KAOS – Ryse Hamelon
Part One: Coliseum
Episode Two: Duo
Ninth Spire, Orion’s Abode, Eleventh Floor
It was a wasteland he had stumbled upon. He lowered his cap over his eyes, the spires were amazing, possessing the ability to not only simulate an environment, but mimic its size in such an area. Not only had the weather and locale matched a wasteland, but so did the nature and animals.
He heard a loud roar in the distance.
“I guess they added some nasty creatures as well.” He spoke to himself. His name was Tredor, age 24. He had made it this far thanks to his Shard – the Shard of Electricity. His shard allowed him to control lightning, and use it as a magic based offensive weapon. It had been extremely useful in the lower floors, especially the ocean and swamp floors.
But this floor was different, it consisted of little moisture and mostly sand and stone. While he could manifest lightning easily, this environment could have a large impact on his abilities.
“Let’s cross that bridge later.” He told himself as he wrapped a cloak around himself to protect him from the sand and heat. “That crazy merchant’s prices were absurd- 7000 zeal for a cloak? Are you kidding?”
– – – – –
Zeal – a currency used within the Spires, as well as Pandemonium and the Central tower itself. Upon reaching the seventh floor, Chosen were automatically granted the ability to procure Zeal from the spire. Zeal was the currency of Altia, and upon reaching the seventh floor, your actions within the Spires could earn you Zeal.
In Altia, earning Zeal was done by working, or obtaining it from another within the Spires. Killing monsters, passing tests and defeating other Chosen granted you Zeal in proportion to your ability and the difficulty of your challenge. Thus killing monsters on lower floors for example, only earned you a miniscule amount.
Due to this Zeal system, many Chosen enter the Spires for the money, but many either flee, or die before even the seventh floor.
– – – – –
For Tredor, even though he had conquered monsters that could be considered “powerful,” his shard proved much more so, and as such, he found himself in possession of very little Zeal.
“So what do I do here?” He asked himself as he looked around, “Do I find the exit? Or do I need to kill a certain beast? I have no freaking idea.”
The Spires were very indirect, offering little to no information as to the task, it was essentially left up to each Chosen.
There was another loud roar in the distance, though this one sounded much closer than the last.
“Someone sounds hungry,” he laughed to himself. He placed his hands on his lower back and bent backwards, creating an audible ‘crack.’ “That feels better,” he spoke aloud as he began walking forward, “Let’s see if we can find the source.”
Ninth Spire, Orion’s Abode, Eleventh Floor – Oasis
She smiled to herself, “So new prey has entered here.” She laughed as the monsters around her were engulfed in flame.
Her name was Sera, a female Chosen of approximately thirty. She was wearing a pair of black pants and combat boots, with only a black bra covering her top, her long black coat was hanging from a tree branch.
She laughed once more and jumped, using her control over Flame to propel herself to the top of a nearby tree.
“This is getting boring.” She told herself. “Time to end this.”
Ninth Spire, Orion’s Abode, Eleventh Floor – East Quadrant
Tredor saw a pillar of flame engulf the horizon as a wave of heat blew across the wasteland.
“What the fuck was that?” He asked himself, “was that an explosion? Or something else?” He had to find out.
So he ran off towards the source of the fire, passing monsters as they ran in fright, running from whatever caused the explosion.
“It’s like every monster here was frightened by that.” He laughed to himself, “but that just means it’s strong, that it should put up quite a fight.”
As he neared the source, he came upon scorched earth – the ground had been charred a deep, everlasting black. As he looked around, he noticed the remnants of what had once been an oasis in this wasteland.
Tredor scratched his head – there was no sign of life in the vicinity, almost as if all existence had been eradicated with the pillar of flame that had scorched the skies.
Then he noticed it – a single tree that remained unharmed, even when faced with such tremendous power. Then he looked up and saw a woman sitting on the top-most branch.
“So you finally noticed?” She laughed as she stood up. “Well you look strong anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter.” She leapt down from the tree, landing in front of Tredor. “The name’s Sera.”
Tredor took her hand, “Tredor.”
Sera smiled, “Say, do you know what the requirement to pass this floor is?”
Tredor shook his head, “Not a clue.”
Sera laughed and sat on the burnt ground, the heat having no effect on her body. “This floor is also known as Hell’s Wasteland.”
“Yes, because for those of us Chosen who easily climb through Orion’s Spire, this floor’s requirement makes it a Hell.”
“Like the third and seventh floors, all stairways lead to the same area, rather than parallel floors.”
“You mean how more than one chosen can be on the same floor concurrently but never meet?”
“Precisely,” She paused, “in that way, this floor acts similarly to the floors of rest.”
“I see, but how would that make this Hell?”
She laughed, “if you breeze through the tower, it could be quite some time before you meet another. Because of this floor’s requirement, this floor acts like those of rest.” She paused once more, “the requirement for this floor is Duo.”
“Yes, it means you must form a team of two people.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“An eliminator came through here.”
“An Eliminator came through this early?”
Sera laughed, “My speed was apparently unrivaled and he came here to test me.” She smiled, “he said he’d tell me the requirement if I won. I beat him and he told me.”
“What happened to him?”
Sera let out a mischievous grin. “Incinerated.”
“I didn’t realize Eliminators were so weak,” he paused, “or is it that you are quite so powerful?”
“I guess you’ll need to find out.” Sera moved closer to the man and put her arm gently around the front of his neck. “So do you want to join me?” She whispered, “we both need to leave this floor.”
Before he could answer, the creature from earlier let out two long roars.
“Two more?” Sera asked as she moved behind the man. “What’s your answer Tredor?”
“Fine,” he agreed, “I’ll join you.”
Sera smiled, “good choice.” As she responded, a cloud of dust began surrounding them.
“Shit,” she cried as she pulled Tredor close, “There’s an Earth mage here.” She sighed, “Can you fight?”
“Yeah, with electricity.”
“Damn.” Sera cried, “looks like we’ll need to run for it.” She sighed, “I hate running.”
The two dashed off, away from the dust cloud, which began to pull in the surrounding earth.
“A golem?” She asked herself, “Tredor, run, we can’t beat an Earth Golem here.”
“Aren’t you strong enough?”
Sera laughed, “Yeah, but that damned Chosen with the Shard of Earth can control the ground. All we can do is run for an exit.”
“Fine.” He answered and the duo ran on.
As they distanced themselves from the golem’s creation, a gale began forming around them.
“Wind this time?” Tredor asked, “Seems they have quite the team.”
“Yeah, the so-called ‘Strongest Duo.’”
“But,” he started, “When she materializes, use your flame.”
Sera sighed, a windstorm that could pickup the dust would be tough for her flame to beat.
When the Chosen of wind materialized, they made their move.
“Sera, use that explosion.” Tredor called to her, which she promptly obeyed.
Sera let out a much smaller explosion than previously, but it had the effect Tredor was hoping for.
By igniting the ground, it forced their opponent into the air- far from the flame, gale and debris, into Tredor’s range.
He struck the palms of his hands into the ground as a massive pillar of thunder crashed down from the sky.
“Crash.” He spoke, his voice taking on a dark, echoing sound.
He stood up, the body of the wind user reduced to a smoldering pile of ash at his feet.
“Eh?” Sera smiled, “Your power is nothing to take lightly either.”
In front of the two chosen appeared two bags, each marked with their respective names and values.
“3000 Zeal?” Tredor asked, “I suppose that’s not bad for a weakling.”
“Why the Hell did I only get half that?”
“Maybe because I killed her?”
Sera sighed, “For some reason this pisses me off.”
Tredor let out a nervous laugh, “We should get going.”
Sera nodded, “Yeah, before that Earth mage gets here.”
The two of them continued on until they came to a doorway in the middle of another oasis. In front of the portal were two pedestals, indicating that two Chosen were needed to move on.
As Tredor and Sera stepped on the pedestals, the door began to glow, as did the platforms, teleporting them to the next floor.
They arrived in a white room with a single table and two chairs placed close by. On one of the walls, above a black door was the number ‘9.’
“I guess we’re ninth,” Tredor told his partner.
“Or does it really mean that?”
“Who knows?” Tredor asked, “All I know is that something big is going to happen here.”
Suddenly, there was a loud ‘bang’ as a voice began to speak.
“Ahem, Hello Chosen.” There was a brief pause, “That’s not quite right. Ahem, wait, we’re broadcasting? Ahem.”
Tredor and Sera looked at each other as if to question what was going on.
“Ahem,” the voice rang out in a deeper tone, “Lucky Chosen who have made it to the Twelfth Floor, I congratulate you. But your journey has only begun.” The voice took another pause. “This floor is known as ‘The Coliseum,’ a floor that exists within each of the 13 Spires.”
“Wait.” Sera called out, “A Coliseum? Just what are we fighting?”
“Isn’t that obvious Ms. Sera,” the voice responded, “You will engage other teams in battle. However, this is not a tournament and as such only teams that acquire a total of four wins may move on to the Thirteenth floor.”
“Once the doors open, please find a seat in the Coliseum with your partner and yourself.” There was a brief pause, “More shall be explained inside.”
With that, the door opened. Tredor and Sera looked at each other and walked inside.