The dealer rubbed his swatted hand, adoring the pain he felt after years of isolation without a human touch before his expression fell. This boy was not going to help him? Nor he was sent from Karim? "Then its means you are trapped with me here." He whispered before laughing loudly. "Welcome my unlucky friend! It is kind of dead in this place but calm and quiet indeed! I have been here for many years I didn't count but I can assure you will get used to it sooner than you think~" He wrapped an arm around his shoulders in a friendly manner. "So...how did you come here? Did you kill too many people?" He grinned widely at the hybrid. "I made too much deals with demons..."
The nomad pressed his lips together, hesitating. He didn't want to believe a half existing demon but he also didn't want to disappoint his own people. He watched the defeated female demon before him then at the night sky. The Capital was not far and Artemis barely could keep herself awake. The demon talking to him was not in this world yet so they were not threats to the exorcist. He sighed in annoyance and walked to the Ba'al, grabbing her waist and pulled her up. Artemis only whimpered in protest as she carried to the giant bird. The rest of journy was unknown to her since she lost concious.
The nomad placed her safely on the neck of the eagle then got on it himself. The eagle flew off towards the castle.
Johar became more pale when he met his queen without her usual calmness. He was unable to talk for a moment, afraid that they no more had the time to make up for the mistake [b he] did. "I...I don't know which one..." Before he could complete his sentence, a royal guard came and after bowing to his higher ups he reported. "My queen, the prisoner in dungeon has vanished!" Johar's eyes widened slightly so he got sucked in instead of Artemis. The bond was indeed a good thing for Ba'als. Johar didn't know if he could find the nomad or not. He was probably on his way back to the deserts with the water gem. But he was on luck since another soldier rushed to them and informed them of a nomad with the other demon prisoner.
Eric swatted the dealer’s hands away from him and he heard the rattling of the broken chains around his wrists. He wondered if he really did seem like a slave to this stranger and his demonic eyes flashed into view as he grabbed the cuffs and twisted till they snapped off. No, he wasn't anyones slave and he certainly wasn't here to save this man for Karim. He closed his eyes with a heave sigh before he opened them again, normal but still glaring.
“I am [i Not] here to [i save you!]” He snarled threateningly, shifting his weight in the weightless world around them. “And I an especially [i not] here for [i Him.]” He seemed to seethe because of that suggestion and he didn't answer any of the demon dealer’s other questions.
[I There isn't a way out, is there?] He thought, looking at the emptiness around them. [I But maybe…] He looked upwards, maybe thinking that was the way out but still not being able to control his own movements very well in this world. He couldn't go up and check.
Karim’s low growing hiss to the man stopped before he suddenly spoke again but it was in the desert language.
[B That gem will be useless to you if you do not let her pass to the castle. The nobility there promised you that gem but they also promised her something to retrieve it. Take her back to the castle unharmed and the watergem will be given to your people unhindered.]
This was a bit of a gamble on Karim’s end, trying to manipulate a human from between worlds, but he was quite sure that this nomad would want the gem working rather than risk it being completely useless to his homelands.
Valerie froze when she heard the knock on her door and when she heard it was Johar, she quickly got up and rushed to her door nightgown and all with her rising panic. “Which demon is gone?” She asked, her eyes wide with distress. “You must bring them back. That third demon I told you about will try to take their place now. You [b must] bring them back before he can!” Though Valerie was panicked, she wasn't pleading blindly with Johar. She knew exactly what she was saying and this was her ordering him to undo what the exorcist did. Unknowingly they had provided a place for Karim to take instead of him having to make that place once he was set free.
Joseph swallowed when he heard the commotion outside of the room in the castle halls. But he didn't think the panic was caused by his brother. If it was then someone would have already tried to come for him. He didn't know what was going on and across the castle, Ryuu knew too that something was off, but he was sceptical that it was really danger. He honestly didn't know how much danger they all could be in if The All Demon’s intentions were any different.
"ow!" The man shouted out but then grinned. "Another being hitting me, I missed that sooooo much~" He looked at Eric's eyes. "Familiar!" His clothes were strange and too old style for Eric and his raven hair was long, hovering around his head in the non gravity atmosphere like his long beard and moustache. He wore red beads as earrings which matched his crimson eyes which were widened in delight.
"Karim? Everyone know Karim...He is the First. By the way, your clothes are strange. Where do you come from?" He touched Eric's clothes boldly."And why is your hair way too short? Are you a slave? But Karim's relative cannot be a slave. You really have his presence. Look at this tattoo..." The demon dealer poked his face next. "You messed with [b her]? Bad choice." He laugher again and rubbed his hands together. "You can't imagine how happy I am! Finally saved from this dimension~ Has Karim sent you?! I knew he won't forget me...!"
Artemis was on the ground, barely keeping her eyes opened. The bond was broken and the remained energy was a little amount. The little Ba'al shivered when she felt Karim's presence more than she usually felt. She had no choice but to stay still and listen to what the All Demon said to the nomadic who stopped approaching her once he heard him. The man was taken back at first but then braced himself. He shook his head and started talking in his desert language that he just needs the water gem and wouldn't want to interfere with any of this. He was already confused why Artemis was not sucked in another dimension but she was down and that was enough for him to take the gem from her.
The sensitive races became restless as they felt Karim's presence. Especially in castle, they rushed around to see if anybody knew what exactly was happening.
There was a knock on the bedroom's door.
"My queen!" It was Johar's voice. He was nervous and alarmed. "One of the demons is successfully out but still there is a new presence!" He didn't know about Karim and ws afraid if this would ruin all he planned.
Soon the guards realised Eric was no more in the dungeon and he had vanisher. Only broken chains were left in his cell. They reported it to the royal guards so they would inform the queen.
Philip noticed the guards running pass the room and looked at Joseph questioningly. "What on earth is happening? Eric again?!"
Eric gasped when waves of pain ripped through him and he writhed, letting out a short but loud scream. The sound died quickly when he felt light headed and before he knew it, he was being dragged into the ground. The chains breaking as the cuffs dug into his wrists and he was pulled down into the darkness.
He had his eyes closed till he felt himself stop moving and the light feeling left his mind. He only took a small peek to see where he now was and seeing the open darkness full of miscellaneous things, he opened his eyes wide and felt a shive jump through him when he heard the voice behind him. He gasped when the man pulled into a hug and when he said that name…
Immediately he jabbed his elbow back hard into the man’s side before spinning around and shoving the man back. He had very little balance as the push sent them both drifting away from each other but neither one of them went very far. He managed to stay upright and once he wasn't moving anymore, Eric glared at the stranger.
“How, do you know that name?” He asked, still glaring towards the man as they floated in the vast darkness. He couldn't feel anything solid around him. But he wasn't falling either. There was something like air that he could clearly breath and then there was this man. This man who knew who Eric’s father was.
Outside of the capital, the ropes from the gourd snapped and Karim’s presence was close to Artemis.
[B Be still.]
He growled in her mind before he suddenly only began speaking in the dark language to the exorcist. Hissing in a dire tone to the nomadic man, cold and deathly, calm and chilling. His presence loomed in the air around them and in the castle, Valerie jolted up into a sitting position in her bedroom. She could only feel two of the demons now in the Light Nation and one of them was reaching out, almost flaunting the fact that they were there, and she was sure she wasn't the only one who could feel it.
Ximena's heart started beating faster when she felt his touch against her face. For some reasons she held her breath till he moved away his hand. Under his touch her hairs straightened and her cheeks heatened up. Ximena was glad he was eager to see her dance. Maybe this could give her a chance to get closer to him and get him to help.
But then his sweetness was gone and he pushed her away. The girl was confused by this change of mood even though he was trying to cover it bh giving empty smiles. She stepped back wondering of he was tired of seeing her too many times. Then he confirmed he would allow her to meet him at night and she felt relieved. "Then...see you tonight, Ryuu." She softly whispered and made her way to the door before stopping and looking back. "Ummm...Thank you. You are so nice to me." Ximena had started believing maybe he really did loved her. She gave him one last smile and left with a feeling of guiltiness.
Artemis was not far from Capital. It would take her an hour or two to reach the Capital gates. She noticed there were more soldiers than usual and the checked the wagons and its people carefully. Maybe it was the plague Karim talked about? She just kept riding until her horse screamed and fell over. Shocked, Artemis fell down and groaned in pain. Artemis rose up her head and saw a small dagger stabbed through the horse's neck. She quickly got on her feet and looked around only to see a stranger in nomadics' clothes. The Ba'al was already exhausted but got into a defense stance before shouting at the man. "Who are you?! Get out of my way!" Instead of answering her, he pulled out a gourd and started whispering some words. Artemis had never seen an exorcist before so she just stood there clueless. She was more than shocked when ropes shot out of the gourd and wrapped around her, sucking out her soul painfully.
She was going to be sent in another dimension but the bond saved her and sacrificed Eric instead.
Eric felt pain waving through his body and he started feeling numb, soon he felt light headed and a gaint circle appeared under him. Skinny hands shot out of the circle and pulled down into the sucking hole...
He was in emptiness...random objects from couches to broken swords were floating in blackness. Even some half rotten dead bodies of monsters and demons were there. But fortunately or unfortunately, Eric was not alone.
"OH MY GOD YOU ARE NOT KARIM! Thanks god I'm saved~ I am not alone anymore~"
A man pulled Eric in a crushing hug from behind. He was the demon dealer, the human surprassed the boundaries and got banished.
Joseph relaxed a little when Philip came back to his side and he narrowed his eyes at his friend's question. It wasn’t up to ‘them’ to decide how long they lived and when they died. He scowled at that thought then nodded at Philip’s serious tone. Escape. They wouldn’t have to escape, they would walk out free but… Joseph just had to find some way to make that happen. His expression darkened with some doubt and he shifted uncomfortably on the bed. He didn’t know what was going on outside of the castle walls while they were trapped here, but he just hoped the chance for them to leave would arrive soon.
Ryuu tried to stop himself from stiffening when he felt Ximena wrap her arms around him and leaned her body against his. She made him feel a little guilty about not being able to help her and her human friends more, as well as getting them set free sooner, before Valerie turned her wicked hand on Joseph. He had more time now that Joseph was healing to get to the Grey Queen with a case to set them free, but he didn’t know if he’d get to her soon enough before something else happened.
“Oh Ximena,” He sighed, feeling her walk around to face him and he glanced away, still avoiding her gaze. “I know you want them freed and I’m trying to make that happen…” He trailed off and sighed again looking at Ximena when she suddenly asked if he was free tonight. This question caught him off guard and he looked at her before she quickly changed the topic. His gaze softened as he pushed his own unease aside and he watched her give him a sheepish but proud gaze with the mention of her dancing. He smiled at her and brushed a hand along the side the side of her face.
“I haven’t seen you dance before but I would love to see you if you’d be willing to show me.” He moved his hand down from her face to her shoulders. In that moment, she looked so radiant, so beautiful. He wanted to lean down and kiss her again, keep her there, away from the rest of the chaotic world and make her forget her troubles and worries, but then a small thought invaded his mind and shattered the moment that they were in.
[i Ximena is Eric’s Fiancé.] That thought destroyed the lulling feeling he was lost in and he pressed his lips together, holding the soft smile. He was smiling but the soft look in his blue eyes was now gone. He looked away from her and stepped back, letting go of her and distracting himself with a few scrolls he’d spotted and knew the documents would help him help her. “I… Am actually a little busy now, but I will be free tonight.” He looked back at Ximena and gave her a more convincing smile before looking away again. He knew she would come back but at the moment, he hoped she wouldn’t be too put down by him shooing her out now.
[i Killed someone?] She didn't find the chance to ask more since he sent her back to the real world and reminded her the short time she had to end the deal.
Artemis' eyes snapped open and she sat up up quickly. She still ached here and there but she felt much better. The Ba'al noticed that it was already getting dark. It meant she didn't have much time. Artemis left the tower and found the horse wandering in the grasses. She passed the dead body of the wizard and mounted the animal, making it start running back to the Capital.
The water gem felt heavy against her body. She wondered why they needed it but didn't thought much about it. She had to get to the library and find the damn book. Fortunately her horse had rested for the day and she could go as fast as possible.
It was already night and her surroundings were pitch black. There was no moon in the sky and she could barely see a meter away. She relayed on her sense of hearing and smelling.
Philip felt Joseph pulling him back by the sleeve and he looked back at his friend seeing his need for a companion. Sighing, he gave the doorway one glance then sat back down on the edge of the bed. "How long do you think they will keep us alive?" He suddenly asked with a serious tone. "Once you heal, we wil escape."
Ximena silently watched him going over to the bookshelves. She couldn't feel his uneasiness since butterflies were in her stomach. Ximena realised she had been staring for too long and cleared her throat. "Ryuu...I...just want to spend more time with you." She breathed deeply before approaching him. Her arms wrapped around the male and she leaned her nervous body to his back. "I know you...are doing your best in helping me...yet...I...I want my friends free. I know it is too much but you saw how they react to me being with you all the time. Why are you keeping them too? Y-you don't need Philip or Joseph...let them go. Then I can just stay with you forever." She tried to sound dreamy as she slowly moved in front of him and smiled up at Ryuu.
"A-are you free tonight? Because..." She gulped and looked away. No, she couldn't say it. Instead, she changed the subject. "H-have you ever seen me dance?" She smiled a bit proudly. "I bet I dance better than any woman in this castle~"
Karim was silent for a moment after Artemis asked why he had been banished, he then smirked a little when Artemis asked if he would be like Lilith when he was freed. “Heh. No, I am not interested in starting another Dark age here…” He chuckled a bit then was quiet again before letting out a breath. “The reason why I was Banished here is because Eric thinks I killed someone. Someone important to him…. I’m sure another reason is that he wanted to be out of my shadow and figured I had trained him enough after three years. But that isn't what he said before locking me away here.”
The All Demon’s smile was gone now and Karim closed his eyes with a slight sigh. After a few moments, he spoke again, lifting one hand up towards Artemis like he did every time she left this dimension. “It should be dusk now. Remember that you have no time for any hesitation.” He said, his sharp Golden eyes fixed on her before his form and the strange landscape vanished and Artemis awoke from her meditation.
Joseph glanced over when Ximena left and he stared after her before looking anxiously at Philip. He didn't want both of his companions to just leave and he reached out, grabbing Philip by the back of one of his sleeves. He didn't want to be left alone again in case Ryuu or Johar or someone even worse than them came to taunt him while he was still healing. Yes he was worried about Ximena but the guards didn’t seem to give her too much thought. So she’d be better off then he was going off on her own.
Ryuu stiffened a little when he heard Ximena call to him through the door. After what N.V told him, he wasn't sure if he should keep together get close to her or break things off all together. He swallowed down his anticipation and walked over to the door opening it for her. “Ximena… Hello.” He realized he’e paused before greeting her and there was an awkward silence be between them. With the nervous expression she had, he was sure either something for her was wrong or she could tell how hesitant he was to see her.
“Um, do you want to come in?” He asked, trying to break their awkward silence and with a small nod, Ryuu stepped back to let Ximena in before closing the door behind her. They both just stood there for a few moments before they both tried to speak and the Summoner cut himself off while Ximena stopped talking.
“Uh… I’m sorry. You may speak first.” He said dryly, glancing away from her for a moment before walking past her and back towards his small bookshelf where he had been standing earlier. He avoided looking at her since he now knew how the Grey Queen must have first felt about him when he arrived. Yet she had a much stronger will than he did. She was able to keep her composure in situations like this. But now, being on the adoring end of this, he knew he wouldn't be able to refuse whatever Ximena wanted from him if he looked at her.
Artemis immediately stood up and half shouted, "A bond?! How come?! She couldn't believe what a single deal would cause. Her claws cut open the braid her hair was tied to. Her silver hair flooded on her shoulders. She heard Karim's remark and frowned bitterly. "Who?!" Though she didn't really wait for an answer and approached him once again, standing behind him with a distance so that his tail wouldn't get in her face. The little Ba'al again observed her surroundings before asking, " I...have a question which really bothers me. I hope you tell me the truth..." Artemis tapped on her own leg before talking again. " Why did he banish you in the first place? You are not going to ruin everything like Lilith, Are you?" The thought of dealing with Karim like Lilith just sent shivers in her spine. Karim had great effect on her world even though he was trapped in another dimension. Then he could be a great danger once he steps in the world directly. " And I want you not to enter Muerte. Is that clear?" She tried to sound firm but her voice was too cautious for that.
Ximena showed him a fake smile once he confirmed he was okay. But she knew after fifty lashes it was not easy to say he was all good and happy. What if the queen just orders more punishments? He needed someone to defend him. Ximena stepped backward, hoping that the two were distracted enough. But the sharp sound of Philip startled her.
"Where are you going?" Philip knew that nervous face of hers. Whenever she wanted to meet Ryuu, she kept chewing on her lips. Ximena was going to make up an excuse but then changed her mind and scowled at him. "I don't need to answer you." She turned away and left quickly.
"You idiot! Wait I say!" Philip shouted after her and stood up, considering to even punch her so she would come back to her senses.
Ximena rushed in the hallways, noticing that the guards weren't much cautious about her. Not like she could escape anyway. She found herself in front of the familiar door again. This time she would allow him to get much closer. The dancer knocked on the door and tried to sound sweet. "R-ryuu?" She scolded herself internally for stuttering. Her heart rate increased by each second that passed. She straightened her dress and fixed her braid to look more appealing.
Poor girl didn't know what he thought about her which was somehow the truth but not completely.
N.V was surprised the letter was sent to him quite soon but didn't complain and immediately prepared for another journey to go back to Deloriak's Capital.
Soon commotion happened. The people of Deloriak resisted the soldiers who tried to push them back. Small fights happened. They were just too desperate to escape the ruins of Deloriak.
“I made it so you will be mostly healed by night fall and able to continue on.” Karim said over his shoulder, standing a few yards away again with his arms crossed as Artemis sat down. When she asked why she was still alive he looked forwards at seemingly nothing and spoke back to her. “Partially. That power is from the deal you made. The bond that was made by the deal is between Eric and yourself, so yes. It is partially my doing that you are still alive but that power isn’t being lent by me, it’s being shared between you and him. I’m only making sure you don’t die from your wounds.” He slightly turned back towards her and glanced over when she asked about where they were.
“This place? It isn’t far from the capital. When you awake, you won’t have any time to spare. You will have to get back to the capital and break the bond by finishing the deal that you made with that Minister. Any hesitation and you will be taken here. A sickness is plaguing the lands but I can’t say if it will affect you or not. If it does then there will be nothing more that I can do for you. So you mustn’t risk any hesitation.” He caught her slight frustration and smiled a little to himself.
“Hmm… That is the same reaction that he gave.” The all demon chuckled to himself, his arms still crossed and his long tail waving behind him. The haze thickened once again around them before thinning out and the plains were eerily quiet once he stopped talking.
Joseph was laying on his side facing the doorway when Philip and Ximena arrived. He managed a small smile at Philip’s tired statement. He glanced at Ximena when she asked her question and he shook his head. He was fine, yes his back still stung and the stitches were uncomfortable, but he was just fine. He had wanted to see them both to make sure that they were both okay after what Johar had told him. The young man was afraid that they would hurt more in some way when he saw them again. But seeing that they weren’t, it set him more at ease.
When N.V stopped running, he was found by a servant with Valerie’s letter to send back to Dosia. Her wax seal of a sword and feather was pressed in black wax and the letter itself wasn’t too big. She wasn’t going to sugar coat her diplomatic refusal to help Deloriak and being that of few words, the Grey Queen’s letter mainly said that she couldn’t spare the funds to help Deloriak and that Dosia should take care to fix her own problems and make sure they don’t irresponsibly spread.
Her captain had sent two patrols out to the border and cases of the strange illness was were growing closer and closer to the capital, far too close for comfort. The perimeter would soon be put up and that side of the Nation would be locked down to stop the sickness from spreading any further.
N.V's smile fell when he again became bitter. Maybe triggering his feelings wasn't the best choice but he didn't lose anything. He didn't know what Ximena had been trying to do nor he understood about the feelings. The moment he noticed the circle, N.V realised it wasn't his place anymore and literally ran away. Not like it was his mission to do anything about the prisoners.
Artemis was hesitant when he told her to lay down again but when another wave of pain shot through her body, she gave in and found a safe spot to meditate.
Once she was in the odd world, the outdoor scene startled her. Confused, She looked around and found Karim. When he approached her, She just watched and let his claw curl under her jaw. Artemis couldn't find the strength the oppose him. She saw his finger going over to her forehead and she flinched at the press.
Artemis blinked several times when her dizziness was gone and she looked around in confusion. Moments later she was able to finally talk. " What...what did you do?" The Ba'al rubbed her head and finally sat down. "That power..The strength...the stamina I had...wasn't mine. Why...Why I am still alive? Is it...your doing? Did you lend me your power?" She started messing up her hair in frustration. "What do you mean if I Don't make it? What is this place?"
Philip had calmed down slightly when a guard opened the door and told them Joseph wanted to see them both. The former servant was immediately on his feet but then he remembered Ximena and sighed before walking to the door. He knocked on it before opening it slightly. "Come out. We can go see Joseph now." Ximena was silent as she just stood from bed and walked passed him. The two walked with distance to the room Joseph was kept.
"You look...less pale." Philip tiredly said as sitting on edge of his bed, noticing Joseph's eyes. He could tell he had been crying not long before. Ximena stood at doorway, strangely feeling guilty. If she just tried harder to get close to Ryuu....Maybe this wouldn't have happened. She just watched the bandages around his body with sad eyes. "...Does it hurt?" She shakily asked.
Fiancé. That word, in that context. Ryuu stopped short from entering his room and he turned back around, cold eyes staring hard at N.V. As the boy continued to talk, Ryuu’s thoughts were spinning out rapidly to what this meant. Ximena was Eric’s Fiancé so… Had she been trying to play him? She had let him hold her and kiss her. Were those actions all just sweet nothings to her?
He blinked when N.V stepped closer and began speaking about his queen. Dosia. He knew things were getting bad at the borders, but he didn't know how bad things were getting. He was silent for a moment when N.V asked if he could come in and Ryuu finally spoke up again, his eyes turning icy and bitter. “No.” He growled. “You can not come in or go see those Prisoners.”
Triggering the Summoner’s feelings like that wasn't the best way to manipulate him into helping. Before The Cacador could get a word in edgewise, Ryuu had spin back around and stalked into his room, slamming the door shut behind him. A few seconds later the same circle as before began to glow on the floor, meaning if N.V didn't leave now, the summoned would be back and it would chase him out.
Before Artemis could pull herself up and onto her horse, Karim spoke to her.
[B Wait, go back to the tower and lay down in it’s entrance.]
He didn't tell her why and so far he’d just been reminding her of the time crunch she had looming over her. But if he wanted her to wait a moment, then it had to be something important. Once she was hidden from sight in the tower and had found a place to lie down. She was brought back to and Limbo and around her was tall grassy plains with towering rocks and a thick haze in the air. It wasn't like the forest or tower she’d been left in and Karim was waiting a few yards away. He looked over once she was there and he walked over, reaching his claws towards her.
“Your body will not make it back to that castle if you leave now.” He told her and one of his hands cupped her chin, his sharp claws brushing against her neck as he curled his fingers under her jaw. “And I won't have you dying on me before you even have a chance to complete our deal.”
That's right. All this time Artemis had been traveling and fighting to what? To get a book, and show it to Joseph, and get him to help her set Karim free. All so he could send her back to Muerte. Right?
Karim pressed one clawed finger from his other hand against Artemis’ forehead and she suddenly felt dizzy and lightheaded. But that only lasted for a few moments. Once the dizziness cleared, the All Demon let go of her and stepped back.
“You will be here for some time while your body heals so I suggest you take a good look around. If all doesn't go well then this is where you will be going next.” The haze around them suddenly thickened in waves and there was the prickly feeling of sand blowing against her. Karim didn't elaborate on what he meant but he didn't go very far from her and apparently now she had plenty of time to try and get some answers out of him.
The girl didn't hear his breath of course but she did saw him trying to get her attention. She watched his gestures carefully before nodding and showing him to wait a bit before she picked up the tray and walked out. She didn't call them directly but asked a maid to tell a guard. She didn't want to be seen much around other prisoners since she didn't want to make trouble for Neculai.
N.V was trying his best not to lose control and bite the smug face of the Summoner off. He only smiled up at Ryuu then stepped after him. "Because I know them. Eric's servant and his fiance." He just wanted to trigger Ryuu's feelings. "I saw them together back in Deloriak. I heard you are...strangely too kind to her so I found it fair to tell that..as long as Eric is in her mind, you won't...you know what I am saying. I'm not good at adult relationships but even I know nothing will happen between you two if you keep her imprisoned. Also..." He approached Ryuu more, whispering. "My queen is not in a good mood...so I feel things would go crazy in a few days. I'm sure some escaped prisoners won't matter then." N.V stepped back again. "Can I come in? I feel naked out here when eyes are on me."
Artemis ran faster and faster. She even ran up a few step on the tower before she caught on a brick and started climbing up, howling in pain when she was struck again but she didn't stop and kept on going. She felt a bone in her crack before she spat out blood and lost her balance. Artemis hung from a narrow crack, her claws digging in the stone. Panting heavily, She rose up her head to see the gem shining bright blue. Suddenly it glowed so bright and Artemis hissed, shutting her eyes. The waterfall changed its direction on her. Her shrieks of pain echoed in the tower and blood splattered on the wet stones. Her body fell down all the way, a sickening sound of breaking coming out when she hit the rocks.
The wizard was panting as he walked pass the bloody body of the demon. He had used too much stamina even using the gem. But now it was over. He thought more would come to take the gem so he rose up his hand and the waterfall vanished. The gem flew towards him and the wizard reached out his hand to get it but then...He felt a vague pain through his body...shivering in his place, he gazed down and saw a bloody claw stabbed into his chest. His eyes widened in disblief and he tried to look back only to see those deadly, murderous eyes of a demon. "H-how..." He threw up blood, his vision fading.
"I Don't know." Those were the last words he heard before she pulled out her hand and he dropped dead in water. His blood coloured the pure water and Artemis shoved her hand in the red liquid to wrap it around the gem. The gem glow died once it was in her fist. Artemis dragged her broken body to the horse. Little did she know, the shadow that passed over her head was a giant eagle carrying an excorcist to the Capital.
“...” Joseph's expression changed when he heard her speak and he cautiously looked back up at her. He still didn't want to eat, but he knew she was right. The sooner he healed the sooner his brother would be fed. He half pulled himself away when she pushed the fork back towards him and he had to force himself to stop. He saw the look she had and there wasn't any point for them to go back and forth like that. Eventually, he gave in and took the small bites of food that she was giving him. He had heard her sigh and he guessed that she understood the feeling of being trapped in the castle.
Once he was done eating and she’d gotten up to leave, Joseph let out a low breathy whistle to get her attention. He still looked depressed and he wanted to know if she could go get Philip and, or Ximena. He gestured to where his friend had been when she first came in and then he held up two fingers, showing what he wanted before pausing to see if she understood.
Ryuu watched N.V with his unfriendly gaze and as the little Cacador spoke, he lifted one hand up and remade a circle in the air, pinching his fingers towards the center before pulling back. At this moment the circle by the doorway behind him opened again and the Summoned noticed right away, taking it’s red eyes off of N.V before crawling back into the circle and disappearing.
“Stop your ass kissing.” Ryuu said sharply and he lowered his hand, folding them both behind his back. “I do have a special place by the Grey Queen but I am not her second in command, well… Not yet anyways. I just know there are some things that I can get away with.” His demeanor began to relax yet his gaze was still far from friendly. “Why should I let you see the Prisoners?” He then asked. “I’m sure you’ve heard what’s already happened to one of them.” He paused again and then tsked quietly. “I don't need to just stand here….” He muttered saying something else under his breath before turning away like he was just going to go back into his room.
As the Waterkeeper tried to keep Artemis from getting too close to the tower, the strange energy increased even more, allowing her to push herself farther to out last him. Back in the castle, more or less in the dungeons, Eric felt drained and weak as the energy seemed to be drawing out more of his strength. Before long he wasn't even able to keep himself sitting up and he laid down, suddenly feeling sick. Yeah there was a reason why Ba’als’ didn't make deals anymore, but there was also a reason why humans stopped trying to make the deals too. He let out a sickly groan and turned onto his side, not taking this well at all. Johar’s reports didn't say much about the dreadful side effects for making a deal.
The girl lowered the fork when he didn't make a move to eat. She realised that she had to talk to him. She thought of making him look up at her so she could show him the hand signs to communicate. But maybe he didn't want to be touched. She was just a stranger after all and he might even hate for being a part of the castle he was locked in. The girl decided to talk. She couldn't hear herself but she had seen others' faces whenever she talked to them for the first time and she knew she didn't sound normal at all. Just like an average deaf person, she spoke loud and untalented with the vowels. However, she could be comprehended and that was enough.
"Eat." Her loudness hopefully made him paid attention to her. She started making the hand signs, also speaking with effort in case he didn't know the signs she used. Neculai had taught her the hand signs and she was not sure if everyone were able to understand but it helped her a lot in communicating.
"If...you eat...you heal...he eats..." The deaf girl tried her best to talk simple and short. She held up the fork again. A sigh escaped her lips. She was also feeling trapped in these walls. She volunteered to be by her grandfather's side but she didn't like to feel the eyes on her, to be looked down by the higher ups and see how her grandfather couldn't do much about the problems of peasants.
Stubbornly she pressed the piece of food against his lips, pressing her lips together determined.
N.V sighed in relief when the creature retreated yet did not disappear. He stepped forward and observed Ryuu's face before answering him."That would be my question but since you are older and a Summoner, I will answer you first...I want to meet the prisoners kept in hallway. I can't ask others because they will probably deny but from the threat you made to that foolish servant, I guess you are the one in charge after the queen." He grinned, glancing at the creature. "I have seen other Summoners. They usually used the dimension of the Dark but I know the portal is closed now. You are impressive, using other ways. I guess that is why Chamlek feared people like you. You are lucky you aren't in Chamlek, I guess!"
Artemis rolled on the ground, groaning in pain. "Damn...Where is his gem?" She had only managed to claw him over his chest but even after tearing up the fabric, she couldn't find the water gem. She felt danger coming from above with her sharp instincts and jumped away from another wave. The little Ba'al noticed her map flew out of her dress and fell flatly on the ground. She saw the circled tower and narrowed her eyes. There should be a tower...a tower...She jumped away from another strike and turned to look at the waterfall. The Waterkeeper kept being close to it for some reasons...Could it be that he was trying to keep close to the gem so he would be able to use its power? Now that she looked carefully at the waterfall, it was...somehow odd. Where was the water coming from? She couldn't see any rivers up there in the map. "Maybe I should climb it up!" She ran towards the waterfall and the strikes became more tensed.
The gem on top, was producing the waterfall. The whole rock was the tower. The Waterkeeper, a powerful wizard, had been keeping it there for years all for himself.
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