Sword of Eternal Peace Chapter 2- The Price of Peace
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Sword of Eternal Peace
Haven't read Chapter 1? Click the link below.
Chapter 2- The Price of Peace
“If you wish your pernicious god brought down, the blade must taste no blood but yours until the deed is done. Should it sample even a drop, it will never heed your wishes again.” Those were the Demorik’s last instructions as Narena left its prison lair.
It seemed like a simple enough matter to remedy. Narena prepared a scabbard to contain the blade until needed. But holding Hunger in her hand, Narena understood why even this part of the Demorik’s gift exacted a price. She intended to sheathe the weapon if only to free herself from the feeling of it. Hunger refused. Like her desire to kill Breln, this hunger would never sleep. It wouldn’t be put away by even its creator.
The trial ahead became apparent as the sword's true nature revealed itself. This wasn’t a weapon Narena could wield against the god. It was a wild, destructive force she must contain long enough to reach its target.
Reach Breln, and her task would be complete. Then she could simply stop fighting Hunger and let it consume. But the sword’s defiant nature and constant hunger made the journey to Breln’s temple much more difficult.
The new god’s temple defiled the center of Paroma where the lord’s manor once stood. Narena originally planned to disguise herself and work her way through the streets with the fewest guards and faithful. But no amount of costuming could disguise Hunger. A sword alone would draw attention, but Hunger emanated with its need. There would be no hiding her intent this day.
A faction among the populace supported their new god despite the atrocities he committed daily. And there was very little chance she could approach Breln armed without facing resistance. If challenged with violence, Narena knew it would be difficult to restrain the weapon. And the closer she got to the temple, the more sycophants she would encounter.
Narena could already feel Hunger’s craving for blood stirring. Despite all it had consumed in the forging, its appetite had only just been whet. There were other preparations she planned to make before leaving, but the sword's need negated all of it. Nothing she did now could alter her course. The sword wouldn't rest until it fed, and its hunger grew with every second. She almost reached the door in time.
“What are you doing, Narena?” her brother’s voice intruded.
Hunger tugged her hand in the sound’s direction violently. Narena shivered in horror. If he were closer when he spoke, he would be dead. All of her planning would die with the fading breath of her brother.
“Go away!” Narena growled. “You can’t stop me.” She couldn’t turn the blade’s tip. She could barely hold her footing against its urging.
“You would kill me for your revenge? How would that avenge your husband, Arnin?" He looked into her eyes but seemed confused by the struggle he found there. "Do it then. Drive your blade into my heart if you must. I refuse to let you go and get killed by that monster.” Chasen held his arms open, exposing his chest.
“Gods and fury, Chasen, don’t tempt it,” she cried. Hunger surged forward eagerly at the invitation. It took every ounce of her strength not to advance. “Please, leave. I cannot stop what I’ve begun.”
“Let me help you. We can stop it together.”
“It won’t stop until Breln’s dead. I have to go.” Narena reached for the door, but Chasen charged forward and grabbed her sword arm to stop her. Hunger raged with need; her muscles strained to hold it still. She did the only thing she could to save him. The forge hammer in her apron pocket was the closest thing at hand besides the blade. She pulled it loose with her free hand and swung it in a desperate act to save Chasen's life.
Hunger overwhelmed her just as the hammer struck. Narena tried to dampen the force to keep from killing him. But there was no time to be gentle. The blade hissed a hairsbreadth from Chasen’s neck as the blow sent him spiraling to the floor.
Narena whimpered as her brother hit the ground. She would have broken into tears if any remained to be shed. She desperately wanted to make sure he was okay. But she couldn't approach his crumpled form where blood already pooled on the floor. Hunger grew ravenous at its presence. Chasen may die if she left him there. But there was no doubt he would die if she stayed. She reached for the door but stopped herself.
She couldn’t step out into the town with Hunger in such a state. The blade would need to be fed. So she gave of herself once more. The nightmarish metal sighed as it bit into the flesh of her arm. A cold chill crept through her veins as it feasted on her essence. It drank as deeply as she would allow. It would never stop of its own accord. Hunger fought her vigorously as she drew it away and bandaged the wound. Its need was only diminished a bit, however. Narena feared it would only grow worse until it had what it wanted.
Time was slipping away. Every minute Hunger grew more difficult to control. With one final look at her brother, Narena opened the door and set out upon her quest to kill a god. The encounter haunted her, however, filling her with doubt. For how would she ever resist killing the scum who served Breln, when she barely managed not to kill her own brother? The sword cared little for her concerns or affections; its hunger only grew.
Chapter 3 Path of Penance below.
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