Chapter 88:

Chapter 88 - Faustus!

The Flight of The Draykes


Looking at the girl in my arms, I felt bliss run through me.

Turning my gaze to Ares, I grinned as he smiled through his tears and joined our hug.

I was at peace.

Until a prickling sense of danger made me grab the two and push them down, following suit behind them.

With a whoosh, a bolt from the ballista ripped past where we had stood and buried itself in the wood of the enemy ship we were on.

Rising, we grimly looked at each other, for the battle was not over.

The last enemy ship remained, and it was moving toward us with powerful strokes of their oars.

Jumping back to Sea Drayke, our sailors and the Orcani rushed to their oars, but it was too late.

Then we watched stupefied as the enemy ship crossed our bow and sprinted past us into the open seas leading to the Middle Island.

Looking at the enemy crew who stared at us, unblinking. We felt like we were in a dream.

Sputtering out, I spoke, “I’m new to this naval combat thing, but they’re not supposed to do that, are they?”

Shaking their heads, Ares and Sia looked at me as bewildered as I was.

Then a voice came as Damon stepped forth and punched Faust lightly on the chest, “Thought you’d never wake up.”

I grinned, my jaw hurting from all the smiling that I was doing, and punched Damon back on the chest, “Could’ve slept for longer, but you guys looked like you needed a hand.”

Laughing, Damon bared his white teeth as he said, “They fled because their ballistas are made of some special wood. They won’t risk losing an artillery ship for the world, those guys.”

“Who are those guys,” I asked, curiously.

“The Locke Kingdom,” Damon answered.

Musing, I repeated the name to myself and a splitting pain ran through my head as the feeling that I knew what they were and I had read a lot about them. But as soon as the feeling came, it disappeared and blankness presented itself in its place.

Shaking my head, I touched their shoulders and gestured toward the bow where Teacher, Sir Galen, Sir Patrick, Sir Faaris, Dame Bathory, Sir Chase, Sir Egon, an unknown potty mouthed individual who was even now bellowing orders out, another unknown scarred man who was right now talking with a familiar-looking girl, and of course - My brother who was wiping away his tears as he stood.

Wiping away my own reddened eyes, I strode forward and fiercely hugged the big guy tightly.

Then I bowed to Teacher first, Sir Galen second, and the rest in order.

“Thank you for taking care of me,” I whispered, my voice choking with emotion.

Smiling widely at me, they waved their hands as they asked me how I felt.

I was about to respond when, in a flash of movement, Sir Galen ripped open my shirt and gasped out.

I was about to ask him what happened when I looked down and suddenly felt unsteady on my feet.

Raising my hand to my chest, I watched as my black warforce flowed over the tip of my fingers hesitantly before going back into the hole in my chest.

Dizzy, I clutched at the remains of my clothes as the world spun around me.

Then I was falling and my heart was beating powerfully, and yet pain was ripping through me mercilessly with each heartbeat.

Gasping as I was caught in strong arms, my vision darkened and my last thought was, “Why…”


Hours later, I awoke in the hold and the familiar surroundings hit me like a tidal wave before the feelings receded and blankness again took hold.

Scratching my head, I was about to rise when I noticed Sia sleeping on my legs.

Careful not to move, I stayed in that position for a very long time as she slept, snoring deeply.

Smiling as I watched her, I kept having the feeling that I had lost something. That something had been taken away from me. But try as I might, I couldn’t recall it.

Strangely, every time I tried, I would remember a humongous animal, an elephant - and a lake.

Puzzled, I kept trying to break through shackles that felt as though they didn’t exist and finally; I gave up trying as Sia stirred.

Rubbing her eyes, she yawned and then she froze as she met my smiling eyes, and then she was clutching my hand tight enough for the bones in it to creak dangerously, and then she asked, “How are you feeling,” with concern in her voice.

I found that there was a lump in my throat that prevented me from speaking, so I nodded to signal that I was fine and that she could relax.

Sinking back into the chair, Sia then hesitantly pointed at my heart and said, “What’s going on?”

Closing my eyes, I tried sensing my body’s condition and the feedback I received was the same as when I awoke. I was in perfect condition.

Then I lifted my shirt up as Sia blushed and then we both stared at the almost one-inch hole which was still covered by a flowing black substance.

In a hushed voice, Sia asked, “Faust... Is that warforce?”

Scratching my head, I said, “I think so... But I’m not too sure.”

Getting out of bed and shrugging on my shirt again, I sniffed and recoiled as I smelt the dried blood, sweat, and grime on me.

Then suddenly a thought struck me, and I asked in panic, “How long was I out for?”

“3 months…” Sia replied with a small smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

Pained, I stared at her before again asking, “And this time?”

“Two days,” she answered with a smaller smile.

Coming close to her, and placing my forehead on hers, I whispered, “I’ll always come back. I promised you I’ll be an immortal, didn’t I?”

Closing her eyes, she whispered back, “I thought you’d forgotten it as soon as you woke up.”

Chuckling, I realised with a start that I had grown much taller than Sia, who was now a full head below me.

Then I looked at my pants, only to see that the hem of the pants had ridden up my ankles significantly.

Following my actions, Sia smiled - a bright smile this time - and said, “You’ve been growing like a bean pole ever since you started absorbing warforce like crazy.”

“Hm? What’s that?” I asked, confused.

“Ah, you don’t know. It’s like this-” and she filled me in on everything that happened during the escape after I fell at the battle of the camp where we had sallied forth.

Strangely, I kept having this feeling like I knew everything that she had said. But I couldn’t figure out why I felt that way.

Following her on to the deck, I again approached the group of Knights and this time, I recalled instantly the reason for familiarity as I had just collapsed in front of them a few days ago.

Smiling wryly, I greeted them again, and they gazed at me with concerned expressions.

Feeling a bit uneasy, I looked as Sir Galen regarded me with a burning gaze and then I reflexively caught the object that he threw at me.

In surprise, I looked down to see a stone. An unremarkable white stone that was turning black rapidly.

Inspecting it, I realized it must be a force stone that was used to check warforce ranks.

The stone, black now, flickered for a bit and slowly turned bronze before it changed back to black.

Puzzled, I looked at Sir Galen, who nodded his head rapidly and murmured, “As expected.”

Looking around, I saw the rest of the people around me wearing confused expressions similar to mine and then, unable to resist the curiosity, I asked, “What do you mean by ‘as expected’ Sir Galen?”

“Call me Galen, boy.” He drawled before he began pacing around.

Then he turned and, moving forward, he opened my shirt and exposed my chest and my heart again.

Pointing at me with a finger, he said, “You’re right now at awakened 5 stars. Tell me, what can an awakened person do?”

Quickly, I responded, “Nothing. We just have better physiques and enhancements in certain aspects more than normal people do and perhaps an additional power.”

Nodding his head slowly, Sir Galen asked another question. “Indeed. Now what can an iron-rank do?”

Collecting my thoughts, I said, “An iron-rank can use the warforce to enhance parts of his body, mind, and senses.”

Nodding again, Sir Galen said, “Full points for that, boy.”

Then he pointed at my heart and said, “Now your very special indeed. Because your awakening didn’t heal it.”

Stunned, I looked at myself, heart beating happily and then back at Sir Galen, who raised his eyebrows as I asked, “But, I feel fine!”

“You feel fine because you’re using your warforce to support the function of your heart. In other words, as an awakened person - you’re using iron-ranked powers to keep living.”

Stupefied, I looked at him and then at the black forcestone in my palm before I began sweating.
“What happens if my warforce gets depleted,” I asked with a note of panic in my voice.

“Smart boy. You die if that happens.” Sir Galen said with a grim smile.

I fell silent.

Everybody fell silent.

Then gazes of pity looked at me and Sia took my hand and stepped forward to stand with me.

Looking at her and wanly smiling, I stayed silent for a long moment as thoughts ran through my mind.

Then I straightened up and said, “Doesn’t matter. I got a second chance at life. I plan to make the most of it.”

“Even if you’re called useless?” Sir Galen asked softly.

Briefly wondering what he meant, I nonetheless nodded my head firmly and exclaimed, “Even if I’m useless!”

“Good! Good! Good!”

Weirdly, I felt that I had heard those words before.

Then Sir Galen exchanged a look with Sir Leonidas who nodded, before he turned to me and said two words,

“Kneel, disciple!”