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The Lost Spirit of Faith, by Guard Daos
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"The Lost Spirit of Faith", by Guard Daos

Chapter I: Arek’s fury

Arek looked down from his dark throne to the world. He was furious. “How can this be?!!!” he roared. “For the third time the Sinistrals have been defeated! After 100 years of waiting, they have failed again! How can it be that mere mortals can destroy us? How?” His most trusted servant, Sarabi, watched him nervously. “If I may, Sir,” He said, “It is not because of any lack of power. Maxim’s child should have been destroyed 200 years ago. But Idura failed to kill him. Why? Because the people still have faith. They believe in Maxim. Their hopes encourage him. I believe it is necessary to shatter that hope. If that succeeds, we will be able to destroy Maxim’s next descendant, before he finds the Dual Blade. If humans have no more faith, Dual Blade will no longer accept them. Dual Blade will be returned to us and we shall finally rule for once and for all!”
Arek looked at him closely. “Sarabi. Do you think we can defeat humans that way?”
“I am positive, sir. But it will require a well thought plan. There must be something down on Earth that keeps their hopes alive.”
“Very well! I shall think of my plan! I will have to start by regenerating Erim. She can find out what is going on as Iris. Now, Sarabi, you leave me alone while I think of my plan.”
“Yes, sir,” said Sarabi, and left the room.

Chapter II: The Attack

Meanwhile, on Earth, Wain and his friends were celebrating their victory on the Sinistrals. There was a lot to eat and drink. It was a great party. Wain saw a small girl, who was cheerfully partying. He had never seen her before. He looked at her sweet face. She smiled at him, and he smiled back. He asked an old friend of his: “Who is that?”
“That girl?” he answered. “She’s just come live here in Patos. Her name is Samantha, I hear.” Wain looked at the girl for a while, but she wasn’t looking at him anymore. Then he turned to his friends, happy that they were with him. Happy that peace had arrived.
After an hour, suddenly a big bird swooped out of nowhere. It started attacking the guests with its big claws! People screamed and yelled. Wain drew his sword. He saw his friends do the same. The bird flew up high. Wain started hacking at it like a maniac, but couldn’t reach it. “Back off, stupid!” shouted Seena. Highly affronted at being called stupid for the thousandth time, Wain got out of the way. Seena shot her Bolt spell at the bird. It fell down. Wain lunged at it and plunged his sword strait in its stomach. The beast was dead.
“Is everyone okay?” Wain asked. Some of the guests were slightly wounded, but no one died. Melphis healed the wounded with Champion. For some reason, Wain only wanted to see if Samantha was all right. She had a scratch in her arm. She looked at him angrily, as though it was Wain’s fault. Of course, he thought. I should have looked after her better. But from now on, I’ll protect her.
Then suddenly, without warning, a thunderbolt emitted from the sky. It struck Samantha! She screamed, but her yell couldn’t be heard over the noise the bolt was making. Wain ran strait at her, yelling: “Noooooo!!!” But it was too late. A blinding flash, and nothing was left of her body.
For some reason, Wain felt heart-broken, although he was sure he had never seen her before. “Wain!!!” Seena yelled. “What was that? Who was that girl? Did you know her?”
“No…” Wain whispered, tears blinking in his eyes. “It was my fault. I should have stopped it, I should have protected her.” Seena rushed worriedly over to him. “Wain, of course you couldn’t have stopped it when we were least expecting it. You’re just in shock. Sit down. Can anyone get him a glass of water?” Randolph ran away to get him some. But Wain shook his head. “No… Nothing can be mended. I will go away.”
“Where are you going?” Deckard asked blankly. “To… have a walk in the forest.” Wain answered, and before anyone could stop him, he ran away, in to the forest. "What's going on?" Seena wondered.

Chapter III: Arek’s Plan

A big mess was left at the party. People were scared and screamed. After a while it started to get light, and guests left to go home. A few of them stayed to help Wain’s friends tidy up the mess. They did not see that the ashes of what was left of Samantha was blown away by the wind, and rose up to the sky.
The ashes were going to none other than Arek’s fortress! When they arrived at the foot of his island, they started to form a figure, that revolved and grew bigger and bigger and took the form of Samantha. She entered Arek’s headquarters. Arek sat there on his dark throne. Samantha said, “All went well. The second descendant of Maxim left the party.”
“Excellent!” said Arek with a harsh laugh. Well done, Sarabi.” He made a twirl with his hands and sparks shot out of the girl. She was smashed to the floor. A blinding light… and Samantha had transformed back to Sarabi. “So,” said Arek, “the spell worked.”
“Yes, sir,” said Sarabi. “The 2nd descendant was enchanted. He will now already be far away from home. The first stage of your plan succeeded.”
“Brilliant!” cried Arek. “The plan is going much better than I thought! I will not regenerate Erim quite yet. My plan is to do that later. Now, launch an attack on Patos to separate his friends. And then you do this…”

Chapter IV: Wain’s quest

Sarabi was right. Wain was far away from Patos, still thinking about the attack, about Samantha. Eventually he was tired, and sat down on a stone, sobbing. After a few hours, it became afternoon. Suddenly, Wain awoke from his thinking. What had he done! He had run away from home, while it was in danger! He had left his friends alone, in the danger. What if the Sinistrals had returned, and his friends had all been killed! Just because of a girl he didn’t know! More people had suffered and died in the war, but he didn’t run away from that. On the contrary, it made him angry and made him want to enter the battlefield as soon as possible. He jumped up and ran towards Patos as fast as he could.
Suddenly, he tripped over a branch nearby. He fell to the ground and felt a searing pain on his knee. “Ow,” he thought. “It’s miles and miles to Patos! And I’m so tired… what mess have I landed myself in. I’m so confused after everything that happened today!” Suddenly, he heard a voice. “Wain…” it called. “Wain…” He looked up and saw the ghost of Samantha! Only she looked much older, about his age. She looked even more beautiful than before. Immediately, the spell worked on him again and he started to forget about the trouble at the party. “Samantha!” He shouted. “Yes,” she said softly, “This is my ghost. I was killed by the thunder. Arek did this to me. He did this to announcing the revival of the Sinistrals!”
“WHAT?!” Wain shouted. “How can it be true?”
“Yes, I know,” she spoke. “But it is not too late yet. They have not been revived yet. You would want to avenge my death, wouldn’t you?”
“Of course! I’ll do anything for you!” Wain said. Samantha continued, “You can stop the revival, and only you. But you will have to travel far. An energy wave is held in the Golden Shrine of Darkness. Arek has found it and is trying to wield it and use it to revive the Sinistrals. You must find it before Arek wields it. The Dual Blade will aid you. It can destroy the energy force, and it will guide you the way.”
“Thank you, Samantha,” said Wain. “I will go to Patos first to get my friends.”
“No!” said Samantha, “Your friends cannot aid you here. This is your adventure. Besides, you are too far from Patos already and we must not lose time.”
“But my friends…” Wain started. “Forget about your friends,” she spoke sternly. And, just like before, Wain forgot his friends and decided to take Samantha’s route. He set off to his adventure.
Samantha looked after him contently. So far, Arek’s plan was working perfectly.

Chapter V: The Separation

And the plan was working fine, because the villagers of Patos experienced true horror at that moment. People had just settled down, when a force came from the sky and crashed into Patos! The village was left in ruins, and the force smashed Wain’s friends in various directions. That was the end of Patos. Some villagers, like them, got blown in the air as well; the others did not survive the attack and got covered in the dust that was once the small village Patos. The friends got separated: Seena flew north, in the direction Wain had taken. Melphis and her brother Deckard landed together in the northwest of Patos. Randolph landed not far from them. Aima and Dei got blown northeast. Mousse landed to the east. The others landed south. Arek had succeeded: the good friends had been separated.
But they had not given up their hope. Seena travelled north, determined to find Wain and bring him to his senses. Randolph met up with Melphis and Deckard, and the three of them decided to follow the same track. Aima and Dei wanted to get to the others as soon as possible, but camped for the rest of the day: they thought, wisely, they needed to rest and recover their strength. Mousse understood that something evil was at its work and wanted to rejoin the party as soon as possible, but the poor beast was exhausted. It took a good sleep for a few days. The others were so far from the party; they realized they could never catch up with them. They still believed that the others could do it. And that, actually, was exactly what Arek had failed to prevent.

Chapter VI: Arek’s Wrath

Arek was pleased. Indeed, the friends had not given up hope, but they were getting more powerless each day. Soon, he would rule. He noticed that Wain’s friends were trying to find him. “Alright then,” he said to himself. “All I have to do is stop their track. I must make sure they do not find each other. I will make their journey difficult, but let the descendant go further. Once he reaches his destination, the Golden Shrine of Darkness, he will see that nothing is there and finally give up hope. Dual Blade, we shall meet soon!!!”
Then, Sarabi entered the room. “Sir Arek,” he said, “I have watched the people. Two people who had landed together, Aima and Dei, are moving at full speed! They have rested much longer than the others, but are progressing much faster!”
“Indeed?” said Arek. “Yes, sir,” replied Sarabi. “My calculations tell me that they can reach Wain in less than a week if they hold on to that speed.”
“One week?!” exclaimed Arek. “Then I must stop them now! I will think of something for each group to slow them down. I will start with those two of which you speak. I must act fast.”
“In the deepest of the Earth lives a monstrous creature, known as the Fire Snake,” said Sarabi. “It could stop them. I have already sent word. It is willing to aid us if we give him the power of resisting water, which is its only weakness.”
“I see…” said Arek thoughtfully. “That is one of the powers held in the Golden Shrine of Darkness itself! This is what I will do. I will first slow them down by myself, then retrieve the power I need, and then the snake can finish them off.”
“Very well sir,” said Sarabi and left.

Chapter VII: Eldain

Melphis, Deckard and Randolph walked on bravely, not knowing that they were in mortal danger. They travelled northeast. Suddenly, a voice came from a few meters away from them. “So, you have chosen this perilous quest,” said the voice. “Wh-what?” exclaimed Melphis. “Do not be frightened, for I am here to help,” answered the voice. “I am a spirit of one of the four good Gods up high. Yes,” it said as a response to their stunned looks. “There are four good Gods and four evil gods, the Sinistrals. We do not want to meddle with the business down here, or we had destroyed the Sinistrals by ourselves. However…”
“What?” shouted Deckard, “You guys could have stopped all this but you didn’t?!”
“Do not be foolish,” spoke the voice sternly. “We have helped. We created the Dual Blade. We sent it down. If the humans had faith, the Dual Blade would help them. If not, it would join the Sinistrals. But Maxim had faith, and the same way, the people had faith in Maxim. It is one of the things that are so important. But the people are forgetting to keep faith. It is because of Arek’s plan. Dual Blade may still return to Arek! And if that happens, the world will be finished. So, as I was saying, we do not wish to meddle and help you. However, things are getting out of hand. I will only alert you. You have all been deceived by Arek’s helper, Sarabi. The girl that had been struck by the bolt, calling herself Samantha, was in fact him. He has returned to the world now and has sent Wain on a difficult quest, a quest that will involve his death unless you stop him!” And he explained what Samantha had told Wain.
“Oh, no!” the three shouted. Then Randolph said, “But what can we do? If Arek has indeed Wain in his power, then we will never be able to stop him!”
“Yes we can!” said Deckard suddenly. “My motto is: never give up hope! Even if we have to go round the world, we will find Wain!”
“Excellent!” exclaimed the God. “That proves that humans still have hope. My name is Eldain. Now, here’s what you can do. You must find the Lost Spirit of Faith. It is a spirit, which sends energy waves through us all. But, since Arek succeeded in causing true Chaos into the humans, those energy waves are becoming weaker and weaker. If you find it, you can energize the waves and make them stronger again. This can only be done by powerful humans. Do you believe in yourself? Are you such people?”
“I am assured we are. If we find our friends again, we can do it together,” said Randolph. Melphis and Deckard agreed. “But how can we find it?” asked Deckard. “Even we do not know,” answered Eldain. Rumours go that the Dual Blade is the key to find the Spirit.”
“So, we must catch up with Wain first!” said Melphis. “Yes,” replied Eldain. “I will give you this gift to aid you.” And suddenly, a heavy wind blew from the trees. Six golden balls of light emitted from the sky. Two of them went to the north, one to the south, and three came in their direction. Each ball of light struck one of the friends. It felt warm and powerful to each of them. “This is sacred magic,” explained Eldain. “It will enable you to communicate telepathic with your friends.” Then he stopped. “O, no!” he shouted. “Wain and Seena are too far away to contact! Listen, you must go. Arek will do everything to stop you. This is a dangerous quest. Explain to your friends what I have just told you. Try to meet each other. And find Wain! It is most important that you find him before he reaches the Shrine! Go now!” and the three set off on their dangerous adventure.
Behind a tree nearby, Sarabi appeared and flew up to Arek. He had heard everything and reported to Arek.

Chapter VIII: Mousse’s Battle

Mousse had rested and was now walking for a week. He was still a good distance away from the others, but he regained hope now that he could communicate him. They could understand him, and he them. He was prepared to join the Quest for the Spirit of Faith. One day, it was starting to get late and the animal decided to take a brake, when suddenly a flame erupted from the sky! Mousse dodged it, though narrowly. “Muku, uku Muku!” he cried desperately. And then he saw it. A fire dragon was thundering from the sky, flying straight towards him! Quickly, he warned the others with the magic. Their voices encouraged him. They told him to fight bravely. Meanwhile, the dragon was almost at the ground. It growled and glared at Mousse with big, yellow eyes. It was three times the size of Mousse. Mousse lunged at it. It got hit on one of its dark wings. It roared and threw its claw at Mousse, who narrowly dodged it. Mousse attacked. He used his double punch technique against the dragon. The dragon got hit, and took a step backwards. Then Mousse used his Tail Illusion! The dragon groaned in pain, and breathed fire at Mousse. His tail burned, and Mousse squealed. He stood up and threw all his power at the dragon. The dragon, however, dodged his attack. It stamped on the ground, then threw its tail hard against Mousse. He got hit and smashed into a tree. The tree was wobbling. That gave Mousse an idea. He aimed carefully, nibbled at the last bit still holding the tree and then pushed with all his might. The tree fell right on top of the dragon. It was dead. Mousse sighed in relief. He watched the dragon’s body for a while. Then it all became too much for him and he passed out.

Chapter IX: Bat Storm

Aima and Dei had heard about their difficult quest, and also heard about the attack on Mousse. They decided to keep an eye open for trouble, but still continue fast. They walked the all day and a big part of the night. So far they progressed quickly, until one night, something happened. Dei was looking for berries that, according to Aima, boost your energy. Suddenly, thousands of giant bats flew from the sky. Dei shocked and dropped the berries he had found. He ran back to Aima, who had jumped up. “An attack!” Dei shouted. Aima rolled a stone from the ground, which revealed a hole, big enough for them to hide in. “Quickly! Under this rock!” she shouted. Dei and she jumped in the hole. Aima rolled the stone back, leaving a little spot for them to peep through. The bats were zooming straight to them! They knew where Aima and Dei were! There were about a thousand of them, and they looked much more aggressive than normal bats, with strong, firm wings and sharp claws. The first ten made for their stone, but they could not fit into the hole. Aima and Dei looked at each other, relieved. But then the others arrived, and knocked together into the stone with such force that the stone budged, and rolled off the hole. Dei jumped out of the hole quickly, drew his sword, and prepared for the attack. Aima leapt out of the hole and concentrated on her master techniques. Some of the bats were dizzy from the knock, but recovered quickly. They flew towards Aima and Dei, who fought back bravely. Their main shot was Scatter Hit, so they could kill 5 bats each at once. The bats strike back, which hurt them, but also raised their IP. After half an hour, half of the bats were slaughtered. The remaining ones fled from the battle at full speed, and flew into the night. Aima and Dei sat down, feeling exhausted. Luckily, they had brought some potions, and recovered quickly. “We have landed ourselves in quite a mess, haven’t we?” said Dei. “Yes,” answered Aima in a worried voice. “And this also proves it. Arek is indeed after us.”

Chapter X: To the Darkness

Aima and Dei informed their friends what had happened. Then they decided to take it in turns to watch out for trouble. For a few hours, this went on. Then it was Dei’s turn. He sat down and listened to a few owls hooting. He thought about what would happen to them and their friends. Would he ever see them again? What if Seena and Wain had already perished and they were travelling for nothing? But he couldn’t bear to think about them dead.
Suddenly, a shriek made him jump up. The bats were returning, and this time they were aiming for death. They went much faster, and now they were with five thousand! What could he and Aima do to defend themselves? Then he jumped. Aima! She was still asleep! And the bats were no more than two metres away from them! He dashed to her tent and opened it. “Aima…” he gasped. Then he received such a hit that he was knocked to the ground. He scrambled up. There was no time left for him to wake Aima. He attacked the gathering bats with Scatter Hit. He knocked down quite a few, but there were too many bats remaining and he passed out. He fell into the tent, next to Aima. The bats grabbed hold of the tent and lifted it up to the sky. They were already five metres from the ground, when Aima woke up. She felt that she was in the sky. She saw Dei lying lifeless next to her and jumped. “Dei!” She shouted. She took the bag of items next to her and took a Miracle from it. She gave it to Dei and he recovered. “Ow, my head!” he groaned. “What happened?” Aima asked. Dei told her about the battle. “So where are we now?” Aima wondered then. Then she shocked. “Dei,” she shuddered, “y-you don’t think…”
“What?” Dei looked at her. “You don’t think these bats are taking us to… to Arek?” she finished. Dei gave a soft yelp. “Now you mention it…” he said slowly. “I fear that they might be. Things are really starting to look bad now.”

Chapter XI: The Fortress of Eternal Terror

But Dei was not right. Things weren’t starting to look bad then. Things had been looking bad for a long time. A month had passed since the disastrous party. Since then, Arek had been getting more and more powerful. He was getting near to revive the Sinistrals. The Spirit of Faith was getting ever weaker and weaker. He was sitting on his dark throne, laughing at his own brilliance. He was also waiting for news on his latest attacks. He would soon be getting not only the information of success, but also the victims.
The bats arrived at the Fortress of Eternal Terror. This was Arek’s castle. Aima and Dei were amazed by it. It was nothing like the Fortress of Doom. This fortress is much larger and more grim-looking. It floats in the sky and is only visible within five metres. It is an enormous and powerful building. Massive towers branch from it. In the centre, a large tower stretches above all the others. That is the tower in which the Dark Throne is, which is the throne on which Arek sits. However, the most terrifying of the castle is the inside. When you are in it, terror immediately overtakes you. You feel as though a dangerous beast can sneak out of every corner. You feel that you are in great peril. The same fear overtook Aima and Dei. There was tenseness between the pair of them. Through a hole in the tent, which had been damaged severely by the bats, they watched, frightened, where they were going. The bats stopped in a hall, apparently waiting for something. The minutes passed by. Finally, a man approached. He wore red robes, and had a black mask on his face. “So,” he spoke in a rasping voice. “Arek will be pleased. Leave the victims here. I will bring them to the Dark Throne.” And the bats flew away. “Float!” the man shouted, and the tent hovered a metre above the ground. The man walked further, and the tent bobbed after him. The man walked to a wall. He traced a cross at the wall. Suddenly, it disappeared. A circular staircase could be seen behind it. The man climbed the stairs. The tent was too big for the stairs, and it squeezed up the stairs, which was quite uncomfortable for Aima and Dei. Then they finally reached the top of the stairs. A door was there. The man went through it, and leaded the tent after him. They were now in a circular room, where ten locked doors were. The one that they had come from locked itself automatically. However, the man did not walk to one of the doors. Instead, he went to the centre of the room, where ten unlit candles were. The man lit six candles up by tapping them with his finger. Then, he walked to one of the doors. He tapped it. It unlocked and he opened it. Inside, there was yet another staircase. This one zigzagged at certain points, and then, they reached the top, where yet another door was. The man knocked on the door. “In,” came a cold voice from the inside. The man opened the door and stepped in. He walked into a room on a red banner, until he was almost at the end of the room. He held his arms high, and the tent vanished. Dei and Aima fell out of it. “Well, well,” said the cold voice. The two looked up and stared into a terrifying face. It had stretched, steel-coloured skin. The eyes were tiny slits. The body sat in a throne. And now the two saw where they had been taken. They looked again at the frightful person in front of them. It was Arek.

Chapter XII: Arek

“So,” Arek repeated. Aima and Dei gasped. Fear overtook them. Arek looked at each of them with a long, penetrating stare. Then, at last, he spoke. “We finally have you. And here you will stay… Magic Drain!” he shouted, and all the magic Dei and Aima ever had left them. They could no longer contact their friends. Suddenly, Dei stirred. “I still have my sword, and I will stop you!” With that, he swept his sword towards Arek, who suddenly disappeared, and reappeared behind him. Aima joined the battle and hit Arek with the Ultimate Energy Punch. WHAM! Arek was smashed to the ground. Dei stroke Arek several times with his sword. Suddenly, however, he froze. Arek rose up. His cloak was torn, and several wounds were visible beneath it. “Foolishness,” he hissed. He raised his arms high, and the two friends were struck with Lightning. They collapsed.
If they thought they had at least inflicted a considerable amount of damage, they were wrong. “Regenerate!” Arek shouted. Immediately, all his wounds healed, and his cloak was as good as new. He looked down on the two. “You cannot stop me,” he said. “There is nothing you can do to prevent me from ruling the world.”
With difficulty, Aima got up. “Wha-What do you want from us?” she asked. “Firstly,” Arek spoke, “I wish to prevent you from messing up my plan. Secondly, you will aid me.”
“We will never help you!” shouted Dei, standing up as well.
“Is that so?” said Arek softly. “We will see about that. Come, Sarabi,” he added, addressing the man in the robes, who quickly walked up to them. “Warp!” he said, and the four of them were whisked away.

To be continued...

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