9. killing the resurrected undead; completing the work of the devil
When I encountered Gauntlet, it was in western Verga. He and the one I knew could only be Maha were fighting, he firing lengths of silver chain at Maha and Maha returning each with a spear of darkness. The old Shrine in which I had encountered the Broken Angel lay in ruins, similar in appearance to the rest of the buildings in the Dead City. I remember thinking to myself: aha, this is the one who destroyed Ebony Fields.
And I got between them.
Gauntlet and I got away safely and, after I managed to prove that I was not looking for any bounty that might be on his head, he agreed to travel with me. He remained tight-lipped and wouldn’t tell me anything for the longest time. He wouldn’t even confirm that yes, he was the one who had leveled Ebony Fields. But I had my hunch, and he bore the power of death, and it was death that had turned Ebony Fields into what it was then.
For almost a year it went on like this, him tagging along and not saying anything. Going where I went. I felt oddly safe with him nearby. He seemed in total control of his powers, and they were strong—he was a good ally.
After one clash with Maha in the middle of February, 3121, Gauntlet lay mortally wounded, unable to die thanks to his powers and unable to recover thanks to those of Maha. He requested that I do everything in my power to give him rest, so I did. I set about making a weapon that would be able to end his misery, a runeblade capable of returning unto him everything that he had lost—his time, his humanity, his peace. During the time that I was forging it, he lay on the floor of the smithy, talking, almost nonstop.
I didn’t have to ask questions.
He rambled on and on, spewing forth name after name after name. I put the pieces together. While I constructed the weapon that would ultimately kill Fredariko Duncan, that would ultimately end Gauntlet’s suffering, I was told the story of Fredariko Duncan’s previous “deaths” and the suffering Gauntlet had wrought himself. And when I killed Gauntlet, his last words included regret, Matt, and cornfields. So I set out in search of the Broken Angel’s spirit, and eventually came to bury both demons, both friends, in the basalt mausoleum at the foot of Ebony Fields Hill.
Gauntlet died without knowing that Ream no longer existed.