A man whose flesh was being sewn by obsidian flesh stood before a woman. Around the woman was a wasteland where so many mountains and hills were torn apart. Power gushes through her eyes. A blade however was stuck on her chest, constantly absorbing the energy.
“Lanon,” she said, tearfully. “I thought you loved me. Was all that a lie? Why? I trusted you...I thought you wanted to save the world.”
“You are a beacon. A monster,” said the man whose obsidian-like mask of a face stared at her. The red glow in his eyes bore malice that could drown a world.
“I loved you.”
“I know,” he dug the sword deep into her chest. “But Ciara, you are a monster. I do not fault you for wanting to save the world, but look at the waste that you had left behind. All that power you use without a thought...for the sake of a greater good. That greater good...that piece of shit of belief that as long as you save the world you mind killing me over and over.”
“I won't! I loved you!”
“I know,” he said. “That’s the thing here. Some things are best left alone. The world isn’t so weak that it could be defeated. I’ve seen better men fight for the sake of the light. I saw those who were told to be weak rise to the top and defeat the evils that all the world can offer. You...the worlds don’t need a destructive savior.”
He drove the sword further, almost to the hilt of the sword.
“You...no matter what world it is. You really are a liar, aren’t you? Stop it, Ciara. It makes you look so unsightly.”
“I don’t understand...we promise...that after we save everyone...we’d be happy...you and me...together...why?”
“Hush now,” he plunged the sword deep into her. “The same sweet lies. The same goddamn lie...I wonder why you like that lie so much? Oh my Burnt Lady, when will you stop lying?”
“I don’t understand!” she grabbed hold of the sword, eyes pleading to him, searching for sanity in that deep madness his eyes held. “Please! Tell me! Why!”
“I said stop lying!” He took his hand off the sword and pulled her arms using both hands. She screamed. But the pain she shouted did not come from the missing arms or the sword stuck in her chest. It was the scream of a heartbroken woman who had been betrayed by the person she trusted most in the world.
She believed in him. She had believed that he would support her as she saves the world. That’s why she couldn’t understand why the same person had turned his blade against her. Her knight had betrayed her and took her arms. How could she not have her heart broken?
“Don’t worry,” said him. “We’ll meet again, Ciara. One day, I will meet your main fragment, and when I do I will make sure that I could rest her soul. Cleanse it and send you to reincarnation.”
“Whyyyyyyyy?” she asked, eyes tearing as she spat a mouthful of blood. The sword that was stuck inside her chest kept on sucking in the power that was trying to gush out of her. The second wind that she had never came to her. The power that she relied on never came.
A man’s voice sounded. It sounded with fury that could break the land. He turned towards that voice, disarmed the man, and choked him until he fainted. She tried to get away only for him to get the sword that man wielded and sever her legs.
She screamed again under the burning sky. He scooped her within his arms and gently pushed the blade down. She stared at him with utter heartbreak in her eyes. He wondered how many dreams that this fragment had? How many fragments of the Burnt Woman that he had killed? How many of them promised a beautiful ending only for him to stab them in the back? Absorbing the essences that made them a war maiden. That was the purpose of the man who had turned into the Deadman.
As she whimpered painfully, as the blood that came out of her wounds drained her out of life. The Deadman’s face softened. He leaned his forehead on hers.
“Sorry,” he said to her. “This is the only way...you will not change, Ciara. I know that, and that’s why I can only do this. I know that the moment I woke up the second time, when I delivered you into the three fates, you were not the Ciara I know. You were just the War Maiden, the Burnt Woman who is the personification of the War Maidens. That’s why as the person who had delivered you to them, I must take responsibility.”
“I...please...don’t leave me...it’s so cold…”
“Shhhh,” he whispered. “We’ll meet again...I think there are only three of you...after I remove the seeds...then I’ll meet the real you again...Ciara. On that day, I don’t plan on losing. I am not planning to lose to you again and be thrown into a scar in space and time again. I still remember that day. Losing to you as you then travel worlds with your family. I thought in some parts of my head that you’d do me proud, then I saw the burning worlds you tried to save. You save those worlds at the cost of something too great. Seeing you save worlds over and over again...was horrifying. Because you truly believe that you were right. That’s why...until I meet you again. I’ll hunt them all down. You were hard to kill, which is expected of an incarnation, for now...how about resting?”
She whimpered as her breathing stopped to a halt. The sword of Zachariah that he wielded cried as the souls of the war maidens he killed lingered. Endlessly trapped inside the sword.
He stood up and gazed on her lifeless body. The burning world that she had left in order to defeat a greater evil would soon turn bountiful. Kissing her forehead, he turned into the form of a time wraith, turning his eyes to the next fragment.
He didn’t regret it.
He was used to it.
Killing the woman he loved so that she could find peace from her madness.
His wish to stop the Burnt Woman did not cease.
He had already known ever since he turned his blade towards her.
That the Bleak Walker who became the Deadman, and the Ciara who became the Burnt Woman won't have a happy ending.