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Chapter Five

by TheOneNamedZoe


"Now that everyone is here," Xáos announced. "We must now all stand." The council of gods complied.

"This meeting is for the mistakes that Solex has done," Xáos announced. "The following mistakes involve lack of being there when her brother needed her most. That was highlighted by the incident of the first war - which, by the way - will not be the last."

The crowd was stirred by this discovery. "Disown her!" some shouted.

"N-No.... No please..." Her face paled, as her timid hands gripped the hem of her skirt.

"Worry none," Xáos assured. "Those choices were almost laid, but Xelos stopped me before doing so. He really cares for you..." He sighed, looking towards him. "If only it was the same way around..."

"So... What's going to happen to me?" She said, concerned. "I-If anything..."

"Well, you certainly are not disowned..." He looked at the others that said such. "But... Something similar."

"W-what?" Her eyes widened.

"Xelos, take her hand."

"What are you doing?!" She panicked.

He took her hand, his expression grim.

"They wouldn't let me give mercy upon you..."

"Xelos, you're scaring me!" She cried out. Xáos lifted his hand to the air. Suddenly, she felt a shift in her will, as if it was being sucked out of her bodice. She felt the world fall around her. Xelos gripped her hand tighter with pity. As he removed his hand, it seemed as if nothing happened. Was that just a delusional torture?

"Come forth." He ordered her. Without judging it, she complied.

Xáos smirked. "Now, flip to the beginning of the book."

She did so. It said: "Owned by Xelos and Solex."

"Take the words 'And Solex', and remove them with what power you have left," Xáos commanded. "And once that is done, you will be relinquished of your duties."

"Wait, I-I'm not his editor anymore?" Her eyes widened.

"Do not question it." His voice was empathetic for his daughter's loss. "Just do as you are told."

"But father-"

"Would you do just one thing you were told to?!" He slammed his hands on the desk, filling the room with silence. His eyes burned bright with rage.

Silent, she looked back towards the book, feeling a lump in her throat.

"Do it!" He pressed.

She very slowly put her finger to the words, her hands shaking.

a...The first letter was easy to just give up.

n.... She could feel her hands shaking.

d......She could feel her chest hurting.

S.........She stopped, clenching the book tightly in her hands. "No..."

"Excuse me..?"

"N-No!" She pulled her hand away.

"…" Xáos just gave her a cold stare, one she knew meant she would never be forgiven for her actions.

"Now." He said with a very low growl, as if the words uttered from an beast.

Finally, everything piled onto her and she broke down. She dropped the book, covering her face and bawling, apologizing repeatedly.

The gods all stared, looking at each other in an awkward silence. Xelos looked ready to break down as well.

"I can't do it!" she blubbered. Her face was red, tears and snot were running down her face.

Xáos kept his stare, ungrudging. He slowly turned towards Xelos with the same expression. "Finish. It." He growled behind gritted teeth.

He was still as well, trembling. He was about to shake his head when Xáos barked, "Did I stutter?"

Xelos walked towards her, picking up the book and pressing his thumb up on the blank spot. He had to drone out his sister's pleading as he cleared it off with one slide.

"Now you are dismissed," Xáos shooed them away. Xelos took Solex's hand and lead her out. "And prepare for tomorrow, both of you," he called out to them in a calmer voice. Too calm. "A war starts in a month … and it is, hopefully, the last." he said grimly before adding, "Like it was meant to be."

***

"Xelos...?" She lay in her bed, staring at him with wide eyes.

"Yes?" He replied, sluggish with fatigue from the day. It wasn't even sunset and they were ready for bed.

"I think Xáos Hates me..." She buried her face in the pillow; her voice cracked a little.

He sighed. "At least you're here now. It’s not like he made you mortal..." He couldn't stop rubbing his finger along the blank space of the cover where her name was.

"You're right." She forced a smile. "Goodnight, brother."

"Goodnight sister." He shut his book and got under the covers.

As the hours passed, the room was bathed in an orange glow, and she was restless. She looked at the book in lament. Why did it affect their lives so horribly?! As she held it in her hands, an idea hit her.

"If whatever is written down affects us, then... if I remove the pages..." She tore them out. "This war would be nothing..." She smiled. But her smile faded as the pages returned. She couldn't edit the book. But demolishment isn't editing, is it? She consisted on ripping and ripping, a repetitive loop that made her eyes sting and her throat lump.

"DAMN IT JUST GO AWAY ALREADY!” Her papercut hands gripped onto the book covers and she tried to tear it away.

"STOP IT SOLEX!" Xelos grabbed her hand, his eyes baggy from waking up out of dead sleep. "YOU'LL KILL ME, REMEMBER?!"

She looked at him in pain, then back at the book; and yet she consisted on destroying it.

"NO!" He slapped her out of impulse. "Don't you get that the war has to stay?!"

She touched her cheek, tears started flowing down her face from the pain. Which was worse, she didn't know.

"I... I have to go..." She ran out of the house, shaking her head.

"S-Solex!" Xelos shouted at her. But he didn't run after her. He knew it was best to simply give her space.


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802 Reviews


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Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:31 pm
Dracula wrote a review...



Hey there, TheOneNamedZoe, I'm here to review! :) I've got a couple of things to point out.

"Now that everyone is here," Xáos announced. "We must now all stand." The council of gods complied.
The 'now' is a little repetitive. I think you should erase it from the second sentence, so it reads: We must all stand.

The crowd was stirred by this discovery. "Disown her!" some shouted.
The crowd isn't really an active character in this sentence, but I still like that you told us what they were doing. It added to the judging atmosphere of the court, and was a good touch. They reminded me of the Chorus in Ancient Greek drama.

"They wouldn't let me give mercy upon you..."
'Give' mercy is an incorrect phrasing. 'Have' mercy is a better way to put it, but rewording is up to you.

"…" Xáos just gave her a cold stare, one she knew meant she would never be forgiven for her actions.
If he doesn't talk, you don't need to have any speech marks at all. This sort of speech would only be used in comics, where visualisations are necessary. In a story, if someone doesn't speak, just don't include any dialogue.

That's all from me. I'd like to say well done on your characters; all their emotions were made perfectly clear to me and it made for an enjoyable chapter. :D






Thank you!
And also... Heheh. I'm too used to making comics from good ol times ;^^



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Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:59 pm
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Carlito wrote a review...



Hello hello! Happy review day! :D I apologize I haven't read the previous installments of this piece, but this work has been in the green room without a single review for far too long!

There are elements of the plot and characters that don't really make sense to me, but I know that's just because I'm coming in late, so I'll try not to comment on those types of elements. There are a lot of intriguing things about this plot so far and I think you're doing quite a bit well. The book element is interesting and reminded me of Inkheart in a way - probably the book element.

I had some trouble differentiating the two characters that start with the letter X because the names are both foreign and similar. Part of that could be because I'm coming in late, however the names really are pretty similar. I think I read once that readers often don't fully read names and the first couple of letters or the length help us know who we're talking about. I know there are differences, but they're also similar enough that it could get confusing for readers.

I liked the emotional intensity you were able to create in the first scene. I really wasn't sure what was going to happen to this girl and what exactly was going on. You showed her emotion well and the emotions of the others involved well too. The ending of that scene was also nice and dramatic and I was left wondering about this war (which I know would make more sense had I read the previous chapters :p). How is the war so planned out? Usually when two entities are about to go to war they don't announce hey I'm going to attack you and we're going to start this thing in one month. It's usually more of a surprise with maybe some hints that it's coming. So I was a little confused about why they know a war is going to start in a month, unless of course, they're the ones that are planning on starting the war.

The second scene fell a little more flat for me. I think you could describe the setting a little more and really paint a picture of where we are and exactly what's going on in the surroundings (and that's true for the first scene too). The conversation she had with her brother felt short to me and I thought there could have been some more processing of what just happened and the implications of what just happened. Don't leave it all up to your reader's assumptions because we could be assuming wrong :)

I thought the rest of the scene went by pretty quickly given the drama and the importance of it. I would like to see more of her thoughts leading up to her decision. I want to see the thought processes. Then I want to see more of what she tries to do to destroy the book. Where is the book? How does she get it? Is her brother still asleep? Does she worry about waking him up? What does she want to try first? Is she afraid of any of the implications of this decision? What are others going to think of what she's about to try? Does she notice brother wake up? How long does it take him to wake up after she makes her decision and starts to destroy the book? Once brother says she can't destroy it or it'll kill him, what goes through her mind? She keeps on trying to destroy it. Why? I want more of her thought process there? And I thought the ending came a bit abruptly. What's going through her mind? Why did she feel the need to run away?

So overall, I think you have a lot of interesting elements to this story and this idea so far. I think the biggest thing you can do to take this to the next level (and it can be a challenging thing!) is to add in more details and slow down a bit so we can see more of what she's doing and what the thoughts are behind her actions. I think that will help us see the character more clearly and understand her more, thus making us care about her more and feel more connected to the story :)

I'll leave things there for now, but please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like feedback about something I didn't mention! :D






Surprisingly enough, the thought process of destroying the book is mentioned in previous chapters. (Chapter 2)
Solex has gone through a lot in this chapter and previous chapters, and is known to do things reckless abandon (do first, think later)
The reason Xaos is named this is because he is the God of chaos
Xelos is because... XeloSolex.
Other things such as why he wakes up so sudden, why it says it'll kill him and so on is also explained in previous chapters.
Xelos needs his book by him at all costs.
I would absolutely appreciate feedback of other chapters :)




"She doesn't even go here!"
— Damian Leigh