-2 years ago. Lokil, 5th Turn-
“Hurry! Get everyone out of here!!”
A man wearing a colorful outfit of sapphire blue, jade green, and velvet red was shouting as his subjects scurried about, running for their lives.
The castle was trembling, shaking uncontrollably even with the constant reinforcement of magic. Large chunks of stone dislodged itself from the walls of the castle and crashed onto the stone floors, crushing anything and anyone unfortunate enough to be underneath.
“My Lord, we must go! The castle is collapsing!” A man wearing a set of armor marred by dents and scratches shouted at him, giving him looks filled with fear and doom.
“GO! Get them out of here!” The lord shouted back, ordering the knight to save his subjects. Instead of leaving with them, he took off deeper into the castle. Evading falling tiles and stones, he slowly made his way to the vault where the cause for the destruction was, silently praying to the gods for the strength to overcome whatever had been unleashed.
The unusual quake had begun earlier with the usual shaking of the Iesian box. One of his vault guards had reported it in the early afternoon, but the box’s unusual behavior had become a norm after two years, and he had thought nothing of it. Unfortunately this time, the elongated box did not stop as it usually does. By the time he called for his mages, it had already began to levitate, and it was too late. The mages confirmed that a source of power was emanating from it, distorting everything around it and causing the unknown phenomenon. They had tried to combat it by forming a barrier around the object, trying to seal it off, but their magic was ineffective. Attempts after attempt failed at calming it down and they eventually gave up, moving to evacuate those in the castle instead.
As he approached the family vault, he saw beams of light cutting through the thick metal door and into the stone walls of the castle. Too frightened to approach, before he could decide if he wanted to confront whatever was happening alone or go back for a few mages, a blinding light erupted from within the vault and painted his world white. As soon as the light hit him, the tremors stopped and a suffocating feeling of dread rendered him powerless.
‘Demons!’ He thought to himself, remembering the stories passed down with the box. He cursed himself, having allowed such a thing to happen because of his negligence. Afraid and suffering from an overwhelming power, he forced himself to crawl to the vault door as soon as his vision returned.
His eyes blared wide open as he stared at what appeared to be a man made of light, standing in the middle of the room. The figure was completely featureless and only its shape was like that of a human. Two arms, a head, a body, and legs. It looked like a drawing on a piece of paper with no defining dimensions.
“Freedom At Last…” The figure spoke with a sharp and distinct voice filled with power and indignation.
“Wh-What are you?” His words were filled with terror, but his mouth moved in awe at the sight before him. The figure made of light shifted, turning to stare at him. The Lord saw his life flash before his eyes, fearing the terrible end that was about to befall him.
“The World Shall Know Soon Enough.” Yet instead of killing him, the light answered before morphing into an orb and disappearing through the wall of the vault.
With the deadly pressure gone, the Lord stood up, having survived the horrific ordeal. He walked over to where the light had vanished. A large hole as big as his head bore through four thick layers of metal and three of layers of stone, cleanly cutting through to the outside.
Looking at the ground, the Iesian box laid there with a large chunk of its corner torn off and on the other side of the room.
-Elsewhere, 2 years ago. Kinu, 8th Turn-
In the Darkness that was its prison, the entity silently flexed is strength, prodding for the seal’s weakness. Brimming with power that it had conserved, it waited patiently for its chance to escape.
After unknown days of waiting, a new strength began flowing into it. The time had arrived. The seals had weakened after countless attempts, and it was time to free itself of the invisible shackles that bound it to the prison.
Under a mountain, buried deep underground in a long forgotten shrine of sealing, a large box made of wood began to twitch. From within, a metal blade pierced through the side of the box, releasing a shockwave that shook the whole mountain range. Animals scattered as nesting birds and drakalls took to the air, flying away from the danger that was to come.
From within the earth, a dreadful aura gushed forth as the mountain was instantly cleaved into halves.
As the shaking stopped and the dusts settled, it revealed a large fissure that tore through the center of the mountain range from one side to the other, cutting through two peaks. At the epicenter was the buried sealing shrine and wooden box. Arms of metal suddenly shot out of the crack and pried open the box before smashing it to bits. The arms melded together and formed a figure of pitch black, calmly looking around itself. The figure neither shined nor reflected light, instead looking like an endless void that threatened to do the very opposite.
“Master.” A single word reverberated through the gorge as it transformed into a sword, falling and embedding itself into the earth. Before long, the sword started to glow then suddenly vanished in a flash of light.
A familiar scene. A familiar scent. Looking around, he was within a forest.
It was still early morning, but stray rays of sunlight came through the forest canopy, enveloping bits of the underbrush in a transcendent glow. A chilling breeze swept through and he shuddered. He noticed he was hiding underneath a thick layer of scented reikin leaves, concealing his scent and presence. A sense of Déjà vu hit him and he realized where he was. Although camouflaged, he knew that two other members of the mercenary guild were also there with him: one inside the hollow of a tree and the other up a different tree, both across from his position.
Their little team of three was hunting a cadrian, a subspecies of wolves that had horns. Although a rare behavior, the beast had been injuring hunters from the nearby village of Allavak, eventually forcing the village to contact the mercenary guild.
The three of them had already set a bait and trap a good distance away from the cadrian’s burrow. Their plan was to lure it out and capture it so that they can dispatch it swiftly and cleanly.
He knew the beast was sleeping peacefully within the burrow. He could sense it. Magic would easily take care of it, but that was not why he joined the mercenaries. He needed to learn how those without magic dealt with such problems, and to ready himself for the years ahead if he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. The experts of the guild had been kind enough to allow him to follow along, knowing that he could defend himself if the need arises.
A hollow voice, overflowing with power echoed in his mind as he silently crouched in the hiding spot. ‘******?’ After nearly two years, one of the familiars had finally made contact.
‘At Last.’ The voice replied.
‘Where are–?’ Before he could finish his question, a sphere of light manifested in front of him. Like a little sun, the orb was pure white, yet it did not radiate any light or heat. Staring at it, the orb neither burned his eyes nor gave him any discomfort.
‘This is wrong,’ He thought to himself. ‘This is not what happened.’ As soon as the thoughts entered his head, the orb in front of him exploded, engulfing him and everything around him.
Wide awake, he sat up on his bed. It had been a dream of when the familiar returned to him two and a half years ago. Except, at that time, he had commanded the spirit to wait for him to be alone before revealing itself.
“Vishan.” Kaidus spoke, addressing the elemental.
“Master.” A familiar voice answered and an orb of calming pure white manifested in front of him. Around him, the room was still dark.
“What did you do?” Something was wrong and he could sense it.
“What You Could Not.” It hesitantly answered.
“Tell me.” A calm yet deathly tone escaped his mouth.
“A Lesson For Those Who Knows Not Their Place. A Blind Man Needs No Sight.”
“That was unnecessary.” He replied, grasping what the light spirit had done. Kaidus got off the bed and moved to his dresser.
“A Necessity. A Warning.” The orb replied back.
“Unnecessary. The world is no longer what it used to be. Actions like that will only bring more trouble than they are worth. I’ve told you this already.”
“I Will Tolerate Those Who Are Close To You Even If They Mock You. I Can Endure Those Who Know Not What You Are. What I Will Not Do, Is Pardon Those Who See Your Strength, Yet Refuses to Understand Their Position. What I Will Not Forgive Is Those Who Degrade You, Forcing You To Bend Before Them.” The orb replied, unwavering in its conviction.
“Ha…” Kaidus sighed, making his displeasure obvious.
Having lived through a portion of his previous life with them, he understood Vishan’s reasoning. His Spirits were extremely proud and protective of him, but the world now is very different from the one where they had to defend him from their enemies at every turn. He thought the spirit had come to understand such a difference after almost three years, but it seems that was not so.
Putting on a long-sleeved shirt he took out of his dresser, he moved over to the window. Pulling aside the curtains, dim moonlight entered his room. The moon was setting, but it was not yet dawn. He still had time. “I have been too lenient. Next time such actions are taken against my will, I will restrict your movements and strength. That goes for all of you.”
“Masssterrrr.” A tone of compliance hissed.
“This one Obeys.” Another voice grounded in his head.
“Understood… Master.” Vishan’s voice spoke in reluctant confirmation.
Opening the window, a cold breeze blew into the room. Without another word, a thought launched him into the sky, moving toward the Inner wards.
“…Found! Lockdown the 13th ward and send words to my mages!” His voice boomed through the room. Even without sight, he commanded his servants with reason and authority.
“Dear, you must rest. Who knows what else is wrong with you. At least let the physicians look at you.” His wife’s voice cut through his commands and begged him.
“I CAN REST WHEN I HAVE THAT FUCKER’S HEAD IN MY HANDS!” He shouted. He had already sent words to his royal knights and they would be here by morning. His mages had already combed through the palace for any suspicious magic residue, and he had all his palace guards searching the 13th ward.
“But you said yourself, you don’t kno…”
Voices started getting distant and his wife’s words became muffled. “Speak up!” He shouted, but even his shout sounded like whispers in his ears. An ominous feeling swept through the chamber and everything became dead silent.
“My apologies for the uninvited visit, your majesty.” A familiar voice clearly resounded through the room. One that spoke to him not even a day ago.
“You…” The hair on the back of his neck stood up and he could feel cold sweat running down his body. His arms started to shake uncontrollably, realizing who the assassin is. His thoughts instantly jumped to Headmaster Nylen’s words.
“Y-you did this. This is TREASON! GUARDS!! WHERE ARE YOU?!” He shouted, but only silence answered him.
“Vishan. Restore his light.” The young boy’s voice issued words of command, and as it happened before, his world was instantly filled with an eerie white. “GAHHH!!!!” Pain once again seared his eyes and he screamed out.
He felt himself fall to the ground, unable to withstand the pain.
As before, the burning eventually vanished and he slowly opened his eyes to the darkness of night. He was still in his bedchamber, but those around him were all lying on the ground—including his wife. Before him stood the young boy from the previous afternoon. “What have you done?!” He screamed in anger and glared at the unassuming boy, having forgotten what kind of situation he was in.
“Watch Your Tone, Ungrateful One.” An orb materialized before him and a beam of light protruded out like a sword, stopping before his chest. It was the same orb that had blinded him earlier, speaking with the same tone and mannerism.
“Vishan.” The boy spoke and the ball instantly vanished. “They are fine. They are merely unconscious,” The boy explained and made a graceful bow with his head low. “We don’t have much time, but I am here to apologize for everything my spirit did. I know that we parted on less than amicable terms and this only complicates things, but I hope we can put all this behind us and start anew.”
“You think an apology is enough for everything I’ve suffered?!” The disposition of a king returned to him and he lashed out, seeing that his life was not the objective. “You think you can waltz into my palace, into my chambers and waltz out without any repercu–?!”
The boy lifted his head and his stare instantly silenced Sarjace. “Don’t misconstrue my conduct as a sign of weakness, ‘Your Majesty’.” A different tone of voice came out of the young boy’s mouth.
King Sarjace shuddered and his mouth slammed shut. The voice was cold, filled with malice, and swam through the air as if tangible.
The boy took a step closer to him. Looking at the young boy now, the piercing black eyes from yesterday’s audience was glowing with an otherworldly bluish hue. While it shone beautifully, there were no emotions presiding in them. “I came to personally apologize for this matter. I did not need to do such a thing, yet here I am.” The boy’s cold eyes locked onto his. “I could have stayed my hands. Denied knowing anything and the whole city would be searching for a phantom. Yet instead of that, I came and restored your vision. Even revealed myself and extended my hand, offering a new beginning; a clean slate between the two of us as a show of apology. It is up to you if you wish to take it.” The boy spoke, staring at him. “But if a genuine apology and offer of goodwill is beyond your comprehension and you wish to strike back, let me make one thing clear to you. An army will not save you. Your life was already mine to do with as I will the moment we met. No one in this city can save you from me. Leave me and my family alone, and I shall do the same for yours.” The boy turned around and walked to the window. “Again, I am truly sorry for what my spirit did. It will not happen again.” The boy apologized one last time before opening the window. A sudden gust swept him up and the boy was gone.
“What just…” King Sarjace stared at the window, filled with disbelief. He wasn’t sure if everything had been a dream but around him, the six guards who had been stationed inside the bedchamber to protect him laid on the cold floor. Servants were strewn about, laying on the ground without order or reason, falling where they stood. His wife’s body slumped on the chair where she had been sitting—talking to him only moments before.
He brought his hand to her mouth and felt her warm breaths. He gently placed his palm on her chest and felt it rising up and down. She was alive. Carrying her to the bed, he set her down gently before moving to the chamber doors.
Opening them, he looked outside but all he could see was bodies lying about, all were undoubtedly unconscious.
‘He could have killed me, and no one would have known who did it.’
The realization finally dawned on him and he his body went limp, falling to his knees. For such a dangerous individual to freely enter and exit his chamber that is located on the 3rd floor of the palace, at the same time simultaneously knocking out everyone within and around it, he couldn’t believe it. “This is why I should reconcile with him…” He told himself, looking around the room and remembering Headmaster Nylen’s reasoning, along with Evelyn’s incessant advice. “So much for being the King… What would you have done in this situation Father?” A dull silence filled the room. “No. Don’t tell me. You wouldn’t have been foolish enough to allow things to escalate this much.” he spoke out loud so that he could hear his thoughts. “You’d have welcomed him with open arms and accepted his denial with a smile, opting for friendship after his refusal wouldn’t you?” He tried to stand up but couldn’t.
His thoughts moved to the cold eyes that were just looking at him moments ago. “How can such a young child have eyes like that…” He muttered. Powerful eyes that carried death and destruction. Sarjace couldn’t help but tremble, remembering the boy’s threats. The look the boy gave him spoke volumes about the extents that the boy would go to if he tried to retaliate.
Kneeling alone amidst the unconscious bodies of his servants, guards, and a few knights in the hall, he saw for himself what awaited him should he strike back.
Kaidus awoke to the sound of Lance crying. Listening, he could hear Adalina’s footsteps making its way up the stairs.
It was a peaceful morning as usual, and not a single thing felt out of place.
There was a knock at the door during breakfast.
Opening the door, a knight wearing a full plate of armor except for his helmet stood at the entrance with a large horse standing in the street. “Good morning.” The man greeted Kaidus with a smile.
“May I help you?”
“A letter and a parcel for you.” The man pulled out a letter with a royal seal along with a small hand sized bundle. “It’s a little late, but congratulations for winning the arms competition. I saw your two final matches. You were amazing for one so young.”
“Thank you.” Kaidus replied, taking the letter and small bundle.
“Well then, have a good day.” The knight gave him a friendly smile before mounting the horse and riding away.
Breaking the seal, Kaidus unfolded the letter.
I apologize for my unruly behavior. It was unfit for one who calls himself King.
I’ve thought about what you said and if it is not too late, I wish to extend my hand with yours for a new beginning between the two of us. I fully accept your stance and refusal, but hope that I may be able to call on you in the future should the need arise. Not as King and subject, but as two people who wish for the betterment of the country.
As a show of my sincerity, I have included a medallion with the royal crown insignia, the symbol of Dalzon royalty. If you ever require help or access to me, show it to the gate keepers and they shall allow you into the 13th ward, no questions asked. I understand that this gesture is miniscule compared to what someone of your caliber deserves, but it is the best I can do without forcing your hand once again.
Even if it is too late, hold onto it in case you ever need it.
Sarjace J. Roulus Dalzon XII’
When faced with an overwhelming opponent, one either submits or fights to the very end. The content of the letter sounded genuine enough, yet he couldn’t help but be suspicious.
“Kaidus! Breakfast is getting cold!” Troyle shouted from the kitchen.
He was still standing at the doorway with the door wide open.
“What was that about?” Troyle questioned as he returned.
“A letter and this.” Kaidus handed the letter to Troyle while he opened the bundle.
The events of yesterday had already been discussed with his parents. They regretted his decision, but it was his choice and they couldn’t help but consent to it. Having given the letter to Troyle, he was thankful, the letter had nothing about the previous night’s visit.
Opening the bundle, he revealed a perfectly circular golden medallion with an intricate crown in the middle. Three tiny gemstones were embedded into the crown and the medallion itself was masterfully crafted. It emitted a faint trace of magic and had a soft warm glow.