The showdown between the Fallen King and the Chromatic Lords is underway. The dark warrior seemingly has an endless armory of shadowy weapons, powerful enough to deflect and parry any attacks by the endowed warriors. In a desperate ploy, Beren the Yellow used the rune disk given to him by the Lady of Light and sent Mei Fong and Jade Tiger away from the battlefield, saving them from an ill fate. Beren, along with the five other Chromatic Lords face an overwhelming force unlike any they have ever seen, this unholy lord taunts them in their futility. Will they prevail?
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The ground was scorched and littered with drops of blood. A smoky haze lingered in the air, obscuring the fading sunlight until windswept to reveal a grisly scene. Beren the Yellow stood almost a dozen feet from a towering dark armored warrior. Streaks of blood spilled from the side of his brow, nearly covering over one of his eyes. His tunic was torn and ripped with various gashes and cuts. There was a noticeable quiver in his grip of the radiant spear made of his ki energy. The battle is nearing its conclusion as he glanced at the fallen forms of his fellow Chromatic Lords, all still and silent. The warrior monk recalled the movements of the battle; he hated that he was right. This wasn’t a battle, it was a slaughter, he thought.
“You have fought well, warrior. Better than your compatriots. Better than most, in fact.” A low voice bellowed in Beren’s head. He crossed his arms, assured of his victory. “Before I kill you, tell me your name.”
“It’s Beren the Yellow, of the Golden Spear.” He spat blood onto the dirt.
“Beren the Yellow, I will remember that name. I will honor you among the countless of my piety.”
“I sense that the elf witch did not tell you of your doomed fate. Did she give you some glimmer of hollowed hope?”
“Funny you should say that. She did. Unfortunately, I used it on my friends instead.”
“Do you believe honor will spare you? Sparing them will amount to nothing, their sorrows amplified by your passing, a delay in the inevitable.”
“Tell me, o Fallen King, who betrayed you that you hold such contempt for others? For fellowship, honor, and love?”
“That tale is one borne of pain and misery. Sadly, you have stalled long enough and must meet your end.” The Fallen King unwrapped his metallic arms, and with a small gesture, a black obsidian blade emerged from the tips of his fingers, flying at blinding speeds toward the weary young warrior.
This was it. Death was inescapable. Beren had no strength left in his body, the Fallen King had worn the youth with powerful arcane magicks and even more dangerous techniques that overwhelmed the rest of the Chromatic Lords. Black Crow was the first to fall, he remembered, and shortly Silver Serpent. A black blade pierced Emerald Giant and left a giant gaping hole in his chest. Azure dropped soon after that, surrounded by black blades with no means to defend herself. Her cries of agony before her demise haunt Beren’s ears still. The worse was the Red King, blow after blow, parried and deflected with so little effort. Eventually, the dark lord must have grown bored of the endeavor and impaled the crimson warrior through the heart with a gauntlet. Beren dodged several attacks but did not come out entirely unscathed, he narrowly avoided several spells but still felt the sting of the vile weapons.
He thought back to the whole Chromo Gyamdre, where he fought his way to regain his master’s legacy. Never realizing the truth until he met the Lady of Light and the charge of the Chromatic Lords. Honestly, he never wanted any of it, the burden of duty and honor. Though, if he never journeyed to the monastery in the foreboding crags of the Pilgrim mountains, he would have never met Mei Fong or befriend Jade Tiger in his journeys. He thought of Mei Fong, her fierce eyes, and deadly blade work, the air of pride when she walked, and her beauty like dancing fire. Beren remembered the touch of her lips and how gentle her hands were even though they were firm and sure when she wielded her twin swords. She was always stubborn and never gave up. Her pride wouldn’t allow it.
For that brief moment, there was beauty amongst the carnage. A moment, when hope reignited.
Beren summoned the last of his strength and parried the black weapon at the last moment. It struck a nearby boulder and instantly disintegrated it. Suddenly, the young warrior heard familiar voices all at once in his mind. At first, it was unclear and distorted, but eventually, they became one voice with clear intent. Defeat the Fallen King. Glowing light surrounded the corpses of the Chromatic Lords; it was their mantles! They flew to Beren and shrouded the warrior in a prismatic aura, his fatigued faded and some of his wounds even healed. A renewed vigor like nothing he had experienced before as if he had rested for days.
“Fight,” the voices spoke.
Beren grinned and looked at the stoic visage of the Fallen King. “Showtime.”
With dazzling speed, the warrior monk charged forward faster than before with a golden rainbow behind him. He willed his golden spear and struck the dark warrior, which he readily blocked with layers of shadowy weapons. Beren felt something call out to him, he reacted instinctively and summoned an emerald axe and smashed through the barricade. He could do it, the fallen warrior’s barrier could be broken! Beren willed twin purple daggers into existence to strike the black armor but was deflected again but by a weapon in the Fallen King’s hands instead.
“Impressive, Beren the Yellow. Most impressive. Show me your resolve!”
With immense might, the dark knight flung Beren backward several feet. Beren regained his composure and began to focus his ki, recalling the many techniques he learned from his pilgrimage. The swirling rainbow intensified, reacting to the gathered energy like a fuse ready to ignite. This time around, the Fallen King held two black blades in each hand, with still an aura of swirling death about him.
Beren willed his ki to make his body as firm as the most durable metal, that he as fast as lightning, stronger than any beast, an awareness that would make an oracle blush, and a mind heightened above all else. The energies reacted, and he felt lighter than ever in his life as if he could fly off the ground if he wished. In a flash of light, Beren flew towards the Fallen King again, his fist impacted the black blade, and a wave of thunder echoed across the valley. Faster than the blades could react, there was a chance now, and he took it. Each blow was like thunder, a clash between giants or even titans. There was an opening, a quick left jab followed by a swift kick to the helm. Beren retreated once the fallen knight stopped moving. There was a moment of silence between them, the young warrior tried to assess his opponent, but stoic demeanor did not indicate pain or disgust.
“You continue to impress me, Beren the Yellow. Finally, a challenge.” There was almost a sense of joy in the ominous voice, Beren remained focused and poised to retaliate.
In a shadow step, the Fallen King reappeared in Beren’s blind spot, but the warrior narrowly escaped the blade swing and parried a series of blades thrown at him with a sword of crimson color. Beren channeled his ki into the construct and replicated the Crimson Phoenix clan’s ultimate technique.
“The Chromatic Lords, send their regards!”
A quick flash and explosion, Beren waited for the dust to settle but not before ducking again from another black blade. The young warrior used the reduced stature to jump high into the air and formed his arms to the shape of a creature’s jaw, encasing them more ki energy. A specialty of the Verdant Conclave, the Tiger’s Maw, with the ability to rip and rend armor easily. The technique would have worked, but the dark knight held Beren’ s arm mid-flight, preventing him the ability to connect. Beren broke the grapple and shifted back, conjuring a blue bow with arrows made of ki energy which he fired several shots at the Fallen King upon his retreat. The dark warrior deflected the shots and fired backed in his style. They were both nearly evenly matched. Only, Beren knew that this newfound power was temporary, he was losing precious time and still couldn’t decisively find victory in defeating the Fallen King.
There was a chance, but it was of significant risk. There could be no mistakes. Beren felt the voices of the fallen Chromatic Lords again, this time, to grant him the resolve needed to finish this fight. He focused and willed all of the accumulated energy into his fists, for one final strike.
“Excellent, I can sense your resolve. Very well, I shall grant you your well-deserved death.”
Beren charged again, faster and harder than ever, he wanted to grasp victory. It was like his first bout with the Red King when the only stakes were victory or loss. Now, the very fate of the world hangs on Beren’s shoulders, more than ever, the lives of countless people and those he cared. Everything hinged in this final strike, his reach for the hope of tomorrow. In that brief moment, an arcane rune appeared on the fighter’s fist, the same one Beren recognized on the disk he received. The Fallen King attempted to parry but felt the full brunt of the strike, the arcane rune glowed brightly and lifted from his fist and onto the black armor instead. The rune became a series of chained links each with a small arcane script on them, and the Fallen King reeled in agony. A tear in space appeared not far behind him, and the air began to suck towards the vortex, dragging anything into it.
“How dare she! How dare she use this ploy against me! Her betrayal is boundless! Victory is your’s mortal, but know that my hatred is immortal and timeless. Your legacy will be the delay of the inevitable end of all things. I am the promised end, and I shall not be denied. This blasphemy will not be forgotten!” The voice of the Fallen King screamed into Beren’s head.
The dark knight continued to resist the powerful magicks placed upon him. Beren felt the air shift for a moment and turned to see the Lady of Light beside him with a blue cube in her hand. She tapped on its various faces, and it glowed brightly for a moment, the vortex behind the dark knight grew more massive and its pull intensified.
“YOU! HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU USE THOSE AGAINST ME! YOU WILL SUFFER FOR ALL YOUR LIVES! THAT IS MY SOLEMN VOW!”
The visage of the black armored horror was torn through the vortex, leaving only the lingering echo of his voice ringing in Beren’s head. Beren turned back to the Lady of Light bewildered and saw Mei Fong and Jade Tiger rush to his side. The rainbow aura faded, and Beren collapsed on the pair, fatigue began to settle, and the wounds previously began to worsen. The elf maiden approached and sang a brief hymn and the young man’s remained scars healed along with most of the fatigue.
“Is it over?” Mei asked, concerned.
“No, he will return one day. It was a half-hearted measure, only enough to delay him for several lifetimes hopefully.” She replied, seemingly unsure as everyone there.
“Looks like I fulfilled my role, didn’t I?” Beren snarled.
“It had to be done, there was no other alternative. He nearly broke the binds, I had no other choice.”
“The lives of five valiant warriors, that was the cost.” He retorted.
“They knew the risks and continued forward with the knowledge that survival was never a certainty.” She defended.
In the corner of Beren’s sight, five ghostly visages appeared beside him and the Lady of Light. They were mostly human with one that seemed elvish in nature. The young warrior quickly surmised their true origins, these were the fallen Chromatic Lords.
“You bear our legacies now Beren the Yellow, we leave the hope of tomorrow to you. Do not judge her harshly, we knew that death was very certain. We chose to follow our beliefs and creed, that was all we had to keep us ruth to ourselves until the very end.” The voice of the Red King spoke.
Beren sighed, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be, we weren’t. Just live for our sake, and remember us.” Azure comforted.
“Make sure our legacies endure Beren, do not let our deaths be in vain. Pass it on the next inheriter, the one of the prismatic shroud. The hopes of all those who came before, the will of six masters that shared the oath of peace and the protection of this land of magic.” Silver Serpent reassured.
“Remember to be honest with thyself, and never forget your friends,” the Emerald Giant reminded.
“Our time is over, you did us proud and fulfilled our oaths. We can rest now and journey to the forest of tomorrow to be reborn again. May we be as brave later as we were now, may our souls meet again Beren the Yellow.” Black Crow confided.
Beren grinned for the first time in a while and almost never stopped grinning since he nodded with confidently held his head with a smile as the spirits of the Chromatic Lords faded.
The Lady of Light turned to the trio and nodded to each of them. “I promise to guide to the next life, that is my sacred charge as the chosen of the light. My oath to all who sacrifice for the light against the shadow. You can rest assured that those five have earned their peace.” The elf maiden turned into a spark of light in the shape of a small bird, the five colored spirits followed behind it as they soared beyond the horizon.
The three warriors stood in the midst of the battle-torn field as if all of it was a dream. Perhaps it was, but one filled with promise and hope as Beren, Mei Fong, and Jade Tiger journeyed together out of the valley. Their stories would continue, and their legacies would be felt for generations. The color of hope is infinite, and will always endure.
– END –
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