Kairon skidded across the floor of the temple on his back, leaving a trail through the debris before crashing into the giant pillar in a cloud of dust. He coughed and spluttered, robes torn and bloody, his flesh much the same.
"Why have you done this my brother?!" he asked, the words catching in his throat, "how could you abandon your teachings so completely?!"
Murojou scoffed, "Ha! How, you ask? If you only knew!" he looked at his hands, as the aura surrounding him glowed brighter as it pulsed. "The power that awaits beyond the void is..." he trailed off as he raised his arm into the air and his aura poured into his open palm. Kairon was mesmerised as it began growing orange and seeming denser as the swirling energy turned grew darker red. As he struggled to his feet, eyes drawn towards the glowing mass despite its intensity, he saw the aura around his foe begin to fade away. Murojou moved his gaze from the heavens, exposed through the broken roof, across to Luchia, who remained suspended in chains in the mouth of the great statue of Korvanu.
"Stop!" cried Kairon as he realised what was happening, stumbling forwards off the wall that was propping him up. Murojou loosed the energy built in his hands and it ignited into a black stream of fire surging towards the young woman’s prone body. Kairon launched into the air with immense force, cracking the stone slabs beneath his feet and put himself between the mass of darkness and the girl. The attack looked big from the ground, but straight on it was all encompassing. The dark edges of flame licked and furled at the periphery of his vision, and he summoned the last of his powers forth.
His fingers tingled as the energy was released, as it coalesced into a watery form his arms ached with the strain of controlling it. The cavalcade of water streamed from his palms and met the black fire just metres from his ruined body, hissing and roaring and causing great crests of violet firewater to flare above and around him. With every ounce of his strength he resisted, but he knew he could not last. His magicks fell to a trickle, and the fire could not be stopped. Kairon was tossed carelessly back as his body went limp, but he managed to turn and embrace Luchia, shielding her from the unrelenting fire.
The fire did not burn with heat so much as it burned freezing cold. Kairon thought of his childhood with Murojou in the mountains playing in the snow and his palms sticking to the fresh ice on the lake, it burned his skin the same way, though the betrayal hurt him more. He was awoken from his reminiscence by a groan, and saw Luchia before him, her beautiful face bloodied and long black hair hacked short, but her eyes had opened.
Luchia’s vision was blurry, distorted, her body ached and she tasted iron. She remembered Murojou shouting at her, beating her, threatening worse if she would not be his, but she was strong, and she refused. It wasnt until he had promised to kill Kairon if she would not be his, that she finally relented, and now here he was, her love before her, gripping her tightly. She smiled.
“Impossible” whispered Murojou as he saw the battered monk leap into the air once more, furrowing his brow and gritting his teeth he spoke mystic words he knew would end all of this. He would have what was promised him, what the prophets had tried to hide from him, his place as King of all creation was secured, and Luchia would be his Queen, reborn as Korvanu the Serpent Goddess. He saw Kairon’s pitiful resistance fail as his mantra ended, and the statue’s eyes glowed red. His face softened into a smile, dissipating his stream of fire he began to laugh, “Finally...” he chuckled, “Finally I shall have what I DESERVE! What I am OWED!” his joy flittering into mania.
Kairon felt cold. Too cold... He heard a woman’s voice, but could not respond, too cold...
Luchia screamed as his arms slipped from around her, falling to the floor far below. Falling hard, and kicking up a cloud of dust. She could barely see through her tears as panick and disbleief took hold of her, and she screamed again for her fallen lover. She lifted her head and cast her eyes towards Murojou as her sadness turned to fury. “YOU! You disgusting cowardly demon scum! I’ll kill you! I’LL KILL YOU!” she struggled with her manacles as she screamed “IF ITS THE LAST THING I DO I’LL KILL YOU!!!”
Murojou’s grin fell away as he watched the Luchia releasing her rage towards him, why was she shouting? Was she not pleased with him? Why was she angry? The Goddess Korvanu should have been exalting his fine work at completing the ceremony and bringing her human form once more. So why was she angry?
A noise sang in her ears. A fire stung his eyes.
Pain resonated tore her flesh. Warmth soothed his bones.
They breathed deep, and sighed long.
They were one.
“Murojou you idiot pawn, your desperation is your undoing.” Their voice boomed across the ruined hall, filling his head. “The incantation calls my spirit forth to the one most full of desire, of greed, of lust. So I now reside here, in this body, with this mind, both strong and imploring me to kill you.” Luchia thought she may have gone mad with grief, and had not taken a breath since the voice cut through her dismay, but from her shackles she clearly saw the body of Kairon rise from the broken mess he fell to, and walk! She was as still as she could be, lest some movement break this dream and wake her into misery again, but she could not resist, she called out to him “Kairon! Is it true? Do you still live?”
Kairon half turned his head and responded without breaking stride “Yes my love, you are safe, we are all safe now” his voice was sweeter than before, he gestured with his hand and her chains were gone, and she fell slowly down to the floor. Her legs gave way as soon as she had to stand under her own power and she collapsed to her knees. “Kairon... How...” she croaked, but her voice was lost in overwhelming relief, her tears flowed once more but this time accompanied by a smile.
Murojou’s eyes could be no wider as this figure stepped slowly through the settling dust. “No... It cannot be... I was the chosen of Korvanu! She would be mine! I would sit at the right hand of the Godess! This is against the pro-” he was silenced by a solid fist to the gut. He felt the wretching ache before he saw the God-man move, in an instant his breath was taken, his brother had moved to him in a blink, he thought of retaliation, of how impossible the situation was, but all he wanted to do was breathe. His body flew backwards as fast as Kairon had moved to him, and he found himself wedged in the rubble of the thick stone wall of the temple, breathing dust and tasting blood.
“I am sorry my child, my brother” said Kairon’s body calmly as he walked over to his enemy’s broken body “I cannot let you continue, and you must pay deeply for your sins.” Murojou tried to free himself from the debris, but he could only manage to squirm. “My mind has survived the ordeal of posession, and now Korvanu lives within me, not instead of me. She speaks through me, not for me. My desires are her desires, and hers mine. We wish you gone.” Murojou tried to speak as he sensed his life was at an end, but could only manage to gurgle. “Do not fear brother, we will not kill you, you may live and repent for your sins, but know this: We will be watching you always, if you choose an unvirtuous path we will appear and make you repent with blood and pain. This is the least we can do as Korvanu, and the most we can do as Kairon. Do you understand?” Murojou had calmed now he knew there was no more resistance to be had. His breathing steady, he nodded clearly, and tears began to stream down his face. Kairon smiled softly and shook his head “Then go.” And Murojou was gone.
Luchia had managed to get to her feet, astounded by the feats being performed before her eyes and still aching, but she was locked tightly onto the vision of her lover, and shuffled shakily towards him. “Come my love.” He called as he turned towards her “Let us rebuild this place once more, as did the masters of old. Our lives and fates are entwined with this temple, as our children’s lives and fates shall also be.” They embraced, and Luchia felt a warmth surround her, and her pain was gone. Then she realised. “...Children?!” she shouted, astounded and embarrassed. “Well...” smiled Kairon “I AM the Goddess of Lust!” and he raised his eyebrows knowingly. Luchia blushed, and laughed, and held him tightly.