Three mountains black as midnight pierced upwards from a dull grey ground, as if to scream defiance at the shadowy black sky above. Thousands of grey and black trees covered the lower levels of these mountains in swathes, spreading out in random patterns. Small shadow creatures and beasts could be seen, prowling about the forest in the ever-moving pattern of life. A gentle, dark river ran around and through these mountains, soft droplets that flowed without end.
On the peak of the largest of these three mountains rested a pristine white shrine. This shrine was neither too large nor too small, roughly a hundred meters wide on both sides. Mysterious carvings that had faded with the passage of time covered the entranceway to this shrine, emanating small tendrils of shadow.
In front of this shrine stood two guards, one to either side of the door. These guards wore armor that was pure white, emblazoned with the symbol of a black rose on their chest piece. They wielded large, glowing spears that wafted out danger, and stood absolutely still, unmoving as they observed everything within ten thousand meters of this peak. One could sense extremely powerful waves of energy unconsciously emitting from these two figures, indicating their massive strength.
Besides these guards, there was not a single soul that could be found anywhere within ten thousand meters of this peak. While the area wasn’t devoid of regular life, it was certainly devoid of intelligent life.
After a moment, a sudden quivering in the air made both guards snap to attention and step forward, dark energy radiating out of them. An Aura of extreme power flowed out of the guards as they prepared to defend the shrine. Small rays of darkness warped the air around them as they came on guard.
Roughly 10 meters from where the guards stood, a hole in the fabric of reality suddenly appeared. It tore at the world around it, shrieking in the air and emitting rays of blinding light. Through the portal, one could see the inside of what looked like a dark black orb.
As soon as this portal opened, a being covered in what looked like an infinitely large number of shadows appeared.
This figure’s features were obscured by the darkness that shrouded his body, small rivers of black that flowed around him. He was neither tall nor short, standing at just six feet.
In this figure’s arms rested a small, young looking girl. This girl emitted a very faint trail of darkness. She had dark black hair and an innocent, youthful looking face, one that was just showing signs of maturity. The curve of her lips and her soft smile indicated that she would grow into beauty. She was currently unconscious, unaware of the world around her. Around her neck was an emerald, cross-shaped pendant that glowed faintly.
As soon as the guards saw who had appeared through the portal, they immediately snapped to attention, pointing their spears upward sharply.
The guard’s voices rang out sharply against the still air, piercing through the heavens themselves. Their tones had a fanatic edge, making them seem a little crazed.
Shadowsoul turned to face the two guards, his face obscured by the dark shadows that circled his body. Within those shadows, however, a small smile appeared.
“Lord Parete. Lord Muur.” Shadowsoul said, nodding to the two guards. He stepped forward as he spoke, carrying the unconscious girl with him. The portal in space that had opened behind him swiftly began to fade away, bright light flashing as the fabric of reality quickly restored itself.
“Has anything changed during the watch?” He said solemnly as he reached the entrance of the shrine.
Both of the guards saluted, briskly standing.
“The shrine still stands. The Lady still sleeps.”
Shadowsoul nodded and walked inside the shrine, carrying the young girl in his arms. He walked through the entrance and disappeared, a small trail of darkness the only evidence he was here at all.
Silence returned to the great peak as the two powerful guards went back to standing still, their eyes and senses peeling out on the rest of the world.
A gorgeous river flowed through a smooth plain. Rays of sunlight shown down on this river, refracting and flashing through the air as if a utopia of light had descended. Small fish could be seen swiftly moving through the river, as well as exotic creatures and powerful beasts. To the left and right of this river was an enormous, rolling plain. Small grass and flowers spread out through this plain, the sighs of springtime eternal resting. In the distance, several mountains could be seen, their peaks shooting upwards into the sky.
Situated on the plain just next to the river was an enormous city. This city was surrounded by a massive, gold city wall that stretched for miles and miles. The city itself was built on a sheer scale that astounded one, stretching more than a hundred miles in length and diameter. It was a massive behemoth of a city that was full of life. Guards wearing golden armor could be seen patrolling the gold wall, moving back and forth briskly. A small yellow flame was emblazoned on these guards’ chest pieces.
In the space between the river and the plain, a sudden ripple in space occurred. Bright lays of sunshine twisted as this ripple intensified, the fabric of reality stretching. Abruptly, a small tear ripped open a hole in space, shuddering waves of energy pouring out.
The moment this hole appeared, with powerful emanations of energy that could be sensed for miles around, several figures in the giant, golden city took notice. These figures moved at an impossibly fast speed, teleporting out of the city and appearing in the vicinity of the rippling hole in space.
One of the figures was covered in a similar golden armor to the guards patrolling the wall. However, this man’s armor was much more decorated, and larger. The man himself was at least seven feet tall, a towering giant that radiated powerful strength. Next to this man was a small warrior wearing similar armor that also radiated powerful strength. The second man wielded a small katana while the first carried a massive greatsword.
Two other figures had appeared the moment the portal formed. The first was an elderly man with a long, white beard with a mane of golden blonde hair. A soft, purple robe covered this man, enshrouded in lace and finery. He wielded a small rod that he held in the air before him, staring at the rippling hole with gold colored eyes that seemed as if they could pierce the heavens themselves. These eyes seemed faintly draconic in nature, emanating a soft draconic aura.
The last figure was a young looking man, looking as if he was barely 18 years old, that radiated the most powerful aura of all the figures present. This man also had golden hair, but an extremely rich shade of it. His eyes matched the older looking figure, a sharp golden hue that emanated sharpness. An odd looking tattoo covered a small part of his face, the image of a golden flame emblazoned on his forehead. A small smile appeared on his face as he looked at the rippling portal, no weapon in his hands as he displayed his profound confidence. An even stronger draconic air hung about this young man then the elder.
The rippling portal suddenly flashed brightly, becoming stronger. At this point, a figure abruptly appeared, stepping through the portal.
This figure was very young, looking perhaps 13 or 14 years of age. Long blonde hair flowed down his neck in a large mane, matching his similar golden eyes. A faint, draconic aura rose about this man, matching the type of aura emanated by the elder and other young man, though nowhere near the same level of strength. A pair of wings that were made out of pure lightning flowed on his back as he stepped forward, vanishing when he stopped moving.
“Ahh… I have returned.” The 13-year-old youth said, eyeing the world around him in satisfaction.
All four of the figures present, when they noticed the wings that seemed to be made out of pure lightning on the youth’s back, all of them suddenly knelt down, yelling out:
Cries of joy and revelry appeared as all of these figures dropped their guard and stepped forward respectfully, happiness apparent in their eyes.
The youth nodded, looking at the figures present. A ray of warmth entered his eyes as he spoke.
“Lord General. Elder Sun Wo. My son.” The youth’s voice shook the heavens as he spoke, his smile splitting his face.
“I have successfully Reincarnated, after all these tens of thousands of years, my soul reforming. This is the body of an incredibly pureblood descendant from some small Plane. After all these years of searching, I finally found a host body to suit me, one equal to my precious body.”
As he spoke, the portal of light that had ripped a hole in space quickly sealed behind him, closing off its entrance. The ripples in space faded away as the portal healed, the wound in the fabric of reality healing.
As he spoke, the youth’s face twitched for an incredibly brief moment. In that instant, an aura that was completely different covered the youth. One of innocence, and one of pain. An aura that came from the person who’s body the youth had taken over.
Just as quickly as that aura appeared, however, it was instantly quashed. The youth’s face returned to normal. The cold demeanor returned as he looked at the four powerful cultivators before him, and at the paradise like world around him.
“Now. Lead on to the Golden Myr City. There are matters to be taken care of.”
Dark red flames burst in the air in a chaotic manner, endlessly feeding on each other in a chronic loop. Powerful, demonic screams echoed in the air as these rending flames twisted among a dark landscape. Demonic creatures could be seen in the distance, some fighting, some fleeing, others simply moving about. These creatures were huge, many of them covered in scales or tough hides. Several packs of large, tiger like beasts fought against a large troop of lizard like apes. Explosions of energy shook the air as these two bands fought nearby, tearing up the nearby earth.
Several of the dark red flames covered the skies, with a few small pockets of fire resting on the long, flat ground. A forest of black trees stood interspersed between the pockets of fire, powerful plants that resisted the dark heat.
In this quiet forest, a black hole appeared. Dark, demonic power sifted out of this black hole, oppressing back all the nearby flames. Instantly, waves of power wafted out of this black hole, spreading out at a fast pace.
As soon as these waves of energy appeared, the two bands of fighting creatures turned to look towards the source of the energy waves, looks of pure terror covering their face. Immediately they all turned tail and fled, getting as far away from the black hole as possible.
The air around the black hole stabilized as it formed, keeping the flames and natural energy inherent in this demonic Plane away. As the black hole stabilized, a figure suddenly appeared, dropping down from the black hole.
This figure had pure white hair and a jagged scar on the left side of his face. This scar looked relatively fresh, as if it had just healed. A smile appeared on this figures face, a happy cheerful look as he looked around at the hellish environment. He looked to be 16 or 17 years old.
“Ah yeah! So roomy and warm! Finally out of that damn teleportation hole!” The boy said, smiling as he looked around.
As the boy spoke, his blue eyes shined forth, looking at everything attentively. A second later, the boy concentrated, his eyes focusing. Out of nowhere, a stream of black dots began to float across his eyes, moving slowly. Each of these dots gave off a distinct, powerful feeling, as if a mystery was inherent in each one.
The boy smiled again, the scar on his face tugging at his grin as he looked around the world about him. A slightly worried look marred his grin.
“Well Dale. It look’s like I got out alright. I hope you did as well… Don’t forget our promise. I, Sora Skywillow, will not.” The boy said, looking down at his right hand. A small x was carved into his right hand, a small scar that had been cut precisely.
“We’ll meet back up in the Heavens, friend.”
With that, the boy turned around, waving his hand at the black hole. The black hole shrank a little bit but stayed, still emanating waves of deathly power that scared all the nearby beasts away. With that done, the boy sat down and began to meditate, focusing on a promise he made.
A cold wind sailed through the air of a large, floating island. This island was large, and had a mountain range as well as several forests, and an enormous lake at its center. Villages dotted the floating island, populated by humans. In the wilds between the villages existed powerful beasts, moving through the forests in solitary or group packs. A powerful, large city, the largest on the island, occupied on a spot on the enormous lake to the center of the island.
The edge of this island dropped off to nothing, ending in an enormous, black void. Several other floating islands could be seen, none of them touching, but many of them relatively close to this floating island. Beneath these floating islands was nothingness. An empty void, devoid of life or existence that stretched on for eternity.
Pathways of floating islands spread out, all of them in different directions, an enormous great sea of floating islands, all of them floating above the great void.
At the edge of this floating island, just a few dozen meters from the edge that dropped off into the void, a small white portal appeared in the air.
This portal appeared only for a brief second, and let loose no ripples or emanations of power.
From the portal emerged the body of a young boy. This boy had dark brown hair and bright blue eyes, eyes that were currently shut. Several dark wounds covered this boy’s body, healing at a very fast speed. Despite the fast speed of healing, these wounds were horrendous, and covered the boy in blood. Several clumps of turtle-shell armor covered the rest of the boy’s body, and an enormous claymore was clamped tightly to his back. A small red, lock-and-key shaped pendant was attached to a chain around his neck.
The boy’s body landed with an audible thunk, crashing down on a bush and smothering it. He lay there unconscious, his body slowly regenerating. The forest around him stretched off quietly, the sounds of nature taking over. A small river drifted by close to where the boy lay, the water drizzling off the side of the floating island.
Just as the portal was about to close, a small, golden white parrot flitted out of it and landed on the boy, cawing loudly. The parrot looked around for a moment before spotting the unconscious boy’s body, flapping over to peck on it.
After a few moments, the boy started to awaken. He groaned as he sat up, shaking the leaves and twigs that had covered him when he fell from his body. The turtle-shells clanked loudly as he sat up.
The boy looked around for a bit, his eyes unfocusing and focusing as he blinked multiple times, coming to. His hands trembled as he felt at his body, realizing he was alive. He went to his neck, clutching at the red pendant.
“Myra…” The image of an unconscious girl, a girl he had just discovered his love for, cruelly taken away from him, by a man covered in shadows.
“Feng…” The image of his best friend, a golden haired youth full of cheer, his body abruptly taken over by a powerful Reincarnated Immortal.
“Sora…” The image of his other best friend, forced to flee a realm that was collapsing around them, his always-smiling face filling him with cheer, fear present in his eyes as the world around them collapsed.
“Everyone…” The image of his home world, spatial tears ripping across the air as the world collapsed, his Master quietly nodding at him as the world fell apart. He had managed to escape the collapse of his world, using the ancient artifact he wore around his neck. His home world now was frozen in time, locked up by the lock-and-key pendant he wore. His memories became unclear when he tried to recall where he had gotten the pendant.
As he considered all he had lost, all that had been taken away from him, Dale fell to the ground, collapsing down to his knees. His hands covered his face as he shook uncontrollably, and began to cry.
For hours, Dale sat their trembling, tears streaming down his face. He cried out the pain, cried in worry, cried in fear. Hopelessness crashed down upon him as he looked out at the unfamiliar world he was in.
After that, however, Dale recovered himself. He looked around the small forest clearing he had landed in, a fierce gleam appearing in his eyes as he slowly stood up. Cloud, the golden parrot that followed him, landed on his shoulder as he stood, cawing loudly.
Dale’s arms trembled once more. This time, however, instead of with fear or pain, they trembled with anger, with passion. His soul trembled as raw power poured out of him, cracking the ground beneath him.
He stood up fully and withdrew the giant claymore he had on his back, slashing it down into the ground. A ripple of energy filled his blade, slicing deeply and exploding the dirt beneath him in a great gout of earth.
“Give back what others in turn give to you.” Dale said, his eyes glinting, speaking aloud to the air. “That is what I have been taught, and that is what I shall follow.” He clenched his fists.
“What you have taken from me, I will take back. What you have stolen from me, I will steal back.” Determination filled his voice as Dale spoke, the air about him twitching slightly.
“You will witness me.”
Dale swung the giant claymore back into the sheath on his back sharply, his movements brisk. He took one last searching glance around the meadow and then set off, exploring the place he had been transported to.