Well here it is, the third and potentially the final installment of my fan fiction series! It's been a long time coming so I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I've enjoyed writing it
This fan fiction contains content that is inappropriate for readers under the age of 18: Strong Language, Intense Violence, and mature themes.
Breath of Fire VIII
Chapter 1: Dying Ironically
Near the center of a wasteland rose a forest of black-needled pines. In the center of that forest rose a mountains and rocky hill. Upon the top of that hill stood a castle overlooking the forest and the wastelands beyond.
At first glance, such a scene wouldn’t be too chilling to the blood, but one would not be seeing the picture in it’s full glory. One would not see the full silvery moon rising high above the dark gothic pinnacles of Castle Wolf, nor would one hear the spine-freezing howls of the Dire Wolves roaming the Blackwood forest surrounding the palace.
Neither would one hear the moans of the zombies that roamed the dry and barren wastes were only death seemed to dwell. Indeed, the one who glanced would probably regret his lack of attention when from the soil beneath his very feet begun to rise legions of undead, undead obeying only the call of their master.
Such was the relatively sad tale of the outlaw pariah who found his way out from the rural mining country of Dauna in the West into these wastelands, through the checkpoint in which no living man had ever returned. His face was covered in a dirty wrap, initially he had worn it during the day to block the dust from choking him and blinding his eyes… now in the freezing cold of the night, wherein sweat turned to frost, it was used to keep his blue lips from totally freezing solid. At least this way, he could scream for help.
Behind the man as he doggedly ran and stumbled his way over the rocky wastelands of this unknown and horrifying land, an organized force pursued him. Led by an eight-foot tall Dire Wolf whose eyes burned a deep burgundy and whose coat was of the darkest grey, the assortment of skeleton warriors and fully intelligent ghouls howled in delight as they herded their victim onwards towards Blackwood.
The man drew his shortsword. It was bent, rusted. How he ever thought it would hurt the wolf was beyond him when he threw it backwards over his shoulder. The weapon did indeed strike the wolf, in fact it struck the wolf in the face, but it did nothing at all to harm the creature… after all, it was mostly monster. It, like all others of its kind, had been transformed by the evils of black magic to suit the bidding of the ancient family that had so long dominated this horrid landscape.
Turning about and shaking his head in terror, the man nearly froze as he topped the coming ridge. Oh-so suddenly before him was laid out an image straight from his most terrifying of nightmares. Before him lay Blackwood, the towering pines of black needles that radiated an aura evil enough to have long since earned the respect of the demons of hell.
Naturally, he pause was all it took. From behind the Dire Wolf leapt over the man’s head and came to land before him, bearing it’s massive teeth and locking eyes with his puny, insignificant prey. “…N…” The man, entranced and broken by the magical gaze of the wolf, tried to mutter in protest. Before the ‘O’ could be vocalized did he drop like a stone to the ground… totally and completely unconscious. Satisfied, the Dire Wolf glanced back to the towering citadels of the Castle before him and the force he had assembled, and howled.
Watching, Count Gideon Wolf smiled evilly.
The man woke in a dark place, a castle of black stone and deep purple linen, with the faintest traces of dull gold. A gothic masterpiece of art, he was so taken aback by the beauty of that strange place that he almost… almost… forgot that his life was probably going to end sooner than later.
The skeleton bearing his tied and limp body dropped him roughly on what the man just knew was… an altar. Sadly for the man, that was exactly what it was. “You are dismissed.” A smooth yet… so very malevolent, voice said from the side, beyond the man’s line of sight. “Help me… please…” The man begged whoever it was that was speaking, “I mean no-one any harm! I’m just trying to get away, that’s all I want! I swear it! I’ll go back, I’ll go to jail!”
“Silence.” The voice said quietly, but still somehow with a forceful edge that shut the desperate man’s beginning mouth. “Come now, my love, do not be rude.” A wicked voice of feminine beauty said coyly from the side, “Inform the sacrifice of his fate that he may come to accept it. Truly it is an honor, my love.”
Count Gideon’s slender, somewhat aged face lightened considerably. It changed, from a stoic frown of stone to a faint smile of amusement. His hair was sandy blond, slicked back. He wore a deep green outfit of velvet, lace fringes about his wrists and cascading down his chest. His hands were gloved in smooth, black leather. “…What is your name, mortal?” Gideon asked, his steel blue eyes glowing in the oh-so dim candlelight of the chandelier. “Barney…” The now sobbing man stammered in terror. “Weep not, you have been given a great honor.” The woman said, stepping and hovering her beautiful, yet oddly pale face over him. Her eyes were a luscious brown as if glazed in lacquer… her makeup, quite dark but somehow so vibrant, only reflected what lay within her soul.
…That being death.
Count Gideon and Countess Camellia were of the undead, a master and mistress of the dark arts. Black Magic, Necromancy, and Shadow magic were their tools of the trade. It was through these infernal powers that they had achieved this flawless state of undeath… they did not rot, they still enjoyed the pleasures of life… but never aged, and unless their spell was somehow broken would never die.
Shaking beyond his ability to control, Barney begun to realize this as Gideon produced a massive black-covered grimorie. It was said in many legends across the known lands of the Earth that such tomes existed only amongst the mythological beings of terror. ‘Lich’ was the term, the name given to the necromancer whose power was so vast he made himself into the undead to become immortal. “You’re a lich!” Barney exclaimed in terror, trying vainly to struggle against his binds. “Nay, nay. A lich would be a terrible hideous creature you know? Quite odorous as well.” Count Gideon replied with a bit of a smirk as he sat his grimorie down, “I… am far worse. Far, far worse. My mastery of the dark arts is far beyond that of most of my ancestors, let alone the mortals of this pathetic, sun-drenched Earth.”
And so it began… the ritual, the end of Barney’s life.