Bird noticed his wound already healed but didn't wonder much about it since she was only ordered to teach him how to fly. She waited patiently until he was once more on his legs though not in the best way. Again, that didn't matter. "Open your wings." She stood next to him and spread our her own wings, slowly showing him the flapping movement. He couldn't learn it by force so she just had to do it the hard way. Bird adjusted his wings in the correct position and then stepped away to see if he had learnt the first step. At first she is thought flying would be in his instincts but when all her efforts ended up fruitless, Bird had realised it wasn't in him. After demonstrating some of the moves in the nest, she grabbed him by his sides this time and flew, carrying him with her. "Now do the moves." She told him, not letting him go this time.
The tempted trolls were on Ryuu's tail, pushing each other out of way to reach the Light user sooner. As he made his way towards the chambers of queen, the trolls and other Dark who were chasing the Summoner hesitated and slowed down, whimpering and retreating. Ryuu was soon left alone in the main corridor and everything seemed oddly calm and fine. The door slowly opened and revealed Dosia's figure. Her eyes were back to normal but still she had the twisted smile on. In her hand was the golden arrow of Ryuu. "Look, Sorit. Our ungrateful guest came back to get on his knees and beg for mercy~" She twirled the object in her hand and stepped closer. "And he is holding a wonderful toy~ You want to tease me with It? How cute~" She laughed and stepped closer with confidence, her eyes glued to his. "Oh, I'm going to enjoyyyy playing with you!" Suddenly she disappeared in shadows, well turned into a spider. The spider ran up the wall and climbed on ceiling to get right above Ryuu's head. She then let herself fall and changed into her human form in mid air, tackling the Summoner down as holding the arrow between her teeth.
Artemis catiously climbed into the tunnel and sniffed the air. She blinked as smelling salt. The sound of waves were familiar though but they didn't have salty seas back in Muerte. Whatever it was at the end of the passage, could be a way to escape the manor so she got out and ran upstairs while shouting in excitement. "JOSEPH! OVER HERE! I FOUND A PASSAGE IN THE CELLAR!" Maybe Joseph knew better where it actually led them to.
Eric was getting back to his feet when Johar’s bellowing voice made him freeze and he looked up as the minister’s shadow casted over him. His eyes were wide and for once he looked a little nervous. He hissed out a breath quietly as he was yanked up to his feet and dragged over to the nearest wall, his head still forced down so he couldn’t see where they were going. The next thing he was was black as his head was slammed against the stone wall and pain shot through his forehead.
“No.. I mean yes! You were... I tried but- It wasn’t-!” He began when the minister demanded he answered, but his answer was cut off as he was slammed back into the wall again and his vision began to turn read, blood beginning to smear on the wall and drip into his eyes. He held his hands out, trying to brace himself as his head was slammed into the wall again and again. At the last question, he was too stunned to talk and only gave a low groan. That sound was also cut off and he gasped at the taste of blood in his mouth, his vision too dark and too red to really see anything. His knees were weakened and he dropped down to the floor when Johar let go of him, kicking his side hard before the minister left the room.
His head was spinning but slowly the gash healed closed on his forehead, only leaving the blood to dry. He felt another pinch in his shoulders and back as something picked him up but he was still too woozy to fight back or realize what was going on. When he was set back down, he shifted and blinked dully, his vision returning to normal as the blood dripped from his eyes. His wound was nothing more than a faint scar now but his skin was still stained with his own blood and he began rubbed at his face, wiping his mouth and shaking his head.
“I… Can.” He replied to Bird slowly and he tried to stand up, wavering before losing his balance and falling back down. “I can..” He repeated blankly, and gritted his teeth, discomfort crossing his expression. He tried again and this time managed to stay standing, having to bend over slightly as his breathing was still slowing and his senses were returning.
Ryuu trailed with the rest of the group, running to a room that N.V soon explained to be Negomin’s. “Negomin?” He asked quietly, but his concerned tone was ignored as Liz’s father moved forwards to break down the wall. A rumble behind them made a few of the survivors jump and Ryuu looked back, biting his lower lip with nerves. “Wait… There’s something I have to go get.” He muttered aloud and quickly walked back to the door, noticing the locks were on the outside of the door. “Get down to the canal and as far from the castle as you can go, I’ll try to meet up with you after I take care of something.” He said and before any could protest, he slammed the door closed and locked it from the outside.
Behind him, a few trolls growled with their instinct homing them onto the summoner, the Light weapon still in hand. “You want this?” He called mockingly and the Dark snorted towards him. “Than come and get it.” He challenged and with a flash of the weapon, he was gone. His plan wasn’t really a plan at all. Ryuu just needed to get back to Dosia’s chambers and get his arrow, then he’d escape himself and try to figure out what to do next.
The skittering bugs and rats were just an annoyance but one rat raced passed a burnt out lantern that suddenly relit. The light of the lantern revealed many other things in the cellar. A rusted pair of shears, two oars on a rack, a frame covered by a sheet, a spool of tightly spun sting, and the rigid limestone walls that made up the cellar. But there was also something else. An iron ring was bolted into the wall to the left of the lantern and it seemed out of place. When she inspected it and tried pulling at it, there was a creek from behind the wall and the section pulled back, revealing a passage. The small of sea salt and cool wind wafted up through the passage and the distant sound of crashing waves echoed.
It was taking too long and it was obvious that Eric was not going to make it. It was like testing Johar's patience which was not a wide decision at all. When he desperately shouted at the monster to come on, he had just pulled the last straw and soon after some more of his pitiful struggles to reach the flying beast, Johar's booming yell made the monster retreat.
In a second or less, Johar was at Eric's side. His breathing was loud and excited, his eyes wide and his expression radiating nothing but rage. With a growl, the minister grabbed on Eric's horn and jerked him to the nearest wall, slamming his head against it.
"[b You, you little piece of shit! You think it is funny? Didn't I clearly order you to learn flying?!ANSWER ME!]" He yanked him back and again slammed his forehead against the stone wall, making it shiver slightly. "[b How dare you make a mess and not follow my orders?! You pathetic scum!]" Bang!
"[b And just when I forgave your foolish attempt of escape!]" Bang!
"[b You are nothing without me! Shove this in your little head!]" Bang!
"[b You owe your worthless life to me and my queen!]" Bang!
"[b AM I CLEAR?!]" Bang!Bang!Bang!Bang! The wall was stained with Eric's blood when Johar finally let go of his horn and gave one last kick to his side before leaving the place and shouting out for Bird.
Minutes later Bird entered and flew above Eric's head. There was a fresh scar on her face but she more looked ashamed of herself than scared or angry. She had disappointed Johar and that was the last thing she wanted as long as she was alive. Her taking grabbed on his wings and she lifted him up again but carried him back to her room this time. She set him down in her nest.
"Stand. Can you?" Bird stared at his wound.
N.V frowned in annoyance, not liking to be ordered around by a stranger. But he knew it was not the good time to remind Ryuu he was not the cacador's master. He hesitated before mumbling out a "Fine fine." then gestured the group to follow him and quickly turned into a narrower corridor towards Negomin's room. The place still smelt of dragon so he was hoping the Dark would avoid it on instinct. Some suspicious shadows lingered around but didn't seem interested in them. The Light magic of Ryuu had alerted them and some aggressive ones were following their presence. The survivors had to run some of the way to avoid the beasts after them. Once N.V saw the door, he ran for it and other followed the pace. Fortunately the door was not locked and the kid easily pushed it open. The room was as adorable as ever and N.V headed to the shelf of dolls and started dropping them down out of the way. "Negomin hid an old passage here to the Castle treasury. She even felt protective of them. From there we get out through the canal." He explained briefly as pulling out the bricks one by one. Weasel turned back to his animal form and was the first to run in the passage, sniffing around.
"Dammit. We can't wait here all the day!" Liz's father growled and pushed pushed N.V away, raising up his axe and making a huge hole. N.V whispered a curse but he Didn't hear.
Artemis first went down straight to the cellar since it seemed more helpful. The cellar needed some cleaning and Artemis coughed from the dust and the stench there before going in and looking around in the dark place. She noticed some barrels and opened them, jumping away from the rats and bugs running out of it.
Eric didn’t look towards the door when Bird did, he was halfly dosing when Johar walked in and he slowly opened his eyes, looking over towards the minister. He’d given up trying to get the dried blood off of himself so it was clear he’d been the cause of the ‘unfortunate incident.’ When he was spoken, he got up obediently and followed after Johar. Returning to the training room, he stopped and stared up towards the monster. When he was given another time limit, the hybrid curled his lips into a snarl and he braced himself, waiting for the monster to leap for him. When it did, he jumped back and just as quickly pounce forwards, trying to grab for it’s furry body and cut it down to the bone. The monster snapped back at him with one of its heads before the webbed wings opened and it shook him off, flying back up to grasp onto the ceiling.
With a silent snarl on his lips, Eric pushed himself back up and he ran to be under the monster, trying to get it to jump back down so he could reach it. He still hadn’t learned how to fly so there was no way he could reach it and kill it if it didn’t come down. He noticed the monster turn all three of its heads towards Johar and he realized he was taking too long. What the minister could do, or even would do to him was unclear since he no longer had Juno to use against him, but he wasn’t too eager to find out. Opening his own wings, Eric began to back up, flapping them and he jumped for the beast, fluttering and landing nimbly before turning and jumping up again. He wasn’t even getting close to flying still and he landed below the monster finally shouting in agitation.
“Get Down Here!” He yelled at it, knowing he’d passed the given time limit and the monster turned towards him, lunging for him again and swooping over him as he fell back to avoid it’s snapping teeth. It wasn’t going to stay still and let him cut at it and since he still hadn’t figured out how to fly, there was very little he could do to combat the monster.
Ryuu stopped short when the candles blew out and he felt someone bump into him but he didn’t budge forwards. Seeing the candles light near the two witches, he frowned slightly at N.V’s small groan and he heard one of the survivors whisper. “What should we do?”
“Just wait. I’m working on it.” He muttered back and the other twin frowned.
“They didn’t bring us any gifts.” He pointed out and Ryuu began to draw a little faster, not saying anything in response.
“I don’t think they even brought a cake.” the other replied and Ryuu could feel the group behind him, inching back.
“Wait for it…” He urged quietly and when the two twins moved to take a step forwards, he brought his good hand up fast and closed it into a fist as a summoner’s circle spun around it. He yanked his hand back with a flash of light magic and the sword of light he held blinded the two dark twins. “Go back the other way!” Ryuu shouted and the group stampede back they way they’d come, not looking back to see if the twins would follow or not. The light magic from the sword had lit up the castle halls, making distant dark’s shriek and the night outside seem just as bright as the day. They’d ran back out of the corridor and slowed as the light faded behind them. Ryuu turned back sharply, looking into the hall they’d just left to make sure they weren’t being followed and he sighed heavily. He sent his summon back just to make sure no dark coming from that way would be able to get to them and he looked towards N.V.
“You know the castle better than any of us here.” He began, walking towards the servant and stopped with a respectable distance between them. “Show us how we get out of here.” He said firmly, noticing behind him from a window that the east was starting to brighten.
Joseph glanced back at Artemis as she said they should keep trying and he followed her back into the manor. He picked up the key-ring and began to take keys off of it. He then began to write what each went to and set them down below their labels. There was one to the front door, the kitchen, the dining room, the study , the upstairs landing, the two upstairs bedrooms, the cellar. Seven keys altogether. He’d already walked through the manor but nothing had stood out to him as useful. Maybe Artemis would see something he hadn’t. He picked up the keys for the kitchen, dining room, and cellar, handing them to her while taking the keys for the upstairs landing and the two bedrooms, leaving the key to the front door and the key to the study. They could search through the manor again but he wasn’t sure to hopeful that they’d find anything useful.
Bird continued her gruesome eating until a little of the body was left. She flew back in her nest and started cleaning her feathers. The sun shone into the room and lit it up but it wasn't a lovely sight at all. The smell of flesh and blood was heavy and the quietness of the tower was odd and intimidating. After a while the Bird rose up her head in alert and landed down, staring the door. Minutes later the door was pushed open and Johar stepped in the room. News had reached him about the unfortunate incident but his face didn't show any regret or sorrow. He just glanced at the remained bones and flesh, muttering in disgust. "Clean this mess up." His eyes then landed on Eric. "You. Come here." He led the Hybrid back into the training room where a triple head monster with two pairs of bat wings was crawling around and hissing on the ceiling.
"Finish it off in two minutes." He ordered before stepping back. Immediately the monster screeched and leapt at Eric from above, its jaws snapping.
"Who are you?" The man asked with a frown. "Your face is somehow familiar to me-"
"We don't have time, Pa." Liz jumped in and tried to push on her father's arm to get him moving. He narrowed his eyes at the Summoner before turning away and looking at the corridor. "This place has turned into a mad house all of sudden. I couldn't even find the stable. Must be some kind of freakin' Dark arts." He growled and walked after Ryuu. Weasel walked beside Ryuu before he suddenly froze and shrunk into his true form, sniffing around and standing alerted. Suddenly he freaked out and ran back toward Ryuu, running in a circle until he became a boy again. "D-don't go any near, the twins-!" But then it was too late and suddenly the candles went out, leaving them in darkness. Only Cat's eyes reflected a bit of Light and was glowing. The survivors were all quiet and scared but the ones who were from Deloriak's castle were even more nervous since they knew what was coming.
"Hey, look. They all have come to our birthday party~" A happy male voice said.
"Oh, boy. What have they brought us as gifts?" Another male answered with similar excitement.
The end of corridor shone and revealed a pair of identical twin brothers in witch robes, a twisted grin on their faces and their pitch black eyes glowing mischivously.
"Oh, great the witch twins." N.V mumbled in annoyance and others gulped.
"So? Where is our birthday party song?" One of the witches pouted and folded his arms.
Artemis picked up the note and read it before her expression fell then followed Joseph. She stared at the thick endless fog in disblief and hopelessness before she frowned and shook her head stubbornly. "No. We can't just stay here until Karim comes to us himself. There must be a way. Do you, Do you have any weapons in this manor?" She looked around. "Come on. We should keep on trying. He can't control everything!"
Eric gritted his teeth and he wasn’t affected by the sight of Bird eating. He growled as he was pushed into her room and he looked over his shoulder after them. Hearing Bird’s order, he looked over at her before walking back over towards the same wall he’d sat against and he sighed heavily, slumping back and rubbing his hands, trying to rub the kid’s blood off of himself. He looked up and could see light through the beams, high above Bird’s room. He could see that the light was growing brighter and another low sighing breath. The soreness was ebbing away and eventually he didn’t feel tired anymore.
Ryuu walked slowly after his summons, letting the shadows take the lead before an axe cut through his summon and the remaining one drew back but didn’t retreat. He was tense at the deep voice but relaxed when he saw Liz and the other servant following after the bulky man.
“Peace to you, sir. That wasn’t one of the Dark.” Ryuu said, waving the other survivor’s forwards while he walked over. “But we are now leaving. I’m sure that there will be some that we run across.” He looked over towards Liz and the servant. “Are you two alright?” He asked getting a confirming nod before glancing back at his destroyed summon and deciding not to make another. How hard would it be to go straight to the main hall?
He had no idea what was waiting in the corridors.
Joseph sighed and narrowed his eyes at Artemis, not writing anything else. When she asked if he planned to stay here, he wrote something out and set the pen down. He then left the room, walking past her and back to the front of the manor, opening the door and looking out over the fog and rocks.
‘There is nothing outside. Only stone and fog.’
What he meant was he’d tried to leave, tried to find the village that was supposedly below the ridge but he couldn’t even find the slope of the mountain. He had walked and walked but Karim had made sure that he wouldn’t be able to leave. Eventually he’d walked back to the manor, which was so close it was like he had only gone a few meters out into the fog. There was no escaping and no way to help his brother from there.
Eric was soon slammed down against the stone floor by special light magic staffs burning against his back. They were quite aggressive and alerted, since the Hybrid could have easily gone far away if he hadn't stood there. They couldn't even imagine what would have happened to them if he had broken out. Though even letting him going this far had consequences. So they hoped Johar had still not noticed as they brutally and harshly dragged and beat Eric back in the Bird's room. What they saw in there made them cringe and quickly leave the place leaving the prisoner there. Bird was eagerly feasting on Cyan's flesh. She had torn out his limbs and her talons pulled out his insides as she bit in them. Blood was all over her as she looked up indifferently at Eric. "Rest." She repeated her order and went back to having her fresh meal.
Weasel whimpered again before climbing down Ryuu's body and changing into his human form. The boy looked at the two summoned creatures checking the hallways which were too quiet for his comfort. The others all stood around Ryuu, letting him take the lead. But soon one of them turned into sand as an axe passed though it. The survivors gasped and stepped back on fear of what was coming. A huge shadow stretched along the hallway.
"Shit. What the hell was that, Lizzie?!" A deep voice came out and after the shadow came a bulky man with long golden beard, followed by Liz and the servant. He went to his axe and pulled it out, putting the heavy weapon over his shoulder.
Artemis shook her head in denial. "No way. You just left this cosy place not to be in dark?! You must really like your asshole brother." She mumbled and looled forward at the window silently before asking him again. "So, you are going to stay here?" She stood and adjusted her armor. "Because if there is anytime that Eric is in huge trouble, it is now. You saw it too. He is a hybrid not a pure demon. He is not supposed to take that form. Also, you surely know that Light won't let go of him until he is their broken slave or dead." She gritted her teeth at this thought. "Do you really intend on hiding here again? What if they have already killed Eric...I mean, you are his brother. I guess you should care!" She faced the door to just leave..Maybe Eric was the only one believing in that 'bond'. Maybe Joseph never liked him or even...hated him.
Eric stepped back again as Bird told him to leave and slowly he turned away from her, unsure if he should set Juno down or continue carrying her. He wasn’t sure if she’d be able to walk or not and before he could make a decision, he saw Cyan enter. He frowned as the boy snapped for him to go before grinning at Juno who was still shaking in his arm. That malicious look, the lowest of the low having power over the helpless. It was just like how he’d been in his youth. Hypocritically, he was disgusted and he stood his ground as Cyan reached forwards to grab the little girl from him.
The demon then walked forwards to meet Cyan and before the teen could react to what was happening, he kicked the boy back, hard. Before continuing, he set Juno down, looking at her with a flicker of sadness in his expression before he turned back to Cyan, prowling towards him, not caring if Bird was watching or not. The All Demon had made him into something that was no longer human, he was much more violent than that, and he had no reason to hold back anymore. He circled around Cyan before stomping down hard on his back. He heard the boy yell in pain and he reached down, moving to grab him by the back of his neck. The moment his skin grazed Cyan’s neck, he could feel it rip and his screaming stopped.
Eric yanked his hand back at the spray of blood and he noticed Juno was standing in a daze, staring wide-eyed at what he’d done. He didn’t look up to see what bird’s reaction was but he instead grabbed for Juno, hoping he didn’t accidentally cut her as he picked her up and ran out of Bird’s room. There were stairs nearby and he fled down them, hearing shouts above and other sets of feet on the stairs. Reaching the ground floor, He found that the door to the bell tower was unlocked and he shoved the heavy door open. Stepping out into the cool morning, he could see the glow of the sun in the east and he carefully set Juno down, seeing he’d stained her ripped dress with Cyan’s blood. But by then that didn’t matter. She still looked terrified and he sorrowfully met her gaze.
“Run.” He told her in a low whisper, “Leave this place. Run, Now!” He urged her and watched as she stepped back and ran for the city buildings. She disappeared into the still sleeping capital as soldiers reached the ground floor, thinking Eric was trying to escape, but he didn’t move to face them or move to run. He stood still, partially covered in Johar’s servant’s blood. Having killed the teenager for no other reason than him being in the wrong place when his bloodlust blinded him. He wasn’t sure if he had brought Juno down to escape or chased her as well but he wouldn’t say either way.
Ryuu stood as Weasel curled up around his shoulders, shivering and he looked around for the dark he’d been running from but Abantes had already lost interest and was no longer in sight. When the nobleman called out to him he tightened his injured hand and sighed a little. “I can try, but I’m not sure if it’ll work.” When met with confused and skeptical looks he sighed and explained. “If there’s something making the dark go mad then it might do the same thing to whatever I summon. Also I’ve lost my tool for controlling what symbols I write… But I can try.” He took his good hand and began tracing the invisible marks in the air. After a minute or so he pointed down and the symbols glowed in a circle. Two shadowy summons stepped up and out of the circle and they both seemed to be in his control. Ryuu nodded to the door for them to check out in the hall and they moved towards it. So his summons were affected by whatever was affecting the Dark. This was good and it might help them all get to safety from what was happening here.
Joseph nodded and shook his head to Artemis’ questions. Was this man his father, yes. Had he found him, no. So he was richer than his brother, still no. When she mentioned their bond, he gave her a defensive look and shook his head again, their relationship wasn’t like that. He took the pen she’d placed on top of the table and began to write.
‘I had to know what he’d done. I had to see that he was still alive.’
The young man wrote, meaning ‘he’ as in his brother.
‘I did retreat here at first but not knowing what was happening. It was killing me to be in the dark.’
While Eric was worn out and out of breath, Bird hadn't even broken a sweat. His process of flying was going slower than what she expected but the little girl was a good motivation or whatever he thought of her. The monster tilted her head at him avoiding her but did not try to approach more since training more was useless while he could barely catch his breath. "Come here in the morning. Leave." She flapped her wings and flew to her best, settling down.
Juno didn't stop shaking. Her eyes were wide and lost and her face was too pale. She was more like traumatised and was not even looking at Eric. It was like she wasn't in this world. She just curled up as much as she could in his arms protectively, feeling too much insecure for her sanity.
Cyan entered the room, wrinkling his nose at Eric before pointing back. "Let's go. You are allowed to rest, freak." He grinned maliciously then stared at the frightened child. The teenager felt good about outpowering her. It was like he was avenging her for the hardships he went through under Johar's command. Now he could have his very own maid. She was useless now but could be trained for future. Cyan did loved a comfortable life, being able to be cruel to somebody without consequences.
"Get your ass here, brat. Enough spoiling." He snapped at Juno but of course she didn't hear and kept staring oddly to a spot. Cyan gritted his teeth and reached to give her some beating for discipline.
Liz gave a quite nervous smile before following after the servant. Suddenly something a bit spiky ran up Ryuu's legs then went straight into his collar and he could feel the crazy heartbeat of the weasel before he poked his head out, whimpering. Abantes in his dog form was just way too animalistic and gave the poor Weasel a good chase. Poor Weasel was not a Dark since he was actually a weasel. Not a shapeshifter.
"Hey, you are a Summoner right?" One nobleman asked Ryuu. He was one of the ministers of Deloriak. "Then why don't just summon something to help us get out of this chaotic castle for a While?!" Others stared at Ryuu with hopeful eyes.
Artemis took the letter and read it, her eyebrows raising at the name. It sounded very familiar. Where did she hear it? She frowned and tried to remember, recalling what Eric said about somebody...
"Is he your father? This guy? He...is supposed to be gone or something. Have you found him? Or still lost?" Artemis started asking curiously before pausing and giving Jiseph a chance to answer but she was not good at reading expressions so her eyes observed the drawer for a pen for him to write. "So this is actually [b Your] manor. I guess you are now richer than Eric. I wonder why didn't you come here at the first place? Because of the 'brotherhood bond'?" The Ba'al sounded a bit jealous.
Eric glanced up as Bird walked past him and once she’d left he bent over, resting his hands on his knees and gasping weakly. He really hoped they were done for the night and he’d be allowed to rest and sleep. He thought of the water Cyan had brought him and he partially wished he hadn’t drank it all, but he hadn’t been given very much anyways. Looking over towards the discarded bowl, and after confirming that there was no water left, he kicked it away and sat by a wall, ready to just go to sleep. Bird was taking a bit longer so he actually thought it’d be alright, that was till she came back and he saw who she’d brought with her. Juno. She looked tired and saddened and he watched Bird look over at him, meeting his gaze with her own expressionless one. His eyes then widened as he saw her grab Juno from under her arms and pick her up the same way she’d done to him. Dropping her from a lower height just to get the message across.
“Wait. Don’t…” He started, getting to his feet before Bird spoke and he froze.
"Come and get her."
His mind focused on that thought and he looked towards Juno, watching as she was dropped and caught and Bird flew a little higher before dropping her again, making no move to catch her again. At this he bolted forwards and leapt for her, his wings opened to carry him a bit higher and a bit farther, but he wasn’t flying. Juno was yanked out of reach right before he could grab her and he saw Bird had swooped and flew up again. She wanted him to fly, but he wasn’t sure he could get himself airborne. Not after the pitiful ways he’d failed the last three trials. By himself, following Bird’s direction, and even trying to just force him to fly.
Now she was using Juno to try and get him up and realizing this, he gritted his teeth and opened his wings. He stepped forwards and suddenly raced for the wall, spinning for one of the rods that was about three meters up and catching it with a flap of his wings to help. He then jumped for another one to get him five meters up and he shifted to the end of it, watching Bird, watching him and holding Juno. He braced himself with his wings flared open and he lunged for her. He saw Bird move back from him as he jumped and his wings flapped down, carrying him up before he began to drop. Falling again, He gritted his teeth and his mind returned to the thought he’d focused on before.
[i Come and get her.
Eric flapped his wings again, slowing himself and he fluttered, almost stumbling as he landed, but he managed to stay standing. He saw Bird circle over him and she again dropped Juno, this time farther away so if he wanted to reach her before she hit the floor, he’d have to figure out how to fly and fast. He rushed forwards, his wings moving down as he jumped up and then flaring out as he caught Juno and landed solidly, not stumbling and wavering off balance. He held Juno’s shaking form but he didn’t offer any kind of comfort to her. Eric hadn’t really flown to catch her, but he was getting closer. He looked over as Bird landed near him and he took a step back as she stepped forwards, still holding Juno in his arms.
Ryuu looked around to the other servants and he called out to one who looked like he could hold his own in a fight. “Hey You! Go with her.” He called and looked back at Liz, “Be careful.” He told her and watched the two leave, wishing he could go with her himself, but in the condition he was in, there was nothing he could do to help.
Joseph pressed his lips together at Artemis’ awkward laugh and after a moment he shook his head and walked around to the front of the table. It have a drawer in it and he opened the drawer, pulling out a letter and letting Artemis see it. It was signed with the name Rapha Tacitus, basically saying if the Joy Bloodline ever needed a home away from home, the manor was always open to them. Eric had mentioned that name to her before. Joseph just watched Artemis look over the letter, gauging her expression for her response.
Bird noticed him avoiding the braids for some reasons, despite his face that showed indifferent. The monster couldn't understand what some strands of hair could do. She was quite sure the demon hybrid didn't care to an ordinary little girl who has no use. Now she felt confused again. Last time she got confused was when she saw how Joseph didn't seek for revenge after what Sheera did to him. He even looked hurt when the foolish Halfling beat up Bird out of rage. Bird stared at Eric and then thought of something to make him fly. What if the blue haired boy was right and that kid really gave him motivation? She doubted it but didn't hurt trying. She never understood such feelings, after all. She walked past Eric and went out again, This time taking more time and letting Eric rest. Ten minutes later she came back dragging Juno along by back of her dress. Not like she was struggling or anything. Actually, her head was down and her hair was now short and messy. It was a routine to cut a low class slave's hair but she did loved the braids her mother always tied her hairs into. Juno didn't even look up, her face dirty from tears and her eyes red. She had tired herself out trying to fight against Cyan and now she had just given up, feeling hopeless. Even Eric was not like before so she literally had no one for comfort. Bird made sure Eric was watching before doing the same thing she did on Juno. But she just dropped her from three meters at first, Juno rolling on ground and crying out in fear and pain. Bird again picked her up and this time went higher, eight meters. "Come and get her." She dropped the kid again then caught her in mid air, dropping again teasingly.
Liz grasped nervously on her dress and shakily answered. "H-he said h-he will try to go fetch our horses and told me...to hide here for now." She trusted the strength of her father but the Dark were too many and she was afraid if he was hurt or worse. "I...I should go find him." She whispered and gripped on her sword again.
Artemis frowned from the constant noise before slowly opening her eyes. She stretched and yawned, Her black armor clanking with her movement. It took her a while to remember where she was. That was when she noticed that she was visible again. Excited, She looked to her side to greet Joseph but found the chair empty. Immediately she looked back and saw the younger brother of Eric. She grinned at him, not noticing his question mark face. "Hey, Joseph! Glad you are fine..hehe..." She rubbed back of her head, knowing that he wanted explanation so made it short.
"I asked Karim take me here. Is this no man's land? I didn't know you have a manor here." She awkwardly laughed again.
Eric looked down at the braids that N.V had dropped in front of him and after a moment, he turned away from them, walking to the other side of the room. He might have cared, but he didn’t want to care that much. He looked at the water, clear and with nothing in it and he drank it in a few quick gulps, wiping his mouth and setting the bowl down. He sat down on the floor, there being no where else to really sit, and he wasn’t going to try to get into Bird’s nest, and he slowed his breathing, feeling himself cooling down and the frustration melting away. He then felt talons grabbing at his wings and yanking on them.
“Hey!” He snapped sharply, trying to pull them closed and move away from Bird, but she had other plans. He heard her open her wings and before he could look back at her, there was a sharp pinch of pain in his back and shoulders as she picked him up by them and flapped open her own wings. “Arh! Stop!” He managed right before Bird reached her desired height and let go of him. It wasn’t high enough to kill him if he didn’t catch himself, but hitting the floor again did hurt a lot. Eric groaned and coughed as Bird landed behind him again and grabbed him by his wings.
“No.. No, no, no, Not Again!” He winced, panic edging into his voice, this time he twisted and pulled away from Bird, struggling against her. But once she got off the ground, his struggling didn’t do very much to stop her. He’d figure it out eventually but the first few times he dropped like a stone. Finally, too tired and sore to keep his wings closed, he tired flapping them out of desperation. This time he felt himself slow and his body twist in the air. He tried to turn himself back to see where he was going, but he was still partially falling and he landed down hard, stumbling and tripping over, falling onto his back. It was one of his softer landing but still very uncoordinated.
The Hybrid was slower to getting back up, thinking Bird was just going to grab him again and he didn’t stand right away. He was breathing hard and he noticed where he’d landed, near where he’d left the two braids of orange hair. Eric looked away from them quickly and pushed himself up, wavering as he stood and took a few paces away from them before stopping again.
Ryuu stiffened and wondered what all he could still do. Right now, he just had to wait and to heal. He looked back at Liz and lead her away near the door. “Where is your father?” He asked, sure that there were still other people unaware in their rooms or trapped in other parts of the castle. He wasn’t sure what to do now but knowing how many able-bodied people there were was a start.
Joseph sat for the better portion of the morning in that same chair before he felt a sudden urge to look around him, like he wasn’t alone. Fearing he’d see Karim, with good news or bad, he cautiously glanced over to the chair next to his own and with a start, he nearly jumped out of his skin. Artemis was sitting in the other chair, fast asleep and with her strange armor on that he didn’t recognize the style of. Slowly, carefully, he stood and backed up. He thought about grabbing the key-ring but it would make too much noise to do safely. He doubted she meant him any harm but her sudden appearance made him weary.
Joseph made his way to the door of the room and slowly up a set of stairs that was at the end of the hall, just outside of the room. He paused, rethinking what he was doing and with a sigh he walked back down to the room, going over and standing behind the table that was between the two chairs. He saw Artemis shift but she didn’t wake and he reached down for the key-ring, picking it up and shaking it lightly till he saw her stir and open her eyes.
"For now, rest." Bird told him after observing his exhausted body and injured wings. She then walked out, calling someone before going back in and flying up to her best where she sat and closed her eyes, blocking out the noises. Soon Cyan came in with some water in a bowl. He was whistling and seemed quite happy about something. He handed the bowl to Eric before turning away, then he stopped and looked back again with a grin. Slowly he reached in his pocket and pulled out a pair of cut braided orange hair. "Here, it might give you...motivation. Hehe." He dropped them carelessly at Eric's feet and walked out leisurely.
Bird landed down once he was done drinking water and resting. She moved behind Eric and grabbed on his wings, yanking on them and soon She picked him up by them as she flapped her own wings. She dropped him from 8 meters height to make him slow down his fall by his own wings.
Liz, having the same question, looked over at N.V who had laid down on a bed trying to get comfortable. He looked at Ryuu then shrugged with an indifferent expression. "Hm? Maybe days. They don't usually do stuff in public. Now you really have something to whine about." Liz's eyes widened as she shook her head, "Impossible! They are completely out of control! They might even find their way here..." Her frightened gaze dropped on the wounded Ryuu and she bit her lips nervously.
Eric didn’t say a word as he was lead to Bird’s room, even then he just stepped out of Johar’s way as he left and returned her glare. He entered and eyed the rods, looking around, and seeing how unevenly they were spaced out. When Bird told him to follow her, he hesitantly made his way up onto the first rod, balancing himself with his wings before leaping for the second. His jump was too short and he fell back to the floor, landing with a hard thud and a snarling groan. Shaking his head, Eric got back up to his feet and returned to the first rod. He aimed his jump a little higher and this time kept his wings opened as he’d snapped them shut the last time he’d jumped. He caught hold of the second rod and was able to pull himself up but by then, Bird had already moved on, jumping to a third then flapping her wings to get to a fourth, higher up and farther along the wall.
Eric continued to follow her, falling again and again and forcefully flapping his wings to try and stay airborne when he did fall. By the time they’d made it to one of the higher points in the room, and Bird jumped down to a lower, closer rod, the hybrid was panting, his balance wavering, but still he tried to follow her down. The jump should have been easy and he aimed it right but his hands were slick and he grabbed the rod only to slip of it and plummet to the floor with a loud crash. He snarled with frustration and also pain as he sat back up and the joint at the top of one of his wings was out of place, the hook facing down a little too far. He continued hissing and spitting to himself, holding his shoulder and not getting up yet to try again. He instead flexed his hurt wing, opening it a little and closing it and opening it a bit wider before there was a snap and he closed it again, wincing. The joint had popped back into place and he stood again, stretching both wings out before looking up to see where bird was.
At first he didn’t see her but then he heard her steps behind him and saw she’d made her way back down to the floor where he was, looking unimpressed and unsympathetic. Eric gritted his teeth and turned towards her, wiping at his face with his hands and trying to catch his breath.
Ryuu just huffed and looked away from N.V, flinching as the needle caught a nerve while stretching his arm back together. He let Liz keep holding his hand till he felt like he was squeezing hers too hard out of pain, then he made her let go and tightened his free hand into a fist, waiting till the healer was done and he’d gotten a sling for his arm.
“I don’t understand what’s happening.” He confessed quietly to Liz but he could hear murmurs of the same conversation all around them. If this happened to the Dark every once in awhile then they might lose a few battles or win a few, having no restraint on their instinct. His mind thought to his arrow and where it was and he sighed heavily, wondering if he’d ever get it back.
“Hey,” He called over to N.V. “How long does this last?” He asked, hoping the answer would be ‘only a few hours,’ or ‘just till morning.’
The manor was ironically peaceful compared to what was going on miles away. Artemis watched Joseph resting without trying to be noticed. According to Karim, she was going to appear hours later. Maybe it was time for her to rest too. The Ba'al sat at the chair Joseph was relaxing and hugged her knees. She watched the morning for a while before her eyes closed and she took a quick nap.
"What is all this commotion?" Johar's booming tone echoed in the big room and he glared at the soldiers with narrowed eyes before his gaze dropped on Eric who was struggling to fly. The cold breeze hit his face and the minister noticed one of the windows broken. Pressing his lips together, he frowned at the guards. "I thought you were supposed to keep an eye on him." Not listening to any excuse or apologise, Johar made his way to Eric. "You find it funny? Wasting my time?" And then he mercilessly punched the hybrid' s face. "Get up." He ordered and walked around him, observing the wings. Maybe he needed some guide. "Come with me." The monster master walked out of the room, climbing down the endless stairs before stopped at a door. "Come out." Johar called behind the door and immediately the door opened revealing Bird who had been ruffling her feathers and bathing herself like an actual bird. Her face brightened up upon seeing her master but Johar just gestured at Eric. "Teach him how to fly."
Bird's expression fell but bowed her head obediently until Johar left. Bird stared at Eric hatefully. "Come in."
She let him in her room. There was a giant nest up in there and some rods poking out of the walls as steps. "Follow me." She hopped on the first rod, Then the second one by flapping her wings. She looked back at the demon to see how he was doing.
Liz stayed by Ryuu's side the whole time, holding his hand reassuringly. She was smiling but her eyes screamed out fear and worry. N.V soon came just with some bruises and small cuts. He knew how to survive. He snickered seeing Ryuu's condition. "Dark sure loves you."
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