Apotheosis (Part I)

Legend tells about a tribe of men that lived on the Earth before any other man inhabited it. Aham-rah it was called, the land of the first awakened. On that island most of the land was occupied by a thick forest that stretched from north to south, from east to west, except for a small portion in the east, a treeless coastal area, where the first men found fertile land to settle. The small tribe grew to about fifty individuals. Among them the custom of fighting was established to choose the strongest warrior, who would guide them towards survival. This custom was necessary because in the thickness of the forest there were many beings of different forms and sizes, many of them capable of knocking down a man and feeding on his flesh. That is why men needed to become strong and shared the taste for the wild, for the war they waged against those beings, to keep them away from the tribe. But this violent nature was suffered by women, who were considered a prize for the strongest warriors. Female slaves were forced to support the little ones and feed the warriors.

However, there was one among these women who was born with a changed nature, Irinia – Holan was her name and she was not quiet or submissive, but tough, stubborn. She lived under the protection of her mother and grandmother, who appeased the fury of men she angered and kept her away from men who might desire her, for she was also very beautiful. And during that time, a new warrior rose among the men of the tribe, one like no other before. Iran-Zalur was named and his strength was comparable only to his ambition. With the strength of his arms he raised the combat spear and knocked down all the enemies that crossed his path. Iran-Zalur advanced relentlessly toward the leadership of men, at the cost of blood and death, of bodies that formed the path that led him to the summit of the tribe. The powerful warrior liked then to taste all women of the tribe for his own satisfaction, and no man opposed to his will. But Iran -Zalur was a cautious man; when women became pregnant, he sent to kill the newborn, for no child of his should be born, and thus there should never be any man who opposed his will. All children born from the seed of Iran – Zalur were killed seconds after birth. Their bodies burned in the fire to completely erase their existence. And then the warrior set his eyes on Irinia – Holan and smiled at finding the first person who refused to agree with him. “I can break your bones” said the powerful warlord to the woman. “I can crush your skull” continued Iran – Zalur, but he did not find any hesitation in Irinia – Holan’s gaze. Annoyed by the woman’s attitude, Iran-Zalur took the woman by force and forced her to surrender her body to the warrior’s wishes. And the woman never complained, never let the tears run down her cheeks and never let out the hatred that kept her alive in the midst of the outbursts that Iran-Zalur provoked against her. Lying on the ground, after sex, Irinia-Holan swore to the stars that her revenge would be consummated. And it was Aramantia himself, the god who embodies everything, who came down from the starry mantle disguised as a seagull and visited Irinia – Holan in her distress. The god comforted her and assured her that he himself had met the perpetuator of her revenge, at a point in time that still had not occurred in the eyes of men. Aramantia pointed his right wing to the west and told Irinia “follow the line I have drawn on the ground for you and as long as you do not lose sight of it, your revenge will come true, because he who is born from your womb will be blessed with my grace and our paths will inevitably meet”. But Irinia-Holan mistrusts the words of the god, for she knew that creatures of the forest hate men, but the god told her that her destiny was not to be devoured by these beings.

And so it was that Irinia – Holan left the tribe of her childhood and embarked on a journey through the vast forest. And just as Aramantia said, she never crossed paths with any beast, but her path became more difficult every time her belly grew and grew because of the pregnancy, until finally she had to stop to give birth. And it was then that the light of Aramantia’s line weakened and the creatures knew about Irinia – Holan’s presence in the forest. Agile they went among the branches of the trees, among the humid grasses and among the bowels of the earth to reach the shade of the apple tree where Irinia – Holan gave birth to her first and only son, Iris – Zalur. And the beasts snarled, their fangs and claws pointed at Irinia – Holan, who begged for her life more than for her son’s, and the beasts noticed this and pitied the little one. And she noticed this and offered her own son to the beings of the forest, arguing that the little one carried within himself the necessary strength to defeat men. The beasts meditated among them, their desire for blood was great, but greater was their desire to finish their ancient enemies. And so it was that Irinia-Holan made a deal with the beasts of the forest, her own life in exchange for the life of her little boy.

Years went by and Iris – Zalur was raised by a group of Rasgaris, four-legged beasts expert in the art of war, with wolf’s head and long limbs, with the whole body covered with thick fur of colors similar to the forest environment. Expert hunters, these beasts taught Iris – Zalur the art of ambush, patience and determination. The little man suffered much of his childhood, beaten and defeated countless times by his stepbrothers Rasgaris, who nicknamed him the “short legged” and enjoyed watching him fall from the trees, get left behind in cross country runs and settle for the leftovers of the prey they captured. But Iris – Zalur had been born as stubborn as his mother and never gave up, endured the cold of the mud and the hardness of the stones, forgot the heat of comfort and embraced the cold blow of the nights, and became strong because of it. Years later, Iris – Zalur was mature enough to challenge the leader of the Rasgaris to a duel for the leadership of the pack. The young hero understood that his arms were not as long as those of the beast, so he decided to use his body as bait to lure the Rasgaris so close as to deliver a fatal blow. And the great beast confronted Iris-Zalur, and threw himself against him, blinded by his own strength, trusting in his powerful claws, which he buried in the flesh of Iris-Zalur, such as he had planned. And then the beast found itself defenseless before the young man, who pressed his muscles to impede the claws of the beast to escape from his body and took the Rasgaris by the neck, suffocating him and killing him in front of all. Since then, Iris-Zalur was known as the “Immortal Rasgaris”, because it was believed that no Rasgaris could defeat him.

News about Iris -Zalur’ triumph spread through the forest and representatives of all beings gathered once more, this time to congratulate him, but also to ask him to carry out the promise made by his mother, the destruction of the world of men. But Iris – Zalur did not intend to make war and the beasts had no argument to convince him. However, it did not pass much time until the advance of men, guided by Iran – Zalur, through the forest was known. A horde of men came relentlessly to the territory of the Rasgaris. And it was then that the path of death and destruction caused by Iran – Zalur reached the ears of his unrecognized son, who then acceded to the request of the beings of the forest and declared war on men. The plan of Iris – Zalur was simple, while a group of beasts impeded the advance of men, he and a select group of Rasgaris would enter the forest, advancing toward east, with the objective of reaching the village of the east coast, and thus ending women and children, achieving with it to weaken the morale of the warriors and forcing them to retreat. The plan was set in motion and Iris – Zalur traveled with the Rasgaris to the east, while her father fought against the beasts that confronted him in the middle of the forest. During the night of the seventh day, the group reached the eastern shores and entered the village undetected. Protected by the shadows of the night, Iris – Zalur and the Rasgaris attacked the women and children, few men were left to face them and they were all defeated. But then something happened that the young Iris-Zalur had not foreseen, it was at the moment he came out of one of the huts and saw a woman begging for her life in front of one of the Rasgaris. Iris – Zalur’s heart wavered for the first time in his life, a strange feeling, different from all those that had fed his soul during the years of his life, went deep inside him and then he could no longer raise arms against the men of the village, but remained quiet in the shadows, alienated by the massacre he himself had organized. And then an uncontrollable desire to cleanse his body of blood invaded him, Iris – Zalur ran to the edge of the beach and entered the violent waters of the dark night and let himself be carried away, distressed by a heavy burden crushing his chest, an invisible and nameless pain for the young hero. And the Rasgaris left him for dead among the waves of the night and left him behind, feeling with it that they had disposed of one that was not one of them.

In the morning, the warriors returned to the village and found the place in ruins, the bodies of the women and children, all dead. In the midst of the search for survivors, the men found Iris – Zalur, unconscious on the shore. They took him and brought him to the leader, Iran – Zalur, who ordered him to be awakened immediately. Once awake, Iris-Zalur was interrogated by the men and he confessed everything that had happened the previous night. Iran-Zalur said to him: “Tell me your name, traitor to your race, that your actions have condemned men to oblivion and for this reason your life will be insufficient payment”. “Iris – Zalur, son of Irinia – Holan and of the beings of the forest, who saw me growing with fear always in their hearts, for it is true that I am a man, but among them I have no friends”, the young man replied and his glance reminded Iran – Zalur of the name of his mother. “Then your death is just, since your life breaks the law of men and I am the one who dictates it”, replied Iran-Zalur and prepared for combat. “But now get up and defend yourself, because to take your life in a fight is the only justice that men know”, so the warlord said, and the fight between father and son was established.

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