Siya Neijar’s armies returned victorious to Aladoon and his name was exalted to rival the Aratsu’s. But not all praised the invincible warlord. Various rumors spoke of him finding underground cults held secret for centuries, unearthing magical wonders from when the world was young, keeping the best of treasures for himself and storing them in remote caves in the wild frontier, making shady deals with the false god Suknuru, and withholding important information from the Empire. They were all true, but it mattered not, for the leading Priestesses fawned over him and pampered him like a King. Siya Neijar was accorded the highest honors and exploited the tension between Priestesses who competed for his affections to his own ends.
in retrospect he saw how empty his victories were. Though he had
achieved everything any man could ever hope for, his life was
devoid of purpose and vitality. Neijar’s thoughts were drifting
back to the dank and dark times in the Annukai jungles when
Aruwana was still by his side. What did it profit a man to gain
the world, but lose the sole thing in it that mattered? He had
murdered the only thing he ever loved with his own hands, the only
thing that managed for that brief while to breathe wonder and
meaning into his life. Even now, seated in the lap of luxury, the
last words of his only friend still haunted him: “Why?” Was it
really worth it?
While the Tashari rejoiced, thousands wept over their lost lands and loved ones. In the thrill of battle he had trampled over and destroyed everything someone found beautiful in the world. Truly he was the son of the god of war, and had brought glory to Siyanna’s mighty Empire, but he was also a monster. A divine monster, no less; a sacred instrument of the gods used to manifest their will on earth. As such, a god-child was destined to be alone forever, and anyone that tried to get close to him would suffer the same fate as Aruwana. The gods could not afford to lose such a critical pawn in their plans: he was much too important and much too powerful to be allowed the privilege of free will.
Neijar’s guilt over Aruwana’s death only festered and grew, that single event putting into perspective the inevitable pointlessness of his wretched existence. His mind degenerated into a state of entropic apathy towards anything except his hatred for himself, hatred for the gods, and hatred for the world they used him to create. But most of all, he hated the divine plan that they called destiny, and decided to make it his life’s purpose to challenge it. Neijar vowed to never allow them to use him in their schemes again.
He went up the
highest tower in Aladoon and took the godsword Tessara from its
pedestal. Being of divine blood himself, he was able to touch the
god metal and, as far as he knew, it may be the only thing that
could kill him. As a final act of defiance, he pointed the weapon
at the night sky, and then impaled himself on its blade. For the
first time in history Aladoon's Second Sun shone blood red. Truly
it was the most obnoxious way to go, for when the Priestesses
found him the next morning they were powerless to clean up the
mess and had to pray for three days to have Siyanna come and
handle the god metal herself.
Copyright © 2003 by Yumeni