BY JOSEPH WALTER
I believe we were learning about the Greek or Roman pantheon of gods and goddesses, and were required to create our own mythology, with both a legend and artistic rendering.
Mine was… well, let's just say it's interesting.
First of all, here's the artistic rendering of his temple:
Oh, and before we begin:
Apparently, I was clearly aware that the canon I was presenting to my teacher was far too complex for her mortal mind, and found it necessary to phonetically write out the two names of my protagonist.
They read as follows: "Rubeus (Ru-bee-us) Rubei (Ru-bay)"
Oh, and my teacher wrote "Very creative" and gave me a check plus.
Contain your jealousy.
Of note: The story is typed in bold, while my commentary is in regular typeface. I'm sure you would have figured it out, but I can't take any chances in a world where people think vaccines cause autism.
Rubei had his name changed to Rubeus because it fitted [sic] for his new home. There was Lord Diamond, his wife, Sapphire, and their daughter Emerald.
Right off the bat, I didn't really earn my "very creative." These are the names of the villains during the then-current season of Sailor Moon. However, the whole "Rubei = Rubeus" thing came out of my own mind. And the similarities end there, as we go down a wild rabbit hole.
Of interest is that I honestly inexplicably had this reason to have my main character go through a name change in the first two sentences. That's so… weird. Normally, you'd think that kind of event would happen after some great quest, or when God himself chooses you for greatness. But no, it was simply the way of things and fitted with his new home. Why would I feel compelled to add this detail? I can only imagine what the culture of this world was like. It "fit" for his new home. Alright.
I also love that I was extremely concerned with the world-building and the family tree.
One day they went to war and Rubeus was captured. Rubeus waited and waited for Diamond to rescue him but he never did. The enemy slayed [sic] Rubeus.
Well, uh, that's one way to start this out. This is fairly dark for that age. I can hardly imagine the mind-warping, lonesome torture that Rubeus went through, awaiting his once-admired Lord to rescue him.
"Any day now, any day now.." he must have whispered to himself during the frigid nights in his cell.
And think of the implications of this lore: Who, or what, did they go to war with? Was this a just empire? Or one that should be synonymous with the Empire of Star Wars fame?
And after countless nights, after all hope is lost, Rubeus is executed. No warning. No deal. Nothing but no-frills death.
When Rubeus awoke in the shadow world he noticed the other demons having a riot.
Things are getting crazy for a presumed fifth-grader here. I seem to have created my own afterlife concept. One that's filled with rioting demons.
This calls to question whether or not Diamond's empire was righteous, since this sounds an awful lot like Hell. Does this mean Rubeus (formerly "Rubei," in case you missed this critical detail) was a terrible person during his stint in the empire?
Maybe he got what he deserved after rotting away in jail while the cowardly Diamond no doubt prospered after retreating, selfishly failing to rescue the enthusiastic Rubeus.
I can only imagine that he sat in his throne, repeating "all rulers must make difficult decisions" to himself, to try and convince himself that abandoning his eager friend was the correct course of action.
At this time, there was no king of demons.
I wonder if this is why the demons were rioting?
That's why the demons were rioting.
Rubeus said he would be king and, at that moment, he became half-demon and half-human. This is represented with one eye demon-like. He then got golden magical armor and a magical crystal sword that can kill anything, cut them clean in half. His left arm is ultra-strong and his right arm is that of a spell caster. His glare can withstand the instant death gaze of the basilisk. When engaged in battle he gets devil wings.
This is where things take a turn for the insane. More so than before.
I love its brutal simplicity: "I am going to be king." That bold, confident act suddenly aligns the universe and forces of fate and destiny, imbuing the fallen Rubeus with all manner of power, lineage and equipment.
That simple declaration turned him into half-a-demon. HIS ONE EYE BEING DEMON-LIKE PROVES THIS. (refer to the picture)
And not only that, he receives two obviously-legendary items. And the sword can kill anything. It's cuts the poor fools clean in half. This was someone not to be trifled with.
And, naturally, as a lefty myself, his left arm is "ultra-strong." (Check out the picture. His left arm is holding up the temple. I'm actually surprised at how clever and subtle that reference to his lefty-ultra-strength is) and his right arm alone is capable of casting spells. I assume this means that he doesn't even need to utter the arcane words; his arm just knows.
He stares back at a Basilisk and resists its instant-death gaze. Okay, must've just read "The Chamber of Secrets."
Oh, and to top it all off, he gets devil wings the second he is engaged in any form of combat. Talk about intimidation.
And, I really need to stress this, is Rubeus a good guy? I mean, I don't know. I really don't know. He just sees all of these hellspawn rioting in absolute, pure anarchy (because, "at this time" there was no king. What's the story with that? ) and decides that he'll be king.
He must have really meant it, because the universe certainly agreed with him.
The dude is monstrously powerful, half-demon, rules over suddenly-compliant (and, no doubt, fear-filled) demons, and grows devil wings at the slightest beckoning of battle.
Sounds like evil incarnate. I can only imagine the terror he will know bring to the land of the living with his endless rain of demonic terror, reaffirming his place as Imperial Grand Devil Master of this world. Poor souls.
He protects the innocent.
Oh. Well scratch all that. I guess he's good.
He is god of war. He is lord of demons. He is Dark Rubeus!
And, no doubt, vengeance, the night and Batman.
Ah… sounds like a good ending, no? He's reached his destiny as Lord of Demons and achieved supernatural strength. Surely this is the end of the tale, nay, legend.
If only that were the case.
On the back is a sloppily written epilogue that reads like the Book of Revelations.
He marries Emerald and kills Diamond. They have a daughter named Talos.
His pet is Egard the Ogre and he is friends with Salron, Arbok, Slemiugs, Drakkor,
Okay, what is this? Why is this epilogue suddenly packed with an enormous amount of indecipherable lore.
The majority of the New Testament is easily digestible: Jesus does nice stuff, dies for everyone's sins, then got to Heaven. Good ending. Cool. But then you get to the Book of Revelations and you're bombarded with angels bringing destruction, the Whore of Babylon, the Seven-Headed Beast, Abaddon, etc. Ya know, a whole bunch of crap that's never been mentioned until now and is entirely insane.
That's pretty much what happened here. The tale of Dark Rubeus (who is, apparently, a hero) is fairly straightforward. And then this happens.
Sure, the first sentence about his vengeance is digestible. I'll even accept that out-of-the-blue, vaguely-ominous, non-jewelry themed name for his daughter. But where did I get the rest of this shit!? Egard the Ogre? What compelled me to share the name of this immortal's pet ogre? This comes out of nowhere. It's clear that, as the author of this work, I felt it was my duty to share that detail. Perhaps this is a critical element of a prophecy yet to be revealed.
And then there are the the friends.
Salron? Who or what is this being? They're friends? There's no mention of him previously in this document. Are we just supposed to know what he is?
Arbok? Okay, well that's a Pokemon. So I guess it makes sense.
Slemiugs, Drakkor? What the-? WHO ARE THESE THINGS? Where did I get these names from? They sound like formidable figures in this world's dog-eat-dog pantheon. Are they even other gods? Or are they humans? Or are they his demon half-kin?
These figures are just so casually mentioned. Off-handedly, even. I mean… why? What was the reasoning? My fifth grade self was trying to tell us something. I feel it in my bones. I believed this to be so important that it had to be shared, and shame on us for not understanding it years later.
Thus the great telling of the legend of the fall of Empire Diamond and the rise of Rubeus ends……………...
Oh…... wait… I forgot; There's one more "friend's" name scribbled on here:
Ynattirb. YNATTIRB. YNATTIRB. What. The. Hell.
This doesn't sound like some vaguely cool-sounding name my fifth grade self would pull out of his ass.
This sounds like the most menacing, ageless cosmic horror, emerging deep from its forever-sleep in the darkest bowels of the cosmos. Profoundly more ancient than the Elder Gods themselves, and infinitely wiser. Frighteningly more powerful. Again, I just casually toss this out there. This is the last fucking thing on the whole paper. This is the bookend. It starts with "A long time ago" and ends with this revelation/prophecy/death sentence of "Ynattirb."
Surely, this creature's mere life-force is too much for a mortal to process, causing hundreds of billions throughout the cosmos to commit ritualistic mass suicide on a galactic scale, even lightyears away from this ever-approaching behemoth.
Ynattirb. The name itself is an indecipherable code. It is comparable to the Most Prominent of the Old Gods, Rx'lhx'tcl and his Most-Ancient Kin. No doubt, "Ynattirb" is not this terrifying behemoth's TRUE name, but rather what the ancients who foresaw his inevitable, apocalyptic return called him in an effort to attempt to quantify, define and understand what is unable to be understood.
Or maybe it's just Brittany spelled backwards. Because I had a crush on Brittany. Whatever.