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Chapter 692: Clockwork Fate
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Glymet returned with Sotha Sil's version of Keening in a faster time compared to the other two. As he arrived, he was met with the face of the concerned Laaneth.
"You've brought the last of the tools." She asked.
"That I did." Glymet replied with a faint smile, "I shall now carry the three."
The replicas of Sunder, Keening, and Wraithguard, the three legendary artifacts known as the Tools of Kagrenac. These ones, however, were made by Sotha Sil. In terms of power, they are as strong as Kagrenac's creations but as Galyn stated, they have a different tonal signature that is unique to Sotha Sil's Mechanical Heart.
The gauntlet Wraithguard was a single right-hand gauntlet and it was required to wield the other two tools without harming the user. This meant that Glymet can only use the hammer Sunder and the dagger Keening one at a time. Topically, these tools weren't really designed for combat purposes but despite that, they were really good at it.
The only problem Glymet could think of was their short reach.
"You seem to be in a better mood. Any news?" Laaneth asked.
Glymet told Laaneth about his three encounters. The Vampire Lord in the old crypt, the Battle in Eastmarch, and the Dragon of the Jerall mountains.
While the first two encounters were as bleak as how Glymet felt after losing Swims-at-Night, the last encounter with the Dragon changed how he felt greatly and the view of one of the highest peaks in that mountain rage gave him strength and solace.
He felt like he can do it now, he can face Mecinar and exact vengeance for the death of Swims.
Around him were Laaneth, Galyn, Kota, and Ram who returned to Kota's shoulder piece in a brand new unification that is stronger than ever before.
"So… this is all of them." Laaneth said as she gazed at the final pieces of the puzzle.
"They are." Glymet replied, "We came to this world looking for Swims, we ran into Jonrad's son, made friends, fought enemies, and now… we're trying to save a world."
"Sounds a lot like you." She said with a smile before asking, "After this… any sort of mischief you're planning for?"
"I am not sure much about what comes after this…" Glymet said and fetched out a large and unique coin from his pocket, "At Riften, Swims and I met his sister and she offered me a place on her s.h.i.+p. She sails east to the Dragon Isles."
"The Padomaic?" Laaneth asked in wonder, "Towards Akavir?"
"Indeed." Glymet nodded, "I have wondered every piece of land on the face of Tamriel and everywhere I go, peace wasn't written for me. Maybe out there in the high seas, I can find a simpler… easier life."
"Retiring?" Laaneth uttered the word with a sense of fascination, "I can always do it for a little retirement too."
Glymet heard those words and he didn't get startled in his heart the same as he always does around her. He was rather relieved and happy. This time, he won't push away happiness, he has to pursue it and be selfish like how Swims-at-Night told him. He has to treasure happiness… treasure her.
"I am glad you decided that." Glymet smiled at her and felt content about it.
"So…" Laaneth had to break the mood and get serious, "We find Mecinar and destroy the Heart?"
Her question was valid, this is the end and it has to be proper.
"No!" But there was a voice that hastily interrupted their conversation.
Galyn, the Clockwork Chief Apostle, ran to Glymet and landed on his knees.
"You can't destroy the Heart." He pleaded, "Its power is what has allowed our crops to grow, our machinery to run. Please!" He then started to negotiate, "There must be another way. Perhaps you can use the Heart instead."
"What? Are you mad?!" Laaneth lashed out against Galyn, she then turned to Glymet, "I doubt that you can use it. Such a thing will overwhelm you as it clearly has overwhelmed Mecinar's mind."
"I don't plan to let it overwhelm me." Glymet said confidently and turned around looking towards the route to the chamber of Lorkhan. "If I am not wrong, Mecinar is where the Heart is. He can't leave it alone at this crucial moment."
Before anyone could project their opinions, he stepped forward.
The Chamber of Lorkhan wasn't far beyond the Chamber of the Throne Aligned from where Ram had once opened the seal. From that point, the group was faced with minimal resistance as if Mecinar wasn't minding his own security.
Every abomination they encountered, they would always hear them mumbling the same words.
"Mecinar's Will Must Be Obeyed! Mecinar's Will Must Be Obeyed!"
It was as if Mecinar was obsessed with absolute obedience and pa.s.sed down his programing to all the Abomination to recite those sick lines. Just as the group was done dealing with the last of the horde, they took a short rest before invading the chamber of the heart.
The lighting in the Chamber of Lorkhan was dim, so dim that Glymet felt how unnatural it was and so he ignited the fire aura that surrounded Goldbrand to shed light on the area around him. Laaaneth cast a stronger version of Magelight and Galyn used his staff to create a large area of luminance. At that time, a voice spoke from deep within the chamber.
"I knew you'd come."
The voice echoed all across the chamber which cloaked the location of the speaker but he didn't seem to be intending on hiding himself. As a faint red glow started to lighten up the chamber, the group looked up and they saw a man floating above them all. The red glow that was growing more intense with every pa.s.sing second appeared to be the living beating mechanical heart that was somehow masked from their detection and raised as high as the ceiling of the chamber.
"Mecinar, we've come for you." Glymet called Mecinar out, "This madness has to end."
"Why?" Mecinar asked, "Why do you call it madness?"
"You're seriously asking that?" Laaneth couldn't bear what she heard.
"Don't you see? The change, the power, the results? Beings… Living Beings are being made, given the power to evolve, to be better with every pa.s.sing second, to a.s.similate with Divinity." Mecinar spoke his thoughts.
"Last time someone tried to do that, they spread a plague that almost annihilated Morrowind." Glymet replied, mentioning the events of the Corpus Plague that once struck Morrowind 200 years ago by the plot of Dagoth Ur.
"Yes, I witnessed it first hand." Mecinar replied, "Unfortunately for you, there is no Nerevarine to stop me this time… and even the Dragonborn you've brought with you is kept occupied. His Fate is not to cross mine." Mecinar spoke with pride.
"Dragonborn?" Glymet asked with narrowed eyes.
"He means Jon." Laaneth said.
Glymet was surprised to hear that Jon is the Dragonborn but for some reason, it started to make sense in some weird way. Still, that wasn't something he should focus on right now.
"That doesn't mean we can't bring you down." Glymet said and had Keening ready under his garment.
"I see." Mecinar sighed and continued speaking, "At least something good will come out of this for I have prepared a surprise… just for you."
A surprise? An ominous feeling started to creep around the group but they didn't seem anxious. Whatever it is, they can overcome it.
"Mecinar's Will Must Be Obeyed!"
At that time, a voice started to creep closer to them. Those same words were said by all the Abominations Mecinar has created so far and the source can't be anything different.
But this voice was familiar… awfully familiar.
"NO!" Laaneth cried.
"…" Glymet's eyes widened.
"… Must Be Obeyed!"
On the other hand, Mecinar laughed out, loud and proud.
"For years I have modified the living to make the strongest Man-machines!" Mecinar said before introducing his newest Abomination, "But with my newfound power, I've found the dead just as malleable."
The Dead… That undead has put a lot of psychological weight on Laaneth and Glymet.
"MECINAR!" Laaneth shouted, "You'll answer for what you've done to him!"
"A G.o.d answers to no one!" However, Mecinar gave a haughty reply.
Seeing their friend, Swims-at-Night, torn apart and put back as a mechanical abomination powered with Necromancy, Laaneth and Glymet were horrified by what they saw yet as much as Laaneth was enraged, Glymet was able to pull himself back to his senses.
"Playing mind games?" Glymet asked, "You're afraid."
"A G.o.d? Afraid?" Mecinar's expression became twisted rather than carrying his usual att.i.tude of mockery.
"Put Swims to rest." Glymet gave an order to his group, "I'll keep that one busy."
"Come at me!" Mecinar responded and the fight kicked off.
There wasn't much to fight. While the union of Laaneth, Kota, and Galyn started to overwhelm the raised Swims-at-Night, Mecinar was completely dominating the fight against Glymet. Just like how Jon Dare once wiped the ground with ten Elven Arch-Wizards during the Battle of Winterhold when he activated G.o.dmode, Mecinar was on that level of power if not higher.
Being a DemiG.o.d, Mecinar had nigh-limitless access to energy directly from the world. What he was doing wasn't magic but rather ordering the laws of reality to take shape. He ordered the fire to ignite and explode, he ordered the air to turn cold and blast his enemy, and he ordered the electricity to form and shock his opponent.
While Mecinar was enjoying his power, Glymet was patiently defending against those attacks with tenacity and grit. He had a secret tool under his sleeve that saved his life more than what he could count just in those few seconds. The gauntlet Wraithguard.
Wraithguard can protect the user from the wild energy of the Heart of Lorkhan. This alone can defend against some of the strongest kinds of magic. If not for it, Glymet wouldn't have lasted this long, and lucky for him, Mecinar seemed to be oblivious about it.
Just as he was about to be cornered badly, Glymet heard a voice not too far behind him.
"We've dealt with Swims." Laaneth shouted, "It's your turn!"
Glymet shouted "Finally!" in his head and immediately dashed away from Mecinar.
"Huh? Escaping?" Mecinar was dumbfounded by the opponent that immediately gave him his back but just as he was about to end Glymet, something jumped in the way.
Dragon (Kota) jumped in the way with his s.h.i.+eld radiating with dangerous energy. Just as Mecinar's attack landed, a big explosion happened and Dragon was pushed back. He didn't get harmed, however, thanks to his newest installation.
On Dragon's left shoulder was Ram's head. While being completely bodiless, Ram still had the power to cast some incredible type of magic that imbued Kota's weapons with transcendent powers.
Just like that, Dragon 2.0, aka Twin-Headed Dragon, stepped up to face Mecinar.
"Get off my way, d.a.m.n lizard."
Mecinar wasn't impressed by the power of Dragon and Ram as he seemed to have decided to overlook and shoo them away with a minor attack but just as he did so, his head was attacked by a spell cast by Laaneth.
"Annoying pest! All of you shall die!" Mecinar wanted to lash out but just as he turned, he noticed that Glymet was climbing the stairs around the chamber which were leading up towards the Heart's platform.
"Out of my way!" He blasted through Laaneth and Dragon and immediately chased after Glymet who was only halfway towards the Heart.
The only one who could interrupt him now was Galyn.
"Mecinar, in the name of our Master, I shall stop you!" Galyn shouted as he raised his staff above his head.
"Galyn, you d.a.m.n weasel! The only master here is I." Mecinar was enraged and tried to antic.i.p.ate which pattern Galyn would use to attack out of habit but what he didn't expect was what Galyn did.
Instead of conjuring an element and casting it towards Mecinar, Galyn sent a clockwork glyph through the floor and the walls of the chamber all the way to Glymet up there. Once the Glyph reached him, it exploded without any harmful effect but the blast carried Glymet from his location to the upper platform in an instant.
"Curses!" Mecinar wasn't pleased with what he saw and instantly teleported up to the platform blocking the way of Glymet, "You shall not pa.s.s!"
As he said so, he raised his mechanical arm and attempted to smite Glymet with its menacing bra.s.s claws. Mecinar's attack was precise and powerful, way more powerful than his previous self as a wizard.
Just as the attack landed on Glymet, it cut through him without any resistance. It was so powerful that it felt like he was cutting through the air.
And he was.
A look of smugness appeared on Mecinar's face as he was about to announce his victory, the look on his face changed as the image of Glymet in front of him disappeared into thin air.
He looked behind him and there he was, Glymet stood just an arm's length away from the Mechanical Heart, Mecinar couldn't even feel him.
"What?! How?!" Mecinar couldn't fathom what sort of illusion was cast that was powerful enough to fool him, the new Clockwork G.o.d.
"NOW! Use the Heart to beat him! Fight him as a fellow G.o.d!" Galyn shouted.
"NO! It is too dangerous! If you can't handle it, you'll fall and Mecinar won't! Destroy it!" Laaneth shouted.
"Those are the risks we have to take. Without the Heart, my people will die!" Galyn argued with Laaneth.
"Swims didn't sacrifice himself for more of his friends to die! How could you ask him to die for your own people?" Laaneth pushed Galyn away with anger.
Be selfish, survive, attain victory. Be selfless, sacrifice, for the ultimate good.
Those were the two choices Glymet had. Still, his choice was swift.
With the hammer Sunder in his right hand, Glymet struck the Mechanical Heart.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Mecinar screamed, tried to hold out his hand but it was too much for him to endure and he collapsed on one knee while holding his head in pain.
Galyn's face went paler than what it already was and almost dropped to his knees. The power of the Heart vibrated through the Clockwork City and as the raging Abominations were about to smash, eat, kill, and devastate, they all dropped down just like their master.
The second hit made it all worse for those who were affected by the power of the Heart yet this time, the compartments of the Mechanical Heart started to burst open.
By the third strike, a hole was open on the sh.e.l.l of the Heart and it was large enough for a child to pa.s.s through. Except for the bright radiation that was emitted from within, one could still sense a deep and strong red crystal hanging against the aetheric structure of the eight-sided pivot.
It was as red as "CHEM-EL ADABAL" but it wasn't as refined or blessed. It was power, row and simple. By the clever-crafts of Sotha Sil, he seemed to have made this stone the pivotal pillar of the transcendent of his Mechanical Heart. Another Lorkhanian trace it may seem and its might, without even beginning to describe, is no joke.
Glymet knew what he had to do and his hammer began to swing again, this time at the center stone. His heart was racing with determination and fighting spirit and he understood that past this point is the death of all things Clockwork.
But what is to mourn at this point?
This world will die and as most of its citizens were already a.s.similated into the forms of Abominations and there was no going back.
But just as Sunder was about to strike the center-stone, the red glow of the power of the core took the initiative and reached out to Glymet. Several arms of the glow flowed around him and they all embraced him gently, with no intention of any malicious harm. He realized it just a second from striking the core and as the realization hit him, he saw a face where there is a hole in the structure of the Heart.
He saw a face barely forming through the aetheric radiation and as it formed one full face, words started to flow.
The Hammer stopped just an inch away from the core, and Glymet couldn't believe what he just saw and heard.
Those words, them again?
Like the one in the Eye of Magnus?
No… not like… just similar… different things…
They rallied their request to Glymet and his heart almost skipped a beat… and the hammer fell from his hand.
The hitting stopped, the Heart slowly calmed down, and the pain was gone.
Glymet no longer had Sunder in his hand but now, he just had Keening.
Wraithguard protects the Soul, Sunder draws the power, and Keening takes it in.
Glymet barely looked back at Laaneth… and smiled.
And Keening drew the Divine Power of the Mechanical Heart.
This wasn't going to be the fight of Mere Mortals…
It's a t.i.tanomachy.
A Battle of the G.o.ds.
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