Artemis was silently watching how he crushed all of a little girl's high hopes. The demon agreed that they shouldn't bring a kid along. The main reason was Eric himself because he wasn't the kind and loving man he was actibg at all when he was on a journey and she asked herself why did he even bother to act like one for a little girl. Was she important to him? She doubted that. Artemis felt slightly sorry forJuno. She had picked the wrong guy. She had yet to learn that some people only liked cute children like her for five minutes and from far. Nobody liked to get in trouble by accepting a kid. Maybe Eric liked her just because she loved him so much and looked up to him? So he could forget what a jerk he was. Back in Muerte, giving birth was a rare thing. That was why she was an only child. Most of the demons were. Once one lost their parents, they were to wither take care if themselves somehow or most likely die. A kid meant one more open mouth for food which her people didn't like.
At least they kept Juno alive here. Something Eric couldn't. She had to learn to forget him.
Juno held the charm tightly in her hands. Tears were flowing from her eyes but she wiped them off. Yes. Eric was only busy. He would soon come. Soon. She just had to be the brave girl he wanted her to be. Juno gave a sweet smile at Eric, "I pray for your health every night!" She ran back to the place she was supposed to be sleeping. But not before suddenly jumping in his arms and kissing his cheek. She then headed back knowing that Miss would punish her but who cared. Her dear Eric just visited her.
"...You humans are strange. I feel like she knows you are saying shit but yet plays along. I mean...you were both lying right?" Artemis shrugged and stood again, dusting off herself. "I'm starving. Do they have food in here?" The demon mumbled and looked around then suddenly remembered something and bit her lips. "Uh...umm...I was wondering..." She scratched her head in a bit of embarrassment."Do you still have the piece of hair I gave like that charm. I know you are too clumsy to keep it this whole time. I was just wondering. That's all!"
Joseph was bandaged and cleaned laying on a mattress since there were no beds in the place. Philip was sitting beside him, looking at him miserably. He was still blaming it all on himself. If he had been with him all the time...the wouldn't happen.
Eric had his arms crossed as he leaned back against the wall, staring down at the floor with a slightly irritated expression. He wasn't too worried about his brother, not like Philip was. He knew from the moment Joseph left the kingdom that his little brother was a lot stronger then he let on. Most saw him as weak, naive and foolish, but Eric knew better. He noticed Artemis walk over to him and he didn't look up at her till she tapped him on his shoulder. He just snorted and looked away at her question and reassurance, but what she said next about him caring for someone else and being lucky to have Joseph. Those statements made the tension in his form lessen and his shoulders relax, the irritated look he had mostly disappearing.
“You are an only-child, aren't you?” He said, not looking back at Artemis right away. He didn't say it as a question but more of a statement, like he was just stating a fact. “You’ve never had a sibling or known what kinship is.” He paused and then sighed heavily, like he was admitting something he hadn't admitted in a long time. “You can't relate to the relationship I have with him… If you could then you would know that I am not lucky…” He was quiet for a moment, long enough for Artemis to dwell on the fact that she still wanted to go home. He then looked up at Juno’s shouts and he leaned off of the wall just before she gave him a hug.
“Hello Juno.” He said in an almost pleasant sounding voice. He gave a concerned and almost sympathetic look to the child when he saw the redned mark on her face and heard what she’d been caught trying to do. He was quiet the actor. “Oh Juno….” He murmured to her, kneeling down so he was at eye level with her and he wiped away her remaining tears.
“Do you remember the promise I made to you? Back when you gave me this.” He held up his free hand and showed her the charm that she had given to him. “I kept my promise,” He said, pressing the wooden beaded necklace into her hands. “Now I’d like you to make me a promise….” He could see her expression falling with every word he said. “I want you to hold on to this for me, keep it safe and use it to help you remember how brave, and how.strong, you really are.” He could see that she’d put two and two together and her eyes were beginning to well up with tears again.
“S-so…. You’re n-not… Y-you’re not g-going t-to…. ….?” Her bright eyes shined with more tears and Eric sighed softly pulling Juno into a comforting hug.
“I’m sorry I can't take you with me now… but I will come back to see you again…” He said softly. “You just have to make that Promise. Will you promise me what I ask?” He let her step back from him and look at him and he gave her another reassuring and sympathetic smile. When she finally agree, he gave her another hug and stood, looking calmer than he normally did.
Artemis didn't like to be back at the arena place but it was the only place with healers that they knew of. She followed after the healers calmly, thinking that like demons these wounds were no big deal. However, she curiously watched how the healers in this world took care of the injuries. Joseph looked slightly pale which was a bit worrying but they said he should be okay. Philip was still silent but too nervous and stressed around Joseph. He insisted on helping while he could not even hold a bandage without dropping it.
The demon stiffened upon hearing Karim again. She assumed that he meant Eric since Joseph was not going anywhere. So she looked around and found Eric leaning to a wall. Casually she walked to him and tapped on his shoulder. "Are you worried? They said he is going to be okay." She shrugged and observed his face. "Hey..." She suddenly grinned and chuckled some. "I didn't know you would actually care to someone. You just went totally crazy seeing your brother hurt. You are lucky to have someone beside you who can calm you down and make you think twice. Because I was really considering killing you with bare hands." She let herself slide down on the ground and sat down.
"Your world is really strange I can't wait to go back to home. Hmmm~ I just want to see Dear Mother one more time." Artemis sighed before hearing something running to them. "ERIC! ERIC! YOU CAME! YOU REALLY REALLY CAME!" Juno hugged Eric's waist tightly. When she looked up, there was a slap mark on her face and her eyes still had tears. "I...I..had a pack...b-but...Miss...f-found out...sh-she took it from me...I sneaked away though! I knew you will actually come!" She was just too excited to see Eric was back for her. Poor thing thought he was going to take her away from the orphanage. It was nothing like Holy Shrine. She hated working in arena where people died. Where people were mean and wanted to kill each other.
Artemis just blinked down at her. Juno was hugging a guy who just wanted to burn down a mansion full of innocent servants.
Joseph’s vision was still swimming when Philip helped him back over towards the horses. He knew things had a fair chance of getting worse very quickly before they got any better but he tried not to think about it as Artemis had him riding with her and Philip mournfully whispered his apologies. Joseph closed his eyes listening to the demon and he managed to smile a little since she was concerned. He was still bleeding and he had lost a lot of blood, so it wasn't surprising when he slumped forwards against Artemis soon after they headed off. He’d passed out from the blood loss but most of his wounds had stopped bleeding which was good.
Eric had only waited long enough to make sure that the others would follow before he took off at a trotting pace. He didn't say anything since no one was asking where they were going, but he had his eyes set on the city a few miles over where the arena was. He knew there were healers there but he also wanted to give Juno back the charm that she had given him. He didn't plan on taking her with them since she was safe there but he would give her back that small comfort from her home.
When Artemis finally spoke up, Eric exhaled softly and didn't turn around to look at her. “We are going to where the healers are now.” He said gruffly over his shoulder. The city's torches were now visible in the distance and after a few more minutes they were riding quickly through the quiet streets. Once they neared the Arena, Eric spotted one of the healers that he and Artemis had seen at the arena. She was sitting outside of a hostel and the former Prince B-lined towards her, dismounting his steed before quickly turning and getting out that his brother needed help. But the healer had already seen the state the Joseph was in and a new kind of tension filled the air around them.
Other heals quickly joined them and soon they were moving Joseph inside where there was more light and they could better tend to his wounds. Eric and Philip followed them in, Philip seeming more frantic than the half blood was. The former Prince then moved away from where the healers had taken Joseph, leaning back on a far wall with his arms crossed. He was keeping his distance from his younger brother and Karim’s voice whispered to Artemis.
“[b Don’t let him leave your sight.]”
She had been looking in the direction of Joseph when he said this, but it was hard to tell whether he meant the younger sibling or Eric.
The servants gasped in disblief when the object of terror was broken. They silently watched the stranger just make his way to the steeds and nobody dared to move an inch until the group left their sights.
Sheera watched the useless staff being dropped in front of her with tearful eyes and just laid there helplessly. She knew she just had to tell the truth to the elf. The gem was of great value and she doubted if he would ever forgive her. But it was already done and she couldn't do anything about it.
Artemis was about to charge at Eric when Joseph interfered. She didn't expect the mute to be able to have such an impression on Eric but then again she didn't know anything about their relationship. Karim was right. Joseph was a good option to use on Eric. But seriously, She didn't know how to start so decided to leave it for further days. She only glanced down at Sheera once while passing her and went to one of the steeds. She didn't climb on first seeing that Joseph could barely walk. Philip was helping him walk to his horse but she doubted if he could support him with one arm.
"Two of you on one horse is too much weight." She talked to the shaky Philip. The poor man was worried sick for his friend and was scolding himself in his mind. "No..." He muttered but Artemis just got on the steed and reached down to pull up Joseph. Philip gave in and also helped him up. "I...I...am sorry Joseph.. " He shakily whispered before going back to his horse. Artemis wrapped Joseph's arms around her waist. "Hold on tight. You're bleeding as hell.Geez, your brother pisses me off. Maybe you can spank him for me." Philip was not looking at Joseph, he was staring down at his horse's head. He was ashamed of himself. He was the most useless in this party and yet he believed he could protect Joseph. At least Joseph could control Eric.
They rode after Eric and none of the two dared to asked where he was going. They just wanted to get out of place and forget everything. Finally Artemis talked since Philip was still too depressed. "Oi, Eric! What's the plan? We had a deal, remember? Also...Your brother needs some rest. Maybe we should a healer or something. "
“Artemis… I. Said. Move.” Eric snapped, turning his attention back to Sheera for a moment, just so he could pull himself away and deliver a hard kick to her side, sending her sprawling. “And like you Truly [i care.]” He snarked viciously, “If this had been any other way then I [i know] you wouldn't care who burned down this place.” He stood his ground against Artemis and only broke their stare when he felt someone touch his left wrist, the hand that was holding the staff. He thought it was Sheera again so he whirled back around, ready to strike the poor halfling again when he was met with desperate green eyes.
Joseph had slowly inched back forwards again while Sheera and Artemis went back and forth trying to convince Eric not to use the staff. He finally made it to his wrathful brother’s side and pulled his hand back when the devil turned on him.
“You can't be serious…” Eric finally growled, lowering the staff as Joseph shook his head and the former prince groaned in frustration and disbelief. He then looked back at Sheera and stalked over to her, forcing her to look up at him with her sad crimson eyes. “Be thankful I am leaving you with your life.” He said menacingly and he stepped back from her, swinging the dimming staff outwards as he tested its weight before turning to the side of the mansion and slamming the gem down into the wall. The force made the gem crack and a few wisps of flames shot out of the few pieces that fell off of the now damaged gem. But nothing caught fire and Eric turned back to Sheera, dropping the staff in front of her as he stepped towards the waiting steeds.
“We’re leaving Now, and that's final.” Eric said, not even looking at Joseph or Artemis or Philip. The younger sibling let out a small sigh of relief, knowing his brother could have done much worse but he hadn't and that was good.
And in seconds, the mansion was filled with fear and tension. Sheera's scream was like an alarm, waking every single servant up and they just gathered in entrance hall but didn't dare to step out with Eric being out there. They just stared in fear at the glowing staff knowing what was going to happen. They didn't even try to beg for mercy because they had learned they were of no value. So they were just shedding tears and praying for a quick death.
They pulled away from Artemis who passed them with an excited face. She didn't mind the atmosphere and was too distracted about the secret she just revealed. "Hey, Eric! Guess what I-" She noticed Sheera sobbing on the ground and Eric holding the staff all crazy. Joseph was beaten up and Philip too nervous about his friend's state. "What the hell happened?!" She frowned and put her hands on her hips with a glare.
Sheera shivered under his gaze but tried to accept that she was going to die anyway. So she boldly grabbed on his leg. "No...p-please....n-no...he...he is...he is in there...I b-beg you...this mansion is not mine....it's his...He is sick please! I beg you! Not the mansion!" She cried out loudly and refused to let go unless he changed his mind.
"Drop that man, are you crazy?! I'm saying there is another guy-"
"I beeeeg yoooou..I beeeeeg yooooou..." Sheera kept pleading him repeatedly.
"And he had some sort of serious sickness down there! I tried to move him but even touching him causes him pain! It's awful!" Artemis started shouting. "Drop that stupid staff..."
Bird was no where to be to found. She had heard what she needed and had escaped sooner from the back windows and was currently flying towards her true masters to report.
"ERIC! I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU USE THAT GEM! I WILL RIP YOUR DAMN ARM OFF!" The Ba'al was losing patience. She was not good at convincing angry Devils.
What had entered the room was just a shadow to match the darkness in Joseph's blurry vision. But when he heard Sheera scream, and saw the shape of her staff being tossed down. He knew what had entered the room and he slumped back with his head hanging down, unable to stay looking up after the savage way the Mistress had beaten him.
Eric's form was visible for only a moment before he across the room, wrapping one hand around Sheera’s throat and wrenching the staff from her grip. His eyes glowed with anger and looking down at the state his brother was in, he gave a snarl of pure hatred, easily picking Sheera up and throwing her down near his brother’s chains.
“Set him free.” He snarled in a blood chilling voice and he stooped to pick up the staff which immediately started glowing and radiating burning heat as he turned back to the little halfling. “[i Now.]” Threateningly, he shoved the gem back towards her, watching her cringe at the heat before she shakily unlocked the chains around Joseph. After that he pulled the staff away from her and looked towards his brother, saying his name once to get the dazed and battered man to look up.
“We’re leaving, let's go.” Eric muttered reaching down and slowly helping his brother up to his feet. He’d turned his attention away from Sheera for a few moments but he was far from done with her. Joseph sluggishly waved his brother away, swaying as he stood and wiped the blood away from his eyes. And when he did this, Eric turned back to Sheera and reached down, gripping a fist full of her hair as she kicked and screamed. But that didn't stop him from dragging her out of the mansion. On the first floor, while Sheera's shrieking woke the entire mansion, Eric's voice thundered above the Halfling’s.
“ARTEMIS! It’s Time To Go!” The devil in him didn't stop to see if she was coming, instead he marched up to the front of the mansion and shoved open the doors harshly before throwing Sheera again onto the ground outside, the staff burning brightly with his rage.
Joseph had looked up again when Sheera started to scream once more and he stumbled to follow after his brother. He knew he wouldn't be able to stop his brother from hurting her in the state he was in but he knew he might be able to stop him from killing her. He was well aware of the blood running from his wounds where Sheera had bashed him and he tried not to let that slow him down.
Then Joseph saw it. The look that his brother had when he turned back towards the mansion while his brother and eventually Artemis stepped out into the cool night air. He was going to burn the place to the ground, with everything inside of it, excluding Sheera's sick friend, but Eric didn't know that.
“Go wait by Philip.” The demon in him snarled quietly at Joseph. He looked back down towards Sheera when Artemis came to the front of the mansion and Eric growled one word to her. “[i Move.]”
Sheera had lost it. She was scared, terrified, angered. She had seen Eric's speed and that dangerous look. She was hoping that he would die but she doubted it herself. She regretted ever bringing them in. She was on edge for other reasons. Her elven friend was ill. A beautiful being which is immune to every single sicknesses was now suffering from a horrible leprosy like disease. At first she wasn't a wicked, sadistic halfling. At first she really tried to find fine warriors to fight for her. But once when her warrior was winning the final battle...he was shot by a small arrow to neck and died by its poison. Nobody cared. They just cheered for the big twist and that was when she realised nobody was going to win the Great Battle.
Then She tried to find a cure herself and what she found was even more pain. An elf becoming sick was a sign...A sign of doom for the whole Light nation. The mother of nature was angered. Angered because Dark and Light were breaking her laws. Lilith' s rebellion was just warning them that the Doom was so close.
So if the world was going to fall in chaos, Let it be. Sheera lost herself and started living a life of insanity...Sending random warriors...torturing the servants...and so on.
The Mistress just wanted to crush Joseph because he was something she was long time ago. She hated his merciful nature and those innocent eyes. She wanted to burn everything about him to ashes...His green eyes just reminded of the elf and added to her guilt.
He suddenly pulled himself towards him and she stepped back. His gaze just fueled her flame and she slammed the staff down on his head. "SIT BACK! STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT! I WILL BURN YOU DOWN BEFORE SHE BURNS US ALL DOWN!" Sheera was crazily beating him with the hot gem, tears rolling down her face. "DIE! DIE! DIE!" She raised up her staff and the gem started burning. She was just about to cook him alive when she felt something entering the room. Startled she looked back,
Artemis blinked at his quite...[b caring] request. She was almost touched by it but then again reminded herself that he was a selfish hybrid. He probably just needed her for his further foolish plans. [i I should just do what Karim said...try to get him undo that spell..or whatever it is.] Artemis nodded to herself with determination and also grabbed her weapon since he grabbed his. She hesitated about going to find Sheera. But that moaning...she also heard it...Artemis decided to find it first.
Joseph stepped back, lifting his hands up to ward off any attack, even though Sheera was pressing the heated Gem against his face. When she swung the staff to knock him out, a fleeting thought crossed his mind before he lost consciousness.
[I I’m dead. I felt sorry for her and now she’s going to kill me…]
He didn't make a sound as he collapsed and didn't utter a single groan or vocal sigh as he was taken down to the basement and chained up to be interrogated. He felt the burning sensation on his shoulder and he silently groaned, gritting his teeth and trying to pull away before he realized he was restrained. He opened his eyes and felt his heart nearly stop when he saw where he was and the expression that Sheera had. Her cold tone sent a shiver down his spine and when she pressed her burning staff into his abdomen, his breathing hitched with pain and he squirmed and yanked at his restraints, still not making a single sound other than his uneven breathes.
Joseph shook his head at the Mistress's accusations and he flinched back, drawing his legs closer to him after she struck him, demanding he speak. He closed his eyes and lifted his head up, baring his neck as he leaned back against the wall behind him. His breathing was short and uneven and he gritted his teeth, still not making a sound. He wasn't a spy and he didn't at all care about who the sick elf was. He had no master to report back to and he had no way of telling Mistress Sheera that. He just kept his eyes closed and tried to make himself as small of a target as possible, still trying to pull himself away from her burning gem.
When they got back to the mansion, Eric was already working the chest plates off of himself and he ignored Bird saying that they should leave their weapons, picking up the sword she’d made him leave there. He noticed Artemis’ widened eyes and at her question he just sighed.
“I’ll find him. Just remember what i told you.” Eric replied starting for the doorway since he couldn't heard the faint shouts. But he did stop near her before leaving. “If you are going to go doing anything risky, or dangerous…. Just don’t get yourself killed.” He muttered to her. The former Prince turned into the corridor and made his way to the servant rooms. Entering them, it only took on sweep of the room to spot Philip and he didn't bother with not trying to wake any of the other servants and maids up.
“Wake up.” He hissed to Philip, nudging his side roughly to rouse the sleeping man. He then glanced around for his brother before kneeling down next to Philip. “Where is Joseph?” He then asked.
“He went on a walk…” The tired Philip replied.
“And where is he now?” Eric pressed becoming agitated.
“Isn't he right there…?”
Philip rubbed his eyes and Eric swore out loud, standing up and spinning around back towards the door. “Go find our horses and wait for us out in the front.” He snarled over his shoulder, waking a few servants up as he stormed out of the room to go find Sheera. He closed his eyes with a deep breath before disappearing in a blur of motion. And the sound of doors slamming open began to fill the mansion as the Devil set to work tearing the place apart as he searched for his brother.
Joseph stiffened when he heard the sounds above him and he opened his eyes with a look of pure terror. But he wasn't afraid for himself. His fearful eyes were looking past Sheera towards the darkened doorway and he swallowed dryly. He then pulled himself up suddenly, lurching towards Sheera with a look of grim resolve. But he wasn't trying to attack her, he was trying to tell her to run.
Artemis was confused...too confused about everything. Who was this girl?! His relative?! Why the hell his personality changed 360 degrees by seeing a mere little girl? And why was she so friendly and sweet with the devil?
Artemis was inches away from tearing Eric apart when he first said that there were going to be some changes in play. If he just wanted to spend one more day in this hellhole....but no.
It seemed like he just wanted to take this kid along. The demon rose up an eyebrow. Wasn't it dangerous for a kid to come along? But who she as to judge? The little one was his responsibility not hers so she just followed after Eric and only glanced back once to see a hyper Juno waving them goodbye.
Bird didn't say a single word during the rode back to the mansion. Artemis had just wrapped her arms around her knees, going at the sky. She was still surprised how caring Eric as towards that little one. This prince was kind of a bipolar.
Sheera as in a rush to make the drug as soon as possible to soothe down the owner's pain. The halfling didn't see Joseph coming and her small body crashed into his easily being thrown back on the floor. Her staff was still in her tight grip but the water got spilled everywhere. Slightly dizzy, Sheera placed a hand on her head before looking up to see Joseph. Her crimson eyes widened dangerously.
"You again..." She hissed and quickly got on her feet, pointing the staff at him threateningly. This time there was no mockery in her tone but pure anger. "Look at that face..." She pressed the heating gem against Joseph's face. "You dirty spy." She spat and whacked the staff hard enough to his back of head to knock him out. This time the Mistress was pissed.
She had her servants take Joseph to the basement into a room used as a punishment room for thieves or other occasions. He was chained to the wall. A burning sensation in his shoulder forced him to wake up. When he opened his eyes, Sheera was before him with a cruel expression. Her gem was glowing in the darkness.
"You just know too much..what should I do..Hmmm..." Her tone was as cold as an ice. "You think you're smart huh? Acting like a mute retard!" Her staff collided with his abdomen and she held it there, letting his skin burn.
"A sick elf...strange huh? Did your master want some information? From the chaos coming? You filthy rat!" Crazily Sheera screamed and hit the staff against his knee. "SPEAK!"
The wagon arrived at the mansion and Artemis rubbed her empty stomach with a frown. Bird glanced at them once before leading back to the basement. "Take off your armors. You will be given better ones tomorrrow..and weapons too. You are free to take shower and eat. You did well." But her tone was nothing like praising.
Artemis stiffened and listened. She could hear somebody shouting...Shocked she looked at Eric then asked Bird. " I want to meet Mistress." Bird just ignored her as walking off."Oi, Eric. Where is your brother?"
Unaware that Artemis was approaching him, Eric turned tensely as she grabbed his shoulder and said that they were leaving. He could see the daring in her eyes before a young and familiar voice spoke up. The former Prince’s eyes widened as he recognized who the little girl was and before he knew it, she had already jumped up and wrapped her arms around his neck in a hug.
“Juno!” He exclaimed and gave a genuine smile towards the little girl. He wondered why she was here instead of in Deloriak, but a small, human part of him was glad she was alright. He leaned back from her and looked at her face, smiling gingerly. He then looked towards Artemis as he set Juno down and stood up, his expression one of set determination.
“There’s been a change of plans.” He said to her, watching her expression shift to outrage as he stepped past her. “Don’t worry, we aren't going to fight another battle. We’re just gaining another member in our party.” He turned back to Juno and knelt down so he was at her eye level.
“Are you still going to be here assisting the healers during the rest of the fights?” He asked and when she nodded, Eric brushed one hand along the side of her face tentatively to the back of her neck. “I’ll come back for you soon.” He said promisingly before standing up again and turning away leaving and finding Bird waiting for them to take them back to the mansion.
“We leave tonight before dawn,” He muttered to Artemis just before they got within earshot of Bird. “I’ll come get you when the others are ready.” After saying that, Eric looked away from the demon with a calm expression, thinking over how they would leave in the coming night.
Being tackled to the ground by a massive hunting dog wasn't something Joseph had been expecting, but it was better then being found by the Mistress. He ruffled the dog's fur behind its ears and rubbed its muzzle when it barked. He couldn't really shush the mighty beast to keep it quiet, but he could gently push the dog off of him so he could stand up. He did feel bad for the loyal and lovable beast, being stuck in the dark room by itself. But he didn't have much time to stay there, he had to go back to Philip and tell him what he’d found.
Joseph made his way back to the door and patted the dog's head, scratching below its jaw and around the animal's shoulders before backing out of the room and closing the door. He immediately heard whimpers from behind the door and the young man sighed to himself, turning away from the door and beginning to walk back towards the stairs. He didn't know where Sheera was but making it to the steps and starting down them, Joseph felt he was in the clear.
Stepping down off of the last step, he walked around the corner and bumped right into Sheera as she was coming back from the kitchen with more water. Bumping into had made some splash onto the floor and Joseph surprise for running into her quickly turned into slight panic as he saw who he has bumped into.
Artemis made it out of the gates and back to the room where two healers just made her sit and then they started taking care of her wounds. Her mind was still blank from the whole excitement and blood rush before she slowly came back to her senses. The first battle was done.
They could go. She was not sure what Eric could have possibly gained from this but that was in the deal and now he was supposed to tell her about whatever plan he has and they they could all leave the mad Mistress behind. So she suddenly stood and marched towards Eric. She swiftly grabbed his shoulder and turned him around with a glare."Okay, the show's over. We are leaving." The demon dared him with her gaze but she was interrupted by a small voice. "Water?" She looked down to see a small girl with orange braided hair and a timid look holding a clay vase in her tired arms. She then moved to Eric to offer him the water but when she looked up for a moment...
"ERIC!" Juno screamed out happily and others looked at them curiously. Monster was staring from a corner.
Sheera did heard the sound but when she wanted to check on that, his started coughing non stop and she hurried to make him the drug. So for now, Joseph was safe.
Joseph was so dizzy with shock that he didn't hear some heavy breathing behind him. A huge creature was just behind him and when he collided with it...Its wet tongue licked his face thoroughly and with a loud 'woof', the massive pile of fur landed on him and tackled him on the floor. It was a bear killer dog. Huge and strong. This dog had been quite alone in this place and was too excited to find a new friend. Wagging tail the dog barked again and gave big licks all over his face one more time.
Joseph's green eyes only encouraged him more to get all buddy buddy with the stranger. And the animal could sense he was a nice guy...so no problem.
Entering the arena, with the roaring crowd and sweltering heat, Eric looked up towards the crowds first before setting his gaze on his opponents. He noticed how confident the two were, with better armor and weapons. He immediately braced himself for the battle. At the announcer's shout, Eric stepped forwards suddenly going to meet his opponent while Artemis hesitated. The man who had yawned was tracking his movements and he sneered daringly, moving to circle around him.
“Who’s that you were calling a random kid?” He asked, looking at the armored man’s broadsword while his opponent drew their twin blades and attacked Artemis. He inched closer before lunging to the right on the man's flank and striking at his wielding arm with an unarmed attack. He ducked as the man slashed at him before jumping up and hitting hard where his shoulder plate and chestplate met. It was a bold move but his opponent saw it coming and turned with his other hand, punching Eric hard across his chin.
That strike staggered the former Prince and he could also hear some ‘boos’ from the crowd. Regaining his balance, he wiped his mouth to see if he was bleeding before straightening up and boldly walking towards his opponent. “Is that the best you-!” He didn't get to finish his taught as the broadsword swung back to the left at him. He jumped back at this attack before gritting his teeth and with a shout, he leapt directly at his opponent. The momentum he had was enough to knock them both other and as the man struggled to stay standing, Eric was able to grab his wrist that held the sword and yank his arm back knocking out his opposing leg as his opponent tries to stand. This twisted his arm back at a painful angle and the man shouted in surprise, trying to pull himself away his dropped his sword.
He heard an uproar of cheers and shouts from the crowd as Eric planted one foot into his opponent's side and kicked the other man back down before going for his sword and stepping back a bit from the warrior. He glanced over his shoulder to see that Artemis had also managed to take one of her opponent's twin swords and he let himself give a small smirk before turning back to his own opponent. The man was now on his feet and he’d revealed a dagger which was probably for his worse case scenario, but the sword gave Eric the advantage of distance though his strikes had to be precise. So he aimed for the man’s wielding arm again and this time the sword easily slice through the man's chainmail and off came a few fingers as his opponent now desperately tried to move out of the way. His dagger had now dropped to the ground, blood covering its handle as he clutched at his now useless hand. Eric could see the man's eyes were wide since they both knew how this was going to go and he said one thing to try and save himself.
“I don't think so.”
The look that Eric had in his eyes was unbelievable blood lust and he lifted up the sword, plunging it deep into the man's skull. He was sneering again as he let go of the blade but a clattering behind him made him turn around and see what state Artemis was in. She was more worse for wears then he was, ane far bloodier, but her attempt at throwing the sword at the crowd hadn't really gone to well and the sword lay a fee feet away from her.
The announcer said something but the.roaring of the crowd was getting too loud for him to hear properly. Eric only looked up when a gate in the arena opened and they were allowed to leave the sweltering sunlight and most of the roaring crowd behind. There were healers waiting for the. Once they got back into the arena walls and Eric turned away from Artemis, letting a healer look at his bruising jaw and apparently the mark on his face since they spent a bit of time just staring in confusion before checking him for any other injures.
In the Mansion, Joseph stared with wide eyes and watched Sheera descend into the room. Slowly and quietly, while they were talking, he pulled himself out from under the bed and crept to the door that led back out into the hall. He never took his eyes off of the other door way as he quietly opened the door behind him and stepped back. He pushed it closed most of the way before turning around and bolting down the hall. He sprinted past the stairway and into another unlocked but dark room and he quickly closed the door behind him, not bothering to try and be quiet now.
Joseph didn't know if Sheera had heard him running or not, but if she had then she’d also probably heard which room he’d ran into. He stepped away from the door, trembling slightly as he began to turn things over in his.mind. Sheera was taking care of this place and it's sick owner. And the great battle… His brother was fighting in it so… So Sheera could get. He stumbled forwards into something in the dark, his mind still spinning as he was unaware of the sounds that he was making along side of his frantic breathing.
Artemis didn't expect him to talk but when he requested not to...betray him just caught her off guard and she looked at him with a tilted head. What she saw was way too familiar which made her look away again. It was like he was saying it for her own good. Artemis sighed and whispered back to him. "I have other plans today." The demon accepted in her own way and stiffened upon hearing the fake name of hers. The Ba'al stood after Eric and walked behind him to the ring.
The noise and burning heat was pushing her to the edge but she took deep breaths and looked back at her supposed opponent. A two on two battle. This needed teamwork which Artemis quickly denied.
She observed the two men standing confidently. They had better armors...and weapons too?! They were not the same level. That wasn't fair.
Artemis clenched her fists.
"This will be a quite quick one. Newbies again. Mistress Sheera just randomly throws in any kids she sees." One of them yawned. He had twin blades strapped to his back. He had white full armor which mocked Artemis' scraps of metal.
The demon was quiet, just glaring. This one battle and it would be all over...
[b LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!]
Artemis hesitated not used to the whole thing which was her big mistake. She saw silver thing flashing in front of her and she shrieked as the twin blades slashed against her abdomen repeatedly. The swordsman span and kicked her on chest, throwing her on the ground. She could hear some 'boo' from the crowd. Gritting teeth, she pushed up herself and saw her opponent landing on her with his sword aiming right to her head. Artemis rolled away and the sword sank into the ground. The man wasn't expecting her to move fast even with the wound on her stomach. Artemis kicked at his legs and made him jump away with his swords.
The demon got back on her feet and started running around the confident swordsman to find a weak spot.
"Running around won't do you any good!" The swordsman dashed at Artemis with one sword held straight to her stomach. It looked like a dead end.
The swordsman was stopped inches away from her. "No way..." He looked up to see Artemis holding the blade with her hands shakily. Blood trickled down her palms. "DON'T YOU LOOK DOWN AT ME!" She shouted out and rose up her right leg, kicking hard on his sword holding arm. He gasped in pain and let go of the blade. Artemis twirled the sword and caught it by hilt. Then she started slashing at him crazily, pushing him back as he was forced to defend. "What...are...you..." He growled as trying to keep his remained sword up.
Once Artemis made a space for herself, she jumped up high and landed on him. The swordsman held his sword above and she landed on his blade. Her claimed sword struck his head and he jerked his head, feeling slight cut on his cheek. Shocked, he pushed her off and she backflipped but also caught his shoulders with her legs and flipped him over. Now the crowd was cheering but she didn' t know whether it was for her or Eric.
"Ugh...ngh..." The swordsman stood up again and slashed at her angrily. "This...isn't over yet!" The armor decreased the hits and this out her at disadvantage. The man got into position and suddenly span on one heel, darting towards her with a blinding speed. Artemis tried to protect herself with the sword but then her eyes widened when the sword just shattered.
He had used his armor against it.
"Hah! You better just give it u-" The demon shut up by grabbing his wrists instead and not letting go. She kept kicking the armor and increased the strength in her kicks till he lost his balance and she squeezed his wrists, slamming him down. Panicked he shoved the sword into her shoulder but this only caused the demon more rage as she shrieked inhumanly into his face. Her blood splattered on him. She rose up her fist and slammed it down on his head over and over again.
His struggles started getting weaker and weaker...till his body was moveless. Artemis rolled off and pulled out the sword. She threw it angrily at the crowd and noticed her wounds bleeding a lot. Damn...only one battle and she was like this...
Sheera pushed aside the mirror and held up her staff, tapping it once on the lock. The door immediately opened to some stairs going down. The gem glowed, lightening up the place. Sheera walked downstairs until she reached a small room. A bed was there and the table was full of different drugs and herbs on it. The place smelt like rotten meat. Moaning on the bed, was a man with black clothes covering his body completely. His hands were gloved. Even his face was bandaged well. Only a pair of green eyes and long smooth blonde hair.
"I'm here." Sheera softly said and handed the goblet to him. Shakily the man drank it from between Kate's of the bandage. "Sheera...I heard noises...."
"Don't worry. Some thieves I scared away."
"Your face..does it hurt?"
"They were some tough ones...I'm okay."
"I'm sorry to be such a burden...if only I could die..."
"Shhhh...don't say such things...I will heal you. Today is the Great Battle. I'm sure we will win this time."
"You know I hate the unneeded violence."
"But it is your only chance to get the cure from higher ranks..."
"...Sheera. How can I ever thank you for taking care of me and the mansion."
"Don't even mention it."
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