Ch 5: Awaken The Power Within
A large holograph floated above the auditorium, the images within frightened many to the core.
A small town burned to ash. As a group of soldiers walked through it, the recording showed a small girl maybe 7-8 years old crying near a body. As the group of soldiers approached to try and get her away from the wreckage, the girl’s head suddenly split open with teeth and bit clean through a soldier’s metal helmet and tore a chunk of his skull and brain away, killing him instantly. With a large swallow, the little girl devoured the flesh and metal with delight.
By the time the soldiers realized what had happened and went on the offensive, the girl had killed 7 more.
Garn shut off the hologram and spoke gravely.
“These Azirians are shapeshifters, with their true form being unknown even to this day. With strength comparable to 10 or so men and speed close to that as well, these creatures want for one thing and one thing only. To feed.”
A hand was raised from the crowd and was called upon, standing up, a young girl spoke hesitantly.
“Sir, um Garn. If they’re only 10 times stronger, can’t someone like you go in and just wipe them out instantly?”
Garn smiled bitterly. Shaking his head he answered.
“If only it were that simple. They hide too well.”
Garn filled the crystal ball with energy again and a new hologram displayed a map. Two-thirds of the map was white, while a third was completely blacked out.
“The white side represents all of the lands humans control, while the dark side is where they reside. Besides Azirians, their side has monstrous creatures and some of those monsters can even innately use magic. If there were no monsters then someone like me could potentially destroy a good chunk of them but even without the many dangerous monsters, there is still another threat.”
Garn pointed at the blacked out part of the map.
“Look closely, does anyone notice anything about the dark area.”
A few people squint their eyes before someone called out.
“Eh, it’s moving.”
“Miasma, that is the other danger that keeps us from invading them and wiping out the Azirians once and for all.”
Noticing the questioning gazes the summoned ones gave, Garn went on to explain. Whilst simultaneously taking out two small containers from seemingly nowhere.
“The miasma is a poison that destroys nearly all life.”
Garn opened one of the containers which held both a frog as well as a plant. Forming a barrier of light, Garn encompassed both the tree and the frog within the sphere like a prison, allowing nothing out. Opening the second container, Garn instantly formed a barrier around a purple-black mist, entrapping it so nothing could leak out.
Garn combined the two barriers and the miasma spread around the plant and frog. The frog at first seemed normal but after just a few seconds it began to jump and leap about frantically, a few seconds more and it turned over with its stomach up and moved no more. it was dead. The plant took slightly longer but the leaves curled and browned before falling and just before they touched the bottom of the barrier, they had already turned to dust.
The stalk of the plant was no better off. All of the liquid within seemed to evaporate and it withered and shrunk, it too fell apart into nothing more than dust.
Many gasps were heard all around the room. Another person stood up and pointed a shaky finger at the barrier.
“Look, the miasma, it’s still moving.”
No one was paying attention to the miasma after it had affected the frog and plant but sure enough, it was still moving around like a little swarm of bugs.
“This is what it does. it’s still not finished though.”
Those in the room refocused their attention on the inside of the barrier and the frog which was thought to be dead started to twitch. Its flesh began to bubble and split open. Its body doubled, no, tripled in size. Its eyes multiplied, going from two to eight and went from a solid black color to a fiery red in a matter of seconds. 5 horns tore through the top of its head and grew in crooked directions. It had fully mutated into something else entirely.
The monster frog then started to leap around and kick at the barrier and ram its body into it aggressively. Garn shook his head in disgust
“The miasma warps animals into monsters, turning them into sick abominations not meant for this world.”
Garn waved his staff and the miasma separated back into another barrier, which he then placed into a container and put away. Clenching his fist, the barrier which contained the monster frog, shrunk rapidly until the frog was crushed and killed for a second time. Lighting the frog’s corpse on fire, Gran turned it to dust and let it drift away with the wind.
Another summoned one spoke up.
“Garn, you said the miasma destroys nearly all life, is this what you meant?”
“Yes but not only that, there’s another disadvantage from the miasma that we must face. As you saw before, the miasma not only destroys life but firstly, it seeks life out. We have yet to discover why it does this but it moves towards the living. As we speak it’s moving even now.”
Garn once more directed their attention to the holographic map and zoomed in closely. The miasma was moving forward, closer and closer towards the major kingdoms. Devouring the land and warping the creatures in its path, slowly but surely it pushed forward.
To go from having one enemy to now three in a matter of minutes and hearing how difficult said enemies were to face, the summoned ones felt more and more cornered.
“Wha…What can we do? How can we even begin to defeat such opponents? Are we not just facing our doom?”
The surroundings began to create an uproar from what this random guy said but before it got out of hand, Garn slammed his staff into the ground.
Although no magic was performed, many people were surprised by the sound alone and quieted down, staring at Garn expectantly.
“You’re all expecting some amazing plan and the truth is we have one, and it has already started, but it will only work if you all work together.”
Garn pointed at those in the crowd.
“You all are our plan. You all are heroes, no, we will make you all heroes.”
The ones summoned though didn’t seem convinced.
Garn pulled a small ring from his pocket and placed it on the frailest guy’s finger. Placing another hand on the young man’s head, Garn shut his eyes and concentrated for a moment, searching for something. Feeling the teen’s energy within, Garn extended a tendril of his own power and moved the frail teen’s energy rotating it. The frail teen released a small.
Looking at Garn in wonderment, the frail teen cautiously asked.
“Wha…What is that?”
Garn smiled at the teen and took his hand away.
“Your power, that’s what that is.”
Looking around the crowd he then added.
“All of you from another world have the power within. After a small interaction, I can stimulate your magical energy within your cores and with your talents, you can easily manipulate it yourselves. Boy, can you still feel that energy?”
The frail teen gave an astonished nod.
“Good, now feel that energy carefully, using your will, with a thought, imagine it rotating on its own.”
The frail boy did as he was told and the others found that he had a stupefied expression upon his face.
“Now, close your eyes and picture your power flowing like water into the ring I just put on your finger.”
The frail teen did just that and shut his eyes. Picturing his power flowing out like water, the surroundings gasped in amazement. A girl was so awed that she couldn’t help but whisper.
Opening his eyes, the frail teen had to squint for a moment due to the brightness the ring on his finger emitted. With a green luster, the ring shined like a small star.
“Everyone, step away from him.”
Garn barked his order and the crowd stepped back several steps until it was just Garn and the frail teen face to face but then even Garn stepped back and stood with the crowd. Standing in the middle of the room the boy became red-faced and shy from being the center of attention.
“How does that power feel boy?”
The frail teen smiled wide like a horse on drugs.
“Its, it’s unbelievable, hehe.”
“Good good, now just stay put.”
The frail boy nodded and Garn barked behind him.
“Rust, he’s all yours.”
A shadow leaped over the crowd and landed in a hero pose before standing straight up in front of the frail teen. Looking up, the frail teen swallowed hard at the giant of a man in front of him. Rust being 6 foot 7, with broad shoulders and hair a flaming reddish-orange, seemed to be a devil of a human.
The frail teen couldn’t help but tremble as he looked up at this mountain of a man. Rust looked down at the kid and gave a bright smile causing the frail teen to reconsider his thoughts about the man.
(Eh, maybe he’s not so bad.)
As soon as these thoughts popped into his head though, Rust spoke.
“Sorry about this kid but whatever you do, don’t move.”
“Eh, what did you say?”
Rust pulled his two-handed sword and raised it high above his head.
“Eh, eh, what are you…”
Before the frail teen could finish his sentence the mighty sword was brought down with terrifying momentum. The frail teen was so terrified at this sudden change of events that he didn’t even have time to shut his eyes.
As the metal sword collided with tender flesh, the expectant result did not happen. The whole crowd stepped back with mouths agape. Rust’s sword had bent backward more than 70 degrees.
The light from the ring the frail teen wore still shined just as bright. Garn walked over and held the boy’s hand high into the air.
“You’ve all seen what my magic can do and that’s with over decades and decades of practice but look, look at what this small young man has done with not even 2 minutes of awakening his power. This…This is the power that you all hold and this is how we are going to win.”
After this long talk, the summoned ones were sent off to relax and decompress the huge info dump they just received, as they settled in for the day.
Somewhere within the castle, in a large office, a knock was heard.
A small old man with a hooked nose and a mole under his eye walked in and bowed.
“Sir Garn, I’ve compiled the most recent information.”
Garn sat behind the desk and waved the hooked nose man over.
“Give me what you have.”
The small man handed over a folder filled with a few pages. Reading over the report, Garn’s face furrowed.
“Is this true.”
The small man sensing Garn’s anger bowed even deeper than before.
“Sir, it’s all been verified, please check the…”
Garn instantly cut the small man off.
“Forget it, you may go.”
The small man bowed once again before turning and leaving as fast as he could.
Looking over the report, Garn grew infuriated and threw the papers across the room.
“How can there be nothing. I examined everything myself and nothing was even a hair out of place. How was it done? How did my summoning spell have a defect?”
Garn sat back down in defeat. looking at the papers on the ground, he flicked his wrist and the papers floated up and flew back to his desk. Once more he dived back in and re-read the files, again and again, determined to find the cause.