View Full Version : Ashmaker (8409 words / strong language/ mild gore)

August 5th, 2015, 09:31 PM
Chapter 1

What is humanity? What defines you as human? Is it your physical traits – having four limbs, standing on two with a straight back and all the others that defines a Homo-Sapien? Or maybe it’s your emotions and rationale? These very questions still lingers in Shadow’s mind from time to time, keeping him sleepless before he collapses with no definite answers.
The reason for these questions to appear in the mind of an eighteen year old young man is a sudden change of life. Not a mere aspect as many people face like finishing school, choosing a collage, moving to a new home or a new relationship but the very definition of his reality and purpose. Six months ago he was an ordinary boy whose biggest decision was where to learn next after finishing high-school, or where to fly with his friends on a big vacations. This was abruptly interrupted by a strange man answering to the name of Sheen. Before long he was recruited into The Guardian Order – an eons old legion who tasks himself in the protection of mankind and the balance of powers between worlds. Most of it made close to no sense to him at the start but he was promised that all will be made clear to him soon. After witnessing his own ability to control powers beyond his understanding the boy had no other choice but to agree.
The next six months were spent at a place called The High Temple – a floating city above Iraq that is the remnants of the upper floors or the great tower of babel. It still floats there from the time it was built, held there by ancient magic.
The temple serves as the base of operations of the Guardians. From there they launch missions, live, eat and train new recruits such as Shadow himself. In the next six months he was put through basic training with other recruits around the world and some from beyond it. He learned how to fight, how to use his own energy and how to surpass human limitations with it. As the training was over he received his own room, away from the new recruits who came after. Along the new room, with him becoming a full pledged Guardian, it was inevitable for missions to be assigned. Obviously the first missions people get are not hard, and usually consist of information gathering or accompanying veterans to learn from them. However, as would be expected from service in an eon lasting warfare, death always lurked around the corner.

The sun’s rays burst through the window and hit his eyes, forcing him to wake up. It was still weird to him, waking up in a room alone and not in a hall with another four-hundred other people. He stood up and went to the sink to wash his face. He lifted his face as the cold drops caressed his skin and gazed at the mirror. A young face looked at him back, somewhat weary and unsure. His hair was white and short, somewhat the length of half a girth of his finger. Red iris eyes looked at him from the mirror straight into his own.
He still haven’t got used to his new look.
He stood out of the small bathroom into the main room; not much there other than a closet, his simple bed and a desk accompanied by a chair. On his closet rested his sword – a clear metallic double edged sword with a black haze at the cutting edge. The blade was a little more than four inches wide and about three feet in length. The grip was longer than usual for a sword – stretching to one foot seven inches from blade to pommel. He forged the sword himself during the end of his first month in training. All the new recruits did it in the Highforge with a special material called Mundunioum, or Spirit-Metal as used more commonly. Each went into the forge with the material and stayed there for days, forging his own weapon and guided only by their own will and mind, by his own instincts to create his own tools that will serve him loyally to the end of his days. Most people go in and out in matter of a few days, four being the most, with no food or water before coming out. Shadow, for some odd reason, stayed there for six days. It was odd, since his weapon was not so complex to demand such time, and others who made more complex tools such as bows and even guns were out by the eve of day four. When asked why it took him as long as it did he had no answer, simply saying that it was not done beforehand. The reason they used such a special element such as the Spirit-Metal was due to its spiritual properties, taking much from its wielder. It talks to the one forging it and draws its strength from the one who wields it. As long as the wielder’s resolve is a strong one so will be the blade.

Right after lunch Shadow was summoned to one of the briefing rooms not far away from the mess hall. Since he was in his room, and there are no other reason to go to a briefing room unless he is about to be sent on a mission he decided to wear his fighting gear. It mainly consisted of combat boots and black cargo pants with no pattern with a steel kneepad on his right knee. He wore a long sleeved light grey shirt, and a shoulder pad on his left shoulder. On that he also wore a self-modified trench coat from which he cut down the sleeves and the torso in half. He stitched it so that he could connect them all together at one point at the middle of his chest and by pressing it, it would disconnect so that should things get hairy and the coat prove troublesome during a fight he could get rid of it on the fly. Under the coat he wore a belt going across his torso with rings and other switches to hold his sword to his back when unused. He rested his blade there, wore the black coat and made his way to the briefing room.

As would be expected of a room with such a name it was rather dark and small. There was a screen on the far side of the room and a few chairs in between. He was the first one there, but not for long.
Before the door managed to close behind him a slim dark skinned hand pushed the door wide open and its owner entered the room. A slim young dark skinned and black haired girl marched in with some hesitation as she believed no one is there yet. As her green naïve eyes laid on Shadow the hesitation faded almost instantly and she entered. She wore an olive green coat on what seemed to be a ceramic grey plate on her torso which he recognized right away. To her right thigh a long, single edged curved sword was buckled in a sheath. Her pants were tight to her slim figure and her boots reached to her knees, also adjusted in such way that they will be tight to get lags.
“Hey!” the girl smiled at him and checked him out from head to toe “Shadow right? I knew you look familiar”.
“You’re Michel right?” Shadow replayed, his body still facing to the center of the room, looking down on her as she was a few inches shorter than him “From basic training. Yea I remember now! You were the one who burned her eyebrows when we learned about elemental…”
“Yes that’s me!” she halted him with before more damage is done to her self-esteem, as another character pushed the door and entered the room “let’s agree to not mention this again”.
“I don’t think anyone who was at the classroom then needs a reminder” he pondered with a tiny grin and checked out the other guy who entered. He was tall, his head scratching the six and half feet regarding height. His head was nearly shaved and his face was rather long to add the feeling the boy was pulled out too hard when he entered the world. On the contrary to both Michel and Shadow this one did not wore a long coat, but a slim plate armor made from the same ceramic material as Shadow’s pads and Michel’s body armor. To his left thigh was buckled a classic long sword in its sheath, and to his back was a kite shaped shield, round on the edges. He also looked kind of familiar.
“Nope” he commented without a doubt in his voice accompanied by a Scandinavian accent, a small grin also making his way on his lips as Michel looked more embarrassed with each passing second “How long did it took you to grow back these eyebrows?”.
“Three weeks” she answered shyly, to which both Shadow and the new guy chuckled. The new guy checked out both of them, and did a second check on Shadow, raising his eyebrow a bit with doubt.
“You went light on the gear they gave us for the personal armor” he claimed.
“And you took everything they gave you” Shadow retorted sharply, “Doesn’t make you feel heavy?”
“More safe than heavy. I figured out with what we have learned and how strong we became in these past months it’s better to keep it. We can leap tens of feet up in the air and run faster than an Olympic sprinter, how much of a change a few extra pounds of gear can make?”
“I rather not risk it” Shadow gave his opinion “I prefer mobility and maneuverability. Better to not get hit than get hit with reduced damage”.
The new guy pondered, lowering his gaze a bit.
“Sorry” Michel asked, trying to prevent an argument “but I just can’t remember your name”.
“It’s Wilhelm” he answered “I don’t blame you, it’s kind of a hard name to remember in case you’re not from a Scandinavian region. So any of you know what we’re here for?”
“A mission” Shadow answered with a sarcastic joke, making Michel smile but Wilhelm to get a little bit agitated.
“No shit” Wilhelm said “But what kind?”
“There’s supposed to be four of us, so I guess we’ll know when the forth guy gets here”.
“Sorry for the wait!” a voice was heard as the door was pushed opened and the last member of the group jumped in stressed of being late. His eyes were puffy and blood-shot; a clear indicator the man was sleeping until a few minutes ago. His hair was a mess of a brown spiky hair just pointing everywhere like it was electrocuted. He was dressed rather plainly with mountain boots, dirt colored cargo pants and what seems to be the first thing his hand found in the closet in the form of an olive colored T-shirt. The only thing this guy seemed to keep from the combat gear they received after becoming full pledged guardians was the pockets-vest which he wore on his shirt. It seemed like it was modified and has been through a couple of carefully executed stitching, adding and moving pockets and holders which were filled with things ranging from vials of potions to possible other items only imagination can tell. To his back was a recurve bow, holding to via the string cross his torso from the front. There was no quill for arrows, and he had no use to it since he was creating the arrows himself mid-battle using his own energy. Even though his eyes were blood-shot his emerald green iris was still so dominant it could be seen from miles – kind of contradicting the entire stalker-hunter theme this guy was going for.
“It’s fine Logan” Michel assured him “We just came here a minute ago. Everyone meet Logan”.
“Oh yea” Wilhelm recalled “You were that insanely smart guy who finished all the academic material in the first month”.
Logan seemed a bit blushed, or maybe it was the blood from his eyes finally returning to his face, but all he did was to smile shyly. “I wouldn’t say insanely” he commented “I just have the benefit of being born with a photographic memory”.
“And being able to pull it out and make precise conclusions based on it” Shadow said with cold respect “This counts as insanely smart in my book”.
“Just take the compliment. Jeez…” Michel sighed “this modesty of your really starts to piss me off”.
“Better a modest success than a full of himself douche with nothing to stand behind it” Shadow commented with some bitterness “so you can be modest as much as you like Logan, I don’t mind it”.

The screen flashed and turned white, illuminating the whole room with a blaze of digital fire.
“Is this thing on?” a voice came from the screen along with noises of equipment tinkering.
“Yes!” Wilhelm shouted towards the screen.
“God Damn kid…” the voice sighed “don’t scream. I think my ears are bleeding. Anyway I can see you’re all here. Good. Let’s get down to business”.
“Why can’t we see you?” asked Logan “You’re identity isn’t a secret is it?”
“I knocked down my camera and it broke.” he said and quickly changed the subject “Anyway – You’re to be deployed in Mexico at the Mayapan Mayan ruins. We have there two men on a simple reconnaissance missions and they’ve sent a cry for reinforcements.” All the while the voice talked the blazing white screen switched from its blinding light to pictures of the site and the specific location of their destination – a Mayan pyramid ruin surrounded by a lush green forest and some more badly kept remnants of what used to be Mayan structures.
“Further explanation will be delivered by Ethan Cross at the mission site. He’s the commander for this operation. For some of you this is the first mission they are sent to so keep that in mind and listen to the orders given to you. Report to the Stone Chamber for teleportation. And please, I beg of you, don’t lose the crystals given to you”.
The four stood in line, straightened their backs and saluted before leaving the room.

The Stone Chamber was a huge hall with an enormous boulder at the center of it. It illuminated the hall with cherry red giving it a rather dark tone. The chamber was placed at the highest place of the temple and the ceiling above the stone itself was none existent. All the time the four made their way inside the chamber people dressed in white lab coats swarmed around from the stone to the computers scattered all around – some strategically placed and some are blatantly not. The Stone was the main means of transportation for guardians in our world and beyond it. Created by the very first guardians eons ago with magic long lost, so it’s preserved and studied with fanatical determination.
The four made their way in only to be greeted by a twitchy white-coat with a gas mask, which caused some sort of uncomfortably for the team. “Can I help you people?” he asked anxiously.
“Yea” Michel was the first to shake off the disturbance “we need to get to the...what’s it called again? Mayapan?”
“Yea” Logan continued her request “The Mayapan ruins in Mexico, approximately forty kilometers south-east of Mérida”.
“I know where it is” the white coat said, lacking patience “what right here”. He went to a computer and started typing in.
“How the hell do YOU know where it is?” Shadow asked.
“It was on the map in the briefing room” he answered with nativity of a child, to which Shadow rolled his eyes and whispered to himself “’Wouldn’t say insanely smart’ my ass…” as the screen showed the large map for precisely five seconds.
“Here you go” the white-coat came back with five finger-sized shards of the stone “You kids remember how to use ‘em right?”
“Flow in energy to active” said Wilhelm “When in the temple it will send you to your destination, when outside it’s the other way around. Nothing too complicated”.
“Good” the white-coat approved “And please don’t lose them. These things are irreplaceable!”
“How many people lose them that we need a constant reminder?” Michel asked before flowing in energy. The crystal started to glow. This glow began to spread onto its wielder, engulfing her with a cherry-red haze and glow. She felt herself becoming light on her feet, almost weightless. Before she knew it she turned into a small ball of light, warped into the great stone and launched to the sky through the open roof as a ray of red light before disappearing.

The ray of thin light hit the ground at the mission site and in an instant transformed back to the dark skinned girl she was moments ago. She looked around as the rest of the team appeared next to her exactly as she was and the moon embraced them with a cold dim light.
“Night?” Michel gazed to the moon with some confusion.
“It’s the other side of the world” Wilhelm knocked on her head lightly as if knocking on a door, seeing if anyone home “It’s three AM here”.
“Right right” she called and pushed the Scandinavian giant away from her while he’s chuckling “It’s not easy for me to convert time because the teleportation is so instant. Just a second ago we were above Iraq!”
“So where are the other guys?” Logan searched the entire ruins with a determined gaze to find other people.
“Ethan cross!” Wilhelm shouted, holding his hands near his mouth for amplification.
“Shut up!” Shadow silenced him.
“We were called here for a reason, being the reinforcements” Shadow explained with contained anger “This means somewhere here there is a threat. I would prefer we find it first rather the other way around”.
“You’re too tense man” the Viking giant disclaimed the red eyes gazing at him, launching at him with primal determination “We’re four full pledged guardians! We can take anything thrown at us”.
“You can’t really be so stupid to think we can take on anything…”
“Found them!” Logan cried, stopping the about to burst argument. He pointed to the north. How he saw them from so far off in a half moon light none of them knew, as it appears that not only his brain worked better than others, but also anything directly connected to it.
Logan’s vision proved reliable as they found Ethan and the other guy right where Logan claimed they will be. Two figures stood close to what seemed a carcass of some local wildlife. As they got closer the figures appeared more through the darkness, and their appearance was revealed. One taller than the other with strong defined body – slim and muscular. He didn’t wore much except a plain white shirt whose sleeves were ripped off rather violently. There was not much regarding armor on him, except having the gloves with the fingers removed which made it look like a ceramic variation of an MMA fighting glove. His shins also had a ceramic-like plated on them, all which indicated this guardian uses hand to hand combat as his main form of fighting. His hair was hazel, short around the edges with moderate consideration with style. The other one was shorter, but not by much and was about the same height as Shadow himself. Blonde short hair, a strong jaw and calm look in his green grey eyes. He was light regarding armor, much like Shadow he barely had more than a shoulder-pad and chain mail sleeve on his left arm, finished with a ceramic plated fingerless glove resembling the one his companion wore.
His spear was piercing the ground rather deep, as if much force and rage was present at the moment of thrusting.
“You’re the reinforcements I presume” the shorter one asked.
“Your cavalry has arrived” Wilhelm said with enthusiasm clearly bursting from every orifice he owned.
“Good. You seems like a capable bunch” he said with assuring smile “I’m Ethan Cross, but just call me Ethan. This is Guy”.
“Guy Caliber!” Logan suddenly cried “I knew I recognized you a mile away!”
“Holy shit! Logan!” Guy cries as well and the both hugged “I haven’t seen you since training ended! What rank they gave you?”
“Beta, same as you!” the enthusiasm between the two was unbearable as between two high-school girls going to a concert of their favorite band.
“Awesome! Man I can’t thank you enough for helping me with the academics”.
“It seems you two go way back” Ethan commented to cut it off.
“Yea” Guy said “Logan used to sit with me into the night and going over the material. If it weren’t for him I would end up a lower rank”.
“Ranks are bullshit…” Shadow muttered angrily.
“Good to know” Ethan stopped it right there “Now to business. Shadow, Michel and Wilhelm right?”
“Yes sir” Michel assured him. Apparently he was informed about his reinforcements, and now he was just fact checking.
“Great, now let’s go over the situation” he hastily continued “We were sent here due to some disturbance in energy flow. Now, usually this thing happens often at ancient sites since they served magic rituals long ago by humans and other creatures so on paper we were just supposed to get here, see that everything is alright and get back. The thing is this” he pointed to the carcass right to him “and this” he pointed to a light weakly piercing from an entrance to the large pyramid to standing not far from them. “The light means that someone is in there, and the carcass means there is a magic wielder with them since it fresh and was burned instantly. Might even be more. Now this particular place was used by Dark-Elves for rituals in the Age of Oppression. For any of you who don’t know these were the days when the mythical creatures from most common legends used to roam the world and oppressed humanity into millennia of slavery”.
“And that’s the reason the guardians order came to existence” Shadow interrupted “Jesus Christ man, we’re fresh out of basic training, we were literally tested on this not long ago”.
“Fine” Ethan was agitated but decided to leave Shadow’s rudeness for later “Anyway – there can be any number of elves ranging from a small party to a full clan, so I was rather not risk it and go inside as we were. That’s where you come in.”
“So we’re going to fight?” Michel asked with a worried demeanor slipping its way to her face.
“Now, I know that for some of you this is your first time fighting” Cross tried to assure them “and I know it may scare some of you. Just remember your training, stick together and listen to my orders. I’ve been operation alone for the past two years or so and survived, so I’ve picked up a few things along the way”.
“Got it” Wilhelm seemed even more eager to get his blade bloodied than before “let’s go!”
“Yea. Let’s” Cross ordered and they’ve made their way into the pyramid.

“So much for sticking together” was the first thing Guy spouted when just as they’ve entered the pyramid and went down the stairs to the first lit touch just to see the way splits in two, and both ways are illuminated.
“You really want to tell me you didn’t even peeked in while waiting for us?” Shadow muttered at Ethan “so much for sticking together indeed”.
“Doesn’t matter” Ethan was determined “we go in. Guy you stay with me, we go to the left. The rest go right”.
The decision was well obvious and understandable – as a veteran Cross had more fighting ability and experience than the rest. He could not go alone though, so Guy will watch his back in there. This division of four rookies and a veteran accompanied by another rooky is the most balanced way to divide them.

“So…” Wilhelm could not keep his enthusiasm to himself as the four rookies made their way down the torch lit stairway “First time fighting. To be honest with you I’m super excited. Do you think they might form a team out of us by the end of this?”
“What? With Cross as our leader?” Logan asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yea! Why not? He seems competent”.
“Let’s hope it reaches beyond ‘seems’” Shadow gave a piece of his mind. He seemed fixated to the front, his right hand moves much heavier and tense than his left.
“You’re not much into trusting people are you?”
“Trust has to be earned Wilhelm. I don’t know if you’ve ever faced death, and based on the fact it’s your first possible fight I’ll guess not, but let me tell you it’s not the adrenaline rush people make it look like. So when it comes to my life – no, I don’t trust people before they’ve proven their competence to me”.
A few moments of silence passed as a chilling sensation made its way down everyone’s spine due to what the white-haired boy just said. The very possibility of death started to linger at the back of their heads. They could actually die!
“Listen” Shadow broke the silence, his voice seems softer and more companionate “I didn’t mean to scare you. Enthusiasm is good, but too much of it can get you killed. We’re here with no commander, no one with leading experience. Just a bunch of rookies, so it lays on us and our instincts to get us through. Now I may take it too seriously and this will end up to be a cake walk but the last thing I want to do is to underestimate my enemy. So let’s keep our cool, communicate and we’ll see it though. OK?”
The other three put out an affirmation whether it was a nod or a silent word of approval as all four made it to the end of the stairway into a great hall. The ceiling was well above, held there by stone pillars scattered across the space. It was damp and dirty with both sand and durst. The only thing that would indicate life was the lit torches scattered on the pillars.

The four drew weapons and assumed spearhead formation with Wilhelm at the front, his shield before him to block the first incoming attack. A little behind him on his sides were Shadow and Michel, and between them was Logan with a blue arrow made of his own energy laying on the string.
They marched forth, suspiciously checking corners, some would even say fanatically. They kept marching in form, twitching with every sound they hear inside their head, but by the time they’ve reached the middle nothing was found.
“Where the hell are they?” Loagn wondered.
“Shit!” Shadow came to grasps, but it was too late. He turned only to see magical wards, strange letters and shapes of unknown origins glowing next to the entrance and begin to glow. “Watch out!” the red eye shouted as the wards began to glow and then exploded with ferocity of a purple blaze. Before the fire cleared the wall collapsed down, blocking the stairway and their only way out.
The formation broke as the group turned around to view their only way of escape cut off in utter shock.
“Ambush!” Shadow cried just as he noticed something red jumping in the air to his right. He turned to see Michel spitting blood, the look of utter shock and awe took over her face as a dagger pierced her stomach. The dagger was connecter by a chain which began to stretch and pull her back. Before Michel was pulled to a dark corner of the hall Shadow jumped forward and gripped the chain with his left hand and pulled with all his strength. A slim tall figure was pulled from behind the pillar towards Shadow and when it was in range the white-haired guardian swung his blade with full force; cutting his foe in half.
It fell in the sand lifeless, spewing dark red blood. Slim and long, grey haired and pointy ears, skin blue and dark as the deep ocean floor, eyes black and lifeless. His arm held the chain connected to the dagger still piercing Michel.
The girl looked the dagger piercing her gut, caressing it with her fingers and beholding her own blood on her fingertips. She raised her eyes with horror firmly gripping her heart and mind. Her legs collapsed and she fell back into Shadow’s arms.
“Where is her body armor gone?!” he shouted as he noticed it was missing.
“She took your advice and removed it!” Wilhelm cried “Your damn speech about maneuverability got into her head and she dropped it before we left”.
The sound of whispering metal was sung by the air of more upcoming chained daggers making their way towards them from the other way. Wilhelm quickly regained himself, jumped between Logan and the attackers and blocker the dagger with his shield.
As soon as the dagger were fended off Logan jumped aside for a better view, and as he got it he released altogether three blue glowing arrows towards his target. The elves standing there quickly vanished and the arrows hit the walls behind them.
“Shit” Wilhelm spouted “We can’t even see them. The room is not illuminated enough!”
“Logan” Shadow shouted with tone filled with command “start scattering shots - Smoke them out of cover! Wilhelm keep Michal safe, try to stabilize her. Logan be ready to have my back when I charge”.
“I have just the thing!” Logan grinned rather worriedly and launched an arrow to another dark corner after fixing his position. This arrow was different, his glow was stronger and more violent. As the arrow hit the wall it exploded in a blue shockwave, illuminating the dark corner for a second and pushing out what foes lurked there.
The second that happened Shadow leaped forward with feral determination, passing by Wilhelm so fast he barely noticed him, making him wonder how he moved so fast before regaining himself for the task at hand. The elves Logan just smoked out sent their daggers towards the red iris swordsman charging them, launching it with a magical force push with the speed of a bullet. With a quick twist of the buckle on his chest the coat fell off Shadow’s back to the ground, giving him the comfortability of movement he needed to avoid the daggers.
Both of the blades went right above his head as he ducked, rolled over forward with a leap and as he regained his stance he used the momentum to land a mighty vertical slash. The elves were quick to react and moved aside as the blow landed right between them. The force behind the blow, however, was enough to raise the sand below them into a sand screen engulfing all three. The elf on the left jumped out of the cloud and called back his dagger to his hand with a quick pull of his hand and faced it to the hovering sand just as Shadow launched himself from there to him. From a near point black the dagger sprung from its masters hand as a bullet towards it human foe. A quick grab of the forearm of his enemy with Shadow’s left hand diverted the dagger right before it launched into his face, and instead sprung somewhere else all the while the guarding sent his blade forward and pierced the elf’s neck, severing his spinal connection to the rest of the body and killing him instantly.

Wilhelm stood with his legs spread and Michel underneath him, blocking incoming daggers from all angels with furious determination. Each dagger clings upon his shield with a flash and a ring before bouncing off and being pulled back to its master.
“Logan!” he cried “You have Stamp-Gel in that warehouse you call a vest?!”
“Here!” he cried, pulled a small package from one of the pockets and threw it to Wilhelm, followed by short barrage of exploding arrows to dark spots to give the Scandinavian space to breath. The moment he caught the bag he ducked to Michel, her face pale and her breath fast and shallow. He was just about to open the package as a dagger sprung from darkness, hitting the tall guy in his right trapezius muscle, going through his ceramic armor and cracking it. Thanks to the armor the dagger did not pierced too deep, but he was certain he cracked a bone.
“FUCK!” he screamed with vulgarity before removing the dagger from his body as the small thing was pulled back. “Michel” he panted “I can’t protect us and apply it at the same time. Find the strength to patch yourself up or we both die!”

Shadow’s continued his rampage, quickly dodging incoming projectile chained daggers and continuing his relentless offensive all the time Logan provides him ranged support. Another arrow shot with deadly precision implodes and smoke out elves who tried to adapt to the guardian strategy and flee their hiding before an arrow is even being fired. This still worked for their benefit as for every second they do not attack the guardians do.
The breeze of incoming body made Logan switch his focus and turn, and quickly sprung off as he noticed a much more intimidating elf, dressed much sharply and more impressive than his fellow counterparts charged him, sending forward a piercing blow with bone-sharp blade worn on his hand like an extension of his arm. Logan swiftly released four glowing arrows at once at his aggressor only for him to dismiss the arrows with a quick swing of his mounted blade, leap and thrust his blade once more. Logan dashed to the left – which proven to be a mistake. His left hand was the free one, so he stretched it out, grabbed him by the foot, pulled and threw him to the other side of the hall. The archer hit the wall with such force he spat blood, his eyes rolled to the back of his head as he fell to the ground. No movement followed.
Assured this foe is done he switched his attention to the Scandinavian knight, protecting the dark skinned girl with such valor and chivalry as she bleeds out. He marched forth while the knight fended off some more flying daggers. All the small blades returned to their owner as their leader no doubt came closer. Wilhelm noticed that, and turned to face his foe. He panted; tired and hurt. Sweat dripped down his face. His shield and sword became heavier with every passing moment and every passing step of his foe.
“Fuck this” he spouted, and anguish turned to rage “C’mon! C’mon you piece of shit!”
The moment the elf leader was in striking range the Nordic guardian stepped forth, swinging his blade. His fury gave him speed, making him able to actually strike at his foe, forcing him to parry with his own blade rather than to avoid the strike altogether. A few more furious strikes followed combined with a shield push for finale, pushing his foe almost out of balance. Each time the blades clashed the steel screamed, and when blade met shield it roared. The pace went up, and the exchange became faster and faster. Wilhelm pushed the offensive, stepping forward with every few strikes. He can win this! He can do it! He can get out of here alive! He pommeled him with his shield and he seemed to lose balance. It was his moment to strike! He swung his sword with full force for a killing blow but froze in place when he notice a blood chilling smile sneaking up the elf’s face.
Within an instant the elf seized his opportunity; the opening Wilhelm left him and slashed with force, tearing his torso in half. The ceramic armor did no good, made no change than if he were completely nude. He felt nothing more but chilling cold climbing up his body. Eventually his body fell to the ground. In the cornet of his eye he say the bottom half of his body lying, bleeding and staining the sand red. The elf stood above him and sent his hand towards his head. At the brink of death he knew, right before his soul left his body he knew he was about to be decapitated; a trophy for a hunt well done.

A feral roar made the elf to swing his blade, blocking Shao’s own from decapitating him in terrifying rage. The blade was blocked, but his free hand still held Wilhelm’s head and was unavailable when Shadow launched the most powerful fist he could muster to the tall out-worldly humanoid’s face. Like being hit with a truck the elf was launched by his face away from the white-haired swordsman. He hit the ground, rolled on the sand and stood up quickly, holding his face with some shock and surely a broken jaw. He looked at Shadow which stared at him with wet livid eyes crying for his blood. He was banged and hurt from fighting his soldiers but stood fast nonetheless with deadly determination to see the elf dead.
With a light swing of his arm he ordered his man to fire at him, but nothing happened. He looked to his sides, searching for his man. As he saw Logan marching out of the darkness, sliding across the sand with tearful eyes, his fingers covered in blood and releasing some of his arrows forth. The arrows pass right by Shadow, to the elf forcing to block them and jump aside just to meet his red iris eyes and his sword. In the last moment he managed to parry a mighty slash imbued with primal fury.
“You should have double-tapped” Shadow mentioned, his blood boiled “and your man should’ve not get distracted by their leader fighting!” more force was put in with each strike, denying him the ability to push back and attack.
“But more importantly” he added finally with chill in his voice and raised his sword, holding it with both hands as red energy began engulfing it “You shouldn’t have pissed me off!”
The blade descended in an instant, cutting right through his opponent’s blade as he attempted to parry and slashing the full length of his torso; tearing any flesh and breaking any bone in its wake while leaving a red trail of plasma. Blood spouted out as from a fountain, covering the guardian with the dark red blood of his foe before it fell lifeless.

Shadow panted in exhaustion and took a deep breath before turning around to see Logan kneeling before Michel, checking her pulse.
“Logan?” he asked the dreaded question without using words.
Logan just shook his head, his hand covering his face, fingers on his eyes as if trying to hold his tears in.
“Damn” he commented, withholding his feelings in “This was rough for a first fight”.
“Michel was in the bunk bed next to me in training” Logan started telling, recalling her memory “she have two younger sisters who she adored. She wanted to become a role model by the time they will be recruited too. Now her parents and sisters will get some sort of a lie on how she died. Her sisters will only find out when they too will be recruited…Shit. Sorry about that” he wiped away his tears “so much of a great warrior I am”.
“It’s ok” Shadow supported “Let it go”.
“How did you kept so calm through it?” he dared to ask after breathing for a few second.
“It’s not my first fight” he said as if by-the-way and in an instant he turned his head to the wall besides them and bared his teeth “Move away!” he cried right as the wall collapsed and hurled huge boulders of stone bricks everywhere. Logan moved right as one was about to hit him, instead crushing Michel’s corpse into a bloody pulp. Shadow rolled forth, dodging a huge brick threating to crush him. As he stood up from his roll he noticed a lifeless, familiar body falling alongside the rocks. It took him nothing more than a few brief moments to identify the armored guardian flying by him with white dead eyes and his mouth wide open.
“Cross is gone!” Shadow cried and searched Logan among the debris with his eyes. Logan was there, gazing horrified at whatever blew up the wall separating their hall from his identical twin. There it stood, a hulking abomination of corpses in humanoid form stretching up to twenty feet tall at least.
Only the darkest of dark magic could have create such ungodly freak of many elven corpses held together to create a horrific monstrous creature such as this.
“What the fuck is this thing?!” the swordsman cried, unbelieving what he sees.
“Dark magic”. Logan regained his cool and prepared another arrow with his bow.
“No shit!” Shadow shouted at him “I thought it was a science project gone rampant!”
The hulking abomination seemed distracted by a small figure running on the ground, swiftly dodging the huge monsters attempts to crush in underneath his corpse made legs.
He rolled, jumped and eventually made his way across the hall to Shadow and Logan.
Guy survived the onslaught.
“What the hell happened there?” Shadow queried.
“Shit happened!” Guy panted angrily, tired and hurt, multiple wounds stood on his body to show all how his blood looks like, “The elven warlocks used some sort of dark magic when we started to thin the herd. Bastards – it took everything Cross had to break their magical barriers”.
“Cross is dead” Shadow informed him, gazing at the beast who seemed to start making its way slowly and cumbersome to the three remaining guardians.
“Shit!” Guy spat some blood “The problem with this thing is it has no blind spots. He actually uses all the eyes of the body it’s taken. Its operator is at the top so I can’t reach it without risking my life. It’s also faster than it looks so we can’t outmaneuver him.”
“But we can out-strategize him” Shadow claimed and took a deep breath “Guy, if I remember correctly you can actually pump air with these fists of yours due to rapid movement to create shock right?”
“With the force of a 40mm armor piercing grenade last time I tested it, but I need to be close”.
“Let me take care of it” Shadow grinned with hope “Logan – smoke duty. I want as much sand up in the air as possible. Guy – when he falls you know what to do. Got it?”
“Damn this thing is slow” Logan commented mainly to himself “Got it. Let’s kill the fat bastard!”
Shadow rushed as Logan jumped in the air, releasing a volley of exploding arrows to the ground. As they hit the sand they blew up, each raising a cloud of dense sand at his feet. The white haired swordsman ran forward, holding his sword with both his hands, ready to cleave his way to victory. The hulking beast stood still, allowing the guardian to come close. Every nook and cranny of the beast’s body started to glow as Shadow entered the sand screen. In an instant and unholy howl the abomination released waves of purple energy to all directions, dissolving the sand clouds and pushing everything back. Shadow nearly lost his grip at the ground and flew back and with haste thrusted his sword in the stone floor, holding him in place against the strong winds and energy waved emitted from the gory beast. He grinded his teeth, regaining his stance yet unable to move forward.
Logan and Guy behind him used the debris to cover them from the mighty winds, but were unable to move forward. The archer had enough, his eyes began glowing with furious fiery red. And pulled out a vial from his vest, opened it and drank it with one gulp. His pupils suddenly shrunk before he jumped up into the very waves he tried to avoid. With deadly fixation he released an orange fiery arrow onto the beast right before the winds threw his to the wall behind with a bone crushing force. The arrow danced away and hit the creatures shoulder, sinking in and then exploding in a fiery display – tearing off its arm. The shock of the blast stunned the abomination and it utterly stopped, no wind or energy waves were emitted by it any longer. Shadow continued forward, his blade engulfed with red plasmatic flames as he swung it horizontally as he span, leaving a red arc trail of energy from his blades wake as it cut down the giants legs.
The giant has lost his legs and fell to the front, facing Guy who already took the steadiest stance he could muster, his hands ready to release the perfect punch. Exactly at the right point and at the right moment he released his fist upwards, granting its wish to strike. With amazing speed his hand extracted and returned back- pushing air in such density and force it was powerful enough to tear through all the flesh and bone in a bloody explosion that managed to bounce the hulking corpse back a bit. As it began falling back down and some of the blood and flesh bits cleared Guy saw the elven warlock operating the thing; stuck inside and connected to it by nerve endings engulfing his body. With a roar and another eagerly wanting punch he launched an uppercut, striking the warlock’s chest cavity and piercing it with his bare fist. Within seconds the bodies began to fall and hit the floor as the gory behemoth fell apart. No magic was left to hold it together and so it fell, revealing Guy standing with his fist popping out of the dead warlock’s back. Threw him aside, looked into nothing with dead eyes and Guy fell on his knees – throwing up.

“God damn it!” Logan cried from the back “I was aiming for the torso!”
“Impressive nonetheless” Shadow praised the archer.
“Yea” Guy wiped his mouth “What was in that vial?”
“Drinkable adrenaline”.
“Could have used one back then” Guy remarked “this thing take too much of me. Need to work on that technique more”.
Logan rose from the sand and looked around, he saw Ethan Cross’s corpse and searched it for any communications, however the body was so mangled he doubted anything could have survived and still be operational.
“No comms” the archer remarked “We’ll need to get back to the temple and send people to pick up the dead”.
“Yea but first I need to ask” Guy claimed “Shadow – you remained so calm during this entire shit storm. How?”
“Not my first fight” he answered briefly “Not bad for a Gamma ranked guardian huh?”
“Gamma? Really? How?” Guy nearly exploded.
“I have near to no magic affiliation and aside from some fire immunity I have absolutely no elemental manipulation. It seems that an above average pool of energy does not cut it for being an alpha or even beta ranked”.
“Ranks are bullshit!” Logan remarked his opinion “They change them all the time based on your performance on missions”.
“Ok” Guy smiled at them “now back to the part when you said this isn’t your first fight”.
“I’ve had a few actually” the white haired recalled “I thought it was odd that I was sent on assaults and S&D missions while other from our class got recon so far”.
“Who did you pissed off at the brass?” Guy chuckled with a shocked smile.
“I guess that white hair of yours got the attention it deserves” Logan remarked “You know what the story with white hairs is”.
“Yea; we lose pigmentation due to needing to ‘make room’ for additional power in extreme circumstances or some crap. All I’ve got was extra energy in my energy pool. Too bad it didn’t came with anything else”.
“So I guess you had a rough recruitment?” Guy asked as he rose up and the three started to make their way up the stairs unblocked in the second hall.
“I was forced to fight for my life against a fifteen feet swamp troll who wanted my skull for his collection. It was either I unlock my power or die. My survival instinct kicked into overdrive after I was kicked around a bit and there you have it – Me with white hair and red eyes!”
“Holy shit dude! That’s rough!” Guy cried out.
“Not as much as you would think. The recruiter told me afterwards he would have stepped in should I was about to die”.
“Still, who’s the sadistic psycho to do something like that?”
“It was my sisters’ idea actually” he remarked with a sly smirk “she always loved torturing me”.
“You don’t say” Logan was shocked out of his mind how easily Shadow regards the entire affair.
The three stood outside and the cold embrace on night welcomed them with fresh air and dim moonlight.
“So no wonder you’ve dealing with all of this like a champ” Logan said bitterly “Michel still lingers in my mind”.
“That’s because you knew her. I didn’t.” the white haired explained “I don’t know how I will deal with a death of someone I know the way you knew her. I didn’t knew her dreams, her family, desires and she didn’t knew mine. I’m sad for her death, but I didn’t knew her well enough to be crippled by it like you. And honestly – I’m not sure I will deal with it as well as you do now”.
Logan looked aside and bit his lip, bitter and as if defeated inside.
“Anyway” Guy broke the silence “let’s get back to the temple. The dead need a pickup and I need a shower”.
Shadow took a step up front and drew his crystal and pointed it to the sky. “Until next time” he smiled at them as he turned to cherry-red light and launched up to the dark, dim lighted cold sky.

August 26th, 2015, 09:49 AM

I read about a third of the way through before assuring myself that the writing was a bit "sudden". Everything was happening at a quick pace and the explanations were as if I was reading something out of the dictionary. I see you put a lot of effort into this and I applaud you for it. Its not exactly my taste of story though. The dialogue wasn't oh so bad. It could be better in a few ways. There are a lot of "He said, She said, He remarked, She chuckled" type words in here as well. I usually find that a problem myself when writing for multiple characters.

Crowley K. Jarvis
August 28th, 2015, 12:12 PM
I halfway agree with Tbird.

Actually, I think your dialogue was fine. It had a freshness to it. A reality.

I will agree about a few of your descriptions. Though detailed in their own right, it felt like you were afraid to linger too much on one subject.

The sentences were a little long-running with no punctuation, which can be taxing on the eyes.

But I'm not very picky myself. I daydream about very similar subjects, and enjoyed both that, and your characters.

This is good work. But it could be excellent. Superb. With just a liiittle more polishing.

All the best. Godspeed with your writing.


September 17th, 2015, 09:33 PM
I'm not going to lie. I misread the title as Assmaker. I was all ready to plunge into the darkest recesses of fiction... no pun intended.

But what I got was fantasy and anime-style action.

I really liked how fast-paced it was and how much it didn't hold the reader's hand. I had no problem picturing everything going on in the story nor did it feel like you skimmed over the important details.

What I couldn't agree with is the dialogue near the end. When the characters had room to breath, they bantered like nothing has happened. You'd think they'd be phased by death. Nope. It was all swept under the rug.

And when you did try to acknowledge death, it did not fit in with the circumstances/scenario.

Best example I can think of is this part:

“Michel was in the bunk bed next to me in training” Logan started telling, recalling her memory “she have two younger sisters who she adored. She wanted to become a role model by the time they will be recruited too. Now her parents and sisters will get some sort of a lie on how she died. Her sisters will only find out when they too will be recruited…Shit. Sorry about that” he wiped away his tears “so much of a great warrior I am”.

Logan could have done this speech while her body is being carried away or at her grave site or the guardian's equivalent of a morgue. As long as he had enough time to think long and hard about Michel.

Good story so far. Keep it up. :bigsmurf: