That is not dead which can eternal lie.

And with strange aeons even death may die.

-Abdul Alhazred; from The Nameless City and The Call of Cthulhu. Both by H.P. Lovecraft

-The Invisible-

"twilight of the gods"

-Prologue-

Dead men came to life during the night, moaning painfully in the wind.

The young man had buried the last body. Marked only by stones, a total of six graves were laid across the end of the small cave, each of them taking hours to be dug and re-filled. Beside the graves was a baby, not dead but sleeping, no less than a year old.

Outside, not too far from the current location, came the sounds of rain.

Weak and tired, yet strong enough to stay conscious, the young man picked the sleeping child up, cradling it softly in his arms, staring into the graves. The cloak he wore was torn and muddy, and anything underneath it was just as dirty. Soon, the light in the lamp he brought would fade away.

"It would seem that I am too late," the voice came from another man, who had just entered the cave when it started raining. The cloak of the stranger was similar to what the young man wore, minus the mud and torn areas. It was black, similar to leather but much more smoother, almost silk-like.

The hood covered the face of the stranger, yet two small orbs of yellow light came from the darkness of the hood: The eyes of a demon.

"I am Absoleil." He said, bowing politely. The young man, however, did not return the greeting as he laid the child softly to the ground.

"I named her Morphine," the young man mumbled, without looking into the demon's eye. "…after her mother."

"Ah, I see. She was the body you buried last, am I right?"

There was an uncomfortable silence, which came from the young man, who was glaring at the demon in silent fury. Absoleil did nothing but stand, the yellow glow in his eyes unchanging. The sound of thunder roared in the background for a few times as they stood there.

The young man spoke again, the anger in his eyes lost, his voice tired and ringing with loneliness. "Tell me… is there a point in all this?"

"Pardon?"

"A reason." The young man said, this time with more intensity than before, "Why does everything in our lives so complicated, why should there always be a battle between good and evil?"

The demon Absoleil walked toward the stone wall of the cave and leaned towards it. "Everything happens for the purpose to exist; good and evil are just viewpoints made by human beings, though two sides would generally oppose each other while at the same time needing each other for a reason to be what they are—after all, what is the hero, if without the dragon to slay or tyrant to overthrow?"

The demon finished this statement with the sound of a tongue clicking from inside the mouth. The two glowing orbs that were its eyes stared at the young man. Slowly, the demon raised one hand to its hood, removing it. The creature named Absoleil smiled.

"Any last words, little wizard of the east?"

The rain had stopped before the demon had finished its previous statement, but the cave was not completely silent. The child, still asleep, began to whimper in fear as if some nightmare had entered its young mind. The young man glanced at the sleeping child, and did not move or speak for a few moments.

Absoleil did nothing but watch the young man, as if waiting for a reply to his question.

"There is one thing," the young man spoke, turning his head toward Absoleil. "There is a town you may have passed earlier when you began to search for me. Would it trouble you if you brought the child there?"

There was no change in the demon's voice. "You trust me to do such a thing?"

The young man's features were barely noticeable, but it had a trace of determination, underneath the young face that was worn out by fatigue and dirt. He drew a small dagger from his belt, the sound of metal unsheathing echoing in the small cave. "She is not included in your list tonight, and I hope you would do this for me, if you come out of this alive, that is."

"You intend to fight me?" Absoleil's voice was half-amused.

There was no reply, as the young man stood ready, knife in hand.

"Don't you want to know about the afterlife then? A little hint, maybe?"

For the first time in days the young man smiled, focusing his gaze toward the demon Absoleil.

"Looking at you, I feel that I know the answer already…"

The two lunged for each other, oblivious that the rain began to fall, once again into the background.

--/--