Become a Fan
Melody of Death
By Johnny ST Tai
Friday, September 13, 2002
THE MELODY OF DEATH, (THREE LONG notes, TWO SHORT notes..)
According to the tales of the old time, the summoner of death
owned a golden flute, which he played upon taking someone's life away.
This tale involves the Death-Summoner's flute and
its deadly melody. Also in Chinese fictions, the expression, "three longs,
two shorts" means that DEATH or something dreadful taking place.
Centuries before the modern world took over, when dragons were still rulers of all beasts and monsters, when ogres hunted mortals down, eating them raw, when magic and witchcraft were still commonly practiced, there were two kingdoms north to Greece. They were the kingdom of Sizia and Calisia. For many years, the two kingdoms were as friendly as twin-brothers were.
For many years peace hovered like a cloud in the sky. People worked hard and made their livings fine.
The peace was broken when the king of Sizia was slaughtered by his own son, Prince Castus, an evil-minded young man. Castus took over the throne of Calisia, and immediately demanded the king of Calisia to hand over his Rosia Sword, the sword which was passed on from many generations as a symbol of the Calisia Royal Family's authority and their loyalty toward Zeus.
When King Sicus refused Castus' demand, the war was in full-play. The newly trained Sizia warriors, quickly surrounded the kingdom of Calisia and invaded the cities. Women were made sex-slaves, men were slaughtered, and houses were put to ashes… Due to the long years of comfort and luxury, the Calisian warriors were not prepared for such an invasion and were not able to match the well-trained Sizian army on the battlefields. Finally, King Sicus led his Royal Knights out to face the enemy himself. The Royal Knights of Calisia, led by King Sicus and Prince Castus’ Avenger Troop fought to a stalemate at the mouth of Abyss Valley and opened the scene of a most gruesome combat.
On the third day of the bloody battle, King Sicus was slew by an well-aimed arrow from Prince Castus. Without their king/leader, the Royal Knights retreated.
Back in the palace of Calisia, when Princess Halius received the dreadful news of her father's death, she decided to go to battle. Nineteen years old, with eyes mystic as the glow of crystal, though feminine but no weaker than any male warrior, Halius met no opposition as she picked up the burden of leadership. She dressed in a suit of silver armour and went to the Zeus' Temple to pray for victory. She knelt in front of the idol of Zeus for four days and three nights. At the fourth night, Zeus suddenly materialized in front of her and said: "Thy prayer’s heard, now, speak thy heart’s desire."
"All mighty Zeus of Olympus, I ask from you a flame of victory, for no more death upon Calisia, and avenge my father's death!" said Halius, not bothering with the high-speech.
"Thy victory’s foreseen. This bloodshed will soon end, and thou shall be her who ends it. When the Earth shatter beneath the sun, when castles burn in the shadow of Hades, that's when the flame of victory will be lit. Here, thou shall receive a gift from I, The Shepherd's Flute will serve thee. Two long notes will summon the thunderbolt fromHeaven. Three long notes can call the messenger of Olympus. Three long notes followed by two short notes will awaken the Death-Summoner who will consume thy soul—Before the taking of the soul, the summoner will grant thou one final wish. Take thy gift with thee, princess of Calisia." Zeus disappeared and left a golden flute on the ground of the temple. Halius picked up the flute and went to war.
With the help of God's flute, the Calisian knights regained several victories and cities. Halius was able to destroyed almost half of the enemy's troops by summoning the thunderbolt from Zeus. It seemed to the Calisians that the final victory was to come to Calisia soon.
Even a heroine was to fail sometime. At Abyss Valley, as if this was the place where Calisians would doom, Halius was struck by an arrow and fell off her steed. The wound wasn’t fatal, but she was captured by the enemy and was taken back to be locked up in the dungeon so she wouldn’t be able to summon the thunderbolt from underground. Since their leader was captured, the Calisian knights retreated again.
Days after days, Sizian soldiers tortured Halius, trying to force her to surrender the Rosia Sword and her kingdom. The beatings and humiliation, however, shook not Halius’ steel-like will, since she loved her country more than her own body. After all, Sizians killed her father.
On the ninth day, Halius was taken from the dungeon and was escorted to a luxurious room. The walls were decorated with weapons of the finest, and the floor was covered with luscious carpet of the best furs. In the center of the room, sat a powerfully built, handsome man with sharp feature. An oblong face framed by long, golden hair, his eyes were the coldest blue one could ever expect, and his robe was marked with shiny jewels the size of eyeballs. His ears were pierced at their lobes, and he wore earrings of dragon’s fangs. On his belt he wore a sword, and the hilt was bedecked with egg-sized rubies. From the way the soldiers feared the man, Halius assumed that this man must be a general of some sort.
Halius was positioned in front of the authoritative figure.
“Kneel!” a soldier prodded her in the back with his sword. Halius didn’t kneel, instead, she turned sharply and glared at the soldier with eyes so filled with blazing hatred that the man flinched involuntarily. She then turned back to stare at the tall figure, who rose slowly to his feet, with steady gaze.
“Thou shall not be rude to my guest,” said the man, now standing at his full-hight of at least 6.2 feet. Though she couldn’t see the soldier behind her, Halius could felt the soldier paled with extreme fear, and she could understand why too. This general, or commander, or whatever he was, was an extremely intimidating character. When he looked into her eyes, she felt that her soul was being drawn out of her body by unseen force. Not sucked, but drawn, like standing in the rushing current of a river.
“I am, Prince Castus,” He paused dramatically. “And thou must be the fair maiden of Calisia. Ah yes, so a beauty are thee…” he continued on in high-speech.
“Murderer!” Halius said angrily, her eyes burning with tears.
“Ha!” Castus laughed good-naturely, “Call me devil, call me names if that will ease thy heart… For war is cruel, and a few sacrifices must be made before the new peace can be bought… Thy father, a good warrior on the field, died proudly with my arrow in his chest- did he cry a word? No… Now, let us speak of the matter at hand.
As we stand here talking at this moment, there are men out there, dying by hundreds. They are your men, and mine as well… My proposal’s the union of royalties, you, and I. Give me what I wish, and we shall rule together as king and queen of the new empire. Disobey I, thy life shall be wasted and so will thy kingdom.”
Halius didn’t reply, instead, she looked straight in his eyes and spat into his face. Spittle ran down his handsome face on to his robe.
“Why, thou foolish slut!” Castus exclaimed, and with lightning speed, he struck Halius across the mouth with his fist. The force knocked her clear off her feet and slammed her into the wall. She stood up, dazed, blood trickled from her torn lips. She smiled at him, a smile of satisfaction.
“Fine! If tis thy wish, then I shall erase thy kingdom from the face of Earth. No survivor will be allowed, and thy corpse will be stripped and hung from my flagpole!” and with an angry jesture, he commanded the soldiers to take her away.
The execution was said to be set at the dawn of the third day of the followed month. The whole army was to gather in the square to witness her death, and to watch her naked body hang from the flagpole. Halius, however, did not panic when she received her judgement. Instead, she happily took out the flute and played three long notes. A beam of light slipped through a chink on the wall of the dungeon. The heaven's messenger appeared: "Thou summoned me here in thy prison. What is thy desire?"
"Please do bring my words to my people, that they shall go and pray in the temple of all mighty Zeus before the final battle. When they hear the sound of my flute at the dawn of the third day of next month, three long notes, two short notes, when the Earth split into parcels, when it’s time for me to die alone, when the castles burn in smokes, tell my people that's the time to avenge our home. The flame of victory will lead their way, my sword alone will give them command, every inch of my country shall be renewed upon our glory, under the iron hoofs of their steeds." Halius said and the messenger disappeared, the dungeon grew dark again.
The day of the execution arrived swiftly. Halius was tied to the tree in the middle of a square large enough to stand the whole army of Sizia. She watched calmly as Castus approached her:
“You will receive the Death of The Fiend, in which nine wounds will be opened, and you’ll bleed slowly to death.” He explained in plain-speech. “I shall give you a wish before I do the honor of performing your exicution my self.”
“Let me play my flute one last time.”
Many people laughed at the request, even Castus smiled.
“Such a simple deed? Dear maiden, you must be scared crazy!” Castus said. “Untie the maiden, we’ll have her a melody before we put her to death!” he commanded.
Everyone watched as Halius brought the golden flute to her lips. She played three long notes and two short notes. She threw down the flute and laughed: “Haha, this is the melody of my death, and yours too.”
Suddenly, everyone fell silence in the square as a murderous chill drifted in. The dawn, which was lighting up ever so slowly, suddenly was shielded by a thick layer of mist.
“You witch!” Castus drew his sword, but dropped it as a titanic roaring sound shook the earth.
The ground shattered into pieces. Flames reached out and embraced Castus in a sultry bath. Before a scream could escape from his lips, Castus was nothing more than a pile of ahshes. The crowd screamed in horror as a hooded figure appeared from abyss. The figure, no, the creature was 10 feet tall, a massive blazing shadow shrouded in bone-white cloak. The Death-Summoner cried out in his moaning voice: "Thou foolish mortals had awakened me from my dream! The sound called for death was heard, and it pierced the hell and disturbed the hungry souls! For that I shall take thy spirit, take it with me to calm the aroused fears of the dead. Thou shall make a wish before thou die!"
"Take all this Sizians' souls along with my own, they shall burn with me in the flaming lake, my corpse won't be alone, it shall be buried beneath Sizian blood and bones! My sword will be braced by the burning rocks, my warriors will combat and they will tramp the enemy right into Hell!" Halius shoutted at the Death-Summoner.
With a mighty explosion, everything started to burn, soldiers screamed and fell in bloody pools as Halius disappeared into hell. Her sword appeared high on top of a pile of burning stone. At this moment, the Royal Knights arrived, only to witness a deserted field and thousands of tortured corpses. They found no trace of Halius.
The victory was incredible. The knights restored the lost lands and from that day on, the legend of the MELODY of DEATH (three long notes, two short notes) had been told on and on till this day.