Delst took another glance at the city. Even without reference of other cities, he could tell this place was truly something. Then, in the distance, a figure caught his eyes. "Hmm...what's that?" He tried to get a closer look, but the figure was too far even for his vision. Either that, or shrouded in something. "Leviathan, do you see that?" He pointed in the direction of the mysterious entity.
The figure's cloak and robes were a bright white with a gold trim, the same was true for the hood she had over her head, which was slightly star-shaped around a bright orange coloured mask with curved silver portions around it. At their chest were two straps that had several rings clicked onto it, and at their waist was a silver belt that was adorned with a familiar phoenix symbol; overall, they had an appearance that emitted an aura of authority and power.
Leviathan backed up upon seeing this figure. "Hold on...that's...!" She was completely tongue-tied- it had been nearly two centuries since she'd seen this enigmatic person last.
Delst found this a tad amusing, and couldn't resist chuckling. "Are you alright, Leviathan?" He asked through his own stifled laughter. For all of her arrogance, she was completely speechless. He turned an eye back towards the figure off in the distance. "Hmm...it's coming this way."
Leviathan smacked her large wing down at Delst, trying to get him to bow. "Be more courteous, fleshbag! You're in the vicinity of the legendary Phoenix Knight." She also ducked slightly, continuing, "The Phoenix Knight was the one who single-handedly stopped the First War of Drivers a million years ago- where an ancient king harnessed the power of Varian in his magical belt and became the Galaxy King, waging war across Earth Land. The Phoenix Knight, all by themself, stopped the war, freeing the neighbouring countries and killing the ancient king. Since then, the Phoenix Knight has revealed themselves only in mankind's darkest hours- they've healed many villagers from countless injuries and illnesses! And yet they're here, to be in front of me..."
Surprisingly, the Phoenix Knight raised their left hand casually, waving slightly. "Yo, you giant white lizard with wings." To expect a legendary being to be so informal was just impression-shattering.
"I see no reason to bow." Delst said simply, ducking Leviathan's wings before straightening himself out. "I'm glad to see she's allied with the side of good, but I won't bow to simply anyone." He turned towards the Phoenix Knight, and was actually glad to hear she was more informal than Leviathan seemed to think. "It's nice to meet you." He extended a gloved hand in greeting.
The Phoenix Knight extended her hand in return, grasping it lightly while shaking it. "It's about damn time somebody said that. A friend of mine comes from a country where bowing is a form of greeting. It's like people are constantly greeting me. Anyway, I've come from a place where everyone is using a sophisticated device to talk to each other from immesurable distances...however, they only use them to get into fights and look at cats. That isn't the point."
Leviathan backed up a fair bit, mumuring, "I never expected the legendary Phoenix Knight to be like this."
"The point is that you're destined for great things." The Phoenix Knight suddenly informed Delst.
Delst eyed her curiously, raising an eyebrow. He could already tell that, in the company of himself, this strange person, and a dragon, the two people were the strangest in the group. He could feel waves of power coming from this woman, comparable to the energy he felt within his own body in fact ― no, possibly even more. "Great things, you say? How so?" He figured he may as well explain his situation. "I don't exactly have any memory of my name, or past. The only thing I can remember is magic. What "great" things can I do?"
"The great thing IS your magic. Or rather, a future magic that you discover later on. I'm not going to tell you when you find that magic...because I can't interfere with past events thanks to some damn clause, other than it's going to be possibly very soon." The Phoenix Knight backed up all of a sudden, continuing, "And with that magic, you'll create an all-new dimension where those who seek refuge stay."
"I'm going go create...a new world?" Now it was Delst's turn to be speechless, and in his head he was stumbling over a response however, he couldn't think of anything. "I...I don't think I have any sort of power like that." He said lamely. Delst didn't, however, believe he could do what she said, it sounded too impossible.
The Phoenix Knight just began to walk off- not answering any more other than "Expect to learn the magic very soon. And in the next few minutes, you'll learn how to avoid the biggest mistake that's wrong with both worlds currently."
Leviathan tried to scratch her head with her large wing, only to strike herself in the head. "She never really seems to answer in full."
Delst scratched his head, looking at the woman's departing form with a look of pure and utter confusion. "I have to say, I can't really understand her." He sat down for a moment, resting his head into his palm, thinking. "I'm thrown into this new world...and suddenly she says I'm going to have a great destiny." He shut his eyes, as if trying to block everything out. "What use am I going to have...? She never said everything, and now I have to figure out her cryptic warning when I'm already trying to figure out something as basic as who I am!"
Leviathan let out a deep sigh, muttering something along the lines of "The Phoenix Knight is complicated. They're like a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, sealed with obscurity, and shipped through a shady postal service." She turned to Delst, "I suppose you'll find a way...besides, there's a Lost Magic which can create things..."
"There is?" Delst looked up at her, relieved. Perhaps she knew it, and could teach him? "What is it? Can you tell me?"
"Arc of Embodiment." Leviathan continued, "It's an amazing magic that allows the user to utilize the power of imagination to manifest their thoughts into reality. However...it's known to be incredibly rare."
"I take it you only know of the magic in theory then?" Delst, who had seemed hopeful for a moment, had that feeling dashed by that crushing realization.
"I know how to obtain it. I am aware of where you can learn it." Leviathan took a deep sigh, realizing what she had to do- and she wasn't fond of it, at all. "...Do you want to head there now?"
"That depends." Delst shrugged. "What do you want to do? It's not like you're my mount, you're my companion — and you don't sound too eager to go to wherever it is I can learn this magic." He swallowed his disappointment, deciding he didn't want to make Leviathan uncomfortable. "Would you prefer we put it off for awhile?"
"No, it's fine." Leviathan shook her head- as she extended her wing, manifesting a cyan cube brimming with magical power. However, all of a sudden, she retracted her wing. "...Hold on. I'm feeling an odd aura."
An ominous presence crept closer as the sky became tinted in crimson- several tornadoes and thunderclouds formed- it seemed like a scene from the end of the world.; as an eight-headed, serpentine beast with numerous tentacles and red eyes; it was composed of pure darkness leapt from a wormhole, one of it's many draconic heads staring straight at the duo with it's toothy maw.
"What the hell!?" Delst reacted on reflex, grabbing Leviathan and, with surprising strength, hurled her into the air, and thus, away from the beast. In hindsight, she most likely would have been able to defend herself, but Delst's body kind of just...moved. "Hup!" From his back sprouted two large skeletal hands, which extended their palms to block the head, the force of the blow forcing him to skid backwards. "Dammit, that's strong! What the hell is this!?"
"...How did he throw me?" That was the only thing going through Leviathan's head as she spread her wings, bringing her movements to a halt. "...That's something you don't see every day."
The demon let out a simple roar- shattering the hands almost instantly. Snarling at Delst, the beast lunged forward with four of it's heads moving towards him in a spiraling pattern.
Delst leapt into the air, the head missing him by inches, the gust of air that resulted pushing him yet higher until was level in the air with Leviathan. "Leviathan...what is this thing?"
"It's the Planet-Eating Beast Varian. I can't believe you can't tell it's Varian." She paused, contuining, "Well, I didn't exactly give you visuals, but you can just tell it's it. I mean, demonic figure, multiple heads, something out of your nightmares."
Delst latched onto her back for a moment, to keep himself from falling as he eyed the strange beast, which seemed to get getting a fix on his location. "So that's Varian..." Delst shuddered. The power coming from this thing was utterly foul, and it's appearance wasn't much better. Trying to talk to it didn't seem to be an option. "Guess I have to fight it." He leapt from Leviathan's back, turning back towards her as he fell. "Leviathan, I know you can probably fight, but try and keep yourself safe instead!" He turned back towards Varian, manifesting a katana in his head, pointing it downwards at the skull of one of the heads, intending to pierce it.
Varian retracted it's heads all of a sudden, evading his strike, jerking backwards as darkness gathered in one of it's many mouths, before releasing a powerful tornado of dark energy towards Delst. The blast shot out towards the sea, parting it as a tidal wave began to manifest.
Leviathan, however, ignored Delst's warnings. "Roar!" Releasing a highly destructive burst of white light towards one of Varian's heads, her attack had managed to destroy it...only for Varian's head to instantly regenerate- not only that, but two more grew from the stump.
Delst's eyes widened as dodged propelled himself with a burst of magic, dodging the strike of magical energy fired by Varian. As annoyed as he was that Leviathan had put herself into the thick of things; the more pressing problem however was Varian's regeneration. Delst descended to the ground, gritting his teeth. "So it can regenerate..." He sighed. Why did this seem so typical? "Leviathan! Try that again! I have an idea!"
Leviathan nodded as she charged up light in her mouth, before unleashing an all-consuming beam of energy towards Varian's heads once more- aiming to strike straight down the center of the twin heads which had just generated from the previous attack.
Delst bent his legs, leaping straight into the air, and took a deep breath. The moment Leviathan's attack split the two heads of Varian, Delst expelled a mighty burst of flames, the powerful stream raining down the wounds.
Letting out a mighty roar, it seemed that Varian was gravely wounded by this strike...however, that was nothing but a simple ruse. The beast snarled viciously- as it regrew it's heads without any damage done to it, seemingly if it was completely invulnerable. Varian's other heads blasted towards Delst, aiming to knocking him out cold through sheer pressure...
"That should have worked!" Delst thought in frustration. Bursting forth in an explosion of magical power, Delst manifested the full demonic entity; the very same he had used against Mr. E. The creature extended it's four thick arms, producing a barricade against Varian's heads. "This is much more difficult than I thought..."
Varian's body became shrouded in dark energy- as it formed a shield around it's body- from that barrier, arose a powerful surge of darkness which shot forth- while not at full power in this environment, it was capable of clashing violently with Delst's demonic entity's barrier, causing an explosion that darkened the skies ever more.
As the explosion's dust cleared, four giant arms fell to the ground, shattered, the pieces crackling with dark power. Delst gritted his teeth, glaring at Varian as the demonic entity around his body vanished. "Leviathan! I think a retreat is in order!" Delst called to his flying partner.
Leviathan nodded immediately. "Got it!" She suddenly descended, dropping to the ground and beckoning for Delst to hop on her back. "Let's vamoose."
Interestingly enough, the moment that Leviathan and Delst decided to leave, Varian immediately turned around and began to dissapear...
"...It's like it didn't even see us." Leviathan theorized, "Varian only appeared when the Phoenix Knight shortly left and vanished a few minutes after. Do you think that it wants to fight the Phoenix Knight?"
"That might have been it..." Delst murmured, casting an eye at the fading Varian. "We must not even register, compared to that woman. Varian; Demon of the Abyss...there can be nothing like you, or your spawn, in the world I will create." He clenched his hand against the diamond hide of Leviathan's neck. "Leviathan....let's go to where I learn that magic. The Arc of Embodiment."
Leviathan flew overhead a volcanic area- looking down, the dragon explained to Delst, "This is the volcanoes of Earth Land. Legend says that if you visit, then soon enough, a powerful Lost Magic; one of the Arcs will manifest in you. In your case, I'm guessing that it will be Arc of Embodiment."
"You guess?" Delst asked, surprised. "Should we really be leaving this all to a random chance?" It was a bit humorous how he was more worried about whether or not he'd get the magic than the fact that he was going to have to go into a volcano.
"No, there's a lot more to it. That's the best I can sum it up as." Leviathan growled in a low tone more befitting a dragon. "Look, I can't properly sum it up besides that. Oh, and there's a lava dragon that gives you the magic. I know, I know. I'm not good at explaining things. Just go in." About five seconds later, Leviathan was contemplating dropping Delst down.
Delst stood up, looking down at the volcano without any sign of apprehension. "Hey Leviathan...I hate to sound insecure, but, will you be here when I come out?"
"Depends." Leviathan looked away, as she prepared to drop Delst into the volcano, almost tempted to just leave him to drown in lava. Truth be told she wanted to just see that; she found it amusing. "I'm timing you on my watch." She looked up at her wing. "It's feather past a green patch. Post-haste."
"Then let's descend." Delst took a long, deep breath. He felt more at ease, knowing she'd be out here, waiting. "I know I can do this."
Leviathan almost immediately swirled around so that she was belly-side up in the air, before shaking violently like a dog after a bath. "And off you go!"
"Whoah!" Delst gasped as he felt his body shoved off by the force of the dragon. The winds began to rush around his body as he began to fall, mentally cursing Leviathan. "...Wait, it's starting to get hot..." He had been so busy grumbling to himself he hadn't noticed Leviathan had shaken him off right above the lava pool. "..Oh this isn't gonna be good." Delst thought dryly.
However, the lava quickly subsided- in a few seconds at most, all there was left was a hollow cavern for Delst to dive into- it would be completely harmless for him now. A voice echoed, "I will give you an hour until the lava returns to my home. Speak and enter."
Delst crashed into the cold stone ground within seconds, proceeding to dust himself off and stand up. "That was much better." He thought to himself, and looked around. "Speak and enter..." He murmured. "I've come to learn!" He called out, hearing his voice echo back in the darkness of the mountain cavern.
"Very well." The voice responded; a small shine radiated from the volcano, enveloping Delst in a flash of light- forcibly pulling him via some sort of magnetism- or rather, the magical aura of the mysterious voice was dragging Delst to it's location; launching him around the stalagmites and molten lava which was still stuck in the volcano.
Delst didn't fight it; in fact, he sighed with resignation as the light dragged him forward. "I have a feeling I'm going to reach the point where nothing surprises me very soon."
"It gets to that point, boy." The ominous voice echoed; it seemed that for all of it's mysteriousness, it had a bit of snark on it; then again, everyone else in this world seemed to be rather sarcastic. "You are almost at your destination."
Delst felt himself began to descend, his feet landing on rock. "It's getting hot again..." He muttered, and his eyes were drawn to an orange glow. The man gasped as he a large pool of magma down below, simmering red and orange, the colours dancing on the rock walls. "What is this place...?"
"It's my home." The voice echoed- as a draconic being stepped out; it was bipedial, and had a unique crimson head and snout and had yellow eyes without pupils, had a pair of pointed light orange horns on its head and a yellow crest on its skull. The dragon's neck was long and black in colour with lines running around its whole body, legs, arms and tail. It had two arms, each with its own claw and each arm was jointed together from its crimson oddly shaped wings; possessing two stakes of flame each- it possessed tendril-like appendages on it's back. The right side of its body seemed to be damaged in some way, as the wing and horn on its head on that side were shorter; the right side of its head also had a spiked edge near its jaw hinge that was absent from its left. Its legs were somewhat slender, and had three sharp flame-like claws on each enormous foot. Its tail had three red flame-shaped spikes on its tip. "My name is Vulcanus, the Wise Volcanic Dragon."
Delst's eyes widened as he took in the sheer magnitude of the beast that stood before him. Unlike Leviathan, Vulcanus was very much awe-inspiring, and seemed to command a sort of respect. "...I daresay I've finally reached that point." Delst said, realising that there probably wasn't anything left to surprise him now. "It's nice to meet you, Vulcanus. My name...or at least what I call myself for the moment...is Yasuragi! As I said before, I've come here to learn from you."
"You wish to learn the Arc of Embodiment, correct?" The dragon wheezed- his lava breath slightly contaminating the air; as he held out his small claw, generating a emerald sphere upon it. "Then take this."
Delst eyed the sphere suspiciously. "I hate to sound ungrateful, but I can't." He waved the sphere off, and looked directly in the dragon's mangled face. "That wouldn't be right. Especially now..." He looked down at his body. "I haven't a clue who I am. I have all this power, and like I am now, I've done nothing to deserve it. I don't want to continue something like that. Is there not something I can do instead? To prove myself worthy to take this power?"
Vulcanus nodded. "You have chosen wisely. If you were a...less charitable man, then you would be reduced to a molten statue." He chuckled, "Humans have the strange habit of turning into molten statues here. Very well! I shall give you two tests. One, is to find the Magma Stone buried within this volcano. Two, you will find out."
"Find a rock buried among rocks..." Delst frowned. "That will be difficult indeed..." He sighed, placing a gloved hand to his forehead. "I'll do it." He didn't even need to ask for a time limit. Vulcanus explicitly stated he had an hour before the magma returned in full force. "A Magma Stone..." Delst took a seat, mulling it over.
"I will give you a hint. So open those ears of yours." Vulcanus let out a deep sigh, taking care not to turn his area into molten lava. "...The stone is where you least suspect it. Think very carefully, but do not fool around, as there's only an hour left. Time is ticking, boy."
"Where I would least expect it..." Delst repeated. To be honest, this entire area wasn't the most likely suspect, but if he ever had to guess what he would expect, it would be among the rocks. 'To hide a tree, put it in a forest.', or so it went. But the most unlikely place in this cavern...that had to be it. "I don't like to toss out something in case I'm wrong but...the Magma Stone is underneath you isn't it?" Delst declared, gesturing to Vulcanus. "You're where I would least suspect; I'd be so busy combing the cavern itself, I'd overlook you, Vulcanus."
"You seem to be smarter than the average human." Vulcanus sneered in a rather arrogant manner- right now, his dragon side was showing. All dragons held a large superiority complex towards humans- even the ones who had allied with humanity were arrogant as all get-out. "Do you think that I would cheat you out of the stone?"
"Of course not!" Delst insisted, stung by that remark. "It wasn't a matter of cheating me out; you wanted to test what I could see, if I would only look for the obvious and ignore what was in front of me." He sighed. "I'm not fond of being compared to other humans. Now...I don't suppose you'll just move so I can reach that stone, are you? Am I going to have to make you move?"
"You can try." Vulcanus snorted arrogantly- as he focused the power in his hind legs, engraving himself firmly in place; he would not yield, no matter what. "Try your best, human."
"I'm apologise for having to attack." Delst did what seemed natural; an opponent he had no ill will towards deserved an apology in the least. He closed his eyes, breathing in. The memories of magic came flooding to him; he wished he could remember his past more than his magic, but dwelling on that bitterness now wasn't going to help. Sweeping his hand along the air, he summoned a thin katana. "Forgive me for this." Delst began to channel magical energy into his blade; the metal became imbued with the heavy power Delst layered onto it, and then it condensed onto the blade, giving it the appearance of a vibrating light weapon. "Haō Ensatsuken!" He swung the blade, releasing the pent up energy in one large burst; slicing through space, releasing a torrent of magical energy from the blade.
Vulcanus merely sighed, impressed by Delst's thinking. He relented, lightening up as he deliberately allowed Delst to achieve his goal. "...You're pretty smart, human."
Delst winced as the technique he had just used cut the air, exploding and creating a swirling wormhole. As quickly as it formed, however, it sealed itself, and Delst sighed in relief. Impudent as it may have been, he'd held back on that strike; he hadn't wanted to do much of any damage to Vulcanus if he could avoid it. He walked over towards a small glowing light, and bent down, inspecting it. Lying on the ground was a jagged, orange stone, glowing softly and letting off a calming heat. "This is the Magma Stone..." He muttered, entranced, he reached down and picked it up.
Vulcanus was half-tempted to turn Delst into molten magma, but stopped himself. It seemed that all dragons had impulsive, violent tendacies that was left slumbering. "Very good." The Magma Stone began to crumble, revealing a pulsating orb with several runic letters surrounding it, which Vulcanus absorbed into his small claw. "Come closer, boy."
Delst obliged, stepping forward until he was looking directly upward at Vulcanus.
Vulcanus tapped Delst's head, as the orb which he had just absorbed flowed into Delst's magical aura; as Vulcanus imposed the words, "Manifest from thought." onto Delst. An unusual change had just happened.
Delst gasped, doubling over for a moment as if winded. "I just felt an...incredible surge of power..." The sudden jerking motion had caused his hair to fall over his face, giving him a temporarily deranged appearance. "I feel like I've gotten stronger; but it's more than that...something in the wind has changed."
"Indeed it has." Vulcanus snorted. "Now, I've set the lava to flow up in five minutes. You must leave straight away, and fulfill your destiny." An intense rumbling roared from the volcano, as piping-hot crimson "water" began to form.
"S-shit!" Delst stammered, taking a panicking look at the rising magma. "Vulcanus, thank you very much!" Delst took a moment to quickly bow before immediately taking off, trying to gain as much headway as he could. "I need light, I need to see some light...!" He could feel the heat rising as the magma began to pour in from all sides, as well as seep up from cracks in the ground; he was beginning to feel like a rat in a trap, when suddenly, he could see light peeking down from above, and realised the opening to the volcano was finally in sight. "Leviathan, I'm on my way!" Two large arms manifested, lifting Delst above the ground before simply flinging him straight up into the air. He broke into the sky...and then began to fall back down. "I really didn't think this through."
All of a sudden, a white light shone down into the volcano- illuminating the area, as Leviathan suddenly blasted the arms that Delst was manifesting away, before catching him on her back and flying straight out of there. "...It seems that Vulcanus is still a trickster. But he's getting a bit senile."
Delst sighed, but couldn't help chuckling. "Leviathan...I don't call setting molten rock on me to be 'senile'." He relaxed on her back, staring up at the clouds. "Either way...mission success!" He moved his hand above his face, the hand shimmering with a bright energy. "So...where to now?"
"We go...well." She paused, trying to think. "Didn't the Phoenix Knight say you need to fulfill your destiny? Then with the Arc of Embodiment, you can! You're supposed to make a new dimension!"
"Which is why it's best to see all of this world first." Delst pointed out. "I want to see as much as I can, so I know what to exclude from my new world...like Varian." He added darkly.
"That's good. Also, can you do me a favour?" She suddenly stopped in mid-air. "Exclude those fleshbags too." She chuckled darkly. "I kid, I kid. I'll put up with them, but if they start vanishing, don't look at me. Now, let's try and go to Four. I heard that they have tasty-looking- er, beautiful sheep."
Delst chuckled dryly. "Of course, of course. Also, Leviathan...thank you."