• This story takes place in the year 5704. The expression time always come back around rings true in this scene; It is the medieval times once again where knights, kings, queens, battles, wizards and captured princesses are the talk of the times. However, the technology of today, and maybe even tomorrow is incorporated into this tale.

    The air around Corax first wavered, then was set ablaze in a ball of red and orange fire surrounding his body from foot to head and down the length of the sword. As he raised his head, his hair was flung wildly around from the heat pouring from his body as if a strong up draft was gushing from the ground beneath him that was quickly turning to glass. His face was contorted in pure anger and hatred as his teeth grew into long fangs. The Dragon’s Claw rippled across the surface as if black water had filled the blade while it began to ring in a low note, howling like an angry cobra provoked into getting ready to strike. The armor surrounding his shoulders fell to the ground in white hot flakes, burning the shirt off from his shoulders like paper, revealing the numerous whip scars that criss-crossed his back and three small bumps on his right shoulder that vibrated up and down as they began to grow. His right forearm and upper arm also began to swell as something grew beneath his skin. Erin began to back away from Corax in utter terror that just a moment ago was only kneeling down to catch his breath, and now was some kind of monster that no one could stop. Her fear turned to horror as his shoulder and arm suddenly exploded as three long frill ribs sprouted from his shoulder, and a bone spur that looked like a scythe, cut through the skin on his fore arm and upper arm, while his finger nails grew out into long pointed claws. Erin continued backing away from him until she pressed herself as far as she could against a wall, watching in wide-eyed terror as Corax’s shoulder blades began to swell like a fleshy bubble. A bloody explosion ripped through the air as what looked like long muscular arms reached out from his shoulder blades, growing out with terrible speed, which continued to grow until they spread out nearly one hundred feet. From those arms exploded more frill ribs, bringing with them thin sheets of flesh. When they had reached maximum length, what looked to be arms at first, were actually one hundred foot wingspan dragon’s wings, each rib tipped with a poisonous spur dripping with acidic venom.
    “Worrok!” he said in a low growl that sounded as if two voices were speaking.
    “You’ve cursed my family for 4 millennia, and I am GROWING SICK OF IT!” he roared while the fire around him intensified, lifted his wings, and leapt up in the air, making a crater and explosion that spread the fire out beneath him, leaping up the sides of the crater like coals hitting the bottom of a pan. Worrok swung his huge clawed hand, trying to swat Corax out of the air like a fly. Corax beat his wings, making him fly faster away from the huge clawed hand of Worrok, allowing him to strike the dragon across the head, leaving a deep slice mark between his eyes spewing bright green blood. A huge ballistic round from a Shark armored tank whizzed passed Corax, and then exploded once it hit Worrok’s Iron like scales. Corax looked behind him, then streaked down to the Shark that had fired the round, and obliterated it, and the five remaining Sharks near it.
    “Do not interfere!” he growled.
    “FIRE!” a thousand fire tipped arrows flew through the air towards Corax, but all of them were turned to ash as a single wave of fire, like an arch, disintegrated them.
    “Good…you are starting to think like a dragon, Corax.” Worrok’s voice thundered in Corax’s head.
    “I WILL NOT SERVE YOU!!!” he turned back to the Dragon Of Dragons in a streak of white fire like a comet circling the earth. Worrok opened his mouth and blasted a huge ball of energy towards Corax, which Corax met with his own blast of energy he launched through his sword, making an explosion ten thousand times greater then any bomb ever created. Erin still watched, frozen in fear and trying to breathe through her tight throat, clinging to the rock like she used to cling to Corax’s leg when the attack began. More arrows flew through the air, but were again turned to ash, but this time, Corax flew down to the archers and burned them to the ground like paper statues.
    “Princess!” a voice screamed, breaking through her sheer terror to see Shinzo, Dia, Wolf, and Davis carrying a quiver and a great bow.
    “Please, you must stop him. If he keeps going like this, he’ll undoubtedly destroy all of Verioso!”
    “No, I can’t.”
    “You Must!”
    “I can’t!”
    “If you wont, then I will!” Erin peeled her fingers from the rock and took hold of the weathered bow and quiver and held them close.
    “Corax, forgive me.” She dawned the quiver, and loaded the bow, pulling the huge bow nearly as tall as she was as far as she could, pulling the trigger on the bow to tighten the sinews and bending the wood until splinters stood out from the bow. Tears welled up in her eyes as she aimed her bow at Corax, following him as he darted from here to there while Worrok swatted time and time again, sometimes knocking Corax to the ground.
    “Forgive me…forgive me! Forgive me! FORGIVE ME!” her mind screamed as her vision blurred from the tears in her eyes welling up and streaming down her face. Corax struck Worrok, sending him sprawling across the ground, unconscious for the moment, and then he sensed Erin’s indecision and looked over his shoulder with burning eyes that seemed to look through her. Fear suddenly rushed over her as she caught Corax’s eye, hovering in the air just looking over his shoulder with death in his eyes. Gritting her teeth, she uttered in a tear shaken whisper, tears streaming down her face,
    “Forgive me, Corax.” And let the arrow fly. For what seemed like eternity the arrow shot up in a straight line to him, leaving behind the woman who had shot it at her love, her one, her only, Corax. It nearly hit him when Corax disappeared, then reappeared, swinging the sword to connect with the bow, just above her hand, and cut the bow with a clean slice, flames fluttering, then swung the sword around again, this time to connect with her neck. Erin froze in terror as the fluttering flames tearing through the air on the sword came nearer and nearer. She shut her eyes, and waited; but the heat from the fire never came; she opened her eyes to see why, and saw Corax staring down the blade with blazingly cold orange eyes that seemed to dance like fire, holding the halberd just barely touching her neck; not close enough to cut, but not far enough away to not feel the warm steel against her neck.
    “Don’t move!” he growled. Worrok’s tail came crashing down between them; Corax managed to leap out of the way, but the explosion sent Erin flying through the air, skidding and bouncing to a stop.
    “ERIN!” Corax screamed, rushing to her side while the fire that surrounded him began to fade, then went out as little tongues flew off of him as he neared Erin, throwing the dreaded black halberd to one side as if trying to get rid of some hated object of control, making it stick not far from where Erin lay.
    “Erin! ERIN! Oh please no. No no no no no…” He cradled her limp body in his arms, careful not to squeeze to tightly with his clawed right hand while he shed great tears of grief, making his who body shake while he wrapped the huge wings around them both like a shield.
    “Corax, I can’t…breathe.” Corax’s breath caught as he loosened his grip to look into her beautiful emerald green eyes.
    “I’m ok, I just hit my head a little.”
    “Don’t push yourself, you’ll make it worse.” Suddenly the air around them lit up in a blue light, as Corax’s hair changed from black to golden brown and his eyes faded back to that beautiful topaz brown she had known before he disappeared the first time.
    “Welcome back, Dante. Are you here to stay this time?”
    “I can’t stay, I just wanted to see you one last time before I left.”
    “Don’t talk like you’re going to leave me again.”
    “I love you, please, live for my sake.” And he kissed her. Erin stopped it short.
    “What do you mean, ‘please live for my sake’?” Asked Erin, choking on her tears as she got to her knees and griped Corax’s shoulders, careful to avoid the poisoned spikes on his right shoulder. Corax brushed the back of his clawed fingers on his right hand across her cheek as he reached out to cradle her head in his massive hand as Worrok angrily rose from his unconscious nap, electricity feeling all over the ground as he gathered his power.
    “I mean, that this very well maybe goodbye…forever.”

    One year earlier

    “Where did he come from, do we know that?”
    “No master Freeton. He hasn’t said one word since he has gotten here besides requesting and audience with you.”
    “Then what is his name?” said the leader in a strong bass voice. The servant motioned to one of the others under his command and he ran off outside the court walls. The silence that was in the air while they waited was deafening, echoing off the marble walls like light being reflected from a thousand mirrors. The footsteps from the returning servant echoed heavily as it broke the silence from the minute or so that preceded. Running up to the head servant, the other servant looked pale as if he had seen some apparition. Once he reached the kneeling Head Servant, he bent down to whisper something into his ear, then backed away quickly back to his station, as pale as ever. The head servant hesitated while his own face drained of color and his hands began to shake.
    “His name, is Corax, Master Freeton.” The advisors, guards, servants, even the queen gasped when he spoke his name as if some horrible beast had appeared before them.
    “Tell him that his audience is denied and that he must leave this place at once.” bellowed the king as he stood to his feet.


    “Has he said what his purpose is here?”
    “No my lord, the only thing that he has said is to request an audience with you.”
    “What is his name?”
    “Forgive me majesty, I hadn’t asked him. I shell return shortly.” Said the messenger as he made a bow and turned heal to run out into the courtyard, and to their new guest.
    “A new person in the kingdom and he requests an audience as soon as he arrives?” the king thought. “That is odd”. The messenger came running back into the court, then knelt heavily to the king looking very pale.
    “His name is Corax, your majesty.” The king stood and pulled his robe around his shoulder as if to shield himself from an invisible foe.
    “Tell him to leave at once, and set the guard triple the normal at the gate he leaves from.”


    “An Audience you say. And he has said nothing else?”
    “Then what is his name, that the kingdom of Horkina may know who our new citizen is?”
    “He hasn’t said, Master Chicongu.”
    “Then bring him in that we may hear directly from him what his name is.” The heavy wooden gates to the King’s court were pulled open, swinging silently on their huge hinges.
    “You may enter stranger.” Called one of the announcers into the blinding light that spilled onto the polished floor of the palace as the king strained his eyes to see who would enter. What appeared from the blinding light was a man about five feet, nine inches tall, carrying with him a sword that was twice as long as he was tall. His hair was jet black, reaching down to his waist and his eyes were like pure fire with a single earring sporting three small red beads and two fairly large Alena bird feathers: white feathers tipped with gold, hidden beneath his hair. Two black markings were on the right of his face, and one above his left eye. On his neck he wore two things: an Heirloom Medallion, and a silver pendant with a single large Ruby set in the middle of a starburst of silver. His feet were clad in heavy leather boots with large steel buckles, which thumped on the boards leading up the palace. He wore a gray shirt that was stretched over his muscles, and a long, black, flowing coat that rippled from the wind that blew outside. His black pants where that of a normal man, and a wide belt kept his pants in place; but the expression on his face is what intrigued the king the most. It was a blank, cold stare that never wavered even when he entered in the dark room. The doors were closed behind him, as he made his way to that foot of the throne in the same semi-heavy steps, and that unbreakable stare. When he reached the throne, he took his sword and set it pointing to the king flat on the ground, knelt on one knee, then bowed his head.
    “Rise stranger, what be your name?” The man got to his feet, head still bowed with his waist length hair falling to its place while leaving the sword on the floor. The sword changed color, from the normal shiny silver color, to a faintly yellow color. When his hair settled, he raised his head and looked the king directly in the eye with the same blank, cold stare, then spoke in a calm tone of voice that seemed sinister.
    “My name is Corax.” Every single person in that room gasped when they heard his name. The king’s happy expression on his face quickly changed to anger as all the guards of the palace quickly surrounded him. Corax bent down and reached out his hand and the weapon was drawn to it off the ground, then again changed color, from the faint yellow to a dark gray.
    “Leave this place at once, or I shall have your head taken right here.” Corax showed no fear, nothing at all, just that same blank, cold stare that never faltered, except only to blink his eyes. He then stood, put the sword on his shoulder, turned and walked to the doors that led out into the courtyard. Outside, a small boy waited while his friend was inside, asking for permission to stay in this village. When the door swung open, the boy leapt to his feet and ran to Corax, but when he saw that the blade of his sword was a dark gray, his face fell in disappointment.
    “Looks like we’ll be sleeping under the stars again tonight” he thought.
    “Shinzo, let’s go. We are not welcome here.” The guards shivered as the same calm emotionless tone of voice was used when he talked to the boy.
    “Wait!” called the king after Corax. “The boy may stay if you are looking for a place for him to stay.” Corax turned and faced the king as his sword darkened even more, now looking closer to black then gray.
    “If the boy stays, I stay.” The lack of emotion in this man’s voice was simply bone chilling.
    “How could anyone have so much control over his voice and emotions that nothing ever fazes him?” the King asked himself, but said nothing. Corax turned back, and began to walk through the village, on to the next town. Some time after leaving the village Shinzo spoke up as the two of them walked in no given direction, and the sword had gone back to its silvery shine.
    “Corax, why doesn’t any village want us to stick around? I mean it’s not like we’ve done anything bad.”
    “It’s a long story. My past is what haunts me.” Corax’s mind drifted as they walked.

    “I don’t care what you think; you are not going to lay my life down as a ransom for your life. Just because I was born with this mark, and something went horribly wrong in your experiment, doesn’t mean that I have any less right to live.”
    “But you must, or the master of this land will surely kill us all…” Corax was brought back to the present with Shinzo pulling at his sleeve.
    “Did you hear what I said Corax?” asked Shinzo.
    “What did you say?” Any person who would have met Corax would tell you that no matter the situation, his expression, nor his voice loudness or tone ever changed.
    “I said that there was a turn off back a little way to a town called Verioso. We could try there.”
    “How many leagues was it?” asked Corax.
    “I think the sign said one, but the path looked like it was caved in a long time ago.”
    “Then let’s go, if the path is hidden, then no one can come after us.”
    “Come after us?”
    “People from my past. Let’s go.” And so they turned back to find the small road that seemed blocked by an ancient rockslide; moss and grasses covered the rock as though it had happened a very long time ago.
    “Looks like a long climb, best get started.” Said Shinzo.
    “Wait.” Corax looked up to what looked like the summit. “Hang onto me.” Shinzo jumped onto Corax’s back, and then nearly fell off, as Corax in one leap was half way up the mountain, and then in another leap was at the summit with the sword in tow. Shinzo climbed down and looked back down the way they had come and was amazed that two days of climbing had been turned into three seconds of near flight.
    “I see shafts of smoke. If we walk a bit faster, I think we can make it there by dark.” Corax said, while the blade of his sword hazed over just a little in white. The sword that is spoken of was like none other built at that time, where machines and Knights fought side by side, as well as on opposing sides. This sword was over fourteen feet long; nearly double the height that Corax stood. The blade, from tip to hilt was nine feet long, and looked as if two swords had been pounded together at the hilt and point; The first four feet widened from a point to eighteen inches, then narrowed to sixteen inches, and then widened back out to twenty inches the last five feet into a thick steel hilt, one foot long and six inches thick. Eight pairs of depressions were in it all along the blade’s edges. Each of these depressions held a Kokotan, or Power Crystal, which enabled Corax to use seemingly endless supernatural powers with this sword, leaving the last four feet in a handle that was topped with a crescent moon-like scythe that acted as a counter weight. When evening came, it found the two traveling companions nearing the gate of the small kingdom known as Verioso. Corax looked at the sign that was above the entrance, his unchanging expression looking over the gold letters that spelled out the name of the small kingdom. The guards at the gate were reclining up against the posts, talking about things that they had done in the past, what they missed the most, and finally about the princess of the land.
    “Have you seen her lately?” said the first guard
    “No, but I heard that you did. What’s she like?” asked the second.
    “She’s a rare beauty that one. The last time I remember seeing her was when she was still a little girl.”
    “Wasn’t that about 10 years ago?”
    “Yeah, it’s hard to believe it’s been so long. But she’s really flirtatious. She even flirted with a man in the market place the other day.”
    “Oh? This could be interesting.” Thought Corax.
    “How’d she get out of the palace without being noticed?”
    “She dressed as…Hold, you there!” Corax stopped just as he came within speaking distance of the two guards. Shinzo ducked behind him, just peeking around Corax while the three of them talked.
    “Welcome to Elfin lands of Verioso, what brings you to this land?”
    “I only wish to find a home. I also wish to ask for an audience with your king.”
    “And what name do you go by, so that we may know who it is that has come to us?” Shinzo tensed, and Corax’s sword hazed over the color of scarlet.
    “My name, is Corax.”
    “What an interesting name, please come with us, and we shall request the audience.” The soldiers turned to go, at which Corax followed with Shinzo close behind him.
    “Corax, Do you know why they haven’t gotten scared yet?” The sword shimmered slightly.
    “It puzzles me as well. Perhaps my bad reputation hasn’t reached this part.” His calm tone of voice reached the soldiers ears, immediately making them turn their spear points at him. Corax braced himself with the blade of the sword across his front, which had darkened to almost black in an instant.
    “What reputation? Is there something we should know about?” the first soldier asked.
    “Are you a rogue?”
    “Nothing of the sort. People have spread rumors about me, all of them untrue. I was just surprised that they had not reached this part of the country.” The sword darkened even more and more, constantly gaining the shine of a blade made of onyx.
    “What sort of rumors?” asked the second soldier.
    “That of being a destructive rogue.”
    “If you get to know him, he’s actually a nice guy.” Piped up Shinzo. The soldiers relaxed, and Corax spun the sword around, bringing it to rest on his shoulder again, which had returned to its polished silvery surface. The soldiers again turned and began walking again to the palace, which lay in the distance almost like a mountain. As they walked through town, Corax noticed that most of the men in the village didn’t wear any kind of shirt, except for a few men, who seemed to hold a slightly high position in the village that wore a wide chain sash. The women were all dressed in normal peasant clothes, but Corax couldn’t help but notice that all of the younger looking women had the front of their shirts extremely low cut, but no one seemed like it was something to be shunned.
    “Must be their normal practice here in this place,” thought Corax. Another thing that caught his eyes was that all the mothers brought their children to the doors and pointed as they explained something into their little pointed ears. The high, brown walls of the castle seemed to reflect the sunlight like a mirror, along with the heat that the sun brought. Heavy wooden gates guarded the front entrance like bulls ready to charge any unsuspecting intruder. Above the gates there was the huge steel head of a Brawn, a creature that strongly resembled a warthog with four long horns and fang-like tusks.
    “Open the gates.” Called the first soldier. Along the top of the gate, another soldier dressed in polished brass armor peered over the wall.
    “Who goes, and what is the purpose?” asked the man.
    “Gretora and Selen. We have a visitor who wishes an audience with the king, Captain.” The captain eyed Corax a moment, and then ordered the gates to be opened with a strong baritone voice that carried far down the lane. The sound of clinking gears, chains, whirring generators, and creaking hinges met them soon after the command to open them was given. When they had opened completely, a deep and rolling boom signaled when the gates reached the maximum width by hitting the posts that held the stone walls at the gate. No sooner had they passed through, when the loud noises sounded again, closing the heavy Iron Wood gates behind them. Shinzo noticed that just before the gates closed, there were long spears and spikes between the gates that drove into holes in the opposite gate, surely injuring any fool dumb enough to reach their arm through.
    “Shinzo, come.” Said Corax. Shinzo turned and ran to catch up to his big brother, as he had come to know him. Even though Corax’s facial expression never changed, Shinzo could tell when he was deep in thought, or looking back on memories; he noticed that the two Kokotans near the end of the sword began to glow. Corax’s mind began to wander again as the memory of being brought through the gates of the experiment center called Candy raced across his mind, then the painful memories of blood and his comrades…
    “Corax!” said Selen sternly.
    “Wait here until you are called for.” Corax closed his eyes and nodded his head then opened them again while the two soldiers went onto what looked to be the throne room. “What were you thinking about so intently Corax?” asked Shinzo.
    “Things from my past.” Even though it had been three years since he began following Corax, Shinzo always got goose bumps every time he spoke; His calm tone of voice, no matter what the situation seemed like it could chill anyone to the bone.
    “Corax and the boy, your audience has been granted.” Corax walked slowly up the steps leading into the throne room; the heavy black boots that he wore creaked and clicked every time he took a step from the heavy buckles and black leather that tied them to his feet. Inside the large room, there was one large Emerald set on a three-legged stand in front of three seats, which were on top of a three stared platform in the shape of a half circle. In the middle sat the king, to the left was the lovely Queen, and on the right was the most beautiful woman that Corax had ever seen. Her emerald green eyes and snow-white hair offset her light toned skin beautifully; though the royal clothes worn by both the queen and princess made it very hard for any man’s eyes to not wonder. A fitted cream-colored dress that came to nearly the floor flowed over her curves, ending just below the shoulders and looked as though it had been folded over, leaving the shoulders bare with flowing sleeves. Two gold bands in a chevron were worn near the hips level, exposing her near perfect figure. The king, however, wore a traditional white shirt and pants with a wide black and red sash across the front. Gold chains were draped across the front held in place by two disks the size of a Bren (about the size of a half dollar), which also held in place a dark red cloak that covered the right shoulder as well as the back. He was a handsome man, of a slightly muscular build, with short black hair and emerald green eyes. The Queen was a very lovely, young looking woman, with grass green eyes and mid-back length brown hair that shone in the late evening light. The princess, however, was even more beautiful then the queen. Her slender frame, 4’ 10” height and well-proportioned body made it very hard not to stare. Like her mother and father, she also had deep, emerald green eyes, but unlike her parents, she had a mass of flowing, floor length, snow-white hair that was strangely streaked with four blood red streaks. She also had a crescent moon on her forehead in dark blue henna that was renewed daily. It took all Corax had to keep from staring at the Princess and kneel in the fashion he had been taught from his former kingdom of Horrek while setting the sword down when he reached the foot of the throne steps. The right knee was knelt on and your right fist with knuckles down at your side, while the other knee remained bent and off the ground with your left arm supporting your weight, and your head bent.
    “Shinzo, kneel before your king.” Whispered Corax. Shinzo looked at Corax, then quickly bowed a deep bow and stayed there.
    “Where do you two wanderers come from?” asked the king. His voice sounded young, much younger then he looked.
    “I, Corax, am from the Kingdom of Horrek.” There was a moment of odd silence, and then Corax nudged Shinzo.
    “I, Shinzo, Hail you from the kingdom of Celina.”
    “Celina? Why does that sound so familiar?” thought Corax. Images of the sunshine and meadows, a young slender elf girl, and the taste of fresh baked cookies flashed across his mind. The king, queen, and princess all stepped forward to shake the hand of their new comers.
    “Rise, Corax of Horrek and Shinzo of Celina.” They extended their hands in greeting, and Corax took each one bowing as he did. When he got to the princess, he tried his best not to stare up and down her pleasant body. But once his hand touched hers, the princess swore that a shock of electricity went shooting up her arm, making her heart begin to pound.
    “Calm down, calm down. It’s just your imagination,” she told herself, but she couldn’t get her heart to stop racing.
    “What be your business?” the king asked kindly.
    “We have been wandering for a long time and are looking for a place to call home. May we stay here in Verioso?” The sword lightened as it turned white. The king smiled, then bent over to listen to the queen, who was pointing to the sword and whispering something in the kings ear; the sword’s white color faded into the pinkish color of scarlet. The king then nodded, and turned his attention back to Corax.
    “What is that sword called that you carry?” asked the king. “There is a legend through out this land that a man like you will come with a large sword called The Dragon’s Claw. It is also said to look much like yours does. Also it says that he will have a boy with him who carries a staff which holds a hidden weapon.” The Scarlet faded to silver, and then the blade shimmered only for a moment as he looked at Shinzo. Shinzo nodded, and then Corax turned back to the king.
    “This is indeed the sword Dragon’s Claw, as is the boy who wields the hidden weapon.” Answered Corax. “So that’s the reason they were pointing and whispering,” he thought.
    “May I see some of your skills?” asked the queen.
    “We may need to go outside. Some of my skills are…quite powerful.”
    “Then we shall. Messenger, have the men set up some obstacles ranging in size from a log to an elephant.” The messenger bowed, turned, and ran out the door.
    “Shinzo is it?” Asked the princess.
    “Yes?” he sounded surprised as well as a bit nervous, while trying as best he could to keep his eyes from wondering.
    “What is this hidden weapon you speak of?” she asked, with a slight tone of flirt in her voice, trying to get her heart to stop pounding by bringing her usual flirtatious attitude into the mix.
    “You’ll have to wait, you highness.” Came the calm yet cold reply from Corax.
    “What he said.” Shinzo said, pointing at Corax stiffly. The princess cocked her head a little at Corax, while a slightly stunned look came across her face.
    “I’ve never known any of our solders to have that much control over their emotions or their expressions.” She thought. The messenger came back into the room, and announced;
    “The obstacles are ready!” Corax turned around, bent down and picked up the sword revealing a spider web like scar on his wrist. The Princess’ eyes widened and her breath caught when she saw the scar, and placed her hand on her heart feeling it still racing, faster now then ever.
    “No, It’s only a coincidence.”
    “Erin? What’s wrong? You look pale.” said the king.
    “Nothing, I just…nothing, really.”
    “Alright, if you say so. Come on, lets go watch him.” Corax stepped out into the light and looked over the situation. Hundreds of objects, raging in size from firewood to a small house were scattered all over the courtyard. In one corner, there was a huge boulder the size of a hill on a cart specially made for carrying it.
    “You may begin any time you are ready, Corax.” said the king. Corax walked out onto the hard packed dirt of the courtyard and drove the tip of his sword into the ground, which was almost as hard as stone. He then walked a small distance to where he was to start. Everyone held their breath as he stood for what seemed like an eternity; he threw his arm out hand open to the sword, and the sword was drawn to it handle first. There was a split second that he was seen as he began to run, but when the sword handle touched his hand, a blur of color streaked around the courtyard while flashes of light appeared at each target. Suddenly, Corax stood where he started with one hand on the ground, one knee on the ground, and the sword behind him as though he finished a swing. Only a moment of silence filled the air then a hundred small explosions like firecrackers filled the air as each of the small and medium targets fell in splitters. After the last splinter fell, there was a noise like a sound wave rippling through the air that suddenly rose as the sword turned jet black. Corax leapt into the air, spinning the sword like to rotor of a helicopter, then stopped, putting his hand and the sword behind him as though going to make a power strike from above. As he neared the ground, 14 of the kokotans began to glow in a bright white light, while beginning to swing the sword over his head. The edge hit the ground with a loud bang and an explosion that sent a small, bright green fireball shooting towards one of the larger targets. When it hit, the 20-foot section of tree was vaporized, leaving only a black area where the tree section had been. The Kokotans were still glowing as he turned, swinging the sword back over his head and charging towards the large boulder. Just as he was charging again to attack, a pain shot through his right arm and shoulder.
    “No, not now.” Immediately the kokotans stopped glowing, and the blade turned bright red with the last two of the Kokotans glowing brightly, and getting brighter. He stuck the sword in the ground then reached up his hand and held his arm while the pain slowly subsided.
    “Corax, are you ok? Looks like you went too far this time.” Shinzo said, as he reached his brother.
    “I think I might have. Get me off the field.” Shinzo struggled for minute or two, but then lead Corax quickly out of the sight of the king and queen. The princess hadn’t seen what had happened; she was thinking about the scar she had seen on his left wrist in the shape of a spider’s web and the words of their trusted wizard, Depi.
    “When you are 25, you will fall in love with a man who has a scar in the shape of a spider’s web on his left hand. This same man will also be the salvation of Verioso.”
    “No this can’t be. Not him, he’s seems so cold, showing no emotion what so ever.” Still her heart was pounding as she thought about what she had seen.