Punishing the World
???Rend, O earth!
Fall, O sky!
???The punishment for the sin of survival is ruination. The hammer of annihilation shall fall on those who slew their king.
???Now let the world become abyss.
???Hearken to me, my king! Bear witness to the dissolution of a world bereft of you!
???Your Majesty... King Alberius.
CleoThis mana fount is ruined, too. I sense no power in it whatsoever.
The PrinceThis is the third mana fount that we've found destroyed here in Alberia. Who is doing this, and why?
CleoThe world would be unmade without mana; I can think of no explanation but that they seek to throw the world into disarray.
The PrinceWe'll be in dire straits if this keeps up. I'm going to take a look over there, Cleo. You mind checking out this area?
CleoBe ever alert, Euden.
CleoOne could not make a mana fount wither without a considerable degree of power. A fiend, perhaps? A magical weapon?
Cleo...Or a dragon.
???Ah. You are Cleo.
???It has been some time, Cleo, yet your visage is unchanged.
CleoYou! I know you!
???And I you, for you are she who abandoned her king to live on in a world bereft of him!
TartarusCome, Cleo. Come and accept your punishment for remaining in this world.
The PrinceCleo! Are you okay?!
CleoEuden! Y-yes, but...
TartarusAh, so this one is the new sacrifice for peace—it is a role well-suited for a puppet ornamented in lies.
TartarusBut you will not get to fulfill even that role. Once I sever the mana from this land, there will be nothing left for you to stake your life for.
CleoThen YOU are the one who has been destroying the mana founts, Tartarus!
The PrinceDo you know this person, Cleo?
CleoOne might have called us allies, once.
CleoHe is one of the dragons who fought alongside King Alberius in the Second War of Binding three centuries ago...
CleoHe is Tartarus, the Abyssalwyrm!
The PrinceSo you swore a pact with Alberius? In that case, why are you going around destroying the mana founts?!
TartarusIs it not apparent? I seek the ruination of the Kingdom of Alberia.
CleoBut why would a loyal servant of Alberius destroy the kingdom he so loved?
TartarusThe kingdom he "loved"? ...Don't make me laugh.
TartarusMy reason for destruction is revenge. Nothing more or less.
TartarusThe kingdom is guilty of his murder, and I shall never be able to quell his regrets if I do not see it razed to ash and bone.
CleoMurder? What are you talking about?! The king gave his all and last for Alberia!
TartarusWhich is why I name it murderer.
TartarusThis kingdom chose the path of sacrifice. One life for the world, and for all who live with it—human, dragon, and other.
TartarusThey killed the king. YOU killed the king. With my own eyes, I watched it happen.
TartarusI watched as the king suffered the excruciating pain that is the price of the Blood Casket—the ritual for sealing away the Other—giving of his life for others.
CleoI never heard a word of any of this from His Majesty...
TartarusHe did not wish for his people to harbor unease in regards to his duty, as it called for him to surrender his own life.
CleoThat cannot be! It was not duty alone which drove him to fight!
CleoHe was a kind man! He fought for his ideals of justice, to protect his people!
TartarusJustice? JUSTICE? Aaaah ha ha ha!
TartarusDo you know what I have hated most these past three hundred years, Cleo? The exact "justice" of which you speak.
TartarusHe was worshipped as a hero—and thus forced to push the boulder of justice up a mountain of war and battle!
TartarusAll voices cried out to name him hero, and so he fashioned himself into the fulcrum upon which the world turned toward peace.
CleoY-yes, it's true that we all counted on King Alberius a great deal—perhaps even too much—but we never... I mean...
TartarusThus is justice a breeding ground for diseased philosophies that drive one to cast aside their life for the sake of others.
TartarusThe innocence of bystanders takes all from those who offer themselves up entire— and a world that valorizes such a thing is a world gone awry.
TartarusThus will I bring unto that world a total annihilation—of humans, dragons, and the very land itself! I will ruin the rotted world that so values this "justice"!
TartarusDay after day, you trample upon the land where our king passed without a care in your head! Both of you are guilty of this.
Cleo...Very well, Tartarus.
CleoIf you would revenge yourself upon all in this land, I will protect them to my last.
CleoFor to protect the world my king sought to save is to protect his very soul itself!
TartarusFool... FOOL! How unbelievable that you cannot distinguish between that which one has wished for and that which one was FORCED to make his wish!
TartarusI shall bring down my hammer upon this world that forces the sacrifice of a king, and I shall bring down my hammer upon the peace it so desperately craves!
TartarusFeral Shroud! Expand!
The PrinceYou're with Agito!
TartarusIndeed, we are the jaws of destruction left unto this world.
TartarusWe are AGITO!
TartarusO king, I swear to you now that I shall see your soul liberated from this world. King Alberius, be my aegis!