An Interacial Threeway Alliance
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
His senses were overloaded with various shades of red.
Vermillion flames roared as they ate through the forest and town alike.
Scarlet blades were littered all over, with many running straight through the hearts of his people, their crimson blood staining the streets and bits of infrastructure that remained.
Unable to bear the sight, he fell to his knees.
He was too late.
There was nothing he could do but stare.
The flames danced closer, roasting his skin and boiling his blood as the cinders repeatedly battered against his body. Though he was marred in burns, he felt nothing, his mind unable to process his disbelief.
And for a while, that was how he remained. Stuck in a loop of horror and despair as the world around him continued to crumble.
He didn’t understand.
He didn’t understand why his once beautiful hometown had been reduced to cinders. He didn’t understand why the body in his arms, once his loving wife, had been reduced to a heartless corpse.
“Shaimaa…” He finally began regaining his senses as he muttered her name.
A deep sorrow, powerful enough to rend his very soul, burned through him, followed by a rage so intense that his blood vessels nearly burst from the resulting pressure.
And then, he recalled. He recalled and finally came to truly understand the meaning of a concept he’d been taught in his childhood.
Only the fittest survived. All the rest were prey.
The weak were prey for the strong. And the strong prey for the stronger. Only those at the top of the food chain could avoid being consumed.
Because the world he lived in was irrational. Nothing but irrational, absurd, and unfair.
As curses directed against life itself bubbled up from within, and defiance circled through his mind, the warrior made a resolution.
To bring peace.
Much blood would be shed, and many lives would be lost for his declaration. He knew that he would cause others to experience the suffering that he had felt.
But he decided to go through with it regardless.
As the sole survivor, it was his duty to the fallen, his people, his brethren, and his wife. So upon his life, he swore it.
That he would be the one to finally bring an end to all the conflict.
“You’re not the only one with an unrealistic dream anymore…”
The red headed warrior looked off into the distance, a single tear flowing down his face, as he stood up amongst the burning flames, carrying with him his beloved’s ice cold corpse.
Representatives of three distinct races gathered around a table. They were sequestered far away, within a dense forest halfway between two realms, one ruled by demons, and the other, their human counterparts.
Their meeting place belonged to the third group, an independent village-sized city-state, the land of the elves.
In recent times, the three parties had exchanged many communications. Demon King Phynar had been working to strengthen his ties with those of the other races, and both Reiyd, the King of Allysia who represented humanity, and Napholahz Faeraie, the Queen of the Elves, had been happy to oblige.
“Hey there! I’m awfully glad we’re finally meeting face to face. I’ve been oh so excited to speak to you in person.” A happy-go-lucky smile decorated Phynar’s face as he extended a hand to the much older-looking man.
“Likewise. Ending this long, unproductive war is sure to lift a great burden off both of our shoulders.” Reiyd responded in kind, smiling diplomatically as he shook it.
At first glance, it seemed that the two rulers were simply exchanging pleasantries, but the weight carried by their words implied that they were no simple greetings. Despite their status as politicians, cunning and conniving by trade, they meant exactly what they said.
“As was mentioned prior, We shall serve as a host and third party to moderate your discussions. There is much to say, but first, We suggest that you be seated.”
Both followed her instructions and took their respective positions at the large, round table.
“I do not mean to offend, but I must say, I am rather envious of you,” said Reiyd, to the other man in the conversation. “You appear much younger than I, despite that being far from the truth. I believe that you were approximately a hundred and fifty years my senior?”
The demon king chuckled. “In that case, you must be even more jealous of little miss Naffy over there. She’s been queen since before I was even bor—”
“Finish that sentence, and We shall remove your tongue with Our very own hands, King of Demons.”
“My, my, I’d really rather not. Talking without my tongue would be a bit of a chore, so I guess I’ll just have to keep the rest to myself.” He smiled at her, not even the least bit upset at the threat of mutilation.
The rulers weren’t the only ones conversing. Their guards, situated at the other end of the large conference hall, were doing the same.
“It looks like we’re off to a good start.” Nell, who had been rather nervous about the endeavour, heaved a sigh.
“It does seem that all the time and effort we spent in the demon realm has paid off.” The old butler standing beside her, Remeiro Gillbert, expressed his consensus with a nod. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this exact event to occur.”
He was in an excellent mood, happy to see different races finally addressing each other with words as opposed to blades.
“Oh, that reminds me, I’ve been meaning to give you my congratulations, on your marriage, I mean.”
“O-oh, uhm, t-thanks.” One of her closest friends’ faces came to mind as she pondered how her predecessor had come to know of the news. “I guess Ronia must’ve told you about it.”
Again, the old man nodded. “I believe I actually had a brief run in with your husband while I was in the Demon Realm.” The kind smile on his face transformed into a playful, impish smirk, “As a friend, I’m thrilled to know how happy you are, but please spare me from bragging about it too excessively. Many of our shared acquaintances have been telling me that you don’t quite know when to stop.”
“W-what’s that supposed to mean? I’ve never bragged about him that much… Well… okay… maybe I do get out of hand sometimes… but only sometimes…” Her voice trailed off, each word sounding less certain than the last.
“I wouldn’t worry about it too much. What matters is that you’re happy.” Again, the retired hero chuckled. “I’ve also heard that you’ve become quite mature as of late, and in short order at that. It’s starting to sound like your relationship is the cause.” He raised his right hand, the hand not kept near his blade, to his chin. “It seems that the people we spend our time around really do play an important role in determining the states of our minds.”
“I’ll uhm… take that as a compliment, I guess.”
She wasn’t quite sure how to respond, so she averted her gaze as she fought back her embarrassment. Coincidentally, her focus ended up falling onto the group at the round table. It just so happened that the three had wrapped up their introductions and smalltalk.
“Now that we’ve all gotten to know each other a teensy bit better, let’s get down to the real reason we’re all here today,” said Phynar. “I want to end the war. I’m sure we’ve all got our fair share of grudges from all the fighting we’ve done over the years, but I’d really like us to put them aside and get along nicely from now on. It’ll be much better for us in the long run than killing each other just because our egos say we should.”
“Agreed. The age where our civilizations can be entirely self-sufficient is over. To continue to prosper, we need to interact with each other on more amicable terms. I also believe that it is time to put an end to all the prejudice and war,” said Reiyd.
“The biggest obstacle is that we’ve got different cultural values. What do you say we start by signing a treaty declaring an armistice and creating incentives for international trade? One of the few things that we do have in common is an inexplicable love of money. I’m sure that both our realms have people willing to venture out into each other’s territories if there’s enough profit to be had.”
“If we promote long term, interracial interaction through the economy, then our people will likely begin to understand each other’s values in the long term through sheer exposure,” agreed Reiyd. “Continuing far enough down that path may one day allow us to see each other not as members of a particular race, but as individuals.”
“We elves would also like to be made a part of any agreements involving trade,” said Napholahz. “There are many benefits for us in involving ourselves with those that live outside the confines of Our forests.”
“I don’t see why not. As a long-lived society of hunters, I’m sure your people will have plenty to bring to the table, and the larger scale this is, the better,” said Phynar.
“There is one point I would like to mention.” Once the discussion began to wind down, the Allysian king brought up one of the greatest concerns he had remaining. “Being human, I do not have the lifespan that the two of you share. And while I am rather confident in my ability to function in the capacity of a monarch for another five years, I doubt that I will be able to continue for anything as long as a decade.” He placed his elbows on the table and one hand in the other. “I have every intention of laying the groundwork for Allysia’s next king to follow in my footsteps, but I cannot guarantee that they will share my sentiments or goals. To remedy this, I would like to expedite the process of interracial integration as much as possible. It would be ideal if we were to reach a state in which the trade is far more profitable than to re-engage in war before I retire.”
“That’s pretty sensible. How about we do this then? On the surface, we’ll proceed as planned. But behind the scenes, we can conduct all sorts of joint military exercises together. I know jumping right into them might be a teensy bit hasty, but those are the sorts of ties that’ll keep us away from killing each other in the long run. And given how bad things are looking right now, I’d say that establishing a military alliance would most likely be to our benefit. There are some stormy days ahead of us, and allies will only help us weather them,” said Phynar.
The elven queen sighed.
“The two of you are involved in far too many conflicts. You would do well to learn from Us and seek a more stable way of life.”
“Ouch. That hit right where it hurt,” said Phynar. “The only reason the demon realm’s so unstable right now is because I lack power.”
“The same can be said for us,” said Reiyd. “I would greatly appreciate stability, but we are not quite able to achieve it just yet. Any advice of yours is greatly appreciated, Lady Faeraie.
“You are willing to listen to Our advice? You show promise, for a human.” Napholahz smiled, impressed. “Consider your request approved. We shall teach the methods We employ to unify Our people.”
“A word of warning, King Reiyd,” said Phynar. “She likes to ramble, especially at times like these.”
And so, the rulers talked, and talked, and talked. Their discussions continued well into the evening.