|Series||Fable: The Return by Scorponix|
|← Chapter 15||Chapter Chronology||Chapter 17 →|
The King has a long discussion with an ancient Demon Door
The king's eyes open slowly, the only sounds around him are the insects that chirp throughout the marshes. His body is unbelievably sore, he realizes this once he tries to stand up and fails. His eyes finally adjust to the light of day and they reveal the animated stone face of a Demon Door, its eyes shining blue and staring at him.
"Are you about done, then?" The door bellows. The king does not respond, he can't even lift his head. "Oh, I suppose you're tired after your oh so valiant tussle with the Ghost Kraken. Ohh how the mighty have indeed fallen, the great King of Albion tossed away by a sea beast. The bards will surely sing of that grand fight I assure you."
The king rises to his feet in extreme pain while the Demon Door rambles on.
"Look! Against all odds the great Hero has struggled to his feet!" The king glares at it. "Oh, don't give me that look! I know the look of a hero who is annoyed with me! It happens to all of us! You children think you can run around the world and pop us open, taking all of our treasures and secrets, you get annoyed when we give you a task and you call us the demons! Of course we are the demons, we are innocent souls bound into moving rocks and we hide away treasures of your wildest and darkest dreams, I didn't choose this! You think I wanted to be a door that would be cursed to be in one spot for eternity? You know…When I saw that spire go up I thought it was finally the end. I saw all of the magic swirl around one day, knowing that my time had come and I'd be swept off of existence. But no, your Hero father went in and made a different wish…something about family and a dog. Pitiful creatures, dogs…always desecrating anything they can find. The only reason this dull place is suitable is because there are no dogs! Oakvale!! The once proud village of peace and prosperity, burned once then came back, and guess what? It was burned again by some dark things from down the road, this time nobody bothered to rebuild the rubbish. Darkwood creeped closer and closer, of course I was the first landmark to be taken by the marshes. I'd say the Grey House was but that monstrous estate was dead long before Oakvale burned again. After all that nonsense your bloody father comes along and opens me, I was such a fool then. I thought I was very clever, thinking that it'd be a challenge to bring ten people to me in this awful place. Little did I know that a blasted culls gate was a skip down the road! He opened me without effort and took his prize…the only prize. So now I regret to inform you that-"
"It wasn't all that you were hiding," the king stops the Demon Door. "There is something else buried deep in there."
"An educated Hero, don't see that often. Yes, maybe I do hold something more behind these stone walls. Not like you're getting in though."
"Name your price, I must enter."
"Price?! Bah! I don't want anything."
"You must want something, your a De…" He catches himself. "A Great Door, you all want something."
"Trust me on this, Hero. All I want is to die. That's it! I want my soul to rest finally and be rid of these memories. I've opened to lesser heroes for silly things. I once had a hero eat a lot of pie and meat, the man was so fat that he could barely fit through." The door laughs. "Yes, all I want to do is be…gone."
"I'm sure something could be arranged. But…if you die you would never open. And I need what is behind you."
"I thought what the Guild wanted was to be rid of the mask." The king now realizes that the door knows what he seeks. "If I were to die and in turn be sealed for all time, wouldn't that be what you wanted? For the mask to be in eternal limbo, never to be retrieved?"
"There is a risk to that," the king begins.
"And what would that be, Hero?"
"If you were sealed forever, we do not know where the world behind you would go. There is a chance that the Void is where the world's of Demon Doors go. And if the mask goes to the Void, it would only be a matter of time before it ends in the wrong hands."
"And you are the right hands I should believe?" The door looks at him and judges him with its eyes. "How do I know that you would not dig up the mask and then…pop it on? You would be endowed with the powers of the Queen of Blades and the world would bow to your every whim. Any normal man, and even very strong heroes would fail to hold back the urge to wear that mask."
"I am the Hero of Brightwall. The son of the Hero of Bowerstone who saved Albion from the Spire. The descendent of the Hero of Oakvale who defeated Jack of Blades! I am the King of Albion, fighter of the darkness, savior of Aurora. I will not use that mask for its true purpose. I will destroy the accursed thing as it should have been all those years ago."
The Demon Door yawns as they normally do when awoken. "A thrilling speech I assure you. You know how to talk, Hero, you do. But, as it remains, all I want is death."
"I can promise it to you, I can find a way."
"How does one kill a Door, Hero?"
"I do not know…but you must trust me." The king looks to be speaking the truth. "I will find a way…after you open for me."
"Hmmmmmmmmm." The Demon Door takes several minutes to ponder. "Oh…very well. I suppose I have nothing to lose in the matter." Its face collapses inwards and a giant vertical crack appears down the middle of its great stone face. The door slides open revealing a swirling portal to another world. The king musters the strength to walk forward and make his way to the portal. He can't help but look at it and think of the rift he opened in the Chamber of Fate, when he released the greatest evil that Albion had ever known. With this thought swimming in his head, he walks through the portal and feels his body change as the world morphs around him. He falls onto his knees in front of a large, gloomy house, a swirling portal now behind him.