The Banished scowled as Nyx Dawn reported that Octaboona and Pyro Dawn were still alive. “You have failed us.”
“No wait... I have good news” Nyx stammered, “Skyril Oblivion is dead.”
“It is irrelevant. She matters not. Only the two Great Immortals are of any consequence.” Nyx avoided looking at Her eyes, only madness and rage could be seen in those ghastly orbs.
“This is your final chance. Unless you kill them then you are no longer... necessary.” She smirked.
Israel Elysium was shocked. “Skyril... dead?” he whispered. His voice was horse and gaunt. Tears formed in the corners of his eyes but he angrily brushed them away as he turned towards Octaboona. “This is all your fault!” he screamed. “If it wasn’t for you and your meddling none of this would have happened.” He stood up straight, brown leather jacket gleaming in the light of the setting sun, casting his grief stricken face into shadows. “Leave this place Ambrosius. Take the boy with you and never return to my home. I’ll have nothing to do with you, Great Immortal. I’ve done my research. I know what you are now. I’ll not let this evilness besmirch Elysium Asylum any longer!” Israel reached for his shotgun and aimed it at Octaboona. “NOW GET OUT!”
Kallista approached Israel carefully. “Why did you send Octa and Pyro away? It’s not their fault that Skyril died. It was Nyx.” Israel snorted. “That’s what he wants you to believe. But he’s in league with her, and with the Banished. He’s just the same as they are.” Tears rolled down Kallista’s face. “Don’t say that. It’s not true. The Banished are evil, Octa is not. He’s my friend! I know he’s good.”
“Do you know what the Banished used to be called before they took on that persona? I found it out. They were known as The Eight Great Immortals. Octaboona was one of them. I know he was. The last time we met he told me he was the last. Well now I know what he’s the last of. Or pretends to be the last of. He’s an Immortal. He’s on the same side as The Banished. He’s just as evil as they are. Worse even. He destroyed the town of Baia... there are stories of him fleeing from the scene for no apparent reason. He tricks people into liking him and then he betrays them. Just like he betrayed Skyril. Just like he will betray you.”
Kallista’s face was full of confusion and doubt. “But I know him. He’d never side with them. You’re lying to me! It can’t be true!”
But the seeds of doubt had been planted as Kallista ran sobbing from the room.
March yawned. When was Octaboona going to get home? She’d been sitting by the door for ages but there was no sign of him. Necros had appeared a short while ago, and he seemed glad that she appeared to be staying in one place for once. To pass the time she told herself The Tale of the Eight Great Immortals again.
“Once upon a time” she murmured sleepily “the world was dark and barren. Ruled over by sadistic terrible gods, the Faceless Ones, humanity was tortured and enslaved for their amusements. Yet the Ancients banished them to another universe and eventually wiped themselves out.” Or so most of the world believed. Yet March’s family knew more. The Ancients had set up a group of guardians to protect the world from further harm. The Eight Great Immortals as they were known. For many centuries, this group was a shining beacon, defending humanity from various threats and monstrous beings. Yet for some reason The Eight Great Immortals suddenly vanished and were gradually forgotten about. Soon after their disappearance, the world was plagued by the first of a new threat, the Remnants. Gradually other races grew strong again, such as the vampires. Entire towns mysteriously vanished, the most famous of which was the destruction of Baia. And for the last hundred years there had been rumours of a new evil, the Banished. This tale had been passed down March’s family for generations, the only ones still to remember The Eight Great Immortals. March had always wondered why they had disappeared, what had happened to the wonderful guardians of humanity and now here she was, sitting outside the home of the very last one.
March transformed into a sleek silver cat and curled up on the doorstep. “I hope he gets home soon” she thought before falling asleep.
Pyro Dawn frowned. Octaboona seemed to be rather more menacing than usual. Or was that just due to Israel throwing them out of the Asylum? Not that they visited it much anymore, Israel had always been wary about Octaboona staying there. Pyro stared into Octaboona’s eyes. Was that a flicker of rage in them or was it just a reflection of the sunset? Pyro suddenly felt worried for the first time in Octaboona’s presence. Why had Octaboona taken him in? Why was he training him in magic? Did he have a dark ulterior motive? Who exactly was Octaboona anyway? More to the point, what was he? Yet no answers came to mind, and Pyro realised that he knew barely more about his mentor than he had since the day they met.
Octaboona looked around to see a small silver cat asleep on his doorstep and a tall handsome man with weary eyes standing next to her. “Necros, March, greetings. And to what do I owe this unexpected arrival?” The cat blinked and transformed back into a young girl. “You know who we are?”
“Why of course. It was I who asked Necros to guard you in the first place.” Necros muttered. “You owe me Octaboona. It’s been a nightmare trying to keep up with her.”
“I did mention it at the time. I wouldn’t expect it to be otherwise. Not when you consider who she’s descended from.”
March blinked. “Wait a minute. Who am I descended from? Why did you ask Necros to guard me? Why does it matter to you? And why have you been missing so long? What happened to the Eight Great Immortals?”
Octaboona raised his hand and March fell quiet. “Come inside and I’ll answer your questions. You too Pyro. I suppose it’s time you found out who I am, who you will be. It’s time for me to tell you everything”
Meanwhile, in the Pit of Broken Souls, there was the sound of metal clashing against rock, a high pitched scream and then silence.