Meanwhile, the Yang Tiger went on a search based on his strong olfactory senses. There was no mistaking it; it was smell of ash wrapped around a faint scent of human. This must be the smell of Aldan himself! This is rather nice, considering the fact that Aldan’s signature magic gave him away. Yang Tiger leapt from one building to the next while following the scent. Occasionally, he would glance down to see that the rebellion was going smoothly. The armed people disguised as priests have tricked the guards into letting their guards down, allowing them to easily subdue them. The guards did not have enough time to call up arms. The few that managed to fight back were assaulted with arrows from all sides. This seemed like a one sided battle from Yang Tiger’s perspective. Ironically, the battle wouldn’t have been so successful if the guards were on guard. After all, they were handpicked by Aldan himself, so without a doubt they were strong. That was partially the reason that Tiger recommended them to take as many arrows as they can, so that the rebels would not be forced into close combat. In an impoverished city, most rebels were not the best at hand to hand combat, so using long ranged weapons gave them a vast advantage. Of course, Yang Tiger knew that the casualties were inevitable, but he knew that victory was possible. The battle between soldiers and rebels continued on. Yang Tiger could only hope that the advantage created by the tactic would be sufficient in obtaining victory. Now is not the time to worry about the small battles, I have to eliminate the head of the serpent! He kept jumping to higher grounds in order to focus his nose upon the particular scent; it struck his nose with such intensity that he immediately was able to tell that that it was coming from the battle tower on the southern end of the city. The battle tower was a defense structure that was fifty meters high. It towered over land like a giant. It was used with magically amplified cannons and ballista. The most frightening thing was the ballista, some crazy wizard long time ago wanted to make the contraption even more deadly so he created a ballista that would launch anything that was put on top of it into the sky where it would fly for hundreds of miles before hitting the ground. Worst of all, the user of the ballista could mentally command the shooting location of the projectile, making it even more formidable for long distance shooting. In a sense it made the country borders extremely secure due to it eliminating the enemies even before they come close to the tower. If Aldan is there, it means he already knows about the rebellion and wants to eliminate the people using the ballista! Yang Tiger did not expect this, but this was a huge possibility and it would completely ruin his plans. Aldan seems to be far more competent than he thought. No wonder he is one of the Divine Overlords, a group of powerhouses loyal to Morphus.
Amidst the fighting occurring underneath the buildings that Yang Tiger was running on top of, he hurried southward toward the tower. The fighting between rebels and soldiers continued on, causing mass destruction and chaos. It resulted in several buildings being caught on fire, wooden structures collapsed. One of the wooden structures fell right before Yang Tiger path, he angrily brandished his weapon- a tiny dagger that became a flaming long sword in an instant. He cut the wood that was in his path, while also avoiding the falling debris which he parried with his sword. Although the sword was made of flames it interacted with objects with sharp solidity, cutting things before catching them on fire. He was truly thankful that he happened upon this treasure, it will even out the odds.
When he finally reached the tower, Yang Tiger checked the door, strangely it seemed like the lock was melted off. When he tried to open the door it was too hot to the touch, so he promptly sliced the door open with Dragon Tongue Sword. It cut the door as if it was made of butter. The corridor inside the tower had no lights on, so Yang Tiger used his sense of smell to guide him. The smell of flame magic was too intense; it was coming from everywhere so tracking Aldan was pointless. But there was another smell; gentler and more flower like, there was no mistaking it it’s the smell of the girl who visited the bakery earlier, and then it must mean that it was her- the person whose brother announced was possibly abducted. In this situation it must mean that Aldan had something to do with it. The smell led downwards, Yang Tiger quickly followed the stairs downwards. He had no time to lose. The tower had unusually deep underground structure, but along the way there were torches lighting up the path. Finally, Yang Tiger reached the door. As expected it was locked. And furthermore it was made of steel. It is not as easy to take care of as the door on the outside which is made of wood. Yang Tiger took the Dragon Tongue Sword in his right hand and then proceeded to concentrate his intent in his left hand. Intent concentration allows a person to use the energy in their body as a means of power- a raw concentrated power which could only have few applications. He took the power concentrated in his left hand, then with a slow motion placed the thumb on the hilt of the sword before grasping the sword with both hands. He could only hope this idea was not flawed. He speculated that Dragon Tongue Sword function by draining the willpower of its user, so by pouring in the essence of willpower he hoped it would make the sword stronger. The moment he accomplished it the sword stopped being a flaming weapon and started looking like a regular long sword with red lines on its blade. It couldn’t be the sword took so much energy and it refused to become stronger and instead grew weaker? Enraged Yang Tiger thrust the sword on the steel door, to his surprise instead of deflecting the sword, the steel door was easily pierced by it. The sword went in even deeper. Then Yang Tiger realized that the steel door was melting under the sword. Not quite what Yang Tiger had planned, but this works as well. He originally planned to have the sword release an explosion which would break open the door, but melting the door open would also work. He guided the sword to melt the hinges of the door, allowing him to take the door off. Then Yang Tiger entered. This room was unusually bright due to many torches and candles being placed inside of it. In the middle of the room was an enormous praying statue and underneath it was her. The girl he was searching for. When he realized this he rushed towards her. She was lying unconscious on the floor. The clothing on her left arm was shredded and her left hand was bleeding. She had a very long slash mark on her left arm; without a doubt someone cut her arm with a knife and left her here to bleed.
He had to hurry and stop the bleeding. He tore a piece of his cloak and bandaged her arm up as best as he could. The blood soaked into the fabric, but it seems like the bleeding has stopped. He placed his hand on her neck to check for her pulse. It was very weak and faint, but she was still alive. He lifted her up and placed her in his arms, he would have to get her out the tower quickly. Just as he was about to leave, a voice called out: “Leaving so soon?”
Yang Tiger was horrified to discover that there was someone on the other side of the room. It was almost like he emerged out of the wall, only his head was visible, but seconds later his entire body appeared out of the wall, wall was melting from being near him. The flame magic was intense in the atmosphere and it was coming from the direction of this man. But the person who wields the flame magic should be Aldan, not him. He seems too young and his facial features were not of the vile king he saw before. So there was another flame user besides Aldan and Dragon!
The Handsome man walked towards the Yang Tiger in a graceful lord like walking posture. He stopped when he was three meters away from Yang Tiger. He had a golden goblet in his right hand; it was filled with dark liquid. “Poison?” Tiger thought, but it would be too obvious, then what is it?
The man looked at Yang Tiger in the eyes and smiled: “I presume you are the person my men were trying to catch, and I am sure you are the person who tried and failed to assassinate me!” The way he said it sounded almost like gloating. But assassinate him, what is going on, the only one Yang Tiger tried to assassinate was Aldan, unless…. Yang Tiger’s eyes opened wide with disbelief. The man standing before him was none other than the King Aldan himself, but with different appearance. Seeing the shock that filled Yang Tiger’s expression, Aldan showed a grim mixed with a scowl:” It is just as you suspect, I am Aldan, King of Ashu, and soon to be the man who rules over all!”
Yang Tiger managed to calm his heart, he was caught off guard by the king’s new appearance, but he has to stay in control of the situation. He has to buy some time, with him having to protect the girl, he would not be able to fight the king head on, and so first he has to ensure her safety. He has to make the king talk as long as possible in order to catch him off guard. His expression changed from shock to calmness:” Why did you abduct her?” the atmosphere turned chilly all of a sudden, not because of the temperature but due to the sheer rage that king felt coming from Yang Tiger’s direction.
The King smiled and answered:” For a great cause why wouldn’t I sacrifice a rodent? ” his expression remained the same.” In the end I got exactly what I wanted.”
Yang Tiger’s eyes were intently focused on the body of the king trying to read his body language. Strangely the king was not trying to attack yet. The king beckoned with his left hand and a flame appeared in it:” I know who you are, Sabgyn Finnerman, it’s no use trying to deny it” when the Yang Tiger did not reply, he kept going.” Cat got your tongue, you know it wasn’t so easy to know at first, but your encounter with the Dragon has made it completely obvious.” He paused. “ Though I am surprised that you managed to beat her, even I couldn’t …” his expression suddenly appeared enraged.” No! Now I definitely can! I am finally able…. Ha ha ha ha …” his maniacal laughter sent shivers down Yang Tiger’s spine.
Realizing that he lost his composure for a moment, king quickly straightened himself out. He confidently paced around the small space in small steps, enjoying every minute of delaying his enemy. He might as well have a little chat with him before proceeding. Even if Finnerman tries to attack him he is at a great disadvantage. Having to protect someone makes you full of openings. Yang Tiger could only stand, waiting for King to make his move.
“You know, I have heard a lot about you. You’re a brave man. ” He paused. “Albeit pathetically weak, I heard the rumors that out of your entire flock you’re the black sheep.” He continued on with a nonchalant tone befitting of a gentleman. “Unlike the others you have neither elemental specialty nor a useful power, instead you’re always relaying on your wit and luck.” His eyes flashed a hint of crimson. “But the most surprising part is that you’re the only one who managed to slip through Morphus’s claws, and for that you deserve praise.” He made a bowing motion while keeping the goblet at a level that it wouldn’t spill the content inside. “Which is why I would like you to join me!” The Yang Tiger was completely surprised by the statement. This was not what he expected him to say, not at all.
“Why?” Only words he could come up with.
“Because we have the same enemy, Morphus” King’s expression remained calm and diplomatic. He would try to persuade Finnerman as best as he can. If he can find a way to win his loyalty then the possibilities are limitless.
“You are his henchman, his lackey, he is your master. Why would you turn against him?” With every word King’s calm expression turned darker. Honestly until recently King thought of himself as nothing less than Morphus’s equal, but the encounter with Morphus’s servant, Dragon has proven that in terms of power Morphus was his superior.
“That may have been true before, but I will change that!” King was rather angry with Finnerman’s remark, but had to admit Finnerman had a point. It would be illogical for King to try to trick him under these circumstances, but it could also be a trap. Either way Yang Tiger chose to keep the conversation going in order to have the King let his guard down.
“Why did you kidnap the girl?” Yang Tiger said in a gruff voice
“She had what I wanted- Maiden’s blood” a flicker of smile flashed on King’s face, without a doubt he was enjoying this. “A component for a certain elixir that can even the tides”
“A certain elixir?” Yang Tiger was completely concerned now; if this was one of the great elixirs then it could bring chaos. Each elixir had a different purpose and effect, but without a doubt each was dangerous in its own right.
“Oh, finally interested?” King chuckled. He finally had Finnerman in his hands. “It’s a bonded elixir made by inscription powered by a spell. In order to work it needs three components: Wing of a flying animal, energy of an elemental, and Maiden’s blood. ” He pointed towards the goblet in his hand. “Are you willing to guess the effect of the elixir?”
When Yang Tiger remained silent, King continued. “It is an elixir that allows one to transcend humanity to become an angel.” Yang Tiger’s eyes opened wide. The situation is far worse than he expected.
“For me to become an angel would mean that I would have the capacity to smite Morphus out of existence, after all he is a demon!” King’s face had a spark of scary joy in it. “I can take his throne and if you join me you can rule by my side!”
“You’re a madman” was Yang Tiger’s only reply
“No, just a realist. I am only regretting not making this elixir sooner.” Secretly King completely forgot the existence of the elixir, while he had the city under his thumb there was no need for it. But now the circumstances have changed. If his hearing was not deceiving him there is an intense battle going on, and in order to turn the tides, elixir is necessary. “My offer still stands”
“I will never join you”
“So be it!” King was rather disappointed. His plan to have a close ally failed. Apparently enticing Finnerman with power was out of question. He was rather perplexed, King offered Finnerman power, an opportunity of a lifetime, but was refused. Why would he do that?
King took the goblet. “Then witness and observe the birth of an Angel!” He proceeded to drink the content of the goblet. He drank fast, Yang Tiger couldn’t stop him. King gulped it all down.
King felt heat in his body. Spreading through his chest, it traveled through it towards his back. There it solidified and manifested. With pain, two white wings emerged from King’s back. They tore holes through his clothing. His face showed a pained but satisfied expression entire time. The wings didn’t stop there, they started out small but soon grew bigger until each one was around the size of King’s body. The wings were magnificent, a mark of a true angel. King flapped the wings as if to test their credibility and when he realized they were real he laughed out loud.
Yang Tiger was now facing a true angel. The situation could not be worse.
“You had your chance.” King jumped high. His wings allowed him to float in the air. “Well then, this place shall be your resting place” He sped up his flight towards the ceiling until he smashed through it. He did it effortlessly, after all his new angelic body was far stronger than layers of earth and stone. With him smashing the ceiling, the underground room started collapsing.
Yang Tiger was in a deathtrap. So many things were falling down. The girl was still unconscious, so he had to carry her. He was running as fast as he could, if only he could reach the door…
Then a gigantic boulder obscured his path. Apparently it would not be so easy to escape. In order to avoid another boulder, Yang Tiger climbed the boulder in front of him. He would have to cut his way out. He brandished the Dragon Tongue Sword and using his willpower he made it shoot a beam of explosive fire towards the ceiling. Too bad he could not use it like this too often, the sword apparently consumes so much willpower that the user has to replenish himself before using it again. The beam did its job; the falling ruble was landing away from Yang Tiger and the girl. After lots of patches of earth and boulders fell around Yang Tiger there was a path open towards the ceiling towards the surface. He just would need to climb the rubble. Yang Tiger made a sigh of relief, the King almost buried him alive. He would have to use his hands to climb, so he tied the girl to his back. He kept the Dragon Tongue Sword in its shrunk form on his belt. He proceeded to climb his way out. The rubble was slippery and he began losing his balance. Then he made a desperate grab and found himself hanging on to a root. It was a strong root, able to handle the combined weight of two people. He used the root as a rope and climbed forward. Once his arm reached the surface, Yang Tiger proceeded to lift himself up. He climbed out with the girl still tied to his back. He walked few paces and then put the girl down on the ground. Yang Tiger over exhausted his body so he needed to catch his breath. After a few minutes the girl opened her eyes. She couldn’t believe it. She wasn’t in the same room where a man forcibly took her blood, but she was outside. Apparently someone rescued her, but who? When she saw his face she had her answer. “Sai the Baker?” Yang Tiger realized too late that his face due to his exhaustion reverted back to default form that he assumed for disguise. She recognized him. “You’re the one who saved me? But that would mean…” She looked in his eyes, she was rather weak from blood loss but the realization still surprised her. “You are him.” Yang Tiger nodded. She relaxed a little. “I know why you kept it a secret. Now I understand why I felt you were different than King’s other servants. Thank you for everything. ”
“It’s too early for you to thank me, I need to get you to safety first” Yang Tiger lifted her up. She was rather surprisingly light. The battle was still raging on, but the rebels were winning. King’s loyalists were scattered around and their numbers were decreasing. Now there were only few armored men fighting against the rebels. Yang Tiger quickly located the rebel leaders. The brother of the girl was among them. He came towards them. “I found her” He put the girl down. The rebel leaders were shocked. To think that in the middle of the war this man found the kidnapped girl, he was full of surprises. The girl’s brother was overjoyed; tears of happiness overflowed his eyes as he hugged her. He thanked Yang Tiger. Then Jan saw the Yang Tiger and walked towards him. He looked him in the eyes. “I am grateful you saved her but what about the Marked Ones and the King?” He was rather frightened of facing either, and the consolation that the Stranger would handle both was erased when Stranger showed up with Sara.
“You don’t need to worry about Marked Ones; I handled them. As for the King; we have a problem”
“Indeed” As soon as Yang Tiger said that, fireballs started raining from the sky. Each one was size of a person. They destroyed anything they touched. Without a doubt, this was the doing of Aldan with his powers enhanced by his angelic transformation. Before, producing a single giant fireball was about what Aldan’s limit was, but now he could freely produce so much of it. Angelic power truly is terrifying. The fireballs, when touched their target would explode, spewing flames everywhere. Many people ended up burned, some died from explosions. People started to panic. They tried to avoid the fireballs by running, but they kept coming. “Everyone scatter!”
After a few minutes of intense rain of fire, a figure with white wings descended from the sky. He had a handsome face, but the fire encircling him made it seem that he is an angel of destruction. “Citizens of Ashu, I am Aldan, the rightful King of this land. Bow down to me and you shall be forgiven and spared. Oppose me and you have sealed your fate. It is your choice” His menacing glare was seen by hundreds of people. They were terrified, after all they were up against a celestial being, an angel, how can they say no?
Then suddenly a blast of fire hit the back of the King. And to everyone’s surprise it was fire made by the Dragon herself. But she was supposed to be King’s ally, then why is she attacking him? Yang Tiger was rather perplexed.
Shadelin’s clothes looked like they were set on fire and then put out because it had ash marks and black burn spot on them. She roared and unleashed her full spiritual form. A long 12 meter long golden yellow dragon appeared out of thin air. The form encircled Shadelin’s body and she used the hands and jaws of the dragon form to attack the King. Yang Tiger was surprised that Shadelin’s battle avatar has returned to its original form. That can only mean one thing; the poison’s hold on her mind has been broken. Yang Tiger smiled, finally something is going right way. But how did it happen? Then it hit him. Angelic power can cure the poison, and then it means that Shadelin was hit by one of the fireballs made by now an angel King. The fireball would not cause any damage to a Dragon during normal circumstances, but fire made by angelic foe has proven to have interesting capabilities. It has completely negated the poison. Hopefully she can handle the King. If she is strong enough, then Yang Tiger would not have to interfere.
Unfortunately, when the avatar of the dragon collided with the King, he outstretched his wings in a defensive posture. Wings were a shield for him. Dragon tried slashing at him with its jaws, but King simply stopped the jaws by catching and throwing them away from himself. When dragon would breathe fire it had absolutely no effect on King. He merely smiled, flew into the air, and proceeded to kick the Dragon. Dragon’s avatar was dispersed, and Shadelin was sent plummeting towards the building. She crashed into the wall of the building. Blood was gushing out of her mouth. She looked at the winged man and realized that she was completely outmatched. But she has to fight him. She just realized that she was brainwashed, and she didn’t have time to accept everything she has done. In fact, not all of the memories of the time being controlled by Morphus remained in her mind, but she knew she hurt many people, including him… She has to start mending things by getting rid of the man terrorizing the Ashu. She grunted, the impact from King’s kick was too painful, even with her extremely tough body it felt like several ribs were fractured. She jumped of the wall, and she barely landed on her feet. She couldn’t help but fall on her knees.
“Looks like our sides have been reversed” King said with a satisfied smirk. Finally he can get revenge on Dragon. Out all the Marked Ones she is the only one who poses threat to him, so he will have to eliminate her. King was rather happy because Finnerman was rather easy to deal with. Now all that’s left is her.
“Give up, it’s purposeless to resist. After all you power that you rely on so much is of little use against me!” Aldan was fully confident now that he had the situation under his complete control. Now all that remains is to cut off last few loose straws. “You know, I once thought of you as someone worthy of fighting, but…” He approached her. He bent down and picked her up by the neck with his left hand.” The fact that you are so weak proves that you are not worthy of even serving me! ” He manifested a ball of flame in his right hand. He carefully manipulated it around his arm in order to shape it into a spear-like glove around his arm. He would use it to pierce Dragon’s heart. Dragon clenched helplessly on King’s fingers, desperately trying to break free from his iron grip, but she was helpless. As she looked in King’s eyes, she saw the determination to kill; his power far surpassed hers, she was going to die. “Now then, good bye!” King moved his right arm to pierce Dragon’s chest.
He never finished his move. At the last moment, a looped rope landed on King’s neck. When he tried to kill the Dragon he was pulled backwards by a strong force, causing him to fly back and crash into the side of the building. Dragon landed on her knees; unsure of what just happened. The impact was very strong; resulting in the blocks falling on the King’s body. Unfortunately, the way he is now that will not even leave a scratch.
“Sup” Dragon was surprised to see a man in front of her. His face was obscured by a mask, but only his right eye was open. He had a bleeding line on his left eyelid. He had a bag strapped on him. He put it down, and looked Dragon in the eye.” I hope I am not too late” Dragon’s eyes widened in shock. Then she realized it was the same man who introduced himself as “Zargon”, he looked exactly the same as before. She suspected it was Sabgyn using a disguise. She couldn’t be more far from the truth. “I had him!” She cried out, not wanting to show any sign of weakness. “It looked more like he had you” The man was very blunt causing Dragon to feel rather humiliated.
The man just looked at the building that the King had crashed into; he knew full well that just throwing him there wouldn’t kill him. At most it will hold him down for a minute or two. None of the Marked Ones are strong enough to take on an angel. Ying Tiger at first tried to find his other half. He ran up the buildings in the direction he sensed his other half was in. But then on the ground covering around the battle tower, a figure emerged. It was an unbelievable sight, an angel breaking out of the soil into the sky. He might have considered a good sign if not for the fact that angel started throwing fireballs out of the sky after he flew up high enough. While the rebels were successful in handling the soldiers, this guy may be too much for them to handle. Angels are one of the world’s deadliest creatures. He would have to be careful or he would lose his life in an instant. Ying Tiger needed to find an opportunity to deliver an attack. When King grabbed the Dragon the opportunity presented itself. Of course, to his dismay, Ying Tiger found that throwing an angel at a building would mostly damage the building not the angel. That’s how tough they really are. Ying Tiger no longer knew how to handle him, after all if he is this strong none of Ying Tiger’s tricks will work. Luckily now the Dragon seems to have snapped out of the mind control. “Neither of us can take him down alone, let’s work together!” He held out his right hand to her in a gesture of alliance. She made a sigh.” Fine, it’s not like we have much of a choice” she took his hand in hers and he used the leverage to help her stand up. “True enough” said Ying Tiger. Now both of them were facing in the direction of their opponent.
The King was furious. Someone had the audacity to wrangle him like a livestock. Of course thanks to his new physique he himself was barely damaged. It was more like a psychological damage from the realization that someone dared to do this to him. Heavy rubble fell on him when he crashed into the building. He found himself buried alive under it. “It will take more than that to kill me!” roared the King as he used his powerful muscles to throw the rubble off himself. His face was no longer completely handsome for it had bleeding forehead. Apparently the crashing into a wall still did a number on him. The King extended his wings to both sides preparing to launch at his enemies. With one swoop he will end them. He flew up and then quickly launched himself in direction of Dragon and Ying Tiger.
Ying Tiger quickly saw through the feint. The King wanted them to see his extended wings, distracting them long enough for him to pounce on them like an eagle. Smart move, but too bad for the King because Ying Tiger saw right through it. Before the King could reach them, Ying Tiger pushed Dragon out of the way, while he jumped up and threw a dust bomb. The King was aiming to strangle both of them, so he extended both his hands outward. But Ying Tiger’s action caused him to not only lose both his targets but also lose his composure.
As he regained his footing, the King floated around searching for his enemies. All he saw was the Dragon, but the man? Where did that man with a scar go? As he floated around, he did not realize that Ying Tiger somehow managed to hide behind the King and was shifting his position accordingly in order to make sure the King did not see him. Dragon saw all this. Her cheeks were slightly flustered. She thought “Is he playing around? At a time like this! What in the world is he thinking? That dummy!” Why would Sabgyn regard such an opponent with such a juvenile tactic? Did he lose his mind? Then when the King’s eyes were focused on Dragon, Ying Tiger made his move. He jumped on King’s back and managed to grab on to one of his wings. The King instantly lost control of his flight as he realized that the man was on his back. He tried to wriggle him free of himself. “Unhand me you filthy human!” But this caused the man to clutch his wings even harder. Sharp pain shot through King’s body. Apparently the only known weakness that angels possess is the wings. Dragon saw the whole bizarre scene in front of her, which caused her jaw drop. Sabgyn was trying to ride the angel like a horse. Is there no end to him taking such serious situations in such a weird way?
The King tried to manifest hands of fire in order to swat the Ying Tiger, but every time he tried to do so, Ying Tiger would pull on his wings causing the King to be unable to execute his movement. Desperately, the King flew up into the sky with Ying Tiger still attached to his back. Aldan the King of Ashu wanted to drop Ying Tiger off himself from a great height. This would do a double service for him because it would free his wings and kill his enemy. Aldan flew up towards the clouds. From this height, he thought, a fall is a guaranteed death!
He spun around the air, reaching the high level in the sky, reaching far above the clouds. King finally managed to shake Ying Tiger off himself. King looked down and to his satisfaction saw that Ying Tiger was falling through the clouds. Now this way he will certainly die! King smiled gallantly, after all he won.
His excitement was cut short when a shiny blade flew out of the clouds towards him. The King was not prepared for this, so he couldn’t avoid it in time. The blade struck him through his right wing and remained attached to it. There was a rope attached to the blade. Aldan felt a sensation of sharp pain go through his right wing; the blade was cutting into the flesh and it was shaped in a way that it would pierce through flesh and remained attached. In fury, Aldan tried to remove the blade out of his wing, but when he touched the rope he felt someone tugging on the rope. When he looked down, he saw to his horror that Ying Tiger was hanging down by the rope; clutching it with all his might. Stronger he pulled the more tension was put on the wing. Aldan could barely keep himself afloat.
Aldan was rather depressed; Ying Tiger managed to harpoon him with a blade and prevent himself from falling, and he ended up striking one of his wings not less! Aldan manifested fireballs in his arm and manipulated them to a blade shape. He would have to strike the Ying Tiger directly or strike the rope so that his opponent would definitely have no way of striking him back. “Die!” he swung the sword of flames towards Ying Tiger.
At that moment Aldan was struck behind him in the air. A majestic aura could be felt. The impact sent Aldan stumbling through the air. Just who could have the audacity to strike him from behind? When he turned around he saw a gigantic golden beast behind him. A Dragon! He completely forgot that the Dragon had flight capacity. He completely underestimated her! In the air she manifested the form of her beast and was using its sheer size in order to strike him.
While the dragon form did have a lot of pure strength it was no match for the power of an angel. Aldan retaliated against the next strikes made by the Dragon by blocking them with his arms. Then he proceeded to punch the manifested aura of Dragon. With such tremendous boost to his strength he was able to punch the dragon aura in the chest area. While the body of dragon was formidable it stood no chance against the power of the angel punch. The dragon aura began to shatter. Like glass braking from a strong impact, it fell apart, with the Dragon within the aura starting to bleed from her mouth. She was passing out. Her aura’s was directly connected to her so by breaking her aura the King managed to greatly injure her.
She could no longer float in the air. Steadily she was falling down. The King looked down at her, and with a maniacal laugh said “Do you think I will let you go that easily?” with Ying Tiger still hanging on to his wing, Aldan proceeded to fly towards the falling Dragon. He flew with great speed and delivered a very fast punch to her body. The impact of his punch sent Dragon flying down towards the ground faster. She ended up crashing down on the ground. The impact broke several bones in her body. Where her body landed a crater formed.
In his moment of triumph, Aldan completely forgot about Ying Tiger attached by rope to his wing. Aldan flew down to Dragon’s location. Then he felt the pull on his wing and realized that Ying Tiger did not fall off while he was fighting the Dragon and was still attached to him. “You persistent fool! Aldan put both of his hands together in order to create a massive fire incantation. To his surprise when he put both hands together it resulted in creation of electricity around his hands which shot towards Ying Tiger.
Ying Tiger barely managed to avoid it by jumping off the rope and landed on top of one of the buildings. Now that Aldan came down from such a high place it would be the best idea to come down on stable ground.
Aldan looked at his hands with undeniable fascination. “Magnificent, the power of an angel is magnificent” he laughed out maniacally. Finally the true power was in his hands, literally. He manipulated the lighting in his hands. He managed to change the form of lightning to make it shaped like bow and arrow. He used it to shoot towards Ying Tiger. Ying Tiger barely managed to jump off the building before the lighting arrows hit the roof causing it to explode.
“Humph, I suppose you are not going to be an easy target, but what about her?” He pointed the lighting bow towards the unconscious Dragon. He will have to use her as bait. He shot a lightning arrow at her. Before it could hit her Ying Tiger appeared in front of her. The arrow landed on Ying Tiger. Ying Tiger tried to block the arrow with his arms and redirecting the lighting ability of the arrow, but he failed to completely negate it. The lightning power within the arrow was far stronger than lightning that Shadelin used, causing Ying Tiger feel pain through his entire body. The electricity was hitting his body without stopping causing him to feel the pain through his muscles and nerves, causing him to be unable to stand up any longer.
The King smiled. Now he had beaten both of them. “I have both of you at my mercy” he manipulated the lightning into a sword. “Any last words before I behead both of you?”
“Yes” Ying Tiger replied.
“Shut up!” Yang Tiger delivered a mighty blow with Dragon Tongue Sword from behind towards Aldan’s left wing. The might of the volcanic heat emitting from the sword easily cut part of Aldan’s left wing.
“Aaaaah” King screamed and wailed. The wings were very sensitive and having one of them cut made it very intolerable. He managed to regain his composure when he saw Yang Tiger. “Finnerman! You’re alive!” he clenched his teeth and growled. Seems like his plan to bury Finnerman alive has failed. Now he ended up injuring him on his wings, his only weakness!
“Dead or alive, in the end it is the same thing” Yang Tiger was now facing Aldan. Both of them had their swords ready for a fight. One had a sword of lighting, the other of fire.
Previously Yang Tiger watched the fight occur between Ying Tiger, Dragon, and King in order to find King’s weakness. The moment Ying Tiger touched King’s wings it seemed like King lost his balance and control. After seeing that Yang Tiger resolved to attack the King directly with Dragon Tongue Sword in its hottest capacity. The only problem was sneaking behind the King in order to deliver the strike to his wings. Luckily Ying Tiger protecting Shadelin from Aldan made it easy to sneak behind the King while he was distracted.
With strong sensation of pain going through her body, Shadelin opened her eyes. She didn’t expect to see this. The man she assumed to be Sabgyn was on his knees, with electricity shocking his body. She could see sparks of electricity affecting him and causing him pain. She tried to stand up, but her left foot cracked under the weight of her body. She was shocked; none ever damaged her this badly. She hopped on her right leg towards Ying Tiger and put a palm on his head. She used her control over electricity to absorb the electricity out of his body. After that Ying Tiger was no longer paralyzed. “Thank You”
She smiled at him, “I should be the one thanking you” she winked “Sabgyn Finnerman”
“Was it really that obvious?” Ying Tiger pulled down his mask to reveal his face; a large bloody scratch ran through his left eye but otherwise he looked completely the same.
“Not really, but I don’t know anyone else who can be this crazy, or this sweet” She truly was glad that he was still alive. After all she has done to him. “Look, I am so sorry for what I did to you, I know it’s hard to believe but I was under someone’s mind control, I know you wouldn’t…”
“I believe you” he said. This surprised her. She expected him to be angry at her. “Truth be told, I already know what happened to you and who did it”
“Who!? “ Now Shadelin was alert, did someone betray them?
“It was Snake’s doing. Snake is Morphus’s subordinate” when Shadelin heard this her eyes grew wide open, she realized she was fooled and manipulated and the person who did that was so close to her! “She used some sort of poison on all of you placing you under Morphus’s direct control”
“Then how am I no longer under his control?” She was rather curious.
“I suspect that it has something to do with the angel right over there” Ying Tiger pointed towards Aldan and Yang Tiger. “I believe one of his spells struck you and it had a side effect of removing the mind control.” He smiled.
Shadelin looked at Yang Tiger and Aldan facing off, both with swords. She was curious about the identity of that man. She asked Ying Tiger” Who is that man? Is he an ally? Another spiritual form user?” Ying Tiger slyly smiled.
“He is another me” That was the simplest way of putting it.
She looked at Ying Tiger’s face and the face of that man, she gasped. Aside from the wound on the eye, they looked identical.
“You split yourself?” She didn’t expect him to be using this trick; she knew full well that he was not powerful enough to completely master it. “I thought you could not be split for more than for a few minutes!”
“That no longer is an issue” Ying Tiger looked towards the battle. Aside from Aldan who was facing against Yang Tiger there didn’t seem to be anyone who could hinder them. Silver Noyan was already defeated. As for Black Knight, wait, where did he go?
“Look Out!” Shadelin pushed Ying Tiger out of the way. The second afterwards a huge sword landed in place where he just was in. He barely escaped being beheaded! “Thanks”
“You will not escape me again!” There he was, the Black Knight himself. He looked huge in his armor. He lifted his sword which was about three times as long as his arm. It seemed to be as light as feather when he used it. He proceeded to pounce in Ying Tiger’s direction.
Ying Tiger jumped away in Shadelin’s direction right on time. She was injured, so she could not move well yet. Otherwise Black Knight would have been easily outmatched. So, Ying Tiger thought, he could not rely on Dragon’s power, he would have to take things in his own control. He quickly grabbed the sword that was on Shadelin’s belt, and before she could even react he parried the Black Knight’s sword strike. It was not easy, the weight of the sword and the strength of the wielder was overwhelming. He barely managed to cancel the attack. Ying Tiger jumped to the right. He would have to use some trickery. When the Black Knight tried to cut him in half horizontally Ying Tiger jumped up and proceeded to slash on Black Knight’s right arm. Black Knight grunted in pain. The cut was not shallow, Ying Tiger intended to immobilize his arm not severe it. To his surprise, Black Knight simply switched his grip on his weapon and proceeded to attack again. By moving out of his way and walking backwards in the opposite direction of his opponent Ying Tiger managed to avoid every single one of Black Knight’s lethal moves. “You left me for a buffoon!” Black Knight angrily shouted. This man managed to trick him twice, both times damaging his pride.
“You were a buffoon long before I met you!” Ying Tiger countered. Black Knight was persistent. Then in the next second, Black Knight threw a mighty kick at Ying Tiger’s body which landed perfectly, sending Ying Tiger flying backwards. Triumphant Black Knight jumped at him with his sword intending to strike Ying Tiger across his neck. Ying Tiger smiled. With this move Black Knight has left himself full of opening. Black Knight thought that victory was in his pocket, but he could not be more wrong. When he raised his arms to lift his sword high in an executioner style, he left his body open. Ying Tiger used that moment to deliver a very fast slash diagonally across Black Knight’s chest. He avoided the heart because Ying Tiger wanted Black Knight to live and atone for his deeds, not die so easily. The slash stopped Black Knight’s movement and he fell on the ground, panting from pain and his body being unable to handle it. He gave on last look full of hatred to Ying Tiger before passing out on a pool of his own blood.
Ying Tiger stood up, with the sword in his hand resting its blade on his shoulder. “Whew, that was a close call”
Shadelin was amazed. Just in a few months Sabgyn managed to master the art of sword to such a degree! To think that he was so weak with it before!
“Thanks for the sword” Ying Tiger returned the sword to Shadelin.
“How can you do these things? You could never do this before” Sabgyn never ceases to surprise her. He always had a way of being unusual. Just when a person thinks he knows Sabgyn, he would reveal a side of himself that he never shown before. He certainly was full of surprises. That was one of the things she liked about him. She blushed. She couldn’t deny it.
“It doesn’t matter right now. We have bigger problems” He pointed in Yang Tiger’s direction, which was relentlessly fighting against Aldan. Aldan was obviously enjoying the fight because he was winning. Yang Tiger could only stand on defensive while Aldan took his time to test out his new powers. “I don’t know how much longer my doppelganger can handle fighting him, if the fighting goes on Yang Tiger will be defeated, and then this entire city would be bathed in inferno!” Due to using Dragon Tongue Sword Yang Tiger was able to fight on about even ground with Aldan. But minute by minute Aldan kept discovering new applications of his angelic power. First gigantic fireballs, then weapons made of lightning, now shooting jets of water! Could he get any deadlier?
Apparently he could. When Aldan extended his whole wing it started shooting feathers in Yang Tiger’s direction. When those feathers struck any solid object they ended up embedding themselves like razor sharp knives. Yang Tiger was terrified. So many powers in one body, how do you get like that?
Yang Tiger struck the earth underneath him with Dragon Tongue Sword which turned the ground into lava that shot upward like a shield in front of him. The sharp feathers embedded themselves on a lava wall. Yang Tiger was surprised. Apparently the lava produced by the sword’s power can be manipulated to his advantage. He proceeded to turn the entire fighting ground into lava forcing Aldan to float, which was not easy to accomplish considering he was missing a sizable chunk of one of his wings and had a wound on the other one. Now this might even the fighting field. Yang Tiger coughed blood; apparently using the Dragon Tongue Sword took a toll on him for utilizing it to such a degree. If he doesn’t deal with Aldan soon, Yang Tiger would collapse from exhaustion.
Seeing the how Yang Tiger was coughing through his mouth, Ying Tiger seemed very concerned. “Originally I thought we would be able to defeat Aldan in order to free the country, but that no longer seems possible” He looked at Shadelin. She is too injured to fight, not to mention defeat Aldan. Yang Tiger may be able to hold Aldan for some time, but he does not possess enough power to kill Aldan. But Ashu has to be freed from his control or all of the labors for overthrowing the regime would have been for nothing!
“What are you going to do? The other you is barely standing!” Shadelin cried out to Ying Tiger. She could no longer use her full power. She knew she couldn’t expect Ying Tiger to have all the solutions, not with his level of power, but she was desperate.
After a moment of hard thought, Ying Tiger arrived at a conclusion. “None is currently strong enough to defeat Aldan, but” he paused, a sense of understanding flashed through his eyes. “We don’t need to defeat him; we just need to get him out of Ashu!”
“Get him out of Ashu? What do you mean? How are you going to do that? Even if you manage to get him away, can’t he just break into the city? ” She was rather confused with Ying Tiger’s trail of thought. How exactly is he planning to get the city rid of a powerful being like that?
“That is not a problem” Ying Tiger pointed at the tower. “There is a powerful barrier spell located on the battle tower, it is easy to recognize because of the pentagram symbol on it” Due to the memories of the souls within his body, Ying Tiger knew practically everything about the city of Ashu.” The barrier spell will not let anything other than human beings into the city and it is strong enough to hold even against an angel, just put a drop of blood to activate it”
“But he is inside the city, even if I were to activate the spell it would only protect the outside, it will do nothing to beings that are already inside!” the idea was interesting, but with a rather huge flaw.
“Which is why I will get him out of the city first” Ying Tiger somberly replied.
The magnitude of his words hit her instantly.
“Are you insane? I can barely survive against him, and you expect yourself to have enough power to get him out of the city?”
“I will have to improvise on that” Ying Tiger looked towards Yang Tiger and said “My counterpart needs me, go find the barrier spell, but wait before I get him out of the city before activating it!”
“Alright” Shadelin managed to stand on one foot. She controlled the air around her in order to allow herself to fly. With a damaged leg running would be impossible, flying there is the only option. She quickly flew towards the tower or what was left of it.
Meanwhile, Yang Tiger had his hands full fighting against Aldan. No matter what attack he would launch against Aldan it seemed like Aldan only kept getting stronger. That was partially true because Aldan kept finding new ways of using his angelic power. The better he got at their usage the more effective he became. Previously he could not use his powers to their true potential due to his inexperience with them, but now he was having the time of his life. Just a second ago he released his power as pure energy instead of converting it into flame. Pure energy is much more dangerous than converted energy because it has the capacity to overwhelm the body and cause it to explode. Unlike converted energy which caused surface damage only, the pure energy caused damage in all levels. Aldan proceeded to unleash the energy through his right palm. A ray of light emerged out of his palm coating it in brilliant luster. Then it shot towards Yang Tiger. Yang Tiger barely managed to use Dragon Tongue Sword to manipulate the lava beneath him to act as a barrier. The light pierced the lava barrier. The barrier began to crumble and turn to dust. Then the light struck the earth behind the barrier.
Yang Tiger sighed in relief. If he had not escaped from behind the barrier in time he would have been obliterated along with it. He ran towards in the opposite direction of the King, intending the dust resulting from the destroyed lava as a cover. He hid behind a small mound of earth. King is getting stronger by the second, now it was rather hopeless to think about beating him. It will not take Aldan long to find him as soon as dust clears out. Then it will be the end.
“Rough day, brother?” Apparently he was not the only one sitting behind the mound. Yang Tiger was appalled to see Ying Tiger next to him. He was so occupied in his thoughts about Aldan that he didn’t notice him!
Ying Tiger extended his fist towards Yang Tiger waiting for a fist bump. Yang Tiger understood, it must mean there are too many things to say so the fastest way of sharing information is to merge their bodies. Yang Tiger extended his fist and touched Ying Tiger’s knuckle. They instantly remerged into a single being. Now Sabgyn knew everything he needed to do.
Getting Aldan out of the city? Sounds easier than done. Luckily Ying Tiger already thought of a solution. But it had very low chance of success. It could potentially kill him. But in this situation there was not much of a choice. What must be done must be done.
He knew roughly where the contraption was located but navigating through the fallen walls was difficult. He found the contraption near the open area within the walls of the tower. In this area there was a huge opening towards the sky designed in order to allow the contraption to be used most effectively. Sabgyn looked at the contraption. It looked unused. A seal was underneath his feet. It had a diameter of ten meters. The contraption can be activated when something is standing on top of the seal and someone gives a mental command for it to work while placing a hand on the contraption. From the top view it looked like a giant bow with the seal being placed where the middle rope is supposed to be. There was a wall behind Sabgyn. When the contraption was used the user needed to place his arm on it.
Now it was a matter of luring Aldan to his location. Sabgyn thought that Aldan would come from one of the three open sides. To his disbelief, none seemed to come from anywhere. Just when he thought that Aldan had completely lost track of him, King emerged flying through the opening in the ceiling. “This is bad” thought Sabgyn, staggering back from surprise. Aldan had found a way into the tower through the roof while Sabgyn was expecting him to follow him. He truly has underestimated Aldan too much.
Aldan didn’t give Sabgyn chance to run. He swooped down on him like an eagle pounces on a mouse. With his fingers extended like blades he proceeded to punch Sabgyn through his abdomen, pinning him to the wall. Aldan’s fingers easily pierced Sabgyn’s flesh. Sabgyn cried out in pain. The sensation of his abdominal muscles being torn by Aldan was overwhelming. Everything started turning dark in his eyes. Blood was dripping from his mouth. Aldan’s palm was too strong. Sabgyn could feel that his heart beat began to slow down, his breathing became more forced and heavy. He struggled to maintain his consciousness. He realized that at this rate he will succumb to death.
Shadelin found the symbol for barrier spell. She was overjoyed. Finally a way to make city free from the monster. Her happiness did not last long as when she looked down she saw the moment of Sabgyn being pierced by Aldan’s hand. Sabgyn’s body seemed to have gone limp. “No, this can’t be happening, not to him!” Shadelin was horrified by the sight, causing her to have tears in her eyes. The realization that Sabgyn was killed right before her eyes struck her like lightning. Previously she was happy that she did not kill him when she fatally wounded him during her battle with him on the waterfall. Now his death was insured. She could clearly see that blood was spewing from his mouth and the area in his abdomen pierced by Aldan’s hand has turned crimson red from blood. There is no way he can be saved now, all was lost. Aldan has won.
“He is done. You are next!” Aldan exclaimed. He looked up towards Shadelin with a sharp smile on his face. One down, another one to go. An angelic power- the best power he ever possessed. Circulating through his veins, the potion has rapidly changed his body, and the more used he got to his new physique the more powerful he became. “I will annihilate every single one of you, Marked Ones, then I will conquer all of the territories of the other Divine Overlords, and even the Big Man himself will stand no chance against me!” Aldan’s right hand was embedded in Sabgyn’s abdomen pinning Sabgyn’s limp body to the wall. Both of them were standing within a large space that was separated from the other spaces within rooms by a pattern on the floor. Aldan did not notice this. “Now then, I can’t keep guests waiting can I?” Aldan made a little chuckle. He looked in Shadelin’s eyes and he saw terror in them. This made him feel as though he already won the battle. “In the end all your group managed to do is start a small rebellion, after you changed sides however you have wasted the hopes of all your people.”
“How pathetic!” Aldan was now free to gloat for his victory was assured. Nothing feels better than breaking his opponents will. “Without your leader right here you guys are worthless, ah I forgot he never was the real leader, was he?”
“After all the group of Marked Ones was founded by you Shadelin. So tell me how does it feel to have your most precious subordinate’s life taken away by my hands? Oh Great Dragon girl?” His taunts have made Shadelin’s eyes moist with tears. ”You Fiend!” Shadelin cried out with a voice unable to hide her crying.
Aldan was enjoying this, breaking someone so strong meant asserting his superiority. “In the end you lost because neither you nor your Tiger has the capacity or power to stop me, you lost this battle and you have lost the war.”
“I couldn’t agree” an arm grabbed Aldan’s right hand. “LESS!” It was Sabgyn’s arm. Through all the blood he was choking on he managed to force a smile while looking at Aldan’s face. With his right hand he made sure to hold on to Aldan’s arm while he was still piercing Sabgyn’s body. For a moment there Sabgyn passed out from pain, but he willed himself into consciousness with sheer willpower. He has to take care of Aldan even if it costs him his life.
Sabgyn looked in Shadelin’s direction with a sad smile on his face. When she saw his eyes she understood. He was telling her to do as he instructed, his life did not matter, and even if it kills him he will not give up. “No, please don’t” Shadelin began to say, but her please landed on deaf ears.
“Take care of them, Captain” Sabgyn said to Shadelin. Then he looked at Aldan’s surprised face. Aldan did not expect him to be still alive. Sabgyn knew he could only maintain his consciousness for few minutes but that was more than enough. “You have caused enough trouble in Jambol, Aldan, now it’s time for you to Go!” With his left hand he smeared blood from his body on the wall behind him. Instantly the area lit up with bright light. The floor Aldan was standing on lit up as well. “What is going on?” Aldan exclaimed, his body could no longer move as though pinned to his current location. “OFF WE GO!” Sabgyn proclaimed. Both Sabgyn and Aldan were launched into the sky at unimaginable speed. Both retained the same pose they were in before they were launched. It happened so fast that Aldan had no time to react. Within few seconds both flew into the sky and in direction away from the city, and after few more seconds both were far beyond the borders of the city, in the air. Both had no control over the flight. It was too fast for Aldan’s angelic wings to handle. Sabgyn smiled. He knew using the enchanted ballista was a good idea. Instead of launching arrows it launched objects into the sky at unimaginable speed. About hundred times faster than flight of the bird. It also fired objects into extremely far distance, so even if Aldan does recover he will not be able to get back into the city because he would be beyond the city’s borders and Shadelin would have erected the barrier by that time.
Air was pressuring both of them from everywhere like invisible walls. When Aldan tried to escape he was met with strong backlash. Getting out of flight through the air will not be easy. Then he looked down at his enemy.” At least I will have the pleasure of destroying you!” Instead of trying his previous approach of landing fatal blows, Aldan proceeded to pour his Heavenly energy through his right hand into Sabgyn’s body. Previously Heavenly energy caused the objects in Aldan’s vicinity to explode from overloading, so Aldan hoped it would have the same effect on Sabgyn. Sabgyn screamed from pain. So much heavenly energy was entering his body, he could not do anything but writhe in agony. His veins started glowing throughout his body, he felt like any second he will be reduced to ash. “I guess this is the end” souls within Sabgyn’s body communicated the message to him. Sabgyn’s expression relaxed a little, moment later his expression became tense. He grabbed Aldan’s hand tighter intending to not let go until the very end. “No! This definitely is not the end!” He commanded the souls within his body to absorb as much Heavenly Energy as they could. Suddenly, his body did not seem to be like exploding.
As if he sensed the change, Aldan proceeded to pour even more of his Heavenly Energy into Sabgyn. No matter how much power it takes he will make sure he explodes. Sabgyn’s body was being overloaded; even with souls absorbing the Heavenly Energy it was not enough. Suddenly, the spiritual form of the Tiger within him reacted strangely towards the Heavenly energy. It was consuming it. But how? The animal spiritual form was the mark of the individual; each one possessed a unique spiritual form within their bodies since birth. For Sabgyn it was Tiger spiritual form, almost completely useless spiritual form that was responsible for his duality related powers and ability to split him. Now out of all times the Tiger spiritual form was showing itself. It was consuming the Heavenly Energy. As if by the side effect of that, Sabgyn’s body began to glow. Then an explosion of golden light occurred. An Apparition shaped in a form of a gigantic Tiger appeared for a few seconds, and then it disappeared. When Aldan looked in front of him, Sabgyn was gone. Aldan thought “That Golden light, it was your body being vaporized. Even the spiritual form within his body left from his flesh” He smiled, now there is no trace of Tiger left in the world.
Unknown to him, there were four mortals traveling through the air away from him. Each had an identical face, with only one having a scar on his left eye. They were sleeping. They flew in four different directions. Their tale would later unfold.