New Salem Chapter 2: Doctor Koronova

I woke in tremendous pain. Sure, my arms, legs, chest, and face felt like they were on fire…but that’s not what I meant. As I said before, I am a strong man, when it comes to the physical. What truly aches is the pain of loss. I laid there, awake, eyes still closed, quietly sobbing.

I lost everything…her. Ro.

“This I did not expect…” it was an odd accent, it hit consonants hard and went light on the vowels, “That savagery you displayed dispatching the demons…” He was obviously North Eastern Pangean.

I opened my eyes slowly, because I didn’t care enough to be startled. Without my stars to guide me I am lost. My life was now void. I was able to choke out a single request, “Please leave me be…”

Someone must’ve put me in bed, because I don’t recall leaving the square. I threw my legs over the side to sit up. I lazily sighed as I realized that I was blind in my right eye. Just another tally for the losses.

“I saw you in the square and thought to myself, ‘Ozomov, this is the one to help you.'” My eyes…eye focused on a thin man across the room.

He sat at a large desk, nothing too special just taking up a lot of space. It wasn’t exactly messy either, but there were books piled atop, not neatly, and papers the same. Order with a touch of chaos…and that is what I saw when he turned to me.

He had medium-long grey hair pulled back tightly into a ponytail, which bushed out the other side. He wore a ornate white mask, covered in carved spirals, that just barely covered his face. From below the mask he had a long grey beard that was tied off just in front of his heart. Between the mask and a long white lab coat, there wasn’t much skin showing, but it was enough to see most of him was covered in burns. His right hand looked to be the only thing unscathed.

“How rude of me,” He continued as he briskly crossed the room, just before he extended his normal hand out in greeting, “The name is Dr. Ozomov Koronova, first most expert in Demonology of New Salem.”

I looked to the floor and said nothing. Even with half the sight I was use to, I could see him out the corner of my eye. Ozomov, half turned and locked his arms behind his back. “I am reminded of a story…”

His story was actually a myth. He told me of the Legend of the Silver King. It dates back for hundreds of years, the creator gave the Silver Race the ability to snuff out demons. The Silver King, understanding the responsibility placed on his people, honed his skills becoming the most powerful of them all.

A little over a decade went by and the creator returned. He told the Silver Race that their task had been completed, and instructed them to relinquish their gift. The King glared down piercingly from his throne, he sensed a change in the creator, and refused.

The King’s disrespect bought him the cruelest punishment ever conceived. Bound kneeling on the floor of his throne room, and every man, woman, and child of the Silver Race was slashed open and dropped into the Kings arms. He held everyone he had ever known as their warm crimson spilled out onto his regal clothes, leaving their bodies cold and lifeless.

When the last corpse was heaved to the top of the pile in the back of the throne room, the creator asked one last time for the king to relinquish his gift. The Silver King, chained to the floor of his palace, bathed in the blood of his entire people, looked up at the creator with a single tainted tear on his cheek. The king pulled the chains tight as he lifted himself as upright as he possibly could, his rage burned wildly and beamed from his eyes as they seemed to attack the creator.

When the king finally spoke the room shook violently, his voice deep and booming,

We took an oath, for you…

Through gritted teeth…

To protect the innocent…

The irons around the kings wrists groaned…

And you take from us?!

The windows and portions of the walls and ceiling was starting to dissolve and blow away like dust in the wind.

I will give up this power, but not to you…

The creator lunged for the kings throat, but was left with a handful of what looked to be dandelion seeds, while the rest of him scattered. The corpses did the same pouring out of every opening in the dissolving castle.

There will be others worthy of carrying the mantle, and with my heir will dawn the rebirth of the Silver Race.

Ozomov went straight from the story to his point, “I believe you are the heir to the Silver King!” He continued, “…you even summoned his sword!”

He carried on like a fan boy for several minutes before I finally spoke,

“I don’t know what you expect, but I have nothing to offer you.”

The Doctor stood in silence for only a moment before he responded,

“I seek your help with a demon.”

By now a solid stream was flowing down one side of my face once again.

“I lost the only person I had ever cared about.” I welcomed the sting of my hands touching the still fresh wounds on my face as I try to hide it. “I just want to be left to die…”

Ozomov sat beside me on the bed, and gave me a reluctantly awkward pat on the back.

“Revenge…” His demeanor changed, the Doctor was real still as he elaborated, “I want revenge, for my wife, Lilly Anna, and my daughter, Delilah.”

I looked through my fingers over to his hands folded in his lap, fidgeting with his burnt fingers.

He continued, “They were to be my future, but now they are my past.”

His normal hand reached up to fix the mask on his face.

“All I have to look forward to is the return of that demon, from time to time, and I resign to the fact that I can do nothing.”

His tone and energy returned,”But now I have you!”

I thought about it a hundred times in a mere instant, and the more I thought about it, the more I knew that I wasn’t the only person who has felt this loss. Not only that, but to these demons.

“Let’s say I wanna help… “I lean lazily elbows on my knees, hands hanging toward the ground. “I don’t even know how to control whatever it is that is inside of me.”

“Well…” Ozomov slapped his knee, and immediately stood straight up. “We can figure that out.”

The Doctor reached out his hand as if to greet me once again, and this time I took it.

“By the way, my name is Kana.”

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