Negomin snapped her jaws, all of her instincts urging her to attack the Dark but she noticed the feather in his hands and her eyes narrowed as she hissed. "What are you planning, Demon? You are going to destroy everything. The nature is in rage because of you. You do not have a place here, it is time for you to leave this world." She approached the All Demon more, her tail lashing furiously and his presnece making her wilder before the wave hit her too. She could handle the waves but the sense of her powers being sucked out was not pleasing. She gave a questioning gaze to Ryuu before jumping into conclusions and blaming it all on Karim. Her gaze dropped on him but was confused when she saw that he seemed to be looking at the direction of the waves like he was startled. Then who was doing this? She had never felt such waves. Was it work of Dark magic? Huffing, Negomin slammed a claw near Karim, gritting her sharp teeth together threateningly. "Seems like everything is falling into chaos because of [b you]. It is time for you to be judged and there is no escape from it. I demand you to let go of the Light feather now."
Theodore felt her shifting uncomfortably before the invisible waves affected him too and he stumbled slightly, looking around alarmed as he held on her tightlier in case he needed to run faster. Another wave reached him and he hissed lowly, not liking to be used like that as he felt his strength leaving him little by little. "What is happening?" Theodore was getting irritated, starting to think maybe Valerie was not worth it but the scent of her rich blood coming from the wound on her throat just motivated him to keep carrying her. The vampire decided to go further and see if he would be affected again or not. He started running again, slowing down each time another wave passed through them and at last he tripped over a stone and ungracefully fell over with her still in his arms. He looked annoyed by the fact that he didn't even know what was attacking them. He gazed down at Valerie to make sure she was okay. His eyes widened slightly seeing how shaken she was."What is it? You are safe. I saved your pathetic life and did not even receive a small gratitude. Even though it was your stupidity to accept his conditions." Rage waved in his eyes, "You gave a life to me that was already dealt with the All Demon, you little cheater. You put my life danger because he might one day lose his patience and come after me. Do you think you worth it all? Tell me, do you insist on living so miserably?" Theodore bared his fangs at her, like he was going to tear her throat but then sighed and whispered. "I myself, insist to live like this. I don't care when he will come or whether he never comes back. As long as your rich blood soothes me, I am fine living in the edge of sword. Maybe you want to experience a new way of life...so maybe you could benefit from it too." He closed his eyes before chuckling bitterly as he remembered something.
"Damn you, I have lost my sword."
Dosia, stuck on her knees both physically and mentally, sharply looked up as one person who changed everything in her dreamy life called to her. Eric. She finally met him again after all this trouble and he had changed like she had heard. So he finally found her and her life was over. She sobbed some more, the young queen looking fearfully at the gloved claws of his. Dosia could not even escape in that condition, it was like a nightmare. What if...what if he had killed...Sorit? Her chest ached at that and she started crying again like a little girl, not caring if it was pitiful. She had the right to be frightened. "E....Er...Eric..." She forced out name. "So..Sorit...where is he? Y-you killed him?" She felt the urge to lay down but was too scared to be stabbed in stomach once she did that. How did he want to kill her? Was it going to be painful to teach Deloriak a lesson? No! She was not ready for it! Dosia crawled backward, so pale and vulnerable in that state.
She noticed that her eyes were closing. Her heart was beating so fast. "Please...please...make or quick and painless...please...leave my body unharmed after you are done...Please...Eric...Please...I never tortured you...s-so please have mercy...Like I once had...please..."
Valerie stayed where she was, shaking and trembling as Theodore approached her and she felt him kneel down next to her. She didn’t even look at him as he gathered her scattered feathers, licking them clean before giving them back to her. She silently refused to take them, her head still bowed but the ones that touched her wings again seemed to reattach themselves back to her. It was understandable now that every feather that she had lost before, she had pulled out of her wings herself. She only looked up when he turned his attention to the wound that Karim had given her and her sad eyes looked at him without actually seeing him. She looked away once he started talking, fright still with her though she was too tired to try and run anymore. Valerie was slow getting back up at Theodore’s prompting and Karim only favored them with an envious look, eyeing Valerie as her wings disappeared from sight again.
Yes, he still wanted her wings and even more so he wanted her 400 years of life. Karim had wanted everything she remembered, every experience she had, ever relationship she’d forged, every secret she’d kept hidden. He still wanted her life and her immortality, but now he would have to wait for Theodore to die before he could do anything else towards the Immortal. Not that the thought of pushing death along to the Vampire didn’t cross his mind, but still being irritated at the moment, the most he could do was glare before he turned his attention back to the feather he’d taken.
The [i swoosh] of wings made him look up and suddenly turn to follow the shadow that had passed over him. He saw what it was and an arrogant gleam in his eyes made him stand his ground at her predatory snarl. What made him lose that gleam was the landing of another Dragon on the other side of him who he could tell was strong. Gritting his teeth, Karim glanced between the two and braced himself, looking over to meet Negomin’s gaze since they’d spoken before. “[b What is this?]” He growled and his own wings began to unfold, still bracing himself incase either of them attacked.
When the two dragons landed, Valerie felt Theodore jump and pull at her more to get her to move quickly with him. But his pulling only made her stumble and she managed a glance towards the dragons, getting back to her feet. They were distracted with Karim so the unlikely pair could easily slip away. But Valerie herself wasn’t going fast enough, still mentally recovering to truly try for Theo and escape with him. So she wasn’t surprised when he picked her up hastily and took off as fast as he could, letting Valerie grip his shoulder and look back over them, watching the sight silently till she could no longer see it.
Eric gilded high over Deloriak, searching for Dosia till he felt something ripple past him and seconds later another something. Like waves crashing over him. He winced as he was hit by another and another and his wings grew too weak to carry him, forcing him to land and stagger, trying to figure out what was going on. He gazed in the direction that the waves were coming from and he partially recognized the mountain side that he’d traveled down a long time ago. Another wave took his thoughts away and he winced again, flinching and holding his head, feeling weaker and weaker, and that’s when he heard it, a shouting voice. He listened and heard it again, Dosia’s voice. She wasn’t that far from where he had landed.
Gritting his teeth, he started off towards her, walking with wavering steps and stopping every once in a while to brace himself against a tree. He soon found her, on her knees crying, but she didn’t realize that he was there until he spoke, having also dropped to his knees since the waves were stronger here and they were beginning to overwhelm him. “Dosia…!” He called slowly to her and he immediately saw the shock in her expression as she heard and saw him. He took another few moments before trying to say anything else, but the waves were beginning to affect him even more, making it harder to move or even talk.
Far, far away, Valerie felt the remnants of the magical weapon before Theodore did and winced as it passed through them. Being acutely aware of that now that her wings were under her own will again, she flinched as another wave passed them. It wasn’t nearly as strong as what was being felt in Deloriak, but she could feel it well enough and it hurt too much after what had just happened to her. She curled her fingers into his shoulders and held onto Theodore, silently writhing because of the distant weapon and hiding her expression from him.
Karim also felt the weapon, though it didn’t bother him as much because of his immense power. It did affect him, making him freeze and look in the direction that it was coming from, but he didn’t act on what he was feeling.
Theodore didn't even flinch watching the angry demon pouring his rage on the once powerful Light. It was clear how he wanted her whole wings for himself. Maybe he was planning a lot for it? This even satisfied the vampire, to see Karim frustrated. Maybe he was not that old. Once the All Demon was done and had finally chose his feather of his own, he slowly approached the shivering form of poor Valerie and knelt beside her, gathering the scattered precious feathers Karim had carelessly flicked off his hand and licked each of them clean, handing them over to the fallen queen. He then paid attention to the fresh wound and only licked it once to help it close even though her wings would do the healing. "Thank you, I hope you are satisfied. But from now on her will is mine so any contract with her refers to me. I hope you understand. Stand up, Valerie. We still have a long road ahead." He seemed cheerful about having her and the wings for himself though he was not planning anything for the wings. As long as she had blood, He was fine.
But as Karim was too distracted with the wings, The dragons had spotted him. The strong presence of the wings had helped them too. Negomin dove down and landed right behind the All Demon and snarled. "You are finally out Karim." She set her predreator eyes on him as her teeth were bared furiously.
Startled by seeing another dragon, Theodore pulled Valerie close to himself as he helped her up and made steps back and recognised Negomin. He was making an escape when the earlier dragon joined in and he felt quite trapped, standing in his place just hoping they would be too focused on Karim to notice him.
It seemed impossible to find her. Dosia could be anywhere. Villages and towns were ruined, people desparetly were looking for a safe place. They had lost hope. It was like the world was ending for them. None of the commoners were going to benefit from this bloody war, it only sacrifices their dear ones and made them starve more. Most of them didn't have the condition to immigrate.
But none of them expected the worse to come. Suddenly the sky darkened and the top of mountain starter glowing before Eric felt it. Waves of energy hit him and it felt like it was beating out his spiritual Dark energy within. Soon he felt heavier and heavier for his own wings and other than the humans, the magical creatures suffered under the unknown force as their magic was sucked out and focused in a crystal attached to the horrifying invention. The battles on going immediately stopped as most of the Light soldiers fell on their knees shouting in pain weakly.
Dosia stumbled out of the cave, trying to get away from the source of the waves. The engineer had tricked her and had told her it would only affect the earth not the alive beings. The waves could reach most of the Deloriak and he was planning to take it to other lands and save up the precious energy for deadly weapons. The Deloriak queen tried changing into an owl but changed back into her human form in mid air and rolled down the rest of the way down. "S-sorit..." She whimpered and realised he was not there. She forced herself on knees, calling again. "Sorit?....Sorit?" Fear washed over her trembling body. Had he left her? No...it was impossible! "SORRRRIT!" She shouted with all her strength, desparate tears rolling down her face.
Karim frowned at Theodore’s words and he looked back towards Valerie who had been left alone, standing meekly and deathly afraid. Still frowning, he sighed and glared back at the Vampire, almost like he wanted to argue that compromise but couldn’t. “[b Very Well.]” He rumbled, watching Theodore as he stalked forwards and passed him with the head of discontent radiating off of him. The All Demon walked towards Valerie wordlessly and she only was able to take a few steps back before he reached her. Sweeping around her, his looming form leaned close to her and he softly spoke, whispering into her ear. “[b Your wings, if you please.]” He prompted, leaning back and waited as Valerie looked away, turning her desperate gaze towards Theodore. Her eyes were begging for him to not let this happen, but Karim was already there, waiting.
Shivering, the former Queen looked down hopelessly and closed her eyes. There was a faint glow on her back as her Wings shimmered into existence and she winced, feeling the Demon ghost a hand over her feathers. He stepped slowly to stand behind her, his attention locked onto her wings and he took in every inch of them. That’s when his slightly irritated expression darkened and he lifted his claws up, racking them down through her wings harshly. She bit back a gasp of pain and squeezed her eyes shut again, waiting, but Karim wasn’t done. Unsatisfied with scattering her feathers he reached his left hand around her and dug his claws into the side of her neck, catching her attention and holding it as he ripped his hand slowly back across to the top of her shoulder.
Her breathing was becoming shaky and her eyes were now open wide. She only gave a quiet whimper as he ripped his claws back down her wings again, the blood making her feathers stick to his claws. And in a moment of bitter spite, Karim shoved her down to the dirt, standing over her with a frustrated snarl on his lips, but he didn’t move to continue his attack on her. Instead he glanced at his hand and flicked it down, shaking some of the feathers and blood off as Valerie silently pushed herself back up and brought her hands to the ripped part of her throat. Kneeling, Karim slowly and carefully plucked a long feather from her wings while she shook and trembled and he stood again, looking at the feather and suppressing another frown.
“[b Tsk…]” He growled without saying anything else and took a few steps away from the Immortal, holding her feather carefully in his bloodied hands and ignoring the rest that he’d carelessly scattered about.
Eric crossed his arms and stood his ground as the three kings called foul on his claim and began debating what should be done. He only glanced over as the granddaughter stepped forwards with her piece to speak and he huffed at the one with the mustache's question.
“I don’t see why you even ask such a thing. If I was going to interfere with the war, I wouldn’t be standing here and letting you all discuss.” He frowned when they began tossing around ideas to keep him from interfering and he shot a look at Penelope since she wasn’t helping the situation. Unfortunately the kings had decided on her suggestion and he uncrossed his arms with a resenting nod. “Fine, I will return with Dosia if it proves my word.” He growled and turned away looking to the granddaughter as she nodded to him and he stopped Penelope at the door.
“You should stay here too. I’m the one who has to go and find the Deloriak Queen and it will be easier if I don’t have to keep an eye on one of you.” He met her gaze as she protested and he shook his head to her. “You will both be safer here than coming with me. I will return soon.” With that he turned away from her and walked back towards the front of the castle. Once he was outside he opened his wings and took a calming breath, right before he took to the skies.
Theodore fought the urge to hiss at the Demon and hide in shadows, what vampires usually did facing serious dangers. He hated to stand there and tolerate being mocked by All Demon. Feeling Valerie cling to him made it worse. Why did she deal with Karim? Her life and her wings, a heavy price for what?
"Ah. You are very smart, Karim." He pulled himself away from Valerie since she did not let him focus. Negotiating with an overpowering demon was not easy. "You are gifting her worthless life to me and want to take her wings? The thing that makes her immortal? The powerful pure object that one feather of it could bring you back?" Now it was his time to chuckle. "I am indeed an Old Dark but I am no fool. Maybe it is just in a Demon's nature to look down on everyone." He walked closer to Karim, leaving Valerie alone. "She promised me an endless amount of blood. Without her wings, She cannot afford it. A deal is deal. You promised me something and I want [b All] of her not her body...So, if you want to 'honor' your deal, you may pick some feathers not all of it. One was enough to break your deal so I don't think you need much."
The three kings did not expect to hear their victory from Eric. They stared at him without any reaction at first before the one with moustache broke the silence. "Wh-what the hell are you saying? Our spies have not reported anything yet...You mean the Grey Queen has given up? The whole nation is fallen?" It seemed like the United nations themselves were planning just get some treasures and leave Dosia alone to deal with Light so this sudden change of plans was surprising. The red beard one snarled in disblief. "How cab we trust you?! Is this a trap?!"
"Oh, you dumb! He could slaughter all three of you in an instant! No trap needed!" Penelope suddenly burst it out and quickly blushed as the angry gazes focused on her. She just hid behind the tall figure of Eric.
"Hmmm...Good point. So does it mean we can already start dividing the kingdom?" The young king grinned. The other two were still hesitant. The granddaughter quickly stepped forward and started making handsigns.
"She says retreat your forces. We will inform the Light soldiers about their defeat. They are counting on Eric to help them win this war. Now that he has stepped away, they will surrender. Let them go back to their lands and end this destructing war."
"Hmm...What is the guarantee that Eric will actually not interfere again?" The one with moustache rubbed his chin with a frown.
"Oh, how about he stays here with us until our queen Dosia comes and decides what we do?" The young king suggested. Penelope and the granddaughter exchanged worried looks. They did not even know if she was alive. They could not waste any more time.
"What about he finds Queen Dosia himself? Since you are not helping with anything and she is in control!" Penelope snapped at them. The red beard growled. "She is not in charge! I can decide for my own army and I want this shit to stop. This war cost me too much anyway!"
"Me too. Though I keep my men in capital until I receive my share!"
"Pfffft. I want to meet Dosia first." The young king rolled his eyes before smirking at Eric. "Go find her and bring her here so I will retreat...my army is the hugest so it worth it."
Penelope groaned and turned to the door.
"But, one of you must stay here as a...guest? Oh, no...a hostage~"
The granddaughter nodded at Eric, she would stay here. If that meant end of this bloody war.
Karim stepped back as both Theodore and Valerie stood and he looked between the two, his eyes judging Theo’s boldness and the way Valerie stood slightly behind him. He then chuckled and shook his head. “[b Oh, OH! You think that I owe you because of that? Heh, heh, Ha!]” He looked up again jeeringly and bared his teeth in a sneering grin, “[b How I remember that deal going was you helped me arrive here and I wouldn’t kill you if we ever came face to face like this. I don’t think I owe you anything.]” There was a growl in the back of his words as he looked back at Valerie again, almost with a jealous hint in his gaze since she was now Theo’s.
“[b But you know what? I myself am feeling generous now so I’ll tell you this.]” He began straightening back up with a cheating smile. “[b I’ll let you keep her, alive and well to give whatever it is you want from her, as pay back for you [i gracious generosity.]]” He stated the last part with a mocking tone but continued on without missing a beat. “[b But we also had an agreement, she and I. She promised me something very special to her and she also gave up her life as apart of our agreement.]” Valerie stiffened behind Theodore and her curled fingers gripped tighter at his arm while Karim continued talking.
"[b Since she’s also seemingly promised that to you, I am willing to make a little compromise.]” He paused again, still grinning and when he was sure that the two were still listening he turned away, walking with his hands folded behind his back. “[b Yes, I will let you keep her alive but to honor the deal I made with her,]” He turned back suddenly his eyes boring into Valerie as he spoke. “[b I want her wings.]”
“No!” Valerie cried out from behind Theodore, trembling again and the All Demon turned his gaze to the Vampire, watching to see what his response would be.
Eric watched the three kings his eyes going over each of them till he looked towards the one who had war paint staining his beard in the color of his clan. He looked familiar. Eric recognized him more and more as he walked across the room to stand in front of the Demon and once he started talking, Eric was sure he knew who this man was. He pressed his lips together at the man’s aggressive undertone before he laughed suddenly, and Eric flexed his gloved hands, sighing and shaking his head.
“Your praise means nothing to me.” He stated flatly, speaking loud and clear so that the entire room could hear him. “Because like you said, that happened a long time ago.” He looked up and fixed his golden eyes on the clan leader, watching him shift and frown at the tone the demon had. But Eric wasn’t done. “And I’m still not as humble as you think.” He growled, taking a small step forwards and forcing the man to back away, his wings opening once he’d passed Penelope and the Granddaughter.
“I am not here to tell of the Light’s surrender. As of now I could care less if they were surrendering or in here, burning and pillaging the capital right now. But you do well to remember something. We are nothing alike. We will both keep on living, yes. The only difference is that you want that pleasure. I do not.” There was a threatening growl in the back of his voice as he finished and his tail was nearly lashing, only slowing it’s movement as he closed his wings from his threatening display and raised his voice to all three of the ‘kings’ in front of him.
“You want to hear it from me? Then fine! The Light Nation has fallen apart and the war is over!” He stood tall in front of the two girls he’d arrived with and the hardened look in his eyes was daring any of them to step forwards and try his patience.
Theodore could now clearly feel the powerful and initimading presnece of All Demon who had trapped them like mice. The vampire but did not show the fear in his face and just stared forward with a stone face. Valerie on the other side was shaking against him What was wrong with her? Was it something between her and the Demon? Theodore knew well it was not a good time to get any curious and was just thinking of a way to get away from the mighty creature. He could not outrun him, obviously and he could not be tricked. It was like challenging a god but Theodore was not his follower so he did not want to bow his head to Karim's will.
The old Dark leaned on his senses to gain some useful information about All Demon. He sniffed slightly and as he did, he smelt something quite familiar which was not actually Karim's. Almost a month ago...when he and Romeo were wandering in these lands...That female demon...her smell was all over him. It was not quite a mystery for Theodore why but what mattered the most was that he remembered that she wanted to summon the All Demon here and needed the feather-
Karim had made a contract with the vampires and easily left them behind.
"Wait." He finally interrupted the two and looked at All Demon with cold but bold gaze. "You owe me something." Theodore pulled out the globe of feather and let Karim see it. "I let your 'slave' use this to summon you and you were well aware of it. You promised to do something in return." He looked at shivering Valerie, sighing in regret. Oh how wonderful things he could ask from this mighty being...
"She is mine now, so I want you to let her go to pay back for my generosity." He now felt the enough courage to stand and pull her up along.
The granddaughter needed a bit of time to gain her balance on ground after flying so high on Eric's back. It was a good thing she was already deaf and was not bothered by the loud sound of his wings flapping in the wind. But she as well saw those dying lands and this only gave her more motivation to negotiate with the in war nations. Penelope easily settled on ground and turned to grin at Eric. "She will do it. You'll see. She is so witted!" The nymph bragged and then turned to face the guards approaching them with their weapons ready yet fear in their eyes seeing that the killing machine was there too. Penelope felt being tapped on shoulder and she noticed the granddaughter making handsigns before translating them.
"We are not here to fight. He will not harm any of you as long as you do the same. And you know well he is not afraid of battling the whole castle." This had a hint of threat but it was necessary for them to make it alive in the castle. The guards exchanged doubtful looks but none of them wanted to die here by the hands of a demon so they let them in.
The castle was not as crowded as before, most forces were sent to the battlefield and even some leaders had joined in the war. In the throne room there were three people. Three kings. Each from a neighbour country the other two were quite old while the proudest and richest of them all was fairly young and the granddaughter did not like his greedy, wicked eyes as he observed the two women and the Demon. The other two kings were alarmed seeing the frightening creature and their hands went to their weapons. The granddaughter quickly stepped in front of Eric and started her own way of speech, as Penelope nervously explained the signs.
"W-warriors and h-heroes o-of u-united nations, We are here to-"
"So the Light nation is mocking us by sending a mute girl here?!" One of the old kings with red long curly beard growled. The granddaughter bit her lips and shook her head trying to answer but another one who had short white moustache growled.
"You think we are scared of this little weapon you have brought here?!" He unsheattged his sword ready to charge but the young king stopped him by putting a hand on blade which made the king step back like he feared something.
"My good friends. Calm down. Can't you they are so humble and exhausted? The demon could not even wash himself." He smiles and walked towards the trio passing the girls and standing right in front of Eric staring at him with his pink eyes. He was clearly an albino even though he had coloured his braided hair dark blue since this color was a sign of his clan. "I want to hear it from [b you], Prince of Chamlek. Do you remember me?" He whispered softly by anger waved in his eyes. "How you turned my offer of friendship down long long ago? You humiliated me. But you know what? That was when I realised how to be a great and feared ruler. On that night, I executed half of my clan so that they will never dream of betraying me. So, my role model, what now? Do I have to turn you down and give a reason for your bloodlust or just listen to you? Hmmm?" He tapped his chin and laughed suddenly. "Oh what am I saying. You are free to ask me anything you want. Because I want to keep on living... [b Like you]."
Valerie winced at the way Theodore was carrying her and she again grimmest, her hands clawing for his sleeve or side to find some way of holding onto him. Indeed something was following them as Theodore continued to run making a twisting and turning path that nothing normal would have been able to follow. But what was chasing them was far from normal. Valerie felt it move before Theodore did and she gasped, suddenly squirming in his grasp. “T-theodore, Stop! He’s r-right in-!”
Theodore suddenly ran into something that caught his momentum and bent to his and Valerie’s forms. It was like a net, but there were no holes in the net and now he couldn’t see anything, but he could feel it moved as they were both thrown back onto the ground. What he’d run into was a wing, a giant webbed wing with its owner standing stock still, arms crossed and long tail waving in the breeze behind him. Theodore only felt it when he saw him. The All Demon, the dark’s power radiating from him. Because of what Valerie was, she had been able to sense him first and now…? His presence began to seep into Theo’s mind while Valerie clung close to him and Karim chuckled softly, closing his wings.
“[b My, what an odd couple is this?]” He asked in his usual low rumble and Valerie began to shake, still clinging to Theodore. “[b The Queen of Light. And…. An Old Dark.. Hmm... Interesting, but very careless on your part little Princess.]” He continued and took a few slow sauntering steps towards them. The ground under them was damp and the snow had melted completely in a large radius around them.
“N-no… No, no! The war isn’t over yet!” Valerie protested weakly and Karim smirked, stopping again with his form looming over them.
“[b It might as well be with you running away from your throne. I might also add that your capital’s been destroyed, all who once held power is now dead,]” He began to walk forwards again, now circling the two while his power they were feeling, grew and grew just to intimidate them more. “[b You’re army’s been disbanded and your borders invaded, And… Come the springtime when the snow all finally melts and nature is calm again. There will be no food for the Light, thousands will starve and the rest will most likely become slaves to whichever kingdom decided to take over each province here.]” He stopped back in front of her and leaned down close, his smile now gone and a serious tone in his voice.
“[b This war is over and you have lost.]” Valerie was still shaking but she bowed her head at this, accepting defeat while still holding onto her enemy.
Ryuu took off right after Negomin did and he soared over the trees near her. He heard her grumbling as they began to search but suddenly, they both felt it, a burst from the strong Dark. He glanced over to see if Negomin had felt it and she had already turned in that direction. With a low growl, he also turned towards it and the two Ancients flew quickly towards the All Demon’s presence.
Eric stood still, waiting for the granddaughter to get settled before Penelope jumped into his arms with a giggle. He huffed light heartedly and made sure both of them were ready to take off. “Hold on tight.” He told them both, bracing himself and stretching his wings open wide before taking off. Immediately both of them tightened their grip on him and Penelope gave a small squeal of delight, but that didn’t make him weaver any. Up in the air, they could see how the war had taken its toll on the lands below. The sight for the future was dreary but there was a small shimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe if the war was ended, Nature would forgive and things would go back to the way the had before.
The wind carried them far and they got to the capital sooner than Eric thought they would. But what he was sure of was that their arrival wouldn’t go unnoticed and he was proven right when he heard the shouts of guards as he landed. “It’s up to you two to get them to listen. I doubt they’d want to hear anything I’d have to say.” He murmured, setting Penelope down and feeling the granddaughter slip off of his back.
Sorit slowed at Dosia’s whisper to him and he came to a trotting stop at the base of the mountain side. He was panting since his wounds were beginning to take their toll on him and he ducked his head at Dosia’s request for him to wait there. “Of course.” He breathed and watched as she spotted something and left his side to get it, coming back with some plants to help with his wounds. He didn’t say anything in reply to her and closed his eyes as she kissed his nose, not seeing her change into her owl form and leave. The old werewolf only listened. He hadn’t told her that it would be a waste on him to try and treat his wounds since he was too old to heal properly.
He also hadn’t told her that his body was already starting to fail him, but it had been the fight with Theodore that had taken the most out of him. He knew he was dying and instead of staying there for Dosia to find him in such a state after she was done, he slowly turned away. He’d leave the young queen to do what needed to be done, he no longer had a place and it would be less painful for her if he just disappeared then for her to find him with his last few moments of life. Limping with dried blood on his wounds, Sorit stopped and looked back towards the mountain, silently wishing Dosia good luck before he turned away again and quietly disappeared from where the young Queen had left him.
Walking all silent in the snow was boring and exhausting but he was pleased that nothing was on their way since he was not in the mood for more obstacles. Well, at least their road was smooth until Valerie started acting nervous and alarmed about something. Theodore looked around to see if anything was hiding in the bush when that uneasiness hit him too. Somebody....Something was following them. He also noticed that it was no more snowing and the temperature was rising. The vampire narrowed his eyes, not liking this sudden change of weather. He wrapped an arm around the former queen's waist and pulled her close to himself before he increased his pace and suddenly darted off as fast as he could, carrying Valerie under his arm like a sack. He wanted to make sure this 'thing' was persistent or just randomly following them.
Negomin was glad Ryuu agreed to help her since it was one risky move. Karim's limit of powers was unknown and nobody had really battled him. At least not someone in any ages around this age. The dragon opened her wings and flapped them a few times to make sure they were functioning before she gave a dragonish grin. "Very well, let's go and find him." She tried to sound bold and brave but her eyes were screaming out worry. She did not want to lose someone she had just found. Slowly she rose up in the air and waited for her pal to join as she sniffed the air for any trace of All Demon. "That sneaky rat always hides around." Negomin grumbled, having a hard time to sense his presence. But then she felt a flicker of a strong Dark and pointed at the woods direction with her snout. "Over there. He is going to show up again." She growled at the thought of him processing with his strange plan as she flew to the direction the two unlikely couple were fleeing from.
The rest was nice and needed for the girls who had never travelled so far without any horse. Yet once they arrived at the border and watched his preparing his strong wings, they looked at each other doubtfully. Holding onto a fast flying demon for hours was quite a challenge and if they let go, they would be dead for sure. But they didn't have much of a choice so they had to think of flight safety in other ways. The granddaughter preferred to hold on his back since it was way too embarrassing for her to be carried in his arms. Not to mention she was scared of his claws even if they were covered with gloves. Penelope gladly accepted to be the one in his arms since she was smaller and easier to carry and she always fantasized of a knight saving her like a princess. This one was a frightening demon but that could work for her.
The granddaughter used an extra cloak she had received from the Cacadors to tie her waist to his from behind. She awkwardly held on his shoulder and looked at those wings at either of her sides hoping they would not smack her during flight. Penelope just eagerly opened her arms and literally jumped onto him like a clingy doll, grinning like it was all for fun. She was easy to forget troubles. "Hehehe...don't touch my sides! I'm ticklish....hehehe..."
"Sorit, please stop here. This is the place where the 'engineer' said he would be." Dosia whispered softly in the wolf's ear when they reached the mountains that Eric once killed a troll in there. The engineer from Chamlek was hiding there with his invention of destruction, waiting impatiently for the queen's agreement to use it. It was a long way up there to the cave and only wings could help them so Dosia turned to Sorit with a reassuring nod. "I will go meet him myself. please wait here..." She was about to change before noticing some plants around them which she recognised some of them as useful herbs. She picked some of them and squeezed them in her hands, rubbing their nectar gently on Sorit's wounds. "Here. They won't be infected now." She smiled kindly and planted a kiss on his nose before chasing into an owl and flying up to the great cave.
Valerie looked back as she felt Theo suddenly wrapping blankets around her. She blinked at his cold question and blankly nodded, watching him turn back to scouring the camp while she waited for him. When he came back with what little editable things he could find, she didn’t think of complaining. Instead she just carried the things with her, walking next to him at his slower pace. Yes she was hungry, but she’d eat later when she got her appetite back. “I know what I’ll be..” She said softly as he began talking and mentioned that she would no longer be a queen.
[i I will just be a concubine.] She thought emotionlessly, but there was no need to say it. When Theodore asked if she’d ever been by herself, Valerie thought for a moment before responding. “Yes… A long time ago.” She didn’t add anything to that statement, she just let it hang there between them. Unlike Romeo, Valerie wasn’t much of a talker. She wouldn’t fill the void with conversation or do much of anything to keep them entertained. It was an adjustment for both of them but it was one she could make.
Ryuu hesitated a moment when Negomin mentioned Karim and he looked uneasy at her suggestion. Curses were hard to conduct and dangerous to use, not to mention forbidden. He knew the All Demon may very well destroy this age, but then again he might not. His actions were too unpredictable to decide if he’d do one thing or another. “We… Must find him.” He growled slowly, not wanting to go after a demon that had the powers of many dead dragons, but they didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to be able to live out their new lives in peace.
Meeting the Cacadors in this winter wasteland was a nicer surprise than meeting other monsters. They were headed in the same direction but the trio was moving faster than the group was and Eric wanted to keep going after a few hours of rest. “We should keep going.” He said to Penelope since the granddaughter seem all on board with the idea of continuing on. He was able to get from the group a set of warmer, non blood stained clothes that his armor fit over well and they were close to the border now.
After getting to where he figured the border was, Eric stopped and flexed his wings. “Are you two ready?” He asked back towards the two girls since the last time he’d flown with them had been an improv rescue that wasn’t the most comfortable. This time, he’d carry one of them in his arms while the other was on his back. Flying would get them to the capital in a few hours rather than a few days.
They continued to walk with a small silence stretching between them when Valerie felt something. Something that made her pace slow even more and her eyes widen. Yes, she could feel something very wrong and her voice shook as she whispered. “Theodore…?
Theodore watched Valerie as she needed some space to think about her future. The future that no more belonged to her. Was she regretful? Was it all worth It? Did she feel better without the minister living? These questions would remain unanswered for they did not matter anymore. But, now what was [b he] going to do? He had a mansion of his own far away on other side of Goldenaria in an island. He could take her there and she could live happily in that paradise. Happily? If being locked up with him was considered a happy life. It was going to be a long journey and Light nation was not in the best condition for exploring. He looked at the half burnt tents and approached some scattered cloths. He found two blankets and brought them to her since she was not wearing suitable clothing for the cold weather. He did not want her freeze in midway. He dropped both of the blankets on her shoulders and wrapped them around her body.
"Are you hungry?" Theodore asked her coldly, not sounding concerned about it. Just wanting to make sure she was not starving. The vampire sniffed around the camp to find pieces of half burnt potatoes and dry bread. He shoved them in her hands, "If you are starving." It meant he was not going to take any complaints about the poor portion she had. He pushed her forward to encourage her to move and walked beside her in a slow pace.
"You do know that you are leaving your nation forever. Where I am taking you, you are no more a queen. Barely a common lady...you will have to take care of yourself. Have you ever been by yourself?" Theodore was just talking to focus less on the endless walking. Before, Romeo kept entertaining him but now he had to get used to Valerie.
Negomin enjoyed the contact of scales she had missed for a long long time and kept purring lowly at his strong rumble. She then remembered that this peace was not going to last and worriedly pulled back. "But Karim..." She growled, hissing his name hatefully. "He is destroying everything. His presnece alone is calling the dreaded guardians. We have to seal away this Demon before he ruins this age. Maybe we can use a 'curse?" She catiously suggested since it was one risky way. Curses were forbidden and dangerous. One slight mistake could bring misery for a decade.
Penelope was humming a song walking beside Eric. She already trusted him even if the stains of blood on his horns did not help his image at all. But the granddaughter was walking behind them with a safe distance from Eric since she still did not know if she could trusty a demon or not. For now nothing aside from the coldness was bothering them. Some small monsters appeared here and there but they were easy to get away from since they were just wandering around aimlessly.
The snowy lands were vacant and lifeless before the trio met a group of immigrants. The Cacadors. They were travelling South to get to the sea Among them were Cacadors that Eric had saved from the camp long ago so they felt grateful enough to give them warm clothes and even some meat which the granddaughter quickly and kindly refused to accept because she could not be sure if it was not from a human being.
Valerie stared at the Dragon watching it, watching them, and staying as still as she could. That was till Theodore stepped close enough to pull her to her feet. She then turned with him and ran. They ran till the two dragons were out of sight and they could no longer hear the ancient’s growls. And they ran till they’d reached the remains of the Dark camp that Dosia had been fleeing from. The Light Queen was panting from their flight while Theodore still had the energy to keep going, but Valerie didn’t. As their steps slowed in the ruined camp, Valerie staggered and grasped onto Theodore’s arm, catching her breath and giving a quiet, tired giggle.
“I can’t believe it…” She said softly, her voice wavering between shocked and crazy. She leaned more of Theo then she probably should and continued to giggle quietly, letting her laughter turn into a low content sigh. After they’d both stopped walking, Valerie let go of her enemy’s sleeve and she began to walk slowly. There wasn’t any fear of her trying to run, she was just walking to move, her hands folded together in front of her and the wings on her back fading from sight as she hid them again. Everything that once seemed important was now gone and her life was no longer her own. With that realization, she stopped and let her hands fall to her sides. Her life. It now belonged to the vampire that stood just steps behind her.
“So be it.” She murmured to herself, sighing quietly again and crossing her arms around herself. But everything was not as it seemed. Valerie had forgotten one key part of the war and it was going to come back for her.
The dragon snarled, stepping closer after Theodore had thrown the girl and watching the Light and Dark flee through the trees. He could go after them, catch them both, devour their souls. But something else called for his attention. Looking down, he gazed at the girl and stepped back as she changed into her true form. He let her approach him and in their primal tongue he chuffed to her.
“[i I’ve missed you.]” He leaned over and brushed his neck along hers, making it so she wouldn’t have to move and agitate her wounds. “[i We are now safe. Together.]” He added, folding his wings and giving a relieved rumble that was loud and strong.
It was now okay.
Eric crawled out of the monster’s skull coughing and gasping for air. He was covered in blood and gore, from his horns to his tail, and shaking from the stupid idea that actually worked. He couldn’t see anything either because of the blood, but feeling someone handing him something, he was able to wipe his eyes clean so he could see. “Okay, okay just give me a few minutes….” He huffed, working off his silver armor and grimacing as blood that had been trapped between his body and the armor splashed out onto the snow.
He turned away from them, leaving red footprints in the snow as he circled around the monster, out of sight from the girls. After half an hour, the trio was on their way, Eric’s armor and skin being much cleaner from what he could do with fresh snow, but his clothes were still stained a deep red. He’d agreed to fly them from the border once they got there, but no time sooner since he needed to heat back up from stripping in the snow.
Minerva's presence was fading away as the dragon in her fought to stay alive. She then felt something familiar and comforting. A male dragon....Could it be...She whined weakly feeling the fangs pulling away from torn up skin and flesh as Theodore turned to watch the ancient. The dragon was not someone to be messed with. Even the vampire's instincts screamed to retreat so with just a quiet hiss out of protest for losing his meal, he grabbed on the girl's shoulders and threw her helpless body towards the stronger beast. Now that he had blood, he could easily run. His eyes still on the new dragon, he slowly grabbed Valerie's wrist before pulling her close and running off with her into the woods before the dragon would attack them. His clench was possessive, like those vampires long ago who used to steal beautiful virgin villagers as the folks told, but this time his beautiful prey willingly gave herself to him.
Theodore had left his massive sword in the monster's body under the stress of being too close to a dragon. It was going to be taken by others but that was a whole other story about a cursed weapon being passed around and causing doom and misery to generations.
The girl shakily pushed up her body to see the huge dragon. Slowly she smiled as she finally met the dragon she sensed long before. She let herself drop again in the snow before her form grew and changed into her dragon self. Negomin was still bleeding but could survive in her stronger body. She catiously sniffed him and let out a purr like a female dragon would if she was not protecting her eggs. Slowly she approached the bigger dragon and tried to touch her snout to his as she stretched her neck in a friendly manner though she growled slightly from the wound causing her pain.
"You are finally out, I am glad." She whispered softly. "You have scars, I can lick them." She looked away a bit awkwardly. Normally female dragons were not so eager but since he was the last...it was quite okay.
Just recovered from the pain that was inflicted on them, the two girls rushed to the monster's body after he stopped moving. Hesitantly they stared at the pierced eye, their faces wrinkled with disgust as they smelt its flesh and blood. "Where is..." Penelope whispered but she was soon answered when she heard the sickening sound of brain and skull being smashed and broken. She circled the monster's head and jumped a bit when the skin broke too and came out a flesh and blood covered Eric. Her stomach turned as the sight but she held herself and just shakily pulled out a small handkerchief and handed it to him to wipe his face. The granddaughter just observed him to make sure he was okay before making signs. Penelope noticed and started translating immediately.
"She says good work. You are really helpful. Thank you. And...what? Go to Deloriak?!" She herself was confused too but kept doing her job. "She says they might be more monsters there. We should reach the Capital and convince the leaders there. Light has already fallen."
Valerie sat with Theodore, doing nothing, saying nothing, after she’d declared herself his. She felt him sit up and out of the corner of her eyes she could see him gazing towards the dead monster. He then sat up and when she looked at him, she saw he wasn’t looking at her or at the Master of Monsters. So what was he…? She turned her head, following his gaze till she saw the Nightmare galloping towards them. Before she knew it, the Nightmare had changed into a woman and had flung herself onto him and cried his name. She was holding him like he was a long lost friend, or Lover.
That thought made Valerie want to recoil from the two, but she couldn’t move. She was just too tired to even try. [i Who is this woman?] The question was turned over in Valerie’s mind at least a hundred times before she saw the vampire move and heard the woman gasp. He’d bitten her, without warning and without prompt. Valerie couldn’t make herself look away and instead she watched as Theodore’s strength returned to him but he didn’t stop. He bit deeper and deeper and she knew he was going to bleed her dry. The woman seemed to know it too and she sobbed with a broken heart, tossing back her head and giving a loud guttural scream into the sky.
It was desperate. She was desperate. But among the other two miserable and desperate beings there. Her life didn’t matter to either of them.
The Ancient’s flight had picked up speed as he homed in on Johar’s presence. As he reached the edge of a dead forest, he suddenly felt it flicker, like a dying candle light, right before it completely faded to nothing. Johar had died but not by his fangs. The dragon slowed and weaving flew low above the trees, seeing if he could find the monster’s body. It had only been a few minutes when he heard a screech down among the trees. It was a scream of another dragon. This revelation made him turn sharply and give a loud roar in response. There was another dragon, another one who had survived Lilith’s poisoned songs and the swords that chased their kind to near extinction.
The dark scaled beast swooped up over the trees and spotted the body of the Master of Monsters before he saw the three other being there. Without hesitation he dove down through the trees and opened his worn wings, landing with a few powerful flaps on the body of his dead foe. He gave another thunderous roar as the wind he’d created in the clearing died down and he surveyed the three living in front of him. He could see the immortal’s wings and knew that she was a powerful light, but not the ancient. The male was simply a mere Dark who hadn’t released his hold on the other girl but the Dragon had made him look up with blood dripping off of his chin. Which only left… He peered at the girl in the Vampire’s grip and after a moment he huffed slightly, snorting and passing on a little ancient magic just to see… He felt her dragon soul stir at his passing magic and his fangs bared with realization.
“Another…” He growled in a low rough sounding voice. Almost like he hadn’t used it in centuries, which was true. Stepping forwards off of the Monster’s corpse, The Dragon stalked towards the three with a low hiss. “Give her…. Here….” He growled, stopping and swallowing after he’d forced out the rough words. His familiar icy blue eyes bore into the Vampire and the Dragon took another step forwards, readying to charge if the Dark didn’t let go of the girl who he could sense was another ancient.
Eric let the two girls get him up onto his feet and he still looked weary, but at least he’d calmed down. He dismissed Penelope’s comment before the ground started to shake and he braced himself, hoping the quake would pass. Except it didn’t, it grew stronger and stronger till something enormous burrowed out of the ground, looming over them. “[i Rrrhhhhaaaahhh!]” A familiar pain erupted through him as the giant looked down at them and it brought him to his knees. The only thing that got him back up was the Nymphs pleading order.
[i Kill it.] Gasping through the pain, Eric yanked his gloves off with his teeth before opening his wings and taking off. His flight wobbled till he was out of the Giant’s focused sight and that’s when he began to fly faster. The slices he was flaying into the giant only seemed to be going skin deep, but at least he’d gotten the monster’s attention. He flew back as the giant turned around, and gaining some distance, he only felt a sharp pinch of pain from the Giant’s sight on him.
He turned back to look at the monster, trying to find a weak spot when he felt another wave of pain and struggled to stay air born. Every time the monster focused on him, he felt pain…. It was that damn eye…. He shook his head to clear the pain away and flew up higher, watching the giant slowly chase after him. That eye that took up half of it’s ugly face. Wait… An idea formed as the monster grew nearer and nearer and he groaned to himself, turning tail to continue leading it away. Eric was going to really hate himself if he survived this.
Turning back with a large distance between them now, he started back fast and aimed for the giant’s head. The pain greeted him in waves as he flew faster and faster towards the giant’s eye. When he knew he was going too fast to stop and bail on this idea, he ducked his head and crossed his arms up, closing his wings tight and bracing for impact. There was a boom as his body ripped into the Giant’s skull and the monster gave an ear piercing scream, teetering backwards from the impact and falling over. It was blind, and hopefully when Eric clawed his way out of the sick creature head, it would also be dead.
[b It can't be...I...master of monsters...defeated..by a mere Dark?]
The monster wheezed his last breaths as blood poured down his mouth and melted the snow. But his heartbeats calmed down by his queen's touch. Why? why did he end up like this?
[b Because I always thought so high of you, my queen...]
This was his last thought as life left his body and let his body be forgotten in cruel cycle of history. Maybe in future, nobody would believe once lived a monster among monsters. One that inflicted fear on every single being and he also only loved one person and that was the woman who caused his death.
Back to survivors, Theodore felt the soft lips against his icy ones and almost out of instinct he kept her there in his arms as his body healed. His hands would touch the soft mythical wings and even if it caused the Dark a bit of uneasiness, He liked this feeling. He did not deserve peace. He could accept always holding a natural enemy in his arms that could kill him one day. At least he had chosen his own death. For now, She was his.
Valerie was tired. He could see it in her eyes. He...also felt exhausted and more importantly thirsty. But it seemed like even his jaws were too lazy to bite so he just kept laying there and turned his gaze on the now massive sword in the dead beast' s neck. A bitter smirk stretched his lips; He was planning to use the sword on Romeo one day. But fate had twists and now his sword carried blood of master of monsters.
Hooves hit the snow and that perked the vampire's attention to the Nightmare's direction. At first, he barely recognized the dark foggy creature but then he saw this crimson eyes and...Something pounded in his chest as shock struck him hard.
Slowly he sat up and kept staring. Nightmare also stared. A lot to say yet silence told the best. Suddenly Nightmare started galloping towards Theodore and in midway she turned back to her human form as she opened her arms and jumped onto him hugging tightly. "THEO!" She cried out, holding onto him like he could disappear any time. Thedore on the other hand barely reacted and his arms hung loosely he tried to believe what he was seeing and feeling. Minerva was back. All his pain was going to face? She was in his arms now so...
Why he still felt empty?
Minerva nuzzled her cheek against his and took in his scent. Her love for him had no decreased a bit all those years trapped by the dragon and now she could live happily again beside her-
She felt a sharp pain in her neck and gasped. Theodore was drinking her. It...was okay but he had never done it so sudden and without permission before. Maybe he was just too thristy? She bit her lips as he kept sucking on him. He was taking too much.
"Th-theo-" She gagged as his fangs sunk deeper and she moaned in pain. What was wrong with him?! Minerva tried to pull away but she was roughly pinned down with a hiss. "Th...the..." She coughed up blood with widened eyes.
Theodore wanted to drain her.
All these years he thought he just needed Minerva. He blamed his bloodlust on losing her. All these years he was lying to himself. It was too late for Theodore. The old Theodore was gone and this broken one saw nothing in pure Minerva other than blood. He no more needed her. He wanted to possess.
Minerva was nobody to him now.
Poor girl sobbed, so heartbroken and shocked that she could not even change her form. Instead she shed silent tears as he inflicted physical and mental pain on her.
[i Help Me...]
The dragon in her started taking over, pushing the broken girl aside. Suddenly she screeched out a dragon cry to the sky desperately.
The granddaughter smiled slightly and nodded at his decision before standing up and helping him to stand. Penelope grinned, shrugging. "Pft. Don't worry. You don't need to take at side besides..." She blushed slightly, "Your tail is quite cute too." The granddaughter was about to answer his question when suddenly the ground star
yes shaking but this time the cause was not nature but a certain one eyed monster that had now broken loose since his master was no more alive. Penelope screamed as it broken out of the ground, shadowing over them all.
"Y-YOU CAN START WITH THIS ONE!" The nymph cried out. "K-KILL IT PLEASE!"
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