Friday, May 22, 2015

Fated Betrayal Chapter One

Book Three of the Opsona Journey Series is LIVE!
That's right, Shadowed Intentions is finally here completing this series of events. Don't worry there is a still a lot more story to come, new locations, new characters all to come.

For now read chapter one of book two, Fated Betrayal.
If you missed yesterdays post you can read the first chapter of book one, Immortal Tempest

***Content Below is for Adults 18+***

Opsona Journey Series Book Two
Fated Betrayal
The once busy center of Tentusa had been transformed into a place of death, a stack of dead bodies burned against the lingering morning, and to my surprise a man was standing there. A stranger I had never seen before.

"What do you want boy?" I asked the person lingering in what was quickly becoming my master's city.

The stranger turned to face me, a slender form of a young man no older than his mid-twenties or even earlier, features masked by a bright red scarf leaving only his eyes visible. Maybe boy wasn't the right term for him, but compared to me everyone was just a child.

He stood there with a gaze of shock plastered on his face, his deep green eyes glued to my figure much like that letch Marcus when we first met, but what reflected in this boy's expression was not lust. It was disbelief.

"What do you want boy?" I said louder, annoyed that my question had not been answered the first time.

"I was summoned," the stranger answered with a confidence his awe struck appearance contradicted. "May I speak with Rhea? She is expecting me."

I knew my gaze faltered for a second and I had to look away at hearing that name again. "She is no longer with us."

It was the only formation of words I could manage to get out in response to his request. I couldn’t say she was murdered, killed, or even force the Opsona's name from my lips. There was no death from that night that struck me deeper than that of hers.

Even with the passing of a week, her death was still fresh. Everything from that night I was unleashed upon this city in all my lusty rage was fresh in my thoughts.

Forty-seven lives were taken in a matter of hours, snuffed out in a violent storm of chaos and left to rot in the streets. I had lost more control in that one episode than I ever had over my long life, including the first time the creature inside me woke. And unlike all those other rare moments when it raged free—the memories from that night were lucid. Burned with intricate detail into my every waking thought were the looks of horror on my victims faces, their fear imaged inside my mind. Each one a memorial to the persons last moments of life. My creature loved it. When my mind would flash through the series of victims from that night I could hear the soft pleasured purr deep within, but despite all of their faces hers haunted me the most.

The scent of her pure Opsona blood with its sweet rose fragrance lingered on my hands swirling around me like a death taunt, an awful reminder of what I was and what I was capable of. Those last words she spoke to me seared in tortuous repetition across my mind, and each time I longed for sleep all I could see were those pale green eyes that pleaded in those final moments.

I always thought less of those who pleaded under my sword or claw, those who begged for their life—instead of accepting defeat with grace. Killing them was an act of kindness to this world, ridding this plane of their pathetic existence, but the plea in her eyes was for me.

She begged the awful thing I was to stop, remarking that I had a choice, that I had options, and then I killed her. She never fought nor drew her weapon, she just died…I killed her.

"In what context?" The boy asked, his emerald eyes expressing a knowing while his question suggested he lacked the intelligence to understand my statement.

Such an odd contradiction between his expressive eyes and awkward clumsy appearance, but even that was out of place in a world full of mortal normalcy. I couldn't tell much about him, just that his ash gray clothing was loose and ill fitting, not unlike a child that had stolen their father's clothing to play pretend. The red scarf wrapped around his face and head left only those haunting green eyes, pools of sparkling emeralds that danced with intensity. They appeared to look beyond me each time his gaze settled across the empty city center in my direction, as if studying something around me instead of the threat I posed right in front of him.

His were eyes set in a rich honey complexion that suggested he could be some simple farm boy who wandered into town, but even the richness of his skin was far deeper than any farmer in these mortal lands.

He wasn’t struggling with lack of intelligence and he completely understood my statement, I could tell by the age reflected in his gaze. This stranger had lived long enough to know more than a simple farmer, there was too much experience there. A look that only came with long years of tortured living. My first estimation about his age was clearly wrong, his youth screamed of someone no older than his twenties, but his eyes corrected me with their aged appearance. This stranger had secrets, ones he was guarding closely by the looks of his outward appearance, but he couldn't hide those tormented years in that gaze.

"Don't worry yourself boy," I said with a grin. A false outward gesture to stifle the ache that had settled in my chest and to lash out in my own grief over his friend's death. "She will return. Isn't that what you Opsona are known for?"

The Opsona were children of the Virtuous Gods where typical races found on the mortal planes were the product of both the Virtuous Gods and the Tainted Divinities, created out of subtle variations of both what mortals often called good and evil. The Opsona contain no essence from the Tainted Divinities, the evil in the world, but they were not the saints logic would suggest. They were crafted by the Deity of Justice to combat things like me, and ensure the mortal plane remained in neutral existence. The Virtues made them strong, granted them knowledge, but left out compassion and empathy. In some ways an Opsona could be more brutal than any dark thing lurking in the Underworld, and they saw the world in only black or white. You were either evil, created solely by the Tainted and needed to be eradicated from the mortal world, or a child of creation. A mix of virtue and impiety brought to life to be ignorant creatures that occupied this fruitful middle world.

They were also granted eternal life. It wasn't like my immortality, nor could I take advantage of it now that my soul had been tainted with Vondorian's blood. My eternal existence was linked to this body which was free of natural aliments. I would age slowly to a certain point then pause in time, and the only means that would ensure my destruction was decapitation.

Opsona had no such worries, their bodies were meaningless to them. They withered and died young and reckless despite the lengthened life spans the Virtues had granted them, but their souls carried on.

When someone of my former kin died their souls did not return to the massive pool of life from which all things were crafted, they were reborn. Placed into another body of the same lineage. When the child entered into adulthood the Opsona preformed a ritual to unlock the past memories, combining the experience and skills of generations into a single being. It was what made them such formidable opponents. Fighting one Opsona was no different than fighting generations.

I often wondered what it was like to have all that knowledge, and I would daydream about who I could have been in my past lives. It was something I would never know since I was stolen away before my memories could be restored.

He shot a cold glare in response to my comment. My words were meant as a reassurance to end the shame I felt in taking her life, and a twisted taunt to appease the darker side of me but also to draw some information out of him. No one ventured into the valley anymore, only a fool or another Opsona would. I had to find out which he was.

Silence became the stranger's new form of answer as he directed his gaze around the city center. I could no longer look at the scenery, I didn't want to see my infection, my sin that had seeped into every crack of the once glowing gem of a city. It was just too much. Instead I focused on this stranger who had so willingly entered into the valley.

Over the last week, since the night I ravaged Tentusa, my master had taken up a new method to his conquest. Using Ryder and her men he created a nightmarish fairytale of "The Beast". A creature which attacked every night both here within the city walls, and the outer villages that littered the rolling hills all in the hopes of luring out the king of this province. Something that was proving to be difficult since Marcus had escaped to the capital, no doubt running his mouth and telling of the awful things that had befallen Tentusa. That sandy-haired letch who was chasing after Lady Victoria while imagining me laid out upon his bed was nothing more than a lucky fool. I was sure Marcus didn’t fully understand what was happening, that vampires had taken control of the city, but more that something dark had gripped this place. Whatever he told the king it was enough to keep him away.

It brought me joy in some small regard to know that Vondorian's plans had stalled thanks to his most loyal subject, because it wasn't me that let Marcus slip through the boarders of the valley.

The day after my unrestrained feast I was being detained in some tomb under the city, locked away in raving insanity until my creature withdrew and my mortal self regained her loosened grip of control. It must have been then, while the others were busy keeping me confined, that Marcus slipped out of the city and headed toward the capital. It was a delightful fuck-up.

That was on Ryder's head, it was her men that guarded the area and her one goal to see to it no one that wasn't approved left or entered the valley. Her failings brought me a tickled feeling of delight in this otherwise death-riddled hell I had found myself in, and now this boy had managed to sneak past her men. I could not wait to see the punishment Master had in store for Ryder, but why did this boy come?

Surely he saw the black storm that hovered over the valley, and anyone that had heard the stories, heard the nightmares from the people whom Vondorian allowed to escape, would never come here willingly. Summoned or not this place had been marked as cursed, and for once the superstitious mortals were right. This place was cursed, so much blood had covered these hills in the last seven days I wondered how the grass remained so vibrant a green.

"Where are you keeping her?" the boy demanded, a hint of anger in his muffled voice. "They wouldn't have allowed you to burn her. Where is Rhea's body?!"

The sting of her name hit me again and I turned away from the strange boy that concealed everything but his clear connection to this Opsona woman. I was done with him, I would let Ryder deal with him and all his silly demands when night fell.

I took a step back to leave when the scent of cloves and honey danced across my nose.

This is familiar. I halted my movements and took a moment to draw in more. I know this scent.

The familiarity clung to my mind as I searched for some memory of the strange aroma which had sparked this feeling. There was nothing, not a single moment I could recall to place this odd mix of cloves and honey, but I knew I had smelled it before and it was coming from the stranger.

Fine, I will play along for now. I relented to that persistent nagging voice in the back of my mind.

"This way." I motioned, turning and folding my arms across my chest. The gesture a silly outward attempt to block out the feelings and hopeless mental ramblings of the living that still lingered in the city.

Their minds were so full of despair, sorrow, and fear that it was affecting me. Aside from my own shame, their thoughts were becoming an insufferable itch inside my head, to the point of altering my state of mind.

That was what I told myself. That was how I explained my sudden intense feelings of tormented guilt which welcomed me out of my creature-driven madness. They were not my own, it was the people around me, the voices I couldn't block out, and the worst part was not even my creature tried to muffle them with its hungry growls.

It should have been rolling in delight from all the fear seeping out of these homes, purring with a deprived greed for more.

Instead it had curled up deep within me and slept in a gluttonous heap since its feast, unphased. Leaving the hardest part, the aftermath of all of this for me to deal with. Just like Vondorian.

Turning me into a murderous beast wasn't enough for his perverse needs, every morning after Ryder and her men played with the mortals I was sent to clean up the mess, acting as the false guardian to the masses. Stacking the dead to burn and assuring the survivors that I was handling the situation, lying to them. Repeating every solemn morning that their lives were the most important thing to me. I wanted to kill them all, to end their suffering but I couldn't even do that. Vondorian's mental chains were holding me at bay.

Damn Vondorian and his special punishments…Damn him…And me.

I couldn't give him all the blame. If I hadn't strayed from his orders—if I had just obeyed then none of this would be happening. Tentusa would have fallen by now, the whole northern half of this province would be overrun with the Vamdari Army and claimed for the Vampire Nation. They wouldn't be suffering like this.

It's all my fault. A thought which weighted heavier on me in the shadow of the temple. A grand polished marble structure that stood out as the last beacon of hope any of these people had. Erected in the lowest point of the valley, it was a most holy place where monks and priests came in pilgrimage to worship their gods and goddesses. There must have been some truth to its importance because it remained untouched by our evil. The darkened gloom that had overtaken the rest of the white stone city did not dirty these polished walls. It was here they housed the injured and her.

"The temple priests have been looking after the body. You will find your friend inside," I said looking over my shoulder at the stranger, surprised that he had followed so willingly. He must have known how much danger lingered around the city, the signs were too pronounced not to and still he followed.

This stranger was a mad man driven by his weak heartfelt emotions to do right by his friend, or maybe his intentions were less transparent. Either way I would have to inform Master like the good loyal servant I had surrendered myself to. I would do anything to avoid this special form of punishment ever again.

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