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Criterion Effect: Norok Chronicles - In Search of Titan's Wings

By akayoshi3 All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Chapters 0

Planet – Norok

Date – Oni 15 XX4999 N.C.

Continent – Negito

Sublocation – Baldur Castle, Divergence Wings

Innerlocation – Main Gate II (Eastern Gate)

Normally at this late hour, the eight soldiers on gate duty were bored and complacent. An unusual storm front of pitch black clouds rolled in from the north and the senior soldier, a Genohuman Lieukai Calikei by the name of Rau, became concerned. “Be alert men. I don’t like the look of those clouds. It reminds me of the weather from two years ago.”

“What happened Sir?” the young Pitkei Genohuman asked from behind the multi barrel energy cannon.

The soldier to his right, an Aeronok with green primary scales, dark green secondary scales, and held the rank of Lieukai, looked at the Pitkei with shock. “You’re a soldier of the Divergence Wings Military Order, how are you not aware of the events of two years ago? The next thing you know, you’ll be telling us you aren’t even aware of the events from five years ago.”

The Aeronok’s laughter started to fade as the Pitkei shook his head. “Sorry Sir but to be fair, I do come from a rather small village and while I was at the academy, they were more concerned about us knowing the basic and our jobs rather than the current history,” the Genohuman defended.

“That’s alright soldier,” Rau acknowledged, recalling memories from his days in the academy and his first duty station. “Get stationed anywhere long enough and you’ll hear all the stories and history. I’ll give the nutshell versions of those events.”

“Much appreciated Sir,” the Genohuman Pitkei responded, letting a small breath of relief escape his lips. Knowing that his superiors knew what he was going through was a big weight off his shoulders.

The Lieukai Calikei took a moment to compose himself then looked up at the parts of the two moons that weren’t covered by the dark clouds. “As I'm sure you know, two years ago the era known as the Great Peace, the Heiki Era, the longest period of peace in Negito, if not all of Norok’s history, was shattered. Even though we were given a glimpse of what was to come five years ago, no one saw what happened two years ago coming. It was on a night very similar to this one in fact that led to our current political situation with Valkyrie Retribution, not to mention all the unofficial battles that place.”

Before any of the older soldiers could confirm what he said, a figure cloaked in black emerged from the shadows. Due to the lack of lighting, his face was hidden under the darkness of his hood. “Like I said,” Rau said as he started to approach the stranger, “Bad weather-” The Genohuman’s sentence was interrupted by a sharp wind from behind him. Looking back, a look of horror overcame his face as he saw seven headless bodies that were once his soldiers, slump to the ground. Even before the corpses hit the ground, blood was spurting from the necks and gushing from the heads. Pools of blood had already started to form around the severed heads as the bodies hit the ground.

The Genhuman Lieukai Calikei pressed an alert button on his military BracerTech as he drew his single edged sevka sword and turned back to the stranger in front of him. He started to charge when he felt a sharp, intense pain accompanied by the sensation of being cut. Touching his abdomen, he saw blood on his gloves. At the same time, his vision started to shift as his upper body slowly slid off his bottom. Hitting the ground, the last thing he saw and heard was the cloaked stranger approaching him.

o0o

The figure frowned as he stepped over the two halves of the soldier in front of him. The moment the dead soldier had hit the blood soaked ground, a loud alarm started to go off. He looked at the bloody mess as he walked past the guard towers.  “That was very sloppy of you sister. The intention was for a silent entrance.”

Like the first figure, she was wearing a black cloak with her hood up and on her face a custom heads up display, H.U.D., mask. “Where’s the fun in that brother?” the female figure protested. “We both know that you would have been bored if everything went according to plan.”

Only after several feet of passing the two guard towers, the two assassins heard the distant yelling of soldiers rushing their way. “While I usually welcome the action, I was actually hoping to be in and out on this one.”

“Gomennasai kyōdai,” the sister said in ancient Elven.

The brother simply shook his head as he zoomed in on his H.U.D. to see what the two of them would now have to deal with. A small rebellious smile came to his lips at what he saw. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing sister?”

“Hai brother,” the sister acknowledged. “And you thought the little soldiers would be bothersome.”

o0o

Archkei Evan’ko of the Divergence Wings Military Order Heavy Guard Company, rounded the final corner with his platoon and was greeted by devastation. The Aeronok Archkei wanted to stop and run the other way but the decades and decades of training wouldn’t allow him to do so. “Stay focused men!” he growled. “This is what you were trained for!” Everyone in his platoon sounded off with a thunderous roar that made him feel proud to be their commander.

Passing the bridge that led into the main compounds of Baldur Castle, the Aeronok Archkei quickly surveyed the scene to see what he was up against. In front of him were piles of dead and dying soldier and just behind them were the cause; two assassins. “You got to be kidding me!” Evan’ko heard one of his Serkei say. “All this destruction from just those two?!”

The Archkei couldn’t help but agree but now was not the time for that. Pushing the thought aside, he turned to his men, “Let’s get those bastards for what they did and avenge our fallen!” His men cheered as the platoon rushed towards the two assassins.

o0o

The male assassin was finally starting to enjoy himself when he noticed a platoon of thirty heavy guard soldiers heading towards him and his sister. Throwing the last of the pathetic soldiers to the side, he turned to his sister, “How do you want to handle them?” He pointed to the oncoming group of soldiers.

The female assassin looked to where her brother was pointing and smiled. “Relaxingly of course, dear bother. Allow me to hand them,” she replied as she started towards the soldiers.

“By all means,” the brother said, folding his arms.

o0o

The Aeronok Archkei quickly became concerned when he saw only one of the assassins walking towards them. What is that yarō thinking? he thought to himself. “Watch it men.” Out of the corner of his right eye, he saw one of his men rush in ahead of the group towards the lone assassin. “What the hell is he doing?!” the Archkei demanded.

When the soldier reached the assassin, he swung his heavy halberd towards her. When it passed through the assassin, the figure disappeared, revealing a violent, dark, swirling vortex; a black hole. “Crap,” the soldier said to himself as he got sucked in.

o0o

The sister reappeared next to her brother as the soldier’s screams filled the night air as they were sucked into the voids. “The Venus Trap. Very nice sister,” the brother said, impressed.

“Why thank you brother,” the sister said, watching the field of holes swallow the platoon whole.

With all the soldier dealt with for now, the assassin walked past the bloody and gut filled path and into the castle walls. Once inside Baldur Castle, things were much quieter as the two strolled towards the Northern Halls. To the sister’s disappointment, they didn’t encounter another soul the entire walk. “This is so boring!” the sister started to complain.

“It’s all about the action for you isn’t it?”

“Why of course,” his sister answered. “A girl has to keep in shape somehow.”

The moment the flooring changed from marble to wood, something triggered the brother’s senses. Hearing a click, he pulled his sister back onto the marble, narrowly missing getting hit from a siege sized arrow. “What the hell?! I saw the damn thing coming!” the sister demanded, looking her at her brother.

“Well sorry for caring,” he answered. Looking back to the wooden floor, He switched the views on his H.U.D. mask to see the traps’ activating plates underneath the wooden floor.

o0o

What should have been a simple walk turned out to be a tedious and time consuming journey as they mindfully avoided the spots where the trip plates were. “Are we there yet brother?” the sister wined.

“Yes,” the brother answered, taking his time to make his steps.

“Really?” the sister asked excitedly.

“No,” the male assassin said flatly after waiting a few moments to answer. Before his sister could answer, he stopped in front of a giant, door less entrance. “Now we are.”  “Finally,” the sister said with excitement. With a look at the door plaque, she confirmed this was where they needed to be. “Great, let’s get to work already.”

  “Calm down,” the brother said, entering the room. To him, the room was nothing impressive. It was longer than it was wide in an octagon shape. On the side walls were pictures and paintings depicting events related to object in the middle of the room. On either side of the entrance were banners and just in front of the back wall was a statue casting a shadow on the empty back wall. As Boss looked up, he noted the security camera and security orbs that laced the upper walls and ceiling.

  Glancing up at the life size approximation of Titan Bane, he approached the glass etched case in the middle of the room that contained one of the Five Legendary Wings, Titan’s Wings; the case was sitting on a tree inspired stand. With a touch to the top corner of the plaque, a holographic keypad appeared and he worked in the code. With a soft hiss, the invisible force field that protected the case dissipated. The male assassin smiled as he placed a hand on the corner of the case and channeled a high amount of arcana with a touch of rune into it. A moment later the case split in two with the lower half sinking into the stand, leaving Titan’s Wings exposed.

  Unable to contain her excitement, the sister reached in to grab the medallion.

  “Careful with that! Break it and we’re both screwed.” The brother shouted.

  “I know,” the sister said as she took it off its stand and was about to place a note where the medallion just sat when an overwhelming shadow loomed over them. She slowly turned around and saw a giant red Aeronok staring down at them.

  “If I were you Assassin, I would put that back,” the Aeronok Serkei stated, drawing both his sevka sword and dagger.

  The female assassin smirked under her mask and looked the Aeronok in the eyes. “And if I were you, I would turn around and walk away.”

  The Serkei couldn’t help but chuckle at her reply. “And why would I do that?”

“Because of him,” the assassin replied, pointed to her brother.

As the soldier looked to his right, he saw a second assassin coming towards him. In the nick of time, the oversized Aeronok put his weapons in an “X” and blocked the assassin’s attack. A small smile came to the Aeronok’s face as he pushed the male assassin back.

“I wouldn’t smile just yet,” the male assassin said.

Before the Aeronok could figure out what the assassin was talking about, a shadow fell over him.

With the giant Aeronok distracted with a doppelganger, the brother collected a ball of cosmic energy in his right palm and a few seconds later he shouted and thrust his palm towards the soldier. The ball made contact with the armor of the Aeronok, sending him flying into the back wall of the hallway, creating a large hole and a cloud of dust. The Aeronok Serkei grunted as he started to struggle to get out of the hole the male assassin had put him in.

“You just couldn’t stay down could you big guy?” the male assassin asked. Not bothering to wait for the giant to answer, he stabbed two cosmic infused daggers into the center of the Aeronok’s unprotected neck and pulled them outwards in opposite directions. The severed head fell to the ground.

The sister walked into the hallway to her brother. “That was sloppy of you brother,” she playfully mocked.

“Like you could have done better sister,” the brother responded, wiping his daggers off as he sheathed them and looked at his sister. “Did you place the note in the case and close it?”

“Hai brother. This isn’t my first mission you know,” the sister answered, a bit insulted.

“I meant no offense sister,” the brother replied. “This is just a very delicate mission.” He walked past her and back in to the Room of Titan’s Wings.

“What are you doing brother?” the female assassin asked.

Two surging rings of cosmic energy pulsed around the brother’s palms. “Following orders and cleaning up,” he answered and unleashed the energy upon the room. The rings tore through the place, shredding everything in their paths. With a loud crash, the statue of Titan Bane tumbled to the floor as the rings dissipated. Satisfied, the male assassin disappeared in the hall with his sister close at his heels.



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