In the previous episode, Adam Werner revealed that he created the game in hopes of progressing humanity to further heights. He displayed such power by bringing Darrel’s friends back to life. Now Darrel and his friends must fight Cronus to save the world. Readers were split as to whether the warriors would prevail against Pallas, meaning anything can happen!
“We’re ready for you, Cronus!” Darrel lets out a battle cry, drawing his weapon.
He and his friends arm themselves against the man that has plagued their town, the man that has thrown their lives upside down. Creator Adam Werner looks at the band of warriors from his pedestal at the castle gates. Below his feet is the corpse of the Cyclops that had once been their enemy. He looks at the creature he crafted pixel by pixel, something devious working in his mind. A smirk arises across his lips.
A wave of his hand summons the translucent keyboard he uses to control existence. Glancing at the warriors, he says, “I was not quite as ready for you, but I am now…”
His fingers dance across the board like a pianist playing a concerto. Binary code begins to crawl across the corpse like a cloak. Zeros and ones consume the body, and devour Adam in the process. He sinks into the body, leaving only a mound of glowing green numbers. Darrel and his fellow warriors remain ready, knowing that this is some sort of trick.
“What’s he up to?” Allyssa scowls at the mountain of code.
“Uh, guys,” Alex squeaks. “Did the Cyclops just move?”
A hand suddenly bursts through the cocoon of code. It tears at its prison, the beast breathing life anew. The final boss, Cronus, towers over them, growing twice as large as the Cyclops before it. Flesh of iron gray covers its body, though scattered like plates of armor. The exposed muscle glows like lava, as if the core of the beast is an unforgiving inferno. Looking down on the ants it calls humans is a monstrous version of Adam Werner. Solid eyes of white show no traces of the man within the monster.
“I am Cronus,” Adam bellows in a deep voice of his colossal form, “King of the Titans, God of this world, and mine to command!”
“Well, he’s one for the theatrics,” Allyssa points out, careening her neck to take in the entire form of the boss.
“Are you sure we can beat him?” Eric looks worried. “We couldn’t beat Pallas. And this guy is the king of them all…”
“Guys, don’t worry,” Darrel reassures them all, “No one is going to be crashing this time.”
Cronus makes the first move, slamming a mighty fist into the earth. The ground ripples like a wave beneath their feet, tossing them like dolls. Concrete melts from the sheer heat the titan’s body gives off. Running across the crumbling road, Allyssa reaches for an arrow and notches it to her bow. Planting her foot, she spins around and fires. It screams through the air, punching a hole through the fist. Cronus is silent as he stands up again.
Eric Winters gets his footing, racing back to the boss with his bone blade drawn. He lunges at Cronus’ heel, hoping to bring the giant to his knees. Slicing into the Achilles tendon causes lava to burst from the wound. The intense magma careens at him like a wave, ready to reduce him to ashes.
“I got you,” Alex shouts, waving her staff out in front of her.
Eric feels a blast of cool air rush past his face, ice forming between him and the lava. The frigid spell causes the lava to harden into molten rock.
Darrel leaps high into the air, swinging his horrific weapon. The mouth of the beastly blade opens, releasing an earsplitting screech. The sonic shriek causes the iron flesh to crack, but not much else. Cronus swats Darrel back down to the earth, causing him to crater in the concrete.
“Darrel,” Allyssa and Alex shout at once, Eric following behind as they approach their friend. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” Darrel sits upright in the hole he made. “I don’t get it though. I hit him, but his health bar didn’t appear to record it.”
“You think he’s cheating?” Eric worries while helping Darrel up.
“I don’t think so,” he shakes his head, “He could just kill us at any point if that were the case. There’s got to be another reason.”
Cronus attacks again, causing the earth to quake. Darrel and his friends are attacked from below, as a giant spear breaks through the ground. They tumble while their health bars are sapped, reaching the yellow warning. Alex is the first to get up, using her staff to heal them. Quick incantations restore their health, though hers remains untouched.
“This is going to be just the like the fight with Oceanus,” Eric groans. “We’ll need to protect Alex so he…I mean she can cast healing spells.”
“Yeah just like…wait a minute, that’s it!” Alex giddily jumps. “I know why he has no health bar.”
Allyssa looks up nervously as Cronus grabs the flying spear that harmed them, “Well don’t leave us in suspense!”
“Cronus is just using abilities from other bosses,” she says. “Remember that boss we fought, the one that attacking didn’t do anything to him?”
“Yeah, you’re right,” Darrel shouts, “It was Erebus. Instead of a health bar, he had three sigils on his body. Maybe Cronus is the same way.”
“That’s good and all,” Allyssa says, “But Erebus was a lot smaller. If they are in the same spot, we have a long way to climb.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Darrel argues, “We have a plan now. Eric, Allyssa, you two take out the shoulder sigils. Alex, stay out of the way and cast long range spells.”
“Got it,” his friends shout.
Cronus repeats his first attack, slamming his fist into the ground. While Alex retreats out of harm’s way, the three warriors head for the titan. Allyssa and Eric scale his arms. Cronus stands upright again, stretching out his arms to observe them, like insects scurrying across his body. Darrel meanwhile sneaks up the back of the titan, using the clawed gauntlets to climb.
Allyssa is surefooted, leaping from plate to plate of the boss’ armored skin. Lava erupts in bubbles nearby, creating obstacles. She changes directions, zigzagging her way through the field of fire. The journey is relatively short, as she stands along his shoulder. And there, sure enough, is a glowing insignia etched into Cronus’ body. Taking an arrow from the quiver, she draws her bow, ready to fire upon the sigil.
Her counterpart, Eric Winters, is not quite as agile, stumbling with every twitch Cronus makes. Lava sloshes at his feet, melting the soles of his boots. He yelps from the intense heat, but rushes away before he melts along with them. Hoping across the molten planes, he finds the other sigil. With the trusted bone blade at his side, he lunges through the air. He screams like the Berserkers of old, ready to pierce the glowing mark.
Darrel takes the furthest and most perilous of the sigils. Reaching the top of the head, he sneaks quietly to not alert the boss. Unsheathing the sword from its scabbard, he steps to the forehead. The screeching blade is thrust into the flesh, piercing…nothing!
“What?” Darrel gasps.
The ground beneath him trembles; Cronus laughing triumphantly, “Foolish warrior! Do you think me foolish enough to put ALL the sigils in the same spot?”
Adam revels in victory, even as both the sigils at his shoulders are destroyed. A monstrous grin crosses his face. He slams his hands together as if praying. A light shines overhead, Darrel turning upwards to see. Floating over them in the heavens is a ritualistic circle. It shines golden as archaic symbols are etched in the air. Cronus chants in a tongue unknown to Darrel, as the circle finishes itself.
“Cronus shall rule,” Adam shouts from within the King of Titans, “Tremble at God’s Light!”
The earth trembles as light rains down from the sky like thousands of daggers. Piercing the earth, they explode, basking the world in a blinding light. The spell is complete, and the light fades. Cronus still stands, where the others have fallen. Each only has a sliver of health left, but they are no longer able to fight. Darrel has fallen, sliding down Cronus’ head. The young man that has been through so many trials no longer has the strength to even hold one. Slipping off, he plummets to his death.
“It is over, Warrior of Tartarus,” Cronus laughs, watching Darrel fall. “So much you have overcome, all undone with dead. There is nothing now…”
Darrel fades in and out. His vision blurs, yet he sees something glowing against Cronus’ chest. Carved over the heart is the final sigil.
“Sorry guys,” Darrel says, holding his sword tightly, “Looks like I’m crashing after all.”
Though he barely has any strength, he throws his sword just as he passes the chest on his way to the grave. It pierces the iron skin of the titan, but misses the sigil. Cronus begins to laugh, when he suddenly lurches forward. The blade lets out its sonic screech, resonating throughout the titan, causing the sigil to shatter. With the final sigil destroyed, Cronus roars as his body explodes.
Debris rains around Darrel Flint, as he hits the unforgiving ground.
Two months later
“Hey wake up,” a voice shouts to a young man lying in bed.
Darrel Flint opens his eyes with a loud yawn. Crawling out of bed, he stretches before going downstairs. In the kitchen he turns red when he finds his friends all around the table waiting for him. He looks down, embarrassed by the dragon pajamas he is sporting.
“Are you going out in that?” Allyssa smirks
“I think they look good on Atlas-Baby,” Alex giggles. “They’d look better off, though.”
Darrel flushes at the thought, “I-I’m gonna go change.”
“Hurry up,” Eric shouts as his friend runs back upstairs, “We are going to go grinding.”
Darrel comes back down a few minutes later dressed much differently. Steel and black cloth gowns his body, the attire of Atlas Grey. Thrust over his shoulder is the screaming blade.
“Alright guys,” he says to his friends, “Let’s play.”
< Previous Episode |