Advertisement
Remove

A note from Necariin

Check out Wish Upon The Stars, by MalcolmTent! 

Synopsis:

Heroes, Villains and those in between constantly struggle in a world where the race to the top of the food chain can be brutal and unforgiving. For people like Shane, though, sometimes you get a leg up on the competition. Maybe he can be one of the few that can actually make it to the top. Or maybe that's just Wishful thinking.

Fiendforge is level 14!
...
Fiendforge is level 18!
 
Haim was dead. The Paladins and undead scattered. The Golems...smashed. Felix had to double check that one, but their conjured carcasses were slowly dissipating back into the atmosphere.
 
The Primordial was gone, and all that remained was the immense Skyslain's Riposte. Its flesh had been subsumed by his Sovereign of Flesh, torn apart and manually drawn through Felix's core like a crofter making yarn. He hadn't even known he could do that, and here he'd done that and more.
 
Felix stumbled, hand to his gut as a fissure of burning energy looped outward along his channels. It felt like swallowing hot ash and glass. If Pit and the others hadn't been able to share it with him, then Felix doubted he'd have lived through the experience. Even still—
 
He gagged, wisps of muli-hued Mana and Essence snaking out of his open mouth. They twisted and curled, too light to fall, too volatile to stay down. "Pit. Where's Beef?"
 
The tenku was on his side, breathing heavy in the gruesome remains of the armored Paladin. Pit's eyes were white around the edges, and his pupils were constricted to pinpricks. I don't know. I don't—I don't feel right.
 
"Your Evolution isn't complete," Felix said. He grimaced as more Essence burned free of his Mana Gates in his palms and elbows. Blue-white electricity and red-gold flame glimmered off of his limbs, leaving behind tantalizing trails of light if he moved too fast. "We're both half-baked."
 
His Skills had jumped up, Tempered into Adept...but it had been chaotic. Felix held back as much as he could until they'd killed Haim, and now...now he could let it go. "We gotta finish. Now, before it kills us, Pit."
 
How? The Choice was made, and it asks again. What else—Pit stopped his words, shuddering as caustic yellow fire and purple-white ice chased each other across his scorched barding. What else can I do?
 
Shaken and hurt, Felix didn't hesitate to press his bloody hand against Pit's heaving side. "Show me."
 
Notifications swirled into his vision.
 
Adjusting Evolution Choices...
Choose One Of The Following!
 
Witherheart Tenku
Scourclaw Tenku
Stormwing Tenku
 
"Your old choice was invalidated apparently," Felix said with a grunt. He ran his hands through the semi-real notification. He couldn't touch it, but his over-strained senses could feel a buzzing around it all. "Which one did you choose before?"
 
Wardenwing.
 
A spasm of electric heat spiraled out from his core again, and his Tempering clawed at his weary Will. "Sounds like a tank. That's what you want, dude?"
 
I...need to protect you. As you have protected me.
 
Felix grinned and pressed his forehead against Pit's neck. Lightning, ice, and fire jumped between them, scalding his neck and shoulders, but he just pressed in tighter. "Even if you turned yourself into a shield, you can't protect me from everything, bud. Choice is yours, so I'd rather you think about what you want."
 
Pit's big head dipped, his curved beak snapping in thought.
 
"And quick, because I can't hold Fiendforge on you forever," he added, but his laugh was choked off by more writhing power from his channels. "And I gotta finish my Temper."
 
Still gripping Pit's core with Fiendforge, Felix let his own notifications spill out into his awareness. They flashed, repeating what he'd seen before.
 
Sovereign of Flesh is level 75!
...
Sovereign of Flesh is level 78!
Adept Tier!
You Gain:
+100 STR
 
He'd lost the Essence Motes and Memories he'd long held onto, and not a single Mote remained. More than a little of the Primordial of Withering Dust remained in Felix—caught in the filtering branches of his Divine Tree—but it was all significance and diluted Essence adorning his Tree like cosmic leaves. With jittering hands he ripped open Pit's saddlebags, releasing a glut of Health Potions and a sizeable chunk of dark-blue Mana crystal. He'd taken that a day or two ago, and he tossed it to the side with trembling fingers—it wasn't what he needed.
 
+75 AGL
 
There! He snagged two blue-stone decanters, both of them among the few he had that were pure and unadulterated by the extensive process Felix and Aenea had devised. He ripped free their sealed tops with his teeth and slugged them back, one after the other. They burned like grain alcohol down his throat and screamed into his channels like a multi-colored bolt of lightning.
 
+...
 
Legendary Essence Detected During Formation!
[Essence Draught of Atlantes (Pure)]
 
The Essence draught went hog wild inside of him, slamming through his core space like a battering ram. It slashed through his Divine Tree, pulling in its wake the purified Primordial Essence that clung like cobwebs. It soaked into his Skill, flooding it with its liquid lightning that constantly shifted in hue with every beat and burr of the Grand Harmony and Dissonance.
 
Broken Path and Fatebreaker Titles Found!
Adept Tier Bonus Added!
Unbound Nature Resonates With [Essence Draught of Atlantes (Pure)]!
Calculating Effects...
 
Choose A Feature:
Marrow - Vital Heart
Cardinal - Elder Soul
Renewal - Unyielding Flesh
 
Unlike previous draughts, the one made from Spirit Fruit sang with wild power. Felix's Mind shook under its influence, barely parsing out the many melodies he'd come to know: the soft aria of the green wilds, the war beat of the wild threnody, the solemn song of absolution, the dire cacophony of the coronach, and the strident tones of the adamant discord. All of it tumbled among a greater whole, a song that encompassed all that was and all that would be...yet still felt empty.
 
Into that emptiness, however, the Dissonance of his core space manifested. Not intruded or invaded, just...rose from unknown depths within the Harmony itself. A piece of the greater whole, no different than the other songs that pervaded Felix's being. Once joined, the Dissonance resonated with the whole of him—Mind, Body, and Spirit—in a way that he'd never experienced. At best the interplay of Dissonance and Harmony had been one of grudging coexistence, and at worst they had torn each other to pieces. Now, something else was occurring. Something new.
 
Most importantly, Felix could hear the Feature that best fit his Sovereign of Flesh. Not Marrow, though a Vital Heart sounded useful; nor Renewal, though every bit of him wished to choose it. No, the only fit was the last, Cardinal. Elder Soul.
 
He chose.
 
Congratulations!
You Have Absorbed The Essence Of [Cardinal]!
 
The draught sank into him, soaking through the swirling pattern of his Skill. Immediately a change overcame it, the arcing lines of the wavelike patterns becoming more convoluted as Primordial Essence was drawn inward. The entire Skill swelled, doubling in size until it rivaled his Adamant Discord for complexity, until it sang out in an entirely new voice. A reverberation shook through his core space and channels, carrying with it the newly changed sound of his Sovereign of Flesh. Wounds all over him closed rapidly, his broken bones mending and his over-strained Body easing by the smallest degree. Lost muscle and blood replenished itself. His Body was being remade, but slowly, and Felix hadn't time to wait.
 
Relentless Resolution is level 75!
...
Relentless Resolution is level 77!
Adept Tier!
You Gain:
+90 AGL
+50 DEX
+...
 
Legendary Essence Detected During Formation!
[Essence Draught of Atlantes (Pure)]
 
The second Essence Draught flooded into his Skill, dragging even more of the Primordial Essence with it. The complicated interplay of melodies and atonal inconsistencies wove tighter together than ever before. Combined, a half-step out of beat, they rose again in a violent crescendo.
 
Broken Path and Fatebreaker Titles Found!
Adept Tier Bonus Added!
Unbound Nature Resonates With [Essence Draught of Atlantes (Pure)]!
Calculating Effects...
 
Choose A Feature:
Titan - Stand Tall
Obdurate - Stand Firm
Grim - Stand Apart
 
The thrumming din of it all pummeled Felix's senses, his Affinity most of all. Primordial Essence chased after Legendary Draught as Harmony and Dissonance swept into a wild dance all throughout his core space. Felix stood in the middle, his Fiendforge aching, burning, trembling to let go. Holding on was all he could do, all he could think of—and it was all he needed now.
 
He chose.
 
Congratulations!
You Have Absorbed The Essence Of [Obdurate]!
 
Fiendforge is level 19!
 
His Relentless Resolution shifted, soaking up the Essence Draught like parched soil. The cascading sound gathered momentum from his two Tempering Skills, until it was a storm that raged inside of Felix's chest. Lightning and fire raced outward, along his limbs in greater amounts than before, blue-white and red-gold and accompanied by a caustic, blinding pain.
 
The Song of Absolution is level 84!
 
"Just...Temper already," he gasped into the dirty floor. The pressure spiked inside him, magma crawling across his channels, settling into the cracks of his Body. Sovereign of Flesh hummed along, furiously patching up the damage, and his heart hammered hard enough that Felix's shoulders jumped with every beat.
 
A retort cracked the sky, followed by the sound of a thousand shattering windows. Felix tilted his head, just enough to see a comet of fire and brutal fury come arcing down—a man, bald and screaming, at its center.
 
Pit! Felix threw his body up, no matter how painful it was, and backed into his Companion. Finish up!
 
Yet even if Felix put everything into his own Temper, the process of creating his Adept Body would knock him out. He'd seen it happen twice now. Six hours he was out, and he doubted he'd last the next six seconds. Kel'lyv neared, and the heat went from painful to unbearable.
 
"C'mon!" Felix screamed at himself. "Temper!"
 
WARNING!
Fully Tempering Into Adept Tier Requires Immense Energy!
Proceeding May Result In Death Or Worse!
Do You Wish To—
 
Yes yes yes! Felix shouted at the System. Take everything! Just do it! Convergence!
 
Pit vanished and the fireball arrived.
 

 
Etheric Concordance is level 81!
Etheric Concordance is level 82!
 
Choose One Of The Following!
 
Witherheart Tenku
Scourclaw Tenku
Stormwing Tenku
 
Pit's Mind was overcome by the pressures within and without. The furious assault of flame and brutal impact that Felix was experiencing wasn't entirely felt, but it echoed across their bond with a savage ferocity that raised Pit's hackles. Yet he couldn't confront that monster outside without fixing himself first. Internally, the energies that were soaking his core were spinning faster and faster.
 
Choose!
 
Pit squawked indignantly, and focused. He knew what he wished, but...Why did Felix have to confuse him?
 
Choose!
 
The energies of his core howled, crackling off his core in arcs of fire and ice. A tempest of power that hinted at vast possibilities. Pit trilled in frustration.
 
What did he want?
 
Choose!
 

 
3 of 3 Body Essences Formed!
Tempering Has Begun!
 
Felix crouched beneath the Grandmaster, forearm raised as fire washed over the both of them. The pain was numbed by his Song of Absolution, but it was still awful. It chewed at him, flensing away charring flesh with razors of heat, only to have his Skill bring it back...just it was getting slower as it went on.
 
"Weren't you, unf, weren't you stronger before?" Felix asked as his cheeks burnt and blistered.
 
"Strong enough for you, Veil!" Kel'lyv shouted, and booted Felix straight in the chest.
 
Felix tumbled backward, flipping over and over against the ground and the armored bodies of his enemies. He flared Relentless Resolution and stabbed down with his Inheritor's Will. The curved sword bit into the bodies and stone beneath them, dragging Felix to a screeching stop. He gagged, blood pouring from his mouth before the dent in his chest healed with a grisly pop, and he forced a bloody smile at the Grandmaster. "Touched a nerve, I think."
 
"What have you done with the Primordial? Where have you hidden its body?" the Grandmaster demanded.
 
"Hidden?" Felix asked.
 
Kel'lyv slashed a hand, sending an angry arc of flame at Felix. It melted a nasty swath through undead and Paladin corpses alike, and Felix leaped over it, barely. "Do not toy with me, boy! I do not know how you accomplished it, but that creature's corpse was all that stood between my city and monsters like the Hierophant! WHERE IS IT?"
 
"Oh that Primordial, right," Felix grated out. His throat felt like he'd gargled glass, but his Sovereign of Flesh was still fixing the internal bleeding that rampaged through him from that kick. "It was gone when I got here. I think Haim was taking it back to his boss."
 
"Blind oafs," Kel'lyv cursed. "How? How did they do it? The cage around that thing was erected by creatures beyond our mortal scope!"
 
"They're Paladins," Felix said, wetting his lips and carefully standing from his crouch. "How do you think?"
 
"The Pathless." The Grandmaster closed his eyes briefly as blood vessels bulged in his forehead. "Those damnable fools. What have they done?"
 
Just keep talking, Felix pled silently. He had been his Essence into his cores, fueling the Tempering process with the dense, overflowing amount of Primordial Essence in his core space. His dual cores ate it up, burning the shimmering Essence without end; Felix could almost feel his Body forming inside of him but it was too slow. Beef was down, Hallow was nowhere to be seen, and Pit was fighting to evolve. It was just him versus a Grandmaster. Again. He shook his head, shoving away the fog that kept clouding his Mind. Stay awake! Fall asleep and you're dead!
 
Kel'lyv stepped forward and then stopped. Looked down, and then back up as the flames around his body intensified once again. Even fifty feet away, Felix could feel the heat of it all. "What is this, Veil?"
 
He kicked something through the air, landing it within three yards of Felix's position. A severed head, still locked in a confused scream, with bright yellow eyes glazed over in death. Felix opened his mouth once, twice before speaking. "Seems like Haim bit off more than he could chew."
 
The comet returned. Instantly the Grandmaster was upon Felix, arm reaching for his throat. Felix ducked his neck and dropped, speeping his leg at the same time as he flared Corrosive Strike. The blow took the mage in the leading leg, buckling his knee, but the jerk simply started flying instead of running. They collided.
 
Wild Threnody!
Rime Shaping!
 
Felix's fist met Kel'lyv's own. Ice hit fire in a hissing shower of steam, and both of them were thrown back. The sheer magical potency behind the Grandmaster shattered Felix's knuckles and one of his forearm bones, but the mage didn't get off easy. He staggered back, keeping his feet and staring aghast at the bloody gouges ripped across his gray hand. The mage's eyes were wider than Felix had ever seen them.
 
"Yeah," Felix said between panting breaths. His arm was twisting and setting itself slowly. It felt like someone grinding his nerves into paste. "Definitely weaker. I—"
 
With a wrathful roar, the Grandmaster unleashed his potent Spirit. That familiar pressure slammed down on him, attempting to crush Felix with its sheer breadth. He grunted, wounds reopening along his sides and legs, torn by the weight of it all. Then something twinged his ears. His Affinity continued to be submerged in chaotic cacophony, but a lilting note cut through. Just enough to notice.
 
What is—? Felix gasped as it revealed itself to him. The lilting note wove outward, around the Grandmaster like a cloak of invisible power. It's....it's not his Spirit...it's Authority.
 
And his own Authority was resonating with it. He focused with everything that wasn't furiously holding Fiendforge, or funneling Essence into his cores, or keeping Pit alive through the riotous chaos inside of Felix's Spirit. His shreds of spare Intent grasped forward, as if using a limb he'd never known existed. Felix's Authority twisted, shifting up sharply, and a notification appeared before them both.
 
Do You Wish To Challenge Grandmaster Kel'lyv For Territorial Authority?
Y/N
 
"Oh hell yes," Felix said, lips already curving upward.
 
Attention!
Territorial Lord Grandmaster Kel'lyv Has Been Challenged For His Authority!
The Challenger Is Felix Nevarre, Autarch of Nagast!
 
"Autarch," Kel'lyv said with a click of his tongue. The Grandmaster's Spirit vanished, its pressure pulling back inward on the mage with a pained grunt. "I should have suspected. No mere ambassador could have survived my assault. Do you truly wish this, Nevarre? Only death shall end this duel."
 
Felix wet his lips but kept his grin. It was all he could do. "Sounds like someone's afraid."
 
The Grandmaster's entire body fell into shadow, as if a sun was suddenly expanding behind him. A Human-shaped solar eclipse. "You'll regret that, boy."
 
Advertisement
A note from Necariin

Book 1, Dissonance is out now on KU, audiobook, and paperback! Order Here!
Book 2, Silence is available for ebook preorder, available in all formats on June 22nd! Pre Order Here!
This arc is complete up on Patreon! Read 42 chapters ahead!

PATREON

Beginner Tier - $3 for 10 chapters ahead of RoyalRoad
Apprentice Tier - $5 for 15 chapters ahead of RoyalRoad
Journeyman Tier - $10 for 42 chapters ahead of RoyalRoad 

https://www.patreon.com/necariin 


VOTE

Also, it always helps if you vote on TopWebFiction!


DISCORD

Check out the story Discord server!

If you haven't yet, please rate or review the fiction! It's appreciated.

Big thanks to all my patrons! And thank you all for reading!


My Discord!     Top Web Fiction!     Patreon!


Support "Unbound"

About the author

Necariin

  • NY

Bio: Fantasy fan and author, looking to make fun and interesting stories.

Achievements
Comments(39)
Log in to comment
Log In

Moreta ago

It's not the best moment to be in middle of tempering, but we know the story well enough to know it will only turn for better for Felix.

McCane ago

Does Felix have a Luck stat? It would have to be abyssal.

WalkingInWonder ago

Huh, this tempering needs great power, and here we have great power showing up. Although, going into a boss fight with a broken body prolly isn’t the smartest.

Thanks for the chapter.

    baelrath ago

    Authority constest is gonna be all willpower, which our boy can deny Divine and Primordial with his... little bitty flame guy.. toast.

    Not sure if Authority can fuel a temper, but he does have a fudge ton probs still coursing through him. or maybe Hunger will contribute to the cause. Or maybe ol Grandmaster has a bit of flame in him still and he steal that.

    OR if you want power of friendship... those links could go both ways and they could give back what he gave them.

Hopeful Daydreams ago

Loving the story! Thanks for the chapter!

Itkovan ago

Edit suggestion:

He had been feeding his Essence into his cores, fueling the Tempering process with the dense

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Grandmaster's entire body fell into shadow, as if a sun was suddenly expanding behind him. A Human-shaped solar eclipse. "You'll regret that, boy."

As if the grandmaster had any plans on letting "Veil" leave alive regardless....

    AllMages ago

    Yeah, it's kind of annoying actually. Same with Haim, the paladin jackass.

    "I am going to try and kill you no matter what, but lemme just whine and moan about how theres suddenly way more reasons for me to what i intended to do in the first place."

Log in to comment
Log In