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!"

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