Part One: The Eastern Extremities Edit
The King is a Princess
A mockingbird cries out into the morning air—its call sharp and projected brightly. In itself, the air was a warm sheet of wind moving over a colder one. Crows and doves alike swept across the air between the trees and fallen structures of the St. Kayara Academy. Their soft calls pierced the air around the gravesite of the past battles’ fallen.
It made Bryan Cervantes wonder if it meant anything.
Even though he never personally knew anybody who had died there that day two months ago, he felt an empty gaping hole. To him, it did not feel right that he—along with Rebecca—could be revived out of all of those people. There was reason for Rebecca to live: she was the future of Elvinia. Bryan was the king of Gerodathia, but his nation’s future belongs to Erika, not him anymore.
What had he to live for?
“…Farbridge, take their souls and guide them…” Adina Vallarta said now—or rather, Adriane Zanrus said.
She had not reverted back into her disguise of being the headmistress of the Academy. Adriane was still the great-great-great granddaughter of Vanessa Zanrus; yet Adriane was the one to kill her.
“…Aluch, vrysden yr kairy Faarbriden…” Rebecca Zubiri said in Elvin.
It was only right that she pray for the Elvin members of the dead at that place. The majority of them were Elvin after all, and she was their ruler.
She looked all around. Through her transparent black veil, she could see Bryan, Darrel, Rayne and Alastair. It amazed her that they all could still come there; despite all of them dying before.
Rebecca remembered what it was like to die—cold and unforgiving. She could only wait to see what could happen to her—landing in the Farbridge or the Nethervoid. She had no salvation—only silence and being forced to wait in the darkness. Now that she was alive again, she never wanted to die anymore. She would force herself to stay immortal.
“…Kui-Luan, yin wui tuoc lou Parsiahuoon lyh…” Bryan and Rayne whispered in unison.
It also made some sense to pray for the Gerodathian minority in that battle.
Darrel Kyung-Soon found he had nothing to pray for.
Nobody in that battle was Korean, or Filipino—or from Earth. There was nobody he could relate to in sharing misery. There was nobody to mourn with.
On Earth, he always thought he fought a constant battle to live at school. Drugs, killing, firearms; all of those were what made up his school life.
But those people had given up their very lives just so some school out in the middle of some basically unknown country could still stand. They left their family and friends to see what they could gain from a battle—and they ended up losing everything. Everything was gone for them. Was there a Heaven, a Farbridge waiting for them? Darrel still had a mother and friends who loved him and pets that could provide comfort when loneliness came around. And yes, it was true that he had to live to defend himself, but these people could no longer live for anything.
A mockingbird cries out into the morning air with its sharp, vivid voice. It finally took wing and flew across the air in an arcing motion. When the curious little animal finally landed on the tree it wanted to go to. It tilted its head to see the gravesites below.
Everyone had already parted ways; they were headed home. The mockingbird cried out again, but nobody had bothered to look.
The little mockingbird was all alone.
In the Elytran skies, not a single cloud was in the sky when its great king stepped out of the doors of his castle—the grand Elytris Castle that spanned across the capital. So many sieges from Kingsbury were stopped by the shining expanse of it. Still—after a hundred years of warfare—it glowed like there was no tomorrow. King Archyn Graydel was so proud that it was now his.
His royal blue armor glimmered in the sunlight above the villa in front of the castle. Water spurting up from the fountain landed in the basin with a scintillating splash.
“What a great day it is to not be dead,” King Archyn said to nobody in particular as he walked down the villa. “A very nice day for a walk, isn’t it Mary-Beth?”
The two guards on either side of him cast a half-worried glance at one another.
“Your Highness,” Aldine said, “you’re talking to yourself again.”
“Yeah, it’s fucking weird,” Van blurted.
Aldine cast an angry glare at him, and stabbed an accusing finger at him. King Archyn simply smiled brightly and kept advancing toward the gates in front of the castle.
“Pay no attention to their mouth-words, Mary-Beth,” he said with an almost sickly smile pasted to his face.
He reached over and patted the air next to him.
“Is that Mary-Beth?” Aldine asked him in an apprehensive voice.
The king did not turn around, and slowly stopped patting the air.
“It may be,” the king drawled.
He reached over slowly and began patting emptiness once more. Van stared off into the emptiness that King Archyn seemed to love consoling. There was nothing—only air in the daytime. And Van and Aldine walked on as if nothing was wrong with them, or their king.
First Chapter Edit
And So It Begins. Again.
Darkness, solitude, confinement—all of these things were present in the recluse Alcantara palace of Barinosa. Alcantara palace was shut off from the world because its king—Vincent Alcantara XXVII—made it so.
He was as normal as could be. People did not mind the five-storey high black, dismal castle he lived in. He gave handsomely to charity, and that made people not mind the almost endless sea of gnarled, thorny vines encircling the palace. People did not mind the still-twitching forest of corpses and bodies atop the vines. Women, men and children alike—even the bodies of children barely five years old occasionally littered the area. Perhaps they were a form of sacrifice?
But people did not mind.
Vincent Alcantara never did remind them of all that. Instead, they all forgot about it.
They did not dare remember it.
“Oh my God,” Darrel shouted while laughing raucously. “Bitch tits! Bitch tits!”
He aimed a mocking finger at a girl across the street. From the side of the road he and his friends were on, he jeered and laughed at a girl, Jordyn Panetta, as she walked by. Jordyn was a Jewish-Italian who had come to Seoul from somewhere in the States a few years back. Nobody liked her, because she really was not “Ghetto” enough.
The majority of Darrel’s school population lived in—and made sure they were renowned for living in—the ghetto areas of Seoul. Almost everyone was a part of a gang—Darrel was in the Mi-Ran gang—and almost everyone had a weapon. Darrel himself had a switchblade that he never really used. He only really used it for killing rats and launching them at Jordyn.
“Hey bitch tits!” Merrick Park shouted.
With a wan face, Jordyn reluctantly turned her head. No sooner had she turned her head when a fat, bleeding rat landed square in her face. An inch from regurgitation, she quickly peeled the dead rat from her face, and ran down the road as fast as her varicose legs could go. Hillary Iseul shouted something in Korean down the road at her.
“Pasta bender!” she called out mockingly.
Jordyn, a now angry-looking grimace forming on her face, went back for the rat a few feet from her.
“What the hell is she doing?” Darrel whispered to Merrick and Hillary.
They looked back at Jordyn who was now advancing toward them.
“Whale hoe!” Hillary shouted when she neared them. Jordyn glanced at her.
“Did you just call me a whale?” Jordyn demanded gruffly, leering.
“And a hoe,” she replied.
Darrel stifled laughter as he turned away from Jordyn’s rat-blood-and-innards-covered face. It reeked strongly of old bread and urine. Jordyn reached down into a dumpster just beside Hillary, and she was still holding the rat. Seconds later, she pulled out a repulsive horrid-smelling box of week-old spaghetti. It was maggot-infested and congealed.
“What the fuck?” Merrick shouted in surprise.
With eyes half closed, he flipped out his shank. He pointed it readily at her. She did not seem the least bit threatened. Instead of running, she put the rat atop the spaghetti. It landed with a resounding PLOP in the alleyway.
“What the hell are you doing?” Hillary hissed at her.
Anxiously, she pulled out her own shank and held it in front of herself. Jordyn still did not run. Much to Merrick, Hillary and Darrel’s disgusted horror, Jordyn bit down on the rat with an ugly CRUNCH. Blood spurt forth from the rat and hit her in the eyes.
“OH MY GOD!” she hissed repulsively.
She clutched at her sodden eyes, writhing and wiggling in pain. She fell onto the cold ground, convulsing like a little baby being possessed by a spirit that threatened to eat it from the inside out.
“What a fucking scrub,” Darrel snorted dismissively.
For the first time in two years, he pulled out his switchblade.
Suddenly, he remembered what it felt like. He remembered what it was like to hold the whole sparkling length of Lithium Edge in his hand. He remembered the cool, inviting aura it resonated, and how it would seamlessly slash through the air. He missed it so much.
But he just had to settle with his switchblade for now.
“Let’s lace this bitch out!” Hillary yelled out.
The three of them rushed at her, switchblades and all. Angrily, yet almost systematically, they lashed at her skin.
Soon, Jordyn was lying in a pool of her own—and that of the rat—blood. Her arms, face, neck and legs were all covered in ugly red stripes of lacerations. Darrel was not sure whether she was dead or alive, or more dead than alive.
“Fuck man,” Darrel said to his friends, gasping heavily. “We better scatter before the fucking po-po gets here.”
He pocketed his still-bloody switchblade and began dashing out of the alley. He was running so fast he did not know if Hillary and Merrick followed suit after him. Darrel just ran for all hell, not caring where he should go. He could still feel the ugly girl’s blood seeping from his pocket. It was cold and unnatural, like it was made of tar.
“Oh God, it’s not normal blood…it’s like Italian vinaigrette…” Darrel shuddered.
Its coldness and molasses-like thickness began sliding down his leg again. Repulsed, he urged his legs to run faster.
‘Run faster little child…’ it seemed to his to him. He was hearing things again.
“Shut up damn it!” he shouted back.
‘Yes, run faster! It pleases me so to see you suffer…’
“Fuck you, you ugly faggot!”
‘Fuck you too! You’re ugly and you smell funny!’
“Well your mama’s so fat that she has her own area code!” Darrel shouted with finality.
The blood’s voice stopped. He wondered why he was talking to a trail of blood leaking down his pants, he just ran faster. He felt his switchblade’s hilt again—
Flight 192 to Bai Ch’ih, Fenir is now boarding…
Flight 168 to Creszenzya, Elvinia has arrived…
The plane! The plane is here!
I’m trying to! People are in the way!
Then get them to move!