Eight - HourglassInfernal Saga (Part 1 Complete)
Eight – Hourglass
A million of stars shone in those ruby spheres like a vortex to another galaxy. They him in, hypnotized him for a moment, taking his breath away. For a moment, the mage was lost and didn’t know where he was, what he was doing, and who he was. Yet the face of the man before him was like a portal to the past, bringing him back from the beginning until the end.
“Chen,” the prince called, worry laced in his now honey, baritone voice. “You’ve got to hold yourself together. You need to escape this place. Right. Now.”
Disoriented, Chen tried to stand with prince’s help. He looked around, found the cave where he stayed as he remembered it, but with difference.
The walls, they were decorated with lines that almost covered up all the spaces. But they weren’t just lines as they were separated by fives. He looked down on himself, thinner than he remembered. But his hair, it grew so long that it reached his knees.
“H-How… W-What happened?” he muttered, catching his head with his hand.
“Stop spacing out!” The prince hissed, taking him out of his trance.
”You need to go back to Cepherus, before Chanyeol finds you.”
Upon hearing the name of his land from the prince’s lips, Chen snapped out of his frantic state and remembered his purpose when he left his land. And right now, in front of him, was the answer to all his questions.
“Baek Ahn,” Chen muttered, falling on his kness, loud enough for the prince to hear it.
The prince took a deep breath, his lips pressed into thin line. He pulled out a vial that was connected to his golden necklace before handing it to him. “Take this. It’s the most potent essence of moon dust I could make. It took me years to make it perfect. Pour it on that lake around a huge tree, and have everyone with the disease bathe in it. It should relieve them from their pain.”
“You… you’re the lost Moon Child,” the mage sat on his shins as his eyes warmed up, welling with unshed tears.
The prince of Daevrics reached out and cupped his right cheek with a tender touch. “Don’t.” he whispered, “I’m not your Moon Child, Cepherean,” he smiled, albeit it was obviously forced. “I’m the prince of this kingdom, My name is Hyun Ryu.”
The Garnlok mage shook his head, “Then how did you know about the people dying from our land? How come you made this thing for me to use to heal them?” Chen stubbornly gripped the prince’s wrist, desperately holding to the man he respected and followed his whole life. “If you’re not Baek Ahn, then why are you trying to save my life?”
“There’s no more time to argue,” Hyun pulled up the mage back to his feet.
“Go back to Cepherus,” the mage watched the prince’s eyes bleed from crimson into a familiar silver. The light and power of the moon seeping out from his soul, and into the very air they were breathing. Suddenly, a ring of wild fire around the mage, fencing him from the Daevric prince. Before Chen could utter one more word, the fire roared and climbed higher, almost reaching his eyes.
Soon, the orange tongues of fire became icy blue, spiraling around him. “Ahn,”
“I will see you soon.” He promised.
That was the last time Chen heard and saw him before he vanished with the fire.
The moment the mage disappeared, the prince removed the mask he had put on before coming to the cave. He observed his surroundings, found the lines against the walls of the cave somewhat disturbing, knowing that these were just some of the days Chen had spent locked up in this place. In this dimension. A frown marred his beautiful face, brows pulled together as he traced the lines carefully.
He was sorry, but it was the only way to keep the mage alive.
Time was a reliable friend, but it could also be a terrifying foe. Looking back to the years he had spent locked up in the castle, doing nothing but steal books and scrolls that might help him understand the world he’s living in, he realized that he had wasted enough of it which caused hundreds of lives.
Every night, the dreams he seldom saw as a child became a recurring one once he turned thirteen. They haunted him every night. He heard screams of agony from the people who lost their beloved ones. He saw horrified eyes as they knocked helplessly on death’s door. They reminded him of Chen the first time he saw him.
That was the time he put the dots together. All those years, he was seeing how the people of Cepherus were suffering from an unknown disease. The reason why he could see them were still unknown. However, as Yifan reported, Chen’s condition improved every single day until it never came back anymore.
He knew it had something to do with the moon dust, as he had witnessed how it affected the Cepherean the first time he took him in the cave. From then on, he spent his days studying, experimenting about the moon dust, about the Moon itself until he found a book about the Celestial’s powers. Only then he realized the reason why the people from Cepherus were getting this disease.
Chen once told him that they used to have a moon, but for some reason, they no longer have now. If what he said was true, then that means the lack of passive energy the moon gives had slowly manifested a plague in their land.
Hyun Ryu decided to make a potent essence of moon dust that might help Chen and his people for the mean time. However, in one of those days, Yifan came back with a news that he found the mage unconscious and wasn’t able to wake him up.
Hyun escaped the tower without Chanyeol knowing. He used fire to take him there leaving no traces behind. And as he set his foot inside the cave where he left the mage, he saw him almost lifeless on the ground.
With the help of Yifan, they laid him on a better position, flat on his back while his head rested on a folded animal fur. Chen’s energy was completely drained and its regeneration was so slow he could die if he wasn’t strong enough. The only thing he could do then was transfer some of his own energy to save the mage.
He remembered how he sat by his head and placed his fore and index fingers on both sides of Chen’s temple. While he was on it, Hyun had travelled inside the Cepherean’s mind.
“Chen, can we disturb you a little?”
“Three hours,” he said in a soft icy voice.
“T-That’s more than enough! I know my way in the library so it wouldn’t be hard for me to look. Thank you so much.”
There were so many lives the mage had seen and protected. All of it has the soul of no other than the Moon Child. He, as the right hand man, had to sacrifice his own heart just to fulfill his one and only friend’s wish, and that is to help him save Cepherus by cursing his own self. Though outside, he sports an indifferent façade, deep in his heart, he too, was suffering.
But he had to be strong. He was one of the few the Moon Child could trust and thus, he set aside the pain every time he sees him dying once the eclipse comes.
“I don’t how to go back to my old self, Chen.” Yixing snapped, “Because everytime I go back to that academy, I kept seeing him and I kept on thinking that if I didn’t help him that day, if I didn’t bring him to you, none of this would have happen. He wouldn’t have to die.”
And by the end of it all, he had to take all the blame.
“You should know that showing yourself to me after all these years would not lessen my hatred towards you and your world.”
“I know.” Chen smirks, “And I’m prepared, I’m not afraid to die.”
Chanyeol sneered, “Just as how you’re not afraid to let Ahn die,” upon seeing the look in the mage’s face, Chanyeol knew he had pushed his buttons. “Just as how you’re not afraid to see him suffer by dying every 20 years?
The prince blinked away the tears lapping slowly down his cheeks. He knew it was his fault why the Cepherean mage was suffering right now. All he could do in his power right now is to help him escape and go back to his homeland. He would do everything to make everything right.
He would start with Chanyeol.
“Your Majesty,” Kyungsoo bowed to the king, waiting for his acknowledgement before raising his head. “We have found the source of the lightning. Our men discovered a cave along the mountain range of Lupus Volkkan. I’ve investigated myself and found it heavy with Garnlok presence and magic.”
The king gave no signal to stop so the general continued with his report. “But we found something else.” He almost whispered, before turning to one of his knights. He gave him the pouch that contained an ample amount of white and blue dust, mixed with the soil in that cave. He untied the pouch and should the ashes to the king.
“These ashes were found on the ground of the cave, Your Majesty. We do not want to accuse anyone however, as we all know, only the prince could produce a blue flame which leaves a residue of white ash.”
The king straightened up on his seat. His far seeing eyes turned to the high window, where he could see the Dark Tower from there. Jaws locked, Chanyeol clenched his hands into fist in attempt to calm himself. He ordered them to leave and wait for further instructions. Once alone, Chanyeol made a beeline towards the high window, taking off with his wings spread wide on both sides, raging fire dancing around him.
The king landed smoothly on the tower’s only window, the silk black and crimson robe framing his body as the wind combs his onyx hair. Eyes adorned with kohl and a little bit of rose powder, it gives off an intimidating vibe to whoever looks directly at him, not that anyone can do that. His exposed chest was adorned with a family necklace. It’s pendant was a phoenix’ figure, studded with ruby aesthetically.
Chanyeol found the prince sitting in front of his vanity mirror. Legs elegantly crossed underneath its table, Hyun combs his scarlet hair with gentle . From behind, he could see him through the reflection of the mirror.
“Hyun,” he called the prince.
As the prince lifted his gaze to him, it dawned to the king how Hyun Ryu had grown over the years. The adorable little prince who was always attached to his hips was now a very beautiful man of elegance and power. His striking eyes were sparkling like thousands of starts in the night sky. His hair, though now in shade of fire, was still as beautiful and smooth as before. His skin embarrassed the finest porcelain that was ever made. And most of all, his huge and velvety wings.
But Chanyeol didn’t let these things distract him. He entered the prince’s room, his face was enough to tell the other that he wasn’t here without a reason.
Hyun stood from his seat, turning on his heels to look at the prince properly.
“Is there something wrong?” Hyun asked, his brows knitted in worry.
Chanyeol let his gaze stay for a moment before lifting the pouch that was in his hand all this time. He opened it and showed it to the prince.
“Yesterday, a couple strikes of lightning was seen all over the empire.” Chanyeol stated. “It reeked of Cepherean presence.” The prince swallowed, waiting for the king to continue. “I had my men search for it and they found a cave along the Lupus Volkann.”
Now Chanyeol was trying hard to compose himself, but the glow in his eyes says otherwise.
“Kyungsoo found this,” He pertained to the white ashes.
“Hyun Ryu.” Chanyeol hissed, “Did you…or did you not hid the Cepherean in that cave?”
The said prince had his eyes fixed on the ashes in that pouch.
“Hyun!” the king bellowed, startling the prince. “Answer. Me.”
In haste, the prince forgot about the residue his fire makes. Now that Chanyeol have an evidence, there’s no way for him to hide it anymore, right? But those eyes, those burning eyes tells him that once he spills the truth now, his relationship with the king would change forever.
“Chanyeol…” he pleads.
“Just answer me!” the king threw the ashes aside and grabbed the prince’s arms in tight grip.
Hyun raised his chin in defiance despite of it. “Yes I did…” he whispered. The rage from the king’s eyes morphed into confusion, then into sadness, and nothing but pain. “I was the one who helped him escape the dungeon, I hid him from you…all these years. He…” The prince looked away, “He somehow used his power, maybe to escape, but he didn’t make it, he lost his energy and was unconscious for years. That… that lightning we saw, it was when he finally woke up.”
“Why…?” Chanyeol asked through gritted teeth. “Why would you help him?”
“Why do you want to kill him?” Hyun asked in return, searching for answers he already knew. But despite it all, he wanted to hear it from the king himself. “Why are you so adamant in killing such an innocent person?”
“He’s anything but innocent, Hyun,” Chanyeol sneered. “If you only know how vile he is, you would want to kill him yourself.”
Hyun shook his head, “I don’t think so, Chanyeol. I think it’s hate that’s speaking in you right now.”
“You won’t understand.” The king let him go. “Where is he now? Tell me where you hid him.”
Hyun frowned at the king before turning his back on him. “I let him go back to where he came from. He’s safe there, safe from your hands.”
“You did what?!” Now fire burst from the king’s hands. Hyun wiped it out with his own.
“Don’t lay a hand on Chen, Chanyeol.” He plead, “Please don’t do something that will make me see you as the evil one here.” The prince took small steps closer to the king. Chanyeol remained stoned on his feet until the prince had his arms around his waist, their chest pressed together, while Hyun’s face was buried on his neck.
“Let him go.” Hyun whispered, “Please.”
With a deep breath, Chanyeol surrendered in the prince’s arms and returned his embrace. He should let him go. Hyun’s here with him, and that’s all it matters.
“As you wish, my prince.” He whispered, kissing the crown of the prince’s head. “As you wish.”
The prince sighed in relief, tightening his hold around the king. “Thank you, Chan…”
guess who's back~!
hi guys! i know it's been a while T_T im so sorry and thank you for waiting! OTL
please dont get confused on the part where hyun was telling the story how chen got 'comatosed' for using his energy that he drained himself.
it was because he did try travelling in time right? he didn't managed to. the moment he woke up it was years later. :D it was us who travelled in time
This is the LAST TIME SKIP. I promise, as we now have Baekhyun as a teen. He's around 17 here but you can now imagine him as he is in reality. (of course with alterations XD) From here on we'll see more of ChanBaek relationship while I build the story.
Just a hint for the upcoming chapters :D
Don't forget the story of the Dragon and Phoenix!
We're not even in the half of the second book! Sheesh! but we'll get there. please be patient with me :3
Thank you and let me know what you think of this chapter?
Comments and upvotes are so muuuuuch appreciated!!!! ♥♥♥
til next time!