Eight Mortal Years Later.
Duke Cloude has always been recognized as a hero because of his exploits in the war against the land dwellers. All this ended eight years ago when he died a month before the hour of emptiness – as it is now called.
The capital of the prefecture that bears his name was reportedly in chaos when Duke Cloude died. It is said that three old women died within three weeks of the Dukes death, yelling:
”The Roc is Coming… Free from the Firebird… The World Darkens… All become Mortal. ”
At the time the first one died the officials treated the case as a rebel trying to make a case for the king as most of the habitants of the Thanen kingdom are avian-folks (Sky-folks). The king is the firebird descended from the phoenixes, and the Cloudes are descended from Rocs.
The hour of nothingness cemented the ravings of old women as a rare case of divinity. Investigations also led to Cloude city being the centre of the devouring as people in Cloude city find their cultivations regressing far more than others and the effect seems to travel out in a rippling manner.
The city itself is a ghost town without civilians, all murdered by the Thanen royalty for treason. The occupants are Soldiers hired by the various powers in the solar system to patrol the city to look for anomalies that could lead to the origin of the phenomenon and report it to their respective powers.
While the city is strangely calm, everybody knows that wars are waged in open silence as a result of what happened eight years ago.
Somewhere in the city must be where the source is.
Somewhere in the city, in a secret realm, no one knows about is a boy sitting on a mountain overlooking many others, beside him were two cats one with white fur and the other with black fur, seemingly enjoying his company.
The boy himself looks impossibly beautiful, with white hair with streaks of purple in it, eyes with purple sclera with dark golden rings that seem to draw in anyone looking at it directly, a leaf-shaped tattoo on his forehead, wearing a tunic that opens his left chest and back showing his athletic build.
”Lets go Pragma, Apathe, the materials should be prepared. Well be breaking out of here soon enough. ” He said as he stands, moving down the mountain while his cats growled in agreement as they follow him.
Down the mountain is a shack, Upon entering the shack the boy moves around the shack with familiarity moving to a room in the shack that is much more expansive on the surface than what could be seen outside. Entering a room is a blacksmith workshop that seems to still be in operation as the fires were still billowing and in all sense of reasoning in operation. The boy moved to pick up a hammer almost his height, lifting it easily, he brings it down on what seemed to be a part of a chain.
He withstood the recoil easily as he continues his work bringing down the hammer again and again while the cats watches him.
Two Mortal Years Later.
In the Cloude city, a batch of soldiers seems to have patrolled the city as they could be seen moving back to their camp outside the city which could be called a town in its own right as various structures have popped up in it, the casino, the restaurant and various merchants supplying them with materials they need for their daily life. Most of the soldiers have gotten so used to their life here in the past ten years that they turn theyve turned to debaucheries.
Barry Thompson looks at the town as he enters the enclosure with his squad, Garrison Commander and Detachment Commander were probably busy in the brothel as always, not bothering to request reports from him. Looking behind him, Barry Thompson could see his squad mates itching to go to the brothels and casinos to inject themselves with dopamine and thats what they did upon entering the enclosing formation.
Barry made no move to stop them, few like him could keep themselves cool in event of what might be their impending doom, while fewer of those who could keep their cool aren with their submissions.
This was what kept Barry going, this and the family he had at home, being one of the weakest of his father Baron Thompsons son, he left nobility early to earn his keep away from his father and talented elders at home. The knowledge that he was one of the few people here who could keep his sanity, at least most of it, made him feel some of the pride that had been trampled by the nobles.
Moving to his shack, he greeted some of his mates, some of who just slurred at him. Entering his shack, he activated his formation ensuring a near relief of safety, moving to his bed as he brings out his computing card.
”Thank the Void Heaven Tower for making this world liveable. ” He said earnestly looking at the card with which he could do anything. Connecting to the infinite weave (InfiPlex in short), he starts watching the recording from all over the system, including movies, experts teachings or even fights that happen among cultivators.
”Oh!! Theres been a change in the young star rankings? ” Barry exclaimed softly, as he checks the ranking with excitement. The youngsters of the system are at the age where they feel reckless and youthful so a ranking is made every generation to check the best amongst all of them. The list also serves as a way for nobles to rank themselves as the young star rankings usually translate to the star rankings which show very few changes.
”Ardian Rave is now number 39? Who is he? ”
”Oh? a prime from the Rave family of Thanen? Interesting. ” Barry murmured to himself excitedly as he read about a dark horse that seem to be rising on the list of geniuses. As an outcast, Barry had always rooted for dark horses as he also wishes to find his destiny and rise against the trends of fate and become an unparalleled expert. Those were the contents of the novels he read on the InfiPlex, though far from reality, Barry hopes he finds his destiny here and he rises the ranks and becomes someone his father and elders don look down upon.
Suddenly, Barry tenses as he looks around only to find himself being the only occupant in the shack, realizing the problem is outside he moved out only to find it quiet.
The town had always been rowdy, never been this silent, thinking something is about to happen he moved to where the crowd is only to see an inn with soldiers surrounding it. Squeezing himself forward, he finds that they were looking at a boy or a girl?
They look too beautiful to be living and the cats in front of them too were quite good-looking. It seems a noble is visiting them today, quite unexpected, but why are they sleeping at the doorstep of the inn. Looking around to find everybody including the Detachment Commanders looking at them in a daze, barry realized something wrong is happening, he was about to wake everyone up when he felt a chill pass through his spine as he noticed that they had opened their eyes and were looking at him.
”Do not wake them. ” They said to Barry softly.
”A-Are you male or female? ” Barry blurted out the most pressing question to him.
”Male. is that a computing card on your hands?, I need some information. Can I see? ” He replied to Barry before requesting to see the computing card Barry still had with him.
A request to which Barry had no chance of rejecting.
Holding the computing card in his hands, the boy powered it and played with it for a while, to Barrys nerves before handing it back to Barry.
After handing it back, He threw a book he brought out of thin air at Barry, who noticed he wasn wearing a ring or any accessories. The only accessory-like structure he was wearing is a chain which seem to be used as a belt.
”Your Physique is suitable for that technique, they will wake up soon. ”
”Pragma! Apathe! ” The boy called to which the two cats behind followed him lithely.
”It seems we only have ourselves to rely on. ” The boy said with a voice that seemed lonely, to which Barrys heart ached.
”WHATS YOUR NAME? ” Barry called out to the boy who seems to have disappeared.
Orion. Orion Cloude. He heard a whisper in his ears as a reply.
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