The Devil's King

False Prophet on True Ears

Intro

Preface

The Land of Sil was once considered a peaceful place. It had all of the problems one would expect from a society of Humans with nothing better to do, like unfair wages and divides between young and old generations debating who lived their lives in a more superior fashion. There was no war, no unfair poverty line, and no horrible dominion forcing themselves upon the world. In fact, the King was a King, if there ever was a King. For many years He had brought an unparallelled time of peace and prosperity to Sil. He was always clever and ethical in His Rule and he worked hard for his people, often denying servant assistance and even working the fields in the bad seasons when famine threatened His citizens. Because of this golden era, the King had garnered a large amount of trust from those under his rule. The King had been toiling away with the latest of problems that had arisen in the last three years, and there was no clear solution. A plague had been decimating the citizens of his land, with terrible ailments and no progress for a cure had been achieved. He had been seeking advice from a previously unknown Prophet when his two year-old son had contracted the illness as well.

The Prophet claimed knowledge of the illness and how to permanently rid it from the kingdom with miracle. It involved a ritual of suffering to persuade the gods. A ritual that would convince the gods that the world will be balanced if the same amount of pain bared on the many naturally could be placed on the few unnaturally. To do that, The King would need to take the life of His own son, forsaking him from ever being healed. The King could not bear the thought to be the cause of his son’s murder, and He searched for an alternative. Any alternative. As the weeks went by, He didn’t come any closer to a solution, but His son got sicker still. He knew He was running out of time. He knew soon there would be nothing He could do at all.

That final night was a silent one. The King had run out of options; he needed to perform the ritual. He called The Prophet to his throne and had His guards relieved. He asked what He would need to perform the ritual. The Prophet told him that He only need his son, wife, and some chalk. After a moment of hesitation, he willed himself up the stairs to bring His son and a confused wife down the chamber.

The wife spoke, “Why are you insisting that we come down here at this time of night? And with our child, what’s gotten into you?”

“I need you to give me Ivan” said The King.

“What are you talking about, you’re scaring me!”

“DO NOT FIGHT ME ON THIS LARA!”

“The King is going to rid the kingdom of it’s illness, your highness” interrupted The Prophet.

The queen looked at her King and He nodded. As she handed Ivan to The King He gave her a meaningful look. He turned his back to her and stood where the center of the chalk drawing was, and placed his son on the cold brick floor. The Prophet gestured The King to approach him. Beneath his cloak was an ornamental knife and a strange powder. He handed the items to The King and said, “First you must draw the blood of those to be affected”.

The King stepped towards his wife and looked her in the eyes one last time, and sliced her hand, and then His own. He then turned back to The Prophet and asked through gritted teeth and tears in His eyes, “Are you sure this is the only way? Do I have to do this?”

“Only if you wish to save your kingdom from certain death, sire” he said. “Now, I need you to approach your son”. The King did so and stood there with his face hidden by the shadows, hands shaking. “Good. Now take the powder and throw it up in the air where you stand”. The King obeyed and the air was sapped of its sound somehow. The next words that where spoken where too cruel to be silenced however. “Next, plunge your knife into the child’s abdomen”.

With tears running down His face, He took a shuddering breath and did the unthinkable. The torch flames burst upward and turned into a shade of purple. The tower began to shake and a solid ray of light broke through the ceiling and fixed itself directly where The King stood. The King suddenly felt an unimaginable power flow through Him. He could feel the world become tiny, and then He felt as if His soul was on fire. The flames of the pain and misery that had run through Him and began to devour Him. He called out to The Prophet, “What have you done!? I thought we where supposed to create a miracle!”

“You will certainly have the power to perform miracles, sire, but you have destroyed your own humanity, and now you will be reborn in the flames of your suffering! You will become a god, you will become the being that haunts the world for all of eternity!”

No I-I can’t…" said The King, but he can feel the flames swelling inside of him. Soon He found it hard to think. Hard to worry about His wife. Hard to want to save His kingdom. Hard to mourn his son. All was sorrow, and He was drowning. He was drowning. All He could feel was hatred. All He wanted was to make more people suffer.

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