Artemis looked around the humble place with a 'tsk' and headed to one of the rooms. Ximena who really needed to sleep and forget about her troubles for some hours followed her but the room was shut in her face. "Sorry, l snore in sleep." Artemis explained tiredly. Of course she was not going to have someone watch her. She wanted to communicate with Karim of possible. She also had to make a plan to get to the library. The guards were few...so she had some chance. Ximena blinked then looked back at the two males with a shrug. "I don't mind." She assured them. Philip rubbed his face with a groan and headed to the other room with Ximena following. Philip saw the plates and picked one, tasting it. "Bleh. They can't even cook." He looked over at Ximena who was eating without a complaint and quite hungrily. "When was the last time you ate?"
"Hm? I just had almonds I guess." Ximena answered innocently with full mouth. She just ate what she gained; Not picky at all. Philip stared at her before asking quietly, "Do you still have 'em?"
"Can I have some?"
"Sure." She found the small bag safe in her pocket and threw it at Philip who caught it and helped himself.
Artemis had devoured her plate and even licked it clean. She then breathed deeply and went to lay down.
[i You still there? We need to talk...OI! It's emergency! At least for your own sake...]
Enoch had folded his arms and was pouting like a kid when Ryuu passed him. He was probably the only one immune from his twisted mind. He was almost dying in outlands, feeding on bugs and escaping the stones thrown at him when this Summoner found him. He literally became his dog. The Creep looked away when Ryuu asked him if he still was upset about losing the pretty eyes. "Nooo...I am not into green anymoooore. Though I still love his scared face..." He looked back at Ryuu with an accusing gaze. "BUT, Ryu~ I saw you and...and...that...witch." He clenched his fists, shivering in jealousy and rage. "Y-you...want to...replace me with her?! She...she is ugly and annoying! I just want to chop her legs off and feed them to worms!Ahhhhh!!!" He started pulling at his own red hairs with widened eyes.
Joseph looked over and was glad to see Ximena coming into the room alright. He sighed then, audibly for once, and when he heard himself he quickly took the ring off. He didn't want to use the charm up incase he really needed to say something. He rubbed at his face tiredly. He felt exhausted, like all of his mentality had just been drained. He could think straight and being in that room of glass, seeing time passing them and knowing there was nothing they could do.
A few more minutes passed before a voice of one of the guards called to them. “It's time to move, You lot.” He barked at them as a few other guards came into the room to escort them somewhere else in the castle. They were taken out of the Sky room and lead through some corridors to the right of the stairs they'd come down instead of to the left which was they way they’d first came through. They were then stopped in a hall with several doorways on either side of it and an uninterested guard told them they’d be spending the night here. With that most of the patrol left leaving a few standing at the other end of the hall.
The rooms were like a jointed servants quarters, every two rooms were connected by a door with each room have three beds, a wardrobe, a desk and chair, and a cedar chest. On the desk in the two rooms that were unlocked there were a few plates of food, supposedly their dinner, that had gone cold. Two in each room on the desks. It was clear they weren't going to be treated like guests but they weren't being locked away in the dungeon like criminals either.
Ryuu returned to his chambers where he found The Creep lurking about, but that didn't bother him as much as it probably should have. They were both outcasts from the same background and frankly, he found the Creep easy to manipulate. “Good evening friend.” The summoner coolly smiled and he walked passed Enoch aiming to go to his own room when the Creep’s expression made him pause. “What is it? You aren't still pouting about the Prince’s eyes are you?” He asked in a manner that if the Creep took offense, he could play it off like he was only messing around.
Johar rushed to his room and almost knocked his servant out of the way. The servant boy barely managed to keep the tray in his hand safe. The teenage boy watched Johar searching through his scrolls and letters. "My Lord?" He asked curiously and Johar only glanced at him. "Put the tray away and help me find a letter." The blue haired boy grinned slightly. "But I can't re-"
"It's red coloured you useless fool." Johar didn't raise his voice but he was obviously upset for some reasons. The servant calmly searched through the drawers.
"This one?" The boy suddenly asked and held out an old red piece of paper. Johar nodded and snatched the letter from his hand. "Now you can leave..." He waved his hand dismissively. The servant boy frowned slightly and rubbed back of his head but left anyway before he left, he stopped by doorway. "My Lord. I have heard from my 'friends' Deloriak wants to send a message to our Grey Queen." Johar looked up surprised.
"Are you sure, Cyan?"
"My friends never lie."
"Hmm." Johar laid his head on his fist thoughtfully and Cyan left to give him solitude. Johar placed a blank paper on the desk and quickly started writing down on it.
Ximena was startled by his words and the strange way he looked at her. But the moment his face got too close, she braced herself and quickly turned away her head. She was even more confused. What was he going to do?! The thought of him wanting to kiss was too strange and disgusting so she was assuming just wanted to get in her face to intimidate her more. But what did he really want from her?! Ximena quickly made steps back when he let her go. She didn't bother to answer his question and hurried down the hallway to get to the safe place with her friends. Maybe Ryuu was making fun of her to...give her some false hope then enjoy crushing it? It sounded sick but that was the only thing she could think of. The poor girl tried not to think of it anymore and pretend it never happened.
Artemis and Philip both were shocked when Joseph talked. They looked down at the new ring around his finger. Philip was now even more suspicious. What did the queen want from Joseph? He knew Grey Queen was old...very old. He wasn't sure about her age but he knew she had good reasons behind each of her actions since she was pretty much experienced. Artemis shrugged and looked up at the ceiling again. "Not sure...probably still in dungeon." She mumbled and kept watching the sky aimlessly. Philip frowned and looked at Joseph. "Let him be. He will be fine. We can't do anything anyway. He has been living without you this whole time so he is just probably faking it for an escape. No wonder if he even leaves us behind."
Ximena entered the Sky room with a small smile forced on her face. She didn't want to worry them with such silly things. "...Oh, she is here too?" Ximena, unaware of the heavy atmosphere, pointed at Artemis. "What about...Eric?"
"Are you okay yourself?" Philip asked and Ximena nodded immediately. "He...just wanted to know more about...her. But I didn't know anything obviously."
“No one has told me otherwise.” Valerie breathed and the sharpness in her voice was clear. She allowed Johar to leave and she sighed, closing her eyes and talking after him. “But I fear if we even kill one of them… This third will use the dead's power to break themselves free from whatever limbo they reside in… It has happened before and that would be the last thing we need.” There was no one around to listen to what she was saying to herself and after a few moments, the queen decided to retreat to her private wing of the castle where no one else was allowed to tread without her permission. It was becoming early evening so what better time was there to make herself scarce.
Ryuu’s bold look softened towards Ximena but there was something other than kindness behind his words. “It’s alright, Ximena. You don't need to understand now. Just know that I only want to help you, protect you… And care for you.” He leaned closer at the last part, like he was trying to kiss her, but he stopped when she turned her face away from his. The summoner leaned back and smiled after a moment, but his smile was hollow. “You are free to go back now.” He said, stepping back from her to give some room. “You do remember the way back, don’t you?” He asked and it was clear to him that Ximena didn't want to be alone in his presence any longer. He wouldn't make her walk back to the sky room with him if she knew the way back by herself.
Once Ximena hurried away, Ryuu's kind facade fell and he ran a hand back through his hair with an impatient sigh. He turned away, resisting whatever was keeping him standing there for so long and his mind immediately went to Eric. The damned Royal who brought chaos to everywhere he treaded. The summoner turned on his heels, stalking back through the halls and slipping down to the dungeons, deciding to see if he could taunt the demon into saying something that Ryuu could use against him. Maybe even something to make him seem more like a threat so there wouldn't be any question in breaking him.
“Ah, Eric… How’ve you enjoyed your solitude?” The summoner stopped outside of the cell the former prince was in, but he didn't get a response. “Hmm? Is this aloneness not enough? Or is it too overwhelming, finally having no restraints-” He got some movement at this and Eric looked up from the back of the cell, his golden eyes glaring with hatred. This only encouraged Ryuu to continue his dangerous game. “With nothing truly holding you back now, i figured you’d jump to embrace this.”
“Be quiet.” Eric growled softly, fixing his hateful gaze on Ryuu but the Summoner only chuckled.
“What? Heh, do you miss being controlled?”
“Do you miss having some weakness?”
“- Be Quiet.” Ryuu laughed a bit more at this and as he started his next taunt, he saw something in the cell and jumped Eric slammed into the bars with a snarl.
“SHUT UP!” The demon roared, tears springing to his eyes again as he swiped through the bars once at The Summoner and then set his voice to a steely growl. “You have no idea what it's like….” At this, Ryuu smirked a little.
“Well if it's anything like losing my home then I’d be well acquainted with ‘what it's like.’” He mocked and Eric screamed something with a torn voice and a pure animalistic rage in whatever he’d said. The summoner could see how broken and how lost the reality was to Eric and he smiled coldly, turning away with the wounded demon wailing after him.
Joseph had looked over as Artemis crossed the room towards him and his eyes widened at what she said. He looked over at Philip, having not been told that they had thought he was dead. He first tried to get Philip to ask where his brother was but he then decided to use the charmed ring instead.
“Where is he now?” He asked and quickly realized something before explaining. “This ring is charmed so that's how im talking. The queen decided it was necessary to give me a voice.” With that he returned to his question and waited for Artemis to answer.
Artemis curiously looked at the building from the window and pressed her lips together. That highest room was way too open so it meant there was something about it which made it secure enough. But when her ears caught the word of 'library', she tried her best not to react. It was like someone up there was showing her the path. This was her chance. Artemis turned to queen and nodded with a slight bowing head. She didn't say anything about Eric being still locked up. That jerk refused to help her...so why should she care?
The demon let the guards lead her away.
Johar had his head low until he was alone with Valerie. When she warned about the presence of another demon, he only sighed and looked up at her. "Of course, Milady. I will not hesitate to protect this throne. But..." Again he dropped his gaze on the floor and continued with a slight protest. "I preferred Milady would have executed these demons instead of negotiation.Perhaps 'somebody' has told Milady otherwise?" Suddenly he noticed his own boldness and immediately bowed down humbly and apologised. "Please forgive my foolishness. I shall take my leave now..." He made a step backward and waited for permission.
Ximena was still fighting with her thoughts when she felt him getting closer Before she could make a step back, he caught her hands firmly. The dancer gasped in pure shock and looked up on instinct. Her confused eyes observed his face for an answer. Her hands were shaky in his. But it was clear he had the upper hand in this conversation. She was a troubled refugee and he had a special place in castle. Ximena didn't pull away from him."Sir...?" She hesitated before talking again. "I...I don't understand sir...go with you?" Ximena looked away, not liking the vague way he talked. She was like a trapped rabbit, frightened and confused.
She was frightened of herself.
Ximena lived to refuse but something in her demanded a safe, happy life.
Philip was now worried about Ximena. "Where did he take her? She didn't do anything...what kind of shitty justice this place has?" He heard some footsteps approaching and expected to see Ximena but instead he saw Aartemis. The demon looked around and without a single words walked to Joseph. "Your dear brother is considering committing suicide because you were kind of dead." She observed him carefully before walking to a chair and sitting down. "Nice to see you too." Philip snarled but Artemis just looked away.
Valerie watched Johar patiently and when he finally relented, she clasped her hands together happily. “Oh I do, dear Johar.” She replied to his comment about her insisting. When he asked for a day to decide, she closed her eyes and nodded to him. “Of course, take as much time as you wish.” She said, her smile lessening slightly as the intensity of her happiness passed. She turned her attention back to Artemis and a quizzical look passed over her face.
“... Some would say to put you under lock and key, but….” She mumbled to herself then spoke up to Artemis. “Would you like to reunite with the other members of your party?” She asked then gestured towards the windows on the right of the room.outside other parts of the castle could be seen, including the skyroom high above them, it's nearly solid glass walls.reflecting the sky above it like a mirror. “They are up there above my library.” She said, knowing Artemis had no idea what the layout of the castle was so she didn't have a problem in telling her that small detail. As Artemis agreed to go, Valerie smiled, having not opened them as mere guards lead the little Ba’al away. She then turned to Johar and opened her eyes again, her expression falling fast and the disturbing look of dread on her face.
“There is a third demon here… I can feel it.” She whispered and her gaze flicked towards the door. “Please Johar, do not let those two bring another here.” She’d confided in him what she knew, having not told her beloved Ryuu yet and there was a good chance she wouldn't if her minster could handle this problem.
The Summoner's eyes lightened as Ximena began to indulge him with offer and he nodded subtly. “Yes. A new life where nothing from this past will haunt you. I have friends in high places,” Obviously. “And i can get whatever charges are brought up against you to be dropped. It may take some time but I can do that.” He stepped closer to Ximena, noticing her conflicted expression and with sight hesitation before making up his mind,he closed the space between them and boldly took her hands. “I can keep you safe if you come with me.” He said and he held Ximena’s hands in his firmly.
Artemis internally sighed in relief when the queen showed no interest in making a deal with her. She herself didn't know the consquences of making a Ba'al deal and felt that there were reasons why they didn't do that anymore. She just waited there, making sure the mask of overconfidence didn't leave her face. Something dangerous was in Valerie that she didn't like the slightest but she tried to ignore it and focus on her own goal. She was also curious what kind of deal she was to make.
Johar was sitting at his desk with closed eyes and tapping hand when a guard disturbed him and told him that the queen wants to see him. Raising up an eyebrow, Johar stood and calmly walked out as his silky long clothes brushed against the floor. What did Valerie want from him? Usually that Ryuu was always called. Johar rose up his head when he reached the room and his eyes widened the slightest upon seeing the Ba'al standing there. He bowed and softly asked his queen, "M'lady?" He was not pleased that the demon was still alive. He assumed Ryuu had told her to keep them alive. This bothered him. A stranger's would never know the value of their sacred lands. He stepped in once allowed and kept his gaze on the ground. For some reasons, Johar rarely made eye contact with anyone.
When he was informed about the Ba'al deal, his shoulders jumped slightly in disapproval. To deal with a demon...only desperate people do that. However, he didn't know much about the deals either. The minister let his breath out quietly and after hesitation he began talking cautiously. "Milady...I would never dirty my hands by dealing with a mere demon..." He heard Artemis growl. " But if you insist..." Johar sighed, confused by the chance given to him. He didn't have to rush things. "Please give me one day to decide about it, M'lady..." He bowed down his head again and Artemis frowned.
Ximena was looking down at her hands when he started talking. Her eyes narrowed when he told her about the severity of her action. For her, it was ridicilous. Eric didn't deserve being arrested. In her opinion, he was a good man. Ximena was about to answer but what he said next made her look up in slight surprise. She saw the earnestly in her eyes which made her even more anxious. He was right...she didn't want to rot in dungeons for the rest of her life. She was always free and travelling for a better place. The people of Light nation were richer than Deloriak's and paid well for her performances. She could begin a new life here...Ximena knew she had to be more careful but she was a normal dancer not a warrior. She couldn't survive being locked up down there or worse...execution...But what about Eric? Philip? and Joseph? They...could handle it themselves right? They were fighters unlike her. There was an internal struggle when Ximena asked him weakly. "S-second chance, sir?"
The Grey Queen watched Artemis, like a hawk but something different shown in her expression when the demon first boldly spoke back to her question, then offered to make a deal. She straightened up at Artemis’ tone, almost like the little Ba’al was demanding that they make a deal. “I am not afraid of you.” She said in a strong and cold tone. “And my name is Valerie, do well to remember that.” She paused staring at Artemis with an almost deathly look before she stood and began to pace, drawing Artemis away from where she had been sitting so there was nothing between them.
“I have been with these lands for more than four hundred year and I know all of the troubles that go on here. The Light Nation is beautiful and wicked and that is why it has survived for so long… You… You actually participated in the games.” Valerie suddenly said turning back around to face Artemis. “I have seen enough to know what you can do for me and I know i need nothing from you.” She looked at Artemis, staring her dead in the eye when she said this and she stood tall, pausing a moment as she considered something.
“You can offer nothing that I need… but I am willing to let you make a deal with someone else… On my behalf.” Valerie was quiet again and she then snapped her fingers as she thought of someone. “Ah, I know who you can assist.” She said, rushing past Artemis and to one of her guards to have them get one of her ministers. She turned back to Artemis, the deathly look in her eyes being now gone.
Her idea was that her trusted minister Johar make a deal with the little Ba’al. Yes he had insisted that they execute both Artemis and Eric but she still figured his judgement on this new possible opportunity was needed. Valerie still trusted Johar, even though she was beginning to favor Ryuu’s judgment over his. She now thought that by giving her minister this new opportunity, it would ease the steadily building tension she felt growing from him.
Ryuu led Ximena away from the sky room and her friends before she finally broke the silence and the summoner sighed quietly. “Your name is Ximena, right?” He asked, turning back around to look at the dancer and when she nodded, he sighed again, folding his hands behind him. “Well, I’d like to apologize for my recent behavior towards you. I understand that you wouldn't have known the severity of your actions in helping Eric.”
He paused again and looked back at Ximena with earnest in his blue eyes. “But you did say that you’d come here to start anew. Being arrested isn't much of a new beginning but i can help you with a second chance.” Maybe it was earnesty in his gaze, or maybe it was something darker. Ryuu continued to look at Ximena and the way he’d offered her a second chance, it made it sound like there was a high price to pay for that second chance.
Artemis' face shoes our shock when he told her the news. This could change everything. She felt her heart slamming against her ribcage in excitement and with more confidence she stepped in. Now she just had to find a reason...like Karim had told her so. There wasn't much time but she tried to do her best since she didn't want to lose this opportunity. She found the queen near the window and proudly approached her. She stopped a meter away from her and showed an interested expression when she mentioned their first impression. Artemis was impatient and had never negotiated back in Muerte. When the queen asked for a reason, Artemis folded her arms and stood straight She was not going to show any weakness...to show that she needed her mercy. "I would like to know the reason why you are considering not letting me?" Her voice was loud clear.
"I don't know anything about this nation of yours...but I do know that arresting foreigners for stupid reasons comes from fear. Are you scared, Queen? Do you think stopping me will keep your land safe? As far I have seen...the twisted people of your nation will be the ones burning down your castle. Besides...I'm a Ba'al..." She wanted to see if she knew demons well. If she knew about the rumors...She herself had never done that. It hadn't been done for ages among her family. "I trust you know 'the deal with a Ba'al'" She slowly turned and boldly rose up her dress to show the Ba'al skull tattoo. "When you have this mark on a deal...people of old ages said you had the unbeatable power in your grasp." She turned again after letting go of her dress. "So, if the queen is interested...I shall continue. Do you want a job done perfectly? Any object you wish? Eliminating enemies? Then make a deal with a Ba'al." The little Ba'al stared, willing to repeat what her ancestors did.
Philip paused when he heard Ryuu and narrowed his eyes. He had good reasons not to trust him but Ximena just glanced at them with a nervous smile and slowly walked to Ryuu. She was terrified of the Summoner but did her best not showing it. The dancer made a safe distance from him as she followed. "...Sir?" She finally asked quietly.
Ryuu walked down through the dungeons and he peered through the bars towards the two demons before opening the door. He could see Eric sitting back against a wall and he looked completely defeated… Maybe it was because he still thought his brother was dead. The Summoner decided to let him continue to think that as he opened the door and addressed Artemis the way the Queen had told him to.
“Princess Artemis.” Her glare didn't do much to intimidate him and he was pleasantly surprised that she wasn't putting up a fight now. He kept his expression stren and they began to walk back to the Parlor in silence, only saying one thing before leading her into the bright room again.
“Your companion, Joseph has just made it back to the living, and he hasn't the slightest idea he was dead.” The Summoner said this like Artemis needed to know, but really he was just telling everyone else so he could leave Eric in the dark about it for a little longer.
When they entered, the grey queen was standing near one of the open windows and when she noticed them, she turned back around and slowly walked to where she had been sitting.
“Artemis. I believe our last introduction wasn't the best.” She mused, opening her violet eyes and staring straight through the little Ba’al. “But first impression stick, so I want to know… Give me a good reason why I should let you continue to try to go back to Muerte.”
Joseph was more then happy to see that both Philip and Ximena were alright, and he knew had worried them but he had no idea to what extent. Because the young man didn't know that he was thought to have been dead. He gave Philip an overwhelmed look of happiness and abashed regret for making the others worry. He still was sore from his older injuries but those weren't slowing him down as much anymore.
Joseph didn't bother showing them the ring or using it at all since his voice was still too new and he didn't want to use up the charm incase he needed to speak up for any important reason. He continued to console and reassure both Philip and Ximena that he really was alright. But now he wanted to know if they were okay and if Artemis and his brother were alright. Before Philip could begin telling Joseph what they all thought had happened to him, someone cleared their throat in the doorway. It was Ryuu and he looked over at them all before setting his gaze on Ximena and motioning towards her.
“Madam.” He said, turning slightly in the doorway and lifting up a hand to wave her over to him. “We need to talk.” And he stood, waiting for her to walk over to him so he could lead her away and they could talk in privet.
"...No...No he didn't..." Artemis shook her head quickly when he suggested some of the possible deals she might have made with the devil. She felt her only hope shatter when he rejected helping her and accepted their fate. Artemis didn't get angry. She didn't attack him because if she couldn't get back to her home...everything was useless. The demon leaned her head against the cold wall and tried to digest his words. Everything was a lie? She could never see Muerte again? But...the side of her which didn't believe doubted in Eric. So what makes him not a liar too? He said himself he had Karim' s blood flowing in his veins so even his words could not be trusted. Artemis knew she had to be more various but she was so desperate that even a small hope would do it. Karim was the only one who said he could help so Artemis wanted to believe him. The demon didn't want to die yet. Not in this world. She heard the steps and stood straight, stepping forward when the door opened.
There was the man who had captured them earlier. Artemis just glared at him but didn't resist when he took her to the queen. The demon was looking down this whole time, thinking about the book Karim had shown her earlier. He said Joseph could help but now he was dead. Wait...this man...Ryuu? He was a summoner! He knew about the spell...she hoped.
Ximena gasped and jumped on her feet when she saw Joseph at the doorway. She wanted to tell Philip but he had already ran to the prince."Joseph" He shouted and hugged him tightly, not wanting to let go."You are alive! Alive!" He pulled away to examine his pricked neck. Tears of happiness were flowing down his eyes. Ximena pushed Philip away and jumped towards Joseph and hugged him dearly. She was literally clinging to his neck but she didn't mind it at all. She was far too happy to care. "You scared us!" She whispered softly.
Eric paused as Artemis shakily asked him if he would help her and he turned back around slowly to look at her. “What did Karim make you promise for him to help you?” He asked instead of answering Artemis question. “Did he ask you to kill me or Joseph? Was it a request that you get me to accept my demon side? Or was it something more selfish?” He paused then looked away, reluctantly answering her question.
"I will not.” He said in an equally soft voice. “What he said, what he told you… It was probably a lie. I live with his blood running through me and I know how he thinks. He lies and he cheats and he pulls strings get what he wants…” Eric sat down again and bowed his head, not caring if Artemis left him be or attacked him for refusing. “I am done running and I am done fighting. My time in this world is up… And so is yours.” He sat in silence and didn't notice the sound of footsteps coming down the hall towards their cell.
The queen and Ryuu came to the room where Joseph was being kept and the royal opened her eyes, watching almost in wonder as the half dead man stirred and finally opened his eyes again. “Welcome back to the world of the living.” Ryuu said calmly and Joseph just stared at them, his green eyes wide with disbelief. The Grey Queen quickly became tired of the silencing and she stepped towards him.
“Can you hear me?” She asked and Joseph nodded. “Well then can you speak?” She asked and to this, Joseph shook his head. At this the queen snapped her fingers and she pulled off one of her rings before turning to Ryuu. “Charm this.” She ordered and he patiently shook his head.
“My queen, i am a summoner. Not a wizard.” He said and she cut him off.
“But you can charm things, I’ve seen you do it before. So charm this and give him a voice.” Joseph looked up at this, wide eyed at the queen's order and Ryuu bowed his head, taking the ring and beginning his work on it. It only took a few minutes and once it was successfully charmed, it was handed to Joseph. He took it and hesitantly put the ring on.
“What is your name and title?” The royal asked almost immediately and Joseph cautiously tried to answer.
“M-my name is… Is…” He was startled to hear his own voice again after he had to trade his last charmed piece that allowed him to speak. Quickly he got over the surprise and he closed his green eyes. “My name is Joseph… And… I have no title.” He swallowed and The Grey Queen looked back to Ryuu.
“Have him taken up to the sky room with the others and get me that demon… The one who had shouted at me… Artemis. Bring me her.”
Being taken to the sky room Joseph winced at the brightness of the room. Though that quickly passed when he saw Philip and… Ximena. He stepped into the room quickly but his legs betrayed him and he stumbled, almost falling into Philip before his friend caught him. Joseph regained his footing and hugged Philip not knowing he was thought to have been dead earlier.
Artemis was taken back slightly when she saw Eric's tears. She didn't expect the hybrid to hold so much sorrow for the death of his brother. But then again he had told her that brotherhood bond is something special. She gritted her teeth when he reminded her that Karim had fooled them. Of course. Now she was never going to see Muerte ever again. She was going to die in this place and probably rot like what Karim said. She also didn't expect the sudden answer of Karim and she just growled lowly. How could she trust him anymore? How could she trust anyone in this world? Artemis sat back down.
"...I don't want to stay here." She suddenly said quietly yet firmly. "I am not going to bend to the Light wishes. Crying like babies won't do any good, Eric. I don't know about you but I refuse to give in to them. I will see Muerte once again even if it is with my last breath." She stood up again and walked to him. "Your father...showed me somewhere...like this place with books. He said one book will save us." Artemis said calmly yet in a serious tone. "He said this woman...is wicked but she will let us live if we give her a good reason. Eric! I'm not good at talking...I might blow things up..." She paused, before pleading softly with shaky tone. "W-will you help me? Just this time."
Johar still had his smile but on inside he was boiling in rage. He stepped aside and let Ryuu and the queen pass. When his gaze came up, he was glaring deadly at the back of Ryuu. This new comer had found a special place beside the Grey Queen. A mere summoner from the fallen Chamlek. Johar couldn't sit by and watch as strangers'
s like him took the power from the royalty's hands. He let out an angry sigh and retreated to his own room where he planned his own future. He entered his room and met Bird at his window. She smiled happily upon seeing him but the expression fell when she saw his upset face.
"I need you to check on Deloriak." Johar coldly ordered and Bird immediately flew off.
"If Grey Queen doesn't care about fall of Light nation..." Johar murmured, sitting down. "Then she also will have to take the precious information from the dear Ryuu. The end is nearing..." He glanced at the sky from his window. "I hope we would be faster."
Eric gritted his teeth when Artemis attacked, being stunned by her first attack but that quickly passed and he got on his feet. Karim’s laugh had silenced when Artemis turned on Eric but she could still feel him there, they both could. “I didn't agree to help you.” Eric snarled quietly under the Ba’als’ shrieking. “Joseph agreed to help you, and now he’s dead.”
“And That Is Your Fault!” She shouted.
“[i No. It. Isn't!]” He suddenly screamed back at her, complete rage and sorrow mixed in his voice, but that didn't match what he was saying. “He bargained his life for [i Mine] and paid for it! He told me to keep things under control till we could get far away from the territories. He [i insisted] on bringing Philip with us and it was he who agreed to [i help] you!” He was seething and tears were beginning to spring to his eyes, but they weren't for his late brother.
“I never wanted any of this to happen and yet here we are! There’s no getting away from it. From [i him].” Eric’s eyes bore into Artemis and he spat out through gritted teeth. “Karim played you, didn't he? He played you like a fool and lead you short into staying, and now we both will die for it.”
The former prince stepped back from Artemis, glaring her down before turning away, his breath hitching finally with anger and stress and sorrow.
“[b I didn't lie to you.]” Karim’s voice suddenly hissed to Artemis and she saw Eric stiffen like he’d heard it too. But he didn't turn around to face her and the All demon said nothing else.
Ryuu had gone back to his own room, sitting and stewing about why the Queen wanted to save this Joseph's life. He didn't look up at Enoch when the younger man asked if he was mad, he just sighed and shook his head. “I’m not mad Enoch, at least not at you.” He said calmly and he looked up at the Creep, noting his unstable and disappointed expression.
“Our queen wants to meet him, for heaven knows why. We just must be careful with what prey we set our sights on… Do you have the antidote?” He stood as Enoch nodded a little distantly, holding up the small bottle and Ryuu took it before placing a gentle hand on the Creep’s cheek to make him look up. “Do not fret dear, when all is said and done, you may still be able to keep his eyes.” The Summoner smiled reassuringly and he stepped past Enoch going to deliver the antidote before reporting back to the Queen.
The Queen sighed when one of her ministers entered the parlor. She was still sitting attentively, listening to.the points he made, but her eyes were closed again and she leaned back a little lazily. “I know Johar, i know. But we must take this one step at a time. Rushing and being sloppy will not help the Light Nation.” She replied, leaning back in the loveseat and letting her head tip back slightly. She didn't lie down though it was clear she wanted too and she heard her minister’s soft sigh.
“M’lady, hesitation will-.” He began but she cut him off wittily.
“Being careful has never ruined much.” She said and smiled when he didn't reply right away. “Oh Johar, I am only teasing~” She said in an apologetic manner, sitting up straight again and turning her head towards him. For someone who’s been alive for over a four hundred years, the queen did have a strange sense of humor. “Do you know if that young man… Joseph, do you know if he haa woken up yet?” She then asked and Ryuu’s voice answered before Johar could reply.
“He hasn't yet but the healers are giving him the antidote now,” The queen tilted her head in the direction of the summoner and he confidently strolled forwards into the parlor. “He will be awake again soon, if I may…” He held out a hand to her and The queen stood, no longer paying her minister any mind as she took Ryuu's hand and he slipped her arm through his so he could lead her. “I suggest we go now so that you may be there when he does awaken.” He said, not minding Johar either as he lead her away.
It was no secret in the castle that the queen was infatuated with the newly arrived summoner. Maybe it was because he’d tangled with the all demon’s son and lived to tell the tale. Or maybe it was because he did possess some wisdom beyond his years. Either way, she clearly wanted to trust him and he’d given her no reason not too. But judgement is blind since Eric wasn't the only viper in the grass.
Artemis was mad and fuming. She didn't stay in one spot when they put them in the nostalgic cell. Instead she kicked at the door furiously and then turned her attention on the walls to kick them too. Her eyes widened in pure rage when Karim started taunting her and that was the last thing she needed. Artemis started shouting at him outloud this time. "SHUT UP . YOU DIRTY LIAR! WHERE THE HELL IS THAT BOOK?! YOU KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN YOU SCUM! YOU ARE JUST LIKE YOUR CURSED SON!" She didn't care if Eric found out or not. Aggressively she looked at his depressed form and stomped towards him. "Oi! Don't play dead. This is all your fault!" The demon rose her leg before kicking his side. "Now what?! Any plans?! You both tricked me...you both said you know how to take me home but you were just...fooling around! LOOK AT ME YOU COWARD!" She shrieked at him on top of her lungs.
Philip's eyes widened when the queen said Joseph will join them soon. Wondering if it was real or just a mockery, the shocked man let the guards drag him to the beautiful unique room. Ximena noticed the ceiling and stared it with awe but Philip didn't even notice it as he paced around the room impatiently. Tears were uncontrollably falling down from his eyes. Ximena looked back at him and sighed, approaching him slowly."You heard what she said..." She softly said but Philip only paced faster. Ximena sighed again and sat down on the floor, watching the doorway hopefully.
"Milady~" Back in the parlor, a tall figure stepped by the entrance but did not look up from the floor. Johar, one of the ministers, smiled softly which yet had no feeling behind it. "We shall not waste any time...Their presence is a poison to our peace." Johar was glad he got there before the rest of the ministers so he could have the better chance of influencing his queen. "Deloriak hesitated and fell into chaos. They will never be able to shine again. Its fall even affected our economy too. All those refugees who enter the Light nation...The rate of crime will rise soon too. If you don't eliminate those demons, Gods know what will happen next."
"Ryu~ Are you mad?" Enoch stood before the Summoned with a tilted head and a guilty face like a kid who has broken his mother's favourite plate. "They told me to get the antidooote....but Ryuu...I wanted to have his pretty eyes." The Creep sighed sadly and hung his head in disappointment.
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