The once silent ice-capped mountains now reverberated with the sounds of a grinding battle. To Azereus, it was only a reflection of what would follow a few hours later. Watching the blood and death of the deserters soothed their nerves, and it was enough to prepare them to embrace their death. The crowd stood solemn and looked reverently at the eight Intruders that were fighting as if it was their backyard. The side stronger in strength was in complete shambles and those that were believed to be the ones to retreat now owned the battlefield.
The Alphas standing behind Renera couldn’t grasp the reason why they had been asked to not to interfere in the battle. What was even more confusing for them was the reason why these intruders fought against Alyson Azereus. The helplessness of Akira confused them, and the all smiling Renera only added to the confusion.
Alyson was mentally haggard right now. To her disbelief, her superiority in strength and the advantage of the harshly cold weather brought her no gain in the battle she was engaged in. It was for the first time that she felt inferior in the sword art to an extent that she doubted her hard work of thousands of years. The scimitar danced and approached her relentlessly, and she could barely protect herself.
She gave up on solely using her weapon and utilized her elemental strength, but the shields she called forth, shattered as they parried the assault of the scimitar. The sinister-looking sword was sharper and heavier than it looked. And the owner of the sword was even more terrifying. Alyson realized that she was being toyed with, and the opponent wasn’t even displaying her complete battle arts.
“You are too weak.”
Her opponent’s words contained disappointment that pierced her heart. Her mind went berserk and her movements reflected it. The ice element went wild and ruthlessly tried to pierce and cage her enemy.
“You would have done better than this had you not indulged yourself in the lustful play before coming here,” Jalaisha commented as she parried her attacks with ease.
Alyson roared wildly at her words, and the rage she held in her heart exploded. Some part of her mind yelled to her to not lose her reasoning, but it was not heard. She drowned herself in her wrath to forget the shame she had borne this day. The only thing that could calm her down now was the mutilated corpses of her enemies.
Jalaisha finally succeeded in making Alyson lose her reasoning. In her rage, the crazed Alpha had even neglected the explosions of Light energy that had taken the lives of almost half of her people. But the situation had become dire now. She utilized her wind element to counter the ice as it reached for her. Alyson was about to go all out now, and the crisis was real. She needed to get Alyson’s blood or their efforts would be for naught.
The Alpha’s eyes glinted blue as she tried to get her opponent under the effect of her Frozen Glare. The green flame burned on Jalaisha’s body and in her veins to counter the effect of the terrifying ability. Her movements slowed down as she fought a battle inside her body at the same time. They were in a deadlock now. She couldn’t harm Alyson and the crazed Alpha couldn’t harm her. This was not a good premonition for her. She was still not in the True-Origin phase, and her opponent was Monster Blood. No one could beat a Monster-Blood when it came down to endurance. Sooner or later Alyson would end up as the winner of this duel.
Aizen looked around the battlefield and assessed the situation they were in. Viara and Xeina seemed to be in no trouble. It was a matter of time before they would end the life of their opponents. Arthur and Lysaria, on the other hand, were engaged in a heated battle that could turn either way. They were up against a dozen enemies, and the only reason they were holding on was that of Liafina’s support.
However, the little dryad had to keep everyone under check to protect them from falling under the Frozen Glares of their enemies. Her concentration was divided on everyone and she didn’t have time to focus on the attack. Yuliya stood attentively behind her in her wolf form and looked ready to deal with whoever would come their way.
His hand that held the sword trembled in excitement. Bloodlust and Reasoning divided his mind. He tried to calm himself down, but it was to no avail. The only way to quench the Bloodlust was to soak himself in the blood of his enemies. He moved as he channeled his lightning element and barged straight into the crowd that circled Arthur and Lysaria. His movement was noticed by some wolves, and they turned around and lunged at him. Their eyes glinted blue and for a moment he felt like his soul had frozen.
The ground he had stepped on, rose several feet high. The wolves that tried to lock him under frozen glare ran for their lives. They had nearly been captured in the rocky coffins. The little Dryad wouldn’t tolerate anyone trying to harm him. The effect of the glare wore off, and he didn’t halt his steps.
His movement speed was fast, but it wasn’t something that could not be discerned with eyes. He had yet to gain complete control over lightning and light elements, and being one with your element to increase your movement speed to its limit could not be accomplished so easily. He pulled out Selene and lunged at the wolf nearest to him. Before he could bind the wolf under his darkness element, the wind around him tried to cut him into pieces and freeze him. The wolf was already in the air, advancing towards him. Those sharp fangs would snap him in half if he got caught in them. But everything was still under his control. Just as the jaw of the wolf reached for him, Aizen teleported few feet away. The clutching jaw only caught the air, and the wolf channeled the wind element hastily. His sword nearly decapitated the wolf, but he was thrown away by a strong gust of wind. He only managed to leave behind a scar on its neck that wasn’t deep.
Another wolf charged at him as he hit the ground, but he succeeded in teleporting away just in time. The strength of his enemies was greater than his, and one moment’s lack of concentration could result in death. He could not waste more mana on teleporting himself away whenever the situation got worse. He needed to save it to deal with any accidents that might happen.
Deciding so, he used the lightning element and covered himself in a rain of lighting. This was a technique of Vienna, and he emulated it. The advantage was that no one could touch you without being paralyzed by the lightning, and the only setback was the constant drain on the strength. Vienna was an expert at it, as she could keep the drain to a minuscule amount, but he hadn’t achieved such mastery yet. The drain was not heavy, but he could not stay in this form for long.
He dodged the attacks of the Monster wolves by fractions so they would be paralyzed by the shimmering lightning around his body. The wolves got away, but not before receiving cuts from his dagger and sword. The two wolves he was up against soon became cautious, and they arrived in a deadlock. Aizen didn’t have time to prolong the fight, so he rushed in with the intent of killing. He used his darkness to bind them and succeeded, but just as he was about to deliver the death blow, the wolf turned into a man whose blade was charging towards him. He caged himself in a rocky coffin to shield the attack and vanished from their sight. The man backed away from the coffin, but a dagger pierced right through his back. Before he could look down his head was separated from his shoulders by a sword.
Aizen was not happy to be too reliant on his space magic. He had used teleportation again. But this time, at least, he had taken out one enemy. This was his only consolation. He charged at the other wolf, and his lightning went berserk. The wolf raised the shields of ice to deflect and stop the bolts of lightning that reached for it. The shields exploded coming in contact with those bolts, and soon the summit echoed the sounds of sizzling lightning and chain of explosions.
The wolf reverted into a man. The bigger body had become harder to defend. Blades of wind pierced the air and rushed towards Aizen but were destroyed by his armor of lightning. He didn’t pay attention to the wind that reached for him to cut him and continued to advance towards his enemy. The man called out his sword just in time to parry his attack and counter-attacked at him. Aizen shielded the blow with his dagger, and his arm numbed. The difference in their physical strength was just too big. However, he was not going to be defensive.
When he had designed his battle art, he had chosen dual wielding. Chaos Blade had a long blade, and it was a sword fit for two hands, but Aizen chose to make it his one-handed sword. On his other hand, he held Selene which he used to shield and parry attacks as the Chaos Blade reached for his opponent. With a dagger and a sword in each hand, his battle art was offensive, and he kept charging on his opponent relentlessly.
The man had begun to realize the danger he was in as he was constantly on defense and didn’t get the opportunity to attack. He tried to gain some distance with every exchange, but Aizen had no plans of letting him get away. The ground beneath them shivered as he channeled his earth element and replenished his losing strength. The opponent grew flustered and channeled his Ice element to break his contact with the ground, and he fell in Aizen’s trap. The concentration was divided now, and so Aizen unleashed his Black flame of darkness in a radius of several meters. The man got caught in the flame, his vision blackened and his senses were cut. He didn’t even feel the sword that had pierced right through his heart. The light he waited to see never appeared as he fell in an eternal slumber.
Aizen panted heavily as he called back his Elements except for Earth. He needed to constantly channel it to replenish his strength. The battlefield hadn’t settled down. Viara and Xeina were still engaged in battle with those two False-Origin phase Monsters. Jalaisha was now struggling against Alyson. His heart ached as he looked towards Lysaria and saw blood trickling down her right arm. The blood had covered her entire arm, but the injury didn’t seem to hinder her movements, which meant that it was not too serious.
Arthur and she had taken care of half of the enemies with the help of Liafina, and now only 4 remained that were at the peak of Ancestral Strength. He could see clearly that neither Arthur nor Lysaria could continue the battle without risking their lives. They had used most of their strength, and Arthur seemed to be out of mana as he no longer formed illusions.
Lysaria looked ready to trigger her Berserk ability. Arzark Clan had this special power where they could make their abilities twice as powerful for a certain amount of time. The ability also affected the people around them. The allies got the boost of morale, whereas the enemies were deterred. The catch was that the user and his allies would become war-crazed, and after the effect of the ability wore off, the wielder would fall asleep for a long time that could amount to days and weeks.
“Fall back!” Aizen said to Arthur as he blocked the oncoming attack of the enemy.
Arthur understood what Aizen meant and retreated to the side of Liafina.
“Do it Lysaria.” He said to her as he summoned the rest of his strength, and put it all in his Darkness element.
Lysaria awakened her Berserk Ability, and her eyes turned scarlet. The ground shivered violently, and her strength replenished at a dramatic rate. Her mana drained at an equally perilous rate.
Aizen could feel his heart thumping in excitement. His thirst for Blood got fueled as the Star in his pupil turned red. It was as if the world was illuminated in a shade of blood.
“Lia!” He said softly and prepared himself to rush in.
Liafina felt his craze for blood, and her heart tightened. Her mind was asking her to drown together with him in the madness that was enveloping his mind. However, she willed herself to stay in control. If she too gave in to this Bloodlust, then there would be no one to bring him back from this state. She obeyed his command and channeled her earth element to surrounded him and his enemies in walls of rock that rose a hundred meters high.
The cage was set up, and a devilish grin adorned his face. The world inside the cage turned dark to an extent where nothing could be seen anymore. The senses of his enemies numbed as they felt the Darkness try to devour them.
Lysaria and Aizen moved together as they soaked their blades with the blood of their enemies. There were no sounds to be heard from inside the cage. It was as if silence had descended on the world and there was going to be no end to it.
Viara looked over to the cage and decided on what she needed to do now. She pushed back her enemy to where the cage was. The wolf was in the air as it utilized his flying ability and wind element to avoid being struck by the light beams that Viara shot at him. It was too late for the wolf to realize where he was now. Xeina had come out of nowhere and struck her longsword on his back. It managed to coat his back in a layer of ice to not allow the sword to cut through his skin, but the impact sent him directly in the world of darkness under him.
The sound of him crashing in the ground was not heard, and the platform only shook lightly. Viara descended in the cage and activated her Darkness element to allow her to see. She had only glanced at where Aizen and Lysaria were, and her heart tightened. She lunged at the wolf who was trying to recover his senses. Her short swords impaled the wolf’s eyes. It was just the moment it had forcibly managed to keep the darkness from invading his mind. The pain that assaulted him made him wail in horror, but no sound could be heard in here. Viara didn’t show any mercy as she channeled her light element through her swords and detonated the brains of the wolf.
The large body of the white wolf slumped on the ground to never get up again. Viara turned towards Aizen and Lysaria who were toying with their enemies. The coats of the wolves were dyed red, and Aizen and Lysaria were soaked in the blood of their enemies. They seemed to be enjoying making their targets suffer and didn’t grant them their deaths. She couldn’t bear to see them both acting so heartlessly and rushed in. Four beams of light escaped from her fingers and pierced right through the heads of the dying wolves. Aizen glared at her for what she had done, but after seeing that it was her, his eyes softened and the red vanished from them.
The black flame sucked away all the darkness in the cage. Lysaria stumbled back and then lost her consciousness in the arms of Aizen. He too fell on his knees as his entire body ached in pain he could never before imagine himself in. He nodded affirmatively to Viara to tell her that he was fine.
Viara was worried about him, but it was not the right time to advise or admonish him. She vanished from her place leaving behind a beam of Blue Light. She joined Xeina against the last remaining wolf. It was overkill. The wolf didn’t even last 2 minutes under their assault, and finally succumbed to death as Xeina’s sword impaled its heart.
Liafina rushed to Aizen as Viara and Xeina ended their fight. She sat by his side and channeled her Magic of life. A film of water covered Aizen and Lysaria as it washed away the blood and soothed the pain their bodies were in. The injured arm of Lysaria healed before their eyes, and she now seemed to be peacefully asleep.
All of them had gathered around, and now looked at Jalaisha and Alyson still engaged in a battle. None of them was strong enough to approach those two without getting injured. The intensity and strength of their elements were far more powerful. All they could do now was observe the battle, and kick in if Jalaisha gets in trouble.
On one side was the blue Ice freezing the air itself, and on the other was a green flame that looked gentle but scorched everything in its path. But slowly the fire was diminishing as Jalaisha was losing her strength at a faster rate than Alyson. Alyson was still unharmed in the battle, haggard but without an injury. Jalaisha, on the other hand, had a trail of blood coming out of her mouth. The clash of their swords and the havoc their elements wrecked were the only sounds resounding on the summit. Alyson seemed crazed, and she ruthlessly delivered death blows one after another. Jalaisha kept parrying or dodging them exquisitely, but her movements were lagging now.
“Get ready. We need her blood.” Aizen said to the group after he delivered Lysaria into the Space Channel to the Star Palace.
“Seems like I am late for the party” A displeased voice called out, and just after that, several shadows appeared one after another on the platform.
The man leading the group of 8 people had peculiar red eyes and grey hair. He wasn’t tall and had a muscular build. There was something about the smile he wore on his face that felt sinister. It gave people the notion to be wary of him.
The man looked at Aizen’s group and smiled brightly as his eyes lingered on Viara and Yuliya.
“Well, I should thank Ares for allowing me to come here.” He chuckled as he commented.
His smile, however, froze when he saw Alyson engaged in a battle. He jumped into the air and transformed into a giant wolf of a grey coat and red eyes. He howled proudly to the sky. The howl held an unknown danger, and soon everyone felt like they had fallen under a curse. The eyes of people looked at the Grey Wolf as if it was an abomination.
Jalaisha managed to get some distance between her and Alyson. Her brows furrowed as she looked at the Grey Wolf. She wasted no time to arrive by the side of Aizen and stood in front of him to protect him.
Alyson seemed to have snapped out of her crazed state as her shivering eyes looked at the platform, where only the blood and corpses of her people remained. However, this time, before rage she felt fear. The fear of having failed the task she was sent to accomplish. The people she was supposed to bring back to Ares were all gone.
“Yeah well, you will be punished for this mess, and the loss you have made us suffer.” The Wolf disgruntledly commented as he looked at the fearful expression she wore on her face.
Alyson’s face paled at his words, and her eyes caught Aizen’s group.
“It’s all because of you!” She said lightly before breaking out in hysteria. “I will destroy the one you have done this all for, and will make you suffer the pain of losing her.”
Aizen’s heart clenched at her words. He felt so weak and helpless at this moment that he wished this was all just a dream and that he would wake up before seeing what came next. But he knew it was the reality, and he was just not strong enough. He wanted to say that he would make her suffer a pitiful fate if she did kill Akira, but looking at her he was sure that she was already living a life worse than death.
Madness soon whispered in his mind as he prepared himself to use a forbidden Time magic. The cost was his life essence, but that would earn him enough time to get Alyson’s blood and save Akira.
Alyson seemed to have realized something was about to happen. She wasted no time to detonate the collar Akira wore.
Aizen’s eyes bled as he started to execute the magic, but before he could do it, a punch squarely hit him and he dropped down on his knees hugging his stomach. He looked up and saw that it was Jalaisha. He couldn’t believe why she would do it, but before he could say anything, Alyson’s light scoff penetrated his ears and his heart skipped a beat.
“Akira” He called her name subconsciously, and the pain his heart was in drowned the one that punch had delivered. Time seemed to have betrayed him, and in that one moment, he felt what true helplessness was.
♛ Author’s Note:
Thump… thump… thump….
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