The Warrior with the Armor of Roses2013
On the top of his mountain, hands busy carving an intricate wooden sword, the God of War watched. He watched as Stone looked for Cresus, and he watched as Cresus escaped the wrath of Byrne, and all of the men sent after him. And by his life, the God of War hoped to achieve the most magical magic of all, a magic that disappeared at his lover’s death. Centuries it had been, but for the God of War, it felt like yesterday everything was perfect. The world was still the one they created together, before only war and misery was left. The God of War couldn’t get his lover back, but even if only for a moment, he could revive his lover’s legacy; there would be hope. Hope of a better future, where once again, pain and happiness would walk hand in hand in the world below. The God of War laid the sword in display on a bed of fir needles and disappeared in a clap of thunder.
Dark purple smoke rose from the fir needles, trapping the sword in its magic, until the sword glowed pastel pink and absorbed the darkness around itself. And as the smoke disappeared and the glow faded, there lay the sword, reflecting the sun toward where the God of War had left.
Down below, as Cresus hung at the edge of the drop, ready to die for the secret he meant to keep, revelation came upon him. He smiled, and let go of the wall.
Stone and his men saw Cresus fall, but they knew better than to let Fate take care of their problems. As long as they did not have a body, they would not stop their search for Cresus, the man to kill them all. Byrne would not accept anything less than the man’s head on a plate, and by the God of War, Stone and his troops were going to get it. They searched every corner of the land, but never found his body.
On their shame did Byrne feast on the bodies of his men, exiling Stone with the knowledge his failure had cost the life of his men, and cost their families to suffer in shame over their death. Stone followed the tracks to the city of Millstone, where the local ironmaster told him tales of a sword, lost in the Millstone Mountain, that could kill anything. So then Stone went and found the sword.
And for years did Stone look for Cresus, making it his mission to kill the un-killable, and to restore the honour of his men. When a note was left at a tavern asking for him, Stone faced Cresus at the top of Millstone’s Hill, ready for his enemy’s demise. And as his sword pierced the garden of roses ornament of Cresus’ chest plate, the most incredible thing happened— the sword broke, shards of wood flying around as Cresus’ metal armour shattered into a million rose petals.
And as an unsuspected love flew between them, an ironmaster in his Millstone’s shop breathed out for the last time, ready to join his lover in death, content to see the balance between war and love restored, and the birth of new Gods.
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