The Aura Weapon

Frer leaped back as a pillar of fire rose in front of him and branched out, shattering columns and crumbling whatever was left of these damn ruins. He brushed his dark green hair aside, and noticed there was a bit of blood trickling down the side of his head, and he was sweating so much his robes were soaked to the point were he thought he was submerged in a warm pool. Casting another glance behind him, he made absolutely sure that no one and nothing heard him. It was a large hall, with a torn red carpet spreading across. Everything else was gray stone; the floor, the walls, the crumbling benches, and what was left of the pillars where he was practicing.

"Damn spell… backfired again." He said in a deep voice that seemed like a cross between a growl and a grunt. His face was covered with soot, his dark blue eyes were lifeless and worn from exhaustion. His mouth was dry, and in addition to his sweat, his hands were beginning to become sore. He examined his staff, the one staff in the entire world that could grant the user magic. The staff had been given to him by some strange old hag. She wore a black cloak and her hair was gray, caused no doubt by her age. Her eyes were pure white, but she didn't seem at all blind. The strangest part of all: she seemed to not know how to say anything but "The staff is the king's… the staff is the king's…"

He had no idea what she meant by this, as no country on earth had a king. Had she been delusional? It would've been likely, had she not stopped him before he left. She grabbed his arm, and her touch was nothing but cold death, her life seeming to be drained away by some otherworldly force. She looked through his eyes and said "The shadow will return for the staff… the shadow will return for the s.." the word had trailed off into a hiss, and she crumbled to dust. If it was not the most horrifying thing he had ever seen, it was definitely the most startling. No one had seen, of course, because that event had transpired in the dark alley between the old bank and the inn. His town was so rundown and sandy, he couldn't even tell what buildings were old and what were new. They all looked the same. Dusty, seemingly unstable, and brown with wood, wood, and more wood.

The staff given to him by the old woman was surprisingly beautiful and looked as though it came from the Kingdom Age, which, while it disappointed him, had ended over a thousand years ago, and nothing that survived from that era could be in such a stunning condition. The wooden rod was pure white, with sky blue metal snaking around like vines on a garden gate. However, the metal felt liquid and alive, as whenever he touched it, it stuck to his hands to give him an iron grip on the staff. At the top end of the staff, the thin blue metal formed a claw, and in that claw was a green orb.

In the kingdom age, those who could use magic recorded their techniques to create things called Aura Weapons in spellbooks. In the spellbooks, the instructions to create the Aura Weapons required the craftsman to be able to use magic. Every person has their own magical energy called Aura and the ability to use magic is the ability to channel their aura as defense, offense, healing, or crippling. Because of his staff, Frer is the only one in the world who can use such weapons. Earlier that day, he went to the ancient library and found a book on the Fire Aura Weapon, recorded by a wizard named Fenrir. What was extremely odd was that was the only Aura Weapon book he could read. Others, like Lavera's Water Aura Weapon and Grom's Earth Aura weapon were, while written in the same language, strangely repelling his eyes, and he could not bring them to gaze at the words. After several failed attempts, he left the library with Fenrir's book to begin practicing to create the weapon.

If he could call upon such devastating power, maybe he could protect his town from the constant raids of The Shadow Remnants, which were an imperial group focusing all of their efforts to destroy democracy and bring about monarchy once again. They had raided their town, almost on a weekly basis for food, money, supplies, and women. Frer was particularly disgusted that they had stolen his girlfriend's sister.

Frer was 19, out of school a year ago. He had met a girl named Skyra then, who, while she was very shy, never seemed to stop following him. She was pretty, as they all were, but she seemed to be the only honest girl who seemed to like him. Of course, he didn't care much for her then, but he grew fond of her clinginess and eventually made her a promise that he would show her the same care that she had shown him. Skyra's sister was the complete opposite. She was outgoing and never seemed to shut up, in his humble opinion. Still, what the Shadow Remnants did was unforgivable. It was just a week ago, he was assigned a guard position to the south of town when they came from the north, where the mountains were. A cowardly but effective move, he had completely missed them and only managed to kill about two when he arrived at the northern side, almost completely destroyed. It wasn't until Skyra ran to him crying that he understood how bad it was. Her sister had been captured and dragged away, and anyone could've guessed what her fate had been. That was the first time Skyra had cried, and he felt responsible. He should've persuaded the guards to let him take position in the north, where Skyra lived. He felt it necessary to be by her side against possible attack.

Now is different. Now, he has power. Now, he could kill the bastards that took away Skyra's sister. He had come to this old courtroom, where it was said the old king himself would judge crimes and sentence criminals to labor, prison, death, or all of them combined. No one came here, he could practice until he succeeded or there was another attack. He swallowed his anger and began to mutter the magic phrases once more. The green orb in his staff began to glow red, and fire snaked around his arm. He spun his staff and thrust it to the ground, and the fire pillar once more materialized. But it did not branch out, destroying every flimsy piece of stone in its path. It held together in the form of a sword made of fire. It began to fuse with the staff, and in a flash of blinding light, he had done it.

The hilt was white steel with red metal also snaking around, giving off the same stickiness as the staff. The blade was pure red and flaming. A blood red orb was in a shining red dragon claw in the middle of the hilt, to symbolize it was now a Fire Aura Weapon. He gave it one swing. One swing. An arch of fire sped from the blade and into the air, as if searching for a target. Content with the results, it dashed toward a crumbling pillar and sliced it completely in half. Frer marveled at the aftermath of what he had done. This power was amazing. Almost as if he could just charge into the Shadow Remnant's fortress and slice it to pieces, killing every little knight in his path as if they were flies.

No, he thought, I need to go about this strategically. I should go to the national fortress to the west, I could rally the military and act as a deadly front to their invasion of The Shadow Remnants fortress to end their stupid little rebellion. He smiled, his task done, he could go home and rest, tell Skyra, then set out at dawn. If things went well, The Shadow Remnants wouldn't even show up for their raid in two days. For the first time in a long while, he felt proud of something, something he could smile and hug Skyra about, something he could jump with joy about. Feeling charged with pride, he made to leave, but he heard something behind him. He quickly spun to his defensive stance, sword at ready, eager to use his new power so quickly. But he was not in the mood for this nor was he even expecting it.

It was a shadow. Of him. The old hag's words echoed in his head, louder, louder, louder until his mind began to throb. The shadow will return for the staff… the shadow will return for the staff…

"Wh… what the hell are you?!" Frer's dark eyes narrowed, his entire body tense and ready to spring into attack.

"I'm the king… or at least whatever's left of my blood." The shadow said, in Frer's voice. "So this is the future… I expected it to be a bit more… utopian." He made the look of a curious tourist.

"What do you mean what's left of his blood?" Frer demanded an answer and had to hesitate before he realized he almost slashed at the shadowy silhouette.

"Oh… you don't know? I suppose it's this world. No one remembers anything from the old days…" The smiling Frer copy brushed his hair inside and his face turned serious. Dead serious. "You're my descendant, little boy."

Frer was not expecting that, nor was he in the mood for possible jokes. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"Must I spell out your own family tree…? I suppose I must, but I can't. I don't know anything about you except for this face." He looked in the puddle of water next to him, probably from the rain earlier that day. Most of the ceiling had tumbled to the floor. "Quite handsome… deserving for my blood." He smiled once more. "But not my staff."

Frer was screaming in his mind as the old hag's image began to flash and her words were amplified like the roar of a dragon. The staff is the king's… the staff is the king's… He managed to shake it off. "You can't have this staff. I need it."

"Oh, aren't you a clever kid? I didn't even tell you to "hand it over or die" yet!" He laughed evilly and a shadowy silhouette of the staff materialized in his head.

"Over my dead body." Frer raised his sword and the shadow scowled.

"You… have Fenrir's Aura Weapon?!" He looked as though he were about to go mad. In the moment Frer understood. The king was at severe disadvantage because Frer had magic on his side.

"I'll give you ten chances to back off." Frer remained in defensive position. The ten chances were part of his defensive code of honor; he would not fight back until his opponent would strike ten times, as ten strikes were ample time for the offending side to change their mind. The shadow dashed at him without saying a word and thrust his staff right into Frer's ribs. But Frer was smarter than that, he brought his sword down onto the staff and batted it away, making sure to send it in the direction that turned the shadow's body so that he could not strike with the other hand. Leaving no chance for recovery, Frer stepped back, well out of the king's staff range.

"One." Frer muttered. If he did not save his strength until ten, he wouldn't know what to do.

The king tried a different move this time. Stepping up onto a bench beside him, he leapt right at Frer from above and brought his staff crashing down to his head. Frer rolled to the side and said, "Two." Rather than trying to prepare for another strike, the shadow simply swung his staff around at Frer to where he was sitting and Frer caught it right at the base of the red blade. "Three." He gritted his teeth. Frer had blocked an inward blow and had left the shadow's body wide open to attack. But if he attacked now, what of his honor? He had only given him three chances.

The shadow apparently sensed Frer's pondering and smiled. Rather than trying to cover his open spot, he simply pulled his staff away and tried a direct swing from above. It didn't work of course; his fourth chance was already blown when the boy brought his sword up to meet the staff, careful to not swing. To swing is to kill. Smirking, the shadow used the sword as leverage to swing the staff down to hit Frer's stomach.

The boy gasped and leaped away, his stomach now in pain. It was a very good thing he had not eaten recently. Struggling to keep his breath, he managed to mumble the word, "Five." He stood up once more and realigned his defensive staff to something more flexible to the king's attack pattern. It wasn't until he realized that there was a bench crumbling behind him that he smiled. It was almost predictable that the king tried another upward swing, but Frer was ready this time. He side stepped to 4 o' clock and the staff pummeled down into the helpless bench, causing it to collapse into a heap of gray stone. That was all the chance that Frer needed. He swung his sword down to the staff and the fire blazed from the hot steel once more, cutting the shadow's weapon completely in half. "Six." Frer chuckled as he flipped back onto a bench behind him. The king looked very disappointed and tossed a useless half of his staff away, keeping the other with the orb. He made to sweep it under Frer's legs and send him crashing to the hard, rough floor, but Frer hopped onto the king's shoulders and leaped from there into open space, where he landed and rolled gracefully to get a good distance. "Seven," He yawned. "Change your mind, yet?" Grinning, he stretched his limbs. Three more strikes and Frer could end this fight with his new magic.

The shadow laughed evilly and threw his staff to the ground. "You've got skills, kid. I'll give you that. Maybe you are deserving of my staff, but you need to know how to use it first." He began to warp his shape into that of an older man who looked very much like Frer's father. "And if anyone can teach you, it's gonna be me."