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The Rift Dancer

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1The Rift Dancer Empty The Rift Dancer on Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:16 pm

Chapter 1: Who I am?

Waking up...

That day I heard the falling water from somewhere high in the sky, the wind was blowing, birds were making chirping noises and I was able to feel that something was lying on my right hand. I slowly opened my still sleeping eyes, my eyes were hurting from the brightness of the area as my vision was blurred out, my breathing was slow and my feet were cold, the rate of my heart was slow but with time it got faster and my vision became a little clearer. Finally I was awake, I was lying flat on my back... somewhere near the forest that I never seen before, it was strange, because it felt like the first time I was able to glance at my own hands... I found myself on a tiny island, which was somewhere in the center of the lake, there were some strange creatures, mostly made of pure water, roaming near the lake, then I glanced up in the sky and I noticed that there were several islands floating in the air, the sound of the falling water that I was hearing before, was coming from these islands, because one of them had a waterfall. The area itself was hazy and moist. After taking a long glance at my surroundings I looked at my right hand, it appeared that I was holding an empty notebook with several notes torn off. "Just where am I?" - I asked myself.

What is this place? Why I am lying here? Why I am holding this notebook? And who exactly I am? These were the main questions that I had in my mind. I was not sure who I was... The confusion filled up my head to the point where I started to feel a heavy headache. I was just lying... my head was just too empty it seemed that my existence just started at that point. I wasn't sure why I understood so much about everything, but my memories were empty or maybe I never had them, but I just had this feeling that I've been in this place before and the place itself appeared pretty messy, it looked like someone was fighting here some years ago. I was just looking up to the sky wondering who I was. What was my name anyway... I was sure that I had a name before, but  did I really? However, I did not know my name... I was just sure that I've been living a long life before, but I had no memories of it, or maybe this was the day when I began to exist? I just needed to relax but it was not an easy task, because my head was light like wool and was slowly filling itself with all these questions of who was I.

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Somehow I managed to get up, it was hard at first, because there was a weird, huge black-colored sword strapped to my back, it had a sinister look and a dark substance was leaking from the sword. Maybe I am some kind of fighter? But I had no idea of how to use that thing and my body felt a little too weak and small to be able to easily swing this sword back and forth. I observed the place, there were a lot of trees but also I could see the mountains in the horizon and in another side there were plains full of greenery. I took several breaths into my lungs, they were filled with the freshness of the air here and when I exhaled everything I was able to feel fresh aroma coming out from my lungs.

I moved near the water and then I saw my own reflection in the water, I bent down on my knee to take a better look. I saw a hooded man dressed in black, his skin was pale and he had these red eyes, that were able to look through one's soul, a white long hair and a tattoo with a strange pattern on the left side of his face - That was me... It was hard to believe that this reflection belonged to me, I mean I never saw myself before, this was the first time when I was able to take a look at myself, Yet I was not sure if it was me, maybe it was a dream? This confusion was driving me crazy, I just wanted to hit my head against something hard to end myself, but if I appeared here... then maybe someone needed me? This is why I did not really do it, I just decided to get away from this place. I placed this empty as my life notebook into this brown backpack that I was carrying on my right side and started to move.

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Despite the fact that I knew nothing about myself, not even where was my home or what was my name I continued to wander around this place aimlessly, hoping to find a decent place to stay. This place seemed to be devastated, it was mostly gray in color and the sky was always cloudy, the further I traveled from the place where I woke up, the more devastated this place seemed, bad lands everywhere, weird and also scary creatures were ganging up in the darkest corners... I came across several farms, the local farmers told me more about this place and I finally learned how it was called. Brusthonin it was, it felt blank and dark, also I was able to feel the coldness of this place and the looks of those creatures around were creeping me out and making me somewhat nervous. Was this hell or reality? I did not know anything and yet I walked on this land, was I even supposed to be here? I was just taking slow steps and thus I walked aimlessly for several hours until I found a path to a mysterious village.

The village was hidden between mountains or were those tumors growing from the ground hills? I noticed that the grass was green there and some parts were filled with flowers, also there were a lot of tress with beautiful pink colored leaves around the branches, it was very lively here, I could hear whispers of the people and the sound of them working and talking to each other. The most beautiful thing was a giant tree, which contained a giant, cyan, glowing crystal thing in the middle, it was shining with life. I could not describe how it actually looked but it was very beautiful and before the tree there was a tall and shady person standing, it was facing that tree...

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Azure and Simon.

That person was just standing there, looking at the tree, he was dressed in black clothes and looked tall and muscular, he also had claws and a huge runic blade on his back. His breathing was heavy, because I was able to see a dense steam coming out from his nose every time he exhaled the air. He was one scary guy, but I still had to approach him, because I felt that he was the right person to speak to in this village, he looked like a leader or someone else that was important to this village. I decided to approach him silently, however he managed to sense me from behind and then he suddenly grabbed on the hilt of his runic blade and turned around, pointing his blade before me, only a couple of millimeters away from my throat. Actually he was holding a blade this big only with one of his hands and instead of showing his face, he was wearing a black metallic mask, it made him even more scary and mysterious.

I became nervous at that moment, my heart rate skyrocketed and my body became stiff from fright. The titan before me using his strong tone began to talk something about the tree of life but I could not really remember his words, because I was more concerned about my safety. I wanted to run but my legs were too stiff, I wanted to use my own sword but my hands were shaking.. however the big man lowered his blade for some reason and said - "Simon."

I was sure that Simon was a name, I just knew it... but who was Simon, where was Simon? I looked over my shoulder to make sure that no one was standing behind me... but there was nothing, and then I turned back at him and asked who was this mysterious Simon. I was shocked by his answer he said that it was me. Was it really me? How does he know me? This was the first time when I met him and he actually said my name, how could a stranger know what my name is, not even I knew my name. Somehow he was able to know it, maybe I really used to be here? Maybe I was existing before? What if I lost my memories? My head became heavy once again, it felt like my brain cells were melting and that my brain was boiling like an egg in a pan. I was full of questions and I began to question the tough guy...

He told me a lot of things, about this village, it's name was Baltasar Hill Village, I even used to be living here before, but I was just unable to remember a thing about my past. He told me that all the darkness was gathering here and that we used to be partners and friends, he also told me that I was his master but he clearly looked stronger and wiser than me. It seemed that everyone was waiting for my return and so whispers began to build between the villagers.. "The master has returned!", "Look Simon is back..", "Is that Simon?"... I just had no idea what was going on. Then the tall muscular man in a mask told me his name, it was Azure.. a strange name but I heard it somewhere, not sure where, how and when but I'm sure that I heard it and felt something more to him, it was my first time that I met him but also I felt a deep connection to him, maybe it was because we were friends in the past, I was not sure about it... My head was a total mess... I asked him why I am a master? He answered me that this Baltasar village used to be our base and that we were fighting for some reason, we were dark at heart, "So I guess I was not a good person before I lost my memories?" But my sword and his speech explained that I was a fighter in the past. I could not fully believe him, maybe he was just playing with my empty head and wanted to trick me, but I guess it's better than nothing, now at least I have a name, even though it may be a fake name, but even if I was Simon then I will have to find out how I lost my memories. Also he was wearing the same clothes as I had, so maybe he was telling me the truth after all... Azure gave me two options, the first one was to leave this place, because I lost my sanity and the second one was to take my place as a master. His words were pretty harsh, but since I had nowhere to stay I chose to be a master, at least now I will have some friends and a roof above my head.

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Master has returned...

We were staring at each other for several minutes, but then Azure thought of a solution how to restore my memories, "There is a cure." - Azure said. I became excited, maybe this thing will fix me up and I will be able to regain my memories and my old personality, because I feel so empty right now. He motioned with his hand to follow him and so I did it...

We arrived to the pub, it was almost empty, only two tables and four benches were present in the area... oh and also a counter with a pretty girl behind it. We took our seats and then Azure showed some weird but also extremely badass looking gesture with his hand and then the girl behind the counter pulled out a bottle from behind and placed two big glasses on the counter, she then filled them with a bourbon colored liquid. "This must be the cure!" I thought to myself but actually I was wrong it was a weird but extremely good tasting liquid. I gulped it down in one go, the whole glass was emptied in the matter of seconds. I placed the glass on the table and then I told Azure that even if I lost my memories I will try to be a good master for this village, he stood up and extended his arm down to me to give a shake, saying - "Welcome back, master" , I got up from the bench too and shook his hand as well.

The people in the village were dancing from joy that their master has returned, though I knew nothing about myself but I thought that I would be capable to do this, even if it was not the right thing to do. I will regain my memories, whatever happened to me in the past I will try to fix everything and no matter for how long I was absent, with my return I will fight for this village and my new and only friend Azure! We then dressed up in our party costumes and joined the dancing people.

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After a long day I finally got a chance to sleep in a comfortable bed, but before falling asleep many thoughts crossed my head... What was my purpose? Will I really be able to regain my memories? Will I be a capable master... just what kind of bond I used to have with Azure? He seems pretty scary, but he is my friend or at least he was my friend before all this happened... just what I am going to fight and live for? I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, still thinking about what is going to happen next. Actually I am scared of the future, but I am even more scared of my unknown past, I guess I must thank Azure for everything, if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be lying on this comfortable and soft bed, he is a good man actually, but I wonder if I was good before my memory loss, I will never know for sure... I will do something to find out about my past but now I don't know where should I look for my past. My head feels heavy again, but this time from lack of sleep, for now I should sleep, but in the morning I will start a new life as Simon...

Last edited by SimonC on Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:14 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Blah, blah, blah... still needs more work.)

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2The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:04 pm

Visiting Poeta.

My day began when I woke up in my bed, I still had no clue of who I was before. This made me fall into anxious and depressed thoughts... Just what happened to me? All these thoughts of my existence here made my head spinning, I just wanted it to end this roller coaster of delusional thoughts as soon as possible, but it was not for my power and I felt empty like never. However this day was different, not because I felt this way, but because I had a grain of hope sticking out in the furthest reaches of the unfolding horizon. A hope that would help to bring my memories back, if it even was possible... For the time being I just tried to relax as I placed my thoughts aside. I let out a loud and log yawn, such a good sleep it was, I glanced through the window to get a view at the village, it looked peaceful and really beautiful... Unlike yesterday when everyone were celebrating my return, they were disturbing the aura of quietness around the village. I guess I was really something to them, funny thing was that I never thought that I would be so special when I woke up yesterday, but still it was so heart warming, because there are people that I can count on. I turned away from the window and then fully got up from my bed, I dressed up in my party outfit that I was using yesterday, frankly the reason for my unusual appearance was that I actually forgot where I left my old clothes, I just shrugged ant thought that I will find them eventually. Thus I decided to go for a little walk around the village.

After walking for some minutes I met Azure, who was in his party outfit as well, we greeted each other by nodding. We did not talk too much, because it appeared that Azure wasn't a man of big words and as for myself I could only give annoying questions, because I had an empty head, however the silence was breached when Azure suggested me to visit a place called as Poeta. Also he added that this might bring some of my memories back, because we used to hang out there a lot in the past. I guess that wasn't a bad idea, after all I had nothing good to do and lots of free time, "So why not?" - I thought. Azure showed me a strange ball, actually it was a teleportation orb. He said that this thing was able to transport us there in an instant. He smashed the teleportation orb against the ground and suddenly a miraculous spiraling light enveloped us and we were quickly teleported away from the place.

Finally we appeared in this Poeta town, Azure told me that we were in Akarios village, which is located in Poeta of course. The town was kind of boring and blank but a weird sensation crossed me that I was here before, I was even able to remember the architectural design of the church, which stood in the village. A small village it was, only some buildings and humans, who were minding their own business, also a lot of chicken-like creatures were walking around, they looked pretty tasty actually. I wanted to roast one of them and eat it, but I did not feel like abusing animals that day. Azure asked me whether I remembered something or not, I just shrugged in response and after a little break of silence I said that this place was familiar, but I never been here before at least as I could remember. I probably spent a lot of time in this little village prior my memory loss. There was a little girl standing before us, she was dressed in blue as I can remember, she looked pretty scared for some reason. I think the cause of that were us two, we looked pretty scary in these outfits and also we had wicked weapons on our backs. We were just casually talking to each other but the girl was so afraid that she decided to leave the village. Azure then made another joke of how I scared that poor little creature, actually this little and meaningless scene made me crack a smile. I never thought that we were so scary in the past, well just as I guessed at first we were really the leaders of some criminal organization. But the best thing of all was that we were doing completely nothing here, we were just positioned in our usual spot, which was located by the tree, where a lot of locals used to sit by... or at least this is what Azure told me.

Giant women!?

We were just standing and doing nothing at all, like statues... I never thought that we would be so silent and boring, but since there was nothing to do here it was alright, this silence helped me to relax. In all honesty, this world appeared to be full of surprises... examples of these surprises would be,- magical trees in villages, people with claws and fur on their backs, weird creatures, teleportation, magic, floating islands, monsters... this world had it all but even more surprises caught my attention in the matter of minutes... and one of them was giant women.

Two girls were talking to each other near the entrance of the village, now that was not a big surprise that they were talking, they were having it as usual... But the shocking truth was standing in this village! One girl was just taller than an average human but the other one was about twenty feet  tall! They were not normal, somehow I always imagined women as shorter and weaker than men even after I lost my memory, I just had this instinct, but the shocking truth was that all of them were just giant! Azure told me this and he even said that those two were nothing compared to the others, who were just massive. I was amazed and yet a little scared of what he told just now, because I could never imagine that I used to live in the land full of giant women. This world is just wonderful and yet scary.

Hatred and the sword.

More time has passed... We were just standing and I was still wondering what will be the other thing that I will learn about this world. I never knew how it was called so I decided to ask Azure what was it's name. Azure answered me that this was Atreia. This world was shattered into two and at the middle there a place called as Abyss, he suggested me to take a look up at the sky and I did as he tell. It looked marvelous, so marvelous... it appeared to be like a ceiling in the sky, which was illuminated with bright and marvelous lights that were formed into various ornaments. I decided that one day I would definitely take a visit there. He said that Abyss was a war zone and that he also liked it... 'I guess we have something in common even if I barely know him in my current state.' The thing was I just wanted to know more about him and how good we were to each other, even at my current state I was able to tell that I had this strange connection to him, I did not know how to put this in words, however words had no meaning in that situation.

For the time being I was just looking at the Abyss as my head became heavy again from all these thoughts... I became angry, yes angry at myself, because I forgot all these good times that we spent together... My heart started to beat faster and I had this sensation that the rage was about to explode from inside, I lowered my head, gritted my teeth and clenched my fists to suppress this anger, but this hatred and confusion in my head made it even worse. The great sword on my back reacted to my feelings, like it was connected to me. A mysterious dark mist began to spread from my blade, it almost covered my body and then I heard voice in my head, it was crying out loud, like trying to say something, but I could not understand anything, the only thing that I was feeling at that moment was pain in my heart, it was killing me from inside. Azure noticed that something was happening to me and so he grabbed my sword by the hilt and removed it from my back, the pain that I was feeling in my heart vanished in an instant, but a black substance leaked out from the blade and passed through Azure's skin, merging with Azure's body. I was not sure what was that thing, but I hoped that it would not cause trouble later. Azure then explained that there was something really wrong with my sword, not only that he never seen it before, but that it also appeared dangerous. He mentioned that in the past I used another sword, which was made from dragon-tooth. I was not sure how to respond, but I decided to be careful with this sword. 'Who knows what might happen in the future...' Some time has passed again and we decided to head home to our base. Today I learned nothing new about my past but it was not meaningless, because I actually learned something about Atreia.

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Last edited by SimonC on Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Enhanced edition is in progress, for now I'm fixing the typos. A further edition to this post will be required. xD)

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3The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:38 am

Back to Poeta!

I found myself lying in the corner of the bar, bad smell was coming from my mouth, my haircut was all stubby and messed up... not to mention that I had unbearable headache. I was holding an empty bottle in my right hand but as soon as I looked around the place my view was filled with empty bottles of vodka everywhere. Vodka huh? So I guess this is what I've been drinking... but I could not even remember how I started to drink last night. Probably there was something with my head since I lost all my memories. I barely got up and went outside the bar to get some fresh air, before going out I grabbed two bottles of that "cure" thing, I still did not know it's name and yet it was my favorite drink.

Once I left the bar, I decided to look for Azure. To my own surprise I managed to find him in no time, he was standing outside the entrance of the bar. We greeted each other with our usual nod and then I asked him whether he wanted to drink with me or not. It was a no-brainer he gladly accepted my offer as he snatched a bottle of this "cure" from my grasp, after then he just poured everything into his mouth, actually the liquid passed through his mask. Just how the hell did he do it? His mask and face was a big mystery to me, I was not even sure if I saw him taking his mask off before losing my memories. "Oh well.."- I sighed, Atreia was a magical place to begin with, so it was not a big deal for him. I promised to myself that one day I will take his mask off and see his face. Thus Azure seemed to be doing fine, at least that was what I hoped for... Well he was a mysterious man and he had this insulting attitude, technically I had no problem with that since he seemed nice to me, but he did not get along with others well. Probably I was a very nice person to him in the past, so that was why we became friends or maybe I was just like him... I was just happy that I became his friend even after I lost my memories. Soon after we finished drinking we decided to give a visit to Akarios village again. Before leaving I snatched a teleportation orb from the local store.

We arrived to Akarios village, which was located in Poeta if I remembered the name correctly. Nothing special was going on there, so we decided to rest by the tree... There were some people there, there was this dwarf sized guy and a little girl... I was unsure if I met those two in the past, but it looked like Azure knew them, because he was able to talk freely with those strangers. For a moment I wast just thinking about all these things and how good would it be if I regained my memories, even if it was impossible I just wanted to regain a little part of my memories of how I met Azure and what we've been doing before I forgot everything... But why did I forget everything? Did I fall from a high cliff headfirst and damaged my brain.. or maybe someone just deleted my memories, or I just wanted to forget everything myself? For a time being I just shrugged off these thoughts and returned to reality.

After long silence Azure talked to me. We began to talk about trivial things like there was nothing worthy of slicing in half in this village. So it looked like that I was not a good person in the past, maybe I was a murderer.... but I could not run from my past, even if I was to start a new life the past would catch up to me eventually. I merely sighed and came up with a suggestion that we should hunt for some quoquos' in the village. Quoquos' were chicken-like creatures, they looked very delicious when roasted. Actually I was hoping to see some giantesses that day. But I was unlucky or maybe Azure was just making fun of me when he said that this place was full of giant women, well yes I saw two tall women last day, but still it could be that only those two were the tall ones around Atreia and others were normal. Well on the other hand Azure did not seem to be a liar type. Talking about giant women I was wondering whether they were tasty or not... and since Azure seemed strong enough to defeat someone, who was ten times taller than him, so why not? Maybe we should hunt giantesses in the near future and then cook them for dinner? It will not be an easy task, but I was just confident that we were suited for this kind of thing. We were talking randomly for several minutes but it was a fun chat, so I had no problem with it at all.

A look to the past and new promises.

Silence broke out... I was so empty... I had nothing to talk about with Azure, this was my limit, maybe I was a silent guy like Azure in the past after all or maybe it was because I did not know what to say anymore, because we just met and I knew nothing about him. My head filled up with thoughts about the past again, I sighed and looked up to the sky... I then glanced at Azure and decided to give him some questions. The first question I gave him was - "How long I was absent?" Azure answered - "Two years." Damn... I was gone for two years, what I've been doing for the last two years that I can't even remember a damn thing about my past, at first I did not even know my name... Ah... and I should be thankful to Azure, if I did not meet him, I would been still wandering around, clueless about my past and even my name. I wondered if we had enemies in the past, so my second question to him was this...

His answer was yes, indeed we had one enemy in the past, actually it was a woman and she was a giant woman too... But she was not an ordinary giantess, she was a Goddess, she was very powerful. She was related to some Goddess named as Ariel and her own name was Triniel, the lady of death. Azure told me that two years ago she attacked us and we were forced to face her in battle, it was a deadly battle... She had size advantage, but according to Azure we were a great team, so we managed to hold our own against her... but ultimately we lost. We were defeated, it was our first battle when we were defeated. We were lucky to be alive but it was not enough, we were forced to live with shame inside of our hearts. After that battle Azure never seen me again, I just disappeared without a trace. I clenched my fists tightly and marked my words that we will definitely get our revenge, maybe I left because I was ashamed? I told Azure that we will hunt Triniel down one day and make her pay. Azure just smirked, even if his face was hidden beneath his mask I could still feel how he was smirking. It looked like he took a liking to my idea, maybe this is how I was before? Maybe I was this blood thirsty before? Just who I was?

Finally... I told Azure how I really felt and promised him that from now on I will be looking for ways to regain my memories, because I really wanted to know him more and not only act like his old buddy but also to be his real friend. This was my new purpose... to regain my memories and defeat Triniel. But there was only one thing that really reached my soul, it was Azure... he told me that his purpose was to protect me and lead me to glory or demise, I was not sure why he was so devoted to me but I guessed that I was his only friend after all... His words strengthened my purpose to regain my memories. I just wanted to know him more and repay him for his kindness, he truly was an amazing person. And this is where we separated, I used the teleportation orb that I snatched from one of Baltasar hill's stores before, and returned back to the base. I did not learn anything again but it was a good start to begin my journey. I gave a promise to Azure that I will definitely regain my memories and destroy Triniel no matter the odds!

Last edited by SimonC on Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:29 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : ...)

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4The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:02 pm

Chapter 2: Journey to the past.

Starting point.

I woke up early in the morning, thinking about where should I begin to search for clues, which could help me to remember something about what happened before I lost all of my memories. Yet I did not even know well about Atreia and what places were worthy visiting in the search of my absent memories. After I finished wondering... I decided to check one place, it was the same place where I opened my eyes for the first time after my memory loss. I silently passed through sleeping Azure and went to the bar, there I requested Sandvika for me to give a couple bottles of that 'cure' thing... Yep I still did not know how it's called, however in the end I was corrected by the barmaiden and finally got it's true name, it was whiskey. Oh man... whiskey is such a good thing, it is my favorite drink and it was probably my favorite one in the past. I placed two bottles of finest whiskey in Asmodea inside my backpack, I also grabbed some food, bandages and a teleportation orb for emergency, from the local store. I just had to prepare for this journey, because I was not planning to be gone for some hours; it might take me days or even weeks.

I just hoped that I will be able to learn something about my past, this whole thing about my memory loss was just saddening me, because it was not only for my leadership of Baltasar hill village or it's people, nor it was for Azure... I was just curious and really wanted to learn more about myself, what I was doing before all of this, who I was as a person, how I used to act before and what meaning Atreia had for me. I packed my supplies and finally began to walk, as I was leaving the village pink petals were flying around me, scattered in the air by the gust of cold breeze, before hitting the road I glanced back at the village for the last time and wondered if I will return with my memories back or not. After gazing at the village for a whole minute, which seemed prolonged, probably stuck in a time loop, I faced the opposite direction and began to run as fast as I was able to....

I was running through the ravaged fields of Brusthonin, avoiding the foul creatures, which were roaming around... I passed viscous swamps, beaches of polluted water, dark forests, on the way to my first stop I was forced to engage in skirmishes with wild beasts, my reflexes were pretty sharp, but I did not know how to use my sword, so I had to stick to the knife, which I was carrying in my backpack, I stained my hands with blood... and all of this was just a cycle of running and resting... running and resting... This cycle repeated over and over again until I finally reached my destination.

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This was the place where I woke up for the first time ever, it was as beautiful as the last time. I was not sure if I remembered anything by coming back, but I had a strong connection to this place. That little piece of land in the lake, seemed a little off. It seemed like it was split from the actual land, it was unnatural... Like someone used a giant blade and plunged it to the ground and then torn off the piece of earth and just tossed it on top of the lake. My guess was correct! Someone really had a fight here some years ago. With my hands I reached inside my backpack and gently pulled out that empty notebook that I was holding here when I woke up. I was glancing at it, but not a single memory entered my head. However this notebook itself seemed a little off, all of the pages were torn off except for the last one; the last page only had one word "Today". That was pretty weird, it was like someone did not want for me to find out what was written in the notebook.

It was late already and I had to take some rest, so I decided to sit down before the lake. I grabbed a bottle of whiskey and an empty glass from my backpack, I poured some of the whiskey into the glass and gulped it down as I was glancing at another side of the lake. I wondered why I was still carrying my sword with me, it was heavy and took a lot of space, and on top of that I knew nothing about sword mastery. There was no point at all, but maybe one day I will remember how to use it and when that day comes I will use it to defeat this Triniel person, even though I did not know anything about her except the fact that both I and Azure were defeated by her in the past... Hell... I wanted to beat her up so badly... I filled another glass with whiskey and thought about various things... First thing was this lake, then it was about our match with Triniel and lastly it was the notebook... These things seemed to connect somehow but I was not sure how, I still needed more evidence to come to a conclusion... but what if this was the place where we fought Triniel? I just shook my head and decided to relax for the time being, I fell asleep.

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Second day.

I've been asleep for the whole night. As soon as the dawn rose from it's slumber I got up and stretched myself, such a good sleep it was, despite feeling a little drowsy I was good to go. I learned nothing about my past in this place, but my hands were not empty as I managed to find some clues, in the end it did not turn out as a pointless visit. My next destination was Elysea. I learned that there was these two races in Atreia - Asmodians and Elyos; by the looks Asmodians have darker skin, glowing red eyes and fur on their backs, they also have claws. Elyos on the other hand are similar to me, they look normal. For a fact I knew that I was not aligned to Elyos, but maybe I was connected to them somehow, so that's why I had to check Elysea. Once I reached the nearest teleporter, I was warped to a random region of Elysea.

I found myself in some kind of beach, there was a weird looking building standing tall in front of me. To me it resembled a tree or a mushroom. In the horizon I was able to see the vast sea and some small and empty islands with nothing, but only sand and some palms growing. Crabs were circling around my feet, it was a great opportunity to hunt them and eat their meat, but I decided to leave it for later, because I had to look for some clues. I observed the beach carefully, this place felt really familiar... probably something important happened to me here in the past. However... I did not remember a single thing, I even wondered if my journey had an ending. If it was destined to go on like this, I would never be able to regain my memories.  I slowly approached the sea to take a look at my own reflection in the clear water, that strange tattoo on the left side of my face looked suspicious somehow, I wondered if I had it before. Even if I lost my memories, I could tell that I never had it before, it was just this strange "Deja Vu" feeling in my head that made it look so suspicious. Maybe it had something to do with my memory loss, I was not clear, but I just had this feeling... However I then tought - "How I will be able to remove this from my face?". After some time of thinking about crazy theories about my memory loss I decided that it was a perfect time to get something to eat.

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Being aware that I was completely inexperienced with my sword and that I was not able to hunt down a bigger prey, I swiftly pulled out a knife from my left sleeve. It was the same knife, which helped me to defend from animal attacks in Brusthonin. First of all I calmly approached the first crab, who was five meters away from me. I tightened the grip on my knife, which I was holding in my right hand. I held my breath down for a couple of seconds and then I swiftly crouched, stabbing my knife into the crab. I succeeded, the creature did not show any sign of life. I placed the carcass of the crab inside my backpack and then I went closer to the sea. The water was very clear, I was able to see fishes swimming in the water. I was not sure how I was able to do it, but they were swimming around slowly, maybe it was because I had inhuman reflexes? From my perspective fishes were swimming in slow motion. But it seemed that they were only slowing down when I was concentrating on them, when I blinked their speed returned to normal, but after some seconds of looking at them they slowed down again. Maybe I was a strong fighter in the past after all? I decided to catch some fish as well, actually it was easy, I managed to catch them with my bare hands. In the end I made a bonfire and roasted crab and fish, to give them a better flavor I poured some whiskey on top of them and lastly I enjoyed the great lunch.
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I did not even feel it, but the sun was already setting and the sky changed it's color into black. I was sitting on the sand looking up at the sky. The sight was beautiful as always, the Abyss was shinning brightly. I sighed and just gazed at it. "I will go there one day!" - I shouted out loudly. I've been living in Atreia now for a whole week, but I never met any other giantess, maybe Azure was kidding back then... It was just hard to believe that this place contained giant women. Maybe I never met one, because I was staying in my village all the time, but still it was the second day after my leave and I never met one. Well there was lots of more to discover in Atreia, so I had my hopes up. Talking about my inhuman reflexes, I never thought that I was this strong, maybe I was training for the past two years to defeat that Triniel person? Maybe if I found some giant women they will be able to tell me where can I find her? I decided to work on that after I regain my memories, because my resolve to defeat her was too weak. I felt completely nothing for her... Yes, it was true that I wanted to beat her up, because she almost killed me and Azure in the past, but I could not remember a damn thing what really happened back then, so I just had to wait and see for myself how badly I wanted to get revenge on her. This was my second day, since I left the village and I still was unable to remember a thing, at least I found some clues and I discovered some of my hidden abilities... What was waiting ahead was still a big mystery.

Last edited by SimonC on Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:34 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Work work)

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5The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:33 pm

Angel of the Abyss.

It was the third day... A man was lying on the sand, actually that man was me. I still could not remember a thing what happened in the past or how I lost my memories and my head was aching... but now it was usual, I got used to this pain. It felt like there were thousand knives stabbed into my head but it was usual in the mornings, so I did not really care. I got up on my feet and began to move, my next destination was  Abyss. I had no idea how to get there on feet but I was prepared - I had another teleporting orb! This one was special, it was designed to travel to the Abyss and it had multiple times of use. There was a note attached on the orb. "Gently squeeze the orb to activate it. You can use it ten times before it crumbles to dust." - This is what was written in the note;  Sounds easy.... I guess..  I squeezed the orb once - Nothing happened... I squeezed the orb twice - Nothing happened, I tried to hit it against the wall - Yep... Nothing happened.. It only bounced off and hit my forehead. Was I scammed? I paid twenty thousand kinah for this forsaken orb! I decided to try the old fashioned method, I smashed it against the ground - Yes... NOTHING HAPPENED! It only bounced off and hit my face, knocking me down on the ground... That was frustrating. I decided to try one more method, I began squeezing the orb as hard as I could, using my full strength. "Oops... I accidentally crushed it.." - I said. My only chance of travelling to Abyss was crushed by my own hand. I opened my palm, there was nothing but little pieces of purple coloured glass on my palm. Suddenly they began to glow and some dark energy began to spread from the pieces. The dark energy formed in to a portal.  The portal was leading to Abyss. It actually worked but the instructions were misleading! I dived into the portal.

A portal opened somewhere in the Abyss and I stepped out from the portal, amazed by my surroundings. Everything looked so cold and dark but it was beautiful at the same time, I could see many worlds floating in deep and vast space. It really seemed like a battlefield as Azure told me Abyss was a battlefield. Almost everything was glowing, I could feel weird energies all over the place, many weird creatures were living here, many dead bodies of the greatest warriors were scattered in this place... Even if it was a warzone it felt strange that it was almost empty, no one was fighting here. Maybe the war was already over? But still... I had to be on my guard... I was sure that I was in this place before, it is not because it felt simillar - It is because I fell in love with this place, it was like home to me. So calm, so scary, so beautiful, so dark...
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For a whole hour I was standing in one spot, I've never been this relaxed before. I felt a strange energy in my back, it was like I had one of my body parts extended. I closed my eyes, trying to concentrate on that feeling. The energy that I was feeling was my own and Abyss' energies connected to each other. I took one more breath and slowly opened my eyes, there was something on my back. There were wings on my back! I never thought that I had wings, I felt like an angel but I wasn't an angel or was I? My wings were huge, there were two big transparent wings with black edges, which resembled dragon's wings in shape and two smaller white ones, which resembled angel's wings. Everything made me wonder who I am? It was clear that I was not a human being, not a single human being has two pairs of magical wings. I decided to try out my new wings, I relaxed and leaped up to the air, it worked I shot up to the air like a bird. I felt like a professional, even though it was my first time flying... well maybe not the first time but it sure was a first time after I lost my memories. I was flying up and down, spinning in the air, doing weird tricks like a kid. It was fun, it even made me smile, it felt like I could do anything! It was truly a good feeling... Just like a bird I was flying wherever I want.
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After hours of flying around I saw a fortress, I decided to land there. Since I was not sure how to land properly I crashed into the ground headfirst.... and it worked! My face was all dirty and dusty, I brushed off dirt and dust with my hand and gave a glance to the fortress, which was before me. The building was pretty big and it seemed like it was guarded by some kind of lizard like creatures, they were standing on two feet and had tails growing from their backs, they were all scaled and armoured. I was a little scared but I decided to go inside anyway, I hoped that I will be able to find out something about my lost memories.
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I ran inside the fortress, the guards began to chase me but what a surprise they were way too slow for me or maybe I was too fast. I was looking back at them, their figures were dissapearing in the distance and finally they gave up chasing me. I looked forward and then I noticed that I was running right into a giant hole, my speed was way too high to stop, so I had to jump into the hole. I did not care how deep was that hole, because I knew that I will be able to fly out from the hole with my wings. I jumped right into the hole.

First fight.

I found myself in a huge hall, there were this "Lizard creature", the monster was muscular and it was wearing armour like those guards back then, he also was holding a huge curved blade with a red eye in the center and a small shield with his other hand. He was staring at me, breathing heavily. For a second it seemed that if I made a bad move he would charge at me, but I had to do something. I was aware that by invading the enemy territory I just can't leave it without getting involved in a fight. That Lizard continued to stare at me with its bloody eyes, I gave him the same stare, because I knew if my eyes wander somewhere else I will be a dead meat. Now it was a staring contest and I just wanted to explore this place calmly, gah..! What was I thinking!? "Fine I'll play with you a little." - These were my words leaded by fear and confidence at the same time.

The next thing I remembered was that it was running straight to me, swining its blade back he leaped up to the air and then aimed it at me. For me everything was in slow motion, I did not know how my ability of seeing everything in slow motion worked but it really was helpful in a moment like this. I quickly dashed to the right side avoiding its attack. The creature's blade impacted with ground and got stuck, he tried to pull it out as quickly as possible while making growling noises. I observed my surroundings and I noticed a pebble on the ground, I quickly snatched it from the ground and throwed it at the monster while aiming at its head. The pebble was sliced a part by its huge blade, the "Lizard" managed to unstuck its blade just at the right moment. I shrugged and thought that it was worth a try, my sword was pretty much useless in this situation, because I really had no idea how to use it. Monster charged at me again and once again I dodged its attack by jumping above its head, in the mid air I managed to quickly place my right foot on its curved sword and then with the left foot I kicked its face. From the impact with my foot monster took two steps backwards and then throwed its shield right at me. It hit my stomach area and blasted me several meters away, it was a deadly hit, no normal human being would be able to survive this, even I coughed with blood.

While I was lying on the ground, it was slowly approaching me, there was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, at that moment I wished to have Azure by my side. Azure looked way stronger than this ridiculous lizard, but I knew that this was my fight and that I had to win or else I will be dead and I will never be able to regain my memories. As it was approaching me slowly, I used that time to rest for a little and finally stood up, my own blood was dripping from my mouth... This was my chance... I had to use my sword... I grabbed the hilt of my really big sword with my both hands and drawed it out, it was very heavy to hold and I even wondered what was I thinking in the past when I used this friggin' sword! It was really hard to swing it around and balance it but it was better than nothing, also it was radiating a dark aura, so I guess it was a magical sword. My "friend lizardman" changed its pace, it was running in full speed, it was hard to keep up with its movements even when I was concentrating on it with my eyes. It quickly stopped, approximately two meters from me and then he extended its hand forward and tried to stab its blade right at my head. Luckily for me somehow I managed to block its sword with my own sword. Two blades collided, the tip of its blade was a couple of centimeters away from my nose, I just gulped and tried to deflect its blade and give it a finishing blow but the monster was too damn strong for me, it began to push me backwards...
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The only thing I could do at that moment was to wait for the right moment to give it a counter blow. I shouted at it. - "This is not the end you bastard!" And using my full strength I began to push the monster backwards. It flicked me to the side with its tail and from the momentum "Lizardman" moved forward a little. Now it was my perfect opportunity, using my remaining strength I approached it from the side and swinged my blade horizontally chopping its head off. The creature collapsed on its knees and I was victorious. It was my first victory... even if I forgot how to fight I still managed to slay a monster... My sword was too heavy to hold anymore and it just slipped out from my hands, I collapsed from exhaustion.

After several hours I managed to get up, it was time to leave. I will never come back to this fortress ever again! It was a stupid idea to wander in a territory full of weird creatures unprepared, it almost got me killed, but I was lucky to be alive I guess... It was nice to visit Abyss even if it did not help me to find clues about my past. I picked up my sword and then using my wings I took off from the ground. I flew out from the hole and after that I was high up in the sky, some of the archer type lizards tried to shoot me down but arrows were way too slow for me. To celebrate my victory I opened another bottle of whiskey while flying in the air. My next destination was Poeta, maybe I will learn something about my past in that place...

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6The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:38 pm


Finally - I reached Poeta, I was in Akarios village. It was a peaceful day like always, the village was crowded as hell, everyone were just minding their own business, it was a fresh day for short. The air seemed off though, it was way too noisy... I could not remember what everyone were saying or their voices, everything was so blurry and the faces... - they were familiar but I never met those people. Everyone of them were carrying swords or other weapons, it was like they were preparing for war or something. I heard a scream from somewhere, I couldn't recall from which direction it was coming from but it was loud and it felt like someone was calling for help. I got mashed in the crowd, trying to look for that person, who was screaming however I did not find that person...

The sky suddenly turned dark and the sun was replaced by crimson moon. I was hearing howling noises from everywhere but I was not sure who caused it. Everyone began to run around in the village, I could only hear sounds of metal and splattering blood, I glanced back at the church, which was about to burn to ash. I had only one choice - I had to draw out my sword! For some reason it was gone... I could not feel it on my back it was not on my back anymore. A dead body fell from the sky just before my feet and then the enemy finally showed itself. It was a wolf like creature, it looked like a human standing on two feet, also it was muscular and fit. The creature's arms looked very strong, its arms could shred me to pieces without any effort.

The creature was about to grab me but then a blade pierced its heart, it dropped dead. It was a total massacre, there were a lot of dead bodies everywhere, everything was burning. Humans were fighting against wolves, it was just crazy to watch. Akarios village turned into a battle zone, actually it did not look like Akarios anymore it was different... the place was familiar but nowadays everything was familiar so it was my imagination again, I even took a look at the sky - Abyss was replaced by plain darkness. Another wolf like creature was running at me, somehow I managed to shoot fire from my palms and defeat it. Somehow everything did not feel real but I was sure that everything was real, I was just too confused...

Almost every human being died, it was just too horrible to watch and for some reason I could not move my body - I wanted to run, I wanted to fight, I just wanted to contribute myself in this battle however my head was filled with fear and weakness. One of the wolf beings was about to inject its fangs into my neck but a weird woman jumped before me and opened her arms, sacrificing herself just to protect me. Wolf using his muscular arms torn off her arms and then using its fangs it opened her stomach and began to feed on her intenses. I became enraged and somehow a sharp sword appeared in my right hand, without hesitation I was ready to stab it into the creature's heart but I passed through it and was about to fall on the ground... Everything went black...

However I realized that it was only a very bad dream as I opened my eyes and found myself lying behind the church. It was my first time when I had a dream, it was strange but at the same time I felt alive. I felt alive, because even someone who lost his memories had a dream. It was a horrible dream but it was very important in my life and it seemed like I exprienced an event like this in the past, I just was not sure if it really happened in the past. I got up from the ground and was ready to move, it was the fourth day after I left Baltasar hill after all! I filled my backpack with supplies from the local vendor and prepared to explore Poeta.

Never ending journey.

Poeta was empty, only two or three people were there... They were complete strangers, some of them were women but not giant so I was out of luck again. Poeta was not the right place aswell, it was nice to visit it but I just wasted more of my time... Thus days were passing by... I've been almost everywhere... Heiron, Ishalgen, Beluslan, Pernon, Morheim, Oriel, Altgard, Pandaemonium, Sanctum... There wasn't a place which I did not explore. I lost the count of days after the first week... Time was just moving and moving forward. I even visited a library in Sanctum and learned almost everything about Atreia and its history, the "Lizard thing" that I was fighting back in the Abyss was a Balaur, that beach where I cooked fish was called Cantas Coast. I got involved in many fights too, I fought various Bandits and monsters from fairytales. I did alot of things and I was not sure how much time has passed anymore. Was I absent for weeks or months? So many nights drinking whiskey and so many days exploring the world...

My journey was just endless, everyday I've been doing the same thing all over again.. Why was I doing it? - I was not sure anymore. - I just moved forward and every night I believed that I will regain my memories on the next day, but it never happened. At least I improved myself, I became better... My mind and body became stronger than it was since the first time I woke up in the Lollu forest. I got a lot of expierence it was worth my time but it was not my goal. My only goal was to remember everything! But as the time went by my resolve began to slowly fade away. Maybe my memories were erased on a purpose? Maybe this way everything will be better?

I found some clues on the way and I began to wondering what if it was me and Azure the ones, who had a fight with Trinniel in the Forest of Lollu two years ago? I decided to ask Azure himself and finally I was ready to come back. It was a failure but it was a good journey, I learned many things, which will be useful in the future or maybe not... but the time will show. I was standing somewhere, on a high cliff and extended my wings and then flew away, dissapearing in the horizon. I used my last teleporting orb in the sky, which was for teleporting home. Spiraling light consumed my body and like a flash of thunder I dissapeared from sight.

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7The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:51 pm

Chapter 3: Journey continues.

Home... sweet home..?

Finally... after a long time... I finally came back to Baltasar Hill village. For me there was no better place than Baltasar Hill village to stay, my people and my friend Azure lives there, but there I always feel like a complete stranger. Azure told me that I was the leader of this village and his master in the past but was I really worth of this title? I was not sure how I used to be in the past and how I behaved around my people, what if I was cold and ignorant, what if I used my people as pawns for battles in the past? Ugh... just thinking about it made my head spin..  Everything would be good if I had my memories back but I returned empty handed, I failed... My only wish was to get along with everyone well in the village and for to happen I wanted to remember everything... I decided not to think about things like that for a time being, maybe I will be able to find other ways, to find a key for the doors of my past, I just had to hope...
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The  village was the same, nothing has changed. To be honest I've been living in a beautiful place in the past,  it was fresh and relaxing, cherry petals were scattered everywhere, the cold breeze was giving just the right temperature and atmosphere to the place and the tree of life was glowing like a huge diamond.  I greeted the villagers and announced my return to everyone there, I hoped to found Azure nearby but he was absent. I was out of luck again and I just wanted to drink some whiskey with him. I placed my unused supplies in the warehouse and decided to wash my body in a lake or somewhere else. The lake in the Lollu forest sounded like a fine deal, I extended my wings and skyrocketed to the air, it only took me a couple of minutes to get there. Once I was there I undressed and jumped straight into the lake. It was a good bathing.

After then I returned back to the village. I checked every corner of the village, I even tried to shout for him... but Azure was still absent. It made me a little worried but I just shrugged with my shoulders and sighed... There was no such a being who could easily harm Azure. Still it was a little sad that he was gone; he's my only and true friend after all. I decided to drink whiskey alone. I went to a pub, as usual my favorite bar maiden, Sandvika, was waiting for me. She placed an empty glass on the counter and poured me some whiskey. Sometimes I even wondered why did I drink so much? I start everyday with the bottle of whiskey in my hands and kill the night with another bottle. Probably I used to drink in the past a lot... I shrugged off my thoughts and finished the glass in one go. To show my gratitude to Sandvika I gave her some beautiful flowers that I found in my travels, then I left the pub.

After I left the pub I decided to take a walk around the village, while walking I tried to socialize with some of the villagers but everything I could was to give them countless of questions, nothing more... For a moment I stopped and decided to gaze at the tree of life, that tree was one of the reasons why I chose to be the leader of that village.. It was the most important thing to the villagers in there and somehow it was inspiring me, it was big and strong it symbolized power and greatness. I sighed and wondered that maybe I was strong and great leader in the past too and that is why I chose to be the leader of that village.. After long time of gazing at the tree I finally approached it and decided to rest on one of its giant mossy roots.

I was thinking about a lot of things... and about how I failed to regain my memories, I even promised Azure that I will regain my memories as soon as possible but I failed him too... I felt so worthless, maybe I was really worthless? I had some clues but those were too small... But giving up was not an option too... I had to do something, maybe I returned home from my journey but it was far from finished, there were lots of more to discover! Maybe if I were to ask some people around? Maybe they would be able to help me? But I was not a man of great words, I realized that it was hard for me to talk with others. Maybe I was better in the past or maybe my social skills became this bad, because I lost my memories? There were so many questions in my head, I just wanted to be clear with everything but it felt like I was just an empty shell of a man named Simon, who used to live in Atreia two years ago. Everything in my head was just a big mess... To call it a day I decided to grab a bottle of whiskey from the pub and headed to my bed. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

New faces.

It was a new day, I slept well, I even had bed hair... I checked the village to see if Azure returned but he was still absent. I just hoped that I would meet him eventually. I decided to see what was going on in Akarios village, as usual I snatched another teleporting orb from the local store and then I teleported to Poeta. Akarios village was the same, a girl and a man was talking to each other near the armoury. I decided  not to interrupt their conversation and just listened to their conversation. They were talking about casual things, nothing interesting and nothing new but anyway it was nice to see some new faces. They were talking about some tavern and were about to go there, actually I was surprised because that man invited me too. A complete stranger like me was invited to the Tavern. It was my chance to meet some new people or even make some new friends there, so I accepted his invitation. Then we teleported to that tavern...
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Once I got there I was amazed by it, it was a huge wooden flying ship. The tavern was very huge, it had so much space but the best part was that I could get drunk there like never before. The man and girl introduced themselves , their names were Daente and Jessica. Daente was the owner of that amazing tavern. To make things more exciting I asked Daente to give me a bottle of finest whiskey there. He seemed very generous, because he gave me a bottle of finest whiskey for free."It's on the house." - He said. It was a little uncomfortable to take things for free, so I at least paid him half of the price. I opened the bottle and took a small sip at first, the whiskey itself was very good. While I was enjoying my whiskey Jessica and Daente were just talking. Although I had nothing good to say I was pretty happy to be in a company like this.

One more person showed up in the tavern, it was another woman. She had unusual blue hair and was slightly taller than me, she did not seem like a giantess to me though. There were tall woman in Atreia but I never met any giantess... At that point I just lost hoped to find one, Azure was probably joking... or was he? To get rid of stupid and weird thoughts about giantess I took another gulp of my whiskey. Life is funny... it was a brand new day and yet I found myself drinking again.. Then another person appeared in the tavern, it was yet another woman. She was wearing a heavy armour, it was probably made of steel or something harder. Her hair colour was same as mine, she also had a flower attached to her hair. Her skin was grey and her eyes were red, I was not sure how old she was but she looked pretty good or maybe I was way too drunk at that point to tell whether she was beautiful or not.  She stopped beside me.
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I finished my first bottle of whiskey and was prepared to get my hands on the next one. It seemed that Daente knew the girl in armour, because he greeted her like an old friend. She ordered a glass of wine. I was the only person surrounded by complete strangers, well at least I managed to blend in with the group.

Vampire and the girl.

Some time has passed, my second bottle of whiskey was half full, my head was a little heavy and my vision became a blurry. Yup.. I was drunk, but it was not enough for me. The girl in armour, who was drinking wine started to talk to me... She said that I should remove my hood or something.. I could not remember what she said exactly, because I was a little drunk but I responded to her that the hood was not getting in my way. Actually I became kind of attached to my robes and that hood, since the first time I woke up with my lost memories, I was wearing these black robes.. it was my first and only set of clothing. She probably wanted to see my face, because half of my face was covered by that hood.

She seemed a little nervous, she was talking in a stuttering tone. I wondered what was up with her, maybe it was because of my looks or the blade on my back, honestly I had no idea... but even if I was harmless I looked pretty dangerous and agressive, even my face was scary. It was not ugly but it was scary, since I had these red like blood eyes and I rarely smiled to almost anyone. I decided to ask her why she was so nervous just to keep up conversation, even a wall was a better talker than me. She answered me that most of the time she overthinks things, to me it just seemed like she was afraid of saying out loud her opinion and what was on her mind. Somehow her answer made me smile, actually it made me feel more comfortable around her and others in the tavern, I realized that I was not the only person, who is bad at talking to others. I merely joked and said that no one was going to kill her if she said what was on her mind.

My previous sentence was bad, and by bad I mean really bad! My stupid mouth touched her feelings... She approached me. Her eyes were glowing bloody crimson and the black markings on her eyes eludicated, she then removed her gauntlet it appeared that her arm was covered in scars and deep ones. She said "That's what happens when I say what's on my mind." or something like that, because I was pretty much drunk at that moment... Only sadness and emptyness were reflected in my eyes... I was curious what happened to her arm but I hesitated to ask... It was not for me to hear it, I was not even a close friend of hers, I was just a complete stranger and probably an akward one, because the only thing I was able to do was to only give questions to people, it annoyed the hell out of me. That girl clearly understood what a real pain is like. It almost brought me to tears but I managed to hold them down... Her past huh? It made me wonder what my past was like, maybe I lost my memories on purpose, because I had a bad past just like her? I placed my thoughts aside and then returned to reality. Everything I was able to say was - "I'm sorry, but I promise I'm not going to hurt you." Daente said something like that aswell, so at least she was safe with us. At least I thought that I will never hurt her... but what if I was a bad person in the past and what if one day I were to regain my memories? From the looks of Azure he did not look like a very good person but he was good to me, so it was ok with me... but what if I was just like him, maybe even worse? But no... Azure did not seem like that type of a person, who would hurt the weak... Then the girl pulled on her gauntlet again and her eyes stopped glowing and she then returned to her previous position. I fell into the silence again.

The glass of wine, which was before the armoured girl somehow shrunk to half an inch in size. Was it my drunk eyes or did it really shrink? Was it her doing...? Even Daente somehow became nervous... and that girl's tone changed to a rather confident one, what was with the quick change of heart? Before talking I had another gulp of whiskey. I gave her yet another question, I just had this feeling that I was about to annoy the hell out of her with my stupid questions but I did not want to be silent either. My question was about the shrunken glass of wine and how did it shrink. She then explained that it was one of her magic tricks, like a spell or something. "Is she a witch?" - I thought to myself... the answer to my rhetorical question was - maybe. It just amazed me how her attitude changed from innocent stuttering girl to a suspicious witch.

Daente seemed like an interesting person too, the "witch" and Daente began to talk about vampirism. Vampirism huh? Why did they bring this topic, it was not for my drunk head to understand but I decided to listen anyway, because it sounded pretty interesting and somehow the concept -vampirism- was very familiar to me, I was not sure what part was familiar to me but I had this feeling that I encountered a vampire in the past. As I was listening to them talking I decided to finish my whiskey. Was it my second bottle or third? I was too drunk that I could not tell how many bottles of whiskey I had... I emptied the bottle and placed it on the counter, I noticed that Daente had sharp fangs poking from his mouth. Was he a vampire? I thought so and I was right! I decided to ask him how many times a day he had to feed on people and how blood tasted tasted to him... His answer was pretty simple, he said me that he was feeding on people every eight or twelve hours a day and that blood was even better and more intoxicating than whiskey, and blood even was making him stronger! It was a crazy thing to hear.. I became a little nervous and asked for another bottle of whiskey. However he said that he was not intending to feed on his customers... I became a little relieved but I decided not to run into this guy outside the Tavern.
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I was almost at my limit, Daente was teasing me on a purpose, because he was able to feel that I was in fear... and I was aware that if I had another bottle of whiskey it would turn out bad for me. But I did not want to run away like a coward, I just had to defend myself and show no weaknesses at all. The girl in armour was about to leave the place, she said that she wanted to get some fresh air... on the way to the exit she stopped before me and invited me to join her, she said that some fresh air would be good for me, I silently nodded and decided to join her. She saved me... and actually I was very grateful to her. I wanted to get out of that place as soon as possible but Daente was the main reason why I continued to stay there, I wanted to prove him that I was not afraid of him, but I was and it was pointless for me to hide the truth. The "witch" or whoever she was snapped her fingers and a portal, which resembled one of the rifts of Abyss opened before us. I was surprsised that she did it so simply without using a teleporting orb. I turned around and tried to walk, it was hard to walk for me, since I was drunk but it was still possible for me to walk normally. Then we dived into the portal.

Just who is she?

We were teleported to some kind of forest, which was located in Poeta. She looked into my eyes and smiled, saying that it will be better for me to get some fresh air... It was true, the air in the forest was way better than in that tavern and being in a forest with a harmless girl was way better than staying in a tavern with a vampire, who could inject his fangs into my neck any moment.  She also lectured me that I should not drink so much, it was not her business what I was doing or drinking and how much I was drinking but she was right, one more drop of whiskey would been bad for my health... For a moment I noticed that she was pouting and glaring at me. I wondered why did her face expression change so suddenly. I thought that she was mad at me for something.. I asked her if she was mad at me but she laughed again and said that she was not mad at all. I became even more confused... for a moment she was glaring at me and then she was just laughing.. Maybe I was just bad at socializing with people after all.
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Back then, in the tavern, she noticed that I was afraid of Daente. She said that back then I was really losing it, because I was afraid of a little and harmless vampire... Little and harmless!? But he had fangs! She was suspicious from the very beginning but I never thought that she would be able to talk about that vampire so easily... At first she looked like a harmless and humble person but with time she was getting more and more confident. "Weren't you afraid of him too? I mean you were nervous too, right?" - These were my words to her. She said that she was not nervous at all, I was the only one scared. She just teased me, well she had an arm covered with scars, so I just guessed that she exprienced worse things in the past and that vampire was not a big deal for her. She then asked me what would I do if I faced a -real- threat. What did she mean by -real- threat? To stay near a vampire was already bad. What could been worse? I would probably try to face it or try to avoid it, it would depend on the situation, at least that was the best answer I could think of back then. Something was really odd about her but I did not know what. It was not that she was a bad person, she was rather friendly and kind of similar to me. She wanted to show me something, she wanted to show me what a real threat was like, she asked me to promise not to panic. At first I just laughed, she looked way too harmless to threaten me in any way but whatever was up ahead in a laughing tone I promised her that I will not be panicking.

The armour that she was wearing suddenly changed into a black and spiked one, actually it looked pretty menacing. And my laughter stopped as soon as she started to grow. She was increasing in size, from a little and harmless girl she turned into something huge... She became taller than trees, her feet became bigger than my body - way bigger! It was even hard to see her face from below, because now it was high up in the sky. Her giant figure blocked the sun and her shadow made it look like it was a night time. In size comparison I was like a little mouse to her, maybe even smaller. She kneeled just to get a better look at me.
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I did not know how to react... I was way too afraid to even move, I was all trembling from fear.. Only cold shivers were chilling my spine. It was a powerful sight, and at the same time I was excited to finally meet a giantess in Atreia, after so long... I finally met a giantess. Azure was not lying after all, I was a fool for not believing him. I was lost for words and instead I began to mutter nonsense... I thought that it was the end for me, I thought that she was going to crush me or torture me. I felt so helpless and weak before her... Her sudden change of size made me all sober. The great leader of Baltasar Hill village became a scared little mouse, such a shame it was for me... If I continued to be like this there would be no chance for me to defeat Triniel, I would be squashed like an insect. I never felt this pathetic before... I just looked down at the ground, it was even too scary to look her in the eyes; I am such a coward. Maybe I was afraid, because I was not used to things like that, after all I lost my memories. I could not remember a single event from my past, I was probably fearless in the past, since I faced a giantess in a battle but now I was just a coward... I had mixed feelings, I was lucky to be able to see a giantess after so long and yet I became afraid and back then I was so confident, bragging how I am going to get my revenge on Triniel.

The giantess before me stomped the ground, just a few inches away from me. When her foot impacted with the earth, it caused a strong shockwave, it had enough force to send me flying backwards. But I was just way too lucky, because someone supported my back from behind. I turned back to thank that person but it was yet another surprise by her, she was at her normal size and in her former armour. I quickly looked at the direction, where the giantess was standing but she was gone... I became very confused, somehow she managed to change her size and location in a matter of seconds. I leaped back a couple of meters away from her and fell on my knees, asking who exactly was she? She approached me and introduced herself, her name was Jaina. I introduced myself too. She extended her right hand, helping me to stand up.
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Jaina apologized that she scared me, but I guess it was my fault for letting her to show me what could be this real threat. She looked scary in her giant form but she seemed friendly and nice person overall. Well at least the shock that I had made me sober. She had to leave already. For the last time we shook our hands like friends and then Jaina left. Was it a beginning of a new friendship? I did not know, but it was nice to meet a person like her. However her personality or her real powers were still a mystery for me. As for me - I decided to head back to my village and wait for Azure.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

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8The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:10 pm

Chapter 4: Mysterious voice.

The land of sand.

It was yet another day... I woke up from my sleep.  I was lying in the middle of the desert, everything around me was covered in sand and in the horizon I was able to see giant sand dunes. The weather was hot as hell, but it was usual in this place. I’ve been living in this desert for my whole life, however I had a feeling that something important was missing, but I did not know what exactly. “It must be my imagination.” – I thought to myself…

I managed to stand up on two feet, I looked up at the sky just to get a better view of the sun, it was bright… brighter than ever before and I’ve been living here for… how many years? Twenty? Thirty? Hundred? I was not sure… how old was I anyway? I just shrugged my shoulders… “Who cares?” It was just unusual to see sun this bright for some reason. My life was dull; it was yet another day of hard work. I had no home, no family, no friends… nothing at all… that is why I was lying on the hot sand in the first place and all my pockets were full of sand, but I had a job; I am a builder. I’ve been building pyramids since the time I was just a little kid. It was my only method of survival. After a hard day of work I always receive some food and water. Though I always wanted to live a better life, a life of action and adventure… I wanted to go to faraway lands and escape this desert, I always heard stories that outside this desert there were massive lands consisting of water, lands of tall trees, grass, gigantic rocks… and my biggest dream was to find a treasure buried in the sand. If I got rich then maybe one day I would be able to get out of this place.

I was working until the night, the bright sun was replaced by cold moon and the temperature dropped significantly. It was a time to receive my payment; there were a lot of workers standing in a straight line, waiting for reward. Luckily I was the first in line. The Queen approached me and looked into my eyes; she was holding a box with some food and water inside. She asked me what my name was. My name? Really what was my name? Why I could not remember my name? What was the reason to have a name in the first place? My existence was not significant or anything… so what was the meaning of me having a name, and why my lips did not move and I could not say my name, it was like I was missing something big. Something that would make my life important, but I could not remember what was that thing.

The mighty Queen unsheathed her sword from her scabbard, she was very cruel, and she was always punishing those who were not willing to answer her questions. “Is this the end for me?” – I asked myself. I could not believe that this was the end for my dull life, all those dreams of finding a treasure was a waste after all, I will never escape this desert. I glanced back at the pyramid that I was building for my whole life and then I noticed a shiny object stuck between the blocks of sandstone. It had a shape of a sword, but it was large and weird… its color was black for some reason. One of my fellow workers approached and forced me to kneel before the queen, saying that if I were to apologize I would be able to escape this desert one day and make my dreams come true. The queen looked down at me and lowered her sword. She gave me an option, to lick all the sand from her feet and beg her to spare my life and she will forgive me, but if I tried to resist her she would end my life in an instant.

I began to lick her feet and beg for her forgiveness, but then a faint orb of light appeared between her feet, the orb started to talk to me telepathically. “Say your name, take that sword that you just saw in the pyramid and fight your way through.” – It said. “How am I supposed to fight her? I have no combat experience whatsoever and if I were to oppose her I would be killed right away.” – I replied. “Just believe in yourself, choose your path and open the gate to your destiny.”  - The orb said. Why was it talking to me all of a sudden!?Maybe I lost my sanity? If I were to obey her orders I would be able to reach my dreams… to reach those massive oceans, those gigantic rocks, those trees… everything that I ever dreamed of. For a moment I stopped licking her feet and looked at the sword’s direction and then at the vast dunes that were blocking the view of the beautiful horizon, which is showing the world that is yet to be explored. I shook my head and continued to lick Queen’s feet. “Even if I try to fight I would never be able to grab that sword, because it is too far away, at least if I lick her feet properly I will be able to survive. I am too weak to outrun her.” – I replied to the orb. “So is this your answer? Are you giving up already?” – The orb of light asked me. “Yes, because I have a dream and I will make it come true. I’m not going to die yet.” – It was my final answer. “Then so be it, you disappointed me.” – These were the last words of the orb and then it disappeared along with the sword. Everyone suddenly looked up at the moon and then it illuminated the whole world and then everything went white… Why did it end like this?

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(Ah... it's good to be back here again. I've been gone for 3 months or so, but now I'm back and downloaded Aion again. Very Happy)

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9The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:14 pm

The land of snow.

My morning started in a pub, I was recovering from hangover... Last night I had some fun, however I drank too much beer, so as a result I got drunk as pig. I was lucky, because the owner of the pub, Jack, was a close friend of mine, so he allowed me to stay the night here.  I thanked him sincerely and in exchange I gave him a swordfish that I caught yesterday in the sea. After all I am the finest fisherman in my small village and around these parts. The place was a big mess, there were puddles of vomit in the corners, some of the tables were flipped over, one window was shattered, allowing the icy wind and falling snow to get inside. It was a big party yesterday. I was lying on a wooden bench and looking at Jack, who was mopping up the floor. He was so concentrated on cleaning that he did not even notice how I sneak out from the pub.

Once I was outside my face and hands started to freeze, it was very cold here, but beautiful at the same time; everything was covered in pure white snow, all the lakes and rivers were frozen, the sea was nearby too, which seemed just like a little drop of water in endless ocean. I was born here and I always loved this place since I was a little squirt, however we get unexpected visitors here from time to time. My hobby is fishing; this is how I used to survive since the old days. My life is average; I am the only man in my family besides my son, who is only five years old. I always had to take care of my family, every day I had to go outside and fish then bring it home or sell everything at the end of the day. It was not bad, since it was my hobby. Sometimes I felt like something important was missing, it was like I had to accomplish some kind of task, but I forgot that task ages ago. I felt like this thing that I forgot could change my life…

Finally I was close, only a couple of steps left; my house was the same as ever. I approached the door and knocked, after a couple of seconds my wife opened the door, she was well looking woman with emerald green eyes, gold blond hair and heartwarming smile. “Welcome home.” – She said. I did not say a word, just smiled, hugged her and kissed her on the lips. I was happy to see her safe and well, then my five years old son and eight years old daughter ran up to me and hugged me. They missed me, but it was natural, because I was gone for a whole week. “This time I brought lots of tuna with me!” – I raised my thumb up and stated as I made my this statement. I always loved tuna. Before closing the door, I noticed strange light behind and then a faint, mysterious voice echoed in my head. – “Come to the lake tomorrow and bring your fishing rod with you.” – The light suddenly disappeared as I closed the door, still looking back and wondering what was that all about. “Come to the lake tomorrow huh?” – I thought. Which lake anyway? Probably that voice was mentioning the nearest one. I decided to be with my family for the rest of the day. We have talked a lot that day, we shared our experiences and had great memories together and in the evening my wife cooked us some tuna, it was a great day, it greatly deepened my bonds with my family. Even the coldest winter was warm when love existed.

Next day I woke up early in the morning, because it was hard to fall asleep. I had thoughts about that lake and that mysterious voice. I sighed and decided that I should go; I had to bring something to eat for my family anyway. I prepared my fishing gear and left the house, there was a vision of a familiar lake stuck in my head. It was nearby; I just had to venture through forest. When I reached that place, I found myself standing in the middle of the frozen lake, which was surrounded by white trees, the temperature there was colder than in the other places, at least there was no wind since the lake was in the middle of the forest. I made an ice hole and began fishing. For several hours I caught completely nothing, not a single bass. It was kind of strange, because this lake was full of fishes. Finally, after some more hours I managed to hook something, it was big and heavy, but with my peerless fishing skills I managed to pull that thing out without breaking my rod.

Unfortunately the thing that I caught was not a fish nor was it edible. It was big… very big, there was something in an ice block, it was glowing. I decided to touch it with my hand, actually it was not that cold for an ice block, it was pretty warm. Suddenly it started to melt at fast rate; a black large sword emerged from the melting ice. Not only it was tall as me, but it also had a strange shape and a black substance was leaking from it. I grabbed it by the hilt, it was warm and had a sinister presence, it even made my heart to pound faster and even in a cold place like this I could feel that the sour sweat was dripping from my face. I tried to lift that sword, but it was so heavy that I was forced to use both of my hands. Somehow I managed to attach it to my back. It was past noon, so it was about time to go back, I decided to bring that sword home with me.

When I returned home my wife was not happy that instead of food I brought a dangerous looking tool. She said that we should sell it for money and then buy some food. It was a good idea, because there was no way to use it and I was not the fighter type. I paid a visit to a local merchant and placed the sword on the counter, he examined the sword carefully. “I see, I would buy this thing for five thousand gold pieces, it looks valuable.” – The merchant said. “Holy mother of winter five thousand gold pieces!?” – I covered my mouth with my hand. With this kind of money I could build a whole palace. “Alright, it’s decided I’m selling this thing.” – I said. The merchant placed a bag of gold on the counter and then an orb of faint light appeared besides me, I looked at it with a suspicion in my face. The merchant did not notice it, probably I was the only one, who was able to see it and then a voice, which was calling me to go to the lake, echoed in my head again. – “Are you really going to sell it? Are you really this stupid and can’t see the truth? It was decided long ago that your destiny is to possess this sword and you are simply going to sell it to some merchant?” What was that all about destiny? What did it mean? “Yes, I’m going to sell it, because I don’t want to see my children starving.” – I replied. “No, you don’t understand it is not your real family, the only thing that you need is to remember your purpose and use this sword, Simon” – The orb of light spoke in an insulting tone. Who was this Simon that it was talking about? I never knew any Simon in my life, and it was not me either, because I always had another name. “My family is not real? You stupid thing, get out of my head now! I will do anything for my family.” – I shouted at the orb and then it disappeared. After that I sold the sword and earned a nice bag of gold.

It was evening already; I was heading back to home, carrying fresh food in my bag. When I approached my house the lights were out, I sighed and thought that they were already sleeping; I silently opened the door and entered inside. However it was a nightmare… at first I noticed that there were a lot of blood on the floor, the bath of blood was leading to another room. I quickly rushed there to see what was going and there I saw the dead bodies of my wife and children, there was a hatchet stuck in my wife’s head, and my children were beaten to death, my son was armless. I fell on my knees, looking at the ceiling... why did it happen? I just wanted to see them smiling, I just wanted everything that was good for them and their tomorrow…  That voice appeared in my head again. “You still don’t get it, everything that you see now happened, because of your own foolishness, but it is not too late you can still reach that merchant and use that sword to avenge them and find the real meaning of your existence.” – It made absolutely no sense to me. My family is dead; I already lost my purpose to live. “It’s no use, they are dead. There is no meaning anymore.” – It was my final reply and then I loudly screamed out of grief and sadness. Someone was in another room and heard me, two thugs entered inside the room, and one of them was holding a knife. The thug kicked me in the face and made me fall on the cold floor, the other one plunged his knife somewhere between my lungs.

My wound was fatal, I was bleeding heavily and I had not much time left on this world. The last thing I remembered was me crawling outside, struggling to reach that cursed sword, however it was far away. I was lying on a cold snow and then I extended my hand to the direction where I sold that sword, I tried to grasp the image of that sword in my palm, but it was no use, because it was only air. I started to cough blood from my mouth and from my heavy bleeding the snow dyed red, it seemed like I was sinking in the river of blood. My last wish was to protect them, where did I go wrong? Everything turned white and blank…

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10The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:16 pm

The land of giant forests.

I was on the run. I was running through the forest, which was bigger than an average forest, the trees here measured around from two hundred to four hundred meters tall. My clothes were soaked in sweat, because I was getting tired, but there was no time to stop and rest, after all I was running to survive. The giant footsteps were getting closer as I lost more and more of the air in my lungs, the footsteps were deafening and as it got closer and closer the ground below my feet was shaking. While I was running I managed to take a small glance back over my shoulder, that someone who was chasing me was a giantess, yes a giant woman. She was about five times my height; she was only wearing her underwear, which only revealed her beautiful and yet frightening body. She had long elegant legs, her butt was round, her waist was tight and slim, she also had big round and jiggling breasts, her face expression was deadly and at the same time beautiful, the color of her eyes was cyan and her hair color was exotic blue. She was damn sexy! It was probably my best and worst day at the same time, to be chased by such an angelic maiden and then killed by her. I fell in love, I always had this perverted side inside me; I really love sexy women and especially giant, but I was aware that she was my enemy, so I guess it was more like a love-hate relationship between me and giantesses. I reached my limit and decided to stop and face her like a man.

I stopped running, I pulled out a sword from my right sleeve and then I turned at her, pointing my sword up at her, my sword was made from finest steel so it was not a big problem to penetrate her skin. She stopped running as well, she was standing before me, towering me in all her beauty. She smiled and raised her right foot above me, she was ready to stomp me like an insect. As soon as her foot was falling on me I raised my sword up and said. – “It’s sad to hurt such a beautiful girl like you, but I have no choice... I’m so sorry!” – My sword, like a wolf’s fang injected itself in her foot, causing her great pain. She started to scream all over the place, her voice was mighty that it made all of the birds to fly away from their nests, which were located in the trees. As soon as she started to raise her foot up I pulled out my sword, it caused her even greater pain, for her it seemed like she stepped on a sharp nail or something like that, some of her blood dripped on my clothes, mixing my clothes with red color. However the fight was far from over, she gritted her teeth, placed her right foot on the ground and then using her left foot she tried to kick me away, but my reaction was quick and as soon as her foot reached me I jumped on her big toe and using both of my hands, with all of my might, I stabbed her big toe, as a result I pierced through her big toe and the tip of my sword reached the soil. She screamed in agony, after all she was messing with the wrong tiny. I was lucky to come this far, I managed to give her two painful wounds, however they were not deadly, I was just a little speck compared to her and in exchange of my last action the sword got stuck in her toe.

While I was busy trying to pull out my sword from her big toe, she leaned down and grabbed me with her both hands, by wrapping her majestic and nice smelling fingers around my body, and lifted me up to her eye level; I was like a doll compared to her. Her face was even more beautiful from close distance; she smiled and winked at me. I managed to take a good look at her cleavage from above, it only lasted a couple of seconds but I was already having weird fantasies of her crushing me between her massive breasts, my face turned all red from all those thoughts. I just could not look at her eyes, because of those weird thoughts. She started to laugh like crazy; my life completely depended from her actions. “Such a cute little guy you are.” – She said while looking at me and holding me in her hands. She implied some pressure on me, pushing the air out of my lungs. My eyes almost popped out from the pressure and with time the grip was getting stronger and stronger, she was trying to crush me in her hands. By then I would had been screaming like crazy, but I was struggling to get some air in my lungs. I was smiling, because everything that happened was a part of my plan, I was just helping to set up the stage. Using the last air in my lungs I managed to give a signal to my brother and sister. – “Leila, Ike now is the time!” – I shouted.

Something rustled in the leaves of the giant trees, a shady hooded person jumped down from the tree. The person landed on a giantess’ shoulder, the person was holding a bow and arrow. The person removed it’s hood, it was a girl.. or rather it was my older sister Leila. She loaded her arrow and shot it, aiming it at my direction. It flew like a bolt of lightning, hitting the nail of the giantess’ thumb, for a moment she lowered her pressure on me, I used that opportunity to escape from her grasp. I grabbed the arrow, which was stuck in her thumb and plunged it into her vein to make her bleed, and then I jumped down on the ground. Leila dropped her bow on the ground and then pulled two sharp daggers from the sheaths, which were on her sides below the waist. “You are not going to hurt my little brother, you dirty bitch.” – She said. Using her daggers she climbed up on her face, all the way up to her eye level, and then she stabbed her daggers into her eyes to take away her vision. The giantess tried to reach my sister with her hands, but my younger brother Ike came into play and at the right time he extended the rope from the tree, just above Leila’s head, she quickly grabbed the rope and was pulled back up to the tree. The giantess was confused and screamed like she had lost her sanity. I quickly ran up to her big toe and managed to pull out my sword, I was ready to give her a finishing blow. Like a wind I ran behind her, in the meantime Ike was already there holding a sword too. We both used our full strength to stab her heels with our swords at the same time. She lost her balance and crashed down on the ground. We barely managed to avoid her falling body, and finally Leila grabbed a spear that was placed on the branch of a giant tree. Leila jumped down from the branch and crashed down, pointing her spear at the giantess’ heart, the spear penetrated her heart and then she died.

Somehow we managed to kill her, but I felt sorry for her, she was a pretty one after all. It was getting late, so the three of us decided to head back to our village, which was located underground. We were forced to hide underground in fear of the giantesses, although our real home was on the surface. We used to live in giant forests before giantesses appeared out of nowhere and attacked humanity. The giantesses claimed that humans were the ones, who attacked them first, so I really had no idea who was right or who was wrong, but I always wanted to stop this war between two races or at least live in the forests with no fear of giantesses. Giantesses always had advantage in size; so it is hard to take one down without any good planning or sacrifices. Even today I were lucky that I managed to survive if I were all by myself I would have been dead by now. Giantesses’ main objective was to enslave all of us. Although I always used to hate giantesses, because they took my home and father away I always loved them too, I wanted to give them a lot of questions and learn why they were so big, how they were breeding, but I knew that it was impossible…

I, my brother and sister became giantesses’ hunters, because we believed that one day we will reclaim our territory and avenge our father. Three of us made a formidable team; we were experts of the experts. My brother Ike is known as the specialist of close ranged combat; in the past he killed a powerful giantess with his sword alone. My sister Leila is known as the prodigy; she is physically strong, her swordplay is unmatched, she is also good with bow and other tools. Leila was always saving my butt from danger. As for myself I was called a genius; I was good at many things and my plans always worked out, but at the same time my love for giantesses was my biggest weakness. This is how I was living, but it seemed that I was not meant to live a life like this; it was like I missed an important role somewhere and somehow. I just knew it, I felt like I was close to fulfilling that role, but there were still some steps need to be made. It also seemed like I was living for a whole eternity, but I was only twenty four years old.

That night I fell asleep, because I was exhausted and I knew that another hard tomorrow was on its way. I was woken by heavy tremors; I fell out from my bed and looked around in confusion. “What the hell is going on!?” – I shouted. A heavy rock crushed my left leg, I could not move, everything that I had to do was to wait for someone to come and remove that rock from my leg. I looked around my room again and noticed that there was a little rift in the wall, I decided to look through. The underground village was in chaos, there were giantesses everywhere. They were stomping, devouring, torturing people; all the houses that we built were burning. “Damn it… how did those bitches find our village?” – I thought. Our village was well hidden and yet they found it, maybe a spy infiltrated our village? One of the giantesses began to approach my house, but then Ike showed up, he was running at her, pointing his sword… He was running right into his death. I tried to stop him by shouting, but my voice did not reach his ears and ultimately the giantess grabbed him and bit of his head. What a fool… what was he thinking? However it was my fault, I was hopelessly sitting in my room and only tears were dripping from my eyes. My little brother… why?

Several hours passed and all of the giantesses left the village. Ike was the one, who saved my life. He was the one who distracted that giantess and because of him sacrificing his life our house and me inside were not destroyed. After an hour of trying somehow I managed to push away the rock from my leg, as a result I regained mobility, but I could barely walk. “I never going to live in a house made of stone.” – I said. When I left my house, I went for a walk around the village to see whether there were any survivors left. After some minutes of hard walking I found no survivors, but then I saw a familiar face. It was Leila lying on the ground, she was heavily injured. I slowly approached her, she looked me in the eye and said – “You must avenge humanity no matter what.” – After saying her last words she smiled and closed her eyes. As a giantesses’ hunter I was trained not to cry even in the hardest moments, but I just could not hold back my tears. Everyone died and I was the only one left alive, I was not even sure how I was supposed to fight giantesses with my limp leg. It was a desperate situation, but then something strange crashed into the ground.

It was a sword, no it was not a mere sword, it was a gift sent by the gods of the heavens. It crashed in the center of the ruined village. The sword was big, maybe three times bigger than an average sword, it was made from an unknown metal, the sword itself was completely black, and it had a weird shape with a small crimson orb above its hilt. It was calling for me. – “Take me and slaughter every single one of them.” I approached the mystical sword; half of it was stuck in the ground. I grabbed its hilt with my both hands and pulled it out from the ground, it was heavy, but I felt a strange power inside it. Crystal clear wings grew out from my back, those wings started to lift me up from the ground, I felt so light and the sword in my hands was not heavy anymore. I never felt this power before, but I knew that it was enough to avenge the humanity. I slowly ascended from my ruined village and then like a bird I took off to the sky. My destination was their home.

After a full hour of flight I was finally there. I found myself above the city filled with giant buildings; those buildings were as tall as the trees in the forest.  In the center of the city there was a palace, I decided to infiltrate it. I landed before the entrance; there were two armored giantesses guarding it. I raised my sword up and it extended to the size of a giantess, I managed to slice two armored giantesses in half, by making a horizontal swing, they did not even have a chance to react. It was my new power, I felt like dreaming, was it really possible to wield such a power? This sword is really a gift from the heavens.

I broke inside the palace and found myself standing before a giant throne, where the leader of all the giantesses was sitting; she was a real beauty, but also the center of all the evil. She glanced down at me and laughed. – “I never thought that one of those ants would make it here.” – She said. She had an ominous presence, my hands began to shake and the giant sword that I was holding shrunk down into its former size. She stood up on her feet, approached me and then leaned down, to take a better look at me. She examined me and my sword and smiled. I tried to stab my sword into her eye, but she caught it between her two fingers and took it away from me. “Boys like you shouldn’t use sharp objects.” – She mocked me.  She placed the sword inside her cleavage and then picked me up from the ground; she then carried me to her throne and sat down, placing me on her lap. “Well since I took a liking to you, I decided not to kill you and make you my new pet.” – She said and smiled.

I was lying on her lap like a lifeless doll. I was thinking about many things, why she did not kill me but made me feel so pathetic and weak instead? Why I became so weak all of the sudden and the thoughts about revenge simply faded away?  I just wanted to live in giant forests freely... and understand more about giantesses… wait giantesses? It was my chance to ask her about her own kind. She began to stroke my hair with her thumb as I looked up at her and decided to talk – “H-Hey, why do you hate tiny people?” – I asked her nervously. She shook her head and winked at me – “It’s not true, we love tiny people, but one day when one of our kind tried to interrupt in their everyday lives they freaked out and killed her, but she wasn’t just a simple giantess - she was my sister. To avenge her I decided to exterminate most of your population, but our kind always loved tiny people, they are so cute and pretty.” – Revenge was the cause of this war, she was right actually. I never hated giantesses too, I admired their beauty, but at the same time I was the enemy of the giantesses, because they took away my father, brother, sister. I finally managed to understand her pain and decided to ask her one more thing - “Why did you not kill me then?” She sighed and a tear rolled down from her eye – “Because I’m tired, when I met you today I remembered how I used to love humans.”

Her words, everything about her seemed so real. Revenge was the way of fools, even if my heart was in a great pain I decided to make a peace with her, I looked up with a smile in my face – “I guess we are even then, giantesses killed my father and siblings and after killing a single giantess I always thought what was the real reason to hate your kind. Now I understand, I never really hated you, but I just I tried to clean the pain in my heart using revenge as an excuse. Why don’t we stop this war? Let’s create a utopia where humans and giantesses can live in peace and build a paradise in these forests.” After listening to my words she brought me up to her face and kissed me, saying – “Thank you, then so be it. You will be the leader of humans and I will be the leader of giantesses, together we will stop this war and bring peace.”

After then some weeks has passed, I found almost every survivor and told them that giantesses were planning to make peace with humans. The leader of the giantesses held a meeting in her palace and told that there was no need to kill humans. Thus every human that was hiding in the underground finally was able to walk in the giant forests alongside giantesses, our races became equal. We held a ceremony to celebrate our new found peace.

A couple of years have passed after the time when peace ceremony was held. In the meantime my relationship with Louise, the giantesses’ leader, and other giantesses has grown to a whole other level. Together we built a giant city, which was hidden in the forests of giant trees, finally I knew all the answers that I wanted to hear from giantesses and everything was going smoothly, I never thought that after many years of war we will be able to get to this point. I was standing in the graveyard of heroes, praying before my siblings’ and father’s grave. “…I think that you always wanted peace, father, brother, sister. Well, I guess that’s it for today; after all I am getting married tomorrow, so wish me luck.” – After saying it I turned back and headed to the palace.

The first person I noticed in the palace was Louise, who was wearing a beautiful white dress and checking it out before the mirror. She was a real beauty, all the stars and galaxies were little things compared to her, she turned at and me and asked – “What do you think about this dress?” – I blinked several times before answering – “It’s great!” – She blushed and then asked me if I could get rid of my sword before the wedding day. It was a time of peace, so why not? I brought that mystical sword to the graveyard of heroes and placed it near the graves of my family. “Thank you.” – I said. After all it was this sword that brought me to Louise, the love of my life and the person who was seeking peace and happiness. I turned my back to the sword and finally I was ready to move, but then a voice stopped me – “Wait!” – It said. What was that? I looked around, but no one was there, maybe it was my imagination? An orb of light appeared before my face and then it started to communicate with me telepathically. “Simon, you are blinded by love. Don’t believe in anything that happens here, except me. Are you really going to abandon that sword and marry that giantess?” – Simon? I never heard of that name before, was it really talking with me or was I just imagining things? I decided to give it an answer anyway – “I don’t know who this Simon person is, but I’m definitely going to marry her, but to be honest I grew to like this sword.” The orb spoke again – “If you really like it then take it with you, betray her. Stop living in your dreamland. You have to accomplish a greater task than this. You must realize your destiny and pick that sword up again. Don’t you want to avenge your family?” No there was no way I could abandon her and everyone for some stupid destiny, even if something like destiny  existed and even if my name was Simon I had to stay, after many years of war I finally managed to change the world. “Revenge is not an option. Get out of my head!” – I shouted at him. “You were close, but you disappointed me for the millionth time, Simon.” – The orb then vanished into the thin air. I glanced behind, where the sword was supposed to be lying… but it was gone, it probably disappeared at the same time as the orb did. Maybe, he was right? Maybe I was Simon that he talked about? I shook my head and said – “Well it is my decision, I must go to the palace where she awaits me.” The land of giant forests was my real home… I began to walk and then everything started to lose its colors, until everything turned white… Why? I was so close; the happiness was within my reach….

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11The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:15 pm

The land of metal.

I woke up in my chamber, then I checked my electronic wristwatch, it was three in the morning. I sighed and thought that I had yet another nightmare and forgot what it was about. I got up from my bed and decided to go for a walk around the base; I exited my chamber and began to walk forward. When I left my chamber I found myself in a long passageway, filled with many doors, made of steel, on the sides, and in the other end of the passageway there was a door leading outside, I was walking towards that door. When I was close to the exit I pulled out a pack of cigarettes from my pocket, I placed one inside my mouth and using a lighter I lit it up, as I took a small drag of it all the passageway filled with the scent of tobacco. Finally I reached the exit and left the building; I appeared outside, the place was filled with a lot of tall buildings, the territory was fenced with walls that measured around 15 meters tall and on the sides there were watchtowers arranged. It was not really a base, it was just an outpost, which was located a couple of kilometers to the south from the real base, but the outpost seemed like an actual base to me, because it was pretty big and it had its own airport.

I was walking around the base and smoking that cigarette, which I lit up earlier. The sun was already rising and not too much time was left before everyone in the base will wake up, but for the time being it was quiet and calm. I finished my cigarette and noticed a tall humanoid figure in the distance, actually it was approaching me. I recognized who it was; it was my partner and probably the only person that I considered a friend, he was called Lazure. He was two meters and eighteen centimeters tall, he was pretty muscular, he had short black hair and he was always wearing a black combat mask with integrated night vision lenses, he was always telling me that faces were meaningless to him, so this is why he was always wearing his mask. He was not a talkative person, well I was not either. He was also mean to others, so I was the one who was always trying to approach every situation diplomatically and get us out of the trouble. He was always calling me a boss for some reason, maybe it was because I was a year older than him, but in my eyes he was always the real “boss”, because I always envied of his skills. Together we made a good team though. When Lazure approached we nodded at each other; this is how we usually greet each other. He began to walk beside me.

I and Lazure never had a childhood; we were a part of the experiment to create “superhuman assassins”. We were born and raised in a military lab, although we were not related by blood we were like brothers, because we were spending our time together inside the same lab. We never had real names, I was the test subject number one and he was the test subject number two. He gave himself a name for some reason, it was Lazure. So this is how we were called – Boss and Lazure. Before both of us reached the age of five our bodies were attached to strange devices, which were feeding our bodies with chemicals, which sharpened our senses, made our bones and muscles stronger, and reflexes faster. After we reached ten we were educated by scientists, we learned how to read and how to write; basically we learned a lot of things about the world. We received military and firearms training too. When we were teenagers we were taught how to kill. We became good with advanced technology and mechanics. When we became adults, scientists developed special suits for us; the suits increased our strength and senses to a whole new level.  This is how we became “superhuman assassins”, the experiment was a success.  We were a little better than the average human or soldier, but our only weakness was our emotions, even though our mentality was cold and sharp, our thoughts of seeing each other die on the battlefield were keeping us as humans.  Our mission was to obey and destroy our targets for the humanity’s sake.

“What is our purpose?” - It was the only question stuck in our heads. We were aware that it was for the sake of humanity, but why we were made like that? Why we were forced to do it, to mindlessly kill others? It was our main priority, to find a purpose, because we wanted to live a life just like others, we did not want to be treated like tools. We always hoped that one day we will find it. I always thought that there was a greater purpose, because sometimes I felt like I was not created for this world. An important detail was missing from my life and I wanted to find it.

Suddenly a helicopter landed in the base, two men in black suits got out from the Helicopter. The men approached us; one of them was carrying a silver suitcase, he placed it on the ground and opened it. The suitcase was filled with money notes. “We are from government; if you accept this mission you will get all the money inside this suitcase.”  - One of the men said. “So what’s the deal?” – I asked them. He pulled out a photo from his pocket and showed it to us. “You must kill this person, he has declared a war to us, and he also threatened to launch a nuclear weapon at one of our biggest cities.” I decided to take that mission not for money, but to save others. – “Alright, we will do it.” I and Lazure ran to our chambers to make preparations. I placed two pistols in my holsters, then I grabbed three grenades and attached them below my chest and finally I put on a backpack with my favorite sniper and various tools inside. By that time Lazure was already finished with his preparations, he was carrying a heavy machine gun on his back and a box with various ammunition inside. I covered my face with a black mask just like Lazure’s, because in battles like this my face was also meaningless. After then we asked two men for the coordinates and then we took off with jet, which required two pilots to be inside.

We flew about five hundred kilometers from the outpost, we were almost out of fuel, but we managed to reach a city, but suddenly we were hit by anti-aircraft missile. Our jet exploded, but on the last moment we managed to eject with parachutes on our backs. We landed on the ground and before us there was a gigantic city standing, it had many skyscrapers and other tall buildings. The city itself was heavily protected from all sides, there were tanks, turrets, soldiers, sentry towers, cannons, anti-aircraft cannons and many more. It looked like the city itself was a fortress of metal. I pulled out a communication device from my pocket and called government. “We will need an army to get inside that city.” – I said. Someone picked up my signal and answered – “Alright, we will get there in ten hours.” Enemies were aware that we managed to eject from the jet, so they decided to survey the territory, the place around the city looked like a complete wasteland, so there were nowhere to hide, I observed the territory carefully and found an abandoned building nearby. I guided Lazure to the building safely; his movements were slowed down, because he was carrying most of the stuff, from knives to rocket launcher and other things.
When we approached the abandoned building, Lazure kicked out the door and we entered inside, all the rooms inside were dusty, but it had a lot of space and we even found water supply and canned food there, it was a perfect place to wait inside for ten hours. We decided to take a little break and then we sat down on a dusty couch. Once again thoughts of my existence crossed my mind – “Why can’t I be someone different? Why do I need to do it, I know it is honorable to die on a battlefield for the sake of civilians, but it’s not fair. Why can’t I be free like others? Why there are wars? Why people kill each other? Why don’t we all get along?” – I began to question myself. I looked at Lazure; he was exactly like me, deep in his thoughts. What if it was our last mission? What would happen if I he was to die on my arms… would I be able to carry out my duties? That thing that I forgot, that detail that slipped out of my mind, what was it? I looked at my right hand clenched it into a fist. “Today we will have a victory, like we always do.” – I said out loudly. Lazure looked at me and laughed. – “Of course, boss.”

We were sitting for about fifteen minutes until we heard footsteps from a far, thanks to our heightened senses we were able to hear almost as good as bats. I placed my backpack on the couch and stood up; Lazure prepared a combat knife and hid it behind his back. Two soldiers entered inside the building, they were armed with semi-automatic rifles. They noticed us and aimed their guns at us, one man was facing me and the other one was facing Lazure. “How foolish...” – I sighed and smiled beneath my mask. I and Lazure acted at the same time, Lazure kicked out a rifle from the soldier’s hands and using his free hand he planted a fatal punch on his nose, I on the other side grabbed the man’s rifle, I noticed that it was loaded, so I tilted it at his head and pushed the trigger and shot it, making a hole in his forehead. However there was another man waiting outside, who was about to shoot at us from the window, but it was thanks to Lazure that the soldier did not shoot at us. Lazure threw his combat knife at his neck and killed him in one hit. We realized that after this more and more soldiers will come to get us, so we had to think of something and quick.

I looked through the window to observe the area again. I noticed that there was a rocky hill behind the building, I grabbed my backpack with a sniper rifle inside and said. “Lazure, prepare your machine gun and attach it to the window, you will fire it when you see that enemy is nearby. We will hold our front!” After finishing my words I rushed over to the hill, pulled out my sniper rifle from the backpack, lied down on the ground, and placed the sniper rifle in the free space between rocks. I removed the lid from the scope and readjusted my scope, so that I could aim properly. I inserted five bullets in the ammo clip, and then I began to look through the scope. First of all I looked for the snipers in the sentry towers; I noticed that I was not the only one holding a sniper rifle, but it seemed that they were not looking at my direction. I shot them both down, making clean shots to their heads. Risk of being shot down by a sniper decreased significantly.
There were more soldiers approaching at my direction, but I took care of them all, while maintaining a nonchalant face expression.  I and Lazure were just killing them for several hours, like we were robots - no emotions, no fear, same actions repeated for several hours, but of course in the end we ran out of ammo and a tank was approaching us. I looked at my wristwatch and realized that reinforcements should show up on horizon soon, so I just sighed and decided to wait for approaching tank.

Twenty minutes has passed and the tank was about five hundred meters away from us, I left my post and entered the abandoned building, where Lazure was waiting. He was holding a loaded rocket launcher on his right shoulder and waiting for the tank to get close. I sighed out of relief, because at first I had forgotten that he was carrying a rocket launcher with him all the time. The tank was pretty close, but then we heard a powerful engine’s noise in the air. I looked through the window and then I saw a fighter plane, which was powered by a powerful rocket turbine. Even the anti-aircraft could not keep up with it as it was making maneuvers in the air. It fired a homing missile at the tank, destroying it like it was just a toy; the blast of the explosion was so powerful that all the windows shattered in the building. Finally reinforcements had arrived, however two enemy jets appeared in the skies. They chased off the fighter. I noticed an enemy helicopter approaching at fast pace. In the end they pinpointed our hiding location and decided to rely on the aircraft, which was one of our weaknesses. A sniper’s bullet ran above my head, deafening me for an about twenty seconds, Lazure quickly pushed me on the ground and said to take cover. There was a sniper inside that helicopter. I thought that it was over for us, but then a real miracle has happened, five allied jets flew above the building, they hit the helicopter with machine guns and bombarded their defenses with missiles and bombs. Almost half of their defenses got wrecked, and then our small army has finally arrived, five tanks, two hundred soldiers, eight jets, two combat helicopters, four missile launchers and more.

We managed to complete our first objective, our second objective was to infiltrate the city, find their leader and kill him. A support squad has come to our rescue; they gave us food, water and resupplied us with ammunition. The enemy had a bigger and stronger army, but our main objective was not to completely destroy them, it was to distract them while I and Lazure get inside the city. The plan worked out perfectly, although many fine men were sacrificed, but they indeed managed to cause a chaos for us just to sneak in unnoticed. Everything was for a greater goal, to prevent a massive scale war…

At last we were in the city, we hid ourselves in the lane, there we met some homeless people, who were lying there, we borrowed their clothes to look like normal civilians, and we left our weapons there and only took our pistols and some ammo with us. Our next destination was their governmental building, where the leader of this country was supposed to be. We stole a car from the parking place and drove to the location quickly; the building was protected by soldiers and local police. It was impossible to get inside, but then a man in a jacket came out from the building, and a great idea came to my mind. I told Lazure that he should move to the other part of the city, then steal a phone from someone, call the police and say them that some armed men broke into the city. I began to follow the man in a jacket, he noticed that I was following him and increased his pace. I ran up to him and pulled out my pistol from the pocket and had set it against his back, I told him to go with me. I guided the man to a dark lane; I took him out by smashing my pistol against his nape, he had lost his consciousness. I dressed up just like him and stole all of his documents. I knew that everyone in the building would recognize that I am not him, but at least I will be able to get a passage inside from the military.

After then I approached the governmental building, almost everyone outside was gone. “Nice work, Lazure. You really managed to drive them off.” – I thought. It was my turn next. I approached the entrance and police officer stopped me, he asked me to show him my identification man, I gave him the man’s identification card, I then sighed and hoped for it to work. Surprisingly my plan worked, he let me through. Maybe I looked like that man in the jacket? Actually it was easier than I expected, it was way too easy to slip away from the security. I approached the president’s door and then I entered inside; a man who was shown in the photo was sitting in a comfortable chair just before me. I pulled out my pistol gun and aimed it at his forehead; I slowly pushed the trigger and shot the bullet, showing a rather evil and psychotic face expression. My gun, a part of my face and clothes were all splashed by his blood, because I was pretty close to him. I sighed and asked myself. –“Is it the end?”

I looked through the window; the sky was getting dark, the sun was blocked by the dark clouds and then I heard a sound of thunder, it was about to get rainy… Not just rainy, a whole thunder storm was approaching. I exited the building through the main entrance and there I found myself being surrounded by the enemy soldiers, there were around twenty of them and all of them were armed. They were aiming their guns at me, I did not mind to be killed, because I completed my mission, but there was one thing before me that gave me goose bumps me. It was a humanoid mech standing before me, it was big, probably six or seven times taller than me. There were various weapons and guns attached to it – from machine guns to missiles, from missiles to lasers and so on. However the weapons were not enough to scare me, it was holding Lazure’s dead body! “How?” – I asked. The humanoid mech dropped Lazure’s body right before my feet and then the rain started to fall, washing away his blood; he was without his mask for the first time ever, his dead face reflected sadness. I aimed my pistol at the gigantic robot and started to shoot like crazy until I ran out of bullets, but it did not even scratch it, no at all… all the bullets were merely deflected…

Suddenly the mech’s face opened and a human emerged from inside its face, he was laughing like a maniac. “Do you really think you can kill me? I have the money, I have the power, and I am able to use futuristic technology. World never seen my real face until now, I am the real leader of this country. All the time you were trying to kill the imposter, who was my brother, but not me. Can you see how dedicated I am? I even put my brother at risk? This world will be overrun with machines like this, everyone will become machinated and I will be their leader!” – That was what the man, who emerged from the metallic humanoid, said. “Rainy day huh? This will be a good setting to die, sorry buddy I will join you soon.” – I said as I looked up at the gloomy sky.

I was prepared to die, I was angry and I wanted to avenge Lazure, but there was no reason to live anymore, I had no purpose at all, but suddenly I felt something in my hands. The thing that I felt in my hands was a sword, it was black and its design was wild, it was not a normal sword, what the hell? Was that a hallucination before death? Suddenly an orb of light appeared in my sight and began to talk to me. - “Simon, use this sword and reach for a new tomorrow, grasp your feelings with this sword. It is time to ascend to greater heights, it is time to rise. You must escape this world now.” What was that? Another hallucination? Was I going insane? No, it seemed real, but that was crazy to believe. That thing even gave me a name. I decided to try to communicate with it. – “Why? Just why? Why did you give me a name? How I am supposed to fight him with just a sword, I would be dead right away? Why not giving me a minigun or something better?” The orb spoke again; its light was blinding me. – “Because your real name is Simon, because you are the only one who can stop this madness. I gave you this sword, because it was your real weapon in the past. This world that you been living in is not real, it’s fake! You must realize who you really are.” Fake world, my sword… that thing did not make any sense. I answered him. – “What are you talking about? I know that I am insane, because I can see you. But I been living here for so long and now my only friend just died, I have no reason to live anymore. I know who I am, why do you talk like I don’t know who I am?” The orb spoke again. – “I see you are already consumed by this world, but I never thought that even here you have a close friend just like him. I am almost at my limit, until we meet again, Simon.” – After that it just vanished and the sword in my hand just melted in the rain.

Simon? What was the meaning behind this name? What was the meaning behind all of this? Will I ever be able to find it out, or is it the end for me? After some minutes of thinking I returned to reality. I approached Lazure’s dead body, I reached for the pistol in his pocket and then I pressed the pistol against my temple. I slowly began to push the trigger and at the same time many thoughts ran through my head. What was a human? Why do we die? It’s not fair, why we never had our own families? At that moment it was pointless to question myself, but maybe… maybe.. in the end, I realized that my real name is Simon, but I was bound to die here. As the trigger was pushed to the end the bullet speared my head and at the last moment I was able to feel free of this world, the giant robot that was behind me was nothing, but a joke now. In the end I managed to make a smile and then I collapsed on the moist ground. Everything dyed in white…

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12The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:45 pm

The world of darkness…

I’ve been living in a world full of greed, lust for power, battles, wars, deaths, demons and other creatures. The lands were burned, the cities and towns were wrecked, some of the lands were frozen and instead of rivers with fresh water, there were rivers with polluted and radioactive water. Although I was just a child, I understood more than some of the adults did. I was curious; I wanted to know everything about this world and its mysteries. My dream was to save this world from darkness; I wanted to see sunlight one day.

I was only eight years old, I’ve been living in a cave with some of the adults, and we were hiding from foul creatures, who were hunting people. I was a lonely orphan, when I was only a baby my parents were devoured by demons. I was lucky that our neighbors took me in. A couple of years ago we were living in a village, but then it was destroyed by vampires. In this world even some of the humans were not so friendly, some of them were cannibals, and some of them were killing others for food or other things. This is how we were living in this world, we always fought for survival, it was not easy, but somehow we managed to pull it through and even for me, I was born under a lucky star, because the survival rate of children was below zero.

I always detested this world, but I knew that it was not the world’s fault. The world itself was in pain and sadness, somehow it seemed that it was crying to be saved by someone. For me it was interesting, my curious nature was the only thing that allowed me not to lose hope and believe that one day everything will change. Adults were always telling me stories about great heroes, who tried to save this dark place, and about those who were able to make some changes. I loved those stories, because I always wanted to become a legendary hero myself and save this world from darkness. I always thought that I was not created for this world, that I was missing an important detail that could change who I am and maybe create a light for this world. I always felt like I bumped my head somewhere at some time and developed amnesia.

I decided to escape from the cave, because I was tired of it. I knew that it was a death wish, but I wanted to explore the world by my own, fight monsters, collect treasures and one day liberate this world from all the evil and darkness. It was more like an ambition, but I had great expectations, because I felt that it was the right thing to do, it seemed like my inner voice was calling for me to go out and do something.

I escaped when everyone fell asleep; I silently packed some food with me and put on some warm clothes, because it was cold outside.  When I left the cave I appeared in the yard, which was full of dead trees. There were a lot of deadly looking spiders on the trees; I decided to be extra careful while going through. In the end I managed to go through safely, after then I decided to rest, so I stopped for a moment and sat down on the cold earth. I looked up at the sky, the full moon was shining in the sky, probably it was the only source of light that my world ever received. Suddenly I heard a powerful howl of a beast, and then I looked around to see if that wild creature was nearby. I saw nothing, but I decided to move away from that place as quickly as possible.

I rose up from the ground and started to move at fast pace, my breathing suddenly turned heavy. I heard that something was approaching me, it was running at me. I looked behind and then I saw shining golden eyes in the forest. A lone werewolf emerged from the forest and began to chase me, my heart rate shot up and adrenaline kicked in as I began to run as fast as I was able to. I started to regret the moment when I left the cave, my mind and body filled with fear and weakness. The beast was about to catch up with me, but then a hooded person, whose body was covered in black rags jumped down from the tree. The person was holding a great sword, which was black as night and long as three regular swords combined. Using only one of his hands the stranger in rags managed to lift the great sword up and stab it into werewolf’s jaws, the sight was spectacular; the werewolf fell on the ground from only one hit and died.

The stranger pulled out his blade from the werewolf’s jaws and sheathed it; he then turned back at me and removed his hood. He was an old man, with gray hair and a long beard. He asked me if I was unharmed, without saying a single word I just shook my head. He motioned with his index finger to follow him; I decided to follow him, because I realized that if I wandered alone I would be dead in seconds. The old man escorted me to his hideout and then he asked me  – “What are you doing here all by yourself, kid?” I decided to give him an honest answer. – “I am here, because I want to learn more about this world and hopefully one day save it from darkness.” The man sighed and smiled. - “You remind me of him. He was a fool just like you… But you know he actually managed to make some changes in this world. He even killed the wicked tyrant called as Dracula.” His words caught my curiosity, so I decided to ask him one thing. – “Who is that fool that you are referring to?” The old man sighed again. – “Come inside I’ll tell you about him.”

We both entered inside his hideout, we sat down on two sturdy chairs, my savior placed his legendary looking sword on the table and then began to talk. – “His name was Simon; he was my friend in the past. He was reckless, stupid and curious just like you are, but he was a brave and honorable vampire hunter. He had an ambition too; his ambition was to bring sunlight to this world by exterminating all these foul creatures and by uniting all these corrupted humans. However one day a lord of darkness and probably the most powerful creature in this world Dracula challenged him to  a death duel, Simon accepted Dracula’s request and fought him in a death match… after then Simon disappeared, but Dracula was killed as well, he saved us, humans, from being turned into vampires. I don’t know where did he disappear to, but I am grateful to him. He is a real hero.” – The old man finished his story with a deep sigh. I realized something… I realized that humans are truly capable of extinguishing all the darkness in this world. That Simon person was a real hero, I wanted to become just like him. No I had to become someone like him, maybe in that way I would be able to break the ceiling made of darkness, which was the dark sky.

Four bats flew in through the open window, and then they turned into human like creatures with fangs, those people were vampires! They circled me and the old man, but then in the middle of the air a bright orb of light appeared. The orb began to talk to me in a deep and dark tone. – “Now is the right time! You must realize who you are now or it will be all over for you. Say your name and grab the black sword on the table.” To realize who I am? What was it talking about? Why did I have to grab that sword? Everything I had to do was to say my name? Wait… what was my name in the first place? I decided to ask the magical orb. – “Wait what? What is my name? Why are you speaking like you know me?” - I attacked the orb with a lot of questions. “Your name is Simon of course, and if you think about it deeply, you will realize who you are. Now do as I say.” – The orb commanded me. Simon was my name? Just like the hero? That’s right! I wanted to be a hero; I wanted to bring sunlight in this world just like him…

I grabbed the hilt of the sword and shouted. – “My name is Simon and I will destroy every foul creature in this world!” As soon as I touched the sword it started to glow and fill me with unnatural energy. I remembered everything. “So, even someone like me can have sappy dreams?” – I asked myself. I got up from my chair and lifted my sword, the vampires charged at me all at once, but I easily managed to leap up to the air and spin in the air with my blade, creating a powerful gust of air around me. All the vampires were knocked away by the gust that I created. Suddenly my hair regained their original color, which was white. My eyes turned into red, and my body matured instantly, I was not trapped in child’s body anymore. My clothes turned into black robes that I always used to wear. I stabbed my blade into a nearest vampire’s heart and shouted. – “I am Simon and as I can remember correctly I have to kill that bastard named Thomas!” The vampire screamed and turned into a pile of ashes. Suddenly everything turned black; somehow I appeared in a vast and empty space.

“Welcome back, Simon.” – A mysterious voice talked to me. Suddenly I began to regain my memories of why I appeared in that place in the first place. Every delusional dream that I had, everything just flowed to my head. I realized that I was stuck in an endless dream with different possibilities and outcomes. Land of sand – it reflected how empty I was. Land of snow – it reflected how cold I was. Land of giant forests – it reflected my desire for peace and freedom. Land of metal – it reflected that only by using my sword I would be able to save my friends. World of darkness – this world reflected the truth about me and the light inside me. Yes finally I was able to remember every dream that I had. Every time the space, time, my personality was different, but those dreams reflected my thoughts, desires and feelings. Now only one thing remained, I had to deal with Thomas; he was the one, who trapped me inside my head. “I won’t let you to seal my power and I will avenge the deaths of innocent people of Baltasar Hill village!” – I cried out loud and the empty space started to crack like glass until everything shattered into little pieces, and then I finally woke up from the endless dream and opened my eyes… For a moment I had a vision of me standing somewhere in the Brusthonin, the sun was rising and I was gazing at tomorrow, which was yet to come, and then reality reached my eyes…

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13The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:34 pm

Chapter 5: Power in a name.

Dark side of the reality.

When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but a void. I was lying on the empty space; I looked at my surroundings everything that I was able to see was a vast and empty space with weird anomalies in the air. My muscles were weakened and I could see wrinkles on my arms. My energy was drained, it was hard to stand up, but I barely managed to stand up on my feet, however as soon as I stood up I instantly fell on my knees coughing with enormous amounts of blood. My hood was removed and I felt a burning heat in my face area, where that strange tattoo was supposed to be.

I looked in front of me and saw Thomas, who was holding my sword in his one arm. “That bastard…” – I thought. I had to kill him… He was the one, who attacked Baltasar hill village two months ago and claimed that he was the one behind my memory loss. He destroyed the village and killed some innocent people. I swore to protect those people, because it was my responsibility to keep the village safe. Back then, when I visited that village I swore to Azure and everyone else that I will be their master and lead them on a path of glory. I gritted my teeth and stood up, but this time I did not fall on my knees, it was my will that kept me on feet.

Thomas was too busy with my sword to even look at my direction. After all he was draining away all the energy that I and my sword possessed. It still was not clear what his real intention was, but one thing was clear I had to avenge everyone who died, because of me, that day. I began to approach him, and with each step I got closer and closer. Finally he became aware that I was awake, he looked at me with his right eyebrow raised and opened his mouth out of surprise. “Impossible, no one can escape from those dreams.” – He said it with fear in his tone, but then he smirked and laughed. “Anyway it doesn't matter anymore; I will use your own sword to defeat you.” – He said it as he tilted my sword up and pointed it at me. A decisive fight was about to unfold, but this time I was not afraid anymore, I was excited to kill him instead…

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Three months ago - Part 1.

After meeting Jaina I decided to spend all of my days in the village and wait for Azure to show up. Days and nights were passing by, light and shadows were chasing each other’s back, and skies were changing from starry to sunny... I lost count of the days. All the things I did in my village were drinking and resting my lazy ass by the tree of life. As usual my head was filled with thoughts of my existence - Where did I come from or why I appeared in Atreia? If only I was able to remember a thing or two about my past, I would be happy, at least that was the thing that I wanted at first, but I did not really care anymore. I had to live. I just wanted to see yet another boring day, talk with my buddy Azure and others in this world and finally die from old age. However every time when I thought about life, I found myself asking - "Who I am?" - I just could not erase this thought from my head. I thought that I found a lot of clues that were able to help me to remember something, but I realized that I found nothing. I began to doubt myself that I will remember something at all…

Just what the hell was I thinking? One day I found myself drinking tons of whiskey and the other day I was vomiting on the floor... I just wanted to escape reality, but at the end of the day I was only a mere human – a mortal body that was destined to rot someday. One day I decided to test how good I was with my sword, using my full strength I tried to swing my blade back and forth but I only injured my feet from its heavy weight, I was just nothing... Not even a damn fighter. From the moment of waking up I was doomed to become a loser. One night I even tried to stab my left palm with a knife just to judge myself for drinking too much whiskey, but after a minute or two it healed... Yes it healed, was it a miracle? Maybe it was the tree of life that healed my wound or maybe it was yet another of my useless abilities? It was no wonder why I did not have any scars. Even if I could not be injured I realized that I was too weak to protect something or someone, but I was kind of surprised that I my body was able to regenerate so fast.

To me everything seemed like an illusion, a bad illusion. I wanted to shatter this glass between my current self and my lost past, but I did not care anymore. I was nothing... just an empty shell of my former self, who was gone for ages. These boring days were driving me crazy.. I wanted to get some action. However one day I decided to go out and do something. I purchased a teleporting orb and crushed it in my palm, a spiraling light enveloped my body and I was teleported away to Akarios village.

When I appeared in the village it was almost empty, except for one person, who caught my attention. That person was sitting on a wooden chair by the tree all by himself. I decided to come closer to him. He was a man with blond hair and light, but brave eyes. He also had a small scar near his left eye. He was dressed in crimson colored clothes.  He seemed lonely, no… rather he was missing someone. I decided to greet him. He tilted his head up at me and said. – “Hey Simon.” I was a little surprised that he knew my name, but I just assumed that he was yet another person that I knew before I lost my memories. I explained him that I did not remember him at all, so he introduced himself again. His name was Jake, a leader of the army and a hero of Atreia. He was not just a simple person, he was a hero and he was well known around Atreia. On the inside I felt happy that I knew such a person before I lost my memories. After all he looked strong and wise just like Azure. I decided to introduce myself to him for the second or rather the first time.  I said my name again, even though he knew it already. I also mentioned him that I was the leader of the Baltasar hill village, actually I just bragged to him, because he was a well-known hero and I? Who was I anyway? I was just a non-significant existence that lost its memories.
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I had nothing much to say to Jake, because he felt like a stranger to me even if I used to know him in the past, but now everything was different, because I lost my memories. I remembered that I had some whiskey in my backpack. I thought some whiskey would get me talking. I pulled out a bottle of whiskey from my backpack and suggested Jake to try it out; it was the finest whiskey in my village after all. He named whiskey “the cure” just like Azure did when I meet him after waking up. A weird thought crossed my mind. – “What if Jake and Azure are connected?” I decided to find it out indirectly, I mentioned my friend Azure to Jake. I told him that Azure also called whiskey as “the cure”, without saying a single word Jake just smiled and remained silent. His smile was suspicious, so maybe they were connected after all? It started to get a little rainy; after all there was a dark cloud above our heads. Jake used some sort of spectacular magic and collected drops of rain on his finger, forming two glasses of ice out of rain. I was jealous of his ability, but it was to be expected from a hero like him. I poured some whiskey inside his glass, and then inside my glass. We began to drink the bourbon colored liquid.
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I became a little tipsy from my first shot of whiskey and thus I began to talk with him. Most of the time I was just interrogating him, everything that I was able to come up with were questions about Atreia and my own existence. My words confirmed just how empty I was on the inside. However Jake remained patient and answered to all of my questions calmly. I asked him. – “What kind of person I was before?” His answer was not a simple answer, it meant a lot to me. He said that no one was able to get inside my soul, I was the one who was making all the choices of my life and no one were able to tell what kind of person I was in the past, but one thing was clear – he said that I must follow my path and do what is right to me. For some reason I missed half of his words, but his words reached my heart. It made me to realize that no matter what happened to me and who I became now I will always be myself and follow what is right for my heart. He was a wise person indeed; he brightened my mood and made me to believe that not everything was lost. Even though it was our first meeting I already gave him my respect. I decided to head back to the village, but this time with a smile in my face. That Jake was like a tower of strength…
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After then even more time has passed, a month maybe? Since Azure was absent and I had nothing to do, I decided to wander around the village, however when I was wandering around the village, in the distance I saw a tall figure. It was Azure without a doubt! Was it a God, who made him come back? Finally I had another chance to see him. I approached him slowly and the first question that I gave him was - "Where have you been? I missed you." – I sounded kind of lame, but he was my only friend after all. I learned that it was a nice coincidence, because Azure was on a long journey just like I was. He found out about his origins; it appears that he was made of the hatred essence. What was this essence and why did he say that he was made from something it was a big mystery to me. To me he seemed like a normal living being, to me he was not a tool or thing; he was my friend... probably my best friend in the past and in this present.
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We were talking to each other for a short time, and I was still wondering how he was made from something like hatred essence... He explained me that he was not alive, he was not an actual human... he was more like a shadow. I wanted to understand him more, but he had to leave already... he said that he was going to get some sleep, but actually he was going to pretend to be asleep, because he did not need any sleep... he was not alive anyway, he just wanted to think about things. As he was about to head to his bed, I stopped him and asked him one more question - whether we fought Triniel in the forest of Lollu two years ago or not. His answer was yes, my prediction was right, but he also said that we lost because someone got in our way, for some reason he stopped his speech midway and then without saying another word he disappeared in the distance. Probably he held back, because he did not want to hurt my feelings... but I already understood what was going on. I already knew the answer, although it was only an assumption, but it was the truth. I was the one, who got in the way back then. We lost that fight, because I was too weak... and this is why I was absent for two years. I decided to sit on the ground and close my eyes; I had to sit down and think things through, it was getting late anyway…
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It was yet another morning, and a new day... it was hard to fall sleep last night from all the thoughts that I had in my head. My head was heavy and a bad alcohol smell was coming from my mouth as always... I decided to visit Sandvika in a pub, maybe drink a bottle of whiskey or eat a cooked brax. I got up from the ground and shoved all the dust from my robes with my hand, I then readjusted my sword, which was on my back and then I was ready to go. On my way to the pub I met a stranger, who was sitting on one of the empty barrels, which were near the pub. I never seen that person before in Baltasar Hill village, for some reason he was staring at me. He was a young person, probably in his middle twenties or so, he had long blond hair and his eyes were green as emeralds, also he had a small scar below his left eye, he seemed physically fit, actually he was muscular. He was dressed in a weird black costume. It felt like I knew him, like I met him hundreds of years ago. I stopped right in front of him.
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I was not sure what to say to him... but for some reason I wanted to talk to him, and his stare was suspicious too. A complete silence broke out... for a moment it seemed like time has stopped between that our eyes. We were staring at each other, probably for hours or longer, but it felt like only a couple of seconds has passed. Finally stranger started to talk: "Hello Simon, it's been some time right?" - Simon? How did he know my name?! "Wh-who are you?" - I replied to him, just who was this stranger? Why did he know my name? I was a little shocked, but decided to play it cool. The stranger then sighed and stood up, extending his arm for a shake. We shook our hands. "Oh yeah... I am sorry; I forgot that you can't remember anything. Anyway, my name is Thomas; I came here to meet you." - Once he was done with his introduction he smiled. I was so confused... how did he know my name and the thing that I lost my memories? "Wait? What!? How do you know that I lost my memories? How do you know everything... you are just a stranger!" - I panicked, waiting for his reply. He smirked and let go of my hand. "Alright, alright... Cool down, Simon. I know the way how to regain your memories and I must confess - I was the one who made you to forget everything." - That was his reply. I clenched my fist and punched right into his nose without even thinking of the consequences. His nose started to bleed, but Thomas nonchalantly covered his nose with his hand and on top of that he did not even flinch from my attack. That bastard... he was the one behind all of this and yet he had courage to show up right in front of me and state that he was the one who made me lose all my memories.
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We were only standing and staring at each other, he lowered his hand from his nose just to expose how blood was flowing from his nostrils. I had enough from looking at his face and took him down by throwing another punch at his face, he did not resist for some reason, and instead he just smirked. I was filled with rage and hatred, but he was only playing... there was someone who knew how I lost my memories all along... and yet I was not aware. "Why?" - I wanted to ask him... but I could not, because I wanted to kill him, because of what he done to me. I grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up from the ground, he was still looking and smiling at me, it was frustrating. I smashed my forehead against his and shouted in front of his face - "Why the hell did you do this to me, you bastard!?" I tightened the grip on his neck and began to crush his throat; using my knee I hit his solar plexus as hard as I could at that time. I released his neck and made him fall on the ground again, he was struggling for air, but still he showed no emotion at all. After some minutes he managed to stand up, he sighed... it seemed like he was showing disappointment in me. He snapped his fingers and then he swung his right fist upwards, delivering an uppercut at my chin. I wanted to dodge his blow, I was able see through his movements, because of my unnatural reflexes and eye sight, however his blow was fast as lightning and I could not move my body, not even an inch away from him. Thomas' blow lifted me up from the ground, to completely blast me away he ended his attack with a kick to my stomach area, I flew several meters away, choking on my own blood.
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Thomas stood still and decided to talk again: "Sorry for that Simon. The reason why I am here is to test your power... I mean your real power that you once possessed." My real power? What was he talking about; I decided to give him some questions. - "Why did you erase my memories? What about my power, can't you see that I am weak already!?" I got up from the ground and then I realized that my wounds had already healed, maybe I really had some special powers like everyone else too? Thomas sighed once again and closed his eyes. "Well... I erased your memories, because I was told to. You have a hidden potential, trust me." I panicked. "You were told to, why!? Then will you be able to make me remember everything?" For a moment, a spark of hope lit up in my eyes, I thought that Thomas will be able to help me to regain my memories, but I was wrong... He began to laugh like a maniac. "No, I'm not helping you in any way, don't get me wrong. It's none of your business who told me to do it. My real task is to end your life right here and right now! I just want to see what you are made of for entertainment purposes." His smile widened as he opened his eyes. I began to tremble; he seemed pretty powerful for me. I decided to call for Azure, who was somewhere nearby. "Azure, help me!" But he did not come to my aid... I tried to call for him again and again, but no one came. "You are already in my trap, no one can hear you nor can anyone hear me. Only I can hear you, I already placed a seal on you when I hit your jaw. I was aware that you would call for this Azure person, so I placed a mark on your lower jaw to silence you, the only person who can hear your voice is me." Thomas smirked as he extended his arm, using his index finger he drawn a white glowing magical triangle in the air. He opened his palm and an orb of lightning appeared in the center of the triangle, he simply flicked it with his fingers towards me. The orb of lightning passed by my shoulders and impacted with the building that was about seventy meters behind me, the building exploded and crumbled to dust, which was suddenly scattered by the wind, all over the place.

I looked back over my shoulder, the building was completely devastated, there was nothing left of the building except for the giant crater, only bodies of dead people were scattered around the village, and there it was a crying boy, standing and looking at his dead mother. The scene behind me was sad and dark... I failed to protect my people; I failed to maintain peace and prosperity in my own village. I was just no good to be a leader, tears of sorrow started to fall from my eyes, I gritted my teeth and clenched my fists. If only I had the power.. A power to protect love... A power to maintain peace... A power to extinguish all the evil in this universe, however I had nothing... even Azure did not come to my aid this time, maybe it was because that bastard Thomas silenced every living being in Baltasar hill village. I was all alone, there was nowhere to hide or run... if it was my destiny to die now, I had to accept it, but I would never accept for all the things that Thomas did to me and this village!

I looked at Thomas again, this time I looked straight into his eyes. He already had formed another orb of lightning and was prepared to launch it at the little boy, who had lost his mother. I extended my wings and flew to the direction, where the boy was standing... I hoped to make it in time, however as soon as I took off from the ground he launched the orb. There was nothing left but to act as a shield and protect that boy with my own body. I collided with the orb, it exploded at point black range, burning my clothes and the electricity distributed itself in my blood vessels, paralyzing my whole body. I got blinded temporary, because of the explosion. The blast made me flew at high velocity, slamming me against the tree of life; at least I managed to make a smile on my face, because I finally managed to protect someone. It was my best shot, but still I felt like a useless leader...

Thomas approached me with a devil's smile on his face. I was glancing at him, but my vision was blurry... I wanted to kill him, but my body was paralyzed and my skin was all burnt. This time he drawn a hexagon in the air, and a white dagger appeared in the center. He slowly wrapped his fingers around dagger's hilt before fully grabbing it, and then swiftly tossed it, aiming just an inch below my heart. Was it on purpose that he missed my vital spot, or was he so inaccurate? Another dagger appeared in the hexagon’s center. This time he threw it at my stomach. My body was so paralyzed that I was unable to feel pain anymore. He was continuously throwing daggers at me. The third one hit my left eye, the fourth one pierced through my palm and so on... He was just playing with me and I could not do a single thing about it, I just had to endure this humiliating pain until the last drop of my blood.

After ten minutes of being tortured I realized that I was no longer paralyzed and my injuries were regenerating. Thomas stopped throwing daggers at me for some reason; He looked to left side, where the crying boy was located. Thomas grabbed another dagger and then threw it, aiming at the boy's head. The dagger went through his head like a bullet and left a hole in it... killing him... He killed another innocent person... and that person was just a child.. Anger generated inside my heart... I barely managed to stand up with about twenty daggers stuck in my body. I never felt this angry before...

My eyes started to glow... all the daggers, which were stuck in my body began to melt like icicles. All the wounds and injuries that I received vanished...  I was like a new person.  Thomas tried to hit me with his fist, but this time I was fast enough to react to his attack and caught his fist in my palm. I squeezed his fist hard, making his bones to crack without any effort. He struggled to get out from my grasp, using yet another dagger he cut down his own hand. It was not enough.. I wanted to make him suffer. I grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up, and then I slammed him down on the ground, breaking his spine and shattering the pavement below. I wanted more... This lust for blood was insane. I was still holding his neck, so I added more pressure and ultimately I crushed his throat. Only blood spilled from his mouth, staining my hands with his blood. I quickly grabbed a knife from my backpack and plunged it inside his eye. "How do you like it now, when someone stabs a knife in your eye?" - I said it almost enjoying.

Something bad happened to me, I was like a completely different person. Was this emotion called hatred? My wings extended, but this time I noticed that my wings were not the same. They were black and burning like fire, but not like a normal fire. It was a black fire in the shape of dragon wings. Strange armor appeared on my body, it was not solid... it was burning in black color just like my wings. I noticed that a black substance from my sword was pouring like never before, it seemed like someone was calling for me... A faint voice sealed inside a sword, it commanded me to take it and destroy the enemy. As I slowly reached for my sword Thomas managed to stand up on his feet, he pulled out the knife, which was stuck inside his eye and dropped it on the ground. He smiled, probably he acknowledged my strength or maybe he had another dirty trick up his sleeve. A magical circle appeared around his left wrist and a white magical sword grew out from his wrist. My sword was already drawn; I swung my sword horizontally, cutting his sword in half. Thomas was dazzled by my attack, and left an opening for me. I tilted my blade at zero degree angle and then I penetrated his chest with my sword. "Give me back my memories!" - I shouted as I lifted him up with my sword. Blood was dripping from his chest, after a few minutes I was standing in a bath of blood. It felt so good to be this powerful. I kicked Thomas in the stomach; he flew several meters away from me. It was a time to finish him, I began to slowly approach him, and with every step a trail of black flames was following me. In the meantime, Thomas managed to stand up again even with a fatal wound, even with a hole in his chest he still managed to show his smirking face expression. His face annoyed the hell out of me; I began to drag my sword down the ground using only my right arm as I was approaching him. The trail of black flames, which was behind me extinguished and turned into a puddle of black liquid, which resembled oil, but for me it seemed more like a very dense matter.

I changed my pace, with each step I was approaching him faster and faster and finally I found myself running forwards. As I got close enough I raised my sword up and tried to cut him in half, but somehow he managed to dodge my attack... He was lucky, no it was not luck, it was his speed and reaction time. The swing of my sword was so powerful that it managed to leave a crack in the air and rip a hole in space, I looked inside that hole and I was able to see space... yes space. Every star, every planet, asteroid... somehow it did not feel right for me, it was like my sword acted as a key to open a door to the space. Thomas smirked and told me that this was the power of my sword. I could not believe it, actually I never thought that I was holding this much power in my hands. The rift in space shrunk down to a molecular size after a few minutes and probably disappeared in a thin air.

I regained my senses, my burning black wings suddenly turned into my regular wings and the burning black armor shaped itself into a black armor, which was probably made from the same material as my sword, and finally a cape appeared on my back. It felt like some sort of transformation, but at least I was back to normal, well almost. I became like a complete opposite to myself, I was not afraid anymore, I became brave instead. My thoughts were full of vengeance, but this time I wanted to erase a threat to this world and universe. My wings represented freedom and my new armor reflected truth, which was hidden in me – finally I became a capable leader. I knew that I was still weak compared to Azure, Triniel, Jake, that vampire Daente and everyone else, but I believed that I had enough potential to protect my village from Thomas, but something bugged me about him. It seemed that he was immortal or at least he had some sort of secret, because a normal person would be dead from all these wounds, even I would be dead. Also I started to feel pain in my right hand and I felt that it was weaker than before. I decided to check my hand by removing a gauntlet and then I noticed that it had wrinkles, not it was not just wrinkles, but I realized that it aged. My power was my own bane. Thomas probably knew the answer and he had the ability to help me, but after all I had to destroy him for good. I did not care about my lost memories anymore; I just wanted to contribute for the sake of my village.
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As I equipped my gauntlet I came up with an idea, but first I wanted to test something, because I was not sure how to use my power. I raised my sword up with my two hands and then I slashed the air in a vertical line, my sword cut through the air, creating a strange black anomaly in the air, it had a shape of an egg, but also it looked like a passage to the other world, basically it was a portal to another dimension. I remembered the time when Jaina opened a portal to Poeta by snapping her fingers back then in the tavern. The rift that I opened with my sword looked similar, but the passage itself was otherworldly. I gazed inside the rift that I just opened and I noticed completely different beings walking on the ground, they had six legs, four eyes, scales instead of skin, they were just creepy looking. The gap in space began to shrink until it finally disappeared. I learned that my portals appear for the limited amount of time, but it would be enough if not too much time to execute my plan.

I looked back at Thomas, he had his usual bastard’s smirk, but this time it was the end for him. I quickly let go of my sword with my left hand, then I ran up to him and grabbed his head with left hand and finally I swung my sword midair and imagined a dark and creepy place. I was not sure if imagining the location would work, but it worked on my behalf. Another rift, which was leading to a dark and creepy world, appeared before us, I pushed Thomas inside the rift with all my might and then I stopped just an inch close orb. I sighed and thought. – “Well that was close.” I decided to guard the rift before it disappears. I looked up at the sky and found myself thinking again. – “Well, that takes care of him and everything that he done to me. It is sad that I will never be able to regain my memories, but at least I did a great thing today and I should be proud of myself. From now on I will become a new person, maybe I won’t be the same Simon that Azure and everyone in the village knows, but I will become a better person.” However a white web with a white rope attached to its center flew out from the portal and enveloped my body, completely trapping me inside it. Someone started to pull me inside the portal and before even saying a word I was pulled in the other world. I noticed that it was none other but Thomas, who was holding the other end of the rope. I wanted to get out of the web and return back to Atreia, but as I glanced behind the rift was already gone, and this is how I met Thomas…

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14The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:14 pm

Three months ago - Part 2.

I was stuck inside the web, which was made from sheer light. I looked around the area, which was engulfed by darkness, my view distance was short; I was unable to see the horizon, not even sky, only black clouds, because of the darkness. Even the ground itself was black, but it was not just black it also was viscous; I was able to feel that the web and I inside it were slowly sinking into darkness. The air was toxic and rotten too; with each breath I felt the smell of thousands of rotten eggs. Just where did I end up? I wanted to go to Atreia right away, but I had to get out from the web and restrain Thomas first…

I glanced up at Thomas; he was healing his wounds by using similar magic, which was used to create all the daggers that he threw at me back in the Baltasar Hill village. His wounds were mending at amazing rates, but what really surprised me was that he managed to stay alive for this long without even healing himself. I realized that there had to be some sort of secret to his ability, but I just had no clue what kind of power he had. Thomas smirked and then the web acted according to his will and started to squeeze me inside. I was struggling to get out, but it was useless, the web began to burn me like fire. I grabbed the hilt of my sword tightly and then looked at the area, which was located behind Thomas. My eyes flashed in a crimson color and my sword discharged red electrical sparks, and then the space behind Thomas started to spin like a spiral, sucking all the oxygen and tiny particles inside until cracks in the air showed up and shattered like glass, leaving a dimensional rift. Everything inside the web, including me began to get sucked inside the micro black hole, or at least this is how I called it, the squeezing grip of the web loosened as the web itself got sucked inside, by using the situation I managed to cut out my way outside from the web and escape from the distorted space. The other end of the web went out from the rift, which was behind Thomas, for a moment I glanced at my sword and thought. – “So this is my power? I can even open rifts just by looking at the distance…” Thomas looked at me and laughed. – “You learn fast, good job. This way everything will be even more interesting.”

I decided to end everything quickly, because the darkness there started to get on my nerves. “Thomas, this will be the end. I’m ending this madness right here and right now. I’m not handing you my life here, Atreia and the village is waiting for my return.” – I said to him as I tilted my blade towards Thomas, the black substance began to drip from the tip of my blade and red sparks discharged from my blade again. “We will see…” – He said as he drew a huge magical pentagon in the air, this time a white huge sword of light appeared in the center. His sword looked exactly like my sword, but it was all white. He grabbed that sword by the hilt, pointed it at me and said. – “Simon, you know I’m pretty good when it comes to sword fighting. I hope you are ready.” After then our swords and sights clashed at each other, the viscous soil heated up and caught itself on fire from our impact. That time our strength was equal, but Thomas had the advantage, because my arms were slowly getting weaker. It appeared that my body was not strong enough to handle this power. “I’m not giving up, at least I have wings.” – I said as I extended my wings and leaped up to the air, Thomas took a couple of steps forward due to momentum he created when we our blades collided. I kicked his head from above and opened yet another rift in front of me by slicing my blade through the air. He was about to turn back at me, but by concentrating on the area behind Thomas’ back I opened another rift and then I stabbed  my blade inside the rift, which was in front of me. As I expected the other end of my blade emerged behind his back and ultimately pierced him from behind. I dived inside the rift and appeared behind Thomas, I pulled out my sword from his back and grabbed him by his hair, and then I made him fall, shoving his face down to the dirt.

“Victory is mine.” – I said to him, but he only laughed it off and asked. – “How does it feel to bend space to your will? Isn’t it lots of fun? I never imagined that you’d be this strong after losing your memories.” Bend space to my will? It felt great, yes it felt great to have such a power, but something was wrong with my body, it seemed that I was unable to last longer. It was hard to stay on my feet, my sword gotten much heavier, or maybe it was because my arms became weaker for some reason.  “No… no.” – I said as I shook my head, I had to kill him. I decided to go for his head, I Lifted my sword up with my remaining strength and was about to stab him, but then my armor melted like ice, but instead of water it turned into a black liquid, which resembled oil. My blade suddenly became heavy; to me it felt like a mountain. Thomas quickly rolled to the right side to avoid my sword, which fell from my arms and began to sink into the viscous ground. I lost my power for some reason…

I fell on my knees, all exhausted. Thomas barely stood up on his feet, panting and spitting blood from his mouth. He smiled and started to heal his wound. “You got me, you really got me this time, but I guess I was lucky to survive. I expected for this to happen, so this is why I kept on fighting and used my energy.” – Thomas said. Why did it happen all of the sudden? I was so close and yet I did not take his live. I barely pulled out my sword from the ground and tried to swing it in the air, hoping to open a portal to Atreia, but it did not work. There was no escape from that place… “It’s useless, just save your breath until I take your life.” – Thomas said, keeping his usual smirk on his face. “I want to tell you something though.” – He lowered his tone. What did he want to tell me?  He looked around the area and then said. – “Something is watching us.” A completely black humanoid figure came out from the darkest corner; it had purple glowing eyes without pupils and he was armed with a black rapier. “Who are you?” – I gave a question to a shady person. It answered my question in a male’s voice. – “I am the guardian, but you remind me of him..” I became confused, I reminded him someone? It was my first visit in this place and yet I happened to remind him someone. “I remind you who?” – I asked the shady person. “You look similar to the one, who killed my lord long time ago.” – He answered. I became even more confused, but Thomas understood something just by hearing the stranger’s words. “What a coincidence.” – said Thomas.

The suspicious man charged at me, holding his rapier on the side, but Thomas created a white magical shield to deflect his attack. The man bounced off from Thomas’ shield and shouted at him. – “What are you doing? He’s my target!” Thomas smirked and then said. – “It’s unfortunate for you, because he’s my prey.” For a moment I felt like a wanted person, but it was a great opportunity to escape. I extended my wings and took off from the ground; I flew away from the place as far as I was able to…
After a couple of minutes I realized that I was flying in complete darkness. The world was dark; I was barely able to see ground and the sky… There was no sky at all! Somehow I felt attached to this world, somehow I had a feeling that I’ve been in this world before, maybe in my past life. I sympathized with this world, it totally reflected sadness and emptiness, but for some reason I wanted to bring in some light and vanquish the shadows. I placed my right hand to my chest and said. – “Yes… one day I will bring light even in this world.” My words were brave and ambitious, but I felt like it was the right thing to do, not only it was the right thing, but it was my only option. After all I realized that I was a good person in the past. Jake was right, it is me who will follow my own path, and it is only me who will bring changes in me, no one is able to look inside my heart and soul. After then I noticed a giant abandoned castle in the distance, I decided to land there, because I was getting tired from flying. I landed before the entrance and looked up at the castle; it was huge, probably bigger than any of the buildings I have ever seen. I entered inside…

When I was inside the castle I found myself walking in a huge hall with a lot of entrances to other rooms, I decided to go further until I reached the throne room. The throne room was empty except for the throne and countless of skeletons, it was creepy; I had to rest for a while so I decided to sit on the throne. The throne itself was dusty and covered in ashes, and it was made of skulls and metal. The throne seemed comfortable though, so I placed my sword on the side and sat down. “Emperor Simon.” – I said and then chuckled. For a moment I imagined that it would be great to be a king, to sit on a throne and give commands to others, but then I shrugged it off, it was clearly not a job for me. If I ever were an emperor I would get fat and lazy. I checked my backpack, which was surprisingly still there with me, and found a bottle with some whiskey left. “I guess it’s my lucky day, heh…” - I opened the bottle and took a decent gulp until whiskey started to burn my throat and stomach. “This is the best thing ever…” – for some reason I even started to talk with myself.

I’ve been sitting on that throne for almost an hour and I was thinking about this ‘Dark World’, not only that someone knew me from this world, but I also had a hidden sympathy to this world. ‘Why?’ I wondered, maybe it was the place where I’ve been gone to for those two years? Even if it was the case what did I achieve in this place? It was not clear, actually everything was unclear to me since the moment I began to exist as a new person. Finally after getting plenty of rest it was time for me to leave the castle, I placed the bottle of whiskey on the ground, picked up my sword and rose on my feet, and then I began to walk towards the exit, but the skeletons, which were lying everywhere in the throne room suddenly came to life. I was not surprised anymore, until the moment I met Thomas in Atreia I was curious almost about everything, but now I’ve seen enough where this was going. All of the countless reanimated skeletons suddenly looked at me and grabbed bones, swords, spears, bottles and every other thing that was lying before their feet. They seemed angry and I instantly realized that they were going to kill me. In the end I became so bored…

I was surrounded by skeletons everywhere, there was no escape the only thing I had to do was to make an opening for myself, but there were just too many of them. For a weakling, who had an unreliable ability like me it was too much, but then a bunch of skeletons exploded and shattered to bones before me and the exit was exposed with Thomas standing before my eyes. Was I supposed to give him a hug for saving my life or punch him in the face for everything he done? “Well, well just an hour passed and you are already in trouble, Simon. “ – He said. “Thanks I guess, but how the hell did you find me?” – I replied him with a question. He smirked and answered. – “Well I’ll tell you later, maybe. Anyway we should get rid of those skeletons first.” In the end I had no other option, but to work alongside that douchebag.  I understood that once we were done he would come for me, so I already planned to escape as soon as possible.  I sighed and agreed. – “Alright, but remember I still hate you.” He laughed and said. – “Come on, don’t be so mean. After all I saved your pathetic life.”

And thus we started to work together, we beaten every single skeleton. We knew that we were enemies, but to escape from this world we had to work together at least once. His goal was to use me to escape and my goal was to escape from him and try to open a portal to Atreia. Thomas’ combat capabilities were good, but I was not bad either, I even earned some fighting experience, although fighting was not for me, because I just wanted to live a peaceful and easy life. At the end of the day I shared some whiskey with him, the enemies were gone, but Thomas did not try to kill me for once, probably it was because he was waiting for me to regain my powers. “You know, Simon, I never thought that we appear in this place. You were telling me legends and stories about it but I thought that you were just making fun of me.” – He said. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I decided to ask him a question. – “What about this place? When did I tell you about it? We are enemies, remember?” He sighed and finished his glass of whiskey. – “Well, after all this is the place where you used to belong in. You told me about it when you had your memories, it was a nice story, but I never thought that it was true, but anyway I’m not talking about your past anymore, we are enemies after all and I’m not helping you to remember something in any way.” I was confused, but decided not to question him anymore. What if this world was my real home? What made me to flee to Atreia? Was it because of the sun, or was it whiskey that brought me to Atreia? No there had to be a better purpose and now Baltasar Hill village was my true home, I had to return there. After spending some hours we left the castle and decided to venture around the world, to look for food, water or something like that. On our way we encountered a lot of wild beasts and monsters, this world was cursed; it took us some time to find some humans and ask them for a shelter.

One night when Thomas was asleep I was trying to bring out my powers with a strong purpose and motivation in my mind; I had to return home, to Atreia, to my village. Azure and everyone in the village were probably waiting for me; I’ve been gone for about a month. I closed my eyes and inhaled some air into my lungs, thinking about only one thing, which was to return home.  I drew out my sword and said. – “I believe in you, my sword. Bring us home.”  It started to discharge red sparks as it did previously when I was fighting Thomas. I slashed my sword vertically and opened a portal back to Baltasar Hill village; I was able to see the holy tree, villagers, animals and buildings through the portal. Even the building, which was destroyed by Thomas, was almost restored. It was the time for me to leave, I looked back at the house where Thomas was sleeping and said. – “Even if I hate you, even if I want to kill you I must thank you for everything. If it wasn’t for you I would never be able to find this strength and will inside me. I wish you luck in this world, because I never going to meet you again.” However I felt pain in my stomach and then I looked down at the stomach; it was pierced by a white magical spear. I feel on my knees trying to get some air, because with a wound like that it was even hard to breathe. I extended my arm, reaching for the portal, but then Thomas approached me from the side and kicked me to the other side. “You are not going anywhere, it will be me who will return to home, but first I’m going to take this sword from you.” The portal shrunk down before my eyes and yet I was so close, the village was within my reach…

“Why do you need my sword?” – I asked Thomas. He laughed and answered. – “None of your business I just need it, and your life… I never cared about it anyway, but I needed to get you angry so that you could activate your sword’s power. I’m taking it now!” He tried to reach for my sword with his arms, but I stood up and extended my wings. It was painful with a spear stuck in me, but I had no other choice I had to survive and I knew that my wound will heal automatically, because I was not a normal human being too. I leaped up to the air and smiled, because I knew that he did not have wings. I pulled out the spear from my stomach, there was a huge hole left in my stomach, but I knew that sooner or later it will shrink down. “Try to catch me, bastard.” – I shouted and began to fly away from him. He drew a white circle in the air, the circle moved below his feet and then Thomas took off from the ground while standing on a white magical circle. Thus he began to pursuit me. On the way I tried to open space rifts to slow him down, but he avoided all of them, although it bought me some time. It was only a beginning of an endless chase throughout the world.

Day after day, night after night, I was not even sure when was the night time, because this world was always in darkness, Thomas was chasing me. On the way I met many people who helped me to get as far as I could from him and gave me food and other supplies, but he was always on my back. It was even hard to fall asleep, because I was afraid that he would come and steal my sword. Our swords clashed several times, but in the end our every fight ended with me escaping from him, because it was just impossible for me to kill Thomas. We even killed countless of monsters and foul creatures of this world, it made me wonder why it was so polluted with all the monsters and creatures. Two months have passed since the time I started to run away from him and try to open a portal to Atreia, but I always failed, because he was either too close or almost killed me many times. However we were getting tired, I did not have as much strength left as I had since the chase began. I came to a conclusion that I had to stop and face him like a real man…

There lies a secret behind the tattoo.

I landed in the abandoned village and pulled out a bottle of water, because I was thirsty as hell. I gulped all the content inside the bottle in one go, and decided to wait for Thomas’ arrival. Only a minute passed and he appeared before me. “So, someone’s decided to have a small rest huh?” – He asked. “No. I decided to settle things with you once and for all.” – I backfired. “Now that’s the spirit! Shall we begin then?” – Thomas asked. “Yes, but first let’s go where no one can see us, where no one can interrupt us, to a place where neither I or you can escape without claiming victory first.” – I said as I swung my sword midair, opening a portal to the endless space or rather to a whole new dimension. Thomas nodded at me and we both entered inside the portal.

We appeared in the center of the empty space, there were clouds around us and horizons, which were filled with stars and tiny planets. There were weird anomalies in the air, but the area itself was beautiful, probably the most beautiful place that I ever been to. It was a place for new dreams and hopes to born, a place where everything will be decided by one’s death. I knew that I was able to defeat him; I almost won two times against him. In this void we started our final act, a final phase which will decide my and Thomas’ destinies. Thomas looked around and said. – “You picked a beautiful place for your death, Simon. I’m impressed that you thought about things this far.” I smiled and pointed my sword at him. – “Do you really think I would do this? I chose this place to execute you. You should be grateful for everything, Thomas.” He just laughed it off. – “Don’t be so cocky, Simon. You will experience total despair.”

We looked at each other’s eyes for a couple of minutes and then I was ready to attack him. I opened a rift above me and another one below his feet, he fell through the rift and I was ready to hit him with my sword from below, but he created a great white magical shield and slammed it down on me. My sword was strong enough to cut it a part, but in the meantime Thomas managed to avoid my attack and started to spam his white daggers, by throwing them at me from the side. I turned at him just in time and opened a rift before me, by using my eyes. All the daggers got inside the rift, and then I extended my wings and quickly flew before him and by swinging my sword horizontally I opened a rift at point blank range and all the daggers, which were sucked up in the rift that I opened earlier flew at Thomas. He smirked and somehow made them to disappear in the thin air. - “Nice try, Simon. You really have gotten better over these months.” I landed before him, thinking about a strategy to defeat him.

“It is time to show you a total despair.” – Said Thomas. “Total despair?” – I asked. He nodded and showed rather evil face expression. – “You see this tattoo that you have on your face?” – He asked and pointed at my tattoo with his index finger. “Yes, what is with the tattoo?” – I asked him all confused. He laughed. – “Well I made it for you; I planted it on your face a long time ago. You know what it is? It’s a seal, my original power is not all these things that I create by drawing figures on the air, and I just borrowed it from someone who was dear to you in the past. My true power is to place curses on people and then mess with their heads and create illusions.” What was he talking about? His real power? Dear person of my past? Did I know Thomas for a long time? “What are you talking about? Explain it!” – I shouted at him. Thomas merely smirked again. – “Well to make it simple for you, every time you managed to land a mortal blow on my body I activated this tattoo, err.. I mean seal to create an illusion of me getting injured, but in reality you missed almost every of your attacks, I’m not saying that it was easy to fight you. You are a formidable foe, but I always had the upper hand. I pretended to heal myself every time you thought that you hit me, but in reality you weren’t even close.” Everything was just an illusion? It was strange that he always healed himself so easily, but I thought that he was so strong. After all I was no match for him…

He raised his index finger wanting to add something to his speech. – “However there was a time when you almost got me. It was when we appeared in this world, but I was lucky that you ran out of power. So for that I admire you, I can’t bend the laws of reality for a long time, so this is why I can’t keep that seal activated for a long time, because it is bad for my own health.” That’s right; I remembered that when I met him he planted a seal on my jaw to silence me from the outside world. Thomas was a clever bastard indeed, now I understood why he was so formidable. “Anyway, I’m going to tell you one more truth. That tattoo is one of the reasons why you lost your memories, but you cannot remove it, no one can except for me. The funny part is that you asked me to place this seal on your face, because it served yet another purpose in the past, but it also helped me to mess with your head and make you forget everything. By the way it’s a good tracking device so this is how I found you in Atreia and in that abandoned place” – He laughed and touched the tip of my sword with his finger. I was lost for words; he was so up ahead of me all this time. Why was I fighting him anyway? He won already. I failed to live up to my purpose in the end. All these months of running and chasing were meaningless, just like everything else. I completely lost my will to fight.

He took away my sword, removed my hood and then touched the tattoo with his left palm. – “To reward you, I will trap you in eternal dreams, where you will be able to see yourself living countless of beautiful or sad, but realistic lives. No significant being can escape from these dreams. In the mean time I will drain away yours and your sword’s power. Sweet dreams, Simon. I enjoyed our reunion.” Why did he need my sword so badly, what were his real intentions? That bastard… I wanted to make him pay for everything, but I started to feel sleepy and I could feel a burning pain around the place where my tattoo was supposed to be. My purpose slowly slipped through my fingers. I collapsed on the ground and closed my eyes, falling in the eternal sleep…

Everything was lost; I was trapped inside his dreams. I was able to dream about millions of versions about me and my life without even having knowledge what was going on in the real world. I did not even have a clue about my dreams, because I felt alive there, but then there were those dreams where a mysterious voice was calling my name. I had no idea what it was talking about, but slowly it made me to realize with each dream that something was not right. There was a dream about me being in the desert, I had nothing with me, but I had a purpose to reach faraway lands. It reflected how empty I was but also it made me realize how curious I can be. Another dream when the voice called for me was about me being a fisherman who lived in the lands filled with snow, I even had my own family there. The dream reflected my coldness, but also it showed how deeply I can care for others like my villagers. There was yet another dream about giantesses and me wanting to create a peace between two races. It reflected my desire for peace and freedom, but also showed me that my real home is indeed Atreia, because it is a place filled with giantesses. The fourth dream when the mysterious voice called for my name was about me and my friend living in a faraway place, where technology had reached its peak. It reflected that only with the help of my sword I was able to save my friends and villagers, and it also showed that I had a true friend back there in Atreia, his name was Azure. Finally the last dream, when the voice made me realize who I am, was about me living in a dark world. The dream reflected the complete truth about me and the light that I had inside, and it also showed that I had strong ideals, because I always dreamt of peace and happiness. All those dreams combined were the inner corners of my soul, and that voice, which called for me was a new found power, which made me to regain my will to face Thomas in a battle.

In the end I managed to wake up and get in Thomas’ way, I never knew what he was hiding beneath his smirk, but he helped me to improve for the better. Only thing, which was needed to be done, was to get vengeance and return back home to Atreia. Thus a decisive fight was about to begin…

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15The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:32 pm

Two souls, two goals and only the victorious one can take the path.

“You know, Simon, you are full of surprises. You managed to keep me busy for two months and now you have escaped from my illusions.” – Said Thomas, who stood before me, pointing my own blade before my nose. Like always he was so talkative, his voice irritated me I just wanted to shut him up and kill him for good. Actually I was pretty excited to see him drink his own nasty blood. I felt that great sensation, to see him suffer and then ultimately die after a couple of minutes. I smiled and then found myself laughing. Be it a dagger, a spear or my own sword I was ready to take him on.  To me, he was nothing but a simple vermin, insistent one indeed. He had to pay for everything, for my people, the village, my precious time and my whiskey that I shared with him. Vengeance was the only answer in my head, my arms were shaking and my knees were trembling from excitement. I was aware that Thomas had the advantage, he was smart, strong, he was holding my sword, and my energy was almost drained. I felt so worn out that I could fall on any moment, but my heart and my soul were the only things that kept me standing. My new found will was the key for victory, but the way was hard. It was my first time when I faced such a great threat in my life, or at least it was the first time since I woke up with no memories left inside my head.

I began to slowly approach Thomas, it was hard to even raise my feet, and I felt like I will break in any moment, but my will kept me moving. I got close enough to be able to reach my sword and then I extended my arm in a slow motion, reaching the sword with the tips of my fingers. Thomas was lost for words; he started to back away from me, by going backwards. “No, no.. Get away from me, monster!” – He yelled in fear. “Impossible, how can you still move? I almost sucked all of the life force from you!” – He panicked as he swept back in a smooth motion, bringing my sword to the side and slicing my pale hand off. My hand fell down and the crimson blood began to leak from all the exposed blood vessels. My own boiling blood reflected in my red eyes, I gritted my teeth to hold the pain down and continued to move forward. My wound was not healing anymore due to my weariness. “Hahaha, you lost your hand by your own sword, isn’t that ironic?” – Laughed Thomas, who was still backing away from me. I grinned and looked into his eyes. “What’s the matter, Thomas? Too scared to kill me?” – I asked him in a husky and low tone. Thomas stopped and brought my sword across with two hands. “Shut up! I am not afraid; you are just a dying old fool.” – He said and laughed insanely. I approached him and began to stare at him.
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He panicked and raised the sword above his head, hitting my left shoulder. The sharp blade penetrated through my shoulder and stopped just a little above my heart. Thomas smirked and I fell down, reinforcing myself with my left knee. The blade was stuck inside me; using my healthy hand I grasped my sword between my index finger and the other four. “You will never have my sword.” – I said and began to push the sword up from my heart. “What? How can you be this strong?” – Thomas was caught in a surprise and began to push my sword down, hoping to get it to my heart. The sword began to discharge red sparks and then magnificent and elegant wings with blue trims grew out from Thomas’ back. “Finally, I acquired your power.” – He grinned and rather than pushing the sword in he pulled it out with one hand and raised it up, pointing the sword up. I was panting and bleeding, but it was not the end for me. Maybe it was my hidden energy that still kept me alive or maybe Thomas was not as strong as I thought.  He spun the sword in the air several times and out of momentum he brought the sword down before me and created a powerful gust of wind, blasting me several meters away from him. I fell on my back. “Goodbye, Simon.” – He said.
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He stole my power, but yet I was able to feel strength inside me. A power that was always by my side, it was not just my will or the lust for vengeance, it was something else nearby, and then a simple thought crossed my head. – “It’s here, it’s my soul.” I got up on my feet and shouted at the top of my lungs. – “Give me back my sword, you dirty bitch!” I ran up to him and extended my arm, touching my sword with a burning sensation in my soul. My sword reacted to my call and then my body began to fully function again, all the wounds that I received disappeared like it was nothing and I was able to feel strength inside my body again, even my hand grew back. I snatched the sword from Thomas’ arms and the same armor and cape, from our previous fight, enveloped my body. Thomas lost his gift to talk and instead of saying yet another comment he went all out. Lots of his white magical hexagons surrounded his body and in the centers of the hexagons many white orbs of lightning appeared. He began to flick them all away with his fingers, scattering them all around the place and exploding them simultaneously. Our surroundings began to fill up with crazy explosions, even for me it was hard to dodge them all, so I covered the area with space rifts to make sure that all the orbs explode inside the rifts…

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When two men clash at each other.

At that point Thomas’ sanity was questionable, magical orbs were flying at me and everything, but not a single one of them touched me. I dodged them all with some help from the rifts and my unnatural reflexes. Thomas stopped his mad attack when he became tired, all the hexagons disappeared and he fell down on his knees, panting. “Why are you so strong? I planned everything carefully.” – He said, while trying to catch his breath. “It is because you have no will and your purpose is weak.” – I said to him. “There is no way, how can a piece of trash, which lost its memories, like you be this powerful?” – He asked me. “It is because I am not a piece of trash, my name is Simon! I am the master of Baltasar Hill village and inhabitant of Atreia. I will destroy anyone who tries to lay a hand on my people!” – I answered him with a smile on my face. He sighed and got up on his feet, without saying another word. “Now fight me using your own power and decide your own destiny. If you think that you can’t win remember that you are going to die, but if you want to survive then raise your blade and kill me.” – Those were my words to him.

Thomas smirked and became motivated enough to fight me. “So you want me to use my own power? Then bring it!” – He shouted and opened his palms; two long black metallic spikes grew out from his palms as he began to run forward at lightning speed. I could see through his movements at ease, when he got close he extended his arms and prepared to plunge those spikes inside me, but I merely took a step to the right side and single-handedly swung my sword horizontally, hoping to slice of his arm. He quickly leaped up to the air, placed his feet on my blade and then he flipped himself backwards. Due to my sword’s weight I was forced to take a couple of steps forward, and thus it became a great opportunity for Thomas to strike. One of his black spikes extended towards my head, but I managed to tilt my head to the side resulting in a small cut to my cheek. He was good; he showed yet another ability of his. I crouched and spun myself to his direction, getting a hold of my sword with my two arms. I was about to thrust his stomach, but he blocked my sword with his metallic spikes, by crossing them.

“Once I kill you I will bring your dead body to that world, where we spent two months together. After all it is a place where you belong. You will rot there like garbage!” – He shouted at me as he opened his mouth and poked out his tongue. His tongue was marked with a small round tattoo, was that one of his seals? Suddenly dark energy began to build on his tongue until it formed into a shape of a ball, and then Thomas suddenly fired the ball, which turned into a beam of dark energy. The beam was coming at my direction, but at the last moment I opened a small rift with my eyes before the incoming beam. The dark energy got sucked inside my rift and then I backed away from Thomas. However he was so persistent that he kept running at me with his arms extended to the sides and long black metallic spikes poking out from his palms. I began to run at his direction and at the last moment I swung my sword horizontally midair, the air cracked and another rift showed up, but this time it acted like a cannon, because the same dark beam, which disappeared inside the last rift I opened, emerged from inside and pierced through Thomas’ stomach. Thomas stopped and looked down at the small hole, which was located somewhere on his stomach. Some of the internal organs became exposed and some guts poked out from the hole, his spikes vanished as he suddenly kneeled down and started to vomit blood from his mouth. I was not sure if it was yet another of his illusions, so I decided to approach him and end him on the spot.

When I got close to him I dropped my sword down and lifted Thomas up to my face by grabbing his head with my hands. I plunged my thumbs inside his eyeholes, crushing his eyeballs. It felt great to finally make him suffer by my own hands. He screamed out of pain, after all he lost his vision for good and it was a painful experience for him. I smashed my head against his face, to make his face more ridiculous, and then I let go of his head, making him to fall. “Well it doesn’t seem like an illusion to me. I guess in the end I claimed the victory. “ – I laughed as I said my words. “Kill me…” – Thomas begged for me to end his life. “You look so pathetic now, Thomas. That serves you right, now you finally know how you are not supposed to mess with innocent people.”  - I lectured him. He was dying, but for some reason he began to smile. “Simon, it was fun to be with you.” – He said while trying to maintain the smile on his spasming lips. What was he talking about? “What are you talking about?” – I asked him, but his reply was different than I had imagined. - “Simon, I want to tell you something. There is a rift somewhere in the abyss and when you start to understand more about your powers the others will be after you. Remember that your own power will be your bane one day. Oh and I want you to hold this...” – He said it as he extended his right arm and opened his palm; there was a golden ring with a white crystal in his palm. “This ring once belonged to someone, who was close to you. It holds the power to create objects of light, the same ones that I created during our fights. It was fun when it lasted, but I guess this is the end.” – He said his last words and died peacefully with a smile on his face… Or maybe it was yet another illusion, I was not clear.

I looked at his smile for a couple of minutes and realized that even villains, like him, can die with heroic smiles on their faces. I took his ring and placed it inside my backpack. Finally it was the end, I managed to avenge my villagers, but his last words were bugging me for some reason. His last words echoed in my head for thousands of times. Why did he give a ring to an enemy like me? Why others were after me? What kind of rift is there in the abyss? Everything made me so confused. Thomas deserved a proper funeral, even as my enemy he managed to smile before my eyes after his death. He was the greatest threat to me, but thanks to him I found my own power, I learned a lot of things from him and my love for my village increased. I realized that I was not a bad person in the past after all, even if I look like one. It was time for me to leave, I felt pretty exhausted and dizzy, but I wanted to see my village and the people again. I wanted to meet Azure too, to tell him about what happened to me and to drink whiskey and do random things on our free time with him. I lifted my sword up and stabbed through the space, opening a portal, which led to Baltasar Hill village. I picked up Thomas’ corpse and dived inside the portal…


Space distorted in the center of Baltasar Hill village and a portal shaped itself out of nothingness, I came out from the portal, holding Thomas’s corpse in my arms. I was finally able to breathe the fresh air of Atreia, after so long I returned alive and well. The village was fully reconstructed and my people were having their happy everyday lives. When they noticed me emerging from the portal they greeted me with smiles and waves. Everyone was shouting. – “Master has returned. Our hero made it back.” I gave them a brave smile and then brought Thomas near the tree of life; I dug out a hole with my sword and buried him inside. “Thank you, Thomas. Even if I hate you, you were the only person who gave me so much courage and strength to protect love and peace.” – I turned away from his grave and went to buy another hood from a local clothes shop, because I really needed one.

After then I found myself in the pub drinking and thinking about a lot of things. I began to regret killing Thomas, he was the only person who was able to bring back my memories, but now he was no more. All those thoughts about vengeance made me think irrationally, if only I had my senses back then maybe now I would be able to remember something about my past. Somehow I felt like I lost a family member, Thomas was the only one who was able to help me and in the end I killed him. Was it really the right thing to do? Probably it was definitely the right thing to do, after all he was after my life and power, but what really made me anxious were his last words. “Will others like him really come for me? Why did he give away his ring to me? What about the rift in the abyss and my power? And why the hell did he smile in the end?” He brought even more mysteries to my life and then he just simply disappeared. “Damn it!” – I shouted and smashed my fist against the table. The bar maiden Sandvika asked. – “Is something wrong, master?” I looked at her and shook my head. – “Nothing, I just spilled some whiskey on my armor.” I also wondered if I was able to help Azure on taking out Triniel with my new found power, there was a lot to learn for me, but my ability seemed kind of useful. After then I just left the pub and headed to the tree of life direction. After all there was my usual standing spot.

When I was there I looked up at the sky and pouted. I did regret killing him, but it was the right thing to do. My past was probably lost forever, but the only question that was left in my head – “Was it for the better or worse?” I had this curious nature and I really wanted to find out what kind of person I really was and what have I done in the past to those people, who were after me. I began to hate myself for killing him; at least I could beat out some information from Thomas if he was still alive.

However I found a new strength inside me and this strength will be used with good intentions. - To protect those that I love. Thus a new myself was born today, finally I found a new purpose to be alive in this world and I was grateful for that. Now I was the one, who completely erased my memories, because I killed the only person, who was able to bring them back for me. “My name is Simon. I was born in Brusthonin, at the forest of Lollu. I found a new friend Azure and I became the new leader of Baltasar Hill village. I might not be talkative, but I am a loving and caring person and I will do anything to make this village a happy place to live.” – My voice echoed throughout the village, suddenly everyone in the village looked at me and shouted. – “Hooray!” As for myself I was standing near the tree of life showing off my wings, which resembled freedom, and watching the village from above, should the need approached I would be there.

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16The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:52 pm

Chapter 6: The world is ending.

The new Simon.

A lot of things have happened, but my story did not end, it was only a new dawn, it was rather a new journey. New struggles and fights were waiting for me. When I returned back to Atreia I disappeared once again, but this time I did it on purpose. Actually I did it out of boredom… Yes that was my only purpose, a lame excuse to exit reality and find myself again. I wanted to become wiser and stronger, my soul wanted something fresh and exciting and my body needed relaxation. I disappeared like a cold shadow, which was vanquished by the shining sun. Some claimed that I died; others said that I committed a suicide and some believed that they saw me drinking whiskey in the pub, but all of them were wrong. I was somewhere close; somewhere in their hearts…

I had no goal at all, an aimless destination it was, but it was fun… Indeed it was fun, at least I had some moments when I really felt alive and other moments that helped me to understand more about myself and how deeply I was connected to my past. Although I learned nothing at all, sometimes I stopped on my way and drank some good old whiskey. With each sip I wondered what was really keeping me alive on this world. Was it really Azure and my village? Was it for the vengeance? Or did I have a greater goal to accomplish? Although I found a new power I never felt complete, but it was a great start. I always wondered what kind of person I was in the past, but with time I decided to let go of my past, whatever happened before is dead now…

I was gone far away from the village, because I needed some space to train and discover what was inside my heart. To face future problems I trained hard and meditated to hone my combat skills in which I was lacking. I felt the power inside me, but my experience was horrible. The ring that I received from Thomas worked perfectly; I was able to create all kinds of objects just by imagining them. I wondered - who was that certain dear person to me who wielded this ring. Is that person even alive? If so… I decided to find that person one day. I learned how to use my new armor, it was not just a simple armor, actually it was my sword or rather the power of my sword, this ability only acted as a defense mechanism, but the armor itself was stronger than I even imagined. I learned how to make my armor to appear on my body just by will. However with each time when I was using my new power my body felt weaker and weaker until I finally realized that my power shortens my lifespan with each use, so I decided to use it only when the need approached. I was not invincible after all, but I could only wonder how did I hold out for so long? Maybe there was another secret of my power, but I forgot about it along with my memories? With time I became more confident and got used to my new condition, I learned that this world was offering a lot of beautiful things and I became happy with it. In the end I reached a new light, which will scatter all the mystery and guide me to enlightened future. Finally after a long month of training I really became stronger, more confident and wiser, but the only thing that was getting in my way were my feelings… However I learned how to calm them down, it was simple I just decided to record the events of my life by writing in the blank notebook, which I was carrying in my pocket since the first day of my existence.

A welcome filled with despair.

It was time to come back, after a full month of training both my mind and body were prepared to lead the village to its glory, I made my vows to Azure long ago and this time I decided not to fail him. Even though I was his master I felt more like a loyal servant of Azure. I slowly reached for the hilt of my blade and cleaved through the air in a fluid motion, imagining the village and the holy tree of life. The air cut itself in half and shaped into purplish black passage of time and space or how I like to call it – the dimensional rift appeared before me. I put on my backpack on my shoulder and entered inside and soon I found myself standing on a mossy rock, which was just a couple of meters away from the tree of life. I raised my arms above my head and inhaled the fresh air of the village, after all the aroma of the tree of life was keeping the village fresh and unpolluted. I decided to hold my breath and meditate by closing my eyes and relaxing my body for a couple of hours, in the past month I learned how to control my breathing…

My body became stiff and my mind completely left my body, thus I fell asleep while standing, without moving an inch from my standing position. Still I was able to feel the cold winds of the village, which were giving relaxing shivers to my body. The sound of the villagers resounded inside my head, every whisper, every single chat that they had… I was able to hear everything clearly; my senses were sharper than ever. Those hours passed by like wind, I did not even fell how quickly two or three hours passed. I was woken up by someone’s presence. That certain someone was breathing heavily and its presence was blocking my very own existence in the village. I opened my red as blood eyes and noticed a black tall silhouette just a couple of meters down in front of me. I quickly recognized whose silhouette it was – it was a tall man, who was dressed in black robes, he also had a black metallic mask covering his face and a long black scythe, with a dark leaking liquid from the top, attached to his back. He was none other but my true and only friend in Atreia, the silhouette belonged to Azure! I merely smiled and without even saying a word, I jumped down from the mossy rock by leaping up to the air and making a midair spin with my arms folded against my chest. I landed on Azure’s right side by landing my feet quietly on the grass.
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A split moment of silence broke out in the air above us and then I exhaled all the cold air from my lungs, making a white dense steam to come out from my mouth and nostrils. “Hello.” – I greeted him with a confident tone. Azure’s body was enveloped in a dark and dense substance, but as he clenched his clawed fist shut it disappeared by creating a small explosion, which made black dust to come off from his body. I was not sure what kind of magic was that or if it even was magic, but it was quite impressive for me. Then he just gave out his usual greeting nod. I sighed and decided to remove the armor from my body. I clenched my fists and smashed them at each other, small shockwave ran through the armor as it turned completely black and shattered into little pieces, which resembled glass, but pitch black in color. As for my cape it vanished with the gust of wind, like it did not even exist in the first place. Yawned and stretched my body, such a good nap it was. Not only it was good, but I had a kind of nostalgic feeling to see Azure around, after all its been ages since I met him last time. I turned my head at him and smirked. “Were you keeping the village safe while I was gone?” – I asked Azure, the confidence in my tone and in my presence were never seen or heard before. After all I used to be a crybaby and a man full of mysteries in my head.

Everything was fine until I asked that stupid question about the safety of the village. Azure started to act completely strange; it was completely out of character. For a time being Azure was just lost in thought, he was thinking and at some points giving weird glances to the tree of life. “Atifure’s mother is dead, because of that there is no harvest this season.” – Azure began to talk. “No harvest this season!?” – I panicked.  Without harvest our people would starve, but luckily I already had a plan. I smirked and  touched the hilt of my blade, thinking about a world made of food. After all if I opened a rift to a world like that my people would be saved, but there was more to Azure’s story. He looked all over the village, somehow worried… At first I thought what was his deal, he never acted like this before so why did he act like that now? And that was the time when I fully opened my eyes, I looked around the village, barricades and elite Templars were disposed all over the village. My confidence and bravery just vanished, but there was more to that…

I glanced into distance, to the outskirts of the village and noticed a small horde of zombies moving towards the village. Two elite soldiers rushed towards the horde and fought the zombies. One of two soldiers lost its arm and turned into a zombie, but in the end the surviving one crushed all the zombies. “What the hell?” – I thought to myself. “Was the barrier, which was created by the tree of life weakened?” – I asked him nervously. It was weakened indeed, and now all the zombies and other creatures were coming after the village and its people and the worst thing was that our forces were weakened, because without harvest everyone were doomed to starve to death and I of all places was gone for a whole month! “We are holding out for now, but every time one of our men dies it adds up to their army.” – Azure added to his speech. The situation was bad, but I believed that there might be a way to stop this chaos. “Is there a way to stop this?” – I asked Azure to see what he was thinking about the situation. He remained silent for a moment and then a red… no a crimson dot dyed his clothes. Azure was bleeding; he was hurt for some reason, but he quickly covered it by folding his arms against his chest. “Well… you humans eat food, so since there is no harvest this season we just need to preserve our food supplies. The tree of life was infected, so first of all we need to find out what caused this and ask for Goddess’ help or literally hope for a miracle that she will fix this problem for us.” – Azure’s words did not seem right, it was completely not him. My temper reached has reached the limit and then I yelled at him, throwing all kinds of questions and ramblings at him. I asked him why he was bleeding and what the hell was wrong with him about receiving help from the Goddess. Did he lose his mind so now he believed in miracles or was the situation that desperate? I agreed with him at one point; help from a Goddess would be a good bet, but what if she won’t help us?  Everything in my head became messed up, I had no idea what was right or what was wrong, but the only thing that I wanted was the safety of Azure and my people… my word was firm, firmer than diamond.

The tree of life.

Azure glanced down to the red dot that now marked his robe, barely visible… but he guessed that he could not hide such things from me, his lips parted beneath the heavy  plate of metal that covered his face, like an exoskeleton from the outside. “It’s nothing to worry about, nothing is goi-…”- He was actually interrupted, the female clad in robes  behind us rose her voice and made it clearly audible for both of us. “The fractured spirit merged with the holy tree as it was pulled into this stage of existence, it’s will and existence are now entangled with his-..” – Not too long now, but she was interrupted – Azure spun around, leaping forwards his left claw-like foot dug into the ground, cracking the soil but not with power itself… it was merely his weight, swinging his scythe in a cleave down upon the seemingly helpless girl, probably to reduce her to a gorey mas of organs and bones, but… It did not, she had brought up her left hand and gripped onto the staff connected to the tool of destruction, apparently with easy holding off the Giant’s assault. Azure tried to apply pressure but the staff along with his frame was easily tossed aside, he landed on the ground next to her with a thud, she still held the scythe and dropped it next to him. “With his very own. He has no soul, nothing but a fraction  of a whole. His existence is a result to the bidding you gave to the tree here. If it’s power fades, not only will the people here be affected by the disease that turns everyone outside even in the forest of Lollu into creatures without a mind, only lusting for hunger… The world you claimed will fall, and that before you get to face the Lady of Death again – Triniel. Divine intervention could be the miracle you long for indeed, but the time is wasting away with each presence that is not accepted by the Aura here ergo the Zombies and creatures.” – She stopped talking and folded her arms under her bust, smiling down at Azure whom sat up straightly again.
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I was amazed by her strength, or rather it was not her strength it was Azure who was weakened. My head filled up with confusion and mystery, I did not really understand the situation. Fractured spirit merged with the Tree of Life? What kind of nonsense was that? The world will fall? I just wanted to get a clear view on the situation, but all the interruptions and Azure’s strange behavior made it even harder for me to understand something. I turned to the girl and extended my right arm, pointing my forefinger at her. I rose my tone and began to shout with a commanding tone at her. – “Don’t you dare to hurt my friend, girl or I will kill you! After all I and Azure are the ones in charge here, and you here… you.. are still living inside this village, because of us. Now… answer my questions nice and easy or I will be the one, who will feed your head to zombies.” Both panic and anger twisted inside my head, but I did not intend to give up on the situation. I took a deep breath and then continued my speech. – “You seem to know something about this and yet it is me, who doesn’t understand anything, but I have my rights to know something too. My first question would be this. How much time do we have before everyone here will turn into monsters? The second is… Where should we look for a Goddess? By the way… About whose existence are you talking about? Is it because of Azure? If so.. then how can we help him? I hope that you will answer to all of my questions or else all of us will be doomed and I…” – I paused my speech, but it was only for a moment. – “I.. I made a promise long ago..” – I paused again and then looked down to Azure, who was sitting on the ground. – “I promised to Azure that I will lead this village to glory and all the people here is our family… Even you are, girl..” I ended my speech and lowered my arm.

The girl did not flinch or waver at my threat, she did not even seem remotely worried given the entire situation. – “I didn’t aim to hurt him, just tossed the staff to the side so you could witness how weak he is right now. If it wasn’t for Atifure charging at a zombie from behind with a kitchen knife he’d probably be dead, or well… Dead probably isn’t the right word, if the spirit you call ‘friend’ suffers fatal damage he will vanish, the fraction of his being will be returned where it once was.. The tree is suffering, the infection under wandered the barrier and attacked the roots from below. It’s sickening and dying at slow pace a few months at best if we-.. Or no rather you find a solution. The shadow was right however, for a divine being all of this would be nothing but a mere flick of wrist, for us bound to reality it’s a task that’s rather difficult to fulfill. Where you can find one..? I do not know, the tree is mighty but it can’t sense or track presences. As for your friend.. There’s a way for him to temporary restore his strength to aid your cause, but it follows a rather rough principle. A kill, the harvest of a Soul will restore his powers temporarily. A sacrifice unaware of loss nor aware of gain. Cure the land and the plants will bloom again, your people will stop dying. But this is easier said than done, isn’t it you stubborn brute.” – She asked in a teasing tone as she turned over to Azure. “Supposed it is you wrench… You really had to spill all the beans at once hadn’t you.. Nngh. But she’s right.” – Azure said.

I was smirking as I was listening to the every word of her. With my power and my blade I felt unstoppable. “I understand, but what am I supposed to kill?” – I asked without showing any emotions in my eyes. “Hah.. I guess a couple of months should be enough, but before curing the tree I have to make a sacrifice.” – I said and then I remembered my last fight with Thomas and the consequences. I became a little worried to use my power, because the last fight took quite a toll on my body. My body aged a couple or more ages forward. In the end I decided to kill that certain person, no matter what it takes, because for Azure I was willing to sacrifice myself. “Triniel is one.. But she wasn’t seen for years. We will save this dumb tree for I don’t intend to vanish. I suppose the people here didn’t want to either.. So remotely I can relate to that fear. Get some rest.. You will need it for what is to come…” – Azure ended the long lasting conversation with his words of ‘motivation’. I nodded at him. “I agree, we will save this tree and kick her ass.” – I said. Azure then left the place and that concluded our meeting after a long time.

I will…

No matter how or where I decided to find Triniel before the end of this tree. I extended my marvelous wings and shot up to the sky, I found myself floating in the air, above the village, above the whole Brusthonin. “This world.. will not end, at least not now… Triniel, I don’t know where you are, but I promise that I will find and kill you!” – I shouted at the top of my lungs, my voice echoed throughout the whole Brusthonin the Zombies and all the creatures stopped at once and looked up at the sky, it seemed like they were trying to reach me, but in the end they were powerless before my might and ideals. I drew out my blade, the burning sensation ran through my body and the red sparks crossed the sky in a long horizontal line. Colliding with the gloomy rain clouds, forcing red colored thunders out of them. The massive thunderstorm impacted the earth, annihilating hordes of zombies and setting blazing flames in its path. “This will be a hard job, however I will recreate life in Brusthonin.” – I said as I smirked while looking down at the burning zombies. The end was near, but the concept of end was nothing compared to my yet unbroken will. Beginning of the end or the end of the beginning, whichever it was a need arisen once again.


I remained in the air, silent as usual. "Triniel...Why do I hate you so much?" - I talked to myself. Suddenly I felt a burning pain on my face, where the tattoo was... My body became numb and then a heavy headache hit me, blurring out my vision. At first I saw a blank image of someone fighting somewhere, then a gigantic scythe... The image became a little clearer as I noticed someone falling in the lake. "What was that?" - I thought to myself. Everything suddenly vanished and then I began to hear a familiar voice... "Wake up..." "Wake up, God damn it!" "Don't you dare to die on me.." - The familiar person shouted. "Wait is that me? Yes I can see it... it is really me..." - I said. I saw myself in a strange vision. I was a little different though. I had the same robes, but my voice was a little weaker and my eyes were blue for some reason, there was a sword attached to my back, but it was not my sword. The sword looked different, it was spiky and sharp, covered in someone's blood.. "Azure, wake up you damn bastard!" - The person, who resembled me shouted again. Azure? Was that really...? There was a person, lying on the ground... He was giant just like Azure and was wearing a never before seen armor... The person seemed dead or at least badly injured. The strange vision ended when I was about to crash on the ground, I wanted to regain balance, but I was just too close to the ground. My body crashed on the ground headfirst, making a booming noise and cracking the soil underneath.... and then my consciousness dwindled...
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17The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:02 pm

Path of sorrow.

In the middle of nothingness there was a lonely man walking. His body was covered in black robes and a black hood was covering his face. The man was going at a slow pace and tears could be seen falling from his eyes. He was sinking in darkness and despair, there was not a single person by his side, but he kept walking. There was nothing but a void in the place of his heart but he kept walking and walking, further to the despair. He stopped for a moment and pulled out a watch out of his pocket, he looked at the watch which was going nonstop, for a whole eternity…

That man, without using any effort, crushed the watch in his palm, smiling nonchalantly. Only dust remained of the watch and suddenly everything became bright and illuminated by the red lights, which were shining like stars in the sky. However these red lights only exposed how lonely and damaged that man was. His hands were stained with blood and wherever he looked – there were only dead and bloody corpses around. What was the meaning in his actual existence? Nothing was clear… nothing at all… but he continued to walk forward… Killing innocent people, destroying lives and breaking friendships and love, he just wanted to show his pain to everyone. Using his blade he cleansed all the vermin in the world, and nothing remained of the world, but darkness and emptiness. Time has stopped for him a long time ago, for how many centuries he endured this? The world was changing around him but he was the same. That man was me, yes I could not believe with my eyes what was I seeing, but it clearly was me. What drove me to do this? What was behind these visions?

Azure and me.

But the visions did not stop yet… Next time I appeared in Atreia. I was able to see myself standing in front of Azure. We were talking about an organization, about our organization… “Eternal Darkness..” – Azure said. I merely nodded and smiled. Wait what? It was weird… really weird… All these visions seemed so realistic, like everything happened in the past… but why was I able to see myself from a side? It was just illogical.. Suddenly we appeared in Poeta and then I found myself standing beside Azure, whose wings were covering the horizon.
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The scenery suddenly changed to dark again where I was walking again, in the darkness… But then I met some people on my way… I met a man, who extended his arm down to me and gave me a handshake… then there was a dwarf-sized guy, who was jumping around me without any particular reason… But this was not the end, there was more! I met Jake in the tavern, after then I found myself fighting against giantesses and losing, I met a bearded man who worked as a shoe cleaner and many others… but it was not yet the end. I found myself training a blue haired man, who had a giant fish made of iron. I met a crazy boy, who was obsessed with me and copied my ways of life. I fought various other giantesses, who claimed to be generals of Atreia. There was this woman, who gave me power and in exchange I became her knight. I argued with a white haired Goddess, but ultimately I gave up and became her follower and I enjoyed her company, but I realized that warm feelings were making me weaker. And in the end of the road I met him… Azure. He always gave me a helping hand, he always was there for me and all the darkness faded away, even though both of us were dark at heart, but something kept us together... Until something bad happened… Azure was lying on the ground, injured. “Triniel… I will never forgive you!” – “Sorry friend, but I have to leave.” – “I don’t want to live with a shame in this world.” – “I will acquire power to slice her to pieces.” – “But for now hang in there, I’m sorry that I’m leaving without saying anything. I hope that you are not angry at me.” – All these words were said by me. I was standing in a dark hall, wearing black clothes and a black shoulder plate, with a curved spike on the top, which was located my right. “Goodbye.” – I said and disappeared from the sight…

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Day of darkness.

As my eyes opened I finally managed to come back to my senses. I was lying on the dark soil, somewhere around the swamps, which were located just outside the village. My head was hurting like hell, just what exactly happened? I wondered. Those visions and what they meant? My brains were filled with delusional and mysterious thoughts. I moved my right palm just above my face and clenched it into a stone-hard fist. “I must go, the time is running out…” – I said, however my body was stiff, it felt like I was paralyzed and then I felt a sudden pain in my stomach. I barely turned to the right side, resting my right arm between my body and the ground. I started to vomit crimson dark blood, making obnoxious noise from my mouth. I took a deep breath and said. – “What the hell?”

Someone laughed nearby. “Feeling alive, don’t you?” – An oddly familiar voice was talking to me. It was more like a voice of an old man, but I was perfectly sure that I heard it somewhere. I turned to the left side, where the voice was coming from and then I was able to see a man standing before me, facing his back against me. He was wearing this familiar black outfit, but I could not recall where I saw it before. His hair was gray; in addition to that he had a black piece of cloth wrapped around his head. Finally he had a curved black sword with a red glowing jewel above its hilt, it was located on his left side, probably attached to him or sheathed in an invisible scabbard. I managed to sit up on the ground, still feeling uneasy and making grunting noises. “Anyway who are you?” – I asked him, hoping to get at least one answer. I was aware that I could not trust this man, despite his looks and mysterious appearance there was something more to him, his whole presence was something that bugged me the most. He placed his hands on his hips and glanced up to the sky. “Well, that’s a good question actually. You met me before, but your memory is really lacking. Let’s just say that I’m a ghost from the past.” – This was his answer; he said it in a laughing tone. His laughter did not seem evil, it was kind actually.
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“Don’t fool with me; just give me a normal answer!” – I became irritated. “Hold it, boy.” – He stopped me. “Actually I am the one with questions this time. Do you still want to regain your memories, or not?” – He countered me with a question of his own. What kind of question was that? How did he know about my memories in the first place? I sighed and decided to give him an honest answer… - “To be honest I don’t care about my memories anymore. I found myself again, I am completely different person now. I buried my memories along with a man, who was able to help me to get them back. I feel happy that I protected what is important to me.” The stranger rubbed the back of his head and sighed. – “Well if it is your answer then I will make my leave.” – He said. Suddenly a vicious zombie approached in front of him. The zombie looked kind of muscular and he was armored, he had sharp teeth and thick claws. “Watch out! If he bites, you will be done for!” – I tried to warn the man, but he remained perfectly calm.

“Even if I’m not in my prime… I can st-..” – He was interrupted by the zombie, who was about to get a chunk of his face with its teeth. Stranger simply bended his head to the left, dodging zombie’s attack, and grabbed zombie by his head hair and pushed him backwards. “I can still destroy a creature like you!” – He ended his sentence and cut off zombie’s head with his sword, which emitted electricity from inside of its blade. The zombie’s head disconnect from its body as it was nothing but a piece of paper. Such a fluent cut! He was no ordinary man. The zombie caught itself on fire and instantly burned down to a pile of dust. “Well, farewell then. It looks like that you have some company here though.” – He said as he began to run away from the spot. “W-wait!” – I tried to stop him, but he never turned back. I looked behind and noticed hordes of zombies approaching me. “So, is this the company that he meant?” – I said, while counting zombies… There were a total number of twenty seven zombies approaching my direction.
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Things were starting to get pretty rough, but I knew that with my power everything was possible. I had to go after the mysterious man to seek for more answers. I picked myself from the ground, patting my robes to shake off all the dirt. My sword was stuck in the ground, only its hilt was exposed. I approached my sword and grasped its hilt, trying to pull it out from the ground. Somehow my blade was heavier than it used to be, but with some effort I managed to pull it out. Not even waiting for zombies I imagined the location where the stranger was heading and then I tried to open the rift to reach him, by slashing the empty space before me… but… nothing happened. Nothing at all! “Nngh.”- Why it did not work? I tried to do the same thing by focusing myself more.. “Gaaah!” – Still nothing happened. “Damn it! Why it doesn’t work when I need it the most!?” – I shouted, expressing my anger.  The zombies were about twenty meters behind me. Did I lose my power or what? It was not a big surprise, because my great sword became heavier again, and as far as I was able to remember it was this heavy since the beginning, at a point where I had no knowledge of my powers. I still had to repel the approaching zombies, but I was not as confident as before when I had my power. My blade was too heavy to be useful, so I just placed it on the ground and faced zombies…

I was out of options to do something good and my stomach was injured, actually I noticed that it was bleeding, but the wound was already healing thanks to my “magical” regeneration. The zombies began to surround me, there was nowhere to run and I was too tired to fly. “If it’s my final moment, then so be it. I have no regrets anymore.” – I said as I smirked, I realized that one bite or scratch would infect me and turn me into one of them, but there was nothing left for me to do. I straightened my back and removed my hood to expose my face to the world, but for the last time I began to look for some whiskey inside my backpack. Instead of whiskey I found something better, I found a hope to survive. My chances were slim, but it was better than nothing. I found that ring inside my backpack, how could I forget about it? It was the same ring that I received from Thomas when he was about to die. Thanks to its white shining crystal in the middle I was able to notice it between the stuff that was inside my backpack. I placed it on my forefinger and then drew a white circle around my body, imagining a strong white magical armor appearing on my body. My body was suddenly covered in a brilliant armor. I looked at my palm, which was now inside a white gauntlet, I moved my fingers by making a squeezing motion several times. “So this is how it works? Very interesting, I guess my training was not in vain.” – I said to myself. I smirked beneath the white dragonhead-shaped helmet and said. – “Shall we begin?”

The foul creatures began to march towards me, they tried to immobilize me, by holding on to me and trying to bite off my armor, but it did not make any effect on my armor, not even a scratch was left. A female zombie approached me from the front, as a gift I awarded her with my armored elbow to her teeth. Her whole jawbone was crushed and her back touched the ground. I turned to my right and noticed two zombies running towards me. “So, you guys are next?” – I smirked as I grabbed their puny brainless heads in my hands and smashed them against each other, making their brain to pop out. I felt that something jumped on my back and tried to bite off my helmet, but what a poor creature it was, I intentionally fell on my back to crush its body with my armor. Zombies jumped on me from front and using their sharp claws tried to scratch off my armor. I realized that the weight of the zombies made it hard for me to get up. “Not bad, I can give you a credit for that.” – I remembered how Thomas drew a white magical triangle in the air and conjured an explosive orb of lightning back then. “Let’s try this trick.” – I smirked again and drew a small white triangle in the midair, a magical orb of lightning appeared in the empty space of the triangle and then it exploded in a point-blank range, pushing all the zombies away from me, some of them even caught themselves on fire. The explosion blinded me for several seconds, but my armor was strong enough to handle the explosion, so I did not injure myself. I stood up on my feet and looked around myself, bodies of zombies were everywhere and there was this zombie, who was crawling at my direction with his guts exposed. I glanced down to him with a smirk on my face. “Whoa… you are tough.” – I slowly approached him and raised my foot above his head, he tried to grab my foot, but I nonchalantly crushed his brains underneath my foot. “That takes care of things here…” – I said as the white armor disappeared.

I held my arms crossed against my chest and began to think about the recent things. These visions… maybe they were from my past? But why in the world I remembered something now? Maybe it was his doing? He looked very suspicious and he even resembled me someone, but who was that person again? I had one person in mind. – It was Thomas, but I killed him… Maybe he was an ally of Thomas? I shrugged and shouted. – “There is no way!” He would have been trying to take away my life or at least my sword, but he did not seem very bad, as a person at least. Maybe everything was just a bad dream? I tried to pinch my cheek, but nothing happened. “No everything is realistic.” – I sighed and wondered what was happening to me. I gave a glance to my blade and wondered how I activated its power in the first place. Something did not connect, however I had to find out the real secret about my power, or else I would be no match for Triniel. At least Thomas gave me this magical ring, but it was not enough to fulfill my ambitions. In the end I came to a conclusion that situation is getting worse and worse, Brusthonin will not last forever and my own power is not as useful as I thought. I approached my great sword, which was lying on the ground and tried to kick it away, but in the end I injured my big toe. – “Damn it all! Useless piece of garbage you are!”

Who are you talking to?

In the end I decided to call it a day, I lifted up my sword and carried it all the way to the village, as usually there I visited the pub, where Sandvika was serving me drinks. Since there was no harvest this season the pub was almost out of stock with only one bottle of whiskey remaining. I got drunk and passed away in the pub as usual. While I was sleeping I had a weird nightmare, where Triniel was crushing me under her feet. I never saw how Triniel looked in the real life, but I was sure that it was Triniel in my nightmare. When I woke up in the morning I found myself vomiting on the floor, Sandvika got angry and drove me away with a wooden broom. Her eyes were glowing with rage and she emitted scary pressure. “Geeh! I won’t be coming back there again!” – I exclaimed.

Azure was not around either, probably fighting on the frontlines… I had nothing to do and the time was ticking, with each wasted breath I had to think about a plan to save this place from darkness, and in addition to that I had to find a way to restore my original power, but not a single thought was entering inside my head. I was just lost in misery again. I laughed and said to myself. – “Hah.. I guess it happens from time to time.” Maybe I was supposed to look for a Goddess anyway? However, somehow I had this strange instinct that I should not trust a Goddess, I did not know why, but they did not seem trustworthy for me. Maybe it was just me? I glanced up to the tree of Life that was infected by virus and closed my eyes, feeling bad for it. After all this tree gave me home and I am too weak to make up for it. In the end I was not worthy of my title as the master, it was just an excuse to live here. However I had to repay for this village, I had to find a reason and create a plan to deal with Triniel and all the zombies in this place.

My people were getting angry for my lack of actions, they started to despise me of seeing me goofing around the village and doing nothing. They were right, I felt like a useless piece of meat which would be better off dead. In the end I wandered to a place where it all started – the forest of Lollu. It was a nighttime, but it was beautiful just like the village, the area was not touched by zombies yet and was full of life. I glanced at the lake from a far, there were several islands floating in the air above the lake and on one of them there was a tree standing, which resembled me the tree of life. It was marvelous. I enjoyed the peace for quite a while, it helped me to clear my mind and concentrate.
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I heard a faint, but yet familiar voice. Where was it coming from, and what was it saying again? I stretched my ears and looked around the area, scanning every single detail in my eyes… but there was no one around except for creatures made of water and other animals. “This is strange, maybe it was my imagination?” And then I heard the same voice once again, but this time it was stronger, maybe somewhere nearby? I still was not able to recall what was it saying, but maybe it was calling for help? I covered my mouth by surrounding my lips with my hands and tried to shout at the distance, hoping to get an answer. – “Hey! Where are you?” A couple of minutes have passed, but I did not get an answer. “I’m right behind you, fool.” – A strong masculine and a familiar voice echoed in my ears. “Hey you I’m not a fool, you know!” – I shouted as I turned behind me, but there was nothing behind me and then someone spoke again. – “Gwahahaha, right behind you I said!” I turned back again, but found nothing behind me. “Alright this is not funny…” – I said and sighed. “I mean on your back, stupid!” – It talked to me again.

“On my back!?” – I was caught in a surprise. “Yes I am on your back, you lousy idiot.” – The mysterious voice answered. “W-wait how did you call me, you freak!?” – I got angry at him, but then I stopped talking… Wait, there was nothing on my back to begin with, except for my sword. “Ca-…Can it b-..be?” – I was lost for words, was I really talking to my sword? “Just spit it out already.” – I heard the same voice again. “Are you my sword?” – I asked, hoping to get a normal answer, because I was tired of all these riddles. “Well yeah, what did you expect?” – The sword said. I quickly removed it from my back and placed it in front of me. “Am I going insane?” – I asked the sword. The sword just laughed like a maniac and then answered. – “Yes and no actually, I could always talk, but that doesn’t save you from your own stupidity. You are going dumber and dumber these days.” Was he bad-mouthing me, or what? “Err… I’m not sure what to say, but am I dreaming or something? Objects can’t talk.” – All the mess in my head became even bigger. However it was a great opportunity to get things clear.

I was looking at the sword for a whole hour, I was checking it from all sides, it was a big surprise that it finally started to talk after being silent for so long… but really, a talking sword? “Are you just going to stare at me, you dirty asshole? Don’t tell me you never seen a talking sword?” – It broke the silence by insulting me again. Was it angry at me for some reason? “Uh… what’s your problem, you stupid giant toothpick!?” – I backfired. “What’s my problem!? What’s your problem? My attitude was always like that, but you.. you ungrateful piece of garbage! How could you insult me? I gave you power and yet you are calling me a toothpick!?” – Conflict was heading to another level. “You gave me power? Don’t make me laugh, your power is unreliable! I was on the verge of death many times!” – I did not want to lose this argument. The sword just laughed. – “But you are still alive, thanks to me. Although I will never forgive you!” My sword had a really bad temper… I took a deep breath and calmed down, I closed my eyes and raised my forefinger at the sky and then pointed it at my sword, which was stuck in the ground before me. “Let me get some things straight, and then maybe I will apologize for being rude to you.” – I proudly said it to him. “Heh.. Fine then, ask whatever you want.” – At last we came to agreement.

Thus we began to talk… “Well that was quite a surprise to hear you actually. My first question would be this – how did I get you? As far as I know I had a different sword in the past.” – It was my first question to him. “Well that’s pretty simple. You broke your previous sword in a fierce battle with dragon of some kind. By the way I’m not just a simple sword; I’m on a whole different level.” – His answer was short, but straight. He had a big ego for a sword though. “Wow I was fighting a real dragon?” – I was kind of surprised by this; it seemed that I was really strong in the past. “So what? There are more terrifying creatures than dragons, oh and by the way you lost that fight miserably.” – The sword bad-mouthed me again. In the end I lost, well no wonder that I broke my previous sword. “Wait a minute, if I lost… Who saved me then?” – I wanted to get things clear. “Well, actually… Haha… Hahaha… Ahahaha… You were saved by a weak girl, I forgot her name though, but if it wasn’t for her you would be in dragon’s stomach.” – He answered, while bursting out of laughter. Weak girl huh? How did she manage to beat a dragon? “Anyway, you didn’t answer to my first question, so how did I get you?” – The sword really likes to avoid crucial questions; instead he likes to make fun of me. “Oh yeah, well you see you are kind of special, you wanted a to have a great weapon, and so you conjured me and made a contract with me.” – I conjured it and made a contract? What was it talking about it? “Umm.. What kind of contract did I make with you?” – Now I became curious. “You know, I hate to explain all of the details, but let’s just say that our souls are bound to each other, although we are not just bound to each other, we are the same exact person and in addition to that you sealed almost all of your powers inside me, but I would like to save this part for later… I really hate to explain everything to you.” – Bound like soul mates?

A lot of time passed as we chatted about a lot of things, but there was lots of more to ask. “So the other question would be this – Since I lost my memories we never really talked, but I have a feeling that I heard your voice somewhere, were you trying to communicate with me?” – This one actually intrigued me. “Hmm, well that is correct. Do you remember when you were trapped inside the dream dimension by Thomas? I helped you to escape by appearing in your dreams, if it wasn’t for me you would be done for by now. I tried to help you to remember who you were up to that point and that’s why I wanted for you to use me in those dreams. However you were so unaware of my existence that it was not an easy task, but in the end I managed to break the seal and saved you.” – Thus the mystery of the “mysterious voice” was revealed, it was my sword all along. I never thought that it had such power to enter my mind. In the end if it was me alone I would have been defeated by now. “But wait a minute, why you didn’t try to communicate with me before I fought Thomas?” – I asked the sword. “It’s simple, because there was no point. However when you met Thomas, I got so angry that I allowed you to use my powers, or should I say our powers, but I never considered that you would be trapped inside his dream dimension in the first place. Since I hate Thomas, I decided to lend you a hand.” – So it did not really help me, it did it for its own reasons.

“Let’s move on, why do you hate Thomas?” - I sighed and glanced at the rising sun, it was almost morning. “It’s because he’s a douchebag, he backstabbed us and as a result you lost your memories, oh.. and also he wanted to use my power.” – The sword made a yawning noise as he answered; probably it was getting tired from answering. “Why did he backstab us?” – It was my second question about Thomas. “Well in the past he used to be your friend, but when you rose to the top all of your friends and of course Thomas became corrupted, they wanted to take away your power and everything that you possessed.” – The sword answered. “Interesting, I guess I should reconsider what the meaning of real friend really is. Well I’m almost done with the questions, but I want to hear your opinion on this. Was I a bad person in the past or not?” – It always bugged me for some reason, and that last vision with countless of dead bodies made me wonder of my past. “I can’t really tell about that, you see my will is yours, but you were my partner in the past, so what you did was also my doing.” – Not a specific answer, but still better than nothing. “Why didn’t you lend me your powers the other day? Those zombies almost got me back there...” – Actually there were more times when it disobeyed me, but for what reasons? “Because I didn’t feel like doing it, and look at you! You managed to survive!” – It didn’t feel like doing it? That son of a bitch...

“Alright, we’re close now. Why did you decide to talk to me after being silent for all this time?” – I hated my sword for this behavior. “Hah, you never really tried to communicate with me and I did it out of pity, because I felt sorry for your sore ass.” – He answered, adding an insult as usual. “Why you little!” – I grabbed it by the hilt and began to strangle it. “Ugh..? What are you trying to do? At least wash your filthy hands, but to be honest it doesn’t hurt me.” – Was he trying to taunt me? I calmed down and decided to give him remaining questions. “What is up with your attitude? Are you angry at me for some reason?” – I asked it, trying to approach the whole situation diplomatically. “Well, as I mentioned I was always like this. But I won’t forgive you for forgetting my name. I don’t care if you lost your memories, I am you and you are me and you should know my name, but yet you are just too stupid to remember my name.” – The sword had a point, I did not know its name and I never really tried to ask what his name was.  “So, what’s your name?” – I asked, smiling. “I’m not telling you.” – A nonchalant answer. “God, at least tell me the first letter of your name!” – I shouted at the sword, I had this weird feeling that if someone saw me they would be thinking that I am crazy, because I was talking to a damn sword. “Alright, it is Z, but remember this – I still hate you.” – Ouch, that was cold. “Z is it? Well I will try to remember your name later. Anyway, why can’t you help me to fight?” – What was the real reason for that? I sat down on the ground, since my knees were getting pretty tired. “Because you can’t remember my name, I’m not lending you strength anymore until you remember my name and apologize! This was our rule since the beginning – to activate our powers you just had to call me by my name and look what you have done. I had to make exceptions here and there, because I just simply felt sorry for you. From now on, you can forget about all the rifts and other cool stuff that you create by using me. Even if it costs you your life, I’m not helping you anymore!” – Z was pretty angry, I guess we really made a rule like that back then; maybe it was the reason why I sealed most of my powers inside that thing. “I see. It is pretty sad, but just who are you? You said that you were not an ordinary sword and maybe that’s why you don’t want to lend me this power anymore.” – I was curious about that too. “Of course I am not. Just like my name I am the key to control space. I call myself as the God of space. To open up a gate to another dimension you just have to say my name, to create dark matter you just have to say my name too. Boy, there is much more to me than you think. Maybe if you will be a good boy I will tell you more about myself one day, but for now there is no reason to tell you anything.” – Z was so full of itself, in the end I was not sure whether it was on my side or not, but one thing was clear Z is a part of my power, to unlock its full potential I must fight for it. “And the last question is this – is it still possible for me to regain my memories?” – I never thought that I would ask this, but I needed to learn its name to defeat Triniel and save that damn tree and my memories was the key for it. In the end I was depended from my memories. “Of course, I would like for you to return to your former self. I hate this wimpy and stupid version of you. The same man that you encountered the other day holds the power to restore your memories. You must find him, but I’m not helping you in any way. You must do it yourself, and show me your worth. Remember this he is not an ally, it will be hard to find him and even if you manage to find him it won’t be easy to approach him. Any more questions?” – The sword asked. “No, I get it. I get it now, thanks for that my head is a little lighter now.” – I shook my head and decided to enjoy the moment of the rising sun… After then I grabbed my sword, or him, or her… whatever… I grabbed ‘Z’ and flew to the village.

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Two paths to choose.

When I reached the village, I decided to rest before a big day. At last I decided to take some action myself. My sword told me a lot of things about me, hope was not lost, but that stubborn bastard of a sword just made matters worse. I realized that without my real powers I would be no match for Triniel, on the other hand I had this ring to protect myself from zombies. The tree was dying at fast pace, and I still needed to make a sacrifice to save Azure, but to make it more effective I had to find that person, who was probably holding all the secrets to my past. I started to feel weak again, but I did not want to be useless in a situation like this. I had to choose between two things.

Should I go after that person and regain my memories and ultimately my powers, or should I help the tree and Azure? It was a hard choice, because both of them were crucial for survival. However it was a conflict between me and the others that I care for. Should I be selfish and only try to save myself, or help to fix this rotten place? I knew that if I chased after my memories I would be able to regain my powers in the process and then save the village and Azure. But what if it would be too late? I just shook my head and firmly said. – “No! I can’t be selfish, memories can wait I must do something about this first.” In the end I decided, even if I were to fail I would gladly die for those in the need of help. There was not much time left, but it was not the end yet. I decided to keep this secret of my sword to myself and finally do something to contribute for others, even if it was a dire situation… Now everything was up to me.

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(Hello. After a long time I'm back again, my schedule is just killing me. Good thing is that I'm getting more free time lately.)

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18The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:12 pm

(A very long and boring note: Well, it's been a long time, since I posted something here. I just want to say that this will be my longest post yet, I even had to split it in three parts. If you don't like to read, just don't... I warn you. By the way, grammatical and spelling mistakes are expected. It will be this way, until I correct them all in the upcoming edits. Why do I post from a different account? Well, let's just say that I want to start fresh. By the way, my writing skills became rusty over the time, so don't judge me for that. xD English is not my native language. I am always trying my best. If you like it, leave a feedback, if you don't leave a feedback anyway.(Not below this post of course, but contact me over a private message. If you feel like it, of course. As for myself I like what I am doing. It's a part of my hobby.) One last thing, this part of the post is mainly focused on Simon's character development. After all, there is no way I am going to create a bio of him, since he lost his memories. That's why I am creating these posts, about unknown strangers from his past to build him as a character and to explain where in the world he was gone. I might explain Simon's powers and abilities later, he looks op, but actually he is a very rounded character. Enjoy.)

Chapter 7: Stuck between two worlds.

Road to Nowhere.

In the end I broke my promise, it was merely a big and fat lie, which I made for myself that day. I achieved nothing after all the time that I spent here, it was not surprising though, when someone runs away once, - it will happen again and again. What was important for me? The village, my people, Azure or myself? Since the very beginning it was only me, everything else was just pointless. I was nothing to begin with, I lacked power to save everyone and did I have to pay the price? No, because nothing will remain nothing to begin with, I was nothing and the village would not be led by nothing. In the end I still had to return there, because I had nowhere to go, of course if the village was not wiped out from the maps, for which I kind of hoped for.

So what was my story? What kept me from writing in this notebook of mine? Well, a lot of things happened actually during my absence and to keep my memories in tact I had to write here again, because I did not want to lose my memories once again, - if it were to happen at least I will be able to know who I was before. However this time the notebook will not be empty when I wake up, I will scatter the copies of this notebook in the locations where only I will be able to find, even after losing my memories again.

Nothing was completely certain, I did not really have a certain purpose or goal, I was just doing what I felt like doing. Of course the main reason why I survived this long was that I craved for my lost memories, because before dying I wanted to know the complete truth about myself, there was nothing else. Clearly it was not for the village, the people, revenge against Triniel or even my only friend Azure, I felt like I was on my own from the start and when the time is right I will confirm it myself. So where was I gone anyway?

On that day I decided to protect my people and find a Goddess or at least a way to save the holy tree of life from dying, I had a clear resolve. After all, the only thing that I cared for most was my friendship with the first man that I met back then, before the blinding light that was radiating from the giant crystal in the center of the holy tree of life, - the man’s name was Azure or so he was called. Without Azure I would not even know my own name, he was a great companion and a big help on finding a lot of clues that would lead to my own past. Thus, I decided to visit the bar to get one last drink, before setting out on my journey to find a Goddess, who would help us to fix our mortal problem. I found myself standing before the entrance of the bar, I raised my hand up and slowly reached for the knob, pushing the doors forward. A disgusting reek of homeless drunkards filled my nose as I opened the door, the bar was crowded, warriors, who were fighting the zombies whole day, and other villagers were enjoying their drinks like there was no tomorrow. Bar maiden Sandvika, who was cleaning the counter with a piece of white cloth noticed my presence, she stopped cleaning the counter for a moment just to give me a very menacing glare, well I expected that reaction from her, because when I last visited the bar I got too drunk and she had to shoo me away. Without saying a word I just raised my right hand, greeting her with a hope that she would forgive me. Actually she was angry, but at the same time happy to see me, she bent down behind the counter and then a bottle full of whiskey came flying from behind the counter at my direction. I caught it with my right hand and smiled, she rose up from the counter and yelled at me. - “Take this and never return here again!” - I did not respond to her and stepped out from the bar, holding a bottle of whiskey in my hand.

I was facing the holy tree of life in the horizon, it looked like a clock, from the sides of it I was able to see vines of dark energy consuming it’s glowing giant crystal, - when the crystal will turn pitch black there will be no sunrise in this village... not only in this village, but all of Brusthonin will be consumed by darkness. I just scratched the back of my head with my free hand, letting out a cold and steamy sigh from my mouth. - “No tomorrow, eh?” - I thought to myself. Well I just had to bring the tomorrow myself... I turned left where a wooden bench with a table were located and then approached the objects, placing the bottle of whiskey on top of the table. I also removed my “very talkative sword” from my back and placed it against the wall of the building. I reached in to my backpack and pulled out a dusty glass and placed it on the table, then I opened the bottle and poured the content inside the glass until it was full, -“Well this one’s for you, friend!” - I said it while looking at my sword as I raised the glass of whiskey and chugged it down my throat. Of course the sword remained silent, such a piece of junk it was, but in the end I was completely nothing without that sword. It was such a good burning sensation in my throat and it felt like the liquid itself touched my heart. - “It is a cure indeed.” - I said to myself as I closed my eyes and smiled warmly. I continued to drink and talk to myself till I passed out on the spot.

The sky was blocked by a familiar gray ceiling when I opened my eyes the next morning, not to mention that my head was heavier than a stone. - “How the hell did I appeared in the church?” - I asked myself as I let out a loud and long yawn. Why I did not remember going to the church last night? I was not a big fan of the church and stuff, but yet of all the places I found myself lying in the middle of the church. I sniffed the air around, something was rotting here, I could hear the annoying buzzing of the flies. I gasped out of astonishment, - “Wait a minute... how come no one’s in the church?” - I quickly picked myself up from the concrete pavement just to find myself surrounded by blood and three dead people bodies. My body began to sweat coldly as my heartbeat suddenly accelerated. I looked down at my knuckles, which were stained with blood. - “Was it my doing?” - I asked myself, I decided to get out from the church as soon as I could, but soon one of the dead bodies began to spread strange growling noises, the body itself belonged to a local child that I knew from sight, he used to play around the village corners with his friends. - “Oh shit, he is turning into a zombie!” - I exclaimed, as I tried to reach for the hilt of my sword, but it was not on my back. - “Oh great... Did I forgot to take it with me last night?” - I asked to myself by slapping my right cheek with my hand. I reached inside my backpack, which was surprisingly with me and grabbed the ring that I received from Thomas when I defeated him. - “The magical ring... of course” - The corpse suddenly reanimated and began to run towards me, I managed to kick it away with my weight alone, since the corpse was of the child and then I stuffed the golden ring with a white crystal in the middle  on my forefinger, as the zombie was getting up I drew a shape of a white shining hexagon midair. In the middle of the hexagon a small magical portal opened, I reached my right hand inside the portal and pulled out a sharp long sword, I pointed it’s tip at the zombified child, who was about to rush towards me. Only in a matter of seconds his head was flying across the room as I swang my sword forward, the head touched the wall and bounced back. I decided to behead the other corpses while they were still lying on the ground and thus I did it before they came back from the dead.

I was standing in the middle with my head facing down, paying my respects for the fallen souls. Was all of it my doing? Did I kill these innocent people? I had to seek for answers, the white sword that I was holding suddenly melted inside my hand, white liquid which was dripping between my fingers disappeared without any trace, after all it was just magic, even though it was always surprising to see the objects melt after using them with this ring.  I was about to head out, but I heard the noise of footsteps approaching the area, I decided to hide behind the left corner of the room. Two men entered the area, - “I swear, I saw him going here last night.” - one of them said. Since I was more adapted to my own abilities than before I decided to mask my presence by casting a huge shadow on the corner, by snapping my fingers I gathered all of the shadows inside the room to this very corner and hid myself in the darkness by taking a step backwards. The two men moved to the middle of the room and looked at the headless corpses, they both looked at each other and asked the same question simultaneously, - “Did you behead these corpses?” - Both of them shrugged at the same time and said, - “Well I was killing zombies elsewhere...” - They both laughed at each other and one of them said, - “I bet Simon already escaped the village..” - the other man responded, - “Probably, after all he went berserk last night and picked fights with everyone... Damn it, that son of a bitch beat my wife to death! If I see him ever again I will execute him right on the spot.” - The other guy sighed and folded his arms against his chest, shaking his head. - “Don’t worry man, we will get our revenge if we survive this catastrophe. I hope that Azure will not turn his back on us like Simon did.” - Those resentful words flew right through my heart, did I really killed innocent villagers? But why, I don’t remember anything. How could I be this drunk to go on a rampage against my own people...? Was I this monstrous of a being prior losing my memories? If that was the case I had no other choice left but to abandon the Baltasar Hill village. I waited for men to leave the room and then I waited for night to come inside the church, I was sneaking through out the village until I stumbled upon my sword, which was still located at the same exact location where I left it last night, after then I just made my leave without leaving any traces.

I did not know where I was heading and what was the purpose of my goal, but the thought of me killing innocent villagers left my heart in pain. Liar, murder, demon... this is who I was, what even kept me alive? Why did I want to survive this badly, I had a choice to accept my fate and surrender myself to the villagers... was I still supposed to look for a Goddess? What kind of good would it bring if I were to bring a Goddess to my village? I was just full of dull promises, nothing good came out of them... The only thing that I caused was only more suffering. Only one thing kept me going, - my memories, - if it was not for my curious nature I would of been dead already. I did not want to break my promise, but in the end I was not cut out to be a leader. - “I’m Sorry, Azure.” - That day I thought that I would vanish forever and never reappear again, but... hell... I was wrong, no matter what the situation was I always lacked firm resolve.

I was advancing further and further away from the village until eventually I left Brusthonin. I crossed a lot of lands of Atreia, - Heiron, Poeta, Gelkmaros, Verteron, Etlnen, Theobomos, Morheim, Ishalgen.. actually I lost track of these names... This world was big enough for me to hide, on my way I encountered lots and lots of odd creatures, people, demons, Gods, Goddesses and so on... This world was full of people from another world such as I was, although most of them had their own story to tell unlike someone like me, who had nothing at all. From time to time I ran into a Giantess or two, like always I was fascinated by them, but with time I started to get used to them... I traveled  a top of the coldest and tallest mountains and enraged volcanoes. I crossed a lot of waters and Icy lands, I visited places filled with nothing but sand as well. I even lost count of the nights and days that ran by. My body had to endure changes of climate and in the process of my travels my clothes became kind of worn out. From fire, to water and from ice to wind... from iron to steel and blinded by the light and darkness my frame always emerged from shadows. I was not afraid of death or anything, I was living out of selfishness until I finally got used to the way of this world. I had no clear resolve for anything nor the exact purpose, I was just a person that carried this giant black sword across this world, Simon was my name.

Don't ask, you'll never know...

Days and nights were replacing each other as I was traveling around the world, such a meaningless journey it was. However one day, when the sun was shining the most, everything started to change, was it for better or the worse I did not know at that point of time,but I decided to settle down somewhere in the mountains, I found myself a dark and comfortable cave that contained a source of fresh water at the end of the cave, water was streaming from an underground waterfall. By using my magical ring I made myself required tools and objects for survival. I was living inside the cave for quite a while, I spent most of my free time meditating and training my physical body with simple body weight exercises, like pull ups, push ups, sit ups and so on. I had to stay in shape for my own survival, because I had a feeling that one day someone will find me inside the cave. As days progressed I managed to become calm as water and express as little emotion as possible. I also toughened my muscle tissue, my skinny physique turned  into lean and athletic over the months. Lack of food was not an issue either, from time to time I ventured outside the cave to hunt some wild animals. Thus I became adept at surviving.

However lack of companions made my social skills dull, not that they were great to begin with... I lacked common sense and human emotion as well, I became like a wild animal, but I kept my sanity intact by remembering good and old days when I used to hang out with Azure and the others at Baltasar Hill village. I even missed that Goddamn whiskey, but I just shrugged the thought of alcohol off, because whiskey made me kill innocent villagers, maybe it was not whiskey... but I really never cared for the answer. After all I had this blood lust inside me, actually one idea used to haunt me, - was I a serial killer in the past? Probably I was; because normal people does not carry swords on their backs after losing their memories.  All I wanted was a peaceful life, but someone like me would never find peace... My mysterious past was always lurking from behind and on the right moment it was always ready to stab me in the back. I became mad from the lack of company and then I remembered that I always had a companion by my side, it was my sword. A silent companion it was, I always wondered why it was mad at me for forgetting his name, however to pass time I began to try to communicate with my sword daily.

-”Can you at least tell me your name?” - I asked him one day, but did not receive an answer from it.
-”Tell me your stupid name or I will drop you from the mountain!” - I tried to threaten him another day, still it just remained silent.
-”Are you a man or a woman?” - Yet another day I tried to contemplate about it’s gender if it had one. It’s voice before clearly belonged to male, however it did not give me an answer. Maybe it was genderless?
-”Garbage!” - I insulted it by kicking it away one day, as a result I only injured my foot. Nothing was working on it. I tried a lot of methods, but I was not ready to give up. I began reading books that I purchased on my travels. I was reading the books loudly so that the sword could hear it, but it did not comment on anything. Indeed it was a stubborn big ass of a sword, but as I was training I was carrying it on my back. It once told me that we were connected to each other.

-”So, ‘Z’ was the first letter of your name, right?” - I asked it yet another day, because I did not forget what it told me back then. I clenched my right palm into a fist and smashed it against my left palm laughing. -”Alright, from now on I will call you as ‘Zanbato’ until you tell me your real name!” - Actually my little joke worked out just fine.. My sword emitted some red electrical sparks and the red crystals in the middle began to glow. -”Fool, you dare to make fun of me!” - A deep and strong voice of a male came out from the sword. My stomach began to hurt from laughter. -”It worked, I actually made you talk!” - The sword started to growl at me. -”It’s Zerne-..” - it stopped midway its sentence. -”Zernewhat?” - I asked the sword. -”Shut up! I’m only talking with you, because I acknowledge your hard work these past months.” - I became so happy to hear it again, it was a grumpy sword but with time we grew closer to each other, we talked to each other for days. We mostly talked about trivial things, I realized that it indeed had a gender, - it was a male. Zernesomething told me a lot of stories about his previous partners, though he did not tell me his name, but he complimented me that I was his best partner yet and that he saw great potential in me, I tried to ask him about my past but on that topic he always remained silent for some reason. He even allowed me to use his powers once again, but only on really important and dangerous occasions. He said that until I learn the truth about my past I will not be able to use his powers to it’s full potential, because his powers were draining my life force and were accelerating my aging process. I accepted his terms and thus we became pretty good buddies.

Good things will end.

However my peaceful life has met it’s end one night. I was meditating at my usual spot in an inner part of the cave, behind the waterfall, which had a secret passage to the other side. I was in a state of deep focus, my mind was so intact with the cave that I was able to feel the cave itself. Every drop of water, every little breeze of wind that entered from the outside world felt like it was a part of me. Even the soil itself and every little piece of rock felt like an extension of my body. My eyes were closed and my breathing was deep and collected. Suddenly I felt that someone entered the cave, I could feel their footsteps closing in; it felt like someone was walking on my body. There were not one, but two dangerous presences that made their way to the waterfall. As I opened my eyes I was able to see a woman and a man through the clear falling water. They were looking at my direction, however they were not able to see me, because a giant shadow was consuming my body.

The man that stood before me was tall, probably as tall as Azure or at least close to his height, he was also very muscular. Compared to me he looked like a small hill. His skin was pale, probably even paler than mine and he had a medium length curly red hairstyle on his head. His both eyes were of different colors, his right eye was red and his left eye was yellow. His nose tip was bent down a little and his overall face expression seemed  very vicious and twisted, not to mention some wrinkles on his face, he was probably from forty to fifty years old. The woman to his right seemed a lot younger, her body was petite, but she had nice round curves on her body. Her arms were skinny and her waist was lean as well, but her legs were long and well looking, she had some meat on her thighs too, her chest was not big, but it looked round and bouncy. Her skin color was regular, not too pale, but not too dark either. She had a blond long hair rolled into two long pigtails from both sides. Her face seemed very young, she was probably my age, possibly even younger, but she looked mature. She also had different eyes, however her right eye was not red as the man’s to her left, it was actually blue and the other one was yellow. They both wore long black coats just like Thomas did when I fought him. My sword whispered to me, -”You see, Thomas was right all along. He gave you a warning that others will come.” -I sighed and remained in my position hoping for them to leave soon.

However they did not leave. The tall menacing man looked around the area and let out a deep sigh. -”You said that we will be able to find him here.” - He said. The girl smiled and looked around the area as well; her eyes were scanning all the white magical objects that I created using the ring that I received from Thomas. To her right a white chair was present, she approached the chair and took a seat by placing her right leg on the other one. -”Seeing all these objects in the room I have a good idea that he is somewhere nearby, actually I can feel that he is inside this cave. Though it is strange that we can’t see him.” - She made her assumption with a relaxing tone. The red haired man nodded. -”You are right, my daughter. Then I am going to destroy this place, to make him come out from his hiding place.” - I quickly stood up and emerged from the waterfall, submerging my feet underwater. -”I will be the one to destroy you!” - My shout echoed through out the cave several times as I reached for the hilt of my sword, not just my sword, but my friend. The girl, who was sitting on a chair quickly extended her arm towards me and pointed at me with her forefinger, her thumb was raised up and her remaining fingers were clenched into a fist, she suddenly tilted her forearm at ninety degree angle with her forefinger pointing up, saying. -”Bang...” - Suddenly my ring’s white crystal started to glow and white metallic chains emerged from inside the crystal growing in sight to match my whole body, the chains suddenly enveloped me and seized me tightly. I screamed from the nipping pain as I was about to fall on the water, but the giant man jumped in front of me, as his feet impacted with the liquid all the water inside the pond shot up to the sky from his sheer weight. Some of the water impacted with my body leaving my black robe soaked. Everything went black, the last thing that I was able to see was a flying fist coming to my face.

Start begging for your mercy.

I found myself starring at the blinding white ceiling as I opened my eyes, even walls around me were white, the room did not have a single window, only strange white lights at the ceiling were illuminating the area. As for myself, I was lying on the table, which was located in the middle of the room, I realized that I was completely naked and my body was tied down to the table by unusual round metallic objects. My body was completely immobilized except for my head, I tried to move my legs, but it was no use, the gaps between were too tight. For some reason my vision was really blurry and my head was aching, I was able to feel a funny feeling inside my stomach, it felt like something was crawling inside. I glanced to both sides, the room was completely empty, in front of me there was a metallic door positioned a couple of meters from the table. I grunted, - “Ugh.. what happened?” - instantly I felt a burning pain moving across my body, from my feet to my head and then I passed out once again.

I was woken up by the noise of unfamiliar voices that were coming behind the door, at first I heard one feminine voice and then different masculine voices. All of the voices sounded different, there were at least four people behind the door. I could not understand what they were saying, was it just me or were they talking in a completely different language? I felt like I lost a sense of coordination, something was wrong with my senses... everything around my eyes began to spin, to me it looked like the space was bending itself in a vortex. I was not able to keep up to their speech, I wanted to turn my head to the right side, but instead it slowly started to turn left. What was happening to me? I maintained my sanity, but my body did not listen to me at all... suddenly the metallic door before me opened, a shadowy figure emerged from the room before me, however I could not took a good glance at it as I lost my consciousness again.

I opened my eyes once again, this time I found myself in a dark room, actually I was lying in the corner of it. My legs and arms were free and my senses were back to normal, however my body was still naked. -”What is this madness?” - I sighed as I touched the dark wall with my palm, the wall itself seemed cold and solid. - “Why would those fools leave me untied?” - I smirked and clenched my right hand into a firm fist. -”They probably forgot that I was way stronger than an average person!” - I shouted as I threw my fist at the wall with all my might hoping that I would punch out a hole inside. -”Arrrrrgh!” - I shouted out of the immense pain, as soon as my knuckles landed on the wall I felt a piercing pain and heard a cracking noise, the skin peeled off from my knuckles and a meaty and bloody bone teared out it’s way outside from my forearm. I poked the exposed bone with my left hand and suddenly everything went dark in my eyes and suddenly I lost my balance...

I woke up again, this time I quickly checked for my forearm, my jaw dropped out of surprise, because it was gone. It was amputated! But this was not the thing that shocked me the most, I was shocked that it did not regenerate. I always had this quick regeneration ability and yet it was not healing at all.. I quickly looked up at the wall, taking a glance at the area that I tried to penetrate with my fist. The wall was still standing without a single scratch. -”What have you done with me? Answer me!” - I shouted from the top of my lungs, but nothing could be heard, only dead silence followed. Suddenly my stomach growled, I felt hungry as hell. -”Well at least give me something to eat!” - I shouted, but only silence followed. I sighed and looked around the dark room, I noticed a glass of water and a bowl of cabbage soup, with some slices of ham and bread besides the bowl, in eastern-north corner of the room. -”Oh...” - I quickly rushed to the food and ate it all like an animal. God... it was disgusting, but I was just way too hungry to resist. I supported my back at the very same corner and stretched my legs forward, looking at my right arm... -”It’s not growing back... what the hell? Is this a nightmare? Did I lose all of my powers!?” - I began madly questioning myself out of panic.

-”Can someone hear me!? Please, at least give me some clothes! It’s cold out here!” - I even wondered whether someone heard me or not, I tried to pinch my cheek as hard as I could, but clearly I was not dreaming... I was able to feel the pain. -”Please.. anyone!” - I desperately shouted again. -”Shut the hell up or we will cut off your remaining arm!” - A loud manly voice echoed through out the room, I was able to recognize it, the voice belong to the same red haired man. I shook my head wondering where was the source of the voice. The room did not have any windows or doors to begin with, only a weak source of light was present from the floating red orb in the middle of the room. I gulped my own saliva down my throat as my whole body began to shake from fear. I had to keep calm and stay strong, but my body was moving on it’s own. Suddenly a long and thick metallic rod appeared before my eyes and then it quickly shot itself at my knee, it penetrated right through my left knee as I screamed in agony, it completely crushed my knee, only my own blood was pushing through the gaps between the rod and what was left of my knee. I continued to scream through out the room until I lost my breath and then I looked down to my crushed knee, I began to feel weak from seeing all the blood and passed out from the immense pain once again.

After some time I opened my eyes again, this time I was in the white room again, however the table in the middle was replaced with a wooden chair, this time I was tied down to a chair. I looked around the room, it was empty yet again and then I looked at my left leg, which was amputated as well as my right arm. I could still feel the immense pain of the shattered bones even though those body parts were completely removed from my body. My breathing became heavy and a cold sweat broke out from my body. However I was stronger than that... I just wanted to know what was the meaning of all this madness and more importantly I had a will to survive, because I was craving to regain my lost memories. -”Please talk to me!” - I begged to them and then the doors before me opened and the same duo, from my previous encounter, stepped inside the room. Both of them were glaring at me like I was some kind of monster in their eyes. The red haired man approached me and bent down a little to take a good look at me, he was grinning. -”Well there is no need for meaningless introduction, you will call me ‘Master’ and you will call her ‘Mistress’, do I make myself clear to you?” - They did not give me their identities for some reason. I began to anxiously shake my body. -”I’m not going to play along with your bullshit!” - I shouted at him. He merely laughed and both of them turned their backs on me. -”Well then call us when you begin to die from thirst. We are making our leave now.” - They simply left me alone in the room. I began to shake myself in the chair until it fell down with me. -”Wait! I agree with your terms! Master... please come back! Mistress help me!” - However they did not come back. They left me to die from thirst.

I was lying on top of the chair for several days all alone, starring at the white ceiling. Every second felt like an eternity for me, my eyes were opened wide, every second felt like an hour to me... with each breath that I took I was able to feel how my end was drawing closer and closer. With each heartbeat I felt how meaningless my life was. I tried to scream for help countless of times, however my own voice was bouncing back at me from the dead silence of the white walls. To keep my sanity in check I kept counting from one to ten in an endless cycle. Slowly my crave for water was intensifying and my heart rate was speeding up. I just wanted one glass of water, just one glass... but I knew that no one would come to save me, so I kept counting loudly. -”One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten...” - My skin began to shrivel from the loss of liquids as I stopped sweating, but still I kept counting loudly. -”One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten..”- I felt like I was burning, I was literally dying for a glass of water. My mouth was completely dry, I was not able to speak anymore, because I was about to faint, but still I kept counting from one to ten inside my mind.

Finally I heard a noise of approaching footsteps, there she was... The odd-eyed girl casted her shadow over me, she was holding a bottle full of water in her right hand and then she dropped the bottle on top of my chest, she loosened the rope from my left hand, allowing me to grab the bottle of water and drink it. -”Now drink.” - She said in a rather commanding tone. I slowly reached for the bottle and removed it’s lid then I just chugged all the water inside in one go, then I threw the bottle to the side and began to pant heavily out of relievement. The water tasted like the nectar of Gods and as soon as it filled my mouth I began to feel alive again. -”T-Thank you, Mistress.” - Finally I submitted myself. She simply nodded and said. -”Rest up, I will bring you more water soon.” - And thus she fulfilled her promise, she brought me more water after a couple of minutes, then she carried me to the other room, she was was pretty strong despite of her looks, after then she just placed me on top of the bed and commanded me to get some sleep. She merely left the room, by locking the door from outside.

Traitor's karma.

After quite some time I was finally able to sleep soundly, of course it was not the best sleep, but still it was better than lying on the ground all naked without even knowing if I would ever see another day. On the next morning I was woken up by them, they came to my room to have a small chat with me. I was still lying on the bed, they sat down beside me on the bench, which was standing before the bed. The red haired giant scratched his head and took a deep breath. -”Alright, where should I start now...” - He wondered as he raised his right eyebrow. -”That’s right! Who are we to you?” - He asked. -”Both of you are my Masters.” - To accomplish something I had to play along. He sighed and raised his voice. -”Don’t you dare to lie in front of my eyes! I know that you are just playing along, it takes longer to break the spirit of the likes of you. Anyway, you see what we can do, so you should obey us.” - I could not believe it with my eyes, he saw me right through. He was smarter than I expected, but he was right... I really had no other choice, a cripple such as myself was no match for them and I could not pinpoint the location of my sword. I thought that it would be a foolish act to resist them. -”You’re right. But can I at least know your names?” - I sighed and then the blond girl raised her voice as well. -”Silence! We are the ones questioning you, not the other way around.” - I nodded and remained silent. -”Well anyway, as you guessed already we are the allies of Thomas. Thanks to him we were able to find you, in the end he carried out his duty well.” - She looked down at her right hand, she was wearing my ring on her forefinger, noticing the ring I raised my right eyebrow and asked. -”Hold on... is that..?” - I was interrupted  by her raised tone. -”Didn’t I tell you to shut up a couple of moments ago? Indeed, it is what you think. This ring belongs to me, I lent it to Thomas. I told him to give it to you if he were to fail his mission.” - She then stopped for a while and sighed. -”What a shame... Well this ring can be used as a tracking device as well.” - Tears built on top of her eyes, she then just raised her right arm and wiped her tears away. Even someone like her had feelings for someone, after all we were all human by nature.

-”Even though we can’t forgive you that you killed Thomas. But  the tattoo on your face shows that you still haven’t learned about your past, so we decided that you might be useful for us. If you work for us, we will keep you alive, but if you disobey our orders we will simply execute you.” - I nodded with a loud gulp. -”But how can a cripple such as myself be useful to you?” - Her father or whoever he was, who was sitting beside her interrupted. -”Well for the past weeks we examined your body, we learned almost everything about your powers and abilities. We just drugged you with very strong medicine. I might not look like one, but actually I am a scientist. Just as we took your powers away, we can restore them back again. Of course, I will make some exceptions, for example we will take away your wings and of course we will not allow you to use your own sword. Who knows what you might do if we were to restore your powers completely, after all you are responsible for the death of our dear friend Thomas.” - Actually I had a question of my own. -”But why did you torture me?” - The man sighed and answered. -”Well we had our own reasons. The first one was to avenge Thomas. The second was to make sure that you would fear us and won’t run away when we will need you the most.” - His reasons were rational, however my curious nature overcame my mind. -”But why me of all the people? What have I done to you in the past? I just want to regain my memories and learn the truth!” - I became excited hoping that I would get some answers from him. -”Well, I’m sorry to say that, but we will not restore your memories. It’s for our own safety, however I can tell you this, - you’ve done very horrible things in the past.” - He closed his eyes and sighed. -”Horrible things? What sort of horrible things?” - I could not believe it myself... Did I really deserve to lose my memories? Was I this horrible as a person? My head filled with doubts about myself, not just doubts, but even more questions about myself arose in my mind. The scientist opened his eyes and sighed once again. -”Well, when you arrived to our world you became our greatest ally. To be honest, you became our pillar of hope. Without you... we wouldn’t be sitting here right now, even my daughter, who is sitting next to me would probably be dead if it wasn’t for your help. However as the time progressed you began to show your true colors and we had no other choice, but to banish you from our world. As the time went by we learned that we were no better than you and thus we sent Thomas to retrieve your sword from you. The power that your blade holds is crucial for our world’s survival. Although, for some reason, no one is able to use it properly, except for you.” - He seemed like a very troubled man, however I was kind of thankful to him for telling me this much, even if his words made everything more confusing. Well it was obvious that nothing good would of come from a man, who was dressed all in black, whose back was decorated by a sinister black blade.

For some reason I did not feel like I’ve done something horrible in the past, I knew that I was different. As long as I was able to remember, I always fought for the weak ones, yes... I escaped my village, I even accepted the fact that I betrayed my own people when they sought for my help the most. I even acknowledged the incident when I went berserk in my own village and killed innocent people, but I never meant harm for them or everyone else. I felt like there was a reason for everything, why did I came to Atreia in the first place and why I visited their world in the second place? There was a reason for all of it locked deep down inside my head, but now I had to do what was meant to be done. I simply nodded in agreement. -”Alright then, how will I be able to help you?” - The man rose from the bench casting a huge shadow over my body, he snapped his neck along with his fingers and then said. -”Well my daughter will tell you all about it, in the mean time I will make some arrangements.” - He left the room afterwards.

Alienated world.

Only two of us were present in the room, actually it was probably my first time when I was all alone in the room with a beautiful woman, but only on bad terms. Damn it! Such a wasted opportunity it was. She grinned and pulled out a syringe with a green colored liquid inside its tank. -”Well, sorry to say this... but it’s going to hurt.” - She said as she plunged the syringe at my stomach.-”Damn it!” - I screamed out of pain and suddenly passed out.

Prior opening my eyes I was able to feel something warm and soft lying on my chest, it felt like there was a living presence on my chest, actually a very warm breezes of wind were stroking my chest. I was able to feel my lost arm and leg again, out of the excitement I clenched my palm into a solid as a stone fist to check whether I really had my arm or not. Indeed, I was able to feel my fingers colliding with my palm, my lost body parts had regrown. I felt like I was reborn, there was not a better feeling in the world than getting your lost body parts back! As soon as I opened my eyes before me was the same woman from before, her head was resting on my chest, face down, she was breathing against it. She was sleeping on my chest! I kind of got nervous, because she looked very cute and she was sleeping so peacefully. I was lost for words, did she wait for me to wake up and fell asleep herself? But why did she chose to use my chest as her pillow? I took a glance at her body, she was sitting still, but her head and arms were placed on my chest. I became very confused, I did not know how to act... -”I... uh... nevermind...” - I tried to say something, but my cheeks suddenly turned warm and my heart rate skyrocketed. Was I blushing? But why? Why was she sleeping on my chest? I just shook my head and extended my brand new right hand forward and poked her small forehead. -”Ugh... hello there?” - I tried to wake her up. After a couple of seconds she slowly opened her beautiful differently colored eyes and looked at me, letting out a long yawn. She stared at my clueless eyes for a couple of seconds and then a bright pink blush dyed her face. -”I... umm... I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to fall asleep on your chest!” - She exclaimed as she quickly pulled herself backwards and lost her balance on the bench that made her fall on her back. I bursted out laughing at her, she was all bossy and confident before, but now she looked like a little innocent domestic animal. Erm... actually I was not better than her.

She frowned and quickly rose on her feet, placing her right foot on the bench. -”You dare to make fun of me?”- She bent her back forward a little and placed the tip of her elbow on her right thigh, supporting her face with her hand. -”Well, you looked very cute!” - I exclaimed as I nervously crossed my arms midair, in a defensive motion. The crystal of the ring, which was on her finger, began to shine. She merely sighed and rolled her eyes, but in reality she just tried to hide her blush. -”I might as well grant you death.” - She stretched her back and removed her right foot from the bench, extending her right arm at my direction. The ring suddenly started to shine even brighter and then a white dagger shot out from inside at my crossed arms. I screamed in pain, seeing that the dagger got stuck between my two arms, gluing them together and splattering some blood right at my face. -”I’m taking back my words!” - I grunted while looking at my penetrated arms. -”I’m sorry, take it off please, please!” - She simply smiled as evilly as she could and then the crystal on the ring extinguished, making the dagger melt like ice before my eyes. -”Well, if I am correct your arms will heal soon enough.” - I was relieved, I looked at the shrinking wound that was left after the complete disappearance of the dagger. It was healing indeed, the pain itself went away quickly, what was more surprising for me was the fact her mastery over the ring was incomparable to both me and Thomas, because we had to draw magical shapes in the air for the objects to appear, but in her case everything was appearing instantly. In the end I felt powerless against those people, they were out of my league or probably anyone’s league. I became so afraid of their power that I felt like submitting  myself to them was the right and rational thing to do. -”Alright, shall we begin then?” - She asked, seeing that my wound totally disappeared. -”Begin what?” - I asked her with my eyebrow raised up. -”For some story telling... but first... dress up!” - She shook her head out of disgust. After then she just created some white clothes for me with her ring and I dressed myself up, she then motioned her hand to come along with her and finally we left the room.

I was following her from behind in the long and narrow hall, our surroundings were all white. From the sides, the hall contained a lot of entrances to other rooms. We were passed by a lot of people, who were wearing white coats, actually not a single person was dressed differently, except for her... Maybe it was because of the ranks? Not that it actually mattered to me... We were merely walking towards the end without saying a word to each other for several minutes, the hall seemed endless, however even the endless hall met it’s end when we reached metallic doors.

Once we passed through the doors the light of the sun reached our eyes, the sky outside was clear and birds were flying high. The view distance was so great that we were able to see monstrous mountains in the far horizon, towering everything in sight.  Actually we were very high in the sky ourselves, we were standing in some sort of balcony. I moved a couple of steps towards the steel railings and looked below, - everything was green and filled with life. I was able to see a lot of miniature houses, trees, lakes and rivers down below. The air itself felt fresh and cool, it filled my lungs with energy of life. I clearly was not in Atreia, at my eye level I was able to see all sorts of flying mechanisms, - some of them had wings like I used to, and some of them were metallic and shaped like balls. There were all sorts of creatures roaming the sky as well, some of them were mounted with people, - from never before seen birds to white horses with wings, from creatures that resembled smaller versions of dragons to actual dragons and so on... They were traveling around the sky from one point to another. A lot of huge pieces of land, that had all sorts of buildings on the surface, were floating in the sky. Everything seemed so new for my eyes, not only the earth was alive but the sky was full of life as well. I was lost for words, my jaw just dropped down at the sight of everything. It was hard to explain everything in simple words. The woman patted my left shoulder and pointed up at the sky, I looked up and then I saw a piece of land so big that my head was about to explode if I tried calculate its size from a far. It was floating inside a transparent sphere of energy, it kind of resembled me an island. The floating island contained mountains and waterfalls flowing down from it’s sides, but the size of it was far too big for a regular island. It also contained forests and some clouds inside, on its center a gigantic castle was standing greatly, that was the half of the island’s size. Actually it was so high in the sky that it looked like a moon of some sort, but then it suddenly began to slowly descend, as it got closer a massive shadow started to consume everything below and a loud noise of rumbling thunder laid siege to my ears.

The floating island was tearing the sky apart, as I looked down at the earth I was able to see rising water waves and trees being blown away, the gravitational force of the island was just too hard to be handled. However everything calmed down when a gigantic transparent magical dome covered everything below. Probably all of this crazy magic was this planet’s main defense mechanism. Finally the flying island descended down to our eye level, it blocked everything that was in our, in comparison we were like ants standing before a dragon.

(Un)broken feelings.

The girl looked at me and asked. -”Do you like the view of it? This is our world, it has some similarities to Atreia, but remember to behave yourself, because you are not in Atreia.” - I simply nodded and looked up at the marvelous castle, it had huge towers erected from its sides, actually they were so big that I was not able to see the top. The castle itself had a sinister look to it, it was all black in color, however I never seen anything like it before, for some reason it was shining, but it was not a regular light, it was black in color. -”So, uh... are we going to visit the castle?” - I asked her out of excitement. She just giggled. -”No you silly, for now we are going to wait for my dad’s arrival.” - I sighed out of disappointment, -”And I wanted to get inside of it so badly...”- she struck my stomach with her elbow, her hit was almost as fast as lightning, I did not even have time to react. I fell on my knees, feeling a sharp pain in my stomach. -”Why did you hit me?” -  She glared and yelled at me. -”You idiot! An outsider like you has no business in our holy palace!” - I grunted and apologized to her. -”I’m sorry.” - She folded her hands against her chest. -”The time has finally came. I will tell you about your mission.” - I stretched my ears and was ready to listen all about it:

-”Alright. First of all, you should know that we kind of run this world.” - She looked up at the castle as she said her words.
-”Run this world? Do you mean that you rule this place and that this castle or palace, or whatever it is... belongs to you?” - I was kind of confused by her words, so I decided to make myself sure.
-”Certainly, we belong to a great council that is led by our king. There used to be five of us, but now that Thomas is no more, only four of us operate this place, excluding our king of course.” - She said it as she looked from one side to another.
-”I see, so what is my duty?” - I asked her.
-”Well, it may be true that we are in charge of this world, it is also true that we hold all of the military power here. Our world is also in peace at the moment, the long lasting war ended a lot of years back.. But you see a lot of nobles with dark and twisted ideals are still in control over the smaller regions, so you will have to infiltrate one of the regions.” - She sighed.
-Wait there was a war back then!? But why don’t you crush all of the corrupt nobles with your power? You must have a huge influence over this world and a lot of men as well... wouldn’t it be easier this way?” - I stormed her with a lot of meaningless questions, but like always my curious nature consumed my whole mind.
-”Yes there was a war indeed, but do not ask me about the war anymore. It is a taboo to talk about it. Even at this moment we can wipe all of them from the surface, but what kind of good will we achieve? There will be only meaningless sacrifices and we might cause yet another war. Nothing good would come out of it, but if an unknown outsider were to kill a very important person everything would end in an instant.” - She placed her left hand on a metallic railing with a nervous look on her face.

-”I see, well that makes sense to me. Alright I am up for the duty!” - Maybe these people were not so bad after all, yes the incident with Thomas and all the torture that I went through did not seem like a reasonable way to introduce themselves, but I guess it was my fault all along. Despite her young appearance she looked strong and experienced and her eyes reflected good and honest intentions. Just how important I was before coming to this place? And why did I come to this place in the first place? Only more mysteries unfolded in my head, but I only wanted answers, not riddles in my head. In the end I felt like I had no real importance in this world, probably I was meant to lose my memories.
-”No. You don’t understand the situation...” - She looked down and hid her face with her palms, trying to hold of the falling tears. I was not sure how to react, but my body just moved on its own and my arms just wrapped around her small and warm body. For some reason I felt like hugging her, even after all the things she and her people has done to me I just could not ignore to see someone in tears. As far as I remembered I was always seeking peace and well being of everyone, even with my traitorous nature I had to do something good for someone. I closed my eyes and the memories of the village, that I abandoned returned to me. Those good old days when I was hanging out with Azure, those good times when I was drinking whiskey and annoyed the hell out of Sandvika in the bar, it was fun... it really was... I always wanted to remember more, but if it was for the best that was fine by me. The girl suddenly started to cry, instead of punching me in the face she hugged me back and laid her face to my chest, soaking the white robes, that she made for me, in tears. I pulled her to myself harder, I was holding her by the waist with my right hand and then I placed my left hand on top of her hair, slowly stroking her delicate hair. It appeared that she did not mind my body language, it made her cry even harder:

-”Now... now... calm down.. now. Yes... I know nothing about you, but yet I accept your pain. You can cry to my chest as long as you want, but tell me first... what’s the situation?” - I tried to comfort her, but unlike her I did not have emotions of this strength.
-”A sacrifice is needed.”- She stopped sobbing and let go of me, by stepping a couple of steps backwards.
-”What kind of sacrifice?”- I asked her wondering.
-”We will sell you as a slave to the fighting arena. You will have to fight in an upcoming tournament to death, your job is to rise to the top and become the victor of the tournament. At the end of the tournament you will be asked to come close to the host of the tournament, you will have to kill him before everyone’s eyes. He is a cruel nobleman named as Damon, who silently seeks to overthrow the council and enslave all the commoners. At the arena a large number of spectators will be present, from royal and common families alike. Since everyone will see his death, no one will try to follow his path, because they will be afraid of the same fate.” - She slowly wiped her tears away with a piece of cloth that she brought from her pocket.
-”I see... well that won’t be an easy task, but is that the sacrifice that you mentioned earlier?” - I was confused.
-”You will have to die right on the spot, actually we will be the ones to bring you down and usurp Damon’s position. We will pretend to be spectators and once you execute your mission we will act. Not only we will show Damon’s family that we want to maintain peace with his noble family, but also we will show this world that we seek peace and we do not tolerate slavery, because before killing him you will have to say these words before the crowd, -’We are not volunteers, we were enslaved by this man to die on this rotten arena.’ - because common folk thinks that the fighting arena was created for people’s entertainment and that every participant is willing to risk their lives for the grand prize, which is actually death as well. All in all, it as a gold mining scheme created by Damon and his accomplices, they are responsible for all of the disappearances of a lot of strong and fine people. I am sorry to say it but in the end you will have to die. However your death will not be in vain, you will be remembered as a true hero.” - Did I really have to die for this?
-”And what if I refuse my task?”- I asked her. She just shook her head and rolled her eyes at my questions.
-”You don’t have a choice.” - She was honest, but for some reason she was about to bring herself down to tears:

-”Why are you crying for me?” - Why would she cry for someone like me? I was nothing to her... a traitorous bastard at the very best. I tilted my head down and my eyes caught a glimpse of the same magical ring that she was wearing. I suddenly remembered Thomas’ words, -”This ring once belonged to someone dear to you.” - was this girl that dear person of mine? Or Thomas just wanted me to take it, so I could be tracked down later?
-”I am not crying for you. I am crying for all the sins of this world.” -  She said with a cracking voice.
-”Then who I am to you!?” - I shouted at her, hoping to get a clear answer for once.
-”You are nothing.” - I could tell it from her eyes that she was lying to me, she was not looking straight at my eyes and her pupils were widened.
-”Can you at least tell me your name!?” - I rose my voice against her.
-”I can’t.” - She turned her back at me and started to sob. I then approached and grabbed her by her left shoulder, turning her body at me.
-”Tell me!” - I yelled at her in a commanding tone.
-”Or else?” - She asked, looking at me with her tearful eyes.
-”Or else I will... I will...” - I stopped my sentence, because I realized that I went overboard.
-”Or else you will what? Kill me? Hit me? Push me of from the edge of the balcony?” - She began to raid me with questions that did not need answers.
-”I will do nothing... sorry...” - I lowered my arm from her shoulder and looked down at my feet.
-”From now on you will be known as ‘S’ in the fighting arena. Or at least this is how you called yourself when we first met. Get ready I can feel that my father is nearby.” - She wiped her tears away with her palm and remained silent.

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19The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:15 pm

Violence was not the answer.

‘S’ huh? I heard this nickname somewhere, I guess this is how everyone used to call me or at least how I called myself for some reason. Seriously? It was just a letter ‘S’... I was not even sure how to pronounce it... I clenched my fists and looked up at the gigantic castle that was present in the horizon. I was gazing at it for a while and then some odd, metallic, gray colored sphere was closing in from the direction of the floating island. It only took a matter of seconds before it reached us and stopped just before us, floating midair. The flying object was emitting chirping noise from inside, it was also pretty large in size. Suddenly a figure in the shape of a circle opened in the front, everything was white from the inside and then a ladder made of unknown metal erected from inside, all the way before our feet. I was amazed by this advanced technology, although Atreia was kind of advanced world itself, but this was beyond my belief. A figure of a bulky man appeared from inside the white circle, the shadows began to vanish from the man’s figure until it appeared to be the same red haired, scientist, man from before. He was dressed the same as before, except for some pretty major details, he was wearing silver colored goggles and on his back appeared to be my sword. These people were really obsessed with my sword.

-”Are you guys getting inside or not?” - The man waved at us. We both nodded and began climbing up the ladder. After we entered inside I was explained how should I act and also I was informed that most of my opponents would be no match for me, they also gave me gray leather pants to wear and a weapon of choice, which was a black magical sword. They told me that with that sword I would be able to enhance my shadow manipulation abilities. They also dyed a letter ‘S’ on my back, for identification purposes, because the tournament rules did not allow to use armor or even the top wear, only pants and sandals were allowed to wear. We then took off to the other side of the vast continent. I was till amazed by how advanced was the flying device, from the outside it looked like a giant flying ball, but on the inside there were screens rounded up, where an outside world was shown. The device also contained living quarters and rooms of interest. The strangest part of it was that no one was piloting or even controlling the mechanism, it looked like it moved on its own will.

Once we reached the area two men guided me out from the flying object and sold me as a slave to that Damon guy, he was a tall guy with athletic physique, he was carrying two scabbards with swords inside. He was dressed in well tailored blue outfit with golden medals and titles attached to it. He was also wearing a magnificent coat that was black on the outside and red from the inside, it also had golden trim on its shoulders and sleeves, and small golden wings were attached to its back as a decoration. The coat instantly caught my eyes. He had green eyes and short black hair, he appeared to be in his early fifties or so. It appeared to be that he was also a general of his own army. Soon after I was led to chamber and then I was locked behind the bars, the chamber contained a narrow wooden bed, a small table with some food and water placed on it. I ate and decided to call it a night, tournament was about to begin soon.

Thus I opened my eyes to see yet another morning, at that moment of time I knew that my fate was already sealed, however I did not feel like dying on the arena, actually I did not feel like dying at all. There had to be another way, I just had to find it. There was a loud noise coming from outside, it was the voice of the crowd. It looked like the tournament had already began. I was not sure when was my turn, but I decided to quietly wait it out. Until a guard approached and unlocked the doors, saying. -”It’s your turn. Now go and prove that you can entertain the crowd.” - He led me to the stairs, which were leading up to the arena. I climbed up the stairs and the light of the outside reached my eyes, I was only in a small corner of a massive coliseum. The colossal crowd was cheering from all around the tribunals, the pavement present beyond my feet was nothing but a mere sand, I looked around the area, noticing all the noblemen and royal family members gathered in one corner, with a lot of warriors guarding them from the sides. They were all sitting on comfortable purple colored chairs and in the center of it there was my target Damon, not far from him there were that girl and her mad scientist father sitting, they were staring at me, I simply gave them a nod and approached the center of the arena. I simply glanced up at the clear sky, the sun was shining and the floating island with their holy palace was present in the sky, in the far north. That island was just too huge, it was seen clearly from the southernmost side of the continent.

Suddenly a bald bulky man approached me and began to swing his fists at me. -”Don’t space out or you will get your head knocked off!” - He tried to mock me, however he was far too muscular and heavy to lay a single punch at me, with some fluent motion from one side to another I avoided his fists. -”Seriously? I am going to fight such weaklings? You are nothing compared to people from Atreia.”- I taunted him as I leaped backwards from him, trying to extend my wings, but as it was said... my wings were removed from me.. well it was worth a try. -”What did you say!?”- He became enraged from my words and rushed towards me with his fists directed at me. I waited out for him to approach me and as soon as he did I merely moved one step to the right side, he was caught up in the momentum and it was my chance to strike. I jumped on him by placing my feet on his back and stabbed my sword inside him, the sword penetrated his body and its tip came out somewhere from his lung area. He stopped and looked at his chest where the tip of the blade came out, a vital blow it was. I merely jumped from his back by pulling my sword out from his back as he fell down to the ground with no signs of life in him. Suddenly a man descended from above standing on floating metallic disc, it appeared to be announcer of the match. -”It appears that ‘Destroyer’ is dead. ‘S’ is the winner!”- He shouted as the crowd began to cheer for me. Such a mindless killing it was, I did not feel happy, but I was not sad either. The only thing that I cared for was my own survival. Thus it was my first victory at the fighting arena.

Since there were a lot of slaves, the tournament went on for days. With each day I had to kill more and more people, because the numbers were rapidly decreasing with each day. My foes were getting stronger and stronger either, however no one possessed powers such as mine was. Maybe there were some extraordinary warriors but it was yet to be seen. The arena was just drinking the blood of the fallen, it was not right. It was wrong in a lot of ways, all the cruelty, the mindless crowd, the hosts of the tournament... everything was just corrupt, twisted and ill to my eyes. I was simply doing what was meant to be done, mindlessly swinging my sword and killing other people, who were craving for survival just like me. I did not feel anything from my blade, it was a mindless tool dripping with blood. On the nights when I was closing my eyes, images of me spilling the blood of other men and women were carved in the darkness, their haunting faces were flying all over my head, but yet I had to stay strong and put them all to eternal rest. I became a mindless tool of killing, although I prayed for all that fell from my blade. Some were scared, others were killing for fun. And... I was just starring at the carnage, praying that the sun would never rise. This feelings were not right, I wanted more courage to stand up and fight. The fighting was raging on and on and they had to be strong to challenge me, I was not even sure if what I was doing was right... It was not the way I pictured this, I wanted better things. With each life that I took I plead to God to erase it from my dreams. I became scared of myself, scared to make it out alive, because murder was everything that I knew. From overwhelming sadness I became filled with emptiness, it became like a daily routine to me, an endless cycle it was. However I actually made it to the quarter finals, from that point my opponents became way tougher.

Come, sweet death.

-”Today we are all gathered to see the first fight of the quarter finals. The unscarred ‘S’ will test his might against the ‘Shadow Lioness’, let the match begin!” - After announcing the fight, the man simply ascended to the air. The crowd was cheering us on, because only the favorite fighters were left. This time I was up against a woman, who was probably twice my size, she had an athletic physique, she had medium length black hair, the hair were covering her right eye. she was armed with a long steel rod, it looked really heavy, but she was spinning it around with no effort. She looked down at me and her left eye suddenly started to glow yellow as she raised the huge rod up in the air and slammed it against me with all of her might, it was fast. For the size of her it was very fast, I barely managed to evade her attack by rolling to the left side, as the rod impacted with the earth it caused a strong shock wave and lifted all the dust from the ground. I decided to use the opportunity and hide myself in the dust, however her glowing yellow eye exposed itself in the dense dust as she raised her rod and swung it vertically, trying to get me from the side I was fast enough to fall on my stomach and ultimately I evaded her attack. Due to momentum her heavy rod flew to left, rotating her whole body to the same direction. I decided to use another opportunity and strike her from the side. I moved my sword backwards and dashed at her with all my speed, my feet left deep footprints in the solid sand, because of my sheer superhuman strength. I ran close to her and aimed to slice her right leg off, however she just laughed at me and then her own shadow ascended from the ground and manifested into a black orb and exploded midair right before my eyes, blasting me several meters away from her.

-”I am called as ‘Shadow Lioness’ for a reason.” - She giggled and began to slowly approach me. I was slowly getting up from the sand, the impact with the shadowy orb left a couple of bruises on my body, but after a couple of seconds the bruises vanished thanks to my quick regeneration. -”Well the crowd gave me the title of ‘unscarred’ for a reason as well.” - I smirked and motioned her to come closer with my free hand, she was approaching me slowly with a nonchalant smile on her face, she was not looking at me for some reason, she was looking at what was behind my back. I took a quick glance over my shoulder and there a giant black hand grabbed me from the back and started to squeeze my insides out. -”You dirty! I can’t get out... Damn it!” - I screamed from the squeezing pain maintaining a smirk on my face. -”Ha! You see I can control my own shadow, with this ability alone I managed to go this far.”- She said. -”Just kidding...”- I sighed as my sword began to absorb the shadowy hand from the distance, in a matter of seconds it was gone. She was amazed. -”Wait what have you done with my shadow!?” - What have I done? That was a good question, I merely absorbed it inside my sword of course. -”You might be physically stronger than me, but you lack years of training to even touch me.” - I said to her as I pointed my sword towards her, shooting a black beam from its edge, the beam that was created from her own shadow left a giant hole inside her chest and thus she fell on the ground. As usual the announcer just descended from above and shouted out that the victory was mine.

The next match was about to begin. -”Alright folks, this is a semi final match! Are you ready everyone? The undefeated holy warrior ‘Richard’ versus the unscarred ‘S’ is about to begin.” - The guy before me looked like an average lad, and why the hell his nickname was ‘Richard’... well it was not for me to judge his nickname, he made it to the semi finals after all. He was carrying a shining rapier in his left hand, in an blink of an eye he appeared right in front of me, his face was one hair close to mine. I felt something in my stomach area and then I noticed that there was a rapier plunged inside me. Some blood came out from my mouth. -”T-too fast...” - He smirked and quickly pulled out his rapier from my stomach, I took a couple of steps backwards, covering the small hole in my stomach out of pain. -”Not just fast, but mighty.” - He laughed and then snapped his free fingers, suddenly I felt a burning pain inside my stomach, it felt like some of my insides blew up. I fell on my knees and looked down at the palm sized hole inside my stomach, there was something shining from inside, it was the energy of light. -”Well of course... You caused a micro explosion inside my stomach.” - I said as I noticed the flowing blood from inside the hole. He took a couple of steps forward and aimed his rapier right at my face. -”Well how do you want me to finish you? Slowly or quickly? You decide.” - The fool though that he won the fight already, I slowly reached for his rapier with my right hand and grasped it inside my palm, I squeezed it so hard that the rapier began to slowly make its way inside my skin. My blood was running down his rapier. -”With my own blood I will say that once I heal up you should run and hide.” - With enough force given I pulled it to me, he tried to resist but his feet began to slide across the sand, he was just to weak for my pulling force. He let go of his rapier and I dropped it over my shoulder several meters back. The hole inside my stomach was about to disappear. -”Now go get your damn stick!”- I shouted at him to buy myself some seconds. He went to retrieve his rapier.

I slowly stood up on my feet again as my wounds completely disappeared, I turned back at him giving him a cold glare and preparing to block his next speedy attack. Once he grabbed his rapier he disappeared from sight again and reappeared right before me, he tried to stab me with his holy rapier again, but I blocked his attack by grabbing it with my left hand. -”You monster!” - He exclaimed as he tried to pull out the rapier from my tight grasp, however I became kind of used to this pain. The crowd was clapping and cheering on me loudly, however I despised those senseless fools the most and decided to ignore them completely. -”It’s over, kid. You were a really good opponent, but your weapon of choice was just bad.” - I complimented him and then I swung my sword vertically across his stomach, causing all the bloody insides to come outside from the wound. He looked down at all the guts and flesh that were hanging from inside his body with a shock on his face, he suddenly collapsed on his knees, grunting. -”You... are a demon...” - He was about to lose his consciousness, but I ended him completely by thrusting my blade into his throat. He dropped dead on the ground as I pulled my sword out from his throat and dropped his rapier on the bloody sand. Then I bent over to him and teared a piece of cloth from his pants and ran it across my sword, fluently cleaning the blood from its surface.-”Tch... Compared to me all of you are a bunch of weaklings..” - I murmured to myself and then the announcer descended to the ground, shouting. -”Well, well... we have a yet another victory! Our newcomer ‘S’ is moving to the final! Make sure to attend the coliseum next day!” - After saying his words the crowd began to disband for the day, I gave a glance to the blond girl and her father. They were clapping for me, for me it meant that my time here was about to cease tomorrow...

I decided to head back to my chamber, however on my way back, just before the exit door of the arena, a man, covered in black robes, grabbed onto my left shoulder. I stopped moving and took a look at his face, I could hardly see his face, because most of it was covered in a black hood, I was able to see only his right eye, it did not express any emotion, I could not feel anything from his silver colored eye that was present, but yet his stare made cold chills to run down my spine. I was also able to see his mouth, he gave me a murderous smile, but yet he remained silent. -”Excuse me, do you have business with me?”- I asked nervously, with a cracking voice. All the pressure around us, his mysterious aura made my legs to shake. -”You will die tomorrow.”- He said with a deep voice coming from his lips and then he merely let go of my shoulder. -”Wh..who are you?”- I asked him nervously. -”I am no one.”- He said as his wicked smile widened. I did not want to deal with the mysterious man and decided to rush towards my chamber. Just who was that guy? What business did he have with me? Was there someone else that wanted to kill me? Nah... it probably was my imagination, after all I took a lot of lives these past days... I had to be hallucinating.

It was a night, it was hard to fall asleep, so I was just sitting on my bed thinking about the mysterious person and about my mission. For some reason my hands were shaking and I could feel heaviness on my chest as my heart was pounding back and forth like it wanted to get out from my body. I looked up to the ceiling, whispering to myself.. -”Well, I guess this is it... I’m sorry Azure, now I can finally understand what it means to turn my back to those in need.”- Once again I remembered him, I noticed that every time, when I am in a hard spot I always think about Azure. My vision became blurred out from the sour water accumulated on my eyes, was I about to cry? I slapped my cheek as hard as I could and snapped out of it..-”No... men do not cry!”- I shouted loudly. Suddenly I heard approaching footsteps from afar, the sound of the footsteps belonged to none other than the blond girl, she stopped in front of my chamber and looked at my face through the bar. I raised my head and asked her.-”What are you doing here? What if someone will notice the two of us?”- She merely shrugged and said. -”Don’t worry, I’m not so stupid. Trust me I know what I am doing. Do you still remember your mission?”- She wondered. I simply nodded and remained silent.-”Good, we have high expectations. However I want to tell you that your next opponent will be strong. Stronger than anyone you fought so far. Even I am not guaranteed of your victory and to tell you the truth I don’t even understand how he became a slave, because he seems strong enough to just simply escape, but instead he is just fighting here.” - I rose on my feet and approached closer to her. -”Then what I am supposed to do?”- She sighed and answered to my question. -”I just want for you to take him seriously, just don’t let your guard down.”- I started to laugh like a maniac. -”And why do you care? I will die anyway, I forgot about your stupid infiltration plan long ago, since my first victory. But don’t worry I will win this stupid tournament and I will carry out my duty. I hate this madness myself.”- Her eyes became soaked in tears again. -”Goodbye, Simon.”- She turned her back to me and left the place. I fell on my back and glanced up at the ceiling. -”No matter what.... I will not lose tomorrow...”- I whispered to myself as I remembered my true and only one purpose that was keeping me alive, - my lost memories it was. Without regaining my memories I was not ready to die.

Final fight...

The crowd was silent and the two of us were just silently standing, starring at each other’s eyes. I was completely sure that my opponent was the same man from yesterday. I did not forget his emotionless silver eyes, he had a deep scar in a shape of dragon’s claw on his stomach, he had short and spiky white hair, and his physique was almost like mines, he was probably a couple of inches taller than me. He also had a snake shaped tattoo, which was enveloping his right arm. He was holding a sharp white knife with a golden hilt in his right hand. A strange weapon of choice it was, he could of picked a sword or an axe, but he picked the knife of all the weapons. However I knew that he was no ordinary opponent, not only he made it to the finals, but for an unknown reason he was roaming in the arena, while disguising himself in black. Finally the announcer descended from the sky and raised his arm up, shouting,-”Finally the final match is about to begin! Both men overcame countless of trials, stained their hands with blood and forgot the fear of death. And the funniest thing is that their nicknames are the same. I welcome all of you to see the exciting match of ‘S’ against ‘S’... Only the stronger one will survive!” - after finishing his stupid speech he just ascended to the air... and as for myself, I was surprised that we shared a common nickname. Was this some kind of joke? I just shook my head and decided to focus on my opponent.

The crowd continued to be silent, the suspension in the air was heavy. We were looking each other in the eye for several minutes, our bodies stood motionless, only our hair were dancing with the wind. I lacked courage to make my first move, his almost dead face expression was making me uncomfortable. Was this a trap? What if I were to dash at him with all my might, will I be able to lay a blow on him? Suddenly I found myself shaking again, I was anxious, but what if he was afraid to hit me as well? I was trapped in a psychological warfare before his silver eyes. I grabbed a hold of my sword with both of my arms and tilted it at his direction, but he continued to stay motionless, it felt like there was something dark and powerful inside him, and that something was ready to erupt at any time. He finally decided to say his first words. -”Don’t be afraid, take a step forward.”- With his free hand he motioned to come over. He probably had something up his sleeve, but I just wanted to release all this pressure and decided to charge directly at him, by holding my sword in front of my torso with both hands. -”I hope that you will die!”- I shouted at him, however he anticipated my movements and gave me a smiling face expression. I was several meters away from him, but he just slowly took one step backwards and extended his arm at my direction and pointed the tip of his sharp knife at me. I raised my eyebrows out of surprise, he was clearly wide open and I was a couple of meters away from him. As I ran I tilted my sword to the right side, readying to perform a deadly cut, but in a sudden flash his knife began to shine as bright as sun as it shot up at me, flinging away my sword from my hands several meters away. I stopped in the middle wondering how he was able to do it, because he remained in the same exact position. Dense steam was coming from his knife, he simply lowered the knife and extended his free arm at me, pointing his all fingers at me. -”Let’s see how will your regeneration  fare against this.”- On the tip of his each finger small yellow orbs of some unknown energy appeared, but soon enough they just shot themselves at uncontested speed, flying over to my body. Only my eyes, but not my body, were able to react to his lightning speed attack. Each and every orb collided with my body, two of them exploded at hands, other two exploded at my feet and the last one exploded at my chest. I was sent flying backwards to the other side of the coliseum, until I hit the wall just below the tribunals, where the crowd was shouting. I looked down at my feet and then at my chest, and finally at my hands, - my hands with my feet were completely torn away and there was a huge hole inside my chest, close to my beating heart that was exposed to the horrified crowd.

If it was the old me, I would of been screaming from pain, but it was not the case this time. I got used to the pain, however I was not used to the fear that I felt. ‘S’ was slowly walking towards me with a cold expression on his face. My body parts were slowly regenerating, however I noticed that he already prepared another set of energy orbs for me. It was useless to resist, it was actually useless to even do something. I was disarmed and I was unable to move due to my removed limbs, I looked up at to glance at that girl, who was crying again, this time she could not bear to look at me,  she was only crying on her father’s shoulder. Talking about her father, he was merely starring at me with a nonchalant look on his face. I Smiled and closed my eyes, the sound of the crowd was playing in my ears.. -”So is this the end for me?”- I asked myself quietly, but suddenly a vision of Atreia flashed through my shaded eyes. Indeed, I missed that place... If only I had the chance to visit it once again, that would be my last wish.

Atreia! Of course! I opened my bloody red eyes again as the shadows began to gather around my body. How could I forgot that I could use this ability however it suited my needs. Although my body took longer to heal than expected I replaced the hole in my chest with a dark shadow and I did the same thing with my lost hands and feet, for short I grew myself shadowy limbs. My opponent realized that now I was able to fight back so he just shot another barrage of those small and annoying orbs at my direction. However I realized that I was blasted off to the shady part of the coliseum, I raised my arms up and lifted up all the shadows from below my feet and formed it into a tall and solid wall of shadows. The wall easily deflected his attack without sustaining any damage itself. The man just smirked. -”Not bad, but the real fight is about to begin.” - His knife suddenly began to glow again and suddenly it began to extend itself, only a fraction of second passed as it became about ten meters long. He swung his sword vertically and sliced the tall shadowy wall in half. The tip of his blade landed between my feet. -”I see, so this is your knife’s ability. It can extended in fractions of seconds. At first I thought that you shot something from inside the knife when you flung away my sword, but now I get it why you were so calm. That’s a handy ability!”- I complimented him, however he remained as emotionless as he was before. Our fight was far from over...

I glanced at my sword, which was about fifteen meters behind him. I slowly raised my right arm to the sky and held my palm opened, I began to attract all the shadows in the arena just above my palm, into a shape of a ball. I knew that ‘S’ would not let me gather all the energy and try to strike me first. However, when he was about to hit me with his extending knife I threw a ball of dense shadow energy right at him and hid myself in the remaining shadows that were hanging beyond the tribunals. He simply sliced the shadowy ball in half with a nonchalant smile on his face, huge amount of shadows poured from the air, shaping into a dark dome around the arena. Now no one were able to see us fight, and my opponent himself was unable to see me in pitch black darkness.

I silently approached my sword and sneaked up from behind, aiming to get a clean cut at his back. However he blocked my sword with his knife, by quickly spinning around. Our blades collided midair, only I was able to see him... his eyes were closed, but his nonchalant face expression remained. -”Nice try, but I am not your average opponent. I can feel you from a distance.” - He said as he pushed his knife harder, I was forced to move a couple of steps backwards, to hold my blade against his. I was not able to feel anything from his blade, not even a slight murderous intent. His blade was emotionless as its owner was and it annoyed the hell out of me. I grabbed the hilt of my blade with my both hands and tried to push him away, however he jumped backwards making me to push through the air forwards due to momentum. He used the opportunity and began to move his blade up and down, right and left while aiming the tip of it at me. The blade began to extended and retract itself in a stabbing motion, it felt like a thousands of blades were trying to stab my body. I started to swiftly and fluently move my feet backwards, trying to avoid his insane barrage of blades or one knife to be exact. He did not even leave me a single opening, I tried to deflect his blade with my sword by swinging my sword in a defensive motion, but his knife was retracting way too quickly for my movement. There was only one way for me to create an opening, I had to take the hit. I quickly stopped moving backwards and his blade plunged itself into my right shoulder, a shadowy hand appeared from my shoulder and grabbed his blade, disallowing for it to retract once again. By using the moment I deflected his blade to the left side with my sword, due to his knife’s length his body was forced to move along. I leaped in front of him with all my might, even the ground cracked from below my feet as I shot up to the air, I readied my blade to stab him from midair. However, he caught my blade midair with his free hand, the blood began to drip from his palm as my blade dug inside his flesh. He gritted his teeth and released a magical energy from inside his wound, as it wrapped around his hand in a shape of a yellow colored gauntlet. I was forced to land on my feet, I was half meter close to him. He suddenly released the hilt of his knife and clenched his palm into a fist, he placed his right foot backward and bent his arm up while moving it back. -”Don’t think that this blade of mine is my only weapon.” - He suddenly threw his fist from below right at my chin, the blow lifted me up in the air a bit as I bit my own tongue with my own teeth, he then, in a blink of an eye, kicked me from the right side midair. My ribs shattered as I was sent flying across the air to the left, however I was able to get a grip of the hilt of my sword, managing to slide it out from the grasp of his gauntlet.

As I was flying across the air my stomach suddenly got penetrated by his knife. I looked over to his side and noticed that he was already holding his knife and that it had extended itself several meters in length, he raised his arm along with his blade up, lifting me to the air as well. Suddenly his left fist, which was now in a gauntlet, enclosed itself in a bright, yellow colored flame. -”I can not afford to lose here.”- He calmly said and his blade began to retract rapidly, pulling me closer to him as well. As I got closer just before him, he struck my torso with his burning gauntlet, sending me flying towards the ceiling of the shadowy dome that I created and burning a giant hole out from my torso, turning my internal organs to ashes and shattering the dome like glass. I was exposed to the crowd, flying along with solid black, shadowy brushes and in the middle of the collapsing shadow dome there was he, standing with his eyes still closed. I thought that it was my time to finally die, however...

Lord of space.

Everything was black... Where was I? Wait... was I really dead... of course, I could not survive such damage... Even my own regeneration has its weaknesses, for example if more than half of my internal organs were to be completely destroyed I would simply die before regenerating. However I felt that my consciousness was still with me, what kept me? And what held me alive for this long? Suddenly I saw a light in darkness and then I heard a faint, but familiar voice, -”Wake up, Simon. I know that you can do better than this!”- those were barely encouraging words. -”But I am already dying, aren’t I?”- I asked it. -”Well technically you are, but there is a way to survive. You will have to trust me.”- Wait a minute, was it my sword’s voice? But it was lying on that red haired giant’s back... how in the world he was talking to me? -”Are you my sword?”- The sword remained silent for a moment, before talking again. -”Correct. I am your sword, I was watching you all the time from Hanszel’s back. Remember, we are connected and we can communicate if we are not very far from each other.” - Wait the man’s name was Hanszel? But more importantly I was able to talk to my sword this whole time. -”Why were you silent all this time!?”- I got mad at him.-”Silence is my original nature, but more importantly I am talking with you for a reason. Not only you’ve been my finest comrade for all this time, but also you became a true and only friend to me. As I said before, I will repeat it once again, - you have the highest potential of all the partners that I’ve been with. And I can not let your life go to a waste until you finally regain your memories and return to me as my best friend, like you always used to be. So in exchange I will finally tell you my name. The name is Zerneger, now open your damn eyes and summon me in your hands and I will fuse with you. By doing this your internal organs will be replaced with my energy until you regenerate completely, and of course my power will be at your command. We will become one and defeat that man together!”- Finally I heard his name for the first time and actually I was reminded of something, that I was not alone in my journey.

I slowly opened my eyes, my vision was blurry and I only felt a burning void in my torso area. Of course, everything was completely obliterated from outside to inside. I gazed up to the sky, from where I was able to see ‘S’ face, looking down at me. He was ready to execute his finishing blow, however by using my last and dying breath I called for his name. -”Zerneger, I... su...mmo...n...you... to fi...ght... beside..me..”- Suddenly I felt something warm inside my palm, it was my sword’s... Zerneger’s... hilt lying in my palm.”- It started to glow red and began to materialize itself into a sphere, which could easily fit inside my palm. My hand moved on its own as it suddenly grabbed the sphere and made me swallow it. As it went down my throat I suddenly felt burst of amazing power running through my body. My destroyed hands and feet suddenly shaped itself into black metallic armor. I was able to feel the black gauntlets as my own hands, the same happened to my feet as black leggings consumed my body, and the empty hole inside my torso was filled itself with dark energy and a new skin covered up the darkness, enclading half of my body with solid dark armor made of sheer energy, only a part of my chest and stomach was exposed. My eyes began to glow in bright red light, granting me amazing vision and a black metallic horn grew out from the right side of my forehead. Lastly I was given a new pair of wings, they grew out from my back like weeds... They were spiky and dark in color and the dark substance was leaking from its edges. I was born anew. Our thoughts and souls completely merged into one. Although most of the body was mine, - I was able to feel a completely different will overcoming my mind. I became a completely different being, I could tell it. I was not afraid anymore, Zerneger lent me his strength and courage, and the power that I now possessed was beyond my own expectations.

As I stood tall on my feet everyone in the arena was shocked, especially Hanszel and his daughter, they were terrified at the sight of Zerneger appearing on my palm and then suddenly merging with me. The announcer that was about to shout out the victory of my opponent suddenly lowered his arm and ascended to the sky. ‘S’ was even more shocked, not only he was seeing me completely well and alive standing before him, but he was able to feel the immense energy that I was radiating. The time has finally came to decide who will be the winner once and for all. I could of just escape with my new acquired wings, but I was not... or we... were not completely acting on our own, all along we had a passion for killing and defeating strong opponents. The man before me just took a step back with his jaw dropped.-”Just who are you?”- I looked at my right hand, which was now a black gauntlet and clenched it into a firm fist.-”You can call me Simon... no you can call me Zerneger... No you can simply call me,- no one, because for me to kill you I don’t have to introduce myself.”- He nervously gritted his teeth and touched his chest with his yellow gauntlet, suddenly a yellow armor spread through out his body. He also raised his knife up and transformed it into a long and giant golden sword, it was about four meters tall, but he was very strong to handle it with ease.-”Tell me, one more thing before I destroy you. How did you know that I was going to die?”- I asked him, seeing that he had no other options he decided to answer my question.-”Because I am working with Damon. I have a shape shifting ability and every time a new tournament is being held I pretend to be another person. All in all, I am keeping the champion’s position from everyone and of course I crush strong, foreign slaves such as yourself. The name’s John, by the way.”- I merely nodded and said.-”I see. Then come and crush me!”

He swung his giant sword vertically, hoping to cut me a part, however I felt like I could do anything in this body, so I merely caught his sword between my thumb and forefinger. He tried to push the sword down to my head with all his might, but the sword was barely even moving. I smirked and applied little to none pressure between my fingers and his sword, the sword suddenly began to crack as I released the sword, which was about to crash down at my head. I quickly moved to the side, creating a ripped space as an afterimage of me, where the cracked sword got sucked in piece by piece. John could not believe the sight with his very own eyes as he realized that he was now only holding a giant hilt in his hands.-”This is not the end!”- He shouted as he jumped up to the air, moving the hilt behind his head, suddenly yellow flames erupted from the hilt in a shape of sword. As he was about to swing his sword from the air I extended both of my hands at his direction with my palms wide open and spiraled the empty space in between, creating a black vortex of sheer space, which ultimately sucked the flames inside and then a the same time spat the flames out directly at him. He was caught in the fire that was coming from the vortex of space, the flames melted his golden armor, the metal turned into a hot liquefied substance, which started to melt his skin off, upon impact with his body, and then he dropped on his back... The substance suddenly became solid and he was unable to move, I approached him...


He was looking at me with his silver eyes, hopelessly trying to move and fight back.-”Why are you so persistent? Just give up.”- I suggested him. He was in pain, but still managed to speak.-”I can’t... I need to defeat you.”- I merely rolled my eyes as I bent down, closing in my face to him.-”Why?”- I simply asked.-”Because I have to steal your powers and kill Damon.”- An unexpected answer it was.-”But you and him are on the same side, am I not right?”- He slowly shook his head.-”No, I volunteered to help him, because I needed to acquire more power to defeat him. I was too weak, but I always had this ability to steal power by killing a person. But now... everything is just in vain... all the murder that I commit is also in vain. All the sins that I made, all the souls that fell before my blade... I just wanted to end this system of mindless killing all along.”- I patted his head with my right hand.-”Then... I guess we are in the same boat.”- He began to die before my eyes...-”Please... kill him for me... avenge us... fallen warriors...all of us had families waiting for us... we just wanted better lives...”- Thus he said his dying words and closed his eyes, showing a peaceful smile and bloody tears all over his face. -”Don’t worry, your death was not in vain...”- I smiled as I stood up. The silent crowd suddenly bursted out shouting my nickname all over the coliseum. Everyone were clapping for me, even the Damon himself  was clapping, with a concerned look on his face, poor thing did not know what was coming for him.

-”And the winner is the unscarred ‘S’, now the host of the tournament Damon will award our champion with a grand prize.”- The announcer said before heading for the tribunals, where all the noblemen and royal people were gathered. I turned my head at their confused faces, because right from the start they knew that I was not supposed to win the tournament, but in front of a massive crowd they had to act like nothing is happening behind the scenes. Even the red haired Hanszel and the girl were confused, because from this point they were not able to read my intentions. Damon rose from his fancy chair and shouted from a far.-”Come over, great warrior. I will be the one to award you with a grand prize!”- I smirked and flapped my wings as I shot up to the air, beginning to fly with my wings in motion, towards him.

I landed right in front his face, he extended his left arm for a handshake, however I stood motionless for a minute. I looked over to Hanszel and her daughter, who were on the right side, just a couple of seats far. They were nervously looking at me, hoping for me to make my move, I gave gave them a smug face expression and then turned my head back to Damon, who was waiting for me to shake hands with him. I was holding my right hand behind my back, in my palm I manifested a small dagger out of the dark energy. I cleared my throat and spat the words at the top of my lungs, -”Those people are evil! They are a controlling and abusing bunch, that conducted all kinds of experiments on my body for a whole month and  made me obey their demonic orders!” -, With my free hand I pointed my finger at Hanszel and his daughter and then by using my armed hand I quickly plunged the black dagger into Damon’s heart, causing him an instant death. Suddenly chaos began to spread all over the place, the crowd was disbanding in panic and the guards were approaching me. I quickly removed Damon’s fancy coat and placed it on my shoulders, such a nice souvenir it was. By using the force of my dark and mighty wings I shot up to the sky, avoiding all the guards on the ground. The guards were also targeting the girl and Hanszel. -”Well I guess that we are even.”- I shouted to them, Hanszel was not happy to see this... actually he was enraged at me.-”You traitor!”- He shouted as he raised his arms up, suddenly all of the metallic objects that were present in the coliseum lifted up in the sky, molding themselves into one gigantic spear. -”Oh, so you are able to control metal. Now I understand your metallic rod to the knee joke.”- I mocked his rather useful ability, as I opened the rift in space and reappeared from his back and knocked him down from behind. The girl noticed that I knocked her father off was about to run over to fight me, but the giant spear of metal fell down from the sky between us. -”Sorry...”- I said as I extended my wings once again and flew off further away from the arena.


I did it for my own survival... I did it for my memories, I hoped that maybe one day... I will be able to regain them. Yet again I betrayed someone, but yet I had no other choice... I was too afraid to die. I was especially sorry for the girl, because it seemed that she had warm feelings towards me. I wondered what was her name, even Zerneger did not seem to know her name. In the end I was nothing, I did not accomplish anything... I just ruined the lives of others for my own good, right to the very end of this nightmarish journey I was just a pathetic, selfish scum. At least, I managed to kill Damon, but I probably started a war in that world... At least those two will be busy for a while, until they fix their own world problems. However, because of my betrayal I probably angered them even more. I was never an ally, I could not be trusted... it was a very foolish decision to place the trust in me, I was not worth it. However with Zerneger on my side and my lost memories that were yet to be uncovered I felt like I could still accomplish something. Though... there was no place for me to go, except for one, - it was Atreia, after all it was the place where I opened my eyes for the first time, where I tasted the sweet air of the Lollu forest for the first time, where I met a lot of good and friendly people, where my own village resided... and of course where my one and only friend Azure was living... Although I did not want to look him in the eyes, after all the bad things that I’ve done to the innocent villagers, but it was the only... right place for me to go, where I could seek for forgiveness, of course if the place was still surfacing the world. Thus I imagined  the world of Atreia inside my head and torn the space before me a part, creating a rift in space that was leading to Atreia... After so long... I was about to return home.

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20The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:17 pm

The Rift Dancer.

I was just standing on a completely empty space, my feet were touching a solid cyan colored basis. It was a substance of space, which was created by my power, or rather it was an anomaly of space, caused inside the passage of space. I glanced at my hands and laughed a little.-”I never even imagined that I will be able to wield such power...”- Suddenly a presence in my mind appeared to talk to me.-”Indeed, this ability is our trump card. In the past, we used to merge together, when we faced great danger. Of course, this time our fusion is not complete... because your mind is locked from knowing all the secrets of our abilities, due to your memory loss.”- Zernerger pointed out. -”Yeah... you may be right, but still it feels amazing and I can finally feel that my body healed itself completely.”- I became overexcited. I looked down, noticing all the cyan colored matter began to get sucked in a vortex. -”So the portal to Atreia finally appeared...”- For some reason, I decided not to jump inside the vortex of space right away, I decided to stay motionless for a while, to get some peaceful time with my own mind. Thus I sank myself in the depths of my mind.
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I thought about a lot of things, which happened in these past years... From my very first appearance in my own existence,- to these days. Did my decisions lead me, where I was today? Or was it my very own fate? Why did I care for others so deeply, but at the last second I was always ready to stab their backs? It was not even about my lost memories anymore, it was about something totally different. Will someone ever forgive me for my crimes? All the people, that I left to die... all of my friends, who suffered from my hands... all the trouble, that I caused between these two worlds... all these lives, that I took... those crimes were beyond forgiving. That girl... she placed her whole faith in me, she had no choice either, but yet she cared for my life... but how could someone care for my well being? Even Zerneger told me his own name, just to keep me alive.... And Azure, my very best friend... He was always by my side, no matter what happened. Even after seeing the glimpses of my past, Azure was always there, right beside me... Even at the last vision... when he was lying in the ground, all beaten up and bleeding... did he get himself beaten up on my behalf? I did nothing good to them, but yet they were always there for me, actually I only caused harm to them. I was able to feel the sour tears, which were rolling from my eyes. Why did I even feel sadness...? I was just a trash, I was just nothing... I’ve been always standing alone... but yet these tears were real, did I really feel emotion of sadness... or was it mixed with guilt...? I laughed as I shook my head, wiping my tears away. If only I was able to redo everything, I would rewrite their fates... oh... if only I could... in the end, even with this amazing power I felt powerless...

Just how many years passed? I was still clueless about myself from the very own start, it was true that I learned a lot, I even changed through out the time... I was clearly not the same person as before. Will I even be accepted in Atreia again? I broke my vows countless times... Actually, deep down inside I felt like a complete scumbag, who was full of dull and empty promises. I lost my purpose a long time ago, but yet it was something that kept me alive, but yet deep inside of me, I knew that it was not my mysterious past, it was something else... but it was unknown to me. Everything was just so messed up inside me, it actually brought my very first question to my mind, - who the hell I was? If I was not from Atreia, if I did not come from late Thomas’ and his allies world, what really brought me to these places? Even this power was not my own, it was Zerneger’s... then how the hell did I end up going to these worlds? What was my real goal in the past? Did I danced through dimensional rifts causing problems here and there? Or was I always trying to find myself and my real purpose in this vast universe? -”That’s right! I will name my notebook ‘The Rift Dancer’ , when I return to Atreia!”- I exclaimed as Zerneger only laughed at my words. It was a perfectly sounding title for my life records... At first sight it resembled my ability of moving through space, but deep down there was another meaning... It reflected the rifts inside my head, because of my memory loss, but most importantly... it reflected the missing spots in my soul, because at times I felt like a good person, who would help everyone, but at times I felt like a resentful scum, who would only mess with the lives of others. My soul was just dancing through the empty rifts between the evil and the good, trying to find itself and its own purpose inside the emptiness. I merely shrugged and ventured inside the vortex, which was leading me to the place known as Abyss.
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Final stretch.

I came out from outside the vortex, I found myself standing in the same exact spot, but the empty space was replaced with rocky surroundings and of course... I was finally able to gaze up at the sky of abyss. I appeared to be standing on top of the eye of Reshanta. -”The time has finally came.”- Zerneger’s voice echoed inside my head.-”What time?”- I asked him.-”We have to defuse, after all your body healed itself completely... and this fusion of ours is only consuming your life force. In these past minutes, you lost about seven years from your lifespan.”- I popped my eyes, upon hearing his words.-”Seven years!? Damn it! Let’s defuse right away!”- Zerneger only laughed and said.-”By the way, you can keep my wings. They won’t drain your lifespan away..”- The black attributes, that were clinging to my body just fell off to the ground and fused together into the same black great sword, which was always clinging to my back. However this time it was not just an overgrown sword, it was my partner in combat. Zerneger was merely lying in front of my feet, without saying another word.

As for myself, I was completely naked again, since I lost my old robes, I decided not to wear them right away, because the clothes gave out a familiar look of me. Everyone knew, that I was this shady, hooded person, who was always wearing in a black chiton. This time I decided to go for something different, so that my own people would not recognize me. By snapping my fingers, I conjured new clothes on my body, this time I was wearing a long black jacket, my pants were made of hard leather, which actually looked like armor, but it was only regular black leather pants with a metallic tint on it. To hide my face I simply conjured a black, long and spiky edged gallon hat on my head and a long black bandana on my face, to cover myself more. I bent down and reached for the hilt of my sword, hoping that no one will be able to recognize me, by looking at the sword alone. I merely placed it on my back, since it belonged there... since the beginning of my journey. I Was standing straight with my new pair of wings extended from the sides, I simply bent down and then leaped up to the air... Flying further away from the eye of Reshanta at high velocity.
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After leaving the Abyss, I found myself roaming in the sky, playfully dancing in the clouds. It felt so great to be in Atreia once again, I was not sure for how long I was gone... But I felt so free and energetic for once, I’ve been living inside a cave for far too long and after then I was a lab rat, and suddenly I was placed in slave’s feet... But now I was finally free of everything! The cool and fresh air in the sky felt marvelous and the amazing landscapes from below looked amazing, it was such a beautiful place... although I was not even sure for how long I was gone... I really did not have a clear idea of it, but it felt good,- to feel alive and well for once... There was only one thing that I hoped for... it was the safety of Baltasar Hill village, I wondered if it was still standing on the surface, but I was yet to find it out.


I was flying so high in the sky, where I found myself above a familiar city. The name of the city was Sanctum as long as I could remember it. I visited there once, what was I doing there again?-”Oh yes! I visited a decent bar there before...”- I talked to myself. My eyes began to scan the city from above the clouds.-”Now where was it?”- I talked to myself once more and suddenly remembered that the bar was located in the first floor of the large tower, which was present in a remote odd shaped, floating piece of land with two hollow circles inside, which contained a round fountain in the middle..... Actually, it kind of resembled an eye. I was able to see the floating piece of land from a far.-”Alright, Zerneger. I haven’t drank whiskey for a while, maybe I should give it a try. Please don’t talk to me in public.”- It seemed like a pretty decent stop to take a break and learn what’s been going on around the place, while I was gone. Although I kind of felt anxious about drinking whiskey again, but its been ages and I was starting to miss it in my life.-”Alright, just don’t get yourself too drunk,- till you start pissing yourself.”- He mocked my whiskey drinking abilities and kept his mouth shut for the time as I merely descended on a concrete pavement and looked up at the tall tower in front of me. Luckily for me, I had some coins to spare, by using the energy of darkness, that I recently became adept at using out of instinct, I conjured a thick bag with all my savings inside, I held it in my palm. I climbed up the small stairs, which were present by the entrance of the tower and entered inside the bar.
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As I appeared inside the bar, my sight was drown in shelves at the front, which contained a large amount of bottles, full of alcohol inside, lined up on the shelves. My God! There was just too many, I almost forgot how good this bar was... Also there were not one, but two employees working behind the counter, since the place itself was lively. For some reason no one even bothered to sit down, all people were standing before the counter, talking to each other. The cozy atmosphere really filled my mood with warmness and calmness. I decided to approach the counter and order a bottle of whiskey myself. Once I approached the counter, I stood beside a really tall and muscular guy... He had white long hair just like me, but instead of keeping his hair loose like I was, he got it tied to a ponytail. He was probably as tall as Azure or that Hanszel guy, he seemed old... he looked like an old man to me at least, but he was talking to someone else to his right with an energetic tone. Just like me he was dressed in black clothes, it was such an odd sight to see... two white heads in black clothes, it looked kind of amusing to me. I was about to order my first drink, but the tall stranger to my right called me by my name:

-”Oii Simon, don’t be a stranger and introduce yourself to this guy.”- He gestured over to a stranger to his right, who looked like a fine young man. Although his haircut resembled me a bird’s nest... anyway, his hair color was brown and he was well dressed, - he was wearing a cyan jacket and black colored pants. His feet were inside of solid looking and clean leather boots. Actually, I was more surprised that the tall stranger was able to recognize me, maybe it was because of my sword, or maybe it was because that I did not hide my face enough. Well my cover was blown away instantly, this time by a complete stranger, that I did not even remember. Maybe I used to be a friend of the person prior losing my memories and never met him after, but he seemed like a kind person, so I decided to play along. He extended his giant hand for a shake, as I shook hands with him I was able to tell how puny my hand was, at least compared to his, and the handshake of his was so firm that actually made me a bit anxious, but he seemed to be on good terms with me, so he seemed mostly harmless. I also introduced myself to another guy, whose handshake was firm, but it was nothing extraordinary, compared to the tall guy.-”My name is Simon, it is a pleasure to meet you.”- I introduced myself.-”My name is Ray, it is nice to meet you as well. By the way, you look like the shadiest person I’ve ever seen.”- He introduced himself as well, but with a worried look on his face. Maybe I looked shady, because of my attire...? Or the sword on my back? I just sighed and said.-”Well looks can be deceiving, but actually I am mostly harmless.”- I tried to make a good first impression of myself. Once the introductions were over the long night began...
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The tall guy ordered a bottle of whiskey for both of us.-”Thank you, how much do I owe you, sir?”- He bursted out laughing with a strong and manly tone.-”The drinks are on me, my friend.”- I kind of felt the urge to show off, so I placed the bag, which was full of kinah, on the counter and motioned over bar maiden to come.-”Let’s make it double then. I order a bottle of whiskey for each person.”- The bar maiden happily accepted my order, it did not take long for the the bottles full of finest whiskey to be present right before us. After then we began to drink and chat meaninglessly, it was fun to be honest. From alcohol and the loud noise of the bar I could already tell that I became a little tipsy, however I was not ready to give up just yet. Because I was ready to outdrink everyone at the bar, well except the giant guy.... it was probably impossible to outdrink him. Soon after... even more people showed up at the bar, a familiar man, who was wearing crimson colored attire approached the countered, he was kind of an old man as well. Actually he resembled me Jake, but he was too old to be Jake... or probably way too much of time has passed, since I was gone. It turned out to be Jake. There was a sinister looking woman standing to Jake’s right, she was a new face to me as well. She had medium length, curly, gray colored hair, I did not remember her eye color, because I was way too drunk at that point of time. She was also wearing a long black dress with golden trims on the outlines, the dress contained a black flower on the lower area of her torso. As for her skin, it was little pale, but once again I did not really pay great attention that far on the right. I just gave them a nod and continued to drink my whiskey, I was surrounded by good folks. they were just chatting and drinking. I was not the one to talk, especially around the strangers. Most of the time I did not have to tell anything of interest, but I enjoyed their company. Later I learned that the giant’s name was Vlad, so I did not have to ask for his name as well.

My vision was blurry and the noise around me became muffled, I was leaning on the counter.. trying to finish my second bottle of whiskey, it was really hard to stand on my feet, but somehow I managed to stand still. Also, the whiskey was not as tasty as it was, when I was drinking my first bottle. I was totally wasted, it became hard for me to understand what were everyone around me saying, Jake and the girl in black dress, who was Satella... or Satina... I could not really remember what was her name... were talking about demons and Vlad was shouting something about the game of dare and truth... The noises were mashing up for me and I did not understand a single word, I decided to stop drinking for a while and sober myself up for a little. I just stood still with my arms folded against my chest for a time being. Actually I was this drunk that I even missed how a blue haired woman approached the counter to my far left. For some reason, she was very unsatisfied, but I did not care about her, because I had to deal with my spinning head. Her name was Laufey... or something... My memory sure was hazed by the whiskey. After half an hour, or so yet another person entered the bar, this one was familiar as well.. it was the same good and old vampire named as Daente. I remembered him well from the day when Jaina dragged me out from the ‘Steel Rake’, he was working there as a barman. I remembered how afraid I was of him back then, but I felt so confident and mighty from all the whiskey inside my stomach, that I even offered to order a free drink for him, but my offer was simply rejected.-”Thank you, but I don’t drink.”- Upon Daente’s arrival even Jake, who was only sipping water, decided to get wasted... as liked to say while I was drunk..-the more, the merrier. Although I did not remember saying it out loud, or maybe I did? Anyway, as I tried to speak my tongue kept twisting and twisting... I did not make a lot of sense back then, but what can someone expect coming out from a drunken man’s mouth?
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Serious topics about demons and cases of murder overcame the far right corner of the counter. I could tell that Vlad’s mood was about to be ruined as he jumped to the other side of the counter and tried to get everyone’s attention.-”Let’s quit the serious chatter and play a game!”- After saying his words he merely sat down on a chair, looking straight at me.-”Simon, are you in?”- He asked me... Actually I wanted to relax myself and get even more drunk... I was far from serious at my condition, for the night I did not want to hear anything about murders or even those ridiculous demons.-”Sure! Sounds fun, what kind of game are we going to play?”- I asked.-”We are going to play the truth and dare!”- I merely scratched my head as the name itself did not make any sense to me. Truth and dare? Or whatever he said... I was just in for a damn game!-”Druth and tare huh? Awwwright... I’m in, but... ya have to teach me how to play in the progress!”- Even though my head was heavy from all the whiskey I drank, I became kind of excited at the sound of a game. Although others just ignored us, except for the blue haired girl, which approached us from the left, now she was standing beside me.-”I will play this silly game with you, it sounds more fun than listening to the people on the right.”- She said to Vlad, I was still clueless as ever, seriously when did she appear in this place?-”Alright everyone, the first rule of the game would be this; if someone says demon will have to take a shot of whiskey!”- Vlad proclaimed as his words made me laugh... I looked him in the eye and said.-”Well then, you will be the first one to drink, because you said,- demon.”- He sighed as his palm landed on his face,-”Damn it, I messed up at my own game.”- He reached for the opened bottle of whiskey, which was present on the counter and then he chugged the whole content down his throat, he drank all the whiskey inside with an ease as there was only a little of whiskey left inside. After then I was able to see Jake going for the exit, he bid his farewells to everyone in the bar and just left. Thus the game began with only six of us present at the bar.

Mad game.

All six of us participated in the game, Vlad looked at the blue haired woman and said,-”Alright! You will be the first one start!”- It turned out that she was just as clueless as me, about the game. -”Just give us a dare or something.”- Vlad suggested to a clueless girl. She merely finished all the content in the glass, which she was holding in her right hand, and placed the empty glass on top of the counter.-”I dare you all to sit in a circle, to start this thing off.”- She gave us a dare and soon all of us gathered near the exit of the bar, sitting in a circle. The game was going counter-clockwise, so Vlad was the second in line. He dared Sat to shrink Ray, because she turned out to be a witch of some sort. Did you get it? Shrink Ray. Right from the start this game became crazy, as Ray shrunken down to the size of a doll compared to us. Poor guy, it looked like almost everyone was ganging up on him, did they want to kill him? I had to find a way to get out from this place, I did not want to be reduced in size. I was not very tall to begin with.... However rules were rules and on top of that, almost everyone of us were wasted.

The blue haired girl seemed kind of nervous herself, she did not like the sight of the doll sized Ray... ugh... what was her name again? Laufey...? Why did people possess such weird names? Then it was the witch’s turn, she gave a dare to a blue haired girl, to feel free to ask whatever was on her head...-”Why are you people so calm around the sight of a shrunken man?”- She asked us... actually all of our answers were alike... some answered that this sight was a common thing on these parts, others said that they were used to it... and, as for myself... I just said.-”It’s just the way of this world.”- I was not completely relaxed about it myself, but I’ve been living here for a long time now and not a single giantess harmed me... well at least, as far as I was able to remember, haha. Soon after, it was Daente’s turn... He dared Sat to shrink down Vlad to the size, even smaller than Ray’s. Thus she shrunk down Vlad in size, he was such a tall guy before, but now he was barely visible down there... He was almost like an ant, he became like a doll compared to a shrunken Ray. But that was my idea all along, I wanted to avenge Ray, by shrinking Vlad. After all I felt that it was the right thing to do, I just met him and I wanted to build a better relationship with a new person. I did not know what was my reason for it, maybe it was due to my selfishness? After all I needed allies and friends to really get the things going around the place, because at my current state... I was on my own... As it was my turn I glared at Daente and then looked at the witch in black dress and dared her to shrink Daente for stealing my own idea. I had no hard feelings to Daente, actually in my eyes he looked like a very kind and helpful person, who would help the weak ones. After all he proved to be like one, when he dared Sat to shrink Vlad on Ray’s behalf. However, I had to think of a dare quickly, since I was drunk anything went with me, and it was game of madness to begin with. Actually I was so drunk that I felt almost like passing out. I kind of felt relieved, because of the fact that Daente only shrunk only a little bit.
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Soon after, it was Ray’s turn... however instead getting the revenge on Vlad, he looked up at me and dared me to leave the place, he said that I was too good for this game and that I had to get some rest for myself, because I looked way too tired in his eyes. Actually I did not like quitting the game, but just as he said, I was really tired and I did not want to be shrunken down in size. After all, I had a big pride in me... and my own well being was the most precious thing to me. Ray was a real life saver... I rose from the cold pavement of the bar and stretched my back before going. As I bid my farewells to everyone around me I carefully left the bar, trying not to step on the shrunken guys. After I left the bar, I found myself a comfortable corner... to pass out for the night.

The sun was already up in the sky, when I opened my eyes. I had a monstrous headache and my mouth was dry, I found myself lying in a corner of the massive tower...-”Ugh... my head...”- I whispered to myself, it was such a good night, I met a lot of great people and of course I even met some familiar faces... I was really drinking to my heart’s content... I instantly wondered how the game turned out, I decided to check the bar, hoping to find the people still sitting in the same circle as before, however the bar was empty. I just ordered a glass of water, after drinking the water I headed out, this time my destination was my former home, - Baltasar Hill village. I was really excited to visit that place, if it was still standing, of course. On my way I was writing the details of my previous night, in this notebook of mine, and speaking to my sword about how much fun it was to get drunk after such a long time.


Finally, I was coming home... after so many trials that I endured... I’ve been away for far too long; searching for a reason in this meaningless journey. On the way I fought my many demons, I’ve even stood in hell... starring death in the eyes, I’ve looked to God’s in the skies... Probably I even gave armies reason to rise, I was merely stuck between two worlds, with nothing on my side... however... all roads, were leading me home. Not too long after, I found myself flying above the Brusthonin. The place was dark and rotten as ever... The skies were dark and cloudy, and the air was polluted as ever. The trees were dying, the rivers were contaminated by filth, the place did not change at all. Everything that was dead here,- seemed alive... and everything what was alive,- seemed dead. It really was a suiting place for someone like me, I was not happy to see it this way, but everything was my own doing, I left this place to rot. Somewhere, in the center of Brusthonin... a literal light of hope got caught inside my eyes... The sky above the area was clear, and the light of the sun was passing through the hole in the ceiling, which was the dark sky. The sun was shining on the area, that was surrounded by the dark mountains, but something pink towered the mountains, it was the pink leaves of the holy tree of might. It was still standing tall after all, it was still standing on its roots! It was a miracle... I felt so relieved from seeing that the tree was still there. I decided to land, just before the entrance of the village.
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-”Finally, I’m home...”- I whispered to myself. I really missed the sight of the village, though I was not a wanted guest here, but I decided to pretend to be an outsider. I really hoped that this time no one would be able to recognize me as I began to walk across the narrow, stony path.
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As I was walking, no one seemed to care about my presence... Probably I looked like their fellow villager... although, the sword on my back, was giving away my true identity. However, there were a lot of different faces in the village... probably some people grew up... and some people died from old age, or on the battlefield... that’s why they were not able to recognize me and I was unable to recognize them as well. I felt relieved, because I just wanted to see the holy tree of life for one more time and probably look for a place in the village after... With each slow step, I was drawing closer and closer to the tree...
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Indeed, the large crystal in the center of it, was shining bright... it did not contain those filthy black vines from the sides... The pink, falling petals from the tree were dancing with the wind and bright blue lights were hovering around the tree. I took a deep breath, once again my lungs were filled with freshness of the life. As I exhaled the air from my mouth, a cool and dense steam came out. I stopped, just before the tree of life and gazed up on it, reminiscing about all the old and good times in this place.-”I am grateful, that you are still standing...”- I silently said.-”I am sorry for abandoning you.”- I spoke to the silent tree. Whoever healed the tree... was a true hero of this village, it was probably Azure... if he even was still living around the place. He was the only one capable of bringing this village to light... and I... well.. I was not cut out to be a leader in the end... I did nothing for its sake... I was just a free loader... In the end I felt like nothing to my people, but it was fine by me. I was not worth something from the very beginning... I was just happy to stand before the tree once again.
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I was not sure... from where to even begin... I did not have a slightest idea of what was I supposed to do next. However, I decided to integrate with the society, maybe introduce myself as another person and ask them about what happened, and live out the peaceful days... After all, I was so tired from everything, I just wanted to take some time off... Thus I decided to experience different things in life, I also decided to be prepared for the next encounter with those people, if they were to cross my path again... I simply decided to slaughter them all in the process, because they caused the most harm to current me. I had to live in the present, not in my hazy past. Everything that’s been done, was an ancient past. I tried to forgot about it for that instance... As usually I just folded my arms against my chest and stood in front of the holy tree of life.

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(Yet another note: If you managed to read this far, I hope that you enjoyed reading yet another addition to Simon's story. From now on I will try to be as active as possible and have fun while rping, of course I will continue to post here. Of course, there won't be posts of such length for a while. xD Even if I like to write them long, it takes a lot of time for me.)

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21The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:25 pm

Chapter 8: Requisition of rapture.

Transcending time of mayhem.

I remembered everything, like it happened yesterday, the following chaos, screams of the forsaken, crippling fear of the damned, shattered bonds, the striking depression. It was proved from time to another, I should not of trusted my instincts... I should not allowed myself to be blinded in my own strength... Again and again I was wrong! I was never the righteous or the prevailing one, I was just a single man, who was full of his own delusions. In all the honesty I wanted to erase myself, to never exist, but my dreams kept me alive, my dreams was the venom, which slowly killed me with the progression of each ticking noise caused by the broken clock. For me... there was no other option, but to swim in this ocean of the nightmares right to the very end.

Sitting on the chilly peak of the mountain and endlessly looking at my crumpled palm with my dead eyes, that were losing light with each moment, I realized that I was indeed dying. The bells were ringing in my brain as sour tears of sorrow went by, my pure white hair danced waltz with the wind as a reminder that my hair was receding. My tattered clothes exposed my wounds, which stopped healing long ago and a sword... or rather my companion Zerneger was gradually crumbling to dust. I puked out the blood all over myself, silently thinking... faster... faster... As I was taken back to all the useless moments that I spent in this place. Faster, please faster... The despicable tattoo on my face started to glow, burning at my skin rapidly as the man, whom I was waiting for appeared behind me.

He was late, but right on time. I could not forgive him, nor I could be thankful to him. As I slowly turned my head at him, just to have a little glance... I realized that I could not even see his face well, the light in my eyes was diminishing, that old mug and those green eyes, that was all I wanted to see. I extended my right arm at him as he firmly grabbed it with his hand and pulled me upwards, I could barely stand... my bones could of cracked at any minute, but yet I managed somehow.

-”Please, give me that item..” - I barely inserted those hopeless words in my mouth.
-”Are you sure? You are not going to kill me after then, are you?” - He asked in his own defense, actually he was shouting at me, but I was barely hearing him... to me it was like a soft whisper.
-”I also demand you to return my memories!” - I screamed as I fell on his chest, at last the bones of my legs broke.
-”Aren’t you afraid of it?” - He was storming me with pointless questions, it was a do or die situation.
-”I am...” - I did not complete my sentence as everything went black in my eyes and then only screams of silence rumbled, I was consumed by a supposed eternal rest with a comforting voice stuck in my ears.
-”Rest well, my friend.”

It was just a useless wish, to bring everyone together, to fight for the greater cause, but instead everything was ruined, everyone’s onslaught and destructive desires reached the point of the finale. This world was rotten right to the very end, crawling under my skin like a pest. Yet, I wanted to survive... I hoped to see another day, this time not for the sake of others, but for myself.... to reach the unreachable, to beat the unbeatable, to fight the impossible odds of pointlessness. I was a letdown, Azure... I should not of found you back then, for you to see what I became.

At first there was a surging sound of silence and then the emptiness rose...

Out of the dark.

I woke myself to another dawn, watery red eyes and a withering flower in front of my face, which was ready to be returned to the dirt. I rubbed my eyes and exhaled the cool air from my lungs, such a long spanning dream it was... wait... what was the dream about? I bent my legs upwards and looked up to the unclear sky, my view was blocked by a large amount of pink petals, which were scattered all over the air and twisted like a hurricane.

Little drops of rain in the air, for a split moment reflected the tears on my eyes. Why did I feel emotions all of a sudden? Was it a normal thing to cry away my sleep? So many questions and not a single answer followed. The sensation of the closure crossed my tainted heart. I extended my arms and dropped a little glance at my slowly decaying palms, wondering how many seconds were left for me... My power was not of my own creation. To think that I lost such a huge amount of my life force just to get back home to Baltasar Hill village. I realized that I had to act, and the sooner, the better, but there was not a single lead to my past, nor to a missing Azure. For that matter I decided to get aid from Zerneger, who was resting on my right side, but the assumed God of space was as empty as I. Well I could not blame him for that, but I did not completely trust him, it seemed like he was hiding something from me, my instincts were not lying to me, but I had no evidence to accuse him in that matter.

Gradually the quietness of the village faded and the shadows began to flee from the center of the village, which became illuminated by the sunlight. Workers grabbed their tools, soldiers began to hone their blades, children came out from the houses to play innocent games. I was lucky to be forgotten by the villagers, my presence submerged with the life of the village. Another dawn, another chance to die or survive, as always it was up to me, but for once I decided to make a minor change in my everyday routine. I wanted to be useful, not just useful, but to bring out a change inside myself. Although the negative thoughts were still clinging to my brain, I pulled myself from the ground and with a snap of my finger I sent out Zerneger to a pocket dimension. A ripple in space beneath the sword appeared as it slowly sunk inside the puddle of distorted space. Since I learned the sword’s name, now I was easily able to hide it and just by calling it’s name summon it again. I put on my black leather gloves on my hands and was ready to visit the pub, I strongly believed that Sandvika would recognize my face and would give me an idea from where to start over again.

I approached the pub and sighed before pushing the doors forward, I was suddenly taken to the bar’s atmosphere, the disgusting reek of the drunken and Sandvika’s sweat of hard work. There was a drunkard sleeping on a table, all glued in his own vomit as of for Sandvika she was mopping the floor. She seemed to ignore my presence, but once I took a step forward she grabbed a wooden plate from the counter and launched it towards me, as an act of defense I swiftly tilted my head right just before the plate flew by my left ear and bounced back from the wall. I gave out a light smile, glancing at her furious eyes, which suddenly built in tears, not a second has passed and she dashed at me for a hug. She pressed her teary face against my chest and I patted her head with my right hand, saying:

-”Now, now.. I miss you too, my lovely barmaiden.” - I smiled once again and gently pushed her away.
-”You reckless idiot, you didn’t have to run away from us!” - She shouted as she slapped my left cheek.
-”I’m sorry, I acted recklessly.” - I rubbed my left chin with my hand, but then I received yet another slap.
-”Recklessly!? Idiot! Fool! Moron! At least let me know, when you decide to run away next.” - She wiped her tears away with a piece of white cloth and continued to clean the floor. I was relieved that she did not want to kill me, like many others prior my leave.
-”Hey, keep it as a secret. Simon is gone. From now on call me as Sylvester.”- I came up with a name, which I overheard when I was fighting in the coliseum.
-”Don’t worry, after our last battle, your name was forgotten, though it is a wise choice to keep your profile low.”- She blinked as she tried to drag the sleeping drunkard from the table.
-”Hey, I was wondering if I could be of any use. By the way have you seen Azure around?”- I asked.
-”Oh yeah, I think I know a suitable job for you if you have the time to spare. Throw this smelly meat out of my bar and move those fallen leaves away from the yard. Oh... and about Azure, well I don’t even know if he is alive.”- She pushed the broom into my arms and pointed her finger at the sleeping man.
-”What happened to Azur-?”- At the end of my question I was interrupted by her.
-”Get to work and forget about your question!”- She yelled at me and turned her back before me, walking towards the counter.

I placed the broom at the right corner, right side to the exit and approached the table where a man was sleeping like a pig. I grabbed him by the cloth firmly and by using my extraordinary strength I tossed him through the exit, like he was some rag. He landed flat on his back and woke up, he slowly picked himself from the ground and released a loud yawn, probably wondering what in the name of God he was doing last night. He turned at the bar and was about to enter again, that was until I grabbed the broom, which had a fairly long wooden handle and with a good swing from the right I bashed his face.

-”No customers today!”- I shouted, as the man spun over and without saying another word went away with a bleeding nose.  

I approached the concrete stairs and started to sweep the leaves away from there. After then I advanced forwards, until I swept every leaf around the pub into a huge pile. Only one thing was left, - to throw it away. I could of sent it through a dimensional portal or something, but that would of taken away all the purpose of my work, so instead of doing it I asked Sandvika for some sacks. Once I acquired the sacks I placed all the leaves inside, most of the leaves were decaying, once again a strange sensation crossed my heart, - it appeared that the leaves were not the only things that were decaying here. I squeezed the air inside my fist, - I had to do something about this and fast.

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At the end of the hour I was all done, I pushed aside all the negative thoughts and entered the pub with a hope that Sandvika would give me yet another task, however she did not have any more work for me, though she asked me to visit her another day and suggested me to give a hand to a local brax herder. The herder was located just on the other side of the road, as I crossed the road I entered a stall, where the man was looking after the braxes. I did not even have a time to open my mouth before I received instructions from the man. Once again, I was back to a nasty job, I had to feed them, clean their surroundings. Actually it felt like a healthy exercise for once, my mind became clear and my body relaxed. It was a nasty job indeed, but something in my heart whispered that I should of stuck with that job. I knew it that I was not created to fight or bring glory to the village, I also knew that without my memories I was completely nothing. My aims should of not been this high since the beginning, but I was a naive fool that believed in some sort of destiny. Although one thing was clear, I had to build everyone’s respect as Sylvester, not only it was my only chance of survival, but I had to make allies before the tragedies strike me again, with this on my side I also needed power to protect myself from those people. Thus after finishing my tasks I ventured to the guard post.

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It was at the main entrance of the village, I approached the soldiers there and volunteered to help them defend against the foul creatures that were always trying to get inside the village. At first the heavily armored warriors laughed at me, but they were clear of the situation, since they were desperate for a helping hand. They suggested for me to wear a plated armor, but I declined their suggestion, since I believed that I was more of a mobile type warrior. They let me choose my own weapon, the choices were the following: A steel mace, two iron daggers, a rapier, an axe, silver sword, a wooden spear... and the last weapon was a black long sword, which had a very sharp blade and a yellow jewel on the right side of the hilt. I chose that one, it appeared light and deadly. The men’s expressions filled with wonder of why I happened to choose that long sword instead of spear or mace, at least those two were more suitable for these tasks. In the end it was my own preference, back in the days I used to be a crybaby, but not anymore... I was very confident in my skill, after all the things that I experienced, - killing was a just a choice out of my own whim.

And not a fraction of time passed as I ventured outside the walls of the village, As my walk through a narrow path progressed the scenery started to darken gradually, I avoided all my fears and swallowed down my instinct of my survival. Not a single drop of fear remained inside my blood, the temperature fallen as well and a chilling breeze began to stroke my spine. Everything surrounding me was just dead, nothing but ruins of a world that could of hailed peacefully. It appeared that a massive battle took place there not too long ago, a gigantic crater in the soil and a fallen corpse of a titan lying beside it. I could never imagine that such ginormous zombie even existed, but who managed to bring the beast down? The creatures frame was barely recognizable, some of it’s decaying parts were already submerged with the earth and surprisingly white blossoms were blooming out of the corpse.

As I ventured further I did not encounter a single zombie, the tree of life was indeed saved by an unknown hero, but I knew it deep inside my heart that it was all Azure’s doing. Sandvika did not want to talk about him, probably because he sacrificed his life just to save the village, the trust that I placed on the man paid off... but was it the right choice? In my eyes the concept of a hero meant a selfless and forgotten death, I was disappointed because that hero was my only true friend. Not even my sword, Zerneger was able to replace my friend, but something, deep inside my guts was whispering that he was still alive somewhere, I was not sure, but rather I was certain about it. Azure was the type of person, who disappears and reappears again and not ever on my journey did he fail me. He never even said an actual goodbye to me, because he always made sure that he will return when the time will need him. I had to find him somewhere, but there was not a place to begin my search.

I wandered off further away from the village, with my thoughts closed from the outside world until I finally remembered why I was going forward. I was on a scouting mission and there were still other threats to the village, maybe not to the village itself, since it was protected by the barrier of the Holy Tree of Life, but to the incoming supplies. There were still toxic vermins, lizard-like creatures, vicious giant worms, bloodsucking bats and other creatures that inspired fear in the hearts of the villagers and I had to vanquish them all. If not me, then who? I was not the best, nor I was the hero, but for some reason I still contained a strong power inside me and I had to put it to a use, even if it was for a bare minimum, I had to contribute.... this time not for the village itself, but for Azure or at least for what he fought so hard. It was my duty to make sure that his name would never be forgotten. Although the name itself was nothing compared to the actions of his. And with a couple of steps forward I reached the ruins of an ancient village.

Behind the ageless, stony fallen arc of the building a skeleton rose from the shadows, it started to slowly approach me, causing the creaking noise of the bones. I held the hilt of my blade firmly and swiftly swept it to the right side, feeling the strong energy of the shadows around. I slowly extended my left arm at the approaching skeleton and began to gather the shadows from the area around to my hand , in front of my palm a small black sphere of the twisting shadows formed. I tried to get a better hang of my neat ability, since this one did not drain the force of my life, also it had a great potential to become very useful in the future. Even I did not understand how it worked, it felt like it was with me, since the beginning. But why did the shadows obey my commands? It was yet another unexplained phenomena stuck inside my blank past. The sphere of shadows grew larger in the blink of eye, it was now as big as a cannon ball. The perfect sphere solidified, as it was not only as big as a cannon ball, but also as hard as a cannonball and with just the flick of my finger it was launched at the creature’s ribs. The creature shattered into pieces as the shadowy sphere struck the fallen arc behind and reduced it to rubble, before splitting up and returning as shadows to the rightful places.

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The pieces of the skeleton began to shake as it started to slowly rebuild itself, those nasty creatures were immortal, the only way to defeat them was to completely reduce them to dust. It was not a hard task, but I did not want to use Zerneger’s power, I tried to completely reject it for a time being, because I was practically nothing without that sword. The parts attached to each other as the undead creature stood on it’s feet or bones once again. I was able to tell that it became furious at me, like a bolt of lightning it dashed at me, but I was merely holding my sword, extended to the right, waiting for my chance to strike. Once it was about to inject those bony claws at my body I cut off it’s jaw with my blade and pulled back with my feet. The creature’s jaw flew off to the side as it tried to slam his fist against my face, but I was too fast for the skeleton, I could see everything and even predict the trajectory of it’s movement. With my free hand I began to rapidly shoot bullets of shadows out of my forefinger, aiming for undead’s ribs. The force of the shadow bullets began to push the creature backwards, wrecking it from one rib to another until I stopped and pointed my finger at it’s knees. I launched two more shadowy bullets out of the tip of my finger and finally the skeleton fell on it’s knees.

Swiftly I approached it and pierced the skull with my sword and detached it from the body and dismissed it to the side out off my blade. I brought the sword in my both hands and in a sharp cleaving motion I severed the body in half, following with maniacal cuts at the flying bones. I literally found myself, destroying the pile of bones with a grin, which was hiding beneath my black bandana. I knew it was not enough, I needed explosive power, to turn the bones to dust, but nothing was coming to my mind until my brain received an idea. The area was cast in one giant shadow, it was a place where my power worked the best. I raised my left hand up with two fingers held up and concentrated on the shadows below the pile of bones, I managed to manifest two hands, which started to connect the bones into a shape of a ball and then I bent my middle finger just a little as one of the shadowy arms formed into a heavy black hammer. By clenching my left hand into firm fist the other shadowy hand grabbed the hammer and crushed the ball of bones to dust, it worked, I lowered my arm and released the pressure of my fist as the shadows returned to their former shapes. It acted according to my will, it was indeed a great power, but I realized that it was only useful in the area with shadows casted upon.  

After defeating the skeletal warrior I did not encounter any monsters, so I decided to head back to the village and call it as a day. I bought a bottle of water and rested my back on a wooden bedding, in the presence of the Holy Tree of Life I remained silent, the long awaited night finally arrived. I managed to survive another day, I learned nothing about my past, nor I even tried to learn something. For once I felt relieved that I did not end up as a victim of the ongoing drama, but I had to say focused. With this in mind I decided to integrate training to my daily routine, I had a feeling that my powers will be put to a test once again. So far my instincts did not lie to me...

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After dark.

Shadows loomed over my head as the gem of the Holy Tree of Life shattered to thousands of fragments, followed by the tree’s collapse, which utterly obliterated the pavement below my feet. The buildings were on fire and the screams of  people resonated in the air, a rotten pillar of despair emerged from beneath the ground, splitting the earth in half. Extending to the clouds and blooming with darkness, nurturing fruits of evil and consuming the corpses of dead men in it’s roots. Raining acid blood from the skies and the amassing wave of laments struck my body and washed me away to the darkness.

I stood straight in the darkness with my sword drawn, looking at the shadowy figures ahead. Sinister laughter crossed my ears as the shadows pierced through my heart, leaving nothing but an empty hole inside. I could not even react and then right before my eyes a familiar form emerged from the blackness of the night. Red sinister eyes glaring at the empty hole that was left from my heart and an extended hand to my side. I slowly raised my arm forward, but suddenly the hand before me manifested into a black scythe, which ignited in the flames of hell. My whole arm burned out to ashes as I lost my will to stay on my feet, I bent on my knees and bursted into tears. The form in front of me seemed hollow, devoid of life, it was about to reap my soul with the blazing scythe, but then a whisper echoed in my head.

-”Help me, Simon...”- The deep, breathless voice belonged to someone familiar, but instantly everything blurred out from my vision as the light of salvation illuminated the darkness. I opened my eyelids, panting as I looked over at my surroundings, everything at the village seemed to be intact, my pulse was rising and I was catching for another breath. It was a nightmare, just a nightmare... a very bad nightmare...

It was morning already, the village was about to get lively again, I sighed and got up from the bedding. I stretched  myself and paid a visit to the pub and yet again I found myself running errands for Sandvika, after I finished helping the barmaiden I visited the brax herder and at the end of the day I was scouting for monsters beyond the barrier of the village. It seemed like an endless cycle, again... and again... I was doing the same thing over and over, and over again.

As the time progressed people began to notice me, they even accumulated whispers about this new person called as Sylvester, who was me of course.”Such a fine lad.”, “He’s so kind.”, “Bah, another errand boy.”, “I heard that he was experienced with a long sword.”, “I should ask for his help.”, “That guy Sylvester looks familiar, don’t you think?”, “He’s still nothing compared to Azure or even that traitor Simon.”, “He reminds me of Simon.”, “Who was Simon again? I only remember Azure and this Sylvester guy might become the next Azure.”, “He helped me to build my own house.”, “He’s a weirdo.” - those words were a mere drop in the sea of gossips. With each passing day I ran more and more errands and my daily routine became varied.

On my way I took my time for countless training sessions, mostly my training sessions occurred when I was venturing beyond the village. Mostly I experimented my powers and swordplay on various monsters, but I took my time to train my stamina and build my strength with various body weight exercises, such as push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, squats, step-ups, calf raises and so on. I even found myself doing push-ups at the sheep herder’s warehouse’s roof. One day I even broke the roof, because I was using solidified shadow energy as the heavyweights. For that I got scolded hard and had to beg for forgiveness, but since everyone thought that I was a good lad he forgave me and ordered me to fix the hole in the roof.

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I also went toe to toe with the armored warriors in the village, barehanded, even though my frame looked fragile my fists became hard as steel, I was able to break regular blades with a single swing of my hand. Thanks to my quick regeneration ability I rarely became tired and all the cuts and bruises that I received vanished in time. I also perfected my shadow manipulation ability, for me it seemed like the shadows were my own limbs.

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I continued to train my spirit at the waterfalls of Lollu forest, once again I became calm minded, I often found myself stuck between negative thoughts, but the meditation under the falling water was the best remedy. Sometimes when I was not up for a walk to Lollu forest I found myself floating before the radiant crystal of the tree of life, my thoughts were shut off from the world around me. Of course floating consumed a fragment of my life force, because with the guidance of Zerneger I learned how to bend the space below my feet. But it was a necessary sacrifice to relieve myself from the nightmares that haunted me in the night. For some reason I felt a strong connection with the Tree of Life, it’s glowing aura of life looked very similar to my own. It seemed like I was born in the crystal of the tree, but as soon as I was spitted out to the world my energy engulfed itself in the shadows. Still however I was born remained as a mystery to me.

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I began to scavenge arrows, knives, swords and other sharp junk from the corpses of the monsters and store it inside the pocket dimension where my sword Zerneger was in it’s deep slumber. I had a decent idea to increase the results of my training, but I needed to collect a lot deadly weapons. One day Sandvika became worried that I was up to no good as she noticed my intense routine. In a way she was right, I never told her that dangerous people were trying to track me down. Actually my presence in the village was dangerous for it’s own well being, but yet I had nowhere to go and I had to wait for Azure’s return if he even was alive. No one cared to talk to me about Azure, talking about him was permitted in the village. But deep inside my cold circulating blood I was searching for a reason for him to be alive. Only the bond that we shared was stronger than anything in this world, no laws of nature, no boundaries of reality were able to cut off that connection between me and him. At least, this is how I honestly felt and I was ready to ravage deepest pits of hell and pierce a giant hole in the heaven if something bad were to happen to him. A true friend he was... and yet... I was ashamed to look him in the eye once again. If only I was wise back then, if only I did not run away, maybe we would of fought those people together and prevailed.

At last the dawn of the hardest training has risen, finally I collected enough of materials to train with. I was standing in the pond of the Lollu Forest with my own shadow below. I clenched my fists and my own shadow rose from my feet and materialized into a humanoid being, I placed my palm on it’s pitch black face and absorbed it inside me, it made me twice as heavy. It was a simple trick to restrict my movement and push myself to my own limits.

-”Zerneger! I call for you!”- I shouted with my right arm raised above my head as the purple vortex of space devoured the air and slowly the sword emerged, I firmly grasped it by the hilt.
-”What do you want, Simon?”- The voice of the God of space entered my mind.
-”I want you to lend me your power, I want for you to create two hundred rifts scattered around me.”- I demanded.
-”Are you mad!?”- My partner in combat... or rather a tool of combat became surprised.
-”Ha, well that’s the plan.” - I chuckled with a thought that it will consume a significant amount of my life force, but I had to push myself even in a situation this dire.

I plunged the sword in the moist soil, which was slumbering underwater and placed another hand on the hilt, twisting it to the right a little, like it was a some kind of key. The air around the circle of fifteen meter radius began to crack up as the ripples in space emerged from everywhere, not even a single empty spot was left. I looked around the the surrounding swarm of mini portals and smirked beneath my black bandana.

-”This should do and now for the final act, link those rifts to your pocket dimension and make the sharp objects rain upon me!”- I screamed with all my might.
-”I never thought that you would become a masochist after losing your memory, but you’re the boss.”- With a sighing tone Zerneger agreed as the hail of knives, swords, arrows and objects alike was unleashed.

Arrows to the left, knives to the right, swords from above my eyes were quick as my reflexes. I pulled myself to the right and quickly laid down to the ground as the sharp objects clashed, ricocheting to various places. It was no time to snooze, as I swiftly began to roll my body, which was submerged underwater, to the sides. Grasping for air I emerged from the water, my body was heavier than I expected, but mobility and technique were my strengths. Compared to some in Atreia I indeed lacked raw strength, but with my mobility I was able to outmatch most of the threats. It always took a good strategy and technique to defeat tricky foes, but what if I ever ended up in a situation like this? Where enemies would swarm me from all sides..

With the correct and calculated steps backwards I was fluently dodging the flying blades and arrows. By feeling the presence of the danger on my back I was able to jump in the air and spin with my arms extended to the sides, evading every projectile. I landed on my hands and jumped straight on my feet, pulling Zerneger out from the soil, using it’s broad blade I caught most of the arrows that were directed at me and deflected the swords from above as I jumped sideways right, to evade the knives from the left. It was not enough, but I could already feel the effects of my double weight. Sweat broke out from my hair as the shadows rose from below in the forms of extendable arms, catching flying weapons in midair. However, the arms were too slow to catch everything as I had to deal with the rest. I jumped up to the air and began to madly swing my blade to all sides repeatedly, until the motion of my arms accelerated to a blinding speed, scattering the objects around  the place. One spot was still blind, it was my back, for that matter I unleashed my black, devilish wings, the wings were thick as steel, flapping in motion and causing strong air waves that were just enough to push away the incoming objects.

However, I realized that I was losing my pace as one of the arrows flew through my left cheek, leaving a small vertical cut. The barrage of swords forced me to lose my balance in the air as one of the knives made it’s way through my right hand. The defense of shadowy arms was breached as the minuscule cracks appeared in the blackness of it’s matter. Some arms even melted down and returned to the form of regular shadows. It was not good enough for me, I should of been faster than this, but I was already pushed to my limits as I released the shadow from my body and allowed it to cling from my back in the form of humanoid. My own shadow turned to the back and dealt with the objects with it’s bare hands as I tried to evade everything else. But then a heavy steel sword to my stomach area brought me on my back as the remaining objects began to eat away my flesh. I screamed out of pain, but with each arrow that hit me, with each knife to my skin and each blade to my internal organs pain became a secondary emotion. I could not move a single muscle as I was immobilized by the blades that struck, as the blades drowned me underwater. Zerneger acting according to his own flew up above me and began to spin in the air, raising a tornado around me with it’s sheer force, stopping every flying projectile and allowing me to breathe once more. I never knew that the sword could hover and do things like that on it’s own will, but it was no time for surprises, because the sword itself claimed to be a God once. I commanded him to cut away the link to a pocket dimension and to close the rifts off, instantly the sword stopped spinning as the water crashed down, filling my lungs with water once again. The objects suddenly stopped popping out from the portals as the dimensional rifts swiftly disappeared in the thin air.

I barely managed to stand up and with the help of my own shadow I slowly pulled the sharp weapons out of my body one by one. Through the teared fabric of my clothes wounds became exposed and the blood oozed down, dyeing the water below in crimson. I slowly approached the small piece of land or rather it was the place where my existence in this world started. I lost my balance and fell down as my face impacted with the ground, my consciousness dwindled away, but just before everything suddenly turned dark I managed to put a smile of accomplishment on my face. The challenge that I set for myself finally concluded.

When I opened my eyes I noticed that the scenery has changed, I was in Sandvika’s quarters, lying on a comfortable bed. My clothes were all messy and my wounds were already closed, I attracted a long shadow to my clothes from the darkest corners of the room and used it as a thread that quickly patched up the holes on my clothes. Zerneger was lying beside my bed and laughed hysterically as Sandvika rushed inside the room to see what was the noise all about.

-”Why the hell are you laughing, you maniac?”- She yelled at me with a worried look on her face.
-”Uh... it wasn’t me, it was my sword.”- I said as I released a prolonged yawn.
-”Yup, that was me.”- Zerneger spoke to Sandvika.
-”What? You never told me that you possessed a talking sword.”- Instead of worrying about my health she became surprised to hear the sword’s voice.
-”Errr, it’s a long story. I will explain everything later. How did you find me anyway?”- Actually I was more surprised than she was.
-”I followed you all the way to the Lollu forest. I was worried about your recent behavior.”- She almost fell to the tears, but was very relieved to see me safe and well.
-”Well, thank you. I appreciate your support, but you should worry about running your pub. I’m not the leader of this village anymore.”- I sighed.
-”To me, you will always be the leader of this village.”- She boldly stated it with a proud and warm face expression, but I just shook my head.
-”No, remember I’m just some errand boy called as Sylvester.”- I was thankful for her support, but I tried to push away her feelings.
-”Your name is Simon.”- She stated as she quickly pulled out a kitchen knife from the pocket, of her white apron, and tossed it at the wall, just above my head. I gulped and began to continuously nod my head.
-”Yes, yes... I’m sorry.”- I sighed once again and got up from the bed.

Standing tall before her, I nodded apologetically and with a snap of my finger I sent away Zerneger to a pocket dimension, after then I just left and headed to the tree for a quick meditation. In the end I managed to overcome myself, but it was not enough, I still lacked the power. Although my skills became rather sharp over the last month.

I spent three hours straight meditating and as I opened my eyes I got up and approached the crystal of the tree, I placed my right hand on top of it and felt something warm in my palm, it was a pulsing energy of life. It almost felt like it tried to whisper something to me, but not even once I managed to communicate with the tree. The sensation of delusion filled my thoughts as the smile on my face widened significantly, it almost seemed like I could consume it’s power for myself. My eyes were flashing as my mind became obsessed with the holy tree of life, but I just shook my head and removed my hand from the glowing crystal of unimaginable energy. Since it was already a nighttime I decided to reward myself with a long rest and resume my daily training on another day.

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22The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:27 pm

Return to ash.

The clock was ticking in a loop, I continued to do what I considered to be right. Running errands for the villagers, training on behalf of protection. Azure was still missing and not a single lead about his whereabouts popped up, I had to maintain the place intact. I did not even have to, but I felt like it was my duty, I was grateful to be a part of Baltasar hill’s community, I did not care about glory, nor I aimed to rise as a leader once again, I just wanted to pay my debts to the village. After all, I was the trigger of all the problems that occurred here, if my existence would of not been present everything would be alright.

With each passing second my purpose clouded, maybe my lost memories were not that important... I was who I was... I felt guilt, but I did not believe that, because of my dark past I was a bad person. Maybe I lost my memories on a purpose? Maybe the tattoo on my face was my solace from misery? Indeed I was something else to begin with, but I always overlooked myself... I only chased for my past, without realizing what I was capable of.  Although my past returned to me from time to time in a form of danger, but I always had a choice to avoid the grim reminders of my past, but yet I was eager and desperate to meddle into the demonic affairs.

But for once I was able to truly smile at the new tomorrow, no it was not faked... everything was very real. I was able to see a new dawn before my eyes, a dawn of a real change. At last, after so long... I managed to realize my place in the world and I had to chase it to the very end. However, some things can not be changed and the world did not work according to my will, I was a small speck of dust in the vast universe. Even as a speck of dust, I had my dreams, I had my motives... I had my hobbies... I even had friends, it just took time for me to realize and to accept myself. It only took so little, to become happy.

As I wandered around the village I could see the warm and smiling faces of the villagers, hear the laughter of the children, and it was all due to Azure’s hard fought battle. No, I was also thankful to myself, to be able to look at the world from such a perspective. I felt like the end of my story was not too far away, a happy ending was shining above the mountains. I thought that it was finally the time to put away this feather and ink from my diary... However I knew nothing yet.

It was already evening, workers were finishing the last bits of their work and the guardians changed their shifts. The children were already exhausted from running around the buildings of the village and the drunken men were already leaving Sandvika’s pub, probably to drink somewhere else. As of for me I stopped drinking a long time ago, my training included a special diet that I had to follow. Drinking was just not an option for me. I was passed by the common folks as we waved our hands at each other, I was heading to the Tree of Life for a meditation. Suddenly I heard a thunderous noise to the north as the smoke rose above the cliff, something exploded at the guardian post. I quickly grabbed my black long sword, which was resting on the gigantic, mossy, exposed root of the tree and rushed towards the direction of the explosion.

There were three bodies lying in the rubble as one of them moved and hopelessly extended an arm. It was one of the night-shift guardians, he was dying, crushed between the rubble.

-”Help... me.. p-please..”- The man barely managed to collect words with his tongue as he died on the spot. I quickly looked around, but the enemy was not present, I had a very bad feeling about the situation. Soon after consecutive explosions followed, I faced myself backwards... almost every building was on fire... it almost looked like the same scene that I witnessed in my nightmare a couple of weeks ago. I rushed to the center of the village, scouting for the enemy, but still none was present. What in the name of hell was going on? Did creatures of the night breached the barrier, no... it was impossible. The barrier was still intact, it was a doing of a living flesh.

Suddenly heavily armed warriors marched through the entrances of the village and surrounded me and other warriors of my village in a circle. We stood back to back, with our weapons drawn, we valiantly faced the enemy. We were clearly outnumbered, we were only five and the enemy forces had twenty men. An attack from who? For whom those men belonged? How did they appear in this place and why did they decide to launch a full scale attack? The opposing forces aimed their weapons at us and slowly began to push forwards and soon after a clash occurred. Clanging sound of steel and sparks of collision decorated the area of the skirmish with the collapsing buildings from the sides and the cries of the weak ones.

The shadows of the smoke overlapped us as I gave them a signal to strike the enemy, sharp shadowy spears grew out from  below, penetrating the enemy warriors’ steel. Leaving open holes with exposed internals hanging from them all, my teammates were amazed by my power as I suddenly commanded them to take care of the burning buildings. No one had to die on my behalf, only rage developed in my soul as my eyes were ignited by the flames of devotion to the village, no it was rather to protect what was left behind by Azure. But soon after the men made their move they dropped dead on the ground for some unknown reason.

Almost every other warrior in the far dropped dead on the cold soil, they were dying like flies in the eyes of the unknown presence. Was that poison, but when? Or how? Soon after more and more of the enemy forces flooded inside the village, killing everything in their sights. I dashed to the scene as my feet ignited in the trademark black flames that I produced subconsciously, my blade slashed through, soaking my coat in strangers’ blood. Splitting skulls, crushing still beating hearts, ripping out the spines, melting steel on the skin in the act of village’s defense. My methods of killing were fast and sadistic, but I could not stop my rage, I wanted to save them all, but I was already failing to save most. I had to be faster, stronger... the rage consumed me whole as my whole body became enveloped in black inferno. Setting everything ablaze in my path and burning anyone, who crossed my way. Be it an innocent boy or even my own child, if it belonged to the enemy forces it was destined to burn away.

At last... I managed to stop the enemy forces, but the fires were spreading and the buildings were collapsing, the remaining survivors fled to the shelter as I was grasping for another breath before the roots of the Holy Tree of Life. The dark flames extinguished as I remained stationary, waiting for the ones, who caused this hell to show up. I felt their presence nearby, the very same feeling that I had back then.. when Thomas attacked the village. But I knew that Thomas was already dead and there were at least two of them or even more.

-”Come out from hiding! I know that you are somewhere nearby!”- I screamed at the top of my lungs, as a chilling presence went through my spine and then they crashed down from the skies and landed at the center of the village. It was the very same duo that I encountered quite some time ago, in the cave. The unknown, fragile, little girl and the giant, who went by the name of Hanzsel. Their eyes flashed with vengeance as the man finally spoke.
-”Well then, let the turmoil begin.”- He announced the name of destruction.
-”Zerneger, come to my aid!”- I dropped my black long sword and cried out the name as I pushed my hand inside the ripple of space, which emerged and drew out the black greatsword.

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I went straight for the kill with my body igniting in the dark blazes once again, my eyes began to burn in red as I brought my blade to the right side and jumped in between the two, diving headfirst and placing my hand on the cold pavement I quickly spun my body with the sword extended vertically from my right in hopes of cutting the duo down. They coordinated their movements and jumped to the opposite sides simultaneously as I lunged my feet left and attacked the girl first. Bringing the blade in my both arms I aimed to split her body in half, but she raised her right hand and the white flat circle emerged from her hand, my blade bounced off from the circle, but managed to set it on fire. She quickly tossed the flaming circle at me, like it was some sort of disc. I quickly lunged my body backwards, still remaining on my feet as the flaming white circle went over my hat. It was flying straight at Hanzsel, he caught it in his right hand and with a good swing from the right he launched it towards me.
I was able to see it, flying straight at my head I quickly placed my left hand on the pavement, which was the area of one giant shadow and manifested it into a black dome around me, which managed to deflect the magical, burning disc.

-”And now on to the other phase!”- I smirked beneath the blackness and waved my arms to the sides, scattering the dome to the sides, manifesting the shadows into black spikes. The girl brought down the white, solid wall from her magical ring as the spikes plunged into the wall as of for Hanzsel, he drew out the black, thick and long mechanical device from his back and inserted his right arm in the hole inside. The red, glowing energy built up in the hole and the beam was launched from inside, extinguishing the shadowy spikes in sight. It looked like some sort of hand cannon, that enhanced his internal energy and manifested it into physical energy of some sort outside.

-”I see that you got better.”- Hanzsel complimented my skill, as he launched a devastating attack at me. Firing consecutive monstrous red beams of energy from his cannon, I tried to evade them all by quickly extending my wings and launching up into the air. But the beams were aimed at the girl, who held out a huge white mirror of the ring’s power and by tilting it up obliquely, she deflect the beams of energy right back at me, I was caught in the rain of unimaginable energy, probably one hit was enough to bring me down to the ground. Meanwhile Hanzsel placed his left hand on the cannon and raised it up at my direction, as the energy inside charged, he released the bursting energy, which made him slide backwards on his feet. I was not able to evade the attack and decided to take the hit by protecting my front with my own wings. The attack set my wings on fire as I crashed down into the dirt, experiencing the immense heat on my back I started to roll in agony, hoping that I will be able to put out the fire.

Barely, but somehow the fires went away as I found my back lying on the ground. The duo approached me as the smirks of both decorated their faces.

-”But you are not strong enough to defeat us.”- His words were proud, but I was not done either. The giant grabbed me by the neck firmly and lifted me up to his face.
-”I remember that you enjoyed the torture.”- He applied pressure on my neck, almost crushing it, leaving me to struggle for air and then he began to punch my stomach repeatedly, making each hit stronger than the previous one.
-”Just kill him already, father.”- The girl nonchalantly rolled her eyes and looked around the ruins of the village, only the Holy Tree of Life was not touched. Clearly the tree was not their main aim.
-”I want him to experience the despair. To know what it’s like to be defeated over and over again, to realize what it means to lose everything that he loves and I want to devour his silly dreams. Crush everything in front of him and finally dispose him as a trash.”- Hateful words and series of fist hitting my stomach, crushing everything inside me like a hammer.
-”Fuck off!”- I barely cried out as I straightened my index finger and the shadowy blade emerged from his chest.

Blood began to ooze from his nose as he tossed me aside, he slowly reached for the edgy tip of the shadow that I managed to conjure behind him and crushed it like a mere glass in his right hand. He placed his hands on his chest in agony as the blood dripped from the opened wound.

-”Damn you...”- He silently said and turned at his daughter as she rushed to his aid.
-”Quickly... drink this.”- She handed him a glass sized bottle, filled with strange content inside. He opened the miniature lid and chugged it down in one go, crushing the empty glass in his hand. The wound suddenly shrunk down until not a single scratch was left.
-”To think that I will be forced to use this, but it feels great... not only it healed my wound, but it restored my strength back as well.”- He cracked his neck and slammed his right fist at his left palm.
-”Let’s begin the second round then.”- He laughed hysterically as he stated it.
-”Your chances of survival are below zero.”- Zerneger interrupted as the blade flew to my hand.
-”Shut up! Once I’m done dealing with Simon I will force you to obey me!”- Hanzsel shouted out of irritation.

I stood on my feet once again with my weapon ready to strike their flesh, they prepared themselves as well. A clash of ideals, between the two men and a girl that was brought in the middle. Hanszel suddenly started to hover above the air as the turbines below his heels spat out the flames. That man was always full of surprises, I could not even figure out what kind of power he possessed. He readied his arm cannon once again, but this time the metal surrounding his right hand transformed into a huge axe. The girl’s white magical ring began to glow as she drew the circle with her finger midair, the circle manufactured a white magical lance. She grabbed on the stove with both of her hands and slightly bent down to my direction, with it’s sharp tip seeking to penetrate my heart. Also her black clothes suddenly changed it’s form, it transformed into a long black dress, the corners of the dress were curling on the sides, it seemed like her clothes possessed intelligence just as my sword did.

I ran my left hand across my blade as the trails of black fire caught on it and the red electrical sparks surged across. I was ready to use that power if it was necessary. A fiery wind blew as all three parties rushed to the center of the chaos, dragging my blade across the earth and melting the floor below I leaped right in front of them. As they crashed down their weapons upon me, I deflected them backwards with a strong air pressure that I produce with the swing of my sword and set the wind ablaze as the crescent moon shaped form of dark energy was unleashed at them. Just as I thought, the girl’s dress moved on it’s will and shielded them both from my attack, absorbing the dark energy and grew in size, it looked like a huge wallpaper, which covered my horizon. It suddenly began to chase me off, as I jumped backwards from right to left, cutting the thick magical fabric of darkness with my own sword. Hanzsel accelerated the engines on his feat and sled through the air behind me, swinging his giant axe at me. However, my own shadow grew out from my back and stopped his assault with it’s hands. The fires below his feet shot up as he launched into the air, dragging my own living shadow with his axe. He then severed my shadow in half and plunged himself down, aiming for a clean cut from above. I took a small step forwards to face the blond girl, just before Hanszel crashed down on the ground with his axe stuck in the earth. A tremor raged, causing me to lose the balance on my feet... as I was about to fall on the ground I noticed that the girl was falling from the sky with her lance ready... at the last second I managed to get aid from the shadows as a huge hand launched from the ground and grabbed her fragile body.

I plunged my sword into the dirt and turned myself to Hanzsel, who was having trouble removing his giant axe from the ground. I slowly extended my right arm and channeled the energy of the shadows on the tip of my forefinger. A small sphere of shadows hovered before the tip of my finger, as I aimed at his leg and launched the shadowy sphere like a bullet. It went through his left thigh, ripping through the skin and flesh, causing him to lose his balance and allowing him to fall on his left knee.

-”Now I will show you the meaning of true despair. I will rip your daughter piece by piece before your eyes.”- I expressed my anger as I motioned my finger for the giant shadowy hand to bring the little girl to me. She was present right before my face, trapped in the shadows, fear illuminated in her eyes as she started to cry for help.
-”Father, please help me!”- She lamented as I brought my sword above my head and took an aiming pose. Hanzsel’s axe suddenly transformed into a cannon, he slowly inserted his right arm into the hollow cannon and then began to charge energy, but the process was interrupted by my own shadow, which had enough time to glue itself back, it trampled his cannon as the complete despair was unleashed before his very own eyes.
-”Out of tricks? I see. After I deal with your daughter I will make sure that your body will slowly burn and suffer. You will experience the same emotions as the innocent villagers.”- I laughed and was about to split the girl’s skull apart, but then unexpected turn of events happened...

A bright light in the sky disbanded the shadows upon us, the giant hand melted in sight and the girl was set free, even my own shadow shrunk down and crawled back to my feet. The girl quickly rolled to the side and avoided my blade, after then she just rushed to her father’s side.

-”Damn you! What is the meaning of this?”- I became confused, I glanced at my shaking hands and then turned my head up to take a look at the sky... where a giant shining ball of light was floating in the air. It almost looked like a miniature version of the sun.
-”Impossible! Who did this?”- I dropped my jaw out of surprise.
-”It looks like they were not alone.”- Zerneger pointed it out to me as I heard footsteps approaching from the front.

Right before my eyes, a tall green curly haired man stood before, the hair covered his right eye and the exposed eye also possessed the same color as his hair. He had a smug expression just like Thomas did, when I faced him. He also possessed a weird tattoo on the left side of the face just as I did, but the tattoo itself was different, it was ornamented in wavy stripes. He was dressed in the very same black clothes as Hanzsel and on his back a black metallic stove with a shining golden scythe at the end was attached. It was glowing in yellow, almost blinding me just like the sun did.

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-”What is this? A sale of cabbages?”- I tried to mock his green hair, which actually resembled the color of the cabbage.
-”My, my... aren’t you a funny one? Even after losing your memories you managed to repeat the same sentence.”- The man laughed as he placed his hands behind the back of his head.
-”Hmph... another scum just joined the party then.”- I sighed and brought my blade between my both arms.
-”Why so rude all of a sudden? We were good friends, my lovely Simon.”- He laughed once again and touched the black stove behind his back, the scythe began to shine even brighter as the shadows around the area completely vanished.
-”I see that you guys are getting your asses handed to this guy. So pathetic.”- Glancing over my left shoulder he mocked the duo behind my back.
-”You’re late...”- Hanzsel spoke to the man.
-”Well after dealing with the explosive runes and the poison that I placed in the alcoholic beverages I had a fun time watching your little fight. All in all, the infiltration was successful. I alone managed to wipe out seventy percent of this village’s population.”- The cabbage-haired man took pride in his speech, but also he fed the rage inside my heart.
-”I’ll kill you.”- I took a step forward.
-”The name’s Sain, by the way. It is nice to meet you again, Simon.”- At last he introduced himself, at least he was direct.

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He brought the golden scythe from his back in front and with a mere leap, like a swift wind he disappeared from my sight, only to reappear from behind and deliver me a strong blow to my spine with his foot. It felt like I was struck by a strong shock wave as I was blasted away in a spinning motion, caught in the strong current of the wind I was flying across the village. I plunged my sword into the ground to stop the powerful resistance, I landed on my back, still clinging onto the hilt of the blade with my hands. He was fast, but it was not just his speed, he was powerful and on top of that he did not bother to hit me with his shiny scythe. I was about to turn back and dash at his direction, but suddenly someone poked my left shoulder, I quickly turned back for a glance to only realize that my face was about to be smashed by the black stove’s gilded lower end. I found myself launched into the air once again, but then Sain merely jumped into the air above me and landed his right foot on my chest, pushing me back to the dirt. For some reason, he avoided my vital spots, with such power he was able to easily end my life in one hit, but instead he took time to play his games.

-”Simon, forget about swinging me. From now on, I will fight alongside you. Just as I helped you when you were training that day.”- Zerneger spoke to me telepathically.
-”Gotcha! In that case I will use your power with my bare hands if it’s possible.”- I brought up an idea.
-”If I’m close everything is possible, after all our powers are connected, the only difference is that I can’t feel pain. Promise me that you will not overdo yourself.”- He agreed to the terms.

Everything went according to our plan as Sain was busy trampling me with his feet Zerneger launched himself into the air and was about to pierce through Sain’s back, but he coldly deflected the blade with his scythe’s backwards swing. But the sword’s assault was not in vain, it bought me time to open the rift below my body, as both of us began to slowly sink inside, I closed off the rift just before it touched his feet and appeared in the empty void of Zerneger’s pocket dimension. I imagined the place and teared the fabric of empty space in half with a swing of my hand, which opened a small rift, leading to Sain’s face. I squeezed my right hand into a fist as hard as I was able to and with a massive swing I punched him in the face, my fist flew through the opened portal. As the blow connected he was sent flying backwards.

-”Yes! I did it! I managed to land a hit on him!”- I exclaimed, as I imagined the air path where he was flying and opened many other small rifts before him. I unleashed a barrage of consecutive blows at him, pushing him backwards with each connection without even giving him any time to react. The trail of small portals popped one after each other, following Sain’s flight direction. Only the punches that I threw were emerging from the portals, flying dimensional fists assaulted him, it was a perfect offense and a perfect defense at the same time, although the massive energy consumption was draining me rapidly and my fist were not enough to bring that beast down. Zerneger came to my aid as he emerged through a portal just behind him as Sain’s back touched the tip of the blade as it soon reemerged out of his stomach, leaving a void in the middle of his body. I opened yet another gateway, this time I jumped inside it and emerged from above his head and delivered a finishing blow with a flying fist from the air, which brought him on his back, I sat down on his chest with my knees bent to the sides and started to wreck his annoying face with my hardened knuckles.

I punched him from the left, then from the right in a loop. With each strike I made sure that it was stronger than the previous one, until bruises decorated his mug. I was screaming at him out of anger, each hit was for each villager that he killed, until his whole face became unrecognizable. The hate and the fury circulated in my boiling blood, the feeling of vengeance consumed my whole soul, I made sure that he suffered everything that I suffered, I made sure that he suffered enough for every live that he took... and finally with my final blow I made myself clear that he suffered for destroying Azure’s hard work. I rose on my feet and brought my hands to the sides with my bleeding fists clenched I screamed in rage, my soul erupted like a raging volcano.

I turned my head at the damaged duo, which already replenished themselves, by drinking the strange “potions”, and exhaled fiery air of hatred from my mouth like a dragon on it’s rampage. I started to slowly approach my targets, with my hands raised to the sides, my body and spirit was ablaze as the dark sinister aura emerged from my frame. I was enraged, there was not a single reason for me left... it was not a time to back down. I wanted to crush them with my own hands, the red electrical sparks surged across my arms as I punched the hole inside the air, as it cracked like a glass and the other entrance emerged before the girl. My arm dove inside the rift of space as I grabbed the girl by the neck from another end of the portal and swiftly pulled her to me, closing the entrance before Hanzsel could make his move. I lifted the girl as high as possible and crushed her throat, before she could scream for help. Her blood stained my black hat as I dragged her fragile body across the air and slammed her head to the ground. Be it my fellow villager, my own child or even my love... if it was a threat for the place that was built by Azure’s blood, it was nothing more, but a mere obstacle, which was had to be removed.

Propelled by the blazing engines on his heels Hanszel emerged from my back, I leaped up to the air and was about to kick him from the side. However, he managed to catch my right leg in his bare hand and swang his free arm in the hopes to crush my bones. He left me no other choice, but to removed my immobilized leg as my right hand ignited in the black flames I cut away my right leg in a chopping motion, the blood from my arteries spilled on his face and clothes, leaving him blinded for a second. Not anymore, I was unable to feel the pain... I was not the same loser as I used to be. In the momentum I lunged my body to the left and kicked his jaw, breaking it in the process, he backed away in pain as I landed on my arms and twisted my body backwards, kicking him in the knees with my healthy leg. The giant lost it’s balance and collapsed on the ground, as I safely landed on my back. As he was writhing in pain I commanded Zerneger to pierce through his chest, but to avoid the heart, because my pride demanded me to deliver the last blow.

I was lying on my back, waiting for my leg to regenerate... I completely ignored the presence of the girl, I did not care wherever she was alive or not... I just wanted for my leg to regrow, but this is where I made a fatal mistake. The girl slowly crawled to her wounded father and injected the contents of that “unknown potion” inside his mouth. The man’s wounds suddenly disappeared as he regained his strength and got up on his feet, the girl also chugged the contents of the “replenishing potion” and rose above. My leg was about to regenerate, but suddenly I felt significantly weaker as the wrinkles popped up all over my skin, I suddenly felt a burning sensation on my chest as I tore down my clothes a bit, just to get a proper look. Something black was eating away my skin as it spread a little and stopped, the side effects of my amazing power took place. As for the duo, they merely began to speak to each other.

-”Father, we can’t defeat him. We only have two more doses of life energy.”- The girl was panicking, as my leg finally regenerated and I slowly stood up.
-”One doze goes for Sain and the last one will be situational.”- Hanzsel took both bottles from the girl as I tried to communicate with Zerneger telepathically, but nothing happened, the sword remained stationary below Hanzsel’s feet. The immense pain in my chest stroke me once again, I then covered my chest with a palm.
-”We will have to resort to our trump card, are you ready... my girl..?”- Hanzsel came up with a plan and yet I was not able to do anything, but to endure the burning pain. The black spot on my chest started to spread further, as the vines of pitch blackness began to consume the lower part of my body.
-”Of course I am.”- The girl was ready for their big plan.
-”Alright then, I hope that this thing that I engineered will bring us to victory.”- He pulled out something from his pocket, it was yet another potion, but the bottle was bigger and the content inside was a cyan colored liquid. He handed the potion over to the girl, as she chugged the content inside in one go.
-”While I’ll be dealing with him, please inject a dose of life energy to Sain’s veins”- In the brink of ongoing turmoil she still had the heart to worry about her fallen teammate, despite the fact that she was my mortal enemy I gave her my respect for that.      

Not even a single passed as the effects of the potion finally occurred, her body suddenly began to expand with her own dress and the magical ring on her finger. She was getting larger and larger with each passing second, she managed to outgrow her giant father and continued to get bigger and bigger. Towering above everything in the village the little girl was not so little anymore, she became a real giantess. Her father was amazed that his potion indeed worked, he was jumping out of joy, although compared to her he looked like her pet animal. The giant man lost his title, now the title belonged to his daughter. It was a dire situation for me, I waited for my own miracle to occur.

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The giantess cast her sight upon me as I stood motionless, I was unsure of myself anymore, it seemed like my time has came. Fear consumed me whole, my legs were shaking along with my arms, I tilted my head up to get a proper look at her towering presence and the shadow that she casted upon my little body. Exactly! Even though the artificial sun was still in the air, her giant frame created a large shadow for me to use. It was the only flaw in their plan, but it was my opportunity to continue my fight. She stood straight and motionless as her back opened like a hatch and the giant steel wings emerged from the sides, followed by the six large exhausts that spat out gas from her back in a form of thick vapor. I began to wonder whether she was a human being or not, she was always silent if unnecessary, she possessed little emotion... but back then... at that world... she was sweet and caring, I truly believed that she had feelings for me. Everything seemed so real back then.

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I bent down and placed my right palm on the ground and pulled a shadowy replica of Zerneger out from the ground, as I also extended my wings. Hundreds of little hatches opened on her wings and the cannons emerged from the insides with something loaded in the barrels. I shot up to the sky and began to make my way, through the sky, towards the giantess. The cannons shot the projectiles simultaneously at me, as the storm of the metallic objects with fiery engines at the back approached me. I was suddenly taken back to my training session, the scene almost looked almost the same as back then, but this time the objects were not sharp, instead they were exploding in the air and following me around. I was diving through the deadly, exploding projectiles, their blast radius was pretty huge compared to the small size. A rumbling storm of explosions soared in the sky as I was advancing forwards the giant machine, avoiding every projectile on my path. It was not a training session, it was a real deal. It only took one little mistake for it to be all over. The swarm of metallic objects followed me midair as I made my way around her body. Luckily Hanzsel was not interfering as he was away patching up his defeated comrade. The projectiles danced around her, following every direction that I took, leaving trails of smoke behind as the hurricane of smoke formed around the girl’s giant body. Some of them exploded midair and some of them went out of course and obliterated everything upon the collision.

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I realized that if I were to attack the giantess the projectiles would hit me, for that I came up with an assumption. My guess was that her wings were the device that was controlling the projectiles and the huge metallic thing attached to her back told me that it was the blind spot. I only had one shot, but I had to test it for myself, I changed my direction and began to ascend to the air, outsoaring the protective barrier of the village and being trailed by the homing metallic objects I lunged myself downwards at full speed, going straight for that device, which was clinging from her back. I swiftly landed on the object with my feet and waited a couple of seconds for the projectiles to get closer, then I quickly leaped up from the device as the hundreds of projectiles landed on her back, causing a huge explosion in the air that even managed to crack the magical barrier from above. So, the science of this caliber was able to compete with magic? Hanzsel was a brilliant genius indeed. The large radius of the explosion blinded my eyes and the strong air wave blasted me away, but somehow I managed to stay airborne. The steel wings crumbled down into large pieces of metal and the girl fell on her knees. Finally it was my opportunity to strike.

I stopped midair with my wings in flapping motion and dragged myself back full force, aiming to plunge my shadowy sword at one of her eyes. But she did not take time to stand up as she towered above everything again, I approached to her face level and was ready to inject my blade inside her enormous blue eye, but despite her gigantic proportions she was very quick as she slapped me to the side, breaking my ribs. If it was not for my quick regeneration ability... I would of been dead by now. I was flying across the scenery as I finally crashed into the church, I cracked my neck and got up from the ground. Once again I took off from the ground and flew closer to her, compared to her I looked like an annoying fly. She tried to catch me with her hands, but I was too fast for her, soon after I landed on her arm and ran across to her right shoulder. But I realized that my pacing was getting slower and slower with each moment it was due to my weakened life force, I was not sure how many years I had left to live... if there was even a year left. I slammed down my blade onto her shoulder, but it barely tickled her, without Zerneger I was not even able to produce the black flames out of my body, if it even worked this way, because it was unclear... I only found myself devoured in the flames under extreme emotions, but I did not feel anything extreme for this girl. She slowly raised her right hand before me and flicked me away with her fingers... The flick hit my chest as the noise of the shattering bones inside followed... I hardly landed on the ground as my spine broke as well, for a while I was unable to move and thus I had to accept my dreadful fate.

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The giantess pulled out the shadowy blade from her shoulder with her fingers and crushed it between her thumb and forefinger. She turned at my direction and began to approach me, with each step that she took the ground below shook. She was about to bend down, once she was before me, but as a last and desperate resort I raised all the shadows from the ground and manifested them into giant black chains, which suddenly enveloped around her legs and immobilized her. Her face expression remained the same cold and emotionless, she raised her right hand up as the white gem of her magical ring glowed and a giant white sword emerged from the gem. She wrapped her fingers around the hilt and with a vertical swing downwards she split the chains of shadows apart, after then she tossed the sword at Sandvika’s pub, which was somehow still intact and reduced it to debris upon impact. I gave up... there was no chance for me to win. Even if I were to manage to deal with the giantess, there were still two powerful foes waiting. She slowly bent down and extended her hand down at me, her warm fingers slowly wrapped around me as I was lifted up to the air.

I was stuck in her palm at her face level, I tried to wiggle my way out, but there was not a single gap and on top of that this time it took longer to regenerate all the shattered bones. She applied pressure on me, almost squeezing all the air from my lungs and brought her thumb on top of my head, pushing my head down. I gritted my teeth out of pain, but remained silent, not a single lament came out from my mouth. I looked her in the eyes and noticed the building tears on her emotionless face. She closed off her emotions just to face me, but she could not stop the rolling tears, right to the very end she sympathized with me. I began to struggle for air as my body was being crushed gradually, I closed off my eyes and accepted my fate. Such a shameful defeat... I thought... in the end I felt useless.

-”Stop it! First of all get on with the extraction. After then torture him however you want.”- A voice of Hanzsel echoed from below as both of the men were unscratched. Even Sain’s unrecognizable face returned back to normal as he was alive and well. It was all for nothing, the rage that I unleashed on him left no trace.

Hanzsel’s daughter nodded as she lowered me just a little and brought me in her both hands. I was standing on her right palm and her left palm was raised above my head, suddenly my body floated up in the air. I was unable to feel solid surface below my feet, nor I could even move... I was hovering in the air, between her palms. And then the extraction began... I was not even sure what do they wanted with me, what kind of extraction it was to begin with? But one thing was totally clear for me, - seeking for answers was completely useless. My body suddenly began to burn as the remaining energy inside me slowly began to fade. I was completely immobilized, not able to even wave my little finger and with time the pain has gotten worse.

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23The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:28 pm

Yesterday’s enemy, tomorrow’s ally.

I felt completely drained, no sign of life reflected in my dead expression, the vision in my eyes was getting blurry.. I was shivering, it was cold, it was the time for me to finally say goodbye, but even the words in my mouth clouded. Darkened eyes, no hope, no savior in me and no one at at all would ever remember my death, a failure that left the cultivated dreams to rot in despair. A life full of secrets and misery, a life full of danger and hatred.. vengeance, depression, closure... the eyes of the brothers and sisters in the village were already closed to see the light again, my existence was already fleeting. Till the very end I had a desire to survive, but just as I said, a miracle would be required. And my misfortune was fortunate and my wishes were granted, my luck of escaping the claws of death never failed me. Blinding lightning flashed in the sky, tearing the boundaries of sound with it’s rumbling. It struck across the giantess’ spine as she screamed in pain and the pulsing sparks went through her frame, causing her to completely go numb and to lose her balance. She released me from her hands and collapsed on the ground, obliterating the pavement below with her sheer weight alone. I managed to safely land on my feet, just before her giant paralyzed body. The guardian angel itself descended from the heavens, allowing me to fight for another day.

A stranger landed on the root of the divine tree with a loud following thud. The stranger looked very familiar, but yet it was impossible for it to be the very same person. Same dark coat, a black eye patch covering the left eye. A muscular male, with a couple of scars on his face, emerald-green eye, gray curly medium-length hair. Ominous electric blade held out from his right hand and the very same smirk that I saw a couple of years ago. Thomas!? No, was it that person that I met at the swamps... gray hair, the electrical blade. But if that was the case it meant that enemy received reinforcements.

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-”Yo.”- The man spoke by swinging his blade right and forth as the electricity discharged from it.
-”There’s no way, you were alive all this time!?”- Sain and Hanzsel asked the same question simultaneously with the surprised looks on their faces, like they were looking at the ghost. It seemed that they managed to recognize the man.
-”Alive and well as you can see.”- He laughed and jumped down from the root of the Holy Tree of Life, steadily landing on his feet.
-”You idiot, why did you attack her?”- Hanzsel shouted at him as the man was slowly approaching him with his blade straight to his right side.
-”Sorry, my bad. I mistook it for the enemy.”- The man apologized and stood in front of Hanzsel face to face and held out his left palm opened at the man.
-”Hanzsel, hand me over your remaining dose of the life energy.”- The stranger demanded.
-”I can’t, we decided that it will be used on one of us in a tight spot.”- The Hanzsel shook his head and declined the demand.
-”Open your eyes, can’t you see that I’m dying? Look how old I have become.”- The stranger tried to persuade Hanzsel.
-”Yeah give him the bottle, old man. With him on our side it will be a breeze.”- Sain, who was standing beside Hanzsel suggested.
-”Alright. I’m already sick of this filthy liquid.”- He reached inside his pockets and placed the dose of life energy on top of the stranger’s palm.
-”Thank you.”- He nodded at Hanzsel and Sain and turned his back on them, advancing towards me.
-”Err... where are you going?”- Hanzsel asked the stranger.
-”Can’t you see? I’m going to finish the job.”- He placed the potion inside his pocket and held out his free hand with a blank expression on his face.

He sheathed his blade inside the scabbard, which was strapped to his left side and picked Zerneger on his way to me. He rested it on his right shoulder and stared blankly at me, slowly approaching to my side. I began to slowly back down from him, but yet I was not able to feel murderous intent in his eyes. He was acting strangely, but I for a moment I was sure that he was going for the kill, but then he firmly squeezed the hilt of the blade with his both hands and took a step back, bending his frame he swang the sword backwards and tossed it over me.

-”Take this, Simon!”- He shouted as the sword was sent, spinning vertically through the air.
-”Why?”- I asked as I caught Zerneger in my arms.
-”You still have to finish your fight.”- He continued to approach me.
-”What are you doing? Have you lost your mind!?”- Hanzsel exclaimed.
-”Maybe I did... maybe I didn’t... I’m just paying my debts.”- He answered and finally stood beside me and faced the enemy.
-”Who are you?”- I glanced at him as I asked.
-”I am Thomas. You probably can’t tell from my different looks.”- He calmly introduced himself.

But I made sure that he was dead... I even buried his corpse... But yet he was standing beside me with a completely different appearance. Only his mug and the eyes were recognizable, but the never seen before sword and weird personality created a completely different image of him. I was thrown into the pits of confusion.

-”But I killed you!”- I shouted out of confusion.
-”But yet I stand before your eyes.”- He smirked.
-”What are you doing? Kill him!”- Hanzsel’s nervous voice echoed from a far, but it was merely ignored.
-”But why did you hand over the blade to an enemy?”- I asked him directly.
-”Eh.. after I cheated my own death, I never returned to my own world. Instead I was just wandering around the Atreia, in search of atonement. I was seeking to cleanse my own soul and escape the delusions of my head. Once I reached my own enlightenment, I came to a conclusion that I have to pay my own debts to this world.”- His speech was as delusional as ever.
-”What do you mean by that?”- I asked him.
-”It’s a long story to tell and we don’t have enough time for our chatter. Right now we have to deal with what’s in front of us.”- He reached for the hilt of his sword and swiftly drew it out, sparks of electricity divided around the air.

I was surprised from the idea that one day I would be forced to fight alongside the man, who erased my memories and slaughtered dozens of villagers. But I had no other option, I was weakened and I had no chance against those two alone. The enemy that I had yesterday suddenly turned into my ally, once again this world showed me it’s surprises. Although I swore to never forgive Thomas for what he did, but I strongly required an extra pair of hands. I bursted out from miserable laughter and tightened the grip on the hilt of my sword.

-”I don’t think that I will be able to fight with my blade...”- I was not able to feel energy from it.
-”No worries, I’ll give you a little boost, before your power returns.”- He comforted me as the surge of lightning crossed his body, from feet to head. He placed his blade on top of my own as it suddenly caught itself on sparks of electricity, the energy discharged throughout my body as the bolts of erecting lightning arced from below my feet to a pillar of lightning through out my sword. I suddenly felt a rush of revitalizing energy boiling in my veins as the great power of lightning surrounded my body in the form of raging cyan aura of electricity. My muscles suddenly became light and relaxed, a surge of energy accumulating like a living engine inside my body made me feel all mighty once again as I tilted my sword vertically and shouted a cry of battle.

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-”I had enough of surprises today, let’s put this ridiculous mess to an end.”- Hanzsel sighed as he aimed his cannon at us.
-”Thomas, you traitor. You just became a criminal of war!”- Sain shouted it out loud as the golden aura of light surrounded his body.
-”I don’t care. I’m just acting, how I was supposed to act since the beginning.”- His decision was firm, a point of no return it was for Thomas. He casted aside his home world, his family, his friends and allies just to stand alongside me and fight for his own unknown ideals.

Thus the final battle began, the prevailing side was shrouded in mystery, we had only two options, - to die or to kill in order to survive. We bumped our fists against each other and advanced to the carnage. We dashed into the storm of slaughter, accelerating like lightning and roaring like a thunder with our powers combined. The electricity beyond our feet heated up and changed to plasma, which melted and utterly destroyed everything in our trail. We were running at immense pace with our blades crossed as we charged the electrical energy and released a piercing bolt of lightning at their side, which blinded their vision and paralyzed their legs temporary. Thus we continued to push through the air with fiery spirits lingering in the wind.

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Hanzsel unleashed the storm of the red energy beams at us blindfold. Everything began to explode in our path and the wall of great fire emerged from behind us as we tried to avoid the barrage of immense energy. We moved like the lightning itself, zigzagging forwards as my blade ignited in black flames once again and Zerneger spoke to me.

-”Nice, you managed to survive this long.”- His laughter echoed in my brain.
-”I don’t have to depend on your power forever, do I?”- I answered with a grateful smile on my face. At last my powers returned.
-”Well, it is glad to talk to you again. I was on a little cooldown you see.”- The God of space laughed once again.

I swang my blade midair and teared a hole through the space, which trapped one of the flying beams of energy inside. I linked the other end of the rift just before the artificial sun above as the red beam struck it and caused a great explosion in the air, which covered the whole area below in smoke and returned everything to darkness. Shadows spread through the area once again as the power of darkness thrived in the area. The black flames on my blade mixed with Thomas’ electricity as the energy spun around the blade, I released all the energy in the form of beam by swinging my sword vertically at the opposing forces direction. The interconnected pillar of flaming darkness and raging thunder cleaved through the air and blasted Hanzsel away as the continuous storm of red energy pillars ended, dismissing the smoke in the area as well.

Thomas, who was on my left side rushed over to Sain and jumped in front of him, trails of electricity danced from below his feet as he swang his blade downwards, but Sain caught Thomas’ blade in his bare fist without even flinching and tossed him aside along with the blade. He quickly took a glance at his burned palm and smirked.

-”Just the thing I needed, I redirected the current of electricity and made my legs free again.”- He talked to himself as he held out his left palm towards me and launched blast of shining golden energy towards me, as it scattered to sharp needles of energy midair. However, it was a failed attempt, because the very same sized needles of electrical energy bounced them of from the course and from the other side Thomas was holding his sword vertically.
-”I made you. With the very same tattoo I enhanced your abilities and yet you dare to raise your hand against me.”- Thomas spat it out with the anger in his voice.
-”Go to hell, old man. You were never a good match for me.”- Sain backfired as he brought out his golden scythe from the back.

He leaped into the air and raised his scythe above his head in a spinning motion, it gradually turned into a saucer of golden energy as the small beams of light rained upon us. I raised the shadows up from bellow, by tilting my sword up just to create the ceiling of darkness above our heads, but it deemed itself ineffective as the light began consume the shadows. The holes in the ceiling began to spread as I came up with idea, I pushed my blade into the air in front of me, opening a passage above Sain’s head and marched inside it, only to reappear above the mad man and stop his onslaught. I plunged my blade into the saucer of gold and extinguished the light, bringing my wings out I plunged him into the ground, but he was holding still, defending with the black stove of his scythe. The momentum dragged us across the dirt, as his back was sliding through the rubble. He ignited in the light and kicked me away with his burning knee, I remained in the sky and opened another rift below Thomas’ feet, he was sucked inside and reemerged above Sain and placed his right palm on the stripped tattoo. The tattoo on Sain’s face suddenly began to burn and melt off from his face as he screamed in pain.

Meanwhile Hanzsel was already at his feet as he jumped from behind with his axe ready, I suddenly turned backwards and our weapons collided, sending out a massive outburst of energy throughout the sky and blasting away the leaves from the trees around the village. We retracted our blades at the same time and clashed once again, his monstrous strength was something not to compete with, but I was giving it my all. Pushing myself to my very limits and breaking myself from the shell of weakness. It seemed like my fuel was my own willpower. Our blades continuously impacted as the concentration of aether energy started to burn out the oxygen in the air, explosions were tearing down the sky as the magical barrier around the village completely shattered.

Thomas joined the fight with his own wings in motion, he sent down bolts of lightning throughout the sky, hitting Hanzsel from all sides as the fiery turbines below his feet malfunctioned and sent him flying downwards, against the two of us he was as good as dead. But then Sain leaped into the sky after losing some of his powers, he reaped through my clothes with his golden scythe and with the lower tip of it he penetrated my stomach, I spat out blood from my mouth and crashed down before the gigantic root of tree of life with a hole exposed inside my body.

-”I’m not playing around this time. Thomas, you’re next!”- He screamed at the top of his lungs and grabbed Thomas by his hair and dragged him along with the gravity. I was forced to watch their valiant fight till my wound regenerated.

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After Sain has lost his tattoo something weird was around him, the light aura around his silhouette was acting up and bursting wildly. Probably he could not control his own power well, but the tattoo maintained it’s stability. As I watched how they exchanged their blows I noticed that they were almost equal in strength. Their movement was well timed and the swings of their blades were calculated. I wanted to help Thomas, but I had to recover first. But it looked like that with each impact Sain was getting weary, Thomas was pretty tired as well, but at the end of the fight he managed to strike his throat with his blade and release a strong shock of electricity throughout Sain’s nerves... The discharged voltage was high as easily it melted Sain’s eyeballs and turned his skin into a charcoal instantly. Thus Thomas delivered him a quick and painless death.

-”I’m sorry, but you deserved it.”- Thomas whispered as he lowered his head to pay his respects to the former comrade.

I slowly picked myself up from the ground as the hole in my stomach subtracted and approached the nameless girl, which was still lying on the ground. She returned to her regular size after a couple of glances as I helped for her to stand up. She looked me in the eyes, but did not attack me.

-”You know, I don’t want to kill you. I just want to who are you and what kind of business do you want with me?”- I wanted to spare her live with all my heart, but everything depended on her following answers.
-”I am Aur-..”- She suddenly closed off her mouth.
-”Aur... what? Why were you crying back then?”- I sought direct answers.
-”Nevermind, I am nothing.”- She did not answer my questions and built into tears.

Suddenly a noise of explosion roared from the direction, where Thomas was supposed to be standing. But he was nowhere to be found as the smoke was clouding my sight and then through the smoke furious Hanzsel emerged. As of for Thomas, well.. he was lying on the ground unconscious.

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-”Her name is... or rather was Aurora.”- Somehow I managed to receive indirect answer.
-”What are you talking about?”- I asked.
-”That does not concern you.”- He aimed his cannon at me and began to build the energy on the inside.

I was too tired to move, actually I was exhausted from the fighting... I did not have the energy to avoid another beam. The regeneration took a toll on my stamina and I received so many wounds in the way. There was only one thing left for me, it seemed like a gamble, but it was better than surrendering myself into the claws of death. With the last remainder of my strength I grabbed Aurora... or however she was called by the neck and brought her in front of me, I squeezed her tightly in my arms. I took the girl as a hostage.

-”If you want to hit me, then you will have to go through her first!”- I desperately shouted in hopes that her father will show a soft spot in his heart.
-”Be my guest... then...”- He released all the stored energy inside the cannon as the beam struck us both, tearing a giant hole through the both of us. I grunted in pain as I looked over to the girls teary dying eyes.. I coughed out large amounts of blood out of my mouth and stained her blond pigtails in crimson. I was holding her tightly, I did not even want to release her... but she was about to die in my arms... I did not want her to be killed, not in this way at least... she always showed me sympathy, I felt an odd connection to her.
-”Y-...you m..monster... how... co-..could.. you... shoot... d-down.. your da-..ughter..”- I lamented my last words for him and hit the earth with my back, the girl was dying on top of me.
-”I don’t care about her. She was nothing, but a mere puppet to me. I can always create another one... My daughter died ages ago and this one was a mere clone of her called as A1.”- Her father only laughed... but if she was not the real one, then when did she die? Maybe this was the reason why Zerneger was not able to recognize her back then? He turned out to be a real demon in my eyes.
-”One of my greatest inventions, a genetically modified clone engineered by no other, but me.”- He took pride in his boastful speech and began to take his steps towards me.

I was too exhausted too move, I was saving the remaining fraction of my energy for the giant hole to subtract.. but it took ages for it to heal. I hopelessly watched the dying girl, tears rolled across my face.. The hopelessness of the situation.. the ruins around me... the scattered bodies of the fallen men.. the air in the place became polluted.. I realized that the dream of the villagers... the dream of mine... no the dream of Azure, if it even was his dream was completely obliterated. The hard fought battles, the countless conflicts that we faced in order to protect the village ended up in vain. I took back my own words... actually it was not worth all the hard work that I placed in everything, only misery and failures of unhappiness followed my path. I finally ended up in a point of no return, but yet I wanted one more thing, before my death... My lost memories was not an excuse anymore, I just wanted to reunite with my old buddy and drink a bottle of whiskey with him... My own will ignited my soul as I started to slowly crawl backwards, I broke through my limiter a long time ago... I had no energy or strength left inside me as I was drained, but yet I clawed into the dirt and advanced further and further away from Hanzsel.

I knew that my dreams just ended tonight, I knew that the bonds that I built were completely severed... I was aware that my own power was the bane of my own existence, but my desire to meet Azure once again grew stronger and stronger. Hanzsel was only a hand’s reach from me as Thomas rushed in between us. His strong back towering above me and the final conclusion of the fight... The vision faded with my consciousnesses.

Prelude to destruction.

I woke up on the gigantic root of the divine tree, I felt refreshed and well rested... the only problem was that I did not felt as strong as before, the strength inside me was significantly weaker and the black substance from before split throughout my whole torso, including the back. Almost half of my body was devoured by the darkness, luckily I could cover it all with my clothes. Besides me Thomas was glancing at the horizon, I rested on my elbows and took a glance at the horizon as well. The village was totally annihilated, only ruins and dead bodies everywhere, only the Holy Tree of Life remained untouched. The battlefield that looked like the moon’s surface, in the center of the village craters were dislocated randomly. In a far I was able to see injured survivors, licking their own wounds... not everything was lost, but it will take time to rebuild the place. I was relieved at least to see some of the villagers around.

Although their cries and agony did not let me rest easily, I felt their pain as much as they did. After all, I got really attached to the people of Baltasar hill village. I used to split bread with some of them, many of them were like brothers and sisters to me, but the majority of them did not belong in the world of living anymore.

-”What happened to Hanzsel?”- I asked Thomas.
-”I failed to kill him, he managed to retreat. However, he won’t be bothering us for a while. I suggest for you to leave this place as quickly as possible, because next time their leader will appear.”- He calmly answered.
-”Who are those people? What are you anyway?”- I stormed him with the questions and slowly stood up and stretched my back up.
-”Well, they used to be our allies. We were the greatest team together... as of for me I’m just some human being...”- He sighed and shook his head as he jumped from the root and landed on the grass below. I repeated the same action.
-”Why... are you always talking in riddles!?”- I shouted at him.
-”It is pointless to discuss what’s already locked in your memories, let me tell you a couple things before I take my leave.”- He stood before the two wooden tombstones with his head lowered. The two graves were fresh, in one of them Aurora’s corpse was buried and in the other one Sain’s corpse was resting.

We both took our moments of silence to give our tributes to the fallen enemies. In the end they were human beings as well, they also had friends, families, dreams, fantasies, but our ideals paralleled. I did not feel anything for Sain, since I did not know him, but I felt bad for Aurora... even if it was the clone of the already dead girl... she still possessed human emotion, she still wanted to live a peaceful life... and she was the most human of the whole trio, she cared for her comrades deeply... she even cared for me... and yet I failed her, but the sins that I made could not of been atoned for.

-”Listen Simon, I know that you are mad at me for what I did. I did not come here to seek for forgiveness, I came here, because I was watching you from a far for quite some time ago. With each day you surprised me, your actions allowed for me to believe in you again. I was wrong since the beginning, I shouldn’t of agreed with that plan, I should of trusted you back then. I know, you cannot make any sense out of my speech, but you will understand it sooner or later. I came here to pay my debts. I realized that you are not a bad person, even after losing your memories you showed hope and strength that radiated from inside your body. I came here to offer you your memories back, I shouldn’t stole them to begin with. I wasn’t cut to play as a God. However, I must warn you about it... your memories are indeed dark and extreme, everything that happened, since the day of your wake is nothing compared that you’ve been through in the past. Releasing you from your own past was the only solution for you to become happy and to start over, but even then the troubles followed you. So, what will be your decision? Are you up for it?”- Thomas apologized from the bottom of his heart and left a tempting offer at the end.

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He looked me in the eye awaiting for my decision, at last... in the middle of the darkest hours... at the darkest end of my journey I was just a hair close to my memories, but I was left in doubt. If my past was darker than my current life, then what kind of person I truly was? Was it even worth to take back my memories and to continue to live a life of complete misery and despair? I already accepted myself as I was, but the tempting desire to know more kept me intrigued. He was correct I hated Thomas from the bottom of my heart, but yet I respected him for the choice that he made. Without his help I would of been good as dead by now. However, was it really the right choice to make, I was afraid... I was afraid that the ashes that I created in this world would completely vanish, without a trace, as my whole existence would take a completely different form. In the end I just shook my head and came up with a decision.

-”I am sorry, but I have to decline. I don’t think that I will change my mind, my whole purpose was to bring back my lost memories... but now... I’m not the same person anymore, even though the hard work that I placed here is completely ruined, I still have one last wish with the last remainder of my power. I want to meet Azure, at least for the last time, before I make my final decision about this whole situation. I want to look at him as I am now and to apologize him properly... that is unless, he is still alive.”- I gritted my teeth and clenched my fists firmly after stating my bittersweet decision.
-”Ah.. Azure... You were always telling me stories about him... when we fought back to back in my world. Well, I understand how you feel... If I were in your shoes my decision would probably be the same.”- He sighed and placed his forefinger on his chin, gently rubbing it.
-”I’m glad that you understand me, Thomas. You should probably know by now... I will never forgive for your wicked deeds, but I’m not going to chase you and seek vengeance. From now on we are neutral.”- I wanted to forgive him, but I was unable to let go of the hatred, flowing inside of me.
-”I was intending to use it for myself, but you are the rightful owner of this thing.”- He pulled out the dose of life energy and looked at the contents inside the bottle.
-”What’s that... anyway?”- I was curious.
-”It is the life force or energy trapped inside this little bottle. Actually you were the one, who invented this thing... although this thing was your worst sin that you committed in the past. I will not meddle into the details of it’s origins, but I will give you a chance to find all about it through restoring your memories. For now, I am going to keep this bottle for myself, since this is the last remaining sample of it. It is able to revert the changes in your body, to restore your energy and life force back... it is like a potion of lifespan regression. You created it to remove the gravest weakness in your power, I’m not sure how you managed to create it, but you sacrificed a lot to create just a mere bottle. However, when the time comes seek me out at the tallest icy peaks of Morheim, I will gladly give this bottle for you.”- He smiled as he placed in the miniature bottle inside his pocket.
-”No... I’m not going to patch myself up with the relics of my shady past. I will find another way to restore my life force.”- I shook my head, declining his offer.
-”Well, we will see. Anyway, I will take my leave now. Seek me out at the mountains when the time is right.”- He waved his right hand and shot up to the sky with his wings extended to the sides until he vanished in the sky.

I removed my right glove from my hand and took a long glance at the palm, which was withering away from it’s youth. I became older... I was even able to feel that a couple of wrinkles developed on my face. My bones and muscles were softer than before as well. The fleeting strength...

The Baltasar hill village was not my home anymore, I was able to hear survivors’ whispers about me, they watched my fight from a distance and recognized who I really was. They felt tricked and used, their angry stares illuminated from a far, like the candles of everlasting hatred. And the people were damn right...- I was the trigger of the chaos. However not a single person decided to stand up against me, they feared my presence and were somewhat grateful that I fought for the village’s sake till my last breath. In the end I was on my own, my only aim was to find Azure and to accompany him in his travels. Suddenly someone spoke to me from behind and as I turned at that direction, the very same witch from a long time ago was present before my eyes.

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-”I’ve been watching you from a far, Simon. I know what are you seeking.”- The witch said.
-”And what do you know!?”- I backfired with a question.
-”You are looking for this existence known as Azure.”- She was one hundred percent correct.
-”Yes I am looking for him, but how do you know about it?”- I became curious.
-”I’ve been watching your every step, I noticed you as your very presence interrupted with the balance of the tree.”- She answered calmly.
-”What do you mean by that?”- I gave her one more question, because I was only good with questions.
-”It means that you must leave this village, but first climb that root of the Holy Tree of life and cut off the bushes before the jewel.”- She folded her hands under her bust.
-”Alright, if I manage to find a single clue, I will disappear from here forever. But promise me one thing just before I go, rebuild and protect the village on Azure’s behalf.”- I readjusted the sword on my back and turned at the mossy root.
-”I will.”- She nodded as I jumped onto the enormous, ageless root.

I was gazing at the gigantic gem of life that was present in front of me, I scanned the area below it and indeed I managed to locate the oddly placed bush. There were some junk stationed around the bush, a bowl with water inside, wooden toy knights, extinguished candles. It looked like some place of offerings, like some kind of grave as I approached towards it I bent down on my knees and ignited the candles with black flames that I produced. His grave was always close, just behind me... I never thought that I would be this blind to notice the most important thing that was always closest to me. I suddenly began to feel extreme emotions as I emitted the black aura from my body I clenched my right palm into a solid fist and slammed it against the root out of grief. The bush before me caught itself in dark flames, rapidly reducing it to cinders only to reveal Azure’s heavily damaged blade, some of it’s edges were broken out... I fell in tears, falling into assumption that my friend was no more.

I began to continuously hit the surface with my fists, but then a mysterious white light emerged from Azure’s sword, I stood up and could not believe the sight with my very own eyes. The white light manifested into Azure, no but it was different, a transparent figure of a ghost in the shape of astral projection of Azure. The astral projection was holding Azure’s broken sword, it slowly moved and carefully placed the blade on the surface of the area as I quickly rose on my feet.

-”Azure, is that really you?”- I asked, but the ghostly image of Azure did not speak to me, instead it passed through my body and slowly headed towards the left exit of the village, which was leading to the swamps. The rate of my beating heart increased and various emotions in the mix of hope and sadness developed inside me as I began my chase after the supposed ghost of Azure, but the transparent image vanished in my eyes, but I continued to move forwards with a fate on my side, believing that my friend was still alive somewhere.

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I was heading for the exit, through the narrow ravaged path, turning back at the battle-hardened village once more. Memories of the times that I spent at the pub with Azure flew by in flashing still images of the best moments. Our first meeting and how dangerous he looked, swinging his blade at me. The times when we shared our lazy days together, I wanted to return there... to that point of carelessness, but I was stuck in the present... awaiting for my own salvation. I was able to travel through space, but time was a different subject. The cheers of the villagers were heard loud in my brain, as they welcomed me to the place for the first time.. Sandvika’s scary face... Nothing was the same anymore, but only one thing was left for me... A hope to a new tomorrow, a new future without the fragments of the past.

-”Azure, wait for me. I’m returning to you.”- I softly whispered to myself and set my foot outside the village.

I decided to completely let go off the village that I cherished as the brave new world was waiting for me. I always dreamed of the mirrors that could reflect my past, but this time I completely erased my past. There was only one person left from my past, - Azure. The ghost from the past or the ally of future’s courage? Actually he was not a mere ally, I considered him as my family. I was too foolish to go on my own. All fears and poisonous thoughts were avoided, I was ready to sacrifice my remaining power just to bring him back from the heavens. I was about to cross the bridge to the swamps, but suddenly it started pouring, the rain fallen upon me creating a resonating sound of melancholic melodies of the fallen heroes. I stopped for a bit and decided to get soaked in the liquid and listen what the rain wanted to whisper me. I felt a presence from my back and glanced over my left shoulder as the cold breeze stroked my face, - The ghost of Azure was standing behind me, it took a step forward and pointed his finger at the direction of Lollu forest, before disappearing again.

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I crossed the bridge and glanced at the rolling darkened clouds in the sky, sentiments entered my head once again... this time I was taken back to the visions that I had back then, those were the leaps of my past. In the middle of nothingness there was a lonely man walking. His body was covered in black robes and a black hood was covering his face. The man was going at a slow pace and tears could be seen falling from his eyes. He was sinking in darkness and despair, there was not a single person by his side, but he kept walking. There was nothing but a void in the place of his heart but he kept walking and walking, further to the despair. He stopped for a moment and pulled out a watch out of his pocket, he looked at it, which was going nonstop, for a whole eternity, but the eternity stopped for that man today. The endless despair fled from the hope that emerged from below the tallest mountains. My mind came back to reality as I realized that I was getting close to the forest.

The dark clouds backed away from the sky as the light shone in brightest colors, I was standing before the lake... yes the very same lake, where my existence began... where an ancient battle took place and the outcome was devastating for both me and Azure, although I was able to recall only the smallest glimpses of that battle. On the very same piece of land, where I woke myself to Atreia the ghostly image of Azure was lying with no signs of life. A fleeting memory flashed through my eyes again. A blank image of someone fighting in the forest, a gigantic scythe reaping the air apart and then a brave warrior falling from the sky. The scenery suddenly changed to Baltasar’s hill village as someone shouted something in the labyrinths of my head, -"Wake up...", "Wake up, God damn it!", "Don't you dare to die on me.." and then after the repeated sentences the vision faded.

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The ghostly image of Azure slowly stood up, something was missing in him, his mask was severed, but unbroken. It pointed it’s finger towards the sky before disappearing again. I was unsure where to go next, so I merely teared another rift in space and jumped inside it, which led me to never before seen places of Atreia. In search of a ghost I began my journey around Atreia.

I've stood in hell, where many had to suffer, I stared the devil in the eyes. Walked many roads to witness ancient idols, and found the great pits of inferno. Escaped the hail of calculated mortars, then feasted with the souls of the fallen. A fiery road, where volcanoes were erupting in the furthest reaches of Morheim. Washing the fiery heat away with my sweaty palms I advanced further in a search of a long lost friend in the endless loop of memories that reoccurred.

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Searching for a reason for him to be alive I've crossed the deserts, filled with dreadful scorpions as I fought my many demons on the way. Somewhere on this planet he was probably waiting, cursing my name, but still remembering the very same moments. I was chasing for a light in the desert storm, without glancing to the sides I continued to head through the broad path of everlasting bond of odd, but a great friendship.

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Some times our saints were sinners, it was the same case with my friend... a true example of a hero, who drank a lot of whiskey, cursed in almost every sentence, but always saved our butts from the unknown dangers. But he was the light that led the way, - our way. On the sea by the cliffs he watched, he woke the night to see the light. The hope took my heart and set it free, carrying it forward by the waves. Still the man was far away, nowhere to  be found or heard, not even space, which obeyed my will, was not able to calculate the distance.

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After a while I found myself tired from my journey, I’ve crossed every known location in Atreia, however Azure was nowhere to be found. Suddenly something entered my heart, it was a sensation of a distant memory... An image of someplace that we talked about, the undiscovered land that would emerge from the rifts of Abyss. A place that was forgotten up until now and on which I had no information up until now... The place...  where my friend might be... The lost region of Nosra it was! I created a dimensional gateway, which led me to Nosra.As soon as I reemerged from the portal my surroundings changed drastically, purple colors dimmed my view as I felt a presence not too far away, a familiar energy, the very same great energy that belonged to Azure... I was sure about it, because my soul could tell the difference.

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I started to run towards the energy that I felt, crossing a broad, pebbly path, trees with pink petals were growing from the sides as everything was shinning across my way. I smiled as I felt the pushing, cool breeze to my face, accelerating with each step that I took. Running through the hills with castles and passing small houses, witnessing never before seen wildlife along the way. And with each flying fraction of time his presence grew stronger as the flashing images of his black thick-layered steel mask carved inside my eyes. My pulse was racing from excitement as my feet began to trample through the fabric of space, lifting me up above the hills, where the swamps, filled with revitalizing water emerged in the wide horizon. It was a homestretch.

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My feet submerged with the refreshing water as the blue colors began to dominate my surroundings and yet another astral projection of Azure was present before my eyes. This time Azure’s body was covered in his regular black chiton instead of the armor, the ghost gave me a cold stare as it pointed at the small piece of land with a tree growing in the middle. I passed the ghost as I saw a familiar dark silhouette, lying with it’s back supported to the tree. Another vision tainted my view as I was brought back to the end of the nightmare... The very same deep and breathless voice laid siege to my ears once again.

-”Help me, Simon...”- The voice clearly belonged to Azure.

My vision returned to normal as the epic reunion between two men was about to begin... A chilling sensation down my spine and the fists clenched in regrets touched the everlasting silence in the air. So many unanswered questions in my journey and the future shrouded in mysteries.

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24The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:20 pm

Scars of reunion.

In the middle of the pond, on the small piece of land a tree sank it’s roots underneath only to tower above the land and reign in the unfolding azure-colored sky with it’s branches spread throughout the heavens. The leaves were racing with the rainbows above, in a game, which name was,- Life.  By the tree, a familiar dark form was resting with it’s back supported at it’s mighty trunk, gazing emptily at the furthest horizon of overlapping void. The cool water was washing my legs as the little waves were crashing on my knees, my clenched fist and covered face of shame underneath a black bandana. Pushing through the liquid, which represented life, I was advancing towards the end of my journey, seeking for the answers to my raised questions.

With each closing centimeter my heart skipped a beat, with each step it became harder to walk. The overflowing emotions and a hope of new tomorrow at the end. The dying man’s final wish to meet his only friend finally came true like a self-fulfilling prophecy. All the memories of darkness finally reached the enlightenment in the deepest chambers of my head, nothing seemed true, but yet it was before my very eyes. The years that we passed apart, so many stories left to share and a night behind the glass of whiskey. If only I was worth the price... If only my final actions were to be forgiven. Sometimes we do not have another choice, yet sometimes we can freely choose our destinies, it was a cycle made by the divine commandments of the unknown.

My heart suddenly began to race with the time, as the time itself has lost it’s meaning, stopping in between two men. The name of the choice and the fate of this little game called as friendship was about to be tested by the laughing Gods from above. Emerging from below the revitalizing water and climbing up the hill of unparalleled bonds I looked him in the eye as the shadows rose before our eyes. The emotions that kept haunting me and a motionless frame of my past once again placed it’s foot on the deepest reaches of my tainted soul. Right in front of me my last remaining friend, Azure was resting. Or was it the same man that I used to know from before the time of turmoil?

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-”Are you...”- I stopped my sentence midway as I felt the rush of unwavering emotions. I felt ashamed to the very bone of mine. It was all my fault, to leave him all alone and soon after to annihilate everything that we fought so hard for. I sighed as I looked down, between my feet, remaining silent and awaiting for my answers from the man before me, if it really was the man for whom I was seeking for.

The form that sat in front of me seemed hollow, devoid of life as the eyes were darkened. As I took a step closer the red hue behind his mask started to glow. The mask itself was showing separation in the middle as it if had been severed before... the broken line across his face like an attention drawing beacon... As Azure himself picked himself of off the ground, agonizingly slow... A pulse of distortion resonated through the area around the tree as half rotten corpses and skeletons became visible. Formerly concealed, from the ground Azure pulled a scythe as the souls of the decayed started to chant in a chorus... His body was covered in wounds, one more dire then the next, two of his ribs seemed bent in an awkward angle as they simply penetrated his own torso. The pressure in the air grew more dense... There were no words, whatever remained of my friend was now walking towards me, no remaining bit of sentient thought or memory in presence, the grip on his weapon tightening.


Whatever happened to my friend was probably the aftermath of his previous battle. The coldness began to knock on my body as my every muscle throbbed... each finger trembling separately as the ground below my feet seemed void. Probably the last remaining bit of my strength was about to be tested in mortal showdown of dissolving bonds. For a moment I placed my fears and insecurities aside, for a moment I reflected on the strength of the world that crumbled before my eyes. I gritted my teeth as I pinched my other arm to expel the emotions of ceasing existence. Then... I slowly reached for the hilt of my sword and supported it on my own back, holding tightly with only one hand.

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-”I’m afraid... I’m so afraid... Although this time I’m not going to piss my pants. So hit me as hard as you can, buddy!”- I provoked the monstrosity that was left of my only friend. Despite the overall confidence in my tone, my legs were trembling a little, but the suspension between the two of us seemed very heavy. Only wonders and confused thoughts were coming from my glance. What did really happen in the village? And why Azure was severally injured? It felt like I was facing the claws of death before my very own eyes, but I had to stay concentrated as I tightened the grip on my weapon, reminiscing all the glorious days that I spent with Azure.

The aeather concentration in the area seemed to have increased rapidly, the once so peaceful scene was disrupted by pillars of magma breaking through the ground around us. Shooting up into the sky as the condensed water turned into steam and yet stayed clear of us, circulating around us as if we were kept at bay, but nothing but our will to fight, or energy. I continued to speak to him, but there simply seemed to be no reaction at Azure’s end, the glow between the broken shards of his mask lit up anew, as he lunged forwards me, the scythe pulled back with his left, - as his right hand slammed into the ground, propelling himself around his own angle to build up momentum he sent a scythe, swinging at me. The blade ignited with the devious hellfire, he was known for, was coming at me from above.

My own frame bursted out in a wicked black aura as the choral screams of the ones that I coldly murdered in battle caused a wavering sound of dead silence. Soon after, the shadow from below my feet rapidly climbed on my back and hardened itself as the black human form emerged from my shoulders, the extended arms of pitch darkness took a hold of the incoming blazing scythe. The scythe was taken from Azure’s grasp as it propelled through the air, the still burning blade sunk into the ground as it impacted nearby, however Azure did not seem phased by this circumstance, nor halted as he pursued me after I was knocked back a little, steady steps, plant life was wittering as he walked. Water separating beneath his feet as if it was trying to avoid his sheer presence... Both of his hands were clenched into solid fists as he attempted to follow up with a series of punches this time around, the lack of weapon only given him a boost to his agility, albeit at the cost of the devastating power the scythe brought along.

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-”It feels so nostalgic... you taking a swing at me with your blade.”- I smirked as I tried to communicate with him once more. The memories of our first reunion in forever... though it was probably not the first one due to my lacking past memories. The memory of how he suddenly grabbed on the hilt of his runic blade and turned around, pointing his blade before me, only a couple of millimeters away from my throat. A nonchalant stare and my wet pants back then... It really seemed like a rightful and nostalgic reunion, but this time I took him on like I was a man and not a freaked out kid.
-”It became like a tradition to us...”- But the noise of my opened mouth did not reach his deafened ears.

Soon after the shadow that was clinging on the back of my shoulders extended it’s arms and grabbed Azure’s fiery scythe. As the black torso lengthened and my own shadowy figure laid it’s presence in between us, sliding it’s hands across the stove for them only to stop at the center... it began to spin the scythe like some sort of defense mechanism, building up the momentum... gradually getting faster and faster and expanding the hellfire with the wind. It created a shield of sheer fire and deflected his impacting fists.

The deflection went as planned that was until Azure caught up on the strategy, his gauntlets ignited with flames, black flames this time around, - each time they impacted from this point further onward the metal of his own scythe seemed to grow more dense and more brittle, shaken to it’s very foundations blade showed cracks as it was about to shatter. The heat that was produced before my face pushed through like a freezing emotion. The solid darkness, which was the shadow itself began to gradually deform, giving the opportunity for Azure to retrieve his damaged scythe. However, as a last resort it lunged towards Azure’s fists in a form of dissolving wall of darkness. It only bought me time to prepare my next attack as I had already channeled the required energy in my sword. A space before me and behind Azure’s back started to bend in a shape of a vortex as my sword squeezed through the interconnected space distortion, devoured by dark flames and raging crimson sparks of electricity. The attack connected and the flaming blade set Azure’s back on fire as the black liquid oozed from the fresh wound. The blackened flames crept up his skin and yet... the monstrosity seemed devoid of senses, bringing his right elbow back he once more attempted to attack my head physically, bringing it back behind himself with added momentum. As our fists finally impacted against each other.

In terms of physical strength I was at disadvantage, but I kept pushing, swinging my fists as hard as I was able to... Discharging the red sparks throughout my frame and unleashing the enraged flames of darkness in a circle around us. With each blow that we exchanged my emotions magnified as the shock waves of sheer natural energy surged through the wind... destroying the empty space around us as the starry cracks of space became visible. The rage and battle cries reechoed throughout the various planes of existence... as the shock waves were causing rippling disruptions throughout the various regions of Atreia and other planets alike... before vanishing in the thin air once again...

My muscles were becoming weaker with each hit and the bones inside were grinding at each other... I could not last long... I knew it... but yet... I broke my limits over and over again... without even thinking about the consequences. The clash of bonds, the devastating impact of friendship were eating away my soul... all the memories that we spent together... all the long talks... and struggles that we outlived submerged with my vision as for the split second, which lasted the whole eternity blinded me from the reality. I was able to see myself smiling at our people, waving my hand and reassuring that I would protect them... Azure stood beside me and even beneath his emotionless mask he was able to laugh and dye the sky with the rainbows of emotions. We had our constant fights with Sandvika as for the most part we acted like freeloaders... we drank whiskey till the night as the enraged plates were flying from behind the counter. Indeed... we were odd... but we were always like family... it saddened my heart to raise my blade against Azure.

I lost my ground for a moment as my face got stuck between two great spikes, erected from the sides of Azure’s black gauntlet. In the added momentum my whole body was brought along with Azure’s fist as my back slammed against the decaying tree behind. A cracking noise of the backbone echoed loud as my head bumped into the ravaged surface... my hat remained stuck on the ground as I slowly crawled backwards to the tree. I was in a corner and there was only one thing left to do... I was forced to unleash the very same armor of darkness... that was made from the same material as my sword. Zerneger was still stuck in Azure’s back as I commanded to slowly push up across Azure’s insides.. if this Azure had functioning internal organs to begin with... The black blazes began to swirl around the blade as it slowly began to tear it’s way through Azure’s flesh and bones... burning everything away in it’s trails. Meanwhile I was lying on the ground with my fists clenched as the dark aura began to leak from my body like an oil, which resembled the black liquid that was oozing from Azure’s wounds. The black substance began to slowly spread throughout my body as it finally hardened and shaped itself into the armor.

Azure’s eyes flashed in crimson as he merely brought his huge hand to my sword and tossed it behind me... like it was a mere stick for him as the black liquid oozed from his opened wounds and washed away the dark flames. At the time I was still lying on the ground, waiting for my wound to recover... Azure turned his decaying body at my direction and extended a palm at my side, channeling the energy... the area behind my back suddenly heated up as the burning sensation rushed across my spine... the area below my back began to disintegrate as it ignited in the colors of hot metal. I glanced at Azure’s severed mask and noticed that something was off.

-”Well... I only have one shot left..”- I sighed as I was well aware that the armor that I created was one of my trump cards, but it had a great cost... as it was putting a heavy strain on my body and my own life force.

I quickly motioned over to the blade with the forefinger of my right hand.. as it then swiftly shot itself up, spinning in the air, leaving the trails of black inferno midair... it went behind Azure’s back, awaiting for the next order. The dark wings suddenly grew out off my back as the heated oil-like liquid splashed from behind, slowly consuming everything it touched... In between the arc-shaped cuts of the wings dense black flames bursted out as the oozing rain of condensed space matter began to slowly devour everything below. The temperature shot up to unbearable degrees as I began to feel the immense strain on my body... though it was a necessary sacrifice to boost my strength multiple times as the muscles inflated with the armor. I decided to go for Azure’s mask with my bare hands.

As I approached the masked warrior with unmatched speed and accuracy the scary looking individual formerly known as Azure showed quite some resolve, instead of diving out of my way he simply rose his left foot, stomping it into the ground to fortify his balance. After having done so, flames crept up his entire body.. The temperature around his close vicinity skyrocketing as he was literally... On fire and the cinders were rising from his frame.  

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The heat of the flames that was produced by Azure began to dig into my face. The blazes ignited in my eyepupils, however I did not stop or even flinch as I was already going for Azure with the claws of the black gauntlets already prepared to inject into the foe's mask. It was matter of a split second, but as soon as my black gauntlets touched the severed mask, a burning sensation was sent through out my whole body, the unknown metal of the armor from above began to slightly melt on my body and the black flames from my back released a burst of explosion that reduced the tree behind to ashes... as it gave me enough strength to push Azure forwards.

As my claws dug into the crevice in the mask it actually had some sort of effect. Dark energy seeped from it, essence like a dripping black liquid poured from the now extended crack, resulting Azure's pose to slowly slide backwards. He also did not quite like that, so with both of his arms he reached out in an attempt to grab a hold of me. Azure's attempt was a success as I was grabbed by Azure, struggling to get out of his grasp the red spots on my armor discharged red electricity... as it was the result of my fleeting energy. Followed by that action I was slammed over Azure's head to the cold ground as I then released a grunting sound, silently calling for Zerneger, which was positioned midair between the two of us.

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-"Zerneger, go for his back."-*The sword that possessed intelligence started to swirl midair, heating up the wind around it as it ignited in black blazes and the very same red sparks of electricity ran across the blade as it suddenly turned into the spinning disc of soaring dark energy that launched itself at Azure’s back.

This Azure was not the same I knew anymore.. But a feral beast out to ruin anything that crossed it's path thus tactical knowledge was void. Clenching his left hand into a fist he was about to bring it down upon my body, but his attack was interrupted as the sword from behind drilled into his back, there was no blood just more of that black stuff from earlier, though not nearly as much as when the mask was attacked. The move was efficient and dug a gaping wound into the creature's back. Azure became stunned momentarily, he did not buckle over or go down on his knees. He remained standing upright.

I was still lying on the ground as the disc of pure dark energy was drilling at Azure's back. The black liquid splattered on my armor and like some sort of acid it began to dissolve my armor gradually as it mixed into the leaking black goo on my body, it was another reminder that my own power was burning out rapidly, the pain on my torso followed as the black spots on top of me were exposed and eating at my flesh. I supported my right fist on to the surface and slowly stood up on my feet as I extended my right arm towards Azure... as the sword suddenly stopped spinning and returned to my own hand. I then plunged the black blade into the soil and the small shadows began to crawl from all over the place to my palm.

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-"Azure! Can’t you hear me? Or should I blow it straight to your mask!"- I aimed the pulsing shadows at the direction Azure's mask, but I merely hesitated to shoot... as I did not want to kill him.
-"Don't you remember your only friend!? I know, I messed up... The village, our home is destroyed... our comrades are buried underneath the ground as their flesh is rotting. Do you want to end everything? Or are you even the same person? Is there a still a lump of humanity left in you!? I don't want to sever our bond, but just move a muscle and this form of blackness in my palm will strike your face!"- The emotions were unleashed from the bottom of my lungs as the feelings inside off my heart erupted like a volcano, though till the very end I resisted to shoot the energy that I collected on my palm as I waited for Azure's answer.

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I awaited an answer.. But there was none, not a sign of hesitation, no moment of thought.. Up this close I was able to see my former friend’s body clearly. Ribs or what resembled such penetrating his torso, devious slashes, and all sorts of other wounds. And yet.. Azure simply pushed his face into my palm, he did not seem to halt or slow down.

I backed my palm away from Azure's face and soon after the shadows gathered in my palm spread throughout my whole arm and solidified in a shape of a blunt black stake.

-"I'm sorry my friend, but I hope that this would push some sense inside your brain..."- I strongly believed that it was not enough to defeat Azure, but still in the middle of the crisis I found a soft spot inside my heart as the bloody tears began to roll all over my face. I swang the shadowy stake backwards and then with the all of my remaining might I forced it into Azure's face.

Death of a hero... Death of the unbroken bond... Lost friend’s request...

The stake hit it's mark, the crevice in the mask and actually went through, remaining stuck in it as a tornado of darkness seeped from the formerly glowing part of it which.. strangely dissipated now. Azure tumbled down it's side to finally come to rest in a seated position, the energy resonating of off his form seemed at an all time low as even his red eyes stopped shining so brightly.. Dark particles like ashes carried aloft like cinders as he turned his head to look at my face.

-"Simon. . . In order to. . . Protect the village. . . I had to take in the essence. . . Of the accursed."- He was referring to the zombies, his voice was faint and weak.. for the darkness that drove him berserk was vanishing as he spoke.. Raising up his hand he reckoned my face, likely to tell me something without having to raise his voice as much.

The stake, which was covering my right arm disassembled into shadows as they scattered throughout area. I covered my exposed chest with the left hand, struggling for breath. I gargled odd liquid inside my mouth and spat the bloody contents outside, I then supported myself on the sword's hilt, by placing my right hand on it. Soon after the black corruption began to spread further throughout my body, burning at my skin.

-"Az...Azure.. I think I know how to fix this problem... if you really are Azure... and not some damn... illusion in my head."- After saying my words, I gritted my teeth in pain and pulled out the blade from the ground. I was slowly dragging the blade across the dirt to Azure's direction.
-"But tell me... one last thing... to make myself clear... who am I to you? Yes... a simple question like that would do..."- My eyes were darkened by distrust, but yet I continued to advance towards Azure, ultimately releasing the hilt from my hand I fell on my knees before Azure... completely exhausted. Azure leaned back against the tree, his gaze shifting skywards.

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-"Death is no problem. . . In need of fixing. . ."- He then looked back at me and brought up his clawed hand, extending the index finger to point at my side.
-” You... are... my... friend..." - Actually I was awaiting for the very same answer, actually words were not needed... as I  already knew the answer, since the very beginning... However, after witnessing death, hatred and betrayal just before finding Azure, I had to make sure... My lips slowly widened as I managed to barely smile.
-"But... there is a man, who has this item..."- However, as Azure spoke again I stopped my sentence midway.
-”Listen. . . To what I need. . . To tell you...”
-"Very well, continue to talk my friend..."- I allowed for him to speak as I stretched my ears.

The very hand he had used to point at me started to lose density as more darkness escaped from his body, up until it entirely vanished, the remains of his body was showing similar symptoms at this point.
-"Triniel... has returned... protect...”- He paused there and surprisingly instead of mentioning the village they called home he did something oddly uncharacteristic for him.. He mentioned a name.
-"...Sandvika."- Suddenly as I heard the name,- Triniel... My pulse rose as me eyes flashed in rage.
-"She came back!? Where? How!?"- I gritted my teeth and clenched my right fist firmly, before slamming it into the ground, an outburst of black flames to the air followed. However, the flames were suddenly scattered by the wind as my fist appeared to be burnt from my own produced flames.
-"I can't... Without you I can't... and what about Sandvika!? I don't even know if she's still alive...!!"- The mixture of various emotions drove me to panic, as I was taken back to the scene of ruined village in a quick flash of images carved inside my eye pupils. Sandvika’s smiling face reached my eyes... Sandvika was the only one besides Azure that believed in me. I merely shook my head.
-"I'm sorry I've got caught in the emotions. But my point is that I'm not sure how much time I have left..."

One of his legs had vanished too at that point of time and slowly but surely what remained of him was vanishing as well.. He summoned up his last bit of strength to talk more clearly for this last bit of dialogue.
-"Her life is painted in bright colors and worry. Almost as yours does right now..."- He paused.. The next words seemed oddly reminiscent.
-"No one is able to glance inside your soul, you are the one who was making all the choices of your life.. and no one is able to tell what kind of person you once were.. But one thing is certain... You have to follow your own path.. Do what you deem right.. Everything you are, what you accomplished and what you have been is not my doing.. It is yours alone, Simon."- His torso was gone and all that remained was his head floating in the air.
-”I will continue to watch as I will never be gone.. For shadow's die twice."- And with that..? The remainder of him dissolved into that black mist.. Only his mask remained, falling down onto the grass.

Noticing that Azure was fading away slowly, with the last remaining bits of my own strength, I began to crawl to Azure. Extending my right arm, I tried to catch Azure's disappearing hand, which ultimately vanished before my very own eyes.
-"No, don't leave me! We're not done here! There are a lot of questions left unanswered. I want you to stay by my side just for a little longer!"- I began to scream and cry at the same time, but Azure's body was just dissolving before the eyes. I was not able to do anything about it as flashbacks struck me and an aching throbbing in my heart accelerated. Grabbing on to the empty space, that was supposed to be Azure I began to hysterically scream.
-"No, I am nothing without you. It was all due to you... You made me, who I am today! I promise you... I will protect Sandvika and destroy Triniel... But just comeback or I will drag you out from hell if I need to!!"- I slammed the dirt with both of my fists as everything around me ignited in black, cinders rose from below and the water around the little island began to slowly melt in the black inferno... the dense steam began to rise from below as the fire was extinguishing the water that was once full of life. The flames reflected my grief, as it was indeed the power, which I could produce when I found myself engulfed in extreme emotions.
-"My friend... This is not the end... It can’t be the end..."- I silently whispered as I looked down upon Azure's black mask as a rain of falling tears began to gradually sink the mask. The mask seemed perfectly intact, the dark dust still rising from it until at last.. It seized.  There was an odd silence in the area.

I wiped my tears away and picked the mask up as I rose to my feet. Silently gazing at it, I clenched my left palm into a fist. My eyes were blank, almost lifeless.
-"I've finally decided. No matter what... I will keep my oath... and one day I will reunite with you again, my friend. Until the time comes rest well, Azure."- I brought the mask in front of my face and looked through the eye holes... to the world from Azure's perspective.
-"No matter who... or what I was prior losing my memories... I will follow my own path, - I will get stronger... I will take a look what my past has to offer, but until then... if you are still able to hear me... remember that you will always be my friend and I will always raise a glass of whiskey for you. Thank you once again."- After saying my parting words I remained silent and motionless, stuck inside my own mind.

Long slow pain.

The long awaited reunion that I longed for finally concluded... It rose a lot of questions in my head... As the scars remained unbroken, they only magnified. Gazing at the world through Azure’s mask... I found myself standing victorious after a hard fought battle of unbroken bonds... Or rather it was not even a victory... I lost everything that I had... Although I saved my friend from darkness by taking all the darkness inside my soul. The island was still burning and slowly sinking into the pond... Time has stopped for me... as everything was lost...

-”Why? Why can’t I lead a happy life? Why does this place have to be so rotten? Where did I go wrong...?”- Gazing up at the sky I began to curse the Gods above the heavens.

Only memories... last glimpses of Azure remained in my head... I reached for the hilt of my sword with my right hand and released invert cut across the air... As the air tore apart... not a couple but several meters from my position... The empty horizontal void showed itself as it began to devour every dust in it’s path... the pulling force of the gravity sucked every little particle inside it... but I remained intact... still cursing the ones, who played with our destinies.

-”One day... this world... will pay... maybe... I will not be the one, who will deliver the final judgment... But the world itself will crumble and reduce us all to nothingness...!”- Sour tears... rather tears of grief were bleeding out off my eyes...

My heart began to ache as the gravity forced me to my knees... I began to roll in agony... and scream hysterically at the top of my lungs... covering myself in dirt... the stars... that ceased to shine edged itself into my heart, which became heavy as stone... I released the grip of Azure’s mask and my own sword... as I began to wreck the dirt below me with my fists... until bruises and crimson blood made their way to the light... everything was burning away as the blackness consumed my body... hopelessly screaming for salvation... my lost friend... was gone... the melodies of the memories resonated in my ears... as the passed time was not even thinking about making a return... I struggled for my breath... as it became hard to even cry... and the hysterical laughter blinded the sound of my tears... It really felt great while it lasted... even the struggles that I faced were nothing compared to the void that was left inside my heart. The dwindling consciousness deafened my agonizingly painful screams...

Slow was the death of weak and the tortured souls, dragged through the pain 'til their own nightmare became mortal. So did the afterlife bring peace or suffering? The only Savior was solace from Misery.

Hours or even days have passed as I was lying on the ground motionless, no purpose was left for me whatsoever... The rain that endlessly washed my body ended... as the dark flames were long gone... but nothing remained of the battleground... My body was cold... as the burns on my arms remained intact... it ceased healing... the limits were breached... Cold shivers ran across my muscles... as it was hard to even stand up... actually I did not feel a need to stand up... everything remained broken in the shattered pieces of my soul... I felt like nothing... I was nothing to begin with... erasing myself was an option... but there was something that still kept me alive... the oath that I decided to keep... it was not for myself... it was for Azure... as it was his dying wish... to destroy Triniel... and to protect Sandvika... those were the only things that were dragging my decaying soul through the hell... However... the depression did not go away... with time it only grew larger... I still had a choice to return my memories back... but what was the point anyway? Azure was not besides me anymore... I was reduced to nothing once again... But... I...Had...To...Move...Forward...To...Fight...Further...No...Matter...The...Cost...Maybe...Then...I...Would...Be...Able...To...Rest...At...Ease...

I rose up... and picked up Azure’s mask... Someone whispered me that faces were meaningless... Or was it just my corrupt memory...? I decided to take perspective of the world through the eyes of true hero, who was lost in time... A great tale... had to be continued by someone...And as the last remaining piece of his never seen before face... Was able to protect my face from the darkness of the world... I placed the mask on top of my face... hiding all my fears and tears of grief... For my identity to be forgotten from the plane of existence... until then... until I manage to return to him... I will be ready to hand it over to him...

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I lifted my sword... or rather my odd companion from the ground... who remained silent for the days... and strapped it to my back by reinforcing the hilt and blade with shadows.... From my back a black matter was leaking like a gravest wound... My bare feet submerged in the water... or at least what was left of it... as I disappeared in a void hole... that was the horizon of never ending torture... Never to be seen... or even heard again...

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The blank period.

Through the gaps of Azure’s mask I was glancing at the rotten world in front of me... Aimlessly wandering across the parts of Atreia... Hiding my pained face expression beneath the thick layered black steel mask... talking to no one... Covering all the feelings of depression... Hiding myself from the world, but yet advancing... without a set goal in mind... The exposed decaying skin... and burn marks on my arms... Days and nights changing their shifts... Not a sliver of hope for me left... Dying on the inside and outside... carrying the sins of the world... crying for the fallen in the nights... and living inside my memories... The oozing substance of dark matter leaving trails of filth in my path... Searching for a reason to stay alive... To burn... in new colors... To radiate with life... To never be unhappy again... the sweet death or the deep enlightenment in my soul... what did it take to mend my broken heart...?

Nightmares in the sleepless nights kept haunting me... as the cries of the fallen ones kept bouncing at my ears... Unraveled mysteries... and dying desires... and a thought how to find a proper cure... the names... the voices... the faces... what was it all for?

Dragged through pain and misery all over again, reliving the glimpses of my own past... at last... I finally managed to remember Azure’s last wish... it was an oath to keep... but was it even worth? I did not know... but still I decided to visit the village and find it for myself.

A new hope...?

I crossed the world through the eyes of a nomad... Only to end my journey not far, from where it started. I was standing before the entrance to the village. I inhaled all the shadows around to my lungs as I myself took the form of a shadow... I did not want to attract any attention, since I was unwanted in the village... it was a nighttime. I passed the guards as if a mere shadow was creeping on the walls... I looked at the ruins... of the village, which I called as my home once... some parts of it were already restored... the church... the bar were restored as well... but the damage was far too devastating as it left scars in the center of an ancient conflict that took place...

I climbed up the root and stood before the place of Azure’s grave... the sword was still there... as the bouquets with various flowers were present around it... I suddenly found myself in tears again... but from the outside I looked emotionless... as everything was covered beneath the black mask. I ignited the candles and watched them burn. Only then I remembered... only then... I realized something inside me... as the memories of our last encounter went by...

-"Triniel... has returned... protect... Sandvika...”
-"Her life is painted in bright colors and worry. Almost as yours does right now..."
-” You... are... my... friend..."

I rushed straight to the restored pub and like a ram I hammered at the doors... the pub was empty... as Sandvika was sleeping in her bed in the room behind the counter... Silently... I approached her bed and looked at her closed eyes... She was alive... and unhurt... I was relieved... a cupboard was present beside her bed... where on the top of a cupboard a painting of Azure and me rested... it was little burnt, but saved from turning into ashes... she really did care for us... I tore down a page from my notebook and wrote something on it...

“Dear Sandvika, I’m sorry that I destroyed the entrance to your pub... Don’t be surprised that a bottle of whiskey is missing from your stock... I will leave a bag of kinah next to your face. Buy yourself something nice and forget about the worries of your life... live a life leaded by happiness... Put on a bright smile as you always did... and illuminate this world in hope and eternal light... We will always be watching after you... And when the right time will come we will meet once again... Goodbye, my lovely barmaiden.”

After placing the letter next to the painting I brought a bottle of whiskey with myself and approached Azure’s blade once again... I removed the lid off the bottle and raised it for Azure... I poured some of the contents on top of the blade.

-”Drink up my friend...”- I said as I placed the bottle of whiskey besides the sword.

The feelings sunk themselves deep inside my heart... filling a void with nothing, but regrets... but yet... I had to protect his wish... To protect the person that was with us since the beginning... The girl that I always picked fights with... As I was reminded of his every bit of speech... the speech... that sounded oddly familiar...

-"No one is able to glance inside your soul, you are the one who was making all the choices of your life.. and no one is able to tell what kind of person you once were.. But one thing is certain... You have to follow your own path.. Do what you deem right.. Everything you are, what you accomplished and what you have been is not my doing.. It is yours alone, Simon."
-”I will continue to watch as I will never be gone.. For shadow's die twice."

Shadow’s die twice huh? What did he mean? Those words... they were close to my heart... but it seemed like it was not the first time I heard them... where did I hear those words? It reminded me of a certain person, but what was the person’s name again...?

Soon I was reminded as a memory flew by... I was at Akarios village... talking to a man, who was dressed in crimson... We were drinking whiskey and talking... it was our first meeting... He said that no one was able to get inside my soul, I was the one who was making all the choices of my life and no one were able to tell what kind of person I was in the past, but one thing was clear – he said that I must follow my path and do what is right to me. Even though it was our first meeting I already gave him my respect as I decided to head back to the village with a smile in my face. The ancient memory vanished as I remembered the man’s name... it was Jake. He seemed like a tower of strength... Back then I thought that Azure and Jake were connected, but why would they say the same words to me...? It was slim... but... there was a chance... to find out something... It was a new hope for me... I decided to seek out Jake... There was still time left... to rewind the clock... to crash the heavens and annihilate everything that was lying in hell.

I smiled beneath Azure’s mask and decided to go and see the world on my own... Thus it marked the beginning of the final chapter to my journey...

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25The Rift Dancer Empty Re: The Rift Dancer on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:43 am

Final chapter: Never Give Up On Your Dreams!

History of the Future.

-”Rest well, my friend.”- The sentence of salvation... screaming loud in my brain and the light that was cast upon me... the darkness vanished and the radiant stairway descended from the heavens. My body became light and a bright aura that was my spirit escaped from the darkness... my body was left to decay... Everything became clear for me, no questions remained... finally I became free from everything, ascending to the higher realm.

I opened the golden gates of the sky and the brightness blinded my very own presence... The holy light and the warmness of unconditional love was within my reach. However, my soul suddenly turned heavy as a stone and the immense force of raging winds pushed me downwards... as my spirit rolled down across the divine stairs and locked itself inside my body...

As I opened my eyes the sky above me was dark once again...I woke myself from the reaches of the heaven just to be trapped inside the world of living for a little more.

-”It worked... it actually worked!”- The man, who stood before me, exclaimed in delight and tilted his head towards the sky. Pure white snowflakes started to slowly descended, escaping the dark clouds and gently lingering on the wind, which was trapped in the grasp of halted time.

I realized that I’ve been a fool to myself this whole time... It was me all along... Who shaped my path... Who stopped the darkness... Everything tumbled down from my blackened soul... The depression, the turmoil, the carnage, the pain, the weakness, the delusions... finally ceased... Everything returned to nothingness... a journey that spanned for all these years was closing in to it’s end as I decided to come back as Simon, who was once lost... It was a hard decision to take, but it did not matter for me as  it turned out to be as my final decision... to truly accept myself... it took courage, but I never lacked the courage... I’ve been always pushing myself to tight spots...

It turned out to be as a rather satisfying finale...The rolling tears vanished from my face as their remains turned into dense steam, which was dismissed by the strong air currents... Nothing was left of Zerneger’s remains as the remaining speck of dust dispersed... it was fun to be by his side... he saved my miserable ass countless of times... Only anomalies in space were left around us... as his sinister laughter echoed through the boundaries of time and space...

-”I’m ready to accept my fate, no matter how grim it will turn out... no matter how painful it will turn out to be... I will continue to breathe... I will continue to bring light to this world... if not me... then who will?”- The smile on my face widened as I realized that I was truly ready to regain... what’s been lost in the rivers of time...

My eyes flashed of excitement as the progress finally took it’s place... and another tale was about to begin... The wild mark on my face that was haunting me for many years began to burn in the bright colors of the rainbow... as the curse... that spanned for so long was about to be lifted... The old man placed his palm on top of my face and began to absorb the tattoo inside to his palm.

Thus everything gradually became clear for me... why I was here in the first place? Why did the men have to fall? What was my real purpose? The fallen memories marched through every little spot of my brain as I was reminded of my existence, which was shrouded in mystery for a whole eternity. The flashbacks that occurred showed me the greatness and failures of my life... the ancient battles that took place... the bonds that I made... the oaths that I kept... The struggles that I outlived... The defeats that I suffered... Even the friends and my loved ones that died before my eyes... Everything carved itself deep inside my head as I was washed away to the darkness once more.

I was standing still, devoured by the darkness, taking my baby steps in the brand new world, which rose from ashes until I approached a white reflection... a mirror... that showed me something that once crumbled, but remained as a tribute of the light that I once sought.

In the reflection I was able to see a ruined castle corridor... and a man, who stood strong... Covered in scars... but yet managing to maintain a powerful smile that sent shivers down my spine. The man was dressed in a white coat with mane around the collar, he held a shining sword in his right hand that was burning away the darkness... a holy cross on the blade’s hilt radiated burning passion and raised fear in the eyes of the evil. His bright blue eyes shone, shattering the mirror in front of me as his strong frame stepped out through the gap that was broken... The strong wind blew from his side... as his crimson dark and long hair danced in the wind.

The man looked me in the eye as he was standing strong just a couple of steps in front of me. Suddenly the stars emerged in the darkness behind and the brightest lights descended besides him, surrounding him from all sides. The lights suddenly took form of human beings, a beautiful woman approached his left side and took his hand firmly and a little boy hugged the man’s legs. Afterwards a never before seen woman and a man stood behind him and an old man and his wife surrounded them from opposite sides. Each and everyone of them were smiling as one big and happy family... the circle of people became bigger and bigger with each glance as the man and his family became surrounded with their friends and comrades... even Azure was there, who placed his enormous hand on the man’s shoulder...

-”It is time for you to snap out of it. I’ve been waiting for your return for so long...Simon..”- The man opened his mouth and my heart was pierced by his holy blade...
-”Yeah... welcome back, Simon...”- I smiled as I finally recognized each and every face before me... The darkness above us split and the bright reflections of the light consumed us all.

The tale finally came to an end... and another one was about to unwrap itself from a scroll of eternity...

Acid rain.

I woke myself to the broken world once again... nothing remained for me... a point of no return it was... but a sliver of hope was still clinging to my heart...Gazing at the vast blank sky through the eyes of Azure I found myself maniacally laughing... Another dream... that I could not recall... another sight that I forgot... as the haunting nightmare this world was... I still lived for a reason... for a damned and unknown reason... I had to find the man and see it for myself... A painful start of my final journey it was...

The rain that never ended to pour... washing away the wounds in my soul... “How do I live? How do I dream?”- I asked myself... a survivor’s guilt that I felt... those things never left my soul... Nor did I want to let go of my last drops of humanity... I was traveling around Atreia, often finding myself sulking in the shadiest corners, but yet I always managed to advance, never letting go of the hope that I had... But yet I was unable to wake up from the loss that I experienced... my dear friend... my precious buddy... left my side...

The dark aura that consumed my frame never dispersed... it leaked like blood from the gravest wound... as my energy was slowly fleeting away... My power was berserk... it did not listen to me... my own power was on it’s own rampage... each time the emotions hit me it bursted out in the form of black flares of fire. I wanted to forget the pain and walk properly again, but it was not an easy task... though I tried as hard as I was able to... the gloominess that surrounded me... the cold stares of clueless people... I just wanted to destroy it all, but I was full of pointless questions... the questions of salvation... Why did my friend have to die in vain? It was all my fault.... it was... it really was... Because I failed to protect the things that he fought so hard for... but I had a goal to revert the the changes... to rewind the destruction... and restore the balance... to bring light to the world that was rotten to it’s very own core.

Although I stopped crying... every single time when I was reminded of him... I bursted into bloody tears and the black corruption around my body wrecked havoc in my surroundings. But there was no time to cry in such a dark time... I had to move on... I had to gaze at the new unfolding dawn... but the rain only kept falling and falling... eating my flesh like an acid.

Once I tried to conjure up my armor, but it did not form around my torso... probably due to the damage that it took... or probably it was the cause of my melting life force... I felt weak... probably tens of times weaker than before... My hair were slowly leaving my head as well... a slow death it was... but before my death I had to rip Azure off the reaches of hell... as it was my final journey’s cause... I would of ended up dead if it were not for his last words... For my next destination I decided to choose Poeta... It’s been quite some time... since I visited the place, but it always seemed to thrive with familiar faces, not just faces... but also it was a rightful place to begin my search of Jake.

Sorrowless mask.

A ripple in space clawed itself out off the thin air just a couple of steps from the iconic tree of Akarios village, where heroes or random dorks usually rested by. The ripple, which was an empty space before whirled itself into a purple colored vortex as my foot finally landed on a pavement. I looked around the place that surrounded me... even the village was sinking in the rain... I glanced at two people that were present before me. The one, who was resting his back on the tree’s trunk was the same drunken giant... that I drank whiskey with for the last time... Vlad was his name. The other person was a white haired girl, dressed in black with a scythe strapped to her back. She looked familiar, but yet unrecognizable for me. The vortex of space closed down behind me, not a single trace of it remained as I stood silent before the two, wondering about Jake’s whereabouts.

And right off the bat I was mixed in the present scene as Vlad looked at the girl with his eyebrow raised, he pouted at first before he started a full on laughter.
-“Bwhahahaaha....The hell happend to yer' hair? Yer lookin'like som'young'un school kiddo... who goes to her dress-up party as a witch"- The man’s speech was as weird as back then... when we were chilling at the bar.
She looked absolutely shocked! Her stare was blank as her eyes were widened, she pressed her index fingers into each other in front of her upper body, before talking.
-"Whaaat...?"- After she reached for the tip of her left ponytail and held onto to it for a while before realizing that it was a bad comeback, so she added up to it.
-"And, and.. You look old! I mean I'm old okay but you look ancient, like your wrinkles have grown wrinkles on top of a third patch of wrinkles!" -Puffing out her cheeks she noticed my presence and turned herself over to me, approaching me. Once she was close she actually poked my left arm, the skin was half exposed.
-"And you Azure, you look awfully thin! Are you on a new diet or something?"- She asked innocently, but it only triggered the emotions inside me.

The ponytail girl’s poke barely had any effect on my arm, as it remained lifeless... I was not even bothering to move a single muscle of my body. The air that I exhaled from my nostrils came out from the gaps of the mask in a form of dense condensed steam. My eyes flashed in red and the arm, that was poked by the white haired maiden, discharged crimson-colored electrical sparks. I slowly turned my head down upon the girl with anger behind the mask that hid my sorrow.
-"Don't say that name again..."- Soon after my attention was caught by Vlad’s voice.
-"Azure showing skin...That's a new one also...Wasn't he like black haired? As for you ..I may look old but I am old...And you are really ancient and you look like a minor..”- He held a bottle with liquor inside, tilted at her.
-”Wait minors are not allowed to drink , youngster.."- There was no way to stop Vlad’s laughter.
-"You... I know you... but how do you know Azure?"- I was still wondering why in the living hell he was wearing that ridiculous looking black bandana around his head upon shifting my gaze at him.

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-”Now this guy can't even stand hearing his own name anymore, and I thought he was gloomy before.."- She shrugged and returned to walk over to Vlad.
-"Gloomy huh... He was my best friend, he was kind and he was loyal... far from gloomy!"- I snapped at her, trying to suppress my anger... a pained and husky shout bounced beneath the black mask. She really did remind me of someone that I met once, ages ago... But something was different in her appearance.
-"Do you know why I look young?.. Because I can! You are just jealous, because you look like a grandpa.”- The girl merely continued to argue with the guy.
-"Sure kid...  Oh goddesses...Does that mean I tried to date a minor.... Jake's gonna have my ass for this "- Vlad backfired and bursted out in laughter again as he stuck out his tongue, clearly teasing her upon answering my question.
-"Well I've fought him a couple of times... got my ass beaten by him, when he worked for Triniel.. So yeah..I know that knucklehead for a while"- After my ears caught Vlad’s voice and the name Triniel was mentioned I shifted my stance towards Vlad and began to approach the man.

On my way my eyes were burning bright in a crimson color as a barely visible black aura made it’s way around my frame... The name itself sent shivers down my spine... The accumulated emotions of hatred almost made me berserk again, but with all the might that I possessed I tried not to cause a scene of unraveling carnage.
-"Triniel... he worked for her? What kind of nonsense is this!?"- I released an enraged scream from the bottom of my lungs as the black substance began to leak from my back, slowly dissolving the pavement in my trails.
-"Huh... You are fully aware of how old I am! And I like wearing my hair like this now!”- The girl still argued over who’s older... but better looking. She took a note to my words as well and frowned after.
-"A kind person? Are you like.. certain that we are talking about the same guy?”- Her questioning seemed just insulting and disrespectful to me..
-"Ease it up Bud', Might be old but I ain’t weak.. As for azure yeah..he got his ass handed to her and she brought him back as her minion... I escaped that fate....a little .."- He thought that I was going to split his skull, so he rose on his feet just in cane, his knuckles cracked, which cracked louder than expected due to his age as he then took a glance to a sinister pendant, which was hanging on his neck.  

Barely I managed to suppress my anger as the black aura around my body suddenly vanished. I merely lowered my head, looking at the grass below.
-"I see, sorry for misunderstanding you..."- I said as I clenched my right palm into a firm fist.
-"But that's an even greater reason for me to slay Triniel..."- I spat it out and soon after I gave the girl a cold stare.
-"I wouldn't speak rude about the dead in your case."- I declared my threat as my eyes flashed red once again.
She maintained the frown on her face and then just shrugged at me.
-"How is that any rude? He was a big guy that beat people up, I'm just going by what I saw!.. But he's never actually been mean to me an-..."- She suddenly cut off her sentence, realizing that her words would only do more harm.
-”Oh... I wasn't aware of that.. I mean to be fair I thought you were him and.. Sorry for your loss."- She finished her speech and remained silent for a while.
-"He's dead?...Like again.. Or mean when Triniel killed him?.."- Vlad raised his eyebrow before taking a seat by the tree again.
-"Actually it's quite alright... I got myself caught under extreme emotions way too suddenly. I guess our views of this world differ."- I wanted to apologize to the girl, but I just spouted some random nonsense as my mind was not intact. For a moment I stood speechless and then I accumulated the needed courage to answer Vlad's question.
-"Well... for starters... My name is Simon if you can even remember me from that night at the bar when we were playing this game of truth or dare. I'm not sure if you knew this, but Azure was my friend... Recently our blades clashed... and..."- My voice cracked as my lips began to spasm... I just shook my head... the emotions flooded my heart... Like a waterfall the tears that accumulated in my eyes began to fall and wash away my face, which was firmly hid beneath Azure’s mask.

I managed to lose it once again... the grief... the pain... the throbbing heart... I felt like a good-for-nothing crybaby... it was unmanly, but even surrounded by others I was unable to conceal my emotions. I wanted to stop... I really did try to overcome the storm, which was raging in my soul... But it was useless... My legs were shaking, my hands were trembling... I was ready to kill the emotions inside me... I was about to draw out my blade and slam it at my left thigh just to kill the pain... And I was fully aware that Azure’s mask would be a stimulus for some folks to instantly remind me of him... But how could I forget? How could I throw my friend aside? I just wanted to show the world that he was still living with me... To carry on his will... and to learn to accept the fact that he was truly gone, but yet unforgotten....

However the girl did not hesitate. She walked forwards and slowly wrapped her arms around me... The sweet and soft hug returned me to reality for a moment, The embrace that I felt gave me courage to finish my speech... It truly felt like I met her before... The very same touch... same hands... same arms... but in the end I was too blind to recognize her... Although it really seemed that I received her support sometime in the past, because who wanted to hug a monster such as me? Well there were some exceptions... Sandvika... and so on... but still I received a boost... a boost that allowed a ray of light to enter inside my heart... but yet I acted like some buffoon, who was unable to recognize the person’s face...

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-”Shhh... there I thought you were past the tears.."- With her sweet and familiar voice she comforted me.
-"Simon, since when ya looking this shady and wearin'a mask? Doesn't suit ya man, as fer Azure, Poor sod .. I knew ye'were buds.. As fer his death it'll be a hard hit fer tha'team.. And pull yer'self together man...”- Even the drunkard from the tree managed to spit out some comforting words from his mouth.

For a time being I remained motionless, allowing the girl to hug me, although I was not worthy of her kindness... I was worthy of a fist to the face instead...

-"...He died before my eyes... as the hero, who protected our village."- I finished my sentence... though I did not mention how it truly went, because I wanted for people to remember him as a hero. I gently broke through the girl’s grasp as I took a couple of steps backwards and gave her a thankful nod, before speaking again.
-"Although... there might be a slim chance to bring him back from the dead..."- I wanted to mention what I was seeking for, but I merely shook my head once again and tried to suppress the building tears.
"And yes... it is always hard to think about him... or even talk... but I made a promise to him and I will keep it!"-I said it as I pointed my index finger towards Vlad.
-"You are correct... but the face that I carried before is indeed meaningless and this mask is the only thing that remained after I staked his face... and until I will be able to reunite with him once again I will carry on his will!"- Those were my words... and that was all that I wanted to say, but I only pulled a trigger for something else...

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The atmosphere in the village suddenly changed as the rain stopped pouring. Vlad did not take my words for granted, he sighed and dropped the bottle that he held in his hand... The bottle shattered, soaking the grass with the contents that spilled from the broken glass. His expression seemed rather blank, but with a sudden movement of his gigantic arm he reached for my face and tore off Azure’s mask out off my face. As the mask was lifted off my face the bloody tears on my face only made it’s way to the light...

The anger that laid siege to my eyes and the burning passion in Vlad’s enraged expression made the time between us to slow it’s pace as the dust was lifted to the air he swung his right fist, aiming towards my face... Shouting out all the anger that was built inside his manly soul... As his voice struck me like the rage of whole humanity...

-"You bloody idiot.. Azure was about pride and honor as a warrior, having someone act as him and wear his mask which is known as his face for most of us ... Be your bloody damn self instead of sobbing crybaby
and wear his face as your own.. Take revenge as Simon!”- The emotions that thrived in the air seemed real... nothing was fake... although the man was misunderstanding me, but he was indeed right.

Vlad’s words indeed switched the gears inside my soul as the engine of truth ignited... I gritted my teeth as hard as I could and stood straight, preparing to lose some of my teeth... or rather to launch the weakness away from my soul with the help of his steel-hardened fist. I was ready to accept my unavoidable fate... I thought that it was the only thing that I needed... a good smack to my face... to wake myself from this nightmare called as grief... The launched fist was descending towards my face rapidly, but it felt like a whole eternity passed before my eyes as everything from my perspective became slowed down significantly.

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However the very rage of humanity ended with an unexpected intervention... in an unexpected and anticlimactic turn of events... As I suddenly felt the pulling force from behind as I was indeed pulled back out of the reach of Vlad, the fist was avoided and soon after my savior showed his face... it was the very same vampire that I met a couple of times before... his name was Daente.
-"Hey hey, what the hell is going on?!"- He shouted at us, probably seeking for peace in the village.. although I felt that I deserved that punch... because if I were to appear in Vlad’s shoes I would of done the same thing.

The girl, who was watching the whole scene slowly backed away from the resulting fray, unsure what was even going on herself now for this shift from peace to flying fists came to quite unexpected for her.. She did not do anything yet to interfere herself.

-Thank you, but it's quite alright... I was ready accept the blow. Every growing hair on my body deserved it.”- I gratefully nodded at Daente, but at the same time I wished for things to turn out another way... such a wasted opportunity it was.

Daente stepped up in front of me, stepping in between us two, looking back at me for a moment.
-"If what he says is true, Vlad is right, but no punch to the face won't fix anything. Take off the mask, and be yourself... and keep close the memory of your friend to heart, and become a man who could stand next to that memory, and not be that memory.”-  His words appeared true to my heart as well. He then looked back to Vlad, and grinned.
-"So, are you gonna throw a punch at me too like a brute? Or just enjoy your drink?”- However the drink was already spilled for him to enjoy it.

Vlad merely held the mask in his hand carefully, trying not to break or damage it, grinning down to me as he then clearly lost his anger. He looked at me over Daente’s right shoulder, handing me over the Azure’s mask.
-"It wasn't to beat him up..It was to wake him up...  Keep the memento and stay yourself. Get lost in your emotions and you'll not only loose yourself but also Azure as he was.."

The series of motivational speeches of both men pierced through my ears as I managed to snap out from the emotions of grief indeed as I extended my right arm over to the mask and I tore it off from Vlad's grasp.

-"In a way both of you are right, however I wear this mask as a symbol to remind the world that the man's not dead... and that's probably it. If you want a real fight, then I'm not wasting my time with you... As I'm already slowly dying... I will use my last remaining strength to confirm whether it is possible to bring my dead friend or not..."- After ending my speech I brought Azure's mask in front of my face and firmly pushed it forward... as it was reattached to my face again.

-”It's been quite a while since we brawled,  But to be perfectly honest I am in no shape for that now.. Not after getting my ass kicked ..My skin still doesn't feel right.. "- After making his excuse Vlad then looked at the girl with an apologetic face before he addressed her.
-"Sorry for that.. As you know I'm not the best talking.. and I speak with my fists and I am sure Simon has gotten the message loud and clear."- He increased the strength in his tone, but the girl in black just frowned. -"Am I the only one not getting why him wearing that mask, likely the only thing he has to remind him of his friend whom has passed away.. Is a bad thing?"- Looking at the three men ahead of her, but then only focused at Vlad and Daente.
-”Relax you two! Relax a little unless you like want me to beat you up instead!"- In my defense... or just for comical reasons she threw a single half-assed punch into the air.
-"Ka-Choow!" - It was hard to tell whether she was serious or not.
-"I don't care honestly, It's just I've been in Simon's place before. A long time ago, and it's why I am who I am today, he can take my words to heart or not."- Daente... yet again in my defense replied to Vlad as his gaze shifted over to me as he stepped backwards.
-"You do what you want to. I'm not stopping you, as long as you have a goal, it's fine by me."- He then looked at the girl and laughed at her joke.
-”Demonstration on Vlad would be quite amusing."

-"Ugh... Stubborn bastard....fine wear his face..”- Vlad gave out his reply to me as well... as I merely turned away from the people, because I had enough of the ridiculous scene... I realized that my feelings were shattered, but the pieces remained... awaiting to be fixed.

I anticipated each and every word they spat out from their throats... Actually for a moment I managed to put a slight smile, which was covered beneath the emotionless mask... but yet I lacked the courage to go on... To live according to their ideas... Something still kept me locked inside my mind, but I was thinking through everything as the different ways of life impacted before my eyes.... Daente, Vlad and the girl... their philosophies were miles apart from each other, however at the time of crisis they managed to remain so cheerful... so happy and innocent... upholding the peace... protecting the light in their own ways... Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted as the girl patted my shoulder twice, in a calming manner. Then she walked down the path into the woods.
-”Take care ya’ll!”- She waved her hand at us.
-”Take care... and thank you once again...”- I replied, still wondering who was the mysterious maiden... as the distant memory suddenly crossed my mind.

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I was able to see myself and the girl from a side, in a grainy and blank memory, which was distant... yet so close... of course... of course! I managed to remember who she was... not that I ever forgot about her in the first place, it was just a bad season that threw me out of my place... Her kind voice, her comforting and helpful manners... The girl that I once considered as a friend... who helped me before, by sobering me up.

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Funny thing was that... That I was so scarred back then... at the forest... it was probably one of my first encounters with a giantess.. although her appearance changed, but her heart remained the same. She was the very same girl... back then I just wondered, who in the world was she... and she merely replied that her name was Jaina. I wanted to chase after her and apologize for mistaking her for someone else, but in my state I was unable to move a single finger as I was lost deep inside my head... But indeed I was reminded that I was not alone in this world... that there were still good people left... I knew it, because I had to pay my debts for the ones, who were trying to bring me on the right tracks... It was always the people, the kindhearted people that stood beside me or at least stood up for me... As I was at the wrong... for the whole time...  

Indeed their philosophies differed, but at the same time their thoughts and feelings were close to my soul... if only my perspective of the world was slightly different... if only I was different... if only I had the courage to shout out my feelings aloud and stay true to myself... a lot of things would of turned for the better... But I was not able to rewrite my life... I was not able to redo the choices of my life... However I was able to change the course of my destination and I was able to fix the damage that deemed itself to be unfixable.

-”Thank you Daente, Jaina, Vlad... from the bottom of my heart...”- I silently whispered to myself.

The psychological terror struck my brain as I suddenly found myself under extreme emotions again... and the shadow below my feet crept up across my back, taking a form of solid black flames... Washing my frame away, as I became hidden by the darkness.

-"You’re right guys... I think I found the answer inside my broken heart. For now I will take my leave... as the darkness that is I..might reduce this village to ashes, but I will remember you both and one day I will repay my debt..."- The flames were starting to melt away the pavement below my feet, but I took off of the ground by extending my dark wings in motion. Pushing through the air, I accelerated towards to unfolding horizon before my eyes as only the trails of darkness were left midair, before completely vanishing into nothingness. I ascended high in the sky... still contemplating about everything that I witnessed before my eyes.

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Beautiful world.

My power went completely berserk... drawing a black line across the vast blue sky... exposing the scars of my soul... Like the rain itself... a barrage of black fireballs was crashing down from the sky... as my whole body was devoured by the raging dark flames... Like a meteor I was going through the sky, splitting clouds in half... but yet I maintained human emotions... the darkness that was I... was actually struggling for another breath... forgetting the reality I drifted away to the world of my thoughts... thinking through everything that happened before my eyes.

If my wish were to come true right now... I would wish for wings that would spread and fly in a free sky without sorrow... that dream... in a free and sorrowless sky. I was close to fulfilling my wish as I already had wings on my back, but this sky lacked freedom and happiness...

The voices echoed in my head... the voices of new hope and tomorrow... Back then... for once I was able to truly smile at the new tomorrow, no it was not faked... everything was real. I was able to see a new dawn unfolding before me... I had my dreams, I had my motives... I had my hobbies... I even had friends, it just took time for me to realize and to accept myself. It only took so little, to become happy. Back then I was only wandering around the village and I was able to see the warm and smiling faces of the villagers, hear the laughter of the children... back then I managed to accept myself... I needed to find the strength to accept myself again for good this time...

-”Listen Simon, I know that you are mad at me for what I did. I did not come here to seek for forgiveness, I came here, because I was watching you from a far for quite some time ago. With each day you surprised me, your actions allowed for me to believe in you again. I realized that you are not a bad person, even after losing your memories you showed hope and strength that radiated from inside your body.- Suddenly I found myself remembering what Thomas said to me back at the village.

-”To me, you will always be the leader of this village.”- Sandvika’s bold statement and a proud and warm face expression reached my eyes... as I became lost... lost on my track... what was happening to me? From where these words were coming from!? But yet... I tried to reject everything that was happening in my mind.

-"You do what you want to. I'm not stopping you, as long as you have a goal, it's fine by me."- Daente’s speech staked through my heart as well as it became hard for me to stay airborne.

-"You bloody idiot.. Azure was about pride and honor as a warrior, having someone act as him and wear his mask which is known as his face for most of us ... Be your bloody damn self instead of sobbing crybaby
and wear his face as your own.. Take revenge as Simon!”- And like Vlad’s strong fist something smacked my soul.

The memory of Jaina’s comforting touch locked my wings in halted motion as I began to slowly descend to the ground...

-”NO... NO...NO!!! GET AWAY FROM ME!!! GET OUT OF MY MIND, ALL OF YOU! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND MY PAIN!!!! YOU CAN’T SEE WHAT’S INSIDE MY HEART!!! LEAVE ME ALONE!!! I DON’T WANT TO FEEL AGAIN... I WANT TO ERASE EVERYTHING FROM MY TAINTED SOUL!!! FOOLS! IDIOTS!!! DISAPPEAR FROM MY SIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”- I totally lost my mind... as I began to hysterically shout away my feelings... while crashing down from the sky...

-"No one is able to glance inside your soul, you are the one who was making all the choices of your life.. and no one is able to tell what kind of person you once were.. But one thing is certain... You have to follow your own path.. Do what you deem right.. Everything you are, what you accomplished and what you have been is not my doing.. It is yours alone, Simon."- And finally I heard the very same words... that I heard before... countless of times before... Those were Jake’s and Azure’s words... The final set of reoccurring words was enough to break me from the shell of dark flames as I rapidly began to crash down from the reaches of the heavens... with my eyes closed I found myself in a limbo of ideas that were trying to break inside my head for so long... but not for a single time... I tried to listen to those people... I always tried to avoid and escape the reality... I was so blind and it only took so little to become truly happy.

I found myself sinking in the darkness... my heart was being devoured by my own demons... I was lacking strength to go on... to wake myself from all this mess... Nothing for me was left... nothing at all... but then the light embraced darkness and they all appeared before my eyes...

-”You can do it Simon!”- Thomas encouraged me and placed his hand on my shoulder.
-”Go for it, leader!”- Sandvika pushed me from behind as I took a couple of steps forwards the light... She then repeated Thomas’ action.
-”You lousy idiot... just accept the fact that you are Simon... Simon that has his goals, his dreams!”- Even Zerneger was there, resting on my back.
-”I’ve been in your place before, but it doesn’t mean that you should give up.”- Daente smiled at me as he placed his hand on top of my shoulder as well.
-”You fool... don’t be a disgrace... and act like a man!”- Vlad shouted as he slapped my face with his right palm.. After then he just held his hand up, showing his raised thumb up to the sky of new reaches, as he placed his hand on my shoulder as well.
-”Shh.. don’t cry now... everything will turn out alright. It’s a promise.”- Jaina pushed me forward gently as she placed her hand as well.
-”...”- Silently... the friend that I lost in battle.. appeared in front of me and bumped his right fist against mine.
-”Simon... just don’t lose your way and don’t you dare to give up on your dreams! Do what you consider is right for you, follow your own path... Everything you are... what you accomplished and what you have been is not our doing... It is yours alone, Simon!”- All of them shouted in a chorus as the darkness on my body started to fade away...

Finally... I was able to wake myself up from the nightmare... to believe in myself once again... because everyone’s casted light managed to drag myself out from the bottomless pit of darkness.. I suddenly found believing in them as they believed in me... They meant no harm... their dreams suddenly became as my dreams... their smiles were passed over to me... as I suddenly realized that the world was indeed beautiful... full of ups and downs... full of colors... full of laughter... and every struggle was just a part of it... because to truly understand happiness one had to accept the sadness... The endless conflict in my brain suddenly concluded... I was aware that I was slowly dying... and I was aware that bringing Azure back to life probably would not be an easy task... but it was not a reason to become sad... I had to embrace those emotions and live with the ideals of the ones, who left them behind... the questions that were haunting me were not answered, but it was not a time to give up on everything either. It was funny that one of the saddest days of my life would turn out to be one of the happiest ones...

The people around me suddenly turned to the orbs of light that shot themselves up in the sky, erecting the pillars of hope and dreams from below... The pillars broke through the ceiling of darkness as I was finally able to open my eyes to find my self burning up in the atmosphere... descending to the ground at immense pace. The blackness that was my body suddenly ceased... as the black fires suddenly calmed down and changed it’s colors to blue... that stopped burning the air... instead the flames became cool... the black matter that was previously oozing from my back halted as it shaped itself into a flare of radiating energy of life.

-”Impossible! You managed to evolve!”- Zerneger, who was resting on my back suddenly exclaimed... The God of space was silent for days, but even he raised his voice as he noticed the changes in my power.
-”What the hell do you mean!?”- I shouted back at him.
-”It means that somehow you managed to unlock the hidden power that I once gave you. However, it is only possible to reach this state of power when the wielder finally accepts oneself and reaches a stable state of mind.”- He answered my question.
-”So, is it a good thing or a bad thing?”- I asked him once again, as the gravity that was pulling me down suddenly weakened.
-”It is a great thing! It means that you unlocked the full potential of my power... You’re in control now... you don’t have to rely on me anymore.. as my mind merged with yours... We can’t be separated anymore... Hahahaha! No wonder I chose you as my partner.. with each day you surprise me... breaking through the shell of your limits over and over again! This blue aura will lead you towards a new tomorrow... but just don’t forget that it will also drain your life force! But the effects of it will be way weaker.”- He bursted out in laughter as I smiled beneath the mask of the greatest friend that I once had.

A hero's comeback.

The pure blue flames swirled around me in a circle... as it became so easy to stop the pulling force before me... I merely extended my arm downwards and released the outburst of this new energy from my palm.. it sent me backwards as I managed to stop myself from falling.

-”This is great! I feel alive again!”- I shouted as I lunged myself forwards, breaking through the boundaries of space before me... Opening the rifts in front of me and reemerging miles away from each rift that I conjured... Diving in the space itself, I was happily flying around the sky... drawing various curves in the sky with just my blue aura alone.

At last... I accepted the boy inside me... and became a real man... A man who sought to pierce the heavens and to light his dreams... to paint his life in never before seen colors... I held everything deep inside my heart... all the motivation of the people... It was not me... it was them, who brought me on the right track... although the road up ahead was long I still had all the rights to smile...

-”Everyone, thank you! I will never forget you... not ever... although our paths may differ... but if I manage to see you all again... I will definitely help you... and if you ever find yourselves in the wrong... I will take away all of your worries and break them with my fists..! Don't be held back by someone else’s delusions... The one path you chose for yourselves, is the truth of your universe. ”- Like a raging hurricane I marked my words high in the sky.

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-”I choose my tomorrow by myself! I will fight through it... and protect the light that I carry inside me! I’ll show everyone that I can indeed do it! As a true man never dies... even when he's killed! Azure soon... I will come to rescue you... I will bring out everything at my disposal... I will rip the hole inside the hell and shatter it to fragments! I will break the vast and strong ceiling... that is the sky itself and lay a raid on the heaven! I will definitely bring you back! Just wait a little longer... as the man, who was lost is finally back! Even if I fail I will not be sad, I will try again and again... till the end of my time!”- I was flying up above the clouds, my wings were flapping... dropping sparks of hopes... that fell like stars on the rainbow that was present below me... After the darkest and deepest storm a rainbow always made it’s way through the darkness.

That day I was born anew... I became something else... a completely different person... I decided to fight through my path to my own destiny... Actually I decided to break my own destiny and shape a new future for myself and the closest ones around me... Yet I knew nothing that day... But one thing was certain... The nightmare that was spanning for so long finally escaped from me... As I was ready to realize the words that echoed in the sky... The wings of freedom that were spread to the sides were flying through the wishes of the fallen ones... the ones, who fought so hard to protect the light in this world... As it appeared for me that not everything was black... A light of hope and determination was always shining inside my heart....

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(Quick note: Just as the title suggests it is the last chapter, but not the last post. And boy... this post is monstrous. xD The bad thing is that I'm at point of no return now... I can't create shorter posts anymore... xD)

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