Every beginning is born from an ending… some are soft and gentle like an evening breeze others are harsh and bleak…
It is the ending of one story that structures another.
A young woman, white haired and tanned skin wearing a golden armor with silver trimming, leisurely drags along a bruised and bleeding chubby man by the hair to the edge of a citadel’s veranda overlooking the destruction of a city and a genocide of its people.
Lifting up to her eye level, she squeezed the man’s cheeks affectionately before giving him a backhand that sends him back to the floor.
Picking the man yet again, she cradles him, her clawed glove carving words into his face. As the frightened man begins to whimper, she gently places her finger to his lips, which he acknowledged by shutting up.
“My dear Reis Pallamur, how does it feel to see everything and everyone you know and love die? Its a curious feeling isn’t it? Allow everything you see to be etched permanently into your soul. With this you have nowhere and no one to turn to. Don’t worry I will never tire of you.”
The sudden call of port from the men aboard roused the man now calling himself Gaxis Mur from slumber. Sitting up an taking a sip from a bedside bottle of brandy, he stumbled out of bed and began setting the brace for his near useless left arm. Brace set with no apparent issues, he begins to pack up his load scattered around the cabin. It was a fairly expensive cabin on a fairly expensive ship. It had cost him quite a pretty penny to ride on this ship but it had been worth it. Two weeks of comfort and the fact that someone of his looks could get in at all was a blessing.
Burnt, scarred skin all over his body, one near useless arm supported by a a mechanical brace and armed with enough charms and guns to battle a small clan.
Picking his bags and exiting the cabin, Gaxis pulls his hood over his face. People react funny to his looks and he was pretty sensitive this morning.
It had been awhile since he had such a clear dream of the past. Normally it was all jumbled and ragged but this one was pretty clear. The day everything ended.
Getting down from the boat he took a breath of air and sighed.
“A new land, a new opportunity and a chance for a new beginning.”
Being on a new continent, he had to be safer than what was left of back home.
Meanwhile in the mining town of Serida, a couple lay in bed enjoying each other’s company when a low gong of the alarm rouses the male out of bed. Dressing quickly Kayle Mimnon looks back at Jenna, his beloved as she sat in bed brooding
She said holding the sheets tightly.
“Jenna please… it’s my sworn duty.”
“You may think so, but is it really?”
She noted, as Kayle sat on a chair to wear his boots.
“Twice now, the powers of the holy maiden and the dreaded warrior have abandoned you mid battle and you only survived through luck. Its too dangerous to keep mixing the two powers together!”
“What can I do? Every few weeks the mad witch Y sends another one of her monsters to rob the sacred mines.
And so far it’s only by welding both powers that I’ve stood a chance against them.”
Walking to her and kissing her lightly, he holds her face in his hands.
“I’m doing this for you. I love you.”
That said he rushes out of the room leaving his anxious lover behind.
A few minutes later he’s at the temple of the holy maiden, the holy site of Serida and also where Amerin the Elder responsible for the AGU system resided. He was a pale thin man who seemed more like a ghost than any living creature, but had a stare that could pierce your very soul.
it was with this stare that he greeted Kayle as he entered the hidden chamber of the temple.
“problem with Jenna?”
Avoiding his questioning look, Kayle collected a necklace with a large ruby from the old man.
“Nothing serious. How is it?”
“The worst has happened. Y herself has decided to march towards the city. Intercepting her before she gets here is this town’s only hope!”
Kayle’s eyes widened as he made a quick realization.
“If she’s decided to come herself, that means this is the best chance to end this conflict once and for all.”
“That may be true, but you cannot weld both the power of the maiden and the warrior together! Your AGU form won’t last. At least call your lady, her ability would surely ease the task.”
Concerned, Amerin places his hand on Kayle’s shoulder. Kayle however shakes his head, clutching the chain tight.
“No… I can’t do that. I’ve lost many a ally fighting that witch. I can’t bring her into this. I can do this. I can finish this quick enough to avoid my AGU failing again.”
Amerin sighed as he made a motion with his hands blessing the young man.
“I pray for your safe return.”
Maybe I should have just gone on a cheaper boat, sighed Gax as he made his way through the swampy marsh.
He had underestimated the greed of the costoms officials and the varied taxes he had to pay just to be allowed to bring his gear on land. Now he was forced to walk his way to the nearest town.
But an hour ago he had been strangely compelled to pass through the marsh. Bringing out a blade and a gun, he shifts the branches out of the way as he cautiously viewed his surroundings. He would have ignored the feeling if not for the tales he had heard of great warriors driven to madness fighting the compulsion. Better he goes in prepared for a fight than become another wretched being. Suddenly he felt a presence. A rotten putrid, abominable force right in front of him. Biting into one of his neck charms, he quickly says an incantation to which his body is filled with a warm glow.
He heard it and wished he didn’t. The roars, screeches and howls of several abominibeasts were bowing to a creature sitting on a throne of bones. It was a skull faced witch, with three pairs of arms, long dirty hair and dressed in what used to be a white dress now marked with blood, mud and whatever things Gax did not want to think about.
Noticing his presence, the witch began to laugh, several staves appearing in each of her six hands.
“Hee hee my pretties! Before the glorious slaughter that awaits us, I’ ll have a little snack!”
This is going to be problematic noted Gax as he saw a seven foot chimera being shoved by an even bigger patchwork monster both struggling to be the first to eat him.
Blade in hand, Gax slashed the ankles of the larger beast causing it to crash into a tree.
Firing a few well placed shots from his gun, he put down the smaller chimera.
As more monsters appear around him, Gax fires and slashes his way through them.
As Gax takes a quick look at the bone throne, He realises that the witch is no longer seated there.
Gax is barely able to leap out of the way as the witch welding a large spike, crashes into the ground, the impact throwing Gax into a pile of corpses.
“Madness doesn’t seem so bad after all.”
Gax mumbles as he staggers out of the pile, pushing stray limbs out of the way. Suddenly finding himself face to face with a crazed witch, Gax unloads his guns on her to little effect.
Lifted by the shirt, Gax is hurled into the air, crashing into some nearby shrubbery. Bleeding and disorientated, Gax feels something slimy around his neck only to discover that it’s the witches tongue.
Using her tongue this time, she hurls him back into the swampy waters.
Spitting out mud, Gax makes a quick look at what’s left of his inventory. Blades were scattered all over the grass out of reach, guns were ruined from the swamp mud.
As if that wasn’t enough, the protective charm he had activated had long faded. Gax sighed as he realized it was over.
As if in acknowledgement of his plight, the witch makes a quick hand gesture,mutters a few words and everything goes black for Gax.
Everything becomes still and quiet except for a familiar voice which sent chills through him.
“Why did you ever think you could run from me?”
Gax’s eyes widen as familiar golden gauntlets wrap round his shoulders.
“There is no one who hates you as much as I do and yet I love you the most. Isn’t it the same for you? You hate me yet I’m the only one in your heart..”
Gax begins to choke as the Golden gauntlets held his throat, squeezing the life out of him.
“You belong to me Reis, your miserable life, essence and memories are mine to use as I please. I guess I just have…”
A sudden light explodes an Gax is back to his senses, finding himself in the witches grasp, with her staring angrily at a new vistor.
“Your menace ends here Y!!!”
Kayle glared at the enemy of his home land who seemed about to feast on some unfortunate soul.
“You again? Has the deaths of the rest of your merry crew taught you nothing White AGU? You must be missing them terribly to be facing me alone.”
Throwing her prey aside, the witch summoned her staves as she marched towards the AGU warrior.
Even as he summoned the pearl white spear, Kayle could feel it. The two energies were not mixing well causing severe fluctuations in his power. He needed to end this battle quickly.
The impact of their intial clash could surely be heard from miles away.
Y summoned chains, demons and spectral agents, whom Kayle easily broke, destroyed and banished with his spear. Fustrated, Y lashes out herself at the AGU warrior toe to toe, knocking him around due to her speed and superior number of limbs. Kayle manages to recover blinding and burning her with a blast of divine light.
Spin kicking her into the mud, Kayle charges his spear to give the final finisher when it suddenly disappears.
Caught off guard Kayle is suddenly stabbed by a gigantic needle.
” I do not know what just happened to you AGU and I don’t care. What I do know is that you fall today.”
Y dashes at him, her fingernails enlongating to large jagged claws. Kayle manages to dodge the first few attacks but the wound from the needle slowed him down. Grabbing the end of the needle, Y summons several other needles the size of swords and impales Kayle over and over and over, summoning more needles when she ran out.
By the time she was done, the AGU warrior had become a bloody pincushion as it drops to the ground.
Howling like a mad dog, the witch made a little dance around the corpse and vanished into thin air.
At the temple the Elder Amerin shed a tear as he knelt by a pool in his chamber… the worst had happened, he had felt Kayle die and the power of the maiden return to the temple.
As explosions and screams began to echo from above, the elder confused asks a single question.
“Where is the power of the warrior?”
Wake up… wake up child of Halios. Sleeping is the last thing you should be doing.
Gax groaned pulling his battered body together as he got to his feet. Before him stood a shadowy being whose eyes glowed white. He felt no malice from it, actually he felt a cool calming aura surrounding it.
“Lemme guess, you’re the entity that drew me here to get my ass kicked?”
More or less. I am one of the two powers that protect the mining town of Serida, a place due west of your current location.
I am the Dark warrior, the shadow of the holy maiden.
“And what would you want from me?”
I had originally planned to recruit you to our cause and aid the current AGU but… Now that he has fallen, I must ask you to take his place and defeat the witch Y.
Taking a quick look at the corpse of the AGU warrior before him, Gax shakes his head.
” Erm… I can understand the need for a replacement vessel for your power but aren’t there others in Serida who would serve your needs better?”
Why go back there when the perfect vessel stands right before me. You are a natural fit for the power I represent unlike you predecessor. Besides I can provide a means of dealing with the problem you have been running from. A chance to redeem yourself to your fallen homeland.
Gax stood still, clenching his fist into a ball. He hated situations like this, ones where he didn’t really have a choice in the matter. But on the other hand it was exceedingly rare to be chosen by a deity to weld it’s power. If he wanted to ever stop running and stand a chance against her, this was a good way to start.
“I’ll accept your offer, that’s the least I owe the warrior that died in my place.”
The town smoulders, blood and rubble decorating it’s streets. Behavioral corrections officers, Mages and Even the elite guards lay either bleeding or dead as their bodies littered all the way from the town square to the Cheif’s palace and to the sacred mines.
A mixture of loud laughter and sobs emanate from the entrance of the mine.
Her dress dyed crimson, Y cackled as she dragged a young platinum girl by the hair towards a massive sealed door.
Touching the door, Y clawed at it like an impatient child wanting her present.
“My dear princess stephanie, have you ever heard the story of why this mine is considered sacred?”
Nonchalantly shaking the girls head via her hair,
“Course you do! Its basic knowledge for the ruling family of this little dump. Though obviously it’s the edited version.”
Pulling the the princess up so that she could stare into her frightened teary eyes, Y chuckled to herself.
“Want to hear my version? There’s only one answer to that question!”
“Wonderful! Children of today are so thoughtful! I only had to raze your town to get you interested!… where is that old coot anyway? I thought he’ld personally try challenging me, not that he had a chance… Oh yes I almost forgot! my story…once upon a time there was great Demon who ruled his country with a mighty fist, he was deemed unstoppable until one day a certain man found a stone that granted him incredible powers. Using the stone he slew the demon and became a hero. A mage realising the potential for the stone set about searching for it until he found a whole massive deposit underground. To protect his stash, he sacrificed his daughter and her husband to become the guidian entities of his little mine. That would be the origin of your AGU.”
Patting the wall affectionately.
“Imagine all that power, in the hands of incompetent hacks who don’t know any better! Could you imagine what I could do with the power within these stones? I want to find out.”
Extending a single claw, Y stabs into the princess’s hand and begins writing a set of runes, taking care to “refill” her pen via soaking her claw in the stab wound.
“Such a hassle isn’t it? Every time the sacred mine is to be opened, protocol, protocol, protocol. I don’t have time for that. I do the easy thing, blood of the mage’s descendant, the appropriate runes and last of all a death!”
She raises the sobbing girl’s head preparing to smash it into the door, when a large blade slices her hand off.
The witch screams as a figure dashes in punching her into the walls of the mine shaking it and then hurls her out of the tunnel.
Princess stephanie shudders as she raises her head to thank her savior but he’s already gone.
Getting to her feet, Y hissed, two of her hands caressing the stump as her eyes glowed in anger.
“So Amerin’s prepared another AGU already? That is fast even for him. I should thank him though for giving me two warriors to kill in one day!”
At those words, Y’s Jaw dropped in shock.
The figure before her wore exactly the same armor as the other AGU she had just recently vanquished. But his color seemed slightly off. While the othe one was pure white, this was a dirty grey.
But what had her attention most was the weapon he welded.
It was a pair of large sickles bound by a long spiked chain, the kind of weapon that craved blood.
Almost immediately she summoned a great beast at the Agu who decapitate it in a single blow but is then kicked into a statue.
Recovering quickly, the Agu defends against her hand to hand attacks with the chain, soon accelerating his movements and becoming the main aggressor in the flurry of attacks that had the combatants dancing around Serida’s town centre.
The tone of the battle changes when the Agu slices off two more of Y’s hands.
As she staggered back screaming curses, the Agu kicks away the severed limbs.
“Three more to go…”
“Still enough to kill you.”
Says Y as her remaining limbs transform into long necked dragon heads that knock the Agu into a house. He slices at the heads to little effect. Grabbing his leg, Y’s dragon limbs hurl him into the air and bath him in fire.
Seeing him crash into the ground, the witch smirks.
“Weapon mode L. ”
In an instant the dragon heads fly into the air, now detached from the witch revert back to clawed hands twitching on the ground.
Now armless, Y stares at the mine, staggering backwards as she sees the Agu emerge from the smoke with two large broad swords.
“I… Surrender! I have no arms!!”
The Agu silently drops the swords which disappear.
“Neither do I.”
In a smooth motion, the Agu grabs Y by the neck and chokeslams her to the ground.
As she gasps, the Agu’s fist hits her face… once, twice, again and again he pummels her into the ground until she’s barely recognizable.
“Weapon mode T”
A large shotgun appears in his arm which he points at her head. He fires several shots into her, each shot vaporizing where hit.
When there was nothing left of her to shoot, he takes a moment to survey the damage caused by the battle.
But as people come out from hiding he makes a decision.
Coming out of the damaged temple, Amerin is able to see a glimpse of the Agu leaping away from the town.
“What is the meaning of this?”
Landing back at the swamp, Gax took a deep breath as he dispelled the Agu armor. Despite some aches and bruising he felt such a rush. He had never experienced such a victory before. Such power at his grasp.
Gax gasped as he looked at his arms… they were normal. His skin was completely healed… and his left arm was fine. He even had hair…
I see that you are quite pleased with your new self recovery ability.
The shadowy figure appeared in front of him, his tone obviously pleased.
“Thank… you. It feels so good to be normal again.”
Taking another look at his deceased predecessor, he wondered aloud.
“Why could u heal me and yet not him?”
You are my true avatar, he was merely borrowing power from me if you can tell the difference. Speaking of which, I need you to do something for me.
Amerin was at the entrance of the temple comforting a family when the Agu warrior landed holding a body wrapped in a sheet. Placing the body before the crushed elder, he briefly nods and turns to walk away.
“Wait!! Who are you?”
“I am no one you know of.”
Amerin steps forward towards the Agu warrior who had turned to face him.
“If you knew to drop him here then you have an idea of who I am. Show me who you are. Let me help you master this power. The risks in…”
“I do not wish to offend you elder but the fact that your latest protege died doesn’t fill me with confidence in your teachings.”
With that said the Agu leaps off leaving an astounded Amerin in his wake.
hope this chapter was to your liking.