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So It Had Come (Short Story)
So it had come, the dawn of a new day. And with that day, yet another hunt, more along the lines of a bounty, a much diminished task when compared to what he had done in the past, though same in method and execution. At least it was, in that regard, similar. As before he had come upon a village in need of a particular service, that which was in the realm of an Exorcism but required a more physical solution, rather than prayers, spells, or chants used to ward off incorporeal threats. When these otherwise incorporeal, often harmless spirits became twisted in nature and took physical form it had always been those of his profession to deal with the threat. In his native land they were called Tajiya, exterminators.
But that time was long ago, and his native land left far behind him. Indeed it was quite literally a whole world away from him now. Now he prepared for his current job, exterminating yet another demon, not the most challenging of quarry, easy at best. He wore little in the way of armor, save for strips of material wrapped around him just above his mid-section and part of his chest, and loose fitting, black robes. A few minutes were spent donning a pair of leather boots, securing them to his feet. He then stood, donning a cloak, black as was the rest of his clothing. With the cowl of his cloak pulled low he slipped out of the structure in which he had stayed the night previous, seen in these early hours of dawn by very few.
Emerald green eyes gazed out from under the cloak, his vision ever so often obscured by a strand of hair, silvery in color, shoulder length and currently tied back behind him. One of the aforementioned few to have witnessed his leaving for the forest that surrounded the village swore that once he had passed, they had found a feather of the purest white upon the ground in his wake, and that after a time, once they had picked it up, had dissipated, leaving a behind a benevolent aura. Though none would engage the stranger in this matter, as not only was a good presence felt, but so was another, seething like an enraged serpent ready to strike.
Soon he had arrived at the place where this entity was said to have been appearing, and so he waited, standing in silence. It was then that he heard a voice in his native tongue, greeting him. “Hello, Rathiel. I had almost given hope that you’d show up today. It’s been far too long since I’ve had a chance to try and kill you.” The entity emerged from a darker part of the forest, one that was dressed in attire similar to his, though colored crimson. Unlike his cloak, however, the cowl was pulled back, this one wished to hide nothing. Emerald eyes stared back at Emerald eyes as he replied back, pulling back the cowl of his cloak as well. “Indeed it has, brother.”
Rathiel said something under his breath, barely audible, after which a gigantic scythe appeared in his right hand. The handle was around eight foot long, attached to the curved blade at the end. The metal had a blue sheen to it, giving the blade of the weapon an unearthly look. Almost immediately as it appeared he grasped the handle with both hands, holding the weapon horizontally, up and away from him, blocking his opponent’s first attack, an overhead slash with a single katana. His opponent disappeared, wind gusting all about as he reappeared, slashing at where he had expected Rathiel to be. Rathiel was gone from the spot, utilizing the very same ability to appear next to his opponent, attacking him with a deadly, diagonal sweep of his scythe. “I’m faster than you, Raven.”
He managed to step back and away just enough so that he avoided the curved blade as it passed by him like the claw of a bird of prey, reaching out as it passed to rend his flesh. He took a few more steps back, drawing a second katana and taking a defensive stance. “You’ve always underestimated me, brother, you and everyone else. It’s time I change that. This time...I pay you back for what you did, for killing her...” Raven spoke of his wife, whom, in another bout with her unstable personality had tried to attack him. Rathiel had stepped in and killed her before Raven had even had a chance to save her. Even as the centuries passed by he still hadn’t forgiven Rathiel for it.
Thus was the reason they had fought across multiple worlds, Raven most of the time was pursuing Rathiel, though sometimes it had been the other way around, depending on Raven’s method of instigating a fight.
Rathiel simply stared at him with a tired expression. He sighed, twirled his scythe over once with his right hand, and slammed it blade end into the ground, leaving the weapon stuck in place. “What point is there, killing you or killing me produces no great change. Kill me, and I will just as well return, and if I kill you, I know you will as well, in order to gain another chance at defeating me.” He let go of the handle eventually, stepping towards Raven and away from his weapon.
Raven stepped back as Rathiel stepped forwards, keeping his defenses up. “The truth is, Rathiel...” He stopped moving, standing his ground. “I don’t really care. Not for your logic, not for anything beyond what is now. Neither for what will be, nor for anything that has already come to pass. Do not mistake me for you, brother.” He rushed forward at Rathiel, attempting to slice at him diagonally from his shoulder to his waist with both blades at once.
Rathiel didn’t seem impressed. He threw up one hand, a blue, translucent wall of energy appeared in front of him stopping the attack and deflecting his blades out to the side. The barrier disappeared as Raven stumbled forward, Rathiel grabbing him by the shoulder as he stepped to the side, kneeing him in the stomach and letting go of him. Raven dropped one of his swords. Rathiel brought one foot up and over Raven as he still hunched over, recovering from the first hit. He brought the heel of his foot down on his back in an axe kick, slamming Raven flat into the ground as he lost his other blade, and holding him down with that one foot that he had struck him down with.
“I told you, I’m faster than you, Raven.” He stepped back, taking his foot off of Raven, whom scrambled for his weapons, jumping back to his feet. He looked as if he might attempt to attack again, but seemed to thing better of it, sheathing both of the weapons he had drawn.
“If all you’re going to do is talk, Rathiel, then I have no reason to be here.” He shook his head. “Nothing but a complete bore...if you’re not going to truly fight me, than it isn’t worth all this trouble...If I’m going to pay you back it has to be when you’re at your best, when you have that oh so strong killing intent, the kind that was so easy to call upon when you killed her...” Once more he disappeared, accompanied by another sudden torrent of wind.
Rathiel turned away, going back for his scythe. He grasped the handle, lifting it back up and pulling the blade free from the ground, holding it upright before it completely vanished. He pulled his cloak around him tight, pulling the cowl of his cloak back over his head. He then turned back towards the village, to the east, in the direction of the rising sun. Yet another bout between the two brothers had come and gone as it had been for centuries now, hence his having grown tired of the ordeal now. As he strode back from where he came he observed the dawn. So it had come, and so it would pass.
This takes place before my first hub here involving Rathiel, by about a few centuries, as he's still doing the job he always has, but at the same time he hasn't started to question everything as in my first hub involving him. I still have quite a bit more involving him and his family, so let me know if you'd like to see more, or have any questions about him thus far.