34 No Rest for the Wicked
(From the point of view of God of Death Vilhelm)
"I'm sorry, Dion, but I must go," I whispered as I embraced my love tightly on my arms, feeling his warm and strong arms wrapping my body tightly amid the coldness of the surroundings.
"Must you go?" His deep voice resounded through my mind, echoing all over my head until it slowly scatters away into a silent unintelligible whisper.
I opened my eyes as I laid my weary head on his broad shoulders. My hands traveled throughout his stiff body as he trembled slightly, not because of the cold but because of the loneliness of the thought of us being apart. I can't help him, for I am also the same. We are just both helpless children pretending to be mighty creatures. My eyes fell upon the endless ocean around us and the icy, pale, and stone bridge that we are currently standing on at the moment. Everything around us is nothing but a hardened sea and skies so gray that you could never see the sun. The bridge we're standing on is freezing in such a low temperature that humans who would step foot on it would turn into a chunk of ice in less than a second.
No human being has yet tried to walk this bridge before, and I am fairly certain that no being in existence has ever seen the endless winter that lay dormant at the far western side of Luxael. All they know when the west is being talked about is Defuntalac and nothing more. A pathway only for us that connects the far south of Nihilheim to the far west of Luxael, and every day we spend our days here together between the boundary of nothingness and frigidity.
"We have been together in our dream for so long, but now, Luxael needs us; our people need us. I must go." I replied, while my feet slowly turned into a thick cloud of smoke.
Dion then sighed slightly as he gradually let go of my body to look at my face in full view. He then smiled at me while caressing my face lightly as I saw drops of water slowly accumulating from his eyes. "I love you so much, Vilhelmina."
I chuckled upon hearing those words left the lips of the man I loved more than anything the gods have ever made. I looked at his pale face, his large eyes, thick eyebrows, red lips, short brown hair hiding beneath a white fur hat. My gaze then fell down onto his massive physique: broad shoulders, large chest, thick limbs, and an imposing height that towers my thin and small body. However, the masterpiece that is his naked body is concealed by a long, baggy, and thick white fur coat that stretches down to his knees. Beneath it is a set of thick leather armor, a white linen pair of pants, and brown leather boots.
"You know you're the only being in all worlds and every dimension that I permit to use that name, right?" I said while lightly tapping Dion's hands as it continuously caressed my ghastly thin cheeks. "I have to go now, Dion. We still have a world to save."
"Yes, and lots of people to use." He chuckled as he gently pulled his hands away from me, which made me frown slightly with a twinge of regret. "We cannot let your sister beat us, after all."
"Philomena is a bitch, but she knows her shit very, very well. She has begun to make her move in Caelum at this very moment, and I'm sure it's all because the influence of my uncle's cunning plans has kick-started the war that suddenly erupted in the north." I said to Dion gently as I felt my body being lifted into the air, but I just can't take my eyes off him yet. "The Old Gods need to realize that they have no place in Luxael anymore."
"Then, I will make sure the people of importance will never reach your realm." I heard Dion scream loudly while waving at me as I swiftly ascended into the gray skies.
"If they ever reach my realm, I will kick them out of there and shove them back to their decaying bodies with double the rent!" I replied as loudly as I can before I turned my body away from Dion and flew as swiftly as I can towards the north. I could feel smoke engulfing my body, and from within that darkened clouds embracing my skin, I could hear countless words whispering from all of the souls in my possession.
Before I knew it, I was already hovering above Varba. It seems like the damn place has been improved quite tremendously compared to the last time I saw it. Well, a few centuries have passed since then, and I would be mad at them if they're still that tiny hodgepodge of psychics who escaped to my realm and begged me to let them stay. I will never forget the audacity of those men; the fire in their eyes was absolutely beautiful. Now, it's time for them to repay me.
At the center of the empire lies a city that houses a monolithic palace with a rather queer architectural design. At the core of the said place lies the gift I had given these people before I danced with my love in our connected dreams until... This day happened. I guess we cannot really escape this. Fighting rebelling old men who want to destroy the world is still part of the job...
I very graciously clouded all of the visions of all the people of Varba using the darkened soil of Nihilheim, making them go on with their lives normally without laying their eyes upon my beautiful body. As much as I would love to speak and give them the privilege of laying their eyes upon me, it would cause a massive disturbance throughout Varba. I cannot let my presence be known now that the Third Old God had made his move. I could not even think of what the two others would do to Luxael once they stepped into the game, especially my father, Hatu.
When I have placed a protective barrier of blackened dust upon the Varban people's eyes, I very discretely descended towards the queer palace at the center of the empire. There, I saw the large sapphire gemstone that I have gifted to these people that would outline the arrival of my Herald. I have then landed in what looked like a small garden of tulips surrounding the stone and saw the person that I am looking for. When I slowly descended from the clear blue skies, the boy who's standing before the now shimmering giant chunk of sapphire suddenly looked up in astonishment with eyes wide open and mouth agape.
"Answer me, Vennefore Lardizabal, second son of King Devyn Lardizabal and the chosen Herald of the Gods, do you accept me as your one and only true God!" I proclaimed upon the weary body of this poor human boy with arms outstretched. Meanwhile, my body very graciously levitates above the shining sapphire chunk, covering it with a thick cloud of smoke, which then fell upon the trembling body of my Herald.
The boy prince then looked around him to observe if the countless people around him could see my magnificence floating in the air. Seeing that none of them seems fazed upon what is currently happening around them, the prince suddenly started shaking with tearful eyes. He then suddenly fell onto the floor with his hands extended towards my direction as he exclaimed, "YES, VILHELM!" When he did so, the people started to notice what was happening to the prince, but we were both clearly not interested in their silent whispers.
I then slowly moved towards him like I'm gently swimming on an undisturbed body of water. When I finally moved towards the boy prince's side, I placed my hand on his head and proclaimed, "Then it must be done!"
With his loud, high-pitched scream, the boy started to have a seizure attack with his eyes rolled at the back of his skull. Meanwhile, a dark and thick aura of pure unadulterated mana suddenly started spewing towards the boy prince's body. When I swiftly pulled my hands away from his forehead, I saw that a black circle inside of a bigger red circle had been etched into his skin. I then remained levitating in the air as I looked at the boy prince fall unconscious into the floor while the rest of the people around him suddenly flocked towards him to take him somewhere inside of the palace. I merely looked at them as I stood there motionlessly on the grassy soil of the surroundings. Suddenly, the tulips, the grass, and other flowers around me withered and turned into nothing but dust that flew wildly all around me. It is a commendable thing to see humans build more life in Varba, and I am deeply saddened that I have killed some of them with just a touch from the sole of my stilettos.
He really is the Herald of the Gods if he died.
And he truly is Vonerich's brother.
I then closed my eyes and continued to stand before my blue gemstone wordlessly, observing the many people moving around me swiftly to go on with their lives as always. When I opened my eyes, I was already in a rather opulent room with countless boxes of trinkets, shelves filled with books, and other things humans might find enjoyable. When I looked down, I realized that I was gazing upon my Herald as he laid weakly on his bed while a rather old but still energetic gentleman sat beside him while gently patting the boy prince's head.
After a while, the boy prince uttered the instructions I have embedded into his head, "Father, the God of Death, Vilhelm, had called out my name. He instructed me to leave this place and journey towards his realm in the far south of Nihilheim." He sounded too monotonous and almost lifeless as he voiced out those words with a blank expression.
"Wh-what are you saying, my son!? I can't possibly permit you to leave the empire, not with all the chaos happening all around us!" The king uttered those words in a rather loud but gentle tone. He then kissed his son's forehead before he stood up and looked at his son with a smile. "Just sleep here for now. You're just sick; that's all." He then slowly moved away from the prince with a weakened sigh. Perhaps the king has heard of what happened to his son in Valencia, or maybe he's stressed precisely because he doesn't know what happened on the battlefield.
I commend the king's love for his sons, and he will definitely have a great place in the heart of my realm, but the world has no time for his passion. No amount of human affection can stop the will of the Gods.
The boy prince then straightened his body on the bed and looked at the ceiling with a blank stare. "The God of Death's will be done."
And indeed it is.
When the king finally laid his head on his soft white pillow, the first thing he saw in his dreams is the image of him sitting on his own throne. The only difference is that his throne is sitting on my realm, and I stood there before him, looking at him at eye level as I laid on a thick cloud of smoke.
"Good afternoon, King Devyn," I whispered gently when I saw the shocked expression on the king's face.
"This..." The king's shocked expression then slowly loosened when he heard my voice. "...are you the God of Death."
I looked at him with a nod as I showed him an expression that showed my approval of him, not only as a king but as a person. "Indeed, I am, and you have greatly offended me."
The king then looked up slightly as I saw him trying his hardest to stop his tears from falling with his fist balled into a fist. "...is there really nothing I can do to stop you from taking yet another one of my sons?" He whispered in a weak and exhausted voice, pleading with me with trembling lips.
"You are mistaken, Devyn Lardizabal. I have not taken any of your sons yet." I said calmly as I placed my head lazily on my palms.
The once weakened eyes of the king then outstretched to show his surprise. "Then—"
"But, I'm afraid you will soon come to me way before your son Vonerich would." I interrupted as I laid my eyes upon the unfazed expression of the wise king of Varba.
He then nodded as he gulped his saliva with his eyes closed. "I am aware."
"But this is not about that, Devyn Lardizabal," I uttered as I pierced his body with my sharp gaze. "As I have said earlier, you have offended me. Thus, as punishment, I have taken the liberty of hastening your death. I will be seeing you again in this hall after five months."
The king's face then turned pale, but he didn't seem surprised by what I had said, "Five months..." He sighed as he wiped his face with his hands before pulling his hair back. "I see." He affirmed graciously without an ounce of desperation, seemingly accepting the inevitable and welcoming it as a good friend.
"Say your farewells, spend your life well," I then stood up as I turned my body away from the weakened king. Then, I turned my head towards him to peek at him while he sobs on his throne. "and don't you ever dare stop my Herald from leaving the empire again."
When the king awakened, the first thing he did was go to his son's room. By the time he saw his young son, the prince was already packing a few magical trinkets and countless books inside of a large leather suitcase. The king wordlessly approached his son, embraced his body tightly, and set him free. After a few seconds, when the boy prince had left the room, the king suddenly fell into the floor, sobbing in his lonesome while tilting his head into the ceiling like his begging desperately towards the sky.
Seemingly thinking about the things that he would leave behind and the countless worlds he would fail to see, the king gently wept with a desperate whisper. "...I don't want to die yet..."
He then fell unconscious on the floor, and a few servants saw him there a few moments later. They swiftly called a doctor, who then proclaimed to the king that his illness had greatly heightened. Meanwhile, the Varban soldiers started to look for the boy prince who had suddenly disappeared after leaving his room.
As the king weakly laid on his bed while looking at the busy scene of countless people outside his window, his brother entered the room with a saddened expression. The king then noticed his brother's arrival and they both embraced each other gently, both accepting the arrival of the inevitable.
"Don't worry, my brother," The king's brother, Carnegie Lardizabal, whispered in an empathic tone. "I will take care of the kingdom in your stead." However, contrary to his warm voice and supportive words, the king's brother showed a twisted smile, filled with an endless shadow.
Oh, humans, they never change. How absolutely beautiful these phenomenal creatures are.