Sir Alaric DeNurem kept true to his vows, that Captain had an undying & hellbent resolve to rescue his wife and other half, the great purpose to his life, from the grasps of the Inferi – Alas, along with Vik, he was not seen in the Capital for the following weeks, the madman, to some, pressing forth at every form he possibly could to rid her of that imprisonment.
- Death seeming to be the sole way of halting his advance -
“Come you aliens, show me what passes for fury amongst your misbegotten kind! Nei, I won’t back down..”
- The Knight uttered, words filled with rage, and a mind readied for blood -
– Hope... –
AS many months passed, the Knight having delved around and about the Korvassan hellscape – Through great feats of stealth, proving a human capability of reaching far enough extents to within their territory with but a set of well-sown textile and body paint – Alaric felt a calling, one from above and beyond, the distant echoes of his wife’s voice calling her husband home... Back to Sabari One, where their house, not home, laid, home rested inside Vik’s heart.
”Vik? Vikky? Love..? My princess...?”
THE desperate Alaric called as he swung the Manor’s entry doors wide open, though, to his dismay, it was simply a voice in his head – Hope – to what end, he thought, would that feeling bring him? Suffering, contempt, distress, confusion, sorrow, frustration... Was it worth all the tears, why did he feel so lost?
ALAS, he worked and pondered, searching the deepest, and innermost halls of his mind for an answer... Maybe it was there, he thought, and to that he kept – Days turned to weeks – Weeks to months – His thoughts reaching back to the days they first met when a simple act of kindness from their part paved way for the strongest attachment of mankind:
A bright day, yet unlike any other, Viktoriya had recently begun working on restructuring the Fourth Brigade barracks beneath the Novellen, the duo keeping tabs of constant communication, as if long-time friends during the long workday. As nighttime approached, Alaric decided to invite & pay her a drink at Helena’s Dragon Rest, the Tavern...
There, they conversed and enjoyed each other's company, though something was missing – Drinks – When the DeNurem offered some booze, Vik immediately sought his strongest, the man taking a custom brew ‘Orc’s punch’, packing a damn punch. Whilst Alaric took another homemade brew, one spicy and not so much to one’s liking, though nonetheless worthy of forming some good times. As soon as he reached the table with the bottles, Vik made quick work of her own, squeezing out the cork to pour down the liquid into her cup – Lifting & guiding her mug up to her lips, allowing the ‘Orcish fist’ to slide down within. Cup by cup, her bottle was hastily emptied, despite the ferocity of that drink. All the while, Alaric kept his slow & calm pace, his not so pleasant brew being taken to half-way. Both keeping and exchanging to a delightful conversation meanwhile, smiles, chuckles, grins, and laughs.
Viktoriya: "Ooh!" She hummed, glancing at the two bottles with a wicked grin. "'M a sucker for strong drinks. Want t'other back?"...
Viktoriya winced as the alcohol trickled down her throat, immediately feeling the burn of its contents. “Wooh! These are . . . Way better than the tavern's,” she cackled, holding her head as she emptied the rest of the 96-percenter into her gullet. She seemed to remember her doctor's orders, of her to stop her heavy drinking, and slid the glass under her arm - oblivious that it was still completely visible and, obviously, a cocktail glass. While they spoke, the woman cast a few dubious glances around the space, her eyes squinted and her lips puckered in some sort of amusingly skeptical expression...
Though, soon, the hardy brew Vik had taken in slowly began mustering and summing it’s effects into fruition, alas, she asked for the toughest, the treatment of the liquid making due. The woman became heavily drunk, her words mixing into bits of incomprehensible speech – And with that, she lost a sense of direction, a hand fateful sliding across the table, hitting her glass cup and sending it down to lay sideways upon the wooden table. Beforehand, Alaric’s mind had grown concerned as to her dealings and a possible accident, his hand letting the spicy drink down to watch Vik’s wellbeing at that time, pushing himself to stand to clear the mess.
Viktoriya: “...I'll have m'arse . . . 'Anded to me by d'commander if I miss it!” She whimpered, head sinking toward the table with a thud - landing atop the glass, the sound of shattering heard. Yet, she didn't seem to quite realize, gratefully accepting the water. “Mmm . . . Erci', friend . . . !”
As soon as he came to stand, Vik’s torso abruptly beckoned down, unto the previously scattered glass – Her forehead being sent directly at the turned cup, the glass shattering & piercing her skin with ease, blood slowly flowing out. With all due haste, Alaric rushed to her position, circling the table, his hands sought to carefully pull her torso rearward, till her back reached the chair’s backrest. Thereafter, the DeNurem slid his fingers down & around his first-aid kit, unbuckling a small metal to access its contents – Inside, he gathered a file of fresh cloth, a roll of bandages, and a vial of distilled alcohol. Those items proving his treatment for the relative injury, yet as minor as it was, Alaric worked with both care and haste, making easy pick off of the stuck shards, soon disinfecting the wound with the alcohol, wiping the blood with the rags & later sealing the wound with the roll of bandages.
Viktoriya: “...O' this . . . M'home!” She blinked, seeming to realize. “Sorry . . . S'ppose I didn't exactly clarify where Sabari was,” she frowned, head hanging low as she tried to clear her vision. “Hmm . . . Aye, downstairs. . . Thank ye! Did I cause any problems?”
Alaric: “...There you go-“ He gave her a dip of his head. “Of course, nei problem.. And well, to yourself, you did.” He replied with a muffled chuckle, taking a few steps forth as he knelt beside her. “Lean your head onto the armrest, try not to move it. Resting will do you well...”
Alaric was not done yet. It was at that moment, that kindness, that care, that unconscious love they shared, was mustered from the depths of their hearts, minds, and soul. The DeNurem’s right arm outstretched as support for her to stand, he nauseous form slipped forth into that aid – As she came upon her feet, the man’s knees bent somewhat, both arms snuggling underneath a section of her body, left to her upper back, right to underneath her thighs – Alaric taking her body upward, carrying Vik bridal-style, a great coincidence, and later feat, back into her house, which also, to a great coincidence, came to be the couples’ a year later. Even within, Alaric pressed onward, taking her to a large couch at her house’s basement, gently laying her recovering bodice at the comfortable piece of furniture – Tending and caring for her during hours & hours, their chatting resuming to a sweet tone, despite her injury...
The months, years that followed were bombarded with chaos, sorrow, grief;
– Suffering –
Yet the newly-wed couple endured time & time again;
Their love, greater than any driving force in existence.
Alaric’s mind soon returned to the present, although not to his reality:
– Vik was missing –
For the first time in his life, he felt a carbarum hammer sinking into his heart, striking against it without mercy, without yield, without ceasing. An Aengulic-sized spear warped and launched itself at his heart, piercing his core with a stinging pain akin to that of a massive scorpion’s poison, jabbing constantly. As if that weren’t enough, a metal gauntlet curled its digits around his soul, striving to crush it with the sheer tenacity of a steel titan, pressing continuously.
The pain, the suffering, was nigh unbearable, his paces wobbling forth into the first level. There, his form lost balance, slumping onto one of the dining-table’s chairs, that seating gradually bending and turning to the hefty weight of the man – Till it fell sideways, taking Alaric with it, the DeNurem crashing his head onto the flooring below, his body turned nearly limp, arms spread about, legs dazed out wide – Alaric’s eyes remained half-lid, the man peering at the ceiling above as he laid there, all alone, in their house, the massive aching within his body warping & tearing at his soul.
A moment later, his breathing turned brisk, an attempt at words gone to nothing but whimpers; those whimpers soon turned to sobs, his stomach twisting upon itself – Until, from around those eyes, water slowly filled the socket, pouring down his eyelids, that formed a stream down his cheeks, each droplet escaping his skin for the black & white floor below. Alaric’s visage, once a natural light tinge of red, transformed into its crimson counterpart, a wearying heat brought to his facial skin. The man’s chest contorting within itself to each brief inhale & exhale he took.
The Knight kept to that crumbling state, the pain eating away his soul with each second...
Yet Alaric was not done yet, an otherworldly will keeping him alive. In a moment’s notice, the man began heavily turning himself around, shifting his bodyweight to a side, till the front of his torso met the ground – His arms gradually squirming out to the flooring ahead, his body slithering onwards at a snail’s pace, with each movement, a grain of his former resolve was recovered – Alaric crawled down to their basement, the very same he had taken Vik to years prior, yet this time, he carried none other than himself, laboriously rolling his body up to the same couch, his back facing the cushion.
At that, Alaric dragged his eyelids shut for a moment, the strikes, jabs and crushes eased & numbed to his exhaustion, for that night – His crimson-red face lightening somewhat, those twists and turns of his chest softened, and his breathing uttered out a sob & whimper only ever so often – Amidst that calming, the DeNurem began mustering his throat for words once more, a tune recollecting in his mind:
Is it getting better..?- Or do you feel the same..?
Will it make it easier on you now..?- If you've got someone to blame..?
You said one love..
When it's one need.. In the night..
One love.. we get to share it..
It leaves you baby if you don't care for it...
Did I disappoint you..? Or leave a bad taste in your mouth..?
You want me to go without..
Well it's never too late..
To drag the past out..- Into the light..
We're one.. but we're not the same..
We get to carry each other..
Carry each other..
Have you come here for forgiveness..? Have you come to raise the dead..?
Have you come here to play Wilven..?- To the lepers in your head..?
Did I ask too much..?
More than a lot..?
You gave me nothing now..- It's all I've got..
We're one.. but we're not the same..
Well we hurt each other.. and we're doing it again...
You said love is a temple..!
Love the higher law..!
Love is a temple..!
Love the higher law..!
You ask me to enter..
I keep holding on..- To what you've got..
You've got to do what you should..
One life with each other..
One life but we're not the same..
We get to carry each other..
Carry each other...
One.... One... One.. One!
With that, Alaric fell fast asleep atop the couch. In his unconscious, true self, his soul – amidst that profound, lengthy & grieving search – found what he was looking for. A simple answer to the complex queries:
~Alaric loved Vik, forevermore~