1. The Beginning
This book is a stand alone, but you will understand the characters better by reading the previous books:
1. Embrace the Dark
2. Embrace the Light
Hundreds and hundreds of years ago
"Arkael my king, please do not this to us, we have been following your order...you can not take our livelihood away. How are we supposed to fend for our needs? our children, our elders, please my king, I beg you..." she was kneeling down begging him.
"You have been warned shaman, we do not take lightly on witchcraft in our kingdom. Enough! I've heard plenty from my advisors. You and your people are to leave the kingdom, and search for another place to live." The handsome king Arkael stood up, and was about to leave his throne when the old woman took out her hand.
She held out an old dirty pouch, and took out a hand full of what looked like dust and blew it onto his face, then drop the rest to the floor. It blew up in smoke, his guards were suddenly holding her down but her voice was loud and threatening when she chanted her words and cursed him to damnation.
King Arkael vanished into thin air, and she was decapitated on the spot.
"Arrghhh...ughh..." what did she just do to me. My body felt hot, my skin was burning, like hot flaming fire was licking all over my body. I could still hear her, chanting the words of a language that I did not even recognize. I could feel myself falling down fast to a never-ending black pit, where is she sending me to?
She cursed me, I told her to leave my kingdom and she cursed me. I had defended her, I had spared her and her people's lives and let them walked away from my kingdom and she cursed me to..where am I?
It was not until my body crashed to the black soil I could see my surroundings, vast deserted land of nothingness, sky tinted in a deeper shade of red in a much darker color than the evening summer sun. It was a hot surrounding but somehow I feel cold like I was dead inside.
Am I dead? did she kill me? am I in hell?
I winced as I felt the hurt in body, I tried to move but it seems that all of my bones had been crush from the fall, I looked up but see nothing but black sky.
This is it you're done Arkael, your reigning days of ruling your kingdom is over.
Bones were cracking I could hear it, it felt like they were adjusting, fixing, mending themselves. I've had broken bones before, and this felt a hundred times worse than when you were popping your broken bone back in place for the healer to fix.
I was groaning, growling in pain, my tears fall from the pain, my throat was sore from my screams. I was sweating bullets, tears and sweat rolled down my face, my fingers and toes curled trying to hold the pain. I was in a fetal position then quickly adjust, as my back was cracking in places I never knew existed. I was truly in immense pain, I was hoping that I could faint or even die.
I thought I was already dead?
"Welcome..." a blackened creature that looks like a small man with a tail greeted me. His face looked like one of the gargoyles from one of the ancient books that I read.
"Whe...where...am I? am I ...arrghhh...dead...?" I was struggling with my words. The cracking of my bones was still happening, I was ready to die if I wasn't dead already.
"You are in hell my human friend, you have been sent down here by the sorceress. Just like me and a couple of others, don't worry about the pain it'll be gone soon enough. We all went through that, it's how our body evolved to the surroundings it's part of their magic tricks." He shrugged while I was still tearing up on the inside.
So, I was not the only one sent down to this hell hole.
He was right, moments later the pain subsides, I was feeling better but more and more confused. "So, we are not dead? but yet we're in hell? why?"
"Come on let's get you away from this barren land, other creatures might smell you and confuses you with dinner." He waved his hand signaling me to go with him.
I had no choice, rather than to go with him. I didn't see the benefit of me staying put at my original place. I didn't even know if there would be any more creatures that might come my way and offered me any hints just like this gargoyle look-alike man.
Slowly I tried to get myself up, I was surprised when I felt my body was all better, I felt stronger than ever, but I choked when I look at my hand. It all looked and smell like burnt skin, and I had just realized that I was bucked naked, with chaffed skin all over my body, my hands went to my face feeling the same harsh skin.
"Yup, you're not as pretty as you used to now aren't you? at least you still got your height. Me? she freaking cursed me as a midget gargoyle complete with a f*****g tail. Maybe she has mistaken me with cupid, but lately, I knew it was her ways of taunting with my destiny." He gruffly said while walking his little feet in front of me, I caught up to him in no time.
"I'm Arkael...how long have you been here?" I said to him lowly, still trying to adjust with my body and the flow of information that flooded my brain.
"Savaric, it has been too many decades for me, the next decade will be my first hundred-year here, while the longest one in our camp is over one twenty ..." he said lightly.
"You mean one hundred and twenty years?"
"Yes and he likes to rub it off in our faces saying he'll be out in the next few decades..."
"So, this is like our jail time? But I spared her life and her people's, don't we get a say before any of her rulings?"
"Woah there...this isn't a kingdom, this is a pit of hell where you try to survive daily, and get out of harm's way. Unless you got caught, then you will endure the punishment. And under here all things game, pfft ...you will thank yourself that you're no longer a pretty boy. At least with your height, you can defend yourself nicely."
I still didn't know what he meant by that, when out of nowhere two muscular giants appear before us.
"Goddamn it! Me and my smart mouth...run Arkael! Follow me!"
I was about to do so when one of the giant grab Savaric by his tail and picked him up easily. I was looking for something to defend myself with when I saw that the giant had a single sword on one of his legs. He must've used it as a knife, but to me, that looked like one heavy-looking sword.
My heart was beating faster as I fear for my life. I was hoping that I could pick it up, and smirked on the inside when I managed to swiftly take it away from him. I quickly climbed up to his back and slit his throat. He tumbled down with a loud thud, then the other ogre look-a-like giant turned to my direction and lift up his leg trying to squash me. But I quickly ran up to him and jumped him from the back and slit his throat too.
I couldn't believe that I had this kind of power surged inside my body. I was dumbfounded with my strength and my agility, even my reflexes were more in tune than when I was above ground.
"Wow, what are you before? A king?"
I didn't answer him, I was still baffled by my own power.