An Infinity Blade fanfic created by RytheTheRecondite Edit
His dreams were always the same.
It was as if his bed time was a movie.
A movie he had seen for more than a thousand times.
A movie Janus, was forced to watch.
There in front of him was the knight, a menacing figure encased in jet black armor. The armor was lined with gold, beautiful curved vine like patterns snaked across the surface. Janus knew it so well he had sketches of it, drawn by himself in his room. It was an armor he had seen more times than he could ever possibly count them.
"My lord, our men are still down there! Their ship had just launched..."
"My orders. Were clear, mortal." Janus knew this voice well. It was the metallic and inhuman voice he had heard more than a thousand times. It was around him. Above him. The voice came from inside him.
Dust filled his lungs making him cough again and again. Pushing himself up from the ground, Janus looked up. Daylight nearly blinded him. There, high above he saw the silhouette of a man, a dark and vile shadow against the pure glory of the helios. "NOOO!" Shocked, Janus whipped his head around trying to find the source of such a scream. Then, to his horror, he realized it came from him. A shape moved above him, slowly eclipsing the sun. The room around him grew dimmer and dimmer. "NOOOOO!" His voice broke. "Don't leave me here!" Fingers clawed at the hard stone floor. He bit his lips, bitterness filled his mouth.
Anguish was all he knew.
He awoke with a start and sat up straight in his bed.....Ouch! He had headbutted Genesis right on her forehead. For a moment they massaged their bruised foreheads, dazed.
"Damn...Sorry Gene...I was..."
"I know. I heard you...um, say things in your sleep. Are you alright?"
"Of course I am." He replied, rather accusingly. Then he felt wetness on his cheeks. Suddenly Janus just wanted to pull her close and cry on her shoulder. Gene wouldn't mind...but how could he. Given the fact that he was 2 years older. He was 16, almost a grown up! Now another part of him wanted to punch the girl. He felt angry. Why did she get up to check on him in the first place! If she hadn't done so he wouldn't have been so abashed!
"I'm fine. Thanks for looking out for me." How could he ever get mad at Gene?
Janus watched her return to the bed next to his. All became quiet once more. Then a third part of him wanted to curl up inside the blankets and cry.
So he curled up in his blankets and silently wept.
Pushing himself away from the crafting table. Midael sighed. Five hours with no result.
“Argh!” One swipe and the table was cleared of its occupants. He stood up and stretched. “By the name of Galath…” He winced. How could the mortals bear such a body, or should he put it, this shoddy vessel, weighing them down. It was like a flawed instrument. The design was too inferior. Too perfect. And the master behind it all…… He shouldn’t be thinking about the Worker now. The Worker was gone, defeated by Ausar. No one has heard from him ever since. Some say he went into hiding. Others believe he was still out there…Somewhere.
Grumbling sounds from deep within interrupted his thinking. When was the last time he had eaten? One day. Maybe two days. Even the memories were clouded.
“Pathetic mortals!” Memory loss sucks. Midael punched a few codes and the steel door of his bunker slid open. Cold dessert air smacked him across his face, quickly he put on a sand mask. It was a welcome gift given by the villages of this sector. Sector 33 was just like any sector. Nothing special. Poor. Crowded. Dusty. Established by Raidriar the God King during the Warlord’s Dynasty. Midael pressed on against the unforgiving weather, the sound of his footsteps were muffled by the snarling wind. Raidriar had certainly built this sector in the wrong place.
“Grrrrrrrr.” And now he had a more pressing matter. He would have breakfast at that pie stand near the market. After all he was a frequent customer. One more visit and he might even get a discount! Who knows? The stand owner, Tor. The lively man in his 40s had befriended Midael the first day he arrived at the sector. Midael on the other hand was always a man of few words.
He was just a random technician. That was all the villagers needed to know. No one asked questions, everyone went about minding their own business. Except…
“Hey Midael! Wait up!”
Then there was Nymph. The 13-year-old pain. She was most certainly Tor’s daughter with dark hair and brown eyes. Not only did they resemble in appearance but also shared the relentless volubility.
“What’s with that cylinder on your belt？” In a heartbeat Midael’s hand shot out with inhuman speed and intercepted Nymph’s reaching fingers.
“And a good day to you, too. Young lady.” He sighed.
“Is it a scope for watching stars? Is it a secret device?”
Nymph suddenly jumped up like a little burnt cat. “Ohhh! I know! It’s a super high-tech alien weapon, right?”
Impatiently Midael unhooked the cylinder, holding it out for Nymph to see. A tiny lever was carved onto the side, fingers flicked at it eagerly. There was a “click”. Nothing happened.
“See? It’s nothing!” Clearly disappointed, Nymph plodded along but didn’t say another word. She kicked at some pebbles occasionally. This time it was Midael who broke the silence.
“How did you cut yourself?” He motioned to a small cut on her cheek.
“Oh, I got into a fight with some of the boys yesterday.” Nymph said flatly. “They tried to take away my book---”
“Did you win?” Midael cut her off, suddenly interested.
“Seriously? Duh? Of course I won!”
“Under the sand mask, Midael’s lips twitched slightly. “Serves them right.”
“Yeah!” Then, turning serious, “They try to take everything I have! In fact, a week ago…”
“Let me see that book you just mentioned.” He said quickly, sparing himself from half an hour of unstoppable chit-chat. A hard-cover book was handed to him, it was quite heavy but he balanced it with one hand. The sun wasn’t up yet, making him squint. On the cover was an armored warrior slashing at his enemies…with…two red swords. How peculiar. Above the picture was words written in Pangean. Midael knew it well, he translated:
“Tales of Ryth the Invincible”
Midael stopped right in his tracks, and Nymph bumped into him.
“It’s one of my favorite books. My pa gave it to me for my birthday. But you can keep if for a few weeks if you want to.”
“This Ryth person…You must really like him.”
“Uh-huh. Ryth is my hero. I’ve got a dozen books about him! Some say it’s all myth, but I believe he is real. Do you think he is, Mr. Midael?”
For a moment Midael was out words. Then he smiled.
“I don’t know much about this ‘Invincible Ryth’…but who knows? If you live long enough you might even meet him one day! Now let’s go and find that father of yours, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a decent meal!”
Janus tightened the shield straps for the third time. He stood still for a moment and inhaled deeply. He held the breath for a moment, then exhaled, feeling his muscles expanding with it. “Combatants to your stations!” Automatically Janus moved forward, so did his opponent. Keeping a distance of three meters between them, the two stopped. Given the first chance to look at his opponent Janus found himself gazing into a pair of gray eyes. Surprised, his eyes widened, and he struggled to steady his breathing. Genesis must have recognized him through the visor, too because he felt her gaze soften for a split-second.
Quickly Janus pointed the tip of his blade at the sky, Genesis did the same. The respect was paid. Now he adopted the dueling stance known as the Riptide, shield in the front with his sword arm relaxed at his side, the tip almost touching the ground. Genesis moved opposite him. Janus realized her stance as the Dimachaerus, a rare fighting style developed by ancient gladiators.
To his left Janus saw the other acolytes, even now they were watching Genesis. Like always. A few cheered but he knew it wasn’t for him. It was never for him. He shook the thought from his mind and gazed toward the right. On the stand was Master Elmek. Is he expecting Genesis to win, too?
Then he saw Elmek’s lips move and he launched himself forward as Elmek gave the engage signal. The acolytes roared, the duel began.
With one leap Genesis disappeared from sight and Janus’ brain worked furiously. He had fought her many times.
No doubts. Act.
He spun around feeling his sword arm swing with it. The move was blindingly fast but smooth, like waves sliding over sand. There was a “Clank” as their weapons collided, steel on steel. Genesis was just in time to parry the blow, but Janus’ strike was powered. A dagger flew from her hand skidding to a stop on the ground just meters away. She would retreat. Janus didn’t think. He knew and he charged to deliver a vertical blow. But this time some of his strength had gone and the blow was parried. The impact forced Genesis backwards and she lost balance. The chance he had been waiting for had come. Suddenly Janus leaped up and turned himself around in mid air, he moved like he never had before. The whole sensation was foreign but strangely familiar. Surprised he felt the focus flowing away and his blade struck air. The moment was lost. Their blades met again. He looked into the visor of his opponent and found her eyes, searching for the slightest clue. She was so close he could almost feel her breathing. His pupils expanded, something came flying toward him and his world turned black.
A knight towered above him, sword in hand. Janus watched in horror as the blade pierced through him, there was a flash of blue…
His eyes snapped open. Genesis was coming towards him. Then a group of acolytes blocked her from view. With a sigh, Janus picked himself up from the ground.
“And it seems the victor is quite obvious.” Elmek, too was beaming at Genesis.
“Acolytes! I have an important announcement to make. Genesis. And Janus please come forward.”
“Two of our acolytes,” he announced slowly. “Have finished their training last week. They are now graduated. Give it up for Genesis and Janus!”
“Well Genesis here…” Elmek went and put an arm around her shoulder. “You have shown great progress and true skills in the past 2 years. In fact,13 years ago when you came into my care, you had nothing…” All the students stopped chatting at once.
“Genesis.” Elmek was smiling. He was proud. Janus knew.
“Your father…” Elmek continued, “was a legendary warrior. He and I fought beside each other for many years. He left a great legacy for you! Now I’m sure he would be proud.”
Janus stood unmoving. He looked the students coming to surround Genesis, but did not see. Sounds of cheering and laughing echoed in his ears but he did not hear them.
Then he blinked and saw everyone hurrying Genesis towards the dinging hall. And he was already alone.