See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! Let the burial rite be read, the funeral song be sung! –
Lenore, Edgar Allan Poe
I tell you of a hero, born on the day of Valor’s rites.
Bathed him, they. In perfumed holy oils mixed with the blood of the strongest swine.
In cradle he spoke, I am Valor’s might! Born to set demons and tempters alight!
To him they blessed the cursed sword. Little hero, little whore. –
The Unnamed, he knew of the legend. The folklore that had been passed down generation to generation in oral tradition, since time immemorial. The memory of how he had learnt it was now much too painful to bring up. Despite that he forced the reminiscences to resurface. Freed them from the hold he had maintained over them. Over her. And they flooded his consciousness, he could remember it all so vividly. It was like she materialized before his eyes and it was hard to believe she was no more. That all this was just an illusion. Just a memory playing out in the seat of his soul.
He was there, at that night. Transported, transcended. As if by magic. It was like his mind had made an effort to bring him every possible last detail of this beautiful memory that he had shared with her. He had woken up to find himself alone in the bed. And this scared him. The fear was always with him those days. He believed he had something much too precious, he was much too happy and he felt it would all come crashing down. He felt a prodigious guilt exulting in his happiness, in celebrating her being. And he felt that he would pay for each for each moment of ecstasy with her, that he would pay dearly, a terrible price. And how right he was.
In the vision he got up. His heart palpating. Drumming against his ribs, like a caged tiger. His breaths were labored, his lungs devoid of air. The room, everything in it reeked with her aroma, her womanly fragrance and even in the vision he once again got drunk on it, exhilaratingly intoxicated as it filled his lungs, and by the virtue of it; his blood and everything that was ever his. So much and so that it became for him a reality. Something far more real than anything that is real can ever be.
The cold air chilled him to the bone as he got out of his warm bed. Goosebumps erupted all over his arms and legs, his nipples hardened in the cold, freezing air. Yet he made no effort to cover himself and neither did he shiver. He removed a large loose slab from the floor, about his own size. Lifted it as if it weighed nothing and set it aside. And dug from a closed a compartment underneath: a claymore. In the moonlit room, the great sword had a serene beauty to it. It was hard to imagine that it was anything more than scenic, that is could be used as instrument of hurt, of murder when swung in hatred. The blade was of unlike any metal that men or mer could work. The closest description of it would be a fish’s cartilage. Yet the blade was hard, strong and sharp. Relentless, unyielding and uncaring. The handle was cold, so very cold. Not the kind of cold in the air, this was an outlandish cold, the kind of cold an unfeeling and callous human heart must feel. It felt foreign in his hands. He never remembered it being like this. He had always remembered it being warm like the blood that oozes out of a clean cut. Perhaps as the fire of vigil died inside him to be replaced by one of passion and love. So did it die within Cassiel, his sword. For the blade was his by birthright and he and the blade were one, in spirit and flesh.
He walked slowly, quietly, laid each step purposefully. The blade held back read to strike, cut and kill with no hesitation should it need to, like the olden days of his youth even though he was still a young man. He saw light coming from the room to his right. Cautiously he peered inside. Relief washed over him. There she was, his lovely Lenore. Just sitting by the hearth as Hestia did on Olympus with her knees brought up to her face. Somehow looking a lot smaller than she actually was. He left the claymore at the door for it always made her uneasy. As he laid it on the floor, it produced the faintest of sounds, a shrill cry of one mourning their dead. This made her look back in horror, her eyes widened in fear. On seeing him however her expression changed and her gaze transformed into one of loving.
“Vic, you scared me,” she said while sighing a sigh of relief.
“Scared you? I woke up in the middle of the night to find myself alone in bed.”
“My poor baby. Come sit with me by the fire.”
Invictus made good on the offer, and immediately came to stretch before the fire. Resting his head on his Lenore’s lap, and soon she began to run her finger through his curly hair. Such was the magic in her touch that his hair untangled themselves to allow her fingers to run through unopposed. In that small room, by the fire. In this abandoned the cottage in the middle of a snowy nowhere there was undoubtedly magic. Not the one that came from the Holy Sephras, or from the Hellish fiends or even from the Elementals of olden. No, this was magic much stronger and much sweeter. Of the celebration of love. The silence of in the room; only broken by the occasional crackle of a dying ember. And within the silence was a song that was played only for Invictus and Lenore. The souls in love and it sang to them in such melodious tone. Invictus thought there was nothing mellower in the entire universe except for the voice of his beloved Lenore.
And it was for this reason that he choose to break the spell of the silence. “Tell me a story.”
She smiled and her aura was illuminated by it. Her face glowed in the light of the dancing embers, and her red hair gave an illusion like they were on fire, or was it an illusion? Invictus was convinced nothing on this earth or on the heavens above can be as beautiful. No mortal, no seraphim.
“There is this legend of the great Unnamed One. The rulers of all the Seraphs in heavens above, the heavenly father of all. Their sovereign. They say he was brave and compassionate, and all the Seraphs of heavens adored him and sung praises for him. Yet inside his heart the Unnamed one was sad. He longed for the company of someone who understood him. He took many lovers among the Valkyries and Seraphim. Yet he couldn’t truly love any of them, neither they him. They were always cut off from him. They adored him too much, a fevered admiration reaching up to the level of worship. And they only laid with him to so that he would father their sons and daughter. A great honor it was.”
“The Unnamed one started to roam the vastness of the universe. Looking for someone that he could share his heart with. That he could truly love. The seductress among demoness tried to lay their vile charms on him but he pushed them away. All he ever found among the creatures he knew, was disappointment until one day he came to a small planet bursting with strange form of life. He was much too enchanted by the beauty of it. The life here was all simple. Animals and plants. Yet there was a harmony and beauty such that he never knew, that was so different from that of the heavens. Here were flowing rivers of waters, large masses of saltier water. Green life grew upon the dark mud, which grew rainbow of flowers ruby, sapphire, pink of pearls and white of diamonds. And the majesty of it was breathtaking. The source of all that was an ancient elemental. Older perhaps even than the Seraphim themselves. The spirit we today know as Nature and it is embodied inside the very core of our planet. As the Unnamed one saw the Nymph bathing one day, he was smitten but her raw beauty. She was elegant yet not like the Valkyries. There was a strange wildness in her charms. Sometimes she would be the most loving creature he knew, other times she would be wrathful, vengeful even. I was all so foreign to the Unnamed One and it only made him fall deeper in love.”
“It is said that from their union all the men, women and spirits of the earth came forth. However the lovers and their children were soon discovered by the Invictus, who shares his named with you,” Lenore smiled at his lover.
“Invictus was general of the Seraphim’s army against the tempters and the demons of the underworld. The Angel of Valor they call him. He raised a hue and cry. Calling the match of the Unnamed with the Nymph unholy, an abomination and swore to put all their children to sword.”
“The Unnamed One was stronger than all the Seraphs but no match against the combined wrath of heaven. He and his lover however invoked the most ancient of magics. One powered by their love. To protect the children they had brought forth. It required a great, terrible price though as all magic does. The Unnamed One’s entity was consumed by it. The spell however worked. And the Seraphim despite all their might could not launch an invasion on the children of the earth. The Nature, or Mother Nature as we know her was much too grieved by the death of her lover. She gave up her physical self and became forever one with the land. Her spirits lingers on; to this day. Singing of her loss in low, mournful tones. Legends says if you close your eyes on silent night and perhaps you are in love, you can hear her song.”
Lenore finished her story to look down on lap to find her lover sound asleep. She smiled despite herself.
“Rest up my hero. My love.” She brought her head down to place a chaste kiss on his eye lids.
In the present day this sent a great shock coursing through Invictus’ body. And he was brought back to reality with an unpleasant jolt.
Invictus didn’t know how long he laid crying for his lost Lenore, curled up like a fetus. Once he was done however, he heard something in night’s air. The tone so somber, so elegant. It sang of love and pain and death. Invictus was convinced he heard Mother Nature singing the song of the legends. Over her lost love, over Invictus’ lost love, and for his poor Lenore and thousands of soul that know the majesty of being in love and it was then taken away from them so cruelly by fate.
The words that came to Invictus were however as full of hate as they were of love, and it reflected in him the temper of Mother Earth that all her children had inherited, the wrath of the human spirit. “I will avenge you my love.”