- December 25, 2021
The Incarnations: The Incarnal War (Chapter 9)
In the Eyes of Justice
King Good leads a platoon of angels through the thick Jungles of Justice, a sword in hand to cut away at the vines that cross in front of his way. His Majesty’s angels are at a great disadvantage with the harsh storms that currently flood the skies and rivers, allowing only the strongest to fly against the winds.
At my behest, my son stormed her lands with his army, making a final push against Lady Justice and finally invading her greater borders. To much surprise, once they entered the jungle land untouched by the Lord Dread, they found nothing but fauna and flora.
The Lady’s troops, her artillery archers and catapults were nowhere to be seen, and still remain unseen. Even her ground fighters, the devastating packs of direwolves, have ominously retreated, and the hair on his Majesty’s neck has only raised.
His Majesty maintains his form with his wings out of sight, that way to more easily traverse the land. His angels do not retain the same ability, and fall farther and farther behind, struggling to follow their Majesty. My son, foolishly does not realize the folly of abandoning his troops so absentmindedly.
He does not realize until he comes to a cliff above a large lake, with a sparkling and cascading waterfall across from him. He turns around to point it out to his angels, but he finds that they are nowhere to be seen.
His Majesty calls out for them, but receives no response. Then he feels the pricks against his heart. He begins to walk back when he hears a low growl. He stops and listens, only to find that he hears the growls of more than one animal.
A more animalistic voice speaks of King Good, but not to him in a mix of growls and gurgles. “I wonder if the King *ack*ack* tastes as good as his servants. *ack*ack*”
My son responds in a low voice that he knows the direwolves can hear, “Why don’t you come and find out?”
While the direwolves of Justice do have sentient thought, their thought is still affected by animalistic instincts and strategy. Essentially they lack the common sense to know fear and patience.
The lead direwolf pounces from his hidden spot under the large tropical leaves. He pounces from above, revealing his deep green coat, and his grey underbelly which also encompasses his lower jaw.
The direwolf tries to sink its teeth into his Majesty’s head, but though the direwolf is as long as my son is tall, his size does not help him in any way. King Good instinctively, and with minor struggle, grabs the direwolf’s neck to hold him up high so he can sink his simple sword through the wolf’s stomach and out his back. An audible yelp comes from the foolish animal, but that yelp prompts the other direwolves to jump out and attack my son. They bite his arms and legs before he can remove his sword from the first.
Then a massive direwolf, with a head larger than my son’s whole form, runs out and knocks them all off the cliff.
My son yells in pain and distress as he fights against the direwolves during his descent. During his fall, he pulls his simple sword from the first wolf, whose body starts falling away. He takes the moment to count the four direwolves currently upon him. Before they hit the water, he manages to kick one off of his left leg.
When they hit the water, one direwolf ceases to bite his right shoulder to swim for air, likely having lost its breath during the impact into the water. This allows my son to stab his sword through the head of the one whose teeth is sunk into his left shoulder. Then he stabs through the spine of the direwolf gnawing on his ankle.
My son swiftly swims to the surface of the lake, and swims after the wolf who released its bite on him.
He quickly catches up to the wolf from behind, and discards his sword into dust. With both hands free, he grabs the direwolf by its snapping jaws, and pulls them apart. He tears the canine’s lower jaw out and throws it behind him as he lets the wolf go into shock and sink into the lake.
Now having rid himself of his attackers, King Good surveys the area as he swims to the sand shore in front of him. Unnaturally, the lake has a waterfall pooling into it, yet its back half is surrounded by tall cliffs, and its front half is a beach. The lake must be much deeper than it appears.
When his feet touch the sand he falls to his knees to inspect his wounds. He hears the scuffle of rocks and paws calling him to watch the largest direwolf climbing down. This one has the same colors as the others, and my son is now realizing how large it is.
The direwolf stops to stand above my son on a perch. Then it speaks to him, “Your Majesty, you may find me, a more appropriate predator. *ack*ack*” Based on the voice, my son and I determine this direwolf to be male. The direwolves are servants like the angels are to my son. They are a representation of Lady Justice’s more vicious style of enforcing morality.
His Majesty asks the direwolf, “May I know your name, fearsome beast?”
The direwolf laughs before he questions his Majesty facetiously, “*ack*ack* Do you flatter most of those who come to consume you? *ack*”
“Just the ones who I think will live up to the complement,” his Majesty responds.
The direwolf purrs as it enters deep thought, considering the worth of informing his Majesty of his name. For an animal, he is no fool. He gauges the chances of intimidating his enemy with the information, or risk the element of surprise with lack thereof. He comes to the conclusion that that his Majesty must already have an idea of who he is, so he reveals his name.
“Gerechtigheid,*ack* I am Gerechtigheid, my Lady’s mount and fang, *ack*” he announces proudly.
My son arches his brow, and comments on the wolf’s name. “Gerechtigheid? So that’s how I’m supposed to pronounce it. Your name is well known, but never pronounced right. Why is your name so complicated?”
Then a voice that rings through the trees and reflects off the lake, says, “Because I wanted him to have something memorable.” My son swings his head around in all directions to try and find the source of the voice, who could only be one person. Then the voice comments, “Better than giving a servant a name that sounds exactly like my own. Some of us aren’t so narcissistic and tactless.”
King Good attempts to anger the Lady to trick her into showing herself. “I would say what I have to say to your face, but it appears I am as blind as you are.” With that comment, Gerechtigheid growls angrily, and my son ignores him to find the Lady.
“Contrary to the rumors your brother started,” the voice starts.
Suddenly a whizzing sound comes about, and an arrow glowing as if a Leftover Piece of Creation, sinks itself into in the middle of my son’s chest. The shaft of the arrow doesn’t go in deep, but the arrowhead is no longer visible. Being that the arrowhead turned his Majesty’s skin inwards, the wound doesn’t leak out light as much as a wound from a sword strike would have.
Then he forgets the special attributes of the Lady’s arrowheads. When my son brings his hand to grip the shaft, the time comes for the arrowhead to explode, blowing a hole in his chest and propelling him back into the lake.
Then the Lady finishes, “I see quite well.”
Lady Justice walks as if from nowhere in the jungle, her bow aimed at King Good and her quiver on her back. Her hair is a shining silver, almost platinum.
Unlike the Lord Dread or Lady Hate, Lady Justice’s skin does not express qualities of the abyss, she actually appears alive with its matte texture of gray.
Her attire screams that of a hunter, the skin of a wolf down her back, with its head being used as a hood to shade over the sky blue of her irises, and the black of her pupils. Like Lord Dread, if someone is going to see her coming, best it first be her eyes to terrify them. Her eyes have an intensity that’s different from the others. They accuse with a glance.
Her gray wolf skin covers even her shoulders and appears as if a short cape, seeming both heroic and villainous in one cloth.. Another skin, that of another black wolf forms a triangular shape to cover her torso. It’s as if they’re a warning to those who follow her, should they fail, she’ll wear them next.
It’s no wonder so many of her servants tend to go missing.
The Lady’s bow, the Lawbringer, maintains an intricate design and power. During the hunt it’s texture and tribal markings dull, but as if sentient, it knows to shine silver when revealed to the world. Her quiver is a more dangerous machination. She used her Leftover Pieces of Creation to create a quiver that would craft her an endless supply of powerful arrowheads, capable of felling any Incarnation with the right precision, and she has the precision.
King Good struggles to find his balance in the water as it is now up to his waist. The wound in his chest is only skin deep, a circle over his abdomen and pectoral muscles where there is no skin, only dull light. His Majesty holds his right hand over his wound, and does his best to keep from groaning over the burning pain. With his left hand he thinks to make a shield to defend against future arrowheads.
My son comments that, “I would have expected you to make your way to my brother by now. Aren’t you looking to speak with him?”
Lady Justice grins with knowledge that my son doesn’t posses, and knowledge she keeps from me.
She admits to him, much to his annoyance, “I’ve been waiting for the army line along my lands to break. Thank you for that.” Sir Peace, that clever bastard. He must have wanted me to send the armies in so the Lady could escape. She couldn’t get past the armies otherwise without taking a significant risk.
Then the Lady aims her bow towards King Good, and he raises his shield. Another useful ability of her quiver and bow is that the arrows appear in her hand and she doesn’t have to waste the time reaching back for them.
She pulls back an arrow on the Lawbringer’s string and informs my son, “There’s something else I should tell you, your Majesty.”
He does not fall for any bait by sticking his head around his shield, and merely asks in an annoyed tone, “What?”
Then she lets loose her arrow into the water in front of his Majesty’s feet, and unlike the first, this one explodes instantly.
The lake immediately lights on fire, and begins to engulf the lower half of King Good’s body.
“That’s not water, but oil. I made sure to change such things for when you or Lord Dread came for me,” the Lady finishes. The Lady does not have the shapeshifting prowess of Lord Dread or Lady Hate, but instead has the unlimited knowledge akin to Lord Guilt and Lady Love. Of course, that ability has been hampered by Madam Honor, but that does change that with an infinite capacity for knowledge one can develop a keen intellect for things such as strategy.
The Lady truly is not to be underestimated. I didn’t even consider the idea that she would manipulate her rivers to become oil, or make the oil look like water. She can do with her lands practically whatever she wants.
As my son fights the urge to scream in agony, the Lady taunts him. “You may be the strongest of us, your Majesty, but you are far from the smartest. The way you followed the trail I left for you through my jungle, it was like leaving food crumbs for a starving animal. No, that would have been more difficult.”
As she taunts him, my son looks over his shield with a face of rage as he endures. “You followed the path I set gloriously, and were so idiotic, and foolish, you never even realized your men were missing until my wolves drove you here.”
When she turns to face him and match his eyes, she sees the rage boiling inside. As she slowly makes to get ready he catches her off guard.
He yells out in a fit of rage, and out his dark and encompassing wings come. With blinding speed he moves upon her. His Majesty flies over the Lady’s head, and slams his hand down upon her throat, forcing her head first into the dirt, forming a crater around her.
As he stands over her, her back to the ground, she has the gall to taunt him a second time as she chokes to breath. “What’s the matter… your Majesty? Did you break a nail?”
His Majesty demands to know from the Lady, “Did you really think mere fire would best me? I don’t remember having a poor reputation for being so frail.”
“You sided with Life,” she spits out. She clutches his arm with her fingers, trying to pull back his grip. Her direwolf, Gerechtigheid, slowly stalks to pounce upon my son’s shoulder, and as she seeks to maintain my son’s attention, she hints that she knows.
She continues to insult my son and I both by saying, “You sided with that failure of a Creator, so you must be frail, and lazy, and untrustworthy, just like him, shouldn’t you?” Is that how she thinks of me? Does she find me so unworthy? When this is over, and she has lost, I will ask if someone so frail, lazy and untrustworthy gains such a victory.
She croaks lastly, “To burn you and your father in effigy, it’s only Justice.”
Then Gerechtigheid pounces upon my son, but King Good whips his free left hand out to hook the gigantic beast in the jaw and send him rolling. The direwolf recovered quickly, and accomplished his goal of distracting his Majesty long enough for Lady Justice to summon an arrow into her right hand, and stab it into his ribcage. He hisses in pain, and he grits his teeth in the split second before it blows up.
He lets her go to clutch his ribs, and stumbles to the side, but having summoned more power for this fight he never comes close to falling. As the wound on his ribs resembles that on his chest, he looks upon the Lady with a face of conviction and holds his hands out to summon simple swords in both hands.
As the Lady readies her bow to aim at my son from his right, Gerechtigheid begins to stalk him from his left.
His Majesty seeks to remind them, “This battle is futile, you know I could crush you under my literal heel.”
“Then why don’t you?” the Lady challenges him.
“I don’t want to kill you and your servant. I didn’t want to kill those wolves. You should have just surrendered the minute I came here,” and like the caring soul he is, he naively offers, “and you still can.”
The Lady maintains her condescending grin, and challenges him again. “If you believe that you can simply crush me, then please, show me.” The challenge has been made, and my son believes that seeing a giant loom over the Lady will intimidate her into surrendering. So he does so, or at least he tries.
He tries with the little brainpower such a transformation should necessitate, and then he focuses rather hard, and then with all of his willpower. The Lady patiently waits for him to finish.
He opens his eyes in shock and demands to know, “What have you done to me?”
The Lady informs him that, “I did more than burn you in oil. I used flammable concoctions developed by Sir Peace to deal with shifting abilities. Haven’t you realized yet? I have been, and always will be several steps ahead of you.”
His Majesty grinds his teeth in anger as he realizes he’s been duped not once, nor twice, but three times in a matter of minutes by this damned Lady. “It seems like all of you and your comrades will never seem to realize, you’re all just muscle. Life may have power, but you are all fighting against a triumvirate of geniuses. The saying of brain over brawn exists for a reason.”
King Good attempts to calm himself by ceasing the baring of his teeth, and glares at Lady Justice.
Then Gerechtigheid jumps to pounce on his Majesty. As my son dashes towards the Lady at blinding speed, he slaps the direwolf away with his left wing. She dashes backwards to maintain her distance away from my son. Both Incarnations move in the same direction at speeds too fast for any mortal eye, but I can easily see how his Majesty is faster.
She lets loose an arrow upon him only for her eyes to grow wide as he lifts his wings and moves to the left to dodge. She underestimated his response time, estimating him to have the same speed of response as Lord Dread, which was a dire mistake.
His Majesty raises both swords and brings them down upon her as the Lady holds her bow to defend herself. The swords make a screeching sound as they make contact with the Lawbringer. She holds her weapon against the swords with all of her strength, but she finds herself predictably and wholly unable to match against his intensity.
His speed forces her to fly back into a tree at their high speed. The tree shatters and the Lady falls to the ground.
Being that his Majesty was moving so fast, he flies over her and has to flip and twirl in the air to land on the side of the next tree.
The Lady quickly flips over and fires off an arrow after him. He flies up above to dodge the arrow that eviscerates the plant he stood on.
As he flies above her, she fires off several arrows, one after the other, trying to blow him out of the sky. He skillfully deflects and dodges the arrows, maintaining not only his vastly superior moving speed, but also his ability to outthink her ability to aim.
Then the Lady makes a point to remind him which of them is the strategist. She effortlessly fires one arrow towards his right wing, an arrow that he pays more attention to, which drives him to dash to his left in the way of the second arrow she fired which he only now sees.
He crosses his arms in front of him to block as it stabs into his forearm and explodes. The force causes him to fly backwards, but that allows smoke to block his vision.
The Lady’s servant, Gerechtigheid, gallops to her side, and offers to carry her weight. “Climb on my Lady, *ack* and I’ll focus on evasion.”
She climbs upon her mount, and with their power insync, the direwolf moves faster than both the Lady and servant could separately. King Good then flaps his wings to create one gust and disperses the smoke in front of him. He sees his opponents come together and seek to evade him, so he wastes no time chasing after them from above.
As soon as his Majesty gains ground, the Lady begins to open fire upon him as her mount expertly moves across the land, running and jumping from vine to vine with a balance and weightlessness of a flying Incarnation. Gerechtigheid uses trees perpendicular to the ground as props to jump and evade the sight of their enemy.
His Majesty begins to use his sword as an overly large throwing knife, summoning forth another to replace each one he throws, but the direwolf assures that the swords never come close to striking him or his Lady.
His Majesty eventually finds himself receiving too many arrows, and never being able to reciprocate from above, so he thinks to remedy that. He summons his power similarly to how he did against the Duchess of Despair, and pools the energy under the feathers of his wings. Under each feather shines a bright light. The Lady, after witnessing several arrows explode against an invisible barrier, realizes that her enemy is restraining himself a little less.
Then she is caught off guard when the barrier becomes visible, shining brighter and brighter by the second. Before she can even move her hands to cover her eyes, she is blinded.
Gerechtigheid is blinded too, but he swears to his Lady, “Simply hold on. *ack* I do not need my eyes as you do.” Lady Justice then lays prone atop of her mount, and buries her face in his fur as her eyes heal from the bright onslaught.
Now in a more deadly attempt, my son summons two swords into his hands to throw, but summons dozens, no hundreds more behind him, and casts them down upon the Lady.
The direwolf’s sense of smell and hearing seems to be greater than any servant’s I’ve encountered before. He uses them to avoid the blades, dodging, running and evading, going under vines and along trees to use a decoys for the swords that follow him. As impressive as he is…
He cannot outrun them all, and when three swords come too close, he finds that he simply can’t dodge them.
Instead, he opts to jump and maneuver his body to shield his Lady from the swords. They instead sink into his leg and stomach, disabling him from landing on his feet.
The Lady is thrown from her mount’s back, and tumbles head over heels across the ground for a few miles, breaking apart the ground until she slams into a tree. As she struggles to sit up, her eyesight returns to her.
King Good takes the chance to fly straight down, and then straight for her.
She sees him clearly as he shatters the lightspeed barrier. She makes out his call of fury as his fist comes up and smashes against her face.
She flies faster than the sonic boom can form, sending her through the tree she sat against with a deafening silence around her ears.
The Lady flails up above the forest in an upward arch. She spins frantically and uncontrollable as she soars across the sky. Before she can even begin her downward descent, my son flies with even greater speed above her, and slams his fists together down on her chest.
Again, the sound of the boom illudes her.
She is sent straight to the ground in less than a nanosecond, creating a crater and shoving away a portion of the forest around her limp body.
Lady Justice finds herself in a terrible place to be as she claws her way out of the ground. Once she finally claws her way out, and is able to look up at the sky, the severe pain coursing through her body becomes a non-issue compared to the sight before her.
King Good has summoned thousands of swords to stand behind him, ready to come down once he throws his hand. He offers to the Lady one last time, “Surrender, and you will live. I promise.”
In response, the Lady holds out her hand, and summons the Lawbringer. She aims it at him, a look of defiance still looming in her eyes.
“So be it,” he says with finality. Then he throws down his arms, thus throwing down all of his swords.
She waits patiently for them to come, and knows that there is no escape as they fall around her to keep her from running. Those coming towards her seem to home in on her.
Her starts to process information and the world so quickly that the swords appear to fall in slow motion, letting view the world in attoseconds, eternities in a second.
While she is too injured to move, her mind contains no such restrictions.
She notices something key, that the swords heading towards her fall at an angle that brings them closer together. As they fall closer to together, she pools the still vast amount of energy she has left into the tip of her arrow, and waits for the right moment.
The Lady waits for the swords to move so close that she can deflect them all with one well-placed arrow. For her the wait is anxiety inducing, frustratingly and impossibly long. I watch at the same speed she waits, and as it seems to me that when the swords are mere feet from cutting her to ribbons, she lets go of the arrow and its point clashes with the lead sword.
In a stroke of genius and patience, the Lady’s explosion throws off the swords to sink to the ground away from her, in sporadic directions. As punishment for this calculated risk however, the explosion happens so close that it consumes her, clobbers her back into the dirt, and causes another smaller crater.
The dust cloud is of a decent size, and my son quickly pushes it all away with several powerful flaps of his wings. From his position high above the land, his wings block out the light of the proverbial sun.
He sees the Lady’s imprint in the ground, surprised and somewhat angered to see her still alive, though he knows she is near her wit’s end. Her whole torso is burned black, even some of her ribs are visible. Her face displays a similar amount of damage as everything but her left eye is covered in black soot and marred flesh. She has survived, but at great cost. She will heal, but she surely has no strength left to fight this war.
Then miraculously, she looks to her left and sees her bow, the Lawbringer. Her left arm is already outstretched as much of her skin was burned off to display her muscles and bones. She reaches only to experience massive amounts of pain, and to futilely hold her bow. She tries to summon it to her, but the pain overcomes her will and her power, it barely moves inches towards her.
King Good sees this and is astounded by her defiance, her desire to continue fighting and struggling with no chance.
He flies down to her and when he lands besides her, he looks down upon her with pity… while she reaches for her bow.
She doesn’t look up at him. To regain her attention, he lifts his right foot and brings it down upon her hand. She hisses in pain.
“Enough,” his Majesty commands. “It is over and you have lost.” Still the Lady’s arm squirms, but he digs his heel in and she grinds her teeth in pain. Finally, she looks up at him, and tries to speak.
Lady Justice barely utters the words, “I…. can’t…”
His Majesty shakes his head, kneels down to speak to her. He tells her, “It’s over, you can fight no more, you can harm me no more. Now you only seek your death, so surrender your will. You body already has surrendered, and there is nothing you can do to change that.”
The Lady ponders this statement and its merit with intensity, she stares at the Lawbringer, and wonders, should she dance with Death once more? Is such defiance towards his Majesty worth it?
Thinking of these questions allows her to stop reaching for her bow, and to attempt to lift her hand to her chest. Her arm falls to the ground after an attempt to reach inward.
My son carefully takes her arm, and drapes it over her chest as she wanted. The Lady does not thank him though. Instead, she announces, “I guess… I guess I’ve… bought enough time.” With that sentence she attempts to smile.
“What?” King Good practically growls. “Who did you buy time for?”
The Lady attempts a smile, but the muscles in her face either burn or don’t exist for the moment. She insults his Majesty, “Fool… you don’t… listen…”
His Majesty finds himself losing his temper, and grabs her arm to squeeze it in his hand. She squeaks in pain as he demands to know, “Who are you talking about? Sir Peace is captured, and you are defeated. Who else could you be buying time for?”
“I said… a triumvirate… of three geniuses,” the Lady reminds him.
It takes a moment for him to realize, the same moment it takes me to realize. When he mutters the name, “Guilt,” I realize our mistake. With a face of self disgust, he asks the Lady, “This was all a distraction, wasn’t it?”
“Yes,” she answers.
Lord Guilt is the one really heading towards King Evil, and he is much more capable of bringing my lesser son into the fold. We let Sir Peace and Lady Justice manipulate us, and allow for an actual threat to rise. I must call upon Lord Dread to move as fast as he can, but I fear that will be much too late.
King Good shakes his head and looks around for something, for some reason for why everything is happening, but he cannot find one, and he is lost. He ask the Lady, “Why? Why do this? What about your cause justifies this trickery and manipulation? This sacrifice?”
“You don’t get it… Life, he, he… must be stopped. You don’t understand… what it’s like…,” the Lady’s inability to speak prompts my son to heal her face by placing his hand on her cheek, and giving her some of his power.
“You don’t know the impossible task, of enforcing justice upon the wretched when I know that they were doomed from the start. Doomed because a higher power wishes to play God for his own entertainment. To manipulate them on a whim, and then abandons them to themselves when they don’t meet his fancy. I cannot punish them anymore. I can’t bear to lay justice upon them knowing someone else put their society on the path to ruin.”
She speaks directly to me, “Do you hear me, Life? Even now, this is your fault. You stand by and watch us all fight, and you have never done anything to help, to save anyone. You create and create, but never truly design. The species you left to their own devices are more successful than your pet projects have ever been, and I am forced to degrade my own conscience because of you, as have others for you.”
Then she turns back to my son. “You ask why I am willing to sacrifice myself, your Majesty? Because through my eyes, I see an immature child on an so important throne. A child so full of himself and his own perfection that he degrades his love by spouting out mistruths. Death does not war over an insult, she started this war because she knows as I do, that she can lead better. One does not need omniscience for that.”
I must send the Lord Dread.