Restoration of the deathless (part III) by Martin Sjöstrand

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SUMMARY: I was recommended in feedback earlier to split this story into sections, so here is the third and final part of of my story Restoration of the deathless.

A strange mix of mild fascination, puzzlement and disappointment struck President Tira Beldar. The duel she had just witnessed was unlike anything she had ever seen before. Merely a few hours earlier, she had considered magic to be the stuff of fairy-tales alone, but now that she had witnessed it with her own eyes, she could not easily dismiss it. It was all strange, and she almost forgot the impossible situation she was currently stuck in.

This disciple of the Immortal King named Nelanor had put up a far better fight against the Immortal King than her honor guard – which consisted only of elite troopers – had been able to, despite their rigorous training. While admiration would be a far to much of a stretch when it came to describing how she felt about these Immortals, it was very clear to her that they were truly extremely formidable beings, especially the Immortal King himself. As sad as the implications of that possibility was to her people, she was beginning to wonder if perhaps he was just not meant to be beaten. With Nelanor's defeat, the best hope at stopping the Immortal King was gone.

She looked at Nelanor, whose attention was on a wound in his right arm. Apparently, he had taken a cut during the duel. It was not a very deep gash; only a couple of millimeters. Out of it came a thick white liquid, but no blood. After a moment, a strange realization struck her. The blood of Immortals was white, not red like that of humans.

She turned her attention back to the Immortal King, who was looking out the door which led to the presidential speaking balcony. The Keldanian military were still not finished gathering the crowd of Latakian citizens outside, but they soon would be, and the Immortal King seemed content enough to wait.

"You can't do this," she exclaimed suddenly. "It's not right."

The Immortal King turned around "Spare me the ethics talk!" he snapped. "If your self-righteous nation were as good as you want others to believe, my people would never have been wiped out in the first place."

"What you are planning to do is still wrong," she pointed out.

"The philosophical concepts of right and wrong are meaningless unless the one believing in them has the means to back them up against conflicting ideas concerning the same."

"You have become quite cynical, master," Nelanor objected.

"Well, having one's entire species all but wiped out by lesser beings can kind of do that to a man...or Immortal," the Immortal King replied dryly. Turning back to the president, he went on. "I believe my people have the right to live. What do you say to that, Mrs. President?"

"I guess," she replied timidly, "but not at the expense of human souls the way you plan it."

"That is not your decision to make under the current circumstances. I believe my people have the right to live. You believe your people have the right to their souls. Those ‘rights' conflict, so mine wins out, since I have the upper hand. Besides, it was your Latakian ancestors who forced me to do this. If they hadn't wiped out my people, this wouldn't have been necessary."

"Please!" she continued.

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