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=AQ= Xov's Assault stories and poetry

 
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6/21/2013 11:53:55   
Eukara Vox
Legendary AdventureGuide!


Here is where you may post your Event Stories. Have fun and please remember to follow the rules in both AE forums and the L&L rules.

For this thread :

1) One post per person. If you have an ongoing story, please just edit your post to continue it. Do not make a new post to add to your story. New major events in AQ will receive a new thread.

2) Please do not comment on the stories in this thread. If you wish to comment on the stories, please go to Xov's Assault Event Stories and Poems Commentary.

3) If you find that your story is getting so long that you are no longer able to edit in, PM an AK or myself for permission to make a second post. Then, edit in the link to the second post to the bottom of the first. If you don't know how to do that, click the post # on the bottom right of your completed post. Copy the link that pops up and paste it into your original post.

< Message edited by Eukara Vox -- 8/6/2013 11:10:13 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 1
6/21/2013 12:47:26   
Muchiha
Member

PAXIA WAR STORY 2013


Chapter 1: Paxia in Distress - Xov’s Letter


- (1 Week before the start of war) – At the Aerodu Airship


I made my way through the main hall of the Airship of my clan and there I found a multitude of m Clansmen talking feverishly amongst themselves. There was another group at the other end of the hall. About a dozen or so members of the monsters that I vaguely recognized. I made my way to the main group of the highest-ranking members of Aerodu.

“Muchiha! Muchiha! Thank goodness you have arrived” A fellow Aeroduian called out.

"What is all the commotion about Aerus? I was in the middle of Knight training with Sir Tathlin"

"There is a group of Trumpha that is currently aboard the Airship and they bring with them a letter"

"May I see it?" I asked

"Certainly. Here you go." I tool the letter from Aerus' hand and read its contents. Click me for the letter

As I finished, I felt disgusted. The atrocities written on that piece of paper angered me to no degree.

"How dare you enter our place of dwelling, come here and challenge us?" I asked

"Hmmph. You Paxian scum are no match for the Trumpha and Xov Arakue! The battle will be over before it even began!" said one of the Trumpha.

"It will never happen. Even at our darkest hour Paxia will rise to the occasion and do whatever is necessary to bring a threat down."

"Well then, let's see about this!" A Trumpha unsheathed a knife and mercilessly cut down one of our Aerodu Clansmen.

"AERUS! NOOOO!" I screamed. A group clansmen rushed to Aerus and began healing his grievous injuries.

"Well, do you fools surrender?!" asked the leader of the 13 Trumpha members. A well-known clansmen named hict98 stepped forward holding the letter and said,

"XOV DARES TO CHALLENGE PAXIA?!? Well it is on now. We shall slay trumpha after trumpha, dulled creature after dulled creature, and beast after beast until we finally crush your army. Then we shall come after you. Before you had just made an enemy with Battleon and the main land, but now you have much more to worry about because you have a new danger. We will destroy with everything we have and when you are begging for mercy, that is when we shall deal the final blow

Fellow paxians let us now go crush Xov and her army. For Aerodu! For Paxia! For Lore! AND FOR CREATIVITYYY!!!"


The Aerodu clansmen let out shouts in response. and surrounded the 13 Trumpha on every side except behind them, where the landing pad was.

Click me for picture. (Imagine the 13 Trumpha Standing at the edge of that platform where the guy is)

hict98 and myself began to release a portion of our power, and moved towards the frightened group of Trumpha. The leader of the small group of Trumpha scared out of his mind said,

"This is MADNESS!"

I took a deep breath and said.

"Madness?.........THIS. IS. PAXIA!" I kicked the leader hard in his chest as he fell out of the Aerodu Airship, screaming his lungs out, and plunged onto the jagged rocks of Geoto below. hict98 raised his blade and said,

"Aerodu, leave all but one standing!" The high-ranking Aerodu members finshed the 11 members off with their concussive blades of pure wind. The lonely Trumpha was shaking in absolute terror. hict98 said to him,

"Now leave and tell of what you have seen" The last Trumpha scrambles to his feet and flees.



Chapter 2: A continent divided – Paxia’s answer

I made my way to the high shimmering castle of Lucian to find the high-ranking members of the other Clans. They were all arguing amongst themselves. Some out of fear, some out of anger and frustration. I recognized a few old friends that truly stood out amongst the crowd. Calling out to them I said,

“Greetings to you Generals! Lucians: Popinloopy, Wrym, Eschaton Thunder, Darius. Igneus: ss2195, CH4OT1C!. Nocturus: 0Neo and Lord Scorpio and finally kors and Salem.”

“Muchiha, glad you could make it,” said Wrym. “hict98, Tha Killa, Death's Kid, Heroes of the Scape, Ultrapowerpie are currently discussing the geography on which the main battlefields are to be with the other Clan strategists. Storm Silverwing will join us shortly.” he added.

“Fair enough. I wish I could have met you all under better circumstances, but trouble stirs and it looks like the war has begun amongst our own kin.” I replied.

“The 8 Paxian leaders have their own personal meeting back at Geoto Headquarters,” said CH4OT1C!

“But they have entrusted their military forces to us. Which is why we have been summoned here.” added Salem.

“And I wouldn’t think of working with any group better, friend,” said 0Neo.

“We must bring order to this room,” said Lord Scorpio.

“Indeed we must,” answered popinloopy. Raising his blade, he uttered a few words which caused a bright light to emanate out from his blade unto the arguing members of the Paxian clans. Once they all stopped bickering, kors addressed the crowd,

“I know how hard this must be for some of you. You have been used to fighting against one another for all these years. But what we have now is a looming threat of great magnitude that might destroy the very lands with which we all call home.” Popinloopy continued where kors left off,

“Now is not the time to tease and mock one another! There is much at stake! Whatever the threat may be division amongst our clans will not help the situation!”

“For what is right and that will benefit us right now is for the 8 Clans of Paxia to come together to stop whatever Xov has in store for us!” Storm Silverwing said as he and the other Aerodu Generals walked toward where we stood.

“Aerodu, Dynami, Igneus, Glacius, Geoto, Nocturu, Lucian, Nautica, it doesn’t matter what clan you are from! We are in this together and together we can overcome this threat!” shouted Ultrapowerpie.

“Once I saw some of you as enemies, but today I call you friends. I don’t know about you my dear Paxians but I will not stand by as Vox laughs as we struggle to be divided from ourselves!” yelled Heroes of the Scape.


“Who will stand with us?!” I asked the crowd. A Nautican slowly stood up.

“I will.”

A Geoto member stood up and spoke,

“I shall do my best to my utmost ability to be of service to this cause. I will.”

A Dynami member stood up and yelled,

“I will lay down my blade and my life for this great land. I will.”

A Glacian clan member stood up and said,

“I promise to fight till I cannot fight no more. I will!”

Then slowly but surely, the entire gathering of all 8 Clans stood up with a chorus of I will! When everyone was at their feet Darius closed the meeting with a speech of great power.

“Ms. Arakue undervalues Paxia at her own cost. She thinks Paxia is divided, corrupt, and fallen into disrepair after being abandoned by the powers that shaped it? She DARES threaten the Archipelago of the Elements with monochromatic obliteration?! She comprehends NOT, the forces with which she meddles!!! Paxia will NOT just lay down and die! Paxia will UNITE! Paxia will FIGHT! And Paxia... will claim victory!

It matters not which clan you joined, all of Paxia is under threat from this colorless contingency. All clans must put aside their petty squabbling and ignorant zealotry, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other to drive back the griseous hordes! If the elemental forces of Lore can unite to drive back The`Galin, an omnipotent foe of infinitely almightier uncreativity, then the Truphma are infinitessimal by contrast!”
said Darius with passion in his voice.

A chorus of yells, shouts, and cheers shook the walls of the meeting hall. I raised my blade to the sky and exclaimed,

“FOR PAXIA!” Everyone else raised their blades in the air and replied,

“FOR PAXIA!"









< Message edited by Muchiha -- 6/23/2013 22:37:24 >
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 2
6/21/2013 13:49:09   
flashbang
Member

The Battle for Paxia!!!!!


You may have to highlight some stuff, btw.

There will be times where I say All(just bolded) This refers to the forumites in my story.

DISCLAIMER: All forumites may or may not be in my story. Those who I couldn't fot in shall be in my next war story.

People in my story So far:
popinloopy:Lucian
Muchiha: aerodu(Madara Uchiha)
Pepp: Lucian
Dragonfire123:Just wants to have fun in the sun!
kors: no clan
Blackfyre Targaryen - Proud member of the Nocturu Clan.
hict98: hict the immortal;Aerodu
Slace: Spider; no clan
Battlemaster25: Storm Silverwing;Clan: Aerodu.
Disc Lord: Lance; Dynami
0Neo: 0Neo; Nocturu
Chapter 1: The Comings of War

*T'was a beautiful day in Battleon. Wyrm and Staff were headed to Yulgar's Inn to meet with their friends, popinloopy, Madara Uchiha, and Pepp.*

Wyrm: Come on Staff, we have to go meet everybody from the #PalaPact and #NecroLegion war!
Staff: Do we have to? Some of them probably don't like this...
Wyrm: Oh suck it up bro!
*The duo headed to the Inn,but to their surprise another person was there, one that they didn't know.*
Staff: Hey, who's the new guy?
Madara Uchiha: His name is Salem. We met him sometime after the war.
popinloopy: He is quite the man in a battle you know.
Wyrm: Well, that's quite cool. Welcome to the pack Salem, I got you guys presents as well. popinloopy, you can have 5 schnozzberry bush seeds. Pepp, I got a custom made Water Dragonblade for you, and Madara-
Madara Uchiha: Just call me Muchiha.
Wyrm: Muchiha you get a brand new staff, custom made. It is aligned to wind and can change into a sword.
Muchiha: That is quite the weapon. I iz happy.
popinloopy: YAY!!! SCHNOZZBERRIES!!!!!!*Does happy dance*
Pepp: Thank you! I've always wanted one!
Random Messenger guy: Heroes, I bring bad news!
Staff: Well, what is it?
Messenger Guy: Read this letter:
Dear Paxia,

As I have given myself time to evaluate the world Lore is and all it has to offer me, I have stayed away from the island of Paxia, more because, well, you aren't exactly significant. The leaders of Lore turn from you. The important people who actually mean something ignore you. I even hear... that there are those who wish that you would just sink into the ocean and be forgotten for all time.

How sad, Paxia.

It is a travesty that a place such as Paxia is so loathed. In all my travels, men and women of Paxia, I have never, ever seen such disunity and painful inconsideration towards others. I seek out creativity so that I may destroy it, because it breeds discontent, pain, war, horror... but it seems you can attract that without creativity... Oh, whoops, did I write that?

So, now that my camps litter the continent, my world grows ever larger, and I have found who my real targets are, I turn my eyes towards you. Mostly because, I have nothing better to do. What is it that makes this island so... pathetically hated? There are eight clans, each headed by an entity that is supposedly a good leader. There are two major powers that sit... idly by and watch, as if they could care less. I guess when your leaders show no pride in their people, their people have none themselves. Degenerate, weak and hopeless people freckle the land there. Most clans are so small they can barely be called clans.

I've seen your gatherings, your lack of distinction. I've seen the limp, slothful actions of so few... Yet, I know the history, and if your forefathers could see you now, they would die of disappointment and heartbreak. Their once... strong, empowering philosophy withstood so much, to establish an island of protectors and fighters. You have failed them, Paxia.

So, so much.

I have sent each of your clan heads this letter, in an attempt to see how you react. Though I have turned my eyes towards you, I have yet to discover if you are even worth my time. Your... mere presence is amazing. Surely, you are just as broken and fragmented as you seem. If I choose to come to your doorstep, I expect you to just lay down and let me walk all over you. Because, ultimately, you have to have a spine and a reason to exist to fight. And thus far, I am less than impressed.

See you soon... or not. Most likely, not...


Xov Arakue
Leader of the Truphma
Extinguisher of Creativity and Imagination
Destroyer of Worlds

P.S. And one more thing. I would advise you to refrain from relying on Eukara Vox for help. She has always failed the people who needed her. She cannot defeat me. She cannot help you bring me down. She is just another useless seeker, in need of validation. When your world lies broken and scarred, and your cries for aid go unanswered, perhaps then you will start to wake up. She is still recovering from her wounds, Paxia, so she won't be able to lift a finger to help staunch yours. Paxia... does that sound like someone you can rely on to have your back?

You stand alone - and if I will it, you'll fall alone.

Salem: Sounds like a war. LET'S DO THIS!!!!

End of Chapter


Chapter 2 Preparation of War: The Meeting.



Muchiha: OK, everybody go to your clan. Things are about to get serious!
Random Guy: #Y0105W46!!!
All: What the hell?
*The Leaders of the Paxia Clans appear*
Geoto: Sorry, everybody is doing that now. That's all the clans new battle cry.
*All the heroes almost decided to quit Life right there.*
Aerodu: Amazing right?
Nautica: *whispers to Salem* Help me.
Igneox: Well why did you call all of us here?
Staff: We didn't, but since you're here, read this letter:

* The clan leaders read the letter*

Lucius: Neigh! This is impossible!
*50 Trumpha appear out of nowhere, the leader begins speaking*
Trumpha: Resistance is futile. Just give in!
Lucius: Neigh! Paxia shall never fall!
Salem: Finally a battle!!!
*Salem turns into a crazy maniac and starts to literally tear each Trumpha apart piece by piece until there is one left.*
Wyrm: you were right, popinloopy. He is good to have in a fight.
popinloopy: I told you so. Salem, leave this one alone. Go tell Xov that she is doomed. Also tell her that
if you expect us to abandon someone just because they cannot help, abandon the wounded, then you are foolish. You no longer have just BattleOn to worry about, Xov, you now have all 8 elements and many creatures that follow and obey them, as well as strong leaders and fighters aligned to them, chasing after you. Igneus is hot on your tail, Nocturu shall find you in the dark shadows in which you hide, Aerodu will knock you off any cliff you find yourself on, Dynami will shock you with its amazing power, Geoto will be rock-hard and impossible to defeat, Glacius will always be cool and calm and never lose hope or become nervous, Nautica will make sure you drown in your own hopelessness and us Lucians have our own plans in mind. Those with no alignment will fight you as equally as they fight anything else. All-in-all, Xov, trap or not, you have made a mistake.

Trumpha: AHH!!!!!!!!!!! MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
popinloopy: While you're at it, tell them that we shall be your Alpacalypse! And that we shall make it rain Llamageddon!
*The Trumpha runs back to one of their forward bases*
End of Chapter


Chapter 3 Preparation for War; A New Face!

popinloopy:We need to tell the clans to meet at the center of the island. Pepp go to Nautica, Wyrm go to Geoto, Muchiha go to Aerodu, Salem head to Nocturu, Staff, head to Dynami, and I'll head to Lucian.
Salem: Can't you count popinloopy? There are eight clans and seven of us!
popinloopy: Of course I can! This proves a problem though, doesn't it?
* Suddenly a vortex appeared in front of them and out of the vortex came a chronomancer*
???: Do you need help?
Staff: Maybe. Who are you?
kor: My name is kor. I've journeyed through time to prevent Lore from becoming a dull husk!
All(except kor):What?
kor: The Trumpha had taken over Paxia and used its inhabitants and all fighting in the war to conquer Lore. I've come to change that future.
Wyrm: In that case, go to the Glacius clan base. Tell them to meet at the center of the island.
Pepp: How can we trust him? He could be working for the Trumpha...
kor: Bite your tongue boy!
*kor makes Pepp bite his tongue*
Pepp: OW!! Whad was dat for!?!?!?!?!
Muchiha: ENOUGH!!!!!! Everybody just go where popinloopy assigned you!
*4 Hours later*
popinloopy: Friends and enemies, we face a serious threat in the Trumpha. This shall be instrumental to the fate of Lore. Fight with valor, die an honorable Ddeath!
kor: Remember:#Y0105W46 and BattleOn!!! Whispers to popinloopy: Did I say that right? That's what it was in our only records of the war
popinloopy: Don't worry kor, you got that right.
Clan Members: #Y0105W46!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
End of Chapter


Chapter 4: A Confrontation in the Night.

*A small camp on Paxia... at Night!*
kor: Time to go.
Salem: Hey! Where you Goin'?
kor: Where do you think? I've changed the past. I need to visit the future before my family is erased.
*kor disappears in a flash of blue only to reappear two minutes later*
Salem: What happened?
kor: You guys still lost the war. Nothing was erased. Lore is still dull. Guess I'm gonna have to stay here and help with the war.
Salem: Wait, when we change the past... you'll eventually be erased as well?
kor: Yes.
Random Guy: DUN DUN DUN!
Salem: You again! If you don't know what I mean check chapter 2. :p
kor: You OK? What this chapter two your talking about?
Salem: I don't know what your talking about.
kor: Really? Cause I can see the text in the air.
Random Guy: I'm gonna go now. Have a nice night!
[Salem and kor: Bye! Have a good night!
kor: Let's continue arguing tomorrow.
Salem: Agreed.
End of Chapter


Chapter 5: The War Begins! Wyrm Vs. 0Neo


*A war camp has been set up. Wyrm is getting the clan members roused up.*

Wyrm: Are we going to take this?
Clan Members: NO!
Wyrm: Will we annihilate the Trumpha?
Clan Members: Yes!!!
Wyrm: Will we rescue the clan leaders and Paxia
Clan Members: YES!!!!!!!!!!!
Wyrm: Then go!! Fight for your clans!! FOR PAXIA!!!
Clan Members: FOR PAXIA!!! FOR PAXIA!!! FOR PAXIA!!! #Y0105W46!!!!
*The clan members run off except for the Pack(see chapter 1)*
Wyrm: Muchiha, Pepp, kor, Salem, popinloopy, Staff, stay here. We have to... talk.
Salem: What is it?
* Suddenly something leaped from the shadows*
???: Please! Help me free Noctros!!
Staff: You.
???: Yes me. Please, if nobody else does, you should Staff! You a Nocturu Clansmen!
Wyrm: Who is he? He looks like 0Neo, but somebody who took out an entire Trumpha battalion should be able to free his clan leader right?
Staff: He is 0Neo. He's . . . also the leader of . . . Nocturu's elite assassin division.
popinloopy: Why... did you say that so carefully?
Wyrm: A Nocturu assassin? Assassins are weak, relying on stealth to get a kill. Warriors always fight face to face like any decent person would do.
0Neo Why would you risk death when you can have assured victory? *smirks* That's what an assassin can do.
*Wyrm scowls with disgust*
Wyrm: Well then, let's see what you got tough guy. *Wyrm raises his weapon*
0Neo *laughs* Wait, you're serious? You know you just signed your death contract, right?
Wyrm: We'll see about that.
popinloopy: This is obviously not gonna be able to be stopped. In that case...
All except 0Neo and Wyrm Cue the epic fight music!
*Wyrm charges at 0Neo and then...*

End of Chapter


Chapter 6: Wyrm Vs. 0Neo!


Wyrm charged at 0Neo and stabbed 0Neo, 0Neo parried the Blade of Awe with his dagger, and dissolved into the shadows. Wyrm scowled at these under-handed tactics and closed his eyes, focusing his light magic. 0Neo was taking his time, knowing that whatever Wyrm was going to do wouldn't harm him. At least, that's what he thought. Wyrm unleashed half his mana in a devastating attack, sending out his light magic in a full 360 degrees, in a spherical way. 0Neo was hit and knocked out of the shadows, gasping for breath.
I guess I shouldn't underestimate this idiot again . . . 0Neo thought. 0Neo dissolved into shadow again, reappearing almost instantly and attacking Wyrm from behind, giving him a nice, deep wound. Wyrm didn't care as he turned around and returned the blow. They both jumped back.

*On the sidelines . . .*
popinloopy: I didn't know Wyrm could do that!
Wyrm: *Stops fighting for a second* There's a lot you don't know about me. *Gets back to fighting*
Everyone except Wyrm and 0Neo: *silence*
Staff: Can't we stop them? I mean all of us could easily defeat both of them.
kor: We can't. Where I come from, this fight has to happen. If it doesn't, those two will never acknowledge each others as allies, only enemies.
Random Guy: But the future is null and void because you changed it, right?
kor:Well, I can still see some of this present's new future. This fight has to happen. Also, what's your name Random Guy?
Bob: It's Bob.

*Back on the field . . .*
While the spectators were talking, the battle was still raging. Blade versus dagger, warrior versus assassin, Light versus Dark. Although the battle has been a few minutes long, it was one that both fighter were giving it their all.
"If you don't mind me asking, Wyrm," 0Neo began, "Why the hell did your parents name you Wyrm?"
"They didn't. It's a nickname." Wyrm smirked. This caught 0Neo off guard. He knew that a Wyrm was a fierce fighter, and thus knowing Wyrm's fighting record, he could easily rock the name Wyrm. Knowing that wasn't his name shocked him enough to let Wyrm get a few hits in.

*On the sidelines . . .*
Muchiha: His name isn't Wrym. Mind=blown. Staff do you know what Wyrm's real name is?
Staff: No. By the time I was born, our parents and acquaintances already started calling him Wyrm.
kor: This is news to me as well. In my past, he never said that Wyrm was a nickname.

*Back on the field*
0Neo growled, indicating that this just got serious. He dissolved into the shadows and reappeared behind Wyrm, slashing him and then dissapearing again. He repeated this process many times. Wyrm tanked the hits and closed his eyes. He did something nobody expected from him. He put all his light magic in a condensed ball, and used that ball as a shield, hitting 0Neo's dagger with it. It caused the ball to explode, knocking everyone down. Wyrm was the only one who got up almost immediately afterwards.
Wyrm: I win?
End of Chapter


< Message edited by flashbang -- 2/7/2014 21:47:29 >
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 3
6/22/2013 1:13:33   
popinloopy
Member

POP'S POEMS



A common enemy, a mutual threat
Commander Xov, you shall soon regret
the day you messed with Paxia, insulted our clans.
You're an odd occurrence who has no demands.
Should an ill fate soon befall you
know the words I speak are true.
You've messed with but one hero before
Now you shall fight armies galore.
Your troops, your twisted visions, all shall come to an end
When the time comes for our saviors to tend
to the harm you cause, the threat you pose.
so while you can, enjoy my creative prose.
Soon your ears shall hear my rhymes no more
because of the plans we have in store.
Once you are captured and brought to justice
we shall destroy your armies as a bonus.
Fight all you want, resist if you wish
Soon you shall be in anguish.


My apologies if there is anything wrong with it, and I hope to make more poems soon, so keep an eye out for that.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 4
6/22/2013 1:58:38   
kors
Member

No Longer Forgotten

Part I: Awakening A Sleeping Giant
An intense passion began to burn in many Lorians' hearts when word came. A passion rarely seen this widely, and and even more rarely for an Island they ignored most of the time. The Clans of Paxia gathered in an almost unprecedented number, willing to fight the vile dullness that was seeking to devour their island. Among them were others who had not aligned any of the Clans but hated the boring monsters coming to conquer the island nation.

The eight Clans were all in surprising agreement on the idea of war, and now more than able to provide it. The Clan leaders gathered around with both Paxus and Negatus on their island. "War is an inevitability now is it?" Paxus asked the eight Clans and the others who gathered to discuss the course of action. The eight armed giant swayed, carefully maintaining the balance he found in the eight elemental forces of Lore. "Show this letter that has spurred you so," he looked down at the clans gathered before him. "Perhaps this will reinvigorate this land, a war that threatens to consume us as our greatest salvation."

The Clan leaders saved only one copy of the despicable letter sent by Xov to hopefully discourage any of the actions they were already taking. It was still sealed in the envelope it came in. When they arrived at the first few clan headquarters, the news of the delivery and its contents spread faster than wildfire(or so Igneox would have the others believe). Already several replies had been sent by various people, the most famous of them was sent by a certain Aerodu Clan member spread over many of the camps in the hopes that it would cause a few heads to explode from the sheer creativity and originality in each word. No matter what Paxus did, the result would be a war Paxia has not seen the likes of in years.

The giant looked over the small letter, compared to him anyway, with intense curiosity. His frown only deepened as he read the words printed on the most plain piece of paper one could hope to find. After several moments of silence and anticipation, the giant began to grind the letter between his fingers and turned it to a fine dust. All those gathered cheered as Paxus made it clear what his decision was. Paxia was united in a way they rarely saw. War was inevitable and the Clans would be ready.

***


It was not long before Eukara Vox heard Paxia's response to her polar opposite's letter. A faint smile made its way across the teacher's face to see that Xov would have her hands as full as her with her students during a field trip. "If only I could see Xov's face turn red as a peach when she finds her words only played against her!" Eukara giggled to herself as she looked at another, less official response. Each one mirrored the original in parts and turned the Truphma's threats against them. Even if she still technically could not join those on the battlefield, she was still able to feel the burning passion they created.

Her students looked at her, all with the same puppy dog eyes they used whenever Battleon was mobilizing the Guardians for war. She knew exactly what they wanted and she was in just the mood to see off their legion of heroes as they endeavored to defend everything she stood for. A cheer erupts from the small group of kids as Ms. Vox stood up and headed to the doors. "Lets send off Lore's defenders with that anti-Truphma cheer that was due today!" the cheer changed to a groan as they realized they still had to do their class project.

***


The desert stretched out indistinctly, every single direction looked the same as the sands were only ever bothered by the very rare footsteps of its new inhabitants. At the center of the ocean of sand was a sight even more plain, more generic: the two toned camp of the Truphma. Deep in the camp, Xov awaited her daily report.

It always came at the same time, and came from the same soldier each day, as she had ordered when they first set up this wonderfully drab camp. Today important news awaited to be delivered as she noticed the changes in the air throughout the day. The shift was obvious to her people even on the other side of the world, but all the meaning the feeling they produced had vanished from them. Something big happened, something that would determine how the Truphma move and win this world over and gave it the peace of gray and more gray.

As soon as the sundial struck seven o'clock, a humanoid Truphma wandered into the pavilion Xov had claimed. The evil queen smirked as she waited for what the blank faced messenger would tell. A hint of hesitation alerted Xov to the dire news that awaited her. She inhaled sharply, to calm her speeding mind, “What did they say?”

“We have many letters, mistress Xov...” Xov looked much more eagerly at her news minion.

Before he could even say anything else the Boring Queen interrupted the news he had yet to tell, “So then, they have become divided and are begging me to let them in, are they?” she began laughing, a sinister and twisted cackle that would fit just as well on any villain. “That was even easier than I thought it would be! One mass letter to them and I get to take in the dullest of the survivors and the island with little more than a breath!”

The news minion did not give the reply that Xov would have even considered at that point. It interrupted her laugh with the news she refused to hear, “No, Mistress Xov, the Clans are not divided.” Her laugh instantly stopped. An intense stare met the Truphma as he continued. “They are united, yes,” Xov sighed in relief, half expecting them to join her in the drudgery she made, “...Against us.”

Xov stood there stupefied for a moment before finally being able to ask the most important question left unanswered. “How many are we likely to see? If they stand alone as well, then we suffered only a minor setback. We can watch them squirm so much more that way too!” the Boring Queen said as she thought of how many may be on that island when she arrives.

The news minion only shook his head as his leader waited for an answer. His blank eyes closed as he continued and hoped Xov would listen to it all, “It is an unprecedented number from all the scouts have said. Not only Clan members but Guardians and Adventurers along with the Chosen are heading for Paxia. The only good news is the fact that your opposite is not counted among their number at the moment, if you mobilize all of your forces we may beat them there and slaughter the lot of them.”

As soon as he finished his news for the day, another Truphma entered the pavilion. In his bleached white hands he held dozens of papers, all of them addressed to Xov and each one from a separate Clan member. Color began seeping from the letters into the Truphma’s hands with each passing second. Xov, now very concerned from both the news and the sudden intrusion, stood up and looked at the letters in it’s hands. “More...ha.... Letters... Mistre...ss... Xov,” with that last word the Truphma fell into a color induced coma and dropped the large bundle of letters. And so the war began.

Part II: Paxian March
The Guardians marched on their way to Lolosia and the ships all of them would use on their journey to Paxia. Several groups of Adventurers and Mercenaries followed close behind the steady stream of Battleon’s famous heroes. Each one was determined to save the island, even if they never bothered with the place until the news arrived. Xov, in the opinion of everyone involved, had made one of the worst mistakes a villain could have ever made.

Kor walked among the large line of soldiers, healing up from his last excursion involving the dull beings. When he had heard of the letter, he had decided he needed to do a little “scouting”. He visited several different timelines, each one had several people he remembered seeing oh so long ago.

Several of those he came across reminded him of his failure to stop an attack on this timeline a few months back. Almost all of them he got involved with had died in a surprising attack by a corrupted human. The more he thought about it the more he wondered if there may have been any survivors. He never bothered to go back to the moment after the blast to see and began to regret not even trying. “After this, I’ll see if it is even possible without completely altering this timeline. I owe it to them anyway,” The Chronomancer thought as he kept in line with all the other elite Guardians.

It had been months since the Chosen had renounce his Clan member status, mostly because he had done nothing for Paxia since his ordeals with Jacques. He never expected to return to the island in such conditions. War was coming to Paxia once again and this time it seemed Paxia had all the support it needed.

Kor looked behind him to see the wave of bodies and carts progressing onto Lolosia. With all the supplies they were bringing, produced by Vox’s students for the last year as defensive measures and traps against the Truphma, they could easily hold the island for years if it came to it.

The spirit of all those involved could never have been greater even if it was in support of another place that they all loved more. Everyone seemed to truly wish to prove Xov wrong. Admittedly numbers still were not in their favor, but the passion each and everyone here had was definitely far more than the Truphma could claim to have.

***


Paxia was ablaze with activity as Clan members worked to fortify the island for the incoming invasion. Each Clan worked mostly on the area around their bases to ensure that the eight leaders would be safe, and as protection in case of a siege scenario. Massive shield generators found their way to the center of each base and each one powered the others. These shields were meant as the ultimate testament to the newfound bond among all the Clans and their members.

As the days wore on in the wait for the massive armies making their way to Paxia, a calm settled into minds of everyone on the island. They had numbers they had not seen in years, all working with a single goal in mind: turn back Xov’s army and prove they would not fall alone. Their only still painfully visible was that they did not truly have was a war plan beyond locking themselves away while Battleon’s Guardians and Adventurers turned back the army.

On Paxus’ island the Clan leaders and several representatives gathered to discuss the quickly coming invasion. Salem, clad in Aerodu’s bright red robes, lead the discussion all the while holding back his bloodlust for the battle. He pointed to each of the clan bases in turn and then to Paxia’s sister isle, “We have 9 major locations that the Truphma could attempt to take at any given moment, so Dynamo how are the generators coming along?” He looked up at the giant firefly floating in between his Clan’s representative and Nautica’s.

“They are coming along nicely,” she said with a flutter of his large wings and a quick flash of light, “All the ones meant for the Clan Bases are there and the ones for Paxus and Negatus should arrive soon.” Dynamo’s representative nodded in agreement.

Salem nodded to the two and asked, “How are you going to make sure a turn-cloak just doesn’t turn one off and lets the Truphma in?” All the representatives gave Salem a suspicious glare, all the members of each and every Clan were in agreement on this war and they had no reason to even consider a traitor. “We need to consider all possibilities. If we let the idea that we know exactly what is coming then we open ourselves to a quick defeat. If we let a traitor easily slip into our ranks, we might as well give up now, something none of us here want,” Salem said to the various Clan members. His words only quieted the most trusting of the group,
“Once the battle starts you guys will come to trust me, I know it.”


“Ahem,” Dynamo started in an attempt to move the planning to something a little less likely to result in infighting, “The generators require each other to be turned off at the same time. No one person can turn them off.”

“That’s one problem down, now time knock down the other dozen or so,” Salem said under his breath. “How far along with the communication network are we?” the Aerodu tactician turned towards Geoto and his own Clan leader. Both Clans had taken up being in charge of the inter-Clan communications committee, and both had the main means of actually having a safe route to each Clan’s base.

“We have dug up some old tunnels that were admittedly used back in one of our previous wars,” the Horned Lion said in an embarrassed tone, “From the looks of it, we can get to any of the land locked Clan bases with ease.” He looked rather pleased with himself as he said that last bit after he dropped the “I know I should not be telling you this, but I am doing it anyway” tone.

Aerodu looked intently, much like any hawk would, and japped, “I always knew you were more interested in a Clan other than your own!” Many of those gathered began to snicker at Aerodu’s joke. “The airship is in good enough condition that we will, even with the large shield generator, be able to make daily rounds and keep track of the battlefield. Hope that is good enough for your plans Salem,” he said as soon as the laughter died out.

“Yes it is, yes it is,” Salem responded as he looked over the map before him one more time. They still had much work to do before they were ready for Xov, but they were closer than they were days ago. “Everyone will be ready, and yet some will still die anyway. I guess for them I will have to fight even more, and once these gloves come off who knows who will be left standing?”

Part III: Delivery
The Truphma moved to the portal machine, bringing all of their weapons of war. The sands beneath their feet became white as snow as they march. What little color they met with vanished quickly under their feet.

Xov was annoyed with how the Lorians were reacting. It seemed almost as good as kicking a cute puppy in their eyes. Every few minutes, she had a Truphma appear in the camp holding letters from several “heroes” that stained the pure, uncreative white that was the Truphma’s very identity. At the rate her soldiers’ were dropping, she would likely have numbers closer to the Lorians’ then she would have liked.

“And speak of the devil,” from out of nowhere another Truphma appeared. It, like all the others, was holding a handful of letters. The only thing that separated him from the rest was the extent of the poison of creativity, it looked like a Truphma who had fought in the paintball war. “How many this time?” she said with a roll of her eyes. She snatched the papers from the Truphma’s hands as another pulled him towards the “correctional” facility that ended up becoming the nursery for those attacked with some of the more potent letters.

The dreary queen ran her hands through the pages of letters with disgust. Emotions began working their way up through Xov, and it only worked to disturb her. She was beginning to feel and hear the words their lone author was thinking as he wrote this. The name towards the end was going up on her wall of bounties. “Well Cid,” she said with the deepest malice she could muster, “You have proven to me once more why I despise this world and those Eukara has come to know. When Paxia falls, you will have long been dead.” All but a fraction of a single letter burned in the most generic orange fires Xov could muster.

***


The port town of Lolosia became lively once again as hundreds of warriors, mages, and rogues swarmed the docks. The skies were clear and as blue as the waters they merged into in the horizon. Ships filled the bustling docks as the day went on.

Kor spent his time in the inn, chatting with familiar and unfamiliar faces alike. He had not seen one person he almost expected to see, but with every thing that happened he would not be the least bit surprised if she was intentionally avoiding him.

He scanned the room he rented for the two days he would likely spend in the port town. As he made himself comfortable, a knock came to his door. He quickly jumped out of the comfy bed he was resting in, looking out towards the docks and waiting for those in charge to finish the order. “Is Kor in this room? I have a package for him,” a man on the other side of the door asked, “The Innkeeper said you were renting this room.” A second of silence and the courier tried again, “Hello? Anyon-”

Kor opened the door to his room and looked at the box that obstructed the man’s face. It was fairly large, not a typical delivery item for him. The courier lowered the box and handed it the Chronomancer. “Oh, uh...Thanks I guess,” he said to the delivery man as he fished out a couple hundred coins from the magical coin purse most adventurers used. “Here you go, for your troubles.”

The man smiled as he placed the shiny gold coins in his own coin purse. “Thank you, sir. Enjoy your gift, the girl who gave it to me made sure to tell me to get it too you before you left the continent,” he walked out with a smug smile on his face before being distracted by his next job.

The Chronomancer wasted no time in opening it. He remembered getting something similar to this box twice fairly recently, both times from Ballyhoo, although this one looked like it had been opened once before, unlike the others. She was always a little enigmatic about the strange gifts she gave. Kor began digging through the styrofoam peanuts that filled the box.

His hand felt and grabbed a piece of parchment buried in the sea of peanuts. “Might as well read this first,” thought Kor as he pulled it out. Oddly enough, it was not Ballyhoo’s writing on the letter.

Dear Kor,
I had Ballyhoo give me this weapon because I stumbled on another camp, and something big. I know about the letter Xov sent to Paxia, but it feels like there is more too it than that. The fiends took several piles of letters to their camp but they barely reacted with the typical stuff you said happened to them. After the assault was over, one of them even began sorting through a bunch of the letters with color slowly going up his arms.

That does not sound like something they would ever do on purpose. Whatever their plan, don’t take the letter as the entire plan. Be careful and I hope I helped.
Sincerely Rinia Paladius


Of course, Xov had some ulterior motive. Any common villain avoided saying all their plans to the heroes until they were moments away from victory and could gloat in the heroes face, right? “It figures Xov would try and distract us. I wonder...,” he pulled out the extensive map Eukara gave him only a day before the march. A few camps seemed like places that would have some form of interest to the dull beings.

One to east of Battleon in the mountains, one to the southwest of Paxia, the one in Greenguard. All three of the camps had something nearby that was of interest to their siege of Lore: The bastion of the army that fought them and sheltered Xov’s polar opposite, the island they have supposedly set their sights on and the greenest forest on the continent along with a backdoor entrance to Battleon. Two good locations to attack a now defenseless city and one to give them every reason to believe they are doing as their leader said.

With a sigh, Kor set the map and letter aside and began digging through the box once more. The weapon had hidden itself quite well and avoided his grasp for several seconds before he felt its blade. He traced his hand carefully over the blade to the hilt of what felt like a sword. When he found the hilt he grabbed it and freed it from its blanket of styrofoam.

The blade was curved towards the end, and looked like it was intended to be facing up considering the hilt’s odd design. The hilt had a stream of feathers point upwards from one end and the slightly more usual hand guard extending towards the bottom of the hilt. A lone sky blue gem found its way to the center of the wicked weapon and radiated an odd energy that told Kor this was, at the very least, a weapon of old. The mix of blues and grays told him it channeled wind elemental magic and could easily replace the weapon he had been using up to now for the moments he needed to use wind.

On the edge of the hilt, another note was attached by a string. This time, it was from the gold giving elf.

Dear Recipient,
You now hold Airenial’s Lance, a powerful weapon from long ago. Inside the gem lies the spirit of a fearsome being known only as the Lord of the Skies. This four winged engine of destruction made the most ancient wind Dragons look like common flies in comparison. The Whirlwinds this demon produced tore the lands until one day it vanished, some say it finally died, others that someone locked it away for all time. The truth of it is only found in this weapon. Its power lets you take on the form of this dreadful beast and rule the skies and all below.

Oh, and here are some Z-tokens as well. Use this new weapon with care.
-Ballyhoo


“A lance? Heh, if the elf says so...,” Kor dumped the large box out now, knowing that there were many Z-tokens mixed in with his shiny new “lance”. The shiny coins glittered in the midday sun as Kor separated the coins from the styrofoam peanuts. “Gonna try out this new lance and head to over to the camp near Paxia before everyone else. Gotta see if the Truphma really are moving to attack the island.”

The Chronomancer gathered up what few belongings he had in the room and ran out, Airenal’s Lance in hand. He had his fun with weapons that altered their user’s body before so he figured it should not be much different than the others. Getting down the stairs with the large weapon was harder than he would have liked, especially with all the traffic that was moving through the bustling inn.

Kor marched outside and to the edge of the docks, weaving through the sea of travelers and merchants and Guardians. The edge of the dock was largely empty with more than enough space for this Lord of the Skies. The only thing left to worry about was how much of the spirit in the lance would fight back as Kor donned his form.

At the water’s edge, Kor stood ready. He placed his hand on the azure gemstone and felt the pulse of its magic. Wings and claws and feathers filled his mind’s eye as he touched it. The power within the weapon began to respond to the Time mage’s touch and enveloped him in light.

When the light dissipated, the Chronomancer had grown an extra pair of limbs and feathers. The four winged terror of the skies returned and prepared to retake its kingdom. Several onlookers gasped in surprise as the monster appeared, seemingly replacing the hero. Many of those who saw decided to draw their weapons and charge the great beast while it still had its back turned to them.

Without noticing them, the large bird-like creature took off. Its four wings blew the unprepared attackers off their feet and into the dock. It was not long before the Lord of the Skies disappeared into the distance.

***


The roar of an engine erupted through the hall of Aerodu’s airship. A lone engineer watched for any signs of a potential engine failure; the old thing had not been turned on in an age or more. When no smoke or explosion came after several minutes, Cid breathed a sigh of relief. “I got it turned on with no problem, now let’s see if this baby can still fly, kupo!” Cid said with an excited smile as he turned towards the majority of his Clan.

Aerodu pinned his hawk like gaze on the genius engineer as the Clan members congratulated him on his job well done. A rumble shook the floating ship as it started to move as the Clan intended. Everyone in the room turned to the large engine. The tension as the ship started to move became tangible, the only eyes not turned to the engine room were the pilot's.

The roar of the engine only grew louder as more strain was put on it. Eventually, it became near impossible for the group gathered down there to even hear their own thoughts. Cid attempted to shout over the engine’s loud whirring, “A little loud, but as long as the shields are good who cares about stealth? We are Aerodu not Noctoru!” No one in the room heard him as they all tried to get out of the loud room and see the ground beneath their base shift as they moved.

Storm watched as the sky around him began move; not just the clouds, but the landscape before him moved. The grey mountains of his Clan, his home, rested above for as long as he could remember steadily moved and disappeared below the ship. A mobile base would be incredibly useful in this coming war, not only for making sure all the strategies and news from each Clan reaches the others but as a way to move armies as needed. Aerodu was on its way to becoming important, and perhaps too much so.

“How’s it look down there?” the voice brought Storm back to reality. He took hold of the steering wheel and decided to check just how well the ship would take to moving in another direction.

It creaked as the old controls moved for the first time in ages. “Hrm...,” Storm said as he watched bits of rust fall off the controls, “It looks beautiful outside, inside however... A little WD40 might fix ‘er up.” He looked up to see just who it was that was speaking with him. “Oh it’s you, Hict. I did not expect you to come back over here. Just don’t go jumping off the back of the ship again, stopping this thing and waiting for you to climb back up takes far too long.”

The Immortal human looked at the pilot with one of the least amused faces possible on a human being. “That only happened once. And besides I slipped,” he was one of the only Clan members who could have been there to make an excuse for himself. When Storm shook his head in amusement, Hict shook his head in annoyance.

Aerodu flew in at this moment, diffusing any potential arguments the two may have had. Several other Clan members followed him, including Cid, into the room. “Let us head towards Lucian’s base first, we can pick up a few members from the other Clans for the meeting with the Guardians and others not involved with us.

One person in the crowd groaned noticeably. “Can’t we save them for last? I don’t want to run into him,” he rolled his eyes as he thought about his rival. He thought back to that day so long ago, he and his rival met each other for the first time. They had only recently been slaughtered by the other’s allies and would have like nothing more than to slay their now dead opponent.

The great bird that lead the Clan huffed and reprimanded his Necromantic subordinate, “It matters little when we go to them, but Lucian has no fast way to get to the meeting point outside of flying. The only member of their delegation that can fly happens to be Lucius. Madara, if I have to remind you to not fight with anyone in the Clans until this war is over, I swear I will revoke your title and Clan.”

Madara sighed, knowing full well Aerodu meant it. “Yes, commander. I will not start a fight with the Zealot until after this war if even then.” The bird seemed happy with the response as the ship flew into the sea that separated their Clan from the rest. It would only be another couple of days and it would all be over, for good or ill. Either way, Paxia was not going down easy, or alone.

Part IV: Flames in the Wind
The Lord of the Skies maintained a steady flight for what felt like days. The Great Sea did not seem to want to end. He lost track of how far he had flown in the last several hours, but he knew that any moment now land would come to the horizon.

Even though he had been flying for quite a while, it felt good to fly like this. The sea was calm this far from any shore or storms. Few creatures dared attack the great beast as it flew over them, making the journey much calmer than that of the Guardians and Adventurers.

“Those Truphma, if they really are going to attack Paxia, would gather at that island right? Let’s hope I can avoid being seen by them,” the Lord of the Skies said as the first little bits of the western shores of the Dark Jungle. The tall peaks near the shore rose high into the sky and signified the last leg of the journey.

***


Pillars of golden crystals shimmered in the distance. Aerodu’s ship grew ever closer to Lucius’s home and base. The whole ship was ablaze with chatter the instant they left behind the mountains that had rested upon for as long as most members could remember.

The whole of the Clan enjoyed being able watch the entirety of Paxia pass by under their feet. Those without the ability to fly enjoyed the bird’s eye view they now had noticeably more than their winged and flying brethren. The Clan members who could fly found the free ride much more relaxing than enjoyable. If they wanted to see Paxia sprawl out before them they already had the means to do so.

Night was to fall in only a few hours on the island yet the shimmering city that was Lucian’s base would remain the same. The base, as every other base these days, was still bustling as they hurried to prepare for a war that stoked a fire in their hearts more potent than their foe imagined. “I hope it stays like this even once we turn back those... things,” Hict said as he remembered days long past, back when Paxia was still frequented by almost every major hero of Lore, “Just like the old days.”

Footsteps behind him alerted the immortal human to Cid’s presence, “Was it really like this, however long ago it was you came here, kupo?” When Hict nodded the only response Cid could come up with was an amazed whistle.

“The only real difference is just what we were busy doing. It was always some sort of of competition or inter-Clan fighting. To think that was only about a couple dozen years ago...," the immortal reminisced to the Clan's best engineer. Hict was young by immortal standards, barely more than a century old. "Back when I first joined Aerodu."

The duo watched as the ship circled the shining fortress, searching for a good place to either land or drop their ladder onto the hangar bay. Many people gathered around in the open areas of Lucien's base to watch the large ship circle their Clan home. Eventually several creatures of light flew up to investigate the strange sight, wary of how quickly the ship was moving. The pegacorn that lead the entire Clan was leading the way.

Aerodu slowly made his way to the hangar bay that the Lucians would enter. The great white Hawk stated as he walked by a large group of Aerodus, "I wish to speak with Lucius alone for the moment. We will keep to the sky for now." Hoofbeats echoed down the long metal hallway along with various other footsteps.

A light Dragon lead the way for his leader. The white fur and feathers glowed in the dim room as the Pegacorn made his way up the hallway. "Mi' lord, are you sure this is a good idea? Walking in on another Clan's base just seems... wrong," the giant reptile said as he looked around the hangar bay.

Lucius snorted and replied to his uncomfortable bodyguard, "Then why did you insist on following me? The days where this was unheard of have passed, Ligeye. We need to break from convention if we wish to turn them back easily." After a minute of awkward silence, the sight of the fellow Clan leader alone and moving steadily towards them and greeted them. "Ah! Aerodu, my old friend, I see you got this floating piece of metal to fly like you do once again," Lucius exclaimed, "I can show you a decent spot to land your ship so both my delegates have a less strenuous way to the meeting with the Guardians if you let me speak with pilot."

The Hawk closed both eyes and sighed, "First, I would speak to you privately." He motioned towards the large dragon standing behind Lucius. The pair shared a glare for several seconds before the golden scaled beast stepped back. "Oh no, not in a place like this. The skies would serve as a much better place to speak in private, no?" Aerodu asked the winged Clan leader.

It looked like Ligeye wanted to object, but held his lizard tongue and made way for the two Clan leaders. Several members of Aerodu flocked to see their leader and Lucius leave the large hangar bay. Ligeye glared at them at first, hoping to dissuade them from coming any closer. When that failed he released a burst of shining light from his maw. "Your leader asked mine for a private talk and I shall enforce it. No closer or the next one will do more than hurt the eyes," the imposing Dragon threatened.

Madara decided that the Dragon was as good as Lucius himself, thinking the domineering Dragon was the Pegacorn's bodyguard. "So, I assume you and Lucius know about who is in on the meeting? May I ask who they are?" the ex-Necromancer asked as Ligeye growled menacingly in his general area.

The Dragon thought about it for a few seconds before answering, "No." Madara's face shifted to one of annoyance than to a set of puppy dog eyes in about a seconds time. A louder growl came from Ligeye as the Dragon became fed up with the blatant disregard for his threat.

***


"Why the call for privacy?" two pairs of wings beat the air below them as both gathered leaders flew. "You are not having a change of heart, are you? Paxia does not have the strength to fight one of its own and this imposing threat," Lucius stated to Aerodu. The pegacorn kept galloping through the empty space as his wings held him aloft.

Aerodu's eye narrowed at the accusation. He replied, "This is about your delegates. A few members of both our Clans know each other and are on some... very bad terms. I assume you did not choose to bring him along?" The two fliers circled around the two high up bases as their private conversation continued.

Lucius’s face contorted as he thought of the zealous Paladin who returned to the island only a month ago. "No, he is not coming. He is too willing to fight anything that is vaguely related to the necromantic arts that most Noctoru might leave the meeting a head or two shorter," the Pegacorn shook his head disapprovingly.

Aerodu nodded, "Good, if he did come I wonder if he would have even made it to the meeting considering Madara's rivalry. So, who did you chose?"

"We can talk about that in public, no?" he snorted as the two made their way back to the large ship. The white Hawk turned back to the ship a little bit more reluctantly than his companion.

***


"Hey, Wyrm, looks like we have a ride now! Lucius just left with a bunch of fellow members," a man clad in wizard robes shouted into a room in the large, shining fortress. When only the sound of snoring greeted him, he shouted once more, "Wyrm! Wake up! You better tell me you're ready or I will unleash some of my new spells on you first!"

After almost a minute, a few mumbled words reassured the wizard that Wyrm was finally waking up. The groggy Lucian warrior slowly climbed out of his bed and dressed himself appropriately for speaking with honored guests and going over the war plan once again. "How many times will we have to rehearse this plan?" he thought as he donned some simple armor he bought on his recent trip off Paxia, "I'm sure that all the leaders have it memorized by heart already."

Outside his room, his friend was tapping his foot impatiently. He began speeding up and rushing to get his gear ready, not wanting to be the pre-battle guinea pig for his new spells. "I hear ya! Be out in a minute or two, Popin. So what's the rush about now?" the still sleepy Lucian shouted to his increasingly annoyed companion and fellow delegate for the meeting.

The door to Wyrm's room opened and revealed the warrior of light. He looked out the window to his left. “Whoa! What is Aerodu doing here already?” he asked his friend as Popin’s hand and face collided. “Hm?” he said as soon as noticed Popin’s reaction, “Did I miss something?”

A large explosion burst through the hall. Both of the Lucians ran to the window. Metal and flames rained down on the glowing towers of crystal that made up Lucian’s castle base.

***


Eukara set down the hundredth book she found herself looking through in the last couple days. “Will I find just the right one before it is too late? I have to help Paxia, no place deserves what she would do to it,” the teacher thought of what Xov might do beyond remove its lush vibrant landscapes. She shuddered and remembered the last world she assimilated.

The last few days of waiting were some of the most painful since her original injury. She had to do more than watch from the sidelines. Heroes of Lore had begun attacking the camps the Truphma put up across the globe since Kor and a friend of his assaulted the first one while she just sat back and watched as they fell and rose back up waiting for another assault. She leaned back in her desk, stacks and stacks of books lined the area of the room and blocked almost all signs of the walls behind all the books.

“One more and I am calling it a night,” she sighed as she rose from the lone chair among the horde of stories and words. She carefully set it with the “maybe useful against Xov” pile and moved onto the next book. It was a bit shorter than several others she had looked through in the last day.

Eukara looked out the barely visible window to the sight of the newly arisen moon. “Paxia can fend off Xov for long enough for me to find our key to victory,” she told herself with a very clear lack of enthusiasm.

Her portal appeared now, humming to itself. “Ah! You really gotta stop doing that,” she told the swirling green mass of magic, “Hm... While you are here, could you open to a place where I could see Paxia?”

The portal shifted. A gust of air was pulled into Ms. Vox’s room and blew open several books and nearly blew the book Eukara Vox had only just picked up. The space inside the portal shifted to an area in the middle of the Egrian Sea. It looked almost exactly like a portrait of the landscape, each of the Clan bases stood tall in the distance.

The only thing that seemed wrong to the teacher was the position of one base. One had moved clear across the island. Eukara rubbed her eyes quickly, was she hallucinating? When she looked back the island was exactly the same as a second ago. Aerodu had moved, “Perhaps I really don’t know all I should about them...” She began to take back several of the doubts she had. If she did not know all she could of this world, Xov likely knew even less.

And then fire filled the flying fortress. An explosion consumed all of one side of Aerodu’s base. Eukara shouted in surprise, shocked to see such an attack this early.

As soon as her shock faded enough for her to think clearly, she stood up. “I am going to Paxia. Lore needs me too,” she said to the portal as she stuffed several of her books into a fairly plain sack including her as of yet unstarted book It shifted once more, to a ship in the middle of the ocean. Guardians wandered along the hull of the ship. “Not exactly where I wanted to go but good enough for now,” she thought as she stepped into the portal and onto the ship.

Part V: The Effect of Voices
Xov watched the ensuing chaos with increasing interest. The fire in the skies was an entertaining show, much like any of this world's pointless wars. "Just who is the traitor? He deserves a quick cleansing of those horrid colors and become one of the many. Perhaps I will cleanse him myself," the dull queen thought giddily to herself. If the generator for Aerodu was damaged or better yet destroyed they could invade now and take down the Clans one by one, each falling alone and broken.

Many Clan members began jumping ship some flew, some merely plummeted to the crystalline palace below. Perhaps that Cid was among those who fell; he alone incapacitated an entire camp with his letter and incurred Xov's anger. It would be satisfying to see such impudence punished by one he likely once considered a friend or ally.

She began wondering just who it was, who she was to reward, for realizing the right side and doing all he could to help her along. Was it the lone light dragon that followed his leader into the large ship, still feeling the natural distrust of a Clan other than his own? Was it some Aerodu who realized that they could not win, and if they did would suffer far more than Xov ever could, and decide to join the winning team? So many possibilities and almost no answers yet. "So similar to every soap opera I have seen," the greyish white woman thought as she sat at the edge of her seat for the "dramatic" conclusion to this mystery.

A voice came from near her tent, “Mistress? The army is ready to move, give the word and we shall be taking Paxia before dawn.” The indistinct general looked into the bleached white tent that Xov claimed as hers.

His mistress and master rose, a look of eagerness on her face. A smirk was all it took to tell him that it was time to move, time to conquer, time to cleanse an entire island.

***


An uproar overtook the ship. Orders were barked from every end of the vessel, giving sometimes contradictory demands. The only thing they agreed on was an intruder had appeared on the ship. Sounds of metal scraping metal and metal footsteps over wood drowned out the furthest of the shouts and competed with those not too much closer.

It calmed down in only a few minutes, around the time the others realized several Guardians had surrounded the green clad woman who was the source of the commotion. "Eukara Vox?" one Guardian asked when he noticed the wings and face of the woman. Several others recognized the person who was responsible for running the school that their kids go to.

Eukara ignored most of the questions being flung her way by the surprised sailors. The only one she even had an inclination to answer was "why did you come?" She took a quick, big breath, "Paxia is under attack! I saw Aerodu's ship take a large explosion and I have little doubt the Truphma are behind this attack. You have to speed the ships up if you can!" Those who heard went pale with the realization they may be too late to stop the carnage.

***


"So tired...," muttered the great bird as it landed somewhere northeast of the large bridge connecting the Middle Isles. The instant it touched the ground a light similar to the one that revealed the Lord of the Skies to the world. The light shrunk until the shape of a human was visible in the late evening sun.

Kor stood in the moderately familiar territory of the Dark Jungle. The Chronomancer looked around surprised for several moments. The power of the Lord of the Skies was great, being able to flying for miles on end without any real need to rest. After those few moments tiredness struck Kor and he collapsed into the brush of the enormous jungle, drifting into a dreamless sleep.

***


Paxus tipped over further than he normally did. He only barely regained balance in time to save himself. Those who had only begun to gather at the island were shocked to see the island's ideal of balance and leadership nearly lose what he strives for. They turned, as he did, to northwest.

A fire burned noticeably in the setting sun. "Wha?" was all 0Neo could say. The anger on his face at the assault on one Clan, and the potential of a traitor, was matched by few. Most of the other reactions were not nearly as intense: the Clan leaders shared a sorrowful look and said nothing; their representatives for the most part were appalled.

The only one whose reaction could match 0Neo's was standing the farthest from all the Clan members. He could barely hold back the tears, both Clans he was once a part of under attack. After all that they had survived, would the two Clans die from something worse than boredom?

The sound of crunching grass distracted him from the distant flames. "Hikari Yume, do not despair. Wind and light are not so easily destroyed by fire, no matter their cause," the great glacial bear the wizard called his leader and friend advised.

"Glaciar. You know that many likely died in the explosion and Lords only know how many are burned horribly from it, and then who knows how much of the ship fell onto the Lucian palace?" ranted the tri-elemental wizard, "The Truphma got the better of us and now we are two Clans and an entire army short for a war we could never win without them!" He was shouting loudly, most of the attention had turned to him by now. The words opened wounds that had been growing in the mind’s of the other Clan members and stung quite deeply.

A glare was Glaciar's only response, a cold and hurt glare that told Hikari he had crossed the line. Hikari moved his eyes away from the glare and saw why he crossed the line. Virtually everyone was staring at the young wizard. Some had a look of despair, others were in much the same state as Hikari. Even the Clan leaders had the look of a fruitless effort coming to its end.

"I am leaving," 0Neo said with disgust as he turned around, "I have a good guess as to where the Chosen is right now, perhaps if he is here...." Before anyone could stop him, he had claimed a boat and began paddling to sea.

***


“What happened? What the heck happened, kupo!” Cid shouted as he rushed to the heart of the intense flames. “Did we push the engine too hard? Did someone sneak through the shield when Lucian came in? Gaugh!” the flames burned the engineer; even with the Clan’s best aeromancers trying to starve or sometimes blow out the inferno, the flames were still growing.

Somewhere in this flame was the source of the fire, the explosion, this entire mess. An answer may only be found when the crew finally put out the crimson blaze. “How many are injured? Where is Aerodu? Lucius? Is the light palace alright?” shouted someone near the hanger’s exit.

Gusts of wind and heat blew through the ship in intense waves. Even in the metallic base the fire grew and raged, normally an impossibility but with magic flames perhaps. “Lords, please tell me this was just an engine failure! A traitor now would only destroy our effort before the Guardians even get here!” Cid prayed as he neared the source of the explosion.

The air around him quickly became nonexistent, empty. Somewhere nearby a couple aeromancers tried to starve the inferno. Cid leaped out of the suffocating emptiness and turned towards them. “What happened here? Can’t you guys put out the fire more quickly?” he shouted at them, wanting to get to the bottom of this disaster.

A sudden speck of movement in the corner of his eye was all it took to distract him. Golden scales glittered as the injured Dragon moved out of the wreckage. “Remind me never to come anywhere near this Clan again,” he said weakly. Ligeye was a mangled mess; his wings torn, his scales cut in many different places, his horns chipped and broken, several pieces of shrapnel still stuck out of his body. Cid and the others gasped at the Dragon, and then they saw one of their own.

Shock turned to anger as soon as they realized Madara was laying unconscious in the Dragon’s talons. They raised their weapons at the Dragon prepared to take revenge for their Clan, believing they found the one who caused this catastrophe. They advanced carefully on the injured Dragon.

“Wait,” someone called out. Not nearly as injured as the other and familiar to the angry Aerodus.

***


Kor awoke with a start. Something vile was near, somewhen close to this very moment.. He shuddered as he rose from his makeshift bed of dirt and leaves. A fight with one of them now...

A pulse of energy reverberated through Kor’s body. A faint echo of some of the corruption they used to turn the Sands of Time against the being who housed their Hourglass. It was a half-hearted effort, it was barely powerful enough to turn a small plant into one of them. The feeling he had yet to fade in the slightest, telling him it had chosen to move along similarly to him.

The faint glow of the corrupted being came into view. “What... we... here... have? Chronomancer... one... win... easy,” its words were twisted and were spoken as if spliced from the sentence they originally came from. It was a mass of twisted and corrupted flesh only barely resembling what it was before, the various purple colors were only interrupted by the metal that had long since merged with them. Its glowing eyes pierced through the dim light of the Jungle and left Kor somewhere near panic.

Every single movement it made left an unnatural afterimage for several seconds, giving it the appearance of several in one. The sharp claws of the Chronocorrupter matched any short sword, able to treat even incredibly durable armor like heated butter and with its natural ability to move across time made it an opponent worth fearing.

“Die... fight... pathetic... and... being. Onebecomeusof!” Kor leapt to the side as it warped time around itself and released a blast of the corrupted reality at him. Before he had anytime to prepare his own attack, a clawed hand came down and slashed through the thick glass of Kor’s left pauldron. A bloodcurdling laugh emanated from the mouthless being. It paused then, a statue could have moved more than the Chronocorrupter did.

Kor took the chance and slashed at with his new lance, still in his hands from the moment he awoke. He aimed at the exposed midsection, the only place he knew there was no Chrononium metal melded into the monster. The lance stuck itself into the mass of corruption quite nicely, and yet the fiend did not budge. “Did it break? I have never seen one do such a thing...,” he said as he stood up.

The Chronomancer leaned in closer to the frozen monstrosity. He took the extra time he had to attack it once more. It still stood there, frozen in time, uncaring of the wounds it now had. It became increasingly unsettling to be near it as the seconds wore on, and became a golden opportunity to leave this fight with little more than broken armor. He wanted answers from them, but fighting them on their own terms, finding them even, proved difficult if not impossible.

He never turned his back on the thing, not even after he was well over several miles away. And for all that time, it did not move. Perhaps it did not care what happened around it, perhaps it became so disjointed, so warped, that it could not follow any flow of time.

***


Xov walked up the last little hill, the last hill to the best view of the destruction and purification of the Island of Paxia. She stared down with disgust at its bright vivid colors, at its uniqueness, at its futile attempts to keep her from coming. “This... place,” she started with a sneer, “Was once a truly powerful island, full of people dedicated to their Clan and Leader. They are no longer the proud people of times past. They are weak, inept, and have lost the pride they once bore. As always, it plays into my people’s hands.”

The dull queen thought of her recent observations of the island, of the day to day activities, of the common wars they waged, of the losses they inflicted on themselves. She continued her speech to the horde gathered before her, “Pride is a result of imagination, a false and terrible result of imagination. Many want this island burned to the ground. Many are those who wish to have this island reduced to the rubble that would serve an actual purpose.” The crowd had long since quieted behind her, listening with bated breath for her words. “I say we take it for ourselves and harness the island’s power for ourselves, use the island to give it the purpose it has lost oh so long ago, to unite the peoples of this world, to bring change and peace and unity to this torn world, and wash it of the vile evil of imagination!”

The army behind her roared, eager to start the process of conversion, eager to bring her one step closer to ridding the world of imagination. Xov Arakue raises her arm and points into the distance, “Storm them, my children, claim each and every member of a Clan as one of our own, claim every base, every place of gathering, every place they might call safe. Show them we are not a threat to treat lightly, show them why we are right!” The vast horde charges forward. Paxia would fall to them, as would all of Lore, if nothing were to stop them. And they knew fully well too.

***


0Neo ran, something told him he was close now. He could not exactly place why he felt the way he did, but like any good assassin he did not question. The Chosen was near, one of best trump cards they could hope to have. He had come to their defense before and little has changed since the last time, or so the assassin hoped.

He remembered only a few hours earlier, mere hours after he left Monolith isle, a wave of white and dullness appeared on the horizon. The Truphma began their march, their conquest of Paxia. Who knows how much more time the island had if no help were to arrive.

Then came the sight that he was searching for. A man stood in the distance, looking behind him and seemed to notice little else. But the armor he wore was what gave his identity away: an armor that few ever had, and fewer yet that wear it, the armor of a Chronomancer. 0Neo sighed a sigh of relief and shouted to the distracted hero, “Kor! Kor, thank the Gods I found you!” He started running faster to the Chronomancer.

Kor turned then, startled by the sudden calling of his name. “Crap! Someone is here? How could I have missed that?” He looked at the assassin in the eye and could tell that there was no malice directed at him, for the moment at least.

As soon as he came within ten feet of the Chosen 0Neo stopped, “Thank Noctros I found you! It’s horrible, a disaster, you need to come now, no time to explain, just lets go!” He began to frantically urge the Chronomancer to follow him towards Paxia. He did not stop slowly inching his way towards the east, towards his home, towards the island under attack hoping the Chronomancer would follow.

“Slow down...,” Kor said as he looked at the strangely dressed man, “Uh... Who are you? I don’t think we have ever met...” He noticed the strange man wore clothes reminiscent of the leader of Noctoru, even down to his wings on the back. This day was getting more and more interesting to the Chronomancer.

His frantic visitor slowed down as Kor had asked although he did not look happy about it. He spoke, “I am 0Neo of Clan Noctoru, but now is not the time for greetings! Paxia is under attack! The Truphma have made their move and are attacking the island as we speak! I know my Clan encourages us to fight alone... but we could never hope to fight them off like this. Noctros would understand, even he would ask for help against a foe he could not handle.” His words broke off suddenly. A distressed look overtook his face, “He... They all will be overrun soon if we do nothing.”

Kor stood there for a moment, shocked at the turn of events. With a quick look behind him, he said, “Lets go. If I am right the Guardians should only be a few hours behind us. If we hurry, we should be able to hold back the Truphma long enough for them to arrive. Let’s go 0Neo, let’s show them why they are wrong.”

Part VI: The Prelude to Boredom
Paxus shifted uneasily. The ground beneath him, the air around him, the water in the air along with the electricity, the warmth and cold, the dimming light, and the growing darkness all told him something was wrong. “They are here, Paxians. These Truphma we have been preparing for wandered onto our island,” he stated never changing his tone.

The discussion among the gathered Clan Leaders stopped, they all turned to him. “So it appears we can not rely on the Guardians for help,” noted Geoto. The members all looked at each other nervously.

“Perhaps we should return to our bases and prepare for the eventual sieges for the moment?" Noctoru said to the other Clan leaders. The others all looked around nervously towards their Clan members. A solemn look had took most of the faces of those gathered.

Most of them reluctantly agreed with Noctoru. If those in the bases went on without their leader would they be able to resist falling to them? All of them agreed that if they did not fall back for now worry would over take the rest of their Clan and paranoia would run rampant. "Paxus, if Igneox and Dynami and their representatives come, tell them to head back to their base. The Guardians won't be coming soon enough for us to hold out like this," Nautica told the balancing giant.

The gathered Paxians began packing up and preparing to return with the dismal news. "This was one pointless meeting," Hikari Yume said as he hopped onto the large sheet of ice he created seconds earlier, "We barely even have half of the island's representatives and two get attacked, the enemy makes a move much earlier than anyone thought they would, and before the other two Clans show up we run and hide... All without a single sign that the guests of honor will arrive in time to stop the worst of the assault. What a great start to another fruitless war." As soon as the one other representative and Glaciar stepped onto the ice flow the tri-elemental wizard created a small gust of wind to send them on the path to their base.

***


His fist banged the engine for the hundredth time, “Come on! Work!” The Dynami engineer had the look of one who realized how silly he looked trying such an approach with such an advanced piece of equipment. The engine had been largely deciding to not cooperate with his maker and refuse to stay on for any given length of time.

The five others on the boat gave an exasperated sigh as they watched the engineer pull out his tools for the tenth time that night. "Give it a rest will ya? We might as well break out the paddles and get there by Thursday at noon if we hurry," snarked a hot headed Igneus Clansmen. He was an adept warrior who has proven himself in the Clans' various wars on multiple occasions.

A sudden spurt of soot and fire from the engine was the final nail in the coffin for the engineer's efforts. "Look like our elements don't get along as well as we thought Igneox," the large firefly said to his flaming companion. All but the engineer started to laugh. The engineer frowned deeply, only slightly amused.

The two representatives from Igneus spared no time in pull the oars out before the engineer could protest. Every time before then he had snapped at the two for even thinking about using the oars, insisting they use his new invention. The other Dynami Clansmen was sitting by herself and snickering as the whole ride progressed.

"Seth, what are you doing? I thought I told you that this baby will get us to the meeting," the engineer said as he noticed the fire warrior placing his oar in the water, "Just give me an hour and we should be good to go guys." He turned to the large bag sitting in the side of the boat and pulled out several tools. While he was preoccupied the group ignored his words and began paddling towards Monolith isle.

***


Clan Lucian was in a panic. It was raining fire and a few stray pieces of metal still in the air. Their Leader was still in the burning base above them. The golden crystal spires were either damaged or scattered along the ground. Most of those who were unable to stand the disastrous visit had hidden themselves in the lower reaches of the Palace.

The brave warriors, mages, and those who fell somewhere between were doing there best to make sure the members of Clan Lucian were to be safe and survive the fiery rain. Wyrm and Popin were among those who took to minimizing the destruction around them. The warrior ran back and forth, carrying the injured and those who were paralyzed by shock and fear. Wizard Popin was occupied with keeping the proud fortress castle from becoming filled with shattered light crystals.

“Where is Lucius when you need him?” shouted Wyrm towards the inferno above, “It’s going to be okay. Wyrm the big and strong hero has you.” He helped up a young girl from a largish shard of the golden crystals. She hugged him eagerly as he picked her up and ran for the nearest entrance to the brightly lit dungeon. "It’s a sad day when the best place to be is the one where no one wants to be,” Wyrm thought as he rushed though the bright halls.

The instant he set the girl down in front of the large door the sounds of an alarm reverberated through the crystal spire. A warning they had made only in the last few weeks. One they had not planned on using for another week or two. Shouts began echoing through the loud clanging noise of the warning. Many of them were just as confused as Wyrm himself, “Truphma? Now? So they must have been behind this, right?” “Everyone get ready for a siege! Close the gates A.S.A.P., man the siege weapons, get the civilians to safety!” “We are already doing that sir! We should worry more about Aerodu for the moment, sir.”

Chaos consumed the bright palace as everyone panicked even more. What few had been hiding away in homes and other places ran out into the streets toward the main palace. The debris scattered along the ground, the rush of people in opposite directions, the fear in everyone’s heart, the roads filled with people became a storm of bodies. By the time the day was over they could finally say for certain the war had begun.

***


The ice shifted ever so slightly. “That can’t be good, I have not felt it shift like this for awhile...,” Akihiko said as he wandered towards the exit to the Frozen Shards that could almost have rivaled Lucian’s Golden Palace at that moment. The whole day had felt somehow off to the magical warrior. Without Glaciar the whole base felt oddly empty, as though no one was there. What few people he passed in the Shards all seemed intent on learning what had happened over by the Lucian base.

It was almost time for him to get to his bed, lest one of his friends steal his bunk in the barracks, when he noticed a flare of light from the waters to the southeast. “They’re back guys! Glaciar, Hikari, and Miarn are coming home!” the icy warmage called to the few Clansmen still awake. Had the meeting been called off early? Glaciar had said that they would be gone for a week at the least, yet it had only been three days since they left.

Within minutes several others had gathered with Akihiko at his vantage point. Many shared the same thoughts of worry as he did. “Why do you think they are coming back so early? Is it because of Aerodu? Did they really get attacked by the Truphma so early? And what about the Guardians, we just can’t brush them off like that and expect them to help us.”

“Just hold on and wait for Glaciar to tell us. We can do that, right?” Akihiko asked, putting extra stress on the last word, the ten or so Glacians gathered around. Patience was one of the virtues that Clan Glacius touted most proudly, as ice waits to come in the winter, waits for the day it warms and becomes one with the water, and waits for the cycle to start over once more. Sometimes the Clan seemed to ignore this ideal, other times they would act as rashly and impatiently as a Dynami or Igneus Clansmen. Akihiko had always found himself heavily annoyed by those who acted like that, even those in other Clans who do not try to embody the virtues they are supposed to represent.

***


“Hmm...?” Seth looked towards the main island. Darkness had fallen and small fires appeared in the distance. It was not a particularly cold night, and the fires seemed too close for the fiery warrior mage to dismiss them as the common fires that burned every night. “Are those normal fires, Igneox,” the young man asked his leader, “Or is something happening on the mainland?”

The blazing fox looked over at the island, not having taken notice of the faint lights in the distance. His ears flicked back and forth nervously, his gaze became intent on one thing only. The two Igneus Clansmen shared a look, knowing that something more than planning was going on now. Did the Truphma really attack the Aerodu Skyship? Were they now moving across the island, spreading their dullness across vibrant Paxia?

A revving sound interrupted the worried looks of Clan Igneus. “There!” shouted the stubborn Dynami engineer, “Fixed yet again!” He turned to see the intense, angry look the three from Igneusians gave him.

“Hey Dynami, do we have any way to get a better look at what is happening over there?” Seth asked the giant firefly, “Something seems wrong over there. And could we ditch the meeting to see what it is?” He began digging through the large toolbox that the engineer had brought with him.

The engineer’s eyes widened in shock that another would just begin searching his toolbox without a warning. He spoke with an audible edge in his voice, “What are you doing? You just can’t go digging through someone’s toolbox like that!” He pulled the stuffed box from the Igneus representative.

“Yes we do have a pair of binoculars, and also please restrain from bothering my engineer, anymore. He is delicate to say the least, but he knows how to run, build, and repair just about every last machine in our Clan,” the glowing firefly said to Seth as the firefly dug through a small, hidden compartment in the boat. Dynami pulled out a pair binoculars and tossed them to the fiery warrior mage.

Seth turned towards the dots of fires in the distance. It would have been dead silent on the boat were it not for the running engine. The attention the Igneusians brought to the distant fires put everyone on on edge as they watched the source of their worry. Finally after almost ten minutes of waiting Seth finally answered the question on the party’s mind, “Forget the meeting, several villages are on fire. Even if it isn’t the Truphma it still is good idea to help save what we can.” The engineer hesitated for a second and then turned the boat in the direction of the main land and they set off.

***


“We’ve got Truphma climbing the mountain, sir! It seems to be a small detachment of at least a couple thousand. Mostly the humanoid ones with a few other kinds scattered in the mass,” a Lucian scout told his commander as they both looked down on the advancing horde.

The sounds of rocks tumbling and the Truphma’s shouts of terror rose over the sounds of the blaze above. The shining palace was in utter chaos as destruction and war was almost at their doorstep. It was going to be a long night for Clan Lucian. The Lucian captain looked back towards the sprawling streets through the massive crystal spire, “What about the civilians? Are they all safe? And what about the Aerodus who have fallen, are they being taken care of?” Only a few soldiers of the Lucian armed forces were still working on the search and rescue.

Another scout step forward and said, “We believe everyone is in the central dungeon by now, sir! The surviving Aerodus were taken to our infirmary and hopefully can give us a few answers in a day or two.” The sounds of another rockslide and more Truphma being crushed ripped through the night skies.

More and more soldiers lined up along the walls of the shining castle in preparation for the assault and siege of their home. Light-based spells and arrows and throwing spears struck any so luck to escape the rockslides that barraged them. The frantic pace with which the attacks were going was impressive; almost the instant that a dulled being managed to either get out of harm’s way or survived the attack, one of the Clan members sent it over to the Reaper.

Wyrm watched as the entire Clan fought fervently to turn back these pasty invaders. Soon though they would run out of good materials to use in their rockslides, and once they did the tide of battle would draw close to the gates. That was what the warrior was waiting for. “Are you sure this is good idea?” his close friend, and his reluctant follower, asked.

He had a sly grin on his face as he turned toward his reluctant companion, “Of course its not! Why else would I be doing it?” He chuckled as he listened to the sound of yet more rocks tumbling down the large mountainside. “Almost time...”

The warrior of the Light Clan had gathered up an impressive group of fighters to help him with his rather risky plan. Many of them shared nervous looks with each other as they watched the quick exchange between the two. With so little time left before they were going to charge the Truphma with everything they had, they felt obligated to stay with Wyrm and at least make sure he did not get himself killed.

A shout from above came at the modestly sized group, “What are you doing? Get up here and attack these monsters!” The Lucian commander noticed the group and wanted them to get to war with everyone else.

All eyes went towards Wyrm. “Well... ah...,” he tried to explain, “We have our own plan?” He shot his commanding officer a nervous and uncertain look. And then another rockslide and the sounds of Truphma being squished filled the awkward silence before it even started. “Ah! There we go! Now everyone!”

The gates opened on the command and the group rushed out the gate in an instant, knowing full well how much trouble they would be in for this. Several eyes all turned towards the group, either laughing as they ran down the mountain or with their palms in their faces. “#Y0105S46! For Paxia and Clan Lucian!”

Popin could only shake his head in disbelief as he heard the gibberish the came out of his friend’s mouth. “How could anyone talk like that?” he asked himself with a look of utter confusion on his face.

***


With a groan the ship finally stabilized enough for Storm to take his hands of the controls for a second. His arms ached from the flurry of movements he had been doing since the initial explosion. He leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. Without even opening them he turned towards one of the other Aerodus in the room, one who had been running back and forth across the ship for the last few hours, and asked, “What’s it like back there? Do we have the fire under control yet? Any word on Lucian and the damage either?”

The young girl shook her head nervously before realizing he would be able to see her, “Not very good it seems. We don’t have the fire under control. Aerodu has not come back yet it seems, and Lucian’s base took a lot of damage too.”

“Well let’s fix that!” he said as he jumped out of the rather cozy pilot’s seat. “I’ve got it set up good enough for now, so unless we have another engine taken out we should be staying where we are,” Storm started for the corridor that was the center of the blaze.

He walked over towards one of the windows facing the brightly lit palace they were hovering over. On the ground he could just make out the sight of people on the walls, blocking some of golden light. It seemed they were throwing and shooting at something just out of sight. “That does not look good,” the magic-wielding warrior thought as he turned towards the other window, “Ugh... I don’t have time for this. Gotta help everyone put out the fire.”

Strom Silverwing started running down the hall. Lucian looked like they could use a calverly and they would have one as soon as they finished up here. The glow and crackle of the inferno became increasingly loud as he neared the corridor.

Voices echoed and mixed with the sounds of the fire, sounds of argument rather than orders. “Great, that explains a lot. Bickering in the middle of a warzone and disaster,” he sighed.

***


The icy barge docked on the massive glacier that Clan Glacius called home. Hikari stepped off and merged it to the rest of the glacier. No sooner than that, the tri-elemental wizard and the two others on his artificial boat were swarmed with questions and people.

It felt almost unnatural for Hikari to have so much attention these days. He was most at home by himself, and most of the time he was at home in this icy Clan. Hikari made his way out of the crowd and towards the nice little spot he had claimed for himself when he had first came to the Shards. It was the place he always felt most at peace and allowed a beautiful view of the entire island Nation.

He had rarely made the climb this late in the day, but he felt that he needed to meditate on the events of the last few hours. The wizard was one of the few who actually could even stay at the top of the Shards for more than a few minutes and that was one reason he loved the spot so much. All thanks to the rather rare, on Paxia at least, skill with magic he had.

The snow crunched under his footsteps, a sound that was calming to most Glacians. As he rose to the top, Hikari noticed how little icy wind was blowing by. Hikari was unsettled by the unusual change, but shrugged it off as one of the differences between the times he was normally at his little hideaway.

When he got to the top he looked towards the bright light that he called home once. A fire still burned in the sky above, although much smaller than hours ago. He scanned the horizon of the brightly colored island, even at night the island’s vibrant colors were clear. Except in the places with curious splashes of white and gray...

Even if he had only heard of them, Hikari recognized their dullness on the spot. “Already? Well, off to war we go then,” he thought as he ran down the icy hillside. No one had sounded the alarm yet, so the wizard assumed that no one knew of the war’s beginning. He found it horribly ironic that he was the one to send his Clan into war.

The crowd was exactly where he had left them fortunately, he ran towards them first. He then realized why the alarm had yet to go off: all of those gathered around Glaciar and Miran were the ones supposed to be on the lookout. He shouted down to them, “What are you guys doing? We’ve got Truphma on the Island!” Everyone turned, shock to hear that the they had indeed arrived earlier than expected and even more by the resident pacifist calling for war.

Almost everyone began to scramble for the armory and the alarm. With all that was upon them now it was best to move now. Akihiko watched as the group ran to wake the rest of the Clan. “How could they have gotten here so soon?” Akihiko turned towards Glaciar, hoping he would be able answer.

“I can not say, they certainly have proven that they are quite intelligent if they have managed to hide themselves away from much of Lore for so long,” Glaciar said as he thought of how well this war just might go, “Hikari, did any of them look like they were heading this way? We should prioritize the Shards before we start making a campaign to any of the other bases.”

The tri-Elemental wizard thought for a second, having only took a glance at the horde before coming down here. “I can’t say, I did not spend enough time up there to get more than a glance at them,” he said, feeling a little ashamed of himself for acting so quickly.

Sirens began echoing through the ice and the various members of the Clan arose. The civilians made their way to the center of the large glacier and the Clan’s army made their way to the armory. The sounds of the snow and ice being crushed under every foot rivaled the sound of the alarm as everyone went in different directions to prepare for the war.

Within hours the Glacius army was ready and gathered on the eastern shores of the Shards. Many had a sleepy look as they stared towards the sea of paper white bodies in the distance. Icy hammers were in the hands of a large portion of the army, each one had the head of the white bear that leads them. The weapon had quickly became one of the symbols of Glaciar the moment they saw it.

Glaciar walked by the gathered army. He inspected both sides, the snow white army and the blank white horde across the waters. “This is it, war has come to our shores. A threat that wishes to consume us, then the rest of Lore is there,” he turned towards the Truphma and the rest of Paxia, “We may not get along with our fellow Clans, but that does not mean we can just sit back and watch their plight without doing all we can to save them. We are going to show these dull invaders why Paxia has not fallen to those who come from beyond our borders. We are going to show them the force of the ancient ice that preserves all, the force that stops all in their tracks.”

The water in front of the Clan began to freeze, a bridge of solid ice for the army. “Show them the force of the Clan of Ice! Show them why they should fear a blizzard, Clan Glacius! Charge!” Glaciar roared and the Clan answered back with a roar of their own and sounds of hundreds of feet crushing the snow and ice beneath them.

***


The Chronomancer kept looking back, nervous of whatever it was he left behind him. 0Neo had watched Kor do this several times as they walked together. The three times the assassin tried to ask what he was so interested in Kor deflected the questions and changed subjects. If the Chronomancer was worried that someone was following them, 0Neo felt he had a right to know they may be attacked at any moment. An assassin always need to know where his friends and enemies stood, both literally and figuratively.

The sound of waves began to to join with the other sounds of the jungle, telling the two that they were getting closer to the shore and their ticket to Paxia. “Good, almost there,” 0Neo whispered as the trees around him slowly gave way to a sandy beach, “The boat should be nearby. Once we get to Paxia, we should head to Noctoru’s base first. They’ll let us in a lot quicker than the other seven.”

The dense brush of the jungle thinned with each step they took, slowly giving way to the sandy beach and the ocean beyond it. In the distance the two could just barely make out the moon and various stars breaking through the increasing gaps in the trees. Combined with the calming noise of the sleeping jungle made the view almost perfect for a painting.

An outline of a boat was only barely visible as 0Neo stepped onto the sands for the second time that day. “Yep, right where I left It!” he cried triumphantly as he hurried to the boat. He quickly prepped it for the journey ahead.

Kor mostly stood on the sidelines, waiting for the assassin to finish prepping the boat. It was only a modest rowboat that the Clans kept on hand for their occasional trips out to Monolith Isle, yet it somehow managed to make it’s way over to the Middle Isles’ largest island. Since 0Neo was not a member of Clan Nautica, Kor figured that he had rather little knowledge of water-based magic. “The currents, maybe? Or maybe...,” A roar disrupted the Chronomancer’s thoughts.

A silhouette of a Dragon passed overhead. The large creature circled above the two, looking down at the boat and the two humans next to it. “Shoot,” Kor shouted, “0Neo, continue prepping the boat. I am pretty sure I can handle this one!”

As it descended towards the two, they both noticed something very wrong. At first it looked like it was a Wind Dragon coming to attack them, but as it came closer they realized that the color of its scales were off. The scales were a dull, lifeless grey compared to the bright and shiny gray scales a Wind Dragon had. It growled menacingly at the two, “Finally, I have found the one trying to escape our grasps.” Its blank white eyes seemed to focus on the assassin. “We can’t have any of you leaving when the fun is only just starting!” the brute then turned towards Kor, “And you... Xov will be most pleased when I bring your body before her, lifeless or not. Paxia will fall and then Lore can be purified in the sameness that Xov will provide!” It released a blast of magic towards the ground Kor stood on. The instant it touched the golden sand it became the color as the Truphma’s signature grey and rose up in several spears to stab Kor.

“Whoa... Augh!” he shouted as one managed to stab him in the leg. “Alright, if you’re going to play it that way... Take this!” the Chronomancer slashed at the dull Dragon and started his first battle of this war.

***


Eukara paged through her book. It was not the same one she had grabbed almost immediately before leaving. The book must have been buried somewhere deep in the large bag. She tossed it in her “Not going to be useful” pile, it failed to catch her attention as anything more than a simple fairy tail with it’s setting and characters changed only slightly. Mrs. Vox sighed, “I am never going to have all these finished in time for the battle.”

The portal had left her stranded on the boat with the Guardians and others, it ignored her calls for it to take her straight to Paxia. Sometimes its sentience was more a curse on her than a blessing. With a day left on their journey and the apparent start of an assault on the Elemental Island, she feared for the chances of victory in this critical battle. If she had only gotten to the Island from the start...

Reading was one of the few things the Guardians had let her do aboard the boat, fearing she was still not in good enough condition to be doing much else. Even if they had her health as their only reason, it still felt a little demeaning for the teacher. The room she had been cooped up in was almost as cozy as the captains quarters but she quickly realized how dull seafaring was when you did virtually nothing on the trip.

The teacher looked at now half full sack she had brought with her on trip, regretting filling it with redundant stories and very few good ones. It was almost a shame that she had yet to find a good story in the pile since she arrived. “I have got to stop say ‘only one more’ from now on,” she said as she pulled one last book from the sack and began reading.

Part VII: First Victory
Kor felt Airenal’s lance strike the once great beast. It bounced off the grey scales and left little more than scratch on the dull monster. A low, rumbling growl emanated from the Dragon. “Think a toothpick like that will hurt me? I am not an Earth Dragon, I will not fall to wind that easily!” it lunged at the Chronomancer and narrowly missed.

The Chronomancer leapt back. “Wind is not going to do it, huh? Well, thanks for the hint!” Kor ran over towards a donkey that had just wandered into the beach. A large pile of weapons and shields and other items that many adventurers typically carried with them sat on its back. Kor tossed onto the massive pile, and began to dig through the massive pile of weapons.

A blast of magic flew by, striking the ground between the boat and the donkey. The golden sands faded and exploded in a series of spikes. They reached out in all directions, trying to stab anything nearby. Several of the spikes pierced both the bags on the backs of Fred and through the boat. “Ah! Kor, come on! We can’t take another hit like that to the boat and expect to stay afloat!” 0Neo continued to franticly prep the vessel for the waters.

The Dragon walked slowly closer to boat. A wicked smile creeped up the grey head, revealing that even its inside were dulled. “Such a pathetic fight so far, and here my fellow Truphma told me to watch for the Chosen! Ha! And you... A Noctoru, no? One of Darkness such as you must see why we will take your island,” It whipped its tail through the sands, “Why the island will belong to us in a few hours. The influence your people had has faded into nothingness, not even being able to move things from the shadows you hide in.” It snorted and began to laugh, egging the assassin on.

0Neo looked up to his taunter. A blank expression was all the Dragon could see, one of complete disinterest in what he was experiencing. “Just a little closer Dragon, just a little closer and you’ll see why no one knows we still change the world beyond our island,” a click echoed in the night. The Truphma’d Dragon ignored this subtle warning from the assassin, continuing to walk closer. In the corner of his eye, 0Neo could see Kor quietly edging his way behind the dull monster.

“Now!” both of them moved to make their attacks with impressive speed. A winged dagger flew towards the Dragon’s head and cut a large gash along its face. Kor brought his blade down on the dull beast’s tail, slicing it in half and causing both ends of the cut to visibly rot immediately. The roar it released shattered the calm of the sleeping jungle, causing even birds in distant trees to flee into the night skies.

“You will pay for that!” the Dragon turned and clawed at Kor. The instant that his claws missed their target it released a blast of magic. It touched the previously dulled sands and erupted into yet more spikes. They twisted and spiraled through the air, leaving a trail of solidified sand in their wake.

Kor turned from the incoming sand spikes and shielded his face. The barrage pelted him and sent him flying, leaving quarter-sized dents in his armor. He could feel himself being pushed back from the force of the blows. Several moments of not feeling anything hinted at the blast of sand was over and done with to the Chronomancer, allowing him to shift to a more offensive stance. As he opened his eyes, he saw that the attack had a more permanent effect on the battlefield.

The dull sand had frozen in place, snaking their way towards him with sharp points permanently ready to pierce anything that touches them. Its creator had become distracted and was no longer channeling any mana into the whitened sands, completely occupied trying to attack 0Neo. The assassin darted back and forth, slashing the Dragon at any chance he could.

Fred had moved closer now that the action had moved away from the burro and, more importantly, Kor. He took this opportunity and began to dig through the large pile of sacks and metal before he finally found what he was looking for. A ruby-colored eye he had taken off of a large monstrosity in the ruins of Talados a while ago audibly squished in his hand as he pulled it out. “I really need to work on getting someone to fix that. Oh well, now I just need a good hit and then we can get on with the boat trip,” he ran closer to where the human and Dragon were fighting. The knowledge the eye imparted began to flow into the Chronomancer mind, knowledge of a spell that he was now positive would slay the dragon.

“Heh, not too agile are ya Dragon? I’ve seen rocks move faster!” 0Neo rolled under another swipe of the Dragon’s claws. His dagger flew through the air and cut at anything 0Neo got a chance to. Despite all his efforts, he had left little more than minor cuts along the dull hide.

The dull beast slammed a clawed paw into the sand in front of the 0Neo and knocked him over, “And you, you do not move any faster.” It chuckled malevolently as it quickly pinned down 0Neo and began to squeeze the human.

"Cover your eyes!" Kor shouted as he raised the eye towards the dull Dragon. A ray of psychic energy shot through the air towards the monster. The instant it hit the Dragon it released dozens of shards of newly forged glass in almost every direction. The injured Truphma reared its head back and roared in pain as it stumbled to the side, inadvertently releasing 0Neo.

Another ray struck the Dragon before it had anytime to react. Its sandy body was now slowly falling apart, the scales became indistinct and fell off as clumps of dulled sand into the pristine beach. It got up and glared at Kor, “Once more, I dare you! You will not live to see Paxia cleansed and used to its true potential!” It began a desperate charge towards the Chronomancer.

Kor closed his eyes as the disintegrating monster drew closer, channeling his mana for something he really did not want to do. With a wave of his arm, it began, “Time Compression!” He opened his eyes and watched as his spell did it’s work, fragments of time that failed to obey his spell struck the Dragon as it slowly froze in place.

Once the magic had done its work and left the dull sand Dragon as little more than a statue, Kor smiled. He twirled the unholy blade in his hand and charged. It moved through the time-frozen being with ease, ensuring it was to fall when the spell let up.

“You alright 0Neo?” Kor extended an open hand to the assassin. 0Neo was staring starstruck at the frozen monstrosity only a couple feet away as he rose to his feet after taking the offered hand. “Lets get going and save your home!” After quickly inspecting the boat, the two cast off and drifted into the dark waters towards Paxia.

Part VIII: Passion Burning the Dullness Fragment 1: Burning Winds
The boat landed itself in the beach’s sandy shore. No one was on the beach, only what few trees were still able to grow in the shadows of the mountains to the south of the Dynami base greeted the group. “Okay, it looks like the nearest fire is a bit north of here,” Seth watched the barely visible column of smoke rise into the horizon, “Is there a village nearby?”

“Hm... No, I do not recall any Clan members setting up a village in this part of my territory,” Dynamo replied. Both Clan leaders followed behind the group of humans as they wandered towards the pillar of smoke. It was an unusually thick plume slowly drifting towards the distant stars, most of the villages rarely held a bonfire in times when war was imminent.

Faint sounds of talk grew in the darkened dead forest as they neared the fire. The glow of blazing wood guided them closer and closer to whoever was lurking on the fringes of Paxia. The humans began pulling out a variety of weapons, prepared to fight any threat that came their way. Fire and energy sparked to life in the darkness.

"Report soldier! What are the numbers of those in the Generator? Xov wants that thing to be dulled within the week, and a siege will not meet that deadline," a monotone voice called through the night. Dynami narrowed her eyes in pure contempt of the discussion they had overheard. Figures moved between the large fire and the group, humanoids, beasts, and more ran back and forth.

Seth smiled eagerly, "Ready to throw a wrench into their plans? I didn't think we would be fighting the war so soon, but this seems more fun than listening to war plans!" He pulled out a blazing sword. Silent flames danced along the entirety of the blade, making it seem alive and ready for a taste of off white blood.

“You know I’m ready Seth!” the click of metal gauntlets told the group that the other Igneus representative was ready to charge the camp of dull beings. The two Dynami humans look at each other anxiously. “What, you two don’t wanna get in on the fun? Come on,” she playfully ribs the engineer.

The sound of rustling leaves brought the group to dead silence in an instant. Losing the element of surprise now would leave them at a horrible disadvantage. A silhouette wandered the fringes of the Truphma camp, coming unsettlingly close to the six Paxians. “Now where, oh where, did I leave my knife? Can’t fight without it. General will be mad,” the Truphma walked on, continuing to mutter about the knife.

After several tense moments of waiting the sounds of the Truphma’s footsteps faded back to nothing, the group relaxed slightly. “That was... close. Lets not do that again,” the blazing fox let his naturally burning fur reignite, “If they truly are going to attack soon, we might as well disrupt those plans. When we get to the meeting we will have to explain the new situation to everyone. Seth and Ylise, with me.” Igneox had a very fitting smile on him as he walked towards the camp. Both of his representatives followed eagerly.

The two Dynami Clansmen looked to their leader curiously. They had both drawn weapons but were unsure of how to proceed, follow the Clan of fire or stay back and guard the boat. Sounds of burning Truphma began to fill the air in an almost songlike manner. Dynamo blinked her light once and flew into the fray. "Well, guess we can't just stand here. Tally ho!" a ray of lightning erupted from a strange box in the engineer’s hands as he ran into the fray.

***


Hict shrugged off the large piece of metal that had fallen on him in the initial explosion. The damage he had taken have been more than enough to kill most mortals, pieces of metal pierced his armor in many places, burns and cuts covered everywhere else. “Finally my immortality gets some uses!” he whispered weakly as he sluggishly crawled away from the blaze.

Voices echoed in the distance. People. He needed to get these injuries looked at by a good healer if he wanted to be able to participate in the war. Hict forced his eyes open. Bright light streamed in along with the faint shadows of people.

The light and shadows slowly became clearer. He could make out familiar and unfamiliar faces all rushing back and forth in the orange tinted hall. Voices rapidly became understandable in the mix of inferno and argument.

"Madara! Is he okay? Get a medic down here, Cid!" Storm ignored the frenzied cries of his fellow Clansmen. Hict could see him kneel next to the unconscious mage. The slightest movement from where Madara was laying told the immortal why everyone tried to keep Storm back.

Golden scales shimmered as the flames reflected off them. “So, thats where he disappeared to! Quite fast for a Dragon,” Hict thought as he pulled himself further from the wreckage. “Ya know that I’m here too, right guys?” several others looked towards where Hict was pinned down.

“Oh Lords! How are you even still alive!” Hict immediately pegged the wide eyed aeromancer as a recent addition. The newbie and another Clansmen rushed over to him and began to lift up the heavy piece of metal.

Feeling slowly came back to Hict’s legs as the two helped him up and dragged him towards the main room of the ship. Both him and Madara were dragged off to the medical wing as the others continued to argue. It almost hurt to see the chaos that consumed the normally calm and energetic Clan. “Not... now. Can’t... fall like... this,” the world returned to the darkness of an unwilling sleep.

***


“You guys really chose to start blaming everyone without even bothering to get any answers or get the medics first? I thought we were better than this!” Storm glared at Cid as the other aeromancers dragged off several of the human survivors, “Even if we are going to take him as a prisoner we should at least give him more hospitality than those things.” Storm shook his head just trying to figure out what they were thinking.

He began trying to free the Dragon from the pile of metal that he had only barely emerged from. Aerodu had yet to return and the fire still burned, although it was falling under control now, leaving them trapped in the chaos that plagued the rest of the world. Storm grunted as the last large hunk of scrap was pushed onto the floor and clanged loudly throughout the hall.

The clatter ignited the emotion in Cid he had hoped for. The engineer moved closer and picked up one of the Light Dragon’s arms and motioned for Storm to do the same. All three of them walked on in silence as they dragged Ligeye away from the blaze. Few Aerodu Clansmen paid them any attention, their focus either on the blaze or helping those fighting it.

Others rushed by, going in one direction or the other. Clan members gawked at the battle going on below them. Gusts of wind blew in every direction, seemingly at once, trying to smother the flames. “How bad is it down there? I get a feeling that the Lucians didn’t take the explosion very well with how everyone is looking down at the Palace, kupo,” Cid finally broke the silence. He looked over at the windows of the Airship curiously.

The medical bay was even more busy than the engine’s hallway. Beds of varying sizes were filled with many of the races that called the Airship home. Virtually all of the Clan ended up in this room at one point, either from natural sickness or the scars of Paxia’s eternal competition. Now it was filled with those unlucky enough to have been near the blast radius.

It was not long before a medic came and guided them to a space. "Keep this guy on lockdown for now," Cid commanded as he dropped the Dragon's arm, "He may be responsible for at least one injury or this blasted mess even, kupo."

The medic ignored the command and began his examination. He pulled out several pieces metal that had lodged themselves deep in Ligeye's scales. "I do not think we need to put him under guard Cid, his injury is too severe for him to even get out of this room, let alone off the Airship. And we already have heavy guard on the only entrance to the med-bay," a glowing light filled the doctor's hands as he sent a wave of healing energy into the cleaned up wounds.

Storm scanned the room quickly. "Alright, Cid, I'm going to go and look for Hict and Madara. I know Hict'll be alright but Madara did not seem in very good shape," he began walking off before Cid could say anything.

***


He looked down at the imposing console before him. It had been ages since anyone other than Aerodu had used the intercom. "Come on Salem, you have to do this. Have to figure this thing out," the Aerodu Tactician began pressing several likely buttons to activate what he was searching for.

Lucian was done for if no help arrived for them. The numbers of monsters were still well above what would allow for a chance at victory. If a few competent Aerodus could enter the fight, Salem knew they had a chance at repelling the horde. The original strategy had fallen apart now, turning the chances of their victory from "likely" to "impossible". And if even a single Clan falls, the chances of victory becomes pointless to even try to fight back. He just could not let that happen.

The familiar click of the loud speakers echoed faintly into the room Salem was in. He closed his eyes and went through the motions one last time, "Clan Aerodu, this is Salem speaking. Down below us Clan Lucian valiantly fights the invaders we have been preparing for. A week earlier than our prediction." Silence had filled the ship and even the burning engine had quieted.

"I implore the best fighters to come with me, come help Lucian fend off these monotonous monstrosities. Lucian can not fight alone now, and we are all they have. We need to help them as best as we are able. Those of you working on the fire, keep at it. Even if you are one of our best," he paused for a moment to finish designing their only hope, "Those of you joining me, meet me in the hangar bay A.S.A.P." He turned and left Aerodu's roost. Aerodu's monochrome devil was ready for a comeback.

***


Everything snapped back to world of the living. Madara felt his senses return to him. He quickly sat up, as if waking from a nightmare suddenly. Gasps erupted from several of those gathered around his formerly dead body.

"How did... how did you do that?" one of the Clan's best healers exclaimed as he began probing the revived necromancer. The pain of his injuries faded as his body reformed to it's pre-death state. He could feel his spine aligning perfectly as well as the few dozen open wounds quickly scab over and heal. It felt amazing.

Madara turned to the stunned doctors, "Death hates me!" He smiled triumphantly as incredulous stares were the only response he got. "I've died only one other time, so I thought it was a one time deal, but no I know that the Reaper refuses to let me anywhere near his realm again after what happened the first time..." he began recounting how he had first met an overzealous Paladin and proceeded to tear Nowhere into shreds, "And that's why I got a lifetime ban on dying, nothing special."

"Are you kidding me, Madara? Now we have two immortals in our Clan, that is awesome!" A familiar face walked up to the revived Aerodu. Storm patted Madara on his back in congratulations for his recent bit of luck.

Madara rolled his eyes, "It's not really immortality, I just get lucky enough that Death does not want me and that zealot in the same plane of existence. I'll still age I'm pretty sure, and I can still be killed and all, but I will always keep coming back good as new."

Madara hopped off the examination bed and stretched. "So...," he began moving towards the exit of the medical bay, "How long was I out for?" Storm quickly grabbed him and led him back towards where the majority of the worst injuries were being treated.

"You can't just go yet! We need to see if Hict's alright before we do anything else," the Aerodu pilot dragged Madara towards where he believed they put the immortal. They both scanned the rows and rows of beds for their target, one more eagerly and diligently than the other.

The sound of a scream almost instantly recognizable to virtually every Clan member, "Oh come on! You said you got it the last time! Aaaaaahhhhuggg!" Madara complied with the look that Storm shot his way, and managed to keep up well enough to avoid have the hand at the top of his robes pulling them to tight around his neck. They quickly found the young immortal having his broken bones being healed and broken once more so that they would not be misshapen. Hict was sitting on a bed with his arms crossed impatiently, wanting to get this over and done with as soon as possible.

"Sorry, Hict, you know the drill. How many times hav-" the familiar click of Aerodu's daily announcements echoed in the large room. Virtually everything stopped, and all had quieted to listen. Salems voice came over the intercom, not Aerodu as almost everyone expected.

A dozen Clansmen in the medical bay instantly jumped at the chance for glory that Salem offered. Storm, Madara and Hict all got the same blood-thirsty look the instant the intercom turned off. Hict leapt off his bed and promptly crashed to the ground from pain, "Come doc, I wanna take part in this!" He slowly pulled himself towards the exit as the doctor hurried to heal him. The doctor eventually helped his patient up off of the floor and instantly was left all alone by the immortal. Madara and Storm trailed right behind him.

***


The armory was under attack, not by the Truphma or another Clan but by the Clan of wind that owned it. Dozens of Clan members rushed to the large room the instant that Salem finished speaking. Weapons and armor flew off the racks to whoever grabbed them first. Even with only a good hundred or so people trying to rush in created a jam and brought the rush to a grinding halt.

Cid pushed his way into the sea of Aerodus. Virtually every race that commonly were aligned to wind was represented here at the moment. The engineer figured he could help Salem just as well if not more so than some of those around him. Red, white, and gray adorned every armament that filled the most important room of the Skyship. Only one item mattered to Cid though, a bow that was only recently made open for the entire Clan.

He had leapt at the chance to buy one only seconds after Aerodu announced them. The arrows shot from it stayed true, moving the very air around them out of the way. It was an odd choice for him, but he liked it and decided that it was the weapon for him.

Slowly the crowd began moving towards the armory door. Weapons and armor that represented the Clan that always yearned to fly came out attached to the various peoples that were eternally bound to the skies above them.

***


After what felt like hours, the crowd had finally moved towards the hangar. Dozens had gathered at the windy entrance and exit to the massive fortress that Aerodu and his “flock” called home. Each one had a thirst for the off white blood that the Truphma housed in their veins. A perfect calvary for the eternally bright Clan of Lucian.

“Alright, is this everyone?” Salem, with a fiendish grin on his face, scanned the crowd. Those in the back looked behind them briefly to check, but when no one else came they turned and nodded. Salem nodded himself, “This is good enough. Now, we are at a perfect height to guarantee death for the flightless such as myself. If some of you dedicate yourselves to bringing the whole Clan down safely and then being some long range support, this battle will go much more smoothly.”

The distinct sounds of war echoed eerily in the ship. Light and dullness clashed, awaiting the moment that the winds would finally blow their way. “Guess it is finally time for the gloves to come off,” Salem said as he turned towards the open hangar door. He said the two words he thought he would never say again and felt the rush of power they provided, “Clockwork Lullaby!” A monochrome scythe as long as the tactician himself materialized in his hand. “Now then, shall we show these Truphma and Lucians who the best Clan really is?”

A roar filled the massive ship as the winds changed to allow them all a safe landing on the mountain. Lucians and Truphma alike temporarily ceased their fighting to watch the sight of many Aerodus come to the aid of Lucian.


Part VIII: Passion Burning the Battlefield Fragment 2: A Song
A blizzard developed around the marching army. Few beings of any element other than ice could hope to see in the thick storm. The steady march to the castle that all Nocturu Clansmen called home did not drain the Glacian forces as it would with any other in this situation.

A layer of snow crunched under Glacius' Tri-elemental Wizard as he followed closely behind Glaciar. The forest around them began to look dead, the normally green coniferous that grew on the fringes of the territory that was considered Glacius' turned to black and leafless trees. With every step the night grew darker despite the dawn being much closer than midnight.

They had yet to encounter any Truphma, but they were drawing close to the castle of Nocturu. "Will you be able to keep the storm up by yourself, Glaciar?" Hikari asked as he drew closer to the great bear without speeding up, "You don't seem to well."

A grunt was all the bear offered in response. He was focusing his all into the storm, to protect his Clan in the battle ahead in the best way he can. Every so often someone sent a Mana Potion his way to help keep his energy from getting too low to maintain the weather.

Hours passed, snow continued to pour down for miles ahead and behind the army. The darkness around them did not fade in the slightest, telling them they were nearing the heart of Nocturu territory. A land of eternal night, much like the lands that make up Darkovia, was filled with a fine layer of snow now. Perhaps even the Castle had been touched by the blizzard and the Truphma were suffering the blinding combination.

Hikari closed his eyes as he felt the winds change in a way that few in the Clan would notice. “Almost there... The battlefield is not far,” Glaciar looked towards the Wizard solemnly. When he finally opened his eyes the bear could tell that something had clicked in his head and told him now was the day to put aside his dislike of war.

Faint sounds ahead of them told the small army that they were meet one side or another soon. Fading footsteps appeared ahead of Glaciar. Everyone prepared themselves for the eventuality of battle. A single person appeared, running in the snow towards Glaciar.

As he advanced it became obvious he was badly injured. Everyone held their ground, waiting for the potential enemy to make their intentions known. Suddenly the wings of a great bat opened before the advancing warrior. A Nocturu had made his way to the Glacius army. A simple black staff pegged him as a mage.

“Truphma!” he immediately began to attack everyone in sight. Burst of darkness filled the snowy forest as the mage seemed to put his all into the attack, “This’ll teach you to attack us like this! The power of darkness to hide those who serve it favored me, allowing me to get my revenge for what you have done!” An inhuman look clouded his eyes as he blasted all he could see.

“Damn! It’s only because of luck this lunatic hasn’t killed anyone yet! Let’s see, what would be a good counter?” Hikari’s mind raced, trying to find the perfect spell for the situation. An explosion of dark magic struck the ground very close to Glaciar. “No! Stop this now, Nocturu! We are not Truphma!” he pointed the staff at the mad stranger and released a pulse of blinding light.

“Arugh!” the stranger covered his eyes. He fell to his knees as tears streamed down his face. The mage quickly fell unconscious shortly afterwards. Hikari marched up to him and looked him over quickly before picking up the already bruised and battered soldier and carried him towards the medics.

***


The Truphma rushed towards Igneox. The fox smiled as the dull humanoid lunged at him. He released a wave of heat intense enough to quickly leave the knife little more than a molten puddle, and the Truphma as little more than a pile of fresh ashes. Igneox sighed and continued igniting several of the tents around him, “You should have known better than to come that close... Pitiful really.”

Lightning and fire had filled the large camp, sending panic straight to the hearts of the dull monsters. Seth smiled to himself as he watched a tent burn to the ground and the Truphma that had been in there fled, each covered in beautiful red flames. There was something calming to him about the sound and smells of a fire. He had devoted himself to the blazing Clan just to see the eternal fires that burned in their base.

The ground beneath them was visibly grayed from it’s short time around the dull monsters. Even the fires that sprung up from these blighted grounds were markedly changed. The group found themselves almost purposefully avoiding setting fire to the campgrounds as they struck down Truphma after Truphma, limiting the Clan of fire greatly.

Each slash of his burning blade sent sparks flying through the air, igniting much of the opposing forces who came to close. The panic sent up by him and the others made it all the easier to slay them all, and the lack of heavy resistance almost made it suspicious to the warrior mage. He took every chance he could to surround him and the camp in flames to keep any others out of this fight, to check each and every document hidden in the larger tents.

Morning came as the battlefield began to quiet and the fires shifted from inferno to smaller and smaller fires. The Truphma forces left over were quickly subdued and finished. It was far too easy. In the early morning light, Seth and the others found why.

At the very center stood several animals native to the Paxia Islands. All of them were pale and sickly, color sapped from their very being. “Lords. This... This is just wrong,” Seth said as he looked the animals, “A conversion camp. What sick monsters, these Truphma...”

“Perhaps we should bring them and this news to Paxus and the others. We can not let such things go unnoticed by the others. The more they take from us, the longer this battle will last,” Dynamo said angrily. All of them agreed and dragged several of the dulling monsters to the boat.

***


Akihiko watched had watched the whole little outburst. It would only be a matter of time before they met with the horde that had assaulted the Castle in the Dark. A shiver went up his spine just thinking of them. How the Truphma could live like that was more terrifying than anything Noctoru and his Clan could ever dream of. He could see how the man could be terrified by the whole encounter.

The march grew quieter as the snow turned to lifeless soil. The only other disruptions came from the occasional soldier stepping into some extra deep mud that lined the borders. Many around Akihiko seemed to be on edge as they entered the darkened forest, stumbling around nervously.

A shadow in distance slowly creeped into view through the black branches of the trees. The faint sounds of battle echoed in the forest surprisingly well, making the army tense up and steel themselves for what was soon to come. Akihiko pulled out the newest signature of Glacius and began focusing his magic into the hammer. He would be needing it soon enough, and he would be ready.

“Buzzers incoming!” came down the ranks quickly. Those with magic and bows began forming the spells and notching the arrows. Battle was upon them.

***


Ice started to litter the cold waters west of Glacius’ base. “How well do you think they are fairing right now, 0Neo? We are almost there, so what does the forecast tell?” Kor looked at his guide. 0Neo looked towards the rising sun and Paxia. With his back to Kor, there was little chance to gauge the assassin’s thoughts.

The small boat had few problems navigating the icy waters, but they slowed to almost the same pace as much of the ice surrounding them. With the ice came an odd quiet rarely heard in the early waking hours of much of Paxia. The few pillars of smoke told the two all they needed to know.

“I say we skip on checking on Glacius and head straight to Nocturu,” the assassin pulled out a pair of binoculars and looked to the icy city that was just starting to awaken fully. “It looks like Glaciar and his army are moving. I doubt the civilians would know enough to tell us where he and the army have gone.” 0Neo sat back down and began paddling towards the the mainland and away from the icy island of the Frozen Spires.

***


In the coming days the forces of Paxia would claim a hard earned victory. Each of the eight Clans and the forces of the Guardians and Adventurers showed Xov why Creativity would not fall easily. It angered her, and showed just how wrong and hypocritical she and her army were.

After the battle ended the tolls were taken and the missing counted. Each Clan had their lost and missing to attend to. And they did. Even if they had proved that they would not stand alone, that they would not fall, they did not have a flawless victory. But they would not be forgotten anytime soon.


< Message edited by kors -- 11/30/2013 18:21:25 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 5
6/22/2013 18:48:36   
battlemaster25
Member

Prologue: Xov's Letter

Scene: Paxia, Aerodu Airship, late afternoon. Aerodu has summoned veteran clan members to an urgent meeting.

The clan members were gathered around a circular table in the center of the airship, all of them wearing the clan's traditional red robes. Aerodu himself sat in the center of the table. After a moment, he spoke.

"Alright, is everyone present?"

"Not quite. We're missing one."

"We cannot afford to delay any longer. We must begin without them."


Suddenly, there was a flash of red-and-white light. A figure appeared at the entrance to the chamber. He was wearing the same red robes as everyone else, but he had the hood pulled down, revealing his vibrant yellow hair. An enormous silver sword, recognizable as belonging to the 'Emoran Knights, was strapped to his back.

"Sorry I'm late, everyone!"

Aerodu let out a loud sigh, and turned towards the newcomer.

"Ah, Storm. Good. We were about to start without you."

"Right. Your message said this was extremely important."

"Indeed it is. Take your seat, and we will begin."


Storm approached the table, where there was one empty seat. He removed the sword from his back, laying it on the table, and sat down. Aerodu cleared his throat.

"Down to business. Yesterday, a letter was sent to myself and my fellow clan leaders. The sender was none other than Xov Arakue, leader of the Truphma."

Several members of the clan, including Storm, let out audible gasps.

"The Truphma, as many of you might know, are devoted to the absolute destruction of creativity. To this end, Xov's letter contains not just a threat, but an attempt to break our spirits. She claims that she expects us to lay down and be walked over. Will we allow that to happen?"

"NO!"

"Excellent. I have not yet spoken with the other clans, although I expect that several of them agree with us. With their help or without it, we will fight back against these Truphma. When they arrive, we will be ready. Tomorrow, I will address the rest of the clan, and we will begin preparations."


End of Prologue.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter I: Before the War


Scene: Paxia, War Encampment, evening. A red-haired girl traverses the camp with a checklist.

The checklist was labeled "major figures". On it were the names of each clan leader, and the veterans of their clans. Some of the clans had not yet been accounted for. The girl was going from tent to tent, looking for everyone on the list, at least from the clans that had shown up. She stopped in front of a tent, where a man with black hair and sunglasses sat.

"Excuse me, what's your name?"

"Call me Wyrm. YOLO!"

".... I'm not even going to ask. You're with Lucian, right?"

"Sure am."

"Alright, that's all I needed to know."


The girl looked down at her checklist, and marked off Wyrm. She moved onwards to another tent some ways away. This one was occupied by a man with a pink cape and a gecko-like helmet. The girl couldn't resist thinking something to herself.

"The people here are so strange...."

After a moment, she cleared her throat. The man looked up at her.

"I assume you're here to document everyone?"

"Yep. Name and clan, please."

"Popinloopy. Lucian."

"Is that really a name?"

"Check your list, then, if you don't believe me."


The girl looked down at the checklist, where Popinloopy was indeed listed. Without another word, she checked it off and walked away. She continued like this for some time, questioning people and then leaving, although few had matched the strangeness of Popinloopy. Eventually, she came across something that she wasn't expecting. A man, dressed in the traditional Chronomancer's armor, was setting up a tent, away from the others. The girl walked over to him, reading through her checklist.

"Hello, young lady. What can I help you with?"

"Who are you?"

"Ah. Taking attendance, are we? I am Kor, and I'm afraid I don't have a clan allegiance."

"No clan? Then why are you here, if I may ask?"

"Oh please. It's not just the clans who have issues with the Truphma, you know."

"Fair enough. I'd love to stay and chat, but there's still so much for me to do."

"I understand."


After that rather unusual meeting, the girl continued on her way. She continued to speak to people and check them off of her list, until eventually she came to the last two, belonging to Aerodu. In the Aerodu section of the camp, there were two tents that were marked with the clan sigil, indicating that they were who she was after. She stopped at the first tent, and a man in a fancy plumed helmet emerged. The girl stared at the helmet for a moment, before composing herself.

"Excuse me, are you Hict the Immortal?"

"That's me. Would you happen to be in Aerodu?"

"Igneus, actually. Why?"

"Because Aerodu is better."

"Whatever."

"Hey, it's true!"


Suddenly, a figure emerged from the other marked tent. It was none other than Storm, who looked over at Hict and the girl. After a moment, the girl ran over to meet him.

"Well well. Storm Silverwing. I see you haven't managed to get yourself killed yet."

"Kierra? I wasn't expecting to see you here."

"I'd say the same, but your name is on the list."

"Tell me. How does the daughter of a famous fortune teller end up as a secretary?"

"Oh, shut up. Igneox asked, and I volunteered."

"Come on, I'm just teasing."

"I know. It's good to see you again."


As Storm and the girl, Kierra, talked, Hict realized that he was being ignored, and headed back inside his tent. However, somewhere far away, more sinister things were brewing, as the Truphma gathered their own forces.....

End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter II: The First Attack


Scene: Paxia, War Encampment, afternoon. Kierra is keeping watch over the camp.

Kierra stood upon her perch, a rocky ledge that granted her a complete view of the camp. She looked around periodically, searching for possible enemy activity. She had been doing this for several hours on end, and her eyes were growing weary. She tore her gaze away from the camp, and happened to glance towards the Nocturu clan base. She saw many figures milling around it. She raised her binoculars, and saw, to her shock, that Truphma were assaulting the base. Even more shockingly, a huge force of them was marching towards the camp.

She scrambled down from her perch as quickly as she safely could, but by the time she had reached ground level, the Truphma were almost upon the camp. By this point, many in the camp had noticed them, and were taking up arms. Kierra dashed towards Storm's tent.

"Storm! Storm!"

Storm poked his head out of the tent, blinking wearily. Evidently, he had been in the middle of a nap.

"Kierra? What's wrong?"

"The Truphma have begun their attack! At least some of the clans are already under attack, and so is the camp!"

"Come on, then, we have to fight back!"


Storm hurried out of his tent, having grabbed his sword. Kierra followed after him, fire magic crackling in her hands. Together, they ran towards where the Truphma were approaching. They were now extremely close to the camp, and the clan members had clearly taken notice. High-pitched sounds rang out, as weapons clashed between the Truphma and their opponents. Kierra saw Wyrm and Hict, of all people, standing back-to-back, facing an onslaught of Truphma from every direction.

Storm drew his sword and closed his eyes, concentrating for a moment. A razor-sharp shroud of light grey wind magic formed around the blade. He opened his eyes and charged into the fray, slicing several Truphma in half with one swing. Kierra began shooting a rapid barrage of fireballs from her hands. As they fought, however, they quickly realized that the camp was being overwhelmed. The Truphma outnumbered them, five to one. Kierra looked around, and saw that Hict and Wyrm were just barely withstanding the assault, and Popinloopy was lying on the ground, likely unconscious, as he had no major injuries. Kor was nowhere to be seen. In that instant, Kierra realized what needed to be done. She ran over to Storm, incinerating several Truphma that got in her way.

"Storm!"

"Kierra?"

"You have to leave."

"What? Why?"

"We're overwhelmed here. You need to go and get reinforcements. From the clans, from Battleon, any help that you can."


Storm looked around, as a hoard of Truphma rushed towards them.

"With all of these Truphma here, I don't think we could get out."

"I know. That's why I'm staying behind."

"What!? No!"

"I'll cover your escape. Go."

"I can't just leave you here!"

"You have to."


Kierra whirled around, sending out a huge wave of fire which destroyed several Truphma. She repeated the action several times, destroying a good chunk of the nearby Truphma. However, more Truphma soon took their place. Storm hesitated, staring at Kierra. She turned, seeing him still standing there.

"GO!"

She thrust out her hand, and a huge fireball blasted several Truphma behind Storm. Reluctantly, Storm turned and ran away from the fighting. Once he was some distance away, he looked back, and saw plumes of fire emanating from where Kierra was. After a moment, he turned and continued to run, searching for any help that he could find.

End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter III: Seeking Aid


Scene: Paxia, Nocturu Clan Base, late afternoon. Storm has called a meeting with Noctros to ask for help.

Storm looked around at the interior of the castle. He imagined that few Aerodu clan members had ever seen it. It was an enormous, cathedral-like room, and the ceiling was so high that Storm could barely see it. Giant statues were lined up along the walls, and the room was lit entirely by candles. Storm glanced about anxiously, wondering where Noctros was, as he had been told that Noctros would see him. Suddenly, an enormous bat-like figure swooped down from the ceiling, landing directly in front of Storm. Storm gasped, and stumbled backwards in fear, before he saw that the figure was actually Noctros himself.

"So, a messenger has come, seeking my assistance. Who are you, boy, and what clan are you from?"

"I'm Storm Silverwing, sir. From Aerodu."

"Ah, yes. Aerodu speaks rather highly of you, you know."

"No, I actually didn't know that. I always thought that I irritated him a bit."

"Hmph. Aerodu tends to be like that. He rarely expresses approval openly. Don't take it to heart."

"I'll keep that in mind. However, I'm afraid I'm here on a more dire mission."

"No doubt you refer to that outrageous letter. I've already told Igneox that I won't join your little alliance. The clans can stand on their own."

"Please, sir. The alliance is under attack as we speak. We are being overwhelmed. Even your own base is under attack."

"Really? Our enemy is that numerous? That seems hard to believe. The attackers here are few, and my clan are holding them off easily."

"Clan members usually aren't allowed in other clans' bases. I wouldn't have broken that rule if it weren't important."

"Hrmm. Aerodu always has been a stickler for rules. However, I still believe that you should fend for yourselves."

"You're right, fending for yourself is a valuable skill. But so is knowing when to ask for help."

"Maybe so, but I reserve the right to refuse help whenever I please."

"If that won't sway you, then maybe I should stop being nice. You owe it to the other clans."

"Oh really? Do explain."

"Do you remember when the Crypt Fiend invaded your base? As I recall, you were quite angry when the other clans failed to defend you."

"I was hoping you wouldn't bring that up...."

"The beast was only driven out when the other clans came to aid you. Time to return the favor."

"You are more shrewd than you seem, Storm Silverwing. You would make a good Nocturu."

"Does that mean that you'll help after all?"

"Yes. You will have as many men as I can muster. Don't make me regret my sudden burst of generosity."

"Thank you, sir!"

"Thank me if we win."


Storm bowed respectfully to Noctros, and exited the castle. He grabbed the silver amulet that he wore around his neck, which began to pulse with magic. A moment later, he vanished in a brilliant flash of red and white light. Instantly, he appeared in Battleon town square with a similar flash. The sun was shining brightly, and the grass was a rich green color. By all accounts, it was a lovely day. Unfortunately, Storm didn't have time to appreciate the weather. He dashed towards the Guardian Tower, nearly running directly into Hans on the way. As he entered the tower, panting for breath, Nimrod looked up at him curiously.

"Storm? What's the rush?"

"Paxia is under attack!"

"Paxia? Who would attack Paxia?"

"The Truphma! There's too many of them, we need reinforcements right away."

"Hmm. You know that the Guardian Order doesn't generally get involved in Paxian affairs."

"Please, Nimrod, this is different. These are the Truphma we're talking about. Do you really think they'll stop, if they conquer Paxia?"

"They prefer to take over entire planets, don't they?"

"Yes. Are you going to sit back and let them do it?"

"Absolutely not! You will have as many Guardians as we can spare. Where should I send them?"

"The Nocturu base. There, they will meet up with troops from the Nocturu clan."

"Alright. I'll go begin preparations."


Storm nodded his head in thanks and walked outside. He heard Nimrod barking orders inside the tower. Moments later, the sounds of scurrying feet emanated from the tower's upper levels. After a moment, he shook his head and grabbed the amulet again. He had to return to Paxia, to try and recruit Glacius and Dynami to their cause. However, he was confident that they would agree. The Truphma would regret messing with Paxia.

End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter IV: The Cavalry


Scene: Paxia, War Encampment, Dawn. Kierra is still holding the Truphma back.

Kierra had been fighting the Truphma all night, trying to prevent them from taking the camp. Hict and Wyrm had joined her briefly, but they were quickly separated. At some point, Popinloopy had awakened, and was fighting some distance away. Kor had apparently vanished without a trace. Kierra's magic had run out roughly halfway through the night, so she had resorted to her considerable hand-to-hand skills. However, she had noticed that slowly, the camp's defenders were losing ground. It wouldn't be long before the Truphma overran them completely. As she thought, a Truphma approached behind her. She didn't notice it, until it tackled her to the ground.

"Argh! Get off!"

"You've given us quite a bit of trouble. Now die!"


The Truphma raised its cleaver. Kierra closed her eyes tightly. Suddenly, however, there was a loud thwacking sound, and Kierra felt something splash onto her face. She opened her eyes slowly, and saw Kor standing there holding a sword, the Truphma's head lying nearby. She touched her hand to her face, and saw the Truphma's dark gray blood. She carefully stood up and looked at Kor.

"Where were you this whole time?"

"It's complicated."

"Hmph. Fine. Thanks for the save."

"You're quite welcome. However, it seems this timeline no longer needs me."

"What?"


Kor pointed over in the distance, towards the Noturu base. Kierra saw a huge army charging towards the camp. Some of them were wearing Guardian armor, while others were dressed in the clan outfits of Nocturu, Glacius, and Dynami. Leading the army, she saw none other than Storm Silverwing. She smiled, and looked over at Kor, to see him fiddling with something on his armor. After a moment, he vanished in a flash of blue light. Kierra, however, was too preoccupied by the army to be fazed by it.

The Truphma had clearly noticed the oncoming reinforcements, as they turned and charged towards them. Storm signaled with his hand, and the army stopped. He signaled again and this time the Nocturu clan members stepped forward. In sync, they all held out their hands, firing beams of darkness that cut swathes through the Truphma. As the Nocturu stepped back, the Dynami began to blast the Truphma with bolts of lightning. Finally, the Guardians and Glacius clan members charged forwards, brandishing their weapons, to engage the remaining Truphma in melee combat. Storm himself was slicing through Truphma left and right with a glowing, rainbow-colored sword.

Eventually, the Truphma realized that the reinforcements had turned the tables on them completely, and the few of them that were still alive fled. Gray blood was splattered on the ground everywhere, and the camp was completely in ruins. As the army rested after the battle, Storm met up with Kierra.

"When I told you to get reinforcements, I wasn't quite expecting that."

"I gathered everyone that I could."

"Yeah, and you completely stomped the Truphma into the ground."

"Oh come on, it wasn't that cool."

"Yes it was! If the rest of them are that weak, this war will be over within a couple days."

"I doubt it. This was only the beginning."

"Don't be such a downer."

"We can't afford to get arrogant. That will get us killed."

"I know. Must you spoil my fun?"

"Yes, why?"


Kierra narrowed her eyes and stared at Storm, who was doing a remarkably good job at remaining deadpan. After a moment, she gave up, as she knew better than to try and outdo Storm's sense of wit. Storm eventually dropped his dead-serious facade and smiled at Kierra.

"So, are we even now?"

"Heh. No way. I was fending for myself just fine."

"Sure you were. Which is, of course, why I needed to bring an army to back you up, right?"

"Hey, I was still holding them off!"

"Barely. At one point, they were literally right on top of you."

"Oh geez, you saw that?"

"I have eyes like a hawk. Family trait."

"Grr. I was just gonna pretend that it didn't happen."

"Somehow, that fails to surprise me....."

"Come on, shouldn't we be preparing for the upcoming war or something?"

"Oh, now you think the war is a serious matter."


However, Storm decided that Kierra was right, and walked away to help re-establish the camp. Kierra shrugged and sat down on a tree stump, wondering whether the Truphma were really as dangerous as Storm thought.

End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter V: Another Newcomer


Scene: Paxia, War Encampment, Evening. As the Truphma regroup, the camp prepares.

Storm sat in near the center of the camp, where a blacksmith's forge had been established. He was pounding at a blade on an anvil, when he suddenly heard a loud thumping noise. People around him gasped in awe, and some nervously drew their weapons. He looked up, and saw an enormous figure approaching. The man, who was at least fifteen feet tall, had a thick mane of fiery red hair, and a short beard. He was very heavily built, and his legs were short in proportion to his body. He wore a sleeveless leather jerkin and a red cloth hood, with matching pants. On his back was a large, black hammer that was at least as large as Storm.

"Well, Stormy, Ah see yer smithin' skills ain't improved much."

"Did you really come all this way just to critique my skills, Brenn?"


The giant let out a hearty laugh, and patted Storm on the back. The force of the action nearly knocked Storm headfirst into the anvil. Storm looked around at the nearby clan members, who seemed to have realized that Brenn was not a threat. After a moment, the giant spoke again.

"Ah'm no fan of the Truphma. Ah heard ya had a right army riled up against 'em, so Ah thought Ah'd help out."

"I appreciate the thought, by why choose now to get back in touch? I haven't heard anything from you in years, and now you just show up?"

"Ah do 'pologize fer that. Honestly, Ah didn't know how ta contact ya. Ya'd always come ta me before."

".....I didn't tell you where to find me?"

"Nope. Never said a peep."

"I'm sorry. All this time, I thought you were mad at me about something."

"Heh. Ah'll accept yer 'pology, if ya buy us both a round of Moglinberry Juice."

"In the middle of a war? Oh Brenn, you never change."


At that moment, Kierra arrived. As soon as she saw Brenn, she stopped and stared at him, her eyes wide. Storm noticed her, and walked over towards her. He snapped his fingers in her ear, and she blinked and shook her head. Brenn turned towards them.

"Brenn, this is my friend Kierra."

"Oh, really? She yer girlfriend, perhaps?"

"Ha ha, no. We don't even live on the same continent."

"Come on, ya know Ah'm just teasin'. Nice ta meet ya, missy. Name's Brenn."

"Hmm. May I ask how you and Storm know each other?"

"Me and lil' Stormy go back years. Ah used ta try and teach him ta be a blacksmith."

".....Stormy? That's adorable!"


Storm crossed his arms and glared intensely at Kierra, who smiled back at him innocently. Brenn, seeing their attitudes, burst into laughter.

"What's so funny?"

"Are ya sure she ain't yer girlfriend? Ya certainly act like it."

"....I give up. It's like arguing with a brick wall."

"Oh ease up. Did those Truphma sap yer bloody sense of humor?"

"Moving on, you mentioned something about Moglinberry Juice? For some strange reason, this camp does have a bar...."

"Aye. That Ah did. After that, Ah'll show ya how ta work a forge properly. Ya interested, missy? Stormy's buying."

"Hah, no thanks. I prefer to have my wits about me."

"If ya insist. Yer loss. Come along Stormy, and bring yer wallet. Ya know how much Ah can drink."

"Argh, why me?"


As Storm and Brenn trudged off, Kierra pondered what she had just seen. After a moment, she decided that Brenn would make a powerful ally, regardless of his quirks.

End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter VI: Gathering Forces


Scene: ???, Unknown Time. A Truphma Commander reports to Xov.

"Their miserable little camp still stands, stronger than ever. Tell me how this has happened."

"The other clans arrived out of nowhere, along with the so-called guardian order."

"You assured me, Commander, that they would have no chance to summon reinforcements."

"My deepest apologies. The failure is mine."

"No matter, Commander. They have earned but a brief respite."


Xov turned away from the commander, and looked down into a large chamber below her. Innumerable Truphma were lined up in orderly rows, and more marched forwards from an opening at the back of the chamber. The commander bowed respectfully, and left to join the ranks. Xov smiled as more and more Truphma gathered into the chamber. She turned around, and saw another Truphma waiting to report to her.

"Report, soldier."

"Our encampments across Lore bring excellent news."

"Out with it, then."

"Many of the Lorian monsters that you requested have been conformed. They are ready for combat at any time."

"This is indeed pleasing news. You are dismissed."


As the Truphma soldier walked away, Xov had to resist the temptation to burst into a full blown evil laugh. She frowned upon such pointless displays of emotion, as her time was much better spent on other activities. As she exited the chamber, however, she noticed that she still felt quite confident in her victory.

"Savor your victory while you can, Paxia, for soon you will all be mine....."

End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter VII: The Final Battle Part I


Scene: Paxia, War Encampment, Midnight. Kierra is speaking urgently with Storm and Brenn.

"I'm telling you, there will be an attack tonight!"

"Slow down, missy. How do ya know about this?"

"I've seen it!"

"What do ya mean by seen?"

"She can see random glimpses of the future. However, she only ever sees bad futures....."

"It's bad, alright. Paxia was burning. The clan leaders had been converted. Everyone else was either dead, or worse...."

"That's no laughin' matter. Are ya sure yer vision was true?"

"I'm certain. If we don't get ready RIGHT NOW, we're all going to die."


Storm's eyes widened, and he looked around. Immediately, he began barking orders left and right, as Kierra and Brenn scrambled for their weapons. Despite having no actual authority, none of the clan members questioned Storm's orders, as they armed themselves for battle. Within an hour, the troops had been gathered into ranks. Aerodu's famous archers stood in rows, behind the other soldiers. Several members of Lucian kept watch from makeshift guard towers. Nautica, Dynami, Nocturu, and the rest of Lucian had been gathered together to combine their raw magical skill, while Igneus, Glacius, and Geoto stood ready to meet their foes in melee combat. Finally, the Guardian order had been split into several squadrons, each dedicated to a different skill, including things such as healing, shielding, and magic.

Storm himself had formed an elite unit consisting of himself, Kierra, Brenn, Hict, Popinloopy, and Wyrm. Their purpose was to find and eliminate the Truphma Commanders, hoping to scatter the enemy's forces. Storm noticed that Kierra had decided to wear a sleeveless shirt, and strange red symbols covered her entire upper arms.

"Kierra, what are those?"

"Huh? Oh, that's my inferno seal. Haven't I shown you it before?"

"No. What does it do? It sounds dangerous."

"It's kind of complicated, but the basic idea is that it absorbs heat from my surroundings, which I can use to magnify my fire spells once I release it."

"How long have you been storing up energy?"

"Ever since I joined Igneus, six years ago now."


Storm's eyes widened, and Kierra smiled at him mischievously. Suddenly, there was a loud roar in the distance, and the sound of many stamping feet could be heard. Storm turned towards the source of the commotion, and nearly froze in shock. An absolutely enormous army of Truphma approached, easily fifteen times the size of the group that had attacked the camp. This time, they were accompanied by many of Lore's fiercest creatures, such as Dragons, Hydras, and Salamanders, all of them colored an odd, dull gray. Additionally, Werepyres and Dracopyres that had been converted marched alongside the foot soldiers.

Storm shook his head and looked around at his squad.

"Are you all still with me?"

"Ya know Ah am."

"Absolutely, Storm."

"YOLO!"

"Aerodu likes you, so you must be awesome!"


Everybody looked over towards Popinloopy, who had been the only one not to speak. After a moment, he saw them staring at him, and rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, sure, whatever...."

"Ahem... Alright then, we're ready to go."


Storm glanced around at the army behind him, who were fidgeting nervously, then he looked back towards the approaching Truphma. With a determined look on his face, he turned to face the army.

"You all know what you have to do. Are you ready?"

"YES SIR!"

"ATTACK!"


End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter VIII: The Final Battle Part II


Scene: Paxia, Battlefield, A Few Hours Before Dawn. The Paxian Army clashes with the Truphma, as Storm's unit continues to hunt and kill Commanders.

Storm pulled his sword out of a Truphma Commander's chest, and looked around at his group. Together, they had killed quite a few of the Truphma's leaders, and the Paxian Army was slowly gaining ground. Kierra was on lookout duty, searching for more Commanders. Popinloopy was holding off approaching soldiers by blasting them with dark magic from his staff. Hict was lecturing Wyrm about the latter's.... curious vocabulary whilst the two of them stabbed Truphma, and Brenn had taken it upon himself to smash any dull monsters nearby.

"Hey, we got another Commander! He's about six-hundred yards that way."

Kierra lowered her binoculars and pointed off to their left.

"Seems they're onto us, this one brought a bunch of dragons as bodyguards."

"Argh, they aren't supposed to be that smart!"

"Yeah, how many dragons are there?"

"At least ten."

"Yeesh. They've really buffed up their security. You think we could take ten dragons?"


Storm turned towards them all, and then towards where Kierra had pointed. With his exceptional eyesight, he could see the crowd of dragons in the distance. Everyone waited for him to answer.

"I think we could, but it isn't worth the risk. I have another idea instead."

"Oh? What is it?"

"Kierra, I want you to use that inferno seal of yours. Incinerate them."

"Heh heh.... I've been waiting for you to say that."


Kierra clasped her hands together and stood perfectly still, concentrating for a moment. Suddenly, the markings on her arms glowed bright yellow, and then vanished. Kierra opened her eyes, and they too were glowing. Her hair burst into flames, and an aura of heat emanated from her. She dashed off towards the group of dragons, with everyone else sprinting to keep up.

She stopped about a hundred feet from the dragons, and held up one hand. An enormous fireball appeared, before instantly crushing down to the size of a marble. She hurled it at one of the dragons, which was hit squarely in the face. The fireball exploded outwards, burning the dragon to a crisp. The other nine dragons roared angrily and ran towards them, spewing strange gray fire from their mouths. Kierra got hit by some of the gray fire, but she simply shrugged it off, blasting another dragon with a large stream of fire.

She dodged to the side as one of the dragons slashed at her with its claws, then retaliated by shoving a fireball into its face. As the other dragons surrounded her, she made a downwards motion to Storm. Storm's eyes widened, and he signaled for everyone to hit the deck. As they all dropped, Kierra threw her arms outwards, and a huge wave of fire erupted outwards in all directions. The dragons were all thrown backwards as the fire smashed into them. Storm slowly raised his head and looked around, counting the dead dragons.

"....Seven. Eight. Nine..... And ten. You killed them all that quickly?"

"Yep. I think I'm out of power, though. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so flashy....."


True to her word, the glow in Kierra's eyes faded, as her hair turned back to normal. The red markings reappeared on her arms, and the aura of heat vanished. Suddenly overcome by a wave of nausea, she stumbled backwards. Storm caught her and gently sat her on the ground.

"Rest for now, Kierra. You're out of magic."

"I... Okay."

"Did she at least kill the Commander?"

"YOLO! That's a good question."

"Wyrm, if you say that one more time, I swear to Lorithia...."

"I don't think I got him....."

"Then he's still here! Quickly, everyone fan out!"


Suddenly, a long white spike came from behind them, piercing Kierra through the stomach. She gasped in pain and clutched at the wound, which was pouring blood. Everyone was paralyzed with shock, as the spike retracted. Storm slowly turned and saw none other than the Truphma Commander standing there, the spike morphing back into his arm.

"Foolish girl! Did you think we would be defeated so easily?"

"What... how!?"

"I am Mistress Xov's latest experiment. I can morph my limbs however I please."


Storm slowly walked towards the Commander, shaking with rage. The Commander burst into laughter at the thought of a puny human trying to fight him. After a moment, he leaped forwards, his arms morphing into blades. Storm waved one hand, and the blades were suddenly sliced off by a blast of wind. He yelled angrily and fell backwards, his arms morphing back into hands. Storm continued to walk forwards unflinchingly, as glowing white feathers materialized on his back. The Commander screamed in rage and extended one of his arms into a long spike, intending to skewer Storm.

Storm stopped and stood still as the Commander ran towards him. White feathers continued to appear on his back, and he snapped his fingers. An enormous wave of wind blasted outwards from him, knocking the Commander backwards. As the Commander stood up, he looked upwards and saw, to his shock, Storm hovering several feet above him, keeping himself aloft with glowing white wings.

"What... WHERE IS ALL THIS POWER COMING FROM!?"

"You will never hurt my friends again! EVER!"


Storm thrust both of his hands forwards, and a barrage of razor-sharp feathers shot out of the wings, each one slashing the Commander as it passed. The Commander, deciding that he needed flight to stand a chance, began to undergo a strange transformation. He bent his legs backwards behind him, and they morphed into bat-like wings. His arms turned into swords, and he flew up into the air. Storm drew his own sword, and the two flew towards each other. Their blades clashed as they passed, but neither managed to score a hit on the other. The Commander considered extending his arms to fight from a distance, but he decided against it, as Storm held the advantage in ranged combat.

The two repeated the process over and over, flying towards each other, their swords clashing. However, neither of them ever managed to hit the other. Eventually, Storm had an idea. As they both went for another pass, Storm curved slightly to the side, so that his sword was aimed right at the Commander's chest. The Commander, however, saw this as an opening, and slashed at Storm's face as they passed, leaving a cut across the bridge of Storm's nose. However, Storm had struck as well, and the Commander now had a large gash across his chest. As the Commander clutched at the bleeding wound, Storm unleashed another barrage of feathers, these ones flying much faster than the previous ones.

This time, the Commander wasn't simply cut. Instead, the feathers pierced straight through his body. His limbs morphed back to normal, and he fell limply towards the ground. Finally, Storm snapped his fingers, and a huge gust of wind blew downwards, smashing the Commander into the ground. After a moment, Storm decided to land, and then ran over to help Kierra. Brenn had bandaged Kierra's wound on both sides, but she was still unconscious, and her breathing was slow.

"Come on, Kierra, you don't get to die on me. She needs proper healing. I'll take her."

"What about the war?"

"I think that was their last commander, but keep your eyes open anyway. Brenn, you're in charge of this unit for now."

"Right, yer choice Stormy."


Storm carefully lifted Kierra up and flew off. He flew back towards the camp, where he landed at the medic's tent. He walked inside, and one of the healers immediately scurried over.

"Excuse me, sir, you can't be in here unless..... oh. We got a girl here, looks like she's been impaled, lost a lot of blood!"

A few other healers ran over, and they carefully lifted Kierra out of Storm's arms and laid her down on a mat. The first healer turned back towards Storm.

"Are you sure you're fine? You're looking kind of pale."

"I... think I used up... too much magic."


As soon as he finished saying that, his wings flickered and then vanished entirely, and he collapsed onto the ground, unconscious.

End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Epilogue: Conclusions


Scene: Paxia, War Encampment Medical Tent, Early Morning, Several Days Later. Storm awakens.

Storm slowly looked up, rubbing his eyes. For a brief moment, he wondered where he was, before he remembered the events of the battle. One of the healers noticed his motion, and spoke up.

"Oh, you're awake! Excellent. We thought you were gone for good. After a few days, it's usually a lost cause."

"A few days? Was I really out that long?"

"Oh, absolutely. Whatever you did in that battle, your body couldn't take much more of it."

"The battle? How did it end?"

"We won. The Truphma lost all coordination near the end."


Suddenly, Storm remembered something very important about the battle's aftermath, and looked around frantically. He saw a few unfamiliar soldiers lying on mats, and a few other healers, but that was it.

"I brought an injured girl here.... What happened to her?"

"Hmm.... I wasn't here when you arrived. Try asking Chief Healer Davis, I think he stepped outside for a bit."


Storm promptly scrambled to his feet and ran out of the tent. He looked around for a moment, before there was a sudden streak of red in front of him, and someone threw their arms around him in a hug. After a moment, the figure let go and stepped backwards, clutching at their stomach. Storm, who was still stunned, recognized the figure standing in front of him as none other than Kierra.

"Okay, ow. That was a terrible idea."

"Ki-Kierra? You're alright?"


Kierra pulled up her shirt slightly to show her stomach. Instead of a bleeding hole, there was a large, red, roughly circular scar.

"That still doesn't look exactly pleasant."

"It isn't. It hurts like no tomorrow. I'm not dead, though, so that's something."

"Well, that's what matters."


Suddenly, Kierra walked briskly over to Storm and punched him in the shoulder.

"That's for worrying me."

"What?"

"You were unconscious for days! Everyone thought you would never wake up!"

"Well, I didn't know what the wing spell would do. Honestly, even if I did know, I still would've used it, because otherwise you'd be dead."

".....Good answer."


Kierra stepped forwards again. Storm recoiled back slightly, expecting to be hit again. This time, however, Kierra did something entirely unexpected. She grabbed Storm suddenly and kissed him. After a moment, however, she broke away and looked around nervously.

"I.... That was awkward."

"No, no, it's fine. Really."

"I dunno....."

"Let's go get some food, and then we'll talk."

"Alright. I could use a moment anyway."


Storm wrapped his arm around Kierra's shoulder, and together the two of them walked off into the camp.

The End

< Message edited by battlemaster25 -- 8/8/2013 2:52:13 >
AQ  Post #: 6
6/24/2013 1:05:44   
0Neo
Member

Gathering of the Paxian elements:


Prologue: the chaotic letter


It was just a coincidence for 0Neo to be in Paxia that day; not many places were of his liking but the base of his clan was one of them. 0Neo was in the caves, in the company of vampire bats that had made the Nocturu clan base their home.

<The peace of this caverns and the sound of bats flying, just this makes the travel here worth it>
he said when a voice seemed to come from nowhere

<0Neo>
it said.

0Neo turned around to see Noctros standing there with a letter at his feet

<Noctros? how rare of you to talk to me personally>
<times require the gathering of all the clan members, specially those that can fight in a war>
<war? are the numbered beasts threatening Paxia again?>
<not this time, a different threat has come to our island. Take a look>

said Noctros as he flapped his wings to send the letter towards 0Neo.

He caught it and started reading it. Xov's letter. After reading the letter, 0Neo threw it away in disgust and blasted it with a darkness flare

<That Xov......she thinks we will surrender to her? we have defeated her before and easily>
<respect your enemies 0Neo, you can't never be sure of their real power>
<I've seen her before, she's arrogant and manipulative. I doubt someone that refuses to battle even once is that powerful>
<or she might have an ability we don't know about. Remember that even if you are an assassin, it isn't the only way to battle at all>
<*sigh* I guess that's the reason you're the clan leader, you always remind us of our own ideals. How are we going to respond to that?>


0Neo said pointing at the ashes that used to be Xov's letter

<we are having a council. A threat of this scale will require the clans to band together>
<so we are......it seems the bond between the elements might strengthen for good>
<in this times of preparation for war, we do not need your philosophy 0Neo but your assassination skills>


said Noctros as he melted away in darkness.

Chapter 1: meeting of unity


0Neo traveled around the clan's territories, he wanted to know if everyone was accounted for the meeting. While checking how the clans were, he found some Aerodu clan member had posted a respond to Xov's letter all over the island.....it was good to know someone had lifted the spirits of the island's inhabitants.

<Noctros said the meeting will take place in the island of Paxus and Negatus>
said 0Neo to himself.

This war council would be his first since he had never battled in wars as much as those titled warmongers, hence his inexperience but this time would be different, he knew he couldn't waste time while this war started.

By the time 0Neo reached the island of balance, dusk was breaking in. He went to the place where Paxus stood since that was the council's meeting place. As he made his way, Noctros appeared flying next to him.

<As silent as ever I see>
<a characteristic you still need to polish 0Neo>
<why are you approaching me now? we're close to the meeting point>
<we clan leaders agreed to show ourselves with our representatives and you are my only representative for now>
<then we better hurry, this is an important meeting>
.

When 0Neo and Noctros arrived, Paxus was waiting for them along Aerodu and Lucius and their representatives.

<We shall now commence>
announced Paxus

<but what about the other clan leaders?>
asked Aerodu

<they haven't found representatives yet, It is better for us to start as soon as possible>
answered Paxus.

The representatives of both the other clans stepped up. 0Neo noticed both clans had two representatives.

<and who might you be, representative of Nocturu?>
asked one of the representatives from Lucian

<I'm 0Neo, member of the elite assassination division of clan Nocturu>
<pleased to meet you, I'm popinloopy>


the other representative from Lucian approached 0Neo

<and I'm wyrm, pleased to meet you. I and popinloopy are paladin generals of Lucian and Lucius's representatives>
<Paladins? I never liked them>

said 0Neo

<why?>
<a lot of them are zealots too blinded by the light to see, they think all darkness is evil and a threat that must be destroyed>

replied 0Neo

<WHAT? you really think we all are like that? we have always served a good cause and we opposed those paladins that started the war against necromancers; popinloopy even told Artix it was wrong!>
said wyrm angrily

<that didn't stopped him from wanting to destroy everyone of us, even Lady Obsidia was going to be imprisoned>
<so you're a necromancer? that explains it>
<ENOUGH! we are here to plan a war against a threat to Paxia, not to start one among us!>

yelled Paxus

<calm down wyrm, our group indeed committed a mistake with that war and that's a fact. Besides, we both are proof that 0Neo's words are wrong>
said popinloopy

<You still dwell to much in your past ideals 0Neo, I am disappointed to hear such words from you now>
said Noctros

<sorry, I still feel a resentment towards paladins but I do know not all paladins are like that. I am aware of how powerful and respect-worthy the paladins are and of how much is light important too. Forgive me wyrm, I didn't mean to insult you>
said 0Neo

<no problem at all, I'm just prone to be somewhat defensive of my ideals>
said wyrm as he gave 0Neo a handshake.

<quite foolish for a representative>
said one of the Aerodu representatives

<give him a break hict, it's the first time he is called for something as important as this>
responded the other.

<ha okay. I'm hict, the immortal warrior and one of Aerodu's generals. We better start planning how to annihilate the Truphma>
<and I'm Muchiha, tactician and one of Aerodu's generals>

said both of Aerodu's representatives to introduce themselves.

<now that we all know each other, let us commence the war council>
said Lucius.

<some Truphma had the nerve to come to the airship to deliver the letter but we eradicated them for their insult>
said Muchiha

<that means the Truphma could easily access the island. I'm sure they sent informants to every clan since a group delivered us the letter too>
said popinloopy

<but we slayed most with holy might>
said wyrm

<come to think of it, did a group of Truphma come to the castle?>
asked 0Neo

<yes, but after reading their letter and heard their demand of surrender, I trapped them all in the Nightraider's tunnel>
answered Noctros.

<I have started preparations already: the Aerodu airship will serve as the communications base and we have plans of leaving the defenses to the Geoto and Nautica clans>
said Muchiha

<our clan along Igneus will be the main strike force. some of the forces of the remaining clans will be among us>
said hict

<and what will the remaining clans's role be?>
asked wyrm

<we agreed to be support groups; we will take care of the wounded and act as backup troops>
answered Lucius

<the bases of Glacius, Lucian, Dynami and Nocturu are difficult to siege and geographically safe, they all will serve well for that purpose. We now need to think of the main attack strategy>
said popinloopy

<we along Igneus will provide the main attack force due to our great numbers and our bases. Aerodu will be too busy taking care of the island's communication and the Igneus base is too exposed to the war>
said Muchiha

<we still need more forces; the Truphma are quite numerous and they could manage to outnumber us in a war>
said wyrm

<that's why all the spare forces from each clan will join the main battlefield>
said hict somewhat annoyed for repeating himself.

0Neo was unsure what to do, he had always fought to kill the enemies in wars but he hadn't given them much thought. As a clan representative, he decided to share the only idea he had in mind.

<while that plan is good for regular wars, we are facing the Truphma now and they are going to fight as never before. I think we need other units to participate: scouts to monitor the war, ambush squads to disrupt the enemy's forces and assassination groups to take care of their generals. I can get the Nocturu assassin general to direct this plan.>
<that really is a good idea. With the Truphma as our enemies, our best chance to win is to fight in the most creative way possible>

said wyrm

<and we are able to direct all this various troops>
said Muchiha

<for ages Paxia has being warring with itself, it's inhabitants so focused in their blind faith for their clans they forgot we have to work together in order to prevail>
said 0Neo

<0Neo is right, we have warred against each other before and we have learned we need to fight as a group. The elements can't no longer be at war among them but against those who would break the balance of our unity>
said popinloopy.

<it is decided then, the first strategy shall be the one you have planned here. For Paxia>
said Paxus with his mighty voice. FOR PAXIA!!! replied everyone in the meeting place.

Chapter 2: The new shade of dullness


A week had passed since the first tactic against the Truphma was developed by the representatives of Aerodu, Lucian and the sole representative of Nocturu. 0Neo stayed on Paxia since he knew the Truphma would attack sooner or later

<rather sooner>
said 0Neo to himself.

He had used the time to train, to hone his skills for this war.After seeing how experienced and powerful the representatives he met seemed to be, he decided it was his obligation to become strong and show the others the true power of Nocturu...not for competition or the need of approval from them, but to prove himself he was worth of the honor.

0Neo was perfecting his assassination skills in the assassin division room of the Castle when it happened; he never saw it coming...he even believed Noctros was deceiving him but it did happen, more or less, like this:

0Neo was practicing stab combos on the dummies of the room

<rib-cage, throat, leg's tendons, eyes........*breathes in deeply* I still need more speed...>
<0Neo>
said a voice at 0Neo's back.

When he turned around he found Noctros looking at him directly in the eyes. Oddly enough, he was smiling.
<Noctros? are we holding a council again? did the other clan leaders find their representatives?>
<the reason I came to talk to you is of a much more happy nature. Come with me, I have something for you>
0Neo followed Noctros through the castle. The whole time he wondered what would make Noctros walk with him. They soon reached the armory.

<why are we in the armory Noctros?>
<tell me something 0Neo...from all the weapons you own, most are spears right?>
<yes since I need fast attacks for chained-combos. I've always liked knifes and daggers more than any other weapon though>
<I think you will be pleased by the new armaments our clan has manufactured.
said Noctros has he brought a vault from the armory.

When he opened the vault, 0Neo saw in awe what was inside

<those are......darkness knifes!>
<the Cloaked Nocturu Dagger is the newest addition to our clan equipment. A new weapon all our clan's members can now purchase if they wish>
<I rarely let myself be emotional but this is an amazing gift. I thank you>
<wait 0Neo. While this was something I knew you would like....I have another gift. One that is only for you>
said Noctros with a strange tone of pride in his voice.

<Another gift? just for me?>
<follow me to my chambers 0Neo>
said Noctros as he melted away in shadows.

0Neo had to go to Noctros' chambers walking since there was no way for him to melt in shadows like Noctros did. When 0Neo entered Noctros's chambers, he was standing on his rock spire, staring directly to the right. When 0Neo followed his gaze, he couldn't belief his eyes.

<Noctros, what is that...beautiful armor?>
said 0Neo awe-struck.

The armor was a beautiful silver plate adorned with dark steel bat legs and leather gloves; the best detail was the fact that the armor had huge bat wings attached to it...they seemed big enough to allow flying abilities.

<do you like it?
asked Noctros with a smirk on his face

<I......can't explain how great it looks>
<I'm glad you like it because it is a present that will only belong to you at first. You will be the first one to test it>
<are you serious?>
<0Neo....>
continued Noctros ignoring his question. He then continued:

<....you have shown promising skills, the will to fight and intriguing ideals but above all that, you have demonstrated a great commitment to our clan, our ways and the darkness that defines who we are. 0Neo, ex-member of the assassin division of Nocturu....I shall now promote you to the position of personal elite assassin of the Nocturu clan, head of the assassin division and new general of clan Nocturu>
finished Noctros as he looked at 0Neo with a kind look on his face.....a look that wasn't fit for the leader of darkness but in that instant, it was the gentlest look 0Neo had seen in a long time.

Some minutes passed in silence with 0Neo awe-struck, standing in his place. Noctros decided to break the silence

<what is it? don't you like the new position I gave you?>
<I.....I....LOVE IT!. Noctros!, I can't begin to explain how honored I feel and how astonished I am to receive such privileges!. I will try this amazing armor on now!>
said 0Neo as he put the armor on him.

The feeling is something I cannot describe, 0Neo's pride for his clan rose ever higher while a regular human on the planet Terra that shared 0Neo's brain waves knew that something great had being given to him, even if he didn't know why. As 0Neo putted the chest plate on, he noticed the bat wings connected with his body to become a part of him

<I wonder what would happen if I.....?
said 0Neo more to himself than anything else as he focused on the new feeling on his back.

He focused on the wings, HIS wings, and tried to move them. The wings began moving as he wished until he decided to flap them.....the moment he did, he flew

<I'm flying! I'm flying!>
said 0Neo completely overjoyed.

He flew around Noctros' chambers as he overlooked the fact 0Neo didn't really do it properly and was making a mess

<I'm pleased to know you like your ascent present, general>
<I really do Noctros. I won't ever be able to thank you enou.....>
said 0Neo until he was interrupted by an explosion.

Many of the clan members in the castle started to go towards the castle's main entrance....whatever happened there was creating enough noise to pass for a riot. It was then that the shout echoed through the castle.

<THE TRUPHMA ARE HERE!!!, THEY'RE STORMING THE CASTLE!!!>
said a fellow clan member

<impossible...>
said Noctros as he flew at blinding speed through the window and into the castle's main gate.

0Neo contained his joy knowing something serious was happening; he focused on his wings's muscles and followed Noctros.

The castle's main gate was in chaos, many clan members were fighting an incredible number of Truphma any way they could: Mages and Necromancers attacked with darkness flares and barrages of bones along undead fighters for assistance; Warriors used they're weapons to slay the Truphma one after another as rangers used perfected grimstalkers to fight. 0Neo could spot the assassin division's members fighting with the new Daggers of clan Nocturu...they were great for their training tactics and assassination skills.

Even if the Nocturu clan seemed to be at its peak, the Truphma were hard to deal with.....0Neo saw many corpses of clansmen and he knew Noctros did too.

As Noctros landed he started channeling power in his wings; the Truphmas that saw him started rushing towards him to kill him. As the first of the Truphma got close enough to slash at Noctros, the mighty clan leader flew three meters above the ground and released an ominous wind that sent the Truphma forces back.

As the Truphma recovered from the assault, 0Neo noticed they had been greatly reduced. He made his first choice as a general of the Nocturu clan, a choice so risky that could put the clan in grave danger but he knew that even if he failed and died, death would allow him to come back

<ATTENTION NOCTURU CLANSMEN! MANY OF YOU KNOW ME WHILE OTHERS NOT BUT AS YOUR GENERAL I COMMAND YOU ALL TO ENTER THE CASTLE!!>
yelled 0Neo as he landed in front of the Nocturu forces.

<0NEO!!!ARE YOU MAD?!?>
yelled Noctros as the Nocturu clansmen talked to each other, unsure whether they should listen to this person in an armor they had never seen before or wait.

<NOCTROS!, YOU PUT ME IN COMMAND BECAUSE YOU TRUST MY JUDGMENT, DIDN'T YOU?!?. IF SO, LISTEN TO ME NOW!!!.
yelled 0Neo.

Noctros wasn't comfortable with the idea but he decided he would trust his new general's idea
<NOCTURU CLANSMEN! INSIDE THE CASTLE!>
ordered Nocturu as everyone rushed into the castle.

0Neo turned around to see the Truphma rushing towards him...he knew he couldn't take them all by himself under normal circumstances but this would be different. 0Neo simply closed his eyes and started talking

<for the power and honor that I was given, I now pledge myself to the beautiful darkness my soul took a part of in order to evolve. I forsake the hate for others and different ideals along my childish resentment towards the light because I know light and darkness oppose and accept each other in order to fight together for the sake of unity. For the darkness that dwells in me and makes up much of who I am....for the paths of darkness I created in my thoughts to explain a part of life itself: The Void that corrodes the soul, the Nightmare that cripples the mind and the deathly choice of solitude of Shade. I will now show these dull, mindless beasts you do not sneak on darkness for shadows will always haunt and kill you if you threaten it. FOR NOCTURU!. yelled 0Neo as he flew straight towards the Truphma army.

The fastest Truphmas got to 0Neo quickly but his own words had empowered him greatly; his speed was incredible. The Truphma tried to slash at him only to die at the blade of 0Neo's new favorite weapon: the Cloaked Nocturu Dagger.

0Neo flew around, spinning and dodging attacks as he slashed the same way he had practiced....he stabbed the rib-cages of the first group of Truphma so hard he pierced through them, attacking those behind; he slashed throat after throat until he was covered in that disgusting and strange grey blood as a pile of corpses formed behind him; he flew and spun around a large group of Truphma to group them so he could release the dagger's special upon them...to 0Neo's delight, the small short blades of solid shadow that came forth didn't disappear after a short while like most weapons's specials, instead, they slashed Truphma after Truphma in a deathly cloud of shadow cuts that butchered the entire group...he didn't know if all the Nocturu daggers could do that or if his had been temporally empowered but he knew it was an amazing killing spree.

When 0Neo looked at the remaining Truphma he noticed they still were numerous. He was beginning to think he would die there and leave the castle to its luck when words suddenly appeared in his thoughts.

He didn't know why or how but he decided to say them. He felt they could give him power enough to obliterate all of the remaining Truphma

<Limit break, Shade Person>

0Neo didn't know the meaning of those words or how he knew them but he felt he changed....his body and armor weren't heavy anymore; his body, armor and even his dagger were made of solid dark matter actually!. 0Neo had become a shadow....no, not a shadow which is a representation from both the realms of light and darkness as neutral ground but a shade, the very essence of darkness. 0Neo moved towards the charging Truphma and he was surprised to discover he had move about 20 meters in a second; he was moving at the speed of light, or rather, the speed of darkness when it envelopes foes in order to ban their breathing.

As 0Neo flew around all of the Truphma, all of them were eviscerated leaving a pond of grey blood in Castillo Vida Negra's main gate. When he decapitated the last one of them, he wasn't made of shade anymore. He flew back to the castle's main hall from which all of the Nocturu clansmen witnessed the slaughter. As 0Neo landed in front of everyone, the clan started cheering

<0NEO!0NEO!!0NEO!!!>
they all roared.

Noctros flew towards 0Neo until he was in front of him. He's eyes said he was proud of his new general....a sight 0Neo understood without words

<The war will soon start and chaos will engulf the island>
said Noctros at last

<that may be but I along the other fighters of Paxia will represent our unity and annihilate the Truphma>
said 0Neo feeling as proud of being a Nocturu as he had never before.

Meanwhile, the human from Terra that shared 0Neo's brain waves knew he had just helped someone else realize the element of his soul

<I'm pleased to know the power I designed for my fictional characters could empower him....I'm glad I came up with the idea for Genso Tetsugaku and I feel grateful towards Eukara Vox personally for giving me a presence in-game. Honestly, thank you>
said the human as he felt incredibly well

Chapter 3: Glacial time does not wait


About three days had passed since the first assault of the Truphma. Thankfully, Castillo Vida Negra didn't suffer much damage aside the explosion the Truphma used to make an opening for their attack but no-one among Nocturu knew how the clans stood against the Truphma. As Noctros assembled a group of workers to rebuild the Castle's wall, 0Neo was wary of the days to come.

<a full scale assault head on, what is Xov thinking?>
said 0Neo to himself.

0Neo flew to the room that would hold the inter-clan communication network when the Nocturu data division got back from data gathering, it seemed they and the other intellect divisions of each clan were looking for a way to "cure" the dullness of the Truphma.

As 0Neo entered the room, a couple of members of the data division were moving around the screen system. Whatever they were doing, it seemed they meant to get the network working while the others were away but it wasn't working.

<they are novices of the data division...>
muttered 0Neo to himself
<is it working already? we need to know what happened to the other clans>
said 0Neo loud enough for them to hear

<oh general! we didn't notice you were here>
<unfortunately no, the network isn't working right now. We think the Aerodu clan hasn't started with the communication signal>
said both of them to 0Neo.

<so that's the problem....make sure the system is functional at all times, we need to get a hold of the signal as soon as possible>
said 0Neo to the novices

<yes sir!>
responded the novices

0Neo flew out of the room and into the daylight. He didn't really like the weather but at least it was cloudy. He decided he would check the reconstruction for his peace-of-mind

0Neo flew over the place the workers were rebuilding the castle's wall. As he flew by, some clansmen greeted him and called out his name but 0Neo was too distracted by his own preoccupations to notice it. All 0Neo did was circle the area of the place, looking for mistakes but he soon realized the wall would be as good as new when the workers were done

<the Truphma attacking now wasn't planned at the first council, how foolish we were not to think of every possibility. An attack before the war was a good move from Xov.....*sigh* I need to think this over peacefully>
said 0Neo to himself

He flew towards the caves near Castillo Vida Negra and landed at the entrance of his favorite cave, the vampire bat's nest. As 0Neo entered the pitch-black cave, he started feeling relaxed. He decided he would try to fly blind now like Noctros did. He focused his mind in the memory of the surroundings and flew without seeing anything. As 0Neo reached the rock formation he always used to think he felt he had done a good job considering he had only crashed against a stalagmite a couple of times.

0Neo was relaxing, trying to forget of the rising threat for a moment and enjoy the full darkness the cave offered for most part of the day when he suddenly stepped up, turned around and said
<Noctros>

the mighty leader appeared from the shadows as sunlight broke in the cave from the small ruptures on its ceiling. 0Neo knew it was midday

<you could sense me? that is a good development of your perception of darkness 0Neo>
said Noctros

<I still have to improve in that matter, perhaps you can teach me after we're done with what you came to say>
said 0Neo

<I like to see you recognize when I come for an important matter>
<I know you never talk to anyone but the high revenant unless something serious is happening. So? what is it this time?>
<we will be holding a council again to see how Aerodu and Lucian fenced off the Truphma attack and perhaps we will design a new strategy>
<we better be on our way then, it'll take us some time to reach monolith island>
<lets go then>
said Noctros as he melted away in shadows

<if only I knew how did I empower myself back then, I would do the same>
said 0Neo to himself as he flew out of the cave

Hours had passed since 0Neo and Noctros flew out of Castillo Vida Negra and into the ocean, flying to reach monolith island.

<it's funny how it seems we always meet at twilight>
said 0Neo to himself

After a short while, monolith island came into view. Noctros appeared out of nowhere and flew by 0Neo's side. Both flew in silence until they could see Paxus
<I forgot to mention 0Neo, that Glaciar will be here too>
<so he finally found a representative>

As they landed at he meeting point where everyone else was waiting for them, the other representatives saw 0Neo with curious eyes as 0Neo saw Glaciar. Glaciar was alone, where was his representative?

<wow 0Neo! is that your clan armor? it looks cool. It even allows you to fly!>
said wyrm with enthusiasm

<congratulations on your promotion, Nocturu general. That indeed is a great gift from Noctros>
said popinloopy

<I thank you for your kind words but how did you know I was promoted?>
<you're kidding right? the tale of the sole general of Nocturu that wiped out an entire Truphma battle brigade is the main talk this days>
said hict

<hict is right, we heard the assault on Nocturu was one of the big ones and you killed most of them by yourself!. How did you do it?>
asked Muchiha

<I'm not sure, it was like the pride for my clan empowered the armor to unimaginable levels>
answered 0Neo

<I hope our clan armors are just as cool, I would love to unleash the Lucian power on those dull idiots>
said wyrm

<we can speculate later on the new clan's armaments. We're here to redesign our strategy against the Truphma>
said 0Neo

<woah, been a general really got to your mind, didn't it?>
said hict

<you could say so but I also had a change of mind, one I wanted for a long time. First things first, did your clan bases suffer any major damage?>
said 0Neo

<one of the motors of the airship was blown up by the Truphma but it wasn't much trouble, it is been repaired as we speak>
said Muchiha

<what about the Lucian base?>
asked 0Neo

<it really is laughable actually>
said wyrm

<we changed the direction of the light the fortress channels to project a copy of the fortress on another mountain top as the real became invisible. The Truphma blew up the mountain top thinking they had made an opening in the fortress only to find an avalanche of rocks upon them>
explained popinloopy

<some survived though but we finished them off quite easily. No damage at all in our base>
finished wyrm

<okay then, we don't know if the other clans suffered damage but we can relax knowing our clan bases are alright. Now, we should plan counter measures and defensive tactics for the island in a more detailed way>
said 0Neo

<but we decided to leave the defenses to Geoto and Nautica last time>
said hict

<we can't communicate with them for now. We need to think what we can do with the clans that are gathered here>
said 0Neo

<every clan should fight however it managed to>
said a voice no-one had heard before

<who said that? show yourself>
said popinloopy

<it seems my representative arrived at last>
said Glaciar

A sole man with a cold stare wearing Cryomancer robes walked towards the group of representatives. 0Neo noticed that he carried the Cryomancer scepter and the Glacial Short Staff but what really got his attention was the fact he had both the Lumenomancer and Aeromancer scepters strapped to his hips.

<Hikari Yume?!?>
<Hikari Yume?!?>
said both hict and popinloopy when both recognized the wizard

<you guys know who he is?>
asked wyrm

<he was a member of Aerodu. He had good enough battle abilities as an Aeromancer back then>
said hict

<he then became a member of Lucian. We called him the "heaven's gale" for his excellent skills as both a Lumenomancer and an Aeromancer>
explained popinloopy

<and now I find my real power as Glacius' Cryomancer. I am far stronger now and master of 3 elemental magics>

<Hikari Yume, I'm pleased to know there is someone as powerful as you in Glacius but we are trying to plan a war against a common threat. Why do you want us to fight individually?>
said and asked 0Neo

<such big words for someone who just became a general. I just think it is each clan's responsibility to fight for its survival>

<don't you know we have to work together to prevail? all of the 8 clans need to unite>

<I've heard the unity rant times before and I don't really care for any of the clans aside Glacius>

<so you say, huh? wanna fight and see how "powerful" you've become?>
said hict angrily

Hikari yume didn't seem to care enough to even respond to hict's threat. As hict started to lose his temper and tension started gathering around the clan representatives a sudden mechanical light appeared between them. As the light dissipated, everyone saw a Chronomancer standing there.

<stop it, all of you. Like the representative of the darkness clan said, the threat of the Truphma is too much to take lightly>
the Chronomancer said

<and who are you, Chronomancer?>
asked Hikari Yume, saying the last word like it was an insult

<my name is kor. I have seen various timelines depicting the awful future of this planet at the hands of the Truphma and I have seen this war was a key point for the Truphma>
answered kor

<you might say so but time is something that shouldn't be bothered. I would say you don't belong to any clan>
said Hikari Yume

<yes, I do not belong to any elemental clan but that doesn't mean I do not want to help Paxia>
said kor

0Neo could understand Hikari's opinion, he had once thought like that. 0Neo decided he would try to persuade Hikari with words....a gamble that wouldn't have worked at all normally but 0Neo thought he knew what to say

<the solitude of darkness and ice....so similar yet so different. Hikari Yume, I cannot claim to understand you or your opinions but I do know of the base for such ideals. You felt like no-one understands you, didn't you? that solitude is better than company because we don't fit in. We are reserved but that doesn't mean we don't care.....you care for Glacius a lot, I know it. You might be strong but no-one can win a war alone. The way you realize what you truly want is up to you entirely and I cannot say anything regarding that matter for we still are different in our elemental pledges. I believe you comprehend we need your and Glacius' help the same way you need ours>

Hikari had listened to all of the novice general's words. He still felt 0Neo was wrong but he thought he had spoken the truth about some things.

<I guess you are right.....for now. Tell me, what will we do now then?>
said Hikari

0Neo was pleased to know Hikari would help now, it would be good to count with the ice clan's help

<I think the main offensive force will be the Aerodu clan with backup from Lucian. Glacius will direct the island's defenses along Nocturu. The rest will stay the same>
said 0Neo

<what about the Truphma camps scattered around?>
asked wyrm

<I think we should strike down as much as we can>
said hict

<that wouldn't serve any purpose. Those camps are Xov's backup forces on the planet. She'll attack with a whole army with only one objective, Paxia. kor, I want you to gather information on the Truphma's current state and gather as many neutral fighters as you can. This war might be as important as the final countdown>

<roger that>
said kor as he disappeared in the mechanical light

<guess we can only wait for another attack. The war will soon break out>
said Muchiha

<and here we will be to defend Paxia......all of it>
said Hikari

<we'll return to our clan bases for now. Muchiha, make sure the communication signal is working soon>
said 0Neo

<sure, we'll have it working soon enough>
said Muchiha

The calm before the storm is lasting more than what most expected but it only meant the storm will be one they have never seen before. All of them knew it

Chapter 4: A fallen sage.....assassin complex


War was drawing near, everyone knew that but even if the situation could become critical at any given moment, 0Neo left Paxia to think. Noctros' voice still echoed through his mind

<You are my new general......You cannot leave now.....the war might start.....irresponsible>

0Neo didn't care, he knew the Truphma would wait before doing another attack. The war still was far from its beginning and 0Neo couldn't stand remaining in Castillo Vida Negra anymore. The doubts that started plaguing him had grown to much to be ignored....0Neo needed to go away for a while.

After the second council, 0Neo decided he would research about the clan's current state and what he found was sad indeed. The Nocturu government wasn't what it was time ago: The high revenant of the clan had disappeared and Noctros knew nothing about it. The scion of data had left the clan, the scion of art had gone missing too and no-one had hold the position of scion of war in a very long time. Even if the clan seemed numerous with those who pledged themselves to the darkness they were all novices or warmongers that didn't really care about the clan's state. The Nocturu that 0Neo thought he knew wasn't even near the great shadow of its past....so many things had made 0Neo wonder if he was important at all in the clan, if the clan was even important anymore. The doubts were biting his soul, directly at his pride, it was too much for 0Neo to stay and wait for a threat that not many people seemed to do for their clans as 0Neo had thought but for the excitement of warring against anything.

<we might as well start a war against farm animals and it would be just as attractive>

thought 0Neo as the boat sailed the sea towards the west. 0Neo had flown the first part of the trip from Paxia but he felt too annoyed and tired to continue; he found a ship and landed on it. When the captain asked him who he was and what he wanted, he paid him 100000 gold to simply shut up and take him to Krovesport. The captain didn't hesitate to accept such quantity of gold. He allowed 0Neo to stay in the ship; he even offered 0Neo the best room but he refused, he simply wanted a dark, damp place to stay so he stayed in the boat's storage room. The crew thought it was odd for someone with so much gold and mighty-looking armaments to prefer a damp storage room over a comfortable bed but a single glare from 0Neo told them all it would be their end if they dared to question him.

Rain soaked the old ship for most of the trip but it wasn't unexpected, you couldn't hope to have a nice beach-walk experience near the Mealstrom. The whole time 0Neo thought. He thought about so many things......the Nocturu clan, he's own situation as one of the chosen of Lore, his own ideals, the fact that such an old and damaged boat could be so pleasing to him, the meaning of the armor he wore.

<Fred....>

A faint brown light appeared in the dark storage room and Fred the packing Burro, the strongest animal 0Neo had ever known appeared next to him

<you called 0Neo?>
<I need to change my armor>
<why would you want to change your clan's armor? you're the only one able to wear them on all Lore>
<don't question me now Fred, just help me get ready>
<alright 0Neo, I know you just like all the others are always up to something. Here is your inventory>

Fred said as he summoned one of the many bags he carried around. The bag's coloring might be weird to anyone else but those colors had a meaning to 0Neo, one he couldn't understand himself but he felt they were right: the bag was silver for the most, adorned with a black bat in the middle and dark blue spots all over the bag.

<come to think of it, do you know why does my bag looks like this?>
<the design of an inventory bag comes from the owner's soul. Only you know the answer>
<you now speak wisely-like too, something happened?>
<I don't know what you're talking about 0Neo, I've always been like I am>
<whatever you say. Hand me my equipment of awe please>

Fred stuck his snout in the magical bag and pulled the armor,shield and spear of awe that belonged to 0Neo. 0Neo sighed when he saw his awe spear and the color it had for the element 0Neo had attuned it with.

<is something wrong?>
<no Fred it's just.....I don't know, something feels wrong about me>
<I'll never understand you humans. Do you need anything else or can I leave?>
<it's alright, you can leave now>

0Neo said as he put his awe set on and placed his Nocturu Dagger and the clan's armor in the magical inventory bag. Fred tied it up and disappeared with it in a brownish light.

<it would be helpful to teleport all over the planet...>

0Neo said to himself. Wearing his awe equipment, he wondered why he felt bad when he looked at the deep blue light of his spear of awe. 0Neo had armors to defend against all the elemental attacks except for water thus his decision of attuning his awe set to water, yet he felt there had been another reason for it. Ideas and emotions that didn't felt like his had always been present but 0Neo never paid them much attention before until the Truphma assault on Castillo Vida Negra, when those words appeared in his mind.

<anyway, I have other things to do>

0Neo said as his boat trip through the great sea continued.

Days passed and land came into view at last, some crew members had gone to the storage room to store some goods from Lolosia and noticed the sudden change on the stranger's appearance but knew better than to ask; they knew whoever he was, he had to be strong. A couple more days passed with 0Neo trapped in thought until they finally reached Krovesport. The captain went to 0Neo to inform him while he saw in astonishment the mark of a chosen of Lore, the awe set. As the captain contemplated the set of equipment, 0Neo left with a single "thanks" and headed into the rogue town.

0Neo hadn't decided what he would do now that he was back, he just knew he had to do something. He decided he would go to the pub first and see if a glass of strong moglinberry juice would help him clear his thoughts.

The pub was full of shady characters but that was expected from this place. 0Neo sat by the waiter and ordered a full, big glass of strong moglinberry juice. As the waiter handed him the glass, 0Neo noticed he looked at him with a guilty look on his eyes and that a man wearing a hood was watching him. 0Neo thought this could happen but he didn't believe they would actually do it.

<that's what you get for trusting sole assassins with no care for others at all>

0Neo muttered as he smelled the juice. As he thought, the glass was full of diluted Kresh venom. It was a cheap trick taught to novice assassins that couldn't hope to defeat their targets by themselves.

<this confirms it, Wallo and Shii decided it was time for me to be replaced>

0Neo said as he poured the liquid over his armor, pretending he was drinking the juice. He was now glad his equipment was attuned to water as his shield absorbed the liquid, making it disappear. 0Neo was sure whoever set him up would follow him to finish the job so 0Neo left the pub and headed for a dark hallway. He turned around briefly and saw the hooded man leaving the pub as well, following 0Neo and thinking himself lucky his target would walk to a dark hallway willingly...he would learn how lucky he truly was soon enough. After 0Neo walked around the maze-like hallways of Krovesport for some time, he decided it was time for the poison to take effect. 0Neo stopped walking, he coughed and wrapped his hands around his throat as he fell to the ground; it was all act but he deceived his pursuer and saw how the hooded man approached him and took his hood off He wasn't a man that entered the assassin guild as he thought but a mere young guy that stared at him with glee.

<was he deceived? someone must have told him to attack me without telling him who I am>

0Neo thought as the guy took a knife out of his sleeve and knelt besides 0Neo. The guy raised his arm, ready to stab 0Neo's throat.

<drop the act kid, who sent you?>

0Neo said as he stood up and strongly grasped the guy's wrist. The guy looked both astonished and terrified as he dropped the knife.

<speak already, who sent you? are you here under Wallo's and Shii's orders?>
<no! I was ordered to kill the next person that came into the pub and that that person would be too strong!>
<by whom? who ordered you to kill me?
<I don't know! he was wearing a mask, a hood and robes. They were grey, that's all I know!>
<grey?....>
<please let me go! I didn't mean to do it, I'm just working as a mercenary!

the guy said with a squeaky voice and tears in his eyes. 0Neo thought the one that hired this guy might have been a Truphma or someone related to them but he didn't really care; those that threatened him wouldn't get away if 0Neo could prevent it.

0Neo breathed in deeply and sighed

<you kid embarrass true assassins. Leave. Now>

0Neo said as he freed the guy from his grasp.

<thank you, thank you for being merciful!>

the guy said as he ran in the opposite direction.

<HEY!>

0Neo shouted. The guy turned around as 0Neo's spear glowed white

<know this at the least, true assassins are never merciful>

0Neo said as he threw his spear of awe towards the guy, releasing the power of the spiral carve upon him. Blood and flesh covered the walls of houses near the spot were that guy stood just seconds ago as the spear of awe returned to his owner.

<foolish low-life mercenary, you should have fled the moment you saw my armaments>

0Neo said as he licked the blood off his spear's blade and cleaned off some flesh that had been caught by the spear's handle when it twisted around and inside that guy.

Hours passed and 0Neo was heading for the dwarfhold mountains, he thought he could find peace in there were he was unlikely to meet anyone that wouldn't die from a single attack. The doubts that haunted him were a plague and 0Neo needed to get rid of them although he knew he wouldn't be able to do so if he couldn't find something positive to focus on. That's were the mountains came into play, he thought they could serve as a peaceful place where 0Neo could clean his mind.

<these feelings....is almost like something is leeching my heart>

0Neo said as he finally entered a valley within the mountains. It was big enough for a small town to be build in, with a prairie full of grass and blooming flowers along a waterfall that gave the place a relaxing aura, at least by 0Neo's opinion.

<you foolish joke of an assassin seeks answers in a pretty valley, how cliche is that?>

A voice said, breaking the mesmerizing silence. 0Neo was sure no-one was near yet when he turned around, he found a pale, slim guy staring at him with a smile that inspired madness.

<who are you?>
<the monochrome devil>
<I'm not asking your battle title. Who are you?>

0Neo said with a severe voice as he pointed the tip of his spear towards him, ready to shoot an awe blast at any moment

<this is why I say you're a joke, you're too prone to anger, too prone to lose your cool>

the guy said with an annoying smile. 0Neo was in no mood for a fight and he could tell whoever this "monochrome devil" was he was strong. 0Neo's annoyance turned into anger; he wished he had kept his clan armaments on so he could fight properly.

<why are you here for then, devil?>
<I wanted to talk personally to the so called "true assassin">

the guy's expression suddenly changed; his gaze was severe and cold, almost accusing.

<you brutally slaughter that innocent and deceived guy in Krovesport>
<how do you know about that? was it you the one that sent him to kill me?>
<no, I had been contracted as a guard nearby. I saw you both walking trough the hallways and followed. I knew that guy, he had a family he was helping but he needed money, that's why he became a novice mercenary. Did you even consider his situation?>
<all I cared about was that he tried to assassinate me and that he was an utter fool for trying>
<he was innocent of any crime. No punishment should have fallen upon him, especially death>
<I'm in no mood to even pretend I care for someone I didn't even know. I'm an assassin and darkness at soul, darkness is merciless towards those that threaten it>
<you're commitment is your flaw. I now know who am I talking to although I'm surprised you're not wearing the Nocturu equipment>
<that is none of you're business. You followed me here to sweet-talk me into thinking my actions were wrong? I don't care who dies at my blade and I'm so mad right now I even enjoyed some senseless killing!>

0Neo said as he immediately felt bad about it. What was wrong with him? it's true he didn't had problems with killing but he had never killed without purpose before. A rage was contaminating him but he didn't had time to worry about it, he had to focus on the battle that would soon break out. Both of them began circling the field as they talked, preparing for battle.

<you have fallen out of the way indeed. Killing is not the problem, there are those that deserve such punishment but to slay someone innocent is unforgivable. Such actions are out of balance and I shall be the one to bring justice>
<oh shut up already! you're even worse than Nemesis!>

0Neo shouted as he charged the guy. He aimed at his head and pierced forward but the guy dodged the hit, getting behind 0Neo. The guy kicked 0Neo in the back but the armor took part of the damage, allowing 0Neo to turn around and slash downwards only to find the guy had dodged again. 0Neo jabbed at the guy over and over as he dodged each hit to 0Neo's annoyance. 0Neo kept the guy distracted with his spear as he raised his left arm to crash against the guy with his shield, it worked at last. 0Neo charged forward, pushing the guy with his shield as he charged power in his spear, when it fully charged, 0Neo shot an awe blast at point blank and to 0Neo's astonishment, he saw how the guy seemed to roll around the energy bomb...the only effect of 0Neo's attack was that the guy jumped back 3 meters.

<you have lost you're way, you will pay for your sins. Clockwork Lullaby>

the guy said as a monochrome scythe with black and white gears materialized in the guy's hands. It was a weapon 0Neo had never seen before but he knew it was powerful. The guy charged at 0Neo with blinding speed and swept with his scythe at him. 0Neo parried the hit with his spear but the scythe's blade was so close to his body he would've been slashed if not for the armor. 0Neo pushed the guy back and slashed down with his spear, a hit he knew the guy would parry with his scythe, 0Neo took the chance and jabbed. The guy dodged the spear's blade but it was so close it slashed his cheek. Both swept their weapons against each other, throwing them both backwards. 0Neo would be overpowered soon if he couldn't fight back, he hated his heavy armor and his inexperience in spear fight technique as he felt stupid for leaving the only proper battle equipment he had with Fred. 0Neo was trying to think what to do as a brownish light appeared next to him. Fred the pack Burro was next to him with his inventory bag.

<Fred!!>
<auto-change! Nocturu armaments for awe set!>

Fred said as 0Neo's equipment of awe instantly changed into his clan's armor and the Nocturu Dagger. Fred disappeared then as 0Neo felt he could fight back now

<Conviction>

the guy said as a monochrome rapier replaced his scythe. Play time was over, it would be a real fight now

Both of them charged at each other, colliding their weapons with such strength the floor under them fractured. 0Neo flew to the left and tried to stab the guy's rib-cage but he parried the hit and slashed at 0Neo but he stopped the hit with his wings. The guy feinted a stab and rolled to the right, slashing 0Neo as he brought his dagger down unto the guy's arm. Both backed down bleeding but neither of them cared and stroke again. 0Neo aimed right at the guy's chest and watched as he rolled around his arm, just what 0Neo wanted; 0Neo then released the small shadow blades from his dagger's special to attack his opponent. 0Neo used the small portal that opened in front of the guy to fly behind him and back-stab him but to his astonishment yet again, the guy slashed through the shadow blades, destroying them and bringing his arm to his back in order to parry 0Neo's attacks.

The fight continued with feints, slashes, stabs and cuts until sunset. By then both of them were tired but neither wanted to give up. They might have fought for days but the battle saw its end when both of them charged at each other, so distracted by anger and fatigue that neither of them blocked the other's attack. 0Neo's dagger pierced the guy between his fourth and fifth right ribs whereas the guy's rapier slashed 0Neo's chest, leaving a big bleeding wound. Both fell to the ground, wounded and exhausted. They began talking between breaths, both were to hurt to talk normally:

<I just don't know what to do anymore....>
<I've actually seen you before, general. I've recently joined the Nocturu clan>
<you did?....why did you fight me then? we both share a bond with darkness>
<I didn't join because I think myself a member of the darkness>
<so you're one of those that joined to fight, aren't you?>
<I know you're smarter than that. I have my own ideals of balance and justice. What about you?>
<why do you care?>
<I think we're alike somehow, I wanted to study your ideals>
<I don't know anymore.....>
<everyone has a beginning and their own opinions. What happened to you?>
<when I started, I left the assassin guild and joined Nocturu. I felt the element of darkness and its ideals were all I needed. I soon became part of the assassin division and a hater of the light and anything related to it but I changed afterwards....the fight with The'Galin and my relationship with others from other clans, others that thought differently made me believe in Unity and the importance of everything yet recently I've being haunted by awful emotions, emotions that doesn't feel like my own>
<that's called heart synchronization. It happens when someone connected to your essence feels strong emotions. They leak into all the others that are connected>
<just what are you talking about?>
<long story short, there's another you to call it somehow that feels so lost its feelings leak into yours>
<just what I needed. How do I get rid of this?>
<we'll have to solve your doubts and I think I know what's troubling you. You lost your faith in yourself, you tried so hard to fight for unity you forsook your soul's desire of serving the darkness yet you feel uneasy when you do so because you think you had to be perfect. Your soul is pledged to the darkness but your heart isn't, this confuses your judgement and you don't know just what is right to do>

the guy said as words appeared in 0Neo's mind again

<a shaded soul and an abyssal heart....this is something I don't understand either, this words appear in my mind and I have no idea what they mean>
<that's your other you trying to make you understand>
<understand what?>
<that you're pushing yourself too far, you don't need to be the perfect representation of either darkness or unity. Just be yourself>

said the guy as 0Neo thought a respond to that but he was interrupted by words that appeared in his mind. Oddly enough, they were the same as what 0Neo had thought

<I go by a different rule book>
<rules are for those that doesn't know how to properly be insane (^w^)>
<I thank you devil, you're words helped me. I think I'll try something different now, something that might calm that other me you talked about>
<I'm glad you have faith in yourself again. By the way, the name's Salem>

Salem said as he raised his hand.

<I'm 0Neo, general of clan Nocturu, elite assassin and follower of the darkness path. It doesn't mean I won't show my appreciation for the other elements though>

0Neo said as he took Salem's hand in his in a handshake as the midnight moon shone bright in the starlit sky. The words "you're beginning to understand my ways 0Neo" appeared in 0Neo's mind but he didn't feel threaten by them anymore, he decided he would accept advice from his other self from now on.

Chapter 5: Crimson melancholy-The grey threat draws near I


days passed and what seemed to be a dangerous threat became nothing but an annoyance to the powerful wizard. The shards were far more active than usual in the face of such a colossal threat but it didn't mean anything for Hikari Yume; he knew all of this members of the clan were novices or warmonger brutes, thirsty of blood. The Glacius clan wasn't near its former glory, now frozen in the memories of those new members that cared to study the clan's history.....most of the clans had lost most of the members that gave glory to them.

<All these people....foolish fighters with no care of Paxia or this clan or anything related to the elements truly. I can't belief I have to watch over them all for this war; a war that doesn't seem to start.>

said Hikari Yume to himself as he watched the so called "members" of his clan move around the shards, trying to do anything they could to "help". Some carried provisions, others were trying to protect the shards with traps or enchants but most were practicing their skills, eager for a fight.

The data division of the clan had come back from their data reckon already and reported to Glaciar but no-one else in the clan knew what they found. Actually, all of the data divisions of each clan had come back already but none would share their findings with anyone but their respective leaders. This was creating doubt among Paxia's clansmen but Hikari Yume didn't really care what they found, he already knew it was something bad that would require his assistance; he didn't have time to waste in such nonsense.

<Why do I have to be their leader? I am strong among the clan but Glaciar knows full well I don't cooperate. Still.....>

Hikari Yume said to himself as he watched the cold sky from the tallest shard of the base towards the direction were Monolith island was located. His meeting with the novice general of Nocturu had been a strange one. Hikari thought he was wrong.....who was he to say how he felt anyway? He couldn't deny he had spoken the truth about the need of banding together though. As powerful as
he was, he couldn't expect to win such a massive war by himself.

Hikari decided to check the current status of the clans; as a general of Glacius and its representative it was his responsibility to contact the other clans. He shaped the powerful gusts around him into a cloud and walked on top of it. The cloud flew to the room where the communication center was installed. As he got close to the shard where the room was located, he jumped off the cloud as it disappeared and headed into the room. No-one was inside.

<I thought the data division members were in charge of this device.....>

Hikari said to himself as he turned on the device. The screen flashed green for an instant before it displayed a layout of Paxia. He selected the spot that represented the Aerodu clan base and started the call. Some minutes passed but someone answered the call in the airship.

<Hello? who is it?.....Hikari Yume? is everything alright?>

Muchiha said as his image appeared on the screen.

<Yeah, I was simply checking how all of the other clans were>
<Aww, and you started with Aerodu because you miss your original clan>
<No, I'm simply calling you because you're in charge of the island's communications. Since you ought to know how all of the clans are, it's simpler to ask you directly>
<So cold....I was just joking>
<Do I look like someone who jokes, Muchiha?
<Of course not. Nothing big is happening in any of the clans as of now. Communications with Geoto, Dynami and Nautica are a bit difficult but there's no problem with them, Igneus found its representative and it seems 0Neo left Paxia a couple of days ago>
<The Nocturu's general did?>


Hikari Yume asked with a little astonishment.

<Yeah, no-one is sure why but it seems he headed off to the mainland again. Since not much is happening here, I don't think it'll be a problem>

Muchiha answered a little surprised by the sudden emotion of the wizard.

<And I thought that man would stay here until every enemy had being killed. What happened to all of his talk about unity?>

Hikari thought.

<Alright. Call if anything happens>
<hey Hikari wai->

Muchiha tried to say but Hikari Yume had ended the call and he was heading out already. He didn't really know where to but he felt he had to be outside, waiting....but waiting for what?

*****


The volcano was uneasy. Even if some tremors and smoke were common, lots of soot had descended upon the surrounding area, dying black the volcanic rocks that surrounded the Igneus' base.

Some new members had started to renew the clan; this took most of their time but now that they were alright, it was their duty to attend to the current threat to Paxia. It might not be the worse but it sure was the most numerous they had ever seen.

The man selected to represent the clan was none other than the fabled warrior with the blood of the Hydra....Seth Hydra.

He was on top of the volcano, staring at the west. He knew this war would ravage the island and it would annihilate it too along all of its denizens if he couldn't help protecting it. As he stared, deep in thoughts of tactics, plans and killing, he remembered the conversation he had with Igneox days ago......

Seth was walking in the deepest chambers of the volcano, were the heat was at its peak. Few could withstand such temperature but it meant nothing to Seth. After long councils, the Igneus clan was finally getting restored to how it was in its better times. With new members pledging themselves to the flames and the come back of older members that never stopped fighting for their crimson fire, the clan was active again after so long.

<Now we're finally rising from our ashes. Igenox must be proud of the clan now, with so many new willing members we could->
<Seth, wait a moment. I have to talk to you>

said a voice that interrupted Seth as he imagined the future of Igneus; a voice Seth knew well. Seth turned around to see the majestic flames of his leader Igneox, illuminating the tunnels as the fox himself made eye contact with him.

<Igneox sir, what can I do for you?>
<There's no need to be so respectful Seth. You're one of my most trusted generals and someone I call friend>
<I guess so.....with all of the councils we held, the feeling of politician got me>
<You and the others did an outstanding job. The clan's flame brights strong again>
<No need to thank us, we did what we had to>


Seth answered with some content. However, the look in his leader changed, he looked like something serious was about to happen and Seth thought the temperature dropped various degrees as he looked at the flames in the eyes of the fox....flames of the purgatory. Such feeling told Seth something bad, perhaps awful was about to happen.

<Seth, there is something very important I have to discuss with you. Follow me>

The fox said as he started walking through the lava domes towards his room. Seth followed instantly, the look in his leader's eyes were enough for him to obey, not out of fear but out of care.

When both reached Igneox's room, the look in the fox's eyes wasn't so severe anymore but it still warned of danger.

<I assume you know of the Truphma and their plan>
<Sure I do, all of the island does. I still think we won't have that much of a fight, the only thing their good for are numbers>
<Don't underestimate them now Seth, they have the potential to scar Paxia gravely>
<They might be able to but we'll crush them before they even get a chance to do anything>


Seth said with confidence. Igneox looked a little bit surprised but he soon started to look happy about having this man among his clan.

<I'm glad you think that way Seth because I have a very important job for you; a request actually>
<I'll do anything for the clan and for you Igneox>
<Would you like to represent Igneus on this war?>
<Me? represent the whole clan>
<You have the power, skill and will to do it, don't you?>
<Of course I will! I'll show everyone in Paxia the worth of the fire!>


Seth had said that day. Now, the current situation was one that needed his power and skills as a warmonger. Paxia won't suffer from this, the Truphma will be the ones to be scorched to the ground.

*****


The day went on and Hikari started to find it desperately annoying. With the secretive way of acting of the data division and the sudden feeling of worry on Glaciar's expression, most of the members were either scared and anguished or eager and bold...neither attitude was of Hikari's liking.

Hikari had returned to his post on the tallest shard to overlook Glacius' activities. He simply stared at the clan members, dubious of how they all would fare when the war started when a whisper distracted him. He heard someone called for him but he knew it was impossible, the temperature wouldn't allow anyone to reach the shard's peak, much less time enough to talk to Hikari....yet he heard it again.

<who is it?>

Hikari asked the chilling wind around him only to be answered by freezing gusts of air. This was strange but Hikari didn't care enough for those whispers in the air; they simply were something worth only of his indifference at most considering they actually existed.

Some minutes passed with Hikari focused on detailing the actions of the clansmen; the whispers forgotten. Hikari used his wind magic to arrange some provisions some novices had thrown around the floor when he saw it. He couldn't believe his eyes nor his sensing abilities but both told him he was witnessing reality.

He didn't hesitate; it was uncommon for him to be so impulsive yet he had lost control of his thinking. He shaped a cloud like the one he used hours ago and jumped on it, determined to follow it no matter what. As he expected, it flew below the clouds at an amazing speed and Hikari followed it, he couldn't afford to lose sight of it even for an instant.

Some clansmen looked at the top shards of the base as Hikari rapidly flew on his cloud around them. They thought it was weird for anyone to cast a cloud and circle the tallest shards of Glacius..."could he be training for the war?" they thought.

Hikari didn't know where direction he was going, just where would it take him...he only knew he remained on the Glacius base because of the snow around.

It started to fly even faster, moving towards the left in a close curve. Hikari had stopped thinking some time ago, he was acting on instinct and wish now. He jumped off the cloud, flying even faster than before to continue his pursue as the cloud crashed into the shards. Luckily, clouds can't cause major damage even if they crash; the only thing Hikari's cloud did was creating a little tremor that startled those inside that shard.

Hikari flew faster but he couldn't catch up to it. They had already gone inside the main shards of the base where all of the members lived when Hikari came close to catch it, he was so close he could see it clearly now....a little bit more and he would get a proper view of it. As he was about to catch it, it suddenly vanished. With his target gone, Hikari snapped back into reality taking control of himself. He saw he had entered the hall leading to Glaciar's room and he would crash against the door. He summoned a powerful gust of wind flowing in the opposite direction in an attempt to slow down; it did work but not well enough for him to stop completely. Glaciar saw in indifferent disapproval as Hikari crash-passed his door, landing and rolling until he ended up sitting down in front of Glaciar.

<Hikari! may I know what is all this ruckus about?>
<Didn't you see it?>


Hikari asked with a feeling of astonishment rare in him.

<See what exactly? I kept track of your wild movements and it seemed like you simply decided to fly as fast as you could around the base>
<The ghost! I was pursuing it but it disappeared before I entered this room>
<Crash into this room you mean. I saw you flying off of the tallest shard, no-one else was there>
<But I swear I saw it! I pursue it all over the base!>
<Get a hold of yourself. Seeing such wild display of emotion from you is disappointing>


Glaciar said as he stared at Hikari with a plain face. He might have been mad or sad at Hikari's actions but he didn't express any of those feelings.....or any at all for that matter.

Hikari took a deep breath and relaxed. As he got back to his senses he looked as distant as he always does.

<I'm sorry for causing so many problems, it wasn't my intention.>
<And this "ghost" you claim to have appeared here moments ago?>
<I know what I saw, it definitely was here>
<Very well, I won't push this matter any more then. We have more important things to worry about now>
<What is it?>
<The discovery of the data division>


*****


Seth had decided to scout the now soot-covered area surrounding the base's entrance after clearing his thoughts at the volcano's top point. Some members decided to go with him when they asked him what did he intended to do now that he was the clan's representative. The question took him off guard so he answered the first thing that appeared in his mind.

<Alright, the enemy might still be lurking near. We need to make sure nothing happens to the clan base>
<Yes sir!>


the underlings replied. The sensation of being in charge like this was both awkward and amusing to Seth; he had directed battle platoons before but he had never thought of commanding the whole clan. This small reckon group was easy to direct but he still wondered what would he do commanding all of Igneus.

<Alright, we'll divide in small groups to scout most of the area in less time. We'll go in pairs>
<Yes sir!>


they answered as four of them made pairs and the remaining member walked shyly towards Seth.

<Oh don't be shy, we'll be done with this quickly>
<ye..yes! I'll try my best!>


He said as the other 2 groups moved around in different directions.

<He looks promising, he might achieve something big in the war to come>

Seth thought.

<Okay, we should head out too>

Seth said with a smile.

Both of them headed towards the rock plains near the volcano's entrance. They walked for some time, looking for trails of someone having stayed there but they didn't find anything that might be helpful.

<Nothing helpful here. Not even the Truphma are foolish enough to stay in such a place>
<excuse me, mister Hydra, do you know the Truphma's leader?>
<Vox? sure I do.....I fought her and forced her to flee from Lore's army>


Seth said as he leaned close to his partner with a warmth smile.

<And don't call me "mister Hydra". I might be in charge of the clan's forces but I don't think I'm more important now. Just call me Seth>
<Ye....yes!...Seth>


Seth's partner said shyly.

<Now, why do you ask?>
<I.....am scared of the war to come. What if we can't stop them this time?>
<There's no way I or anyone else allows that. We are the clan of fire, we don't doubt nor do we scare before enemies....they are the ones who can't handle the strength of our flames!>
<Wo...woah.....>


Seth's partner said in awe. He was afraid of the war that might ravage his homeland but the words of his clan's representative had empowered his resolve.

<Yeah....I will try....my hardest in this war! I won't let them attack Paxia either!>
<Glad to hear those words kiddo. Our enemy sure is numerous so we'll need every available fighter>
<Yes. I'm sure we'll win this>
<Now that's the spirit....such calmness doesn't suit us. I was starting to think you were from Nautica or somethin->


Seth was saying when a scream of pain slashed the calm of the rock plains. Seth's partner was startled, looking at Seth for an answer. Seth wasn't feeling optimistic now, he looked at his partner and said

<Let's go. It came from the forest to the Southwest>

They ran for the forest a pair of the reckon team went to some time ago.

It was late afternoon by the time they reached the place where Seth thought he heard the scream. What they found was worse than what they feared to find.

<No way.....>
<These wretched fiends...they're attacks are getting far more vicious now>


Both say when they saw what used to be their comrades. The corpses were barely recognizable, nothing more than bashed pieces of flesh in a mess of blood and red robes.

<Normal Truphma wouldn't be so ruthless....Truphma generals did this>
<Generals? Here? Are they attacking us now?>
<Doubt it. They always attack in massive armies....this was a reckon mission of theirs and they found us>
<*gasp* The other 2 might be in danger! we have to go and assist them!>
<Now you're talking. Let's go!>


Seth said as he placed his shield on his back, leaving him free to use his fearsome Krenos combo: The patriot and Krenos essence katanas. Both weapons would be a fearsome combo used with his Supreme Overlord's Dynasty. Seth's partner wore simple red robes and carried the Igneus sickle, he wasn't sure if he would be able to fight like that but he didn't have time enough to care, he had to safe his comrades.

They ran straight South, the direction the other pair had gone hours ago. They ran and ran even more with no sight of neither enemies nor allies. The whole time Seth thought he shouldn't have allowed them to come with him; then again, how could he know they would be attack by Truphma generals? they were small fries to someone powerful enough but Seth's group couldn't hope to defeat a group of them.

They still were running around, hoping to find some clues when someone screamed "HELP!!!" in a clearing right in front of them. They ran without hesitation and found their comrades trying to fight a six Truphma generals and a fearsome dull dragon. They were holding their melee attacks properly since both of them were warriors unlike the deceased mages.

The dragon was in the back, directing the Truphma generals; it seemed like the beast was their leader. The dragon roared at two of the generals and they charged against the two warriors. One smashed his morningstar-like hands to squash one of the warriors but he dodged and slashed the Truphma's head, wounding it gravely. The other Truphma launched his morningstar-like hands towards the other warrior and he would've been hit if not for Seth jumping and cutting the morningstars like butter.

<Get back! we'll handle this!>

Seth yelled at both of the warriors as he made a X slash on the Truphma general, killing it in a spray of grey blood.

Both the warriors started running but the wounded Truphma general tried to stopped them. He launched his morningstars at them but they stopped mid-air as it fell to the ground, death from Seth's partner sickle, piercing his head.

<Hurry up! Run for it now!>

He screamed as he took his sickle back and ran besides Seth.

With his comrades now safe, Seth could focus in the fighting. The dragon roared in anger as three of the Truphma generals ran towards them.

<You ready for this kid? They're far tougher than the small fries the regular Truphma are>
<Sure I am. I will protect my clan no matter what!>
<Good to hear that, you really are worth of Igneus!>


They both said before they charged against the Truphma.

The dragon roared to give orders only the Truphma would understand. The three of them stopped and launched all of their morningstars towards them. Seth's partner used his sickle to cut into one of them and use it as a booster for his jump, tossing him out of danger while Seth slashed the three that were directed at him. Seth then dashed around the Truphma he had maimed in a circle to release a fire wave filled with electricity. When the shock-wave caught the Truphma, they melted in plasma. Seth turned around to see how his partner feinted around the Truphma general: The Truphma tried to smash him but he rolled between its legs and cut his leg, when the Truphma couldn't walk anymore, it launched his morningstars towards him but he dodged the attack and cut the cables that tied the weapons to the Truphma. As it was helpless, Seth's partner cleaved his sickle in its heart.

Seth was proud of this novice member, he would be a great help in the war to come. Seth was just turning around when the Truphma that was standing next to the dragon shot his morningstars. The blow caught Seth in the head....even if this attack wasn't really harmful, it had dazed him greatly. As Seth tried to focus on his enemy he felt pain this time as the dragon sweep him over with its claw. Seth landed at the feet of the Truphma, who started at him with hollow eyes and said "Die" as Seth heard a horrid noise that could only be what that dull scaly beast called laughter. Seth was thinking he would visit Death with that awful noise in his ears when he heard a familiar sound, a warm, reassuring and soothing sound to the Igneus warrior...the sound of fire.

<STOP! I WON'T ALLOW ANY KILLING OF OUR CLANSMEN!>

Seth's partner said as he focused his power on the sickle, which was releasing crimson flames upon the dull dragon. The dragon bellowed as the fire melted his flesh, eating it for its insult...you cannot hope to escape the flames' everlasting hunger.

<The Truphma shan't kill a single Paxian! In this war I will fight like never before...for Paxia and for Igneus!>

Seth's partner said as the power of his sickle grew even stronger, enveloping the dull dragon in a sphere of crimson hell.

<I have to get one of those when we get back>

Seth said as he witnessed the power of this novice.

The dragon was soon reduced to blacked bones. Seth took advantage of the situation to slash at the distracted Truphma, cutting it in half with both of his katanas. The fight was over.

<That was quite the spectacle kiddo, you have a lot of power>
<Thanks mister Hydra...I mean, Seth. My faith in our clan empowered the sickle to levels I've never seen before!>
<And that faith is what ensures our victory. If everyone fights for their clan, the Truphma won't have a chance>
<Yes sir! I mean, no sir!>
<Now, let's go back home>


Seth said as he smiled at this novice....no, not a novice anymore, a comrade.

It was late afternoon by the time they reached the volcano. A guard came out, looking for Seth.

<What is it? why do you call for me?>
<The leader wants to talk to you....and only you>


The guard answered.

*****


Seth made his way to Igneox's chambers. He came here some hours ago to receive wonderful news...what type of news awaited him now? Seth continued to walk until he reached the room. He entered and he saw Igneox staring at him.

<Igneox, I know I shouldn't have taken them with me...it was all my fault>
<Even if what happened is regrettable, I have something more important to tell you>
<What is it?>
<The discovery of the data division>


<Is it so threatening you had to keep it a secret?>
<Yes it is Hikari. I know I created a ruckus among our ranks for not telling anyone about it but I had to>


<Why? What could the data division find that would scare you so much Igneox?>

<A new letter from Xov, Hikari. That is what is threatening Paxia again>

<What did you....
just say?>


<Exactly what you heard Seth. Xov made a new letter she left on a data disk in a base all of the data divisions explored.>

<She wanted them to find it. All of the members of the data divisions thought it would cause problems so they only reported this to the clan leaders>

<And why are you telling this to me now Igneox? Just what...
<Am I able to do now that the letter was kept secret for so long?>


<you could start planning our next move...
<Since you're the representative of the clan>

<Take a look Hikari>

<Take a look Seth>


The new letter

<The war...
will soon start....>


Chapter 6: Time does pass in heaven-The grey threat draws near II


A couple of days passed since the data divisions of every clan decided to share their finding with everyone on Paxia. Now that every denizen of Paxia knew the war would start soon, everyone was working in a much greater haste than before to be ready for this war.

The underlings of each clan were wary of venturing outside of their clan bases while the experienced members were always on the lookout ever since the report of a vicious heavy attack of Truphma on a Igneus scout group reached all over Paxia. The atmosphere that gathered over Paxia was tense; it felt like the island itself was holding its breath, cautious for any danger that might appear before the dreaded day.

In the middle of all this turmoil, the chronomancer watched how a key event in history unfolded. kor was used to watch as events unfolded in the past of this world and many more but this would be the first time he directly acted on it; after all, the future that awaited the Truphma's victory was one kor couldn't stand...a future that represented the epitome of slavery.

Ever since the last meeting the Paxians held, kor looked for people or any other fighter that would join against the Truphma in the upcoming war but he had little success. He only found support in clan-less adventurers, eager for a good fight. kor was surprised by the quantity of people that wasn't aligned with an elemental clan at first but it soon became normal to the chronomancer; he found it astonishing the people of this time, living in the middle of the reign of the elemental lords, wouldn't join an element but he started to find it sad afterwards. Paxia was no longer the prideful island of elemental unity it had been before, now it simply was home to few who sought the elements.

<The only reason Paxia is so active now is because of the war. The people of this time are fond of war indeed, maybe a little too much for their safety>

kor said to himself as he followed his way. After trying to find as many help as he could with little success and being cut off of the island's communication, he decided he would return to Castillo Vida Negra, the Nocturu clan base. The novice general of that clan he met the day of the meeting seemed inexperienced, yet he seemed to be the one most eager to do something about the division among the clans.

<And he was the one who ordered me to look for help too>

kor said as he walked daydreaming. Suddenly, some noises came from a clearing some meters to the left; that clearing wasn't natural, the trees had been cut off, kor could tell. kor approached the place he knew was meant to be a resting place, but would it hold foes or allies? The question was easily answered as the dull grey coloring appeared and two Truphma came into view.

kor was about to get the jump on them, ready to strike them down when they stood. kor stopped just in time as he saw these weren't regular Truphma but Truphma generals. It would be a challenge to defeat both by himself so he waited there, hoping he would learn something from the Truphma.

<Most of the post positions are ready now>
<We have to place the transporters soon>
<We will. The island's inhabitants won't notice anything until it is too late>
<No-one ever notices us before it is too late>


And with that both of the Truphma left for another place towards the east.

These news were troublesome. If the Truphma are building "transporters" it can only mean they're planning to teleport forces directly into the island but this still raised some doubts.....how did those Truphma reach Paxia now? Did they even leave after their first assault on the island and if they did stay on Paxia, where were they hiding now?

<Recruitment is done, we have to prepare for another surprise assault. Xov...she is sneaky and treacherous indeed>

kor said as he ran towards the castle, careful of any other threat that might appear.

*****


The fortress was a mess now if you compared it to its regular look. With all of the activity the Lucian clan base was under, it was no wonder the place was disorganized.

Many novices were running around the fortress, getting everything they would need to fight or practicing their skills in combat.

popinloopy, the great Lumenomancer watched the members of his clan do whatever they thought would help from the upper parts of the fortress. popinloopy knew some of these members were here for the fight but he felt optimistic and pleased at the fact that his clan was among the few that conserved some of its oldest members, those that were around at the clan's beginning and still were loyal to the pure light. The thought was pleasant to popinloopy...perhaps too pleasant to think they would wage war in this beautiful place or rather, that their home would become a battlefield for a war against the most numerous threat Paxia had ever seen.

<Hey popin, you have a moment?>

a voice said next to popinloopy, dragging from his worries back into the present, when everything was still alright. He looked at who had talked to him and said

<Oh wyrm, it's you. Sure I've got time, what do you need?>
<Hey come on, cheer up! we're here, alive and eager for a fight. Stop worrying about it and enjoy this day as if it was the last!>


popinloopy had to smile at his partner's attitude...after all, he always could turn everything into a joke, making stress go away.

<I guess you're right wyrm, I guess you truly are....>
<Hey, when am I not right anyway?>
<Ha, I could mention some times. Anyway, what did you want me to do?>
<Oh yeah, Muchiha is on the communication network. He wants to talk to you.>
<I'll go right away>
<Remember, Chillax for a while, kay?>


wyrm said as he ran down the hall, towards a group of members practicing.

popinloopy still thought wyrm was far too carefree but he had always liked that of him.

popinloopy headed for the communication device's room. When he got there, The image of Muchiha on the screen looked surprised and talked.

<Gee popinloopy, it's about time you got here>
<Sorry, wyrm distracted me for a while>
<He can be pretty annoying sometimes but he is reliable in battle, isn't he?>
<Yeah. Anyway, why did you call? Did something happen?>
<Well, ever since the attack on that Igneus scouting group there had been a lot of sightings of Truphma all over the island. Do you guys know of anything?>
<No...Most of our members have remained inside the fortress actually>
<So you guys don't know anything....anyway, be on the lookout for any trouble>
<Sure will. I think we are ready for the wa->


popinloopy was saying when screams and the sound of clashing weapons filled the room. Something was happening in the main hall.

<popin, what was that?>
<I don't know, but I don't like it>


popinloopy said as he looked at Muchiha directly.

<Make sure all of the other clans are fine. We might be under siege again>

popinloopy said as two big grey shadows appeared on the doorway.

<popin! Behind you!>

But it was too late. Muchiha only saw popinloopy turn around as a bleached morningstar shattered the screen.

*****


hict was walking around the airship. Despite the sightings of Truphma all over the island, the last days had passed smoothly. hict was wondering what would Xov plan for the war when he heard a loud crash in the communications room. He rushed and he found Muchiha staring at the screen.

<Muchiha! Are you okay?>

hict asked him but he wasn't listening. Muchiha stared horror struck at the screen.

<popinloopy?! Are you guys alright?! What's going on?!>

but it was futile. Muchiha's alarmed question where only answered by a shattered image and the sound of static.

<Muchiha! Listen!>

hict said as he shook Muchiha. Muchiha seemed to get back to his senses.

<Alright now...What happened?>
<The Lucian fortress is under siege. I saw two Truphma generals were about to attack popinloopy>
<Generals?.....Call every other clan immediately>
<Right away>


Muchiha said as he entered the divided call mode of the communication system. He had made this feature to hold a meeting with every clan without needing to meet in a same place but he never thought he would use it to give alarming news to every clan. However, what appeared on screen was far worse than just the news of a Truphma attack on Lucian. All of the screens were shattered; the only sound coming from the machine was that of static.

<No way....We've been cut off!>
<Nocturu, Igneus, Glacius...Every single clan in Paxia is under siege>
<But I thought Xov's plan was to attack six days from now!>
<Don't you see it Muchiha? She knew our data squads would find that information so she let them. She planned to lower our guard and attack when we wouldn't expect it>
<But how? We eliminated all of the Truphma in their first assault>
<Or so we thought.....We were so foolish and arrogant. We underestimated Xov and her troops>
<What do you mean?
<Just think...Do you honestly believe Xov would be so foolish as if to storm Paxia with nothing more than regular Truphma fighters?>
<No...she would hide elite forces able to carry a more important mission while the small fries distracted everyone. The Truphma are experts at hiding after all>
<Now that's the tactician I know. Stop despairing and help us now, they're sure to attack us now>
<We have to speak with Aerodu now and get everyone ready. The Truphma might start they're attack anytim->


Muchiha said as various yells and noises all over the airship interrupted him. It sounded like hundreds of sharp objects collided with the airship.

<No way...Already?>
<So it seems friend. Time for some real action>
<Let's go to the hangars, quickly!>


Muchiha said as he ran for the hangars, where most of the clansmen would be....fighting most likely.

<Xov is gravely mistaken if she thinks I'll let her attack my home...No-one's falling on my watch. It's clobbering time!>

hict yelled as he bumped his fists together and ran for the hangar. As he ran he took his mighty Claymore from its scabbard on his back, a ridiculously huge sword with a hole in the middle of the guard. Only hict would be able to carry such thing and use it in battle.

Now the fight had truly begun. What would await all of the clans now?

*****


kor had run all the way to Castillo Vida Negra, blending the time to reduce his fatigue and the time he took to get there to the minimum. He had seen entire squads of dulled forest demons, wolverines and buzzers go towards the castle....that was worrisome indeed.

kor finally arrived at the Nocturu clan base and the scene to witness was just what he had feared all along the way here. The members of the dark clan were standing their ground against this army of dull beasts but they seemed even stronger than normally. The wounds of the wolverines were healing almost immediately, the pulsating shields of the forest demons where much more effective now, used as a force field and kor could see many members of the Nocturu clan squirm on the floor, suffering from the buzzer's venom.

kor didn't see any dead bodies, that was reassuring but for how long would the dark clan be spared casualties? kor saw a group of dulled corpses and saw how Noctros was attacking as many of the invaders as he could, bashing them with his wings, flying around them and releasing waves of darkness and ominous gusts all over them. kor even saw how Noctros grabbed a dulled wolverine, raised it in the air and bit it in the neck, draining all of its life essence and hurling the lifeless corpse at a group of dulled beasts. This is when kor realize that....

<Where in heck is 0Neo?! He should be here fighting!>

kor said but he didn't have time to worry about it, he had to help them.

kor rushed as he geared up with his father time shield and his antique chrono blade. Now he was glad he had brought his weapon from his own time because the chrono blades of this era were horrid for fighting.

kor charged as a swarm of buzzers followed him. He turned around and released the gears of his blade, to trap his enemies in a rift in time itself. Luckily enough, all of the four buzzers were trapped by his special attack and as soon as they fell to the ground they were showered by dark arrows....every single one had hit a vital spot on the bugs, killing them all. kor turned around and he saw as a group of archers gave him a thumbs up.

<Now I see why those grimstalker bows are known to be the most accurate. Hey! Lookout!>

kor yelled as he charged a couple of forest demons that were about to release a magic blast on a group of warriors further ahead. The warriors turned to see kor brawling with the demons and waved a thanks to him, they then rushed to strike down wolverines. kor was annoyed by their shields, he couldn't land a single hit on this creatures and they seemed to dance around him. Both of the demons jumped and kicked kor into ground.

<Aright that does it....Time Stop!>

kor yelled as he let loose a blast of distorted time on his enemies. The emotion of the battle took its hold of the chronomancer's senses, making him release a ridiculously powerful blast of distorted time towards his enemies. Not only the demons were caught but entire groups of demons, wolverines and buzzers had been caught in the attack.

<NOW!>

A Nocturu clansmen shouted and immediately a shower of dark arrows rained over all of the enemies trapped in the spell as necromancers summoned various zombied hands to grasp the life away of all of them. kor was delighted with his assistance but he fell to his knees, drained of most of his mana and exhausted. kor then fell he flew towards the castle as he raised in the air.

<0Neo! you're here>
<Trust me, I wish that thrice damned irresponsible cocky brad was here>


Noctros told kor as he carried the chronomancer to the medic ward of the castle.

<Noctros sir! where is 0Neo? He should be here helping!>
<Of course he should but the so arrogant kid returned to the mainland>
<He what?! What was he thinking?>
<I don't know but he'll be sure to be punished when he returns. Rest for now chronomancer, we'll need you as soon as you can fight again>
<Yes sir...>
<Assassins!>


Noctros yelled as many hooded figures appeared in the room.

<I need you to fight. I can't afford to have keeping guard inside if we fall outside>
<Yes sir!>
<And you....take this whistle and go into the Nightraider's tunnels. When you're there, blow it and the Nightraiders will do the rest>


Noctros said as he gave one of the darkness assassins a silver whistle with the figure of a Nightraider's head.

<Yes sir! I'll do what you command>

the assassin said as he stepped on the wall's shadow and disappeared.

<The rest of you, with me into the fight!>
<Yes sir>


Noctros said as he flew out of the window, the assassins jumping out of it.

<This timeline.....sure is interesting....>

kor said as he blacked out.

*****


The blow took popinloopy in the head but he didn't have time to worry about the pain. He shot blast of radiant light and blew both of his attackers out of the room.

<This fools....They destroyed the communication system. That must have been they're plan all along>

popinloopy said, placing his hand in his head to heal some of the damage. Both of the Truphma we're standing up already.

<Alright you two pissed me off. Radiant fist!>

popinloopy screamed as he crushed one of the Truphma generals under his Gybbi's fist.

<As of you.....Solar flare!>

popinloopy said as he enveloped the other Truphma general in incandescent light that blinded it and deeply hurt it. popinloopy took the chance and cleaved the tip of his radiant Lucian spear into both of the heads of these Truphma.

With them dead, he could finally help outside. popinloopy ran through the fortress as more of his comrades rushed to the main halls as others carried the wounded to the medical ward. Hopefully no-one had died so far.

When popinloopy reached the main hall, choas unfolded as dulled dragons spew earth spikes all over the place and Truphma generals smashed everything with their morningstars. popinloopy searched the battlefield for wyrm but he only saw some of the clansmen fight for their life. Some Lumenomancers were assailing dulled dragons with LACERs although one of them was about to sweep them away with its claw, another Luenomancer stopped the attack with his radiant fist and crushed the dragon's arm, making the beast bellow in pain...the only apparent emotions these mindless dull beast seem to be able to feel. Some dedicated warriors of the clan were using their spears to fight the Truphma generals, they parried their morningstars and cut the cables that connected the weapons to the Truphma as others shot them away with light beams from their spear's specials. This and much more was happening as the Lucians fought but wyrm was nowhere to be seen.

<Come on you utter fool....don't tell me something happened to you>

popinloopy thought as a dull dragon was about to strike him with its claw. popinloopy had lowered his guard and he was sure the dragon would land the hit when a blade of awe's spiral carve knocked the beast over. popinloopy stared at the blade as it returned to its owner and saw wyrm smiling at him.

<Yo popin! S'up?>
<You utter fool! I was worried about you>


popinloopy yelled as wyrm ran towards the dragon and slashed at its legs as it stood up. The dragon tried to slash at wyrm but he had jumped on top of the dragon.

<Oh how sweet of you popin. I was worried you would be late for the fight!>

wyrm said as the dragon charged its breath weapon but wyrm jumped and crashed the side of his blade of awe in the dragon's mouth, making it spit a shower of spikes on a group of Truphma generals as it fell to the ground again. wyrm took the chance and slashed open the dragon's throat.

<Are you nuts?! We're in the middle of a war and you worry about a game?>
<Yo Y0L05W46 popinloopy>
<How the heck can you pronounce that?>
<We're in the middle of a war and you worry about my speaking skills~?


wyrm answered with a foolish smile as a Truphma general charged at popinloopy

<Oh you shuuuut uuuuup!!!!!!>

popinloopy yelled as he released a Solar flare on the Truphma general, pushing it away into the roof where it was reduced to little more than ash before the light blast destroyed the roof, raining sun crystal all over the place. The members of Lucian took cover or used their powers to either create shields or throw the crystals somewhere else as both the dulled dragons and the Truphma generals were skewered in the deadly rain of sharp crystal.

<Yo popin, chillax...you just need to kill the enemy>
<I know.....is just that you really get on my nerves sometimes>
<All for the better, we're almost done thanks to you>
<I guess......wanna finish it?>
<Heck yeah. Y0L05W46!>


wyrm yelled as he rushed for the remaining enemy forces.

<Wait for me this time you fool!>

popinloopy said with half a smile as he ran after wyrm, to vanish this dull invaders from the pure light of their home.

*****


hict reached the main hangar as Muchiha was sending swarm after swarm of skulls towards the outside.

<Muchiha! What are we fighting?>
<Bugs....hundreds of bugs. Buzzers and hybees>
<Alright then. I'm going>
<You what? How are you going to fight them if they fly?>
<With this>


hict said as he showed his huge claymore to Muchiha.

<You gotta be kidding me...you can't use it in here!>
<The more luck for me that we're being attacked by flying foes>
<Are you planning to take them all by yourself?>
<You know I am>
<It's dangerous!>
<You know nothing is dangerous to me>
<hict.....*sigh* be careful anyway>
<Sure will>


and with those words hict rushed to the edge of the airship. As he was near it, a couple of buzzers and a hybee blocked his way but he kept running as powerful gusts of winds flowed around his claymore. As the three foes flew towards hict to attack him, he cut with his claymore with one hand and sent an enormous shock-wave of wind towards the bugs, slashing through them like butter and crushing much more that were flying outside of the airship. The wave was so strong it made the airship sway to the opposite side.

<Good I only used one hand...shouldn't use so much power near the base.....>
<HICT!>
<SORRY EVERYONE! I'M OFF!>


hict screamed as he jumped out of the airship.

the gusts enveloping his claymore enveloped him as well, stopping his fall. He then flew towards the most concentrated cloud of dull bugs and sent an air slash towards them. Most of the bugs scattered around but some of them were torn to pieces that precipitated to the ground, several hundred meters below.

<Air slash on a bunch of bugs.....Is a critical super effective attack!>

hict said as various of the bugs rushed for him. hict had to get away from the airship to fight properly so he flew towards the west. As he expected, a big quantity of bugs followed.

hict stopped as soon as he reached the shores of the sole island of the Aerodu. None of the bugs had caught up to him but now that he stopped all of them were closing in on him. hict braced himself and charged. He was outnumbered a hundred to one but he knew he would win.

Some hybees threw their spears at him as he charged the bug mass but hict swept them away with his claymore, sending them back towards the the hybees. Some caught their spears despite the speed they were hurled back with but a couple of hybees were pierced by their own weapons, making the first of many to fall that afternoon. A squad of buzzers flew pass the hybees, aiming their stingers at hict. hict rushed towards the buzzer in the middle, grabbing it by the stinger, tearing it off and throwing the stinger at another buzzer as the first one died. hict flew around another buzzer, cutting the one behind it and grabbing another to collide it against the buzzer he now had behind him. More hybees threw their spears at him as buzzers tackled him at mach speed.

<I'm way faster than that!>

hict said as he rapidly attacked the buzzers: He cut the wings off the first, jump off the second as he rolled and slashed it to bring down a full down-cut on the third buzzer. He then created a sonic blast at point blank of the fourth buzzer, sending its ravaged remains towards the fifth, giving hict enough time to slash-pass through the last buzzer......all before even the first spear reached him. He grabbed that spear to parry all of the others, hurling it towards the hybees. hict managed to strike down 3 of them...even if they hadn't died from the attack, they were far to wounded to even fly anymore.

<Bring it you dull pests! I'll squash you all!>

Back in the airship, Muchiha and his clansmen were fighting however they could. The venom of the buzzers forced them to use other rooms as temporal medic wards....no-one had died for now but the situation was critical.

The attack had lasted for hours now, the sun was setting as the Aerodu fought the dull invaders. It was good that many of the members had the clan's bows with them. They were showering the bugs with arrow after arrow. The swarm of enemies that remained in the attack against Aerodu had a hard time flying around the swarm of arrows. It sure had been a great help that hict took so many of them with him but they still were in danger.

<I hope hict is alright. Everyone! push the attack!>

Muchiha yelled as he summoned undead archers and flaming undead giants to assist. It was a big help those archers had grimstalkers, they were shooting as many arrows as they could and they didn't miss a single time. As the enemies were hit by more arrows each passing second besides the vicious attacks of the flaming giants they were soon falling dead on the Aerodu's hangar if they didn't fall of the airship.

Controlling so many undead was difficult for Muchiha...he wouldn't be able to keep this up if he didn't resort to THAT.

<Looks like I've got no other choice now...HEY YOU STUPID, UGLY BEE WOMAN!>

Muchiha yelled at a dull hybee soldier attacking another member. The hybee took the bait and rushed towards Muchiha, spear head on. Muchiha didn't even try to dodge, he actually stood open-armed for the hybee. The hybee pierced Muchiha's heart with a disturbing and corrupted smile.

<You surrender human? Intelligent choice haha>
<You are.....far more stupid than I thought>


Muchiha said as he died at the hybee's spear. The hybee dropped the corpse to the floor, ready to attack anyone else when a a crippling cold ran down its spine. The hybee only had time to turn and stare into the fearful face of the Lich behind it before being torn apart by dark hands.

Muchiha's soul, now turned into a Lich stared at the bloody mess that used to be a hybee. Covered in blood, with a delusional smile across his lips he said with a look of delighted murder.

<Now the party starts! Have fun you bugs, you'll feast in the Reaper's table tonight!>

he said as he started summoning wave after wave of skeletal warriors straight from Death's realm.

It was late now, the moon was taking its place in the sky to wash the island in its silver light as hict fought.

Only few remained but hict didn't look like he would last much longer either: His left arm was a bloody mess, his legs had buzzer stingers attached to them, a spear was piercing his stomach and his right eye was scarred.

<*breathing deeply* Ahh....Come you pests, you're done for....when I get to you!>

hict said as he gathered his strength for the last attack. He charged at the bugs as the last of them charged with spears and buzzers at the ready. Each hit landed on hict as he created a tornado around him and all of the bugs. They were torn apart as the venom affected hict's consciousness.

<Ha ha....with that you're all done for......Muchiha, take care of the rest...>

hict said as he fell to the shore, now filled with corpses of bugs.

*****


kor woke up with the moonlit night. He grabbed his battle gear and stared outside of the window. Many dull beast had been slain but there still were various fighting the dark clan. He saw how warriors were fighting the wolverines, parring slash after claw. Archers were striking every buzzer but they wouldn't go down from a few hits. Tenebromancers and Necromancers were blasting their way through the shields of the forest demons as undead minions attacked them in melee combat.

kor felt well rested now. He took all of his belongings and jumped off the window. He hadn't seen how far up he was so he crash landed in the ground. Some Nocturu clan members stared at him for a moment as he stood up again.

<That was quite the fall...Eh?>

kor said as he realized Noctros and the assassin division were fighting up ahead.

Noctros cornered enemies as the assassins slash trough them, cutting vital veins in their bodies as swiftly and smoothly as if dancing.

<Guess that's what they call the art of killing>

kor said as he saw how the assassins released the special of their daggers and cut trough the shields of the demons in order for Noctros to enter and strike them all down with his dark waves. kor was so entranced with the fighting style of the Nocturu assassins and their leader he didn't notice the wolverine about to stab him.

<KOR LOOKOUT!>

A voice yelled as kor realized the danger he was in. He raised his shield as the wolverine stabbed but it was swept away by a dark figure. He stood up to thank the person that had saved him when he recognized the bat wings...it was 0Neo!

<0Neo! where the heck were you?! I had to fight for you here!>
<Yeah thanks kor, I was away for a little whil->
<YOU!!!>


Noctros said as he flew across the battlefield at lightning speed and rammed 0Neo into the castle's wall, breaking it.

<You damnable cocky brat! I told you a hundred times to stay here, to be ready for the attack and what do you do? You leave for the mainland! You really did it this time!>
<Noc...tros...>
<WHAT!?!?>
<Can't...breath...>
<Like I care! You deserve to die for this! Now get there and do something good for a change!>


Noctros yelled as he threw 0Neo into the enemies. 0Neo landed on a buzzer that tried to stab him with its stinger but he flew around it and cut the stinger off. As the buzzer died, 0Neo looked at kor

<Hey kor! I'll handle the enemies here so take the remaining ones away from the castle!>
<Sure will! *thinking: Holy Lorithia I never want to anger Noctros O_O*>


kor said as he focused his energy.

<Alright, I need help to fight this guys>

kor said as he summoned beings from another time. Dinosaurs and Mechas, cavemen and androids made their way across the portal kor created.

<Alright guys, party time!>

kor yelled as his summons charged at the enemies in the surrounding forests.

kor's summons fought the dulled beasts, driving them away from Castillo Vida Negra as 0Neo and his clan fought those that remained there.

A dinosaur took a chunk of meat out of a wolverine as a mecha copter rained bullets over the ones that remained. Cavemen were bashing the brains out of buzzers as androids shot lasers towards the forest demons. Just keeping his summons here was taking all of kor's concentration and mana...he couldn't do more than walk as his summons fought around him.

Wolverines fought back at his dinosaurs, climbing on top of them and slaying their backs as others jumped over the mechas to cut their cables. The beast bellowed in pain as the mechas crashed on the ground below them. Forest demons were shooting their pulse magic blasts at the androids as buzzers killed the cavemen with their poison. kor's summons were dying around him as he was too weak to fight. Luckily few enemies remained but they outnumbered kor and he couldn't do anything due to his fatigue. He thought this was the end, his end when the wolverines around him aimed their claws at him, the last buzzer aimed its stinger and the last couple of forest demons charged their pulse magic blasts, all of them ready to kill him when a sudden black flash shone and the dulled beasts stopped, as if frozen in....time.

<Just who...........could be doing this...?...>

kor said as all of his enemies disappeared before him. In the time between a yoctosecond and an eternity the black flash of before made more attacks than what anyone could hope to count on the enemies, reducing them all to dust.

when the black flash stopped before kor, he could recognize an Oikea Hetki staring at him.

<What is one of your kind....doing here?>
<The master wishes to speak to you kor....in person>


*****


With all of the Truphma generals dead, the only threat now were the dulled dragons. The beasts proved troublesome indeed as their spike barrages had wounded various Lucians...popinloopy knew it must have been the luckiest day for his clan since no-one had died of their wounds. What few remained in battle condition were giving it their all.

Spears and light beams flew all over the hall as spikes broke havoc among large groups. Lumenomancers were casting the strongest solar flares they could create as warriors hold the dragons at bay. wyrm was among the ones fighting the beasts in melee combat. He unleashed a blast of awe at point blank of a dragon, sending it flying with a scream to another dragon.

<Saw that popin? I can also use some magic woo!>
<I can't believe you still have that attitude, despite all of our fighting>
<You really need to learn how to enjoy yourself>
<Ha, perhaps you can teach me when we're done with the-WYRM!>


popinloopy screamed as a dull dragon, taking advantage of wyrm's distraction clawed him, sending him flying towards a wall. wyrm hit the wall hard enough to crack the crystal. popinloopy rushed to his side.

<wyrm! Are you alright?>

popinloopy could feel wyrm was alive but he was unconscious. popinloopy took a moment to place a healing aura around him as, with misty eyes, glared at the dulled dragons with full hatred in his eyes.

<Unforgivable....you did it this time. YOU'RE DEAD!>

popinloopy screamed as he and the crystal surrounding him shone ever so brightly. It was magnificent to behold, the light of the very elemental plane of her majesty the lady of light shone at popinloopy's request. After blinding every single living being in the hall, the crystals surrounded popinloopy as he flew towards the dragons at full speed. popinloopy crashed against all of the dragons with the sun crystal, breaking the wall and flying out of the fortress with all of the enemies.

some dragons landed on the rock spires surrounding the Lucian clan base as others fell to their deaths. popinloopy focused all of his mana into a laser that shattered the heavens above him, passing judgment over the dragons, delivering their oblivion at the merciless light. As the dragons were nothing but ashes, popinloopy used whatever power he had left to levitate towards a nearby cleft in the mountain's side.

<A strike of luck I landed near it>

popinloopy said to himself as he entered the cleft. there was nothing inside but space enough to sit on and a strange crystal....a crystal that shone with the light of something that is neither real or a dream.

<If just this pushed me this far.....I must use this for the real war...>

popinloopy said as he grabbed the crystal and collapsed inside the cleft. A place only he knew of.

*****


Muchiha's summons had been a great help for the clan and a curse as well. He went completely berserk and insane when he became a Lich. All of the clansmen fled inside the airship as Muchiha, in his maddened state tore apart every bug he could catch as his skeletal minions devoured the souls of those they swarmed over. Muchiha's blue robes had long lost that color...he was red from head to toe and some Aerodu members wondered if Death itself was using Muchiha as its avatar.

Muchiha kept the attack on for a couple of hours until the enemy was exterminated. By then, the Lich walked over to his body and began talking.

<Come on...let me come back. What do you mean no? We always do this. Hey, I'm not insulting you I simply state the obvious. Hey that hurts! stop! Come on, give me myself back....I just gave you around a hundred souls and who-knows how many more of this dull fools died today. See? I told you...now give me myself back please. Thank you>

The Lich said as he disappeared, returning to Muchiha's body as his skeletal minions crumbled to dust. Many wondered who had been talking with Muchiha when he was a Lich seconds ago but the few that knew the answer shivered when they thought about it.

Muchiha woke up and looked around him. The huge pool of blood the hangar seemed to be now told him he had done it properly...he only hoped he hadn't killed any comrade. That's when the idea struck him.

<hict! Has he returned? hict!>

Muchiha said as a clan member shook his head, telling him hict hasn't returned yet. Muchiha searched for the personal communication device he had given to hict before and called.

<hict! Are you alright? Answer me!>
<Yeah I hear ya Muchiha>
<You're alive!>
<You had any doubts? My wounds healed after I slept for a while>
<Just where are you now?>
<Can't say...Call you later>
<hict wai->


but hict had already ended the call. He walked through the ruins of the original clan bases as he searched for what he had hidden so many years ago. He finally found the spot in the rock where he had put it in after the destruction....right in the beak of Aerodu's rock face. He pulled it out.

hict looked at the cloth with mixed feelings....wonder, anger, fear, joy and melancholy. He put the cloth away to see the gemstone shine....a beautiful gem that shone a stark grey light as a miniature tornado moved inside it. hict put the gem in the hole in the middle of his claymore's guard. As soon as the gem touched his claymore, a huge cyclone enveloped hict as he walked away.

<Xov....the war will begin in six days...and by its end you'll be at my cyclone's mercy>

hict said as he flew away from the ruins of the original clan bases.

Continuation below


I have changed the colors on this story to be in a readable color. ~Gianna Glow
Thank you Gianna, I'll procure not to use colors that are difficult to read in the future.~0Neo

< Message edited by 0Neo -- 8/7/2013 10:56:52 >


_____________________________

A man's rubbish is another's treasure~
A man's ordeal is another's pleasure~
AQ  Post #: 7
6/25/2013 2:16:28   
dragonfire1423
Member

Journals of a Soldier.

THE FOLLOWING JOURNAL ENTRIES WERE RECOVERED FROM THE DESTROYED TENT OF SERGEANT ADAM BLACKWING, 9TH REGIMENT ARTILLERY SQUAD.


Journal Entry 1:

The day's air was light, despite how troubled the other men seemed. We have only days until we find out if we are going to war... May the night be as peaceful as the day, and may the Truphma Scourge be wary of our power.

Journal Entry 2:

The Truphma attempted a raid on our camp. We were successful in fending them off, but at a greater cost. A nearby city was entirely engulfed by a Truphma camp, and we know not of the inhabitants of the city. The men were terrified, as the burning flames lit the sky with some otherworldly power. Certainly, nothing about what had happened in that city was natural. The Truphma will pay for this, whether I'm on duty to give the order or not!

Journal Entry 3:

I awoke to a startling sight.
Bodies.
Not just any bodies, but the shredded corpses of the villagers of the town that was attacked.
It took me a minute or two until I recovered from shock, but then I noticed where they were.

They were in our camp.

This meant one thing to me, "The Truphma were here."
I sounded the alarm, and I ran to my second in command, Sarah. She informed me that there were no signs of a break-in, or even of anyone fighting, but that the guards outside the perimeter were simply gone, as if whisked away.
I knew that was impossible. After all, how could trained guards simply disappear? I ordered the search of the perimeter at once, and as I did, another terrifying thought raced through my head:
"Why did the Truphma not kill us, too?"

Journal Entry 4:

With this new information in mind, I called for a regroup. I called off the search for the missing soldiers for now, and will continue to until such time that the peace of mind here is restored. For the time being, we'll take a body count of the town, and find if any are still unaccounted for.

Journal Entry 5:

We found a boy who may know about the Truphma. Well, at least he knows more about how to fight him.
He is supposedly related to my Lieutenant, though I don't know how true this is.

Journal Entry 6:

That boy... He is not human... though we have now confirmed he can be of help, as well as being related to Lieutenant Sarah.
We tried to take him to the camp quietly, to avoid attention, but he made it clear he wasn't in the mood to go willingly.

Journal Entry 7:

We have shown Salem to his post. The others and I figure that if anyone can find what left those bodies there, that monster of a child can. Sarah tries to tell me of how he is really harmless, but no one "harmless" cuts down three Truphma and a handful of soldiers without so much as leaving a sound as proof of his deed.

Journal Entry 8:

The soldiers are voicing more and more concerns about Salem. They say he is threatening them, and blackmailing them. I may not like him, and he may be a murderer, but I do not believe that he is that low.
COMING SOON





Salem, the Wandering Survivor.

The following story is not a story of heroism, nor one of bravery. This story is about survival, and nothing more.


Ch. 1: A Quiet Nap,

I remember when it first happened. The attack on the city of which I lived. No. Attack is the wrong word. It was a slaughter.
They came out of the ground, thousands of them. Truphma... I had only fought them while passing by, and their disgusting, lifeless form was revolting.
They came from the underground, when they came up, the attacks began...
The city alarm rang out, but it was too late. The Truphma were at everyone's door, and the dead were piling up every second.
They weren't attacking with any discretion. This wasn't a raid. It was an extermination.

It's been about three or so years since that day, and the surviving remnants of the town were in hiding, their fear felt for miles out into the forest.

I was napping by the ruins of an old inn when I heard it.

"COME OUT NOW, HUMAN! WE KNOW YOU'RE SOMEWHERE AROUND HERE!"

By the sounds of their voice, I had only minutes to spare. I conjured up a dagger. Small and light, it wasn't the best weapon, but it was a good as I could do under the circumstances.
I glanced around the corner. There was only one at this side.
"LAST CHANCE! COME OUT INTO THE OPEN OR WE WI-"

I took the chance I had to run out from the hole I was in, ran past the Truphma, put my hand around his mouth, and spun around.

"One down."

The others, only two more, came from around the wall at different sides.
the Truphma to my right dove down and slashed with his knife.
I took the small dagger I had and knocked his knife into the other Truphma's path.

"Two down."

I dashed towards the last one with my dagger and slashed at his waist.

"Three down."

I walked back to my makeshift bed while the bodies of the Truphma fell to the ground.

There, now I could finally go back to napping... No need to hide them, this has been a violent town since the attack.
CHAPTER END


Ch. 2: Sarah, the Devil's Advocate.

I awoke the next morning with a start.
There were no fires. The raging inferno's that lit the night like candles were doused, and they were replaced by the calm morning air.

I was truly in awe, and oblivious to the people standing behind me.

One of them walked towards me. He stretched his hand out to grab my arm, and I reacted out of instinct. The soldier, whom I now turned to see was clad in a silver armor bearing the mark "9th regiment" yelled in pain as he pulled back what used to be his arm.

"Wh-What is he!?" He yelled out.

"Arrest him. We'll take him to the camp for questioning." One of them said.

The other soldiers ran at me, lances and bows in hand. I turned to defend myself when something I still can't quite explain happened. Rays of light, small, arrow-like rays bolted from the sky and into the soldiers, an arrow for each.

I didn't care stay to find out what happened, so I took my opportunity to run. I ran through an alley that used to harbor the bar, now empty and reduced to ash, a street that used to be full of gossip and shops, now filled with fear and beggars. It was my first true look at the town in years, and I stopped in my tracks.

It ended now.

I turned to face my pursuers, who had now regrouped and given chase, and held out my hand.

"Clockwork Lullaby"

At once a huge scythe formed in my hands, made from light, and cloaked in shadows, the black and white gears of this weapon would aid me in my goal. This would be my weapon to reclaim the town I grew up in.

"Stop," a soldier yelled out, "You are under arrest for refusing to co-opera-"

I swung at the soldier, and my blade was met with another. Not only another blade, but one like mine... Though instead of turning gears, the top of the Scythe was decorated with a large black and white Butterfly ornament.
I jumped back to see my new enemy, and to my astonishment, there was someone whom I presumed was dead.

"Long time no see, huh Brother?"

It was my sister, who was taken from the village when it was first attacked. I thought she was dead, and had lived as if she was.

"Sarah!" I yelled out, "Where have you been all this time?"

Another soldier ran towards me, and he was cut down without a second glance.

"I've no idea what you mean~" She called out coyly, "I've been here, working as a soldier!"

"But... But..." I stammered.

She suddenly grew a much more serious look. One I had never seen from the coy, cherry girl I had seen mere moments before.

"Yeah, I know, you thought I was dead." She said solemnly, "I was saved by this very platoon, and have been trying to pay them back for it..."

Her face once again brightened up.

"So now you see why I can't exactly let you slaughter them all, huh?~"

I waited a second, looked at her candid, smiling face, and said:

*sigh* "Sister or no, I can't back down from a fight. If you all will walk away, I will too, but I can't say the same if you make me go first, and I'm sure as hell not going to whatever camp you all are talking about."

She sighed, gained her solemn face, and quietly said:

"I see... Well, I guess we have to do it the hard way..."

With that, she bolted towards me, leaving a trail of dust in her wake.
She slashed at me, and I blocked it, only a few inches from my waist. I knew she wasn't going to kill me, but I couldn't risk whatever she would do.

She jumped back, and I slashed at her, she jumped just before the scythe blade met her legs.

"Innocence and Guilt." I whispered to myself.

Instantly, two shadowy revolvers, one black, and one white, appeared in my hands. They were just for show, as I can "shoot" shadows without them, but they still served their purpose.

I jumped backwards a few meters, and I shot at her arms. We were siblings, so we had no intention of killing each other, but we were still enemies at the time.

She blocked the shadows with her scythe. By the look of things, she only had that scythe as her weapon, or she would've returned the favor.

"Aww~ No fair!" She called out.

I could tell she was having a bit of fun with this, and to be honest, so was I.

One of the soldiers behind her shot an arrow at me. I fired a round at him, and the shadowy black "bullet" ripped through the arrow and into his chest.

"Could you kindly tell your friends to stay out of this one?" I asked Sarah sarcastically.

"Sorry, their just doing their jobs." She shrugged, still wearing the smirking face that would have one think she was insane.

"Conviction" I whispered to myself.

A new weapon, this time a Rapier with a white handle, and a black blade appeared.

My sister charged at me once again, and I was ready.

"Law of the Gods" My mind uttered to itself.

My rapier went to work without effort, I could control my weapons almost like a second nature.

I twirled the rapier to the side, deflecting Sarah's scythe.

"One hit"

In a flurry of slashes, I managed to hit any limb used to attack

"Two hits"

In the final strike, I purposefully aimed above her head. I wouldn't want her dieing. After all, I haven't seen her in years!

"Three hits"

My sister fell to the ground, unconscious. Not dead, but not awake. She wasn't injured much at all, just in shock. She could deal with whatever happened without much distress, she was a soldier after all. That's always how she was before and, judging by her skill with a weapon, still is.
As she fell her scythe dissipated. It seemed that the powers I was born with run in the family.

"Ahh, what a predicament..." I said, "We should really get her back to that camp."

I picked her up over my shoulder and walked towards the other soldiers. They seemed terrified at seeing how we fought, so I tried to calm them down a bit.

"Oh shut up you all, I'm trying to help one of your soldiers. Now can we please go to this god-forsaken camp of yours!?"

... No one ever said I was nice to people I didn't like...
CHAPTER END


Ch. 3: The War Camp.


It had been a week since I found my sister, and she seems to have stayed largely the same... That's not good for me, by the way...

The air was cold, even though it was sunny. It was one of those days that just makes you a bit sleepy, no matter how rested you are. Even as such, the soldiers were hard at work, and my sister was among them. I had agreed to stand night watch, with the warning the they aren't responsible for me.
I was curious, so I finally asked Sarah:
"So tell me again. Why would you, trained soldiers, POSSIBLY need me, someone who was napping, to guard you?"

She probably took a bit of offense to that.
"I already told you, Idiot." She said, venomously.

She hadn't told me, but she was clearly upset, so that was good enough for me. I just saw her again, and didn't feel like dying, so I decided to leave her alone. She had always been headstrong, and willing to charge into anything. She wasn't the type of person to scout ahead, but rather would do things without preparing, as it was: "More fun that way!".

I was awaiting the night, when I could freely walk around. I sat upon a hillside and lazily looked at the clouds.
A few hours later a guard came up to me, with a knife in his hand.

"Y-Y-You," he squeaked out, shaking as if he was freezing to death.

I sat upright, still not bothering to stand up.
"Hm? What 'cha want~?" I replied, as nicely as I could manage, after almost being killed by his platoon.

"Oh don't mind him," a woman, dressed in a medical uniform, said, "He's just in shock."

She took the knife away from the man, and led him back to the tent. I followed and talked, still looking at the sky.

"From what?" I asked. None of my questions were being answered, so I was determined to learn SOMETHING from this place.

"They didn't tell you?" The nurse asked, in a hushed voice.

"No, did something bad happen to him? Did I accidentally shoot him or something?" I had been practicing my fighting during the week, mainly my marksmanship.

"No." She said, her voice now quivering, "A few days ago we woke up to find bodies from the city littered around the camp. The guards were reported missing as well, and nothing was found of them."

She looked traumatized simply talking about it, so I could tell that she wasn't bluffing.

"Wait," I said, having thought of something, "You're a DOCTOR. Why would something like this be so bad to see?"

"Well. When I say body, I'm not too sure. When we found them, the ones around the tents of the doctors and the Sergent were barely recognizable as human."

With this, her eyes widened, and she looked sick. She started quivering similar to the man she was guiding to the tent.

"Hmm... Did they ever see what left them there?" I asked, oblivious to her sense of discomfort, as I was still looking up at the sky.

"N-N-No... They never found it... No noise was made, not even by the missing guards, though we think it's the Truphma..."

After saying this, she walked away before I could ask her anything else. It seemed like whatever has plagued this camp, it may have gotten into their minds, not just their tents.
CHAPTER END


Ch. 4 The Ghosts of your past.

That night I went to my post. The front of the camp was where I made my so-called "stand". Well, it was more like a light nap...

It started when I was napping. A sound. Not just any, but the sound of whirring machines.

"Hm... Spooky..." I said to myself, not opening my eyes, as I was still slightly asleep.

Despite my lack of caring, the noise was persistent, as if it desperately wanted me to look. Despite all of this, I still was beyond caring.

Finally, the noise had enough of me, and lashed out. I could feel it in the air, as some type of weapon pierced the earth only inches from head, and cut through the ground like a knife into butter.

""What a twist of fate that we should meet here again... Wouldn't you say... Old Friend?" A solemn voice said, hovering by my head.

With this rather annoying turn of events, I cracked a wide smile, though I still kept my eyes closed for effect.
"Oh? And who, may I ask, has the GALL to wake me up from my nap~?" I said, in the most sarcastically venomous voice I could muster.

"Have you really forgotten me already?" the voice said, slightly sad.

I was more curious than anything, so I opened my eyes wide, still keeping my smile, though it was now a slight grin. As I looked up, a figure floated up, and situated itself in front of the moon. I looked more closely at... Him... And I saw who I recognize to be an "Old Friend" of mine, Animus.

Animus was always a strange one. He was at one time a companion of mine, but he was crushed by a burning building when an assassination contract went bad. Now, he was a Ghost, with a wispy tail for legs, and a torso wrapped in bandages. He was wearing a deep blue cloak, just as he did the last time I saw him, and the left side of his face was obstructed my a smiling violet Jester's mask, with eyes like crescents, and a smile that would unnerve most sane people. I, however, am far from sane.

"Ah~ I'm glad to see you've arrived... Sad to see you're not on my side... Sad, but fortunate all the same..." I said to Anima, with a slightly cheery tone.

"You've been branded an enemy, Salem, and therefor must die... So yes, I'd say it's a bit sad." The visible, right side of his face was a solemn frown, which contrasted with the gleeful jester's mask.

Without another word, he flew at me.

"Clockwork Lullaby."

At once my black and white scythe appeared in my hands, and I swiped at the incoming Anima.

"Consciousness."

I heard a clash of weapons, and, faster than even I could see, a purple blade, with runes reading "ゴースト" down the blade appeared in his hand.

"It seems that you've underestimated me." Anima said, still carrying his annoying monotone.

"No, it's just that you were grieved for, and then you were forgotten, as the dead should be. Tell me, why did you join the Truphma, anyways?"

"I joined them because they found me. You had forgotten me. I no longer existed to you."

His visible eye widened, and he suddenly broke from the lock of blades, then jumped backwards. As he flew, legs appeared from beneath his cloak, tying him to the ground. We were now on equal footing, and could fight normally.

I charged at him, and my arm was met with a blade. The fabric of my cloak tore with the cut I had received.

"What?" I gasped. I was certain that a sword hadn't been there before.

As I kept swinging, I saw what had happened. I was right AND wrong. the sword hadn't been there before, but he had the ability to conjure swords at will, and dissipate them when he needed to. He would block my scythe, and "un-make" the sword he had used. This freed his hand to use another sword, while still being able to block my attacks.

"Hmm..." I thought, "Clockwork Judgement."

My scythe went to work, slashing faster than the eye could see. It went fast enough to the point that it left a grey trail through the air as it swept. He wouldn't be so easy though, as he simply countered with his own speed. The speed of a Ghost.

"Dance of the Scarecrow."

He started summoning two blades at once, and moved as fast as I did. He started swinging his blades with his arms outstretched, his body slumped over like a scarecrow. He moved gracefully, but without moving his arms directly, as if to let gravity strike for him.

As we had both noticed that we weren't getting anywhere, so we locked blades and jumped back.

"Innocence and Guilt!"
"Will of the Wisp!"

As my black and white revolvers appeared in my hands, tattoos I couldn't read streaked across his arms.

I shot at him with my black and white "bullets", and he returned fire by waving his hand and "Throwing" blue and violet orbs at me. It was a flurry of purple, blue, black, and white that could be mistaken for fireworks, had they been in the sky.

"Judgement of Heaven and Hell!"
I fired a series of shots into the air, and they landed in the ground, first pummeling the earth like cannonballs, then erupting in pillars of volatile light like miniature volcanoes. The bullets never hit Anima, as I knew they wouldn't, but the eruptions caught him off guard, and he was nearly scorched to a crisp by the light.

He now looked angered, and I knew I had caught his attention now.

"Doll's Malevolence!"

Instantaneously several violet orbs bolted from his hand and towards me. I tried to dodge, but they followed my movements, and flew into me like a pack of wolves. The moment they touched my clothing, they exploded in a shower of blue and purple, and I was sent flying into a tent. How unlucky both me and Anima should be that it was Sarah's tent.

Now, if there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I hate being woken from a nap. If there's one thing you should know about Sarah, it's that she hates it even more...

"BUTTERFLY OF DREAMS~!"

As I climbed out of the broken tent, I saw my sister standing there in her pajamas, holding her scythe, with the most livid expression I'd seen on another human being, other than my own. It was nothing more than a furled eyebrow, but it was so terrifying that even the fireflies were scared off.

"You..." she pointed her scythe at me, "Who woke me up?"

"Um... Uh..." I stammered, barely able to speak.

"I did." Anima said, oblivious to the woman that was standing directly in front of him.

"Who's he?" She asked, with a murderous smile on her face.

"Er, this is the guy who dumped the bodies on your camp!" I said, nervously. I was hoping that she would go back to bed, but that wasn't very likely, all things considered.

"Come down here~." She said, still housing her maniacal grin.

"Oh? Why should I?" Anima said. If I hadn't known that he'd never met Sarah, I would've thought he was stupid to taunt someone like her.

"Because, I feel like killing you..."

I sighed lightly. "Just sit back sis, I can handle this one."

"Hmph. Fine." She said, irritated that she'd woken up for nothing. "Just make sure you don't go flying through my bedroom again, or I'll kill you too.

With that, her scythe dissipated, and she calmly walked back to bed. she apparently didn't mind that it was destroyed, since she simply propped the tent back up and laid down.

"Now shall we continue?" I asked Anima, as he was looking quite confused.

With that, he sped towards me. Hours went on, and we kept fighting. Blow for vicious blow. Eventually, we we're both nearing our breaking point.

"You... You know we're both nearly dead..." Anima said, panting.

"Heh...Heheh... You said 'nearly' dead..." I responded, noting that he was already dead.

Despite my joking, I knew he was right. We we're both at our maximum. It was time to unleash my Last Word.

I straightened up, and so did he.
"Ready to end this?" I asked, still reluctant to use "It"...

"Sure." He said. "I assume you're going to go all out now?"

"Heheh, yep!"

"Then let's start! GHOST OF THE NIGHT!"
With that, he flew back into the air, his legs back to their wispy forms.

"MONOCHROME DEVIL!"

A black tuxedo covered my body, and a black angel wing, along with a white demon wing, sprouted from my back.

"Ah~ Well I do have to say, it's been nostalgic to see you again!" I said cheerfully, now that I was calmer.

I flapped my wings of light and shadow, and flew into the air with the force of a hurricane.

We flew at each other again, locking blades and temporarily falling though the sky, only to back off in order to avoid hitting the ground.

We bolted towards one another again, swinging our weapons in an attempt not to injure, but to kill. He swung, I parried. I swung, he parried.

We continued this for a few minutes, then decided it was time for our final encounter to come to a close. It was time, for our play to close curtain.

We flew at each-other with the force of the planets themselves. Though silent, the very air for miles warped with our motion.

In a flash of light, we ran through each other. After a second of waiting for time itself to catch up...

... His body instantaneously acquired a huge slash. A cleaving line through his very being. He chuckled, as his body split into two misty halves.

"Ah, you win again. Salem, the Monochrome devil, has defeated death itself, and carved a hole through time and space in doing so... Goodbye, Old Friend..."

With that, he vanished, not dead, and not alive. He simply ceased to exist.

Though I wasn't fine, either. He had left an "X" along my torso, and split my wings as well. As I fell through the air, slowly losing consciousness, I heard someone yell out.

"Salem!"
CHAPTER END



< Message edited by dragonfire1423 -- 7/23/2013 3:58:40 >


_____________________________

"And remember: RealityIsAnIllusionTheUniverseIsAHologramBuyGold- BYEEEE!"
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 8
6/25/2013 17:13:43   
hict98
Member

Characters:
Igneus
CH4OT1C: CH4OT1C
ss2195: Seth
Nautica
dragonfire1423: Salem
Aerodu
Me: Hict
Muchiha: Muchiha
Mythicsword: Mythic
Battlemaster: Battlemaster
Glacius
Tommy2468: Hikari Yume
Geoto
Oliver Bell: Oliver Bell
Nightie: Earl
Lucian
Popinloopy: Popinloopy
Flashbang: Wyrm
Nocturu
0Neo: 0Neo
None
Kors: Kor


Chapter 1: The Beginning of It All

Scene: Deep under the castle of Geoto clan lies the emergency bunker. Here generals from all clans come to meet and plan for the Trumpha attack.

Hict: Really is this all the people that are here. We all received the same letter right? How could the others be this late?! You know what, forget it. I guess we can start the meeting early now.

Hict then slams his gabble to signify the beginning of the meeting.

Hict: So let’s start with Geoto. Oliver what do you suggest we do?

Oliver: Well I always believed that to have a good offense you need a good defense. We need to first protect all the clans, the-

Suddenly an explosion shakes the entire underground complex.

Popinloopy: What was that?

Another explosion happens causing some stalagmites to fall from the ceiling.

Hict: This is why I hate caves. Does anyone know what’s going on up there?

Kor: I’m sure it is just a training exercise that the members of Geoto are doing up there right? Oliver please tell me that’s what’s happening.

Oliver: I’m not so sure

Then a blast comes from the ceiling and from the dust cloud hundreds of trumpha come pouring out of the newly created hole in the ceiling.

0Neo: Oh good I was starting to get bored here.

As soon as the trumpha came pouring in a smile crawled across everyone’s face. Popinloopy grabbed his Geist Blade and slashed it through three trumpha, instantly killing them. Kor then freezes time momentarily and defeats eight trumpha in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

Hict: Kor I thought I told you to stop doing that to me. I really hate being frozen like that.

Then Hict grabbed his Blade of the Immortals and began hashing and slashing away. Activating his Sword Master Emblem, empowering him even more, then slaying another dozen Trumpha. Desperately one Trumpha paints himself and then jumps torwards Hict. He manages to get out of the way and just afterwards the Trumpha exploded.

Kor: Well that’s new.

0Neo turned into just a shadow that would go from trumpha to trumpha, envelope them, then leave their battered remains. One after another they all fell to the power of the famous Nocturu assassin. Oliver slashed away one at another, until he came face to face with a general. It was an even match, with every attack there was a parry. Until finally Oliver came to find an opening and he took it, defeating the general. CH4OT1C was a monster on the battlefield defeating the last of the trumpha, incinerating each and every one that he saw. One fired an arrow at him and he dodged. A scream was heard in the background. Finally all the Trumpha were slain, except for one who was crawling away. 0Neo raises his sword to defeat him.

Hict: Wait! Don’t kill him. I want a prisoner.

CH4OT1C: I think I heard someone scream. Is everyone okay?

Oliver: No.

0Neo: Oliver what happened to you?

Oliver: Someone shot an arrow and it hit me in the back.

Popinloopy: Quick guys let’s try to heal him.

Popinloopy then rushes over to his side with Hict.

Hict: Okay I’m going to take the arrow out on 3 and when I do that I want you to cast Heal Mortal Wounds on him. Got it?

Popinloopy: Yeah I got it.

Hict: Okay. One. Two. THREE!

Oliver: AAAAHHHHHH!!!

Hict: It’s alright. You’re okay now. Everyone we have to get out of here before this whole place collapses.

As more of the ceiling starts to crumble away they all head for the exit. Oliver drinks a potion to help him heal, then catches up with everyone else.

Hict: Wait! The prisoner.

He then goes back and grabs the prisoner by his leg.

Hict: Okay let’s go

As they are all almost out, the cave that leads out collapses. Everyone rushes out of the cave.

0Neo: Did everyone make it out okay?

Popinloopy: Well let’s see. Me, check. Kor, check. 0Neo, check. Hict, check. CH4OT1C, check. Wait, where is Oliver.

Hict: Oliver? Oliver where are you?!

Hict looks around frantically and then runs in the cave.

Hict: OLIVER!! NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!! I will avenge you my friend. They will pay for this.

Hict walks out of the cave, holding Oliver’s body in his arms. He signals to everyone to gather around him. Then he stands on the back of the Trumpha as if it were a pedestal.

Hict: So first we take care of him, then we war.

Chapter 2: The Conspiracy


It has been six days since the funeral of Oliver and everyone was still in mourning. However, as soldiers they all knew their responsibilities and knew what would happen to the fellow soldiers they would go into arms with. The emptiness after a death was something known all too well by all Paxians.

Scene: Interrogation Room on Aerodu Airship 3

Hict: Well you’ve held out long enough. Giving us pointless information about your precious queen “cleansing” us. You think you are so smart just because you can stall. Little did you know that we expected this from some brainwashed foot soldier so instead of trying to get information out of you, we decided to use you as a science experiment.

The trumpha looks up in interest, then back down disgusted that he could even be caught by some one who he thought of to be such lowly scum.

Hict: I see I got your interest there, didn’t I? I might as well tell you since this might be your last day alive if this doesn’t work. We used you DNA and what we know about you dulling process to come up with a cure for dulling.

Trumpha: Hahahaha. You think you are the first to find a so called “cure”. Eight out of thirteen of the worlds I have been to have found this cure you talk of. No all are just war camps waiting for us to call for reinforcements to attack your precious Paxia and to…

Hict: Oh no don’t mind me. Go on and tell me. Here let me help you, and to… What?

The Trumpha goes back down to his previous content self, looking down at his own two fidgeting hands to just pass time until he can think of what to do. Hict sighs leaving the room.

Trumpha: Wait.

Hict: What? Do you feel like talking now?

The Trumpha then spits in the direction towards Hict.
Hict: Why you ungrateful little-

The intercom suddenly comes on. The voice of a member of Aerodu member came over, saving the Trumpha from what would be an untimely event.

???: HICT! Haven’t we talked about killing the test subjects?

Hict: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, Muchiha I got it.

Hict then turns towards the trumpha, thoroughly looking at every cut, gash, and bruise laid upon him for the past 9 days since they first met.

Hict: Now don’t you worry my little pet. I’ll be back for you.

Hict then walks out of the interrogation room down a long corridor. Then makes a series of turns and goes through several more corridors that could only be navigated by someone who knew the airship by heart. Finally, Hict walks up to a door, gets a Hazmat suit hanging next to it, and walks through the door littered with caution signs.

Hict: Hello Mythic. So I heard you have something for me to give to our special guest.

Then Muchiha comes in and greets the two. He then stares at the shot and nearly begins to drool.

Mythic: Yes, Hict that’s right. Here we have a nice dose of Oxypletsamine and Ferrous Nigtate.

Muchiha: In English please.

Mythic: It’s lethal creativity.

Muchiha: That’s much better. I think I’ll take that. You know Hict you really missed out when you picked to do an old fashioned interrogation. I’m telling you that this is way more fun.

Both then leave and go through the maze of corridors once again. This time when they return, the two switch places, with Muchiha going to the interrogation room and Hict watching through a live video feed.

Muchiha: So you’ve been told about what this is I’m assuming, right? Oh of course you have. Well I’m just going to inject this into you and see what happens.

Muchiha then began coming torwards the trumpha and as soon as he sees him start to squirm in his chair. Muchiha then gives the trumpha a swift roundhouse kick to the head, instantly knocking out the prisoner.

Muchiha: I don’t want you moving to much. You might knock your medicine out of my hand and none of us would want that to happen know would we.

Muchiha then begins to inject the Cure into the unconscious body of the Trumpha. Immediately afterwards color begins to show in the Trumpha’s super snazzy suit. Then in an almost unbelievable way color and something else that can only be explained as pure creativity filled the room.

Hict: MUCHIHA GET OUT OF THERE!!!!

Just as Muchiha left the room the Trumpha began screaming like a banshee. Suddenly the entire room was filled with a white light as bright as the center of a sunray. Once again pure color fills the room swirling in a whirlpool like motion. Finally, it all ended. Hict and Muchiha tried to see what was happening through the cameras, but unfortunately the cameras were all destroyed by the chaotic creativity.

Hict: Well shall we go inside?

They both head cautiously inside the interrogation room to surprisingly find a man in Ultragaurdian armor. For some reason this man had a nametag that read Battlemaster. The strangest part however was that random parts of him would change into different colors. His hair would go from yellow to orange then to blue, while at the same time one of the spikes would change from green to brown and then purple with red dots. Battlemaster then begins to go into a convulsion.

Battlemaster: dofspupg. It’s a distraction. Oapghpueou

Then another blast of light fills the room and then leaves as quickly as it came. In the place of the once convulsing Battlemaster is once again the beaten trumpha that Hict had worked so long to get information now. Only one thing was different. He wasn’t breathing.

Hict: We need a doctor here ASAP.

Mythic rushes down the hallway as soon as she heard a need for help.

Mythic: What happened?!?

Muchiha: Well we injected him then-

Mythic: Okay I got it. Quick help me take him to the emergency ward.

As the three of them rush the Trumpha to the emergency ward, Hict and Muchiha can’t help but think about what the Trumpha said before transforming back into his dull version.

Scene: A meeting between all the clan leaders and their top generals at the Lucian Castle.

Geoto: Everyone quiet! I SAID QUIET!

A hush finally falls over the hall.

Geoto: Thank you. Now Aerodu you are the one who called this meeting. I’m assuming that there is something important that you wish to share with us.

Aerodu: Well yes, but I believe it will be better if I have the ones who were present explain the events as I have had them tell me multiple times and still am confused and in shock.

Hict: Thank you leader. Well I and Muchiha have two things to say actually. As all of you know already, we at Aerodu are trying to create a cure for the dulling process of the Trumpha. Well recently we came extremely close and even managed to temporarily revert a Trumpha prisoner back to what he originally was.
Upon hearing this news everyone in the meeting hall begin to clap then the entire hall goes into a random chat. Congratulations to clan members of Aerodu and especially to Mythic went to questions about what other clans are doing then somehow to the more recent Necromancer vs Paladin war.

Lucian: Order! Order! Everyone I am feeling a little hoarse now please don’t make me yell. *sigh* I DEMAND ORDER!

Once again a hush falls over the meeting hall.

Muchiha: *cough*Zealot*cough* Now the other piece of news we have is about what happened when the Trumpha was temporarily cured. He said and I quote, “It’s a distraction.” Now what this means we don’t know, but we have come to believe that this whole war, along with the letter and all was meant to get our attention torwards Paxia while Xov did something else.

Wyrm: Well what are we supposed to do with that information?

0Neo: Isn’t it obvious? We are going to have to put portions of our armies in the most important positions all around Lore while we protect Paxia. It is the only way.

Wyrm: Are you crazy? If we divide our forces like that then we won’t be able to properly protect Paxia.

0Neo: And if we don’t then we can lose something much more important.

Popinloopy: How can you think there is anything more important Paxia right now?

Noctros: Now is not the time for arguing. Instead let’s try to focus on what we achieved to today and expand on that. Mythic you said what you created temporarily cured the Trumpha then when he was changed back, he was put in a coma. I think you should mass produce that so we can infuse it with our weapons to help with our fight against the Trumpha. Also send us the recipe to make the cure when you get back to the Airship so we all can make it.

Mythic: Noctos is right. Let’s focus on what we got for now.

Mythic then leaves the castle, leaving all the defenders of Paxia there to discuss the events that occurred earlier. As she wanders through the night, noises come from all around her.

Mythic: What was that? Oh I’m sure it was nothing. I need to stop being paranoid.

Suddenly fifty trumpha appeared out of the trees, surrounding Mythic. They all paint themselves and run torwards Mythic.

Mythic: I should have told someone else the recipe for the cure.

Chapter 3 To the Edge and Back


So there Mythic stood surrounded by Truphma and as she realized that she would finally get a chance at some action. A smile came across her face while she said to herself,
Mythic: Thank Lorithia I can get a chance to really do some actual fighting. It is so much better than just doing training exercises or being in that stuffy lab.

She decided to use her KuBrush just for the irony of painting Truphma. Then, Mythic wacked each Truphma as quickly as she could, knocking each one out as she came by. The Truphma couldn’t even touch her. She Finally, she had defeated them all.

Mythic: This is just way too easy. They must have sent the weak ones, thinking that they would catch some poor sap walking through the woods. Well time to get back to the ship to start mass creating the Truphma poison.

She continued on her way to get to the Aerodu airship to get back to her work. When she finally got their she was greeted by a most horrendous surprise. It was the Truphma that had been captured by the clan generals. Except he was free and something was different about him. He was much Much bigger. Mythic pulled out the last vial of the incomplete antidote.

Mythic: It might kill him, but I can’t risk not using it. If he continues like this then he will destroy the entire ship along with my lab and all my notes. Then we will lose it completely.

She then pulled off her Aerodu bow off her back and coated three arrows in poison.

Mythic: Well I only have on shot at this. Hehe I made a pun.

Then she let the bow string go and the arrows soared towards their target. As the three arrows landed in the Truphma’s chest, the truphma at first cringed. It quickly recovered and began continuing the destruction it was reigning on the airship. Suddenly the transformation began. Colors began to flow all over the Truphma, swirling and spinning on him. Once again everything in the immediate region was covered by color and pure creativity. The Truphma began to scream as loud as it could. Then the sphere of color and creativity turned into a bright white light. Then turned into color once again, swirling in a spiral. Finally, the sphere of color collapsed on itself revealing the adventurer Battlemaster. This time however he wasn’t injured. Mythic then flew up to Battlemaster using wind magic every member of Aerodu was been taught.

Mythic: (looking at him curiously) You’re okay.

Battlemaster: Um yeah. What did you expect? And who are you? (He then looks around) And what happened here?

Mythic: Well I’m Mythic. Head scientist of Aerodu and during clan wars, I’m also head general of defense of Aerodu ship 3. What happened here was… Well it was you. Who are you?

Battlemaster: Ah a fellow Aerodian. It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Battlemaster, general of the 5th battalion of the Aerodu attack force. What do you mean this was me?

Mythic: It’s a long story. Here let’s get inside the ship and I’ll explain it to you.

Mythic then explains to Battlemaster everything that happened. As she tells him that he was a trumpha, he asks her what the trumpha even are. Surprised at first she realizes that his memory must have been erased when he was a Trumpha, so she explains everything about the trumpha and their queen Xov who is the exact opposite of Vox. Battlemaster then asks who Vox is. Mythic realizes it would be better to ask what he last remembered happening in Lore and he tells her that the last thing he remembers is the clan bases being attacked by some strange monster.

Mythic: You mean the ruins.

Battlemaster: Um sure I guess. I remember Geoto, Nautica, and Aerodu being attacked and that’s it.

Mythic: Well in that case I have a lot to fill you in on.

3 hours go by as Mythic tells Battlemaster the history of Lore. By the time she is finished, Hict and Muchiha have finally come back from the clan members meeting.

Hict: Ugh 12 hours of planning and we have to go back tomorrow. This is torture. I wish the Truphma would just attack already so that we could start the fun part.

Muchiha: You know for an Immortal you sure do have a short attention span. I would think that with all those years you would be so much more wise.

Hict: All I hear is blah blah blah nag nag why aren’t you more mature. People just stop assuming stuff about me because no matter what they will be wrong. They may be right about one of my personalities, but my other 6 will prove them wrong. I just can’t- Battlemaster?!?

Battlemaster: Hey Hict.

Hict: Battlemaster! What are you doing here? I thought you died years ago when the original clan bases were destroyed.

Battlemaster: Well I’m not sure. Apparently I used to be a truphma and I don’t really remember much. The last thing that I remember on my own was some random beast attacking all three of the clan bases and then… It’s all blank.

Hict: Well I’m just glad that you’re back. Do you know where Mythic is? Or even who she is?

Battlemaster: Oh yeah she is right this way.

The three of them then go to the laboratory where Mythic is. On the way Hict and Battlemaster reminisce about the “good ‘ole days”

Hict: Ah Mythic, there you are. Have you gotten the poison ready for us to use?

Mythic: I have enough for about 50 soldiers right here. Does that seem like enough?

Hict: That’s perfect.

Muchiha: Ehm Hict, aren’t you forgetting something.

Hict: I was getting to it. Anyways Mythic, you’ve been promoted! You are now a lead general over all the Aerodu forces.

Mythic: Really! Oh I have been waiting for this for so long thank you I won’t let you down.

Hict: Don’t thank me, thank Aerodu. It was his idea. Now that you are promoted, that means you get to come to the war mission meeting we are having tomorrow. Oh and Battlemaster last I remember, you were a general too right?

Battlemaster: Yeah that’s right.

Hict: Well I guess you are coming too.

Muchiha: Hict don’t you think four generals is a little too much for the mission we have tomorrow. I mean stealth is going to be a big part of it. Don’t you think if we bring too many people that the other generals will get upset?

Hict: Nonsense. We need these two. Mythic is an expert with the poison coating we are using and Battlemaster know our enemy personally. Anyways who cares if they get upset, they’ll get over it.

Muchiha: Okay whatever you say. Let’s get some rest guys. We have a big day planned ahead for us tomorrow.
Chapter 4: Precision Planning


*It is early in the morning at Aerodu Warship III. The three head generals of Aerodu gathered together before the war meeting they were to have that day, waiting for Muchiha to come out of his room.*

Mythic: Good morning everyone.

Hict: There is no such thing as a “Good” morning.

Battlemaster: Ha. You never were much of a morning person were you Hict.

Hict takes a sip of the coffee in his coffee cup and glares at Battlemaster.

Hict: The only time that I would ever be considered a morning person before my coffee kicks in would be if I finally get rid of this accursed immortality.

Muchiha finally emerges from his room dressed and ready for the meeting just before Hict finishes.

Muchiha: Well you’re just a bucket of joy aren’t you. Come on now everyone let’s go to the hangar now. Aerodu told me that he would have a surprise for us there.

They all then proceeded to leave the living area and went towards the hangar. As they entered, squawking could be heard in the hanger.

Mythic: Ah what is that noise. It’s hurting my ears.

Aerodu then comes out from behind some cargo crates.

Aerodu: Oh I’m so sorry that the song of my people is hurting you. Maybe I should talk with all my family members about changing our ancient songs. Oh wait they’re all dead!!!

Mythic: No that’s not what I meant at all. I’m so sorry for offending you. Please continue.

Hict: Mythic he is just messing with you. That wasn’t a song, it was a scream of pain. My question is why were you screaming leader?

Aerodu: It was for your surprise. Follow me.

Aerodu then goes back behind the cargo crates and the four generals follow them. They then see four giant eggs covered in some strange green liquid. The four eggs each had a name of one of the generals. At the sight of these eggs, the generals all seemed to groan in disgust at the same time.

Muchiha: What is that?!?!

Aerodu: This is my gift to you.

Muchiha: Eggs?

Aerodu: Not just any eggs. These are my eggs. With these I can grant you the power of flight without using your energy.

Hict: Hey I heard about this, but I thought you stopped doing that a long time ago.

Aerodu: I did because people were abusing the power and fighting with the creatures of the sky. After that I took away the power from everyone I had given it to. Now I believe I have chosen some truly worthy of having this gift.

Battlemaster: Well we thank you for this wonderful gift. So how do we exactly get powers from these eggs?

Aerodu: Well you have to drink the egg whites.

Hict:What!?!

Aerodu: You heard me. Here are some straws in case you want it. It might help.

The four generals hesitate, but then go towards the eggs. Each one goes to their individual egg, cracks the top open, and finally stuck the straw in to drink the inside of it. As they drink, a strong wind blows throughout the entire hangar and when they finish all four are then surrounded by a swirling white light. Once the light fades, the four generals have wings. Hict then begins to flap his wings.

Hict: Wow this is awesome. Are we going to have these at all times? Like when we are in battle I’m not sure if I would always want to have my wings. Also when are we going to learn to use these and fly?

Aerodu: Well to make them disappear you just have to will them away and when you want to summon them just will them to come back. Now follow me, I’m going to teach you to fly.

The four generals follow their leader to the edge of the hangar. All four of them look over the edge and see the beautiful scenery of Paxia. The rolling hills and wonderful forests, the majestic look of Lucian’s shining castle, the mountain ranges around the Igneus volcano, and finally the sparkling snow and ice around Glaciar reflecting the sunlight. As the generals took in the sight of Paxia, Aerodu put his wings around the generals. He then pushed them out of the airship.

Aerodu: Fly my children. Fly. Don’t forget to flap your wings.

Muchiha, Mystic, Hict, and Battlemaster: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Hict: Guys I think I got it figured out. I finally understand that song spread your wings and fly. Oh and I got this flying thing down just spread your wings and stabilize yourself. If you feel like your falling just flap them.

Battlemaster: Well this is actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Mythic: Alright guys let’s get going to Igneus for the war meeting.

The four generals then fly over to the volcano. Once they get there, a man in a robot armor with a flaming katana was waiting at the entrance. As he saw them, he at first squinted and then raised his sword.

Hict: SETH. HEY SETH IT’S HICT.

Seth then begins to lower his sword as his friend and fellow swordmaster comes into sight.

Seth: Well it’s about time you guys got here. Nice wings by the way. And who is this.

Hict: Oh this is Battlemaster. I’ll explain more inside.

Seth: Okay. Right this way then.

The four generals begin to follow Seth inside the volcano. Hict retracts his wings as he enters the base of Igneus. All five of them walk through a cavern that was carved out by magma. There was still magma flowing out of the walls and falling into little rivers of magma on the side of the cavern. After walking down the cavern for a few minutes they reach the obsidian interior of the base. The group then takes another turn down a hallway and appears in a room with a round table at the center. Lining the walls were statues of great warriors who were once a part of the Igneus clan. Sitting at the table were generals from almost every clan. Seth went to sit down with CH4OT1C to represent Igneus, Salem from Nautica, Popinloopy and Wyrm from Lucian, 0Neo from Nocturu, and Kor. Battlemaster, Hict, Muchiha, and Mystic went to sit down.

CH4OT1C: Okay guys now that we are all here let’s get this started. First, let me brief you on the new information we have received. Apparently the Truphma are all gathering at a camp south of Paxia. Our scouts say that they are planning to gather an army there that is twice the size of all the clans combined. Also as we speak they are getting larger and larger. We plan on trying to take them out before they become too big to handle.

The clan members then begin to discuss a plan of how they are going to defeat. Several times they would get distracted by ancient clan rivalries, whose spells or weapons are stronger contests, and just plain arguments about whether SuperLorian was stronger or weaker than Gokar. They would always get back on topic though. Finally, after 4 hours of debating and planning, the ten generals finally decided on how to attack the truphma.

Hict: So we are all agreed then? Let’s just go over the entire plan once again all together now. First, we will be divided into three teams. The first team will be led by me and consist of CH4OT1C, Wyrm and Salem. The second team will be led by Seth and have Kor, Mystic, and Popinloopy. The final team and most important one will be led by 0Neo and consist of Muchiha and Battlemaster. Team 1 will be attacking the camp from the east side while Team 2 attacks them on the west side. While we will be distracting the truphma, team 3 will set a bomb in the center of the camp and start the timer. They will be hidden by wind magic that will reflect the light around them to make you all invisible. While you guys are setting up the bomb it will most likely make some noise so you guys should probably get some stealth tips from 0Neo. After the timer starts we will have exactly ten minutes to get the hell out of that camp.

Kor: Sounds good to me.

0Neo: Yeah same here.

The rest of the group nod in agreement and then begin to mumble. A conversation begins to break out about 0Neo’s new armor, abilities and promotion, then an explosion is heard outside.

0Neo: What was that? That was just the volcano erupting right?

Seth: No whenever the volcano erupts we usually feel a surge of power. This is different. I think we should rush outside now.

The generals all ran outside to the sight of smoke coming from the side of the volcano. This smoke wasn’t the natural smoke that came from the molten rock though, it came from an explosion. Just below the explosion, there was a large battalion of truphma marching up the mountain.

0Neo: Another surprise attack. Don’t they ever get tired of this.

Hict: I guess not. It seems like you won’t be getting all the credit for defeating an entire truphma battalion though this time.

As soon as he finished speaking he unsheathed his Blade of the Immortals and ran towards the soldiers. As his blade met them it sliced through them like a hot steak knife cutting through butter. Jumping from one to another, he slayed each truphma fe faced with ease.

0Neo: Hey save some for me.

0Neo then transformed into a shadow, appeared behind truphma and then stabbed them in the back with his Nocturu dagger. When the truphma finally figured out that they should track the shadow instead of just waiting there to get stabbed while looking frantically around. When one tried to stab the shadow of 0Neo, he simply absorbed its dagger and then reformed back to his normal self before killing the truphma.

Seth pulled out his katana and began stabbing and slashing at the truphma. One decided to jump up at him and he simply just bashed him with his shield. Then Seth stabbed his blade into the ground and decided to decimate the foes in front of him. He crushed seven truphma with just one punch in the Decimator armor.

CH4OT1C and Mythic were back to back, casting spells on any truphma that decided to even get within 50 meters of them. Both of them were casting Green Envy, destroying three to four truphma with each cast. Together they were near indestructible compared to the truphma.

The rest of the generals were taking the defensive and forming a wall to protect the base. Any and all truphma who managed to get past the deadly offensive would be destroyed once they reached the protective wall. Suddenly, several truphma throw flash bombs on to the ground. As everyone is temporarily blinded a two different screams are heard. When everyone can finally see again the truphma are gone.

Wyrm: Is everyone okay?

Salem: Yeah I think so and… Wait where is Mythic? And what happened to CH4OT1C?

Seth: CH4OT1C NNNNNNOOOOOOOO!!!

Chapter 5: War and Death, Like Peanut Butter and Jelly


Seth Hydra is kneeling next to CH4OT1C and holding his head up. Then CH4OT1C coughed, spilling some blood on Seth’s and his armor. Usually something that would be a bad sign was considered one of the greatest gifts Lorithia could give now. As soon as Seth realized what this means his head immediately popped up.

Seth: (To himself) He’s alive. (Now telling everyone) Guys! Guys, he’s still alive!!! We have to get him to a hospital quickly. Come on guys, let’s go.

Two people come up to the battlefield. One of them was wearing the armor worn by the Morningstar clan. Few people were ever graced with the priviledge to wear the armaments of this clan and even fewer who weren’t born into the clan. The other was wearing a set of robes no one had ever seen before. They were completely white, with swirls of extra cloth that were a lighter blue on them. In his hand was the White Oak Staff.

Hict: Hikari Yume? And some other guy, what are you two doing here?

Hikari Yume: Well I was sent here because Glacius told me that there was a meeting here for generals, so here I am.

Earl: Yeah Geoto told me the same thing. I’m Earl by the way. I was just recently promoted to general since the last one was… Well um you know.

Hict: Yeah we all know.

Seth: Hey guys I would love to get to know you all oh sooo much more, but right now I need help with my DYING FRIEND! You remember him right Hict. You two knew each other for a while before he was just brutally attacked.

A silence falls over everyone once this is said. Hict guiltily looks down towards his feet. Then CH4OT1C coughs snapping everyone back into focus. Seth picks up CH4OT1C to take him some place where his injuries can be cared for.

Seth: So does anyone know where he can get healed.

Muchiha; There is a Treatment Center on the Aerodu Airship. It’s flying just over that ridge there. I can help you take him there.

Seth: Yeah that would be good. Here you go.

Seth hands over CH4OT1C’s motionless body over to Muchiha. Muchiha then spreads his wings and heads towards the Airship in the sky. They all look at him until he flies out of sight.

Battlemaster: Well we should probably be heading to our rooms in the volcano. After all we have a big day tomorrow with our war mission and all.

Seth: Really? After we just lost two dear members of ours, you still want to continue on with the mission?

0Neo: Seth we have lost another close member to us. His name was Oliver. He had been a close and dear friend to all of us, but even after that we still continued on. This is war and causalities are expected. When they happen we can’t get hung up on it and have to move on.

Wyrm: He’s right. Now let’s go to our rooms. Seth if you will show us where they are?

They all then return inside the volcano and Seth instructs some clan members to guide the generals to their room.

Earl: So um… What do we do? We kind of need someone to fill us in.

Salem: Ugh. I guess I could do it. Follow me and I’ll tell you when we get to my room.

The three of them walk behind the Igneus clan member. Hikari Yume looked at the flowing magma coming out of the walls uncomfortably. He felt as though the liquid rock would start a fire that would surround him. He now remembers why he has always hated fire and tried to learn powerful ways to extinguish it with wind and ice magics. As soon as these memories started to poor back in his head, he immediately shook his head and hit his head against it to try to repress them.

Salem: Hey what’s going on. Are you okay?

Hikari: Huh? Oh yeah I’m fine.

Nameless Igneus Clan Member: Okay here is your room Salem.

Salem: Thank you. Alright come on in guys so I can tell you about the plans.

Salem then enters his room followed by Hikari Yume, Earl, and the Igneus clan member. The clan member goes to sit on one of the chairs in the room.

Salem: What are you doing?
The clan member then sighs and walks to the door. Before he exits the room, he turns around and holds out his hand.

Hikari Yume: What do you want now?

No Name: My tip. I guided you to your room and brought your bags here.

Salem: What bags? We didn’t have any bags.

Senor No Llamo then points at the bags on the ground that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. Then he clears his throat and holds out his hand again.

Salem: Okay fine then. Just so you know those are someone else’s bags and they are probably wondering where they are right now.

Salem then reaches his hand in his pocket to get some money. When he pulls it out, his hand is empty and he gives Sire Nameless a high five.

Salem: I’m sorry I just always wanted to do that. Anyways where were we? Oh right. Fine I’ll give you your money.

Salem reluctantly gives 1 gold the Monsieur Unknown.

Still not going to make up a name for this guys: Wow. 1 gold, you are soooo generous. I wish the rest of the world could be like you.

He finally leaves, but just before he walks out he glares at Salem. Then he leaves the three generals by themselves.

Salem: Okay now that we finally have some privacy, allow me to tell you about out plan.
It goes like this. First, we will be divided into three teams. The first team will be led by Hict and consist of CH4OT1C, Wyrm and me. The second team will be led by Seth and have Kor, Mystic, and Popinloopy. The final team and most important one will be led by 0Neo and consist of Muchiha and Battlemaster. Team 1 will be attacking the camp from the east side while Team 2 attacks them on the west side. While we will be distracting the truphma, team 3 will set a bomb in the center of the camp and start the timer. They will be hidden by wind magic that will reflect the light around them to make you all invisible. While you guys are setting up the bomb it will most likely make some noise so you guys should probably get some stealth tips from 0Neo. After the timer starts we will have exactly ten minutes to get the hell out of that camp. Well at least that’s what I was told. The only thing is that we will have to postpone it for a little bit to decide how we are going to replace and deal with the two team members we just lost.

Hikari Yume: Yuck teams. I don’t do well in teams. Is there any way I could work alone?

Salem: Well we can decide tomorrow about that. Now we should go to sleep. So if all of you would kindly GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!!!

Hikari Yume and Earl go outside of his room quickly to get away from the apparent bipolar Salem. After walking around a bit they realized that they had no idea where they were going, so they found another nameless Igneus clan member to lead them to each of their rooms. Finally, they all go to bed.

The next day all the members meet in the meeting room again.

Hict: *yawns* Okay another morning meeting. Now we have to decide as to how we are going to deal with the loss to our team and replace them. However, I believe I speak for all of us when I ask you Muchiha, how is CH4OT1C doing?

Muchiha: Well he is alive, but in a coma now. Our healers don’t know when he will come out of it.

Hict: Well at least he is alive. After the beating he took I wasn’t sure if he would make it. Now for our plans, we are going to have to replace two fighters that we lost. Fortunately we just got two more to join our team. Before we decide what we do with you though, why don’t you tell us your skills.

Hikari Yume:I’ll start. I’m a wizard who has mastered the elements of Wind, Light, and Ice. I have also mastered the art of burst attacks and stealth. When it comes-

Hict: Wait tell me more about you skills in stealth.

Hikari Yume: Oh okay well I’ve taught myself how to bend the light around me to make me seem invisible. It’s a pretty easy spell once you get the hang of it, but it takes a while to get a hang of. Why do you ask?

Hict: Well I was thinking that maybe you could be on our third team. The stealth team. Someone did tell you about the plan right?

Hikari Yume: Oh right the plan. Yeah the guy who looked like a vampire told me what it was. So let me get this straight. You want me to sneak into the middle of a Trumpha camp with two other people to destroy the generator that powers the whole camp and somehow sneak back out, right?

Hict: Sort of. We’ll change the plan and switch other’s positions as soon as we know everything. So umm other person, why don’t you tell us your skills?

Nightie: It’s Nightie, and my skill is my strength. I’m really strong.

Hict: That’s it.

Nightie: Yeah.

Hict: Okay well then I think we could easily adjust to the new circumstances. Hikari Yume you will be replacing Battlemaster in the stealth team, Battlemaster will be replacing CH4OT1C, and Nightie you will replace Mystic. Any questions or objections?

Seth: I have two recommendations. First, I think Battlemaster should be on my team and you have Nightie so that all our teams have diversity and a different person from each clan. Second I believe I saw Salem doing an invisibility spell and sneaking into-

Salem: Uh nobody needs to know about that.

Seth: Regardless we are going to talk about this later. So as I was saying though, he knows invisibility spells and I think he should be on our stealth team and switch him with Muchiha.

Muchiha: Well I know invisibility spells too. Why should he replace me?

Hict: Muchiha is right. Salem stays on my team and Muchiha will still be on the stealth team. I do agree about switching Battlemaster and Nightie. So once again here are the teams for anyone who has lost track. Team A will be led by me and consist of Nightie, Salem, and Wyrm. Team B will be led by Seth Hydra and consist of Popinloopy, Battlemaster, and Kor. Team C will be led by 0Neo and consist of Muchiha and Hikari Yume. All right, now that we got that all settled let’s get going on our expedition to destroy the uni colored menace.

Everyone Simultaneously: Yeah let’s do this!!!

The 11 generals then follow done several winding paths that must have taken an eternity to learn. Finally they all reach a room which was really just a giant crater in the side of the volcano. At the end of this hangar like room were 11 pods, each with the name of one of the generals on it.

Muchiha: That’s nice. I mean real nice.

Battlemaster: So it seems our leader Aerodu decided to send us a little gift to help us on our mission.

Kor: Oh my god it is huge on the inside. It’s like the inside of a pokeball or Mary Poppins’ bag or a Tardis.

Popinloopy: Come one guys we don’t have time to talk about that. Let’s get- SQUEEEEEE I HAVE A BUTLER IN MINE.

Hict: Okay is everybody in their pods? I’m about to press the launch all button.
Everyone still continues to murmur about everything that is in their pod and how it is perfectly personalized for them.

Hict: (to himself) You know what if someone isn’t in then it’s their fault. Time to launch.

Then they all fly for eight hours towards the encampment where all the Trumpha have gathered to prepare for their attack. The stealth team lands about ten miles away from the encampment so as not to be seen by the ones at the camp. As Team A & B get closer the camp they begin to split up to go on either side of the camp to start attacking. Suddenly an explosion is heard.

Chapter 6: The Beginning of the End


Popinloopy looks out the window of his pod as soon as he hears the explosion to see Wyrm’s pod falling out of the sky.

Popinloopy: NOOOOOOO!!!!! WYRM NO!!

Popinloopy then goes to kick out the door and dives out of his pod. He goes into an upside down pencil dive to try to catch up to Wyrm’s pod. Suddenly the flaming body of Wyrm comes out of the hole in the pod. When Popinloopy sees him he uses all his mana to shoot a blast behind him making him speed down even faster. Finally he gets up to him and summons a simulacrum of their leader Lucius to carry them safely down to the ground. While this is happening Hict informs everyone to push the emergency eject buttons in their pods. Slowly they start to float down to the forests where Popinloopy is kneeling with Wyrm in his arms.

Muchiha: WHAT WAS THAT?!?!

Hict: Somehow the truphma saw us coming towards them. I don’t understand how. I mean we were invisibly cloaked and our pods absorbed any sound waves or waves of any other kind so we couldn’t be seen or picked up on sonar.

Kor: Then how did they hit us?

Hict: I don’t know. Hey Muchiha why don’t you make some head wind so we can land over there next to Popinloopy and Wyrm.

Muchiha waved his hands around in the air and made some air currents push them towards their friends. As they landed everyone saw just how severe Wyrm’s injuries were. Most of the left side of his body was incinerated and there were shards of the pod in his body. There was a halo of yellow light around his body made by Popinloopy. Wyrm’s injuries were healing. All the cuts in his skin were regenerated and as his skin rejoined, the shards of metal were forced out of him. Despite all of Popinloopy’s efforts to heal him though it was too late. Wyrm had passed.
Battlemaster: Popinloopy, he’s gone. I’m sorry, but it’s too late. He’s dead.

Popinloopy: No. No, he can’t be. I mean even if he is won’t Death just let him go?

Hict: Death has been on vacation for the past month or so and will be gone until summer ends. For now his unpaid intern is currently replacing him and he doesn’t know that it is better to let the chosen of Lore live since they can kill more monsters getting more souls for Death.

Kor: Death goes on vacation?

Hict: Well after working for eternity, us immortals tend to want to go on vacation. Usually I’m on vacation every day except for Thursday, weekends, and weeks where there is war.

Nightie: Why weekends and Thursdays?

Hict: Well on weekends there is a competition in Paxia and for Thursdays well I don’t know. Everything just seems to happen then most of the time, so I just decided to make a habit of only working then.

Muchiha: Now that I think about it everything does happen on Thursday. Hmm I wonder why that is?

Seth Hydra: Hey guys this a lovely chat time and all, but we need to get going.

Salem: He’s right. We have a mission to do. Let’s give Wyrm a proper burial and then get going.

Nightie then goes out into the forest to get a large enough rock and hollows it out to make a coffin. Meanwhile the others are digging a hole and lighting some torches. Once everything is prepared, Wyrm is put in his coffin and lowered into the ground. Everyone has a moment of silence for their fallen comrade. After a few minutes they bury him and walk towards the Truphma camp to finish their mission. An hour later they finally reach the outskirts of the camp and begin to adjust their plan to conform to their current situation.

Seth: So how are we going to adjust now that we are missing someone from team A?

Hict: I think we can still manage even though we are one person down. Salem, Nightie. What do you guys think?

Salem: Oh I’ll be fine. I could probably just go at it on my own, but for some reason you said that we should do this as a team.

Nightie just nods in agreement. They all split up into their separate groups. Before they all go off Hict turns to 0Neo, Muchiha, and Hikari Yume.

Hict: Be safe guys. You three have the hardest mission. You all will have to sneak into the heart of the Truphma camp and if you are caught then there is almost a 100% chance that you won’t make it out. So just be safe and don’t screw anything up.

Then team A goes over to the East side of the Truphma camp and Team B goes over to the West. As they split up Hikari gets the feeling that this will be the last time that he sees most of this team ever again.

*************


Hict, Salem, and Nightie sprint towards the west gate of the camp when suddenly they see a group of truphma patrolling the perimeter. As soon as they see them the three drop to the ground to hide from the group. Hict signals them on what to do using military signals. Salem and Nightie look at Hict curiously while he repeats the signals once again.

Salem: *in a hushed yell* Oh for Lore’s sake just tell us what you are planning!

Hict: *whispers* How do you not know military signals? You know what forget it. I was trying to tell you that I’m going to distract them and that you two should attack them from behind.

Nightie: Sounds good to me. Let’s do this.

Nightie and Salem then start to crawl on the stomachs around the group of truphma to sneak up behind them. Meanwhile Hict stands up and runs in front of the group of Truphma waving his arms.

Hict: Hello there you bland brutes.

The truphma, who are surprised to actually see anyone on a routine patrol, raise their crossbows and fire at Hict. Two of the arrows he dodges, but the third hits him in the chest. He then looks down in at his now blood covered chest. He pulls the the arrow out of his chest. Once he does, his wounds immediately begin to heal. He then drops the arrow, cracks his knuckles, and begins to laugh.

Hict: Ahh it’s good to be immortal. Now where are my friends? Oh well no matter.

Hict pulls his Blade of the Immortals out and let’s a grin come across his face. The truphma reload their crossbows and aim at Hict. As soon as they all have their arrows ready a strange crimson, faint flame surrounds Hict. He then speeds towards the truphma at blinding speeds. Once he reaches them he kills all of them in a mere second, slicing each one in half. After he finishes them off he spots Nightie and Salem about 20 meters away laying in the grass. He walks up to them.

Hict: What are you two bloody doing?!?!

Nightie: Oh well we saw a firefly and wanted to catch it.

Hict: Uh I can’t believe- You know what, just forget it. Let’s get back going.

Salem: What about the firefly?

Hict: FORGET THE FIREFLY? Now come on, we have a mission to do.

The three of them finally continue on towards the western entrance where they would finally attack. As they got within a hundred meters of the gate, they stopped.

Salem: So… what do we do now?

Hict: This.

Hict then casts a spell that makes 5 poisonous streams of air going aiming right at the western gate of the Truphma camp blowing it up and making the walls near it collapse and all the watch guards falling into the rubble.

Hict: Well now that they know that we are here let’s get going. I think the truphma will want to greet their guests now.

The three of them then march on to the remains of the gate. Once they finally reach it, thousands of truphma pour out with weapons in hand, ready to attack those who dared to destroy their home. All of the colorless creatures charged at once, hoping to overpower their foes with pure numbers.

Salem: We are so screwed.

In no time the three are surrounded by all of the militia of bland beasts. Quickly they get to work. Salem whispers to himself, ”Clockwork Lullaby” and summons a scythe made of pure light and shadow. As it appears in his hands he leaps towards the truphma, reaching out his scythe and slicing several in half. He then spun his scythe in his hands and over his head readying it again, waiting for any more to just move so he could attack them.

Meanwhile Hict was busy with other truphma on the other side of the circle that was made to surround him. He was swinging around his Blade of the Immortals as if it was an extension of his arm, piercing each and every Truphma that dared to come within ten paces of him. The sharpened bloodstone sliced through the monochrome menace as if it was a hot knife and they were butter. Each time that he took down one wave, another would come at him with even Truphma at a time. He was starting to take down up to thirty at a time.
While all this was happening Nightie was bashing his way through Truphma after Truphma. Instead of waiting for the Truphma to come and attack him, he was charging at them and clearing a path through the endless horde of the corrupted. His Geoto Hammer was covered in the gray blood of these bland beasts. Suddenly his swing of his hammer was met with a block by two mace hands of a general. Then Nightie realized that he was in fact surrounded by Trumpha generals and decided to go on the defensive. He looked over at his comrades to see Hict getting bludgeoned and recovering from every hit as if nothing happened and Salem now hovering high in the air shooting at the truphma below will they try to hit him. Nightie decided he had no choice.

Nightie: I will miss you my friends.

After he sees this, a tear rolls down his face. He then charged up energy, with spheres of pure energy developing in the air around him and coming towards him. As they all collect towards him, the join into one giant sphere and the Truphma around him start to back up out of fear. Finally, once it completely envelopes Nightie the sphere of pure energy explodes, incinerating everything within a kilometer around it. Nightie kills well over 4,000 with his final feat. Luckily for Salem he was just out of the blast zone, but Hict didn’t share the same luxuries as his ally. Once the explosion finally clears there is nothing in the entire vicinity of the explosion except for one golden skeleton off to the side of the center of the explosion.

Salem: HICT!!! NIGHTIE!!! NOOO!!

Salem then flies towards the golden skeleton that as it is the only sign of life for him to go to. Once he gets there he holds it in his arms. As he does this, the body of Salem’s ally finally starts to regenerate. After a few minutes Hict is completely healed and back to normal except he has a strange ancient Terran armor on him. A few minutes later he gets up and raises his sword at someone behind Salem, but then collapses before he can do anything. Before Salem can even turn around to see what Hict was just pointing his sword at he is knocked out by a swift blow to the back of the head by the mace of a truphma general.

*************


Seth Hydra, Kor, Popinloopy, and Battlemaster sprint towards the east entrance of the Truphma camp. Once they finally reach there, the guards at the top of the wall begin to shoot at them with their bland arrows. The four fighters easily dodge and finally get to the entrance. Seth then punches the door in his giant armor, the Decimator, and knocks it down in one hit. He then pulls out his twin katanas and prepares for the fight of his life with his allies behind him.

While they army of the grey come running towards them, Popinloopy blasts all the archers at the top of the wall so they won’t have to worry about arrows while fighting the foot soldiers. Finally, they see a stampede of dull degenerates running towards them with chef’s knives in hand. In seconds the small group is surrounded by the grey, the bland, and the boring. All four of them then simultaneously charge into the mass of monochrome with weapons raised in the air.

Seth held his dual katanas and stabbed, sliced, and cut anything that came into reaching distance. He was like a machine in the battlefield, literally in the Decimator, built for the sole purpose of killing truphma. Then after slicing and dicing a hundred he started to spin in a clock wise motion in the form of a twister and moved towards more truphma defeating any who came in his way. Then once he had defeated all the grunts he became surrounded by truphma dragons.

Seth: And here I was thinking this was going to be a breeze. Well I’m always up for a good challeng.

He then changes into his Supreme Overlord armor and jumps at the dragon directly in front of him.

Kor was demolishing all the truphma around him by freezing them in time and then attacking them with spells. He would kill dozens in a single second for them without of giving the Truphma a chance to attack or defend. Whenever he would run out of mana, he would simply revert to his own body a few minutes to when he had mana and then continue on his process of destroying the gray army. This was a dangerous process because if it was down even slightly incorrectly then it would be able to cause a hole in time and therefore space as well. This is what happens when a Chronomancer moves time around himself, but not everything around him. Luckily Kor had been practicing this technique for decades and has mastered it. Now he was using it as an endless supply of destruction against his foes.

Popinloopy was attacking each of the truphma with his spells and his Lucian spear. For the foes that were at a distance from him, he would cast a spell and annihilate them or if they came close enough he would simply pierce them in the chest with his spear. Not as offensive as his allies, but still just as effective. If any of the truphma managed to even get close enough to him to attack, their blades would be deflected by Popinloopy’s Golden armor, leaving nothing but a scratch.

Battlemaster was slashing through every truphma that he could possibly get close enough to with his Aerodu sword. The sharpened feathers cut through the Truphma with ease. Battlemaster’s speed could not be matched by any of the Truphma around him and he easily defeated these foes until suddenly a truphma dragon flew up behind him and blasted Battlemaster with his breath, making the back of his armor morph into grey spikes.

Battlemaster: Ahh what was that!!

He then looked at his to see the morphed abomination that became of his armor. He then faced towards the dragon that did this to him. He jumped towards the dragon slashing at its neck, cutting the beasts head off. Once he lands, four more dragons surround him. He quickly slashes through two, but as he goes to attack the third, the fourth one bites his leg and flails him around.

Battlemaster: AHHH!!! I’m getting destroyed here. I guess I have no choice then. I must use the seal of Aerodu.

As he said this, he closed his eyes and started to focus. His skin started to burn and steam came from his skin. When he did this the dragon dropped him and yelled in pain. As soon as he fell from the jaws of the dragon, he swung his sword and sliced right through his neck. Then Battlemaster landed on the ground, charged the last dragon at 3 times the speed of a normal human and killed it with his sword. He turned towards the rest of the Truphma army behind him and yelled a hearty battle cry before he charged them. With each truphma that he slayed, more of his body evaporated into steam. After slaying over 3,000 his body was weak and burned, but he still trudged on until he fought a strange foe unlike the rest.

Battlemaster: What… What are you?!? You aren’t anything like the other ones.

The truphma then smiles and quicker than Battlemaster could react stabs him in the stomach, then leaves the Aerodian there. Battlemaster falls to his knees coughing up blood wondering how he could be defeated by a mere Truphma. No this wasn’t a mere Truphma, this one was different and much more powerful.

Kor was just taking down truphma in his usual way when he restored his mana, then suddenly a black circle appeared in the center of his chest.

Kor: Oh no.

Then everything near him started moving towards Kor. One of the truphma got sucked into the black hole and it grew bigger. As it grew bigger, its gravitational force grew stronger. This kept repeating over and over again until it started to grab the attention of Popinloopy. Kor started to scream in pain.

Popinloopy: Kor tell me how to help you.

Kor: *wincing in pain* You have to kill me. I need you to stab me in my chest, right in the center of the black hole. If you don’t then eventually this thing will grow too big and envelope all of Lore.

Popinloopy: NO!!! There has to be another way. Please tell me there is another way.

Kor: *grunts* There is no other way.

Popinloopy then kills the Truphma next to him and floats above the army towards Kor. Once he got within 30 meters of Kor he could feel the black hole trying to pull him in, but instead it was pulling into the edge. He used all his might to fight it and go towards the center. Every part of his body was getting pulled and stretched, but he had to fight for Lore.

Popinloopy: I’m sorry my friend.

Popinloopy then thrust his spear into Kor’s chest, with water welling up in his eyes. Once he did, the entire black hole collapsed and took everything in its radius along with it. Kor, Popinloopy, and all the truphma were gone.

Seth: You truphma are way too easy. When are any of you going to give me a real challenge?

???: I can.

The mysterious truphma creature then disappears and reappears behind Seth and hits him in the back of his head with the blunt of his sword. Seth falls to the ground unconscious afterwards.

**********


Muchiha, 0Neo, and Hikari Yume were waiting in the forest surrounding the Truphma camp. Once they finally saw the explosion that was their signal to enter the camp and plant the bombs on the generator.

Muchiha: Well that’s the signal. Let’s go now.

Hikari Yume: No not yet.

Hikari Yume said this as he put his arm in front of Muchiha blocking him off from leaving. He then points over to the West side of the camp. Suddenly a giant pillar of dust comes up from the west side of the camp.

Hikari Yume: Okay, now let’s go.

The three of them then activate their invisibility spells and head towards the North camp wall. On their way, they didn’t see any patrol groups or any other Truphma at all. Finally they got to the wall. 0Neo spread his wings to fly up while Hikari Yume and Muchiha conjure up some air currents to have them float up to the wall. Once they get up there, the three are greeted by an abandoned outlook.

0Neo: Well it looks like the distraction was a success. All the truphma must have gone to defend this fortress.

The three of them then jump down to the wall.

Muchiha: Wow this place is really a ghost town. I mean look, there is even a tumble weed over there.

0Neo: Will you keep it down. Just because you don’t see anyone doesn’t mean that there could be some in the tents or behind them. Now come on let’s go.

The three then continue on to the center of the camp where they finally find the generator room. Although there were heavy attacks coming from either side of the camp, the tent was still heavily guarded. 0Neo turned into a shadow and snuck behind the two guards who were in front of the door.
He gets out his twin daggers and quietly kills them without making a noise. Then he signals to Hikari and Muchiha to come inside. When they walk into the tent they cross their fingers, hoping that their invisibility spells worked. Luckily when they walked in none of the truphma noticed them. The three of them then got to work installing the bombs. They all hid the bombs and set the timer for it when suddenly, Muchiha sneezed.

Once the truphma heard him, they immediately stared in the direction of where the sneeze came from a saw the distorted light.

Truphma Soldier: There! Someone is hiding. Get him!

The truphma then charged at Muchiha and once he saw that he had to get ready for a battle ditched the invisibility spell and summoned his bonethrill staff. He then wacked the one who got close to him and summoned some shadow claws to attack the others. One managed to get through and plunge his chef’s night straight into the chest of Muchiha as he was laying on the floor still unprepared for a fight. The truphma then notice two distortions in light trying to sneak out of the camp and knocked them on the back of the head and then taking their unconscious bodies away.

Chapter 7: The Capture, the Escape, and the Surprise


Salem woke up alone and in a dark room. He tries to move his arm to rub his eyes only to find that his arms had been chained to the ceiling, hanging him three feet above the ground. His ankles were attached to another pair of chains connecting to the ground that. The two sets of chains were stretching his body so that there was no way he could actually move anything except for his head.

Salem: What on Lore happened? Where am I?

He tried to focus his eyes to see if there is anything that would help to answer any of his questions. Suddenly he could hear footsteps outside of the room he was in. The lights flashed on afterwards and Salem could see that he was in a completely grey room that was about ten square meters. On the other side of the room, he could see a mirror that upon further inspection was actually a one way window. Next to the window there was what seemed like on outline of a door, but it didn’t have a handle on the inside. The footsteps came back again and were followed by talking outside. Finally, the door slid open and a type of truphma that Salem had never seen before.

He had a different type suit than most. He was wearing a blazer and had a pocket protector. He was wearing a belt that was filled with different types of weapons, torture instruments, and other items like pens and a stapler. The biggest difference about him though was that he had hair. A gray bowl cut over his abnormally shaped head.

Salem: Good morning interrogators. So what do you want to know? What are plans are for attack? Maybe what I want to have for dinner tonight. Or at least what I wanted to have for have for dinner tonight since I doubt that you will let me actually have it tonight.

Truphma Interrogator: I wouldn’t be worried about dinner if I were you. You should be more worried about your own wellbeing.

He then begins to pull out what looks like a baton and pushes a button on it. The top of it separates from the bottom with a rod that was buzzing with electricity. The top part of the baton sprout four, smaller metal rods from it that were littered with spikes.

Truphma Interrogator: Now then, you are going to answer some questions for me or I will be forced to use this on you. So first question, what clan are you in.

Salem: I am in the best clan, the one that has dragons in it.

Truphma Interrogator: Fine be that way. I was hoping that I got to use this then.

Salem: AAAAHHHHHH!!!! Oh it hurts so good.

Truphma Interrogator: SHUT UP!!!

The truphma then continued to beat Salem with his electrified, spiked super baton. As he was getting beat with it, the spikes began to cut though his skin and making him bleed while the electricity was frying him and causing blood to start coming from his mouth.

Salem: Fine I’ll tell you just stop please I’m begging you.

Truphma Interrogator: Now that’s better. So tell me what clan you are in.

Salem: I’m in the breakout clan.

Truphma Interrogator: The what clan?

Then Salem pulled his arms and legs towards his core, ripping the chains out of the ceiling and ground simultaneously. He then used the chains around his arms as morningstars and started to bash the truphma with his new weapons. He wrapped his morningstars around the truphma, pulled him up. As the truphma came close to him, and whispered something in his ear. Salem's eyes widened when he heard him and then remembered that he was in the middle of a fight and if he didn't act soon enough he could easily lose then die. So Salem once again focused on the task at hand, punched the truphma and knocked the truphma out instantly.

Salem: You idiot. The electricity in your baton completely destroyed the rock above and below me. You pretty much let me escape..... I have to tell the others about this though.

Salem takes the mace and walks up to the one way window. He throws it at the mirror, breaking it into thousands of pieces. He jumps through it, avoiding the broken glass to find himself in a long hallway with two other truphma next to him. He picks the mace off the ground, jumps at the truphma and swings at them, knocking them out instantly.

Salem: Oh hey ya’ll.

*****************


Seth Hydra finally wakes up to find himself cocooned in some metal contraption that locked his entire body in place. A member of Nocturu is standing over him with a remote in his hand.

Nocturu Member: Oh good your finally awake. Now I have some questions for you.

Seth: Ugh my head. What happened? And where am I?

Nocturu Member: Well you took a nasty blow to the head and now you’re at the Nocturu Castle, . So now about those questions, what clan are you in?

Seth: Igneus. Why do you ask?

Nocturu Member: Oh no reason. I was just curious. So what can you tell me about Igneus?

Hict: Don’t tell him anything Seth! He is actually a truphma using an illusionary spell and is trying to interrogate you so they can have an advantage when they attack Igneus.

Suddenly everything that Seth was seeing changed into what it truly was. He was inside a cage and there was a bland Truphma soldier standing over him. Across from him was Hict also in a cage, but instead of having the contraption like Seth, he was wrapped in some sort of magical vine that prevented him from moving.

Truphma: Oh why you little, I’ll teach you to mess with my interrogations.

The truphma walks up to Hict and pulls a knife out, then begins stab the immobile Hict. With each puncture wound Hict grunts and immediately heals. Then, just to taunt the angered truphma, Hict starts laughing every time that he gets stabbed, making the Truphma stab him more. A man walks into the room and once the Truphma sees him, he stops stabbing Hict and salutes towards him. He was not like other Truphma. He wore a completely white suit, shirt and tie however he wasn’t dulled like the rest of them. He looked like a completely normal human being with tan skin and black hair.

Hict: Hahahahaha. Ah, hey why did you stop? Wait a minute… Martin! So you decided to join them you double crossing, back stabbing, murderer and a moron.

Seth: Hey you can't say moron on the radio.

Hict: This isn't even on the radio.

Seth: Well I have high hopes for this story. I think it will eventually be read on a radio show in Forgan Mreeman's voice. Now back to you, what are you doing here traitor?

Martin: First, before I talk, let’s get some privacy.

Martin walks up to the Truphma soldier who is still saluting him. He puts his hands around the Truphma’s head and suddenly jerks his head in a twisting motion, snapping his neck. The truphma falls to the ground, limp. Martin stares at the dead body for a few seconds then raises his hand at it and it starts to glow red. Afterwards the Truphma’s dead body begins to glow as well and then suddenly disintegrates into nothing.

Martin: Now that we are alone, let’s talk. Hict I have something for you. It’s a nice surprise that I think you will like.

Martin then pulls out a dagger that is almost completely black except for one curved line that went from the base to tip. As he touched the blade, it began to burn his skin so he put it down. Once Hict saw the blade, he tried to back up, but was still rendered immobile by the magic vines.

Martin: Oh it’s pointless trying to move. I made those myself.

Seth: Hey guys I don’t really want to interrupt, but Hict, do you want to tell me who this is and what that is?

Hict: Well this here is Martin. He is my brother and immortal like me. Well he used to be my brother until he betrayed everyone in our entire universe by killing the one who keeps our universe in order. We were all gods, but he was the highest of us all and Martin was jealous. So he ended up having dark priests fashion this dagger that can kill immortals and then went to talk to the supreme ruler. He stabbed him in the back and caused the destruction of our entire universe. He knew this would happen so he created a portal to this universe to escape the destruction. I don’t exactly remember how I got here, but that’s pretty much it. Oh and that dagger you asked about… Well that’s the dagger that he killed the supreme leader with.

Seth: Oh… um wow!

Hict: So Martin, you going to kill me now?

Martin: Oh no I’m not going to. You are.

Hict: Well now you are just talking nonsense. What on Earth makes you think I’m going to do that?

Martin: Well I know your suffering as an immortal. For some odd reason you liked to make relationships with the pitiful mortals. You settled down and got a wife and children, but since you were immortal you had to watch them die. The feeling of having to bury one’s own child is something no one should feel yet you did. You have seen countless of your friends and allies fall yet you still live. Well now I can free you from your eternal blessing turned curse. After all, a man can always run out of things to live for.

A silence fills the room as he finishes. A silence filled of emptiness and what could be an incredibly regretful decision. Hict just looks down at the ground in front of him with sad eyes. He had no idea what he was going to do. To make matters even worse for him, he could feel Seth’s eyes burying into him and full with pity.

Martin:And if that’s not enough for you, well then let me tell you how you got here. You see we have a special connection that out precious “mother” decided to give us. I literally couldn’t travel into anther universe without you or I would die. You see when you die, I will die as well and vice versa. So if you kill yourself, then you will kill me as well. Maybe you can finally get revenge for your dead family.

With those final words, Martin waved his hand and let Hict go of his magical prison. He was so sure that he had convinced the person who hated him the most that he let him in the same room as himself with the only weapon that could kill either of them. Hict got up off of his knees and picked up the weapon.

Seth: HICT!!! DON’T DO IT!!! We need your help. Don’t listen to whatever he says, you still have stuff to live for and people as well. Like me and all of Paxia. We need you.

It was too late though. Hict had made up his mind. He held the dagger away from him, both hands on the hilt, and the tip of it pointing towards his abdomen. He raised it in the air and a tear started to run down his face.

Hict: Goodbye

**********************


0Neo and Hikari Yume were next to each other in separate cages in a gray room. Outside of the room, talking could be heard. Half of the conversation could only be heard.

0Neo: He must be talking into a communicator. That is the only way I can think of why we don’t hear who he is talking to.

Hikari Yume: Shush I’m trying to listen. *to himself* Ugh people can be so annoying.

Truphma: So he wants us to do what with these too? … Is he sure? I mean I’m sure there is something that we could get out of them. … Okay fine I’ll kill them. Let me just get the bow and arrows.

0Neo: Okay I know you hate working in teams, but if we don’t then we are going to die. As soon as that door opens I’m going to need you to cast a spell to knock out the lights. Once everything is dark I can turn into a shadow, kill the guard, and take the keys to open your cage. We need to work together or else we are going to die now.

Hikari Yume: Okay first of all, I never said that I don’t like working in teams,, I just prefer to work alone. Second of all, you don’t need to explain how dire the situation to me. I already know the kind of danger that we are in.

After a few minutes Hikari started to meditate to gather energy for his attack. He didn’t really need to gain any power for such a minor little thing, however he felt that he should use it just to focus. In no time the truphma came in with a classical wooden bow and arrow. As soon as the door was fully open, they attacked. Hikari shot ice crystals damaging all the lights and encompassing them in darkness while 0Neo disappeared from his cage and a shadow wrapped around the neck of the truphma, killing him. Immediately afterwards, Hikari sliced through the cold metal bars with blades of pure wind.

0Neo: So you could have just escaped this entire time?

Hikari: Yes, but that truphma was monitoring us the entire time. If I did anything then he would have called the entire Truphma camp upon us and we both would have died. Now come on. Let’s go find the others.

Once they both walk out of the room they were in, the two look down the hallway to their right to see Salem killing two truphma.

Salem: Oh hey ya’ll.

0Neo: They put us in interrogation rooms right next to each other? Fools. When we have captured members from other clans, we put them on opposite sides of the castle.

Hikari Yume: Did you just say that you captured members of other clans.

0Neo: I said no such thing. Where would you get a crazy idea like that? Anyways let’s get going. We have two more team members to find.
With that they stand there awkwardly, wondering where they should go. All three stared at each other, hoping for the other to come up with a plan. Suddenly Hikari Yume grunted in pain and raised his hands to his temples, massaging them.

Hikari Yume: Ahh. Guys I’m feeling a very powerful magical presence. Knowing Hict, he is probably fighting that.

Salem: Well can you get us there?

Hikari: Yeah just follow me.

Hikari then blasts his way through a wall using a powerful wind spell and begins running. Salem and 0Neo share a confused look as if wondering why he didn’t just walk through the hallways. They then follow after him. Once they got through about a dozen walls, they finally find Hict, Seth Hydra, and some stranger that Hict is stabbing. Spiraling around the dagger is all eight elements of Lore powered into his attack. His foe’s skin began to crack and a red light was shooting out from in between the cracks. As his skin began to spider web, pieces of his body crumbled away to sand. Eventually his enemy’s entire body was just a pile of golden sand. Hict then reached his hand out absorbed all the sand into his body.

0Neo: Umm… Hict do you want to tell us what just happened.

Hict: Well I’ll explain more in detail once we are safe and out of this camp, but for now here is the short story. This was my brother. He is the one who is responsible for destroying everyone I knew and love. He also destroyed my entire home because he was jealous of all the other gods. He was the god of magic and since the people of our universe weren’t capable of using magic, they didn’t worship him. Instead they worshipped me, the god of fighting and strength. The only reason he didn’t kill me before was because our mother made a connection between us that caused one of us to die if the other did. Luckily though, since he let our mother die, that bond had been weakened and using magic that I learned on this world and this magical dagger that can kill immortals I managed to sever the bond… I think.

After saying this, Hict started to cough up blood and fell to his knees. Hikari immediately ran up to Hict and put his hand on his back.

Hikari: Hict!! Are you okay,

Hict: Yeah it’s just that it was hard to combine all the elements. Ever since the introduction of the shadow universe, the Lords and Ladies have been trying their hardest to keep each element separate from the others. It took a lot out of me to fight the boundary lines that they laid down. That and combining it with the dagger that truly is the bane of my existence.

0Neo: Uhm… What dagger?
Hict looked down into his for the dagger just to see some obsidian ash in his hand and more on the ground. The dagger had disintegrated from the pure and raw power that was channeled through it. Now just to compliment it’s opposite, the golden sands that lay there moments ago.

Hict: Well there was a dagger here. It could kill immortals like my brother and I. It has been destroyed now though, meaning that I’m truly immortal. There is absolutely no way to kill me.

Salem: Okay just one last question now. What did you do with the sands that were your brother?

Hict: Well I absorbed them, giving me his magical powers.

Hict then goes to pick up the obsidian sands that by now had all fallen to the floor. Once he touched them though it instantly released raw mana at him, burning his skin. It didn’t heal like all of his other wounds that he had ever received in his life, but insteads he continues to bleed. He healed himself from the small injury, however Hict was surprised to see that the weapon still managed to retain its qualities of hurting Immortals just by getting near it. He then used wind magic make it levitate and made a cement vial to put it in. After he packs it away, he turns to the others.

Hict: Are you ready to go guys.

Seth: Ahem guys I’m still trapped here. Do any of you want to free me.

0Neo: I’ll get it.

0Neo then runs his hands up and down the mechanism holding Seth immobile, unlocking every lock that kept it together. Finally, he finished and opened up the chamber, freeing Seth finally. He got out and started to stretch every muscle in his body.

Hict: Seth, we don’t have time for you to get comfy. Now everyone back up. I want to test my new powers.

Hict then begins to glow red and spheres of energy appear around him and float towards him. After 15 minutes of what can only be described as charging up, Hict finally releases all the energy he built up into a beam focused directly in front of him. Once all the smoke had cleared, it was revealed the Hict had cleared a path that was two kilometers wide and so far down that the end couldn’t be seen.

Hikari Yume: How… How on Earth did you do that?

Hict: Well absorbing my brothers powers had greatly increased my own. There are consequences of this though. Now let me show you how he increased his own physical abilities. Everyone, put your hand on my back.

They all did although they were still in shock of what just happened. Once the four of them had their one of their hands on Hict’s back, all five of them suddenly disappeared. They immediately reappear in the hangar of the main Aerodu Airship. Once they had all got there, Hict passed out and collapsed on the ground.





< Message edited by hict98 -- 8/8/2013 1:29:01 >
AQW  Post #: 9
6/27/2013 6:12:48   
Seth Hydra
How We Roll Winner
Nov14


Part 1:Elements Deceived: The Message

Characters:
Seth(ss2195, ie ME!!)
Madara Uchiha(Muchiha)
Popinloopy(Popinloopy)
Wyrm(Flashbang)
Hikari Yume(tommy2468)
Dark Wizard Adrian(Darksaber22)



Seth stood calmly, in the face of danger. All but a bush stood between him and imminent death. He had been sent to inspect a newly discovered Truphma camp. In recent days, more and more of such Truphma strongholds had been seen Lore wide, and their activity had increased to a peak, after a year in silence. Ever since their defeat almost a year back, the Truphma threat had seemingly subsided save a few camps appearing in remote corners of the planet.

As Seth shook his head, to better cover himself from an incoming battalion of converted creatures, he began recollecting the events that occurred a week or so back. Each of the Paxia’s elemental leaders had received a mysterious letter from Xov, the leader of the Truphma. Each letter, explained Xov’s inexplicable desire to rid Lore of the Paxian Clans.
The Paxian clans, once proud symbols of elemental unity now stood a sorry shadow of their once glorious past. Embroiled in inner turmoil and instability, they had become the target of many attacks and wars, most notably by the Numbered beasts.
However, those being the new targets of the Truphma’s conquest could only spell more sorrow for the leaders of Paxia.
That chain of events ended in a rare request from Igneox and other leaders of Paxia to set on a reconnaissance mission to find out the Truphma’s plans, as well as to take necessary action, in case of impending war.
So far, Seth hadn’t noted anything worthwhile. The only thing he realised was the concentration of soldiers. Their numbers had grown exponentially even after many of their portals being destroyed. He realised that they were getting ready for a war, but against who? They wouldn’t dare take on any of the kingdoms or even Battleon head on, unless they had a death wish. Seth realised, that Xov meant everything her letter professed. She was going to lead a full scale assault against the Paxian.
“Well, finally” He smirked to himself. He, along with a number of people knew that Paxia had an expiration date. Their futile efforts could only prolong it, but never fully nullify it. The Paxian had this situation coming many years before this. Ever since the events of The’Galin return to Lore. Paxia had never recovered from the seeds of Discord that had been sown by the agents of the network. But this wasn’t really his decision to make, who gets to survive and who doesn’t. This always was, and has been the trait that separated him from others, guardians and villains alike. He heeded on the advice given to him by Nemesis, before his death. How the alignment of a hero had changed because of a clouded sense of judgement. He suppressed his thoughts and continued, looking forth the camp.
He then noticed a small contingent of Truphma soldiers escorting a general to a tent. He smiled “Bingo time for some real action” He said to himself. He sneaked around the perimeter of the camp, towards the Generals tent. A shadow jumped around at the edge of the camp, it wasn’t Truphma, rather one of his reconnaissance team members. The shadow materialised with a wisps of black smoke. A red aura gleamed around him. Uchiha Madara. His, red tinted Armor of Awe, gave a sense of power and foreboding. In his hand, he clinched a magnificent rapier, the Maurinelle's Melody. He stood, hunched beside Seth, and spoke in a deep voice.
“Anything out of the ordinary?”
Seth replied” No, nothing besides the fact, that their numbers have increased and they’re preparing for an assault. “
Madara spoke” Judging by their numbers, I’m assuming a large scale assault. The same, I witnessed at my reconnaissance point.”
Seth asked” How did it go? Anything usefull?”
Madara Smirked” Well, let’s just say, I’ve got a reinforcement of new recruits to my undead. One exhume was all it took.”
They both sat examining their view; the Truphma Generals meeting had just begun. And with it, a whole lot of chatter.
The bushes behind Seth and Madara ruffled, prompting both of them to grab their weapons. From behind the bushes, Wyrm the knight stood. His golden blade of awe drawn, ready for battle. Upon seeing a familiar, they withdrew their weapons. Wyrm spoke:
“Hey, watch it!”
Seth spoke “Sorry mate! We thought well, you were one of them”.
Madara said” So Wyrm, what’s the situation? “
Wyrm spoke in a lost voice “Well, there’s nothing we can do about it. War is imminent!”
He continued “Judging by their rate of preparations, I’d say we will be fighting a full scale war, within the next week”.
“How did it go at your encampment?”
Startled, the three of them looked around to see a shadow with gleaming brown eyes.
“You lot seem startled!” He spoke.
“Umm....Darksaber?” Wyrm asked.
“Obviously” the figure spoke.
“So, how’d it go, Darksaber?” Seth asked.
Darksaber spoke “Well, nothing besides what you all have discovered”.
Seth shook his head “Well, I guess it’s on to plan B now.”
Madara gleamed “Now, when the fun begins”.
Popinloopy jumped out of a nearby tree. “Sup tootes!”
He said “Hey, Madara, I just saw Eschaton nearby, he’s following me! “
Madara, in a wild bout of enthusiasm said “Where’s that Paladin? Where is He? I need to tease!”
The rest of the group burst out in wild fits of laughter, with Popinloopy joining in. Madara surveyed the trees. “Hey, Eschaton’s not there! You! “He glared at Popinloopy. “I will unleash my undead legions upon...”
Before he could complete that, an arrow went whizzing by. They turned around to see that their bouts of laughter had seemed to alert the whole encampment.
Darksaber summoned his Lumpy Skull club, and said: “Well, this was meant to be plan B!”
Wyrm summoned his blade of awe. The Golden blade sparkled with stark brilliance. He spoke:
“True, but we were supposed to have a jump on them”
Madara spoke “Very well, let’s at least show them, a small portion of what they will face in a week’s time”.
Seth nodded “Alright, I’m itching for a killing! Time to practice for next week”.
Before either side could make a move, a strange light appeared between the two sides. The light intensified and then subsided. Standing before them was a wizard.
He turned back and smiled “I got this”.
Hikari stood strong, facing the Truphma, his lumenomancer robes swaying in the wind. He began focussing his energy and his palms began glowing with concentrations of light energy. He announced “Pray to ye Gods Truphma, for you are about to face the true wrath of ...”
Walking forth towards his adversaries, he tripped over a stray branch and let loose his light energy sending it away from his intended target and destroying a large portion of the Truphma’s encampment.
A wild blazing fire broke out of the ruins of the camp, pan caking the remaining Truphma between eminent demise. However, the fire threatened by extending towards a forest. Seth realised that whatever they had to do, they had very little time. He spoke “Alright, you guys ready?”
Madara gleamed “With pleasure”. Upon which he summoned an Undead archer from the ground and brandished his Rapier.
Wyrm stepped forward clutching his blade, and Popinloopy followed suit, summoning a blade that appeared to be fashioned completely out of bone. “Time to taste my newest toy!” He said. Madara asked “Isn’t that the Geist blade?” Popinloopy beamed “Yep!”
“Well, I’ll join you guys this time” Darksaber added. Saying this he summoned his Sila Staff, upon which he was surrounded by claws from his sides, which seemed to flicker between yellow and black.
Hikari seemed to have recovered from his tumble “Wow, the Power rangers are posing “He said in a tone of humoured sarcasm.
Popinloopy chirped “C’mon join us! For we have pictures of Dragons!”
Hikari floated in by their side, again focussing Light energy into his palms.
Darksaber spoke out “Well, let’s make this more interesting. Try taking out as many as you can, with only one hit”.
“Alright” Madara mused, casting a mighty Tornado towards the Truphma, who could only run around in a desperate attempt to escape, but all in vain as the Vortex decimated a portion of the Truphma forces.
Darksaber jumped off and commanded the claws surrounding to strike the Truphma and Hikari joined him, sending a massive pulse of light towards the Truphma. Their combined attacks spelt further misery for the Truphma.
A few Truphma recovered tried to counter attack, but were halted on their tracks by Popinloopy and Wyrm, who continued their assault until only a few remained.
Seth let out a rant, “Hey! Leave some for me, for Lorithia’s sake”
“Oh sorry ‘bout that, go on... A few are left out for you” The gang sang out in unison.
The few remaining Truphma let out a yelp, “Hey, you do realise that we’re here too”
However, a more serious issue came forward; the Blazing wild fire that had erupted due to Hikari’s blast seemed to have grown exponentially.
Seth concentrated on his body, preparing for the Transformation. Almost immediately, his hands turned into regal wings, whereas his legs morphed into talons, and a new pair of wings emerged on either side of his body. He had just morphed into the Lord of the Skies.
As the remaining Truphma gazed with awe at Seth, Madara remarked “Show off! “ and the rest of them nodded in agreement.
Seth, seemingly offended told them telepathically “I’m not a showoff, I just like transforming into this thing, really nice feeling you know”.
Facing the fire and the Truphma, he let loose two massive cyclones towards them. The Vortex’s collided with the fire, extinguishing it and sending the Truphma blasting off.
One hefty Truphma general however, remained. He was clearly weakened because of the onslaught.
Wyrm walked up to him and said “Go, tell your Xov what you saw today.”
“Tell, him that whatever happens in the next few days...It’s all on him. Maybe your Truphma army may attack, and maybe we’re too late to save Paxia. But tell him, that If can’t protect it, She can be damn right sure We’ll avenge it!.”
As the general scurried off, Seth remarked “Exactly how many times have you seen the Revengers?”
Hikari chuckled “Yeah, Antoine Estark much?
Laughing and chuckling, and in a joyous mood, they began their journey to Paxia.

A calm breeze passed them, as they walked their way. Only one thing bothered Seth’s mind. Why couldn’t they have shawarmas!


Elements Deceived: Inglorious Bastions


Characters:
Xage, Seth(ss2195)
Hict (Hict98)
Moe(moe)
Lord Taelord(Heroes of the scape)
Storm Silverwing(battlemaster25)



The cold air whistled a shriek, and rubbed past Xage’s face, revitalising him and filling with a cold sense of power as he flew across from the Aerodu airship towards his rendezvous point at the Igneus Volcano with his brother, Seth.

Still a young squire in Battleon’s defence forces, Xage had become quite a skilled user of Magic, as well a fine manipulator of beasts. His training in the art of Necromancy had been halted since the puncturing of the energy lines a few months, however that event had given him a whole new perspective about one’s power. Something, which even the mightiest of wizards and warriors failed to realise, that power doesn’t last forever.

The news about the evident invasion of the Paxia by Truphma forces had spread like a wildfire, causing widespread panic amongst the clan leaders as well as the clan inhabitants. This had prompted widespread guerrilla attacks on Truphma strongholds by Guardians and adventurers lore wide.
This wave of excitement of the impending war had a mesmerising effect on Xage, leading him to ask for a rare request to his brother Seth for a chance to partake on a guerrilla mission himself.

His sole purpose of meeting Xage, was to know the information of his new teammates and this intended mission point. As he neared the volcano, he could make out the outline of a solitary figure, standing at the edge of the volcano.

Xage landed at the edge of the volcano’s mouth, disturbing the wind around him.

“Bro!” Xage exclaimed, chirping with excitement.

“I just heard about Xov’s declaration. Seems a bit farfetched don’t you think so? I mean, you don’t think they can destroy an entire continent.

Seth disagreed “I don’t think so Bro. Judging by her attitude and my past experiences with her, I assume she wouldn’t throw such a gamble, unless she was capable of pulling it off. We shouldn’t really underestimate them, granted they probably won’t destroy the whole Island, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to cause a great deal of damage”.

“Xage, now regarding your mission” Seth spoke in a more serious voice.

“You have temporarily been assigned to Guerrilla team no.7. Your teammates for this operation will be Hict, and Moe. Those two are the only ones that have recruited so far to that team, but you can expect more when you reach the rendezvous point at Battleon.

Xage spoke out “Wait, are you talking about Hict the Immortal and Moe the Swords master? Aren’t I a bit of a novice to be paired up with them?”

Seth slightly amused “Yes you are correct, but technically both of them are master swordsman.”

“You were filled in with them, because you’re the only one who has volunteered.”

He continued “Now, I suggest you hurry of to Battleon ASAP, considering you might be the only one left before the assault on the camp south west of Battleon.”

Their conversation continued on for a while, until Xage bid him adieu and flew off towards Battleon.

On his way, he watched as small corps being gathered to prepare for the defence of Paxia.

As he entered Battleon’s skies, he could sense a tense atmosphere. Large groups of people had gathered at the front porch of the guardian tower, where Sir Nimrod stood addressing. He landed in the town square, just a few paces off Yulgar’s inn. As he began his walk, something bumped into him from behind.

With a loud bang, Seth fell to the ground followed by another clunk of metallic sound beside him.

“Oi” Xage yelled, turning around to see the culprit but instead found Moe.

“Sorry, man.... didn’t see ya” Moe said sheepishly.

Moe recovered first, and helped Xage up to his feet.

Following the commotion, Hict emerged from the shadows, with a wry smile on his face.

“Perfect timing Xage! We’ve been contemplating your arrival, as you can see the others have arrived as well!”

Xage, confused said “Wait, I thought the team was only you, Moe and me!”

Hict spoke “True, but we’ve been advised that there’d be safety in numbers. Since many three-member squads have suffered at the hands of the Truphma. Most of the successful missions involved teams with more members”.

Moe chipped in”yeah, plus we got a few more volunteers” he motioned towards a couple of figures standing in the shadows of Yulgar’s inn”.

“I’m Taelord, Lord Taelord” a figure walked in with an elegant stride. His wings overlapping his armor, giving the appearance of a cloak.

“And I’m Storm Silverwing, a pleasure to meet you” A lithe figure approached in a red body length cloak, with feathers strewn all over the back, a symbol of his allegiance to Aerodu.

Xage recognised him of course; he was a fellow Aerodu clan member.

He replied in his most courteous voice “The pleasure’s all mine Lord Taelord and Storm”.

“Now that the pleasantries are over, let’s get back on business” Hict interrupted.

“Our focus of attack is a Truphma camp a few leagues south west of Battleon. Our plan will be simple, Quick, fast, efficient and deadly”.

Moe added “Our primary weapon here is stealth. The camp is extremely remote, and in an extremely hostile conditions”.

“Despite this we have the element of surprise, let’s make it count” Moe concluded.

“I have one question” Storm interrupted. “This base of theirs is probably their strongest, on this side of the continent. Even with stealth, there’s only so many we can take out before they take charge against us”.

Hict asked” So what do you suppose we should do?”

Xage squeaked, noticeably intimidated by his current company “We could take out their core reactor”

All eyes turned upon him, further creating a doubt in Xage. However this broke when Taelord spoke

“That’s a good idea! We know each of the main Truphma camps have a massive energy source, their Core reactors. Unstabilizing it will blow everything within a mile, taking out the Truphma’s portal as well”.

Hict spoke “That’d work. All we need is a distraction to keep the Truphma occupied, till someone messes up the reactor”.

Silverwing intervened “But the blast will be strong enough to vaporise us as well. We won’t be able to escape it in time!”

There was a hush of silence as the team members toiled their minds for an answer. Xage finally broke the silence “I might be able to stop a part of the blast, rather my Golem”.
Saying that, he summoned a Marble Azamay golem, and attached to its centre a strange looking rune stone. The golem’s eyes began glowing with a greenish glow and it projected out a force-field.

Hict chuckled “A Chi shield is it? Well it just might do the trick”.
Moe interrupted “Even the golem will be able to absorb only a particular amount of the blast, it won’t be able to stop the whole thing”.

Taelord nodded in agreement “Aye, we need something better”.

Hict tensed, and then said “Well, for the time being we’ll stick to our original plan. We can accommodate and adapt according to the situation. Let’s go, time is of the essence”.

Saying that, Hict motioned to Silverwing, who at once whipped up a fierce tailwind around the group.

Xage smiled. He knew that skill, only very experienced members of the Aerodu clan could whip up tailwinds to provide flight to others.

Xage focused his magic, and at once began levitating. Lord Taelord unfurled his wings, and with one giant flap, flew high into the sky.

Once all of them were airborne, they made their way towards the Southwest to one of the largest Truphma encampments.

After what seemed like half an hour, they arrived a few leagues off the encampment. Xage collapsed to his knees. Clearly he was worn down by the amount of mana he had spent over his journey from Paxia.
Storm also fell back into the sand. Sensing their weakness, Moe handed mana potions to both of the Aerodu clan members.

Lord Taelord spoke “Ok, catch a breath you two, can’t have a squad that’s completely depleted”.
Xage looked around at the desert expanse. The Sun had begun its descent into the night.

Moe motioned “Ok people, we don’t have much time. We have to finish this mission before sunset, else it might turn into a slaughter”.
Xage asked “So, what’s the plan?” Sneak attack or blow up the reactor?”

There was a period of silence, since no one knew which way to proceed. Storm’s words broke the silence “I think our best bet is to destroy the reactor. Clearly me and Xage don’t have the energy to participate in a full scale assault”.

Taelord spoke “True, It might be our best chance at this. But how will we escape the blast radius?”
Xage spoke “Well, since we won’t be participating in the fighting to much, me and Storm can conserve our energy, long enough to create a strong vortex to take us out”.
Moe summoned a sword, the blade that began crackling with Energy. “I guess it’s settled then, it’s a plan”.
Both Hict and Taelord nodded in agreement.
“Let’s split up gang, Moe, Taelord with me! Xage and Storm as soon as you destroy the controls, it wil give us about 1 minute to get out of the blast radius. So as soon as your mission is completed, start charging up your vortexes”.

“Right” Storm replied.
“Best of luck holding them off” Xage screamed, as they ran off towards the Inside of the camp.

Taelord smirked “Time to make these wretched life forms wish they’d never crossed swords with us”.
Saying this, he brandished a blue rapier, the Witch waster.
“Time to leave them wasted” he declared.
Moe asked “Umm... Taelord, sorry Lord Taelord... Don’t you think that came out a bit wrong?”
Taelord grimaced “Sorry got a bit carried away!”
Hict smiled, and summoned a blue blade in his hand. The blade caused the air around it swirl, and the swirling began gaining momentum.
“Well, let’s get them the fight of their lives” he smiled.
With a swift motion of his blade arm, he sent a shockwave towards the encampment with his sword, which sliced the walls of the camp, and caused a massive commotion among the shaken Truphma hordes.

The three of them charged into the Truphma, with a war cry. Moe was the first to make contact. He feinted a stab causing the Truphma to jump backwards and then slammed the flat part of his blade sending the Truphma flying, knocking out roughly five or six more with it.

Hict strode into the battle, hacking and slashing away Truphma with nothing more than swift and fluidic motions of his wrist.

Lord Taelord flew into the encampment and sent a barrage of razor sharp feathers into the incoming forces, keeping their numbers in check.
Taelord thought to himself “We can keep this onslaught for only so long. Soon our energy too will be expended. Those two really need to act quickly”.
He tensed, as he sent another shockwave barrage at the Truphma.

Meanwhile, far away from the commotion Xage and Storm crept stealthily towards the reactor room. Storm had caused the air around them to cloak them, leaving them invisible. The only thing they had to be careful about was avoiding contact with the incoming Truphma forces. They walked as closely to the walls as possible.
Soon, they could see the room; the only hiccup being the guards standing with spears.
Xage whispered “What do we do now?”
Storm answered “Wait till the coast is clear! There’s no point rushing into this. We’ve only got one shot, can’t miss the chance to blow up this place cause opportunities like this come once in a life time!”
Xage, puzzled “Did, you just sing a part of Lose You..”
Storm cut him off “Shh..... Look, someone’s coming!”

A dozen or so heavily armed Truphma soldiers began marching through.
Storm thought to himself “This can’t be good. We’re running out of time!”.
Meanwhile, at the frontline the offensive trinity of Swordsmen had hardly seemed to break a drop of sweat.
Moe exclaimed “I think I’m enjoying this”.
Hict smiled “Yeah, I haven’t had this much fun since...Frostval!”
Taelord slashed past a Truphma “What’s taking them so long?”
Moe slashed his way through column of foot soldiers “Well, it can’t be easy sneaking in can it?”
Hict plunged his blade into the ground, sending shockwaves towards the incoming Truphma, knocking them off”. “Give them some time you two. One wrong move on their part, and we’re all going down!”
Moe spoke, as he dodged an incoming barrage of Arrows “Yeah, let’s keep the fighting focussed towards us”.
With that, he leapt into the air and slashed a Truphma behemoth into two halves.
He gasped “Anyone still keeping count? “
Taelord smiled as he used his wings as a shield to block the incoming arrows “Mine’s 33”.
Moe slightly confused asked “How come? I’m still at 25!”
Hict let out a small laugh “Well, both of you seriously need to up your game, I’m at 53!”

I front of the room, Storm stood calm. He had just stabbed the Guards with the feathers of his robes.
He asked “C’mon Xage, let’s go! “
Xage hurried into the room, only to be cornered by a dozen or so Truphma.
They spoke almost in unison “Intruder alert! Exterminate! Exterminate!”
Xage summoned his staff, and focussed his energy. Soon, six vortexes of air appeared around him, and with a motion of his wrist, they slammed into the Truphma workers. The few that remained charged towards him.
SWOOSH! Razor sharp feathers flew past Xage and struck the Truphma, instantly killing them.
Before Xage could say anything, Storm strolled past him “Don’t mention it”.
“Now, how exactly are we supposed to do this?” Storm thought out loud.
Xage said “It’s Simple”. He brought forward his arm, and soon a red glow began emitting from it. Almost instantaneously, the reactor was surrounded by flames, and the machines around seemed to have combusted.
Storm turned to Xage, his expression glum “You have got to be kidding me! That’s it? No complex buttons, no failsafe passwords, nothing?”
Xage reiterated innocently “Well, that’s how they do it in movies right?”
Storm thought for a moment “Yeah, I guess”.
And both of them dashed towards the rest of the gang. Each hoping they could make it in time before the impending explosion. But before they were half way through, they heard a loud explosion. The reactor had overloaded, causing the room to be engulfed in crimson flames. Soon, the whole encampment would catch fire, before being incinerated by the explosion.
Moe, Hict and Taelord stopped in their tracks, along with all the Truphma they were fighting.
“Oh, no... Not now, not so fast!” Hict thought to himself.
Before either side could move, strange green vortexes of air knocked away the remaining Truphma, and behind them they could see Xage and Storm running towards them.

“The reactor’s unstabilizing at a faster rate than we’d calculated. We need to get out of here now!” Storm bellowed.
“Xage, c’mon!” He motioned towards Xage, who quickly began muttering incantations beneath his breath.
Storm began concentrating his energy, causing the air around them to swirl and making them all rise.
A green vortex began covering them as they all began levitating. And soon, the group were on their way out of the camp. However, a massive shockwave shook them, as the Reactor exploded, and soon a colossal fireball began engulfing everything as it expanded at a staggering pace.
Moe yelped “I don’t think we’re gonna make it!”
Taelord spoke grimly “It’s been a real honour serving our land beside you all!”
Xage faked a smile “Well, they say the last ride is the greatest ride!”

Soon, the fire ball was almost upon them.
Hict spoke coldly “Don’t worry! I got this. “
Storm asked “What’d you mean?”
Hict replied coldly “You’ll see!! “
He summoned his wind blade again, and flew out of the vortex. He lifted his sword, which began glistening with a greenish grey glow. And then in one swift motion, he sent a shockwave towards the vortex, accelerating them well beyond the fireballs speed.

They began moving at such a breakneck speed, that in a moment Hict was all but a tiny figure against an expanse of crimson. A moment later, that tiny figure was engulfed in a sea of red.

The shockwave subsided just as they neared Battleon. Xage and Storm completely drained of their energy collapsed, removing the vortex and levitation and sending them all into free fall.
Moe caught hold of Xage, and Taelord caught Storm, and they both jumped in midair, landing just a few paces of Yulgar’s.
“Medics! We need Medics” Taelord screamed out. Soon, they were surrounded by a sea of Guardians, who immediately began tending to Xage and Storm.
A blue streak appeared across the horizon, and soon a blue horse was visible, along with a rider. Soon, the horse Svadlifari appeared and its rider jumped off. He removed his helmet, to reveal his face.
Seth spoke in light tone “So I guess that’s mission accomplished! Well done, all of you! “
Moe said grimly “Yeah, but we have one casualty! Hict didn’t make it”.
Seth narrowed his eyebrows “Hict, didn’t make it? Sure mate, whatever floats your boat!”
“Care to join me for a drink?” He motioned to them. Moe and Taelord helped up Xage and Storm, and they followed Seth into Yulgar’s.
A booming, yet familiar voice greeted them in, but it wasn’t Yulgar or Hans. Rather besides Seth stood a living, breathing Hict.
“SHANNARO!!!” Moe exclaimed with delight, dropping Xage in the process.
“But..How?” Lord Taelord couldn’t believe his eyes. “We saw...in that...fireball”.
Seth laughed, almost hysterically, and was joined by Hict who almost fell over laughing.
Seth calmed down, and spoke “You do realise that Hict is IMMORTAL right? That’s why the name Hict the Immortal!”
Hict exclaimed “Yeah, don’t you know? True gamers never die, they just respawn!”
With that, Seth and Hict once again burst into hysterical laughter.


Soon, they all had a booth to themselves, where Seth and Yulgar, sat intently, listening to the blow by blow details of the mission by Moe and Xage.
One battle had been one, but thousands more remained. But a small time with friends wouldn’t hurt.As a wise man surrounded by flesh eating, dull rotting humanoids once said “Enjoy the little things!



Part 3:Elements Deceived : Enter the A-team
Characters:
All of the above!


The Destruction of the Sub-Battleon station of the Truphma had created a small Dent in their plans of an assault, a small dent but a dent nonetheless.
However, this didn’t seem to sit well with Xov, who now had taken a personal hand in the protection of their camps.
“This is unacceptable! Such a shame, that over a hundred of our kind lost their lives because of a team of human filth”.
“How many of these wretches attacked our encampment?” She asked.

“Umm... five sir...ma’am” A Truphma soldier kneeling before her stammered.

“Unacceptable!” She bellowed.

Suddenly from a nearby door a large general entered, panting. He was covered in blood and filth, his white uniform giving off a grey shade.

“Lady Xov... the Camp... attacked... Warning...” And he collapsed.

“Who is this?” Xov screamed. “What happened to him”.

“He is general Galbatorix. We lost transmission from his encampment a few days back” A Truphma spoke.

“We believe, his camp was also attacked, and he may be the only survivor”. He continued.

“That’s It!!” Xov screamed, her voice reverberating across the room.

“Now, its our move “she snarled.



Meanwhile, in a shady room in Battleon’s inn,

“Alright, Adrian what’d you see?” Seth asked.

“Xov’s becoming more careful. Those attacks on two of her strongholds have made her more cautious. She’s personally sent her handpicked body guards to guard her main encampment” Adrian said.

“This just went from bad to worse!” Moe exclaimed.

“Taking out one of their biggest encampments to toil the war was bad, but extra protection? On top of over a thousand Truphma” Madara sighed.

Hict smirked “Well, well... I love a good challenge. This just become more interesting!”.

“This is outright outrageous!” Xage squeaked.

Hikari stood silent, and then he muttered “So, what’s the plan big guy?”

Seth’s eyes began glowing with a reddish glow, and ten sheets of paper flew up, and one by one were given to those present in the room.

Taelord smiled “This is good”.

Storm studied the paper, and then nodded.

Wyrm grunted “Will work!”

Popinloopy smiled “I’m gonna enjoy this”.

Moe exclaimed “This is outrageous! Its madness! It’s perfect! “

“It gets better” Seth gleamed, and he put a lollipop in his mouth.




Part 4: Elements Deceived: Planning makes Perfect!

Characters:
All of the above!
Introducing Abaraa,Master of death(Abaraa)


It was the dawn of a new day, and the beginning of the Truphma’s downfall. We’ll at least one of their main encampments. Just a couple of days back, Seth had created a plan. A plan so ingenious, so deadly, so eerily outrageous...It was almost perfect. Perfect enough to get them killed that is!

And today was day of that plan’s execution. One more member had joined their A-team, Abaraa or more common from his alias “the master of Death”.

The whole squad stood around a circular table, completely geared for battle.
Seth, the orchestrator of the plan spoke “Alright men, this is the final de-briefing before we begin this mission”.
“In front of you, there are forms which require your signatures. In event of your untimely demise, your relatives, next of kin or your unfortunate ghosts cannot sue organisations such as the guardians, the Paxians Inc, or me”.
Hict looked around in front of him, then behind, then again in front of him. Puzzled, he said “How come there isn’t one for me?”

Seth said “You don’t need one. You’re immortal”.

Lord Taelord coughed “Aren’t we all immortal in a way. I mean, the Reaper just sends us back anyway!”

Seth grinned “This is just in case he doesn’t”.

Moe asked “Ok, we all know what we’re supposed to do, but what’s the whole plan?”

Seth grinned “Glad you asked”. He motioned to Madara “If you would?”

Madara clapped his hands, extinguishing all candle flames, except for the ones from the main fireplace.

Madara then concentrated, and his eyes began glowing with a reddish light. His eyes then projected a holographic layout.

Hikari, seemingly more interested spoke “What’s that?”

Storm gasped “Is that...? But how...?”

Wyrm spoke “That’s a Truphma camp isn’t it?”

Adrian beamed “Not just any camp. They’re stronghold in the midlands”

Abaraa, the latest member asked “But how did you guys manage to do it? This is accurate down to the last detail!”

Madara exclaimed “Well, we have Adrian to thanks for that. His shadow morph powers are amazing assets when it comes to espionage”.

Adrian blushed “Oh, stop it you“.

“Alright, enough with the brony talk. What’s this about?” Popinloopy grunted.

“What’s wrong Popinloopy? Taelord asked.

“Oh, don’t worry; he just lost a competition, trying locking n popping!” Moe grinned.

“Alright, back on topic please! I can’t keep this holograph on forever!” Madara shot out.

“Why is he acting like a moderator?” Xage asked.

Wyrm whispered “It’s because he didn’t get to joke around Eschaton. Now listen”.

“Continuing” Seth spoke, “There are currently twelve members in this Alpha team. Our plan is to split up into three independent A-teams, where each team will work to accomplish a certain agenda, Offense, Stealth and Diversion”.
“Wait, since we’re the A-team, splitting up makes us the B-teams right?” Hict joked.

“Yeah, else us guys as a whole should be the AAA –team!” Popinloopy pointed out.

“You know we aren’t a battery right!” Taelord stated.

“As I was saying, members will be divided into three groups, based on their individual strengths” Seth continued.
“First up, the offense team will include Hict, Madara, Moe and Me”.
“Second, the stealth team will include Lord Taelord, Adrian. Storm and Xage”.
“Finally, the distraction team will be Wyrm, Hikari, Popinloopy and Abaraa”.
“Now please arrange yourselves into your respective teams” he ended.
But the groups were busier discussing amongst themselves. “I’m Hannibal Smith”
“No, I am, you’re totally Murdoch!”
“Hell no, you’re totally Face!”
Madara stopped his holograph. Both he and Seth stood silent, gazing as their team immersed in deep, totally unrelated discussion.
Madara grimaced “Now I know how forum moderators feel”.

“I know right!” Seth responded.

Storm, the only one besides Seth and Madara uninvolved in the rants bellowed “Enough!”
“This is serious people!” He continued.

Madara began focusing again, but was stopped by Hikari “Chill, I got this!”

Saying that, he placed a small cube with a projector on it. In an instant, the projection of the Camp layout appeared once again.

Madara confused, asked “Where’d you get that?”

Hikari smiled “Got it from Tep, who got it from Kamui”.

“Alright Madara, if you’d care to explain the layout” Seth requested.

“Right” Madara spoke, cleared his throat and continued “First up, the overview”.
“It’s a square shaped camp with fifteen foot walls covering it. However, Adrian’s scouting insists that the
Western wall is slightly thinner than the rest, and the eastern wall is thicker. Clearly, they’re not really got at architecture”
Popinloopy chirped “I think that’s a bit obvious”.

“Continuing, there is a circular wall surrounding the wall surrounding the walls, providing further protection to the encampment. However, the wall is still thinner towards the west is thinner.”

“This may be because, the entrance to the camp is located towards the east. Now, their core reactor, the largest on Lore is located at the dead centre of the camp” Madara ended.

“Right, that’s me now” Taelord continued.
“There are four guard towers located at the edges of the camp, which have approximately fifty guards more or less stationed at all times”.

“Now, there are eight major power lines that go out from the main reactor. Four of them go to the guard towers; two go to the portals, one to the quarters and one to the main command centre”.

“Ok” Hikari asked, “So we’re supposed to attack the electricity lines?”

“Correct” Seth nodded in confirmation, “But not entirely”.

“You see, these power lines branch into sub lines that power the other buildings in the camp. If you cut off the power to the towers, the communication complex, the ammunition and the Generals quarters will experience a complete blackout” Seth continued.
“So in order for the plan to work, we need to sever off the power to the towers and the main command centre.”

“But what about the portals? What about their power?” Moe asked.

Storm, who was silently listening until this point of time, spoke “Once we cut off communication and control the reactor, the portals won’t be a problem”.

“So, once we do that, then what?” Hikari asked.

“Well, then we attach C4 explosives, and get out” Adrian spoke.

“That came out like a psychotic kid you know!” Abaraa smiled.
“My teacher gave me a C4 grade; I gave her house a C4 bomb!”

“Just to be sure, shouldn’t we just place a few people to guard the portals”

“That’s where we’ll come in” Hict spoke.

“While the distraction team, well distracts and the stealth team cuts off the power and gets to the reactor, we will guard the portals and stop any incoming threats and hostilities that are headed towards the main reactor”.

Popinloopy asked “True, but there will be incoming forces from all four directions. That means, each of you will have to hold off a point”.

Moe smiled “Leave that to us, we’ll handle it!”

“So” Taelord spoke “We will attack the entrance, creating a diversion”

Popinloopy grinned “Yep, they all die in this version!”
Abaraa spoke “Yup, you’re totally Murdoch!”

Hict continued “We, the offense team will take out the guard towers, dividing their forces long enough to give the Stealth team to take over the Reactor”.

“But, before that” Storm added “me and Taelord have to take out the power lines from the sky”

Taelord nodded “Yes, we’ll first create a diversion, taking out the power lines with our feathers”

Hikari snorted. Popinloopy asked “Waddup?”
Hikari spoke with a wide grin “No, was just thinking about birdbrains...”

Taelord looked offended “Hey! I think of myself as the Elemental hero avian!”

Hikari exploded “You’re still half birdbrain!”
Storm rebuked “That’s enough Hikari, get serious!”

Hikari apologised, still laughing however.

“Then we, the offense team will take out the western towers, and take on the Quarters” Moe added.

“At which point, we the invisibles sneak in take over the reactor and cut off the power” Xage continued.

“Actually” Madara intervened. “Only two of you will set up the C4. Xage you’re gonna have to set up barriers towards the south along with Adrian”.
Wyrm pointed out “I thought the offense team is gonna handle the defence of the reactor”
Madara said “True, but just in case considering the main command centre as well as the generals quarters are south of the Reactor”.

Abaraa then asked “Wait, how many Generals actually are we talking about?”

Adrian replied “Four that I’ve seen. Originally, it was run by a vicious Truphma general named Bayyne”.
“However since our attacks, security has been tightened and three more were sent by Xov for better supervision”.

“Who are they?” Hict asked.

“General Galbothoricks, the general we let go, then general Waydurr and general Morhisson”. Adrian concluded.

“Why do they sound like I’ve heard those names before?” Hikari questioned.

“They’re Truphma mate! Don’t expect any innovative names... They’ve just modified names of other villains, Vader, Bane, Galbatorix and well Morrison” Abaraa smirked.

“Alright...That’s enough talk. I’ve factored in enough contingencies in case something doesn’t go according to plan” Seth spoke.
“Everybody, stick to the plan!” Madara pointed out. “We’ve spent a long time on this one, Seth and me”.

“Hey! I’m the one who did all the brainstorming” Seth fumed. “All you did was chat up my cousin sister! “.
Madara blushed.

“Wait how much time did you actually spend on this?” Wyrm asked.


“I am offended, how dare you question my integr...” Seth argued.

“Just tell us!” Hikari demanded.

“An hour.... forty minutes if you take away the time I had snacks!”.

“We’re risking our lives for a plan you made in forty minutes?” Popinloopy exclaimed.

“Hey give him a minute, he’s good! Give him ten minutes, he’s great.... Give him forty five minutes, he’s unbeatable!” Hict defended.

Taelord replied “I think you’ve got the time line mixed up”.

“It’s supposed to be good minute, great hour, unbeatable six months” Taelord said.

“Hey, that’s supposed to be my line!” Seth exclaimed.

“You’re Face remember, Hict?” Seth concluded.

“Wow, you realise you just called him two names in one sentence!” Adrian sorted.

“Yeah, that’s pitiful, Seth!” Madara laughed.

“It’s PITY-FOOL Madara, say it nicely! Pity-FOOL!” Popinloopy explained.

“Right people, get it on track” Storm interrupted.

“We’re gonna meet up at Paxia in three hours time. Apparently, Paxius wants to give us something which he thinks is gonna be helpful! Abaraa included.

“Wow, Paxius helping us personally? That’s gonna be different ‘innit!” Xage joked.

“Yeah, I wonder if it’s a C-130 fighter plane with a tank, which we’re gonna fly!” Abaraa snorted.

“Really? How clichéd do you think the writer is? Hict asked.

“Based on our dialogues so far, I’d say very” Storm joked.

After a loud bout of applause and laughter, the team made their way out of Xage’s dingy Forest mansion. Their goal clear, all that stood between them and victory were weird, dull creatures without the slightest bit of brain. YOLOSWAG anyone?




Part 5: Elements Deceived: Power of Four?

Characters in this chapter:
Dark Wizard Adrian(Darksaber22)


“Everything seems to be going according to plan” A tall, stubbly creature spoke.
He resembled a wise sage, yet he looked tainted. He was bald, and had a potbelly and a really scraggly grey beard. He would have passed off as a human any day, but the feature that gave it away were his eyes. They were triangular in shape, and were pupil less. They resembled the eyes of a Truphma.

“Those foolish heroes believed everything we told them” He continued.

“Excellent” Xov purred, clearly pleased. “So, they’ve taken in our scout without a moment of hesitation is it?”

“Bayy” a gargantuan emerged from the shadows. “Bayyne!” He bellowed, pounding his chest. The creature wore a breathing apparatus, which covered a majority of his face. He was heavily built, with rippling, bulging muscles. He wore combat boots, and a Truphma coat whose sleeves had been torn off, and a pair of cargo trousers. His eyes, were vacant and pupil less, like other Truphma and he wore a garland of leaves around his neck, and had a single long leaf on his forehead.

After a bout of heavy breathing, a muffled but powerful voice filled the room “We may have given the exact schematics of this encampment, but in return we will be able to sweep away all the members of this so called A-team”.
Soon the person came out in the light. He resembled a Cyborg, with a kabuto helmet, and a respirator. His movement was strained, however he was heavily armed.
“Are you sure lady Xov that you don’t wish to see their downfall? He continued.
Soon, another being hovered into the room. It was a creature that didn’t resemble anything found on lore. It had the head of a cobra, and it wore an army cap. It’s body was covered by a circular armor, and the only other visible body part was its slithering tail, at the bottom of its circular hovercraft. Its hovercraft was painted with war medals and stars. On its sides were two colossal double barrelled machine guns.

It spoke “Yessss lady Xovv! Allow usss to ssserve you the pleasssure of crussshing down their lassst resssissstance!” It finished.

Xov spoke “I wish I could, Vayyder and Morhisson. But I must tend to the other camps as well....”

The wild wrestler general pounded his chest and roared.

Xov, displeased screamed “Bayyne, control yourself. Save the pounding for later”.

The creature named Bayyne nodded, and said “Bay!” in agreement.
Finally, she turned to the sage like Truphma “I hope Galbathoricks, you don’t disappoint me again!”
Saying that, she proceeded outside the room.

All eyes turned towards the Fat Truphma general. He stood lost in thought, his eyes however gleamed with a menacing prowl.
He said to himself “Oh, I promise lady Xov, I promise”.

He then bought out a remote and clicked a combination of buttons. Soon the walls of the room parted, to reveal a prison. Electricity seemed to surge through its jagged bars, and inside it stood a lone prisoner. The main scout of the A-team, their best espionage agent, Adrian stood, his eyes sparkling with fury.

The cyborg general turned towards Adrian “It’s amazing isn’t it? What a few anti magic and anti shadow runes coupled with an electrical prison can accomplish....”

“Capture the great ssshadow morpher” Morhisson hissed.

Galbothoricks nodded in agreement, and set out a glee “Indeed, everything is going according to plan!”



Part 6: Elements Deceived: The Fatal Flaw

Characters:
Dark wizard Adrian(Darksaber22)
Popinloopy(Popinloopy)
Madara Uchiha(Muchiha)
Moe(moe)
Xage, Seth(ss2195)
Hict (Hict98)
Moe(moe)
Lord Taelord(Heroes of the scape)
Wyrm(Flashbang)



Moe stood calmly in front of the Truphma gate, clenching his Midnight Dragon blade, as a hundred or so Truphma stood on the wall. The Truphma had set him firmly in their sight, their crossbows and guns aimed at him.

He stood tall, with a calm poker face masking his true feeling. He thought to himself “Why me?”
But he knew why, he himself had volunteered.

His voice echoed inside his head “I can handle it guys, this is gonna be a piece of cake!”
Now he knew how wrong he’d been. A stubbly figure appeared, from the description by Adrian he recognised him as General Galbothoricks. The general turned to him and spoke, “Hello adventurer, or should I say Moe!”
Moe was surprised “Wait, how did he know my name” He thought to himself. But then, he remembered Paxus’s words “There is someone in your team who’s shady, someone who isn’t what they seem”.

Moe erased his thoughts, and announced “I’m Moe, master swordsmen and I’m here to ruin you!”

“Muahahahahhaha!” Galbathoricks laughed. “You really think you can take out a whole cantonment of elite Truphma soldiers and me aswell?” He bellowed.

“Just Who the hell do you think I am?” Moe smirked. “This” he pointed to his blade “Is a blade that can pierce the heavens, what chance do two badly engineered walls have?”

A figure jumped off in front of him, in a sparkling white armor. “I believe it was the drill that will pierce the heavens” the man spoke.
He removed his helmet to reveal his face, and it was Hict. “Get your references straight”
Moe smirked, everything seemed going according to plan. He and Hict together were one formidable team, strong and yet diverse enough to surprise their enemies.

Hict looked at Moe, and then asked “What are you waiting for? Well, suit up!”
Moe said “Yeah, sorry forgot!” He then clenched his fists and muttered “Turtle sage mode!”
And with a whirl of smoke, stood a tiny blue moglin, on top of a giant turtle. On its shell was a giant cannon. The little blue moglin held a grey shield, the Chieftains ironthorn and the midnight dragon blade.
“Ready” the blue creature muffled.

However, the General had his own plans. He thought to himself “I must finish off this threat before they have a chance to make a move. Even if we know their plan, we must avoid being complacent”

“Archers, at the ready” he motioned towards the Truphma, who aimed their weaponry.
“Fire” he screamed. Following his words, a sea of arrows made their way towards the two.
However before the arrows could reach them, half a dozen vortexes of swirling wind collided with the arrows, knocking them off and striking the Truphma soldiers who stood at the camp walls.

Galbathoricks was stunned. “This wasn’t supposed to be part of their plan” he thought to himself.
The vortexes subsided to show Xage floating in midair, wind swirling around him.

“That’s are cue” Moe exploded. He motioned to his mount and the cannon on the giant tortoise’s shell took aim, and let loose a massive volley of water.
The force of impact knocked down half the wall, exposing the inner fortified wall.

“Now, my turn” Hict declared, as he once again put on his helmet and summoned a gigantic lance.
“If I’m gonna drill to the heavens, no matter what’s in my way, I won’t stop! Once I‘ve drilled through, it means I’ve won! Just who the hell do you think I am?” He screamed as he rushed forward, with his lance spinning like a drill.

The collision of his lance sent a massive shockwave, which left nothing but rubble in place of the two walls.
Galbothoricks, who was once again on the ground stood stunned.”But how” he thought to himself. This wasn’t part of their plan, the wind mage wasn’t supposed to be here, he was supposed to be sneaking into their reactor, unless..

Xage sent a barrage of powerful flames at the General, which he dodged, and he tried unsheathing his sword, but it was knocked off right of his hands by a barrage of feather. Lord Taelord swooped up and knocked him out. A few Truphma tried to counter strike, but were stopped in their tracks by Wyrm and Popinloopy.

Wyrm struck down a Truphma, and then slashed his way through another one. Popinloopy struck down a column of soldiers with an Awe blast from his staff. However, a few soldiers managed to get a jump on them and pinned down Popinloopy, and cornered Wyrm.

“Time to meet your doom!” A Truphma soldier hissed, as he tried plunging a spear into Wyrm’s chest, but was instead impaled by a flaming blade held by Xage .The surrounding soldiers looked stunned and hesitated; this gave Popinloopy and Wyrm enough time to fight back and they struck down the remaining Truphma regiment.

The General Galbathoricks looked stunned; his entire plan was falling apart right in front of his eyes. He looked around to see lifeless bodies of Truphma soldiers, and he saw the living ones being torn apart by half a dozen of the army he’d seemingly outsmarted.

An influx of Truphma soldiers stormed through the breached walls.
Taelord thought to himself “There must be two to three hundred of these things standing at the wall”
“How long are we supposed to hold these things off?”

“Lord Taelord” Xage asked. “You’re in charge, what’s the plan?”

“Taelord, hurry” Popinloopy yelled “Those things are swarming!”

Taelord spoke “Alright men, we’ve got to hold this flank for some more time”.

“Hict and Moe, take the offensive lead. Xage and Wyrm, turn anything that gets past those two into dust, and Popinloopy and me, we’re gonna keep their numbers in check with long range and aerial assaults”

The group nodded, each of them began summoning their battle necessities. A swirling vortex of wind surrounded Hict, and in his hand, stood a gleaming blue coloured blade which was surrounded by pulsating winds.

Moe summoned a magnificent blue blade with three Ice blue orbs. His body became tensed as a blue aura began surrounding him. Moments later, his features began morphing, and his size began growing exponentially. We the aura vanished, there stood a massive fifty or so foot blue dragon.
His teammates stood in awe. He was one of the few yet who had been granted the power to transform into the Frost Wyrm Tera Suul. He began speaking to them telepathically, and he said “Impressed? OmG, I’m a dragon, holy hell I’m a dragon!”

The Truphma stood in their tracks, none of them dared move a muscle. Even Galbathoricks looked stunned.
“Is this even possible, can those Humans now gain the power of the Great dragons themselves?” He thought to himself.

This was the second such transformation he had seen, the first being accomplished by Moe’s team mate, the Kakashi look-alike, who had transformed into the great bird, the Lord of the Skies.
H e wondered how many of the others had this gift. However, he saw that the others to began their battle preparations. Wyrm stood ready in his Knight armor, and held aloft his gleaming Light oriented Blade of Awe.

Xage surrounded himself in a steam punk’ed monstrosity, the Tinkerer, and summoned an ice blue mallet, the arcane war hammer.

Popinloopy smirked “Hey Moe. You’re not the only one who can transform you know!” With that he summoned his Airenal’s Lance.
Galbathoricks gasped, his fears had materialised. His forces were gonna face two gigantic legendary beasts in a battle.

While lost in thought, Galbathoricks turned around to see the Lord of the Skies bird perched next to the Frost Wyrm.

Lord Taelord smiled, “Well now, none of us have to do anything, except those two”. He thought to himself.
“Ok, rest of you who aren’t something that look like bit- beasts, have a seat”.
“No point breaking a sweat now!” He motioned to Hict, Wyrm, Xage .
“Xage if you will” he motioned to Xage.
Xage nodded, and muttered an incantation causing four sandy chairs to appear.
Wyrm exclaimed “Great, anyone got moglinberry juice?”
Hict said” Nah, Mountain dew?”
Taelord exclaimed “Great, C’mon time for relaxation”.
Wyrm motioned To Popinloopy and Moe, “C’mon do your thing”.
Xage spoke “To bad this is supposed to be PG-13, else I had a few chocolate Cubans!”
“Yeah man” Wyrm nodded in agreement.
Taelord thought to himself, about the first meeting that he, Madara, Seth and Adrian had conducted.
He thought to himself, “Who the hell did they think we were? IMF in mission not possible: ghouls rule..?”

He thought about how the meeting begun in a black and white flashback.

Seth spoke “Adrian, I have a mission for you. I need you to get captured by the Truphma, snooping around”.
Adrian looked shocked.
Taelord had gasped “You know, they might kill him right?”
Madara spoke “I don’t think so, something me and Seth profiled about our Truphma friends is that they have a lot of Hubris. They’re too proud for their own good”.
Seth continued “They’re the kind that will want to try to outsmart us, if they can”
“Here” he handed a black, pocket sized box to Adrian. “It’s a Teleporter, I snuck it in from Kamui’s lab, the last time I was there”. It isn’t affected by any sort of EMF or Magic, so it won’t fail of you need it”.

Madara said “Now, if I had to guess, once they captured you, they will probably question you and you need to tell them what we’re up to”.

Seth continued “Now, if I’ve analysed them good enough, they will try to infiltrate our operation, by probably disguising one of their agents and giving us an extremely detailed schematics of their encampment, more than Adrian, or any of us could possibly accomplish.”

“The infiltrator Adrian will probably be extremely nosy and a bit over the top to try to meld in and get hold of our attack simulation” He continued.

Madara pointed out “Now, here is where it’s gonna get tricky. We have to make sure, none of our teammates get suspicious about the Infiltrator periodic disappearances”.

Lord Taelord spoke “I think, I’ll take care of that”.

Madara nodded, then continued “Now, we’re gonna set a date of our attack, which will be the day we actually do it”.

Seth said “Now, I’ve given notes to each one of you, about our battle plan, but there is also something else written on it!”

Adrian smiled “Just agree about a fake plan on the pre mission meeting, and act along”.

Madara sniggered “That’s gold, I mean really Gold!!”

Taelord smiled ‘Nice, continue please!”.

Seth said “Alright, the actual plan is this...”

“We’re gonna be split into three teams, two Diversion teams and a stealth team.”

“Taelord, you’re gonna lead of one of the stealth teams. You’re gonna take along Xage, Hict, Moe, Popinloopy, Wyrm along with you. You’re gonna have to make the attack tactics yourself, but I’m more than convinced that you can pull it off”.

“Madara” he motioned, “You’re gonna lead the stealth team along with Storm and Hikari”.
Adrian asked “Wait, what about the third team? What about you?”

Seth smiled “Adrian’s gonna be in prison, so I’m and set off a distraction for Madara’s team to free him from the general’s command centre”.

Madara slightly concerned “Will you be able to pull it off?”

Seth nodded, “trust me, I can! Plus I need the practice, I need to outkill Hict in this War!”

The cheesy comment set of bouts of laughter and jokes, until Adrian asked “Alright, that’s good enough for that. But what about Abaraa?”

“Abaraa has a job of his own. Remember Paxus is gonna give us a gift?” Madara spoke.
“Let’s just say he has a lot of digging to do!”

Seth continued “After, you all free Adrian, get to the reactor which you will see is already cleared, courtesy of Abaraa and set up the remote explosives. Then use Adrians teleporter to get out. If it isn’t able to take all of you, then go out through the exit, where Taelord and his team have taken out”.

“Then about you Seth? Adrian asked.

Seth smiled “I’ve got to meet these so called Generals, try to get to know their plans. In case I need a little more help in persuasion, I’ll send out a scrambler beacon!”

Madara smirked “Not bad Seth, no bad at all!”

Adrian asked “So a plan within a plan is it?”

Seth laughed “Hey, what can I do? My plans tend to have plans!”

Taelord spoke “So technically we’re not just one step ahead of the enemy are we?”
Madara smiled “Actually, two to three steps ahead”.

Adrian exclaimed “We’re beating the enemy’s move before its even made, now that’s a plan”

Seth muffled, clearly wanting to say something. “I’m gonna have to wait for a few more days aren’t I?”

Everyone else nodded, while trying to suppress their laughter.

“So much for that” He muttered.

Lord Taelord left the flashback to focus on his current situation. Moe and Popinloopy had just combined their attacks, in a spectacular blizzard which had decimated the eastern portion of the camp completely, leaving all but one person, General Galbathoricks.

Galbathoricks seemed to have used multiple Truphmas to shield himself from the combined blast. But now, strange tattoos seemed to have appeared on his body, glowing with an incandescent purple light.

This seemed extremely out of the ordinary, since the Truphma didn’t use any form of magic or mysticism. The relaxing members of the team got back to their feet, realising the urgency of the moment.

The general ripped off his shirt, to reveal several intersecting tattoos. In a swift motion, uncommon for a person of his age, he unsheathed his blade, a massive buster blade that emanated a foreboding aura and plunged it into the ground, sending a colossal shockwave towards the team. Xage jumped into the air, and Wyrm and Taelord followed suit.
Hict however, used his blade to counter by sending an equally strong shockwave. The two shockwaves, each of opposite alignment met, creating a massive explosion.

Taelord bellowed, “Alright team, battle stations!”
With that, he sent a barrage of razor sharp feathers from his wings, and was aided by Xage, who intensified them by sending half a dozen vortexes at the general.
Galbathoricks didn’t have enough time to dodge, since he wouldn’t be able to jump past the range of the assault. Instead he pounded the ground with an incantation, and protruding pillar of earth rose up, and shielded him. He then pulled out his sword and struck the stone wall, shattering it whole and sending razor sharp stone edges towards them.

The stone shrapnel moved a blinding pace, and there was almost no time for them to dodge it.
Xage, still in midair summoned a Azamay golem, which produced a force field and it absorbed the brunt of the edges meanwhile Taelord sent an aerial shockwave to through the stones off balance.

Wyrm used his blade, and sent out an awe blast towards Galbathoricks who caught the beam in his hand, and instead deflected towards Moe and Popinloopy.
While Moe and Popinloopy managed to dodge the beam due to their increased reflexes, however both of them were caught off guard.

The sudden increase in Galbathoricks strength sent a shadow of doubt among the team regarding their control over the situation.
Galbathoricks sneered “I haven’t been pushed into a corner in years. Hahahhahahahahaha!!!”
“You know, I used to be a human once, a magical fighter. But the limitations of the human mentality, of their power, stalled me in my quest of perfection”.

“So you became a Truphma?” Xage shot out.
“Hardly, I just adopted their ways, learned to use their strengths. While I’m still not trusted by their kind, even lady Xov doesn’t trust me, due to the fact that they shun the use of magic .But the extent of my power me their begrudging respect, and I rose to the rank of their general”.

Wyrm asked in a confused tune “Ok, sure but why exactly are you telling us this?”

Hict nodded “Yeah, this isn’t Oprah you know!”
“Ok, now I’m bored” Taelord spoke.

Galbathoricks gleamed, “Now to show you the true extent of my power!” and a yellow aura began emanating around him, his muscles began expanding in size, and his hair stood up on end, and in a loud crash, sent a shockwave.
The shockwave was so strong; it knocked of every one of their feet, and sent Xage and Taelord sprawling to the ground. Even Moe and Popinloopy, in their creature forms were knocked off balanced.
While everyone recovered and got back on their feet, Galbathoricks had undergone another transformation. He now looked younger, more muscular and now had a wispy black dragon circling around him. On his shoulder was a black stone, which shimmered with dazzling intensity”.

Xage conferred “That stone.... I can sense that it’s the source of his sudden increase in his power”.

“Very good observation Xage” He motioned towards Xage, who immediately doubled back.
“This” he pointed towards the black jewel “is a Weldunharri”.

Wyrm asked “What’s that?”

“Glad you asked” He smirked. “This is the kidney stone of a space dragon; the magical energy of a dragon passes through its kidney, in very rare cases if it has a kidney stone, that pure power gets stored into that stone” He finished.

“Wait till Cyrus hears about this!” Hict shouted.

“Oh, there’s nothing that blue shifter can do about it... He’s on vacation I’ve heard”.

Xage shot out “Ok, he’ll definitely get back at you once he gets back”.
Taelord spoke “I don’t think Cyrus will get a chance”
“You” he motioned towards Galbathoricks “Won’t even see the light of tomorrow”.

“That’s a really bold prediction, Lord Taelord” Galbathoricks sneered, “Might I ask, how exactly gonna pull it off?”
“It’s easy, it’s your arrogance that’s gonna end your life” Taelord replied.

“If only words could kill” Galbathoricks laughed.

Madara’s words echoed in Taelord’s mind “Something me and Seth profiled about our Truphma friends is that they have a lot of Hubris. They’re too proud for their own good”.
While all this time, they’d kept him busy with a pre-battle pep talk, Wyrm under his orders had sneaked up above Galbathoricks, with help from an invisibility spell by Xage.

While so intoxicated by his surge of power, Galbathoricks hadn’t realised that one of the members of the team had gone missing.

Moe and Popinloopy, who all this time were in their transformations, returned back to their regular armors.
Galbathoricks sneered “Oh, giving up already? I promise you I’ll give you both a quick and painless death”.
Xage mentioned “I don’t really think that’ll be necessary!”
“Usually, people are advised to look down, I on the other hand, advise you to look up!” Xage concluded.

A chill went down Galbathoricks spine, and then a deadly realisation crept up; one of the members of the A-team had vanished, the one named Wyrm.
With a slow, terrified look, he shifted his gaze upward. But there wasn’t anything above him.
Slowly, the fear crept away and a glee appeared on his face.
But then suddenly he felt a sharp, deep pain across his back, as if someone had kicked him real hard. The force of the impact sent him flying forwards and as he turned around, he could see Wyrm suspended in midair; clearly he was the one who’d kicked him.

As he rushed forward towards Xage, he began preparing for a counter attack. He could use momentum to take down Xage. He clenched his sword, and prepared to plunge it into Seth.

However, Xage in the last minute moved aside and slammed his Arcane warhammer onto Galbathoricks‘s chest. With a few broken bones, Galbathoricks was once again in motion, this time facing a head on collision towards Lord Taelord.
However, he felt a sudden, sharp pain as he saw lord Taelord fly through. He realised that Taelord had used his wings as a blade to slash through him.
Now bleeding profusely, he was headed towards nothing; Galbathoricks tried stopping his current situation. He used his strength to lift his blade, in an effort to slow down but once again experienced a nerve tearing pain, as he saw Moe pass by next to him with his Midnight dragon blade.

Finally Hict appeared in appeared in front of him, and used his sword to send a shockwave of razor sharp wind. Galbathoricks tried using his sword to block the pulse. However, the swirling winds around the pulse tore apart the blade.

Galbathoricks knew this was the end. The pulse of wind that he was head bound towards was swirling with winds that could tear him apart in a moment. He braced for the impact, praying in his head for forgiveness. For all the people he’d slain, for the day he’d lost his humanity. And then it happened, one moment of intense pain, such that he had never experienced before. He felt as though a chainsaw was running through every inch of his body. And then the next moment, there was nothing.

The group witnessed as the shockwave tore apart Galbathoricks. When the shockwave subsided, there was nothing left oh him.
“Ok, how did you learn to do that?” Popinloopy asked Hict.
“Bah... Long story!” Hict replied.
“Right, this area is clear” Taelord spoke.
“Ok guys, let’s secure this area. Xage and Popinloopy...”
But then, a yellow beacon appeared across the sky.
Taelord remembered about Seth’s call. But whom to send, he thought to himself. Moe and Hict were exceptionally tired and so was Wyrm. And they needed at least one spellcaster to backup. He looked at Xage. Xage, he sensed was almost at his full strength and hadn’t consumed much of his mana. Taelord realised, that he was the only viable option.
“Xage” he spoke “Follow the beacon’s source, Seth’s in trouble... or at least needs assistance”.
Xage nodded “Right” and flew off.

Taelord let out a sigh of relief, this part of their plan had been completed.
He said “I hope that the rest of them don’t have a horrible time”.

Popinloopy nodded “Don’t worry, be patient... the rest of them wont mess up, well at least not that much!




Part 7: Elements Deceived: The plan falls....into place!


Deep within the earth in the midlands, a behemoth of a tank chugged along, drilling through the earth. Its only pilot was a young warrior, Abaraa. He was the newest recruit to the A-team, a self named alpha team, running independently of the Lorian defence forces.
The sole reason of its inception was to counter the growing threat of the Truphma and their influence in Paxia.
He had been assigned a solo mission in their final assault to the largest Truphma stronghold.
He recounted the instance the sheet of paper under Seth’s command had flown into his hand.
It read
Abaraa,
Your mission is a solo, and you can’t under any circumstances reveal your true mission to anybody.
Your first checkpoint will be meeting Paxus, as he will be lending an advanced piece of weaponry he acquired from the Drakel who once invaded Paxia.
The weapon is a massive Tank, yes I know very clichéd. However, it’s an underground vehicle with lots of drills, and a huge defence system.
The objective of your mission is to use the tank and sneak beneath the Truphma lines and attack the centre point of the camp, i.e. the Core Reactor.
You have to secure the reactor, before Madara and his stealth team can come and install the explosives. Kindly escort the guarding personnel out of the premises, and take care of any threat, notably any of the commanders present.

P.S: Act like you agree about the plan we discuss on the eve of the assault

The last line made him chuckle, as he continued driving the tank. He was now within a few leagues of his intended target, and he began preparing the offense system.
He then recounted the conversation he had with Paxus, just a few hours back.

“Paxus” He gasped, after he had ran all the way from the sure to the mountain.
Paxus seemed content trying to balance his mass on his leg, as he flailed in attempt to maintain balance.

“Ah, Abaraa at last, you have arrived” He exclaimed.
“I’m really glad that you boys are doing so much for the sake of this island”.
“Don’t mention it Paxus, we all have our allegiances to one of these clans. More than a favour it’s our duty”.
“You boys sure do bring a tear in my eye. Oh well, the Tank is right there” He pointed.

Abaraa gazed at the Tank. It was a purple coloured tank with a huge central red drill, and had four wings, whose ends were also fitted with drills, albeit smaller than the main central drill.
As he walked closer, he was finally able to apprehend the true size of the beast. It stood at approximately twenty to thirty feet high, and the diameter of the main drill was almost the same as the overall height of the machine.
As he walked behind, he was able to see two massive propellers for faster movement, on top of the usual mobility system.
“How fast does this move” Abaraa inquired.
Paxus replied “enough to get you to the core reactor within two hours of making land”.
“Hmmm” Abaraa thought to himself “That’s fast, fast enough to get me in at least ten fifteen minutes after Moe starts the assault.
“Thanks Paxus, but how am I supposed to work this thing, and how will I make it to the Midlands?”

Paxus replied “Patience Abaraa, the tank has an auto pilot, so you don’t need to focus on the controls”
“As the issue about starting it, it’s got a big red button”

“Oh cool, but how am I supposed to take the tank there?”

“Just about time” Paxus motioned towards the sky, as four creatures materialized in the sky.
After a few moments, the creatures’ true form was visible. They were giant wind dragons, who landed around the tank.

“They” Paxus said pointing towards the dragons “Have agreed to carry the tank as far as the shore”.
The four dragons snorted, and then the one in front, the largest of the four, nodded.
“Paxus” Abaraa fumbled “Do you really think that they will be able to carry the weight of the tank?
“No offense you guys” He said to the pack of dragons.

And then a deep voice appeared in his head, one of the dragons presumably their leader spoke telepathically
“None taken human, I understand your scepticism; most humans are unaware of the abilities of us dragon folk”.
“Believe me our limbs can juggle the tank, least of all carry it” He concluded.
“That was a bit too much don’t you think” Abaraa spoke/

The dragons at the back appeared as they were trying to muffle a laugh.
Their leader spoke “True human, but I had to make a point”.

Abaraa got into the tank after taking his leave from Paxus, and the four dragons heaved the tank off the ground, and took off.
Abaraa was surprised at their strength, that they could lift such a huge piece of metal and not break so much as a sweat, not to mention that they even juggled the tank around a few times.
The journey, by his estimates took about half an hour, thanks to the dragons, who bid him adieu and flew off into the horizon.
He then selected the coordinates of his destination, and the AI did the rest, as the tank began moving.

He then returned to his current situation, he looked at the screen and saw that he’d reached his destination. He was at his target.
He spoke “Activate primary drill cannon”
With his command, an AI spoke “Affirmative”
The central drill began spinning furiously, and then shot upwards, leaving a huge void at the ground top. Abaraa took his chance, and jumped upwards, already donning his Horo Show void vigilante armor and wielding a gigantic green talon, the serrated sacragon spur.

His sudden appearance out of the ground had startled many of the Truphma guarding the place.
Abaraa guessed that this was his chance, as the Truphma in the room were defenceless.
He screamed “Chill out guys, it just me!” as a blast of freezing cold wind shot outwards from the mouth on his armor, and froze everything in the room, including the controls of the reactor.
“Well, that was easy” Abaraa smirked.
“Really, chill out? Ssseemsss a little clissshhhed don’t you ssink?” A slithering voice spoke.

Abaraa turned around, to see what fit the description of general Morhisson, float into the light.
“I expected more of you to attack this base, three if I’m not mistaken” It hissed.
“Oh, they’re on the way” Abaraa spoke.
“Now, if you can be kind enough to escort yourself out of this premise unless...”
“Unlessss what?” Morhisson hissed.
“Well I was supposed to first ask you to leave kindly first, now I can use force” Abaraa smirked.

Abaraa focused on the on the mouth of his armor, and let loose another Cryo-chrono blast. The intensity of the blast destroyed the entire wall behind where general Morhisson stood.

Abaraa smiled “This was easy” he thought to himself.
He then began walking towards the tank, but a slithering sound stopped him in his tanks.
He slashed his sword in the air, causing a shockwave that cleared off all the smoke. What he saw however, took him by surprise. Not only was Morhisson still standing, he didn’t have so much as a dent on his body. But now another adversary had joined him, a lean heavily armoured figure who resembled a cross between Darth Vader and Boba Fett.
He limbered his way in from the hole in the wall, and Abaraa knew this was general Vayyder.
After a bout of muffled breathing, he spoke “Your time is up”.
Abaraa spoke “I doubt it, I really doubt it! In five, four... three... two... one...”
And four figures jumped out from behind the two generals and stood beside Abaraa.
“Now two against one isn’t fair is it?” Madara spoke.

Morhisson hissed “But two againssst five isss?”

Adrian spoke “Technically we’re a wolf pack, so yeah it’s fair”.
“Whatever” Hikari sulked. “Let’s get this done with”
“Morhisson is surrounded by an energy field, except behind him” Storm said.
“Wait, when did you observe that?” Adrian asked.

“When Abaraa sent the blast, Morhisson turned sideward and the blast was just diverted from the sides. It exposed an opening at the back. That point should be the focus of our attack” Storm explained.

“Alright folks, suit up” Madara exploded.
Abaraa, while already in his battle gear stood and watched others summon their equipment.

Madara summoned his armor of awe, as well as his undead archer minion.
Storm stood calm in his cloak, whereas Adrian morphed in a shadow and summoned his staff, causing him to be surrounded by vicious claws.
Hikari summoned the garbs of a Cryomancer.

A sudden calm surrounded the room, the dead silence before all hell broke loose. Vayyder took out a sword that was sheathed at his belt, and clicked a button on the hilt, causing the entirety of the blade to be surrounded by a red laser.
“A light sword, how original” Hikari smirked.
Just as the two sides were about to charge, a sudden explosion rocked the ground, and a yellow beacon shot up into the sky.

A sudden fear crept up into Madara’s mind. “Seth’s in trouble” he thought to himself.
He spoke “Guys that signal... Seth’s in trouble”.
Storm smiled “Go, we’ll handle this!”
“Are you sure” Madara asked.
“Sure” Hikari smiled “I mean how tough can two tin cans be?”
Madara nodded. His archer disappeared and he was instantaneously surrounded by black flames. He shot off upwards and flew towards the beacon coming from the Generals command centre. He thought to himself “Hope I make it in time!”


Part 8: Elements Deceived: Three’s a crowd
Characters:
Madara Uchiha(Muchiha)
Storm Silverwing(battlemaster25)
Hikari Yume(tommy2468)
Dark Wizard Adrian(Darksaber22)
Seth Hydra(ss2195)


While Lord Taelord and his team had kept the Truphma army busy with their assault, Madara’s stealth team whisked through to the command centre to free Adrian from his self-directed prison.

Everything so far had gone according to plan, and their mission was being aided by Seth, who kept most of the fighting to himself, allowing them a clear pass to stroll through.
While Seth, Madara, Hikari and Storm had started the mission together with Seth using his Decimator’s strength to take out both the Truphma’s defence walls out with one hit, yet their paths were separate.

Storm had used his mastery over the winds to project an invisibility cloak around Madara, Hikari and himself whereas Seth went totally berserk in a bid to create a distraction. The occasional Truphma who managed to gain a jump on him were mysteriously struck down by razor sharp feather or shards of ice from a mysterious yet invisible source.
They came to a crossroad when they reached the command centre.
Storm removed his cloak, and spoke “So we’re here!”
Hikari gleamed “Time for some real action!”
“Can I start the assault? Can I Madara?”
Madara smiled “What’s gotten into you all of a sudden?”

“Oh nothing” Hikari said “This whole Truphma business has been dragging on for some time, and I want to get it over with! “

“Besides, you lot indulge in way too much pep talk!” He finished.
“That’s the spirit Hikari!” Storm sang.

“Alright guys remember the plan?” Seth asked.

“Yeah, don’t worry” Madara spoke.

“Get Adrian, and then set up the reactor!” He continued

“And watch out for a beacon” Hikari intervened “That means you’re getting whupped!”

“Not whupped Hikari!” Seth countered “Just that I require some assistance”.

“Alright, you guys better hurry! You’ve got to help Abaraa take control of the reactor room too! Seth ended.

“Good luck!” Storm spoke, and motioning to Hikari and Madara he said “C’mon lets go.”

As the threesome made their way under the spell, they passed through hordes of agitated Truphma.
Creeping their way inside, they saw Adrian standing in the centre of a giant electric cage, his every movement being monitored by a team of Truphma, However, they were different than the rest, considering they wore a black uniform, and had even harsher features more so than even regular Truphma.

Storm spoke “Seems like these are higher ops, they’re gonna be a lot tougher than regular ones”.

Madara nodded “Hikari, you sure you want to do this?”

Hikari smirked “So what if they’ve got black uniforms? I’ve been waiting all day for this”.
Hikari left the cloak and cast a spell, sending a barrage of ice shards towards the Truphma ops. The sudden assault left them defenceless, taking out a dozen or so with the assault.

However, it alerted the remaining Truphma who charged at Hikari with spears that emitted a strange pulsating aura filled with lightning.
Hikari dodged an impaling thrust from spear, and feigned a sideward motion as he used his staff as a leverage to twirl around as dole out a kick at the Truphma sending him flying.
Madara and Storm saw this as an opening and launched their own assault, as Madara launched his shadow spell, which tore apart four of their adversaries.
Storm projected himself skywards and took down two of the advancing Truphma, before a swirling mist surrounded him.
When the mist cleared, he stood wielding a giant green axe, and his red cloak was replaced by a green knight’s armor, however instead of his face, floated a grisly skull emanating a dark aura.
Madara smiled “And now you can pass as one of my undead “
Hikari gave a rare smile and said “Right, windy ghost rider or axe master do your thing! “

Storm nodded and pointed his axe towards the Truphma forces charging towards them, and a swirling tornado appeared at the end of Storm’s axe and stormed its way towards the remaining Truphma ops, the high velocity winds tearing apart the Truphma.
When the spell subsided, the room was clear and all that stood between them and Adrian was an electric cage.
But Adrian spoke “Guys, don’t come any closer”.

Hikari asked “Why, what’s wrong?”

Adrian spoke cautiously “There is a heat signature defence system near the cage, with its range around ten feet circling the cage”.
“The Truphma’s heat signature is lower than any average being, so if the sensors detect anything higher or lower, it’s struck down with a barrage of rays, which almost instantly incinerate them”.

Madara spoke “What if Hikari freezes them?”

Adrian continued “No, the Truphma installed it just after I was voluntarily brought here”.

“I’ve seen the testing they’ve done, its resistant to EMP, fire, ice.... everything that a regular person might use to tamper with them”.

Storm, now reverted back to his red cloak asked “How many of them are there?”

“Five, as far as I know” Adrian replied.

“Wait, what if we try to shield against it?” Hikari asked.

“That ray, it’s constituted of pure void energy. You can’t shield against it!” Adrian sighed.

“Well then, we’ll just have to take them out” Storm spoke.

“Where are they?” He asked.

“I don’t know they were put up and have a shielding device that renders them invisible to the naked eye”. Adrian replied. “There’s no way to know for sure”.

Storm spoke “Madara, open the door slightly.”

Madara asked “Why?”
“I have a plan!” Storm replied.

Madara nodded, and motioned to the door which crept open, releasing a calm wind into the otherwise stuffy room.
Storm grinned “Ok, Hikari I need you to summon the sharpest shards of ice you have, I’m gonna determine the location of the sensors, which I need you to impale.

Hikari nodded, and summoned five razor sharp spear like shards with a wave of his palm.

Storm began focussing, manipulating the air around him and sent a gust upwards, towards the dome of the building.
The wind began swirling, and expanding into a vortex, and then the locations of the sensors were revealed to him, as they disturbed the flow of the wind.

Storm pointed his hand towards one of the sensors, and Hikari sent a shard right at the pointed direction.

A calm passed by and Hikari thought he’d missed, but then he heard a buzzing noise as the circuits in the sensor tripped, and it exploded.

The smoke caused by explosion revealed the locations of the rest of the sensors and that gave them plenty of time to strike them down.

Madara summoned his undead archer minion, who sent a barrage of arrows, taking out two of the sensors, whereas Storm used the razor sharp feathers from his robe to impale the other one.

Hikari walked forward, but Madara screamed “Hikari, don’t! There’s still one sensor online”
But it was too late as the sensor came to life and sent red concentrated beam towards Hikari.

The beam was seconds away from him, when Hikari summoned an ice wall between him and the beam, in an effort to buy some time.

The beam made contact with the wall and bounced off, reflected towards the top of the electric cage.
The Void ray cleaved apart the top like it was paper, prompting Hikari to turn the shield around.
The change in angle of contact caused the beam to move as well, completely disintegrating the top of the cage.

Hikari smirked “What comes around goes around” and once again changed the angle of the shield, now turning the shield back to its original angle, and raising it upwards.
The reflected ray struck the dome, and he began moving it towards its source.
The reflected ray hit the sensor, and for a brief moment the reflected ray and the source ray collided. Both the beam cancelled each other out, and caused the last sensor to explode, sending a shockwave that nearly knocked everyone over.
Adrian jumped out of the cage from the now non-existent top, and said
“Good thinking Hikari!”

Hikari gleamed “Yeah well, all in a day’s work!”

Storm interrupted “The day’s not over, time to get to the reactor room. I’ve got this nudging feeling that Abaraa might be in trouble”.

Adrian asked “Wait, hold on! Where’s the other me? I mean the Truphma in disguise?”

Madara sneered “Oh, don’t worry about him. He’s now in Paxia, let’s just see he’s on a long, long vacation!”

Adrian asked “How long?”
Hikari smirked “Let’s just say, locked up in Nocturo castle’s dungeon long!”

Storm once again cast the wind illusion and they began their way to the adjacent core reactor, just a few short steps away, where it now seemed to have developed a gigantic hole on its side, and where two of the Truphma generals, Vayyder and Morhisson stood, facing towards someone standing in the reactor.

Meanwhile, Seth marched on leaving a trail of dead Truphma’s towards the General’s room. He was just behind the main command centre, when he heard a loud explosion coming from the reactor.
“Abaraa must’ve got to work” he thought to himself.

He took out his giant killer sword, and knocked open the steel wall that blocked the entrance to the General’s room. There, in total darkness stood the behemoth general, Bayyne.

Seth reverted to his Supreme Overlords Dynasty, and summoned his Patriot katana and His Krenos Essence katana, wielding one katana in each hand.

“First, I ask you nicely to surrender” Seth spoke

“Bayy, Surrender? To you puny Humans? What have you been drinking?” Bayyne replied.

“I was hoping you’d say that, because now I can use force!” Seth smirked



Part 9: Elements Deceived: Fall of the

Behemoth Part 1


Characters:
Seth Hydra, Xage Hydra(ss2195)
Madara Uchiha(Muchiha)


Seth charged at Bayyne, who still stood at the centre of the dark, under lit room, but Bayyne stood still.
He dug his katanas, and landed a kick with all the momentum he could muster. However, Bayyne didn’t seem to budge even an inch.
He retreated backwards a few steps with a jump, but even that seen to provoke a reaction from Bane.
Now that Seth was close to Bayyne, only could he realise the magnitude of Bayyne’s muscular frame. He stood at almost seven feet, his hands were colossal, each of his biceps thicker that Seth’s entire frame.
Each of his fists as large as Seth’s head, prompting Seth to believe this adversary of his was by far the bulkiest he’d ever faced.
Bayyne spoke “So, is that the best you can do? I’d expect more from the inheritor of the Hydra’s will”.

“He’s done his homework” Seth thought to himself. With that his Katanas vanished and he summoned forth a tremendously large blade.
“His size makes him extremely sluggish, and I can’t penetrate his body with just a regular Katana. If you can’t cut ‘em, bash ‘em” he thought to himself.
He once again charged at Bayyne who still stood without any movement, still confident that nothing could even budge him.
Seth swung his giant killer, and for a moment it seemed as though it had no affect whatsoever on Bayyne. However, the Giant killer began glowing with grey flames, and the added power because of the blades Trigger knocked Bayyne backwards and sent him crashing towards the wall. The force of his impact knocked the wall down on Bayyne and light coming in from the collapsed wall filled the room.

The light rejuvenated every bit of Seth, and realising that he had broken Bayyne down; he once again summoned his katanas.
Bayyne got up, removing the rubble of the collapsed wall from the wall. He pointed his hands up towards the roof, and bionic arms shot out towards him.
Seth reacted quickly, and sent a fiery shockwave which cut through the arms, and caused an explosion.
The flames from the now defunct arms fell to the ground and created a field of flames.

Bayyne once again motioned, towards the roof, and spoke “Activate cage”.
All at once, steel columns began covering the room, blocking out the light coming from the collapsed wall and covering the room in darkness and with a buzz, dim lights appeared at the corners of the room.
Seth began waiting cautiously, he could see Bayyne’s faint outline and he rushed towards him, once again to take the advantage. He jumped and did an aerial somersault before slashing Bayyne’s back.

The combination of fire and pulsating lightning caused Bayyne to scream in pain.
“So his hearing senses are weak” Seth noted to himself.

But just as he was about to back away, he felt as though something began gripping him, something like ropes. With a jerk, he was pulled in front of Bayyne.
Seth saw that the ropes or rather vines were protruding out of Bayyne’s leaf garland.
Bayyne spoke with an arrogant sneer “Enough play, now you die” saying that he clenched Seth in the palm of his hands, and squeezed.
“AAARRRRGGH” Seth screamed as he felt his entire torso being crushed by the strength of Bayyne’s grip.
As he felt his body starting to give in, he gave a final effort and concentrated his Mana. His eyes once again began glowing with a red tint, and he let out a whisper “Exhume”.

A vortex of dark energy began surrounding Seth’s body and it expanded with a sudden rush, freeing Seth from Bayyne’s grip and knocking Bayyne backwards.
Seth gasped, as he freed himself from Bayyne's guillotine grasp. The spell he had casted to free himself from Bayyne's grip was weak but effective, but the downside being that the whole room was now shrouded in darkness.
Bayyne bellowed "Bayyne, you merely adopt the darkness"
"I was born in it!"
"Molded by it" He continued.

From a distance, Seth spoke "Ok you fight like a pokemon, and but at times talk like you belong in a Batman movie..."

"For Lorithia's sake make up your mind you split personalitied behemoth".

With this, Bayyne felt a a swirling of wind, and then a gigantic flame appeared to be moving towards him.
He realized this was Seth's ploy to take advantage of Bayyne's weak hearing and attack from a distance. He tried gripping the flaming shockwave, but the heat seared his hands, and the force sent him sprawling, until he reached the other wall of the room.

The heat of the shockwave had dissipated the dark energy, and returned the room to a dimly lit state.

Seth saw Bayyne standing up. He looked shaken, but stood tall and sturdy as ever.

He removed his breathing mask, to reveal a series of gaps.
"He spoke, I haven't used this technique in years, never have I been pushed to this limit. For that I applaud you, but for that you must also die!"

Bayyne's body tattoos began glowing, and stitches began appearing throughout those tattoos.

He then let out a loud moan, as his body began splitting.

Seth switched into his Decimator once again, to defend what was next, drawing out his Gaia shield in place of his Krenos Essence katana.

When the process was complete, three beings stood in Bayyne's place. Each almost identical, however less muscular and looked far more agile.

"Great, just Great" Seth sighed, "First he's a Bayleaf, now he's a Sceptile. You really, really need to see a Psychologist you know".
As Seth tried raising his shield, he felt a sudden sharp stinging sensation and then pain as he’d never been subjected to.
He looked towards his arm to see the source of the pain, and he saw that his hand had been cleaved off completely from above the elbow, the cause being one of Bayyne’s clones who’d used one of the razor sharp leaves now present on his arm. In a split second, the other two clones were in the air, their blades aimed at Seth’s head, and the other clone locked Seth’s movements by clutching his body with vines.

“I need help” he thought to himself, and once again concentrated his mana. With the blood loss, Seth was on the verge of fainting, but with his last bit of energy he sent out a final spell.

The blades of the clones were almost going to make contact with Seth, who had now apparently fainted. However, there was sudden change in the air, and Seth’s body began glowing with a yellow aura, and in the split second that their blades made contact, they were knocked back completely by a yellow light that shot up, puncturing the steel cage into the sky.
After a minute or so, when two of the clones got up to finish the job. However, when they searched for the third, they saw that the force of Seth’s last spell had knocked the clone towards broken remains of the bionic arm. His left arm and part of his leg were completely impaled by the sharp edges of the arm.
One of the clones muttered “Don’t worry, once we take care of him, we’ll fix you up!”
But before they could move any further, they were knocked back by a strange green vortex, and out of the hole in the roof, two beings appeared.
“Seth” Xage screamed and flew towards his fallen brother.

“He isn’t dead, he’s just fainted” Madara spoke.

But Xage didn’t heed Madara’s words. His angers swelled up, and his entire body was surrounded by transparent flames, and then strange snake like apparitions began surrounding Xage.

“Hmm....The Hydra seal is it? Madara smiled.

“Well, then I can’t hold back either can I?” He continued.
Saying that, he summoned his Armor of Awe in his right arm, he summoned a skull club pulsating with dark energy and a strange black flame appeared on his left. On either side, two of his undead minions appeared. The undead archer and a gigantic flaming skeleton, the Undead fire Giant.

Finally Madara spoke “Now, it just became personal!”


Part 10: Elements Deceived: Cyber fall and a new Ally
Characters:
Storm Silverwing(Battlemaster25)
Hikari Yume(Tommy2468)
Adrian(darksaber22)
Abaraa(Abaraa)

and introducing
0neo(Oneo)
Martin(Hict)
Sophia Heartnett(ss2195)


Madara flew off towards the yellow beacon that had appeared in the sky, leaving Vayyder and Morhisson to face Abaraa, Hikari, Storm and Adrian in a battle to the death.

While it was evident that either side was prepared, neither side wanted to start the assault.
Storm whispered to rest of them, such that their adversaries couldn’t hear what he was saying
“Alright, Abaraa and Adrian, you guys take on the Cyborg. Hikari and I will take care of the tin can!”
But Abaraa intervened “Hold on, I think I need to do something with the Tank”.
Hikari shot back “Another time Abaraa, right now we’re in the middle of a standoff”.
“No, I really got to do this!” Abaraa replied, and ran back towards the tank.

“Sssoo, ze Icsssee Warrior hasss retreated?” Morhisson hissed
Vayyder let out a laugh, “Retreat now, this is your last chance!”

But before Vayyder could utter another word, the drills of the tank began spinning furiously. The tank rose up, and then it transformed into a humanoid figure.
The main drill shifted towards his right and attached itself to the right appendage and three of the drills attached itself towards the left appendage.
The final cannon attached it on the centre of the torso region.
Everyone gasped in awe, as the tank transformed into a mech exo-suit. The head part of the mech opened to reveal Abaraa.
He spoke “Now, it’s your final chance to retreat”.
Hikari smirked “Wow, now we fight two tin cans with another bigger tin-can”.

Before either of them could react, Vayyder and Morhisson started of their assault. Vayyder set of an EMP charge towards Abaraa and Morhisson let loose his machine guns at the rest of the group.

Hikari set of an ice barrier, which absorbed the barrage from Morhisson’s barrels whereas Abaraa jumped upwards and ran straight up towards Vayyder.
His swirling drill collided with Vayyder’s light-blade, and the collision set Vayyder sprawling backwards, clearly his light-blade was no match for a drill almost ten times its size and was now a torn to shreds.

Storm took advantage of Morhisson’s lack of concentration, and flew behind him. Hikari and Adrian understood, and began a false assault to create a diversion.
Adrian sent out a pulse of dark energy, while Hikari supplemented it with shards of ice.
Morhisson let out a maniacal laugh, and said “Really, you don’t seem to learn a lot from your mistakes”.

Adrian smirked “Think again”.

Storm who had been waiting for the right moment, sent out a barrage of feathers, aimed directly at the gap between his force field.
Two of the feathers that struck, missed their mark by inches.
Storm sighed, he thought to himself “We have to generate one more diversion, and I have to be more accurate”.
But as he looked at Morhisson who had now turned around at Storm, Morhisson’s expression had changed; he now looked like he was pain.

From a distance, Storm heard cries of celebration from Hikari and Adrian.
With a loud moan, Morhisson collapsed. His shell rolled over, until it hit the nearby wall

Vayyder, who was unconscious until then, stood up. Abaraa turned to him, and said “I really wanna try out something”.

But Vayyder began to speak “Stop! Please don’t! I don’t even want to work with these guys”.

Everyone exclaimed “Huh?”

Vayyder reached out to his helmet, and began taking it off.
Once he removed it, it was obvious that he wasn’t really a Truphma, rather a warrior who was dulled, albeit improperly. His face was almost visibly human; however the upper left part of his face was morphed.

Vayyder pulled out a strange beacon like device from behind his neck, which appeared to have been crushed.

Vayyder spoke “The Truphma couldn’t convert me, but they needed my knowledge of Lore so instead, they attached this inhibitor on me”.
“With it, they were able to control my actions, by inhibiting my true feeling and instead making me act according to their needs”.

“So Vayyder, what’s your real name?” Adrian asked.

“It’s Luke, Luke Strife of Deren... Wow, it feels like eons since I last spoke my name!” Luke sighed.

“That’s all the introduction I can give you now, but Morhisson is soon going to wake up” He continued.
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that” Hikari smirked, pointing at Morhisson, who was now surrounded by a small pool of green liquid.
“Storm’s feathers are sharp enough to cut through solid steel, I don’t see how a hollow aluminium cage would matter” He continued.

“But why aluminium?” Abaraa asked.
“Its lighter, so he can properly make use of his levitation” Luke added.
“You have to get out, now!” He let out.

“But why?” Storm asked.

“Because.....”

Meanwhile in Paxia, deep in the dungeons of the Nocturo castle, a figure sat on a chair in dimly lit conditions. He was a humanoid, yet his features were sharp and as inhuman as possible.
His white suit smudged with patches of red and dirt.

Three figures entered the room.
“Thanks very much 0neo for letting us use your clans castle for interrogating our prisoner” One of them spoke.
“Oh, It’s nothing Martin. After all, we need to learn as much of the Truphma and their plans if we are to defend our clans” 0neo spoke.
One of the figures, steeped forward into the light, facing the Truphma. She was female, with pitch black shoulder length hair. He was garbed in a Pria knights armor, and had an Onyx Wartexx stowed upon her back. She was by every meaning of the word, attractive.
She spoke “Has he spoken anything yet 0neo?”
“No Ms. Heartnett, our best interrogators have tried to break him down, yet he doesn’t utter a word”.

Sophia smiled “Oh please, call me Sophia. Now let’s see if he can do the same with me” and she put her right hand on his head.
Upon contact, her hand as well as her pupils began glowing with a red glow. The Truphma prisoner began jerking from his seat, trying to break free of the spell.

But in a moment, Sophia was taken aback. She had a look of horror on her face, as though she’d just realised something horrific.

She turned to Martin and 0neo, and said “The A-team, their members, they’re in trouble! We have to go, now!” And she stormed off, out the dungeon with Martin and 0neo in pursuit, behind her.



Part 11: Elements Deceived: Xov’s Assault

Lord Taelord stood calmly; he had secured his check point with the help of his team and now waited for the rest of his teammates to arrive from their respective missions.
He had arranged his forces well, to counter the occasional forces of Truphma that came to defend their stronghold.

He had posted Popinloopy along with himself at the top of the wall, to take care of threats using spells and ranged artillery, as well as to keep a lookout.

Moe, Wyrm and Hict guarded the battlefield, their prowess with blades and melee weaponry enough to single handedly take care of any Truphma that got past Popinloopy and Taelord’s assault.
But the calmness of the situation was disturbed when the stealth team came running from a distance, accompanied by someone who by description resembled the General Vayyder.

When they reached the wall, it was clear Vayyder was nothing but an improperly dulled Human.
“Wow, who’s the Darth vader cosplayer?” Moe asked.

“Guys, meet Luke, Luke Strife of Rennd” Storm, who had just flown over replied.

“Right, so are we in the clear?” Hict asked “Because, I need to be someplace else”.

“Well, there’s a situation” Adrian said sheepishly.

“Why, what’s wrong? Where are Seth, Madara and Xage?” Wyrm asked.

“We don’t know, but that’s not what we’re talking about” Abaraa replied.

“Where’d you get the Mech?” Popinloopy asked.

“Long story” Abaraa grinned “The deal is, Xov is sending a whole army of around a thousand or more Truphma to secure this camp. Her whole plan was to pancake us between two armies”

“But, how do you know this” Taelord asked, quite stunned.

“Luke or General Vayyder told us!” Hikari blurted.

Everyone’s gaze shifted towards Luke, who seemed quite uncomfortable with the new attention.

“It’s true!” He said “The original plan made by Galbathoricks didn’t include this contingency. But Xov being quite distrustful added this plan. Only I and Bayyne knew of this plan.”

“What about Bayyne?” Taelord asked.

“He’s been taken care of!” A voice spoke out from a distance.

Everyone looked towards the source of the voice to see Seth strutting towards them, Madara’s body on his shoulder and Xage trying to keep pace.
“What happened to Madara?” Popinloopy screamed.

“Oh he went all Necromancer, then all Lich, now he’s all fainted!” Xage smiled.

Luke looked stunned, “you defeated Bayyne?” He looked around at all of them and said “Who are you people”.

Seth smiled “Long story... I promise I’ll tell you after some time” saying which, he placed Madara’s unconscious body on the ground.
Before either of them could say anything, three wind dragons appeared in the horizon, and in a few instances, they landed in front of the group,

Out of the dragons, three people unmounted, one of which a female, came running towards them.
“Sophie, what are you doing here?” Seth spoke, clearly taken aback.

“Xov, she’s sending an army to take out you guys. Her plan was to draw you out and then strike you all out at once” she continued, until she ran out of breath.
“Yeah, I know” Seth smiled.
Now everyone turned their attention to Seth. Hikari cried out “What the hell is wrong with you man?”

“Umm, it’s no biggie!” Seth said, completely unperturbed.

Wyrm, Hict and Moe, who were so far trying to revive Madara spoke in unison “He’s up!”
Madara had sat up, now with Hict’s support he stood up. He looked weakened, but his aura of power still surrounded him.
“Waddup guys” he said weakly.
“Did you know about this?” Popinloopy asked.

“About what?” he asked.

“Xov’s main plan?” Storm bellowed.

“Uh yeah, Seth read his mind using some trick”. Madara moaned.

“Please bro, tell me you’ve got a plan!” Xage cried.

“Yeah I have a plan, Attack! It’s just a thousand Truphma. Besides we’ve got help, and it should be arriving in some time!”

“You’re saying a thousand Truphma as if it’s easy as a frogzard” Marvin intervened.

“Yeah” 0neo said, “Are you really sure?”

Madara, who now seemed to have recovered fully, spoke with a grin etched on his face “Their arrogance still surprises me; they think a thousand Truphma can take out what fifteen Paxians?”

“So, I came here for nothing?” Sophia protested.

“Yeah, pretty much” Xage sniggered.

“Next time you wait Seth, honestly I don’t know what to do about you” She screamed.

“You’re an independent woman! Learn to make up your independent mind!” Hikari grinned.

“Nice” Madara smiled, fist bumping Hikari.

Moe spoke “We’ll seeing as you’re already here, you could just...”

“Don’t even say a word “Sophia shot out, fuming.

Madara motioned to Martin and 0neo, who so far were spectating the conversation, each with an amused expression “I’m sorry you guys got dragged into this!”

0neo smiled “Oh, it’s ok! I needed an excuse to get out of the castle anyway!”

Martin spoke “Yeah, and you’re friend” he motioned to Seth “did’nt really give us a choice!”

“So, what’s the plan?” Taelord asked.

Madara spoke out “Alright, until our backup arrives, our primary aim is to take them all out!”

“Moe, Hict, Wyrm and Hikari you’re all gonna be on the frontline. Taelord and Storm, we need you guys as aerial support”.
The group nodded.
“Next, Popinloopy, , Adrian, Martin and I will back our frontline, whereas Xage and 0neo, Seth and Sophia you guys attack through the flanks”.

“hey, why’d I get her?” Seth protested.

“Because none of us should suffer in your place!” Madara grinned.

“What about me?” Abaraa asked.

“With that armor, you’re definitely the focal point of our attack!” Madara assured him.

He turned to the rest of the group, addressing all of them at once “Alright people, battlestations!”


Part 12: Elements Deceived: Fall of the behemoth part 2

Characters:
Seth Hydra, Xage Hydra(ss2195)
Madara Uchiha(muchiha)


Madara and Xage stood back to back. The Bayyne clones were far too agile and fast for an individual person to keep track of, let alone take down.
Xage, out of safety spoke to Madara telepathically “Mate, we need a plan of attack”.
Madara replied “I know, but these things are moving too fast to comprehend their actions”.

But another voice also poked in, “Don’t worry, there isn’t anything special about the way they’re running. They’re just looking for an opening to attack” Seth’s voice spoke.

Madara looked at Seth to see his eyes opening feebly. Seth glanced at him, and then nodded.
Seth’s incapitated arm began glowing with a blue glow, and so did Seth’s body.

Then wispy blue tendrils shot out from Seth’s joint towards his arm, and with that the arm began moving towards the body.
The Truphma that was impaled to the arm warned the others “Look at the wounded one, get him!”
The distraction was what Madara and Xage needed. Xage and Madara both cast a slew of fireballs towards the distracted clones.
The room was filled with a red glow, as the fireballs collided with their targets. When the fire subsided, the clones still stood, however, their leaf blades had been burnt off and were now defenceless.

Sensing victory, Madara charged at the clones, and Xage followed suit. However, the clones sped off towards the impaled clone. After a moment of inaudible conversation, they once again melded into one being, and the massive bulk of Bayyne once again appeared.

“Again” Xage screamed, and once again they both cast fireballs at Bayyne, who couldn’t evade them in time. The flames burnt a bright crimson, as they collided with Bayyne’s bulk.
But as the magical blaze subsided, Bayyne still stood. The flames hadn’t had any effect on him.
Bayyne let out a laugh “Is that all you can conjure?”

Once again Seth’s voice echoed in their heads “Don’t listen to him. He knows you’ll be weakened after you run out of mana, at which point he can beat down both of you together”.

“I think I’ve figured it out to an extent” Seth’s partial unconscious voice spoke.

“His bulk switching abilities grant him different benefits. When he’s in his true form, he can only be damage by heavy weaponry, like my Giant slayer. My Katanas didn’t leave so much as a scratch. But one more benefit his Bulk grants him resistance to magic and spells”.

“While in his split up forms, the speed and agility makes them impossible to hit, however their agility makes them incredibly weak to magic”.

“Keep your head calm, and don’t do anything that’ll get you killed” Seth concluded.

Madara and Xage nodded.
“We have to change the way we’re planning on attacking this guy” Madara whispered.

“I’ll take the lead” Xage whispered back “My seal is going to activate, and that’ll make my weapon attacks extremely potent, but when it recedes I’ll be defenceless. That’s when you have to lead the assault”.

“Right” Madara nodded, for now “I’ll just create openings for you to attack”.
The swirling aura around Xage intensified, culminating in a shockwave which he directed towards Bayyne.
The ends of Xage’s hair stood up, and his muscular frame intensified. He nodded towards Madara, and charged at Bayyne.

As he ran, his armor shifted into his Insightful Ultra Guardian and his might arcane flame stop mallet appeared in his hand.
As he charged, Bayyne tried to counter with a punch, however due to his heightened senses, Xage dodged and struck Bayyne’s chest with all the force he could muster.
The impact sent Bayyne flying, but Xage didn’t stop there. He used his wind magic to fly towards Bayyne’s trajectory and once again struck him. Madara contributed Xage’s assault, with his undead minions. His archers sent out barrages towards Bayyne, though it didn’t seem to affect him.
Seth who witnessed Xage’s actions, thought back to the first time his father had told him about his inheritance.
Lucian sat down next to a young teen, at the edge of the mansion garden. His appearance was that of a young bearded sage, with a long flowing silk robe and a sceptre rested on his hand “Seth what happened?” he asked.
“Nothing dad, it’s just something weird happened to me today during my training” the young Seth whined.
“What is it? Was you’re magic to powerful for the other kids to handle?” Lucian asked, a small smile etched on his face.
“No, something else, I had a sudden rush of mana, and I accidently set the academy on fire” Xage sniffed.

Upon hearing that, Lucian burst into laughter.
Seth surprised to see his father laughing asked sheepishly, “Why what’s wrong?”
Lucian laughter subsided, but a kind smile still remained “Nothing’s wrong, you’ve just had your first taste of the power of the Hydra’s seal”.
Seth, confused asked “What’s the Hydra’s seal?”
Lucian said “You remember the folklore about our ancestors don’t you?”
Seth replied “You mean the tale about how our ancestors, the three brothers slew the alpha hydra, and hence our bloodline was imbued with certain powers and a strong magical force?”

“Yes” Lucian smiled “You see every now and then, the magical force that flows in our veins culminates into a seal. When that occurs, our mana and our spell casting abilities grow exponentially, beyond that a regular sorcerer could ever achieve, matching that of archmagi if not exceeding”.

“But the seal can only last for so long without proper training. Once it recedes, it leaves the user weak and almost completely devoid of mana for some time” Lucian stopped.

“Well, guess that explains why I passed out!” Seth spoke, embarrassed.

“Don’t worry son, you’re still young. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, you’ll master it someday don’t worry!”

As he finished recounting the scene, Seth looked at Xage, and he swelled with joy. His brother had learnt to master the seal, but with the joy came a sudden realisation.
Once the seal receded, Xage would be defenceless against Bayyne. He looked at Madara, who himself was involved in invoking his own power.
“He’s gonna transcend to the other side” Seth thought to himself, “It’ll be foolish to warn him”.
He looked at his own arm, the magical sutures were involved in their work, and he could no feel his hand, and he tried flexing his fingers. They worked perfectly, as good as new.
Xage continued the assault, whacking down Bayyne with his war hammer, with every opening he got. However, he realised that his power was beginning to wane. He felt his limbs begin to slow, and his movements became strained.
He used his final bit of strength and his last mana to power his attack, to once again send Bayyne sprawling towards the wall.
He tried moving, but his limbs gave in. He collapsed on his legs, and a sudden feeling terror gripped Xage. He saw Bayyne rising up, and walking towards him.

Bayyne spoke “Well well well, I see the famed seal has finally receded. It was foolish of you to even think about using it against me!”
Bayyne flexed himself “You’re attacks, painful as they were, weren’t strong enough to do any real damage”.
Xage tried his hardest to will his legs to move, but they wouldn’t budge. He watched in fear as Bayyne got closer, but he felt the last of his energy leave him, and then everything became black.

Xage collapsed on his back, as Bayyne walked up to him. He stood at Xage’s body, trying to figure what to do next.
Seth watched in horror as his brother collapsed, he hadn’t died, yet he was exhausted beyond measure.
Bayyne reached out to hold Xage, when a hand composed of dark energy got hold of Xage and pulled him out in time.

Seth turned to see the source, Madara whose transformation was now complete.

Madara had crossed the threshold of life, and was now an undead necromancer or in other words a Lich.
His skin was now pale, almost white and his eyes had a deep shade of crimson. His Armor of Awe was now a flowing robe of Prussian blue. He had a dark flaming aura surrounding him, with the clawed arms an extending from the sides.

Bayyne looked at Madara, seemingly interested.
“So, what are you now?” Bayyne smirked.
Madara spoke, yet the voice that came out wasn’t his own. It was as though a hundred or so voices were now speaking in unison
“YOU’RE DEATH” Madara’s voice spoke coldly.
Madara was then surrounded by a further dark aura that materialised into a humanoid shape. First, the head materialised, a sadistic grin accompanied with a blank white eyes.
A pulse of dark energy shot out from the eyes of the Aura creature, hitting Bayyne squarely on the chest.
Bayyne still stood tall, unaffected by the pulse. But while Bayyne recovered, Madara sneaked in behind Bayyne and an aura sword materialised in his hand.
He plunged the sword into Bayyne’s stomach, causing Bayyne to bellow out with pain.
Bayyne tried breaking free, but the other hand gripped him and kept him from moving.

The black flames behind Bayyne’s back parted, revealing Madara’s pale face.
The hundred voices in Madara’s voice spoke “THAT WAS MY DIVERSION! NOW, YOU DIE IN THIS VERSION!”.
With that, Madara opened his mouth, and a pink-lilac orb formed and began pulsing with energy. In a split second, it shot out into Bayyne’s chest.
The blast sent Bayyne flying forward, but he halted. He looked at himself and a sadistic smirk appeared on his face.
“You’re strategy seems to have a fla...” He stuttered, clutching his chest.
Brilliant beams of light began shooting out of his body, and in a bellow of pain, Bayyne exploded.
His remains scattered, across the room from the explosion. Madara then turned around, facing Seth.
He glided over, a maniacal expression on his face.

Seth looked at Madara approaching him, and a slight nagging feeling surfaced. Are liches in control of their actions?
Madara levitated in front of Seth, and said “Boo!” causing Seth to jump back.

“Hahaahahaa!! Madara burst into laughter, the flames and dark aura surrounding him receding, and his Armor of Awe resurfacing.

“You should have seen the look on your face!” Madara burst out, his voice returning back.

“Alright, Alright!” Seth said, getting up. His hand had how fully healed “I was...surprised.”
But Madara collapsed, prompting Seth to grab him.
“Are you okay?” Seth asked, visibly concerned.

“No” Madara replied “Remind me never to go all Lich again. It’s annoying sharing your body with a hundred other souls. I mean one guy wouldn’t shut up about his cats!”

“Sure” Seth grinned, as he helped Madara walk. But the moment was interrupted by a loud crash, and both Madara and Seth were sent crashing.

Seth got up, to see Madara knocked out cold. Seth turned back to see Bayyne standing again, healed completely as if nothing had happened.
Bayyne grinned “You lot aren’t the only ones with special abilities you know, as long as my brain remains intact, there is nothing in the universe that can kill me!”
“And it looks like you’re the only one left. Once I’m done with you, I’ll deal with your friends. First your precious Paxia, then your whole world will burn against our might.”

Seth smiled “If I fall, two more will fight in my place. Besides, you think the Truphma will take out Paxia, and then you’re wrongly mistaken”.

“The blaze of my clan flows within me, Paxia may not be at the pinnacle it was once at, but we are still strong”
“The will of fire has been passed to the next generation, as a member of the Igneus clan I’m not allowed to lose!” Seth declared.

With that a blaze of intense flames surrounded Seth, and once again he was armoured with his Supreme Overlord’s dynasty.
“This time when you fall, you won’t get up!” Seth screamed.

He rushed at Bayyne, surrounded by an inferno of blue flames. As he ran, he willed the release of his seal, and the flames began swirling with the release of the Hydra’s seal

The blue flames collided with the red energy of the seal, to meld into a white flame surrounding the whole of Seth’s body.
“Time to Burn it down!” Seth screamed as he charged, the white flames intensifying with his war cry as a blade, the Giant Killer appeared in his hand.

Bayyne in a bid to counter launched himself forward for his assault.

Seeing Bayyne charging towards him, he slowed down heeding the advice he had once received from Blackhawke.

“When a bigger enemy is charging towards you, learn to use his momentum against him. A slight decrease in your speed can change the course of the battle” Blackhawke’s words echoed.

As Bayyne edged closer, Seth slowed down even further. Just a second before Bayyne would be in contact; Seth feinted and dodged sideways, leaving Bayyne defenceless.

Seth swung his giant killer, which was surrounded with a combination of White and grey flames and hit Bayyne directly on his unprotected back.

The result was horrific, as flaming blade seared his back, cutting through his suit.
The force of the impact once again sent Bayyne sprawling, but Seth used his enhanced reflexes to appear in front of Bayyne’s trajectory.
He withdrew his blade, and instead used the flames surrounding him to fashion a blade of pure white flames.

With one swipe he cleaved Bayyne into half, from head to his stomach and the halves of his body landed behind, either side of Seth.

Seth turned around to see the remains.

They remained motionless, until seething green tendrils began moving from his body; clearly, Bayyne wasn’t dead.

Seth said grimly “Not this time. This time you won’t have anything to regenerate from”.
Saying that, he began focusing the flames surrounding him; the flames rose up, leaving Seth’s armor and forming a giant fireball which hovered above Seth’s raised palm.
There was a pause as Seth stood, contemplating what to do next. Then with a sudden jerk of his palm, the fireball crashed upon Bayyne’s half dead remains.

“I rise, you fall!” Seth smirked.

“You are the most stereotypically clichéd person I know!” A voice boomed from behind Seth, a familiar voice.
Seth turned around to see Xage sitting up. Seth ran up, withdrawing the seal to help Xage up.

“So you beat him? And why didn’t you say something like Burn in Hell or sumthin?” Xage grumbled.

Seth smiled “Because, that would be Nicholas cage level of cliché”. He placed his palm over Xage and muttered under his breath.
A soft blue light appeared, over Xage’s body, healing his wounds and energy.

“Where’s Madara” Xage asked.

“Oh, he fainted after Bayyne’s shockwave” Seth replied. “I’ll carry him now, until he wakes up. You just focus on yourself”.

“Wait how you healed me, you just activated the seal! You should be exhausted” Xage protested.
“You’ve still got a lot to learn lil bro!” Seth said, walking towards Madara’s unconscious body.

Seth lifter him up and hoisted him on his shoulder “Man, he’s packing in the pounds. C’mon let’s go! This isn’t over yet”



Part 13: Elements Deceived: 15 times unlucky

“I don’t think so” Hict stretched.
“Think what?” Madara asked.

“Well, you and Seth seem extremely exhausted, and storm has used up a lot of his strength to take out Morhisson” Hict argued.

“I think I can agree with that point to an extent” Seth agreed. “What do you propose Hict?”

“Well” Hict smiled “I was thinking...”

A few minutes later, the Truphma army was now within a few leagues of the camp. They stopped short by a few distance, and a Truphma on a bland earth dragon mount.

Seeing the incoming Truphma envoy, a few Truphma soldiers appeared atop the guard tower.
A small contingent of Truphma soldiers appeared at the collapsed wall, and from behind him the general Vayyder stuttered in.
He walked up to the envoy and spoke “Envoy.... what business... do you come here...for?”
The envoy replied “This is the counter army here to defend you. Where are the intruders?”

Vayyder spoke “Their threat has been... subdued. Ten of them are being guarded.... whereas five of them have been.... killed”.

“Impressive” the envoy smiled.
“What of the other Generals, where are they?” He concluded.

“General’s Bayyne, Morhisson and Galbathoricks .... didn’t make it” Vayyder said, bowing his head.

“One of the Prisoners has agreed to speak... in return for his ... freedom” Vayyder said.

“Bring him forth, Vayyder. I wish to speak to this Human filth” The envoy sneered.

Vayyder nodded, and motioned to the Truphma soldiers behind him.

“This” Vayyder spoke “goes by the name Sophia” he said pointing towards a young female being brought forward.

The envoy smiled “She’s a beautiful creature; I will take the personal pleasure of dulling her myself”.
“No, you promised” Sophia cried.
“Promises are for the weak, silly girl! This is war!” The envoy shot back.

He turned to Vayyder “Where are the rest of the soldiers?”

Vayyder spoke “They fought valiantly, but were killed by their forces. These are all that remain”.

“All of you shall be rewarded” He motioned towards the Truphma soldiers.

“All of your families shall be rewarded! All of your future generations will live in royalty!” The envoy declared.

“Today..” but the envoy stuttered.
He looked at his chest, to say a light blade protruding into him. He looked at Vayyder, who had pierced him.

“Why” the envoy stammered.

Vayyder withdraw his arm, and placed both his arms on his kabuto and yanked it out.
The envoy gasped as he saw Vayyder’s dulling completely removed.
He spoke “First, it’s Luke, Luke strife. Second, the Truphma soldiers would be rewarded, if they were alive!”

All the Truphma soldiers around them flickered, and then disappeared. They were all illusions.

Sophia, who all the while looked helpless, smiled. She rose up and walked up to him and raised her fist, which was pulsing with energy.
The envoy begged “Please, please; Have mercy!”

Sophia smiled “Sorry honey, but this is war”.

Saying that, he placed her palm on the Envoy’s head, who at once began screaming with agony as the pulse of high voltage coursing through his body.
Within a few seconds, the envoy collapsed.

Luke looked at the Truphma army, who were taken aback with the sudden change of events.
Luke closed his eyes, and concentrated. His body began glowing with a soft white glow, and when it cleared, he was garbed in the armor of a Pria knight with a sword of Rennd resting on his back, and a brown shield attached to his arm.

Two great giant blue birds flew out from the camp, and on them were two mages.
Seth and Popinloopy had transformed into the great giant birds, more commonly known by their aliases lord of the skies.
On Seth, Hikari stood, whereas Storm flew with Popinloopy.
Hikari spoke to Seth telepathically “How many do you see?”

Seth’s voice replied “So, far I’ve counted around two thousand”.
Hikari communicated with Storm and Popinloopy, who confirmed the estimate.
With that, the four of them flew off once again into the camp

Meanwhile, Madara who had kept up the illusions collapsed. He had already expended a lot of energy, in his fight against Bayyne, and the illusions had depleted his energy completely.
Hict ran up to him, and checked his pulse.
“Good, he’s alive” he thought to himself.
“Xage” Hict called out, prompting him to come running.

“Xage, you’re in no condition to battle and Madara’s just fainted” Hict said.

“I want you to return back to Paxia, take him to the airship or to Paxus and have him and yourself treated” He concluded.

“Are you sure, we need an all hands in the deck situation don’t we?” Xage protested.

“No, we can handle it. Besides, you both are weak; leave right now” Hict reiterated.

Xage nodded, and held Madara. Concentrating his eyes, a vortex surrounded them both and they whisked off.

Meanwhile, the Truphma had formed an attack formation and marched towards the gate. 0Neo, Martin and Popinloopy had taken up their positions on top of the guard tower.
Lord Taelord, Wyrm, Moe, Luke and Abaraa had taken up the frontline of the gate. Hikari and Storm would supplement 0Neo, Popinloopy and Martin’s spell barrage, albeit from a higher plane.

Hict, Seth and Sophia would hold a direct assault on the Truphma in the centre.

Just when Hict was about to move, a dark shadowy figure appeared beside him.
“It’s done” Adrian spoke.
“How come they’re still marching?” Hict asked.

Adrian reverted back to his human form, “Wait for it....”

The Truphma who were now within meters of the camp suddenly stopped. They soldiers in front couldn’t move any further.

Adrian laughed, “I guess my shadow binding circle is operational”

Seth walked up and stood next to Hict “Guess we’re ready!”

Hict nodded “This is it”.

Sophia grunted “Let’s get this over with!” with that she jumped up, and screamed “Attack!”



< Message edited by ss2195 -- 8/6/2013 12:26:29 >
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 10
7/2/2013 8:35:43   
tommy2468
Member

Characters used throughout this war story, including those who have requested to be in the story (who will appear in future chapters):

Igneus:
Seth (ss2195)

Nautica:
Kilvakar

Aerodu
Hict the Immortal (hict98)

Glacius:
Hikari Yume (Tommy2468)

Geoto:
Oliver (Oliver Bell)

Lucian:
Popinloopy

Nocturu:
0Neo
Dark Wizard Adrian (darksaber22)

Clanless:
Kor (Kors)
Salem (dragonfire1423)


Chapter One: Chilling Controversy and Consequences



Characters in this chapter:
Hikari Yume
0Neo
Hict The Immortal
Kor


<It was a cold day. So cold that even the hardiest Glacians had decided to take shelter in the shards that were the base and home of the Glacius clan. The landscape around the shards was uninterrupted for miles and the horizon held nothing but snow swirling in the powerful blizzard winds>



From out of the shards stepped a large and imposing figure. A bear. Its fur was as white as the sheets of ice that covered the land. This intelligent creature was Glaciar, the head of the Clan of Ice on Paxia. He had left the shards on this day to find a person from his clan. Hikari Yume. Hikari Yume was a very difficult wizard to have in Glacius and Glaciar was glad of the moments when he left to be by himself. The wizard did not take kindly to others. Glaciar had been confused and wondered why Hikari Yume had decided to ally himself with Glacius when he could have become a court wizard in a high realm. Hikari Yume could have been wealthy and with status, but he chose to stay in Paxia. But Glaciar was no fool, he was an extremely intelligent being and he saw straight through Hikari Yume. He had never confirmed his suspicions with Hikari Yume himself, but he was sure that it had something to do with the loneliness that Hikari Yume faced. With no family, no friends and seemingly no past, the wizard had a solitary existence.

Glaciar found Hikari Yume at the top of the highest shard. Previously the wizard had been a member of Aerodu, the Clan of Wind, and Lucian, the Clan of Light. Perhaps the Aerodu’s high perches and the Lucian’s mountainous palace had given him a taste for the heights of Lore. But Glaciar knew it had to do with the wizard’s desire for freedom. Only Hikari Yume would have been able to stand on the shard in the current conditions without dying, as he was a powerful Aeromancer, Lumenomancer and Cryomancer. Hikari Yume was something of a rarity. It was considered a difficulty to learn just one elemental magic, but to master three was unheard of.

Hikari Yume noticed his clan’s leader waiting for him outside the shards and he materialized down to meet the Bear. Respectfully, Hikari Yume bowed his head and said, “Leader.”
Glaciar spoke calmly and wisely, “Rise youngling. I have no need for your rehearsed shows of respect. If you cannot feel any emotion; then do not insult me with your charade.”
Hikari Yume raised his head and the ghost of a smile played on his lips. It seemed as though only Glaciar truly understood him. The wizard had always enjoyed the company of the bear, though he would never admit it. Hikari Yume wasted no time in beating around the bushes, “May I ask what is troubling you? I am not a person to be sought after for a small chat, nor would you seek me out for something other than of the gravest importance.”
“How right you are,” brooded Glaciar, “War is heading to Paxia.”
“War is nothing new to Paxia. The clans have fought for years and for nothing. They have caused misery, strife and pain through their petty arguments. Let us stay uninvolved and let them battle each other” said Hikari Yume with distaste.
Glaciar spoke again in a tone that showed that the two had had similar discussions before, “I know you have feelings for the land of Paxia and it’s wars, but by standing by and doing nothing we are doing harm. That is why Unity must work.”
“But this is different. This war is not from within Paxia.” And from a pouch Glaciar removed a small letter and handed it to Hikari Yume

(http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=21328875)

Hikari Yume passed the letter back to Glaciar and stood silent. The two stayed standing for some time before the wizard turned to the bear and said, “I will protect this clan with my last breath. What do you need me to do?”
Such a statement from Hikari Yume had never been heard before and Glaciar felt privileged to have this young man in his clan, “Go to the Castillo Vida Negra in the Nocturu Forest. You will be greeted by other representatives from the other clans. The clans of Paxia will unite to face this Xov.”
Hikari Yume turned to leave and was immaterializing when Glaciar said, “Remember, you are the ambassador for Glacius. Try not to kill the others.”
“I will not promise anything.” Hikari Yume laughed, which Glaciar had never heard from the wizard before. It was a surprising sound but a bitter one.

Shortly after his departure Hikari Yume appeared in the pitch black forest of the Nocturu. He knew that he was close to the Castillo Vida Negra as he had been sent as a spy by Lucius during his time in the Light Clan. Hikari Yume was familiar with the layout of the castle and had never been noticed during his reconnaissance missions.
The wizard began to walk in the direction of the castle when he began to notice that he was being watched. From behind came a voice that appeared to drift through the shadows, “I see you have returned.”
Hikari Yume remarked drily, “I sensed your presence before your appearance. What do you mean ‘returned’?”
The voice lingered in the shadows and had a slight echo to it, “You did not think you could sneak your way into our castle without being noticed. I notice everything that happens in my shadows…”
“Reveal yourself for I tire of your games.” Hikari Yume demanded icily.
“Surely you’ll have heard of me!” shouted a dark figure that seemed to step out of the darkness. The man that appeared wore armour of frozen darkness, stronger than any steel, and his wings were that of a bat’s.
He was a being a darkness and a loyal member of the Nocturu. The famed assassin, 0Neo!
“Ah the assassin of the night, I did not realize that you would be included in this little gathering. Though, I should not be surprised, as we are meeting in your clan’s base.” Acknowledged Hikari Yume.
“Follow me wizard.” greeted 0Neo. He began to walk on ahead with Hikari Yume in pursuit and he could not help but think, “Why do all members of Glacius stink of seal blubber?”

After some distance the two eventually reached Castillo Vida Negra. 0Neo raised his hands and announced, “Welcome! This is a clan base! There’s no fear of falling into a volcano, or drowning as you sleep, or freezing in the night. This is a home of safety and security unlike all of the other foolish clans who made their bases in the most dangerous places in Paxia. The Glacius base isn’t even hidden!” roared 0Neo in a fit of laughter, “You can see it from a mile away!”
Hikari Yume stared at the assassin with burning white eyes and with a voice so cold the air itself seemed to freeze, he replied calmly, “We do not hide like rats in a forest. If you were to attempt to attack my home your blood would freeze before you even reached our first outpost.”
0Neo stopped his laughing and realized that he was in a dangerous position. The Glacians were known for their calm nature but, once stirred; they would become as vicious and unforgiving as the bleak glacier on which they had built their base.


<The assassin and the wizard moved inside the castle to a large room with a circular table in the centre. There were alcoves surrounding the room with statues of heroes of the clan, the walls were lines with tapestries of Paxia and the table had a very intricate brass ring that went around the surface. Closer inspection of the brass ring would reveal a hunting scene with Noctoros chasing the other clan leaders. Seated at the circular table were two warriors. The first was a large man wearing intimidating armour that crackled with blue lightning. The second warrior was smaller and wore the armour of the Chronomancer, the hated mages that used time as a weapon against their enemies>



“At last you have returned 0Neo,” exclaimed the larger of the two warriors, “Now you can help me tell this idiot that his time magic would have no effect on an immortal such as me!” The man stuck his tongue out to the Chronomancer with the look of a man who had had argued over his immortality before, and always came up the victor.
“Do I have to say this to every single person you meet?” asked 0Neo, although it was with a smile. “If that is the case then I must say that Kor you will not be able to kill Hict as he is indeed immortal.”
“Well there go my plans for the evening,” Sighed Kor, “perhaps you should consider applying yourself to the role of punching bag in Combat Practice.”
The man called Hict boomed another laugh, but before he could reply with a snarky retort, he finally noticed Hikari Yume, who was wandering around looking at the decorations and architecture of the room.
Hict bombarded 0Neo with questions, “Who on Lore is this? Is he the guy you went out to get 0Neo? Does he think he can beat me?”
“He appears to have more attention for the statues of the dead and this table than us.” Kor noted.
0Neo made the introductions, “Hikari Yume meet Hict the Immortal Swordmaster, he is the representative of the Aerodu clan and he is also the legendary man who cannot be killed.”


<Hict the Immortal was awarded with a glance in his direction from Hikari Yume. To which the Immortal rose and drew his famed Sword of Gusts. He spun his sword and the sharp blade cut through the air to leave a gap in space spelling his name, “HICT”>



“Show off.” muttered Kor.
0Neo continued, “And meet Kor the Chronomancer. I know that you wizards have hatred towards his time magic, so please no fighting!”


<Kor raised his hand in hand in greeting and in his hand appeared a blade of purple and black. Hikari Yume gave no impression of having heard 0Neo, or seen Kor’s raised hand>


0Neo sighed (something he seemed to be doing quite a lot recently) and tutted, “Can you all please act serious? We have Truphma camps sprouting up everywhere, our clans have been sent letters warning us that war is on the way. We must have make decisions for the whole of Paxia!”
<0Neo was beginning to get worked up. Kor noticing this stepped up and placed his hand on 0Neo’s shoulder>
“You are right. If we do not work together as a cohesive team then we will not succeed in our mission.” Kor said softly.
“And what exactly is our mission? We have been gathered here and nobody has had the decency to offer us food, or tell us what our plan of action is!” complained Hict the Immortal.
“We have-” began 0Neo, but he was cut off by Kor with a wave of his hand and said bluntly,
“We have been gathered here to oppose Xov and her army of dull creatures. We will disrupt the enemy’s lines through guerrilla tactics, destroying their supply lines and facing them in battle.”


<The others looked at Kor with a newfound respect for the quiet Chronomancer>



“We haven't even got all the members of our group, yet I already feel confident of our victory!” declared Hict with yet another laugh.

On the other hand, Hikari Yume did not feel confident at all. Could this team of misfits defeat an army?
Hikari Yume shivered for the first time in years and it was not due to the cold...






Chapter Two: Several Serendipitous Situations.


Characters in this chapter:
Popinloopy
Seth Hydra
Dark Wizard Adrian


<The day was still cold and getting colder. Did the Glacians had decided to cool the land to protect their base from creatures of fire? Perhaps, but this chilled air seemed to be more sinister. The sun was on its descent and the moon would appear to dictate the sky in the never-ending struggle between the Light and the Dark>



<A wizard was making his own descent from the Lucian Castle in the mountains to the north. Popinloopy was a dedicated member of the Lucian Clan and seeing the sun drop from its position in the sky saddened him. He knew that there could not be Light without Darkness, and vice-versa. But he had always preferred the day to the night. His golden armour shimmered in the final rays of the setting sun and Popinloopy smiled as the most powerful source of magical Light blessed him>



The leader of the Lucians, Lucius, came to see Popinloopy himself to show him a very disturbing letter sent to him by Xov. Lucius was saddened by the prospect of yet another war on their little island. But there was hope of unity. Noctros had sent messages to each of the clan leaders pleading for the eight clans of Paxia to unite to fight off this common enemy. Popinloopy immediately asked Lucius to send him, to which Lucius replied, “You are the first person I have told of this message. I was hoping that you would go as our representative. Thank you for your commitment to our clan.”
As he walked, Popinloopy talked to himself in a cheerful manner, “Hopefully this meeting won’t take too long. Then maybe I can return in time for Pegasus riding.”
The wizard gave a piercing whistle and from under a crag of rock a dog appeared. This dog wore similar golden armour and was very loyal to Popinloopy.

“Hello Ypoolnipop, how are you this glorious evening?” Popinloopy asked the dog. The dog answered with a series of barks that made no sense to a human, but Popinloopy pretended that the dog had answered with something along the lines of, “Hello my good master. I have had quite an enjoyable day chewing on the bones of the undead that we attacked several days ago, and I also chased my tail for several hours.”

Popinloopy had perked up from his momentary depression from earlier and was now happily on his way to the Castillo Vida Negra. He had wondered why the meeting of the clans must be held in its dark halls, but Lucius had assured him it was one of the most secure bases in Paxia. However, this did not fully settle Popinloopy’s mind. He was heading towards the base of his elemental enemies. There had been an uneasy alliance between all the clans of Paxia, but there was no true peace. Just as Fire will melt Ice, Light will pierce the Darkness. It is how things have always been and how things will always stay. Popinloopy was contemplating whether the Nocturu will believe him to be an attacker when they see him, when a wild figure emerged from the brush at the side of the well-weathered path.

Immediately Popinloopy begain focusing his magical power into his golden armour for protection, but it proved to be an unnecessary action as the wild figure was stumbling around on the track in obvious confusion. Ypoolnipop growled and he seemed to grow in size as a bright glow expanded around him.
The person that had appeared began to look around them, but before they could take in their surroundings Popinloopy struck the person with the butt of his Lucian Spear and held them to the ground with the blade at their throat. The person stopped struggling quickly and as they looked up Popinloopy was able to see that it was a man. However, this was not just a normal traveller, as he was dressed in the deadly armour of the Supreme Overlord.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” Popinloopy asked, never removing his spear’s blade from the man’s throat.
The warrior could barely contain his anger and answered, “My name is Seth Hydra and if you have any brains you will let me go before I strike you down.”
Popinloopy would have laughed, but Seth’s face was screaming murder, “And how would you do that when I have you pinned to the ground and Ypoolnipop here would tackle you before you could move an inch.”

The two stared at each other for another short time before Popinloopy slowly removed the spear. Ypoolnipop never took his intelligent eyes off of the stranger as Seth rose from the ground.
Seth was still visibly angry but he no longer looked as though he would kill Popinloopy… yet. Seth looked from Popinloopy to Ypoolnipop and back again, “Thank you for releasing me. My name is Seth Hydra and I am on my way from the Igneus volcano to a meeting at the Castillo Vida Negra.”
“That’s a coincidence. My name is Popinloopy and this is my companion Ypoolnipop. We are members of the Lucian Clan and we too are walking towards the meeting at the Castillo Vida Negra. Did you read the letter that Igneox received regarding the oncoming war?” Popinloopy queried.
A dark expression passed over Seth’s face and he nodded, “I have seen far too much war on this island. We have strived for peace and unity for so long. I will NOT allow this Xov to waltz in and tear up everything that our clan leaders have been working towards.”


<As Seth spoke the temperature began to rise. The anger was radiating from Seth in waves of high powered heat. The rise in temperature replaced the eerie chill and gave the air a feeling of comfort. Popinloopy had never met someone from the Igneus clan before but, if the rest of the clan were anything like Seth Hydra, he would have no problem working alongside them in the forthcoming war>



Popinloopy placed both of his hands on Seth’s shoulders, despite the burning of his flesh and said, “Seth please calm down. I know that if we all work together we will be able to defeat this woman in grey.”


<Seth’s eyes had changed from a turquoise blue to the deepest crimson of a volcano, but at Popinloopy’s words they began to assume their normal colour and depth>



“My sincerest apologies Popinloopy and to you too Ypoolnipop,” said Seth, addressing the golden dog who had rushed to Popinloopy’s side to protect him from the possible threat. Seth looked up back to the dog’s owner only to see the severe burns on his hands, “Popinloopy… look at what I have done.”
Popinloopy glanced down at his hands and smiled, “No worries, when you had come running through the bushes I had gathered magic into my armour. This gold has powerful magical properties that enable me to regenerate at an extreme rate. It costs much of my mana, but during a battle with my regeneration powers I am practically immortal. “

<Seth looked down once again to Popinloopy’s hands and the severe burns that had been there mere seconds ago had now become welts. Within a few more seconds his hands were perfectly healed. However, Popinloopy knew that during a more serious battle that sort of wound would have healed instantaneously. He had only used a small portion of his mana when Seth had surprised him>


“Amazing…” Seth hadn’t realized he had spoken aloud until he realized Popinloopy was staring at him. He was unsure whether Seth was referring to the healed wounds, Popinloopy’s power, or a mix of the two.
“Might I ask Seth, why were you running through the forest around here anyway?” asked Popinloopy.
Seth’s face suddenly became very pale, “I had completely forgotten. I seem to have angered a particularly volatile Woodland Pack which was chasing me through the forest. It’s not my fault that tree caught fire!”


<There was a huge cacophony of dozens of chainsaws being started up. At the sound the wizard, his golden pet and the mystical warrior began to run towards the Castillo Vida Negra laughing while the Woodland Packs fell further and further behind>



<It took some time, but eventually the small group managed to make it to the Castillo Vida Negra. They stood staring at the castle and wondering whether they should enter, or wait to be invited in. They did not need to wait for very long because a silhouette detached itself from the dark walls of the castle and walked over to the trio>



Popinloopy greeted this Nocturu clan member, “Hello my name is Popinloopy, the representative of the Lucian clan, this is my loyal companion Ypoolnipop, and this here is Seth Hydra, the representative of the Igneus clan.” He stuck out his hand to shake the Nocturu member’s hand.
The Nocturan shook the Lucian’s hand with a firm handshake, “Welcome to Castillo Vida Negra. I am the Dark Wizard Adrian, but you can just call me Adrian. Titles are such a nuisance anyway.”
Evidently surprised Seth exclaimed, “I did not expect the Nocturu to be so welcoming. Perhaps the stereotypes that we have had of the other clans for all these years have been wrong.”

“Expect nothing and you will always be pleasantly surprised. I am a member of the Nocturu clan and we are all very pleasant to deal with.” Adrian said with a smile. The pale of his skin and his teeth stood in stark contrast to the dark robes of a Tenebromancer. He held a gruesome staff of twisted bones that was clearly the remains of a victim that had been tortured though necromancy.
“I see you have noticed my Torturous Necromant Staff,” said the Tenebromancer with another smile, “I was able to create this staff from a particularly nasty enemy of mine. Their sacrifice has allowed me to delve even deeper into the magic of the dark. It has been considered an evil magic for such a long time that it is mostly forbidden, but I have discovered good in the darkness. I will use my powers in the approaching war to protect everyone that I can. Now if you would like to follow me inside, we can join with the others of our group.”


<Popinloopy noted the serious voice that Adrian used. He had no doubt that this dark wizard was anything other than a force for good and unity. The four then made their way into the beautiful castle to meet the rest of the group. The group that would be risking their lives to save the once great Isle of Paxia>



Popinloopy was happy that his companions would be so easy to fight with. He felt as though he could now trust more than just Ypoolnipop with his life. Something that Popinloopy had rarely experienced before…






Chapter Three: The Negative, yet Nascent Negotiation (The Cause For Unity)


Characters in this chapter:
All previous characters
Welcoming Salem to the group


<0Neo was growing tired of waiting. Hikari Yume, Hict the Immortal and himself had been waiting for many hours and still there had been no updates from the other clan representatives. Hict was growing restless and continually requested that Hikari use his strongest attack on him. After Hict’s third request Hikari Yume had closed his eyes and his skin took on a glossy appearance. It was as though he had purposefully covered himself in ice to escape Hict’s demands>



<At some point Kor had decided that he would skip the waiting and that he would return when the others had arrived. A use of Time magic that I’m sure even Hikari would have been jealous of>

<ONeo was left with his own thoughts. He thought of his recent promotion to General of the Nocturu Clan. An honour he still did not fully comprehend>



“0Neo, I have lived for far too long to waste time in this room any longer.” Hict shouted. He stood up in a rush, his armour of the most powerful lightning crackling as he strode to the door.


<As the immortal man approached the doors, they suddenly swung open admitting three men and surprisingly a dog wearing golden armour>



Momentarily shocked, Hict recovered from the situation quickly and grumbled, “Finally we can get on with this meeting.”
It was also at that moment that a bright blue light appeared from the floor revealing a smiling Kor who knowingly asked, “Have fun without me?”


<0Neo looked towards the group that had entered. As he had noted before there were three men and a dog wearing golden armour. The first was his fellow clan member Adrian, a man well known for his Darkness magic and his practice of Necromancy. He was a kind man and always had a smile on his face, but he was also more determined than anyone 0Neo had ever met before. A determination to become the master of Darkness and 0Neo was sure that none other Nocturu had gone as far as Adrian to obtain the mysteries of the Darkness magic>


<0Neo slid his gaze from the Tenebromancer to the figure clad in illustrious gold armour. This person must be the owner of the dog. The man had a mane of blond hair with streaks of silver in it. The streaks must have been due to some magical intervention, for the man must have been in his mid-20s. He had a spear strapped to his back that 0Neo recognized as the Lucian Spear, held only by the most proficient members of the clan. 0Neo knew that Lucius must have sent on of his greatest warriors to the Cause for Unity>


<Finally, 0Neo noticed the regal looking warrior at the end of the procession. His immediate impression of the man was that he was twitchy and, therefore, suspicious. A member of the Igneus clan could cause trouble accidentally (or on purpose…) But 0Neo was jumping to conclusions. He knew that he had felt nervous as the first members from the other clans had entered his home. For an outside to enter this large room with so many already inside must be at least a little daunting>



To make up for his discriminatory thoughts 0Neo spoke warmly to arrivals, “Welcome to Castillo Vida Negra. I trust that your journey here was safe?”

The man in the golden armour and the regal warrior gave each other funny looks before the former responded, “Well we have arrived in one piece, so I suppose you can call that safe.”
The golden man declared himself, “My name is Popinloopy and this is my trusted companion Ypoolnipop. We are members of Lucian and we have come to represent our clan in this meeting.”
The man in regal armour stepped forward and announced, “And I am Seth of the Igneus Clan. We have received the message from that evil Xov. Even our volcano appears to be in anger, as it is erupting for the first time in many years! My bedroom now stinks of brimstone.”
Kor looked at him with piqued interest, “How does your clan deal with such situations? Will this volcano not destroy your home?”
Seth laughed at the Chronomancer, “Destroy our home? The volcano is our home! What’s a little lava to the Clan of Flames?”


<0Neo was surprised and disturbed by Seth’s proclamation. It was indeed true that the Igneus home was a volcano. It was also known that the base only erupted in times of danger to protect its hosts. Could the volcano’s eruption be a foreshadowing of Paxia’s approaching troubles?>



“Interesting…” The Chronomancer mused, “Perhaps I will visit your volcano in its past and its future. I would like to see how it has reacted, and will react to events such as this one…”


<A deep cracking sound was heard from the corner of the room and everyone turned to see the glossy skin on Hikari Yume becoming spider webbed with cracks. The second skin burst open and the wizard stepped through leaving behind a mess of icicles on the floor>



“Back again are we?” He asked Kor. The tone of disgust and contempt clear in his voice.


<0Neo was still cautious of the wizard after their first meeting. Hikari Yume had shown no interest in any of others in the room, yet he had singled Kor out as an enemy. Why was the wizard acting this way? And what possible reason could Hikari Yume have for hating this Chronomancer that had done nothing wrong?>



At the appearance of Hikari Yume, Popinloopy gave a small gasp in recognition, “I know you… But you were killed in the attack on the Lucian base several years ago!”
Hikari Yume glanced in the direction of the golden man, “That child did die. I am no longer a guardian of the Light like you. I am a member of the Clan of Ice. And I am sure that Lucius would not appreciate you talking about that particular incident.”


<Popinloopy’s face reddened at his words. He raised his Lucian Spear to point at Hikari Yume>



“Bite back your words and do not threaten me. You are not a Lucian any more so you have no right to believe you have any power of me. I am a General of the Light and one of Lucius’ most trusted friends.” The angered Popinloopy growled.
Hikari Yume sneered at the Lucian, “You consider yourself a friend with your clan leader? How fortunate that I left that clan before it became weak. Glaciar is my clan leader. He has trained me and he provides me with missions, but we are not friends.”


<0Neo could see in Popinloopy’s face that the warrior had snapped. He smashed the butt of his spear on the ground and a beam of light shot towards Hikari Yume, who raised his hands with extreme speed and absorbed the beam into his own body>



“Popinloopy do not embarrass yourself. You already know that I was in the Clan of Light. Did you think I would be harmed by such a simple attack?” The wizard laughed.


<Hikari Yume sent his own pulse of Light towards the golden clad warrior. Popinloopy deftly deflected the magic rays with a spin of his spear, but he miscalculated his direction and the pulse struck Seth squarely in the chest>



<Seth was thrown backwards towards a statue in an alcove. In a cloud of dust the regal man from Igneus removed himself from the rubble of the statue’s remains. Shaking the dust from his hair with rage, Seth pointed his hand at the rubble and waved his hand in Hikari Yume’s direction>



<Hikari Yume did not have any time to react and would have been struck by the full force of 2 tonnes of stone, had the wizard of darkness, Adrian, not created a 2 metre thick wall of darkness between Hikari Yume and the flying debris. The stone struck the wall and punctured a number of holes in the wall, but the barrier held>



<Kor and 0Neo stood watching this short battle of mayhem. The two looked at both sides of the room before deciding that they needed to stop the in-fighting. Kor moved to stand in front of Popinloopy and Seth, while 0Neo stood in front of Hikari Yume and Adrian>



<Hict looked around the room and he sighed. The immortal stood up and raised his famed Sword of Gusts. The air began to whip around room, buffeting the people in the chamber with winds that was growing faster and faster>



He looked at each of the people in the room and spoke slowly, “We have gathered here as representatives of the clans of Paxia. We are united in our actions. We are here to protect our home.” His voice was getting louder and louder as his anger grew. The wind seemed to get louder as well in correspondence with the immortal’s raising voice, “Now stop your arguments, sit down and let’s discuss this like adults!”


<Everyone in the room stood frozen on their feet. Hict returned to his seat and the others slowly followed. 0Neo sat down, thankful that someone had decided to take charge of the situation. He almost laughed when he realized that this man saw everyone as children>



“Now that everyone has settled we can begin with this meeting properly.” The Immortal growled with annoyance.


<0Neo sat down at the seat closest to the door and the others slowly but surely followed suit. He was glad that the fighting had ceased, as he knew that he would be held responsible for any damage caused in the room. He glanced at the destroyed statue and sighed inwardly. Noctos was going to be so mad at him. Perhaps he should have prevented the battle from occurring in the first place. With his new armaments the Nocturan could have sped around the room at high speeds and knocked out the participants of the battle. Alas, his weakness had always been being wrapped up in his own thoughts>



The Immortal continued after everyone had taken a seat, “Now. To begin I will give a run down of what is currently taking place in Paxia. If you have any questions please wait until the end, and if anyone so much as looks funny at anyone else I will personally execute them.”


<Six pairs of eyes never strayed from the Immortal’s face. They had all heard the rumours of this man. There was no way that any of them would want a man that cannot be killed as their enemy>



“Five out of the eight clans of Paxia have sent representatives to this meeting, but I have been assured that Geoto, Nautica and Dynami are in full co-operation with the rest of Paxia and will join in our fight against the Grey Queen Vox. Unfortunately, for the time being they will not be able to send assistance to our cause. Geoto and Nautica are currently under siege by the Truphma, and Dynami have spread their forces thinly in an attempt to stage a siege on the siege. The clan bases of Geoto and Nautica have some of the best defences found in all of Lore, so the Truphma will have great difficulty in causing any damage to the two clans. However, the numbers of the Truphma are so overwhelming that if they were able to create a gap in the clans’ defences, the clans would be drowned by sheer numbers. Dynami have planned to attack these sieges, but they will not be able to pull this off by themselves. They have requested help from the remaining clans, but the forces of Truphma have places themselves between the clan bases. This makes our movement severely restricted, but I’m sure that if we can’t find our way around, we can make our own path through their army.” Hict finished this last sentence with a grin that the others could not help but mimic, other than 0Neo and Hikari Yume.


<0Neo had already been told of the situation by Noctros and he was not so sure that alerting an entire army of their position would be a good idea>



0Neo began to relay to the others his own knowledge, “We know that the Truphma have spread their forces in such a way that, if one part of the army is targeted, then the rest could be notified immediately. The battalions of troops are never spaced more than a mile from one another. This means that any flares, bright lights, and loud noises can be seen by the nearest battalion and would alert them of trouble.”
“But then how are we meant to cause any trouble to their army?” Asked Kor, “If you hadn’t noticed from the little disagreement earlier, most of the people in this room use very noticeable battle techniques. We are aware that you are a master of assassination, but how are we meant to copy you when we have no expertise in that area?”


<The others in the room reluctantly bowed their heads in agreement>



Hikari Yume spoke first, “I hate to agree with scum like him, but he is correct. To be of full use in battle the majority of those in this room must use their full powers, which are ‘flashy’ to say the least.”

“What if your ‘flashy’ attacks couldn’t be seen?” Said a voice that did not belong to those seated at the table.


<Those seated looked at one another and then around the room. None could see any other person within the room>



“Who are you? Reveal yourself to us. Or you will see how flashy our attacks can truly be.”


<As the others looked around the room a man faded into view, seated at the table as though he had been there the entire time. He wore a suit of black and white, and strapped to his side was a sword of great beauty. It glowed with a powerful light, but the light seemed to be held back by a lacework of shadows that covered the sword. The handle was of the pure shadow that was not Light and not Darkness, but a mix of the two. Intelligent brown eyes strayed around the room at the others at the table>



The newest arrival to the group announced, “Hello, my name is Salem. I have come to join your cause so please can you stop drawing your weapons and shaping your mana.”


<0Neo was aware that his winged blade, given to him by Noctros himself, was in his hand. Certain assassin habits were hard to give up and especially those that could save his life. The others also appeared to have armed themselves: Adrian with his staff of necromancy, Kor with a blade of purple darkness, Hict with air swirling around his Blade of Gusts, Hikari Yume with a strange white oak staff embedded with crystals, Popinloopy with his glowing Lucian Spear, and finally Seth with the rarest of rares: a Dragon Blade imbued with the power of midnight>


<At this moment in time, 0Neo noticed that this gathering may be a group of misfits, they may not fully be united as companions, some were prone to anger, and some were prone to anger others. But all were ready to fight and all were powerful in their own right>


<At the new arrival’s words of peace, the men in the room lowered their weapons>



0Neo addressed Salem, “What did you mean by what you said?”
“I am not a wizard, but I have learned how to combine Light and Darkness to create weak illusionary spells. With my guidance I can teach you wizards how to recreate these illusions. If you cast these illusions around an area, before attacking a portion of these Truphma’s army, then none will be able to see within.”


<The Paxian representatives looked at Salem, then at each other, and one by one they began to smile. The only people in the room that did not smile were Hikari Yume (characteristically) and 0Neo>


<0Neo knew in his mind that these plans would require more than just illusionary spells. These plans would require great co-ordination, co-operation and precision. Something he was aware could not be accomplished by those in the room…>







Chapter Four – Restlessly Reaching for Rescue



Characters in this chapter:
All previous characters


<Salem had judged everyone in the room the first moment he had seen them. With his in-depth knowledge of the elements of Light and Darkness he could see with clarity the fears in each man. His actions took several seconds at most, but to him it felt like hours. The ability to see into a man’s heart was not one that he casually used. But to better understand the men he would be fighting alongside he decided it would be necessary>


<At the “head” of the circular table sat the Immortal, Hict, who appeared to have no fear in him. But Salem could see into his heart of steel and recognized the deep longing for friendship and the great pain of loss. Which made sense considering the warrior was hundreds of year old>


<Sitting next to him was the Chronomancer. This man had been a strange obstacle. Salem had spent longer trying to perceive this man’s fears and managed to see a small glimpse of death and destruction. Had he seen a future that had not yet occurred?>


<Next in line was Adrian, a self proclaimed, “Master of Darkness”. Salem had no doubt that this Tenebromaner had gone to great lengths to achieve the impossible. Salem could discern a depth to his Darkness magic that was a testament to these lengths. He could also sense a kindness to the man, a characteristic he had not expected at a table of warriors. From this kindness stemmed the wizard’s fear. Rejection was clearly the Tenebromancer’s greatest fear. Friendship was of such high importance to Adrian that he feared to be rejected by others… Salem took a moment to ponder this. A man who had chosen the solitude of Darkness, yet was so afraid of being rejected by those he wished friendship from… Adrian was a strange man indeed>


<Seated between Adrian and himself, was the noble individual from Igneus. He had created a large mess with his barrage of stones and seemed to be a fiery character, to say the least. With his Light and Darkness magic, Salem once again looked into this next person’s heart. However, there was no fear to be found. Salem took several breaths before he entered the warrior’s heart again. But once again he found no fear to speak of… This group became more interesting the further he looked>


<On his other side sat the golden warrior that was difficult to stare at for too long. His bright blonde hair with its silver streaks, coupled with the shimmering of his armour was too much Light to handle. Salem found the source of this man’s fear without even looking into his heart. The man’s heart belonged to the dog that sat at his feet, play biting his toes. This dog was more than just an animal to Popinloopy. He was a friend, companion and side-kick. He was a symbol of purity on an island of disorder>


<The figure that he looked to next was the white wizard that had stirred the trouble from earlier. Hikari Yume was studying his White Oak Staff and the crystals that embedded its surface. But he noticed Salem’s eyes upon him and looked up. Never before had Salem seen such cold eyes. This man mistrusted all those that he laid his eyes on. Cold white eyes that were so cynical and so filled with hate. Salem believed that perhaps this man did not even possess a heart. But he forced himself to check anyway, and what he found shook him. Images of the wizard’s past crept into his mind and he shuddered as the pain of Hikari Yume’s memories possessed him>


<Salem quickly looked away. The pain that Hikari Yume was still feeling was so piercing that it could drive a man insane. Salem knew that he couldn’t stop. He looked towards the final member of the group. 0Neo, the Nocturan. This man was a reprieve after the icy eyes of Hikari Yume. The darkness that surrounded the man was not unfriendly, but neither was it inviting. 0Neo feared the destruction of his Clan, his family and his friends. A simple fear, but a strong fear, that took root and would never leave>


<Having assessed the men around the table, Salem returned his sight to Hict the Immortal who was detailing a plan of action that the group was to follow to the letter>



“As the most experience person here; I will lead this Group of Unity.” Hict announced.
“Group of Unity?” The other laughed.
“It’s a title in progress!!!” The Immortal defended.
He continued with his plan of action, “Now we will split ourselves into two groups. One will head to Nautica’s base, and the other to Geoto’s base. We will provide them with backup, we will provide an escape route for those wounded, and we will cause the Truphma as much trouble as possible.”
“The first team heading to the Geoto base will consist of Popinloopy, Seth and Salem. They will be seen over by 0Neo. Popinloopy and Salem will use their joined magic to create illusionary spells around yourselves before you attack. Seth will be the main force of power here, as he has the most destructive power. And, finally, 0Neo will scout ahead with his skills as an assassin. He will return with information and Intel on the enemy’s positions before returning with a plan of action.”
“The second team will be lead by myself, and we will be heading towards the Nautican base. My team will consist of Adrian, Hikari Yume and Kor. Once Salem has taught his illusionary spells to Hikari Yume and Adrian, they will be able to provide cover for us.”
Hict looked around the table once more, “This will be the last time we will all be together before we meet up again to take out Xov herself. So if you have any questions, ask now.”

Half a dozen arms rose in unison, “Do we get paid for this?”


<They laughed at each other and themselves. It was the first act of unity that Salem had witnessed in the room. There was still awkwardness from the fight earlier, but that had mostly been replaced by a desire to strike back against the Truphma>



Hict laughed himself but then sobered up to say, “When you are all ready we shall move out. Salem teach your illusion spells to the wizards in the room.”


<Hikari Yume, Adrian and Popinloopy looked towards Salem. As they did so the other members of the group left the table to check their weapons and their armour>



Salem remarked, “You are not like them. You are users of the blood of Lore. The magic that flows through your veins is the same that flows through Lore’s veins. You do not simply swing a sharp object to split flesh and bone, but rather spend years training your minds and bodies to physically and mentally attack your opponent. Your minds are your true blades and you will need precision when using the spell that I am to teach you.”


<The monochrome man had gained the attention of the wizards still seated at the table>



Salem continued with his teaching, “You will not be able to perform this on your own as it requires both Light and Darkness to perfect. That is why I am to be paired with Popinloopy, and Hikari Yume and Adrian are to be paired. You will be half of a whole. Too much Light and you will reveal yourself to all. Too much Darkness and you will only blind yourselves.”


<After several minutes of explaining the spell the others had seemed to have grasped the idea. Popinloopy and he were able to cast more of a mirage than an illusion, but they were off to a good start. Hikari Yume and Adrian had managed to perform a perfect illusion, but Adrian used too much mana and the spell became unstable. This caused a flash of Darkness to blind the two wizards for several minutes Adrian stumbled into a chair several times, while Hikari Yume swore that he would kill Adrian after his sight returned. Fortunately, the laughing of the others stilled his resolve and he only gave the Tenebromancer a glare before they resumed their practice of the illusion>


<Some time later the wizards in the room had managed to create their own powerful illusions. The warriors had sharpened their blades and polished their armours. Finally Hict and 0Neo made their plans of leadership for the two teams. Hict passed into 0Neo’s hands a communication device created by the Head of the Aerodu Clan>



Hict shouted across the room to Salem, “You lot ready to head out?”
Salem turned and shouted back, “Yes, each group will have wizards that will be able to perform a successful illusionary spell.”
“Good. Now Popinloopy, Salem and Seth follow 0Neo to the Goeto base. It is located between Castillo Vida Negra and the Lucian Palace, so the area should be familiar to Popinloopy and 0Neo.”
“Adrian, Hikari Yume and Kor follow me and we will go and provide support to the Nauticans straight away. They are in dire need of help and we have wasted enough time here already.”


<The stern voice of Hict was enough to move everyone into a state of action. The groups joined together and faced each other. They nodded to one another, knowing that some of them may not return>


<With faces of differing levels of excitement, the two teams divided and left on their own quest’s paths>


<Salem was almost sad to leave the other group, though he had not known them for long. There was strength in numbers no matter what way they looked at it. Not only were the splitting their forces, but they were also facing an army that numbered them hundreds of thousands to one. They stood against an impossible force, but what they needed to achieve was not the destruction of an army. Instead they aimed to retake the land that had been stolen from them, protect their people, and create hope where it had been lost. To carry out these tasks a small, yet elite, group was all that was required and they were definitely an elite team>


<Salem followed 0Neo as they left Castillo Vida Negra and made their way north. The group moved as a uniform unit. 0Neo in the lead, Salem directly behind him, with Popinloopy and Seth on either side of Salem. The monochrome man looked to his left and right, before deciding that things were safe. He moved to run beside 0Neo and to talk with the Nocturan>



He asked, “What is your plan for when we reach the Geotan base?”
0Neo turned with a smile, “We will walk right up to it of course.”
“I am confused by your statement… Surely that is impossible. The entire base is surrounded by Truphma?” Salem stammered.
“Not all of it. The mountains that the Geotans have built their base in are too large for an army to conquer. Those mountains are the reason that that base has never been invaded. Their previous base was destroyed, but it was more of a home of comfort than anything else. Their true stronghold lies in the mountains. It is as impregnable as would be expected from the Clan of the Earth. They know how to set traps and defences, and the land itself is on their side. We will be meeting with a representative of Dynami, who will bring us fully up to date with the information of the siege. They will be taking the full brunt of the army because they have greater numbers than us. With you and Popinloopy creating a masking spell, I will be able to enter the camp to ‘dispose’ of their leaders and generals. Then Seth will create a diversion to the west of their camp. When they rush to the east, the Dynami will strike from the West with their cannons. Once the Truphma have realized what has taken place they will rush to fight the Energy Clan. When this happens they will need to leave because they are too few in number to handle the army by themselves. But this will allow us enough time to rush to the Geoto base, enter it, and coerce the Clan of Earth to leave their home and strike back at the Truphma. Once they have seen that the clans have rushed to their aid, I am positive that they will respond!”


<Salem was not whole-heartedly convinced by this plan. There were too many things that could go wrong. What if Seth did not create a large enough distraction? Or the Dynami are wiped out before they are able to fire their cannons? Or the Geoto decide to remain within their walls?>



He decided against asking too many questions and said, “Okay, I will see how your plan goes for now. Although I am not sure that it will all play out as you desire. What are we to do about the line of Truphma that stand in our way? Or had you forgotten that there are Truphma between all the bases to restrict our movements?”
0Neo smiled once again, “We will need to handle them. With your illusionary skills you should be able to walk right past them, and I will carry Popinloopy and Seth over the line.”
In a moment of shock, Salem asked, “You intend to carry the two over the Truphma army? Are you mad? They will see you for sure! And then they will send out an alert that will notify the entire army of our presence!”


<Rage had begun to grip Salem. This man was risking all of their lives on such a foolish plan. Salem had no intention of throwing his life away>



But 0Neo only smiled again, “We have not been formally introduced before, have we? My name is 0Neo, the famed assassin of the Nocturu. I am as quiet as a breath. None shall see me and none shall hear me. It is the time of night and darkness. Even if they were to look up they would see nothing but the blackness of the sky. But why would they look up? They will be looking to their sides, to the trees and to the bases of the Clans. In the air we can become invisible”


<0Neo had a way with words… He was very convincing>



Salem felt stupid for rebuking 0Neo, “Then I shall do as you command. If the Immortal places trust in you, so shall I.”


<With that the two nodded at each other once again, and Salem returned to his position behind 0Neo>


<It was only a short time later that 0Neo slowed to a standstill. He turned to look at the others and raised a finger to his pale lips. He motioned to them that they were near the enemy’s encampment and that they were to remain silent and still. He looked at Salem, who knew that it was his time to cast the illusionary spells on himself and the others. He linked hands with Popinloopy and the two merged their magic together. To be precise they spent several minutes longer than they had previously. But they managed to create an illusion on the four men>


<Salem and Popinloopy nodded to 0Neo; who proceeded to clasp Popinloopy’s and Seth’s arms. He extended his wings with obvious relish, and silently drifted into the air. He made no noise and
none looked up as he flew>


<It was Salem’s turn to move. He would need to be as silent as the Nocturan to pass through the encampment of Truphma. He knew that 0Neo would not be able to carry him; it was already too difficult a task to carry Seth and Popinloopy. He was stealthier than those two and would be able to make it through without being noticed>


<With his breathing suppressed he walked forward. His heart beat so fast that he was sure he would be heard. To be sure he waited for several moments to still its beating. When he had regained his composure, Salem continued forward. He had come to the edge of the camp and he saw many, many, many Truphma. There were too many to count, and more on top of that. The area around him had dulled and become the same grey that was characteristic of the Truphma>


<Salem made his way through the encampment. Many times he had come close to brushing against one of the Truphma, but each time he managed to slip past. There was an occasion where one soldier turned to look at the disturbance in the air. But must have thought that Salem was nothing more than a passing insect>


<It took many hours for Salem to pass through the encampment. It was large, but he needed to make sure that he did not alert the army. He proceeded slowly and with great care. He reached the far side of the encampment and sighed with relief. Never before had he been in such a dangerous situation. He stopped to lean against a tree, kneeling down and pressing his head against the cool bark. He felt like crying from the relief he felt, but he knew that he must press on, for he was not in the clear yet>


<Ahead of him was yet another Truphma army and they would be greater in number and strength. He could not afford to become relaxed>


<With a shake of his weary head Salem moved on>


<He searched for some time before he was discovered himself by Popinloopy. A whisper reached his ears…>



The smile could be heard in his whisper, “It took you long enough.”
Salem felt like crying at his voice, “If you had seen what I have seen you would not be complaining.”


<Popinloopy’s face showed true caring, which moved Salem. But he could not afford to let his emotions override his instinct for survival. Popinloopy lead him over to 0Neo and Seth, who appeared to be lying on the ground>


Seth looked up to Salem with a green face, “Seems I’m not used to being dragged against my will by a flying freak.”


<The four men shared a light laugh and they set off once again to reach the Geotan base>


<By the time they had reached the base of Geoto they were tired and sore. They had travelled for many hours and they had brought little supplies with them. What little food they shared around and together they had a cold meal as lighting a fire would give away their position>


<Salem and Popinloopy once again cast an illusionary spell over themselves and they settled down for the night. But Salem could not help but feel the pressure of thousands of Truphma soldiers just a few kilometres from their position>


<When Salem woke up he noticed that 0Neo and Seth were both still asleep. The two looked peaceful in their sleep, so he chose not to disturb them. He looked around for Popinloopy to no avail>


<Salem moved closer to the rock’s edge that looked out upon the Truphma army. A sea of grey stood stark in the mountains and forests. They were like a wave that had crashed into the land, stealing the colour as though it belonged to them. In the centre of the sea stood the Geoto base tower, still standing strong, but it had suffered in this siege. The face of the tower was pockmarked by smouldering holes. But its walls had not yet broken which was the important thing>


<Salem heard whispering behind him and returned to the area that the group had been sleeping in. He found 0Neo and Seth talking to a man in armour. He was brilliant to look at. It was the same as Hict’s armour of lightning, but instead it was gold. The man must be the representative from Dynami. Salem walked over to men mid-conversation>



“- strike like that. The army would notice us straight away before we even had a chance to fire upon them.” The representative was saying.
0Neo seemed to be arguing with the Dynami, “But Seth will have created the distraction. Once their attention has been diverted you will strike them! It will be a double distraction!”
“I will not endanger the troops of my clan for some hair-brained scheme that will very likely not work. We have friends in that tower.” The Dynami countered.
0Neo spoke calmly and insisted, “Trust us, once we get inside the Geotans will see that we have come in the name of Unity. You and your people will not be harmed. When the army gets too close to you, you and your clan will retreat. I will not have you facing a threat that you cannot defeat. You have few numbers against an army that number in the hundreds of thousands. We do not expect you to meet them in battle.”
“We will do as we have planned to do. If you and your cohort are not in the Geoto base by the time we retreat, then that is your own fault.” The Dynami said in a voice that conveyed his belief in their plan.
Seth looked up to the Dynami with understanding, “We would never ask for more than that. We thank you that you have come to help the other clans in their hours of need. This act will not be forgotten. Spreading your own clan members to defend the Geotans and Nauticans is a deed so brave and noble that it will be remembered for many years.”


<The Dynami representative looked into Seth’s eyes, nodded and then departed. Perhaps it was due to close relationship that Fire and Energy held, or something else entirely. But those two exchanged a look of utter understanding>


“Where is Popinloopy and Ypoolnipop?” he asked the two.
Seth turned in surprise to see Salem standing behind him, “Oh, there you are Salem. Popinloopy was not here when we awoke. We assumed he was with you”
“No he was not here when I woke earlier.” Salem said in slight worry.


<They did not have to wait for long before Popinloopy and Ypoolnipop returned to the group. Popinloopy always rose when the sun rose and he took Ypoolnipop for a search of the perimeter. It was then that Salem noted that the dog had mysteriously been absent on the journey here>



Salem decided to voice his thoughts aloud, “I had wondered where Ypoolnipop had run off to.”
Popinloopy looked to his sidekick and smiled, “Ypoolnipop is a creature of the Light. He has the strange ability to turn himself into pure Light and join with sunlight. During the night he usually stays near the surface of the sun, unless I require him for battle. Since we were being discreet in our movements, I notified him that he was not necessary for last night.”


<Ypoolnipop gave a small bark as though to notify the group that he was still there and he would be present for later on. Leading Salem to wonder whether Popinloopy could communicate with the animal, considering that he knew so much about the golden dog>



“That man from Dynami is going to return to his clan people and tell them the plan that we have devised. Seth will start making his way to the west where he will begin with his distraction preparations. Salem, Popinloopy and I will wait until the Dynami strike, and then we will move through the distracted fields towards the tower. When you have set your distractions off Seth you will make your way straight to the tower. We will all have more illusions cast upon us.” 0Neo said to bring everyone back up to date.
Salem decided to speak up, “The illusions will not last a particularly long time in Seth’s case. We will have to cast the spells on him before he sets out and we will be apart for several hours. I would say that the spell will weaken the further away from us he is. With this in mind, Seth will likely only have around two and a half hours before the spell fails.”


<The small group looked at Seth, who stood with a defiant pose. They all knew he would risk his life anyway. Regardless of the situation, Seth would finish what had been set upon him>



“I’ll worry about the distractions, you lot worry about getting those rock heads to open their tower to us. And I swear to Lorithia if they close the gates before I get there, I will break down their tower by myself!” The dignified Igneus proclaimed.
<Everyone smiled and everyone laughed a little. In hushed voices the group began making final preparations. Salem and Popinloopy cast their illusionary spells on Seth and then on themselves. Seth left immediately to begin his distraction, muttering to himself about a trial by error, which could not possibly be a good sign>


<Salem felt saddened by yet another split in the group. The nobleman from Igneus was a cheery man and would have served as a good leader himself, for he was the tactician that had come up with their plan. A great tactician, a powerful warrior and a good friend. Seth would not be easily caught by the Truphma. So why did Salem get the wrenching feeling that he would not see Seth again…>







Chapter Five: Friends Fear Final Farewells


Characters in this chapter:

Seth


<Seth had around an hour and a half before the illusion spell faded and he had finished setting up the distraction>


<It was a thing of great beauty, or so he thought. Seth had been given a rough draft of the plan several days before the meeting of the clans took place. This draft required him to create a distraction, and had given exact instructions on how to create this distraction>


<Seth even allowed himself to grin at what he was about to unleash>


<A rocket that was specially created by the Aerodu had been given to him, but what could be found inside was even better. Inside the rocket were millions upon millions of Fire Ants. He had spent the past few days setting up traps around the Igneus volcano to capture them all. The rocket would fly into the air, attract the attention of the Truphma, before raining the Fire Ants on top of their heads>


<The thought made him grin again and he almost laughed out loud, if it weren’t for the close proximity to the Truphma>


<And that wasn’t all. As well as the rocket and the Fire Ants, he had also set up lava guns. These were simple machines that drilled into the earth, took up any rock and stone that it found, melted the rock and then shot the lava straight into the faces of the enemy. It was a contraption that had been created by several members from Geoto and Igneus>


<It would cause havoc!>


<Seth had everything prepared and ready. When he had reached his position, he only needed to dispose of one Truphma outpost guard by decapitating the grey head from its worthless body. After that it was a simple case of setting up his equipment>


<Seth set the timer for the Aerodu rocket. Twenty seconds in counting>



He made a maniacal smile and laughed, “You boys want a show?”


<The rocket carrying the Fire Ants blast upwards with a horrible screeching sound accompanying it. He looked over to the sea of grey and saw thousands upon thousands of faces staring at this rocket>


<The rocket made its way higher and higher, and began to drift to the east. Eventually its fuel containers depleted and the rocket lost its momentum. That’s when it fell>


<With excitement he could barely contain Seth looked on as the rocket plunged into the grey sea. A wave of fire rippled from the impact causing even more damage to the surrounding area. At first he could see confusion in the faces of the Truphma, which turned to expressions of pain as the Fire Ants made their way from the blaze to attack the Truphma>


<Becoming giddy with how well the plan was working; Seth set the command for the lava cannons to begin firing. As he stepped out of their paths the first began to fire. A stream of molten rock made its way to splash on the closest waves of Truphma; melting them almost instantly>


<Seth waited for twenty minutes as the Fire Ants made their way through the camp causing mayhem where they passed. The lava cannons began to slow as the rock sources around them became fewer and fewer. He had taken out several hundreds soldiers, badly damaged many more and the bites of the Fire Ants would cause more than just blistering if not seen to. Seth had managed to cause the greatest distraction in the history of Paxia and he was proud>


<Truphma came plundering up the hill. They had staged many attempts in the past twenty minutes to gain ground to destroy the cannons, but to no avail. With the cannons losing fuel, they were able to climb the mountain to destroy the cannons. Seth did not care because the cannons had done their job>


<Seth began to walk down the mountain and headed towards the Geoto Tower. Here was where he was to meet 0Neo, Popinloopy and Salem. He searched to the east to see where the Dynami would be attacking from and was rewarded with the sight of the first pulse cannon firing into the Truphma horde>


<In comparison to these pulse cannons, Seth’s lava cannons were water pistols! They took out swathes of the army before they even realized what was happening. The cannons continued to fire the pulses of Energy into the army, ignoring the few that attempted to rush the Dynami. Warriors and wizards pushed their way around the cannons to meet the Truphma in battle. Cleavers of the Dynami Clan, Rods of Lighting, and Staffs from forgotten depths, Hammers used by the gods, and many more weapons were used in their battle. The clash of thunder could be heard all of Paxia and it was a symbol of the strength of Dynami and their resolve to save Unity>


<Seth looked on at the clan that was risking so much to protect others with envy. He wanted to be here with his fellow Igneus Clan members to fight this army. But Igneox had plans that he could not confide with Seth. Which was understandable; if Seth were to be captured and tortured he might relay this information to the Truphma>


<Lightning continued to crash around the army’s heads. He saw golden lightning in flashes and could only belong to the General that he had met earlier on. The electricity was arcing from one enemy to the next and the more tightly packed together the Truphma were, the more were hit by the Energy attacks>


<But the Dynami Clan could not keep their formidable attacks up forever. For every Truphma that fell, dozens took their place. The Dynami had the element of surprise on their side, but the Truphma were countering with their own cannons and their own soldiers. As Seth looked on the largest of the Dynami cannons was shattered under dozens of cannonballs that had been fired upon it. The Dynami were being overrun and Seth felt like screaming for them to run>


<But they stayed, they fought. Several hundred Dynami against an army of hundreds of thousands. They did not stand a chance. The Truphma passed through them like the wave of grey that they were and destroyed all in their path. Small gatherings of the most elite withheld the brunt of the force for longer than the others, but were swept away by sheer numbers. A Dynamian stood on top of one of the cannons, continuing to fire the destructive cannons to the bitter end. When that cannon was destroyed at the base, the warrior jumped down and battled his way through the waves of Truphma to meet with several others that managed to keep the Truphma at bay. But they could only hold them off for so long…>


<Seth did not watch the warriors because he had a more important mission at hand. The distractions had lasted well over an hour and his cloaking spell would fade soon. Commotion had been caused all over the camp and tens of thousands had been killed, or injured by Seth’s stunt and the attack of the Dynamians>


<Seth moved with haste towards the tower. He had very little time before the spell wore off and the Truphma surrounded the gates of the tower once again>


<He was only a few hundred metres from the gates when Truphma began to look back at him. As though he were covered by a mist that they could not see through properly. Seth moved along with fervent hurry. As he moved more and more Truphma turned their heads towards him. They could not see him directly, but they could see a misty outline of the man>


<He was only twenty metres from the gate when the spell broke at last>


<Truphma roared in response at his appearance and charge towards him. Seth ran the last few steps to the gate and banged on it>


<He knocked, and he knocked, and he knocked. But there was no answer. He had been abandoned>


<Seth turned his head away from the door to see the Truphma moving slowly towards him. They realized that they were in no rush to kill him as he had nowhere to run>


<Seth closed his eyes and summoned his weapons to his hands. There was almost no way that he would leave this situation alive and he knew it. In his right hand he carried the Midnight Dragon Blade and in his left the Airenal’s Lance. Weapons that could take down an enemy easily, but not an entire army>



“Well? What are you going to do now?” The Truphma called as they laughed at the man's pitiful attempt to enter the tower.
“Now I am going to kick your butt!” Shouted Seth in defiance.


<Seth raised his Lance and a powerful cyclone of wind stirred around him. The wind became a tornado around him and he underwent the transformation into the Lord of the Skies>


<With talons outstretched Salem attacked the lines of Truphma. With his Midnight Dragon Blade in his claws he sliced through many of the Truphma. They raised their weapons to attack him but he manoeuvred around their blades and struck out at the wielders>


<Unbeknownst to the winged warrior, inside the tower his three friends kicked and screamed at the Geotians to open the gates but were restrained>


<Outside Seth blew towards the army cyclones of huge power. Knocking many away and tearing through the armour of those closest. Seth raised his claws and the scrap metal of the armours flew towards the Truphma like a thousand tiny blades. The scraps reached the army and pierced the flesh of hundreds>


<Seth flew around to the gates, transformed back into his normal form and once again smashed upon the doors>



He pleaded, “Open the doors! I am Seth of the Igneus Clan! I am here for Unity!”


<Seth twirled blades in hand once again. His regal armour allowed him to move twice as fast as a normal being. With four swings of his Midnight sword he carved his way through many more Truphma. But Seth was growing tired. The transformation and telekinetic spell had left its toll on him>


<Once again Seth turned to the door to knock. As he did he was slashed from shoulder to waist by a Truphma he had not seen. In pain and rage he spun around to decapitate the attacker>


<Bleeding profusely from his back Seth faced the army once again. He gritted his teeth in pain and held his blade in front of him. His Airenal’s Lance had disappeared after his transformation so he only held his Dragon Blade. It could not activate against these enemies and he knew that he would not be able to last long without the trigger>


<Just as Seth had thought this his prayers were answered. Several dull dragons appeared from the ocean of pale grey faces. Seth felt his blade thrum and glow in reaction to the dragon>


<With a renewed effort the warrior jumped up in the air and performed a manoeuvre that an acrobat would be jealous of. With a swing of his arm, Seth sliced through the head of the dull dragon and those leading it towards him. He twirled and danced his way around the blades of the Truphma as they made their way closer and closer to him>


<The Truphma had lost many soldiers to this one man and were growing weary of this battle. They sat back as Seth retreated temporarily to the gate once more. Seth watched as several of their smaller cannons were brought to the fore of the crowd>



In a voice of defeat and exhaustion, Seth shouted, “So what now? Are you just going to shoot me and be done with it? What kind of men are you! You have no morals. You have no pride. You have no souls!”


<With this final scream the noble soldier plunged forward with his sword as dozens of spears and lances were fired from the cannons. One spear pierced his shoulder and its momentum carried it right through his body, but Seth shrugged it off as though it were nothing. Another grazed his head but he managed to lean to the other side so that it did not impale him. He carried on with blood pouring down his arm and into his eyes. A cannon appeared in front of him as if by magic and Seth watched as a spear was blasted from it>


<Seth followed the movement of the spear. It seemed to occur in slow motion>


<Then time sped up once again and the spear struck him high in the chest pushing him the whole way back to the gate>


<The regal man looked down to see blood pouring its way out of his body leaving him empty. His armour was crushed and his mind was hazy. All Seth wanted to do was close his eyes and let the pain take him into unconsciousness>


<As his sight deteriorated, he also felt lighter as though he were being carried by the wind itself. With his last few seconds of consciousness Seth heard the panicked cries inside the walls, screaming his name…>








Chapter Six: Earth's Ecstatic Exclamation



Characters in this chapter:
0Neo
Oliver
Popinloopy
Salem
Seth



<Oliver was checking the gates for the hundredth time that hour when the gates were knocked on>



Oliver’s immediate thoughts were, “Do the Truphma honestly believe that we will open our gates to them if they knock politely?”


<Incredulously he motioned for the guards at the top of the gates to send another cauldron full of extremely dense rocks on top of the Truphma. But they looked down at Oliver wondering why he was motioning>



He shouted up to the guards in confusion. Why were they not obeying his orders? He asked, “What on Lore are you waiting for? We have enemies knocking at our gates! Release the rocks on top of their heads! I will have their skulls crushed for laying this siege on us!”
They responded with, “But sir there is nobody down there. The Truphma have been keeping their distance since their last attack on our gates!”


<That can’t be right. Oliver had keen hearing and was not known for making mistakes. He had definitely heard knocking on their gates. He shook his head and decided to return to his position at the top of the tower. He would gain a better view of the field from there. Perhaps he would take a visit to the Geomancer’s that were hollowing out an escape route if they required one>


<As he turned to leave he heard more knocks on the gates>


<This time he was positive that he had heard someone knocking on the gates. But who would be so foolish to get so close to the gates? They were made of the purest Iridium coated with a steel alloy that was imbued with a magic that could withstand any of the elements. Nothing could break down those gates. The army would not even be able to pass through their walls, which were built using the earth from the heart of Lore. When it was brought up from the centre of Lore it was still molten, but they managed to shape it into their tower today. This earth had special properties that allowed it to recover from any damage inflicted upon it. The holes and smouldering patches that could be seen in the walls were slowly covering up and healing, like a scab on a human’s skin>



Returning to the gates; Oliver shouted out, “Who dares come to the Geoto Tower? Tell me who you are or you will have a thousand tonnes of rock poured onto your heads!”
From the other side a loud whisper emanated, “My name is 0Neo. I am a member of the Nocturu. With me are Popinloopy of the Lucian Clan and Salem. We have been sent here to help the Geoto clan out of this siege that is taking place here. The Dynami Clan are here too and are currently attacking the Truphma army as a distraction to allow us to get close to here!”


<Oliver was shocked to say the least. The Geotians had requested help on numerous occasions within the past few days, but all of their messages had been ignored. They had begun to think that Unity meant nothing to the rest of the clans. But here were members from the Light and Darkness Clans as well as a person not even from Paxia! Could he trust these men to enter the tower? Was the risk of opening the gates worth the help of three men? But if the Dynami Clan were truly fighting the army to allow them to pass through then perhaps they were allies>



He pondered on this and shouted back out to the men outside the door, “You will wait here! I will personally see if what you are saying is true. If the Dynami are indeed fighting for your cause then I will open these gates!”
The Nocturan from the other side of the gates whispered loudly back, “Please hurry, we have a cloaking spell on us but it will run out soon. We also have another friend that is creating another distraction to allow us to be here. He should be here within the hour because he will need to pass through the army.”


<Oliver did not hear this last part as he had already stridden off to the top of the tower to gain a view of the army. He reached their quickly with the help of the Geomancer that followed him; who created a pillar of earth to carry the two of them to the top of the tower. Once Oliver had stepped off the Geomancer bowed his head and the pillar sank back to the bottom of the tower where it resumed its previous state>


<Oliver walked to the side of the battlements and he could not comprehend what he was seeing. Massive cannons were firing on the Truphma army. Electricity was arcing through the army disintegrating the Truphma as they neared the cannons. And standing around the cannons, firing upon the approaching army, was the Dynami. They stood strong and resilient in the face of death>


<Oliver was so shocked that he could not move from his spot. The Geomancer that he was with prodded his arm and mentioned the men at the gate. At once Oliver jumped down the tower. He did not take the stairs, nor have a pillar of rock created for him. Instead he jumped from the top of the tower down the centre to the very bottom, a feat that could only have been accomplished by a great practitioner of the Earth Element>



He shouted over to the men on either side of the gates, “Open the gates at once!”
The Geotians were shocked by their leader’s demands and they spoke in unison, “B-b-but sir!”
“I SAID NOW!” Oliver roared at the guards. It was a roar that he had picked up from Geotal and it was very good for scaring others to hurry up.


<Oliver almost smiled at the time when he was young Geoto member and Geotal was attempting to teach him to roar. On hearing Geotal’s roar Oliver had ran the entire way down the tower, out the gates and half a mile before his wits returned to him>


<But this was no time for reminiscing for the gates were opening>


<Once they were wide enough for a person to slip through Oliver motioned for the guards to stop. He waited several moments and then motioned for the gates to begin to close>


<Three men began to fade into view. He immediately recognized 0Neo, the famed assassin of the Nocturu. The next two in line he had not seen before: a man in beautiful golden armour with a small dog accompanying him, wearing the same armour. The last man wore armour of black and white. The only way that Oliver would hazard to describe him was as a very monochrome individual>


<No matter who they were, they were still here during a siege. They would not be allowed to enter without questioning first. The Geomancers that were waiting in the sides of the entrance hall
liquefied the earth at the visitors feet; trapping them>



The golden warrior yelped and shouted in anger, “What is the meaning of this? We have come to help you and now you are taking us prisoner?”
Oliver responded calmly but surely, “You are entering our home while we are under siege. Did you honestly believe that we would just let you in without a questioning?”
The golden man looked as though he wanted to say more, but he was cut off by 0Neo who said, “We understand. In these situations you cannot be too sure who is, and who isn’t, an enemy. We will answer all questions that you deem fit to ask us.”


<Oliver nodded at 0Neo in approval. This man understood what they had been through. The Geoto Clan had been trapped in this Spire for days. They could stay in there forever with the help of the farms that the clan’s Geomancers could continually grow using their magic. But the clan members were beginning to suffer from cabin fever. The Spire is a feat of defence, but it is very high in the air. They would never admit to it, but most of the clan suffered from vertigo. Possible due to their close affinity with the land of Lore>



“Firstly, I want to hear from you the situation all over Paxia.”
0Neo answered honestly and with sincerity, “Paxia is in great danger. Geoto and Nautica are both under siege. Dynami have come to aid both Clans but they are spread too thin. You would have seen the Dynami attacking the Truphma and the few that they numbered.”
Oliver nodded, knowing that this was indeed true.
0Neo continued, “The Truphma have also spread their own forces between most of the clans. We had to pass through an encampment to get to here. This is most likely to restrict our movement; also if one area of the Truphma is alerted then the entire army would be notified of our positions. There are also not enough fighters on Paxia to attack the entire army. The Truphma severely outnumber us.”
Once again Oliver nodded. The Geotians were able to use their Earth powers to “feel” what was happening around Paxia. They could “feel” the feet of the Truphma and their encampments. They also knew where every main encampment was stationed. The man had answered truthfully but he had only answered the first question, “Second question then. Why have you come here?”
0Neo smiled at that question, “To save you of course.”
Oliver could not help but laugh. What did three men hope to accomplish against an army that numbered several hundred thousand, “And what can you do?”
0Neo smiled again at the question, “We have already made our way through the enemy’s siege. Does that not merit trusting us?”


<Oliver could not deny that these men had risked more than just their lives in their journey to the Spire. The Truphma had torture techniques that could turn the most dedicated warriors into one of their own grey Truphma soldiers>


<With his mind at ease Oliver made another hand wave towards the Geomancers; who released the trio and their dog>


The leader of the group was clearly 0Neo, who walked over to Oliver with his hand outstretched, “We have not been formally introduced. My name is 0Neo, this here is Popinloopy and Ypoolnipop, and last but not least is Salem. We have another member of our group outside the gates. His name is Seth and he was creating a diversion. He should be here within the hour. Otherwise, his illusion spell will wear off.”
Oliver noted the note of concern in the Nocturan’s voice, “Well I will say this now. We will not be opening our gates if he is not invisible. We have already risked our Spire by opening it once. If that man is heading our way with the Truphma following him, we will not be opening our gate.”
The golden man named Popinloopy looked at Oliver in anger, “What?! That man is out there with his life on the line, just so that we could get in here to help you!”
Oliver rebuked Popinloopy, “I do not care! My Clan is in danger and I will not risk thousands of lives for the sake of one man!”


<The discussion was becoming quite heated and the soldiers of Geoto began to edge closer towards the visitors. The Clan of Earth could not afford to have any casualties on their side>


<They stayed like that for some time. Seconds turned into minutes. Minutes turn into an hour. By this stage the trio were growing extremely worried. Oliver could see the concern in their facial expressions, but he would not risk his family for one man>


<Then guards from the top of the gates shouted down to Oliver that a man had appeared not to far from the gates. They asked for orders and Oliver told them to wait>


<The trio were ecstatic and were waiting for the gates to be opened. When they were not immediately opened they looked to Oliver>



Salem queried, “Why are you not opening the gates? That man is our friend, he is here to help.”
But Oliver only shook his head and replied, “If our guards were able to see him, the Truphma must be able to see him too.”


<With that realization came confusion and then anger>



Popinloopy asked in a hushed voice, “So you are not going to open the gates?”
Oliver turned to the man with pity, “I am sorry.”


<From outside could be heard the knocks of Seth along with his shouts of his identity. The clash of battle noise ensued soon after. The screams of blades, cyclones whirring and blood gushing>


<The trio inside the Spire were banging against the walls in anger, screaming for the gates to be opened. Popinloopy managed to climb halfway up the gates before he was shot down with a paralyzing dart. 0Neo pleaded for the gates to be opened>


<Suddenly there was a massive crash against the gates that silenced everyone. Not a word was spoken on either side of the gates>


<Tears could be seen in the trio’s eyes and Oliver was moved by their feelings for their friend. He motioned for the gates to be opened slightly and he himself ran out in a flash. He immediately noticed the man that would have looked regal, had he not been covered in blood with a lance pinning him to the gates. Oliver ran to his front and pulled out the lance with one swift and mighty pull>


<A torrent of blood escaped from the hole left behind by the spear and a breath passed through his lips. Oliver heaved the man over his broad shoulder and ran back inside. This had occurred in such a short time that the Truphma did not even have time to let loose a cry at the opening of the gates>


<When Oliver returned inside he set the man on the floor and called for the healers. The trio ran over to the man and began shouting at him to wake up, to no avail. Popinloopy pushed the others back and removed his helm from his head. The golden helm was glowing with a shining Light and a similar Light was emanating from the small dog’s coat. Popinloopy placed the helm on Seth’s head and the glowing Light immediately passed through his body. As Oliver watched the golden Light passed into the hole and lines of flesh began to cover the wound. The skin renewing itself over the gash, leaving behind an ugly scar>


<However, Seth’s eyes did not open and his breathing remained shallow>



Popinloopy’s face grew extremely weary as he said to the others, “That’s all I can do. He isn’t responding as I was hoping, but he might survive.”


<None of the others in the room pointed out the emphasis that Popinloopy put into the word “might”>



“Bring this man to the hospital wing! Have him tended to by our best physicians!” Oliver commanded.


<Seth was taken away as Oliver had wanted and he could not help but wonder why the quartet had made their way to the Spire. As he turned to ask, 0Neo began to speak. He told Oliver about their plans and why the had made their way to the Geotian Spire>


<After he had described their mission, Oliver was stunned. He had not expected such a reaction of Unity from the other Clans. Geoto was a Clan that had always strived for a peace. Every creature of every Element landed and lived upon the Earth. Those of the Wind Element can fly for hours and even days but they will always return to the land. It seemed to Oliver that the creatures
of Lore had landed and they were ready to work together>


<Oliver checked his equipment to allow himself time to think more of the situation>


<He firstly checked his mace. It was the same mace that was granted upon him by Geotal when he joined the Clan of Earth. The mace was made of a black rock so dense that it could affect the gravity of anything it gets close to. Sprouting from the black rock were green crystalline structures that were harder than diamond and glowed with an eerie, otherworldly light. The mace was carried on a very slim handle that seemed as though it should not be able to withstand the weight of the mace, but it was more than strong enough and was covered with the skin of the proud lion of the Earth. Oliver was one of the few to be entrusted with such a powerful weapon and he was one of the very few capable of wielding the mace. The mace was so heavy that almost none could lift it to use, but Oliver was not only strong enough to use it, he could also wield the weapon better than any before him>


<Oliver also glanced at his armour. This was the armour that had been given to him as a present by Geotal himself. The armour was incredible light to wear as it was made out of the skin of the most ferocious animals that prowled Lore, the proud and mighty lion. The armour was granted the ability to attain the colour of the Earth, giving the wearer camouflage wherever they go. The critical points on the armour were also the strongest points. Crystalline shards, similar to the crystalline shards on the mace he carried, were present and glowed with the same unearthly light. They also seemed to grow and sharpen to the prospect of an approaching battle>



Finally, Oliver looked up and roared, “We Geotians will leave our tower. We will strike back at these Truphma and take back the land that they have stolen from us. And finally we will break that Xov and her army!”


<Oliver reared his head back and gave a roar that many took up. This was the war cry of the Geoto. It was a roar that spoke of the Earth itself and the wildness of Lore. The almighty Pan would have shaken in his hooves had he heard the roars of the Geotians that day>


<His roar gave inspiration to the Geotians inside the Spire. The roar was a sign of strength and the power of Earth. The thousands of Geotians inside the tower readied themselves to enter the battlefield>


<The roar travelled outside the Spire for several miles and the Truphma heard it clearly. They knew what was heading their way and for once they showed some emotion. Their fear was palpable>


<Oliver sounded confident in his roar. But he was putting a lot of trust in the three men in front of him. The Geoto Clan had stayed in their Spire for a reason...>








Chapter Eight: Beasts and Battle Brilliance


Characters in this chapter:
Oliver
0Neo
Popinloopy
Salem
Seth


<The echoes of the thunderous roar of the Geotians subsided and were replaced by the clatter of weapons, armours and shields. The Geotians ran up and down their Spire to find the most opportune position to take down the Truphma. Rangers scrabbled towards the windows and raced each other for the best shooting positions. Geomancers created large, broad spikes that jutted from the Spire. This allowed the wizards to gain an advantageous position over the top of the army below. Finally the warriors of the Earth Clan bustled at the gates, chattering to their partners as they readied themselves>


<Salem, 0Neo, Seth and Popinloopy had never seen such fast preparations and such unity in their actions. Each man could say they were friends with everyone in their own Clans, but the friendship within the Spire was so evident that the men were almost envious of the Earth Clan’s relationships. They watched on as the warriors discussed the best way to co-ordinate their attacks. A Geomancer explained to another pair of wizards how to create a split in the ground that would trap dozens of Truphma. Rangers showed each other where the vital targets were on a Truphma soldier>



Salem addressed Oliver, “Your clan is completely united. I have not seen this for quite some time. It is stunning to see that these men and women are able to pass along their secrets of fighting.”
Oliver looked to the colourless man, “What is the use of hiding techniques? Out on this battlefield we are all brothers and sisters. If there is a spell or a style of fighting that is beneficial, why would we keep it to ourselves?”
0Neo looked on in confusion, “But then how does one of your own rise through the ranks? If you all know each other’s techniques then you must know how to defeat each other. If that is the case, how do you know who is the strongest?”
Oliver laughed at the Nocturan, “You are asking something you do not wholly care for! I know you better than you think assassin. You ask as though you care that we are the same, but you truly love this. Do not deny it. We do not give ranks to those we deem strong. Our enemies are strong. Should we give them the position of Clan Leader? Of course not! Geotal himself chooses his generals. He chooses from the most respected and revered in the clan. Those who cannot see the Clan for a whole is not worthy of Geoto.”


<A grumble arose from deep within the Spire and from the spiral staircase ascended the great lion, Geotal>


In a deep voice, the horned beast spoke, “Welcome to the Geoto Spire. I apologize that we meet under such dire conditions.”


<The group were greatly humbled by the lion. Geotal’s presence commanded respect without force>


<They bowed their heads to the great lion and Popinloopy stepped forward to speak>



He said to Geotal, “We thank you for your hospitality while oppose to the Truphma enemy.”
Geotal replied with a wise smile, “You have the might of the Earth behind you. As well as the power of all the elements combined. I have not seen quite a feat of unity in Paxia in all my years. We have spent our time in our Spire for too long. This is the perfect time to strike back at the enemy that have surrounded my home and my family.”


<Popinloopy turned to 0Neo with raised eyebrows. Clearly this was not a creature that was angered easily, but would quake the earth itself to protect his family>



The great lion stood on a platform and shouted for the whole Spire to hear, “Clansmen of the great Geodo! I call upon you to protect your home! I call upon you to destroy the siege! And I call upon you to reclaim Paxia!”


<A chant began around the Spire, “FOR PAXIA! FOR GEOTO!” and the thunderous sound reverberated throughout the Spire and the surrounding area>


<With a nod of his head, Geoto motioned for the gates to open and with their opening spilled out the thousands of warriors>



Oliver took charge and screamed up the staircase, “Archers and Magi fire!”


<From the tops of the Spire thousands of arrows and crossbow bolts made their way into the sea of Truphma. Grey blood sprayed in arches and painted the sea even greyer. Many more rounds were fired into the siege seeking the vital points of their targets. The expert archers hit only their enemies and never their own clansmen>


<At the same signal the Magi and Wizards on the Spire released their magic. Rifts opened in the earth and many Truphma fell through, only to be crushed by the rift’s closing walls. Spikes from the Spire were fired into the army piercing up to a dozen targets. Stalagmites sprouted from the surrounding land spraying more blood and decorating the battlefield with kebabs of Truphma soldiers>


<The gates’ opening allowed the warriors to enter the battlefield. Blades flashed in the sunlight as the warriors rushed towards the first lines of the Truphma army. The Truphma ran at the Geotians but they could not match their ferocity. The Truphma crumpled beneath the steel of the Geotians as the defenders pushed their way through. Limbs flew as the weapons swung and the Truphma were cut down to pieces by the angry Geotians>


<Along with the Geotian warriors sprung the Wizards and the Rangers. They were not content to stay in their Spire and they rushed down to join the fray. The Wizards with their staffs spelt destruction and the Rangers struck down even more Truphma with waves of arrows>


<From the gates 0Neo, Popinloopy, Salem and Oliver viewed the massacre outside>



Oliver looked to the three men with gleaming eyes, “I must join my clansmen. If you wish to fight with us then we will consider you our greatest allies!”


<With that the Geotian general ran into the action with his mace held high. A Truphma ran with an outstretched blade, but Oliver turned his eyes to him and the soldier exploded in a huge cloud of dust. He swung his mace and the dust flew to the surrounding army choking them and creating mayhem>


<0Neo, Salem and Popinloopy looked at one another and then towards their fallen comrade Seth. His breathing was shallow and his heartbeat was very erratic. Blood had stopped pouring from his wounds, but they had not fully sealed over. Popinloopy’s magic had healed him from death, but whether Seth would be able to survive the following hours would have to wait>


<A team of Geotian healers were attending to Seth and bandaging up his wounds so there was little for the trio to do to help their friend. They were torn between helping their newly found friends, or staying with Seth>



As if reading their thoughts, Salem said, “Perhaps we should help Geoto. With such a huge army facing them they would need all the help that they can get. Every pair of hands is required.”
0Neo answered Salem, “You are right. We came here to help Geoto and we have inspired them to leave their tower, but we need to do more!”


<With that the trio ran through the gates. Their footsteps were perfectly in unison as they ran towards the Truphma. As they ran the true power that was within the three powerful men escaped and the rocks on the ground began to rumble. Magic escaped from the cracks in the ground in the form of steam and beats through the earth could be felt for miles around>


<The first to reach the Truphma was 0Neo. With a scream he drew his twin Nocturu Daggers and pounced into a group of Truphma that were repulsing any Geotians that came near. He jumped and disappeared in what appeared to be black smoke. Within seconds he had reappeared behind the large group of Truphma and had struck down five of them with one movement of his arm. He then disappeared, only to reappear in another position and striking down even more Truphma. The Nocturan jumped from shadow to shadow striking faster and faster. His eyes turned a shade of black that could only be described as the darkness of a black hole and 0Neo’s own shadow detached. The shadow moved as a separate part of 0Neo and the two obliterated the group, before moving on to the next group of Truphma soldiers>



0Neo jumped into the air and shouted, “Fight with your lives and fight for the dignity of the Geoto Clan!”


<On the other side of the gates Salem was efficiently cutting through swathes of Truphma. His monochrome powers were too strong for all his opponents and they were struck down by his blade of Light wreathed in Darkness. Fifty large Truphma made their way to Salem to stop him from destroying so much of they army. Salem noticed that approaching Truphma with eager eyes, his left eye turning into a dark abyss and his right eye becoming a shining beacon. Salem threw his mighty sword into the sky with a massive swing and in the same motion he withdrew his twin revolvers: Innocence and Guilt. Holding the two together, Salem fired two large beams of Light and Darkness that intertwined to form a powerful laser that blew apart the soldiers with ease>



As his bullets ricocheted off the opposing enemies Salem screamed, “Give these fools everything you’ve got and even more!”


<In the main portion of the Truphma army, Popinloopy was boosting the moral of all around him. His golden armour gleamed with the magic that he poured into it. Its magical properties healing his wounds and the power even reached those within the glow of the armour. His spear was a blur of white as he threw it into the Truphma, piercing seven. With a beckon the Lucian Spear’s wings extended and flew back to Popinloopy’s open hand. Popinloopy stomped his spear against the ground and from the tip of the spear a beam of Light shot out. Popinloopy then twirled the spear around him, cutting through dozens of the Truphma around him>



Popinloopy blinding armour shot letters of Light into the air, spelling out, “Paxia is here to catch you! We will not let you fall!”


<Even with the combined might of the three powerful warriors, they were still outnumbered several hundred to one. The Truphma were not without their strengths. Generals appeared throughout the army to force the Truphma onwards. The generals struck down the Geotians and cut into even the mightiest warriors of the great Earth Clan. From the back of the army flew the Dull Dragons, whose breath was tearing through the Geotians>


<The Geoto defenders were beginning to lose faith. They had destroyed over half of the Truphma army, but they had suffered great losses as well. Thousands were wounded and hundreds had fallen to the weapons of the Truphma>


<From the direction of the Spire could be heard a devastating scream of hatred. A massive pillar of fire pushed its way up into the sky for all to see. From the same direction came another scream of anger and pain>


<The flames raged higher and higher and higher. From the pillar, bolts of fire shot forth striking the Truphma army and their siege equipment>


<At the bottom of the Pillar appeared a figure shrouded in the flames and casting a terrible shadow behind him. As the person stepped forward, the figure became recognizable as Seth. However, it was a Seth that was twisted with the feared anger of the Igneus Clan. His mouth was spewing flames in every direction as he dashed with blinding speed towards the remaining Truphma. He blazed past the Geoto army, searing burns into their skin. But what happened when Seth reached the Truphma was almost indescribable>


<Lines of fire spread in every direction shooting up the several dozen metres into the air; preventing any from passing through. The lines spread at extreme speeds and within seconds had encircled the entire Truphma siege. At that moment huge circles of flames shot into the sky and Seth jumped to join the fire. Wings of crimson appeared behind him and he flew into the centre of the encampment. Thousands of Truphma fired into the air to hit Seth, and he was struck by dozens of arrows and darts. But Seth just screamed in rage and the flames seared through the arrows and darts; melting them and burning the wood. The flames grew and grew, and Truphma milled around in pain as their flesh burned>


<In a humungous pulse, Seth’s life energy streamed into the flames. Gold, crimson, scarlet, silver and colours that had never appeared before streaked through the sky. The streaks flew around within the fire and suddenly raced down to the ground, dragging the fire with it>


<The spectacle was viewed by thousands. From far away, millions noticed the bright lights in the air. Stories of what had happened spread like wildfire throughout Lore, but only the Geoto Clan and Seth’s friends knew. Seth had given his life in an attempt to stop the Truphma>


<Seth sacrificed his life and destroyed a large portion of the army and wounding many. The Geotians ran forward after Seth’s attack and picked off the remaining Truphma>


<In a blaze of glory Seth had entered their lives and with an even greater blaze he had left…>







Chapter Seven: Dreary Disputes and Deathlessness


Characters in this chapter:
Hikari Yume
Hict the Immortal
Kor
Adrian the Dark Wizard


<After the two groups had separated Hict lead his own team towards the Nautican Base. They had been running for many hours, but the men were strong and had high stamina. Hict had had very little communication with 0Neo since the groups had departed. Perhaps they had gotten into some troubles, or they were slacking off and did not want to talk to Hict out of fear of annoying him. Hict had grown accustomed to people fearing him. It was not a smart idea to anger someone who would still be alive when they were old and frail>


<The thoughts of his immortality saddened Hict. He thought of all those he had lost, but then pushed their faces from his mind. He had a mission to accomplish and he would not allow his inability to die to hinder his planning. In fact he should be using this to his full advantage. Hict would be able to access places that nobody else could. He would be able to survive underwater without drowning. However, that was not an issue. Many years beforehand some fool had dropped an entire boatload of underwater breathing potions into the water. Since then it has been very easy to swim to the depths of the sea, if you could handle the pressure that is>



Hict’s train of thought was interrupted by Hikari Yume, who asked, “Hict you appear to have taken the role of leader for this team and perhaps even for this entire operation. If you are to be our leader then I demand to know why you are capable of leading us and whether you have a plan.”
Hict glanced at the man as they ran and responded, “Do you believe yourself to be a better figure to lead? As far as I am aware you have made no attempt to work with others. Even within your own clan.”
Hikari Yume’s eyes gleamed with their cold white light, “I do not want to assume that role. I do not even want to be here with any of you, especially the Chronomancer. But Glaciar has asked me to be here and I will obey his orders. If you are to be our leader I simply require some information about yourself. Is that really so much to ask?”


<Hict realized the position Hikari Yume was trying to push him into. If he were to answer his questions then he would appear to have been brow-beaten, but if he refused to answer Hict would seem appear to be stubborn and persistent. A leader must be able to listen to those he works with and Hikari Yume seemed to be trying to create chaos and disorder within the group of men. What exactly was he planning?>



Deciding that it would be best to answer, Hict spoke aloud for the others to hear with a voice that brimmed with confidence, “As you know I am Hict the Immortal. That name alone should prove that I have more experience than any of you. I have led my fair share of groups into wars. I have battled many different enemies and I have learned to think as they do.”
Hikari Yume whispered under his breath, but loudly enough for them all to hear, “A man who has outlived his companions and thinks like our enemies. Not a man I want as my leader.”


<Adrian and Kor looked at each other with doubt on their faces. Hict knew that Hikari Yume was trying to create some kind of mutiny, but to what means? Adrian was far too young and inexperienced to lead a group and Kor was a solitary figure who would not be able to control the others. Hikari Yume himself said that he himself did not want to even be with the group>



"You seem very confident with your words Hikari Yume. But are you saying that there is anyone here, other than myself, who is capable of leading us into war? Tell me now and I will happily step down. But what if the new leader were to fail? Would you be willing to take responsibility for the deaths that result?”
Hikari Yume slowed to a stop and the others stopped too. Hict stopped and whirled to face the wizard as he spoke. With a blank and emotionless face Hikari Yume spoke quietly, “I take no responsibility for those who die…”


<Hict realized that he had crossed a line. What could have happened in Hikari Yume’s past that would leave him unable to deal with death? From the stories Hikari Yume left nothing left of his victims after his battles. But there had been rumours that he almost never killed those he fought. Hict himself had actually met a man who had supposedly fought the wizard, but he was half mad. The man had muttered wildly about a choice to make and he had chosen life. From what Hict had gathered: Hikari Yume gave those he had defeated a choice. This choice was life or death. The former being a choice for insanity>



Hict apologized with respect but with a stern voice, “I apologize if I have caused any offence to you Hikari Yume. However, I will answer the question that I posed you and say that I am willing to shoulder the burden of death. It is my responsibility as an immortal and I would not pass it to another. Death is something I have seen much of in my many years. That is why I believe I am capable of leading this group.”


<Hikari Yume said nothing and began to walk again. Hict could not tell if the wizard was satisfied with that answer, or if he was still deep in thought about Hict’s previous question. But it was clear that he would not be making any remarks regarding Hict’s leadership>


<They made their way further east. Along their path they had come across several outposts of Truphma. To be certain that they were not seen Adrian and Hikari Yume created the illusionary spell. They passed the outposts with no violence>



The group had been running for a very long time when Hikari Yume stopped with an extended arm, “This is the first area in many miles that has no enemies in the immediate vicinity. I suggest that we rest here to recuperate our strength.”
Adrian leaned towards Hikari Yume with interest, “How far does your sensory spells travel? My own Darkness spells can travel through the shadows for up to a mile, but I am not able to gain certain information on the area.”
Hikari Yume stood still without care of the closeness of Adrian, “With my Wind magic I have been monitoring the air in a five mile wide radius. That enables me to find what is moving. But to be more certain I have also checked the Light patterns on the ground. I follow the natural light to see whether it is being cast upon moving objects.”


<Adrian moved back to his own position with interest still on his face. But he decided not to push too Hikari Yume with more questions>


<The group began to settle down as night fell. Kor cast a time spell of slowness around his immediate surroundings, enabling him to sleep for twice as long as the others. He refused to cast it on the others as he believed they would grow weak if they were outside their own time>


<Hikari Yume looked ready to stab the Chronomancer for even suggesting the spell. The wizard moved far from the group and floated to the top of a tall pine tree, where he cast an Ice spell similar to the one he had cast in the meeting hall. His skin became glossy and reflective and he became motionless>


<Adrian’s eyes turned an even darker black and from his imagination he created a tent out of pure Darkness. After entering the tent jet black spikes erupted from the ground piercing that tent’s edges and ensuring nothing could enter. On the top of the spikes were eerie skulls that grinned in the setting sun’s light>


<Hict did not have the magic of his companions and he simply drew his massive Sword of Gusts and plunged it into the ground. He then leant against the blade and closed his eyes. During the night Hict had dreams of his past. It was the same as every night but he still he could not get over the fact that there were so many faces. “Hict the Immortal” a title that so many had heard and wondered about. But it had always been more of a curse than anything. But it was times like this that Hict was glad that he was still alive. How many people could truly be relied on like him? He had been there for every war, every battle and every significant event in Lore’s history. However, the tales only spoke of those in the most recent times because everyone he had fought with had died. It was a sad thought but a true one. Hict always had many people surrounding him, but he always felt alone>


<The group woke up to a brisk morning with frost over the ground and trees. It was unusual for it to be this cold during the year and even Hikari Yume seemed to be concerned>



Kor asked him, “Could this cold be something to do with Glacius?”


<Hikari Yume shook his head and said nothing. The chill appeared to be more of a forewarning than anything else. If the Clan of Ice had nothing to do with perhaps it was a Truphma creation>


<Regardless of the weather conditions the group travelled on and it was not long before they reached the shore near the Nautican Base. What they found there shook them to the core>


<Everywhere they looked they saw grey. An ocean of grey that stood stark beside the crystal blue of the true ocean. Truphma heads could be seen all over the beach. Dull creatures milled around in the thousands: dragons, wolverines, forest creatures and a multitude of other converted monsters. Siege equipment could be seen dotted around the camp. Scorpions, trebuchets and many catapults were loaded and being fired into the sea where the Nautican Base resided>



Hict stopped the group and whispered, “There’s no way that all of us can give notice to the Nauticans. We need one person to swim down there to meet with the Water Clan and notify them of our actions. The other three will directly create distractions around the base before we all attack. I have been recently updated by Aerodu that we will have the support from my own Clan. We will have air support as well as the support of the Dynami -”
At that Hict was interrupted as his communicator bleeped. He picked up the receiver and spoke into it, “This is Hict. Forward your message. Over.”


<From the other side came a static message that the other could not hear correctly. But they could hear Hict’s side of the conversation>



“Yes go ahead… Please repeat that… Why not? They had said… But… Oh no… But even still… Their best… Okay, thank you. I appreciate the update.” Hict finished his conversation with clipped and sharp words.
He dropped his head and addressed the group, “It appears that the Dynami will not be providing support. They attacked the Truphma camp at the Geotian Spire and were completely overrun. The Clan is in an extremely dangerous position. They’re main base is protected by the youngest of the Clan and they are afraid that if this army is not defeated it will make its way to their base. The whole Clan is returning to fortify their base from the impending attack.”


<They were all devastated by the news. The Dynami had the most powerful weapons in Paxia. They would be able to destroy large areas of the army within seconds. But they were also worried. The Dynami were a force to be reckoned with and the Truphma had overwhelmed them at the Geoto Spire. What were the Truphma capable of?>



Hict continued on, “It seems that I will have to alter my plans. One of us will still need to visit the Nauticans to notify them of the situation. I was told that they are still holding out very well. Their underwater farms have provided them with an unending supply of food. The Truphma are unable to swim to the base as the pressure of the water would crush their bodies. However, their siege equipment is able to reach the base. The attacks lose their speed and strength due to the water slowing it down. But there is a danger of the Nauticans becoming trapped with the growing number of rocks being thrown down blocking their entrance. I will go down to the Nauticans as I am the only one here who is strong enough to withstand the pressure of the ocean.”
He continued on, “Kor I am going to give you the communications device. I hope this does not sound insulting but I want you to remain away from the battle for the time being. The other clans have had very little to do with the war to date. They have sent representatives but they have shown no further intention of protecting Paxia. I want you to use your time magic to visit these clans as fast as possible to beg for their help. Igneus, Glacius, Lucian and Nocturu have stood by while Geoto and Nautica have been under siege and Dynami has divided its forces. As someone who does not belong to any of the clans this should be a mission for an outsider. You will not be biased in your decisions, or discussions.”
Kor bowed his head to the immortal and said, “That is a most wise choice. I will make haste.”


<And with those words he raised his arms and disappeared in the bluish light that accompanied Chronomancy>



Hict looked towards Adrian and Hikari Yume this time and told them, “We are extremely hard pressed at the moment and I do not think there is much else that can be done-”
Adrian interrupted sharply, “There may be thousands, if not millions, of Truphma out there. But I cannot stand by while they cause this much damage. I will go into that camp and destroy those siege machines. If Hikari Yume wishes he can do the same, but I will do this with or without his help.”
Hict’s face grew red and he responded even more harshly, “You will do no such thing! You are putting your life on the line for something you cannot accomplish. Those siege machines are too far away and there are too many enemies in between!”
Hikari Yume stepped forward and characteristically he gave a small whisper, “Was this operation not suicidal to begin with?”


<Hict stopped. He did not know what to say to dissuade Adrian from his endeavour. He could not possibly survive his mission. Perhaps with Hikari Yume’s help the two could destroy the siege weapons, but there were so many Truphma that the two would eventually become overwhelmed. There was no possible way they could make it off the beach alive>



Hict sighed in defeat, “I cannot stop you from doing what you feel is right. But I beg you to reconsider. You cannot survive something like that. Neither of you can.”
Adrian’s confident smile spoke volumes, “I may not be as famous as my clan member 0Neo. But I am as powerful as him if not more so. When I entered the room nobody knew me and even 0Neo had difficulty recognizing me. I have kept a very low profile so that I am not disturbed as I researched the Darkness. From my studies I have delved into the darkest places on this world and other worlds. I have learned spells that have only been dreamed of. I have spent the past year in the Realm of Darkness.”
Hict gasped and when he recovered his composure he asked, “How is that even possible?”
Adrian continued on, “I am the most powerful Tenebromancer in Paxia and perhaps the world. I have taught myself everything about the Darkness and I have become more powerful than you can imagine. My Necromancy skills are not as great as others but I am capable of summoning large armies worth of minions. If I were to get serious I could open a portal to the Elemental Plane of Darkness.”
Hikari Yume’s white eyes met Adrian’s black eyes and he asked quietly, “You are capable of opening an Elemental Plane?”
Adrian held Hikari Yume’s stare, “You are not the only powerful wizard here Hikari Yume. I have been following you and studying your movements for several years now at Nocturo’s request.”
Hikari Yume almost smiled at the Tenebromancer, “You watched as I entered the Elemental Planes of Ice, Light and Wind. That was very clever of you. But to be able to open a Portal is very dangerous. You must be more powerful than you appear…”
“Is that respect I hear?” The dark wizard teased.
Hikari Yume answered without hesitation, “Respect is something that is earned. To be able to open an Elemental Plane is something that deserves respect.”


<And with that Hikari Yume inclined his head ever so slightly in Adrian’s direction. Adrian’s surprise was clearly etched on his face. Hict could not express his own emotions. The man they had believed only cared for him, was now showing clear respect to another. Perhaps Hict had misjudged the wizard>



Hikari Yume announced, “I will join Adrian. Let us take the fight to the Truphma for once. The two of us should be sufficient to cause at least some mayhem.”


<Hict had almost nothing left to argue with. If the two men were set on attacking the Truphma then there was nothing else he could do>



With tears in his eyes Hict said to the two wizards, “Even though we have only known each other for a short time I hope you are both safe.”
Hict started walking towards the Nautican Base but turned his head and laughed, “And don’t you go killing all of the Truphma before I return!”


<Adrian gave a hearty laugh and Hikari Yume raised his hand to almost salute Hict, but he dropped his arm before it reached his head. Hict didn’t really expect such a response from either of them and what he saw moved him. But he still worried that he would outlive yet another few friends…>


<Hict ran as fast as he could towards the edge of the cliff that the men had been standing on. When he reached the end he jumped with all the power he could muster. He flew for a hundred metres from the force and landed with a perfect dive>


<The water was refreshingly cold and brought him back to the mission at hand. His thoughts must be focused on his meeting with the Nauticans and not on Hikari Yume and Adrian>


<It took him several minutes to reach the base of the Nauticans. All around him spikes and rocks floated to the sand below. Very little of the debris actually hit the base, but it was beginning to pile up around the entrance>


<Hict was able to swim up to the entrance without being skewered or crushed and he passed through the barrier that allowed visitors to pass through. The barrier was like a membrane that allowed only Paxian members to pass through. The membrane had psychic abilities and pushed its way into his mind to check if he was a danger. Hict was then tossed through the membrane without any damage. He was sure this meant that he was accepted, but as soon as he fell to the floor he was surrounded by dozens of Nauticans with hammers>


<One of the more twitchy warriors rushed towards him with his arm swinging. But Hict caught the attack with one hand and shouted out for peace. The crowd parted to reveal the serpent creature that was the Nautican Leader>



The creature spoke telepathically to Hict, “I see why you have come here and I have thought long about what our plan of action should be. But I cannot allow my waters to become red with the blood of my people. You may think low of us and that we are cowardly but we have lost friends and family.”
Hict stuttered a response, “B-b-b-but…”
The leader of the Water Clan responded calmly, “I can read your thoughts so you do not need to speak. I have looked at every argument you have thought of and I do not think it would be wise for my people to abandon their home to attack these invaders. Where have our support gone? Have we not had alliances with the other clans? And what of the Glacians? I see in your mind that there is one such in your group. But there are no others that have come to help us in our hour of need. Of all the elements Ice and Water share the greatest connection but we have been abandoned.”
Before Hict could form a thought the creature went on, “I will not allow my own people to go forth into this war but we will provide you with food and equipment. Anything you require will be given here.”
Hict managed to get a word in, “Can you not do anything about the Truphma on the shore? They are right beside the ocean! Your domain! You cannot possibly expect us to destroy the Truphma if you will not help us. Your Hydromancers are at their most powerful here. Surely they could create tsunamis and waves to pummel the Truphma army!”


<Some of the Nauticans shifted uncomfortably. The immortal spoke the truth. Beside the sea and ocean the Nauticans were at their most powerful. Their Clan Leader noticed the rustling in the ranks as the Nauticans lowered their weapons>



With tears in his eyes, Nautica communicated softly, “We only want peace. We have only wanted peace. That is why we have secluded ourselves under the water. Wars create pain and anger. War is something that we have always strove to stay away from. If any of my children wishes to join your fight they may do as they wish. But I will not allow my entire family to rush to their deaths.”
Hict nodded with understanding, “I see why Nautica is considered the wisest of the clans. With a leader like yourself, who cares so much for his children, it is easy to comprehend why you would not wish to see them to participate in this war. I do not call that cowardice.”


<Hict turned to leave through the membrane portal through which he had entered from. As he walked on he heard the movement of arms. He twisted his head to see the salutes of the Nauticans that had surrounded him previously>



The immortal spoke to the Nauticans with a sad tone, “But while you are safe down here, remember that there are good men dying for you on the surface. My friends and my family are fighting for your lives. I expected support from the great Nauticans…”
Hict paused and met every pair of eyes in the room, “I expected support from the Nauticans…”


<Hict continued to walk and the portal slipped its strange membrane around his body. Hict knew that without the numbers of Nautica there was no way that Hikari Yume, Adrian and himself would be able to hold off the Truphma before his own clan reached the shores. It was a hopeless situation. Worse than any he had been in before and he knew that he would lose friends and comrades once again>


<Before he left Hict thought he heard the sound of dissent and anger in the calm sea…>


<Hict the Immortal swam to the surface of the ocean not far from the beach. As soon as he surfaced Truphma pointed at him and screamed warnings. But he was not concerned with those that had spotted him. What concerned him was finding his comrades. But it did not take him long to discover them>


<Hict saw a huge path of destruction travelling through the camps of the Truphma and many lay shattered and dead on the sandy floor. All around Undead fought the Truphma enemies. Adrian was being extremely modest when he spoke of his Necromancy skills because there were more Undead here than he had seen during the Paladin and Necromancy war! Thousands were attacking with more rising from the ground. However the Undead were not very strong and it appeared a single Truphma required three Undead to take it down>


<But alongside the Undead fought blue-white animals. Small kestrels with sharp claws soared around and raked the Truphma that they could reach, foxes and wolves worked together to take down large groups of Truphma, miniature Dragons were flying around, crashing into the Truphma and dozens of species of animals were running around creating havoc. These must be Hikari Yume’s summonings of Ice. But to be able to summon the thousands that were running around, as well as control them, must be a huge drain on the wizard’s mana>


<His eyes followed the path of destruction until they reached the siege machines where Adrian and Hikari Yume were fighting the army. The two wizards had amazingly managed to reach the siege machines and destroyed them; perhaps that was why it was so easy for Hict to swim to the surface. Adrian and Hikari Yume stood upon the wrecks of the siege weapons and were defending their high position from the Truphma hordes running towards them. The two wizards appeared to be clutching each other’s sleeves as they gathered their mana.Huge holes dotted the landscape, slashes in the sand could be seen from the fight between the Truphma and the two young users of magic>


<Hict could feel the pressure of extreme magic usage on the beach. It gave him a headache attempting to comprehend the amount of magical power required to create such an aura. Whatever had occurred on the beach during his absence was something he was glad he had missed>


<Hict took a deep breath and used his amazing strength to swim the long distance. He reached the two men in a matter of seconds, though they had been several hundred metres away. Hict the Immortal pierced through the water like a flying fish and landed between the wizards. Adrian and Hikari Yume swung to attack Hict but then realized that their comrade had joined them>



“WHOA! Watch yourselves. I come in peace.” Shouted Hict.


<He stuck his tongue out to the wizards with obvious joy at their surprise. But Hict regretted his playfulness fast. Adrian was covered with sand and was breathing heavily, clearly from mana exhaustion. Shockingly, the back of Hikari Yume’s white robes were dotted with bright scarlet blood and more blood was dripping from his nose and the corners of his mouth. Hict came to the conclusion that the fight that had been taking place on the beach was more severe than he had previously thought>



Hikari Yume frowned in displeasure, “That was not a smart move. Now that you have distracted us we will be on the back foot from now on. The Truphma have taken every opportunity to pass through our defences and they will take advantage of every single one of our mistakes.”


<Immediately Hict realized the truth in the words of Hikari Yume. In the short moment that they had had their conversation the Truphma had managed to climb halfway up the wreckage>



Adrian asked desperately, “And where are the Nauticans?”
Hict sighed, “They have decided to remain in their Medusae.”


<Hikari Yume and Adrian looked at each other with defeat in their eyes. Hict had seen similar looks on the faces of those he had lost and he would not allow these two to falter in front of him. What was required was a little bit of hope and not even the Elemental Lords themselves could have stopped him from giving that hope>


<Hict quickly spun around to fully take in the situation. He then crouched with his fingers to his temples. In less than a second the immortal warrior had managed to fully assess the battlefield, how many they were up against and the best way to defend themselves. Within the next twenty seconds he had passed along his idea to the men he was fighting with>



He began barking orders to the other two men with him, “The south is safe with the ocean at our backs. We will not be attack from that side. But we are in danger from the north, east and west. Hikari Yume you take the east and direct your Ice creatures towards that side. Make sure that they attack the flanks of the army to ensure that they are coming at you in a straight line. Use your Wind magic to push them back and your Light magic to blind them if that is possible. Then use your most concentrated attack on the narrow line in front of you.”
Hikari Yume gritted his teeth, nodded and breathed sarcastically, “Yes sir.”
Hict beckoned Adrian to the west and gave orders to him, “Adrian you have the greater number of summonings at your service but they are not as strong as Hikari Yume’s Ice creatures. Instead have them rush throughout the west side of the army to create confusion and fear. When they are distracted by the Undead use your Darkness spells to create even more confusion and blind the enemies. In their distraction and blindness you should be able to work your way through them easily.”
Adrian was stunned by the speed of Hict’s plan and replied, “As you say.”

Hict then began muttering to himself, “I will take the north and stop anything in my path.”


<With the plan in the air the three men began to act>


<Hikari Yume created several hundred more Ice creatures even larger than the animals previously. He then whipped up a wind powerful enough to push the Truphma back. But in addition he created Ice shards from the water at the feet of the Truphma. When the Truphma were blown back they were impaled on the shards of Ice and then set upon by the Ice creatures>


<To the west Adrian raised his Tortured Necromancy Staff and an even great horde of Undead rose from the sand. Pirates and sailors long dead raised their scimitars and rapiers and charged straight into the Truphma. Their rusted blades pierced their enemies and broke off leaving a wound that would not heal. After losing their weapons they picked up the dropped weapons of the Truphma. A Dracolich had even been raised at the front of the army and its massive claws destroyed thirty dull creatures in one swipe. On top of that Adrian controlled the shadows of his enemies’ and choked the life from their grey bodies using the Darkness in their souls>


<And Hict himself stood facing north. For a moment he could not comprehend the numbers that were in front of him. As soon as he began counting a dozen more heads pushed between the ranks. There must have been around two hundred thousand in front of him alone. He would survive this. He always did…>


<He raised his massive Sword of Gusts and slammed it into the ground in front of him. A wave of air cut through the ranks in front of him; flaying the skin from their grey bodies. As soon as the wave had passed he rushed the army in front of him and took down another row of soldiers in front of him with one swing of his sword. But as he swung a soldier ran forward and stabbed him in the side>


<The Truphma looked in confusion at the blade that was not covered in blood and stared in fear in Hict’s eyes>



Hict smiled in glee, “You have made an extremely powerful enemy.”


<And with a squeeze of Hict’s hand the Truphma’s head exploded; splattering grey blood and skull bones everywhere>



Hict whirled to meet the next attacker and exclaimed in his deep voice, “Who is foolish enough to face the Immortal Hict!”


<And with that the army plunged towards him. Hict did not bother to count his kills. It would have been impossible for him to count the heads he severed, the blades he crushed, nor the lives he stole. The Grim Reaper would have a busy day ahead of him…>





Chapter Nine: Elements Eagerly Escaping The End


Characters in this chapter:
Kor
Hikari Yume
Adrian the Dark Wizard
Hict the Immortal


<Adrian and Hikari Yume prepared to walk into the army of Truphma by checking their equipment. The two had fully healed their Mana and were at their strongest. Adrian always carried several Health Potions with him and shared several with Hikari Yume, who gave him several Mana Potions in return>


<Hikari Yume was staring at Adrian with those glaring white eyes and Adrian thought he almost looked awkward>



Adrian asked him, “Is something wrong?”
Hikari Yume stared at his feet for some time. But he finally responded in his soft as snow voice, “We may die today.”
Adrian raised his eyebrows but only responded with, “Do you fear death?”
Hikari Yume’s head snapped up, “Doesn’t everyone?”
Adrian almost smiled at him, “In my studies I have learned that there is more to fear in life than there is to fear in death. In life there is physical and mental pain. But death is much simpler. I don’t mean death like the Undead. I mean a true death.”
Hikari Yume’s white eyes stared into Adrian’s black eyes with wonder, “True death?”
“There is so much more than I have seen but I managed to gain a glimpse while in the Elemental Plane of Darkness. When a soul has moved on they cannot return as an Undead. They are at true peace. The clans of Paxia may fight and Lore may fight the Truphma. But everyone dies and in death everyone is equal.”


<Hikari Yume did not respond to the dark wizard’s wise words. Instead he withdrew from his pocket a purple crystal>



He spoke in his soft voice, “This is a Crystal of Restless Shadows. They are extremely rare and I managed to discover one. I want you to have it for this battle. It is strong enough to extend its healing powers to both of us. Any damage you do to the Truphma will partially return to us.”


<Adrian’s mouth hung open and he felt the weight of the crystal as Hikari Yume dropped it into his hand. He could not think of a way to thank the white wizard for giving him such a gift. He could feel the strength of the crystal coursing through his very veins. This item was stronger than it appeared>



Adrian recovered from his gratitude, “But even if this does extend to you it will not be as strong as when you are wearing it. I cannot accept something of this strength.”
Hikari Yume was looking at the sun when he responded, “I do not need the crystal. Granted its healing powers will be beneficial during the battle. But I have something that will benefit me even more.”


<Hikari Yume raised his pale and bony hands to his pale throat and raised a beautiful pendant on a ribbon>



Hikari Yume explained, “This item is a Rejuvenating Necklace. For every attack I make I will regain Mana.”
“Where on Lore did you discover such powerful items?” Adrian asked.


<Hikari Yume did not respond to his question. Adrian did not know how to pursue the conversation any further so he decided to leave it>


<The white wizard and the black wizard prepared their illusion spell once more and they made their way from their hideout onto the beach. They were around seven hundred metres from the siege
machines and decided it would be best to walk along the water’s edge. Their footsteps would be washed away quickly and there was less of a chance of meeting any Truphma on the way>


<Their journey was more or less uneventful until a particularly rowdy Dull Ramleon charged straight into the water in front of them. Salt water sprayed over them and they were soaked through. When the Truphma soldiers and generals ran to restrain the Ramleon they noticed the drops of water seemingly suspended in the air>


<Adrian and Hikari Yume stood perfectly still as the droplets were inspected. One particularly large general with spiked hammer-like hands edged closer to the duo. He raised one hand as if to
push the water droplets but instead prodded the invisible Adrian’s chest>


<At once the general realized what was going on and shouted alerts>



It cried, “Intruders! Invisible intruders in the water!”


<Adrian swung his Tortured Necromancy Staff at the Truphma General. The Truphma behind watched as blood covered bones erupted from the General’s skull. The wizards were still under the protection of their illusion spell but it was unravelling fast. The problem with illusion spells is that once someone became aware that an illusion spell had been cast, the spell would disappear to reveal the hidden caster(s)>


<Adrian decided to take charge of the situation and ran in front of Hikari Yume to block an oncoming attack from the Dull Ramleon from earlier. Its long body was severed by a sudden blade emerging from its shadow>


<Adrian spun to Hikari Yume who appeared to be frozen at what had occurred. Adrian could not help but think that the slow nature of the Glacians may come in handy during discussions, but it was a great disadvantage during a battle>



“Hikari Yume hurry up! We do not have time to stand by and allow them to attack us! We have to do what we came here to do!”


<Hikari Yume snapped out of his reverie and summoned his white oak staff to his hand. He pointed it towards the waves and the frothy waters froze before shooting into the Truphma army piercing dozens>



Hikari Yume ran behind Adrian and he heard the white wizard shout softly after him, “Now would be a great time to use our summonings.”


<Adrian poured some of his mana into his staff and watched as its eyes glowed red. From all around him the sand was pushed upwards and skeletal hands reached into the early morning sun. Eager for living flesh the Undead scrambled up from their deathbeds to attack the Truphma. Adrian could not find any strong Undead beneath their feet and he extended the range of his call. Closer to the siege machines lay more powerful Undead as well as something he could not define from so far away>


<The two wizards were still running through the waves of the ocean and they were getting much closer to the siege machines. The Undead were keeping the Truphma busy so that they were not intercepting the two running men. But ahead of them the Truphma had created a line of soldiers to defend their machines. Adrian summoned some more of his mana to raise Undead behind the line of soldiers. But before he could shape the mana he was overtaken by Hikari Yume>


<Hikari Yume ran at full speed at the Truphma; who were only eighty metres in front of them. He raised his staff and the water at his feet solidified and grew into a great white horse. Hikari Yume jumped onto the horse’s back and from there raised his staff once more. All around the waves froze and gathered into Ice animals. White birds with sharp beaks, talons and wings made of Ice soared into the air, Blue foxes with razor claws gracefully streaked over the water and a multitude of other creatures froze to run in time with the white horse. Finally, thousands of perfect swords of Ice formed from the rushing water>


<The water at Adrian’s own feet solidified to form another great horse. It rose between his legs and before he knew it he was being carried along even faster than before>


<The sight of the Ice army was enough to cause the Truphma to waver. The swords of Ice flew at impossible speeds and rammed through the Truphma without slowing. The Ice creatures sped after the blades and crashed into the Truphma soldiers with the weapons that nature had provided them. Beaks, talons, claws, and teeth of Ice tore through the flesh of the Truphma. Though they were small the animals were able to plunge Ice into the blood of the Truphma, poisoning them with the slowing effects of a cold curse. Eventually the Truphma’s blood would completely freeze disabling the soldier and eventually killing them>



Adrian shrieked at Hikari Yume, “You could have given me some warning! My butt is freezing on this thing! You take the machines furthest from the shore. There is something under the sand I need to raise and fast!”


<Hikari Yume rode in front of the Tenebromancer towards the centre of the Truphma camps. Adrian’s steed raced towards the largest of the siege machines, which was a catapult which was readying to launch ten tonnes worth of boulders deep into the sea. The weight of the rocks would definitely cause colossal damage to the Nautican base if they were loosed>


<Adrian increased his summoning radius and discovered what he was searching for. A Dracolich lay underneath the massive catapult. Adrian smiled as he sent his Dark magic into the bones of the Undead Dragon and he felt it stir immediately. This Dracolich seemed happy to be under the control of someone of his power and it stretched its wings under the sand. The Truphma’s faces conveyed shock and fear at the sudden displacement of sand beneath their feet. A wing burst forth from the sand and then the mighty head of the Dracolich>


<The Dracolich’s roar resounded throughout the beach. This one was more powerful than any Undead Adrian had ever controlled and the Necromancer could not help but feel strength coursing through his blood, consuming all his reasoning and leaving him only wanting to destroy with his might>


<The catapult overturned from the shifting sand and the weight of the boulders crushed it underneath. Adrian called on the Darkness Realm and a portal opened beneath his feet. The circular portal swirled and throbbed with purple and black runes and power emanated from it>



Adrian spoke in a strong and unwavering voice, “Realm of Darkness I call upon your powers!”


<Magical power pulsed around Adrian and Darkness smoked up from the portal. It twirled slowly around Adrian forming creating something resembling a black tornado. Adrian’s eyes assumed a colour of black so deep that none could view them without sinking into death>


<The Darkness spiralled around his arm and he flicked it in the direction of the other war machines. The Darkness responded to his action and shot towards the siege equipment. One by one the machines were covered by the Darkness and crushed. Any Truphma that tried to step in the way were also crushed>


<Adrian felt the mana leaving him like the waves of the ocean receding. He closed the portal to the Darkness Realm but the Darkness remained. Adrian could not comprehend why it was not disappearing until he realized that his mana was no longer being depleted. In his mind Adrian wondered, “Have I been accepted by the Lord of Darkness?”>


<To test this Adrian commanded the Darkness around him to attack the Truphma. The Darkness responded immediately and flew at the surrounding grey monsters. The action did not cost him any mana and Adrian laughed>



With another laugh he whispered to the Darkness around him, “My Lord. Thank you for your gift. I will not fail you or Nocturu.”


<Adrian’s soul rejoiced by this tremendous gift and he used the Darkness to destroy the other siege equipment around him. He could see Hikari Yume in the distance using his Wind magic to slice through the Truphma, while he disintegrated the catapults and trebuchets using powerful beams of Light>


<But before either of the men could do anything the reinforcements of the Truphma army pushed forward. Up until that moment they had been confused and in disarray. They had not expected an attack and especially from such a small, yet powerful, duo>


<In front of Hikari Yume flew several Dull Hybees. The wizard waved his staff in their direction but his Wind magic had little effect against the huge dull creatures. Hikari Yume’s horse galloped around but was confronted by many Dull Forest Creatures. Dull spheres were thrown from their hands and exploded in front of the icy steed. The icy creature reared but Hikari Yume managed to remain in control>



Noticing the danger he was in Adrian shouted, “Get over here now!”


<The white wizard heard Adrian and raced his horse towards the waves. They jumped over the heads of Truphma that raised their weapons to attack the animal and its rider. The two made it through and found their way to the more advantageous position on top of the ruins of the largest catapult beside Adrian>



Hikari Yume’s words seemed to freeze in the air as he spoke, “That was close. I had not expected my Wind magic to not work against those Dull Hybees.”
Adrian nodded at him, “It is too dangerous to face them alone. We have taken out the majority of their weapons so it would be a waste to split up to destroy the remainder.”


<The two wizards commanded their creatures and Undead around the fallen catapult. But their numbers were nothing in comparison to the Truphma. Neither had seen so many creatures in one place before and the numbers were terrifying>



Adrian face Hikari Yume and extended his hand, “At least we’ll go out with a fight and take as many down as possible.”
Hikari Yume looked down at the extended limb and very delicately placed his own snow white hand in Adrian’s and said, “You’re expecting to die here? How quaint. I’m just getting ‘warmed up’ so to speak.”


<And Adrian watched as a true smile appeared on Hikari Yume’s face>



The white wizard addressed his whiter steed in a whisper too quiet for Adrian to hear, “Thank you Comet. You can now return to streaking the skies. I hope that we meet again.”


<The icy mare nuzzled Hikari Yume’s robes and stomped her hooves. She was refusing to leave. Hikari Yume’s smile turned into an pained expression as he waved his hand in front of her. Without her consent Comet rocketed upwards and hurtled through the skies. The horse that Adrian had been riding melted to join the ocean water around him>


Adrian was confused by what had occurred, "Hikari Yume why did the horse that you were riding just fly into the sky?"
Hikari Yume spoke to Adrian sadly, "The horse I conjured for you was simply my own creation. However Comet is a living being. She is considered to be a Goddess on several planets and she found me in the Elemental Plane of Ice. She saved me from certain death and I will never be able to repay her. She has been my only companion through my whole life.”
Adrian felt Hikari Yume’s sadness strike his very core and he responded, “You are no longer alone Hikari Yume. You have your clan’s support as well as ours. You are not alone anymore.”
Hikari Yume’s face hardened at the words but his fragile voice betrayed his feelings despite his harsh words, “Don’t flatter yourself. I said that I am not willing to die. After this I can return to my own company.”


<Adrian hid a smile. He knew that he had surprised the stubborn wizard with his kindness>


<But Hikari Yume was already striding towards the edge of the catapult’s remains. Adrian hadn’t noticed before but bright red blood had stained the back of Hikari Yume’s robes. He had almost expected the wizard’s blood to be as white as everything else but it was as crimson as a normal person’s. The blood stood out clearly against the normally untarnished and immaculate white robes of the wizard>



Adrian pointed towards the wound, “Hikari Yume you’ve been wounded…”
Hikari Yume did not even pause, “It is nothing. I have frozen the wound so no more blood will escape. I was too far away for the effects of the Crystal of Restless Shadows to function. But I was able to focus everything on my Rejuvenating Necklace so that I can do this.”


<Hikari Yume placed both of his hands on his white oak staff and focused his magical powers into the it. The staff then returned the magic back to Hikari Yume with more power. The already commanding presence of the white wizard became unbearable. Magic passed between the wizard and the staff in an ever quickening cycle. The levels of magic grew and grew until even the debris around Hikari Yume began to lift and the wizard’s veins grew more prominent as his blood flowed at a faster rate>


<Adrian thought Hikari Yume was about to burn up from the amount of mana he was holding. But instead of burning up, Hikari Yume smashed his white oak staff into the ruins of the catapult. Above his head grew three circles of varying colours. From the first a pulsing yellow Light emanated from, from the second grey Wind swirled wildly, and from the third and largest circle spiked white Ice crystallized. Adrian stared in awe as he recognized the magic he had been using only moments before>



As wind whipped around him and varying coloured lights shone on his face, Adrian murmured, “So this is the power of the white wizard…”


<Hikari Yume reached out his hand to Adrian and the dark wizard took it without hesitation. Immediately he could feel the mana rushing into the empty pit of his body. The Rejuvenating Necklace was a force to be reckoned with and with it, and Adrian’s Crystal, the two were unstoppable>


<Below Adrian’s feet opened another portal to the Elemental Plane of Darkness. Never had so many portals been opened in one place and the power was indescribable. At the centre of the colossal magical power stood Adrian and Hikari Yume the black and white wizards. With hands joined and with magical power passing back and forth the two became almost one singular entity, only kept separate by the white oak staff clasped tightly in Hikari Yume’s ivory hands>


<The portals above and below the wizards expanded to a radius encompassing the catapult they stood upon. The magical power was affecting both the wizards strongly. Hikari Yume’s veins were extremely prominent and had changed to a very dark purple. Blood was dripping from his nose and from the corners of his mouth in torrents. Adrian was no better off. He could feel his muscles tightening under the pressure of so much magical power, if the pressure kept up he was sure they would snap>



Finally Hikari Yume gurgled through the blood in his mouth, “Ready?”


<Adrian tried to respond but realized that there was as much blood in his own mouth. Instead he gave a simple nod>


<At that the two wizards unleashed the power that they had built up>


<Magical energy was released at speeds faster than light>


<The portal to the Elemental Plane of Wind had created tornadoes and hurricanes around the beach. Truphma soldiers and creatures were sucked up and blended in the furious winds. Sand was picked up and tossed in every direction, blinding and burying all in its path>


<The portal to the Elemental Plane of Light was launching pulses of Light so strong that the blasts incinerated anything it touched; leaving beautiful glass creations from the heated sand. The Truphma staggered around as they were blinded by the extreme Light>


<The portal to the Elemental Plane of Ice took advantage of the confusion and from it spewed thousands of Ice creatures. Lions, tigers, bears, eagles and thousands of other creatures burst forth into the path of the Truphma army. These were completely different from the first creatures that Hikari Yume created as these were true living Ice from the Ice Realm. They were, undisputedly, the strongest warriors that the Ice Element had to offer>


<And finally from the Elemental Plane of Darkness came the liquid Darkness that Adrian was so adept at using. More Darkness that Adrian could believe was exiting the portal and twisting around the two wizards in a protective tornado of blackness. But from the portal came more power than Adrian had ever experienced and he took full advantage of it. Using his most formidable Necromancy spells the dark wizard called to all the Undead on Paxia to him immediately. The Undead were warped into miniature portals of Darkness and they all exploded out through the portal that Adrian was controlling. Thousands upon thousands of Undead scrambled through the portal. They broke through the ranks of the Truphma that had begun to run in fear of the two wizards>


<However, the attack was over within minutes. The extreme magical power bordered that of Archmagi and the two wizards could not continue on without being burnt alive by the very mana they were using. The items that the wizards held renewed their health and mana sources exponentially and to prevent themselves from overloading they stabbed each other with their weapons. Their wounds closed over and healed within seconds. A strange thing to have witnessed but the wizards knew that if they had not damaged their bodies their health would continue to rise and rise until their bodies began to age. The two men would have died of old age within minutes had they not removed the vast healing taking place on them>


<Adrian and Hikari Yume viewed the destruction that they had reaped on the once serene beach. Tens of thousands of Truphma had been brutally destroyed in the attack and hundreds of thousands had been gravelly wounded>


<But there were still more…>


<So many Truphma and Dull Creatures had survived the onslaught of the wizards. Though Adrian and Hikari Yume were more powerful than any of the Truphma, they were hopelessly outnumbered>



Breathlessly Adrian gasped, “Well haven’t we been saying all along that this was a suicidal mission?”


<Adrian watched as Hikari Yume grasped for words as the wizard fell to his knees. The power that the two had released was having extreme consequences on their bodies. More so for Hikari Yume who had used three elements in his battle. It hit Adrian that Hikari Yume must not have been accepted by the Lords of Wind, Ice or Light. The Lord of Darkness had allowed Adrian to open a portal without destroying him but Hikari Yume did not have that permission>


<Adrian then appreciated that he was possibly on of the only alive people on Lore that has had a connection with the Lord of Darkness. If worst came to worst, Adrian would know who to thank if he were to escape a dangerous situation. Adrian offered up a small prayer of thanks to the Lord of Darkness and thought once more about the rarity of being able to open a portal without harsh consequences>



Hikari Yume finally managed to cough out, “Adrian… ‘Cough’… How are you standing? ... ‘Cough’… I…”


<Exhausting himself with the small effort, Hikari Yume collapsed>



Adrian rushed to his side, “Now is not the time to have a nap” He tried to joke. But he knew that the white wizard was drained.
“Here take a few potions. It’s been some time already. Hict will return to us with the might of the Nautican army and you can rest then. Okay?”


<Adrian literally threw the contents of the few potions they had down Hikari Yume’s throat. The white wizard clutched Adrian’s sleeve like a child holds onto its mother. But within seconds he had recovered and attempted to stand>



“Whoa there. Take it easy. Let me help.”


<Hikari Yume did not try to push Adrian away and allowed him to help him up. Adrian once again tried to assess the situation but the beach was on a level of chaos beyond his strategic mind. He
could not even think of where to begin. The two men were holding onto each other’s robes as they tried to mould some of their magical power>


<Abruptly behind them could be heard a wet splashing sound. The two men whirled to meet the new threat only to discover Hict standing there. The relief must have been clear on their faces because Hict laughed at them>


<Adrian could not express the gratitude he felt for Hict at that moment. The immortal had come at a moment when the two were almost about to give up on themselves and he offered them hope and structure. Within seconds Hict had devised a plan to hold of the enemy and the three men were acting on it. Hikari Yume to the east, Hict to the North and Adrian took the west>


<With so much depending on him, Adrian made sure to use everything he had. But he had so little left to give…>



< Message edited by tommy2468 -- 8/6/2013 16:22:38 >
AQ  Post #: 11
8/6/2013 12:05:24   
tommy2468
Member

This is the Second Post to this War Story. The First Post can be found above, or you can use this link to read it. I have been granted permission to post this by Eukara Vox due to the fact that I may have exceeded some kind of limit in my First Post. So thanks again for allowing this!


Chapter Ten: Death Deciding Decisions



Characters in this chapter:
Adrian
Hict the Immortal
Hikari Yume
Kilvakar


<Kilvakar stared after the warrior that had exited the Medusae. The membrane that served as the entrance to the Nautican base swallowed the man and Kilvakar could not help but think that it was sealing the Nauticans inside>


<Kilvakar looked at the back of his Leader as he returned to his council room. Kilvakar was not among the higher tiers of the Nautican Amphitheatre. He had attended many meetings before but had never given his position on anything. Kilvakar was adamant that everything should be deliberated thoroughly before making a decision. Perhaps he was one of the few Nauticans that understood that a temperate body is required to truly become a member of Nautica>


<Kilvakar followed Nautica with a stride full of purpose. The sea creature turned to meet the Hydromancer with calm eyes>



It spoke slowly, “Kilvakar isn’t it? May I ask why you are following me?”
Kilvakar answered, “I’m not fully sure to be honest. On instinct I felt as though I needed to follow you. ”
Nautica tilted his head with his intelligent eyes seemingly peering into Kilvakar’s very soul, “Do you fear for the deaths of those above?”
Kilvakar asked in confusion, “Is it not right to fear the death of others? Death itself should not be feared, but the loss of someone should always be feared.”
Nautica nodded and prodded Kilvakar with yet another confusing question, “But what of the animals and creatures on our planet? They fight and die every day. If a rabbit were to envision the death of its burrow, would the other rabbits believe him?”
Kilvakar immediately retaliated with, “Why should I care?”
Nautica responded back, “Because in this situation the rabbits are us.”
“But why should I mourn for a rabbit like it was human or an intelligent species?”
Nautica leaned back before answering, “Are you saying that the death of one species is less tragic than another?”
Kilvakar pondered his words before replying, “Of course. The rabbit is not like us. It has no history books, no photographs, no knowledge of sorry or regret. I’m sorry Nautica. Do not get me wrong. I do like rabbits. A rabbit is cute but stupid. They are probably happy that they don’t know who they are or why they are alive. They just want to keep their species alive by reproducing as many times as they can before they die. I do not see the point in crying over a dead rabbit that has never feared death to begin with.”
Nautica leaned forward again and asked, “Do you fear death?”
Kilvakar did not expect the question and spent several minutes thinking about an answer. He eventually spoke slowly, “No. I fear being alone. But every living creature on Lore dies alone.”
Nautica telepathically reached into Kilvakar’s mind and in a detached voice asked, “Do you feel alone right now?”
Kilvakar closed his eyes and thought, “I’d like to believe I’m not, but I just… I’ve just never seen any proof, so I don’t debate it anymore… It’s absurd.”
Nautica pushed further into Kilvakar’s mind, “The search for God is absurd?”
Kilvakar recoiled at the closeness of the sea creature, “It is if everyone dies alone.”


<As Kilvakar walked away Nautica could not help but wonder at this man he had rarely seen in the Medusae. He thought to himself, “Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood…”>



<Kilvakar glanced around the room. After the warrior had left none had vowed to follow him. To believe that the Nauticans would stay out of a war that could ensure the peace of Paxia. It disgusted him>



Kilvakar announced, “I am going to the surface. I will not stand by while we are buried in our burrow. This Nautican will heed the warning of the land-dwellers and escape before I become trapped in these suffocating chambers.”


<The other Nauticans glared at the Hydromancer as he left but Kilvakar did not care. His actions did not affect them in any way and he had no family or friends to mourn him if he died. Kilvakar had been a loyal Nautican for his entire life but he had always been a ghost; feeling as though he were the only Nautican that truly understood the properties of water. Calm and peaceful, Kilvakar had never risen to a battle or a duel. He had always overcome his situations through is intelligence and eventually coming to a peaceful conclusion. But now was not the time for talk. Now was not the time for discussion. Now was the time for action>


<Kilvakar wasted no time in rushing through the membrane and into the open sea. As he swam he used his Water magic to push the large boulders down into the deep crevice below. In the water Kilvakar felt so light and free. Nothing could catch him while he was in the water. He felt as though he should let the currents take him out to the deep ocean and never leave the crushing pressure of the water>


<But the currents did not call to him as they usually did. Perhaps the need for his presence on the shore was too urgent for him to ignore>


<Kilvakar used his affinity with water to sense the area for many miles. Like a shark he could send out electronic pulses to “feel” what was in the water around him. The sea was calmer than usual but he could sense a storm was heading inland. This storm had been gathering for some time and it was strange that it should it be heading towards them now>


<Kilvakar could also sense the restlessness of his fellow clansmen in the Medusae below. It was nothing more than a passing thought for the Nautican. His clansmen were not coming to help him and he was not going to worry about them. However, he was aware of how strange it was that just one person could create such a fuss in the peaceful waters of Nautica>


<Kilvakar finally reached the surface and attempted to view everything around. The usually pristine beach was splattered with grey from the Truphma tainting the area, but also from their blood. The blood grew fresher and in greater quantities the further along the beach. Kilvakar knew that this was the direction he needed to head>


<He dived back underneath the water and broke himself down at a molecular level to become one with the water. This was a trick only the most dedicated Hydromancers could perfect. It was already known that the human body is mostly water, but to be able to break oneself down was an extremely difficult task. Amateurs were known to be unable to return to their original forms and eventually died as water>


<Instantly Kilvakar emerged from the water beside where he had aimed. The technique allowed him to cover vast distances in a matter of minutes, but such that short distance required almost no time at all>


<Kilvakar was able to see the trio that were creating the chaos around. In the middle was the man that had visited the Medusae beforehand. Accompanying him were two wizards. A man wearing the robes of a Tenebromancer and the other wearing strange white robes dotted with red. Kilvakar then realized that the red dots on the white robes were blood and he saw that the other wizard also had blood around his face. As a wizard himself, Kilvakar was not keen to become involved with other magic users. Within the Nautica Clan there were many Hydromancers and magic users. Many of whom were prone to showing off, despite the reserved nature that the Nauticans were known for. But then again Nautica may be a clan that was known for being reserved but its members were far from shy. Nautica was full of very intelligent people who would spend years studying a particular subject and they would emerge with their discoveries to boast to anyone that would listen>


<Kilvakar understood the natures of the Clans better than most. Members from Igneus were said to be destructive and unwilling to co-operate, but really they are courageous and brave. Those from Aerodu were said to be arrogant and that they only desire warfare, but that was an unfair outlook. Its clan members always aimed to become stronger for their friends. Glacians were said to be uncaring as they stayed in their Shards, but truly they were reserved and fiercely protective of their family; which was why they so rarely strayed from their home. The Geotians were said to be stubborn and slow to react, but this is due to their stolid nature and to better understand how they should act. The Dynami were said to be too fast in their actions and uncaring of the consequences, but they did care for their consequences and acted fast to ensure that as little harm occurred. The Lucians were said to act high and mighty, but that is because they will only do what is right and just. The Nocturans were said to be untrustworthy and vicious, but they were among the most candid and reliable of any on Lore>


<Kilvakar had always believed he would be the best choice for an ambassador for Nautica and that he could have stopped all of the fighting among the Clans. But he knew that nobody would trust such a young wizard to take on such a significant role. He promised himself that after the Truphma left Paxia he would tell Nautica exactly why he should be the Nautican’s ambassador>


<Kilvakar had become distracted by his thoughts and in the short time the three men on the shore had begun an attack on the Truphma. The black wizard, who must have been a Necromancer, was summoning dozens and dozens of very powerful Undead to his bidding. Kilvakar recognized some of the Undead as members of Nautica that had died. The Water Clan did not bury its dead, but let them drift out to sea to be eaten by the fish of the sea, similar to the Geotians; who buried their dead to become one with the Earth>


<On the other side of the wreckage that the trio were standing on the white wizard was also attacking. As Kilvakar watched it became clear that the man was from the Glacius Clan. The Ice creatures that ran around the beach must be controlled by this man. But Kilvakar became confused when the wizard’s robes flew around him with a sudden Wind that whipped out to slash through a line of Truphma. And then he became even more confused when he saw the wizard raise his staff to gather Light magic into it, before releasing it in a great pulse. How many elements could the wizard use? But the wizard was either very weak, or had been greatly hurt because his attacks were not doing a great deal of damage and the Truphma grew ever nearer>


<Finally straight ahead of Kilvakar was the warrior that had visited the Medusae earlier. The Hydromancer could not believe his eyes. The warrior threw attack after attack into the hordes that opposed him. He parried several blades at once and in the same motion kicked out at a Truphma that had drawn too near. The Truphma was thrown back and lay on the sand with a massive dent in its ribcage. Kilvakar flinched as an arrow passed straight through the warrior’s stomach and the Hydromancer was shook to his core as he waited for the great warrior to fall. But amazingly the warrior ripped out the arrow and he continued on attacking>


<Kilvakar had believed he had seen the most powerful women and men in his life. But that warrior was fighting as though every tear in his flesh meant nothing>


<Kilvakar began to emerge from the sea behind the fighters and was deciding who he should reveal himself to first. When the white wizard began to falter and his attacks stopped. The man fell to his knees and he coughed up more blood. The Truphma noticed the weakness and surged forward seeking an end to their fight. They knew that if one corner of the triangle of warriors fell, the others would swiftly follow>


<Kilvakar summoned from his mana reserves a huge deal of power and created a wave that crashed into the surging army. Kilvakar raised his Typhoon Staff and kept the water on the beach drowning the Truphma attempting to swim in the suddenly risen ocean levels>


<The white wizard whirled to see who had come to his aid and his eyes were unfocused before they finally settled on Kilvakar, who was almost invisible in his blue robes beside the sea. Kilvakar bowed his head and flourished his beautifully sculpted staff in the Truphma’s direction. The white wizard clearly understood why Kilvakar was motioning and he turned his palms up at the water before him. Ice crept its way through the water trapping the Truphma underneath>


<The action seemed to cause even greater harm to the white wizard and even more blood spewed from his mouth. Kilvakar used his magic to stand upon the water and he ran over to the white wizard as fast as he could>



In a slow and calm voice he said, “Stop moving. You are in great danger at the moment and you must do as I say. Do not use any more magic for the time being or you will become exhausted and leave yourself completely defenceless.”
In a quiet, but clearly annoyed, voice the wizard responded, “Firstly, don’t tell me what to do. Secondly, who are you? And thirdly, I am not becoming magically exhausted. My Rejuvenating Necklace is providing me with too much mana and I am overloading. Basically, I am not releasing enough.”


<Kilvakar did not know how to respond. This man had completely surprised him. The icy demeanour was completely unexpected from the man that he had just saved. Within seconds the white wizard had stood up and was back to attacking the Truphma>



He whispered loud enough for Kilvakar to hear over the clash of battle, “My name is Hikari Yume, the other wizard is Adrian and the huge man over there is Hict. If you want to provide some help feel free. But don’t stay too close. Any attack that you make will be returned to my Necklace as mana and it will overload my mana storage and burn me up.”
Kilvakar was stunned by this man, “But how can you be using so much mana continuously without burning up?”
Hikari Yume, clearly frustrated by having to answer him, raised his voice, “I use more than one elemental magic. By using different elements it is possible to confuse the body; allowing me to use magic continuously for extended periods of time.”


<Kilvakar soon saw the truth of the man’s words. With a flick of his wrist and with his staff held high a piercing beam of Light struck the Ice in front of them, refracting in a thousand different directions. The rainbow-coloured beams of Light created a beautiful scene, which was interrupted when the beams began slicing through the Truphma around>



<Kilvakar was confused by what was happening around him. Were the Truphma so weak that three men could take an entire army of them out? He dared not to hope. Hope was a dangerous thing>


<The Hydromancer sped over to the other Necromancer on the other side of the wreckage. Hikari Yume had mentioned that the Necromancer’s name was Adrian>



Kilvakar got up close to the Necromancer and shouted, “Adrian!”


<Adrian twisted to see who was shouting at him. He didn’t recognise Kilvakar as one of his teammates and he raised his arms to strike at Kilvakar. But then Adrian realized that he was not trying to hurt him>



He shouted back, “From your robes I assume you are a Hydromancer of the Nautica Clan. Have they decided to come to help, or are you the only person that has come to our aid? If it is the latter then we will be surely defeated.”


<Kilvakar walked to the man’s side to aid him. But Adrian motioned him away>



He warned, “I apologize but my Necromancy powers can have negative effects on those around me. If you stay too close your very soul may be released.”


<Kilvakar knew what the Necromancer said was true. But he also knew that that could only happen to those who were weak, with a weak soul. With a shake of his head Kilvakar began to walk over to the last man of the trio, Hict>


<The only way to describe Hict during a battle would be to compare him to water or air. But this in itself was a difficult task for he was greater than both. His movements were fluidic, but his attacks struck with such force that they could only be solid. Then he would jump to such heights, as though he were filled with helium; only to fall back to earth with a roll and a swing of his great broadsword. Never had Kilvakar seen such a great warrior in all his life and he knew he would only be in the way if he were to attempt to give his assistance>


<The men around him were underestimating him greatly, believing him to be only a distraction, a weak soul, or a nuisance. Kilvakar was not angry though. He was always being underestimated by his peers and those that he lived with in the Medusae. But Kilvakar had been born in the sea and his entire existence revolved around the ocean. He may not be the strongest on Lore but he sure as Heck would put every last piece of strength he had into everything he did. That was where his true strength lay. Not in his great magical powers, not in his summonings and not in his sword skills. But in his undying will to finish what he started>


<Kilvakar had surfaced to stop the Truphma from attacking his home and there was no way that he would let a few cold shoulders stop him from doing so>


<Kilvakar raised his ornate staff above his head and he faced the sea. The orb at the top of the staff began to revolve with the motion of the waves. The sea around them began to recede back into the distance as the water was pulled out. Everyone was too focused on what was happening around them to notice the sudden lack of water at their feet. Kilvakar held the water out there for some time, gathering more and more power. Eventually the pressure became so strong that Kilvakar could feel it acting on his own body, but he still kept the water out>


<Finally, when the water pressure had grown to a point that Kilvakar could not ignore, he released the huge torrent of built-up water. In a flash the water escaped its magical bindings and was rushing to reclaim the beach. The tsunami reached the beach at gale-force speeds and Kilvakar raised his staff once again to make the approaching waves split around Hikari Yume, Hict, Adrian and himself. The seven metre tall waves that had accumulated out at sea crashed down on the Truphma in one of nature’s most destructive phenomena>


<The Truphma were thrown back in disarray at the huge amounts of water that had surged over their heads. Few still held onto their weapons and they ran forward once again to take advantage of the silted air. One was able to slash through Hict’s chest with its butcher’s knife. Hict grunted and yanked the blade out of his chest with a wet scraping sound>


<Another rushed in front of Hikari Yume and sliced through the wizard’s upper arm, causing him to scream in pain. More blood erupted to stain the once pristine robes. Using his left hand, Hikari Yume parried another attack and slipped to the side to dodge the next attack. He managed to knock the knife from the Truphma’s hands but in the process lost a hold on his own weapon. The two were grappling with each other and the Truphma soon had Hikari Yume pinned to the ground with its strong fingers squeezing his throat>


<Kilvakar rushed to his aid when he heard another scream behind him. He turned to see Adrian being bitten by a small Dull Dragon that had slipped through his minion’s defences. Adrian whacked his creepy staff against the Dragon and bones plunged into the Dragon’s head. However, the beast would not let go and each of Adrian’s strikes became weaker and weaker>


<Kilvakar had only wanted to help but with one attack he had created confusion on both sides of the battlefield. Hict was being cut at from all sides, Hikari Yume was attempting to cast a spell but could not even raise his hands as they were pinned to his sides, and Adrian was still tightly held by the Dull Dragon’s teeth>


<And that was when their Guardians arrived>


<Hict had a spear through his chest that kept him trapped in the sand and his arms had several daggers in them making it near impossible for him to move. His wounds were incredibly painful but he knew he would recover. But he watched on as the Truphma stepped forward laughing. With their knives out Hict knew that they intended to cut him into pieces to stop him. But in a flash they were falling to the ground and lying still. Hict’s vision was blurred with blood, both grey and red, but he believed he could see the faint outline of feathers in each of the Truphma soldier’s necks…>


<Adrian was beginning to lose consciousness and he could not even summon the strength to raise his staff anymore. The pain in his side was beginning to grow dim and the area was beginning grow as grey as the Dragon that clung on. Death was coming for him and he wished it would hurry up and take him away. But instead the grip on his side lessened and the teeth that had been clamped on him had been removed. He heard the snick of blades as well as the light pad of bare feet. The sound of an assassin. But Adrian knew that 0Neo was on the other side of Paxia…>


<Hikari Yume was staring up into the blank expressionless face of the Truphma strangling him. The edges of his vision had darkened and he could feel his hands falling to his side, but no matter how much he willed them to move, they would not. His sight finally left him and the only sense he had left was his hearing. Battle still clashed around him and the heavy breathing of the Truphma above him filled his ears. But then a new sound raged to his side. The sound of something heavy moving fast and the weight that was on Hikari Yume’s chest and throat was suddenly thrown off. But the darkness was reaching for him fast. And he just wanted to slip into sleep…>


<Kilvakar watched on as many people arrived. To Hict’s defence came mysterious warriors in red cloaks, who let loose a barrage of razor sharp feathers at the Truphma. To Adrian’s side emerged a shadowy figure with dark bat wings that snipped off the Dull Dragon’s head with twin winged daggers. And to Hikari Yume’s aid came a blue and white mare that smashed through the Truphma’s skull with an Icy hoof>


<All around the beach appeared men and women. They wore red cloaks and grey steel with levitating rocks around it. Kilvakar had seen these armours before and without hesitation began to shape his mana into a devastating spell. The last time he had seen anyone wearing these armours they were rushing towards him to kill him>


<However these Geotians and Aerodians were fighting together! Co-ordinated attacks of Earth and Wind were raining down upon the grey beach. Further down the strand of sand Kilvakar could see blue warriors carrying a hammer with a bear on it. Everywhere the moved their frigid blows struck the Truphma and large cubes of Ice were strewn across the battlefield like dice. Behind them strolled Cryomancers who, with their Glacial Short Staffs, created Icicles to shoot up from the ground>


<Alongside them ran figures in dark cloaks wielding darker daggers. The daggers caught the light of the early afternoon and absorbed it, rather than reflecting it. They swiftly padded over the sand deflecting any attack that came their way, before twirling at high speeds to plunge their blades into the Truphmas’ vital points. Kilvakar was sure that these were the feared assassin warriors of the Nocuturu>


<A cacophony of noise resounded from above him and he craned his neck to see what had made the sound. He looked just in time to see a man clad in gold descending on a silver Unicorn/ Pegasus hybrid. Behind him flew hundreds more and the jumped from their mounts’ backs and with dazzling spears threw them into the Truphma, only to have them fly back to them>



The golden man who had descended looked around him and finally seemed to notice Kilvakar, “You! Nautican! Where is the rest of your clan? Why were they not up here helping?”


<Kilvakar deliberated on giving an answer that did not make the Nauticans look like cowards but he was not sure whether it would seem that way. Instead he just shook his head>



The golden clad man shook his head in disgust but then righted himself, “No. They were correct to remain in the ocean. I can see on your face that you fear the reputation of your clan and fear not, for Nautica would never so foolishly rush into a battle when they were so outnumbered. Their genius in planning and defence has kept them one of the safest clans on Paxia. I am not surprised and nor would anyone else. But this gives us an advantageous position. Instead of deciding who should be the representative of the Nauticans we now have a willing participant. Hydromancer. You will be the Water Clan’s representative.”
Immediately Kilvakar said, “I’ll do it. Seeing as I am the only person from my clan to leave the Medusae it would be right for me to be their representative.”


<Kilvakar felt beads of sweat form on his brow. He wiped them away quickly but even more formed. Never before had he been an important figure in his Clan and now he was the sole representative of the entire Clan>


<Kilvakar did not know what else to say but he did not need to say anything as the golden warrior had vanished into the throng of battles. Smoke drifted lazily over the beach as the explosions began to grow out of control. Kilvakar wondered where all the smoke was coming from but then he noticed the raging fires. A figure with long red hair streaked through the misty beach with a fiery sickle in their hand. The figure was running closer towards Kilvakar and the wizard was able to see that it was actually small lady. She ran very close to the Hydromancer and he actually needed to jump backwards to avoid her whipping hair. It was only after he jumped back that he saw the Truphma that had been sneaking up behind him. The burning lady sliced her sickles in an X formation and the Truphma fell before her>


<Kilvakar opened his mouth to thank the lady that had saved his life but she had already shoved him out of the way to return to her killing spree. Kilvakar surveyed the scene and he could see hundreds more warriors holding the sickles of the Igneus Clan>


<Kilvakar could not move. He was completely stunned by the amount of fighters that had rushed to the Nauticans aid. Aerodu feathers littered the sand, the Geotians created huge holes in the ground with their powerful strikes, icicles spiked from the ground, slit throats followed in the wake of Nocturans, the Lucian’s left behind a glow as their Spears carved through he air, a miasma of smoke and burned flesh emanated from the Igneus Sickles>


<Hict, Adrian and Hikari Yume had been pulled towards the site of the wreckage. The battle had proceeded further down the beach where the Truphma’s greatest forces lay, but they were out powered by the Paxia defenders. Hict was sitting up but seemed shocked by his near dismemberment. His saviour had flown away to join the fray with the rest of the Aerodu Clan after Hict had been pulled to safety. Beside Adrian stood the shadowy figure that had appeared so suddenly, the twin daggers that the man had been holding had disappeared into sheathes on his back and another on the side of his leg. And Hikari Yume was lying still on the ground with the stupendous horse standing above him>


<The shadowy figure left Adrian’s side and walked towards Kilvakar>



The man’s hood dropped and the wings on his back folded down, “Are you a Nautican?”
Kilvakar could not help but think that answering this man fast would be a wise move, “Yes. My name is Kilvakar and I am also a Hydromancer.”
The shadowy man nodded, “My name is 0Neo and I am a member of Nocturu. As a Hydromancer are you capable of using Healing Spells? Otherwise, we my friends may be in great difficulty. Where the Heck did Popinloopy go?”
Kilvakar could feel the depletions of the two men’s health but he was not sure whether there was much he could do, “I can try some emergency healing but I do not specialize in Healing Magic.”


<The Hydromancer stepped towards the wounded men and withdrew from a small pocket a small vial containing Transmogrified Water of Immortality. He looked back and forth between the two men>



0Neo looked on in concern, “What are you waiting for? Use your Healing Magic!”
Kilvakar did not turn around but whispered in the ground’s direction, “I have enough in this vial for one person. One person will have to go without…”




AQ  Post #: 12
8/7/2013 10:55:52   
0Neo
Member

This is the second post I make to continue my war story. The first part can be found here: Gathering of the Paxian elements. I was giving permission to create this second post by Eukara Vox since I exceeded the apparent limit of words per post.


Chapter 7: Frozen flames meet and darkness is nowhere to be seen-The grey threat draws near Final


Now that the truth was exposed, all of the clans were more active than ever before as everyone tried to be as ready as possible for the approaching war. All this turmoil on the shards drove Hikari insane....he couldn't stand the ruckus or the constant nagging of his clan comrades so he stayed in the peak of tallest shard most of the time. Many thought Hikari was hiding away, ashamed for causing such a ruckus a couple of days ago and angering Glaciar but Hikari couldn't care less whatever anyone thought of him. He even lied to himself, saying he was on guard, keen to any threat that might come near the shards and be ready to destroy it but deep down Hikari knew it, the real reason for staying up there day and night. He was waiting...for it. Ever since Hikari saw it, doubt crept around his heart. Could it be true? Was he mistaken? Was he truly chasing something that day? If it had been real, and it was who he thought it was, why would it appear?

All of these questions troubled the powerful mage as he stared at the horizon towards the west, where Paxia and all of its denizens might meet their end.

Hikari could only imagine what would happen to everyone when the war started. Would someone lose those dear to him or her? Most likely but, which where the odds of someone becoming like him? The memory of those Hikari lost so many years ago made him move uncomfortably. What was wrong with him? It was strange for him to feel sympathy.....What could have made him feel this way?

<It must have been seeing it. It might be my imagination for all I know.....I'm sure I pursued a ghost that day but to think it was->
<HIKARI YUME!!! GET DOWN HERE!!!>


A shout interrupted Hikari as he debated the ghost's identity with himself. Hikari used his magic to clear the mist and the chilling air from the shard's peak and saw how a member with the clan's new hammer weapon waved at him. Hikari figured Glaciar wanted to talk to him or something else needed his assistance; his comrades rarely spoke to him directly otherwise. Hikari allowed the mist and gusts to return to the peak as he created a cloud and stepped on it. The cloud descended until he was hovering over the man that called him. Hikari jumped off the cloud as it disappeared.

<What is it?>
<We need your help!>
<I thought as much. What for?>
<The Truphma are here!>
<What?>


Hikari asked astonished. He had been on guard for the last few days and nothing had approached the sole frozen island of the Glacians. How could they be under attack?

<Are you certain of this?>
<Just look outside towards the East! We’re swarmed by dull animals and hybrids of lions and snakes!>
<East?>


Hikari had been sure an attack would come from the main island of Paxia but he never thought Xov would send forces through the east of the Glacian island, considering that part of the sea was full of whirlpools and the temperature went near absolute zero without freezing. That particular trait of the water near the Glacius base was what claimed many attackers but to think the Truphma would reach the island despite that.....
<Direct all fighters to the east side of the island. Everyone who doesn't belong to an assault squad is to remain here and protect the base>
<Wouldn't it be better to make everyone fight?>
<Don't question me, those who cannot fight will only get in the way. As the clan's representative this is an order>


Hikari said as he summoned another cloud and flew towards the east side of the island. The Glacius member he ordered thought the wizard was far too cold, even for their clan but he did as the wizard had ordered him.

*****


A rainy day it was in Krovesport. 0Neo had used the days he took of the island to change his armor of awe for that of an ultraguardian. He felt that armor was a symbol of his past struggle to be the perfect fighter of unity, thus his decision to change to something that fit his fighting tactics: to use any means necessary to kill his targets and the ability of the deft ultraguardian armor combined with all of the spears he often used in battle would be a great combo. It was funny how Fred complained about his choice of keeping the shield of awe...why would you keep pieces that don’t function with each other? Well, 0Neo thought he wouldn't forsake his past ideals either. It was strange how much a person can change when he meets someone they relate too and that is what happened to 0Neo.

After his fight with Salem the monochrome devil he decided he really would do what he both felt and thought was right, with some exceptions in which he would allow either his mind or his emotions dictate his actions. 0Neo was wondering if Salem had killed anyone while shopping as he remembered their little chat after the fight.

It was sunny now, it seemed like both of them had passed out through the whole night after the fight. 0Neo got up and saw Salem snoring loudly, he thought it would be a great chance to end his life, yet why didn't he kill him? After all Salem was the one that finally explained his "condition" to him and he thought this man could be a friend of his....not many caused that feeling in 0Neo.

<Hey devil, wake up>

0Neo said as he shook Salem a bit. Suddenly, Salem kicked 0Neo, summoned his monochrome scythe and aimed it at 0Neo's neck.

<How dare you wake me up you-0Neo?>

Salem said as his maniacal smile faded away to be replaced by a carefree smile.

<What is wrong with you?>
<I just hate to be awakened from my naps (^w^)>
<You're insane>
<I know...many said so although they don't ever live long enough afterwards>
<Is that a threat?>
<Not really but we can go at it again if you want to>
<You......hey, now that I remember you slashed a big wound across my chest yesterday. How comes I'm fully healed?>


0Neo said as he realized he didn't even have a scar left on him; not even his clothes were damaged.

<I think I know what happened.....>
<Then would you explain me?>
<I'm not sure. I have a theory but it is almost unbelievable>
<Almost. Speak>
<Well you see....I have various powers related to the unique monochrome power I have over darkness and light>
<I realized that in our fight yesterday, it was pretty obvious such weaponry wasn't normal. Besides, I could feel the essence of darkness in them>
<Not all of my powers are for fighting; one of them is called the monochrome world. Whenever I fall unconscious, light and darkness will melt together into a protective sphere that heals me while keeping all attacks out.>
<Is that it? There's no mystery then, I was healed by your "monochrome world" too since I was right beside you>
<That is the mystery, only extra-dimensional beings with multiple elemental affinities like myself would be healed>
<What?>
<*sigh*There should be no way you would be healed by my powers. You're from this planet, this realm are you not?>
<Well yeah, I was born in Krovesport and I'm sure I'm from this planet>
<See what I mean? It's odd…..odd indeed>
<What about the other me you were talking about yesterday?>
<Listen, the phenomenon of existing as someone else happens to everyone...for each dimension, there is a you living in it and the phenomenon of existing as various "yous" within a same dimension is called having an analog. I believe you know of that phenomenon but you don't have one, do you?>
<No..I don't have any analog. How do you get analogs anyway?>
<I don't know but understand this; I'm special among anyone else because I do not exists in any other dimension. I can cross dimensions although I'm not sure what triggers the dimensional jump but I'm in this dimension now. My powers only work on beings similar to me so unless you're one of the extremely rare cases like me, this doesn't makes any sense>
<I do get it but how would I know if I am special like you? Do you know of any other extra-dimensional being?>
<Well I once met a child who seemed to be an elf who was fond of green clothes and swords that was like me.....but that's not the point! Besides, the fact you can undergo heart synchronization is enough proof that you aren't extra-dimensional>
<But isn't there anything weird about me? I mean, I've been hearing those voices you say belong to another “me" ever since I remember>
<Say what now?>


Salem had explained all of these bizarre yet exciting functions of the multiverse with a bored tone but it seemed 0Neo's statement sparked intrigue in the strange being.

<Why are you getting so pump up all of a sudden?>
<0Neo, heart synchronization is rare. It only happens to those that are connected to their other selves more than normal>
<So? You didn't look so distressed by it when I mentioned it yesterday>
<For starters, it IS far more common than being extra-dimensional and secondly, I've never heard of someone who experienced it since birth>
<Then there is something weird about me>


0Neo said without knowing exactly why he was so interested in this stuff. So what if he seemed to be more connected to his other selves than normal? He thought but Salem stared at him open-mouthed and without blinking.

<Hey devil...what's wrong?>
<No way...You can't be...>
<I can't be what?>


<0NEO! I'm back!>

Salem shouted as he entered the small house he and 0Neo were sharing, dragging 0Neo back from his flashback.

<Oh hey, did you kill anyone?>
<Well you know.....this town is full with unjust thieves and bandits so I might have killed a couple dozen (^w^)>
<Nothing like returning home, right?>
<It must have been tough, living as a kid here>
<Not really, I think it helped me when I think about it now>
<Have you decided what you'll do about Paxia?>
<Of course I did, I'll defend my clan at all costs and help anyone I can>
<I guess I'll help you fight for your elemental island then>
<You will? I thought you didn't want to take sides>
<Among the elements; I have no desire to align myself. A full war against all of them is another matter>
<I'm glad you'll help but why?>
<I don't know, I guess I think of you as a friend now that we know you're a->
<0Neo! I've been looking everywhere for you!>


Fred said as he appeared in a brownish light.

<Fred? What's wrong?>
<Paxia....is under attack!>
<What!?! Xov started at last?>
<Yeah and you're here on vacations! You have to help!>
<How am I supposed to be in Paxia instantly?>
<I can take you.....but you won't like it>
<I don't care; we have to reach Paxia immediately. Can you take both Salem and me?>
<Actually, I'm just telling you you won't like it. The situation is dire and I was going to take you both whether you wanted to or not>
<Alright, let's go then>
<Right away>


Fred said with a little smirk as he summoned an empty bag.

<Now then, get in the bag>
<Say........what?>


Both 0Neo and Salem asked.

<I SAID GET IN THE BAG!>

Fred yelled.

*****


Seth had a tough time after the first Truphma attack. His first day as the clan's representative greeted him with two casualties.

<A sad beginning.....Well, better get everything ready>

Seth said as he jumped off the top of the tallest rock among those that formed the volcano's entrance, he was fond of that place.

Seth entered the volcano to see the members rushing around, carrying provisions, practicing their skills or building defenses. Since Seth reported the attack that caused the death of two minor members of the clan, all of the underlings started building as many defenses as they could around the clan. Seth thought they might be overdoing it but he wouldn't tell them to stop, this made them feel safe after all....And some were pretty good at it: Seth saw magma mines, pits full of lava, traps that summoned fox-shaped fire elementals, a freezing gun that shot flames after detecting frozen targets. The clansmen could come up with great ideas if they decided to make the effort.

Seth decided to check the clan's current state with Muchiha's communication device when he thought he saw a grey flash entering another corridor, towards the vacant corridors no-one used. Seth found it strange, what could they possibly have that was as tall as a man, so dull in color and that would go the place no Ignean would be in?........

<No way. They couldn't have...>

Seth said as he ran after it.

Seth turned around the corridor and saw no-one. He waited for anyone to appear in that corridor but after a couple of minutes no-one came close to the place. As Seth was sure he was the only one there, he walked through the corridor wondering if that had been his imagination but as he made his way back to the communication device's room, he saw it slowly walking to the room.

<It's planning to destroy the communication device>

Seth said as he drew his patriot katana, ready to strike the Truphma down. Seth charged at it, raising his katana ready to slice the Truphma when it turned around and saw Seth with fear in its eyes. Seth slashed his katana down but the Truphma barely managed to get out of the way, hitting the wall of the narrow corridor. Seth turned; ready to strike down the defenseless invader.

<Foolish dull, you thought you could sneak into the clan's base unnoticed? Meet the reaper>

Seth said as he raised his katana but before he could kill the Truphma, it spoke.

<Wait Seth! It's me! Don't kill me!>
<You?!?>


Seth said as the Truphma took of his mask to reveal the novice that had accompanied Seth the day of the first Truphma assault. Seth withdrew his katana and helped the guy stand up.

<What are you doing dressed up like that! You scared me! I thought actual Truphma had sneaked into the volcano>
<Well, I was planning to sneak outside. I'm sure the Truphma are still lurking nearby so this disguise would be perfect>
<It did fool me. Where did you get that thing from?>
<I got it after a mission to scout inside a Truphma camp>
<Still, you could have worn that thing outside the base. What would have happened if someone saw you like that?>
<What you almost did, I guess>


Both they between laughs

<So tell me, how come you passed through the vacant corridors?>
<What do you mean Seth?>
<Come on, don't mess with me. I saw a part of your outfit as you entered the vacant corridors. You knew no-one goes there so you decided to sneak out from there right?>
<Actually, I was in the communication's room. I put this disguise on and I was heading out when you almost kill me>
<Wait....wait, wait, hold on a second. If you were in here the whole time.....then who did I see....>
<Seth....isn't it awfully quite now?>


Both Seth and his partner braced themselves. The prospect of intruders built up an atmosphere of tension where moments ago both of the Igneans were having a nice chat together. Seth's partner was right, Seth expected to find no-one in the vacant corridors but this one was near the common area, how come they couldn't hear anything? Suddenly, a grey powder filled the entire corridor and both Seth and his partner started feeling drowsy.

<Seth...*yawn*What's going on?...I feel...so tired>

Seth's partner said as he fell, falling asleep right there in the middle of the corridor. Seth was down on his knees when he saw a big grey spot with his blurred vision. He couldn't tell but he thought the middle one had to be a general and the other two just regular Truphma. Seth fought his drowsiness but it was futile, whatever the Truphma used was far too strong for even him to stay awake. Seth saw defenseless as the Truphma general entered the communication's device room.

<You darn dull puppets.....>

Seth said softly. The last thing he saw were two grey blurs dragging him and his partner as he heard the sound of shattered glass. After that, Seth fell into a deep slumber.

*****


Hikari overlooked the battle below from his cloud. Even if no-one from the clan had died yet, it was a horrid scene for wizard. As he flew by, he understood what kind of enemies the man that told him about this fight were once he saw them all. It seemed they were being attacked by dulled woodland packs and ramleons...such a pity Hikari had to defeat such a prideful beast.

<I have no choice, I must protect my home from any threat that might attack>

Hikari said as he summoned ice spears from the air's humidity and send them towards a group of dulled rabbits with acorn bazookas.

The fight seemed both tenacious and ridiculous. The dulled rabbits formed firing squads that were bombarding whole areas with their acorns as squads of beavers with dull chainsaws defended them in melee combat against the clan members, who were bashing at them with their clan's hammers. Archers had Hyperborean longbows to assail their enemies, they were missing sometimes but the arrows that did connect with the enemy had crushing results: one rabbit was about to shoot when an ice arrow impaled its bazooka, detonating the explosive acorn inside and bursting the rabbit along another couple near it, leaving only scorched carcasses. Dulled owls were striking from the sky, distracting warriors and wounding archers; the longbows they were using were far too inaccurate to take them down but cryomancers were using their spells to get rid of the dulled birds: The owls were trying to attack the mages but they found themselves barraged by blizzards like no other as the foolish dull birds were at the mercy of multiple casts of hypothermia as the squadron of elite cryomancers (Hikari Yume's squadron by the way. He is their leader although he often skips his responsibilities, leaving them to act by their own terms) blasted them with frost bites, the spells weren't killing the owls but their bodies were far too cold to keep flying so the birds fell to the freezing waters of the Glacian beach, were death was sure. The turtles were breaking havoc, exploding themselves among Glacian ranks only to revive and keep their suicide strategy. Luckily enough, most of the attacks with the help of the weather rendered the turtles' bodies far too cold to keep exploding, making them as harmless as a regular turtle; no-one bothered to kill them themselves, everyone knew a couple of hours in the island would freeze the turtles solid.

The fight seemed to unfold quite smoothly as archers impaled rabbits, warriors crushed the beaver's chainsaws with mighty glaciers and cryomancers made sure to clear the sky from the fledged pests. The real problem were the ramleons. The mighty beasts were far stronger than the dulled woodland animals that attacked them. Many warriors rushed to attack one of the beasts but it coiled around all of them, squeezing life out of them as archers shot their powerful arrows at it; the beast let the warriors go as it ran and slide towards the archers. Hikari Yume summoned a powerful light that blinded the beast, making it run for the shore as Hikari used his wind magic to push it into the water.

More ramleons fought the elite cryomancers as they defended themselves. They invoked the power of the ice around them to create ice golems that fought the beasts. The golems slashed with their sharp arm-blades at the beasts and shoot barrages of ice towards them but the monsters wouldn't go down so easily; the ramleons clawed their way through the golems, tearing them apart as others rammed past entire groups of golems, eager for killing the mages. Hikari focused his power to summon a mighty cyclone full of ice shards and gemstones that grabbed all of the nearby ramleons and threw them away. The powerful spell hadn't killed any of the beasts, it hardly damaged them at all as a matter of fact but some ramleons fell into their chilling graves as they drowned in the sea. Hikari landed next to the mages.

<These beasts are far too strong to be killed quickly. Push them all into the sea. I won't have any deaths here>
<But sir! With your power we could fight them!>
<Didn't you listen? Aye, we could fight them but that would take our time and our energy. We need to get rid of all of them and fast>
<But we could->
<Don't push the matter anymore. They're coming and I expect you to follow my orders>
<Yes....general>


The cryomancer said after Hikari's scold was over. A scold with such a soft voice could be odd at times but in Hikari's case it made it clear you won't be doing anything other than what the powerful wizard told you to do. The ramleons that didn't fall into the water charged at them with great speed even if they slipped sometimes. Hikari summoned ice spears to bombard the fastest ramleons. Despite the pain of the spears' stabs the beasts kept running. Hikari summoned another cyclone as the cryomancers used the ice age spell to invoke powerful chilling gusts of wind that pushed the beasts into the sea. More and more fell into the water as Hikari and his group attacked them.

<You have your orders. Make sure to push the ramleons into the sea>
<Yes general>


The cryomancers answered as the wizard summoned another cloud and left for the battlefields. Hikari was casting the frost bite spell upon any group of woodland creatures he saw. The attack wouldn't be fatal and he knew it but he also knew the spell would maim them enough for any other member to strike them down. Despite Hikari's dislike for killing he had to protect the Glacian island from these dull invaders. Hikari had brought his rejuvenating necklace with him, to ensure his mana wouldn't leave him as he fought but the energy the necklace required to keep functioning was tiring Hikari since, unlike his mana, he didn't have much of that inner energy to begin with. Hikari kept flying, casting frost bite upon the dulled animals as they struggled to move. Rabbits and beavers left their weapons as they crawled in the cold wasteland only to meet their end at the glaciers the Glacian warriors summoned with their hammers as owls fell from the skies to either be impaled by the grand arrows of the Glacian archers or fall to certain death in the sea. All of this happened as all of the cryomancers were doing their best to push the ramleons into the chilling waters.

<Help us!>

A group of novice cryomancers shouted as a group of ramleons close in on them. Hikari was too far to fly and help them; he started summoning a huge frozen javelin veiled in light magic to kill the beasts but he feared he wouldn't send the javelin in time. The ramleons were about to tear the mages apart when they started freezing. Ice sprouted from their chest and crept their way all over the dulled beasts' bodies as they became ice statues.

Back in the Glacian shards, Glaciar fought alone against the ramleons. Only those of support squads were left in the shards so the threat was far worse here. Glaciar wouldn't risk his clansmen so he ordered them all to remain inside and ready the defenses while he took all of the dulled beasts by himself.

<They're not even that many, Hikari's side must be worse>

Glaciar thought as he fought a ramleon. The dull beast tried to claw Glaciar but he parried with his own claw and teared the beast's arm off. Glaciar grabbed the wailing beast and threw it at other ramleons that were charging. He stomped his paw into floor, sending a small barrage of ice needles that grew into a bouquet of frozen javelins upon touching the beasts. Glaciar created an ice pillar that allowed him sight of his base. He saw how many ramleons were ramming the shards, trying to break into the base. Glaciar opened his mouth and charged a small sphere of energy he then swallowed. He spew a mighty torrent of raw ice magic towards the ramleons around the base, freezing them solid before shattering. The clansmen stared awe-struck at the display of power of their leader as the ramleons died all around the base. When Glaciar caused the pillar to return him to the ground, only a sole ramleon crawled towards the main entrance. Glaciar peacefully walked besides it and stared at it coldly.

<For such small force to attack the base, distracting me.....I have a bad feeling about this>

Glaciar said as he crushed the ramleon's skull under his paw like it was a dry leaf.

Back in the battlefield, the mages that would be dead if not for the sudden freezing of the ramleons stared shocked at the ice statues. Hikari's attack vanished as he saw the enemies were dead but what had happened?

<Mister Yume! Is this your doing?>

the mages asked.

<No...>

Hikari said as he approached the frozen ramleons. He stared at them as, suddenly, a faint bluish light sprouted from the chest of a couple of them. Hikari stared as ghosts, not just one but two now, sprouted from the light and flew away at top speed. Hikari didn't hesitate this time either; he summoned a cloud and flew on it after the ghosts.

<I knew the ghost was real but two? No way....They can't be...>

Hikari said as he turned even paler if that was possible as he pursued the ghosts across the island, to the tallest peak on it. No-one could withstand the cold of that place, that's why Glaciar forbid anyone from approaching it yet Hikari was now flying towards it. What will he find? An answer to his doubts or death at the mercy of the only place on all of Lore that had a temperature that rivaled that of the elemental plane of ice.

*****


Seth woke up in a dark room. The heat of the ambient told him they still were inside the Ignean volcano but what happened?

<You woke up human?>

a Truphma said as it looked at Seth. Seth tried to rise but he was chained. He looked around and saw his partner dropped nearby, covered in grey liquid....he looked far too pale but when Seth looked at him properly he saw his skin was now grey.

<Hey! Wake up!>
<Don't waste your breath human. We tried to turn him into one of us but he had a rather...unpleasant reaction. He's dead>
<No...He can't be>
<Don't be foolish, of course he is>


The Truphma said as he drew its knife and cleaved it into the guy's leg. He didn't move at all.

<You dull pests....you really did it this time!>
<Bark all you want, those chains can't be broken>
<Perhaps I can't break them but trust me.....They won't hold back the flames>


Seth said as a heated aura enveloped Seth. In an instant Seth was standing by the door, carrying the corpse of his comrade as the Truphma laid dead on the ground. If the last scene had been slowed down to perceptive levels, you would've seen Seth melting the chains, giving an uppercut punch to the Truphma right in the chin and appearing behind him to hit its nape. The rapid move of the Truphma's head caused him an inner decapitation. Seth then grabbed and hold on to his comrade's corpse as the aura dissipated.

Seth stepped outside and he saw the other Truphma he had seen before standing guard. The Truphma drew its knife to attack Seth but Seth had kicked it right into one of the lava pits the clansmen had done hours ago. Seth walked to the other side as the Truphma shouted in pain as it melted away.

Seth had a mixture of feelings; he cried tears that vaporized instantly as he walked with his comrade's corpse in arms. Seth would have vengeance for this and the Truphma general that had directed the sneaking mission would have a slow and painful death when Seth found him. Seth kept walking until he heard the sound of rising fire further ahead. Seth ran ready for a fight when he ended up in the clan's common area, where all corridors converged and surrounded the volcano's vent as he saw Igneox standing next to a pile of ash.

<Igneox! What happened?!?>
<I found the Truphma general at last. It had the nerve to defy me but I bit it and ignited its blood>
<Ohhh....Anyway, where are all of our clansmen?!?>
<Don't worry about them; the Truphma's plan was to put everyone to sleep as they built transporters all over the base>
<We have to destroy them, quickly!>
<I know Seth, I already made plans for it>
<How? The Truphma might start their attack any moment from now>
<That is why I activated the ultimate Igneus defense>
<You what?!? That will kill us all>
<Seth, do you honestly believe I am stupid enough to use it without protecting my clansmen?>


The fox said as he took notice of the body Seth was carrying

<Seth, I can see you're distressed right now but trust me. I have hidden away every clan member into the protective rooms, only both of us need to hide>

Igneox explained. Seth breathed in deeply, calming down.

<*sigh* Alright, let's hide already. We won't like to be here if either the defense or the transporters activate>

Seth said. Both Igneox and Seth ran for Igneox's chambers, the last room that was safe from the mighty rage of the Ignean ultimate defense. Both of them entered Igneox's chambers and shut the door close as Igneox turned off the magma that lit the room. Both hid in the sweet cover of darkness as steps were heard in the corridors, hundreds of them. It seem the Truphma's transporters activated before their defense.

<All for the best. They shall pay dearly for this>

Seth said as he hugged his comrade's corpse tightly.

The Truphma seemed confused, they had been told they would find all of the members of the Igneus clan asleep through the volcano. Since Igneus was the most numerous clan of Paxia, the Truphma decided to use their new creation upon them: The strongest duller, able to make anyone that comes in contact with it slumber into a pitch-black, dreamless sleep. Luckily for the Paxians, the Truphma only had enough for their assault on Igneus.

<The clan members were supposed to wake up by now>
<Yes but they are nowhere to be found>
<We can't leave now. The backup forces are here>
<Even if the plan was to kill every member while the backup finished everyone that managed to escape, we don't have to->


two Truphma were saying when a sudden tremor made the volcano shudder.

<It has started>

Igneox said.

Magma began pouring from the walls, melting everything away in the corridors as the center of the base, the volcano's vent shone brightly and released an ominous cloud of soot. Truphma were running all over the base as the corridors were bathed in magma. Before anyone could do anything, another tremor, far stronger than the last one, dropped all of the Truphma both inside and outside of the clan base to their knees as magma melted together with raw fire elemental energy rose from the volcano's vent.

The Truphma's screams filled the volcano; the feeling of indescribable pain became palpable to all of the now conscious Ignean members. The screams were horrid shrieks and shouts from hell itself as the Truphma drowned and melted into the magical lava. All of this was a symphony in Seth's ears.

<Yes...yes, yes,YES!!! DIE ALL OF YOU DARN DULLED BRUTES! HAHAHAHA!>

Seth shouted both delusional and excited as the volcano finally erupted, shooting a mighty wave of magma upwards that could be seen from the whole island to later rain apocalypse unto the Truphma waiting at the volcano's entrance.

Igneox lit the magma that lit his chambers again and turned on the speaking system of the volcano.

<Clansmen, I know you all are aware of what I unleashed and I have to tell you the Truphma had invaded the whole base. There was no other choice. The volcano's magma is stabilizing right now so wait for a while before coming out of your chambers>

Igneox said to let all of the clan know of his deed. Igneox turned around to see Seth crying over the Ignean's corpse.

<Seth....I know it's hard but you can't allow your emotions to sway like that>
<*speaking between sobs* I know Igneox.....is just that, this guy....he seemed to be so eager to help....so proud of this clan.....he didn't had to....>
<I am well aware of it Seth. War is never just but our own element isn't either. When the flames are calm they can warm and be used for your needs, they can mean life but if they go berserk they will consume everything alive into oblivion>
<*a little more calm now*I know Igneox.....I just felt sympathy for this guy, he seemed to be like me when I started>
<We mourn our dead. I'll make sure to give him a proper burial when we get out>
<No>
<No? Why do you say that?>
<Because it is not over Igneox. More Truphma are outside>
<How do you know?>
<I feel it. They're plan was to use nothing but regular Truphma to attack us in our sleep and to finish those that escaped. Both those groups are gone but the main attack force directed towards Igneus...is here>
<What are you going to do?>
<Fight. Let everyone know, I can't beat them by myself>


Seth said as he kicked the door open, still carrying the corpse of his fallen friend. Seth walked through the corridors that lead to the outside as Igneox's message echoed throughout the volcano: “All members report for attack outside! All members report for attack outside”.

Seth emerged into a black-crimson wasteland. Nothing could be seen but flows of magma that carved their way through the ground, hardened lava that became new rocks for the landscape and a rain of soot all over the area and further ahead.......grey. An army of dulled creatures were heading for the volcano and Seth could tell they weren't regular Truphma.

Seth jumped on the nearby rocks to reach the tallest among them, now covered with hardened magma as the Igneans emerged from their volcano. Archers with longbows and incendiary bows took place among the tall rocks of the volcano’s entrance to improve the poor accuracy of their mighty bows. The clan’s warriors emerged from the volcano, armed with the Ignean sickle; among the warriors, the deft elite fire dancers (whose leader is non other than Seth) emerge armed with a rare, powerful and useful (although they don’t know this yet) weapon that cost Igneox a lot to get for his clan’s elite warriors: The flame spirit hunter scythe. Small fireballs ascend from the volcano as the pyromancers use them as vehicles, ready to fight for their clan with the power of undying flames.

Seth observed his clan’s army as the Truphma army marched towards them. Among the ranks, the archers detected dull woodland packs and the opposing army’s heavy forces: Dull Two-bears.

<The scythes will be great for this, we’ll cut through the bear’s endurance as the others attack!>
<Too bad this army is so smaaaalllll, I bet they had placed their hopes in the regular Truphma groups>


A couple of fire dancers exclaimed as everyone prepared for the battle.

Igneox retreated to the volcano again; he trusted his clan would be more than skillful enough to handle such small group of invaders, besides; he had to make sure the volcano’s magical magma stabilized without any accidents….It could be so troublesome to live in a volcano which energy core was a portal to the elemental plane of fire sometimes.

Seth, still carrying his fallen comrade thigh against his chest, jumped of the rock and landed in front of the Ignean army. Everyone was waiting for the words of their representative, specially the fire dancers since this man was and still is their great leader.

<Igneans! There is just one thing all of you want to hear! ATTACK!>

Seth shouted as he ran towards the Truphma, the whole Ignean army shouting battle cries as they all charged the Truphma after Seth. Seth’s left arm began glowing, burning his clothes to reveal a tattoo in the form of a hydra’s head baring its teeth. Seth was surrounded in his heat aura which created a mirage around Seth and the corpse he carried as he ran.

The Truphma army charged too; the dull beasts ready to fight the might of the fire clan. As both armies got close enough to each other, the battle broke out around the volcano’s entrance.

The fighters took the dull beavers on, sickle against chainsaw. The teeth of the chainsaw threatened to break the sickles but the warriors of the fire clan could turn around the beavers, slashing as hard as they could at the dull animals or releasing a crimson hell upon them. A beaver kicked an Ignean into the ground, ready to finish him off with its chainsaw as a huge arrow skewered the beaver before it burst in flames. The archers were trying their best to shoot down the rabbits that were bombarding their ranks with acorns. The archers shot arrows near the rabbits, forcing them to walk to their sides…just what they wanted as pyromancers showered fireballs upon them, forcing them to jump to their sides and fall into the rivers of magma that hadn’t hardened yet. Dull owls tried to attack archers and warriors alike, wounding them deeply with their talons as the warriors couldn’t land a hit on them and the archers’ arrows missed them. The owls were so swift it became the pyromancers’ job to take them on. The fire mages shot fireballs that roasted the owls while others went as far as out-speeding them to trap them within the big fireballs they were using to fly. The most experienced pyromancers invoked the power of their fiery home in the form of the spell apocalypse, making these feathered pests experience the agony the regular Truphma experienced moments ago.

All of this happened as the fire dancers fought the mighty two-bears. They hacked and slashed in a beautiful display of soft yet swift movements as they dodged the bears’ attacks while they deeply wound them. Two fire dancers were fighting a sole two-bear: The creature stood on its hind legs as it tried to slash the fire dancers but they spun around the bear’s paw, getting to its back as one of the fire dancers slashed its right leg while the other climbed on top of the bear to wound its back. The bear yelled in pain as it shook off the fire dancer on its back and tried to bite them both but one fire dancer slipped between its legs as the other jumped from one head to the other in order to jump over the beast; both fire dancers took advantage of their positions and wounded the bear’s stomach and back. The beasts weren’t dying from the attacks of the fire dancers so all of them regrouped and released a storm of spiritual slashes that cut all the way through the bear’s endurance, leaving them weak for Seth to finish them off. Seth ran so fast he ignited the floor, leaving a trail of flames as he kicked the life out every bear: Seth came and jumped on the first bear, crushing it against the floor as he kicked the left head of another bear to spin mid-air and give an uppercut kick to the bear’s right head. Seth the propelled from the bear to smash another’s left skull to leave it agonizing. All the while Seth kept kicking in combo attacks as the bears fell at his feet. As the few remaining bears tried to corner Seth, he stopped moving to intensify his heat aura; from it sprouted a hydra head made of fire that bit the bears, tearing them apart. Seth finished with all of the dulled bears as he ran for the other enemies.

<You rock chief!>

A fire dancer shouted as Seth ran.

With the combined efforts of the Igneans, all of the enemies died by sunset. It was them that everyone noticed Seth wasn’t there anymore….When had he left the battlefield?

Seth walked dizzily towards the place he really could call his own: The uppermost north shore of the Igneus clan’s territory.

<This was nothing…..but the actual war will require my full powers….>

Seth said with fatigue. Using the hydra’s seal for so long had exhausted him despite he’s power to control it so well.

<I never thought I would have to resort to the ritual>

Seth said as he stared at the dead body he didn’t let go for the whole battle.

>I promise you….Your sacrifice won’t be in vain….You’ll be the sacrifice my ritual needs>

Seth said as he’s heat aura enveloped him and the corpse. Both started to shine as the tattoo in Seth’s left arm shone with a deep crimson color. Seth’s heat aura started to take shape…It wasn’t the formless mirage it always was before, this time it took the form of a mirage serpent that coiled around Seth and the corpse. The serpent started to devour the corpse, making it disappear into its invisible gut as Seth felt a stinging pain in his right arm. The tattoo appeared in Seth’s right arm, a fearful hiss could be heard all over the and a crimson cocoon enveloped Seth, all this happened as the mirage serpent devoured the corpse completely. The cocoon exploded into a bouquet of hydra heads whose flesh was made of solid flames as Seth stood up; the mirage serpent coiling around the space around Seth. Seth’s pupils now looked like open jaws and the hydra’s necks ended in mirages around Seth’s hips.

<If one falls……Six shall take its place. Hydra mirage blood ritual…..Completed. Xov, when the war starts…..All of your Truphma shall burn in hell!>

Seth said with a mighty voice as his six hydra apparitions roared and hissed in all directions.

*****


<Worse trip ever! If this was going to happen, I would rather stay back in the mainland>
<It sure sucked…..We’ll never talk about this to anyone else, alright?>
<You got it O_O>
<Well, you guys are here already so go and help in the fight!>


Fred said as he disappeared into a brownish light. Both 0Neo and Salem traveled inside the same bag since Fred told them he could only teleport carrying one bag at most. The tight fit and the intimacy of the trip were rather uncomfortable.

<So…now what?>
<We separate and help where we need to>
<Why? If we fought together we would obliterate the Truphma (^w^)>
<That’s why. We are more than able to fight separately and I’m sure we'll have to. I'll help in Castillo Vida Negra. You can help anywhere else>


0Neo said as he flew to the south, where the Nocturu castle was located. Salem saw 0Neo until he lost himself into the late afternoon sun. Twilight would start soon and Salem had no plans on what to do. Salem figured he simply would destroy any Truphma encampment he found since he knew the Truphma had made them. Salem just walked around the forest.

<Alright…Guess I'll just walk around…….And kill any living thing I see>

Salem said, changing of tone to a much more serious one to say the last phrase, as he walked without destination. After a little walk, Salem found a sole Truphma walking in the woods.

<Clockwork lullaby>

Salem said as his monochrome scythe appeared in his hand. The Truphma had enough time to look surprised before it was cut from left shoulder to its right hip. Salem looked at the grey blood pour out of the Truphma. Salem walked two steps further and found a group of Truphma rushing towards him. Salem braced himself, ready to kill them when they did the unthinkable: They ignored Salem, not even realizing he was there and kept running.

<What tha-Hey! I'm right here!>

Salem yelled as the Truphma ignored him and kept running. Finding this behavior highly strange, Salem ran after the group of Truphma.

As Salem ran after them, he noticed many, many more Truphma and Truphma generals were joining this marathon. What was going on? Salem neared various Truphma without touching them but none took notice of his existence; it was like the Truphma were under some type of Hypnosis.

<I wonder what would happen if I…>

Salem said as he bumped into a regular Truphma. As if snapping back into reality, The Truphma stopped and drew its knife to cut at Salem but he parried the hit with his scythe’s handle and pulled back, cutting a huge gash onto the Truphma's right side.

Salem kept running as the Truphma's insides fell to the ground. It died of blood loss, creating a big grey pool the other Truphma ignored and walked through.

Salem ran until he saw a clearing up ahead. He wondered if the Truphma were gathering there so he jumped on top of a tree with thick leaves, sheltering him from the Truphma's plain sight. The Truphma were walking around the clearing…they weren't numerous really, perhaps they could form a battle brigade but more and more Truphma kept coming. The Truphma were talking with each other too; this assured Salem they recovered whatever small wit they had once they reached this place. Since this was a strange behavior from the Truphma, Salem decided he would try to find out what was happening.

He jumped off the tree he was hiding in and ran towards the east, the direction most of the Truphma were coming from. As more Truphma ran, Salem saw a Truphma general and he figured if he was going to fight it, he might as well do it interesting. Salem ran towards the Truphma general, jumped and kicked the Truphma general so hard it crashed against a tree. It stood and faced Salem.

<You puny human. Do not interfere, I have a mission to carry>
<Yeah? Well, you'll have to tell me what it is about or fight me to pass through>


Salem said as the Truphma general charged at him. It tried to smash Salem with both of its arms but Salem dodged the hit, landing next to the Truphma and slashing it with his scythe. The Truphma general twisted to aim at Salem and shot its left morningstar but Salem cleaved his scythe's blade into the morningstar, using it as a jump booster.

<Clockwork Judgment>

Salem said as he twisted his scythe around the Truphma. His scythe tore the Truphma's arms and legs as Salem landed. Salem then raised his scythe and cleaved it down upon the Truphma as he went through it in an ace of light. A huge gash formed across the Truphma general, from its forehead to its pelvis. The Truphma fell apart in two halves as Salem stood up again.

<Next. Conviction>

Salem said as he walked away; his monochrome rapier forming in his hand. Another Truphma general was running towards him as Salem walked. Salem swept the ground in front of Truphma, making I fall. Salem took a battle stance as the Truphma stood up.

<You human will not stop us. We will carry the orders of lady Xov>
<I've heard that before. Speak or die.>


Salem said as he prepared. As expected, the Truphma shot both of its morningstars towards Salem but Salem crouched as the weapons passed above him, barely touching his hair with their spikes. Salem jumped, cutting the cables that tied the weapons with the Truphma. Since he had jumped when he was crouching, Salem was able to jump high enough to land behind the now defenseless Truphma as its morningstars, now without control, crashed against a regular Truphma, crushing it under them. The Truphma turned around to face Salem.

<Law of the gods>

Salem said before the Truphma could even face him. He stroke and cut the Truphma's joints and tendons. He pierced its knees and elbows and before the Truphma, now unable to move, fell to the ground Salem drew an arc with his rapier, passing through it in an ace of light like last time. Many slash marks appeared on the Truphma, making it wail in pain as it fell to the ground. Salem approached the dying Truphma as its eyes were blood-shot, showing indescribable pain.

<Now. Speak>
<The ruins……we must be at the place………west from the ruins>


The Truphma said with its dying breath.

<The ruins……I believe 0Neo said they were in the island's centre…Anyway, time to finish them all>

Salem said as he ran for the clearing again. As Salem approached the clearing, he jumped on top of the same tree he had used before. Salem observed the clearing through the tree’s tick leaves and he was astonished. The Truphma had multiplied in minutes; they were numerous enough to be an army. It was a good thing Salem had both the surprise factor and a mighty are-of-effect skill.

<Innocence. Guilt>

Salem said as he summoned his white and black twin revolvers and pointed to the now twilight sky.

<Judgment of Heaven and Hell>

Salem said as his revolvers shot a single bullet. The monochrome duo of bullets formed a white and black stele that gathered the Truphma's attention; it indeed was beautiful to behold in this hour of meeting between night and day. Then, the bullets touched each other….And armaggedon rained down. Multiple rays of light and darkness energies made their way across the Truphma ranks. Those lucky enough were pierced and killed by either of the energy rays since the point where a white ray and a black one met would explode into a monochrome energy sphere that destroyed anything within its radius. Salem stood on the branch he was in, observing the Truphma explode in his monochrome power. When the energy rays finally stopped, Salem jumped off the tree, landing right in the middle on the Truphma's army…or whatever remained of it………….Many had been killed but much more glared at Salem. Salem stood inside a circle of Truphma, preparing himself for what he was about to do. A lone regular Truphma took the initiative and charged. Salem didn’t move at all, he simply stood there. The Truphma got close enough and raised its knife, ready to kill Salem when……

<Monochrome Devil>

……A huge white angelic wing sliced it apart at the stomach. The Truphma's halves flew away, raining blood and intestines over the others as Salem stood in the middle of the group with his light and darkness “tuxedo”. The Truphma roared at Salem and charged. The carnage begun.

Many generals shot their morningstars as regular Truphma threw their knives but Salem used his wings as shields, stopping each attack and lashing out with his black demonic wing. Many Truphma were cut down as Salem flew and rained shadows veiled in light upon the Truphma. Some parried the attack with their weapons but many were shot down. Salem landed on top of a Truphma, crushing it as he attacked the rest. Salem punched their skulls, kicked them into more Truphma and cut many down with his clockwork lullaby. At one point he hit a Truphma general in the head with his elbow, grabbed it from the legs and twisted it around, hitting many Truphma before realizing it into more Truphma. Many tried to fight Salem……… But it was futile.

Salem felt his powers were weakening after fighting……annihilating for hours now. Salem flew away as more Truphma kept running into the clearing. It was almost empty but Salem knew it would fill up again.

<Guess I'll help any clan that needs assistance. Huummm, The place west from the ruins……>

Salem said to himself as he flew away.

*****


Hikari Yume was shivering……….The powerful tri-elemental wizard was shivering as he walked across the peak's tallest parts. This was proof enough than any other regular creature that dared set foot on this peak would die from hypothermia and count itself lucky it did since its blood would freeze afterwards.

Hikari had flown on his cloud, pursuing the ghosts all the way up to the tallest parts of the peak until they simply disappeared. The temperature there was far too cold for Hikari’s cloud; it froze solid, dumping Hikari head first into the snow. Hikari tried to fly by himself but the howling gusts were too rapid and strong to be bound by his wind magic, forcing him to walk all the way. This had happened hours ago, when the sun shone bright in the afternoon sky. Now the sun was setting and Hikari knew he would have a hard time surviving in this harsh environment if he stayed here at night.

Hikari kept walking; the chilling air and howling blizzards his only companions.

Hikari kept walking as the wind grew more violent. He kept on despite the chilling gusts swaying his robes until he thought the wind's howl was accompanied by whispers. Hikari tried to ignore them but the whispers became clearer with the time: "Join us", "Run Hikari! ", "You are nothing but a child", "Hikari, please live on".

Hikari walked on and on when a strange light appeared some meters away. It was the same Alice blue tone the ghosts had and it hovered around the place. Hikari stared at it for a moment but he decided to ignore it and walked on. The blue light disappeared and reappeared in front of Hikari Yume. The light flickered and shone, giving the dark environment of the peak a dazzling tone. Hikari kept walking until he saw the light became some kind of mirage…………a vision.

Hikari was staring at some kind of vision that showed his first encounter with Glaciar:

"You are clearly a child…………What they did not teach you, however, was how to control yourself......... no control over yourself…………learn to control your emotions and control your magic"

Hikari ignored the vision and walked through it. The mirage broke apart into colored crystals as Hikari kept walking.

Some time passed and the light appeared again, forming another mirage in front of Hikari. Hikari was surprised to see it was the day of the attack on the Lucian fortress:

"The Chronomancer was the same from the Aerodu incident…………was frozen to the spot…………he blasted them away with a shock………… hit the Chronomancer who let loose a yelp, as well as a wave of that time magic…………many did not and were stopped in place by the wave…………Clan members began to grow old and crumble to dust…………noticed the two guards that had let him in to the Lucian Palace all those years ago…………sent another powerful wave of time magic towards Hikari Yume…………The teenager managed to jump through the doors…………turned to shout at his friends…………the guards were slowing ageing before his eyes…………Hikari Yume reached out to the first guard, whose name to this day he could not remember…………make Hikari Yume run. Which he did"

Hikari stared at the mirage for some time. Reviving his past experiences…The worse of his life, was something difficult to do. Hikari stood there as he felt a heavy burden was placed upon him. He surprised himself as his vision was blurred; his eyes became misty. Hikari finally snapped out of it and kept walking. The mirage disappeared and this time he was wary of what would happen if he ran into the bluish light again.

More time passed and the light appeared again. Hikari stopped; staring at the light as it hovered around, waiting for it to create another vision. The light sphere just hovered around the place and it approached Hikari. Hikari felt so…….warm. The light sphere had warm to it, a concept almost forgotten in this peak. Hikari observed his surroundings as the light sphere vanished again.

<This truly is a frozen and hostile wasteland>

Hikari said as he walked.

Not much time had passed when the light sphere appeared again, creating a vision this time. As Hikari had feared, he was going to observe the worse memory he had: The attack on the airship.

"a young boy, no more than 8…………the Chronomancer let loose waves of time magic…………The blast blew many clan members away and they quickly aged and fell to dust…………Hikari Yume's parents jumped in front of him to protect him…………They began to age before the young boy's eyes and eventually they too fell to dust…………Hikari, please live on"

Hikari Yume fell to his knees, punching the snow below him as hard as he could as he cried…Hikari cried in despair and sorrow. For the first time in ten years Hikari cried. Hikari's crying was awful to behold; a cold lament full of grieve, regret, fury, fear and melancholy…………so much melancholy. The melancholy that devoured the young boy's heart ten years ago had become a part of his soul; his very soul truly………And a mask. Hikari Yume was the mask of melancholy incarnated. With his heart free from his cold soul's grasp, Hikari cried tears that froze as they left his eyes, becoming ice droplets that shattered against the snow.

After some time Hikari collapse on the snow, still crying a few tears that froze over his face. He couldn't stand now, all of his strength had abandoned him. Even if he could have stood, he didn't want to. Hikari just laid down on the snow as the howling blizzards raged on, waiting for death to take everything away. Hikari had given up………nothing mattered now except for the cold, yet why did he felt this faint warm? Hikari opened his eyes and saw the light sphere hovering next to him. The sphere hovered all over Hikari as he felt strong again; the sphere was renewing Hikari's strength. When the wizard stood up, the light sphere hovered beyond the mist that seemed eternal and shone brighter than ever, Hikari was bathed in the faint bluish light as the mist cleared. Hikari saw a crevice further ahead and standing by its entrance, the two ghosts Hikari had pursued for so long stood. They entered the crevice as Hikari walked towards it. After all this time, after all the effort and after all this pain Hikari Yume would confirm the ghosts' identity.

Hikari walked into the crevice and he couldn't believe his eyes. A beautiful frost garden decorated the crevice, which was as big as a cavern now. Hikari saw many different plants blooming among the frost as water flowed all over the walls without freezing. Hikari walked on as he saw a waterfall further ahead. He ran towards it. When Hikari Yume approached the waterfall, he found the light sphere hovering between the waterfall and him. The sphere shone with the Alice blue tone and became the couple of ghosts. The ghosts took the form they had when they were alive and Hikari’s eyes were filled with tears as his suspicions were confirmed.

<Oh Hikari, look how much you've grown>
<It' time to take that mask off Hikari>
<Mother!..........Father!>


*****


The sun was setting by the time 0Neo arrived to Castillo Vida Negra. The darkness of the day was enough to cover both his arrival and his landing on one of the castle's towers. 0Neo saw many dulled wolverines, forest demons and buzzers when he flew to the castle and now he observed the actual battle. Many of his comrades were fighting the dulled beasts; he saw many corpses of dulled beasts but none of a clansmen. Even if this was reassuring, 0Neo had to make sure the base was okay. He sneaked into the window and quickly hid among the wall's shadows. He hadn't seen any assassin fighting and one does not simply become their leader without knowing their skills in hiding and guarding. 0Neo waited for something that would distract the assassins he knew were there when a strike of luck came by……or rather, overall bad luck. A Truphma general was running down the hallway, crushing the walls with it morningstars. The guarding assassins leaped out of the shadows to attack the intruder. 0Neo took the chance to move through the shadows as the two assassins fought the Truphma general but 0Neo was distracted by another Truphma general that entered the room at the other end of the hallway. 0Neo taught it was bigger than average Truphma generals but he couldn’t tell. He moved quickly until he entered the room that Truphma had used.

They were in the communication device's room. 0Neo hadn't realized he was in the communications hallway before. The Truphma general turned around and 0Neo confirmed his suspicion. This general was gargantuan in comparison to the others; greatly muscled, as tall as a troll and equipped with axes rather than the regular morningstars of the generals, this Truphma faced 0Neo as it walked over the shattered glass of the communication device's screen.

<Puny human. Now that your communication device is destroyed, there is no way for you to call for help>
<We Nocturans ask for help only if the enemy cannot be annihilated>


0Neo said as he extended his wings. The Truphma slashed with its right arm but 0Neo jumped on top of the axe. The Truphma tried to hit him with its left arm but 0Neo jumped and cleaved his dagger into the Truphma's chests. 0Neo jumped off the Truphma but it laugh as grey blood fell from its chest.

The Truphma slashed down with both of its axes and 0Neo tried to parry with his wings but the force was so great it sent 0Neo flying. He performed a back-flip and landed softly to see the damage. His wings had huge marks on them……he would need to repair that before the war. The Truphma charged at 0Neo, slashing in an arc motion with its right arm as 0Neo crouched, performing a fast-step under the Truphma. 0Neo jumped and used his wings to reach the Truphma's neck. He slashed with his dagger and did a slashing movement with his left hand but as his instincts stopped for a moment, he remembered he wasn’t using twin daggers this time.

<Darn! I'll have to buy another dagger when I’m done with this foe>

0Neo said as the Truphma tried to hit him with its nape. 0Neo twisted mid-air, slashing the Truphma's neck as he flew to the ground. The Truphma turned around to face him, still laughing as grey blood flowed down its back. It swept 0Neo away with its left axe and 0Neo just had time enough to place himself in front of the blunt side of the axe as it hit him. 0Neo crashed against the wall as the Truphma finally did something expected from Truphma generals: it shot its left axe towards 0Neo. 0Neo flew out of range from the weapon and descended at top speed to cut the cable that united the Truphma and the axe but 0Neo was surprised when his dagger clashed against a sturdy grey chain. 0Neo had to jump off the chain as the Truphma shot its other axe towards him. Now that the Truphma was defenseless, 0Neo flew towards it. The Truphma's arm chains were retracting faster than any other Truphma general's but they still weren't fast enough for 0Neo. 0Neo slashed at the Truphma's stomach as it tried to kick him but he flew under its leg and slashed the back part of it knee. The axes returned to the Tuphma's arms and it started to spin. 0Neo flew out of range as the Truphma's axes almost caught him.

<It is futile assassin, you cannot strike me down. My sturdy outside might bleed but no harm will ever be done to me>

The Truphma laughed.

<This behemoth is far too strong……Guess I'll have to resort to execution>

0Neo thought as the Truphma charged at him again.

The battle raged on for some time. At one moment, 0Neo saw the corpse of the regular Truphma general fall dead as the assassins ran outside of the door. He could hear Noctros' summons and he knew if Noctros was calling the assassins it meant the battle outside was dire; he had to end this quickly. The fight raged on with the Truphma slashing, smashing and striking while 0Neo parried, dodged and flew away to avoid its attacks. The whole time 0Neo cut wounds all over the Truphma but the behemoth wouldn't slow down one bit.

The moon shone tall in the dark sky as the behemoth Truphma was covered in its blood, attacking 0Neo. It again slashed but 0Neo flew away from it.

<Give up. Nothing can harm the inside of my body>
<Are you sure about that?>


0Neo said as he flew towards the Truphma. The Truphma tried to attack him but 0Neo didn't even try to attack the Truphma, he simply passed his left hand around the Truphma's blood covered body, dirtying his hand with the grey blood. 0Neo flew to the room’s entrance again before the Truphma attacked him again.

<Technique of execution, Impaling blood>

0Neo said as he placed his left hand on the floor. The Truphma started shivering violently and the blood covering it turned black.

<What trickery is this?>
<Execution techniques are taught to the elite Nocturan assassins. This particular one causes your blood to become spears, impaling your body inside out>


0Neo explained with an evil smirk in his face. The Truphma opened its mouth to speak but a black spear sprouted from it. The behemoth body's was covered in spears that made it look like a black porcupine. The spears turned grey and then into liquid as the behemoth fell down, dead. The pool of grey blood coming from it was dirtying the whole floor.

0Neo flew to the window and saw Noctros fighting alongside the assassins, fighting various dulled beasts as he turned and saw kor, the chronomancer, seating by a tower's base.

<kor?>

0Neo said as he stepped into the window. He saw a wolverine approaching kor with its claws out. 0Neo jumped off the tower and shouted:

<KOR LOOKOUT!>

As he flew into the wolverine, piercing its skull with his dagger. He pierced so hard the animal died instantly. 0Neo stood to face kor, who was staring at him.

<0Neo! Where the heck were you?! I had to fight for you here!>
<Yeah thanks kor, I was away for little whil->
<YOU!!!>


Noctros said as he flew across the battlefield at lightning speed and rammed 0Neo into the castle's wall, breaking it.

<You damnable cocky brat! I told you a hundred times to stay here, to be ready for the attack and what do you do? You leave for the mainland! You really did it this time!>
<Noc…tros…>
<WHAT!?!?>
<Can't…breath…>
<Like I care! You deserve to die for this! Now get there and do something good for a change!>


Noctros yelled as he threw 0Neo into the enemies. He landed on a passing buzzer who turned around to sting 0Neo but he flew around it and cut the stinger off. As the buzzer died, 0Neo looked at kor

<Hey kor! I’ll handle the enemies here so take the remaining ones away from the castle! *thinking: ouch that hurt. Noctros is going to punish me hard for this*>
<Sure will!>


Kor said as he ran towards the nearby forest.

0Neo turned to see the remaining Truphma forces. They were reduced to about some few less than the first attack brigade that stormed the castle weeks ago. 0Neo tried to think of a way to defeat them all and quickly when he had an idea……A bet really but that was the only thing that might work.

<Noctros!>
<What do you want now?!>
<I have an idea! You have to send all of the dulled beasts and me away!>
<So you can flee again?>
<Come on Noctros! You know I didn't do that! Trust me like you did in the first attack!>
<…………………………Alright! Just keep them distracted!>


Noctros yelled loud enough for everyone to hear. Every clansmen fought the dulled beasts as Noctros charged power in his wings. When Noctros' wings shone purple, the members near him moved behind him.

<NOW!!>

Noctros yelled as all of the clansmen ran behind him as 0Neo did his best to fly around the dulled beasts, making sure they wouldn't follow his comrades.

Noctros jumped high into the air and flapped his wings, creating a mighty ominous gale that pushed the dulled beasts, 0Neo and many nearby trees away.

0Neo flew around the mighty air current in order to prevent a crash. He landed violently among the dark forest as the dulled beasts and the trees from before fell farther ahead.

As the dulled beasts stood up, they all glared at 0Neo. He was the only thing left to kill in that place and they all ran towards him.

0Neo breathed in deeply and said

<Alright here goes…….Limit break: Shade person>

He said but nothing happened. The beasts kept running towards 0Neo and his plan had failed.

<Come on work! I don't have anything else>

0Neo said as a few hundred of enemies ran towards him.

As everything seemed hopeless and 0Neo was ready to fight to his death against those wretched dull puppets, a huge mechanical bluish light appeared between 0Neo and the dull battle force. It looked just like the light of kor's time-travel but this felt different……a lot stronger. Could this be the light of the dimensional jump Salem had talked about?

When the light dissipated, three people stood in the centre of the terrain the powerful light had burnt, shrouded in a thick fog. 0Neo could see the silhouettes of two men and a woman.

Sudden words appeared in 0Neo's mind and before he could even think about them the man in the middle of the group pronounced them.

<Genesis breaker>

He said and he unleashed a huge x-shaped wave of energy. The energy mass was silver in its outer parts and black in the inside. 0Neo didn't know what was going on what he knew the energy mass that man invoked was made of raw darkness essence, the purest form of darkness found only in the fresh creations of the lord of darkness.

The x-shaped mass moved in a spiral motion, tearing apart every single dulled beast as it touched them. The energy mass grew smaller and smaller still as it approached the centre of the enemy forces. When the energy reached its destination, it was as big as a human's head. The energy stopped moving and instantly a gargantuan explosion that enveloped a huge area. The three strangers were standing a few meters away as 0Neo dropped to his knees, admiring the power of that skill. When the explosion dissipated, 0Neo saw everything caught in its radius was pitch-black and flickering, like all of it was made of darkness. The rocks, the trees even the floor within the explosion's radius was made of darkness. From the Truphma forces nothing remained at all….It was like they had been thrown into true oblivion.

0Neo preoccupied greatly. If these strangers were foes, he had no hope at all of fighting a single one and survive, much less three if they all were that powerful.

<What the heck? How could you unleash such power? Who are you?>

0Neo asked the strangers, still surrounded by the thick fog.

<We all…>
<…Are…>
<…A part of you>


The three answered. They turned to face 0Neo as the thick fog dissipated

Interlude:


The strangers stepped out of the fog and 0Neo saw they weren't adults as he firstly assumed; they actually were younger than him! Around fifteen to eighteen years of age.

0Neo observed the……guy……in the middle of the group. He seemed to be the oldest among them. He looked so young yet he was the one that unleashed that ridiculously powerful darkness attack upon the Truphma. As 0Neo detailed him better, he realized he was quite similar to him physically: The same silver hair, the same pitch-black eyes, the same kind-of dark skin tone even similar heights and apparent weight.

<Could you be……The other me from another dimension?>

0Neo asked but the guy had disappeared in an instant. Before 0Neo had enough time to wonder where the guy went to, he felt a blade inches from his neck. He turned his sight and saw the guy was behind him, holding 0Neo at bay with a knife which blade was made of the same pure darkness.

<Don't compare me with you. The difference in our power is too great>
<Be careful………..We're here to help him…>
<Yeah Shado, cut him some slack. He is different from us, he cannot possess powers like ours>
<Whatever>


The strangers said to the guy whose name seemed to be Shado. Shado disappeared again and reappeared between the strangers.

<Help me? What are you talking about and just who are you anyway?>

0Neo asked the three strangers.

<*sigh*Listen, the actual “other you” is our master and he sent us here to help you out with this war>
<How could he know so much about me and my dimension? I hardly know anything about him!>
<He knows how to do things correctly>
<Say what?>
<Guys…..please don't fight>


The girl said when 0Neo, Shado and the other guy started arguing. They all quite down.

<Anyway, will you guys give some kind of explanation?>
<Another time….We have to prepare you for the war>
<Prepare me?>
<You aren't…..strong enough….>
<How will you prepare me then?>
<Empowering you>
<What?>
<We'll give you……some of our powers>
<Oh we don't have time for this! Let's start already!>


The other guy shouted as he directed his hand to 0Neo, releasing a beam of pure energy. The beam hit 0Neo but it wasn’t an attack; 0Neo actually felt…stronger somehow as rocks started hovering around 0Neo.

<Please forgive our rudeness>

The girl said as she too shot an energy beam at 0Neo. Water started flowing around the space around 0Neo

<I'll do what I have to>

Shado said as he shot an energy beam at 0Neo. Darkness gathered around him as the three elements encased 0Neo. He was being exposed to raw pure elemental essence. What would happen to him after this process finished?

*****


The moon shone silver over the black ocean. The waves crashed against monolith island's shores. It was midnight.

Three days had passed since the heavy Truphma attack on Paxia and the clan leaders that had representatives were summoned by Paxus for a final meeting. The dreaded day was a night away.

<I have called you here to know how the clans fare>
<The communication network one of my representatives created is now functional again>
<How did the Truphma sneaked into every base unnoticed and destroy every communication device?>
<During their first siege, they planted small transporters in places around the bases. They used them to sneak troops inside>
<It was horrid. My base was heavily damaged during the heavy attack>
<All of our bases suffered some damage in that siege. Be glad not a single member of our clans died>
<That is not entirely true>
<Come on now. Just because they disappeared doesn't mean they're dead>
<What good use are they if they went off? My representative had the nerve to disappear again! I'll kill him when this war is over>
<Noctros please…We all are worried about our representatives>
<I'm not>
<Glaciar! How could you say that?>
<I know how powerful my representative is. Many of my clansmen claim they saw him flying towards the winter meadow peak>
<Isn't that the coldest place on this planet?>
<Even you would have problems. He might have died>
<Order. I want you all to state what you do know about your representatives. Igneox, is it true you used the volcano?>
<I had no choice Paxus. We were severely outnumbered and the Truphma had used some kind of powerful somniferous. My representative disappeared during the attack, carrying the corpse of a clan member>
<My representative went to the winter meadow peak>
<One of my representatives is well and is helping on the airship. The other disappeared after fighting hundreds of enemies but I know he didn't die>
<One of my representatives disappeared after jumping off the fortress with many dragons. The other………..It's awful, his condition is even worse than death>
<The damn bra-I mean, my representative *cough* disappeared after saying he could finish off what remained of the Truphma attack force. I have no idea what his plan was but the area where I sent him and the dulls to was turned into a gash between this plane and the plane of darkness>
<Fear not. I am positive they will appear again when the war starts. I also received news from an interesting clanless individual that many Truphma are gathering west from the ruins>
<West!? But that is the->
<Fear not, he has attacked them various times and now they're reduced to nothing. We must remain cautious despite that. Xov might do something we did not expect. The war will start and I expect you all to show the unity of the elements. For Paxia>


Paxus said as the clan leaders showed their agreement.

Chapter 8: Coming soon


< Message edited by 0Neo -- 10/23/2013 19:56:52 >
AQ  Post #: 13
8/8/2013 19:53:56   
Travis Touchdown
Reality Touchdown!


Ill Met By Pyrelight

Death’s Kid smiled to himself as he walked through the Truphma war camp, wearing the armour of the local Outpost Master. Everything had been going according to plan. Upon learning of Xov Arakue’s letter to Paxia, he had intercepted a messenger and learned the location of the Truphma’s Paxian headquarters. His Twilight Cloak had allowed him to slip into the camp the previous night completely undetected. From there, he had quietly worked his way into the barracks, where he had found the Outpost Master personally performing one final inspection of his soldiers’ supplies before they were sent off into the field.

It was a routine, almost boring, ambush. He had grabbed him from behind and placed him in a hold, keeping his victim silent until he had lost consciousness. After he had taken his equipment, he tied him up and hid him in a chest of Truphma propaganda that was due to be shipped to the front. He had arranged for this shipment to be intercepted by some of his trusted friends and allies. He knew that they would find the unconscious Outpost Master when they looted the shipment, and that they would take the initiative to interrogate him from the security of Lore’s prisons.

“Are you overseeing the shipment yourself, Master?”

Death’s Kid turned behind him, consciously trying to avoid any movements that would give him away. One of the guards had come up behind him. A quick analysis of his body language suggested that the guard was not suspicious of him, but was simply curious.

Now came the part that he was worried about. He would have to focus on hiding his accent. He had spent weeks trying to imitate the Truphma’s monotone voice and their distinctive linguistics, in case he had needed to peacefully infiltrate their camps. It was time to see if his efforts had paid off.

“I am just making sure everything is here, Lookout. It is possible that the enemy intends to sabotage our operations here. However, it would seem that, for the moment, everything remains in order.”

“I see. We will send these supplies to the front immediately.” The guard prepared to leave. “We are almost finished with the conforming process on the local wildlife. Do you wish to verify that they are ready to serve us?”

Under the Truphma mask, Death’s Kid couldn’t help but smile. This was a perfect opportunity to disrupt their plans. “I will once I have finished here.”

“Very well. Our forces are already leaving for the war. Ensure that they will not have to wait long for their reinforcements.” He saluted as he left.

“Reinforcements? Bah.” Death’s Kid muttered as he knelt down and reached into the Truphma suit’s pockets. He had “procured” some Orc Bombs from a bandit that had tried to stop him shortly after he had arrived on the island. They would be put to much better use here. He set the timers to ten minutes, and stashed them deep in the supply chests that would remain in the camp. If all went according to plan, the setbacks would cripple the Truphma’s offensive operations until further supplies arrived; and if BattleOn’s Adventurers and Guardians had anything to say about it, it would quite some time before any supply convoys would slip through the cracks.

As he entered the tent holding the headquarters’ Central Engine, he could hear the familiar sound of a Chimera breathing flame onto its unfortunate victims. He grinned. His second ruse was working beautifully.

“Master. We discovered this Chimera wandering outside of the camp last night. However, we have been unable to subdue it and let the conversion process take place. Help us.”

“Allow me.” He walked up to the Chimera. Its nostrils flared, but it seemed to relax as its nostrils picked up the familiar smell of its owner. He knelt down and whispered in its ear. “Now, girl.” He climbed back to his feet. “It seems harmless enough. Continue.” He walked back to the walls of the tent as the Truphma soldiers charged the Chimera.

The Chimera reared up on its hind legs as its dragon head blasted a steady stream of fire. As the flames poured from its mouth in an endless stream, it turned and set fire to the walls of the tent. It then slammed down on its attackers, pinning them under its weight and gnashing them with all four of its mouths. Death’s Kid took advantage of the chaos and discarded his disguise, revealing his Twilight Cloak, and then faded into the shadows. He appeared behind the ropes that chained the remaining imprisoned creatures and cut them free with his scythes. Enraged by the torture that they had endured, they clawed the tent’s fabric apart and stampeded out into the camp, seeking revenge against those who had harmed them.

The alarm rang out. There was no doubt that a saboteur was in their midst. Those who had been unarmed quickly ran into the main tent to grab weapons and armour. Those who were already equipped quickly spread out to contain the rampaging creatures, and, if possible, find and kill the one who had set them free.

As far as Death’s Kid was concerned, there was no further point in playing hide and seek. He had been counting the seconds in his head, and he had nearly reached 600. He melted into the shadows and worked his way into the center of the camp, several dozen feet from the main tent. As he reincorporated himself, he let out a loud whistle.

Many of the Truphma stopped to stare at him. One of them pointed a rusted cleaver in his direction. “There he is. Kill him.”

He let out a loud, defiant laugh. It was time. He took in a single, deep breath, then let out a single loud shout in his normal Scottish accent.

“Well, ’ello boys!” He snapped his fingers as he melted back into the shadows.

As if on cue, deep inside the camp’s supply chest, the timers on the Orc Bombs struck zero. A series of explosions blew through the tent, sending debris in every direction. Flaming wreckage fell from the sky, landing on tent and Truphma alike. Black, menacing smoke billowed through the camp as many of the remaining fortifications began to burn. Some of the Truphma fled, likely running to other camps to request support. Others stayed behind to tend to their wounded, and to control the madness that had overtaken their once “perfect” hideaway.

As Death’s Kid left the chaos on the back of his Chimera, he knew that the destruction of the camp would only be a temporary setback. If the Truphma had proven anything in recent months, it was that they were tenacious, and that they worked fast. Lore’s defenders would only have a few days at best before the damage had been repaired, and their enemies brought their full might forward, in the interest of seeking revenge for their fallen comrades.

There was, however, one bit of damage that could not be undone. In his left chest pocket, nestled between his book of spells and a handful of rifle ammunition, was a journal. The original had placed in a safe place away from the explosions, where the Truphma would surely find it; a necessary sacrifice to maintain his gambit, and to trick his enemy into thinking that they knew little about their plans.

However, they would soon know all that they needed to. The journal that he now possessed was a nearly perfect replica of the one held by the Outpost Master he had sent back to his compatriots. In plain, professional writing, it detailed much of their plans. It was not entirely complete, as there were details that even he did not know, but it would be sufficient for their purposes. Xov had marched her troops towards the headquarters of each of the eight clans, hoping to capture their leaders. It would be too late to prevent it from happening, but not too late to save them.

As Death’s Kid steered his Chimera through the Paxian underbrush and towards friendly territory, he knew that it was unlikely that he would arrive before his friends had taken to the battlefield. But even if he never arrived, he knew Paxia would not fall. The Truphma had awoken a sleeping giant, and it would be them that would be put to bed.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 14
8/14/2013 4:31:38   
jerenda
Member

A Day in the Life


Day One

I was saying something. I know I was. I had my mouth open and everything, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was.

Oh well. Mistress was speaking, and I didn't speak when she spoke. I waited, quietly, for her to tell me what to do. I'd had something to say. Hadn't I?

There was a lot of fighting in the first few moments. I had some friends near me to keep me safe. That's good. I needed them. The fighting was all around me. Mistress had to step in a couple times. These Creators were so violent. Didn't they know that violence wasn't good? Wasn't safe?

I wasn't very good. I know I screamed once or twice. There was a man. He said his name was "hict." I almost lost my friends who were helping me when I saw him, but they were able to find me and bring me back to be with Mistress to be safe. Hict. How does he pronounce that? I think it has numbers after it. How do you pronounce numbers? Wouldn't he be happier with a simpler name?

My friend was holding my hand. They were both holding my hands, actually. Very tightly, but they were probably scared. I think I was scared. I remember the fighting got very close to me and I charged forward towards a friend who was fighting back a very scary Creator. I broke free of the friends who were holding me and reached out towards my other friend, the one who was struggling. My hands had closed on his shoulders - to help, I am sure of it - when my friends caught up to me and dragged me back.

We had a little argument, my friends and I. Arguments are bad and not safe, but we had it quietly so Mistress wouldn't hear. I was very scared. They promised they would keep me safe. I agreed to go with them if they would let go of my arms. My hands were starting to hurt, they were holding so tightly to me.

They must have been scared as well. Being close to so many Creators can be frightening to us. It wasn't scary to me, though. I am very brave.

If I am brave, why was I so scared?

They would not let me help with the fighting. We followed Mistress all the way to the end. There were a lot of Creators in the big central room. There weren't many Creators left by then, but it took us a while to get into the room. I still didn't get to help. They made me sit outside. The Creator I had tried to help-- to help-- to help get better went into the big room surrounded by my friends. He was wearing chains and colors. Mistress must not have had time to help him yet.

I asked my friends who he was and why Mistress hadn't helped him like she had helped me. They said his name was "Ultrapowerpie." I don't even know what that means. He probably doesn't know either. Do all Creators have strange names like that?

... Do I have a name?

I asked my friends. They didn't know. They said asking questions wasn't safe or good. Right. I had forgotten. I remember now. I won't ask any more questions.

Another friend came to get me. He offered to help me into the room, but I said I could make it on my own. I hadn't gotten injured in the fighting. He had. I almost asked him if he wanted me to help him, but I remembered and didn't say anything. I want to be good.

I don't remember much of what was in the room. I remember colors, and loud voices full of emotions that weren't safe or good, and I remember a booming voice saying a weird word that wasn't really any language at all. I remember something fell, and down below the world was a dizzying spiral of... a spiral... of... The world was far away.

I remember warm liquid falling down my face and it got all over my hands when I tried to wipe it away.

Mistress looked at me strangely and I tried to hide my hands. She sent all of us back to camp then. We took a lot of the Creators, but the one named "Ultrapowerpie" wasn't there. Where did he go? Did he go with the others to help free more Creators? I was good, though. I didn't ask.

Day Two

When I woke up, most of my friends were gone. There was one left, sitting in a chair inside the tent, watching me. She got up when I did and helped me find a uniform. I was finally able to take off that odd cloak. It had so many feathers attached to the back of it, it was weighing me down. Why would anyone wear such an odd, heavy outfit? Something simple and grey like the uniform was surely much better.

I held the cloak in my hands and looked at it for a long time. For a moment, the weight of the fabric in my hands lessened. The wings weren't heavy. The wings weighed nothing at all. Something else was weighing down on me, a great, immeasurable weight.

My friend touched my shoulder, and when I looked at her I almost dropped the heavy material. When she reached out to take it, though, I hugged it close to me. It could be my blanket. It was cold last night. We have lots of blankets, but I don't want to be a burden. If I use this, it'll be easy. The other blankets are softer? It could be my pillow. I didn't have a pillow last night. I did? It was a small pillow. This one would be a better pillow. Really. It would. It would be so easy. She didn't have to shout.

We may have gotten into a very very little argument. It may have attracted the attention of every friend within hearing range. The Third Commander may have arrived and ordered me to put down the cloak.

I may have shouted at him. Just a little.

I don't really remember what happened next. Afterward, I realized that he was right. Having a colored blanket would make me different from the others. I wanted to be good, and the only way to be good was to be the same. Difference led to emotions that were not safe. Of course he was right. I had forgotten.

They said I couldn't walk about the camp today, because of the argument. I stayed near the tent with my friend instead. I was very good. I didn't even ask why her hair was so long or why her eyes were so big or why her legs ended in talons instead of feet like mine. It was hard, but I wanted to be good. I can be good. Really. There was no need to call me an "uncontrollable Aerodu lunatic" like someone had when I was... talking... to the Third Commander. Whatever that meant. I wasn't one. For sure.

Day Three

The same friend was there when I woke up. She seemed nervous, but when I asked if she was okay she seemed not to understand. Nobody else was in the tent this morning either. My uniform fit nice and snug, but it seemed strangely heavy. I thought I heard someone whisper "Duty..." but when I turned around nobody was there.

We went outside, and if we stayed away from the storage units, that was okay. The sameness was comforting, every tent the same size, the same grey color. Each sleeping tent had five little cots in it, and they were arranged in rows at the back of the camp. The storage units where I had picked out my uniform were off to the side, and still further back were the cooking and cleaning divisions. Everyone took a turn at working in our camps. It was very fair.

Our camp was in a narrow gap between two mountains. The warriors only needed to defend the front of the camp. I was near the back. But I was a warrior. That didn't seem right.

I wandered closer to the front. Here were racks of weapons, mostly empty, and open areas to train. Up ahead were the warriors, defending our camp. The brave ones.

My friend caught me before I could approach the defensive perimeter. She said I shouldn't distract the guards. I didn't understand. I didn't want to distract them. I wanted to help them. I was a warrior. I was brave.

If I was so brave, why am I so scared?

My friend took my hand and pulled me away. I held onto her tightly. I needed her to help me. She was safe and good. I wanted to be safe and good like her, but maybe the others were right. Maybe there was something wrong with me. What kind of person is scared when surrounded by friends?

On our way back to our tent I saw something that wasn't grey or white. I took a few steps toward it, then remembered that I was being good and looked at my friend. She said it was okay, so we went to see what it was.

It was a Creator. A Creator, in the middle of our camp. I took a step back. He was wearing a normal uniform, and his hair was a normal greyish-white, but his skin was a strange pale brown, almost sickly. Definitely a Creator.

Then I saw that he was chained to the wall. He couldn’t come and attack me or my friend. He didn’t have any weapons, either. Maybe he was a safe Creator? But why wasn’t he a normal grey, like my friend and I?

He raised his head and looked at me with haunting dark blue eyes. “Ah, another Aeroduian... wait... no... Jerenda?”

It was that word again, the strange echoing one that the booming voice had spoken. He said it like it had power, and I shook. What did it mean?

“Fight off the corruption! Be creative! Creativity and individuality are the bane of their existence.” Their? Who was he talking about? “They are your only weapons now... Fight them!”

My friend flinched back when he said those words. I held her hand. It would be okay. I could help. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, a little quieter. “It’s just me, James Lu. You know me. You know we have to fight!”

This man was so angry. His words were so full of such emotion. It was hurting him. It was hurting my friend. "P-please stop shouting. You don't need to fight anymore or... create... weapons. Everything is going to be okay. We'll help you."

He sighed. “No, child. THEY hurt people.” He looked towards my other friends, who were talking to more captured Creators. “They seek to enslave, to force people into submission. And for what? A blind, misguided mission. They aren’t good, they aren’t trying to help. These... these... things. They aren’t liberators, they’re slavers. They follow that hypocrite... Xov, that’s her name.”

Xov? Did he mean Mistress? That was her name, but we didn’t use it. Names were different and we didn’t want her to feel different. Difference led to emotions that were not safe.

“She will do anything to achieve her goal of complete and utter conformity, even if it means using violence. Can’t you see that? You’re being used. You MUST fight off the corruption. Look me in the eye and tell me you believe what they’re saying. DO IT.”

I looked at him, confused. What was that supposed to prove? "I'm not hurting anyone. I'm helping. Don't you see? You're so angry. Let me help you. Well, maybe my friend can help you better. She's teaching me. Why would you want to be bad and angry when you could be good and safe?"

“Emotions are a means of expression, if you don’t have emotion, you don’t have freedom. If you’re not free, you’re a slave. What, then, are you? Slave or free?”

I didn’t understand the question. Freedom? What did that mean? I asked him, even though questions were bad.

“You don’t know? Freedom is... oh, how do I explain... the power to do what you want to do. The power to act on your own without someone keeping you from doing things. What do you want to do? You must want to do something. What is it?”

I thought about that, long enough that my friend tried to pull me away. All I could think of was those men who were standing at the barricade. I was like a warrior like them. Why didn’t they let me help?

“Look at me, child. Your friend there is a negative influence on you. It is too late for them, but you... you can still fight it. Stave off your assimilation. Be an individual. There is a balance. If we lose all our inhibitions, we fall prey to the evil that dwells within each of us. To be good is to know when to do something, how to do that and when to stop. Being good is to have self-control, to listen to what others have to say, even if you don’t agree. That’s what makes these... things... Truphma, I believe... that’s what makes them different. They don’t care about good, they want to be the ones IN control.”

I started to tell him how good I was being, and how I wasn’t asking questions or anything and how I was trying to be just like the others, but my friend interrupted me. She asked some other friends to come and help the Creator and then she took me away. She was very firm that time, and I went with her.

She didn’t have to drag me, either. The ground got a little scuffed when I fell, that’s all. I hurt my knees. James kept calling after me, shouting things like “freedom” and “individuality and creativity are your greatest weapons!” He stopped after a little bit when a few of my friends gathered around him. I hoped they weren’t hurting him. He was just confused.

That’s what comes of dealing with Creators. Hurt knees and confusion. We talked a lot after that about what it meant to be good and how confused the Creator was. She told me not to worry about “freedom.” It would just bring trouble, so I tried to listen to her. My friend was right. I shouldn’t have talked to him.

Day Four

I awoke to chaos. My bunkmates were all awake and dressing rapidly, not gone as they usually were. Outside, someone was shouting commands. I was out of my bed in an instant, pulling on my uniform. I moved as quickly as my bunkmates, slipping into my shirt and buckling my belt before the tent emptied again. Then I turned and grabbed--the bedpole. Hang on. Where was my... my... I needed...

Someone touched my arm and I whirled around. She let out a squeak and jumped back, raising her hands up in front of her. It was my friend, coming to help me. Just my friend.

"I've... I've lost something. Help me find it?"

She looked confused. I had my clothing, and my bedding was right next to me. How could I have lost something? I didn't own anything to lose.

Of course. I was being silly. I can't misplace things I don't have. I nodded, looking away from her. Most of my bunkmates had left by now. One of them was being slow, only now slipping her belt on. She had extras, though. A sword, leaning against her bedpost. A shield, nestled at her feet.

Something within me burned. I pressed my hand to my heart, not sure what was wrong. It felt like I was in pain, but I hadn't been hurt. All I could think about was that sword and shield. I closed my eyes but I could still see them. I thought I could feel them. The weight of the weapon against my hip. The straps of the shield digging into my left arm.

My friend was shaking me. "Huh? What?" I opened my eyes and realized the tent was empty.

< Message edited by jerenda -- 8/30/2013 3:38:01 >
AQ DF  Post #: 15
8/14/2013 6:32:54   
Sanani
Member

Day 1 of invasion.
It so cold.
Why i hiding i should go and help my clanmates- thinks Sauin.
Who here!-says in fear.
Calm down who are you.-says stranger.
What? Who are you i never seen you there.
I don't know my ship wrecked here.-said stranger.
Shhhh. They can hear us.
Who? Who can hear us.
You dont want to know. Its a war they invading.-said Sauin and trying to set fire.
And you........Watch out.
What.................
Last think what Sauin notices is something white then nothing.

Wake up.........wake up...............
What where-said Sauin shocked.
Calm down-said someone.
Sauin look around and he notices Ingeus members.
What are you doing here?-Said one of them.
They don't know im from dynami? How?-Thinks Sauin.
Im Dynami member-said while after Sauin.
Wheres that other guy! Hes with me.
You said about that injured Guardian?-Said another.
Sauin notices Guardian badly injured.
Yes its him what happened? What are you doing here you should help your clan.
We already push back invader from yours Base.-Said one of Ingeous.
What are you doing here Dynami is still kidnapped and we find you at the other part of island!

< Message edited by Sanani -- 8/15/2013 6:56:22 >
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 16
9/27/2013 0:38:58   
Disc Lorde
Member

The Maeshalanadae Chronicles: Injurious Wasters

Previous: Good Knight and Good Luck
Next: Coming Soon

Disc Lorde was perusing a book on the history of Deren when he got the message. The alarm by his teleportation circle sounded. That meant that it had finally happened. The Truphma had finally made their move. He quickly shut off the alarm, stepped into his teleportation circle, and with an effort of will and magic, he teleported to a predetermined spot in the war camp in Paxia.

Lance greeted him the moment he arrived. "Greetings Disc Lorde. Glad you could make it. Walk with me. There's not a second to lose."

Disc Lorde followed Lance. "Wouldn't miss it. What's going on?"

"The Truphma kidnapped the clan leaders."

"What?" said Disc Lorde, surprised. "But we were ready for them! They declared their intention to attack a month ago! How could this happen?"

"We couldn't keep watch all the time, and their queen Xov came for the leaders personally. One of the few survivors, from Aerodu, said that he saw Xov turn a clansman with a simple gesture and a blast of dull fire."

"She turned a warrior with just a thought? Then she is horribly overpowered."

"Yes. Thankfully she has not been guarding the leaders personally. Not that she necessarily needs to. There's quite a force guarding them. Truphma, dulled creatures, even some elementals. And if we don't get to the leaders in time, I fear what might happen."

"Indeed." Disc Lorde noticed that patches of snow were starting to appear, and they were headed towards an icy mountain. "I take it we're rescuing Glacius first?"

"Yes. Sources report that he acted admirably when captured."

They were arriving at the scene of battle. They laid waste to their foes with blade and spell.

---

Clank! Swish!

Cerrana donned her armor and gave her weapon an experimental slice. It was time to do battle. She had no love for the clans, but over her dead body would the Truphma take away creativity and free will.

"Are we ready?" Cerrana turned to see her sister, Astreaea, smiling grimly, (outfit).

Cerrana frowned. "I wouldn't say we, Astreaea. This is dangerous."

Astreaea put her hands on her hips and frowned back. "I can take care of myself. I did when we fought against the Paladins. Besides, Death here let's just about everyone go."

"The Truphma are tougher and you know it, and what if Death decides decides otherwise next time? I don't trust him. Besides, someone needs to watch Gambler."

"We can leave her for one day. This is free will on Lore at stake here!"

"It's still too big a risk." Cerrana crossed her arms. "Astreaea, I'm putting my foot down on this!"

They glared at each other for a few seconds, then Astreaea marched to her room and slammed the door.

Cerrana winced. She had expected this, but she couldn't risk her sister dying. She just couldn't. She stepped outside.

Nox was finishing dispatching some local wildlife. She looked up at Cerrana and grinned maliciously, stowing her knives in her Assassin's Cloak. "Are we ready to go?"

"Yes."

The pair set off toward Warlic's shop, where they would be teleported to Paxia.

---

Another Truphma keeled over and died from Disc Lorde's magically summoned ozone. Moments later another was sliced in two by Lance's blade. Glaciar was almost free. Igneox and Aerodu were already free. And it was only the first few hours. Of course, Disc Lorde thought, they had had some off-world help. Now that the energy to power the portals and the food to feed the troops had been depleted the upcoming battles would be harder.

The final few Truphma fell. Disc Lorde was the first to reach the spot where Xov was holding Glaciar. "Halt Xov! This ends here. We're taking you down before you can corrupt any more creatures!"

"I don't think you will, Disc Lorde, because you will never make it past my golem." And at a gesture from Xov, a giant stone hand appeared to do battle with him.

She was only half right. He did make it past her golem, but not before she got away. The other adventurers had caught up now. They approached Glaciar, who spoke.

"Thank you all, for freeing me. As a token of my gratitude, you may all have access to a shop where you may buy a weapon we Paxians have recently crafted."

Disc Lorde examined the profferred prize chest as Glaciar thanked the other adventurers. He took a single magical weapon and paid for it accordingly, then put it in storage and moved on to freeing the next leader.

As he fought, he several times spotted Cerrana and Nox in the fray. To his unease, he noticed that Nox was eyeing some of their allies...predatorially. He saw no sign of Astreaea however, which made him wonder why she was absent. She wouldn't miss a Truphma war.

During a pause for healing he asked Cerrana about these things. "Good day Cerrana. Where's Cerrana?"

"At home, watching Gambler."

"That didn't stop her from making Necromancers vs. Paladins, and this isn't something she'd miss."

Carrana frowned. "The Truphma are more dangerous than the Paladins were. We decided that it would be safer if she sat this one out."

Disc Lorde got the impression that "we" didn't include Astreaea herself, but he didn't question further. Instead, he asked about the other thing that was on his mind. "I noticed that your sister has been eyeing some of our allies..."

"Predatorially," Cerrana finished. "Yes, I know. She's a bloodthirsty psychopath. We're not blood related. I adopted her. Sometimes I wonder whether that was such a good idea, but she does have her uses. Like now, for instance. I'm giving her a contract to help me kill the Truphma. Otherwise she'd just kill whatever she felt like. Part of that contract is that she doesn't kill our allies until the war is over. After that, they'll have to watch their backs."

Disc Lorde nodded, slightly uneasy about having a "bloodthirsty psychopath" in their midst. He made a mental note to warn Lance the next time he saw him. He stood up to head back to the battlefield. "Well, tell Astreaea I said hi, and uh, Nox too I suppose. May all your strikes be lucky."

Cerrana stood up too. "And yours."

---

Astreaea sat on the porch, blowing bubbles for Gambler's enjoyment. Gambler would chase the bubbles all around the yard. Astreaea smiled. Gambler could get annoying at times, but she was cute and she was family. As she sat, she wondered how the war was going. Cerrana had been away for a day, and the leaders were surely getting duller by the minute. Her unease grew steadily. Finally she decided to take a trip to the front lines. Cerrana wouldn't be happy, but she had to help free the leaders.

Gambler pounced on a bubble and lay sprawling on the grass, giggling.

"Gambler, I need to go out for a few hours. I need you to stay in the house and not play around the stairs while I'm gone, okay?"

"Aww, that's no fun."

"If you do this for me I'll let you pet my nerfkitten, okay?"

Gambler beamed. "Okay!"

Her nerfkitten would be none too pleased with the idea, but some pearapplos and some grooming would persuade her.

---

Aerodu and Glaciar were freed and the heroes were starting to split up. Portal army support and a large clan following had united the heroes toward Igneox and Aerodu, and portal armies and admirable performance had united them toward Glaciar, but now there was less agreement of who to go after. Lance and Disc Lorde had decided to help free Lucius, then Geoto. It was in the middle of a battle with a Moonray that Disc Lorde noticed a familiar face. He quickly worked his way over to Astreaea and struck up a conversation.

"Astreaea! Glad you could make it. Cerrana said you were watching Gambler."

"I was. I left her for a few hours. Cerrana won't be too happy, but the clan leaders need my help."

"Well it's good to have you."

"Thanks."

They fought side by side until Astreaea had to leave.

---

Finally, the clan leaders were all rescued, the armies guarding them decimated and the golems guarding them reduced to dust. Disc Lorde and Lance headed home.

"Looks like we routed them." said Lance, grinning.

"Indeed we did." said Disc Lorde, smiling. "But keep on your toes. She'll come back, she always does, and she looked pretty angry back there."


< Message edited by Disc Lorde -- 9/27/2013 0:49:04 >
AQ  Post #: 17
Page:   [1]
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