Chapter 7:

"Aegis Draconis I", 3rd Movement

Shin X Kyoko: Fallen from Grace, but OUR LEVELS will bring US back to the top!


We immediately took flight on her wings of scarlet, I felt the cool wind run through my hair as soon as we went. And soon a question appeared in my mind.

"Kyoko! Can I ask something?" I called out.

She responded quickly, "Go ahead, what is it?"

Without anymore hesitation, I asked, "This City we're going to, what is it exactly? Is it full of full of... people like you?"

She shook her head, "No it isn't full of brainless monsters if that's what you're asking. The City is called Agios Pagetos, or in your tongue, "The Holy Frost." There are many tribes of refugees and deserters that take refuge away from the ongoing war. It's considered a sacred city by many, and has been protected by the Almighty Divine Dragon for many Songs."

I became a bit intrigued at this saying, "The Divine Dragon? What's that?"

Kyoko hesitated a bit, but soon she reluctantly responded, "The strongest and most revered Dragon in the entire Tranquil Pandemonium. His Knowledge and Wisdom knows no bounds, he was even the One that prophesied about the End of our Song. His name is Lord Kuroakami, The Divine Dragon of the Frozen Moon!"

I didn't know how to react to that information, I simply responded with, "Wow, that sounds so intense. And you also know this cursed place by that name? The Tranquil Pandemonium?"

Kyoko added onto her saying, "Yes, it's the name that's been passed down for centuries upon centuries. Every ancient prophecy calls it that, and according to Lord Kuroakami, it's also the originator of all life on Aria. You'll learn more once I introduce you to the Divine Dragon!"

My eyes widened, "What!? I'm going to meet him!? Why?"

Kyoko's eyes relented, "Because you have to, I can't tell you why just yet. You just have to trust me on this, it's too complicated to explain."

A reasonable concern arose in me, "But what if he kills me!?"

Kyoko shook her head, "He won't kill you! Believe it or not, he's one of the most peaceful Dragons in history. His grace is deep, and his mercy is wide. He won't attack you unless you show hostility against his City and his people."

My voice cracked, "A-Are you sure? Won't everyone see me as a threat since I'm human?"

Kyoko confidently nodded her head, "Of course not! Everyone is welcomed in Agios Pagetos, even some criminals if they're repented from their sins!"

I nodded in doubt, "Uh huh, okay I will trust you then. This is still just a lot for me you know? Just yesterday I was still on the surface of Aria, and now I'm plummeted deep into some wild adventure that just gets crazier and crazier as I move on..."

Kyoko stayed silent and didn't answer back, her face however told me exactly what she was probably thinking, "I'm sorry about that..."

Kyoko aimed her sights deeper into abyss, she quickly grabbed my hand and pulled me closer towards herself. Suddenly, a strong gust of power shot through my entire body. It made me hesitate, but I couldn't reveal that to Kyoko.

Kyoko focused her gaze towards the direction of the power surge, "Grrr damn it! They somehow caught up to us already! I knew we shouldn't have took that break!"

Kyoko ceased her flight and brought us back down to the ground, we landed and looked around. Kyoko stretched out her hand and summoned a red magical circle, soon a bright red light broke out and some sort of sword poked itself outside of the circle.

I looked in awe at this sight, and I couldn't snap out of it. I watched as Kyoko grabbed hold of the sword sticking out of the magic circle and pulled it out slowly. I soon saw a blood red sword with a semi-curved blade. It was shiny and metallic looking, but the hilt looked like scales in way.

Kyoko signaled me with her eyes and shouted, "Shin! Stop daydreaming and arm yourself! They're going to be here any second now!"

I gave her a puzzled look, "Who are you talking about? Who's coming!"

She looked back at me, "Someone I've been wanting to kill for a very long time already, and not only him but his army too..."

"What!? Are you serious right now!? An army!?" I blurted.

"We have no time to be dismayed, these caverns are about to become a battlefield. And we are severely outnumbered, however though, we shouldn't be outnumbered for too long! We just need to survive until they get here!"

My interest was immediately piqued, "Wait someone's coming to help us? How do you know that?"

Kyoko gave an amused smile and chuckled, "Hehe let's just say all of this was kind of planned since the beginning. And now we have them right where we want them..."

Kyoko did some practice swings with her sword and crimson slashes broke the wind and fired towards the abyss. Their cut slashed through every rock in it's path, and diverged a small boulder in the way!

I was pretty impressed by that, and my face showed it. Kyoko then regained her stance and said to me, "Shin, you should probably get ready. They're almost here!"

I then materialized my rusty scythe and grimoire, I readied my stance and surveyed the surrounding area.

I then hear Kyoko call out in a frustrated voice, "What!?"

I turn towards her and see that she's looking around frantically, "What happened Kyoko!?"

"I feel them coming in all directions! How did they manage to surround us!?" she clamored.

"What!? How bad is that!?" I shouted.

Kyoko tightened her grip around her sword, "It's pretty bad! Damn it! Looks like I have no choice, I hate that it came to this." 

Soon 4 spikes shot through Kyoko's hand from the handle of her blade. Blood ran down from her hand and it reinforced itself along the edge of the sword. It was almost like her blood was becoming the swords' edge itself!

"What are you doing Kyoko!? That looks like it hurts!" I called out.

She bit her lip at the self inflicted pain, "Sometimes when the battlefield is full of blood and iron, you can only do one thing."

"And what's that?" I replied.

She gripped her blade tighter and more blood ran down, "You become the Blood and the Iron!"

Soon her blade was completely crystallized in her own blood, it gave off a metallic scent and I could feel the extraordinary yet strange power built up inside.

Out of the blue, from deep inside the darkness. I felt something evil, it was dense and made the atmosphere thick. It felt like a raging surge of power emitting from a powerful creature. It almost felt like Kyoko's energy, but more negative.

Kyoko's blade continuously reinforced blood alongside it's edge and enlarged it. Kyoko raised her sword to the sky, "Don't relent Ketsueki! Consume me in your hunger, and give me everything you got!"

"Ketsueki huh? That must be what she named her sword... I should probably name my scythe one day..."

Soon I felt gazes from all around me, it felt unreal but also very distinct. I knew deep down in my spirit that the battle was about to begin. Then suddenly a familiar red message blared in front of me:

! WARNING !
An extraordinary foe draws near!
Proceed carefully with the upmost caution
Your life is at risk!

From the shadows, an abnormally large (about 4 cubits high) dark greyish figured stepped forward into the unmarked battleground. Kyoko raised her blade above her brow and fixed her gaze upon the mysterious figure. He had large iron pauldrons and wore a unusually decorated skull as a mask. He held a large bone-like staff in his right hand, and a small grimoire in the other. He suddenly stopped in his tracks and peered back at Kyoko. Their showdown was cold and bleak, and I could sense some bad blood between them.

Without breaking her gaze, Kyoko then sternly said to me, "Shin listen close for I'm only going to say it once. Whatever you do, don't get in-between us. Lest you die in the storm that's about to break loose."

Soon a dark red status box appeared over the monsters head:

[Lv. ???: Malcaborg the Unbroken]

What? Is that a name!? I've never seen a name on a creature before? What the hell is going on!?

I simply took steps back without further question. This is truly a fight I couldn't meddle into, just who is this monster that could rival against a dragon!?

And suddenly, I saw 2 more large grey enemies take stance beside Malcaborg. Their status boxes were orangish red and had the same menacing title etched in:

[Lv. 25 Lieutenant Chieftain: Uzril-Shoka]
[Lv. 25 Lieutenant Chieftain: Uzril-Nahjou]

"Are those more name!? And look at their levels!? I'm not even half of that!" I blurted. I looked over at Kyoko but she didn't seem to notice my sudden shout. I whispered under my breath, "What the hell is about to happen..? Am I going to survive this!? Just how strong is everyone here!?"

Many conflicting and terrifying thoughts arose in me, and fear started to overtake me once again. Kyoko perceived my hesitation and disheartened spirit, and so she spoke to me.

"Shin listen, don't be dismayed. Although goblins are savage creatures, they do hold much pride within themselves. Therefore they won't dare do anything that would bring shame to their chivalry. If we beat the 3 monsters standing before us, then all the other will flee in terror. All you have to do is hold off the two guards, and I will take down the leader."

I gulped hard and choked on my speech, "A-Are you saying I have to fight those two at the same time!? Don't you realize how powerful they are compared to me!?"

Kyoko stomped her foot into the ground, "Of course I know! But we don't have any other choice! This is life and death! Whether we live or die is determined here! Now are you going to keep pissing your pants and die? Or are you going to grow some balls and stand your ground until our help arrives?"

I immediately silenced myself, I've never been rebuked so harshly yet so encouraging before. I knew what I had to do, I knew since the beginning what this insufferable journey was going to cost. It's life or death, and I'll be damned if I chose death!

I took another deep breath, brandished my scythe, and steeled my resolve, I then smile back at Kyoko with unfathomable confidence, "Damn it Kyoko, you better hope those allies of yours hurry quick! Let's freaking do this then!"

I walked up beside Kyoko and aimed my sights towards the 2 Lieutenants. I know deep down some miracle is gonna happen, but I don't wanna rely on miracles anymore. I want to rely on my own power, and my own strength! Therefore I need to become stronger!

Malcaborg then raised his staff above his head and unleashed a resounding war cry that shook the very pillars of the void!

*WAAAAARRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH*

Kyoko remained unmoved, while I stumbled a bit. The Lieutenant Chieftains then both sounded their cries, and this caused the smaller goblins to exalt their cries!

*WAAAAARRRRGHHHHHH*

The entire battleground was echoing in war screams as they small army of goblins rallied their leaders for battle! Somehow I began to feel pretty invigorated, I felt pleasure by the thought of destroying the morale of the goblins by executing their champions. 

I looked over at Kyoko who was already itching for the pending fight, "Kyoko, I'm going to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm going to survive this battle, and so I want you to fulfill one dream I always had."

Kyoko's gave a diabolical smile, "What is it Shin? Speak your mind!"

I responded back with the same energy and raised forth my scythe, "I've always dreamed of having a waltz with a beautiful young lass, and well I think you cam fulfill that one wish. Will you let me have the honor of sharing this final dance with you?"

Kyoko smiled brightly at this, "Oh my how romantic! Well since you asked so nicely, I would be glad to fulfill your request! But under one condition!"

"And what is that?" I asked.

"You have to promise to dance with me again when this is over, only then will I allow you to take my hand in this waltz!"

I felt empowered and rallied up, even more so than ever before. Somehow her words could truly speak into my heart. Without hesitation, I immediately answered, "I promise! Let's make this the first dance of many!"

Kyoko then turned to me and stretched out her free hand, "Then come my Savior! Take my hand and let us paint this battlefield in red!"

I stepped forward and took her soft warm hand, and I felt an overwhelming power building up inside of her. From the moment we touched, I realized just how powerful she actually was. It was like a raging storm brewing inside of her body. It was restrained and dying to be let out, and I felt chills in my own spine!

Relief washed over me, and I realized that the battle was indeed unfair, but not in the way I originally thought. We released our hands to begin our final stand at each other's side, and thus the final waltz drew near.

Kyoko then raised her voice and blade to the heavens and declared once more, "It's time Shin! Raise your banner high! For today we become the Blood and the Iron!"