The Knight fell to his knees; his sword and shield falling beside him. The girl pleaded with him as the battle raged with ferocity all around them.

Please! We can win! Please don’t give up!

The Knight had grown weary as his strength was being sapped from him by the Lord of Nightmares. He had tried to fulfill his purpose for being, but the evil had grown in power. The girl stayed by his side begging for him to stand back up.

It’s not over! We can still win!

Worn and broken, the Knight reached down at the ground, grasping his sword with what little strength he had left. He lifted his arm, offering it to the girl. Reluctant, hesitating, she took the blade from him and in doing so, it seemed, accepting the horrific truth that this gesture implied. She held the knight’s sword, tears welling up in her eyes as he struggled to stand up. Staring off in the distance, he watched as Eribus violently slashed his way through the people of Travance.

His heart fell in despair, “This is it. I failed. This is where I die… again.”

His body began to fade into nothing as the girl could only look on in dread with no way to help her imagined hero. And with a wave of shadowed energy emanating from the Lord of Nightmares, darkness enveloped and claimed the battlefield.

*      *      *      *      *


Something in the darkness near the great obsidian spire stirred. The demons who lived within the blackest shadows of the Abyss fled in terror from something even they feared. Eribus, demon of the Zar’ilmask Council, had returned to his seat, stronger than before. The Knight of Dreams was dead, his prison was destroyed and the town that tried to stop him crumbled under his might. Eribus sat upon his magnificently carved stone chair watching the minds of the unconscious enemies he just battled through an amethyst orb.

His raspy voice echoed through the chamber and into the minds of the mortals, “Failure. Despair. Feel the emptiness in your heart. Feel the change in your being. Terror will consume you.”

With a wave of his hand the orb pulsed with a dark energy.

*      *      *      *      *


The girl sat in a crowded room, peasant and hero alike dancing and singing with revelry as if nothing happened; as if they had not lost the battle against the Lord of Nightmares. They danced and sang as if a legend did not just die and only she felt the weight on her heart.

She dragged her body, each step feeling like the last step she would ever take, over to the table where the Knight of Dreams had placed the storybook he wrote. Carefully and longingly she flipped through the pages, each one reminding her of their failure. Tears fell from her eyes until she reached the end of the book, discovering a page she hadn’t read before. A page he promised to write for her. She smiled as the last words he wrote echoed with his voice in her mind.

This will be my final task to you
I hope you succeed...

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"Never fear death... fear a wasted life."

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