The Chosen has failed.
The words spoken to Somnus Lucis Caelum had reverberated with the God's anger. Not directed at the first or last Kings of Lucis, no. Only at The Accursed who had won against their Champion.
The Founder King of Lucis stood before the Bladekeeper in the realm of the Crystal. He had been summoned here by Bahamut as they were in dire straits. Ardyn had defeated and imprisoned the final king of Lucis.
The only means to end the Darkness once and for all was now in the hands of the enemy.
The dragon God, as always, was a sight to behold. A creature of immense size with an array of swords mimicking wings on either side. He was clad in splendid armor with a mask obscuring his face.
"What can we do?" Somnus asked. He refused to believe this was the end. The Gods and the Lucis Caelum bloodline had spent countless years hoping and planning for another outcome. He would not allow everything they sacrificed to be in vain.
We can give but one more chance. Take our remaining power and free the last King. The God commanded the first of the favoured line. The Chosen is to be a lure for the Gods… And we are no match for the Accursed's foul strength for he possesses the ability to corrupt even the Divine.
Somnus felt the God's anger at having to admit the last part.
It must fall to you, the Brother, to free the Chosen and allow him to fulfill his destiny.
"As you command," Somnus replied, bowing his head and accepting his role. It was something he had always done regardless of the pain it would cause him.
Just a little longer, the man thought to himself. And we will all be free... Even you, Ardyn.
Bahamut disappeared and the realm began to shine. The dark-haired man felt an overwhelming surge of energy as the light touched him. His body burned with the power that Bahamut and the Crystal bestowed upon him. The covenants Somnus once made, many years in the past, were renewed and strengthened.
Somnus awoke on his back, facing the sky. No stars shined, no moon was visible. The darkness enveloped all.
The Founder King pushed himself up, feeling dizziness overtake him. Despite his disorientation, he forced himself to his feet. He stood on trembling legs, having not had a physical body in over 2000 years. He needed some time to adjust.
The ancient man took several moments to marvel at the sensations he had been unable to experience for two millennia. He could feel the uneven roughness of the ground beneath his feet. The soft breeze against his skin. The slight chill in the air.
The man pressed a hand to his chest, almost able to feel his heart beating once more. He closed his eyes, savouring it all.
It had been a long time since he had been mortal.
Snapping out of it quickly, Somnus then looked around. It was dark but he could sense no Daemons nearby. That seemed a little strange, considering how prevalent they were all over the world. Maybe the Bladekeeper had done something to drive them off?
In the distance, the Founder could see lights. A settlement no doubt. It would not take long to walk to even if it would be a tad more difficult in the dark.
As if reacting to his thoughts, a soft light began to surround Somnus. It was enough to illuminate his surroundings so he would not stumble into any obstacles. The man smiled, and offered a quick thank you to whatever Astral had done that for him.
His destination set, the ancient King made his way towards one of humanity's last strongholds, readjusting to his body on the way.
It was almost immediately in front of the settlement that Somnus encountered a large man. It took a moment to recognize him and the Founder felt a wave of relief.
It was the Chosen's shield. If Gladiolus Amicitia was here, it may mean the other two companions were as well. That was good.
"Noct-" Gladio gasped out when he saw the intruder's face… But his gaze quickly turned into confusion. "No… You're not. You look kind of like him..."
"I'm afraid we do share a rather strong resemblance," Somnus agreed. It had been such a strange coincidence that the First and Last Kings of Lucis looked to similar that they could be brothers, even twins had they been children together.
"Then who are you?" The Chosen's Shield demanded, the suspicion in his voice evident. He wondered what that strange light in the distance had been and who this man was that exuded it. The Noctis look-alike seemed no worse for wear even though he walked towards the city alone. The Daemons should have ripped him apart as he glowed like a beacon. But all of the monsters around the city had fled a few minutes before the light had been sighted from afar.
"I am Somnus Lucis Caelum. Founder King of Insomnia and… Brother to the man that plagues this world. Ardyn or the Accursed, you may know him as." Somnus introduced himself and got straight to the point. "And I have need of you, Chosen's Shield. And of your companions."
The glow around Somnus faded as he entered the city.
It did not take long to find the Chosen's other friends. And even less time to get them to agree to help. Their King was in danger and they would do everything they could to free him. They had been skeptical at first, however Somnus demonstrated that he could access the power of the Crystal and that had been enough for them.
"We failed our duty," Ignis Scientia stated some time later as they readied themselves, "we will not fail again."
"I'm willing to do whatever I can to save him," the slightly timid, blonde one vowed. Prompto Argentum, Somnus believed he was called.
"Excellent," Somnus nodded at them. "then I shall share what power I can with you before we depart. I have one more destination in mind before we face my brother."
"Woah!" Prompto exclaimed, his voice loud in the empty landscape. They had just defeated a few Daemons that decided to jump them. In the battle they discovered some surprising new abilities. "Did you see that?! I warped!"
"How can this be?" Ignis marveled, able to tap into much more magic than he was used to.
"Damn, this is different." Gladio laughed as he threw his giant sword and then warped a distance away. He stumbled as he reappeared, unused to such a tactic.
"I did not receive the dire injury Noctis did during my own childhood. My power developed without the complications the Starscourge. With the Bladekeeper's and Crystal's blessings, I am able to share more of my abilities with you three." Somnus revealed as he moved past the stunned companions. "But enough of this. We have need of an old friend. And I wish to make haste to his location."
"Gilgamesh…" Somnus laughed in delight, deep in the caverns of Taelpar Crag. It had been so long since he had seen his old friend and mentor. The man that had protected him and fought his infected brother at his side.
The Chosen's companions were behind him, watching the reunion.
"My King. How can this be possible?" Gilgamesh knelt down and bowed to his liege. His voice was filled with awe. "You are mortal once more."
"Yes. This is the final gambit of the Gods. My brother holds the Chosen captive," Somnus explained. He held out his hand and the first Shield clasped it. The Founder pulled the Blademaster to his feet, "I need you to fight at my side again Gilgamesh."
"As much as I yearn to, I cannot leave these grounds. My soul is tethered to this place as I wished it to be."
"There is a way, given to me by the Bladekeeper himself," The Founder smiled at his oldest friend, "I will release you from your duty here. You have done well, my friend. Soon we will be allowed our rest."
"Then I will serve you as I have always done, my liege. I am your Shield in life and in death. I will always be yours to command." There was no hesitation in Gilgamesh's response. The loyalty showed warmed Somnus's heart.
With the Chosen's three companions, the power of the Covenants and his ever loyal Shield at his side, Somnus entered Insomnia to face his brother one last time.
Do not fail. The voice of the Bahamut was only heard by the Founder King. It was a command, but to Somnus it also sounded like a plea. This might be their only chance.
I will not fail. Somnus vowed as he began his march towards the Citadel.
A short abandoned piece. I felt enough of it was written that I can at least post it in a collection with other abandoned or shorter pieces.