PART ONE: THE EMPEROR’S CHALLENGE
The Dark World continued to descend into chaos reminiscent of the dark days that had distinguished it as one of the darkest Timelines in Reality. Under the rule of the Crimson Emperor Brodus, witch folk and were-cats had turned the tables against the fair folk that had enslaved them for decades, getting revenge on their former tormentors ferociously…
Public Executions had become common place with the harsh verdicts handed down from the former slaves being enforced by the Emperor’s Guard. The Monarch’s Hand that had once been the top security agency in the Timeline under the rule of the Monarch, had been subsequently disbanded and each member faced the worst of the public lynching.
Additionally, the monstrous golems that had once served the Monarch and by extension, the Monarch’s Hand were used by the Crimson Emperor himself to further heighten the despair all fair-folk and all who opposed him felt. The monsters seemed all the more fierce then than they had ever been, an intended effect the Emperor wanted in his newly acquired Timeline. Lastly, the inexplicable disappearances that had marked the beginning of the end for witch-folk and were-cats alike began but none dared question the Emperor.
Added to the strange occurrences in the Dark World , a mysterious new species of trees began to sprout all across the Magical Realm particularly in scenes where there had been great violence and the very appearance of the trees was enough to inspire dread and terror for all who encountered it.
However, although the Dark World continuously descended into doom and gloom, the Dark Pillars that had been erected in Felicia had mysteriously come tumbling down one evening, a sign to the forces of good that they could count on the Divine Intervention of the Creator to defeat the Crimson Emperor. Furthermore, Oracle Zuri had been reached and she had a solid plan to take down the Crimson Emperor as was her destiny…
Following these hopeful developments, the Savior of the Dark World and its Oracle, Imani and Emica, and their Protectors, Aerlin and Nobu, were teleported to the Magical Realm Country of Terra Sapienta by King Ember in order to play their respective parts in ending the war against the self-declared Master of Hell.
They thanked King Ember who then retreated to the Dyson Sphere, at the ready to pull them towards safety in case they needed him. Immediately afterwards, Imani clasped her hands together in prayer and shut her eyes, her lips quivering even as she mumbled the prayer.
Emica placed a reassuring hand on Imani’s shoulder knowing that Imani was more frightened than usual considering that in her previous life, the Savior had died at their next stop- the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Shrine that housed the famous Pillars of Creation. The Pillars were protected behind three Fortified Walls each further reinforced with potent Magical Enchantments.
After the hastily mumbled prayer was complete, Imani smiled feebly then nodded and willed for all four of them to be transported to the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Shrine. However, as had been assumed earlier by both the Savior and Oracle Emica, the Enchantments only allowed the Oracle and her Protector to travel as far as across two of the three Fortified walls. Only Imani and Aerlin made it to the Sanctum Sanctorum where the Pillars were.
Imani shook uncontrollably as she recalled the night she died facing off against the evil one. During the fateful night of her demise, the evil one had overcome the magical protections of the Shrine and though in her previous life Imani had fought valiantly, she had ultimately failed in defeating the great evil of her day. It emerged then when faced with the potent threat posed by the Crimson Emperor that Imani was uncertain whether she could make the same sacrifice she had in her previous life- to give her life for the cause…
Several moments of silence passed before Aerlin sighed deeply and mused, “I am sorry Char, but I really hate being here. I know it is meant to be a holy place and all but it is where I lost you the first time and I… don’t know if I can go through that again.” He wrapped his arms around Imani’s waist and did not let go.
Imani shrugged her shoulders feebly in response to her Protector’s words and instead stared blankly at the Mystic energies swirling at the Pillars of Creation, forgetting about everything else just for a few moments including the feel of her Protector’s arms around her waist.
The energies contained within the Pillars told the tale of just how deeply rooted the evil that afflicted the Timeline was and her faith wavered as she wondered whether the forces of good were truly a match for the forces of evil present in that world. She got lost in the flow of the energies at the Pillars, eventually falling into a deep trance.
“Imani, it will be okay. I know that I am the last person who would turn to faith in this situation but I believe that Oracle Zuri will defeat Brodus. I am certain of it,” Emica stated after another prolonged period of silence.
Imani did not respond to the Oracle even after she had been directly addressed and a worried Aerlin, out of concern for his charge, let go of her and turned her around to face him. Imani’s eyes were blanked out and nothing he said or did brought her back.
“Oracle Emica, Imani is in a trance,” Aerlin informed her.
“A trance? Well, I guess we should just wait for her to come back. She is probably going to give us some meaningful insight that will help us win,” Emica stated.
After a while, Imani began to speak incoherently but said nothing noteworthy for a long time. Emica sat down at one of the benches at the Second Sanctum of the Shrine with Nobu sitting right besides her as they waited for Imani to say something coherent but soon, Emica gasped as she had a vision of her former Masters being lynched by an angry mob.
“Emica, what’s wrong?”
“We have to go now!” she responded with urgency.
“Go where? Aren’t we waiting for Imani?” Nobu asked worriedly.
“My Masters are going to be executed. I have to save them,”
“Emica, that is far too dangerous,”
“And what is the alternative? Should I let my Masters die?” Emica asked Nobu impatiently.
“You know the plan, Emica. We wait for the Savior’s signal. We will leave the rest to Zuri,”
Emica sighed and walked out of the Second Sanctum and then out to the Outer Sanctum, with Nobu following behind her frantically.
“I cannot leave my Masters to die like dogs. I am going to save them,”
“How are you going to do that, Emica? Think about it- getting to them is not exactly a cake walk. You’re just going to get yourself captured or worse… Please Emica, I beg you to see reason-“
“This world forgot its sense of reasoning. Those people don’t care about my Masters’ true nature so to expect me to reason and leave their fate up to a mob… I cannot do that,”
Nothing Nobu said to Emica got through to her and so he tagged along with her as she willed herself to appear before the crowds that had captured Alradius and his mate, Catania among other fair-folk captives. The crowd had already acquired the cruel means of execution- via one of the few means that could kill fair-folk effectively- were-cat venom.
The crowds had already executed several other captured fair-folk via their lethal injections and those that remained had witnessed in horror as the fair-folk captured painfully succumbed to the venom in slow, torturous minutes and they trembled in fear. Catania wept as she and her mate were next to face the needle.
“Stop!” Emica bellowed in authority powerful enough to get through to the mobs momentarily.
“Who the hell are you?” asked the leader of the Public Executions.
“I am the Oracle of this world, Emica,” she stated with conviction. Soon enough, a light beam shown directly from the Heavens to Emica and Nobu and transforming their clothing into their unmistakable traditional ensembles, stamping the authenticity of her words with undeniable authority.
The crowds stared in awe at them before they one by one began to bow in reverence, all except for the Emperor’s Guard. Soon afterwards, a portal opened and Emica and Nobu were faced by the Crimson Emperor himself who had a smirk stretching from ear to ear.
“Well, well, look what we have here… Hmm…You are not the Oracle I expected but you’ll do for now,” Brodus stated.
TO BE CONTINUED…
What shall become of Oracle Emica and her Protector now that the Emperor is onto them? Shall Imani break out of her trance and if so, what shall it yield? Stay tuned to find out. Links to previous parts associated with this are linked below. Enjoy!