Edan has seen little of life. Raised in a secluded temple by holy men, he's the Chosen One, destined to be sacrificed. He's been taught all his life how dark and evil the world is beyond the protective walls of the temple. It's Edan's destiny to save the world. That is, until a terrifying warrior crashes forcefully into Edan's sheltered world, throwing everything he believes into question and destroying every last shred of Edan's purity. His life is about to change... dramatically. [slash m/m, torture, abuse, rape, all the things.]
content warning: This story contains violent sexual themes, abuse, and assault. These are very bad things that belong only in fiction.
The Chosen One gazed upon the divide between Heaven and hell, land and sky. It was a visible and abrupt change to even the most evil of eyes. Darkness faded into light, the sinister flames morphing into soft, billowy clouds. While demonic beings danced within the fires of turmoil and suffering, angels with wings of gold flew within the clouds of paradise.
He was so ready for the day to come, when he would take his rightful place on the throne in the Heavens. He would find himself alongside the divine Gods he'd dutifully worshiped his whole life. They would welcome him with open arms, blanketing him in a warmth of eternal love and gratitude. He would be blessed with riches of unimaginable worth, rewards for the ultimate sacrifice of his earthly body. All for the good of mankind, those few wretched, lost souls wandering frightened and helpless amongst the monstrous and evil ones who filled the lands.
He was so very ready…
"Edan? Edan, my son, are you paying attention?"
The voice of Edan's guardian broke through his daydreaming, startling him slightly. He tore his eyes from the intricately detailed painting he'd been gazing at and looked toward Master Lucient. The aging monk frowned, concern creasing his brow. The boy felt himself blush in embarrassment.
"Yes, Master Lucient," he murmured softly, ducking his head. "My apologies…"
The man's sigh filled the small room as he set the ancient leather-bound book he'd been holding onto the table. The monk folded his arms into the sleeves of his robes and crossed the room to stand near the mounds of pillows the boy sat cushioned upon.
"Edan, your mind has been wandering much more than usual, lately… What's troubling you, my child?" he asked in his quiet, resonant voice.
Edan's gaze returned to the painting. He couldn't stop a small smile from gracing his lips.
"Nothing is troubling me, Master…" he told the monk hesitantly, glancing up at him. "I'm just- I suppose the word is… excited."
Lucient's frown deepened at the boy's expression and Edan struggled to return his face to the blank mask he'd been taught to wear. The monk sighed yet again and shook his head slowly as if disappointed in the boy, but Edan could see the corners of his lips turn up into a rare smile.
"Edan, your sacrifice is but two weeks away. You mustn't fail in your duties now, my son, not after you've done so well," he chastised lightly. "It's a sin to allow your mind to dwell on future rewards, yes?"
"Of course, Master. Please, forgive me," Edan begged, bowing his head in remorse as shame burned his fair cheeks.
"You are forgiven, child," he granted with a satisfied nod.
Lucient returned to the table and picked up the book to continue the lesson, but try as he might, Edan couldn't seem to concentrate on the Latin verses read aloud. Against his will, Edan found his eyes drifting back to the image within the gilded frame.
His eighteenth birthday, the day he would be sacrificed for the greater good of mankind, was fast approaching. Though, it seemed as if the days were beginning to drag on longer and longer. Edan had been waiting for this day his whole life, devout in his prayers and worship. It was his purpose, his destiny. He had been thinking of it more and more as the day drew nearer.
Edan imagined what it would be like, unable to stop his naturally curious thoughts. What would he experience on the morning of his great sacrifice? Would he feel fear for the first time in his young life? Or, perhaps this strange feeling of excitement that had been possessing him for the past few weeks would only grow. What would go through his mind as he walked to the sacred chamber? How would he react to the pain? He wanted to fulfill his destiny without shaming himself, Master Lucient, or the sect-
The boy winced at Master Lucient's stern voice and quickly turned his head back to the front of the room, unable to hide his sheepish embarrassment. The monk let out another long sigh and returned the book to the table.
"Perhaps it's time for you to pray," he said beckoning the teen to stand. "We can continue your lessons later."
Edan quickly obeyed, secretly grateful for a respite from his lessons. The boy would pick prayer over Latin poetry any day, Gods forgive him.
Master Lucient opened the heavy door. Edan took one last glance at the artistic portrayal of Heaven before following the monk into the corridor. Like every day, he led Edan through the long hallways of the monastery in silence, head bowed and hands clasped in front of him as if in prayer. The teen mirrored his stance and followed, his bare feet a whisper on the warm marble floors beneath him. The high, frosted, stained glass windows on either side of the walkway shone with light from the Heavens, casting colorful designs on the white of the walls. It was a beautiful sight Edan felt blessed to see every day.
The boy could hear the haunting sound of chanting from the monks far off in another part of the temple, an area he'd never seen with his own eyes. The dining hall and Edan's section of the monastery were the only parts he'd ever physically occupied, as was expected and proper. He'd spent his entire life in the grand temple, walking the same lavish halls day after day. Although at times he did wonder what the outside world actually looked like, Edan was eternally grateful to be protected within the walls of their sanctuary.
Master Lucient had taught him well, the monk's verbal portrayal of the land they presided on was clear in Edan's mind. Outside their blessed oasis, flames scorched the earth, burning the unholy ones alive. Demonic barbarians roamed the land, killing and feeding upon the tender flesh of innocents. Disease and starvation plagued the land and people… It made the boy shudder to think of the suffering that occurred beyond their sacred home.
It was Edan's duty as the Sacrifice to give up his life for the suffering and torment that gripped the land. On his eighteenth birthday, the wars that had been raging for hundreds of years would end. Peace would finally be brought upon the world. The boy's sacrifice would make the land fertile once again. The starving would go hungry no more. The innocents would finally be allowed the chance to gain forgiveness and the glorious gates to the Heavens would be opened for the pure to enter.
The sacrifice ceremony had been described to him many times, ever since he was a small child. First, Edan's sight would be sacrificed, then his hearing, then his speech. The boy's blood would be spilled upon the Altar of the Gods. Finally, his body would be slowly and methodically burned to ash, completing the ritual and saving the downtrodden people.
He'd been preparing for the day since he could walk, and as the time approached, Edan seemed to be able to think of nothing else. His life on this hellish earth would soon be ending and his new glorious life in the Heavens would begin.
Edan could hardly wait.
Master Lucient came to a stop outside of a massive, gold-plated door. Beyond it was Edan's prayer room, his favorite place in the temple. The monk reached into his robes and pulled out a jeweled key that hung on a gold chain about his neck. Before he unlocked the door he turned to the boy he'd seen grow into a young man.
"Edan," he said softly, gazing down at the teen.
"Yes, Master?" Edan asked softly.
The man hesitated, then sighed, a look of tenderness softening his pale gray eyes. Lucient reached out to pat the top of Edan's soft blond curls, the only place another person was allowed to touch him.
"Your eyes have been shining bright every day, my son." He spoke with a fond smile quirking his lips. "You mustn't let your excitement cause you to forget your greater purpose…"
Edan felt his face flame in embarrassment and silently scolded himself for allowing his emotions to overpower him so easily. The boy had never been good at hiding them, no matter how hard he tried.
"I'm sorry, Master. I'll pray to the Gods for forgiveness," Edan assured him, bowing his head.
Master Lucient nodded, the smile still playing at his mouth. He continued to watch the boy for a moment longer, then reached out again, carefully resting his hand on the small teen's shoulder. The touch made Edan gasp, staring at his Master in confusion.
"I'm very proud of you, my child," he said softly, giving the boy's shoulder a gentle squeeze before releasing him.
His words and touch filled Edan with an unexpected warmth that felt wonderful. The boy bit his lip and ducked his head, trying to suppress a smile. Master Lucient's praise was rare, but always gifted Edan with a strange happiness. The sheltered blond secretly wished for it at all times, though he knew it was a sin to want such things. His prayers often consisted of asking for forgiveness for his shameful sins, which were numerous, much to his chagrin.
"Thank you, Master," Edan whispered gratefully, bowing his head.
After a moment longer of watching his charge, Lucient finally turned and opened the door.
"Pray well, my son." He spoke the words he said every day.
Edan stepped through the threshold of his prayer room and listened for the sound of the door closing behind him, then the click of the lock; it wasn't to keep the boy in, but to keep others out. He breathed a sigh of contentment as a relaxing peace flowed through him, a soothing feeling that filled him whenever he walked into the room.
The large area was filled with treasures. Gold, silver, and precious jewels adorned the walls and rested upon tables of pure pristine glass. Sparkling glints of light shone down from a diamond encrusted chandelier, lit by the high frosted-glass ceiling above. Edan made his way across the gold-dusted marble floors toward a glistening fountain set into one of the towering walls. The tinkling music of flowing water was the only sound in the room and it soothed the boy immensely.
Edan cupped a handful of the cool, clear liquid and brought it to his lips, sighing in delight at the refreshing taste. This room was his personal sanctuary. He was the only being to have ever walked upon these floors, Master Lucient had told him. It had been built by the Gods themselves, to protect their greatest treasures. Their most loved and valuable one being Edan, The Chosen One.
Edan's time spent in the magnificent room was precious to him and he looked forward to his hours of prayer every day. When Edan had been a small child he had often asked Master Lucient to accompany him into the room, but the monk had always gently refused. The boy had quickly outgrown his fear of being alone, however, and had soon learned to love the peaceful silence. His sanctuary.
Edan moved to his prayer circle, a raised dais hidden behind gossamer curtains, and knelt on the marble tile with his hands clasped before him. The cold floor made him wince, but he quickly grew accustomed to the sensation. He willed his wandering mind to focus and he began to pray, but the peaceful silence was briefly interrupted by a sound Edan couldn't distinguish. The boy listened and glanced around him momentarily, before forcing himself to start his prayers. He must be hearing things... He would most definitely have to pray to the Gods for forgiveness of his wandering mind today…
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