The Lord of Night

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

“The heart becomes warmer when the mild heat of love is coming from two persons. one is in eternal cold and desolation without feeling the friction of love.”  -Michael Bassey Johnson

Chapter 3 (v.1) - An Accursed Love

Submitted: August 13, 2016

Reads: 143

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Submitted: August 13, 2016

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For days after that, Luxus had been deadly quiet and seemed to be avoiding her. Whenever Zonoran would tried to walk up and engage him in a conversation, the necromancer would always found an excuse to slide away.

Why? The elven maid mused glumly, why is he that determined to reject the feelings that I have for him? Zonoran’s brow creased into a frown as Luxus eluded her once again, telling her he had a business to attend to all of a sudden. I could never understand him. Maybe I never will

As he strode off, Luxus stole a brief glance at the elven maid, Zonoran, he mused, how I wish that this love between us be possible. Having turned his face back, Luxus’s eyes wandered aimlessly, without a sense of purpose and destination. They were tinged with the fear and anxiety of the unknown. It is not. One day, you will regret your own decisions. Regret giving your heart to me. You will suffer Luxus could clearly imagined the pictures of the elven maid sobbing before him, as his mother had, and gaze at him with revulsion, as his father and the other elves had done.

In due time, you will meet a better man than me. Zonoran. One that could take care of you and love you, one without a deep wound in his heart that will never heal. He will be there for you in ways that I never could. With his lips trebling with emotion, Luxus whispered in an undertone, “Good luck, Zonoran. May you find your true love.”

“You look miserable,” Grathgor remarked as he threaded alongside the necromancer. Despite the gravelly voice, Luxus recognized the tone and words spoke as one that had truly belonged to his brother. So he is truly doing better? Luxus mused, his spirits lifting up a little despite the issue with Zonoran.

“I felt decent, if that is what you are worried about. How about you? How are you feeling?” Luxus inquired, his tone a mixture of worry and concern.

“You are miserable,” the knight of thorns repeated, “Is it because of that elf? Zonoran?” Involuntarily, Luxus flinched at the mention of the even maid. He hadn’t expected Grathgor to be delving this deeply into his intimate relationship, so Luxus had not prepared an adequate response.

“I guess,” The necromancer confessed, “but I did the right thing. She will never be satisfied living with me. One day, she might even live to feared and despised me, as others before her had done. She will regret her choice and leave me, her heart inflamed with hatred and fear.” In a firm, resolute tone, Luxus said, “I would better let her go now, while she will still think highly of me. Even miss me, than live with her until she had learned to hate me.”

“You are a coward,” Grathgor cursed, his voice even rougher than usual. Luxus blanched slightly, taken aback by the thorn knight’s words. He had not expected Grathgor to be resembling his brother so rapidly that it truly shocked him. What could be leading to this change? The necromancer pondered before giving a reply,

“What do you mean? I did the only thing that I could,” Luxus gritted his teeth in frustration, spitting the words out with an effort of will.

“You must tell her that you love her,” At this, Grathgor’s tone suddenly became softer and more gentle than ever before. They were the same tones that Luxus’s brother had sometimes use to talk to him, back when he was still alive. “Tell her how much you are in love with her, and live with the consequences. Otherwise, if she will leave now, you will live your whole life in regret for not having told her the extent of your true feelings. It’s your choice, Luxus.” The knight of thorns turned to look at his brother, “Drove her away, and lose her forever. Tell her your feelings, and take your chances. You must decide, Luxus.”

Sometimes Luxus would forgot that Grathgor, with his lifeless and cold demeanor, was the reanimated soul of his brother brought back into this world. Today wasn’t such days.

“Thank you, Grathgor,” said Luxus softly as he trod away. “I will think on your words.” Grathgor remained in his place, still and rigid, while his master waded forward through the patches of undergrowth. For even if only a sliver of the spirit of the man he used to be still remained, the knight of thorns knew that Luxus would need some time to ponder and think on his path forward, alone and undisturbed by anyone.

“Luxus wanted me to meet up with him?” Zonoran cried out in surprise, “Near the waterfall by the edge of the forest?” Zonoran felt genuinely bewildered. She hadn’t expected Luxus to invited her out like this, not after the way he would try to avoid her during the past few days. I wonder what was it that he wanted to talk to me about?

Grathgor silently nodded his head, his gauntleted hand outstretched from where he had just passed a note to Zonoran. It was a message from Luxus, addressing to Zonoran that he would wanted to meet with her. With a look of uncertainty, the elven maid glanced up at the knight of thorns. But this is Grathgor we are talking about here. There is definitely no way he is lying, are there? So Luxus was surely the person who had sent this message to me. After briefly considering upon her decision, Zonoran said to Grathgor,

“Can you please tell Luxus that I will be there in a moment?” She felt reassured as the knight of thorns nodded his head in reply, and went to get her dress in the trunk by her wooden bed. When Zonoran finally turned back to check on him, Grathgor was gone, his footsteps as silent as a wisp.

Zonoran was carefully threading her way through the bustling night forest. Unfortunately, the only dress that she had was the ragged blue velvet that she had worn on her way through the Tenebrous Silva, where she had gotten pursued and been saved by Luxus. She had managed to patch up some tears and rips upon the fabric, but it was still not she would prefer to wear out to a meeting like this. A night meeting that somehow felt special, beyond her normal walks through the forest with Luxus. Her heart drummed steadily within her chest, and Zonoran couldn’t help but feel both excited and anxious for what was about to come.

Why had Luxus invited me here? The elven maid mused, slightly baffled. He isnt someone who would typically do this. Despite the fact that he was usually mysterious as it is, this seems to be more special than that. Zonoran was lost in thought as her sandaled feet brought her through the undergrowth and branches of trees, touched by a gleaming silver light of the moon. Surrounding her was the incessant chitters of insects, and fireflies lit the night forest in a warm, luminous glow.

Its so beautiful, The elven maid pondered, I had never seen anything like this in a long while. It wasn’t before long until she could hear the sounds of crashing water, the waterfall cascading down against the moss-encrusted rocks lining the cliff side. Upon one of the boulders situated near the waterfall’s bank, Zonoran glimpsed the moon-lit form of Luxus. He had always seemed lean and lanky to her, and under this light, the necromancer looks even thinner, al arms and legs sprawled before him. There was a strange glint within his eyes, as if Luxus was not gazing at the woods, but through them, his minds wandering aimlessly amidst the seas of moon and the stars.

He seemed to be deep in thought, Zonoran was not certain if she should approach him, lost in his mysterious and dark secrets, veiled from the eyes of the world. However, as she gradually stepped forward, a dry twig snapped under the elf’s feet, and Luxus glanced in her direction. Oh snap, Zonoran pondered meekly. With the necromancer’s eyes following her every movement, Zonoran made her way toward the large boulder. The silvery light of the moon grazing upon his features, the elven maid thought that Luxus seemed to be filled with an ageless sorrow, putting on a mask of guarded expression despite being utterly forlorn. She sat beside him with a soft thump, her blue velvet dress slightly scraping against the mossy surface.

“Well, I did not expect you here, Zonoran.” Luxus started before she could say anything, “It is indeed a beautiful night, with the sky cloudless and bright, the silvery moon casting its soft light over the lands beneath.” He sounded slightly tipsy. A bottle of wine was cradled within the necromancer’s hand. But he had never drink before, not in front of me Zonoran mused in distress. Whatever had been on Luxus’s mind was truly stirring up trouble inside of him, driving him to the point of trying to lose himself over in the drink.

When she replied, Zonoran’s voice was filled with confusion, “You did not expect me here? Were you not the one who had called on for me to come to this place?” She shot the necromancer a puzzled glare, her blue eyes sparkling in the silvery light.

“I certainly did not,” Luxus replied, a dazed expression upon his face. A realization seemed to have dawned upon him, and the necromancer put his head within his hands. In an undertone, he grumbled in a slur, “Oh, Grathgor, I did not ask you to meddle in this, you insubordinate minion.”

Still filled with a great deal of confusion, Zonoran eagerly awaited Luxus’s explanation on what had happened. It never came, and the two of them were left sitting awkwardly in the difficult silence that hung over them, despite the strident buzzing of insects coming from all around the forest.

“So,” Zonoran started, desperate to say anything to break this suffocating silence, “How are you feeling?” Personally, she had not felt fine, not at all, since their kiss the other day before. It seemed like a mistake, for me to lunge at him like that. I guess I should just ask him to forget that it had ever happened, for the sake of us both.

Surprisingly well, actually, Luxus replied, his gaze shifting toward her. She could feel his gaze travelling all over her, over her ashen blonde curls, her icy blue eyes, down the contours of her chin, and then dragged down across her entire body. The elven maid felt a flush creeping up her cheeks, as she blushed uncontrollably.

Since you are here, I might as well say it, Luxus said in a soft voice, barely above a whisper. His eyes were filled with a desperate yearning, blazing with a dark, ravenous hunger. In an instant, the necromancer shifted his gaze down onto the bottle of wine beside him, Funny, isnt it, that liquor could actually give you the courage that you never knew you ever had. Since for me to be able to say this out loud, that is a great deal.”

I am a selfish elf, Zonoran, Luxus said in a voice thick with emotion. It was tinged with fear and sadness, yet behind it seemed to flicker a glimmer of hope, slight enough so that Zonoran almost failed to notice it. “I know that you could never be with me, that fat would not have allowed it, yet here I am. Resisting its calls, fighting against the horror that you might leave me someday, out of hatred, or anger, or fear.” At this, Luxus gaze met hers. Those eyes, black as the night itself, was brimming with an emotion the elven maid had never seen in them before.

I love you, Zonoran. I loved you so much that it hurts knowing that I could not be with you. Yet still I wanted to. Against the will of fate, the shadows that lurked within me, and the fear of your rejection, my heart still desired for you.” His eyes glimmering as if they were lit by a thousand stars, Luxus looked at her with the passion of searing flames, I tried to push you away, Zonoran, and I am deeply sorry for what I had one. Truly and deeply. Even if you will not forgive me, know this,

Luxuss voice was trembling, as if he could barely manage to suppress the feelings beneath them any longer, I love you, Zonoran, and I could not imagine living my life without you. I had tried to resist my hearts calling, and I failed, and this selfish creature had fallen in love with you, beyond the possibility of redemption.”

With that, Luxus leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers. It was a fierce kiss, desperate and filled with blazing passion. If the Luxus she normally knew was the cold and shadows, this Luxus was heat and flames, fire and blazing light. Zonoran kissed him back, almost as desperately, and their lips crushed ones another in a clash of teeth and lips. As her lips parted against his, Zonoran could felt overwhelmed by the warmth inside of him, of the fire of passion that had been suppressed within the necromancer for so long. He smelled of dusts and ashes, smoke and alcohol, but she didnt care. The world had become the two of them, kissing desperately as if this were their last day together, under the waning light of the half-moon.

The seasons seemed to shift rapidly as the couple lived happily with each other. Zonoran would giggle and race through the field of grasses and wildflowers, taunting him to come after her. Luxus would followed, with a smile like that had never been on his face before, telling the elven maid to be careful, and that he will definitely caught her. They would run around chasing one another for what seemed like an entire day, relishing each others presence, as the elves embraced and kissed one another with affection.

Every morning, Zonoran would woke up Luxus for his morning meal, prepared especially from the ingredients that they could found in the surrounding area. They would laugh and chatted about the little things, and while caressing one other, gazed over the breathtaking fields and forests of Vallem Vasta. Then they would kiss, Luxuss eager, passionate lips upon hers, and he would whisper in her ear on how much he loved her, and how much she had meant to him, now and forever to come. She would have replied back that she also loved him, and that she would never ever left him, not for the entire wealth of the earth combined. During those days and weeks, Zonoran had never felt happier. Being with the man she loved more than anything else, it had seemed to fulfill her soul in a way that had seemed unimaginable.

It seemed like there were only the two of them alive within the world, and that they loved each other, and that alone was enough. One day, however, something happened to destroy the elven maids trust in Luxus forever, and shattered their relationship to a state beyond repair

One morning, just like any other, Zonoran woke up from her wooden bed within the cavern. She glanced to the bare spot of animal skin that Luxus had slept on, looking to woke him up. Instead, unlike every other day in his usual routine, the necromancer was gone.

Where could he go? Zonoran pondered in slight distress, Luxus is a deep sleeper, he will usually woke up after I do. Her mind whirling in confusion, Zonoran strolled out of the cave in search for her lover. At a spot near the cave was a low clearing, and there Luxus stood, his back toward her.

Luxus! The elven maid was about to call out when she abruptly stopped herself. Beside Luxus stood a figure clad in a dark, tattered robe. Peels of his skin were falling off in a constant cascade, and his skin were horrendously scorched and burned, flaking off in bloody scars and black markings. Under the rim of the hood, Zonoran glimpsed the most terrifying visage she had ever seen, a skull draped within a thin layer of charred skin. Its eyes were empty sockets that seemed to be able to stare into the souls of mortals, and pried out all of her secrets. Within its hand was a ghastly scythe, wrought from blades of stone and wrapped in the skin and flesh of the dead.

The Reaper of Souls! With a terrified gasp, Zonoran ducked behind a large boulder that stood between them, and peeked over the edge of the rock, trying to eavesdrop upon the conversation. Fortunately, the reaper and Luxus seemed not to have noticed her, and they continued in low, muted voices.

I could see through your soul, Luxus, The reaper said, in a deep, guttural voice, sounding more like a beast than man. “Have I mistaken, or is it the flames of affection I glimpse within your spirit? You know our agreement Luxus. You know it well. Those feelings will only obstruct your path as the Lord of Night, and in exchange for your power, I had a claim upon the souls of those you loved, and those who loved you.” The reapers tone was as frigid as the frozen sea, tinged with a gleeful madness that sent shivers running down the elven maids spine.

That is not true, my Lord, not at all, Luxus replied in a hurry, I had never harbor those feelings within my heart, and I never will. In our agreement have I followed, in the past unto now and onto the future.” The necromancer kept his voice calm and steady, yet they betrayed a certain sense of unease. However, the grim reaper seemed to not have noticed it, and continued,

Are you certain, Luxus? The grim reaper persisted, his voice tinged with a ravenous hunger, I saw that elven woman who lived with you. She seemed to be in love with you, as you are in love with her. If that is true, I shall take her soul in payment for our agreement.” With that, the reaper seemed to glide away, interrupted only by Luxuss furious cry,

No, my lord, my master!” The necromancer shouted out frantically. His voice steely and utterly emotionless, the necromancer explained, I had never been in love with her, truly. IT was just a scheme that I devise, a plan I made as a lure for her. Throughout the first moment that I saw her, all had been a huge deception. I had gradually, and craftily, manipulated her into my servitude. So that ultimately, we could work for you, my master, and aid you in the retrieve of the lost souls of the damned.” Luxus gazed up at the grim reaper, a strained look within his eyes,

She was a fool, to have believed in me and the stories that I had told her. I had never met anyone so easily manipulated, so I was surprised at first, but she easily fell into my hands.” With a light gleaming within his eyes, Luxus said, In the end, our souls belonged to you, oh the eternal lord of the dead. I released you, my master, from the bound of my summons.”

A swirl of dark smog rose up to twirl around the grim reaper, and he cackled manically, Good work, Luxus. I had expected a lot from you, ever since I had granted you a shard of my power upon your birth. Yet you had never failed to amuse me. Ha ha ha!” With a last shower of sparks, the lord of dead vanished in a cloud of smoke and cinders.

Droplets of tears streaming down her face, Zonoran scuttled away from the spot as quickly as she possibly could. She doesnt know where to go, what to do, or what other lies had Luxus ever told her, but one thing was certain. Luxus had lied to her. All this time, all the words of love and affection that he had said to her, it had all been a lie. From the start, the affection he had shown her, it was all a part of his deception. A game he played and evidently seemed to enjoy. Zonoran was going as fast as her legs would take her, her breath coming out in ragged sobs.

Tears of sorrow welled from her eyes as a sense of dread and betrayal clutched upon her heart. Luxus was right. He had said that one day, she would despise him, would hate him, and he was utterly right. She could not imagine looking at him again, looking at his betrayal and deceit, the pain he had inflicted upon her. Instantly, Zonoran went straight to the only place she knew in the region, the cave that for months had been her home. The place of warmth and comfort that she had shared with Luxus.

All of those memories that now streamed within her head, of the night and days they had spent together, pained her even more than before. Zonoran felt like her heart would shattered to pieces, and the suffering and pain within her was almost unbearable. Behind her, Zonoran seemed to have heard the sound of a person approaching from behind her. She whipped around, to stared in shock at the figure of Luxus, looming before the cavern opening.

Why are you still here? The elven maid shouted, her voice rising to a sorrowful shriek, You had said it yourself, that you had lied to me all along. That it had been a deception.” Zonorans face was a mask of grief as she spitted out the words at the man she had once loved so much that she could give him her entire heart, I was such a fool, wasnt I? A fool that had fallen in love with you, believing in your sorrowful past, had given my heart to you.” Her eyes were red-rimmed, but she continued, You were right, Luxus, that one day I would despise you. I now do.” She grabbed up her meager belongings and tried to rush forward,

Good bye, Luxus, and I hoped that we would never happened upon each other again.”
 

Wait, Zonoran!” Luxus cried out, blocking her path. His face was a mask of panic and agony as he stuttered, trying to desperately explain himself, Just let me explain! Those things that I sad to the reaper, they were not how I truly feel!” Luxus moved to touch her, but the elven maid flinched away for him, as if she had been branded by searing flames.

Get away from me!” Zonoran shrieked, her voice hoarse, clogged with sobs and tears, I said, get away from me!” She picked up Luxuss staff, which was left upon the floor beside her, and swung it wildly at the approaching necromancer. It connected with the side of his face, and the demon horn atop the staff leave a wide gash across Luxuss face. The crimson streak of blood seemed alarmingly bright against Luxuss pale skin, as a sheet of blood wept down the wound.

At that instant, Grathgor bursted through the cavern opening and lunged at Zonoran, his hands outstretched in a savage claw. The knight of thorns brutally knocked the staff out o her grasp, and clutched Zonorans throat within his grip of steel. With an inhuman force, Grathgor lifted her off the ground, his hands clamped around her throat so forcefully that the thorn knight was slowly suffocating her. Zonorans lips were purple and swollen, her eyes starting to slightly bulged out when Luxus howled,

Enough, Grathgor! Stand away!” With a beastly roar, Luxus swept his hand at the knight of thorns. Grathgor meekly withdrew away from the elven maid, releasing his grip and letting her fell onto the rough stone floor of the cave. She was desperately gasping for breath, Grathgors ruddy claw marks still visible upon the creamy skin of her throat.

Go, Zonoran, Luxus said to the maiden. His back was onto her, thus she failed to detect any expression from the necromancer. Despite that, his voice was tinged with such an intense bitterness and pain that even the elven maid, as haggard as she is, winced as if she had been slapped,

I said, GO!” With one last savage roar from Luxus, Zonoran was swiftly on her feet. She leaped out of the cavern and ran for her life. Her mind was blank as she darted through the woods, streams of tears cascading down her face in moans and sobs and sorrowful gasps. NO one was following her, yet the maiden keep going on relentlessly, desperate to leave everything behind as far away as she possibly could. She went on and on, away from the man whom she had once given her heart to, and the ruins of the affection that they used to had for one another.

 

 


© Copyright 2020 S. K. Inkslinger. All rights reserved.

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