The ground has been sanguine for days now. Flesh adorns it like pizza toppings, placed erratically in intricate patterns by Fate's hands. No one can tell you why it was like this. Death was just as inexplicable as life, and it came for some messily. The gleam of the evening sun on the lakes of blood was Mercala shaking hands with Huggessoa and declaring that this cycle of creation and destruction was acceptable.
A pair of beasts flutter down through the sky like dancing flames. One is a grotesque, grey creature with appendages adorned with wings and a wide maw. The other is but a man, flawed yet determined to live. Roars echo across the previously silent plane. Explosions paint the heavens in hues of orange. When they finally hit the ground, the both of them sank into one of the larger puddles of liquid life. If there was a victor, it was surely The Gods themselves.
For this, too, was Mercala shaking hands with Huggessoa--- the age-old struggle between life with anti-life that a mere mortal seemingly had no chance at ending.
Eventually, the man rises up from the lake of death covered in gore. He trudges through the muck until he finds solid ground, and then begins to wander amidst the carnage. The corpses of ally and enemy alike are ignored without much of a glance. It was nothing new, and there was likely nothing to be had from looting. The people of this land generally enjoyed the war weapons of old, that of which this man wasn't adept at.
However, when he comes upon a half-dead beast chewing on a warrior that is surely an ally, the man reaches down to retrieve a bloodsoaked glave. It is heavy in his hands, bearing the weight of many lives upon its' handle. The man strides forward, driving this great metalwork through the creature's face just as it notices him. It immediately convulses, pulling the weapon away from the man and moving in such a wild fashion that it would be difficult to fell with bare hands. Thus, the man brandishes a dagger and finishes his business with it within a single, almost eternal, minute.
The man kneels, breathing heavily. His body is weary, his spirit desiring rest. A voice rings out just as the sun begins to set.
"... Hey... come hither, brother..."
The call is answered, the man ambling over to the very same body that had been in the process of being devoured. One of the warrior's horns is missing, and her right arm has chunks missing out of it. Beyond that, it seems like her body is bruised and beaten up all over... and yet, she has a demon's grin on her face.
"... Ha... well... even without a Crown... I'll still call you brother..."
There is not much clean cloth to work with, so the little that the man can come up with is used to bandage the warrior's right arm. A concoction is consumed by the both of them, and the man forgets his exhaustion. Some other supplies are either discarded or eaten. By nightfall, he is traveling with the warrior on his back, the pair traveling aimlessly.
They remain quiet in order to avoid being attacked, the only sounds leaving them being heavy breathing and the occassional pained cough. They stop seldomly, the man desiring to manage his focus properly and not succumb to a rest that he may not wake from. Once the sun rose again, however, it was clear that they had long since abandoned that damned battlefield, and were heading in a direction that they both recognized--- one without nightmares ahead.
"We'll encounter the Second Order's soldiers soon... we surely will, brother!"
The man doesn't respond, marching on.
"Once we do, we can take back the land that we've lost... It'll be a great retribution, brother... Zera willing, I will carve out this scourge from our soil... and honor the dead... my ancestors... my House!"
The sun rolls across the sky like a marble sinking through honey.
"Hey... brother... it feels like the night will never end, huh? I can't wait for the sun to rise... to feel its' warmth on my back... ha..."
There is nothing the man can do. He is but a human who can only take away life. If he had the power to give life, he would surely use it now. Instead, his troubled heart ached faintly as the warrior gradually grew silent once more, and didn't speak again.
By the time the man does stumble upon the army that he is searching for, he is more akin to a casket bearer than a savior. The body is taken from him, a circle of various people gathered around it as many openly cried out for Zera's blessings and declared that they would seek revenge... and yet, the man is barred from entering, made to wait outside. He is unwanted filth, discarded trash from another land. He is lucky to not simply be put down. If the man feels anything about his treatment, it is hidden behind his steely visage. Eventually, two tall, well-dressed men approach the man, who has since been lingering on the edge of their camp for an hour now, reeking of death and on the verge of passing out.
"What is your name, mongrel?"
No response is given. The dominant of the pair grows visibly more enraged than he already had been. The other warrior quickly intercedes.
"Perhaps he doesn't understand our tongue, m'lord?"
"Then he is utterly useless. All he's good for is meat to feed our mutts."
"It's clear that he fought in Zera's name, though, and even carried Fourth Princess of House Echor all the way from the front lines before her body could be defiled by the enemy. It would not sully your pride to show him mercy."
A grunt is made by the angrier warrior, followed by an intense glare that threatens the man with a mere glance.
"Speak, then. I'll give you shelter, ale, and whatever else that is reasonable that you desire, if you can speak it to me, dog."
Silence follows for a few moments. Then, a raspy, incoherent response dribbles out.
"Speak up, mongrel!"
A heavy exhale flows from the man. Then, a flask is shakenly retrieved from the man's waist and brought to his lips, stale water rejuvenating him gradually. As he clasps the flask back into place, the man gazes up at the sky. Unlike in days previous, it isn't filled with dark clouds and a dark orange tint. It is blue and peerless, ordinary birds floating by as if they belong here. The sight makes it clear that he isn't trapped in some hellscape but, instead, still within the same world that he had been born into.
When he finally returns his attention to the warriors standing before him, a determined glint manifests in his tired, wary gaze, and butchered Alstalsian is thrown out.
"... bullets... please."