Dragon Warrior 4 is probably my favorite NES RPG. Unfortunately it receives little or no attention. It has a very good story with memorable characters, and a tragic villain. Saro never received a lot of attention, especially not his feelings for Rosa, I felt I had to write this fanfic to show that I think he wasn't a totally evil guy. I decided to base this on Saro's life, before the game begins and during it. It focuses on his love for Rosa and how his mind degraded to the point of pure and total revenge against the humans. This is my first attempt at a fanfic, and I wanted to do it on this.
Chapter I - Betrayed Heart
It was getting close to evening, the sun was setting in a dim haze and a cloaked figure was busy studying an ancient text near a small playground in the town of Riverton. Saro looked on upon the human children who were playing around without a care in the world. The small children were the only humans that Saro could bear to be around. Children, so innocent, so kind, that is until they reach a certain age. Then they do nothing but ridicule what is different from them........
A rock came out of nowhere and hit Saro on the back of the head. He turned around angrily to see his assailants and sure enough it was a pair of 8-year olds to ran away laughing their heads off as if they had just been caught teasing a little slime. He rubbed the sore part of his head, thankfully the rock was not thrown hard. This was not the first time this had happened to Saro, and if it were up to him he would have incinerated those wretched children on the spot. But he puts up with this, he does it all for the one whom he lives for. All for her, for her. For...........
He looked over to see one of the smaller children was running to Rosa crying. She apparently fell and scrapped her knee, no doubt being teased by one of the older boys. Saro recalled a time when he was that young and he defended the little ones who were being teased by others bigger than them. That's how he met Rosa. Before he met her, when she was very small she was given a blessing by one of the elder elves. Whenever she cries the tears turn into rubies. It was done so that her sorrows would only be short, unfortunately this made greedy humans to want to cause pain to her to make her cry. Saro defended her when they were children and he continues to do so. He would gladly give up his own life to save hers. He turned his attention again to the child who had been hurt. Rosa used a light Heal spell to ease the child and then went after the bullies who did this. To Saro's dismay the child who had been hurt decided to come over and talk to him. He disliked talking to humans, even the little children. But all this he puts up with, he'd do anything for Rosa.
"Hey Mister Saro!"
Saro disliked having a Mister used with his name. Mister was a human term, his name is just Saro. Still he decides to smile at the child.
"Hello little one, is see you've hurt yourself. You should be more careful around the older children you know."
The child nodded as she looked over to where Rosa was heading. "They promised they'd give me some candy, but then they just pushed me onto the ground and laughed. They're always making fun of me 'cause I'm so small."
Saro sighed inwardly. Bullies. He's after dealing with the likes of them before. The children that Rosa was in the process of scolding was the same two boys that hit him earlier with a rock. He couldn't help but feel good that they were finally getting something coming to them. The small girl continued on.
"Rosa told me about all the times you saved her from bullies too! I hope I'll meet a real nice guy like you someday Mister Saro!"
He smirked at that. The child certainly had the right taste. Still, he wished she would just leave him alone. He had to finished his research. He looked over, Rosa had finished with those boys, hopefully they would stop their pranks. The little girl ran off to play with her other friends. Rosa was heading his way. He quickly pocketed the material he was reading, she never did approve of researching the Era of Evil, but Saro found it strangely alluring.
"Sorry for taking so long Saro, ready to go home?"
The two of them headed back to their small house on the outskirts of town. The two of them lived away from the main town because Saro liked his privacy. He still went with Rosa mostly everywhere, he couldn't stand the thought of something happening to her. They lived in Riverton for the past few years. It is an isolated town, however as of late there have been many researchers coming to this continent. They are fascinated in studying this land and of learning all there is to learn in the ruins there.
As they were nearing the outskirts of town a voice called out to them. The voice of the one human that Saro called 'friend'. "Hey you guys! Wait up!"
Saro turned around to see his friend Thatius running up to them. A rather tall man with a muscular build. Thatius was the chief warden of the town. Probably the most trust-worthy human Saro ever met.
"Thatius my friend! What can I do for you?"
"Oh nothing Saro, but I do have something to ask of you. Tania was wondering if the two of you would like to join us for dinner tonight? It IS Rosa's birthday after all."
Saro smiled at his friend's request. He already had special plans for Rosa that evening, however it came later.
"It sounds nice, however we will not be able to stay for too long, I have made special arrangements later for Rosa and myself. But an early dinner sounds wonderful."
Rosa raised an eyebrow at Saro's words. "Oh, so what is it that you have planned dear?"
Saro just smiled. "You'll see."
The three of them arrived at Thatius' house soon after. Tania had the meal nearly ready and she told them all to take a seat in the den while they wait.
"So Rosa, how old are you now?"
"226, which would be about 23 in human terms."
Thatius laughed good-naturedly. "226? I swear you don't look a day over 210! I often forget that you're half elf, you always seem so human."
Saro made a slightly unpleasant noise that that remark. The idea! Rosa seeming human. No human could ever be as kind and graceful as Rosa. Saro was about to respond when Tania's voice came from the kitchen. "Ok you guys, its ready!"
Saro just decided to bite his tongue for now. He wouldn't take that remark personally, since it wasn't even meant as an insult. Still Saro could not see how Rosa could seem human, she was like a Goddess.
"Ah Tania, it smells wonderful. Well Rosa, Saro have a seat and dig in!"
The four of them had a good meal and there was much talk, aside from Saro of course. He was not a very talkative person and preferred to listen than to partake in idle chatter. However eventually one of the points of conversation was thrown his way.
"So Saro, what is it that you've been studying lately? Seems to occupy all your time my friend! I hope you haven't been ignoring Rosa over this."
Ignore Rosa, never in an eternity could he ignore Rosa! She was his life. "Private interests Thatius, nothing more. Now then if you'll excuse us it is getting late and we must be on our way. Rosa it is time for my special surprise. I'll see you tomorrow my friend. Good evening Miss Tania"
With that, the two elves left the humans alone in their own company.
"I hope Saro isn't up to something with his studies. He always seemed a bit dark and secluded to me" Tania wasn't was trusting of Saro as Thatius was, but he would not hear of such things against his friend.
"Tania my dear I can guarantee that Saro isn't up to something. I've known him all the years I've been warden of this town, and there would be no one I would trust more. He does get overly interested in ancient texts, but that is nothing uncommon of an person of Saro's interests."
"So are you going to keep me in suspense all night Saro? Tell me where we are going!" Rosa was tugging on his arm and pleading with him like she used to do when they were children. Saro used to crumble on the spot and confess, however this time was too important.
"My dear you will have to wait and see. But I can assure you that it is worth it. For now let us enjoy the walk. We are heading to an area of the land east of here, it will take almost an hour to reach it. So let us just walk in peace and enjoy ourselves."
Rosa seemed a little dissatisfied with that, but she was content to just walk with him. The hour passed almost too quickly for Saro, for he was enjoying just being in Rosa's company a little too much. Finally they reached a small valley several miles away from Riverton. It was almost like it was hiding away from the world, and yet there it stood, tall and majestic. An enormous castle at the base of a mountain cliff.
"Behold the outcome of my research. My absolute discovery and my life's dream. This is Dire Palace."
Rosa almost gasped when he spoke, she had heard the legend. "Dire Palace............. the same Dire Palace in Esturk's Legend? How did you find this? No one has ever seen it for centuries!"
Saro smiled like a child in a candy store, this is what he had been waiting for his entire life. To show Rosa where them and their kind will live in harmony with nature, and away from the humans. "In the ancient texts I've been studying I came upon it's location. The text was in an ancient elven language which is why the humans couldn't translate it. Even I had a hard time with it." Saro waved his had out across the valley. "This my dear is where we and others like us will live. Away from the narrow-minded humans and the pompous oafs in Elfville, us and other demi races can live without fear of persecution."
Rosa closed her eyes and held Saro's hand. "Saro is this really what you want? Dire Palace is supposed to be a terrible place."
Saro shook his head. "Terrible a few hundred years ago maybe, while it was under Esturk's rule. But it is completely deserted now. What better place to build a sanctuary for people like us?" He was referring to the fact that neither of them were totally human or elven. They were a rare cross-breed half-elf, and as a result they were outcasted from the Elven society and not totally accepted in human society either. "The other few half-elves in the world, and the other demi races, people shunned for their looks or heritage, this will be a refuge for them. We can all live here in peace and not worry about persecution from either humans, elves or anything. This is my dream, for us to live here and never have to worry again."
"Oh Saro," Rosa sighed, she had always believed in him and now was no different, but she felt a strange premonition about this place. "Are you sure this is best? Dire Palace of all places?"
"Dire Palace is the best place Rosa. No one else has come near it for centuries and it is far enough away from heavy human society, but close enough to our small port town so supplies will be no problem. Also we have a good friend as warden and would help ward people off from this place. This is too perfect my dear. From now on we can live our lives out with no more worries, and finally be happy."
"Saro, if you are so sure, then I am happy. I just want to be with you. I love you." She smiled and in her eyes the pale moonlight was reflected.
"And I, my dear, love you." As they kissed a shooting star fell, and with it brought times of trouble.
"Well love it's late, shall we turn it?" Tania motioned for them to get some rest, it had been a long evening.
"Yes dear, I'll join you shortly"
"Who could that be at this hour? Don't worry dear, I'll get it" Thatius called out to his wife in the back room. He went over to the main door and opened it, and his eyes widened. "You!!"
A tall man, taller than Thatius with a bulky build and thick beard was standing on the other side with two others behind him. He grimaced as he said "Hello Thatius, my dear friend." It was not hard to trace the sarcasm in his voice. "It's been a long time."
"Not long enough I'm afraid. What do you want Rogue?" At the mention of that name there was some noise from the inner room and Tania came bursting out wearing a nightrobe.
"Rogue?" She looked over to the door and saw him, and she was gripped with fear.
"Ah, and Tania too, splendid! This makes things so much easier!" He motioned to the two people behind him and the burst into the room and grabbed Tania.
"Ahh! Let me go you barbarians!" A quick punch to the stomach silenced her.
"Bastard!" Thatius was gripped with rage. "What do you want?"
"I want your assistance Thatius, the least I should expect from my good friend." He calmly walked into the room with his hands clasped behind his back. "You see we have been on the trail of a certain girl. Half-elf to be exact. The little wench has a little condition that we are very interested in. You help me find her and I'll let your dear wife live. If not, well...." He trailed off with a smirk. There was no need to continue talking when his point was made.
Thatius didn't know what to say. He knew who they were talking about of course, but he wasn't about to tell them where to find Rosa. "I....... I don't know who you're talking about."
Rogue laughed at that. "You always were a bad liar Thatius. I know perfectly well that you're good friends with this half-elf wench and her lover. I hope you're not forgetting out last encounter in Endor. You owe me a lot Thatius, and you're lucky I'm willing to forget about that incident in exchange for one half-elf girl. I would not be so generous to anyone else. Now are you going to assist me or will I have my two friends over there slowly crush Tania's neck?"
"........" Thatius didn't know what to do. He didn't want to tell them where to find Rosa, but he couldn't let Tania die either. He had to make his choice. "They.............. they're gone for now. They left town earlier and headed east I believe. Saro had something to show Rosa. That's all I know. Now please, release Tania."
"Ha ha, what do you take me for Thatius? I want Rosa delivered. I KNOW you'll be talking to them soon enough so what I want you to do is send Rosa to my ship on the outer area of this little burg. I'll be there only another day, if she doesn't come I'll take Tania instead. Come on men, take the little wench with you. Oh and before you even think about it Thatius, try anything funny and I'll send Tania back to you in little pieces!" With that last remark, Rogue and his followers left Thatius in a stunned silence.
Saro and Rosa returned to Riverton later that night by the means of a Return spell. The next day Saro continued his studies as always while Rosa cared for the children of the town. No one knew about what happened at Thatius' house the night before and things were progressing normally. At the end of the day, as always Rosa finished with the children. She was preparing to return home where Saro was waiting for her when Thatius approached her.
"Hey Rosa. You in a hurry, I need to talk to you." Thatius was running up to Rosa trying to catch up before she went out of earshot.
"Oh, hello Thatius. Thank you for the dinner last night, it was delicious. What do you need?" Thatius was acting strangely, but Rosa had no need to question him, he was after all Saro's best friend.
"Rosa, I..........." Thatius trailed off as if he couldn't find the words.
"What's wrong Thatius?" Rosa made a concerned look.
"Nothing Rosa. I was just wondering if you could meet me no the outer dock later."
"Oh, alright. Just let me go home and tell Saro............"
"NO! Errrrr............ no Rosa. This is............... about Saro really. Please don't tell him. Ok?" Thatius almost seemed to panic when Rosa mentioned Saro.
"Oh, well alright I suppose. Well, I'll see you there after." She smiled at him and went on herway."
"Yeah sure, after." Thatius walked off feeling terrible, however he felt he had to do this. Tania was more important to him than anything.
"Hello Rosa." Saro greeted her at the door when she returned. "So sorry I couldn't be with you at the park today, but some of the text's I was going to read today would have been destroyed in direct sunlight."
"That alright Saro. I'm not going to be home for long anyway."
Saro raised an eyebrow at this. "Going again? Where my dear?"
"Oh, nowhere. I just have to back into town for a little while to see a friend. I'll be back soon." She kissed him on the cheek and left him.
"That's odd." Saro thought to himself. "Rosa never keeps secrets from me. I hope she isn't getting into some trouble. Perhaps I should follow her." Saro decided on that and quietly left behind her, and to his surprise she lead him to the outer docks.
"What on earth is she doing here?" Saro listened in on what Rosa was saying.
"That's odd. Thatius said he'd meet me here. I wonder what's keeping him."
"Thatius?! What business would he have asking Rosa to come to the docks?" Saro's thoughts were interrupted by Rosa's screams.
"Ahhh! Let me go you thugs! Heeelp!!" Rosa screamed at the top of her lungs until the first thug gagged her. They dragged her inside one of the large ships. It didn't take long for Saro to figure out what happened and sprinted after them. He ran down the corridors in the ship and entered the room where they had Rosa held. To his horror they were beating her and collecting the rubies that were shed. He looked over in the corner and gasped when he saw Tania's lifeless body. "ROSA!" He called out as he barged into the room.
The big man in the center who appeared to be the leader smiled as he so boldly entered. "Ah, so you must be Saro. I thought you may come to save her. It seems our friend Thatius took the liberty of delivering ANOTHER half-elf to us. Unfortunately for you we only have use for the girl. You are dispensable."
"Thatius? What does he have to do with this?"
"Ah yes, my dear friend Thatius. He was quite helpful in delivering Rosa to us. I knew I could count on him."
"What?!? What are you saying?" Saro was totally stunned by the news.
"Thatius.............. he hadn't changed one bit. I haven't seen him since he worked for me in Endor. He owed me a great deal too, I knew he'd help me if I took his wife. The fool actually thought I'd let the two of them live. What a cretin. But I have no need for either you or Thatius now. Men, remove this freak of nature from my sight!"
The two thugs advanced on Saro, totally confident that they would take him easily. Saro had other ideas. "Out of my way! Firevolt!" A streak of red lightning shot out from Saro's fingers and took out one of the thugs. Undaunted the other thug continued to advance, but another Firevolt spell stopped that.
Rogue was a little unnerved by this. "Hmm, it seems you were stronger that we thought. No matter, MEN!" Rogue called out to the back room and about a dozen more thugs entered the room. "Think you can get through them all?"
Saro ignored them and rushed over to Rosa. "Rosa, please hurry and leave. I'll handle things here, when you get outside cast Return and go back to the Palace. I'll meet you there shortly."
"Al.......alright Saro." Rosa got up and left Saro to deal with Rogue's men.
"Humph, she won't get far, we'll just catch her again once we take care of you."
"You have it backwards, it is I who will take care of YOU." Saro put his hands together and concentrated. Sparks of red energy started to fly from him. "Firebane!!!!" A searing read blaze surrounded Rogue's men and they were reduced to ashes in mere moments. Saro then turned his attention to Rogue, who turned around and ran up the nearby stairs. Saro followed him up on deck.
"Grr, it seems I underestimated you." Rogue drew his sword. "But I won't do that again. I WILL have that girl, she's far too important to me."
Saro was blinded with rage at those words. This vile little human was actually assuming that Rosa's importance would be based on wealth. "You little twit! I'll never let you have her! Firevolt!!" Unfortunatly for Saro he was so overcome with anger, he never noticed that Rogue cast Bounce on himself earlier. Saro's Firevolt reflected off of Rogue's barrier and returned and hit him, which threw him off balance and he fell off the side of the boat. Rogue took that opportunity to raise anchor and fell the town.
He called out to Saro. "You won this time, but this isn't the last you've seen of me. You can't hide her forever!!" Rogue's ship sailed off away from Riverton. Saro never bothered to give chase, because he had a much more important matter to settle.
Thatius was sitting at the table of his house with his head down. "God, how could I do this? I thought I escaped Rogue when I came here. I thought that I closed that chapter of my life for good. Damn him! Why did he have to go and return!" Thatius' thoughts were interrupted when his door was kicked open, and Saro walked in. He was dripping wet and had a blank expression on his face. "Sa....Saro? What's going on?"
Saro spoke very slowly. "How.................could you?" His voice was trembling, he was gripped with anger. "You of all people. The one I trusted the most. How could you do something like this?"
Thatius stood up. "Saro please. Let me explain. I..........."
"SHUT UP!" Saro interrupted him, totally consumed with rage. "You're all alike. I was foolish to believe that you could be an exception. But you humans are all the same. You only care about your own kind."
"Please Saro listen. I didn't want to do it. But I had to, to save Tania, they........"
Saro laughed an emotionless laugh. "Tania? You cretin! Did you really thing they were going to give her back? She was dead when I went in there!"
"Wh....what? Tania's............." Thatius stammered, he couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"All this time I thought I knew you. I thought that at least one human could be trustworthy. But now I see that you're all just worthless!"
"Saro?" That was all he uttered when the felt the flash of hot metal cut his lower abdomen. "S.......Sa......Saro........" He fell to the ground lifeless.
"You should be happy. I did you one last favor and reunited you with your wretched wife." Saro then left the house and his former friend behind. Thatius was dead and Saro's last shred of respect for the human race died with him.
Chapter 2 - Dire Palace
When Saro returned to Dire Palace Rosa was there, barely alive. It took a few months to bring her back to full health but she recovered. Saro never told her what he had done, just that she could never go back to Riverton. Several years later Dire Palace became home to all those who were outcasts from human society. Saro and Rosa lived in peace for awhile, however he was continuously obsessed with reading of the Era of Evil and the Reign of Esturk. And one day someone approached Saro with even more knowledge of Esturk.
"Who are you newcomer?" Saro eyed a strange half-dwarf who and arrived with a group from Haville.
"The name's Balzack, Lord Saro. I heard great things about this place, and that you studied much about the Era of Evil and of Esturk." Balzack had a smile that made Saro shudder. "I recently came across a discovery that you will be interested in. Shall we talk?"
"Very well then. See me later Balzack, I hope this information is worthwhile."
A few hours later Saro met with Balzack privately in the Palace's meeting room. "So what did you want Balzack? You should realize that I don't have time for petty stories."
"Of course Lord Saro, but you will find this most intriguing, trust me. While I was in the town of Kievs I met a brilliant scientist named Edgar. He was researching the theory of evolution and........."
Saro interrupted him. "What does evolution have to do with me?"
"Be patient Lord Saro. Anyway it seems that Esturk, the Lord of Evil was once like us. However using some method he managed to advance his own evolution and became the perfect being. Or so he thought. He wasn't entirely perfect, which is why a group of humans were able to seal him away somewhere."
"I already knew that Balzack. How much longer will you be wasting my time?"
"Please Lord Saro, let me finish. Like I was saying, Edgar was researching the very same method of evolution that created Esturk. However lately he was growing doubtful about his work, and he may end up destroying it. Lord Saro we must take his research and use it for ourselves. If we can evolve we can become better than those humans and rule this world!"
Saro was silent for awhile. Eventually he spoke. "I'll consider what you've said Balzack. I'll let you know when I reach a decision."
Balzack then left Saro alone with his thoughts. "Evolution..............Esturk............ I wonder.......... I wonder if this would be right.........." He paced the room and eventually took one of his old texts off of the shelves. "The Reign of Esturk. " He began reading. "Esturk was created when he tampered with a method of evolution. Mad with his new form and power Esturk began a terrorsome reign and was finally sealed up by five brave souls. Esturk is still alive somewhere and the day may come when he would return. Should that day ever come all humanity would be lost." Saro closed the book. He repeated the words the book said. "Humanity would be lost.......... but still.......................do I have the right? And Rosa..........what would she think?" Saro placed the book back on it's shelf. "Should Esturk revive I would do nothing to stop it. But what Balzack has now told me. Evolve past the humans? Such a fate would be fitting indeed. I must carefully think about what I will do. I can't make this decision lightly." Saro then left the room and continued to ponder the recent events. He had no doubt that the human race deserved to be destroyed, now it just came down to one decision: Would it be him, or Esturk who would be the destroyer?
Things continued on in Dire Palace as they would. Outcasts from human society gathered there to seek refuge from persecution and ridicule. However in the midst of all the confusion a message was spread. They were going to exterminate the humans. And eventually it reached Rosa.
"Saro?" Rosa entered Saro's private study. Saro was at his desk, reading an ancient text as always.
Saro looked up. "Hmm?"
"Saro I heard an odd rumor today. It seems that most everyone believes that we are going to exterminate the humans? What's going on with this? What do they mean?"
Saro was actually surprised. "Wh...what? What are you talking about? I've heard nothing of this. Are you certain?"
"Yes Saro, I just came from the main room and everyone's talking about it. How much they want to get revenge and how you're going to lead them. Where would they get that idea?"
It didn't take Saro long to figure it out. "Balzack" He thought. He had to put an end to this, at the moment he hadn't made up his mind and wasn't about to start a commotion until he was certain. "I'll go put an end to this Rosa, don't worry. It was probably just a little misconception that a few of the more aggressive people believed when they came here. I'll take care of it."
Satisfied with that, Rosa left. She had no reason to doubt him, Saro had always been honest with her. Once Rosa left Saro immediately sought out Balzack and confronted him.
"What the hell were you thinking Balzack?!" Saro grabbed Balzack buy the neck of his tunic. "Starting a commotion like this! I still haven't up my mind about what I'll do yet. Telling everyone that we'll wage a war on the humans is suicidal. We're getting them worked up over nothing!"
"Lord Saro please!" Balzack worked his way out of Saro's grip. "You mean to tell me you don't think the humans deserve to be exterminated? If we do not do it then how will it be done? The humans are a plague on this planet and we have to be the cure!"
"Balzack, I agree with that. But telling everyone straight out before we even HAVE a plan is insane! Eventually the human countries will get wind of this and crush us before we even make a move, we have to think it out. I have to go out there and calm everyone down and tell them that we have no such plans yet. And from now on you're not to do such a thing without my permission. Understand?"
"Yes my Lord."
After that little debate Saro headed out into the main room where he had to face the hundreds of people gathered there. Calming that crowd down was not going to be easy. "Everyone! Listen to me!" Saro addressed the crowd. They fell into silence listening to his words. "I know of the rumors going around about destroying the humans. But the fact is.........."
At that moment one of the Dire Palace's guards burst into the room. "Lord Saro! We just spotted a group of human raiders heading straight for us!"
"Saro was stunned by this. "Wh....what?! How could they have found us." There were murmurs around the crowd about going out to take care of them. "Everyone please! Let myself and the guards handle them, you needn't get involved." With that Saro made his way through the crowd and joined the group of guards.
"My Lord! Allow me to fight with you!" Balzack called out from the crowd and ran up to join them.
"Balzack! Get back inside with everyone else!"
"No, please Lord. Allow me to fight with you and prove my loyalty!"
"Fine, very well. Just do not get in the way."
Saro, Balzack and the group of guards went outside to face the group of humans who dared to approach Dire Palace. Saro stepped forward and stopped in his tracks. He recognized the leader of the humans.
"You!" Saro was stunned with this man's reemergence.
"Hello again freak! My my, you're a hard fellow to track down you know. I told you, your darling little wench is too important to me to let go." Rogue smirked, he was over confident as always. He had quite a large force with him, he obviously meant business.
"How did you find this place Rogue? And how do you have the gall to show your face to me again?" Saro was infuriated at seeing him again. It brought back all the painful memories of Riverton and Thatius.
"Tsk tsk Saro. You were careless you know. After you disappeared my men searched your house and found a text written in the ancient elven language. It was quite hard to translate indeed, but it came along simply enough after I bribed a member of the higher elves to do it. They seem to dislike you as much as you do the humans, so it didn't take much to bribe them. Once we found your location we heard rumors about the large group of freaks and outcasts like yourself gathering here. A lot of the kingdoms believe you're preparing for a war. so if I kill you here I guess it'll make me a hero." Rogue laughed at that comment.
But Saro had no intention of falling before this human, and he was not going to let him have Rosa. "You imbecile! Didn't you notice the rubies you got from Rosa crumbled away within a few hours? What is the point of coming here?"
"Yes yes, it was rather annoying, those rubies wasting away to nothing. But they stay in one piece for a few hours. And that's all the time I need to trade them for real money and be long gone. Rosa is still important to me, and let's just say that the two of us aren't finished. I'm not about to let you get away with humiliating me last time."
Saro was gripped with anger now. "You bastard! You're lucky I let you live last time, but coming here was your fatal error! You won't leave this place alive!" He turned to face his men. "Balzack! Guards! You take care of his cronies, but Rogue is mine!" The guards agreed, they put their faith in Saro.
The guards sheer hatred for humans allowed them to strike viciously and mercilessly against their foes. They quickly took care of Rogue's men. Balzack was a fantastic fighter as well. But Saro didn't have time to be impressed. He drew his sword and fought with Rogue. Unfortunatly Rogue proved to be Saro's match at swordplay. "Damn..... you." Saro uttered, almost out of breath. "You're not going to beat me! I'll never let you or anyone else harm Rosa! I'd die first!" Saro put his hands together in a praying stance, the sky started to grow black. "You...... you won't get away this time!" He threw his hands into the air and screamed. "Thordain!!!!" The sky became pitch black and a huge bolt of lightning came from the sky and hit Rogue dead on. The mercenary was thrown back and fell to the ground, unmoving. Saro also fell to his knees, exhausted."
Balzack rushed to his aid. "My Lord! Are you alright? I had no idea you knew that spell! It is supposed to be quite deadly, to the receiver and the caster as well." Balzack helped Saro to his feet.
"I'll............ be ok Balzack. I'm pretty drained though. That spell takes a lot out of me."
"Now you see what I mean Lord Saro? The humans will never let us live in peace, even in Dire Palace. We have to make the first move against them!"
Saro was silent. He understood what Balzack was saying, but he had to take care of something first. All of a sudden they heard a voice behind them. "That was.......... quite painful Saro." They turned around and saw Rogue back on his feet. " I wasn't expecting that at all. Quite surprising."
By this time Rosa was already at the castle gates watching everything. But Saro hadn't noticed her yet. "You, you're still alive! You're a stubborn human alright. But don't expect me to give up, I'll never let you take Rosa. As long as I live, I'll protect her!"
Rogue grimaced at that. "Very well said freak! It almost brought a tear to my eye. You may have won this. But if I cannot have Rosa, then you will not either!" Rogue quickly reached for a dagger he had concealed in his tunic. "Say goodbye to your wench, freak!" Rogue threw the dagger, not aimed Saro, or Balzack, but past them.
Saro turned around just in time to see the dagger strike Rosa directly in the chest. "ROSA!!!" Saro went to face Rogue. "You son of a ........." Rogue was gone.
Balzack spoke up. "He quickly used a Return spell, he could have gone anywhere. We'll probably never find him."
Saro fell to his knees and beat his fists into the ground and let out a howl unlike any human could ever do. He stayed there for a few moments before he got to his feet. "Rosa............." He walked towards her body, she was unconscious and bleeding badly. It looked like the dagger just missed her heart, but she needed to be taken care of soon or else she'd lose her.
"She'll need to be taken to a healer if she has any hope to live." Balzack admitted.
"I'll never trust her to a human healer! But..........." Saro looked at her unmoving body. "I can't let her die. All this, all I have done was all for her. If I lose her I have nothing."
"Hmmm," Balzack looked like he was trying to remember something. "I seem to recall a small village of dwarves somewhere on the north-eastern continent. they don't usually allow humans in their town and they have a healer there as well. That should be the best place to take her. I've been there before, so just pick up Rosa, and I'll warp us there."
Saro was grateful of Balzack for this. "Thank you Balzack. I hope you're right." He picked Rosa up and Balzack chanted the spell of Return.
They arrived at the gates of a small little village. It appeared to be quite secluded from the outside world. And of course there were no humans. They were greeted by an old man. "Hello strangers, welcome to the village of.......... well actually this village doesn't have a name yet. But that's of no matter. Say that's a pretty wounded girl you have there, you need our healer?"
"Yes, where can we find him?" Saro was in a hurry to get Rosa there, the longer they waited the worse Rosa got.
"Ah yes, our healer just lives over there." He pointed to a house at the base of a tower. "I'm sure he'd be more than glad to help you people out."
"Thank you." Saro said quickly then rushed off to the healers place with Balzack right behind him. They arrived at the door of the healer's house and Saro knocked loudly on the door. A few moments later a stumpy dwarf wearing priests robes opened.
"Yes, yes, I'm coming, no need to be so loud. Now what can I do for........" He stopped mid-sentence when he saw Rosa in Saro's arms. "Gods lad! What happened to this poor girl! Nevermind, there isn't any time to explain, quickly bring her inside so I can try to help her." They went inside and the healer pointed to a bed in the back room. "Lay her down in there, and be gentle with her!" There was no need to tell Saro that. He went in side and put her down on the bed very carefully. The healer entered a few moments later. "Now stay back out of my way boy. I can tell that this girl is hanging on by a thread." He examined the dagger and her wound. "Hmmmm, believe it or not, this girl is quite lucky. Another inch to the left and she would have been dead." The healer chanted something in a language that Saro never heard before, an aura came from his hands and covered her body. Then the healer oh so carefully reached over and pulled the dagger out. Saro almost stepped forward and stopped him, but his common sense kept him from interfering. Once the dagger was out the healer chanted a few more incantations and the wound slowly closed up. With that, the healer stood up." Well that was a close one. Had you come a few minutes later she wouldn't have made it. It was quite severe wound, how on earth did she get it?"
"It's a long story. But it is of no matter now, how long until we can move her?"
"Oh, well you should give her some time to rest first. She'll be out for awhile, but when she wakes up she'll be fine, though a little weak. you plan on taking her home?"
"Say old man, who's in charge of this village?" Saro blurted out the question, totally ignoring what the healer asked him.
"Oh, errr, our mayor lives just next-door to me. Do you need to see him about something?"
Saro nodded. "There is something I would like to ask of him. We'll return soon." Saro left followed by Balzack.
When they were gone the healer thought to himself. "Strange man, I can sense an aura of bitterness towards something in his soul. But there is also his incredibly strong feelings for this girl. I have a feeling that in the near future he will be nearly torn apart by his emotions."
Saro was greeted by the mayor of the village, he was a dwarf as well, though younger looking than the healer. "So you're the strangers I heard that came to town. We don't mind guests, as long as they're not humans. So what can I do for you?"
"I have an offer sir." Saro started." I can tell you have trouble keeping humans out of your town, correct?"
"Well, yes. Even though we totally forbid them from entering, we still have problems with them, we don't have a strong enough martial force to keep them out yet." The mayor reluctantly admitted.
"Yes well, tell me. If I were to supply soldiers to your town to help defend it, would you allow a friend of mine to stay in this town?"
"What? Err, well I suppose. I depends, is your friend human?"
"NO!" Saro almost yelled out. "No........... she's not human. But I need a place to keep her safe, and this secluded village would be perfect. You help her out, and I'll provide the people you need for your defense. Deal?"
The mayor thought about this for a few moments. "Alright son. It's a deal. So where is she now?"
"She's at the healers. She'll wake up soon, so I need a place for her to stay." Saro thought for a few moments. "What's in that tower?"
"The tower? Well on the bottom floor we have our church, but the top floor is empty for now."
"Good, can I use the top of the tower for her?"
"I guess there would be no problem with that. You go get your friend and I'll have it fixed up for her."
"Thank you." Saro got up and left.
Outside Balzack spoke to him. "Are you sure you want to do this? How will she feel being kept up there?"
Saro sighed. "This is nothing I want either. However I have to keep her safe. Even if we were to destroy every human on this planet, it would mean nothing if Rosa wasn't with me. While we are planning our attacks, and while there are men like Rogue out there, she is in danger as long as she's with me." Saro clenched his fists. "She'll be safe here, and once we have victory we'll live together again with no fear and no persecution."
"Very well lord Saro." Balzack followed Rosa back to the healer's place. For the next few hours Saro waited by her side. Then Balzack came in. "Lord Saro, the mayor just spoke with me, they have the upper room in the tower ready."
"Very well." Saro stood up and carried Rosa in her arms. He took her to the tower and up to the room that was prepared. He placed her in the bed and waited for her to wake up. "Balzack, please leave us. I have to tell her this alone." Balzack nodded in understanding and left.
About an hour later, Rosa woke up. She looked around, she was in an unfamiliar room, the only thing she recognized was Saro. "Saro!" She exclaimed as she embraced him. "I thought I was dead! What happened to Rogue? Where are we?"
"Rosa, we are in a small village on the north-eastern continent, Balzack took us here, and I had the villages healer help you. We are in the top of the church right now. You've been out for awhile, I was so worried."
"I'm just glad YOU'RE ok Saro. I didn't know you could cast Thordain, let alone survive it. What were you thinking using such a lethal spell?"
"I'm sorry Rosa, but I just couldn't let someone like Rogue take you. Unfortunatly it isn't safe for you to stay at Dire Palace now. Rogue is still out there and I can't risk him finding you. So the mayor of this town agreed to let you stay here."
"Here? So we'll be living here now?" Saro was silent. "Saro?"
"I'm afraid I won't be staying Rosa. I have to complete what I started at Dire Palace." Rosa's eyes started to well up with tears. "Please, don't cry. I'll come here every day, every chance I get. I swear! But my work is too important now at Dire Palace. Things have changed. It isn't just about refuge from the humans now. Its about survival of the strongest, and that will be us!"
"S....Saro, what do you mean? What are you thinking? Don't tell me that the rumor I heard was true!" She really did cry this time. "Saro please! This is too much! We can't wage a war against the humans. It's madness!"
"I know, WE won't. I will. Rosa there is no need for you to get involved with this, when I win we can live in a world without fear, like I've always dreamed. I will make the world safe for you Rosa. I'll destroy my soul for you if I have to." Saro turned and started to leave through the stairs.
"Saro no! Don't do this! Please, I just want to be with you!! Please NO!!"
Saro left the room, with tears streaming down his eyes, and his back turned to the one he loves. All he heard afterwards was the sobbing of a broken-hearted girl. When he went outside he saw a shower of pink rubies falling from the top of the tower.
"I'm so sorry Rosa." He concentrated and invoked a spell which sealed the entrance to the top of the tower. "I'll return very soon, but there are crucial decisions I have to make now. Let's go Balzack."
Balzack gave a look of understanding and they left town. While they could no longer hear Rosa's cries, Saro continued to hear them in his heart, and he always would from that point on.
Back at Dire Palace, things were in a minor state of confusion. It had been several hours since Saro, Rosa and Balzack left. Everyone was wondering what was going on. When Saro and Balzack warped back there Saro had a speech ready to give, just what they have all been waiting to hear for so long.
"My friends. I'm sure you have all had your own opinion on why I founded this place. I originally did it to be nothing more than a refuge for outcasts like yourselves. A place where we can live with no fear of human persecution. Unfortunatly today's events have proved otherwise. There is nowhere on earth we can live in peace as long as the humans exist. I never wanted it to come to this, but we have no choice now. We must rid this world of the humans and make ourselves free! The humans are a plague to this planet, they do nothing but destroy and betray!" Saro briefly thought about Thatius, but shook it off. He had no time to dwell on past events. "We can never live without fear as long as they exist, so I ask you, my brothers, will you join me in my quest to rid ourselves of the humans once and for all? Will you help me?" There was an arousing response from the crowd, this is what everyone wanted to hear, and each and every one of them wanted to go and exterminate the humans. But Saro continued. "I'm glad we stand united in this, however we cannot just go out and wage a full out war. We are outnumbered and far out gunned. But I have a plan that will succeed. So I will need your full support and cooperation. Follow me and we will be victorious!! The world will be ours and we will finally be able to live in peace!" The crowd cheered and whistled. Saro had them all believing in him, and he had no intention of letting them down.
Later in the day when everyone was settled in the massive palace Saro summoned Balzack to his study.
"Yes my Lord?" Balzack asked as he entered.
"Balzack, you were saying about this Edgar's research. How far along is he?"
"Well my lord, I used to be his assistant, and when I left he was almost complete. If he hasn't destroyed his work he should be about done by now."
"Excellent Balzack. Now what I want you to do is go there and get his research by ANY means. And I want you to continue to research it if necessary, you can take along one of my commanders to assist you in any way you see fit. But I want that evolution research! It may be crucial if my first plan fails."
"Absolutely sir! If it is alright I'll take Commander Keeleon, his particular talents will be useful."
"Very well. Now go immediately, and inform me on what you find."
"Yes sir!" Balzack then left Saro alone with his thoughts.
Saro continued to read about Esturk and his prophesized revival. "Esturk is my greatest chance, if I can restore him then we will have won. But I have to consider everything. If Esturk doesn't revive then someone else will have to take his place, and that's where the evolution theory comes in." He closed the book and sighed. "Rosa............ I know this isn't what you want, but it is the only way I can make the world safe for you. Please forgive me............."
Saro was left alone in his room while Balzack and Keeleon left for Kievs. And while Saro was in total silence he still heard Rosa's cries and sobs echoing in his mind.
Chapter 3 - The Chosen One
Several years passed since the incident at Dire Palace. Saro continued to mass his forces there and see Rosa whenever he got the chance. It started out as more than twice a day, then it became once a day, and eventually Saro was lucky if he could get to see her once a week. Everytime he went to see her she always pleaded with him to end his war with the humans and just live together with her. But Saro was too determined. He wasn't going to let her be in danger ever again. Even if it meant being away from her for awhile.
Saro's lack of visits started when he came across a new chapter in Esturk's prophecy. The prophecy of the chosen one who will be born when the world faced Esturk's revival. the chosen one would be destined to destroy Esturk and those who ally with him should Esturk revive. Saro's main concern now wasn't making sure that Esturk revived, but that when he revived he STAYED revived. He had to hunt down this hero and make sure he didn't live to carry out his destiny. He had no idea where the child would be born, or if he had already been born. But according to the legend he would reach adulthood the same year that Esturk revived. And Saro studied Esturk's legend carefully so he had a good idea how old the child would be. But he still couldn't take any chances, he sent his men throughout the world searching for the chosen one. And any other possible comrades he could have. Saro also had to worry about the major kingdoms. His Commander Keeleon had taken care of the western continent along with Balzack, who was researching the evolution process. If Balzack perfected the evolution process then there would not even be a need for Esturk. But that was a last resort only.
Saro got up and paced around his study. He had finally read all the books about Esturk and the Era of Evil. And his forces were strong enough to wage war with the humans. He had one continent almost totally under his control. And Balzack was perfecting the evolution method. Everything was going perfectly, so why did he feel so terribly? "Rosa........" Saro slowly said her name, savoring it, as if it was a privilege to even speak it. It has been so long since he last saw her. "Things are going well now, I must go see her." Saro turned and left his study, he informed his chief of guards that he will be leaving soon, not that there was anything to worry about. He went outside Dire Palace and chanted the spell of return, taking him instantly to the village where Rosa was guarded, which was now called Rosaville.
Rosa was by herself in the tower, except of course for her pet slime which always keeps her company. Saro brought it to her on one of his previous trips. It just walked, or slithered, around the room in a seemingly random pattern. She smiled at it, then returned her gaze out the window. "Saro........." She called out his name out the window, as if she felt that doing so would summon him there. Then, suddenly she heard the sound of the door below being magically opened, and the sound of footsteps coming up. She didn't need to ask who it was. She leapt off her bead and ran to the foot of the stairs where she saw her love walking up them. They both embraced each other, there was no need for words. They both knew what each other was thinking and feeling. However when they broke their embrace she was the first to speak. "Saro, it's been almost an eternity since I last saw you! What have you been doing?"
"Rosa, I'm sorry. There was too much to do, I couldn't just drop everything like I wanted to. It was agony being away from you but I had no choice, I......."
"Of course you had a choice!" Rosa was shouting, but not angry. "No one forced you to wage war on the humans, and no one's forcing you to keep it up! Please, stop this, and just be with me!" She asked him the question she asked him so may times before, and once again, Saro had to turn her down.
"I'm sorry Rosa. But I have gone to far to stop now. This will all soon be over, and we WILL be together. Please Rosa, just trust me."
"Saro, I used to trust you. But now, I'm not so sure. I'm not sure of anything anymore. All I've ever wanted was to be with you, you say you're fighting for that, but it seems like it's tearing us further apart. Please, I'm begging you to stop this before it's too late."
Saro stayed silent for a few moments. It almost seemed like he was going to listen to her. "Rosa, I'm sorry. But I cannot. I've come this far, and I have to finish it. I promise it will all be over soon, and I'll return." Saro then left Rosa, again. Once again a shower of rubies fell from the top of the tower while Saro left the village. "This is for the best, isn't it? It must be, I've worked too hard to lose everything now. I must make sure that this hero never lives to fulfill his destiny." Saro stepped outside the town and chanted Return, which took him to the western continent.
Saro was greeted at the gates of the newly titled Keeleon castle. He was taken into the back room where Balzack and Keeleon were waiting for him. "Well gentlemen, " He said as he entered the room. "How have things been progressing here?"
"Lord Saro" Balzack stepped forward. "We have much to report, things have been going very well here. First of all I have retrieved the evolution research from Edgar, I had to kill the fool, but that was of no consequence. He actually believed I wanted to be his pupil again, ha! Unfortunatly his other pupil, Orin, escaped. But it is no matter. His research was nearly complete and I shall finish it. However my lord, I do have some bad news to report." Saro raised an eyebrow at this. "Ahem, well like you ordered I sent scouts around the world to search for the Chosen One, however the scouts I sent to the country of Burland haven't reported lately. I believe something may have happened to them. And also, our scouts in the royal palace of Samteem have found out that the king has been having dreams of Esturk's revival. If he were to reveal this then........."
Saro put his hand up, signaling for Balzack to stop. "Do not worry Balzack. I shall handle these events myself."
"Very well Lord Saro. Wait, there is one other thing. We found an ancient book in the castle library, it's one on Esturk. I don't believe you've read this one." Balzack handed Saro a book entitled 'The Necro of Esturk'.
"One I haven't read? I thought I read all of them. Interesting Balzack. I shall read this after I handle the Burland incident. Keep me informed of the events here."
Saro left the castle and then headed for the country of Burland.
When he arrived at the tower where his scouts were supposed to have made base, he immediately noticed something was wrong. The place was almost totally empty. He headed to the basement where they were supposed to be. However when he got there, all he saw was the leader, one of his shadow fighters lying on the ground, almost dead. "What happened here? Report!" Saro helped the demon to his feet.
"Lo....Lord Saro. It was a knight of Burland, he came in here and rescued those wretched children. He was surprisingly strong, and I sensed........... I sensed something."
"What? What did you sense?"
"The........... knight. His soul was protected.............. by rays of light. The same............. that are supposed to guard the Chosen One. I believe.............. he is destined to be one of his future comrades."
"Damn, no wonder he was able to beat you all so easily. This soldier may prove to be a nuisance. But I'll deal with him when the time comes. What of the children? Were any of them destined to be the Chosen One?"
"No Lord Saro. No child in this country will be the Chosen One. But we believe he............ may have been born.........in........... ....... ... . . .." The shadow fighter died on the spot.
"Damn, this turn of events isn't very encouraging. But I can't let one little knight stand in my way."
Saro left the tower and traveled to Samteem palace. It was nightfall and everyone was asleep except for a few guards. Saro easily snuck inside and entered the King's chambers. It looked as if he was having a nightmare. "Having another vision old man? Well I'm afraid you won't be telling anyone of this." Saro closed his eyes and cast the spell which removed the kings voice. "That should handle that, for now. But eventually I may have to......... dispose of this kingdom. In case more people become aware of Esturk's revival."
He left Samteem and returned to Dire Palace, where he turned his attention to the book Balzack gave him. After a few hours he understood it all. Esturk's Necro was the one who would revive him, and stop all those who stand in his way. If one wished to become his Necro, then the person must partake in a ritual where he would then gain the powers of Esturk's Necro and the knowledge of the time of his revival. However inacting the ritual would destroy the persons soul and offer it to Esturk as a sign of loyalty.
Upon reading this Saro paced the room in deep thought. "Rosa......... this is....... the only way. I always swore I would destroy myself, even my soul to make this world safe for you. If I become the Necro then I will finally be able to do this for you! But..........." Saro sighed, he knew what he had to do. "I swear Rosa, even when I lose my soul, I'll always love you, I promise." Saro then prepared the ritual as it was described in the book. An hour later, he was ready to start. He stood on the alter that he prepared, and prepared to take the final step. He threw his arms into he air as he said:
"Lord Esturk! I beseech thee! Allow me the privilege of being thy servant and I swear I shalt allow thee to be reborn into this world! Please grant me thine powers to do so!" The sky outside grew dark and the earth rumbled. Then there was a bright flash of light inside the chamber and Saro fell to the ground in agony. It felt as if his entire body was being burned. That something was incinerating his very soul. A few moments later, it subsided and he stood up. He felt himself surging with power, but he also felt something missing. "Rosa........... I swear I'll make the world safe for you, or I'll destroy it with my own hands!" He left the chamber, practically radiating with power. In Esturk's fire he was reborn has his Necro. He was no longer Saro, he was now NecroSaro.
In the town of Rosaville, Rosa awakened from her sleep and screamed, she felt what had happened. She knew that Saro had made the final sacrifice to keep his promise to her. She began to cry, and she didn't stop for days. The shower of rubies from the top of the tower seemed endless.
In Keeleon castle Balzack also sensed what had happened and started to laugh. "What's wrong with you?" Keeleon asked him.
"It seems Lord Saro finally decided to make the final step. Now we can truly begin our conquest of the humans!"
Suddenly, one of Saro's scouts entered. "Master Balzack! We have a problem in the Samteem kingdom!"
"What? Lord Saro went there himself to assure things were in order! What happened?"
"The king has revealed to the Princess Alena about Esturk's revival. It won't be long before the entire kingdom learns of it!"
A voice came from behind them. "Do not worry. I will take care of this." They turned around and saw NecroSaro standing at the back of the room.
"It's NecroSaro Balzack. Saro is dead now." He turned to the scout. "Are you certain of this?"
"Ye........yes Lord. Also we sensed something guarding the princess and her companions. It was like they were protected by some divine light and............."
NecroSaro cut him off. "Damn, so they are destined to ally with the hero as well." He faced Balzack. "Balzack, when I became NecroSaro I was enlightened. I know now that Esturk will revived in but a few months! So that means that the hero has probably already reached adulthood. Searching for children was a waste of time. But no worry. Since the Princess is destined to ally with the hero, I'll let her live. She may lad me straight to the Chosen One. But I will have to dispose of the kingdom. And keep her occupied at the same time. Balzack I want you to perfect the evolution device and I'll deal with the Chosen One now. We are nearing the final chapter, this will all soon be over." NecroSaro then just disappeared in a flash, leaving the three alone.
"Finally, the humans will get what's coming to them." Keeleon was delighted by the news.
"Yes, this is truly a great day. But we cannot relax yet, there is still much to do. I still must perfect this evolution device, and also prepare for those two little brats. Edgar's daughter's have been looking for me. If I can finish the evolution device I can give them quite a surprise when they show up, heh heh."
NecroSaro arrived at Endor with a plan in mind. He had heard of the contest to win the hand of the Princess of this country. "Hmph, a fighting contest and the prize is a forced marriage. Typical that the humans would come up with this." He entered the castle and went to the king. The guards tried to stop them, but he destroyed them on the spot. "King of Endor." He said in a menacing tone. "I will enter this tournament and I shall have your daughter, and then your kingdom."
The king was shocked at this man's audacity. "How dare you barge in here and make such an announcement! Who are you?"
"I am NecroSaro, and you had better remember that name." He then disappeared.
"I..... I don't believe this! I only started this tournament to win a suitable groom for my daughter, I regret this now."
A few hours later Princess Alena came before the king, and he asked her to win the tournament so his daughter would not be forced to marry NecroSaro. She gladly agreed to do so. Once the tournament started, NecroSaro had no trouble whatsoever defeating his opponents. But he mysteriously vanished when his turn to fight Alena came up. Alena won by default, but everyone wondered what happened to NecroSaro.
NecroSaro returned once again to Samteem palace, but this time he had a much more drastic method of silencing the people in mind. He focused his thoughts and prepared to cast one of the new spells he learned when he became Necro. "NecroZap!" He called out. The spell caused every person in the palace to disappear into an empty dimension, where they would only be released if he was killed. He noticed one guard who managed to get away. "Where do you think you're going imbecile? Icebolt!" The icy lance shot from his fingers and pierced the guard in the leg. But he continued to try to get away. "Hmmm, I'll let him go, he'll probably go to warn the Princess of everything. Right now she is probably still in the castle of Endor. Things are working out perfectly.
When Alena returned to Samteem castle, she never found a trace of anyone. The castle was totally empty, save for a lone cat upstairs. She was heartbroken at her father's and everyone's disappearance, however she decided to continue her journey. She had a feeling that it was NecroSaro who did that.
A few weeks later NecroSaro got word from Balzack, he had perfected the evolution device and used himself as a test subject. He evolved into a physically superior being, however he was still beaten by Edgar's daughters and his other pupil Orin. Not discouraged by this, NecroSaro sent Balzack to Samteem castle to perfect the device. Also, one of his scouts had informed him of a meddling little merchant who aided in the building of a tunnel that linked Endor and Brancha. He was depending on keeping those countries seperated, since he felt that the hero lived somewhere near Brancha, and the hero's future comrades had visited Endor at one time or another. He sent his minions out to deal with the merchant.
All was going well, the only thing NecroSaro had left to do was find and terminate the hero and then Esturk's revival and the destruction of the humans would be complete. And that time had finally come, thanks to being Esturk's Necro, NecroSaro had a vision of a small secluded mountain village where the hero resided. "At last. This is where the hero is. Raised in this little secluded village? Well, it's time to put an end to this side of the prophecy!"
"This is it." NecroSaro said. "This is where the hero had been hiding all this time. The villagers had been trying to train the Chosen One into being the hero of legend. Well, once we put an end to the hero's legacy then there will be nothing stopping the revival of Esturk. No go and destroy everyone in this village!" His forces ran screaming into the little mountain hide-away, the villagers never stood a chance. They tried to hide the hero in the back house in town, but they eventually found them. The soldiers brought the news to NecroSaro that they had exterminated the hero. "Excellent job! Now let us return to Dire Palace where we can plan our final phase." NecroSaro and his army left the once beautiful town in ruins.
But unbeknownst to NecroSaro, the hero's childhood friend had cast the Transform spell to assume the hero's shape. She then allowed herself to be slaughtered and killed by the army so that the hero would be spared. On that day, the hero vowed to stop NecroSaro at any cost!
A week later NecroSaro visited Rosa again. She was anxious to see him. The last time was before his transformation into NecroSaro. She sensed something had happened to him, and was was sick with worry when he never showed up. When she heard the door below opening again she nearly jumped out of her shoes. "Saro!!" She leapt to embrace him as always, however there was something missing this time. She looked into his eyes and all she got was a stony stare. "Saro, what's happened to you? You.......... it's almost like you're empty inside."
"..............I'm not Saro any longer Rosa. I am NecroSaro now. I sold my soul to Esturk, so that I may be able to wipe the humans from the face of the earth and make the world safe for you again." NecroSaro was silent for a moment. "I always swore I would give up my soul to save you, and I somehow knew it would come to that."
"No, Saro please don't tell me that! I only wanted us to live together in happiness! How can I go on knowing that you had to give up your soul? This is too much Saro! Too much!!" She started sobbing again.
This time NecroSaro didn't feel anything. Normally he would try to comfort her when she started to cry, but now there was just nothingness inside of him. "Rosa, I'll be leaving now. But don't worry, I'll be back more often now if you wish. This will all soon be over." And once again, he left her.
"Saro................. this has to stop. One way or the other. Even if it would mean your death. The destruction of the human race is too much." She started a magical incantation. "I'm sorry my love. This spell will allow a small village to witness your visits in the form of dreams. I do hope that this will be enough warning for the humans to stop you." She walked over to the window. "Oh Saro, why did it have to come to this?"
The weeks went by, NecroSaro massed his forces waiting for the time of Esturk's revival. And all the while the true hero was travelling the land, gaining comrades and waiting for the moment to find the one who destroyed the town and make him pay.
Chapter 4 - NecroSaro
Finally, after years of waiting, the day arrived. The day prophesized as Estruk's revival. Thanks to NecroSaro's powers he knew when and where it would take place. He called a meeting to prepare his forces to go meet the one who would destroy the humans. He entered the room and prepared to give the news to all those who longed for that day. In the rush of it all, NecroSaro never noticed that there were four unfamiliar faces in the room. "Everyone, it's time! The old Lord of Evil, Esturk is about to be revived. He was sealed long ago under the town of Aktemto and now the time draws near of his revival! Let us go and prepare for the moment we have been planning for for what seems like an eternity!" And in a flash he left, and all the excited followers quickly left the room and headed for the ruined town.
NecroSaro and his followers quickly made their way inside the mines of the ruined town. The townspeople were in now condition to resist. He signaled for his two main Commanders, Balzack and Radimvice to come over to him. "This is the day, the day I have been planning for so long. Finally I will make this world rid of humans and safe for Rosa, at long last."
"Of course sir. This is what we have been fighting for, for so long isn't it?"
"But of course Balzack. Now let us go, our destiny awaits." NecroSaro left them and quickly headed down into the cavern, with his minions.
"Feh, Rosa." Radimvice snarled. "I wasn't risking my life all these years just for some half-elf wench. Lord NecroSaro is being lead by his emotions, he still has that 'love' in his mind. If we need to destroy the humans he needs to be filled with hatred. And I have prepared for that."
"What do you mean? What are you planning Radimvice?"
"Oh, just a little assurance in case Lord NecroSaro gets weak and decides to stop all of this because it is what Rosa wants. Once this is completed he will have nothing but hatred for the humans." Radimvice laughed as he headed deep into the cave.
"This get's more interesting all the time."
Back at Rosaville, Rosa was leaning on the window looking out at the sky as always. She sensed something wrong with the land. There was some great evil waking up, and she knew Saro was involved. "Oh Saro, I wish things never got this far. If I could only go back a few years........" She heard the sound of the door below opening. "Saro?" She jumped off the bed, perplexed. "Maybe, he ........ wasn't involved with this after all! Maybe he did finally decide to give this pursuit up! Oh Saro!" She ran to the base of the stairs, but the man that was coming up was not Saro, but another face she would never forget. "Y.....You!! How did you get here?"
Rogue smiled. "Well hello little elf wench! I thought I did you in last time, but now I'm glad I didn't! It seems your boyfriend is off at something more important which means he can't come to save you this time! You're mine, like I said."
Rosa never even got a chance to blink, Rogue knocked her out a second later. He took her from the tower and away from Rosaville.
Deep under Aktemto NecroSaro and his followers finally found the great palace of Esturk. They made their way inside and eventually found the main chamber. NecroSaro stood on the balcony at the top of the room and looked down on the throne where Esturk slept. He looked at the massive creature, he appeared to be three times the height of a human, with night blue scales all around his body and a monsterous face. "This......... this is the ultimate evolution?"
"No, not quite Lord NecroSaro. Esturk's evolution wasn't perfect. He never used an amplifier to finalize his form. We used the Golden Bracelet with our evolution techniques. If you were to undergo the evolution you would evolve far past Esturk." Balzack was standing behind NecroSaro, along with Radimvice.
"I hope it doesn't come to that Balzack. I........"
NecroSaro was cut off by the sound of people entering the lower chamber. Four humans walked onto Esturk's platform. The guards he sent down there to guard Esturk until he woke were easily felled by the humans. "What's this? How did those humans get there? Who are they?" The humans stood forward, ready to face Esturk.
The one who looked like a Burland royal soldier spoke up. "This monstrosity is still asleep. Let's bust it up before it wakes up."
He then noticed the Princess of Samteem. "Yes. Let's put an end to this once and for all! Then find NecroSaro and put an end to him!"
A girl who Balzack identified as one of Edgar's daughters spoke up. "This is for you father! We'll destroy this evolution nonsense for good!"
The one in the center, who was wearing Zenithal armor simply nodded. Then they all rushed at Esturk, attacking whatever was was possible. It's body shuddered under the bombardments.
"This, this cannot be! Who are they?"
After a few more times of being struck, Esturk woke up with a roar. He immediately realized he was being attacked and grabbed his two immense swords and started to fight back against the bold humans. He got in several good hits, but the humans kept on going. Eventually Esturk grunted and fell over, dead for good.
NecroSaro couldn't believe this. "This is...........absurd! How in the world did those humans manage to slay Esturk?" Saro jumped down to the lower level and landed outside of the platform, onto a barrier field, but it had no effect on him. "How could you humans defeat Esturk the great? Only the legendary hero is supposed to be able to...." He looked at their leader in the center, wearing the Zenithian armor. "You............are you the hero? Impossible! We destroyed you!"
It looked as if the hero was going to attack NecroSaro, when one of his minions came into the room. "Lord NecroSaro! Your Rosa, the elvin girl was just abducted by humans!!"
"Wh........what?" NecroSaro's face went blank, everything was all happening so fast. "D..........dammit! Let us return to base for now. I'll deal with everything later." He rushed out of the room, leaving the four humans in a stunned silence. Balzack and Radimvice followed, grinning at each other.
After returning to Dire Palace and giving the bad news to his minions, NercoSaro immediately set out for Rosaville to try and track the ones who took Rosa. He had a pretty good idea who it was. It didn't take him long to eventually find Rosa and her abductors in a clearing south of Rosaville. He looked at them, and sure enough it was Rogue again. He was totally paralyzed with rage, "Once again this human returns to cause pain in Rosa's life. Well never again!" He lept forward screaming "Rosa!!!" He landed before them, Rogue wasn't even able to make a move. "What have you done to her?!?" Before they could even think of a response NecroSaro cast a spell with vaporized Rogue and his men on the spot. Finally he was out of their life for good. NecroSaro knelt down beside Rosa.
"S.......Sa.........Saro..........you've come for.........me." Rosa uttered, coughing up blood.
NecroSaro held her hand. "Rosa! Hang on!"
"Saro................... please listen..........to my last words. Please Saro............. give up............. your obsession...........just come and............... be with me. That's all............ I ever wanted Saro................. please.....please............." Rosa took one last gasp for air, and fell limp.
NecroSaro felt her grasp on his hand fall away. "Rosa?" NecroSaro started to shake her. "Rosa? Rosa!! ROSA!!!!" He slumped over her dead body, sobbing. All of his emotions were flooding back, the destruction of Esturk restored his soul but now it didn't matter. "Rosa............ I............" He ran his hand down her face and kissed her on the cheek. "I......... I......." He balled his fists, gripped with an anger that surpassed human emotion. "I............ I will make those humans suffer for this! I swear! This shall not be forgiven!!!!!" NecroSaro left Rosa there, and headed back to Dire Palace. He knew what he had to do."
Balzack and Radimvice were waiting for NecroSaro at the palace. "Lord NecroSaro! What has happened?"
"She's............gone Balzack." NecroSaro sighed, he was ready to make this final decision. "Ready our best forces, Radimvice. It is time for the last move." Radimvice nodded and went off.
"What do you mean Lord NecroSaro?" Balzack had a good idea what he had in mind however.
"Balzack, there exists in this world a place called Zenithia. It was them who originally defeated Esturk and it was a descendent of a human and a Zenithian who killed Esturk just now. However, deep under the ground, beneath Zenithia lies the Palace of Evil, this is where Esturk planned to rule the world, and it is there where we shall make our last move. I will make the humans pay dearly for Rosa's death!"
Before Balzack could speak, NecroSaro walked off. Apparently heading for his destiny.
Hours later, they reached the underground. It didn't take long, the Zenithians were occupied with the death of Esturk and the arrival of the hero to their country. NecroSaro and his forces reached the lowest level of the underground. A giant lake of molten lave with an island. And at the center of that island stood an enormous castle. NecroSaro ordered his men to set up in the castle. He expected the hero here shortly, so he made one last preparation. "Radimvice! You and three others make your way to those four shrines at the corners of the island. Once you reach them I want you to focus your powers and erect a barrier around this palace. The hero won't be getting too quickly." He turned to Balzack. "Balzack, come with me to that mountain behind the castle and bring the Golden Bracelet, that is where the last stand will be made."
Balzack nodded and followed NecroSaro.
A few hours later the hero arrived in the underground, and found that the castle was sealed off by the barriers. The hero and his party set out to take out the barriers and confront NecroSaro.
The wind was oddly cold even though there was seething magma around the island. It was even odder that there was wind underground at all. NecroSaro stood at the edge of the cliff. Going over in his head all the events that started since Thatius' death and lead to this. He was preparing himself for the final move.
Balzack came up to him with the Golden Bracelet in hand. "It's time Lord NecroSaro. Two of he barriers are already down, You must put this bracelet on and evolve into the ultimate being. Then we can finally rule a world of evil!!"
A world of evil............. The words echoed in NecroSaro's head. He thought about everything that happened, and what he wanted. All of this, was supposed to be for Rosa. Or so he told himself. But in the end, he realized that it was his own greed and ambitions which brought all this about. But he never wanted this. A world of evil. "Balzack, I never wanted this. A world of evil is nothing I wish to rule. I should.......I should have listened to Rosa. This has gone on long enough. It will end all right. It will all stop now!"
"Wh..........what? You cannot be serious Lord NecroSaro! All that we've worked for, all that's happened! You cannot stop now! I will not let all this go to waste"
"That's enough Balzack. I said it's over. I'm not going to let Rosa's memory be tarnished by this act I supposedly enacted for her! All I ever wanted was to live in the world with Rosa in peace. But a world of evil? No Balzack, that was never what I wanted."
"No. No. No! It's gone to far to stop now! After all that's happened, after Esturk's death, after Radimvice set up Rosa's abduction you still..................." Balzack stopped, realizing what he just said.
NecroSaro turned towards him eyes blazing. "What did you just say?"
"Lord NecroSaro, please understand. We were getting worried that you would lose sight of our true objective, that you were being softened by that wench. We had to make you see that humanity deserved to be destroyed. And we......."
"You........" NecroSaro interrupted him. "You..........................you're............." NecroSaro felt a flash of Deja Vu. "You're all .............you're all....................alike!!!!" NecroSaro reached for his blade.
"What?" Was all Balzack could say, before he felt the flash of hot metal cut his lower abdomen. "S......Sa.......Saro.........." He collapsed, dead. For a brief moment Saro saw Thatius in Balzack's eyes.
NecroSaro fell to his knees, sobbing. "All of this.............. it was worthless. What was I doing? What was I fighting for!! Oh Rosa......... you were right. This has only lead to evil, all of it." NecroSaro stood up and looked out at the evil world. One more barrier disappeared, leaving only one more. He saw that it was Radimvice's shrine that stopped emitting the barrier. NecroSaro felt a bit of satisfaction knowing he was dead. "There truly were monsters on that planet. And it was really us, not the humans." He sighed. "Nothing................. I have nothing now. I've had nothing ever since I lost Rosa. No................ I've had nothing ever since I became NecroSaro. All of this was for nothing!" He looked at the Golden Bracelet in his hand. "Nothing matters now. Life, death, it is all irrelevant to me. I have nothing, I am nothing........." NecroSaro slowly put the Golden Bracelet on. He was gripped with a blinding pain, his body stood upright and was consumed in a bright light. He screamed, he screamed not for the pain he felt at the transformation, but for the pain he felt at realizing that he had nothing left. Eventually he screams became inhuman roars, as he evolved into the new ruler of evil.
And then the final barrier went down.
The Chosen One climbed up the cliff, followed by three others. The four of the stood before a monstrosity that resembled Esturk, aside from an amber colored skin. They prepared for battle, as the beast started to move. He groaned and started to speak. "I........am NecroSaro. I have awakened as the new ruler of evil." He stopped for a moment. "I.........I can't remember anything." He lost everything, his humanity, his memories, even those of Rosa. All that was left was soulless beast. "Gurrrgh!! I can't remember! But I know what I must do! You! I must exterminate you all!" He roared and started to swing blindly at the humans he detested for no reason. There was an immense battle, and about half-way through, he started to evolve again. The four stepped back as they saw his arms and head wither away to nothing. And they watched in horror as his stomach started to pulsate and another face emerged from it. All it said was "Humans!!" Then NecroSaro grew two arms, twice the size of his original. He started to attack again, acting fiercer and attacking more brutally. Eventually his legs gave away, but were replaced by larger ones, like the arms. "Humans!!" NecroSaro had lost everything, even his rationality. All that was left was an undisputed hatred for humans that existed in him all his life. That was all that was left for NecroSaro. They started to fight again, but the battle seemed to go nowhere, NecroSaro outmatched them in size and strength. After a few more rounds, he froze. His neck started to pulsate and another head started to rise out of his body. It's three eyes opened, and it spoke in a very deep tone. "This is the end for you, and your race. I'll destroy it all!" They started again, and NecroSaro gained the upper hand. He had two of them knocked unconscious and all that were standing was the hero and the knight. It looked as if NecroSaro was going to win this one. All looked hopeless, until a voice sounded in his head.
His concentration was broken by the seemingly familiar voice. "Guh? Who's there?" The hero and the knight wondered who he was talking to, but took that opportunity to attack.
"Gaah! Go away! Leave me alone!!" NecroSaro roared, while the hero and the knight continued to attack with all they had.
"Saro........please........stop this...................come........join me.......my..........love........"
"Unnh..........love?" NecroSaro stopped fighting. Memories flooded back to him. All of one person. A goddess to him, the person who meant the world to him. "Ro..........sa........." The hero and the knight continued to attack, ripping him to pieces as he stood there.
"Join me Saro.................I just want to be with you.............that's all I ever wanted................."
"Rosa........" He looked at the two people who advanced on him ready to strike the final blow. He remembered everything. And finally understood what Rosa truly wanted. "Rosa................for you Rosa..........." NecroSaro stood there as he let the Chosen One strike the final blow, and end his life. He roared in pain, as he body seemed to de-evolve back to it's original form briefly. He tried to say something to the two of them, but his voice didn't work. He coughed up a bit of blood and slumped over. NecroSaro was gone.
In the months that followed there was much speculation in the people of the world about what was NecroSaro's true ambition. Many thought he just wanted to rule the world. Others thought he was insane. But only the select few people who saw his love for Rosa, only they knew why he truly did what he did. And the hero understood at that final moment when NecroSaro allowed the hero to end his life.
NecroSaro disappeared, and Saro existed again. Rosa and Saro finally gained the one true thing they had been searching for the entire time. They finally were together in peace. No fear. No persecution. Never again would they be apart. Even in death, the two of them lived on, achieving what they desired their entire lives.
So what did you think? I worked pretty hard on this fic, it is my first real shot at a fanfiction. I hope you all enjoyed it. Please send any comments you have to firstname.lastname@example.org