Hell At The Door
"Drip...Drip..." Was a noise heavily overshadowed by the rest of torrents of rain in the demon realm as the supernatural sun vanished into the abyss, leaving the already red-skied plain of the Shadow Temple an eerie black. To end the repeditive noise came footsteps by a hooded figure, a figure that dropped soemthing at the temple's threshhold before vansihing as quick as it came.
At the very moment, the head priest of the dark ruins stepped out of the main gate, almost crushing what the former figure had left. The priest lifted the basket to see...A child, not just any child, but someone or thing that was to be very special in time. He could see it in the child's eyes, he was born to achieve, and it was his job to ensure it was for the cause of darkness. He raised the baby and turned around, adopting a son that would one day do the very thing he was intended to do, but not in the manner that the unfortunate priest was counting on...
The Dark Origin
Seeding With Evil
One year later...
"Here Echo, my child, you need your nourishment." Said the lord of the Shadow Temple before giving his child a bottle. Letting the child begin to drink it he slapped it away, not caring that the baby would indeed cry. The priest continued to do things in this manner until virtually nothing could harm the child emotionally.
Four years later...
"My son Echo, you will continue to study under me, but for now, I'd like you to take a temporary visit to our public schooling district."
In a few minutes the small but already toughened five year old Echo had gathered his things and headed towards the school district of the temple, reaching its' archway soon enough.
A rather short man, wearing the familiar hooded garbs of the temple, walked towards him with a clipboard. "Good morning, let's hear your info."
"I am Echo, that's all you need to know."
The teacher raised his hand and prepared to smack the insubordinate kid, but recognized his name and hesitated.
"Exactly." Said Echo, pushing the teacher itno the wall with one hand while walking by.
"Alright class, now for your pop quiz results, and before they are released, I should apologize to our guest Echo, he unluckily came in the day of our hardest chapter's review." Sneered the gurdge-holding teacher.
The confident five year old glared back and only responded with a:"Hmph."
Let's see, Tazuma, 79, Chozo, 82, Tsukina, 76...Those were our top three students and their grades. Let's see, here is our guest's quiz, hehehe...! There's no possible way, a perfect score!"
Echo folded his arms and rested his feet on his neighbor's desk. "Actually, you'll find that you made a mistake on one of your questions and I took the liberty of correcting it for you. Don't thank me, people like me always have to backtrack and spoon feed scum like you." Echo rose up and turned towards the door.
Suddenly the teacher charged his student, unable to take being outwitted by a more sinister child than a man such as himself.
Echo spun around and pulled out a dagger from under his cloak, stabbing the isntructor in the throat. "That's right...Bleed." He pushed the corpse onto the desk of another student.
Two years later...
"Echo, my son, you are becoming a man. It is time for you to acquire some major training. You will be training alongside my nephew and your cousin, Rafar."
"So Echo...We're cousin's right." Said Rafar, warming up.
The despondent Echo gazed at his cousin disgustedly. "That's the rumor."
"Hey, cheer up, I'm not that ugly." Said Rafar, trying to be pleasant, but all the same remembering the stories of his cousin's cruelty, and recognizing the power in his eyes.
Just then, a voice could be heard echoing throughout the training cavern. "Proceed."
Rafar looked at Echo with hesitation but Echo had already walked forwards into the next room.
As soon as they both had entered the walls began to enclose, covered in lethal stalagmites. Echo wished he had access to his weapons, but knew he would have to deal without. He looked up and noticed a small hole that led to a separate cavern. "Perfect." Said Echo, running up the wall and dodging the spiked surfaces with amazing speed and agility for a seven year old. In a few seconds he had already reached the hole, noticing Rafar was still in shock and was trying to scamper up the stalagmites.
Echo sighed before flipping downwards. "Alright, let's see. Give me all of your spirit energy."
Rafar swallowed hesitantly and placed his hands on Echo, charging him with all of his might.
"Alright, now grab on to my cloak." Rafar did as was told and Echo sped up the quickly moving surface and leaped with all of his might into the half-way covered hole, ripping soem of his arm flesh in the proccess. He gasped for a moment before wrapping it.
"Thank you, cousin Echo." Smiled Rafar before getting punched by Echo with an astoudning amount of force, breaking his nose and busting one of the blood vessels in his eye.
"If you ever hinder me again, you will wish the shadows themselves were here to devour you instead."
Three years later...
"Echo, do you think we'll become full fledged priests soon?" Said an excited Rafar, running to catch up to Echo.
Looking over his shoulder Echo smirked. "Of course, but I would've became one a lot sooner if I didn't have to carry your weight as well."
Rafar finally caught up, slowing his pace and panting. "You're such a snob, we're already ahead of every other apprentice by years."
"True, but it's not over yet, my father says that we still have a final test to pass." Spoke the ambitious apprentice.
Rafar grunted. "It's not like we haven't already proved ourselves more than worthy."
Echo rolled his eyes. "Shut up, it's tradition."
"Apprentices, you're training has reached it's ending cycle. This is the final test, though I warn you. Nothing you have accomplished to date will have prepared you for this, you will need exstinct, collectivity, and the ability to part emotion and batttle." Echo's adopted father spoke, his words drowned out by the sound of torch flames and the blasting of waterfalls into the canals that surrounded the circular arena in which the three were standing upon. Every sound echoed throughout the underground chamber, every breath as easy to hear as a scream. The atmosphere was swallowed by the scarlet red water, crystal clear yet deep and dark as the abyss of hell. From under and above its surface, spirits and sirens could be heard calling out in cries and whispers, waiting for their next soul to feed upon.
The head priest let the surroundings sink in, seeing the uneasiness in Echo and Rafar's eyes as they knelt before him. "It is time. Have you ever wondered why each member is sworn into secrecy of our training after admittance into the temple's brotherhood? Haven't you ever contimplated what such a final test could be? Of course it has ran through your minds that every living member of our temple doesn't seem to have a living partner?"
The priest cackled in amusement. "Echo, Rafar, your final test is simple, kill or be killed. Your opponent is standing before you, begin." The priest turned around and walked into a void of shadows, leaving the two alone in silence.
Echo's eyes were shifting uncontrollably, despite his annoyance at Rafar, they were like brothers, Rafar was his only friend. He would just have to find another way, perhaps-"Crash!" Echo was tackled and pinned to the ground.
Rafar was looming over him with a new maniacal complexion, his eyes fileld with hate and malice. "That's right, for my entire life, I have suffered. I have been in your shadow, even my own father rebuked me for not being you. He beat me, claiming that until I was just like you, I would never be good enough." He laughed unsteadily. "Am I good enough now daddy?! You were better than me in every area, stronger, faster, more popular with girls, so I decided that I would outwit you. Of course on the most important study night of the year my father msut berate and beat me, so I couldn't study properly. The very next day, you wander in class for the first and last time, acing the exam without the slightest preparations, then you must kill my sensei, my mentor. I decided to give up, kill myself, but had its own ideas, I was paired up with none other than you, the hell in my god-forsaken life. I think to myself, yes, I'll gain his trust through innocence and finally kill him. Then and only then, the elders will call me the prodigy, me the pride of the temple. My father will love me, and you, you will finally be dead."
Echo tried to respond but was impaled in the stomach, Rafar beginning to carve him open. Echo elbowed Rafar in desperation, but Rafar wouldn't let go, Echo continued to elbow him and finally threw him backwards with the final attack, sending blood across the entire platform and causing Echo's gut to begin to spew. Echo stumbled as he stood up, covering the hook shaped gash in him. "I can't do it, no matter how much of a fool you are, you're my brother, my best friend. I'm leaving, tell my father you win." Echo felt Rafar's prescence and whirled around, sweep kicking Rafar's feet out from udnerneath him and grabbing his opponent's arms. But Rafar began to lash out, biting Echo's shoudler and tearing out flesh.
Echo drew back, giving Rafar the time to headbutt Echo's already growing wound, sending Echo plummetting into the watery abyss and drenching Rafar's already crazed face in his and Echo's blood. He laughed insanely, not expecting the geyser of crismon liquid to erupt from the canal. He saw a familiar figure, a msot hated figure to him, in the center of the torrent. The formerly mentioned spirits and sirens in the cursed canal cried out in pain as they were absorbed by the figure, causign the water to disperse and shower the area. A completely healed Echo stood across from Rafar, now radiating with evil energy.
Rafar, trembling at the power, cried out in emotional and physical agony as his skin began to peel lethally just from the prescence of his cousin's energy. "Go to hell!!!" He screamed as tears like the flow of a river drenched his face.
"You first." Echo walked up to him, his face now cold and his eyes despicably viscious. Veins on Rafar's skull coudl be bulding and exploding on the inside of his head just from Eho's stare, yet he was unable to look away. Echo grabbed his throat with one hand, slamming him into the stone below them. With his other hand he began to demolish his face with thrashing punches, his oppoennt's entire mouth scarlet as he continued to cry out. Echo was unable to to take the screams any longer and in a silent rage effortlessly clenched through his cousin's throat, separating his head from his body. "Good riddance." Said Echo, lying.
Echo's father appeared from behind him. "Excellent, my son, he was just as any other experience in your life, a stepping stone."
Echo shook his head. "Was the whole point of my training to rip out my heart?"
Echo's father replied coldly. "Lesson learned it seems."
Echo turned around, glaring for a moment before being slapped by his father.
"Don't you look at me with those eyes, not yet. Though it is your destiny to kill me, like any other stepping stone, yet I haven't finished your teachings, so until that moment, you are mine."