Metagore, The Battle For

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: House of Ghosts


After the war had been won, the only thing left to make it official is to crown the new lord of Metagore...and some unexpected guests bringing a new threat to the new lord.

Chapter 61 (v.2) - The Red Crown

Submitted: September 02, 2017

Reads: 62

Comments: 2

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Submitted: September 02, 2017

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At the northern base of Mount Dumas, inside Lord Darius' manor, the demon lord was bathing his duchess in her chamber. Ky sat on one of the steps that descended down into her stoned tub that was built into nearly a third of the floor of her room. The water's depth was enough to reach the top of Ky's breasts if she had chosen to stand, but with the swelling of her ankles, she had wished to rest on one of the steps instead.

Darius held a large drinking horn in one of his hands as he filled it with the warm liquid in the tub, and began to pour it over Ky's beaded, black hair. The water rushed over her face as she leaned forward and her wings stretched out above the water---looking fluffier than usual as they had gained a darker silk since she had become pregnant. The water continued to stream down her body, cresting over her growing belly and around her protruding navel.

Darius filled the horn up once more, then poured its content over Ky's back as he began to rub a sponge across her bronze skin. As he bathed her, she gave off a deep moan of pain as she leaned forward and farther away from his hand.

"Was I scrubbing too hard?" he asked caringly.

"No," she responded as she straightened back up, grabbing at her hip. "Cháy was stretching and pinched a nerve, but I am fine now."

"Are you sure? Can I get you anything?"

"I am fine, my Lord," she assured him as he began to bathe her once more.

Darius continued to wash the mother of his future child when a voice came from the passageway outside her door. "Lord Darius, may I have a moment with you?"

The demon turned towards the door but seen no one standing in between its frames. He placed the horn down on the stone floor and walked out into the corridor. Awaiting him---knelt down on one knee---was his marquess with his head bowed before his lord.

"What are you doing, Lucius?" Darius questioned the elder demon.

"I'm kneeling before my lord," Lucius responded as he remained knelt before him.

"Stand," the demon lord commanded. "You look foolish. Why have you come for a moment with me this early in the morning?"

Lucius stood to his feet and revealed a scroll that he had been holding. He handed the letter over to Darius and informed him, "We have taken siege of all six kingdoms, my Lord."

As Darius read over the scroll, Ky walked out of her room wrapped in a towel---her arms cradled around her growing stomach as if she was holding the baby within. "You mean-" she began before Lucius answered her question.

"The war is over. A week has passed since Alberon's fall. It was the last of the kingdoms to be taken by our knights."

Darius handed the letter over to Ky so that she may read the words for herself. "Send rocs to the five capitals," he commanded Lucius. "I want to know how many men I have in each of the realms, and how wounded they are."

"Right away, my Lord," the elder demon confirmed as he turned to attend to his new assignment.

"And Lucius," Darius stopped him. "When you finish, go to the smithy and demand a crown to be made for your lord. I will not wear a circlet that a huma has soiled with their wretched locks."

"Will do, my Lord."

As Lucius made his way down the passageway, Ky looked up towards Darius' radiating face. "You did well, my Lord," she praised him.

Darius' large, red eyes sparkled as they focused on Ky. "Thank you, Ky. Now, go clothe yourself and gather the servants around the manor. Have them prepare a small banquet for tonight in honor of our victory."

"As you wish, my Lord," Ky stated before re-entering her room.

Darius began to walk down the corridor until he reached his chamber. He entered into his room and made his way through it and out onto the balcony. He stared over the stone city before him. The knowledge of triumph grew warm within his body, as the morning sun burned brightly over the kingdom.

After some time of standing on the balcony---embracing the joy of being the new lord over the six kingdoms---Darius was brought out of his rejoicing by the sound of shrieks coming from the sky above him. As the demon looked toward the heavens, he could see the dark scales of Libras---glowing red in the light of the sun---passing over the kingdom.

Darius' brow furrowed, and every pleasant thought that was once occupying his mind had fled. "You should have never returned," he grumbled out, then quickly stormed into his chamber.

***

Later that evening at the banquet, Darius sat a table---elevated higher than the others by a stone step---accompanied by his lovely duchess and his trusted marquess. Darius stood from his chair as he looked over the audience in attendance---mostly servants and guards, with a few of the knights who had been kept behind to protect the city from invaders. Darius raised his chalice of mead high above him in a toast. "We have conquered the six kingdoms, and have won all of the spoils of war!" he shouted as he lowered his glass and took a sip from it before placing it back down on the table.

Darius continued, "All the bellies and dragon pennies in the bank of Talean is ours. It will soon be time for us to rebuild the six kingdoms; but first, I will pay any family that has had a loved one die serving to protect us in this war four sun coins. Then after, I will rebuild Metagore to be the perfect kingdom that our founders once had hoped it would be." He raised his goblet once more as he concluded with their motto, "Be thy gods that guide us. Be thy gods that watch over us. Be no shame fall upon us."

The large demon took a swig of his mead, then sat down beside his duchess as she stood. "I think I am going to go turn in for the night," she told him before giving him a kiss on the forehead and exiting the hall.

A few moments after Ky's departure, the new lord over the six kingdoms downed his mead and finished off the steak that he had been dining on. Darius rose from his seat and took a quick glance over the room of servant and guards. Even though he had a status of power and leadership over them all for the past ten moons, he was now bestowed with even more power than before, and it brought lots of warmth to his chest.

He turned and made his way out of the hall, nodding to the guards stationed at the entrance as he passed by. Once he was out of sight from the lesser beings in attendance, a smile grew across his face as he felt more confident in himself. He knew he would be a far better lord than that pointed-ear huma child, and knew his rule would lead the kingdoms to great prosperity.

Darius' grin grew even wider when his presence granted a bow from the guard patrolling the corridor of his bedchamber. "Rise, Ser Keir." As he had commanded, the guard straightened his stance. "I trust Ky has already made her way to bed?"

"Aye, m'Lord," the guard spoke. "She passed me by not too long ago."

"Good. You are granted leave from your post. Go enjoy the festivities in the banquet hall."

Surprised by the unexpected reward, the guard thanked his lord before bowing once more, then made his way to the feast.

Darius approached his chamber as a new smile came to his face. He pushed the door open and looked to the bed---expecting to see Ky laying upon it---only to straighten in surprise when he found it empty. With furrowed brows, he looked around the room devoid of any inhabitants but himself. As the demon stepped into the chamber, his pleasure and excitement of being the new lord faded away. Out on his balcony, the ethereal purple figure of Afria waited patiently for his arrival to the chamber.

"Where's Ky?" Darius asked in a haste as he approached the goddess.

Afria's eyes narrowed in confusion. "I do believe she is asleep in her bed, but I may be mistaken."

"What are you doing here?"

"You seem quite tense for a man who has just conquered all of Metagore," Afria pointed out as she turned to look at the city before them.

"Aye, I am," the demon stated as he stood beside the wisp, looking off over Sentries. "But your presence is never in good standing."

"What?" Afria asked as she turned toward Darius. Baffled by the statement, she continued, "Are you not pleased to see me? I just came to congratulate you on your victory."

"I am grateful to the gods that I have been blessed with being the victor, but your presence isn't welcomed here," the demon grumbled out as he turned towards the wisp.

Afria made her way into Darius' chamber. "Ahh, yes, the gods and our favors that we just bestow onto any who is willing to just ask of it," she spoke while making gestures with her hands and arms. "To the eight you pray-"

"To the six," Darius quickly corrected her.

The wisp grew still as her brow sat low. "Six, is it?"

"Aye," Darius confirmed. "I only pray to the six now."

"Well, I do hope I am one of the six."

"You are not...I thought you knew all things," Darius stated, confused by the context of Afria's statement.

"I know not of the silent words that your mind speaks, nor do I wish to know of such foul and private things," the wisp clarified. "But I do know all things that have happened and that will come to pass. Such as Libras' two perceived betrayals of your men in WIllowgate, or the fact that you will conquer a god before you are to die." Afria paused as she noticed that her last statement sparked an interest in Darius' mind.

"I will conquer a god?" Darius asked, just as Afria had known he would. "Which god? Tell me, you must know."

Afria approached the large demon. "I did not think you prayed to me anymore, for I have not heard your words in my ears for many nights now."

"You have wronged my family, and I fear for what you are capable of," Darius said hastily, trying to get the subject back to him conquering a god. "Now, which god will I conquer?"

"Have you not wronged your own family as well? As for the god, I will leave that for you to decide."

"What?" the demon's deep voice echoed through the room. "You must tell me. I am the lord now!"

"My apologies, Lord Darius. I was unaware of the fact that the title lord, which you took from another, had power over the title of goddess in which you have given me," Afria mocked the tested demon. "And I do hope no one prays to me for your death, as they did Duchess Anina's. She was a kind and gentle spirit, didn't you think?"

Darius' eyes widened as their red shade seemed to dance like raging flames. "It will take more than your walking shadows to kill me."

A broad smile grew across Afria's translucent face. "Enjoy your rule over Talean and the other kingdoms," she chuckled as she vanished.

Darius stood there infuriated as terror slowly crept its way into his mind. As he reflected on the wisp's last statement, he realized a fact that had completely slipped his mind until that moment---becoming lord over all six kingdoms included him as a ruler over Talean and made him susceptible to The Curse of a Hundred Rulers.

In fear, Darius rushed out of his room and down the passageway leading to his duchess' chamber. Once he reached her door, he barged in as he flung the door open.

With the loud commotion, Ky was startled awake and rolled over in bed to face her lord. "Are you alright, my Lord," she asked in her drowsy state.

Relieved that she was alive and unharmed, Darius took in a few deep breaths as his adrenaline toned down. "I thought you would have slept in my chamber."

"I chose to sleep in my own bed tonight," Ky responded as she struggled to sit up. "I know I take up a lot of room, and it must be uncomfortable for you."

The demon approached his duchess and sat beside her. He wrapped an arm around her body, and gently pulled her in close. "You are what comforts me, Ky."

A smile came across Ky's tan face as she leaned it against Darius' chest. "So why did you barge in here?"

"Afria just visited me in my chambers."

Ky pulled her head away from Darius' body as she looked up at his dark face. "What did she want?"

Darius released his grasp of his duchess and stood to his feet. "She came to mock my lordship, and to become certain of my sister's death. Honestly, I was afraid that she might have gotten to you as well."

"I'm okay," Ky spoke softly as she took Darius' callused hands. "And I'm sorry, my Lord. I know you and Anina used to be real close."

"Aye. We hadn't spoken in a few years, but she was my sister and someone that I wanted to call family nonetheless. But Solaris and Azreal prayed for the gods to take her life."

"I still can't believe the gods would actually follow through with the execution of such-"

"These are the same gods that cursed Talean," his crackling voice cut her off. "They will do whatever is asked of them, just so they can remain in the high utmost power. But one day soon, I will become a god above all others, and I will see to it that they bend to my will and not to the wills of others."

"But my Lord," Ky spoke with furrowed brows, "one can not just become a god."

"But I will become a god, I am certain of this." Darius raised Ky to her feet as he looked down into her green eyes. "And I will make you my goddess, and we will rule over the lands of the Abyss."

Ky, slightly shaking her head from side-to-side in disbelief, asked, "How are you sure of such a thing?"

"Afria has told me so, and she knows all things that are going to happen. She is a goddess after all."

Ky's eyes shifted about---unbelieving what her ears were telling her. Her stomach grew tighter than what it already was, and questions started to flood through her mind. How could an ordinary mortal become one of the gods? And why would Afria willingly tell such a drastic future event to anyone?

***

A week later, Darius kneeled on the elevated stage in the great hall of his manor; standing before him was an archbishop---an aged djinn with skin the color of the sun's kiss. Covering his pale red flesh, he wore a black robe that was held to his waist by a scarlet ribbon, and the ruffles of the garment draped to the floor. Standing behind them were Ky and Lucius.

Ky was dressed in a black, elegant dress with sleeves of lace, embroidered nets, and a black satin band crossed above her protruding belly and forced her enlarged breasts to be pushed up---making them appear even rounder than what they already were. She stood with her hands held behind her back as she subconsciously stroked her fingers through the feathers on her wings. She was anxious for what was to come of Darius being the lord over the six kingdoms and was slightly concerned about how the other lands would react to his victory.

The archbishop finished up the ceremony by holding up a metal circlet with three peaks placed on the front. The crown glowed a vibrant red as an illusion of flames danced about its surface---enchanted to appear on fire, but produced no heat so that the new crown could be passed on to Darius' heiress in the future, without any harm coming to her.

"We crown thee with a crown of passion and fire. Thee crown of thy new lord, pressed in thy bowels of Mount Dumas," the djinn proclaimed as he placed the crest onto Darius' bald scalp. "We place thee upon thy head, to restore thy kingdom to a state of high power. Now, rise to thy feet and go forth and rule thy lands with a sharp mind."

Darius rose up as he turned to look at the crowd in attendance as they all cheered loudly for their newly crowned lord.

"'Tis my honor and duty to present to ye all, Lord Darius---thy lord of fire and thy ruler of the six kingdoms," the archbishop announced, then stepped off stage to allow his new lord enjoyment of the spotlight.

"As the new lord, I will unify the kingdom's six armies," Darius began to address the crowd. "I will do away with the viscounts, and hold them liable of treason for starting the war amongst the regions. I may even throw them in that pit they are so fond of." Darius' voice grew louder as he continued his speech as he walked about on the stage. "There will never be a corrupt election ever again; for this day forward, the crown will be passed down to the holder's heir, and their heir as follows. There will be no more tributes to the gods for their favor in war; for they have betrayed us and spat upon our offerings. Finally, I am doing away with all the statues and monuments obtaining to Libras and Afria within this city's walls; for they are no gods to me. If you must pray and worship in their names, then so be it; but I will not see them praised in the temples of my city." Darius paused as he looked over the crowd for a brief moment before concluding with their motto, but this time it slightly varied from what it had once been, "Be thy six that guide us. Be thy six that watch over us. Be no shame fall upon us."

- TO BE CONTINUED -



© Copyright 2018 D. L. Stewart. All rights reserved.

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