• The Eve of Eternity: Chapter 11 - Friend, or Foe?

    Deckard looked at Kaneas, his eyes wide with surprise. Estellise and Rydia gasped out and their eyes widened also. “Brother… I’m your… brother?” Deckard finally managed to speak. “Yes, you are my older twin brother, separated from each other after our birth. I first learned of our relation when I was 5 years old from a travelling prophet. At the time, I was being trained by Maximus Farien, who was teaching me how to control my Dark elemental magic. He sent me on an errand, where I ran into the prophet who told me that she thought she knew me. She said she had seen a boy my age that looked exactly like I did, in a small farming village several weeks away from where she was at now. ” Deckard continued to stare on at Kaneas as he spoke, trying to take in all that was being said. “Dark magic… But our father-“Kaneas interrupted Deckard quickly. “He was a user of light magic. However, that’s not entirely accurate either. Terrus contained within his genes the capability of passing down Dark, AND Light magic. According to the research I’ve done, our grand-parents, and even great grand-parents were from different parts of the world.”

    “To be more accurate, our ancestors were nobles that were forced to wed because of the desire to create a powerful line of sorcerers. The strongest sorcerers in the world, one male and one female were forced to wed. The next generation, the same thing happened. The result of the second generation was Terrus Lightfall, a man more powerful than any sorcerer who ever lived. Or rather, he was more powerful than any sorcerer who ever lived. Our father was also forced to wed a very powerful sorcerer as well. This means that 3 generations of the world’s most powerful sorcerers lies within our bloodline. Unfortunately, the man who was pulling the strings behind the curtain this whole time was none other than Maximus Farien. By the time Terrus had realized what was going on; Farien took action and murdered him in order to silence him. However, Farien is only aware of my existence. This is the reason why I’ve hidden my face away for the last 17 years. To protect your existence, I hid myself away from the world, biding my time until I was able to free myself from him.”

    Rydia walked over to Deckard and looked at him. “Isn’t the older brother supposed to save the younger one?” she giggled a bit and poked him. “Well, that would normally be true, provided the siblings were together all their life.” Deckard smirked at her. “So tell me more about Farien, what is he like?” Kaneas looked at Deckard slowly. “I don’t know why you would want to know about him. He’s a cruel and evil man.” Deckard shook his head. “Even cruel and evil men have weaknesses. It’s best to formulate a plan based on the way Farien acts all the time, right? The one person who knows him best is probably you right now.” Kaneas shook his head. “Farien doesn’t let anyone close enough to him to let them know his weaknesses. He also doesn’t slip up and make mistakes. The only records concerning him are the simple fact that he exists, and nothing else. However, according to the records, Farien was born over 240 years ago.”

    Everyone except Kaneas gasped in response. Estellise shook her head. “But if that’s true, he should definitely be dead then…right?” She looked at Rydia and Deckard as if asking for them to say she was correct. “That would be true, if he was a normal person. Originally there were believed to be only the four primary elements of magic. Users of Fire, Earth, Water and Air were much less abundant in the past. Wars were constantly fought using sorcerers as one man armies. The devastation was incredible; a single sorcerer could kill thousands in an instant. Then, 300 years ago a new element was seen that was far more powerful than any element already in use. That was the birth of the Light Element. It goes without saying that for the next 60 years, the theory that if Light existed, Dark must also exist somewhere. Then it happened finally, the birth of the Dark Element. It was just was strong as its predecessor, only it’s uses were more destructive than they were anything else. There is very little else written about Farien, because when he became of age he hid himself from the world, manipulating high ranking nobles from the shadows.”

    Rydia looked at Kaneas. “What about the Mystic Element? I thought it was strongest out of everything.” Kaneas looked at Rydia and nodded. “The birth of the Mystic element is supposedly said to have happened about 50 years ago. However, the ones who are capable of using it generally don’t get a chance to live very long. Farien immediately took notice of the Mystics and killed them before anyone had a chance to learn about them. Fortunately, there isn’t anyone who knows about other known Mystics in the world. That is all I can tell you for now, because this is the extent of everything I know.” Deckard, Estellise and Rydia all nodded. “So where are we heading? Are we looking for Farien?” Deckard asked, getting a bit impatient as always.

    “Farien is impossible to find without Toren. I injured him 17 years ago to a point where I thought he was dead. The first things we need to do are to find my old master and get him to lead us to Toren. It’ll be pretty difficult, that guy is even stronger than I am. Strangely, his history is even more mysterious than Farien’s is. Most likely he’ll be hanging around Thelmios during this time of year. There’s a really big tradeshow going on and there are a lot of high ranking officials who attend. My old master is a sucker for money, which basically means he is a hired assassin. He gets a lot of his work from the high ranking officials during the trade show. Estellise and I will gather information. We’ll be able to infiltrate the city more easily than you or Rydia.”

    Deckard looked at Estellise and Kaneas. “Wait, you’re leaving me with Rydia?” Rydia looked up at Deckard and smiled. “What’s wrong with that, I don’t bite and I definitely don’t smell bad!” she giggled and looked at the other two. “Sorry, but you just don’t have enough experience infiltrating a bandit town like Thelmios. I expect you to wait in the inn we’ll be staying at. I told you before that you’ll be guarding and teaching Rydia defensive magic, so I expect you to take good care of her. She’s like a sister to me after all. Now that everything has been said, let’s move out.” Kaneas put his mask back on and walked over a hill. “Thanks to Rydia, we’re actually already on the outskirts of the town, so it’s not too much further away. Well then, let’s head out.” Kaneas looked at Rydia for a moment. “Oh right, one more thing, put this on Rydia.” Kaneas took out a black cloak and gave it to Rydia, who put it on quickly. “Thanks!”

    The four of them begin heading towards the city slowly, so as not to draw attention to them unnecessarily. After a short while, they make it through the gates of the city and head towards an inn, though it didn’t look like much of one. The entire building of the inn was a bit rundown, but it looked sturdy even still. Kaneas leads the others inside and walks over to the front desk. “I need a room for one night.” The man behind the front desk nodded and pulled out a clipboard and a pen. “What is your name?” Kaneas looked at the man for a brief moment. “My name is Renald. If the rates are still the same, then this should cover it.” He dropped a small amount of coins onto the desk and the clerk counted them. “Yeah, that covers the rate. Here is your key, please enjoy your stay with us.” The clerk handed Kaneas a key. Kaneas nodded and began walking to the room, with everyone else behind him following.

    After entering their room, Kaneas shut the door and looked around. “I recommend you two stay in the room at all times. There should be some food stored away in the fridge here. If something happens, take Rydia and leave the city as soon as possible.” Deckard looked at Kaneas. “If something were to happen, how would we know where to find you afterwards?” Kaneas looked out the window. “You won’t. You’ll just keep running with Rydia and protect her at all costs. I found you once; I can find you again if the time comes. Don’t worry about it.” Deckard sighed but sat down on one of the beds. “Let’s go Estellise.” Kaneas looked at Estellise, who nodded quickly and followed as Kaneas left the room. “Well, looks like it is just you and me Rydia.” Rydia smiled and lay down on that he was sitting on. “What is the relationship between you and Estellise?” Rydia looked up at Deckard before closing her eyes and curling up on the bed. Deckard looked over at her for a moment before laying back on the bed with his legs off to the side still. “We grew up together. In a way I suppose she is similar to being a sister to me, since she’s always tried to take care of me. Maybe it’s like how you and Kaneas are.” Rydia sighed for a moment, but soon began breathing lightly as she fell asleep. “I guess she used up quite a bit of magic today, she must have been exhausted. I’ll catch some sleep too I guess.” Deckard looked at Rydia again before he also fell asleep.

    Several hours later there is a loud knock on the door to their room, which wakes Deckard and Rydia up quickly. “This is the Thelmian guard, open up or we’ll come in by force.” Deckard grit his teeth for a moment. “Damn... Looks like it’ll just be you and me for a while longer. I hope the others will be okay. Come on Rydia, let’s go!” Deckard picked Rydia up, one arm around her back and the other under her knees, and quickly jumped out the window to the rooftop next door. The moment he landed, the guards stormed into the room and began their pursuit. “After them!” Deckard didn’t even look back to see how many guard were pursuing, and kept running along the roof until reaching the end of it.

    “Come on you maggots! Hurry up and capture those two before they get away!” the guard captain shouted as he pursued with his men. Deckard quickly jumped off the rooftop and landed on the ground in the center of the tradeshow area. "Sorry for the bumpy ride Rydia, but I have no choice, Kaneas told me to protect you and so I shall!" Rydia looked around for a moment before Deckard immediately leaped from the ground onto a rooftop across the other side of the street. The moment Deckard and girl were on the rooftop however, a large group of bandit guards surrounded them quickly. "End of the line kid." Deckard shook his head slowly. "On the contrary, it's just beginning!" The bandit captain gritted his teeth slowly. "Kill them!" At almost the same time, the 12 bandits, and the bandit captain let out a stream of fire in the direction of Deckard. From the streets, the moment the fires emerged it was impossible to see what was happening in the center where Deckard and Rydia were at. The fires converged onto one another and created a large pillar of fire that shoots upwards into the sky, resembling a large cylindrical explosion-like case of fire.

    After a minute, the guards cease their spells and the fire slowly disappears. When the wind finally blows all the smoke away, there is a white sphere in place of where the Deckard and Rydia were at. The bandit captain takes a step back and gasps in shock. "It nullified the spell completely?!" The sphere quickly returned to its original form, the triple-tailed scarf that was worn by Deckard. "Now it's my turn!" Almost immediately after finishing his sentence, a large twist enveloped the rooftop, forcing each of the bandits into the air. The twister then shifted its movement entirely and broke apart into 13 smaller and horizontal twisters, each twister having a guard trapped within. The guards are each sent flying halfway across the city in different directions, preventing them from pursuing the duo any further. Once he was sure that they were in the clear, Deckard continued jumping from rooftop to rooftop on his way to the outskirts of the city.

    Even after Deckard finally left the city with Rydia, he continued to run, just as he had been told to. Several hours later, Deckard finally stopped running. Or rather, he was forced to stop running. “So you must be Deckard.” A strange man looked at Deckard through a white mask. “Who are you?” Deckard looked at the man slowly, knowing that running was not an option this time, he had to fight. He set Rydia on her feet and looked at her. “Sorry, but it looks like I’ll have to fight him.” Rydia nodded quickly and took a few steps back. “Excellent, you didn’t try to run away.” Deckard shook his head. “Running away from you would be futile, even I can tell that much.” The man began to laugh. “Don’t worry, I won’t harm the girl. I’m just here to see how strong you are, that’s all. My name is Hark. Now that introductions are done with, let’s begin!”

    Hark quickly disappeared immediately after he finished talking. “W-what the?” Deckard looked around, confused as to where Hark went. “Over here!” Hark reappeared beside Deckard and threw a punch, landing it on Deckard’s face and sending him flying a few feet. Deckard slowly stood back up. “Air...? No... There wasn’t any magic in his attack at all; he’s just that powerful physically...” Hark disappeared once more. Deckard slowly closed his eyes for a moment before reopening them. “Found you!” he shouted as he threw a punch, just as Hark was reappearing to throw his own. Their firsts just barely missed one another, instead hitting the other’s face. Deckard is once again sent flying a few feet, while Hark barely even moved an inch. “Impressive... but you’ll need more than that to hurt me.

    Deckard quickly stood back up once more. “Fine, then let’s do this.” He clenched his fist and closed his eyes as he began chanting quickly. “I’m not going to give you time-“Hark rushed forwards toward Deckard but stopped after a few feet. A series of several gusts of wind enveloped Deckard now, making it difficult to get close without getting slightly cut by the winds. “You’re pretty good at casting I see. It seems pretty clear to me that I won’t be able to win by relying on just my physical abilities.” Hark clenched his fist as well, creating an effect similar to Deckard’s but he did it in a mere fraction of the time it took Deckard. “I see now. You’re that Artifact user I’ve heard rumors about. I’m aware that my casting speed is far superior to the majority of casters in this world, but yours is far beyond human capability.” Hark started laughing slowly. “Your knack for deduction is pretty impressive too. I’ll have more fun today that I first expected.”

    The two of them disappeared, reappearing consecutively in various spots with their fists and magic colliding, using the momentum of their speed to their advantage. At each spot that the two collided, a small crater would appear in the ground below them. Hark and Deckard both reappeared, about twenty feet from one another. Deckard slowly raised his hand and pointed a finger at Hark, as if shooting a gun. “Bang.” Hark’s eyes opened widely for a moment. “What are you talking about-“he started to ask, just before his sentence was cut short by a large series of explosions all around in the area. Rydia looked on at the battlefield, worried about the explosion. She had put up a barrier around herself, but she was still worried about Deckard.

    After the smoke had finally cleared, Deckard was still standing in the same spot unscathed from the spells he just shot off. “Marvelous. That was simply marvelous. I applaud you for your knowledge of spell casting, and use of delayed spells.” Deckard’s eyes opened widely, as the rest of the smoke finally cleared around the area Hark was standing. There were now several pieces of blocks of what looked to be extremely dense stone scattered on the ground around Hark. “I see you are appalled as to how I survived that attack. It was quite simply you see, I just created a casing of this stone here on the ground.” Deckard shook his head slowly. “But, that would mean you have two elements. That’s...” Hark waved his hand around quickly. “Unfathomable? What’s unfathomable is the fact that you’ve made me use not one, but two elements during the same battle. I’ve never had to use more than one element to fight someone, but here I am fighting you with two.” Several pillars of earth suddenly rise up from the ground, attempting to pierce Deckard, but they are cut into pieces the moment they enter his barrier of wind.

    “Tch, you still have that barrier up? Well whatever, that works to my advantage.” Hark waved his hand around once more and a stream of fire suddenly spewed out towards Deckard, reaching him quickly due to the swirling winds around him. The fire and wind merge, swirling around Deckard quickly and causing him to be enveloped in a sphere of fire. “Fire is the enemy of wind, but I bet you weren’t expecting me to be able to use it.” Hark started laughing loudly. “Fire is not my enemy, it is my ally.” Deckard shouted as the sphere of fire slowly turned into a wave of fire, with Deckard’s wind as its fuel and guide. The fire wave quickly turned and headed straight for Hark, who began running away as quickly as possible. Hark began moving at an amazing speed, but it was no use to him. The fire under Deckard’s control was moving faster than Hark was, slowly catching up to him.

    “Persistent aren’t you.” Hark stopped and put his palm forward, letting out a stream of water that collided with the fire wave, followed by a series of stone walls to dampen out the wind currents. “I thought you’d do that.” Deckard appeared next to Hark and threw a hard punch, knocking him in the chest and sending him flying into one of the walls created by Hark. “Incredible... I’ve been beaten thoroughly.” Deckard looked at Hark, confused. “You are giving up?” Hark shook his head. “I’m not giving up; I just know I can’t win using my current tactics. I don’t want to kill you, so I can’t go all out like I normally would. But I’m impressed that you made me use all four elements.” Rydia ran over to Deckard and hugged him tightly. “Are you okay?” Deckard nodded and looked at Hark. “I don’t get you, why did you fight me if you weren’t intending to kill me? Just who are you anyway?” Hark brushed dirt off his clothes and walked over to the two of them. “I told you before. I am Hark. That is all I can tell you about myself, because I don’t want to reveal my past. I’m not an enemy to you, so don’t worry. If it makes you trust me a bit more, I trained your brother when he was a kid.”