“Where’s the Unit-S?”
Shazan grimly asked.
“They will be here in a few minutes, and other Elders should be here before them,” Amraaz answered as he dropped his Purple Cloak, revealing his middle-aged features with lustrous black hair. “I am not confident if we can deal with this thing.”
“Not by us, yes.” Shazan nodded to his words. “Fire!”
He called out to the second line, and they showered fire explosives on the Spider before them.
“Six!” Caius called out in alarm.
The Spider was near twice the size of the one they had killed. And it had Six Discs to protect itself.
“The Star in its eyes is brighter. This one is older and stronger than the one we killed before.” Shazan concluded and rushed forward.
The Javelin he had used last time was still there. He picked it up and lunged at the Spider that had closed its eyes after being showered by Fire explosives.
Amraaz responded to his call first, with Caius, and Vikaros following him.
The protective Discs responded fast to their attacks, and they failed to find an opening by themselves.
The fire soon subsided, and the Spider made its move. It swung its bladed legs at Shazan and Amraaz, forcing them to defend with all their strength. And just as they were forced to drawback, the Beast attacked the weaker.
Caius smashed into the wall with a gash on his chest. Vikaros was a little better as the cut he received was not serious.
The Beast dashed towards them to finish them, but Shazan got in its way as he threw a fire explosive at its head. The Beast Closed its eyes and stopped, but it swung its legs in his direction.
His Aura Shield shattered and he smashed into the wall.
Caius and Vikaros wasted no time to drawback and assembled beside Amraaz.
“We can not deal with it by ourselves,” Amraaz said. “I can sense what it’s about to do, but its speed is much greater than mine. I will not be able to escape its attacks for long.”
All of them formed Aura Swords and readied themselves.
“Its eyes can not handle the changes in light.” Shazan got up from the ground and said. “Fire does no damage to it, but it always closes its eyes at the sparks of Explosives.
He used his aura to snatch away some fire explosives from the Guards and surrounded the Beast.
“I will stay back and use Explovies at the right moment, make sure you take advantage of that.” He said and passed the Javelin to Amraaz. “Ready?”
“Yes,” The three of them nodded and a few guards stepped forward to help.
The group surrounded the Beast from all sides, and just as it opened its eyes, Shazan used a Fire Explosive, making it close its eyes again.
The Group felt confident after seeing that its eyes were weak to changes in light.
They charged forward at it at the same time and engaged in a heated battle.
Every second a Guard would crash into the wall, and a new guard would replace him.
Shazan kept using Fire Explosives at the right moment to keep the Beast from finishing its job, but despite that, some suffered grievous injuries.
After a while, Izna arrived and joined the battle. With her, the group stabilized a little. However, they could not harm the Beast in the slightest.
Suddenly, the Beast screeched loudly in rage. It faced towards Shazan and ignored all of the attacks the others were dealing on it.
A couple of Strings shot out of its mouth towards him. The Strings turned into Javelins and crashed into his Aura Shield.
The Shield shattered like paper, and the first shot grazed his shoulder, and his blood spurted out. He managed to avoid the next Javelin by a fraction of time and hurriedly used the fire Explosives.
Pain shot should his right side of the body, but he gritted his teeth and bore it.
Izna arrived by his side, and after making sure that the injury was serious, she pulled out the two Javelins from the wall and joined the battle again.
All metal weapons were useless against its Metal Skin, but the Javelins these creatures shot out seemed to be made of the same Metal as their bodies. They could survive against its bladed-legs and even damage its skin.
Scars started appearing on the Beast’s body as Amraaz, Vikaros, and Izna used the Javelins, taking advantage of the opportunities provided by Shazana and the Guards, they even managed to land a few fatal strikes.
The Beast resigned its life in its rage and forced a few Guards against the wall. The Cave was spacious, but it was not a large battlefield.
“Stop it!” Shazan called out in alarm.
He used the fire explosives, making the Beast close its eyes, but the Beast still charged at the two Guards that were against the wall.
In the Last moment, Amraaz appeared under the Beast and struck the Javelin at its stomach will all his might. A protective disc blocked his attack, but it managed to make the Beast lose its balance, and two legs that were headed for the necks of the two Guards, missed by inches.
But then something horrific happened. Amraaz was left defenseless under the Beast, and all its legs were not ready to cut him in pieces.
He survived a few blows, but then a blade pierced right through his shoulder and he was nailed to the ground.
His agonizing cry reverberated in the cave, containing all his unwillingness to die, but he was helpless by himself.
Izna, Vikaros, Shazan, Caius, and other Guards attacked at once forcing the Beast to defend for its life. And Izna didn’t waste the opportunity when it presented itself.
Her Javelin pierced through the joint where its head was connected to its back, similarly ending its life as the last Beast they had fought.
Shazan rushed to Amraaz and used his Aura to suppress the bleeding.
“I will live…” Amraaz palely laughed and coughed some blood.
“You will.” Shazan smiled and shook his head.
The Mystical phenomenon happened again, the blood spilling out of the wounds of the Beast evaporated, and then it’s body evaporated as well.
Everyone present there found their Strength increase, and Amraaz opened his eyes in astonishment when the hole in his shoulder, in a matter of seconds, healed completely. Not even leaving a scar behind.
“What is this?”
“We don’t know,” Izna answered him and sat by Shazan’s side to take a look at the wound on his shoulder. “Why has your wound not healed completely?” She observed the scar, and then covered it up before curiously looking at him.
She had smelt the same heavenly scent again, and this time, she knew what its source was. The scent was in his Blood.
“It will be healed in a few minutes.” Shazan smiled at her and did not explain.
Izna was curious, but she did not bother him with questions. She sat there and started controlling her breathing and recover her stamina.
“Is everyone okay?” The King came running to them and asked.
“We are fine, Father,” Vikaros answered while panting. He had blood on his clothes from the battle, but his injuries had also healed completely.
After taking a few minutes to compose themselves, all the people exited the cave and gathered on the small platform outside it.
No matter how organized things are, there are bound to appear differences that could cause chaos to erupt.
“Those that directly engaged in the battle stand on the left side, and those that did not participate gather on the right.” The King ordered.
All the Guards respectfully went to stand at the respective sides.
“Did you feel any changes in your strength?” Queen Izna asked the group that had not taken part in the battle.
“No!” All of them answered in unison.
“And you?” Queen Izna then turned to ask the people on the left side.
“Yes!” They answered.
All the Guards who had directly participated found their strengths increase by different margins.
“So the phenomenon determines the rewards on contribution.” Amraaz nodded understandings.
“But isn’t it unfair?” Akash frowned and asked. “The Stronger will be contributing more and gaining more, and the weaker will be contributing less and gaining less. But their lives are in more danger than the strong.”
“That’s how things work in the World,” Shazan smiled and answered him. “Fairness is subjective, and what is unfair to some is fair to others.”
He looked at the Guards on the left and smiled at them.
“Tell me, if it was not me, Queen Izna, Elder Amraaz, Prince Vikaros, and Caius, would you have managed to deal with that Beast?” He questioned them and then turned to look at the group on left. “All you benefitted to different extents, but would all of you have lived to stand here and reap these benefits if you had fought it by yourselves?”
All the Guards smiled and shook there heads.
Shazan nodded, satisfied at their answer.
“Do not let your hearts hold any uncomfortable thoughts. Little by little, you will get stronger, and then your contributions will rise as well. The speed at which you gain strength will rise as you get stronger. What is there to be disappointed about?”
His words enlightened the moods of the Guards and all of them nodded their heads in understanding.
None of the Guards had expressed any dissatisfaction, but their hearts were bound to have some. That was why Shazan had made Akash raise such a question. He had to make sure that the Guards were not dissatisfied with the situation. Dissatisfaction would have led to mistakes, and mistakes would have cost lives.
“We need to prepare before the next Beast comes,” The King said to them. “As we have discovered, the Beasts’eyes are weak to changes in light, and may not adapt to high brightness, all the Guards on the right side will head out and arrange for Flood Lights and more Fire Explosives. We will set several such lights in the Cave, and on this Platform.” He ordered them. “Go!”
“And all of you must stay on this platform and rest. Recover your stamina.” Queen Izna told the Guards on the left side. “When Unit-S arrives, send them in, and the Elders as well. Everyone else must not enter the Cave unless called inside. Even if it is anyone from the Royalty, do not let them enter.”
“Yes!” The Guards bowed and took their posts.
Shazan walked back inside the Cave with the rest of them.
“We need to take risks next time,” Caius said. “We need more of these Javelins.”
Amraaz nodded to his words and inspected the one in his hand.
“What kind of metal is this?” He traced the lustrous silver Javelin and wondered. “Is the Passage two-way?” He turned to look at Shazan.
“I don’t know. But I believe that none of us needs to brave such a risk. The Passage may be only suitable for Annihilation Beasts, and if we enter it, we could lose our lives.” Shazan shook his head and answered. “And even if someone makes it to the other side, what happens when he comes across hoards of such creatures?”
“Do you plan on closing the passage?”
His question made the rest of them frown.
Queen Izna was about to answer him but Shazan interjected her.
“We do not have a way to close the passage for now. And the decision is better to be taken when we have realized if it is something we can deal with or not.”
Amraaz nodded in satisfaction.
Caius knew that Shazan planned to close the passage regardless of what happens in the future, but he did not speak about it. Even if he had the same thoughts as Amraaz, he was not going to go against his Master for that.
The King, Queen, and the Crown Prince remained silent.
“Did your strength increase as well?” Shazan asked.
Amraaz glanced at him and narrowed his eyes.
“I will tell you if you tell me why I can’t gauge your strength.” He grinned and said. His husky voice was unusually pleasant.
“I am Half-Ascendant.” He did not hide it.
His words made Amraaz look at him in surprise.
“You are only 24 and already a Half-Ascendant.” He nodded in appreciation. “Took me 127 years to arrive at that phase, and another 25 years to surpass it.”
Shazan stayed silent at his words. There was nothing he could say in response.
“Yes,” Amraaz nodded. “My physical strength has increased, and I have gained some vitality. But that’s it. There is no progress in my Realm.”
He had feared it, and it was true. Even those in the Realm of Ascendence gained something out of it.
The reason why Amraaz had not realized an increase in his Realm of Strength was that he couldn’t sense it. The phenomenon that was needed to progress the realms in ascendance was missing on Earth. But even without it, Amraaz got stronger and gained vitality. It was enough to make him covet the cave and the passage.
It was for the same reason why he did not trust the Wise Blood Order. Those Elders would have decided to turn this cave into a farming nest, and Arkaya would no longer be under the control of Aryans.
The King and the Queen heard their conversation with deep frowns. They stayed silent and did not say anything.
“Shazan…” Akash could not keep uncomfortable thoughts in his heart.
“Do not worry, Young Prince.”
Amraaz laughed lightly.
“I do indeed covet the prospect of gaining strength and vitality, but I would not gain it at the cost of my clansmen.”
Just as he finished his words, they heard familiar clanks of blades on the floor.
“Another Beast!” Caius grabbed onto the Javelin with all his strength.
They all rushed to the Wall after calling out to the Guards outside.
What waited for them at the Wall was not a single beast, but two Spiders. However, they were smaller than the previous ones, only standing tall at about four feet. The Star in their eyes was faint, and the Beasts seemed to have no mind to assess the situation.
They charged at the six of them in a craze, and soon their bladed-legs clanked against the Javelins of Izna and Amraaz.
This time, it was the Creatures that were overpowered.
“They are weak,” Caius commented as he attacked one from the side.
However, he soon realized that even if the Creatures were weak, no one could harm them by himself.
“Two Discs..” Akash eagerly whispered.
Izna handed her Javelin to him.
“I will guard you.” She smiled at him.
Six of them could easily deal with the two creatures, but they decided to take advantage of the situation.
“Let’s see if they can make some Javelins…” Vikaros commented and joined the battle with his Mother and Son.
Shazan stood back with the King and watched the battle unfold.
He was not worried about Caius and Amraaz. They were overpowering the Small Beast, and it was not long before they forced it to shoot a Javelin at them.
It had come out as a surprise, but Caius narrowly survived it.
The Javelin was Smaller than the previous ones, but it was still big enough to be called a Javelin. Vikaros claimed it and went back into the battle.
Soon the Guards arrived there, and seeing the eager look in their eyes, Shazan asked Caius to drawback. Amraaz withdrew as well, seemingly understanding the situation.
“It’s yours to deal with. But Stay cautious.” The King told the Guards.
The Guards charged at the Beast. They had the advantage of numbers, but the Beast was still not letting them kill it off. It madly fought, but its end was miserable.
Dozens of Guards against one small Beast soon turned out to be a one-sided slaughter. Especially, when the Guards did not hold back and used Fire Explosives to exploit its weakness.
Akash and Vikaros managed to kill the other one with the help of Izna. And even though Akash suffered several cuts, his wounds healed as soon as the Beast Evaporated.
Seeing him happy made Shazan smile. But he was worried about something in his heart.
“The Star in their eyes were not fully congealed.” The King spoke out the very words that bothered Shazan.
“Yes…” He nodded. “Even the biggest one did not have it fully congealed. There could be a bigger one with seven or eight discs.”
“Space here is not enough to deal with something that big comfortably.” Amraaz nodded and expressed his thoughts. “It’s already crowded.”
“The Platform outside the cave is not big enough, and people will fall off if they engage in a battle on it.” The King thought for a while and said, “We need to move the battlefield to the Training Ground down there or the Platform at the top.”
“The Training Ground…”
All of them refused the thought of allowing the Platform at the top to turn into a battlefield.
“But how will we force something that big to fall there?” Akash asked the main question.
“We will block the passage to the top with Flood Lights. Make it so bright that it can not even think about going up, and then, we will exploit its weakness to light to make it fall off the edge of the platform outside.” Amraaz proposed an idea. “But there could be casualties.”
Shazan stayed silent at their discussion. He realized that space here was not suited to battle bigger creatures, but the idea of casualties bothered him. And it bothered the King as well.
After a while, when they could not come to a decision, he expressed his thoughts.
“Let’s keep here for now. If a bigger creature comes up, all the High-Guards are to Evacuate the cave. Only the Elders and Unit-S will stay behind us. We also need to test the Flood Lights before making plans for the Training Ground.” Shazan said to them. “And if creatures like these small ones come out, we will engage them first, making them shoot out Javelins, and then leave the Guards to handle them.”
All of them nodded without any objections.
“I will command the Elders.” Amraaz thought for a while and answered. “I will keep them in check.”
“I will command the Guards.” Vikaros nodded and said.
“Very well, I will take the Unit-S.” Queen Izna decided on the part she wanted to play.
“I will stay with father.” Akash refused to leave the place and said.
Everyone decided on the roles they wanted to play.
“I will be going out once The Elders and Unit-S arrive,” Shazan told them that he needed to make a few calls and get some rest. “I won’t take a lot of time.”
All of them agreed even though they were a little nervous at having him absent from the line-up.
♛ Author’s Note:
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