Chapter 22: Brawl

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Daldorth, a dwarven port city known for its shipwrights and ale.

A quiet city, even outside the My Pearl tavern where said famous ale originates from. That is, until the entire wall exploded onto the port.

Alan Kyle, a simple looking boy in his late teens with black hair and dark brown eyes. Yet he was known all over the world of Faetera as the killer of Erikathyr the destroyer. This Hero, was what shattered through the wall as tendrils of electricity surged around his body, tankards of ale flying in every direction alongside the shattered wood debris.

Alan flew back, tumbling through the air from the force, he soared over the port and crashed into a ship’s front. Still, the force kept him going, bouncing and sliding by the ships’ side until finally falling into the water.

“W-Woah!” Alan wheezed and coughed after resurfacing, the cold water shook him out of his drunk daze. “T-T-The f-f**k!?” he exclaimed in confusion, bruises and leaking blood all over his face while the water washed it away.

“So, we meet again.” Hissed Erik with fury as he stepped through the destroyed tavern front, his eyes aglow gold. Behind him was a frantic Thea as she tried to calm the tavern owner down from bashing the back of Erik’s head flat with a pan.

Alan groaned, “Look mate, I don’t know who or what you are but if I owe you money, which I probably do…You’re barking up the wrong d**n tree.” Rising out of the water whilst his eyes suddenly lit up a bright blue, he hovered over the water as it froze beneath him.

Erik’s eyes narrowed as he walked to the port’s edge, “Oh? So, you do not remember me?” Erik then asked in draconic, Alan’s eyes widening in surprise.

“Who…are you?” the Hero asked.

Erik chuckled, “Maybe you’ll remember if I pound the memory back to the surface.” he said coldly, lightning surging through his body before he suddenly disappeared.

Reappearing before Alan, his fist surging with golden lightning as it struck at the hero. Alan crossed his arms in response, a bright blue wind flowing around his arms. The magiks clashed, strikes of lightning and frost swirling about them as they hovered over the frozen water.

Staring into each other’s aglow eyes.

Remembering, that day.

 


5th age

Over a thousand years ago

Ancient Eastern Druvia / Now know as The Lost World


 

Alan stood amidst a broken land, the very trees having been moved out of the way to create this massive arena of nothing by dry earth. His hair ablaze blue, and his eyes shining just as brightly as wings of frost formed out of his back. The same energy swirling about his arcane sword. His body broken and bruised, bleeding all over as he stood facing the giant monster.

The drake gazed down at him, its white scale body scarred for eternity, its tail sliced off and so many more bleeding wounds than one could see. Erikathyr gazed down at Alan with his good left eye, his right having been blasted out of its socket minutes ago.

Both out of breath, both on the verge of death as they stared at one another.

“I tried.” Alan mumbled, “I really tried Findri, but this fool will not see reason…” he whispered, sorrow filling his eyes as he gazed down at his tired and collapsed comrades. Defeated, yet not quite dead, alas if nothing was done they were all soon to become so.

Alan clenched his sword with both hands, “I’m sorry, my friends. I’m sorry you had an idiot like me for a leader.” He said with tears beginning to stream down his face. “Findri, I break my promise with you. This abomination, I cannot save!”

Alan charged forwards, dragging his blade behind him as he moved with speed greater than any human could’ve been capable of. Erikathyr rose onto his hind legs in response, opening his maw wide as golden energy formed within.

Oh lord Grim, I beseech thee, grant thy one last breath of power.“ Alan began to chant, ”Reaper, I shall present you with my foe’s lifeline. God of Death, I present you my soul in payment. Holy Text; Chapter of Death; Soul Reap!” he exclaimed, leaping up at the colossal drake as a blinding ray of golden energy surged down at him.

Alan’s sword suddenly grew, black energy forming about its blade and taking the shape of a green shadow-engulfed scythe.

He slashed forwards, meeting the ray of energy with his summoned weapon. The powerful draconic light clashing with the archaic death magic, tendrils of each spell spiralling out of control and striking at the already dead terrain about them.

Alan screamed, emptying his lungs he bellowed with all his might. Pushing his wings to their limit, yet he was still being slowly pushed back.

The ray of energy suddenly ended, Erikathyr then slashing forth with his right claw which Alan met by spinning mid-air and cutting towards it. All the while shouting with anger. The scythe slashing into existence a blade of the same dark energy that flew forth and clashed with the drake’s arm.

Alan flew forwards, shortening the distance in mere moments. Finding himself eye to eye with The Destroyer.

Seeing the pure hatred within those golden eyes, “I regret only one thing.” He mumbled to himself, the same hatred now filling his. He slashed the scythe across the drake’s head, the weapon once again forming a blade of pure death magic, clashing with the drake’s white scales and piercing through them.

The dark energy cut through the drake’s face, engulfing his enormous body in death magic, dark green flames that sent the beast bellowing in agony.

Alan fell, his summoned magiks dissipating about him as he plummeted down. He stared up as the colossus’s body fell back, any life he sensed within before, gone entirely from the collapsing corpse that now lay before him.

Alan’s gaze moved to the blackened sky, dark clouds hiding the sun above. He grimaced, “I’m sorry, Findri…I failed.” he said with regret, dark green flames suddenly engulfing his own body. His skin and flesh burning away as he fell, dissipating into ash before he even touched the ground.

 



 

Erik pushed his surging fist into Alan’s crossed arms, the two clashing spells pushing against one another, neither of them making any physical contact as lightning and ice raged all around them. Arcs of electricity surging back and forth from Erik’s body, the frozen water and the metal ships. Tendrils of frost whipping about Alan, spinning all around him, and freezing every surface they touched.

“It’s true then…”Alan said with a grimace, “You’re back!” he then exclaimed, releasing his magic and lowering himself below Erik’s attack. Alan rushed slightly to the left and into Erik, his right knee digging into the drake’s gut as frost and lightning clashed once again.

Erik was the one to be sent flying back this time, soaring back onto the port and crashing into what remained of the tavern’s ceiling, collapsing that too as everyone nearby cleared out of their way.

“Really though, I expected a large light breathing lizard, not a moron in human skin.” Alan said with a sneer, hovering up as wings of ice burst into existence from his back. Briefly though, as the wings abruptly faded out, causing Alan to fall back onto the frozen water. “Tch, dammit.”

Erik laughed as he rose from the rubble, “What is it hero? Has your dragon abandoned you!?” he exclaimed with hilarity, laughing even as the sky blacked out with storm clouds above. “You wish to see a drake!? I can make that so!” he then growled fiercely in draconic, Alan took a step back in preparation.

“You haven’t changed a single bit, have you?” Alan said, chuckling awkwardly. “That might be a bit too far for these rats though, in that form holding back shouldn’t be an issue for you I’d think?” he asked with a sneer.

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Erik grimaced as he glanced about, “This doesn’t end here, Hero.

Alan too glanced elsewhere, “I never said it will.”

Both of them disappeared then and there, Thea who relocated with the rest barely noticing that Erik had reappeared behind her. She turned around just in time to see him grab two shadows by their necks, slamming the cloaked figures into the ground and causing the entire port to quake.

Several more shadows fell from above, their limbs frozen solid. She glanced up, seeing Alan standing on top of one roof, his short sword digging into one shadow’s chest as it slowly froze over from within.

Alan kicked the shadow off the roof, pulling his sword out as the man’s magic dissipated about him. As did the rest’s, revealing cloaked men wielding long daggers and belts full of more blades. “Hah, not one or two! Eight! Eight Pact assassins, good god you know how to piss people off.” Alan laughed as he gazed down at the defeated assassins.

When suddenly he turned to evade, another shadow appearing behind him, their dagger digging into Alan’s side as he failed to detect them in time. Alan slashed at the assassin but they had already released their weapon, leaving it in his back and stepping out of his sword’s range.

Alan grimaced as he fell back, glancing behind him he saw the fall that was sure to kill him.

But his fall abruptly ended, turning back to see Erik standing at the edge, gripping onto his jacket and keeping him from falling. “Nine, nine assassins.” Erik corrected, his other hand raised towards the last shadow as lightning arced out and struck the assassin.

“Ah…guess I’m a bit rusty.” Alan joked, unaffecting Erik’s stern gaze as he narrowed his eyes on the injured hero.

“Why, why are you alive?” Erik asked, annoyance clear in his voice.

“That’s what you’re g-going to ask? Out of everything else, that?” Alan asked back in pained amusement, the dagger was still in his side.

“Hmph, I’ll have time to question you more soon.” Erik responded, pulling and then throwing the man back onto the roof.

Alan rolled over the roof, the dagger tearing further about his flesh before he stopped himself from tumbling more. “Oh? You think you got me cause I’m injured and weaker than before?” Alan asked, struggling back to his feet and pulling the dagger out of his side.

“More or less, also because…” Erik made a slight gesture, Makaela and several other xilfir appearing right then, surrounding Alan with weapons ready. “This time, you’re the one who’s alone.”

The amusement on Alan’s expression faded, “Ah…” raising his hands up in surrender, “Well this is awkward.”

Answer my d**n question.” Erik hissed in draconic, his eyes glowing more fiercely.

“If I’d take a guess and say that Grim brought you back, would I be correct?” Alan asked, glancing about as two xilfir began restraining his hands with enchanted rope.

“Grim…” Erik huffed in annoyance, ”Yes that fool brought me back, but why would it bring you back too?”

“Hah, and you’re accusing me of not remembering. So much for you dragons and your vast knowledge of magic.” Alan said with amusement, “I sold your soul alongside my own, at the time it was the only way I saw to stop your idiocy.”

“And?” Erik demanded further, Makaela clutching the man’s wound with her right hand roughly, causing him to wince as she casted healing magic.

“Ah! G-Grim brought me back too!” Alan responded through the sudden pain, ”Why you healing me?” he then asked in confusion.

“You think I’m letting you die with a title such as ‘The Immortal’?” Erik said with a raised brow, “If Grim brought you back, and along with that title, I’d guess he has done so several times already. Then that means even if I do kill you, you’ll be brought back to life. So why should I let you die and possibly lose sight of you? When I can hold you prisoner and do with you as I please?”

Alan’s gaze dropped at his words, “So…it’s finally time for me to atone for my sin.” mumbling as he smiled weakly.

(“Mas-Erik, we should leave before more assassins appear.”) Makaela said through their bond before he could demand to know what that meant, (“We don’t need to babysit this one throughout, let us just be done with him and go.”)

(“No, he knows things nobody else does, things nobody else will tell me. He’s coming with us.”) Erik responded sternly, questions floating about his mind he hungered to have answered. “Do not lose sight of him, and tell me if more of these…Pact members, appear.” He then said, turning to the edge and disappearing.

 



 

“S-Sir I’ll pay for the damages please, just l-let it be!” Thea pleaded as she tried to calm the tavern owner down, a gruff male dwarf being held up by Nerick who kept the smelly short man towards her.

“Let it be!? Let it be!? I shall bash those fool’s brains in me self! That tavern was me home! Me pride and joy! For generations it stood while everything else changed!” The dwarf shouted angrily, red faced while waving his pan around aggressively. “Me pa and ma had it before me! Me granpapa before them!”

“Let the man down, if he wants to bash their heads in then let him be.” Erik said, suddenly appearing next to him and very much within the dwarf’s bashing range. Gesturing at the assassins, some dead, some crawling away with either their feet or entire lower body frozen.

“What ye mean boy?” The dwarf asked in confusion, shaking Nerick’s arms off as the knight lowered him back to the ground. “Ain’t ye who destroyed me wall!? Ain’t ye and that adventurer who destroyed me roof!” he exclaimed, raising his pan up while stepping to Erik.

“No, it was them.” Erik said calmly, his eyes gaining a blueish glow as he stared into the dwarf’s.

“Aye…it was them.” The dwarf then said, his own eyes gaining a brief blue glow as he turned to the crawling cloaked men.

Thea, Nerick and Shizuka glanced between Erik and the dwarf in confusion, as the dwarf glanced at his destroyed tavern and then back at the assassins. “Bloody hells ye will pay of it!” The dwarf suddenly exclaimed, shouting out angrily as he rushed at the assassins.

“W-What?” one unlucky fellow asked as the dwarf’s pan descend upon his hooded head, slamming into his face with a loud ring.

Thea, Nerick, Shizuka and a slightly drunk Ivara who had just stumbled back from licking at spilled ale, watched the dwarf in horror, as he went about bashing his frying pan into as many of the assassins he could catch up to. Some dissipating into shadow before he could do so. Grumbling as they disappeared before him, then turning back to the ones he hadn’t knocked out yet.

“What…did you do?” Thea asked in confusion, turning to Erik.

“I simply suggested that it was them and not us, low tier psychic magic is all I’m capable of, would you have preferred if I incinerated this entire city port to cover our tracks?” Erik asked with a raised brow, Thea shaking her head in response. “I thought so, tell your captain we’ll be leaving immediately then.”

“Ok-Wait wait wait! Where’s the h-Alan? What did you…” Thea then asked, remembering the cause of all this.

“Alive, for now.” Erik grumbled, “Makaela is watching over him, he is coming with us. That is, until I’m done questioning him…I’m not sure his sanity will retain after what I’m planning to put that smug mud golem through…” his tone turning into a cold hiss as he spoke.

“You’re not torturing the kingdom’s hero…as little as people actually care for him now.” Thea sternly said.

Erik turned to face her, before he would’ve met her with anger but he only felt a slight annoyance to her disapproving look. Sighing he turned away, “This is not negotiable.” he replied.

“Oh I think it is,” Thea stepped back into his view, “You can’t just do what you want, you’ll never fit in or even begin to understand people if you keep acting like…like this!” she exclaimed.

Erik’s eyes narrowed upon her, opening his mouth to respond he found that he couldn’t. Frozen, Erik felt frozen as he met her resolved gaze. He questioned how could a being so weak stand up to him like this, so many times she had done so and still she didn’t back away. (“Why? What is this tugging at my chest? What is this warmth?”) He asked himself, staring deep into her eyes as he closed his mouth.

Noticing how Erik was staring at her, Thea quickly glanced away, hiding her reddening expression. “I-I’ll speak with Genus!” she walked away for a few steps, stopping to glance back at him. “Just…listen for once okay?” she said, then continuing to walk off.

Erik watched her leave, still pondering what he felt at the moment. A hiccup from his right then caught his attention, turning to see Nerick and Shizuka stiffening straight and quickly turning to follow after Thea, Nerick starting to whistle away anxiously as he left. Leaving behind a half asleep Ivara, rolling in a pool of mixed seawater and ale with her tongue hanging out.

Erik approached the baby wyvern, sensing the xilfir moving away from him he glance up at the buildings before returning to Ivara. Erik crouched down next to her, dipping his finger into the thickest puddle of ale and then putting it into his mouth, wincing at the taste before spitting it out. “Tastes horrible…” he muttered while watching Ivara lick up some more, “Yet…good in a strange way.”

He sighed once more, picking up the drunk by the waist with his right hand before standing back up. (“So many bloody things in this life that I do not understand, adding up to what I already did not before…”) he mused to himself, approaching one assassin that was playing dead to avoid the still enraged pan-wielding dwarf.

Erik dropped Ivara onto the assassin’s chest, the wyvern then rising to stretch about its long scaly body over his chest as it drunkenly turned to face them. Ivara met the widening assassin’s gaze, licking its lips sleepily before suddenly snarling ferociously with wide furious eyes, surprised by the assassin’s face. Her highly venomous fangs in full view to the ice bound assassin.

What little of their face was visible beneath their mask, turned completely white. Their eyes widening in trembling fear.

Erik crouched down, laying ahead of the fallen man. Staring down into his eyes, the assassin meekly looking up to see Erik up-side-down before them. “She never said anything about what I could do with you…” Erik coldly stated, “Do you know what happens to a barb-tailed forest wyvern when it’s body reacts to sudden surprise?” he asked the assassin who made no move to respond.

“Their toxin sacks flow the noxious liquid that normally divides between their tail spikes, scales and claws…into a new fourth sack where they are combined into the most poisonous mixture on Faetera. It is then flowed into their fangs.” Erik explained plainly as Ivara hissed down at the assassin once more.

Suddenly the assassin lunged at Ivara with his right hand, a blade appearing out of his sleeve. Recognising the threat even when drunk, Ivara reacted swiftly, her instincts unaffected by the ale as she evaded under the blade and sunk her fangs into the man’s arm.

Erik held the man’s other arm down while also holding his mouth shut, muffling his scream as Ivara’s mixed poison entered his system. “You should feel it already, the tingling loss of sensation throughout your arm, as if your entire body is turning to stone. Followed by a single sensation to tell you that your arm is still there, raw pain running through your skin, muscles and bones, as if your arm is in constant limbo of being crushed.” Erik recounted exactly what the man felt.

“Nothing else, in a few moments you will feel nothing else but that for as long as the poison runs through your veins. Luckily for you this one is still young and the effects will only last a week, I can make it last a few more moments instead.” Erik said, slowly removing his hand from the man’s mouth. “Who do you work for? Who sent you?”

The masked man visibly winced and struggled through the pain, his eyes reddening from the agony as he held back his screams. “Ha-Ha…Wo-wouldn’t you l-like to kno-w?” the assassin chuckled painfully, “Y-You won-t get an-anything from m-me!” he exclaimed through the agony.

“W-We made t-the Pact! Th-There is no r-return! There i-is no hiding! The-There is no e-escape!” He exclaimed, suddenly freeing his hand from Ivara’s jaws and stabbing up towards Erik’s face.

Erik gripped the blade with his bare hand, electricity surging through his skin and running down the man’s arm. Paralyzing it.

The assassin though continued to chuckle, “My b-brothers and sisters will f-find you. There is n-no need to cou-nt your blessings! The gods can-not save you!” he said with madness in his eyes and tone.

“A shame.” Erik responded calmly, causing confusion to fill the man’s expression. “I thought I’d have to hunt them down, but if they’re coming to me instead…” Erik’s eyes glowed golden as Ivara climbed up to his shoulders, hers also glowing a fierce gold as they both stared down at the assassin. “I care not for the blessing of Gods. But anybody who would stand in my path…”

Erik stood up and away from the man, “Have their days numbered.” he said while turning away. The dwarf stepping in right then to slam his warped frying pan upon a surprised assassin’s face.

Erik walked away from the scene, the sounds of a metal pan slamming into squishing flesh and then bone sounding off behind him.

Again and again, the pan came down even after the man was dead.

Again and again, even once more after the dwarf snapped out of his magically induced daze. “Bloody…What have I?” the dwarf asked himself in confusion, then glancing at his destroyed tavern before turning towards another cloaked man, crawling away as the ice slowly melted off his feet.

The dwarf clenched his bent cookware, “Oi! What happened here?!” he bellowed in question at the assassin, who at the sound of his voice doubled his crawling speed.

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