Chapter I / For The Lost Gods (All Parts)
"Anything from the sea?"
It was a quiet day, and the sun was ready to set for tomorrow. Quiet was not a tell for peace and descent of the sun was no reason for unease. Only sea could tell.
"You mean all over or here?", said Lyla as if she was accusing.
"All over... Of course. As long as you can reach. Do you always look for all?"
You know how others are, Sea here is still though."
"It was a good call. Three months with still waters.", said Lenker looking at her sunsetting white hairs. Hairs that looked as if they blushed.
"Oh please, flatter further.
You are disturbing the water let me be."
"It seemed you felt lonely."
"This is what I do Lenker, do you see me interfereing with yours?", said Lyla slightly turning and tilting her head, making sure Lenker understands her frustration by looking into his eyes with her deep blue eyes.
Lenker stood behind her next to the door of the porch a while, saying nothing. After a while he broke the silence:
"I never asked you this, I am not even sure I am to ask this but I would like to look out for you.
Do you ever...
Do you ever look for him?
Or look for it?"
It took a while for her to get a hold of the question. Her head got too heavy, she looked down and her shoulders looked as if she shrugged. Lenker felt the immediate regret his question brought upon.
"Why don't you just fuck off Lenker", the anger and sadness in her voice gave him the urge to apologize. Opening his lips to let a breath in for his apology, he gave up and stepped into the house, letting her be.
Lyla concentrated back listening to the sea with glazed blue eyes. Her white mid-length hair, in flow with the breeze, she looked gorgeous on the railings of the bright brown wooden porch. The group resided in a big, mansion-like boat house with vibrant colours. It did not stand out as the whole town was buried in vibrant creme and bright colours. This was the only place with the least damage they could find. Having a porch that had the sea under their feet really helped Lyla with her role as a sea lookout. She did not have to walk towards the sea every morning. But it also did not help her sleeping issues when she lived right next to the water. She had them since that day. She wanted to get away from the sea, run from it.
"I miss you", she whispered towards the depths of the sea holding back tears. And not being able to hold back tears she continued:
"I am sorry for being a coward."
She realized that she was disturbing the water around her, she had to stop and contain herself before everything went to hell. She did not want to attract any attention, three months of peace is a really impressive accomplishment and she for one can not be the reason for a downfall.
After a while the sky got darker, she could feel its presence surrounding her, ready to crush her soul.
"We should go in now, moon has shown. Let's make sure everyone is inside.", yelled someone towards her. It was Karen. Making sure everyone is safe, especially the children, as she always does.
Lyla woke up from her sleep in the midst of the night as she usually does. But this particular time she woke up to a beat from the sea.
A beat all over.
It was true that the water beneath was still, and the seas all over was always a hell rising. But never... never at night. When moon rose everything would go silent, the only vibrations that reached Lyla would be fish colonies or whales.
A huge beat of vibrations reaching all over, what the hell was that she thought to herself.
She sat her bed and held her breath. Tried to feel what there was, resisting the pain the moon inflicted upon her for using her powers.
She felt the shore, she felt the depths, she felt the horizon and beyond. Sea was still and hinged as never before. It was like a stretched sheet, she would feel a stone fall, a fish clap. And there was only silence.
Dredd fell upon and deep into her bones. She was relentlessly letting moon hurt her in the search of the beat. She kept looking and looking and looking. Then at a time of extreme pain, she fainted. Still shocked, her head fell between her legs staring at the wall on her right.
Redeeming her eyesight she looked.
And there it was,
It was a shadow with piercing eyes, she knew it looked deep into her soul.
She could do nothing but to stare back.
You can only run from the sea so much. Here it was, a ghost. Staring right down.
Blaming her for her cowardice. Blaming her for not searching.
Even though he was gone, her brother still tortured her. Breathing down her neck.
Lyla woke up the way she fainted, raising her head she took a deep breath. Stood up slowly to check her injuries. Her arms burnt wrist to shoulder, fighting against the moon. She was in great deal of pain however she felt at rest. It was the first time since the loss of her brother.
She covered her arms with long sleeves to make sure no one worried about her for nothing and left her room.
The feeling that fell before her was like as if she tied a knot that hung loose for so long. She felt the chilling, always reminded angst, nomore. She felt peace.
This peace struck her while she roamed the halls of the house. It struck her as if she found something that was lost for so long. It struck her with deep relief. She choked to tears letting her shoulder rest on the closest wall. She fell on her knees and her head on the wall she cried with absolution she felt. It was like finally letting herself live without the chains of guilt for her brother's death. She cried for some time, she cried for all the time she suffered. She cried for all the sea. She cried for all her people.
Herself gathered she stepped onto the porch finding herself looking at the sea again.
Every morning, before beginning lookout, she stood and looked at the sea thinking her miseries and her losses. Everyone that is lost in the name of gods, power and greed. She knows all is not worth these.
She damns the sea, damns it for returning. Damns the moon for taking it in the first place. She eventually begins listening, secretly hoping she would be damned back and be free of all this bullshit.
A life that flourished in a place with bright colours, colours one might suggest happy. A life that is engraved with losses and turmoil. And because of what? Gods' will? Nature's another perversion? A game between the moon and the gods?
The only clear thing was that it was not her choice to play the games of the gods nor was it her choice to be fighting this war. She just wanted to be there for her brother. She just wanted to hold him. Hold him tight until he agreed to run away, until he let go of fighting. She knew tho... She knew that he would not stop, then he would not be him and if she held him back, she knew she would not be her.
It was quiet usually in the mornings. She took these times to collect her thoughts and relax. Even though she sees and damns it everyday. The sea looks a bit darker in the mornings, she likes that. It is not a lengthy state to see in their situation. Not while the moon took its time.
It was again a quiet morning at the shore they discovered months ago, most believed that gods looked out for them. Lyla had the habit of getting angry when she heard prayers for the gods. At least whenever since her brother.
Where were the gods when they were being hunted she thinks to herself and sometimes out loud. Where are the gods when the rest of the sea shakes every single day? Where are they when people are being hunted? Where were they when she was being hunted?
Everytime she felt the earthquake-like vibrations of other shores, she hoped that people did not get hurt. That they somehow survived. She wanted to help them all. She had no regard for her life, she just wanted to stop it all. She always stopped herself for the sake of the lives of the group.
She felt the fish and the algae at the shore beneath to calm her nerves. She sometimes loses herself in the calmness and looks for every little fish she could feel beneath.
There was an unusual type of feeling right under her though. It felt like the vibration was from her to the sea, she guessed that it is probably a stuck fish right under her trying to get loose. Surely nobody else or Lenker was not on the porch. They would not dare to distract her with their vibrations while she was on the lookout.
She wanted to stop and check to make sure and looked around. The porch seemed empty and no noises came from inside the house enough to make that effect. She let the sea be and focused more on her surroundings. Right then she heard a sniffing. Right above her, a sniffing on the roof of the boat house's first floor, causing her blood to be drawn from her. She got paler, in shock she turned to sniffing above.
At gorgeous bright red furs, wide but thin eyes and delicate figure; there it was the most dreaded of all. A North China Panther with a short furry tail. Dapard. Looked around sniffing and not caring about Lyla's existence.
Before she could react it turned around to go as fast as she had never seen a Godchild go. After a short timid look she gave, Lyla rang the bells. Suffering the rush of adrenaline and fear, she almost took the whole shore to accelerate herself to catch Dapard. If Dapard were to reach its master, it would be the end of it for all her people. If The Master found out their location, it is definite for blood to be shed. Lots of it. She just hoped. Hoped that people evacuated and ran away since she could not look, it is what she only could have, hope.
She ran the cream colored granite pavement along the narrow street between ruins of houses, following her dredd. Tears and sweat from her face, she used every bit of power she had. Her breathing got harder, she suffocated following this creature. Meanwhile a blue glowing circle appeared circling her pupil. She felt the sea as never before even though she was getting further away from it. Every step she had, she felt as if she was walking over the sea. She gradually got faster, never before she had walked on earth feeling the sea beneath her feet. Her powers got into a whole new level as she had never felt or seen before. However she barely only got to Dapard's speed. This panther walked on earth like it was on a current. At her limit, not having to be able to get close to Dapard, she fell into despair. Thinking that she had caused all this by damning everyday and hoping for an exit. For an ending. She felt damned, she felt lost, she felt cowardly and she felt pathetic again.
Before even it was a whole street crossed, not that far from the boathouse Dapard took a sharp right turn and went downhill. Lyla had the feeling her existence was unimportant for it. The panther did not even look like it was trying to go faster.
Following an enemy that does not care if you are getting strong or not. She had to get to it, despair never did no favors to her. Lyla pushing herself even more to catch this creature, not even sure what to do when she catches it considering it is one of most powerful enemy's right hand, she water sprinted using the water steps her powers allowed, leaving wet footprints behind. Splashing and accelerating with water under, she got closer. At a brief moment of proximity she jumped to catch its tail. Right then Dapard jumped into a hole on the way, Lyla could only got a hold of his tail, which then got apart and left its owner, like it was made of cotton and stayed in her hand leaving her behind. It was when she got ready to jump in the hole, the ground shook right under her.
"This roar... How could The Master's lair be so close to us?", she thought in loss of breath. Lyla, for the first time in her life, felt the moon's presence in daylight. Her body clenched and soul being crushed with fear and confusion, she turned to run towards the house. She had to make sure there was no one left. She had to make sure nobody stayed behind for her. She did not look behind, she did not feel the ground beneath she just ran.
It was the first time Lyla saw her brother after The Final Tide. The last time the moon took the sea from us and the time the gods gave it back for good. Sea boiled and driven back until it was lost of sight. People prayed for days, people died for days. It is said that then gods decided to step in and help us win against the moon by endowing powers upon people. The sea came back with consequences. It is said that the moon got so furious that night that it turned red and burned every child of gods, ones with the powers.
It began then, when people became godchildren and slowly discovered their powers. Nobody had any problem with their powers, it was confusing but still considered a blessing until some people decided that they wanted more. These people believed that if gods were worshiped right, they would gift us more, as they did that they. That was not the case. Gods did not care. Though this did not change the minds of the already fanatics of the idea. They wanted more and they were out to get it. And surely people were expendable in this cause. Soon, long enough to fill a lake with blood, they discovered that if a godchild's heart were to be consumed by another, powers passed on. Great battles were carried out and a great number of people were killed. Only a few groups of pacifists and rebels remained against the fanatics.
Then, was when she saw her brother after the tide. Lyla's brother had the control of the sun, a vicious weapon for rebels to use he was. With his anger he was a powerful young man. But in war, if you only see red you can not see ahead. He was betrayed. By a close friend he was backstabbed. She watched her brother being dragged to the belly of The Beast by someone close to him and could not stop it. She watched as her brother got thrown into the sea and before she could get to him, blood rose to the surface of the water. Sea vibrated in a way only a beast could cause. War cost her brother a friend and Lyla her brother.
As Lyla was rushing down her heart pounding, she heard footsteps getting closer and closer behind her. Before she could turn, she saw wet footprints on the walls of the houses towards where she is headed leaving splashing sounds behind.
Someone had just ran past her with incredible speed using the same power as her. She had to catch up. She had to make sure they were safe. Her lungs out of breath as she used all the power she had.
Finally she arrived at the house and rushed through the door only to freeze at the doorstep. Lenker defending himself against The Shinobi, using the sun. He had waited for her, and now he was in danger. Shinobi's attacks were precise, fast and powerful. She could barely catch up to his sword movements. A black sword with a deadly trail of water was not something she was not familiar with. She had seen a few wars herself and Shinobi Clan had a few great warriors that were under Master's command. Though she had never seen such speed before, this was truly the power of Master's close second's power. It is now more dreadful than ever to guess what The Master himself is capable of. Froze dead she watched, as her heart pounded out of her ribs, yet another one of her's die. Lenker fell into Shinobi's sword after being pierced by it. Dying on it he realized Lyla and gave his last breath to murmur:
Shinobi only realizing her petty existence drew his sword out of Lenker and before she could react it came as close as her eye. At an instant she dodged the sword and water stepped back. The circle around her eye made itself clearer which directly caught the eye of The Shinobi. He slowly took stance, inviting her to fight. Lyla, thinking about Lenker and her brother, with her blazing blue eyes and hateful looks, got ready to sever his body parts. Before she attacked she caught sight of his eyes under his disk-like metal hat and saw one blue and one red circle around his pupils, glowing. Shinobi raised his sword over her sight of his eyes, challenging her. At the moment she gathered her power for an attack, another precise swing towards her face came and threw her back. She wanted to run as her hatred faded into fear after that quick attack. She went to the shore, under the porch and then the wooden boats in order to run from Shinobi who was relentlessly trying to pierce her by putting the sword through the wood.
Lyla dodged the attacks under a boat, swayed through the water and got back up on the shore. Catching her breath she saw her enemy charging at her. She raised her hands in a reflex, feeling this is the end, suddenly she intercepted Shinobi's sword by putting a swing of water between them. A slicingly dense sweep of water. In a moment of surprise, her new-found skill gave her confidence to switch to offense. She had seen this before. She had seen this done by godchildren of the sea that day at the war. She wanted to recall further to use other skills while holding Shinobi back. Shinobi, being the experienced fighter he is, did not want to entertain his opponent no more and rotated his sword leaving a trail of blazing fire. Without letting his opponent even be surprised of being against a bipowered godchild, he pierced into the vapour eventually slashing into Lyla's shoulder. In agony, Lyla water jumped backward in fear after the overpowering fight crushed her soul. Using the last bit of power she had, she launched herself into the midst of sea, not even thinking she could be saved. Before fainting on the surface while she still got away with high velocity, she looked at the shore to look for Shinobi. He was standing still on water, looking straight into her eyes. He dared her to come back, seemed though he did not care to follow. Lights faded for Lyla that moment.
Lyla regained consciousness after an hour of drafting into the sea. She was still in shock of what happened in the span of a few hours. She tried to look and feel around to tell where she was but she could not feel a thing. If she had lost her powers, she wondered. Under the sun, her eyes getting burnt all she could see was the moment that Lenker told her to run. All she could think was that this Lenker, navigator of the group, stayed behind for her. And now he is gone. It was like the whole sea stopped to mourn for her.
After a few minutes of weeping she wanted to get out of here and find a shore.
Right when she wanted to move in angst and sharp breathing, she felt a beat right under her.
It was the same beat. It can't be, she said to herself.
Composed of anger and fear she stayed dead still.
She understood, it was The Beast. The Beast that took her brother. The Beast she could not look for. The beast that everybody is haunted by, even the ones that did not believe it existed. The Beast
She could feel movements under her and she felt from a very deep point something moved fast towards the surface. Towards her. Her circle glowing, she felt the sea all over. She was not going down without wounding it.
The Beast, like a huge eel, grabbed her with its teeth and started to drag her down like she anticipated. With rush of fear she moved every bit of water and pushed into The Beast as if she was avenging her brother. She moved so much water, you would think only gods could survive in a such battle.
Godchildren of the sea felt the vibrations of The Beast and got pale in fear. After so long, after the war, it attacked once more and a godchild was fighting back. Godchildren, bowed and prayed. They prayed to the gods with everything. From all over, godchildren who felt the sea prayed for the poor soul who got caught by The Beast.
Lyla crashed most of the water around her into the monster's head.
unfortunately, it did nothing.
She was still being dragged to the bottom and with despair she wanted to weep for herself,
for her people,
for her brother.
She tried to scream under the sea, she tried to cry for help.
When it was almost four meters below she opened her eyes and saw something that made her stop trying. Letting herself drawn to the eternal void.
She never felt the beast because she did not go too deep, she always thought. Then she opened her eyes.
She saw all these curves of the beast all over the sea, shadowing, darkening whatever is under and not even three meters below the surface.
Right under her feet, whenever she went into the sea. The Beast was there. In despair, by a final struggle she released an immense power. Letting every godchild hear her.
Hear a message.
She let herself go to the darkness and depths of the ocean.
Hoping to meet her brother.
"Hey! Gather the Fraternity!
Joshua, now will deliver the message."
"Sorry for the wait everyone, I only could finish transcribing the images that was transmitted now. It is a life, I hold in my hands, even though it is just few days. I felt all, as if I have lived all. It was for all of us, the survivors. And it was for the lost gods."
The chapter I have drafted few weeks ago is now fully published.
I have tried drawing few atmosphere, location and character designs. Tho my rubber ended pen did not work well for touch screen as well as i thought it would. So, I will retry it when I acquire a compatible pen.
Fixed the sloppy language for part 2 and published all together.
Next chapter will probably take a month.
I hope you enjoyed!