The Gemstone Chronicles – Book 2 – Chapter 20

Gongs sounded, people started screaming, and chaos broke out, as Dale and Feng rushed outside the school. They passed thousands of students grouped together, with worried looks on their faces. Feng looked excited and nervous, Dale felt slightly sick, but was determined to watch the fight.

They left the school in a rush, fighting against a fleeing crowd trying to enter the school. The Morn Main School had quite the reputation in the Kingdom of Morn. Known as the home of the nations greatest future assets, there were nearly 150,000 students here. Of those students, the vast majority had yet to form a core. Roughly 120,000 students had yet to form their core, with the rest being on varying stages. 25,000 of the students had a Coal or Copper Core, 4000 had an Iron Core, 930 had a Steel Core, and the last 70 or so students had a Silver Core.

However, although many of these students were powerful, very few had any real world combat experience. Even among disciples, fights were rare, as the teachers were very strict on bullying. Theft or purposefully injuring someone was extremely frowned upon and had very strict penalties. New warriors were highly valued by the Morn Kingdom, and were treated well.

Dale and Feng escaped the school, heading towards the southern gate. They faintly heard the growls and roars of the monster force. However, they weren’t too worried. After all, Legion was here. The most powerful fighting force in the entire nation.

They quickly wormed their way through the fleeing crowds, arriving at the southern gates. They heard the screeches of metal, the clash of swords, screams of the dying, and the impacts resonating throughout. Dale and Feng raced to the side of the gate, where a stairway was cut into the massive stone wall. Soldiers could be seen at the top of the gate, and a small gathering waited at the bottom, in case the enemy broke through.

A few of the soldiers noticed them, but said nothing as they ran to the cut stairs, and leapt up. Dale and Feng went up the stairs, arriving at the top of the guardhouse, and set their eyes on the battlefield for the first time.

In front of them was a vast plane, and on this plane was an army of monsters giving off an aura so baleful, it made them tremble. Thousands upon thousands of beast-like creatures, shaped vaguely like humans, spread across the plane, screaming chaos. Blotches of black darkness surged among them, giving off waves of fear. In the sky above this monstrous army, beasts of all kinds soared. Flaming Wyverns, Ice colored Eagles, deathly looking Air Hawks, and monsters of all shapes. To the sides of the beast army grew another army, chaotic and disorganized, filled with attributed beasts of the land. A Giant, Lumbering Earth turtle of massive size plowed forward, led by Frozen Tigers, and Fire Lions. Energy blasted out, slamming into the castle wall as these beings charged. These massive armies were still two miles distant, with only a few leading air beasts attacking the wall.

Dale and Feng stared out onto the plane in shock. This army vastly exceeded their expectations. They looked at each other in fear. How could anyone stop this? This wasn’t just a simple battle! This was death! They heard a voice call out from above.

“Hey! Glad you two could make it! Look at this army!” Kyle whistled, waving at them. Kyle was sitting on the back roof of the guardhouse, above them. He motioned for them to pass up a ladder that connected to the back. Several cultivators stood in the guardhouse, looking out on the advancing army. They all gave off silver auras, and a few gold auras. Dale and Feng quickly scrambled up. On the roof of the guardhouse, several other guards stood, also giving off a silvery or gold aura. Kyle and Jerome stood in the back, looking at the army. They looked painfully unworried.

“Aren’t you guys worried in the least?! Look at the size of this!” Feng cried, waving his arms.

Kyle shrugged, “It’s a big army, but they still have no chance against Legion. There are literally over a thousand cultivators manning this wall, all of them silver core level or stronger. The monsters out there, sure there’s a lot, but they aren’t very many that are silver level. I don’t even see any Gold level monsters. The only thing we have to be worried about is if any of the beasts break past the line here. And if worse comes to worse, Jerome can teleport us out! Right Jerome?” He slapped Jerome on the back cheerfully. Jerome nodded, looking rather pale.

Feng shrugged, mollified by his reasoning. They both turned and watched the army advance. Mere moments later, the attack began.

“SCREEEEEEEEEECH!” Wyverns, Eagles, and all sorts of flying creatures dropped down from the sky, attacking the defenders in waves. A small fleet of Fire Wyverns, 8 of them, crashed towards the guard house that Dale and Feng stood on. Immediately, the auras of the defenders burst into a new high, and several of the Silver Core fighters blasted out with energy attacks. The Wyverns, who were mostly Iron or Steel Core monsters, exploded in mid air, destroyed before they could reach the wall. This scene was repeated, up and down the wall, as hundreds of flying creatures flew to their deaths.

A great cheer rose from the wall, warriors shouting victory as the invading monsters were slaughtered. Legion is composed of the most elite warriors in the entire Kingdom of Morn. Being able to repel an attack from a weaker force is no surprise. The flying creatures still alive fled a few hundred feet, falling back to the main force. By this time, the Beast Warriors had reached the wall.

Explosions shook the great fort as monster after monster slammed into the wall, ramming it, impacting the walls. Rocks exploded, and the monstrous warriors forced their way to the top of the wall. However, they were met by a human wall of death. No matter where the Beast Warriors struck, their attacks were repelled. Screams filled the air, as warrior after warrior died. Legion was not completely unscathed, however. Silver Aura knights fell, here and there, encountering more pressure then they could stand. The instant they fell, beasts from the sky fell upon them, tearing them to shreds. The various attributed beasts from the ground smashed into the wall next. A huge force of Frozen Tigers scaled the wall, freezing a large part of the southwestern wall. Several Gold Core cultivators repelled the large wave of ice, and sent it into the beast warriors. Many of the Silver Aura warriors perished on the southwestern wall, frozen to the bone.

Dale, Feng, Jerome, and Kyle watched in amazement, as the ferocious battle raged on. The beasts were inordinately strong. Many of them gave off only Copper or Iron Auras, yet fought against the Silver warriors on an almost even hand. However, whenever they faced a Golden warrior, or the few Black Gold commanders, they instantly perished. Feng, next to Dale, decided to join in and help the warriors, activating his fiery prowess. Feng launched several large fireballs at the nearest group of beast warriors, assailing the wall, knocking a few off the wall. His energy flashed in the sky.

Abruptly, a normal sized humanoid figured crashed into the gatehouse top, landing right in front of Feng. This figure was wrapped head to toe in a deep red garment, with glittering rubies tied to the ends.

“Ahhhh, hereeee youuuu areeee.” Hissed a satisfied sounding voice. The figure had smashed into the roof too quickly for anyone to react. However, as the sound of the impact registered to the warriors guarding this gate, they immediately turned to attack.

Dale slowed time, entering his perfect balance mode, and was therefore able to see what happened next.

The Silver warriors were still in the process of turning around when a warrior who had previously been giving off a silver aura transformed into a dark gold aura, riven with streaks of black. “A Black Gold commander in disguise!” Dale thought, shocked. It hadn’t occurred to him that several commanders would hide their presence, waiting at key points to defend them from powerful monsters.

The Black Gold commander was a large, burly looking man, wielding a massive battleaxe that had to be 4 feet across, from side to side. His aura crashed against the figure, pushing everyone back a step, as he jumped towards the red robed humanoid, swinging his axe in a deadly arc.

Feng, Kyle, and Jerome missed all of this, however, as the events occurring were simply too quick for them to register. All they knew is that at one moment they were watching the battle, and Feng was starting to help. The next, they were smashed into the wall behind them, as a monster attacked. Jerome immediately reacted, creating a space wall, a fortified wall of air that reduces an attacks strength. Kyle launched a sweeping Wind kick, fortified with his inner energy, while Feng created a wall of fire to slow whatever was attacking. Though none of them could tell what was attacking, they instantly grasped the danger of the creature in front of them, due to the horrendous aura it gave off.

Dale clearly sensed as the commander’s axe swung towards the red robed figure. The figure whipped its arm out, a line of fire cutting into the axe, forcing it back, and firing into the Silver warriors still in the process of turning around. The commander responded by shifting his weight, and angling what was left of his axe above the line of fire, aiming directly for the figures neck.

Now it must be understood, even with Dales increased perception of time, where he drops it to 78%, he still cannot see what is happening between these two figures. However, Dale was currently in the perfect balance mode he had cultivated, and could physically sense all the forces around him. So, while he might not be able to clearly see and react to the attacks happening right in front of him, he was aware of what they were doing.

Both the commander’s response, the red robed figures attack, and the commander’s counter response happened in the space of 0.1 seconds. Besides these two people, no one else on top of the guardhouse had the ability to do anything in such a short period of time.

The line of fire launched by the red robed figure cut through several of the Silver warriors, instantly turning them to ash, before it continued outward to land among the beast warriors, destroying them too. The black gold commanders attack, slightly weakened by the damaged to his axe, smashed into the red robed figures neck. However, in the space of time between its impact and the initial attack, the red robed figure had raised his hand, and stopped the melted axe, repelling it and the commander backwards.

Feng, who was staring in shock at the battle, abruptly fell backwards as Jerome pulled on him using his Space Art. Kyles Wind kick finally reached the red robed figure, slamming into it like a knife, only to bounce off harmlessly, causing no real damage. The red robed figure had fully focused its attention on the Black Gold commander, deciding to deal with him first.

The red robed figure lashed forward, its arm a streaking blur of fire that smashed directly into the Black Gold commander’s chest, crackling in the air. A small blast of air waved out, and a shockwave shattered the guardhouse roof. The Silver warriors in the front had finished turning, and were preparing to attack when the shockwave blasted into them, forcing them all off the roof, flung into the crowds of beasts down below.

Dale desperately dodged backwards, trying to avoid the shockwave as it rushed to him, to no avail. Despite his vastly increased speed when in his perfect balance mode and slowed time, he could not escape the speed of sound. Dale was flung into the side of the guardhouse roof, crashing into one of the rocky corners, nearly blacking out.

The commander faired much worse, as the red robed figure’s arm pierced his chest, caving in his heart. The Black Gold commanders aura blasted it out for a short moment, before fading completely, dying in less than a second. The Red Robed figure held the already dead commander in the air, throwing his body to the side.

When the shockwave flew out, its effects had been mitigated in the direction Feng fell, pulled back by Jerome as he was. Thanks to Jeromes Space Wall, as well as the red robed figure lessening the impact in that direction, Jerome and Feng were unhurt by the blast. Kyle, on the other hand, was not as lucky, and was flung completely off the guardhouse, smashing into the roof of the nearby Relent Inn, where he lay still and did not move.

Dale laid in his corner of the guardhouse, unable to move, as the red robed figure turned towards Feng and Jerome, a majestic and ominous aura bursting forth. Jerome collapsed immediately, unable to cope with the pressure, his Space Wall collapsing with him. Feng appeared unaffected by the pressure.

“I have been lookiinnnng for youuuu for a longgg timeee.” Wrath said, staring intently at the weak, pathetic human standing before it. The human gave off a fiery aura, at that moment, and launched a condensed fire attack at Wrath, cutting into Wraths chest. Wrath didn’t move, watching as the human realized his attack did absolutely nothing, not even damaging the clothes he wore in his humanoid form. Wrath smiled evilly.

“You will be cominnnng withhhh me.” Wrath said, malice filling his eyes.

Fend desperately used his Overlord Flame Art to the fullest, manipulating his Fire Bloodline as best he could, throwing everything he could into his attacks. However, the freakish creature before him acted as if he felt nothing, and indeed Feng noticed his attacks had no affect.

Abruptly, almost leisurely, the red robed figure struck out at Feng, its arm aiming for his neck. Feng went into a frenzy, drawing forth everything he had, every shred of energy in his body, all focused on blocking that attack. As he saw his death rapidly approaching, he felt a…power… in his body, something he hadn’t felt before. It was similar to the Flame Body Art he had been learning, giving off a similar feel. With no choice, Feng threw himself at the power he found, fully giving in to it, drawing it forth.

Immediately, scales split upon his skin, growing at a huge rate, and his form changed from that of a human to one partially covered by deep, majestic red scales. His eyes took on a powerful aura, and a small tail grew. He whipped his arm up with enormous force, and successfully protected his neck, withstanding an overwhelmingly powerful blow that crashed into him, forcing him to his knees.

Wrath watched the human transform, slightly astonished. It had been a while since he saw a human with the ability to dragon form, especially one so young. He knew more than ever that the Ancient Drake would desire this human very much. He whipped his arm out again, before the dragon formed human had time to react, and knocked him unconscious.

Feng had just finished blocking the attack when another came, faster then he could react, and by the time he realized the red robed figure was whipping towards him, he had already fallen unconscious.

Dale watched in horror, unable to move, as he saw his closet friend collapse to the floor, slowly falling to the ground. With his increased perception of time, he watched in agony as Feng, his brother, slowly crashed down lifelessly.

Time seemed to draw to a close, as Dale, from his view, watched this fateful moment, as he watched his die before his eyes while he stood to the side, helpless, doing nothing.

Memories flooded into Dale

Feng laughing, as he showed Dale his new flame technique, juggling balls of fire
Feng smiling, looking at Dale embarrassed as he saw the door he broke
Feng helping Dale to his feet, after Dale had tripped
Feng comforting Dale when he found out about his dead parents
Feng helping Dale practice his techniques
Feng complaining about the mess hall with him
Feng defending him from the bullying of others, as people bumped into him, or did small cruelties, set on by Collin
Feng, his best friend
Feng, his brother

As his mind was warped, overwhelmed, death crashing down beside him, everything happening at once-

Dale snapped

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