A Peace that Would Last One Thousand Years?: Part Eight
Darigan looked up from his position, stuck up against the
marble pillar, and noticed a strange green glow...Ambition was using an artifact
to control Jeran and Kass's minds! Darigan dodged an attack from Jeran, rolling
away from the pillar and his opponents. No longer trapped, he would be free to
attempt his plan. He let himself be pushed backwards, making quite a show of it,
hoping to make it close to Ambition without her discovering his plan. Oddly enough,
Darigan's plan worked- the Faerie seemed to want the best view of Darigan's defeat,
and kept her position, letting Darigan get dangerously close to her. When Darigan
got within range, he struck at the Faerie's amulet, and took it for himself. The
green glow stopped, as did the green glow from Jeran and Kass's eyes. Unfortunately,
Jeran and Kass were unable to stop their last two attacks in time, and both strikes
hit the mutated Korbat in his back, throwing him to the ground. He struggled to
his feet, eyeing Jeran and Kass warily, but his two allies seemed to be fine.
"What happened?" Jeran asked. "The last thing
I remember was The Three, telling me to destroy you...and now, look at Darigan!"
"I can't believe I let those freaks control me
again!" screeched Kass. "How could I fall victim to their tricks again?!"
"It it almost impossible to fight them, Kass.
Besides, chastizing yourself does no good as long as they're around," Darigan
sighed, pointing to The Three.
"Why you!" Kass yelled, tackling the Faerie.
"How dare you make a fool of me!"
"So weak," laughed Ambition weakly, being held
down by Kass. "So, so, weak. What happened to your power, Eyrie? Why, it went
away when you left us!"
"If I am so weak, why can't you move then?" Kass
said darkly. "I will never be tricked by you again!" Kass drew his sword, Naralus.
"Because you will not live to try!" The Faerie only laughed some more. Kass
hesitated, confused by the Faerie's laughter.
Meanwhile, Darigan and Jeran each faced off with
another member of The Three. Darigan stood off with Greed, while Jeran faced
"You think you can be free of me?" Greed asked
Darigan. "It is impossible! No living creature has ever lived without Greed!
Every creature wants something more, even you! You loved your riches, and wanted
them back! You'd do anything for them!"
"Except join you," growled Darigan. "And you
are wrong. I CAN live without you! Darigan drew his sword on Greed, who backed
up into a corner, frightened. However, once he recovered from his shock, Greed
also began to laugh. Darigan and Kass looked at each other, and decided- The
Three would be finished, once and for all, despite their laughter. Thus, Greed
and Ambition were struck down, still laughing.
As Ambition disappeared, she appeared strangely
victorious. Before disappearing fully, she crowed, "You have just sealed your
fate! You shall never leave this realm alive!" And with that, Ambition was gone
Kass and Darigan walked over to each other, trying
to decide whether or not to help Jeran, who was slowly pushing Revenge backwards,
despite his injury. After a moment, however, the answer became clear.
As soon as Ambition and Greed had faded, the
battleground had started to change, imperceptibly at first. It soon became clearer,
however, as green lightning began to flash in the sky and the realm of The Three
started vanishing, disappearing into the air or melting and forming pools of
lava around the circle where Jeran and Revenge were fighting and where Kass
and Darigan looked on in horror.
The realm was not the only thing that was changed,
however. Revenge, also, changed, growing twice his original size, his power
increasing exponentially. Jeran soon found himself on the loosing end of the
fight. Revenge laughed at Darigan and Kass.
"Fools. You say you will not fall for our tricks,
that you will not heed us, yet you finish off two of The Three in the power
of the third! You should have realized that taking your Revenge on Greed and
Ambition would help me! Now, I will destroy you all!"
Jeran met Revenge blow for blow, fighting valiantly,
but he had been thoroughly exhausted, and had already been injured. Revenge
pressed him harder, pushing the Sunblade back to Jeran, hitting his previous
injury. In shock, the Lupe fell backwards, catching the ledge by pure luck,
holding on with one hand.
"Wouldn't you say this is familiar?" Revenge
asked. "And last time, it was your dear friend Kass who did this to you!" Revenge
snarled, kicking Jeran's hands off the ledge. But things were most definitely
different this time around. Jeran had wings, though he had promised himself
not to use them, not to get used to a Darigan form. But it was a different Jeran
who had made that promise. That Jeran thought of all Darigans as evil monsters.
This Jeran knew that Darigans were no worse than Meridellians, that the only
difference between them was purely visual. This Jeran would fly on Darigan wings,
because he knew they would hold him. This Jeran would save himself!
Jeran had already fallen quite some way before
he took flight, though he still thought the distance between himself and the
platform was unnaturally large. It was almost as if the world was expanding!
Up on the platform, Kass and Darigan tried to
defeat Revenge. Revenge dodged Kass's attacks and threw him into a pillar, knocking
him out. Darigan's luck was not much better- Revenge caught him in his hand,
squeezing him. Darigan found himself unable to breathe. Just as Darigan passed
out, however, Jeran reached the platform, panting.
"An exhausted puppy is the last thing standing
between me and the world?!" Revenge exclaimed. "They just don't make heroes
like they used to..." he said, throwing Darigan to the ground.
"Shut up and fight!" Jeran growled. "I'm in no
mood to hear your foolish ramblings!"
"Oh, what a mouth," gasped Revenge in false horror.
"That's not proper for a hero. You're supposed to be a role model, you know,"
he said, swinging his sword down upon Jeran. Jeran blocked it, loosing energy
It is impossible to beat him with my own strength,
Jeran thought. Revenge is just too powerful! But I must fight, to my last
breath if necessary! It is our only hope! I know this Sunblade has the power
I need, if only I could unlock it... I must! For Lisha! "For Lisha!" yelled
Jeran, the Sunblade shining as bright as the Sun itself. Revenge stumbled backwards,
Once again, things began to change in The Three's
realm. Areas of rock outside of the stone circle settled down at last, and the
lava cooled. The green lightning in the sky stopped, replaced by stars. Flowers
sprouted from the ground in the circle, awakened by the light. Day had come
in the realm of The Three at last, the Sunblade as its Sun.
Revenge was not ready to give up yet, however.
He struck at Jeran several more times, each time being repelled by the Sunblade.
Jeran pushed him backwards, to the edge of the platform.
"I suppose you will finish me," Revenge laughed.
"Get your Revenge, as your friends did. Isn't life perfect?"
"I don't want Revenge on you," Jeran growled,
dropping the Sunblade. "Revenge solves nothing!" Revenge looked on in horror
as he started to vanish.
"What have you done?!" he asked. "What have you
And to that, Jeran replied truthfully, "Absolutely
Jeran walked out to speak to the people of Meridell,
remembering the events of the last week. He, Darigan, and Kass somehow managed
to return home from the realm of The Three, though none of them quite remembered
how. Darigan used Ambition's charm to keep the Citadel afloat, at least until
a new set of engines were finished. Kass became Darigan's closest advisor. And
Jeran himself was about to become the next King of Meridell.
Jeran, still a Darigan Lupe, in front of the
people of Meridell at his coronation ceremony, made his speech. "We should all
learn to be more tolerant of each other, despite our differences. A lack of
tolerance is what caused this war, a fear of those who are different. At the
beginning of this conflict, I, too believed, as you did, that all Darigans were
dangerous and untrustworthy, due to their frightening exteriors. But, due to
my own unwilling part in this mess, I learned that the true nature of a Darigan
is no different than the nature of a Meridellian. I, myself, will remain a living
reminder that appearances can be deceiving, that Darigans cannot be judged solely
by their physical appearance." And with that, Sir Jeran Borodere, Commander
of the forces of both Meridell and Darigan, became King Jeran, ruling Meridell
wisely through his age, helping Darigan to rebuild the Citadel and restoring
his people to prosperity. And finally, a thousand years of peace became a possibility.