"Don't give me that look, Mr. Goody two shoes." Philip muttered while he was looking away from him. Turning his head, he showed his weak smile to Joseph and looked down at the arm. "I don't even know where to punch you so you would understand that helping your jerk brother was a big mistake." Sighing in annoyance he shook his head. "For now...we should just hope that Eric has some plans...else I will just drag you by foot out of this hell..." He gave a nudge to his arm to show his annoyance and laid back down. "....Sometimes I really miss those old times. Hey, remember that night I convinced you to come out and ride that wild horse with me? I ended up breaking two legs and earned a slap to my face ..Hah. I'm not scared of some stupid broken arm. ow!" He flinched at the sudden ache.
Artemis made another step back with a dropped jaw when once again he turned into another form but this one was way bigger and more intimidating. "W-wow..." She whispered as staring at the demon she had never seen before. A smile had crept into her face since she loved the powerful looking being in front of her. He talked and she snapped out of it. Her face hardened again, "Kinda suits you I guess...Anyway, who are you?! What the hell you want?"
Joseph kept his eyes closed as Sheera mocked him with her sweet tone. He gritted his teeth when she stomped down on the back of his head with her shoe, but he still didn't look back up at her. The only movement he made was to press his hands down on the floor as the Mistress forced him down and he froze when Philip raced forwards to his side. He turned his head, his heart leaping up into his throat as he saw Philip stumble to one side away from him. He moved once Sheera turned away and he let the other servants pull them up, him mostly supporting Philip even though he was now limping.
His friend was now just as quiet as he was and guilt for getting them both hurt crept up into Joseph's thoughts. He didn't mind then other glaring people too much, he just let Philip lead them away to a far corner of the room. Seeing his friend in pain only made Joseph's guilt grow and he shifted as a young boy suddenly began speaking to them. He looked back at Philip when the boy laid down and his expression was apologetic. What he did had been stupid but it had also escalated quickly. He didn’t want something like that to happen again to happen again to either of them. it would just be too unfair.
The strange demon paused when Artemis finally found her voice and snapped at him to show his true form. He grimmest slightly and the world went dark around them with only two blading golden eyes and three blue crystals shown in the dark.
“[b Your mind wouldn't be able to understand my true form…]” He growled, his sharp fangs baring as ye spoke. But then the room was back again and the demons form was different again.
He stood taller than she did, his skin a darker, paler tan and a shadow seemingly casted across his face just below his eyes. His hair was also short, slicked back and neatly groomed along his neck. The clothes he was wearing were also strange, more form fitting for his strong body. The shirt was sleeveless as well as cut a little low in the front and from below his knees and down, where the pants seemed to be tucked in, his legs were were a solid black shadow, down to his clawed feet where he didn't have any shows on. Besides that, his eyes were the same and two horns sprouted from his head, sharp and curved up slightly. On his back were two massive wings, almost like Artemis’ step mother's and behind him snaked a long slim tall, pointed at the end like a devil's.
“Now is this form more to your liking?” He asked, crossing his arms and tapping one claw impatiently.
Sheera was panting like a wild beast, though she was something even lower. Excitement rose in her when the man just gave up on his pride and knelt down in front of her. How pathetic. Just for the sake of a stranger who would just kill him anytime her Mistress ordered. Bird looked up slowly, staring at the gem with sad eyes. It was just a moment she showed any emotion before her gaze dropped on the floor again.
"Yes. That's the good boy." Again she said with her sweet tone. Her shoe was slammed down on back of his head, forcing him to lower himself even more. "Now, why don't you lick my shoe clean?" Sheera spat at Joseph but that was just too much. Philip succeeded in breaking free. "JOSEPH!" He shouted out and ran to the poor prince's side.
"Joseph...Joseph are you okay?" He placed a hand on his friend's back and ignored Sheera's presence. This earned him a whack on his face from the staff. But thankfully, Sheera didn't feel like continuing the 'game' anymore.
"Take these two worms to the room. I will forgive you this time but if that repeats...I am sure Palmys would be too busy to notice some missing fingers..." She turned away from the two and let the servants pull them up on their feet and drag them away.
Philip was silent the whole time, afraid that any reaction would end up making Joseph trouble. But he was boiling inside. The servants didn't say a word when they pushed them into a large room with small windows and an unpleasant smell. There were nothing there but mattresses and pillows. There were other people sleeping down on the mattresses. When some of them looked up, they didn't look very friendly. Hard times had made them rough and a bit hostile towards each other. Philip looked around with a frown and took Joseph's hand before leading him to a corner, far from most of the servants there.
Once they sat down, Philip could feel the pain in his injured arm. Adrenalin effect had faded and he held his arm with a grunt.
"Does it hurt?" A young voice asked which made him jump slightly and look over at a boy with dark brown hair tied into a small ponytail with a string. He looked to be around 11-12. His sea blue eyes was curiously looking at the two newbies.
"You are in my corner. But That's okay. You didn't know." The boy stretched tiredly. "You should sleep. There is too much work in here." He laid down beside them, using his own arm as a pillow.
Artemis' heart almost stopped upon hearing her mother's voice. She gasped seeing her form and just made a step back when it approached. The young demon couldn't answer and yet it still had to shock her more by turning into her deceased father. Finally flames of anger sparked in her.
"STOP IT! SHOW YOUR TRUE FORM!" Artemis demanded, trying to ignore her fear.
The defiance left Joseph's eyes as Sheera stepped towards him, her staff glowing. He stepped back as she lifted the gem towards him and he was just as surprised when Bird stopped her as she was. He cringed at the fury in her wild gaze and before he realized what she was doing, the sickening scent of burning flesh made him silently gasp.
When Sheera turned her wickedness on her loyal maid, Joseph decided he’d seen enough and started towards her. He closed the distance between them quickly before freezing as she turned back towards him. He was completely petrified by her actions and that subdued his outrage. He didn't feel heroic after that display and letting his hands open at his sides, he simply wanted her to stop.
So he compiled. Joseph sank down onto his good leg while carefully adjusting his weight on his left side. He bowed his head closed his eyes hoping this would be enough to stop Sheera savagery.
Artemis’ calls weren't answered right away, and when she opened the door the voice called to her from the room across from hers. In her stepmother's voice.
“[b In here…]” Entering the room, Artemis could see the piercing green eyes and wide folded wings of the queen.
“[b does this form fit?]” they suddenly asked inching forwards towards Artemis,
“[b or maybe this appearance.]” And in a blink of an eye, the demon looked more like her father, if slightly older.
“[b Or perhaps something else?]”
It questioned, waiting for Artemis’ response.
“[b The old form i had is long gone but i may be able to recreate that instead.]”
Philip did not stop his thrashes at all. The look Joseph gave him only made him worry more and he fought against his restraints with more determination. Even two more servants came to keep him in place.
Sheera's right eye twitched. She despised proud people as her servants."Standing again? You do enjoy pain, Don't you? Alright. I will happily give the pain you desire so much!" The Mistress rose up her staff and the flame swirled around the glowing gem but something hard grabbed on her wrist. Sheera's eyes widened and turned her head to see Bird.
"Please Mistress. We need him healthy so that Palmys would cooperate..." Bird calmly told the fuming halfling. Sheera let out a 'huff' but lowered the staff which was still glowing. Once again she turned at Joseph, fury in her eyes but a smirk on her lips. "Ohhh, you feel brave? Everyone protecting you...and you are so sure that nobody can teach you a lesson! Such a warrior! Using his allies as meatshields for his own stupidity! You enjoy sacrificing, huh? My gem is already hot so I have to cool it down! BIRD!" Crazily, she shouted and her loyal servant showed no fear...no expressions...like a walking dead when she simply opened her mouth and let the staff be shoved in her mouth. The smell of burnt meat filled the hall and Philip felt the urge to vomit.
Sheera wasn't done with madness yet. She started beating Bird wickedly, making the monster collapse on the floor but did not make a sound about that.
"Enjoying the scene? I can even add a child to this game! At least they scream and cry...You love that don't you? Just stand there and feel heroic!" Sheera gave him a nasty grin.
"Or...you can just get on your knees and end this stupidity of yours!"
Artemis usually didn't trust strangers but since this stranger was already in her mind...she just did as they said and laid down on bed..Taking a deep breath she closed her eyes and fell into the strange world.
"Woah!" She sat up and looked around, finding herself in the unbalanced world. "Where are you?!" She called out, standing up and making steps around. "Hey!" The Ba'al went to the door and slowly opened it. "Hello?"
Joseph scowled a little at Sheera’s cooing and crossed his arms. She didn't know he couldn't speak, but she'd find out soon enough. He watched her fake a sweet laugh and begin to saunter towards him but he didn't move an inch.
Joseph heard his friend shout, and he temporarily lost the strife in his eyes, shifting back to look towards his friend. But he also saw Sheera's attack coming and he quickly swiveled his step, turning to jump back and gritting his teeth as the heat caught his left leg. It felt like hot coals had just been brushed along his leg and his one knee buckled in pain, catching Joseph more by surprise then pain.
He could hear Philip behind him, struggling violently and he looked back over his shoulder towards his friend. He quickly waved back towards Philip and shook his head, he was alright but his friend wouldn't be if he kept fighting. He gave Philip an earnest look to make his stop and he then looked back up at Sheera who was still stepping towards him. But she wasn't standing over him yet. Joseph gritted his teeth and bowed his head before pushing himself up so he was standing again. His was leaning more to his right side now but he could still stand on his left leg.
He frowned a bit at what Mistress Sheera had insinuated earlier and his defiance kept him standing. After all, what was she really going to do? He knew she didn't want to kill them because of the Great Battle. So what more would she really do? Joseph fixed the Mistress with a hardened stare but this time he left his hands at his sides, curled into fists.
“[b That's what you call it, but i remember a time when those lands were nameless.]” The voice paused again and was silent long enough to make her wonder if they were still there.
“[b Go lie down,]” They suddenly said. “[b and close your eyes, I will tell you more when we are face to face.]”
It was strange request, but the voice went silent again so Artemis couldn't argue.
When she finally did, the moment Artemis closed her eyes, it felt like she was falling and the world was dark around her when her eyes snapped open. It looked like she was still in the room she'd been given, but everything seemed altered, shifted with colors and shades that didn't match. And she was, as far as she could tell, completely alone.
Sheera yawned widely. "Well, I need some rest. A big day waits me~Prepa-" She turned to order her maids but what she saw made her pause and stare at the rare but not unseen scene in front of her. An amused grin stretched at her face and the maids cowered in fear. They knew what was coming.
"What is it, precious?" The mistress cooed and put a hand on her chest dramatically. "Ouch Don't look at me like that. It melts my heart. Such a cute face you are showing." A fake sickening sweet laughter echoed in the main hall. "Are you trying to entertain me tonight? What is it? Cat got your tongue?" Sheera started approaching him, her staff rising. "Now why don't you...SIT!" She whipped her staff towards his knees which was the easiest spot for her to reach. Hot air charged at Joseph's leg and burnt his knees if collided.
"JOSEPH! DON'T YOU DARE-" Philip just lost it. He tried to get to the two but the servants grabbed him. Wildly he struggled and kicked. His broken arm was being pressed but he didn't care to such pain for now. He could only see his prince.
Artemis slammed her door shut and kicked the chair and small table out of rage. She felt the urge to go the room nextdoor and strangle the hybrid but the voice startled her.
[i Demon...You mean you are from Muerte?] She felt the hope rising in her. [i Have I seen you before? Has dear Mother sent you to take me back?] She was still loyal to her step mother, thinking that now that Lilith was gone...the chaos was gone too.
A town at rest and a flaunting mansion, what a way to be greeted into their new lives. No. This wasn't how they were going to live. Eric looked up towards the ‘hut’ as their horses were taken away, unimpressed but he didn't say anything. He just gave a sly smile to what was happening around him and he made sure not to part with his weapon. There were many prying eyes of the servants and maids that scurried about at their Mistress’s command and the attention, though uncomfortable, was not too unfamiliar.
“[b I’ll tell you who I am.... But not now, soon.]” The voice promised Artemis and said nothing more as they were brought into the mansion.
Joseph didn't want to follow Philip and the other maid's right away. He stepped back as they simply turned away and he looked towards Sheera with a hardened expression. He wanted to know who she thought she was, threatening others with this promise of glory or being forced into servitude. He knew he had no title anymore but he wasn't some mindless worker to just follow orders blindly. He watched as she sent his brother and Artemis away and Joseph took a step towards her, his green eyes boring at Sheeran with defiance and strife.
He heard Philip stop somewhere behind him, as well as feel the eyes on him when the Mistress finally noticed him. But he didn't care, he still had his dignity and he would not bow to the whim of a stranger. His expression let Philip know that and his gaze didn't waver any towards Sheera.
Eric didn't notice his brother's actions, he instead listened as Sheera ordered them away and he followed after Bird. He noticed Artemis’ hesitation but made no comment on it. She did have plenty to be nervous about but there was something else. A look in her eyes that seemed more familiar to him but he couldn't place his finger on it. Once they were brought to their own rooms, Eric went into his and shut the door behind him. And when she went into her own, the voice started up again.
“[b So you want to know who I am? You’d be right to call me a demon but I am known as many other things.]”
“[b Who do you think I am?]”
The voice was silent after that, as if this time, they were waiting for a reply.
Philip was desperate. Desperate to find a way and get him and Joseph out of this trouble. Coming to these labs was a big mistake He had heard wonderful things about this place but maybe they were not kind to foreigners. He gripped tightly on the bridle when he felt like even the trees were watching them. He found himself observing Joseph's expression and realised that he was feeling uneasy too. He could swear that there was something off about the breeze. He assumed that he was being paranoid.
The woods was nothing like Muerete's. It felt more lively and she could smell creatures hiding around.Muerte was dying...but this place had just begun. At the memory of Muerte the demon looked back down and wondered of she would be able to escape this disgusting world. Artemis stared at Joseph's back and wondered if he had a plan or nit. She doubted if that low hybrid had any. To think how many times she supported him in her world and he was just ignoring them all...
Artemis decided to just kill everyone in that lame Battle thing and then....then what? The champion would be granted with anything they want...Even a portal?
The voice came back and she stiffened, growling lowly at the stinging words. The painful part was that she found them true.
[i Shut up. Who are you?! ]
She tried once again to get an answer.
Sheera was just humming happily to herself She didn't care how they felt or what they were planning because she was sure that they were goingbto die. Either in a battle or...by some royals who were not going to just hand them over the All Magic. That was how it worked in Great Battle. Nobody won.
They got out of the forest and went up a hill. There, they could see a town awaiting them. A small town with many colofull houses. It was midnight so nobody was in the streets. Everyone were asleep and at rest.
Sheera led them through the town, towards the biggest house there. "Welcome to my hut~" She grinned as getting off her horse. Bird flew past them towards the mansion and minutes later the lights were on and servants hurried out to take care of the horses and the guests.
Inside the mansion was decorated with statues of gods. Sheera snapped her fingers and maids approached. "Take these two..." She pointed at Philip and Joseph. "To a servant room. They work here from now on."
The maids just silently turned into a corridor, expecting the two to follow. Philip pressed his lips together and glared at Eric for the last time.
Artemis was standing with quite of a distance. Sheera looked over at Bird who had came back to her side. "Take them to their room."
Bird immediately walked downstairs. Artemis hesitated before following.
At Sheera’s mention of his brother with her back turned to him, Eric’s own eyes darkened and he pressed his lips together to keep a scowl from showing. He thought over what she had said as he walked back to his steed.
[I Palmys… What kind of name is that?] He shook away the thoughts and watched as Philip slowly climbed onto his saddle and Joseph crept to Artemis’ side, trying to help her up before they both walked to his horse. [I And Valda? It is fitting… For a mare.] But that isn't what Artemis is and he watched her sit up, but also submit and simply look away. He turned his steed and began to follow Sheera, not even looking towards Bird as he rode past her and after the mistress.
Joseph narrowed his eyes in a wince when the halfling mentioned what he would be. It disgusted him. He noticed what his brother's expression was and let Philip walk away from him. Artemis was slowly getting up and the younger former prince made his way over to her, reaching down to gingerly help her up. He knew she didn't like this, not at all, none of them did but there wasn't much they could do at the moment. He just hoped Eric had a plan better than trying to win these Great Battles.
They followed after the halfling mistress back towards the woods and the eerie feeling of being watched by Sheera’s Bird made Joseph's skin crawl. He could see that Philip’s temper was starting to cool off and he was beginning to look uncomfortable too. As for Eric, with his back turned it was impossible to judge how he was feeling about this.
“[b Feels like a betrayal doesn't it?]” The voice crept into Artemis’ mind again, cooing darkly with malevolence dripping from each word. “[b He won't sell you out in Muerte but here… It seems that you are nothing to him.]”
As if to add to the darkness, a strange foreign wind seemed to whisper around them. Sheera didn't seem to mind the breeze but it set Joseph on edge and he swallowed dryly. He was beginning to hope that they reached wherever they were going soon.
Sheera was surprised at his calmness when his 'comrades' were being beaten. That was something good for the Great Battle; Cruelty and Greed.[i Word of darkness...What does it mean. Oh, none of my business right now. He has already offered himself..and that girl too. She is strong too. Also, she is a Dark. Absolutely effective against the Light.]
"Wh-what the hell are you saying your piece of scumbag?! ARE YOU OUT OF-" Philip was immediately silenced by the staff being threatening pointed at his face. He wasn't in the mood to be cooked alive so just shut his mouth and pushed up him before helping Joseph up. He flinched slightly as slight pain shot through his broken arm but just brushed it off and glared at Eric with gritted teeth. This prince was dragging them to doom once again. He never changed. Joseph had to accept that he was hopeless.
"Gggr..." The demon laying there in pain was something being angry. She wanted to snap Eric's neck so badly. He just spoke for her like she was some inferior to him. How dared he drag her into these silly games? Artemis started standing up when the staff was pulled away from her. But the pain struck her and so she couldn't make another attack towards the little woman or Eric himself. For now, she had no choice but to submit.
Artemis just knelt down and stared away from the group.
"Excellent!" Sheera clapped her hands. "I can already see you in champion armor,...What's your name? Ah, forget your names. Mistress Sheera has nothing to do with your ugly past life. I will give you a name. A Light nation name...Hmmm." She observed his face then glanced at Bird who was staring at Artemis for any possible threat.
"What do you think Bird?"
"Palmys? Ah~ The legacy of the Great Battle history? How ambtious...but it would do. You are Palmys from now on." She looked over at Artemis. "And this feisty one shall be...I know! Legendary Palmys had a horse named Valda! You shall be Valda."
Artemis was shaking in rage now. She hates her teeth at Eric, her claws flexing.
"And those two would come handy as a help in my house. That one hiding behind this...big mouth is quite a catch..." Sheera's narrowed eyes fell on Joseph and she licked her lips. "You will be an eye candy for my guests."
Philip felt the urge to rip off her throat and throw the dirty halfling in fire. But that gem she held wielded a great power so he just watched Bird bringing their horses to them.
"Come on. Let's go...and any questions?" She whistled. Her dwarf horse came. "It's not far so you won't be much more tired." The mistress told them generously before getting on the horse and riding it. Bird stood to make sure they would all follow Sheera. Philip cursed and got onnhis horse, making sure Joseph was close to him. Artemis just knelt there before standing up slowly. The pain was fading.
Glad when his friend stepped forwards, cutting the mistress off, Joseph wae more than ready to refuse and just leave. What he wasn't ready for was to be thrown down as Philip was whacked in the stomach by her staff and then gagged on it so he couldn't protest.
He watched his friend collapse down to the ground next to him and he barely had time to see if Philip was okay before he was temporarily blinded by a burst of light and flames from the halflings staff. Artemis’ shrieking made him wince and he didn't watch as she was pinned down.
Eric had stood back and simply crossed his arms as the stranger attacked Philip and then subdued the other demon. Interesting, that staff gave the little mistress more power than any would think at first glance. He lifted his head and looked over at Bird as she limped towards him and he chuckled quietly to himself at the mistress's slight threat.
“This sign, it is the word of darkness.” He said, gazing coolly back at Mistress Sheera. She didn't intimidate him, in fact, the snake believed he had just found his next little prey. “And this magic must be pretty powerful for someone as yourself to be looking for a champion.” He pause looking back over at Artemis who was still pinned and then towards Joseph and Philip like he was considering something.
“I will spar for you, and so will she.” He then said, looking at Artemis with a sneer dancing in his tone. Eric was speaking for her since she was still stifled by pain, but he could feel her rage radiating towards him. “But my other two comrades cannot fight, so I ask that you keep them well till we’ve won this All Magic in the Great Battle.”
“[b So eager to tempt fate again, worm?]” The voice sneered in his head but Eric’s expression held while he internally turned with rage.
Joseph looked towards his brother in shock. He couldn't believe this! Well, he could but he had really hoped that Eric wouldn't go throwing them all behind him like this, again. He narrowed his eyes and mentally cursed at his brother for doing this. His brother met his glare and his jeering look slipped a little. He wasn't trying to become this Mistress's champion, he was trying to make her let her guard down.
Joseph shifted and inched over to Philip, making sure that his friend was okay. He then looked up and tried to catch Artemis’ attention. He didn't want her to do anything rash or sudden and get hurt anymore then she already was.
Mistress Sheera didn't flinch the slightest when the blonde man picked his weapon. She was experienced enough to know homeless refugees would do anything for a better change in life. Her grin widened when the same blonde showed interest in her words. She turned to him, her red eyes looking up into his golden ones confidently. Philip's jaw dropped slightly when Eric actually asked the stranger questions and even sheathed his sword.
Talk about bloodshed and this devil is in. Philip was lost for words. Seriously?! He was seeking more trouble? Joseph should have let him die in Deloriak. He glanced at Artemis but her...expression was way too calm. Her eyes were more set on that Bird monster. Maybe because that Bird was staring too?
Sheera used their startled condition and answered Eric, "You don't know? Oh, then you must be new!" She faked an awe expression like a clueless girl. "The Great Battle is the grand competition between the warriors all over the land..." She gazed at Artemis who just rose up an eyebrow. " And even the world~" The halfling twirled the staff in her hand before pointing its head at Joseph. Quickly Philip stepped in between and shoved the ex prince behind with a glare towards Sheera who just gave a smile and continued.
"These warriors fight a battle never seen in history and prove their strength and skills...Each spar you win...The more respect you again. Only with that, you will gain fortune and power in these lands." She pretended to be thinking, "Hmmm...I don't think if you are interested or noooot...But IF somebody manages to win it all, will be rewarded generously by our ruler. They can ask for anything." Sheera observed her new preys' faces. "And you surely know that...Light nation forgotten magic...The All Magic...is sealed by the leaders so-"
"Stop this nonsense! We don't give a damn about your games or whatever this magic is! We are leaving now." Philip snapped at Sheera and grabbed Joseph's arm to pull him along but then he saw a blurry red object being slammed into his stomach. He bent and that object was shoved forcefully in his mouth. Before he knew it, he felt his mouth burning and he gave out a muffled cry of shock when the hot object was pushed further.
"[b Mistress Sheera is not done talking.]" Sheera said with a deadly tone, pulling out her staff out of Philip's mouth and let him collapse and pant to cool down his mouth. Artemis charged at her. Bird leaped at the demon but Muerte Princess successfully kicked her out of the way and tried to land her bow' s sharp blades into Sheera's head. Sheera rose up her staff.
Fire burst out of the glowing gem. The fire was way too strong. Even stronger that what Sheera was expecting. The staff in her hand was beating...that was new. Artemis could tolerate some heat and burns but this flame...was different. She found herself shrieking as her pupils narrowed into slits. Her claws dug into the ground and she let out inhuman screams...There was nothing like burn marks on her skin yet she felt her whole body scorching.
The Light showed the identity of the Dark and just reacted to the natural enemy.
Sheera stared at Artemis writhing in pain in confusion before suddenly sneering. "Oh...I see. You..." She slammed the staff down on Artemis' chest, pinning her on the ground. "Are indeed not from around, are you?" She looked back at Eric grinning. "And that sign...Bird."
Bird limped towards Eric, narrowing her eyes. "It is..not in a known language, Mistress."
"I see..Listen. I just overpowered a Dark with a little staff. Just imagine what will happen if YOU claim the All Magic."
"Or...should I just give you away to get a fortune?"
"Make up your mind. You can make me indeed rich. I am fine with either way."
Eric didn't notice Artemis watching him, finally deciding to lay down as the voice now in his mind continued to jeer and spit at him. He would speak to Artemis now, whether it be about helping her or apologizing for what he’d said earlier, but eventually given time he’d get over this.
Joseph gave Philip a thankful look before settling back where he was, prepared for the long night ahead.
The two siblings had both drifted to sleep but hearing Philip’s startled shout, both siblings awoke, Eric scrambling to his feet quicker then Joseph could as Philip threw himself out of the way of the bird creature. The older prince reached for the well crafted blade he’d gotten from Saara’s brother and stood tall as the strange halfling mistress landed and gleefully shouted to them.
“The Great Battle?” He echoed unsure of what to make of this. And the moment she said it, Joseph's eyes widened and he looked sharply at his older brother.
No. They were not going to participate in any battle. After the state Eric left Chamlek and Deloriak in, he could only image what the former prince would do if given the real chance to kill for sport.
Eric ignored his brother's looks and lowered his sword, his curiosity now peaked. “And what is this Great Battle exactly?” He asked. This question made Joseph begin to panic. They had just escaped death and maybe prevented a fate worse than that and now his older brother was going to throw all of that away.
Joseph didn't know how to fight and Philip wasn't in any good condition to fight. He ended up looking towards his friend then towards Artemis who was on edge and had her bow up and ready to use. He knew he couldn't protest verbally but what he could do was have Artemis remind his brother of what place he currently had, which was none. It wasn't a fair move but he was more than prepared to do that.
The warm night air was still around them and after he’d asked, Eric noticed what the Mistress was carrying and he sheathed his short blade. “Who, may i ask, is congratulating us?” He then asked, wondering what they wear now getting wrapped up in.
Artemis was already laying down even though she wasn't that tired. More like she wanted to observe Eric's face while pretending to be asleep. That sign...it was somehow familiar to her. Yet she couldn't recall and she was quite sure he would not answer her.
Philip was stroking his horse when he felt Joseph's gaze on him and he turned to see his questioning eyes. "Go sleep, Joseph. I am wide awake." He gave a reassuring smile and let his steed be, walking to them and sat on a rock. He had his dagger on his side and was prepared to use it anytime even with one healthy arm.
It was a quite peaceful night with glittering stars. Artemis was still restless, not feeling safe in this place for some reasons. Everything radiated something against her...Her instincts were sharpened. So she heard something approaching sooner than Philip.
"...The gods hate me. All those worthless warriors lost...That cost me too much. I can't afford another loss...and I have lost all my pawns...what should I do?! Is this the tragedy of Mistress Sheera?!"
A blonde woman with fine, silk clothes rode on her white dwarf horse. Yes. She was such a small one. A halfling. In her hand was her most powerful weapon which made the tallest men bow down to her. The fire gem of Light. Leading the dwarf horse, her loyal maid/slave was walking forward. She was a Light creature, having the features of a bird. Her yellow eyes glowed under the tree's shadows and she was looking around for any possible danger.
"Biiiird. Do you think this is the end for me?! I haven't found some handsome, strong men for the show yet. The Great Battle is approaching fast..."
"Mistress Sheera, I have never witnessed a failure from you." Bird answered with a monotone, her eyes still wandering around. Suddenly she stopped in her place.
Sheera looked at her, a bit irritated. "What now?"
"Mistress Sheera. I see some people. Travellers..."
Sheera found herself smirking. "Ohhh~ Refugees from that Deloriak?"
Sheera' s crimson eyes narrowed greedily. "I see..."
Back to our unlikely group, Philip was humming quietly to avoid sleeping when an arrow passed his ear by an inch and flew towards the trees. "What the..." He looked at Artemis who was holding her bow."Are you crazy?!" He snapped at the demon but saw Artemis growling at the direction of the trees. He slowly turned his head, seeing a flying thing lunging to them. That flying thing had someone hanging to it...
"Look! Three men! Aren't I on luck?!" Sheera cheerfully shouted.
"The female is a bit alien to me. Her senses are too good." Bird reported as carrying her Mistress with her birdish claws. Her wings were gliding in the wind, going straight towards the man with broken arm who threw himself out of the way.
The Mistress and her maid just landed in middle on the travellers.
"Good night, gentlemen~" Sheera shouted out with a confident grin, ignoring Artemis' bow being pointed at her.
"Congrats~ You have been chosen to participate in the Great Battle!"
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