The hour of the shadow approaches, the Chromatic Lords along with Beren the Yellow, Mei Fong, and Jade Tiger enjoy their possible last revel. Though powerful and brave, the warriors suspected that their enemy was far more terrible. A hopeless battle for a narrow sliver of hope. Hope, was all they had left. 

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Beren head back down the familiar corridors of the magical tower he had called home for nearly a year. To his surprise, Mei Fong waited for him not far from the feast hall where the others presided. The young man smiled and gracefully approached the swordswoman, though today she seemed different. Beren always admired her beauty, like an open flame, but her hair was down, and she wore a different robe from before.

“Were you waiting for me?” He teased.

“Did you get your answers from the Lady?” She asked.

“Just more vague sermons and something about wishing for a better way.”

“I guess our deaths are almost certain.”

“The odds were stacked against us before, but this time, death looms close.”

“It’s rare to see you worry,” Mei Fong observed. She walked closer to an uncertain Beren.

He darted her gaze for a moment, looking beyond the small windows and openings of the hallway. There were glimpses of the stars and the night sky, the sound of the howling mountain winds, and he imagined the snowfall on the mountaintops. When we went back to look at Mei, she was nearly an inch from his face and fiercely stared at him. Both remained locked in eye contact, lost in their depths, Beren wished the moment would last.

“Do you want a duel?” Mei challenged.

“Think you can win?”

“Afraid to lose?”

“Guess we got a score to settle.”

The two warriors smiled and giggled before walking down several corridors and hallways to one of the larger training rooms. In a matter of minutes, they got their respective armors and equipment ready. The room was roughly sixty feet by eighty feet, while it was indoors there was an enchantment that displayed the night sky above. Mei Fong wore a red hide armor with a long skirt and her blades at her side. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail again, her previous playful demeanor shifted to a serious one. Beren wore his tunic still but channeled his ki and the golden sash around his waist appeared, a radiant light like the dawn.

A long awaited rewatch for them.

Both stood on either side of the court, Beren summoned a golden spear on his right hand and prepared his stance accordingly while Mei infused her swords with elemental fire. As the illusionary moon tucked behind a cluster of clouds, the two dashed at each other. Beren blocked both sword swings and parried, trying to counter with a swift kick, but Mei Fong easily saw the feint and ducked in time. She tried to offset his balance with a sweeping low kick which Beren anticipated as he jumped up and decided to follow through with an overhead swing of the spear. Mei tumbled out of the impact zone and swiftly got back to her feet. A small crater on the ground where Beren’s spear fell, most mortals would have suffered serious wounds for such a strike but Mei Fong had mastered many things in her year long stay in the mountaintop tower.

“Not bad, good follow through,” Mei complimented.

“Thanks, nice dodge from earlier.” Beren mirrored.

Mei Fong channeled more of her ki, and the flames extended beyond the length of the swords and a cloak of fire seemed to encompass her form. Beren smiled and answered her bluff, the sash around his waist glowed bright and what looked like a long coat of golden light rested on the Golden Spear’s shoulders, a soft light emanated from his body as well and covered the rest of his arms and legs.

“Looks like someone wants to get serious,” Beren teased.

“Won’t know which of us is the better warrior if we fight half-heartedly.”

“Fair point.”

The two resumed their flurry of strikes, the air became like thunder from their blows. Waves of flames and golden light danced along the court, Beren blocked a series of sword swings and even avoided the heat of the fire from her mantle for a short while. But Mei continued her assault, forcing Beren to be on the defensive for a short while until her strike connected from one of her kicks to Beren’s jaw. The force of the attack sent him colliding into the wall of the room, a sizable crater was made and almost broke through to the other side.

“Ow, that hurt,” Beren remarked.

“If you don’t fight more seriously, you’ll continue being hurt.”

Before Beren could counter, Mei summoned a sizeable flaming blade almost white in color and charged straight for him. The strike narrowly missed but the extreme heat began to singe part of the warrior’s skin.

“Guess I’ll have to use that trump card after all,” Beren said out loud.

The monk’s fist began to glow a golden light, Mei sensed the immense amount of ki pooled into it and knew that such a strike would leave some damage. She braced herself and welcomed the attack with her blazing sword. The two charged once more, and their attacks met in a deadlock, Mei Fong felt the force of Beren’s assault as she couldn’t completely stop it and began to move backward. Overwhelmed by the sheer intensity, Mei Fong flew back into the wall of the room. She crumbled onto the floor, her strength sapped from her. When she looked up, Beren stood not far from her with his golden aura, and she smiled.

“Feeling better?” She nudged.

Beren knelt down beside her and pressed his forehead against hers. “Yes, thank you.”

“I don’t know what the future has in store for us, whether we die like your prophecy says and only one of us survives. Just know, you saved me from the darkness and gave me back the light.” Mei acknowledged and gently kissed Beren. Beren eagerly returned the favor, caressing her head in the empty silence of the tower.

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