Chapter 4 “Shadows of Angels”

Chapter 4 “Shadows of Angels”

The wind was breezing by swiftly as Allen and Aiden made haste towards Lion’el Castle. Their pursuers were just a day’s ride behind and gaining on them. Several times Allen looked behind them to confirm that their lead was still steady. This made for an arduous ride, as at any moment if they chose to rest for awhile, their pursuers would gain on them and could even catch up entirely. Allen was getting concerned however as his horse Future was showing definite signs of fatigue. He could faintly hear the long winded and heavy breathing of the horse as it was being forced past its limits. While riding, Allen tried to spot any sign of safe haven that they could rest in for a spell. Even Aiden was showing signs of poor health as he was burning up.

“I can’t keep this up forever…” Allen squinted at the horizon.

Future grumbled at him as it had been miraculously keeping up its pace for nearly 2 days straight.

“I’m sorry my friend.”

Allen spots a cave hidden in between two mountain passes that seemed to be inconspicuous to the eye. He stopped Future finally and fastened the reins to a nearby tree. He grabbed Future by the head and rubbed him gently. Allen began to dig into the ground about a foot deep. When he finished he took his canteen and emptied its contents into the ditch and let Future drink for a moment. He walked back into the cave to check on Aiden’s condition, but he was still burning up. He left the cave and approached Future again as if to whisper something in his ear.

“My friend. The earth is your enemy tonight. Should you hear it tremble, break your reins and ride free.”

Future grumbled as if to acknowledge Allen’s caveat of an imposing threat. Allen walked out several yards from the cave and took out a piece of parchment paper and began scribbling what appeared to be a rune of some sort. He placed it on the ground and put his hands above it and began to speak.

“I don’t know if this will work, Elana, but hopefully it does.” Allen began chanting above the parchment, “Earth protects and it shall bind. For when Earth and Wind become one, it shall

conceal the mind.”

A light glow emanated from Allen’s hands as the rune from the parchment extracted itself and began to float in front of Allen. The rune dispersed into fragments in every direction and surrounded Allen and several yards surrounding the cave in a faint white veil. From the outside you could see nothing but the cave and the mountain pass. Though he hid their existence temporarily, it would not actually erase the fact that they existed. The low level enchantment Elana tought Allen, was for concealing what was within, however if anyone passed through the barrier’s threshold, the truth would reveal itself. Allen returned to the cave and sat beside Aiden in front of a fire to keep them warm. He took out some share of bread and began snacking on it.

Two hours passed as Allen sneaked a glance outside to notice that no one had passed by for awhile. Suddenly, Aiden began to awaken as he slowly widened his eyes open.

“Where…are…we?”

“We’re about 4 days ride from Lion’el Castle. How do you feel? The long ride must’ve given you the fever.”

“I’m feeling a little better.” Aiden rubbed his head.

A sharp pain suddenly struck Aiden’s temple as he grasped his head and groaned in pain. Allen quickly embraced Aiden to keep him from lashing about.

“What’s wrong, Aiden?”

Aiden’s spasms quickly calmed after a couple of seconds. Allen returned Aiden to a laying position and covered him more with some cloth and a makeshift blanket.

“I remembered something…” Aiden struggled.

“How much?”

“Something about…King Garroltis.”

“Your fa-” Allen quickly canceled was he wanted to say, “The King of Amar?”

“I remember him saying he had finally gained control of all aspects?” Aiden miraculously delivered the information but was all too confused himself.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, he was speaking to someone…”

“Don’t force yourself, Aiden.”

“I was listening behind a door…and I could hear him speaking to someone about this.”

“This is troubling…” Allen began rubbing his chin as he entered deep thought.

“How so?”

“If the King has been experimenting with the all crystal, he might be more dangerous than ever imagined. You remember I told you that Amaranths are bestowed a gift of one aspect, Aiden?”

“Yes.”

“If the King can now control all aspects he might just be the most powerful Amaranth in all of Amar. The forefather Bragg couldn’t even come close to Garroltis’ stature but he ruled our nation not with his fists but with reason and logic.”

“I suppose that’s why we’re trying to get help from the Crueg?”

“Correct. This has become far more dangerous than I would’ve liked.”

 

Allen noticed that it had already been 3 hours and not a single person had passed through. Future was resting outside still, and the air was calm. For Allen, this air was too calm. He knew that Balin’s riders would have gained on them and even caught up to them in a matter of hours.

Another hour passed as Allen’s paranoia began to weigh on his mind. Suddenly, Future broke his reins and began to run off into the distance.

“…Future.” Allen unclasped his sheath and drew Lotus. “They’ve come.”

The air was still mute and calm however. Allen cautiously looked out the entrance of the cave and saw nothing. He carefully exited the cave and encountered nothing. He began scratching his head.

“Why did you run, Future.” Allen was confused.

 

Suddenly, from Allen’s right, Balefor came rushing in and tackled Allen as he braced himself into some rocks. Allen gathered himself and stood up drawing Lotus.

“Balefor Longrid…so he sent you.” Allen readied himself.

“You should know, Swiftstrike, that this prissy little enchantment works both ways. You also are concealed from what lurks on the outside…”

Allen knew that was the one thing Elana had warned him about, but at the time he was conjuring the barrier he couldn’t recall. Allen had inadvertently trapped himself and Aiden and was now  up against the wall against a highly formidable Armsmen, Balefor Longrid.

“Why does the King want Aiden dead?!” Allen screamed in anger.

“It is not our duty to question the King.” Balefor reassured Allen.

“Is it not your duty to serve your Prince?!”

 

Aiden was just about waking up from his nap when suddenly he heard the words come out of Allen’s mouth. Shock, awe, and surprise. Several feelings bombarded Aiden all at once but more importantly his past had come back to him in a matter of seconds. Aiden had finally realized what had happened on his 8th rising. Why he was being chased, and the secret his father was willing to kill his own son to protect. Aiden, although fully recovered, could not move. He was paralyzed with emotion, and could not even react to the situation outside of the cave.

“That ‘thing’ in there is no Prince of mine.” Balefor countered.

“Enough idle chatter!” Allen was pissed and thoroughly convinced he had to slay Balefor once and for all, “Lotus, I wield you! Wind carry my hopes, and guide my blade.”

“Havoc, raze earth and shatter mortal coils.” Balefor’s gauntlet lit up and began to emanate the same glow Lotus was exhibiting, “Let’s see how that prissy sword holds up against Havoc!”

Allen within a blinding flash of light thrusted at Balefor. His speed was immense and a burst of wind precluded his movement.

“Crave, break and rapture!”

A voice from above appeared out of nowhere, and with great speed descended upon Allen as a gauntlet crashed into Allen as he could barely adjust his body to partly block the incoming attack. The attacker jumped back as Allen landed on the ground grasping his abdomen. Allen knew the surprise attack had just shattered several of his ribs.

“…Dresden Riptorn…” Allen struggled to get up, grasping at his ribcage, “So he sent you as well.”

Allen noticed something very odd. His reflexes reacted to Dresden’s incoming attack normally but his body could not react fully. As if Allen’s adjustments were not fast enough.

“Your speed…” Allen coughed up some blood and spit it on the ground.

“It’s brilliant isn’t it?” Dresden replied.

“You’ve managed to trap yourself using this enchantment and now you’re faced with impossible odds. You will end today, Allen.”

“I’m not a writer, Balefor, but I believe you’re forgetting…those odds are ‘seemingly’ impossible.” Allen smirked.

“No matter…it’s over for you.” both Dresden and Balefor locked gauntlets as they began to emanate again.

 

Allen was in a great pinch. He was facing not one but two Armsmen. Except these Armsmen were modified by Garroltis’ experiments with the all crystal. They were granted additional speed on top of their great strength. Allen could only think of one possible way to defeat them. He was betting a great deal on their inexperience with speed and hoping that their mastery of agility was not fully on par with his own. The one thing that worried him was that they were still stronger than him. He could not flat out defeat them with speed. Still, it was all or nothing. He had to get to Lion’el Castle and keep them from killing Aiden. Allen slowly changed into an attacking stance.

“How are your ribs, Swiftstrike?” Dresden acted coy.

“None of your concern…”

 

Allen jumped up and with great speed descended upon Dresden with his sword overhead. Dresden blocked the attack with his left gauntlet and reached out for Allen with his right, but Allen had already flipped back several feet. He then thrusted forward again with another horizontal sword stroke. Balefor blocked the sword, as Dresden threw a punch at Allen. Allen quickly adjusted and twirled bringing his sword back around to parry Dresden’s punch. Allen was discouraged. Not only did they both possess agility, and strength but he had to fight two of them. He thrusted forward again in a piercing action as Dresden evaded and threw another punch as Allen dodged yet another attack. From above, Balefor descended upon Allen with even greater speed than Dresden and punched down. Allen flipped back and evaded as the punch slammed into the ground. As he dodged, he couldn’t help but feel the immense pain coming from his ribs and it was affecting his ability to fight.

“I need to even the odds…” Allen thought to himself.

Allen had suddenly recalled their words about the enchantment he had used. It concealed what was, from the outside and inside. Allen quickly thought of an idea and smiled. Balefor grinned back but was unaware of Allen’s discovery. Balefor lunged forward to punch Allen as Allen parried the attack and struck back. Again, it was parried by Balefor. Dresden jumped from behind Balefor and dropped onto Allen. Lotus was keeping the gauntlet from touching the rest of Allen’s ribs as Dresden continued to push really hard.

“I’m going to crush you, Swiftstrike!”

Allen then kneed Dresden and kicked him off and flipped backwards. As he was flipping backwards Allen took out another rune and tossed it at Dresden.

“Earth and Wind combine! Conceal the mind!”

Suddenly a veil engulfed Dresden. After recovering from Allen’s kick he was surrounded by nothing. Allen and Balefor had disappeared from his sight. He grew anxious and confused.

“I need to get out of this damn barrier!”

As Dresden began to run out in one direction a voice sprang from behind him,

“Dresden you fool!”

 

As Dresden exited the barrier he could finally see Allen, kneeling before him. His sword was extended in front of him. Dresden looked down, realizing he had just ran into Allen’s sword impaling himself. Dresden could not believe he had fallen for a simple trick such as this. Dresden wound up his gauntlet ready to punch Allen, but Allen switched stances and held his sword upright and with a single stroke, slashed upwards from Dresden’s abdomen up through his shoulder.

“Cross.” Allen whispered.

Dresden fell to the ground inanimate as his body was just split in half by Allen. Allen stood up and continued to grasp his ribcage.

“I must say, that was well played Swiftstrike.” Balefor grinned, but realized it was now only him versus the Blade Master and Commander of the Blades. Balefor knew that even wounded, he could not stand up to Allen. He recalled the days when Balin would spar with Allen and even with great combat potential Balin would still fail to defeat him.

“You have my respect, Swiftstrike.”

“None taken.” Allen witted.

Balefor did not find that funny, but knowing he could not stand up to Allen’s mastery of his sword and agility, he quickly backed off. Suddenly, Allen fell to the ground on one knee as he leaned against Lotus, pierced into the ground and coughed up some more blood. Balefor saw this golden opportunity and began running towards the cave entrance.

“…Aiden!” Allen reached out and tried to get up but his wound wouldn’t allow him to match Balefor’s speed even for a moment. Allen could hear a harsh cry coming from the cave. It was Aiden’s voice. A flash of light burst from the cave opening. Allen looked down and began to shed tears. Using Lotus as a hook, he inched his way to the cave opening. As he reached the opening he saw Balefor standing behind Aiden. Aiden, behind Balefor, with Falkstream in hand. Balefor then, fell to the ground. Allen couldn’t believe his eyes. In a matter of seconds, Aiden had slain Balefor, who at the time wielded both strength and agility. Suddenly, Aiden fainted and dropped Falkstream.

“Shit…” Allen sheathed Lotus and struggled to stand up. He walked towards Aiden and struggled to pick him up. He threw him on his back and began to walk.

 

Inside the Bladed Halls the grumbling continued as no one could fathom what was happening to the Blade Guards and their former commander. Grenn was very much distraught but also under extreme pressure to succeed in his Blade Master trial. He had always looked up to Allen. All of the Blade Guards looked up to their commander. Grenn was fully clad in his armor twirling his sword, awaiting the summons from the court to proceed to the arena for his trial. Grenn heard a knock on the door and signaled for entry. The door opened and Viktor walked in and greeted Grenn.

“Sir.” Viktor bowed.

“What business have you, Viktor?”

“I followed the chancellor around for the past two days. It seems Friede has been talking to several kingdom guards all at once. Including Blades.” Viktor sat down.

“Do you think Chancellor Friede is plotting something?”

“Definitely. The Blades in question have not been seen since.”

Grenn started pacing around in deep thought. He wasn’t quite sure but could probably guess that Friede was preparing to mount an assault on Allen. Of course, without a commander to wrangle the Blades, anyone with clout could persuade the guards to do the courts bidding. But what was more troubling was that all the guards were involved. If Allen had to face Armsmen, Blades, and Mages he would have a difficult road ahead of him.

“Thank you Viktor, continue to investigate the matter.”

“Sir.”

Viktor left the room as another person entered. A royal subject clad in royal garments entered and unraveled a scroll in front of Grenn.

“Grenn Steelburn, you are hereby summoned to do battle in the Arena for you have challenged the title of Blade Master.”

 

Grenn stood up and acknowledged the subject as he accompanied him out of the room. Back in the Magical Halls, Elana was surrounded by two others and the soft and almost faint volume of their conversation was very much suspect. Elana took the hands of one of the other mages and nodded her head. As soon as she had finished with the two mages, she walked off and disappeared. Balin, who was spying on Elana ever so vigilantly, stopped the two mages that Elana was speaking to as they were walking towards the Arena.

“Ladies.” Balin bowed.

“Sir Commander Balin.” the two acknowledged.

“Silvia Coldwind, you’re Flaregraze’s Vice commander, correct?”

“Correct, Sir.” Silvia nodded.

“May I ask what that counsel was about?”

“I’m afraid you cannot, Sir. All magical decrees bestowed by our Commander Flaregraze are rightfully confidential. You should know this, Sir Commander.” Silvia bowed and walked off with her companion.

“Interesting…” Balin thought to himself.

 

Night fell, as several guards left the arena battered and beaten. Grenn was at the center of the arena half torched, leaning on his sword on one knee. The court was giving him a standing ovation as King Garroltis gave him a thumbs up. Arbiter Humber stood up from his chair and spoke.

“Grenn Steelburn, your performance was admirable. As such, you have proven your prowess in battle to be mighty and you have bested the trials given to you. The King has afforded you new Blade Master and commander of the Blade Guards.”

The applause continued in the court as Grenn was disgusted. He was quite beaten and spent but he knew that this frivolity had to be met to keep suspicion at bay. Humber motioned for the court to disperse, and as such the arena seats began to empty. Grenn, with the help of a Blade Guard exited the arena and was placed in the infirmary to rest. A detachment of Blades came into the infirmary to congratulate him on his victory and saluted him as the new commander. Grenn smiled half-heartedly and acknowledged the greetings from his comrades.

 

Morning came, Grenn was still in medical care as he lay in his infirmary bed. He was imagining just what the King might resort to, to bring Allen to his own justice. Would Grenn have to chase down Allen himself, and fight not only his mentor but his friend? Suddenly, the door opened and in walked Silvia Coldwind. Grenn was confused. The Mage Guard rarely kept up with the affairs of the Blades. She walked to the bed and stopped beside Grenn.

“Grenn Steelburn, Commander Flaregraze has an important message for you. Will you accept?”

“Speak…”

“The hour of reckoning falls still. The head of the snake strikes.”

Silvia then turned and walked out of the room. Grenn was baffled, and could not make any sense of the message. He wondered why him, but also why that message. It was obviously archaic for the sole purpose of him deciphering it. He spent several minutes pondering about the message but was unsuccessful in deciphering its meaning. After an hour, Grenn came to the conclusion that the head of the snake was the King. But what could he make of the still hour?

In the war room, Garroltis sat at the head of the table as several others surrounded him. Friede was to his right, Balin after, two Blade Guards, one mage guard, and Viktor Talonhal. Friede looked over to Viktor as if he was looking for confirmation.

“So, Talonhal, did Steelburn buy your little investigative results?”

“Certainly.”

Balin leaned forward and interrupted, “We know Swiftstrike has been in contact with Flaregraze. I dispatched of his messenger bird however it seems the message was already delivered.”

“How much does Flaregraze know?” Garroltis questioned.

“We should be cautious and assume she knows everything.” Balin answered.

“We’ve thrown Steelburn off our trail for now. He is most probably going to concern himself with the rest of the kingdom guard and try to wrangle them in like usual.” Friede commented.

Balin again interjected, “We must remain cautious of the Mage Guard. Flaregraze was speaking to her vice commander Coldwind very quietly before the Trials began, and now Flaregraze is nowhere to be found.”

“If you suspect anyone of knowing. Send them to my chambers tonight, Friede. I will deal with them personally. Sooner or later, we will make sure that if any rumors spread, those who harbor those rumors will find themselves in an unpleasant situation.” Garroltis clenched his fist.

“As you wish Mine King.”

Balin rose up, “As of now, we have a clear path to Swiftstrike. Balefor’s hawk just returned with information. No word from them since. We have to assume they’ve ended.”

Garroltis stood up from his chair, “You all have your new found mastery. As of now, the hunt for Swiftstrike continues. Balin, you have with you Viktor Talonhal, who now possesses strength. You have two of his Blade Guards, a mage, and of course you as well have agility. I want you to end this. End Swiftstrike and my son, or I will end you.”

“Mine King” Balin stood up along with Viktor and the other Guards and exited the room.

“Mine King, I shall summon Silvia Coldwind to your chambers tonight.”

“Good. Prepare a fitting Ending announcement for tomorrow. She will no longer be with us.”

 

Several days passed. Allen could barely stand carrying Aiden on his back. His ribs were shattered, and now without a horse were several days walk from Lion’el Castle. Allen still kept moving. He was forcing himself with sheer will.

“I have to get you to Lion’el.” speaking to Aiden, Allen was trying to give himself the motivation and courage to keep moving. The air of Crueg was unforgiving. Dry, heated winds swept across the grasslands with no mountains around to filter its grazing heat. They were traveling far more south than they had ever been before. During the Elder Wars when Garroltis took over half of the land, he had forced the Crueg to retreat into the southern lands. Although the southern lands were majestic in their own right, it was cruel to Allen who was not only carrying Aiden on his back, but was also suffering from injuries.

 

Another night passed as Aiden was waking up. As his blurry vision cleared up he saw a fire in front of him. Allen, was leaning against a corner, bandaging his wounds with some cloth. Aiden sat up.

“What…happened Allen?”

“We were attacked by two Armsmen. How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine I suppose. Are you okay?”

“I’ve several broken ribs, but I should be okay. I certainly cannot fight at my fullest for awhile.”

“Allen…my father…”

Allen interrupted, “…so you remember?”

“Everything.”

“Aiden, I-”

“He killed my godfather, Ran.”

“What?” Allen was surprised.

“When I heard what I heard…about his control over the aspects, I also heard he got his agility from Ran Windstrike.”

“Windstrike…?” Allen was distraught, “…he was retired from service 5 years ago…”

“I went blank Allen, what happened?”

“A man named Balefor tried to kill you…Even I don’t know what happened. But you cut him down.”

“I could not see anything.”

“There’s something special about you Aiden. I’ve seen you do some impressive things since your rising. That man had dominion over strength and agility…yet you bested him better than I ever could.” Allen grinned.

“How far are we from Lion’el?”

“About 2 days walk now…I was able to catch some Blacktail just this morning.”

“I’m starving.”

“Yes, well we’ve strayed quite a bit a ways off just to throw our pursuers off our trail, but they still managed to find us. Now we’re several miles off course, and I haven’t seen so much as a trading post. Crueg used to be a bustling land.”

“Do you think they sent more after us?”

“I would if I were them. They certainly won’t let us get to Lion’el Castle.”

“Are you going to be able to fight?”

“Not to my fullest, Aiden. I was kind of hoping you’d go all gung-ho and destroy them.”

“Very funny.”

“Sorry…” Allen smirked.

 

Suddenly, the wind became still. Lotus called to Allen in a breeze. A murderous intent lingered in the air, so powerful it was almost ominous. Allen stood up and took up Lotus and held the sword to his forehead. The sword began to glow.

“This isn’t good, Aiden.”

“What is it?”

“The air is dangerous…” Allen confirmed, “Aiden, I need you to find a place to hide and do so now. The air is getting thicker.”

Aiden retreated to an alcove just off the stream beside them. Allen readied Lotus and began to turn slowly to the right as if to anticipate an incoming attack. Allen was in a very precarious situation as he was in no condition to fight. The air was so thick it worried Allen to great extent.

“This isn’t good, Allen” he spoke softly to himself.

Suddenly, from out of the brush, Balin walked out and greeted Allen.

“Well, well, well…”

“Langriss…” Allen readied himself.

“From the looks of things, I’d say you managed to encounter Balefor and Dresden.”

“Damn you and your King’s perverse experiments!” Allen shouted.

“Now, now…” Balin began to pace back and forth in front of Allen, “The power is amazing, Swiftstrike. The things we can finally achieve…Crueg will soon bow to us.”

“You have no idea what you’re dealing with! You’re all destroying the balance of the all crystal!”

“Balance? What can we accomplish by yielding to such a thing?” Balin asserted.

“I’ve never been an expert on these things, but such power should not be trifled with…”

Aiden grew anxious watching the two speak to each other. He grew restless. Aiden’s desires to go out and help Allen was overwhelming him. Balin clanged his gauntlet as it began to glow.

“Sentinel, overrule and conquer.” Balin got into a fighting stance, “I will end you today Swiftstrike. And after I’m done, I will have my way with Flaregraze.”

“Elana!” Allen shouted to himself in his head, “What did you do to her?!”

“You will never know.”

Balin lunged at Allen with immense speed as he threw a punch towards Allen’s ribs. Allen, with extreme difficulty dodged the punch and slashed down at the gauntlet sending Balin to the ground. Balin rolled to his feet as soon as he touched the ground and jumped up into the air.

“Shatter!” Balin’s gauntlet slammed into the ground as the earth crumbled and summoned spikes from the ground to emerge as Allen began to dodge each one. Balin met him halfway and punched Allen, sending him flying several yards away. Allen quickly recovered and rolled to his feet. Balin began to run towards Allen as he swiftly cut through the air,

“Windstream!” a burst of wind emerged as it hit Balin and sent him flying into the air. Allen them jumped up and readied another attack, as a sharp pain entered his body from his broken ribs. Balin saw Allen hesitate, and punched him back down to the ground. Allen struggled to find his way back to his feet. Balin then charged towards Allen and punched at him. Allen successfully parried the attack and kicked Balin back a few feet. Balin then grabbed Allen by the neck and threw him several yards into the ground. As Allen got back to his feet Balin again was right in front of him, with great speed, and punched Allen. Allen blocked the attack with Lotus as they locked weapons.

“You’re done, Swiftstrike!”

As Allen began to deflect Balin’s gauntlet, two Blade Guards emerged from Allen’s sides and slashed at him. Allen could see their approach and quickly pushed Balin’s gauntlet to the side and twirled his sword through the air and spun around swiftly,

“Hurricane!” as a massive gust of wind transforms into a tornado. The tornado caught the two Blades and sent them flying into the air. Allen jumped up and in a blinding light, he cut down the two Blades and made quick work of them. As Allen recovered from his attack Balin rushed forward and grabbed Allen from behind.

“Still as persistent as ever!”

Balin then kicked Allen in the knee and broke his leg. Allen screamed in pain as he dropped down to the one knee he had left. Aiden grew anxious, he saw Allen in grave danger. He wanted so desperately to help but he knew that he could not face the Arms commander Balin. He did not know how his powers worked but he tried desperately to summon them but to no avail.

“Damnit!” Aiden yelled.

Balin grabbed Lotus and threw it away several yards and held Allen up by the neck.

“I always lost to you Swiftstrike, but this time it’s different.”

Allen in extreme pain mustered enough energy to deliver a moonsault kick to Balin sending him back several feet and escaping his grasp. Allen landed on his one good leg. Aiden was amazed at Allen’s resilience but suddenly a flash of light blinded Aiden. Allen, with his weight fully on his one leg looked down and saw a sword piercing his stomache and a pillar of magical ice grasping at his feet.

“I was wondering when you two were going to make your move.” Balin wiped his mouth of blood and stood up.

“I’m not the quietest foot of all the Blades for no reason.”

Allen looked behind him, “Talonhal….”

Viktor looked up at Allen and smiled, “Well, hello there Mine Commander.”

Aiden’s vision cleared as he laid eyes upon what just happened. Viktor, had ambushed Allen in his great attempt to escape Balin’s clutches, and pierced Allen through the stomache. Anger. Despair. Anguish broke through Aiden’s inner gates, as his eyes lit up fully white. He began to scream uncontrollably as a burst of white aura surrounded him. Balin noticed Aiden, and grinned.

“Well, well, well.”

Suddenly, a gust of wind roared in the valley as a wind storm surrounded Balin, Allen, and Viktor. Allen with his remaining energy could only speak two words,

“…mine…prince.”

The storm grew heavy as it heated up and fire began to swirl around Balin. Aiden’s eyes were pure white and the aura was exceedingly powerful. Out of nowhere a blaze of fire exploded and blew back Balin, Viktor and a Mage Guard several yards and knocked them down. A cloaked figure grabbed Aiden interrupting his proliferation and whispered into his ears,

“Trust me…”

The cloaked figure took Aiden and ran off into the distance. Tears streamed down Aiden’s cheek as he regained consciousness. As he was being carried into the distance Aiden screamed Allen’s name but the sound was muffled in the storm as he could only see one thing, Allen falling to the ground.