A Soul Without the Other Half
Freedom? How I crave such a thing. Once you arrive in Nede, you can never leave. You're a prisoner once you break through the world's atmosphere. You will never know freedom unless he lets you leave, and let me tell you: he will never allow it. The he I refer to is the self-proclaimed ruler Gandr. He is ruthless, cruel, and manipulative. He will kill anyone who gets in the way of his goal. You see, all who arrive in Nede have something that Gandr lacks. A soul. Everyone who comes to this realm loses their soul, but no matter how many souls Gandr collects, he will never have one. That is, until I arrived.
I stood from the sand-covered floor and brushed my body clean. I examined my surroundings carefully. In front of me stood a massive dark jungle, turning around I could see a luminescent ocean, glittering with the moon's light. Where am I? When I turned towards the tangled woods once more, a pack of wild-looking teenagers came into sight, causing the previous vision of the jungle to something a little more fierce. Each of their faces were pale and had no sign of hope, though the masks they wore were quite ferocious. The clan of feral looking teenagers parted parted, allowing a one to step forward and greet me. The face this boy was welcoming though his gaze was quite the opposite. "I am Gandr, the knighted king of Nede." He introduced himself with a smile but I was unfazed. A knighted king? How does that work? What kind of strange realm have I come to? I thought with a shake of my head, trying to silence any thoughts that may wonder. Clearly the young man was attempting to be alluring and charming. Any girl would fall for his mysterious facade but not me. Gandr had fire red hair, which was wild and unkempt, and bright emerald green eyes. His ears were pointed, almost elf-like only curved to resemble a nymph's ear. His chest was bare which was well-sculpted. Across his chest was a black rope, securing the skull of wolf-looking creature and, I assume, it's pelt for a cape. A few scars could be seen on his chest, I could only presume it was from sparring with his soldiers. His pants were a vibrant color green, as green as a lily pad. It was tattered and torn in various places, exposing his pale peach flesh. He wore boots, which was an earthy shade of brown, that started roughly three inches beneath his knee, and were laced with black ribbon. Regardless of the sinister energy that radiating off of him, something about him pulled me in. Perhaps it was this realm's influence or some type of spell he was using. Whatever it is, I felt torn about what actions this encounter may lead me to take. "Whats your name newcomer?" Gandr wondered as he began to circle me.
"I am Sailor Sige. I am the protector, and queen, of the frozen kingdom of Artcus." I informed before folding my arms across my chest. I had never heard of this realm and I began to think that there is a reason as to why that is. As curious about not knowing of Nede as I was, something inside me told me that once I knew the answer, I would regret ever wondering. Because of that feeling of mine, I remained silent, keeping my questions locked in my head. Gandr scanned my form, his eyes narrowing a bit but a smirk played on his lips.
"Welcome to Nede." He said letting the realm's name roll off his tongue ever-so-nicely. "I do hope you enjoy your stay here, Sige, after all we will be seeing much each other." His eyes narrowed dangerously as his smile became dark. "You will never be leaving this world again." He mentioned with a quick lick of his lips as his eyes swept across my figure once more. "From this day until your last, you, and your soul, belong to me." Sincerity sang in his fierce tone as his true persona had made it's debut. I frowned at his proclamation and the my eyes took a quick sweep across his followers. Is that why they all look so empty? I shook my head and sent a glare towards the corrupted king. "These are my soldiers, my lost souls, you could say." He informed nodding to the lot behind him. "They too, like you, came to this realm, only to lose something. Their souls. Now they belong to me. However, they had no choice in the matter, it's the toll to pay upon entry. They now follow me, trying to reclaim what they have lost." Gandr looked at me and grinned.
"My soul is mine and mine alone. King of this realm or not, you cannot force me to stay here. I will be free and I will take them with me." I summoned my armor, ready to battle him. Ready to keep the promises I had just made. I have only broken one promise and I will never do it again. "I am no prisoner, I am a queen and my people are waiting for my return." His boyish smile became serpent-like.
"My my, aren't you a cheeky one?" He smirked. "Do you really think that you can take me on?"
"Yes I do." My glare intensified. "I will not allow you to take my soul." I summoned my ice bow. I'd be damned to allow my pure soul to be corrupted by his darkness. I am a queen, the strongest warrior in all of Arctus, and I need to protect my people. No matter what it takes, I will return. Gandr furrowed his brow and, with a wave of his hand, sent me flying backwards. His green eyes flashed to a crimson color.
"You're out of your league, Sige." Gandr informed crudely as he clenched his jaw. "Your. Soul. Is. Mine." He hissed as he threw a fireball towards me. I summoned a ice wall and prayed for the best. You see, Artcus ice magic is the strongest ice magic in known existence, but I knew not of Gandr's strength in the magical art and had to be prepared for the worst. However, before the fireball could come close to my wall of protection, it vanished, as if it was pulled apart in the open air. What the Hell? The next thing I knew, a pair of arms wrapped around me as if to protect me. I turned in the grasp of the person behind me and found a beautiful woman standing there, a kind smile pulling at her lips. Her red hair shined like the brightness of dawn and her flesh was the color of porcelain. Her crystal blue eyes sparkled the the Nedeian sea. Her dress was simple yet elegant, draping over her shoulders, loosely wrapped around her body, and as white as the fresh fallen snow. Her eyes became fierce when she turned her gaze towards my opponent, the bright blue hues seeming to darken with her anger.
"You cannot, Gandr. She is not like any of your Lost ones." The woman informed, gesturing to the teenagers. "She is, how you say, your other half." My mouth hung ajar after those words left her mouth. Please tell me she's joking. Gnadr glared towards the mysterious woman.
"Leave specter, you have no power here. I am the king and I can have whatever I please." He growled towards this strange female, throwing his blade toward the female that protected me, completely disregarding what she had said about me being his other half. The entrancing woman disappeared, before being impaled by his dagger, only to reappear in front of him.
"Do not forget Gandr, I gave you what you have. I gave you a chance to redeem the soul that was taken from you. Do not think I will not take it all away." She warned dangerously. Gandr's eyes widened and he backed away, lowering his head in shame. I stared in awe at the scene before me, her words echoing in my mind. Is she responsible for all of this?
"My apologies, my lady." He said sounding like a whipped pup. She rolled her eyes and turned her attention to me
"Lady Sige, I am the very essence of Nede. I welcome you to this realm with an open heart." She bowed towards me.
"That's very kind of you, Tarania, thank you." I acknowledged returning her bow. "I appreciate you protecting me, and the kind offer you have bestowed upon me, but I have to ask: what did you mean that I was Gandr's 'other half?'" I wondered, standing straight and placing my gaze on the celestial woman before me. I hope she doesn't mean -
"Exactly what you think it means, I'm afraid." My heart seemed to stop beating. "You are his true love, as he is yours." It was at those words I felt my heart shatter into a several pieces. How could anyone expect me to fall for that... That... I looked towards, him returning my weary gaze with a glare so full of hate. Thing?! I finished my thought, causing a shudder to rattle my body. Gandr is heartless and cruel, I am just and full of love. I bit my lip to fight the tears that begged to fall. How could my true love be someone who has shown himself to be so very different than I? I shut my eyes, wishing I was back at home, though I knew the reality. "Gandr, please take Lady Sige back to your camp and provide her with all she may need." Tarania stated, glancing towards the dictator. He ground his teeth together. Yes, even with the separation, I heard it. It would seem even Gandr's followers heard it, judging by the winces that claimed their faces, any way. "Absolutely no harm shall come to her." She stated with a hiss.
"Yes, Lady Tarania." He snarled, his displeasure clearly audible in his tone. "Sige." His glare fell on me. "Come." He turned his back, revealing a small braid of crimson hair hanging along his neck. I glanced towards Tarania and she nodded with a smile. I heaved a heavy sigh and followed Gandr's lead. The bunch of broken boys waited til I past them to follow me and their leader. We trekked through the dark jungle, not an ounce of light could be seen, other than that of the burning flames on the torches the boys carried. After what felt like hours, we arrived in an area with a massive tree, this tree was different from any of the others I had seen and it stretched beyond the clouds. There was a bonfire that burned in the middle center of this area with logs surrounding it. I noticed that in some of those logs, more boys sat. Just how many boys has Gandr collected? The thought only plagued me, angered me, but also caused me to feel sympathetic towards them. How could you not? As soon as I saw their depraved leader, I loathed him. You could smell the evil madness on him. Gandr walked on and sat in a tree-like carved throne. The boys who followed us sat on the logs but I just stood there. This entire realm baffled me. Then reality set in. What will come of this situation? The questions that echoed in my mind could not stop the tears that now fell from my eyes. What will become of my people? Who will protect them? Will I ever be able to go back home?