Read the previous arc here

Read the previous chapter here

Read about Kel’s first appearance (clicking will open a new tab) here

Desperate evils generally make men safe.

Seneca the Younger

It had been ages.

Desperately emerging from the cave, Kel instantly fell on the ground, face in the dirt. Time had altered the Black Temple’s maze, so much that Kel lost himself there. It might have been weeks or months. Driven by his survival instinct, he had found a way out, and now laid in the stank. At least, this new world mirrored the old one in some aspects…

Thinking of the old age… 

In an ancient and grim dark age, a red rider was ascending the mountainous battlefield. Following his charge, hundreds of his troops advanced under the sunless sky, roaring and hungry for what-would-be their final assault. Prepared to fall long ago, this miraculous gathering knew of mankind’s fate in case of failure. At any cost, their commander had to reach the gigantic mountain’s edge, where the iron fortress laid, hiding beneath dark clouds of dust. Only he could make it.

Glancing at the dust, the rider tightened his grip over his mount, the sweat running over his furious dark eyes. Sniffing the stank of the heavy winds, he cursed. The enemy grew closer. Following a carved road in the mountains, the army found its way easily in the natural labyrinth. Surrounded by large plateaus which seemed like gigantic cliffs from below, the commander waved to his squadron of rangers. Covered in large green capes, these archers, the most capable of the world, fired chained arrows upon the cliff’s edges. Breaking a fifty meters distance, most arrows pierced their targets, their chains had traced vertical lines in the air. Clinc! All as one, the rangers pressed their gauntlet’s mechanic amulet. Pulling themselves towards their anchored arrows with incredible speed, the rangers let the chains retract beneath their large and golden gauntlets. Most succeeded in reaching the surrounding plateaus, but mistakes remained bound to occur. Sadly, a few rangers crashed upon the cliffs, crushed against the mountain’s might. Acknowledging  this sacrifice, the red-caped commander estimated the danger represented by this plateaus if the Enemy had spawned their long-range fiends. The entirety of the army could have fallen. If this were to happened…

Spuring his white horse, Ismair Kel looked forward once more, his charge remaining relentless. His rangers deployed in the higher plateaus, while his healing division deployed their own lifters, archers using a weaponry similar of the Rangers, to pull their monks on the cliffs. They would eventually throw their healing substances from above, when the time of fighting begins. The formation remained intact, and as a unique arrow, the army progressed in the dust.

The dust blinded him…

Blinded by the sunlight, Kel woke up. Still lying, he rose and his heartbeat accelerated when he glanced at the horizon. The once-majestic and advanced empire of the Draedar now laid in ruins, a large fog covering it. There is something about the fog… Kel froze, then realized it was night-time. The blinding light came from a flash running through the mists. Multiple of these brought confusion in this mist.

If life truly mattered to him, Kel would need to venture into the Fog. Why am I still alive? Why me?

He entered the brightness.

Memories flushed in his mind, as if entering the mist had stabilized Kel’s mind. His fear, his survival instinct and his pain had vanished. Sniffing the clean air, he looked at his hand. In the network of caves he had barely survived a moment ago, his mind has shattered in madness, nostalgia and dreaming. His body had suffered even more, his hands covered in blood, his skin covered by scars and his clothing was ragged. Back there, Kel had abandoned of his dragonglass armor, illyran sword and keshian cape, now walking bare-chested in ragged pants, painless, bloodless. His mind had never been as clean, as free. If this is the new world, I love it…

Then, the Fog vanished.

As if he fainted, Kel fell to his knees, then and hit a stone. All around him, a large plain spread over his eye reach, woods were facing him, welcoming with the sunset coloring them with a tranquil orange.

At least, the pain had vanished too, permanently. Even if his mind was still in shock, he felt relaxed in his chest and wasn’t panicking, even while remembering the struggles of the caves.

More miraculous, he didn’t recall having felt rocks and grass under his bare feet. From the direction he walked from, Kel couldn’t count all the trees in the immense plain. Actually, he couldn’t recall any sensation he had felt in the Fog. It had temporarily made him senseless… free.

Kel sniffed, the air was light, even though filled with smoke. A city isn’t far… A forest stood in his way, from which the smoke originated from. A fire? His senses were blurry. At his full potential, he could notice his companions – and enemies – from their smell anywhere in the world. For some reason, this region’s air was so filled with poison that his magical senses were confused, and his abilities weakened.

He never felt, so… good. His whole life, he hadn’t felt enough struggle, as power had changed him and so many others..

His whole life…

Kel had often thought swordplay was the most exquisite form of fighting. A single mistake ended the exchange, Kel remembered as he entered the blade into the draedar’s stomach. Staring at his prey, he enjoyed the contact of their eyes, as Kel felt he now knew the fallen warrior better than most. The red eyes shut down, filled with hatred.

Will luck save me each time I drop my guard?

Now, Kel didn’t to worry about that. Without his full abilities, he wouldn’t need to even hold sword again. Without magic, he had a similar ability of that an average human with a certain lack of concentration but passionate drive. This is… my true potential.

Smiling, he began walking in the woods, half-naked.

Read the next chapter here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s