The God thrives in the wars he started. The man who lost everything seeks revenge at any cost. A demon that should be despised leads the man.
Part One | Part Two (Next Monday)
Art done by the fantastic Mister Artorias. Go check out more of his work on his Instagram!
I want to give special thanks to the patrons who’ve supported me thus far:
Hypermice, Sean Young, and Mister Artorias
God of War
The tip of the katana wrote its message of destruction across everyone who stood before its wielder. The men left behind collapsed, the cuts in their bodies a final mark on their lives. The bloody trail created by the blade was now a scar on the land, but Mashin felt no remorse.
The armor covering him was thick but light, adorned with the faces of ancient beasts. The armor itself covered much of the white coat he wore, the part that was revealed was emblazoned with a great red dragon. The katana he wielded still dripped blood. He swiped the katana through the air before sheathing it back in its scabbard at his side. His free hand reached up towards his head and paused, remembering what still gripped him.
A mask covered his head. Tendrils wrapped around the back of his head and two dark horns stuck out. The six eyes at the front glowed a faint blue.
He relaxed and began to walk. How much further must I go? The bloody mess behind him was already forgotten as he set his mind to the task ahead.
The path before him was barren and rocky. Few weeds grew between the pebbles and dust that covered the ground. Mountains rose up all around, preventing him from going any way but forward. The sky above was cloudy, black ash fluttering in the dry air.
“A fine question to ask yourself, Mashin.” A deep voice spoke into the air with no apparent source.
Mashin paused and closed his eyes. Within the darkness of the mask, he could make out the shape of a tentacled humanoid creature standing beside him. “The question was for you, Kaibutsu.”
“Is that right?” Kaibutsu mused.
With a shake of his head, Mashin resumed his pace. “Yes, I grow tired of this. You promised me revenge.”
A snicker that only Mashin could hear echoed in the air.
“You humans have such one-track minds. Don’t worry; you’ll have your revenge in time.”
“How far have I traveled anyways? I’ve seen the great snowy drifts of the Peaks of Kazmon, the towering foliage from the Bog of Yurn, the behemoth worms of the Endless Sands of Halek, and everything in between through the eyes of this vile mask.” He growled, his gloved hands tightening into fists. “And now I stand within the Valley of Maylhorn, my blade drenched with the blood of the minions of the God of War, and yet it still is not stained by the God’s own blood!” He punched the closest boulder causing it to crack and shatter under the pressure.
“I promised that you will have your revenge, did I not?”
Nostrils flared, and muscles were still tensed up. With a deep breath, Mashin rose up. “I hope you uphold that promise.”
“I have. This valley where you stand is where the God of War waits. I sense his presence; it is strong.”
“Good.” Mashin grinned behind the mask. “Once I end him then finally… finally, I can return home and see it with my own two eyes and… rest.” He breathed in again, the acrid smell of the ash outside lost to him as it filtered through the mask. He licked his lips, imagining the taste of food, something he had missed for a long time.
He kicked up dust as he walked. His heavy boots plated with metal crunched across the pebbles, the noise filling the space between the low howl of the wind blowing through the valley. The blue eyes of the mask were the only bright light in the dull gray valley. The white coat he wore faded with the kicked-up dust.
The heat of the sun burned on his back. The wind that traveled through the valley along with the coolness of the mask around his head made the walk bearable.
The path twisted through the mountains, a scribbled line carved through the land itself. Small rock crabs scurried along the path, freezing as he passed before continuing their scavenging. The occasional bird of prey soared above. The birds were dwarfed by the massive black serpent that flew by with its piercing beak. The serpent snatched up several birds before moving on. Its distant howling screech shook through the valley before falling in silence to the breeze.
The brief savage display in the clouds above gave him pause at the realization that more blood would be spilled on the ground soon just like within the sky.
The sun continued its descent, the orange glow growing. Rock crabs scurried along, finding holes along the edges of the rising mountains to hide for the oncoming night. The remaining birds flew away. Small beetles began to crawl out from the ground to hunt now that the crabs had left. His boots crushed several, the insects unaware of the warrior.
Images of his home filled his mind in the lull of the walk. The tall grass of the fields, bright green and flowing with the cool breeze. The air crisp and fresh. Bright pink flowers bloomed year-round, decorating the entirety of the peaceful town. A clear river ran through the town, bringing with it the necessary nutrients to keep the whole area alive, including the town itself. The people were full of energy, always eager to help others. The homes they built, unique representations of who they were. His own home, small but cozy. His family full of love and care…
He stopped, fists balling up.
“We’re just about there Mashin. Don’t waste your energy now; it’s time to use it. Let those memories fuel your hatred,” Kaibutsu said.
Mashin nodded and relaxed his fists.
At the top of the stairway, he paused. Displayed below him was a massive clearing in the mountain range. Multiple stairways ran along the edges of the mountain heading down towards a lake that surrounded a small island. The island rose up to support a palace. The palace was grand but not extravagant. Several buildings made up its body, built with stone and wood. Tile roofs with elegant red posts topped the structure. Large red lanterns were slowly rising into the air from an unnatural force. The light of the lanterns gave a dim glow to the valley that was quickly becoming dark from the setting sun.
He reached his hand toward the grip of the katana, took hold, and slowly unsheathed the blade. The sun gave his whole body a bright shimmering glow at the edges. The display sent the soldiers and monsters on the island below into a flurry of action. The calls to arms echoed up to his place at the top. He took the first step, beginning his descent toward his revenge.