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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3. Chapter 3

There was something drastically wrong when the world’s most renowned hero was about to be crowned the overlord of evil.

Kaizo followed Felica and a still flushed Aynos through the corridors of the Castle of the Moon, mikros gathering around him, their claws clicking against the obsidian tiles. Symbols in an ancient language dressed the walls, written in a glowing white ink, reciting forgotten prophecies and other words of wisdom. Flaming torches lit the halls, sending the scent of smoke throughout.

He swallowed the lump in his throat. Renovations happened, sure, but he remembered too much. All the pain this place caused for him…

“Hey,” Felica called from up ahead, “we’re here.”

She pushed open a door and strode inside.

Kaizo headed after her.

He stopped, whiteness creeping up his face.

The throne room of the castle remained a majestic piece of art, despite the time gone by. Light streamed from the firelit chandelier above, casting the chamber in a reddish glow. Two pillars of marble stretched out on either side, and the obsidian tiles glimmered with polish. Wings crested the raven black throne, feather details carved by a delicate hand.

But all he could see was her body and her scarlet blood, his nemesis’s laughs of victory ringing in his ears.

He closed his eyes, trying to banish the memory.

“…Okay?”

Kaizo blinked and glanced toward Aynos, the speaker. “…Yeah. I’m… fine.”

Aynos frowned, watching him. It was then he noticed Aynos’s eyes – one a sapphire blue, the other an emerald green.

A mikro pawed his leg. “Overlord,” it hissed, “the ceremony must begin soon.”

Kaizo sighed.

No. He needed to focus. Play along with their assumptions, find his nemesis, before everything became too problematic…

The mikro dropped back to its feet, leaving thin scratches along Kaizo’s skin, and scuttled over to the throne. “Sit.”

Aynos gave him a silent nod.

“Nemesis is gonna hate me for this,” Kaizo muttered, striding over towards the mikro. It felt almost like theft, taking his rival’s throne… but he didn’t have a choice.

He perched on the cold, smooth concrete surface, lacing his hands together in his lap.

“Er… how does this work?” He glanced towards Felica.

Felica shrugged. “Dunno. Haven’t seen a crowning before. Mikros take care of the ceremony.”

Kaizo frowned. “So, I’m going into this with no idea what I’m doing?”

“Yep.”

Kaizo rolled his eyes.

“…You do not remember this, Overlord?”

With a gasp, he whipped around from Felica to glimpse the newcomer.

A gold-furred mikros pattered in, muscles in its body taut and moving like a dancer, poised for every move. “You always remember,” it said, voice cracked.

It pushed itself on its hind claws.

Kaizo reeled.

The human-sized mikros towered over him as it strode closer, hands folded behind its back. “It is unusual, Overlord, to find you without your memory.”

Kaizo bit his lip.

The mikro paused. “Do you not remember me? But since the crowning must proceed, you may call me Leader.”

“I-I’m not supposed to be here.”

Felica rolled her eyes. Aynos slammed his head against the wall, but staggered back with a slight yelp.

A dark-eyed stare met his gaze. “…Pardon?”

“Look, I’m the hero. That’s what I remember, at least.”

Silence.

Leader glanced between Felica and Aynos. “…Is this true, what he says?”

Felica pointed at Aynos, while Aynos pointed at her.

Leader sighed. “One of you, answer.”

“Aynos, you’re doing it.”

Aynos folded his arms and snorted at Felica’s comment as he leaned against the wall. “Fine. Sir Leader, we found Kaizo in the Dark Shrine, as usual. However, he lacks memories of last cycle, and he claims to be the hero. Nothing supports this statement.”

Leader raised a bushy red eyebrow. “Anything else?”

“No.”

Leader stared at Kaizo for a moment, expression unreadable. “…Hmm. This is… an interesting circumstance.”

“We can’t just crown a heroic buffoon as the Overlord of Evil,” Felica said, gesturing nonsense with her hand as she spoke. “He is, by nature, our enemy.”

“But it is a sacred duty to crown the risen villain soon after the awakening. We cannot leave the position hanging – and no, Felica, it is specific to one of Goddess Nirvana’s reincarnation cycle. If our true Overlord remains absent, we must install this… hero in their place.”

“‘Their’?”

Leader turned to Aynos. “Yes. Reincarnation ignores gender barriers, so our Overlord has been a lady on multiple occasions.”

“But Leader,” Felica said, voice choked, “a hero as our Overlord makes no sense. It’s asking for trouble!”

“There is no choice in the matter.”

“But –”

“Fate ordained these events.” Leader glared at Felica, scowling. “Unless the true Overlord shows up within the next five seconds, we need a temporary one.”

Felica didn’t respond, and Leader turned back to Kaizo. “I understand your position here, hero, but if Goddess Nirvana placed you in the Dark Shrine, there is a reason for your presence.”

Goddess Nirvana – the one in charge of their reincarnation. The one who knew the answers.

Forehead creasing, Kaizo nodded. “I… understand.”

“Then we shall proceed.”

Two mikros scuttled in, carrying something in their front paws, which they passed to Leader.

A twisted black circlet-like crown, the ornamental amethyst at the front trimmed with silver.

The same crown he saw his nemesis wear many times.

“We shall not make this an official ceremony since you are hero, and I doubt you can answer the vows without going against your soul. Bow your head.”

Kaizo obeyed.

Leader placed the circlet among his tousled silver hair. “By the power of the gods, I crown you as our temporary Overlord.”

Claps sounded from the mikros, and Leaders stepped back. “I shall depart. And please, despite your crown being evil’s, do not destroy it. I can’t pay for a new one.”

He dropped to four paws and strolled out through the main entrance, leaving the room in silence.

“…So, what now?” Felica asked. “A hero as our Overlord of Evil, and…”

“We need to find my rival.”

Felica blinked. “Pardon?”

Kaizo stood, and sat back down in front of the throne. “You mentioned we were reborn around the time, right? If I’m awake, he is.”

“Question,” Aynos said. “Why ‘he’, when gender is non-existent? And why sit on the floor in front of a throne?”

“Convenience,” Kaizo replied. “Our original incarnations were male, so yeah. As for the second part… it feels like treading on his toes when I’m sitting on his throne. You know?”

Aynos frowned. “No.”

“But I’m sure he wants his throne back.” Kaizo pulled his knees to his chest. “He might know what happened last cycle, too.”

He paused. “Send out a group of mikro. Give one of them a book on spells.”

Felica raised an eyebrow. “A what?”

“My rival’s a mage,” Kaizo explained. “Considering his likely circumstances, he would want to get here as much I want him to. He might teleport himself if ‘captured’, and anyone with him would pin it on the mikro with the tome.”

“…Clever,” Aynos said.

Felica ran her fingers through her hair, head tilting. “Don’t the weapons change?”

Kaizo shook his head, sliding out a dagger from his pocket and tossing the blade into the air. “Nup. Still use a dagger after centuries of reincarnation.”

“Where did you even get the freaking dagger?”

Kaizo shrugged. “Lady Goddess, I suppose.”

Felica rolled her eyes, but turned to the mikro and relayed the orders.

A victory cry arose as they scuttled off, one of them fishing a book off the shelf before it followed its allies.

But Kaizo couldn’t celebrate

All he could do was stare at the floors ahead, remembering how his lover died in his arms mere metres away.

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