Lost God

Two More to the Grave

Written by Dethnus on 15 Jun 2017 03:34.

Fetona, the only city, is a place of many things: religious devotion, bloody sports, parties, and much more. But underneath the surface lies the dark truth. Sish is a boy who has beaten the odds. He has survived the winters as a homeless orphan and been lucky enough to be picked up by Grave, leader of the Nomads. Where his journey leads him now is up to him. (This is rough, but I'll fix it later on)

Winter had already come to Fetona.

Grave pulled his fur around him, sheltering his front from the cold. The night was pleasant, at least, with the moon shining bright in the sky. It was oddly humorous to Grave how the hooklines crisscrossing between the buildings gave the moon the look of being cracked like glass. It was almost metaphorical to how Fetona routinely broke its own people.

Seal coughed and covered himself in his furs as his father had moments before. “Father,” he squeaked, “Why must we walk? We could have taken the Mist-Roller.” The boy was obviously annoyed that his father had dragged him out of his bedding to trek to his uncle’s estate. “And why does he live in the Lessers?”

“Walking is good for you,” Grave answered, letting his mind wander elsewhere. “And I need to work on getting rid of that idiotic superiority complex you seem to have developed.” This area of Lesser Fetona seemed to be in disrepair, but nothing too serious. Grave would need to assign a diplomat to speak with the Heralds. Infrastructure shouldn’t even be an issue, yet here Grave saw almost deliberate disregard.

They crossed an alleyway as they walked and Grave glanced in on impulse. These places were usually filthy with all the homeless. Grave had attempted to fix the issue by creating business after business and hiring those without homes. He had even succeeded, to a degree, but it was never enough. The Lone City was a cesspool of death covered by a gold lid. There was only so much even a Divine like Grave could do.

Seal noticed his father had stopped walking before even Grave had. “What is it, Father?”

Grave blinked, looking into the alley and trying to find what stood out. Trash was plentiful, of course, but it was the dark forms far back in the dark corridor that took his attention. “Stay here, Seal,” Grave ordered.

Avoiding the bags of trash, empty bottles, torn newspaper, and other objects Grave would rather not know the identity of, Grave made his way towards the little conclave that had been formed by wooden crates and barrels he had not seen before. The moon did not reach this far back. It seemed life didn’t, either.

The forms he had seen were two children, probably not even old enough to choose a name for themselves, who were now devoid of life. Their faces had been eaten away by either cats or rodents, but Grave guessed they had both been boys. Grave bowed his head and sent a quick prayer to the Radiant, then a longer one to the Abyss.

He should have been able to save them. Grave was Divine. He had selected his name to strike fear into his competitors as he climbed into power and even gained control over nearly sixteen percent of Fetona’s markets. Yet all that work, all of the companies he had created – from his line of pubs to his shoe factory – had done naught to curb the death in this city.

These children had died from starvation. Fetona would not feed those who did not work and would not employ anyone they did not see fit. Others died from the Arena of Redemption, from the public executions, disease that were often only in poor areas, and a multitude of other ways. Grave had suspected for a long time that the Lone City had been designed just to continue killing in obscurity. It was disgusting.

A voice caused Grave to look further down the alleyway, past the barrels and wooden crates. There, he saw two more figures. One didn’t move that he saw, but the other was rocking back and forth. Grave rushed over to their side. Mayhaps he had not failed yet.

The still figure – a small girl covered in tattered clothing – he went to first. He checked her pulse and found it weak, but alive. Good, good. Grave removed his coat and began to wrap the girl in it. He could save someone, mother.

“Please, help her…”

Grave looked to the other figure he had seen. It was a boy about Seal’s age, yet smaller than Graves pathetically plump son by far. His face almost concaved at the cheeks and his eyes were that of a madman’s. He spoke again, repeating his words, over and over. But something was off.

Grave looked at the boy’s lap, then to the girl’s lips. Both had blood on them, staining the innocent flesh with the sin of necessity. “Disgusting…”

“It’s alright, Bolen…. It’s alright, Thomat… Kanere will be fine…”

The girl was wrapped in his jacket tightly now, so Grave turned his attention to the boy. If what he suspected was true, he was in the most danger.

“Father?” Seal had wandered back into the alley and seemed disgusted by everything around him. Grave should have never let the other Divines speak to the boy at such a young age. They were all vultures armed with hookblades.

“Go ring the sentry bell.”

Seal glanced at the girl in his father’s jacket and his lips curled up in a sickening grimace. “Father, we should really-“

Grave stood up and grabbed Seal by the cuff of the neck, lifting the defiant fool high into the air. “I’m sorry, did I stutter, boy?” He locked his red eyes onto Seal’s purple ones, daring the boy to continue. “That’s what I thought.” Grave dropped the boy and returned to looking over the homeless child. “Move it. Now.”

Seal’s face radiated anger, but he obeyed and ran out of the alleyway, the sentry bell sounding soon after. He put the boy out of his mind and focused.

As he had suspected, the child had a severed stump just below the leg. However, Grave had not expected the boy to have tied a rope tightly just above the area and even – somehow – have the open wound cauterized. Grave covered the burnt flesh once more, thanking the Abyss for not taking this one.

Grave sat before the boy. “Why?”

The boy smiled sadly. “Is she going to live?”

The girl was looking a little better inside Grave’s fur. “So it seems.”

His eyes lighting up, the boy laughed weakly. “Good. So good.”

On an impulse, Grave reached out with his Will and tried to make the boy at ease. He nearly jumped when his Will was rejected. That was impossible, though! Grave tried again, but with the same result. No, not even Divines could simply reject a Divine’s Will. And here sat a homeless boy who could do so entirely.

“What’s your name, boy?” Grave asked, the cogs in his mind turning once more to an old idea.

“Sish.” He looked at his friend – Kanere, or so Grave assumed – and smiled.

“Do you hate this city?”

Sish glanced at the two dead boys between them and the street and then stared at Grave for a moment, eyes studying the Divine before him. Grave found that Sish had another unique trait; his irises were black. He had thought it a trick of the light, but no, this boy had eyes of the Abyss itself.

“Yes.”

Grave nodded. “Then help me destroy it down to the very core,” He told the boy.

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