LEGEND OF THE PALADINS
THE BOUNTY HUNTERS
The world of Vadis, Adair and Enia
Created by the One
Kept by the Three
Where three live as one
Positive, negative and neutral
Magic, science and nature
The world where myths are real
Fantasy is history
Fairy tales are factual
The world of dangers and adventure
When light and dark collide
And the neutral shed tears
Just like in our world, our dimension, when all beings lived in harmony, Terra Eternia was indeed a beautiful world of love, hope and peace. But when evil the extreme form of negativity disrupted the balance, conflicts always occurred between the Trinity of Good: love, hope and faith and the Trinity of Evil: hatred, despair and terror.
Evil once ruled supreme in this world, the Evil named Vordac, the Dark Overlord. His domination was ended by Sage the Fireheart, who assembled the Seven Heroes and waged the First Crusade. Vordac has once rebelled against Adair the Sodomos, the Dark God. Adair defeated Vordac, banished him from the underworld and cursed Vordac to roam in Eternia eternally. As a result of that, Vordac's spirit can possess mediums or hosts, and after his defeat to Sage, he possessed a medium, the Great Sword Deathblade.
Vordac re-emerged with the help of his host, Mildred Urganon, but he again met a fatal defeat from Fireheart's son, Antoine the Avenger. And again, Vordac's spirit found refuge in Deathblade.
And now, that very sword was in the hands of an old man with white long hair, eyebrows, moustache and beard, wearing everything white. He was standing in a dark, vast room with another old man and a she-elf. The bearded man talked,
"At last, we found the perfect, safest place to keep the sword."
"Are you sure, Azrael?" said the blonde, long, curly-haired she-elf inquiringly, "Because, honestly, this room is not inaccessible enough."
"I agree with Carolyn," said the old, half-bald man with a white moustache. "I say we better melt this sword in the lava pit."
"I can't believe a scientist like you would say that, Theripides. If we melt this sword, we'll destroy it. Vordac's spirit will be free and possess any of us," said Azrael.
"Hmph, I guess we don't have a choice, then," said Theripides. "We have searched for months, and Her Majesty here offered this place although she is not sure either."
Carolyn responded with a sigh, "I guess we have to be satisfied of this place. It has all natural barriers, enough to prevent any being to reach here. All we have to do now is adding some more to make sure no one can claim the sword, even us."
Azrael nodded and made a decision, "Very well, then, we'll seal Deathblade in here! I will now create a force field using this orb, and I also need some magical assistance from you two. This will be the final barrier should others fail. So, shall we begin?"
"Naturally," said Carolyn.
"Anytime," said Theripides.
Azrael held the sword with his outstretched hands, and Theripides cast a spell to keep it aloft.
Azrael released the sword, reaching into his pocketed belt. He took out a small silvery-white orb, placed it on his upright palm, and chanted,
"Aegis, ma washtar galatre Kraal'shazar, im gemackt an Corona Infer. (Aegis, please help seal the Deathblade, as the Little Sun is being made)"
The orb reacted and emitted violent sparks, then flew towards Deathblade. When the orb touched the sword with a devil carved on its hilt and seven runes of Original Sin carved on its blade, the sword suddenly vibrated very hard. The red eye carved on the blade just above the hilt opened wide although it's alive. A thick aura of darkness came out from the eye, resisting the power from the white orb.
The orb intensified its energy, and the sword followed suit to match it. As they reached the peak of their auras, anyone can see a visualization of a thunder bird and a black devil fighting each other. Soon enough, the thunder bird still didn't get the upper hand against the devil. Seeing this grim prospect, Azrael decided to help, saying,
"I'll begin the sealing process now! The dark energy from Vordac is still too strong for Aegis! Carolyn, help Aegis too!"
While chanting an indistinct, long mantra, Azrael released threads of light from his ten fingers of his hands. The threads of light spun around the devil and the thunder bird as though trying to cover both of them in a bigger orb.
Carolyn's Force of Nature spell was much simpler than Azrael's, yet more focused, giving more and ever-amplified pressure on the sword and also amplifying Aegis' power. Under such pressure, the devil's shadow roared. It amplified its energy threefold and overpowered Aegis and the three wizards. It now looked like a devil's shadow with an overlarge, open mouth. It was going to swallow Aegis!
Knowing that more power was needed, Theripides showed his speciality: his ability to cast two spells in one time. His left hand was still on his magical Tome of Time and Tide, casting Eleviant spell. Using his free hand holding the Chrono Chakram, he cast Meteor Shower. Bolts of fiery meteorites poured down from above, and all focused towards one target: the Deathblade. The battle turned in an even footing again, but the wizards needed something more because they didn't know how long they can keep this on. If one of them ran out of mana, all will be lost.
A calm loving smile showed on Azrael's face. He knew at once that for the greater good, he must sacrifice himself. He stared at Carolyn and Theripides in turns, and then nodded. Just then, a layer of light appeared, covering Azrael's body and making him shine dazzlingly. Carolyn and Theripides stared back at Azrael in terror: Azrael is going to cast Divine Retribution, the spell that once made him vanish without a trace until he was found again about five years later.
Before any of them can say anything to stop Azrael, he already spoke the incantation aloud.
"Eleison ex Tributalis!"
As though a million angels rush down from the sky to attack one devil lord, the beautiful-looking yet deadly spell attacked the Deathblade from all sides. It was a sure hit, no evil can escape and block this spell, the damage was continuous and extreme the truly ultimate holy spell next to Armageddon. If it was a one-hit and kill, Azrael was going to be all right. But the need to cast this spell ceaselessly drained more energy than Azrael can bear.
The Great Archmage of Light's face turned white and pale, with traces of his nerves showing on his face and hands. His eyes were bloodshot, and blood began to drop out from his eyes, nostrils, ears and mouth. It seemed the spell was backfiring on him because of his lack of mana energy, but now the vision of devil began to contort and dissolve. The dark mana from the sword was going to be suppressed, and the seal was about to be completed.
Then suddenly the devil's shadow exploded the last drops of its energy, throwing Azrael, Theripides and Carolyn far away. The Orb of Aegis was thrown too, but it didn't break. It immediately turned into a white bird and flew back to the sword. Then it used this golden opportunity to electrocute the entire sword.
Staggering and half-kneeling, Azrael also used the last drops of his energy to complete the seal covering the sword. Theripides, who instinctively rushed near the sword, got an unpredictable turn. The Deathblade suddenly attacked and severed Theripides' right arm. Theripides moved back, electrocuted and badly wounded. Now he would realize that it was the stupidest thing he ever done in his lifetime.
Carolyn immediately moved to cure Theripides, and the Viavitali (Great Heal) spell mended his severed arm nicely although it can't connect the severed parts together. "Good thing you're a lefty, we sure are going to need your technical concepts."
"Ugnnh... I'm done here, don't worry about me. You better tend to Azrael."
"Ah, alas... he's a lost case. Just let him finish the sealing before we help him."
"He did it again," said Theripides, shaking his head. "Why did he get to cast that blasted spell? Come to think again, he really sacrificed much so we can seal this sword."
At last, Azrael finished making the orb covering the sword and covering Aegis' orb. Now Aegis was assigned to a new job: suppressing and protecting Kraal'shazar, the Deathblade at all times. Carolyn the Elf Queen, the Archmage of Nature completed the sealing by adding an enchantment: Flame of the Eternal Corona on the orb surface, making it into a complete miniature sun.
"At last... my last mission in this world is complete."
After he said that, Azrael fell on his knees. Fatigue took him over now all his magical energy was gone. He was one hundred twenty four years old now, and he was a mage no more. Naturally, he was now very weak and his feet can barely support him. Carolyn moved to support Azrael, saying, "You fool... losing everything to a devil-inhabited sword. You should've done better."
Azrael responded feebly, "I have done my best, and... and I h-have no... regrets. Now I'm g-g-going to leave you all f-for sure. This is my last journey. I can't go anywhere else now. Please, my friends. Now, for the first time, I'm going to ask you two some f-favors.
Please send my regards to the Old Emperor Sage and Prince Anthony. Tell them it's been an honor serving them. And for me, Anthony is always Anthony. I will send his love to my daughter Vivian in heaven. May Arcadia live long and prosper.
Also, tell your descendants that should the Deathblade is in the open again and Vordac gets a new host, they must gather a number of heroes again to prevent that or make sure that this time Vordac's soul will perish permanently.
I now prophesy that one day the paladins will rise. We may not be able to seal Vordac forever. But when Vordac is indeed released, these multi-talented heroes of light will emerge and fight the Dark Overlord and his minions. Find them, and make sure they are united and well-prepared. Only in the paladins' hands hope may prevail.
And this is my last request. Just let me stay near here long enough until I die. I will now retire from the world and take a rest here. Put somebody trustworthy here to take care of me, so I can look towards this place where my masterpiece lays and be happy and satisfied about my life and what I've done for this world. I hope you will comply with my wishes."
"Of course, Azrael, my friend," said Theripides. "We will strengthen this place with our combined mastery of science and magic, and prepare our future generations."
"And we will find and gather the paladins once we hear or see any premonition of Vordac's return. The Holy Pope in Valanis will help too," said Carolyn.
"Thank you, my friends," said Azrael with tears in his eyes. "Thank you for appreciating my thoughts and wishes. N-now would you take this old soul outside, to his final resting place?"
"You don't have to ask," said Carolyn. Then she and Theripides took the ex-wizard Azrael out of the room through a secret stone door and then the door slammed shut.
The room was empty again, except for a miniature sun ever-burning in the center. It was the sun with a devil within.
Well, what do you think about this version?
Well, what do you think about this version?
Please, drop me a comment, I really appreciate your time and attention.
Please, drop me a comment, I really appreciate your time and attention.
Blog Jockey (BJ Vadis)
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Category: Prologue, Book31, Book31 Preface, Preface