After a heartfelt final battle, the Chromo Gyamdre came to its inevitable conclusion with Beren defeating Mei Fong in a decisive confrontation. Beren won the mantle and was endowed by its radiant divine power. The young warrior rose as Beren the Yellow, the last heir of the Golden Spear clan and its techniques. The Red King, the leader of the Chromatic Lords, wants to test the newly christened warrior. Another test for the battle-worn fighter, will he prevail?

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With each breath, Beren could feel the divine energy of the mantle rise and fall. It was alive, much like himself. There was an awareness, one that typically only achieved through great amounts of training or enlightenment. Beren could feel the earth move, the cold breeze outside of the spatially awkward tower, and heartbeats of everyone within the chamber. There was a particular set of beats, small and soft, but still, strong and steady. Mei Fong was still unconscious but now resting off of the arena with Jade Tiger in attendance. The tabaxi had an herbal kit and did his best to make it hospitable for her.

The Red King stepped from his makeshift throne and stood before Beren on the broken remnants of the ring. The Red King was clad in metallic red armor, a helmet with sharp spikes that shared the resemblance of a crown. A dark cloak draped from his shoulders down to his knees, each step he made felt like thunder or hammer strikes in a blacksmith’s forge. Beren had fought countless battles, hundreds of warriors and mystics, but this was something else entirely. The young warrior knew that but stood firm as his would-be opponent approached. The mantle reinvigorated him like a second wind had come and gone. There was a lightness he never felt before as he channeled his ki, focusing on the light in the darkness. He imagined a single bright spark against the infinite void, he forced it to glow brighter and larger with each breath.

Without warning, five balls of fire flew at Beren with little room to maneuver. It was obviously a feint, meant to force him to dodge the attack only to be left open. He knew better. Instead, he focused his ki around his arms and braced himself for the blast. The flames erupted into a series of explosions, but Beren emerged with a golden spear and charged at his adversary. His speed was much faster than before, right at the point between blinks and consciousness. But the Red King quickly dodged the strike and blocked the kick that followed after, the armored lord was certainly battle-tested and was no amateur. A sword made of flames emerged from the Red King which he swung at the exposed Beren but the strike only passed through him. He realized the ploy immediately, narrowly dodging the plunging spear from above. It was an excellent tactic, a near double feint, using an afterimage. Against a normal opponent, the play would have worked, but the Red King wasn’t an ordinary combatant.

I need to stop fooling around. Beren thought.

Beren focused on his ki, channeling it through the Mantle of Courage he was bestowed. A radiant cloak emerged, as bright as sunlight that summoned a mighty gale. The golden spear shifted and changed, its point was elongated and secondary prongs appeared. A new spear. A spear that might pierce the heavens, Beren told himself.

“Finally, a challenge worthy of my skill.” The Red King answered. Red flames surrounded his armored form, it was similar to the Crimson Phoenix’s mantle, but it felt different. Streaks of lightning sparked by the fire, the energy focused itself onto his iron fist. The Fist of Kings, Beren thought. The other Chromatic Lords looked with silence, though a few seemed intrigued of the entire ordeal. The Azure Knight stood from his seat, for he personally had fought the Red King decades ago and faced the technique about to be unleashed on their latest entrant. It was an honor for some, to be defeated by it was equally its own reward. None had ever beaten this technique, something that Beren eagerly wanted to disprove.

The two warriors charged. The Red King’s hand roared like a mighty beast as he lunged forward with his arm extended. It was like facing the maw of a dragon. Beren was the spear wielder daring to face the behemoth but the young warrior continued forward, there was no where else to go. For a second, the young Golden Spear warrior felt as if the roaring fist was challenging him to grasp victory. Yes, who would claim it first? Beren smiled, and the two clashed. A bright light erupted from the arena, blinding all who dared to watch it.


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