Zirian and Elder Beezle stayed outside of the fallen gate for a week.
Zirian continued to pace as Elder Beezle sighed. "My king, she has failed her trial. It doesn't ever take this long. If anyone asks, we can-"
Zirian turned his head to Elder Beezle. "We will what? Lie? How would we carry out this lie?"
"King, I have discovered, with help, a connection with the Stravos Empire, and the
Order of the Virtues." Elder Beezle leaned in and quietly whispered in his ear, unsure of who it is that followed them. "I also believe we are being followed."
Zirian nodded, his face becoming a bit more calm. His giant red wings spread from his back as he spoke. "Whoever follows us, reveal yourself." No one appeared so Zirian smiled as he raised his hand. "Very well then."
A black flame exited his hand, travel king through the surrounding woods, ripping ten figures from their hiding spots.
"Ah, members of the Order. Did your 'Holy' virtues ask you to do this?" Zirian stepped into what seemed like the leader, breaking her spine. "It's too bad, really. They've given me exactly what I needed."
Elder Beezle summoned a black light that knocked all the assassins unconscious. "My king, Alice left her dagger in the carriage. Careless, but... perfect for now."
Zirian walked over to the carriage as he fumbled around, feeling for the dagger. Finding it, he took it from its scabbard, walking towards one of the assassins.
"Who should it be, coachman?" The coachman not paying attention to the events suddenly shook. "Why would we not just tell them the truth, my king?"
"I also think it should be the blonde one." Zirian walked over to another one of the assassins, picking her up by the hair. Her eyes slowly opened as Zirian shoved the dagger deep into her liver, dropping her on the ground.
She spoke weakly as she died. "The Queen will... have..."
He took one of her throwing knives from her pouch. "So they are of Stravos? Cast 'Unconscious Light' on them again." He turned to the coachman and threw the dagger, hitting him directly in the throat.
The coachman grasped his throat and fell off the carriage.
Elder Beezle walked up beside Zirian, holding one of the daggers. "Do I Harm myself, King?"
"Do you believe you'd be a target? I would not. It seems that someone at the castle has leaked information."
"The Order has eyes everywhere, King Zirian." Elder Beezle said. "Forgive me, but... I believe you must do thorough background checks on everyone who works in the castle. Even I will agree to one, King."
Zirian patted Elder Beezle on the shoulder. "Thank you, Beezle." Zirian smiled as he took the dagger from Beezle, stabbing him in the heart. "I do believe it would be easier to begin a war in my daughter's name if you were killed as well." Zirian ripped the dagger from his chest and put it in the hands of one of the assassins, before killing the ten in different ways.
He stabbed four with a sword from his storage ring. Burned a few to death with his magic, and broke a few necks.
Beezle stared shocked into Zirian's cold eyes as Zirian looked at the man, who refused to fall. Beezle felt his body becoming cold as his bliss quickly poured from his wound. His eyelids became heavy and his legs became weak. He felt his life slipping away with every drop of blood that left his body.
Before he realized it, he was gone. Elder Beezle's body fel to the ground next to the assassin who 'killed' him.
Zirian took a dagger and cut a few places on himself, before he took a throwing knife, jamming it in the horse who drew the carriage. The horse fell as he broke the front left wheel.
He chipped a piece of Alice'a dagger off, using 'Doll' to create a false version of her body. Doll uses a piece of an item used or owned by a person to create a dead body, equivalent to that of the user or owner. He wrapped it in his long black cloak, carrying it back in a Princess carry.
He walked for days without stopping. People and Demons who saw him immediately knew who he carried. A few had heard she would be undergoing a trial, but no body could ever be recovered. They believed that meant they were attacked, possibly ambushed.
This quickly spread all over Lucifina, and back to the castle. Zach and Jason both heard this, as well as Abel.
Abel locks himself in his room. 'She was my kill, my way into the a permanent position... I will kill you, Mary!' He has a crazed look in his eyes as he gripped his dagger, which he hid in his room.
Zach and Jason just sat down, having lost their best friend. They didn't know each other for more than a few months but...
Zirian walked through the Castle gates after days and days of walking. All snow had melted and the grass was a beautiful green. Guards and Elders alike bowed their heads when Zirian passed with 'Alice' in his arms. He took her to the false mother's grave and began to dig. He dug next to it slowly and laid the body in the grave. After finishing the burial, he had a gravestone made with her name on it, placing it on her grave.
"I will go ahead and leave. We shall talk of a treaty once you are done grieving." He heard Maria's voice approach behind him as he sat in front of Alice's grave.
He did not respond. "We are leaving now, King Zirian." Xander said. "I hope you recover from this." As they turned to walk away, Zirian spoke.
"Sir Xander, we believe reincarnation is given to those who were not given a gracious end to their life. We believe that to be the battlefield, a deathbed, or a duel."
"You sound like a southerner, King Zirian."
"Yes, but they believe they go to some place called Valhalla. I believe we go to the shores of Paradise. It's a never ending beach, where everyone can live happily." He stood up and looked into Xander's eyes, as tears formed in his own. "What do you believe happens?"
Xander sighed. "I believe we are responsible for what happens to us after death. Our guilt and regret is what forces us into an eternity of torment. It's possible that this reincarnation could be the way out of it."
Zirian looked up into the sky. "Yeah...maybe. Have a safe trip." He walked inside and watched from a window as they left. He walked into the room where he knew Zach and Jason were last.
He found them sitting, staring into nothingness. "I'm going to have to ask you two to go home, along with your aide."
Jason looked at Zirian. "Why?"
"There is no longer a reason for you to be here." Zirian began to walk out of the room. "I expect you to be gone by tomorrow."
Zach stoped Jason when he stood to argue with Zirian. "He's right, Jason. Let's just go home. We must let him grieve..."
Zirian walked into his study as he closed and locked the door. He close the curtains in the room and sat down in his chair, holding a beautiful pink and white pearl necklace, along with Damien's red pendant. He began to quietly cry to himself as he heard a knock at the door.
"King Zirian, I was told ya was in yer study? I wish to speak, about Alice." He heard Odis' voice. He unlocked the door and sat back down. After wiping his face, he sat in a kingly manner. "Come in."
Odis sat across from Zirian, running his hand across the smooth wooden table made of black oak. "I wasn't prepared to lose another apprentice so soon." Odis spoke with a solemn tone. "I realize ya just lost ya brother, and ya dagjter so shortly afterwards. I'm turnin' this in." Odis took out a seal with a black sword carved into it.
"Odis, do not feel shame for turning this in. I would if I were in your position as well." Zirian took the seal and destroyed it immediately. "I assume Grand Knight Haytham is to die soon."
Odis stood up and stretched. "I'm returning to my homeland in the far north. If ya ever need something, just come find me in the same place."
Odis left, shutting the door. "It's for the best, Grand Knight Odis. For what's about to begin, if she is somehow alive, she will need your sword."
Zirian stayed to himself for a few weeks, doing thorough background checks on everyone in his service. He decided to send Cecile and his other servants to a hidden estate in the northern mountains, along with a troop of guards.
He went down into the secret base and was met with sad news. "Grand Knight Haytham has passed, Grand Knight Zirian. With Odis' departure..."
"That makes me the Lord of the order, right? Damn..." Zirian rubbed his tired eyes as he sighed. "There is no one to become a Grand Knight, let alone three others."
The same man who informed him of King Haytham's passing spoke again. "Grand Knight, why not become the sole lord of the Great Order of Swords?"
Zirian rubbed his chin. "I will think about it, but I am tired." Zirian left the place and went to his bed chamber. He took off all of his clothing, and laid on his bed without the covers over him.
The door opened and Cecile walked in, covering her eyes after seeing Zirian. "King, you sent for me?"
"In one weeks time, I will speak to the people. We will go to war, for Alice."
"King, I do not believe you are we-"
"Leave now, Cecile. Tell the people what I have said, and then go to the north, since you should've left weeks ago."
Zirian walked out of the castle wearing a black set of all plate armor, made of a strange material that was not draconian steel or nay other known material.
He walked passed the gate and stood before thousands of Demons and residents of Lucifina. He breathed in deeply before raising his right hand, quieting the crowd.
"My people, we have suffered a terrible blow a few weeks ago. Many of the Demons here know of The Trial of The Gate."
Many Demons in the crowd nodded and whispered to each other.
"Elder Beezle and I took Alice for her trial, as we believed her to be ready. As we arrived at the gate, it was destroyed by a magic tool used by a group of assassins, who were known to be in the service of The Stravos Empire."
"After not even two years of a pact, they have broken it! They killed Elder Beezle, a man of the people! They killed Princess Alice! The only heir to the crown. I tried to kill the culprits before but... I was too late."
Some people waited to hear more, while many began to swell with anger.
"The one who led this ambush was very strong, so I was stuck fighting them. Alice, of course, was able to take her killer with her. We will not allow this to go unpunished!"
Zirian unsheathed a long black sword, made from the same material as his armor as he held it at his side. "They have taken a sword to the pure garden of Lucifina. I will return the favor ten fold!" He raised his sword high into the air, causing most of the people to raise their hands with him, as they chanted.
"War! War! War!" They chanted for minutes.
A hooded figure watched from the back of the crowd. He gripped the end of his right short sword as he turned and walked away.
'His supporters should not number this many.' He smiled under his hood as he approached another figured, clad in a gray and black hood.
The man had a black beard and a slash over his right hand. His hood was off his head as he smiled at the approaching figure. "Abel, the king has an army."
"Of course, Master Daniel." Abel bowed as they began to walk into a dark alley. "I believe we should inform the Court."
Daniel smiled as he lifted his hood over his head. "In due time, Abel. Although Zirian's supporters are of a great number, I am sure the Court's vassal will have a plan."
The two figures suddenly disappeared into thin air.
For months, and eventually years, they fought a never ending war. There was no peace, only chaos. No life, only death. The humans and other races ended up being forced to make an alliance to face Zirian.
/10 Years After The Declaration of War\
An army of twelve thousand men and women, human and elven, along with some orcs and ogres, stood in front of a camp. They were knights, warriors, soldiers, mages, and a group of hooded figures.
Behind the army was a tent, where four figures sat. These figures were Emperor Stravos, Queen Maria of Inferna, Jason Stravos, and Xander.
Stravos tapped the table they sat at constantly. "That Demon has fifty thousand men, even after years of war..."
"We have your son, the Hero." Maria said as she held back a cough. "He has led us through many battles with victory."
Stravos nodded. "Sir Xander, What do you think? Can we win with Jason's help in this battle?"
Xander rubbed his short beard. "Emperor Stravos, I believe that a small army on a flat field will never win. We may stand a chance with Hero Jason, but..." he looked into Emperor Stravos' eyes. "...we will lose most, if not all of the brave soldiers here, good soldiers. From Inferna all the way to the southern orc tribes."
Jason sighed. "I too am not confident, father. With Zach leaving years ago to find and help Odis, I believe we have a very, very small chance to win." He looked at the battle axe in his hand. "However, if we win this, it will be over. The years of torment and famine from the Demon Lord will end, and we will have peace." Jason gripped his axe's handle. 'I hope you'll forgive your father, Alice.'
He, Xander, and Emperor Stravos rode horses to the front of the Army.
King Nathaniel Stravos spoke. "Today, we end the terror of the Demon Lord! Today, we end the slander he has spewed onto my Empire! Our Empire! He has forced you all into this war, and we...we will force it to end!"
The army began to cheer as Jason looked a bit ahead of them, seeing a demon with large red wings and long red hair. His face and hands were covered in scar tissue as his eyes were filled with hatred.
Zirian looked at Jason as he gripped his sword in his hand.
A soldier ran up to Zirian. "Lord Zirian, the messenger has left with your message to Odis. When will we begin? The soldiers and beasts are ready."
Zirian looked back at his army of fifty-thousand, filled with Demons, humans and other races who lived in Lucifina their whole lives, and many members of multiple Monster Races. They have yet to reach full sentience, and were tamed for this war.
They include Dire Wolves, Giant Scorpions, and Demon Birds. They are all giant animals, and there power is not to be underestimated.
Zirian smiled at the thought of why this war began. 'A war based on a lie. At least after this, the continent, or maybe the world, will know peace.' He looked at the soldier. "Commander, we begin now." Zirian raised his sword into the air as he summoned a large black flame, launching it towards the humans as he and his men followed.
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