The final battle

by gigaherz

The protagonist storms into the main hall of the castle, leaving behind a trail of defeated enemies.

“So you made it here.” says the enemy, standing up from the table. “I was hoping to avoid this confrontation, but I guess there’s no avoiding it, now.”

“Die!” the protagonist yells, and jumps forward with his sword drawn.

His lieutenants draw their weapons, blocking the protagonist’s path.

The protagonist activates the power of his sword, and in the blink of an eye, the two warriors fall down, dead. Shiny orbs leave their bodies, and get absorbed into the sword. The protagonist feels his power growing, as if he had reached a new milestone.

“You will not win!” exclaims the protagonist, feeling refreshed.

“We will see…” the enemy says, resignedly.

The battle starts slowly, the combatants testing each other and their respective skills, parrying and dodging in a multitude of styles and forms. After a while, it picks up the pace, turning into a blur even a trained warrior would have a hard time following.

Suddenly, the enemy falls to his back, panting. He tries to get back up and step backward, but he finds a wall blocking the way.

The protagonist feels a rush of anticipation, seeing the enemy cornered and fearful. “It’s over, demon! Your evil reign ends today!”

The protagonist launches forward, but the enemy stops him by summoning a magic shield.

“Evil? What have I done to warrant such accusations?”

“What have you done?! All the people you killed! All the villages ravaged! All the innocents deprived from their lives and futures!”

“I’m confused. What makes you think I did any of that?”

“Look through the window, then! See the death and destruction all around the lands, all leading up to this place!”

The enemy looks at the protagonist, and then at his sword. “I believe I know what’s happening here. I think there has been a rather grave misunderstanding.”

“What?!”

“There was no trail of bodies before you passed through. No destruction. I have spent a great lot of effort helping the villages and towns rebuild and regroup after the recent war. I have not killed anyone, not I have destroyed anything but the tools of evil and death.”

“Lies!” the protagonist yells, resuming his attacks.

The enemy regains his posture and switches into a defensive stance, thoughtfully analyzing the situation while blocking and dodging the protagonist’s slashes and thrusts.

“It was you, and not me, who found the dark sword hidden in that cave.” he says, pushing the protagonist back.

“It was you, and not me, who slew all those innocent creatures for sport.” he says, his aura illuminating the wall behind him.

“It was you, and not me, who killed honest warriors for their clothes, who stole from people’s homes and shops.” he says, his weapon glowing bright.

“It was you, and not me, who absorbed the souls of the dead to empower himself and gain the skills of their enemies.” he says, as the protagonist starts to falter.

“It was you, and not me, who killed and destroyed. You, who teamed up with an escapee from that asylum, who enjoyed rape and torture, even though you always seemed to look elsewhere whenever it happened. You, who took under your protection a serial killer, a thief without honor, and a witch.”

The protagonist stops moving and looks at the enemy, confused, with shaky eyes.

“Why are you here alone? Why do you think they abandoned you, in the end? Your essence is too abhorrent even for their twisted minds. You have been corrupted by the sword.”

“NO!” screams the protagonist, drawing power from the sword until his aura glows red and casts shadow at the same time. “NEVER!” he says, his voice sounding more monster than human.

“I WILL DESTROY YOU. I WILL END YOUR LIFE, AND THE LIFE OF EVERYONE YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN! DIE!”

The enemy sighs, saddened, drops all his shields, and stands idly, awaiting the attack.

As the protagonist draws closer, the tip of the enemy’s sword flares up, and with all its power, draws a path into the air, intercepting the protagonist’s body in the chest, now undefended.

The sword finds resistance in the dark aura of the protagonist, or whatever is left of him after the demon in the sword has taken over, but the power of light is too strong and the tip of the sword too sharp, and it pushes through the aura, and the ribcage, and out the other end, slicing the heart.

The protagonist gains a hint of consciousness then, with the power of the demon losing interest in keeping his soul captured, and for the first time since he touched the sword, sees just how twisted his memories were. How badly his actions had been turned from the heroism he thought he was showing, into the evilness he truly inflicted upon others. He saw all the victims for what they truly were, and realized how deep his failure truly was. Ashamed, he faded into nothingness.

The enemy, the true hero, reminisces about his attempt at preventing this. How he had pleaded for the sword to be destroyed. How he had tried to convince those with power to help him find a way. He saw this death as his own failure, for not seeing the corruption that was in the hearts of others, and for not doing anything against that.

He regrets not having managed to stop the true villain. Not the poor boy with the malleable mind, but the demon in the sword. A demon that had been sealed in the sword because it was the lesser of two evils. “Better sealed in a weapon of death and destruction, than death and destruction itself walking around on its own legs.” they said. He didn’t like the idea, but he had agreed to it. It made sense. It still did. The solution, however, turned out to be far less ideal than they hoped for.

He looks at the sky, through a window, and mutters. “Do you see now, father? Wherever you went, do you understand, now, why I fought so hard. How many lives will this abomination claim, before we can destroy it? How many heroes will it turn into villains, without they ever realizing what they truly were?”

 

 

 

 

 

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