LORD SHADOW CHAPTER 177: AFTER SUNSET

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Drip!

Drip!

The sound of water echoes inside the darkness.

The water drops and falls into something. It falls into someone forehead. A young girl that has not even reached adulthood. She was wearing red dress made of human flesh.

Even in the darkness, that red dress seems to glow with devilish energy.

She opens her eyes, as she felt the coldness around her face. Then like she was startled, she struggle to get up but all she could felt was pain.

She could feel a burning pain around her wrist and her ankles. She will her mind to summon her tome but she could not feel it.

Or to be more accurate, it was like the connection between her and the tome was severed.

Adjusting to the darkness of the environment, her eyes finally clearly saw where she was.

She is strapped onto a stone with intestines like rope that bounded her feet and hands.

Water dripping from a stalactite above her, forcing her to feel like a headache is coming. The water drips slowly.

Like a dripping water that sought to erode the recipient over an eternal punishment.

She was reminded of one particular memory. Strapped onto a stone with a poisonous snakes dripping poison to that person. (google Loki punishment)

There is only one person that like to do this kind of tricks.

Even though she was strapped onto the stone, she shows no fear, only anger and a little bit of confusions

‘LOKI!’ She shouted, her words echoes through the darkness. For a while there is only silence. The eerie silence that could crush one will.

But she waited.

Because she knows him. He would not be able to resist.

‘And there he lies till Ragnarok came’ The voice come out from all direction assaulting Morgana ears.

Then the sound of hissing could be heard. The hissing was so loud that it could induce fear in anyone heart

It was like there is thousands of snakes slithering the ground. A mist appears suddenly. The mist is greenish with a hint of black.

And a person appears in front of Morgana. Loki this time transformed himself into a handsome young man wearing a black suit, a leather shoes, with a fedora on top of his head.

They look at each other. Loki like always showing that smile of his. Morgana could only be seen scowling.

For a while in the silence there is only the sounds of snakes hissing.

‘How?’ she suddenly asked.

As the water kept dripping on her forehead and the feeling of headache getting stronger, she still strengthen herself to ask the question.

She did not ask why? Because she already knows why Loki capture her.

Loki sighed.

He waved his hand and the snakes that was slithering on the ground slither together before forming a throne of snakes and then they petrified themselves into stones.

Loki sat at his throne and look at Morgana with that eyes that seems to see into anyone deepest darkest desire, a pair of eyes that could see through lies, and identify the truth.

It was the eye of the Sovereign.

Morgana could feel it from the demeanor of Loki. This is the demeanor and majesty of one of the Seven Gods that ruled the world.

The God of Truth and Lies. Of Oath and Vows. Of Madness and Vengeance. Just sitting there on his throne of serpents, Loki appears to be larger than he is.

It was like he was propping the Heavens just by sitting, governing the Laws that govern the Universe.

And Morgana felt a bit of fear. But what she felt mostly is anger.

‘Gods’ she muttered under her breath.

They looked at those below them as just plaything. While people fears the Sovereign and even sometime in awe and worship them, Morgana loathed them.

They were Gods…this is true. But there were also mortals in the past. They could never truly sever the emotional part of themselves

When the Gods argue, the world goes into turmoil. And when they warred against each other, how many mortals dies under their spell and magic.

Loki remembers the battle. But she…Morgana remembers the victim.

When the Thunder God hurls his lightning, what Loki saw was the Ice Deity death. But what Morgana saw was a continent wiped out of the face of the planet.

When the eyes of the Illusion God turns into the moon, turning the world into a nightmare, the Gods only saw the Time God reversing time.

But Morgana saw the effect of the magic of those two Gods on the normal people.

When the God of Death descend and fought in his manic rage, all the world remembers was the death of the Twin Sages of japan.

No one remembers the many corpse that fills the seabed and the ground.

No one saw the lives that turns to ashes with one slash of his hand. No one saw the casualty that resulted from the God of Death opening the Gates of Hell.

Loki saw the Gods. But she saw the victims.

But she will never ask him to explain. Because, like the God of Death, the Ice Deity, the God of Illusion, the Thunder God, Loki is also a God.

He…would never understand. He lives longer as a God….than he is mortal. So, she ask how. How did she end up here?

Loki finished staring at her and he closes his eyes

‘Giselle’ he answer and Morgana finally for the first time was shocked. Then with a bitter smile she said

‘I should have trusted my instinct. Was it the day I unseal the curse you put on Giselle mind?’ She asked.

The water drips on her forehead, unceasingly. Like it tries to pierce her forehead.

Loki smiles.

‘What did the world always says about me?’ Smiling he answers his own question

‘A profound schemer’ and then he laughed, his laugh reverberated inside the darkness, echoing endlessly.

‘A trickster’ she said

And Loki bow slightly, and proudly.

His solution is a trick, his question is a design to trap you. She remembers what she felt when she was trying to unseal the curse on Giselle mind

‘That was your pawn.’ She assumes

Loki nodded

‘When?’

Loki then opens his eyes and looking at Morgana with pity

‘Since the beginning.’ Hearing this she sighed. And Loki no longer smiles.

‘I…never had a chance didn’t I?’ Morgana ask. There is resignation in her voice. Loki nodded with a bitter smile on his face.

‘We started at different origin. I have advantages you did not….Yes….from the start you never stood a chance.’

Morgana chuckles a bit. A sad smile etched on her face. Loki close his eyes again. He …for some reason….find that smile of Morgana….to be the worst smile she could have.

He would have rather see that evil smile of hers than the smile she shows him a moment before.

There was silence…and darkness. Loki let the moment continues as Morgana contemplated. Then she asked

‘Would I have stand a chance if I did not meet the White Witch?’ Morgana asked. Loki shakes his head.

‘I calculated and no matter what I concluded you would surely seek the White Witch. From the moment you met me, the path has always leads you to meet the White Witch.’

‘What do you mean?’ Morgana knows all about Loki calculation abilities.

But she didn’t understand what he means. Why was it that her path would end up meeting the White Witch and dooms her plan?

Loki still sitting on his throne put his hand on the handle of his throne and then explain.

‘Simple. The moment you met me, you knew that you form Karma with me. You know the most proficient God about Karma is me. I even dare say that even the God of Death was not as proficient as me in terms of understanding Karma. So, it is not hard to predict that you will seek a way to rid of or even sever that karma or even cleanse it.’

And he chuckles with a bitter smile hanging on the end of his mouth

‘You were always a little afraid of me and thought worse of me. It is no wonder you are so cautious of me. But….I changed. And you changed. In those moment where you were not with me and in those moment when I am not with you, we both change. I become a God and you…mortal and you always hated that fact. You hated the fact that…I surpassed you. That with one thought I could erase you from the face of existence. Yet, you could not perish the hatred and jealousy in your heart. So…you fear. Fear that one day I will act’

Loki looks toward Morgana with that smile. That nauseating smile like everything is as he said.

‘But, I digress. Let’s talk about the eventuality of your meeting with the White Witch’

‘To rid of Karma…..only I could do that. To sever Karma….only your father could do that. But, you would surely not meet your father. First because, he is not yet the God of Death. Second, the moment you are near him, you know I would crush you. But, you would surely not met me either to ask me to get rid of your Karma. Because you know I would refuse. But to cleanse Karma…..only white magic could do that.’

And Morgana finally understand a bit while Loki continues his word

‘And in the world, at that moment, there is only one person that seems to hold powerful white magic. Giselle. And I know the tattoos that I inscribed on her soul would attract you. You were always curious. The moment you met me….your fate has been under my calculation.’ (refer to chapter 143)

Hearing this Morgana sigh truly losing hope this time.

Loki sighed as he nodded understanding the feeling of Morgana.

‘She was a big temptation. She was a bait I put for you. To be more accurate, she was a bait for any other Time Traveler that would have come. I calculated before I return to the past. And there is a slight chance that there would be other Time Traveler, other people who possess some means to return to the past. I have been preparing this plan since I even met you.’

Morgana strapped on the stone as the water dripping on her head began producing pain could do nothing but to only listen to Loki explaining the scheme he has put in place.

‘Fortunately, I have scour the world and you are the only one. The only other time traveler.’ The dripping fop the water continues.

And she could feel the headache intensified. She even vaguely felt that the intestine-like rope that bound her feet and hand is tightening

Morgana was silent. Contemplating something. Her mind did try to find a way to escape this darkness.

But she could not summon her Tome. And with it she lost all her powers. Without the Tome, her cultivation is only at the level of Energy Disperse Stage.

She could not use the Investiture of the First Race to summon darkly beings from the Dark Universe and contend with Loki.

Knowing that, she gave up on the thoughts of escaping. But she did not wail or cry.

She has no tears left. And she has no regret. She has done all she can. Maybe…Loki was right. Maybe there is another way than killing her father.

Or maybe, her way was the right way. But because she is too weak, nothing she says would be convincing.

In the end, Loki was right about something. They started at different origin. He have advantages she did not

But even if she were to die, she needs to know something

‘How did you convince Giselle to betray me?’ Morgana ask. After all, wouldn’t Giselle be loyal to her. She did unseal her curse after all.

And Giselle saw the future of where Arno was dead under the hands of the God of Death. Why would she betray her? Even after seeing that grim dark future?

Loki simply answers

‘She was never your person. She was mine from the beginning.’

‘Explain’ Morgana ordered and Loki smiles. Even in the last moment she did not lose her spunk

‘Still curios huh?’

‘If my end is near, I like to understand how I lose? And you always like to monologue don’t you? My father like his theatrics, and you like to monologue.’

‘HAHAHAHA’ Loki laughed and nodded

‘True. I do like doing monologues.’

Then he explains to Morgana.

‘You believe that the White Witch is loyal to you in the beginning because you unseal her memory and show her that her Arno would die under the God of Death hands.’

She nodded

‘And that is true. She was loyal to you in the beginning. But that was when you didn’t unseal her entire memory. I put two layers of seal. The first seal shows the worst possible side of the God of Death and would surely made Giselle side with whoever help her unseal that memory and work with that person to ruin the God of Death and convinced that person of her loyalty. After all she did it of her own will. It is a perfect plan isn’t it? To plant a mole that shows no suspicion whatsoever. Because her loyalty was real…..at least in the beginning.’ And Loki smirk

Morgana face pale.

‘You mean when I unseal the second layer of the seal…’

Loki smiles

‘You brought the memory of the Giselle that fought in the Final Battle. A comrade of mine. We fought together in the battlefield. Who do you think she would believe? A Wicked Witch that she knows in the future timeline as coward or….a comrade that fought with her in the Final battle? Would she bet on you and your bodyguard Louise who never achieve anything great in the world before he met you? Or would she bet on me, a former Sovereign with the backing of the Divine Archer, the Mind Master and the Time God himself? The moment you unseal her memory, you seal your own fate.’ Loki said.

Morgana was stunned as everything was revealed to her. Every pieces of the puzzle fits. Then, she laugh.

‘HAHAHA’ Her laugh contained a hint of madness and sorrow

Loki let her. Sitting on that throne, looking at her not knowing what he should feel after defeating Morgana. A few minutes passed before Morgana ask

‘Will you kill me now?’ Loki look towards her and ask

‘What do you think I would do? Would I kill you? My teacher? My ex-wife?’ He seems to ask her.

Morgana snickered.

‘You are certainly capable of killing me. We both knows what at stake. Our personal feelings is insignificant compared to the greater picture and the fate of the Universe.’

She has already resigned herself to her fate. This time, the water has stopped dripping from the roof of this place.

Loki look toward Morgana and shakes his head. Then he sighed before saying to her, his eyes wise like an old ancient being looking at a child.

‘There is probably a lot of things you don’t remember and while we pretended to forget the things we cherished…we all know deep in our hearts. That we do remember. And we still cherished those things…no matter how insignificant. When we both were young, how lofty was our ambitions, how hopeful we were of what the future holds. We want everything. We wanted anything. And we are not afraid of running towards it’

Morgana did not say anything but her eyes waver.

Loki asked her

‘When did we grow apart? Growing farther and farther way from what we dream and believe? We both wanted to live without regret. How naïve we are aren’t we? In every choice, there is a cause for regret.  But even if we pretend to forget those thing that we cherished, there is definitely something that won’t change. Ironically it was you taught me the one lesson I still keep in my heart until now. I was a kid when I become your disciple. The one thing you taught me that I still believe is that…..an adult grasp the thing that they cherished….and no matter what…never letting it go.’

Loki look at Morgana with pitiful eyes and said with a hint of regret

‘You…let go of what you cherished’ Morgana knows what Loki is referring to and her eyes turns red. Not because of anger….but because water is pooling in her eyes….it was sadness and grief.

Her son.

‘I will not kill you. But what I’m about to do….is no different than killing you’ he said as he got up from his throne and in one step arrive in front of Morgana.

‘Now….rest’ he said as he put his hand on top of Morgana eyes as she falls into oblivion, her memories slowly being erased.

He waves his hand and the place glowed up. The place is actually a cavernous tunnel. Behind the stone where Morgana was strapped is a red coffin.

‘She must not have thought that her magic could backfire on her’ Loki mused. He manages to halt the coffin from descending and beaten it into submission.

While he was doing that, Giselle knock her unconscious and tied her with the Intestines of the Demonic Wolf which she spell with white magic.

The Demons after the melody has stopped playing return back to their realm.

His disciple fainted and he sent an emergency flare to nearby Battlestar and he disappeared before he even saw the conclusion between Azief and the World Government clash.

Loki then seeing that Morgana is sleeping from his spell walked outside of the cave.

In front of him is the vast expanse of water and sandy beaches, far away from the sound of explosion and screaming of the defeated in the Island of Peace a few hours ago.

He is on an island cluster near Indonesia.

This island in particular is hard to reach.

There are two other island in front of this island, large and surrounded by red mist that prevent people from finding his island.

As he walked outside, a woman wearing a white robe is seen leaning on the entrance of the cave where Loki just exited.

‘Giselle’ Loki said

‘Is it done?’ She ask. Loki nodded

‘You won’t kill her?’

‘The world is a more interesting place with her in it. And….she has to return to the Origin as not to disrupt the meeting between the father and daughter.’

‘Hmm?’ Giselle was puzzled.

‘She didn’t tell you?’ Loki ask.

‘Tell me what?’

‘Morgana is the stepdaughter of the God of Death’ Hearing this Giselle was stunned and then she has a smile on her face

‘This explains so much’ she said though she did not make it clear to Loki. Then Giselle ask.

‘Arno is safe I presume.’ Loki nodded

‘He is just knocked unconscious by the Sisters of Shadows.’ Giselle look at the sea and then asked

‘So….my job is done. Which means you will erase my soul from her right now?’

Loki sighed

‘You are after all…is just a ghost of a broken world. Maybe….if I succeed, I would not see so many ghost of my comrades.’

Gisele smirk.

‘My young self is immature. Brash. And in some matter, impetuous. But…she is pure. I hope you could guide her and keep her safe until that Final Battle. And even if you fail….I hope she would not regret her last moment….like me.’

Loki then shakes his head.

‘Arno….love you. And he regretted what he did to you. Duty and honour. Or Love? For a person like Arno…it is hard for him to choose at the time.

‘Can I trust that word of yours, trickster?’

Loki smiles.

‘I lie and I deceive. But not about this. I just wanted to tell you to end your longing. It is enough. Let…..us believe in a new future. I wanted to believe in the young Giselle.’

Giselle nodded and shakes her head

‘Since when I like to talk too much.’ She move towards Loki and lean her forehead.

‘Erase it’ she orders. The waves keep lapping and the wind blows by. Loki push Giselle forehead with his finger and said

‘After sunset’ he said as he look towards the ocean waves. And Giselle laughed. She look toward the sea and smile contently.

**************************************************************************

ON THE ISLAND OF PEACE

Pandikar looked on as he saw one of the council member exploded into pieces of meat.

He knows the moment Azief enter the Quorum building all of them will die when the Death Monarch discover that the Council member imprison Sofia.

He slammed his hand on the table and looking distraught and anxious he yelled

‘Don’t blame me for this Death Monarch! You force me to do this! Activate the Chimera!’ He said as the other council member nodded

The Keeper of the Keys quickly come inside the room and bring Pandikar a weird stone plate that seems to be littered with runic symbol.

In the middle of that stone plate is a circle drawing of a thumb shape. Pandikar put his thumb and the stone plate hummed as voice comes out of the stone plate

[Authentication verified as the current leader of the World Government]

[Authorizing the release of the Chimera]

Deep underneath the Island, inside a titanic cavernous tunnel network there is a large glass tube filled with viscous liquid.

Inside that glass tube lies a hideous creatures.

It possess a dragon claw, a Weronian Head, a crocodile feet and its tails is the combination of many creatures, sharp, bulging, emitting poisons and seems to control the elements.

Its chest is hard and his back is thorny like a porcupine only the thorn are longer and sharper.

The moment Pandikar on his room authorized its release, the glass tube liquid is drained. And then the creature inside that glass tube opens it eyes.

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