Tales of a Lost World 115

I apologize for the long delay. Regular weekly updates of chapters shall continue from now on until the end of the series. Expect a new chapter every Saturday.

Episode 115 Countdown to Destruction

A light fog grips the still air. Distantly, thunder punctures the suffocating silence angrily. A darkened sky presides over the empty, rocky terrain. Far away, the faint, eerie sound of a train whistle serenades the silent world. A lantern bobs slightly in the darkness, suspended by the raised arm of an unknown traveler.

A train station comes into view. Still, a ringing silence presses on, despite the rumblings of the thunder and trains far away. The station sits upon a raised precipice of rock, looking down upon a barren valley far below. The grayish fog swirls around it, churning like a brewing storm.

The lonesome traveler comes to a pause at this station, watching the empty railroad tracks stretched before him. The tracks continue onward left and right, disappearing into the fog. However, the traveler does not take notice. He merely watches the section directly in front of him, as if expecting something to materialize there at any moment.

The fog clears slightly, and the traveler is revealed to be wearing a thick, brown robe. A hood obscures his head, but his breath comes out in clear, visible crystals of mist.

Under the platform roof of the station, there are only two objects: an ancient, old brown bench on which to sit on, and a gravestone made of some decaying rock. A name is printed upon it, and although the dirt around the stone is freshly dug, the gravestone itself appears to be marked by years of neglect.

With a flash, another figure appears before the traveler waiting by the station. At this new arrival’s side is a sheathed sword, which is emitting a faint, blue glint.

The dark-haired arrival stares gravely upon the scene, and then approaches his companion. “Azuma.” The new arrival pauses in his tracks. “She is coming.”

“Indeed,” Azuma growls, turning just long enough to stare up into the sky. Clouds swivel left and right, parting every now and then in an eruption of flashing lightning. “It appears the final battle shall occur here, in the Underworld.”

The traveler removes the hood on his robe at last, revealing a young, boyish face. Strands of vivid brown hair sit pleasantly over his forehead. “I wonder if I shall get to see Ryuu and the others again.”

“Undoubtedly you will,” Azuma grunts, still watching the heavens. “You miss ‘em, Yttrius?”

“Of course,” Yttrius murmurs softly. He shrugs, almost shivering slightly in the freezing air. “I will certainly be glad to encounter some old faces again, after all that has happened here. I wonder how they will react when they realize Arai’s spirit has passed on…?”

Yttrius glances now at the gravestone, and kneels over it, a teary look in his eyes. He brushes away the dust on the words engraved there.


Azuma stares now at Yttrius and the gravestone as well, watching the two with an air of heavy graveness. “I wonder,” Yttrius smiles, “how Arai would feel if he was only remembered for being a ‘descendent of Grendel.’”

“Displeased, no doubt,” Azuma answers for him. “Arai was never one who could stand being treated normally. He would have wanted people to remember him as someone unique and different.”

The sky sits in a juncture somewhere between day and night, as the blackness of night engulfs the world, yet the faint light of morning seems to breathe life into the otherwise barren landscape. The moon presides gloatingly over the plains below, yet an orange sun creeps over the hilltops in the horizon.

Thus, Kunai clambers over the crest of another ridge of rock, and comes to a panting halt on top of it. He falls face forward, breathing heavily as his face feels the cool surface of the stone, untouched by the sun’s rays. He forces himself to lift his eyes to the distant horizon ahead of him.

The unmistakable silhouette of an enormous tower stands alone in the sky, the sole sign of human influence in this empty world. Like a lighthouse, the lofty, black pinnacle lights the way for Kunai’s path.

Kunai catches his breath at last, and rises to his feet. He stares forward, determination and resolve etched into his face. “Lily, Ivy…I know you’re there. And most importantly, I’m coming to save you! For the sake of the world…I will not let Lord Kimura, or the Fatalists, or anyone have Ayame…or Lily…or Ivy!”

They stand proudly in an ordered fashion, Ryuu amongst the leaders guiding the men gathered to fight Lilith to the death. At Ryuu’s side is Bishop Calburn; on his other side, George. Standing in line with these three are Zack, Sasha, Silver, and Rill, all clutching their weapons as the final battle approaches.

The gateway through the Gates of Hell stands wide open, inviting anyone on its premises to step through it. The soldiers standing behind Ryuu murmur agitatedly amongst themselves, as the swirling blackness of the portal continues to churn round and round in a dizzying fashion.

“Thank you for opening the portal for us,” Ryuu says to Bishop Calburn. “You have been of much help. I only ask that you keep it open for just a little while longer, so that we may quickly return after the battle is finished.”

“It is my pleasure to assist in your campaign,” Bishop Calburn retorts. “Any small feat I may accomplish in aiding you shall be performed with good grace, lest the world fall into darkness.”

Ryuu nods grimly. “Thank you again, Bishop Calburn. We shall depart once Lilith enters the Underworld.”

“As you wish,” Bishop Calburn bows. As Ryuu turns back to the others, Bishop Calburn suddenly speaks up, tapping Ryuu lightly on the shoulder with a frail hand. “Ah, pardon me, General Ryuu, have you any news of Lily at all?”

A strained look enters Ryuu’s face, as he stares into the earnest eyes of the bishop. “I have sent a good friend to rescue her. Do not worry. She is in good hands. She will be brought back safely, and you shall meet her again.”

“Thank goodness,” Bishop Calburn smiles, “I have prayed daily to the Twin Gods of Existence, Nexon and Wizet, for her safe return.”

“A-Ah, yeah,” Ryuu stutters, nodding to Calburn again before turning to the others. Bishop Calburn stalks feebly away from Ryuu, who watches him crawl away out of the corner of his eye. ‘He has really aged since we last saw him…’

“Well, this is it!” Zack announces cheerfully. “Eat your last meals, take your last dump, and make love to your partner one last time, ‘cause tonight we don’t know if we’ll die!”

“I have to admit, that was well said,” Sasha says quietly.

“Stop fooling around,” Ryuu growls impatiently. “At any moment, Lilith is going to—”

A loud crack causes the earth to tremble, as the sky is practically torn asunder to make way for the appearance of a monstrous beast darker than the night.

With a shriek louder than a thousand battles between armed men, the monstrous creature emerges from the sky at last. Trembling supersonic waves knock everyone to his or her feet, as Lilith unfurls her vast, leathery wings.

In a fleeting moment, the supersonic waves tread the sky and the air suddenly becomes thick and heavy, black, pressurized under the overwhelming weight of the monster. In that instant, the weight disappears again as the Gates of Hell swallow up Lilith.

“There goes Lilith!” Ryuu howls, his one voice uniting each and every warrior on the battlefield. “This is it! It’s now or never! The time has come for us to destroy Lilith once and for all! This is our time, our battle! Don’t let fear grip you now! If you intend to risk your life for a new and better world, leap now through the Gates of Hell!”

Ryuu ends his rousing speech, and the silence is greeted by cheering louder than any roar Lilith could scream. A stream of men, some armed richly, some armed poorly, stride confidently into the midst of the Gates of Hell, disappearing through the portal into the Underworld beyond.

At the rear, Ryuu, George, Zack, Silver, Sasha, and Rill remain standing. Ryuu turns to each one of them in turn, nodding at his longtime comrades and giving each one a wry smile out of the corner of his mouth. “Don’t die in there,” he growls in a low voice.

Ryuu proceeds to step to the edge of the gates, as the others follow the last straggling soldiers in the assembled army. Only Ryuu and Rill remain alone now, the last two to enter the portal. Bishop Calburn and the other priests of the temple stand in a semi-circle around the two of them, gazing fixedly at the ground.

“Rill, are you going to come?” Ryuu asks quietly.

Rill stands still, apparently not hearing Ryuu. Puzzled, Ryuu raises an eyebrow. He speaks a little louder. “Rill,” he says, “aren’t you coming?”

However, Rill continues to stand still, unmoving, his eyes fixated on some distant point unknown to Ryuu. Losing patience, Ryuu strides over to Rill, placing a firm hand on the assassin’s shoulder. “Rill, there’s no need to be afr—”

“We will come back, right?” Rill says softly, almost inaudibly.

Ryuu appears taken aback for a moment by the question, but quickly gathers himself. “Y-Yeah, of course. I won’t let anything happen to you, or anyone else fighting on our side.”

“I hope you’re correct,” Rill continues almost silently, stepping past Ryuu and leaping into the portal himself. “I shall need to remain alive for a while longer.” Ryuu stares dazedly after Rill for a moment, and then follows him through the gate.

Darkness ebbs and flows throughout the atmosphere, like a restless ocean tide, a fog that surrounds, encases, and dissipates in the freezing air. A feeling of compression around Ryuu’s throat forces his eyes open, and he finds himself hurtling uncontrollably toward the ground below, a dense, fog-drenched valley opening up before him.

Bright flashes of light explode like fireworks around him, as loud bursts of fire and roars of open battle ring in his frozen ears. Ryuu reaches towards his waist, and draws his sword. It explodes into flame, consuming all the darkness, all the cold around him.

As the ground flies towards Ryuu faster than he can imagine, Ryuu notices an enormous shadow lurking in his midst. He performs a barrel roll in midair, nearly breaking his neck as the tail, thicker than ten tree trunks put together, whips at him blindly.

Ryuu swings his sword, and a mask of flames erupt from its tip, engulfing the black tail. Out of the blackened and charred tail come huge, jagged spikes apparently made of ivory; yet, all of a sudden, they come to life and five Paradoxes pounce upon Ryuu at once.

Ryuu’s eyes widen, as he swings his sword desperately, in an attempt to ward off the Paradoxes with his fire. But even as Ryuu comes within fifty feet of the ground, a dozen flashes of white light shoot past him, each piercing straight through the heart of a Paradox.

Ryuu looks down and his eyes immediately fall upon the calm, relaxed features of Yttrius. A battle-hardened Azuma accompanies the Priest, fending off the Paradoxes snidely attempting to approach Yttrius with his Blue Screamer.

Yttrius waves at Ryuu cheerfully upon eye contact. It is at that precise moment that Ryuu realizes that the hands of ten million dead people are waving at him as well.

A solid wall of seemingly impenetrable darkness appears to surround the tower. Lightning causes the sky above to tremble, pulsating with the rumbling and occasional flashes of light. Kunai clambers over the last hillock, and finds himself looking down upon a valley, where the ground flattens into barren rock.

Directly across from Kunai’s vantage point stands Aodh Tower, the huge structure towering over all else in the empty, forsaken land. Only the valley separates Kunai from his goal.

14 thoughts on “Tales of a Lost World 115”

  1. So that’s why you weren’t writing before. Because of this!

    . . .

    Wait, what?



    AznRiceFan said: ““Thank goodness,” Bishop Calburn smiles, “I have prayed daily to the Twin Gods of Existence, Nexon and Wizet, for her safe return.””

    Wizet is the higher God, right? Right?!

  2. ipod123432 said: “So that’s why you weren’t writing before. Because of this!

    . . .

    Wait, what?


    I was waiting until I finished writing the series and could thus post new chapters regularly, at intervals of my choosing, therefore maximizing reader suspense.

  3. haha very nice indeed. . .
    Wizet and Nexon as twin gods?
    I would think Nexon would be a hades figure but oh well

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