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Matsuoka Nui

Petals in the Pond

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Petals in the Pond

A Kiina x Gresh Epic (Based on the Romeo x Juliet anime and the Shakespeare play!)

*For those that prefer KxG than KxA (since there were complaints about Ackar's age), then this is a story for you to read! :thumbup: Don't worry, this is NOT a "trilogy" or a six-part epic like PS and AMC... :tongue:

Summary: Over the last several years, the Skrall began to unleash their conquest, killing several Agori and Glatorian along the way. The four villages of Iconox, Vulcanus, Tesara and Tajun prepare to set up the resistance. However, one night, the Skrall besieged Vulcanus and Iconox, killing almost every Glatorian and Agori living there. The villages of Tajun and Tesara remain as both sides want to fight each other to see who will survive the Skrall’s next attack.

Setting: An Alternate Spherus Magna/Bara Magna Universe (This universe is A LOT more dangerous and deadly than the core reality…so be prepared for constant fighting!! Also, Mata Nui will not be exiled to Bara Magna, but he MIGHT appear in his GS form later on.)

Review: Link

Characters:

*=crossover characters from other epics (such as Averax Magna, Princess Skralla, etc.)

~~Jungle Tribe

Gresh – A young warrior from the Jungle Tribe; he tries to earn his title for Prime Glatorian. He falls into a relationship with Kiina which triggers an endless struggle between the tribes as well as saving Bara Magna from a deadly fate.

Avaran- The Agori leader of the Jungle Tribe

*Sarhax- A crossover character from “Averax Magna Chronicles”, who played as an evil character with Garaxial. In this story, she’s one of Gresh’s servants.

Vastus- Prime Glatorian of Jungle Tribe

Tarduk- An Agori who enjoys exploration and hunting for treasures.

~~Water Tribe

Kiina (Akara, Blue Savior)–The young female Glatorian from the Water Tribe who falls into a relationship with Gresh. She is forced to hide herself as a man whenever she leaves Tajun by wearing a disguise. She was forced to keep her disguise because of the fact that she's the daughter of Capulet.

~~*The only ones that know the Kiina/Akara situation are only Tiyan, Akanari, Berix and Tarix. As of Act 5, Gresh knows the truth about the disguise as well. Eventually, Agniar discovered the truth and plans to punish her severely.[/i]

Tiyan- A female Glatorian and is one of Kiina’s servants. It was she who found out about Kiina's status as the "daughter" a while back. As a result, it was her idea to hide Kiina in a disguise, for she feared that the Skrall would attempt to kill all of the children.

Akanari- A more experienced Glatorian and another servant of Kiina.

Tarix- Prime Glatorian of Water Tribe

Agniar- The Agori Leader of the Water Tribe

Berix- An Agori scavenger

Kirbraz- An Agori who pilots the main car of Kaxium V3, best known for his mechanical skills.

Scondinous- an Agori who drives the side car of the Kaxium V3; often times brags about his victories.

~~Other Characters

*Belirax- A crossover character from “Princess Skralla” and “Averax Magna Chronicles”. The “Belirax” in this story is still the leader of the Sisters of the Skrall, but has a different personality. She’s more brutal, more dangerous and often times called “Black Torture” because of her powerful mental assaults.

*Erax- A crossover character from “Averax Magna Chronicles”. He’s on a long journey to find his destiny (which was revealed in AMC). This is one of the places he’s traveling to prior to meeting Sakari and the others in AMC.

*Starax- A crossover character from “Princess Skralla” and “Averax Magna Chronicles” (in flashbacks). This original leader of the Skrall but was overthrown by Tuma and has been in hiding in the wastelands for several millennia.

Stronius- one of the Special Forces of the Skrall patrol; fiercely loyal to Tuma. (deceased)

Branar- a warrior class Skrall, honored for discovering the Baterra.

Lein- an Agori from Bota Magna who "survived" a mysterious plague because a Great Being stopped his "time", thus he has not aged. However once his frozen time disappears, he will die. He has completed his destiny and is now deceased

~~~Elemental Lords

These powerful entities each had their own separate children, however neither of them woke up until after The Shattering. A feud has been going on between Montague and Capulet for unknown reasons.

Montague- Jungle, former ruler of Bota Magna and Tesara

~~~Child/Children: Gresh (Real Name: Romeo)- sole son

Capulet- Water, former ruler of Aqua Magna

~~~Child: Kiina (Real Name: Juliet), sole daughter

Brutus- Rock, former ruler of Black Spikes and White Quartz

~~~Child/Children: Starax (as of Act 20, he learns the truth from Brutus himself)

Vulcanus- Fire, former ruler of Great Volcano. His name was honored and became a village for the Fire Tribe.

~~~Child/Children: Ackar- former elder son (deceased), Malum- younger son

Escalus- Ice, former ruler of Northern Frost

~~~Child/Children: Certavus- son (deceased)

Atarus- Sand, former ruler of Bara Magna's Wastelands.

~~~Child/Children: Reaou- A Vorox Leader

Locations:

Bara Magna

Bota Magna- The former section of the lost world of Spherus Magna. The inhabitants include the former members of the Iron Tribe as well as the Jungle Tribe (along with a few other warriors and villagers). It is location where only the "children" of the Element Lords can enter. The only known access is to get to the Skrall river and find a portal. It was known as "Paradise".

*Here are some minor locations for the next few acts.

~~Mist Village- One of the largest villages in Bota Magna. Home to the majority of the Agori and warriors.

~~~Furnace Tower- A heating storage tower that helps provide heat to the village.

~~~Town Hall- the leader of the village, Barax resides here.

~~~Lein's hut- one of the larger houses in the village, as Lein promotes a business.

~~Tower of Mysteries- an ancient tower created by the Great Beings. It includes a winding staircase that leads to the top, but traps were inserted along the way. Only the children of the ELs can enter, anyone else will die while encountering the traps.

~~The Ruins of the Mist~- a mysterious site where the other portal can be used to send the "children" back to Bara Magna. It is known for it's mysterious laughter and echoes and is filled with ancient carvings.

Edited by Toa Syaoran

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Prologue: The Beginning of the Inevitable

"Two Tribes, in peril, must face a confrontation,

Where bitterness from the ancient times

Brings new resentment.

But out of the O’ Great Barren comes two star-lovers

Who take their lives

Where their calamities will bring an end to the tribes’ strife

We now tell you a tragic story of how two Glatorian changed the world…"

Vulcanus

Raanu walked through the hallways of the Vulcanus fortress. For the last several weeks, many Agori began to disappear both here and the other tribes. He sent some Glatorian to find out what was going on, only realizing that they too disappeared. He tried his best to calm down the survivors but many of them were too afraid to leave the village.

Just as he turned a corner, he saw a few Skrall with Tuma standing over a dead Glatorian, drenched in blood. At first, he couldn’t believe what was happening, but he knew that this day would come, on a night when the village was defenseless!

“Tuma, you villain!” snapped Raanu, “What did you do to Ackar!?”

The Skrall leader turned and gave a low growl. Two of the Skrall surrounded the Agori in a flash.

“After this night, Vulcanus and Iconox will be no longer in control of you and your weaklings. When the sun rises, the Skrall shall become their kings!” answered Tuma.

“You’re insane!” yelled Raanu, “Do you believe you can defy the will of the Great Beings?”

“The Great Beings are just a ruminant,” snarled Tuma, narrowing his eyes. He turned to the other Skrall and ordered, “Kill all of the Glatorian and Agori in this village. Then head out and meet with Stronius the others from Iconox.”

Raanu would have to take his chance to escape. He snuck past the Skrall and barely ran several feet when he felt a hard blow coming from one of the Skrall’s attacks. Two of the Skrall went up to the Agori and prepared a final blow. But before Raanu passed out, he heard some of the Skrall screaming in pain. Before he knew it, someone was carrying him to safety.

***

Iconox

Kirbold was walking through the dark streets of Iconox. The weather was a blizzard and it was too hard for him to see where he was going. However, he saw a light coming from one of the houses. As he quietly took a peak in, he gasped at the sight.

He saw one of the Glatorian trainees on the ground, covered in blood. A Skrall warrior withdrew the dagger out of the warrior’s back and growled.

Kirbold wanted to run but the fear made him stand still. Before he knew what was happening, he felt a forceful tug on the arm. He turned and realized that it was another Skrall that was dragging him. He tried to fight it back, but then he felt awfully dizzy from the grip.

Branar dumped the unconscious Agori into the chariot. Another Agori was captured, prepared to become a slave for the Rock Tribe. He saw one of his soldiers coming out of the hut with a bloody dagger.

“Is that Glatorian dead?” he asked.

“Yes sir,” replied the other Skrall, “However, most of the other Glatorian from here must have escaped.”

Branar narrowed his eyes and asked, “Where did they go?”

“How am I supposed to know?” snapped the other Skrall, “It’s only been a day since we started the raid! They must have gone to the other villages!”

“We’ll get them…” he replied, “They have no where else to hide in this planet.”

One Skrall got on the Baranus and took out his whip at the Spitik while the other one got on the Rock Steed. The blizzard finally slowed down as they left the village, taking the unconscious Agori with them.

***

Black Spikes

Belirax stood on the slopes of the Black Spikes with three other female Skrall. For the last several days, they heard information from one of their spies about the male Skrall taking over the planet.

“They left for Vulcanus and Iconox,” said one of female Skrall, “What do you plan to do, Belirax?”

“Let them think that this ‘dream’ of theirs is an easy task. Once they are close to completion, we’ll strike them down and take it all for ourselves,” she replied.

“But we never had problems with any of the Agori or the Glatorian, why should we bother?” asked the other female Skrall when she realized that it was a “fatal error” to ask.

Belirax turned to the female Skrall and her eyes began to glow.

“You dare to question your leader?!” she snapped, unleashing a mental assault. The other Skrall fell to her knees then went unconscious.

“The Agori and the Glatorian are just as worthless as our enemies,” continued Belirax, “If we can control our enemies, then we’ll be able to do the same with those puny warriors and their worthless villagers.”

Belirax turned back and saw the sun about to rise from the east. It was almost dawn.

“Let’s go back and begin plotting our next step,” she ordered as the three of them left, leaving the other one behind.

***

Wastelands

Raanu woke up and saw that someone was still carrying him. They were in the wastelands, flanked by a few other Glatorian warriors. All of them were riding on Rock Steeds. For a moment, he seemed to forget what just happened but it all came back to him; Ackar’s death and the Skrall’s ambitious plan.

He wanted to ask questions, but he could barely speak. The blow that he was struck earlier injured his back and neck.

“Are we almost there?” asked one of the Glatorian.

“Yes. What about the villagers?” asked another one.

“They’re safe. However, several Glatorian were killed from the siege,” said a third Glatorian.

Akara turned and saw several Agori from the fire and ice tribes. Many of them were able to evacuate before the siege but not all of the villagers made it to safety.

“Do you know which ones are killed?” he asked.

“I know that Ackar was slaughtered by one of Skrall,” said Tiyan, “And they almost killed Raanu.”

“Wait,” said a weak voice of Raanu, “What happened?”

“Easy now,” said Akanari, “You and the other Agori will be safe in Tajun with the Water Tribe.”

Tiyan placed Raanu on the ground. He could barely get on his feet. Akara took out a water stone and gave it to the Agori. Raanu took a few sips and gave it back and lied in the sands. His back was terribly ached from the painful blow. Akara placed him on the chariot and the group continued their way to Tajun.

“Let’s go,” he said to the other Glatorian, “He needs a place to rest.”

***

The group managed to reach to Tajun by late morning. The surviving Agori went inside the village while the Glatorian were busy convincing Agniar to allow the fire agori to stay.

“They need our help,” snapped Akara, “If we don’t do anything, then the Skrall will kill every one of us!”

“Akara, how many times do we have to tell you about your reckless behavior? Your actions are putting everyone on the line!” snarled Agniar.

“Do you really want all of us to die?” he replied, “We can’t let the Skrall win!”

“That’s enough now, Akara,” said Tiyan, “Let’s just go home and change.”

The three Glatorian turned and went to a nearby cave. Neither of them had anything to say along the way until they were safe inside.

“That was pretty risky of you Kiina,” said Akanari, “If you keep pushing yourself…”

“I’m not,” she answered as she went inside the cave and changed her armor. When she was done she took out her vapor trident and placed her other armor inside the bag. The three went down the streets of Tajun and went into Kiina’s hut.

“I had to save Raanu,” she said quietly as she could feel the shock after seeing her old friend, Ackar killed by the savages, "Or else he would have ended up killed. Oh why, did you have to die, Ackar?”

“What’s wrong with her?” asked Akanari.

“She had feelings for Ackar, but she couldn’t tell him,” answered Tiyan.

Kiina sat on a chair and looked at herself in the mirror. She was spilling some tears across her cheeks. Tiyan came up to her and said, “Just take it easy now. Rest for little while, you’ll need some strength for later.”

Kiina shook her head and said, “I heard there’s a dance going on tonight, at the Arena Tajun?”

Tiyan gasped and said, “Oh my, I almost forgot about that. But if you’re tired…?”

“I’m not. And besides, I never got the chance to go,” she replied, “It would be a good experience to enjoy the beautiful thronax flowers and the pink roses.”

“Alright then, we’ll go. But for now just get some sleep, Kiina," replied Tiyan, "And have patience, everything will make sense once you learn your destiny...”

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Act 1: Destino alla festa. (Destiny at the ball)

~If they had not met~

*There are some Italian sentences in here. There’s a translation in parenthesis. Note that there will be from time to time that some Italian conversations. You'll see more of them as the story progresses.

Tesara Jungle

Gresh stood in the outskirts of the village, watching the sun rising to the top of the day. For the last few days, he practiced some meditation skills from Vastus. The Prime Glatorian told him to use these skills whenever he fights in the arena or outside in the barren desert.

E ancora, come litiga con i suoi occhi che ha chiusto, he thought. (And yet, how does fight with his eyes closed, he thought.)

He took a deep breath and smelled the scent of the beautiful roses and the irises. It was a pleasant scent that was useful to calm his nerves down.

But yet, how can I enjoy all of this by myself, it’s almost as if…I need to be with someone…he thought.

But before he could continue with his thoughts, he turned to see Tarduk and Vastus approaching to him.

“How was your practice?” asked Vastus, "Did you use the the techniques?"

“Yeah, I did them. It's fine,” he replied, “But I’ve been feeling quite lonely for some time now. It just doesn’t seem right for me to stand here all by myself.”

“I heard that there’s a dance going on in Tajun later on,” said Tarduk, “Perhaps you want to go down there?”

“I don’t know,” said Gresh, “It’s like a thousand miles from here, whether it’s by walking, riding a Rock Steed or even one of the fastest Thornatus vehicles.”

“I’ll go,” answered Vastus, “Besides, I need to talk to Tarix and Akanari about some future Arena Matches for the next month.”

“Alright then, I guess we can go,” replied Gresh, “But what about my training?”

“You’ve been doing great so far, just keep practicing when we come back and we’ll get you ready for your first official Arena Match,” said Vastus.

***

“What do you mean they escaped?” growled Tuma.

“Sir, there were only a fair few Glatorian and Agori in Iconox,” said Branar, “They somehow must have known about our plans!”

Tuma wanted to snap him in half but he knew that there was no time to waste and that it would be useless to waste his armies. He replied, “Then go find the one who knows about our plans. Make sure he’s dead in the hands of his people.”

Branar nodded and left. Stronius came in and said, “Has there been some prisoners that I need to take to Roxtus?”

“There’s a chariot over there with a few Agori in there. It seems that you didn’t persuade your team to get more of those weaklings, why?” asked Tuma.

“It’s just what Branar said, someone is after us!” answered Stronius, “He must have found out our plans and brought the Agori to the other villages!”

“We’ll get to the other villages, soon,” said Tuma, “For now, let them wait in fear for us.”

***

Kirbold slowly opened his eyes and realized that he was in a chariot. He remembered what happened; the witness of a Glatorian’s death, captured and being unconscious.

No, I will not be their slave, he thought, I must find a way out of here before I end up in the darkness.

If only his hand were free, he would have opened his pack and used some mud spits at the Skrall and then take his chance to free the other Agori that were with him and escape. Then he saw something sharp nearby. It was a Skrall Blade!

Kirbold took his chance to carefully roll over there, without running into the other Agori. He carefully used his back to get the rope off of him with the knife. At first it seemed no success, but then he felt something loose. Sure enough he was able to free one of his hands and took the knife and cut the rope off of him. Carefully, he freed the other Agori and woke them up.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“Yeah, just a little bit dizzy here, what? Kirbold? Is that you?” asked the other Agori.

“Crotesius? Kyry? Che sucesso a voi?” asked Kirbold. (“Crotesius? Kyry? What happened to you?”)

“Skrall…they attacked us,” answered Kyry, “They killed several Glatorian and captured many Agori.”

“We have to get out of here,” said Crotesius, “Before the Skrall knows that we’re awakened.”

***

Tajun

It was already late afternoon and Kiina and Tiyan were still trying to figure out what to wear for the ball tonight. Already they had no success because most of the dresses in Tajun were awfully expensive.

“What about this dress?” asked Kiina as she held up a blue blouse with a darker blue skirt.

“I’m sure that it’ll look good on you but I have no idea what I’m still wearing,” she replied as she went into another drawer and found some other armor inside.

“Don’t you have anything in your house?” asked Kiina.

“I do, yes, but as a ‘female Glatorian’, they don’t get paid as much as the males do,” she replied, “With the help of your disguise, you’re able to make more money than I had. Oh, I should have done what you did too, Kiina.”

“True,” she replied, “But if you did, you would have to take greater responsibilities. It wasn’t easy for me to become from trainee to secondary Glatorian. And if I were to reveal myself, the tribe might exile me.”

“Ma Tarix, Berix, Akanari, e io sappiamo gia,” answered Tiyan. (“But Tarix, Berix, Akanari and I already know”)

“They had to know the truth only for the sake of this war against the Skrall,” said Kiina, “Because they needed more Glatorian to fight and since most of the warriors are still in trainee, they’re not going to have more anytime soon. Here, you can take this dress; I’ll just buy some new ones at the market.”

“But Kiina--” replied Tiyan but Kiina already left. Tiyan ran after her.

***

Vastus, Gresh, and Avaran rode on the Thornatus with Sarhax driving the vehicle.

“So, I heard there’s a ball going on tonight?” asked Sarhax.

“Yeah, Gresh and I are going to go but I can’t stay there for long,” replied Vastus, “I have some business to deal with.”

“Sounds like you’ll be on your own to find some lovely girls, Gresh,” she replied.

Gresh was about to blush but Avaran said, “Enough. Keep your eyes on the road, Sarhax. And I think I heard something nearby.”

“It’s probably just your imagination,” answered Gresh.

“No,” replied Vastus, “I hear something too.”

Vastus turned and saw a few Bone Hunters riding on the Rock Steeds, chasing them. Some of them took aim on their thornax launchers.

“Great,” snarled Avaran, “Do we have to deal with this now?”

“Let me,” said Vastus as he quickly fired his thornax launcher, but not at the bone hunters, rather at the sands. An explosion of sand struck the Rock Steeds, blinding them.

“They won’t be like this for long, Sarhax, could you go faster?” asked Vastus.

“Hang on then,” she replied as she pressed the gas petal a bit harder. The Thornatus moved faster as they arrived closer to the city of Tajun.

***

Kiina, Tiyan, Akanari and Tarix walked to the Arena Tajun. The ball was about to start soon and the lines were getting crowded to enter the arena. Already Kiina was amazed at the sight. Instead of a stinky, bloody, and scents of sweats like at a normal arena match, the air was sweet like flowers and the arena was filled with decorations. Already, the dancing floor was filled with Glatorian and Agori.

“It’s quite beautiful,” she said.

“Indeed it is,” replied Tiyan, “Whenever I come here, I would get something to eat first, and then dance. And if there’s time left, I go outside and talk to some of my friends.”

“But the music is already playing and a lot of people are dancing,” said Kiina, “I want to look around.”

“Kiina, wait!” shouted Akanari, but the Glatorian wasn’t listening. She ran towards dance floor and watched as several Glatorian were practicing their steps. Many of them were surprisingly good at it. The others tried to follow her but it was too late, Kiina was already somewhere on the other side of the Arena.

“Just let her have fun,” said Tarix, “As long as she doesn’t get carried away, I’m sure she’ll be alright.”

“Wait. Vastus and Gresh are coming too,” said Akanari, “I almost forgot. They’re coming over for some business that we have to take care of.”

“Let’s go then,” replied Tarix.

“What about me?” asked Tiyan, “I can’t stay here by myself you know.”

“Go and find Kiina. But if she’s dancing with someone, don’t distract her,” answered Tarix.

***

Vastus, Gresh, and Avaran arrived at the dance. They saw what it looked like a gigantic feast going on along with Glatorian dancing, Agori playing some music while some were performing an opera.

“My, such beauty,” said Avaran, “I never seen such great ball for years.”

“I have to find Akanari and Tarix,” said Vastus, “You’ll be alright, Gresh?”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I should look around anyway,” answered Gresh.

“Let’s go then,” said Vastus to Avaran and they left.

This is quite incredible, thought Gresh, but I wonder if there’s anyone who I can dance with.

He was about to walk towards the refreshments when from the corner of his eye, he saw a Glatorian running, heading outside.

Who was that, he thought.

***

Kiina stopped by the fountain outside of the arena and took a few deep breaths. There were a few other Glatorian and Agori talking with their friends.

I wished I had someone to dance with, she thought, all of them in the ballroom are having such a great time…

On the fountain, she saw several petals and flowers that were falling from several blooming plants in the garden. She took one of the flowers and took a sniff. The scent was quite relaxing and yet intense.

These are quite nice flowers. I can’t believe that it’s already spring here in Tajun, she thought, and I wish that everyone can get a chance to smell the gardens rather than just fighting all of the time.

Kiina walked towards a corner and leaned against the wall. All she wanted was to be alone for a while and to enjoy the scent of the flower.

“Excuse me miss, are you alright?” asked a voice.

Kiina turned and gasped. It was another Glatorian but one that she didn’t recognize. The armor on him was sleek and it was as green like the grass, his cloak was a dark-grayish color. He was a bit taller than most of the Glatorian. As for his face, his helmet was smooth but had some ridges. He stood there with a surprising look as well.

Kiina was dropped the flower from her hand and it glided through the breeze. This meeting felt like as if it was the beginning of something...

Little did both of them know that from this moment foreword, this first meeting will lead to their love and their destiny…

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Act 2: I Nomi dell’amore (The names of love)

~The Words of Life~

The Glatorian named Gresh stood still. Upon discovering this other Glatorian, he could not believe what he was seeing; a female warrior dressed in such bright colors; a red and blue dress with various shades of blue on the skirt. She was a bit smaller than him and her helmet that was pointy on the back but it had curves on the front that showed her face.

“Um…” said Gresh, “Could you…uh…tell me your name?”

Kiina stood and stared blankly; she felt like as if she was going to faint but she kept her strength and replied, “Kiina…”

“Oh…such a beautiful name. My name is Gresh,” he replied, “Do you…um…want to go for a walk?”

“Sure,” she answered, “But aren’t you from Tesara? And how did you know about this dance?”

“Yeah. I know it’s a long way from here, but my friends are busy taking to some other Glatorian. I saw you running as I was about to get something to drink,” he answered.

Gresh walked up to her and held out his hand, saying, “Come. There’s nothing to worry about. We’re safe here.”

Kiina took his hand and the two began to walk, heading back to the arena.

***

Not far away, Tiyan saw what was going on. She was quite amazed to see such a Glatorian from another tribe.

Who is that Glatorian, I don’t recognize him. Oh well, at least Kiina seems to like this man, perhaps she might start a new relationship and forget the past, she thought.

Tiyan quickly took out her fan and hid her face, watching them passing by.

I better tell Tarix and the others about this, she thought, at least they’ll be happy to hear.

As soon as they went back in, Tiyan took her chance to sneak back in. She watched as Kiina and Gresh were walking into the dance floor with the other Glatorian.

“So, what do you work for a living?” asked Gresh.

“I am actually a Glatorian, myself,” answered Kiina, “But unfortunately, we don’t get paid as much as men.”

“I see,” he answered, “Well. You want to dance?”

“Yes,” she replied, “That would be nice.”

The two stepped into the dance floor and began to step dance back and forth. Kiina was surprised that this ‘Gresh’ had some good moves to his dance.

“What about you?” she asked, “If you’re a Glatorian, how can you dance so well?”

“A friend of mine taught me how to use meditation. He taught me how to use my senses when it comes to dancing or even fighting in a war,” said Gresh, “I guess he was right, after all.”

The music that was played changed; from a nice jazzy music to an elegant, quieter music, the dancers changed the pace of their dancing.

***

Tiyan found Akanari and Tarix talking to Vastus and Avaran.

“Look! I saw Kiina dancing with some Glatorian from the Jungle Tribe. He’s awfully handsome, and I wish I was her…” she said.

“That’s Gresh,” said Vastus, “He’s been practicing some fighting moves as well as some meditation. It seems that he’s able to dance as well with his meditation.”

“He’s sure charming,” replied Tiyan, giggling to herself, “Kiina is definitely lucky.”

“At least she’s having the time of her life,” said Akanari, “I haven’t seen her happy for a long time.”

***

It was already moonlight when the dance was nearly to the end. Already, several Glatorian stayed behind to help the Agori clean up the Arena.

Kiina however, was awfully busy as she was walking with Gresh out of the arena. The two walked out and went a few streets to stand alone, making sure that no one else was watching.

“Thank you for this nice time,” said Kiina, “I don’t remember how long it’s been since I had a smile on my face.”

“Your dress is very nice,” he answered, “The colors were just as bright as the flowers in Tesara.”

“Do you enjoy the roses and irises?” she asked.

“Yes. They have a nice scent. To me, I’ve been wondering for many years if anyone else loved the scent of those flowers. Now, I found you,” he answered.

“Do you want to stay?” asked Kiina, “There’s plenty of room in the village.”

“I would love to, but I must go,” said Gresh, “My people are waiting for me.”

“Me too,” she replied, “Let’s meet again. But is it alright if I just tell you something…”

“What is it?” he asked.

“Well, there is something that I wanted to say. But it’s kind of difficult…you see…I…I,” she began.

“Kiina!” shouted a voice, “Where are you?”

“Oh no,” she muttered, “It’s Tiyan and the others. I must go now, farewell.”

“We will meet again, right?” he asked.

“Yes, we will,” she answered.

Kiina turned and ran. She found the others waiting for her. It seemed that they were happy but quite exhausted from the dance. She turned her head but didn’t see Gresh.

“What’s wrong?” asked Tiyan.

“You tell me,” she answered, “What’s going on?”

“Oh, it’s nothing,” said Tiyan, “But did you have a good time?”

“I loved it! The Arena was beautifully decorated with all sorts of flora and had such a nice dancing area,” she answered, “But I’m awfully tired right now. I could use some sleep.”

***

Gresh, Vastus and Avaran rode on the Thornatus with Sarhax, heading their way back to Tesara. It was already close to midnight and it was quite a surprise that there weren’t any signs of Vorox or other creatures.

“Why didn’t you stay at the dance, Sarhax?” asked Avaran, “There were plenty of Glatorian.”

“It’s nothing,” she replied, “Besides there were some packs of Zesk nearby that were trying to enter into Tajun. So I tired to get them away. When they tried to attack me, I had to use these force blasters. Thankfully, Perditus placed them on here a while back, or else I would have been awfully hurt, perhaps killed.”

Gresh felt in a daze as he tried to think back about Kiina. He was quite happy but had the persistent to stay behind, but he had to prepare for his first Arena Match.

We will meet again, he thought, and then I'll tell you how I feel…

“Is something wrong?” asked Avaran.

“It’s nothing,” he answered.

Vastus shook his head. He already knew what Gresh was thinking, but it didn’t bother him at all. But something chilled him on the back of his helmet.

Something is about to happen, I don’t know why but I can just feel it, he thought.

***

Kiina, Tiyan and Akanari returned to Kiina’s hut. All of them were quite exhausted, though Kiina was too excited for the last half hour.

His name is as strong as the winds, she thought, if only I can just meet him again soon. I hope so. Something is about to come, I can just feel it!

“Are you alright?” asked Tiyan, “You seemed excited?”

“I am,” she replied, “It’s Gresh. I just cannot stop thinking about him. I wonder if he has a moment to spare and think about me.”

“I’m sure he does,” answered Akanari, “For now, it’s late. I’m heading back to my place.”

“I might as well return too,” added Tiyan, “Good night.”

The two left while Kiina went into her bedroom and lay on the bed. It felt like that she couldn’t sleep because of the exciting experience. All she could do was to stare at the ceiling and hope that she would fall asleep.

The next time I meet him, she thought, I will tell him how I feel; that I love him, with all of my heart.

Suddenly, she heard a noise. It sounded soft like the birds tweeting and some small bells ringing.

“What was that?” she muttered, “It sounds quite lovely.”

She heard it again, this time a bit louder.

Where is it coming from, she thought.

She walked up to the window and opened the screen. This time she could hear the noise coming from the outside. But where?

Mi sento che il rumore chima me (It sounds like…it’s calling my name), she thought.

Before she could react, she began to levitate into the air. Suddenly, she was seeing random events; the massacre in Vulcanus and Iconox, the shattering, and a strange place that looked like the symbol of the rock tribe. She also saw some gigantic being awakening from an endless sea for the first time in a millennium.

Lastly, she saw herself and Gresh standing in a weird looking chamber. Gresh seemed to be awfully hurt while she grew gigantic wings that spread for thousands of miles. The light around Bara Magna began to glow as she saw something that brought the world back…

Suddenly she could hear names coming from all around her...“Montague…Capulet…il tre che devono ritornare…” (The three that must return…)

Kiina gasped and shook her head. Was this a dream? What did she just saw?

“Che cosa?” (“What was that?”) she asked quietly as she tried to figure out what she saw, “Penserei che ho visto Gresh?” (I could have though that I saw Gresh?)

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Act 3: una storia pericolosa (A Dangerous History)

~The Feud that started it all…~

Flashback: 100,000 Years Ago

Montague dodged another blast of water from an enraged Capulet. He was trying to contain him from unleashing a sphere of water over his head, but no matter how he tried, Capulet created a storm to stop the plants.

For the last several years, the Elemental Lords have been fighting for the energized protodermis. Each of them wanted their own sample but apparently neither of them was going to be nice about it. He summoned several vines to hold Capulet in place finally and was able to take a breath.

“You will not lay your hands on this child,” growled Montague, “He’s important to this world!”

“And neither will you. These children are the core of this very world,” snarled Capulet.

“Ah! So you knew…that the Great Beings created these children for the sake of the future. But, you don’t understand why,” replied Montague.

“Atarus and I know their destiny. And if anything happens to them before they accept it…” answered Capulet.

Their argument was disturbed by another Element Lord, Vulcanus. He raised his hand in the air and fired a blast of fire at them. However it was stopped by Capulet as he fired a tidal wave to stop the blast.

Growling, Capulet responded with a thunderstorm at Vulcanus, turning the lord of fire into steam. However, the fire lord reappeared behind Capulet and grabbed him by the neck. Suddenly, he could feel his blood boiling inside. He wanted to scream but the neck was chocked; if this kept up, he would fall unconscious, perhaps death.

Montague fired a blast of vines, even though he might knew that it’s not enough to stop Vulcanus. However, the grips on the vines allowed Vulcanus to burn them, thus losing his grip on Capulet. The water lord slumped to the ground but silently used his power to unleash another tidal wave at him.

“You dare to get involve in our conversation? You are nothing but a piece of flame, waiting to be extinguished,” said Capulet.

“And you are nothing but an empty sea, Capulet,” replied Vulcanus, as he dodged the oncoming wave, “You might have improved your skills, but my troops are already getting a hold of that precious liquid.”

“You’re bluffing,” said Montague in disbelief, “Your tribe wouldn’t been able to defeat the Skrall, let alone facing Brutus.”

“Escalus has made his move,” answered Vulcanus, “The Ice tribe is in duel against Brutus.”

“Those guys don’t stand a chance,” said Montague, “And even if your tribe succeeds. We’ll always be ready to take them into our hands.”

Montague summoned the vines on the ground, causing Vulcanus to lose his balance. Each time he burned off a vine, another was in place.

“This time, you cannot escape from my vines,” growled Montague.

But before his eyes, Vulcanus’s body began to glow, at first dimly, then extremely bright. As soon as the light disappeared, Vulcanus stood, eyes narrowed angrily. He was ready to burn Montague to his death, but suddenly, they all felt a great tremor in the ground.

“What’s going on?” asked Capulet.

All around them, the area shook. Slowly, cracks began to form, growing bigger and bigger every second. The ground beneath them began to gave away as a chasm opened. From the core, the silvery liquid shot into the air, heading towards space. The element lords quickly changed their forms into their elements, but a great barrier was blocking them from escaping.

“The children!” snapped Montague, “they haven’t awaken yet and if they don’t get away--”

But the ‘children’ of the lords disappeared. Already the lords were being sealed away by an unknown force.

“This feud isn’t over,” said Capulet, as he closed his eyes, “And you know it…”

***

Present Time:

Kiina opened her eyes and saw that it was already morning. She did not remember anything of what happened last night, other than the fact that she was at the dance, talking to Gresh and coming home. After that, she had no recall.

I hope the others are okay, she thought, I need to go and find Gresh.

She walked to her wardrobe and took out some clothes and changed. In a few minutes, she was already out the door and walked into the streets of Tajun, looking for the others.

Already, she could see several Agori vendors selling various fruit and goods to the customers. She walked to a corner of the street and took a left, heading east.

She walked past the Tajun Arena and saw that it was already cleaned up. The decorations were gone, replaced by the normal weapons and symbols that marked the entrance. Already, she could hear someone inside. She went in and saw Tarix firing his thornax launcher at some practice boards.

“Practicing so early today, Tarix?” she asked.

“Yes, there’s a match going on later today. I’m facing Gelu,” he answered.

“But how? Iconox is gone now and why would they…?” she began.

“They want more people to stay here rather than going to Tesara. I’m against the proposal so I’m going to fight,” said Tarix.

Kiina turned and left. She went towards a changing room and switched her armor. Once she was done, she put on her mask and switched her helmet.

I have a bad feeling about this, she thought, I can just feel that I’m going to have to be reckless again.

She snuck her way through the village as she headed towards the gate. Once she got there, she saw several Agori and Glatorian from the former Ice Tribe in an argument against her people.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

Agniar turned and said, “Oh, Akara, it’s a good thing you are here.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“We are planning for an arena match with Tarix against Gelu. There’s a dispute that wants the Ice Tribe living here with the former members of the water tribe,” he answered.

“Why do we need extra people here,” said Akara, “There’s not enough space to house three tribes, let alone two!”

“That’s why this match determines the future of this village,” said another Agori.

“We want you to fight against Gelu,” added Agniar.

“I though Tarix--?” began Akara.

“Tarix has done enough matches for the week!” snapped the Agori leader.

“I have plans today,” answered Akara, turning back. Trying to think of an excuse, he replied, “I have to go on a mission for Tarix, and it’s a vital one.”

“Akara--” snapped Agniar but the Glatorian turned and disappeared into the streets.

***

Tesara

Gresh woke up and realized that it was almost late. If he were to miss this match, then he would lose his chance.

Oh great, I’m going to be late if I don’t hurry, he thought.

He got up and ran to get dressed. Once he was ready, he got his razor shield and ran towards the Arena Tesara. His first official match was about to begin in about a half hour. Once he got to the arena, he found Vastus talking to Tarduk.

“Sorry, if I…” began Gresh.

“Just relax. I know you were tired last night, but don’t stress about that. Focus your test,” replied Vastus, “Besides, you have enough time to relax and be prepared.”

Gresh nodded and closed his eyes, listening to the wind around him for a moment. He opened and took a deep breath.

“I’m ready,” he answered.

Gresh walked into the arena went through a series of hallways, heading to one of the caves.

Just take it easy now, he thought, you’ll win. And when you do, go find Kiina and tell her about your success.

Once his name was called, he walked out of the cave. He stepped into the arena and saw several Agori cheering. This was it, if he were to win this match, then he would be able to become the secondary Glatorian of the Jungle Tribe. But who was his opponent?

Who am I facing, he thought.

He closed his eyes again and listened carefully. Suddenly he could hear someone ahead. He opened his eyes and was quite shocked. It was Vastus himself!

“How--?” he began.

“I am facing you to test if your skills are worthy,” he explained, “That’s why.”

Well then, if you really are the one that I’m facing, I hope you are ready, thought Gresh.

***

Akara walked silently, trying to avoid the other Agori. If he were to get caught, then he would be asked to fight Gelu.

I don’t have time to fight anyone right now. I need to get out of this village and tell Gresh.

Akara took off the mask and switched helmets. He headed out to a nearby cave and changed his armor. Once she was done, Kiina walked out and saw something weird. She saw a gigantic cave that she did not recognized. Suddenly it closed up, sealing the entrance.

Who’s over there, she thought as she walked over. She placed her hand on the solid wall, trying to see if there was some way to open the cave. Suddenly, she felt something weird and pressed it. The walls opened again, revealing a dark passageway. Kiina stepped inside and took out her lamplight.

As she walked deeper and deeper into the cave, she could hear someone walking nearby. She took out her trident and snapped, “Chi sta lá?” (“Who’s there?”)

The figure came up and said, “Ti rilassi. È solo me, Berix.”

(“Relax, it’s only me, Berix.”)

Kiina narrowed her eyes and replied, “Che cosa fai qui, furto? Hai trovato quasi cianfrusaglie?”

(“What are you doing here, thief? Did you find some precious junk?”)

“Io non sono un furto; un collezionista! Inoltre, ho trovato questa caverna primo!” he answered.

(“I’m not a thief; I’m a collector! Besides, I found this cave first!”)

Non sempre pensi che trovi è tuoi prendere! Guarda! Questo posto deve sono stato qui da il tempo primo tempo!” she snapped.

(“Don’t always assume of what you find belongs to you. I mean look at this! This place must have been here since the time before time!”)

“Vieni con me. Penso è ora che devi vedere” said the Agori.

(“Come with me. I think it’s time if you see this.”)

“Perchè ti crederei, furto?” she asked.

(“Why should I trust you, thief?”)

Perché, se sto giusto, poi credo che abbiamo quasi soluzioni qui. Soluzioni alla nostra storia,” he answered.

(“Because if I am right, then I believe that we have answers here. Answers to our history,”)

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Act 4: Le Rivelazioni del passato (Revelations of The Past)

~ The One and Only~

*There's no Italian conversation in this chapter (sorry). You'll see some in the next chapter.

Tesara

Gresh stared hard at Vastus, making sure that he was prepared for his attack. He extended his blade outwards towards him. Vastus extended his spear as well. After a few seconds, the weapons drew back and the two Glatorian charged.

Gresh blocked Vastus’s spear by crossing his blades. Vastus withdrew and charged again. This time, Gresh combined his blades into the shield and charged. The spear and the shield struck, but it turned out that it was a few moments of stalemate.

Gresh withdrew and executed a few flips and fired his thornax launcher. It almost struck Vastus, but at the last moment, the other Glatorian dove beneath it and fired his, aiming at Gresh’s feet. Gresh jumped over and attacked. Vastus used his spear to trip him over and was about to pin him down but Gresh rolled over and quickly stood back up.

This is not going too well, he thought, I must use those moves that I taught myself if it’s going to be a victory.

Gresh dropped his blades and closed his eyes. He could sense Vastus charging again. Once it was right, Gresh opened his eyes and grabbed the spear, and sent the other Glatorian flying into the sands.

Before Gresh realized it, his hands were somewhat paralyzed. It felt as if he couldn’t lift up his blades.

He’s cheating, thought Gresh, I thought certain elements were not allowed to be used in the matches at all. Unless if he's really testing my skills outside of the arena...

Gresh shook his hands, hoping that they would stop being numb. Vastus charged again, but this time, Gresh jumped foreword at the right moment and kicked the other Glatorian across the arena. Vastus crashed into the wall but was not ready to give up. He took aim on this thornax launcher and fired.

***

Berix led Kiina into a gigantic chamber, filled with six different caverns that once represented the elements of the lost world.

“These...they’re the lost elements?” she asked.

“From what I’ve been studying, yes,” he answered, “But that’s not what struck me. There’s something else that I found that gave me the chills.”

The two turned to a corner and went down a narrow hallway. On the other side, they found themselves in a smaller chamber, filled with ancient writings and carvings.

“Read that panel over there,” he said.

Kiina went to the tablet and tried her best to read the message. It was an old dialect used by the Elemental Lords and the Great Beings. Some of the few, best Glatorian scholars were able to read such dialect. Kiina had some skills but all she could make out was a few phrases.

“Montague…Capulet…” she read, “The Destined Children. Each of them, created to be their sons or daughters of…”

Kiina gasped at the sight, her name was on this ‘list’. Her name was beneath Capulet, the Element Lord of Water.

“I’m…I’m…?” she began.

“You are the sole daughter of Capulet!” finished Berix, “Read on.”

Kiina continued to read, following her name which had some message on it. From what she could read, she was an heir to the Element Lords. The others, she couldn’t make out their names since they were mostly eroded. However, she could tell that there were two other people that were on this list.

“But this isn’t possible, how was I Capulet’s daughter? I never even met him!” she said.

But before she could continue, she turned and saw several Agori, Tiyan and Akanari standing before her. Tiyan came up to her and handed her a wrapped package, saying, “This was found in the ruins here. Berix gave it to me and I was able to make something out of it.”

Kiina opened the packaged. It was a shiny sword, filled with various designs and symbols that she did not recognize; on it said “Capulet, Lord of the Seas.”

“But how did this get here?” she asked, “If this sword belonged to him…?”

“He must have kept is safe for you,” said Tiyan, “Waiting for someone who was within the Capulet lineage. That person was you, Kiina. You are one of the children of the Element Lords.”

Before Kiina could ask more questions, the other Glatorian and Agori kneeled silently for a few moments. Once they were done, Akanari came up to her and said, “There are a few others out in Bara Magna that are the destined children of the Element Lords. We believe that all of them together will stop the Skrall from massacring the villages.”

“That is why we kept you in a disguise Kiina. Especially that you are the only female child of Capulet. If the Skrall were to find out, they would kill you along with the other children.” added Tiyan.

***

Gresh dodged the thornax blast and jumped into the craters. His hands were finally able to grip on his shield once more. Once he was sure that it was safe to attack, he sprung back up and split his blades. Vastus charged, preparing to make another blow. This time, Gresh dove beneath and used his legs to trip Vastus over. The other Glatorian lost his grip on the spear.

Gresh was able to get up, take the spear away from Vastus, and prepared another Thornax at him, saying, “Surrender now so I can receive my honor. We do not have to keep going.”

When Vastus hesitated, Gresh placed the blade closer to him as a sign of a warning.

“I concede,” he answered, “May your victory bring better skills, Gresh.”

The Agori cheered as Gresh walked up to Avaran. The Agori leader smiled and said, “Well done. You have reached the ranks of Glatorian.”

“Thank you,” he said as he wiped his face with a towel.

Vastus came up and asked, “Is something wrong, you don’t seem too happy?”

“It’s nothing,” he answered, “well…not really. I’ll tell you later.”

Gresh turned and left the arena, heading back to his hut. In his heart, he knew what was wrong, but he did not want to tell the others how he really feels.

***

Wastelands

Far from any villages, a lone stranger stood by a cliff, overlooking the endless sea of sand beyond him. If anyone gave him a name, he was known as Starax, former leader of the Skrall. Back in the days, he was a fair leader, perhaps one of the nicer Skrall that ever existed. However, over the last several millennia of his reign, Tuma used the conspiracies to get him killed, but the plan was leaked and he was able to escape before he was executed.

The Skrall have taken their gambles now, aren’t they, he thought, from what my dreams can tell me, they have besieged Iconox and Vulcanus.

He turned to see a small pack of Zesk fighting over some dead Wasteland Wolf. Normally he would have tried to get something to eat, but he knew that he was not match for any pack of Zesk let alone the Vorox.

Starax got up and went down towards the Skrall River, despite that the water was blocked by a dam, he found some precious, small puddles nearby.

He sighed and thought back on how the Skrall were once loyal, but yet fierce warriors that were not as cruel as they were today. He remembered how well the Skrall were getting along, but once the Baterra attacked them, they fled, leaving the females behind. That was his first, and perhaps his most terrible mistake.

Of course I can’t go back, he thought, Tuma would only send his troops against me. I guess there’s no other choice but to commit suicide.

He took out his thornax launcher and placed it by his head, just before he was about to trigger it, he felt a shake in the ground. He tripped over and turned to see the ground shifting. Suddenly, he was seeing a gigantic rock that was shaped exactly like himself.

“What good would it do if you were to waste you life like that?” snapped Brutus, taking the thornax launcher.

“Brutus? You’re alive? But how is that possible? You were fighting the Ice Tribe and the earthquake sealed you away!” said Starax.

“My brothers and I survived, just like the rest of you,” he answered, “Now tell me, why are you not with the others?”

“So you don’t know what’s going on then, don’t you?” said Starax, “If you want, why don’t you just ask Tuma yourself? Whatever they’re doing, I’m not a part of. And if they find out that I’m still alive…”

Before he could finish, Brutus grabbed him by the neck and demanded, “Why are you here? Speak your words out and perhaps I’ll let you breathe for another day!”

“World Domination,” he answered, “They’re on a killing spree! They already massacred your brothers’ tribes.”

“So I see,” muttered Brutus as he let go of Starax, “Their dreams of domination does not belong to them. That’s only for my authority and my brothers to decide, not theirs.”

Before Starax’s eyes, Brutus disappeared from view as the rock lord vanished into the ground. Starax wanted to ask questions about his escape but he figured that he wasn’t going to get any. He picked up the thornax launcher and walked towards the Creep Canyon.

***

Maze Village, Black Spikes

Belirax sat on her throne, waiting for the others to come. She had sent three of her spies to watch the male Skrall and to return a report on the analysis. Already, she was losing her patience as it has been a day and a half.

“This shouldn’t be a difficult mission,” she muttered, “I don’t know why they’re going so slow, but they’re just as bad as them.”

She got up and went outside, watching the other female Skrall performing their daily tasks, building defenses and waiting for their next orders from her. Belirax grunted in disgust and walked into the village.

“Has there been any analysis?” she asked, annoyed, waiting for a response.

She turned to one of her spies coming to her, saying, “There’s been an interesting sight earlier today. One of my members saw Starax talking to some being made out of rock…you don’t suppose…?”

“That it’s Brutus?” finished Belirax, she gave a small laugh of sarcasm and replied, “Brutus is dead. He’s gone through the wind with the others.”

“No,” said the other female Skrall, “He was literately talking Starax. The rock was alive and I heard him talking to Starax, who demanded information about our enemies.”

Belirax preformed a mental assault scan inside of the other Skrall. After reading her mind, she replied, “Double the patrols of this realm. If the others are really still out there, then we must be prepared.”

***

After Kiina returned to her hut, she tired to think about the knowledge that she received. She still did not believe that she was really the sole daughter of Capulet. But from what her friends mentioned, were there other Glatorian that had some relationship with these lords?

And yet, I do not know who the other children are, she thought, that I am going to find out.

Kiina took her chance to change into her disguise form. She knew that she had to leave the village, perhaps forever. She took out the sword that Akanari gave her. Somehow, she sensed some form of great power inside the sword. She went to her mirror and dressed into her disguise. Once she was ready, she went outside and saw that it was already starlight.

Goodbye my friends, she thought, I’m sorry but I think it’s time that I begin a new legend. Plus, I can just feel that my love is thinking about me.

Making sure that no one was around, Kiina ran silently through the village. She found a Thornatus vehicle nearby from the entrance. Kiina got on the vehicle and drove her way out.

Thus, the journey now begins…what does fate have in store for Kiina and Gresh?

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Act 5: Per sempre o mai? (For Always or Never?)

~The Quest Begins~

Wastelands

It was already sunrise as Kiina drove the Thornatus through the wastelands. She was trying to head north to Tesara in hopes of finding Gresh.

But then things grew difficult with a group of Vorox was scavenging for scraps of food. A few of them hardly took noticed of her passing through but the Zesk kept growling at the sight. Taking aim on the force blasters, Kiina fired a few bullets at the pack. Several of them fled and buried beneath the sands. However, a few Zesk stood, growling at her. Before she could react, the savages that went into the sands reappeared behind her, thus closing her in.

Great, she thought, I’m trapped here with these barbaric beasts.

But before the beasts could attack her, the ground began to shake, scaring off the beasts. As soon as they disappeared, the shake stopped. Kiina wanted to figure out what scared them away but turned to see several Bone Hunters riding on their Rock Steeds.

Great Beings protect me, she cursed silently, they must have heard the commotion and they’re coming now.

Kiina pressed the gas petal and quickly continued her journey. The Bone Hunters were coming fast behind them and there was no sign of any Glatorian nearby. If there wasn’t another phenomenon coming, then they could capture her and perhaps slain her to death.

There! She saw something that she could use to stop the Bone Hunters. Taking aim on one of her blasters, she fired several gigantic bullets to knock down a structure. Lucky for her, she was in some canyon and if she could make it to the other side, she would outsmart the Bone Hunters.

Impact! The bullets struck the structure. Slowly, the rock began to tip over. It was a matter of seconds to see who would win this race.

This is going to be close, she thought as she went on full speed. She was just almost there, only a few more yards…

Suddenly, the sword of Capulet began to glow, before she knew it, the sword took her elsewhere in the desert. As of the Bone Hunters, they would meet their fate under the rubble…

Amazing, she thought, this sword somehow has great powers; it seems as if it knew how much of the dangers I was facing. And could it be this sword that saved me from the Vorox?

Just over the dune, she saw the village of Tesara; the sun has completely risen as the new day begins.

***

Tesara

Gresh sat on the high branches from the Great Tree of Tesara. It was one of the most beautiful trees of the planet ever since the cataclysm took away Bota Magna from the original landmass. This tree was one of the few places where the Agori from all over give blessings to the tree as it represented hope for a successful future.

Today, he saw someone riding a vehicle heading to this village. But little did he know that it would be the one he was seeking. He got down and went to the outskirts, looking for the new arrival but didn’t see anyone.

I know that I saw someone coming, he thought, my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me.

He turned to his left and finally saw someone who was getting off of a Thornatus. Gresh didn’t recognize the warrior; he was wearing unique armor and wore a mask with the helmet.

“Buon giorno, signore,” said Gresh, “Che vuoi andare a Tesara oggi?”

(“Good morning, sir,”) (“What brings you to Tesara today?”)

“Voglio viaggiare,” replied the stranger, “E noioso stare in un posto per mentre.”

(“Just wanting to travel,”) (“It’s quite bored to stay in one place for a while.”)

“Come ti chiami?” he asked, “Piacerei conscocere, per favore?”

(“What is your name?”) (“I would like to know, please?”)

“Akara,” came the reply, (E tuo nome?”)

(“And what is yours?”)

“Gresh,” he answered.

I’m so excited to see him again, thought Kiina, but I have to keep myself formal and tough. But what if he finds out who I really am? Will he get mad? Even if I told him…the truth about myself…will he hate me?

“Che sucesso?” asked Gresh.

(“What’s wrong?”)

“Oh, niente,” answered Akara, coughing, “Tu sei un Glatorian?”

(“Oh, it’s nothing,”) (“Are you a Glatorian?”)

“Si. Ho passato la mia prima litiga ieri; piccato tu non la hai visto. Va bene e voglio dire a Kiina. Conosci lei?” he asked.

(“Yes. I passed my first arena match yesterday; too bad you didn’t see it. It was a great event and I just want to tell Kiina about it. Do you know her?”)

Wow, I should have come yesterday, she thought, now that he’s a Glatorian…

“Bene, congratulazioni. E si, conosco. Lei va bene ma lavorava per la citta. Quando hai incontrato lei?” asked Akara.

(“That’s great, congratulations. And yes, I know Kiina. She’s doing fine but busy, doing her duties for the village. When did you meet her?”)

“Due giorno fa; c’e un ballare nella tua citta. Sono andato con i miei amici, Vastus e Avaran incontrare con Tarix e Akanari per un programma per il litiga per il mese prossimo. Ma, hanno voluto me divertimento, da non sono un ‘Glatorian’ ufficialmente, e poi ho trovato lei,” he explained.”

(“Two days ago; there was an annual ball in your village. I went with my friends Vastus and Avaran to meet with Tarix and Akanari to set up the schedule for the arena matches for the next month. But they wanted me to have fun since I wasn’t officially a ‘Glatorian’ at the time, and that’s when I found her,”)

“Allora,” he answered, “Poi. No lo so molto tempo sarò qui, ma mi sento stanco per guidare.”

(“I see,”) (“Well then. I don’t know how long I’ll stay here, but I’m already exhausted from driving here.”)

“Puoi andare alla mia casa, se vuole. Ci sono basta posto per gli opsiti,” answered Gresh

(“You can come to my hut if you wish. I have plenty of room for guests,”)

“Va bene,” replied Akara, “Restero un pocò. Bisogno di piu forza a tardi.”

(“That’ll do just fine,”) (“A little bit of rest will help me for later.”)

***

The two arrived at the hut. Akara felt like as if his head was about to spin off. Gresh offered him to rest on a mat.

“Are you alright?” asked Gresh, “And what did you encounter along the way?”

“Yeah, just a bit dizzy; I ran into some Vorox as I drove here, not to mention the Bone Hunters,” replied Akara.

“I see,” he answered, “But you still got away from them, that’s all what matters.”

“I suppose you’re right,” said Akara, sighing, “Especially that I was only one Glatorian.”

Kiina thought back about the dance. She remembered how she gave her name. Now as a disguised figure, she gave Gresh her disguise name. For some reason, she felt guilty, but the time has not come yet.

Gresh heard a knock on the door. He opened it and realized that it was Vastus.

“Is something wrong?” asked Gresh.

“It’s about Kiina,” answered Vastus, “I received a message from Tarix early this morning that Kiina disappeared from the village. She stole one of the Thornatus vehicles and left.”

“I’ll find her,” said Gresh, “After all, she’ll listen to me.”

“Don’t take it too easy Gresh,” replied Vastus, “Although she’s quiet and gentile, I’m sure she’ll try to stop anyone from bringing her back to Tajun.”

He took a glance inside the hut and saw another Glatorian resting. Vastus asked, “Who is that?”

“A guest, his name is Akara,” answered Gresh.

“Oh, it’s been a while, Akara. Akanari tells me that you’re a great fighter. Perhaps we should do a match sometime,” said Vastus.

“That’s fine,” replied Akara, “But I need to rest for a little bit. I haven’t been feeling good ever since I got here.”

Vastus nodded and told Gresh, “Go find her as soon as possible, but be careful.”

***

“I can’t believe she left,” said Tiyan, “And I warned you that telling her the truth will drive her crazy! Just why?”

“You know that she’s been suffering for the last several millennia,” answered Akanari, “And if we told her back then, she could have been in a worse condition than now. At least that she has Gresh, perhaps she’ll go to him.”

“And then what? What if the Skrall finds her and Gresh? Not to mention about Vastus, who has no clue about her disguise,” she snapped.

“I already sent a message,” said Tarix, “But I haven’t revealed that secret to him.”

“That’s your fault for sending that message to him in the first place,” said Tiyan, “Now if Kiina doesn’t turn herself in, Gresh is not going to realize that ‘Akara’ is ‘Kiina’ and that she’s been with him all of this time.”

“Why do you get so mad easily?” asked Akanari, “She’ll be fine. As long as she only reveals her identity to Gresh, I’m sure he’ll keep it a secret as well.”

“What do you know about him?” snarled Tiyan.

Tarix rolled his eyes and said, “Enough. Unless if you want Agniar to find out and let him have a heart attack, shut up!”

***

Outside, Agniar was walking through the village with Berix and Scondinous. They were passing by Tiyan’s hut when they heard some arguments inside.

“Your honor, it’s not polite to eavesdrop,” protested Berix.

“I don’t care! If they know something about Kiina, I’m going to find out!” snapped Agniar.

Suddenly he heard the words of ‘Akara is Kiina’. At the moment he was ready to faint.

“So…it is true,” he muttered, “Kiina was disguised as a man all of these years. No wonder she wants to fight as a Glatorian.”

Agniar fell to the ground; the truth sank into his mind, but he still doesn’t know about the Capulet connection with Kiina.

Berix ran inside and shouted, “You have to come out, Agniar collapsed!”

“He knows about it?!” said AKanari.

Berix nodded and said, “Let’s go before he goes insane.”

***

Akara woke up and saw Gresh practicing his fighting moves.

“Oh, I’m sorry if I woke you? How are you feeling?” asked Gresh.

“Much better,” he replied, “Well, it’s time for me to move on.”

The weather became stormy as Akara was about to leave.

“I guess I can’t go. Not where my Thornatus…” began Akara

“Wait,” said Gresh, walking towards Akara, “Vastus said that Kiina took a Thornatus to escape from her village. Yet you used a Thronatus also.”

“That’s just a coincidence!” snapped Akara, as the voice shifted accidently, “She just got on some random vehicle and left!”

“That voice…” said Gresh, narrowing his eyes, “I know it.”

Akara gulped and said, “Just a bit of ‘high pitched’. It’s nothing…”

He backed up and tried to leave, but he tripped on some armory and was falling. Gresh caught him to safety, but suddenly the armor fell off, revealing a beautiful dress beneath it. The helmet and mask fell out of Akara, revealing the glowing face that Gresh saw back at the dance. The two fell on the floor, breathing heavily. Gresh slowly got up, looked down to take another look at her and realized that what he predicted was true.

“You’re Kiina...” said Gresh.

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Act 6: Insieme per sempre (Together for always)

~A Relationship builds~

Gresh looked at her for a few moments before realizing that he was on top of her. He quickly recoiled and said, “Mi dispiace.”

(“I’m sorry.”)

He already felt the sweat dripping on his back and was about to blush but he coughed silently and asked, “Kiina. Perchè usavi un costume?”

(“Kiina. Why were you in a disguise?”)

Kiina got up slowly, and turned to him. She was still quite shocked for him to find out but she knew that there was no other choice. The time has come for him to know.

“Ho dovuto,” she answered, “Per la mia protezione. Non posso spiegare tutto ora, ma teni un segerto, per favore?”

(“I had to,”), (“For my own protection. I cannot explain everything right now…but keep this a secret, will you?”)

“Che cosa?” asked Gresh.

(“What is it?”)

“Sono la figlia di Capulet,” she replied.

(“I am the daughter of Capulet,”)

Gresh felt a chill on his back.

La figlia di Capulet, ma come è possibilie, thought Gresh.

(Capulet’s daughter, but how is that possible,)

“Lo so, lo so,” said Kiina, “È pazzo, ma sono vero, che cosa i mieie amici mi dicono. Lo so che derrai...”

(“I know, I know,”) ,( “It’s crazy, but I really am, at least that’s what my friends told me. I know you’ll say that…”)

“Ti credo,” he replied.

(“I believe you,”)

Kiina paused at the remark but gave a slim smile.

“Grazie,” she answered, “Ma per favore, non mi ritornerai a Tajun. Sono venuta a qui perche volgio dire a te…”

(“Thank you,”),( “But please, don’t send me back to Tajun. I came here because I wanted to tell you…”)

“Anch’io ho sentito che hai ora,” he concluded, “Mi ami e ti amo.”

(“I have the same feeling that you’re having right now,”), (“You love me and I love you too.”)

“Anche, voglio venire a te e cheido se vuole uscire con me, sai, da qualche parte lontano dagli nostri paesi,” said Kiina.

(“I also wanted to come to you and ask if you want to go out with me, you know, somewhere far from our villages,”)

“Ma perche?” asked Gresh, “Che di tuoi amici?

(“But why?”), (“What about your friends?”)

“Non e perched di loro,” she answered, “Ho avuto un sogna dopo la festa.”

(“It’s not because of them,”) (“I had a dream after the dance.”)

“Una sogna?” he asked

(“A dream?”)

“Che siamo essere insieme per sempre. No lo so perché, ma siamo. No lo so che tui sei ha una parentela con Montague, ma voglio trovare,” she explained.

(“That we are destined to be together. I don’t know how or why, but we are. I also don’t know if you have any relationships with Montague, but I want to find out,”)

Gresh thought about this for a moment. If Kiina was a Capulet, and who knows; what if he was Montague’s son?

“Poi, andiamo,” he answered, “Prima Vastus o qualcuno ci trova.”

(“Let’s go then,”) , (“Before Vastus or anyone else finds us.”)

The two looked out saw that the storm has ended but it was already sunset. Kiina took her disguise and placed it back on.

“Questa via,” said Gresh, holding Kiina’s hand. The two went out through the back entrance and escaped into the forest.”

(“This way,”)

“Lo so un posto che possiamo nascondere,” he continued, “Ma e sarà difficule adare lá”

(“I know a place where we can hide,”),(“But it might take a while to get there.”)

***

Tajun

Agniar woke up and saw that he was resting on a mat. The last thing he remembered was that ‘Akara’ was actually Kiina in disguise before passing out.

He turned to see Berix and Tarix who kept an eye on him.

“Where’s Kiina?” he asked.

“Gone,” answered Tarix, “She ran away from her.”

“Let her be, she deserves to be gone from this village and this tribe,” he replied.

“Agniar!” snapped Berix, “If anything happens to us…”

“I don’t want to hear any complaints from you,” said the Agori Leader. He turned to Tarix and asked, “How many people knew about this?”

“A fair few,” replied Tarix, “But you are not going to punish them, not during the middle of a war.”

“You’re lucky that I didn’t exile you,” answered Agniar, “Because I heard you in there with the others. But since you are one of the greatest Glatorian, I cannot cut you loose. As of Kiina, let her actions be punished in the sands.”

Tiyan and Akanari stood outside, hearing the conversation. Neither of them had something to say.

“What a disgrace!” muttered Tiyan, “If Kiina didn’t…”

“No,” said Akanari, “If we never discussed so loud, perhaps we would have gotten away with it.”

Tiyan rolled her eyes and grunted. Not wanting to be patient, she went inside.

“Tiyan!” snapped Agniar, “You knew about this too?”

“Yes,” she answered, “But you don’t know why she was forced to keep herself in a disguise, do you?”

“What…what do you mean?” asked Agniar.

“If you are really that interested, she’s Capulet’s daughter,” she replied.

“Impossible,” said Agniar, “Capulet was the only Element Lord that chose to not have any of the children. I’ve seen the prophecies!”

“No you haven’t,” argued Tiyan, “You might have seen the carvings, but you chose to not read them in the first place. So I did the work myself and when I found out the truth long ago. I used all of my savings to buy Kiina her disguise.”

“If anyone, you deserved to be exiled,” growled Agniar.

“If I told you back then, I would already have been exiled,” she replied, “You don’t even care about the life before the disaster!”

She got up and ran out, filled with anger and sadness.

***

Roxtus

Tuma sat on his throne, waiting for a group of Skrall to return. He sent Branar with at least 15 Skrall to find anything going on in Tajun and Tesara. He ordered them to just simply spy and not go on a killing spree.

Once we are ready, he thought, the massacre will continue, and once the other villages fall, they have a choice, to either die in the name of the Rock Tribe or to serve us.

He thought back when he overthrew Starax, the original leader. Starax, though was not as violent as him, but still kept the Skrall together and unified the Rock Tribe under his grip. However, Starax disliked the Skrall if they were to harass the Glatorian and Agori. When they abandoned their sisters a while back, he suggested that they would participate in the Arena Match System; that was his biggest mistake.

Then one day, Tuma came up to him and ask if he could lead an army of Skrall to patrol the other villages and to set up new laws. Starax refused which angered him silently. Knowing that his plan was going to be blocked, he secretly ordered Stronius and Branar to execute the original leader, but by the time they were about to kill him, Starax disappeared.

Tuma sent several groups of Skrall to capture him, but they all failed. Tuma saw this to see fit and took over, ordering the Skrall to prepare the invasion in Iconox and Vulcanus. He sent Stronius and a few other elite forces to make a list of all of the possible Glatorian that would try to challenge him. One of them was Ackar, who was the son of Vulcanus. Fearing that he might obtain special abilities from his father, he decided to push the invasion quickly and killed him.

But there are more children out there, he thought, the sons and daughters of the Element Lords are trying to find ways to rebel against us. We have to kill them all before it’s too late.

***

Raanu opened his eyes and saw some of the other Agori with him in a small hut. He was still in pain after the treatment but he was feeling a bit better than before.

“Are you alright?” asked Kyry.

“Not really,” he answered, “Any news on the survivors?”

“No, not yet,” said Kyry, “Perditus is badly injured though, but he’ll be on his way here with the help from Tarix and Akanari. It’s a shame that Malum isn’t there for us any more.”

Raanu nodded and thought back on the day when Malum was caught for tempting to kill Strakk. There wasn’t a reason why he wanted Strakk dead, but he was already exiled before he could do anymore harm. Only Perditus and Ackar remained behind as the only master Glatorian left that is until when Ackar was killed during the Skrall’s siege.

“Someday, the heavens will get them,” he muttered, then he asked to Crotesius, “Go to Perditus when he rested enough and ask him if he can take an extra training section where he can also fight by using sword and shield. I know he prefers to use vehicles but we really need more Glatorian warriors that will fight by hand.”

“Should we even try…?” began Kyry.

“No! Especially not in a crisis like this,” said Raanu, “Malum is nothing but a worthless piece of sword, waiting for someone to misuse it and end up dead.”

***

Gelu sat in the waiting room at a café. He was sent here to prepare for a match tomorrow against Akanari to determine if the former members of the Ice Tribe should come here rather than to Tesara.

Then he saw Akanari coming in along with Tiyan and Tarix.

“Good evening,” said Gelu, “Ready for tomorrow?”

“I’m always ready for anything,” answered Akanari. He turned to the others and said, “After the match, we need to head out to Tesara to meet with Vastus and Avaran.”

“Is something wrong?” asked Gelu.

“Nothing,” replied Akanari, “It’s nothing to worry about?”

“How’s Akara?” he asked, “I haven’t seen him for a while.”

Akanari turned to the others, who gave a slight nod. Then he quickly thought of a lie and said, “He’s doing great like always. Just busy nowadays, I guess.”

“The tone in your voice doesn’t match what you are telling me,” replied Gelu, “something’s wrong, isn’t it?”

“It’s a long story,” said Tiyan, “If you must know, we’ll explain everything after your match against him.”

“No, I shouldn’t, if it’s not my business,” answered Gelu.

“No,” said Tarix, “We could use more help here. The more Glatorian, the better chances we have to find Kiina.”

***

Tesara

Vastus returned to Gresh’s hut and knocked on the door.

Come on, he thought, I know you don’t stay out at night, Gresh? Gresh?

With a kick, he knocked down the door but saw that there was nothing inside. Gresh was not at home.

What’s going on, he thought, Gresh? Oh no, if the Bone Hunters or Skrall…

He quickly turned and ran to Avaran’s hut. He had to know about this. As soon as he got there, he knocked on the door and got inside.

“What’s the matter?” asked Avaran.

“Gresh is gone; he’s not at the house. I’ve searched most of the village but there has been no evidence of him,” said Vastus.

“What? How is he…?” said Avaran when he realized a possible answer, “Kiina…”

“What? You don’t mean…” began Vastus.

“That Gresh left with her?” finished Avaran.

Vastus growled to himself and muttered, “This is the Water Tribe’s fault. They started this terrible mess around here.”

“If only we never went to that dance,” said Avaran.

“No. We have to send a search party to find Gresh. It’s dangerous for him to go out alone whether he’s with Kiina or not!” said Vastus, “And I know exactly who to blame for.”

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Act 7: Il cammino comincia (The Journey Begins…)

~The Endless World of Sand~

*There's no Italian conversation in this chapter.

Kiina drove the Thornatus while Gresh hanged on tightly. So far, the ride was not as dangerous as they expected. It has been at least several hours since they left Tesara.

“That’s odd, I though the Vorox and Zesk are out at night,” said Gresh.

“They are, but I guess they’re not around here,” replied Kiina, “And where are we going? What is this place that you are speaking about?”

“There’s a legend that says that there’s a paradise that was once part of the original planet before the cataclysm. It’s a place where the children of the lords can enter. Since you told me that you are Capulet’s daughter, perhaps there’s hope that we might find refuge there,” he explained.

“Interesting,” she answered, “And what about you, what happens if you’re not Montague’s son?”

“I don’t know,” he said, “But it’s worth a try.”

Kiina nodded and continued their way through the desert. The sun was slowing rising as they drew closer to the Creep Canyon.

“And where is this place exactly?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” he answered, “But that doesn’t mean that we can’t find it. If the legend says that only the children may enter, then I’m sure you and I will find it.”

***

Fero and a Bone Hunter rode on the Rock Steeds, talking outside of the camp.

“So, what’s the loss?” asked Fero.

“A group of at least six Bone Hunters chased a Glatorian in the Wastelands while heading to Tesara. Somehow, they were crushed by the rubble during the chase,” replied the other Bone Hunter.

“Tsk, tsk,” said Fero, “Of course they would fail me. They failed because he or she must be one of the Element Lord’s children.”

“Children?” asked the other hunter.

“The dumbfound legend of the Glatorian,” replied Fero, “You know. There were a group of children that were created by those fools from the old world. Each of them carried a specific power that lied in their hearts. I heard that Tuma has killed at least one of them during their raid.”

“I see,” he replied, “But why would they kill them, I’m sure these children probably forgot who they were….”

Fero grabbed the other Bone Hunter by the neck and said, “No. Tuma said that these children are a threat to their plans! If they were to succeed before they complete their world domination, they will end up as dead like useless junk! That’s why they wanted us to ally with them.”

The other Bone Hunter gasped for breath but instead was being thrown and crashed into the sands.

“Let’s go,” said Fero, “We need to talk to Tuma about the next stage.”

The Bone Hunter got up on the Rock Steed and the two went back to the camp.

***

Tajun

“Arena Match: Gelu vs. Akanari”

Gelu charged and blocked another attack of Akanari’s spear. His advantage of the Ice Slicer kept the spear away from him, but the spear itself was as tall as his opponent. Akanari took the chance to charge, and used the spear to jump over the ice warrior and firing his thornax launcher.

Gelu tried to block it, but he blow from the fruit sent him flying across the arena. He crashed into the sands and couldn’t get up. Using the last reserves of his strength, Gelu used his Ice Slicer to help him stand up and prepare for another attack.

But before Akanari could charge, both of the Glatorian heard the Agori falling into silence as Vastus and Avaran stepped into the Arena.

“Where’s Tarix?” asked Vastus.

“Why are you here?” asked Agniar, “You can’t just come in the middle of the…”

“No. I have come to bring some terrible news,” replied Vastus, “Unfortunately, one of our Glatorian, Gresh has disappeared last night.”

Several of the Agori nearby gasped, many of them knew about Gresh and his achievements.

Vastus stepped between the two combatants and said, “Stop it! We cannot fight right now, not when our friends have disappeared.”

“Vastus?” asked Gelu, “Why…?”

“You know why, Akanari should have told you,” answered Vastus.

“This is none of your business,” said Akanari, “Be gone!”

“It’s your fault for allowing Kiina to take Gresh away from us!” snapped Vastus, “If only Kiina has never met Gresh…”

“Stand aside!” shouted Agniar, “You, Vastus have no authority to end the match!”

“Yeah,” shouted several Agori, “Leave and let the fight finish!”

Vastus turned to Agniar and grabbed him by the wrist, saying, “Stop this match, I ask you! We need to talk or else we will fight about this!”

***

Far from the villages, in the heart of a dangerous terrain, something stirred. Around 100,000 years ago, this site was where three of the Element Lords were trapped in. The rubble all over began to explode, revealing Capulet, Montague, and Vulcanus, each of them sealed away from the world. At last, they were free, and the feud would continue.

Capulet opened his eyes and saw the light of day. He was quite surprised to see that he was alive. Getting up, he saw the other lords who were still sealed away by some unknown force.

Sorry Montague and Vulcanus, he thought, but I’m afraid that I’ll have flood the area here so you can both drown.

But before he could channel his powers, he saw the seal on the other two lords breaking away. Capulet quickly fled and vanished into the mist. Lucky for him, there was a nearby river for him to jump into.

Capulet swam in the Dormus River, heading south towards the Mountain Pass of Black Spikes and the White Quartz. He knew that his daughter was still alive as he saw what was happening in his dreams.

I see, he thought, Kiina falls in love with Montague’s Son; Gresh. But why does fate allow them to be together?

He jumped off of the river and saw the Mountain Pass ahead of him. It would take a while since he could only travel the fastest by water. But where did all of the water go?

The water, he thought, as he looked at the endless sand that stretched for miles beyond him, it can’t be? I thought the earthquake only struck us?

If only he knew the truth, the waters of Aqua Magna separated from the former planet of Spherus Magna, leaving Bara Magna nothing but a terrible wasteland. The same applied to Bota Magna, home of Montague and his warriors.

So, two of our homes have disappeared, he thought, I won’t be surprised of Montague screams about his beloved forest.

He began to walk, heading for the mountains, knowing that it would pose a risk to his health, since climbing was not his ability.

***

Kiina stopped the vehicle as she saw an oasis nearby.

“Gresh,” she said, “Let’s get a drink before…”

But the other warrior was fast asleep. Kiina went up to him and tried to wake him, but instead, he fell into her arms.

Okay, she thought, this is really disturbing…but at least no one’s watching.

Carefully, she managed to carry him up to the oasis. When she realized that it wasn’t as deep, she placed the warrior aside and splashed some water at him.

Gresh woke up with a gasp and said, “Hey! What was that all about?”

“You fell asleep my love,” she began when she stopped at the words…’my love’.

“Is something wrong?” he replied, but then he thought about what he said, “Oh…now I get it.”

“Um…” she said, “That was…”

“Yeah,” he answered, walking up closer to her. His eyes were narrowed as he made a wicked smile.

“Gresh, seriously, I don’t mind if we share our love, but what if someone sees us?” she asked.

“Oh please,” he replied, “Since when do Bone Hunters or Vorox watch any romantic scenes?”

He placed his hand by her face and prepared to kiss her when they heard a growl of several Zesk. The two jumped and prepared their thornax launchers.

“You forgot to mention them,” she replied as she triggered the launcher.

“Hey!” snapped Gresh, “The Thornatus!”

Kiina turned and gasped, the Thornatus was sinking into the sand, but a closer look realized that the Vorox were beneath the vehicle, stealing it.

They ran to the Thornatus and tried to pull it away. However, more Vorox approached behind them and took them away. Both of them tried to break free from the Vorox but failed. Then the two fell asleep…

***

In the Vorox Caves, a lone warrior sat on his throne. He was known as Malum, former Glatorian of the Fire Tribe until he was accused for attempting to kill Strakk. For the last several years, that Ice Glatorian often times would make nasty rumors about his anger issues, which eventually led Malum to try and kill him during an arena match, knowing that he would be punished badly.

But he was never like that, no, he thought, not after the Core War.

After his exile, he met a group of Vorox who tried to kill him for entering in their region. Eventually he was set to challenge their leader, who was one of the sons of Atarus. Luckily, since he was a descendant of Vulcanus, he managed to defeat the leader who agreed to step down.

The one day, that same Vorox who fought against him showed him a separate dimension outside of Bara Magna. The world was similar to the former world before the earthquake, but it was somewhat more compact. However, it was more like a sanctuary and the place only allowed the children of the Elemental Lords. Anyone else who entered would be sent back to Bara Magna as a fair warning.

There, he stayed there and meditated his mind to clear away the thoughts about Strakk and his terrible crimes but sometimes he would get awful headaches about them.

Suddenly, he could hear several cries from three Vorox, who were dragging in some prisoners.

“What is it now?” he snapped, watching as the Vorox dragged two beings into his chamber. Once the Vorox set them down, Malum got up and took a closer look at the newcomers.

Great Beings, he thought, it cannot be!

Malum looked up at the three Vorox; each of them had confusing looks. One of them growled, telling them that the blue one killed several of their members earlier. Malum nodded and said, “True, but don’t you realize who they are!?!”

The Vorox seemed quite surprised at his attitude, normally he would tell them to throw them into the dungeons, but these were not ordinary Glatorian. Malum already knew who they were. He turned to the Vorox and said, “All of you, go outside and wait. I will have a talk with these two here.”

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Act 8: Il matrimonio (The Wedding)

~Two Souls, One Unified Couple~

Kiina opened her eyes and realized that she was in a darkened chamber. The area around her had some torches that were glowing. As for her wrists, they were chained by some cuffs. She saw Gresh tied up with some rope on his wrists and feet.

The two turned to see a red armored warrior who sat on a throne made of pure exisdian. He didn’t make a remark about their presence, just a cold-hard stare, wondering if they were really the other children of the Element Lords.

“What lies in the heart of sand?” he asked.

“Is that suppose to be a riddle?” she replied.

“Indeed it is. Only the children of the lords know the answer to this question,” he answered.

Gresh turned and saw Malum standing up from his throne. He walked down to them, repeating, “What lies in the heart of the sand?”

“Paradise,” answered Gresh, "I've heard about that riddle!"

"Indeed it is, but what does your answer reflect on who you are? Seeing that you're Montauge's son, and her as a Capulet..." began Malum.

"I will not let our ancestor's feud reflect on who's bond the love or not. No matter how hard they will try to stop us, I will love Kiina for eternity," he answered

“Oh Gresh, Gresh, but why must thou be a Montague?” asked Kiina, shocked, “Why did destiny allow us to be together? Or if thou wilt not, be but swore my love and deny your name.”

Kiina broke free from her bonds with her newfound strength and ran up the steps, heading towards the balcony that overlooked the chamber. Malum freed Gresh from the chains and allowed him to speak to Kiina alone while he sat back to his throne. Gresh kept his eyes on her as she looked at him from above.

“Tis but thy name that is my enemy. Thou art myself, though not a Montague,” continued Kiina, “As I am only a Capulet, why did we meet? Did love tell us to come together?”

Gresh came up closer, never leaving his eyes off of her and replied, holding out his hand to her, “By love, it showed me the path to find you in the first place. The moment I saw you at the ball, I knew that my life will change. For you, I will give you my heart, if you do the same with yours. Will you accept it?"

At first, Kiina seemed hesitant, but she already knew the answer to that question.

“Yes,” she answered, “Together we shall be…”

“Hence forth till the end of eternity,” both finished.

***

Flashback: 100,000 Years Ago (Post-Shattering)

The blue armored being opened her eyes and looked around. The world around her was nothing but an endless sea of desert that stretched for hundreds of miles. She had no memory about this place, as this was her first awakening.

Then something changed, someone far ahead of her was coming this way. It was another blue armored warrior, but rode on some vehicle.

“Good day,” came the reply, “What brings you here to the Wastelands?”

Kiina stood with a puzzled look at this new comer. He was a blue armored being with some gold patches around.

“Not much of a talker, eh?” asked Tarix, “Don’t be shy, come with me to Tajun. It’s a good place for you to live in.”

This time, Kiina took a few steps foreword, her innocent smile made it look like as if she had no memory of what happened.

“Oh, I see,” said Tarix, “the earthquake must have struck you. But come on, I’m running late and I can’t say in the middle of the desert for long.”

Kiina got on the vehicle and for some reason; Tarix could sense something powerful about this person. He couldn’t tell what it was but something about it chilled his back.

***

Once the two arrived in Tajun, the two got off and went down towards the streets. Everywhere, the Agori were busy building their new lives in this empty village.

Finally, Kiina asked, “What is this place?”

Tarix turned and realized that it was her asking the question. With a reply, “This is Tajun. Our new home, but you do know that right?”

Kiina shook her head and answered, “I’m sorry. I do not remember anything. I have no clue about this world or where I have come from.”

“If you don’t know, then why did you choose to come?” he asked.

“From a dream that I had before I woke up, I saw myself with several other beings. We were somehow translating this message on a wall and saw that we play an important role in our lives,” said Kiina.

Kiina walked down the streets and saw an empty house that was up for sale. She went to take a look inside and like how it was made. Then she came back out and asked, “Is anyone going to buy this?”

“I was, as a matter of fact,” said Tarix, “But you can have it. I already have plans for another hut where it’s closer to our arena.”

“Arena?” she asked.

“A place where the Glatorian go and fight; I’m already considered the Prime Glatorian of this tribe, Akanari is the Secondary Glatorian,” he explained.

Sounds like I have a lot to learn about this world, thought Kiina, perhaps if I can learn how to fight too, I can become a Glatorian.

***

Present Time

After several protests on forcing the Agori to leave, the arena was finally quiet as Vastus, Avaran, Agniar, Akanari and Gelu stood.

“Voglio dov’e sono,” said Vastus, “So che voi sapete di lei.”

(“I want to know where they’re at,”) (“I’m sure one of you knows about her whereabouts.”)

“Kiina non dice niente,” replied Akanari, “È perchè devi venire alla festa nel primo?”

(“Kiina did not leave us anything behind,”) (“And why did you choose to come to the ball in the first place?”)

“Che e stato per affare,” snapped Avaran, “Sapete che dopo due settimane che incontriamo per fare programmi cosi come fate con loro!”

(“That was only for business,”)(“You know that once every two weeks we meet together to set up plans like how you did with the other tribes!”)

“Ma ora, non ci sono ma noi, o voi,” said Agniar.

(“But now there’s no one left but us, or you guys,”)

“Deve un guerra, poi la è,” said Vastus, “Ma non voglio Gresh morire. Troverei, ma perché tutti i due siete responsablie, dovete punire!”

(“If this must come to a war, then let it be,”) (“But I’m not going to allow Gresh to die out there. I would find him, but since both of you are responsible, you must be punished!”)

“Non dici a me,” said Gelu, “Non sono…”

(“Leave me out of this,”) (“I do not…”)

“Ah no,” he replied, “Tu e tutti da Iconox sono tanto stesso quanto tribù dell’acqua.”

(“Oh no,”),(“You and the other survivors from Iconox are just the same as the Water Tribe.”)

“Mi scusa , ma io non vengo ne Kiina ne Gresh, perche farei? Li Auiterei trovare, ma non da imporre qualcosa a qualcuno.”

(“Excuse me, but I have not seen either of them for a long time, so why should I put up with this? I could help finding them if I must, but I will not do it in such a forcefully manner,”)

***

Tiyan watched from the entrance as they argued about the responsibility of the two missing Glatorian.

If only I stopped them back at the dance…this would have never happened, she thought, Great Beings know what’s going on with them…

Tiyan turned to see Berix who was eavesdropping as well.

“Why are you here, thief?” she snapped.

“Not a thief. You and Kiina are just the same,” he remarked.

“Just be lucky that you’re not going to get hurt this time,” she growled, “Otherwise I would come after you with my spear!”

“Hey, no pressure!” he answered, “But where’s Kiina?”

“Gone,” she replied, “She’s out somewhere in the desert. Oh the Great Beings…”

***

“So that’s what you want?” asked Malum.

“Yes,” answered Gresh, “I asked her and she agrees.”

Malum turned to the Vorox and gestured with various whistles and hand signals. After a few moments, the Vorox went to work. Gresh and Kiina were sent by a few of the savages to prepare for the wedding.

“Get busy you lazy beasts!” snapped Malum, “There’s not much time for a great feast! Oh I haven’t seen such a wedding for eons!”

Meanwhile both of the lovers were given some fancy clothing that neither of them expected. From what Malum told them earlier, the Vorox were indeed savages, but a fair few of them still had some old skills in making some fancy robes since a few of them did not fully evolved.

After a few minutes of changing, the two came out and looked at each other.

“I’ve never seen such a dress,” said Gresh, “It’s just like the one that you wore in the feast, but more ancient. Could these be from the old world?”

“I don’t know, but the armor looks nice on you,” she replied, “Along with the suit that goes with it.”

“I just can’t believe how fast we made our decisions, you don’t suppose that this is too sudden?” he asked.

“No,” said Kiina, “It might seem fast but I knew that the moment I saw you, I knew that we were meant to be.”

Once everything was ready, Gresh stepped out and saw several Vorox and a few Zesk in the chamber, all lined up. Malum was dressed as well; as he wore a cloak mixed with some of the armor from the former Vorox leader.

He walked up and turned to wait for Kiina to come out. She stepped out and was given some mixed flowers. She walked down silently and stood in front of Gresh, keeping her eyes on him.

“Our friends,” said Malum, “Today we honor two warriors who agreed to unite their hearts into one. They made a difficult decision before and now they have made their choice; let us give them their rings and honor them.”

A Vorox stepped out and presented two rings to the couple.

“With this ring,” said Gresh, as he placed it on her finger, “I will always love you with all of my heart, dearest Kiina.”

“With this ring,” she replied, as she did the same with his, “I will, love you too with my heart, Gresh.”

“Together we shall be…no matter whom we are, our origin, and how much doubt, destruction, and death try to stop us, we will always be together, forever,” they said.

Then the two finally kissed and the audience cheered and made noises of excitement.

“Thank you,” said Gresh, hugging her tightly, “for believing in me.”

“Me too,” she replied, “From this day forth, let there be peace on Bara Magna!”

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Act 9: La via a Paradiso (The Road to Paradise)

~The Entrance~

The next morning, Kiina and Gresh stood outside in the desert with Malum and several Vorox. The time to depart was soon, but Malum told them that there was a guest coming that will help them to reach to Paradise.

“So, who is this guest again?” asked Kiina.

“He’s…well…I don’t know how to explain it…but he’s one of the children of the Element Lords, but he doesn’t know about it yet,” said Malum.

“Why can’t you tell him?” asked Gresh.

“If I were to tell him, he might be driven mad. Besides, it’s not like you asked me about if you’re Montague’s son or not. No, this one has forgotten how much hope he has,” he replied.

Suddenly, some of the Vorox screeched. Sure enough, a lone, ebon-armored warrior appeared from the dunes.

“Tuma…” said Gresh, taking out his blades, “But he’s…”

“That’s not Tuma,” concluded Malum, “But he was once the original leader of the Skrall. Back in those days, the Skrall were meant for something. That is...until the enemy that you know, Tuma, betrayed him and tried to kill him one day.”

Starax stepped closer to them. His armor was pitted and scratched from a thousand battles of fighting the creatures of the Wastelands.

“They are…who you told me? Right?” he asked, narrowing his eyes.

“Yes,” answered Malum, “They want to know where to get to Paradise. You have the map, I presume?”

“It’s right here,” said Starax as he opened a bag and handed Gresh the tablet.

“The path to get to Paradise is dangerous,” he continued, “For there are beings there who will not tolerate anyone other than the children of the lords.”

“Why would they live there?” asked Kiina.

“Because Paradise is more than just a simple location; it was part of the lost world before the earthquake,” he replied, “The original residents ended up trapped there and could not join with their brothers and sisters.”

***

Later, the two Glatorian stood outside, standing with two Rock Steeds. Malum handed them the creatures to them since it would be better to use them when arriving to Paradise.

“We’ll take care of the vehicle,” he said, “These Rock Steeds know the way.”

“We shall pray for your travels,” added Starax, “And may your fortunes bring hope for this world.”

The others nodded and they got on the steeds. Then the two were off, as their journey resumed.

“Do you think they will be alright?” asked Malum as soon as they were out of sight.

“I…really don’t know,” answered Starax, “I never really had the chance to go there. All I saw that there was a portal that would lead to the other world. When I recognized it, I knew that it had to be the gateway to freedom.”

***

Tajun

“Then it’s decided,” said Vastus, “There will be a conflict between both tribes in weeks’ time. I will assume that your tribe will be prepared as we are.”

“You know that this isn’t fair,” replied Akanari, “Your accusation really doesn’t prove anything.”

“But the deal will go on,” he answered, “This new war will determine which of us are the true survivors of Bara Magna.”

With that mentioned, he turned to Avaran and said, “Let’s go. I think it’s best that we prepare ourselves for this new war.”

“You are a disgrace!” snapped Agniar, “Even if we were to fight all of you, the decision to make this was yours, not ours!”

The others ignored him as they left. Agniar was ready to faint, but Akanari said, “Don’t worry. Those guys will be the first to drown on dry land. But perhaps we should send a number of us to go find Kiina.”

“We’ll have to make some arrangement,” agreed Tarix, “I should perhaps…”

“Don’t’,” said Akanari, “You’re a better warrior that I am. I should go since…”

“No. It was my responsibility to teach Kiina who to fight,” he replied. Then he added more softly, “I found her a long time ago in the wastelands after the disaster. After that, I helped her for a long time until she understood about the world here.”

“Tarix…” he answered.

“I’ll be alright,” replied the other Glatorian, “You are a great warrior and I know that if you can fight Gelu, you are able to challenge Vastus.”

***

Montague and Vulcanus woke up and saw that Capulet was gone.

“So…that coward fled,” muttered Montague, “And he said that the feud wasn’t over.”

“So...what is really going on with both of you?” asked Vulcanus.

“It’s none of your business,” he growled, “I don’t know why you even had to come in our conversation and fight both of us, but that was an error that you chose.”

“We were in a war,” said Vulcanus, “That still is going on today. Perhaps Capulet is probably finding his members of his tribe.”

“Good point,” he replied, “Assuming that if he has an army…”

Before Vulcanus’s eyes, the other lord disappeared into the mist, heading towards Tesara. From what he saw in his own dreams, the village was founded by his former members. The time has come to reunite them all…

“Well…they asked for it,” muttered Vulcanus, “I must go find my people.”

With that said, he turned and headed in the opposite direction.

***

Belirax and two of her spies walked through the tunnels of the Mountain Pass. They received a message from their brothers earlier, which said that they were to meet Tuma at the Mountain Pass.

“And what does that old nutty fool want?” she growled to himself, “They abandoned us and yet they still want something?!?”

“Perhaps they have nothing better to do,” said one of the spies.

“Or yet, they perhaps know that they’re no match for the weaklings about there,” she replied.

The two reached at the end of the pass and stood out on the cliff. After a few minutes of waiting, they saw Tuma accompanied by Stronius and Branar. Belirax took out her staff and stood as tall as she can.

“What has brought you here?” she asked.

Tuma looked up and gave a dark, dirty stare. Then he replied, “A temporally alliance. We know that you have some amazing powers that you possess.”

“And why would you want us to waste it on them when we can just do them on you?” she answered, “Besides, I thought the males relied on their brute strength…”

“That’s not what I wanted to hear!” he snapped, “Perhaps if we arrange a deal, I will grant you some knowledge about Paradise…”

“Paradise? What do you know about it?” she asked darkly, “Tell us or suffer in our name.”

“All I know that it’s a separate world,” he replied, “From what the puny legend of the Glatorian says, only the children can enter the realm.”

“And your point?” she asked.

“You are not the daughter of Brutus, are you?” he said.

“Brutus? Brutus?” answered Belirax, then with a dark laugh, “No, but why do you dare to talk about Brutus? He’s just an old fool like you!”

Stronius took a grip on his club, from what he could tell about her attitude, it was about to get nasty.

“Set that aside,” she said, “And you shall live. I don’t even have any powers from this staff.”

“I don’t have anything to surrender,” said Stronius, “I…”

But suddenly, he felt a mental blast from Belirax. He dropped to his knees and screamed as his mind was feeling as if it were about to explode.

Branar took a step foreword but he too got a blast. He tired to refrain from screaming but the pain was killing him.

Tuma stood still, only giving a hard stare. A single step could be a fatal mistake.

“You know that the Baterra would do the same,” said Belirax, “They will kill upon sight if you possess tools like that. That’s why I asked you nicely to put them down.”

“Enough of this!” snapped Tuma, “This meeting is over! Let my friends be free!”

“Oh no,” she replied, growing a dark smile, “This is just the beginning…”

***

Wastelands

Kiina and Gresh rode on the Rock Steeds, heading south towards the Skrall River. Despite that the river was in possession, from what the map said, the entrance was not far from it.

“You don’t suppose that the Skrall know about this, do you?” she asked.

“I hope not,” said Gresh, “If they had, then who knows what they might do with it.”

“I don’t want to know either; they already have done enough damage to this world. Perhaps the residents that live in Paradise might help us,” she said.

“What makes you think about that?” he asked.

“The dream that I saw a while back,” she replied, “Before I woke up, I could have swore that I saw Paradise briefly.”

The two rode past a dune and saw the river in front of them. To their surprise, they saw that there was plenty of water still.

Could this be a sign from Paradise, thought Gresh, Ordinarily, the river bed is dry.

The two made their way to the river and stopped at the edge of it. Around them, there was some flora that they didn’t recognize.

“This is it,” said Kiina, “From what the map said; these plants are not native here. They have to be the entrance.”

Kiina stepped into the river, but to her surprise, her foot did not submerge. She did the same with her other foot and realized that she was standing on the water.

“Gresh, this…is quite freaky,” she said.

Gresh took a step in and he was also walking on the water.

“Amazing,” he muttered, “Is it perhaps we are the lord’s children?”

But before Kiina could answer, the area around them began to shake. Suddenly, a portal opened up, floating in mid air.

“There!” said Kiina, “This has to be the entrance!”

The two ran across the river and stopped at a few feet away from the portal. They felt a chill on their back as they could feel something cold coming from the dimensional gate.

“Let’s go,” said Gresh, extending his hand to Kiina. She held her hand out to him and smiled. He held her hand and the two jumped in, prepared to discover the world on other side of the gate.

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Edited by Toa Syaoran

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Act 10: Una rivelazione di Paradiso (A Revelation of Paradise)

~Fragment of a World~

A lone villager stabbed the shovel in the ground, digging out some dirt for the gardens. However, it was proven difficult because the plants around here had evolved for the last 100,000 years. After the earthquake struck their world, several of their resources such as water had disappeared but yet they still had the dense jungle and various floras. Over time, the soil has changed too, thus making things harder for the villagers to plant what they wanted.

These plants, I don’t know how they survived, but one of these days they’ll…thought the villager when he heard a shout from another villager.

He ran up to them and asked, “Che sucesso?”

(“What’s going on?”)

“Il ciello, guarda!” shouted the other villager.

(“The sky, look!”)

The two looked up and saw that someone from another world was coming. A gigantic portal opened as they saw someone or something passing through.”

“I ragazzi, è possiblie?” asked the villager.

(“The children, could it be?”)

“No lo so, ma se non sono i ragazzi, poi morriranno delle nostre mani,” replied the other Agori.

(“I do not know, but if they aren’t then they will die in our hands,”)

“Andiamo,” said the first villager, “Dobbiamo trovare le truppi per paese della foschia.”

(“Let’s go then,”) (“We’ll need to set up the guards to the Mist Village.”)

***

Gresh opened his eyes and the first thing he noticed that it was awfully cold here, despite the fact that they were in some rainforest.

What kind of place is this, he thought.

He turned to see Kiina who woke up as well; shivering by the cold air. Gresh took out one of his cloaks and wrapped it around her.

“Thanks,” she said, “But why would this place be so awfully cold here? I thought this was paradise?”

“Maybe it is,” replied Gresh, “But for sure, it’s a cold one.”

The two got up and saw that the skies were as dark as night.

“Perhaps we came here at a bad time?” he muttered.

“I don’t know, but we have to find a village or someone that can help us here,” she replied.

The two looked around but saw nothing but more trees and bushes for miles around. But for some reason, Gresh somehow could recognize this place; was it from a dream?

“This place, it has some familiarity…” he said, “But why? I don’t remember this area at all.”

Neither of them was going to get answers when they heard some footsteps nearby. Gresh took out his blades and said, “Who’s there? Show yourself!”

When nothing responded, Gresh shouted, “Now! Whoever you are, reveal yourself!”

A lone stranger emerged from the trees; its eyes were as curious as well as skeptical. From the looks of this being, he looked like an Agori from Bara Magna, but its armor was green but it there were some orange patches that were rusted. He carried a whip on one hand and a sword on the other.

“Who are you?” asked the stranger, “And you better tell me that you’re the Element Lord’s children…because otherwise…”

“We know!” snapped Gresh, he turned to Kiina and said, “Your sword, take it out.”

Kiina nodded as she took out the Sword of Capulet and presented it to the Agori. The villager read the message and nodded. Then he replied, “Welcome to Bota Magna, daughter of Capulet.”

The villager turned to Gresh and asked, “And you stranger, who is your lineage?”

“I’m Gresh, son of Montague,” he replied as he took out a chain that represented the symbol of the Jungle Tribe and Montague. It was a chain that Vastus gave him a while back.

“I see,” said the Agori, “Welcome, son of Montague.”

“But…Bota Magna?” said Kiina, “That’s the paradise? And I thought that Bota Magna was part of the lost world?”

“Indeed it was,” answered the Agori, “But it’s now becoming more like a place of ice and death.”

A ton of questions were in the minds of Kiina and Gresh. Was Bota Magna really the paradise that Starax mentioned? How was that possible for a place like this?

“I see your mind has a lot of questions,” said the Agori, “Come with me to the Mist Village. The elder of the village will be able to answer your questions.”

***

Tajun, Bara Magna

Tiyan rested on her mat, waiting for Tarix and Akanari to return from the council. She wanted to go but was too tired from being quite stress. It has been at least two hours since they left her at her hut.

I hope Kiina’s okay, she thought, it would be nice if she could just come back.

She got up and saw that it was already night. The dark sky above her showed the two moons of Bara Magna.

I wonder what would it be like to go on those moons, she thought, could there really be villagers trapped up there?

She turned to see Tarix, Akanari and Berix at the doorway; they just came back from the council. From the expressions of their faces, Tiyan could tell that it wasn’t a good sign.

“What happened?” she asked, “What did Agniar decided to do?”

“Just a single world,” said Akanari, “War.”

Tiyan gasped at the revelation and said, “Against them, those savages? Why waste our blood and swords to them when we should be finding Kiina. Who knows? The Skrall probably found her already!”

“Tiyan, there’s nothing else we can do,” said Tarix, “We can only pray that we shall win this war once and for all.”

Tiyan wanted to argue back but she knew that it would only give her more stress. Knowing that no one else is going to help her, she knew that she must take matters into her own hands.

“Then so be it,” she answered as she got back to her sleeping mat.

***

Tesara

Sarhax placed the last of the weapons away in the Tesara Arena when she saw the others returning to the village. She ran up to them and said, “What happened?”

“Prepare the weapons and let’s teach the trainees. The time has come for a war against the water tribe,” said Vastus.

“And did they agree with the terms?” she asked.

“That’s none of your business,” he replied, “Just go find Gresh once you're finished. After all, you’re the one that raised him before he spent his training.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” she answered, “Now why would you say that? True, I took care of him for several years, but you’re the one that taught him how to fight like a real Glatorian!”

“Because if I told him, he won’t agree with my ideas; he’ll listen to you in times like this,” said Vastus.

“I will not,” she answered, “Besides, what if he’s with that Kiina that you’ve spoken about?”

“He’ll pay the price,” he replied, “Stay here if you wish, but things are going to get bloody soon.”

Sarhax nodded and returned to her hut. Although she didn’t want to admit it; she disliked Vastus. Although he was a good teacher to Gresh and a great warrior, she could not always get along with him. She remembered how it all began; just after the earthquake, she found Gresh buried beneath some rubble and he barely survived.

And that poor warrior, she thought, he spent all these years, wanting to become a good fighter like him, only without that selfishness like that old fool.

She remember when Gresh became a trainee, she taught him how to use a Thornax Launcher as well as using a Thornatus vehicle. Though Vastus preferred to have Gresh only learn by melee and range, she secretly taught him some special moves from an old friend of hers; Certavus.

If only he was still alive, he would teach Gresh some of the greatest moves and make him his apprentice.

***

Mist Village, Bota Magna

The Agori led Kiina and Gresh to the village which was in a clearing from the dense jungle. The houses varied from jungle vines to mud bricks that were not used in the Bara Magna villages. Some of the houses were even made out of ice which was quite a surprise.

“Let’s go to my hut,” said the Agori, “It’s quite cold here at night and no one works in the dark.”

“Could you tell us your name, please?” asked Gresh.

“My name is Lein,” said the Agori.

Lein lead the Glatorian to his hut; it looked like several huts put together, but it was surprisingly one place. Both of them wondered how an Agori could afford such place to live.

Once they were inside he continued, “A long time ago, I started business as a trader which was a huge success. But one day, I was struck by a plague. My brothers and sisters were also hit with this mysterious disease shortly after. Many of us thought that it was caused by our cousins, the Iron Tribe. I was close to death until a mysterious being came up to me and placed his hand over my head. Before I fell unconscious, the being said that I had to be prepared.”

“Do you recall who this being was?” asked Kiina, “Was it an Element Lord?”

“No. This figure, was tall, wore a white cloak and I couldn’t see its face. I think it might be one of the old rulers before the earthquake.”

“Great Beings?” concluded Gresh.

“It must have been,” answered Lein. Then he added, “Stay here tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll let you meet the Agori leader of the village. Afterwards, I have to show you something that I found several years ago. It mentions something about the children of the Element Lords.”

He led them to their rooms and said, “Here; it’s not much but it will have to do.”

“Thanks,” replied Gresh, “Good night.”

Once Lein left, Gresh turned to Kiina and said, “Well; sounds like we’ll be sleeping together tonight.”

“Fine by me,” she replied.

Gresh came up close to her and said, “Come on. I know what you’re thinking…”

“Oh please, we can’t just do that yet…if that’s what you’re thinking,” she replied; “Besides I’m really tired tonight. Let’s worry about that later, alright?”

“Fine,” he replied, “But I still want to sleep close to you.”

“Why? Are you scared?” she teased.

“No. Just, just bored, that’s all,” he answered as he got into the sleeping mat. Kiina got on and turned to him, saying, “Let’s figure out what we have to do tomorrow before we do anything else."

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Act 11: La Torre dei Misteri (The Tower of Mysteries)

~A Warning of Death~

Kiina’s Dream…

Kiina woke up and saw that she was not with Gresh; she was alone, standing in the darkness. Ahead of her was some statue that contained the same symbol on the Skrall’s shields. However, in the very center of the circle was another symbol; a shape that contained three smaller circles linked by two arches.

“The time of the awakening is coming…” said a voice. It was a cold, soft voice that was awfully familiar to her.

“Who are you?” she asked, “And why does that voice sounds so familiar?”

“Because you know me as Certavus, son of Escalus,” came the reply.

Before Kiina could react, a ghostly like figure appeared in front of her. On his chest was a crest with several spikes around it that symbols the Element Lord of Ice.

“A long time ago…after the earthquake, the soul of Bara Magna was slowly faring apart. I was chosen since I was the son of Escalus to sacrifice my life to keep the world from dying. From what’s been happening over the years, the planet of Bara Magna is about to wither soon,” he explained.

“And what does that have to do with me?” she asked, growing worried.

“You will found out the answer in time,” he answered, “Prepare yourself, o daughter of Capulet.”

Kiina wanted to ask more questions, but the world around her began to change; this time she saw a lone stranger who looked a lot like Gresh but saw that this stranger was different. He was tall, wore a dark cloak and held out a compass in his hand. The armor on his was different to the ones that Gresh wore, but yet had the style that was similar to a Glatorian’s.

Who is that figure, she thought.

The stranger turned his head and said, “Do not worry; everything will be alright.”

Then the stranger activated the compass and disappeared into the light.

***

Kiina woke up and saw that it was already sunrise. She turned to see Gresh who was getting up as well.

“Morning,” he said. When he saw that Kiina looked confused, he asked, “What’s wrong?”

“A dream…” she said, “I saw a strange symbol; the same one that the Skrall carried on the shields. Then I heard a voice, telling me that I must be prepared for the future.”

Gresh held her hand and replied, “My love. It’s only a dream, wasn’t it? I’m sure that it’s nothing to worry about.”

“I guess so,” she answered, “But I still worry a lot. My friends back in Tajun…I’m worried that they’ll struggle without me. Don’t you miss your people?”

“I feel the same way too,” he said, "But as long as they're alright, I'm sure that we'll be okay."

***

Later, the two Glatorian followed Lein towards the central square of the village. Several Agori that resembled the former Jungle Tribe were busy at work with some Agori from some unknown tribe.

“What’s with the orange-armored beings?” asked Gresh.

“They’re the cousins of the Agori; the Iron Tribe,” answered Lein.

Gresh watched as several of them were busy making weapons made out of vines using their blacksmith techniques.

“If this place is filled with jungle and ice, then how did you guys create such technology?” asked Kiina.

“A while back, we found a reservoir of Exisdian in the edges of the Northern Frost. So, we set a foundation of workers to retrieve these precious metals. Also, a group of my friends discovered a cache filled with weird equipment. Many of us believed that they belonged to the old rulers.”

“And this place,” added Gresh, “It’s a lot warmer in the day that at night.”

“That’s why we built this furnace system here,” answered Lein, pointing to the tall structure, “In the daytime, several workers control the site. By nighttime, they set the system on a low-power in order to prevent it from overheating, thus the cold air from the frost comes in.”

The three entered in and saw the Agori Leader, Barax talking to one of the Agori from the Iron Tribe. When he was done, he let the other one leave and turned to Lein.

“Pardon me,” said Lein, “But what I have here, these two warriors, are two of the children of the Element Lords.”

“I see,” replied Barax, “And what proof do they have? You know the rules, Lein.”

“Yes, yes,” he answered. He turned to them and said, “Present your gifts.”

Gresh took out his necklace while Kiina presented her father’s sword to him. Once he was done, he turned to Lein and said, “You must take them to the Ruins of the Mist. From there, they’ll know what to do.”

“Yes, sir,” answered Lein. He turned to them and said, “Let’s go. We have a journey ahead.”

***

Flashback: 103,000 Years Ago (The Black Plague)

Lein woke up with a terrible cough. For the last several weeks, a terrible plague grew. From what he heard the rumors, there was some experiment that was created by the Great Beings but the project failed and they left it somewhere hidden beneath the grounds of Bota Magna.

If I don’t get up and go to work, my business will fall, he thought.

Already, he heard rumors that several members of the Iron Tribe were attempting to utilize this ‘experiment’ but it only spread the disease much quicker. Already, several Agori were dying everyday from the plague; most of the survivors moved out towards Bara Magna to avoid the disease.

But yet, why do our cousins get the blame, he thought, the fault should go to the rulers who even attempt to create the disease.

As he was getting up, he heard a noise coming from the door. He took out his thornax launcher and went to the doorway. Once he opened it, a burst of bright light struck him. Before he knew it, he was elsewhere…the world around him was white.

“Who’s there?” he demanded, “What is this place?”

“You are here because you have a favor to do,” said a voice, “You have a destiny to fulfill.”

“Alright, I had enough of this,” said Lein, “Let me go.”

“I’ll let you go, but you’ll end up dead. I, as a Great Being can accelerate this plague on you and have you end up killed. Or, if you want, you’ll do us a favor and keep you alive; with only one exception,” said the Great Being.

“And what is this task?” asked the Agori.

“You will see to the children of the Element Lords; you are to help them fulfill their destiny,” answered the Great Being.

“Why won’t Montague or the others just help them?” asked Lein.

“Because, they will be sealed away by a cataclysm that is yet to unfold,” came the reply, “Now, you must accept this price.”

Before Lein could react, he suddenly felt better but he felt something weird in his body. He was not cold, but he felt like as if mind was frozen.

“I stopped your flow of time, the disease is still there, but you will not die,” said the Great Being.

“And what is that suppose to mean?” he snapped.

“It means that you will no longer age; your body will stay the same and the plague will not continue to grow, nor that it will vanish. However, once your destiny is completed, you will die.”

But before Lein could ask more, he was already back in his hut. The “coldness” was still in his body, but yet, he felt awfully better. But this strange encounter made him feel sick. What was his mission?

I’ll figure it out, someday, he thought as he gathered his bag and left, heading towards his shop.

***

Present Time

Lein sighed as they continued their journey through the woods. At last, they reached a clearing where the only feature was a strange tower ahead of them.

“We’re here,” he said.

“What is that?” asked Kiina.

“It’s a place where I have to send you and Gresh to go. This is why only the children of the Element Lords were allowed to come here. Whatever is in that tower will only permit the children. Some of my people went inside to figure out why, but they never returned,” explained Lein, “But the legend says that there’s something in there that can bring Bota Magna back to the lost world with the other fragments.”

“A power source?” asked Gresh, “And why is it only us?”

“Because, the Great Beings, from what I've heard, that the children of the lords have such amazing powers within them,” he answered.

“We’ll go then,” replied Gresh.

“Wait,” said Kiina, “I remember something about this tower, there’s a key that’s needed to enter inside…”

“Indeed, the key is the power that lies within both of you,” answered Lein.

The two Glatorian went ahead, and with a surprise, the door opened, allowing them to enter.

Inside the tower was a long, winding set of stairs that led to the top. All over the walls were several writings that they didn’t recognize. But they both felt a sense of power coming from the top of the tower.

“I guess we go up there,” said Kiina, taking the stairs.

No soon when she took several steps, the stairs ahead of her collapsed. Kiina gasped and ran back a few steps, only realizing that she was trapped.

Gresh jumped over the gaps and grabbed her to safety. Once they reached the first panel, the two took a few deep breaths.

“What was that?” asked Kiina.

“A test,” said Gresh, “This place must be testing us if we are really the lords children or not.”

Kiina took out her father’s sword; suddenly it glowed and before any of them could react, they were at the top of the tower. A small window allowed them to see the world outside. Kiina turned to see some device that looked similar to a telescope.

“What is this?” asked Gresh, as he looked at a message, carved on the wall.

Kiina turned and saw what Gresh was trying to read. For some reason, she could understand what it said. With a quick glance, she read, “Beware, the world does not survive without a sacrifice. Already, your world is crumbling away, if the root dies completely, the planet shall wither away.”

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Edited by Toa Syaoran

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Act 12: Le Cheve (The Keys)

~Another Piece of Evidence~

The two stared at the message, neither of them wanted to believe about this.

“I do not know, but I have noticed weird things on Bara Magna recently,” answered Kiina, “Sometimes when I’m traveling in the wastelands, I feel these shakes coming from the ground.”

Gresh turned and saw a key floating in mid air. It was glowing a greenish color.

“What is that key?” he asked.

“I do not know, but could it be useful? Or is it a trap?” she answered.

The two walked up to the key; Gresh carefully took it. At first, it seemed that nothing was happening. Suddenly, the ground beneath them was giving away. Kiina quickly took out her sword to create a pool of water to jump into but Gresh muttered some words. Instantly, they were floating in mid-air.

“How did you…?” she asked.

“I do not know, I thought this necklace only used plants and vines,” he answered.

If he knew the truth, the necklace that Vastus gave him was created from one of the Great Beings. They added the powers of both jungle and air within it and gave it to Montague. However, he lost it one day and it was Vastus that found it and later gave it to him.

“Amazing,” he muttered.

“Could that power get us down?” asked Kiina.

Nodding, Gresh closed his eyes and concentrated on his power. Before he knew it, they were back outside, standing with Lein. Gresh opened his fist that held the key with it.

“Was this what we were looking for?” he asked.

“Ah, yes,” answered Lein, “The Key of Bota Magna. You’ll need this key in order to help bring back the lost world. But this one will not be enough.”

The Agori turned his head and saw that the sun was going down for the night.

“Let’s go back to the village and head out to the ruins tomorrow,” he said, “There’s another task that you must perform.”

***

Roxtus, Bara Magna

Tuma sat on his throne, waiting. From what he heard about the legends, there were some special powers out there that could be activated by using these keys. He sent Branar and Stronius to head out to the destroyed Vulcanus to retrieve the key. Now, there has been no response to whatever if they found it or not.

“Of course,” he muttered, “The Glatorian think that they’ll bring peace to this world if they find the keys. That’s not going to stop us from killing them; it would in fact bring us more power.”

He recently heard rumors that three of the Element Lords were still alive. This gave him a bit of a downslide because if they found out what about his plans, he was sure that they will stop him and the other Skrall.

I will have to make our plans go swiftly, he thought, as soon as they come back with the key, the raid shall continue.

For the last few days, things were getting rough. From his encounter with Belirax, he managed to convince them about a secret power source to the north that was guarded by one of the Great Beings, Angonce. In return, he will provide them more information about it if they were to make a temporally alliance.

But I doubt that they’ll do the task, so we’ll just do it the hard way, he thought.

He looked up to see Stronius and Branar, both highly exhausted from the task. Branar held the Key of Bara Magna in his hands.

“Excellent,” said Tuma as he extended his hand out.

Branar placed the key in his hands and replied, “What will you do with it?”

“With this, the key is the first step to total domination,” he replied, “Now, if we are fortunate, the other keys are probably out somewhere, perhaps guarded by those weaklings. We’ll strike them down to get it and we’ll go on from there.”

***

Tajun

Raanu sat alone in the hut, waiting for the news about some war that was about to happen. Finally, Crotesius came in and said, “It’s true! There’s a war against the jungle tribe!”

“Oh the Great Beings,” replied Raanu, shocked, “Can’t these tribes ever get along?”

“Well, what should I tell them?” said Crotesius, “You know the legend. Montague and Capulet had a bitter argument one day and disappeared during the cataclysm.”

“But still,” answered Raanu, “Those tribes did get along for a while, even on some toughest disputes, but this?”

“Not our problem,” he replied, “It’s not like the Jungle Tribe will go after us.”

***

Meanwhile, Berix, Tiyan and Akanari were talking to Agniar, trying their best to object the war.

“You can’t do this to all of us,” said Tiyan, “We have several Agori from the Ice and Fire Tribes! Do you want to put their lives at stake?”

“It’s not about them, it’s about us,” he answered, “It was us and them that got into the argument. Think back about the legend, our master fought against his greatest enemy which was never completed. Perhaps if we fight for them, they won’t have to worry about it later.”

“This is absolutely insane!” said Akanari, “Not even Kiina would…”

“Don’t you dare mention Kiina!” snapped the Agori leader, “She’s an outcast from the tribe. Let her die in their hands if they must.”

Berix wanted to hit this Agori. Kiina, though was in a disguise and did some dangerous risks, she was a great Glatorian.

“I will leave this tribe,” he said.

“So be it,” answered Agniar, “Do what you want, but there’s a war coming.”

***

Tarix placed some weapons away into a storage room in the arena. For the last few days, he spent hours and hours training new warriors on how to fight in a war. From his experience back in the Core War, he was able to teach them several different techniques, from combat to range.

“Tarix,” said a voice.

The Glatorian turned to see Gelu, standing by the entrance. Tarix walked up to him and said, “What’s going on?”

“I’m sorry if I had to hear about what’s been happening for the last few days. If you want, I’ll join too,” said Gelu.

“That’s very noble of you,” he answered, “But this is just the two tribes only. If the other tribe finds out that you and anyone from the Fire Tribe joining us, they’ll kill more innocent Agori in the village.”

“Perhaps I could be one of the defenses of the city?” asked Gelu.

“If you want, but there’s a lot of Glatorian from the Jungle Tribe,” answered Tarix, “Perhaps if you find Strakk, you two can become guardians.”

***

Black Spikes

Belirax stood on one of the peaks, watching the world ahead of her. For the last few days, she sent more of her spies to find out if there was really a war between the Water and Jungle Tribes.

Finally, she saw one of them, walking up to her.

“What’s the analysis?” she asked.

“It’s true, the Jungle Tribe has declared war on the Water Tribe,” replied the other Skrall.

“Interesting…” she muttered, “And does Tuma plan to attack them?”

“I haven’t heard anything else besides that,” said the other Skrall, “But I know that Tuma is up to something indeed.”

“Of course,” answered Belirax, with a hint of sarcasm, “He always has a plan. What about the Element Lords or their children?”

“Tuma has slain one of them. Ackar…I think that’s who he was,” answered the other Skrall.

“That’s new too,” said Belirax, “But I’m assuming that it’s been old news. Have you seen or heard anything about them?”

“I heard that one of them has been wearing a disguise and calls himself ‘Akara’,” came the reply.

“So much information,” said Belirax. With a nod, she ordered, “Go find the others and we’ll have a council about this. We’ll plan our next move from there. Get going.”

***

Lein’s Hut, Bota Magna

As soon as they returned to their hut, Kiina and Gresh walked to their room. Lein stayed in the living room, reading some books.

When they got into the bedroom, Gresh held her hand and said, “Voglio vedere a te.”

(“I want to look at you.”)

Kiina’s eyes widened, but she turned and saw Gresh, who was as silent as shadows. Already, she knew what those words meant…

Lui lo domanda, she thought, proterei permettere lui?

(He asked for it), (should I allow him?)

She went up to him and gave him a kiss on the check and a more intense on the lips, saying, “Sto un po’ di nervoso, ma so che vuoi fare.”

(I’m a bit nervous, but I know that you want to do this.)

She went aside and placed her weapons down; making sure that she had nothing left to carry. She turned to him and asked, “Voglio vero….?”

(“Do you really want…?”)

“Si,” he answered, “Ci innamoriamo, ci sposiamo…e bene, sai,”

(“Yes,”), (“We fell in love, got married…and well, you know.”)

He walked up to her, pinned her against the wall. He stared closely at her, looking at her face. Slowly, he kissed her on the lips and held it there for a few moments. As he realized something, he tossed his weapons to the side as well and held one of her hands and resumed his kiss.

Sarà interesante, he thought, as he slowly stripped off his chest armor.

(This is going to get interesting,)

***

Lein sat on his chair, reading some books. He somehow liked to read, from ancient writings to recent works. However, there wasn’t as much writers here in Bota Magna, since many of the Agori worked as Blacksmiths or Archeologists.

Then he heard a knock on the door. He opened and saw that it was Barax.

“Is it a bad time?” he asked.

“No, please come in,” answered Lein.

Barax came inside and sat in the living room. Lein took out some tea for him to offer.

“No thanks,” said Barax, “I already had something to drink earlier.”

“Very well then,” said Lein, “What brings you here?”

“Did you take them to the ruins yet?” he asked.

“No, but I did lead them to the ancient tower, in which they got the Key of Bota Magna,” answered Lein.

“I see,” said Barax, “And what will they do next?”

“I’m sure that they will return to Bara Magna,” said Lein, walking up to the window and watched the gigantic planet in the night sky.

“I wonder what our brothers and sisters are facing out there?” replied Barax.

“I do not know; I’ve haven’t been to the ruins and took the portal from there. Besides I don’t know how will I return, unless if I go back with them,” said Lein.

“You know that they can’t stay here forever,” answered Barax.

“I am well aware about that,” he replied, “I’ll take them to the ruins tomorrow.”

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Act 13: l’altra cheva (The Other Key)

~A Hero Rises~

The Wastelands of Bara Magna…

Deep within the harsh desert of Bara Magna, in a region where even Malum has not yet explored, a portal opened. A lone warrior fell through the dimensional gates and crashed into the sands.

Not long after he crashed, he felt a tremor in the sands for a few moments. Then it stopped dead.

What was that, he thought.

Suddenly, he felt another tremor again and saw something quite disturbing; several cracks formed ahead of him. Then that region rocketed to the skies, leaving a gigantic, endless pit of shadows. As he took a peak over the crater, the pit flared up into flames; smoke and ash exploded into the skies.

I must move, he thought, as he turned and ran. He had to warn someone about this strange cataclysm should it get worse.

Erax ran for his life, trying to escape from the explosion. Using one of his power stones, he called upon the power of speed, racing across the desert at great speed.

***

The Mist Ruins, Bota Magna

Kiina, Gresh and Lein stood at the entrance of the ruins. From what the Agori said, there was some way to return to Bara Magna by another portal. However, the ruins in there were like a maze with twisting corridors and traps.

“This is the way home?” asked Gresh.

“It’s the only way,” answered Lein, “You must leave now. Time is running out in Bara Magna.”

“What, what do you mean?” asked Kiina.

“Look at the sky,” he replied.

The two looked up and saw Bara Magna overhead. Suddenly they saw something bursting out of the planet. From the looks of the sky, they saw a gigantic chunk of the landmass that was once part of the planet.

“What was that?” asked Gresh.

“The end is near,” said Lein, as his body began to dissolve, “You must get to the Valley of the Maze…the others are waiting,”

“Lein, no!” shouted Kiina, but the Agori’s time was moving foreword, his destiny was completed.

My duty is complete, now, my halted time must move foreword, he muttered silently.

The Agori’s body began to glow; the result of Lein’s halted time from the Great Being’s caused a rapid acceleration to the disease. Before their eyes, the Agori disappeared from view. All what was left was another key; this time in a blue color with a slightly different shape unlike the other key.

Kiina picked it up and read, “Aqua Magna.”

She gasped and said, “The Great Sea! My father’s realm! But how did he get this key? And what does he mean that the others are waiting?”

“Sounds like there’s trouble going on back home,” answered Gresh, “We’ll have to find the portal to take us back.”

The two Glatorian ran into the ruins, heading deeper and deeper into the shadows. The ruins were somewhat haunted, with strange noises and echoes of laughter. Many of the structures seemed intact, filled with ancient carvings, but neither of them stopped until they saw a peak of light that was vanishing quite rapidly.

“The portal; it’s closing!” growled Kiina.

The two held hands in jumped in, hoping that they weren’t too late.

***

White Quartz

Escalus scaled down the white slopes of the White Quartz, heading to the village of Iconox. He was not aware about the Skrall that already destroyed the village. Once he saw it, he knew that something was not right.

“Someone, or something,” he muttered, “Is trying to threaten the peace here.”

He felt a tremor in the ground. Suddenly, the pass that he was walking through collapsed. Escalus fell, heading towards the river far below. Extending his arms out, he called upon a tower of ice.

He scanned the view around him, wondering about if his brothers were still alive or not. Already, he sensed one that was heading this way. As he predicted, it was Capulet.

“Capulet, what are you doing down there?” he called.

Capulet created a wall of water and soared up to meet with Escalus, saying, “The payment; is it prepared?”

“Oh I see, another round of investing, eh?” he replied, “Maybe you should just gamble against the others and see how long you can last.”

“This is no time for jokes, Escalus,” growled Capulet, “I saw your son, Certavus, sacrificing his life for this world…through a dream. Already, I can feel tremors in the ground, and I know what that means.”

“I know it too,” said Escalus, “The time for the world is coming. A new candidate must rise.”

“We need to round up the children,” answered Capulet, “Both dead and alive.”

“Impossible,” he replied, “How could the dead possibly help the others?”

“Certavus told me that he and Ackar are waiting in the Maze Valley. But before I could ask more, I saw that there’s a war going on between my tribe and my enemy’s. So, I’m heading down there first to see if they’re really going to fight. And if Montague should dare…he will not live to see another spring,” said Capulet.

“Then go, but make haste,” answered Escalus, “I’ll see to the Maze Valley and make sure it’s ready. Then we’ll make sure that everyone lives for one more day.”

***

The armies of both Water and Jungle Tribe met on a desolated area of the Wastelands, hoping that the Skrall or Vorox will not attack them. Both sides felt uneasy about this as they had no “leader” like the Element Lords, instead, their leaders were Avaran and Agniar, the two Agori elders.

Akanari stood out on a hill, waiting with the others for the Jungle Tribe to appear. It has been a day since they got here; preparing a camp that was about two miles behind the front line. Akanari turned to see Tarix, who was practicing his water blades at some targets.

“What happened to Gelu?” he asked.

Tarix turned and answered, “He’s assisting the Agori in the village. Hopefully Strakk will come by and help them bring the villagers to safety in case of an emergency.”

“Like what could possibly happen?” said Akanari, “The Skrall doesn’t even know about this area here in the Wastelands!”

“Yeah, but they have their spies. And I’m sure that they’ll do anything to stop us,” he replied, then he realized, “Where’s Tiyan?”

“I don’t know,” answered Akanari, “All I remember was that she was with Agniar and several other warriors to set up the camps.”

“I thought she was going to stay in the village.” he muttered, “This war will be too dangerous for her, even if she stayed there.”

***

Erax stopped as he saw a rift in the sky. He was not expecting anyone coming from another world. From his past travels, he was the only one that had the power to cross worlds. Suddenly, he saw two warriors falling and crashing to the sands. He ran up and saw a green armored warrior holding his hand tightly to the blue warrior.

Kiina got up and saw this strange figure in front of her. She realized that it was the same stranger from her dream earlier. In retaliation, she stepped in between Gresh and the stranger, saying, “Who are you, and what do you want from me?”

“I don’t understand what you are asking of me,” said Erax, “I came here for a purpose; to help.”

“Well, if you wanted help, you should’ve come earlier and find a way to stop our tribes from arguing about my relationship with Gresh,” she snapped. She turned to see Gresh getting up on his feet.

“Are you alright?” she asked.

“I’m fine,” he said, “Don’t worry, this is nothing compared to what we will face—hey, who is that being?”

Erax recognize him as Gresh from another world that he visited earlier, but this one was different. From his observations, he noticed that Gresh was wearing a ring on his finger and wore a dark green cloak.

“Tell us why you are here,” said Gresh, taking out his blades, “Or I will answer them with blood and metal.”

“Has there been anything weird happening here?” asked Erax, hoping that he could try to get some information.

But before either of them could answer, the ground began to shake. The three turned to see an explosion another region of the Wastelands rocketed to the skies.

“That’s…what’s going on,” said Kiina, “Some weird cataclysms are endangering this planet again, just like that long ago earthquake that destroyed most of this world.”

Earthquake…cataclysm…why do these terms sound so familiar…thought Erax. He took out his Knowledge Stone and held it in the air for a few moments. Then he put it back and said, “So I take that you are heading to the Valley of the Maze?”

“How did you---?” asked Gresh

“It’s this stone that I carry,” said Erax, “I was given this by a stranger a while back, telling me that I must be prepare to set the justice to each world that I visit to. When I can’t get information from anyone, I take this out to allow the world to talk to me.”

“You know, it’s weird,” replied Kiina, “You almost look like a Glatorian but have such different accessories. Where are you from?”

“That I do not remember,” he answered, “Ever since I met this witch, I forgot what happened before.”

Erax changed the subject and continued, “Well then, I think it’s time that we must head out to your destination.”

“Why should I trust this stranger?” muttered Gresh, “What if he’s leading us to a trap.”

“If he is…then we’ll kill him,” answered Kiina, “But we must be careful even if he leads us to the Maze Valley.”

The two followed Erax as they headed north, their journey has just begun, one that will determine this world and its people.

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Act 14: La Guerra Comincia (The War Begins)

~Words of Violence~

Roxtus

“Sir; The Glatorian of the Jungle and Water Tribes are at war. We need to strike the other villages,” said Branar.

“Very well,” answered Tuma, “Now that their defenses are down for the villages, all of you go there and kill them all.”

Tuma got up and held out the key to him, saying, “But this key will stay with me. I will find a place to hide it so that way, these “children” cannot find it.”

Stronius arrived and said, “The armies are regrouping. When do you want us to go?”

“Leave at dusk, find them and ambush those other tribes. If any of their freinds get in our way, kill them too,” ordered Tuma, “Now go!”

***

Flashback: 5 Years Ago

Tiyan raced for her life, escaping a small pack of bone hunters on the Thornatus. She turned and dodged the oncoming thornax as she steered the vehicle on a sharp turn in the Sandray Canyon. She was almost to Tajun and had to get there quickly.

“This is going to be a rough ride,” she muttered as she took another sharp turn. The village was just down the slope. There, she saw Tarix and the new warrior, Akanari, waiting.

“Get to defenses!” she shouted, “Bone Hunters are coming!”

“Nonsense,” said Tarix, “Why would they want to come down here?”

“It’s this,” she answered as she took out the gleaming sword. It was a unique design that was foreign to Bara Magna. On the handle on the sword was a single word; Capulet.

“Impossible,” said Akanari, “How did the Bone Hunters get this?”

“I don’t know,” she answered, “But they want it back, but I know that it doesn’t belong to them.”

“How do you know?” asked Tarix, turning and fired his Thornax at the hunters as a sign of warning. The bandits turned and left; a relief for the Glatorian.

“Come with me,” said Tiyan, “I discovered this cavern a few weeks ago. It was filled with ancient messages and it said something about this sword. That’s why I secretly took it from their camp. I found a way to distract them long enough for me to take it.”

Leading the others into the cavern, Tiyan opened a secret passage way within one of the canyon walls of Tajun. Checking to make sure it was just the three of them, they walked inside.

“This way,” she said, taking down a series of twisted steps. At the end of the steps, there were six different paths to choose from. However, Tiyan had other plans. She turned to one of the panels and knocked it down with a kick. The panel slid aside, revealing a darker tunnel.

“These messages spoke the legend of the ‘Children of the Element Lords’; their destiny as well as whom they exactly are. Take a look; I think you’ll find one of them quite interesting.”

Tarix took a glance to read, at his surprise, he recognized a lot of the names, but what really shocked him was the one who was the sole child of Capulet; Kiina.

“It can’t be,” he said, with a shock.

“It was Capulet’s only child, yet it was a daughter,” replied Tiyan, “Read on.”

The others read and saw that the powers of the sword were only activated once Kiina was able to recognize the fact that she’s the sole daughter of Capulet (as well as the only female child out of all of the children).

“She doesn’t know yet, does she?” asked Akanari.

“No, but we must wait until the time comes,” said Tiyan, “I also, had a dream a while back. I saw Capulet; it was he who led me to this place and asked me to wait before I can show this to Kiina. He told me to get the sword from the Bone Hunters in order to not let it fall into worse hands.”

***

Present Time: Battle of Water & Jungle Tribes

Fall into worse hands, thought Akanari as he clashed with another jungle Glatorian. He dodged downwards and did a sweep kick that knocked down the other warrior. Akanari fired his thornax launcher at another Glatorian that was charging towards him.

Tarix parried a few blows between Vastus as the two tried to knock each other down.

“Give it up,” said Vastus, “It’s your fault for their disappearance.”

“Since when did I tell Kiina to go out with Gresh?” growled Tarix, “It’s her choice, not ours!”

Tarix jumped over and fired his thornax launcher, knocking Vastus down. With another reply, “It’s your fault for even bringing Gresh with you to the dance that evening!”

“It was his choice to come with us!” said Vastus as he used his Venom Talon to knock Tarix down. He was about to inject the venom but was disturbed by Akanari who kicked his enemy into Vastus. In a rage, Vastus fired this thornax launcher at him, it struck his left arm. The water warrior fell, trying to hold his injury.

Tarix rush to Akanari and said, “If you’re badly hurt, I’ll get you to the camps…”

“I’m still going to fight,” he replied, “Besides, I’m ambidextrous.”

With that said, Akanari got up and did another sweep kick to knock down Vastus, but the warrior dodged and almost stabbed him with the talon, but a fast toss of Tarix’s blades stopped the talon from striking.

“I wouldn’t stand there, if I were you,” said Vastus, a hidden smile beneath his helmet. In a few moments, a Thornatus vehicle appeared with Sarhax driving, firing her blasters at the water Glatorian. They managed to dodge out of the way, but the female warrior flung a dagger at Tarix. The warrior turned and batted away with his blades.

Akanari had other plans; he snuck behind the ongoing vehicle and got her by the neck in one hand, thronax at the ready on the other hand.

“Get off of this vehicle, now,” he growled.

Sarhax made no expression, but got off the vehicle slowly. At a blink of her left eye, Vastus charged from behind and used his talon to drag Akanari down, injecting the venom all over. Sarhax quickly got back on and fired a few blasts at Tarix. He dodged out of the way and tried to carry Akanari to the camps.

“Run now,” hissed Vastus, “But in the end, you’ll die in the name of Montague!”

***

Kiina, Gresh and Erax walked for what it seemed for days. There were a few sandstorms that slowed down their travels. Erax’s special powers were not able to help them as it was part of his limits.

“Don’t you have some special powers of your own?” he asked.

“We do, but I don’t know how we can master it exactly,” answered Gresh, “We are two of the children of the Element Lords. My lineage is Montague while Kiina’s is Capulet.”

“I see, and do those lords have powers of their own too?” said Erax.

“Yes, Montague is the Jungle Lord while Capulet has the power of water. Unfortunately though, the legend says that they had a bitter argument which caused a great war. Where they are now, we do not know as it’s only a legend,” he explained.

“But if they do exist, then how did you get their powers, hm?” replied Erax, “That’s something that you want to ask.”

“Well, I was given this sword; it holds mysterious powers which is more than just water; it teleported me a few times,” said Kiina.

“Same with my necklace chain,” added Gresh, “Back in the tower on Bota Magna.”

Bota Magna, thought Erax, what kind of a place is that?

Unfortunately, Erax does not remember about Bota Magna. It was the last place he was at, in another Spherus Magna universe before he disappeared. But the words sounded familiar, but yet it was distant.

The two reached over a dune and saw the Black Spikes with the skull that led to the city of Roxtus. Ahead, they saw several Skrall emerging from the entrance.

“Hide here,” said Gresh as the three tried to stay out of sight. They watched as the savages marched out of village.

“Where could they possibly go?” asked Erax.

Kiina gasped as she could only make one speculation, they were heading for the other villages; Tajun and Tesara!

“If they head out there, then our people will be in trouble!” she snarled, “They’re going to be in jeopardy if we don’t find them!”

“We can’t,” said Gresh, his eyes closed.

“What’s going on with you?” she snapped.

Gresh’s body began to glow as he somehow could feel power coming from the north.

“The last key,” he muttered, “it’s in Roxtus, Kiina. We have to retrieve it.”

***

Aqua Magna

The gigantic robot, Mata Nui stood over the ocean planet. He was finally awakened from his slumber. However, he suddenly felt a tremble within the planet. Beckoning to the Red Star; he jumped off and escaped into space. Then he turned and saw a strange cataclysmic event.

A gigantic portion of the planet was blasted into space, with the atmosphere still intact. The magma from the core exploded and froze in the empty space. Already, the Great Spirit could feel something similar in the distance behind him.

What is this, he thought, could it be?

Unfortunately, the fall from when he was cast into slumber made him forget about the dangers about the Spherus Magna System. He was told that if the “root” of the system is destroyed, then Bara Magna and the moons would crumble away into dust, brining “The End” to the species that lived in each world.

Mata Nui quickly turned to see a gigantic chunk of rock heading towards him. Using his powers, he stopped the broken piece from flying and held it still. Taking a quick examine, he somehow recognize the properties of this rock.

If it’s what I think it is, then I fear that it might be too late, he thought, but still, I will have to try and stop this from happening in case if there’s hope.

He collected the fragment of Aqua Magna and sent it back, hoping that it would stay on the moon while he would try get the other fragment back and then head to Bara Magna to prepare the fusion.

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Edited by Toa Syaoran

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Act 15: Roxtus

~The Village of Shadow~

Tajun

Tiyan raced her way back to the village, making sure that the others were safe. But as she reached the entrance, she could hear a faraway rumble coming from the canyon. She already recognized the noise from past experience as she realized that there was no time to lose.

“They’re coming!” shouted Tiyan, “We must flee!”

Several Agori ran out of their huts to ask what was going on.

“We have to go now, flee! I can recognize the noise coming from the canyons!” she shouted.

“What could possibly go wrong now?” asked Berix, "Black Carabinieri?"

“Um, I think that might be it,” said Scondinous, pointing at the dust cloud over the distance. As soon as they saw the black Carabinieri (as a private joke used by the Agori to insult the Skrall), everyone just ran, led by Tiyan towards the tunnels.

***

Hundreds of Skrall ran towards the village, firing their thornax launchers and killing any of the struggling Agori, but a strange rumble shook the earth. Without warning, another portion of the ground that carried most of canyon behind them broke free from the planet and rocketed to the skies.

Branar turned to see such a scary, and yet strange sight as half of the armies was trapped on that flying rubble. Before his eyes, an explosion of fire from the earth below erupted. Smoke and ash were exploded into the air, darkening the skies.

“Keep moving!” he shouted to the armies, “Whether they’re gone or not, we are Skrall!”

“Sir, they escaped, all of them!” shouted another Skrall.

“What does that matter? Destroy the village so they won’t have a place to return to!” he replied.

***

Akanari woke up and realized that he was in a small tent. He wanted to get back to fighting, but he felt terrible pain coming from his right arm. It was already bandaged and wrapped with some fabric.

He turned to see Agniar, who was waiting for him, “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” he answered, “Let me go…”

“I’m sorry, but you can’t until your injuries are gone,” answered Agniar, “Tarix has already gone back to fighting. He says that he’ll return at sundown.”

The Glatorian sighed in disgust and lied back down. His weapons were set aside on a small table while his helmet was next to him.

“Agniar, could you tell me about the previous war? You know, the one where Capulet led all of us?” he asked.

“Why do you want to know?” he replied, “It’s just a war like this only without them.”

“I know the truth!” he snarled, “There was some special liquid that came from the core, tell me exactly what happened, or else I’ll go back to fighting.”

Agniar sighed, he knew that he couldn’t keep the whole story about Capulet and the Core War a secret.

“Very well,” replied the Agori, “But you’ll have to forgive me that I don’t remember as much. You see, after the disaster, we tried to forget about that and tried to promote peace here.”

“I understand, go on with the facts,” answered the Glatorian.

***

“What’s wrong with him?” asked Erax.

“I don’t know,” said Kiina, “He was never like this before. In fact, I used to have these weird dreams and visions too, but how does he know that the key is out there?”

“Tuma has it,” said Gresh, still in his trance, “The Skrall took the key from a hidden place and gave it to him.”

Erax took out a small vial and opened the cap. The scent from the tube brought Gresh back down and woke up from his strange vision.

“Easy now,” said Kiina, “What happened to you?”

“I don’t remember,” answered Gresh, “However, I thought I said something about the Bara Magna Key that we were supposed to look fore.”

“You said that it was in that tyrant’s hands, Tuma, right?” asked Erax.

Gresh shrugged at the question, he did not recall.

“Well then, if it’s really in that village, then I guess we better get going,” he replied.

“Wait a sec,” said Kiina, “I don’t know how to explain this but let me…”

“Was this what you wanted?” asked Gresh as he gave Kiina her disguise armor to her, “I kept it safe when we left my village. I’m sure that you’re going to need it.”

“Thanks,” she replied, “I’ll be back.”

Once she was fully changed, she came back to them and said, “Just call me Akara so that way Tuma or the Skrall won’t find out that I’m Capulet’s daughter. And what about you, Gresh? Don’t you have a disguise too in case if they find you as Montague’s…?”

“Not to worry,” he answered, as he closed his eyes and concentrated on his chain necklace. A moment later, his armor, helmet and weapons changed. His blades merged into a sword that had the symbol of Montague on it.

“This is my father’s sword that was in the disguise of my blades,” he continued, “But apparently it lasts only for a while but then it transforms back.”

“Let’s go then,” said Akara, “There’s a key waiting for us.”

The three emerged from hiding and ran towards Roxtus, preparing for the danger that was coming ahead.

***

For the first time since his duel against Gresh back in Tesara, Vastus was having a good time. He had already defeated several warriors within the use of his venom. Unfortunately, the venom was running low and he was forced to use it sparingly.

He turned to see Sarhax, still driving on the Thornatus, plowing more Glatorian that tried to stop her. Vastus told her to leave the fighting and check on the camps, but she was having way too much fun.

“Enough now,” he said, “I need to get some good warriors too you know.”

Sarhax sighed and turned the vehicle, heading towards the camps. Once she got there, she saw Avaran panicked about the news that he heard.

“What’s wrong?” she asked as she jumped off the vehicle.

“It’s the Skrall,” said one of the Agori, “They’re going to besiege Tesara!”

“I’ll go then,” answered Sarhax, “The other Glatorian that are over there will need--”

“No, Sarhax!” snapped Avaran, “By the time you get there, it’ll be too late!”

“I know a shortcut,” she replied, getting back on the vehicle.

“Is she mad?” growled the Agori elder as he watched her driving away.

***

Tesara

In the village, however, the Skrall had not yet arrived, but a catastrophe was going on. The two tree towers that held the village began to tilt slowly. Hundreds of the Agori fled and evacuated towards the wastelands.

“I wish Gresh was here,” muttered Tarduk, “I don’t know where he went…”

“Are your ears deaf?” said another Agori, “Gresh disappeared with that water lady of Tajun!”

“Yeah, but still, I hope he comes back. We don’t have enough defenses for the village, should the war spread out here,” answered Tarduk.

“Why do you worry so much?” replied the other Agori, “Capulet and his tribe will be defeated once and for all!”

The two suddenly felt a tremble in the ground, the world around them was shaking once more as it had since this morning.

“Another one?” said another Agori, “Why is this world shaking?”

Then, the area that held the Tesara Arena broke off from the planet and disappeared into the skies.

“There’s only one place to go to,” said Tarduk, looking out to the wastelands, “We must get to Atero!”

Before anyone could object the idea, the plants around them grew alive as if they were sentient. Then, within the dark forest, a warrior emerged, but his appearance was not a typical Glatorian. He was a tall, lean figure who had energy in his hands. Tarduk turned to see the figure and recognized his armor, as he could not believe what he was seeing.

“Impossible…” said Tarduk, “Montague?”

The Jungle Lord nodded and said, “Come, my tribe. We must head out to safety!”

Everyone stopped to hear that familiar voice. It was hard to believe that their lord has returned.

After giving brief explanations of his plan, the Agori and the Glatorian trainees followed the Element Lord to the Wastelands, heading towards the Arena Magna for refuge. This would not be an easy task, for he knew that there could be Vorox, Bone Hunters or Skrall along the way. But as long as everyone was together, no one would dare to stop them, especially with Montague around.

Then, he thought, once I get them to safety, I shall go to the war and find my enemy.

***

Roxtus

Akara, Gresh, and Erax managed to sneak into the village. To their surprise, it was unusually dark as they heard that most of the city had some lights that glowed most of the cavern.

“That’s a bit strange,” said Akara, “The lights are usually on here. Perhaps they’re expecting us?”

“Just how I like it,” replied Erax. The others gave him an odd look. He continued, “Well. I’m used to situations like this during my travels.”

“You sure act a bit strange sometimes,” said Gresh, “But then again, both of us know that you’re not from this world.”

“Don’t you miss your world?” asked Akara, “The place where you came from?”

“I don’t remember my origin, at all,” answered Erax, “I’m sorry. But even if I do find my way back, I’m sure that I won’t remember it.”

The three saw a gigantic fortress ahead. Gresh could feel the key coming from there.

“It’s in there,” he muttered, “The key.”

But before they could continue, several Skrall emerged from the shadows, surrounding the three Glatorian.

“I suppose that the outside air was cold enough,” muttered Akara.

“Oh no, definitely not,” replied Gresh, with a grin, “I’m ready to take these savages down.”

Before anyone could strike, there was a strange echo coming from the outside.

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Act 16: Gli Uccelli (The Birds)

~Wings of Torture~

(*This chapter includes references that were based on the movie “The Birds” (1963), credit goes to the movie.)

“What was that?” said Kiina, gripping tighter on the sword.

The echo continued to grow louder and louder, but it stopped suddenly. Before anyone could react, a Skrall warrior was struck by something that was flying. More warriors fell by the sudden attack from the air as the echo returned to the caverns; their noises were screeches and caws

Out of the shadows were several flocks of birds flying and circling around the village. Many of them dove down and attacked the Skrall, using their beaks, claws and wings to torture the savages.

“Birds?” said Gresh, confused and shocked at the same time.

Before any of them could reply, some of the birds flew down towards them. Erax cast an attack spell from his weapon, striking the creatures down.

“Let’s go,” he said, “Quickly!”

As they ran, Gresh recognized some of the birds that were attacking the village. He saw several Verona, a type of birds that were known for their sharp beaks and claws that were strong enough to penetrate some exisdian metals. Their domain was in the jungles of Tesara, which was why it was weird for him to see them in Roxtus, since they were not used to the harsh environment. Already, most of them were attacking the special corp. Skrall, using their beaks and claws to rip them apart.

More birds poured into the village, attacking the Agori prisoners and the Rock Agori that held them hostage.

“We have to free them,” said Kiina, pointing to several Jungle and Ice Agori in the cages.

“There’s not enough time,” replied Gresh, “We must find the key--”

But Akara ran ahead, using the power of the Capulet sword to break the cages open.

“Oh, Blue Savior, you saved us all,” said a Jungle Agori.

“Go now,” said Kiina, “The birds are attacking the village. There’s a secret exit over there by the entrance.”

The Agori turned and ran with the others as they tried to avoid the creatures while Kiina returned to the others and said, “I told you, this is not much of a waste of time. With the birds distracting the Skrall, we can take down Tuma and get the key.”

***

Inside the fortress, Tuma stuck his head out the entrance and saw what was quite insane and yet scary since the encounter of the Baterra; flocks of birds from all over Bara Magna were attacking the village. By the corner of his eye, he saw three warriors that were coming to the fortress. He knew what they were looking for.

It’s about time that they came, he thought, too bad that they won’t find this visit for long.

He went back in and turned to Stronius, saying, “Outside is a bit…interesting, yet disturbing.”

“I say it’s pathetic,” replied Stronius, “Birds attacking the Skrall. They should know better than that.”

“They’re coming,” continued Tuma, “You know what to do.”

Stronius nodded and answered, “Yes. They will find this visit to be their last.”

Tuma left the chamber, gripping the key in his hand. He walked through the corridors, heading towards the back of the fortress. Making sure no one was around, he open a small chamber and could have sworn that he saw someone moving swiftly aside.

“We meet again,” said a dark, ancient voice.

“Show yourself, now!” growled Tuma.

The floor shifted. Before Tuma’s eyes, a rock formation exactly like himself emerged. Tuma was quite surprised to see him once more, after over 100,000 years.

“What are you doing here, Brutus?” asked Tuma.

“You dared to oppose your brothers, didn’t you?” said Brutus, “A coward like you decide to grasp for power without my permission!?!”

“So you knew. Then tell me, is that coward still alive?” asked the Skrall.

Brutus raised his hand, sending Tuma against the wall. The Skrall’s body was slowing merging within the rock.

“I asked you first,” snarled Brutus, “And I don’t take excuses.”

Tuma could hear someone coming from the hall way. It was Stronius who was a bit shocked as well.

“Lord Brutus?” asked Stronius as the fear kept him still.

The Rock Lord turned to the warrior, raised his hand and unleashed a blast of rock that turned him into a statue. Then with a snap, the statue shattered into dust. Tuma had to close his eyes at the sight; it was too disturbing to see his fellow warrior killed.

“That’s my final warning to you,” said Brutus, “Now hand me over that key, for the world must be put back before it all ends.”

“I will not; I do not take orders from you,” replied Tuma, holding up the key. The key glowed as a blast of energy barely missed the Element Lord. Brutus vanished into the ground as he knew that someone was coming to take it.

Tuma broke free from the bonds just as Gresh, Erax and Akara arrived. Gresh saw the key in Tuma’s hands and said, “That key does not belong to you.”

“I claim rights to this key,” answered Tuma, “And I know that you have the other two, so allow me.”

Tuma raise the key out, causing the other two to merge within the Bara Magna Key. Once the light disappeared, the three keys merged into a one larger key, the shape that resembled the lost world.

“With this key, I shall grant myself absolute rule to not only Bara Magna, but to Bota Magna and any world beyond this universe!”

The three charged, weapons at the ready, Tuma raised the key and sent a blast, knocking Gresh and Erax down, leaving Kiina standing. She wished that Capulet was here to help, but she still carried the sword in her hands.

“I know that this is not what I am,” she said, raising the sword in the air, using the power to reveal herself as Capulet’s daughter.

“You know who I am,” she continued, sword at the ready, “And by my power, I shall end this!”

Tuma laughed and replied, “And even though you are Capulet’s daughter, better yet, the only female child, the key that I carry will prove to you that you’re just as weak as the other Glatorian.”

“That key does not belong to you,” she answered, “Nor does your leadership.”

Then the two clashed, blocking each other’s blows from their attacks. Kiina’s advantage as a Capulet, allowed her to be more quick and agile from Tuma’s strike. However, the key was awfully powerful; especially that it was in the wrong hands. Tuma was about to use the key again when one of the Verona Birds soared down and snatched it away. The Skrall leader fired his thornax launcher, which gave Kiina a chance to knock him down. Tuma crashed into the wall and fell. He tried to lift his head up as Kiina walked closer to him, preparing for a final blow.

“Please, don’t hurt me,” he begged, “O daughter of Capulet.”

“Enough,” she answered, “It’s not I that will punish you.”

As she said those words, the birds that were attacking outside flew their way into the fortress. Eventually, they flew all over the room, deciding who to attack first. One of the birds dropped the key down, allowing Kiina to catch it.

The others slowly got up on their feet and saw as several birds attacked Tuma, using their beaks and claws to tear open his armor and helmet.

“Let’s go,” she said, “Things are about to get disgusting here.”

The three quickly left, trying to evade from the birds while Tuma screamed in pain as the birds quickly tortured him to death.

***

Wastelands

Montague led the Jungle Tribe through the harsh sands of the Wastelands, heading towards the Arena Magna. Much to his suspicion, he saw several birds flying in the opposite direction.

Strange, he thought, these birds are acting quite unusual.

The tribe continued to migrate through the desert, finally reaching over a dune which showed the city of Atero in the distance. Montague turned to his tribe and said, “Once we get there, all of you are to stay until I come back.”

Once all of the members went into the Arena Magna, Montague looked up at the sky again and saw hundreds of birds soaring through the desert. He could hear the screeching and the chirping from the distance. To his surprise, it was a message for him. He listened carefully and used his power to create a series of steps made out of vines. Once he climbed to the top, one of the Verona Birds came down to him and screeched.

“I see,” he said, “So, they’re taken care of?”

The bird nodded. Montague continued, “Go find any other Skrall out in the desert. Make sure that they’re eliminated as soon as possible, but leave Starax alive, for he is one of the children. He's a descendant of Brutus.”

The bird screeched and flew back up with the others as they headed out west. Montague went back down and turned to see the sands shifting. The figure emerged from the ground was Atarus, the Element Lord of sand.

“So we meet again, eh?” said Montague.

“Indeed yes,” answered Atarus, “And I heard that there’s a war going on.”

“You know it is,” replied Montague, “My feud against Capulet isn’t over yet.”

“Yes, but there’s only one problem,” said Atarus, “Escalus was talking to Capulet and he is now heading towards the Maze Valley.”

“Why should he go there?” growled Montague, "The time of the awakening hasn't started yet..."

Before Atarus could reply, the ground began to shake again. Atarus could tell what was about to happen and said, “Quickly, this landmass is going to be separated!”

The two escaped just as the area around them began to tear away from the planet.

“I don’t have time for this,” said Montague, “There’s a war that I must go to. We’ll meet again later.”

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Act 17: La bellezza si nasconde (The Hidden Beauty)

~The Outfit That Cloaked The One~

Northern Frost, Bota Magna

Barax and several Agori went to the Northern Frost to find out where or what caused the world to tremble. Already several chunks of landmass from the planet were breaking free.

“Let this stop,” muttered Barax, growing fear, “If the chain is destroyed, then there might not be a place to return to.”

Another tremor shook the ground, this time it was constant. Barax knew that there was only one other choice.

“We must leave,” he said to the Agori, “Now! Back to the villages and seek shelter underground!”

The group fled just as another fragment of the Northern Frost broke free from the planet. Barax turned and saw something that was quite disturbing. Several twisted plants were leaking out of the crevasse, trying to entangle anyone that was in their way.

Of course, he thought, that’s the root of Bota Magna, and if the other roots break free…

***

Wall of Stars

Mata Nui couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It was a group of celestial planets that he had to repair; more memories of his past were coming back to him. He was built to heal the shattered planet, but it seems that it was already too late. Even if he was able to dodge all of the oncoming rubble, there was a chance that he would be damaged and his world inside might perish.

All I can do is to wait, wait for the best moment to enter, he thought.

***

Bara Magna

“Battle of Water and Jungle Tribes”

Tarix returned to the camps and checked in to see Akanari.

“How are you holding up?” he asked.

Akanari turned his head and answered, “I’m fine. I don’t know why I’m even sleeping here…if only…”

“What’s wrong?” asked Tarix.

“Nothing,” he replied, but he knew that he had something important to say. He asked, “Where’s Tiyan?”

“I received a message from her,” said Tarix, “Capulet has taken her and the Water Tribe back in Tajun to the Arena Magna. Unfortunately, the Jungle Tribe got there first and now there’s some fight going on.”

I hope she’s alright, thought Akanari, the next time I see her, I will tell her my feelings.

He stood up and said, “I’m going back out. I’ll fight no matter what until I see Tiyan again. Tarix, don’t let Agnair know about this, but I have feelings for her. That’s why I asked you if she’s alright. No, better yet, I’ll find her.”

“Your place is in this war,” answered Tarix, “But then again, you’re still a bit injured.”

“I’ll be fine,” he growled, “I’ll help her protect the Agori from the others.”

Before Tarix could protest further, Akanari left, heading towards the Arena Magna.

***

Flashback: 5 Years Ago

The three returned from the caves when they saw Kiina in the markets.

“I’ll talk to her,” said Tiyan.

“But I thought…” answered Tarix.

“No, she will not know the truth,” she replied, “But I’ll see if I can convince her to wear a disguise. After all, I remember that she complained about the unfair wages and she wants to set a rebellion.”

Tiyan ran up to her and said, “What a nice day in the markets, Kiina.”

“Indeed,” she answered, “I haven’t seen such nice weather for a while.”

“What’s wrong?” asked Tiyan.

“Nothing, really,” answered Kiina, “I just can’t seem to find anything that I want to buy.”

“Come with me,” she replied, “I know just the place.”

The two went through the markets and headed towards the more expensive stores. There were weapons that were made out of pure exisdian, armor that were restored from the ancient times, as well as fancy dresses that were used for the annual ball.

“Um, Tiyan, this is quite expensive here…” said Kiina when she felt a tug through her hand.

“This way,” she replied as she dragged her across the markets. Eventually they stopped at a blacksmith’s shop with the owner named Gerian who had some of the best Glatorian armor, weapons and other accessories. Most of the Prime Glatorian from the other tribes would come down here to buy these products from this shop.

“Good day, ladies,” he said. Then he realized, “Tiyan, what a pleasant surprise. I haven’t seen you for a while, eh?”

“Yes it’s been some time,” she replied, trying to hide her concern about her discovery.

“What’s wrong?” asked Gerian.

“Long story,” she answered, “Do you have some special armor available here for my friend?”

Gerian glanced at Kiina who felt quite uneasy about this.

“I might have something for her,” he answered, “Come with me.”

The two followed the blacksmith into the back of the store. There, they saw all bits and pieces of armor that were waiting to be processed. Once they reached their destination, Gerian opened a small chamber that housed one of his personal best creation; the Blue Savior Armor.

“Um, Tiyan, are you sure this is a good idea?” asked Kiina.

“Leave it to me,” she answered. She walked up to him and quietly explained the details of what she saw earlier. Gerian did his best to hide the shock and said, “Of course, certainly. She must acquire this right away.”

Tiyan took out her payment and gave it to the blacksmith, but he replied, “Don’t. Just keep it for emergency use.”

Kiina stepped in and was given the armor. She went to change and came out to show them.

“You look…awesome!” said Tiyan, filled with excitement.

***

Later, the two came back and met up with Akanari and Tarix. They all went to Kiina’s house as they tried to convince her about their plan.

“Just listen to us, okay?” asked Tarix, “We’re trying to help you improve your skills as well as protecting you.”

“What do you mean by protecting?” she asked.

“That’s nothing to worry about,” answered Akanari, “From this forth, whenever you leave Tajun or participate in the matches, you must wear this armor at all times. Also, you must have a separate name to prevent your identity.”

“The words Blue Savior will be a code for each of us,” explained Tiyan, “But I’m thinking that your disguise name should be…’Akara’.”

“But why? Why am I forced to do this?” asked Kiina.

“The time will come,” she answered, “For now, you’ll have to wait until then. Everything will make sense once you learn your destiny.”

***

Tesara

Gresh walked through the hallways of the Tesara Arena. He remembered a rumor that there was some trapdoor that led to an underground chamber below. But from the tales that he heard, that those who find it don’t ever come back.

But what prevented them from leaving, he thought, that I want to know.

He took out a tablet that he found in the seating area of the Arena. It was a map that had the possible destination of the trapdoor. According to what it said, it was within the tunnels that lead to the field. He turned into the tunnel and walked for only a few paces when he tripped on a rock. Before he could realize what happened, he saw himself in a different place. He immediately knew that it was not the Arena.

Am I in that place that the rumor has spread, he thought.

Before he could try to speak, he heard a voice coming from behind, “Son of Montague, take out the power that lies within you.”

“What do you mean?” asked Gresh.

“If you’re not Montague’s son, then you have no reason to be here,” came the reply, “You’ll die in this twisted place, never to return.”

Of course, he thought, the necklace that Vastus gave me.

As soon as he took it out, the world went bright. Before he knew what was happening, he was standing with a stranger in front of him.

The voice returned, stating, “That person you will meet someday soon. But for now, your concern lies with her…”

“Who?” asked the Glatorian.

Gresh turned to see a blue armored warrior, whom Gresh didn’t recognize. But the symbol that surrounded the other Glatorian was obvious; the same symbol that the Skrall carried on their shields. The stranger opened her eyes and said, “Gresh, my real name is…”

But the world suddenly changed as Gresh woke up back in the Tesara Arena.

Who was that Glatorian, he thought.

***

Present Time

Valley of the Maze

Escalus stood alone in the central, darkened chamber of the fortress. The walls were filled with writing that was carved by the Great Beings before they disappeared. Each of the section held a prophecy about the children of the Element Lords, their mission and the disaster that might wait. Already, the Ice Lord could feel the tremors beneath the ground, but the damage has not yet stretched out to this region.

Then he saw a phrase that talked about the fusion of the three celestial objects; “The Three that must be one; The Two that must make them one.”

The phrase was something that he recalled in his dream when he was sealed away by the cataclysm. Beneath the phrase were two names that Escalus didn’t recall, but they were scratched off and two other names were in place. He took a closer look and realized what the names were. The ones that were replaced were the names that he recognized.

So that’s their true name, how intriguing, he thought, and yet they don’t know about it?

Before he could try to figure out, he felt a chill in the air. Escalus turned to see his son, Certavus, floating in mid air.

“I thought you were dead,” said the Ice Lord, “The sacrifice…”

“I’m not alone,” replied the Glatorian, “Ackar is here too. We’re both waiting for the others to come.”

“I thought the symbol took you to the root, son,” answered Escalus, “You know the Law of the Roots.”

“Yes, but already, its power is weakening, and it’s not just Bara Magna,” said Certavus, "That's why we're waiting for the others to come."

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Act 18: La Legge dalle Radici (The Law of the Roots)

~Seeds of Power~

Kiina, Gresh, and Erax emerged from the tunnels from Roxtus, heading back into the mountains. It was quite dangerous to their escape due to the number of birds that were still attacking the village.

“Hopefully we seen the last of that tyrant,” said Kiina, “He murdered many warriors, including Ackar.”

“Ackar?” said Gresh, “What’s about him?”

“He…well, when I joined the water tribe many millennia ago, Tarix and Ackar taught me how to fight. But when I was forced to go into my disguise, it was only Ackar that taught me the best moves,” she explained, trying to hide the fact that it was her first love.

“But did he?” asked Gresh.

“Yes, I once had feelings for him too,” she answered, “But once Tuma murdered him on the night that my friends and I tried to save many Agori to Tajun, I thought this was all over, until you came along. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. You came to heal my heart, and that is what I thank you for.”

Erax was getting a bit annoyed, so he asked, “The key, is it safe now?”

“Yes,” she answered, taking out the gigantic key. The key was now three times bigger than the Bara Magna Key, which was starting to feel heavy.

The three continued their journey through the mountains, eventually arriving at a small wooden bridge.

“I don’t like this,” growled Kiina, “Every time I hear about Glatorian walking here, there’s always a collapse.”

“Our powers,” said Gresh, “We can cheat walking over the bridge.”

The three used their powers to fly over the bridge. Just about half way through, several thornax fruits were raining down.

“Watch out!” shouted Erax as he fired a blast to incinerate the fruit. Kiina looked up to see a stranger who was wearing a dark cloak with a strange looking staff. There were a few others that were standing nearby, holding several Thornax launchers.

How…do I recognize that stranger, thought Kiina, why does it look so familiar?

***

Belirax, along with three female Skrall watched as they tried to fly over the pass. Since the three of them flying had missed their attack, Belirax unleashed a mental blast at them, but somehow, there was a barrier in their minds.

“Curses,” she growled, “Capture them once they get here!”

The three turned and went down, heading to another hiding spot.

***

Flashback: Approx. 75,000 Years Ago

Bara Magna, just like what’s been happening currently was having its own troubles as well. There were several shakes and tremors within the planet. No one could figure out why, except for very few people who knew about “The Law of Roots”.

Legend says that this “root” was created by the Great Beings as a failsafe to preserve Spherus Magna, even if the entire planet was to shatter. When the planet shattered, the gigantic root broke into three pieces, each preserving great power that kept all of the celestial bodies together.

When the root starts to die, one Glatorian from the Element Lord’s children must perform a sacrifice in a disclosed, hidden location. In normal circumstances, the sole child will sacrifice to become part of the Spherus Magna system, thus keeping the planets from crumbling into dust.

****

Certavus appeared in a darkened chamber where he saw his father, Escalus, waiting for him.

“Son,” he said, “You must leave now and head out to the Valley of the Maze. The future of Bara Magna lies in your hands.”

“And why is that important? Why me?” he asked.

“Capulet and I arranged a deal a while back, before the earthquake sealed us away. It was said that one of our children must sacrifice and in return, the world will remain stable. I argued that his daughter should go…”

“If this is something that I must do, I’ll go,” answered Certavus, “But who is this ‘daughter of Capulet’? I thought all of the children were men?”

“This child, is very unique, unlike the others, she possess a stronger power than the others. But it is not her destiny to go now. She must be preserved long enough before she can sacrifice herself,” explained Escalus.

“And what does she possess?” asked Certavus.

“It’s something that cannot be said,” said Escalus, “But enough of that, you must leave Iconox tomorrow morning. Hurry, before the planet shatters...”

***

Certavus woke up with a gasp. To him, this dream was perhaps the strangest thing that he saw. But was it really true?

I might have noticed some strange things, he thought, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just a coincidence, right?

Certavus felt a shake. Before he could get up, he could hear several Agori in panic. He went outside and saw that one of the mountain peaks in the distance was causing an avalanche, and it was heading towards the village!

It can’t be, he thought, Escalus was right!

He ran back inside and packed up for his journey, he had to get out and take the Agori and the other Glatorian to safety. Before he went back outside, he felt another tremor in the ground. Suddenly, he could hear a voice inside his head.

No need to pack, you will be sent to your destination

Before Certavus could reply, he felt his body glowing. He reappeared in the same darkened chamber from his dream. There was no one else around but he could feel a great chill on his back. He saw a symbol on one of the ground. With a closer look, he saw that it was the same symbol that the Skrall carried on their shields.

Do they even know about this, he thought, as he walked up to it. Then he saw a smaller symbol that was in the center of the Skrall’s; three circles flanked by two odd curves around them.

Was this, what the legend was taking about, he thought.

The gigantic symbol glowed. Before he realized, the ground was shaking again. Certavus watched as the symbol sent waves of energy across the chamber, eventually heading outside. Suddenly, he was floating in mid-air, drawing towards the symbol.

What’s going on, is this how my life will end?

The Glatorian turned his back as he tried to escape, but the process wouldn’t stop. His body was then, fusing to become with the symbol. As he was dying, he saw the sight of his village in panic. The waves of power stopped the avalanche from continuing. The view changed as he saw his memories of him and his friends together; from fighting in matches to traveling across the planet.

He closed his eyes as he knew that his life was about to end; his spirit left the body as he was finally able to become part of the root, while his essence became part of the chamber.

It would take several millennia before the root would start to weaken once more. And this time, the dangers would be increased as Bara Magna reaches closer to its end.

***

Present Time

Gresh, Erax, and Kiina landed on the other side of the pass. Neither of them had any injury but the unexpected attack shook them for a little bit.

“Is everyone alright?” asked Erax.

“Yeah, but who were they? Why were they attacking us?” said Gresh.

“I don’t know,” answered Kiina, “Maybe they’re guarding the Maze Valley?”

“Or something valuable,” suggested Erax, “We should get going before we run into them again.”

The three turned and went down the slope. It was a long path to the bottom, not to mention how narrow the road was. Neither of them wanted to waste their powers unless if it was necessary.

“Look,” said Kiina, pointing to several birds flying towards the east, “more of them.”

“This isn’t another attack, is it?” asked Gresh, preparing his blade.

“Let them go,” said Erax, “They’re no threat to us.”

“Probably,” growled Gresh, “But since when did you be the one in charge?”

But Erax wasn’t listening; he saw a strange shield on the slope of their path. He picked it up and showed them, “This isn’t the Skrall’s shield, but the design is quite similar.”

Kiina took a look at the shield; the symbol was on it, but there were no saw edges. However, there was another symbol that was in the center of the shield; representing one of the Element Lords.

“It can’t be…is it?” she asked.

“I know that this isn’t my father’s shield,” said Gresh, “He carried a different design; if he had any.”

Kiina looked closer at the shield. Finally, she saw a name on it; “Capulet”.

“This was my father’s,” she muttered, “But I thought that he…?”

But before anyone could answer, the three of them were struck by explosive thornaxes, falling unconscious.

***

Tarix, like all of the other Glatorian, were being pushed back towards the camps. The Jungle Tribe gained the upper hand of the war and there wasn’t much time left before they were forced to surrender.

We cannot lose; I must find Kiina, thought Tarix, only her power as the daughter of Capulet can help us win this war.

Tarix dodged another blow from Vastus’ spear. Tarix flung one of his blades; Vastus knocked it aside and fired his thornax launcher.

“Give up, old friend,” said Vastus, “This war is our victory.”

“No…it’s not over until one of us finds them,” growled Tarix, “I know they’re out there.”

“But do you know where exactly?” he replied.

“I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that they’re dead yet,” answered Tarix.

Before Vastus could fire an insult, the ground shook beneath them. Apparently, the earthquake has finally arrived in the midst of the war. The two of them withdrew and headed back to their camps.

This is bad, thought Tarix, and I should’ve known! The Triangle Root is weakening!

He turned to see several Glatorian stranded on a chunk of the Wastelands that rocketed to the skies. Both sides panicked as their greatest fear was coming; “The World’s End.”

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Act 19: La radice della vita (The Root of Life)

~The Second Seed~

Tiyan tried her best to calm down the Agori in the Arena Magna. Several Agori huddle together in the corners of the arena, crying out that the end was near.

This is no good, the world cannot stop shaking, she thought, if it doesn’t stop, then I’m afraid that there’s going to be no world left once this is all over.

“Tiyan!” shouted a voice.

She turned to see Akanari, his shoulder was injured from the battle earlier. He was about to fall to the ground but she got him safely.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, “You’re supposed to be…”

“No. The war is not my place,” he answered, “We have to find Kiina and Gresh. They’re out there, and we have to find them!”

“We can’t leave,” said Tiyan, “Capulet has told us to stay here with the others, despite our rivalries. Now that you’re here, help me calm the Agori…”

“I can’t, my right arm was injected by that venom when Vastus attacked me. I can only lift my sword up for mere moments,” he answered, “Set me aside, please.”

Tiyan looked at him through the eyes. She could tell that there was another reason why he cam here, but what it was, she couldn’t say.

Does he…no, I must be mistaken, she thought.

***

Cauplet was on the run. He ran into the Water Tribe earlier when he found out that the Skrall were coming to kill them. Once they were safe in Atero (despite the fact that his enemy’s tribe was there too), he went out towards the north, heading his way to the Maze Valley. Along the way, he debated to himself whether he should turn back and help his army or to keep on going.

Unless if Montague decides to fight, then I’ll head back, he thought, this feud of ours will not fall into their hands any further. I will make sure that our argument is done with, today.

Just as he took another step, he tripped over and fell on his face into the sand. He got up and saw that his left arm was entangled by some vines.

He’s here, he thought, just where I want him to be.

Capulet raised his hand and a flood of water waved through the desert. The waves crashed into Montague which lost his concentration. Capulet broke free from the vines and attacked the other lord with a sphere of water over the head, cutting off the air.

Montague growled and used his power to knock Capulet down. Capulet was about to get up when he was surrounded by several vines, snaking their way to him.

“It’s over now,” said Montague, “This argument and war belongs to my victory.”

Capulet shook his head and replied, “No. This is only the beginning. Those children, they’re heading to the maze, in case if you hadn’t noticed.”

“I know about that,” he answered, “Atarus told me. He saw you talking to Escalus, hm? What did you tell him?”

“That’s none of your business,” growled Capulet, “How dare you try to ask about my plans with him!”

“Ah, then tell me. Who was the one that tried to keep their worthless names.?” asked Montague.

“Those names, they were never meant to be. Their birth names were preordained, and you know it,” answered Capulet, "I don't know why my daughter..."

“So tell me. What did you say to Escalus?” he asked, “Tell me or else I will use the vines to run you through.”

“Unacceptable,” answered Capulet, “The world must be protected.”

Before Montague could strike, Capulet disappeared into the wall of water. He had to get to the Maze Valley soon; there are others waiting.

***

Vorox Caves

Malum stood out on the entrance with Starax, watching in fear as the world was tearing apart.

“This is just like the earthquake before,” he muttered, “But who are the belligerents?”

“I’m sure my people are one of them,” growled Starax, “Oh if only I stood up to that lunatic, I would still be able to maintain the Skrall.”

A Vorox ran up to Malum and growled in a strange tone along with some gestures with the hands.

“Again?” asked Malum, confused.

The Vorox replied and the Glatorian nodded, “Of course. Those birds were obviously not just going there; someone or something made them go there. Are they alright?”

“What’s going on?” asked Starax.

“It’s Kiina and Gresh,” answered Malum, “They’re in grave danger. I should have known, but…”

“What is it?” he asked.

“It’s Kiina that is in trouble. If the prophecy is true, then she’ll become the next candidate…”

The ground shook beneath their feet. Malum whistled to the Vorox, warning him about the danger that’s been going on. Before the three of them could act, several cracks were forming around them.

“Now!” shouted Malum.

Several Vorox and Zesk emerged from the sand, lining up into a massive pack. Malum and Starax went to the front line and went south, heading to the Creep Canyon. As they evacuate, the nest behind them shook and eventually rocketed to the skies.

“We have a long journey ahead,” said Malum, “But first we have to take them to safety.”

Kiina, the next candidate of “The Root of Life”, he thought, I should have known about this during the wedding.

***

Roxtus

Atakus emerged from the rubble, breathing heavily. The last thing he recalled were flocks of birds flying all over and attacking the village. He was about to enter to the ruined fortress when a shadowy figure emerged from the ground.

“No need to go in,” said Brutus, “The tribe has lost its leader.”

“What did you do to Tuma?” growled Atakus.

“Nothing,” he answered, “But Stronius though, he deserved his fate. Tuma however, has met his too, by the wings of Verona.”

Atakus wanted to attack him for the murder but he knew that he would not defeat the Element Lord. Instead he replied, “Now that you caused all of this, what will it be for the tribe?”

“The future depends on those two,” said Brutus, “For now, we must leave. This village will crumble away from the planet. And it was not I that sent the birds to come here…”

Before the Agori could protest, he was bonded to Brutus’s Rock Chain and was forced to come along. The Rock Lord saw more survivors and used his power to join the chain as the group left the destroyed village.

“From here on out,” muttered Brutus, as he thought about what Escalus told him, “It all depends on those two.”

***

Vulcanus stood on a cliff, looking over the destroyed village that honored his name. From what he heard from the others, the Skrall took raid and killed one of his children, Ackar. As of Malum, he doesn’t know what happened to him, but he plans to find out.

Since the tribe fled from here, they must have gone to either Tajun or Tesara. But as if late, the Skrall are raiding their village as well. However, the earthquake…

The ground beneath him shook. Cracks began to form and the landmass around him was breaking free. He jumped and escaped barely as another piece of the planet tore off.

The children, he thought, at this rate, they’ll have to stand together in order to save this world!

The ground shifted again, but Vulcanus recognized the tremor. Moments later, Atarus emerged from the sand.

“What are you doing here?” asked Vulcanus, “There’s nothing left here if you’re…”

“No,” said Atarus, “Your son, Malum is with my people. He’s been looking after them for a long time. As of late, he forged an alliance with Brutus’s son, Starax.”

“Why? Why does it have to be that coward?” he replied, “If Starax…”

“It’s not about his past,” answered Atarus, “We don’t have time for arguments. Just come with me.”

Vulcanus wanted to argue, but he knew that Atarus was right. Arguing was not going to help solve anything, especially when Bara Magna was crumbling.

***

Kiina opened her eyes and saw that she was not in the mountain. She was chained up inside a tent and the others were not in sight.

Curses, if it weren’t for those…she thought.

A female Skrall entered the tent; her eyes were filled with hatred. Kiina wanted to break free and find the others but from the looks of the Skrall was like a warning of an attack.

“Who are you?” asked Kiina, “Where are my friends?”

At first, the female Skrall stayed silent. Then she replied coldly, “Your friends will die first under our name. Unless if you tell us why you have come here.”

Kiina could tell that something was awfully wrong with the Skrall. If she were to tell her about her journey to the Maze Valley, then they would probably try to either come or something else...

“Just passing through,” she said, “We are heading to the north to find resources for my tribe.”

“Nice lie,” replied Belirax, “But I know that the sword you carry is your father’s; Capulet. Unfortunately for you, we have confiscated it and plan to use it against you and your friends.”

“You can’t do this! I can’t let my father’s sword fall into your hands!” growled Kiina, “So please. Get me out of here.”

“Such foolishness; you refuse to tell me the truth,” answered Belirax.

Belirax prepared her staff with Capulet's sword, and aimed it at Kiina, saying, “Your miserable life here will end now, I’ll just have to tell them that you’ll are dead first.”

But before she could act, she turned to see another female Skrall approaching.

“What is it?” snapped Belirax.

“Forgive me, but something is happening in the village,” said the other Skrall.

Belirax turned back to Kiina and said, “You’re lucky for now, o daughter of Capulet, but I’ll be back to kill you so just sit here and relax and make your final words.”

Through a chill, Kiina could tell what is happening outside. If she was right, all she could do is to pray for the others that they will be alright.

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Act 20: Il Traditore delle bugie (The Traitor of Lies)

~Desire for Power~

Tarix and the other water Glatorian returned to the camp, all of them were worried about the cataclysm that just occurred.

“We must get out of here, now!” said Tarix, “The earthquake has returned!”

“Impossible,” replied Agniar, “There is no silver liquid…”

“No. Something else is destroying this planet; so please, tell the other Glatorian to stop this fight!” he answered, “Besides, we must find Kiina. Her power as Capulet’s daughter will help us.”

The ground shook again, the soil beneath their feet exploded as several vines emerged from the ground. It wasn’t the greenish type that Montague controlled; it was black and twisted with energy that radiated all over. The Glatorian and Agori fled as more of vines made their way to the surface.

This isn’t Montague’s doing, thought Tarix, his vines are green as the jungles of Tesara. Unless…

***

Back in the Arena Magna, several Agori made their peace and watched as the world was coming to its end. However, the ground was not shaking as hard as it was earlier. Some of the structures began to collapse and crumbled to the ground.

Akanari woke up and saw Tiyan looking out through a small window. For the last half hour, she waited and prayed to the Great Beings that help might come.

“The world hasn’t stopped yet?” he asked.

“No, the world is dying, but something within it won’t give up,” she answered, “That’s why this world is breaking apart slowly rather that just having it end all at once.”

She turned to him and asked, “The others, will they be alright?”

Akanari shook his head and said, “I do not know. They might all be dead from the war, if the cataclysm didn’t strike them first.”

For the first time, Tiyan noticed a teardrop coming from his left eye. She walked up to him and asked, “What’s wrong now?”

“Forgive me, but I don’t know if you…really…” he began.

“Just tell me now,” she replied, “If we end up dying, tell me what you want to say.”

“I… love you, Tiyan,” he answered, “No matter how often we argued, I had these feelings to you for a very long time.”

Tiyan was quite surprised; she wasn’t sure if she wanted to believe him or just laugh it out. But she knew that he was being serious and that she had some feelings for him too.

“I love you too,” she replied.

***

Belirax and the other Skrall emerged from the tent and saw several birds standing quite still at the fences.

“What is the meaning of this?” snarled Belirax.

“It’s them,” said the other Skrall, “They attacked our brothers and if they’re coming to get us…”

“Nonsense,” laughed Belirax, “A simple mental blast will scare them away.”

Belirax walked a few steps towards them and closed her eyes, preparing a strong mental blast. Suddenly, she was on the ground with several birds picking at her face.

“Help me, someone!” she screamed, using her blast to free herself.

Several birds took flight and soared their way down, attacking the female Skrall. Many of them screamed and fled the village while others used whatever they had to back them off.

Belirax got up and realized that her face had some scratches. Her forehead had a minor cut from the birds’ attack. She was about to pick up her staff when she realized that the Capulet Sword was missing. Belirax was about to enter back into the tent to eliminate Kiina when she found herself surrounded by more birds.

***

Gresh and Erax woke up and found themselves in a tent as well. They were both tied up on a pole and Kiina was missing.

“Thinking what I’m thinking?” said Erax.

“Yes,” answered Gresh.

The two closed their eyes and combined their powers to break free. Once they got out of the tent, they were in for a surprise. The birds have come here to attack the female Skrall.

“This is insane,” muttered Gresh, “Just what do these birds want?”

“I don’t know,” replied Erax, “But they seemed to not attacking us this time. Come on, Kiina is still missing.”

The two ran and found Kiina inside of another tent. Her sword was back into her hands from Belirax.

“Let’s go,” she said, “The Maze Valley isn’t that far now.”

“But I remember correctly that there’s a river and a forest that we have to encounter still, right?” asked Gresh.

“I believe so,” she replied, “But let’s go. The birds are still attacking our enemies.”

The three ran, making their escape from the village. They didn’t stop running until they found their way back to the mountains.

***

Malum, Starax and the pack of Vorox arrived at the slopes of the Creep Canyon. It wasn’t the best place to be, but there was hardly anywhere to go to.

“Is this even wise?” asked Starax.

“No. But I fear that is the only place left to go to,” answered Malum, “Unless if the world stops shaking, then I’m afraid that we’ll have to make peace with this world and its people.”

“O thou untaught! What manners is in this?” said a voice.

Malum and Starax turned to see Vulcanus with Brutus and Atarus.

“Son,” said Vulcanus, “Why do you attempt to pass before my grave?”

“There’s not much of a world left to go to,” he answered, “Haven’t you seen the damage already?”

“Forgive me, Vulcanus,” replied Brutus, “But you can’t just kill them only because Tuma killed your elder…”

“Enough,” he snapped, “No one is dying today! We are going to meet up with Escalus and help the children, together.”

Starax had no clue about what was going on. He was about to walk away when he realized that his feet would not move.

“Come here,” said Brutus, “My son.”

What, impossible, thought Starax, I can’t be. I thought it was….

“It’s not the one that overthrew you if that’s who you are thinking,” said the Rock Lord, “You, like Malum, Ackar, and several others are the children. My name is your lineage.”

Starax turned and answered, “I’ve lost so many of my powers, father. I do not know what I have left.”

“Don’t be crazy,” snapped Brutus, “You have many abilities within you. It was your doubt that prevented you from using them. When Tuma overthrew you back then, you were afraid that they would come after you, yes? However, when we were sealed away, I contacted Vulcanus through dreams to make sure that you were safe with Malum and the Vorox.”

“You did all of that, for me?” asked Starax, “But why? Maybe I was meant to die…”

“No. You are meant to stay alive…for the sake of those two,” he answered.

“Let us go then,” said Atarus, “There’s only one place that might bring hope for this world.”

***

Escalus watched Certavus as he raised his hands to the symbol that once consumed his life. For some reason, it was quite strange to see Certavus being able to communicate with the symbol.

“What are you doing now?” asked the Ice Lord.

“I thought you know the legends,” answered Certavus, “I’m not just a mere spirit bonded to this Maze and the root; I am the root.”

“Impossible,” growled Escalus, “The Great Beings created the root to balance the world, not for someone like you to toy around with.”

Certavus chuckled to himself and said, “Apparently, I’ve learned how to become its master. When I died back then, my spirit resisted to be consumed to this monstrosity. I was then privileged by the root to use its power wisely.”

Realizing what was happening, Escalus prepared an ice blast, but Certavus struck first, knocking the Element Lord down.

“I made so many decisions on how I want to end your miserable life, but why waste them when I can just wait for the children to come so I can drain their energy away…and use their power to restore my life,” said Certavus, “And once that’s done, I will escape just as Bara Magna and its moons are finally destroyed.”

“You cannot be permitted to do that,” replied Escalus, as he realized the truth, “So that is why you’re destroying Bara Magna…for your own selfish reasons!”

He fired a blast of ice at Certavus, but it exploded half way. Before he could react, Escalus found himself chained up to the wall.

You’ll pay for this, thought Escalus, the others, they have to be warned.

Escalus closed his eyes and tried to contact the others. Suddenly, he felt like as if his mind was being read.

“Nice try, but your message will not be sent,” laughed Certavus, “I’m afraid that I’ll have to kill you if you keep resisting.”

***

Erax, Gresh and Kiina finally arrived at the bottom of the mountains. Ahead of them was a wide river, known and River Dormus. Not far away was the Forest of Blades. However, the only way to get to the maze was to get past the river and through the woods.

“I’ve heard legends about that river,” said Kiina, “Its name is ironic to how dangerous this river can become. It was controlled by my father back when the world was one. It eventually led to his realm, Aqua Magna.”

These woods, thought Erax, why do they seem familiar? But what’s with all of the blades?

Erax shook his head and said, “We should get going. There’s not that much time left until Bara Magna falls.”

The three managed to cross the river quickly, and headed their way into the woods. As they stepped into the darkness, it felt awfully cold.

What is with this place, thought Kiina, I’ve never seen trees like this?

Before any of them could react, the blades flared to life. Kiina took out her sword to fight off a few blows while the others tried to knock down the trees.

“We have to get out of here, fast!” snapped Gresh.

Erax dodged another blow, but then he felt himself being pulled by one of the trees. He quickly used his power to break free from the trees. The three combined their powers and sent a devastating blast throughout the forest.

“There!” said Kiina, “An opening!”

The three ran as more trees tried to attack them. They jumped through the light and found themselves on the other side.

“We’re almost there,” muttered Kiina, “I can feel its power.”

Suddenly, she could hear a soft tone, coming from the direction ahead of them. It was the same noise that she heard back in Tajun after the dance.

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Act 21: Il fucco e l’acqua (Fire and Water)

~Fallen Warrior~

“That noise,” she said, “Is back.”

“What is she talking about?” asked Erax.

“I don’t know, but I remember that she told me about some dream she had back in Bota Magna,” replied Gresh.

Kiina closed her eyes and began to float in midair. This same noise summoned her back in Tajun which led her to a dream. There, Kiina saw herself with a strange symbol on her forehead. Suddenly, the scene changed as she saw herself opening a strange chasm that went belowground. Then she saw Gresh and Erax fighting against Certavus who was trying to steal their powers in order for his plan to unfold.

“No! Gresh, stay back!” she screamed as she fell to the ground.

“Kiina,” he replied, “What’s going on?”

“What’s this?” asked Erax, pointing at a strange symbol on her forehead.

Gresh looked at it and saw that the symbol was the same one that the Skrall carried on the shields. It was glowing dimly in a sickly green color.

“Kiina, wake up,” said Gresh but she was knocked out. He went up closer to her and realized that she was not breathing.

“Impossible,” he growled, “She can’t die, not now!”

“It’s not her body,” said Erax, as he could feel the strange power coming from the peak of the hill, “If it’s not her body…could it be?”

“What in the Great Beings are you talking about?” snapped Gresh.

“No time to explain,” he answered, “And if I’m right, then I fear that her life is at risk. Let's go! I'm sure that we'll face a dangerous battle soon.”

Gresh picked up Kiina and the two ran up the hill, time was running out and Gresh grew determined to save her no matter what danger lies ahead.

***

Flashback: The Massacre of Vulcanus

Wastelands

“Sir, we are ready to invade Vulcanus and Iconox. The armies have enough weapons and vehicles to get through. We wait upon your orders,” said Branar.

“At last, the moment has come. I shall go to Vulcanus and slay Ackar myself,” replied Tuma.

“I thought Stronius…” began Branar.

“No. He’s going to Iconox. You’re coming with me,” said the Skrall leader, “Together, this will be the first step to defeat the children.”

“Yes of course, we’ll leave at once,” he answered.

Branar turned and went to his army while Stronius came up and said, “Sir, there are some spies out there that discovered our plans! The tablet that contained our plan to attack has been stolen!”

“Impossible,” growled Tuma, “Who would dare to take it? Moreover, who allowed it to be stolen?”

“No one was around. But I’ve heard legends about a blue armored warrior called the Blue Savior,” he answered, “Perhaps it was him that found out.”

“If you come across with that warrior, make sure he’s dead as well,” said Tuma, “Especially if he’s helping the children out there. He might become a threat if he’s not eliminated.”

***

“You are absolutely crazy, Akara!” snapped Tiyan, “The Skrall probably beat us there first. Besides, how are we going to save everyone in both Vulcanus and Iconox?”

“Vulcanus is closer, and there was a tournament there against the Ice Tribe. If I’m correct, then Iconox won’t be as necessary,” answered Kiina.

Several Glatorian along with Kiina were riding on the Rock Steeds, making their way to the village. Time was running out for them in order to save the Agori and the Glatorian in Vulcanus. The Skrall’s plan was discovered by one of Tiyan’s friends. Once Kiina received the information, she planned to go to the village and hopefully try to save as many Agori and Glatorian before they get slaughtered.

“Halt!” shouted Akanari, “I think there’s some company!”

The team turned to the north and saw in the distance, a gigantic army of Skrall charging to the village. Thankfully, they were far away to be seen, but this was a bad sign for the team.

“There’s another way in,” said Kiina, “Follow me!”

***

Vulcanus

Ackar walked back to his house and dropped off some supplies. He was quite exhausted for the last few days. A great dispute erupted between the Fire and Ice Tribes when the villagers of Iconox refused to send more recruits to Vulcanus due to the dangerous activity that the Skrall were doing. Many of the villagers began to disappear during this dispute. However, it was finally settled when Ackar was set to face off against Gelu. He won the fight and now the Ice Tribe was forced to send some recruits.

He was about to lie down on his mat when he heard the alarm coming from the fortress. He quickly got back on his feet and reached to the fortress.

“There’s an invasion; the Skrall are here!” said Kyry, “We have to evacuate the Agori, now!”

“I’ll go see to Raanu and help him escape,” he answered as he went inside.

Kyry nodded and ran in the other direction, activating the alarms in the village. Several Agori lined up and evacuated quickly while others wanted to stay and defend the village.

“I’m afraid this battle will be the last,” said Kyry.

“We must not give up,” replied Crotesius, “I’ll stay here and help you.”

“We can’t. Raanu wants us out of here immediately,” he answered, “Or else…”

The village grew silent at first as the time of the invasion was about to happen. The walls that defended the village fell as several Skrall charged, making their way to the fortress.

“This way,” said Crotesius as he and Kyry tried to escape, but three Skrall surrounded them.

Suddenly, the three Skrall screamed in pain as someone or something stabbed them to death. Before the Agori could react, a blue and blacked armored warrior placed them onto the Rock Steed and said, “Go and meet the others, I’ll make sure that anyone left behind will join the rest of you.”

“Thanks, Blue Savior,” said Kyry, “I should’ve known.”

“It’s nothing really. But I don’t know how long it will buy you time. You must get to Tajun but get to the desert first. We’ll meet all of you out there once we gather the survivors,” said Kiina.

She turned and saw the others who were calling her. She ran up to them and said, “What’s going on?”

“Several Skrall managed to get into the fortress. Who knows if there are any survivors in there, Akara?” said Tarix.

“I’ll go in,” she answered, “Just make sure that the others are safe.”

Kiina ran inside, despite the protest from the others. She ran inside making her away through several twists and turns throughout the fortress. She stopped as she could hear some fight going on. Kiina took a peak and gasped; it was Ackar fighting his very life against Tuma along with a few other Skrall.

She was about to go and help him when she saw him getting stabbed by another Skrall. She wanted to scream but there was no time. Suddenly, she saw Raanu who was shocked as well by the murder.

I must move, now, she thought.

Kiina snuck her way through the corridor, making sure that the Skrall didn’t see her. As soon as she saw Raanu getting struck by a blow, she prepared her trident. She charged and slain the others just as they prepared a lethal blow to the Agori.

“You’re safe now,” she said, “Come, we must leave.”

“So…you are the Blue Savior, aren’t you?” growled Tuma.

Yeah, but you don’t know exactly who I am, she thought, you murderer…

Kiina turned and fired her thornax at a pillar which blocked the Skrall leader from attacking them. Ordinarily, she wanted to stay and fight, but she had no other choice but to flee in order to save her own life as well as the Agori's. She picked Rannu up and ran back outside. There, she found the others on the Rock Steeds, telling her to hurry. Together, they escaped just as the fortress exploded. Kiina tried to hold back the tears but cried silently as they escaped.

I’m so sorry Ackar, she thought, please forgive me. I should have told you how I feel, but now you’re dead and there’s nothing I can do…

***

Present Time: Maze Valley

The two Glatorian; Gresh and Erax stood over on a cliff, looking at the Maze Valley. They finally made it after a long journey, but something bothered Erax as he somehow recognized that symbol from a different dimension that he visited to.

“How is she?” asked Erax.

“Still not breathing, but she has a pulse; which I don’t understand,” answered Gresh.

Not breathing, but has a pulse, then that means…thought Erax.

“It’s her soul that’s asleep,” he muttered, “I should’ve realized it.”

“What did you say?” asked Gresh.

“Never mind,” he replied, “We should get going and hopefully find a way to save her.”

As they walked down the slope, they both felt a tremor to the ground. Suddenly, the path behind them broke free and disappeared into the skies.

“We’re running out of time,” growled Erax, “If we don’t make it…”

Gresh kept a tighter grip on Kiina, as he worried that she might die if they didn’t get help soon. At last, the two arrived at the entrance to the maze. From this point on, they knew that there was no turning back, for the future of Bara Magna is now in their hands.

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Act 22: La cheva al centro del mondo (The Key to Center of the World)

~The Heart of Bara Magna~

Arena Magna

“I’m going to find them,” said Akanari, “No matter what I have to face.”

“You can’t,” replied Tiyan, “Why must you find them?”

“They could be in great danger,” he answered, “Or worse, they’re probably dead and at least I rather know where than having to not know what happened.”

Tiayn wanted to argue, but she knew that he was right. For the past several millennia, they helped Kiina improve her life. After the disaster, they found her when Tarix brought her to the village. However, she had a different name at the time which was quite unique but it didn’t blend in with the others. Many years later, she became a Glatorian with their help and even gained special privileges that most females didn’t had.

And she went too far sometimes too with them, thought Tiyan, but she knew what was right for her people, and this world.

“Alright,” she finally replied, “We’ll go. But let’s make sure that the Agori will be safe. I don’t know what will happen if we walk out of here, but I’m sure that there’s some time left.”

Once they got outside, they were in for a shock. Already, the area around them was missing. There was nothing but crevasses all over like an endless void. There was another piece of land that was still intact but it was far away.

“Curses,” growled Tiyan, “We’re trapped here. And it’s anytime now before this chunk will fly away.”

Before Akanari could respond, something was emerging from below. The two of them prepared for combat. Several blackish vines snaked their way up, trying to entangle them. Already, Tiyan turned to see some Agori screaming for their lives as the vines dragged several of them below the ground, never to be seen again.

“The Agori,” said Akanari, “These vines are going to capture them if we don’t do something!”

***

Tarix, Agniar and the survivors of the war raced their way back to Tajun. Many of them were worried that the Jungle Tribe sent some of the warriors to the village. However, none of them expected what was waiting for them.

“What is this?” said Tarix, pointing at the region that was once the Sandray Canyon. Most of the region in the canyon was gone; now it was a gigantic gap of endless void that led to who know where.

“They’re trapped,” muttered Agniar, “Oh I should’ve thought twice about our people…”

No, said a voice in the Agori’s head, they’re safe in the Arena Magna.

Agnair gasped at the voice in his head, he recognized it well.

“…Capulet?” he asked quietly.

Yes it is I, said the Water Lord, I am far away to help all of you as my enemy is chasing me to the north. All of you head back out to the Wastelands. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get to Atero. The landscape around there has disappeared just like the Sandray Canyon.

Agniar wanted to ask more questions, but the voice left.

“Let’s go back,” he said to Tarix, “We need to escape from here.”

“I think it’s too late for that,” growled a voice.

They turned to see several Skrall blocking their path.

“Out of the way!” shouted Tarix, “You have no right to be here!”

“You’ll have to fight us,” replied Branar, “If you wish to proceed.”

***

Vastus, Avaran, and the other survivors from the battle ran back to Tesara and saw the destruction of the village as well. The two gigantic trees that housed the villages collapsed and the arena crumbled into ruins.

“What happened to this place?” he muttered.

He turned to see Sarhax who was badly injured from earlier.

“What did this to you?” he asked.

“The Agori…they fled…with Montague,” she answered, coughing.

“Impossible,” said Avaran, “He is sealed away with the others!”

“No, I saw him!” she replied, “He took the Agori to the main Arena.”

“Tell us what happened,” said Vastus.

Sarhax quickly explained about the Agori’s departure with Montague, the destruction of the village and her injuring from encountering strange vines coming from below the surface.

“Are you sure that’s not his power?” asked Avaran.

“I am sure. Montague’s vines are green and lively, not black and twisted. No, these vines were something that I’ve never seen,” she explained.

“Let’s go then,” said Vastus, “We have to make sure that they’re safe.”

***

Valley of the Maze

Gresh and Erax walked through the hallways of the Maze Valley. They expected some traps to be sprung but to their surprise, nothing happened.

“This place here,” said Gresh, “I remember something about it, but at the same time, I don’t know.”

“Have you seen it before, in dreams?” asked Erax.

“Maybe,” he answered, “But if they were dreams, then why…?”

The two turned a corner and saw what was quite shocking; Starax, Ackar, Malum, a Vorox, and three of the Element Lords; Atarus, Vulcanus, and Brutus were all there. They were in a gigantic chamber that had the same symbol that Kiina had on the forehead in the floor.

“What…?” said Gresh, “how can this be? Ackar was killed! And that symbol…”

An illusion maybe, thought Erax, or are they spirits?

“You’re absolutely correct, stranger,” said a voice.

The two turned to see Certavus in his full glory. He looked like as if he was not dead at all.

“Impossible,” said Gresh, “You disappeared and…”

“Yes,” he answered, “I came here, because I was summoned.”

Gresh seemed unsure, but he asked, “What can I do to save Kiina?”

“Ah, the daughter of Capulet,” he answered, “That’s just what I need. But of course, that won’t be enough. That key that was separated into three smaller ones are needed too.”

Wait a second, thought Gresh, before he died, Lein said that we had to come here with that key. But now what?

“Not to worry,” lied Certavus, “This process is harmless. Kiina will wake up soon with my power combined with this key and the world will be safe once more.”

“Don’t listen to him!” shouted a voice inside Gresh’s and Erax’s heads, “He’s trying to…”

Certavus turned and aimed a blast of energy at the cage that housed Escalus. The Ice Lord’s voice was blocked. The Glatorian turned and used his power to send Kiina to the symbol on the floor.

Erax took out his knowledge stone and quickly used its power. Before Certavus could try to stop it, Erax realized the truth; Certavus was using Kiina as ‘bait’ in order to drain her power so he could accelerate the process of Bara Magna’s destruction. When it was all done, he would come back to life and escape to another world and begin his conquest once he stole the children’s powers.

“Go get her,” he barked.

Gresh charged, shouting, “Kiina, wake up! You’re being misled!”

“You have no permission to touch her!” growled Certavus. He used his power to send some vines to knock him down and to tangle him. However, Gresh took out the sword of Montague and sliced them into pieces.

“Impossible,” muttered Certavus, “Your powers and hers are not meant for this!”

Erax charged as well, trying to use his Tri-Sword to slash him down, but it went though him, harmless. Certavus chuckled and said, “Nice try, but I’m only a spirit; I’ve been dead!”

Certavus spun and kicked Erax out of the way, sending him to the wall. Gresh turned to see him, fallen, but there was no time to worry; his goal was to rescue Kiina.

The floor beneath Kiina glowed to life as she was being pulled underground.

“After him!” shouted Certavus to the other children. They flared to life and charged. Gresh turned to see all of them preparing to attack. Concentrating on his sword, he fired a gigantic air blast that knocked most of them but few of them were still coming.

Gresh jumped and somersaulted into the air, landing behind them. He fired his thornax at the Vorox, knocking the savage down. He then turned and did a swipe kick at Starax but realized that his foot went right through. For some reason, he realized that they were all a fake.

“Impossible,” he muttered as he looked at Malum’s armor, “He doesn’t have the same color as the real one had.”

Before his eyes, they all disappeared from view.

“Indeed,” said Certavus, “They’re mere failures of my creations. I thought it would be more entertaining if you didn’t realize that.”

Gresh ignored him and shouted, “Kiina, wake up, please!” but Kiina was already half way down through the floor.

Then the noise was filled with caws and screeches. Gresh turned to see several birds flying towards Erax. The Glatorian noticed something weird about them and this time he knew why. Certavus seemed to communicate the birds as if they listened to him.

“Those birds…” he muttered.

“They answer to me,” replied Certavus, then with a sinister smile, “Of course…you don’t realize what I’ve become. I’m not just a child that had to sacrifice for the root; I am the Triangle Root. I control life on all of the fragments of Spherus Magna. That’s why…I sent those birds to attack the Skrall. Now that you refuse to surrender, I think it’s time that they become your enemies.”

Gresh couldn’t decide what to do; Kiina was almost through the symbol, Erax was still down and the birds were attacking him.

There’s only one thing I can do…thought Gresh. He closed his eyes and called upon his chain necklace and his father’s sword; if his plan worked, then there might be hope saving both of their lives. Just as he was about to send a gigantic blow of energy, he turned to see the Spherus Magna Key emerging from Kiina and dissolved into her body.

“It’s too late now,” said Certavus, “Kiina will never awaken. The process has at last begun!”

Erax slowly woke up and called upon his sword to send heat waves through his body to get rid of the birds. With a tricky blow, he unleashed a fire blaze at Certavus’ back. The heat struck him but it was useless.

“I thought the birds took care of you,” he hissed, “But that doesn’t matter, you don’t belong here. You’ll be disposed of shortly once she’s gone.”

Gresh tried to get Kiina but a strange force field blocked him from saving her. Kiina disappeared below and the energy sphere disappeared. Was it too late for the world? Has Certavus won at last?

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Edited by Toa Syaoran

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Act 23: La battaglia finale (The Final Battle)

~The Inferno of Bara Magna~

“No, it cannot end like this,” said Gresh, “I’ll find you, my love!”

Gresh stepped into the symbol, but nothing happened. He could hear Certavus laughing as his plans were about to succeed.

“Heavens embrace,” said Certavus, “For now I have the offering to you, grant me the power to cross worlds. The offering that I give you, is the daughter of Capulet. Now it’s time for her to become part of the system and join me in my conquest.”

Erax snuck his way past him as he found Gresh trying to break open the symbol. Their combined strength wouldn’t even budge the door.

“It’s no use,” said Gresh, “it’s over…”

“Why do you say that?” snapped Erax, “She’s your love. You don’t give up on something that you truly belong to!”

Those words, thought Gresh, I know them. Montague said the same thing from the legends, “don’t give up something that you truly belong to.”

“The key,” said Erax, “I thought it merged with her?”

“Maybe with that key, there’s hope to pass our way through,” replied Gresh.

The two turned to see a small hatch that had a gigantic keyhole. Could the key that they have fit in? Gresh took it and unlocked the hatch. He took a peak inside and saw a bright light beyond the tunnel. However, the only way to get through was to climb down on the rusted ladder that led to the world below.

“Let’s go,” he said, “This might be the way.”

The two got in just as Certavus realized what they were about to do.

“Seize them!” he shouted to the birds, “Make sure that they don’t touch Kiina!”

“We won’t let you stop Gresh,” shouted a voice.

Certavus turned to see the real Starax, Malum, Ackar’s spirit, Tiyan, Akanari, and several others including four of the Element Lords. Brutus helped Escalus to escape from the prison, now everyone was prepared for the final battle.

“You all arrived,” said Certavus, “In time to see your friends die.”

The birds soared their way down, attacking the group. The Glatorian and the Element Lord charged, using their weapons and powers to fight them off.

“Thanks for getting us here,” said Tiyan to Vulcanus as she fought some of the birds away.

“The Agori in the Arena are safe, until that landmass breaks apart,” he replied, “now then, you and Akanari should go and help save Kiina. You too Vastus, and Tarix; go on no matter what happened in the past; the only thing that matters is that this world must survive. The rest of us will buy you time.”

The four nodded and went up to the hatch.

“Despite our feuds, I’m sorry for bringing about the accusation to you,” said Vastus, he turned to Akanari and said, “How are you holding up?”

“I’m fine,” he answered, “Let’s get going. We need to find them and escape from here.”

***

After a long climbing down, Erax and Gresh arrived at a massive chamber that looked like a separate world. The landscape around them was full of flames, fire and lava. Already, the temperature was hotter than the chamber above.

“This is…” muttered Gresh.

“The heart of Bara Magna, the core of the world,” finished Erax.

Gresh gasped as he saw Kiina at the very top of the chamber, she was being pulled into some strange energy sphere that housed a gigantic mass of vines that was trying to hold the chamber in place.

The root, thought Gresh, the Triangle Root that was responsible for our world.

The two turned to see several birds perching on some pipes nearby, waiting to strike.

“I’ll distract them,” said Erax, “You go get Kiina.”

“But you’ve been…” began Gresh.

“It’s my place,” he answered, “Yours lies with Kiina. Now go, before it’s too late!”

Gresh nodded and turned to face the greatest obstacle; the fire pits and the vines that guarded the root and his love.

I won’t allow her to die, my love, he thought.

Gresh took a few steps foreword and got to the stairs that led to the top. However, the fire pits busted the stairs and some of them crumbled to the lava below the gigantic pit. The strangest sight though was that at the top of this “world” was the sky above.

It’s more than that, the Great Volcano too is part of this, he thought. Gresh jumped over the gap and ran his way up. The stairs challenged him by changing directions, wobbling and crumbling down. Then, some of the vines chased after him. Gresh responded by using the sword of Montague to break the vines.

Just bear with me, thought Gresh, don’t give in!

***

The spirit Ackar clashed his sword against Certavus. He was awfully shocked when he discovered the traitor’s plans.

“You dare to oppose your brothers,” he growled, “Why?”

“I chose to,” said Certavus, “It was an opportunity for my revenge. After all, I was once famous for my fighting techniques, but then things changed when I was sent here. I did NOT want to die. If I sap all of your lives, I will be reborn and have all of your powers. Not to mention your miserable life which Tuma did…”

“So you sent Tuma to kill me!” snapped Ackar, “You bastard…”

Certavus prepared an ice blast to finish the fire Glatorian off when he got distracted by Atarus who used his powers to create a wave of sand. Ackar used his spiritual powers from the Vulcanus lineage to heat up the sand and hopefully make glass. It seemed that it almost worked until Certavus used his powers of the Root to shatter the glass all over the place, giving additional cuts and scratches to the others.

“The plan will proceed,” said Certavus, “I will be reborn and this world will pass.”

Brutus and Starax combined their powers to create a rock fist to slam the traitor, but Certavus responded with a wave of snow to freeze them.

Vulcanus created a ring of fire to surround the ice Glatorian but Certavus jumped over and called on the birds to attack them. Malum then sprung from the shadows and tackled him down but he was thrown off and smashed into the wall.

Ackar turned and saw more birds attacking Malum. He carefully aimed a warning blast of fire to scare the birds away. Just as he was about to attack Certavus again, several vines grabbed him and the others. All of them were dragged into the air while Certavus stood in the center around them. He made sure that the vines tighten them enough that they couldn’t use their powers.

“You are all…pathetic,” he said, “None of your strategies are able to stop me; but you still resist against my powers and the birds around here. Is if because you do it for them?”

“You can’t do this!” snapped Ackar, “If you steal the root and our powers, you’ll kill everyone on this planet!”

“I won’t be here by the time Bara Magna is finished,” he replied, “Even if the moons are shattered, this planet will take its time before it too passes away.”

Certavus waved his hand and everyone was thrown to the wall, pinned by the vines.

“You will remain here and watch your friends die first,” said Certavus, “Then it’ll be your turn, then the survivors outside.”

***

Akanari, Tarix, Tiyan and Vastus reached the other side of the tunnel and saw a strange looking warrior fighting against his life from the birds. They charged in and helped Erax to get rid of the birds.

“Who are you?” asked Erax.

“We are the friends of Kiina and Gresh,” said Tiyan, “Well, at least we have ‘renewed our friendship’.”

“Where is Gresh?” asked Vastus.

“He’s up on those stairs, heading to Kiina. She has not been able to wake up since we got here,” explained Erax, “I thought that it was her soul that fell asleep...”

Vastus turned and could see Gresh in the distance, going around the root on the steps.

Please be careful, thought Vastus, all of our lives are at stake.

“We should go follow him,” said Tiyan, “He’ll need…”

“No,” answered Erax, “We have to wait for him to come back with Kiina. For now, I told him that I’ll guard here and fend off the birds.”

***

Gresh was breathing heavily as he got closer to the top. His armor was covered in sweat from the heat in this blasted chamber.

Just a bit further, he thought.

He climbed up the stairs and saw a huge gap between him and the top floor. There, he saw Kiina inside the energy sphere with the Triangle Root. Using his final burst of strength, he jumped over and almost missed it when his chain glowed and used its power to send him to safety.

He looked up and saw that Kiina was still asleep, but the force field and the root blocked him from passing through. He took out his father’s sword and stabbed the field. To his surprised, the field actually disabled, allowing him to gain entrance to the root.

“Kiina, please wake up!” he shouted. When he heard no response, he said, “I’m coming, just wait!”

He charged into the root and used his sword to cut through; it was going to be tricky since the root was thick and it seemed that every cut he made; the injury would heal. Time was running out for him as he could feel something trembling from above. Has Bara Magna reached its end of its life?

Review

Edited by Toa Syaoran

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