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Tales of a Lost Sword 98

Tagged as: ToaLS 98, ToaLS.

Written by AznRiceFan on November 5, 2011
The countdown continues. Just three more chapters, including this one!
Episode 98 Requiem I: Dissolution
In place of the moon, a towering castle with innumerable menacing towers and turrets has risen over the Fatalists’ own. Its many spires and battlements pierce the black night sky in twisting, dark shapes; the lifeless black battlements and windows gaze grimly down from its all-seeing vantage point as the entire castle floats in the air high above the valley of Henesys.

The castle appears to be emerging from an ever-widening crack in the sky. Almost three-fourths of the expansive fortification has emerged to float over the world below. Meanwhile, the sky around the floating castle has begun to grow purple and distorted, with strange, twisting clouds spreading themselves slowly across the heavens.

Sitting upon a black throne of coldest marble is Grendel. His throne is perched at the center of a vast hall that opens up onto the heavens, so that the frozen starlight falls upon his robes of purest black silk. All around him, black marble pillars rise high into the sky, shading Grendel in their foreboding presence.

Grendel bursts into a sinister laugh as he watches the world below him. “Those fools…do they not realize that nothing can defeat me? Still, that boy…his powers are an unknown. I cannot allow him to roam freely for much longer. His powers shall become mine…”

Rising from his seat, Grendel raises a wrinkled old hand. At once, a powerful magnetic sphere forms around his hand, sucking in seemingly all space, light, and mana from the air towards him. The very atmosphere bends and deforms as Grendel calls forth with his gravitational power.

The blood collects upon the frozen ground in a murky pool. Flynn bares his teeth as he glares hatefully at Recelo’s resolute face. “You filthy vermin…you would have us live under the tyranny of Grendel? To try to kill I, Flynn Schlieffer, the holder of Nexon’s Sheath?”

Recelo frowns. “No, I don’t wanna live under Grendel’s rule. But I wouldn’t want to live under your tyranny either, Flynn!”

“Mira!” Fayvard cries, looking towards her. He nods at the package of soul capsules still in her hands.

“R-Right!” Mira shouts back nervously. She draws out one of the canisters and quickly lobs it into the air. With a clatter, it lands at Flynn’s feet.

Flynn turns towards Mira, snarling at her now. “How dare you—!”

At the same time, Recelo immediately pulls his sword out of Flynn, stepping away as the plume of black gas leaps high into the air. The others watch with bated breath as the cloud consumes Flynn entirely. At once, he begins shrieking in pain, howling madly as he writhes about in place.

As the smoke clears, Flynn’s motionless body can be seen lying on the ground facedown. Fayvard, Cynthia, Mira, and Recelo watch him with silent awe. Arai, however, quickly strides forward, coming to a stop standing over Flynn’s body. He bends down and picks up the Sheath.

Mira takes a gasp in surprise, but stops as Fayvard shakes his head silently at her. “The circumstances have changed. I’ll explain later.”

For some time, Arai gazes coldly at the black Sheath with its elaborate pattern fashioned from gold. “I see…fate is what I’ll call it. I understand what must be done now.” He closes his eyes, pressing the Sheath against his forehead. “Forgive me, Ryuu.”

All remains silent in that familiar garden surrounded by walls of towering bamboo stalks. As if awakening from a dream, Kunai opens his eyes. At once, he finds that he is chained to a chair in the middle of the room. He quickly begins twisting about frantically, but the black metal chains hold him firmly in place.

“What’s…going on?!” Kunai cries.

“Are you finally awake again?” answers a voice, distant and faraway, deformed and difficult to hear. Kunai stops moving as soon as he hears the voice. His heart skips a beat. Meanwhile, the voice speaks again. “I was beginning to think you would never wake up.”

“Who’s there?” Kunai asks, peering about through the dim light of the garden, but failing to see anyone there.

This time, as the voice speaks, it seems to sneer at Kunai, taunting him. “Do you really not understand? How dimwitted you are indeed.”

Kunai’s eyes suddenly widen. He gulps. “Could it be…could it be…that you’re…?”

“Yes. I’m speaking from within you. I essentially am you.”

“Dark Kunai, is it?” Kunai hisses icily.

“You still do not understand. There is no Dark Kunai. You are both Dark Kunai and Kunai.”

“That…can’t be…!” protests Kunai. He begins struggling against the chains binding him again. “Let me go! I have to help Arai defeat Grendel! If you don’t—”

“It is already too late, Kunai. We are one and the same. Your will is no longer your own. See? Our body is already moving of its own accord. Grendel calls for us.”

At once, as if a mist has lifted, Kunai sees the vast forestland outside of the Fatalists’ castle. A sinister black castle has risen out of the sky, floating evilly over the rest of the world in the midst of the starlight.

“No!” Kunai shouts, still struggling vainly to escape. “Let me...LET ME OUT OF HERE!”

A blinding white light now engulfs Kunai, spreading outward from his heart. As the light grows in magnitude, the rest of the world around Kunai fades away, slowly disintegrating as the entire universe falls apart…

A thunderous crash rings through the forest outside the Fatalists’ castle. Several trees fall with mighty crashes as they are uprooted from the ground. The hulking black shadow of something enormous barrels through the trees, carving a path through them until it at last emerges into a tiny clearing under the starlight.

Through the distant din of battle from afar, a ferocious roar rents the air, seemingly trying to wrench it apart. The dragonish wings of Kunai beat furiously as he knocks several more trees over in his maddened fit of rage.

He has stopped on the spot, unable to go on but seemingly unwilling to stay. Instead, he twitches violently as if seizing, issuing forth earsplitting roars of anger that echo throughout the valley. He beats his sinewy wings again and fires several black balls of light from his snout-like mouth, all the while stomping his feet and punching the air with his arms violently.

Far above, in the sky, a sickening pulse beats forth, calling for Kunai. It radiates throughout his body, tormenting him as it calls for him to come near to it. As Kunai opens his mouth to shout in protest again, his voice becomes strained, and morphs back into something much more human as it croaks desperately. For a moment he bends over, holding his head between his clawed hands and shrieking desperately.

Then, a soft rustling disturbs the night. Out of the forest stumbles a dark figure. It looks up at the monstrous silhouette of Kunai against the night, but Kunai does not appear to notice this new intruder at first.

“I see…” the figure mumbles weakly in a raspy voice. It slowly inches towards Kunai, reaching out a hand to touch him. All of a sudden, a bright green light envelops Kunai, bathing him in its eerie glow.

Kunai thrashes about violently as the new arrival works its magic on him, stomping and felling several more trees. However, slowly his shouts begin to slow and calm down as the light surrounds him with its gentle glow. Slowly, Kunai turns and sees the tiny figure pressing against his leg.

Seraphe looks up at Kunai, a massive hole punctured in the middle of her chest where Tau struck her. The blue light within her has begun to fade into a pale blue color. Weakly, she looks up as Kunai spins in place, whipping about his tail violently. The breeze created by the action blows Seraphe’s mask off. She does not attempt to retrieve it, but instead allows her mask to fall gently away from her face.

Ivy’s face looks back up at Kunai. Freezing in place, Kunai looks down upon her pale face, twisted in agony and weakness. He gives a massive, ringing shout, and as he yells, his voice gradually morphs into his own voice, as he shouts out loud to the world.

Seraphe gazes silently up at Kunai, unflinching. At last, with great effort, Kunai manages to speak. “You’re...!”

Slowly, Seraphe shakes her head. “No…” She places her hand up to her exposed chest, where the light continues to grow fainter with every passing second. She stumbles again weakly, nearly falling flat on her face. “I am merely a doll, created by His Majesty Arai in the likeness of that particular girl. Only a servant, contracted to do his bidding.”

“I see…” Kunai growls, his voice growing deformed again. “If Arai created you, maybe he did have some regrets after all…”

Kunai gives another abrupt shout that shakes the very earth. A piercing white light erupts around his heart, forming the shape of a blinding white cross. He howls, again and again, shouting to the very night in pure agony.

Suddenly, out of the surrounding darkness, come three figures, glowing with a soft white light. Their outlines are slightly blurred and wispy; their pale faces glow with the same white light emanating from their bodies.

Stumbling away as Kunai resumes his violent thrashing about, Seraphe finally collapses onto the ground. “Forgive me, Your Majesty, I’ve already done all I can in this limited state…” She places her gloved hands upon the leafy floor of the forest, her crystalline blue heart pulsating weakly as its very life is sapped away.

Seraphe looks up as a pearly white hand is placed on her shoulder. She suppresses a gasp of surprise at the sight of the three women standing there. “Thank you, you’ve done plenty enough,” the purple-haired girl says to Seraphe.

“Kunai, can you hear me?” one of them whispers. She has long black hair and gentle black eyes, even as she looks upon the rampaging Kunai.

Abruptly, Kunai stops seizing. As if unexpectedly coming into full consciousness, he slowly turns his head to face the three glowing figures standing at his feet. The one that had spoken walks up to him and places a nearly-transparent hand on him.


The girl nods. She grins slightly, a few specks of tears in the corner of her eyes. “Yes, Kunai. It’s me.”

Yet Kunai gives no sign that he has registered her reply. Without warning, he begins stomping and roaring violently again, ripping apart another tree as his arms flail wildly.

“Kunai,” speaks another of the figures. Ayame looks up at him with her bright red eyes, filled with neither happiness nor despair. “We know that you can hear us. Though you have been overtaken by your dark side, we know that you are still in there. How else could you have summoned us to you? Only your pure heart can have done so.”

The third figure steps up as well, her short brown hair glowing eerily like a ghost in the night. “Kunai, this is your sister, Lily. There is not much time. Though you have called us forth from the depths of your heart, we cannot stay for long. While we have time, there is something you must do, that surely you have realized deep within your consciousness.”

But Kunai keeps thrashing, unable to listen or hear the words of the three glowing women. He stamps about and fires another blast of black energy into the air.

Undeterred, the three girls exchange quick glances and nods. They each step back, forming a triangle around Kunai as they hold out their hands. Immediately, three spears of white light rise into the air from their hands. They pierce Kunai from three sides, pinning him in place.

The shafts of white light hold him still, even as Kunai struggles against their grip and attempts to thrash about. Yet slowly, his stamping and snorting becomes more controlled and relaxed, as he appears to notice the three girls once again. A slight tinge of light and color returns to his red slits for eyes. His eyes glow with recognition as he stares at the three women.

“What are you guys doing here?” Kunai hisses. “What have I…?!”

“Your Fatalist powers have awakened fully and you have lost control to your dark side, Kunai,” Lily answers. “It is too late to return. You cannot go back.”

Even as Lily speaks, Kunai’s eyes widen, as he sees in his mind’s eye within him somewhere, he has been bound up in chains once more to a throne inside a tiny chamber. Dark Kunai lords over him, a sword to Kunai’s throat.

“However, this is also our chance,” continues Ayame, looking directly into Kunai’s eyes. “Your powers have grown out of control, but they have grown such that in your current state, if controlled, your powers surpass even those of Grendel.”

“That is why that we have appeared,” Ivy ends, her voice high as she stares into Kunai’s eyes as well, “to tell you that now, while you still have some form of control, you must use that power so that Grendel may be defeated. You must destroy your own soul so that the world will be at peace again!”

“Yes,” Ayame adds, “this is the only way to fulfill your bargain with Arai. Please, Kunai, sacrifice yourself so that the two dimensions may live happily together without the specter of Grendel hanging over them!”

“It is the only way,” Lily nods. “Your sacrifice will be enough. All will be solved if you choose to do this.”

“Please, Kunai!” Ivy pleads. “Though we no longer exist in this world, you must do this so that others may live happily in peace in a new world! Your power is the only one that can stop Grendel!”

Kunai stares silently back into Ivy’s eyes for several long seconds. Then, his eyes slowly begin to cloud over again, as if he is losing control.

But even as Kunai continues to seize again, trying to fight back his dark side, the three Phonemes begin to fade. Their figures slowly disappear into the night. Ivy meets Kunai’s eyes.

“I love you, Kunai.”

Arai walks past Recelo, placing his feet upon the stairs leading back down into the Fatalists’ castle. He looks back at his companions, standing uncertainly upon the roof of the castle. “Yes. It is clear to me now. Our only choice is to use the Sheath to rein in Kunai’s powers and use them to defeat Grendel. Then, at last, the world will be at peace.”

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November 5, 2011
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