This is the first chapter of a blog series I’m doing set in the world of Terra (which holds the three worlds, The Golden Lands, The Gray Lands, and The Dark Lands). You may not hear from me directly for a long time, because my fantasy world is about to take over. Instead, you will hear the voice of many different characters. Enjoy!
World: The Gray Lands
Subworld: The Passageway
Protagonist: Urdar the Merciless
Race: Ultra Malam
Eye Color: Red
Hair Color: Black
The Knight cuts through my band of Evil with astounding speed. He knows how to move just as quickly as he needs to. And the placement of his strokes is impeccable. Nothing catches him by surprise. He lithely dodges two slashes for his head and counterattacks by leaping into the air, slicing the throats of two of my Evil in a single motion. He lands on his feet, and instantly parries an attack, and then another, and another. He’s good.
But he’s hiding something.
I have fought and killed hundreds of Knights and Beloved. Several have I encountered that possessed zoecharia in their souls, but those that I did encounter fell also to the power I have been given. My fire burns. None can quench it.
But this Knight…he is strong, stronger than he lets on. He’s hiding something. He’s holding back. But why? I squint, watching him slay another four of my beasts with ease. I need to test him. My Malam are no match for him. I need to know who or what this Knight is before I kill him. Before I watch him burn.
He cuts downwards, severing the head of one of my beasts, and then spins, cleaving another Evil in two. He’s getting closer. I don’t know why I’m feeling nervous. This human will be no match for me. I am Urdar the Merciless. He is a pathetic—
He steps closer while engaging my Malam, and I stiffen, grunting with alarm. “Dammit!” I growl in my thoughts, “What the hell is this Knight!?”
Perhaps he hadn’t been close enough yet, but now I can feel it. And I realize that I have to strike while he’s still fighting my other beasts—before he can attack me.
I rise to my full height, roaring, my voice echoing in the dark tunnel we are skirmishing in. With ease, I summon my fire, the flames materializing in my palms. I stare at the Knight. And just as he stabs the last of my Evil, he raises his eyes to meet mine. Now is my only chance. But I falter for a moment, my anticipation rising. I feel it again. I can’t believe it. I’ve never felt this before.
The zoecharia in his soul, its presence is fuller and more powerful than I’ve ever felt before in a single human. Though he is only a human, and I an Evil of terrible strength, I hesitate, wondering if I should challenge him. Wondering if I should execute my strike.
He turns towards me, and he brandishes his blade. His sword begins to glow blue with charis. I’m too late. He’s already accepted my challenge, before I even proposed one, and I am the only Evil that remains.
Then at least I will strike before he can.
I release a huge, monstrous roar, so loud the walls of the cavern shake. My anxiety is great, but I will not let myself be undone by a lowly human, at least before I’ve fought him…before he’s felt my fire! I swing both my arms forward. Red flames explode out towards the Knight. In my fear of him, I’ve accidentally released an exceptionally large blow. But I’m glad; no one could survive this. There’s nowhere to run or to hide. My fire fills the tunnel from top to bottom, shooting out towards the Knight.
The moment I think my flames are about to consume the man, a white light flashes around him, and then a blast of wind surges in every direction from the Knight. I am knocked off my feet, sent crashing onto the ground. I groan and curse, arching my back. Then, after a moment, I slowly rise, glowering furiously at the Knight, and then I stop, amazed and terrified at what I see.
The Knight is standing twenty yards away, garbed fully in armor, a helmet on his head, and a shield in his left hand. He had none of these when our little fight began. Around him, multiple torrents of wind spiral and twirl, and the air itself glows blue. His sword gleams like starlight, and his whole being seems to vibrate with power. But it’s more than that. There’s no impediment any more. I can feel it in all it’s fullness. And it’s extraordinary. His body is humming with—no, exhuding—both charis and zoecharia. And his armor—only a certain type of Knight can summon his armor and shield so quickly. And to have his armor to that degree of brilliance—
It can only mean one thing.
He relaxes his release of power, and the wind dies down gradually. But the brilliance of his blade and his armor still remains. He steps towards me. “Now I know what you are!” I say through my teeth. “I tested you, and I got what I asked for.”
He’s doing it again. He’s bizarrely calm. Instead of obliterating me in the moment that he fully reveals the level of his charis and zoecharia, he checks how much strength he puts forth and keeps only what he needs; charis ready for dispense at a moments’ notice, in case I suddenly attack.
“But what would one of you be doing in this place?” I question him.
“A Knight should be where the people need him most,” he returns, continuing towards me.
“But you’re not just any Knight!” I say. I grin. Though what he is is the source of his power, it could also give me an advantage over him. “You’re a Soul Bleeder, aren’t you?”
“And I would use my power to free you,” he replies, “but I see that you’re are one of those Evil. I will only send you back to your master.”
“He can tell what kind of Evil I am?” I think, alarmed. What if he’s more than just a Soul Bleeder? He has the Eyes. What if he’s—
He stands right in front of me, his sword hefted at chest height. “This will be quick,” he states, as if it will comfort me.
He’s more than just a Soul Bleeder; I’m certain of it! “What are you?” I shout at him. But I can’t raise my eyes to meet his. I’m too afraid. He can see me.
And then I’m certain of it. Slowly, I lift my head, and I stare at his heart, from which I can feel zoecharia flowing like blood, and then I begin, “You’re—!”
“Be quiet,” he commands, “and threaten the souls of the Passageway no more!”
His sword flashes downwards, and I depart from the Passageway.