CHAPTER 4 The Curtain Opens
Well it's been a while but I'm still writing this story, and I hope that this chapter entertains you guys. Enjoy.
"In beginning," Terry read aloud, "There merely existed the void. An empty space with no life, but brimming with light. But then arrived Kulirisa, the Goddess of Life, who created Terra at the cost of her physical form. But as a Goddess, Kulirisa would not merely perish without a physical form, she merely ascended to a much higher existence. And once Terra had taken full form, she created life, her most notable, mankind. Whom she gifted with magic, and thus began life for man. Despite, being all powerful, the Goddess became lonely, so she used her power to create Demozia. The two became very close, with such similar interests, and eventually they fell in love. Demozia was granted a power of creation nearly equal to the Goddess, yet her creations were violent, hostile, and savage; thus demon's were born." Terry then closed the book, and sighed. He felt like he was wasting his time. Every child had read copies of the Holy Transcripts, and he could not see how this would be comforting.
"Seriously," he wondered aloud, "Why did I do this?" He did not expect an answer so he merely shrugged, and tried to get some sleep. He still need to find a way to defeat the Harbinger that was on its way, but he would have to figure it out tomorrow.
The Following Morning
Oracle Academy Court Yard
Terry wore a sleeveless jacket, a long sleeved tight undershirt, and some plates of armor placed on his sleeves. On the right of his hip was a short sword, while his wand was in his left hand. He was placed next to Emily, as they were both the only magicians who had joined the support team.
"Listen up," a teacher in armor called out, "Those of you in the front are the assault teams, and those of you in the back are support. You should all know your jobs. So be sure to watch each other's backs. Understood!"
"Now support teams," the teacher barked, "Meet with Doctor Melina. Assault teams follow me!"
"You alright Emily?" Terry asked
"Just a little scared I suppose," she weakly smiled, "But I'll be fine."
"Don't worry," he reassured, "You're not the only one scared." She looked at him in shock, but shook her head and tried to remain focused on what was to come.
"Everyone take cover!" Suddenly the ground collapsed, and slowly from the dust the Harbinger rose. It's eyes burned purple, and it's skin a mixture of black and grey scales. It form could be mistaken for a turtle's, except instead of a shell it had gray spikes shooting out of its back. Its appearance alone made everyone's blood freeze. Some actually dropped their weapons, and began to run, while others stood petrified.
"Do not run!" Nora shouted, "We cannot allow this demon to pass us. We are students of Oracle Academy! The nations best academy, home to the countries greatest heroes! One day they will tell the story of how we fought against a Harbinger. Do not let them say that we ran in fear, as a beast destroyed our homes, so stand a fight! For our future!"
"Well she certainly has a way with words." Terry joked
"But look," Emily pointed out, "Everyone is still willing to fight."
"Well yeah," Terry said, "I guess she has that effect on people."
"Knowing her family, I'm not that shocked," Emily said, "But it's still something amazing to see happen."
"What do you mean," Terry asked, "By "knowing her family?"
"You know that she's a member of the Pendragon family right?"
"Is that supposed to mean something?" Terry asked
"It's been one of the most loyal families to the Royal family," Emily explained, "Each member of the Pendragon family is a weapons mage, and it is very rare that one doesn't become a knight for the Royal family."
"Huh?" Terry hummed, "Who would've thought…Actually it makes sense now that I stop and think about it."
"Did you really not know about her families position?" Emily asked
"You're talking to a guy who comes from a small village," Terry address, "Where people mind their own business and the only important education is developing your own magic. Plus, I don't really think that a family name should determine anything about an individual person. A person's importance should be based on what they're capable of, not some lame heritage thing."
"Wow," Emily said, "I don't think anyone has heard you talk this much."
"Nothing I just think that," Emily paused, "That is odd that you're more open with your thoughts than I originally thought."
"Huh?" He asked, "What gave you the idea that I wasn't open?"
"Well it's just," Emily nervously answered, "That you never really talk to anyone but Melanie, and before that you would always get into fights."
"Well the fights were never my choice," Terry shrugged, "It was mainly Lance and his goons, but hopefully that's all over now."
"As do I," Emily agreed, "Lance…well let's just say I never thought highly of him."
"Well alright," Terry replied, "Also if you don't like someone, it's okay to say it directly."
"Trust me," Terry continued, "Saying something bad about a jerk, doesn't make you the jerk, it just means you're stating the truth."
"Support Team!" Doctor Melina shouted, "Get ready to do your jobs."
"Well," Terry sighed, "That's our cue. If I survive I'll see you after the battle."
"Uh.." Emily nodded, "Okay?"
30 Minutes Later
In just thirty minutes, the students and staff of Oracle Academy had barely managed to leave a scratch on the Harbinger, two wings of the main building had been destroyed, and the courtyard looked like a war zone. Terry was teamed with a student female healing mage, and circling the battlefield for injured students and staff. He would cast a tornado illusion if the Harbinger was too close and scare it off, then hell the healer get the injured to safety. All in that time he had been hoping to be able to find a weakness of the Harbinger, so that he could crush it as Gentleman Black, but his efforts so far had been fruitless.
"Magician!" the healer called out, "There's a group of students injured 70 degrees to our left." He nodded, and they both sprinted towards the group, the demon caught sight of them, but Terry casted another illusion and frighten it off. Terry found it almost funny that something so powerful was so easily tricked. When they reached the group of students, Terry was shocked to see that there was six of them, they all wore armor so it was hard to recognize them. He kept an eye out incase the demon decided to attack them, while the healer began examining the wounded.
"How are they?" Terry asked, "Can any of them stand?"
"No," she answered, "These three have the most serious injuries, but the others are unconscious. We'll have to carry them back to the tents ourselves." Terry huffed, sheathed his sword, and picked up one of the injured.
"We're not gonna be able to carry them all," Terry bluntly said, "We're gonna need help from the assault team."
"We're the support team," she exclaimed, "Our job is assist the assault team, not the other way around."
"Remind me what your name is again?" Terry asked irritated
"Carla," she answered, "Carla Hawthorn."
"Well guess what Carla," Terry bitterly said, "It's everyone's job to make sure we all come out of this alive. That goes for both the support and assault team. So I hate to break it to you, but we're getting help." Carla just looked speechlessly at Terry, as he flagged down four assault team members.
"Oh Terry?" a familiar voice called out, "Terry, it is you. Thank goddess you're still alright." Terry was surprised to see Millie dressed in an armor plated green trench coat, and a witch's hat. He had been wondering where she was, they had not seen each other since yesterday, so he was glad to see that she was uninjured.
"Millie, hey," he greeted, "Listen we need your guys help carrying these wounded to the tents, they got messed up pretty badly."
"But of course," Millie boastfully answered, "Leave it to us. After all it won't be very proper of us to leave our allies to die, would it?"
"Yeah…sure," Terry awkwardly smiled, "Anyway thanks."
Terry and the others managed to carry the injured through the battlefield safely and not encounter the Harbinger. Terry had to admit he was surprised at how well the assault team was handling the demon. Despite how many injured there were, they were still in this fight, and were not giving up anytime soon. After leaving the tents, he nodded to Millie and her squad.
"Alright thanks Millie," Terry said, "We won't have been able to get those guys to safety without you and your team."
"I-It was nothing," Millie shyly answered, "Anyway we must return to the battle."
"Terry?" a familiar voice called out, Terry was shocked to find that it was Gina.
"Gina?" Terry stated, "Damn I forgot you were called into service too."
"What is that supposed to mean?" She frustratingly asked
"Nothing," he defended, "I literally just forgot, sorry."
"Hm, anyway," Gina pouted, "I'm acting as messenger for our forces…"
"And?" Terry asked
"The Lunar girl," she explained, "She wanted me to ask you if you had read the book last night."
"We're in the middle of a battle," Terry stated, "Why would she waste time asking me about this?"
"I don't know," Gina exclaimed, "I'm just relaying a message. So did you or not?"
"Yeah I did," he answered, "But I don't see how that-"
"EVERYONE DOWN!" Terry only saw for a brief moment a giant burst of energy speeding towards the tents. And everything went white.
Terry groaned and saw everyone around him unconscious, but his eyes were set on both Gina and Millie. Both of them laid tattered, bruised, and their hands smoking from magic burn out. Instantly, Terry felt his frustration surge, and he turned his gaze to the Harbinger.
"I'm done being of the defense." Terry growled, as he took out his sword and charged.
"Vortic!" Terry shouted, casting the illusion of a tornado where the recently wounded Knights laid, and the demon backed away hesitant. Finally having had enough of just sitting on the sidelines, Terry unsheathed his sword and charged, ignoring the shouts of protest.
"Fuglur!" He shouted, casting illusions of lightning blots striking the ground before the demon, causing it again to back away mistaking the illusions for reality. Seeing his chance, Terry jumped onto the demon's leg and began to climb up to his face. He readied his sword to pierce the demon's right eye, but was merely knocked to the side as it jerked its head.
"Damn it!" Terry angrily thought, "We're no where near getting close to defeating it! Damn it! I thought if I hung back, and observed I'd be able to find its weakness. But from what I can see there is nothing! Damn it! Why the hell would the Goddess…..Wait…In the old transcripts, it said that in the beginning there was only the Goddess, who created the surface, and the Demon Mistress. The Goddess created life that desire peace, and the Demon Mistress created creatures that desired destruction! Which means…this Harbinger isn't a creation of the Goddess! So the rules of not interfering with a living things body, doesn't apply! All I have to do is make it waste the magic that was used to summon it, and then wipe it out! Thank you Lauren you beautiful dark mage you!" He smirked victoriously, as he snapped his fingers, casting an illusion of himself, while simultaneously turning himself invisible, and then using Writer's Grace, summoned his Gentleman Black attire. He positioned himself, to make it seemed that he, Gentleman Black, had just saved Terry, the illusion, from falling to his death.
"Well," a proper voice rang out, "This lad is either extremely brave or dense as a rock." Everyone was shocked to see that Gentleman Black, who was standing on a floating flat rock, was holding Terry.
"That's," Nora gasped, "Gentleman Black."
"I told you that I wouldn't leave you to fight this alone didn't I?" He asked, "I was just caught up making some preparations, and lost track of time. Apologies love."
"Hey let me go!" his illusion shouted, "I almost had it!"
"Sorry lad," Black mocked, "But I'm afraid this is no place for an illusionist. So I will be sending you somewhere safe, ta ta."
"Gentleman Black!" Nora shouted, "You dare-"
"Hold that thought love," he interrupted, then pointed his cane to the sky, "The sky's above you shall strike without mercy!" In a blink of an eye, storm clouds appeared above the demon, and lightning began to strike the Harbinger
"This beast was summoned using dark magic," Black explain, "I can't interfere with the magic that brought it to this world, but if you can make it exhaust that magic, then I can take it from there."
"And how would you suggest we do that?" Nora demanded
"Keep attacking it," Black answered, "It's using the magic that brought it here to heal itself, but if we make it waste it all, then it will only be able to use it's own magic. And then I'll be able to tear it apart."
"We will only assist you if you promise something," Nora
"And what pray tell might that be?"
"Return Terrance when the fight is done!"
"I was already planning on that love," Black smirked, "What kind of hero would I be if I went around kidnapping people? "
"I wouldn't say you're a hero."
"As long as you return Terry," Lauren said, "I don't care what you call yourself."
"Well then madam in that case," Black grinned, "I can assure you that, I'll return him once this whole issue is taken care of."
"Now shall we give this bloke a good thrashing?"
"Charge!" Nora yelled
"Brilliant." Black chuckled, as he followed behind Nora, and turned the wood in his cane to a silver blade. The Harbinger caught sight of them, and roared; suddenly crimson energy began to randomly strike the ground, on a path to meet the chargers. Black slid on his heels, pointed his cane's mystic orb toward the surges, muttered under his breath, and suddenly transparent hexagon titles appeared overhead the chargers. The energy surges angrily and fruitlessly cracked against the hexagons. Nora shot a questioning look to Black, merely tipped his hat to her.
"Do not fret over those attacks," Black said, "I'll ensure they won't do any serious damage." Nora still gave him an uncertain look, but continued forward, and ordered everyone to attack at once. Within an instant, lightning, fire, energy, and weapons filled the air, and connected with the demon. It screeched in pain, and then its eyes shined purple, and a strong gust of wind flowed from its body. Without hesitation, Black created a stonewall to block the wind, however it was torn apart by the wind, and sent everyone skidding across the ground. Black slowly rose to his feet, and tightly gripped his cane.
"Damn it," he muttered, "You'll have to better than that!" He flicked his cane towards the demon, summoned a hundred blades, and sent them flying into the Harbinger's body. It roared as it felt the cold metal pierced its skin, and set its sights on Gentleman Black, then roared again as if to mock him.
"Just wait you bloke," Black weakly grinned, "I humbly speak to the goddess of this world, hear my voice. Have the sky you shaped, strike this beast with its wrath." Instantly, storm clouds appeared above the Harbinger, and three bolts of lighting crashed onto the beast; along with all the blades that had pierced its skin. Sending waves of electricity through the monster's body, and it to paint the air with pained screeches.
"There is more where that-" Black was cut off by another gust of wind, sending him crashing a five yards backwards.
"Miss Lunar," She called out, "I require your assistance to bring this beast to it's knees."
"Understood Pendragon." Lauren replied, and positioned her staff before her, and Black saw Nora dismiss the sword she had been using, and call forth a black and gold sword hilt. He could feel his brows curl in curiosity, but it melted away when she held it in front of her face, and closed her eyes.
"I charge into battle," Nora chanted, "Brushing aside the taunts of danger. For I am knight, so I shall not hesitate."
"In the darkness," Lauren's voice echoed, "There is a name whispered amongst the shadows, a name which can destroy the will of those bare sin. I demand the power of thou's name; Ivory Thorn." Suddenly, black marks began to appear on the Harbinger's skin, it roared in pain. Upon closer inspection, the marks looked like thorn vines.
"Hesitation does not exist with bravery," Nora continued, "And so I humbly ask for your power, Conserivle, divine sword of the lost heroes." A golden energy shot from the hilt, then took the shape of the blade of a broadsword, and gold markings began to appear on Nora's face; and golden crowns formed on the black of her eyes.
"This is your end monster," Nora announced, "Return from the hell you came from."
"Your blood will freeze," Black casted, "And try to escape your body."
"It's almost finished," Terry thought, "Just one more blow should finish it. But who can deliver it? Using Grace this much is starting to put a strain on my body. Nora's exhausted, Millie's too injured, and Lauren has been knocked out. Not to mention all the other student's have been beaten around too much. So….well I guess I could do it…after all…can't let this alter ego take all the credit."
"Madam Pendragon," Black called out, "I'm afraid that I might be breaking that promise from earlier." Before she could question him, he created a portal and "Terry" fell out. Using another double illusion, and invisibility spell, Terry switched places with his first illusion self.
"Uh…" Terry's fake groaned, "What the-?"
"Smashing you're awake," his illusion greeted, "We are short on time, so listen up chap. The demon you fought earlier, we have weaken it by a large amount, but its still up and about."
"How does-?" Terry faked his confusion, and followed his illusion as it "gripped" his collar and brought him closer.
"That's where you come in," it explained, "You get to be the lucky sod who kills the demon. Its weak enough to the point where just a few cuts with a sword should kill it."
"Why can't you do this?" Terry demanded
"Afraid that I'm worn out," the illusion said, "So that's where you come in. Now go on, lad, we're all waiting."
"Fine," Terry faked a sigh, "Put I lost my-"
"Here," the illusion manifested a sword and handed it to him, "Should do you just fine." Terry took the sword, stood to face the Harbinger, and felt his body tense as he saw the demon's eyes glowing, focused solely on him. He swallowed a lump in his throat, and started walking towards it. Behind him he could hear several voices telling him to run away, but he chose to ignore them, along with the fear licking at his mind. Despite being brave facing the Harbinger as Gentleman Black, that was because he was playing a character, using powers that would not fail. But he was not as confident in his own natural abilities, but none of that mattered now. He gradually broke into a sprint, and the demon roared, throwing energy his way, and just managing to avoid the full force of the attack, Terry got clipped on his right arm. He could feel something warm trickling down his arm, but ignored it and kept going. Eventually, Terry made it close enough to the Harbinger, then climb and jumped up the blades in its skin; each step causing the demon to wail in agony. He made sure to grab another sword, and held it backhand style. Finally, Terry jumped towards the Harbinger's left eye, and stuck his blade through the organ, and held on for dear life, as the demon bucked around in pain. Impatiently, Terry stabbed the second sword into the eye, and began to alternate with both swords. After awhile the demon's movements became weaker and weaker, until finally it stopped all at once, and collapse. Sending Terry crashing to the ground, and despite the pain he felt, he smiled. He managed to actually do it.
"Well," he muttered, "Guess my luck doesn't suck completely." He smiled wider and passed out.
Terry found that his eyelids were heavy, as he tried to force them open, and it took a minute for him to register that it was getting dark. His whole body felt heavy, especially his shoulders, and he could feel that he was wrapped in bandages. Despite this he could tell that a blanket had been draped over him, and that he was on a very wide medical bed. But he could not figure out why his shoulders felt so heavy.
"Damn," he muttered, "How long have I been out for?"
"Terry!" He turned his head slightly to see both Nora and Millie rushing into the medical tent, both dressed in bandages, and wore a concerned look on their faces.
"Oh it's you guys," Terry greeted, "What happened?"
"You finished off the demon," Nora bluntly said, "Of course we had to wear it down first, but still…You killed it."
"Forget about that Nora," Millie exclaimed, "Terry how do you feel?"
"Don't know," Terry replied, "Never killed a demon before."
"I was asking how you feel physically?!" Millie demanded
"Oh that," Terry answered, "Yeah, other than feeling a little heavy, I'm fine. But what about Gina is she alright?"
"She's fine," Nora answered, "The healers fixed her up and sent her home. She wasn't to happy, but she eventually gave in."
"Well that's good to hear." Terry sighed.
"Thank goddess," Millie mutter under her breath, "That you're alright."
"Anyway," Terry continued, "Mind telling me why I'm in such a big medical bed?"
"Healer Elisa got it for you," Nora answered, "She said it would maximize you're recovery."
"Did she now?" Terry asked, "And just where is she?"
"Now that you mention it," Nora trailed off, "I haven't seen her in a while. Maybe she went home? But why would she do that without telling us you were better?"
"I have a strong feeling that I know why." Terry groaned as he struggled to raise his arms and throw the blanket off. Once it was removed, it revealed Terry shirtless, and both Elisa and Lauren sleeping on his shoulders.
"You've got to be kidding me."
"Terrance!" Nora exclaimed with a blush, "Wh-Wh-What is this?! Explain yourself! NOW!"
"Hey cut me some slack," he exclaimed back from reflex, "I just woke up! I had no idea these two were here! Or why they're doing this!"
"Mm-mm, keep it down," Elisa groaned, "You'll wake Terry, and he needs his rest."
"Hmmm," Lauren hummed, "So warm."
"Both of you wake up right now!" Nora shouted, "And explain yourselves."
"Well…" Elisa chuckled, "You told me to have him fixed up as quickly as possible, so while you and Melanie were gone, I crawled up next him, and used a healing indication. And I guess I fell asleep."
"I'll come back to you in a second," Nora glared, "But I still don't understand why Miss Lunar was also in his bed."
"I was tired," Lauren said flatly, "And I thought it would be fun to sleep on him. He was very comfy."
"H-How, can you justify those actions?!" Nora blushed, "They are very unbecoming of-"
"Are you done yet?" Lauren asked, "Cause you're starting to really bore me."
"And on that note," Terry broke the silence, "I'm going to grab my shirt and head home."
"Is that safe for him Elisa?" Nora asked, "How is his condition?"
"Well he did have a twisted ankle, and fractured wrist, shoulder," Elisa listed off, "Normally it would take the body months to fully recover from that. However, since I was the one healing him, he should be fine as long as he doesn't put any stress on bones, for about three weeks."
"Thank you," Terry nodded, "Now then I'm going home to sleep….that is if my dorm wasn't destroyed?"
"It is still standing don't worry," Lauren said, "That Gentleman Black guy helped us keep the demon contained so only the school was damaged."
"Right," Terry trailed off, "Speaking of which what happened to him?"
"I'm not sure," Nora answered, "After you killed the Harbinger, it would seem that he disappeared. But I doubt it will be the last we see of him."
"I see," Terry muttered, "Well I'll be on my way." He snapped his fingers and disappeared, and before anyone could utter the counter spell, he made a b-line for the exit.
The Next Day
Oracle Academy Main building
Terry looked down the hall, or what remained undamaged from the fight with the Harbinger, and felt…nothing. Yes, he did feel bad that things got out of hand, but he did not regret his actions. Sure a good deal of the Academy had been destroyed, but it was better than it being fully decimated, with both students and staff listed as casualties. People should be grateful for that, but knowing the students here, more than half of them were going to complain about this. He would probably be one of them, depending on what the staff had planned to adjust the classes. Which is where he was heading currently, the headmistress had sent word that all students were to meet in the auditorium, to be explained about the changes the school would be undergoing until the repairs were finished. He sighed, for some reason he could not shake this feeling of gloom hanging over him.
"Welcome students," Headmistress Brita Edmond greeted, "You all have classes that need your attention, so I will keep this very brief. Due to the damages from the battle yesterday, no longer will we be able to teach each individual class of magic user, instead we placed you into various groups of twenty-eight, each of these group will be taught by seven different instructors, and you will all have to stay in one classroom until your group's scheduled combat training hour. The lists of groups, classrooms, and schedules have been placed under your seats. Please state your name to the list, and it will show you your designated class." Almost instantly, every student reached under their seat, and found a sheet of paper, with nothing but the Academy logo. Terry shrugged, stated his name, and watched as the logo on his softly began to glow, and slowly letters began to appear on the sheet.
"Hmm," he hummed, "Neat." He quickly glanced over his sheet, finding his classroom was E305, in the East Wing, he could not find his instructors names, but the name of his classmates made his eyes wide: Nora Pendragon, Melanie Crownwell, Lauren Lunar, Gina Williams, and Elisa Clarabelle. He somehow felt that compared to fighting the Harbinger that this new class will be more difficult.
Terry made it to the class a good three minutes before the bell went off, he was relieved to find that there was only one other person here. Because he instantly took a seat in the back, and leaned back with a sigh.
"So this is my classroom," he softly sighed, "Well I've got time before first hour." He yawned as closed his eyes, still feeling exhausted from the battle yesterday. He began to wonder about yesterday, during all the confusion of fighting the Harbinger, he never once thought of the important question; who had summoned it? There was no way a single person had the strength to summon a demon on that scale. Summoning anything would take a tremendous amount of magic, so much that it would leave a person in a weaken state, and that is only for small-scale spirits/entities like animals or dead human warriors. To something larger, you would either need more than one person. So just-
"And just what is this?" An annoyed voice rang above him, slowly opening his eyes, he sees Nora with a slight scowl on her face.
"Did I do something wrong?" Terry deadpanned, "Cause last I checked resting my eyes wasn't against the rules, until after the bell rang."
"That's not it," she gritted her teeth, "What I want to know is why you are behaving in such a lazed manor? Has that victory over the demon gone to your head?"
"No," he casually answered, "In fact that is why I was resting my eyes. I'm still wiped from the battle."
"Well..I, uh," Nora stuttered, "Regardless you should-"
"Please stop bothering him Miss Pendragon," Lauran said from behind, "You're only making him more tired."
"Miss Lunar," Nora blushed, "I don't recall asking for your opinion on this matter."
"You didn't," Lauran plainly said, "But I don't like the way you're harassing my Terry?"
"Your Terry?!" Nora repeated
"Yeah," Terry chimed in, "Your Terry?' I didn't realize I became someone property."
"What's going on here," Gina asked, "Terry why is that you seem to be the center of trouble?"
"Good question." Terry replied, "Oh I almost forgot, Gina how are you?"
"Eh, what do you mean?" Gina blushed
"Your injuries," he explained, "I was told they sent you home, so how are you holding up."
"I-I'm just fine," Gina proudly said, "It would take more than that to keep me down."
"Sureee," Terry mentally rolled his eyes, "Just try to not over work yourself okay?" Before she could argue, the door opened and blue longhaired woman entered, wearing a black suit, white shirt, and black pants and shoes. She placed herself behind the desk at the front of the room.
"Everyone please find a seat," the woman announced, "Well find a seat!" Everyone still standing scrambled to find themselves a seat, and wore nervous looks.
"Good," she smirked, "My name is Eleanor Michaels, and I am your first hour instructor. Now before we go over any of the rules, I'll have you all know that we had a new transfer student. Come on, in and introduce yourself kid."
Sorry for the cliffhanger but this chapter is long enough as it is, and I feel that you will all be surprised by the new student, so that'll be a whole new chapter on it's own. Anyway, i hope you enjoyed the chapter, and the story thus far. Please favorite, follow, or review cause every little bit helps. I'll see you guys next time. Later.