"Rejoice and sing oh immortal Gods

who watch from on high

rejoice for the sons of men

who have overcome the Destroyer

the strong and powerful

for the carnage had ended

it is done

Rejoice for the faithful

Who drink the blood of no man

for no longer will they feast on their brothers

Rejoice for the beauty of the world

soon to be restored

be glad, for no more will die

Sing for days of joy oh you Muses

Sing for the glorious days to come

Sing for the Kings of the New Empire

Who's glory will surpass their ancestors

Sing of the days of peace

Take hope all you who live on the earth

Have hope for the days to come

have hope for those who died

have hope, and go on living

have hope, for despair is needed no more."

-Lines 14,977 – 15,000 The Epic of Mersinios

Chapter XVII

Second Heartbeat

Erin stared at him. Her eyes were glazed and tired. She wore the same resigned expression the late Thenos had worn but a few minutes before. Erika had disappeared again, not the Mikaal particularly minded.

"I'm sorry," he whispered softly.

"I know," she whispered back. "I was wrong. I wasn't free at all."

Mikaal felt his heart break as he lifted Erika's abandoned sword. He thrust it down as hard as he could and walked away. He took two steps and collapsed, he hadn't the strength to continue.