Chapter 01: A Messed Up Situation
Behind Siva was a crowd of followers. They were all aiming to capture him.
For a minimal few, they want him dead. For the majority, they want to either make him a puppet or force him to take up the mantle to lead them on the race for the Grand Quest.
Either way, both choices were against his own plans of rescuing his brother so of course he will be unwilling to be caught.
He clicked his tongue and kicked the air. He’s been trying to increase his speed but the Flight Armor has its limits.
“What do they want from me?!”
Siva has no idea of the plans of these people and could only as far as follow his own instincts to not be caught. He flew towards the city, white cloak covering his body while his face was masked with a full headed white skull to cover his skin.
At one point, he remember that he was trapped in a dark place, to be forced to fight in the arena for entertainment… although that in itself was still a ‘quest’ with special circumstances that entrails whoever was the strongest will become a vessel for some unknown spirit… or existence.
But that was in the past while Cedric, the man encharged of the arena, was still alive.
From Siva’s memories though, the earliest he could remember was being submerged into an abyss of water that he had to swim upwards to the surface before he finally opened his eyes.
When he gained his consciousness, he saw –no, he felt– that there were piercing ill-tended gazes pointed at his direction. When he looked at the direction where those harmful gazes were coming from, he saw Hagrid, a person he detested, and then The Predator, the person he saw down in the prisons, the one said to be the strongest existence on the underground arena.
Hagrid was strong, he had tested it, and he knew that The Predator is also a strong one for not being intimidated by Hagrid.
Right now, he was sticking to his original goal when coming to Dragona was to get equipment that can give him advantage over the snowy regions of the Continent of Tiara.
This continent was almost as large as the vast lands of the Continent of Espada. But unlike the warm lands of the south and cities located every 12hrs of travel, the monsters of Tiara were accustomed to the ICE elements while cities are also far in between that travel in between them lasts for days if not weeks.
Also, there was the fact that unlike the other southern warmer continents, there are only a number of cities in the north. That alone was a large obstacle and needs time to be crossed.
To help him travel faster, he had to have some proper gears.
As soon as Siva got into the city proper, he was surprised to see that the city itself was in ruins if not totally destroyed.
Occasionally, there were players running amok all over while on some parts were the monsters of the forests nearby who attacked the city while it was in its weakest state.
“What’s happening here?” Siva can’t help asking himself. “Was there an event here?”
Apparently, he can’t remember anything of what had happened!
In front of him lay a city, devastated by an unknown force, wasting the lands. The once majestic and towering pagodas were now in shattered and tattered ruins of its once grand scene, the once threading civilization of NPCs and users were now ravaged by chaos and destruction. It was as if an unknown existence had enticed them to lose their minds as there are still the signs of the chaotic battles and the fights still going on in some areas.
There were no knights trying to maintain the order nor the peace keepers trying to preserve the peace.
Even the Grand Cannon… that giant remnant of its former glory, a relic and reminder of the once thriving and glorious past of the city, was now just a large piece of metal about to collapse at any time. Its smoking bore was lowered and the supporting pillars were only just a few melded parts away from collapse.
He couldn’t help gasping at the sight of it. That grand weapon meant for shooting down on whatever monstrous thing coming at the sea was actually on the verge of collapsing due to the damages it sustained both internally and externally.
Siva’s flight speed seemed to have gone slow, allowing a shadow to creep over him from the lower direction.
When he felt his presence, it was already too late; a man with shaggy long hair and naked upper body, eyes that seemed to prey upon anything had met Siva’s black irises.
“Siva.” His delighted voice was heard and came to Siva like a whisper. “Become my friend, will you? Let’s conquer this world!”
Along with his words came a hand, about to grasp his head. It came as casually slow as it normally can but felt like a mountain boring on Siva’s mind with a torrential storm.
He even imagined that the will and intent that accompanied that hand had painted the man’s face black and only his sharp predator eyes that can be seen on that black head.
Intense fear creeped over his body and Siva yelled, “Who are you?” as he twisted his body sideways, tapping the arm, then giving the man a punch in the face as he kicked away.
But to his surprise, the man maintained a grin as he received the punch along with a golden rope that circled around Siva’s body.
To trade for a punch just to get what he wants.
In one second, the rope was just released, on the next, it was now about to tie him.
“Not good.” Siva felt danger.
He kicked the air to go up just as the rope tightened to where he used to be. But as he had acted a second slow, his left leg was tied and he was pulled to the shaggy-haired man like a trapped boar.
“The Grand Quest is mine!” The Predator declared happily and even his smile looked like a crescent-shaped curve that bored on Siva’s mind like a hunter catching a game.
“No it’s not!”
A familiar gruff voice came behind him along with a punch that seemed to shatter the wind barrier. Just as Siva felt that he was about to be fully tied down by the golden rope, the fist came in a slow motion but left trails of pressure that made Siva want to step away.
With the same thoughts of crisis at him, the shaggy-haired man kicked the arm that sent a wind pressure separating him and Siva from the owner of the attack.
“He’s my prey.” Hagrid hissed and as soon as he felt that his attack missed, he followed it up with a roundhouse kick that summoned a wind to batter towards the third party. “Fuck off, Predator!”
“Hmp.” With a chopping motion, The Predator chopped of the wind torrent as he summoned black mechanical wings that appeared on his back. “Before, you only won because of an ambush so don’t think that in a one on one fight, you can win against me.”
After he spoke, the mechanical wings folded, and The Predator’s image became a blur as he appeared behind Hagrid before the boom of his movement even had time to follow his shadow.
Hagrid raised his muscled arm that blocked a thin legged kick from The Predator as the two’s clash actually crated a tremor in the wind that is no less that the ones that Hagrid and Mefisto were able to create.
Siva, who tumbled away in midair, used this time to run away from them only to be surprised by the number of crowd that came from another side.
“Just what the heck’s happening?!” He was totally irritated. The [Killing Zone] was in action and it was depleting his Mana as time goes by. “Why are all of these guys after me and why is the city destroyed? What happened to the Safe Zones and Neutral Zones?!”
Thinking up to this point, he was also surprised that the city had become a ruin without him even knowing anything.
He can’t remember anything. He can’t even recall what had happened before he had lost touch of reality after…
When Siva recalled the last thing he knew, a cold wind seem to touch his body as he felt a shiver ran its course on his back.
It was that feeling of familiarity, like you have forgotten something significantly important and yet can’t recalled what it was.
But even so, Siva’s mind was still at work.
He tried to focus on that lingering feeling until finally, he remembered the impression of a dark room…
…the feeling of danger in his presence…
…that feeling of… familiarity…
Siva recalled that he was I pain. After he felt the pain, he also remembered that person’s way of looking at him. A look of loneliness on his face, he was looking at him as if he was disappointed about something.
He stood there on the other side of that empty room. Siva –no, Rex… as himself… he distinctively remembers that room in some place. He knew that he had been there in some time somewhere… it was a room with a single bed, a single chair, a window, a small table and a lamp at the top, and a notebook.
The scene outside the window was of an ocean and the sound of crashing waves can be heard as they reached the shore.
But the wind, the smell of ocean, it never even reached the room like it wasn’t allowed to even touch that window.
And yet, no matter how bright it was outside, it was as dark as night inside the room.
The lamp was lit up, bearing down light on the only object underneath it.
But sitting on the chair, was the man… his eyes were black and he was staring at him intently.
It was as if Rex had entered the man’s room in an unwanted fashion.
But his gaze of disappointment was bearing down a feeling of pain in Rex’s heart.
BANG! In the middle of his floating mind, he was shrugged back to his feet by a loud explosion followed by the trembling of the air because of a clash.
The fleeting image of the man sitting in that chair was still in his mind when he shook his head and focused on his task –to think about that room and that man later.
“I have to get away from here!” He decided.
With a quick glance, he surveyed the city and took less time than expected to find a large Capsule Shop in one of the Main Streets.
“There he is!” a loud voice came from behind and Siva only glanced at the crowd of prisoners with some he recognized to have been on the same cell holding as him before.
As they were still following his trail, Siva put no time to consider anything and dived down towards that shop that seemed to have already been robbed by someone before.
The doors were crashed and there was even a group of three escaped prisoners that are still inside. One person was holding the NPC shop keeper in the collar while the other two ransacked the entire shop and put all the other capsules displayed in a single bag.
“Where is it?!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking…”
“I know it was here! I sacrificed a lot of time in that arena just so I could be here! Give it to me now!”
A sound of sand and grovel screeching from a skidding object rang along with the loud tap of his feet as he dropped from the air. When Siva arrived, the three looked at him while the NPC shop keeper begged to help him out. The three were about to launch an attack at him when their eyes widened as they all recognized at the same time that intricate design on Siva’s right sleeve.
“Sh-shit! We’re doomed!”
When the third person yelled, the three scrammed into a frenzied escape as they made a hole on the walls and escaped with all their might, leaving the bags with all the stuffs they had hoarded.
They were so scared that they didn’t even look back as they scrammed out of his way.
Siva had no time to check for the things they took and while he did considered that the city seemed to have lost its Safe Zones and the ‘immortal object’ rules it implied, he only took a glance towards the still remaining items on the walls and went to get the items he needed before he turned towards the two bags and also put them on his inventory.
But just as he was about to go, on one shelf, he saw a peculiar glass casing. In it were words written in English: [Akhenaton], in a golden plate that depicted a medium-sized warship.
Its casing was just a palm-sized glass capsule and inside it was the ‘capsule’ itself with a red label without any word or item name.
“This is…” Before he could even think, Siva went on that shelf and then glanced over the Shop Keeper as he took it, “I’m sorry for all of this. Use this card to demand payment for the items I took.” he said and then threw his Blue Card to the old shop keeper before escaping on one of the three holes that the three men earlier created.
The shop keeper was left aghast from the pacing of the events. But when he saw the card, he could only cry in defeat and murmur to himself in grief.
“Sir… this is just a discount card.”
When Siva emerged, five escaped prisoners jumped on him. One of them was a Mage and he used a spell that controlled Fire and Land Elements… like lava, it changed the space on the ground where Siva was about to land.
It was the ‘Lord of Oblivion’ spell!
The other four were melee fighters and one of them seemed to specialize in some poison skill as a snake-like ghastly existence emerged from his hand and launched towards him.
Siva’s mind worked trying to decipher how this spell came into being. But no matter how much he racked his brains out, he couldn’t even think of how it took its snake form and only looked it in surprise.
For the first time, Siva was seeing the ‘skills’ and spells that the northlanders can do. And although the ‘Lord of Oblivion’ was a common mid to high-tier spell that’s widely used by High Ranking Mages, the range and power of this one particular spell outclassed the ones he had seen and experienced before.
Siva was caught off guard and the speed at which they moved was actually just a little bit slower than the speed displayed by Hagrid and The Predator.
These are all highly skilled players!
What Siva could only do was to try his best to stomp on the ground along with the boosting function of the Flight Armor’s leg equipment.
But with the lava ground already half-way developed, what Siva felt was actually like a slippery floor and as soft as water, the ground where he stomped his feet expanded to create a small crater.
With the snake-apparition approaching him fast, he pulled his guns out and fired at it.
From the other side, a prisoner was also hacking in with a claw-weapon attached to a golden chain, aiming to injure him and reduce his chances of escape.
The bullets launched, one barrel aimed for the snake and the other to the claw weapons.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Four bullets hauled its way towards their intended target.
But to Siva’s surprise, the snake’s skin was like a lump of metal while the claw-weapons were like a truck heading to him from another side.
“Shit!” With no time to dodge both, he leaned at the snake’s side as he was sure that the claw weapons are going to hack off his arm if they reached him.
He let himself be bitten and the pain was as much as he felt when he first attached the metal braces on his injured leg multiplied by ten times in the real world. It was a pain so great that it’s enough to put him unconscious!
The claw-weapons dodged him but the snake had latched its fangs on his flank.
With a thought command and a ‘pop’ and a flash, the twin guns on his hands vanished and a jet black sword slashed sideways to the green colored snake only to be met with a dull sound of metal hitting sturdy metal.
“Is this snake made of rock or what?” sparks flew from where the sword had hit the snake.
Skidding out of the area, Siva jumped off and avoided two other prisoners who had a pair of long golden rope on their hands. Although he had managed to escape them, he was still far from being safe.
From behind him, he could feel ten more presences with the same danger-level as these five men. He knew that if he doesn’t get back in the air he will be trapped.
Everything right now happened in just a span of a breath and yet to Siva, they seemed to have already been ten.
Yet to his disappointment, the green illusory snake started to coil its body on him and the pain it brought along with the weakening effects of its poison were adding more points to his ever increasing wrath.
In the midst of it all, an idea sprouted on him and he focused his [Killing Zone] towards the [Snake Spell]. Just as he did, he felt that the moment was not the right one as the ground exploded and molten fire rose up from the ground to the sky followed with a loud BOOM!
Everything happened in a span of a breath, fast enough that when Siva noticed how fast the developments were, he was left feeling utterly astonished and was blown away.
“Something happened to me.” He murmured and with this thought, he was 80% sure. “I can perceive time a little faster than them and it makes my reflexes a little faster too.”
There was something that changed in him and one of them is the fact that no matter how he felt furious about this twisted situation, he was still able to have a calm and peaceful mind.
It was this calmness that lets him think of ways to escape, of ways to counter his situation, to notice the little changes that happened to him during the time that he felt he was dreaming.
KABLAM! Siva was sent crashing to a building and his white cloak had burns and holes to where he was directly hit by the molten fire.
And yet, during that time, he clearly felt and saw where the projectiles were heading, using utmost preciseness on his movements to dodge the unwanted result. In the end, he only had to endure being thrown off towards a building and a few burns and bruises instead of being ‘stunned’ because of receiving too much damage… if not being dead.
At that part, the snake which he had focused his [Killing Zone] had been hit by a molten fire and with the help of his sword made up of Dragon Materials, he as able to cut it off his body and escape draining his life away.
Still, the poison had been injected in his body and he could feel that he was weakening bit by bit… adding the fact that he was surrounded, his circumstances was truly f*cked up.
He grumbled, “What a messed up situation!”