Kyle Demore and the Falling Moons Chapter 5: Titans Enter

The last chapter to be released, but if you’d like it all in one place, please feel free to download the PDF, which has all five chapters and the afterword.

1 – Kyle Demore and the Falling Moons First Five Chapters

 

Chapter 5 – Titans Enter

It was after lunch when Kevin surprised Kyle with the news that he was welcome to spend break staying at his grandmother’s home with him and his family. Kross, Kevin, and Kyle walked behind the Garnet, Rayne, and Terra as they all made their way outside to take the ShiftDoor test. The masters had scheduled it for the afternoon, knowing everyone was likely to sleep in after a late night.

“I can stay with you?” Kyle wasn’t sure he’d heard his speech pad correctly.

“Ah,” Kevin began writing. “And Kross has given me his word that he will be there after a short visit to his parents.”

Kross nodded, but didn’t elaborate. He’d been quiet all morning. His focus was fine-tuned to the point of insanity. Kyle was certain that if there was only one person that passed today, it would be Kross the Monk.

“But is it okay?” Kyle tried not to sound too hopeful. He’d been trying to avoid facing the dread he felt all morning when he noticed that many of the tyros had left SoGA as of this morning. “I don’t have any money.”

“Money?” Kevin’s notepad said. “What would you need that for?”

“Ya know,” Kyle’s face went warm. “To pay for food and stuff.”

“You needn’t worry,” Kevin smiled. “Everything will be taken care of. My grandmother is very generous. I have told her about you and she has assured me that you will be taken care of. Plus,” he added, with a boyish grin. “I’m sort of her favorite. After I told her about you, she made it clear that she wouldn’t take no for an answer. I must warn you, though. I think she believes she is getting a new grandson to add to her collection.”

Kyle was taken aback, but he wanted to smile at the last part. It sounded like something Nana would have said. “You sure? I don’t want to impose.”

“Ah,” Kevin waved the idea away, not even bothering to write out a reply.

“Thanks, Kevin,” Kyle said, quietly. He’d been ready for a break with only the masters as company, convincing himself that it would be a good time to focus on his training. Now, given the chance to spend the time with friends, it somehow made him feel lighter.

Kevin placed his hand on his pad to write a reply, but at the last second decided against it. Instead, he slapped Kyle’s shoulder. “Ah,” he said fondly. There was much Kyle felt in that unsaid moment, but mostly, it was affection. He was fortunate to know and call Kevin the Bison his friend. Kevin left them to join Rayne and Terra who parted from Garnet. They’d be watching them to take the test from afar.

Garnet, Kross, and Kyle joined the tyros waiting near where the pool had been last night. It’d been emptied of water and filled with dirt while they slept. Now, it could have just been an area waiting for the grass to grow back. More joined them as they waited. When it was time, they’d be sorted into small groups and then attempt to open three doors under the supervision of a master.

“There are a lot of people here,” Kross said. It was the first full sentence he’d said all day. “I’m not even sure if there were half this many last year.”

“Probably has to do with the rumor about having to be able to open ShiftDoors to enter the Lunar Tournament.” Garnet said.

“Nonsense,” Kross muttered before falling back into his determined concentration.

“What if it is required to enter?” Kyle asked Garnet.

“It won’t be,” Garnet sighed. “A person’s abilities are what is going to matter. Opening a ShiftDoor isn’t a true indication of anything. It ends up having to do more with imagining something to be real. It’s a little harder to grasp for some people and there have been plenty with great skill who have trouble with ShiftDoors.” She directed this last statement at Kross, who pointedly ignored her. She sighed, again.

“Well regardless of the tournament, I’m sure we’ll all pass,” Kyle tried to sound more confident than he felt. Garnet just nodded.

A few minutes later, the masters showed up to separate the tyros into groups. Kyle, Kross, and Garnet were all placed with Master Helen who helped with sorting, which meant they’d have to wait even longer to start. Kyle had been hoping to be placed with Master Proculus, but he was absent this morning. Something about that seemed off to Kyle. Proculus was always one to partake in these types of duties.

He was surprised to see Elleneya the Gatekeeper July heading their way. She was dressed in a grey skirt and green top. She also wore her white witch’s hat with its dozens of dangling keys. It hid most of her bushy brow hair. She’d been popular the night before dressed in a scantily clad bikini that most agreed might not exactly be the best for swimming. Her real scandal, according to the gossip, was the very public attention she bestowed upon Master Proculus. From what Kyle could tell, the two got along well and he didn’t see why it seemed to peak so many people’s interest. Well, she is nice-looking, I suppose. Her current presence did interest Kyle since it made Proculus’ absence even more odd. Since coming to Soul Gate Academy, Elleneya was hardly ever seen without him.

“You,” she pointed at Kyle as she moved closer.

“Yes, Gatekeeper?” Kyle still wasn’t sure what the protocol was with addressing the Gatekeepers.

“Call me Ellen,” she hissed. “Gatekeeper is what you call old geezers like October. Beautiful ladies like Garnet and I are to be called by our first names.” She winked at Garnet, who smiled, but looked as confused as Kyle felt.

“Okay, Ellen,” Kyle said slowly. “Is there something you need me for?”

“Yes,” Ellen grabbed one of her keys, smiling from ear to ear. “You’re the reason for our first fight.” Everyone around them, Kyle finally noticed, was watching. He, he realized just then, was used to it.

“Uh,” he took a step back. “I’m sorry?”

“Don’t be! I won the fight.” She pointed the key at Kyle and turned it.

Kyle felt a sudden click in his head that sounded off like a gong, shaking him entirely. Then the world tilted on its side. There was a shout, but it was unintelligible. He blinked and everything went dark. He hadn’t lost consciousness, though. Of that, he was certain. Instead, it felt like he’d been transported to a different place where the light was just gone. But I haven’t moved. His heart pounded in his ears as the minutes passed. Or was it hours? He tried to move, but his arms didn’t work, nor did his legs. He couldn’t even tell if he was breathing. In the distance, a soft blue light floated, slowly falling from high in the sky. Why does it look so familiar?

He blinked again and the world came back into view with Garnet standing over him.

“Kyle,” her voice sounded frantic. “Kyle, are you okay?”

He was flat on the ground, looking at her with dizzy eyes. He stood, wobbling slightly before straightening up. The pounding in his head was still there, but beyond that he felt fine.

“Kyle,” Garnet grabbed him by the shoulders.

“I’m fine,” he said. “What happened?”

Behind Garnet, Master Helen was yelling at Elleneya the Gatekeeper July, who was muttering apologies and nodding her head. The rest of the tyros had backed away, forming a semi-circle around them. Terra, Rayne, and Kevin were moving toward them.

“You three will stay put,” Master Helen, said crossly. “Go back to sitting down.”

The three of them stopped in their tracks, then obeyed.

“How long was I out?” Kyle found it surprising that the three of them had waited till now to move.

“Only a few seconds,” she answered him. Her big blue eyes were staring into his like they were searching for something. “You pretty much just fell and got back up. They started yelling at her as soon as you were on the ground. A few seconds…but it had felt longer than that. Much longer.

“I didn’t hurt him,” Ellen insisted pointed at Kyle. “Look!”

Helen turned to find Kyle standing. He tried to reassure her with a grin, but this just seemed to increase the worry lined in her face.

“How do you feel?” She asked.

“Fine?” Kyle answered. Helen raised her eyebrows, obviously doubting him. “Really, I’m fine, Master. I don’t know what came over me.”

“Nothing came over you,” Ellen explained. “I just unlocked a lock in your head. It’s been there since I first met you. I told Procu that I had to open it or it could kill you. I think.”

“What?” Kyle said. Master Helen, Kross, and Garnet all said it with him.

“That’s enough,” Grandmaster Dante walked into the circle tyros. Kross trailed behind him. “This is not the place to go into the details.”

“I am a Gatekeeper,” Elleneya pursed her lips together. “I thought it best to act promptly.”

“Promptness is fine,” Dante nodded. “Your choice of location is what is dubious here.”

Elleneya didn’t seem to realize that people were watching them until that moment. She sighed, conceding. “Sorry,” she muttered.

“Perhaps,” Dante said in an obvious effort to move the conversation elsewhere, “you would be so kind as to check in on Master Proculus? He went to meet the King at one of the Shift Door points. I had expected him to return by now. I doubt there is anything to worry about, but it’d be best to be sure.”

“Say no more,” Ellen turned to Kyle. “Sorry for the…lack of manners. My parents must’ve forgot a few lessons with me.”

“More than a few,” Master Helen huffed, heatedly.

“It was a few hundred years ago,” Elleneya shrugged. “So, you’re probably right.”

Kyle’s mouth flew open. Hundreds? She hardly looked like she could pass for thirty. No one else seemed even faintly surprised by this.

“Forgive me,” Master Helen who always looked stern, dropped her gaze. “I know you’ve given up much. You deserve my respect and you have it.”

“No forgiving necessary,” Ellen said, wistfully. “I know it probably looked more nefarious than it should have. That was part of the fun, after all.” She made as if it to go, but then turned back to Kyle, edging closer to whisper into his ear. “Boy from the other realm, Kyle the Static. I think you are important, somehow. Everything seems to have you near it in one way or another. Stay safe.” She backed away, but Kyle grabbed her arm.

“I’m not,” he said, letting her go abruptly. “Can’t you tell by just looking at me? I’m nobody.”

“Nobody, huh?” Her eyes lit up. “He said the same thing.” She didn’t say another word, striding to the academy’s exit to disappear into the forest. Everyone watched her go. She was, after all, a gatekeeper.

“Time for the test!” Grandmaster Dante shouted, making everyone jump. He turned and whispered something to Kyle. “If you really do feel fine, I see no reason why you shouldn’t continue. Are you sure you’re okay?”

Kyle nodded, “I’m fine, Grandmaster.”

“Very well. Come see me when this is all done, okay?” He took off before Kyle could reply, shouting other commands for Masters to begin the ShiftDoor test.

“Line up!” Master Helen shouted at a nearby group of tyros. “You three, back of the line.”

Kross, Garnet, and Kyle gather with the group of tyros, forming at the back of the group that was muttering quite lively about Kyle as he walked by. Kyle opted automatically to be last in line and neither Garnet nor Kross objected. Master Helen began calling tyros up one at time to unlock ShiftDoors.

“I have a lock in my head?” Kyle said. The words felt hollow to say aloud and even worse to contemplate. Who put it there and why?

“It’s not as uncommon as you’d think,” Garnet said. “I believe when I became a reader, I was told they removed two locks from mine.”

“Really?” Kyle’s eyes widened. “What about you, Kross?”

“None,” Kross rubbed his hands together nervously. He was studying every person as they did their test. Two had failed already. “Not to my knowledge, at least. Now really isn’t the time to discuss this, though. We should focus.”

“You’re focused enough for the three of us,” Kyle sighed.

“He’s right, Kyle,” Garnet put a hand on his shoulder. Her hand felt warm. “Try not to think about it too much, right now. Just concentrate on the ShiftDoor test.” It looked like she was about to lean in to kiss him, but she didn’t. He wanted her to, but there was enough going on without the added drama of people freaking out that the boy from the other realm was being kissed by one of the most well-liked girls in the academy. People just might try to kill him if they knew. That’s the last thing I need.

“All right,” Kyle agreed.

They waited in silence, watching the rest of the group take their test one by one. Many were passing, opening three ShiftDoors, but almost just as many failed to. Master Helen watched closely, marking a notepad and saying very little except for “Next,” or “Good job,” or “Don’t worry, you can try again next year.” Kross cringed every time she said that last one to disheartened students. Dread began to set in as Kyle’s turn came closer.

“Next,” Master Helen said to Kross. He was the first of the three of them.

Master Helen had barely given him the nod to begin, when three doors popped into existence. They were approved almost just as quickly. He had passed.

“That was quick,” Garnet said.

Kross’ face went red, but it was easy to see that he was pleased. “Guess I didn’t have to worry, too much.”

“Of course, you didn’t,” Master Helen shooed him away. “But discuss it later. We’re the last group and Grandmaster Dante would like to lock the school from ShiftDoors as soon as possible, so hurry up out of the way. Come on, Scarlet Needle. You’re next.”

Garnet passed with little issue, but she opened the doors one at a time like she was supposed to. I knew she would pass. Kyle smiled, feeling proud of her. She offered him an encouraging grin as he stepped up to do his test.

“You sure you’re feeling fine, Static?” Master Helen asked. “You can always wait to take the test next year.”

“I’m fine, Master,” Kyle let out a long breath. “Can I start?”

She nodded and he held his hand as though he had a key in it. He turned it, concentrating on the Rayne’s home first. He figured this would be the hardest one because it was technically the furthest. There was a slight pressure on his on the back of his eyes as a crème colored ShiftDoor slid into existence in front of him. It hadn’t felt bad or even uncomfortable, but more like he was trying to look up and down at the same time. No one had warned him that it would feel like that.

Master Helen inspected it, “Good.”

He let out a long breath. Two more to go. He began picturing a second ShiftDoor that would lead to outside of Dilu Village. He turned his hand. This time a lime green door formed. The same pressure pressed on his eyes. Weird.

Master Helen inspected the new door. “Good,” she said with an approving nod.

One more. Kyle felt his chest swelling as the nervousness subsided. The next ShiftDoor would lead to Arragin Mountain. This was the first place he’d ever seen in Endera and he remembered it well. And so again, he concentrated, picturing the mountainside and its wild beauty of greens and trickling streams. He turned his hand, and as he did, the memory of a soft blue light floating high in a dark sky entered his mind. That’s not right.

A large black door appeared and the slight pressure he’d expected to affect his eyes came in sudden intense jolt. It still didn’t hurt, but he was sure he’d ever get used to it. The door was twelve feet high and looked like it’d been smear with charcoal. In its center was large white circle with a triangle drawn in red with two lines that ran through it as though to cross it out. It looked like it’d been drawn in blood.

“I don’t think this is right,” he muttered, trying not to sound too disappointed with himself. He hoped that since it was a ShiftDoor, it would count anyways, though. He just needed to find out where it led to because he was certain that it didn’t lead to Arragin Mountain.

“Kyle,” Master Helen said in a tight, nervous whisper. It was so unlike her, Kyle would have thought someone else had spoken if he hadn’t seen her lips move. “Why did you summon this ShiftDoor?” She took a careful step back. That was when it finally dawned on Kyle that something was very wrong.

She was scared.

“I just,” he immediately wanted to apologize, but wasn’t sure why. “I was trying to open a door to Arragin Mountain.”

“This does not go to Arragin Mountain,” she took another step back. “Get back. Away from the door, now!” Kyle backed away. He was the only nearby since he was the last to take the test. He still wasn’t sure what exactly he’d done, but his heart raced.

Suddenly, a loud BANG came from the other side of the door. There were no hinges that it could shake, but Kyle felt it in the ground. Behind Kyle, there were sudden shouts. He kept his eyes on the door. BANG!

“Everyone back away! Logan gather all the nearby masters. Helen throw up your wall. Helen!”

BANG! BANG! BANG! Something is trying to get through. Is that even possible?

A pair of hands grabbed Kyle and hauled him back. Kevin and Kross each had one of his arms and were dragging him back toward the castle. They stopped a moment later, while they still were all within earshot of the door. If the masters had wanted them further away, they didn’t bother to say so.

Nearly all of them were focused on the door.

Master Helen appeared in front of Kyle, turning her key so quickly that Kyle couldn’t catch every turn. “Stay behind this point,” she threw her key into the ground so hard that it stuck up. A transparent red aura blossomed from the key, forming into a wall. “No one other than Masters are to pass. Terra take lead, here. Do not get involved.”

Kyle had not even seen Terra until that point.

“Yeah, of course,” Terra said with none of her usual mirth. “I’ll put up another wall so you can don’t have to concentrate on it.”

“Thank you,” Master Helen moved away, joining the Masters gathered near the door. Most of them held weapons. Grandmaster Dante stood at their head staring intently into the doorway, his cane firmly in his hands.

“You two can let him go now,” Terra said to Kross and Kevin, who let him go immediately.

“What is going on?” Kyle asked. BANG!

Terra pressed her own key into the ground and Kyle saw another wall go up effectively doubling it with her own aura. A shiver ran down his spine. This kind of defensive precautions seemed like overkill. And what is going to come out of that door way?

“You opened a ShiftDoor to one of the places you’re not supposed to,” Garnet stood to his left. BANG! Her face was ghost pale. “The Forgotten Realm.”

“And what exactly lives in the Forgotten Realm?” Kyle couldn’t take his eyes off the doorway. BANG! Something about the door felt familiar. Something almost comforting. But he had never even heard of the Forgotten Realm, so it seemed like his mind was just playing tricks on him.

“Titans,” Rayne said softly, also to his left.  “The name given to those who broke the world.”

Titans? Plural. Like a lot of them? The word filled him with ice. In some way or form, Endera had been connected to the place he’d known as Earth. It was now his understanding that every mythological or legendary figure from Earth had just been an Enderan with a tendency to make sure their exploits had been known in some form or another. And what he knew about titans meant that they’d likely be big, mean, and powerful.

BANG! The door finally gave way, falling flat onto the ground to expose a pitch-black doorway. Complete silence followed. Kyle kept his eyes focused on the doorway. Something had forced it open and that was not supposed to happen.

“The king was right,” a voice boomed from the darkness in the doorway. “The doors are getting weaker. Look at that light! We’re the first to see it in a millennium.”

“Should we go out?” said another voice.

“Of course!” answered the first one. “The first to feel the sun light in a millennium!”

“Yes, you mentioned the millennium already. I don’t think saying it continuously will make it any truer.”

“Hah! My point still stands.”

“I’m not sure, Dorion. It’s probably dangerous.”

“Dangerous? Ixion what did we break the door down for if not to go through?”

“To see if it could be done, mainly.”

“Bah! You worry too much. We’ll simply fade back here when the door fades. The locks will make certain of that. It’s completely risk free.”

“Unless someone kills you while you’re out there.”

“Okay, so not completely risk-free. Live a little.”

“Wait—ah damn it, you’ll be the death of me, Dorion.”

“I’m coming out,” shouted Dorion. “Don’t—umm—be afraid?”

An impressively large man emerged from the doorway stepping into the sunlight with an audible gasp of delight and a wide smile. Dorion had pale grey skin and a wide nose. His blonde hair trailed from his head, floating above him like yellow smoke. Behind him was another who matched him in height at about ten feet tall. Ixion scowled as he followed, a trail of black hair floating above him in the same way. They both wore simple tunics and trousers that were a dull grey, completely void of any color. Their skin, however, gained color with every passing moment.

“Ixion,” Dorion pointed. “Look, humans! Hah! And the castle. What are the chances?!”

“I can see that,” Ixion said narrowing his eyes. “Quite a lot of them, if you count the smaller ones over there. The castle is not such a surprise.”

“Why not?”

“Because we were nearby on our side. It makes sense that it reflects a similar location on in relation to the castle on each side. That’s my theory anyways.”

“Hmm,” Dorion rubbed his chin. “Sounds right.”

“Titans!” Grandmaster stood in front of the group of Masters twenty paces from where the doorway. “You are not welcome here.”

The Grandmaster’s clear hostility shocked Kyle. The titans didn’t exactly give off the vibe that they’d like to cause any harm. They didn’t seem like they wanted to do anything. By their own admission, it just sounded like they wanted to feel the sunlight.

“My name is Dorion, human,” the titan sighed. “How is it the prejudice against our kind still has such hold in Endera. What has it been, three, four hundred years?”

“According to the Accords, it’s been six hundred and fifty-seven years,” Ixion said. “I do hope that there are some who can be reasoned with.”

“You were responsible for breaking the world,” Grandmaster Dante said. “You—”

“I broke nothing,” snapped Ixion. “What our ancestors did has nothing to do with us.”

Kyle could hardly believe what he was hearing. Were these titans being punished for something their ancestors did? He knew he was likely missing some vital piece of information, but something about it didn’t sit well with him.

“Why are you here,” Dante asked. “The locks should hold you to your realm.”

“We are here because we saw a door and walked through it,” Dorian rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “There’s really no other reason needed. Now if you don’t mind, I would like to stop talking and go see that water over there. It looks fantastic.”

“It’s an ocean,” Ixion said. “Do not drink from it.”

“I know to not drink from an ocean! I’m not a fool.”

“Enough!” Dante stepped forward. “You will return to your realm so that I may seal this door.”

“We’ll do so when we’re good and ready,” snarled Ixion. He spread his stance a little wider. “Until then, we expect your finest hospitality.”

“I concur!” Dorian smirked, rolling his shoulder. “That sounded much more dignified than usual, right?”

“Like a proper Titan,” Ixion cracked his knuckles.

The world fell silent yet again as the two groups stared at each other. Neither would back down. A moment passed and then another. And then the moment broke like it’d been cracked in half by a whip.

Dante moved in a blur with Logan following him like a shadow. Each threw punches that could have crumbled a castle wall. The titans both blocked the punches, immediately proving they would not be easy foes.

Dorion jumped high into the air, casting a great shadow over the group of masters below. He fell feet first, coming down like a boulder. The masters scattered out of the way, dodging as the force of it made an impact crater the stretched all the way to the wall of aura.

Kyle gulped. That kind of strength was beyond anything he’d ever seen. One hit and even a master would be in trouble. Many of the tyros who had gathered along the aura wall even took a step backwards when they reached the same conclusion.

Ixion focused his attack on the Grandmaster, sweeping his foot along the ground. Dirt and stones flew at Grandmatster Dante who didn’t even flinch. Another wall of aura from Master Helen formed in front of him and the projectiles all slowed down to look like they were traveling through jelly. The debris dropped harmlessly to the ground as it exited.

The fight turned chaotic. The masters jumped around the titans, attacking with vicious slashes, punches, and kicks, but the titans, although nearly the size of any two masters together, were agile. They dodged and countered with swings from arms that acted like giant hammers. More than once, the ground was hit causing rock fragments to fly toward the tyros. None of it ever made it pass the walls of aura.

Kyle’s mouth went dry as he watched. He’d meant to open a door Arragin Mountain. Everything seems to have you near it in one way or another.  Elleneya’s voice replayed in his head. She’s wrong, isn’t she? He took a step forward, feeling a sudden urge to do something, anything, to help. What if someone gets hurt? Maybe there’s something I can do.  

“Kyle the Static,” Terra hissed instantly. “Stay where you are.”

“But—”

“But nothing,” Terra stepped toward him. “Those Masters are literally some of the strongest people in all of Endera. You are a barely nothing teenager who still hasn’t fully mastered his voice box let alone your abilities. You will stay exactly where you are or I’ll break bones until you think it sounds like a good idea. Am I clear?” She was almost a different person.

Kyle hesitated before backing down, but he couldn’t argue with Terra. She was right. He’d likely be more of a liability if he tried helping. Knowing that did nothing to calm his nerves. “I’ll stay put.”

“Damn right you will,” Terra nodded.

“You there,” A deeply tanned woman with long black hair moved toward Terra. She wore battered leather armor with ragged cloth hanging from it. Her hand rested on the hilt of a sheathed sword at her hip as her chilling bright green eyes took in the fight. “What’s going on here? Why are there Titans?”

“Lady, if you take another step, I will end you,” Terra widened her stance and readied herself by putting both her fist together near her waist like she was going to pull a sword out of her hip bones. The lady halted, obeying. The loud tumbles of a Titan rolling on the ground and throwing another wild punch crunched the ground behind them. “Who are you?”

“No one,” the woman shrugged. “Just a former tyro who was passing by—” She stopped talking. Her eyes grew wide at the site of Kyle standing nearby. He was certain he’d never seen her before, but there was no questioning that her reaction was one of recognition.

“Sounds convenient,” Terra said, unconvinced. “Or is it just coincidence?”

The crowd gasped in horror excusing the woman from having to answer. One of the masters was soaring toward the Cold Ocean as though they’d been shot out of a cannon. As the figure flew over the freezing water, the first wall of aura disappeared. That could only mean it was Master Helen.

Kyle moved before he could think, but only made it a step when Terra’s hand closed around his arm in an iron grip. What the? He realized then that he’d taken more than just a step. Behind him was the aura wall with his friends on the other side, while he stood on the side where his masters were brawling with titans. At least he wasn’t alone.

“Having to pay attention to you let that woman through, you idiot!” Terra grumbled. “Looks like she’s going to help, though. And she’s skilled. Very.”

They watched from where they stood the woman sprint toward the beach, twisting a key that was now in her hand.

“I’ve got her!” she shouted at two masters who’d broken away from the fight. The two of them nodded, seemingly recognizing who the woman was and returned to join the others. The air next to the woman distorted as she ran. Out of it shot a thick green vine that moved blindingly fast toward Master Helen. It caught her, wrapping around to secure her more tightly. The woman tugged on the vine and it pulled the master to safety, taking care not to let her touch the water.

“Bring her back behind the aura,” Terra shouted to the woman. She tugged on Kyle’s arm, pulling him back to where they’d stood earlier. The battle between the masters and titans still raged and every so often there was another crunch of dirt and stone, but the masters were keeping them contained. Kyle realized then that that was the point. The masters weren’t actively trying to hurt the titans. They were just trying to force them back into the door, which apparently was a very difficult thing to do.

The woman set Master Helen down in front of Terra gently. Helen was unconscious and looked mostly the same except for the green vine which was tied around one of her legs. Kyle’s heart fell into his stomach when he saw why. She was missing her right foot. Amidst the shouts of shock, Garnet and a few older tyros started treatment on the master without hesitation. Medications with keys could heal great wounds, but Kyle had never seen an injury like this. What if it isn’t enough? She could be missing her foot for the rest of her life. All because he’d summoned a ShiftDoor. By accident, yes, but still he’d been the one to do it.

This is my fault.

Before he could give it further thought, there was a loud crack behind him. Kyle turned around, feeling his heart drop a second time as Master Logan rolled across the ground toward them. He righted himself just before hitting the aura, but the effort caused him to grit his teeth so loud Kyle could hear it. That didn’t surprise Kyle given then state of Logan’s tattered right arm. It looked like it had exploded from the inside and freely bled as Logan clutched it with his other hand.

“Enough!” Dante shot a giant wave of flames at both the Titans. The heat was intense enough that Kyle felt it where he stood. It flew into Ixion with a force that threw the massive titan off balance. Dante let loose another wave aimed at Dorion. It slammed into him, lifting him off his feet and blasting him into Ixion. They recovered easily, but it must have been too much even for them. They both took off at a sprint and dove back into the Forgotten Realm.

Grandmaster Dante let them.

Kyle felt himself let out a long sigh of relief as the Grandmaster Dante and couple of the masters reset the door. With a few turns of the Grandmaster’s wrist, it disappeared as though it had never been there. The surrounding area of destroyed land told another story.

“The King!” Whispers hissed behind Kyle in a frenzy. What is it now? Kyle turned to the gate, looking for the cause of the commotion. For the second time that day Kross and Kevin grabbed him. Instead of dragging him away, they forced him to kneel. Kyle had never kneeled for a king before, but he had tried once for a Gatekeeper. He couldn’t bring himself to bow his head, though. Not when he’d never actually seen a king before either.

It was obvious who the king was. He walked in surrounded by a group of a dozen well armored men and women. His tan skin and dark long hair had a shine to it that matched with his small silver crown. He was a handsome man with large eyes and a strong jaw and dressed in a fine black suit that he wore well. If not for the crown, Kyle might have guessed that he was just a Master from another school.

“Was that a Titan?!” asked the king. His voice was smooth, elegant. “Who did this? How?”

Kyle felt hundreds of eyes bounce back and forth between the king and him. It was enough to make him gulp.

 

Kyle Demore and the Falling Moons – First Five Chapters

Copyrighted © 2017 by Samuel J. Vega

All rights reserved.

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