Here it is ladies and gentlemen. The first chapter of Rift of Chaos. Enjoy.




Thunder thudded and heavy rain blurred his view. As he rode his silver dragon through the strong wind, he squinted and saw the tower reign from a small island. His old apprentices awaited him in that tower. It had taken Akielas years to find their whereabouts. You will no longer hide from me, Ember, Akielas thought. You will face me and we will end this. As his dragon, Cleyross, got closer, the great spike tower dwarfed its flight. The skyscraper seemed to touch the dark clouds of the storm. The dragon flapped its wings as loud as thunder. It roared and ascended towards the high floors of the tower.

From far away Akielas saw her preparing a fire spell. The light of her flames shone like a beacon, brightening her white mask and horns that she wore to hide her past. He had stumbled upon her multiple times throughout his travels in Odealeous. Hunting her down and tracking her maju all over the world, he had witnessed all the destruction she had caused throughout the world. Now she could no longer hide. I found your hideout, Ember. In the northern oceans of El Nido. If you try to runaway again, I will make sure to brand you with the mark of the divine and make sure to never lose you again.

Akielas stood up on the saddle of his silver dragon. The wind ruffled his cloak. His long black hair with white streaks was freed by the wind. His eyes focused on her like a hawk to its prey, and he balanced himself on the back of his dragon as it banked towards the tower.

Then he saw her make the first move. A red beam raced from her fingers at his dragon.

“Illumnos Tega,” Akielas chanted and spread his arms wide, releasing his maju. A crystal shield appeared in front of Cleyross as it flew.

When the red beam collided with the crystal shield, Cleyross was protected and the beam ceased. The dragon then opened its maw and coughed out a sphere of white energy. Ember flew out of the way and the sphere detonated in the tower, creating a cloud of white smoke. Ember flew up high. Her black cloak spread like batwings.

“Ember!” Akielas yelled. “Stop running away from me. I have chased you all over the world and now you have no place to hide.”

She did not respond but when Akielas gazed at her silhouette in the dark sky; it seemed to swell and changed form. “I know all your spells. You can’t fool me, Ember.”

Ember descended in the form of a great gargoyle. It was the same size as Cleyross. Fifty feet long and slim. The gargoyle screeched, and it irritated Akielas’ ears. It swooped and when it swiped its claws they slid over the dragon’s glossy scales. The dragon quickly bit into the gargoyle’s right shoulder, and the creature screeched so loud that Cleyross had to let go.

The gargoyle flew away from the tower and ascended higher towards the thunder clouds. “Cleyross! Follow her,” Akielas commanded, and the dragon chased after Ember in her gargoyle form.

The gargoyle rapidly cast fireballs and hurled them at the dragon, but Cleyross was agile and quickly reached the beast. Cleyross bit into the leathery wing of the gargoyle and yanked it off. It screeched again so loud that it pained the ears to get near, like sharp nails scratching glass.

The gargoyle shape shifted back into Ember. The white masked woman was clad in black. The five horns on her mask warped up, like a crown made for a fiend. Ember looked through her mask with one eye from a cracked opening. The strong wind billowed her cloak and revealed her slim curved body covered in scaly leather.

Ember thrust her palm with a grunt, and Akielas’ dragon was pushed back by an unknown force. It was like being thrown by a catapult. Cleyross lost control of its flight and spun in the air with Akielas on its back. Struggling to regain control, the dragon roared and burst opened its wings with a loud thud like the thunder itself. Akielas balanced himself on the dragon as he gripped onto the saddle.

Akielas gazed at Ember for a moment through the blurry view of the heavy rain. Cleyross waited its master’s command.

Then Ember spoke. “You have stalked me throughout Odealeous, my old master. I have had enough of you chasing me, trying to prevent me from accomplishing my goal.”

“You know why I am here, Ember,” Akielas said. “Your chaos ends now. Give me the Crimson Cosmo Jewel you took from Auron. I don’t know what you plan to do with it, but I won’t let you use it.”

“My old master,” Ember said spreading her cloak. Thunder sang above. “You have gone insane. Look at you. An old man. Your face is getting wrinkled, your hair is getting whiter, and your magic is getting weaker.”

“I have enough vigor to end your life, Ember,” Akielas bellowed. “You and the other three that betrayed me.”

“Tell me Akielas. What will you accomplish by killing me?” Ember chuckled, and her cloak ruffled as she slowly drifted in the sky with a gust of wind and rain.

“Once I finish you, there will be one less threat in Odealeous,” Akielas replied, and spurred his dragon. Cleyross shot towards Ember, and the masked woman dived down and veered away from her tower. She flew as a dark cloud leaving a trail of black smoke.

Cleyross spun around and chased her. The dragon dived like an eagle falling on its prey. The wind wrinkled Akielas’ face and he held on to his saddle. Within seconds Cleyross was behind Ember, she zoomed into Akielas view.

Akielas saw a beam of red energy coming at him. He dipped and dodged the attack. She always uses the same spells, he thought. I will capture you and imprison you. If the dragon gods don’t punish you for all you have done, then I will. Akielas saw that Ember flew just above the ocean and her speed split the waters as she jetted away from him. Cleyross descended and once the dragon was close enough to the sea, Akielas released his maju and manipulated the water. “Aquas beastia!”  he yelled, swirling his right hand like a whirlpool. A pillar of water rose and took the form of a serpent and coiled towards Ember.

Ember spun her body and saw the water serpent behind and soared, but the serpent caught her before she could go any farther. “I still remember. You are weak against water,” Akielas said as Cleyross brought him closer to his old apprentice. Before she could escape, he quickly prepared another spell. “Llumvrem phantom suz,” he shouted.

Akielas felt a presence behind him, like spiders crawling on his back and stopped his spell. He spun around and saw a white masked foe casting a pulse of wind. Akielas was pushed off his dragon and he fell to the ocean. He caught a glimpse of Cleyross being struck by razor winds and the dragon howled and fell as well. Akielas’ body plunged into the dark ocean. He held his breath in the water and took time to think about his next move as he slowly drifted. That was Jairo; I know it was him. Out of the four of them, he is the only one who knows aeromancy, and it’s more powerful than before. It took an incredible pulse to knock me off Cleyross.  Ember brainwashed him and I am sure Naunet and Hertha will also appear soon. They have all grown strong. I am not sure if I can take on all four of them at once, but I have to try.

Akielas spun in the water for another spell. Using hydromancy, he infused his maju with the water and chanted in his mind, “aquara whirlious.” His maju drew in water and pushed Akielas to the surface. Akielas burst from the water like a geyser. A pillar of water whirled around his lower body, and the master magus spread his arms unleashing his maju. One of his apprentices approached him. This one was different. The white mask had horns on the side of his head pointed backward. He floated in the air and stared at Akielas, with one eye through a cracked opening.

“It’s been so many years, old master. I have missed you greatly,” the apprentice said.

“Your sarcasm won’t make me laugh today, Jairo,” Akielas answered in his aquatic pillar. “I see you have joined Ember in her path of destruction.”

“No, no, my old master,” Jairo said, in a polite tone. “With Ember’s plan we can change the world for the better.”

“Jairo, shut up!” Ember chimed in and floated to his right. They both stared at their old master with one eye.

Akielas gazed at them and he could no longer feel the same presence that he once felt from them. He felt a cold and clouded presence like the dark clouds of the storm. Something was clouding their soul and Akielas could feel it using his divine magic. He once felt innocence and love from their maju but now they emanated lust and hatred

“Change the world,” Akielas repeated, “do tell me how you will change the world by destroying everything in your path.”

“You wouldn’t understand, Akielas. You are better off dead,” Ember answered and dashed through the air with a fist bathing in fire. Akielas thrust his palm upward and another pillar of water burst from the sea. The water forced Ember towards the dark sky.

Akielas heard his dragon roar as it flew to help him. Akielas released his maju, and his aquatic pillar dropped. He fell as if to dive into the sea again, but Cleyross caught him and ascended. Soaked on the saddle of the dragon, he looked back and saw Jairo racing through the sky and Ember as well. Both masked foes flew leaving a trail of black smoke. Their endurance was great. There was once a time when both of his apprentices would be drained of their maju after a few spells but now their magic seemed to be at his level. They are much stronger than I thought. Ember should have not recovered from that water attack so quickly.

Cleyross whirled its body with Akielas on its back to face Jairo and Ember. The dragon coughed two spheres of white energy. Ember and Jairo dodged them with ease and swirled in the air. Akielas clapped his hands together forming a compound spell. Using the elements of water and wind, his maju produce lightning. “Trondass suz,” he shouted the ancient words and cast his spell. A beam of lightning ran from his fingers towards at Ember. As the masked woman flew over the water, she banked left, and the lightning seemed to have touched her arm, affecting her flight. Her body skid over the water like a rock hurled into a river. Her speed kept her body above water, and she had to pause in the air while Jairo streamed towards Akielas.

“Trondass chains,” Akielas shouted another spell and captured Jairo with electric strings. The strings paralyzed Jairo and sealed his maju. Akielas dragged with his electric strings like a dead body tied to a wagon. Jairo could not move, only scream from the pain. “Don’t think I ever forgot your weakness,” Akielas reminded. “One down and three more to go.”

The rain strengthened the lightning spell and Jairo yowled. “You won’t win, Akielas,” Jairo struggled to say as he groaned from the pain. “We are not the same students you once taught.”

A column of water burst from below, Akielas lost focus of his spell and Jairo was set free. Akielas and his dragon were lifted by the column of water but the dragon managed to roll out of the current. Before his very eyes, he saw the column freeze into an enormous block of ice. It sunk halfway and then floated above water. He knew who had cast that spell. The only one of his apprentices that specialized in hydromancy. From the sea he emerged, ascending with an aquatic ring surrounding him. He wore a white mask as well except this one had a broken horn on its forehead.

“Good to see you again, old master,” said his apprentice. The ring of water kept Akielas away from him.

“It’s been a decade, Naunet. You are more powerful than ever.” Akielas complemented.

“Why thank you. I will need all the power necessary to change the world,” Naunet said. “As long as you stand in our way, old master. I will intend to kill you.”

“I will not die until I punish all of you,” Akielas rasped. Cleyross grunted, eager to battle, but Akielas held the dragon back. Then Ember and Jairo joined Naunet and faced Akielas. Jairo was still stiff from the lightning spell as well as Ember.

“Just like the good old days. Hertha is a little late though,” Jairo said.

“Don’t worry. Let’s put our master to rest, by ourselves. I am sure Hertha won’t miss him anyways,” Ember added.

“Oh wait. Here she comes now.” Naunet spun around and from behind him the fourth apprentice came flying in to join them. She was shorter and younger than the rest but Akielas could feel that same dark presence. Hertha’s white mask had two horns rising from the side of her head like a bull.

“My oh my. It is such an omen seeing you here, old master. How disappointed you must be,” Hertha said. Her voice was like that of a teenage girl, high pitched and cocky.

Akielas stared at his four apprentice. Their maju has changed so much, and they all hide their face with those ugly one eyed masks. Scaly black leather tights. Ghostly cloaks. Dark magic and an unknown motivation to cause destruction. Am I at fault as a father? Am I at fault as a teacher? Did I not raise them well enough? What could I have done to them to make them follow the darkness? I don’t understand. All I know is that if anyone is going to end their chaos, it must be me. I will take responsibility for the damage they have done. I will carry this burden and their lives to the grave. The storm seemed endless, and thunder echoed from above. Akielas began to doubt his ability to fight all four of his apprentices at once. They were at his level. Master mages of their innate element. Akielas did have the advantage of knowing all four elements as well as dark and divine magic. Each of his apprentices had mastered one of the primary elements. Ember mastered the arts of fire, pyromancy. Jairo in the arts of air, aeromancy. Naunet in the arts of water, hydromancy and Hertha in the arts of earth, terramancy. Along with dark magic, they were more than a threat to him. Akielas became nervous and a ghostly cold shiver crawled up his spine. He felt as though today was the day he would meet his end. But I won’t go down without a fight, he thought. I will take them down myself with all the maju in my being.

“We will give you one last chance to change your mind, old master,” Ember said, hovering next to her companions. “There is still a place in my heart for you, dear master. Regardless of all the things we have been through. Join me. Help me cleanse the world of its impurity.”

“I think you said too much, Ember,” Hertha said and giggled.

“Be quiet when I am talking, Hertha,” Ember snarled. “Dear master. I know you still love me. We don’t have to fight.”

“Ember, you still have not told me what you are planning,” Akielas said, solemnly. He was in great anguish. Every thought of hurting his apprentices was like an arrow to his chest. He was not sure of how he would kill his own children, but he knew that it had to be done. “Tell me, how you are planning to cleanse the world of its impurity? The great Prodigus Kollos himself did not fully succeed in doing so. What makes you think that causing havoc will get you even closer to achieving his goal?”

“Unlike you, dear master, I don’t follow the teachings of the legendary Prodigus Kollos. Only geezers like you follow the old beliefs,” Ember mocked. “Don’t you remember? It was you who gave me the idea. It was you who started it. Had it not been for you, I would have never pursued this plan. You are the one that showed me how ugly the world was and now, I will be the chosen one to cleanse the world of its impurity. I will be the next Prodigus Kollos. The old ways are for fools.”

“Ember you have said enough,” Naunet interrupted. “Let’s just kill him.” Naunet dashed through the storm towards Akielas. 

“Aerorea shasphia!” Akielas shouted, and used his maju to create a sphere of razor wind around himself. Wind gusted with a savage ferocity, and Naunet was able to stop in time before he came in contact with the aero sphere. His cloak got caught in the sphere and was torn off his back.

Akielas pressed more of his maju into his spell and expanded his sphere of razor winds. All four of his apprentices moved away from him except Jairo. The air innate apprentice managed to break through the shield of wind and delivered a mind blanking kick to Akielas’ face. Immediately, the aero sphere contracted and faded. Akielas bled from his nose and his right cheek bruised. Cleyross roared and flew away from the four masked fiends stalling for time until its master recovered.

“Cleyross, fly to the shores of El Nido and leave me,” Akielas commanded while holding his face from the pain. Behind him, his four apprentices chased in the form of black clouds, leaving behind trails of smoke.

Cleyross was fast, but Jairo caught up to the dragon. The fastest of the apprentices. “Aerorae sweyken!” yelled Jairo swirling his wrist in intricate designs. He created a horizontal twister, and aimed, at the dragon. Cleyross turned to Jairo momentarily and with a wild roar, the dragon thudded its wings, releasing angry winds that canceled Jairo’s spell. The apprentice was pushed back and gave the dragon time to escape.

“Well done, Cleyross,” Akielas said proudly, holding on to the saddle. He glanced back and saw the traitors flying after him, then he stared at the horizon and land ahead. The shores of El Nido. If I am going to stand a chance against them, I have to take this fight off the sea and on to the land. After all, earth is my primary element.

“Cleyross, up ahead. Fly to the shore,” he commanded, and Cleyross increased his speed. The storm began to ease, and the rain became lighter. As Cleyross got closer to the shores of El Nido, the world seemed to change to a gloomy night under dark skies. Hills and palm trees zoomed in as Cleyross descended and landed on the sand. Akielas immediately unhooked his saddle, jumped off the dragon, and his boots sunk into the sand. He wobbled as he walked, like a drunkard.

For a moment he felt calm walking on the sand and watching as the waves crashed and foamed on the beach. The smell of salt filled his nostrils. He inhaled pleasantly and felt a small relief. He turned to his dragon and said, “I dismiss you.”

Cleyross grunted and growled refusing to leave. The dragon wanted to be by its master and fight his enemies.

“I know you worry about me but I want to do this alone,” Akielas told his Eedahlan, his summon spirit. He then felt the presence of his apprentices getting closer. “You have done beautifully. Go back to your twilight. I promise that I will survive.” But Akielas was not sure. Cleyross looked at Akielas with its small white eyes. It rubbed its nose on Akielas’ face as goodbye and then kicked off the ground thudding its wings. As it flew away, the dragon shattered into golden dust and disappeared with a blinding white light.

Once his dragon had disappeared, Akielas turned to the horizon and saw his apprentices flying to face him. The four descended from the sky like black clouds of smoke. They surrounded Akielas on the shore, clad in scaly black leather with wide cloaks. They each stared at him through those cracked openings of their white mask with one eye. Each mask had a different design of horns, the one and only thing that differentiated them.

Akielas gazed up; the dark clouds were departing and the sky became an ocean of stars with two arcane moons. He turned his attention back to his apprentices.

“So, why do you wear these masks?” Akielas asked, facing Ember, who had multiple horns at the crown of her mask. “Those disguises, what do they symbolize?”

“With these masks we bury our past and are no longer part of this world.” Ember answered. She was in front of him.

Then he heard Hertha behind him, taking a step forward.

“It is so ironic how you are now trying to stop us from the very plan that you started,” Hertha said.

“Are you still pretending that you don’t remember, Master Akielas?” Naunet added.

“What is it that I don’t remember?” Akielas was puzzled. He could not recall anything from his past that could associate with their motivation. “How have any of my ideas motivated you to cause havoc? Tell me!”

“You are pathetic!” Jairo said then pulled a long black sword from his cloak. It was pure black steel. Ember drew twin swords from within her cloak; they were blades of black steel too. Naunet and Hertha also drew weapons of the same metal. Naunet wielded a spear and Hertha a scythe.

Akielas grimaced at the sight of their weapons. He removed his cloak and tossed it on the sand. He drew a sword that hung from his back. A sword made for one hand, with a blade two feet in length. It was light and fast and he swung it as if it were at dagger.

“Kamynite steel,” Akielas said. “The black steel of the dark dragon god. Are you trying to cleanse the world with your darkness? Is that your plan? Darkness has become your answer? If you plan to kill me with dark magic then I hope you have mastered it. Remember that I taught you everything you know.”

“I am sick of your words, old man,” Jairo said.

All four apprentices unleashed a wave of dark energy. Four blasts of darkness without shouting a word. “Illumnos tega!” Akielas shouted and created a crystal barrier. A hemisphere protected him from dark magic. The barrier was but a way to test their powers. As the four waves of energy scratched the crystal walls of his barrier he could hear painful screeches of fiends. This dark energy is from Necrovania, Akielas thought, it is not their own.  Their source of power is external. How sad. They’ve learned nothing.

Akielas expanded his barrier, pushing the waves of dark energy. His apprentices could not measure up to his divine magic. Shortly after seeing how futile their spell was, they ceased their magic and attacked with black steel. Ember and Jairo went first. Akielas clashed swords with both. He swung his one handed sword, accurately and with much strength in every blow. Although Ember had twin blades, she could not scratch Akielas. He was faster and blocked each of their attacks. He allowed Jairo’s blade to slide over his, and then clutched his foe’s wrist and gave a mighty palm thrust of wind sending his apprentice flying into the ocean waves. Ember raised her speed to match Akielas’.

“I would have trained you better in swordplay, had you not betrayed me.” Akielas sneered. His only trouble was being able to see their weapons clearly in the night. Black metal was incredibly rare and the perfect steel for assassination. Hard to see in the dark and only the movement of their white masks helped him determine where they would move and swing next.

Hertha joined the fight. She attacked from his left. Simultaneously, he saw Naunet hurling his spear. Akielas tilted his neck and felt the spear grazing his skin. Naunet reappeared with a cloud of black smoke and caught his own spear.

“Pretty little trick,” Akielas said, his voice heavy with sarcasm.

Hertha swung her scythe upwards and her maju ran under the sand creating a trail of spikes. Akielas hopped to the side as rock spikes erupted from the sand. She stomped and pivoted her foot guiding her maju. Akielas’ feet sunk into the sand before they became rock solid.

His feet were trapped and as he tried to tug them out, Ember launched a spell. “Pikan ray!” A beam of red light jetted from her finger directly at Akielas but the master showed no fear. He was able to stop the beam with his left hand and deformed Ember’s maju. The beam became hissing flames on his hands.

“Amateur spell, Ember,” Akielas mocked.

Ember replied with a grunt as Naunet lashed his spear at Akielas. The master magus slightly tilted his hand and the red beam streamed in Naunet’s direction, striking the apprentice on the chest. Naunet screamed and flew away.

Ember ceased her spell and disappeared with a cloud of smoke. Akielas flailed his left hand; it was red from the flames. Using his maju he rendered the rocks trapping his feet and set them free. Like an arrow, Jairo flew towards him from the sea. Just before Akielas could launch a spell, he disappeared in midair with a cloud of smoke. For a moment, Akielas was puzzled but he turned his attention to Naunet and Hertha.

The young, masked girl with the scythe came at him swinging her deadly weapon. Akielas was not sure how to stop such a weapon. Abruptly, he felt Ember’s presence behind him, and he spun around only to find a cloud of black smoke. At that very moment, Hertha’s scythe caught him, and he was barely able to stop her weapon. The scythe slashed his pauldron and wounded his shoulder. He slid his sword over her weapon about to strike her. Hertha’s body quickly covered in a cloud of black smoke before disappearing from sight.

At the blink of an eye, as Akielas was distracted, Ember and Jairo reappeared with black smoke. Two swords striking. One from the left and two from the right. Akielas caught Jairo’s sword with his left hand and clashed swords with Ember, but she managed to wound his arm.  Akielas held in a scream and as he clutched Jairo’s sword, he pulled his apprentice in towards Ember. Akielas jumped away from his foes and gritted his teeth, holding in the pain.

His hand was bloody and so was his right shoulder. He did not have time to pay attention to the pain as another apprentice appeared from a cloud of smoke again. This time it was Naunet, and he lashed his spear at Akielas. He parried the spear. It nearly cut his neck. He continued to parry, like trying to dodge the stinger of a scorpion. Akielas enchanted his sword with fire and at the swing of his sword he, unleashed a horizontal wave of fire. Naunet called out his water element and stopped the flames.

Akielas tired. He did not have the time to cast a healing spell for his wounds. However, he still had more than enough maju in him. He did not remember ever facing foes as strong as himself. Well, of course, only my own students would be the ones to surpass me, he thought. He always knew he would have to fight someone stronger than him, but he never imagined it would be one of his children.

“I was never good at weapon combat,” said Naunet, stepping away from Akielas and spun his spear playfully. Naunet was always the slick one. The seducer. Always trying to be one step ahead of his opponent.

“Your wound from earlier is gone,” Akielas realized.

“Good eye, Master Akielas,” Naunet replied. “Tell me, are you getting tired yet? Feel like dying? Feel like giving up? How does it feel to fight the very children you raised?”

Akielas thought about it for a moment, but he did not answer.

“Do you even have the heart to kill your own children, old man?” Naunet said hoarsely.

“I will if I must.” Akielas simply said, but his words were weak. No confidence was in his tone. “All you are doing is tempting me. This battle won’t end until either of us is dead.”

“I don’t believe you, Master Akielas,” Naunet replied. “Frostass suz!” He launched a blue beam from the palm of his hands.

It was ice magic. The beam was freezing cold and Akielas dared not touch it. The master rapidly called upon his crystal barrier. The beam collided with his barrier and created a wall of ice, putting Akielas inside a frozen dome. While inside the dome, Akielas’ barrier vanished unexpectedly. That bastard Naunet is trying to make me use all my maju. “Pikan granda!” he yelled and punched the roof of the ice dome with a pillar of fire.

He jumped out of the ice dome and as soon as he saw the light of the two moons again. Jairo cast sharp winds cutting through Akielas’ armor. He fell and rolled on the sand. Akielas struggled to get up. His legs wobbled but was able to stand up. The slash on his chest plate protected him but he found a shallow wound on his chest. He did not worry about it.

All four surrounded him. They did not give Akielas much time to think and cast their dark magic again, this time shouting, “Odiams suz!”

Four jets of dark energy aimed to drown Akielas in darkness and send his soul to the realm of the dead. “Illumnos Tega!” he shouted. His crystal shield protected him once more from its opposite attribute. When the energy waves crashed into his shield of light, he heard screeches like nails on glass and beastly shrieks from the dark realm.

This was his opportunity. All four of them were attacking him. Casting their dark spell on him. If I could somehow pull them closer to me, I could use one spell to finish all four of them. Perhaps aeromancy. No…it would be too easy for them to stop. Terramancy maybe. No…I am sure they will know how avoid it. What would be a faster way to finish them…Ah! Yes! Electromancy. Nothing is faster than lightning. Here I go.

Trondas chain!” Akielas shouted. Without releasing his crystal shield he was able to spark lightning with one hand while maintaining his protection spell with the other. Electricity chirped like a hundred birds from his hand. He pointed at the apprentice behind him. Lightning shot towards Ember. A string of electricity caught her and ceased her spell. As the other three released their dark spell, Akielas quickly shot another electric string at Jairo before he could fly away. Then at Naunet and finally he caught Hertha. All four of his apprentices were caught by a string of lightning, their bodies paralyzed, unable to retaliate. They could only speak and curse at Akielas.

It was a powerful spell that drained an enormous amount of his maju. Electromancy took a high toll on a mage’s body. Not only was he focusing his spell in four directions but, if he failed, he would have to fight his apprentices in a weakened state. Let’s do this right or die, he told himself. Akielas pulled the electro strings, and they chirped wildly like angry sparrows around him. All four masked apprentices floated towards him helplessly in a chain of electricity.

This was it. It was the time to finish them. All I have to do is enchant my blade with lightning and….he thought about it. It was very easy. Their lives were in his hand. Just four strokes of his sword and he could save the world from their terror. Come on, you can do it; they are too dangerous to be kept alive. But he felt their maju fading. His lightning spell was lowering their maju. If it continues, they will die. My children! No, I can’t let them die. Not like this. I can’t kill them. There has to be a better way. 

Akielas refused to end the lives of his children. The thought of spilling their blood hurt him. What can I do? What should I do? Imprison them? Seal them? Put them into a long slumber? Drain their maju whole? What should I do?

His spell was weakening as he pondered a punishment. He could now feel them budging and trying to break free from the lightning strings.

“You are weak Akielas,” Ember said as she struggled to free herself.

Akielas finally decided. From now on, I will know where ever you are. Whenever you use your magic to hurt others, I will know, and I will find you. Then he shouted, “Llumvrem keen maju.”

With the ancient words, Akielas’ hands glowed with the symbol of the divine dragon god. He pulled Ember towards him by his lightning strings. He then pressed his palm on her neck, and she screamed. White steam rose from her neck. Akielas sent a shock through her body then tossed her, and she rolled over the sand, her body chirping with small sparks. Akielas did the same to his other apprentices. He branded them with the symbol of divine magic, an arrow pointing up with a dash through its shaft inside a circle.

Akielas tossed their bodies on the shore. They twitched, their bodies too stiff and weak to stand. Not even Ember, the strongest, could get on her feet.

Whenever they use their maju, I will be able to sense them and see where they are. My third eye will show me. I will no longer have to hunt them down. Their dark magic will be weakened and if they try to remove the brand from their necks, it will be futile, for only illumancy will be able to remove the brand.

Akielas took one last look at them before he left. They were still weak. He could kill them, but he chose not to. Naunet was right; I don’t have the heart to end the lives of my apprentices. I hunted them down for so long and watched them cause destruction, yet I can’t do it. At least now I will know wherever they are with little effort and they won’t be able to escape from me so easily.

“Illumbos Cleyross!” he called upon his dragon again. The magic circle tattooed on the back on his hand, that he called a mandarak, glowed. He pressed his hand on the sand and the glowing illustration expanded twenty feet long, shining beneath his feet with the symbol of divine magic. Summoning magic he learned from the king of fairies. “Cleyross rise!” he shouted and heard a roar coming from the dimension of the mandarak. His silver dragon flew out of the glowing illustration.

“Take me back to the sanctum,” Akielas told his dragon. Cleyross descended, its wings caused the sands to billow. The dragon lowered its head for its master, and Akielas sat on the saddle. He spurred the dragon, and the creature ascended with loud thuds of its wings. As he rose higher into the sky, he stared down at his apprentices. “Perhaps I am a fool, but I will find a way to prevent you from causing havoc,” he whispered. Cleyross flew into the night and disappeared under the two moons.



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