‘I’m too weak now, I should move back since we’re pretty much done here.’ Andrei said to his bearded master in between gasps for air.
His master smiled as he finished his sentence, The relieved happiness in the face reflected Andrei’s emotions when he saw it, ‘No, Andrei, the most important part of this battle is yet to come.’ he said in a tone of certainty, much to Andre’s dismay. This is a part of his damned prophecy? He thought, wandering why he was even helping this old man fulfill such a thing, Why should I help? surely if he’s destined to do all these amazing things that I’ve witnessed, he could do it without me. Despite these thoughts the boy didn’t doubt what his master said, he had already seen the prophecy hold true many times, but he didn’t see why he needed to be there.
‘Berthold, surely I don’t have to be here for the prophecy to hold true?’ he said, in what he knew was a futile attempt to escape.
‘Yes, you must, as the Natus’ apprentice. Now come, let’s help our comrades.’ Berthold said before immediately running into the fray, forcing the boy to follow.
In the midst of the clashing of weapons against weapons, shields and armour, the pair ran through with their blue glowing blades that stuck out from the rest, slashing through their foes' defenses like butter. Occasionally they’d cast a spell that’d help their allies or even hurl an element at their foes, but they drove forward through the battle, until they reached the absolute front of the ending skirmish. The boy felt as if he were going to fall at any moment, he had depleted all of his power, and not just magical either-his entire body was aching from fatigue. The only role he felt he could serve correctly in whatever was to come in this prophecy was as a hostage. He felt frustrated with Berthold, unwavering in dragging him along, but before he could begin to think about how angry he was, it happened.
They were all passing a small stone watchtower on the battlefield, heading towards the main fort, and there is where he walked out. Metentis, all by himself, his twin blades leaking a dark and corrupt purple glow. The opposing side began to draw back when Andrei and every one of his allies began to stare in fear and awe. This is what we’re up against! He thought. He had never even faced a lower Perdita, let alone Metentis,the highest in the order of dark magic wielding knights.
Presently, Metentis began to make his way down the steps, taking his time, and clearly aware that everyone was watching him for his next move. As his foot touched the first blade of grass at the bottom of the stone steps, in a silent warping of reality, he now stood in front of everybody on the battlefield-blade raised upward across his face. Then he slashed downward toward the halted battle. Darkness enveloped most of Andrei’s allies, the ground leaking a dark liquid that swallowed them as the inky bodies of the slain pulled them into the puddles they emerged from, all did so silently as one of the grotesque figures would always cover their target’s mouth. The substance then travelled across the battlefield, merging itself with Metentis’ dark aura that was currently concentrated in his blades. This left only Andrei, his master and a few random troops on the battlefield to face against the still standing enemy troops and the most powerful being Andrei knew of.
‘Well, seems that we’ve gotten quite the haul today.’ Metentis said, his voice calmly booming across the entire battlefield.
Andrei looked to Berthold in terror, understanding that Metentis intended to take them in and force them into their order. An order which no longer required regular men in it’s expansion since they held the largest army of regular soldiers like the many that stood in front of them, they needed to expand their knowledge and gain deeper insight on how to use magic to their advantage in warfare, which would obviously come about quicker with more users under them. Berthold knew this to be the case too, so why is he smiling at me? Andrei thought. The smile wasn’t just a face conveying that he had a plan or knew what was to come, there was clearly a hurricane of emotion inside of Berthold that managed to display itself across his seldomly expressive wrinkles. ‘Magic will always prevail,’ he said in a low tone, a phrase Andrei had heard him say at a point when he was asking for Andrei to have faith in the prophecy, but he knew he had more to say this time, ‘And today, you must serve as it’s vessel!’ Berthold suddenly yelled as he stepped behind his apprentice and put his palm on the boy's weak back.
Mana flowed into Andrei as a golden glow enveloped him and his master, Metentis laughed upon seeing the glow, ‘Sacrificing yourself to provide a stronger body with your well of mana? Not a bad gamble, old man’
‘This is no gamble, this is your end, Metentis, and the beginning of the end for your poisonous order.’ an Ethereal voice responded through the glowing ball of light containing the pair, the words came out from Andrei’s mouth, but they were really Berthold’s, who Andrei was presently looking at in front of him, despite knowing he was still pouring mana into him through his back.
‘Berthold, what’s happening?’ he managed to ask eventually.
‘You are to take the mantle of Natus now, you shall fulfill your prophecy, as I saw when my time to fulfill mine came when I was given the title.’ he said in a calm way, a way that sounded final, and as if the words weren’t his.
‘Wait, I thou-’
Berthold covered the boys mouth, and turned it into a caress of the boys face, ‘As Natus you will have access to as much magic as magic deems you to require, unlike others who are bound by their bodies and will, you will be bound by the will of magic itself.’ His form began to glow in the same colour as the orb they were contained inside, Berthold's form looked at the dimming walls of the ball and turned back to the boy with urgency. ‘You will now inherit your destiny as I did for this moment over 50 years ago, and a prophecy for an unborn child. Do as magic commands, and you will surely survive this encounter and all else to come until you meet the fate you’re given.’
As he finished his words, his form dispersed and became a part of the fading ball, Andrei waited for what he said to come true-but it hadn’t. Seconds continued to pass by until the ball faded, allowing him to see his allies and enemies staring in his direction, but not at him-just above him. He followed where their eyes were looking, and saw the giant glowing winged spear hanging above him, he wondered how he could have missed it-as it was so blindingly bright. Before the boy could put his hand over his eyes, the spear flew down into him, enveloping him once again in a golden energy. This time memories filled him, memories of what was to come, he saw the many battles he would face and exactly how he’d escape them. Then he finally saw the most important information, his own demise, the future struggle it’d be for, and… Sophia? His apprentice who will be born in the very city that the Perdita currently called their capital.
The glow left him, and Andrei immediately turned to catch the falling Berthold, only to find him completely unresponsive. He was no longer the Natus, or even Berthold as a matter of fact, he was now a piece of the earth that Andrei needed to return. He placed it onto the ground to be immediately swallowed by the earth itself, unlike his allies. He turned to Metentis, knowing exactly what needed to be done.
‘Ready to return the souls you’ve stolen, Metentis?’
Metentis chuckled, his bellows echoing throughout the entire landscape, ‘Yes, how about I give them to you right now!’ he roared in commandment to the many inky souls that rose to surround the Natus.
‘Thanks,’ Andrei said simply, glowing with more magic that he would have been able to fathom had he not had this moment stored in his memories of the future. The souls that were now clumsily charging over to him dissipated as his light touched them, ‘Much appreciated.’
Metentis stared at him in shock, in what was literally a flash, he saw the great majority of his power snuffed out in an instant, something he likely could never imagine. ‘Damn you, damn you boy!’ he screamed, his voice losing composure before he lept at Andrei.
The new Natus merely stepped aside when Metentis warped mid air to finish his strike, allowing Metentis to turn in shock of him being able to predict how he’d move despite them never meeting before. This stare allowed Metentis to look into Andrei’s eyes and not see an opponent that he had to defeat, but a force of nature that he had taken advantage of, he saw the essence and soul of magic itself using an earthly form. It was staring him down with a powerful and profound rage that sucked all motivation to attempt to stop it’s rapidly approaching blade. Not like he could match the speed or power required to stop it either way. It passed through his neck without feeling any resistance, and Metentis was taken into the ground like Berthold.
Andrei watched this, before turning to his small gang of sparsely dispersed allies, and one by one pointed his palm toward them to send a ball of golden light to penetrate them. They all felt a surge of power that would have allowed them to rival Metentis. ‘This day is far from over my friends, today, we conquer those who sought to conquer that which cannot be conquered.’