*

The skies raged with fury as bolts of lightning and the cries of thunder unveiled its anger towards the dangerous peaks which housed Sephrin's abode. For years, men feared these peaks for its treacherous cliffs and deadly wild life. The day Sephrin set foot on this perfect world, he saw the peaks as the perfect place to set up his fortress of doom and to train his army of baneful warriors.

He sat in his throne room alone, staring aimlessly though something was on his mind. Just hours ago he sent a squadron of his troops and one of his Shou Xing Dai Elite to their deaths. He knew of Deikon and his immense powers. He foresaw the battle that took place in the plains. He knew much, yet he did not know how he was going to stop his arch rival.

For hours on end, he continued to sit in his throne room alone and undisturbed. He thought of how he was to defeat his enemy, Deikon Astalidan. He thought of how he was to restore the power of Shin Pao into the world. He thought of his past and the years of torture he suffered so many years ago.

Only 200 years ago, the mischievous Sephrin stepped foot on the war torn planet for the first time. It was a time in need of help from anyone and anything. The world was at an everlasting war with great powers battling each other to rid the other from the planet and to make themselves stronger. It was not the time for the power of Shin Pao to be restored.

Sephrin still tried to bring back what he was rightfully sent to do. Yet, he had no knowledge of these powers he possessed. So many questions without answers raced through his mind everyday. He was helpless and unable to control his powers. He killed men without knowing how he could have achieved such a task.

It was not unheard of for a Child of Shin Pao to be confused at times. Each and every one of them were confused at one point. When they fully understood their natural born powers, they soon realized what their purpose was, and what they had to do to achieve it.

After years of suffering, Sephrin soon realized what he had to do. The questions were soon joined with the answers and his objective was soon clear. Still, Sephrin had other things on his mind other than to revive the long lost powers of Shin Pao. His hometown of Enrid was in need of a new leader. The war had destroyed the previous leader's soul which in turn led to the man's death. The man could not take the pain and suffering that the world was being put through which then forced him to end his own life.

Many men stood tall to become the new leader of Enrid. Each and every man had different views on how the country would be run and what they would do to end this blackness that engulfed the world. Sephrin saw this as the perfect opportunity to rise in power and to help him reach his ultimate goal.

Like several other men, Sephrin ran to become the new leader of Enrid. He described his views as the perfect way to cleanse the world of its sins. Sephrin's views were of a perfect government. A democratic government that would rise in power. Not only would the man ruling the town gain in power, but the people would as well. He shared his views on how the wars would end, how hunger would be abolished, and how peace between the brothers of the lands would be placed within grasp for eternity.

The people were pleased with Sephrin's views. Soon the majority of the population were in favour of Sephrin's plans for world peace. However, the people did not know how much of his plans were false. They would soon realize the truths after Sephrin was ruler for a few months.

The country was quickly turned into a dictatorship government. No man had power except Sephrin himself. His true views were the same as any others. He saw that the only way to survive, was to eliminate all threats and to gain true peace by force.

The people were helpless now. The military was under Sephrin's control and soon ran the streets of Enrid and many other cities around the country. It was certain that the country would fall in shambles much like several other countries had all over the world.

It was until one day when Sephrin was finally stopped. The son of the previous ruler had hired an assassin to kill the new ruler to regain peace within the country and to bring a new and true ruler to the throne.

The assassination was a success and Sephrin was laid to rest. The people made a monument for the wretched Sephrin to remind everyone that peace does not come by force and to not trust anyone. It was not uncommon for the monument to be vandalized for no one respected the late Sephrin for his actions.

Little did they know, Sephrin was of Shin Pao blood. He was a Child of Shin Pao which enables him to resurrect himself a limited amount of times. He waited fifty years before rising from the dead. His plan was to strike down his killers while they were old and helpless.

Just as he thought, his killers were still alive. The assassin and the old ruler's son, who was now the current ruler, were still alive and well. After locating the two men, he kidnapped them and took them to a remote area where no one would find them. His revenge had begun.

Sephrin held the two men at the edge of death. He tortured them and put them through the most intense amount of pain and suffering without letting them breathe their last breath. Using forbidden techniques of torture, he kept the men alive for as long as he could to get his revenge on those who thought they could get rid of him so easily.

For hours on end, the pain increased and the men pleaded for mercy. Sephrin was oblivious to the term of mercy and continued to hold the two men on the cliff of death. The assassin was the first of the two to die. He lasted for fifty-seven hours of pain and torture before his strength subsided and his last breath was taken.

The current ruler, on the other hand, lasted sixty-nine hours before dying. Sephrin was now pleased and continued his travels in search of a way to restore the power of Shin Pao into the world. He searched for anything he could that would give him clues on how to fulfill his destiny.

It was said that various documents and parchments had still remained around the world from centuries ago. These were the keys to restoring Shin Pao. It was Sephrin's goal to find them.

For years he travelled but found nothing. He lived to the rich age of ninety-four before dying. He had not completed his mission.

Now, he had returned for the second time and vowed to find the parchments he failed to locate so many years ago. However, it was now much more difficult with Deikon around. Deikon sponsored the forces of light while Sephrin held the forces of darkness deep within his blackened heart. It was his duty to eliminate Deikon, for he was a threat. Sephrin was known to rid his life of all threats.

He continued to stare into space as endless thoughts flowed through his mind. He could not focus properly and felt as though he was going to break down right in his very chambers.

He was soon interrupted by a large knock on his chamber doors, "Sir! Sir? Are you in here?" The man cautiously opened the door to Sephrin's throne room, only to see the large lizard man slumped over on the edge of his royal chair, "Are you ok, sir?"

"What is it you want?" Sephrin hissed.

"I've come to report on our recent findings, sir." The man limped over closer to Sephrin and attempted to bow to his master, only to feel a burning pain in his legs.

"What is it? Have you found Deikon? Where is he? Speak up, boy!" The anger within Sephrin's voice grew each moment as his patience became shorter each second.

"Well, it's kind of like this," The man straightened his tunic, stood up tall, and took a deep breath, "We were set and everything and checked out everyone that passed by us. Unfortunately, only a few people passed so we didn't do too well at spotting "The One" so you say." Sephrin's eyes became thin as he focused on the small man who stood before him, "Oh oh! It gets better. This man came up to us with an eye patch. We didn't know who he really was until he said his name-"

"And his name was?" Sephrin insisted the man to continue.

"Deikon Astalidan, sir. The name you told us before we left. The name of The One" The man began to grin as he felt as though Sephrin was to be proud of him.

"Well done. Now where is he?" The large beast straightened up and eyed the man sharply.

"Actually, well, that's the funny thing. You see he kinda beat the crap out of us, sir. He took down a couple of us then we had him in our grips until this druid came and helped him. I was the only one that survived." The man lowered his head and backed off as he could see the tension within Sephrin increase. The large beast's fists made a crunching sound as his leathery palms tightened in anger.

"I will spare your life, peasant." Sephrin said, trying to control his anger. "But next time you will not be so lucky. You will find him again and you will bring him to me. You got that?" The man nodded in acknowledgment, "And if you fail me once again, it won't be you eating rodents that will make the troops uneasy around here. It will be me munching on your stone cold corpse!"

"Yes sir!" The man took quick leaps backwards as he bowed to his master. He quickly limped away to exit Sephrin's chambers before Sephrin changed his mind about giving the man a second chance.

"Some days I wish I had a whole army of Sephrins," The colossal brute said, placing his head into his hands to try and ease himself, "Then I'd have this over and done with by now with Deikon's head on my wall as a trophy."

* * * * * * * * * *

"You stay here now, you hear me?" Toriel explained to Jaydrick, "I don't want you to get into dangerous situations like that. It's a vicious world out there. Keep up your studies and you may become the next master of martial arts for The Silver Wolves." Toriel grinned at the boy to ease any tension that may have been created.

"I'm sorry. I won't do it again. I've learned my lesson. I don't wanna meet that big tubby guy anymore, either." Jaydrick said, stifling a small laugh from Toriel.

"Don't worry, little one. We'll make sure your in safe hands." Toriel patted the young lad on his head and began to make his way back into the fortress of Silvanis before the return of Deikon made the boy and the honourable paladin turn their heads.

Deikon hoped over the fortress walls and landed back into the training grounds of the fortress' court yard. The scars of his last battle could easily be seen and Deikon struggled to rise from the crouching position he entered as he landed on the dusty floors of his homemade training grounds. Several bruises and cuts could be clearly seen across the man's body.

"You going to be all right?" Toriel said, the concern for Deikon's condition could clearly be detected in his voice.

"I'll be fine," Deikon said as he limped towards the two. The bruises and scars quickly dispersed and his limp slowly faded, "I've had worse."

"Wow! How'd you do that?" Jaydrick was amazed at how quickly Deikon's wounds had healed. The young boy ran up to Deikon and checked his arms where the marks of battle had previously been only to see that the monk had completely healed himself.

"That was something I tried to teach you earlier, remember? You ended up making the wound larger." Deikon grinned at the blond haired boy then turned to Toriel and nodded in greeting.

Deikon began he way towards the large doors of Silvanis to return to his quarters but was halted by Toriel, "Deikon! May I ask how your trip was?"

The monk turned his head to the side, not making eye contact with Toriel, "It was interesting. However, we're going to have company," Deikon turned his head back towards the doors of Silvanis, "Round up some of our elite fighters, Toriel. I shall teach them in the ways of Shin Pao. The basics, at least. It will give us a chance to fight against these warriors. They are not to be underestimated." Deikon continued his way towards the large doors.

"Yes, sir!" Just as Deikon closed the doors behind him, he could hear Toriel shouting out for some of the most elite fighters of The Silver Wolves. Those including Kiran, Akito, Tapanam, and several others.

* * * * * * * * * *

Deikon slowly opened the door to his quarters, still exhausted from his long journey. His skills could mend the marks of battle, but it could not cure the exhaustion from long hours of trekking.

He threw his tunic and his new found weapon into a corner then made his way into the bathroom. Turning on the tap and splashing his face with cool water, he looked at himself in the mirror. After several moments of staring at himself, he asked himself a simple question, "Why me?"

After wiping his face dry, he made his way back into the main chambers of his quarters and grabbed his new found weapon. He looked at it intently for several moments then made his way over to his bed.

He violently kicked the bed, sending it crashing into the wall on the other side of the room. What was revealed was a large rug which was covered with layers upon layers of dust. Deikon grabbed the rug and threw it across the room, sending dust through the air making his chamber look more dark as it shadowed the sun.

Underneath the rug was a trap door, much like one that was at Fumpus' house. He slowly opened the door and made his way underneath his quarters.

The esoteric room was pitch black until Deikon made his way down further. By magic, several torches lining the walls lit by themselves. Several auras surrounded this mystic room, yet it did not effect Deikon. These were the true powers of Shin Pao. This was what Deikon had been born to do.

Once he reached the bottom of the stairs, the last of the torches had lit themselves. The light revealed a large room with several books and parchments placed on shelves along the walls. In one corner of the room there was a large desk with several aged parchments scattered across its wooden surface.

In the other corner of the room were several cushions. It was a meditation center Deikon had constructed where he practiced the most intense forms of meditation. This was Deikon's most sacred room and he let no one except himself within the enchanted walls. Not even his lord, Dragons, knew about this room.

With several ancient Shin Pao parchments Deikon had gathered over the years, he was able to construct this room with no supplies. The room was filled with the power of Shin Pao and no one could enter it except those who had a heart of Shin Pao.

The room did not even take up any space within the walls of Arx Draconis due to the way it was constructed. By stepping into the trap door, it was as if you began a stride into another world far from the fortress.

Deikon slowly approached his desk which was littered with old papers and parchments that noted of Shin Pao history. He lightly touched an awkward looking lamp that sat at the end of the desk which lit itself almost by magic. It's mystical aura lit the desktop, allowing Deikon to read the parchments.

He searched through the tattered pieces for an interesting parchment he found only days ago within his library of aged Shin Pao compositions. After several minutes of searching, and slightly ripping some of the pieces, he soon found what he searched for. Written over 4000 years ago by Shin Pao oracles, it stated:

"And so it shall be. The fall of Shin Pao shall be short. A demon of immense powers shall rise and the powers of Shin Pao shall cease to exist on the existing world. Years of darkness shall follow and wars will bloom. Death and destruction will terminate the last of the few.

For years to come, Shin Pao shall be known as a fantasy to many. Non-existent in the minds of the young. So shall it remain until the powers of Shin Pao shall be born again.

Few shall live with the powers, many will die. A child born with these natural abilities will be the key to the revival of the ancient art. Several will fail, one will succeed. Many will seek peace and prosperity, while others shall seek fear and torment.

All shall fail until the rise of a selected few. A battle shall be waged and the victor shall revive the fallen powers of Shin Pao. So short in time they have, before the demon shall rise again."

Deikon searched through the papers once more to find the second piece to the ancient parchments that stated the revival of Shin Pao. A few minutes passed and he finally found what he was searching for. It stated:

"A battle before the second judgment day for the people of Shin Pao, three Children of Shin Pao shall fight to the death. Only one will be victorious. The victor shall be greater in power than any who set foot upon these lands.

His hand of light shall be placed upon the stone of hope, reviving the power of Shin Pao within these lands. So shall it be, until the day the demon rises once again. Death and torment shall return unless one can stop it.

There shall only be one to stop the foul beast. His powers will be immense and capable of destroying several lands with a single swipe. He shall be a child of the great powers given to him naturally. He shall be a Child of Shin Pao that hath not failed, nor succeeded.

He shall defea..." And the parchment ended there.

Deikon had searched for hours searching for the missing piece to the parchment that noted of the Guardian of Shin Pao. He remembered what Fumpus had told him only days ago. Fumpus had told him that he was to be the Guardian of Shin Pao.

Thinking back to the parchments, he realized that the three Children of Shin Pao were Jaydrick, himself, and the one that has vowed to stop him with his army of Shou Xing Dai. Seeming rather confused, he looked back towards the parchments.

"...three Children of Shin Pao shall fight to the death..." He read the line over and over several times. Was he and Jaydrick to fight each other as well? Deikon was still too confused over the events which happened over the past few weeks.

Looking over the parchments once more, he realized that he was not destined to bring back the powers of Shin Pao. If he was the Guardian of Shin Pao, the one to revive the powers would either be Jaydrick or the one who vowed to destroy Deikon.

As he thought about it more strongly, he realized that this would only be a battle between Jaydrick and the leader of the Shou Xing Dai.

Deikon stared at the parchment with the missing piece. He wished to know more yet he had no parchments that fit with the broken one. He remembered Fumpus telling him about an ancient Gu Lao Monk meditation technique and the secrets it could reveal.

Being a Child of Shin Pao, all of the answers could very well be locked within his mind. By using this technique, he could attempt to unlock these secrets of Shin Pao to end his confusion and to realize what was truly suppose to happen to him.

However, there was a risk. Remembering from what Fumpus said, many Gu Lao Monks died due to this technique. You must be strong between mind, soul, and body to have a good enough grip with reality so you can return to it when you are finished. If not, you shall be stuck within your own mind for eternity, leaving your body lifeless.

Deikon eased himself over to his meditation area, the tension beginning to build within him. He knew that this would be it. This would hopefully be the answer to all his questions. Yet, he knew that there was a great risk. There was a chance that he would be stuck within his own mind for eternity.

He lowered himself onto the cushions that were spread across the corner of the room. Several candles surrounded the area for meditation purposes. Slowly, he closed his eyes and began to look deep within himself.

He reached the first stage of meditation which he had been to before. It was the stage which he, and many others, used for relaxation purposes and for peace within. For several minutes he remained in this stage until it was time to move on.

The second stage was reached and he began to feel more as one between mind, body, and soul. Deikon had been to this stage before as well, therefore it was not foreign to him. The next stage would be the stage no one dare to step into except the Gu Lao monks.

For hours he sat peacefully, easing himself towards the next stage. It was a long procedure that could only be done by those who had great patience. Deikon was known for his great ability to wait and let things come to him when the time was right.

All of a sudden, the air around him began to emit violent vibes, yet he sat still as if he wasn't disturbed by the winds that came from no where. The candles around him blew out, several of them flying from their holders across the room.

Many arcane parchments flew through the airs, books fell from their spots atop the shelves, cracks began to form within the walls that housed Deikon's sacred room. Seconds passed and the vibes became more fierce, making a wreckage of Deikon's room. Still, Deikon knew he had to do this and there was no turning back. He continued to sit there, ridding any fears that found its way into him.

Before long, the violence that spread across the room has subsided, and Deikon had passed into his own mind. He had successfully completed the meditation sequence used by the Gu Lao monks, yet he was still at a high risk. Getting out was even more difficult that getting in.

He slowly opened his eyes and saw a new world around him. It was an endless aura that surrounded him. He could look straight for miles and miles, yet it was an endless journey if he decided to take that trek.

As he looked left and right, he saw a dark blue aura surrounding him at all times. Several mystical powers whisked by him as they danced through the air. Deikon could not explain what these fascinating powers were, but he vowed to find out.

As he took his first few steps, he began to see images fly by him. When he stopped, they would disappear. He continued to take several steps, yet it did not seem as though he was moving at all. More images flew by him from his past, his present, and his future.

He saw images of his past life, when he was an elf in the world with no name. Images of his old friends Atlas, Lance, Blitz, and Shaw passed by him. He days before his father passed away could be seen. His days as a street fighter also found its way passed him.

As he continued to walk, he saw images of him training the young blond boy, Jaydrick Kessel. He had reached the images of the present time. The young boy, his friends, his family of The Silver Wolves, his good friend Fumpus. Images of them all floated through the auras. Peace ran through Deikon, easing his tensions that grew within him during the meditation process.

Suddenly, there was a large bang and the blue auras that flowed peace through Deikon became a dark red and tensions began to increase. The images of his friends turned towards the continued present and the future. Great evils could be seen within the pictures that glided through the air around him.

The Shou Xing Dai, their leader, faces he had never seen before, and a demon of great powers circled around him. The fears increased and ate at Deikon. They clawed at his soul and tore at his heart. These were the risks that were forewarned.

"No!" Deikon yelled, clutching his chest as he fell to his knees. The fear and pain became unbearable and Deikon felt as though he had failed, without any of his questions being answered.

The sweat rolled down his face as he looked forward to see what was going on. His vision became blurred and his heart began to race faster. He feared he could not take it any longer, yet he still held on with his remaining strength.

With a burst of energy, he roared and rose to his knees to fight this evil that dwelled inside him. A strange energy began to emit from Deikon as an angel like being separated itself from Deikon, flying into the skies. Suddenly, the restoration of the blue aura was followed by a loud crackling noise. With that, Deikon fell to the ground unable to get up.

For several seconds, Deikon remained there unconscious. When he came to, he slowly rose to his feet to see a cloaked man standing before him. His face was shaded from his hood, and his robe flowed through the silent winds.

Deikon slowly approached the man, but as he tried to get closer, the man would move backwards. He could try as much as he could to get close to the cloaked figure, though no distance would be achieved.

"Who are you?" Deikon question, the sweat still running down his face.

"The question isn't who am I. The question is, who are you?" The man's voice was deep and echoed as he spoke. He voice gave a haunting and chilling feeling down Deikon's spine.

"I am Deikon Astalidan, Child of Shin Pao." Deikon replied. The cloaked man remained silent for several seconds, not moving an inch. "Why are you in my mind?"

"Years ago I became one with you, Deikon. I have helped you, yet you did not know it. Now, however, you do." The man waved his arm, revealing several images of Deikon in combat, those included his latest one against a Shou Xing Dai Elite. "I have helped you in combat. I have helped you emotionally. I have helped you physically. I have even helped you mentally. Without me, you probably wouldn't have even gotten in here. You probably would have died."

Deikon became rather confused by the man and his words, "You say you became one with me years ago?" Deikon shook his head confusingly, "When? Why? Who are you?"

"I am a figment of your imagination." The man replied, "I am you. I am what surrounds you. I am your mind. I am everything."

"Look buddy! I came here for a reason-" Deikon began to step forward but by looking down he remembered he could not get any distance in this realm, "I came here for answers. All you are doing is putting more questions into my mind!"

"Very well." The man nodded, "You seek your goal, do you not? I know you are of Shin Pao blood. You are to revive the power of Shin Pao into the world-"

"Yes yes," Deikon interrupted, "But I was told that I am not the one that will do this. I believe either Jaydrick or this leader of the Shou Xing Dai is suppose to revive the powers of Shin Pao."

"That is correct. You are to become the Guardian of Shin Pao. A very difficult task and you can fail." The man waved his hands once more, revealing an image of a pair of feathered wings, "You shall be Shin Pao's hope for a resistance. You shall be the one to fight off the demon that wishes to eliminate Shin Pao."

"Yeah, and he comes in like, 12 or 13 years now, correct?" Deikon asked.

"That is correct." The man continued, "Your duty now is to try and stop the one who wishes to kill you. His name is Sephrin. He is the seventh Child of Shin Pao and he has returned for you, Deikon."

Deikon looked towards the floor and shook his head, still rather confused at what the cloaked man was telling him. "Ok ok, so now I've got to kill this guy? Why can't he just try and revive Shin Pao right away?"

The man waved his hand once more, this time revealing an image of a glorious crystal like stone. "This is the Hope Stone. This is what he is after. Soon, Jaydrick will realize that he, too, needs to find this stone. It is what shall revive the powers of Shin Pao once the hand of a Child of Shin Pao is placed upon it." The man paused, "Sephrin can't revive Shin Pao because of you and the boy."

"Me?" Deikon's brow perked up as he questioned the man.

"Yes. Because you and the boy still exist, there is still hope for the goodness of Shin Pao. If Sephrin were to revive the powers of Shin Pao, both sides of Shin Pao would be revived. In the mind of Sephrin, he wishes to have only one side of Shin Pao to exist. The side filled with fear, torment, and anger. The only way he can do that is by eliminating both you and the boy."

Deikon looked down towards his feet for a brief moment, then looked back towards the man that stood before him, concern filling his voice, "Does he know of the boy?"

"Fortunately, not yet." The man replied, "So, I suggest you keep him out of harms way. With Jaydrick safely hidden from Sephrin's reach, the powers of Shin Pao shall always be safe from the claws of evil."

"Thank you." Deikon nodded to the man and turned to make his way out but stopped mid way, "One last thing..."

"What is it?" The man said in a calm voice.

"A couple months ago, I began to have dreams of my brother. The dreams were filled with fear, and hatred. I feel as though he still believes I betrayed him." A tear began to form in the corner of Deikon's eye, "I may have killed him only five years ago, but I believe it was for his own good. His powers plagued these lands."

The cloaked man paused for a few moments, "It is only you, Deikon. Fear not, he has forgiven you. You have set him free. Free from the evils that caged him within the walls of hatred and death. Now you must forgive yourself. Your brother already has. Once you forgive yourself, the visions shall disperse and you will be at peace."

"Thank you. I appreciate it. Now, help me get out of here." Deikon wiped the tear from the corner of his eye and began to walk away from the shadowed figure. The blue aura that surrounded him began to fade to darkness and he began his trek back to the real world.

The cloaked man watched Deikon pass through to the other side and out of the mystic realm he had previously been. Looking up, part of the man's face was revealed. All that could be seen was a grin that had spread across his face.

On the other side, the winds became fierce once more with parchments and books flying across the room. Before long, Deikon had returned to his normal self. The air was sucked out of him as he took the last step into reality. When the procedure was over, he gasped for air to fill his empty lungs then fell to the ground. He lay motionless with little to no life to be found within him.

NOTE: This is where the story ended. Not because it was suppose to end here, but because I simply stopped working on it. School came back and I focused more on that. So, this series seemed to be cancelled...much like many other things I start, heh.