Dark clouds, spitting thunder and rain hung ominously overhead a green-field which bordered a purple forest. Near the perimeter, three robed figures stood pitifully around a cauldron stirring a strange virescent concoction, the only protection a rough and ragged tarp that was being pelted by rain and swung erratically due to the fierce and cutting wind.
"Sisters, Sisters. When shall we three meet again? On the eve of battle or when the hero is but a grain of flesh?"
"After days of blood and days of death, we three will meet again. When father cleaves kin of dragon peace will end shortly in vain."
"Hush sisters, concentrate on the cauldron before it burns and churns. Round and round we push and pull, tail of bat and tail of newt, eye of dragon and heart of sage, we pray to gods for it not to spit or spray."
"We talk of future in singsong and rhyme, who cares about some silly liquid not prepared for lunchtime."
"Not edible, we say. Is poison? Nay or yay? Answer us, does yee speak hearsay?"
"FOOLS! You shrieking harpies are birdbrained. Who feeds you your tonics of future sight? ME! SO stop yipping and yapping, you harlot foxes, now drink and disperse back to the forest."
Several days later in a kingdom, some days march away, a man in his prime was covered in thick blood and gore. In his right hand was a broad axe not as large as a great axe but larger than a hatchet, with a handle curved like an 'S'. In his left hand was a rusty sword oxidized from the blood covering every inch of its blade and if presented to a smith, the weapon would be deemed as scrap, for the innumerable amount of chips and scratches reduced it to a metallic shiv rather than a blade. This sword was not the mans weapon but one plucked from the cold rigid hands of a unrecognisable corpse. This man had blue shaggy hair, red penetrating eyes and many vivid scars.
Unlike the many soldiers littering the floor, the man was bare of any armour exposing his tightly packed muscle to the world. His lacking choice of garments was due to the uniform being torn to shreds days ago and discarded amongst the mess called the battlefield.
A woman with glittering gold hair and glowing red tattoos stood behind him untouched by any filth of battle, her perfect figure was only marred by a single scar from her right ear to forehead. Although her attribute of cleanliness seemed originate from the man as any blood and gore within a metre of him, vacuumed up into nothingness while severed limbs dispersed into ash, the blood he was bathed in appeared more decorative, considering his ability, or maybe it was a lack of concern to his own appearance.
The woman's cold eyes and venomous smirk, partnered with the man's devilish appearance, dettered anyone from joining their team. Even if she were to team with another, the man, her fiancee would have chopped at them mercilessly, and vice versa, the woman would have incinerated anyone trying to team up with the man.
At an early age their parents had arranged their marriage to each other, but neither had protested, with each day potentially being their last, they couldn't care for formalities that would easily be crumbled if either died. But both had survived for nine perilous years, covering each other's backs through thick and thin, creating inseparable bonds.
However, they had gotten tired of the continuous carnage and bloodshed, Dacia was pregnant with a boy, and despite their levels and age, they felt old. A twenty-seven-year-old general and a thirty-eight-year-old court mage with strands of grey hair from stress and war, they had been working for peace ever since the war had taken their whole family, but there was still one hurdle left. They had killed all the small fry, and only the leader was still alive.
However, he was above level three-hundred and a shapeshifter likely with several tier-three skills, this included transforming into a bloodthirsty storm drake, although rumour had it he rarely appeared as a humanoid, many speculating a curse or side affect of a class.
Mighty gusts of wind swept the dust and biomatter aside, and a gargantuan form descended landing with a heavy thump. It shook its head before letting loose an earth-shattering roar.
Speaking with a grating tone and lingering lisp, the dragon exclaimed arrogantly:
"Ha. A small and dying kingdom wishes to end me with pawns on a board, don't make me laugh. A level two-hundred and seventy-five mage and a two-hundred and seventy six warrior and you two have the balls to try and test my patience. I'll give you a fate worse than death, for I am Azar the invincible."
Looking at the storm drake, the man had a cold glint in his eyes. The Inhabitants of Theter, and, well many dimensions, could appraise enemies. Although in most cases, the information was seen as incredibly lacking, with sentient creatures, it would only reveal their first class and level, if it was a monster, you would get the species name and level. And if the level of the creature was out of your identifiers range, you would only receive question marks. For example:
Two question marks meant he was roughly fifty levels higher than the man, so he was at three-twenty? Well, thereabout. And yes, despite being a shapeshifter appraisal reveals him as a warrior. There are only four occupations, but they subdivide into perhaps millions? Maybe trillions of other classes, so the main ones were Warrior, Mage, Rogue and Crafter, this system allowed victims or defenders of a fight to still hold initiative against aggressors.
Focusing back on the battle, the man discarded his salvaged weapon to the side and hefted the axe onto his shoulder. Meanwhile, Dacia, threw up her hands from waist upwards, summoning a faint barrier to protect herself, then she thrust out her hands away from her chest conjuring a metal lance, ready to attack or defend.
Despite landing close to the man and woman, the drake wanted distance, so it summoned massive tornadoes to push them away, and it even sent a breath of lightning towards the man. However, its attempts were futile. The man sidestepped the lightning, and any snaking branches diffused into his skin, which had flashed chrome for a brief second. He then closed the distance and used the suction of the tornadoes to throw himself at the drake, which on instinct smashed at him with a scaly claw.
The claw was deflected thou, as a metal lance forced his claw away, no blood was drawn, but it allowed the man to chop at the drake, leaving a shallow slash that would have gone deeper if not for an incoming tail threatening to crush him. He used his close proximity to push himself out of the way and cut deeply into the rear, although a cut from the blade attached to drake's tail carved a line in the man's chest.
The drake found its body cumbersome and decided to shrink to gain speed, from the height of an elephant it shrunk to the size of a cow. Muscles compressed and rippled threateningly, its flexibility rose. The drake dashed forward like a komodo dragon and pounced, twisting its head to try and bite into the man's torso.
"JOHN!" Darcia shouted in worry, breaking her cold facade, yet the man was still calm and spun, hitting the snout of the drake with the hammer on the flip side of the axe deflecting the drake away spectacularly, and creating a cloud of dust.
"I'm fine, but stay focused."
Azar became infuriated and lashed out with his tail stabbing it out and sweeping it like a spear. He also occasionally shot out beams of lightning. However, the pursuit of the man, made it so the drake could only cover itself with a veil of lightning in the hopes of passively damaging the man. Yet the battle resumed, the varying momentum of the man and beast created climatic tension that could enthral any bystander if they had not already frozen in fear. Despite, the man's ability to dodge, weave and counter-attack, the large claw marks that started to accumulate definitely made the battle close. Furthermore, despite the shallow yet fatal gashes on the drake, the axe was close to shattering, not any looted or created weapon could withstand this breathtaking battle, and this heirloom made for war could not withstand the intensity. It was either the drake fell or the weapon broke, either would decide the fate of battle.
Fortunately for the man, both parties were low on stamina from this high-intensity fight, as neither had paused their attacks or let up on opportunities. This drew their battle to a halt as both were mentally and physically exhausted from attacking, counter-attacking and defending, one would also have to consider their consumption of mana, low considering they are warriors. Still, the consumption started to proportionately increase at the end.
Occupied by the man, the drake had forgotten about the woman. He could not be made entirely accountable for this mistake, both man and drake were bordering life and death, the experience of the man had gained from the war was not for show, and it allowed him to exploit the tiniest gap, wearing the drake down quickly. Yet, any direct hit from the drake would have been disastrous for the man, and the glancing blows were slowly leaving the man anemic from blood loss. So neither could afford to look away from their battle.
The drake had felt a growing sense of urgency as a glow came from behind it, a threat. The woman was a rune and metal mage, not the strongest selection of professions but like any class, they had a lot of versatility. Unbeknownst to the drake, a cannon had been created, made up of science and magic. The projectile was a glass ball that had runes to collect, infuse and condense hydrogen inside of it. The cannon would then use space magic to fire the shot, folding space and getting it to its target; meanwhile, a bolt of lightning with a slight delay, would be fired from a rune at the back of the cannon, hitting the ball and igniting the hydrogen. The result?
When the exhausted drake had felt a burst of mana behind it with impending doom, it tried to flee, yet the man blocked it's escape. And with a deafening boom, the light was briefly concentrated where the drake last stood, and a large dust cloud had risen.
"Phew" Letting out a sigh the woman was prepared to fall over and rest, but the battle had not ended.
A projectile the size of a gecko flew at the unguarded woman, and when she had sensed the danger, it was already too late. But the man who was engulfed by dust grabbed the creature and threw it away, not before losing a chunk of flesh from his hand.
Unable to maintain its small size, the 'gecko' transformed back into a heavily injured drake, the wounds worsened by the sudden compression. Releasing a held breath, the man charged forward. He used the trump card he had hidden, for the man had the classes Blood-borne and executioner, giving him special abilities against groups or heavily injured foes. The skill he was about to demonstrate was called executioner, a spiritual scythe would appear and consume the blood and distress released from the adversary to instil power into a manifestation of death to reap their life and soul. The manifestation was larger than an elephant and had the appearance of a robed black spirit with a curved bladed scythe.
Yet Azar had also held back, feeling the danger he used his ability called 'Descendants of Dragons', dragons were feared by even the gods, but to be clear Azur is a drake, almost completely unrelated to dragons other than a slight draconian resemblance and probably less than a yocto litre of concentrated dragon's blood, so it was more of a lucky coincidence that Azur had the skill. The skill Azar instinctually released would only last until Azar exhausted his mana and collapsed. But dispite the vanuable position Azur would be left in, he had managed to dispell John's executioner's ability, had triumphed over death. And with the thump Azar certainly did collapse, yet John had not. Azur had only delayed the inevitability as John still had one more skill.
The ability he used was a passive skill which required a specific set of conditions to activate. And when it did, the drake flipped out, it limbs convulsed wildly and it shook its head, tail and shredded wings as if it was having a seizure. The skill was called 'Blood silence' used to kill creatures like vampires and those with traces of antiquity, the stronger the bloodline the greater the resistance and the skill literally eradicated all traces. In most cases, DNA became extremely denatured and the blood became thrombocytopenic or thin, either way, the process was painful. This skill cancelled any projection of auras and magic barriers as long as the opponent is wounded and had a bloodline, which Azar happened to just about meet.
So the end of Azar was now set in stone, as anti-climatic as killing a chicken, John walked up and decapitated him with one quick chop, and then wobbled over to his fiancee and collapsed. The man and woman then manoeuvred until they were back to back, and when they were, Darcia fell unconscious.
"Kekekekeke, I told you sisters, days of blood and days of death, we three will meet again. When father cleaves kin of dragon peace will-."
"So which do we talk to first, man or woman? And would they consider us friend or foe?"
"Hush sisters, draw closer we must, then we talk about what fate has in store for all of us."