***Year 0, 4th era, day one of the First Quarter***
-The city of Uri-
"We can't hold out much longer!" A knight shouts over the din of steel clashing with claw and fang, "We must-!"
His words becomes shrieks as a Firgue Demon heaves and pukes a sticky substance over him that ignites when the monster snaps its mouth shut to create a spark.
The Knight Captain grits his teeth as the knight screams, rolling and flailing on the floor until the captain puts a sword through the dying man's helmet to end his misery.
"Hold until the ritual is complete!" The captain shouts, "This battle determines the fate of humanity!"
These knights are elites from all the remaining human countries on the continent, as the third era was coming to a close, they were gathered along with priests, paladins, sorcerors, and mages to perform a daring raid. To breakthrough the frontlines of the Demon War and escort the high level cardinals from the church to perform "The Millenial Summoning" in the Grand Hall in the lost city of Uri.
No human had been within one hundred miles, much less set foot in, the city since it was lost too The Demon King in the 12th year of the third era. The knights were exhausted, fighting in the ruins of a once mighty city, grander than anything humans could create in this age. The priests had withdrawn to help perform the ritual, and the magic users had spent all their mana and could no longer cast spells.
Nevertheless, they had to hold on. The knights and paladins on the front line would go down fighting, praying for success.
"Hold the line!" The Captain shouted, "We must hold this place to the last breath, and beyond!"
"For humanity." he whispered, stepping up to the front line himself to bolster his flagging soldiers.
-Grand Hall, former Headquarters of the Church, Uri-
The Cardinals chant had continued for hours, the magic circle, carved into the marble was glowing. That glow has grown steadily since the ritual had begun at midnight and as noon approached it was almost difficult to look at.
At the four compass points stood a young man or woman, who with trembling hands would cut their hands every hour and add their blood to the circle. All of them were royalty descended from the four children of the Dawn Kingdom who performed this ritual with the Heroes at the begining of history.
In the middle of the circle knelt a man, his arms and legs bound, shackled to the ground with a hood tied over his head.
An unfortunate, but neccesary sacrafice, is what they told themselves in an attempt to ease their own consciouses.
The hall was large, nearly 40 square meters in area with a soaring, vaulted ceiling all made out of pristine white marble. Even though Uri, and indeed, most of the headquarters lay in ruins, the magic of this room endured through time and the obvious attempts of the demons to destroy it. Even now demons pressed against the stained glass windows, which portrayed scenes from the Hero's journies and the history of humanity, scratching and screeching, trying to claw their way in.
As noon arrived, the chant reached its crescendo, and the hall was flooded with light.
-somewhere in the modern world-
Lucas was in a cold sweat as he waited for the banker to make a decision, he tried to hide it to the best of his abillity, but he knew he wasn't fooling anyone with his shity acting. Then again, a part of his mind said that surely anyone would be anxious in this situation, he had spent two decades, three if you counted the time when as a child of eight, he decided to grow up and be a scientist, working towards this goal.
Working a full time job, while attending school full time, they said it couldnt be done. And if he was honest, they were right, Lucas had suffered from poor health for years. Even a naturally gifted physique is nothing compared to the ravages of fourteen to twenty hour days and minimal sleep for years.
But Lucas had the knowledge and the degrees to persue his dream, commercial gene therapy.
Love dogs, but happen to be allergic to the breed you like? No problem, a bit of a splice, a shot and presto, a hypoallergenic golden retriever.
Blue roses? Done, and as an added service they produce their own insectside so you never have to worry about pests.
Corn that produces butter and salt inside the kernel to allow for buttered popcorn, without actually adding butter? If you can pay for it, we will make it.
Or that is the goal anyway, then Lucas could use the funds from the commercial side to persue more serious scientific development.
He shook his head lightly to clear it, he didnt want to get ahead of himself and have his hopes dashed by reality. Fortunately for him, the banker seemed on board.
"I admit," the banker said as he leaned backward, having finished the documents in front of him. "I was very skeptical when I heard I first heard about this. I didn't think technology had progressed so far as to let this be possible, but your application was thorough and you certainly have the qualifications to back up your claims."
He sighed, and Lucas silently prayed to whatever god would listen to an agnostic such as himself.
"Alright," the banker moved forward and took a pen, signing the document in front of him. "Honestly, I dont know if you will make it, but if you do the bank stands to make a killing off this. And my suspiscion is that you will find a market for this somewhere."
"Thank you sir," A wide smile was on Lucas face as he shook the bankers hand, "You wont regret this!"
He was practically humming as he took the elevator down and headed through the automatic doors out to the parking lot, the plan for his life crystalizing before his eyes.
And then everything went white.
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Bio: Hello! I am Vladerag the author of several stories here on Royal Road! I hope you are enjoying whatever you are reading, and I hope you check out some of my stories! You can find them here! https://royalroadl.com/profile/76129/fictions And if you are interested in supporting me, you can do so here as well! https://www.patreon.com/vladerag