Chapter 6:

Crimson World (Part 3)

Last Tale: Return of the Guardian Knight

“Don’t do it. I am begging you. Please don’t do it.”Bookmark here

Harkening back to an event in his past, Leo conversed with a man behind him while he gazed at a battle encampment, in the middle of the night, from the top of a cliff. The man sounded anxious and nervous. The surroundings were set aflame and burned to the ground; leaving boulders and sand in its wake.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry,” responded Leo, in a melancholic note.Bookmark here

“There is nothing to be gained from doing this,” the man tried persuading Leo.Bookmark here

Leo responded with silence.Bookmark here

“You know the truth. You know what would happen if you went there tomorrow. Please don’t do it. We still need you!”Bookmark here

Leo lowered his head and maintained his silence.Bookmark here

The man continued with a hint of sob, “Please, master! Please reconsider! We need you, Sh—”Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

With a strong impact on his stomach, Leo was forced awake from his reminiscing dream. With his stomach caving in from an unknown source of impact, Leo vomited blood and coughed as he opened his eyes and became aware of his surroundings.Bookmark here

He found himself surrounded by a group of people dressed in blood-red cloaks. Before him, stood the woman who captured him and dragged him by his hair. His body was no longer glowing like it did before he lost consciousness. The colour of his eyes had returned to his natural shade of dark brown. Similarly, his hair had lost its glow and was rugged and black once again.Bookmark here

Accompanying a splitting headache, unison of voices echoed in his mind simultaneously to say, “Who are you?”Bookmark here

The sudden telepathic overload disoriented his senses: his ears started to ring, he started to lose balance, and his eyes lost focus. Every sensory nerve in his body relayed pain impulses to his brain.Bookmark here

Feeling the backlash from the psychic message, Leo fell on his hands and knees and puked blood.Bookmark here

Torrents of information related to his current situation flooded his mind. His mana source was also startled and activated.Bookmark here

Mana: it was a form of energy that existed in anything and everything. It existed in every matter, living or not, and was capable of being altered and shaped to any form of energy a conscience desired. It was a power that presented itself in colours and existed in every form. It was the building blocks of all creation.Bookmark here

Mana had simplified and evolved over the years. It had found various alternate forms like curses, blessings, qi, aura, etc. However, the root of every power was singular: Mana. It was the most basic form of energy which branched out and manifested to create other properties.Bookmark here

There were some creatures which could instinctively use mana and some learnt to do it through years of training and understanding. Those capable of controlling the mana were known as mages. Who, in turn, were classified into various categories based on the elements, fighting style, the way they used mana, the purpose they used mana, etc.Bookmark here

Every living being was born with an innate colour; a representation of compatibility to a particular mana form. With a lower probability, some were born with more than one colour at the time of birth. Some could train to gain more than one colour. But on very rare occasions, a child without a mana colour would be born. Such children were once considered an omen and treated with extreme prejudice. The children were called, “Those abandoned by mana.” The wielders of the colourless mana were known as Unattributed Mages.Bookmark here

Through years of progression, the unattributed mages showed the ability of dyeing their strength and mana into a colour of their choosing, through relentless training and in-depth understanding of the particular attribute.Bookmark here

Leo was one an Unattributed Mage, who was rejected by the society. He was driven enough to fill his power source with every single possible mana form he could find or think of. It gave his mana an iridescent hue. Capable of controlling any and every mana type that ever existed he rose to the top of all creation. He became the first and the only mage of his kind: Origin Mage.Bookmark here

He was once a mage capable of using any and every attribute in existence in every form and level. His limitations were only defined by the limitations of his learning capabilities. As long as he could learn or figure out the detail form of a power, he could use it, provided he recreated the entire form, which an attributed mage could naturally use.Bookmark here

There were mages who attempted to learn his secret and rise to the top by imitating him. They all failed to learn the methodology and in-depth learning of each form, leaving Leo as the only Origin Mage in existence.Bookmark here

Leo had a secret to his power. After realizing his own limitations he desperately worked hard to create an original skill; one that could only be used by an unattributed mage. He named the skill: Archive! Leo was the only one capable of using the skill and he had never taught anyone else or left any written records of the skill.Bookmark here

As Leo puked blood on all fours, his mana activated inside his body and had started concentrating near his heart. The mana melded in his blood and delivered to every cell in his body, slowly strengthening his body and building a resistance to pain and injuries. At his level, he was creating a paper thin film outside his body.Bookmark here

He observed that he no longer possessed his former strength. He had lost all the strength and power he had cultivated over a term of centuries. His mana had suddenly lost its colour as well and was now a transparent vapour like film around him.Bookmark here

He instinctively tried to use his power and skill. His biggest surprise was that he had lost his all his skills and could not even use his original skill, Archive. Leo’s heart beat faster as he started to panic. His head started to spin and he felt like throwing up his insides.Bookmark here

He did not have the time to inspect and analyse what had happened to him. All he knew was that he was at the stage he was at when he originally started his journey to be an origin mage. He knew of the how-to’s but did not possess the strength or mana to apply it. His mana capacity had reset. His muscles had forgotten the reflexes he had drilled into them through unrelenting and rigorous training.Bookmark here

Going through a fit of panic attack, Leo questioned his very existence and being.Bookmark here

“Who are you,” repeated the voices, simultaneously.Bookmark here

Leo was startled back from his thoughts and focused on the matter at hand. Before he could gather his thoughts, the woman before him kicked him in his stomach while he was on all fours. Leo’s body flung a short distance. Landing on his back, he coughed up blood staining his lips, cheek, and throat.Bookmark here

Panting and struggling to breathe, Leo bid his time as his mana distributed throughout his body so that he could bear through the gruelling pain tormenting his body. He could not figure out the reason about why he was unable to sense any attribute from his body.Bookmark here

Unwillingly, he maintained his silence. He coughed up more blood as he got stomped on his stomach by the woman.Bookmark here

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The unison of voices repeated, “Who are you?”Bookmark here

Cours Twent
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