Stepping through the portal brought them hilltop and their faces were beat through by a wave of heat contrasting the cold caverns of Theseus is Alpha-spell.
What awaited them on the other side of the portal was a world partly engulfed in flames. As soon as they stepped in, they were under a deep night sky, with a great fire illuminating it.
"What is that?" Pyrrha asked as she overlooked the carnage and distraction that lay before them.
There was a city that partly burned in a great inferno so hot that it washed over them. While not so far from it, was a mountain with a hole that was seventy percent of the mountains mass.
"Pashupatastra " Theseus whispered.
"What?" Chris asked as he turned to Theseus wondering what Pashupatastra meant.
"The magical residue in this area, i recognise it. Its Meghanada's Alpha-spell, the Pashupatastra. I can recognize that thing from anywhere" Theseus answered.
And as soon as he was finished, an earthquake rocked the hill as plumes of dust, erupted from the bottom of the hill as if an explosion had been set off at the bottom.
Chris raised Lucius-aurora and he looked back at Pyrrha who gripping hard onto her spear as a aura of boiling heat encased it, and Theseus who was busy sealing off the portal that closed off as if a wide gapping hole in space hadn't existed there.
"Weapons up, eyes sharp and watch the other's back. Got it?" he instructed them with one of the mottos of the Knights core.
The two of them nodded, showing that they understood. Chris took a few deep breaths as he focused his eyes on the plume of dust.
He planted his feet into the earth and with a great push, he took off like a rocket shuttering the sound barrier as he ran down hill. Theseus and Pyrrha followed close behind with Pyrrha running, while Theseus's Fae wings carried him just as fast as the two of them.
The dust was very thick and it really irritated Chris, but he chose to ignore it as they got deeper into the dust cloud that was most certainly bigger than he had originally assumed.
Chris came to screeching halt as a large boulder came flying in his direction at breakneck speeds. It was so fast that the dust parted between him and it.
Lucius-aurora met the boulder and the sword propelled by his immense strength prevailed, shuttering it to a thousand pieces.
From the dust, he heard something that sounded like a howling beast and then he felt the earth shake under him from what were certainly repeating shockwaves.
"I need to see through this " this dust was strangely thick, limiting even his enhanced vision.
With his grip of his sword tightened, Chris made a upwards swing with as much force as he could, and the air pressure excreted parted the dust like the red sea before Moses.
In the center of this parted space was a deep crater that had the team Argonaut member Elizabeth, or at least he thought that was her name. She was beaten into the ground with a man standing over her with his foot digging into her chest with a serious of absolutely viscous stomps.
Each one drove Elizabeth deeper into the earth as she gasped out in pain with saliva and air being forced out her mouth.
"Bad, bad, bad little flower" the man whispered over and over as large amounts of saliva and blood flowed out of his shark like teeth, as if was a rabid dog.
"You all should have bloomed into something beautiful. But instead you are infected with that stupid light and divinity" the vampire sounded mournful.
Chris didn't wait, he charged as fast as he could at the man with Lucius-aurora in mid swing with a clear aim for the creatures head, but as he got closer, the man vanished as if he had never been there in the first place.
Chris's eye's widened in surprise as flew right over Elizabeth. His surprise grew even more as a fist came from nowhere and crashed into his face, with such force that it almost dislocated his jaw.
He landed hard upon earth, face first before rolling for a few meters covering him in dirt and twigs.
" Damn it, this guy hits almost as hard as Morigan " he wanted to say but his hurt jaw could only produce whinnying sounds.
After some time on his back, he managed to crawl up to his feet. Though his jaw was still in pain and his head was spinning, making his stance a little wobbly.
He looked back to where Elizabeth had been beaten into the earth. He could see Pyrrha and Theseus, who were trying as hard as they could to fight the vampire.
Pyrrha ducked and weaved around the vampires strikes as best she could, but not even her notably fast speeds could protect her from getting dropped by the vampires fist's.
Theseus dropped out of the sky with his sword aimed for the vampires head. But like against Chris, the creature proved itself too fast and Theseus missed.
"So interesting, new little flowers. Pity that your not fast enough" the vampire said smiling.
"I don't need to be" Theseus looked at it smiling.
The vampire looked puzzled and the earth beneath it became a liquid in which it sunk up to it's abdomen.
Theseus swung his sword for vampires face but it grabbed his arm, stopping his sword one inch from it's face.
" Pretty nifty trick, i have one of my own " it's free hand extended into a bloody spike.
As soon as it finished a spear erupted from its spear that sent blood splattering over all over the ground and even upon Theseus.
Behind it Pyrrha emerged "Here's mine, its called Gae-Assail, and it burns".
Flesh and blood boiled, clothes burned from the heat that the spear radiated. The vampire screeched in pain as it pulled itself off the spear and ripped off it's burning shirt.
Theseus and Pyrrha continued their attacks as best they could. The two were great warriors with great speeds and solid techniques, but the creature was too fast and they couldn't land any solid hit's again.
He decided to join in, and charged from behind. The vampire turned, swinging it's elbow back at him. This time he managed to duck out of the way and one of the ice spikes that he had created in his left hand went into it's kidney.
The vampire tried to grab him, but Pyrrha's spear went trough the vampires wrist, knocking it away, while Theseus flew down from the air and knocked the vampire to the earth with a knee to it's face.
As it tried to get up Chris sent his right boot crashing into it's head, knocking it back with a nose that was mangled and bloody.
Pyrrha threw Gae-Assail straight at the vampire, but were it had been a swarm of bat's materialized and it reformed back into the vampire, away from the blazing spear.
Pyrrha and Theseus chased it down with their weapons ready to hack to pieces.
He raised his arm towards the vampire and out of it spikes made of ice flew out of his hand like bullet's. The vampire proved too fast for them, but they served their purpose, a distraction.
"Got you " he smirked as he took off after the vampire with it's back to him.
The vampire must have sensed him, because it turned to face him too late as he was no more than thirteen inches from it.
"Hey friend!" He shouted as he swung Lucius-aurora downwards with all of his strength.
The vampire raised it's left arm in order to stop the sword but the sword, now giving off a golden glow and vibrating in his grip.
Chris didn't know why but he felt stronger and faster than he had ever felt before.
Lucius-aurora cut through the arm as easily as a hot knife through butter. The vampire jumped back with a stump that was giving off steam from it's left elbow down.
The creature looked at him with wide eye's, it's face wetted with sweat and it's right hand frantically grasping on to it's cut arm, covering it's hand in ungodly amounts of inky darkness that leaked out out it's cut limb.
"Y...y...you" the vampire pointed it's trembling darkness covered finger at him "Starforge!".
Chris was taken back by not just the term that he hadn't heard since his near death in the Nexus, but also from the fear and anger that was in the vampires voice and eyes at it glared at him.
It's pupils were dilated, it's body was rolling with sweat and it trembled both fear and barely concealed rage.
"Light spawn, bastard of the crystals, disgusting flower, filthy, filthy, filthy!" He wasn't sure if he was offended by these attempts at insulting him.
"Are those suppose to be insu..." He never got to finish as felt the vampires fist once more collide with his jaw.
"How fast is this thing? ".
The only fighters who had ever blitzed him like this before where top Knight's. Though seeing that the vampire hit just as hard as them, it shouldn't have been too much of a shock.
The force of this punch was greater than the first one, and Chris soon found himself flying through the air, like a hypersonic missile.
His flight ended as he crashed through a wall so hard that it was demolished and finally he landed head first into gravel. His head was ringing and his jaw felt like it would fall off from pain.
"Why the hell didn't i bring my helmet? " he asked himself as he crawled out of the crater that he had created with his landing.
"I need an orange slice" he whimpered as he caressed his jaw.
Looking around he found himself in the city that he had looked at from the hill. Had it not be partly burned and destroyed, he could have called it beautiful.
The city looked like an old Gothic Victorian city with hundreds of buildings that were lit up with flames making them look like giant candles.
He turned to the building that he had flown through, and it was a giant cathedral with a hole upon its multi coloured mosaic were the picture of a saint would be.
"I am going to realm of the damned for this" he winced as the rest of the mosaic broke into a thousand pieces.
"The property here looks good though. Pity that everything is on fire" he began to walk back to cathedral so that he could retrace his point of origin when he heard someone shouting.
He paused and focused his hearing, it was a woman's voice and it sounded frantic. The woman was screaming her lungs out for help, over and over again without rest.
"Is that the others or another victim " he knew that vampires weren't new to kidnapping people, and leaving them around as snacks, but there weren't a missing persons cases here.
He began tracking the voice until he came across a building that like all the other buildings here it burned within a great inferno so hot that Chris could see some partly melted steel beams beginning to crumple.
He easily pulled the door out of it's hinges and he walked into room. The flames crawled all over the walls and roof.
For the rare time, he felt the intense heat that scorched his flesh and made his mouth dry.
He recognized the interior of the building as a bar, and he suspected that the beer burning was helping fuel the flames.
"Hello, is anyone in here!?" He shouted out as he walked through the flames, hoping not to get burned.
He was answered with a banging sound on the door to the left. The door was one of the very few things in this building not being burned to ash.
"Please, help me!" The voice sounded frantic and teary as the banging sound became nonstop.
"Hold on!" Chris carefully neared the door as the flames threatened to leap upon him from their frantic dance.
He neared the door and shouted into it "Please step away from the door, i am going to break it down".
Giving the woman a few seconds to step back, he readied his fist and with a good punch, the door was knocked in and he hoped that non of it's pieces flew into her face.
"Hey, you okay? " he asked as he walked into the storage room, where he could see the woman.
She had her back to him and she was trembling in fear as she wept. She was dressed in a stereotypical Victorian dress with long messy black hair.
He felt a swell of sympathy inside him as he wandered what kind of horrors she had either been subjected to or even seen here.
"Hey, calm down, its okay, it's okay" he slowly walked towards with his right hand outstretched "I am here to help".
Then she turned. Her eyes were milky lifeless orbs, her skin was pale as a corpse, her finger nails were so long that they might as well be called claws, her teeth were rotten and sharp like shark's. Chris looked at her and she looked at him, a awkward silence followed.
"Well, this is awkward" he whispered as he coughed " So, you need a... ".
It seems as though vampires enjoyed cutting him off from speaking, because the creature collided into him and knocked him to the ground. It roared, shrieked and tried to rend his flesh with teeth and claws, that were relentless.
" Get off of me, you witch!" he shouted as he threw her off of him and into the fires hoping that they could burn her.
Only her left hand landed into the flames, and she shrieked and wept as her hand was burnt to a crisp near instantly.
"Oh, so you don't like the flames, well then let's see how well you are with the cold" he felt his mana building up as the woman...no, vampire got upon all four's moving like the animal that she was behaving to be.
She jumped forward and he released his mana. The temperature in the room instantly fell, the flames died as the walls and floor were covered in a thick layer ice.
This happened near instantly and the vampire was a few meters from him, frozen in a block of ice. Even frozen within it, she screamed and she tried to break out of the ice, but Chris's ice was far stronger than ordinary ice, and even the likes of her was bound by it.
He raised Lucius-aurora and with a quick swing, it severed the vampires head from the rest of it's body.
He sighed hoping that this thing wasn't once a person. He walked out of the bar and a bolt of lightning rained down near his feet causing him to scream out like a child as he jumped backwards into the bar.
"Christian?" He heard Thor's voice who landed in front of him "Is that you?".
" Thor? " neared his friend who had a bruises face.
"My friend it's you" Thor looked excited and ready to hug him, but Chris wouldn't let him.
He reached forward and slapped Thor over his head "Be careful where you throw those things. Are you crazy, did you think what would happen if you hit me, ha!".
" Ouch!, no need to be so mean. I couldn't see you " Thor whined as he rubbed his head.
" Where are the other's? " he asked as he looked around.
"They are coming" Thor raised Mjølnir and from it, a bolt of lightning flew into the skies like some sort of signal.
"Good because i think we came across the vampire".
" Really " Thor asked getting closer to him " What about Elizabeth, is she well?".
"Yeah, we found Nosferatu beating down on her, but don't worry i got his arm" Chris showed the darkness that still stained Lucius-aurora.
"Got who's arm?" Mulengu's voice came from above where a giant ship hovered over the air.
"It's Jason's" Thor answered before he could ask.
The ship descended upon some of the buildings, crushing them under it's apparent multi ton weight. From it the reminder of team descended and they looked just as beat up as Thor.
Though looking closer, he could see Ursa behind everyone scowling at just about everything with a radiating aura of anger and sadness.
"Who's arm did Chris steal this time?" Mulengu asked.
"It's the vampires. And also, i have never stolen a arm before" the last thing Chris needed was to have his name slandered by Mulengu.
"Oh, so Omega Star never happened?" Mulengu folded his arms looking like a smug sea otter.
"What's Omega Star?" Meghanada asked to Ursa at first, but the cold glare from the purple archer turned her question to Thor.
"An old killer cyborg we fought long ago" Thor answered her with a firm smile, though as soon as he was finished, he turned to Ursa with a disappointed slash concerned face.
"How many time's must i say it. I simply beat him so badly his arm came off" Chris answered.
"Chris" Mulengu reached his hand to Chris's shoulders and he spoke in a serious voice " My dear friend Christian Ddraig, i know that taking the arms of others must make you feel great. But it is wrong and deviant... ".
Chris had never had to try and wrap his head around something so insane" What the heck are you talking about?!".
"I honestly, i don't know. I got this ball rolling and i figured that was in too deep to pull up out" Mulengu answered with his hand still on Chris's shoulder.
"Okay, please get your hand off my shoulder" Chris whispered to him.
" Oh thank Deus, this was starting to get awkward " Mulengu answered with a whisper as well.
" Guys, we need to get to our vampire" Jason said as went back on his ship.
"I don't remember where it..." Chris stopped as the city shook while a giant explosion sent smoke, dust and debris flying into the air from the west.
"Found it" Isfandiyar said as he pointed to the explosion " We should go before anymore of them show up ".
" Them?" Chris asked as he joined Jason on the ship.
"The monsters that make up this world, if i have to run into another one of its snakes, i will loose it" Mulengu replied.
Chris thought back to the vampire that he had just beheaded a few minutes ago "We don't want more of those. Get on the ship now".
The others obeyed his order with the exception of Mulengu and Isfandiyar, who both remained outside.
" What are you two doing? " he felt a bit irritated the two just remained there as the ship began to rise up into the air.
"I am calling shotgun on the horse" Mulengu answered with a big excited smile.
"The horse?" He asked in confusion.
"Isfandiyar do your thing" Mulengu sounded even more excited as Isfandiyar pulled a small green crystal from his pocket.
" Animathride?" Chris looked at the crystal in surprise before it's reason for existing made him realize it's purpose "Will you guys manage to keep up?".
" Rakhsh will manage " Isfandiyar answered as the crystal began to glow brightly and brightly, until a full stallion materialized before them.
"I need one of those summoning stones" Chris said as he watched the two get on the horse and it took off for the heavens just as fast as Jason's ship.
He sighed going to take a seat next to Ursa who looked silent, face looking down in disappointment and self defeat.
"So... a pocket world" he hoped that he could get something out of her, but Ursa remained silent.
"This whole pocket dimension created by a vampire, you got nothing to say about it" he widened his arms to everything, just hoping that she could start going through it and not look like a puppy that just got kicked.
"You don't need to try and cheer me up" she spoke and she sounded strained and tired.
" What's wrong?".
"What am i doing here Chris?" She answered him with a question.
"What do you mean, what are you doing here?".
" I mean why am i a Knight. I am not strong enough to justify my rank, i mean look at how weak i am in compression to the members of Argonaut, they did more against the vampire than i ever could. And they are supposed to be my juniors, what a joke".
"This is about the tournament isn't it" Chris he knew what she meant.
"I will fail" Ursa stated it like it was a decided fact.
"No you won't".
" Oh yeah, and why is that? " she had never sounded like this before.
"Because you have us" Chris knew that it sounded corny, but wasn't that what optimism was.
"Please don't try and use the power of friendship on me Ddraig" she scoffed at him and he didn't blame her.
"I know it sounds stupid, but you do have us Ursa. It doesn't matter what happens, but we shall always fight besides each other through and through. When we fall we shall pick each other up and we shall win together, or lose together if we have to. But we still have each other, and we are at our strongest together" now everyone on the ship was listening to his speech.
"That's a stupidly naive view on life Chris" from the half hidden smile on her face he knew that her spirits were at least lifted.
"I know Ursa, but it's not a bad one to live by" he answered her with a smile of his own.
"You know you should turn that into a T-shirt" Ursa said to him with a smile.
Then an explosion rocked the air and turned their attention to Meghanada, who appeared to have used one of her arrows to destroy a boulder that had launched towards them.
"Aeris Ddraig, its down there" Jason told him from the helm of the ship.
The hill that they had been fighting upon was carved in half and scorched into a black crisp. He could see Theseus, Pyrrha and Elizabeth fighting the vampire that was throwing around blood spikes and shifting to bats near constantly.
The fighters had cuts and bruises across their bodies. Their movements were slower from the pain obviously racking them. But so was the vampire, its cuts were healing slower and it's arm hadn't regrown like it should, in fact it looked infected and rotten.
"Alright, listen up" he made his voice loud and clear enough for everyone on the ship and the other two on the flying horse could hear.
"Meghanada, Ursa, Thor and Isfandiyar, i want you guys to remain in the distance and attack this thing with ranged attack's, so stay in the air. Jason, Mulengu and myself will join the melee and force it in so that we can weaken it and force it into positions that can aid with hitting it from above. Understood" he ordered them as he stepped upon the edge of the ship.
"Yes Sir" was the united answer from the rest of the Knight's.
"Good now move out!" Chris jumped off the ship as he focused on awakening a feeling in his back, that was more like a tingling sensation feeling on his back.
Chris had Fae blood from his grandmother, that meant everyone in his family with the exception for his mother that is, could manifest Fae wings. Unfortunately Chris wasn't an expert in using his wings.
The best he could do with them was glide. He flew right towards the vampire as fast as he could with Lucius-aurora in mid swing.
The vampire saw him and shrieked out in rage as it aimed its stump at him, and a geyser of dark energy shot out towards him. But a bolt of lightning from the sky met the dark energy and contended with it, allowing him to land next to the vampire.
"Bad fl..." It tried to shout at him but a quick elbow to its face, silenced it.
"Oh, shut up" he snarled as he followed his elbow with his sword that would have gone straight through it's heart but the creature managed to avoid his blade.
But Mulengu and Jason both tackled it, into a round house kick by Elizabeth who sent it flying through the air. There a barrage of arrows and lightning bolts tore thousands upon thousands of holes into it's body.
"Damn, now that's an overkill" Pyrrha said as she supported herself with her spear. Her left leg appeared broken and her right eye was closed from the giant bruise that was upon.
"Well you can't be to sure" Chris was about to go and chop off it's head.
"What too you so long. You decided to take a wee nap or something" Chris was taken aback by how Pyrrha spoke to him.
He suspected that the vampire had hit her a little too hard in the head, because of the large grin on her face and just how casual she was with him.
"Okay" was the only thing he could say as he walked towards the downed creature of darkness while weirded out by her new personality.
He got close to the vampires downed body that gave such a putrid smell that he almost gaged. But he braved on despite the horrible assault on his nose and he raised his sword overhead in order to deliver the death blow.
"Filth..." He thought it was just another idle curse by the dying creature, but instead it raised it's fist to the air and the entire pocket world began to tremble and break apart from an earthquake.
Then the earth around them began to erupt. Thousands of large amounts of earth were sent hurdling into the sky as a sea of inky darkness began to flood not just the cities but the mountains.
"Get back to the ship!" Chris ordered them as he jumped backwards to avoid falling into darkness like the vampires body had.
As they retreated back to the ship, Chris saw it. The black mass slithering across this new sea of darkness, it's body was large enough to put any sky scraper to shame and it's great red eyes were like miniature suns.
"By the old Forests is that?" Pyrrha asked in amazement.
"A Basilisk. I hate those things" Jason confirmed as he returned to the helm on his ship.
"Less looking more running" he said to the elf who was petrified with shock at the sight of the beast slithering it's way to them through the black sea.
His suspension about Pyrrha having an injured leg was proven as Pyrrha more or less limped very slowly.
"We are not getting anywhere like this " he cursed before he just grabbed Pyrrha in a bridal style as he leaped towards the ship that was hovering in the air.
It was a good thing too as the land they had standing was blasted into the air as well. He was so close to landing on the ship when something collided with him so hard and fast, he too was blasted into the sky and right into one of the land masses that was floating in the sky like some sort of sky island.
He groaned as he sat up inspecting his environment. He turned to Pyrrha who was holding on to her leg with a face twisted in pain.
"Hey, you okay" he asked as he neared her.
"Yeah, just a broken bloody bone" she answered him, when suddenly she grabbed her spear and hurled it past him.
Chris turned to see what she had tried to hit and he found a creature with the spear driven through it's shoulder. It was a thin creature with spindly arms and legs, it's eyes were milky white and its flesh was pitch black.
Chris might not have known what it was, if it wasn't for the the stump on it's left arm.
"What happened to you?" Chris felt disgusted as he watched it walk towards him with a hunched over body position and growling that was more like the beast it was than the man it pretended to be.
"Hey, Ulster can you still fight?" He asked as he got into a fighting stance.
"You bet your cute face i can".
" My what?!" He took his attention off it by a second and it attacked.
But he was ready and he slammed his fist into the earth, sending out hundreds of ice spikes that extended towards the vampire who got out of the way before it stopped shrieking as the spear in it's shoulder erupted into flames that burnt it.
It screamed as it ripped the spear out, even though a great gush of darkness left it's wound.
As if in response to it's screams a giant tail of the Basilisk came down upon the landmass sending him flying once more through the air.
Only this time the vampire was upon him trying as hard as possible to bite his throat out. He answered it's attempts with an elbow across its skull and a knee to it's kidney's.
The two of them landed together and rolled across the other landmass before Chris threw it off of him. As the creature rose back up a lightning bolt, a lightning arrow and a white arrow pinned it to earth long enough for Chris to slam his knee into it's face and send teeth flying.
Again the mighty Basilisk rose up from the black inky sea as it's eyes looking down upon him as a storm brewed above them.
"Come on!" He wasn't sure if he could kill it, by why not give it a shot.
Just as it neared him he heard someone screaming before Mulengu fell from the sky and upon the Basilisk's head. As Mulengu landed thousands of golden roots erupted from Mulengu and they bound themselves around the Basilisk.
It screamed and tried to break out of the chains but whatever Mulengu had done, the creature was bound for good.
"Finish it!" Mulengu shouted at him as he began to stub the creature into the head.
He turned to find the vampire about to strike him with it's other hand, when a purple arrow through its hand blowing it to a bloody chunk before it could strike him.
Chris smiled as he raised Lucius-aurora to the air watching as fear overtook the vampire that turned to flee away from him.
"Golau-Outlivion! " he felt his inside's overtaken by high voltages of mana as his sword began to morph into a rod of blue violent energy.
He aimed the energy and from it a large beam of energy was shot in a multi coloured aurora of energy that engulfed the vampire.
Chris kept his power going as it not only grinded the vampire to bits, but it also destroyed the reality that made up this pocket world.
He watched as the pocket world burned away, leaving the Knight's teams standing back upon beach as the sword returned to normal.
"Did you get it?" The sheriff asked him.
"Yes, it's done" Chris answered as he remembered it's victims.
Chris was glad to have escaped his hospital room. He had enough of listening to Theseus praise him and his Alpha-spell.
The boy had even begged him to show him it's power at full force. He had to pretend that he was going to get some water when in fact he just wanted to hide in the girls room.
He reached the girls room and knocked on their door. After receiving his answer he walked into the room and found it silent Ursa holding her echo so tight that she would have crushed it.
" What's wrong?".
Ursa looked at him with her face twisting in anger "It's the clan, they have moved the tournament to this week. We start in two day's".
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos