Fatal Error

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2 years ago

[WP] You killed the Demon King. Now you stand in an empty room. He stands before you, utterly motionless. A glass pane hangs in the air between you: "FATAL ERROR HAS OCCURED: CPU has experienced critical system failure. All programs halted to preserve data. Initiate total system restart?


The Bounty Knight had been here before. In evils lair. Facing off against a powerful villain that all others failed to slay. Something was different this time. A new trick, he thought.


“What dark magic is this?” Valôr said as he tucked low behind his shield. His vigilant suspicion of trickery had kept him alive a long time. He wasn’t the best fighter. Or the most clever. It was his patience that lead him to success where all others had failed.


His patience always kept him alive to find the big bounties. And once there, his relentlessness in combat had continuously brought victory.


“Never ride in on a battlecry,” Valôr always said. “Information and a plan, that’s how you win. That’s how you stay alive.” These were his go to lines that he capped off every anecdote of adventure.


In the mountain heart he stood. In a golden hall that once belonged to the Dwarf Lord who hired him. Everything was destroyed. Statues were rubble. The great table shattered. A magnificent duel had accrued in this room and at the end of it the Demon King had been slayed.


Valôr knew he had killed him. The Demon King had fallen. His husk smote across the stone throne. Then there was a flash of light. And the room flickered and the Demon King was back on his feet. Motionless. A glass shield etched with magic language Valôr could read but not comprehend.


Every evil Valôr faced always kept one final surprise up their sleeve. He knew this. They are never dead the first time.


Valôr held still for a long moment. Surveying the room around him. Looking for details that would piece together the incantation.


The torches lining the wall drew his eyes. The flames were still. Frozen in place.


“I hate magic,” Valôr grumbled.


Slowly, he put his sword towards the barrier and it went right through. Confused and cautious, Valôr moved the blade towards the heel of the Demon King.


It passed right through.


“Illusions,” he said. “I hate magic.”


Valôr didn’t see it, but the Demon Kings eyes blinked and redirected down at Valôr.


“Without a head there is no bounty,” Valôr said and in a burst of frustration swung his sword at the barrier. The room flashed, disappeared, and reappeared. Unchanged.


Valôr was at the ready with his shield up. He surveyed the room again, trying to understand. It was always a puzzle, he thought.


Valôr swung at the barrier again. Unbeknownst to him the blade pierced the word ‘no’ for a second time, and the room flashed once more.


He cursed and swung a third time. Nicking the word ‘yes’.


The room flashed and everything went black and with a loud hum followed by sounds of grinding stone gears the room reappeared.


The Demon King sat on the throne. A long forked flaming blade on his lap. In a start he stood — “I’m alive!”He looked around. The throne room was intact, as it were before the duel. “He was telling the truth.” the Demon King said just as the door exploded in.


Through the threshold came Valôr. A fierce man, even by Demon standards.


“Wait!” The Demon King shouted, but Valôr was in full charge. Their swords clashed.


“You were right?” The Demon King pleaded. “I see it now!”


Valôr spun around and took a defensive stance. “Your trickery will not work on me!”


They danced around one another, Valôr swinging wildly and The Demon King trying to only defend and not kill.


“Listen - “ the Demon King tried, “just talk to me for one minute!”


“I do not exchange words with violators!” Valôr swung again, determined to deliver the deathblow.


The Demon King fought weakly. Trying to spare Valôr’s life so they may talk, but his muscle memory proved victorious and on a parry he cut the Knights throat.


The Demon King cursed and shook the knights body, urging him to wake. The room flickered and reset. The Demon King found himself standing opposite the Knight, who stood motionless.


A barrier between them. A message The Demon King did not understand.


He starred at it curiously. With some hesitation he tapped the word ‘yes’ and in a flash and to the chorus of grinding stone the room reset.


The door exploded in. Valôr stepped through the threshold, but as he did the ferocity in his eyes calmed. This was wrong. He’d been here before.


The Demon King rose from the throne. “Foolish man! You dare challenge me!”


“Wait!” Valôr shouted, but it was too late. Fire balls reigned down upon him and it took all his effort to stay alive. As he found his footing the Demon King was upon him and their blades clashed.

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