Ildyna's Revenge

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By: Lanthylai Posted on: August 30, 2006

Outside the confines of the Temple, a blizzard howled in triumph. Blankets of snow prevented the ease of travel, but she worried little. He would come. To be sure, he would. She at least knew that much.

Surveying the room before her, her lips curled into a slight sneer. A meadow of flowers surrounded her, filling the area with a delicate floral perfume. Ivy vines dotted with tiny purple flowers climbed stately pillars. Colourful blossoms danced to the rhythm of a gentle, warm breeze, leading butterflies from one flower to the next to an inaudible melody. But the delightful vision did not placate her. The darkness within her merely swelled with disgust and revulsion. To her, such beauty was filth. Even the warm air could not bring heat to the coldness in her heart, an icy remnant of what was and what will never be.

There in the centre of the room, a shrine to the Goddess of Love and Beauty stood in all its glory. Her steps were deliberate and silent as she moved to stand before the shrine, gazing at the loveliness of the Lady's likeness. Dropping to her knees, she bowed her head and clasped her hands in mock respect. There had been a time when she would give thanks to the Lady for all that was given her. Now she would only curse the Divine for what she had lost, perhaps what she never had.

It was in this state that he found her. He sheathed his weapons out of reverence and humility for Lady Selene, but he did not remove his hand from the hilt of a sword for he knew that the young woman before him had lost all sense. "Only cowards hide, Ildyna."

Ildyna stood and turned to face him. Her blue eyes were blazing and filled with a chill that would make even the bravest warrior tremble. Casting away ebony locks of hair from her face, she studied him for a mere second before speaking. "This? This reproach from you? You've always had such a wonderful sense of humour," she said icily, stepping forward so they were but a few inches apart.

A glint of silver caught his eye, and he discovered a golden lock of hair set into a familiar band. Seeing her wearing it around her neck on the blackest chain as her trophy made him choke with emotion. He forced himself to look away but could not speak.

She caught his glance and smiled almost cheerfully. "Ah yes, it seems she was going to gift it to you. Thoughtful girl, wasn't she? Pity her thoughtfulness did not fall to anyone else."

"Why are you doing this?" he whispered brokenly, the pain of losing his wife to his former lover difficult to bear.

Ildyna watched him with scorn. "As if you didn't know. As if... as if you didn't leave me for that disgusting whore at the first opportunity you received. I am merely seeking Justice. Isn't that what you Guardians are all about anyway? Justice? Honour? Duty? Doing what's right?"

The guilt overwhelmed him then, and he couldn't speak.

"You made me a promise, Teryk. As a Beloved, I expected more of you. But you're just like them. Fickle and insincere. Or perhaps loving her was the better choice? Isn't that what Lady Selene's teachings tell us? That love is a choice?" she said, snorting derisively. "Seems I made a poor one."

"You were gone for two years, Dyn," he said, closing his eyes. "Everyone thought you were dead."

She now stepped even closer so that her lips brushed softly against his ear and was pleased when he made no attempt to move away. "You have no faith, Teryk. I'm disappointed," she whispered and with a quick movement sank her fangs into the tender curve of his neck, releasing toxins into his blood.

The effect was immediate. His eyes widened as a painful burning sensation spread throughout his body. His limbs felt heavy and already he felt himself slipping away. He gasped, and in a panic, tried to determine the venom that was surely killing him, but his mind grew hazy and all knowledge of cures fled from his mind. "What---"

Ildyna's smile was a brilliantly blinding coldness, a sense of pride and pleasure evident in her eyes. "Do you like it, my love?" she asked, a melodic lilt in her mocking tone. "It is of my own creation. A kind of Voyria, only... with my touch in improvements. This venom will paralyse, but what I think you'll enjoy most is its slowness in killing you after causing the most tormenting pain. I made it especially for you." She paused, enjoying the look of horror in his face. "Oh might I mention that there's no antidote? I didn't see a need."

Teryk could barely focus, the pain so severe, so excruciating. Her words barely reached his ears. It was then that the burning sensation suddenly transformed into an exploding pain. A thousand daggers seemed to plunge themselves through every part of his body. He opened his mouth to scream in agony but could find no voice. The poison had robbed him of that too.

The young woman circled around him and pulled a dirk from her belt. The handle was made of the purest ivory, the blade was forged with the darkest metal. It was her favourite. She completed a full circle and stopped in front of him, watching his body spasm and writhe from the deadly poison. "It is in the Lady's teachings to find beauty in all things," she began, "and I find the scene before me most beautiful. But there is something wanting. Something missing from this lovely vision."

She knew that he could no longer respond to her, but his eyes were still alight and followed her weakly. She noted gleefully that they glistened with tears. Snapping her fingers in front of his face, she smirked as she watched him drop to his knees. "There," she said smoothly as she tested the blade of her dirk for sharpness. "Much better. I have great plans for you, my dear. But I won't tell you of them. I'd much rather show you."

Crouching to meet him face to face, she lifted her dirk and held it across his neck. With a swift and smooth motion, she slit his throat, just breaking the surface of the skin. Blood poured from the wound and dripped down the curves of his throat, but she paid it no mind. Standing, Ildyna grabbed a fistful of his hair and dragged his still twitching body to the altar of the shrine. She laid his head across the altar and watched in satisfaction as her lover's blood quickly stained the shrine. It was desecration in such a holy place. And her revenge.

Wiping the blood from her blade onto some flowers nearby, she replaced it in her belt. Without another glance at the one she had loved, she made her way to the entrance of the Temple and paused. "Here is beauty before You, m'Lady. I hope You enjoy it as much as I do," she said with an odd smile upon her lips. "Your teachings are false, however. There is no love, and only beauty in Death."

With those words, she stepped out of the Temple and disappeared into the raging storm, having exacted her revenge.