Alëxios awakened to find himself laying on his back in a field of tall wheat. He stammered to his feet without hesitation. The area was unrecognizable at first. He walked for miles before the scenery changed at all. The sky was crimson red with enormous black crows shuffling about.
He came upon a beautiful katana wedged into the ground. The sword was shiny-silver, embellished with Chinese ornaments woven into the black leather handle. It became clear to him that the sword was meant for him to claim. With little effort, he pulled the sword out of the patch of soil. The crows cried loudly as they cut through the air.
Suddenly, the crows were no longer audible. He turned around to see the figure of a giant warrior dressed in ancient samurai armor. Before Alëxios had a chance to speak, the warrior attacked with his own sword. With quick reflexes he was able to counter, and did not shy away from the threat. The sound of metal clashing was muted. All that could be heard was one heartbeat rhythmically pounding through each blow.
The battle waged endlessly, until Alëxios bested the warrior with a leg sweep. The warrior recovered to his feet with the intent to attack again, but was stunned when Alëxios bowed in reverence to him. “Father, it is a great honor to meet you here in the borderlands of the Gods.”
~Ch. 11, Somewhere Beyond the Stars and Sea~