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Monday, March 23, 2015

Mythborn 1: Rise of the Adepts - V. Lakshman


Mythborn I: Rise of the Adepts [Kindle Edition]

V. Lakshman

  • 1st PLACE, Dark Fantasy, 2014 Cygnus Award
  • SILVER MEDALIST WINNER, Best Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Horror eBook, 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award 
  • SEMI-FINALIST, Sci-Fi / Fantasy, 2014 Best Kindle Book Award 
  • 4.5 / 5 stars, "IndieReader Approved" by IndieReader 
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com

Edyn - A world ravaged by war, cursed by Gates through which gods and demons still walk the earth... 

A plume of power erupts, pointing to an ancient Gate between our world and the Aeris, 
creatures born from myths and legends, hungering for worship, and offering only possession and slavery in return.

An order of monks known as Adepts sense the Gate, but are not alone. Elder races have taken note and converge on the Gate's next appearance, a desert stronghold known as Bara'cor. Lacking much of the ancient lore and might, the Adepts still send one of their very best to investigate: Silbane.

Silbane Petracles 
- lethal assassin, Master of the Way, honed as a living weapon. His mission: stop the Gate from opening, no matter the cost. His best chance: use his apprentice's ability to disrupt magic, possibly killing him in the process.

But others have a stake in the outcome...

Themun Dreys 
- Lore Father and leader of the Adepts, powerful in the Way. For two centuries he has been saving those born with Talent. Now he faces a danger beyond his Council's abilities and has limited options for a path to salvation.

Lady Lilyth 
- Lady of Flame, Eye of the Sun, and Aeris Celestial, a goddess who no longer wishes to serve the beliefs and whims of the people of this world. Ravager, destroyer, demon, she believes Silbane's apprentice holds the secret to life for her kind and will do anything to get it.

Rai'stahn - Dragon-knight of the Conclave, ancient guardian of power. He believes Silbane's apprentice does more than disrupt magic; he eradicates it and forces the world around him to become mundane. He will take any steps necessary to ensure magic and those beings sustained by it, survive.

Kisan Talaris - Master of the Way, fellow warrior and friend to Silbane. Decisive and powerful, she tracks unknown assassins sent against her Order, but is then given a new directive - kill Silbane's apprentice and complete his mission, by any means necessary.

Destinies converge as the mighty strive to balance the fate of their worlds against the life of one boy. He is Arek Winterthorn, apprentice to Silbane, assassin-in-training, student of the Way.

And he is - Mythborn.
 
For more information and to get Mythborn 1 and the series, visit this site here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3.3.20.2. Throne of the Lost Soul - Part Four



Cristophe the Griffin Rider with Acavela

‘It’s the three of them against the four of us now,’ says Hernan, also putting his hands on Chris’ back. The Wind Spirit Eshmyria also puts her semi-transparent hands on Iris and Hernan’s backs, channeling energy all the way into the Shield of Faith.
In faith we stand.
The next thing Chris hears is Xylen shrieking, ‘SISTERS, RELEASE! EEEYAGGGHH!!’
BHLAARRRRR!!! BOOO!! HOOO!!
The black ball, so gigantic it covers one-third of the throne hall, is moving slowly towards the targets. Eerie, frightening deathly faces, human-like, skeletal and demonic all swirl perpetually on the ball.
Chris shouts, ‘This is it! Shielding Wings of Love!’
In the total defense version of this skill, Chris puts his sword horizontally right behind his large shield and channels all the energy he can gather into the shield. The next moment, BHLAGG! SWHIRR! WHIRR! The gigantic black ball hits and grinds on the shield, and Chris is as though stopping a giant snowball from tumbling down a mountain slope.
‘UUUURGHHH!!’ Chris feels his limbs numb as the pressure rolls on and on. CHRIIT!! CHRIIITSSZZZ!! And then comes pain, so unbearable, his hands are like being minced into pieces.
Iris and Hernan also feel the same. They barely stand, but they keep on resisting. It’s do or die now.
No, this is not good, Chris thinks. If it keeps going on like this, that ball will breach our protection and grinds us to death! If I counterstrike now, the result will be the same. Come on, Chris, think! There’s got to be another solution.
Before Chris runs out of time thinking, suddenly somebody, apparently an apparition comes from above him. It’s Eshmyria! And she hits the black ball with a concentrated, compacted mass of wind energy, forming yet another gigantic ball: the Pandemonium.
SWHIRRRR!! CRITT! CRITT-CRITT!!
The ball of swirling wind grinds against the dark ball, chipping shards of energy at the point of impact.
Half a minute later, the two balls become as though merged in one, swirling into each other until…
BHLOOOMMMM!!! The two giganticv balls finally explode!
Shards of extremely destructive energy spread to the whole hall!
As result, the attacks get backfired to their casters!
CRASH! CRASH! Eshmyria, the closest one to the swirling ball gets the full blast of it, her form contorts and dissolves rapidly.
Just before she vanishes, Eshmyria lets out a whislper so gentle, yet loud enough so Iris and her friends can hear it, ‘My work is done, my soul is at peace. Now it’s time for me to rest. Farewell for now, wait for my return one day.’
‘Eshmyria, NO!!’ Iris tries to reach out for her ally, partner and friend, but the force of explosion also pushes her along with Chris and Hernan. Iris flies uncontrollably and hits the ‘sloth’ statue pillar, BAMM!! There’s nothing she can do except to see Eshmyria depart from sight.
That means the Wind Spirit is injured and weakened, and she needs a long time to recover before she can be summoned again. Maybe a week, or a year, nobody knows.
Yet, Eshmyria’s sacrifice yields something.
The explosion force also hits the three succubi! One-by-one they fall off the air and CRASH, CRASH, CRASH!! Hit the floor violently.
Xylen, for one, is the only one in this room conscious and strong enough to try and get up with all the severe injuries she bears. Her one wing is broken, her left shoulder is misplaced. Black blood is trickling out from the flesh wounds all over her body. Yet, the Glaive of Chaos is firmly gripped on her right hand. Her body shudders violently as the blue she-devil finally stands on her feet.
Her mind is racing as she looks around. Nepathya is down, Katarina too… But see, the three heroes are not moving either. They’re like helpless lambs waiting to be slaughtered. This is my golden chance, and I shall not let it pass.
As she comes near the Paladins, her smile widens. Chris is really still knocked out. Hernan and Iris are also in the same state, confirming her expectation.
Slowly, Xylen raises her glaive with her good hand to decapitate the man in white armor lying helplessly on the floor.
‘Well, I admit it’s a waste to waste a divinely handsome young man like you, and I’d rather kill you in a fight, but for a worthy cause, for my devotion to the Dark Overlord, I must use all means and reap from this opportunity.
I bid you farewell, Heir of the Light.’
With her eyes fixed to the peaceful, naïve face inside the silvery-white helmet, Xylen hesitates no more.
SYUUUUSH!!
Xylen lowers a deadly hand on Cristophe Deveraux to end the biggest threat for the Dark Forces once and for all. All the efforts to protect mankind and all the good things in this world, all the love, tears, sweat and blood spilled, all the fallen heroes, soldiers and individuals to open the path all the way to this point will be gone in vain.
The world of Eternia, as we know it, will be engulfed in eternal darkness with no hope for the light…
            THE END.
            Unless…
            THANGGG!!
            Comes a sound to bring a change to it all.
            Xylen is shocked. This is not the sound she expected! It must be the CRASSSH, sound of a severed head! She takes a closer, clearer look at the target and catches a sight of an object she is clearly familiar with: a kiliji.
            The rare curved long sword whose owner is the man she framed into killing her back when she was Xylen Felicitia, the girl wonder who held the highest esteem as a Pope, leader of all Vadisians in the world.
            Looking to her right, she sees a handsome face that’s cold as ice, a face that once brought the warmth she’s longing for but she tried to obtain through wrong means. The eyes which were once so warm but now so cold and determined, the eyes which once stared to defend her from the accusation of being a cheat who trapped and wasted many lives in Enia’s Sanctum but now stared to defend the world from this she-devil’s menace.
            A man called Robert Chandler. Ex-hunter. Ex-fugitive. Knight. Paladin. Hero.
            Xylen is as though stunned on seeing this stunning stud. He still has his untidy white hair, blue eyes and the other sword Grimlock. Yes, the man who would make a better Heir of Vordac than the other one…
            ‘I won’t let you do that, demoness,’ says Robert curtly.
            ‘Humph, once again you interfered with my plans,’ Xylen snorts, ready with her glaive on guard in one hand.  ‘I’ll defeat you all, even with only one hand.’
            A moment later, Adler, Carolyn, Eidos and Dejan enter the vicinity through the broken door. The battered wall is still holding on after being hit by such godly force.
            Suddenly, Rob’s face changes into surprise, saying, ‘I’ve never seen you this close before, but your face seems familiar. No, this is impossible… Are you, perchance… the Pope?’
            Xylen smiles warmly, replying, ‘You guessed right, Robert, but not entirely true. You see, I’m not a Pope anymore. This is the true me, Nelyx the Succubus Queen. Finally, someone does recognize me, and I’m glad.’
            In response, Robert points his kiliji straight at Xylen while holding his other sword Grimlock  in the other hand.
He says, ‘Sorry, but I don’t share the same sentiment. After all you did: seducing me, framing me into murdering you, slaughtering the griffins and fighting to spread terror all over the land, do you expect me to embrace you with a smile? No, I’m not glad. I’m upset.’
‘Upset? Is that all you can think about me? Not hate, not vengeful? Just… upset?’
‘Yes, Xylen. I’ve been wronged and hurt so many times by so many people, by time and circumstances. Even my closest friend and student invaded my country just to get revenge upon me. But do I hate him? No. I was just upset because he was lost, and I forgave him. And now that he walks the right path again, I’m glad.
The same goes to you. I don’t hate you, and I forgive you for everything you did to me in the past. However, as you’re already lost in darkness without hope of return, I must stop you from doing what you’re going to do to this world.’
‘Just save your preaching. If you want to stop me, you just have to kill me,’ Xylen shouts.
Hearing this, Robert puts Grimlock back into the scabbard and shows a finger at Xylen.
‘One chance,’ he says.
‘What does that mean?’
‘I give you one chance to strike me first. Just one.’
‘You’re underestimating me. Are you being lenient because of my condition?’ Xylen snorts.
‘Take it or leave it, it’s up to you,’ Robert waves his kiliji aside.
‘Fellow Paladins, please don’t interfere. This is a personal matter between me and her.’
Even Adler doesn’t comment to that. He just keeps a close eye at the two other succubi  who’re just getting up.
‘I warned you, Robert. Now take this and DIE!’
DASSSH!!! Xylen charges forward, thrusting her glaive with one hand and all the strength she can muster.
She gets close to her target, thrusts and…
BLASSH!!
The Glaive of Chaos slices the air!
‘Your chance is up.’
A whisper, a crouch, a spin…
And, CRASSSH!!!
The kiliji finds home in the she-devil’s stomach, penetrating through her back.
‘UURGGG!!’ Xylen lets out a muffled scream in pain. Robert is about to take the sword out to finish the job, and the victim explodes the last drops of her aura, BHLAAMM!!
Robert loses grip of his sword, flying uncontrollably and crashing into the floor.
Still, the result is imminent.
‘Tee hee… what a wonderful feeling… To die by the sword of the man I love… Wonderful, how wonderful…’
Xylen gasps for breath as her blood and her life are slipping out from her fatal wound. Robert tries to get up to grab his sword back, but the impact from Xylen’s energy burst made his body numb for a while, and he collapses again.
All he can see is Xylen starting to melt and his kiliji along with her, dissolving into nothingness.
‘At least, I now have this sword as souvenir.  Now I know that my love is for you, Robert, not for the Dark Overlord. I am nothing more than a minion for him, and he spends more time with that little blonde than with me.’
Robert’s eyes widen on hearing this, saying, ‘What? A blonde? You mean, Eloise is here, and she’s still alive?’
‘Eloise… Yes, that’s her name…
Just get rid of her… for me…
Go ahead… Seek her out in the highest tower…
The key… to get out from here… is where the dead piled up.
Good-bye, my love… Robert…’
Breathing her last, the Archdemoness of Desdemon, the Succubus Queen Nelyx or Xylen falls. Her body melts on, and along with Robert’s kiliji become a wad of liquid on the floor. No trace of her can be recognized anymore.
‘Oh, no, Nelyx…’
Dismayed over their sister’s demise, Nepathya and Katarina immediately break off from their fight with the Paladins and fly to flee through the open ceiling.
‘Look, they’re getting away!’ Dejan points at the enemies and is rapidly turning into an eagle, but a hand comes in his way. It’s Robert’s.
‘Don’t,’ says the white-haired man clearly. ‘We don’t chase over enemies who have lost their courage. Let’s focus on the more important matter at hand.’
Looking at the remains of what used to be his kiliji, which now one with the floor, Robert can’t help but smile. You finally fulfilled your final feat. Take a rest with my father, old friend. Thank you, and good bye.
Taking a last glance, Robert turns back and comes near the knocked-out Paladins now being treated by Eidos Crydias with potions.
Naturally, Iris is the first one to come round, and Rob squats and talks, ‘Any clue on how to get to the next area?’
The elf replies feebly, ‘I think so. I heard Xylen said that the exit to the next area is here in this room.’
‘Oh yes, I remember now,’ Robert replies. ‘On the place where death is piled up… Piled up?’
‘I think it must be the throne made of bones there. It looks ‘piled up’ enough for me,’ says Carolyn, pointing at the seat that was built on death of many.
‘Of course! Let me take a look at it,’ says Eidos, walking up the Throne of Bones, sitting on it and search every nook and cranny of that accursed object.
Until…
CRRREAAKK!! GRRGK! GRRGKK!!
Comes a sound of clamoring metals. Eidos has activated a switch on that throne: a pointy bone on the right-hand side of the yellowish-ivory seating.
Slowly, the walls on the right and left side of the hall open up, revealing the dark sky of endless night outside through the glassless windows.
Seeing this, Adler retorts, ‘Eidos, you old fool! That’s the wrong switch! It’s only to open the windows!’
Eidos argues, ‘I’ve searched thoroughly and it’s the only switch on this pile of dead bones…’
‘Let me check outside first,’ says Dejan the Animorpher, instantly morphing into an eagle and flying out through the window. The Paladin wait for a while, and the scout flies ack into the room.
The eagle then turns back into Dejan and reports, ‘The windows ARE our way out! We must walk through the path on the citadel terrace to reach the main tower!’
Adler speaks out at once, ‘All right, then. We move on at once. Iris, you stay here and take care of Hernan and the Heir until they’re awake. The rest of you, follow me!’
Seing that, Robert shouts, ‘Lord Adler, wait! We must follow Dejan instead…!’
But Adler won’t listen and is already out of sight.
‘Just let him be,’ says Eidos who knows his partner best. ‘He needs to be always in control, until somebody scars his pride – permanently.’
Robert just sighs on hearing that and silently goes out of the window, following his fellow Paladins.

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3.3.20.3. The Mindbender’s Grudge

Tentative Illustration Image Source: 
Griffin Rider by E-tane - http://e-tane.deviantart.com/art/Collab-Griffin-Rider-273914223
Note: Script Check pg 361/487 next chapter

3.3.20.2. Throne of the Lost Soul - Part Three

Xylen, the Succubus Queen

The Dark Overlord’s throne...
            Cristophe can’t believe his eyes. He actually has gone this far behind enemy lines. And now he catches sight of a gigantic hall, larger than any palace court he has ever seen – even in Levides Palace.
            The hall of which has black walls full with faces – humanlike, monsters or demonic – embossed on it. All are either frightened, fierce or dead faces as though the actual creatures are pushed headlong from the wall, inside to outside.
            Six giant statues on top of six black pillars stand on the right and left side of the room plus one on the far corner, behind the horrific Throne of Bones.
            The seven statues are carved lifelike, depicting the seven original sins: A big devil for ‘pride’, an extremely fat abomy for ‘gluttony’, an old miser with long nose and his eyes looking far left for ‘greed’, a banshee for ‘envy’, a dracolich for ‘anger’, a zombie for ‘sloth’ and a succubus for ‘lust’.
            Suddenly, a shrill woman’s voice comes from nowhere, and the startled Paladins ready their weapons at once.
            And SWOOOSH, SWOOSH, SWOOSH!! Three flashes of light sweep across the Paladins – red, green and blue. The blue light then transforms into a devil-winged woman with blue skin and hair, landing slowly on the Throne of Bones. The red and green lights also transform like the blue one, and the three surround their three opponents.
            There’s no mistake about it: They’re succubi, the she-devils who feed from lust for power. Chris recognizes the blue succubus at once, saying, ‘YOU again.’
            The Succubus Queen, also known as the Archdemoness of Desdemon puts up a wide grin and bares her fangs behind her azure lips. Her black eyes with bright-blue pupils stare straight at her ‘favourite’ foe, saying, ‘Hmm, so the runt-to-hero has come for another rematch.
            Well, as you can see, this time I shall finish you all of at once. No pesky bug may pass from here. You may come in, but none shall come out.’
            Startled, Iris speaks, ‘What? You mean, there is no exit from here?’
            The she-devil laughs evilly, saying, ‘Hahaha! Of course there is an exit, and you won’t be able to find it unless you search for the switch in this hall, and you won’t be able to search for it before you defeat the three of us.
            Speaking of which, let me introduce my two sisters.’
            The red-skinned succubus with her crimson hair flailing like fire flaps her enormous scarlet wings and moves her scantily armored body like belly-dancing, saying, ‘I am Katarina the Red. I’ll send you all to the place where you belong: In the infernal depths, with me!’
            The green succubus moves forward. Her cute visage is somewhat similar to Iris’, and her green, large blank eyes show that she’s a sadist little girl who just found a toy to wreck. She wiggles side-to-side and talks with a childish tone, ‘Hi, I’m Nepathya, and you’ll be my new, cuddly, DEAD toys! Whee!!’
            And lastly, the blue she-devil, the Succubus Queen gets up from the Throne of Bones and flies closer to the Paladins and stops, floating in mid-air.
            ‘Don’t any of you recognize me?’ she says suddenly, her face dead serious. ‘ANSWER ME!’
            Chris responds without a single glint of fear on his face, ‘Yes, your face might look familiar when I fought you, but I never able to figure out who you are, or who you were.’
            ‘Is that so? Well, no wonder your mundane minds can’t identify the person behind this infernal physique. Too bad Robert isn’t here with you, he won’t have trouble guessing my human name.’
            ‘Robert, you say?’ Chris blurts out with surprise. ‘Are you saying you had something to do with the murder of Pope Xylen Felicitia? Or… Good heavens…’ He gasps. ‘You are…’
            ‘Yes, I am she. My true name is Nelyx, the Archdemoness of Desdemon, and my human name is…’
            ‘Xylen.’
            No sooner the word comes out from Iris’ lips than her bow and arrow aiming at the blue succubus. The latter only stands casually holding the two-edged Glaive of Chaos on her back, saying, ‘Exactly. That’s easy to guess. So, let me guess your next question… What was really happened back then in Basilica Vadisium?’
            Before the Paladins can say a word, Xylen talks on.
            ‘Well, I really died that day, stabbed myself to death with the sword of the one I framed. But then, the Dark Forces’ agents took my body out from the crypt. And, thanks to necromancy, my body was transformed back into my original elf, the Succubus Queen, and now here I am, stronger, faster than ever.’
            ‘So, the case of ‘Robert Murder the Pope’ was nothing but a set-up, and you, my dear, has connected the missing link,’ Hernan comments with a mock smile. ‘But, the outcome is always the same. You are a lost soul who knows no happiness, always seeking false satisfaction by destroying everybody.’
            ‘Huh, you’re not so good yourself,’ says Xylen to hernan. ‘Just don’t’ pretend that you care for me, I don’t need it.’
            The flirty Don shrugs, ‘Maybe I am and maybe I’m not. I was trying to help you see the light, but you’re really a lost case, rotten to the bone. As for me, I’ll go home and make amends with my family after I destroy you, once and for all. The one who sold one’s soul for lust is really lost and doomed, that’s for sure. I just hope that I haven’t sunk into that level yet.’
            Lust, the abyss of no return.
            ‘Well, save your preachings for yourself,’ says the Succubus Queen. ‘Too bad Robert isn’t here with us. I just loove to see his face when I tell him the truth.’
            Nepathya the Green says, ‘Talk time is over, now it’s PLAY time! Come on, let’s do round one, and then I’ll play with my new dolls – your corpses!’
            The calmer and more serious Katarina the Red says, ‘Not if I kill them first. That man with a mustache, he’s mine.’
            Xylen spins the Glaive of Chaos and swings it aside in mid-air, speaking thunderously, ‘And I have a score to settle with this red-haired runt. Let the rumble begin!’
            SWOOSH, SWOOSH, SWOOSH!!
            The she-devils sweep down towards their targets: Nepathya versus Iris, Katarina versus Hernan, and Xylen versus Cristophe.
            As the glaive darts like lightning, the red-haired Paladin casts one of the few spells he knows, ‘An Acavela Aschi!’
            KUAAAKK!! The griffin champion Acavela comes out from the summoning circle, moving in high speed and coming between Chris and the she-devil. The Prince quickly evades the glaive thrust by climbing onto the griffin’s back. THUD, and ZOOMM!!
            Up he goes. Just as he’s right above Xylen, he launches multiple random slashes and thrusts downwards. CRAS, CRAS, CRASH! The sword skill, Rocky Road of Righteousness hits Xylen in several places: shoulder, arms, back, wings, only leaving scratches on her thick layer of dark aura.
            Xylen recovers quickly in that state and kicks rapidly upwards with her skill Irresistible Desire. BASH, BASH, BASH! This time the rain of pain is pouring at Acavela and Chris, the latter then pulls away from range.
            Both combatants seem evenly matched on the first impact. Xylen also pulls away, leaning on the succubus statue on the corner.
            ‘Good, you fight much, much better than before,’ says the she-devil, massaging her limbs and shaking her head. ‘However, man and beast will never beat winged creatures, that’s the rock-solid fact.’
            ‘Well, not if the man and beast act as one, becoming one body and one mind. And it’s high time we show it to you, right now! HHEEAAHH!!’ With that shout, Chris and Acavela dart away like arrow shot towards their opponent.
            To their surprise, Xylen flies away instead, saying, ‘Catch me if you caaan!!’
ZWISH! ZWISH! She slaloms past the three large pillar statues and Chris follows suit. And then the blue succubus turns near the entrance and slaloms again past the other three statues of Seven Original Sins, nearly knocking over the green succubus shooting green lightblasts from her pointing fingers like a gunslinger at her opponent, Iris.
‘Hey, watch where you’re going!’ Nepathya scolds, closing into her opponent while evading Iris’ arrows altogether.
On the other hand, Chris chooses to stay in the middle of the hall, thinking that Xylen is trying to tire him and Acavela out. And then, Xylen goes out of sight.
With the Sword of Justice and the Shield of Faith in hand, Chris readies himself from a sneak attack from any direction. His eyes catch sight of Katarina and Hernan dogfighting, with the latter mounting the cornus*) he just summoned.

(* Cornus = Unicorn-pegasus, a horse with a cone horn on his head like a unicorn and wings like a pegasus. Never a superior being to both, cornus is a very rare species, a breed between a unicorn and a pegasus.

            ZWWOOOSHHH!! Chris sways aside, avoiding a sudden attack from behind. Then comes the glaive sweeping, grazing the tip of Chris’ Helmet of Truth, K-CHIINGG!!
            With reflexes, Chris aims and shoots a Guiding Light of Faith from his sword. The beam misses its target and DASSH!! Chipping a rough dent on the ‘Gluttony’ statue.
            The attacks come again! This time, they’re like arrows that have been shot from all directions, altogether in split seconds! ZWISH! ZWISH! ZWISH!
            ‘Just like we’ve practiced, Acavela! NOW!!’
            ZWISH!! The man and beast move together as one, maneuvering back-and-forth, side-by-side, avoiding each and every strike. Actually, they have done this before in a dogfight spar with their teacher, Avariel the Archangel.
            But no, this is different than our training. This hall is not spacious enough for flyers. I must be extra careful!
            DASSH! A hit on the armor confirms Chris’ thought. And yet, that hit didn’t disrupt his momentum at all. Another hit lands, DASSH! Chris swivels like a windmill, a fast swipe with his sword and CRAATTSH!! Wounds his target slightly.
            The she-devil skids to stop in mid-air, and staring at her opponent she shouts, ‘Nice hit. You predicted my movement and wrapped it with a swift finish. If not because of that blasted armor, I should’ve yielded a better result… NOT!’ Putting a hand on the wound on her shoulder, Xylen makes the bleeding stop, and the wound closes like it never happened before.
            That doesn’t surprise me, Chris thinks. This is the third time I battle that she-devil, and I still can’t overcome her. No, this is not the end. I won’t crack under pressure. This is my last fight with her and I’ll come out the victor, the survivor.
            ‘Lo, are you stunned or anything? Because…’
            Before the she-devil can finish her words, ZZZOOOMM!! A streak of white light comes straight towards her. Xylen somersaults, trying to evade Chris’ Singular Voice of Truth. The singular thrust of concentrated power darts through and grazes a deep cut on Xylen’s right foot!
            ‘GYAA!!’ The Archdemoness reacts by touching the wounded foot to heal it, but then comes a simple yet powerful slash of Power Bash. THANGGG!! She blocks it barely with the glaive on her right hand, and the impact slams her into the floor! BRUGG!
            Before Xylen gets up, again Chris comes with yet another basic move: Three-Point Chain Slash. His sword slashes towards three possible weak points: throat, heart and foot.
            ‘Huh, trying to find my weak points out with that lame move? You must be kidding me.’ Saying that, Xylen springs and kicks vertically, repeatedly with both her hands as anchor. BAG, BAG, BAG, BAG, BAMMM!!
            Chris blocks the kicks with his shield and uses the attack force to push himself and his griffin into the air. Using this momentum to replenish his energy, Chris is about to attack again and a blast of Dark Disintegration ray comes from his right!
            BYAAARSCHH!! Once again, the Shield of Faith protects the rider and steed, saving their lives. Acavela flies haphazardly off-balance and gets back in control a moment later.
            No attack from everywhere. Acavela flies around the room with Chris looking at all directions warily. Suddenly, GRABB!! The succubus grapples Chris on his back!
            ‘Ooh, nice, such a beautiful body. Care for a tighter hug?’
            CRAAACK!!! ‘GAAAHH!!!’
            Xylen puts more pressure on his opponent, electrifying him with dark energy. And then, she literally unsaddle the White Paladin and takes him up, up, near the ceiling.
            CRAACKKK!!! Chris hits headlong on the ceiling!
            ‘How do you find my new move: Shackles of Intimacy? Tantalizing, isn’t it? Want to taste some more? Relax, that was just the first part, and this is the more exciting part! GHEEAGHH!!’
            ‘AAGGGHHHH!!!’
            Chris screams in pain inside his helmet.
            The scream add up in terror as Xylen dives! SZOOOMM!! She’s about to smash Cristophe’s cranium on the floor! Chris tries to explode his aura, but no! He’s like powerless, unable to set free from his impending doom…
            CCRASSSH!!!
            Stone and dust fly, chipped from the already broken floor in the hall that’s also used as an arena to gain supremacy among the Dark Forces. The cloud of dust quickly disperses, and the result soon comes into view:
            Xylen stands in triumph and Chris lays immobile beneath her feet. The sword Excalibur also stands straight with its tip in the floor.
            ‘HAHAHAHA!! At last! The Heir of Vadis, the strongest among the Forces of Light, succumbs under my absolute power! I am invincible, I am the strongest, the most beautiful! And no one, I say no one can stop me now!
            With Arachus gone, I am the second in command, and as soon as I wipe out these critters, the whole world will be my playground!’
            ‘Not so fast, demoness.’
            ‘What?’ Startled, Xylen looks down and sees the Heir of Vadis struggling, getting up on his knees, putting his left hand on the sword. His entire body is glowing like a firefly, and the blade of Excalibur also glows, making his whole appearance divine-like.
Lifting the visor of his helmet up, his visage becomes radiant with rejuvenated energy, and his voice becomes clearer as he says,  ‘The Heir of Vadis is stronger than you thought. You, who fight only to satisfy your ego and bloodlust will never prevail against the one who fights with his heart, with love, with all the willpower of the people he wants to protect.
The only place for a traitor like you, Xylen, is in the deepest bowels of hell, tortured and burned for eternity!’
Gritting her teeth, Xylen bends backwards and shrieks at the top of her voice, ‘SKKHRIEEEE!!! JUST SHUT UP! Save your worthless speech! My soul is already lost since the Dark Overlord converted me, gave me this name Nelyx and treated me as his mistress, his mate, his pet. So now I live for him, to worship his greatness and to repay him for bringing me back to life, more powerful than ever!’
And yes, I have done many things to please my lord:
Setting up the trap mission in Enia’s Sanctum to cover and to open the path for Paliades, that faulty heir. Good thing we’ve found his ‘replacement’.
Framing Robert into the crime he didn’t commit.
Going into battles, missions, fighting you, even consented to wait in this place for you, all for the True Heir of Darkness.
I am the most loyal, most devoted servant of the Dark Overlord, and nothing pleases me more than to eliminate each and every one of you who stands in my way, and no word can ever change that!!’
Xylen then leaps and floats in mid-air, shouting, ‘Nepathya! Katarina! Trinity Eternal Banishment!’
‘All right! Time for total annihilation!’
Saying that, Nepathya the Green breaks up from her fight with Iris and Eshmyria. Katarina the Red also leaves Hernan and joins her two sisters above the Throne of Bones.
Flapping their wings constantly, the three succubi form a triangle and outstretch their hands.
FWOOM, FWOOM, FWOOM! Legions of lost souls then come out from the seven gigantic statues, each carrying a mass of dark energy generated fromt heir sins in life: the seven original sins that combine into the strongest, the most evil, the terrible force of all: the antithesis of Chris’ holy power of faith, truth, righteousness, diligence, justice, kindness and love.
Chris, Hernan and Eshmyria charge forward to interrupt the spellcasting process and BAF! BAGG! THOOK! A massive, concentrated black force field deflects their attack, throwing the three heroes away.
‘GUH!’ Chris steers Acavela with effort, and man and griffin land roughly on the floor. BHLAGG!!
Chris immediately dismounts from Acavela, his shivering hand lifts the Shield of Faith, facing his opponents, saying, ‘Get behind me! Unsummon your steeds and guardian spirits! Support me!’ He unsummons Acavela, and Hernan and Iris do what they’re told at once. But, Eshmyria won’t withdraw.
‘Eshmyria told me that she wants to help. We better honor her wishes, then,’ says Iris, putting her palms on Chris’ back. 




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Tentative Illustration Image Source:  
(Top) Succubus Queen by GooDHopE (kekse0719.deviantart.com)
(Bottom) Daughter of the Devil by kekse0719.deviantart.com
Note: Script check: pg 340/487

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