St Chaos Healer
At this moment there were loud screeching noises booming from the outside of this building. I could hear the loud flapping of the wings and the agitated screeching sounds created by the phoenix familiar flying outside.
It seemed to be hovering over the premises of the ceremony hall for some time as if it was scouting the area.
At this moment, the mages were busy fiddling with the barrier surrounding the central stage.
Meanwhile, the other candidates and I are still on our knees with our heads bowed looking down at the floor. The room temperature has been rising for a while and I am just kneeling watching the sweat trickling from my brow onto my nose and then falling down on the floor.
There’s literally a pool of sweat forming down under the candidates.
We were instructed to carry a water bottle but for some reason were restrained from drinking any until they allowed us to.
After waiting for some more time, the sound of the fluttering of the wings became even clearer like it was just above. I couldn’t help but take a peek above the central stage.
From the circular roof opening, tiny particles of flames entered the amphitheater. It almost felt like the little sparks of flames were alive like little bugs. As seconds passed by, the tiny flickers of flame became bigger as the sound of the fluttering wings got louder and louder.
The tiny bright flicker of flames after entering the amphitheater would then fly towards the barrier where they were somehow stopped and disappeared within the barrier surface. If it weren’t for the barrier, the flames would have already started a big fire inside here.
It wasn’t only me who had long stopped bowing their head. Everyone, despite kneeling, was looking up to catch the glimpse of the divine phoenix familiar.
“Children, one word of advice” suddenly the old mage spoke, “When the divine protector descends to that stage, his brilliance is not something that everyone could see.”
The old mage again turned back his focus on the barrier.
To be honest, that was quite weird.
A mage giving advice and not an order, which was surprising. But to be honest, I wonder what he really meant.
“It is here.” shouted one of the mages.
As I glanced up, the first thing I saw was the razor-sharp talons slowly descending from the central sky and entering the amphitheater. The talons were massive, almost the size of a wagon.
As the phoenix slowly descended, the winds became quite turbulent.
Soon its wings came into view. As the wings flapped, creating numerous little sparks of fireballs. After all, the wings of the phoenix were made of pure bright flames themselves. If it weren’t for the barrier surrounding the stage, the amphitheater and the candidates would all be burned down to ashes.
Finally, the phoenix talons touch down on the marble ground landing gracefully. Although the razor-sharp talon cut through the marble flooring like butter almost submerging within.
There was a dead silence after its arrival, even the mages were sweating profusely.
The amphitheater that was dimly lit now was now illuminated red thanks to phoenix flames.
Along with the light came the soaring temperature that was rising rapidly.
The phoenix despite being just a familiar was a huge bird.
It had a long slender neck allowing the beast’s head to be a bit taller, almost reaching the height of the second balcony of the amphitheater. Meanwhile, its beak was long and menacing, the top beak was longer and curvy while the under beak was shorter but wider. Its wings were made of pure flame covering its body like a beautiful coat of flames. The talons of the beast were long and curvy that it had penetrated the very floor as it stood.
The candidate's eyes and mouth were wide open seeing the majestic beast. All their worries, nervousness, and exhaustion left their body.
The divine phoenix familiar was now standing right in front of us in the flesh.
Even the all-know mages were dumbstruck and standing still just gawking at the creature. It was as if they had forgotten what to do next. The only people that were doing something were the mages who were managing the barrier. If not for them, the entire people would be burned to cinders while still admiring the creature’s beauty.
As we were staring at the phoenix, the phoenix was also glancing back at us with its majestic beast eyes. There was a heavy pressure in the air as it laid its eye on us. It was as if the beast was judging us from the stage.
To be honest the creature looked quite proud and felt like it was looking at us like nothing but mere bugs.
The phoenix then started walking around the stage flaunting its wings and scanning the crowd as if shopping for meat from the bazaar. It maintained its proud appearance as it walked with its sharp talons cutting the very stage and leaving a shattered floor.
This went on for some time and the candidates and the mages didn’t even move.
“How long are we to stay in this bowing position? My knees are hurting,” suddenly complained Tracker.
“Shut up. The mages might hear you.” scowled a fellow candidate in front of Tracker.
“Well it’s about time the divine protector does something or I might just melt from all this heat.” complained another fellow candidate next to Tracker.
“I know right. I thought I was the only one going crazy and feeling the heat,” said Tracker smilingly.
“Maybe the divine protector likes his food to be tenderly roasted crisp, hence the waiting.” joked another fellow candidate.
“You idiot, if the divine protector hears it you will be executed.”
“That is if it can understand us, right.”
Suddenly every candidate who stood silent and nervous was now chuckling.
“Well it seems it will be turned into the protector's lunch, it was nice MEAT-ing you, everyone,” replied Tracker snickering.
Every nearby candidate broke into a half-suppressed giggle listening to Tracker’s pun.
Even Tracker had a bright smile knowing that his pun did hit his mark.
Tracker’s social skills are commendable. It hasn’t been that long and he already started bonding with his fellow candidates here.
“You know I got more meat puns to pass the time,” added Tracker.
“It’s been kind of boring sitting on my knee, so I am all ears.” answered one of the candidates.
“Lay it on me.”
“I got some too if you don’t mind.”
The candidates were acting like little kids in the classroom gossiping behind the back of the teacher during the lecture.
I can’t believe how the atmosphere took a sudden change.
Not long ago everyone was nervous and complaining about the heat. Now, look at them.
There's a divine mystical phoenix beast in front of these kids. A legendary beast that not anyone gets to see so close in person. But here these candidates were more excited for Tracker’s pun jokes.
Tracker is a social monster prodigy.
“Guys! Can you shut up and take this seriously.” suddenly a candidate who was saner than the rest of us.
It was the same girl standing behind Tracker who told him to die when he was gawking at the balcony girls. Guess she can’t take any more of the Tracker’s shit.
But to our surprise, the girl said it so loud that even the mages turned around.
Thankfully the candidates remained still and silent like statues. The mages turned back focusing their attention on the phoenix and again stared at it like creeps.
“Partypooper.” muttered an upset Tracker.
We again continued to sit kneeling waiting for something to happen. The phoenix was just walking around and the mages gawked at it.
“It's about time. Bring forth the holy dye.” shouted the old mage, Sigurd.
About time they do something.
Finally, a mage walked out of the corridor holding something that was covered with a cloth. It looked as if he was holding a tray with something precious underneath that cloth. He quickly walked and stopped in front of the old mage, Sigurd who was standing close to the barrier.
Sigurd then took a deep breath and took the tray.
The phoenix that was strolling around the stage suddenly turned its attention to Sigurd.
The beast who looked at us like insects now was glaring at Sigurd or more precisely towards the mysterious object that the old mage was holding.
Sigurd then gently picked up the cloth and finally unveiled the thing on the tray. As soon as the cloth covering was lifted there was a fancy-looking glass jar with a fancy golden handle and lid. Inside the jar, there was a mysterious green glowing liquid that was half-filled.
The phoenix beast had a reaction and started approaching Sigurd with a low growl.
As the beast approached near the barrier where Sigurd was, the rest of the mages all started getting on their knees except for the mages managing their barrier.
Even Sigurd was on his knees while lifting the tray holding the mysterious Jar.
“Children lower your gaze and welcome the divine protector,” said Sigurd in a loud tone.
Hearing this, every candidate quickly bowed their head and continued to kneel.
The phoenix standing in front of the Sigurd opened its beak wide open and spread its flame wings.
The phoenix suddenly let out a loud cry bursting the ear drums of everyone present in the amphitheater. It seems angry as flames erupt from all over its body, firing everywhere. Thankfully the flames were stopped by the barrier from reaching us.
“What the hell is going on?!”
“The divine protector has lost it?”
“I am scared”
The candidates started to become uneasy as well as they shouted out their worries.
The phoenix continued to howl even more aggressively when it saw the flames were being stopped by the barrier. Its flames got even brighter and brighter.
The temperature of the room shot so high that even the candidates started collapsing on the floor. There was a panic among the candidates.
But for some reason, the mages lowered their head and did nothing but kneel before the beast.
Were they waiting for the beast to calm down?
But nothing seemed to be calming down that damn beast.
The barrier around the beast started vibrating weirdly. It didn’t seem it would last any longer.
Don’t tell me my hunch was right, this fucking ritual is a disaster.
Divine protector was nothing more than a lunatic beast and the mages are retards.
Some of the candidates finally stopped kneeling and started getting back away from the barrier.
The mages managing the barrier started bleeding from their eyes and nose while coughing out blood. One of the mages vomited out blood and collapsed on the floor.
Despite everything, the other mages didn’t bother to move at all. They continued to kneel before the beast and the old mage lifted the mysterious jar.
“Is this how all the blessing ritual goes?” asked Tracker.
“To be honest, my mom never mentioned something like this ever,” I replied.
I still can’t make sense of what is happening here.
Suddenly there appeared a crack in the barrier on the opposite side of us.
The red flames escaped from the crack and fell on the nearby candidates who were still kneeling in place.
Aggrieved screams of dying candidates befall our ears.
Finally panic arose among the candidates. Some of the candidates started collapsing from the heat, some were scared even more, while some just ran like the wind.
It was like hell was let loose in this amphitheater.
“Stay your ground children!” shouted Sigurd.
He was still bowing his head while clutching the tray with the mysterious jar.
“That old fart is nuts. We gotta get out of here,” shouted Tracker.
“It's about time you say something clever for once.” I replied, getting on my feet “That barrier won’t hold on for much longer.”
More cracks slowly appeared on the barrier as the phoenix maintained screaming as it spread its flames. I have no wish to be killed by some darn crazy bird.
Candidates were falling left and right like flies.
The plebian candidates down here were not wealthy enough to afford adventure gear like the rest of the inner district candidates. No wonder those inner district brats were armed to the teeth.
Meanwhile, we candidates here didn’t get much of a warning and only told us to bring a fucking water bottle, that's it. On top of that, they instructed us to not use it until they said so! Fuck these mages!
Almost half of the candidates were now unconscious and had burn marks all over. Meanwhile, the flames were still leaking from the crack on the other side and was becoming larger by the second.
I and Tracker tried to trace back our steps, running towards where we came from.
“I don’t wanna die by the hands of some dumb bird,” shouted Tracker as he dodged his feet from stepping on the unconscious candidate.
Whereas I stepped on the unconscious brat with no remorse,
“Finally something we both can agree on to-”
Suddenly, there was a loud blast.
I instinctively jumped on the ground and grabbed two of the unconscious candidates lying on the floor and hid behind them.
Then I waited bracing myself for the impact of the flames.
The next second, there was an eerie silence.
Even the temperature that was rising so high was no longer so hot.
The loud chaos now turned into muttering noises of the candidates.
Even the amphitheater that was once fiery bright now had dimmed back to normalcy.
I waited for a few seconds behind the bodies of the two unconscious candidates, just in case something did happen. I was sure that the barrier had broken and we were all up to flames.
“Holy cow! We are saved,” shouted Tracker,
“Check that out, Benjamin.”
At this moment I couldn’t see where Tracker was. I was on the floor sitting behind two unconscious candidates that I happened to grab.
I carefully peeked my head at the two bodies I had been holding.
There I saw Tracker standing with wide eyes looking towards the stage.
“Is this afterlife?” I asked.
“No, we are alive! But~” Tracker finally looked at me, “What are you doing with those undefended candidates?”
“Just a last-ditch, effort to save my bacon,” I replied while tossing away those two candidates.
Tracker opened his eyes wide in dismay,
“You!~You~ You are using your fellow comrades as a meat shield. Have you no shame?”
I got up dusting away the dirt,
“Well, they were already good as dead, so what’s wrong with using them as a shield,” I replied.
“That is just messed up. You should be ashamed” said Tracker.
“Tracker, I give zero fucks on what you deem to be morals and ethics. Tell me what happened to that bir-” as I looked at the central stage, I was taken aback.
The phoenix was still standing with its wings spread wide open.
But there were no flames in the wings. The body was on standstill.
To my surprise, the phoenix had a big circular fucking hole on his face.
A powerful spell had blasted on its face with quite the precision tearing its entire face and killing the bird in an instant.
Who could have done this?
It was just then that my eyes fell near the feet of the phoenix.
“Where the hell did that come from?” I asked.
Near the feet of the phoenix, there was a big crater that wasn’t there before.
The entire stage portion was blown in and around the crater to smithereens.
In the middle of that crater, there was a long tall spear stabbed into the ground.
As I glanced at the spear my nerves throbbed at the very sight of that weapon.
The spear was translucent and shining as if it was made of ethereal material. I had never seen that weapon before but for some reason, there was this feeling that I had a connection with that weapon.
Tracker had a bright smile,
“That’s the ethereal spear made from the divine rays of the sun. I can’t believe my eyes!”
What in the fuck is even going on here. For some reason, I couldn’t take my eyes off that glowing spear.
“Whose spear is that?” I asked.
Tracker turned his head up,
“Only one such person would be worthy of such a weapon.”
I followed the gaze of Tracker, there in the sky floats a man slowly descending to the stage. He looked like a young man in his 20s wearing silver shiny armor from the neck below. He had blonde hair and turquoise blue eyes and a well-built body frame. He descended while his hands stretched like those angels in the painting when they descended on earth from the heavens.
He even had this sympathizing smile as he looked at us.
“Who the hell is this guy?” I asked.
“Excuse me but he is not ‘some guy’. You must be a dumb moron living in the boonies if you don’t know this man. He is Lord Lux Sentinel, one of the 12 heavenly virtues, the virtue of ambition in the flesh. That spear that just killed that beast belongs to him. Watch your mouth while addressing him or you shall call unnecessary troubles.”
The back of my throat sucked in all the air as I was at loss for words.
That guy was one of the heavenly virtues in the flesh.
“A thousand pardons my devotees.” said Lux as he gracefully floated down the stage, “I had to save a city from a horde of Wyvern raids, hence the delay. It seems the divine beast gave some trouble to my fellow people here but fear not, your divine protector is now here.”
There he was, my arch enemy, and we finally met.
I mean I was the only one who had seen him and he had yet to see me but it's almost the same thing.
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