Whoops forgot to upload on the weekend. Anyways, now here’s where the fun really begins for the story.
Vega, Jin and Apollo continued to run away. They could hear the clear clanking of metal behind them, as the general mindlessly pursued them. It was apparent that they were gaining some distance, as the metallic sounds faded further and further away, before disappearing completely. Vega looked back periodically as they ran. The general was finally out of sight.
“Guys, I’m fine! Please!” pleaded Apollo. “We can’t lose track of him now! We have to continue stalling him until the others have defeated the knights!”
“You’re still conscious?” asked Vega, ignoring his request.
“It’s a miracle that I am. But that’s why we can’t falter now!” Apollo lightly tapped Jin’s shoulder. “Hastily, Jin! Let me off at once!” Apollo tried to pry himself from Jin’s grip on his thighs. His hands were locked in place.
Jin paid no attention to his tap. “I’m not doing that.” Jin said. It sounded more like a threat than a statement. “Look at your injuries. You think I’m just going to ignore that?”
Apollo’s face was drenched in blood. His entire body was burnt, and some of his bruises began to swell, creating bright red bulges on his skin. There was hardly any difference between the redness of his bruises and the blood that leaked from open wounds. The entirety of Apollo was nothing but black and red. A dirty mixture of blood and bruises. Ash and dirt.
“Apollo makes a good point, but you do as well Jin. We can’t just go back in the fight. Let’s at least take the time to recharge our magic energy.” said Vega. They slowed down their pace, before stopping completely. They were in the outreaches of the village by now, nearby where they had encountered the singular knight earlier that day. Vega covered up the fresh blood beneath them with dirt. Jin rested Apollo on the ground, using a pile of wooden planks as a headrest.
“So what do you think we should do?” asked Vega. Jin angrily stormed towards Vega, grabbing him by his shirt. Vega looked at him scornfully. “Why ask me?” shouted Jin, grabbing Vega’s shirt tighter. “You’re the smart one here, so why don’t you come up with the ideas! I don’t know what the fuck we should do right now!” He shoved Vega away, letting go of his shirt.
“I have no idea! Look at the predicament we’re in right now. If we go back in and fight, and make one more mistake-”
“Hey man, I’m just asking for your input here!” Vega argued back. “I should at least know what you think, so we can come up with a plan as a team. You’re the one who told me to stop acting alone and reckless, so, so…” Vega sighed in defeat, as he walked away from Jin and sat down.
Jin sat down parallel to his position. He tried to force the ideas to come. Trying to think of a scenario, or a strategy to beat an unbeatable opponent. None came to mind. His thoughts were clouded , as if the smoke that had surrounded them countless times had migrated to his brain.
Their moments of safety were quickly thrown back into chaos, as five explosion magic circles conjured below them. A line of explosions followed suit. Vega picked Apollo off the ground, and tossed him into the air, then dashing out of the way towards the air to catch his friend in the air. Jin propelled himself forward, with a quickly cast boost spell at the sight of the circles appearing.
“Alright! Round two came to us instead!” shouted Apollo with joy. He immediately began to cast a magic circle on his leg.
The three of them dashed through the air, appearing through the smoke, with their opponent seemingly waiting for them with his sword drawn. Vega, Jin and Apollo all attacked the general in sync, targeting his head, chest and legs.
“Sword Draw: Flash Strike!” With a quick draw of his blade, Jin dashed forward, aiming for the general’s neck. His strike was blocked by the large hulking black. However, a small cut had formed at his neck. How did the kid hit me? Perhaps his magic- The general’s thoughts were interrupted by a flying Apollo, with a magic circle cast on his foot.
“Ligero Kick!” He released the spell as his leg made impact with his chest, conjuring an explosion of light, knocking him back slightly, making way for the third wizard to come from above. Vega leapt above the general, aiming his hand towards him as he spun around and landed on the ground gracefully. The general looked down at the fire magic circle below him.
“Torchlight!” shouted Vega, before conjuring another magic circle in front of him. Three fireballs burst out of the spell, aiming towards the bright orange pillar that had enveloped the general. As the fireballs collided, the flames burst outwards, growing more intense. The heat emanated from the blaze forced them to step back.
“Nice hits guys! Keep your guard up. There’s a good chance he’ll still be standing!” shouted Apollo. His words directed Vega and Jin to prepare magic circles. Apollo formed a triangle shape with the connection of his fingers, conjuring a large magic circle in front of him. They waited patiently for the smoke to subside, and their opponent’s next move.
An orange glow shone faintly through the grey gas that had formed from their onslaught of spells. The smoke slowly cleared, revealing the source of the glow. The blade. A magic circle rotated around the hilt of the weapon. With a maniacal laugh, the general raised the blade up high. “It seems that you’ve been mistaken! Now let me show you what magic can really do!” shouted the general, as the glow on his sword illuminated brighter and brighter.
“Shit! Run!” shouted Jin. “Flash!” Apollo quickly released his spell, blinding the area to ensure their escape. The three immediately dashed away, putting full force into their legs to high-tail it out of the area. It didn’t take a genius to figure out, that a monstrous explosion was seconds away from detonating. They took their last steps, before the sword burst out an outstanding amount of explosion magic into the area.
Dozens of broken shards of black metal fell to the ground, as the sun-like light, faded away into the air.
Dust shot through the area covering the land and air around them, followed by bits of stone and dirt. Then the three were lifted off their feet, as streams of orange energy burst outwards in a shockwave. The wizards cried out in pain and agony, as the spell reached them. Their skin burnt as miniature sparks went off inside their bodies.
Dirt entered their mouths as the pain forced them to scream. In spite of keeping their eyes shut tight, the tiniest of dirt wriggled their way past their lids, thrown about viciously in the currents created by the blast. *Shit! What kind of blast was that? A placed explosion? A regular one he formed on his body- No. Not his body. The circle was on the blade.” thought Vega as he grit his teeth to endure the feeling of his muscles being ignited and torn apart.
Finally, Vega had crashed to the ground. Immediately, his mind shifted into the notions of the fight, and he struggled to move his hands and feet. Move! At least move! Vega tried to move his arms. There was nothing. As if his arms never existed. A wave of panic flooded him as he frantically moved his body around. Vega gently exhaled in relief at the sight of his limbs still intact. Slowly, he realized that his entire body went numb.
Vega wanted to shout for Jin and Apollo, but couldn’t possibly risk giving away his location. Not in his current state. More surrounding dust entering his lungs wouldn’t be delightful either.
He paused. A certain sound that he’d heard throughout their battle.
Walking metal. Large, and slow. Each step dragging metal boots across the terrain, while causing a miniature earthquake of metal. “MOVE!” Vega shouted aloud. He immediately covered his mouth with his hand. His eyes widened with hope, and Vega then moved his left foot. Then the left knee. He was now kneeling. Using his right hand he propped up his other leg, and slowly extended his back until he was in a crouching position.
“Like I said before. Brave, and admirable.” said a deep, malicious, and familiar voice behind him. “I almost feel bad for having to kill children, but when were children ever spared from the horrors of this world?” Five cold metal surfaces gently touched Vega’s neck, before they clasped down and began to choke him.
Vega squirmed, moving his legs violently, twisting his body around. He grabbed onto the arm belonging to the hand that grabbed him, hoping to pry it off. This was the grip of a man at least twenty years older than him. No way in Olympus this guy is budging… Vega could feel his strength seeping away each second. His vision began to blur.
Suddenly, he was lifted higher, and his feet no longer touched the ground. The mystical sound of a magic circle rang behind him. BOOM!
The sound came before the huge blast shocked his skull, freeing him from the grip and sending him crashing to the ground. His vision slowly returned, only to see another circle below him, before being engulfed in a smoky wave of heat. He tried to open his eyes again, amidst the smoke drying up his eyes. The surrounding fog and effect from the explosive spells blurred his vision.
Vega reached out his arms to touch the ground, trying to get a feel of his surroundings. He got on one knee again, then fought his way to stand on two feet. Then he wiped his face. It was drenched with sweat and ash. Vega looked over to his battle-torn red jacket. A black blotch of blemishing ash replaced the bright crimson red of his leather jacket.
CLANK! CLANK! CLANK! CLANK!
The sound of metal footsteps was louder. Faster. Through the smoke, two large circles appeared parallel to each other. Vega formed a mental image in his head, picturing the general, running towards him. That image soon met his eyes, as the heartless stare of death looked at him. It ran headfirst towards Vega, with two magic circles in each hand. Vega looked back, but death’s eyes were averted. A crescendoing shout erupted from behind, followed by the gatling fire of yellow beams. “Apollo!” shouted Vega, as the general was three steps away from crashing into them.
The beams failed to halt the unstoppable onslaught. The general clasped his hands together, releasing a rampart of condensed heat, hurling towards Vega, too stunned to move.
A stream of blood filled the air, and cast a shadow over Vega. Apollo smiled gleefully at Vega, as blood poured out of his back and gushed out into the air. His body flopped right into Vega’s arms. A shiny hint of metal glowed in the smoke. A sharp tip, followed by a long strip of steel.
“Sword Draw: Flash Strike!” shouted Jin, revealing himself in front of the general, unleashing two quick slashes. The general dodged both with ease, stepping back before charging another magic circle, and firing off an explosive blast. Jin weaved out of the way, rendezvousing with Vega and Apollo.
He sheathed his blade, and snatched Apollo, placing him on his back. Vega quickly followed behind him. They hadn’t noticed the five magic circles glowing below them.
“IGNITION UPLIFT!” bellowed the general. Vega and Jin looked back at the cry of the spell, before a stream of explosions tossed them up into the air. All three of them fell to the ground like mangled puppets. Jin took a deep breath in, awoken immediately by the pain of the fall. He squinted his eyes and clenched his teeth at the pain. The entirety of his body shook with fatigue and soreness. His legs could barely budge, and his ears rang.
On the battlefield, obscured by the smoke, there was a hand. Laying on the ground, wide open like a corpse. Jin forced his legs and his body to crawl, inching centimeters at a time towards the hand, determined to uncover its identity.
Images of a dismembered hand, a hand with a maimed body, and his two friends and comrades dead filled Jin’s head. They became clearer and clearer, as he crawled closer and closer to the hand. Bright crimson red hair was visible through the smoke. “Get up… get up!” Jin said weakly. Ash and dust filled his lungs, turning each breath into a stream of pain. He continued to push his legs forward, inching his body closer and closer to Vega. Anything at all, even just a tap in order to wake him up. Vega was almost within reach of his finger tips. Endure the pain! Jin screamed in his mind. With a powerful thrust, he threw himself forward. His body landed atop of Vega’s.
Instantly, Vega sprung to life. He looked around quickly, noticing Jin and Apollo at his sides. Jin still knelt on the ground. Vega noticed bloody burn marks on his skin. He then looked to Apollo beside him. A pool of blood surrounded his body. Vega stared into the ground in horror. He moved his hand towards his mouth. Faint cool air touched his hand. Vega sighed in relief. He was exhausted beyond his body could handle. Slowly, his eyes began to close, as his desire for rest grew stronger.
A pair of hands grabbed him by the shoulder and shook him. Vega instantly burst awake, his eyes widening, revealing a bloody red sclera. “Vega, don’t worry! We can still fight!” yelled Jin, as he slowly got up, latching hold of Vega to assist himself. Vega slowly turned his head towards Jin. “Let’s take Apollo to a safe place first.” said Vega, meekly.
“That’s the name of the light kid?” said an approaching voice. It was familiar to them by now. A hint of malice and ego accompanied it. Both of the wizards turned their heads towards the sound, as a hunky looming figure approached it. It was the first time that they caught a good look of the general’s battle-scarred face. “I guess that’s one down. How about you kids just die already. Save yourselves the suffering.” He pointed towards Vega.
“He’s already beaten up and his face might never be the same again if he takes another hit from me!” He began to slowly walk towards the wizards with utmost confidence. Vega and Jin stood up and took their stances, reading their fists and summoning magic circles. Saving Apollo would have to wait. Orange light glowed brightly at the right hand of the general, as he summoned a magic circle.
Vega and Jin’s muscles grew more tense, as the general drew closer and closer. His attack continued to grow in size, lighting up the area like the warm rays of sun, beaming on the ground as it rose.
“Just die already.” calmly said the general. He stopped in front of them and aimed the attack directly to their faces. Both of them froze from the fear of impending doom that faced them. Bells of death rung in their ears.
Suddenly, Vega stepped forward, quickly amassing a large amount of magic energy, as he formed a large magic circle in front of him that grew instantaneously. It was nearly as tall as his body. “Vega! You’re using that?”
“It’s our only shot. Go now! Get Apollo away from here and help the others!” shouted Vega. Sweat had already begun to drip down from his face, as he tried his best to maintain a straight expression under the strain of the spell. Jin looked at him worryingly, before nodding and running off, picking Apollo off the ground before disappearing into the town center.
“Ha! Bold move kid. Sacrificing yourself for others. I could never do that. Selflessness doesn’t get you anywhere in this world! Now please… DIE” screamed the general with all his might, releasing the grand explosive wave in front of him.
“INFERNO!” An enormous blast of flames emerged from the circle, bursting outwards before coalescing into a singular ball of fire. It felt almost as if each individual flame had a will of its own, pushing against the explosive wave, whilst attempting to break free from the bindings of a spell. The ground shook, and a crater formed below the area of where the two blasts clashed. Vega and the general were locked into their positions, holding out their arms to sustain their magic circles, engaging in a clash.
Jin’s heart pumped frantically. His breathing was thrown out of balance, with each short and shallow exhale shaking from each step he took on the broken dirt and gravel. He tried to fixate his vision on the path ahead of him, but Apollo’s bloodied body remained in his peripherals. It was a gruesome sight that made him want to vomit. The look of a childhood friend, soaked in red liquid of unfathomable amounts. Amounts Jin had never seen until now.
He wrapped grey cloth around Apollo’s large cut earlier, before they had taken off back towards the town center. The fabric coming from a clean cut of the dirty grey sweater Jin had worn. Blood seeped through it with ease, barely holding back the crimson liquid leaking from his wound. Thoughts rushed his mind like a thousand arrows zipping through the air. Could I make it in time? Who could even help me back in the town center? His mind was completely occupied, scrambled in the thousands of outcomes that could occur. All of them, resulting in Apollo’s death.
Each step was drilled into the ground, carrying the heaviest burden Jin had ever felt. Time was against him, but each second felt like an hour. He groggily stepped forward, nearly stumbling over as the wooden walls were in view.
He took another step. A glint of metal passed his vision, blindsighted by the greyscale of the smoky landscape. His shifting eyes from the path to Apollo’s dying body, blurred from exhaustion and swirling dust.
Blood burst out of Jin’s back and thigh, as an axe and longsword created two large cuts concomitantly. Jin crashed to the ground, letting Apollo’s body roll off his arms. The knights that had ambushed him, stepped back for a moment at the scene. They stared briefly at Apollo, before nodding to each other, dismissing the bloodied boy as deceased.
Jin crawled forward in agony. Barely moving an inch. His mind was a buzz. A constant hum with his conscience yelling from the sidelines to get up and fight. He could hear it clearly, echoing in the backrooms of his thoughts. But he was far too exhausted. Slowly, his eyes closed. Only reflexes forcing them open, just to close again. “Not now… more… power… I need… protect…” mumbled Jin. A final call of desperation to keep himself awake.
The knights stood above him, with their weapons lingering above his abdomen. Preparing to strike, they lifted them up into the air.
With every exhale, Jin felt his sanity and life drain away.
With every inhale, magic and power surged through his body.
Finally, his eyes were shut.
A gust of wind blew by ferociously, pushing the knights back and sending their weapons flying out of their hands. They quickly hustled to regain their weapons and finish off their target. Upon turning around, they stopped moving. A cold shiver ran down their spine.
Jin was gone. Only splatters of blood nearby where his body had just been. The knights stood there anxious and perplexed. One of them stepped forward…
He looked to his right, hearing a deathly howl.
His armor shattered and his torso was torn to shreds. Minced into fine strips that collapsed on each other, bursting out blood before deflating and floating to the ground.
Another deathly howl reverberated through the sky. Red winds swung by like a large Leviathan coursing through the water. The other soldier fell to his knees, pissing himself in the process. He stared at the empty air, before his chestplate shattered and his body was blown backwards.
He flew through the air, before crashing into the road of the town center, flipping and tumbling around. His arm was mangled and the armor he donned pierced into his own flesh.
Jin burst through the air like a bullet. His movements shot out bursts of wind that blew past him. Red zephyrs trailed behind him as he flew into the fray of the town center, right above the knight.
Without hesitation, he instantly formed a magic circle on his right hand. It was a red wind magic circle, with a glowing grey outline. The arcane symbols pulsated grey periodically, generating the deathly howl with each pulse.
“BLOOD WIND: GALE BULLET!”
A stream of pure red wind was shot forward, striking the knight in the chest, rupturing his lungs and heart, killing him instantly. His crushed chest fused with the ground.
Jin stared silently at his prey. His eyes, fully white, lacked an iris. An apex predator had been born. He turned his head around, observing the town center.
Throughout the battlefield, the rest of the wizards still dealt with numerous knights. Although the field had been littered with metal corpses, at least a dozen had remained.
Fueled by pure instinct, Jin instantly cast two circles below him, and shot himself towards the sky. He spotted his first target. Three knights dueling against Kaladin and Kaleigh.
Winds in the sky began to gravitate towards Jin, being dyed red the closer they were to him. The swirling currents created a gradient of silver and red, granting Jin a makeshift cloak of pure gale magic energy.
A sonic boom ruptured the sky, as Jin hurled towards his targets. He formed a magic circle on his right foot, shooting out three waves of jagged crimson wind blades. They hurled towards the unsuspecting knights, cutting them down with immense precision, not even scratching Kaladin or Kaleigh.
Immediately his attention turned to the other knights in the area. Boom after boom ensued as Jin traversed to each duel, firing off a blast or wave of scarlet wind, cutting down the knights instantaneously.
Upon killing his last target, the cloak of winds faded away. The tense and murderous atmosphere was lifted. Jin suddenly regained consciousness, feeling refreshed and recovered. Then he looked down, and found himself several meters high in the sky, falling like a meteor towards the ground.
“AGHHHHHH!” Jin screamed. His teeth chattered as he thought of how he could break his fall. The answer came to him almost instantly. He cast two circles below his feet, releasing currents of air that slowed down his fall.
At last, he had safely plummeted to the ground. Jin dusted off his hands and his clothes. He paused for a moment. Then reached for his back and thigh. No incision on his body, although the cut on his clothing remained. His smooth white skin showed, rather than a bloody gash.
“Jin!” shouted a girly voice from afar. He quickly averted his attention from his wounds to the sound behind him. Joyce ran up to him, looking starstruck. She pounced on him, grabbing his wrists. “Thank the Gods you’re okay! All of us just got saved by some mysterious force!”
Mysterious force… “Hold on wait what-?”
“No time to mess around Marie! Jin! Where’s Apollo and Vega?” asked Scarlett as she ran by the two. The other wizards followed beside her. Jin and Joyce quickly joined the group.
“Vega is still fighting the general! And Apollo…APOLLO!” shouted Jin with worry. He’d remembered that knights surrounded the two of them, before he blacked out. How he ended up in the middle of the town center was a question for later. “He should be at the front gate! Hurry!” shouted Jin with worry. He summoned two magic circles below his feet, as he bolted across the charred land. “Cold Mountain Breeze!”
The rest of them covered their eyes as dust swept in. Jin’s body slowly shrunk, then disappeared in front of them. Julius, Joyce, Asura and Kaleigh suddenly rushed forward. Magic circles were cast below their feet. “Don’t just stand there! The knights are dead. Let’s go!” shouted Julius, with passion in his voice. Elemental blasts fired away, propelling the four forwards.
Kaladin looked at Scarlett pitifully. “I guess it must suck to suck.” said Kaladin, as he crossed his arms. Scarlett looked at him, confused. “Can’t you cast a high jump spell too?” Kaladin cast two circles below his feet. Two transparent green cubes appeared below him and thrust him several meters into the air, before he floated back down. “No can do. Obviously, I guess you can’t either since…”
Scarlett brushed her hair and looked away in embarrassment. “Yeah…seems like I won’t need to explain things.” Both of them stood in silence, before Kaladin suddenly grabbed Scarlett’s hand. “Alright then. We still gotta take part in the plan!” declared Kaladin, as he ran at full speed, with Scarlett still attached to his hand, flailing behind him.
Kaladin valiantly led the charge. He gradually felt Scarlett’s grip slip away, until her hand detached from his. He looked back in consideration, but a swift red line dashed past his view. Looking forward, Scarlett had already gone ahead of him. Not wanting to be left behind, Kaladin put all his effort into swinging his legs forward.
Step by step, the wizards had finally entered the battlefield. As quick as they were, they had already been too late. Their plan was a failure before it even began.