AS Empires #3: The Wyvern Knight

Aetherius Saga Empires (Large Emblem)

Previously on Aetherius Saga Empires…

Before the 270th set of Sages roamed Zeratal, the land was consumed in constant wars. No such greater war was waged than the one led by Pax Drakana. Led by Orcus the Drake Emperor, they carve a path of death and destruction in a quest for global conquest. Caim the Wyvern Knight, one of Orcus’ trusted generals, now wages a campaign against the Myurkyuria Shogunate…

Caim the Wyvern Knight

Pax Drakana General

Orcus the Drake Emperor

Pax Drakana Emperor

Eliezer the Aether Blade

Pax Drakana General

Shogun Shiranui
Lord of the Myurkyuria Shogunate

Several days ago, in the halls of Orcus’ castle that sat upon the floating Island Elysium. Caim roams the halls towards the throne room. There Orcus sat with Eliezer the Aether Blade to his left. But to his right was a peculiar man with pale skin, hollow black eyes, and ornate angular tattoos that covered his head and extended down to his face to form eyebrows. He was eerily thin to the point of being almost skeletal. His hands held in front of his lower abdomen in the shape of an upside-down pyramid. Despite his gangly form, the black nobles long coat he wore helped him appear somewhat normal. The gold trim lining it being more prominent at the eight bladelike trails that extended down to his ankles. White appearing across the chest in the shape of a cross and surrounded by the gold trim as well.

“I’ve returned my Emperor.” Caim says as he kneels before Orcus. His Lance rested on the floor next to him.

“Rise Caim, you need not bow before me.” Orcus orders as Caim grabs his lance and stands up straight. “Now, speak.”

“I’ve successfully liberated the Tree of Armon from the Kingdom of Orion. My Commander and several legions have remained to guard it for the time being.”

“Good work Caim.”

“And the Forest?” Eliezer inquires.

“Neither the Sage of Nature nor the Elementals have undone the damage done to it. It took considerable effort to reclaim the Tree of Armon without causing further damage to it. Were we to extend beyond its borders and attempt to reclaim the forest, we too must combat the Kingdom of Orion.”

“I see…” Eliezer replies disheartened.

“If I may.” The gangly pale make speaks in a soft mellow tone. Orcus nods and lets him speak. “My Emperor.” his tone raises and he speaks as if reciting to a congregation. “With your almighty power and divine will, we’ve more than enough strength to conquer the Highlanders. Though our numbers grow, it is a slow process. The lands we take are not always willing to join our forces. Let alone prove themselves worthy of your cause. I do not fault your ambition for a sweeping conquest but perhaps I’ve a solution to this predicament. The Myurkyurian Shogunate is the closest unclaimed territory. If we were to gain their aid…” his gaze shifts to Caim. “Would we not be able to choose a more favorable battlefield?” Although he wasn’t the physically most powerful of Pax Drakana’s generals, Atlas the Wraith was one of Orcus’ top advisors. Little is known of him or his species, only that they make up for their lack of physical and magical prowess with their intelligence.

“Would it be wise to split our forces even further?” Eliezer questions fearlessly.

“No, we wouldn’t need to do that.” Caim interjects. “I will gladly take Belial and claim the Myurkyurian Shogunate with only the two of us.”

“I must object to this.” Eliezer says with a fierce stare towards Caim. “He could not complete his mission to Poluyim and now he claims he can take the entirety of the Okaman Isles with only a Wyvern?”

“His passion for the Shogunate burns fiercely my Emperor. Yet it is tempered enough to not scald the hand that wields it.” Atlas notes while glances at Eliezer to his annoyance. It was clear Atlas was talking down to him yet there was little he could do about it.

“I assure you, I will claim the Shogunate in the name of Pax Drakana. I will rally their surviving forces under me and I will prepare for war with the Kingdom of Orion.”

“Are you prepared for the consequences should you fail?” Orcus asks in a sinister tone.

“I will gladly suffer any punishment you deem fit my Emperor.” Caim answers fearlessly.

“Very well then. You may do as you wish.”

“Thank you, my Emperor.”

In the present, Caim stands in the outer roads of Shoguns Castle which encompassed the whole island. The tower standing miles ahead of him on the opposite side of an army of hundreds of samurai and workers. As he takes one step forward the group of 8 Samurai that stood several feet in front of him take a step back. Archers slowly beginning to file in behind them and on the rooftops. Each ready to fire the second he approached.

“Slow…” Caim thought as he leaped towards the first group of samurai in a single bound. He spends to his right, using his tail to trip all of the samurai. As he makes the return spin he lowers his lance to the ground, carves through their chests with ease before they could hit the floor.

“FIRE!” One of the Samurai calls out as the archers’ fire in unison. Their arrows blotting out the sky.

Caim simply spins his lance overhead like a tornado and destroys the arrows that would’ve hit him. In his peripheral vision, he sees another Samurai trying to sneak up on him. He performs a downward swing with his Katana that Caim blocks with his armor, breaking the blade with ease. “Weak…” Caim turns and stabs the Samurai through the stomach with his lance. Lifting him off the ground and charging towards the tower with him being used as both battering ram and shield. With his free hand, Caim grabs another Samurai he passes by the top of his head. His claws digging deep into bone before he leaps high into the sky. Pulling back and throwing his Javelin into a group of archers perched on a rooftop. Exploding into a pillar of flames. The roar of the flames that now covered his left hand drowned out the poor man’s cries as he was set ablaze. Without remorse, Caim throws him like a meteor into a group of archers. The explosion destroying several more buildings and any caught in its blast. As Caim lands he exhales once, takes a deep breath, and breaths out a wave of fire before him. Creating a sea of flames that burns without slowing throughout the castle.

“W-what do we do?!” One of the few remaining frontline Archers asks one of the nearby higher ranking Samurai. While the Archers only had lightweight clothes an armor, he wore more ornate and heavier armor. As the Archer awaited an answer, his body was paralyzed with fear upon seeing Caim standing beyond the sea of flames. Javelin once more in hand. The smoke giving him a sinister silhouette as his eyes glowed red beneath his helmet. Like a demon escaped from hell seeking only utter death and destruction.

“We fight for the Shogun until our dying breath.” he replies while drawing his Katana. But before he can even consider the action he just took; Caim hurls his Lance cleaving his katana in two, and beheading him.

“Okami help us.” the Archer whimpers to himself as Caim walks forward and casually reclaims his lance. Glancing at the Archer briefly before continuing his advance.

After the brief but explosive display of power. It was clear to everyone they were no match. Those who had seen Caim in action attempted to flee. Those loyal to a fault or simply arrogant did not. None lasted more than three seconds. The even less fortunate became victims of Belial before they even had a chance to surrender. As Shogun Shiranui watched her empire burn before her she felt a bubbling rage. Did the Daimyo stop their civil war to turn their focus towards her? Was it the bandits they hired or perhaps the monsters? A combination of both? Without her leadership, they were falling like flies.

“Please Lady Shiranui, you must flee before the enemy reaches the throne room.” One of her advisors insists. His words falling on deaf ears as she remained watching over her domain.

She glances at the emerald feathered phoenix that remained perched on the balcony unfazed by the carnage below it. “No, I won’t cower and flee. Do you not see what this is? This…is an opportunity. They’ve ever gotten desperate enough to attack or combined their forces. Regardless of which, with all the battles they’ve been waging they can’t possibly stand against our might. Nor our secret weapon.” She turns and grins sinisterly beneath her demonic helmet. “Send word to-” she’s cut off as Caim throws aside the sliding doors and makes his presence known.

“Lady Shiranui.” Caim replies calmly and takes two steps into the room.

“That armor…it’s unlike anything in the Okamen Isles…It’s too pristine and maintained to be a bandit. The design isn’t Highlander or Celestian either. A Guild perhaps? Impossible, his accent is Myurkyurian.” Shogun Shiranui thought to herself as she scanned Caim. “I assume you’re here to kill me?”

“Perhaps. But before that, there was something I wanted to ask you. What happened to Shogun Wasashi and Mistress Orihime?”

“A loyalist I see…I didn’t believe there were any left.” she crosses her arms. “When I claimed the throne I had him boiled alive and his mistresses were sent to the brothels. I heard Orihime was quite popular before she took her own life.” Shogun Shiranui raises her right hand to her mouth. “Kukukuku, a shame she didn’t last longer than she did.” she looks over Caim’s body for any response to her words yet he remained a blank slate.

“I suppose it couldn’t be avoided.” Caim replies nonchalantly.

“Are you not a loyalist?” Shogun Shiranui asks somewhat confused. Her arms returning to her sides.

“No, a general of Pax Drakana. I come in the name of Emperor Orcus. Cede the whole of the Okaman Isles to Pax Drakana and you will have an unending era of pace under his banner.”

“Ahahahahahaha!” she bursts out laughing. “I don’t know who you or this Emperor is but I won’t surrender to anyone.”

“I hoped you wouldn’t.” Caim slams the base of his lance into the floor, cracking it, and piercing the floor so it can stay vertical without his needing to hold it. He then removes his helmet to reveal his youthful skin, brown eyes, and black undercut top knot. The straight white horns that appeared to be part of his helmet were, in fact, his own horns that rested above his eyebrows. As Shogun Shiranui had expected, he was of Myurkyurian descent. “In Pax Drakana I was known as Caim the Wyvern Knight. But in truth, I am Shinogi of Wasashi. Son of Shogun Wasashi and thanks to you, the last and only heir to his reign.” Caim declares to the shock of all present.

“Impossible, I made sure to kill all his heirs. None of which was a damned half-breed.”

“I suppose you wouldn’t have heard of me. They tried to kill me when I was a child to hide the shame of siring a Drake.” his eyes meet one of the advisors who bow before him without hesitation.

“I’m sorry my lord! When the previous lord fell there was none who could challenge her ascension.” the advisor cries fearing retribution from Caim.

“A pretender to the throne comes and you roll over so easily?! Fine then, I don’t need cowards.” Shogun Shiranui stomps on the ground and hits a panel on the floor. Sending a rifle flying from under the floor into her right hand. Using only one arm, she aims at the cowering advisor and fires. The bullet is stopped by Caim who blocks it with his right arm. Unfortunately, his armor is unable to protect him as the bullet cuts through it and into his arm.

“What manner of weapon is this?” Caim says as he struggled to move his right arm with the bullet still inside of him. Blood slowly pouring from his wound.

“A firearm, the secret weapon of the Shogunate. Faster and stronger than an arrow while easier to fire.” she raises the barrel and blows away the smoke that emitted from it. “It was arrogant of you to come here alone.” she aims at Caim’s head.

“It was arrogant of you to think I came here alone.” Caim smirks as the wood on Shogun Shiranui’s rifle begins to transform. It’s barrel closing shut and binding itself to her arm.

“What?! How are you doing this?!” she cries while trying to free herself from her own weapon. Wooden vines extending from the support beams within the throne room to ensnare her. “No! Let me go you damned half-breed!” she fights with all her might to free herself but is unable. Amidst her flailing, she realizes the emerald phoenix had begun glowing with Aether. A satisfied and amused look eerily visible on its face. “The Phoenix? I thought it was good luck for me! But does that mean…” she thought to herself as she looks back at Caim. He stands and grips his lance in his still bleeding arm.

“If you had surrendered I would’ve allowed you to live and to keep the throne.” Caim approaches Shogun Shiranui slowly. Flames sputtering from his mouth with each breath. “But now…” he walks past Shogun Shiranui and sits down at her throne. The Phoenix landing on his right shoulder. “…both are forfeit.”

“Do you really think you can just kill me and take over?! Do you know how much damage you’ll do to our people? Our nation?! They’ll NEVER follow a monster!” Shogun Shiranui shouts fiercely. Her struggling to escape never ceasing no matter how tight the vines got.

“Our people? Our nation? Am I not just a damned half-breed? A monster?” he asks, his shoulders sparking with flames before he calms himself. “No, I’m not a monster.” he says moments before the vines drag her to the balcony. Throwing her screaming over the edge to her unceremonious death as the advisors can only look on in horror. “I’m half.”

Next Issue

Aetherius Saga Empires Chapter 4- Voice of the Empire

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