Chapter 1:

The Thunder Axe

Miracle Weapon Hunt

“So, what’s the status on Sandala?”

Cassandra whispered to herself over the deck of her airship, looking into a pair of binoculars. One other ship docked next to the Sandala Grand. Shouldn’t be anything too major to deal with. The surrounding housing ships were all disconnected, and the flames underneath the grand were still bursting with life.

“What’s the security on the housing ships?” She asked the helmsman.

“Maximum. But two were ravaged and they could definitely break through the rest if they wanted to, and it’d be no question if they got the axe.”

“Okay, we need to make this quick.” Cassandra nodded. “Prepare to land!”

The small carry ship flew over and would be five minutes before they land. So with nothing troublesome seeming to hide on the horizon, she checked her weapon stash.

A battle axe? No. It was strong, but the time between swings could lead to her getting stabbed if the new fighters were as strong as she heard they were.

“Let’s see, one pre-sky shortsword should hopefully be enough.” She casually sheathed her weapon into her belt, tucking a few daggers in her green varsity jacket in case anything unexpected appeared.

The ship docked, and Cassandra donned her green cap over her ginger hair and walked out with her crew of about twenty into the airship.

Once she entered the main testing facility of the unmoving airship, the chill of the area washed over her. The facility had nothing but a grand central hall completely devoid of life. The news of the invasion only broke a day ago, yet it felt like nothing ever existed here. The only thing preventing complete darkness was a dim emergency light weakly illuminating the hallways.

“Any signs of life?” She asked.

“Not feeling anything.”

“Okay. Inspect the area for spare generators and survivors. Anyone who wants to find the axe, come with me.”

Around five people stood with Cassandra while the rest scattered into the separate bedrooms on each side of the main hall to hunt. She took the stairs up to another set of hallways, checking the rooms. There were a few nicely decorated bedrooms as well as a few rooms displaying projections of grids next to them.

“Okay, I’m guessing the axe is at the top. But it could be hidden underneath.” Cassandra said to her men. “If anyone wants to go down and see if there’s an elevator, feel free.”

Three men nodded and went downstairs from her view. Cassandra headed upwards, with nothing in terms of interest springing out. One room had a poster, with a stack of magazines on the bed. She flicked through them and placed them in her bag when nobody was looking. Something for Roxanne to look at later, perhaps.

With the floor scoped out and nothing of interest, she headed to the third floor. The lights were off completely. She turned the light switch on by the stairway, and the emergency lights made a dim path towards a metal walkway above an unused electrical grid.

She took her sword out. If this light was still working, then it was more than likely somebody turned it off.

“Any signs of life?”

Her companion felt the air around him.

“The air feels different then the other floors.” He confirmed. “There could be someone else around.”

“Thanks. Stay back.”

She dropped her bag and walked outwards, sword in hand. She made it to the other end of the walkway, where a small garden lay underneath a glass roof showing the sun in all its glory. And just past that was a small tower, and a voice.

“Come on! Open up!”

The young man in the hoodie was kicking the door to the building.

“Who are you?” Cassandra asked.

The man turned around. Black hoodie with white sleeves, with a spear on his back. Shaggy black hair peering over his hood.

“I’m looking for the thunder axe. What’s your deal?”

“And I take it you’re with the new legions?”

“Number thirty-five out of five hundred. But while we’re on allegiances, who would you be with?”

“I live with the miracle scouting group, top one out of twenty-five.”

“Ah, just some small timer then.” The man sneered while pulling his spear out. “So, how would you prefer to die? Head or heart?”

“I’ll tell you when I decide.” Cassandra replied calmly.

Cassandra ran towards him, sidestepping the thrust of Thirty-Fives spear. She ran towards him, stabbing forward with her blade. Thirty-Five aimed his spear between Cassandra’s legs, and she barely managed to jump on the spear’s hilt and use the swing’s momentum to propel herself upwards. While she was airborne, she threw a dagger downwards. Thirty-Five managed to swipe it away, but while the spear was to his side, she landed a kick to his face.

Thirty-Five yelled out in pain and swiped as Cassandra tried to jump away. She thought the distance was good enough, but the pain in her left leg said otherwise. She was able to stand but stepping forward would be painful.

Cassandra jumped back when the man tried to stab her again, struggling to land on her feet as the landing pain hit her. All she needed was a quick minute, and her leg would hopefully be fine.

“So, what are you fighting for, anyway?” She asked, holding her sword to her face.

“I’m just trying to collect the thunder axe.” Thirty-Five replied.

“Okay, but why is the new legion trying to collect it?” She asked.

“We’re trying to get all the relic weapons.” He announced calmly. “Once we get them all, we’ll be able to destroy the Lux and the other kingdoms, and nobody will be able to stop us!”

“I see. Well, seems like a good reason to stop you.”

Her leg was healed, so she leapt back into action, thrusting her sword forward. Thirty-Five was taken aback, swinging his spear forward. But Cassandra merely grabbed the hilt and swiped it out of his hands. She grabbed his hoodie and headbutted him, slamming him against the metal railing of the walkway. He tried wrestling her sword away from her, but she pushed him over the railing before he could try anything.

He fell into the grid with the sound of something breaking as he hit the ground. Cassandra ran down the stairway with the two others. Thirty-five survived the fall and was slowly getting up.

“Look for a switch, quick!”

The three of them ran around the perimeter of the wall, and out of view behind a potted plant was a switch. The man who discovered it slammed the button down.

The grid sprang to life, and Thirty-five screamed out as he died inside it. And as his screams faded, the electricity in the building came back to life.

“Good job, Tomas.” Cassandra said, putting her sword back in her belt.

As she went back to the tower, she picked up the spear Thirty-five was holding. Solid weight behind it, with some grooves on the tip of the spear to do some real internal damage. Looked like a decent post-sky weapon she didn’t have, so that was reason enough to pick it up. And as she went into the small tower, she found…nothing. The tower just seemed to be the boss room in security mode.

Just then, she got a call on her phone. She flipped it open, and on the other hand was another one of her men.

“Cassandra! There’s a wielder downstairs! You gotta come quick, he can- “

The call cut off, and Cassandra ran down to the ground floor before the others could catch up. On the ground floor was an elevator, which she ran into while slamming the down button.

Once she got off the elevator, the corpse of the one of her men lay right in front of her, riddled with holes. The only thing in the room was a dark hallway with a figure at the end, in front of an open door.

“So, are you the reason I can’t contact Cole?” A raspy man’s voice at the end of a hallway asked.

“Is he ranked thirty-fifth?” Cassandra asked. “Because if so, he died in the grid upstairs.”

“You bitch!” The voice yelled. “Well, I’ll let you know I’m ranked number twenty-two. So come a little closer. I dare you.”

Shadows enveloped the elevator behind Cassandra, and she responded by throwing a dagger forward. The dagger was immediately caught by a series of tendrils popping out of the dark hallway. Cassandra ran forward, her legs getting slashed by a series of shadows trying to grab her. But as long as she kept running, she wouldn’t feel the pain. And her legs would hopefully recover enough between each slash to reach the cloaked figure at the end.

A shadow was shot forward as another tripped Cassandra up. It shot past her face, barely missing her. She felt a bleeding sensation on where her left ear should be, and when she checked, it was gone.

She kept running. Julian could fix her up later, worst case scenario. She thrust her sword forward in a last-ditch effort to finish this man. Twenty-two grabbed her sword out of her hand with his tendrils, with more appearing to snare her limbs.

“Hm, no lasting damage, it seems. If I were to guess, I’d say you’re a wielder with some kind of regeneration ability. And if my cuts can’t damage you, I’ll just be forced to call for backup.”

Twenty-two quickly threw her in the door behind him and covered it in a thick layer of shadows. She immediately stood up and looked behind her. And behind her were rows upon rows of axes. About a dozen downwards and across. In the middle of the first row was the body of one of her men, his face frozen in dying agony with a hand outstretched.

She apologized to his body as she removed his shoe. She threw it at one of the axes, and it exploded into a brilliant display of lightning as it clashed with the axe.

So, if she were to guess, one of the axes were real, and the rest would kill her if she touched it. She walked past the rows of axes looking for some kind of distinction. There had to be at least a minor one, otherwise some intern would get killed finding it. As she continued her inspection, she heard a faint voice. She looked towards the body.

Still dead. And there was hopefully nobody else in the room to speak. So, as she followed the voice, it got more frequent. Words too quiet to make out, but the weapon was saying something.

So, this was the distinction then? With nothing else to go off, she grabbed the axe.

The other axes disappeared. The axe started glowing with electricity in her hands. It was a large double ended axe. Grey with golden edges. Its size meant it would be hard for her to wield, but she was willing to use it. She slashed downwards on the layer of shadows, and a burst of electricity quickly melted it.

Twenty-two looked at her in fear. He tried throwing up another wall of shadows, only for a flash of electricity to light up the room and melt them. Twenty-two screamed as the axe cut through him in one smooth motion.

Cassandra picked up Lincolns and Buck’s body, her ear, and the spear, and made her way to the elevator.

Once she got up, she found the other members of her team. One was holding two generators, and one was holding a boxed set of daggers.

“We lost Lincoln and Buck.” She announced. “But we have the axe. Now get on the ship before more of the new legion arrive.”

As she said that, an explosion went off behind her. She looked in front of the door, and a man holding a grenade launcher was in front of her.

“You twenty-two’s backup?” Cassandra asked.

“Number fourteen.” He replied. He was more muscular than the other guys. Older too, with a scar across his face. Wearing a white tank top and baggy jeans. He fired a grenade at the group, which Cassandra swiped away with her axe. It barely made its way past her, exploding a small distance away.

“Get to the ship, now!”

More explosions filled the area as Cassandra tried batting them away. She took a grenade to the leg, barely managing to keep it intact. She was forced to drop the two bodies as she ran to the escape.

The remaining crew got into the ship, with the man following her close behind, firing more of his seemingly endless supply of grenades. Cassandra and her crew were able to get onto the ship and start it before he could get any closer.

“So, on the way to miracle?” The helmsman asked.

“Yep. Onwards to miracle.”