Zachariah in: Thunder and Lightning!
The white mage arrived in the mountains of Shirotsume for some unfinished business, donning his most pristine coat. He trotted through the desolate outposts on the corner of each path, remembering how they were once lively and fertile. The soil around him was gray and stained with rot and the trees were petrified where they stood. The sky above, too, was empty of birds and vacant of sunlight. As he passed underneath a familiar stone arch, long slivers of rain fell from above. So, he produced an umbrella and stepped into the village he once called home.
Everything was in its original place, untouched by the advancements of civilization, though decayed and worn down by the passing time. The dilapidated homes and decrepit livestock sickened him, and he knew the exact cause of the ruin here; himself. Before heading to the former town hall, he peeked into the cemetery, which had collected more in his time away. His late parents rested in the farthest corner along with his original magic teacher, and the many more slaves laid to rest by the tyrant named Thunder. The village in Shirotsume was one of the most fertile in the region, providing a majority of the grain and crops, thriving in the rain. Though, Thunder arrived and maimed it. The people feared him like they would an old, unhappy god, as he controlled the weather with an intense magic and monopolized the farmland.
Zachariah remembers the battle clearly in each lightning strike. The thunderclap triggers a memory in his brain, reigniting his crippling fright and fury. He was a much stronger mage then, before his defeat. As he was first learning, the younger Zach was bolder and angrier; quite the hothead. Though, from the trauma and shame of that defeat, he gradually deteriorated and lost a majority of his original power. At the cemetery gate, he turned around and stared straight ahead at the petrified town hall where Thunder resided. It was the exact same place he stood ten years ago, shouting “THUNDER! COME AND FACE ME!”
- Shirotsume, 10 Years Ago:
- Zachariah cried, grief tainting his voice, “Come out and pay for what you did!” and Thunder stepped down the stone steps and laughed, much to Zachariah’s dismay. Thunder must have been a hundred yards away, perfect range for Zachariah to strike. Zachariah waved his left hand across the plaza and summoned the Spatial Reflector, illuminating everything with a faint violet sphere. In his right hand, he collected light and volleyed three Spectral Drills to chase after Thunder, intensified by the enchanted field. They followed Zachariah’s command as he raced towards Thunder, rage in heart. He met Thunder with a handful of Morning Stars, though the man was a bit more agile than Zach, and dodged the miniature stars with ease. Though, a single one caught his chest, and exploded with a flare that evaporated the rain. The Spectral Drills came crashing down in unison, piling Thunder into the ground.
For a while, Zachariah was winning, throwing everything he could at Thunder. In the end, however, it wasn’t enough. Thunder was a durable mage, capable of running miles around the young Zach. Though heavily damaged, scarred and blinded and burned, he stood tall. The exhaustion only enraged Zach further, and he lunged, though Thunder slipped under his foot and he fell into the cobblestone. As the man was about to stomp on him, Zachariah used the Ultraviolent Flash and blinded the man. His spells fizzled as he lost energy, but he found enough energy within himself to use the Shinedown; a powerful spell that immersed Thunder in red, yellow and blue light.. He pinned Thunder to the ground with the Lightspeed Beatdown, lashing out on him, each punch weaker than the previous until Thunder kicked him away.
“At least you will die a noble death, unlike your parents,” he muttered, and called down a white bolt onto Zach. What followed was a blur, but Zachariah hobbled to his feet even after being struck, exhilarated with energy.
“Go to hel,” he said. Thunder faded from his vision, and black spots formed in his eyes. He shouted and called on his ultimate spell, “Voidbane!” Photons collapsed before him and reformed, triggering a chain that evolved into an endless flash, petrifying the town hall's facade.
Zach collapsed, hearing only Thunder’s hearty bellows and the painful “You MISSED!”
Today, Zachariah had come to reclaim his failure. The broad, thick suited mobster stepped down from the hall’s steps, and the remaining residents came out from their hiding spaces. Though, a young, mostly healthy boy stood out from the crowd, possibly no older than fifteen. Thunder broke through the crowds and looked Zachariah dead in the eyes. “I see you survived,” he taunted and laughed. “But you’re not the mage you used to be. Don’t embarrass yourself, scram!”
The young man in the crowd came between the two and shoved Thunder back. “You mess with him, you’ll answer to me.”
Thunder snickered. “This look familiar to you?” he mocked, pointing to Zachariah.
Zachariah placed his hand on the boy’s shoulders and gently pushed him out of the way, finding a new sense of assertiveness inside himself. He couldn’t bear to see himself replaced in the village, especially by a boy who would suffer a worse fate than he did. “Fortunately, I can speak for myself. This village will no longer fall under your rule.”
Thunder hysterically bellowed, like a choking frog, and jabbed at Zachariah’s scars. “You see these scars, boy? You know what they mean?” he spat at Zachariah’s feet. “You are weak.”
Zachariah’s heart raced. The scars had once held him captive, though ever since he joined Sabertooth, they had been a symbol of growth for him. “No,” he firmly denied, and grabbed Thunder’s wrist. “Because of these scars,” he stated, removing his jacket and undershirt to bear the purple marks and his guildmark. “Because of these scars, I am STRONG!” he shouted, and summoned the Bifrost Blade, kicking Thunder to the ground. He calmly approached and pointed his sword at the man’s neck. “And I will free this village from you.”
Thunder snapped his fingers, but Zachariah caught the lightning bolt with his sword and unleashed a rainbow flame across the plaza, trapping himself and Thunder in a tight battlefield. He swung and cut through the dimensions of Thunder’s frame. The blade dissipated, and instead his body became immersed in the stars, the power of the Aesir god Heimdallr bestowed onto him. His skin became like the vast expanse of space, wrapped in runes and stars. His hair grew and shined. Thunder called down sharp hail and wind to extinguish his flames, but Zachariah only staggered back. “Gjallarhorn Bellow!” He placed his hands together and blew through them, summoning a golden vale of wind that threw Thunder into the mountainside and dissipated the clouds.
Thunder fell, out of breath. “What are you gonna do then? I know when I’m beat.”
“What I should have done a long time ago,” Zachariah said, and landed the killing blow. Sun once again cascaded across the village, seemingly rejuvenating the plant life in the village. Zachariah took a deep breath and released his Take-Over form. He carried Thunder’s body on a Starlight Surfer and took it to a remote part of the forest, burying it where it would never be found again.