Crimson Gloom - Chapter 1: Flight | Penana

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Crimson Gloom
Writer Celz
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
326 Reads

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Crimson Gloom
A - A - A
Chapter 1: Flight
By Celz
May 22, 2018
10 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!38oC9BBlyTH0NpdjCQ0rposted on PENANA

Rain pounded on the young man's back, soaking his clothes while adding weight to his already battered body. His head pounded and a deep gash gnawed at his side. He bit down on the pain and continued running as fast as he could. He needed to escape. Each stride he took seems more difficult than the one before. No matter how fast he tried to run, his pursuer closed the gap between them effortlessly. His legs finally gave way under him and he collapsed onto the ground panting. He gripped his side and clenched his teeth, willing the excruciating pain away.copyright protection79PENANAcWlTMkNvtR

He cursed. This would not have happened if he was more careful. He had been a fool. He should have been more aware his surroundings instead of being too focused on one single detail. That single detail might even lead him to his demise now. How he wished that he had listened to his Master's advice to never step too far from his boundaries without any preparation. The young man took in a deep, shaky breath. This is not the time to regret his actions. He must muster his strength to escape. Using his hands and knees, he dug into the wet ground in an attempt to get up. He froze when he felt a presence behind him.copyright protection79PENANAywZX98zKu8

"So, you could only run this far. I'm a little disappointed," his pursuer said in a smooth voice with a little hint of the sound of crackling flames. The pursuer circled the kneeling young man and stood in front of him. The young man looked up to his pursuer, his eyes wide with trepidation.copyright protection79PENANAEc8sBmLedM

"Dargon," the young man gasped.copyright protection79PENANAGpJ1ivm60P

Dargon laughed a laughter that sounded inhuman. "You don't have to be so tense in front of me, though I understand why you would be. My presence often instills fear in others. This is quite a bother whenever I seek to gain allies. A menacing presence won't bring the best out of potential-- friends," he said, emphasizing the last word.copyright protection79PENANAYzmXxv66gB

Dargon gingerly touched his own face. His human vessel, unable to withstand the being it held within was beginning to deform. His cheeks sagged, revealing the skull underneath.copyright protection79PENANAeUNnmpK8DX

He sighed. "It seems that I do not have much time here." He held out his hand and said," I have a proposal to make. We should join forces, you and I. Our powers have the same origin. Both of our kind should never have been enemies since the Emergence. "copyright protection79PENANAUknDmG9IMa

"Hah, so you wish to employ me in your schemes. I can't imagine that the prideful Dargon will resort to collaborate with one that is unlike yourself," the young man scoffed. He then gestured to Dargon's face," Of course, seeing you now in this human-like form, I must be mistaken for assuming so." The young man tried to put on a false bravado to buy himself a little time. In truth, his mind was racing to find a way out this situation.copyright protection79PENANAxKKTIhoPoE

Dargon laughed malevolently. "Your personality in the face of danger is charming. However, I can smell your helplessness." He sneered and straightened himself. His left cheek sagged even further. The skin had peeled off to expose the degenerating muscles underneath. Wisps of vapor sizzled into the air. The skin was peeling off his fingers too, revealing red flesh from within.copyright protection79PENANAqCzd0WCK4g

"This vessel is dying. There seems to be no suitable vessel for me to inhabit," Dargon sighed. " Perhaps you can be my vessel since we are similar in nature," he sneered again.copyright protection79PENANAIYA5CWLLFy

The young man sucked in a breath. "We are nothing alike," he said, feeling disgusted.copyright protection79PENANAWciG51XuQl

"Don't be so tensed," Dargon motioned. "I was just making an empty suggestion. You are too valuable to be used as a vessel. Besides, it's your abilities that I seek, not your body. Also, information about your brethren is invaluable. If you join me, I assure you that your kind will be spared from any further harassment."copyright protection79PENANA9gYJuYF7JJ

"That's really kind of you. It's too bad that I don't speak for my kindWhy don't you let me go and I'll ask their opinion?" The young man let out a nervous laugh. He could feel the presence of other beings approaching. Allies of Dargon, perhaps? Escape will not be possible once they arrive. He racked his brain for a way to escape. His body is far too weak to take on Dargon, even if the latter is only in a human vessel. The vessel contained only Dargon's essence, not his real form. Once the vessel fully decays, whatever spell or curse that holds his essence in that vessel will fail.copyright protection79PENANAnrIYxlVi6A

"That's it!" the young man thought. If he could accelerate the decaying process, Dargon's essence will cease to exist here. It will merge with its original being. As the young man pondered upon his options, his head continued to throb painfully. He wondered if he has enough strength to cast a spell to accelerate the decaying process. Most of his energy was used to fend off Dargon's sudden ambush before he could run up to this hill. He needed to distract Dargon so that he could cast the spell. Even if he could cast the spell, would he have enough energy to crawl out of here? How would he cast the spell without Dargon noticing it? Maybe Dargon thought that he was too weak to cast another spell. Probably that is the reason for the chatter. This might just be his own speculation. Nevertheless, he had to try.copyright protection79PENANAQ3M9JSaHn1

"I don't think that you speak for your kind too, Dargon. Am I right?" The young man continued. "If you really are on the same page with them, why are you here alone chasing me down to capture me?"copyright protection79PENANA2xi1gMZVTJ

Dargon said with a hint of annoyance, "Hah, the others wish to achieve their goals by eliminating all who pose a threat to them, but that method is ancient. World domination is achieved by amassing talents, which is exactly what I'm doing at this moment. Come now--"copyright protection79PENANAFhbnfIIa0P

"Grrooooaaaaooooohh!!"copyright protection79PENANALRSx1CqcjO

A distant roar interrupted Dargon mid-sentence and he snapped his head towards the west. Hound-like beasts caught the young man's scent and charged towards their direction.copyright protection79PENANAdllvnBinwb

"Tvarayati!" The young man yelled and extended his palm towards Dargon. A faint glow surrounded Dargon. His flesh started peeling off his bones and disintegrated like how paper catches fire and crumbles. The decay of the human vessel was accelerated exponentially by the spell. The young man stifled a bout of nausea as the spell took a toll on his already weakened body. This is his chance to escape. Mustering all of his available strength, he stumbled towards the treeline just below the hill.copyright protection79PENANA6bthzJZhU0

"Why, you!" Dargon exclaimed as he looked at his hands in rage. The skin and flesh on his fingertips crumbled away, leaving the bone underneath visible. He tried clenching his right hand into a fist, but the bones crumbled as well. A swirling, crackling mass of darkness was instead in place of the missing hand. Without any warning, the mass extended and shot out into the air. The force of it jerked his remaining arm upwards and tore the flesh off his arm.copyright protection79PENANA7FS0dTCD5V

Dargon screamed. Although the vessel was not his actual body, he could feel the excruciating pain as the flesh ripped off his bones and disintegrated. In order to have full control over a human vessel, Dargon had infused part of himself into a human, which in turn connected his senses to the vessel. Amidst the agony, he saw the young man heading downhill towards the tree line. He hurled the swirling mass towards the young man in a bout of anger. The mass extended from his arm and shot across the distance in a second and hit the young man squarely in the back.copyright protection79PENANArjhMOEo71U

"Gaaah!"copyright protection79PENANAj86MpFvpXp

He screamed out loud in agony as the dark mass of energy exploded at his back. The explosion threw him forwards and sent him tumbling down into the treeline below. He rolled and crashed into some trees before skidding to a stop upon reaching a rather flat terrain. His breath was knocked out of him. He had a splitting headache with a ringing sound in the background. Did he hit his head somewhere? He was lying on his back, stunned, as he squinted at the dark, murky sky. There was not a star to be seen. Raindrops continued to fall on his face, into his opened mouth. He tasted the rain, a thin metallic taste. Strangely, it tasted like blood.copyright protection79PENANAq44i5hcHVh

"Blood tasting rain?" he thought. "No, it's--"copyright protection79PENANADnBUapzywB

"Gasp!" He uttered a silent cry as he sucked in a breath. A sudden sharp pain assaulted his chest. He coughed as he recovered from his stupor.copyright protection79PENANAtPJzC9f7yc

He heard a faint scream of anguish and frustration. A sound which is impossible to come from a human throat. As the screams faded, the young man tried to gain his bearings. Even with Dargon gone, there are still others pursuing him. His body was devoid of strength. He could not even move a muscle.copyright protection79PENANAxYhChmTt4P

With his chest heaving, he thought, "They mustn't capture me. If they do, everything we've fought for this far will be in vain. I must protect my mind from the prying eyes of the enemy,". He thought of a solution, but it comes with a huge risk. He must do it, nevertheless.copyright protection79PENANALHdmCoLcWi

With a deep breath, he closed his eyes and called upon one word:copyright protection79PENANANq8x0KGfSf

"Shirin".copyright protection79PENANAspeK2v7WYc

After a sudden burst of clarity, a figure appeared in his mind's eye. A feminine being, clad in a white dress. The simple and modest dress could not disguise the beauty of the body underneath. Long, silky grass-green hair flowed lusciously down to her waist. Straight bangs with a slight curve framed her violet eyes.copyright protection79PENANALJUZ5xnRJk

"Yes, my child?" she asked in a gentle voice, with a small smile on her lips. Her expression was seemingly gentle, but there was a hint of eagerness, even a slight insanity behind those eyes.copyright protection79PENANAaxKj4K4L0X

The young man hid his own annoyance at the sound of those words. He looked at her hesitantly. Her otherworldly beauty would easily bewitch any man. Her radiance and slightly inhuman yet beautiful features would seem like an angel had descended from the heavens. However, the young man knew that her presence often brings uncertainty.copyright protection79PENANA0tmeeoKmkJ

"I need your help to seal my mind, and also to aid my escape from imminent capture," he said with conviction.copyright protection79PENANAy6st5y0tqJ

"Ah, I see," Shirin nodded. She looked down and replied. "That I can do. However, you do realize that there could be unpredictable results whenever I interfere directly with your life," she continued.copyright protection79PENANANBgxUkiY6j

"Yes, I understand," the young man replied.copyright protection79PENANAV6Nil1H5o2

"Knowing that, do you still wish to complete these wishes? Do you trust me?" she asked. Her expression is unfathomable. There is a concern, but also a certain nonchalance in her tone.copyright protection79PENANAOW9hpfQpIg

"Yes, I do... I trust you," he said with a reserved expression. He sighed. This was not the first time he had asked for favors from Shirin. The conversation was about the same every time he called out to her for help. "Please hurry up," he thought. His mind was getting clouded by the bodily and mental fatigue of the ordeal.copyright protection79PENANA9vSp3MKlLQ

"Understood," Shirin said. "Be careful what you wish for," she continued, with a glint of mischief at the corner of her eye.copyright protection79PENANAEHXrZitHoR

She raised her hands and clasped his head in them. She whispered words of power in a language as old as the world itself. A whirlwind engulfed them, and there was a bright white light. The young man tried to close his eyes but to no avail. This was happening in his mind. There is no physical body to block out the light. His mind went blank, unable to comprehend his surroundings. Sounds, pain, sight,-- they all held no meaning to him.copyright protection79PENANAKdOUve9lER

"Rest, my child," a voice whispered. "Rest," she whispered again, as she gingerly touched his face. "It's all alright now. Remember, I'll always be by your side," she kissed his forehead, like how a doting parent would. She looked at him again, and he seemed fast asleep in a deep slumber. She smiled.copyright protection79PENANACOnudqgYM2

"Always".copyright protection79PENANAPrJMTJ5mqu

End of Chapter 1.83Please respect copyright.PENANAWtPIYuHTqE
To be continued in Chapter 2: Strangercopyright protection79PENANAebI35dieyX

End of Chapter Notes:copyright protection79PENANA6aLuFZVVXH

Glossary (Sanskrit-English):83Please respect copyright.PENANABosK62LwIa
Tvarayati (adj)- Acceleratecopyright protection79PENANAXN8HA1qGoR

*Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language. I'm not proficient in the language but I think it's good to use a language that is not used often.copyright protection79PENANAaD2SH86ZnE

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