Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Inspirations: LEGOS

Sometimes the best source of inspiration is the access to creative tools. Playing with Legos led to many different ideas I implemented in Neostriker. For example, both Celonret and Gnugger were characters I first made out of Legos to play with. Gnugger and his transforming ability came from playing with a lego star wars set and adding wheels and playing with different shapes. Eventually I was able to design a humanoid figure that was perfect for use in Neostriker. However,  I also liked the jeep design so I kept the transform idea.

P.S. I'll be busy for a while so there won't be any updates for the next two weeks.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Inspirations: Digimon Part 1

    When I started Neostriker, there were three main series from which I took inspiration. In the end, only one maintained its significant impact at the core and that was Digimon. Many of the ideas I implemented where so core that I didn’t realize how much it had influenced me until I began to look back. Part of this is seen in chapter 18 with Sunflare as it effectively “digivolved.” However, that was perhaps the most explicit reference.  This is because everything else I implemented was later refined by other series like Mega Man.
    The first development beside the “evolution,” was probably the use of neocards. This came from Digimon Tamers. It developed further due to Yu-Gi-Oh at first, but most of those developments were removed. The further advancements came thanks to Mega Man Battle Network. This where I took the idea of Neocard Combos, as well as some weapon designs.

    Perhaps the most substantial inspiration was Forms. While it looks a lot like Cross Fusion from Mega Man NT Warrior, I was playing with the idea long before I even heard of it. In fact, trying to watch Digimon Frontier is how I came to learn about Rockman EXE before it came to the US as Mega Man NT Warrior. I could go into more detail but I believe that is enough for today. I hope you enjoyed learning where many elements came from.

J. D. Nyle

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Inspirations: Dragonball Z

When I was a lot younger, I remember Dragonball Z when it was airing on Toonami. Now, this series did not impact Neostriker too much. This was more of a side series that I played around with separate from the Neostriker precursor. The main element that I would attribute is the hunt for the Elite Stones similar to the Dragon Balls. However, I think you might agree with me that it was a weaker aspect of the story. For my next story, I have new plan based off the developed nature Elite Stones. That's all I have for today and I'm currently planning my next post so it should not be a long wait this time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inspirations: Pokemon

    I'm sorry for the delay in writing this first update. Certain circumstances have kept me busy but I hope everything shall be calm for a moment. I hinted a while back that I wanted to go over the many inspirations for Neostriker. The first one I will cover is the one that began the long chain: Pokemon.
    Neostriker began it's life as a Pokemon clone. Back when I was very little, Pokemon was absolutely amazing. I believe I went through about 3 different variations before I finally arrived at what would become Neostriker. I remember how I would play Pokemon Blue over and over, and even though the series was banned in my house, I still managed to watch some of the original TV show. These glimpses would unlock my imagination as I would pretend and design more "pokemon" and play with them.
    The first little monster that I recall designing was based off a fox plushie I got as a kid. Now those who read Shining might realize that the first neomon that is friendly happens to be a fox-type. Coincidence? Anyways, you may also have noticed how there is not much you could say is inspired from Pokemon throughout the book. That is the case because, as I said before, it was banned in my house. Eventually I didn't care and I decided to move on to other series for inspiration. So even though Neostriker began it's life with heavy Pokemon influences, I eventually moved away and decided it best not to keep it. There is more to the story, but I feel like it's best to save it for later.

Until Next Time,
J. D. Nyle

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Future of Neostriker: Shining and Fanfiction

    Can you believe it's all done? When I wrote the story over 5 years ago, my intent was just to have fun with it. I didn't care so much about it back then, but as I developed it more and more, I became very attached to this story. It was a fine tribute to the many things that developed Neostriker as well as being a good tool for developing the series. There a few things that I didn't put together until I began writing David's story, but when I look at it, I can't imagine a better way of making it all fit together.
    You may be wondering about the ending for the book. I personally think it is a fitting ending for the major themes of the book. Before I had a sentimental ending, but it turned out less than satisfactory. The current ending may make some people question what was and what wasn't, but that's fine. I originally intended the book to be a complete story to stand on its own, but as I got closer to the end, I wanted to leave an opening that I would allow me to write the sequel I had planned. However, the sequel that has been in my mind for the past 5 years is not right for a book. As much as I want to write the story, I believe it would be best as a movie or TV show. It's something that needs to be seen. As a result, I'm holding back on writing that story for now and focusing on developing the Neostriker Universe.
    I don't know how long it will take before I am finished with my next book, but I can tell you it will take place at the beginning of Neostriker. That's right, it will be partially about Xagem, the character I made which began my development of Neostriker as a whole. I have been planning this story for years, but I wanted to finish Shining before I started actually writing, mostly for practice. In the meantime, I intend to be publishing a mini-series called Legends, which will contain many short stories concerning the characters in my next book.
    Now back to Shining. As I mentioned before, many series were inspirational in my development of Neostriker. Before, I simply copied what I saw. It wasn't until I had a lot of practice with it that I began to transform it into something new. I shall be honored if my series will be the same for others. Therefore, I am encouraging fanfiction for the Neostriker: Shining world. I only ask that you do not write about the beginnings of Neostriker as that is my next subject. I actually have about 7 stories planned, and most of them are hinted in the story. I do hope I will have the time and talent to write all of them eventually.
    The plan to encourage fanfiction was actually part of the intent when writing the ending to Shining. I want people to feel okay with misunderstanding something occasionally, because misunderstanding something can actually be inspiration to the imagination. Neostriker is full of things like that. An example would be Saiber Armor. Yes, I know what happened and what didn't, but I also like playing with the idea of certain things changing. There is actually one thing I would like seeing changed that would make things even more interesting, but I also believe it's time to move on from Shining.
    Now to encourage fanfiction even more, I would like you writers to send me your fanfiction. That way, I can publish them on this blog for everyone to read. If I find something objectionable or controversial, I may edit it for protection of my story and characters. I actually had a very controversial chapter in the early drafts of Shining, but it betrayed the idea of creating a simple story for everyone to enjoy. As a result, I prefer to keep things simple and good while the controversial topics can be for another series.
   
Sincerely,
J. D. Nyle

P.S. You can send your fanfiction to jnyled@gmail.com, just put the story in the text of the document

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Episode 24: A Shining Hero

This is it. This is the last episode of Neostriker: Shining. I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I had creating it. If you haven't read Episode 23, I suggest you do that first. Thank you for reading my creation, and I hope you will participate in my idea that I will post after this.

EPISODE 24: A Shining Hero

            All of the warriors were lying on the ground, de-formed by the infernal breath. The evil beast was victorious before anyone could even attempt to fight it.
Seeing everyone had been defeated, the fell dragon spoke in a sinister voice, elongating the end of each sentence “Very gooood! You have done welllll.”
“What are you talking about?” Dyl cried out.
The Dark Master laughed maliciously and said like a serpent, “You have done all according to my plans. Long ago, the Nellenion King sealed me with the Elements. The Elite Stones were the key, and you gathered them for me.” It cackled once more and the warriors felt their hearts sank to a new low.
            Zenoth continued disturbingly, “And you, Crawn. You acted exactly how I wanted you to.”
            “What do you mean?!” Zack looked up struck with terror as the black dragon answered.
            “When I sent you against these warriors, I had no care that you would win. I needed you to reveal this location so that the Nellenion army would gather here. I let you gather only so that I may destroy you all!”
            Zack lowered his head in despair and muttered, “So I was only a puppet.”
            “Then why the battle, if that was your plan all along?!” Nathan shouted out.
            “Simple. The hearts lost to despair are the most delicious to me. What better way to do so than to raise your hopes as high as possible and then crush them with ease? Though I will admit, I started to grow tired, and so made things easier for you.”
            “That’s why you brought out the portals!” Reid exclaimed. “It was not for faster development, but so we could shut them off!”
            “Exactly! And that is also why I had Alfran die after she was defeated. She was delaying your ‘offering’. Muwhahahahaha!!!”
            The dragon did his evil laugh in delight of its victory. All opposition had been de-formed. When he had finished his triumphant hysterics, it lowered its head to their level and stared directly into David’s eyes.
"Boy,” said the Dark Master. “I can crush you right now. I can bite your head right off and spit it across the ocean. But because you have freed me and gathered those would oppose me to my fire, I will make you an offer.
“You have bested those I have sent, the strongest of my army. You have cemented yourself as worthy to stand at my side as I rule this world. Swear your allegiance to me and accept the Dark Power. If you do this, I shall spare you, give you power, and you can even keep your little girlfriend. In fact, I could make her your slave if you so wish.  But if you refuse…” it spit on the youth’s face. “…then you all will die. That's how simple it is."
            It lifted its head and roared in a sinister laughter, assured of its reign of terror and no cares as to what David may answer. As it roared, the terrain began to transform. Little volcanoes appeared and erupted. Trees emerged from thin air but dead and scorched. Dark clouds filled the sky and blocked the sun. This was the Dark Area made present.
The youth’s heart was lost. No emotion could be seen in his face. It was like stone, solid, speechless, and cold. But then he saw something different.
            He blinked and saw himself in a place of light, a place he had been before. And he saw a figure he had seen before.
            “So that’s it? You’re just going to throw in the towel?” It was grandpa.
            “There’s nothing I can do,” the youth said. “It’s over. I lost before I could even fight.”
            “You lose if you give up. The fight between Good and Evil is not just a game with a simple end. It continues until you either give up fighting or you emerge victorious. Even after you win one battle, it will come back in the same or different form for you to beat again until you die and come out as a true victor.”
            “But what hope do we have against Zenoth?”
            “David, David. Hope is not something you have when everything is right. True hope emerges when things are wrong and when you still can see the potential of good coming out.”
            “B-but I can’t beat him. He already defeated my strongest form with his breath. I have no choice.”
            “David, the greatest tool of Evil is deception. You still have a choice. It may be hard, but I will show you what choices you have.”
Back in the real world, Jenny noticed a tear drop from David's eye.
"Are you okay?" she asked still concerned.
"No," he shook his head. "But this is something I must do. I must give up… my dream," and as he said it, another tear ran down his cheek and a deep blow to heart, but now it was there. 
The youth stepped forward, took a deep breath, and stared at the dragon. He turned to the others who could see the sorrow in his face and then back to the evil monster. Those around felt this tugging at their hearts that David would accept Zenoth's deal. Their hope had been shattered. Zenoth had purposely raised it high only so that he might crush it. Yet it was not so.
Nine feet tall may not seem so big considering how few steps it takes to walk that distance. Yet at the same time, when you come close someone of that size, he really is a giant. Add that this was an all-powerful dragon and you would have every right to be terrified, but the youth stood strong. Facing defiantly and with the stones gathered, he wiped the tear from his eye and made his proclamation.
"Zenoth," David began, taking another breath. "You can take your offer and shove it down your throat! I will defeat you!"
The challenge had been played. With a thunderous voice, the dragon shouted, "What?!" And then it began to laugh again. How in the world could a boy hope to slay a 9 foot tall dragon with no weapons?
"You fool!" the dragon heckled, still cackling over the rebelliousness. "No one but the Nellenion King has defeated me, and he needed Xagem's help. You are neither."
"You're wrong!" David replied defiantly. "I am both! And I will defeat you, because I made you!"
"Nonsense!" Zenoth shouted, but the dreamer continued.
"I made Neostriker out of the various things I had seen and heard growing up. I combined and tweaked these concepts, as well as adding my own, until I ended up with this and it became its own. I cannot explain how or why, but my dream world became real. But now I must put an end to it and defeat you once and for all! The Nellenion King and Xagem were just two characters designed for me to play as!"
The dragon had enough of this talk. He blew his infernal flame once more, but a barrier of light blocked it. It was Jenny!
"You might have to explain all of this again, but you need to beat this guy first!" she said while maintaining the barrier. "I can grant you the ability to enter forms once more and reenergize the Elite Stones, but it's up to you from there."
David smiled and nodded. White lights began to fill the area under the barrier's protection. The Elite Stones power returned to them and they floated around David, as if attracted by an invisible force. Just then, Zel appeared on David's Neot.
"I have ordered everyone to send their forms over to you. I believe you know what to do from here," the Asen reported.
"Thank you, Zel," the Guardian replied. "Now let's do this! Full Power! All forms unite!"
He performed Neoformation and had on a glorious white armor and his Angelic Sudron, but that was not all. Yet the sword’s conversion was not complete.
            David next pulled out the three ancient neocards saying, “Guardian’s Block, Guardian’s Slash, Guardian’s Power. Ancient Neocard Combo: Earth’s Power!” and with that, the blade of Sudron changed to a jade green while maintaining its glory. It was now the Angelic Sudron in its Final Sword mode.
Next, he manipulated the Elite Stones and as he was doing this, he spoke,

“As Fire rises to the North
Nature stays below
The Moon shall follow the Sun West
While Lightning Races to the East
Water and Ice encase the Land
And the Wind blows Northwest
All come from and to a Great Light
And from that light shall emerge a Legend”

He placed the floating stones in a formation like an 8-pointed compass. A bright golden light enveloped David and the Elite Stones as he called out, “Activate now! Warp Golden Armor Neoformation!”
Perhaps this was the most amazing thing of all. When the light faded, David’s armor had turned to the finest gold. A magnificent cape bellowed in the wind with an emblem printed on it in the form of a circle and eight lines emerging from it. It was like the sun casting its rays in the eight directions.
Similarly, on his left arm, the youth bore the finest shield with the same emblem. This was the Legends Shield, forged by the power of the Elite Stones. The dreamer drew the Angelic Sudron and faced the ferocious dragon of evil, the Dark Master, but with no fears holding him back. Here stood a man of courage! A Warrior of Light!
“So we finally get to see it after all these years,” Dyl commented to Reid.
            “Yeah. The Golden Armor, Legends Mode Advance.”
The fact that all of this happened did not mean Zenoth simply stood by waiting in good sport. No, it had been blowing his infernal flame the entire time, but it could not pierce Jenny’s barrier. By the time the barrier did drop, David’s transformation was complete and a new Nellenion field appeared all over the area, keeping everyone other than David and Zenoth under its protection.
            Zenoth was enraged. It took to the air and blew its infernal flame once more. But the Golden Neostriker stood firm and raised his Shield of Legends. The fire blazed against the surface of that mighty shield and reflected back at the black dragon! For the Legends Shield could reflect any blasts of the eight elements as long as David could identify to which it belonged.
            The black dragon tried again and again to penetrate the shield, but time after time, the Guardian would reflect each blast. In addition to using this mighty shield, the Warrior of Fire sheathed his magnificent blade and fired rapid blasts of light at the fell beast.
            The serpent flew through the air avoiding as many of the shining blasts as it could. It would try to lose the trial of blasts and then attack. Since its energy blasts were ineffective, it would charge straight at David, forcing him to move quickly as well.
            The defiant knight soared into the air, granting him more options of movement. He continued to let loose his fury of shining blasts to weaken the Dark Master while evading any ramming attacks.
            The furious beast spread its wings, and with a flap the power of a hurricane, unleashed a wave of energy in the form similar to David’s sonic sword. But the man of courage raised the Angelic Sudron skyward and released a sword wave called “solar wind slash” to counter. After that, he boosted through a sonic boom and sliced through the giant serpent.
            Zenoth roared, infuriated. As it roared, the Dark Area appeared to grant it power in the form of dark energy. The purple aura encased the Dark Master as it grew! The dragon was now a colossal titan of 50 feet tall. Now that might seem small in comparison to some buildings, but how much bigger does one need to be in order to be terrifying? 
            But the Golden Neostriker kept his courage. He would not abandon his hope. The Shining Power filled his heart and soul. Nothing could overcome him now, not even a titanic dragon.
            He fired bursts of his shining blasts again, but the effect had lessened greatly.
            “David,” Zel chimed in, never had left David’s side. “The power of the Dark Area has amplified Zenoth’s defenses. However, that came at the sacrifice of his mobility. Also, there are weak points we can find and concentrate on.”
            “Right, let’s do this, my friend!”
            It was now David’s turn to maneuver. The massive enemy summoned giant boulders and hurled them to form the equivalent of an asteroid belt. Even while avoiding the boulders, the dreamer had to worry about whatever blast might come his way. After clearing the meteors, he had to be careful of the powerful gusts of wind a flap of the wings would cause or being swatted by the tail or claws.
            After encircling the Dark Master, Zel was able to identify eight weak points, each requiring one of the Elite Stone’s power to pierce it. As a result, the Golden Neostriker would alternate different elemental blasts and techniques, including boosting at sonic speed through the dragon’s wing.
            Once all eight points had been dealt with, a sore spot was revealed on the dragon’s head. David took his angelic jaded blade of the sun and plunged it into that spot. Next, he performed a rite called “Legends Bind” which sacrificed the Legends Shield and paralyzed the colossal evil monster. After that, the eight Elite Stones appeared and took the positions David assigned them and two circles, one inside and one outside, encase them. The warrior then fired a charged shot which stopped inside the circle, received a charge from the eight rocks, and then emerged as a giant blast, called the Elite Blast, through the wicked mastermind. The Elite Stones then lost their luster and vanished as well.
            The legendary warrior landed and looked up at the titanic dragon, weakened by all the attacks. Nevertheless, Zenoth scoffed and said, “You cannot win. You have sacrificed your shield, your sword, and now the Elite Stones. You are finished.”
            “No,” David calmly replied. “I still have one technique left. This ends now!”
            The youth closed his eyes and began to meditate. His armor began to shine a bright brilliant white. The Daelian lord recognized this surge of power and called out, “You fool! You would risk your own life in attempt to defeat me when you could have joined instead?!”
            The Dark Master broke free from the chains that bound it and unleashed one final dark blast, bigger than the Elite Blast. But David cared not. First he put out his left hand. He breathed deeply and white energy charged in his right palm. He then pushed his right hand forward and fired a ray of light, while shouting, “Final Strike: Chaos Destroyer!”
            The ray of white light met the black counterpart. When it did, it appeared it was overpowered at first, but then the ray grew bigger and bigger. Soon, it engulfed the opposing attack and finally Zenoth as well, annihilating the Dark Master.
            The Dark Area disappeared. The land returned to normal. The dark energy that had filled it was gone, and David found himself in the white space one more time.
           “Grandpa… I did it,” he said, triumphant and yet a sorrow still tugged at his heart, for all of it was now over. Last to be sacrificed was Neostriker itself.
            “You made the right choice. I’m proud of you,” his grandfather smiled consolingly.
            David looked at his grandfather and then away. In the distance he could see his friends and was torn but still spoke, “Can I stay with you now?”
            “No,” the elder figure placed his hand on the younger’s shoulder and who could not raise his head. “It is not your time.”
            The youth tried to regain his composure, but all he could say was, “What do I do now? Neostriker gave me a purpose, but now it’s gone.”
             “Live,” his grandfather answered. “Your dream may be over, but not your life. Make it meaningful. Accept that bad things will happen, but remember. There are plenty of things in this world to give you a meaningful life. Just because you can’t have your dream, doesn’t mean you can’t have another in which you can find purpose. Even if you don’t, cherish the presence and memory of those who love you. Sometimes you have to give up the things you want the most, but you can still find satisfaction with what you do if you see and appreciate the good in it. That is always your choice.”
The youth wiped his tears. “Thank you, grandpa. I miss you,” were his last words as the vision slowly faded away.
When David opened his eyes, the morning sun was shining in his eyes. As he came to, he found himself in a hospital bed. Looking around, he saw Jenny’s face by his side. She smiled, hugged him, and said, "David! You're finally awake!"


The End

Episode 23: The Battle of Fort Tempest

Note: For those who have been reading, you may be confused by the villain's name change from Zeforoth to Zenoth. I meant to change this earlier, but it slipped by. I know I mentioned how my story was influenced by many games, but Zeforoth being the name was actually by pure accident. When a friend pointed this out, I decided I needed to change it to something else. At some point in the future, I do hope to go into detail about the development of these chapters and characters, I just haven't decided how yet. 

EPISODE 23: The Battle of Fort Tempest 

            The anticipated day arrived and everyone made their way to Fort Tempest. Along the way, the professor posed a question concerning the previous day’s events.
            “So Reid or David, can you explain what that ‘Elite Overdrive’ was at the end of your battle?”
            “That?” Reid started. “Sure. It basically is when two Elite Slashes, generally used to decide a match clash, meet. In order to reach that conclusion, the two warriors then enter a higher state of focus and speed. You could say it is using Full Power continually instead of just one attack.”
            “So since you two have learned that technique, could you use it in the upcoming battle?” Jenny asked.
            “No,” David answered. “Like Reid was saying, first the two slashes must meet. The other requirement would be those balls of light you should have seen on the field. Those are what gave us the energy to continue in Elite Overdrive. To use it on command would otherwise be impossible. Besides there are better things than that.”
            “Like what?”
            “Remember that form I took in the Black Tower? That was Legends mode and it’s far superior.”
            “Then hopefully you can tap into that again,” the professor commented.
            “Hopefully it won’t be needed,” the Guardian replied.
            The drive was not a short one, even though traffic flowed for them. Fort Tempest was located on the opposite side of California, closer to Sacramento. Its location was by the ocean, though on the other side was a rocky desert. At least they did not have to worry about sand. So by the time they finally arrived, they were overjoyed to stretch their legs and appreciate the ocean view.         
            The group was the last to arrive. Inside awaited Nellenion soldiers that numbered around 500. Yet there was one person there some did not expect.
            “Zack!” Jenny cried out in delight as she ran to her brother and embraced him. “What are you doing here?”
            “I ask the same of you,” he replied, also surprised by his sister’s presence. “This is dangerous.”
            “Like you, and as our Shining Princess, she has an important part to play,” Reid explained.
            “She’s the Shining Princess?” the older brother reacted understandably surprised. “With the Daelians unable to find her, I would have thought she didn’t exist.”
            “I guess you can say that’s the benefit of her powers developing so late,” Dyl remarked. “But dude, who else do you think cleansed you of the dark energy that was inside of you?”
            “Uh, possibly Guardian here?”
            “Hey! Don’t take credit away from me,” Jenny rebuked in a stubborn but cheerful manner. “I saved your life, so you owe me later. Chocolate will not be enough.”
            They laughed and Reid began to explain Zack’s presence. Despite no longer being part of the Daelian army, they found that he could still turn into Crawn and thus fight for the Nellenions. Reid’s father pulled some strings in allowing him to serve in such a manner to help atone for his crimes. He also figured that Zack could be useful in infiltrating the Daelian base.
            “You know, I wouldn’t have thought the idea of trickling in here would work,” Nathan commented. “I was expecting that the Daelian’s would have attacked by now.”
            “Well, the Daelians are aware of the Nellenion army thanks to the various battles that have been happening across the state. So they have a taste of what they are up against. I think the Dark Master is prepping a large force for battle,” Zack proposed.
            “Alright then, let’s start preparing our strategy,” Reid urged them.
            They brought out a map and called their generals over to begin planning. Zack pointed out the location of the cave that led to the Daelian base, not far from their location. He also detailed the process used to make DE neomon and how it could be stopped in the base. They decided to split their company into two groups: a main attack force and a support force. The attack force would march on foot to the Daelian base and attempt to infiltrate it. The support force would consist of snipers on the fort walls and occasional aerial support. That way, there would be cover should the main force need to retreat.
            Zel informed them that Jenny’s powers could be used to provide a barrier for the walls, should the Daelian forces try to breach. They determined it best for Jenny to stay behind in the support force until they could be certain they could bring her safely to deliver the final blow to the Dark Master.
            In choosing the leaders for the main force, they picked David, Reid, and Zack. Dyl, Nathan, and Emily were to stay behind to protect Jenny. At first, Emily protested the idea of being relegated to the rear, but Nathan explained the idea was if the Daelians broke through the fort while the main force was out, they need would capable close range fighters.
            After all the details were worked out, they broke session and decided to rest for a short while before their attack. During this time, David went up to meet with Jenny, looking over one of the walls toward the ocean.
            “So this is it,” she muttered, staring spaciously at the waves as they rolled in. “After this, it should be all over.”
            “Yeah,” he replied with a deep breath as he joined her wave-watching. “Hard to think it has only been a few weeks. Yet at the same time, it has gone by so fast.”
            “So what do we do after this? Just go back to our normal lives?”
            “I don’t think there is a going back. Sure, things will be the same as before, but we’ve changed a bit and that will affect how we see things. I will have to go back to a school I don’t like when fall comes, but I might be able to stand it now. And I think I do appreciate the changes that have happened.”
            “Mm-hmm. David, do you remember that one scene we came across during the trials? With the ocean and stars?”
            “Yes. Quite fondly.”
            “I hope life becomes like that. Peaceful and Beautiful,” she daydreamed with a pleasant smile. “I know it won’t be. I guess I just have to accept the bad with the good, but I can dream, right?”
            Just then Nathan came running up calling David. They spotted Daelian forces approaching in large numbers. They entered forms and went out to see the situation.
            “It looks like we will be on the defensive from the start,” Sanger commented.
            “We can still stick to our plan for the most part,” Shatl concluded. “Everyone! Let’s do this!” Everyone roared. The old friend then turned to David and asked, “Do you have any inspiring speeches to give them?”
            “Nope,” came the reply. “Your words summed it up. Let’s go!”
            The main force gathered outside the fort and lined up facing the incoming horde. David then took a moment to turn to Crawn and ask, “Are you sure you’re up to this?”
            The old Daelian colonel smirked and replied, “Yeah. To be honest, I feel like I am more powerful than I was before.”
The Nellenion army charged forward. As the snipers worked to take out as many as they could, Cyonex looked up and spied a news helicopter arriving.
            “What in the world are they doing here?”
            “Don’t they know it’s dangerous?” Crawn scowled at the media’s presence.
            “Commander Cyonex, might I make a suggestion,” a soldier walked up to the Guardian and said.
            “What is it?”
            “If they are airing live footage, we might be able to use it to our advantage. Someone inside the fort can relay the information to us.”
            “It can only help. Go back and tell Drame.”
            Meanwhile, Emily had spotted the copter as well and rushed over to Jenny, with a shirt in hand.
            “Here,” she said, handing it to Jenny. “Put this on. We don’t want you to get any unwanted publicity.”
            The Shining Princess took the shirt and put over her head. She then proceeded to wrap it as if it were a ninja mask. She thanked Emily and summoned her bow. She pulled back the string and let loose a missile of light. As the arrow flew through the air, it multiplied and took out a dozen DE neomon.
            In awe of this spectacle, some of the soldiers asked among themselves, “Who is this girl that even without a form is as effective as a dozen Nellenion soldiers?”
            Jenny turned to Emily and said smiling, “Am I still ‘useless’?”
            “Totally,” she replied sarcastically. “Now go and don’t stop shooting those arrows.”
            At that time, the news copter began its report.
            “…and we’re coming live from the skies above Fort Tempest. There appears to be a battle going on between a host of yellow or gray armored warriors and a legion of monsters! The warriors look to be based inside Fort Tempest while the monsters are emerging from a cave not far from it. I can’t believe my eyes here. The monsters appear to be everything from mutated panthers to dinosaurs to… Is that an upside-down pyramid holding a flaming sword?! I can’t describe these things. But wait! In the rear of the monsters’ force… it’s a purple knight. It looks like that knight is commanding the monsters. What in the world is going on here?”
            Drame relayed the information about the knight to David, Reid, and Crawn.
            “That’s Alfran,” Crawn told them. “I believe that is the governor herself. We’re going to have to be careful. Her power is substantial and greatly exceeds my own.”
            “Well, if all three of us go against her, we can probably take her down,” Shatl suggested as he continued to blast incoming neomon.
            The Nellenion force charged toward their wave of foes. With a few lobs of bombs, as well as the cover fire from the fort, they were able to break through the enemy lines. They blasted, hacked, and slashed through the numerous monsters, but there seemed to be no end to them.
            Meanwhile, another squadron of DE neomon tried approaching from the sea. Knaidow and Drame led a good number of men from the support force to fend them off. However, this meant the numbers aiding the main attack force had been reduced.
            At the same time, the reporter continued to provide details of the battle.
            “I don’t believe it. The monster forces have brought out machines from their cave. It appears that the monsters are spawning from the machines. Would portals be an apt term to describe these things? I don’t know what else to say. I’ve never seen anything like it! It’s like a window floating in air and the monsters are emerging from it!
            “Wait! There’s something else coming from the cave. It’s a giant purple ball being carried by more of these monsters. It looks like there is something inside it. Is that a dragon?!”
            True enough, the monsters had brought out Zenoth, their Dark Master, raised in a mini tower of sorts. It was the shape of a dragon, but imprisoned in this giant ball probably about 20 feet in diameter. The head was at the top but its tail also was raised up. Shatl commented that it looked as if “a giant evil eye was staring at them.”
            “What’s going on?” Cyonex said as his heart weighed heavy by the appearance of the Dark Master.
            “They must be trying to discourage us,” Shatl answered. “Looking back at our forces, it has appeared to have succeeded.”
            “Guardian!” Crawn called out. “If we can shut those portals, the neomon will stop coming.”
            “Why would they bring out their spawning points?” Cyonex wondered aloud. “Is it just for more efficient deployment? I don’t like this.” Nonetheless, the Warrior of Fire determined it necessary to take out those portals. So with a strong and determined voice he called out to his soldiers, “Alright! You hear that men? The focus is those portals. We need to shut them down! While their leader is still imprisoned, he can wait! Don’t try to take him on! He’s still powerful even when imprisoned! Now let’s go!”
            The Nellenion warriors regained their strength and marched forth, neofying all their way. The main three continued to stick together as they paved their way to Alfran, who also began moving toward them. They met about halfway to Zenoth’s position.
            The armor of Alfran was dominantly purple, but it was armor unlike that of the other Neostrikers. It was a massive full knight’s armor. It had silver embroidery and a scarlet cape bellowing in the wind.
            The three warriors still intended to take her on together. However, as soon as they got close, a Dark Arena appeared, ensnaring Cyonex alone to face the general. There was no time for comments or to be surprised, for Alfran came rushing in with her sword drawn. The youth dived out of the way and regained his composure.
            “Natasha Banks, I assume?”
            “Correct on the first try,” she answered. “I’ve heard stories about you. Considering your impressive behavior against my old test subject, I will enjoy crushing you.”
            “I will admit I did not anticipate the Dark Arena to isolate me from my friends, but you will lose if you underestimate me.”
            “Not a chance,” the governor scoffed. “I can see your limits, they are inferior. I was bestowed the legendary Alpha Armor, reformed as the Dark Armor, not that you know anything about it. All you need to know is your fate is sealed.”
            “I’ve heard a few things,” the youth quirked. “If I’m right, the Alpha Armor was stolen by a wicked knight. It was considered the most superior armor at the time, meant to rival those told in legends.”
            “Now how would you know that?”
            “That’s the mystery for you to find out,” he said while rolling out of the way of another attack. Then to Zel he asked, “That’s really what happened?”
            “Yes. You never developed it any further, and there was no need to edit it.”
            “Yeah, it was just a floating idea, but I thought the designs were cool.”
            “And now you can see it in action,” the Asen smirked.
            David did not have a chance to reply. Alfran had charged in again and swung her blade. The youth put up Sudron to block, but even in Power Mode he was having difficulty fending off the weight of the governor’s blade. It almost appeared hopeless until his armor began to glow. With a sudden burst of power, he threw off Alfran and a light enveloped him.
            As the light began to fade, Alfran could hear David’s voice call out, “Since you have the Alpha Armor, you must know of its twin; the Rising Armor!”
            He emerged from the light with his armor transformed. It was now pure sapphire blue with gold embroidery and a crimson cape. He had new shoulder guards that were like shields. For his shins, there were silver greaves. He was a full knight. Yet it was not just his armor that had changed.
            The youth looked at his sword. It was no longer Sudron, at least how it used to be. He asked Zel, “Is this what I think it is?”
            The Asen replied, “Yes. Sudron and the Angelic Sword have fused into a new blade; the Angelic Sudron.”
            The new sword maintained various elements of the two swords. The fuller of the blade had the red strip on one side and the white on the other. The hilt and cross guard were reshaped. The wings acted as the primary guard, but now they were raised up in a Y-shape. The cloud-evoking guard was beneath that. The sun design with the ruby piece was kept and complementing it on the other side was the star sapphire.
It was a sword magnificent to behold, but David had no time to admire it, at least not then. The governor held no patience, especially for this new development of power for her enemy. She swung her blade with a force equal to what had previously given the Guardian trouble. To her dismay, this was no longer the case.
Cyonex parried the strike with ease and countered with a thrust. Alfran stepped back and tried again. This time, the youth waited until the last instant and swirled out of the way and delivered another blow, the technique he learned from Miyano. Next, he tried the same leaping summersault technique he used against Crawn. Alfran was able to block the mid-air swings, but unable to deal with the rising slash.
The Guardian backed up, smirked, and commented, “It’s plain to see that between you and Crawn, Crawn is the superior swordsman.”
“Silence!” the governor yelled out, charging in with poor form once more. She swung her menacing-looking blade but the Falcon brushed it aside and glided past her, slashing through her arm.
The sapphire armored knight continued, “You rely only on the strength and power that armor grants you. Your skills have a long way to go.”
“I will cut off your head!” Alfran shouted and fired a blast of ice from her left hand. She had used Elite Ice to freeze the Guardian! There was no hesitation for her to quickly follow up with an attack, even while taunting with “Your skills are useless if you can’t move!”
However, as she got close enough, Cyonex unleashed Elite Fire to emit a burst of flame, breaking the ice and pushing back the purple knight.
“You must not have realized I am the Warrior of Fire. No matter now. This is over!” He readied his silver blade and with Full Power, slashed through the Dealian general, deforming her.
David then rushed over, snatched the Elite Stone of Ice and proceeded to catch up with Shatl and Crawn. Once they had seen that David could handle things, those two ran off to deal with the portals.
Meanwhile, the news copter had been focusing its attention on the duel between Cyonex and Alfran. When they saw that Alfran was the governor, there was a freak out and constantly focused on her. They saw her get up and try to chase after Cyonex, only to fall down again and die from what looked like a stroke.
After all of the remaining DE nemon had been neofied and the portals destroyed, Cyonex, Shatl, and Crawn met in front of Zenoth’s prison. They waited for Jenny, Drame, Cepos, and Knaidow to arrive with the remaining Elite Stones.
            “So what do we do now?” Jenny asked after gathering together.
            “I think we’re supposed to use the Elite Stones somehow. David, what do you say?”
            But before David could answer, the Elite Stones were suddenly pulled away from them by an invisible force. They latched onto the spherical prison and dark energy appeared to be absorbing their power. When it was done, the stones we tossed at the feet of the warriors with all energy drained and that was not the end of it.
            The eyes of the dragon lit up a fiery red and the sphere broke open! As the sphere burst, a blast of dark energy blew in all directions. It knocked the helicopter back and shattered the reporter’s camera equipment. As a result, the pilot, fearing for his own life, despite the reporters pleas, flew the helicopter away to safety.
The warriors looked up to see the newly freed Zefortoh. It was a giant black dragon with ferocious horns. As it broke the prison it roared as loud as thunder “I’M FREE!!!” and cackled maliciously. Its roar was so powerful, all remaining Nellenion soldiers were de-formed.
When everyone saw this evil monster, they were paralyzed with terror. Its aura was large and powerful, and those who were weak of heart looked into its eyes felt total despair.

            To make things worse, there was no time to recover strength. As soon as it had finished cackling and spotted the Neostrikers before him, it blew from its hideous mouth an infernal blazing fire at them. Recognizing the danger, David rushed to shield Jenny.