Note from the Author: Here’s the last part:
The blades clashed once more, and as we fought, I threw a kick at him. The velos came down on his knees. In that moment, I was quick to pierce his first heart. The strike was fast. I could feel the blood running down on my sword. I jumped back before he had the chance to strike me again.
He was coughing and groaning from the pain. His third heart already started to pump the blood in his body. The battle continued, but I was at an advantage. I struck him again when I saw an opening. My blade cut his throat and with a fast kick, I pushed him on the ground. He wasn’t moving anymore. I won. I killed him.
I lifted my sword up as a sign of victory, and the crowd cheered for me.
I was a velos now!
Pride started to build up inside me, replacing the hate and anger from before. I was not a zir anymore, but a velos! In that moment, I had forgotten that my beloved Vana and luks were the ones who paid the ultimate price at the end of a velos’s blade.
“You are not El’zir N’an anymore! You are now Tir’velos N’an!” said the old zar’tar, and everyone cheered for me once more.
Joy coursed through my veins and now, for the first time, I wouldn’t return to the damp slave cells in which I slept for more than half of cycle.
Two days later, after I settled in and started to get accustomed to the life among the other velos, I was summoned to meet the Tir’eles. I didn’t waste any time and after putting on my best cloths, which was the velos armor I received after I won, I went to meet the great leader.
The zar’tar lived in an impressive house, quite different from the ones around it. It was similar to what the humans would call a small castle and made of rock. I could see many velos around. The mark of Tir’velos was worn proudly by them. Many wooden spikes were fixed in the ground, pointing towards the outside as if to defend it from a great beast that would one day dare to attack them. The structure had three levels, and the floors were made of the strongest wood in the Tir territory.
I stood outside the gates, waiting patiently. Half a day passed before I was allowed to enter even though I had been summoned early in the morning. I was surprised by what I saw and proud as well. I would never have had this opportunity back when I was still a zir and an El…
Upon meeting with the Tir’eles, I bowed according to the custom of the velos. I didn’t want to make him mad. After all, he was the one who gave me this power. I had to respect and accept him as my leader from this day forwards. He would also be the one to bring me in front of the Zal’velos to claim my revenge.
“Rise Tir’velos N’an!” he said with a wave of his hand.
The old man stood upon a chair made of metal and the hard shells of a sellar, a being similar to an oyster with legs like a crab. For the zar’tar it was a sign of great strength and possession. From what I would come to learn, any respected eles’nashar had a few sellar shells laying around. They were the closest thing the zar’tar had to money. For the most part, we were still tribal people who didn’t use coins for exchange of goods.
“I come as summoned! What duty can I do for you great Tir’eles?” I asked, and the old man nodded.
“You are to be coupled now! You killed old velos, couple of luks’s luks, you shall replace couple and become velos of zelvidra’darnashar!” he said and immediately a large female dressed in armor stepped forward.
She was a strong woman who would be able to make good luks. Any male was able to see that, but I couldn’t understand why I was to be her couple, especially since I killed her last couple. Why didn’t she wish vengeance like I did for the Zal’velos?
“I will be your couple? I am honored!” I said to her.
The female’s eyes squinted at me.
“You killed Tir’velos Elshra zelvidra’darnashar’s couple before he could offer luks! You showed to be stronger than him, so you offer me luks instead of him!” she said with a demanding voice.
Memories of Vana and our luks we didn’t get to have came to mind. With a firm grip on my heart, I denied those feelings to resurface. If I wanted revenge, I needed more power and being coupled with one so close to the Tir’eles was a one in a lifetime opportunity. She was also a zelvidra’darnashar. At that time, I didn’t know what that meant, but I had to believe it held some sort of importance to the tribe.
“I accept and promise to give you good and strong luks!” I said to her as I looked with great determination in her eyes.
She smirked and approached me. She hugged me, and I could tell that she was a strong female, but her scent was sweet, similar to that of my dear Vana.
With this, the female became my couple, and our bodies became one after the ceremony of the couple. Despite her big and strong build, she was very attractive when compared to other zar’tar. This clearly showed to anyone who knew that she wasn’t of the zir but of eles.
I moved into her house, and she settled me in her bedroom. She wanted luks badly and after a few days, I found out why. Zelvidra’darnashar were the assassins of the tribe. They were the ones most feared and the ones most cherished as well. She wanted luks so that when the moment of her death approached, she would go off to the other world in peace, knowing that she served the Tir well and left behind her trace.
I soon became accustomed to this big woman, but my heart was still filled with vengeance for Vana, and this was something Elshra managed to accept as well.
One time, during the Great Darkness when we ate dinner, or as we called it, the food before letting our bodies rest, she said to me:
“Vengeance isn’t good and will not bring you great honor, but you are my couple, so I will accept your way if you give Elshra luks!”
It was both a threat and a fact, but the first one was on the way. We would soon have our first luks.
The day of the birth of my first luks was a strange one. When I first saw the little one, I felt great joy in my heart, and I saw the same happiness in Elshra’s eyes. She was happy to have our luks even if it was with someone born of zir.
Many told her that she was a strange female. When I asked her about this matter, she just replied that I proved to be stronger than her former couple, so it was natural for me to become her new couple.
The luks born of the two of us, I would soon grow to love and cherish, but I still didn’t want to forget my past love, so I kept my heart filled with the venom of revenge.
When the war started, I was sent to fight as velos for the Tir. We fought against the Zal’velos, but somehow, I didn’t have the same desire to kill them as before. Now, I wanted to fight more so that I could return to my couple and luks, but at the same time, I wanted to spill more of my enemy’s blood to satisfy my thirst for revenge. It was weird and sometimes confusing. It made me wonder for what reason I was fighting in the first place.
Since then, I fought in many battles, and I grew stronger with each passing moment and each Zal’velos I slayed. Because of my prowess in combat, Tir’eles gave me greater strength by making me rule a part of his velos. I was no longer a velos, but a shiar. I became Tir’shiar N’an, and I was proud of it. My couple and luks were proud of me as well.
By then, I gave Elshra three luks. One was about to be born, and the first one was already proving to have a great strength in velos training. He would end up following in my steps as a velos, and maybe a shiar, while the second luks, a female, would become like her mother, a zelvidra’darnashar. Elshra trained her personally, and the little one grew stronger with each passing day.
When I reached the age of thirty cycles, we were just a few battles away from winning the Zal’velos war. Nevertheless, my anger and hate for them were still growing and supplying me with the venom of revenge.
At the age of forty cycles, Elshra decided to retire from the path of the zelvidra’darnashar. Thus, she became eles’darnashar, guider of the zelvidra’darnashar.
I saw my luks growing up to become proud strong members of the Tir. They weren’t ashamed of me for being once a zir because I was now a shiar. My value was greater than that of any velos in the tribe. Likewise, Elshra grew fond of me. She came to love me and treasure me unlike before, but I was blind to her love. I sought to kill all the Zal’velos, and I swore on my life to see it happen.
One day, when I visited the tribe’s healer, I found out that I was sick. Unwilling to retire and lay down my sword, I told the healer to hide this from anyone who dared to ask. I did not wish to bring shame to my tribe and the velos I ruled over. If I were to die, I was going to die in battle, getting revenge for Vana, not in bed because of some illness.
Elshra tried to stop me before I went to my last battle. I was 32 cycles old and four months into the next one. I was a proud and strong Tir’shiar who hadn’t been defeated until then. I wanted it to remain like that, to continue my revenge campaign against those who killed my Vana.
I went to battle, despite the fact that at home I had a couple who loved me and luks whom I cherished, and who, in return, were proud of me. I did not care, I wanted to get my revenge.
During that battle, I was struck in the blood heart by a spear, and an arrow pierced my air heart. Two fast strikes and just like that, the undefeated Tir’shiar died…
The battle around me seemed to be so far away, and I began to understand that my life had now come to an end. Thinking back, I couldn’t see anything else but revenge. At first, I thought I would join Vana in the skies when my soul left my body, but it would not be so.
That day, the sky was red and the battle dark even though the color of my blood as a zar’tar was different.