Balance Intro 2: Takoryo's Wrath

Takoryo watched to make sure that the seven disks were out of sight completely before releasing his hold on the gates. More than a few of the enemy fell forward unceremoniously, surprised at the sudden lack of resistance. The rest surged forward to engage in combat.

Although he had failed to protect the people of his city before, he had still managed to destroy almost half of the enemy force through hand to hand combat alone.  

Now, there was no-one to protect.  The army of the enemy was at his mercy.  

The helm of the incoming wave faltered; a cry of horror and pure, unbound fear erupted and spread through the seemingly infinite mob.  

They had been unlucky enough to experience the wrath of Takoryo firsthand.

The semicircle of the morning sky darkened as deep, black clouds rolled in.  Thunder erupted, and lightning came crashing down upon the brutal enemy.  Yet no-one perished; the collective pain of thousands of lightning bolts striking the body all at once was felt by every one of them.  When the screams of agony died down, none dared raise his head from the ground to face the terrifying entity that stood ahead of them.  

Takoryo was standing on a small strip of field that surrounded the city; behind this was the sandy shores of the ocean upon which the children were now speeding across.  

Yet they need time.  They need time to decide what actions to take once they reach the mountains.

Takoryo was certain that they had almost reached the mountains that stood on the mainland beyond the morning mist of the ocean. 

"Look upon me." Takoryo said, his voice the thunder of the skies.

The enemy, one by one, raised their heads and, shaking, cast their eyes upon him.  Takoryo then created his body into the pain of all who had died this morn, and they collapsed once again, screaming, tearing and clawing at their smoking and melting eyes.  Takoryo knew that it would buy him another few minutes while they recovered; if any ever would.  

[i]But why can I not sense......where is their Master?[/i] 

As all schooled enemy of the Unknown knew, any fighting force of great magnitude required a Master to unify their minds as one, efficient killing force.  And Masters tended to be those of great power, power that Takoryo had been saving every part of his stamina for.  But....

The skies slowly returned to it's brightening blue shade, and the walls ahead stared blankly back at him now, lifeless.  Smoke still rose from inside and the enemy lay there, a massive field of bodies piled so that there was no chance of walking through the city without stepping on one.  The bodies.

Takoryo put a bloody hand to his eye and wiped a tear.  His lover.  Family, friends.  Every person of his city.  He had known them all, for all had been his family; he had been everyone's grandfather.  The children of the city....their pranks.  Their silly little fights.  Those twins, the ones that tried to steal the grapes from his grapevine every morn...he'd watched them die.  He had been unable to eliminate the enemy completely without harming the children, and they had paid for his failure with their lives.  

The day he'd asked Kira to marry him flashed through his mind with such vivity that he sank to one knee and had to cover his face for a moment.  The birth of Yun, Kiara, Yamada.....and now Yun was the last of his family to be alive.  

He straightened up.  They had died for a reason.  And now, it was his turn.  

"Come." he said, ready.

The city suddenly seemed to levitate; every body, building, plant and item of it hovered higher and higher in the air.  The walls, however, remained rooted.
A single figure stood at the gates, a hand held high and outstretched.  His pure black robe and unseen face said it all.

He is a Master indeed.  But what power does he have?  Takoryo wondered, then discreetly carved a disk in the ground, ready for use at any moment.  

"Lord Takoryo.  I thought I'd give you a precious moment to yourself to grieve your failure.  Quite the power you have, there.  But....wasn't enough, was it?  Now, I hope, you begin to understand that brute force doesn't always have to prevail." the Master chuckled to Takoryo, moving the fingers of his outstretched hand around playfully.  The city seemed to shift uncontrollably, as if struck by tornado, before settling down in midair.  "You should have known that we would come back, as was fortold; as was done during the last Cycle.  

Takoryo wasn't familiar with the term, but held his enraged silence.  

"Yet you were complacent.  The great 'Lord Takoryo' of Salidora, City of Light, was supposed to be unbeatable.  And, apparently, he is." 

Here the Master gave a small chuckle once again, as if he knew otherwise.  Takoryo spoke.

"And you decided that coming here would serve a purpose.  Purpose of losing hundreds of thousands of-"

"-don't take me for a fool, Takoryo.  We know about the five children already.  That's what spies are for; but I assume that such a honorous and chivalrous city would never dream of stooping to those means, am I correct?" the Master cut in.  

Takoryo laughed.  "If you honestly think you'll ever find them, you're mistaken.  Oh, but you will....when they come to destroy you.  You see, although there are many Masters in your land...none will ever match any of these children, unfortunately, for the five of them shall hold power equal to your match in collective force.  The Balance is an entertaining being like that." 

The Master stopped grinning.  The word of Takoryo was the word of truth.  Straight from the mind of Balance itself.

"Is that so?  Well then...they'll have to be eliminated.  And luckily for me," the Master said, two glowing white orbs appearing within the dark folds of his hood, "I can see them now.  So they plan to make it through the mountain?  How naive."

With that, the Master sent his free hand thrusting forward. 

He plans to shatter the mountain!  Takoryo thought urgently, then flung himself, disk forgotten, in the path of the Master's attack trajectory.  He was sent flying for perhaps three to four miles or so before he could stop himself; he then landed on the water and thrust his hands forward, riding a massive tidal wave that involved the entire ocean for the few miles between him and the shore.  It came crashing down upon the hovering city, the master, the walls that still stood firm and proud despite it's emptiness.  

The island of Salidora was submerged.  

The city that had covered most of the island arced up in a massive wave of it's own, then surged towards Takoryo.  The old man brought his hands high, and the water on the island reared up and met the incoming wave head-on.  The Master was already behind Takoryo, who ducked and rolled to avoid the kick; the shockwave from that strike alone sent another massive plume of water upwards, spraying them both.  

[i]Yes.  It is fact.  He was the one I could not defeat that day....four thousand years ago.....[/i] 

Takoryo thrust his hands forward and veins began to appear on his forehead and the deep creases leading to it.  The bodies of the Master's defeated army rose once again, lifeless, and began to attack the dark one with a vitality unmatched by any ferocity they could have achieved in life.  Yet the Master was equal to Takoryo in strength; even the Guardian of Salidora knew this, and knew that his weak attack would be ineffective.  But it would stall the enemy.  And perhaps distract him.  

The centre of Salidora had once held a lake; now stood a massive hole.  Takoryo's veins deepened colour to a violent purple, and water began to appear within the hole at a massive rate.

The Master was still busy fighting the other half of his army.  But he was going through them all with impressive speed.

Takoryo's eyes went blurry with the pain, and his entire body began to shake and convulse as the consequences of the actions performed took it's toll on his mind and body.  The lake of the center was full, and the remaining water that hadn't been launched back into the ocean by Takoryo during his defence of the city's wave joined it.  

The ocean began to rear up; the Master dispatched the last of his men and looked on in shock.  

The entire ocean that surrounded the Island of Salidora was now covering the island itself in an impossibly massive ball.  This ball began to shrink rapidly, until only a small portion of the city, Takoryo, and the Master remained.
"You were quite the asset to whoever your lord may be.  Thus, you must be eliminated." Takoryo said, now on both knees due to the massive strain.

The master gave a choked gasp of exasperation, then unseathed a blade of pure darkness, something that, upon contact, would cause the victim of it's touch to become nothing at all.  Many a limb had been scratched with deliberate care and grace; many a scream of agony had been heard at the touch of this weapon..  

"Ah....impatient, aren't you?  Have no fear, for we shall both be dead in a matter of seconds." Takoryo said, smiling at sight of this famed item of horrific torture.

[i]My children....I'm so sorry.[/i] 

The last thoughts of the city's people was that of forgiveness....they had all watched him fight even though they lived no longer, and all had seen that he had held to the very last of what he had been bound to protect.  What they had all been bound to protect.

[i]We know, Lord.[/i] 

We must all learn to die sometime.
The Children are now safe.
Now you can play with us every day!

Takoryo's tears of joy mingled with the water as it crushed him and the Master, the people, the city.  It all crumbled upon itself until even Takoryo's bones turned to dust.