Broken Eternity

For centuries, Kaizo and Griffin have fought in a constant cycle of reincarnation with no end in sight. Kaizo as a hero and Griffin as a villain - figures of legend.

However, one cycle, they wake to find themselves in the wrong roles, unknowing of how they ended up in their positions and lacking memories of their former cycle. Now, they need to find out the truth and the reason behind their sudden swap.

But do they even want to know the truth? And can they ever return to their eternity fighting as hero and villain, or to the normal life they once knew?


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7. Chapter 7

To his surprise, Griffin made an effective landing mat from the sudden drop the spell left them in.

“Will you get off?” Griffin demanded from underneath Kaizo, face planted in the ground. “I’m not your pillow.”

Kaizo scrambled away and stood. “What happened?”

Griffin breathed out and got to his feet, brushing dirt from his clothes. “Hira snatched my spell book… and I warned her before back in the Nightlands not to cast spells when untrained… ugh!”

Kaizo glanced around, frowning. Trees surrounded them on all – perhaps still in the forest from before, but not their original location. Birds chirped and whistled, while rustles came from the shrubbery.

“…Where are we?”

Silence remained as Griffin gazed over the area. “I don’t know.”

He whipped around back to face Kaizo. “Why were you in the forest so close to us?!”

“Looking for the Time Shrine – I’m guessing the same reason applies to you? None of us realised you were there.”

Griffin hesitated. “And the attack…?”

Kaizo sighed. “Your archer friend shot Aynos’s backpack. Felica took it as a threat.”

The mage groaned. “Sonnet thought the scientist was a bird.”

Kaizo stared, and burst into laughter. “A bird?!”

“Tell him the cut his hair. Hides the coat too much.”

Kaizo stopped. “…Wait, where are the others?”

Neither of them spoke.

“…All I’m saying is I’m glad we’re together.” Griffin folded his arms. “Find the shrine on our own and solve this situation. Rid ourselves of reckless allies.”

He headed off northward.

“…Wait, Griffi.”

Griffin turned and glared. “Don’t call me that!”

“Isn’t this why Hira disobeyed you?”

A pause.

“She called you callous. And you’re being callous now. Can we abandon them?”

“Felica called you an incompetent buffoon. Aren’t we both struggling with leadership?”

Quietness descended.

“You can’t control them because you’re a fool,” Griffin continued, voice soft. “They don’t respect your authority at all, because they don’t recognise you as the Overlord of Evil due to being too heroic – and failing on the heroism count, too, because of ineptitude.”

“And you can’t because your nature drives them away from true loyalty,” Kaizo said. “Mikros fear you – though I never knew what you called them, I’ve met them before. Hira’s right. The downfalls of your empires came due to idiocy, disobedience and betrayal. The third comes from your callousness.”

Another silence came over them.

“…After years of reincarnation, I thought we got this perfect. But no. We can still learn.”

Kaizo smiled. “Because we’re actually terrible at this.”

Both chuckled.

“Maybe that’s why we reincarnated wrong.” Griffin placed a finger on his chin, his gaze dropping. “Someone thought we needed to, as a lesson of sorts.”

“Um, if everything went wrong for a lesson, wouldn’t we have swapped back by now?”

Griffin sighed. “We could be stuck for an entire cycle.”

Kaizo gulped. “Please, no. I’m sick of being a villain.”

“If you’re tired of being the Overlord, give me my crown back.”

Kaizo laughed. “No.”

Griffin crossed his arms. “Worth a try.”

The two stopped.

Indistinct voices echoed in the distance.

“Well, we don’t have to go far,” Griffin said. “Come on. Let’s go find them.”

He headed off towards the source of the noises, and Kaizo hurried to his side.

Trees loomed above them like towers, and sticks cracked underneath their feet. Scents of lavender and lilac hovered in the air.

The two emerged from the woods into a miniature clearing rimmed with flowers.

“Sonnet!”

“Aynos!”

The archer and the scientist whipped around at Kaizo and Griffin’s calls.

“Well,” Sonnet said, “no need to look.”

“Were we going to?” Aynos asked. “Insult match, no productivity.”

Sonnet glared. “You started it!”

Aynos cleared his throat. “Correction. You called me insane – what reaction do you expect?”

“The rumours are perfectly true!”

“In no way at all!”

“Both of you, please!” Kaizo stepped between them, spreading out his arms to prevent either of them charging. “We can’t argue like this!”

Both Aynos and Sonnet shot him death stares.

Kaizo sighed. “Stop, you two!”

A lightning bolt slammed into the ground between the two. Aynos jumped back, eyes snapping wide, while Sonnet shied away.

“Now.” Griffin’s eyes narrowed. “There’s no time for arguments. Explain your sides, one at time. Boy, you can go first.”

Aynos blinked, but nodded. “She calls me mad. I’m not mad. I’m sane. Just because I work for the villain’s side doesn’t mean I’m crazy… just aligned on another side.”

“And he’s denying the truth,” Sonnet snapped. “Peace can come. Peace is possible. He says it’s not.”

“…So, this an argument with two completely different sides?”

The two glanced at each other at Griffin’s words.

“…Foolish people,” Griffin muttered.

“What happened to trying to be nice?” Kaizo asked.

“I can’t diffuse arguments. You do it.”

Kaizo groaned. “Shoving the work on me, huh?”

His gaze drifted between the two. “Sonnet, I can vouch that Aynos is sane. Odd, yes, but sane. But Aynos, we can’t have full-blown arguments every time someone uses the ‘mad scientist’ insult.”

“They’re rumours back in the Daylands,” Sonnet murmured.

Aynos flushed red. “S-Sorry…”

“About the peace matter… ‘eternal peace’ isn’t possible in this world. There are always people who don’t care.”

Sonnet’s stare dropped to the ground, and she scuffed her boot into the dirt.

“But I would say you can do your part for peace,” he finished. “We can’t make this place perfect, but we can improve.”

Sonnet bit her lip. “…Yes. Yes, of course…”

“So, argument over?”

Aynos folded his arms. “Not sure about ‘peace’, but fine.”

“…I guess so,” Sonnet said.

Kaizo grinned. “There we go.”

He turned to Griffin. “Argument diffused. Where to now?”

“Wherever Hira is,” Sonnet said from behind him.

“…You’re good with that.” Griffin frowned. “Peacemaker, are we?”

Kaizo scoffed.

“That was a compliment.”

“Didn’t you hear what I said?”

Griffin shrugged, and Kaizo rolled his eyes.

“But we need to find Hira and Felica,” Griffin said. “Goodness knows if they’re together and arguing about something pointless.”

He flipped his spell book shut. “Let us go. We have work to do.”

 

***

 

As Griffin had semi-predicted, they found Hira and Felica together, but not arguing – rather, they rested on opposite ends of a clearing in the forest, though they glanced up at the sound of the group’s footsteps.

“Hira!” Sonnet called, hurrying over to the princess.

Felica strode over to them, scowling. “About time you showed up.”

“Arguments to diffuse,” Kaizo said.

“Sure.” Felica pointed to the two other females. “Hey, mage boy. Your princess friend has been grilling herself over the spell for ages. You gonna help?”

Griffin frowned, but headed off, muttering about both the usage of ‘mage boy’ and how Hira wasn’t his ‘friend’.

“…Look, Felica, I wanted to apologise.”

Felica raised an eyebrow, glancing back towards Kaizo. “What for?”

“…You’re jealous of me, aren’t you?”

Felica flinched. “What?! What makes you think that?!”

“Because I’m the hero,” Kaizo explained. “A hero on evil’s throne. You seemed… upset when Leader crowned me, despite not being the villain. And you did disobey me back at the clearing…”

Felica watched him for a moment. “…I blame the stupid cycle.”

Kaizo blinked.

“Dad raised me to be ‘second-in-command’ my entire life.” Felica paced in front of him, avoiding his gaze. “Overshadowed by a villain without a crown. But, when you showed up, an incompetent heroic fool…”

“…You know, you’re helpful too,” Kaizo said. “I’m no villain. So, you’re… an inspiration, of sorts.”

Felica paused. “…Perhaps. Interesting thought.”

“He’s right,” Aynos added from behind Kaizo. “Helpful. You lead in Overlord’s absence. Many other things. You do well.”

Felica smiled. “Hmm. You can go ahead and bow down to my glory, then.”

“No.”

Felica sighed.

“But first plan’s still active.” Kaizo glanced towards Griffin and his allies. “We’re teaming up and going to the Time Shrine.”

His eyes narrowed. “I need to know the truth.”

 

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