Sorry it took a while to get up. School starting up and all that, you know the excuses that all authors on this site my age use. But, here it is, my infinitely improved version of my story A New Threat. I obviously greatly changed the title, summary, and, of course, the storyline. I have also drastically altered numerous characters and events. It will be a different story, a better story.
And to you new readers, I hope you enjoy this story. The ones who read the original may have some slight advantage over you with knowing who is who and some plot developments that I'll leave on cliffhangers up to a point, but that just takes away some of the fun. So you'll probably enjoy the first few chapters even more!
Xeralisk: good news for us, I suppose.
And here we have our infamous villain, Xeralisk! Say hello to everybody.
Xeralisk: Crawl in a ditch and die.
I said 'say hello' not 'wish them all to their doom'
Xeralisk: That is how I say hello.
…*blink blink* …
Xeralisk: Nothing to say to a part of your own mind?
Considering that you're technically me and I'm technically talking to myself, I technically already have numerous times.
Xeralisk: Your constant technicalities are technically pissing me off!
I technically know. That's technically why I said it.
And now he's going to maim me. Please, enjoy the rewrite as I RUN FOR MY LIFE!
Xeralisk: GET BACK HERE YOU INSOLENT WORM!
Chapter 1: A Hellish Heaven
Welgaia was on fire. The bland, mono-color buildings were painted black by the charring flames and obscured by the choking smoke that rose before them as they silently fell into ashes. Corpses of angels, many dismembered, others impaled on their own weapons, littered the streets, adding their ashes to the ones that accumulated on the ground.
"Long ago, there was a tree that produced infinite amounts of mana, the source of life."
The monotonous voice echoed across the gore-covered landscape. Sky blue boots drummed out a steady march as their owner made his way through the havoc-stricken streets. Smoke coiled around him, obscuring his features.
"A war caused this tree to wither and die, and a half-elf used Origin's power to split the world in two, preserving it from destruction. But he became corrupted by the power he wielded, and went mad."
The constant footfalls led the man to a small staircase leading to a large transporter. After a pause, the sound of boots on stone rose up the staircase to it.
"Four thousand years after the splitting of the worlds, a girl, the Chosen of Regeneration, and her companions fought against this tyrant. After defeating him, they planted a new tree of mana, and unified the worlds once more."
The steps faded as the boots stopped on a large transporter, which began to glow and the figure faded. He reappeared in a large, dark medieval castle, filled with smoke from the city below. He walked down the hall on his right, climbing a few stairways before reaching a large tower with a spiral staircase hugging the walls. In the center was a pit which seemingly had no end when one looked down it. From higher up the tower, sounds of fighting could be heard. The sound of metal clashing against metal rang in the empty structure and the building shook as powerful spells were cast in the mayhem.
"The world should have been at peace, but peace rarely accompanies such radical changes."
The figure began to climb, unfazed by the groaning complaints of the abuse of the stone around him, seemingly unaware of the shouts of pain and the singing of metal in the air.
"The newly unified countries of Tethe'alla and Sylvarant, whom made up the two worlds, were in conflict with each other. The Tethe'allans, with their vastly advanced technology, viewed the Sylvaranti as barbarians. Tensions grew and eventually the Sylvaranti formed a sort of resistance, known as the Vanguard. These happenings, combined with the sleep of Ratatosk, the Summon Spirit of the Giant Kharlan Tree, which caused natural disasters and weather anomalies throughout the world, sparked a second journey from the group known as the Heroes of Regeneration. With two new companions, they put an end to the conflict between the two countries and awoke Ratatosk."
The staircase rumbled as a loud, low growl of thunder shook the tower. Powerful wind blew through the building, clearing it of the toxic smoke that clouded the vision of all. For the first time, the man was clearly visible.
He stood at average height. Sky-blue hair stood out against a background of peachy skin and ashen-grey eyes. A pure white cape fluttered behind him. Two snow-white strips of cloth crossed over his chest over an azure sleeveless tunic, forming an "X". His arms bulged with muscle obviously gained from years of hard combat. His white leggings were tucked into his sky-blue boots. On his left hand, a scar in the shape of a new moon, though it was not much more than an empty circle, stood out. On his right, there was a scar in the shape of a full moon, faintly shining a soft white.
He carried with him a scythe a good two feet taller than him. Due to its size, the man was forced to carry it at an angle from the ground. The four-foot-long blade softly glowed a pure, uncorrupted white in the half-light of the castle. The handle was made of an oddly colored metal. It was the same color of freshly dried blood, an eerie brownish-red. Near the blade and about a foot from the end, four small blades, no longer than four inches, curved away from the center of the staff where one would hold it. The blades sat on opposite sides of the handle and were perpendicular to the blade. At the base, a spike stood out, six inches in length and extremely sharp.
The brightly dressed man reached a landing with a sealed portcullis on it. The sounds of fighting originated from behind the door. All around the portcullis stood two men and two women dressed in very different ways and even a wolf.
One of the men wore a sand-colored cloak which slightly hugged his body, accenting his thin features, and hid all but his ruby-red eyes from sight.
The other had a green flock-of-seagulls haircut and wore a shirt, pants, and boots which all had fragments of excess cloth hanging from them and there were splashes of bright green all over, as if the clothes had been colored in a tornado. On his back, there was a contraption of some kind that held four javelins, three made of plain wood and the fourth made of metal and highly decorated, in an eight-pointed star pattern.
The first woman wore an ocean-blue traveler's tunic, modified to accommodate her feminine features, and blue leggings which flowed around equally blue boots. She had aquamarine hair which flowed down to her mid-back and sapphire eyes and she had an air about her that was as alluring and unpredictable as the sea.
The second woman stood before the barrier, her arms outstretched and a look of concentration on her face. She had closely cropped blood-red hair and piercing crimson eyes. She wore an elegant scarlet sleeveless gown which flowed over her features and pooled slightly at her feet.
The wolf had a savage gleam to its dirt colored eyes and its dust-brown fur was matted with blood-soaked dirt. It had a slight snarl on its muzzle and blood-stained teeth gleamed in the light given off by the grey-eyed man's scythe.
All of them took immediate notice of the man's presence and knelt, the wolf sitting on its haunches and bowing its head and the crimson-eyed woman merely ducking her head, since she couldn't properly kneel while maintaining the barrier on the portcullis.
The man gazed placidly at them as they paid homage to him. "For twenty years, peace has reigned upon the planet. But, beneath the mask of this peace, events play out and the Wheel of Fate turns, drawing up a conflict as old as the planet itself. The world will fall to its knees, even the heroes that saved it many times helpless, before the might of the entities at war. And none will be able to stop the calamities brought on by the Unborn!" the man finished in his unchanging voice. He made a dismissive gesture and those before him rose. The cloaked one stepped forward.
"High King, we have found an angel of power that suits our purposes. Unlike the other angels, he seems to have retained his emotions and independent thought processes," he said, his voice occasionally crackling like a fire.
The High King merely grunted in response. "Who is testing him?"
"That new Lord with the blue hair whose always carrying around that Iron Maiden thing. I believe his name is Decus." The sapphire-eyed woman answered, her voice rippling like water.
Just as she finished speaking, the sound of a sword rending through both armor and flesh came from the room beyond the sealed portcullis. It was quickly followed by the sound of clattering metal and the soft thump of a dead body hitting the floor.
"Well, it sounds like one of them died. And I smell blood," the wolf sniffed, his gravelly voice rumbling like a miniature earthquake. "Which one was it?" He said, turning to the woman in the scarlet gown.
"It was Decus, which means the angel won, Earthenclaw," she said.
The wolf made a sound that was probably the equivalent of a purr, though it sounded much closer to a growl. "Serves him right, wearing that atrocity of a cologne and having the nerve to say that it was attractive. I'm pretty sure they stopped making that stuff years ago, too. I've always wondered how he keeps getting it," Earthenclaw said, lying down and resting his head on his forepaws, "It will be so much easier to breathe without that nutcase around. I'm already looking forward to it."
"Then I suppose now wouldn't be a good time to inform you that he will be revived, would it?" The High King said without looking over at Earthenclaw.
Earthenclaw's head snapped up from its restful position. "What did you say? You can't be serious! Why would our master waste his energy by bringing that fool back from the grave again?"
The High King's cold, emotionless gaze fell upon the wolf. "I do not know the why's, who's, what's, when's, where's, or how's, I merely do what I am instructed to do and relay what I am told to relay. You know this, werewolf."
"And when did he tell you? He said he'd never be anywhere near this gods-forsaken comet! You've always told us things, saying that the master told you them, but I've never even seen you two in the same room! I've put up with it for tens of millennia, but I want answers, now!" the werewolf barked, standing back up and baring his long, blood-stained fangs at the scythe-wielder.
"Earthenclaw, it isn't a good idea to threaten High King Feral! You don't want him to have a vendetta against you. Sociopaths like him don't forgive very easily, if at all." The cloaked man said soothingly, hoping to bring the beast to his senses.
"I've had enough of this crap, William! Either he gives us a straight answer, or I'll get one from him as I tear him to shreds!" He snarled viciously, a low growl beginning to claw its way out of the werewolf's throat.
The cloaked man put a hand to his head and sighed. "If he can take all four of us at once, what makes you think that you'll be able to defeat him alone, Earthenclaw?" he asked. The werewolf merely snarled in response.
Feral turned and crouched to look the wolf in the eye. William cringed as he did so, expecting the worst. "To answer your question, I have a special connection with him resulting from my being the second being to die, and this bond is strengthened by our scythes. Yon, my scythe, is the brother weapon of our master's, Apoll. Now, if you still wish to fight me, I have no objections, but we have more important matters at hand." Feral calmly lectured. Not a flicker of anger crossed his features nor did a hint of venom creep into his words. He stood and returned his attention to nothing in particular.
William made a motion like wiping sweat from his brow. "Phew. You are so lucky that he didn't cut your head off, Earthenclaw."
"Shut up, you coward! Always hiding beneath your cloak like some desert wanderer. Why don't you just come to terms with what you are?" Earthenclaw growled, turning his attention to the man.
"What? You know exactly why I-"
The green haired man sighed, walking up to the High King, ignoring the now arguing wolf and man behind him. "Your last statement prompts me to ask the question: what do we do now, Feral?" he asked casually, his voice whispering after each syllable, as if it was being carried to the ears on the wind.
"Zephyr, it is improper for you to speak to your betters like that," the woman holding the barrier said.
"Shut up, protozoan! Just because the man is stronger than me doesn't mean he's my better," the man shouted, the whisper changing to a slight howl, adding sinister qualities to his rage.
"But seeing as you are only a Lord and he is the High King, You should show him proper respect. Just because you-"
The woman with aquamarine hair looked around her with anger as her companions, Feral excluded, fell into arguments and chaos. She clenched her fists as rage filled her being. Finally, she screamed, "All of you just stop shut up! You're like a bunch of children, constantly fighting and bickering amongst yourselves! All of you are tens of thousands of years old, so start acting like it, or I'll pound some sense into you myself!"
Everyone froze as all eyes focused on her in shock. William was in a state of preventing Earthenclaw from ripping his throat open and Zephyr pulling a javelin from the carrier on his back to throw at the protozoan woman, who had a hand away from the barrier, mana pooling around it to defend herself. "Honestly, I'm shocked. I thought we had gotten rid of our disagreements years ago!" she finished, looking at them very angrily. She then turned to William. "I'm especially shocked at you, William."
William took the statement like a physical blow, visibly flinching. "Well, I wish I could say more than 'I'm sorry' to you, Telarra," William said sheepishly as Earthenclaw got off of him and sat down. William got into a more comfortable position himself. "Though you are right, we were bickering like children."
"Of course you take her side," the werewolf sighed, though more to himself than anyone else. Zephyr looked pissed still, but sheathed his javelin and the mana around the protozoan's hand dissipated as she returned it to the barrier.
"Thank you for calming everyone down, Telarra," Feral said, his eyes still not looking at any of them as he strode towards the sealed doorway, "Now back to business. Hema, allow me into the room."
The protozoan woman nodded and let the barrier fall, raising it up again once the sociopath had walked through.
Earthenclaw eagerly padded up to the door. "That angel's going to die so fast, he won't even remember when he died. This is going to be good."
"It has been awhile since Feral fought, so this should be good," Zephyr said as he walked up, William and Telarra soon following.
"Well, he's just like the rest of us, up at the top of the chain of command. We rarely get to do anything. We're just like that poem you wrote describing us, William. How did it go?"
William's eyes smiled as he recited:
"A mysterious man with numerous faces,
A protozoan woman who is so submissive,
A nomad who hates all of the earth's races,
A werewolf that is either aggressive or passive,
A changeling huntress with sapphire eyes,
And a forgotten king who is so full of scorn,
These are the six beings that have comprised
The do-nothing powerhouses of the Unborn."
"Yeah, that's really pretty and all, but if you'll stop spewing that stupid poetry of yours from your mouth, I'd like to concentrate on the fight," Earthenclaw barked. They all fell silent as they turned their focus on the imminent struggle between the High King of the Unborn and the former Seraph beyond.
Kratos knelt on the ground, leaning heavily on his sword for support as he gasped for breath. He was vaguely aware of sounds of shouting and fighting from beyond the doorway, but he was far too tired, mentally and physically, to take notice, let alone care.
Near him rested the body of the man that Kratos had killed. As Kratos fought for consciousness, he couldn't help but wonder who he was. He said something about being the "twenty-seventh Lord of the Unborn", but this created more questions than it answered. Plus, his mana was just… off.
Shouting… the sounds of a barrier falling, then rising again…footsteps approaching him. Kratos didn't even have the energy to look the man that would no doubt kill him in the eye. He fought the darkness that threatened to take him, determined to at least be awake for his final moments. It was a losing battle.
Just before Kratos lost the fight for consciousness, he felt a hand grasp his collar and hoist him up. Something was shoved into his mouth. "Chew." The command was simple, but Kratos could barely comply.
As he chewed, an incredible flavor flooding his mouth and spread sweet energy throughout his body. Chewing became easier as his wounds closed and mental and physical energy returned to the dying Seraph. Kratos looked up at the man who had saved him and was greeted with an odd sight, a man with a rather demonic looking scythe and a very bright wardrobe. But what really caught Kratos's attention, were the man's eyes.
They were ashen grey orbs of nothingness floating in a sea of white. They held no compassion, no love, no empathy, but neither did they possess anger, nor hatred, nor hesitation. They were the eyes of someone without a soul, willing to do whatever is asked of them and were hell-bent on seeing it through. They were the eyes of one of the worst possible foes, the eyes of one who didn't care if they lived or died.
"Stand." He commanded. His voice was a reflection of his eyes, void of passion or motive. Kratos slowly complied, not taking his eyes off this man.
"Have you no word of thanks for the man who saved your life?" he asked.
"I see, a man of few words. I can respect that. I am Feral MoonScythe, High King of the Unborn."
"Your name would be an adequate response," Feral said as he turned towards the corpse. He reached out with his hand and seemed to concentrate. The ground beneath the dead body suddenly turned pitch black and started roiling like an angry could. The body sank into the amorphous ground and vanished along with the odd, cloud-like surface. Feral turned back to face the angel. "I still have received no answer."
"… I am Kratos Aurion, leader of what remains of Cruxis." Kratos said. He didn't trust this man. Half of his substantial amount of mana was thick and cloying, almost like the stench of death, while the other half was pure light-based mana.
"There, now. That wasn't so hard. You no doubt wonder why I am here," Faster than a human eye could track, Feral was upon Kratos, his scythe being held back by Kratos's sword and shield, "I am here to educate you."
The scythe pulled away from the sword and shield and fell lightning quick at different locations. Kratos struggled to block them all. It ended with another deadlock as Feral grabbed his sword arm and pulled him close.
"Why do you fight?" He asked, pushing away again and coming for another flurry of slashes. "Do you fight for your family? Your friends?" he questioned as they entered another deadlock. Throughout the whole ordeal, his voice remained steady and consistent, the inflections placed on the syllables not even changing.
Kratos shoved him back and thrust at him, bringing a lightning strike down on the man. He quickly stabbed again and brought a second lightning strike, this one accompanied by a concentrated burst of wind mana. "Lightning Blade! Super Lightning Blade!"
Feral was thrown back by the artes and crashed into the wall, bringing a cloud of dust.
"It's so sad, when such things are petty weaknesses." The figure of Feral Moonscythe emerged from the cloud, not a hair out of place nor a wrinkle on his clothes.
"…" Kratos clenched his teeth, a chill going down his spine. His attacks didn't do anything. His foe wasn't even breathing harder.
"Ah, I forgot to mention my Blessing from Yon." Feral raised his right hand, back facing Kratos to show him the shining scar there. "The Full Moon lends me its protection, making my skin harder than diamond. It also kills my emotion, giving me nothing that proves my sentience but Will. In other words," Feral charged Kratos again, who ducked under the horizontal strike, "I know not emotion, but Will is everything I need to drive me forward." He finished, his face inches from Kratos's. "Will grants me defense, but it is not enough."
They jumped apart, both skidding to a halt ten feet apart. "Will augments Emotions, and Emotions amplify Will. Without one, the other is left weakened, creating a weak point. For example," Feral was suddenly behind Kratos, swinging his scythe viciously at his torso. Kratos tried to block, but Feral's arms were suddenly coated in a black fire, making the swing be moved by something beyond superhuman in strength. Kratos took the blade to the solar plexus and was launched into the air. He quickly pulled his blue wings from his back to steady himself in the air and avoid slamming into the wall. Kratos's eyes widened as he realized that he could not only still breathe, but didn't seem to have any injuries from the strike at all. A blow like that to the solar plexus should have left him incapacitated, if not, killed. "I cannot do harm with my scythe. It is just for show like this." Kratos flew back to the ground and faced his opponent, curiosity filling his being.
"What exactly are you?" Kratos asked.
"I am Unborn." Feral answered.
"I'll ask again, what are you?"
Feral regarded Kratos with a cold stare apparently deciding to ignore his question and asked another of his own, "You don't fight for anything, do you?"
"I don't see how what I fight for is relevant to the current situation."
"It is relevant, because it means how well you will fight. What one fights for defines one's purpose in life. Without a purpose, one is Lost in this universe, searching for a purpose. Without a purpose you can't hope to win this fight. I can last much longer than you can even with your angelic abilities. The longest time I've spent in continual battle: eleven days, twenty-two hours, forty-four minutes."
Feral launch himself at the angel, forcing Kratos on the defensive. Kratos could technically take the blows without being injured, but Kratos knew that would wear him out faster. He needed a way to break this man's defenses, or else he would eventually die of exhaustion, even with his angelic body. Continually fighting for almost twelve days was beyond a human's, an elf's, or even an angel's capabilities.
Do you seek a purpose, Lost One?
The sudden voice caused Kratos to miss a parry, sending him crashing to the ground twenty feet away. The black fire that engulfed Feral's arms faded as he fell back into a ready stance. Kratos noted how his attacks always seemed to be many times stronger when the black fired was present. He lethargically climbed back to his feet since his opponent wasn't charging him or even looking like he world. The four-thousand-year-old angel noted without surprise that he was unaffected from the blow, just like the last one.
I can give you a purpose. All you have to do is follow my orders directly. I will even lend you some of my power. Do you accept these terms?
The voice was raspy, filled with struggle to make the words audible, as if they came from a dying man. Kratos thought about his options. This new entity was offering him a chance to win this fight. Kratos didn't like the terms, but decided to accept.
As soon as that decision was made, a sense of purpose and power welled up within him, coursing through his veins and filling his limbs with a previously unknown strength. Kratos felt it welling up within him as he charged his foe. "Take this!" he said as he slammed his sword to the ground, much like he would have done for Fierce Demon Fang, but instead it flowed outward in a vertical beam of energy mixed with a shockwave, both colored white. "The First Circle!" Feral grunted in pain as the strange arte collided with his skin. Kratos then followed it up by slashing to the right, knocking the scythe out of the way. Kratos immediately slashed back to the left, leaving a small cut on the man's chest, and then punched Feral in the gut with all his strength, which caused him to fly upwards a bit. This gave Kratos the perfect target upon which to impale the Unborn King. "The Second Circle!"
Such amazing artes. Kratos wondered briefly how he suddenly learned them.
Feral slid off of the sword, the blow injuring him slightly but not impaling him. "Impressive. To be able to cut me after only the first pillar…" Feral murmured to himself.
"I suppose that 'Will' of yours isn't such a perfect armor after all." Kratos said, sword pointed as his foes neck.
"Don't think I'm done yet, Aurion. You've yet to see my true strength." Feral stated as he threw himself away from the Seraph and took an odd stance as he flung off his cape. He held the scythe behind him and his left hand covering his right eye, his legs spread just beyond shoulder-width and knees slightly bent. "Let's see how you fair against the New Moon!" Feral screamed as Dark energy spiraled around him, creating enough pressure to force Kratos to shield himself. A grin clearly born from madness had now adorned the emotionless warrior's face.
The healthy peach tone of Feral's skin inverted itself into a sick shade of greenish-black. The silky white cloth that made up his clothes warped into a coarse black material, even the cape tens of yards from the man. Everything sky-blue on the High King instantly became an odd shade of brown, similar to the color you get when looking through an empty glass beer bottle. The whites of his eyes became an eerie shade of red as blood filled them and the irises twisted into a black void, emphasized by the surrounding red of his sclera. The circular scar on the back of his hand seemed to absorb all light, becoming even blacker than the new tone of his skin. The soft white glow of the scythe reversed itself into a darkness that sucked the color from everything around it.
And his mana, still with that thick, cloying sensation, was warped into one of chaos and madness. The once light half was now blacker than the deepest regions of Neiflheim, and more enigmatic than the clinging sensation felt from the other half.
But, as Kratos lowered his arms, he once again felt his gaze drawn to his eyes, his formerly soulless eyes.
Anger laced the pitch-black irises even as depression filed the pupils. Sorrow and fear shined in their depths and hatred caused the edges of the irises to quake. A spark of rage so intense that it gave the loathsome orbs a manic gleam casted its light over everything in them. Merely by looking this man in the eyes, Kratos felt an irrational fear fill his mind and he fought to hold his weapon steady as he tried to figure out why he was so afraid all of a sudden.
Altogether, an imposing figure now stood before Kratos, one whose appearance was worthy of the name "Feral". But, even so, it looked like the man could burst into tears at any moment, despite the enraged appearance.
Feral raised his scythe and slammed it, blade-down, into the ground. He raised his arms in a fighter's stance as he faced Kratos, without a weapon. "Come at me with all you've got, you miserable excuse for scum." Feral growled, quite literally. A permanent edge now coated every word that passed from his lips, as if the man was infuriated at anything and everything there was.
Kratos took a deep breath as he tried to calm himself. At least now he knew a weakness of his foe. His mana, or at least half of it, was clearly in alignment with Darkness mana, which meant he was more vulnerable to light mana attacks. And Kratos just happened to be one of the most powerful angels there was, which meant he was quite adept at light magic.
Kratos held his sword before him and felt feathers of light rise around him as he quickly chanted the words to the spell, "Sacred powers, cast your purifying light," Feral ran towards him, his hands balling into tightly clenched fists as he approached, "upon these corrupt souls. Re-ugah!" Saliva flew from Kratos's mouth as Feral's fist pounded into his solar plexus, this time sending shooting pain throughout it body and stealing the breath from his lungs. Kratos was launched into the air once more and slammed into the wall, which didn't help his breathing. He fell to the ground on his hands and knees as he gasped for breath. Such a powerful blow, and the man hadn't even used that strange black fire which seemed to make him many times stronger.
"What makes you think I'll let you get a spell like that off, worm? I am much stronger than before. I don't even need to use Yon to kill you like this. For you see," Feral said as he walked up to the fallen Seraph. He grabbed Kratos by the throat and effortlessly hoisted him into the air, "I am the hatred that lurks in your heart!" He threw Kratos over his head, jumping up after him. "I am the despair that stalks the deepest part of your mind!" Kratos tried to gasped for breath as a barrage of lightning-fast punches from the superhuman-if he can be considered human at all-being. Sickening cracks were extremely audible as the attack broke several ribs and even Kratos's nose. Blood gushed forth , adding to Kratos's dire situation. "I am the sadistic thrill that fills your veins, sending adrenaline pumping throughout your body. I am the New Moon!" He cried, his voice shrill and cracked, perfectly matching the madman's demeanor as he spun in the air and slammed his foot on top of Kratos's skull. Kratos was launched down and impacted the ground, a cloud of dust billowing from the impact point. Feral landed effortlessly beside the small crater that was revealed as the dust faded from the air.
The battered body of Kratos Aurion laid broken on the ground, still clinging to life. Bruises covered his body and blood trickled from his mouth. His eyes were already gaining that glazed quality of the dead. Blood poured from his nose and from a laceration hidden somewhere in his hair, though that didn't hamper the wound's ability to spill blood into his wine-red eyes. Despite the shattered appearance, Kratos clung to life, struggling to lift himself.
Feral watched the pitiful sight before him without an ounce of remorse or empathy. He merely hopped down next to the fallen warrior and firmly placed his boot on the small of his back, just below the wings, and forcefully shoved him back onto the ground. "You really should be thankful, you know. That onslaught just now actually moved your diaphragm back into its proper position, which means that your struggle to breathe right now is from exhaustion."
Kratos gasped for breath. Painfully, syllables that were barely audible managed to escape from the battered body. Feral grinned wickedly as he leaned down to hear what were undoubtedly to be the last words the man would utter.
Feral cackled as he straightened and pushed down harder with his foot and began twisting it, pressing Kratos further into the ground, earning pained gasps from the man. "Hahahaha! I've barely even started fighting and you're already begging for death! Ahahahahahaha! This is just too good!" An evil grin plastered the High King's face as he stopped grinding Kratos's body into the ground.
A low moan escaped the nearly dead man. "…Sinners…"
Feral's eyes widened in rage as the word reached his ears. "How dare you, whelp. You think you have the right to judge me just because you've lived four thousand years?" He lashed out with his foot, kicking the angel sharply in the side of his stomach, right on one of the ugliest looking bruises on his body. Kratos cried out in agony. Feral gripped the man by the neck, practically choking him from behind. "Maybe I should grant your request from before." Feral growled. Then his smiled as he shifted his hands from the throat to the roots of Kratos's blue wings. Black fire coated his arms, casting an eerie light on the man's demonic features and smile filled with sadistic expectation. "Don't think I'm just going to let you slip away without having a little fun first!" Feral chuckled as he slowly began to pull, putting Kratos in an unimaginable state of pain.
Through the screams of pain and anguish, a single intelligible word was heard.
Beams of light fell all around the room, rocking the tower as the powerful spell. Feral looked up, the astonishment he felt as plain as day on his face. He was right in time to see a pillar of light slam squarely into him. Piercing agony wracked his body as he crumpled to the ground, hugging himself in a futile effort to contain the pain. A second beam of light barreled into his back, causing another agonized scream to tear itself from the psychotic sadist's throat.
Feral glared at Kratos through one squinted eye, outrage filling his face. "You were casting a spell that entire time?" He haltingly snarled through clenched teeth. Due to the amount of time that the spell had been charging, it was far more powerful than normal, forcing the High King to take time to recover from the blasts.
Kratos, in the mean time, had immediately started casting a strong healing spell. "Healing… Stream," he panted. A swirling blue circle surrounded the angel as it healed his wounds to an enormous degree. Kratos felt relief flood him as the pain subsided and bones bent themselves back into place and cuts and abrasions stitched themselves back together. The worst of the wounds stayed, but were significantly lessened in likelihood to kill him. After a quick First Aid, Kratos stood over Feral, his sword pointed at the back of the man's neck.
Just as he was about to behead the monstrosity, he heard something he didn't expect to hear.
Feral was crying.
"I'm so sorry," The man sobbed.
Anger flared up at those three words, outraged that his enemy thought so little of him as to think he fall for a trick like that. "Those words change nothing." He said sternly, determination to rid the universe of this creature shining in his eyes.
"No, not for that. I just realized how painful it must have been for you to be forsaken on this comet."
Kratos was confused as to the man's sudden change in behavior. Was it a trick? No, it couldn't be, not unless this creature suddenly decided to cry. Then what he said clicked.
"I was not forsaken on this comet. I came here of my own will." Kratos told him coldly.
"Don't you regret your choice though? Don't you wish you could go back, to see your family and friends? They surely knew that you would eventually, but they obviously didn't care enough to stop you."
"They cared enough, they tried to stop me many times and I-"
"All part of the charade!" Feral moaned, "They make you think they care with their begging you to stay, but they're really strengthening your resolve. They tricked you, Kratos! Just like he tricked me…" Feral's babbling faded into sobbing as he began to shudder violently.
"I know what it feels like, to be forsaken. That man, so many years ago. I thought of him as a father, and he left me to suffer in the Realm of Evitagen. He gave me Yon, saying he would protect me, but it was a lie! All a lie!" The rage from before returned full force, drying the man's tears. "Just like they did to you!" Black fire burst into life around the man's limbs as he swung fist towards Kratos's jaw. Kratos jumped to the side, knowing that if that attack connected that Kratos's head would be off his shoulders and on the ground.
Don't worry, friend. I will never forsake you. As long as our deal holds, I will always be with you.
The strange voice said as Kratos ducked, dipped, dived, and dodged the constant punches from Feral. Eventually, Kratos found his back against a wall. Feral pulled back his fist, arm consumed by those demonic flames.
Suddenly, the feeling of power and relief from before came back, stronger than ever. Kratos felt himself duck beneath the punch and roll to the side. A sickening crunch was made as Feral's fist punched a small crater into the wall. The fire from that arm faded as he pulled the appendage back and bared his teeth in pain. Feral's fist was bent in about a dozen spots that it shouldn't have been bent in.
Kratos felt no pity for the beast. He had realized long ago that this was no man, even if he bore the form of one. Kratos charged him, sword glinting in the pale lighting of the building. "Take this!" he shouted as he held his sword before him and spun it around in his hand, giving Feral about six gashes right next to each other in the chest. "The Third Circle!" Feral recoiled in pain, but Kratos didn't let up. He punched the creature in the gut, sending him flying high in the air, where Kratos appeared next to him and swung his sword, giving him five more sword wounds, and then sent him crashing to the ground with a blow to the head by the hilt. "The Fourth Circle!"
Once again, Kratos had suddenly learned powerful artes. These seemed to coincide with the odd voice aiding him. Maybe the voice was sharing some of its power with him.
Feral shakily staggered to his feet. "I see how it is now," He growled, popping a special gel into his mouth. He reached out and picked up his scythe, which he happened to land by. Turning to face the angel, Feral threw him a special gel as well. "If I'm going to go all out, it isn't going to be on a foe who is already injured. I want you to last a bit!"
Kratos ate the gel, never taking his eyes off of the foe before him. That pride would be his downfall.
Okay, I got some time away from Xeralisk, so I can tell you some things real quick. By the way, scleras are the whites of your eyes. It was the easiest way for me to make sense in that sentence.
First off, who liked the character development? Sorry for introducing so many OC's in one chapter, but it was the method my imagination demanded it be played out in. You'll see each of them on their own eventually and they'll each show their darker sides, or in some cases, lighter sides.
As for the poem, if it sucks, I'm sorry. I made it up on the spot to describe each of the six most powerful members of the Unborn. It goes from strongest to weakest, describing Feral, Hema, William, Earthenclaw, Telarra, and Zephyr. It also reveals a snippet of their pasts and other such things.
And I leave you with a cliffhanger on the first chapter. The fight with Feral was going to be so massive that I decided it was probably better if I split it into two parts, otherwise this chapter would be twice as long as I normally make them and then I'd feel obligated to keep that length up for the entire story. And I leave you with so many questions to be answered but I really needed to get this story up by the promised time. I'm actually a little late already. But don't worry, I'll answer the questions next chapter, along with my intro of Xeralisk, who will probably do more than just maim me if he finds out about how I postponed his appearance. Don't tell him, please.
Anyway, in the next chapter-
Xeralisk: THERE YOU ARE, YOU MONGREL!
Crap! He caught up to me.
Xeralisk: ON TOP OF IRRITATING ME, YOU CUT ME OUT OF THE FIRST CHAPTER! NOW I'M REALLY GOING TO KILL YOU!
… And he found out about the change of plans had. Well, gotta run! I don't care if you review or not. Don't worry, I won't get offended if you don't review. I realized that your reviewing (or not reviewing) shouldn't affect my morale as an author. So send me a hate review, send me a love review, send me an "OMG! WTF?" review, or don't send me one at all, I don't care. Now, where were we?
Xeralisk: You were screaming in terror as I pursued you hell-bent on tearing you limb from limb.
Oh yeah, thanks. AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!
Xeralisk: WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING!