3054 words (12 minute read)

Chapter 8: Death of an Aeon

The Death of an Aeon

Eon endured the pounding of the claws on his armor, tearing his cape to shreds, a claw found its mark and sunk through his armor into his back ribs, piercing his lung. He breathed slowly before his breathe then finally stopped. He closed his eyes as he lost consciousness for a brief second. Almost immediately after, he felt the Virerussy being purged, it burned itself out through his flesh turning the skin grey, it ripped itself through the outer layers of his skin as it escaped.

Defiant, even to the last. He rose.

Breaking his body, he slammed forward thrusting his arm out, grabbing the Kreeper that pierced his armor, his fingers squeezed crushing its neck, it’s head erupted with a surge of blood. He extended his hand, summoning his sword with a weak arm. He could feel its true weight for a moment. It weighed close to forty pounds. With one sweep of his arm, he killed twenty of their number.

He collapsed again, falling to the ground on his right knee, his arm instinctively thrust out to catch himself; he felt the weight of his armor with all of its padding, which amounted to one-hundred and fifty pounds. He could feel the weight pushing down on his raw flesh feeling it grate against his exposed nerves.

Eon tried to lift himself up but found all of the weight was too much. He bore an indomitable spirit, and yet a weak fleshly body. He would have taken off his armor, but he was still in the pit. He glanced upward painfully to see several of the beasts drooling over his body, their next meal. But before they could devour him, he forced himself to lift his sword around in a twirl to kill them. The weight of the sword caused his arm to rip open up its length in the process.

However, as he lifted it and swung, he watched two blades cut through the air into two of the Kreeper, ending their lives. He swung his sword nonetheless and killed another group of them before surging forward, crushing the sternum of another with a blow from his fist. He then followed through with his sword slicing through its jaw through the coronal suture of the skull, before pulling away and standing there.

As the assailant came from the air, he smiled despite his pain and looked at the being known as Salayja the Silver. She landed next to him and called out to him:

“Are you alright?” Salayja said glancing over to look at him.

“I should be asking you that question Salayja.” Eon said as he stifled a cough, “Salayja we need to get going.” She grabbed him by his back, in a hush she spoke the words: “Jicu Tne Nint.” and flew up into the air, he fell to the ground when she stopped her hovering. Her lip curled in slight irritation before effortlessly dropping to the ground next to him. Salayja pulled him back up to his feet and with her deep lovely eyes she saw that Eon was not well.

“Why do you keep coming for me Leon? The world is falling apart.” Salayja said, almost cruelly. “People are dying. I do not, need you. Get that in your head.”

“It’s because I—,” But before he could finish she wrapped her arms around him, hugging him with her whole soul despite the coldness of his armor and Eon’s lack of strength.

To Eon she was like a furnace burning his heart, the last thing keeping his soul alive. He closed his eyes and the slits on the helmet closed with him.

Despite his inexperience with love and comfort, he held her… He stroked his gloved fingers through her hair when she retracted her helmet into her skin, resting his chin on her scalp as he stood there holding her.

When in the distance he heard a clap, it rung out like a bell. They turned away from each other. Salayja popped her helmet back out, readying her swords in a low guard known as Wtnaj’ Onve.

Out of the darkness came a foreboding figure resembling L.V. very closely, but the helmet was completely different from a Vatheran helmet like Eon’s or Salayja‘s. The helmet of the dark being had a curve in the front that ended at the jaw point in a sharp tip. At the top of the helmet were two horns pointing straight forward, and out of the back flowed bright red hair, hair of that of a Ne’ferelis.

A Ne’ferelis is a beast much like a Kreeper but more like a Vatheran in appearance, the Kreeper and the Ne’ferelis are apparently enemies by spirit, for the Kreeper is unnatural, and the Ne’ferelis was a Vatheran in their true form.

The being moved like a Ne’ferelis breathed like a Ne’ferelis, but if it was a Ne’ferelis it would have already struck. The ne’frell for short, is not truly strong but it is quicker and far more vicious than any single person. Their ability to hide in the darkness makes them impossible to detect by Aeons.

Before the Virerussy the Ne’frells left the Vatheran alone, and the Vatheran in turn never entered their caves in which they lay in darkness. Although the Ne’frell have shrunk in numbers considerable since the breakout of the Virerussy. They now come out of their holes and with that, they have died more commonly in the grayness of the world.

“You’re not a Ne’frell… so why are you wearing the hair of one on your head?” Eon inquired of the being before taking a step forward.

“Because, it is my trophy… The hair of a Ne’frell used to be a great ornament of great prestige, long—long ago in the land of the Vatheran, I would say before you were even born Valentine…” Xerxes said to Eon scornfully.

Eon smiled at the man.

“Leon, by now you should know that there’s been more than just a few who are still alive who many thought were dead… For instance Setain, and even the Lord Ne`kell Norse survived through more than what was thought possible, even for a human and a son of the Shires, when will your kind learn, I have marked this world for extermination. Leon… The last Aeon, Uitne uo die… eh?”

Leon smirked cracking his lips, “Did you forget how to count?” He launched himself backwards as blades exploded out of the mirrors towards him; he twisted his blade spinning it in a circle knocking away the ones that were going to hit him, all of them.

When he landed again, he looked up at the place where Xerxes once stood, he heard a voice from behind: “Impressive…” Xerxes grabbed him violently, lifting Eon up into the air, “Even in your state you are still a master of combat!” Xerxes yelled loudly, overflowing with excitement.

Before Xerxes could throw him through a broken mirror, he spun out of the tight grip of Xerxes landing on his feet. Using the side of his hand, he smashed it into the ribs of Xerxes, cracking three ribs beneath the armor before bringing his fist down as Xerxes snapped his leg around to break his spine. Leon leaned backwards as Xerxes brought a blade around, weaving centimeters by his throat. In that same instance he could feel the sheering pain of his flesh as it ripped down his back.

He screamed out in his sudden pain, winking on the audio dampers as a mind-numbing screech came from Xerxes, nearly paralyzing him. Leon turned quickly, raising his sword up above his head and brought it down towards the head of Xerxes, whom clamped it between his palms in one fluid motion.

Leon’s spirit began to growl, his muscles ripping as he pushed with the entirety of his strength. Before his eyes though, he watched in quiet horror as Xerxes pressed on his diamond blade with enough pressure that it cracked and then suddenly shattered. Leon’s diamond blade was no more. He back flipped away from Xerxes as the thing swung the tip from his blade around to cut through his neck.

He skidded backwards but in the same moment slid his short sword from his palm, creating it from the metal on his bones, and held it to his side in improper form of Onve Utuo which is a form only for heavier blades such as his Diamond blade or L.V.’s sword Veshcairo. However Xerxes merely stood still. He felt a sheering panic come over him. On instinct he threw himself to the side as fifteen blades flew out of the mirror where he once was standing.

He collapsed on the ground from the strain on his body, he began to pant and cough as the blood suddenly reentered his lungs, he held it in, focusing on the pain… He rolled forward as a blade from behind clipped his foot. He left the roll, ducked and swung his sword behind himself, slicing through the belly of Xerxes.

Xerxes stumbled backwards from the sudden wound, touching it with his gloved hand before pulling it back up. He stared straight through Leon as if he wasn’t there, instead seeing what was inside of him.

Leon tried to take a breather, but the blood in his mouth forced him to swallow.

“The Kreeper Virerussy is truly amazing isn’t it?” Xerxes said staring at Leon, “Who would’ve known that you—you of all people could become infected. You know even after you think you’re rid of the thing the larvae rip open new segments of flesh for new territory. They feed on stress and anxiety; striking at the most crucial of moments where it could mean life or death.” Xerxes smiled at Leon underneath his helmet. “But tell me, have the eggs started to grow yet?”

Xerxes was right, the eggs that the Kreeper had spewed into his helmet were already boring into his flesh, his Aeonic blood was fighting violently to kill the parasitic larvae, but at the cost of his skin.

Leon held up his short-sword towards Xerxes, tip forward pointing towards him, changing to the proper form of Onve Lituev. He was prepared for any strike, when Xerxes did the unexpected. He walked into the blade, running it through his own body. They stood face to face.

Xerxes looked into the slits of Leon’s helmet who was too shocked to react and in a moment before he could defend or block, Xerxes rammed his two horns down on his head, piercing through his eye slits and into the corona of his eyes…

Leon twitched visibly, his hand shaking away from the hilt of the blade that was lodged in the chest of Xerxes. He stumbled backwards shouting and trembling as he lost his sight and began to shake from the sudden pain.

Out from the sky came Salayja. She crashed into Xerxes, slicing through his neck before bringing her blades back around to slice his head from off his shoulders.

Xerxes puppet fell to the ground and expired.

Salayja’s eyes were filled with an emptiness as she stared down at the drifting body of the puppet of Xerxes, the same gaze turned towards Leon on the ground. She ran to his side.

“Why didn’t you help me?” Eon spoke to her in a quiet voice as he trembled.

“Because you and I both know that I would have gotten in the way, I stopped him before he could kill you and that’s all that matters…” Salayja said cradling his head in her lap, her lip curling in unseen disgust at the weakness of Leon.

“I’m not so sure about that,” Eon replied as he coughed up the blood that welled up in his lungs he retracted his helmet and stared up at her blindly with his punctured silver eyes, “Death knows me well… it often visits but never receives me. But now I’ve found you…“

After Leon spoke this though he suddenly felt an overwhelming torture in his soul, as Salayja healed his vision. His sight suddenly returned and he watched as the puppet of Xerxes came back to life. It stood behind Salayja, her helmet retracted. She turned her head to see what it was and with that—Xerxes’ puppet cut her down. Slicing the edge of Leon’s very own diamond blade through her neck, removing her head from her shoulders.

Leon screamed with an insane burst of rage, he lifted his eyes to the body of the puppet, blowing it apart with his power. Its body imploded inwards on itself into chunks of raw bloodied meat.

Leon rose, looking down at the body of Salayja, at her severed head, not fully comprehending her lifeless body…

He saw that her soul was still there just a small—glimmer and maybe it would be enough. Leon leaned down next to her body, placing her head to the torn open neck, fusing it with his dwindling powers. He was dying he could feel it.

Then he saw her darkening soul and before he knew what he was doing, he thrust his power into her soul. Melding his power into her, almost crushing her physical body under the sudden pressure of energy; but he would not stop. He wept deeply as he believed and in an instant, he turned into something he was not and his body began to glow a bright emerald-white, the color of the sun.

The power he was trying to revive her with was something so great and so beautiful that it surpassed anything that he knew, this was not a technique passed on by Aeons. Although he instantly felt the drain on his body. He could feel his very being begin to collapse. Eon focused himself. Focusing on the pain in his chest as he forced more of his power into her life force, causing her life to remain alive—his body began to glow a brighter white, when his body finally ruptured. His right arm exploded from the pressure sending his blood splattering in a thirty-foot radius.

Yet the body of Salayja was intact. Suddenly the glimmer of her soul faded as she ceased. He fell next to her body, looking at her with all he could afford…

Then in terrible slowness he fainted, and at that last instance of his sight, whether it be a hallucination or something else he did not know… He watched her disappearing into the air, and in that last instance she turned her head towards him, and he felt her soul become torn from his pain, and then—nothing…

It was only then that Eon noticed him. Death. A metal skeleton covered over by the black swarming cloud of a billion upon billions of nano-machines circling it’s body. It’s four blood red eyes shifted upwards from Salayja grease puddle to Eon’s horrified expression.

This was the fall of Eon; and after the fall of Eon, he would rise again, just as strong. The wound that Xerxes did to Leon’s heart was more painful than anything else that Leon had ever endured. And for the sake of the galaxy and the universe, he sealed away his heart, and erased his emotions so as not to unleash his rage upon them all.

Only his unending love for Salayja would he keep intact. The Nie’jeks never bothered the body of Eon Genesis or as he will now be known as—Leon Valentine—for Xerxes did not truly defeat Leon anymore than Ne`kell, but one thing was for sure, Leon would become a blade in Xerxes side for another year.

When Leon awoke after hours of deep sleep and recovery, his wounds were no longer present and blood no longer touched his lungs. He looked to his side where Salayja had been to find her gone, a pile of ash left in her place. Death.

Anger flashed forth, filling him. Darkness surrounding his body as he stood. He clenched his fist tight, but did not scream out in anger. Holding it like a sword to his heart.

He reached forward with his arm, not comprehending at first his stump of a right arm—tattered and bloody; strands of muscle hanging down. The forearm no longer there at all.

Without a word he set to work on repairing himself for the time being. Pulling the metal away from the chunks of the puppet of Xerxes, he began designing the new bones out of metal and then attaching it to the bone of his arm, gasping as the coldness of the metal went through him like a flame.

Then, after securing the metal-coated bone to the replica; he covered the metal bones with more metal, turning it so thick that not even his diamond blade could cut through. He reapplied his armor over his new forearm. On the outside it looked normal. Then he set about to create the complicated configuration of his fingers.

He would have to make it so that he could move them without a computer chip, or any machine of any sort and so by invisible hands he connected strands of metal to crucial parts of muscle in his arm, where he could then operate it simply like a regular hand. The nano’s in his blood stream were working considerable well—healing him and fastening the strands of metal to his muscles even better than he could manage himself.

Leon could not wait until the day he would see Salayja again, see her running with their daughter through the fields of Veldimire once again, and with that thought he smiled. However, deep down inside he knew she was dead; and instead of the beautiful woman he loved running towards him, she became a rotten skeleton dragging behind her the corpse of their daughter, bloated and filled with the Kre’vator’ai Virerussy overflowing with maggots that fell out by the millions.

He fell to his knees and sobbed violently.

Everyone is going to die.

Next Chapter: Chapter 7: Fall of the Wall