[center A prince from a kingdom with a history of power, control, and bloodshed can only watch as the walls around him crumble and the forces which wish to crush him close in. [+ffa500 Muse A], is that Prince. A young and cold hearted ruler whose reign began in warring times and it seems it will end in them as well. It wasn’t just a rebellion of the citizens that brought [+ffa500 Muse A]’s kingdom of Chamlek to its knees, it was also the force of a neighboring realm which threats from either side had been passed and with the Rebellion building up, the outside Kingdom decided to attack, declaring war and sealing [+ffa500 Muse A]’s demise.
The neighboring realm, though a smaller territory, has many more resources and alliances then the Chamlek Kingdom has. And with the Rebellion going on, this smaller kingdom arrived with the upper hand and swiftly brought Chamlek’s fall. [+4169e1 Muse B] was the ruler of this smaller kingdom, and with the fall of Chamlek it comes as a surprise when [+ffa500 Muse A] is captured near the border having fled the capital and his home lands. [+ffa500 Muse A] still has a group of his loyal warriors spread far across his fallen kingdom, but nothing can be done now that he has been captured. Now the question’s rise about what should happen to [+ffa500 Muse A]. He isn’t a very pleasant person to have about but even with the loss of his kingdom, he still has his use. Besides his rather short life story, [+ffa500 Muse A] has some fairly interesting tales to tell, when he’s in a good mood. But there is also a rumor of a grand secret of Chamlek that only the royal family knows about and it is said to be some sort of great treasure.
It is up to [+4169e1 Muse B] to decide what happens to [+ffa500 Muse A]. Should [+4169e1 Muse B] listen to the calls for an Execution or should [+4169e1 Muse B] keep the defeated prince around as an asset for the future.
-01- This roleplay is open to any pairing. Though [+ffa500 Muse A]’s gender has already been decided, so they have to be pairings that work with that, unless it’s with two other character
-02- Make them interesting. Don't make your character flat
-04- I do not mind any posting speed as long as you don't fall off the face of the planet. Please notify me before long hiatuses. My PM box is always open!
-05- I require you be able to post at least 1000 CHARACTERS for this roleplay. I understand writer's block, but please don't be lazy. Please have a decent grasp on the English language.
-06- This is not first come first served.
[b Viewer's discretion is advised-] Mature subject matter is sure to occur. If you are not okay with discussions of drugs, violence, cursing, graphic scenes, maybe character death, or anything of that nature, then this is not the roleplay for you. That being said, any sex, if any, will be taken elsewhere if it is to occur or time skipped entirely.
[b This is a team effort-] I am not going to be the only one responsible for plot twists. If you join me in this, please be willing to contribute.
[b Fantasy-] I am fine with this just being an average fantasy world. But I am very open to suggestions!
Negomin's widened eyes narrowed once he accused her of interfering in a pointless war. She watched him suddenly turning away and walking downstairs before calling him again this time more firmly and a slight growl was forming in her throat. "You should know a dragon never humiliates themselves to join the war of Dark and Light creatures." She almost ran and stood in front of him, blocking his ways with opened arms and a glare on her face as she stared up at him. "You. You have a dragon lurking in you. What have you done? I don't forgive forbidden curses against my kind." She gritted her teeth, confused and frustrated. " I keep the balance of these lands...If any Dark or even a Light monster put the balance in danger, I won't let it live long. Let alone messing with dragons...Why do you have a dragon soul within?" Negomin's red eyes glowed slightly, ready to change back to her true form.
The Dealer went back to drawing the symbols as they waited for Philip. Juno wiped off her tears, letting out single sobs but tried to hold them back because she didn't twant to be a cry baby. Yet she silently kept holding onto Joseph, already attached to his kind manner.
An hour passed yet Philip didn't show up. The Dealer decided to just assume he was dead and continue on but then they heard something heavy being dragged on ground. Philip came back covered in blood which fortunately wasn't his. He was tired pulling on a quite big deer which it's stomach was cut open. The servant was so tired that he didn't say a word as sitting on ground and started to cut the fresh meat eagerly.
Penelope the nymph, was also nervous about Neculai' s delay. Had something bad happened? And she was still curious about Eric. Since she had many friends which luckily one of them was a healer, after begging constantly, the maid was finally let in Eric's room for a very short time to bring some meal. "Helloooo?" Penelope whispered, slowly approaching him. "I have..brought some food. I know it looks pointless but you should enjoy your very last meals. I have heard bad spirits don't get food in the other world." She set the bowl down before hesitating a little. "I...I'm sorry about your friend. She was pretty. Even that cold Ryuu was attracted to her...Too attracted...Poor thing. He didn't even waited for a burial. Maybe...he just wanted to have fun with a lovely prize...ugh. I have a very little time. Just wanted to tell you I didn't let them burn her body and buried her respectfully...in garden. I had to do it in midnight out of sight. Here...maybe you want to..keep this." Penelope catiously put an earring on the floor.
Looking up sharply as there was a puff of dust near a window, Ryuu sat still till it settled and he could see the stranger that had crept in through a window. It as a girl, well at least he thought is was. There was something off about her but he couldn’t tell what. She noticed him quickly and he covered the symbols that he’d been tracing, brushing them away in the dust as he stood up. She was on her feet too, quick to claim that she wasn’t a thief. She then stood ridged, quiet before asking who he was. Then he saw it, her horns and her deep red eyes.
“...” He remained silent as she approached him before whispering something in disbelief. Only then did he speak. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He finally said coldly and took a step closer to her. “But you yourself are a dragon. Are you the one that helped start the raids near the border?” He asked in a demanding tone.
He was tired and had little patience, he’d been chasing a demon throughout the capital city and was no closer to catching her then he had when she first escaped. Given how things were going he might as well be one death row himself. The plague was being taken care of but now a war was brewing and still the two demons in the Light Nation weren’t gone. He didn’t really wait for her to answer, the Summoner just gazed tiredly at her with his icy blue eyes before stepping back and shaking his head, moving a little bit towards the stairs before stopping.
What could he do about this? In the state he was in mentally, nothing. Turning swiftly on his heels, Ryuu walked towards the steep stairs and started down them, trying to get his frantic thoughts in order.
Joseph scowled at the Dealer and stopped once he was pushed to let him pass. Joseph's eyes bored into the man as they started back to the bridge before he heard the howls and Juno’s shrieks. Immediately the younger man, despite his still healing injuries, raced after the Dealer as they both ran towards the bridge.
The howling was coming from another man, apparently worse off than they were but he had blood coming from a small cut on his forehead where Juno had bashed him with a rock. Juno had curled back against the wall, the heavy rock in her hands as her only weapon of defense. Joseph immediately moved to grab Juno and get her away from her attacker while the Dealer slowed to stoop and grab a sturdy piece of driftwood from the creak under the bridge. A sharp whack from the stick sent the man sprawling and once he saw he was outnumbered, he turned and ran back the way he’d come, spitting nonsense and meaningless curses.
Joseph had scooped Juno up and held her comfortingly as she cried out of fright, but he could see that the Dealer was thinking the same thing he was, as he dropped the stick and brushed his hands off. They needed to find a new place for refuge as soon as Philip got back. In the meantime, Joseph sat back and continued to silently console Juno, letting her cry herself out while he took his attention off of the Dealer.
Enoch was trully shocked at the sudden snap. Ryuu had never told him shut up before. He usually tolerated the lunatic. His surprised face turned into a hurt one but he didn't say anything before following the rest and departing from the exhausted Summoner.
Lurking around, was another intruder...Well not exactly intruder since she didn't claim any lands as her homeland. She couldn't risk staying in an inn since she didn't have any money and of course, She could attract curious eyes of Light Nation to herself. So she she decided to sneak in a place and hide there for a night to rest. It was not very approving but she worried about other things. She found a deserted looking shop and noticed it had a small space above. Judging by the smell, not many people were in the shop so she could sneak in from the small window up there. The small girl could easily fit through the slightly opened window and successfully she fell in, making some old dusts rise. The girl immediately looked up, now smelling someone fresh. Those red eyes met a man in the middle of room and she gasped, getting on her feet.
"I...I...I...am not a thief." Negomin quickly said and hoped he would not be a threat. Just when she wanted to step back and jumped out of the window, a strange very very triggering feeling struck her. She stiffened and let the cloak drop, revealing the horns and her alerted face. Negomin stared at the stranger. "Who are you..." She sniffed the air and suddenly felt safe enough to approach him. She took deep breaths before whispering in disblief.
"A dragon...?! I...feel the presence of a dragon!"
"I didn't ask for your opinion kiddo." Dealer rolled his eyes and pushed Joseph out of his way. "You need me to survive. So I set the rules here." He said quite threateningly and walked ahead of him before they heard howls followed by Juno screaming for help.
The captain easily found the granddaughter since she hadn't moved yet. She as shocked to be informed Neculai hadn't made it yet but Captain couldn't be convinced she really had no idea so he demanded for the object the queen entrusted them with it and when she claimed it was still with Neculai, the military man lost his patience and arrested her for defying the queens order. Since it was a serious situation, he took her to the castle.
There was a soft chuckle from Karim, a cursed laugh the would make anyone shudder.
[b That I did.]
He purred and went quiet again, leaving Artemis with only her own thoughts and the destination for where she needed to go. Down below on the city streets, Ryuu gritted his teeth as he realized they’d lost her again. He had been so close… but he knew she was still somewhere in the city. He could hear Enoch’s nagging and his random bantering, but to the summoner, it only sounded like noise. Excessive, annoying, non stop noise.
“Will you just [i shut up!]" He finally hissed, throwing a glaring look over his shoulder towards his companion. His harsh glare quieted Enoch and he looked forwards, sighing. “I’m sorry,” He mumbled after a few moments. “You're right, we need to eat soon.” He stopped his steed and turned back towards his group, tossing the coin bag that he’d offered as bait to the other spy in the group. “Go find some place and relax, I’ll find you when it’s time to move again.” He avoided looking towards Enoch as he turned his mount away and left his group to fend for themselves.
He needed time to think, he needed to be alone for a while. He needed to get off the damned streets for a little bit and back to his books and his practice. The Summoner stopped at a gulley in the streets and left his steed tethered to a taverns stable stand. He then crossed the street to what appeared to be an empty, or at least less frequented, shop and as he opened the door, a blind man greeted him.
“Is the upper floor in use?” Ryuu asked and the man shook his head, following the sound as Ryuu walked to a barely visible staircase behind the clutter and walked up to the second floor. The stairs lead to a large empty room and he walked to the middle of it, sitting down and beginning to trace markings and symbols into the dust. He didn't know his power of summoning shouldn't even work anymore. All Ryuu knew was the he may as well be exiled from the Light Nation if he couldn't catch Artemis.
Joseph stopped following after he thought they were far enough from the bridge. He crossed his arms at the remarks the Dealer finished with and he scowled a little. So this man was a summoner of sorts. He’d made deals with demons and used those symbols to call to them. He didn't know what Eric had done, or what The All Demon had let his son do. The connection was broken and there didn't seem to be a way to fix it.
The younger man shook his head at the Dealer's suggestion and kept his arms crossed. He didn't think there was a way to make another portal. Besides with a war brewing and the Queen wanting his head, dwelling in the old arts seemed like digging a deeper grave. If he could speak Joseph would have told the Dealer that what he was trying to do was foolish. He would have told him that their survival now should be what’s important, not trying to bring back a forsaken past. But he couldn't say that, so he just shook his head again and turned away to walk back to the bridge.
Eventually, The Grey Queen stopped waiting but she did ask her captain to send someone to find Neculai and his granddaughter. She didn't ask that they be brought back but she did want the feather returned, if only for a piece of mind.
"..." Artemis refused to talk at first, wondering why it was important for Karim to hear it from her. As she was estimating the distance from the next roof to jump, two simple words came out of her. "You promised." Artemis reminded him some honour if he had any and jumped on the building, holding onto the edge and pulled herself up. Nobody paid attention above their heads, nobody except a specific halfling who was sitting in a corner with a clueless face, staring up at nothing. Sheera lost all her memories after the accident and the soldiers let go of her once they made sure she was a like a carrot now. Sheera didn't even know what she was. Let alone name or background. But when she caught the sight of the long braid, something sparkled in her head and she blinked, moaning from a sudden headache.
"Ryu...We had to burn down the place! I thought you are no more a softie!" Enoch was nagging and nagging before he turned his head to look back and noticed Sheera holding her head in pain and two or three people trying to find out what was wrong with her. "Hm? Isn't that the dwarf we found at forest? She has trauma! Ooohhh! I bet something horrible has happened! When will we eat?"
The Dealer seemed to just ignore Joseph's presence until he tried to get his attention. The man glanced up at the prince and rose up an eyebrow at the expression. "You know, I'd rather not talk with a mute. I have been talking to myself for decades and I prefer to hear an answer..." He grinned and stood up, kicking at the signs burying them under the dirt. "But hey, I do love to tell my story." He started walking, expecting Joseph to follow. "Long long time ago, there a little boy. This little boy could have a happy life but noooo...because he was from a clan...A clan which was doomed to be shooed and humiliated. We barely had rights...Why? Because an ancestor...I guess...was the one on blame for making one deal. A deal with Lilith. You know who she is, right? From that face, I believe you do. My ancestor agreed to become a womb for new Dark creatures which were able to have bodies and reproduce. In return...she will have the power to rule over the four lands of glory. Yeah...I could be a prince! Yet, things didn't go well and Some Grey Queen appeared to ruin it all. She put an end to Dark age and destroyed my ancestor. She is the absolute power of Light. You could even mistake her for the Mother of Light herself. Sooooo...the little boy couldn't tolerate this life of torture and started learning forbidden magic of Dark. He became stronger...but knew that teamwork always speaks first. So he started making deals with demon's on the other side. All kinds of deals. He even helped the poor people who needed some power to take revenge...But...that...that Grey Queen interfered again. I thought I had enough power to take back my clan's honor...but I was defeated again. At least my 'friends' saved me by sending me to another dimension and bang! Here I am! Feeling stronger!" The Dealer laughed out some before scratching his face. "Yet, I can't call my friends for some reasons...it is like the portal is closed...only if I find a way to make another portal...Hmmm..."
Of course Neculai never came but his poor granddaughter was still in the camp, unaware of the disaster.
Cyan looked even happier when his master came back. The minister didn't approve how his monsters were wasted on a single dancer peasant but the thought of breaking Ryuu pleased him...maybe he even could control the summoner.
[b You don’t believe that, do you?]
Rumbling, chastising voice hissed to Artemis as she climbed onto the roof and carefully stepped across it.
[b You don’t think that I’ll stick to my word?]
This was a question he wanted her to answer and the All Demon’s presence grew slightly more tangible around her as she kept going without a word. He’d wait for her answer, pester her a little, but he’d get it one and or another. Karim wouldn’t leave her in peace, not till he was freed and out of her head.
Joseph, still healing and still gaining his strength back, sat quietly as Philip pretended to check his wounds while whispering to him. While on the run, they’d managed to get some decent clothes for the colder weather but staying fed was an entirely different matter. The young man had noticed that the Dealer seemed to be carrying on strong while the rest of them grew tired and weary. This made him even more cautious around the stranger. He nodded in agreement with what his friend had said and he looked over towards the Dealer, watching him write and whistle softly.
A few minutes after Philip had left, Joseph stood, stretching his joints and breathing in deeply. A few of the lashes still had stitches in them but most had fallen out since his back had healed quite a bit. He glanced towards Juno, still fast asleep in the corner, before he turned towards the Dealer and looked down towards the symbols that he was writing. He then took a few steps towards the strange man and once he got the Dealer’s attention, Joseph made a motion with his hand for them to walk a little ways away from the bridge. The younger man wanted to talk, well in his case, listen to who exactly the Dealer was and what the symbols he was constantly scrawling were. The look he had on his face would have better suited his brother, but it also showed that he wanted answers and he wanted them now.
The Grey Queen’s throne room slowly welcomed back each minister as they returned in a span of three days, all except for Neculai and his granddaughter. Sitting still on her throne as her ministers greeted each other and waited for the last to return, she heard someone walk up beside her and she closed her eyes with an anxious sigh.
“Something the matter, Milady?” A sly voice asked and she pressed her lips together firmly.
“Neculai… He hasn’t returned yet, nor has his granddaughter or any of his kin. He maybe old but he was always reliable…” She trailed off and held her head up with her eyes still closed.
“Do you think he ran, Milady? Do you think he has abandoned The Light Nation?”
“No.” She answered firmly. “I do not think he would do that. Especially with what he has.” She paused again and opened her eyes, watching the door intently across the throne room. Valerie thought he would return any hour now, but she didn’t know of the dispute that left Neculai dead and his feather in the hands of another trusted individual.
Artemis was listening and hearing all the single steps Ryuu made towards her cliche hideout. She had her claws ready to strike as a last chance, but then she heard a man and then a fist colliding with bones. The steps towards her stopper and Ryuu lost interest in searching any further. Yet Artemis waited until one girl knocked on the door informing the Ba'al that the threat was gone. The demon slowly opened the door with a creak and watched as the rest left the room like she had some sort of measles. It was clear they didn't like to defy the government.
Artemis walked towards the window and watched the alley carefully if any of the soldiers were hiding. Then she felt somebody approaching her from behind and the demon swiftly turned to face the masked woman again. The masked woman didn't make any move to startle her and just stared from the mask holes. Artemis was about to walk past her when the stranger finally talked.
"I can't see any furture for you. It's dark. You know what this means."
Artemis hesitated only for a second before heading out towards another window to get out. Her face was indifferent.
She was already dead inside.
The Ba'al looked down and decided to climb up instead. She grabbed on the loose stones and climbed up on the roof.
Far from the chase, Joseph's group were settled near an old abandoned bridge. The weather was cold since the Dealer insisted they hide in the mountains for a while. Philip had a fight over not having Juno follow them in this suicidal journey but the Dealer and Juno were stubborn. Now Philip had to look after both Juno and Joseph and he barely slept in the presence of Dealer. The Dealer didn't tell much about his intentions but Juno finally mentioned the ring and that she had to take care of it. She really tried her best not to fall back, though she had become skinnier. Philip had already decided he he would leave her in the first village whether she liked it or not.
"Joseph...I'm going to hunt something. It's been two days we have not eaten anything...have you noticed that weirdo doesn't look a bit hungry or weak? We really should separate our ways soon." Philip whispered in Joseph's ear, pretending to check on the prince's wounds. Juno had fell asleep in a corner, holding the slightly glowing ring in her fist. The Dealer was busy writing some meaningless symbols on the ground as whistling quietly.
"AAAAHHH!" A chair flew towards the cowering soldier who had brought the letter to Johar. The minister gritted his teeth, his eyes wide with rage and fear both. He had lost the feather so easily. His queen would never forgive him. His queen...might even kill him. What of somebody found the feather? Johar growled inhumanly again.
He was not going to go back empty handed. He had to find the feather first...Or...find ANOTHER feather for himself and buy himself time to search for the other one?
Neculai had successfully cleared the district from the illness but his own condition had worsened. Fortunately his granddaughter was there to help. When the letter arrived he told her to stay and he went back himself since it was his last chance to meet the queen. He had noticed some changes in nature which were not friendly was the upcoming war worried him.
Little did the poor old minister knew, Johar HIMSELF was following him. Nobody had ever seen the monster master's other forms. So when Neculai saw the hideous creature in front of him, he couldn't recall seeing one before. His soldiers didn't stand a chance and nor did he.
Not a trace was left of their bodies as Johar devoured them all.
The precious feather was hidden carefully in his clothes but now it was Johar's.
Neculai was now to blame. Not like he could care anymore.
“No, wait.” The Summoner ordered. He stepped forwards leaving his mount with the other spy as Enoch and the two soldiers followed him. His cold eyes glared over the girl that had shakily spoken and he stepped through the doorway, glancing around. There was a window on the far left wall of the room that one of the girls was leaning towards, it was open and she could be leaning to look out it, or she could have just opened it. She looked over her shoulder frightenedly and retreated back to where the rest of the Harlots were, cowering back.
“Search the place, if we can’t find anything then we’ll go back and search the city on that side.” He gestured towards the window and watched the two soldiers start to look around. Most of the girls scrambled to get out of the way, hurrying into a back room and shutting the door behind them. As they searched Ryuu slowly approached the back and continued walking as two men stepped out of the room the girls had disappeared into.
“The Hell do you think ya doing bringing the Nation's Problems to my street?” He snarled but Ryuu just ignored him. He stepped into the back room, despite the man’s protest and he looked around. There were only some piles of straw and the group of Harlots huddled by a wardrobe. He took step forward before the man that had spoken to him, grabbed one of his shoulders to turn him around.
“Hey! You filth, what do you thi-!” Ryuu cut him off by turning around fast and punching him, hard. Hard enough to mad the man let go of him and stagger a few steps. The girls behind him gasped and pushed back, away from the door further, but he paid them no mind. Stalking out of the back room, the Summoner spat his order for them to leave and soon after the hunters were gone.
After a while, with the anxious girls murmuring and the man who had been punched, cursing to himself, one of the girls tapped lightly on the wardrobe door. “T-they're gone.” She murmured and stepped back from the door, quietly leaving the room with the others.
Far away at the border, after the first of many attacks had ended, a letter from her majesty arrived, calling for her ministers to return to the capital. Two months had already passed and he wanted to know what progress had been made with her campaign of healing.
They were all desperate, yes. But would they betray the one in need for 50 coins? They were not fans of the royalty. Let alone Ryuu the closest one to the fearsome queen. Chamlek was sure full of threats. Irony that the people over there hated magic.
They were silent and thoughtful at first before some stepped forward blabbering about them knowing her and such. Enoch huffed and rolled his eyes, playing with his sharpened dagger. Suddenly he caught the sight of something white moving in the shadows. His trained eyes widened and he shouted out with glee. "OVER THERE~" The disappointed people turned to see the poor demon speeding up and jumping over a wall.
Enoch didn't wait for Ryuu's order and rode after his hunt, making others jump out of way.
Artemis was no more the bomb of energy which would explode at any insult. She could be even mistaken as a mute under the presence and pressure of Karim. She no more knew herself as the Great Princess Ba'al...She was just a little Ba'al. A little Ba'al who made silly mistakes and couldn't think on her own. She just accepted his humiliation and only spoke with the shaky unsure tone when he ordered her to.
She was running and running, no more wondering why. Maybe because Karim wanted her to. Artemis heard the horse hooves getting closer. The demon grabbed a small cart of apple and ignored the owner's protests before throwing it at Enoch. The spy roughly pulled his horse's reins to a side and made the horse collide with wall and some unfortunate people. This slowed him down and gave Artemis a chance to break into a house which surprisingly had an opened door. What she saw made her a bit startled. Girls with shameless dance dresses. This wasn't a good place.
Artemis heard the hooves again and ran through the screaming girls, trapped like a wild animal A room opened for her and she desperately ran in it, her mouth immediately blocked and her body pushed into a wardrobe.
"If anyone spits out a word, I will curse your pathetic souls. Your choice. Sword or a torturing life." The figure in the room whispered at the frightened girls and shut the door again. Artemis didn't know what exactly was happening but she stayed in the hiding place silently.
"Ryu...She is in there. Shall I burn this place down?" Enoch pleaded pointing at the infamous house. One of the girl came out shakily. "Sh...sh...sh...she...l-left...f-f-from a w-w-window...."
Back in the room, the one the girls were scared of was fixing her black veil and covering her face with a silver gem designed mask.
“...” Ryuu was silent at his spy’s whining. The gallows and back alley streets were no place for a castle servant, but the brick walls and timid vagrants let him know he’d find no trouble here. After all, his icy eyes held no tolerance in them for strangers and he felt that he was close to finding Artemis. Artemis, the second unwelcomed demon in The Light Nation. He would find her and bring her back to his queen dead if he had to, maybe at death’s door if he must but he’d prefer to kill her on sight than risk letting her escape again. He’d let Enoch know that he was allowed to attack the moment he saw her and only try to kill her if she was close to escaping again. The Summoner had no doubt that his spy would be able to incapacitate the little Ba'al that they were hunting.
Ryuu’s support was small, only two soldiers, Enoch and another spy, and himself. He had the suspicion that they were close, he just needed the right lure to bring Artemis out. He slowed his walk to a stop, gazing around coldly at the people who were standing away from them or hurriedly trying to walk away. He then lifted a coin purse, letting it rattle to get the vagrants attention before he spoke up.
“There is a demon here in the gallows, greyish skin and violet eyes,” He announced coldly, his eyes watching the people around him. “Her hair is white and I am here for her life. There are fifty coins here to anyone who can lead me to her.” He finished and he could see the light of opportunity erupt in the listening vagrant's eyes. The people around him were desperate, so he knew some of them would jump at a chance to escape the damp, decrepit streets that they were forced to live on. There was someone that knew something and this offer was more than enough to loosen their tongues.
In Artemis’ mind, Karim’s chilling voice chuckled at the sound of Ryuu’s offer. Her hiding place was still out of sight of the searching hunters but if she stayed there any longer she would be cornered and most likely captured again.
[b It is time to move again, my dear.]
His voice was almost soothing, if it wasn’t for the laughter that followed. His talks and rants to Artemis had become more and more frustrated after her first failed attempt to bring him back. Now hardly a word of encouragement passed from him without it being riddled with criticism and thinly veiled threats of leaving her here once he was freed. He had noticed her more compliant nature after she escaped the light nation’s forest of illusions but he never made her speak unless he wanted her to repeat and understand something he’d probably told her around a hundred times before.
She was not the one in control, he was. And he’d remind her as many times as he needed till she set him free.
Down aways out of sight from where Ryuu was listening to several people try and convince him they knew something, a figure ran through the shadows, her long dirty white hair waving behind her as she dashed, her mind set on only one thing. Escape.
The two unwelcomed travellers were waiting for the night as they were resting under a tree. The breeze of destiny brought them the most feared weapon of the Grey Queen but they did not notice till they felt uneasiness enveloping their cold bodies. Exchanging looks the my silently scanned the area with their eyes to find the source of the danger they were sensing but they saw no person but a large feather nearby. Of course they didn't know about the secret of Valerie but it wasn't going to last for long. Theodore was the first to stand and walk slowly and catiously towards the odd feather. With each step close, his instincts screamed at him to retreat but he paid no attention and let his curiosity lead him. Romeo was following his companion with a slower pace, though his eyes showed more eagerness to find out about the feather's origin.
Theodore slowly reached down, his body shaking despite his struggle to look calm. He could not bring himself to touch the powerful object. Romeo knelt beside him, staring at the feather. "Oh dear. What is it? This land is full of surprises! I can sense the light force radiating from it~"
"..." Theodore hid his hand under his sleeve and caught the feather carefully with the fabric. "It is not from a bird..." He muttered and put it carefully in his bag. Romeo was smiling to cover his uneasiness. " Oh. Looks like somebody likes us up there!"
Artemis had been hiding in different places planning to find a way back to castle for the needed objects. Whether she was the one getting weak or Karim getting stronger, The Ba'al had became noticeably more timid at his presence. She no more argued and just blindly followed his orders. She was turning into a doll, only thinking of Muerte.
The Little Ba'al woke up by hearing people moving around. She was among the lowest of lowests, who lived in sewages and hid from military. They were mostly runaway slaves or immigrants. Artemis sat up quickly on the stained mattress she was resting and saw the residents running around and hiding their stolens precious stuffs.A little girl passed her, whispering in fear. "Th-th-the royalty! They have horses and good clothes...Quick! Hide anything you have or they will execute you immediately!" Artemis' eyes widened slightly. Not because she had anything stolen with herself, She felt that they were here for her. So she ran with the slaves towards their hiding place, shoving herself in the hole despite the others' protests.
"Ryu....This place stinks. Let's burn it down~" Enoch pleaded his superior, a bit disappointed that there were a few people around with dropped heads and shaky figures. Others were either hiding or just staying out of way.
Joseph looked after the other man and shook his head at Philip’s questioning look. The stranger was right and now they all needed to disappeared. Helping his friend to his feet, the young man and his loyal former servant trailed after Juno and the man.
[h3 Chapter Three Official Start]
The Grey Queen had let two crawling months go by before she received the message. A dragon from Deloriak’s border and the threat of war brewing. There had been no word from Ryuu since she sent him away with the orders not to return until he’d found and captured the two escapees. Eric, the former prince and tyrant of Chamlek was healing but he caused little trouble. His last outburst had been when he’d found out one of his traveling companions had been killed, but now he was no threat. His spirit had been crushed and there was no fight left in him, only bitter resign and acceptance.
Then there was the troublesome business of the neighbors kingdoms and empires banding together. Her spies had found a lot to suggest that there would be a full blown war against the light nation, but her military was strong. The drought in the south was over and the nomads were at peace again. But that peace would soon be broken, she could feel it.
“Find them, Ryuu,” She muttered to herself, crumpling the letter and tossing it into a fireplace in her private chamber. “Find them and do not keep me waiting.”
At the border, once the attack started, it seemed like the entire world had gone mad. The towns which were hit the hardest by the waning sickness had fallen into a noticeable disrepair which made their destruction very easy. Flames were caused by the first rush of chaos and several major buildings began collapsing because of it. This included the one which had been where Johar was, treating the sick and groveling with the grateful but extremely, unworthy humans.
It was hard for a panicked stricken population to turn to someone who was from the capital for help and protection. All it took was an accidental push from one, a grasping shove from another and the groaning of the building to send the crowd back out into the streets where the raid continued and the Feather that The Queen had entrusted to him fell from Johar’s hand was he was pushed roughly by the fleeing folk. It fluttered from his reach, following the rush of people before lifting up into the smoke by the heat of the flames, out of sight and lost to the winds.
Away from the burning border town, the drifting feather floated till the wind whipped up again and blew it down towards the ground. It drifted a while longer before settling at the feet of two unnoticed travelers. The feather could have been easily ignored except for how large it was, and how cold the area around it now felt. This simple item held great power and now it was in the hands of whoever found it.
Philip was still confused when he was hugged but slowly started registering the current situation and noticed the other companies. His eyes landed on Juno and he rubbed his eyes some. "Juno?! Why are you here?!" His tone was filled with worry and annoyance. This place was not for a small kid like her...And he had no idea how in the heavens she appeared all of sudden. The Dealer was not satisfied with the simple nod at all. Of course he wanted more. Juno on the other hand was just happy that once again she saw a familiar place from her past life. Grinning she hugged the surprised Philip and explained simply. "I escaped the orphanage!" This didn't please Philip at all. "Any way...you should not be in this place and-" He paused, watching the Dealer who was staring at the sky. Curiously Philip looked at Joseph silently asking him who this weirdo was. Dealer quickly acknowledged himself as the leader of the group. "Hurry up if you want to keep living. At night the creatures become more tensed." He grabbed Juno' s sleeve to make her walk faster which she didn't resist much.
Philip stayed, not trusting stranger a bit though he was staring at Juno in confusion.
Enoch smelt the lovely scent of blood and surprisingly he ended up standing in front of chambers as the soldiers were dragging out the dead bodies of monsters and also cleaning up the mess named Ximena once. The lunatic grinned in satisfaction thinking all his prays have been answered but then frowned slightly. He was insane but not a retard. His dear Ryuu would never want something like this happen. So it was probably Johar's doing. He really needed to be poisoned. Maybe now Ryuu would agree. Though He picked a less torn up leg for souvenir.
Back to borders, some suspicious movements were being noticed by Light nation. Some Babars and other soldiers with different nationalities were gathering. Their concern increased when some heavy advanced weapons from Chamlek were being louded near the borders. Messages were sent to Johar since he was the closest high rank at the moment.
Johar had already put the immigrants under a close watch and when the messaged reached him...He was not much bothered since he was confident in Light's military strength. So instead he sent more of his spies towards Deloriak.
Things got ugly when A dead body of a spy monster landed right among people. They all saw the shadow of a dragon over them. Negomin had agreed to join the war for some reasons. Maybe finding out about the monsters just made her make up her mind?
The dragon was officially the declare of war even though nothing more happened after that. Johar decided that it was the time to inform the queen so he sent one of his monsters to the castle.
While the message was being delivered, explosions happened in the borders. Chaos happened of course and two specific vampires managed to use the opportunity and sneak in.
Joseph shifted with a start as the Dealer grabbed a hold of his wrist, muttering in the dark language. The pain was unwelcomed but the moment he noticed his friend stirring, he forgot his pains and grinned joyfully when he heard Philip speak and woozily try to sit up. He immediately hugged his friend and would have called him an Idiot for agreeing to split up like they had, if he could talk. But now that his friend was alright, for the most part, Joseph’s mind began to wonder to what they should do now. It wasn’t safe to stay in the forest and apparently the man that had brought Philip back from death's door had something that he wanted to do. Sitting back from his friend, Joseph smiled before nodding to both Juno and the strange man to show his thanks.
For now, they needed to disappear, hide away, leave some how and remain gone till they were both healed. Artemis had ran, she was chased by soldiers but Joseph was sure that she’d most likely got away. He couldn’t go back to the capital, neither could Philp and with this little chance they’d gotten, the best option would be to try to get away safely and then come up with a plan to either go back to find what has become of his brother or leave the Light Nation and continue on to Regonan’s ridge. It would be cowardly to run, to escape without looking back, but they’d survive if they did. By now, Joseph was beginning to accept that there might not be any hope in save his older brother with almost the whole world against him.
There was a commotion down a hall that Eric could hear as he crept closer and peering around the corner he spotted a group of guards and soldiers standing in the entrance to a set of chambers. What was going on here? A shout from behind him made him jump and before he could fully turn around, he was grabbed by several soldiers with a familiar face walking past them. Ryuu was back. He glanced uncaringly at Eric and snapped his fingers towards the soldiers, ordering them to drag him back to his room and make sure the door stayed locked.
“Wait, Ryuu, what’s going on? Have Philip and Xemina left already?” He tried, but the Summoner ignored him and Eric narrowed his eyes, glaring after him and struggling only slightly as he was pulled back and forced to turn away.
“What’s going on here?” Ryuu asked the soldiers that were preparing to seize the corridor back from the monsters.
“A few monsters have escaped from the dungeon and two of them got that girl the Queen healed. Tore her to shreds and made a mess in your chambers.” One guard explained, having no Idea how hard this would hit the Summoner. Ryuu stood stiffened as the guards and soldiers turned their attention back towards the doorways and moved forwards the kill the two monsters in there. The Summoner didn’t stick around to see what was left of Ximena, he’d turned around and stalked to the Grey Queen’s study, his mind tinted with Anger and Frustration and dead set on revenge.
Johar had gone too far with have his monsters attack him twice before letting them rip apart someone who he’d fancied dearly. He didn’t think that maybe Bird had attacked him out of her own volition or that maybe Cyan was taking his own revenge for how the Summoner had treated him. He only saw the Adviser he challenged as the enemy and he was going to get even with him.
“Which province was Johar sent to?” Ryuu asked, his tone demanding and his mind still focused on one thing. He’d burst into the Queen’s study where she was preparing her Captain and Generals and he hadn’t even given her a proper greeting before demanding to know where Johar had been sent to.
“Excuse me?” Queen Valerie said calmly, her voice firm and the warning clear enough to cut through the haze of anger Ryuu had. He was about to snap out a reply when he noticed what was going on and the Queen looked at him from behind her table. “Have you brought back the two prisoners that have escaped?” She asked, seeming to dismiss his recent offence and Ryuu remembered that he hadn’t.
“Erm… No, My Queen. I haven’t.”
“And why haven’t you?” She continued, her voice remaining calm but a cold heartless tone crept through.
“The illusions in the forest were too much for my men, my Queen. And one of Johar’s monsters attacked the patrol. I came back to regroup but… Something else The Master of Monster’s had done, has gone too far.” He gritted his teeth and Valerie looked unamused and unconvinced.
“Ryuu, Your order was to bring back those two prisoners. Now if you can’t do that then what makes you think you’d be able to go after Johar? For as far as I know he has done nothing wrong.” That statement shocked the Summoner and he looked at the Grey Queen in disbelief.
“But… His monsters killed the girl that you saved.” He said weakly and Valerie’s expression didn’t change.
“And Why, again, is that important why?” She asked heartlessly and all eyes turned back to fix on Ryuu, his surprise clear on his face.
“I believe you still have a task to complete.” She began softly. “You may take a fresh battalion of soldiers with you but you may not return until you find both Prisoners..” She paused to let her words sink in before she asked one question to send Ryuu on his way.
“Do you understand?”
He bowed his head to the Grey Queen and nodded. “Yes, My Queen.” He managed to say before taking his leave and walking away from the room.
The leader of the Light Nation was wicked and cruel. She’s been alive long enough to think that she has all the time in the world. But coming back empty handed wasn’t something she’d take kindly to. The boarders were to be blocked and checked for the sickness once her Adviser's work was done and her feathers returned to the capital. Then, once the Devil’s brother and his assisting demon were captured, their Execution would be a sign for a long lasting strength of the Light Nation and an dire example to their neighboring territories.
Juno stopped when she saw Philip, immediately recognising him. "Mr.Philip!" She gasped and ran to his side, kneeling down. "Is...Is he dead?" She whispered slightly, the scene being too nostalgic for her. The Dealer just whistled and shrugged with indifference. "Well. Somebody can't be helped. Happy now? All this trouble for nothing." Juno wiped off a tear and looked at Joseph. "We...we can find some healers." The Dealer interrupted her angrily. "What?! No! We have more important things to do!" Juno stubbornly stayed beside Philip, refusing to lose another friend. The Dealer growled slightly and walked to Philip. He knelt down and touched Philip's neck. Slowly he started massaging and pressing some spots, whispering the spells in Dark language. Then he grasped on Joseph's wrist all of sudden and Joseph felt the same pain Eric felt earlier when Artemis made a Ba'al deal. His life energy was being flowed into Philip's body. Soon Philip started opening his eyes, trying to adjust the blurry scene. "Nn...Jo....Joseph?"
Artemis grasped on her hairs, messing them up. "SHUT UP! SHUT UP!" She screamed out, panting breathlessly and staring at the grasses with widened eyes of craze. This was a dead end. She could not go back. This was a deal with a high price. The Ba'al gritted her teeth and tried to forget the regrets and focus on her aim. To go back to Muerete. Quickly she started drawing another circle. She still needs some objects but she would think of some replacements maybe.
Ximena was not ready to die yet. She had so much planned. She had a future...But hey the world is cruel. After realising begging and banging on the door was useless, Ximena dodged a leap from the monster and ran to corners as crying. She was trapped. The dancer threw any stuff at the creature but they only made it angrier and bloodthirstier. Ximema ran for the window but the height was too much...Only a broken leg or such. Ximena shakily climbed up on edge but before she could jump teeth stabbed through her leg and she shrieked, being dragged down. Her nails scratched on the floor and her screams echoed through the corridors as it starts tearing up her legs. Blood pooled beneath her and the sickening sound of bone snapping filled her ears. Soon the pain faded and so her senses. She barely heard people rushing in.
She just saw the monster roaring with a leg in its mouth. Was it hers? Oh and another one...crushed and half eaten in another corner...Her eyes started closing. Funny, she couldn't feel anything.
Was it a nightmare?
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