Chapter XI: Darkness WithinMature

Alexander finally made it to the chamber which held the Holy Grail. He looked around and saw the beautiful architecture, remnants of a proud empire... and then he remembered that this wasn't entirely original. He knew that this was merely the Romans' attempt to recreate the works of Greece, yet, to see it here, made him smile. The detail and beauty of it all was simply astonishing.

Then, in the very center of the chamber, he saw what he had been searching for, what he had fought so much for... the Holy Grail.

Alex smiled, knowing that his original quest had finally come to an end... and yet... is this what he really wanted? His heart burned with desire for immortality, to avoid the fate so many had accepted as inevitable. But his heart burned for something else as well... but what was it? He wasn't sure what it was that drove him on now. Was it fear of death? Or... or love for her?

Alex shook his head. "I've come this far... I cannot turn back now. Otherwise all I have achieved would have been for nothing," He grabbed the chalice and stared into the wine that filled the cup. "Once I drink this, my nightmares will no longer have any power over me."

And that was when he drank from the Grail.

For a moment, nothing happened, but suddenly a deep pain erupted from the pit of his stomach. He fell to his knees and screamed in agony. What's... happening to me?

A laugh emanated from within his own throat, but the words that came out were not his own, despite it being his voice. "You're a fool, Alexander. You didn't realize that this was not the same Holy Grail that you believed it is."

"What?"

"There are two grails. The one you believed you had obtained was the one Christ drank from during the Last Supper... but in reality, you just drank from the grail that caught Christ's blood as he hung from the cross, with every sin of humanity pressed upon his shoulders... and now... so do you."

Alex's eyes widened in fear. "So... in attempting to avoid my fate..."

"You simply became the nightmare that you wished to avoid. But that is life for you. One often comes across his destiny on his road to avoid it." The voice answered. It let out a laugh, both maniacal and composed, and simply faded from the great hall. Alex shook his head, and turned to a fountain. He came up to it to see what he looked like, hoping nothing had changed...

And what he saw frightened him to his very core. For staring back at him through his reflection was not the red haired, green and yellow eyed warrior he was, but now a white haired, white eyed man with slightly pale skin. Tears ran down his face as he came to understand what had happened.

He shook himself out of it and stared out at the exit. "So... this is what I have become... can she love me... now that I have become... this?"

The End

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