Chapter 1 – Nightmare

The sky was filled with spatial rifts, millions of beasts escaping from them, invading a huge plain, painting a picture of the world’s end.

On the other side of the plain, many different races composed of millions of humans, elves, dwarfs, angels, beast-men, and other races of all kinds did their best to retain the charge of the beasts.

Fire, ice, wind blades, and infinite quantities of different abilities explode between the two armies making the plain tremble for thousands of kilometers, bringing with them ravage and destruction in their way.

The plain was filled with pulverized and crushed corpses as far as the eye could see. No matter what races or beasts they were. Once they fell to the ground, nothing was left but a bloody mess of their old form. The blood that flowed on this plain had long since formed rivers.

The races that defend the plain gradually lose ground to the army of beasts that escape from the seemingly endless rifts. For each beast that was slain, two others replaced it, leaving them no respite and making them feel a sense of despair every second that they struggling to survive.

Neither side had pity for the other. Every second, thousands of dead appeared on the plain.

A young man stood alone in the midst of a pile of dead beasts. One hundred meters around him was a death zone filled with a bloody mess. His body was soaked with the blood of beasts that had rushed upon him, and pieces of flesh were still glued to his clothes.

The young man looked like he was in his mid-twenties. Measuring 1.80 meters, He had a light skin tone, reddish brown eyes resembling two sparkling ambers, and black hair with shades of dark green that were stained with blood.

He slowly raised his eyes to look away, only to see a sea of beasts without end, rushing towards the army composed of different races.

“Sigh, this will never end…”

A deep sigh came from the young man. Electric arcs formed close to him. The sky seemed to darken suddenly, and dark clouds merged when a pillar of lightning resembling a celestial spear that would bring a divine judgment upon this plain seemed to pierce the heavens, its brilliance illuminating the sea of beasts below. The pillar struck the ground with a thunderous impact, unleashing a cataclysmic explosion that rippled across the vast plain, killing thousands of beasts.

When the different races saw this pillar of lightning, a strong acclamation came from them before they again charged the army of beasts without any hesitation as if they were throwing their lives away.

A young woman appeared with lightning dancing around her body. Every movement she made was accompanied by bright sparks, highlighting her presence and attracting the eyes of all who lay their eyes on her.

When the young man looked at her, her whole face seemed blurred to him, he could not discern the features of her body or face, as if a dark veil was obscuring his sight.

“You should avoid wasting so much crystal essence for such weak crystal beasts.” said the young man.

“We have to buy time until they finish, Kieran. If I can help the front lines withstand just one more second, wasting crystal essence will be worth it.”

“But you tire yourself for nothing! If the worst happens…”

“If the worst happens, I will die fighting.” said the young woman with a firm tone.

“You…”

Beasts quickly arrived around them to fill the space left by the ones who had died from the lightning pillar.

The beasts roared as they got closer and closer to Kieran and the young woman.

“Get lost!”

He shouted at the beasts that came closer to him, waving his hand at them, a pair of protruding claws replacing his hand for a split second before returning to his human form.

The air exploded in front of him, forming huge cuts in the ground that crossed the horde of beasts, making them explode in a bloody mess.

As he turned to look at the young woman again, a loud roar echoed across the plain, silencing all the noises.

A spatial rift was growing in sight in the sky, and a pair of giant claws came out of it, pressing on each side of the spatial rift to enlarge it.

The sound of shattering glass shook the whole plain when a colossal dragon’s head covered with silver scales slowly emerged from it, eclipsing the sun. Seeing this monstrosity appear in the sky above the plain, the faces of all races darken, and a feeling of despair fills each of them at this sight.

“He’s coming. You have to leave now, Kieran. You can’t stay here anymore.”

Kieran could sense in the young woman’s voice that she was filled with concern for him even though he couldn’t see any features of her face.

“There’s nothing we can do now that he’s starting to cross the rift. Leaving won’t help. I’m not going to leave you here!”

He suddenly felt an immense rage invading his whole body.

“They’ve prepared everything, you have to go. All these deaths will have been for nothing if you don’t go.”

Rage rose increasingly inside his body as he watched this dragon emerge from the rift little by little.

“You mustn’t die here, I’ll definitely come back!”

“Don’t worry. I’m not going to die here.”

The world changed around him as if a movie had been accelerated. He awoke in a laboratory, his body lying in a tank filled with a bluish-green product with cables connected to his body, an oxygen tube was attached to his mouth, and his head was pierced by dozens of needles affixed to wires that were connected to a computer next to the tank.

Suddenly, the whole building shook when an alarm sounded. The laboratory door opened, and the young woman who was with him in the plain crossed it in an instant. Her clothes were covered with blood, and many wounds could be found all over her body. She approached the tank limping.

“He managed to pass, but it’s too late for him. We succeeded, Kieran.”

Even though her face was still blurred for him, a smile could still be discerned on her face. She relaxed her body and pressed her hand against the tank.

“No matter what happens, you have to find me.”

Locked inside the tank, Kieran tried to speak, but not a single sound could escape his mouth. Seeing him struggling in the tank to try to speak, tears run down the young woman’s face.

“I know… Me too…”

She couldn’t finish her words when a huge claw smashed through the lab wall before stabbing her and Kieran. No more sound or movement could be seen from her. She stood there, her body stabbed by that giant claw, but she still had that gentle smile on her face.

The laboratory roof was torn off by another claw when the giant pupil of a dragon looked down on them.

“I finally found you.”

A powerful voice resounded through the laboratory.

Sorrow, sadness, helplessness, regret, hatred, rage… All these feelings flowed inside Kieran as he looked at the lifeless body of the woman in front of him with tears of blood streaming from his eyes.

The dragon looked at Kieran in the tank.

“You… What are you…”

An explosion of light put an end to the words of the dragon. The blast of light gradually invaded the world before submerging it. Kieran’s vision became blurred until everything disappeared before him.

He woke up in a panic in his room. His body was soaked in a cold sweat, his heart was pounding wildly, and tears ran down his cheeks.

He slowly raised his hand to his face, wiping the tears on his eyes.

“Sigh, it’s been six months since these nightmares started, and I still don’t understand it. The me in this dream may look like me, but he is totally different, whether it’s his body or his power, but even with the power I have in this dream that can kill thousands of crystal beasts just by waving my hand, I can’t do anything against this dragon that appears every time as a divine existence. Does such a monster really exist in this world…?”

“Not to mention this woman… Her face is blurry. I can’t even make out the slightest detail about her, but every time I see her in my nightmares, my heart can’t calm down, and every time the claw of the dragon pierces her, my heart tightens as if it will break into pieces.”

He placed his hand on his heart before tightening it.

“These nightmares really don’t make any sense…”

He began to calm down gradually when intense pain invaded his brain as if thousands of knives pierced him.

“Argh!”

He held back a howl as he held his head with both hands enduring the pain.

Twenty minutes later, the pain subsided until it disappeared completely. Kieran was crouching on the floor of his room, trying to catch his breath.

“Nightmares are one thing, but these headaches that appear at any time make me feel like my brain is going to explode every time.”

He got up slowly, gazing at the holographic calendar in the corner of his room to check the date.

[March 11, Year 20,998 of the Aegis calendar.]

“It’s today…”

He took a shower before leaving his room, dressed in a white shirt, black jacket, shorts, and black shoes. As he went down the stairs, he heard voices coming from the living room.

“After several years of negotiations, the peace treaty between the Aegis Alliance and the Elves of Loania is about to be signed. Agreements allowing exchanges between the two races will be put in place in the following month…”

He found the holographic TV on a news channel, smelling a good smell. He headed for the kitchen when he saw a woman preparing lunch.

The woman was in her mid-thirties. She was small, barely 1.55 m tall. She had large emerald-like eyes and long silky brown hair that was tied into a low-side ponytail hanging from her right shoulder.

“Morning, Mom.”

The woman was Sophia Arvost, Kieran’s mother.

Turning around, Sophia looked at her son with a bright smile on her face.

“You’re finally awake, Kieran.”

He looked around before looking back at his mother.

“Where is Ryan?”

“Your brother’s already gone to the academy, you should hurry too, or you’ll be late.”

He nodded with a slight smile on his face and ate quickly, listening to the information from the holographic TV.

“There are still two years left before the new ranking of the list of the 100 young sovereigns of Aegis. A potential candidate for the list may have appeared. The heir of the Norcox clan, Roy Norcox has just exceeded the Diamond rank reaching the realm of the transcendent at the age of 25, making him one of the youngest to achieve this achievement in the history of the Aegis Alliance…”

Kieran looked back at the TV, inspecting the image of a young man in golden armor.

“A 25-year-old transcendent…”

An expression of astonishment appeared on his face as a hint of envy passed through his eyes before disappearing as if he had never existed.

‘What’s the point of envying him? We don’t live in the same world.’

He turned to his mother again.

“I’m going. See you tonight, Mom.”

“Good luck on your awakening day, Kieran.”

“I hope to be lucky…” he whispered before leaving with a resolute look on his face.

Illustrations :

Kieran Arvost :

Sophia Arvost :

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