Warning: Seriously, if you came this far, you really should know that the whole fic is based on a romantic - or sexual, however you want to call it - relationship between a MAN and a... guess what? A MAN!! So if that stuff gets y'all queasy... then *snap snap* OUT!

For the rest of you, welcome to the fourth part in Erizein's insane mind and life...


Part IV.

I despise dreams. I've heard some say that dreams are the reflections or visual emanations of your innermost desires or thoughts. To that I say that it's all bull shit. Dreams are nothing but a figment of the imagination, unnerving and, in my case, awakening the dreamer from restful sleep.

In my dream there was a child, curious as he turned his head from side to side, but also afraid - shaking fingers poked at the lifeless bodies. His own golden brown eyes watered as a pair of dead eyes stared up at him, the mouth hung open in perpetual scream. His steps were careful and hesitant, his small body almost falling back when a strong gust of wind blew, tossing the midnight black strands up. He coughed out the putrid stench of smoke, tearing his eyes away from the flames that tore through the dead bodies.

He stopped walking when he heard scratches from under a rubble, he knelt down when he also heard the creature mew. Hurriedly he picked away at the rocks, dug under the soil while he pricked and cut his fingers on the thin wires and pieces of glass. He smiled brightly when his hands brushed something soft and furry, and he carefully pulled it out.

A small kitten, it shivered as it was pulled out. The child cradled the soft bundle in his arms, running his fingers through the pale violet fur. Soon the kitten opened its eyes, looking up lovingly with its gray eyes at the child. It purred and licked at the cuts on the boy's fingers, opening its tiny mouth to say hello as the boy laughed gleefully.

The child kissed the kitten's tiny nose and said, "Hello, my name is Erizein. I'm going to keep you and love you forever... I don't want to be alone anymore..."

I cannot help but shiver, though I know that dream means nothing. There is no way that the child is me, I would've killed the stupid cat. I would not cry at the sight of dead bodies, I am not a coward, and I certainly do not mind being alone. In fact, I like being alone, there is nothing wrong with solitude. That dream means nothing!

I reach for my sword, and, using the moonlight, I gaze at the reflection. My face is pale, but everything else is fine. I let my fingertips touch the fine blade, but the second reflection wills my body to freeze.

The child from my dream is looking back at me, eyes sad and mouth moving to say something.

I drop my sword, wincing as I brainlessly let it slice my palm open. The blood turns the white sheets on my bed deep red, seeping through to the mattress. I get up to head for the bathroom, trip over my feet and end up falling on my face, my wounded palm still bleeding profusely.

I look up when the door opens and try to get up to see who it is. The light behind the figure is too bright in contrast to the darkness of my chamber. The aforementioned entity snaps his fingers, and the lights come on. Stryker's eyes widen and he is instantly at my side, helping me up.

"Erizein! What happened?" he asks as he makes me sit down at the table by my window, I comply, grumbling. Normally I would've told him to leave me alone, but loss of blood and lack of sleep are not good combination.

He unties the dark green sash from his waist; he is dressed comfortably in a dark blue tunic and black pants. Quickly he makes a provisional bandage, tying the end into a tight knot, and lets my hand rest on the table.

"Nobody's awake right now, except you and me, so you will have to wait until morning," he says as he looks down at me. I really don't like this hint of condescension I sense from him. He sighs and sits down, our heights now equal. He leans back in his chair and asks, "So what happened?"

"I was being stupid and careless with my sword."

"What were you doing with your sword in the middle of the night?"

"I had a dream, a meaningless dream. Let's not talk about it. What were you doing up?"

As soon as he entered my room, I had been wondering why he was awake. Stryker looks as if he has something to confess; he sits up straight and looks out the window for a second. I hate waiting. I clear my throat in annoyance and he sighs.

"I went to check up on Cyrus, he was refusing to quiet down until he sees his brother."

"Speaking of which, the little one doesn't know that his brother is here, does he?" I smirk, despite the fatigue, when Stryker shakes his head. The slave will not know of his brother's presence here; I want him to live in misery.

"The Council is upset that you allowed another male slave escape castration. They think castration is the only way to tame the slaves," Stryker states and looks at me as if he's asking for my opinion on this. I roll my eyes and say, "The Council can burn in the Elimination Pit. Chop off their testicles and see if they're happy with that."

I don't know why I even tolerate the fools that work below me; they are all imbeciles with the most ridiculous notions. I have to be careful and keep a wary eye on them, I hear indistinct conversations and schemes that stop whenever I approach the Council. Treachery means execution.

"Did you beat him?" I return to the subject of my new slave, wandering what kind of discipline Stryker imposed on him.

"No," he answers and I narrow my eyes; proper discipline was not given when supposed to. Stryker's gaze appears unfazed, maybe even audacious, and I clench my good fist tightly.

"So he still refuses to be obedient?"

"He's quiet now. I just didn't have to beat him to make him so."

I can sense the growing audacity as he speaks, and the originality of his new demeanor is mysterious to me. I dismiss him with a quick wave of my hand and say, "Return to your quarter now. I need to rest."

I watch him leave quietly then put my arm in front of me to rest my head on. I want to know what the stupid kid was trying to say, actually... I want to know what I was trying to say. If that was my reflection and the child in my dream was me, what is happening to me? But didn't I already make it clear that the child wasn't - or is not- me? I close my eyes, and despite my distressed state, sleep carries me away into a dreamless night.

**** Morning ****

I wake up to the feeling of the sun on my face, and quickly close the black curtains to block out the annoying light. Looking at the red sheets on my bed, I remember what happened last night. The reflection and dream come rushing back, leaving me unprepared for such psychological assault.

Why me? Why are these images haunting me? Why do they devour me like this!

I grab my sword and swing at everything in my way. I feel the wound starting to bleed again, but my mind is too focused on getting rid of the pestering images. With one swift swing, my bed is now in two, feathers flying in the air. Still not satisfied, I swing my blade over the table, watching as the two halves crash to the floor. My lungs pump to restore stable breathing, my body beating out sweat, and my hands are still gripping onto the hilt of my sword, blood trickling down the luminous blade.

Guards who were too afraid to come in during my rampage enter now, still too afraid to approach me. I glare at them angrily. I have no use for cowards!

"Get out! Get out before I decapitate all of you!" I shout, raising my sword ready to strike. The guards scamper out of my room, tripping and stepping on each other. Seconds... minutes... it doesn't matter. They all pass by me fast, I can't help but pant. My arms feel heavy... there's a slight sting in my palm.

"Each drop of blood.... a second passes... time is essence..."

I turn around, lifeless crimson eyes locked on me. The lips part in soft laughter, the long fingers outstretched to summon my sword from my hand. I release my grip and my sword flies to the long pale fingers. I cross the vast floor of my chamber to the being whose fingers now dance along the blade.

"Lorelei, why are you here?"

The mage lets my sword hover in the air as his pale hands reach for my face. His hands are cold but pleasant, they leave my skin warm and tingling. Lorelei is the only person who is allowed to touch me like this, not even Stryker is given this permission. Lorelei is a mage whom I had befriended when we were both young.

My father had bought him as a bed slave - he didn't know Lorelei was a mage -, my uptight mother could never please him. He was given the fine jewelry, precious earrings, rare hair ornaments. But he was never happy, until the day we met. I hated him in the beginning because my father loved him more than he loved me - I was ten, I was a weak little child who needed someone to care for me. On daily basis, I would hit and kick him, cursing him while he cried and begged for me to stop. That all changed in one day.

In the morning of that day, I was training as usual when Lorelei came running in. He grabbed my hand and chanted something, teleporting us both outside. He explained to me that he had seen the future and that the training room was going to blow up due to system malfunctioning. I refused to believe him until I heard a loud explosion, I was never the typical kid who was lured into fantastical myths and beings. Lorelei just smiled at me, while I stared at him in shock. That day we vowed to protect each other forever.

I see Lorelei smile as this memory is also unfolded in his head through our contact. He steps back, the long sleeves of his black robe dropping down to cover his hands. With another smile he says, "Dreams are priceless... so is love."

"You might have to elaborate on that," I command him and he looks at me with a sad smile on his lips. Taking my hands he says, "Time is essence... moonlight will be taken away..."

If I didn't mention before, Lorelei can sense if someone's life is in danger and depending on who it is, he will display different behaviors in reaction to the situation. The night before I killed my father, Lorelei had been sitting by the window with a tranquil and satisfied smile on his lips.

He goes into a trance, muttering the same phrases over and over. He sheds a tear, in fear of the person's life. He places a shaking hand on my face and I see someone lying on the floor of a Slave Quarter: Chimeres.

Grabbing my hovering sword, I run out, leaving Lorelei in the trance. My heart beats faster as my feet touch the floor in quicker pace, the distance between me and Chimeres shortening. A loud cry reaches my ears.

"S-stop! D-don't touch me!"


The laughter that follows angers me even more, and I arrive at Chimeres' cell to find a guard bent over my slave. The guard pushes Chimeres further into a corner, his hands reaching for the thin legs. Around the small wrists, there are bruises and finger marks, same as the ones on Chimeres' neck. The bruises mar my slave's pale skin, but his pleas and the guard's amused grunts drive my rage to undefinable height.

I grip my sword tightly and swing, slicing through the guard's body and cutting it in half. I stomp over the frozen stunned face, kicking the body out of the cell. I cannot describe this feeling that runs in powerful currents, panting as my slave cowers in the corner. I force myself with great degrees of strength to turn around and leave, shutting out everything except the path back to my chamber.

Could dreams be real...?

Make me hate him... help me hate him...


Gahh... this chapter stinks. P