Lord of Terror Chapter 8
The Black King
By Iced Blood
Once in level three, I notice one thing in particular. The stone of the floor, walls, and ceiling were stained blood red. Touching the wall, I felt something peculiar, but I couldnt place it. I decided to ignore it and keep going. Apparently the others felt the same thing because I heard them talking softly about it and Garnet moved up next to me again. I grasped her hand tightly for reassurance, then moved into the lead again, anxious to find Leoric. The evil that radiated from his lair made it act as a magnet and I was the metal. I heard his maniacal laugh echo through my head, and that only caused me to go faster.
Youre close, Son.
Yes, I am. Be afraid I said, smirking.
I do not know the meaning of fear.
Then how the hell did Diablo drive you insane?
He did not drive me insane, my son. He showed me the truth.
Youre more of a nut job then I first thought. I shook my head and ignored his voice, which was giving me a headache. I kept walking, taking in every detail of the walls and floor, every nook and cranny of the place, keeping my mind away from my now insane father. I knew that Schala could hear him, too, because she sprinted up to my side.
Do you think we can kill him, Janus? She asked.
I dont know. I have no idea what Ill go up against when I see him. But I dont care. Hes going to die, or Im going to die. Either way, Ill know I tried.
You cant die! She shouted, and I stepped away from her, surprised. Dont you go dying on me after 25 years of us being apart. You hear me? I forbid you to die!
Oh, and what if I do die? Are you going to tell Daddy on me?
Thats not funny! She replied, but I just laughed.
I just hope you dont want me to sit down and talk it over with him. Thatd be interesting, trying to talk with sword sticking out of my throat.
Oh, you know what I meant, Janus. You havent changed that much, have you? Youre still just as sarcastic as you used to be.
I try. I said proudly, slicing open a Fallen as I walked past it. She sighed heavily, smiled, and kept walking. I felt Leorics evil pulling me forward, his powers of corruption urging me to join him. I shook it off like a dirty coat. It sickened me.
The evil was more and more apparent as I walked through the twisting halls, and I knew I was close. My instinct told me to not take it loosely. This man was a force to be reckoned with, I knew.
I saw no undead creatures in this place, and that made me all the more cautious. It meant that they were all guarding Leoric. But, that meant he would be confident. He may make a mistake.
No. I cant count on that. I told myself. I walked on, remembering, commanding myself that I needed to overestimate Leoric, not underestimate. For all I knew, he could be stronger than Diablo himself. Of course, he probably wouldnt be, but I couldnt hope, couldnt rely on luck.
I was so involved with convincing myself to be careful that I almost walked straight into his chamber. The evil was at a peak now and I knew what lay beyond the doorway I stood before.
Prepare for a fight. I said, and heard weapons being drawn. Clutching Demonslayer in both hands, I stepped inside his chamber.
His booming voice filled my ears as I crossed the threshold. Welcome, my son, to your doom! He let out a laugh, proof of his confidence. Surveying the surroundings, I quickly discovered that he and his minions were definitely not in the immediate vicinity. When my comrades joined me, I pointed to a chamber, put a finger to my lips, and began to step lightly toward it. I opened it slowly and was ambushed by about ten skeleton warriors wielding swords. I raised my own and hacked at them, crushing their bare skulls and slamming into rib cages.
When the last of them fell in a pile of bones, I saw a lever. Reaching over and pulling it, I heard a portcullis rising. Running back into the central chamber, I saw swarms of skeletons rushing through the open wall, archers standing back and trying to hit me as I ran to my comrades.
Theres too many of em! Crono shouted, hitting an arrow to the side with his sword. We cant take em all!
Keep going, Crono! I said, and Crono ran into the fray. I followed him, using the side of my sword to clear a path into another chamber. There, I saw Leoric. He wore a black crown upon his skull, and the sockets of his eyes glowed red. He held a gigantic Mythril sword in his left hand. His cloak was black lined with a royal violet.
I saw Crono rush at him. A bad mistake.
Crono! Stay back! I shouted, but it was futile. He leapt at him, his sword raised. Leoric let out a chuckle, and moved his sword in front of him. Crono tried to move out of the way, but it was too late.
The world was in slow motion then. Crono moved downward, and slid onto my fathers sword. His face was one of agony and surprise. Then, Leoric flung his sword to the side and Crono flew through the air and landed, sliding, to my feet.
M-Magus He whispered softly, his breath ragged. Tell Marle I I love her And with that, he was gone. His face, however, was peaceful. He had died an honorable death for a warrior: With sword in hand.
I picked up his body and a scroll fell out of his pocket. It was a town portal. I picked it up, putting Crono over my shoulder and walking back over to the central chamber. Using my magic, I closed the portcullis.
Crono!! Marle screamed, in a cry of pure anguish and pain. I set him in her arms and pulled out the scroll, unrolling it and reciting the chant. The portal opened and I stepped inside, in respectful silence.
Two days later Crono was buried. His grave was marked with his sabre and his scarf, tied loosely to the hilt.
I sat at the tavern, Demonslayer lying sideways on the bar. Such youth, cut down in his prime I said. Marle was next to me, crying. We cannot kill Leoric and avenge Cronos death alone. I stood up, sheathed my sword, and walked out of the tavern. I whistled.
Nightsong flew down and landed next to me. Yes, master?
Crono has died.
The funny one? She asked. I nodded. Aw, I liked him. She lay down and looked up at me with her large eyes. What can I do?
We need more power to destroy my father and avenge his death. And none other than one race of being holds the knowledge and power needed to destroy the demons within the labyrinth.
Nightsong nodded. Dragons
Yes, dragons. But one dragon in particular is needed.
She knew whom I spoke of. Her voice held admiration and respect. The Great One.
Again I nodded. I hopped onto Nightsongs back and called for my comrades. Seeing that I was prepared to leave, they also mounted Nightsongs back.
You know where to go, Nightsong. I said, and she lifted off, heading north. She flew at top speed, keeping her wings tight against her flanks as she swerved like a serpent in water over the forests.
For a full three days Nightsong flew over the world of Sanctuary, past the forests of Westmarch, over the continent of Kehistan, across the Great Sea, and into the mountains of the Barbarian Highlands.
She landed in the snowfields of the ancient dragons. She lay her head down on the snow and we dismounted. I cant go any further. She said. The Great One is at the peak of the mountain ahead of us.
Why cant you go further? Marle asked, eyeing the jagged, harsh path up the mountain. Nightsong looked at her with an angry gleam in her eye. I lay a hand on her neck and reminded her that Marle didnt know.
For another dragon to come within the presence of The Great One is an unforgivable dishonor. If you five can make it up the mountain, you are worthy of his knowledge. With that, she closed her eyes and slept. I shrugged my shoulders and started up the mountain.
Janus! Called Schala, and I turned. I jumped down to the base of the mountain and looked at her.
What is it?
I dont think I can make it without help. She said, her gaze lowering to the ground. I was never one to enjoy heights.
I took her hand. Is that why you were so nervous when we were flying here? I asked, chuckling. She smiled and nodded. Well, dont worry. If anything falls off this mountain and breaks, itll be a rock.
Holding onto Schala with one hand, I drew Soul Harvest and used it to lift myself up the mountain. Schala slipped more than a few times and each time I had to wait and let her catch her breath.
Eventually, night fell, and we stopped at a small cave carved into the side of the mountain. Schala and Garnet sat next to me, near the fire, while Glenn stood at the mouth of the cave, watching Marle make a snow angel. He laughed.
She definitely heals fast, huh? He asked.
Yeah. I guess she always tries to make the best of things. I replied, poking the fire with a stick. Schala was shivering. I figured most of it came from fright. Still, I removed my cloak and draped it over her shoulders. She smiled and wrapped it around herself. She was asleep almost instantly.
I kissed her forehead gently, and rose to my feet, walking out into the snowfield. Marle stood up as I approached, but I walked past her, to the edge of the mountain. I looked down, then up.
The view from that spot was positively breathtaking. Still, apprehension ate at me. Something was going to happen here, something traumatic. I didnt know what told me this, but I knew it nonetheless. What was it that gave me this feeling? I couldnt understand. I tried to think, tried to figure out what it was I felt. What would happen?
I stood there until dawn, trying to understand. I looked to my left and saw the sun rising. I wasnt tired, for some reason. That also gave me a feeling of disquiet. As I stood, looking out at the rising sun, I felt that we had to hurry. Rushing into the cave, I woke the others.
They felt the same way I did and made no complaint as we climbed the mountain again. Sometime during our ascent, rocks began to fall from the summit, and we had to zigzag our way up, which was very hard for Schala.
I had to carry her at the end of the climb, for she had hurt her ankle during the rock fall and couldnt climb. Luckily, by that time, I could see the peak. We made the rest of the way quickly, and the sun was just setting when we reached the top of the great mountain.
Before us stood a wondrous sight. A glorious, white-scaled dragon sat in the center of the summit, looking at us with old, knowing, vibrant golden eyes. Just looking at the great serpent caused a tear to fall into the snow.
Suddenly, without warning, the serpent opened its wide jaws and let out a burst of fire. It split in two as it approached. One headed toward Garnet, while the other flew at Schala. I jumped in front of the orb that was headed toward Schala, and threw the Blade of Elements at the other.
In a desperate attempt, I shouted, Freeze!
And it froze. The orb of fire dropped to the ground in a hunk of ice, my dagger embedded into it. Finally the other orb exploded in front of me, causing me to close my eyes and wince at the extreme heat. I dropped to one knee as it subsided.
Well done, Mortal.
Looking up at him, I said, I take it that this was a test.
Yes, that it was. And you have passed it. You have arrived here, at the summit of my mountain, without the aid of my kin, I hope?
Yes. We climbed this mountain on foot. I informed. Though my dragon did lead us here to the base.
I see. And which of my children helped you mortals?
I know not her name in your ancient tongue, Great One, but here she is known as Nightsong the Black.
Oh! Yes, I know Stalinth. Quite a vibrant child she is. Though I thought she was taken by the minions of the Sin Lord.
Yes, that is true. That was where I found her, Great One.
His eyes grew wide. You, Mortal, ventured into the underworld? I nodded. So, you saved a child of the Serpent from the Sin Lord.
Quite right. And now, I require your assistance, Great One.
I see. What is it you require of me?
A member of our party has been killed by a demon named the Black King. We need your strength to defeat him. The Great one lifted one eyebrow. He and his minions are too strong for us to defeat him alone.
Then I require something of you.
One of Darkness, One of Light, both forged through the Angels might, so it is decreed.
Glenn drew his broad sword, the Masamune, a sword he received from the High Priest of his order when he became knight captain of Kehistan. He stuck it into the ground in front of the ancient dragon. I drew Demonslayer and put it next to the Masamune.
Ah. Yes, these are the swords I require. The sword of the Zakarum Order and the sword of the Warlord of Blood: Holy Light and Eternal Darkness.
The Great One closed his eyes and began to chant. I watched as the entire being of the white serpent entered the swords. After the spell, the body of The Great One slumped forward, dead.
I have entered your blades, warriors. My power shall assist you in times of need.
Thank you, Great One. I said.
Would you like me to take you down to the base of the mountain?
Yes. We would.
Everyone clasp hands, and we shall ride the winds.
We did so, and our feet lifted off the ground. The two swords floated into their sheaths as we descended, and within minutes, we were at the base of the mountain, facing Nightsong. She woke with a start as I approached her.
Well? What happened? She asked. Did The Great One help you?
Yes, he did. However, now, his body and spirit are no longer one.
What? The Great One is Dead?! She was shocked.
No, child. I am not dead. I have entered the weapon of your master, and that of his ally, the Zakarum Knight. Fear not, Stalinth. I am with you.
No one has called me by that name for years. She said, softly. I wont fail you, Great One. I shall make you proud.
You already have, my child, for you are the first of our kind to take a mortal master. Prejudice does not exist in your heart, and for that I am proud.
Thank you, Great One. Your words are kind.
Nightsong, I said, and she faced me. We need to inform Cronos mother of his death. It is our duty as his allies. She nodded, and lowered her head, allowing us to mount her back. With that, she took to the skies, turning to the left towards Kehistan, Cronos birthplace.
When we arrived at Kehistan, Marle guided Nightsong to his house. In the backyard of the small house I could see his mother and his best friend, a woman named Lucca Wilkinson. I ordered Nightsong to land next to them.
They were shocked at the dragons sudden appearance, to put it bluntly. I dropped from the saddle and breathed deeply. Lucca smiled in greeting.
Hi, Magus, She said, Whats up?
I have Sad news.
What? Luna Briare, Cronos mother, asked. What happened?
Mrs. Briare, it truly grieves me to say this but your son has departed to the world of spirits.
Oh She said softly, lowering her head. She sniffled and asked, Was it painful?
I suppose so. He was impaled by the sword of my fathers spirit: The Black King. She choked back her tears. However, he died a warriors death. He was at peace when he died.
I see Well, I guess he would have wanted it that way. Did he have any final words?
Yes, in fact. I looked to Marle, who was beginning to cry again. He wanted me to tell you, Marle, that he loved you. Her crying increased. Lucca walked to her and put a hand on her shoulder.
Its okay hes watching over you now. She whispered. Marle nodded slowly. I looked over to Garnet, who was silent. I tried to imagine what it would be like to lose her, or to lose Schala again. It would hurt badly. I knew her pain.
With grim determination etched into my face, I announced, Hear my words, Leoric! You shall pay for this abomination! I ran to Nightsong and leapt onto the saddle. Glenn followed me, then Garnet, Schala, and finally, Marle. Luna waved sadly as we lifted off. Marle returned the wave, and we were gone, prepared to once again face the spirit of the Black King.
In a matter of about a week we had ventured back to Tristram, into the labyrinth, and at the face of Leorics lair. I drew Demonslayer, and Glenn drew the Masamune. Crossing them, we called upon the power of the great serpent who dwelled within the blades.
The swords began to glow with a white light, and the Great Ones voice entered my mind. Remember your magic, child. Remember the art of Necromancy.
I smiled in gratitude, and brought the words to a spell into my mind as I entered the lair of the Black King, Glenn at my side. We broke into a run as the skeleton sentries caught sight of us, and ran in opposite directions as the archers let their arrows fly. With me to the left, Glenn to the right, we used the magic of the Great One to fall the undead knights.
Schala sprinted up between us and chanted a spell of Holy magic, leaving a path of bones straight to Leoric himself. The skeletons stopped moving as their master walked slowly over the carpet of bone. Reaching Schala, who seemed too afraid to move, Leoric smacked her with the side of his sword.
The magic! Now! I will amplify the effects of your spell! The Great One commanded, and I raised my sword. Leoric turned to me, and chuckled.
Akt Taras-shalan Dradaxt! I shouted, and the skeletal warriors all looked to me, their blades hanging limply in their hands. Charge him! I shouted, pointing to Leoric with the tip of my sword.
With all the ferocity they showed toward us, the skeletons turned on their master, swarming him and bringing him down slowly through sheer numbers. I leapt forward, over the skeletons. Schala shot a beam of Holy energy into my sword as I reached Leoric. The combined glow of the Great Ones spirit and Schalas magic was almost blinding. I landed next to him, looking down into his black eyes.
I shall cleave my own flesh, shed my own blood, but for the sake of my familys honor as a whole I must endure the pain. I announced, bringing up the sword over my head. I shall strike you down, my father, and as Death takes you in its destructive arms, covers you with its blanket of eternal night and rocks you into oblivion, you shall discover the justice in my actions.
I brought the sword down and, with a crack, my fathers skull was crushed, the light of the sword spreading throughout the chamber. The skeletons fell to the ground, and as the light spread over them, the bodies of the people Leoric had claimed replaced them.
A few of them, shockingly, rose to their feet and looked around. These few, unlike most of the bodies, did not have gashes or wounds of any kind on them. They were claimed solely through the magic of the Black King, not through actual death.
These few souls who stood amidst the corpses amounted to at most a dozen. They looked to be the strongest and largest of all, which was probably why Leoric had possessed them.
What is this? One person, a man clad in grand armor, asked. He looked at me. What has happened here? His hand rested on the hilt of his sword.
You have been freed from Leorics spell. He is no longer, and you are back among the living. I said, looking down at the crown and sword that were my fathers possessions. From where do you hail, sir knight? I asked.
Tristram, sir. He said proudly. Where am I now?
The labyrinth beneath the cathedral of Tristram.
Would you happen to know if my wife lives? He asked.
That depends on her name, sir knight. Only three women reside above this ground now. I hope that the rest have fled this place.
I see. Her name is Clarine. Is she one of those three? I heard pleading in his voice, and was overjoyed that I could give him the answer he wanted.
I believe so, sir knight. I trust she will be glad to see you. I said, and he nodded, a smile on his broad face. Garnet walked up to me.
I think he is called Joseph Redshield. Clarine thinks he is dead. She whispered. I nodded, and beckoned Joseph and his men to follow me as I led them out of the lair. Before that, though, I retrieved the crown and sword of my father.
Soon enough, we reached the land of Tristram, and Joseph immediately ventured to Clarines home. I chuckled softly and sprinted up and followed him. He knocked on the wooden door softly, and it opened, revealing Clarine.
Joseph! She cried, and sprang into his arms. I smiled. She clung to him for several minutes, then noticed Garnet and I, waiting behind her husband. How ? What? She stammered, and Garnet looked at me.
He was taken by Leorics demonic spirit. We have freed him. I said. She looked at me, and in her face, I could see pure, undying gratitude. I smiled in response, and walked to Schala. One side of her face was bruised. When I moved the hair out of her face, she winced in pain.
Cmon, Pepin should look at that. I said, and she nodded, taking my arm and walking slowly to Pepins house. He gave her a potion to drink, and the bruise disappeared. Then, to save time, I guess, he gave me a pouch of potions with blood red liquid.
I felt a little dizzy, and took out a potion of energy. As the clean, blue potion flowed down my throat I felt the dizziness lift and I was clear-headed again. Since it was still half full, I handed the rest to Schala. She drank it quickly.
Then, I looked up. A small group of stars glowed brighter than daylight. They made the shape of a crown. As Cain walked up to my side, looking up at the constellation, I said,
My father is home And then, I heard a sound. It was the ear-splitting cry of a great beast. I heard pure hatred and rage in that unearthly roar and I knew what had made the sound. I also heard a hint of fear.
By showing my father the path of light, I had weakened Diablos forces. And the great Lord of Terror knew that. He knew that, and he was afraid. Afraid that his reign would be cut short by one group of mortals.
Go To Chapter 9
Return To CT Fanfic