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 Ch. 39: A Single Tear

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Dye
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PostSubject: Ch. 39: A Single Tear   Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:58 pm

Silence.



Shards of broken sapphire rained down upon the war-torn earth in silence, glinting a cold blue, like frozen tears, as they lay down as if to die.



A man watched the tears gather upon the ground, mingled with the broken links of a black chain that once made up a necklace. A necklace given to him as a farewell gift from the only person he ever truly cared about.



Jane.



Dead, a second time. And with the breaking of the necklace, the man’s heart also broke a second time. Perhaps never to be repaired.



A young man stumbled upon this terrible scene. In his hand was a dead eel, dripping quietly, its mouth agape, mirroring the man’s expression.



Jacob.



The eel fell to the ground, forgotten. The young man looked from the broken necklace on the ground to the dark, sinister figure standing across from him, leaning on a staff with a bird’s skull at its tip.



The creature opened a raven’s beak of a mouth and began to laugh. A harsh, cawing sound, unnatural and unfitting of his current state, with both wings torn from his back and fresh wounds criss-crossing his body. Yet he laughed.



Wendigo.



Unnoticed by the laughing bird-shaman, was a small, meandering wisp of blue light that glowed as it whirled away from the shards of the necklace on the ground, moving as if carried by the wind, winding its way up to the ear of its only love.

It breathed a single word in the man’s ear.



“Dye.”



A single tear rolled down Dye’s cheek as he heard a voice he never thought he’d ever hear again. The tear trembled on the tip of his chin, then dropped gently to the ground, mingling with the shards of broken sapphire on the ground. He sighed heavily, defeated by emotion alone. He couldn’t bear Wendigo’s laughter, sinking to his knees on the ground. Unnoticed by all was the little blue wisp, following Dye back down, whirling down to the place where Dye’s tear had fallen, burying itself in the star-shaped splash mark that it made.



Jake was the first one to notice, pointing at the glistening patch of earth in front of Dye, mouth open and speechless as he saw what nobody else would ever see. Not Wendigo, who laughed unheeded. Not Dye, burying his mind with his misery. And not Jane, who was dead, but not forgotten as she went to work mending the damage that had been done. The necklace, after all, was not the only thing that had been broken.



“Dye!”



Breathing hard, Dye stood up. He didn’t hear Jake, lifted a foot to take a step forward. He no longer cared, he was going to kill Wendigo no matter what it took. After that, he didn’t care what happened to him. He was about to bring his foot down…



“Dye!!!”



“Stop saying my name.”



“LOOK DOWN!!!”



Dye looked down. Everything had been fixed. A small, sapphire star glinted on the ground, silver runes glinting across its surface, reading a language that only Dye could understand. He picked it up by its black chain as if it were a precious flower. In his mind, it was more than a precious flower. He whispered the runes aloud, audible only to himself.



“I am always with you.”



By this time, Wendigo had stopped laughing. He took one look at Dye, putting on the necklace, and choked. Dye looked up, picking up his scimitar from where it lay in the dirt. As he touched it, white flames hissed through his hand, running up his arm and spreading throughout his whole body. Wendigo responded with his thickest blue mist yet, pouring all of his hatred and malice into creating a fog that struck all people dumb with fear. It rolled in thickly, forcing Jake to his knees with its sheer potency. Jake could see his worst nightmares coming to haunt him, covered his eyes and ears, but couldn’t block out the feeling…



A bright glow. Jake looked up. Dye stood in the center of the clearing, white flames burning in a column of light that enveloped him and evaporated the blue mist around him. Wendigo covered both his eyes, confused. Fear was the strongest emotion, wasn’t it?



A single slash. Wendigo fell apart in two halves, his last thought still running through his brain. What was stronger than fear? He, in all his magical potency, had never lived life as a normal creature would, and would never understand the complexity of human emotion.



Dye could only feel warmth tingling from his toes to the top of his head. He closed his eyes, savoring the feeling for a moment. The blue star on his neck glowed brightly, then returned to its usual soft, reassuring glow. War didn’t matter. Fighting was just something that had to be done in order to secure peace. And death didn’t instill fear in him any more. She was always with him.



-----



Saint and the rest of the attack party stumbled upon the peaceful scene after seeing the bright glowing from a distance. Dye was kneeling in the center of the clearing of tents, a white fire quietly burning around him, bright but not intense. Jake was dragging away two halves of a creature that was half-man, half-bird, already rotting as the magic that held it together swiftly melted away.



“White flames?” Seth whispered to Saint. “I’ve never seen the likes of that before.”

Fire, who heard Seth’s question, answered for Saint. “Dye’s magic is different from the usual magic. It feeds off of his emotions, varying in intensity and nature depending on his mood. White flames represent the purest form of emotion, that of love and understanding. It’s not the deadliest form of fire, but it is the most reassuring in battle and by that, the strongest, as the wielder of the white flame cannot be harmed by normal magic or physical attack. That is why love is said to be the strongest emotion.”



Dye looked up at these words, and as he did, the white flame flared one last time, then died out. “Hey guys.” Nobody spoke for a moment. “Where’s Creed?”



“I sent him to finish off the rest of the totem poles.” Saint responded.

“The totems?”



“Yeah. Wendigo had them everywhere, and we thought that if we destroyed them, we would be able to keep Wendigo from constantly replenishing his magic. Luckily you got to him first.”



Creed soared in on black wings, his windscythe bearing marks from his recent job. “Hey guys, hey Dye. Is Wendigo dead?”



“Yep.” Jake emerged from a nearby tent, where the bird-shaman’s remains lay, burning in a fire left by Dye’s earlier rampage. “He’s gone now, staff, wings, and all.”



“Well then, that’s that.” Saint muttered, then turned to survey his surroundings. The base was completely deserted. “Any idea where Kobi’s army went?”



“Well…” Nobody could give an honest answer.



“Is our base protected?”



“Yes Jake, it is. We left some of our top fighters there. Asterisk’s fighting, as well as Blizzard and Priest. I’m sure the base is safe.”



“Still, if Kobi’s not here, he must be on the move. We’ve taken down six mercenaries here, meaning that Kobi’s attacking base with seven of them. That seven includes mercenary number two, the second strongest mercenary in the world. Now I don’t know much about that mercenary, but from what I’ve heard, that one’s taken down entire armies. We’d better head back to base.” Everyone glanced at each other, then nodded. They had conquered the base, but it was an empty victory. As they left the empty base of the 13 Lord of Chaos, Saint prayed that the base he was heading for wasn’t going to be as empty as the one he was leaving.
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Ch. 39: A Single Tear
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