Beast of Xeriel

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Chapter Twenty-Six

Fei reached the surface, clutching Lale in his arms. Blood dripping down his armor. The sun’s rays lustrous in the sky. He could feel every molecule in the air. The properties that encompassed the metal beneath his feet. It was if he had established a connection to everything around him.

Even inanimate objects would obey his thoughts and feelings. He recognized how powerful he had become. He felt like he could do anything. Limitless. Yet the emptiness he held in his hands would not return to life. All his power, yet he felt nothing without her.

His failure angered him. Even with such power, he still did not achieve total control. Fei kneeled, resting her body on his knee, cupping her head and back with one hand. He placed his hand on her chest. Focusing all his energy.

Using his rage to fuel himself. Fei poured into Lale. He searched her body for a sign of life, for even one atom to move, but there was nothing. Her beauty in death still as precious to his sight. “What do I have to do? Just tell me.” He thought as he gazed upon her. Suddenly, a flash of a man with red hair rushed across his mind’s eye. Memories of what felt like a dream rushed in.

Adamu, chilled his bones from the thought of his name. Fei could hear Magnus’s voice shortly after referring to the creator. Somehow both mattered to him. He needed to explore his past more and find the creator.

“Your son is alive!” Magnus’s voice cried out in his memory. Fei questioned the source. He knew there was no depth Magnus would not stoop to in order to achieve his goals or save his daughter.

“If he is alive. I’ll find him……I’ll find our boy.” He said to his departed love. “I will attain the power to bring you back. Even this life is not worth your absence. Then I will destroy our enemies and find our son.” Fei clutched Lale’s body close to his and blasted off into the sky. The ground vibrating beneath him from the speed and force.

Using his senses, he tried to locate a familiar scent to lead him back to the capital city. The white sun, green sky and blue grass gave him the first clue he was on Pratham.

His speed increased as he soared smoothly through the air. Flying was coming easy to him. He had always been able to leap great distances, therefore flying wasn’t much different.

The feeling of weightlessness for a time, simply would linger until he chose to land. Fei had reached a speed faster than his primal form. Faster than any Pratham ship. A slight whiff of fur, a musk of a large group of animals caught his nose. He instantly changed course to follow the trail of the odor.

The closer he came, the more the familiar scent ushered him toward home. On land the animalistic aroma of the Xeriel can’t be masked for miles. Fei’s new powers dialed up his senses to a level previously unimagined.

His pace quickened again, with the sound of his flight ever so slightly ahead of him. Fei arrived in mere moments. He halted in the sky, surveying the smaller settlement where the Xeriel tribe resided. To his surprise, his old tribe was on the verge of depletion. The children and elderly outnumbering the war beasts and savages, the name given to the Xeriel soldiers.

Famed for transforming into big cats and gigantic ancient felines. But none ever as big as Fei. The Beast of Xeriel. Fei dropped to the surface. Lale not moving an inch their entire flight. In the Xeriel tribe, there was no mistaking Fei.

He was instantly recognized. Some of the elders even recognizing Lale from her secret visits during their early relationship. A few shed tears for both his return and her departure.

A crowd formed around him, in awe of his return. “It’s you.” A small child uttered before him. Fei stared down at her. “No.” He responded. He looked around the crowd, all of whom he towered over in his feral form.

“Where are the rest of the savages?” He asked. “They fought hard in the war and were wiped out. The Salum were also eliminated shortly after and PTong captured. Last we heard; he was being kept as Magnus’s prisoner. And this is all that remains of our tribe.” An elder answered.

The Xeriel dressed in skins and furs that coincided with the type of feline they could transform into. Unlike the Muetus shapeshifters who could transform into any person, object or animal, the Xeriel war beasts could only transform into felines and big cats. While the savages only capable of achieving their feral form.

The child in awe smiled. “The war is almost over.” She said, gazing up at her hero. “Take your ships and locate the planet with the properties of Earth. There you will find a people whose planet, you may share peacefully.” Fei ordered.

He took a shard from Lale’s bracelet and gave it to the elder. “These coordinates will guide you there.” He said. The confusion murmured through the crowd.

“Despite my disdain for this planet and its history. Liis Zeall, saved me. And she called you her people. That is enough to warrant your survival.” Fei said to the gathered group. “Go. The other tribes will not share your fate.” The Xeriel was all too familiar with his words to know he would not offer a second chance.

They moved as quickly as their old and little bodies would allow as the savages prepped their ships. Only the little girl remained before him. “The war is over. Why send us away?” Her small voice asked.

Fei knelt to come closer to her level of eyesight. “This has all been just a battle. The real war is not yours to fight……. Go now, with your people. Those whom you live among, share your fire.” Fei instructed.

The little girl smiled. “If they refuse, burn hotter. The fire will catch on.” Fei continued. The little girl couldn’t contain her joy. The words of her hero would stay with her forever. Her short dark hair a welcomed accent to her fair brown skin. Fei placed his palm on her head before smoothing her hair back.

He could sense her courage. Unbeknownst to her, he channeled a small amount of his power into her. Releasing the strength of a war beast. Her first transformation will be brutal, but the power she would possess would carry on the legacy of the Xeriel.

She bowed her head in respect, feeling the Zeall flame burn within. Fei did not wait to depart from his former people, yet again taking to the sky. The little girl’s gaped jaw worthy of his expedient flight. “Vi! Vi!......Vitality!” her mother called to her. Fei’s impression forever imprinted on her. She finally heeds her mother’s beckon. Making her way onto one of the ships fashioned in the model of the Lion’s paw.

Fei approached the final battle for Pratham. Clutching Lale between his arms. From an extensive distance he could hear the massive battle between the two remaining armies. A lavender sheet covered the landscape as the red blood mingled with the blue grass.

War cries from each side clashing as waves among the sea against the blaster fire and clanging of weaponry. Fei disregarded the battle, making his way through the capital and into the compound. His senses guiding him to his target. Without Magnus the Pratham army was in complete disarray.

The Muetus shapeshifters standing an equal chance at victory, as the A-Kialle were leaderless. Their usually adept generals bickering over their plan of attack or defense, while the frontlines were being overrun.

Soldiers emptied onto the field, hosting the final battle. Fei navigated the halls unabated as the soldiers fought. He stood above the compounds holding cells. He could sense the tranquil healer below.

His power ignoring the need for subtlety, Fei removed the floor beneath him. A crater reaching the depths of the dungeons. Sinking into the pit, his feet met the metal floor where the prisoners were kept.

The smell of the Salum was recognizable. He had massacred countless people from their tribe during his time fighting the three tribes. Each Salum tribesman smelling the same. Fei strode through the darkness, the fear of the individuals surrounding him would have cause any other to leave and never return.

The translucent exterior revealing each cells inhabitant, while hiding the outward from the occupant. Fei followed the scent through the small halls of the dungeons. Pratham was not known for keeping many prisoners, as the Council tended to kill those who rebelled. Finally, he reached the cell where PTong sat in a meditative state. The last two of the Fated between him and the healer.

Fei halted just outside the cell door. “I would love nothing more than to show you as I did your brethren my new power. But I have more pressing matters.” He said to them as they withdrew their blasters. Fei tilted his head, turning one of the guards toward the other. He forced the blaster to fire on his companion.

The Fated guard return to Fei in disbelief. Fei motioned his head upward and the blaster obeyed again, firing up at its own host. The Fated were all defeated by his hand, yet he cared less than he thought he would.

“Only the weak can be manipulated so easily. You will find, it will not be the same case with me.” A voice spoke inside the cell. “Oh yes, I know your scent, just as easy as you know mine.” PTong began.

His eyes opened as if the smell had awakened him abruptly. “Yet somehow, it is slightly different. What was a stench has become an aroma?” PTong said gazing through his head dress. “The one whom you remember is gone.” Fei answered. “Altered? Transformed? Endowed?” PTong questioned. “Ascended.” Fei corrected. “To be beyond, yet here you still carry what was left behind. What a pity.”

PTong expressed. Fei nodded his head to the left. The door responded by crumbling away, leaving no dust or residue behind. “I understand the Salum reserved powers the other tribes could not harness. It resided in only one leader, who possessed knowledge only privileged to them.” Fei probed the prisoner. PTong confirmed his allegations nonverbally. “I wish to witness that power.” Fei stated.

“Witness and not know? Surely, the motives of one who has ascended would be to acquire. Not observe.” PTong retorted. “My power does not yet consume all. I fear that may require more time. Time, I wish not to experience without her. To possess all power is elegance, grace, divinity and patience.” Fei said. He kneeled, gently placing Lale’s body before the healer.

“To possess all knowledge is only pain.” The irises of Fei’s eyes a deep red, flickering as if fire was contained within them. “She is alone. Knowing this will only distract me from my purpose. I can do many things. Unnatural things. Celestial things………. But I am nothing without her.” Fei confessed. PTong stared into his eyes.

He could feel his words were true. “I have never seen a love like this. Not even from a Salum leader. I fear it is unhealthy. A detriment to you. If you truly are………beyond. How is it your connection did not wither away?” PTong asked.

“Earth’s calamity began when its star was born. Pratham’s destruction, the day my mother survived. She is my reason to ascend.” He answered.

“Your secrets are your own and your wisdom will remain undiscovered. Restore the catalyst of my heart and I will propel your gifts beyond the Iku. Together, we will explore the wonders of the universe.” Fei requested. PTong contemplated for a moment. With his tribe gone, whomever won the war would surely kill him. He understood Fei was his best choice.

PTong brought his hands together, shutting his eyes to focus. He placed his hands on Lale’s body. His eye lids opened to reveal they had illuminated. His brown eyes shining, the whites of his eyes highlighted by the glow. PTong started whispering in a language Fei had never heard before, he was unable to feel his presence anymore.

Although in front of the healer, it was as if he had become unreachable. After several moments, PTong returned. His eyes back to their normal color. Panting, lethargic and confused. It took a few seconds for PTong to regain himself and understand what had transpired.

PTong removed his hands and sluggishly came to his feet, slightly stumbling into the corner of his cell. Fei waited patiently. He was the first outside of the Salum to witness this ritual. The honor was lost on him, he only cared about her. Overshadowed by PTong’s struggle to regain his composure.

Fei arose, grabbing hold of the groggy man. Fei’s hand covered PTong’s head. Energy coursed through into PTong. Transforming him, enhancing his already mystical powers. Imbuing him with strength unpossessed by any of his predecessors.

PTong quickly became stable. Feeling only a small grain of the power within Fei. Releasing his grip, Fei allowed the man to stand on his own. He went to check on his love, and there she stood.

Her naked body revealing her skin as golden oil with only two imperfection. The slice from Tumakako and gash on her chest from Fei’s deadly blow, both now fully healed. Her hair curly and full.

Fei swooped Lale close to his body, arms wrapped around her, unceremoniously slathering her face with kisses. “Do you know who I am?” He asked, looking into her eyes. The bewilderment on her face singed his heart. Lale blinked irregularly for a time.

Fei couldn’t let go. She surveyed the room, not noticing she was being held. Suddenly, her eyes met his. She stared blankly, as if nothing were on the inside. Her eyes welled with tears. “Fei.” She uttered. The two embraced as if it was there very last time.

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