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Tales of a Lost Sword 100 [FINAL]

Tagged as: ToaLS 100, ToaLS.

Written by AznRiceFan on November 11, 2011
It is my tremendous pleasure to present you with the final chapter of ToaLS. It's been nearly five and a half years since I first started writing ToaLP, and it's been truly amazing watching how far the series has come since then. It was fun while it lasted. The epilogue and final thoughts come next Friday, November 18!
White sunlight gently touches upon the pavilion standing in the midst of a vast garden of roses. The bright blue sky looks down fondly upon the world below; the sunlight is warm, but does not burn. Peace prevails throughout the garden, silent except for the sound of songbirds and the distant tinkling of a fountain.

Under the roof of the pavilion sit two figures, alone, and at peace. Over the tiny birch table separating them, Kunai holds tightly onto the hand of Ivy. The two lovers continue to smile each other, even as snow begins to fall amidst the bright sunshine.

The garden flickers and lurches violently for a moment. Soon, the very edges of the garden begin to fade away, slowly disintegrating into a million infinitesimal particles. Even as the world falls apart, the two continue to hold onto each other.

“Kunai,” Ivy whispers, “this world, the purest part of your soul, is falling apart. It means there isn’t much time left. If you are still in here when it ceases to exist, you will die. Are you sure want to follow through on this?”

“Yes,” Kunai replies. His grip on Ivy’s hand tightens even further. “I will keep my promise to Arai. But this time…when the world falls apart, I want to be with you, Ivy. So please…don’t let go.”

Grendel emerges from the storm as the eruption of energy caused by the Sword of Nexon’s attack subsides. He arrogantly flicks a tiny speck of lint off his shoulder. As an appalled Arai retreats by taking several steps back, Grendel laughs.

“Your attacks are growing ever weaker,” Grendel says haughtily. “Is my own grandson in command of so little mana that he can only fire off the Sword of Nexon three or four times before collapsing from weakness entirely? I am ashamed to call you my heir, Arai Mage!”

“Shut up,” pants Arai, swaying weakly even as he speaks. Recelo quickly rushes forward to help steady him.

Grendel merely sneers in response. Turning to the sky, he stretches his arms open wide. “Ah, never mind. All will be resolved very soon anyway. See, already my newest pet answers my call!”

Grim and black against the black sky comes the hulking, monstrous form of Kunai flying through the air, the faintest glimmer of gray against his back.

The fallen and destroyed statue of Grendel lies meekly upon the floor of the cathedral, a veil of dust hanging low over the ground. With a crack like the sound of breaking glass, however, a large fissure opens up along Grendel’s back. Then, with a shriek of breaking glass and stone, Tau shoots out from underneath the statue, bruised, battered, and bloodied, but still standing.

He breathes with considerable difficulty as he leans against his Stormshear, a thick line of crimson red blood running down from his forehead between his eyes.

“Impossible!” Kai cries, raising his Zamadar again apprehensively.

Slowly, Tau walks across the fallen statue. As he reaches the edge, he hops down from it, landing upon the floor where a heap of rubble sits. Neglecting to wipe away the blood now clouding his eyes, he bares his teeth as he raises his Stormshear for battle again. “I ain’t gonna die that easily…I have something to fight for!”

“We do, too!” Silver roars back, promptly firing off several new rounds of arrows after Tau.

Though he moves with some delay, Tau manages to evade the arrows. He makes his way towards Kai, extending his Stormshear desperately. Kai sidesteps the lunge with ease. In retaliation, he punches Tau’s shoulder with his Zamadar. Even as blood runs down from Tau’s shoulder, a hideous prism of ice emerges from his shoulder, encasing his entire left side and holding him in place.

Tau grits his teeth, but Kai does not relent. “Look,” he growls sternly, gesturing around at the battle unfolding around them, “the tide is turning. The Fatal Knights will soon crumble against our more determined forces. The result of this war is already decided.”

Indeed, the bloody corpses of many Fatal Knights lie motionless on the ground. The few left standing are steadily being pushed back by a fearsome charge led by the others, including Zack, Rill, Xavier, and Valoria. Despite their weaker numbers, the Rift forces have now overwhelmed the Fatal Knights.

“You bastard…” Tau hisses, straining his voice just to speak. “You think I’m gonna be beaten that easily?! I’ll fight ya to the death if I have to!”

Silver shakes her head. “Even if your strength increases the more your own blood is shed, there is a limit to how many injuries you can sustain before you can no longer fight. You have hit that limit. It’s best you surrender now, not that it’ll make a difference regarding the result of this war…”

The looming black shadow circles once over Grendel’s castle. Then, like a rocket, Kunai plummets straight down towards the castle, crashing into the hall with the force of an asteroid. He thrashes about violently, screaming in protest as Grendel engulfs him in a bubble of pure black energy.

“His power is mine now,” Grendel sneers confidently, guiding Kunai with his hand towards Arai. “Kill him.”

“No, stop it, he didn’t choose you,” Arai whispers, his face pale, as Kunai appears to resist against Grendel’s domineering force. However, even as Arai speaks, Kunai unleashes from his mouth a devastating blast of black energy.

“Your Majesty!” shrieks Recelo, diving out of the way as the blast crashes towards him, obliterating everything in its way. He scrambles about wildly, searching for Arai in order to protect him.

However, Arai has already darted forward, straight into the heart of the energy blast, as Kunai continues firing at him, aiming to kill. Arai does his best to dodge the fury of the attack, using every last bit of his strength in order to continue moving forward.

“KUNAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!” he howls at the top of his breath. “We promised we’d end this!”

Drawing out Nexon’s Sheath, Arai holds out his hand towards Kunai, stretching his arm towards Kunai’s heart as he screams for his life. A blinding white light suddenly connects the two of them.

In a moment, a breath of wind rises into the air. Without warning, the breeze morphs into a violent hurricane of storm and wind as several golden ribbons thread around Kunai and bind him in place, engulfing him in their blazing white light.

The distant clanging of bells fills the air as a pale blue pentagram surrounds both Arai and Kunai. The light steadily grows brighter, forcing both Grendel and Recelo to shield their eyes from its breathtaking brightness.

Out of breath and worn out, Cynthia arrives at the very last moment atop Grendel’s castle. She looks up, watching as the magnificent light engulfs Arai and Kunai.

“Arai, no!” she cries breathlessly, abandoning all composure. “If you do that, Kunai’ll…there has to be another way!”

But as the light begins to fade away, the dragon-like features of Kunai have disappeared completely. He stands again in his own body, though faint and vague, like an apparition. His features are lined with a slight gold tinge, accentuated by the coming tide of morning.

In the middle of Kunai’s body is a great, glowing orb of silvery light. It shines and glimmers like purest crystal; a shining light emanates from it that surpasses even that of the rising sun.

Looking towards the rising sun at the very edge of the world, a soft smile eases across Kunai’s face. He turns back to face Arai and Cynthia, his black eyes full of warmth and gentleness once again. “Thank you, Arai.” Even as Kunai speaks, a cloud shifts, and the vast luminescence of the morning sun greets his black figure, illuminating him with the warmth and glory of a new day.

Arai does not return the smile, but merely continues scowling sadly at Kunai. He clears his throat. “Kunai…I’m so sorry it had to come to this. But it truly seems there is no other way. I should be the one thanking you.”

Kunai shakes his head, a smile still flashing across his youthful face. “No, this is something we’ve both agreed to do. There is no need for either of us to be thanking the other.”

Cynthia watches the scene with apprehension, her entire body convulsing furiously as she struggles to hold back her emotions. Finally, she bursts out, “Stop it, Arai! There’s still time, we can find another way! It doesn’t have to end like this!”

Kunai now turns his attention to Cynthia. He smiles warmly at her. “Cynthia. Thank you for everything. I could not have done all this without you. If this was the only way to end things, then I would choose to sacrifice myself a thousand times over. With this, the two dimensions can live in peace at last. This is a selfish request, but in my place, please live life as fully as possible for me.”

With glassy eyes, Cynthia finally nods at last, though slowly. “K-Kunai…” she sniffs.

Arai gazes with a yearning sorrowfulness at Kunai’s transparent figure, the Sheath still raised in his hands. “Kunai…I am so sorry it had to come to this. Even if I paid a thousand years of penitence I could not make up for this sacrifice. If I had been a little bit less stubborn from the beginning, maybe…”

Interrupting, Kunai shakes his head. “No. This is a choice that I made myself. I have no regrets, and neither should you, Arai. Like Cynthia, you should live life to its fullest in my stead.”

The two of them exchange an understanding nod. Smiling faintly at last, Arai asks, “Any further last words, Kunai?”

“Just one final wish, Arai.”

Nodding, Arai waits for Kunai to continue. “Please spare my dimension. Spare Cynthia and the others. Swear you will protect them with all your power after this.”

Arai smiles to himself with humor as he averts his eyes from Kunai’s momentarily. “So you saw through me after all. I was planning to betray you in the end after Grendel was killed, but it seems I cannot do that any longer. There is no way I can ignore the last wish of a true friend. Thank you for showing me the value of a true friend…Kunai!”

At last, Arai raises Nexon’s Sheath. With a thunderous blast of wind and energy, the threads of golden mana surrounding Kunai burst into life, reformulating themselves in the air around Arai. Another rush of wind bellows through Grendel’s castle as Kunai vaporizes, simply dissolving into millions of tiny golden mana particles. The infinitely tiny particles sweep through the air guided by a warm breeze, shining like beautiful petals of light as they surround Arai.

Gradually, the petals of golden light reconstitute themselves around the Sheath. Arai pulls forth a brand new sword from the Sheath, ten times larger than the Sword of Nexon, composed entirely of mana as it glows with the fury of justice.

As the mana cools, it solidifies into a purplish-black sword, an imposing weapon several times taller than Arai. As he brandishes the new sword called forth by the Sheath, Arai’s eyes glow with a bright red color.

“GRENDEL!” Arai hollers at the top of his lungs, a hurricane of fury and power gathering around his sword.

“What is this?” Grendel howls, taking a step back away from Arai as his voice shakes with panic and fear for the first time. “Impossible, you’ve—!”

“With this, the world shall be at peace at last!” Arai shouts. “DIE, GRENDEL!” Screaming as loud as his voice can go, Arai sprints straight up to his grandfather, swinging the enormous new sword by his side. He thrusts the sword forth with fury, piercing Grendel directly in the heart.

No blood exits the wound from Grendel’s body, as the sword dissolves straight through him. Showers of blue and gold light rise into the air as the ribbons of mana surround Grendel and ensnare him.

As Arai lets go, the sword begins dissolving into a million tiny fragments of golden mana, but so does Grendel. Howling furiously, Grendel looks down as he sees his body beginning to disintegrate from the bottom up. He reaches forward, intending to throttle Arai, but even as he does so, his arm vanishes into the air, whisked away by a breeze as it becomes nothing more than dust in the wind.

With one final gasp of fury, Grendel vanishes completely at last, leaving a ringing silence.

Breathing heavily, Arai collapses to his knees, worn out beyond comprehension. Cynthia watches with stunned eyes as the heavy silence grips the castle. As Arai bends over and coughs, blood rushing out of his own wounds, Recelo quickly runs over to him, checking him over. However, Arai quickly shrugs Recelo away, a faint smile on his lips.

“With this, the tale…is over at last.”

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November 11, 2011
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Fri Nov 11, 2011 09:44 PM +

Congratulations man! must feel good.

when I find time i'll start reading these. right now i'm with finals :(

Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:42 PM +

It's a sadder conclusion than I thought it'd be, and the people whom I thought were going to die didn't.

Still made me feel crestfallen that it's (almost) over.

Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:03 PM +

Double post, but I just realized that the battlefield scene was unfinished between the Fatal Knights and the Rift army and them people.

Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:40 PM +

I know. And?

Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:48 PM +

Meh, seemed a tad unfinished. But if it's part of the grand scheme of things, I'll withhold my criticisms until the epilogue.


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