Warlock

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 16 (v.1) - Brother Of Mine

Submitted: March 31, 2017

Reads: 190

Comments: 19

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Submitted: March 31, 2017

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The dark sky was beginning to turn a dark grey as the stars and moon began to fade. A few scattered bird songs echoed occasionally through the air as a light coat of mist settled in. The city was quiet. Most of the buildings lay in ash piles, rubble from the broken wall was scattered all over the place, crushing houses and fences. The rain had stopped, but the ground was still soaked like a river bed. As a Gryphon flew over the devastation, searching for an easy meal, Tsunami glared up at it. It cried loudly, its fearsome voice echoed through the valley as it flew overhead, glaring back down at him. But as Tsunami climbed to his feet, it cried one last time and disappeared over the mountain. He sat back down on a burnt bench angrily, impatiently tapping his foot on the soggy ground. He was worried. The same thought kept running through his head; Did he do the right thing? Or did he put Kathrina and Logan in even more danger than they were already in? He didn't know and it was tearing him apart. It was true that he wanted to get them back, but maybe he had gone too far-

''T... Tsunami?'' came a quiet, soft voice.

Slowly, he turned around and laid his eyes on a pair of dull purple eyes. He moved over as Octavia sat down beside him. She wore purple Seer robes and a dark cream-colored shirt. He stared up at her head- Her hair was light grey, but sitting on top of her head were two large cat-like ears...

''Hey'' she smiled happily, baring her cat-like fangs.

''What's wrong, Octavia?'' he asked as he sighed, staring down at the ground sadly.

''Actually,'' she said as she moved closer to him, wrapping her long cat tail around the bench, ''I came to ask you that question'' she squeaked.

''Why?'' he groaned as he tried to shuffle away from her.

She quickly placed her hand on his leg, stopping him from moving away, ''Because... You lost your friends''

He stared at her strangely as she leaned her head on him, staring ahead.

''It's hard to lose people'' she said quietly, ''So I came to comfort you'' she smiled.

''I don't need comforting'' he said harshly as he pushed her hand off him.

But she quickly placed it back, ''Yes you do. You're hurting''

He grunted quietly, ''If you want to comfort someone, go to Joe''

She pulled away from him sadly, ''But...''

''Just, leave me be'' he mumbled as he turned his back to her.

She cowered away from him, but quickly stood up and ran away up the path towards the fort. He watched as she left, suddenly feeling guilty. Octavia hardly ever left her home. She was so timid, afraid of everything. But he felt like it was too late to apologize and sighed again, letting her go. He was far too concerned with getting his friends back. As a sadness flowed through him, he stared up at the dark grey sky, thinking. He had never felt so alone since the day he lost his realm. He had finally found someone to call a friend, Logan... Kathrina... But they were gone. Just like everyone else he had ever felt close too. Maybe this was just how it is supposed to be. Perhaps he was just never meant to be close to anyone else. Was he supposed to be alone forever? It seemed so.

''Do you know what is stronger than fear, Tsunami?''

Tsunami flinched, surprised. He looked to his left where Octavia had sat before she ran back. Now, Opus was sat there, his left leg thrown over his right leg. He rested his staff against the rocks behind them and also stared up at the sky. He watched him closely as a breeze floated past, nudging the hair covering his face slightly, but he looked down to stop his face from being uncovered. Tsunami grunted angrily and looked away as Opus smiled pleasantly.

''What?'' he growled.

''Hope, yes,'' he said, ''Do not fear for them. Hope for them''

He turned slightly and looked at him, ''What?''

''Hope that they are okay, do not fear that they are not. Hope that he has reached them, do not fear that he hasn't, yes?''

''Yeah'' he grumbled.

Opus seemed to anger slightly, ''Listen to me, Tsunami''

''I am listening''

''You cannot live in constant fear, yes? You must hope''

''I... I do hope they're okay. I'm just afraid of what those Warlocks might do to Logan... They don't need him, they were after Kathrina. They could kill him and how do you think that's gonna affect Joe? That's his brother, his only family. I know too well what it’s like to lose family''

''We all do, Tsunami, yes''

He stared at him, confused, ''You... Lost family?''

Opus sighed quietly and looked down at the ash covered ground. Tsunami had never seen him seem so down. He was a mysterious person, nearly everyone in the city was curious as to where he came from and what he looked like under his long hair. Tsunami couldn't help but wonder what could have happened to him and it seemed like now was the time for him to find out.

''Times like these remind me of the past, yes'' he said slowly, ''So much loss... Destruction, pain... Yes''

''So... What happened?'' he asked curiously.

''I had... Many brothers, yes...'' he started, ''Three brothers''

''Three?''

''Mhmm... We were close, yes, we did everything together... Made the same mistake together'' he said quietly as he placed his hand over his covered face.

''What mistake?'' he asked eagerly.

He sighed again, ''It does not matter anymore, yes''

Tsunami's excitement zapped away, ''Oh... Okay''

Opus smiled again, ''What about you, Tsunami? Did you have any brothers?''

Suddenly, he felt a great anger within himself as he sat there thinking. He glared at Opus as he remained curiously staring at him, ''I... do''

''Do?''

He sighed painfully, ''It's a long story''

''Well, I am curious to hear it, yes''

He hesitated, but reached into his robes and quickly pulled something from his holster. He held out his hand, the pentagram-engraved talisman was laying on his palm. Opus stared at it, but then looked up at Tsunami.

''You mean to say... That this-''

''Something happened a long time ago...'' he started, ''There was a legend among our people that some of us were born with the spirit of Poseidon and some were born with the spirit of Ares. Those of Poseidon were brave, powerful warriors; those of Ares were also considered as powerful warriors, but they were untrustworthy, heartless killers. I never believed it, I had never seen such an Atlantean... Until that day...'' he paused as he gripped the talisman, ''Demons were just creatures of stories to scare children. But, I soon found their existence to be true. I found one... None other than my own brother''

''Then, that should make you a Demon too, Tsunami... Yes?''

''No. Well, not entirely'' he said quietly like he didn't want anyone else to hear, ''My bloodline is pure Atlantean. My brother was not always like he is, he was like me once before''

Opus laughed quietly, ''Two of you? There's something I would not like to see, yes?''

''Hmph... Anyway, our mother was killed during child birth, neither of us knew her. But a rumor spread throughout the land that my brother and I were cursed, that we killed her. All of the slander seemed to twist my brother as we got older. I followed Poseidon's path, becoming a warrior, but my brother... He was afraid to kill''

''Afraid?''

''That's right. He didn't want to kill. But... One day... He did...'' he said, sounding slightly ashamed, ''It was peaceful, the war was coming to an end but... Fighters came when My brother, I and my love were out enjoying the peace. They attacked and I had to fight them alone. It was like they knew he wouldn't fight back, they went straight for him and... And...'' he breathed painfully, but he calmed down, closing his eyes...

 

''TSUNAMI!''

He crashed his sword into one of the armored men and turned around, staring over at them-

''BROTHER!!!'' he called as he pulled his sword from the dead fighter and rushed over.

Standing behind a tree was Shyannah and someone else- His hair was jet black, his eye's a light green color. He looked the same age as Tsunami, wearing blue robes. He held onto her as a fighter rushed towards them. Tsunami panicked, he could see he wasn't going to reach them in time-

''ALPHA!!! HERE!!!'' he yelled as he threw his sword through the air towards him.

He hesitated, but held out his hand and grabbed the sword. He pushed Shyannah out of the way and swung the blade at the fighter. Suddenly, he fell. Dead. Alpha stared down at him, blood dripping from Tsunami's sword. He looked up and over at Tsunami who was stood still, catching his breath-

''LOOK OUT!!!'' he yelled.

Alpha froze, he felt a breeze behind him - He closed his eyes in panic, but swung around -

SLASH!!!

''A... Alpha...'' came a quiet, pained voice.

He slowly opened his eyes - Staring down at the sword, he followed it with his eyes until he saw blood trickling down the blade-

''Sh... Shyannah!'' he gasped, clenching the sword tightly, breathing heavily.

She was holding a small dagger, blood dripping from its point. The fighter was dead, but the sword Alpha was holding had cut straight through her stomach.

''NO!!!'' Tsunami yelled as he rushed over.

Alpha remained frozen, terrified, his hands shaking madly as Tsunami grabbed her. He pulled her from the blade, falling to the grass, holding her in his arms. He cried loudly as he held his hands over the wound, trying to stop it from bleeding. But it was useless, the blood oozed from her wound uncontrollably. She looked up at him weakly and smiled.

''It's okay, Tsunami... It's okay''

''N... No'' he cried, ''I... I can't live without you! We have to get you back to the village, we have-''

''Tsunami... I... It’s too late... Please... It's okay'' she breathed.

As they cried, Alpha was still frozen, the sword shaking in his hands as he stared down at them.

''Please... Don't leave me'' Tsunami cried.

Her smile began to fade as she lay in his arms. She slowly closed her eyes, her frantic breathing slowed until... It stopped. Tsunami cried loudly and buried his face into her hair, muffling his cries.

But suddenly, Alpha flinched; he felt strange... The blood from the sword had dripped down onto his pale hands. He killed someone... Two people... One was his own brother's love... He stood there, trying to take it in. Tsunami would never forgive him, but it wasn't his fault, was it? But as he breathed uneasily, a sharp pain pierced through his hand, making him drop the sword. The pain increased as he gripped his hand. It surged through his entire body. He dropped to his knees, grunting, trying to cope with the pain. Tsunami slowly looked up at him as he sat there.

''B... Brother?'' he asked, tears falling down his face.

''T- AARRGGHH!!!'' He suddenly screamed in pain, slamming his hands onto the grass. He was breathing heavily, agonized.

Tsunami was confused, he wasn't hit, was he?

''B... Brother!'' Alpha cried, the strange pain growing within him. He grabbed the grass with his fists, screaming in agony. Suddenly, the pain in his head increased, it felt as if someone had stabbed a sword through his head. A strange cracking sound began to echo through him, it sounded like his bones were being broken one by one as he lay there, yelling. But then-

CRACK!!!

He pushed his back up, screaming louder as blood dripped from him like water, soaking his robes. He groaned loudly, like he had no more strength to yell. As blood poured from his back, two blood-stained bones ripped their way out from his back, as they grew taller, three smaller finger-like bones began to tear away from them, growing out to the side, curving just before they stopped. Alpha screamed again as a strange black skin-like material began to sprout from the bones, extending from the tips of each bone until they joined together with his back... Forming wings. Tsunami stared at the black bat-like wings formed from his back, blood dripping from them. Alpha seemed to be calming down, but then, he gripped the grass again, crying in agony once more. He moved his hands to his head as the same cracking sound echoed again.

''Alpha!?'' Tsunami called, both terrified and confused, still holding Shyannah in his arms.

But he continued to yell. Tsunami watched him, horrified. But the cracking stopped, a few moments after Alpha also fell quiet, breathing heavily. He was shaking madly, slowly letting go of the grass. The wings on his back quickly flapped up and down once, all the blood splashed onto the ground. Alpha's breathing slowed as he carefully sat up onto his shins. He lifted up his head and faced up towards the sun. His hair floated in the breeze as Tsunami stared, speechless. Two black straight horns cracked out from the top of his head and two others on either side of his head just in front of his ears. Blood dripped from them and down his face as he breathed calmly.

''A... Alpha?'' 

 

Opus stared at Tsunami.

''And from that moment, he was different... Not only did his physical appearance change, but he did as a person''

''Yes... But why did he go through such an awful transformation?''

He sighed, ''All of us are born with a dormant curse. Spilling innocent blood awakens it. Shyannah was innocent, she never hurt a fly unless it was to save someone else, just like she saved Alpha. He may not have killed her on purpose but... She died by his hand''

''So, that is the Ares side of your people, yes?''

''Yes. But that wasn't all,'' he said slowly, ''It was my blade that killed her. A weapon like mine is linked to its owner; it's basically a part of me. It didn't awaken the curse... It did something far worse''

''There is something worse than becoming a Demon, yes? Something worse than going through an agonizing transformation?'' he asked unsurely.

Tsunami sighed quietly, ''My... My very soul was torn from me. I didn't notice until it was too late. I was too focused on Shyannah... It became its own being''

Opus seemed confused, ''Own being?''

''An Atlantean's soul is a half of them, basically, another personality. We have the power to either become or release and control our souls. But I was unaware mine had even been torn from my body. There was nothing I could do. But,'' he said sounding slightly brighter, ''He didn't flee. My soul remained by my side and still does to this day''

''Your people are the only one's able to see them, yes?''

''No. He's here. Only those that know of his existence can see him'' he said darkly.

''Yes... One can only see him if they know he is there''

He sighed quietly as he watched Tsunami stare back up at the sky.

''I lied to Kathrina'' he said suddenly.

''Yes?''

''I told her that Shyannah fell in the frozen lake... I didn't want to tell her about Alpha''

''I... See no reason why, yes?''

''I didn't want her to think of me as... Heartless''

''Heartless?''

He sighed again moving his hand closer to Opus, holding the talisman right in his face, waiting for him to understand.

''Yes... I... See'' he said quietly, ''But why was such a thing necessary?''

Tsunami shook his head slowly, ''I... Don't want to talk about it right now. But losing my brother so soon after losing my love... It crushed me'' he said sadly.

Opus stood up and grabbed his staff, ''Remember, Tsunami, hope... Yes?''

He looked back down, but he was gone. He smiled weakly, so weakly it looked as if he didn't even smile at all. Opus always seemed to turn up at the most convenient times. But this time, Tsunami was glad he did. He felt like he had just removed a huge burden from himself, like he had let go of what was tearing him apart. But he still had doubts, he still felt alone. Shyannah was gone. Alpha was gone. Logan, Kathrina... They were both gone too. Even Nightly... Although she was still alive, she wasn't the same person she once was. He wanted to go and search for them himself, but he knew he would never be able to find them. Instead, he remained sat there, staring endlessly into the sky as it slowly lightened. Slowly, he re-attached the amulet to his holster and sighed loudly.

''Hope,'' he mumbled angrily, ''Right''

As the gryphon's cry echoed through the sky once more, Tsunami slowly climbed to his feet, gripping his sword's hilt, waiting. It echoed again. He began to slowly slide the blade from the holster, but suddenly, he froze. Staring, he saw the gryphon fly over, but flying beside it was another, smaller gryphon. It squeaked loudly as he let go of his sword and it fell back into his holster. They flew over and behind the other mountain together as he watched them enviously. Family, he thought. The one thing he can never have ever again. His family was gone. He saddened, but then-

CRASH!!!

The cries of panicked horses suddenly broke the silence as what sounded like a building crashed to the ground. He quickly rushed up the path and headed towards the stables. But as he turned a corner, he slowed down in a clearing where the stables once sat. Now, there was a pile of ash and burnt wood. He stared closely at a large wooden pillar that had clearly snapped, causing the entire structure to collapse. Standing beside the destruction was Joe. He was staring down at it as the horses raced around crazily, Spirit leading them. Tsunami raced over to her, grabbing her reigns and trying to calm her-

''There, there'' he mumbled as he patted her neck.

She and the other horses slowed down as he pulled her to a post and tied her reigns to it. One by one, he tied the horses to posts as Joe remained staring down, his hand covering his face as if he was trying to hide tears. But he wasn't crying. He wasn't even angry. He was just... Silent. Tsunami tied the last horse and then slowly approached him, looking at him strangely.

''Joe?'' he asked as he carefully placed his hand on his shoulder.

He looked up from his hand and glared at him, ''What do you want?'' he growled.

''What happened?'' he asked as he pulled away from him.

He continued to glare at him, almost as if he wanted to hit him again. But then he remembered what had happened not too long ago. He sighed sadly, turning his back on him. Tsunami quickly walked over to him and stood in front of him, folding his arms, looking at him seriously.

''The stable collapsed, huh?''

''Well no shit'' he grunted, glaring up at him.

Tsunami blinked slowly, clearly not impressed, ''You don't need to be rude. What's on your mind?''

''Logan'' he mumbled.

He looked at him sympathetically, ''You're worried the Warlocks are going to kill him?''

''Yes'' he grumbled stubbornly.

''So am I. He's... My best friend'' he sighed.

''It's not like he's your only family though, is it?''

''That may be so, but still, he means something to-''

''We've always stuck together, you know? We never did anything without each other. We were always at each other’s side. He's saved my life countless times and I've saved his just as much. Even after we lost our family, after I abandoned our family customs, even after he was blamed and marked an evil traitor... I never left him and he never left me''

''The bond of brothers'' Tsunami smiled, ''It is a strong one''

''But now... He's gone'' he said sadly.

He stared at him. The pain in his eyes was depressing, Tsunami could almost feel his sorrow. To lose one's only family... Is awful. Right now, he needed to take Joe's mind off it. He didn't deserve to feel like he was. He smiled and put his hand on his shoulder-

''Let's have a drink; take our minds off things while we wait for him to return''

''You really believe he can bring them back?''

''I do''

Joe looked at him hopefully, ''Okay, let's go''

As the two started to walk towards the entrance to the fort, Tsunami began to think more about the day he had lost Shyannah. As much as he didn't want to remember, he didn't want to forget either. She was the best memory he had of his home, the one who helped him through everything. If she was still alive, maybe his brother wouldn't have been lost as well. She was the only Atlantean he knew who dedicated herself to trying to make peace, even if it meant giving her life. But she didn't die how anyone imagined she would. It was all an accident; a tragic, heart-breaking accident. His brother was branded a murderer; nobody believed it was an accident until Tsunami finally spoke up. Shyannah's death had tormented him into a silence that took weeks for him to break out of. But when he finally spoke, it was too late for his brother.

Joe pushed one of the doors open as they walked into the hall. Usually, most of the hall's tables would be occupied with other Seers, but instead, just four other Seers were sat at a table at the very back of the hall. One of them had his head face down in his arms rested on the table as the others mumbled to each other quietly, tankards in their hands. Suddenly, they fell quiet, turning around and watched Tsunami walk in with Joe. They eyed him closely as he grabbed two tankards and a glass bottle filled with a dark liquid from a make-shift bar. Tsunami stared back, recognizing one of them as Foggy. It seemed like a deep hatred started to burn the cold air as they watched each other like hawks. Tsunami squinted slightly, his black eyes pierced through his. But as the two sat at the table closest to the door, the Seers smirked and went back to their drinks, mumbling once again.

Staring at the bottle, Joe hastily grabbed it and pulled the cork from it. It fizzed quietly as he began to pour the dark purple liquid into Tsunami's tankard and then into his own. His hands were shaking slightly as he carefully put the bottle down, taking a small sip for his cup. Tsunami could see he was still worried about Logan. But he was too. Even after what Opus had said, he still doubted his choice. But worrying wasn't going to do either of them any good. He then remembered what Joe had said about his brother-

''So,'' he said as he took a sip from his drink, ''Why was Logan named an evil traitor?''

Joe looked up at him uncomfortably, but sighed and leaned back in his chair, stretching his legs out under the table. He seemed to be thinking to himself, it seemed like the subject was hard for him to think about.

''Something happened a long time ago'' he said slowly, ''Our family... They were all killed''

''All of them?'' he asked, astounded.

''Yes. We were all hunting for an ancient treasure said to be in the tomb of Alikmartol, the hero of the stories told amongst our people. But when we eventually found the tomb, what awaited us inside was not anything we had expected''

He leaned in curiously, ''What happened?''

''We were tricked... By a demon. She gave our elder brother, Carlos, the promised power. My brother was given Alikmartols twin swords, but all at the cost of the lives of every single one of our family. She killed our father right in front of us. For some reason, she let us three live and we never really knew why. We returned to our home village where the elders who had stayed behind were waiting for us. We told them what had happened, my brothers told them what the demon had said to them individually. See, the swords were never mentioned in the tales, so they blamed Logan. They said that him taking them was in exchange for the lives of everyone there. But how could he have known? They cast him out, our elder brother and I wouldn't let them banish him, so they banished us too''

Tsunami sat there, thinking to himself. Tricked by a demon? But wait-

''You said there were some elders who stayed behind? So then-''

''No, they were killed shortly after our banishment. That was also the doing of this demon. It seemed that she had latched herself onto one of us, making sure that we three were the last''

''Who was she attached too?''

He sighed again, ''Carlos''

''So, what did you do? You cast her out, right?''

''We couldn't. She was too powerful. It seemed that she had actually bound herself to the power given to Carlos. The only way to remove her would be to... To kill him''

He could see that he was getting even more upset. Logan really was the only family he had left and it sounded like he's lost a brother before. Maybe now was the time for them to talk about something else... But what? He sat there, thinking to himself about his own brother, his own family. It had been so long since he had last spoke of them. He stared down at the table, falling deeper into his thoughts...

 

''Brother?'' Tsunami called quietly as he stared over at him.

Alpha was still, his face pointed towards the sun, breathing uneasily. The blood from the newly emerged horns slowly poured down his face, dripping onto the grass beneath him. He stared at his brother, horrified. What had just happened to him? It looked like he had transformed into a creature of nightmares; Tsunami had never seen or heard of anything like it. But he looked away from him, looking down at Shyannah who was still lifeless in his arms. Then, the wings on Alpha's back flapped again, flicking blood onto Tsunami's face. He looked up quickly.

''T... Tsu...nami...'' he breathed as he fell back onto his hands, struggling to look over at him.

But he just stared blankly at him. He didn't know what to say or what to do. All he knew was that Shyannah was dead and it was his brother who had killed her. Suddenly, he began to feel cold, a harsh breeze wrapped itself around him as he sat there. For a small moment, his vision blurred, but then cleared again. The breeze floated away as the sun warmed him, but he felt like something was watching him. Not just his brother, but something he couldn't see or sense. But he didn't pay too much attention to it. He stared back over at his brother as he collapsed onto the grass, breathing strangely, blood still seeping from his back and head. He groaned quietly, closing his eyes as he rolled over onto his side; It seemed like he was still in pain and was trying his best to get through it.

As a few more lonely tears fell down Tsunami's face, he stared down at Shyannah sadly.

''I... I'm sorry'' he sniffled, ''This shouldn't have happened... You didn't deserve to die like this, you were supposed to live... You were supposed to live'' he cried as he gripped her tightly, ''You should have lived'' he whispered.

Suddenly, a droplet of water splashed onto her face. Moments later, a few more fell. Tsunami slowly looked up at the sky as several more droplets fell, splashing gently on his face. But then, the skies flashed brightly as a loud crash of thunder echoed through the air. It began to pour down with rain, harshly hitting his face as he stared up at the dark grey sky. The few surrounding tree's shivered as the wind picked up, forcing the rain to pour even harsher onto his face.

''Tsunami!'' came a voice.

Slowly, he looked over his shoulder as three distant figures began rushing towards him as he sat there in the rain. But he sadly stared back down at Shyannah. It was like all the light in his world had faded to darkness. Like all of the warmth had changed into a harsh winter blizzard of cold ice. As the water poured down her face, tears fell down his. She was gone. He would never see her again, never hear her voice. Her skin was cold and dull; Her unique warm glow had faded, never to be seen or felt again.

The sky was gloomy, almost like death itself was hovering overhead. Tsunami stared down, devastated as the three figures became clearer - They were all wearing gleaming, dark blue armor shaped almost like the scales of a dragon. They rushed over, their faces smothered in confusion and worry as they stared down at Tsunami, but then looked over at Alpha-

''W... What in Poseidon's is that!?'' the tallest of the three gasped as he stepped back, glaring at Alpha as he lay there, barely breathing.

One of them looked closely at his blood-covered face, ''That... It's... Is that Alpha?''

He looked down at Tsunami, waiting for an answer. But he remained silent, not sparing a single look for his brother. Something made him not want to take his eyes off his dead lover.

''Tsunami?''

 

''Tsunami?''

He shook his head and looked up - Staring at him was Joe. A strange look was in his eyes as he cautiously gazed into Tsunami's black eyes.

''Huh?''

''You were... Well I don't know, you were just staring down at your drink. I was talking to you but you didn't say anything for quite a while... It was like you weren't even here'' he explained slowly, confused.

''I uh... I was just thinking about something''

''What?'' he asked curiously.

''Ah, nothing'' he said as he took a sip of his drink.

''Come on, it's something''

He put the tankard down and crossed his arms on the table, ''It’s nothing important, it doesn't matter''

Joe glared at him seriously, ''Tsunami,'' he said, ''You don't just space out like that thinking about 'nothing important', tell me'' he insisted as he poured more of the thick purple liquid into both tankards.

Tsunami sighed deeply. He had kept everything to himself for such a long time, why would there be any point in breaking his silence now? Every time he thought back to that day, he felt as though his heart was being ripped from his body, like he was drowning. But maybe he could heal if he accepted it, if he could openly talk about it... He was confused. Should he talk about it? Or maybe it was best to just bury the past. The pain... The sorrow... It was destroying him. Soon, it would consume him.

''I... Well...'' he struggled to begin, he felt like he was about to break down again like he once did in front of Kathrina, but he knew he had to try and move on. He took a deep breath and looked over at Joe, ''It was a long time ago... Back when I was home, in my own realm''

''Your realm?''

''Yes. It has been so long I... I... I remember it well. How could I forget?'' he sighed, ''In the same moment, my lover and brother were both taken from me. I lost the only family I had. That was the day I realized that the worlds are merciless... Cruel. Even innocent people are killed in vain. I couldn't do anything to save her... Or him. They were both torn away from me'' he said sadly.

''I... I know, Tsunami. Sometimes, there's just nothing we can do to save people''

''No'' he said, thinking to himself, ''I may not have been able to save her, but I had the chance to save my brother. But I didn't. I turned my back on him. I left him''

Joe stared at him, confused, ''Why?''

''Because he was the reason Shyannah died. He killed her. It may have been an accident, but he still killed her''

''Accident...?''

He sighed again. Joe could see that the subject was hurting him. His sadness was clear on his pale face.

''Well, she may be gone, Tsunami. You may have left your brother to his fate, but that doesn't mean you can't make up for your mistakes now. You can still save Alpha. There's still that chance. Don't ever think you can never get him back. Because if you try hard enough, you can reach him''

''What are you talking about?''

''My eldest brother, Carlos. He was taken from us by that demon. She had twisted his mind, turned him into something... Terrible. But Logan and I did not give up on him. We gave it all we had... To reach him within all of the evil she had masked him with. We reminded him of who he was before, making him remember...''

Tsunami looked at him strangely, waiting for him to finish what he was saying. But he remained silent.

''Well... What happened?''

He cleared his throat and took a deep breath, ''It... It worked, but shortly after saving him... He... Died'' he said sadly.

''H... How?'' he asked, shocked.

''Well, we had our brother back. He was noble, always putting Logan and I before himself'' he paused and sighed quietly, ''He gave his life for us''

As Joe sipped more of his drink, Tsunami thought to himself again. To reach out to his brother... Would Alpha forgive him? After everything he had done, would he listen and see Tsunami as his brother again? He didn't know. But it had to be worth a try because if there was even the slightest chance that he could bring his brother back... It would rescue him from most of the devastating sadness that was slowly eating away at him. But if Alpha was to turn away from him like Tsunami once did... Maybe he deserves it. He slowly looked over at Joe, eager to ask him more about what he did to save his own brother, but he also felt reluctant. It was clearly making him even sadder. But he wanted to know exactly what he said, exactly what he did, every little detail. But then again, he didn't want to make Joe remember.

''I know what you want to ask'' he suddenly said, ''You want to know how exactly we reached him''

Tsunami stared at him, surprised. How did he know?

''Honestly, Tsunami, there's not much to it. I don't want to get into it too much but... We reminded him of the day he was given his first warrior's blade. It was his proudest moment, receiving your first sword was one of the greatest honors amongst our people. It was a symbol for your becoming a true Arikarin''

''Arikarin... That's what your people were called, right?''

He nodded slowly, ''But that wasn't enough on its own. We reminded him of his first duel, his first victory against father, the day he gave Logan two hand-crafted blades which he had made for him. We even reminded him of the day our mother died... It took a lot, but we got him back''

''I wouldn't even know where to begin with him'' he sighed sadly as he stroked the back of his head with his hand, ''There's just so much''

''I can't help you with that, Tsunami. He's your brother, not mine''

He sighed again as he moved his hand from his head and reached into his robes. Slowly, he pulled out the talisman and placed it on the table, staring down at it.

''I don't think he will ever forgive me''

Joe also stared down at the talisman as it sat on the table, ''You had a good reason, did you not?''

He nodded slowly.

''Well, if you don't mind me asking, what was the reason?''

''It wasn't because he killed Shyannah, if that's what you're thinking'' he grunted, ''And it wasn't just one thing that he did... It was many, many bad things'' he paused as he took another sip of his drink, ''After he took Shyannah's life, he was... Different. Before, he had never killed anyone. He refused to fight, he didn't want to become a warrior and fight in the war like the rest of us. He was just like Shyannah: Harmless, quiet, shy... It may be hard to believe that he was once such a person. Now, he's worse than me. A heartless, cold-blooded killer''

''That is hard to believe'' he scoffed.

Tsunami smirked as he put the talisman back into his robes. He felt strange. If there really was a chance to get his brother back, he had to take it. Alpha was the only family he had left. But he had so many doubts. He had become so twisted, so evil. Was it even possible to save someone as lost as Alpha? He didn't know, but he felt as if his chance at redemption was lost long ago when he abandoned his brother back in Atlantis. After his love was killed, he turned his back on him. He treated his brother like a stranger, an outsider. Just thinking about it made Tsunami hate himself. He stared down at the table, remembering once again...

 

A gentle breeze brushed past as Tsunami sat quietly on a small bench. He was slouched down, his head in his hands. His hair slowly floated in the breeze as the shadow from a wall beside him fell upon him. It was almost like looking at depression itself. He was in such pain, such torment. But he was silent. Alone.

Suddenly, a door opened beside him as an armored man walked out. He wondered over to Tsunami slowly, glaring at him. He placed his hand onto his shoulder and sighed quietly, ''He wants to see you, Tsunami''

He shivered as he felt the cold hand touch his shoulder. He looked up at his face and stared at him expressionlessly, gazing blankly at him as if he wasn't even there. The man sighed quietly as he pulled his hand from his shoulder.

''You can't keep this up Tsunami. Look, he's told us what happened and we believe that it was not his fault. He didn't kill Shyannah intentionally, even you can see that''

He glared at him as he spoke, but remained silent.

He sighed angrily, ''What reason would he have? This was not his fault, it wasn't your fault either. The only ones we have to blame are the enemy; they are responsible for this and so many other deaths. You can't stay like this, Tsunami. We need you, Alpha needs you. We are still at war! You have a battalion to lead! Despite his state, your brother has agreed to help!'' he exclaimed as he crouched down in front of Tsunami, staring into his eyes, pleading.

But he stared blankly at him. His words meant nothing to him. He didn't care. Shyannah was gone, so why was there any point in him fighting? All he ever fought for was her. But, she was taken from him. His reason for fighting, his reason for living... was gone.

''Are you even listening to me!? Tsunami! The enemy could come marching over those hills at any time, we have to be ready, you have to be ready!''

Slowly, he closed his eyes, trying to shut out the noise. But his words still echoed through his head as he sat there.

''You can't back out on us now. Get over it, Tsunami. She's dead. Gone. There is nothing you can do about it now. But what you can do is fight for your home. Protect your people. Now go and talk to your brother if not me. He needs you more than ever now'' he said angrily as he stood up and stormed off away from him.

He then opened his eyes and looked over his shoulder at the open door. Alpha was inside. But he didn't know if he could face him after what had happened not too long ago. Maybe it would be best if he just left and never came back. As much as he wanted to leave, he knew that Alpha was now his only family and he was Alpha's. It would be plain cruel to just leave without a goodbye... So that's what he should do. Say goodbye. Was that the right thing to do? He was unsure, but he had to do something.

Reluctantly, he climbed to his feet and dragged himself over to the door. As he peered inside, the faint orange glow from a light within shined in his eye. The shadow of what looked like bars was pasted on the wall. Besides the small candle light, it was pitch black inside. There were no windows and the door he was at was the only one. He stared into the darkness, contemplating, thinking. He felt strange. Every time he thought of him, every time his name was mentioned, he felt a great surge of anger within him. He didn't want to see him, he was afraid he might lose control and want to avenge Shyannah. But something made him want to confront his brother. A part of him wanted to know what he had to say.

He sighed quietly and slowly pushed the door open. It creaked loudly as he walked in and closed it behind him. He stood still, gazing into the darkness, the small flame on the candle dancing calmly. A sudden sense of loneliness washed over him as he took a step forward. It was cold and gloomy. The room itself felt like the very sadness Tsunami was experiencing. Empty. Dark. Like it was an endless darkness. As he continued to walk, a lonely tear fell down his cheek as he looked down at his feet, his hair tucked to the side of his face slowly fell out of place forming his long fringe, hiding his face. The sound of someone's unsteady breathing began to echo through the room as he came closer to the candle light. A chain rustled quietly followed by a pained groan. Tsunami stopped, his shadow printed on the wall as he stood beside the candle.

''Ts... Tsunami?''

He didn't turn to face him. He continued to stare down at the ground, his crying eyes hidden beneath his hair.

Alpha was slouched on the cold, hard ground. A chain was grasping his right arm as he slowly looked up at his brother. A slight look of hope glimmered in his cold, green eyes. But as he waited for Tsunami to speak, it faded. He sighed sadly and saddened, also looking down at the ground.

''I can understand if you don't want to look at me. I'm hideous, aren't I? They won't even let me see myself. So, it must be bad'' he said quietly as he felt one of the four black horns on his head.

He looked up at Tsunami again, but he was still staring down at the ground. The tears were now visible, seeping down his neck and onto his shirt as he stood there, shaking.

''I...'' he sighed and looked back down, ''I don't even know what to say - What can I say!?'' he asked, slightly raising his voice as he desperately looked up at him, ''Words cannot explain my sorrow, my regret. I... I...'' he sighed angrily, looking down once more.

Tsunami breathed deeply, like he was about to speak, but he sighed quietly. Silent, still.

Alpha sniffled, ''Brother, please... I'm sorry'' he then paused and shook his head slowly, ''Do I even deserve to call you that anymore?'' he asked, ''I can't even try to imagine what you're going through. I... I took her from you... I... It's all my fault, I should have never-''

Tsunami fell to his knees, tears streaming down his face as he wept quietly, trying to contain his pain. He smashed his hands onto his face violently, trying to hide his tears. Alpha stared at him as tears fell down his face too. Slowly, he crawled over to the bars and gripped one in each hand, the chain on his wrist rattled as he rested his head between two of the bars.

''I... Tsunami, I know you can't forgive me. I can't forgive myself either... I know... What she meant to you'' he cried, ''I... I HATE MYSELF!!!'' He growled sadly as tears poured from his eyes.

He reached out of the cage with his left hand, trying to place it on Tsunami's shoulder. But just as he was about to, Tsunami pushed his hand away and climbed to his feet, backing away harshly, revealing his face- His eye's looked even lonelier than ever, tears still seeping from them. He looked sadder than Alpha had ever seen him, the pain in his eyes was so severe he felt as though it pierced his own, forcing him to look away.

''Please, brother!'' he pleaded, ''Kill me!''

Tsunami looked at him strangely as his brother stared up at him desperately. Both guilt and anger was scratching at his heart as he stared. He wanted to do it. He wanted to kill him. He wanted nothing more than to avenge Shyannah. Slowly, he moved towards the cage, gripping the hilt of his sword. He was ready. This was it, the moment he had wished for so many times. His love would be avenged and his pain would sink away. But he paused, staring down at him. This... This was his Alpha. Did he really want to kill his own brother? His only family? He did, so badly. But, also, he didn't. Would killing him really make his sadness and pain fade? Or would it make him feel worse? He angered, stressing as the same two words echoed through his head. Kill. No. Kill! No! KILL! NO! KILL!!! KILL!!! He began to pull the sword from its holster, gripping it tightly, tears still streaming down his face. KILL!!! KI-

''NO!!!'' He yelled as he let go of the sword.

As the sword slid back into its holster, he backed away from the cage, breathing quickly, trying to calm himself.

Alpha looked at him, disappointed, ''Why? Why wouldn't you kill me? I am the reason Shyannah is dead!'' he yelled, ''Me! I killed her! So kill me!''

''No!'' Tsunami yelled again as he shook his head.

He jumped to his feet, spreading his dragon-like wings almost intimidatingly, ''KILL ME!!! I DON'T DESERVE TO LIVE!!! LOOK AT ME!!!'' He demanded, ''LOOK AT ME DAMN IT!!! I'M A MONSTER!!! A FREAK!!!''

Tsunami shook his head again, but did not look at him.

''You...'' he growled as he folded his wings behind his back and backed away from the bars, ''...Coward... Why? I want you to kill me! I want to die! I don't want to live as this... This... What even am I?'' He cried as he fell back to his knees.

''You...'' Tsunami breathed quietly, ''You are not my brother'' he cried as several more tears fell down his face.

Alpha stared up at him. The devastation in his face was heart-breaking.

''Goodbye'' he said quietly as he turned away from him and began to head for the door.

''Br... Brother...'' he whispered as he collapsed, silently crying, ''P... Please...''

Tsunami pulled the door open, but looked back over his shoulder. He closed his eyes and sighed angrily, but then walked out, slowly closing the door behind him.




© Copyright 2018 Kathrina Csernis. All rights reserved.

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