Ishalgen Aldelle Village
The Aldelle village was not as big like the big city of Pandaemonium, but it was known for peace and relaxation to the people of Asmodae. Even though there was hardly any sun due to the thick dark clouds, the asmodians still enjoyed the outdoors, especially for the little toddler Matemeo. While his mother Annevira was inside the house preparing dinner, he and his father Julian would always go outside and gather Raydam from the bushes or if possible find any fish from nearby pounds without aggravating any wild birds or animals from their hunt. Sometimes, they would often return home with nothing, but Matemeo always enjoyed the father-and-son bonding with his dad.
"Be very careful son," Julian said watching his son's gathering progress. "Don't pull the Raydam from its roots. If you do that, you'll end up killing the plant which will cause the Raydam fruit to rot. You might be too young for this, let your daddy take it from here."
"I can do it Papa. I'm old enough to do it. Please let me do it." Matemeo replied.
Julian silently chuckled letting the boy finish. Matemeo looked at the Raydam plant before he touched it. Don't pull it too hard. Just pick the fruit from its stem. Matemeo thought. Kneeling beside the plant, he carefully moved his hand through the thick bush, touching the small stem of the Raydam. Taking a deep breath, Matemeo lightly pinched the steam of the Raydam with his small sharp fingernails. Filled with joy, Matemeo showed the fruit to his dad.
"Daddy! I did it! I did it!" Matemeo shouted, jumping up and down with glee.
Julian laughed patting his son's head. "That's my boy. I knew you can do it."
After twenty minutes of essencetapping, they walked to the Tunapre Lake to catch some fish. Luckily, no Blackbeak Airons or Web Slinks were at the lake. However, it was strange that today there were no monsters roaming around Ishalgen. After setting up the bait, Julian handed Matemeo a fishing rod and together they waited for a bite from the fish.
"So son, have you decided on what you want to be when you grow up?" Julian asked.
"I want to be like you Papa when I grow up. I want to be like a ninja!" Matemeo answered with a huge grin on his face.
Julian silently chuckled. "You mean an assassin."
"What is an 'assassin'? Are they like ninjas?"
Julian paused before answering his son's question. He was not sure on how he was going to express his answer. What if he took it the wrong way when he grows up? It was best he try to cut his answer as simple as possible.
"You could say that assassins are like 'ninjas'. However, we call them 'ninja heroes'. Like Gladiators or Templars, they're here to protect every Daeva from Asmodae."
"What about elysy-elys-Elysea?"
"Elysea? What do you mean?"
"I learned from school that the people there called 'Elyos' are bad people and they don't like us."
Placing his fishing rod on the grassy field, Julian knelt right in front of Matemeo, placing his hands on his son's shoulders.
"Now you listen to me son. Your mother and I are friends with some Elyos. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Asmodians or not, we're all still Daevas. I decided to become an assassin not to hurt anyone, but to protect everyone with invisibility skills."
"No way! They can turn invisible?"
"That's right; you'll never know that I might spook you." Julian said tickling Matemeo in the process.
Moments later, the sky was already getting dark, but the duo was able to catch 2 fish. They quickly headed back home before Annevira was worried.
"It's about time," Annevira said placing the rest of the meal on the table. "I was about to eat all the Roasted Conide and this Delicious Raydam Curry all by myself."
"Nooo Mama," Matemeo begged running up to the dinner table. "Please don't eat it all."
Annevira quickly slapped Julian's hand from touching the food. "Ah, before any of you picky fingers touched the meal, quick prayer before we eat."
After a quick prayer, Julian quickly grabbed a big spoonful of the Raydam curry and poured it in his bowl before anyone else. Annevria cut small pieces of the Roasted Conide and poured small amounts of the curry in Matemeo's bowl.
"So tell me, did you guys have fun together?" Annevira asked.
"We did Mama!" Matemeo exclaimed. "I'm improving with my essencetapping. I gathered almost twelve of those Raydams."
"I'm impressed. You're definitely growing up. We're so proud of you."
"Honey I was thinking that we should enroll our son to Marchutan's Academy. He wants to be a 'ninja'", Julian said finishing up the Roasted Conide meal.
"Are you sure that you want to be a 'ninja' son?"
"Uh-huh. I want to protect the people from the bad guys."
Julian placed his empty bowl on the table. "All right then. It's settled. We'll teleport to Pandaemonium and speak wi-"
Suddenly, Julian went silent and his expression quickly changed.
"Dear, is something wrong?" Annevira asked looking concern.
Without answering the question, Julian got up from the table and opened the window to check outside. To his horror, a strange dragon shape object was flying around Ishalgen.
The dredgion, Julian thought. Our Lord, please protect my wife and son.
"Annevira, pack everything you have and take our son now. We have to leave," Julian said, grabbing his assassin outfit.
"Leave?" Annevira asked. "What's going on?"
"Take all the kinah from the cabinet and leave."
"Daddy? What's going on?" Matemeo asked. He had never seen his dad so serious.
Suddenly, a loud explosion shook the ground of Ishalgen. Then, one by one the dredgion discarded the balaur. To the trio's horror, one of the balaurs started banging on the door.
"OPEN UP IN THE NAME OF THE FOURTH DRAGON LORD BERITRA!"
"Take our son and go now! Head to the teleporter before they get to him first!" Julian yelled pulling out his twin daggers.
Annevira grabbed her son's wrist and rushed to the back exit of the house.
"Keep him safe," Julian silently whispered watching the élite balaur kick the door down.
Annevira and Matemeo quickly followed the escape route of the Aldelle Village. Suddenly, another explosion shook the village again, causing Annevira and her son to stumble and fall. Turning around Annevria watched their home in flames.
She wasn't able to control her tears from falling. "JULIAN!"
"Papa! Papa!" Matemeo screamed running towards the burning house.
"No! Get back here!"
After the flames and cloud of smoke dissipated, Matemeo tried with his small hands to remove the charred wood. He called for his dad countless times, but no response and he was starting to feel scared. Before he gave up his search, something moved from his left.
Hope filled up inside of Matemeo. "Papa!"
Little did he knew, by the time he ran towards the pile, a huge blue scaly hand emerged from the pile right in front him, grabbing the toddler in its vice grip. Startled, Matemeo screamed trying desperately to release himself from its scaly hand, but it only tightened in response. Slowly rising from the burnt pile, Matemeo was face to face with a huge balaur staring right at him with cold blue eyes.
"A small human and a healthy one," the balaur said with its low deep voice. "Lord Beritra will be pleased."
"Let me go! Mama! MAMA!" Matemeo screamed.
However, Matemeo continued to scream for his mother. He doesn't want to be taken away from his mother. The scary monster was mean and refused to let him go. He was going to be sent far away from home; far away that he would never see his family again. Before the balaur reached to the dredge, it felt something sharp pierced on his back, revealing a sharp sword point on his chest. Turning around, the balaur growled at the cause of its wound.
Eyes glowing red, Annevria glared at the balaur. "You do not take my son from me!"
Releasing its grip on Matemeo, the balaur pulled out its giant broadsword. However, Annevira appeared right in front of it and attacked using Searching Strike.
"Go and find Osmar! I'll be right behind you!" Annevira shouted, blocking the balaur's attack.
"Go now! Just continue following the stone path and it'll take you to Osmar! Run!"
Taking a deep breath, Matemeo sprinted away from his mother and the big balaur, following the stony road. He tried to stay hidden as possible from the scary monsters. The bushes were his only hope in staying hidden. He watched as the scary monsters were breaking into homes, taking so many people and anything that was from their homes. Suddenly, one of the balaur spotted Matemeo from behind the bush. Eyes narrowing at its target, the balaur pulled out its twin daggers and ran after him. However, just before the balaur attacked, one of the gladiator asmodians tackled the balaur to the ground. Pulling out its sword, the asmodian gladiator stabbed the balaur on its chest, killing it instantly.
"What are you doing here kid?" the asmodian gladiator asked. "It's too dangerous to be wandering on your own. Where are your parents?"
He wanted to answer, but the only thing that came out was his sobs. Matemeo cried uncontrollably, screaming for his mom and dad. Understanding the toddler's situation, the gladiator knelt in front of him and gave him a comforting hug.
"There, there. It's going to be all right", the gladiator said, calming the child's cries. "Let me take you to Osmar. Maybe your mother is there waiting for you. Sounds good?"
Wiping the rest of his tears, Matemeo nodded. Grabbing the soldier's hand, they quickly headed to the transportation pad in the nick of time. Matemeo watched in awe as so many asmodian soldiers gathered weapons, medicine, and food, everything they needed for the battle against the balaur. Some already left, looking for more citizens that were trying to reach to the transportation pad.
"My son! That's my son! Matty!"
Matemeo knew that nickname. His mom and dad always called him that. It felt embarrassing at first, but in the end he got use to it.
"Mama!" Matemeo yelled, trying to look for his mom from the thick crowd.
Luckily, his mother squeezed through a large crowd in front of him. Matemeo jumped right into Annevira's arms.
"Thank goodness you're safe!" Annevira said, hugging her son. "Are you hurt?"
"I'm fine Mama. An Asmos saved me from the scary monster."
Slowly standing up, Annevria shook the gladiator's hand. "Thank you so much for saving my son."
"Ummm … my pleasure madam," the Asmodian gladiator said. He thought he saw something red on her hand.
"Attention Asmodians!" Osmar said. "The portal to Pandaemonium will close in a couple of minutes. However, the portals Altgard, Morheim, Brusthonin, and Beluslan are now open. If you want to go to any of those places, please tell me as soon as possible."
One by one, the Asmodians were able to teleport to their destination. However, just when Annevira and Matemeo were next in line, a loud shriek cut through the thick clouds.
That noise, Annevira thought.
"It's the Dragon Lord Beritra!" one of the asmodian guards shouted.
Looking up, Matemeo was able to see a black shadow flying through the dark clouds.
"Matemeo, we got to go!" Annevira said, grabbing her son's hand.
"No! We have to find Daddy!" Matemeo said, refusing to leave.
"We'll find your father and bring him to Pandaemonium," the Asmos gladiator said, pulling out his broadsword. "In the meantime, teleport immediately."
Before the gladiator left, he noticed that Annevira's left side was bleeding. She already wrapped the wound with a bandage, but the blood seeped through the cloth. That explained why she was having a hard time standing up after reuniting with her son. He wanted to tell her about her wound, but they already teleported to Pandaemonium. He could only hope and pray that the boy's mother could survive from her wound.
By the time Annevira and Matemeo arrived to Pandaemonium, every asmodians were already helping the villagers of Ishalgen, providing them food, clothes, and other necessities they needed to live in the studios of Pandaemonium.
"Where are we going Mama?" Matemeo asked.
"There's someone who we're meeting son," Annevira answered. "She promised to take care of you while I'm away."
"Where are we going Mama?"
Suddenly, Annevira collapsed on the ground. Matemeo knelt beside his mother and tried to wake her up. However, when he touched her hand he felt a cold sensation from her fingers. He assumed that she was shivering from the cold air.
"Go to the Asmodian Council and find Triniel," Annevira whispered. "Tell her that I brought you here as promised."
"I don't want to leave mama," Matemeo cried, tears flowing from his eyes.
Using the strength she had left, Annevira leaned against a wall while trying to stop the blood from flowing. "Mommy's tired at the moment. Let me rest here for a while."
Grabbing a piece of parchment from her back pocket, Annevria gave Matemeo the note. "Give this to the guards. Tell them that you want to see Lady Triniel. The council building is right behind you."
"I don't want to go. Please come with me mommy!"
Annevira slowly shook her head. "Mommy's tired son. Please send that note to Lady Triniel."
Turning around, Matemeo ran towards the Temple of Knowledge, holding the parchment in his small hands. However, by the time he reached to the building, an asmodian guard blocked his path, preventing him from entering.
"Halt! State your business," the guard demanded.
"Please, I need to talk to Lady Triniel," Matemeo implored.
"Lady Triniel huh? What business do you have with have with her at such a young age?"
To answer the asmodian's question, Matemeo gave him the note as proof that he needed to see her immediately. The asmodian guard took one glance of the note, making sure that the written message wasn't fake.
As promised, if anything happened to me or my husband Julian, our son Matemeo will be under your care. If what you said about the prophecy is true, then our son will be the one who will save the future of Asmodae.
The asmodian's eyes slowly widened. Annevira and Julian? The previous Shedim Lords of Shadow and Death? We haven't heard of them for centuries since the Cataclysm War. Could their child be the one to save the future of Asmodae?
"You must see Lady Triniel," the asmodian guard insisted grabbing the child's hand. There is hope that Asmodae will be saved.
Temple of Knowledge - Asmodian Council Room
"This is outrageous!" Zikel yelled, slamming his fist on the large table. "Why would Beritra invade Ishalgen?"
"I've already sent forces at Ishalgen. In addition, Marchutan and Lumiel are already there activating a barrier for any future threats from Beritra," Lord Azphel said.
"I've received word from Lord Nezekan that the dredgion from Elysea is attacking Poeta." Triniel added.
Zikel scoffed after hearing Nezekan's name. "No coincidence that 'lover boy' tells you first."
Triniel glared at Zikel with cold eyes. His hatred against the elyos including the Seraphim Lords was becoming a bore to her. "Still talking about it? When can you let that go?"
"Until that sun-pox glow-worm vanishes without a trace!"
"That is enough Zikel!" Azphel yelled, his booming voice echoed across the council room. "The future of Asmodae is at stake here due to the Balaur invasion and I suggest that you keep your petty comments about the Seraphim Lords to yourself and focus on what's at hand here."
Zikel wanted to retort back at Azphel, but talking against the Lord of Shadow was asking for a severe punishment from him. Moments later, an asmodian gladiator barged inside of the council room.
"My lord, news from Lord Marchutan," the asmodian proclaimed. "Some of the villagers from Ishalgen were able to escape from the balaur."
"What do you mean by 'some'?" Azphel asked. He had a dreaded feeling that something terrible happened.
"Apparently, when Lord Marchutan and Lady Lumiel arrived to Ishalgen, the dredgion already vanished along with the captured asmodians of Aldelle village."
Filled with anger, Lord Azphel slammed his fist against table, making a large crack in the process. "Send more forces to defend the entire world of Asmodae. Use any flight transportation and find that dredge. Use airships, dragons, sandsurfers, sharptooths, or your wings I don't care! I don't care if we have to search across Elysea or Balaurea. Find that dredge now and rescue the asmodians as soon as possible!"
"Yes Lord Azphel," the asmodian gladiator replied, taking a quick bow before leaving.
"Triniel and Zikel, I want you to head to Katalam and speak with Lord Kaisinel about this sudden predicament. And Zikel, I want you to control your anger for once when you and Triniel meet with him. We do not want another 'event' occur at Katalam, especially from you."
"Fine," Zikel grumbled, hiding his face from sheer embarrassment.
Suddenly, a large door opened again, revealing a small child.
"What is a child doing here?" Azphel asked.
"Forgive me Lord Azphel," the asmodian guard apologized, standing beside the small child. "The child wanted to speak with Lady Triniel."
Lady Triniel raised an eyebrow with confusion. "Me? What does the child want with me?"
"He said that his mother wanted him to give this to you," the asmodian guard replied, sending the parchment to Triniel.
Taking the parchment, Triniel glanced at the written message. Her eyes widened in surprise as if the message was of dire importance.
"Where is your mother child?" Triniel asked.
Grabbing Lady Triniel's hand, Matemeo led her outside of the Asmodian council taking her to the plaza where his mother was sleeping. Running up to his mother, Matemeo tried to wake her up, but she was barely moving.
"Mama?" Matemeo asked, waking up his mother. "Please wake up, I found Lady Triniel just like you said. Please wake up. Mama. Mama!"
Triniel gently pulled Matemeo away from his 'sleeping' mother. Matemeo tried to reach for his mother again, but Lord Azphel came, grabbed Matemeo and took him away from Annevira, despite his cries for his mother. Suddenly, to her surprise, his mother slowly opened her eyes.
"I need a medic here!" Triniel yelled gently lifting Matemeo's mother.
"Where's my son?" Annevira asked, letting out a wet cough. She was having a hard time looking at her surroundings due to her vision being blurry.
"Don't strain yourself," Triniel said. "Help is on the way."
"I brought my son here as promised," Annevria said. "Promise me that you'll take care of our son. Promise me that no harm shall come to him when the time comes. In my sack beside is enough kinah to enroll Matemeo to Marchutan's Academy. Make sure that he learns something from there. "
"You have my word. I will do everything I can to take of your son."
Annevira gave a small smile before closing her eyes. Triniel tried to wake her up again, but Annevira's body did not respond. The clerics of Pandaemonium finally arrived with potions and enough healing magic to help the wounded patient. However, Triniel sadly shook her head. The wound was too severe for Annevira.
"My Lord Beritra," one of the dredgion commanders said bowing right in front of the dragon lord. "The invasion of Ishalgen was a complete success. We were able to capture few asmosdians and enough aether energy from the entire area."
"Excellent," Beritra said. "That will 'shake up' the Shedim Lords for some time. Any news from Poeta?"
"None at the moment my lord. It would seem that we was attacked by Lord Nezeken and Lady Ariel."
So they planned ahead, Beritra thought. "Continue the search across Atreia. Find any asmodians or elyos. Gather more aether energy. We need enough to activate the Hyperion."
"Yes Lord Beritra."
After the dredgion commander left his presence, Beritra got up from his seat and slowly changed form, transforming into a large black dragon. Lifting his wings, Beritra flew straight through the castle window, ignoring the damage he caused on the large window. Perhaps he should force his new asmodian 'prisoners' to repair the window. However, time was of the essence. He must speak to Lord Israphel.