It had only been a few minutes after Johar had taken flight that something shifted from under the sand and another portal opened, sifting the sand down into its depths. A low growl rumbled up and two black clawed hands reached up through the portal, dragging his now scarred body back into the world of the living. He could feel his prey growing farther and farther away and with an intolerant snarl, the Dragon opened his wings, turning in the direction that the Master of Monster’s had taken off in. The wind of the incoming storm would carry him far and he glided in the wind, searching for Johar.
Valerie watched Theodore shift away from her and she let him go, watching him stand and begin to step away. Slowly she stood after him and didn’t notice him stopping suddenly and looking up. She felt him grab her before he yanked them both out of the way as something landed hard on the snowy ground, crushing her small patrol of soldiers. Her heart was racing as she felt Theodore get up and step away from her, but all of her attention was on Johar. With his monstrous form looming and his words ringing in her ears.
“You gave me no choice.” She whispered at his hateful hissing and she saw him leap at Theodore. She still couldn’t move, petrified not by fear but by the astonishing thought that if Theodore didn’t win this fight and kill Johar, then her monster would turn on her and rip her mortal body to pieces. She became acutely aware of the cold around her as Johar confessed to getting rid of Neculai and she wondered in a daze. [i Then why did you let the feather disappear?] His screeching made her wince and she covered her ears, bowing her head with her eyes squeezed shut. The only thing that made her look up was Theodore’s cry for help.
He had called her name, just as desperate to survive as she was. But she couldn’t help him, not in the way she was. She could only stare as Johar struggled to bite through the vampire, making him scream while he was bleed dry. She couldn’t help him the way she was, but maybe…. Closing her eyes again, Valerie sighed, laying still among the snow and broken bones and dying breaths. In her mind the keys to her immortal power turned and the temperature in the clearing dropped, almost like a switch had been flipped.
The sword had stretch far enough to pierce straight through the monster’s neck and his dying strength left him. This allowed something to pull Theodore from his maw, the bleeding immediately being stemmed in the freezing air. The hands that had pulled Theodore from the monster’s teeth left him in the snow and soon light touches brushed along Johar’s bleeding snout.
“My dearest Johar…” Valerie’s voice whispered. “I remember that you used to be so gracious and so careful… What changed?” She didn’t expect to get an answer from the Monster of the Light so the grey Queen turned back to Theodore. She knelt beside him, a light resonating from her back and shimmering dully around them. Something delicate brushed past his head right before Valerie leaned down to kiss him, and all of his wounds and pain were gone. Only his hunger remained.
She didn’t stop him from reaching for her as he kissed her back, and she knew he’d be able to feel the soft downy feathers that now spread from behind her shoulders. But she didn’t care anymore. At least not about that. “It is done.” She whispered when he broke their kiss for a breath. “I am yours.” With this she loosened her hold on Theodore and let her downy wings that shimmered with light, unfold in the cold, crisp and silent air. She finally relaxed, feeling how exhausted she really was and this distracted her from the slowing, careful steps of the Nightmare that was approaching them.
“Yes, I want the war to end… But w-what can I change?” Eric asked mournfully, after Penelope had translated for the granddaughter and he’d calmed down enough to speak again. “Neither side will want to accept my help while I still am like… [i This.]” He trailed off and wiped at his face again giving a shaky, but calmer breath. “What can I do without making it worse?”
He was not sure how long he was kneeling there. It really didn't matter to him. It had been quite a while since he was injured this seriously. Theodore did not mind it. Did not mind at all. He even quite liked the feeling of going to the doors of death. Sometimes living so long felt such an agonizing pain. He often envied his own preys to die so easily. Yet, Theodore struggled to stay alive. It was pathetic. Pathetic that He was clinging to this torturing world hoping to get something from it. Maybe it was because he was also a part of the torture? Maybe he was needed to being fear in shadows and remind the weak ones how weak they are?
His train of thoughts were interrupted by familiar steps of another miserable being. The vampire could not react much as Valerie knelt in front of him. He let her guide his lips to her neck. Ah. This endless cycle of bloodlust. He was not going to fight it. So he immediately accepted the offer and soon tasted her rich blood. He could have all of it but of course she was struggling to live too. He stared back at her with an unreadable gaze when she demanded to have her once so loyal minister dead.
Theodore could laugh if he was Romeo. This queen wanted her own subjects dead for a slight betrayal by the hands of her own enemies. Maybe that was how kingdoms fell. When the leader could not control their desires.
Slowly the vampire stood and noticed the soldiers nearby uneasy and confused. Poor ones. They were worshipping the wrong queen. They had to end her life when they had the chance but the mortals always feared too much.
The battle was over. He could not believe it but it was already over. The gods had smiled upon him and the dragon was dead for good. He had killed an ancient beast. The creature everyone feared.
But more importantly, he had finally gotten rid of Ryuu and now the next thing he had to remove was...
She had lowered the Light race to a war like this. She no more deserved to be the mighty ruler. Johar could take care of everything himself. Yes. An absolute leadership. He looked up to meet his mighty one eyed giant which was waiting for his order impatiently. A sneer stretched his bloody lips. "Go to Deloriak Capital and kill every single royal in there."
The monster didn't hesitate to dig in the earth and disappear from sight again causing earthquakes on its way. Johar winced slightly at his own wounds when he stretched his wings before looking up at the dark clouds. It was not a good weather to fly. He needed somebody else to do it. Now where was that Eric when he needed him the most? Growling the minister took off and flew as fast as he could with those wounds towards the borders where Eric could mostly be but what he saw on his way, changed the plans. Valerie was there with a small patrol...Perfect.
Thedore was about the turn and leave immediately when his instincts stopped him to do so and he instead looked up to see a small spot up there which started growing and growing....The vampire just grabbed Valerie by her waist and threw themselves out of the way when the massive monster landed right onto the soldiers breaking their bones and smashing their flesh under their metal armors.
"So the supposed queen now has chosen an enemy to be her protector?!" Johar hissed hatefully, snapping his jaws. Theodore slowly rose on his feet his hand going for the sword's handle.
"Oh I don't think so!" Johar leaped at Theodore who rolled away and swung his tails at him. "I have just killed a dragon. What makes you think you have a chance?!" One of his tails collided with the vampire's body and immediately poured out of his mouth before he was thrown at a tree, breaking its trunk. He barely threw himself away to avoid the claw coming for him. The feather in his pocket was glowing so bright to heal him in Valerie's presnece.
"More and more betrayal..." Johar gritted his teeth glancing at Valerie. "Giving your feather to anyone! Just how you always trusted that Neculai with everything...well, I wiped him out and now it is your turn! Arrrghhh!!!" The monster screeched as Theodore stabbed into his side on neck, hanging from the sword. With a twist of his neck, Johar managed to throw him away but the sword remained in. "Hah! You think you can defeat me with these needles?!"
"Needle? How dare you call a vampire sword that?" Theodore coldly replied as standing. His eyes were glowing as he stared at the sword. "This is from my ancestors...dirty with their blood and has fed on their spirits...rotten by betrayals in my generations and has a lust for power blood unlike any. Some say the evil nested in it from the very beginning...It is a curse...yet a guarantee for survival...Ever wondered why vampires are so few? Because...we only need power not anyone else...Unlike you who need a queen...and without her you are nothing but another blood for the sword."
Johar hissed and snickered at what sounded nonsense to him but then the sword's handle shifted and an eye opened on it. Johar felt his flesh burning as the sword heated up, his body already too wounded to take it. He twisted around to get rid of it but it had stuck in him. Soon he felt his blood being sucked out as the sword grew. "YOU!" Johar lunged at Theodore who could not move so freely with the sword activated with his own strength and took him in his cruel jaws pressing on his body. Theodore shouted out in pain as his blood splattered on the snow. The sword kept growing in Johar's neck widening the wound and going deeper as drawing out more blood. "VALERIE!" Finally Theodore shouted for help because...
He wanted live of course.
Soon Eric felt arms around him pulling him into a hug of sympathy. Penelope stroked his back soothingly as he cried. There were nothing she could say. Nothing to make him feel better because it was too late for him. His sins could not be forgiven and karma was so hard yet fair. The granddaughter but had another idea. There was always hope.
She pulled Penelope away and grabbed Eric's face to make him look at her. She was glaring at him. She nodded at Penelope before making signs. The nymph started translating with hesitation. "...As long...as you can cry...you are still human so...you are not allowed to quit... There is still a chance to end...this war...if you really want to help yourself. Do you want to change something for once or not? It is up to you..." The granddaughter kept pointing at him with a waiting expression.
The patrol of Light and their Queen traveled back the way they’d come, having chased after the Queen of Deloriak. In the end they’d retreated without her since there was no use in dying to a werewolf when they had no support to actually capture Queen Dosia. It was a relief to have just found The Grey Queen after her sudden disappearance with her minister. The cold made the group hurry and Valerie spotted someone which made her break away from the patrol, running forwards towards the kneeling figure.
Theodore. His strength had left him and he was waiting to recover slowly, but the Light Queen was impatient and there was no time for her to wait. Despite her soldiers being there and knowing they’d clearly see what she was about to do, Valerie dropped to her knees in the snow, nearly on top of Theodore. She pulled his head down and lifted her own up, feeling his cold lifeless lips meeting her neck and parting with a sharp pain as he bit her.
She swallowed hard as she felt his hands take a hold of her and she firmly kept her fists in his hair, holding him to her neck as he drank. After a few minutes with none of her soldiers daring to approach or interrupt but clearly uncertain that they should be letting her do that, Valerie felt cold and she tried to pull away. But he responded by biting even deeper into her neck and making her wince with pain. “Enough…” She whispered, trying again and when he refused to stop feeding, she tugged him back by his hair sharply, pulling him away from her and forcing him to look at her.
“I said Enough.” She said in a firm and quiet voice, her piercing eyes staring into his as she continued. “I’m tired of waiting… Theodore you will go and kill Johar.. Or else our contract ends here,” She leaned forwards again, her head bowed so he couldn’t get at her neck as she whispered, “And it won’t just be [i my] blood that ends up cursed if the contract is broken.”
Elsewhere, the dragon weaved around the giant, slicing cuts across its oily skin as he avoided being struck but his flight pattern wavered once the giant focused its sights and pain erupted through him. Bellowing, the dragon wavered again before turning his course upwards again, souring out of the monster’s reach and aiming to disappear above the clouds. The sun was starting to rise and above the clouds the dragon’s dark form gilded slowly, wings wide open to carry him along. Out of sight from the monster, the pain slowly faded but the dragon didn’t notice Johar also souring up above the clouds and closing in fast.
By the time he noticed, it was too late and the Master of Monsters grabbed a hold of his wings, ripping through them and snapping at the dragon’s slender neck. He then closed his wings and they both fell out of the sky, dropping to the earth like stones. The Ancient thrashed in Johar’s grip and he was only let go moments before he hit the ground with a terrible crash. The impact snapped one of the dragon’s limbs and he roared with bared teeth, unable to defend himself as the Master of Monsters stepped over him and sank his teeth deep into the tough scales right under the dragon’s jaw. His maw was held shut till the dragon’s thrashing stopped and the ancient’s body went limp in the blood spatter snow.
The dragon was dead, Ryuu was dead and as he turned away, the cold dry air agitating the fresh burns, a sliding sound caught his attention. Turning back, Johar could see the dragon’s body sifting into sand, grains mixing with the snow and sticking to the blood. There was nothing more but the vague shape of the dragon in the pile of sand. Normal dragons didn’t turn into piles of sand when they died. But nothing else happened right after that. There was no change as Johar watched it and only the shaking footsteps of his subject approaching disturbed the quiet.
By now the capital city was most likely destroyed along with all the important and priceless documents that the Light Nation had collected over the past 400 years. It would be tough starting over again once the war was over, but Johar had a fake figure head to keep the image of the Light Nation strong and he had a demon at his disposal whose will was no more. Yes it would be hard starting over, but he had all the tools to do so and only the war to end. But as far as he knew, Eric was supposedly doing that. He had no way of knowing that the demon had been sidetracked far from any battle.
Slowly registering the calming melody, Eric opened his eyes, stinging with tears and he looked up sharply when Penelope touched his shoulder. He stared at her, still clearly in distress when she asked if he was calm, and he glanced between her and the granddaughter before looking away. “You can’t help me…” He said shakily, wiping at his face and holding down sobs. “N-nothing can help me… I have no choice, everything I’ve had has been taken, a-and everything else will be destroyed… In t-this war, I have no will, n-no humanity, [i I have Nothing…]” He gave a weak laugh which dissolved into a quiet sob and he bowed his head, not looking back at either one of the girls.
Screeching in pain, Johar rolled on the melting snow to sooth down the agonizing burn. When he rose up his head, the monster could feel hisbsubordinate just beneath them. Snarling, he snapped his jaw at the dragon before flapping his wings and rising up, as the one eyed giant with six arms and oily skin in a crimson color. The moment the single eye spotted the ancient dragon, it screamed an ear piercing scream before raising up a fist and swung it towards the blue beast. Johar used this huge distraction to brace himself and slowly circled the fierce battle between his subject and Ryuu, waiting for the chance to rip off his throat and end this battle.
The one eyed monster lunged forwards and opened its eye wide to inflict the pain and torture on the dragon, trying to slow him down. Johar kept growling from down there, ordering his monster so it would not go loose and on rampage.
Lilith's endless chuckles continued ringing in his ears until a flute's melody reached him and took over the Dark mother's taunts. The laughter soon faded and the calming tune eased his mind, growing louder and stopped when Penelope put a hand on his shoulder. The two girls had been searching for a safe place and Karim's presnece had calmed down the area for a while. The nymph knew well he could attack and kill her in spit anytime yet she could not let him suffer like that when she had the flute to fix it. It was her nature to entertain, afterall. Also, he still had helped them quite generously and she still did not know the reason why.
"Eric...Was it? Are you better down?" She softly asked. Neculai's granddaughter was standing with a distance, looking around quite nervously. Eric was not trustworthy, especially in that shape, true but Neculai always told her even a drop of humanity blood makes the bond so she had no choice by rely on that.
Penelope carefully put her instrument away and suddenly asked what she should have asked in the very beginning. "What do you want to do...? I mean...in this war, are you taking the side of you just...want to kill everyone?" Her voice fell at the last part, like she did not want that to be the answer. She was a peaceful creature and hated wars and bloodshed.
"You look...troubled. Maybe we can help?"
“I’ll be fine.” The old werewolf breathed, his words were more confident than his voice and he met Dosia’s shaken gaze. His ears perked as she stroked behind them and he noticed the darkened tone in her voice. The Chamlek weapons, ones to destroy all magic that it used. “I understand.” He said solemnly and with some effort, he stood. There was no time to try and stop his bleeding and they both knew he wouldn’t be fine without medical assistance. But Sorit also knew that he had to be strong, now wasn’t a time where he could let his weakness best him. “Hurry,” He softly urged Dosia, “You won’t be able to walk like that…” He knelt a little more so she could climb onto his back and once he felt her holding onto his fur, he turned and took off through the snow. His lean body moved quickly over the snow and it was now only a matter of time to see if the Light Nation could advance before Chamlek attacked.
The Dragon stopped it’s circling trot when Johar’s wings opened and as he expected, the ancient gave a bellow and soon was flying after him. The dragon wasn’t as fast as the Light he was chasing but there was one way he could cut him off. The dragon flapped his wings and began to fly higher, almost skimming the clouds before his wings closed and he dove down towards the monster. He cut fast through the sky, clipping Johar’s right wing as he just barely managed to maneuver out of the way. The dragon gave another roar at his miss and he tried to swoop up again when something else caught his attention. His wings opened wide to making him slow down and the dragon listened, hearing something deep beneath the ground, moving closer. He could tell it was something big and flapped his wings to stop chasing Johar, giving an aggravated snarl as he watched his prey soar closer to whatever was moving beneath the earth. With a smokey snort, the dragon steered away from the sound and took off in another direction, wings carrying himself high into the sky again till his dark form was lost above the clouds. The scent of the dragon was fading and the overcast sky hid wherever he could be.
As Johar decided that the dragon had given up and landed on the ground, there was a quiet whistling noise around him. It was impossible to tell where it was coming from but it was steadily growing louder. As soon as the sound reached its highest pitch, a shadow passed over Johar and when he looked straight up, he could see the ancient, wings opening to catch himself and the wind whistling through his bared fangs. This was right before he swooped up and released a powerful blast of flames. It melted the snow and scorched the ground, and the flames passed right over Johar’s form though they weren’t as strong as they could have been. Giving one final roar the Dragon circled away again, passing by the monster once before he heard whatever was underground burrowing up towards the surface. Flapping his wings with a startled hiss, the dragon flaw back, his throat no longer glowing and his speed much slower than it had been before. He just managed to be out of the way as the One Eyed monster broke through the heated ground and stopped the Ancient from circling back to finish Johar off.
“No….” Eric murmured, staring towards the spot where Karim had been. His strength left him at Lilith’s chuckle and he collapsed to his knees, covering his ears with his hands. “No, no, [i no!] Neither of you were supposed to come back! I didn’t bring him here… That [i wasn’t] my fault!” He was trembling and barely noticed the wind dying down and the sky brightening with the dawn. “Get out of my head.” He hissed weakly. “It shouldn’t have happened like this, but I couldn’t stop it…”
"S-sorit.." Now that they were both safe for now and Valerie retreated, Dosia could focus on their current condition. She could smell the sickening scent of blood, if the terrible wounds on the wolf were not enough. She forgot about her own wound on the ankle and threw herself on Sorit, hugging him like her whole life depended on it. She felt her hands getting wet from the fresh blood of her captain and opened her eyes, gazing at the crimson coloured palm of hers. "You need medical help..." The young woman whispered and quickly tore the hem of her clothes and used them as quick bandages to try and stop the bleeding. "Sorit..." She softly and shakily whispered, stroking behind his ears and gazing straight into his eyes. "We will both survive from this hideous war." She mostly promised to herself then slowly stood, holding up her injured leg then tried to figure out where to go. Where to start over and where to win. "It is time to use Chamlek weapon." Her voice became dark, knowing the price of those weapons. They would suck out Deloriak's magic but it was their last chance to push back the Light.
Slowly, painfully yet determined, the vampire moved in the snow and ignored the spots of blood he was leaving behind. The scent of Valerie was starting to faint and he was not going to get to here in time with the speed he was going.
Johar's eyes never left the dragon. He could not decide if he had to charge again or not. It was way too risky with the fire the ancient being could produce. Instead he remembered his largest and most dangerous monster...The one eyed. If he could call him here, the victory was his. No more thinking about the damage the enormous monster was going to inflict on the cities, he closed his eyes and summoned it. Now he just had to kill time until his last weapon would come. Johar suddenly flew up and darted into the monster's direction expecting the dragon to chase him as he taunted him with a threatening snarl.
[b My por boy...] Lilith's cooeing voice echoed in the place.
[b Ohhh...If you hadn't betrayed me...if you had not freed the rebel son of me...But well, now it is time to pay~] She chuckled in Eric's ears. [b Everybody are paying with blood and soul...Even the innocent. This, This is the chaos we were all avoiding but my lovely son managed to reach it! Ohhh~ Soon he will also pay the price. Life is fair. Everybody will end up in pain. Absolute justice~And YOU my dear, will never get rid of the pain...a perfect punishment for betraying your Mother! Even your once supporters will live a torturing life...Isn't it sweet?]
Valerie stayed where she was trying to catch her breath as she heard several sets of footsteps coming down the slope towards her. The next thing she felt were hands trying to pull her up to her feet as gently as they could and the cold metal gauntlets touching her arms. She could also just barely feel the heat from the soldiers as several of them guided her back up the slope and one of them came over, having gone to get a horse's blanket. It was all they had to spare for their queen and it was better than nothing. Valerie glanced up wearily as she surveyed the group of Light and she turned to look down at Dosia, grimesting and about to say something. The Light Queen opened her mouth but stopped as a bellowing howl pierced through the quiet and a blur of brown and silver fur tackled a soldier near the back of the group.
Dosia’s werewolf captain had arrived and he wasted no time in killing a soldier near the back of the group before jumping on another and quickly disemboweling him. The remaining Light soldier’s retreated back from the raging wolf and Valerie stayed stock still, her eyes fixed on Sorit. After killing a third soldier who managed to cut the top of Sorit’s arm, the werewolf was finally between the group of Light and his Queen. Panting heavily with blood staining his fur, Sorit growled quietly and backed up, facing the Light till he was next to Dosia and he cut the bindings around her wrists. Valerie seemed to regain her barings first and looked back towards one of the soldiers.
“We need to go.” She whispered breathlessly and she glanced over as some made cautious steps towards Dosia and Sorit. “Leave them.” Valerie ordered tiredly and her soldiers returned to her, watching the two dark till they were seemingly a safer distance away. Valerie wasn’t sure if they were heading back towards where she’d left Theodore or not, but she’d figure that out later.
The Vampire had done quite a number on Sorit and his breathing was strained, even as he calmed down and watched the Light disappear through the snow. His side was caked in blood that was still running and the newer cut let blood drip into the already stained snow. “Dosia,” He panted, turning back to her and looking at her with his wolfish eyes. “Are you alright?” He asked, sitting down near her as his breathing slowed but remained heavy.
The ancient reared up at Johar’s circling, snapping his jaws and baring his teeth. He saw the monster dive and spat a jet of flames towards him, only managing to catch his tail but it was enough to ground him. Shaking to loosen the monster’s grip on him, the ancient’s wings beat down strongly and he reached around, snapping towards Johar’s shoulders and neck. He couldn’t reach the monster’s head and stumbled as he felt the monster trying to flip him over. Snarling out the Dragon suddenly rolled onto his side and flashed out all four of his clawed feet, kicking and clawing and finally getting his body away from Johar’s own claws. With his head free as well, the Dragon hissed and squirmed back, claws still ready to lash out if the monster got too close. Getting back far enough so he could stand, the ancient bared his fangs once more and began to circle Johar.
There was a standoff between the two and if was easy to see the wounds they’d inflicted on each other. Both of their sides were torn at and the dragon had scratches on his snout, lower jaw, and back legs. Johar had gashes on his shoulders and burned fur on his back and one of his tails. Snarling, the dragon stopped suddenly and turned the other way, lunging for Johar’s tails but stopping short as the monster spun around to face him, both were roaring and snarling at each other, the only difference was the Dragon didn’t try to speak at all and seemed completely controlled by instincts.
Finally quieting down, the ancient stepped back a few paces, snorting and creating more distance between them. He then turned again like he was going to start circling but instead the Dragon began to trot, making a line straight for the edge of the field and slowly making his way around. The Dragon was circling Johar again, watching him with his piercing eyes as he loped along, but now there was a much greater distance between them and the Dragon could easily see when Johar decided to make a move towards or away from him.
Eric winced as he was picked up and his life flashed before his eyes when he felt Negomin beginning to devour his soul. He was sure she was going to eat his lifeless body as well so Karim wouldn’t be able to try and bring him back but before she could really take anything, she dropped him. He hit the cold ground with a [i thud] and groaned from the short fall. Looking back up he noticed Negomin shrinking to her human form, but it wasn’t Negomin any more, or at least it didn’t feel like Negomin. He heard her whisper something, looking away from him and he grew tense again as she changed into a Nightmare. There was something in front of her as her shadowy form bowed and an equally dark shadow stepped forwards, cupping her head in his hands to make her look back at him.
“[b Minerva… Dear, dear Nightmare.]” Karim’s purring voice rumbled around them and Eric scrambled back to get up, the aroma of fear suddenly following him. “[b Not a step more, Agate.]” The All Demon said back towards the retreating Hybrid and he returned his attention to the shape shifting Nightmare. “[b Leave the war to the Light and Dark, I’m sure there is someone you wish to find?]” He asked the last part and looked into her crimson eyes, smiling darkly before lowering his hands and stepping back. “[b Go.]” He told her graciously and waited for the Nightmare to take off before he looked back towards Eric. “[b Do end this war quickly, Agate. I look forwards to collecting what I’ve been promised.]” With that last rumble, the All Demon faded back into the night and left his weapon alone in the snow.
Hissing as the Light queen gave her scratches in different places of face, Dosia blindly tried to pin her down but failed as Valerie got her hair and the young queen yelped, grabbing on her wrist to make her let go before she was thrown aside. Panting from the small battle she had never done before, Dosia shakily pulled up her tired body. She was worn out from all the rage and excitement mixed with a constant fear. She couldn't take it anymore. Dosia didn't even feel the enough energy to run after the immortal.
The Deloriak queen then came back to her senses and realised that she could not recognize her surroundings. Where was she? It was all white around her. Where was Sorit?! Nervously she looked around and chose a direction to walk but she was not able to make more than a few steps since a small group of Light soldiers who were chasing after the escaping queen, spotted her easily among the snow and they did not hesitate to shoot an arrow to her leg and immobilize her. Dosia gasped as she felt something pierce through her leg and then the pain started as she fell over. She whined and writhed around in pain The soldiers soon reached her tied her hands, carelessly pulling out the arrow and earning a cry of pain from her. One soldier searched around in case She had company and noticed the disturbed Snow slope. The soldier ran to it and found their queen in the most disgraced way he had ever seen. She no more looked glorious in that condition . However, it was a relief they finally found their queen AND arrested the enemy. It was a victory. Well, they did not expect the United forces surrender for that but at least it was a huge step.
They helped their queen up, making sure she was not injured seriously.
Dosia was brought to her forced on her knees and struggling to get free at her blood stained the snow. She refused to wait humbly for the queen's mercy. Also, Sorit could spot her blood scent...If Theodore was killed by now...
Theodore hissed inhumanly, holding on his major wound on stomach as he felt the energy in him leaving him. His predreator eyes were set on the feather and he was concerned if Sorit would make any move for that. He did not expect the wolf to be this powerful. Maybe he was not the alpha for nothing. Thedore usually did not interfere in battles himself and was not going to fall in this one. It was a relief that Sorit noticed none of the queen's were there and took off in a direction. Theodore quickly dragged his body towards the pure object, colouring the ice with his blood. He also had to find Valerie.
Her blood could bring back his energy.
He just hoped she was not very far from him.
His shaky hand grasped the orb and groaned as the heat shot through his body and burnt his insides as he started healing. It was a quite painful process, evebthiugh the Chamlek alchemist had neutralized the magic , it still had some Light presence reacting against the Dark.
Shrieking out in pain, Johar's blood oozed out of The fresh wound the dragon gave him. He gritted his sharp long teeth and watched the dragon fly away. He was not going to get away. The monster chased him and flew in a circle above the ancient creature's head, trying to find a soft spot to attack. He then noticed the blue glow and growled aggressively. He suddenly dove down and span to dodge the flames, ambitiously aiming for the throat to finish him off. But One of his tails caught the flame and he roared, falling over the dragon and clawing on his scales and pressed on his jaw to prevent him from making another flame. His tails furiously lashed on Ryuu's massive body trying to reach his underbelly.
"Still not coming out?" Negomin snarled, ignoring Eric's pleads which sound more like a prey's last screams to her. "Very well." The dragon growled and her claws wrapped around Eric, raising him up to her opened jaw as something white formed at her back of her throat. She was going to feed on his soul. "You might hide from me...But the spirits will find you as easy as finding a black sheep in the snow. You soon will be judged, Karim." Eric could feel his life being sucked out before Negomin froze and dropped Eric.
"Not now...how did you..." She hissed to a third person and suddenly cried out, falling onto the snow. It was like there a struggle within her. Minerva, fed on Eric's Dark energy, could now fight back and take control over her body.The dragon growled again and suddenly became silence like she was listening. She gave a huff before shrinking down and turning back to her human form. She was still unconscious though but slowly her eyes opened. They were the same crimson but were..different in deep. There was a major shift in her presnece.
She even smelt like a Dark now.
Minerva slowly turned her head towards a direction.
"M-my lord..." She whispered softly as her own shadow rose and enveloped her body, taking the shape of a pitch black horse.
Those red frightening eyes glowed in the swaying shadowy form of the mythical creature. She lowered her head and stomped her hoof forward into a respectful bow.
Valerie hadn’t a chance to see Dosia’s attack coming. She just continued to run, her pace a little slower than before as she weaved through the forest. Her breath left her as she was suddenly shoved to the ground and they both rolled in the snow, Dosia ending up on top while Valerie struggled underneath her. “Get off me!” She hissed in response to Dosia’s shouting and her own hands scratched at the younger one’s face and neck, her nails curled and her hands going for wherever she could reach. “I never needed to help you,” She began grabbing a fist full of Dosia’s hair. “And it’s your own fault for putting your own country in that situation!” With that she yanked the younger queen to one side, pulling her off balance so she could be pushed away.
Now able to get up, Valerie scrambled to her feet and started running again, racing towards a tree that was a ways away and stopping by it, turning around to look towards Dosia. She still had her dagger in hand and Valerie backed up, glancing down towards the snow covered ground. She couldn’t see anything that could help her under the snow so her best option was to run. Turning tail, the Queen of Light ran again, only this time she kept glancing back to make sure that Dosia wasn’t catching up. At the top of a slope she looked back and instantaneously, tripped over a branch that was hidden in the snow. She shrieked as she fell and tumbled to the bottom of the snowy slope, shivering and wincing from the fall.
Sorit was knocked over as Theodore attacked and managed to bite through his thick fur around his neck. Snarling, the werewolf shook his head and brought his hind legs up, kicking with his back claws and tearing into the vampire’s gut. His clawed feet also ripped at Theodore’s clothes and he felt one of the pocket’s rip, spilling it’s contents into the bloodied snow. Immediately Theodore let go of Sorit when he realized that the feather was gone but the werewolf didn’t give him a change to search.
Sorit threw the vampire off of him and scrambled to his feet, panting heavily and kicking up snow as he moved. His eyes glared towards the vampire and his bloodied teeth were bared but the Alpha still had his own injuries and that’s when he noticed neither one of the Queen’s were in sight. Taking his attention off of Theodore, the werewolf looked around and sniffed the wait, noticing their scent was fading away. With that alarming knowledge, Sorit abandoned his fight with Theodore and took off, finding their footprints and racing through the woods after their scent.
The Dragon growled and swooped up as Johar’s other monster’s blocked his way towards his opponent. That gave the minister his chance to take flight and attack the dragon’s side to make him unbalanced. Roaring and screeching, the Dragon flapped his wings to stay steady and turned on Johar, snapping his jaws again and lashing his own strong tail. He gave another glowering hiss before his claw dug gashes into Johar’s right side and the dragon took off, flying away from the city to lead the minister away to the open snow fields that once were rich crops for the Light Nation. Landing in the snow, the blue and black dragon looked up with his icy blue eyes and he gave a bellowing roar towards Johar, daring him to come down and continue the fight with a glow in the back of his throat.
Eric gasped as Negomin landed and harshly stepped down on him to keep him pinned to the ground. He heard her snarls and the All Demon’s presence made him squirm. “N-no… Don’t call him out. Don’t br-bring him here!” Eric cried out weakly, hissing as she pressed down on him more, threatening to crush him under her claw. The presence didn’t grow or fade at Negomin’s warning and there was no change at Eric’s pleading. Karim was only there watching, but he wouldn’t act.
As Valerie ran, Dosia became more confident configuring that she was incapable of self defense in any means. This encouraged the Dark to chase after Light but she could not keep up with the queen's pace and stopper panting heavily. Where was she? Dosia realised she could no more see the vampire and werewolf fight. She had gotten too far. Well, it was useless to go back. She had no choice but to actually catch her enemy and put an end to this war with an absolute victory. Her form shrunk into an owl and she flew among trees, her hunter eyes observing her surroundings. Once she could not find anything, she flew higher and raced against the cold wind until her wings became tired since she was not used to the chasing game. But she caught the sight of a woman running with difficulty in the thick snow.
The owl didn't hesitate to dove down and aim for her back as her talons came out. Moments before reaching Valerie, She transformed back into her human form and tackled down the Light queen, both of them rolling in snow. "It is all your fault!" The younger one shouted trying to punch her face but was just literally hitting on the woman with tired fists. But that didn't take long since she grasped on her hair and reached her dagger with her other hand. "Was it too hard for you to help a neighbour country?!" She spat at Valerie with disgust.
The shock in the wolf's eyes brought a smirk to the vampire's excited face. "Ah. What is it, lapdog? Don't you know I am always ahead of you?" He then swung his sword at the beast, being much careless depending on the feather magic. The wolf acted much faster and caught his side. Pain spread in the vampire's body as he hissed in pain, helplessly being shaken wildly and he was let go only when a part of his flesh was ripped off, left in Sorit's mouth. Growling, he found out that he could not move. The orb in his pocket was heating up but it was going to take some time for the injury to heal. Ignoring the agonizing pain, Theodore attacked Sorit with opened jaws and sank his fangs into his neck, scratching his eyes savagely.
Johar was putting all his energy on the line to keep up with the dragon. The blue flame was a new thing and was not convenient at all. He coiled his tails around himself protectively and watched the dragon flying high only to come back with full speed and his eyes caught the sight of the blue flame fuelling inside him. Hissing hatefully, Johar tried to take back his control over a few monsters nearby and they blocked the dragon, becoming meatshields for their master. The minister found the chance to fly away and attack Ryuu's side trying to make him unbalanced.
Negomin growled from back of her throat as she gazed around with her slit crimson eyes. She was frustrated that Karim could be sensed but not seen. She slammed a claw on Eric to force him lay down and not think of escaping. She was only functioning with her dragon instincts now and she no more smelt Eric as a friend. Her massive tail lashed around impatiently and her growl became louder as she pressed more on Eric to warn the All Demon.
"Come out of your hideout, coward. Is an ancient dragon too much for you to deal with?" She snarled.
Valerie held onto Theodore as he touched the cracks in the stone and as they were thrown to another locations, except it wasn’t where they were trying to go. Valerie coughed as the cold air returned to her lungs and she looked up sharply when she heard Dosia’s voice. The Immortal swallowed at the young queen’s doubtful question and she looked towards the werewolf next to her, his greenish yellow eyes staring at her. What Theodore said next made her look towards him and her mind held the same question Dosia spoke. Before she knew it, the vampire had lunged for Dosia’s loyal guard, forcing him to change into his wolf form. She scrambled to her feet at this and out of the corner of her eye she saw Dosia rushing towards her with a dagger.
Unarmed and given no other choice, Valerie turned and ran from the blade welding royal. She knew perfectly well that the dagger wouldn’t kill her but that didn’t mean it hurt any less to be stabbed by one. She looked over her shoulder to see that Dosia was gone but that didn’t stop her from running into the surrounding brush to hide. Valerie knew Theodore would be able to find her afterwards so she didn’t run far and she collapsed at the base of a large oak. Panting, she knew she was far from safe, especially since her footprints could be followed in the snow. With gritted teeth, she pushed herself back up and continued hurriedly, blindly rushing to find an escape. The Immortal Queen was in no position to brawl or fight, she could only survive and that’s what she planned on doing.
Sorit had changed fast to jump back from Theodore, but once he had his footing, the werewolf pounced on Theodore and snapped his jaws down on the vampire’s arm, feeling the bones break between his teeth. The werewolf shoved Theodore down and snapped again on his broken arm before shoving past it to snap at his neck. He’d behead the vampire if he could and if he couldn’t then he’d settle for ripping him apart. He only felt one of Theodore’s claws ripping at his pelt and trying to force Sorit off of him, but then he felt the cold blade chopping into his side and he was forced to let go, snarling and jumping away, his warm blood coloring the snow.
He noticed a faint glow in one of his pockets and his eyes widened as Theodore was able to use his injured arm to wield his sword. That should have been impossible with how Sorit had bitten him but despite this the werewolf wasn’t going to back down. He charged the vampire as he was getting up and Sorit ducked under a swing, using his animalistic reflexes to avoid the sword and sink his teeth into Theodore’s side. He snapped his jaws to get a better grip before he began shaking the vampire, shaking till he felt the body rip free from his teeth.
The Dragon on the battle field circled Johar, his throat glowing through his blue scales. The dragon snapped at the monster, hissing before he opened his mouth and spat a powerful jet of blue flames, burning of the monster’s back and catching some of his fur on fire. The ancient let Johar jump away, howling and rolling to put out the flames, but that’s what the dragon was waiting for. Once Johar was on his back, the dragon pounced again, slashing with his claws and biting at Johar’s forearms, another hiss rising in his throat as the blue glow showed and he opened his mouth aimed right for the monster’s face.
Before he could spit, one of Johar’s claws lashed up and whacked the bottom of the dragon’s jaw, jerking his head up as he spat a jet of flames into the air. The Master of Monsters was then able to push the dragon off of him and the dragon, fanned open his wings, hissing loudly before turning and taking to the sky, a gust of wind sweeping around the center of the city as the Dragon took flight. It seemed like the dragon was running, up till he turned with another blue glow in his throat and dove for Johar, opening his wings with a roar and swooping over the monster, not releasing the flames yet.
Eric was tense and on guard since he could see the spirits around them too, but what he wasn’t expecting to be snatched up from the ground with claws scraping at his armor and snagging his own wings. He recognized Negomin in her true form and he could guess why she was attacking him. The last time they’d talked, they hadn’t been on the best of terms and now he was almost a complete demon, something she despised. Because of her claws snagging his wings, he couldn’t catch himself when she dropped him and feeling her tuck into a dive, he could only blink before he felt his body crash against the ground with all the forced Negomin had built up from flying about.
The hybrid coughed and groaned, slowly pushing himself up, but he froze when he felt another presence around them and the clouds and daylight was forced away, leaving only an inky blackness above him. Swallowing, Eric looked around for the All Demon that he knew was nearby and slowly the stars began to shine above them without Lilith’s son revealing himself, but he was there, watching silently.
Theodore rose up an eyebrow since Valerie was acting a bit strange. Though he didn't care about it. She could even go insane; Only her sweet blood mattered to him. The moment she placed the orb in the circle, it started glowing so bright that bothered the vampire' s eyes making him look away. The rock cracked and Thedore caught the hot orb just in time before it was absorbed in. He hissed at its hotness and quickly shoved it in his pocket. Looking through the crack he saw the tense battle scene. He saw a monster attacking that Summoner boy, Ryuu. Well, monster meant Johar so it was the right place. He reached out his hand for the queen to take it before hesitantly touching the crack. Immediately they were sucked in...but the unexpected happened. They felt the ancient force hitting them and inflicting pain to both Light and Dark. The portals were messed up because of the ancient presence.
They were soon thrown to another location but it was not their supposed destination. "What in the world..." Dosia broke the silence.
Theodore who still was confused slowly stood up and saw a shocked Deloriak queen and her loyal subject Sorit before them. They looked worn out and had blood stains on their armors since their camp was attacked and the queen had no choice but to flee before Eric could interfere. Dosia's gaze dropped on Valerie and recognised her since she had seen painting of her. But in those portraits she was glorious and now...
"Have you...arrested the queen of Light?" The young queen asked doubtfuully, feeling that something was clearly off. Theodore did not answer and just set his eyes on Sorit. "I see that Deloriak is already losing. Hmph. What a shame. You are no more worthy to live..."
Theodore drew out his sword in a blink and attacked the werewolf with the intent of killing him.
Dosia stumbled backward, not knowing what to do before pressing her lips and charging at the other queen with a dagger to hopefully end this war herself.
Or either get killed.
Because she knew this being was immortal and she was just desperate. Desperate to so something and not die like a coward. She kept shifting back and forth to owl and spider in order to hopefully cripple her in the right moment.
A screech of pure shock shook the battleground as Johar felt himself grabbed by an enormous odd being. He furiously lashed his tails and managed to free himself, taking a good look before more shock washed over him. A dragon?! Had Ryuu summoned a dragon?! Impossible, wait...
[b What does it mean?! He smells like that worm, actually!]
Johar savagely attacked, just trying to get rid of the ancient creature and he lost his control over the monsters under stress.
The monsters went on rampage, randomly killing both sides. The castle of Light nation shook and two towers collapsed as the one eyed monster rose from beneath, putting the citizens of Light under pain and misery.
Earthquakes happened, dark cloud appeared and blizzard hit on the poor beings.
Mother nature was going to put everyone out of misery.
It was hopeless.
Everything was hopeless.
Negomin was right.
Crying and trying to survive through the rapid disasters and instability of nature, Penelope and her friend were depending on Eric's strength but was it enough? Just when Penelope believed they were really going to die like that, a strange presence alarmed her and just like the time had stopped, she saw figured in cloak merging out of the ground, whispering ancient swords which were unknown yet so familiar...
Penelope was hypnotised, staring at them and even let go of Eric when one of the figure passed through her like it belonged to another dimension.
The ancient guardians were awakened, ready to judge.
And they did not notice that they had been surrounded by those spirits, because Eric was one of the disasters which had to vanish.
They then heard a loud roar above their heads and again time went on normally, blizzard hitting their unprotected faces wickedly. Penelope and Neculai's granddaughter were suddenly thrown away from Eric and when they looked up, Eric was no more there and a dragon passed above their heads.
Negomin held the hybrid tightly in her claws and growled angrily letting him go to fall then caught him again.
She was both punishing Eric and also trying to attract Karim to her. Because whenever Karim was, ironically the peace of night followed.
Valerie was rubbing her eyes when Theodore walked over to her and she felt him take her hands away from her face so he could look at her. She looked back at him and he still looked irritated but less so than he had earlier. She felt him place a hand on her back and she moved to step forwards, figuring he was just going to guild her along, that was until he had her up over one of his shoulders.
“Hey! Put me down! I can walk by myself!” She said in a low whisper, her breath hissing out as she felt him pick up the pace till he was running. She wouldn’t have been able to keep up if he’d taken off without her so she stayed quiet and grimmest with discomfort, glad he couldn’t see her expression.
She was just getting use to hanging over his shoulder when he slowed to a stop and set her down considerately. She gazed towards the slab of snow covered rock that was in front of them and watched Theodore sweep away some of the snow and then take out her feather. She was sure the power in it had faded quite a bit and that thought was proven correct when the circle only glowed a little bit before the light died.
“...” Valerie didn’t vocally refuse when Theodore said he needed another feather, but as he explained the situation and why he needed it, she sighed and shook her head. “You shouldn’t need another feather.” She said and stepped past him to walk over towards the portal and towards where he’d set down the feather. The immortal was about to pick up the glass orb that held her feather before she heard Lilith’s voice and stiffened. Swallowing at the berating words, she forced herself to take the glass orb and study over the spells and marks that were written all over it.
“... Give me a minute…” She said slowly, her voice still soft but there was an undertone of uncertainty in it as she spoke. [i Call me what you will,] Valerie thought bitterly, subconsciously scowling as she focused on the feather inside of the orb. [i But whatever I get from this will only be an afterthought. It won’t matter if I enjoy it or not.] After five minutes she turned back to the rock and placed the orb back on the circle where it had been before and she watched as the light shown again.
Ryuu had turned in time to see the minister’s monster form diving down towards him and the only thing he could do out of reflex was bring his arms up to hopelessly block the attack. He then heard a painful howl and looked up to see that Abantes, the brave soul, he’d sacrificed himself to protect the Summoner. Someone he barely knew. Shit! He thought and raced over to the shape shifter’s limp body just as the life left him. With all the lives the master of monsters had taken, Abantes’ was just another one, but he had been more than just a simple soldier, much more.
There was another snarling growl behind Ryuu that pulled him out of his grief and he looked back in time to see Johar’s lashing tails right before one struck him and knocked him away from Abantes’ body. His head struck a rock and Ryuu’s vision swam. He then heard a voice and felt something stirring deep inside of him again. He then heard a voice that sounded familiar and strange at the same time.
[i Ryuu. Do you have any kin?]
“No… I don’t.”
[i Would you like to settle down and start a family some day?]
“... I would.”
[i Then sleep, I will wake you when that time comes.]
He lost consciousness for only a moment before his eyes opened again and he looked up towards the monster that was prowling towards him. His icy blue eyes narrowed and he touched the ground again, creating another portal to slip through just as Johar pounced but the portal didn’t close right away. Instead there was a burst of ancient magic from it and a deafening roar echoed out. There was the sound of scraping claws against stone before a blur of black and blue scales lunged from the portal and caught Johar by one of his shoulders. The shift was so sudden that only the two clashing creatures could be heard before the rest of the battle continued. But now a Dragon, as ruthless as the day one had fought the poison of Lilith’s song, was fighting to kill the master of monsters.
Eric stopped when he felt the sudden burst of ancient magic in the far distance and he looked up in the direction it had come from. He probably should be in one of these battles that were raging along the border, but right now his first priority was to escort the Light and her companion through the warring boarder. Then he’d return to fight.
Theodore could not hear the Light steps behind him anymore and stood to look back. A frustrated sigh escaped his lips when he saw Valerie standing there holding her head. Impatiently, he went over to her and his cold lifeless hands took her hands, lowering them from her head to observe her face. She looked exhausted. The vampire sighed again and placed a hand on her back and with one move he swung her over his shoulder like a potato bag. Ignoring her protests, he took off the rest of the journey and ran through the snow as fast as a vampire can be. An hour passed and Thedore kept on running, feeling much more powerful with Valerie's blood.
He finally stopped and was decent enough to set her down gently. Before them was a piece of rock covered in snow. Theodore swept off the snow and revealed a circle. Searching through his pocket, he pulled out a small glass ball with spells and circles written all over it. Valerie's feather was kept in it, glowing slightly. The vampire set the ball on circle and the circle glowed slightly before its light died out. Theodore looked back at the immortal,
"I need another one." Of course he meant a feather. Seeing the clear refusal in her eyes, Theodore approached her. "If you want to find the minister, a portal has to be opened with Light magic since Dark portals are under Karim' a control. I need another feather to open it and the portal will most likely open close to him since he is the one with most powerful Light power after you."
And then Lilith' s voice echoed in her head again. [i [b Oh my~ Could you trust him? Just one feather for a lifetime pleasure~ Sounds fair, Teehee. Do you think if you kill your heart, the lust will go away? Hah! You little arrogant Light child...]]
Johar, frustrated that Ryuu had escaped, was just slaughtering any soldier around him. But then he heard a monster of his screeching out as it felt Ryuu's presnece. His eyes darkened and he looked at the direction seeing that he was being kept busy by passing monsters and Light soliders.
[b How foolish of you to appear again~]
The minister sneered and suddenly changed into his enormous form, flying up and then dove down right towards Ryuu. His claws were out, to shred the Summoner into pieces...
[b Bye bye, little worm.]
Too late. The claws met the flesh and blood splattered out. Johar growled in satisfaction but then he heard a painful howl of a dog. Abantes, the loyal dog of Deloriak, was hanging loosely from his claws, blood splattering around with each struggle to get free. He had leaped to save Ryuu and took the blow himself.
[b Pathetic. Ruining everything like that!]
Roaring in anger, Johar threw the whimpering dog away and let him die. Abantes slowly changed into his human form, holding his pierced guts as a puddle of blood formed under his body. His eyes were losing sparks of life as he looked at Ryuu's direction almost pleading him silently to win the battle for them before his tensed body calmed down and he took the one way trip to meet his father on the other side.
“...” Valerie’s darkened eyes narrowed at the grin he gave her and she stood still for a moment, watching him starting to walk again. The Vampire was right in that she hadn’t said anything about when he had to help her, and she’d trapped herself with this deal. The only thing she could think to do was wait and hope maybe the Dark she’d given her life was actually going to help her, and maybe the war would resolve itself without either side actually winning. If that ended up being the case then she wouldn’t have to worry about the other debtor coming to collect what she owed.
“Perhaps you were right…” She whispered out into the quiet, finally starting after Theodore through the snow and cold. “Perhaps I do have to kill my heart first before anything else can change…” She didn’t know if the voice that had spoken to her before was listening, but the Immortal had a feeling that something out there was. This thought made her feel slightly better that she might not be experiencing this shift alone.
She didn’t ask again where they were going or bring up their agreement. Valerie just walked quietly after Theodore, her pace becoming slower and slower as her feet were numb from the cold and a heavy tiredness had slipped in over her. She didn’t know what it was from, whether it was just from the cold or stress, the travel or if she really was just tired. She tried to shake it off but it stayed hanging over her. Eventually she stopped walking and held her head, wondering again where Theodore was taking her but not daring to ask.
Ryuu winced a little as Negomin insisted that he was a dragon. He still wasn’t too keen on accepting that as fact. Even in the low light he caught sight of the jealous glint in her eyes before she looked away. “Do you really want me to leave?” He asked in a quiet voice, watching her sadly before turning away and walking over to where the Sword of Light was. He picked it back up and resisted the urge to look back over at Negomin, crouching down and creating another circle beneath him. With that he disappeared and the summons at the top of the pit turned to sand, leaving the lid of the stone cage open.
Back on the battlefield, the Deloriak soldiers were able to quite a bit of ground of the Light when Johar was distracted but slowly the monsters were pushing back, fighting fiercely to take the city. Another circle appeared in the center when Johar and Ryuu had been fighting and rolling out into a crouch, the Summoner glanced around sharply to see where the Master of Monsters had gone.
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