The scorching sun drew out the energy from the small group of nefisians training beneath the sagging, blue, willow tree. A boy, appearing around the age of 14, was leading them. His tunic matching the color of the green grass beneath their feet. It was strange, though. They are called The Elite but yet none of them have noticed the shadowy, black-cloaked figure in the tree. Not even the dark mist emanating off the cloak was noticed. As the members of the Elite drew their training to a close, the shadowy figure dropped from the branches of the tree. Still unnoticed. When the other nefisians left for their homes, the boy stayed behind.
“Who knew that such young people could be so strong.” The boy jumped and spun on his heels to face the figure. His silver and green eyes narrowed at them.
“It’s a shame though. They’re being fed lies and being manipulated for someone else’s cause. How long is this going to go, Lloyd?” The figure pulled down her black hood and revealed her silver eyes and short, dusty blonde hair. “When will you listen?”
“When will you stop? I know it’s going to work this time. You can’t convince me otherwise!” Through Lloyd’s seething anger, the plants around him reacted. They began to grow and surround him, becoming bigger than they should be. The girl walked up to Lloyd, a stone-cold expression met his rage. She glanced to her left as one of the plants grew closer to her. As her hand touched the smooth, silky petals it withered and crumbled into black dust.
“It isn’t her time and you know this. It won’t be her time for years. You can prevent millions of deaths if you just stop.”
“I’m not letting that tyrant get away with what she’s done, Star. So why are you?” Star’s eyes rolled as she placed a hand on her hip.
“I’m not. I just know she’s not going to die until it’s time. I have my own plan that, I know with absolute certainty, will work. I just have to wait for the right moment to carry it out.” Lloyd glared at her.
“What is this plan of yours?”
“I have to wait. It isn’t the right time. Patience is key to getting what you want.”
“Patience gets you nowhere.”
“Our fellow immortals respect me more now, don’t they? That took time and patience. Please, just listen to me.” Lloyd sighs at her remark.
“I can’t call it off. Not now.”
“I know. But make sure you don’t try again. You really need to consult me on these types of things, Lloyd. I am the goddess of death after all. I know who dies and when.” He nods and smirks mischievously before bringing the girl in for a hug.
“Uhg, seriously! You know how I feel about physical contact” She yelped trying to pull away. She ducked out and used her glyphs to make her way back to Skourch. Lloyd laughs, giving chase. Before the two reach the castle of the immortals, they come across two of their friends, Cole and Demnea. Star quickly ducks behind them.
“Help, he’s trying to initiate physical touch!” she yelped, keeping her siblings between Lloyd and herself. The demon laughs before taking flight and watching from the air.
“Demnea! Come on.” Lloyd raced around them and tried to lunge at Star. He was gently pushed aside as Star’s older brother, Cole, held the two apart.
“Come on you two, the other immortals have been waiting.” The two froze, glancing at each other in fear before quickly running into the castle. Demnea flew back down to Cole.
“Good thinking. They are going to be really mad though.”
“I can always say it was your idea.”
“Excuse me!” Cole laughs, about to make a comment when the deep bells of the castle rung out with a loud bang. Cole and Demnea glanced at each other. Leaving no time for talking, they ran to the throne room. The whole world felt like it had frozen. There at the foot of the largest thrones lay two figures. Their deceased bodies mangled and deformed but still recognizable. Star stood there, horror and fear painted across her features. Lloyd was trying to comfort her, but it was in vain. The other immortals rushed into the throne room, their faces filled with shock when they realized what had just happened.
Their King and Queen had been assassinated.
The immortal of water, River, was very quick to jump to conclusions. He raised an accusing finger to Star.
“How could you? They accepted you and cared about you and this is how you repay them?” He roared much like a waterfall. Star tried to collect herself enough to speak, but her fear restricted her throat. Instead, Lloyd jumped to her rescue.
“This couldn’t have been Star, she’s been with me all day. If it happened sometime last night then we would’ve noticed long before now.”
“Lloyd’s right. I saw her leave a few seconds after Lloyd did while I was talking to Alweo.” Aibreann exclaimed, backing up her friend. Alweo nodded in agreement.
“They had over 300 trillion years left to live. I’ve upset Destiny once by accident, I never want to do it again.” Star finally managed to compose herself enough to speak.
“You never know with your abilities. Besides, we all know that death wasn’t an immortal that the shooting stars created. Neither is war. Perhaps he did this.” River hissed, sounding almost snake-like.
“That’s enough. Throwing accusations like this is, metaphorically speaking, like sitting in a rocking chair. It will get us nowhere. Right now, we need to figure out what we must do to keep this from happening again.” Logan, or Knowledge as many people call him, stated as he pulled his goggles away from his eyes. Everyone seemed to stop in their tracks.
“Logan’s right. We should burry them first, then take whatever precautions necessary to keep an assassination like this from happening again.” Cole stated, finally speaking up. Everyone nodded and quickly started to make preparations for the funeral.
Hours later, Star wandered through the halls aimlessly. A looming cloud followed her wherever she went. She couldn’t help but feel as though this was her fault. Because it was. She was Death, the one being that could stop this from happening. Rubbing her tired mind, she decided to visit her cousin out in the woods. Perhaps they could give her some sort of reassurance? Upon arriving at the large house, Star debated between knocking and just letting herself in. That was until her dark-skinned cousin opened the door.
“Why are you up so late?” They asked, leaning on the door frame.
“Something happened recently, it was pretty big. I need some time to… I guess, recover from it. And I figured who better to be around than you.” Nuriye smiled, and quickly pulled her into the house.
“Want to help me work on something?”
“What is it?”
“Come on, I’ll show you.” Nuriye excitedly grabbed Star’s hand and dragged her to their workshop.
The next few days passed by in a blur. All the immortals were wondering where Star had gone. Until they eventually agreed that what she did was a good idea. Separating and leaving to other worlds. Lloyd, however, was still troubled by Star’s disappearance.
“Where do you think she went?” Cole shrugged.
“Probably Nuriye’s forge. That’s where she usually goes when she wants to get away from the other immortals.” Lloyd sighed, running his hand along his snake’s scales. A nervous tick he had gained over the years.
“The one place I can’t go.”
“Hey, you have that pendant that Nuriye gave you.” Lloyd frowned as he glanced at the green pendant that currently hung from his neck.
“It looks too similar to Amari’s…”
“I know. Either way, Demnea and I are headed to Nuriye’s. Amy might come as well. Just letting you know that you’re free to join us if you want.”
“Thanks. I’ll think about it. But I can’t rest until all the immortals are safe.” Cole nods in understanding before leaving. Minutes later, the castle felt like a void. Cold and empty. But how was that possible if most of the other immortals were still here? Lloyd quickly raced around the castle, trying to find the remaining immortals. He slid to a stop as he saw the rising figure of Rune, the tyrant who ruled Zaverin with an iron fist. Lloyd quickly pulled out his double-sided blade and stood ready to defend. She laughed.
“Poor prince of the living. You have arrived too late.” She stepped to the side, revealing many fallen bodies of the immortals that had tried to stand up against her. Lloyd noticed, with some hope, that Love, Nature, Dream, Earth, Fire, and Knowledge were not there.
“You monster, always taking what isn’t yours.” He hissed, carefully and discreetly charging up his glyphs to make his way quickly out of the castle. Rune, however, had a different plan. Instead of charging at him with her greatsword, she blasted him with a beam of turquoise light. Lloyd ducked out of the way and ran but the bolt still struck his side. Despite the searing pain, He didn’t stop until he reached an unfamiliar looking building in the woods.
“Lloyd? What happened?” The concerned voice of Star made him look up. She was standing next to a strange metal gateway, Nuriye not too far away. About to explain what had happened, a strange unyielding rage filled Lloyd.
“If you were there, you would have known! I told your Rune would come and she did. If you had been there, maybe the others wouldn’t have died!” He spat. Star quickly recoiled, both stunned and furious.
“Excuse me? We were told to take the necessary precautions to keep another assassination from happening again. That’s what I’m doing! I’m sorry if I wasn’t there to help you or them but I would have been just as helpful as a butterfly. I don’t have the power necessary to kill her. I’ve already told you that!”
“You still could have been there to get everyone out of there safely!”
“You think they’ll listen? I’m Death! They barely even trust me.” In a blind rage, Star quickly turned on the gateway, a light blue portal forming. She turned back to Lloyd.
“Good luck trying to kill Rune on your own.” With that, she walked through the portal. As the metal frame began to shake and crack, Nuriye quickly dove into the portal. It crumpled with a crash under the effort of transporting two people. Lloyd fell to his knees, barely aware of the presence of Cole, Demnea, and Amy. Why was he angry? That made absolutely no sense. A sharp slap brought him back to the present. His wide, pained eyes met the concerned gazes of his friends.
“Lloyd, what happened? Where’s Nuriye and Star?” All Lloyd could do in response was stare at the broken machine.
“Oh no. Come on sweetheart, let’s get that nasty burn o’ yours some treatment. Then you can tell us what happened.” Amy gently helped Lloyd up and lead him to the medical room in Nuriye’s cabin. Lloyd shakily and guiltily retold the events that had happened, from the encounter with Rune to Star and Nuriye leaving. For once, Demnea’s mischievous flair vanished. She carefully hugged Lloyd as he slowly began to break down.
“It’s going to be okay. Star has a knack for coming back alive. She’ll bring Nuriye with her as well. I have no doubt about it.”
“Demnea’s right. Both of them are strong survivors. If they are together, the chances of them both coming back are very high.”
“But we are forgetting one important detail, sugar. Skourch. The castle needs to be hidden. We can’t let Rune take over. Who knows what she’ll do to Destiny’s bud.” Lloyd sighs, trying to force the tears from flowing.
“You’re right. We need to do that as soon as possible. As well as burry the remaining immortals. Dream, Nature, Fire, and Knowledge got out safely and are in hiding. So, at least the immortals aren’t completely gone. Most of us are alive still.” This brought a new spark of hope to the group. They made preparations to go back to the castle in a few days. They thought maybe, once Star returns, they could finally use that plan of hers to get rid of Rune forever. However, none of them knew that it would take 3 billion years and an alien for Stargazer and Nuriye to return to Zaverin once more. Until then, they shall forever have broken bonds.