Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Episode 20: Ensis Angeli

Can you believe it? There are only five episodes left! As a result, I'm going to give people time to catch up again. That means the next episode won't be uploaded until next Wednesday. To be honest, when I initially  planned the story, this chapter would have actually probably have been the 1st of season 3. This is because the story was initially about 30 episodes but I cut it down due to lack of quality and content. As a result to that cut I actually had to make some changes in this episode which led to a surprise focus on a certain person. I hope you enjoy.

EPISODE 20: Ensis Angeli

            The next morning, after Reid and his father pulled some strings, the four boys went to see Zack in prison. Inside the interrogation room, they began their inquiry.
            “So would you like to explain everything?” Shatl initiated.
            “Yeah, but where to begin?” Zack pondered.
            “How about yesterday’s events?” Cyonex suggested. “What was this whole ‘revenge’ thing?”
            The former Daelian sighed. “I would prefer not to relive those events, but I guess you should know.
            “Two nights ago, we received word that you guys attacked one of our bases. The guy who escaped reported to our Dark Master. After that report, I was summoned and given ‘details’ concerning the attack. One of these ‘facts’ was that my sister was there and she died in the crossfire. To make this even worse, they had brought a body that looked like my sister for me to hold.”
            “That is sick!” Knaidow blurted out.
            “Yes, it was. An evil trick. They then told me that the rest of my family was murdered in a robbery.”
            “So they were working to get you to hate us and the world,” Cepos observed.
            “I think you’re right,” Jenny’s brother agreed. “Deception is the Dark Power’s ace. I never used it, but the dark energy was still inside my blood to ‘rescue’ me from the explosion a few months back. For all I know, that was a lie too.”  
            “So that explains the ‘revenge’ business. Why did they send you all alone to face us? Did they really underestimate the four of us?” Cepos asked, still confused by the decision.
            “It was probably a plan to force him to use the Dark Power,” Shatl commented.
            “That would make sense,” Cyonex said. “As powerful as he was, everything was laid out for that purpose. Until then, he had successfully resisted using the dark energy. They wanted to take away everything that held him back. Make him the powerful villain.”
            Zack nodded. “You probably are right, but at the same time, I don’t think the Dark Master cared what happened to me,” he stated solemnly.
            “Why?” all four asked.
            “He is almost free from his prison, but even in there his power is beyond belief. I don’t think he sees anyone as a threat, even with the Elite Stones. Our race for them was just to buy him the time he needed, and he got it.”
            “So then we just need to hurry and go full force,” Knaidow concluded optimistically.
            “What?! Didn’t you just hear what I said?”
            “Yeah, we did. You said he’s almost free, which means he isn’t. He’s not at full power so we still have a shot.” Shatl explained with a smirk.
            The former Daelian colonel sighed again and said to Cyonex, “I take it this comes with the territory too?”
            “I would say so,” the Guardian answered.
            “Now if you can tell us where the main base is…” Knaidow started, waiting no more.
            “You seriously plan to go through with it… you know it’s not just the Dark master you will be dealing with, right? The governor will be there too and she is incredibly powerful.”
            The expressions of the four warriors did not change. Giving in, he sighed and said, “Fine, the base is up north right by the abandoned Fort Tempest.”
            “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go,” the warrior of shadows said turning to the door.
            “Wait! Do you have the Angelic Sword?” Zack burst out.
            “The Angelic Sword?” they all asked.
            “I guess not. It was written about in the scroll we took from you at the museum a long time ago.”
            “The professor never mentioned anything about this,” Cepos stated.
            “Well, it was in invisible ink, revealed by flame. If he didn’t know this, then he probably just thought it was blank.”
            “Then you tell us about it,” Shatl said to the former Daelian.
            “I don’t know much about it,” he began, not too confident on the subject. “All I do know is that it’s a legendary sword of Shining Power. I would think this would be of great help in defeating the Dark Master. From what I understand, he is the embodiment of Dark Power.”
            “Do you at least know where we could find this sword?” Knaidow inquired.
            All this time, Cyonex was standing in the corner, pondering. Zack could not relay much more info, but once he mentioned something about a tower of trials, the Guardian perked up.
            “Thanks, Zack. I think I can take it from here,” he spoke out and then proceeded to leave. The others followed him, a little confused on the subject. But before they left, Cyonex had to go back and make another comment.
            “You know, based off our conversation from the other day, I would have thought you would have attacked your sister due to forgetting about her, not by being convinced she was already dead.”
            “I thought that would have been the case too. Good luck finding that sword.”
 After they got back to Reid’s house, David began to explain with the girls joining the conversation.
           “In my first trip with Jenny in that cave, there was a huge black tower. It wasn’t where we needed to go then, but I think that is where the sword is.”
            “Do you think you can go back there?” Emily asked. “Every time you two have gone in, hasn’t it been to a different location?”
            “Yeah, but it’s always been to where we needed to go,” Jenny answered. “If that is the place, then we will probably arrive there. We might as well try.”
“Then I guess we should let you borrow the Elite Stones again,” Reid said, taking out his. Dyl and Nathan followed suit, as did David, but keeping the one of Fire for himself.
            David and Jenny returned to the cave while Reid and the others stayed behind to make preparations for their assault on the Daelian headquarters. True to Jenny’s guess, they found themselves near the ominous black tower from before.
            They stared at the tower for a while in awe of its size. They turned, however, when they heard the sound of a woman’s “Hello.” To their surprise, it was Ami and Lumecyx!
            “My! David and Jenny! It’s a pleasure to see you both again,” she said with a gracious smile.
            David removed his helmet and extended his own greeting. Jenny ran forward and hugged Ami and then petted the grown fox.
            “I’m amazed, you two don’t look any older, even though it has been four years,” the native commented.
            “But you have grown more beautiful, I’m so jealous,” Jenny replied still amused with the fox neomon.
            “What are you doing here?” David asked but then checked himself by saying, “Oh yeah, you said your family takes care of the tower.”
            “Well,” the older woman responded. “When I said we ‘took care’ I really meant we have the key to the tower. We never really have done anything else. This is the first time I’ve come here myself.”
            “Why have you come?” the archer spoke up.
            “Because there seems to be a great force of dark energy emanating from here. I was sent by the elder to check it out with little Lumecyx here. Why are you here?”
            “We believe there’s a special sword here that we need to acquire,” David answered.
            “You mean the Ensis Angeli?” She then muttered to herself in a tone below the other two could hear, “So it’s time at last.” Ami then looked up again and said in her normal voice, “I’ve heard it’s in there, but only a small few are able to use it. Then again, perhaps you are one of them… Follow me.”
            She led them to the entrance of the tower and explained, “The sword you seek is at the top of the tower, but to get there, you must endure the gauntlet inside, alone. Are you up to the challenge?”
            The warrior nodded, donning his helmet once more. The young woman smiled and then unlocked the door. After Cyonex entered, she motioned Jenny to follow her to another door. There, she unlocked it and said, “There is another path for us to take to the top.”
            Inside the tower, the youth was surprised to find a floor of hot lava.
            “Is there a volcano nearby?” he wondered aloud.
            “I believe so,” his Asen answered.
            “Zel? You’re actually with me on this one?”
            “Yes. Is there a problem with that?”
            “No. Just surprised.”
            “Then let’s continue. Best be careful with these rock platforms, they won’t hold you for long.”
            David looked around and saw what Zel was speaking about. A lot of them appeared ready to break apart. Any substantial weight would fall through after a short time. But that wasn’t all he had to be careful of. In various spots throughout the room, there were DE neomon such as flalfs and torbas.
            Planning out his route to get to the staircase on the other side, the young warrior took out his aqua gun and began to snipe the creatures he could. After he took care of his opponents, the dreamer proceeded to make his way across.
            Meanwhile, Jenny and her company of Ami and the fox were climbing through the tower with different puzzles to solve. One of the first they came across was a boulder blocking their path as high as the ceiling. Looking closer, they found that the boulder was raised over a chasm. They could see into another room through a fine metal fence. Inside, they saw torches and, next to one of them, a rope attached.
            “So the rope is holding the boulder up? That’s one strong rope.” Ami commented.
Jenny paid no attention to the comment but was only thinking of how to release the boulder. “Hmmm,” the archer wondered. She took up her bow and drew an arrow of light and released it, but it could not penetrate the fence.
“It’s a shame fire is one I can’t manipulate,” she sighed.
“Can you control the elements?” Ami inquired.
“Some of them,” the archeologist’s daughter responded. “I don’t have Fire or Ice. If the rope counted as a vine then I could unwind it.”
“What about air?” the native suggested.
            Understanding the idea, the Shining Princess attempted to fan the flames of the torches and then blow the closest to burn the rope. It was a success and the boulder filled the gap in the ground, allowing them to proceed.
            “You’re smart,” the teenage girl complemented.
            “No, I just figured out what to do there. I have a lot to learn to be ‘smart’.”
            “I don’t know about that. I would think ‘being smart’ means being able to think,” Jenny proposed.
            “It might imply it, but I think that describes ‘wise’ more than ‘smart’. ‘Smart’ indicates having knowledge of something, which is useful in thinking. You understand what I’m referring to?”
            “I guess.”
They came across a few more puzzling situations. Some involved sending Lumecyx through small gaps to open another path for them to follow. This neomon was a fairly amazing creature. Not only could it climb walls, but it could also run along them. With each new ability, Jenny was impressed and wanted to hug it ever more.
“So how old is this tower?” the daughter of the professor asked in curiosity.
“Legend has it that it might date back to the time of the Elemental Warriors,” came the reply.
“Elemental Warriors?”
“Yes. It is said that even before the Neostriker, there were these people who could master control over one of the elements, like you. However, this place’s significance arises with the Neostriker. While we don’t have proof, we believe this is where the Nellenion Kings took their great trials. It is referred to as the ‘Heroes’ Gauntlet’.”
“That’s amazing. But wait! Wouldn’t that mean David is…”
“…An heir to the Nellenion King? It’s possible. You didn’t know that? The first hint is that sword of his. The only people that have been known to wield Sudron have been heirs to the Nellenion King’s power.”
            Jenny let out a “Wow” but allowed Ami to continue.
            “At this point, “Nellenion King” is probably just a title for those who have obtained the power. Unless there is a kingdom to rule where you hail from.”
            “There isn’t. But that’s still amazing to think about. David is possibly an heir to royalty?”
            “He’s not the only one. It’s pretty obvious you are the Shining Princess as well.”
            “You knew?”
            “Just like Sudron is associated with the Nellenion Kings, the bow and ring you possess ties with the legend of the first woman known to use Shining Power. Unlike the Nellenion Kings, her story goes back to that of the Elemental Warriors I mentioned earlier. It became even more apparent when you cleansed David of dark energy the last time you came. However, the fact that both of you are present indicates some great threat.”
            “Yeah, there is a plot to bring the Dark Master into our land,” Jenny responded.
            “Zenoth? Hmmm.”
            “But isn’t Zenoth a human? He should be dead after all of these years.”
            “When the first Nellenion King appeared, yes. But with an unnatural tie to the Dark Power, he became a monster. You could say he became the ultimate DE neomon and manifestation of the Dark Power. The human side is believed to be dead, slain by the Great King Mastra. He is now just dark energy.”
            They spoke no more of the subject. At that time, Cyonex had reached another floor.
            “That giant sure took a pounding,” he said, exasperated.
            “Yeah, he was tough, even with the ‘allies’ you had,” Zel joined in.
            “I’m still surprised that one of the games I designed was part of this trial.”
            “It worked out well. It tested your strategic mind and you did it without sacrificing any of your units. You never did fully design the Heroes’ Gauntlet, did you?”
            “No, I didn’t. I didn’t really have a use for it in any of the stories I came up with so far. That and it was simply a huge dungeon design. I guess I’ll just have to see how things just ended up.”
 “So how are your climbing skills?” Zel followed up.
The Guardian gazed up. While this room was smaller in width than the others, it was tall. The light from the windows brightened the gray walls, but that was almost all there was. In various locations, there were platforms, but they mostly were across from each other. Giving out a deep sigh, he leapt to the closest platform. When he reached it, he noticed a metal grate.
“What is this for?” he asked of his Asen.
“Well, since they did not have jetpacks back in the day, they had to climb this by a different method. It’s a place to grapple onto. Similar to that device Batman uses in the tv show you liked.”
“I do remember. That was a cool device,” he recalled fondly. Nonetheless, he did not let it distract him from the task at hand. He proceeded to scale the tower, fighting a few DE neomon along the way.
On the other side of things after some time, Jenny, Ami, and their fox-like friend had reached near the top. The room they entered was fairly empty and dark. No windows to let light in. as they got closer, torches along the walls began to light up, providing enough light to be able to see across the room. In the center was the nightmarish figure Jenny had seen before; the armored minotaur!
Ami rushed to the staircase and a Nellenion field appeared. It became apparent Jenny was to fight against this black armor-clad monster. Unlike the previous encounter, this one had a sword and shield. Its massive sword and shield bore carvings of unreadable symbols. The red glow from its helmet carried the same sense of fear as before but Jenny’s spirit was up to the task.
The Shining Princess aimed a missile of light at the gruesome figure but the shield stopped it. It charged towards Jenny, but she was able to roll out of the way. She searched for opportunities to strike with her arrows but they did not present themselves at the time.
For a while, Jenny had to settle for playing as a matador. However, once she got the feel for her opponent’s movements, she began to strategize how to exploit them. She took note of the torches, a vine hanging off the ceiling over the center of the room, and a fountain of water by one of the walls. 
            The bull-man monster charged in for another assault. Taking advantage of the dark room, Jenny vanished into the shadows using the Elite Stone of Night. Losing sight of its target, the neomon glanced around but could not find her. Instead, next thing it knew, a light arrow had pierced its back. It turned around and spotted the archer.
            She ran away in perhaps the biggest game of tag in her life. After a while she was able to blend in with the shadows again. This time, however, it did not appear that the beast lost sight of her as it continued to move towards her position.
            Just then, Lumecyx leaped in the way and then moved again. What stood in its old location was a ball of light from which a vertical beam of light suddenly emerged. This stunned the minotaur monster, giving Jenny a chance to move.
            Seeing the opportunity, she used the Elite Stone of Speed to halt time and raced behind the monster to fire another arrow.
            Pleased with the results, she attempted the same tactic again, but Lumecyx’s light trick failed to stun the beast a second time. When she attempted to stop time again, it didn’t affect her adversary.
            “So I can’t do any tactic twice?!” she exclaimed as she proceeded to conjure up new ones.
            Lumecyx did a good job of distracting the black-armored neomon. While the DE neomon focused on Jenny, it was able to sneak a claw strike once.
            The Shining Princess took her place in front of one of the torches along the walls. After she dodged one of the beast’s attempts to charge in for an attack, she fanned the flame with Elite Wind like before and burned the monster. As it recovered from the flames, the fox hurled itself into the black creature’s helmet, throwing it off balance and providing another opening for an arrow to pierce through again.
            Running through the routine again, Jenny evaded more dash attacks from the armored neomon. After luring it to the position she wanted it in, she unleashed a blast of water from the fountain, knocking it to the ground, face first. As it tried to get up, the princess scored another hit.
            Getting the idea each of the Elite Stones provides one chance to attack, she took a shot with Lightning and was able to paralyze her opponent and hit it again.
            For her last plot, she baited it to the center and then ensnared it with the vine. Taking her last shot, the archer neofied the minotaur neomon and was left with one more sphere of light.
            “Well done!” Ami walked into the room, applauding the victory.  
            “That was tough,” the princess expressed, falling to her knees out of exhaustion. “What was that thing?”
            “A knaunuht,” the guide disclosed. “There should be only one more floor. Shall we see if David is there?”
            They climbed the final set of stairs and found David arriving at the same time. After learning of her victory, he too applauded Jenny. After his turn describing the various trials and puzzles he faced, they took around the room.
            Torches lit this room as well, but it was far brighter than the one below. Along the far wall there hung a long tapestry, but with nothing on it. In front of it stood the statue of an angel holding a sword in its hands. The hilt consisted of a fine golden frame, but the crossbar bore the appearance of two glorious white wings. In the center lay encrusted a star sapphire. On its silver blade was a pure white strip from which emanated a fine light.
“The Ensis Angeli,”Cyonex said as he approached the statue and admired the fine blade. But suddenly, a Nellenion field appeared, creating a new arena. In the center of the room, a black mist appeared from Cyonex’s shadow. It took shape in the form of Faldrak mode.
“Why is my beast mode here?” David cried out in surprise. He then glanced over to make sure Jenny was safe. To his relief she and the others were on the other side of the Nellenion field.
            “It’s your final test. You must defeat it,” Zel pronounced. “But you don’t have to face it alone. I am with you.”
            “Alright,” the youth regained his composure. “Let’s do this!”
            The Angelic Sword released a bright light that filled the room. When it was gone, Cyonex’s form had changed. No longer was it a combination of sapphire blue and crimson red armor. Instead, it was gold!
            “What happened?!” Jenny spoke out, astonished at this marvel.
            “The Angelic Sword has granted David a taste of its power,” Ami responded also amazed by the experience. “It has allowed him to enter Legends mode.”
            Faldrak let out a horrendous cry but Cyonex stood unfazed. The beast mode made the first move and dashed at full speed toward the knightly figure. Not moving from his spot, the warrior waved his left hand and summoned a barrier into which the dragon rammed. He then drew his mighty Sudron and slashed across its chest.
            The force of the slash sent the beast mode back but it quickly recovered. It fired a powerful blast, but David quickly got out of the way. It attempted to knock the warrior down by creating a strong gust of wind with its wings. However, the Warrior of Fire summoned a javelin of light and pinned the beast to the wall.
            Faldrak broke free and proceeded to fire multiple blasts, all of which missed its target. David countered this move with more powerful blasts of his own, but instead of falcon’s blasts, they were shining blasts.
            The beast grew infuriated more and more and so decided to play its advantage with speed, only to learn it did not exist. Legends mode granted Cyonex the power to match the agility of the beast mode and counter any move it tried.
            Anyone who anticipated this to be a difficult and intense match would have been disappointed. On the other hand, those who wished to see a display of great power, emphasized by knowing the other side was powerful as well, would have been perfectly satisfied. Faldrak could do nothing to harm the golden knight. As soon as the Blazing Sun Slash was swung, it was over.
            Returning to normal, David went back to the statue which now appeared as if it was handing the sword to the Guardian. He grasped the golden hilt and raised it high. A bright light shined forth from the blade once more, which then disappeared entirely like a normal neocard. What did appear, though, were images and writings on the tapestry.
            “This tapestry shows events of the Great King Mastra sealing Zefortoh,” Ami stated, examining the art. “But this part here is a prophecy… Interesting,” she said as she came toward the end of it.
            “What does it say?” Jenny anxiously pleaded for Ami to finish explaining.
            “Well here you can see a figure encased in white and stones before it facing a dragon in black. The prophecy says that ‘The Great Evil shall escape its imprisonment, but by the Ancient Power and that of the Nellenion King, a white light shall vanquish it.”
            “Does this mean Jenny will defeat Zenoth?” David asked.
            “I don’t know,” she responded. “But do you have the Ancient Power?”
            “If that means the Angelic Sword and the Ancient Neocards, then yes.”
            “Well, I would imagine Jenny’s power is complete so that probably is the case.”
            “Then we’re ready to fight, Zenoth?” Jenny joined in.
            “We might have the tools, but whether we are prepared is another question,” David gave his input.
            “If your business is done here, then might I suggest you visit my village once more? I don’t think I can be forgiven if I don’t bring you two back.”

            Accepting the invitation, the two travelers returned with Ami and Lumecyx to Kerillia where they received a warm welcome and celebration until they had to return to their own home.

Episode 21:Stealth and Tactics

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