Prologue: The final moments of Arkieal Ebon

Hello all!!! it’s me everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) ADD OCD author, AaronDragon!!! i have once again started a new story, one that i hope all of you will enjoy!!!

 

oh, btw this is the longest prologue i have ever written, mainly because i wanted to jump right into the main story next chapter….. so yaaaaay!!!! lots of stuff for you all to read right out the gate!!! dont hold future chapters to this ones length since chapters and side stories may be longer than this,  but more than likely they will be shorter……..

 

anyway here’s the chapter….. and for all you D.I. fans reading this right now…… imma get to that chapter 13 soon…. i just got distracted by the idea for this and it kinda blocked my motivation to write anything else until i wrote this….. as a side note, this part is in the same world as D.I. and may be meaningful to that story at some point (or maybe it wont, who can say? ………hehehehehehe….. pay close attention if you want to find out……)….

 

Enjoy!!!!




“They’ll be here soon Arkieal.” (Carn)

 

I looked beside me to see my friend, the one who appeared to be an unbelievably handsome young man wearing elaborately decorated armor of black metal that seemed to glow with dark light and who wore a jagged double edged long sword strapped to his side. He was Carnavolti the dungeon I created to be my partner and my home, and his will was currently residing in the body of this dungeon lord standing to the right of my heavily cushioned throne.

 

“I would have thought that our Dark-Light Dragon would have held them off longer…” (Arkieal)

 

The dungeon lord just looked at me when I said that.

 

“It probably would have, they just didn’t have to fight it since just like all the other floor masters I had it stand aside for them.” (Carn)

 

I couldn’t even muster the energy to be irritated by that, Carn had always been one to do things the way he thought best and damned be the consequences. It was a mindset that many dungeons seemed to share, even those that were artificially created by mages with delusions of unlimited power or achieving divinity like Carn was.

 

“I told you that I didn’t want them to be here for this, it was why I sent them away last week in the first place. I sacrificed my final birthday celebration for this chance, and you just let them in with no real resistance at all?” (Arkieal)

 

“Yes. They should be given the chance to be with you in your final moments Arkieal, I never said I would help you take that right away from them.” (Carn)

 

I let out a tired sigh as I adjusted my position as best as I could in the throne. Carn did in fact make a point of telling me that he wouldn’t help me with this part of my plan, in fact he made a point to show how much he hated this part and how against it he really was. All I was able to get him to agree to was not telling them about what I had planned to do while they were away on a meaningless mission, and for him to not interfere with my deception. There was nothing in either of those conditions stopping him from just pulling the floor masters of the tower out of the tower’s defenses when they inevitably returned.

 

“No you didn’t… They sure did return quickly didn’t they, Carn?” (Arkieal)

 

“That’s not all that surprising, after all they are some of the greatest mages on this entire continent. Even sending them on a mission as suicidally difficult as you did wouldn’t keep them away for all that long, especially given the motivation you gave them to see that mission done as soon as possible…” (Carn)

 

“But still I would’ve thought it would take them at least a week’s time to make it back here, doing it in only three days is unbelievable. The level of skill and power doing something like what I asked them to and in such a short amount of time too, it’s simply beyond monstrous…” (Arkieal)

 

“And you’re the one that made them that way old man. I bet it bugs the shit out of you that they all seem to have grown more powerful than you.” (Carn)

 

I almost laughed at that, but the sound that left my throat was just an awful wheezing noise coupled with a painful rattle in my chest I was sure damaged my insides even further. It was incredibly painful, but at least I could still feel something even if it was pain in my throat unlike the majority of my body, and that feeling in my chest meant my heart was still beating. I couldn’t feel let alone move my limbs anymore, it had taken Carn’s assistance to even get into my throne.

 

“You would think it would, but I actually don’t mind it all that much. Besides only a few of them can compare to me when I was in my prime, and I’m sure there are many in this vast world of ours that are far more powerful than they are…” (Arkieal)

 

Carn chuckled at that.

 

“That there are, just like how there are those that are stronger than you have ever been…” (Carn)

 

“Now I believe that you are just trying to mock me, old friend…” (Arkieal)

 

The dungeon lord looked down.

 

“Perhaps I am, I might as well do it now while I still can…” (Carn)

 

Carn was right, I could tell I probably wouldn’t live past this very hour let alone this day. Even just breathing was beginning to grow painful for me now, this body was all but dead already with only the various powerful magics cast on it keeping it from failing entirely.

 

As the moment of silence stretched on longer my mind turned back to a question that had bothered me for the last few centuries of my life. The question that I had never before been brave enough to consider let alone ask.

 

“… Tell me Carn, as my oldest friend and an immortal being as close to the divines and gods as possible without holding divinity, was this life of mine an asset to this world?” (Arkieal)

 

The dungeon lord looked up and met my gaze with his own.

 

“I honestly wouldn’t know the answer to that question Arkieal. It should still take the children an hour or so more to arrive here, perhaps you should take that time to consider that question of yours more yourself…” (Carn)

 

I turned my head away slowly and carefully so that I was looking at the immense sixteen foot tall doors that were the gateway into this grand throne room of mine. I was sure that soon enough they would come bursting through those doors and when they did they would all likely be very angry with me. Until then I might as well contemplate my past, after all what better way to usher in my final moments than with the remembrance of my life.

 

Before I could close my eyes and drown myself in memories of my past, I felt a voice speak out in my mind.

 

You know, that other dungeon you created, the one that you had me give memories and information to…. I think I’m coming to consider her as my own daughter… (Carn)

 

You can’t have offspring, no artificial dungeon is capable of that…

 

Yes well, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m beginning to think of her as a daughter of sorts… That’s something you should be able to understand very well yourself, right Arkieal? Besides I believe now that I feel this way I’m finally beginning to really understand the biggest reasons you found joy in teaching all those children… (Carn)

 

True, I understand that feeling well… How could I not after feeling it so many times myself? I just never thought that you would be capable of feeling this way, your emotional range is usually rather limited my friend….

 

Bah, I have no limits puny mortal human…. (Carn)

 

Sure you don’t Carn….

 

I heard chuckling coming from beside me.

 

I’ll leave you to your rest now Arkieal, I’ll rouse you back to the waking world when the children have reached the door into this room….. (Carn)

 

Thank you my friend…. I think I shall indulge in a short memory filled rest now…..

 

I felt my memories surge up as I mumbled the words to a quick modified sleep spell. Soon the outside sounds faded away and all that was left was a sea of memories……

 


 

I was born in the slums of a rather large city in a kingdom that was once known as Felrat, the earliest memories of my life were mere blurs of poverty, crime, and survival. I survived only because I was born into a slave market, and the one who bought me wished to use me as a pickpocket roaming the slums to steal coin for him. I was uniquely talented at those sorts of acts since shadows seemed to naturally reach out and conceal me when I didn’t want to be seen, and that very talent was what changed my life for the better.

 

One day I tried to steal coin from the purse of a man in elegant white robes with black trimming, he caught me before I could even make a decent sized cut in his purse’s bag. I ran from the man ducking into shadows and alleys to try and shake him off my trail, but he followed me with ease. When I finally ran into a solid wall of blackness that appeared out of nowhere and could no longer run from him, he just patted me on the back and asked if I would like to learn from him. The man told me that he could take me away from that city and give me an education that would eclipse even those that would be given to nobles.

 

My accepting his offer was undoubtedly the best decision of my life.

 

The man was called Jonathan Vertet and he told me he was originally from a different world called Eairth or something similar. There he was some sort of mage-scholar called a physicist, but in this world he was an outstanding arch-magus who wielded immense control over the powers of darkness and light and could accomplish things beyond my imagination at the time. He became my teacher and master, and I became his first and only apprentice and student.

 

The man took me in because he saw something in me that was similar to him, the incredibly rare natural gift for the powers of shadow that naturally oriented me to the magic of darkness and light. Unlike him though my magical orientations to darkness and light weren’t as clearly defined and separate as his were, mine were far more mixed, murky, and undefined. Even still it was enough for him to take me under his tutelage and guidance.

 

My new master taught me many things like how to read, calculate with mathematics, forms of alchemy so indepth and advanced they dwarfed the norms of alchemic understanding, and most importantly of all how to use mana to do magic. He even gave me my name, Arkieal, as that was how I misread the first word I saw, architect, when he was teaching me to read. Master Vertet was a man that I respected more than any other, he was powerful, kind, and knowledgeable beyond my imagining.

 

When I grew older he taught me of the gods, but not as one would normally teach of them. Instead my master taught me of the divines and celestia, immortal and eternal beings of unfathomable power that were our gods real identities. My master was something he called a “chosen” of one of these beings and because of this he had special insight into the ways of these divines and celestia. My master warned me to be careful when dealing with these gods, and I soon learned for myself their selfishness and pension for deceit.

 

When I had grown adept at the art of manipulating mana and casting spells, I attempted one of the first things master Vertet taught me. Under his careful observation I pursued one of the most common ways for a mage to achieve immortality, I halted my aging process at the age of twenty four. Now without the constraint of a lifespan, I took time to learn the advanced and inner workings of magic and mana from my master.

 

For over a century I followed my master carefully learning and absorbing all the knowledge he shared with me, and storing that knowledge in countless books and journals. During that time I accompanied my master as he conducted his duties as a chosen of a celestial, something that provided me with plenty of real combat experience and life or death trials to improve myself with. I had taken part in the rise and fall of many different nations and personally aided in the eradication of an entire race of people alongside my master. Under his tutelage and guidance I went through the ranks of magecraft until I reached the status of grand-magus just below my master’s status as an arch-magus. I had reached a point where my master had taught me almost all he knew, and what he hadn’t taught me himself he left me reading material on so that I could research it myself. I was beyond satisfied with my life as it was then, my time as Master Vertet’s apprentice was some of the happiest in my life.

 

And then one day that changed when I awoke to a quiet camp and a dead Master Vertet. That was the last thing that my master taught me, that no matter how immensely powerful and amazing the mage they could still die. Sure it might be harder to kill them than it would a normal mortal person, but there was always a way and no amount of wards, charms, or enchantments could protect someone from everything that could potentially kill them.

 

That day I realized a truth about those who could manipulate the forces of power. I realized that even the most invincible warrior with their vast amounts of animus, the most powerful mage wielding immense amounts of mana, and those masters who chose a mix of both those two paths were still merely mortals in the end. It took very little to kill them if one knew how, something that the purple face of my master’s corpse cemented as gospel in my mind.

 

From that day on I felt like an outsider to the entire world, I didn’t know what my purpose was anymore and I had no one to guide me. For the longest time I had only two real goals: to achieve the same status of rank my master once held, and to gain even more knowledge and power. The pursuit of these two goals lead me to researching, developing, and doing many different things.

 

I did things that were great and helped countless people, and I did things that were truly horrible and lead to immense suffering for others. When I had finally gained power and knowledge surpassing that of what was recorded in master Vertet’s grimoire and killed an arch-magus in a honest magical duel, I finally declared myself an arch-magus even if I had long ago earned and been recognized as being that status of rank. It took me all of four centuries to reach that point in my life, a record time for achieving such a status as a mage.

 

After the moment I acknowledged myself as an arch-magus I decided to settle down and create a home for myself, I was tired of dealing with the world at large and just wanted to research more of the workings and applications of power. As many skilled mages of my level had before I created my own artificial dungeon to be my home, a process that took years of careful research and much trial and error. When I finally succeeded I bound the dungeon core to myself and used more than half all my immense mana pool and all of my rather small pool of non-vital animus to name the dungeon and make the bond between us permanent and unbreakable. I gave it a name in the language of the abyss that meant “unmatched one”, Carnavolti, or Carn for short.

 

For a time I spent time just helping Carn grow large and powerful enough that I wouldn’t have to fear the threats of outside invasion or someone conquering the dungeon and killing Carn. When I felt we had finished with enough to be safe the dungeon had two main parts: an immense tower for me to live in, and a vast dungeon that Carn himself controlled and improved constantly.

 

I spent almost the next half century devoting myself to purely researching and developing forms of magic and power. Carn was my only companion during that whole time, and eventually I felt a longing for more. I had long ago cast away thoughts of romance or relationships of a romantic nature, but I still wished to have some sort of companionship with another person. I ventured out into a city with an active slave trade and market, and there I purchased my first slaves. The two were a young girl and boy of six and five, and I decided that I would raise and teach them much like master Vertet once did for me.

 

The two were my first students, and after I was confident I had taught them enough to be considered and named as grand master mages I gave them their last names as my disciples much like my master once did for me. My own disciple name was Ebon as that was what master Vertet thought best reflected my abilities and showed who taught me, I never did understand how the name Ebon did all that but I was glad to receive the name all the same. The disciple names I had decided to give out were just Ebon followed by the element that this disciple was best with, a simple and clear way to show who their teacher was and what power they had just as custom dictated a disciple name must.

 

After raising and teaching the two, molding them into fine mages and scholars in their own right, I discovered that I truly loved and enjoyed the process. I decided that I would teach and impart my knowledge onto others even as I furthered my own research. There were a few conditions to my teaching others though, I would only take in children who were under the age of fifteen and were largely alone in the world. What race they were didn’t matter to me and I would only take in those that were willing by offering them a choice just as my own master once did for me, this meant I was taking in slaves, orphans, and the poor living off the streets. I never taught more than five at a time as I felt that it would dilute the amount of attention I could devote to each of my students if I had more, and I stuck to a specific style of teaching that was partially inspired by how my own master taught me.

 

I spent most of a student’s early years teaching them to read and calculate, then when they had grasped those things at a basic level of understanding I would also begin to instruct them on the basics of magic and the many uses of mana. When a student was at the level of an adept mage I would take them through the upper levels of Carn’s dungeon for practical applications of what they had learned, as they grew more powerful and confident I would take them deeper and even let them venture in alone. They were never in any mortal danger in the dungeon as Carn made sure that they would never be killed, but otherwise they were at the dungeon’s mercy and Carn could be quite sadistic and cruel when he chose to be. Eventually when a student was at the level of a grand master mage I would give them their disciple name.

 

After I named my students, I sent them out into the world alone to improve themselves using their own power. I only gave them tomes I had written on what my master dubbed “mana theory” and various types of advanced magic to study as a contribution from their master to aid them in their future research, the rest of what my students would need I left for them to acquire on their own using their own power.

 

I taught many students using this method for over three centuries, and my students went on to become great powers in the continent with some being what would be called noble heroes and others what would be called evil fiends. I finally stopped though when one of the students I took in killed the other I was teaching alongside him and attempted to kill me by bypassing my many wards in numerous ways while I was outside of my home. I killed the man with my own hands, something that hurt me greatly as I had raised him since he was a boy of merely twelve. After that I stopped taking in new students and contented myself with advising and teaching those disciples of mine that visited me from time to time.

 

It was also at that moment I felt myself lose the last thing tying me down to this life of mine, and I decided to gain a new start in an entirely new world just as Master Vertet once did. I spent a century of my life working towards that goal.

 

I, with the help of Carn, created what I felt was the perfect new body for my soul to use as a new vessel, fixing many of the flaws we both found with the normal human body. I developed a new dungeon core complete with an entirely new, and thanks to Carn’s fascination with this project, largely improved dungeon will that Carn informed me was female this time. Carn gave the new dungeon core all sorts of information and knowledge it would need as a dungeon and I placed it into a dormant state where it wouldn’t be aware until the time I would awaken the core in my new life. I also curried favor with a divine so that I could have them find a new world that was as similar to this one as possible, something that took well over four decades to do. I did things to my soul that were akin to abuse and torture so that it would enter the body I had prepared the way I wanted it too without any problem, something that stripped me of my immortality and restarted my aging process to an accelerated degree. Most importantly of all though, I made improvements and additions to my grimoire and bound it to this new body and then rebound it to my soul as what I did destroyed most of my bound with the tome. It would need to be bound once again when I started my new life, but that was something I was confident a child could manage.

 

When everything was set and the world was selected, I made a deal with the divine Assur to open a portal to the world in secluded and isolated area, and maintain it there for a day. I went through the portal and found a suitable spot, a small cave inside a large forest that was near enough to civilization that it would take less than a three days travel on foot to reach the nearest village. Inside of the cave I created an intricate and complex seal of pure mana that had mostly a dark affinity and a slight light affinity, this would protect the body, core, and tome I was leaving in it. The pure mana seal itself also had the purpose of flooding the things placed inside it with pure primal mana, insuring that whatever was inside would be blessed with immense talents for darkness, light, or both powers, or at the least would gain unique abilities due to mana corruption and oversaturation. The act of creating the seal to all of the power I had available at the time and then some, I had permanently crippled both my mana and animus pools with its creation and almost killed myself in the process. Even still I felt it was worth it, I had already abandoned my original world and my original life so the vast decrease of power this crippling of my pools cost me was largely irrelevant in my mind.

 

After closing the seal and setting it to open only once my soul entered into the new body as well as to absorb power so it could act as a power source for the naming of the new dungeon will, I returned to the portal to my original world and left the world of Iona behind until the moment of my death and the start of my new life.

 

I had thought I would only survive for a few more decades before the rapid aging and the immense damage I inflected on myself to set up my next life killed me. That probably would have been the case as well, but I had underestimated the feelings of my students. When I told them what I had done and that I was to die soon, they took immediate action. Suddenly I had some of the most influential rulers and most powerful mages as my personal caregivers, and my body and soul were held together by the intricate web of countless interwoven spells, charms, and enchantments. My precious students kept me alive for far longer than I had any right to live by means of their sheer power, knowledge, and force.

 

Some of my strongest students without any major responsibilities such as leading or advising an entire nation moved into the tower with me so that they could better take care of me, a sentiment I appreciated as much as their company. I spent two whole centuries under their care, and in that time I rekindled my love for teaching and lead those six students well into the arch-magus rank of magecraft.

 

And on my 1143rd birthday I told them that if I could gain the hearts and lifeblood of an entire dragon clan, then there would be a way for me to once again use magic at the level I once did. That in itself was true, the deception was that to have any chance of accomplishing such a feat they would need to all go together and it would take them time. Time enough that I thought I could quietly die while they were away and unable to suffer through watching it happen and being unable to do anything to stop it. That of course was yet another underestimation of my students on my part though, and by now I was beginning to realize that my precious disciples were far more capable and powerful than I had given them credit for.

 

In the end I couldn’t tell if the life I had lived was truly an asset to this world. I had been called many things by many people: Good, Evil, Righteous, Despicable, Savior, Slaughterer, Hero, Monster, Friend, Ally, Enemy, Nemesis, Wise, Foolish, Teacher, Student, Thief, Mage, Magus, and Slave. I was some combination of all these things, and in the end I wasn’t sure any of them really mattered to the world at large. I was at one time considered the most powerful mage on this continent, my name was either feared or respected and sometimes it was even both. Yet that was only on this continent and I knew for a fact that there were at least eight others out there in Eserthet where my name was unknown and my power uncertain, I had never left this continent after all, so how could it be any other way? In the end I guess I didn’t mind so much if I was an asset to this world or if I even mattered to it at all really, what I knew for a fact was that I was an important person to my disciples and that they would remember me and spread my name long after I was no longer in this world. I knew that because that is what I myself did for my own master, the man who changed my life in the greatest way imaginable and shaped who I was, Master Jonathan Vertet.

 


 

I felt a voice seep into my thoughts and rouse me from my dreams of the past.

 

They’re here…… (Carn)

 

I blinked to clear my eyes and looked around as best I could only being able to move my eyes to try and find Carn, when I couldn’t find him in the room I assumed he himself didn’t want to see this and had just left. I moved my eyes back to face forward and watched as the grand doors were forced violently open by a group of what appeared to be young men and women. Even though I didn’t want them to see me like this, I couldn’t help the smile that came to my face when I saw them. These disciples of mine were like my own children and I cared deeply for each and every one of them.

 

“You all returned far sooner than I would have expected…” (Arkieal)

 

The woman in the lead with long light brown who appeared to be only sixteen years old but I knew to be well over three hundred spoke first. She was one of the most naturally talented mages I had ever known, and easily one of my most powerful disciples. She was also one of the sad cases where one of my students developed feelings for me beyond those of a student to a teacher or child to a father figure. It always hurt watching their faces as I told a student that there could never be more between us, and it always involved me dredging up unpleasant memories of my first and only marriage.

 

“Master, though I have a feeling we all already know the answer, could you tell us why the tower turned its defenses against us when we returned?” (Lestifae)

 

The next to speak was the tall and fit red haired man who looked to be in his twenties, I could still remember how he used to hang on to every word of the stories I would tell him when he was just a child. I was so proud when he came back to tell me he was a hero now just like the ones I used to tell him stories about.

 

“Teacher, you sent us away because you were close to dying weren’t you…” (Ulik)

 

I looked at the wonderful people my disciples had become and I could almost see the ghost-like images of them as children standing beside each one of them. It was so painful knowing that they were going to see me die, but I was so glad to see them one last time. My only wish now was if all my disciples were here, all together just one last time so that I could see them all once again.

 

How shameless of me to make such a selfish wish here at the end… It’s better that as few of my disciples see me like this as possible, let them remember the strong man who held himself with confidence and self-assurance I was before death came to claim me. Seeing me like this while I’m suffering would just cause them needless pain…

 

I opened my mouth wincing at the pain even that simple movement now caused, and spoke carefully as my mouth began to fill with blood from my now shredded throat and vocal chords. It was incredibly painful for me to speak and probably looked as utterly horrible as it felt to my disciples watching, but if they were here then I would at least let them hear my voice one last time. It was the least I could do, and perhaps I could ease the pain of my death some with this.

 

“Yes, that was exactly what I did. I didn’t want any of you here at the end to see me like… This…” (Arkieal)

 

The next to speak was the black haired woman who was my first student, she looked to be a woman in her early twenties and was just as dear to me as if she were my own flesh and blood. I always tried not to favor my students over one another, but she and her slightly older looking brother next to her were the exceptions to that rule. They were both the incredible children that I raised myself, the first students I ever had and the ones who helped me discover my love for teaching.

 

“Oh master, no… All that blood, master please tell us you still have feeling in your chest. We can fix this if you can still feel at least that much through all the spells…” (Hera)

 

“I am sorry my dear, but I believe I lost feeling everywhere in my body. There really is nothing left you can do, no magic can fix what I’ve done that has accumulated all this time in this body, I doubt even the power of a divine could prolong things at this point.” (Arkieal)

 

…One little white lie shouldn’t hurt. They’ll never know that I can still feel, just that single feeling is a vague but strong overarching pain I can’t seem to locate… That’s just one of the downsides to having so thoroughly damaging one’s internal animus and mana pools, they’ll cause that person immense pain when they do end up dying. I knew that going into this…

 

Hera’s brother, a black haired man who looked to be in his late thirties and held himself like a king dressed in green robes, spoke next as he walked closer to me.

 

“Master, why? If we were here then maybe there would’ve been something that we could’ve done to prevent this…” (Elrick)

 

“Elrick, Hera, you two see what you can do to help master recover! Illsi, you and Dor go see if you can find anything in the alchemy lab that can help keep master’s body from failing any further!” (Lestifae)

 

“…But Lest, we don’t have anything to stop this… Just look at him, master is venting out his power as just ambient mana and animus now. It’s almost like he’s already-…” (Illsi)

 

“DON’T SAY IT!!! Look, he still has the strength to talk so we can still save him, we just need to act now.” (Lestifae)

 

“But Lest, can’t you see that master is-…” (Illsi)

 

“HURRY!!!” (Lestifae)

 

“Illsi, let’s go. Maybe we can find something in the lab after all…” (Dor)

 

I watched with sadness as the large beastkin man and the small woodelf woman left. I could still remember how quiet Dor was as a child, his quietness hid a resolve that was stronger than most kings and he never seemed to grow out of that nature of his even now. Illsi was always such a hopeful and whimsical child even when I had first found her practically starving to death in the slums of a small city, it hurt me in a way I couldn’t believe to see that hope die in her eyes when she looked at me before turning to run off towards the alchemy lab. Since the tower restricted all sorts of teleportation outside of its own system of porting locations there was no way they would have been able to make it back in time even if there was some alchemical solution that could stop this, it would be impossible to cover that much ground on foot in the time I had remaining.

 

Illsi, she already knows there’s nothing left that can save me, her spirit sight can tell better than the others that I’m already a lost cause… Lestifae though is probably in denial, grasping at anything she can think of that has even the smallest remote chance of helping me. This is why I didn’t want them to be here for this…

 

Hera and Elrick were sending waves of healing light through my body, but even with the concentrated general purpose restoration magic they were using they couldn’t stop all the things failing in this dying body of mine. They couldn’t even slow it down or ease any of the pain, I was just too far gone for that now. Soon, the mere fact that they are sending any sort of mana into my body at all will just worsen things and end up hastening my death, and the tearful look on Hera’s face coupled with the frightened look on Elrick’s face told me that they knew that as well.

 

“It’s ok… just stop now… there’s nothing you can do…” (Arkieal)

 

Even saying that hurt more than I thought was possible at this point, I didn’t have much longer now. Mere minutes of life longer was the most I could hope to live at this point, but that was all I would need.

 

“Oh gods, father please, PLEASE don’t speak!!! Elrick, I’m going to try an appeal to a divine, the god Reltok owes me a favor… Just keep father from losing any more blood or power for a few moments…” (Hera)

 

“I’ll do it, I can only promise you a window of two minutes though. Ulik, go check on Illsi and Dor, drag them back here if you have to but just be fast about it! Lestifae, you’re the best one out of us at soulmancy, keep master’s soul from leaving the vessel of this body as best you can. I’m going to cast a holy sacrament of true undeath…” (Elrick)

 

…So Hera still call’s me father out of reflex when she’s nervous… Elrick seems to be better at mastering his emotions under pressure, if not for the waver in his voice and his expression I would think he was calm… Really you two have grown so much, but even with all the changes you’ve gone through some things stay the same as always…

 

I felt more than saw a hand rest on my chest, when was it that my vision had faded away I wonder? Even the pain was growing distant now, but I couldn’t let myself die just yet. There was still one last thing I wanted to say to my disciples.

 

“But I thought you hadn’t mastered that ritual yet, what about the chance of you messing something up and master becoming a lich while you’re casting that? If he did he’d be largely irrational and wouldn’t recognize anything from his life for at least a year given his past power, we’d probably be hard pressed to even work up the will to fight him let alone defeat him like that…” (Lestifae)

 

“I’m willing to take that chance, I’d rather have him become a lich than lose the man who was the only real family my sister and I have ever had forever! Now just hold in his soul, Lest!

 

‘I call upon the forces of death and seek the trial of damnation, let the souls of the holy untold judge my plea and find it-…’” (Elrick)

 

I tried to open my mouth to speak one last time, but it seemed so hard to do that now. There was no feeling that my body was even responding to me anymore, and the sounds I heard were growing fainter by the second. This was probably the end for me, I couldn’t even feel the pain anymore.

 

“…love… you… all… so… happy…” (Arkieal)

 

“I DON’T CARE!!!! I SWEAR TO YOU RELTOK, IF YOU DON’T SAVE THIS MAN MY BROTHER AND I WILL HUNT DOWN ALL YOUR FAITHFUL IN THIS WORLD AND SLAUGHTER THEM!!! JUST-…” (Hera)

 

“-Let the courts of the damned’s judgement be known as truth, and let the dead know not of their death. Let the meaning of end become null and let all of life become sacred in this hallowed ground that I sanctify with my blood and the light of darkness-…” (Elrick)

 

“Oh gods no, please, NO!!! I-I can’t hold onto his soul, I CANT HOLD IN HIS SOUL!!! Oh gods it’s leaving and I can’t do anything… Master Ebon no, please don’t do this to us! I love you too, we all love you! Please don’t leave us like this!!!” (Lestifae)

 

The sounds all faded away, all there was had faded away with it. There was only a voice that sounded at the edge of my mind.

 

Goodbye my dear friend… may you find whatever it is you seek in your next life, and please take care of my daughter… I shall miss you arch-magus Arkieal Ebon, my creator and friend… (Carn)

 

Then there was blacker than pitch darkness colored with faint motes of brilliant shining silver light…

 

 


Carnavolti


 

My friend was gone, I had not wanted to watch him die but even still I felt the moment it happened through our bond. I had never before felt the pain of loss, dungeon’s had no real need for that emotion especially not artificial dungeons created by mages like me, but now I was experiencing a feeling that could only be called that: Loss.

 

I had reappeared next to the throne holding my friend’s corpse and absorbed it into my dungeon before Elrick’s ritual caused the corpse to pervert itself into a soulless undead. These children did not need to experience that, and if they hated me for taking away their chance at giving Arkieal’s body a proper funeral then so be it. I would bare their hatred if it was something that would help them overcome the pain Arkieal so wanted to spare them from.

 

Mortals… they never learn that pain can’t be avoided so long as they still live. Such a foolish idea for such a brilliant man…

 

I thought again on my closest friend’s final moments.

 

Really so very foolish, but now I think I can understand why you wanted them away Arkieal… You wanted to spare them even the smallest bit of this feeling of loss, didn’t you? For such a cruel man you always were unbelievably kind to the children…

 

I looked at the children who had all gathered around the bloodied throne, to me they were strange existences. They didn’t matter to me personally, but because Arkieal cared for them all so much I tried to embrace feelings of a similar nature towards them as well. I had never truly succeeded, but I could at least understand and respect his feelings for them. As such I felt it was my duty to protect these children that Arkieal cared for, all thirty seven of them.

 

And right now there was a pesky divine that was attempting to threaten one of them as she cried over the loss of my friend, I would have to fix that.

 

“-And to think that you, a mortal, had the sheer gall to DARE to threaten me… Oh you will regret that Hera Ebonlight, you will regret that IMMENSELY…” (???)

 

I looked up at the screen that displayed words I’d rather not let any of the children see, luckily they were all still in shock from Arkieal’s death. That meant I still had time to protect them from seeing this.

 

It took a great deal of animus and mana, well over 1,000,000,000,000 of each, but I reached out my hand and had it pass into the screen so that it could grip the throat of the pesky divine that was making veiled threats towards one of the children. Then I let my whole body pass through, it was somewhat painful but since this dungeon lord was a greater abyssal nephilim the pain was more than tolerable for me.

 

I looked at the thin humanoid cloaked in feathers and silk, I’m sure most would find him to be attractive but to me he was only a nuisance that had to be dealt with quickly. I released my hold around the divine’s neck and let him drop onto the grassy ground I now stood on.

 

“H-how? How did you-…” (???)

 

“I’m only going to say this once so I will make it very clear for you to understand. I am one of the children of voids, and that mortal child you just implied harm upon is under my protection. If you intend to do her any harm whatsoever after knowing this then I will kill you and absorb you when I’m done so that you can’t even become a forgotten and will just cease to be.” (Carn)

 

The divine picked himself back up and seem to regain his confidence with an arrogant smirk.

 

“You’re bluffing, a mere fake dungeon like you? You should watch how you speak to me or I might decide to send a chosen to destroy you precious little core… Then I think I’ll send my chosen after that creator of yours that just reincarnated. What was that world? Iona?” (???)

 

I just looked the divine in the eyes, I couldn’t tell if he was serious about what he just said or not. In the end it really didn’t matter, the divine was being a nuisance and I had used far more power creating a link from my dungeon to this plain of existence than I’d wanted to lose.

 

“I see…” (Carn)

 

I shoved my hand deep into the divine’s chest, and began to siphon all the power inside of him and in the immediate area around me which just so happened to be a plain made from this divine’s power. I smiled at the divine’s shocked expression and the pained gurgling noises he made just added to my amusement.

 

“You know I was always curious about how much mana and animus was contained in pure faith, I’ll have to thank you for contributing to my finally finding that mystery out. Don’t worry, my ‘little core’ as you call it is a mile large sphere resting in a floor so large it makes this divine plain of yours seem like a cheap copperette room in a run-down inn, siphoning all of the power out you won’t take me too long or cause me any pain whatsoever…” (Carn)

 

“…H-h-how?” (???)

 

I looked at the dying god impaled on my hand, he had threatened the few things that mattered to me besides my own dungeon.

 

“I am an artificial dungeon created based off the specific and detailed examples of two dungeons my friend and creator managed to find research on during his time journeying with his master. That’s how…” (Carn)

 

As I felt the last of the power from this place and the god stuck on my arm run out, I absorbed his body into myself and watched as the divine plain collapsed in on itself becoming sheer nothingness. I knew that this dungeon lord body would die here, but I didn’t really mind.

 

I gained quite a bit of power from this, I guess a few years of dormancy to recover from the shock of death is worth that… And if I’m not there to explain things to the children it’ll probably be easier for them to hate me and overcome their sadness from Arkieal’s death… That’ll work out perfectly for me… I wonder if this will be enough power for me to finally make a floor the size of an entire world……

 




annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnndddddddddddddd………… that’s it….. i’ll be working on chapter one for this off and on for a while in my free time, but i have no idea when that will be coming out…. also i plan on working on this until the initial “I’m writing a new story….. WEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!” feeling that’s motivating me wears off, then imma go back and finish up ark 2 of volume 1 for D.I….. and after that work on L.Z:I since that hasnt updated in a LOOOOONNNGGGG time and i still have lots of ideas kicking around in my head for that story……

 

editing will happen…… eventually…… probably…… point out any major errors and i’ll get to those….. editing now done…. all nice and readables now…..

 

as always comment, rate, review, follow, favorite, and share…… even if there IS only a prologue out right now….. huh….. well i guess it’s fine if you wait on a few of those things until more chapters are out….. besides i reserve the right to be the first to review this fic!!!

 

…..actually on second thought i don’t think i’ll review this myself until later on……..

 

Author out…….

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