“You are under arrest mage, come peacefully.” The Slayer announced, as a couple city guard aided the private guards in carrying off the slaver, who was still shouting incoherently…
The wyvern took this occasion to glide off and out of the way…
“Arrest?” Erik asked, his lips trembling as he grinned out of fury. “You wish to cage me?” He asked, clenching his fists.
All guards took an unconscious step back as the mage’s mana leaked out unrestrained, tendrils of misty blue energy forming out of his surroundings. “Don’t make any more trouble.” The Slayer sighed, unimpressed by the light show.
Erik chuckled, “You waltz about wearing their skin, but you are nothing more than a foolish and lost lamb.” he spoke, mana infusing his voice as he did his best to restrain himself.
The guards glanced at their ranking officer, each of them paling. The Slayer stepped forward, lowering his halberd into a two-handed grip. “Ohohohoho, now you’ve said it.” The man chuckled, “Stand back, I’ll deal with this buffoon.”
“Klein!” Thea exclaimed as she appeared out of the building alongside Kayle, Simon, Nerick and two others.
“I’m dealing with something here…” Klein grumbled, “Thea? You’re alive?” then surprised, as he glanced back at them.
Thea stopped next to the surrounding city guard, seeing the scene before her she had a good guess at what had occurred. She glanced in between an annoyed Slayer and a very pissed off drake. The others couldn’t sense it but she very much felt it, Erik’s bloodlust was on the verge of exploding.
She needed to cool down the situation, before a second legendary disaster occurred right in the middle of Druvia’s capital. She saluted to keep up appearances, the other three following suit. “Marquis Major Bjorn Klein, this is…Erik Fireborn, mage, hermit and expert demonologist. He…he saved what remains of my platoon and Beckton village.”
Klein hummed in thought, “Did he now?” at that moment three bodies fell from the sky, Splattering on the ground between Erik and the Marquis. The slaver’s three guards. “I’m afraid this is an international crime now. Politically speaking, Colonel, I should execute this man where he stands.”
Thea’s expression paled as she stared at the three splattered suits of armour, their bodies mangled beyond recognition. “I-”
“Not to mention, this maggot dared insult my family relic.” Klein turned to face Erik once more, noticing that the mage’s eyes were closed as his fists trembled. He raised a brow at this, he did not sense chanting so what was-
“Maggot?…” Erik spoke, his voice permeating the air, ever-present across the entire district. With his lost temper, his draconic voice came out. He opened his eyes, to most they were still deep blue but to Thea and the Dark elves, they were blazing gold. “Dare? Oh the hypocrisy, you ‘dare’ wear…that, and announce it as some trophy? Then I dare?…”
Thea was frozen, suffocated by the fury she felt flowing out of Erik. She knew now that nothing she said could stop him, he was completely out of control.
Klein snorted in amusement, “You think some parlour tricks will scare me off, kid?” he stomped his right foot forward, as his entire suit of armour went ablaze. “Hermit ey? Here’s the grand tour of the capital then, it starts with a bloody and thorough beating by yours truly.”
“Dragon’s swoop.” Klein chanted, his entire form bursting forwards as an explosion of flame began forming at the tip of his weapon. Erik did not move, and Klein only smiled as he slashed his halberd through him then into the ground. The explosion expanding upwards then turning into a rotating pillar of flames.
Klein chuckled as he backed off, “All talk?” he said with a grin. Until the pillar of flames faded, seeing no charred corpse within his expression went through several changes. From confusion, as he could not find Erik.
“You…even make a mockery of the magic?” Erik hissed, Klein’s face turning to surprise as he sensed the mage standing behind him. “Let me show you, true magic.” Erik said, “The wing beat makes all flyers scatter, the rumble makes thunder ashamed, and the roar freezes all in its step. Draconic School; Dragon’s Swoop.” before suddenly chanting so quickly that Klein only had time to be horrified, he was casting his same spell?
Erik’s entire body burst aflame, his fist clenched, a crimson blaze forming about his knuckles. Erik turned, his fist rising towards the turning Slayer who raised his halberd’s blade between him and the mage. “Barrier!” Klein quickly chanted, forming a wall of raw mana between him and the attack.
Erik’s crimson fist collided with the barrier, exploding outwards and sending a continuous wave of flames all about them. The barrier wasn’t holding though, slowly cracking while Erik’s fist moved in deeper every passing moment, the flames becoming fiercer by the second.
“Bless me with your power, for I beseech you for your favour! Aid this sheep oh great Shepperd! Holy Text; Protection of the Holywater!” Klein chanted, as he watched his barrier of mana slowly fall apart. Then suddenly regenerate, as the mana turned into an immaculate bubble of water.
The two of them stared at each other through the main collision point, a hole where the two spells completely countered each other, cancelling out the elements and colliding only through raw mana. Steam burst out from the collision point of the two spells, as water flowed all about Klein, fighting back the fierce golden flames that continuously surged out from around Erik’s fist.
The two spells seemed equal, but Erik was losing ground. Klein was physically stronger, as he walked forward, struggling somewhat. Pushing into Erik’s spell, his halberd’s sharp edge ready to cleave the mage into two once both spells fizzled out.
Erik had other plans though, “Temper temper, oh blood of mine. Rumble rumble, oh heart of mine. Fume oh fume, anger of mine. Dark Arts; Hemomancy School;…” he chanted, causing Klein’s face to pale as he heard the words. “Blood Rage!”
Erik’s skin turned black as his body suddenly expanded, his muscles bulging out with pulsating crimson veins on show. The ground beneath him shattered, the air around him boiled. As he now punched forwards with all his might, the flames ending briefly before suddenly exploding outwards once more.
Klein’s barrier of water was ripped apart, an explosion of steam blowing into his face and blinding him from the massive fist that later crashed into his chest. He was thrown back with extreme force, feeling the stone shatter behind him as he hit a building. He groaned in pain, the armour resisted most of the physical damage but he still felt it.
Opening his eyes as he pulled himself out of the wall, Klein was met with Erik’s furious eyes, the mage flew towards him with his right fist clenched and ready. His body had returned to its normal shape…and his face was paling severely.
Klein watched, as the mage’s eyes closed mid-flight, his body going limp. Erik fell to the ground, tumbling over several times before coming to a stop, face up before Klein. Sprawled out, unconscious.
“What the-” Klein began, when suddenly blue lightning surged out of Erik’s fist and sparked all over the building he was thrown into. Klein rolled out of the way just in time as the bolts of lightning ripped through the building’s wall like soft clay.
He lay there on his ass, staring at the destruction this mage caused, while the steam and smoke slowly cleared. Glaring down at his unconscious body, “Who…in the hell are you?” he barely looked like an adult to Klein, where did this kid get all that mana and where had he learned those spells? Many questions filled Klein’s mind as he stared at the mage, guards rushing to his side after seeing that the fight was over.
“Stop!” Klein said, as the guards moved in for the kill. Each of them froze, their spears held ready towards Erik’s body. Ignoring that the Colonel had unsheathed her sword, Klein rose and stepped to where Erik lay. “Don’t kill him. Lock him up, anti-mana chains.” He told the guards, “I need to question him.” he then said as they looked at him with confusion.
The guards warily strapped their spears, the bravest of them followed through with the orders, heaving Erik’s body and carrying him away.
Klein briefly watched after them, his eyes wide even as he turned to the collapsing building behind them. “Someone…get the Geomancers too.” He added to his orders, as the building behind that one also collapsed. Thankfully he sensed nobody inside, that would have been a lot more paperwork…
A few minutes later.
Erik woke with a start, rising quickly he tripped over the chains that lay about his feet and fell to the ground. Groaning in pain and annoyance, he turned over to find himself within a small stone room. “Caged either way huh?…”, recognising it as the inside of a prison cell. Having ruined several castles in his previous life, he had seen many but never up this close.
It stunk, the place reeked of who knew what. “Ugh…” Erik spat, he could taste the damn smell too. Glancing down at himself, he noticed both his arms and legs wore iron braces but only his legs were connected to chains. He also had a collar of metal around his neck. Studying the accessories closer, he noticed mild carvings. Elven runic magic.
Turning to the metal reinforced wooden door, Erik raised his right palm towards it. “Coming before the thunder it wrecks havoc upon all and every. The blinding light sears like a god’s crooked blade as it befalls upon the unsuspecting. Surge with the powers of balanced destruction, and life. Lightning School; Lightning Call!” He chanted, yet no mana responded to his words.
“Magic cancellation runes…” Erik grumbled, mana imbued runic inscriptions that blocked his flow of mana from its source. Sealing out his soul, where mana is created and stored for most creatures, even dragons.
He continued to stare down at himself, if only he hadn’t been in this weak body. Not only did it limit him due to the mana overdose he fell unconscious to once again, but his very mana damaged him. Every time he cast a spell, he could feel his regenerative powers fighting the mana from ripping his arms apart.
Growling in annoyance, Erik planted his fist into the door’s wooden centre, feeling the pain flare through his knuckles. He winced, resisting the pain. (“This puny body will be the end of me…”) He thought, then sighing as he stepped back.
Erik sat down on the wooden bench he previously lay on, calming his nerves as he focused on his surroundings. His draconic senses were non-existent, his mana was being blocked too. He was blind, barely noticing that someone had walked up to his cell door.
Only once the door’s window opened did he notice, immediately rising to face them.
“Made yourself comfortable I hope?” Klein asked, as he appeared from behind the barred window. The Slayer wasn’t wearing his armour or wielding his weapon anymore, instead, he wore some fancy looking clothing, not one to hide his standing as a noble.
(“Marquis?”) Erik remembered the man’s non-military title.
Behind him Erik could make out Thea and a couple others he didn’t recognise. “I’d imagine you would’ve spent days more, unconscious, so I set some mages to the task of easing your mana sickness. I dislike waiting.”
(“Mana sickness? Is that what they call mana overdose now?”) Erik thought as he met the man’s stern gaze. Glancing at Thea, he could see she was worried.
“So, hermit mage.” Klein continued, “Your insult to me aside, how do you explain your assault on the Sinbeni merchant?” he asked with a tone of authority.
Erik did not respond, he only stared back at the Slayer. Silent, unmoving and unblinking.
Klein sighed, “Your friend doesn’t seem to be wanting my help, Colonel.” he told Thea while glancing back at her.
“He’s…prideful.” Thea awkwardly responded, seeing Erik raise his brow at her she decided to say something. “Erik, this is my commanding officer, Marquis Major Bjorn Klein…” she introduced the man, “Also…my fiancé.” She later added. Now somewhat annoyed that he still, showed no reaction.
Erik understood what each title meant, he simply did not care. Continuing to glare at the man as he stared back, “Look…” Klein began, massaging his forehead in annoyance. “All that back there was for show, you insulted me and committed an international crime in plain daylight. But here and now I can help you out, for saving Thea and her sister.” Klein explained, putting his hand on Thea’s shoulder. Erik noticing that her expression spoke of no affection towards the man.
”On the surface you will be a hero that aided in the survival of Beckton’s citizens and someone that aided in the slaying of a Demon Lord. Nobody will argue if we let you off with minimal charges.” Klein then added.
Erik snorted in amusement but said nothing in return. What could he say? That he wanted to mangle the man that dared enslave the people, he as the destroyer Erikathyr, had bound himself to rule over? That wouldn’t sit well he imagined.
Seeing that the mage wasn’t going to speak, Klein took a long drawn out breath. “I’m sorry Thea but unless he talks, the best I can do is keep him from execution. He’ll have to stay locked up until a trial can be held and…”
“With Azruxan on his way, his entire army behind him…It will take a while.” Thea finished his sentence for him.
Klein nodded as he stepped away from the cell, turning to her as he held her by the shoulders. “You always had the strangest of friends, my love. I’m afraid this one won’t be attending though.” He leaned down, as Thea averted her eyes while he kissed her forehead. “Once this is all over, I hope to see you wear something other than armour for once.” Klein joked, “Maybe nothing at all later.”
Thea blushed slightly at his remark, noticing the other guards chuckling, she turned to glare coldly at them. Their chuckling froze, her reputation as a loose cannon well known. “I’ll…see you later then?” She asked, faking some enthusiasm into her tone.
Klein only nodded, gesturing for his personal guard to follow as he moved off to leave. Thea briefly watched after them, biting her lip, frustration clear in her expression.
“You don’t seem to hold much affection for this fiancé of yours.” Erik finally spoke, a smirk on his face as he laid down onto the bench.
“Ah…don’t let anybody hear you say that.” Thea responded weakly, “Our relationship has nothing to do with affection, it’s a political marriage. He’s the Marquis of southern Druvia, although his lands have long been lost. My father…Marquis of the east, he wishes to join our families into a superpower comparable to the royal family…”
“Then why send his soon to be mate, out to defend some commoners?” Erik asked, his tone disinterested.
“He had no choice, neither did I if I wanted to keep my rank…The order came from above, and I had nothing against it. I wanted to do something anyway…” Thea admitted, she never was the kind to turn a blind eye where she could help.
Erik hummed, (“A ploy to get rid of the growing competition? This is why I despise humans the most…Backstabbing, greedy, and oh so much more!”) still sounding disinterested but in his mind, he was listening.
“What happened back there anyway? Why did you attack the man? Was it really because of the slaves?” She then asked, looking through the bars in mild annoyance, seeing Erik lay on the bench with his eyes closed. Seemingly ignoring her.
“I care not for slavery, it is who the slaves were.” Erik explained, “Xilfir, Dark Elves.” He then added.
Jogging Thea’s memory, “Dark Elves…the destroyer’s servant clan.” She whispered, knowing nobody else was in this row of cells she still was wary of what they were talking about. “But why go that far? Aren’t they just servants you corrupted?”
“Corrupted?” Erik repeated with an insulted tone, ”No, I opened their eyes to their legacy’s true power. Also imbuing them with my own great blood. They are true elves, a people I promised to protect. But I failed, I died. And now…they’re enslaved? Because of my mistakes?” he bitterly explained. “That, is not right.”
Thea nodded, she herself never agreed with the enslavement of those people but it was something deeply carved into the culture and society, a millennium before her time. There was little she could do. “What now? If you speak with Klein he could still-”
“I don’t need that peacock’s help. Also, worry about yourself. The Devil will arrive sooner than your people think. You should prepare.” Erik said, as he still lay resting. His body was still numb and recovering from the backlash of mana overdose. Whatever those mages did though, seemed to ease the numbness, albeit prolonging the feeling.
“But I can’t just leave you here…” Thea insisted, “In a cage…”
“Who said I’m staying?” Erik asked, peaking open one eye to look at her. “This imprisonment is inconsequential.” He sighed dramatically, “Begone human, you need not worry about me.” then shooing her away.
Thea could only stare at him dumbfounded, how could he be so calm? How was he going to get himself out of this situation? She didn’t know, and at the moment she was too angry to care. “Suit yourself.” Slamming the window closed in frustration, before walking away.
Erik glanced at the window with a raised brow, (“Well she’s in a good mood.”) he chuckled. Rising into a sitting position once more, now that he was alone again. “Hmm…” He hummed in thought, while studying his restraints. “I do not recognise most of this, runic has been altered a fair bit over the centuries…” he mumbled to himself, “Doesn’t matter, runes always had and always will have the same weakness.”
He rose to his feet, taking a deep breath while focusing. Eyes closed as he spoke as quietly as his draconic voice allowed, “Erikathyr.” he spoke his own name. The very sound resonating within his mind, as Erik focused on a single aspect of his draconic name.
The fiery aspect, as his entire body suddenly began to radiate heat. Flames formed all over his body, damaging his clothing further than it already was. (“Not enough.”) He thought, trying to produce more power. “Erikathyr.” He spoke it again, not as restrained as before.
The flames covering his body suddenly burst upwards, turning into a pillar of white-hot flames. Incinerating anything on and around him. The metal collar and braces melted, runic or not they were still only iron and before a draconic flame they might as well be butter. The issue was…he incinerated more than just the iron and wood within the room…
Erik opened his eyes to find himself free of his bindings, and completely butt naked. “This will have to be dealt with…before anything else.” He sighed while looking down at his own naked human body, “Well done Grim, at least that is to scale.” he then mused with a pleased grin.