Firewall's Farewell: A Tale of Tales

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First off, I do not own Ragnarok. But I own the characters and their names in my story..so shall we?

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"Thou may put an end to this day's torment for then I shall bid farewell to this night's sweet laments... Cut the forest's ever gentle breath and halt the marching soldiers to their timely death lest the prudence of the blind meets its end and those who refuse to listen have fools for their friends..." --- Aro'wegn Cutlus, Our Veiled Insolence

Prologue

On the vast fields of old Prontera the sun was at the far west and its last sunbeams for the day were sweeping over the mighty city's lands. The strong wind blew over on the high grounds, and a Crusader in full armor and battle gear, cape flowing, could be seen there as he rode on horseback. He was standing before an army of thousands of soldiers and all their eyes were set on him as he was speaking:

"We stand here upon this unstained battlefield with a bold purpose for this kingdom, for our land, to rise up from this crisis that we, up to this moment, are facing. Our father's forefathers and those before them have stayed here and nourished this land with the hope that their successors, us, can live lives with prosperity, freedom, and most importantly a dream. A dream in which we all have striven for: to take part into this currently tormented world and give it with our best the passion and the strength in which we are ready to offer."

He paused and faced the elevated land before them.

"We shall face armies of heartless monsters that are here to destroy our land that we, our wives, our children and family are living in. We may be outnumbered; two is to one, but as Protectors we do not abide by the numbers and our strength lies not on our duty but on what should be done, not on prestige but on honor, and not on the men themselves but on what's inside of them."

He was trotting along in front of his troops, his eyes fixed on them.

"We fight driven by all these purposes. It is these purposes that shall always be in our hearts. And we shall fight as we always had and always up to the end--For the glory of humanity!" He roared as he pulled out his sword and all his men followed suit and yelled the cry of battle.

The Crusader seemed pleased and yet distraught but still he mightily sat upon his armored horse. A knight on horseback then approached him.

"My Lord." the soldier addressed to the man who made the speech, the King of Prontera. "All final preparations have been made. We are all set."

"Good." The King replied as he returned his sword from its sheath. "Prepare the battalions at your command for the first wave"

The knight approved and galloped his way for the order.

The King's face could tell how long he had been a crusader. He had blue eyes, the color of that which of the ocean, and he had a well chiseled face. His hair, auburn, and nestled on his head is a golden crown, the crown that made him Prontera's King.

"Should we make the assault first or should we wait for them?" A cavalier placed himself beside the King. He was also on a horse and wearing a helmet and through it a pair of green eyes glared to the distant land before them. On the helmet was an insignia of a large cross surrounded by seven smaller crosses. TheSeven Crosses, the king thought and he looked behind him and found the other six crusaders all mounted on their horses.

"We shall wait for them, Lesron." The King sharply answered then turned to his new companion.

"You still do not change your strategies, eh?" Lesron then declared. "But I know it will be of our advantage. We are ready your Greatness." He ended as others nodded their heads and seconded.

The King looked at the crusaders and thought to himself. The Seven Crosses are always ready. They have been loyal to the kingdom and its people. With the King as their sovereign, he is indeed the large cross being surrounded by the seven mighty crusaders. The King let a smile to be drawn and joined them.

Meanwhile, from afar a cavalier was approaching them with speed that his horse almost fell aback when it stopped. It was a scout.

"My Lord," the young scout said, catching his breath. "I have grave news. The enemy came much earlier than expected. They shall be here after sunset." He stopped waiting for the King's encouragement for him to go on. The King then gave a stern expression and nodded. The soldier went on.

"And we are more outnumbered Sir--more than what was told by earlier scouts."

"By how many?" the King asked as he remembered the earlier scouts' reports of armies forming near the borders of Prontera and Payon which were over eight thousand--twice his army.

"By fourteen thousand, My Lord..." The one being asked replied, stressing the numbers.

"Fourteen thousand; against four thousand…!" The King exclaimed in utter shock. He did not expect this--not like this. They are outnumbered more than triple fold. He knew that a neighboring kingdom ruled by a feared wizard had just been siege and utterly destroyed four days ago, the wizard falling with his army. But the attackers were only about eight thousand in number that time. And now the same legion that had attacked that kingdom is now going for theirs--now more in number.

The King had to not break at this point. Everything is at hand: his kingdom, his people, and most importantly his family.

"Very well then," he said orderly, with a tone that seemed unmoved. "Return to your post." He faced the Seven Crosses as the soldier left: "As I've mentioned numbers don't move us."

"And as we have told, we are ready." Lesron replied.

"Then we shall fight as if this were our last." The King said as he brought out his mighty sword and raised it high.

"Dear King, thiswill be our last." One of the Seven Crosses said as he, too, unsheathed his sword and the others followed and said in chorus, "This shall be our last!"

Then off the battle went after the sun disappeared….

Every battle is only a part of a single war. And if you had won one then what have you won?

These thoughts played into the King's mind. He remembered a priest tell him this at the church when he was seeking a divine consultation. Though he cannot let this cloud his mind, he cannot help it.

What more should I need to win for us to win?

With his hands he clutched the handle of his sword and assisted himself to stand up from the ground. Weary as he was now, he faced the figure in front of him--the Lord of Death, with his cape going with the wind as he held a sword, was standing there a few steps away, his fiery eyes, like fireballs in the night, set on the King

Or am I bound to win for myself….

And at last the King managed to stand up. The two remaining Seven Crosses not far from him were just standing up as they too have fallen; and the others never to rise again.

Holy Cross! One of the crusaders who had just recovered unleashed his attack—a sideward slash followed by a vertical slash in quick succession and the illuminated cross formed gleamed through the night as it flew towards the Lord of Death. The enemy stood firmly and simply broke the cross with a swing of his sword. The crusader panted, obviously that was the remaining of his strength.

The King glanced at where the attack came from and he saw the crusader give him a smile- his last smile -as he slowly fell to the ground. One of the Seven Crosses, enraged at what had happened to his comrade, attacked the Lord of Death and the blades of their swords met with fury. It was Lesron, his eyes full of rage. But the enemy was far more powerful than him and he was pushed back.

Then it was the enemy's attack.

The Lord of Death followed up his push with a slash as he turned to his right with speed that Lesron almost did not notice and yet his sword managed to protect him from the attack. But the force of the impact was so great that the sword was removed from his hand and the Lord of Death drove a deep cut into the open arm. The crusader cried in pain as he fell on his knees before the dark force. The Lord of Death moved in for the final strike but the King intervened and his shield encountered the sword. The enemy tried to burrow his sword through the King's shield. The King noticed this and immediately channeled a force to his shield.

Shield Charge! And then he thrust his shield pushing the Lord of Death several steps back. The Lord of Death was set at bay as the King faced him.

"Be at ease, Lesron." the King said. Lesron glanced at him, still on the ground, enduring the burning pain on his almost severed arm.

There were only two standing figures there on the middle of the battlefield: the King and the Lord of Death. And around them are warriors battling… one for supremacy and the other for liberty.

Even if it was already dark, there were no stars that particular night and oddly enough only the moon's light gave permanent vision. Fire from torches could be seen around as men and demons slay each other mercilessly. The leaders of both sides stood there surrounded by the battle itself, but none of their soldiers dared to intervene… anymore… they all seemed to have understood that that battle was for the both. And as two pairs of fatal eyes stared at each other, the eyes of that of the King's seemed to be dazzled. Though he knew how fearsome the darkness in front of him is he never seemed to take notice. He just thought of the battle as a whole… and he thought of what had happened previously after the day's sunset.

Both sides then clashed, when nightfall came. And the great Protectors of Prontera met the fury of the Dark Legion. Footmen, swordsmen, and spearmen faced the so called Raydrics, demons whose hollow bodies took over armors and wielded weapons of fallen soldiers of long past. But the former still fought even if severely outnumbered. Then the cavalry, composed of brave knights and horsemen, clashed with the dreaded Abysmal Knights, whose swords burned as it cut through flesh and whose horses seemed only meant for war. The King and the Seven Crosses fought the great army of demons too, valiantly and mightily and with each swing of their swords Raydrics knelt and Abysmal Knights fell before them and the army of Protectors became more than motivated.

The Seven Crosses of Prontera was composed of the seven most powerful crusaders known to men. And with them the King felt that they will win… or he wanted to think that they will… And yet, still, they did fight like it was their last—and fight they did.

Hundreds fell before the might of the King and the Seven Crosses but it wasn't enough. Inch by inch the Protectors of Prontera were forced to give ground under the overwhelming army of the Dark Legion. It became worse when their leader joined the battle. Wearing an armor of dark resemblance, their leader rode a mighty steed with its body turned inside-out. A purple cape danced on his back as he looked through his dark helm, with burning eyes, over the battlefield. The Lord of Death examined the battlefield as two more dark figures riding their steeds were poised close beside him. The Lord of Death saw the gradual decrease of the opposing army but he noticed in the middle of the grounds a band of horsemen with power that vanquished most of his army.

They were the King and the Seven Crosses.

The Lord of Death took out his sword and rode his horse with great speed straight into the battle and his two escorts rode with him at opposite sides. They took the breath out of each Protector that went on their path and each burned with dark flame. The King saw each of his men were being slaughtered by the coming horsemen and prepared himself of the encounter. The dark forces were already nearing the location of the cavaliers when the Lord of Death saw, coming towards him, a lightning-fast projectile. He quickly pulled the reel of his horse making the horse rise on its hind legs and deflected the projectile with its front hooves. Almost immediately after the recovery; the three horsemen were now surrounded by the King and the Seven Crosses.

The King, riding his warhorse, held his shield, the Herald Shield, and looked at the warrior in the middle. His shield was just simply deflected even with that great speed and power… the hailed Herald Shield, he thought, did not land a hit on him. But the King knew that they are at the advantage now that the three are surrounded. But still he knew inside of him that they should not be taken lightly.

The two escorts on horseback surprisingly engaged them and each attacked two Seven Crosses at once. And repeatedly swords met swords. The King was about to engage the remaining horseman when Lesron rode passed him together with the others. At once the Lord of Death maneuvered his horse and dodged Lesron's attack and blocked the swords of the other two with quickness. Lesron then turned after the enemy made him miss and once again attacked. The Lord of Death then made an unexpected attack on Lesron and slashed through his horse. Lesron jumped off his horse in time evading the attack that sliced through it but only to find that the enemy was already going after him. One crusader managed to halt the assailant when he attacked him from behind, the enemy blocking it with ease. Meanwhile the other crusaders who were earlier engaged with the escorts finished their fight, and vanquished their enemy who burned from within while they themselves suffered no major injuries although some lost their horses.

And instantly the Lord of Death was surrounded again, only this time a lone warrior. Only four remained on horseback from the Seven Crosses, two horses were killed by the escorts and Lesron's from the hands of the Lord of Death. The King stared at the remaining horseman and the Lord of Death also stared back with those burning eyes. Their stares broke off when again the Seven Crosses made an assault of a double two-pronged attack. At Lesron's signal two crusaders from opposite sides, both on foot, ran towards the enemy, leaped, and released their shields sending it flying towards the Lord of Death. Knowing that it would already be impossible to dodge the shields the enemy jumped leaving his horse to be hit. Not yet even touching the ground, four crusaders were already around him in midair and each initiated slashes. The Lord of Death blocked and evaded each attack as if he can see them perfectly coming. With each block he retaliated and sent the four attackers falling to the ground each having wounded by his sword. Landing with only one foot, the dark force quickly turned around to thwart Lesron who was now coming towards him several feet away for an attack. The Lord of Death raised his sword and slashed through the ground before him and sent ripples on the contact that went towards Lesron. Lesron quickly halted, brought out his shield and blocked the enemy's counterattack. The force was very strong that even if he used his energies on the shield to add protection the ripples still went through and cut his shield in half. And though the ripples were stopped Lesron was still hit by the aftershock. He seemed lost in consciousness and about to fall but returned and took hold of himself. Then blood came out from his mouth.

"Lesron….!" His comrades cried in anger as they all lunged to the Lord of Death who poised himself and held his blade high.

"NO!" The King called out, but it was too late.

With a single strike the Lord of Death slashed the air with his sword and airstreams of dark wind enclosed him in a sphere. It then exploded with great intensity as soon as broadswords and rapiers touched the delimitating wind around him and sent six crusaders falling hard to the ground.

Then, as if mustering all force, the Lord of Death cleverly attacked each of the six crusaders and as soon as they stood up his sword pierced through armors, mails, and then flesh. At an instant three of the six burned in dark flame as they cried then withered into ashes. With just a passing moment the Lord of Death rapidly went to Lesron who was fairly standing and had no time to react. The Lord of Death took a full body spin to his right and aimed for the head. But his sword hit something before he can even touch the crusader. Although unseen it stopped his sword. He forced his sword again but it still won't go through until he noticed what it was that stopped him. An immense energy stopped his blade and he noticed almost immediately that a sheer blue sphere was surrounding the crusader. He pulled back his sword and then immediately slashed with immense power the same crusader from the other side.

Reflect Shield! A voice bellowed and at the same the Lord of Death was hurled away, landing on both feet.

It was the voice of the King who was not far from them and he too, together with his warhorse, was being surrounded by a sphere, but more vivid blue in color. His shield, the Herald Shield, he held with firmness before himself. But first he caught a breath or two before he held his shield low and at the same time the sphere around him, and on the crusader that he protected, slowly disappeared. The spheres made a divine link on the benefactor, the caster, to the beneficiary and so the King was compelled to whatever happened to the crusader. Devotion it was called and the King made the sacrifice. The crusader from the Seven Crosses was practically unharmed and though the King used his shield to protect them both it cannot be discarded that he was still hurt.

Now the Lord of Death has already noticed the King who was also already aware that he is now the one that shall be attacked. He knew inside that it was his turn to fight. And the King brought out his sword, after returning it earlier, and assumed a stance that, riding on his horse, made him a formidable sight.

To be continued…

Ok, so this is my first story passed here... praises, critics, suggestions, ect. would be expected (nn) thanks!