CHAPTER I
of A Radiant Fantasy

[A Hero From Another World]

"Somewhere, out there in the infinite universe, I know you are waiting for me. Save me…"

Upon bended knee, hands clasped tightly upon the altar, the girl repeated the prayer. It was the same prayer she had said every night since the start of the dark times and it was the same one she would continue to say until it came true. A thunderous bang hit the sturdy, wooden doors of the church, startling her.

They had found her.

It was the moment she had feared. Closing her eyes tightly, she said the prayer again as another loud bang echoed into the holy establishment.

"Somewhere, out there in the infinite univer-"

Another bang, louder this time, broke her train of thought. Turning to look at the door, she could feel the color drain from her face. A large chunk of wood, so large that she could see clear through to the other side had been knocked from the door. Expecting another bang, she was surprised when it didn't come. Perhaps they had thought they had made a mistake in trying to find her?

It was worth a look. If only for her own sanity.

Rising to her feet, she slowly crept towards the door, her hands clasped tight against her chest. Her heart was beating one hundred miles per hour and growing with her step. Gulping, she stood before the door, inching towards the whole that led out into the pitch black night. Reciting the prayer in her head, she reached out towards the hole.

"Somewhere, out there in the infinite universe, I know-"

A pair of large red eyes darted up into the space of the hole, accompanied with a large toothy grin.

"We've been waiting for you, Princess." The voice belonging to the eyes and ghastly maw said from the other side of the door.

With a shriek, the girl fell back, body shaking in pure fear. They had baited her to see if she was there. Gnashing against the door, the being, slammed into the door again, this time even harder, shaking the very foundation of the building. Dust rained down from the ceiling down onto princess' head. Her body locked up in fear, she again felt the power of the being slam into the door, bulging it inward as the simple heavy wooden latch splintered and barely kept in place.

Looking in through the whole again, the being smiled. The princess could quite easily count the rows of sharp, jagged, white teeth that awaited her on the other side of the door.

"Won't you let me in, little red? I won't bite-"

It chuckled.

"Much."

She tried to move her hand, wiggling her fingers to ensure they were still there. Feeling that her knees were still jelly, she began to scoot back, doing whatever she could to get away from the beast. It collided once again with the door, tearing the block of wood that held the door in two. Now nothing it could stop it from coming in on her next hit.

Backing up to the altar, she held her breath and closed her eyes. The footsteps of the being seemed to fall in slow motion as she heard every one of them on its way to bursting cleaning through the door in a hail of wooden scraps.

Echoing footsteps slowly came towards her, each shaking the building and causing the wooden floor to creak and splinter.

"And little red said, why grandmother, what big eyes you have?" the being said.

The footsteps stopped before her. She could feel its warm breath in her face, and could hear the loud, sound of it's pant. Opening her eyes, her stomach sank. The most massive white wolf that she had ever laid eyes upon, easily the size of three horses stacked on top of one another, was looking back at her.

Craning it's head in, it let out a slow growl before revealing it's large teeth. "And grandmother said, all the better to see you with. I see you, princess. And you look absolutely good enough to eat."

She tried to scream but her vocal chords were frozen, her throat bone dry, and her heart no longer pumping blood where they needed to. The beast inched closer, getting mere inches from her face, before shaking the entire building with a howl.

She almost lost control of her bladder at the point. Arching his head back down, the beast looked back at her.

"Any final words, little red?"

She wanted to cry. To scream. To beg to not to die. But it wouldn't help. This was the world that she lived in now. A world where horror was, quite literally, around every corner. Meekily, she lowered her eyes and began to pray so low that the wolf couldn't hear her.

"Somewhere, out there in the infinite universe, I know…"

"Speak up, little red. I like to hear my prey grovel before I tear them to shreds."

"…you are waiting for me."

Getting in her voice, the wolf growled. "Speak!"

Arching her head back, she put everything she had, all of her conviction, fear, and most importantly, hope, into her final words. For, if this really was the end, these would be her final words.

"SAVE ME!"

A beam of blue light shot down through the ceiling, ripping apart the age old tile, wood, and stone that formed the roof and engulfed the princess. The wolf jumped back, growling and baring his teeth at the light.

"What sorcery is this?" he exclaimed.

Even the princess didn't have an answer for the massive predator. One minute she was facing sure impending doom and the next she was being bathed in blue light. The light itself, however, felt comforting. While cloaked in it, she could feel the fear draining from her body and being replaced with something that was in short supply: hope. Looking to the ceiling, she closed her eyes, listening to the wolf's heavy footsteps come towards her.

"Nothing will save you, Anja. The Circle of Amethyst has ordained it. You die tonight!" he cried, braking off into a full sprint towards her.

Leaping into the air, the wolf brought his massive claws down into the light before he was thrown backwards. The wolf toppled backwards, slamming against the wooden floor with such force that it caused Anja to bounce off of the ground. Anja would've smiled had she not been absolutely astounded at what had protected her.

Golden tiny, fire fly like bugs, had congregated in front of her en mass. The tiny bugs seemed to just appear from within the light, growing and gathering in front of her until they took form. At first it just a faint silhouette. Then it became more solid and colorful. Before her stood a man in clothing she wasn't familiar with- baggy dark black pants, tight white shirt, red vest that buckled up in the front, a black sleeve upon his right arm, and a golden metal plated headband that held back his long, black, dreaded hair. Slowly floating to the ground, he landed upon one knee in front of her, his body turn to her and his head bowed.

The wolf scrambled to his feet, baring his fangs at the man and Anja. "This is the final insult, girl!"

The man remained still, unnaturally so, in front of Anja. Slowly moving a hand towards him, she brushed the tip of her fingers against his bare left arm. Raising his head up, she got a look into his eyes. They were as black as the depths of tartarus. No emotion, no feeling, or anything came from them.

The wolf began his walk back towards them, only a few feet from them, saliva dripping from his open maw.

"Hello?" she asked the man, cocking her head and looking into his eyes again. "Who are you?"

Encroaching upon their position, the wolf raised his paw. "Die, wench!"

His claw came down upon the man, who had his back to the wolf.

"Look out!" Anja screamed, trying to warn him.

Suddenly the man shot up to his feet, extended his right arm to the sky, and caught the paw of the wolf. All without looking. Anja couldn't believe what she was seeing. Looking up at the man's face, she watched as the black orbs that he called eyes began to lighten, brightening up until they were the color of fresh grass; a beautiful emerald green.

The wolf tried to fight off the man's grip. The stranger simply tightened it, the muscles in his forearm growing tense with the squeeze of his hand. Looking down at Anja, the man surprised her. He smiled.

"My name is Trayce. Trayce King."

"What in the-" Anja started before Trayce turned from her and socked the wolf straight in the mouth. The force of the blow would've sent the wolf flying but he keep a hold of the beast's paw and yanked it back towards him for another hard blow, this time to the stomach. The second shot curled the beast into a ball. Releasing the paw, he spun around, slamming his left foot into the curled up monster, blasting him backwards with so much momentum that it carried it clean through the opening it had come through.

Trayce turned back to Anja. "Stay here."

He started to leave before she shot up, grabbing ahold of his left arm. "Wait."

That might have worked with anyone else. However, with the same strength that had floored the wolf, Trayce yanked her with him as he speed out the door, breaking the ground on his first step. Anja was nothing more than an insect on his arm as he sped out the door, towards the wolf that was starting to stand. Pulling back his free arm, Trayce punched the beast again, this time with momentum on his side, sliding the massive wolf it like a hockey puck, and slap shotting it back into the nearest building: a family pharmacy. Sliding to a stop, his heels dug into the dirt, borrowing two small, trenches where his feet had been.

He glanced to his left, finally realizing that Anja had grabbed on.

"I thought I told you to stay inside?"

Anja couldn't even answer. Releasing Trayce's arm, she thumped to the ground, turning a sickly shade of green and clutching her stomach.

"Hey, are you okay?" Trayce asked.

She didn't look to good. Anja was barely able to get out an answer to him before feeling sick.

"M-motion s-ickness."

"Oh. You shouldn't move too much then. It'll only get worse."

Staggering to her feet, the color came back to her face. "I wasn't trying."

She gulped back the urge to vomit, placing her hand to her mouth, before continuing. "You drug me with you."

"I did?" Trayce asked, scratching his head. "I didn't grab you though."

Was he serious? Did he not feel her on his arm? She started to ask him before noticing her surroundings and instantly becoming sick again. It was horrible. What once was a peaceful, local village had been reduced to nothing more than scraps and rubble. Homes were destroyed, shops shredded, and with no sign of human life, she could only assume that while looking for her, the wolf had indulged in a feeding frenzy.

"This is so horrible." She said.

"Yeah," Trayce said, motioning his left arm in front of her. "You might want to get back. It's not safe here."

"What are you talking about, you beat the wo-"

The rubble of the pharmacy began to stir. First a paw emerged, followed by another, and another, and another. Before long a tail and a snout cleared the rock as the wolf stood back to his full height, his white fur not red in certain places. A few of his front teeth were smashed to oblivion and his right, red eye, was swollen and shut.

Trayce had done all of that and it was STILL standing?

"Stay back this time," Trayce said, step away from away and heading towards the wolf. "I don't want you to get hurt.

Anja learned her lesson the first time. She just watched as Trayce walked towards the beast, rotating his right arm. She could say this for Trayce. He might've been really strong but he was also absolutely crazy.

"What are you?" the wolf asked, as Trayce arrived in front of it. "You do not smell of this world."

"People from this world have a different scent?" Trayce asked. "Hmm, I guess that makes sense. But, to answer your question, I'm human.

"Then you can die just like any other human. Kicking and screaming between my teeth."

Trayce scoffed at his comment. "You mean the ones I broke?"

The wolf growled. "You impetuous little-"

"I'm Trayce, by the way."

The wolf was taken aback. Trayce stuck out his right hand, a ridiculous child-like smile on his face. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Wolf."

Was this human a complete idiot? Trayce was tiny compared to the wolf, maybe only a third of its full height yet he smiled in its face.

"What is your angle, human?"

"I don't have one. I just rather know the person that I am fighting if I can."

The wolf chuckled, humoring him. "I am called Great White."

"Great White, huh? Alright then. I'm gonna' call you, Fang."

"Excuse me? I am one of the eight great pack leaders of the dire wolves. You will address me by my title." Great White corrected.

"Nah. I'm gonna call you, Fang. End of story." Trayce chided, sliding back into a fighting stance. "Are you ready, Fang? I won't go easy on you because we are friends now."

The wolf lowered himself to the ground, claws and maw at the ready to pounce.

Trayce grinned. "Good."

Great White wasted little time in lunging straight at Trayce. Trayce dodged to the side, slamming his fist into the first leg that landed, taking it from underneath the wolf. Rolling onto the arm, Great White popped up, again lunging at Trayce, leading with his mouth. Trayce jumped off to the side once more, narrowly dodging the wolf's teeth, and returning a left hook into the other leg.

The wolf collapsed under the pressure, barrel rolling back onto his feet, a few feet from Trayce. Trayce bounced on the balls of his feet, hands up, awaiting the next attacks. Letting out a might howl, the wolf attacked again, lunging at Trayce.

"This again?" Trayce asked, readying himself to dodge.

As he had done previously before, Trayce waited until Great White was just upon him before dodging to his right. Great White wanted that. Spinning his body in mid-air, Great White thumped to the ground, in front of Trayce, bringing a massive claw down upon him. The blow caught Trayce by surprise, smashing him into the cobblestone road. Bits of rock and other debris flew into the air as a paw sized crater holding Trayce formed.

Pulling his paw back, Great White watched as Trayce coughed and tried to gather his air before being on him again, lunching in with his jaws. Trayce barely got his hands up in enough time to catch the open jaws of the wolf attempting to bit down upon him. Great White bore down upon him, using his superior elevation to help him pushing his jaws towards Trayce.

Anja was frantic on the sidelines. He had just saved her life from that wolf and now he was going to get eaten by the same wolf.

"Trayce, get up!" she cried.

"A little busy." He retorted, pushing back on the wolf's jaws.

"It's too late, human," Great White managed to growl, "You lose."

With a major push, Trayce's hand's slipped from Great White's jaws. The massive dire wolf latched his jaws around the grounded body of Trayce and flung him high up onto the air, way above his own body, opening his jaws to swallow the warrior as he descended.

Trayce had other ideas. Floating aimlessly in the air, Trayce attempted to correct himself. Kicking his legs into the air, and pointing his head down at Great White, he reared his right arm back.

"Let's go, big boy!" he screamed as he dove down at the wolf.

Great White met his descent, reaching up with a massive snap. Trayce watched as the jaws began to close, looking for the slightest opening when he saw an opening at the very back of Great White's jaw. It was small but it was his only shot at it. Tucking his arms to his side, Trayce ducked his head and plunged forward straight into the mouth of the wolf. Saliva and a wagging tongue pelted him as he flew like a bullet, somehow clear through the hole in the back most section of great white's jaw where his teeth stopped and his gums began. Soaring clean out the other side, Trayce slammed into the ground, placing his hands to the ground and rolling through onto his feet.

Spinning around, Great White looked like he had seen a ghost.

"How? I just ate you?"

Trayce turned around, confidence conveyed on his face. "I'm not that easy to kill."

"Why you—" Great White lost it. Swinging a big right front paw down, he tried to swat Trayce into the afterlife. Trayce dodged swiftly to the side of it before leaping on the paw. Sprinting straight ahead, Trayce leapt up as high as he could, grabbing ahold of some loose fur on the wolf's arm. Great White reeled in pain, attempting to shake the warrior off. Trayce stayed put. Handful after handful of fur, Trayce used it to climb up to the shoulder of the wolf, flipping up onto its back.

"Get off of me!" Great White struggled.

Trayce was not going to be denied though. Running across the massive back of the wolf, Trayce sped towards his target: Great White's tail. Running and leaping off, Trayce stretched out, grabbing the tail as he began to fall. Flipping over in mid-air, he smiled as he dragged the big wolf off of its feet and into the air with him before slamming it over his shoulder as hard as he could into the ground.

The ground shook violent as result of the shoulder throw, cratering beneath the weight of the dire world. Landing upon the ground, Trayce set to finish the fight. Running towards Great White, Trayce focused his energy into his legs, blasting off into the sky above. Great White whimpered at the sight, his body unable to move.

He couldn't be defeated? He was one of the great eight pack leaders. He couldn't lose to a human?!

"Bye bye, Fang!" Trayce screamed before plummeting down into the ground, his right leg extended, slamming into Great White with a massive rider kick. The force dug them even further into the crater, the ground around the expanding out to join the large sinkhole. Even Anja was thrown off of her feet from the force of an aftershock.

A loud, thunderous crack echoed in the silence of the night as Great White's entire abdomen caved in. His tongue propelled from his mouth, wagging in try agony before flopping to the side, unmoving. And Trayce just stood atop him, breath heavy, looking down at his fallen foe.

"It was fun, Fang," Trayce grinned, brushing his hand by his nose.

I told you not to call me that.

"Excuse me?" Trayce said, looking to Anja. "What wasn't I supposed to call you?"

Anja looked baffled. Even from a ways away, she had no clue what was going on.

"I didn't say anything."

It was me, idiot. Great White.

Trayce looked down upon the wolf who was clearly more dead than alive but was somehow talking to him.

"How can I hear you?"

When dire wolves die, we share a telepathic link with our killer. We are linked to them forever. It is a sign of honor for one mighty enough to best one of us.

"Oh, well, that's cool," Trayce said.

Despite losing to you, I like you human. I don't know your purpose her but I shall lend you my power. Use me wisely.

From underneath Trayce, Great White began to break down. Thousands of little fire flies tore apart from his body until Trayce fell to the ground, engulfed in a globe of amber light. In the pitch black night, it was absolutely beautiful. The fire flies began to circle Trayce, creating a cyclone of light, before heading simultaneously towards his right arm. Upon contact, they exploded into a silver light that engulfed him in light.

Anja raised her arm to guard her arms from the light's intensity but couldn't keep herself from witnessing what was happening. She had never seen anything like this in her entire life. As the light died down, she was left with mouth agape.

Trayce stood different. On his right arm, where his sleeve once was, was silver and white armor that looked as if it had fur upon it around and in his hand was an, incredibly large sword, a dao, whose blade was easily as long as she was and was decorated with wolf life accoutrements. Trayce lifted the blade to inspect it, noticing the writing on it in a language that he did not know but could somehow read: Paladin.

Swinging the sword out the side, the blade and armor dispersed into silver light, sinking back into his arm. Wiggling his fingers, he smiled, made a fist, and punched it into his left hand.

"Alright, Fang. Let's be friends!"

My conqueror would be an idiot.

"Hey, no name calling. We're buds now."

Idiot.

"Um, Trayce?" Anja called. Trayce turned to her and walked over with a smile on his face.

"Yeah?"

"What just happened?" her voice quivered. She paused for a sec. "Who, or what, are you? Humans can't do what you just did."

Trayce stopped and thought about it for a second. He finally folded his arms behind his head and smiled at her.

"I have no clue!"

She felt the world spinning around her, all of the excitement, and fear, from the day catching up to her.

She then promptly collapsed.

Next Chapter
[The Magical World, Ether]

A/N- Yay, I am finally writing back on my own account again! It has been a good while since I have written something for my Madness-Soldier account so I hope you guys enjoy it, as well as, Trayce's first solo adventure. Chances are that you will see some appearances by my fellow roses but you can bet that this story is about Trayce and Anja and the world that they have fallen into. I have plans to do a lot with this story so I hope that you like it, review it, and share it with your friends and family. If you have some suggestions or questions for the story, feel free to send them my way and I'll answer you when I can. Or, who knows, I might even answer it in chapter.

Regardless, I plan to update this story every Thursday or Friday, time permitting, and continue to write about my favorite warrior.