Wraith's Lament- Finale - Chapter 1

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Wraith's Lament- Finale

by Gar-a-ash

Libraries: Fantasy, OriginalFiction

Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)

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Inari and Parhelion face off against the Wraith one last time.

Inari stared in horror as the wisps coalesced into the creature of nightmares, terror slowly running through her veins like ice. The Wraith stepped out of her corrupted wisp shroud, a low thrumming sound filling the air as the night itself was split apart by her presence. Her crown of antlers framed the moon behind her as she slowly angled her head down to stare at Inari, the mage who has been disrupting all of her plans, and a hiss like escaping steam filled the air. Glowing red eyes narrowed, rings of runes slowly spinning around the Wraith's extremities, and Inari could feel corruption and curses pulsing through the air from them.

 

“Parhelion...” she whispered, to no avail. She had sent her gryph to defend the walls, where they had been certain the Wraith would erupt. Even if Parhelion somehow heard her cries for help, there was no way the stryx would get here in time. Inari would have to stand on her own.

 

The Wraith lunged forward, caving in the building she had been standing on, and Inari gasped as she threw up a barrier of light, ducking to the side as the Wraith smashed through it like glass. Corrupted wisps flowed like a river around their master, filling the air with ringing screams as they swarmed Inari. She threw up a protection circle, stepping inside, and watched as the wisps bounced off it. Behind them, the Wraith screamed, stepping forward with a ground-shaking stomp, and Inari closed her eyes as she prepared to accept the inevitable. She had known this day was coming ever since she found Parhelion all those years ago. She had been hoping that perhaps they would be victorious, but perhaps the needed victory would come with her sacrifice. She prepared a destruction spell, settling the light in her bones, hoping that perhaps this would take the Wraith out with her, but a piercing shriek split the air and Inari's eyes snapped open.

 

“Parhelion!” she yelled, scanning through the smoky skies for her beloved gryph, seeing nothing as the Wraith took another step closer. Strings of red saliva dripped to the ground, the Wraith savoring this moment, and in desperation Inari released the pent up energy skywards, creating a beam of light to signal her location. Thw Wraith shrieked and stumbled backwards at the sudden flash of light, and the beam shot upwards and broke through the cloud layers, the energy temporarily dispersing the storm.

 

The sudden silence was unnerving, before the Wraith gathered herself together and turned back towards Inari, fury in her eyes. The beast hissed again, stepping forward, and Inari wondered if perhaps her gamble would fail.

 

There was a sudden movement in the smoke, and Parhelion burst through the clouds behind the Wraith, screaming furiously. The Wraith turned too slow to avoid the weight of the gryph slamming into her head and neck, and she roared as her body was knocked to the ground. Parhelion shrieked again, a sound similar to rending metal, talons forcing the Wraith's head into the ground as she slashed and bit at the monster below her. Inari cheered, only to fall silent in horror at the sight of the Wraith's great tail moving behind her.

 

“'Helion! The tail!”

 

The gold gryph paused and started to turn only for the great plated tail to slam into her and knock her into another building behind, the force of the blow collapsing the walls on the gryph. The tail swung back, rattling loudly as the Wraith clambered to her feet, moving with sudden, jerky movements. Inari lunged forward while the beast regained her footing, warding off more swarms of the corrupted wisps with barrier spells, and sprinted underneath the Wraith towards the building Parhelion had been knocked into.

 

“'Helion! 'Helion, please tell me you're okay!”

 

A pile of rubble shifted as the Wraith screamed and turned around to chase, and Inari whirled around to fire darts of light into the Wraith's face. They exploded on contact, causing the Wraith to rear back, and the rubble flew outwards as Parhelion furiously freed herself and launched the crushed bricks off of her. The gryph shrieked, and Inari fired another volley of light before spinning and running to her stryx, clambering up with practiced ease as Parhelion dipped a shoulder.

 

“Fly, sun dog! She cannot reach us in the air!”

 

Parhelion resisted for a moment before sullenly limping her way into the air, movements stiff. Below, The Wraith reared her head, beak clacking shut just behind and under them, and Inari changed into a serpent shape to wrap her tail around the gryph's neck and dangle underneath, firing another round of light spears. A few lodged into the creature's neck, and on their detonation curse-ridden blood spattered to the ruined streets below. From the spatters a fresh wave of corrupted wisps erupted, swarming upwards towards the pair. They flew north, away from the unevacuated parts of the city, and the Wraith roared and followed, shaking the earth in thundering steps. Fellow soldiers and stryx attempted to arrest her movements and were swatted out of the way like flies, the Wraith's murderous gaze locked onto Inari and Parhelion's forms.

 

Another harpia and his rider met their ends in the Wraith's crown of antlers, and Inari steeled herself, resting her hand lightly upon Parhelion's neck.

 

“It's time, my sun dog. We've known this moment was coming from the moment I found you, and I'm sorry that I could not prevent this happening. Facing this great evil has always been your destiny, and now it is your responsibility. For this, I am sorry.”

 

Parhelion crooned, turning her warm golden gaze back towards her rider, flapping upwards to avoid another plume of smoke.

 

“I'm not leaving you to face this alone, though. We'll do this together. We've lived together, and now, if fate wills it, we shall die together. Are you ready, child of the sun? It is time to bring the light of day and the hope that comes with it back to this land.”

 

A snarl erupted from the gryph's chest, and she banked sharply, turning back to face the Wraith, lumbering so far behind them. Inari felt a strange peace fall over her, and beneath her knees, she knew the same peace had overcome the gryph as well. Parhelion's breaths, previously labored and panicked, were now deep and calm. The world seemed to go very still, the screams of panic trailing out of the city muted and falling away into background noise, until all that remained was the sound of their heartbeats, curiously playing a counter rhythm with the Wraith's thundering steps. The shuddering breaths of the Wraith before them echoed through the silence, the phantom glow of her eyes locked onto them. The beasts eyes narrowed, suspicious, steps slowing slightly, and Inari took a moment to close her eyes, feeling for the magic within her. It filled her veins, warm like the sunlight on a brisk spring day, and she let the peace of it spill over both her and Parhelion, until they both glowed with a steady light, illuminating the streets below them.

 

She opened her eyes as the Wraith's breathing changed into a hiss, like wind blowing through tunnels, and swarms of corrupted wisps converged in front of them. They flowed over the pair like a river, but their bodies dissolved in the light they were emitting, offering no resistance. The Wraith's maw opened up, and Inari leaned forward on Parhelion's neck, reducing their drag in the air. Placing a hand once more on the great gryph's neck, Inari felt her body change into a battle shape, wings forming on her back as her mouth filled with fangs.

 

“Now!” she snarled, “we do this together!”

 

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