Chapter One: The Promised Land.

It was a hot day, with not a single cloud in sight. The sky was stained orange and red as the sun began to set. Out were people, citizens fearing of the outcome of the battle that was taking place. It was the sorcerer of forbidden magic known as Kronos, fighting the leader of the land everybody referred to as the Messiah. It was a close battle, but Intra, another sorcerer, was fighting alongside Kronos turning the tide of the battle slowly. They called themselves the Minutemen. The citizens watched in awe, as they witnessed the combined powers of the Minutemen, who were keeping the Messiah on edge. The Messiah was breathing hard, as he continually held off the two rebels. The fight then went inside the palace of the Messiah, where only explosions and crashes could be heard by the terrified, yet curious citizens.

Kronos aimed his staff at the Messiah, shooting a large fireball at breakneck speeds. The Messiah narrowly dodged it, as Intra shot a similar spell, but noticeable weaker. The Messiah smacked it away as it approached him, and grabbed the hooded sorcerer by the skull, and smashed him into the ground. Kronos hit the Messiah with a powerful lightning bolt, getting him off his apprentice. The Messiah recovered quickly, and began to cast another spell. Kronos helped Intra up, and ran with him, towards the Messiah, who had casted, a large and intricate circle that, made the ground he stood on glow a bright blue color. The Minutemen stopped, and Kronos began to make a transparent shield. It was a dull green color, and surrounded the two sorcerers. The Messiah thrust both his hands forward, making a variety of different spells shoot from behind him. As each spell hit, the dull force field began to crack and trembler like a glass wall. Kronos then urged Intra to use his unique spell, but he was panicking. The shield was beginning to fail, and the Messiah looked in seriousness, wanting to eradicate the two rebels on sight. Kronos then began to medicate, as he centered his staff and a magical wind from an unknown source began to circle the Minutemen. Kronos' eyes began to glow a bright blue through the hood he covered his face with. Lightning cracked, and energy began to gather into the jewel on the end of his staff. He then ran straight at the Messiah, whose eyes opened in shock. Quickly he began to cast his best defensive spell, to try to survive. This was exhausting, but he took it a step further, and also began to cast a second offensive spell. Intra's spell was almost complete, and a multicolored rift began to appear near him. Kronos was approaching his limit, very fast.

"It's ready!" he shouted to his mentor. Kronos nodded his head, and released all the energy he had gathered at the Messiah, who did the same. The spells collided, causing huge explosions and smoked covered the battlefield. Suddenly it was quiet, so quiet that a pin could be heard hitting the floor from across the grand palace. Outside were the citizens, eagerly waiting who the victor was. Footsteps on the hard palace floor echoed as they made their way out of the entrance. The Messiah was victorious, and he held up his staff in triumph. The Minutemen had disappeared into the rift, and the Messiah addressed the people with a strong voice.

"People of my kingdom, lend me your ears. What you have all witnessed today was a rebellion. I assure you, I won't go down so easily. You can all sleep tonight, with a feeling of security. There is a reason I am the Messiah, and it is because I was chosen by a power greater then you can imagine. I was selected by a divine will to rule this kingdom. I am the Messiah, and I won't go quietly into the night and I will not go down without a fight. There is a reason that the rebels failed today, and it is because they were meant to. So live, my peasants live in my kingdom under my protection in The Promised Land!" The crowd of people roared with excitement, and cheered on their leader. Then they began to chant. "MES-SI-AH! MES-SI-AH! MES-SI-AH!" The leader smiled greatly and watched his faithful subjects. The Messiah then waved his staff, and the palace began to rebuild itself. This caused even more applause. Though he had fought off the two powerful sorcerers tooth and nail, he still had enough energy to fix all the damages from the battle.

Meanwhile outside the kingdom's wall were the Minutemen. Kronos watched on with disgust, as the Messiah gave his Promised Land speech again, and showed off his magic. It didn't take much to repair a castle, especially the little damage they actually caused. Kronos looked at his apprentice Intra, who was hurt pretty bad, and whimpering in pain. He removed the hooded cloak he wore. Intra was only thirteen years of age with messy brown hair. He looked up though his green teary eyes, full of anger.

"Why do you keep making me fight that guy?" he shouted at Kronos. He tried to get up, but he lacked the energy. "Every time we try to fight that jerk face I end up getting hurt, while you just watch! I don't see a scratch on you!"

"I don't just watch, I saved your life several times! I did get hurt, but I managed to avoid the worse part of it. On top of that you keep making rookie mistakes, but you're just too stubborn to admit it!" retorted Kronos, tending to the boy's wounds. The young apprentice tried to jerk away, but he felt a stern stare through the cloak.

"My life wouldn't need saving if you didn't make me fight that jerk every few months" he reply angrily. He rubbed his arm, which he thought was broken from crashing into the walls so hard.

"Do you really want to go there?" Kronos asked in a stern voice. He removed his hood, revealing his face. Kronos was in his late twenties. He had long blonde hair that fell over his eyes on occasion, though now wasn't the case, and a mustache that went around his mouth into his short beard. His eyes were hazel with a red outline, indicating that his skills have been honed through the years. His piercing stare made Intra look away. 0

"No" he said defeated. He hated when Kronos was so serious. "So what did I do wrong this time, huh?"

"You mean what can you improve on?" asked Kronos, as he finished healing his apprentice who nodded. His tone took a much less strict tone. "Well, your form was good, maybe even great, but your spells are still not strong enough to cause any serious damage to the Messiah. You lack concentration. Another thing, you need to learn to remain calm. If you panic like you did, casting magic takes twice, if not three times as long. Other than that, you did much better from the last time we fought him. All in all, I'm proud to call you my apprentice. You show that you have much, much more potential. However don't let that get to your head."

"I know, or I'll end up turning to the next Messiah" he said. "Were you two really friends before?"

"Yes, I told you many times we were. We had the same mentor as well."

"Merlin right?" he asked although he already knew it was.

"Yes, it was Merlin. I'm sure you know enough about him, but I still don't think you can understand just how powerful of a wizard he really was. The books don't do him justice. Someday, you might be as great as he was."

"You really think so?" asked Intra, as he greatly doubted himself. Kronos had always been telling Intra that he could become the next Merlin, or even surpass him, but he never bought into all of that. He looked at his hands, which were slightly charred from the explosions that had occurred. Kronos and he began to walk on back home. "why do they do it?"

"What?" asked Kronos.

"Why do all of those people cheer for him? It's like they can't think for themselves. Don't they know we're the good guys?"

"Well they can't" replied Kronos. "He has them under a mass mind control spell, in addition to the Messiah's infamous silver tongue. It's pretty draining, but it last for quite a while. That's why we fight him in the intervals we do, it wears out after a while, and he is in a weakened state. That's our best shot to defeat him."

"You mean he's not at full power when we fight him?" he asked in disbelief. "That's not possible."

"He's not and it is. He is stronger than me by far, there is no way in Hell I will ever beat him alone, even at a weakened state. That's why I'm training you. For when we or you beat him, you'll be the new ruler of the kingdom. The rightful ruler, since I can't hope to rule it myself."

"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Intra. "You're not going to help me rule, if I become king?"

"No, I won't. Merlin wouldn't approve of it. A ruler should be able to control his own kingdom on his own, and defend it as well. The only reason the Messiah is ruling now is because he stole Merlin's staff when he died. It was rightfully mine, but he challenged to a fight to the death."

"You said you were stronger than him though." Intra suddenly began to gain interest in Kronos' past.

"I was. Just leave it at that." Intra whined loudly, and continued to follow his mentor. Before he knew it, they had arrived to their home. It wasn't luxurious, but it was home to them. "First thing tomorrow morning, we will continue our training. Is that clear?"

"Yes Kronos, but I still don't see why you can't give me a break, I mean we just fought the Messiah for the billionth time, and we haven't gotten any closer to defeating him. I really think you expect too much from me."

"It may seem that way, but you are much more powerful than most wizards at the prime."

"Then why can't we beat him?" Intra was pouting, and had thrown his cloak aside.

"Well you may be a prodigy, but so were the Messiah and I. In addition to that, he has much more experience and wields the power of Merlin." Kronos took a long sigh. He looked at his pupil who was looking down at the ground. "What's wrong?"

"What if you're wrong? What if I can't become the next Merlin? What if the next time we fight him, one of us gets killed? What would we do then?"

"Those are big what-ifs. Look he might call himself our Savior but the truth is he is evil, corrupt and power hungry. If Merlin was right, then good will always vanquish evil. It has taken us countless tries, but we'll succeed one of these days."

"How do you know all of this?"

"You ask too many questions, Intra." Kronos took a seat in a beaten-up wooden chair. He then took a book from the book shelf using his magic and opened it up. "Look here. It's all been foretold that a small group of heroes will defeat the False-Prophet. It's pretty obvious that the Messiah is that prophet."

"So us two are that small group?" he asked in disbelief.

"I believe it to be true. It's getting late, Intra go to bed. We'll discuss this during our training tomorrow." Intra did as he was told, though he wasn't too happy about it. Kronos however began to read, as he does every night. He began thinking, what was he doing wrong? Shouldn't they have defeated the Messiah by know? They've been trying for eight years, and he still managed to end up on top. Not only that, but Intra has shown remarkable progress. "Come' on what is it? There has to be something I've over-looked." Kronos opened the ancient text, and looked at a page that kept infuriating him when he saw it. It was the last half of the prophecy, but it had been charred off in a fire before his time. He couldn't make sense of it, as all that was there was there were two colors, that was probably in an illustration where the black marks now inhabited. Intra on the other hand was in his bed, staring holes into the ceiling. He felt like a failure, and it really hurt him. Never once has he managed to beat, or even injury the Messiah. He was simply too strong. He knew that Kronos was counting on him to get stronger, but how can he? Kronos has kept Intra at the same age for years. He never understood the purpose of that and has failed to mention it to him, but it felt as if Intra has lived through two lifetimes.

"I'll show Kronos I can do better no matter what it takes. If he believes I can be the next Merlin, then I'll do it. I'll prove to him I can fight off anything he throws at me, everything he throws at me." Intra then drifted off to a deep slumber. Before he knew it, it was morning, which somewhat upset him, as much as it also excited him. Today he was going to prove to Kronos, then prove to the Messiah, and most importantly, prove to himself that he really would someday become as powerful as Merlin. Intra has his doubts, but an experience that Kronos and he had gone through a long time ago, allowed Intra appreciate his powers, and not take them for granted.

-Flashback-

Intra picked himself off the floor, as he wiped some of the blood from his mouth. The Messiah was laughing as he threw another fireball at him. Intra jumped away, but it was no use, the fireball was too fast. A small explosion sent him flying back.

"I don't see what Kronos sees in you" stated the Messiah. "You're just a kid, there's nothing you can do."

"Shut up!" Intra retorted. He held his stomach in pain, as he spat some blood out to the side. The Messiah then kicked him in the abdomen, making him fall to his knees.

"That's right boy, bow to your Savior." He let out a laugh of arrogance. Intra again pulled himself to his feet, and he began to cast an offensive spell. Kronos had taught him many, but he hadn't taught him this one before. Intra was going off of nothing but instinct. The phrase he spoke were ancient, and the Messiah stopped laughing. "What are you doing, boy?"

"DIE!" shouted Intra, as he thrust his arm forward. A brilliant, yet small blue light erupted from his palm and made contact with the Messiah. The said prophet looked in wide shock at the spell, as it was something he'd never seen before. He was about to question the boy on it, when it engulfed him, and sent power currents of electricity through his body. He howled in pain as the spell began to weaken, indicating the end of it. Intra stared at him with hatred, and then with shock. Had he really just done that? What did he do? Where did this power come from? The spell had gone, and the Messiah looked up in anger. He began to approach the young sorcerer, when the wall next to him exploded in. As the debris settled, Intra had been rescued by Kronos, and were already far off in the distance. The Messiah was about to chase them down, when he realized that Kronos had casted a binding spell that kept him in that room for a few minutes at best, but the Messiah didn't have energy to waste. The Messiah soon calmed down, and smirked to himself bitterly.

"That stupid brat and Kronos got away" he said to himself. "It doesn't matter. They might have gotten me by surprise, but Kronos knows this wasn't a true victory."

As the Minutemen slowed down to a walk, Intra looked at his hands. 'what was that spell?'

"Are you alright kiddo?" asked Kronos, placing his hand on Intra's shoulder.

"Yes, Master Kronos, thank you for rescuing me" the boy then thought of telling Kronos what happened, but he interrupted.

"Listen, you have to be more careful. Next time he might not be so merciful and let you live. I don't know why he didn't kill you before I got there, but trust me if he gets his hands on you again, he'll kill you faster than you can say mana-potion."

"What is mana anyway?" asked Intra, figuring he'll tell him when he needs to know.

"It's a substance that normal people can use to conduct magic. Some people, like us, have it made in our bodies. That is why not everybody can become as powerful as the Messiah, or even me for that matter."

"So it's real? I thought it was just something made up by somebody who had too much time on their hands." Kronos laughed, harder than he intended startling Intra. The fact that Kronos helped develop it, and his abilities to manipulate time made Intra's little hypotheses more than spot on. 'I'll learn how to do whatever it is I did back there again' Intra thought to himself, as Kronos still laughed. 'I'll show you someday.'

-End Flashback-

'And that day is today' though Intra, jumping out of bed. Kronos was already outside in the training area.

"Are you ready to begin?" he asked the young boy.

"Yes, Master Kronos" he replied, taking a defensive stance. 'I am more than ready.'


A/N

Well here's a new story I've been putting off, since I have to write another one at the same time, but it's all good. For any of my previous readers, The Power Within Series will continue after this one ends. Thanks, and don't forget to review, for those make me happy. (^_^)