“Blood for Blood”
It was raining that day, and the dark sky looked as if someone had painted over it with black ink.
She was out of breathe, and her white sleeves were covered in mud.
Now, only endless training filled the emptiness of her fading memories.
Her martial arts and Crimson Pendulum reflected a faint longing.
This was her only link to the past that tormented her.
Her faded memories and worries, which she didn’t have answers for, weighed down on her. All of this caused her to bite her lip until she drew blood.
Soon, her legs faltered and she fell to the ground with her left cheek hitting the mud.
As she laid there, armored boots filled her increasingly blurry vision.
Those boots could not be found in this land as they had eastern patterns.
Then she heard a voice that seemed new at first, but had that man’s familiar tone.
“The lessons I taught you, which are within that graceful dance, are clouded by your wandering thoughts. What shall we do?”
As soon as her eyes met the man’s, everything seemed to stop. As if time itself had stopped.
Her loud voice, enough to scare the spirits away, echoed out.
She believed that he was dead and was watching over her from his grave. However, he was now in front of her eyes. His voice caused old memories to pour out like a waterfall.
“How can this Yeung Reung-Hyang ignore the weeping orchid?
Did you not trust me when I said I would always be with you?
For a moment, she stared at him until he opened his mouth once more.
“We devoted ourselves to our country, but all we received in return was a knife in the back.
Everyone turned their backs on us for their ambitions, and only we survived.
As we are the only ones that do not fear the darkness in our hearts, we can save the world from corruption and protect the helpless peasants.”
The man that had sacrificed himself for her had returned. She continued to stare at him. Yeung Reung-Hyang offered her a hand and continued speaking.
“It will be a path of thorns, but together we can accomplish it.
As I searched for you across the world, I felt the power of a divine weapon in these western lands. With its powers, we won’t need anything else. Come with me.”
There was nothing in this lonely land for her. She nodded, and took his hand to stand up.
And then, she let her spirit lead her next steps.
They arrived at their destination after several days and found the two old hilts stuck in the ground.
It just looks like 2 hunks of metal to a normal person, but she could feel an immense power from them. There was no doubt that it was a divine weapon, just like what Yeung Reung-Hyang claimed.
If she took hold of them, then they could make everyone that betrayed them bow, and build the noble kingdom that she had read and dreamed of as a child!
She reached out towards the power that could finally change the world according to her desires.
Suddenly, the sky became dark and a loud boom rang out.
Darkness crept up her fingers while she was bewildered by the surprise turn of events.
Her shocked eyes were greeted by a twisted smile on his face.
“Hahaha. You are so foolish and naive. Did you really believe the dead could return?
Or, did the armor I dug up from Yeong Reung-Hyang’s grave blind you?
I dug up his body and displayed his decapitated head in the capital. I will soon have your head as well and I will be renowned for generations to come!”
The betrayer! How could she have forgotten that face?
Dark energy began to melt the man’s appearance and revealed the true monster within.
As she witnessed this transformation, she reached for her Crimson Pendulum, but she clutched her chest as a wave of nausea and disgust washed over her.
“You have awakened the Crimson Glaives that slumbered for thousands of years. Bringing you here was worth the effort!
And now, having been blinded by your desire, you’ve touched the blades. It’s only a matter of time before your pure spirit falls prey to the darkness!
Your body and spirit will be corrupted, and the Crimson Glaives will be mine…”
She stabbed the betrayer’s forehead with her Noble Sword without a moment’s notice.
But then, a strange and evil odor started to spread out in front of her.
The betrayer was not dead. Instead, he laughed and swallowed a hidden black stone.
“Truly, I underestimated the orchid’s child. Not only did you awaken the Crimson Glaives, but also swallowed its soul! You’ve become an ever more tempting prey. Hehehe.”
The betrayer’s body was engulfed by a mysterious energy and then its armor began to fall apart as its muscle bulged out. Meanwhile, her thoughts were in disarray. The desire to become stronger and to destroy something swirled in her head alongside her frustrations at the world.
Destroy everything in sight. Just erase everything.
The betrayer had completely transformed into a horrifying monster, and the only thing that could be heard were the sounds of her Noble Sword clashing against the monster’s nails.
The betrayer looked down at her and ridiculed her, but it knew the truth. It couldn’t beat the person that had full control over the Crimson Glaives.
All it could do was direct the dark energy it had gathered and inflict a curse upon her.
A few clashes later, she landed a fatal wound on the betrayer and it fell as it threw up blood.
“Raise your head and take a look in the mirror! You’ve become a monster! Hahaha. How are we any different?
Now that the Crimson Glaives have chosen you, the only path left for such arrogance is the fate of that bastard, Yeung Reung-Hyang! Ahahaha.”
The monstrous betrayer disappeared with those final words.
What had happened in this short time? Did the betrayer really lead her here? Or was it all an illusion created by the emptiness, loneliness, and anger she felt.
She stood up with a small sigh, holding the Crimson Glaives in both her hands.
This was the moment that the Crimson Glaives awoke for the first time in thousands of years.
...It was raining that day, and the dark sky looked as if someone had painted over it with black ink.
Behind the dead grass were piles of lifeless bodies. There you could hear the echoes of insane laughter mingled with the crackling of fire.
The warm orchid fragrance turned cold and the scent of blood soaked the ground.
The fallen wounded clung to her dress and begged for mercy.
A disgusted expression appeared on her face, as she cut them down with the Crimson Glaives. Red blood splashed on her cheeks that were as white as a snow flower.
Her true nature, which had been bottled up by the royal lessons, etiquette, and the expectations of others, was now unleashed by the power of the Crimson Glaives.
She began walking to her next destination, as if nothing had happened.
Sharp laughter echoed loudly throughout the valley, and the reason for such glee remains a mystery.
“Blood for blood.”