King of Shadows – Fall of the Lumin [Prologue Chapter]

20 years ago…
A war was in motion; a battle between the forces of darkness and the forces of light. Both sides were incredibly powerful in their own rights and everyone believed the fight could go either way.
Well, everyone except for the mysterious King of Shadows, who was observing the battle and directing his troops from the summit of a small mountain. Sure, he saw Rehoboam – Lumin King and warrior of light – as a worthy adversary, but he saw his… underlings as not even worth the time it took to kill them. However, he knew what was at stake. While he could easily kill the majority of the Lumin with little effort, their very existence posed a threat to the plan. If they even caught wind of it, they could become a serious obstacle, and potentially counteract it. He couldn’t allow that to happen. Crush them now and restore energies later, he thought to himself as more Lumin fell. 

King Rehoboam observed the battle from above, the tactician in him looking for weaknesses in the Shadow army that could be exploited, and any weaknesses in his own army that needed to be fixed.
From his vantage point, things weren’t looking good. While lacking in strength, the Shadow army had something that the Lumin didn’t; organisation and sheer mass of numbers. Many of the Lumin he had been given to fight with hadn’t fought in any battles like this before. Many were used to bringing down wild animals, at best, and hunting those that didn’t fight back at worst. The majority of their great warriors had been destroyed when the Shadow people first attacked.
Even as he reflected on it now, it didn’t make sense to him. Sure, they had lived near the borders of Nox Astu – the home territory of the Shadow people – and there was always the risk of attack, but it seemed odd that after over 20 years of living peacefully without stirring up trouble with the Shadow people, they were attacked with no prior warning.
His attention was then brought to the enemy’s leader, the Shadow King, as his subjects had called him. His prior attack had caught the Lumin completely off guard, meaning that he probably would have lost had they been prepared.
Rehoboam had barely enough time to gather an army in the initial strike, and thus had been defeated by the Shadow army that day. Only by the skin of his teeth had Rehoboam managed to retreat with a mere quarter of his men.

Days ago he had gotten word from a spy that the Shadow people would be attacking the city of Dawn. He had decided to set a trap that would cripple the Shadow people greatly; the village was evacuated save for a small number of brave warriors. The warriors engaged the Shadow people until they were getting overwhelmed, and then together unleashed a mighty nova blast that wiped out a huge number of them… and yet, there the Shadow King was. Still very powerful and very much alive.
The blow should have killed him. How he could have gotten off with no visible consequence was beyond Rehoboam.
Something occurred to him as he looked at the enemy forces. Wait… this style of attack… could it be? He considered for a moment, I have to know for sure just what I’m up against.
He charged up his power and used it to grant him incredible speed, rushing through the ranks unharmed before racing up the side of the mountain and stopping in front of the Shadow King, who stared down at him; shocked that he would make such a bold – and foolish – move.

The Shadow King had to hold back his surprise when Rehoboam shot through the battle using Light Speed and stopped before him. Was it stupidity or did his foe know something he didn’t?
“So, it is you after all.” Rehoboam murmured with contempt as they began to circle each other, their gazes locked.
The Shadow King chuckled, “I’m sorry, I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced; I’m the Shadow King.”
Rehoboam clenched his teeth, an expression of anger on his face, and summoned his sword with a flash of light energy “Of course you are, you may have everyone else fooled, but you can’t fool me.” and fell into his combat stance. Oh, the enemy thought as he stifled a chuckle, So he wants to face me, King to King? He then extended his right hand to the side, dark energy swirling around it as his own blade appeared, the darkstone crystal in the hilt glowing an unhealthy green. So be it, I’m done wasting time.
The Shadow King fell into his own combat stance and they both stared each other down for a moment, each knowing the gravity of the situation; what was at stake if they failed.
They began.

Rehoboam struck first, coming in with fast and powerful strikes which the Shadow King parried. The Shadow King caught an opening and began returning with attacks of his own. Rehoboam could see them coming and parried each one, but with difficulty as the Shadow King’s sword was weighted at the tip and thus his strikes were heavier.
He saw an opportunity.
He barely dodged the incoming blow that would have decapitated him had he stayed there a moment longer and stabbed the dark armoured tyrant in the abdomen. The Shadow King pushed him down and stared at the blade protruding from his midsection. He then reached down, taking the sword by the hilt and wrenching it out. Rehoboam stared in shock as his opponent tossed his sword to him.
“Word of warning; next time you’re not getting it back.” The enemy taunted.
Rehoboam picked up his sword and charged it with light energy, the blade now glowing white-hot as he roared and a golden aura surrounded him.
And now, the Shadow King thought, the true fight begins… no holding back. He chuckled and began to charge up his own energy, a black and green aura surrounding his body.

Their full power unleashed, the two began to clash. Each time their blades collided the area around them shook and there was a flash of energy. To anyone watching, it was clear that the difference in power was minimal if not nonexistent altogether, and neither seemed to be backing down.
However, there was a serious problem. Though they were evenly matched in power, the Shadow King, unlike Rehoboam, didn’t have a physical form, and so didn’t have to worry about being hit as much as Rehoboam did, nor did he get fatigued.
After about ten minutes of battle, both had thrown, dodged and blocked thousands of strikes and Rehoboam was beginning to show slight signs of fatigue. He had also taken minor damage from the brunt of a few attacks from the Shadow King, who could afford to throw out punches and kicks where Rehoboam could not, given they would have no effect on the Shadow King.
Ten minutes was all it took for Rehoboam to recognise that this was a losing battle for him, and he knew that he was currently the only one capable of beating the Shadow King.

He had to destroy his opponent no matter what, even if it meant sacrificing himself. With that, he began to draw in light energy from his surroundings and began to focus it on the mighty foe standing before him. The enemy saw what was happening and did something he wouldn’t normally have done; he rushed at Rehoboam, charging his sword with dark energy. The two traded blows, Rehoboam pouring his energies into charging his nova blast and the Shadow King trying to set up an opening.
At the last moment, he saw it. He caught Rehoboam’s sword on his own and wrenched it out of his grip before swinging again, aiming straight at Rehoboam’s exposed neck.
There was a sickening crack followed by a scream of agony as Rehoboam had instinctively thrown up his arms to block the incoming strike. He fell to the ground, arms half cleaved through and body shaking. The pain coming from them was unbearable, and he was no longer able to give the necessary concentration for a nova blast.
The Shadow King stared on in astonishment as Rehoboam groaned and cried out. He… he shouldn’t even be alive after that! If it was anyone else, my blade would have gone right through both arms and neck as easily as butter! I guess that’s to be expected of the great warrior king.

But the damage was nonetheless done; Rehoboam was now unable to fight any further, and all fighting had come to a standstill at the sounds of his cries. The Shadow King decided to take advantage of the situation to deal a psychological blow to the Lumin army. “LUMIN! Look now to your king, brought to his knees by none other than yours truly.”
The Lumin looked on in fear as Rehoboam struggled to stand to his feet, only to be batted down by the flat of the Shadow King’s blade and pinned under his foot.
“And now, I shall prove to you that death is an inevitability, and that a harsh one awaits you all by striking down your only chance of beating me!” He raised his sword over his head and brought the end down on Rehoboam before the eyes of the 200 remaining Lumin. “And just like that, your king is dead. The rest of you are next!” He then spoke to his own forces, “Eliminate them! Leave no survivors!”

Leaderless and exhausted, the Lumin army was soon overwhelmed and eventually eradicated by the emboldened Shadow people, who then moved to slaughter the remaining Lumin in Lux Astu that couldn’t fight.
However, hope was not completely lost. One Lumin was sent away by Rehoboam before the battle was to begin, who knew that if the Lumin army was to fall, there had to be someone with the power to stand against the Shadow King. They would live to fight another day.