B t V S / A t S
A H O L L O W T H R O N E
Blood soaks a hollow throne, drips from fingers still wet.
“I knew you would win,” says the last of his race, her one remaining acolyte. Her final lover. Her last and only chance.
“So did I,” Illyria agrees without pleasure or emotion. “Now it is done.”
Without a thought, she steals his heart and her hand takes its final beat for her own. His body, loose and lifeless, dies and falls to join the others; his blood to stain the stones beneath the pile with a dark pool of scarlet secrets, as insignificant to her as the organ tumbling forgotten from her red stained palm. Just like it would have in the old days when the demons warred, before the world changed and ages passed and she slept on.
She pretends this is what she wanted; pretends that she’s satisfied at last. Pretends that all of this could mean something to her now. Fools herself that she has all that she wants.
She is victory.
She is the conqueror of a race that fought back too late and ultimately failed, unable to save themselves from the destruction she brought them. A race now dead at her feet.
She is the last one standing.
She was Illyria, demon king. Betrayer and slaughterer and dictator.
The mightiest of the mighty.
Ruler of the world.
Yet all alone.
For all her power, there is no one remaining to serve her, to know that she is the winner. No one is left to care whether she triumphed or fell. Not even herself.
The only one that might have mattered is a cold corpse in a grave almost forgotten.
It doesn’t hurt me anymore, my Wesley, she whispers to the cold night – a shout in the swallowing silence, and her penultimate lie. I have won.
She knows the truth of it now: she is the one who has lost.
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