A Shadow of All Night Falling - Part 2: Hunters of Worlds

Interlude IX: Deep Scars of Thunder

© 2006 by E. Liddell

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He knew himself to be a failure, although no one had ever spoken a word against him.

He sat on the floor, leaning against one of the broken teeth that rimmed the lower jaw of the great beast-skull, letting the demon's power pulse over and through him.

It should not have been this way. It should not have needed to be this way. But he had failed. Had failed to create a shield against the Empyrean.

If only I had had more skill...

Seven Crystal Weavers. Only seven in the entire solar system. How could it ever have been enough? Why hadn't he fought Malachite for the right to create more?

Perhaps then he would not have been forced to use the demon as a substitute, as a defence. Perhaps then he would not have had to sell his soul.

It was laughing at him, and he knew it. In his more lucid moments, like this one, it even taunted him with the fact that he had made a fool's bargain. His body and soul for its power.

Well, at least it isn't getting the better part of the bargain by much, he thought, grimacing, feeling the tension at the corner of his mouth as unliving metal failed to flex quite as quickly and completely as flesh. By the time it's done with me, this carcass won't be worth having. He drummed the fingers of his right hand against the floor, listening to the metal clicking against stone, as he glanced up at the great red sphere.

And if it weren't for the fact that our mergence will leave poor Beryl trapped in this decaying land with that fool Endymion, I'd wish you joy of it!

The entity inside the sphere didn't respond in words. Instead, the darkness lapped up to cover his mind again, until he wasn't even aware that he had been granted a brief interval of freedom from the oppression of the demon's mind, much less what he had thought during it.

Goto Chapter 37

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