|Series||Fable: The Return by Scorponix|
|←||Chapter Chronology||Chapter 2 →|
"Albion," spoke an old, frail voice. It struggled to even produce sound. "Albion, and Aurora. My countries, my beautiful, thriving countries. Both masses of earth living under one crown. My crown. Have I done for them what is best Walter? Walter?" There was a long breath of silence. "Ah, I remember now. I'm sorry old friend, I hope I have done you proud."
The King of Albion rested his old body in an oaken chair, which was placed in front of a grandly decorated desk. Covering the desk was a plethora of old documents, books, tomes, royal ledgers, and used quills. Hanging above the desk was a framed sheet of paper depicting a promise to the people of Aurora. Few candles covered the war room in a dim light; night fell strongly over the city of Bowerstone.
"Oh Walter, I've finally learned to not be afraid of the darkness that comes when the sun falls away. I have finally found peace with the night." The king stared through the window and into the deep dark of nighttime. He took note of the small flickers of candlelight all along the streets of Bowerstone. "Each and every light is fighting against darkness. Even the smallest light can be the bravest spark of fire, shining brightly and cutting through the shadow. Am I a Hero Walter?" The king once more looked around the war room as he has done each passing day. "Have I been the Hero that Albion has needed? So much death. In one day, I watched as my people were killed by creatures that I did not understand. And then I watched as the light faded from your eyes just as the darkness did. And with every new day that I awake to I remember that I took that light away. That damn Crawler was right, the darkness would never leave, it has always been a part of me. I often wonder what else he was right about. Would our world truly be better off in darkness? Who was I to deny him? He had lived for centuries, maybe for millennia, before I was even born. He must have been wiser than I, than all of us. Was it truly heroic for me to deny him his claim to rule of a corrupted Albion?"
The king waited, as if he was waiting for his old mentor to stand by his side once more and give him a wise remark, a hint of advice, the answer he was wanting - anything. The king had been playing this game with Walter for many months now, as though there were still hope in his head that an answer would call out to him.
"I suppose you are right old friend, I did the right thing. I did what I had to do for the better of Albion and Aurora. You told me you were proud, I just hope you meant it." The few candles that lit the war room suddenly flickered out of existence. The king was left in utter silence and darkness. "And still, the darkness plays its games. But I am not afraid anymore. I will not be afraid of any darkness, no longer shall I look into the night with pain on my face. No longer will the shadows of my people haunt me with the visions that their shadows will reach to them with claws and rip out their eyes. No longer shall I lay in my bed at night and dread the eventual shutting of my eyes." He began taking long, powerful breaths. "No longer…will the shadows of the past torment my heart. My mind is free, my body is free, I am without the darkness." Papers fluttered on his desk, whispers flooded the war room, and red eyes glared at the back of the king's skull. "I am without fear…you will not take me. NO!" Fire burst out of his palms in a glorious inferno. Candles relit all throughout the room. There was silence once more. There was peace.
Suddenly, there was a strong knock on the door. "Enter," said the king.
A guard strode through the doorway. "My lord, your presence has been requested in Industrial."
"At this time of night?"
"Yes, my lord."
The king stared at the guard, confused. "For what purpose do the denizens of Industrial require the king?"
"It is Reaver, my lord."
"Another one of Reaver's brilliant innovations I suppose. I hardly think I should come to him for this occasion, Reaver knows better."
"No, my lord, this is different. It is the lake, sir, they found something."
"What do you mean they found something? It is a mine, is it not? Of course they find things."
"This is not a thing of any ore, gem, or stone. They found a cave, my lord."
"A cave?! But…but that can only mean…send word that I will be there as soon as possible." The guard bowed and left, closing the door again. "So, they found it then. It is time we discover the rest of your secrets, Father…"