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Ashes of this world

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It all started with an explosion, a strong explosion into absolute nothingness that had generated everything, including this world. From its core, then, he was born, already an adult, tall, perfect, his name was Gyntaf. Straight hair down to his feet, the same color as his lashes, golden eyes, pale and white complexion and on the top of his head stood proud auburn and white horns. It was neither male nor female, but it was also both.

It contained within itself every Primary Source: the Earth, the anchor of the worlds, the Ocean, the food of the worlds, the Sky, the vault of the worlds, the Sun and the Moon, the lights of the worlds, and the Stars, the future of the worlds.

And it is from the latter that he generated the first being endowed with a complex thought process.

Aaravos was his name, its meaning was First of the Avi.

But this was lonely and sad, so it also spawned a second being, Aeravos, she was the Second of the Avi

From their union the first elves were born, the Startouch elves.

Finally, he created the Archdragons, very powerful and very intelligent creatures that would have watched and ruled over the world.

 


 

Years passed, then millennia and, finally, aeons.

The Startouch elves had reached the pinnacle of technology, science, and magic.

They had created, with the guidance of the Star Archdragons, a land named Xadia.

They had managed to harness the power of the Primal Sources in places called Nexus.

The Moon Lake and the Earth Tower to the West; the Sun Forge and Storm Spire to the east and Malestrom in the South Seas. Finally, in dreams, the Startouch elves had erected the invisible village of Breuddwyd y Gyntaf.

However, many elves and Archdragons also settled among other Nexus, changing their natures to suit the specific Primordial Source of the place.

Thus were born the Moonshadow elves, the Sunfire elves, the Earthblood elves, the Skywing elves and the Tidebound elves, as well as the Archdragons of the Sun, of the Moon, of the Earth, of the Sky. and the Sea.

But all of a sudden, a new being appeared, neither animal nor elf, but human.

Not descended from Gyntaf, mankind did not have access to the Primordial Sources, nor did they have special physical abilities.

What distinguished them was their tenacity; a feature that ended up intriguing Aaravos, pushing him to get closer to men.

This acquaintance, however, was fatal to him: he was corrupted by the dark soul of humans, always full of evil feelings and immoderate passions, and transmitted this feelings to the other elves, making them more like the new creatures. Which offended Gyntaf.

But the final affront Aaravos made to Gyntaf was the creation of Dark Magic.

This was fed with the vital energy of other magical creatures and manifested itself in all forms of evil, making the soul of those who used it worse and worse.

Marginalized by his own kind, Aaravos went to live with humans and taught them Dark Magic.

Blinded by this available and inexhaustible power, the humans let themselves be overcome by greed and began to persecute magical creatures to extinction, to steal as much energy as possible from them.

Even Aaravos was seized by the delusion of power and Dark Magic was no longer enough for him. He then went to his creator Gyntaf and stole much of the power that it had acquired from the Primary Sources, thus becoming able to create at his will.

He threw Gyntaf into the mortal world. Here, it fell into a deep sleep, but, before falling asleep it managed to create, using the little power it had left, Avizandum, Archdragon of the Sky, to which it assigned as the only reason of life to defeat Aaravos, taking advantage of his inexperience in the magic of the other Primary Sources.

 Nonetheless, just to be able to capture Aaravos, Avizandum needed the help of the other Archdragons and elves.

The Startouch elves created in the form of a mirror a dimension of its own and the key necessary to open it, which functioned simultaneously using the power of all the Primordial Sources held only by the Archdragons.

Aaravos was trapped and his memory cursed. Everything that concerned him was destroyed. The books were subjected to enchantment: from that moment on, if anyone sought information on the "King of Thieves", as Aaravos was called by the elves, every page would immediately become blank, devoid of any mark.

The biggest problem, however, remained the disappearance of Gyntaf and his powers.

With his presence, Gyntaf kept the world in balance. In any case, it was necessary to find a being powerful enough to take Gyntaf's place, otherwise, within a few centuries, the world would be left with nothing but ashes.

 


 

Gyntaf woke up.

It was lying on a soft bed, in a room lit only by the fire crackling in the fireplace.

It was a small but cozy room. Near the wooden door was a table with two chairs on which lay a soup that had long since quit smoking. Empty candle holders were posted on the wooden walls and in the corner there was a door with the inscription "Latrins".

Looking down at the floor, Gyntaf saw, on the carpet at the foot of the bed, the most beautiful being it had ever seen.

She had brown hair tending to black and a mole, just below the eye stood out on the pink skin, accentuating the beauty of her face. Her head was resting on crossed arms as if on a makeshift pillow. Her plump pink lips were slightly parted and, in her sleep, there were short, silent rhythmic sighs. Her lean body, huddled in the rectangle of the carpet, was perfect and athletic. Finally Gyntaf saw them. That being's ears were rounded. It was, therefore, a human, indeed a woman, judging by the conformation of the breast suitable, as for other living species, to breastfeed the young.

Yet there was something strange. Not only had this human evidently saved and healed it, but not even the slightest trace of Dark Magic could be perceived from her.

Suddenly without realizing it, Gyntaf felt a feeling for the first time. It did not understand what was happening, but it felt an immense strength within itself, it could move mountains and, at the same time, it could not take its eyes off the person who lay asleep at its feet.

Gyntaf continued to observe her minutely and studied every feature of her face because it wanted never to forget it, but in its heart Gyntaf knew that it could not forget it: if it did, it would hate itself forever.

It had been minutes or hours, Gyntaf did not know, when the young woman woke up and what she saw first were Gyntaf’s golden eyes contemplating her in delight. Instantly she jumped up and walked away, frightened.

It felt a strong heat coming to its face and seeing the human's cheeks redden, it thought that the same thing had happened to her too.

"Y ... you are one of those with pointy things ..." the human said, looking away.

"Don't you like my ears?" Gyntaf answered, knowing every language in the world.

"I meant ... I meant the horns."

What was strange about his horns? Not knowing what to answer, Gyntaf fell silent without being able to take his eyes off her. Then, suddenly he felt that something was happening in his groin.

Removing the blankets, he noticed that there was now something that wasn't there before and which he shared with the male elves. His brain must have determined his sex in consideration of the fact that he had a woman next to him and his body had changed accordingly.

Even more confused also by what was happening in his body, Gyntaf did not notice that the woman had turned her back to him abruptly, until she asked him to cover himself.

Although he did not understand why he should do it - the elves were not ashamed of any part of their body; human oddities, probably - Gyntaf pulled the blankets back above the waist ...

"Now ... can you tell me your name?" he asked the woman, who in the meantime had returned to look at him.

"Sarai," the woman replied with a lopsided smile, still embarrassed.

"Sarai. How sweet your name is. Mine is Gyntaf. I'm happy to meet you."

The woman, though a little confused, said:

"You know, I didn't know an elf could be so polite."

"Nor did I believe I would ever meet a human as beautiful and gentle as you," Gyntaf said before he could process what he said.

This time Sarai turned to the fireplace to hide her blush.

"So ... what kind of elf are you?" she asked.

"None," Gyntaf replied.

"Impossible. You have pointed ears and horns. You can only be an elf. You're white, so maybe a Skywing? "

"I repeat, I am not an elf."

At Sarai's questioning gaze, Gyntaf began to tell his own story, ever since he was born.

When the story was over, Sarai, who had been serious the whole time listening carefully to Gyntaf's words, said.

"This explains why I found you half dead on the side of the road."

“What about being the origin of life itself? Nothing to complain about? " Gyntaf chuckled.

“Well, you are not an elf or a human. As incredible and shocking as what you have told me is, I have no reason not to believe you. "

She was wonderful and kind. Beside her he felt comforted, safe. He felt that he had a place now, and next to her, next to a human, a rose among the brambles.

Then, Gyntaf made a decision. He decided that, from then on, he would live as a human.

He grabbed his horns at the base, gritted his teeth and, under Sarai's bewildered gaze, pulled downward.

With a loud crack, Gyntaf's horns snapped and for the first time he saw his golden blood gush. His hair turned brown and his eyes green, and the magic contained in the horns vanished.

As everything revolved around him, he heard Sarai's screams and then her grabbing him around the waist to keep him from falling.

"Now ... can I ... live like a human?"

In Sarai's beautiful brown eyes, tears began to lurk menacingly.

“Oh, oh gods. Why the hell did you do that!! " Sarai asked frightenedly, reaching out to the blanket to make a cloth with which to dab the two holes on his head.

Gyntaf smiled, the answer was clear, yet so complicated. His voice still hoarse, he replied.

"For the love of you."

Then, Sarai felt a tight squeeze in her chest and a strange sensation in her stomach, as if she was full of butterflies and writhing to release them.

Suddenly she understood: she had fallen in love with this crazy primeval being she had just met who, in order to stay with her, had broken his own branchy, beautiful horns. He was of a noble and gentle soul, giving life rather than taking it away as Dark Magic did.

And that was enough for Sarai.

Without realizing it they found themselves embraced on the floor covered in golden blood and their lips met eagerly.

 


 

It had been two years since Gyntaf, now Gallus to humans, had arrived in Dracmead. Sarai had made up a rather believable story about how he had escaped from the elves and reached the village.

They had been married for a year now, and living with Sarai had given Gyntaf a new way of seeing humans.

They were warm and capable of good feelings, not ruthless monsters, as he had believed in the past.

In any case, however, they hated elves. Some more, some less. Dark Magic had separated the species so far that Xadia, the land created by the Startouch elves, had been split in two by a terrible and bloody schism. Humans had been exiled to the west and elves remained in the east. Human kingdoms were soon drained of magic by dark mages and this led to a nonmagical deevolution of plants and animals. Due to the schism the elves hated humans, considering them greedy and cruel traitors, and humans hated elves, seeing them as bloodthirsty monsters.

For this reason, as soon as the horns began to grow back, Gallus broke them. The pain was excruciating, every time, but to be with Sarai he would also have moved the whole world.

The two loved each other madly.

From the morning, when the sun woke them, until the evening, when Sarai returned from her service as a general and they fell asleep in each other's arms.

And so, soon, they had a son, Callum. He had brown hair and green eyes, the human aspect of his father, but the features of his mother.

The child was incredibly energetic, as if he had all the strength in the world within him, which, given his father's nature, was true.

But this power was too much for the child to bear, and he became so seriously ill that the doctors were hopeless. Gyntaf and Sarai were desperate, the former in particular as he considered himself directly responsible for Callum's plight, despite his wife's attempts to dissuade him.

But Gyntaf didn't care. He knew what to do and would save his son, his most precious possession. He was sorry to leave Sarai alone, but if their baby died because of him, he would never forgive himself

And so, when Sarai's sister Amaya, unaware of Gallus' true identity, had come to visit her nephew for his fourth birthday and found him bedridden for a full year, Gallus revealed his true nature.

They had decided to share their secret with Amaya on Callum's fifth birthday, but the condition of the child did not allow for further delay.

It was raining heavily and the night was black and dark, not illuminated by either the Moon or Stars.

Amaya, making faces, tried to draw smiles from Callum, but, due to the illness, the smiles were weak and tired, even if they showed the tenacity of the child; Sarai with sadness in her eyes was stroking his head softly. Callum's condition had not improved over time, his dark circles were deep and his pale skin almost gray, his body had visibly slimmed down from inactivity and, every now and then, coughing, a thin stream of blood trickled from the corners of his mouth.

Despite this, Callum smiled. He tried hard to be well, so as not to sadden his parents. He was just a child, he didn't know what death was; he only knew that if he was fine, his mom and dad were fine too.

So even when his chest hurt, when his vision blurred and even when he sweated and snorted to move a single muscle, he smiled.

Gyntaf could no longer bear the sight. He had hoped that Callum would recover to be able to live with him, like the present father he had wanted to be since the child was born, not just a creator who abandoned his creatures to themselves. He would have liked to see Callum grow up, educate him, even punish him when necessary, be there when he fell and be there when he got up, be a father to his son, his only true son.

But it wasn't possible, and Gyntaf knew it.

Approaching Callum's bedside, he put a hand on Amaya's shoulder, who, being deaf and unable to speak, looked at him in confusion.

Then he turned his gaze to Sarai, also bewildered by Gyntaf's attitude.

With a sad smile he brought his forehead close to Sarai's and closed his eyes; she closed hers, took his hand and brought it to her cheek.

Then he spoke.

"I'm sorry. Bring him up for me too. "

At the words of her husband, Sarai opened her eyes suddenly and was amazed. There was no longer Gallus the human in front of her, but Gyntaf the elf as she had never seen him: his prickly horns had suddenly grown bigger and more regal than when she had found him dying along the way, his hair, which he kept short, had now grown back white and shiny, his eyes were no longer green, but golden and luminous and his skin was losing the light tan it had acquired, returning as pure and white as fresh snow.

At the sight of the elf, Amaya drew her sword and started to pounce on Gyntaf, but a look from her sister stopped her.

Gyntaf then said to Amaya:

Sorry we didn't tell you earlier, but I wanted to wait for Callum's fifth birthday. Please forgive me. "

Amaya was amazed, she had heard. She had lived in the deepest silence since she was born, but the voice of this strange, mystical elf had broken it.

I just want to save my son. Please let me pass. "

Still amazed, Amaya shifted, as if her legs did not respond to her but to the divine being in front of her.

Gyntaf walked over to Callum.

The child looked at him with tired eyes.

"Dad," he whispered.

"Listen Callum, now dad will go away ..."

Bright blue tears began to fall from Gyntaf's eyes. It was difficult to separate, but he would save his son, the fruit of his and Sarai's love, the love between a human and an elf. At any cost.

“You have to be strong, grow up and live your life. I already know you will do wonderful things, after all you are… you are my son, my precious baby,” he said sadly.

Then Gyntaf began to sing the elven lullaby that he often sang to Callum when the little one could not sleep for the fever:

 

Codail go síochánta, codladh sámh, mo dhuine beag,

Ní ligfidh mé d'éinne tú a ghortú,

Ní bheidh madraí ná dragain imeaglaithe ort,

Toisc go bhfuil mé anseo le do thaobh,

Codail go síochánta, codladh sámh, mo dhuine beag,

Gan imní agus fadhbanna,

Gan eagla agus pian

Toisc go bhfuil mé i mo lámha agam

Codail go síochánta, codladh sámh, mo dhuine beag,

Toisc go bhfuil an oíche gearr,

Agus tiocfaidh an lá go luath,

An lá a fhásfaidh tú suas,

An lá nach dteastaíonn rainn naíolann uait a thuilleadh,

Mar sin codladh sámh, mar sin codladh sámh, mo dhuine beag. "

 

He finished the lullaby with a sad smile on his face. It would be the last time he sang it.

Placing his hands on Callum's chest, Gyntaf said:

"Look after your mother and aunt for me ..."

A warm, blinding and powerful light exploded from Gyntaf's body: the last spark of life of the perfect being.

With the last ounce of magical energy he had left, he sealed Callum's powers. They would wake up when his body could hold them.

When the light went out, Callum was fine. The dark circles were gone, the skin was rosy again and his physique was restored. As if he had never been sick.

Sarai, moved, ran to hug her son, while Amaya stood next to her and placed a hand on her shoulder still incredulous of what she had witnessed.

Callum was there, alive and well, in his mother's arms, dazed by the sudden loss of his powers.

“You did it, Gyntaf. You saved him,” Sarai said to her husband as tears streamed copiously down her rosy cheeks.

"I ... I'm ... glad ..." he said weakly and in a very hoarse voice.

A shiver ran down Sarai's back: under her eyes, the body of Gyntaf, still standing, sad smile on his lips and resignation on his face, crumbled into white ash that flew, carried by the wind, out the window.

"I wish you a happy life ..." Gyntaf's voice said in the distance, like a whisper in the wind

An excruciating cry tore through Dracmead that night. A wife had lost her husband, and a son his father.

Meanwhile, the wind scattered the ashes of the Son of the World, accompanied by the funeral song of the pouring rain and the roar of thunder.