Rebirth Online World

Creating, Telling, Sharing Dreams

Last High Human

Chapter 001 - V2 - Last High Human 1: Sacrifice, Regrets

 Last High Human 1: Sacrifice, Regrets


I pierced through another assailant with my sword. He fell on the ground with a thud, while I set my sights on Deunan. We exchanged a comprehensive look. She also dealt with her opponents without much difficulty and ascertained their death.

After killing the remaining assassins, we ran towards the throne room.The loud thudding of our steps echoed through the main hall as we made haste, ignoring the walls and floor covered in blood. On the pristine marble of the hall, amongst the guts and the corpses of the enemies, our fallen comrades were finally resting in peace. Their bodies were torn and ripped apart, liying here and there, scattered , still warm from the butchering.

Though their death were painful, their faces were expressionless. 

Deunan and I rushed to the large doors at the end of the hall and burst in.

Made of the same pristine marble, with veins of gold running through, the throne room was by far the largest and most luxurious room of the Bastion. The south, east and west walls were drapped in large flags of white and clear blue. The north side had no wall: it was wide open on the outside, offering a view on the capital's streets. Right before it stood three thrones: One of Zircon, belonging to the Princess. One of obsidian, belonging to the Crown Prince. And finally, a huge one, made of Dark Crystal, belonging to the King himself.

Despite the situation, I couldn't stop from taking a good peek.

In the throne room, the king was fighting a pair of intruders, clad in dark robes. Both of them used intermediate magic: the intruders casted Ice Blade, while the king used Flame Tongue and Burning Arrow.

Hélias III was an old man in his 80’s, with long white hair. His dignified red clothing emphasized his silver eyes and tanned skin. His body was large and muscular, giving him a strong, manly appearance. Any warrior would feel ashamed when faced with that physique. 

Twenty meters away, two more intruders dressed in the same dark robes were fighting against the Crown Prince Hélias IV, a 30 year old version of his father. 

Lying on the ground around them were dozens of dead soldiers, soaked in their own blood. I recognized some of them as members of my squad. Not the right place and time to die.

Deunan rushed to the Prince's side while I approached the King.
Rhod: “Is Your Majesty harmed?” I asked while deflecting an Ice Blade with my shield.
King: “We shan’t fall to such childish trickery, son. Now, hast thou come to speak or fight? ”
Rhod:" I have no apologies."
I raised my shield up, placing myself between the King and the threats.
King:" We need time bought to cast a stronger spell."
Though said as a declaration, the King's words and desires were orders at all time.
Rhod:" With my life."
I ran towards the intruder while deflecting another Ice Blade with my shield. I had a mission to carry.
I thrusted my sword at my opponent’s heart, but the fool ducked down, avoiding the lethal attack. I tried to kick him in the jaw but he dodged, jumping backwards. I jumped aside, placing him between me and his comrade, using his body as a meatshield.
The furthest opponent cancelled his spell while the closest shot another Ice Blade, with a  much sharper edge. Waiting for the last moment, I deflected the projectile with a powerful shield strike on it's side. Numerous pieces of ice flew away by the shock. Among them were shards of metal. Probably meant that my shield took some serious damage.
King: “Dodge, son!”
Hearing the King’s order and detecting a sudden high amount of Energy coming from behind, I immediately dove to the right and laid on the ground. The King’s spell passed right over me, damaging my armor. I quickly rolled onto my back and lifted my shield, holding it between my body and the powerful Lightning Spear of the King.
As the spell ended, the scent of carbonized flesh filled my nose, just as a wave of heat hit my body. I climbed to my feet, shield up.
The enemies were gone: only a lump of burnt black matter remained where they once stood seconds before.
I turned around and checked on the King. He was panting heavily, and while ignoring the results of his attack, tried to walk towards the other side of the throne room. I turned my eyes towards the direction he was heading to.
Deunan was currently impaled on an intruder’s sword. Her face turned towards me and her empty eyes seemed to beg for a savior. Her body fell on the corpse of a dead ennemy, while her killer had already gotten a few meters away.
Deunan was the only important person I had in this world. Losing her right now... what a waste.
But her loss wasn't going to halt me from making my mission a success. She had lived a great life, fighting for the greater good. Her Brand had helped her pass away without pain. She fell no pain, exhaustion, emotions... Neither of us did.
Truly, the Brand was our greatest asset, making us more efficient than regular soldiers and by far. It was the greatest gift the King offered- AH!
A sudden surge of Energy pulled me out of my thoughts, pulling me back into reality.
I turned my head towards it's origin to discover a half-mistery:
A circular hole, floating a few centimeters above the ground.
I recognized it as a Transportation Gate like any other, but didn't understand its properties. It's Energy flow and structure were far too different from what I had ever studied. Also, it had no elemental nature.... How was that thing not collapsing already...?
In front of the gate, the last assassin was standing with the unconscious prince on his shoulders. Both were bathed in an orange glow; grasses and trees becoming visible behind them, through the Transportation Gate. The intruder hoped on the other side of it.
Too bad for the prince. He's assigned escort was done for while protecting him. At least I had succeeded. Mission compl-
King:" After them son! Bring our heir back!"
The King wobbled in my direction, still exhausted from his spell. 
After nodding, I started running towards the assassin. He noticed me by the noise my armor made and dropped the Prince, letting him fall onto the ground as he extended his hand towards me and threw a Flame Tongue aimed at my head. I raised my shield and blocked it without slowing and moments later, the air suddenly grew fresher.
At the exact same time, I felt a burning pain shoot through my left arm, I immediately dropped my shield, carelessly. From the corner of my eyes I discovered that it's center had caught fire, where I discovered there now was a deep cut, it's edges covered in small shards of ice. I quickly stepped aside, in case another Flame Tongue would come at me. But nothing came.

I locked eyes with the assassin as he took out a knife. What, not using magic anymore? 

He thrusted forward at an incredible speed. With a step to the right, I dodged it but still got my left flank grazed by the attack. Fast! I didn't even have time to lift my sword. He then immediately kicked my right hand, disarming me. 

Assassin: “No one can stop us, brat! Give up!” A feminine voice ordered me, her voice filled with hatred and disdain.  So, under that hood, there was not a man but a woman. Didn't see that coming, but explained the great pool of Energy.

Disarmed and at the woman’s mercy I ran my brain at full throttle. If i could use Body Enhancement, the situation would already be resolved... She looked at me, her eyes full of disdain. She lowered her guard for a second.

I took the opportunity. I dove forward and catched the assassin in my arms, tackling her to the ground. As we fell, I clearly felt and heard four impacts on the back of my cuirass. Hopefully, her knife didn’t pierce through. I still had amission to carry.

We rolled on the ground, fighting for the upper hand. We struggled for about a minute: she was trying to stab my chest while I was attempting to block her off. 

Ultimately I took the upper hand using my superior strength: I managed to pin her down and with all my might, bashed her head with mine.

Then, fighting the blur and spinning caused by the shock, I ran my hand along her's in search of her knife. Which I quickly found and took possession right away. Grabbing it with both hands, I plunged it repeatedly into her flesh, unsure of where I was hitting. Only the warm sensation of her blood running down on my forearms told me I was aiming  where it counted. I stabbed, again and again, for only Vultar knows how long before she finally stopped moving. 

I heared her last breath, felt the fading grip of her hands on my arms and the sudden calm of my victory. Whoever she was, he silently died by my hands.

King: “Hurry lad! The portal whilst last but another minute!”

The king suddenly shouted. 

I had yet to came back to my senses but rushed to my feet, still dizzy, and walked towards the portal. I was staggering a lot, nearly falling every two steps. 

The King was trying to pull his son’s body back into the castle while the gate was slowly shrinking. It was nearly as wide as the Prince's body.

I fell to my knees on his right side and lifted his legs, bending them against his stomach. The King grabbed him by the belt and pulled the Prince all the way through, securing his son’s life. 

Then, I was suddenly attacked by a wave of dizziness. I tried to stand but instead fell on my flank. The world suddenly spinned at a tredmendous speed. I may have blacked out for a moment at this very instant.

King: “Son, hast thou given up thy life?!” 

Rhod: “M... My apologies. I… I May have been poisoned.” 

King: “Enough blabbering lad, make haste!” 

I stood up again, with difficulty, and approached the portal... but too late: It's width was now half that of my body.

I took off my helmet, letting it fall to the ground. It had multiple shards of ice and metal on the front. I took a deep breath, then rose my eyes, meeting mine with the King's. As fresh air caressed my sweaty face, the king's expression was telling me that he understood my intentions. I was braving the greatest taboo that a Branded could ever dare to brave.

Rhod: “I am beyond salvation your highness.” 

King: “Son…” 

Rhod: “Your highness, my mission is a success. Nothing else matters now. Also, since I can't serve your highness any longer, I will now take my own life as to not ashame your highness with any cowardly behaviour." 

Branded soldiers die whenever they are at a certain distance away from the King. Therefore, if a branded servant runs away, the brand will petrify his heart. But only cowardice or cruel circumstances could make it happen. I was indirectly showing my resolve to die an honorable death to his highness. 

King: “Son… it is never too late.” The King took off one of the rings attached at his necklace. “Thy torment is our doing, And despite all we did to thou, only loyalty hast allowed thou from not fleeing our service. Thou remained, and even saved our son’s life. We are indebted to thou.” 

The King…  indebted to- WHat...? No.. I... NO no no..I... No...

King: “Son, We shall pay this debt. From this very instant, We free thou from our authority, and bless thou with the title and possessions of our kingdom’s knights. Live up now, and meet our expectations.” 

Rhod: “P-... Pardon me...?” 

The King threw the ring through the sliver of space remaining on the portal. It was now the size of a human head.

King: ”We have always been proud of thou. Also, son... That ring used to be your father's. And never forget, son! It's use is-“ 




The portal closed and vanished, interrupting the king. 

The abrupt silence stroke me like a hurricane.

Too many things just… 

The gate closed before the King could finish his sentence. What about the ring? My father...? And... Why did he free me? A knight ring? This… didn’t make any sense at all… 

Also, this ring… A knight’s ring. I am surely not worthy of such a treasure… Once again, what am I supposed to do? That ring, my father's? Maybe...? But that doesn't make me worth it...

Another weight fell down on my shoulders. 

I would rather have died. I was even prepared to. How cruel can fate be... ?

Too much happened. I need to find out where I am. I must remember my training.

Keep calm, ascertain your surroundings, find shelter. Then and only then, think.

I grabbed my sword and took a look around…. 

Twilight was visible by the edge of a forest. This night would the first night where I would not be tracking or tracked down since...

Since when?



Written by Lionsennel Senpai
Edited by Panda