absolve just by worshipping.
The rapist does not reach the glorious afterlife for a prayer and a drink of the nectar of the gods. No forgiveness exists for those who believe mistakes are cured by worship.
Elyren was interpreted as a metaphor for the ideal man by an intellectual of a prior century. How far it was from the truth, still baffles me, since his inferences shook me.
Killing the cannibals of the Central plains, conquering the Western Continent, and laying waste to Durmalenes, all were just a part of a plan that this malicious being named destiny weaves. Yet we jump through fate's unwary fingers, thinking ourselves to be grains of sand escaping it's grasp, only to find ourselves in the doom it already has laid open for us, the heat which immortalizes the few grains to glass.
Elyren struck me, as I was stuck in the land between times. I cannot die without Elyren's death, and the Hermit's words cannot go false. I cannot die, but a long spear had found itself passing through my forehead, penetrating the domains of my brain where one even achieved cognizance. Yet I live, for I cannot die.
That day, my name as the immortal found itself new meanings, as this kind of immortality was no wish of interest. It is but a curse.
"You want my son?" Threla's deep melodious voice strung a chord through my blood vessels, as if I were in a hall of organs.
"He has lived long, hasn't he, sorceress?" The ascetic had a similar voice, though it reeked of the masculine, calming and reassuring.
"You had taken lives from him all through his life, but Werva's slave will live while my son dies?"
"He is no son of yours, Threla. And Werva's slave knows not the plans his master makes." The Hermit looked at me, lifting me up by my chin. "If you take offense, Varta, perhaps we may refer to you by name, rather than as Werva's slave."
I bowed in respect. Blood traced across my face, blurring my eyesight.
"Had Elyren touched you in the chest, I may have had it pass just below, maybe the omentum, not killing you, Varta. But he chose your head, didn't he? What did you do to him?"
Threla watched as I spoke to the Ascetic. "I killed his father. I suggested... Your path, My Lord."
"My path was not yours to suggest, Varta. Impudence is malice."
Elyren fell before my eyes, having killed me unsuccessfully. His eyes watered. "I lost everyone, Varta. You had to kill my father too, did you?"
Threla was saddened. She bent her knee, hugging her son as he wept. Elyren shook. "My mother, my love, my sister, my father, my brothers. All had to die, and for what? Me being called a hero?" He threw his fist at the ground, as his hands bled upon the cracked marble.
The Ascetic held me by my body, as I shook in front of Elyren, frightening him. "Tell him, Varta. Tell him that he may have his father back if you die. Convince him to kill you, Varta."
"Will he, o God?" I asked, to which he replied with a playful smile and no words.
"Lormeya! Kill me, stab me to my heart, Elyren. Kill me." I roared, as Threla and Elyren saw me. Elyren grimaced at the sight of me talking through the pain of the spear. I held my hands together, begging him to kill me.
"What do I get from it, Varta?" Elyren spoke, as Threla caressed her son. She had pride in her eyes, and I saw the tears her eyes had shed.
Elyren didn't see Threla, though. She was visible only to me then, and if she had been seen there, Elyren may have had the courage to kill me.
And then he saw her. In all her glory, the lady of magic appeared before him in her clothes of silver and red. Her many hands bore the weapons ascribed to her, and she had Elyren under her hand still, ruffling his hair fondly.
"Mother Threla, Mother," Elyren gasped, his throat stuck. "What will I do when the whole world is against me, mother? Are you any different?"
"Come with me, Threleya. You have better places to be." She reached out a hand, as Elyren took it.
I stared, dumbfounded, as Elyren's corpse fell to the ground, as Threla disappeared. I was ready to die when the Hermit stepped on my torso, staring into my eyes.
"You have a moment more, Varta. Not so fast."
"Elyren?" A voice appeared from the far end of the sanctum, echoing among the pillars with sculptures.
As I recognized the voice, my eyes turned red. The hermit pulled his small dagger, as I struggled against the weight of his foot. I couldn't move, when the Hermit twisted me around, his foot pressing on my spine, burning away the cloth.
"When Elyren died, he did lose everyone. Do you agree, Varta?" The Ascetic spoke, hate burning through its syllables.
I nodded, my eyes shedding tears, as the voice echoed again.
"Elyren? Where are you?"
"For the death of Solere?" Asked the god.
"The southern warriors. A thousand men killed, and so was Elyren's shred of life." I replied, my heart racing.
"All the cannibals. A precaution?"
"Of course. Time is relative, Varta. You of all people must know that. The cannibals overdid their stay on Cea. When Elyren spared the Arqa, you should have known that they will die later, though. There is another one coming, in the foreseeable future, to destroy races, and the world as you know it." The Ascetic's leg twitched, as my spine broke. The spear through my head felt less painful than anything else, as I screamed.
"Torlel and Unter Arell?"He asked next. Unter was the other younger brother of Solere, the third son
"Elyren?" The voice reappeared, now more closer.
"Lord Fraven Arell, of the family of Yoren, my dear Varta? Any ideas?"
"No." The Hermit's foot burned through, as my body fell limp. My body mutilated, yet I cannot die, as the God of Death did not allow me to die.
"I have no reason. Not anymore." I told him, as the silhouette appeared by the Sanctum.
"You don't, Varta?" The silhouette spoke in the voice of the dead Lord Arell. He came into the light, as I twitched.
"Lord Arell died, because Elyren chose to trust in you, Varta. The poorest choice he made in his life was trusting you." The Ascetic slowly sliced with his dagger over my throat, as my blood stained the ground at Threla's Sanctum.
"You decided for your own good, Varta." Lord Arell lifted his son and placed his corpse on his lap. "I did ignore him as a child, but I believe I have my punishment now. I died while he lived, and now I live after he died."
I gasped in my last moments, as the spear was pulled out by the Ascetic. Lord Arell carried his son's corpse as he left the temple.
"Die now, Varta. A man may be mortal, but he may leave a lasting impact on history than an immortal ever can. Die now, and write this when you decide to repent. Write this when you realize your mistake." The Ascetic's words rang in my ears as life left me slowly, as I was resurrected in another place.
Of Lord Arell, no note of his whereabouts was heard after the incident at Durmalenes. Elyren's corpse was never found, and when the burnt remains of Durma's city were inventoried, no mention of a temple to Threla was mentioned.
Elyren was elevated to godhood in multiple versions of the tale. It may seem an extrapolation, but as to the events preceding his death, none other than my own self are aware of it.
I have done my act to the best possible level, and shall now rest assured as to the offerings of fate.
Those who read this shall know of the shapes fate takes, and how destiny shapes a man regardless of his consent. It is a primal carnal lust that it takes over the lives of the mundane, elevating, and depressing life as it wishes.
And thus this manuscript is submitted in the hands of the ruler of Amres, the first of his name, and to be kept for all time in the great libraries that the continent possesses. Long may his glory be remembered.
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