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Goodbye and Hello

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2019 A.D. - Mevolent’s World

The Redhoods dragged Nefarian Serpine through the halls of Mevolent’s castle, their boots on the floor being the only sound apart from the traitor’s breathing. He was bruised and beaten, the wounds of battle marking his pale skin. Usually slicked back black hair fell over his face in disarray. His Red Right Hand was covered, a tightened glove suppressing his power. He breather laboriously, cracked and bruised ribs compressing his lungs.

The large throne room doors were pulled open, revealing the opulent chamber. Serpine remembered it well, the room sprayed with blood from Mevolent’s death rituals. He remembered feasts and celebrations, sitting to right of Mevolent, Vengeous across from him, Vile standing behind the throne. Back then, they were the best of times, a perfect world at the time. But he just had to rebel, stabbing Mevolent to attempt to stop his quest to resurrect the Faceless Ones.

He had paused, seeing the look of betrayal and pain in the Elemental’s eyes. The hesitation had nearly cost him his life, blades of shadow nearly eviscerating him. And now before him, sat the man he had loved, still did. There was no visible warmth or affection in his cold gray eyes. The Redhoods dropped him to the floor, standing next to him with scythes poised to strike. With a wave of his hand, Mevolent dismissed them, gesturing for them to leave. They bowed their heads, turning swiftly on their heels to exit.

Mevolent stood up in the empty room, slowly walking towards him, energy crackling with each step he took. He stopped in front of him, towering over Serpine’s subdued form, body on its knees. Mevolent crouched down, tilting the traitor’s face upward. A calloused thumb stroked over his sharp cheekbones, an almost tender gesture, if not for the coldness in his gray eyes. After a minute of silence, the Sorcerer King finally spoke, voice as soft and peaceful as it had been years ago, before his betrayal.

“Hello again, Nefarian. It has been a long time.” He still stroked his face, and Serpine realized that he had been leaning into the all to familiar touch.

“Yeah, you too Mev.” He felt the Elemental’s hand tighten when Serpine used the old term of endearment. It effected Mevolent as much as it effected him. Mevolent grit his teeth, moving his hands to grip onto his shoulders, shaking him softly.

“Why?!” He asked, calm voice breaking softly, “Why did you do it? Why?”

“I had to. If you did bring the Faceless Ones back, they would have killed you.” He sighed, low and exhausted and defeated, “I couldn’t let them destroy you. There would be nothing left of you.”

“Nefarian, you fool.” Mevolent said, voice filled with more anger then he had ever shown in anyone’s presence, “I wasn’t bringing them back!”

“What do you mean?” Serpine asked, confused at what Mevolent meant by saying that. Resurrecting the Faceless Ones had been Mevolent’s driving goal. It had been what he tried to do all his life. For him to say that he hadn’t been trying to was one of the most confusing things he had ever heard.

“They’re not gods, I could have trapped one, put it into a Limbo between all realities. We could have taken its power, stayed alive forever. We all die one day, and I wanted to circumvent that.” He seemed sorrowful, eyes glistening with tears that refused to be shed. “I loved you with everything I was Serpine. I still do.”

Serpine gasped, the blatant confession of love and what he had meant to do turning his world on his head. He had betrayed Mevolent for nothing, buried a knife in his gut during a moment of affection and love. He suddenly felt sick, wretched. He almost vomited with disgust at himself. A thought occurred to him.

“Why did you lock me away?”

“I was hurt and confused. And like a wild animal, I lashed out with hatred.” He smiled, a soft, sad thing. “I wish I could take it all back.” With that said, Mevolent leaned forward and captured Serpine’s lips. The kiss was sorrowful, filled with shed and unshed tears, broken promises, and what felt like a Goodbye. Serpine sobbed into Mevolent, body shaking with how tender it was. When he saw him lean forward, he had expected something violent and bloody. This was neither.

They stayed like that for several moments, the world having disappeared to only them. Eventually, Mevolent pulled back and spoke in a somber tone.

“I’m sorry Serpine, but you betrayed me, and the punishment for Treason is death.” Serpine turned his eyes upward in fear, staring into Mevolent’s cold eyes.

“I-I thought th-that you still-” He was cut off be Mevolent placing a hand over his mouth.

“Shh… You remember the executions, they’re public remember?” Mevolent was smiling down at him, his eyes still cold. Cold and Dark.
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Mevolent stood atop the North-facing wall, right besides the bound form of the Resistance Leader, Nefarian Serpine. The traitor’s eyes were downcast, a pitiable sight to the onlookers below. Lord Vile and Baron Vengeous stood further back, both standing at rigid attention as Mevolent levelled his sword to the traitor’s neck. With one single swing, the Godkiller Blade sliced clean through the neck of Nefarian Serpine, ending his life immediately.
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Mevolent walked through the gilded halls of the castle, vaulted ceilings and gold paneling everywhere he looked. His symbol emblazoned on every tapestry, two different sized circles intersecting each other. He stopped at his bedroom door, painted a vivid shade of gold.

He pushed the door open to let himself into the room, smiling in approval at the sight before him. Nefarian Serpine, lying nude on the bed. He smiled, cheeks coloring as they stared at each other. In the Mirror, Serpine’s reflection slowly repaired itself, flesh knitting back together. The ruse had worked perfectly, every man, woman, and child below taking Mevolent's apparent hate for the former General at face value.

Mevolent smiled, for finally, he had everything that he needed, laying supine in front of him, just finally back after so many years. He walked over and dragged their lips together. This kiss was like eyes dry of tears and filled with love, remade promises, and what felt like a Hello.