By Romeu Martins
Translated by Ludimila Hashimoto
“Never more a eunuch of the Lord!”
That was said with such resolution, still inside the royal palace, it left no doubt as to the gravity of the moment. The warrior turned his back on his former commander, then ahead, next to the exit from the oppressive environment, turned and yelled again, now beating his broad chest with his right fist.
“From this day on I use power in my own name, do you hear me? In my name only.”
Back in the streets, there was no need for energetic demonstrations. For the discontent mob that awaited him, just a nod was enough. So it was done. From the hands of a servant who waited obsequiously the warrior took the ostentatious sword - the origin of so much disgrace and destruction evoked by the master he had just forsaken.
Armed again, he strode towards the stables of the kingdom. The group of followers limited themselves to watching him from afar. The rebellious soldier chose from among the stallions the one that was red in color, the most vigorous and unruly of all. When the horseman, owner of the animal, went over and tried to understand the situation, he heard the voice that cannot be disobeyed.
“I am taking thy horse as a symbol of my intents. But thou and thy brothers shall wait, for I am returning soon to put an end to the idleness that afflicts those who cannot stand the impositions of that despot. That will be the day when the war will satisfy the hunger and thirst with long overdue rewards postponed in the name of cowardice.”
The horseman showed no objection, on the contrary; he gave way to the rebel with a smile on his face, concealed only by his bushy beard. Then he headed home to give his three twins the news: the days of glory, so long announced, were coming without further delay.
Sword on his back, ride between his legs, the soldier left the reign followed by a legion of faithful warriors. Many others would have followed him, but the fear of offending and stirring up the wrath of the ruler of those domains did not allow such boldness. However, even the most innocent of the cherubs knew that the days would never be the same again. The seeds of uncertainty then sowed were soon to show its blossoms. The nights of the Great Bonfires would soon resume to producing many other victims.
The journey of the revolutionary who renounced the High Lands would be neither quick nor easy. Before achieving their goal they went past intervenient cities, located in the perpetually litigious nation, and between the two major powers at the time. Even though he was aware of the importance of discipline among the troops, the general of the rebellious force allowed his men to plunder the villages on their long passage. Pillage, drinking and women would improve the army’s vitality after long days under the rules that annoyed everyone. Rules which, in the end, were the main reason why they had decided to follow a new leader.
The temporary rest would be used by the warrior to send emissaries ahead to the final destination of the march, in order to advance the plans he had in mind and which had been shared with very few members of his infantry. He would also use the time to write and reread letters that spoke of promises of love tender as flower pouring honey, dark grapes, flowers and dance, bodies and pain, incense and scent.
In times like this, the veteran of so many bloody battles caught himself sighing like a mere poet in love.
As they finally arrived at the doorway of the Lower Reign an army had already been lined up there to surprise most of the legionaries. The local force exceeded by far the visiting contingent both in number and in power of weapons. A blow of only one of their archers would be enough to kill a thousand birds in midair. Besides, the defensive troops were way better positioned, at a high place of an inexpugnable cliff.
Having achieved such an edge on his opponents gave the sovereign courage to go on the campaign in person. Apparently predictable, though not at all expected. Not from a creature known for always operating behind the scenes and for avoiding, whenever possible, physical encounters. There he was ahead of his many generals, looking down on the newly comers. No doubt he would demand that they drop their weapons and take an oath of loyalty to him. They would certainly be ordered to pay him honors in order to be admitted into his realms.
However, before either of the commanders of the opposing forces uttered any words, a voice was heard coming from the fragile looking litter that had followed the defense troops of the Lower Reign. The voice belonged to the woman who had been the queen even before the present ruler arrived for he was the usurper who had killed her first husband, taken the bloody crown and herself as part of the booty.
“Bring Lucifer on a tray for me.”
Having gotten used to betraying, the Prince of Lies had not expected the blow. He did not even have time to attempt a reaction when the hands of those who – he believed – were his most faithful servants grabbed him and dragged him for cruelty and torture. Gripes tore the flesh which is not flesh and shed blood which is not blood. Countless vengeances eagerly desired were satisfied in those moments of rage.
It was Beelzebub the demon in charge of performing the details of the order pronounced from the litter. But the woman no longer sat in the luxuriously decorated object. Now that they did not have to worry about being seen together, the queen was next to her lover, mounted with him on the flesh-colored horse excited with the smell of blood coming from the severed head with wide open eyes and half-open mouth lying by its hooves. It is not known for certain who started the chant, but it was soon followed by thousands of voices of the angels and demons congregated there, so intensely that the claim was clearly heard by the inhabitants of the three reigns.
“Hail Gabriel, hail Persephone, the new Emperors of Hell! Guide us towards the final victory over God and Humanity!”