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RefreshingWorld OP t1_j0avjtw wrote

Frigid snow threatened to bury the warrior as he made his ascent. He was cold among other things and tired. Footfall by footfall though he continued, walking towards something he could not yet see, only hope.

"Reach the peak of the world and you will find salvation."The oracle's words rang in his ear. He remembered he had responded with anger against her look of pity, how could he not? He did not need to be saved, he was the greatest man to ever live: immortal, invincible, indestructible, and as he would slowly discover: infinite.

Each step brought him closer to his goal yet he could only reflect. So many lifetimes had he lived with nothing to show for it. His glories lay abandoned, passed to legend, or forgotten. His victories turned into defeats against the inescapable march of time. His memories became a curse that bound him as all those he shared them with withered away to leave only him, alone.

A gap in the blizzard gave him pause as he glimpsed a snowy clearing. He hurried his pace, crunching the snow against his feet as he stumbled forward. He saw a man standing vigilantly at the top of the world, where even the snow lay at bay.

The man wore only a shawl and light garments against the bitter cold. His hands held a mighty hammer but the warrior remained unsure whether it was he or the icy frost that held on.

"You have come, Timeless One," the man boomed across the clearing. "I trust you know what that means."

The warrior remained silent for a moment, his breath heating the frozen air near his face. "I do."

"Then let us begin."

The warrior raced forward, his stride deceptively fast as he barreled through the snow. When he was within range he swung his spear in a wide arc, the tip on course to slice his opponent's neck. The god for his part flew back, quickly exiting the range of the spear and swinging his hammer to compensate for the increased momentum.

The warrior spun throwing himself closer so that the hammer could not effectively strike him. His attacks were like lightning as the spear then blurred through the air cutting deep into the god's flesh.

"Impressive," the god muttered.

A metallic screech was the warrior's only warning to duck low as the war hammer sailed over him back into the god's grip. The boom radiating from the collision shattered a nearby wall of ice and sent cries of sound echoing down the sheer cliffs.

The god pushed his offensive swinging blow after blow of the heavy weapon with outstanding speed. Each of his strikes left indentations into the frozen stone and their spiderwebbing cracks turned their battlespace into an unstable and perilous arena.

"You don't speak as you fight Timeless One", he said in between blows. "Why?"

"War is not a game." He replied, jumping over and behind the god.

"For one such as you, it should be. You have no worries in your battles.

"It would be a slight to give anything less than my all to a worthy opponent. I do not disrespect those I fight." He followed up the statement by kicking up a footfall of snow forward his weapon hissing through the air as it followed suit. They both flew uselessly through empty space as the god had disappeared.

A sharp pain erupted in the warrior's side as he felt the god's kick catapult him into a nearby wall. He stood wincing at the new injury. "Your blows, they do not heal?"

"They do not."

Their battle raged on as they continued circling each other. They were almost equally matched but the tired warrior had never fought against a foe in which he did not heal and as time wore on he took blow, after blow, after blow.

After a full day, he fell, kneeling in the snow.

"Your journey ends now timeless one."

The warrior steadied himself and looked out at the sun that was rising slowly above the mountains. The last one he would ever see.

"Thank you."