<<With the sound of horseshoes banging the ground>> “ I saw the fight last night between you and those war-beasts and I must say that you fought very well!”
“ Actually, considering my NIX power I wasn’t sure whether I can pull that summon off! But luckily it worked out for me”
“ Talking about the NIX power, what type of NIX do you actually have? ”
“ To be very honest, I tried to find out about it but despite many attempts, I couldn’t find it out!”
“ I think it is on the negative side as summons are the special characteristics of those type of NIX affinities.”
“ Hmmmmm! You can be right, let me check my spell list first” as Ken opened his player’s tab and started to look around Harry prompted “ haven’t you checked your list till now?”
“ to be honest…..NO! I never get a chance to look out the list thoroughly. The spell which comes up on the top, I just mug it up and execute them!”.
Harry nodded his head in disappointment as Ken continued to scroll his list when suddenly a message popped up on his screen!.
“ Greetings player! We hope that you are enjoying our game till now. If you aren’t then don’t worry cause we are here to excite things up a bit. we will be organizing an event for all those who are either lagging behind the others or want some special skills and rewards to help their progress within the game!
The contest will begin in 5 days from now, so if you want an upper hand on the game do participate. The details are pinned down at the end of the message. Good luck!”
“ What do you say, Harry?”
“ I think we should definitely give it a try because they mentioned something about being behind and I think that’s good enough a reason for us!”
After giving it a thought, they decided to give the contest a try as they were already behind in the game and contests like these were nothing more than a bliss from them. The venue for the contest was in the Alexandre city, which was nearly four towns away from where they stand and without any further delay they moved on towards the venue.
The distance between the three cities was actually much shorter than what it looked on the map as they easily managed to cross two towns in three ‘game days’ [the time inside the game was actually much shorter and for approximation 1 gameday=12 hours on the outside] only to be stopped by a loud roar which attracted their attention.
The sound seemed to be coming from mountains on the west as Ken and Harry decided to look into the matter as they could feel traces of NIX power coming from that direction and the roar seemed to be too ugly for a single player to handle.
As they hurried towards the location, Harry found out that the location was marked as the stone valley on the map and it was marked as dangerous on the map and the player’s tab clearly showed a player marked on the stone valley.
“Ken, I think we should leave our horses here. We can’t afford to lose them as casualties”
Tying the horses to a tree nearby and marking the spot on the map, they both ran towards the location. With each step they took, the surroundings started to vary. From lush green grass to barren grounds and from tall green trees to small dry shrubs, from flat green grasslands to the hilly grey stone surfaced ground, the change was proving too much to be digested.
As they inched closer, they came to know why the name stone valley was given to the place. With large shiny grey rocks covering the ground the place itself was a valley, only the rocks made up the ground instead of brown plain mud and grass.
“………………” with sounds of metal and monstrous cry, the whole place was clearly far from being quiet although it gave such impression at first.
Sprinting towards the scene, they reached on the top of a hill from where they could clearly see the whole situation. Amidst the shiny grey ground was a red-haired girl, holding a shiny sword in her hand and fighting a three-headed monster which was nearly ten times her height. The girl had a golden scabbard by her side which perfectly matched with her brown trousers and brown boots. She wore a half sleeveless overcoat with a black, skinny ladies top on the inside. She had a glittering touch to her hair and had sharp facial features with a very fair complexion.
But at present, she seemed to be in a very dire situation as she was struggling against someone who was a creature from ancient mythologies. It was three-headed Cerberus<an ancient creature from the Greek mythology > who was over-powering the young lady fighting against him.
The Cerberus was a three-headed beast with a huge body and even bigger heads. With big amber colored eyes, a huge muzzle <a collective term for a dog’s facial features> and large sharp canines, the creature itself breath of danger.
Assessing the whole situation, Ken and Harry chalked out a strategy and without sparing a second they both rushed towards the huge depression where the brave lady was fighting with the beast head-on.
“!…………!” with a humongous roar towards the girl, the Cerberus raised his large paw to strike the girl …………………..but Ken reached there on time and with his shiny blade against the heavy paw of the monster, he just managed to hold off the monster.
“ Are you ok lady?”
“ Yes! Sir… I am fine….thank you for saving me”
“ Don’t stand here. Try to run as far as possible while I and my friend try to wave this creature off!”
“ NO! sir, I’ll fight here with you both. It was my fight from the start and I’ll finish handle it”
“ You have done well to stay live till now. So back off and rest for a while “
“NO! I am able to fight this myself “ charging with a shout, she held her sword and with full power, she banged the blade against the furry, hard skin of the beast. But to her bad luck, the blade got stuck into his skin and she was left helpless infront of the monster.
As the sword dangled along the Cerberus’s skin, the red-haired lady knew that trouble was coming her way as the Cerebus diverted his attention from Ken to her as the small pinch caused by the sword got him irritated.
As the six amber eyes turned towards her, a rage of fear got instilled into her as her instants urged her to run but her legs frozen with fear as she stood like a statue infront of the monster who looked upon her as she could feel the hideous breath of the monster passing through her long, shiny hair.
<with a frozen, silent voice and a fearful smile on her face> “ Ummm!… Ken can you help me once again?!”. Moving his paw rightwards from Ken to her, the Cerberus roared in fury as the girl closed her eyes and prayed for a miracle to save her.
And to her luck, the miracle do came as Harry fired a blazing firebolt towards the Cerberus which resulted in the giant paw hitting the earth causing the ground to tremble.
“Run as fast as you can and don’t look back” with a very stern voice, Harry shouted at her as the lucky girl began to run towards Harry but only to falter at a rock causing her to fall down right beneath the mouth of the three-headed beast. Taking heavy, hideous breaths the Cerberus regained his balance as it prepared itself to attack the masculine that disturbed him.
Taking two to three steps backward, the Cerberus prepared to jump onto the inconsequential being lying infront of him. But in no time, Ken closed the distance between the two and carrying the young lady in her arms, he moved away from the sight of the Cerberus.
Putting the lady at a safe distance, Ken rushed back on the scene to help his companion who was constantly trying to put away the heavy attacks but in the battle between defense and offense, Harry was falling back miserably.
Firing a lightning strike towards the Cerberus, Ken attracted all the attention towards himself opening up a space for Harry to breath.
As the six-eyed beast cried out in pain, Harry quickly rolled towards his left, falling into the blind spot of the monster’s eye. “ Shit! This beast is a tough shell to crack” breathing heavily Harry tried to chalk out a strategy but each plan failed in the theory itself as the agility of the beast was much more than expected.
As the sounds of crushing rocks resounded in the valley, Ken lept to his left and right to dodge the heavy foot of the monster.
Finding an opening in between the huge legs, Ken fired a water-cannon and dashed towards the rear of the beast’s body with his blade right into the belly of the monster.
“!………………………………………..” with a long screech of metals hitting each other Ken reached the end of the gigantic dog’s belly but to Ken’s astonishment, the blade didn’t leave a single scratch on the monster’s body but instead it made the sharp edges of the blade rough.
“How is this even possible!” exclaiming with amazement, Ken threw a stone towards the dog’s neck which smacked off the beast’s body and rebounded towards the sky.
Observing the whole sequence of events, Harry got up and rushed towards Ken who stood in the middle of nowhere, trying to understand what was going on.
“ Oye Harry! I have a plan”
“ Then Hurry up and get here because I think this three-headed monster is getting a bit irritated with our play!
“ I guess that its body is made up of stone and any melee attack is useless on it”
“ Any plans for beating it down?”
“ Oye! Mr.” sprinting down the sloped surface, the red-haired girl whom Ken had saved once again came to the battlefront.
Issuing a mighty warning, the Cerberus regained his control and in no time it dashed towards our group who were busy in chalking out their strategy.
“we don’t have to finish up the plan, just move for now and let execute the plan” issuing firm orders, Ken held his sword tightly as he prepared for the impact, while Harry and the girl ran towards the cliff.
“ Come on! I am ready for it!”
Opening his large jaws, the Cerberus lowered his head to engulf Ken but ken douched out of the way, allowing the killer jaw to go ahead and embrace the stony ground. The intensity of the impact was such that it caused the hard rocks got shattered into pieces. Probably it was the power coupled with the large size of the Cerberus that made his attacks too deadly.
Recovering from the hit, the monster continued his ‘killing spree’ as it launched himself towards Ken but this time he integrated them with power and precision as each time he lowered his neck, Ken barely manage to fall back and defend himself.
Meanwhile, Harry and the girl prepared to attack as they gathered their NIX power and started to chant the spell.
“Hurry up guys! I don’t think I can keep up this longer”
“Oh Heavenly father! Allow me to put this creature to rest and let me be powerful enough to create a difference!” with the blue aura surrounding her, the girl finished up her preparations and with her right arm stretching out “ Circle of life”.
Suddenly, a huge black circle appeared and covered the whole depression as the air around the began to saturate causing the temperature to rise three-fold within no time. What the spell really did is that it increased the oxygen content within the circle to such an extent that it caused the air to toxicate with oxygen.
<< Ken coughing heavely>> “ speed up guys! I don’t think I can take this much longer” [excessive oxygen could lead to improper breathing and further causes the moisture to dry off from the surroundings causing the air to sting like a bee]
“Fire’s wrath” rallying his chant, Harry fired a flame burst straight into the oxygen drenched atmosphere as the instant the flame touched the circle the whole depression lit up with the flames reaching up to the sky.
The temperatures soared upto 1000 degrees as Ken’s health began to take a toll. Sensing the situation Harry shouted, “Get out of there, now!”.
On one hand, where Ken was facing the heat on the other, the Cerberus wasn’t even scratched from this whole setup. Probably the 1000 degrees still wasn’t enough to melt the rocky beast.
First the stinging air and now the melting atmosphere, the place was literally hell for Ken as he danced around the area fighting from the Cerberus who launched constant attacks on him.
As Ken was nearing the dead end of the depression, he had to do make a decision. Either to try some way to kill this monster or to flee somehow from this burning hell.
“ I don’t know whether I would make it out of here or not but this is the only way out” Collecting his NIX power, Ken punched his sword down the stony ground and with his right hand he showered a series of firebolts towards the monster causing him to roar in anger as he paused to regain his senses as the firebolts caused him to go numb momentarily.
Although that momentarily pause was enough for Ken to finish things off. Taking a deep breath in “ the phoenix of wind”.
As Ken chanted this spell, the huge circle of fire suddenly started to move in a circle as strong wind currents began to rise up within the circle. With flames leaping up to the horizon the circle of fire now became the whirl of fire as the air currents danced within the swirl causing the temperatures to rise again. But this time it was hot enough to affect the Cerberus as he started to cry in pain and agony.
But the conditions weren’t good for Ken also as he was in the condition of getting eliminated from this game as his health bar was nearly empty.
“I need to get out of here! But from where……what should I do!…….i don’t have enough NIX also” grinding his teeth against themselves, Ken knew that there is no way out of here.
“Oye! Ken, don’t worry I am coming in to rescue you”
“No! stay out of here. You won’t make it back from here. The spell has more to it”. As he said, things do got worse as the Cerberus went berserk because of the excessive heat and started to scamper, bumping into the massive rocks crushing them down to pieces and heading straight towards Ken.
With sounds of crushing rocks echoing in the valley, the Cerberus fixed his eyes on ken and with the last ounce of energy he got, he dashed towards our hero in a near-suicidal attempt as the sharp slopes of the valley left no way out for ken or for the Cerberus itself.
“!…………………………………………..!” with faint sound the bracelet on Ken’s Hand began to fickle as a green aura began to seep through the silver bracelet. Within no time, the aura became feasible enough to be noticed by Ken who was wondering what was wrong with the silvered ornament. Within no time his whole body got covered in the whole aura and in the blink of an eye, Ken was transported from the burning whirl to the top of the depression where the red-haired girl was standing.
“Good Lord!” the girl exclaimed as she jumped into the air excitement and hugged Ken. Harry also came sprinting from the other side and greeted Ken with a hug as the dire situation finally came an end and Ken’s health bar started to recover.
Suddenly, a loud thunder came from the sky and instantly a large bird emerged from within the whirl and started to circle the depression. The bird had large wings which spread out majestically into the air and they had hot blue flames at the very rear which perfectly blended with the orange colored body of the bird. The bird was so large that at its maximum stretch, it could cover half of the depression and it had a long sharp beak which was hot enough to melt any rock easily.
With its eyes set on the Cerberus, the majestic bird speeded up and slowly and steadily moved closer to the beast until with a loud blast the bird crashed into the Cerberus, finally melting its whole body into a molten slime of rock.
The ‘great fire’ finally ended as the soaring flames ceased out but the hot flames do left a mark on the valley as the whole depression became black due to the soot that got deposited on the walls.
“ Let’s go back, Ken! You did a great job” patting his back, Harry put his hand on Ken’s shoulder and both of them started to walk back to their horses to continue their journey.
“Oye! Mister……..Oye!” shouting from behind, the red-haired girl came running towards the two as she soon overtook them.
[Turning towards the two and handing out her hand towards Ken] “ hello! I am Amber from Ireland and thank you both for saving me out there”
“ Hello! Amber, I am Ken and he is Harry and it’s a pleasure to meet you”
“ You guys have great skills. I have never seen someone working so coordinately with each other. You people must be knowing each other form a long time!”
“ No! it’s actually much shorter than you think. We met each other for the first time during the test”
“ Oh! That’s nice. Oh! By the way if it’s okay may I join you both guys towards the venue for the contest”
[smilling with her hand on her head as she childishly said] “You know, it’s actually difficult for a solo to journey alone in this game”
“ Sure! Why not!” with a warm handshake Ken and Harry welcomed her into their group as the trio moved ahead for the contest.