AOH – Chapter 2

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CHAPTER 02: THE END FINALLY

1031 AF
It has been 8 years since I lived in this library.
Other than the occasional wandering near the borders and swimming around the Forked Serpent Lake, or running around the King Square and sometimes play with the weapons I found in the Imperial Palace there isn’t that many of time I went outside from the comfort of this library that I called home.
I was exploring the palace so frequently that I have known almost all the secret doors and passage.
I know there is a secret passage in the Emperor rooms and there is also a secret passage on the Empress Quarters.
The famous passage that is said was used by Empress Leliana when she was hiding from the rebels during the reign of the First Emperor of Vern Empire.
 I even see the fabled level 5 prison. The place where Darius MontBlanc known as Darius the Cruel sent anyone who defied his orders.
I also found a map describing in great details the weapons and treasures hidden by the First Generation.
The First Generation refers to the first ancestor of the Caelum Race. They are also the race that is most prominent in the Human Continent.
There are many theories about the First Generation.
One of them was that the First Generation came from another world thus when they first came to this world they were referred as the Sky People.
It was Levitia that take Caelum to refer to our race.
I also was lucky enough to find the activator for the runic markings. It was beneath the Library on a dusty workshop and a cloth belonging to some Archmage.
He must be the one who activated the rune
I try to understand the ways to activate the rune but nothing works. The design was weird.
Nothing on my research shows any result. It was like the vilest word combined to make the markings.
Weeks passed. Then one day when I was journeying to the edge of the borders I sense something.
I looked around the horizon and I could see someone is coming here.
They have come. I could see by my estimation a 100 troops unit led by an elves .They will find me.
I quickly went back to the library. I wear my armour, my greaves my boot, my helm, all high quality things that I scoured over the years in this place.
I take the Flying daggers belonging to William the Wise and the sword belonging to Louis the Pious.
Both were great Emperors. Both were wise. And both dead a long time ago. I don’t think they would mind if I borrowed it from the Imperial Vault.
I didn’t wait for them to find me. Element of surprise usually always work.
At least that is what the book I read said. So, I creep when one of their scouts were separated from the rest of the group.
I was hiding in the alley waiting for him to arrive to the corner.
The moment the scouts reached the corner I quickly subdued him and slit his throat with a blade.
Shush, I whispered while covering his mouth from making any noise. I also subdued his hand so he can’t make any movements.
The elf is struggling to scream, struggling to live and survive. Shush, the pain will fade, I whispered again. And then slowly but surely, his life was snuffed out.
Let the Light guide your way, I prayed.
Or should I pray, Into the Darkness they go?
After all that is the prayer for death in the Dark Lands. Then I did the same thing to the other scouts.
I creep from a distance and when they are in their most relaxed moment, I appear like a shadow.
By the time the other notices me it was too late.
Armed with legendary equipment and the swordsmanship I learned, they were all annihilated.
Thankfully even without my internal energy I could overwhelm them with the unique swordplay I learned.
I dodged their powerful attack while maintaining my accuracy to their vitals organs.
But I knew this is not the end. They will come again. So this time I prepared myself again by learning everything I could from the Library of Levitia.
I also hide the other book in the Grand Library in another secret room I found in the Palace.
This knowledge must not fall to the wrong hands. This will only help them persecuting more humans.
I heard all about the massacre and indiscriminate killing that happens.
I don’t always spend time in the border of the Vern Empire.
There are sometimes where I look or watch in the distance at the Human Kingdom that has fallen.
Blood filled the once crowded road, corpse littered through the Empire, eaten by beast.
 Usually I sneak outside, knowing the geography of the Kingdom from the maps but I usually only linger for a while.
Then a month after the last battle, a 300 unit came. This time it was the Dwarves troops.
This time I was prepared. They were killed by me in a night raid. Alone but stealthily.
First I burned their camp with Asteros fire which I found in one of the Imperial Vault.
They try to use water to douse it only to make the flames bigger, and many of them were burned to death.
The elves, Orc and dwarves were all burned to ashes leaving only a few people to truly fight me.
I was fighting with them all night until dawn.
 By dawn there was just one Dwarf left on my feet, begging to be let off in the Old Tongue.
I silence him it my blades.
Blood spluttered in the street. I then looked at the surroundings. There were corpses scattered all about the place.
Blood make the street that they were fighting on red. All Arial saw was blood. All there was, was blood.
He shakes his head. He notices his hands are trembling.
It was almost like a premonition. It was like he was once again in that rooms watching in frozen fear. After this they will send more. Stronger and smarter. I will fall.
I am but one man. Even though I have learned almost all of the swordplay in the Imperial Family Secret Vault, I surely can’t defeat all of them.
Not to mention the swordplay that I learned does not use internal energy that much.
 Even though his internal energy is almost at the level of a captain, it’s not like he is the strongest person.
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. You will fall or you will be taught to fly.” 
He remembered a priest once lecture him about obstacles. Then in a week a newly formed army came here again.
I was on the front gate overlooking the horizon, watching with hawk like eyes towars the incoming threat.
I guess we will see whether I will fall or fly then, I muttered.
***************************************************************
The day of the big battle.
Armoured bodies dwarves and bare-chested fanatics Kobolds launched themselves out to all sides, screaming like demons.
They were screaming for my blood, with blade, axes and stick held high. The kobold on the other hand conducts themselves like honorable warriors.
I use all my knowledge and all the things I learned to repel them. I jump into the middle of the heavy infantry, delivering frenzied slaughter.
I was slashing right and left, evading and rolling, stabbing and hacking, throwing knife and all the while trying to incite chaos.
I pray that I could incite fear into their hearts. And it worked. At least for a while.
The commander was not one that let my attacks hot headedness gets in his plan.
He calmly ordered their missile division consisted by elves bowmen to fire at me.
Realizing this I quickly tries to get out of the encirclement. I perform Dragon Regret using my internal energy.
Dragon Regret is a high level technique that requires profound internal energy.
So the impact of his technique was not like the true Dragon Regret but it’s enough to break the line that was encircling me.
I then retreats to find a better place to attack or defend.
Javelins, arrows, spears, spells flew thick and past as the missile division give their full attention to kill me while I was cutting a path to escape.
I went into the palace. They follow me and our battle continued in the palace. I need to restrict their movement.
I use all the trap doors and the secret passages I knew to ambush them. It was like that for an hour before I retreated back to the library, knowing they must still scours the palace for me.
****************************************************
The wind blows coldly when he enters the room, struggling to keep himself upright, trying not to collapse.
Blood is dripping from his back. Blood was seeping out around his stomach. Pain washed over him.
I don’t have long, he muttered.
He stumbled and landed right at runic marking activator. He was perched against the desk where he used to research the ways and language that might unveil him the secret of this rune.
******************************************************
Hand in my stomach; I looked into the dark ceiling and smiles.
This is the beginning of everything. It fits that this is where it all ends.
“Uhuk,Uhuk” I coughed blood.
I accept that my life will end at that moment. But even though that is true, I still feel regret. If only.
If only I was granted the knowledge and the wisdom I know now maybe I could at least save my parents from the initial attack.
For the first time in my life I prayed earnestly. Despite the darkness, there is still light. Let the Light guide my way to you.
My life is slipping. A gust of wind blows into the dark room. Arial shivers violently from the cold. I heard the rushing footsteps.
They must have tracked me here.
The wind becomes more violent. And suddenly, in only what I can call a divine intervention, a book fell from the desk.
The book was sprawled backwards. It is the dictionary for the Old Tongue, Demon Language.
They say that when you’re about to die everything becomes faster. The moments I saw the dictionary sprawled onto the floor something clicked.
The rune marking! It’s not that I don’t understand it! It was written backwards.
With blood pouring from my wounds, I started to crawl to the runic marking.
If my life is until here, I want to go with much fanfare, Arial smirked. I spill my blood into the runic makings.
The footsteps become clearer. They’re coming.
BOOM.
The door was smashed. Immediately I scream Asfate( Open) and put my blood soaked hand into the marking.
I believe that the runic marking is actually a dissipating spell with a wide area of effect.
The rune glows bright red and white light began enveloping the room. Suddenly I remembered one line from the Holy Book of Light; a world shall emerge from the Light.
This is how it ends. In the last moment of my life, I glimpse the different part of my life.
My regret. My failure. My cowardice. Then I glimpse something else. A world that looks a lot like this world but no one is practicing magic.
There is also a world where there is no slave. Another world seems to live in the stars, while there is this one world that lives under the sea.
Each world is different from the last. Then another light came.
The end, finally.
***************************************************************
I try to open my eyes. All I could see was a blur. I’m not dead? Yet my body doesn’t feel like my own body.
It felt weaker. Then I heard a voice.
“It’s a boy”
“A boy, Aries. A boy!” The woman voice was overjoyed.
“My little prince” This time it’ a male voice.
I know this voice. Could this be possible?
“What should we name him?”
“How about Arial?”
“Arial. Hmm. That’s a strong name.”
This shouldn’t be possible but there is no doubt about it. This is the voice of my parents.
***************************************************************
After a few days I have finally been able to make sense of a few things. I seem to travel back through time.
And not only that, I travel back to the very first moment of my birth. I also discover my knowledge and my memory is intact.
Even my internal energy I could feel it. But there are not many things that I could do in my situations.
Is this God works?I don’t know if my prayer was heard, but it seems I got a second chance to do it all again.
My first step is to strengthen my foundation. Considering that I can’t move and I couldn’t possibly train my swordplay, I practiced the meditation technique that I learned from Levitia journals.
I have learned the importance of training and cultivating your internal energy to learn high level technique in the past.
This time it would be different. Even though I can’t talk yet, I’m determined to avoid that tragedy from happening.
Humanity will survive this time. I’ll make sure of it.
***************************************************************
It has been a year. I have already crawled and walk. But usually I just meditate and cultivate my internal energy.
The manual book of energy that Levitia left says that if you cultivate your energy since young preferably at the age of six it will have an effect of how strong the internal energy becomes.
Many people believe even among the High Lords that doing that to 6 years old will have an adverse effect.
But Levitia trains himself at the age of 4. But I need more strength than Levitia.
So, what will happen if you can train your energy from the very beginning?
I don’t know but I’m betting something extraordinary would happen. But the happiest thing that comes with this chance is the chance to once again look at the faces of my parents.
All there was, was blood. He suddenly remembers that scene. No, this time it would be different.
This time I will protect them. My father is a family man, and a farmer.
He inherited 30 acres of land that he inherited from his father. My father grows all manner of crops but mainly he grows grain and cabbages.
My father also bought an ox the year before I was born. 
Because my father and mother take good care of their fields and their ox year round, they can typically plow an acre a day.
When my father is finishing up the plowing my mother would plant seeds kept from last year harvest.
My father usually plant rye, wheat, grain and barley. Of the 30 acres my father also set aside for my mother gardens.
If nothing goes wrong then the harvest would always kept our family fed.
My father also have a nice big barn to store the left overs if the harvest is good.
We’re not a rich family but we are well off.  So there is no worry about starving.
But I need to become more than just a son of a farmer.
If anyone were to follow me and believe my story I first must have credibility and power and influence.
I don’t know yet how I will achieve that but I have time on my side.
And also the knowledge of what will happen. The tax people rarely come here because of the forest that inhibits the lands here.
There are also no castles belonging to any lords here. Here the lands are ruled by the House of Alan.
Town of Goodlad, Catnip, and the Shire is ruled by the House of Rodan. House of Villion ruled Yorken town, Skystead, and Pitmad. They also rule the city of Watery Tears.
House of Zephyr controls the Bilial Harbors and the merchant Quarters and also the Port in their borders.
House of Palais on the other hand lived in a walled castle and has one of the strongest castles in the Dukedom.
The house ruled Shadow Sound city, and Hexham town,Valais and Skaldruk.
His territory also has many mines and ruins of Old castles. They are also one of the richest Houses and only rivaled by House Zephyrs wealth.
All of this House swears their allegiance to the House of Alan, the High Lords in the Dukedom of Alan.
I was remembering from my memories of what I knew about this dukedom. If this is God works then this must be his will.
Then let me bring Light and shine this darkness away, he quoted the Holy Book of Light in his mind while making his resolution.

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