Short Stories, Tale Africa

A Son’s Betrayal (6)

By Samuel S. Bunnya, Uganda

Orhóvihir roared with delight as the Great White Star pulsed in his hand. He watched his father soar towards him in a blinding rage and mix of silver and gold. The Great Father was moving faster than any falling star through the air. His two blades were in front of him; their light shining brightly against the Great Father’s hands. His face was contorted into lines of concentration as he charged at Orhóvihir.

With one swing of the Great White Star, Orhóvihir sent the Great Father racing through the sky in the opposite direction. The sparks from where the three weapons had clashed sent sparks of gold, silver and red through the air around them. Orhóvihir dashed through the opening he had created and attacked his father.

The Great White Star and the two blades, Israfel and Eiael, seemed to grow in anger towards one another. They clashed furiously as the Great Father and Orhóvihir danced their deadly dance. The light from the blades seemed to shine brighter with every passing moment. With every thrust, there was a parry. With every swing there was a strike of similar force from the other. The two of them were intent on destruction. Orhóvihir used the ancient magic and darkness to try to pin his father, but the Great Father was well versed in it as well. He used his own arts and countered all of Orhóvihir’s actions.

Together the Great Father and Orhóvihir danced uncaring of what was around them. The air all around them vibrated with the force of their blows. On and on they danced, each trying to destroy the other. There was no clear upper hand to either, but Orhóvihir could see the frustration in his father’s every step. He was pleased with his actions, knowing he could end ignorance of those in Sedralours if he won. Although he was breathing heavily, and sweat poured down his face and limbs, Orhóvihir knew he was much younger than the Great Father.

I can defeat him.

Orhóvihir could feel his power growing the more he thought he could win. He was more than sure of it. He could feel it in the blows from his father. The spells that attacked him at every moment when they had space between themselves, were far weaker. They had no effect on Orhóvihir. Where cuts and wounds would once appear, only tickles came out. Orhóvihir redoubled his efforts as he realised, he was on the verge of forcefully taking the throne of Great Father.

His father reckless sent Eiael through the air. The ancient blade sliced through the air faster than any light, but Orhóvihir swiped the sword away. He kept his eyes on the Great Father. Orhóvihir was glad that he did. With one swift motion he had his father’s strong neck in his hand. He used the Great White Star to pin Israfel to his father’s side. He looked deep into his father’s eyes. There was nothing but weariness and hatred in them. It made Orhóvihir realise that he had to take the throne of the Great Realm forcefully. He had to take the Lute of Creation into his hands and remove the veils.

“Why?” the Great Father gasped.

“If I do not do this, then you will never allow me to fulfil my vision,” Orhóvihir answered.

He squeezed hard trying to choke the life out of his father. Orhóvihir knew it was useless, but he tried anyway. No inhabitant of the Great Realm could die through choking. Orhóvihir glared at his father who had stretched his hand out calling Eiael to him. It was a soft whisper in the air that grew louder. He could hear the thunder rolling off the blade’s edges as it flew towards the Great Father’s hand.

In that moment his father touched Orhóvihir’s back. Orhóvihir knew what the Great Father intended with that action. He did not have to turn and face the blade. He could feel the air around them crackling with the shift in the direction Eiael was heading. Orhóvihir heard the ancient weapon coming straight at his back. Orhóvihir let go of the Great Father’s neck. He hurled the old creator towards the blade with one swift movement of his hand.

He heard the muted sound of ancient steel and flesh. Orhóvihir took his time turning around to face his father once more. He could afford to take a moment to catch his breath as he heard the Great Father’s groans. His hand gripped the hilt of the Great White Star as he turned to look at his father.

The Great Father; the Creator; Vedhor; his father; the old man was on the ground in the distance. He was struggling to pull out his ancient weapon from his own back. The Great Father struggled along the edge of the cliffs. After a few moments, the Great Father pulled Eiael out of his back. Orhóvihir heard the growl from his father as the ancient blade fell to the ground dripping with his golden blood. He got to his feet but swayed in the wind. Orhóvihir could see that the Great Father was in pain.

Orhóvihir had not noticed that their battle had taken them all the way to the Ancient Vale. He could see glimpses of Sedralours in the distance. He laughed as he noticed that his father had sunk to the ground on his knees. The two blades Eiael and Israfel were at his sides. They were no longer crackling with lightning. No thunder was rolling off their edges. Even the bright silver and golden glow that had been about them had dulled.

He is weak,” the darkness whispered. “If you want to be the Great Father, now is the time.”

He would never get such a straightforward opportunity. With a sinister laugh, Orhóvihir charged straight at the Great Father. The Great White Star was raised over his head. The dark mist around the hilt grew denser as Orhóvihir concentrated all his power into the ancient weapon. The mist clasped the whiteness of the star and made it fade. Around him, a glow of grey radiated as he shot through the sky.

“And now creation will know a new Great Father,” Orhóvihir said as he brought down the Great White Star to cut of his father’s head.

The Great Father suddenly clasped Orhóvihir’s wrists. The force from the action burnt Orhóvihir’s skin and sent the Great White Star tumbling from his grip. He gasped as he had not expected his father to have that much energy left. Doubt started to creep into his mind. Orhóvihir was suddenly afraid of his father. As he peered at his father, he noticed that the Great Father still looked to the ground. Orhóvihir tried to see his father’s face, but he could not. The Great Father held Orhóvihir firmly in place. He was unable to free himself no matter how hard he tried. He looked to the side and tried to call the Great White Star to his hands, but the blade did not move.

What is this? Orhóvihir wondered.

You must get free,” the Darkness said in a panicked and rushed whisper. “Free yourself Orhóvihir…before he…

He did not hear what the Darkness said next. Unexpectedly, Orhóvihir felt something in his blood starting to fight with the darkness. The fight within his body drained Orhóvihir of all the energy he had thought he had. He could feel the darkness clinging on to him, but it was failing. His body was boiling from inside out and it made Orhóvihir writhe with pain. It seemed like a thousand stars burned inside of him. Orhóvihir looked into his father’s eyes. They were veiled by a strange glowing light as he stared at Orhóvihir.

After what seemed like an eternity, they were surrounded by a brilliant red flame. As the flame burned brighter, the pain inside of Orhóvihir intensified. Orhóvihir felt the darkness release its grip on his heart. All the power he had felt coursing through his veins was suddenly no more. The Great Father shoved Orhóvihir away, sending him closer to the edge. Orhóvihir tried to get up but he was too weak. The pain continued to burn inside of him. Orhóvihir closed his eyes as he tried to syphon the pain out of his body. He felt it start to ebb away.

“Your pride is the reason you failed,” the Great Father’s voice boomed. Orhóvihir was too weak to say anything. “Your vision is wrong and will never come to pass.”

Orhóvihir opened his eyes and tried to steady his beating heart. He was in agony. His body felt like the whole of creation had fallen on it. He rolled onto his stomach. He raised his eyes to look at his father. The Great Father’s hands once more held his ancient blades Israfel and Eiael. Although his golden blood trailed him as he approached Orhóvihir, there was something in his eyes that made Orhóvihir know that the love of a father and son was no longer in the Great Father’s mind.

“You sought the darkness and it accepted you,” the Great Father continued. “I will destroy you before it can reach out to you again.”

“Why do you fear it?” Orhóvihir asked in a small voice.

“I do not fear it.” The Great Father stood in front of Orhóvihir. He looked down on him. “I destroyed it and I will destroy any he seeks to bring it back to the world.”

Despite knowing that his end was near, Orhóvihir did not understand something. “How was I able to reach the Darkness?”

He had been there during the last battle between the Darkness and the forces of the great Realm. He had seen his father raise Israfel and Eiael. He had seen his father bind the darkness to the Heart of the Or’an. He had seen the two blades send thunderous flames of white fire into the heart and destroy the darkness forever. He had seen the light consuming it and the soldiers of the Great Realm rejoicing as nothingness surrounded them.

For years Orhóvihir had gone with his father to the very place where the Darkness had once thrived, and seen nothing but emptiness. That was until his father had fashioned the Lute of Creation and used it to create Sedralours in the place where the Darkness had once been. None of it made sense to him.

How did it survive then? Orhóvihir continued to think.

Darkness is in every being that was created with the Lute of Creation.” The answer was no more than a faint whisper.

“And you still speak to it,” his father growled.

“Why do you fear it?” Orhóvihir asked as he tried to get up. He immediately collapsed to the ground. Even speaking was draining him.

“You will never understand, Orhóvihir,” his father snapped.

Orhóvihir started to shake with fear as he saw the determination set onto his father’s face. Just as the Great Father raised Israfel to deliver the final blow, his hand did not move. His stormy eyes glared at Orhóvihir, but there was something underneath all the determined hatred. Orhóvihir’s father’s hands were shaking. There was an internal debate raging through the Great Father. Orhóvihir could see it clearly.

Slowly, the Great Father lowered Israfel. His other hand clasped the hilt of Eiael tightly. The hardened expression on his face changed to one of pain and sadness. His eyes were shinning with tears as he looked at Orhóvihir.

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