Written by: Epicstu Wyvernwriter
Victor Wares opened the locked doors to the Hall of Wyvern Charms. He did not make a habit of checking the hall unless a Wyvern Knight was there to claim a Charm. However, something did not feel right at the time and Victor Wares never ignored his own paranoia if he could help it. He closed and locked the doors behind him and took a look around at all the unclaimed charms, each one equally as unique as the next. “So many jobs still left unfilled,” he sighed. “Hold on,” he reached for a high shelf that was meant to be empty and found a Charm he had not seen in a long time. “Lucy?” he said with a frown. “What happened to you?” Suddenly another Charm appeared on the same shelf before Victor’s very eyes, “No, no, no, not you too, Gloria.” Victor Wares rushed out of the Hall of Wyvern Charms, closing and locking the doors behind him. He rushed to the elevator, taking it all the way to the bridge, “Look alive people!” he ordered as he entered the bridge and took a seat in the captain’s chair. There was no one else on the bridge, yet the ship responded to Victor’s command as though there was a lively crew aboard. “Maintenance!”
The Wyvern of Commerce flew to its master, “Where to, Boss?”
“Go and see the Wyvernwriter,” Victor Ordered, “Tell him Death and Famine have been compromised. I’m going to go grab War and Strife before whoever is behind all of this gets to them too.”
Maintenance wasted no time, slipping out of the realm and into the Void. Only Wyverns and those blessed by them could travel its vast emptiness. Interplanal Craft of all shapes and sizes from an ancient time before the multiverse also existed. Though there were not many of them left.
“How are our vitals, Old Girl?” Victor asked. In response, the massive cruiser’s interplanal drives powered up as the engines separated and the bridge’s console lit up all around him. “B. E. A. Utiful,” Victor’s smile was as a sideways crescent moon. He cracked his knuckles, “Punch it.” With that, the cruiser slipped into the Void.
A winged serpent with a body of Hellfire and stone on wings of Heavenlightning and metal flew at Edward Dimir. It’s, ram-like, head positioned for the coming impact. Edward quickly moved out of the Wyvern’s path and with a battle cry swung Deceit, clashing her blade with the Wyvern’s horns. The Wyvern kept flying past as Deceit’s blade scraping across its side, as Edward stood his ground. Then the Wyvern flew above the clouds and disappeared. Heaven’s lightning stormed the skies as Hell’s fire scorched the lands. The Wyvern reappeared and came back down, riding Heaven’s lightning, as Hell’s fire whirled around Edward like a tornado. The two opposites clashed unleashing their full combined power upon Edward and Zesrial.
“Do you know why Deceit requires both Heaven and Hell to Exist?” The Wyvern of Deceit questioned his future successor. “Free will is a privilege that was given by Heaven and Hell is a product of that free will. For free will allows one to choose their path, even if that path is wrong. Without this ability to choose, how can one deceive? This is why you are here. Hell cannot be deceived, for it is a judge and a prison. Heaven knows all that ever was and ever shall be, for it is the birthplace of all creation.” The Wyvern whirled around them like a mighty storm. Edward held Zesrial, stabbed blade first, into the ground before him. The two held their ground with faith in one another that they would pull through, together. “But the Hell of this multiverse was not forged by the free will granted by our Wyvernwriter,” the Wyvern of Deceit continued. “It was forged for one and was constructed around him. This is the one whom you were created for and the one whom you must be able to survive. Therefore I will not grant you my full power until you have met him and have chosen this eternity for yourselves.” The Wyvern let go of Edward and Zesrial, sending them both to Hell.
Overlooking the fiery wastes of Hell, the Wyvern Knight of Frozen and Ashe stood up from his throne. He watched as a Northlandish Fennec Fox of Hellfire and stone, wielding a sword of Heavenlightning and metal, fell to the ground before him. “Edward and Zesrial, I assume.”
Edward got up slowly, rubbing his lower back. “I’m gonna feel that later,” he muttered under his breath. “Yeah, that’s us. Who are you?”
“I am Satan, the current warden of Hell,” the Wyvern Knight of Frozen and Ashe replied. “You may call me the Devil if you like.” He walked over to a large set of reinforced doors and pulled some keys from his pocket. “Well come on now, we do not have all of eternity.”
Edward followed the Devil through the door and the Devil closed and locked it behind them. The room began to lower. “This elevator is the only way in or out of the three circles of Hell that do not exist. One circle you and your sword were forged in and another is where the Deceiver is held.”
“What about the third?” asked Zesrial.
“I’m afraid that’s above your pay grade, angel.” The Devil scoffed as the doors opened again. “Here we are, please watch your step.” He locked the doors behind them and then flipped through his keys to find the one for the next door. “Behind this door is something more impossible than anything that can be conceived,” he said as he unlocked the door and opened it. Inside was a cube, suspended in empty space. “Go on now,” he urged as he pushed Edward into the doorway and then closed and locked the door behind them.
“I guess we’re on our own for this,” said Zesrial.
Edward looked at the door behind him and then to the cube before him. “It’s small, I could fit it in the palm of my hand.”
“Imagine living in here,” a charismatic voice echoed through the circle. “I know right. phenomenal cosmic power! Itty bitty living space,” the voice laughed. “I’ll be out soon though. Who are you anyway?” The voice asked. “Wait, don’t tell me. You are Deceit, the Wyvern Knight prophesied to stop me. Are you not? I wish I could see you. It would be nice to size up my future rival.”
“Why are you in here?” Edward asked the voice within the cube.
“Because I want only one of two things,” the voice replied. “The Wyvernwriter refused me one and denied me the other.” There was no deceit in the Deceiver’s words.
“Why do you want such things,” Edward asked.
Sadistic laughter filled the circle and Edward could feel his very reality shift in ways he never could have imagined. “Ask the Wyvernwriter,” the Deceiver replied.
The doors opened again and twin daggers entered the room, one cold and one hot. The daggers, each attached to a chain, wrapped around Edward and pulled him out. “Alright, now that you’ve met the Deceiver it is time for you to meet the Wyvernwriter.” Said the Devil as he closed and locked the doors behind them. “From there you may choose to accept the job offer and be knighted,” he explained as they took the elevator back to the first circle of Hell. “If you do, I will lose my hold on the Deceiver and he will be free to escape at his leisure. I’d suggest leaving him here but he will escape eventually regardless and there is no point in waiting for that to happen.” The doors opened again and closed behind them as they left. “Do you see the stairs?” Edward looked to where Satan was pointing and saw a golden staircase off in the distance. “That is the Stairway to Heaven. Fair warning, it’s about an eight-minute climb, but well worth the trip. Good music too”
As Edward walked towards the Stairway to Heaven, he could hear the Devil whistle a toon. As he took his first step up the stairs the whistle became an instrument of strings. The instrument played a song that lasted the entire climb. The stairway was beautiful and seemed to lift Edward’s spirits.
“I love this song,” said Zesrial. “Classic.”
At the top of the Stairway to Heaven was an Angel wielding the instrument that played the song they had heard. The Angel said nothing and simply pointed to a large gate directly behind him. Edward walked to the gate and it opened for him. Inside was a massive walled in city and everyone in it was standing on either side of the main road as if waiting for someone of importance to walk through. Then the citizens began to cheer, but Edward could not hear them. He had blocked them out as he thought of what he was about to do. This was all so much and now that he understood his purpose he questioned if he was the right person for the job. He looked around at all the people who cheered. All walks of life, even some Northlandish Fennecs were among them. Looking for anyone he knew never entered his mind. He just kept walking forward towards the tower in the center of the city.
“Hey there son,” said a familiar voice. “Down here.”
Edward looked down and saw a Westland Fennec he thought he’d never see again. “Father?”
Kalvin Dimir shushed his son, “We can catch up another time. When Time shows up that is,” he chuckled. “Now go and know that no matter what you choose, I will always be proud of you.”
“I know,” Edward said with a smile before bowing to his father. Then he entered the tower. The inside of the tower was empty and dark. A blue light appeared, beckoning Edward to follow and so he did. Then the blue light disappeared and Edward saw the same black Sabertooth Cat with emerald green, pupil-less, eyes that he met at the top of Mount Conquest all those years ago.
“Hello Edward.” said the cat. Before Edward could say anything in response, a rush of water came from behind and flew through and around him before diving into the cat that levitated in front of him. It was a Wyvern. Like a blue stingray over black fur, the blue Wyvern flowed through the cat as though they were both made of water. “I am Epicstu,” the Wyvernwriter’s voice echoed through the endless space within the tower. “Edward Michael Dimir. Zesrial, do you accept the role of Deceit?” he asked them. “By doing so you also accept all responsibility not only for the Deceiver but also for all deception within this Multiverse. Also, the two of you have to spend the rest of eternity together.”
“I do.” Edward and Zesrial replied in unison, surprising one another through doing so.
“Good,” the Wyvernwriter’s expression suddenly became stern. “Victor’s already got a job for you.”
“What are my orders?” Asked Edward.
“Our orders,” Zesrial insisted.
“Someone is hunting the Four Horsemen,” the Wyvernwriter replied.
“You mean the apocalypse?” Edward asked.
Epicstu hung his head low, “Whomever it is… He’s already taken Death and Famine.” He looked Edward in the eye, “If he is not stopped he will become the apocalypse, this can not happen. Find him and end him”
Edward thought for a second, “where do I go?”
“You have a Wyvern Blade,” the Wyvernwriter replied. “I suggest you make use of it. Your jumps are predetermined.”
Edward held Zesrial and examined her, “do you want me to do the first one?” Asked Zesrial. “So you know how to?” Edward nodded as she sliced open a portal. “Just jump right in.” Edward did as Zesrial instructed and jumped into the Void. It felt good to have to learn a few new things again.