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As the day rose again, the rouse of soldiers started their work and training as they head down to the reserves beneath their grounds, the chamber well-lit as hundreds were fed on food that was grown and collected further down the mountain and from the sight of Bright Port while qualified traders exchanged their excess resources for both gold and new supplies, whether it be ore or seeds, as the hooded man watched it all, speaking not a word as he dined with the same, finishing up as others did. He stood up and headed down into a chamber that was wide open, but filled with a number of ritual locations and sites, being used as a hands-on sign of the magics gained and practice of the rituals as long as they didn't pull too much from the other planes and their own.

As he walked further in, he spotted the recent ritual, one that would bring forth the 'supposed' descendant of the Shadow Lord as several robed civilians bowed to the approaching man while the elder among them addressed him. "Sir, we are ready for the ritual, but it will be difficult as this is the first time we have ever brought a human soul back from the beyond."

"My faith in you will be stronger than the doubt you feel." The man clapped the elder's shoulder before he stood a few meters away as he stared at the runic marks across the rock texture. "Just remember, we are attempting to pull a spirit that has darkness within his soul into this realm, keep your focus on the single soul and not divert to any other..." The people nodded as he backed up and allowed them to begin.

In magics, one must pour their will into their skills to cast them or have a focus to which they can easily cast the spells, but in the rituals, one must devote all their strength, both in will and focus to ensure that nothing goes wrong, however, the man could feel the shadows pouring out to consume the members in darkness, prompting him to project a barrier to cut the spreading dread off as the mages continued to focus, some feeling the energy draining away by this powerful enchantment. As the candles started to dim out from the sheer volume, the magics started to die as well as some were bordering the end of their focus when the ritual was completed, the group resting as the young man, drained himself, stared into the darkness that had formed the upper torso of a well-toned man,seemingly slumbering in the air. Though not meant to pull the spirit out of its prison of the beyond, the ritual had done just that as the body started to be crafted with tattered remains of a wanderer attire clung to him as if fusion into his flesh before descending down onto the circle, the shadows fading away as the young man approached with caution, suspicious of the normal human tone and rough features of this created being. Placing two fingers on the being's neck, the man found that there was a pulse, an oddity as many human bodies made in such rituals would be nothing more than empty vessels, but this one was alive and breathing. "One of you, retrieve Bartolew to take this individual to the cells, I need to speak with this one in private quarters." As a young member went, the rest gathered in awe that they had pulled a live person from across the planes, but to the leader, the being's chances of survival from crossing a dimensional plane and coming in a full-formed figure was far less than a hundredth, more of a ten-thousandth of a chance of it actually working.


After leaving the being or 'Arron' in a cell to recover, the young man stood motionless, back against the wall, hand on his rapier in case the individual was hostile, given that he was in a new place and is the descendent of the Shadow Lord. He had so many questions about how it was possible, why is he in one piece, and what is his connection. He shook his head as the being began to stir, speaking to get his attention. "I see that you are awake now, are we not?"

Arron shook his head as his sight adjusted to his new surroundings before looking at the figure that loomed on the other of the bars. "Ugg... Where am I...?"

"I ask the questions, sir, you are to respond when given the chance."

"...I have nothing to say to some punk..." The young man straightened up as he motioned his hand as a wisp of flame emerged and hovered about his face as he conversed with it, out of a whisper.

"Are you certain that you should doing this, sir, he appears disoriented from the short event and is falling back on his base instinct of distrust."

"Distrust is but one of thousands of ways to see it, but if his line is that of the Shadow Lord, we need a basic understanding as to his death, what he was before being pulled back into the land of the mortals."

"Another thing, his spirit is dominant like some form of sealing was implored to keep him in a subdued state of being." The wisp floated about as Arron watched and was curious as to what magic was being used. "It is as if he is meant to be completely numb to everything."

"...Point taken..." The young man returned to the cell as he crouched in front of Arron and extending a palm out. "Let's see what is keeping your mind in the dark." The palm glowed a bright white as the aura touched Arron and soon they were in the mind, cloaked in shadow.


The young man felt the ground light up as he settled in the mind of Arron, a projection of his will as he looked about for any sign of what could be restricting the soul, eyes wide in search as the trail faded and glowed as he walked. Trusting in his abilities to control the elemental spirits within his mind form, he pushed on further as the landscape started to change, filling with memories, faces, and moments of importance within this one.

The youth bore witness to the end of a village, Raven Claw as it was called, before Arron became a wanderer in search for the one who had done this to him, the 'former' high priest of Tu'la, Zane, tracking him down and...

The youth was then shown something else that seemed out of place. The appearance had started to changed as Arron started to reside with a Lord and the village was Phoenix Drop, yet younger, perhaps in the earlier days before it's decline without its Lord, heading into a Dimension that the youth could only guess was the Irene Dimension from reading lips for the brief moments.

There, the band that had followed this Lord, this 'Aphmau', confronted Zane with his changed abilities as he was after a relic that had swiftly embedded itself into Aphmau, the coming battle more offhanded than even as the band was forced to escape into their realm to Phoenix Drop in the present.

The youth started to ponder this turn of events, though it was fate or luck he could not say. 'Fate sure has a twisted sense of humor if this is true...' Though in the memories, Aphmau's appearance was like stained glass, faded and missing so it is more along the lines of she not existing in his mind, fading out like a fallen dream and the youth need not look further for the last was the kick.

What appears to be a confrontation with Zane in the real world was very wrong, mistaken as the youth took into account that there appeared to be shadow-like form of Arron constricting a light version in shadowy vines with a look of glee on his face before the youth spoke. "A nightmare is something I would not force on anyone, but you appear to be not my sort of ally."

The shadow whipped, insanity apparent as it spoke. "Mortal, you intervene in the affairs of my power, leave now before I grind you up into paste."

The youth shook his head as he returned the gaze from under his cowl. "Nay, I shall not, if you are affecting the memories of this man and keep his soul in lock, then I must be the one to release such restricts." The shadow moved to destroy the young man as a orb of dark energy was thrown at him, but the youth just swung his arm, knocking the power aside as he moved closer, flames coating his arms. "That felt fairly strong, but I don't rely on subtle control, I am more for pieces and parts of the world as any other." A few more orbs were hurled at him, but the young man continued to knock the projectiles aside and moved toward the figure, strong indeed, but only as a mere specter. It came to realize that the youth was blocking the attacks so it resorted to an more physical weapon as a sword shifted into the wraith's hand and it dashed to cut the young man in half only for the youth to react in a fashion that showcases his years of swordplay, watching and adapting before throwing a kick to knock the form back as his hands formed a flaming rapier and a frozen foil and he engaged in the battle.

A hack overhead was caught by the foil as the rapier was jabbed forth, piercing the form's body which, though more of a tangible slime than flesh, still yielded a flow of darkened blood as it pulled away and took a look at the wound, snarling like a beast before charging again, this time swinging slashes and hacks in various directions while the youth countered with blocks and striking swallow blows and wounds on the shadow until it was too exhausted to continue on. "Mortal... filthy mongrel... I am the true form of this weakling, I AM THE SHADOW LORD!!!"

"An echo of what the Shadow Lord is, to be exact, but this body is not yours to control..." The shadow tried to catch the youth in a unexpected slash, but soon found its heart pierced with the rapier, fire enveloping the darkness as the words continued. "I care not the agendas of thousands, I am a man who decides to carry his own burdens, Arron is my burden for the time being so run back to your master and tell him if he still exists..." The rapier was swiftly ripped out of the shadow's body, the blood that splashed the enlightened path quickly dissipating from the sheer heat. "He has no claim in this realm for any other beyond his Nether hellscape."

"This isn't... over." As the fire finished the feast of darkness, the youth felt the light to return to Arron's mind and took notice of a memory that occurred before Arron's sacrifice, he giving a kiss to Aphmau who was truly beautiful beyond words, the man smiling as he commented on it.

"Truly, fate has a strange of arranging my path, I wish you both luck in your romance." Walking back the way he came with weapons returning to their rightwise place, the being's essence faded out as Arron started to come to in his own body...


What was mere moments, the youth leader opened his sapphire eyes and stared into he darkness of Arron's as they simply stared before Arron spoke. "Where is Aphmau?"

"I know not, Arron, but I am afraid that you are not yet ready..." Arron exerted a massive strength as he jumped to his feet and slammed into the bars, the metal bending as the young man stood up as well, but not showing fear to the anger that tackled the bars as his hands were bonded. "I accept your anger, but right now, you are a dead man, someone who perished and needs time to recover before you go headstrong into the fray."

"You don't understand, I need to be with her, she made me..." The anger slowly fading away as he started to lean on the bars, his heart in pain as he thought of her. "I had made her life special as she did for mine, she helped me recover and open up... I can't leave her broken from this." The youth shook his head as he took in the true Arron, feeling his desire to be free and live as a free man now, but the errors now would just tear the wound further open.

"For now, we must be patient, we can't rush this, Arron, else we end up destroying what we wish to accomplish." Arron, with hopeful eyes, looked up to the youth before standing tall over the figure with a questioning look as to who was he that gave such sound understanding.

"Who... are you?" The man chuckled as he looked up to Arron, pleased to have reached a little understanding.

"I am the leader of my own faction that only wishes to build up and train those that follow me to combat both physical and spiritual powers." Reaching through the bars and resting a hand on Arron's borrowed shirt, the figure continued as he assessed Arron through the spirits that flew out of his body and roamed Arron, taking in his capabilities of will, strength, mind, and focus. "I am Phanto, the man who once looked up to the Lady Irene from legends, but soon realized that belief in a 'goddess' is a waste of life and instead focused on being a leader for those who have lost who they are, rebuilding them to be a great force." Phan shook his head as he mused the facts if they were good or bad. "We are neither a force for the good of the world, but nor are we bad as we valued life and only wish to make our own mark on this world."

Arron, watching the being before him, came to understand that they were similar, promise in their lives, but had done foolish things and are seeking for some form of redemption, his being the murder of Raven Claw and Phan's was a reason that was so great that he never would speak of it. "I... understand, but are you sure to be letting me go as a soldier?"

"I trust you now that you have come to terms of your own darkness, we all have that in our souls, but how we use it is too important to forget." Unlocking the door, Phanto stepped in as his spirits returned to him, a knife out to cut Arron's binds and stepping back. "Light can hide the greatest evils and darkness contained the greatest good that we can carry, but there is time for words, now we must retrain you as there may be soreness from being pulled from the dead." As Phanto left, Arron paused as his heart stopped at the sound of it."

"...What?" He shook his head and followed the leader out into the frosted settlement of the base...


Phanto had a hunch, but he didn't move on it as he watched as Arron, training with the other soldiers, was displaying a remarkable skill of recovering as he learned how to fight further as he was able to strike the bulls-eye with arrows and knives, brandishing a two-handed practice battle-axe as he fought the others with amazing speed and focus, and even take a practice dummy into pieces and parts with a number of marital combat skills. The mentors that teach these things were quite impressed with his progress, not understanding that his drive was of freedom. He couldn't run to Aphmau as he was unsure as to where he was and could only play the part of a recruit until he could get some understanding.

Phanto breathed as he stepped on down toward Arron, the field backing as their leader approached and drew close as Phanto spoke. "Arron, I think the dummy would like a break..." Arron looked back and fixed eyes with Phanto, the camp watching with a amazement as Phanto retrieved his practice weapons of a wooden rapier and foil, assuming a fight stance. "Let's have a sparring, it will help ease your mind." Arron just stared before dropping the dummy head and grabbed a practice sword as he readied himself for the spar, the camp howling at the coming battle. "Any wagers?"


Phanto shrugged as he just smiled. "Fair enough, I tell location while you tell your travels."

Arron, smiling a bit, nodded as he replied. "Perfect, now let's go!" Arron dashed through the snow as he angled his blade for a uppercut slash as Phanto countered with the foil before drawing the blade toward in a move to jab the rapier into Arron's shoulder, but Arron saw it coming and, grabbing the rapier arm, made to hurl Phanto over him. He did not expect that Phanto landed on his feet in a back bend and reverse the move on Arron who went flying in shock before rolling in the snow as he quickly got back up, the crowd roared in excitement.

"Go for it, Arron!"
"See the Cap what you got!"
"Show him up in his own game, man!"

Arron grinned as the crowd were cheering for him to fight, they want a good fight and if he could whack Phanto in the end, it would be the best so he charged again and feinted a overhead slash which Phanto went for with the foil before he swung from the right, certain of his win. However, Phanto, in realizing the trick, jumped and landed on Arron's shoulders before rolling into the snow and back springing to Arron's back and thrusting, forcing Arron to put up a block, stopping the blow from connecting, causing the soldiers to gasp in surprise and cheer again.

Clearly, the battle was a lot harder than Arron had guess as the two jumped back and started to circle each other. Arron had to find a way to defeat this foe as his attacks were not connecting as he wished, this man who was posing a duelist and seemed to understand combat fairly well and where to push. 'Where is his weak point, every foe has a point of weakness that can be used against them.' Grunting, Arron decided to press his strength into the fray as he charged, Phanto expecting such a fight, put up his guard and blocked the overhead cut, but was unprepared as Arron slid under the guard and punched into Phanto's gut, sending him flying and causing something to fall out. Arron had the fight in the bag when he noticed that the snow was melting under Phanto as he slowly got up, his right eye ignited like fire as he stared down Arron as a monstrous smile spread over his face, the crowd dying down in fear as they backed off, the weapons alight in fires as Phanto rushed with unseen speed to hit Arron who was hard-pressed in resisting this increased power when a female voice shouted.

"PHANTO!!!" Mel came running down as Phanto paused in his assault, the weapons burning away as he dropped to his knees, hand covering the right side of his face as she slowly helped him up. "Speak to me, you are not a monster!"

"I know... I know..." He slowly stood up and looked at Arron with a hopeful look. "Thank you for being a worthy opponent." With that, Phanto headed inside in a trudge with Mel aiding him as best as she can, Arron confused as to what had happened when a elderly soldier approached him.

"I don't... understand."

The elder sighed as he opened Arron's hand and dropped a round object into his hand. "This isn't the first time this has happened, but we are lucky that you are quite able to defend yourself, even against that." Arron looked at the object and saw it was a eye made of glass, about the size of a normal eye. "Phanto has never revealed what had occurred in his past, but it was enough that we see the effects of what had happened, severe shock or trauma forces it out, a demon of man that longs for bloodshed from anyone."

Arron glanced up and noticed that several soldiers were sporting such injures, scars of what did happen and wounds of it still healing. "If he is so terrible, why does he..."

"Because it is his burden, something he never wished on any one else." The elder started to head off as he finished. "We are still here because he gave us free chance whether to live as his allies or to remain in the homes we once claimed in emotions, never to tell what this home is to any." Arron returned his look to the eye then to the massive structure in the mountain...

...What is he missing in Phanto's behavior and his respect for the men and women here that would cause this to occur...?
Arron is BACK!!!
My own thing, must be my own choice in the matter.
It may be impossible to bring Arron back to life and all that, but we all have some desire to tell our story and if it lives with others.

As always, Aphmau and MCD belongs to her, my characters of this base belong to me.
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Zeretg Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2016
...Speechless here :o (Eek) 
I don't think I have THAT good of writing.
MusicMage209 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
This is so beautifully written, dear Irene. You don't find a lot of good writers nowadays. :D
Zeretg Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2016
Thanks for the like, but are you sure?
There are thousands better than me in this world.
MusicMage209 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Well, you have a lot of potential to be part of the "thousands better than me in this world". Keep going and you'll be awesome! :D
Zeretg Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016
Thanks. Hug 
MusicMage209 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Np at all! :D
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Submitted on
November 14, 2016


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