We're finally at the end, let's see what happens. Oh man, I never thought I'd make it this far but I did. Whoa.
Enough chitchat, let's get on with the story.
"What?" Dar was in disbelief.
"Mat." Chris's voice broke.
Mathias closed his eyes and hung his head. "Take me instead."
"No." Kim whispered. Chris watched with fear and despair. His heart leaped a beat; his stomach churned. He was willing to sacrifice himself...for him.
"I'm doing this," Mathias answered. He looked him in the eye. "For you." he added. Chris's glistened with more tears than he would've shed.
"No please," pleaded Chris. He shoved his twin aside. "Take me! Take me, I'll become the Envoy."
"No Chris." Mathias thundered. "I'm doing this. This is your life I'm saving. I'm not gonna let you turn into this thing."
Chris looked at his brother helplessly. There was nothing he could do and nothing could be done.
"But let him go first," ordered Mathias, pointing to Kim. Dar remembered he was here and forgot about his wound.
"Ah, yes," said Dar. "Kim," he looked at him as though noticing him for the first time. "You were a fine slave but a weak follower. I've always hoped you'd grow out of this namby-pamby phase and get on with your dark nature. Sadly, I was wrong." He knelt down before him, placing a hand on his shoulder. "You have served me well, Kim. All those ten millennium. I thank you."
Kim watched as Dar stood up. Black energy emanated from Dar's hands. He knew what was coming next. When a Harbinger grows tired of his life, he seeks put his master to end his life. In which Dar will be wiping him out of existence. Him being the first Harbinger to come into existence made him the more powerful. He was born out of the primordial darkness and therefore neither there nor here. He just existed. Calling more energy, Dar readied himself as Kim looked one more time at the twins. For the first time, Kim had no regrets.
"Thank you." Kim uttered as soon as the black smoke consumed him. He was gone. A painless death.
But Dar wasn't so mournful. "Humph." he scoffed. "He was weak anyways." He looked back at the twins, the only ones remaining besides Needle. "Now back to you."
"Mat, don't do this," whispered Chris as a one last chance to get him to change his mind. But Mathias would have none of it. He was sure of it.
"I'm not backing down." Mathias said to him over his shoulder. Facing Dar he said, "Turn me and leave my brother alone. And I'll be a better servant than Kim ever was."
"I expect you to." Dar said with a sinister grin.
Chris looked on at the unfolding drama. His brow the was taking the burden for him. One life for another. One of the living for one of the dead. Why? Why didn't he have to be such a stubborn bastard all the time. Chris knew there was no arguing with him, so he just stood back and watched the inevitable.
But before Dar could transform him, Mathias gave him a one last sneaky look. It was that look he always gave him whenever they were planning on sneaking out of the palace. Chris's eyes widened as he finally figured out what he was doing.
"No." Chris shook his head as more tears rolled down his face.
"Almost midnight." Dar spoke.
"Mat." Chris's heart sank to the pit of his stomach. He lost his mother and now he was going to lose his brother. Why does this always happen to him?
"Ready?" Dar asked as he pulled out a knife from his robe.
"As I'll ever be." Mat said boldly, his eyes had a strange shine to them.
"Mat." Chris repeated.
"Chris, go," Mat said over his shoulder.
"No Mat, wait."
Mathias took out a geode and handed it to Chris. Chris was resisting, insisting on giving it back. Both boys were like this until Mathias whispered, "To the Crystal Palace of Notr." And the geode started glowing and it was only until one of them teleported out of there. That was when Mathias removed his hands from the geode and he gave Chris a good luck smile as he was surrounded by the geode's light.
The last thing Chris saw was Dar hoist the knife and that was that. Everything went dark.
Chris arrived at the palace gates. He looked from left to right, wondering how he got here out of nowhere. This all seemed to happen so fast and Chris couldn't tell which way was up. He was so disgruntled that his brother would've dipped himself in mud and rolled around in his bed and Chris wouldn't care. The whole world spun and he tried to register that his brother was going it to turn into a Harbinger.
There was still time. Chris could teleport back to the cave and rescue Mathias, if they haven't already tuned him.
Just when he was about to use the geode, a voice called.
Chris turned around. It was his father. He was frantic, running up to him. His father hugged him the moment he and his son were in close proximity. Chris stood frozen in his father's arms. His eyes widened and stared into the starry night sky. This sort of thing gave Chris a sort of calm that made him forget tonight's adventure for a moment.
"Oh son." King Frederick said, pulling away. He clasped his son's shoulders, surveying him to see if it was him. "Where have you been?" he questioned after his inspection. "I was so worried. I was—I sent the guards to search for you—I—"
"Father." Chris said, "I...I saw Mathias."
"What?" His father was so surprise he was almost speechless. But Chris spoke the truth.
"I saw him." Chris continued. "He...he..."
"What, son?" Frederick pried. "What did he...?"
All that was interrupted by a light that glowed behind them. Both father and son turned and the light vanished and they saw the silhouette of a man. The fog rolled away and they saw it was Mathias.
"Mat," whispers Chris, eyes misting up in disbelief.
"Son." King Frederick couldn't believe his eyes; his son had come home.
"Hey, dad." Mathias smiled bittersweetly.
Frederick was overjoyed to have both of his sons home that he welcomed Mathias back with open arms. He didn't ask questions, he was just glad to have him home. Besides, questions could be asked later. Right now was a time to celebrate. He led his sons inside, but Mathias announced he needed to talk to Chris alone. Frederick understood and left his sons alone of discuss.
"I'll call off the search." he added, seeing as this was no longer an emergency.
The twins watched their father return to the palace. When he was far enough and out of earshot Chris immediately asked the heart-stopping question.
"Mat, how did you do it?" Chris was overrun by adrenalin to calmly gather up his words. "How did you—the Harbingers—Dar. How did you...?"
"I entrapped them in a geode." Mathias answered like it was nothing. Chris was thrown. He blinked as though what he said was made up. He stared at Mathias like he was crazy.
"When Dar pulled the knife I immediately did the spell I told you." he explained. "This spell, man, this spell, it's something I've never seen. But this spell. It would trap them for centuries like I said, only I don't know for how long. That's the drawback, Chris."
"But-but that's good, right?" Chris said, with hopeful eyes. Mat wished it were that simple. It was and yet, here he was moping over his triumph. He should be happy but he was sad too. He didn't know what it was. Maybe it was the guilt. He was guilty for leaving the kingdom for his selfish gain and he was back of fox everything. Dar and his followers almost turned Chris into a Harbinger. It was all his fault, but was it really? He came just in time and saved him and he trapped the two remaining Harbingers, Dar and his lackey, Needle. Mathias recalled how Needle tried to shoot his quills at him. He managed to dodge them and Dar's dark matter energy. He shot a few black sand blasts. To Mathias, it was the fight of his lifetime. Dad and his Harbingers. This was more challenging than anything he'd ever faced. This was a night he and Chris would never forget.
Chris and Mathias exchanged smiles. It was the first time they'd smiled and meant it.
"By the way," said Mathias, rummaging through his trench coat. "Happy birthday." He pulled out what looked like a necklace. When he handed it to him Chris saw that it had a miniature hourglass tied to it. The hourglass had red sand inside. Black metal cradled its glass form. And it was a the best present Chris ever got. He loved it.
"Thanks, Mat." Chris hugged his twin brother. Mathias hadn't been hugged in years, he stood frozen in his embrace. This took getting used to again. And Mathias was glad to be back.
"How would you like to be on the Grand Council?" Chris offered as they walked back to the palace. Mathias was thrown, he looked at his brother with astonished eyes. "With your experience out in the real world, we could use your expertise to improve the bylaws in our kingdom."
Mathias pondered it for a moment. "I accept."
"Great." Chris smiled. "Though, well need to get you out of those clothes."
"Come on, I like my clothes." Mathias threw back.
"You look like a swashbuckler."
"I feel like a swashbuckler."
"You haven't changed at all."
The two walked off together. Two brothers torn apart by grief. Both were brought together to save each other from their demons. They accomplished every trial, and there were probably more obstacles to maze through. And they would go through them together.
Okay, now, a few things I have to get sorted out. Firstly, this was not the ending I intended. I was originally going to have Mathias sacrifice himself to spare Chris and serve Dar. I was gonna have it where Chris spends the rest of his life trying to find a way to save Mathias and defeat Dar. But I realized that didn't seem fair, so I scrapped it and came up with this new ending. So now everybody wins.