Categories > Anime/Manga > Neon Genesis Evangelion > Legends turn to Myth

The Cursed Blade in the Stone

by Loki-L 0 reviews

This story tries to show how the familiar tale of Evangelion might become distorted in ages to come. It gives us the legend of the mythical hero Shinji Godslayer as he might be remembered in a fant...

Category: Neon Genesis Evangelion - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Shinji Ikari - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2005-05-10 - Updated: 2005-05-10 - 2299 words

Legends turn to Myth

The key to predicting the future that shall come to pass lies in understanding the past. In times of crisis it is important to remember what has come before. I belive that some of our oldest myth of the age before the Age of Legends hold important lessons that we would be well served to learn in the face of coming events.

Little is know for sure about that age and the heroes it was named after. Legends have become corrupted over time and even our oldest sources on them often contradict each other where they are not totally incomprehensible to our modern understanding. This has prompted many to doubt the accuracy of these tales from the Age of Heroes and made them banish for example the entire Silvermoon Cycle about the rise and reign of the Bunny Queen Serena Moonfield into the realm of myth and to consider characters like Ran'ma, the two-faced shifter to have been wholly fictitious.

They are wrong. The Heroes of the first age truly existed. Their adventures really happened and it would be a great mistake of us to dismiss our accounts of their deeds. Tales of heroes like Shinji Godslayer might not be entirely accurate in all minor details, but their core is true and there is much wisdom to be gained in studying what they tell us about the heroe's fight against evil.

(From the introduction of Laufeyjarson's treatise
"On the legends of the Age of Heroes,
written shortly before the end of the third age)

Part 1: The Cursed Blade in the Stone

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is almost forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Age of heroes by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose over the bay that held the ruins of the sunken eastern capital. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

Inland it blew to the long plain where the human survivors of the great cataclysm had rebuilt their city calling it the new eastern capital. Past the dwellings of rulers and courtiers it blew on and on. Finally it reached the unfinished building site that was already hailed as the city that would replace the new capital. Past furnaces and barracks it blew to the entrance of the great pit that the city had grown around. Past scholars who had come to study its secrets and mercenaries paid to defend them. It rustled artisans and traders, lords and beggars and all the people who had followed to partake in the fortunes that were made at the pit. It dragged at the uniforms of soldiers gathered around the central plaza where a curious sword hilt was peeking out of an unhewn stone.

Unmoved by either the sword or the wind stood a bearded man with a bearing of authority.

"Take the sword," he ordered while pushing up his glasses with one gloved hand.

"I don't understand father why should I take this sword. Is this some kind of test? You know that I know nothing of swordsmanship," the boy he had spoken to answered.

The boy was young and his bearing was full of insecurity and doubt, but even without him calling the older man father the family resemblance would have been obvious to any observer who had not known of their relationship before.

"This is not a test. I already know that you can pull the sword from the stone and wield it, all you have to do is do it." The man stated impassively.

"Why?" The boy demanded defiantly. "Is this all that you have called me here for, to wield one of the artifacts you and your alchemists have recreated here with the lore gained from this evil place? Hasn't our family suffered enough from this already. Why me, when you know how I feel about anything that comes from this cursed place? Why not let one of your loyal henchmen use it?"

"Because you are the only one who can wield the blade. Yui will not just serve any master," the older man revealed.

"Yui?" the boy asked enraged. "How dare you name this thing that? How dare you father!"

When no answer was forthcoming the boy turned his back to the stone and the assembled persons and left.

A little while later Shinji felt foolish about just walking away like that. He had no horse, no provisions, no gold and few skills to acquire any of it.

His only possession of any worth was his fiddle. He could always try to pay for his way as a gleeman or traveling bard, but he doubted that his talents were up to the task of keeping him fed. Especially not in a city as large as the Third Capital where there were many competent and experienced entertainers vying for work.

Sooner or later he would be reduced to begging. His only choice was if he wanted to beg in the streets for alms or return to his father to ask him for enough gold to leave this place. The street sounded more inviting he would only get spat at occasionally and perhaps a bit beaten by the other beggars who would resent the unwelcome competition.

The worst part was that his father would undoubtedly give him what he needed without hesitation or blinking an eye. The humiliation would be all inside Shinji's own head.

Maybe he could get what he needed without having to talk to his father directly. Katsuragi the woman-soldier had seemed sympathetic to him and the old man at his fathers side had looked at him kindly.

As he made his way back to the plaza suddenly bells started to ring. First a distant bell to the east and then more and more bells in towers all over the town took up the chime. People in the streets turned around and started in other directions than they had been walking before. Peddlers were packing in their wares and mothers began herding their children along in haste. As he continued on his way the streets quickly emptied and the few people that remained on them were running with determination.

The bells must be a signal and obviously everyone here knew what it stood for and what to do when it came. Shinji did not. Was it a warning of danger or a call to arms? What danger could threaten such a city like this and which enemy would dare to attack a place that was filled with so many armed men.

Shinji quickened his stride not so much out of a real sense of urgency but more to fit in with everyone else. He noticed trends and patterns. People were abandoning some places and gathering in others. Windows and gates were barred and drawbridges that crossed the many canals of the city were raised while in other places barges were moored to create new walkways.Wooden walls moved into gaps blocking alleys and boards were lifted on roofs forming walkways that connected buildings. In front of his eyes the city turned into a fortress.

The worst thing about this strange transformation was that Shinji could not tell whether he was on the guarded inside of this fortress or outside of it. Hopefully somebody at the central plaza would be able to tell him what was going on and where to go.

As he neared his goal Shinji realized that getting to the plaza might be more difficult than he had thought. The streets and the buildings were still mostly as they had been, but everything else seemed to have shifted.He had to make different paths over bridges that had moved and stairs that he did not remember taking before. He had walked by a row of buildings that seemed to have sunken into the ground since he had seen them last,before he finally realized that he was no longer walking on the ground but on wooden boards that covered the street at second story height. He had seen the strange balconies and masts on the buildings when he had come this way before, but only now did he realize their purpose. He still did not know what the purpose of covering the street like this was, though.Were they protecting the street below from an attack from above or did they fear flooding of the lower levels or something burrowing through the ground?

Shinji wished that he could ask somebody but the only people near him were standing guard on towers looking down at him or staring at him through embrasures in the walls or gullies in the ground. It became increasingly clear that wherever 'inside' was in this strange fortress Shinji was not in it.

He reached the place where the open plaza with the sword in the stone should have been, but found that in his short absence a roof had sprung up over it. He peered through an embrasure, a small hole meant for shooting out arrows to see if he could get anyone to let him inside.

Father and his people were still there and arguing very agitatedly in the shadows below.

"... coming at us from the east. But there are no reports from the south and southwest either and we fear that they might have overrun our forward bases before they could get off a warning." A man reported.

"We can withstand any conventional attack, but without the child to wield the sword we are doomed in the face of this enemy." another moaned.

"We will defeat the armies and we will have a warrior take up the Yui in our defense," Shinji's father stated confidently.

"But Shinji ran away," the Katsuragi women objected," I have already sent out messengers to the shelters, but I fear we might not find him in this chaos."

"Shinji has made his decision." His father declared, "Rei will wield the sword for us."

As if on cue a young blue haired girl Shinji's age was carried into the gathering on a litter. She looked pale and sickly, it was hard to imagine that she would be able to add anything to the city's defense.

"I must register my protest," A fair-haired woman accompanying the litter-bearers declared. "Rei is in no condition to fight. And even if she was I would recommend against it; holding that cursed blade had almost killed her the last time Rei attempted to use it."

While the people on the inside were arguing the weather seemed to have taken a turn for the worse outside. Dark clouds occluded the sun and it the distance noises could be heard that Shinji knew by now must be the sound of approaching armies.

"You protest is duly noted. Unfortunately it seems that we have no other options," The older man who seemed to be his father's second in command said.

"This is madness. The swords hates her. It hates all of us. The stone is the only thing keeping it contained. Even if Rei manages to draw without getting killed it will be as much danger to us as the attack," Katsuragi objected.

She was ignored. His father meanwhile had approached the girl on the stretchers.

"Rei, you will draw Yui for us." He half asked/half stated with unnatural kindness.

"Yes." the girl replied weakly.

The litter-bearers, now looking more like pall-bearers to Shinji, carried the girl to the stone. The other people below had already moved away from the sword to what must have seemed to be a safer distance to them.

The ground shook beneath Shinji and he tumbled away from his peeping hole.Was it an earthquake or had the attack already started?

Shirking and screaming and clashing of steel could be heard to the east.The sky was so overcast as to render the day almost night. In the darkness overhead shapes could be seen. Were the Invaders hurling projectiles and boulders at the city? Lightning illuminated the scenes striking a metal roofed tower and for a moment Shinji could have sworn that some of the shapes overhead had wings.

He tried to get to his feet, but before he knew it there was great crash and Shinji found the ground tilting under him. The roof he was standing on collapsed and he fell.

He landed and tried to rise again as the shirking came nearer.

He looked around. The roof over the plaza was half collapsed and he was in a section alone with the girl cut of from the others. Her litter lay on the ground next to the stone as he moved towards her he saw that on of the stretcher carriers had been killed by fragments of the fallen roof. The others must have fled.

"Are you all right?" he asked dumbly knowing that she most certainly was not all right and had not even been all right before the roof almost squashed her.

But Rei only nodded weakly, feebly trying to reach for the sword when she was barely able to lift her arm.

Before he had time to react to this a loud crash made him turn. There in front of him stood a monster half animal half man. It was folding its leathery wings behind its back and made to advance on Shinji and Rei.

Shinji had to do something. He had to defend himself! He had to protect the girl!

While staring at the intruder in horror his hand reached behind him and unthinkingly grasped the only weapon within reach.
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