A/N: Wow guys I am so sorry for not updating this in forever! Just to try and make it up to you guys, I made this chapter nice and loooong. And enough talk, more of the story!
A teenage girl was running across a makeshift campsite in the middle of the evil fortress. It looked like she had a small sense of urgency in her step. The white cloak that she had on over her red and black leather armor was being soiled by the dirt and dust of the earth. She entered a large tent and turned to face her superior officer. "Sergeant Riname, reporting in!"
"Ah good, Riname. I thought I would see you soon. So how are our capture teams doing? They should be done by now," said Captain TadPol with a smile. He looked at his sergeant. He was very fond of this skinny, amber-eyed, young woman with long, straight, brown hair. Her Japanese face was cute, her build was average, and she had a very outgoing attitude. She was only fifteen years old, but he loved her like a father to a daughter, even though he was still only twenty one.
"Tad. There's trouble down at the slave camp. The team that was assigned to that area isn't responding," she explained.
"Huh? What happened?"
"I've sent a small group of scouts to get a look on the place, but they have yet to return."
"Well then we'll just have to wait. I'll give them a half hour to return. If by then they are not sighted, then I'll have to put precautionary plans into action. That's okay, right Ri?"
"You're the boss Tad, you make the decisions. And stop calling me Ri!" the sergeant complained, "It's embarrassing!"
TadPol chuckled. "Of course, of course. Now report back in when you see our scouts."
Thirty minutes later…
Riname walked back into the tent. "Tad, they haven't come back yet."
"That's not good." The Captain was anxious. Crap! How did a whole capture team and a group of scouts be missing? "Ok, our mission is to recuse the lost soldiers and find out the cause of this event. Gather Squad M. We'll need their scanning spells to guide us away from whatever's over there. Of course, you'll be coming with us, so tell Hi5 he's in charge. Meet up at the edge of the camp towards the target."
"Right!" She dashed out of the entrance to complete her tasks.
TadPol was left to contemplate about the upcoming mission. What could've taken down that many soldiers? Not even one escaped? TadPol started to gather his things. He picked up his lucky Captain's armband, so he could be distinguished from other stick figures, and his stylus, for he was almost powerless without it. Taking one last look around to see if he needed anything, he decided to move out. He started walking towards the rendezvous point, greeting his fellow soldiers on the way.
He waited for a couple of minutes before the rest of his team arrived. Squad M was a team of around thirty mages that were assigned to his battalion. They usually only used battle magic, but most knew tracking and restraining spells as well. "Everyone knows what happened and what we're going to do, right?" asked TadPol.
Riname, in front of the group, nodded. "I already explained it to them, now let's go!"
After she said that, the mission began and the group sprinted towards the slave camp.
"Everyone, guards up! We don't know what's in there," said TadPol. The camp was big, but it was far enough away from the fortress that any reinforcements would have difficulty getting there in time. It took the entire group just over twenty minutes to run the three miles, but a battle could be over in that time. They stealthily made their way to the edge of the camp, but the silence was eerie.
"Something's wrong," stated Riname. She looked around. "Where are our men? Hey, some of you guys try scanning the area. Tell us if you find anything." Some mages broke off from the group to start a reconnaissance spell. Once completed, they returned to the group and explained that all the prisoners were on the far side of the camp. There was also something blocking their vision in the main tent.
"I can only hope they're still alright," answers TadPol.
Minutes later, after making their way carefully through the camp, they arrive at the center, in front of a large, circus-sized tent that is emitting a ruby red shine.
"This is it guys. Whatever is in here is the problem!" exclaimed Riname.
"Let's go!" says TadPol, and they barge in through the entrance. The inside was cluttered with junk, but the first thing they saw was the initial capture team trapped inside of a 15-foot tall, translucent box. The prisoners looked unconscious and seemed like they were becoming weaker by the minute.
"What? They're trapped in a scam! Help them out of there now, before they become Corrupted!" commanded Riname.
The experienced mages started to mobilize and soon found the entrance. The screen flipped open as they released the lock. They all had anxious expressions on their faces as they rescued their comrades. As the prisoners were set free they drowsily woke up. They weren't ready for battle yet, so the rescue team brought them back outside the tent.
"Serg—Sergeant… Urgh… Wait," coughed one of the prisoners.
Riname heard his call and made her way over to his coarse voice. "Yes soldier?" she replied.
"Do—Don't go back in there! It's too powerful! We didn't stand a chance!" he warned.
It. Which means one thing? One thing powerful enough to defeat two squads?
"Do you have enough strength to tell me what happened?" asked Riname.
We arrived at the camp, twenty men strong and ready for battle. We moved closer and closer, sticking together, but found no resistance. Checking the tents, we found the slaves. Most were just normal inhabitants, but we found some creators mixed in. There was this one man with brown hair. He said he was the famous Info from the Practice Channel, but I didn't believe him. Anyways, he said that all the Corrupted had rushed towards the main tent as if there was a free purple star. When our team heard this we geared up, sent the prisoners to the far side of the camp, and made our way to the center. We got there and it looked like a bomb had gone off. The tent had many tears in its fabric, and was glowing red. Our leader sensed something bad and told everyone to keep our guards up.
We entered the tent expecting to find the Corrupted, but instead we found a lone stick figure with a black and white head holding a black and red scythe. Power flowed off of his body like it yearned to be released. He was standing in front of a bed with an unconscious kid as if he were watching him. We could only stand there in shock as the man turned to face us. We looked up only to find ruby colored eyes staring back at us. We immediately averted our eyes in fear and realized all the unconscious bodies of the Corrupted that littered the floor.
Then we heard the voice of the lone man, "Drop your weapons, that is, if you value your safety."
Our group looked at each other unsure of what to do. I was pretty skeptical about what one could do with a farming tool, but his intimidation was VERY effective. A few moments later our leader replied, "You first."
The stick figure was silent for a moment until the scythe began to dissipate into red particles. When the scythe disappeared our leader said, "Good. Ok, now put your hands up and slowly walk over to us."
The ruby-eyed man put his hands up until all of a sudden he burst forward, punching the leader square in the face, knocking him back into the leather of the tent. He crumpled down onto the ground as he fell. I was still staring at the leader when two more of our group flew backwards.
The rest of the group's battle sense kicked in and aimed for the stick figure. Two of our swordsmen double teamed him in a frontal slash, but he dodged in between them while back fisting both of them in the head. Two more down. Our second in command signaled for us to surround him and we hurriedly followed the order. The target let us surround him like he was in no danger.
A soldier wielding a halberd took the initiative and launched a heavy overhead strike. Whoosh! He danced to the side with a little skip as the halberd crashed into the ground. The soldier went to meet the ruby eyed man fist to fist, but he was taken out with a sidekick the moment he let go of his weapon.
A soldier flanked him, charging with a sword and shield. He tried a horizontal slash this time, but the enemy hopped up in the air. The soldier put up his shield to block his attack, but the stickman jumped off of him like a spring board. He landed softly and did a low sweep on the shield soldier's legs. He fell to the ground as the enemy twisted back up and did an axe kick into his side. Not waiting for the next attack, he proceeded to lunge at our circle. He did another power punch with his right, this time into the armor of the soldier. The metal dented inwards as he fell to the floor.
All of our attacks were futile as he continued to dodge and counter. Our group of twenty was now cut in half to only ten people. I was still frozen in fear. Seconds later another one of us fell. It continued for only a minute longer. Three people were left including me, our second in command, and one other.
He charged at the other soldier and did a right feint. The soldier put up his shield to block, but he didn't see the back leg hook kick coming in from the left. His head snapped down as he fell to the floor, but his body fell forward into the still recovering enemy. His ruby eyes widened slightly as he was forced off balance in order to dodge the body. This was my chance. I rushed forward, gripping my two-handed sword tightly and made a broad, horizontal sweep using all of my strength.
His ruby eyes quickly glanced at me. Suddenly he jerked his arm towards my sword as if to catch it. There was no way he could have blocked this much power. I continued my swing, but the moment it reached his hand there was a deafening sound. The sword vibrated as it rebounded off his hand. No way! There was no blocking that! I shifted my eyes toward his hand when I realized that it was glowing red. I quickly put two and two together and understood that he had blocked my strike by firing a small burst of energy out of his palm.
My sword bounced back bringing my arms with it. He then slid his hand onto my chest. I braced for impact and BAM! I flew back after being hit by the same red energy. I slid on the ground and turned over and over until I smacked my face into something hard. That's when I lost consciousness.
Upon finishing his story, the soldier looked to the girl for her reaction. She had a stern expression on her face and got up. "So what you're saying is that one lone stick figure took out twenty men in only minutes?" she asked.
She paused for a moment before she thanked the soldier for his information. She hurried back over to TadPol who was still helping out to treat the wounds on the prisoners.
"Tad. Tad! One of the soldiers told me what happened!" she exclaimed. She then summarized the soldier's story and relayed it to him.
"I see. But we still have no choice. Our recon team is still missing. We can't just leave them behind. We're going to try and avoid a battle if we can. I guess we'll just have to try and talk it out," he said. But that has a very low chance of success…
"Anyways, let's hurry up and finish treating the wounded so we can confront this guy and get our team back," commanded TadPol.
When the task was completed, TadPol signaled for the rescue team to continue investigating. Riname led the way as they returned to the glowing tent. She carefully tiptoed through the entrance flaps back to where they found the scam.
They slowly sneaked around the trap using the ominous red light to see and made their way through a pile of junk. Seconds later they climbed over a table and entered into the center of the tent. The only thing they saw was a small bed with an unconscious teenage boy lying on it. "What the? A creator? This isn't the guy that soldier was talking about! And our recon team isn't in sight! Tad, what do we do?" Riname asked from the front.
TadPol looked over the boy and replied, "Well it doesn't seem like he's a Corrupted." He pointed at two mages and said, "You two go get him off that bed and back outside with the others. I'll watch your back and Ri, you watch mine, Ok? Everybody else stay on alert."
Riname looked like she was annoyed, but the atmosphere was too tense to complain. "Got it," answered the group.
The two mages in the plan were ready to begin. One took the front while the one in the rear took out his stylus. He pointed in the air and closed his eyes to concentrate. Moments later the silhouette of a stretcher appeared. More moments passed and the stretcher materialized. It fell into the creator's hands as he finished putting his stylus away. They got up and started to move towards the boy. The captain followed behind, who was then followed by a cautious sergeant. The boy was only thirty feet away so it wouldn't take long to get there, but as they reached halfway the red light that had lit up the tent suddenly became intensely bright. The team stopped to cover their eyes. A few seconds later the light dimmed down and the tent returned its normal, non-red lighting. The team was about to continue until… WHAM!
Something dropped in front of them causing the dirt to rise. The same moment, a wave of fear flew through the air as if it were a shockwave. TadPol and Riname sensed it as they cringed for a second before returning to their usual battle mode. However, the two mages in front panicked loudly before being controlled by TadPol. He guided them to stay behind Riname as the dirt finally settled, revealing the half-white, half-black head of the man from the soldier's story.
The figure stood up keeping his eyes closed and raised his hand in front of him. "Halt. What are you doing here?" the voice asked with a menacing tone.
TadPol, now in the lead, replied, "We only came to rescue our own people. We don't want to get into any unnecessary conflicts."
He opens his eyes to show the ruby aura within them and says, "I see. That's a shame. You and the young woman behind you look like quite a challenge," the figure gestures to Riname. "Well then, let me introduce myself calmly. I am Equinox, creation of Rysun. Are you sure you don't want to fight?" he asks.
TadPol nods his head. I've never heard of and creator named Rysun before. How could he have made such a powerful creation without being noticed? The captain then looks back at the sleeping boy in the center. It can't be him… right?
"I see. That's a shame! Well, I guess you must be looking for these guys," Equinox says as he walks over to an overturned bedframe. He kicks it aside revealing the recon team tied together and unconscious.
"They were stubborn, just like the other groups. I must say, they weren't much of a challenge for me. Ah, but that's the past. Please take them as you wish. But make sure they get some better training next time!" Equinox says with a small smile.
"Thank you, but I must ask you for one last thing," says TadPol.
Hearing this, Riname nudges her captain quickly and whispers, "What now? We got our team, now let's get out of here! Don't you remember the story?"
He silences her by putting up his hand. Using the same hand, he points towards the boy in the bed and continues with his request. "I ask you to let us question the boy on the bed over there."
The red-eyed stick figure did not answer again. Instead he narrowed his eyes and slid into a long battle stance. He stuck out both of his hands and red particles gathered, forming the shape of a scythe in between.
"Great! Now look what you did!" complained Riname.
TadPol was unaffected by her words. He looked at his sergeant with a serious expression. "I just have a hunch. I need you to wake that boy on the bed up. You hear me? It's important. The rest of us will engage battle with Equinox."
"But you'll get owned!"
"Not if you wake that boy up! I think…"
"Gah! Whatever. Just don't lose too quickly," says Riname.
The black scythe had finished appearing in Equinox's hands. He pointed it towards TadPol as he got ready to strike. The rest of Group M, excluding Riname, tensed up as they watched their new enemy. A few seconds of silence passed.
Woosh! Equinox lunged at the captain going for a powerful overhead strike. TadPol stepped forward to block the same time that Riname started to sprint towards the boy on the bed. Almost all the mages had begun their counter attacks. Time seemed to slow down for everyone in the tent. Riname was only able to take a couple of steps before Equinox's scythe reached TadPol's head.
But the attack never connected.
The scythe suddenly dissipated back into red light. Equinox stumbled forward to the side of the still waiting TadPol and did a quick forward roll. The red-eyed stickman stood up after recovering, as Riname reached the bed and TadPol realized what happened.
All eyes looked to Equinox as his body started to dissipate into red light like his scythe starting from his feet. Everyone is still stuck in awe as his body is almost gone. The red particles float in the air, waiting for the diffusion to complete. Only his neck and above remain as he turns his head towards the boy and whispers, "Good morning, Rysun."
With those words, Equinox's body had completely separated into countless floating, red particles. 'Wooohhhhhh…' was what was going through everyone's minds.
The red particles looked like the stars in the night sky as they twinkled and hovered throughout the room. At the same time, all the particles zoomed towards Riname and the boy. The sergeant was startled and took a dive to the floor. The red lights gathered quickly above the boy and finally became a concentrated mass in the form of a red orb. The orb hovered for several moments before dropping through the boy's chest.
All was silent until the boy jolted out of bed, eyes wide with a frightened expression. "NO! NOT IN THERE!" he screamed.
He stayed frightened until he realized his surroundings and everyone staring at him. TadPol was the first to say something. "Hey kid. Calm down. We're only here to help. I'm guessing you're called Rysun, right?"
"Uh, yeah. Who are you?"
"Captain TadPol, commanding officer of the 88th Siege Brigade, at your service. C'mon kid. I'll tell you what happened," the dark blue stick figure said with a smile. He extended his hand out to the unsure teenager.
"Uh… Sure," he replied as he took TadPol's hand.
A/N: OHMAIGAWSH. This is the longest chapter I've done so far. I think it's like three times the length of the first chapter. I guess it's mostly due to the flashback, and also because I didn't know where to end it. I was going to end it just as Rysun woke up, but then I was like 'Nahhh I'll continue.' Anyways, I hope you liked it! Please take the time to review! :D