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 The Fourth King Arc III Part II

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PostSubject: The Fourth King Arc III Part II   Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:28 pm

Sumaru..

Zechs felt a sense of loss seeing his old friend in that state. So torn apart, so beaten and bloody. So angry and empty. Even if he had killed Xixas, Zechs was not a man who sentences death to those who needed to be judged. After their encounter, Zechs vowed to find the Vampire and give him a trial for his crimes. Fairly. It was the only way, he told himself, that he could allow justice while keeping Xixas's honor intact.

Zechs made his way closer to the Regnum back lines, putting his utmost trust into his soldiers that they would be able to end this war on their side as he did his. Zechs scanned every face he could, but.. Where was the Fourth King? If he could remove their king from the equation, then maybe..

I warned you…

A voice in the back of his head. Zechs jerked to a halt, and gripped his sword.

I am done waiting for you…

I will show you the burden I must carry.. I will show you my pain.

I will show you the truth of what it means to live in such a world

I am stronger than you.. Than ALL OF YOU!

Pain Packer


RISING SUN

...


A voice like a song could be heard as a little object was tossed into the sky, and as it froze, it erupted into a ball of light the size of a mansion.

..

As if on tempo, the Vasure plains began to scream in a tune of uniform.

It was quiet at first. Muffled and low in octave. Soft and gentle from its origin, and began to smooth across the sounds of the world. But it quickly grew like a fire being fed the forest, and it came as a crash for the world of Ae'Ire.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

The second sun that now stood in the sky vaporized the transparent veil of Silence over the plains, and the voice of the song could be heard. It was a song of the people, as they were the ones who sung in chrous. Their voices crying out to the world as the sun shined.

Bodies writhed on the floor as their skin blackened. Armor melted and bubbled, searing onto their owner's flesh like a full body branding iron. The winds charred hair and skin while eyes quickly dissolved into mist.

The world seemed to be on fire as the plains ignited for just a moment before dissolving into ash. The ground now cracked and dried like shattered glass while the stones began to melt into liquid earth. Swords fell to the ground and anything living screeched as the skin was flayed from their bodies from pure, unforgiving heat. Magic itself was vaporized so finely, not even essences remain.

One and a half seconds had passed since the second sun had appeared in the sky.



There was no possible chance at mediation.

A shattering of glass and the crack of a crystal a million miles away.

Zechs Renaurd, dressed in the finest of Ice, the truest of Ice. The King of the Glacial Domain. A power so immense, even the kingdoms of queens far across the planetary terra-domain saw snow fall across their lands.

But only for a single heartbeat. Only for the time it took to process a thought.

RELEASE.

One second and three quarters of another had passed. A dizzying blur of wind, and Zechs Renaurd of the kingdom Sanc shot into the sky and into the epicenter of the second sun, where his wings unfurled and erupted from inside the blaze, where it was torn apart and removed from sky in a dispersal of fire and light. And in the second heartbeat, the True Ice was gone, and Zechs was kneeling on the dirt.

The sun was gone, and Zechs had avoided even the tiniest damage. ..But, he was much, much too late for his intentions. There used to be thousands in that area. On the western half of the battlefield, where there must have been several thousand lives desperately fighting a war, only blackened bones remain. No blood or gore. No remaining magic or lives. Black branches littered the area, the largest only the size of a dagger. Crumbling to ash and dried marrow. A perfect circle of scorched dirt filled with the meager remains of what was once thousands.

However, the screams of the ash had fallen on deaf ears. As if the second sun had never even begun, a hush of quiet had begun to sink into the land. The eyes of the armies were not on the graveyard of the burned. But they were to the far south. Eyes were pulled from the breathtaking nightmare of fire to see something else appear on the battlefield. To many, it was as if the second sun had only heralded horrors far beyond the horizon. From the far south, a wave of unease followed by a physical veil of pressure settled on the area. From the far south, a line of soldiers split the way to allow passage.

--

From the far south, the Fourth King of Bright Ire stepped onto the battlefield, sword in hand.

His armor was light and loose, allowing easy movement and breathing. He was wrapped in gold and blue, a large cloak of lion fur and silk with metal shoulder plates. His body was wrapped in the royal cloak, and he stared ahead with his eyes aglow with what could only be magic. He came alone, not astride any horse or mount, but he still appeared much larger than anything around him.

“I arrive to the war and find myself greeted by fireworks” he spoke with easy conviction. He almost seemed to glide forward as he walked. Elegant and fluid with strength in his frame. “I have been to the most elegant parties, as I'm sure you would guess. Balls of the elite, parades for holidays, even celebrations of marriage. Each of them grand in their own right.”

He took his pace slowly, the straight sword in his hand reflecting a regal light. Each word was slowly placed, as if prying their way into the minds of the crowd in front of him. As the king of a corrupt light strode forward, a dark, tainted shadow stalked the ruler using the awe-struck as cover. Sumaru Amaya, clad in shadows, gripped the tilt of his thin sword with enough force to break skin.



“But no matter the occasion, never has a gift been greater than what you all offer me today.” He grinned with what could only be described as content, as if the thousands of corpses at his feet were nothing more than decorations. “You have offered me not only your world-” The Fourth King stepped into a ring of onlookers. Soldiers both loyal to Regnum and those aligned with Sanc stood before him, the contrast in expression different as night and say. The Regnum soldiers fell to their knees in worship as if cut loose from strings while the soldiers of Sanc steadied themselves, shields and swords ready in hand with glares of dutiful detest.

“And your meager existences.”

The King's gaze cast only upon the soldiers of an enemy nation; those of Sanc. His eyes flickered with an unknown magic and his expression did not betray a sense of sovereign.

And then the mercenaries of Sanc surrounding him began to bow.

“I accept them willingly, as your true and rightful king.”


Slinking with venomous intent, a single Vampire now approached the blindside of the Fourth King. With black blade in hand, he did not even spare a single thought before launching himself forward, carried on bloodied and scarred legs filled with powerful intent. He had found his prey.

Sumaru Amaya lifted his weapon in a one handed horizontal slash and brought it down toward the King's neck.

-

“K-King Renaurd!” The bloodied and beaten girl yelled out with a torn voice. She limped forward with one hand arcing behind her to keep the pressure on her shattered wing. Blood deeply blinded one side of her face and her left leg had been touched by the heat of the second sun moments ago, charring it black and beyond use. She dragged herself forward one pained step at a time.

He was there, just a few more feet.

The blood seeping through her hair and into her eye began flowing over her mouth and she arced forward in a fit of coughing, fighting desperately to breath. Just a few more feet. Zechs threw a glance to his left and deflected an oncoming blow. He thrust a hand forward and a spray of frost repelled his offender. He looked back to the Fourth King's direction and looked ready to move, but then found himself busy with the axe of another dogged contender.

Blythe threw her good leg forward, dragging her weight through a forest of bodies and weapons, miraculously left alone. The magic of her Sky Fyre had numbed her pain, but the tethers of her magic were quickly beginning to slip away. But, more important than anything, she needed to get this message to King Zechs Renaurd if it cost her everything.

Just a few more feet.

-


There was a softness in death.

A burden lifted from aching shoulders.

A pressure relieved from the heart.

A final breath that escaped the lips like a stream of white silk.

Light and gentle, shedding the weight of a husk and becoming airy and free.

As the tendrils of opaque gray twisted through his body, Sumaru felt his muscles relax. He dropped his sword to the damp earth and felt his mind escape his body. A multitude of vines erupting from the earth skewered his arms and legs, holding his limp frame up as if he had fallen asleep. A family of vines burst forward from his chest and torso, having pierced and torn apart the lungs. The heart, unbeating, lie as still as the grave.

But he could still hear something inside of him.

There was a silence in the vampire boy’s ears, but he could hear the sound of his soul escaping him. Quiet and melodious, he could hear a woman’s voice. So sweet and caressing, it urged him forward.

The Fourth King dispatched the vampire without passing a second glance. It had taken an effort to even realize there had been an assault on him. The tendrils, the spiraling corpses of life, had protected him. The thousands of lives lost, the warriors slain, protected him in death. No matter your allegiance in life, you serve only the King in death. Their corpses, having sunk into the earth upon the king’s arrival, now heralded his dominion. A mass of bone, flesh, and magic lie under the earth now. The fused together into a creature of administered sentience. It stretched miles under the soil, reaching around the entirety of Vasure with its clawing reach.

It, no, they were known as the King’s Kraken. An endless conglomerate of life formed from death. It lives in the earth as if it accepts the world as its grave, but reaches above the surface to rend and mutilate those who would step toward their master.

The King’s Kraken is not seen until you have become a part of it yourself. A part of the millions of bodies fused together under the mud. Stretching for miles like roots of a grand oak.


The corpse of the vampire boy lie still in the dirt, the Kraken’s tendrils still running convulsing through it. With a sound similar to the ripping of meat, four tall talons of bone erupted forward and clawed inward, surrounding the boy’s body. The points of each talon sunk into the earth to lock in their pray and slowly began to drag him under the surface.

The Fourth King stepped off to the side to offer a view of the horrifying display to all who would see. However, it was not only the vampire boy who was being fed to the Kraken. Throughout the course of the war, innumerable lives had been lost. Each of them, upon meeting the earth, fell through the world and into the depths of the Kraken, where they found a new home within it. However, even now as the Kraken fed on the remains of a thousand warriors, there was an unease. Something refused.

With a vexed expression, the King turned his head to peer around the once-again silent battlefield. Although the Silence Magic had been blown apart by the second sun, the fields were once again quieted. It was the King’s Will that demanded attention. A compulsion of unknown origin kept their bodies in place. Minds wandered, eyes attempted to move but found themselves stuck in one spot. Attempts at screams were replaced with only the sound of breathing and dogged attempts at moving were rewarded with empty gain. It was like an army of a million statues.

Cling

It was there, the King noticed. Behind him, low to the ground. The body of the vampire boy lie motionless and as still as the living around him. Hadn’t he just killed this child? The Kraken should have taken his body. Although it had only been a couple of minutes since then, that was more than enough.. It takes a blink of the eye for the Kraken to claim its new family.

Cling clang

Again, a tiny pang of unease made its way through the fourth King. He willed it away and peered closer to the boy’s corpse. He implied the Kraken take it, commanding it with his possession. A cracked talon of bone erupted from the dirt just a few inches from the child. It wiggled, clawing forward with its usual eagerness. The talon jabbed forward to hook into the corpse and it sunk into the arm. Immediately, the talon receded and fled back under the surface of the earth as if pulled forcefully. The King pursed his brow in confusion.

“Take the boy” he commanded, using the Compulsion formed through will casting his voice. The Kraken did not respond. Now annoyed, he tried once more. It was impossible for the Kraken not to accept it.

“Take it! It is yours!” He now shouted. The boy’s body rustled as if being moved, but it did not take.

The King, now more bewildered than upset by this defiance, lowered himself to the ground. He placed his bare hand to the earth and pulsated his Compulsion into the Kraken directly.

This time, the body began to move in earnest. Sumaru’s corpse began to move and just before the King turned away, satisfied, he noticed it. The body was not moving down into the Kraken. It was not being moved to join the host of families. It was moving backwards. It was being dragged across the dirt, head first. It was pulled several feet, and then halted, the body slumped into the dirt. A moment later, it began to drag once more, like a fish on a line.

“What is this..-”
It was almost impossible to see at first. Only by Compelling it did the King manage to see the refraction of light around the boy. It glittered and shone in an unearthly, yet familiar light. As he saw it, he could feel it as well. Less of a physical feeling and more of a sound. It buzzed in his ear quietly. Sumaru continued to be dragged, stopping only every few feet before resuming motion again. The Kraken recoiled away from the body as it moved, the giant mass of flesh, bone, and blood denied it vehemently. The body ceased to move now for almost an entire minute. The King, intent on discovering the source of the oddity, took a step forward.

Cling clang

He jerked backwards before his foot touched the earth to proceed. Staring ahead. The refracting light around the boy, he could see through it now. It was not simple glimmers of light. Around the boy’s neck and dragging him forward were chains. He could hear it now. The buzzing in his ears had grown. It was not a simple stutter of sound, he now knew, as he would hear it.

It was singing.



Standing some fifty feet away was a tall, heavily clothed man in a mask. His shoulders were wrapped in black feathers, his cloak made of thick black material that was impossible to ascertain. His boots were thick and heavy; colossal. A single step from this man would surely be heard across any room. The Fourth King stared at the man’s mask intuitively. A mask shaped long and downward, two wide glass eyes with different forms. One, a shaded out pane, and the other appeared to me made of liquid. He stood impossibly still, even more so than the statues of man and corpse around him. It was if he was not even there. The wind did not sway his clock, there were no signs of breathing from his chest. It was if he wasn’t alive, yet standing tall and powerfully. The man was a titan of ethereal silence.

The gentle singing the King could hear now transitioned into music. Sweet, soft melodies floated within him now, accompanied by the gentle humming from before. It confused him, but at the very same time, offered a sense of relief. “I hear.. Music?”

The corpse of the vampire boy lie at his feet, and another small figure knelt down to inspect it. It was a girl. A young woman dressed in a muddled gown from another age, wrapped in decorated silk and cloth. Her arms and legs were pale, her body thin and delicate, almost like a doll. However, her head was completely hidden. Around her head was a burlap sack, torn and stained and surely very old. It was, however, possible to discern her eyes. They glowed softly from behind the sack a faded and dying shade of ruby.

Forcing back his emotions, the king stepped toward the monster. “You are a fool to show yourself to me, beast. You know very well you cannot go against me. What I am. What I can do!” his voice grew in volume while he spoke, as if attempting to force the fear out of his body by yelling it out. But the titan of a man did not respond. The young lady drew herself to her feet and gripped the hem of the monster’s cloak.

“Sev” she whispered, and how the king could hear her from this distance, he did not know.

“I expected no loyalty from you, but I still owe you thanks for your cooperation. Release your grip on the boy and I will allow you to live. Flee this continent and pray I never find you”.

Sev did not respond.

“Sev” the young lady said in his place.

“Give me the boy. I will take him from you if you do not”

“Sev” she told him.

“I am the cure” she told him.

“I will play no games, beast! Sink into the Kraken, and may you obey me once you have been taken into the king’s will”.

Brooking no more folly, the King raised his hands in a Willcast, and directed the Kraken’s tendrils above the ground. Several thick tentacles of rotted flesh and bone erupted into an animated assault that flew toward the silent creature. As if joyed at the opportunity to rid itself of this disgusting mark on the world, the Kraken reached for the man and the corpse with a desire to only rip them into oblivion.

Sev made no move to defend himself, allowing the malleable limbs to further their assault. With an unnatural flick of his head, the eyes of his mask seemed to dim. His gloved hand escaped their binds in the deep pockets of his coat and in between his ring and thumb fingers was a thin, tiny metal rod about fifteen inches in length.

“Ittoryu Iai!”

A little voice interjected the fray, and heralded by a flash of diamond light, a silhouette of white collided with the tentacles.

“Ra.. Ivara”

Seven massive lumps of flesh and bone fell to the earth with a wet thud, still writhing in place as they fell from the host body. Perfectly vertical severe marks from their they ended. A young boy with a muddy head of white hair stumbled in place as he attempted to right himself, expertly positioning his long, thin blade away from his body. He fell to one knee and quickly recovered, sheathing his Odachi. Slowly, the wriggling flesh began to sink back into the soil.

"Wow, I've never had to move that fast before.." he mumbled, astounded.

"What now?! Must we continue this pointless interjection any further? I will rid myself of you all now".

“When you look to the stars, a million eyes stare back. I am the herald of starfall. Leave this land in peace or you will find out what it means to face the fury of the night sky”.

Silence, aside from the whispered “Sev” from a little girl.

The Fourth King sneered, beyond irritated with all the theatrics this coup of jesters were putting on.

“..No? Oh, come on. I thought that was pretty cool!”

“You sound like a fool, boy”.

“I mean, I guess..” Sidus Reverie, Starseeker and Chaser of Light rubbed the back of head, abashed. “I always wanted to say it at least once”.

A slow shake of his head. The Fourth King could not afford any more distractions. He needed the corpse of the boy..

“Have we finished our little games?” he spat, his voice beginning to grow in volume. In response to his anger, the Kraken shook the earth beneath them in what could be compared to a quake. “I have not the time nor patience for this obnoxious display. If you fools offer me your lives, I will show you mercy this once and take them. Consider it my favour for such a splendid display of absolute, sheer idiocy. I will have the boy’s corpse, and yours as well”.

“May you serve me better in death than you did in life”.

Willcasting, the King had the Kraken emerge a forest of writhing tentacles to the surface. A low moan escaped the pockets of air between each tendril, a chorus of tortured voiced just beneath the dirt. As the tentacles hissed and whipped around, the air beneath escaped in various volumes and octaves. The Kraken’s voices; the instrument of a million bodies crying out in unison.

Sidus positioned himself between the monster’s limbs and the scary fellow in the black coat. “You’re definitely the one Xixas spoke of, right?” He inquired, lowering himself in a crouched stance with his head turned downward and his sheathed blade in the left; open right arm hovering just above. “You’re Sev? If that’s the case, I’m going to be helping you out”.

Sev did not respond. However, Sidus did not expect him to. “Just, if you don’t mind, doc. Make it quick”.

A roar from the king, and scream of a million voices, and tentacles as thick as war horses and faster than a Seraph’s flight thrust to the Starseeker. Just before they got close enough to rip him apart, Sidus smiled with the biggest grin he had felt in years.

“You’re going to have to get through me first, boy”.

---
An aura of pure frost and ice rocketed across the sky as a royal nova of ice jettisoned through the night horizon. The clouds themselves seemed to part in way of the true king’s flight. The massive draconic wings on his head beat once, and again. Harder each time. Combined with Time Alter, Zechs Renaurd was making record time. He had been traveling for almost an hour and he could sense himself nearly there.

-Hex Ender.. A man who can…

He’s in the Realm of Magic.. Going to..

Please, my lord. I..

Break the seal

Ether is going to fall..

Last of the seven..

Break the seal

Magic will be lost

Please-


A nearly dead and beaten Blythe had delivered a desperate report to him before losing consciousness, and perhaps her life, in the process. He had to make it in time to stop this Hex Ender from breaching the Ether and taking order and control away from Magick.

-It must be why the Fourth King chose to open the Ether last.. So he could harness the magic it releases the end the war. But why do any of this in the first place..?-


It didn’t matter anymore. Whatever the reason, this war needed to end.

Zechs came across an open field far south of Vasure, a massive hunk of metal and stone ripped and torn into pieces lie hundreds of feet away. It was the seal to enter the downward pit leading to the Ether. The gate door was several hundred feet long and many feet thick. Yet, it was tossed aside like a child’s toy. Hex Ender must already be at the Ether, Zechs surmised, and assumed he had yet to breach it as magic was still in control. With a smooth motion, Zechs angled himself to shape a perfect ninety degree drop downward and into the open abyss leading into the realm of magic.

He shot through corridor after corridor, all broken and mangled as if a twister had come through the underground lair. Everything passed by as a blur with Time Alter, and it took him less than a minute to reach the end of the tunnel.

There, he found Hex Ender. A tall, sculpted man in professional attire with long, thin violet hair. Otherwise, his features were plain. He stood in front of a massive sphere liquid gold and silver, perfectly still as if it were a stone. It was some two hundred feet in diameter, Zechs guessed. Off to the side was a mangled corpse that was half-way sunk into the earth.

-Must be the Guardian.. Damn, I arrived too late..-


“I have been waiting for you, Dragon of Glaciers” spoke Hex Ender, turning to face his adversary.

“Waiting for me..? For what? Speak swiftly, cur”. Zechs raised the blade known as Arondight to face the strange man, who only smiled like one smiles to a misbehaving child.

“You are a king, but you are not my king, Zechs Renaurd. However, I will do as you ask just this once. I was waiting for you of my own accord. Had I wanted, I could have released the Ether and sunk Ire’s magic into Chaos over an hour ago. However, there is no fun in that. I want to enjoy what this world has to offer before it’s gone. I want you to indulge my interest.”

“What are you..?”

“Haven’t figured it out yet? I want to kill you, you BLASTED FOOL”. With a jagged motion, Hex Ender pulled a long, black needle from his coat-- the key to the realm of magic.

“No!” Zechs cried out, and shot forward with his sword, intent on ending the man before he could make a move. But, it was already far too late. Hex Ender stabbed the needle into the massive sphere and it sunk inside.

..

A rumble of the earth.

Just before Zechs could cut the man down, he turned and let his body fall into the golden orb. He sunk inside the liquid with a vicious smile on his face, beckoning Zechs to follow.

Without a moment’s further hesitation, Zechs did exactly that. He knew what he must do.

Inside the Realm of Magic was chaos and order. He stood in a massive dome of complete and utter silence, order, and control. Magic did not leak inside, as if he and Hex Ender stood in a bubble that pushed it out. Just outside, a mess of colour, patterns, concepts, and so many various perceptions raced around the bubble as if living sentience. They crashed, combined, fused, reverted, fought, fled, and moved around in so many ways, it was impossible to watch. Zechs felt as if he would go mad if he had to focus on the outside of the bubble for too long.

“It’s astounding in its own insane way, wouldn’t you say?”

“I’d say you’re insane in your own astounding way.”

Hex Ender turned to the leader of Sanc with a blank glance. “How quaint”.

“However” Hex continued, “I do not believe we have the luxury of conversing so easily. I have a job to do, and so do you. Let us avoid the dramatic speeches and theatrics. Let us get under way, shall we?”

Zechs, having never been a fan of the theater, willed a dragon’s maw of ice onto his arm. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hex grinned. “Fire. Ice. Water. Lightning. Earth. Wind. Steel. Light. Darkness. Space. Time. Body. Mentality. Nature. Each of these is a significant magic, powerful in its own right, Zechs.. Not like that disgusting defilement of magic; Fyre. You always were close with that wretch, Xixas Averall. It was repulsive. However, now, as the true lord of the Magick realm, I hold sovereign in truth. Magick is truth. Magick is everything.. I am truth. I AM EVERYTHING”.

Hex thrust a hand forward, sending a storm of steel shards forward that seemed to appear from thin air. Zechs quickly shaped a barrier of ice to intercept, and felt each one of the shards slicing the crushing their way through. After a few moments, Zechs threw himself to the side to avoid the onslaught. Still in Time Alter, he flew forward directly with Arondight raised in a defensive stance. However, before he could close the distance, a gust of wind blasted him away, swatting him several meters away with ease.

“How weak.. How redundant!”

Gathering himself, Zechs took a single moment to examine the situation. Hex Ender rose slowly into the air, gusts of wind flowing around him. Attached to the base of his neck, where his neck connected to his spine, there was a single tethering thread. It hummed softly, glowing with power. It connected him to the Ether. Zechs knew he had to cut it but.. Didn’t that seem too easy?

“Ahh, yes, you see.. You are on a timer, Zechs. As you have noticed, I am physically connected to the realm of Magick by this cord of catalyst. The process of fusing with it is slow. It takes time. Sever me from the Realm and you triumph. However, once the Magick and I become one, I can simply kill you by ripping the magick from your body. Tick tock, little king. You are a user of Time. You should know very well what this race against the clock means for you”.

It was pushing the limits, but Zechs knew he would have to go to the extreme. Despite using it once already, if only for a single moment, now was the time to unleash his finale. There would be no waiting, or hesitation. He would enter that state and end this before it could begin..

“I will not be taking any chances with you, Hex Ender” Zechs spoke, his voice full of an authority one rarely hears. It took Hex aback for just a moment. “I will end this now and return to Vasure to assist my kingdom in this war you started. I will end that as well”.

“Is that so? And how do you propose to perform such a feat?”

“I release the seal, I unlock everything that I am and can become. Final Release.. Activate”.

A gust of wind, chilled and frosted, broke through the currents surrounding the Devoid. It began to spiral around Zechs, slowly beginning to shape his entire existence into-- nothing? The gusts quickly died down, and the bubble went silence once again.

-What?!-

Hex Ender broke out into hysterical laughter. “Are you a bloody dunce? This is the realm of Magick itself! I am in control here! Do you honestly think a magick tied to the world outside will have any use here?! I do not possess Final Release! Even then, the fact we are here prevents you from using it. Where did it go? All of your bravado? Your assurance? Come and end me, King of Heroes, if you can!”

“I see.. Still, I will not let this dissuade what I have to do. If we have to do this the hard way, so be it”.

Zechs turned Arondight downward and thrust it into the bubble’s floor. However, it did not pierce it, nor did it bounce off. It entered a strange temportal crack that gave the appearance of a rippling gold portal.

“I call upon the heroes of the ages.. The greatest warriors and legends throughout time, throughout the world’s history. Heroic Spirits, aid me in dire times. Heed the call of the Eiyuu Ou!”

A flash of warmth erupted from the golden portal, vanishing just as quickly as it came and in its place stood a woman. She was armed in blue and silver, lined with gold. Her silken hair tied to prevent it from falling in her eyes, stern and strict. She held a phantom, an illusion of wind what hid the identity of her weapon. King Arturia wasted no time positioning herself for battle, raising her sword toward the floating man seemingly made of magic.

By now, his skin glowed a multitude of colours and the veins under his skin seemed to pump pure magic from them, white and sizzling.

“I heed your call, King of Heroes” she spoke with firm authority, nodding her head with a warrior’s beckon to Zechs Renaurd. “You have my thanks, King of Knights. However, pleasantries must wait on the battlefield. Cut the cord tied to that man’s neck and he will fall. Beware. His magick is vastly varied”.

“Understood”.

Almost simultaneously, both Warrior Kings lifted their legendary swords and moved forward to destroy the laughing Hex Ender.

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PostSubject: Re: The Fourth King Arc III Part II   Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:29 pm

--


“Hey”.



“Hey, get up, you guilty bastard”



Wh-..

“Are you even alive?”

Who-..

“Hey, is he even alive?”

I know that voice..

A blurred storm of clouds and lightning ran through his mind, the rainfall slowly dimming down as the familiar voice pierced through the raging typhoon inside of him. His body felt heavy and burdened, as if the weight of the world was pressing him down. His eyes felt like they wouldn’t open, as if submerged in tar. His body was half numb and his tongue felt thick with blood. It smelled like metal and he could hear the sound of rain hitting glass.

It sounded nice.

“He is? Are you sure?”

And that voice.. He had heard it before. A million times. A voice of softness, of stern command. A voice of joy and sorrow, one of anger, one of defeat.. One of respect, and of triumph.


He had heard all his life.

It must be..

“Can I stab him with something to make sure?”

It is!

Sumaru Amaya shot up from where he lie, supporting himself with his hands behind him as he sat, sitting up. He blinked the sleep away from eyes and there he saw a lifetime of emotions.

Xixas was looking away from him, but kneeling over him as if watching. He spoke behind him to what looked like a mottled figure of black, but Sumaru’s mind hadn’t cleared enough to find out. But, it was him. It was Six.

“Six!” He cried out, voice hoarse and sore. He could taste blood still.

Xixas Averall turned his head, and Sumaru felt a flurry of emotions. He looked at Sumaru with an expression of surprise, but it quickly relaxed into his signature appearance of stoic silence.

“Hey” he offered.

“Six..” Sumaru repeated, incredulous. Xixas did that half-smirk half-frown thing he always did. “Yeah, that’s my name. Too late not to wear it out I guess”.

The Vampire shook his head. “Six, I..”

“Yes, you’ve said that already”.

“What’s going on? How are you here? I thought-” Sumaru lurched forward as he spoke, but a series of stabbing pains in his chest held him back. He gasped in surprise agony and Xixas put a hand up to gesture the boy to fall back a little, but still allowing him to stay sitting upright.

“Careful. Your body has not fully healed yet, Sumaru. Give it a little bit of time. Stay calm and relaxed”.


Sumaru did as Xixas said as if it was the most natural response in the world. Maybe it was. He looked down. He found himself in what looked like a marble with a flat surface in the middle. It was perfectly clear of the world outside, but it showed two different world. Above him, it was a rainy day. Gray clouds mottled the sky and thunder boomed. It pattered against the sphere rhythmically. On the sides of the upper half, a world seemingly made of red flowers with peculiar petals. They dipped up and down as the dark sky offered them the gift of rainfall. Everything was so bright but at the same, so dark. It was like a world of silver skies and red flowers. Silver and red.

Beneath him, he could see war. Or what appeared to be war. Everything was frozen in time-- or how it appeared to be. Every single warrior on the battlefield was under an extremely potent spell of Compulsion to remain perfectly still. Less than one percent of living beings on the field were capable of resisting such magic, and the masses were stuck in the act of war on freeze frame. Directly below, there were sounds battle. Sumaru glanced down and saw another familiar character. It was the arrogant Light Chaser from the snow river.. That felt like so long ago now that he could see and remember through the thick miasma of pain and fury that possessed him not long ago.

The boy was a force. He battled against the fourth king and whatever monster assaulted him from below the earth with terrifying speed. His sword danced like a virtuoso and his body was constantly in a state of dazzling, crystalline light. Sumaru felt dizzy watching them move, realizing the display below him was on another level entirely.

He looked back at Xixas and found him watching the scene beneath him as well. “That boy is a good fighter. To be able to fight the prince alone like that”. He turned back to Sumaru, smirking. “You’d never have a chance against him”.

Ignoring the remark, Sumaru pressed on to more urgent matters.

“Six..”

“Yes, I’m Six”

“What are you doing here? I thought I.. I thought I killed you”. Xixas let out a soft sigh, but didn’t look away. Instead, he fell backwards to sit on the ground as well, eye level and a few feet away. “Straight to the gut, huh? I guess that’s just like you”. Xixas glanced at Sumaru, who looked like he was going to be sick.

“Joking, I’m joking! I guess that was in poor taste, hm? Well.. I wish I could tell you everything, but I can’t. I’m a little short on time. I don’t make the rules here”. He gestured behind him. Sumaru still couldn’t make out what was there, but he got the feeling maybe he didn’t want to know.

“Well, what can you tell me?”

“Mm.. I’ll be gone soon. This is the last time you’ll see me like this. I’m here at my own request, but I don’t have a lot of time. I needed to see you and a few other people before my time runs out”.

Sumaru, still unable to find the right words, just nodded.

“Look down. Right now, there are countless beings down there. Each one of them is a living, breathing person. Each one of those single people has their own story. Every one of them is somebody special and unique. They have people they are connected to in good ways and bad. . I wish I could tell you so much more about them. I wish I could teach you so much more about them, but.. Like I said”.

“You have to go”

“That is right" he said, nodding. "However, I still have something to do. Right now, that Chaser of Light, who’s name escapes me, is fighting against a man that could rip apart this entire continent if he wanted to. He’s a good fighter, but he lacks the means to defeat the prince. Hold out as long as he might, but he will fall. Anybody capable of standing up to the prince is either gone or, well. Gone”.

“What about Zechs? He was here earlier. I saw him going after the fourth king”.

“Zechs Renaurd had to leave the battlefield. The prince’s right hand man is currently more of a threat than the prince himself. In order to prevent the world from falling to Chaos, Zechs must go defeat him. That leaves.. You. As you are, you can’t defeat the man down there. No matter how much that Chaser weakens him, he’s several levels above you”.

With a mixture of anxiety and frustration, Sumaru curled his hands into fists. “I am sick of being weak whenever it matters. I want to be strong for once, Six. I wasn’t strong enough to help you, I wasn’t strong enough to help my race, I wasn’t strong enough to help..-” Before he could continue and lose himself in sorrow, Six put his hand on Sumaru’s shoulder.

A simple touch of the hand was clarifying. That small gesture shattered the dismay in his mind. It was an anchor. It was assurance. Xixas Averall, the Ghost of Steppes and strongest in Ire. He really was here. There was no illusion or dream. With that touch, it was clear. Sumaru, his body now nearly healed, he place his weight onto his hands and pulled himself up, standing on hit feet. Xixas followed suit.

“I don’t know what to do, Six.. I felt as if I had lost myself. I lost everything.. Everyone. And it’s all my fault. What do I do..?”

“Well, I think that’s exactly what you need to be doing”

Sumaru paused, so Xixas continued.

“Asking yourself what you can do. If you couldn’t accept what you had done, if you couldn’t realize you need to do something to make things right, everything would be lost. But, you can see it. You know you have to do something. Right now, you need to start with fixing what you broke. Making amends for what you did. Making things right. Do you think you can do that?”

“I- I don’t have anything, Six--”

“Sumaru, that is exactly the point! That is who you are! That is what you are! Ever since I have known you. You began with nothing. You were nothing. Nothingness is your genesis, your starting point. But, not long after, you had everything. You had friends, you had a home, you had power, and respect, and a position in the kingdom. You had it. Now, you’re back to nothing. You have nothing and are nothing again. Sumaru”.

Xixas stared the boy dead in the eye.

“But now you have a chance. Now you have a chance to get everything back, now you have a chance to get more than what you had and to become more than what you were. Do not sit around, giving in to despair and weakness. Be strong, be the man I trained you to be. Be a man Concuclare can be proud of. Most of all, be somebody you are happy being. Whoever that is. I want you to take all of your sadness, all of your rage, all of your misery, all of your loss, and I want you to stop fighting it. You need to accept everything, Sumaru. You need to feel what you’ve said and done, and from there, I want you to be strong enough to move forward, in spite of everything”.

“You will have time to grieve properly for what you have lost. In due time. But for now, you have to take the first step moving forward and becoming somebody more.. Do you think you can do that, Sumaru Amaya?”

It wasn’t a warmth he felt. It wasn’t calming or soothing. Xixas’ words had wound their way into his soul and made something there, filled something that was once hollow with a placeholder. In the time he could make, Sumaru decided he would fill that placeholder with a life worth living to him. No matter the cost.

“I think.. Yeah, I think I can. I know I did a lot of bad things, and I know I majorly fucked up, but you’re right. I can’t let it eat me. I have to make up for what I did. At the very least”.

Xixas gave a smile/frown that was more of a smile than a frown. “I suppose that’ll do”.

“However, we’re still left with quite a big obstacle” he stated, looking down at the incredibly massive amounts of sentient flesh and bone that assaulted the Chaser, who was still managing somehow through a flurry of blinking and agility. “You have to take him down”.

“But you said I can’t fight him.”


“True. You can’t. If it were me, I could probably defeat him if I gave it my all”.

“Really?”

“Yes. But obviously, I can’t do it myself.”

“But then how can I-”

“Let me fight him.”

Sumaru, appearing taken back and confused, earned a laugh from Xixas that shook his shoulder quietly.

“What?”

“Sumaru” Xixas called. He gripped the boy’s shoulder tight, and with his left hand, moved to give the boy something. As he moved his hand, his hands gripped around a long black staff with countless knicks and chips on the metal. Sumaru opened his hand and Xixas placed the staff-- the catalyst of his signature, in the vampire’s hands.

“Let me fight him. Alongside you, in whatever way I can. I, we, will watch your back this day”. The scythe handle glowed silver with a faint light. The silver aura fused with black smoke that extended from where the scythe blade should be and it entered Sumaru’s body. He felt..


---


Zechs used his one remaining wing to take the blow, sending him flying. Arturia, without a shield of her own, took far more damage as she hit the wall, crumpling. Zechs’s wing shattered into fragments of ice that quickly began to fade. However, the dance had yet to end. He thrust his dragon’s maw forward and it whipped around, malleable as it moved to bite the cord on the magic being’s back. Hex Ender raked his hand with a talon of fire and crushed the ice. Zechs, having already formed two new wings of the Glacial Dragon, flew into the air. He sent in a spray of frost, following with a stab of his sword at the cable. Hex blew away the frost with Wind magic and barely had enough force to move Zechs’’ sword off balance. It grazed the man’s shoulder and drew what could not be described as blood anymore. Ichor was more accurate. Saber, having picked herself back up, had less injury than another fighter would have taken. Her natural Magic resistance was a feat in its own right and had saved her this day. She moved with striking speed, jumping to Hex with a circular swing of her sword. Zechs followed up with one of his own and Hex raised both hands, covered in Steel and stone to defend himself. He erupted the palms of his hands with magma, forcing both fighters to retreat.

“This is going on too long. We have to cut that cable before he finished merging with the Realm”.

Saber did not voice her agreement, but Zechs knew she was well aware.

“Are you able to unleash your blade, Saber?”

“Not yet, king Renaurd. I need time”

“Understood”.

“You have no time, children. You have only magic, death, and oblivion in front of you”.

Zechs extended his hand to the sky. “Then I’ll have to make time”.

“Frozen Heavens.. Hundred Flower Funeral”


A crack in the sky, and quickly, clouds began to form using the magic provided by Zechs. Before Hex could destroy the clouds with a blast of wind or fire, Saber was already behind him, leaping upward with an uppercut slash toward the cord. Prioritizing the cord and his merging with the Realm, Hex abandoned his attempt at countering the clouds and turned to Saber. Several tree roots erupted from below. They hurtled toward Saber and grasped at her. She escaped with minimal injury, as the roots of magic had been mitigated by her resistance. Still, it had begun to take a toll on her.

“Saber!” Zechs shouted as he sprinted across the bubble, sword held behind him. “Begin to unleash your blade.. I will cover you”.

She wasted no time arguing. Saber positioned her low, sword in front of her, and quickly began to be bathed in light. Hex turned toward the girl, erupting a thrashing maw of rushing water toward her, highly pressurized. Zechs intercepted, clashing against the geyser with Arondight covered in permafrost. He barely managed to hold on, grunting with effort as he repelled the blast. Finally, the snow began to fall. As Hex had begun to cast another spell, a snowflake fell on his arm. In an instant, it expanded into thick ice and held firm!

Hex smashed the connected ice with a flaming hand, but quickly found the weight of another on his shoulder. Another on his head, another thick assault of ice on his leg, chest, it was unstopped!

Hex let out a roar, followed by area-wide blasts of fire and lightning. He tossed blasts into the sky, occasionally finding shattering ice on his body and he swat at it with displeasure. Saber continued to hold firm as her sword had begun to glow. Zechs sent an array of ice toward the man in the form of powerful projectiles. He dodged blasts of lightning capable of reducing buildings to rubble. He intercepted fire and water explosives that could end battles. The Dragon of Glaciers took to the air and began an offense. He slashed downward with a helmbreaker but Hex countered with an Ice shield of his own. However, the true king was already forming another attack. He twisted his body and aerial momentum to circle slash at the man’s head, his blade meeting a barrier of sand. Zechs found himself gaining ground on his adversary. Perhaps Hex Ender was tiring? As Zechs dodged to the man’s left side, he saw exactly why. He was only using one hand.. His left was limp at his side, his fingers clawing out. By now, Saber was just enough ready to unleash her legendary sword’s power, but.. It was there! Hex Ender’s left hand was attached to a thin tree root that snaked along the ground, hidden by the intense light Saber gave off. It wrapped around her ankle and yanked hard enough to crush her balance. Saber fell to the floor and was quickly dragged along it. She was pulled too Hex Ender, upside down as he dangled her there.

“Saber, do it NOW!”
Zechs commanded, and as Saber moved to unleash her shining blade, Hex Ender was already moving to stop her. Despite her speed, Hex Ender had enchanted his own body with the increase of agility offered by many various Magicks of Light, Body, and Mentality moments ago.

With a quick and brutal thrust, his hand and arm stabbed into Saber’s stomach and erupted outside of her back.

Her eyes went wide, the blood forced up through her body escaping through her mouth. Hex Ender twisted his arm, pulled it out with Saber’s cry of agony and threw her body to the floor with a brutal thump. Zechs cursed, but moved in to take advantage of the moment to swing at the exposed cord and-- Hex Ender caught Zechs’s sword mid-swing, using the enhanced strength and endurance of Body magic to do so. He sneered a grin and pushed him away as if it were nothing.

“Now, your little fly has been swatted. It is your turn to join her as a mangled mess on the floor, king Renaurd”.

Zechs, breathing heavily and under the strain of Time Alter and various wounds, fell to one knee. He held himself aloft with his sword.

“I welcome you to the after life, Z-”

“Ex...”

Saber lifted herself half off the floor, her sword still shining with a golden light. It swirled around her, as if the very world itself yearned to join together inside of her blade. The wind cycloned at her feet, and she barely had enough time to bring her left hand to grip the handle.

Hex intook a breath but wasted not a moment sending barrage of Darkness her way.

“Excalibur!”




Glass shattered.

Sumaru Amaya, scythe of the Ghost in hand, descended to the earth below him in a free fall. His mind clear, his body healed, and his soul at stable peace. Below him, Sidus barely alive, stood. He was covered in blood that matted the white of his hair and his garbs. He was ridden with various wounds, some of which might have been lethal. He panted heavily, each breath labored and pained.

He intook air and let out blood.

In one hand, his sword, the other rest on his side, attempting to hold the blood inside his body. His sheath lie somewhere far away after it was tossed away. However, despite everything, Sidus still smiled.

“I guess it’s about that time, boy”
Sidus mocked. He put his sword in both hands, shaking with effort. The Fourth King stood tall. Appearing undisturbed. “The mewling of a dead man do not concern me. I wish you peace within the Kraken”.

Sidus let out a laugh, followed by a cough, but then continued to chuckle. “I’ve done all I can. I hope it was enough, my friend”. Sidus, using the last of his Reign of the Night Sky’s strength, vanished with an audible “ping!” as he blinked somewhere far, far away before collapsing from exhaustion, pain, and blood loss. Whether he would survive was unknown and unlikely.

“What a coward. I will hunt him and his kind very soon, however”. The boy was strong, the Fourth King could admit. His speed and agility were not what he expected. Even the Kraken at its fullest had a hard time keeping his buzzing in check. Still, no match for himself, he thought. However, he could not ignore the deep slices on his side, his left arm, and even his cheek.

“You are the one being hunted now”
a voice of fortitude concluded.

“Wh-” the King began, but..

A long staff of black metal slammed down onto the king’s head, throwing him face first into the mud with an audible splatter. Sumaru fell to the earth and landed on his feet, cracking the scythe’s staff over the top of the fourth king’s head and sending him into the soil.

Sumaru gathered himself and paced, slowly, casually, a few feet away before turning to face the Fourth King. He lie stunned, but quickly recovered. He lifted himself with his arms. Stared at the ground. He looked up, his eyes wide, his front soaked in mud. His pupils dilated, and the Kraken shuddered beneath the earth. He moved to his feet and stood, eyes still open and wide. A look of both shock, hatred, and lethal fury.

“I am going to kill you” he whispered softly. The Kraken’s tentacles wriggled in place and the chorus of a million bodies sounded once more. It did not matter how the boy was alive. The Fourth King knew that bastard Sev had done as much. Still, it changed little. The boy delivered himself to the King and he would not escape again. All he had to do now was kill him.

Sumaru spun the staff of the scythe once in one hand and positioned himself. Slowly, with a sound of severed existence, the blade of the scythe emerged, and Sumaru was now wielding the Scythe of the Ghost in truth.

And thus, the battle begun.

Endless tendrils fired at him with enough speed and power to crumble the earth around them like brittle bread, but Sumaru could see them move with relative ease. He sliced one, severing it completely. He leapt out of the way of another, cut another, felled another, each one dropped to the earth like dying flies. Using Xixas’ Seventh Sense ability, he could see everything in slow motion. The king’s cold fury, the ninety-eight tentacles firing at him this very second, and exactly the steps and motions required to deal with all of them. Sumaru dashed out of the spot he was in and clashed against the tendrils, now armoured with bone. However, it did not matter. The scythe ran through them with zero resistance. He severed three with one swing of the scythe and pushed forward to meet the king. The vampire boy spun a full circle to reap the protective limbs around the king who roared defiantly as the Kraken was toyed with. Sumaru jumped upward with the scythe aimed at the king’s neck, and then he--

Zechs clashed against Ender’s steel weapons that floated above.

Clash

clang

shink!

A constant barrage of arms as Zechs flew around Hex Ender’s left flank. Hex super charged each weapon with lightning and fired them again. Zechs dodged the first with a spin, knocked a large battleaxe out of the air, and narrowly deflected the stab of a long rapier, which he batted away. Ice continued to fall, grabbing on to Hex’s body, and every time he attempted to destroy the clouds, Zechs’s offense grew many times over to keep them in the air.

Half of Hex Ender’s body was still damaged. After Saber managed to release her full power Excalibur, her wounds forced her to vanish. However, the blast was so immensely powerful, it managed to overwhelm Hex for just a moment and severely sear half of his body, including half of his face. The magic devouring blasts of darkness he fired probably saved his life by a narrow margin.

Zechs twisted once, avoiding the pillars of fire that erupted below. Ten, twenty, now thirty explosive pillars chased after him. One of them managed to knick his wing, but ever the experienced fighter, Zechs used the momentum of flight loss to deliver a thrust of his ice dragon’s claw at Hex. Just as Hex Ender moved to defend himself, a tiny snowflake fell on his nose and erupted into a blast of ice giving the time and distraction required for the claw hooked around Hex’s leg. Zechs jumped and used the force of his good wing to push forward, following the claw that ripped into Hex’s leg. Zechs, reached Hex face to face just as the removed the ice. Zechs, a look of cold determination so close, was shocking. He lifted Arondight and moved to--

Sumaru barely managed to avoid the Kraken’s latest attack at the last moment, using Xycroxis’ enhanced strength to kick off a tentacle just as several claws of pure bone erupted from the earth to skewer him. Now, the fourth king was surrounded in what looked like a rib cage of massive, rotted bone. Sumaru slammed the scythe downward, defending against two more talons. He jumped to the left, raking the scythe along the ground to sever one of the more massive tentacles of gray flesh and blood. It fell to the earth with a heavy thud, as this tentacle was easily the size of a cargo spice ship. As Sumaru decapitated each tentacle, he noticed something. Whenever a tentacle was sliced by the scythe, the cut ends stopped moving. They did not sink back into the earth to join the Kraken and the cut tentacles did not regrow!

With an understanding smirk, Sumaru silently thanked his long time mentor and leader for his assistance. With an aerial dive, the scythe stabbed into the first of the rib cage bones that protected the king. It severed it like butter as expected, but the king had already begun moving.

It was a trap! Ten tentacles erupted at the same time, covering Sumaru in a complete and total sphere and moved to crush him inside. However, with a quick infinity slash, he severed the tentacles before finding himself locked in. He jabbed the edge of the scythe forward to catch the remaining defending tentacle and moved back in, and then the king drew his sword, one capable of draining the magic of whatever the blade touches. With a laugh, he thrust it forward to clash with the problematic scythe, intent on crushing the magic in the weapon entirely, but Sumaru, unaware of the sword’s properties, moved to clash in return, and then--

Zechs was once again forced back by the display of pure, raw magic Hex had under his control. Telling by how the cord was glowing, it was almost time. Zechs met a barrage of explosive graviton blasts with several ice projectiles of his own. He then stabbed the sword into the earth, entering a golden rippling portal once again. Hex sneered, intent on stopping Zechs from another summoning, erected a titanic stone pillar to fall directly over him. “It does not matter how many slaves you summon, no matter what armies you create! I am your god! You are nothing to me”. However, it was too late to stop him.

“I summon you, the first and original King of Heroes! The power of Eiyuu Ou resides with you, great king”. In a summoning flash of light, a tall, powerful young man dressed entirely in gold stood with his arms crossed, expression both bored and amused at the same time.

“A rare time when a man as cold as you calls upon the aid of his king, Renaurd”.

With a gasp of effort in deflecting a massive stone pillar, Zechs breathed heavily, his vision swimming. “Oh great.. King of heroes. I beseech your strength. I ask of this, great king. Crush this entity who calls himself your god. Smite the pretenders, King of Heroes”.

“This fool proclaims himself a god? Inconsequential drivel. It pains me to see this rabid dog still breathing. Very well, Renaurd. I will assist you for a brief time”.

Zechs, despite everything, smiled the smallest bit. He could end this fight now..

“I’m going!” and he launched himself forward again, both wings beating furiously and several floating shields of ice in front of him. One shattered from a blast of lightning, another defended against a hammer of steel and rock. Zechs threw his hand forward in an attempt to grab Hex, but Hex clamped his own hand down on Zechs’s arm with enough force to shatter bone. However, the second his grasp landed, a bullet of pure gold separated Hex’s hand from his body, sparing Zechs from the damage. Hex let out a cry of disbelief as he stared at the new annoyance; a man dressed completely in gold with hair a matching colour and eyes as crimson as hell. However, just as quickly as it was taken, Hex Ender’s hand began to grow anew from Body magic. A multitude of floating, rippling golden portals were behind him and the new arrival, this “King of Heroes”, was smiling as if none of this mattered to him at all. Hex Ender glared with a hateful trance, emitting a miasma of heavily potent negative energy and Emotion magic through excess Mentality. The Eiyuu Ou lifted his chin, looking down at the glowing figure of magic. The storm of negative, maddening emotion blew like a gust into the golden king.. and it did not affect him in the slightest.

“Who gave you permission to look upon me.. rabid dog”. An array of rippling, golden portals opening above and beyond the king’s flanks, a touch of silver and black emitting from each of them in the shape of ornately decorated weaponry. The wall of weapons turned to angle themselves directly at Hex’s body.

“May your death provide me with a modicum of entertainment. Mongrel”.

The Gate of Babylon fired a merciless ensemble of golden missiles, all within a single moment, the calmness of the bubble had become a storm of steel and gold.



The Scythe of the ghost phased through the fourth king’s sword, passing through like the phantom of its name with a high, audible screeching as the magic of the king’s blade was ripped apart. The fourth king, expecting nothing of the kind, had no time to avoid the slice as it angled itself downward.

Noticing the ethereal blade much too late, the Fourth King kept the momentum in his sword swing and leaned in in an attempt to decapitate the boy and--

Suddenly felt much lighter.

The Fourth King blinked, lacking the instant realization of what had just happened. He dropped back and stepped into the safety of the bone cage which now rooted upward to surround him. Sumaru Amaya, a look of calm on his face, only stared back. Following his gaze, the fourth king slowly glanced down, and found his sword nowhere in sight. In fact, when he reached up to hold his sword in front of him, there was nothing but a perfectly flat stump. He looked up, glancing at where he had just clashed moments before and saw his sword.

It lie on the floor, stained red by a forming pool of red. His hand, wrist, and most of his right arm lie with it, on the floor, unmoving. He began to breathe heavily now, gripping the stump of his right arm with his left, squeezing as hard as he could to stop the bleeding. It began to pool at his feet and the fourth king let out a low moan of panic.

Sumaru, seeming content, only watched.

With a strangled shout, the fourth king slammed the stump of his arm onto the floor as he fell to his knees. In desperate response, the Kraken reached up to its lord and swarmed the bleeding stump. After a short, bloody cry of agony and despair, the fourth king staggered to his feet, his eyes locked onto the vampire boy as if his arm no longer pained him. A cap of black and gray rotting bone covered the flat of his severed arm, holding in his life blood.

Thump

It could be felt under the earth just by standing. A single, heavy shaking under the earth that lasted for only a moment. It felt like the connection of planets, the force was so great. Sumaru shot a glance downward, but found nothing. The tentacles of flesh writhing around had slowed and become lethargic. They no longer moved with threats to assault him at any moment. Instead, they slowly began to recede under the earth.

“You’ve run out of time. It’s over now. Everything is over” the fourth king informed him, his left hand still gripping the covered stump of his right.

“Did you hear that? Did you feel it?” The king let out a low, cackling laugh that sounded satisfied. “That was the Kraken. The main body of the Kraken has returned from opening the gate of the Ether, meaning the Realm of Magic is almost mine, and the Kraken is whole again”.

“You’ve even less of a chance than a snowflake in hell now, you worthless filth. You have been combating only a third of what the Kraken is capable of”. He extended his arms outward in grandeur. “I will watch as you die now”.

“You won’t be getting anything”.

The king only raised an eyebrow.

“The Ether. It’s not going to belong to you. Zechs Renaurd, the Dragon Glaciers is already there now, disposing of whoever you sent to do your bidding. After I deal with you, I intend on getting out of here before Zechs gets back. He’s not the kind of person anybody here will be able to handle”.

“Ahh, yes. The king of sanc. His weak band of mercenaries who now bend their knee to me. I was not impressed by his display of strength. He showed promise for a single instant, but it must have been my imagination. Do you honestly think that weak human has a chance against somebody harnessing the entire realm of magic, alone?”

Sumaru shook his head, expression somber. “If there’s one thing I know about Zechs.. It’s that he’s never alone. And today--” Sumaru lifted the scythe of a Ghost into a combat stance. “Neither am I”.

He charged.



A large, thin aerial craft flew with unmatched speed to curve a turn of the bubble’s ceiling. Each of the lightning/steel projectiles that fired at the vessel were intercepted by barriers around it. They clashed in a shower of sparks and dissolved into pure magic. As the Eiyuu Ou flew, he fired a cascade of his own golden weapons back.

“Hmph, it seems Renaurd was right. This poor fool is a pretender. He plays at being a god, and even bows knee to a false king? Sniveling worm”.

Zechs, lower in the air, pumped his wings upward and sliced at the cord in what felt like the millionth attempt. Like all the others, Zechs was repelled at the last moment by a phantom copy of Hex Ender shaped of pure Light, blinding and blasting him back. However, Zechs did not lose his momentum. He rocketed upward and returned for another heavy slash downward. Another clone of Light was there to meet him and Zechs thrust his sword downward to fell the solid imagery.

He dropped down to the floor of the bubble, surrounded once more by the endless army of Light soldiers. They moved to pounce, but several of them dissolved into magic as a blast of golden weaponry smote them from the world. Zechs, not wasting a moment, swung his sword in an arc on the opposite side, evaporating another wave.

He was airborne again in that instant and was up high enough just in time to catch a ride on the Vessel of a King in the air. He stood on shaky feet as the Eiyuu Ou looked at him from his throne with a belittling look, eyebrow raised as if to say “How dare you step aboard my ship”.

“Eiyuu Ou..”

Hex Ender had almost completely merged with the Realm of Magic. His strength grew by the second and he had nearly enough power to rip the magick from a person’s body. He would savor the moment of watching Zechs Renaurd die in such a brutal and painful way.

With a clawing hand angled downward, he moved to strike the flying bird from the air. A storm of lightning fired downward on the ship with no warning, each bolt on a level of raw power comparable to the blast of light fired from that girl’s sword earlier. His body still stung from that but it only served to fuel his will. In only a few moments, the merge would be complete. Hex Ender counted the seconds… And there were only a few of them left.

The crash of lightning struck the aircraft directly and it erupted into a blast of emerald and gold magick. The golden one leapt off, his two swords unsheathed from his back and Zechs flying directly at him with Arondight positioned defensively in front of him. Hex need only push the fools back a little longer and victory would be his, as it should be. The Devoid reached out and grabbed the magick around him, forming a momentary barrier around his body and the cord that tied him to Magick. However, just as the two kings moved to strike, they passed by each other in front of Hex’s barrier and went behind him.

-I must not have left a section of cord exposed..?!-


He released his barrier with jetfire erupting in his hands just as--

Sumaru avoided a literal mountain of bone that moved to crash down on him, but quickly found his leg in the grasp of a net-like tentacle. He slashed at it once, but as he did, more tendrils rose up to keep him rooted. Before he could manage to escape, a large, toothy maw of corrupted flesh and bone rose around him from the ground to consume him. It opened around him to bite and swallow and Sumaru had no way out. He sliced at the net-like vines but more and more were ripped from the soil to keep him in check while the beast moved to devour him whole.

The mouth closed its maw with Sumaru inside and quickly began to crush itself from the inside, attempting to mash the boy into nothingness.

In that moment, Sumaru slipped through the tentacles and passed the maw of flesh and teeth back outside. His body, invisible for just a moment, now became tangible. He had simply walked out of the beast’s maw unscathed but..

Oh!

“That was.. Six’s Phase ability..” Sumaru told himself, half in disbelief, the other half in swarming relief. It warmed him to know that whatever the situation, he could always rely on the help of those at his back.

However, the Fourth King was having no more of it. The moment Sumaru escaped, another forest of bone stabbed upward from the earth, several thin spears erupting upward in an attempt to skewer him. Within the jungle of corpse, Sumaru danced. He stepped in the small, untouched crevasses and spun the scythe in a quick circle, severing bone from bone without the slightest hint of resistance. He stepped onto a flat section of severed bone that extended from the ground and jumped off it it, unfurling his wings of shadow. He flew through a frenzy of assault from the Kraken’s infinite limbs, dodging to the left with the scythe making quick work of whatever sprout up in his way. His wings dissolved at his will and he dropped downward toward the cage of bone the fourth king was holed up in. Sumaru let loose a blast of darkness from his throat to shatter the hut, but it did not break. He landed on the roof of the cage and stabbed downward with the tip of the scythe. He raked it across the top to create an opening for himself where he jumped down into where the king stood.

He attacked ferociously, a gnarled dagger of bone in his hand as he went to gut the vampire boy. As he did, a puddle of flesh formed at the boy’s feet and glued him to the earth.

“You have no place in this world, you scum.. Just do your duty and die!”


Sumaru jabbed at the king with the butt of the scythe staff and it knocked onto his chin, stunning him for just a moment. Sumaru stabbed the back edge of the scythe on the flesh pool and ripped his feet from the bindings, but he found the attempt to move his feet left him in agony. Sumaru glanced down at his feet and found them heavily ripped and torn from the flesh pool of teeth with several blades of bone still extending him his legs and feet. The fourth king, having recovered, moved in to finish the fight.

Sumaru, feeling panic, attempted to move. However, he found his feet would no longer respond to him. He fell to his knees, swinging the scythe in an arc to catch the king, but he ducked under the swipe and stabbed downward with his knife from impossibly close, directly at Sumaru’s eye socket.

--

Hex Ender had won.

Their attempt at flanking him had ended in failure. Both of the men, especially Zechs, had run out of stamina by this point and were unable to properly counter the explosive jetfire he had sent their way. Zechs lie on the ground below, breathing softly and slowly. But not for long. The golden king was in Hex Ender’s grasp. He held the Eiyuu Ou by his neck, but the king’s look of dominant fury was almost surprising in its intensity.

“This is what it feels like”
he said to the kings. “This is what it feels like to defy the world. What it means to defy god”. His grip on the man’s throat tightened as he prepared to finish him.

“Do you understand now? You have seconds.. Mere SECONDS before the Ether is mine. Can you move? Could you possibly stop what is truth? What is to be?”.

Zechs, on the floor, could only hear buzzing and muffled laughter. His sword lie in his limp hand, his body aching in truth now. He barely had enough energy to stay conscious, but….

“You are the cause of all of this..”


Hex Ender peered down, his hand still crushing the throat of the Heroic Spirit. “What did you say?”

“You and your king.. You are the cause of all of this”. Zechs shuddered as he brought his body to bear its own weight, lifting with all of his strength just to stand up.

One more time.

“War. The pain, the loss. Words mean nothing in war. Friendship, family. They are nothing anymore because of what you did to our land”.

“And what claim do you have on this world, human? You are the lowest possible being. When did you think to take claim of a throne? Your leadership is weak, flawed. You left your entire army. Your “friends and family” are dying or dead because you left them. What kind of fools ever agreed to make you leader of a nation. You’re nothing more than a boy”

Zechs, still strained by the weight of his own life, actually nodded. “You’re right. My leadership is weak. I never wanted to be a king”.

Hex Ender grinned maliciously. “And you--”

“And you see. That’s exactly why I have to be a king. My friends, who are my brothers and sisters and arms, they put me here. The citizens of Sanc, they placed a crown on my head and named me king”.

“Then they are fools”


“They are my family. Every citizen of Sanc, every mercenary, every living being is a part of the nation as I am a part of it too. We have gone through many levels of hell together, and I never boasted my leadership or ability. In fact, even now, I doubt myself on a daily basis on whether or not I’m making the right choice..”

Zechs stood up, shoulders squared. Blood ran over his left eye, blinding it. Black bruises covered his body, his ripped and torn armoured garbs did nothing now to block the gashes that bled openly or the damaged pieces of his body that may or may not ever heal.

“But, no matter what I think, and no matter what I say to myself, one thing is never going to change. I am the King of Sanc, and I have a nation to protect from threats like you. They all believe in what I am, and what I can do. I did not leave my men and women to die. Even now, we fight on the same battlefield, shedding the same blood. We fight under the same sky. For that is what it means to be a part of a nation. If they put their faith in me..”

Zechs readied his blade in a defensive stance, his one remaining wing readied itself to move.

“Then I will put my faith in them. Eiyuu Ou!”

Hex, originally moving his hand to smite the king of ice with lightning, found himself turning his head to the king of gold.

He smiled at Hex Ender with the cockiest, most condescending look imaginable, just as he thrust his hand outward, it was swallowed by a portal of rippling gold. From it he pulled out the decorated end of a thin, golden chain.

“Restrain this mongrel”

Hex Ender released the king to cast a defensive spell, but found it was already too late. A portal had appeared behind him, and another on his side, another above, another, and another, and another until endless portals surrounded the being of magick just inside of his closest spell range.

“Enkidu!”

A swarm of chains fired with an audible rush of clanking gold, and Hex Ender only managed to bat away a few before they covered him. Some stabbed into his body like hood while others wrapped around his arms, his legs, torso, around his neck, hands, and feet until we was completely bound.

“What is this?! My magick--”

Zechs thrust all of his strength into this jump, using his crumbling wing of the Dragon of Glaciers for one last attack. He angled his sword for the cord as he approached and Hex, flying though a blur of speed and will power. Hex, managing to cast a following spell with his remaining ability, released a physical blast of Pure energy at Zechs’s hands and blade. At this distance, there was absolutely no way for Zechs to defend against the blast without retreating.

However, Zechs did not pull back. He released his grip on Arondight and allowed the Pure energy to blast the sword away. Zechs used the momentum of his jump to fly directly into Hex Ender, and knocked into him. He placed his left foot on a chain restraining Hex’s body and used his left hand to grip the Devoid’s shoulder.

Hex Ender stared into the man’s cold gaze, the colour of his eyes bright and rigid. The expression on Zechs’s face, one of unperturbed completion. The look in his eyes froze him more deeply than any ice could have. With his right hand, Zechs reached around Hex Ender and gripped firmly onto the cord tying him to the Ether realm of Magic.

And he pulled as hard as he could.

The cord snapped silently, followed by a pop! as buckets of liquid magic ichor escaped the host of Hex's body.. and instantly, they were falling. Having lost control of the wind currents that held him aloft, Hex could not sustain himself in the air.

With a thud, all of them landed hard onto the ground, a crack sounding as Zechs’s head banged against it. The Chains of Enkidu had already released by then, as the King of Heroes himself had drained his repertoire.

Without a further word, Zechs stared into the eyes of Hex Ender as both men lie broken on the surface. His chest was heavy and he could no longer move. Despite everything, he was finished. Zechs only waited until the tides of darkness took him. Whether he awake soon or never again, his body could not argue anymore. Hex opened his mouth to speak, but found only air. His body released a final moaning breath before crumbling into a pile of white ash.

And the remains sunk away into the realm of magic.



The dagger had only narrowly moved off course as Sumaru kicked upward into the king’s stomach, ignoring the stabbing pains from his ravaged legs. The dagger caught the edge of his left eye, raking down and severing flesh. Sumaru cried out in pain as he lost vision, the eye now swimming in a pool of blood. The king rolled on the floor and lifted himself.

Sumaru swung outward with the scythe again, catching the edge of the cage in an attempt to create an opening to maneuver out somehow. His blade began to slice the bone cage just as the fourth king kicked the scythe’s base, attempting to knock it out of the boy’s hands, and almost succeeded. Sumaru grabbed at the base of the scythe with both hands and pulled it back into his grip, slamming the butt of the weapon once more at the king, jabbing it into his stomach. The king, this time, yanked a bone from the earth which quickly shaped into a sword. Sumaru raised the scythe to deflect the blade with the staff, finding the bone cage around them too close and small to properly wield the weapon.

Sumaru began to panic under the assault. He couldn’t move and his body was quickly losing a lot of blood. But he couldn’t..

The fourth king, still thriving full of energy and desire to kill, was nowhere near finished. He slammed the sword downward, and as Sumaru blocked, the king slammed his foot down on Sumaru’s torn apart leg, earning a howl of agony from the boy as the bone shards were stabbed deeper into his body.

Sumaru

He couldn’t do anything anymore. Sumaru, with a heavy body, lifted the scythe and..

He dropped it, and he let it fall to the ground. The blade of the scythe extinguished itself, and the fourth king rushed in to take the final chance at victory.

I already told you, didn't I?


Sumaru raised his hand in front of his body, an open palm, looking as if to desperately defend himself from the king’s blade.

We're with you. To see this through to the end.


A cloud of black smoke formed in the boy’s hand, quickly taking tangible shape and form as the world felt like it had begun to slow.

You're not alone anymore

He felt it then. A hand on his shoulder, and the presence of another behind him. One cold and comfortable, the other warm and meaningful. He need not look to know who was with him in those final seconds.

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PostSubject: Re: The Fourth King Arc III Part II   Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:22 pm

The king swung his blade down toward the crown of Sumaru’s head just as boy with a dark heart turned burning, lifted the weapon now shaped in his hand.

Held comfortably in Sumaru’s grip with a weightless handle of whispers, was a black revolver, flintlock pistol. He raised it, he aimed carefully, and he fired.

..

A shock of noise was the last sound heard in the world for the great king of Regnum as a black bullet shot through his forehead and he fell to the ground, unmoving, unbreathing, unthinking. And as he landed on the floor, something beneath the earth died with him, the mass of titanic life and death slowing its force of resistance until it ceased to be entirely.

And together, and Kraken and the corpse of the Fourth King were swallowed by the planet itself.

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The Fourth King Arc III Part II
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