~~~~~~~~~ Chapter 11: Dual Subversion ~~~~~~~~~
~ Part 1: The Story of David.
A boy in his mid teens woke up and walked out of his room. Going about his morning as usual, getting ready for the day, eating breakfast, and preparing to go out to hunt for food since his father was too sick to do it himself. He was met at the door by his mother, greeting him in the way she always did.
"Good morning Dave." His mother would say.
"Morning mom." David replied. "I'm just on my way out to get dinner." He said, gesturing to his bow and arrows.
"You could just buy the food from the market." His mother replied simply.
"Nah, I'd rather learn to hunt. It will save me a lot of trouble when I'm older." David replied simply. Smiling lightly and placing a hand on the door.
"Alright. But remember, stay far away from those mages. They are all terrible people, who do terrible things. I don't want to see you get hurt." His mother warned.
"Ma. You've been telling me this every day, since I was a little kid. I know." David chuckled lightly.
"I know. But I worry about you and want to make sure you don't get hurt." His mother replied. She stood up on her toes to softly kiss David on the forehead. "Good luck, and be safe." She said before opening the door for him.
David chuckled again and quickly wiped off his forehead. "Ma, I'm not a little kid anymore." He protested. "Thanks though. When father wakes up tell him I'll be back shortly, and that I hope he gets better soon so we can hunt together again. I miss doing things together already."
His mother smiled. "You're always my little kid." She said. "And I'm sure he misses it just as much. But I will tell him."
David nodded and grabbed his bow and arrows, before he walked out of the house and off into the woods to hunt.
Hours passed, and soon David was waling back into town with a small deer over his shoulder. Smiling at the success of his hunt. Although that smile almost instantly faded as he looked into his village and saw smoke and fire everywhere, with bodies covering the streets. Mostly of strangers, but some of people he knew from around the village. He dropped the deer and made a mad dash for his home, praying his family was alright.
When he arrived, what he saw both relieved him, and terrified him. His mother was out on the front yard, alive and unharmed. But she was standing in front of a man who held a magic flame in the palm of his hand. She was begging and pleading with the man to not harm her, and to leave them alone. Offering to pay him money to just let them live.
The mage didn't care about her offerings though. The flame in his hand grew bigger and he then threw it at the terrified mother. David shouted for his mother to move and in a flash ran out in front of the fireball to protect her. His mother panicked when David stepped in front of the fireball and she quickly grabbed David, pushing both of them to the ground to avoid the flames. Although, they couldn't move fast enough and both got grazed by the flames. The two of them getting severe burns on the side of them that was hit.
The mage chuckled lightly at their attempts to protect each other. With a wave of his hands the two where surrounded by a circle of flames that was slowly closing in on them. He then pointed at their home and it was engulfed in flames. When he was finished, the mage simply turned and walked away. Leaving the two to burn.
David and his mother panicked a little, but David was a smart man and knew a way out. "Come on! We need to just run through the flames. It's the only way out." He called out. His mother thought about it, but nodded and took his hand. The two of them, together ran through the flames to get out of the circle. Then dropped to the ground and rolled around to put the flames on their clothes out.
The two panted and looked at each other to make sure the other was alright. "Where's father?" David asked, a very fearful and worried tone in his voice.
His mother's eyes widened and she looked up at their home which was completely covered in flames. "He's still inside! He can't get up with his injuries!" She said in a panic. Both her and David jumped up to their feet and ran to the front door. Ready and willing to brave the flames in the house to save him.
But they where already too late. As they approached the door, the house collapsed from the flames and made it impossible to get inside. The only thing they could do now, was watch the house burn to the ground. "No!" His mother screamed, staring at the house in disbelief.
Neither of them wanted to believe what happened. They wanted to believe his father somehow survived, even though it was obvious he didn't. After a long moment of silence, tears started to fill both of their eyes and they turned to hug each other, for comfort.
Several years later. David and his mother where in a new home, in a new village. Where they had been living for years. They heard someone outside shouting for everyone to meet in the center of the village, because of an emergency. So they did.
David and his mother gathered in the center of the village, with everyone else, and looked up at the twin boys who called everyone there. The two of them where standing on floating platforms, it was obvious they where mages. David looked down at his mother and his thoughts went back to that night his father died. Remembering how both his parents warned him of how bad mages where every day, until that night proved his parents where right. Countless people had died, due to that one mage. He looked up at the twin boys and grit his teeth. Never again. He would not let something like that happen again. He would make sure he protected everyone from these two mages. In his eyes they where nothing more then weapons of mass destruction, ready to go off and kill thousands at any moment.
The boys where trying to rally the villagers into fighting back against an incoming bandit attack. When those boys where clearly much better off for fighting the bandits then the villagers where.
"You two are aspiring to be the village guards, are you not? You two go hold them off while we all evacuate. That's the job you're trying to get into, go start it now." David demanded. Presuming they would die while fighting the bandits. And the villagers agreed.
"You all can't be serious. We'll die out there! My plan will get us all out alive and safely!" The blonde twin countered.
"No, you two are village guards as of right now, that was your dreams as kids right? Now go do your jobs." David stated. "Everyone else, evacuate." He called out as the villagers quickly dispersed and went to gather their things and leave the village. Then he personally lead the evacuation out of the city.
It was only minutes after the twins left before the bandits reached the city, and David presumed the twin mages dead. He did everything in his power to protect the villagers, but he was only human, and could only protect so many of them.
To his disbelief, the twin mages came back and met up with him again afterwords. The only explanation he could think of, was that they got wounded and fled the battle. Letting the bandits come kill off the villagers, to save themselves. He would never forgive them for that, what kind of a monster would sacrifice the lives of hundreds to save themselves? As soon as he knew the villagers where safe in the new village, he made his move. He wasn't going to let any more lives be lost to these two mages.
He walked right up to them, noticing that they where going straight to heal themselves. Not even trying to check if the villagers where alright first. "Where do you two think you're going?" David questioned.
"We just told you where we where going." The blonde twin growled back, glaring up at David.
The black haired twin comfortingly put a hand on his brother's shoulder, to tell him to calm down. He took a step closer to the man. "We're wounded sir... We really need to get medical attention." He said quietly, gesturing to the wound on his shoulder.
David grit his teeth, the twins acted as if he and the other survivors weren't also injured. All because these two ran away from the battle they should have stayed in. Or so he thought. He lost his temper and shoved the boy to the ground when he stepped closer, "We don't want your kind here. We saw you use magic, you're demons." He spat. "Get out." He demanded. In all honestly, who would want a mage living in their village? Who would want to live in a village, knowing that if their next door neighbor got angry one day, that they could blow up half the village and thousands could die. Could any of them really be to blame for not wanting that kind of risk?
"What the hell are you talking about!" The blonde boy shouted venomously at him. "We're not demons. We're just as human as you are! We devoted our entire lives to you people, we just nearly died for you all! And you're labeling us demons and throwing us out?"
"You should have died out there, we'd all be much better off if you did." David growled back. I his mind, they where responsible for most of the deaths in that bandit attack. And as long as the twin mages stayed here, the entire village was in danger. "Now get out or we'll force you out."
"You dare to say that! After everything we've done!" The blonde twin nearly screamed in anger, pulling his war hammer off his back and preparing to attack.
"You see everyone, the demons are trying to attack and kill us! He drew his weapon first!" David called out to the crowd, who all backed off. Simply wanting to show them how easily these mages could be provoked, and how provoking them could end up getting countless innocent lives killed. He quietly watched as the twins argued with each other, ending with them finally giving up and leaving the village. David couldn't help but to grin proudly as he watched them leave, knowing he had just saved the lives of everyone in this village. Sure, he had to sacrifice the lives of the two mages. But everything came with sacrifices, and in the end, the lives of everyone in the village where more important then the two boys.
But, there was one unforeseen error. The boys didn't die, and they kept coming back despite being outcast. The man could only assume the two of them where planning something, why else would they return to a place they where outcast from, in the middle of the night, every night. In fear of the village's safety, David intercepted their letters to try and figure out what they where doing, looking for a hidden message somewhere in the letters, but finding nothing. He was sure they where up to something though, so he hired some assassins to quickly go take them out. He wanted to make sure his village was safe, and would never have a tragedy like the one he faced again.
And now, he just waited at home with his mother for the confirmation that the assassin took down their targets.
~ Part 2: A fork in the road.
Seth appeared in a bright flash of light in the woods outside Oline village. He stormed straight into the village, with nothing but pure rage in his eyes. He knew exactly where he would start his attack on the village. He would start with the very man who caused them the most problems, and he knew exactly where that man lived.
Seth marched straight up to the man's house and kicked in the door, seeing the man inside looking surprised and baffled that his door had been kicked in. But he recognized Seth right away. It was late, his door had just been kicked in, and the assassins he had hired had clearly failed. David was not in the mood to be polite. "You roaches just won't die, will ya!" He growled.
"No! But you will!" Seth hissed. In a flash of light Seth teleported across the room and in front of David, grabbing the man by his throat and slamming him into the wall behind him.
"I'm only looking out for the safety and well being of the village!" David stated. "You two where a massive threat to everyone here, countless lives where in danger because of you two. Who in their right mind would want to live next to a person, that could destroy the entire village if nudged the wrong way!" He protested. "That's why all mages need to be outcast and kept away from everyone else. For the safety of the normal humans. You want to live in a village, make your own with only mages so the innocent humans don't get killed when you demons get ticked off."
"Lies!" Seth hissed. "The village was safer with us here! You unjustly outcast us, and tried to have us killed more times then I can count! Now, I'm done with this, you and all the other villagers will pay for what you've all done." He growled.
David's eyes widened. "What? No! I don't care if I die! But don't harm the rest of the villagers." He said quickly.
"They are all just as much responsible for everything as you are. So they will all pay the price." Seth growled as he then shoved David to the ground in the corner of the room. Then grabbed his war hammer.
"No! Don't harm them! They just didn't want their lives to be in danger every single day, what's so wrong about that?" David pleaded, although he noticed his words fell on deaf ears. Seth wasn't listening. "At the very least, spare my mother, she's upstairs. She had nothing to do with all this, and she's been through enough."
"No. Everyone who has done wrong, will be killed for what they've done. She was with everyone else who did those terrible things to us. She's just as much of a monster as you, and every other person in this village! You're all responsible for the terrible misdeeds that where done. And not a single person will get away with it. Not anymore."
"You can't!" David protested, trying to get back up. But Seth merely kicked him back into the wall and slammed his war hammer down onto David's head, killing the man on the spot. Once the man was dead, Seth turned and walked out of the house. Spreading fire everywhere in the house as he walked out of it, then engulfing the house in flames once he was outside, not caring that David's mother was also still inside. Just to spite the man, Seth blocked the door with stones to make sure no one escaped the flames, then marched down the street. Setting fire to the houses he passed and killing the people who ran out of them, by hitting them with large boulders, or stone spikes that where fired out of the ground.
The village was filled with all humans, and most of them had no idea what was going on until it was too late. So Seth didn't have much to stop his attack on the village. Slowly, more and more of the village was going up in flames. The flames serving as a mark for the parts of the city where everyone had been killed.
Another house went up in flames, and Seth watched as the family all came running out the front door. Then with a wave of his hand a volley of stone spikes where fired out of the ground at the unsuspecting family, they hadn't seen it coming until it was too late. They where all hit by the volley and killed. Seth turned to see two guards running at him with swords drawn, he strapped his hammer to his back and took out his sai.
The first guard ran straight at him and swung for his ribs, using the training and skill most guards had. Although even with that training and skill, it was a severely one sided fight, fighting against a mage as an ordinary human. Seth caught the sword in his sai, then spat a fireball into the guard's face. Forcing the guard to jump backwards to avoid being burnt. But as the guard jumped back a stone wall of spikes sprung out of the ground behind him. The guard had already jumped and couldn't see the wall behind him, there was no stopping him from being impaled on the spikes behind him.
"No!" The other guard shouted, seeing her friend hit the spiked wall, she also ran at Seth slashing her sword for his ribs. Although just like before Seth caught and trapped the sword between the prongs of his sai. But the guard had expected that and quickly sweeped Seth's legs with a low kick.
Seth fell to the ground on his back and the guard quickly went to stab her sword down at him. But with a flick of his wrist a melon-sized stone launched itself out of the ground at the guard, hitting her in the side of the head and knocking her over. Seth flipped back onto his feet and quickly threw one of his sai at the guard while she was down, with deadly accuracy. Stabbing her in the throat with it. He brushed himself off and waited for the guard to die from the fatal injury before he went and retrieved his sai.
"Seth!" A voice shouted venomously from behind him. Seth didn't get a chance to turn around before he was shoved from behind to the ground. Looking up to see none other then Kaolin, who was exhausted and panting heavily from racing all the way across the mountain to get back. "What do you think you're doing!" Kaolin practically screamed at him.
"I'm ridding the world of these corrupt monsters that live here. I will not sit back and allow them to just kill off mages for no reason. We weren't the first and we won't be the last if someone doesn't do something. So I'm going to put an end to all of this." Seth growled back as he got back onto his feet.
"You're the monster here." Kaolin growled. "You're killing innocent people."
"There are no innocent people in this village Kaolin. Everyone here tried to kill us, so everyone here is a murderer. I'm not killing innocent, I'm killing murderers." Seth growled back.
"They are not murderers! Not all of them where against us!" Kaolin argued. "And by killing them you make yourself into a murderer!"
"Yes. They are all against us, not one of them stood up to help us. And every one of them agreed with that man." Seth growled. "And I don't care anymore. If I have to become a murderer to save this world from the horrid monsters that live here, then so be it. The world will be a much better place when I rid it of these people."
"No, the world won't be any different if you kill these people. People all over the world are against mages, the vast majority of humans hate them. For good reason!" Kaolin argued.
"I don't care. It won't end with just this village then. I'll change the entire world! I won't stop until I remove all of the corruption from the world." Seth argued. "Even if I have to burn the entire world to the ground and start over. I will fix this world, at any cost." He stated. "And I know that plenty of mages are just as corrupt as these people, the mages will receive the same judgment and punishment as the 'normal' people."
Kaolin's eyes widened. "No. I will never allow you to do that!" He nearly shouted. He grabbed a sword from one of the fallen guards and pointed the blade at Seth. "I will not allow you to kill all of those people."
Seth narrowed his eyes and glared at Kaolin. "So what, you're going to kill me? You wouldn't kill the man trying to kill us, but you'll kill your brother?" He growled.
"That man wasn't about to kill countless other people!" Kaolin argued. But bit his lip and shrunk back, he really didn't want to have to fight his brother. That was the last thing he wanted, and he would give anything to make it not have to happen. But Kaolin couldn't live with himself if he just let Seth go, and Seth killed all those people. "I don't want to, but if you don't come to your senses and stop this, I will have no choice." He stated.
"So, you'd rather defend these people. The ones who kill, torture, berate, and mistreat others; just for simple differences in beliefs, race, or appearance. They do these horrid things to others and believe it's justified for these stupidly petite reasons. And it's okay? But me doing the same, for a damn good reason isn't?" Seth growled, "I don't care if you think I'm right or wrong anymore. I know I'm right, that's all that matters. When I make this world into a better place, you're going to look like a fool for opposing me." He stated as he picked up the other guard's sword off the ground.
"You are wrong, the world is just fine how it is. Sure, there's a lot of bad people. But there's plenty of good too. You can't kill the bad without killing the good with them, and killing both is just wrong." Kaolin stated. "I'm sorry, but I will not allow you to kill anyone."
"So be it." Seth stated coldly. There was a long moment of silence as the twins just stared at each other. Neither of them honestly wanted to go through with it, but neither would budge on their morals. Kaolin would never allow the innocent to be killed, and as he looked into Seth's eyes, he could tell. Something had snapped inside of his twin's mind. Seth had been pushed too far, he wasn't himself anymore and was not going to change his mindset either.
The silence was finally broken when Seth made his move. "I hate to do this Lin, but if you're going to try and stop me. Then you have to die too!" Seth called out as he charged at his brother, slashing at his brother's side. Although Kaolin quickly blocked with his own sword and the two jumped back. They circled each other for a moment, both twins glaring back at each other. Kaolin remained silent, there was nothing more he could say. He could only think back on their childhood together, before everything fell apart.
The two of them both ran at each other to attack, clashing swords again. Although Kaolin didn't stop running when their swords clashed and he plowed straight into Seth, knocking them both to the ground with Kaolin landing on top of Seth. Who responded by dropping his sword and grabbing Kaolin by his throat. Pinching both sides of his windpipe to stun him, then throwing Kaolin off and to the side. Seth quickly picked up his sword again and jumped back onto his feet, then thew a fireball down at Kaolin.
Kaolin only just barely dodged the fireball by hitting the ground and making the ground under him shoot upwards, launching him into the air a little. He landed back on his feet and threw a fireball at Seth. Who simply blocked it by making a stonewall jump out of the ground in front of the fire. Seth had always been, and still was, by far the stronger fighter out of the twins. Kaolin knew this, and was trying to think of some way he could win.
But he couldn't think of anything that would be enough to win. He dashed at Seth and swung his sword for Seth's neck. Who blocked it with his own sword, before Kaolin made shadow-like spikes launch out of his shadow at Seth. Causing him to jump back to avoid the spikes. Seth then disappeared in a flash of light. Appearing behind Kaolin and slashing his sword across his back, then kicking him to the ground in one swift movement.
Kaolin yelped in pain when he was slashed and kicked to the ground. 'I can't win... He's still better then I am... My only hope of winning right now, is running away and coming back to stop him some other time... Probably with help, or an army or something to stop him...' He thought. 'But he won't just let me walk away... I need to trick him so I can escape...' He was broken from his thoughts as Seth walked closer. He quickly looked up at Seth and spat black flames up at him, Seth didn't have dark magic, so Kaolin was using it as much as he could to try and get an edge.
Seth hadn't expected that and was slightly singed by the flames, which caused him to stumble backwards. 'I got it! I know how I can escape.' Kaolin thought. Believing he saw an opening he lunged off the ground, stabbing his sword at Seth's stomach. Knowing Seth would stab him back. As Kaolin had predicted Seth saw that coming and quickly stabbed his own sword back at Kaolin.
The two of them clashed.
Kaolin had stabbed Seth in the stomach, the only vital area he could've reached from the ground. Although Seth had aimed for the heart, but missed and hit Kaolin in the shoulder instead. There was a brief pause where they both recoiled in pain. Then Kaolin rather suddenly burst into black flames, like the demons did when they where killed. Sending fire everywhere and badly burning Seth from their close proximity. When the flames cleared, only a badly wounded and burnt Seth remained, the two bloody swords on the ground beside him with their blades crossed over each other. Kaolin was nowhere to be seen.
Seth grunted in pain and looked around. "I knew it... The dark magic possessed him. That's why he opposed me, and that's why he died exactly like the demons. He must have become one of them." He guessed as he struggled to stand up from his severe wounds. He looked around for a safe place to hide while he healed himself, and could hear the marching of metal footsteps approaching. Not just one pair, but many. 'The army is here already?' He thought, he didn't stand a chance against all of them at once. Then a thought hit him.
Seth reached into his cloak and pulled out a book. He wiped a little blood off the cover and read the title. 'Aether magic: Volume seven. Healing mental illnesses and conditions of the mind.'
A smirk crossed his face. 'I know exactly how I'm going to destroy all of the corruption in this world.' He thought.
Next chapter: The aftermath.