At long last, Part 5 is out! I hope you love this baby; I count it as one of my best pieces of writing ever. If you read it, please leave a comment. It really helps me know how much you appreciate these.
Read the prequel here.
Gray's breath hissed as he darted through the undergrowth, his Terra Blade raised. Around him, the leaves lit up and flourished, glowing green with the light of Terraria.
This place is full of magic, he realized. All I have to do is draw on it. He kept running.
The spires of the Dungeon rose beyond the forest, stark against the first light of the rising sun. Blue trails streaked the horizon, standing out against the dark of night. The forest was glowing with the power of Gray's Terra Blade, its leaves flourishing as though it were summer. No metal was left in the dirt and rocks around his feet. This was all real.
Zombies and Possessed Armor rose from the ground to engage him, but they all dissipated with the hissing power of the Terra Blade. They were creatures of evil, with no order - they could not stand against unison.
Gray ran on. The Dungeon's spires tore the night like demons' fingers - a corrupt Paladin's fingers.
As the warrior jumped into the Dungeon's creeping tunnels, he heard the roar from across Terraria.
Hurtling fast over the forest, the gigantic eyeballs bore down on Swaggins and Silver, each of which readied their weapons. Flying between the two, Cecil warned them, "Don't kill the Twins! Distract them!"
Swaggins and Silver took flight; one on wings of fire, the other of ice. Aiming bolts at the Twins from his Cursed Flames, Silver distracted Retinazer; Swaggins threw spiked balls mid-flight and taunted Spazmatism. The eyeballs hurtled toward them, their eyes red and green. Cecil flew in loops around the combatants, striking every so often with a dark sword.
The monsters roared as one and flew faster. Diving in complicated loops, Silver built a cage of magic to hold them. Every time the Twins bumped against the shadowy bars, they roared in pain. "We can't hold them for long!" Swaggins warned. "They're too strong!"
Cecil grinned. "I haven't had a thrill like this in many years! Come now!" He resumed flying, scaring a bird that was sitting on the ground. It was blasted aside by a bomb of fire from Spazmatism's pupil. Lasers laced the night, lighting the green treetops in a red light.
"Gray's Terra Blade is restoring the magic of Terraria," Silver noticed. He had long known about the magic of Terraria - someone exposed to as much mana as he had could sense these things.
Swaggins gave a sideways glance. "Well, it'll be less magical if we're eaten by two big eyes." Retinazer and Spazmatism had changed forms, revealing the holy metal that made them. Retinazer's laser turret tore through the Jungle's treetops beneath them.
Gray slammed the door against the wall. "I've come to duel."
Arthur chuckled, a resonating noise that rumbled the surrounding Dungeon. "A duel it is, then. A Paladin never goes back on his honor."
"You're not a Paladin," Gray challenged. "You went back on your friends. A real Paladin wouldn't do that."
Arthur threw his hammer with a roar of rage that rent the air.
Gray ducked, then swung with his blade. "You're gonna get owned." It careened off the metal. "...what?"
"Ha! You cannot stop this! I have tempered this metal in the steel of the hottest Hellforges! You cannot resist the Holy Metal!"
"You're stupid," Gray noticed. "You haven't fought the Twins, much less defeated them. My friends are keeping them away from your army now."
Arthur remained silent. "Then how have I made this suit impervious to your blade?" he asked.
It was Gray's turn to be quiet. He kept parrying Arthur's throws, but his hand was quivering. How had the paladin managed to resist his strikes?
What had Ignis said? Remember what I have taught you, and you will triumph. That was it.
That was it.
Gray knew what to do as the hammer crushed his ribcage.
Ringed by a thousand monsters, Swaggins and Silver were backed up to the shore of the Eastern Ocean. In the sky above them, Cecil engaged the Twins, their gnashing jaws and shooting lasers narrowly missing his wings and feet.
Swaggins's flail demolished twenty giants bats; Silver's Razorblade Typhoons ripped through the ranks of Zombies.
At the same time, a dozen arrows pierced his cloak; Swaggins was pummeled by bombs. The two friends were surrounded except for the one side, where they couldn't go. It looked pretty hopeless, with the Twins firing bolts at Cecil and coating the night sky with flame.
Swaggins was struck by a dozen swords, and crumpled. Trying to shield his burly friend, Silver stepped in front. A stray arrow pierced his arm, sending him over the edge.
"Ya'll are about to get this," he hissed, "Silver style."
From high in the air, Cecil was astonished to see explosions of red, orange, purple and green ripping through the monster horde, expanding outwards across Terraria.
Gray crumpled to the ground, fatally crushed. The pain rumbled over his body, taking his breath and soul away. His lungs were ripped and torn, irreparable. But there was one thing he could do.
Gray focused on his memories, but he changed them. He changed the metallic leaves to green, the iron-hard ground to dirt, the unnamed fluid in the oceans to water. He imagined Terraria.
Green light grew and grew, the Terra Blade floating into the sky with the Paladin and the warrior watching it in awe. It rotated once, then descended to Gray's hand.
He stood, despite his injuries, walked over to Arthur, and slammed the blade into the face guard.
Rumbling grew deep in the bowels of the earth, and surged upwards. Gray felt the return of everything Terrarian: the Adamantite gleaming red deep in the lava's glow; the ocean's lapping waves against the palms of the beach; the moon glowing over a land full of magic. He smiled, and died, knowing that he was - at last - a part of Terraria.
The following morning, Silver and Swaggins used simple copper pickaxes to dig two pits in the ground as Ignis looked on. Each was three blocks deep and four long. They didn't say "six feet," or "eight feet." They said "blocks," because they were digging in Terraria.
Each of the pits contained a body. One of a Guide, and one of a warrior. The Terra Blade was stuck point-down in the earth between the two graves, invoking the power of Terraria for all eternity.
Because it was Terrarian soil they were dug in.
Honestly, this is the best story I've ever written. I'd say so. It brought wonderful tears to my eyes to write the closing story of Gray, of Silver, of Ignis, of Swaggins. Of Cecil. Of Arthur. Of Terraria itself. I love you guys.