As promised, after a 2-day break to recover, we're back :)
Daily releases, as usual.
"Hah!" Arial's yell echoed, quickly drowned out by the ferocious roar of the cascading waterfall as she stabbed forward. A warm, strong Aura surrounded her as she focused, her blade of pure light stabbing forward and then expanding.
Steam exploded off the waterfall, vaporized Gworen Ice blasting off into the air as her blade instantly melted it. At the same time, a chain reaction seemed to spread from her sword, a large section of the waterfall trembling for a brief moment. The previously liquid ice shook and seemed to solidify, the space around it returning to normal for a brief moment.
"Now Dorian!" She called out.
Dorian spat out a ball of green dragonfire, covering up the solidified portion directly in front of them. The powerful heat from his flames forced this part of the waterfall to remain solid, not allowing it to transform back into its odd liquid ice form. Space continued to solidify as Dorian focused on it.
Arial ducked under this frozen ice, into a small, two and a half meter large opening that had appeared. She continued to stab forward with her sword made of light, searing into the Traveling Ice Waterfall.
A small path began to open under the frothing rage of the ice.
Dorian kept up with his Emerald Flames. The Flames themselves were one of the lowest ranked types of dragonfire, and didn't require too much energy to operate, relative to his current Soul Spell Matrix Class.
Gradually, they began making progress. With Arial's Sun Sword piercing through and melting the ice in their way, and Dorian's Emerald Flames preventing the magic ice from destabilizing, a long, several meters wide path formed, trailing all the way down the bridge.
The further they walked under the ice waterfall, the colder it got. Ice formed on all sides of them, their breath freezing in the air as they moved. Dorian grunted as he looked at his arms, seeing the layers of cold creep up.
Minutes slipped by.
The bridge itself was long, at least a hundred or so meters by Arial's estimate.
Dorian turned briefly and glanced behind him, frowning. The path they burnt into the waterfall was left open.
His head whipped back forward as he threw another wave of Emerald Flames upward, keeping the roof stable as Arial broke through more of the ice.
As long as they kept the front part of the ice path stable, the rest of the solidified space would remain, unmoving and unbroken.
Soon, 15 minutes had slipped by.
"We're at the center of the bridge!" Arial's voice was tense as she yelled at Dorian, over the noise of the waterfall.
The center of the bridge didn't seem very different to Dorian compared to the rest of it. The only notable change was the small, black circle they passed over, set into the golden floor.
Their enemies had yet to arrive.
More minutes slipped by, and they made more and more progress.
When they had reached roughly 90% of the way down the bridge, their luck finally ran out.
A sixth sense in the back of Dorian's mind made him spin around, sending his left hand out in a punch. His movements were graceful and practiced, the memories in the back of his mind stirring.
A crunching, metallic noise rang out as Dorian smashed a steel bar out of the air, knocking it into the stiff ice wall on his side. It dinged off the frozen ice, falling to the ground with an echo that was drowned out by the waterfall.
He winced as he glanced at his hand briefly, seeing a spot of blood. The steel projectile was infused with a mysterious strength that he couldn't entirely deflect. The power of Law.
"Dorian! Flames!" Arial's voice called out, in half a panic.
She was devoting her full concentration and force towards pushing ahead. If she wanted, she could protect herself from the ice while also pushing forward. Her progress would slow immensely without Dorian's help, however.
"Enemies!" Dorian threw out a ball of Emerald dragonfire, sealing the places Arial had just melted as she worked closer and closer towards the exit.
"Damn. We're almost there!" Arial swore aloud and threw herself forward, golden light searing around her as she frantically stabbed through the magical waterfall.
"Steel Magic: Core Javelins!" Siegfried lobbed a dozen more steel javelins down the dangerous looking waterfall path. He frowned as he watched the black skinned humanoid at the end of the path deflect them masterfully.
His Core Javelins were unlike some of his other Steel Spells. They would remain powerful and tough, even if deflected or damaged. Further, they would stay behind even if he was knocked unconscious or ran out of energy, a permanent creation, though the energy in them would dissipate after a few seconds. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to be effective against the black skinned humanoid.
"Damn, they're too far." He muttered, rubbing his eyes. His javelins could only do so much at a distance. He was a close combat specialist, after all.
"Mika, do you have any Light Spells that carry heat?" Their only Light Mage apart from Jasper, who was still out of commission.
The group of six shades was currently standing where Dorian had been roughly 45 minutes earlier.
Their plan to track the heat signatures of the Lightsworn Fox and her subordinate had paid off. The subordinate of the Fox was covered in strange flames that, according to Mika, were constantly raising its temperature to combat the fierce cold. This left a clear heat signature.
The only initially difficult part was the status of the world around them.
The air, ground, and walls of the underground fortress were constantly vibrating with energy, making it somewhat difficult to track things.
Thankfully, after they'd painstakingly tracked the duo for around 15 minutes, they found a clear, melted trail through the fortress, one that was easily trackable. The Fox and her subordinate had been unable to cover their trail with the limited time they'd had.
Their path was already cleared for them, and the trail obvious. This allowed the Shades to race after the duo at a record pace.
"No, Siegfried. You know that." She shook her head. All her spells were more focused on healing and support. She had a few attacking spells, but they were purely Light-Aspected.
Jasper had a selection of targeted Light Spells that carried heat, but almost always stuck to normal close combat in his fighting. With him out of commission, they didn't have anyone that could do much to the waterfall.
"My piercing techniques should be able to displace the ice temporarily if it comes falling down. With the path already open, at least myself and one other should be able to flee or move forward." Gerulf offered, waving his hand. Immediately, a glowing white spear appeared, one he pointed towards their targets in the distance.
"Alright. Mika, Tillow, Bulli - you three are on support at the rear. Jasper stay down and keep recovering. Be ready to help pull us out if need be. Gerulf and I will continue forward alone." His orders rang out with confidence and speed as he began to run forward, stopping just outside of the entrance to the waterfall.
"Gerulf, keep me covered! I'll lead us in!"
"Hup! Hup! Hup!" Dorian grunted as he deflected steel javelin after steel javelin, his hands starting to burn. He split his concentration between that and throwing his dragonfire up to secure Arial's progress.
"Arrgh." He wheezed, a small headache forming as he tried to focus on so many things at once.
"I'm almost there!" Arial's sing-song voice rang out as she informed him.
"Alright." Dorian muttered, turning to share down the frozen pathway. He could make out the figures of two of the Shades chasing then, one of them sending a seemingly unending stream of steel javelins at him. The Shades were moving carefully, unable to sprint forward quickly in the cramped space.
"Basic Magnetic Manipulation."
Dorian's hands wavered as he tried a different method, activating the Ability he gained from his Black Ambian Eagle.
Immediately, Dorian felt a sense of control spread around him. In particular, he could physically sense the magnetic properties of the pieces of steel that were hurtling through the air towards him.
Dorian fixed his eyes on these javelins.
The shooting steel projectiles made an odd, echoing noise as they veered from their path towards Dorian's chest, stabbing into the frozen ice off to the side. The javelins pierced through the Gworen Ice, losing themselves in the part of the magical waterfall that was still moving, outside the stabilized space.
As he pushed against them, Dorian skittered back a step. Using his Ability to redirect the force of the javelin caused an equal amount of force to push against him.
"Nice." He muttered, waving away several more projectiles. His Basic Magnetic Manipulation could only move something in a pushing or pulling fashion. However, as long as he leaned to the right or left and pushed off at an angle, it was more than enough to deflect the incoming missiles.
It saved his hands from further injury and made it much easier to handle the attacks.
"We're in!" Arial's voice echoed in Dorian's ears as she dashed forward, jumping off of the bridge, and out of reach from the Traveling Ice Waterfall.
Dorian knocked two more steel projectiles out of his way before quickly following Arial, his chest heaving from exertion. Simultaneously using his Emerald Flames to prevent the collapse of the ice pathway while using his Basic Magnetic Manipulation to avoid their attackers was incredibly draining.
"Haah!" The sword made of light that Arial wielded transformed into a whip, one that she lashed forward with. The searing light slammed into the sides of the still ice, throwing up steam as it caused the path to partially break apart.
The last 20% or so of the ice pathway collapsed, the frozen water returning to its disturbed state.
The Shades that were chasing them stumbled backwards and stood still for a moment. They were roughly two-thirds of the way across, out of range of the collapsing front section.
The rest of the ice pathway held up, maintaining its integrity. With the work Dorian had put into keeping it stable, it would probably last for at least a couple more minutes.
However, with the last section of the pathway already blocked off… the Shades were out of luck.
A pair of steel javelins flashed out at the last moment, soaring into the room towards Dorian. He activated his Basic Magnetic Manipulation Ability again, causing them to veer off and fall to the ground, missing him.
"Hahaha!" He fist pumped, falling to one knee as he caught his breath and looked around.
They'd made it across!
They were in a large, mostly empty circular room, about 500 hundred meters across. A few grey stone pillars supported a ceiling far overhead, covered in, unsurprisingly, ice. The floor seemed to be made from the same gold material as the bridge, covered in the same carvings. Large chunks of the everpresent frozen ice coated large tracts of the floor.
At the center of this room, set in the ground, was a large, 50 meter wide glowing red portal. The surface of this portal was calm and seemed to have depth, making it appear almost as if it was a still pool of water.
The fluctuating energy of the world around Dorian seemed to be centered directly on this portal, one that silently radiated with otherworldly power.
"The Red Portal." Arial's voice was filled with relief as she looked at it. She then smiled, turning to look at Dorian. The whip in her hand transformed back into its customary sword-made-of-light form.
As they entered the room, the portal began to glow brighter and brighter, as if activating. They walked towards the center.
"Excellent! Let's get out of he-"
Before Arial could finish speaking, a guttural, powerful roar shook the air, causing both of them to clasp their hands over their ears in agony. This roar contained a mysterious power, one full of might and awe.
A roar that was imbued with the power of a mighty, King Class Aura.