Dawn of a New Age
The Dragonmaster stumbled from the fatigue of battle but quickly regained his composure and steadied himself. The fight had proven to be difficult for both sides. Ghaleon had lost much of his power since the battle begun. He no longer stood tall and proud like he had done so earlier. Now he was hunched over and took long slow breaths, his face full of frustration.
Unfortunately, the Dragonmaster's side didn't look much better. In fact they, if anything, looked to be in even worse shape. Kyle stood in a daze gripping his double-handed sword in one hand. His left arm had been fractured and hung limply at his side. Nash could barely stand, let alone cast anymore spells. Jessica now lay unconscious bleeding from a deep gash in her forehead, and without her healing spells the rest of them had no way to recover from Ghaleon's vicious attacks.
The only two remaining who could fight effectively were Dragonmaster Alex and Mia. Sizing up the situation Alex realized that it was growing grimmer by the minute. If Ghaleon didn't fall soon it would all be over. No! Alex wouldn't let that happen. He couldn't let that happen. If he ever wanted to see Luna again he would have to win.
"Stop this foolishness, Dragonboy," Ghaleon said in his snide confidant voice, "your team is looking a little shaky. Why don't you just give up? This is NOT a fight you can win…no matter how hard you try."
Kyle forced a grin and looked over at Alex. "Don't worry Alex; I'm still in tip-top shape. Let's kick this guy's ass and go home."
Alex knew that Kyle was lying through his teeth, but he could tell that Ghaleon was bluffing as well. Taking another deep breath, Alex charged once more, swinging the Sword of Althena in a sideways arch at Ghaleon's head. Stepping quickly backwards the Magic Emperor managed to avoid contact with the magical blade.
Magic energy glowed in the palms of Ghaleon's hands. First it was dim blue, but it rapidly changed into a radiant green that exploded outward at his attacker. Alex blocked the magical blast with his shield, but the impact sent him hurdling to the floor anyway.
As Ghaleon readied another energy attack he was caught in the back by a fireball. It exploded off of his magical barrier mere inches away from his body. Though the magical armor deflected the brunt of damage it knocked him off balance allowing Alex to return to his feet unharmed.
Still off balance from Mia's fireball, Ghaleon wasn't able to dodge the next frontal assault launched by Alex. Taking the full blow to the chest he lurched backwards. If it wasn't for his magical shield the strike would have been fatal. Ghaleon could tell that the majority of damage was coming from the Dragonmaster, but he also felt that in a one on one fight he would be able to win. The attacks from the others where distracting him more than directly harming him, but distraction was allowing him to be harmed.
Alex rushed at Ghaleon once more, but this time Ghaleon sidestepped around him and charged an enormous fireball in his hand. Alex spun around just in time to bring up his shield as Ghaleon threw the massive flaming orb; however, the orb missed Alex by several feet. Knowing that Ghaleon wouldn't miss, at least not by that much, Alex turned his head just in time to watch Mia explode into flames. With a shriek of pain she collapsed motionless to the glistening marble floor.
"YOU BASTARD!" wailed Nash as he stood staring in disbelief as he watched the woman he loved burn to death before his very eyes. "You son of a bi…" he trailed off as shock transformed into rage and then into pure electrical energy. With the last ounce of his strength Nash sent a bolt of lightning directly into Ghaleon's mid torso.
Focusing his energies into the magical barrier Ghaleon weathered the electrical attack without taking much damage to himself. Alex watched helplessly as Nash collapsed from exhaustion. Then he knew what Ghaleon was doing. He was eliminating the others so they could fight one on one. That was a fight that Alex knew he had little chance of winning. Ghaleon raised an arm and begun charging up for another energy strike.
"Kyle look out!" Alex screamed, but it was too late. As the words left his mouth a green bolt of energy struck Kyle squarely between his shoulder blades. With a sound of cracking ribs Alex's last ally was sent to the ground. The Dragonmaster stood alone against the most powerful magician on the planet.
"Well now Dragonboy. This looks a bit more even doesn't it," said Ghaleon as he took a step toward Alex. "This is how it should be, don't you agree? The battle that will decide the fate of Lunar is now between you and me. The Magic Emperor against the mighty Dragonmaster." His voice seethed with sarcasm.
"You…how could you?" stammered Alex at a loss for words. The shock of what was happening just started to sink in.
"Well what did you expect? You came here to kill me did you not? Was I supposed to spare your lives? I think not. Now I suggest we finish this. You are failing to amuse me," with those last words Ghaleon created a semi-transparent energy blade that extended from his right arm. It glowed with a dangerous purple hew as slivers of red lighting streaked up and down it.
Alex took in a deep breath. This was it. Do or die. Ghaleon had taken the others from him, but there might still be a chance to save Luna. And if he killed Ghaleon quick enough he might even save some of his other friends.
Without hesitation Alex flung himself at Ghaleon. Their two blades clashed, sparking violently each time they met. Even though Alex was better at swordplay than Ghaleon, he was at a disadvantage. In his left hand he wielded a shield to protect himself from Ghaleon's blows. While Ghaleon's magical barrier blocked any blows that Alex got through.
This meant that Ghaleon's left hand was free. Free to charge up magical energy. Although Alex could block blows from the front, when a thousand shimmering needles of ice struck him at all angles he could not defend himself. Falling to his knees the Dragonmaster watched in disbelief as Ghaleon ran him through with the energy blade.
Slumping to the ground in a pool of his own blood Alex felt the tears swell up in his eyes. "Luna…I'm so…sorry."
"Do not worry about your precious Luna. I assure you that she is in good hands." Ghaleon laughed out this last remark and then made his way to the ivory staircase that lead to the Goddess. She had almost finished absorbing all of the remaining energy in Lunar. Soon the process would be complete.
As he walked up the stair case he heard a low squeaking noise, turning he saw a small winged cat-like creature sobbing on top of the fallen Dragonmaster. "Oh yes, the white dragon. I almost forgot about his presence," he said almost as an afterthought. Then he continued climbing the staircase until he reached the top where the Goddess Althena was waiting for him.
"My dear Goddess, we have finally gotten rid of those annoyances. Now with that pesky Dragonmaster out of the way there is no hope of you breaking free of my spell." For a small while Ghaleon had worried that the bond between the two would actually break the magic.
"I thank you my lord," Althena said in her trance like state. "Soon all of Lunar's power shall have returned to me."
"Very good. All we do now is wait," Ghaleon said as delight began to run unchecked in his voice. "Now the error made by Dyne fifteen years ago will finally go corrected."
Laike stood solemnly at the base of a cliff near his hometown of Burg. Twenty feet away from him lay the monument to his former self, Dragonmaster Dyne. But that didn't matter now. Nothing mattered anymore. Laike watched as the last bit of Lunar's life energy vanished into Althena's Fortress as it floated high above the ground. Everything went bleak and gray.
Lunar wasn't a green, living place anymore. It was dead. As soon as food supplies ran out everyone would starve. Within a few months the population of Lunar would die from hunger, but the people of Lunar didn't even have a few months to starve. Soon it would all end.
In order to transform the girl Luna back into the Goddess Althena it required all the magic of Lunar. Ghaleon believed that it was so important for humanity to have a "leader" that he would kill the planet in order to have a deity again. Next Ghaleon would transfer all of that power into himself. In fact, he probably was doing just that at that very moment.
As soon as he had become a "God" he would need to recreate the world of Lunar. But in order for Althena's power to "create" first it had to "destroy". All life would be wiped from Lunar. Then Ghaleon would create life again. Laike had faith that his former best friend would be a capable ruler, but he had no right to take the lives of the current populace.
Perhaps he had been wrong to aid Althena in her request. He should have known that Ghaleon would have tried something like this. He thought Alex had the power to stop him, but even in his prime, Laike doubted that he himself could have stopped Ghaleon. Not after Ghaleon had achieved such power. It would have taken two Dragonmasters to stop him.
Ghaleon held Althena in his embrace. She appeared small, even weak compared to his large frame. As he held her, the power of Lunar, all of it, flowed into her and then passed into him. Ghaleon stood there holding the limp Goddess in his arms. "Goodbye my sweet Althena. I only wish you hadn't made such a foolish choice. But I cannot allow one who would willingly forsake her people to rule any longer. I promise that I shall recreate Lunar and lead it into a golden era."
He let Althena's body slump to the ground. Every last ounce of power was drained from her. The Goddess was dead. In her stead there was a God. A powerful God who wouldn't let his personal feelings interfere with his leadership. Ghaleon had transformed from one of the Four Heroes, into the Magic Emperor, and now into the God of Lunar.
Ghaleon looked across the dead barren wasteland that was Lunar. He raised his hands into the air and let out a burst of magical energy that engulfed the entire planet. The pulse systematically wiped out all life. Then another pulse emitted from the fledgling God, again engulfing Lunar, and green life once again began to spring forth. Ghaleon was ready to recreate his planet with his people. He started the walk down the ivory stairs back into the body of Althena's…no, Ghaleon's Fortress.
"Goodbye Dyne. Rest well in the afterlife my friend."