The manor, despite how it looked from the outside, was small in comparison to the larger buildings she’d been in. The halls were dark and there was only one door open from the main hall, the rest were closed and locked tight. Through the open doorway was a sitting room where the soft light from the morning outside came through and someone sat, a key-ring on the table beside him and a blanket around his shoulders. Joseph was curled up on a chair, facing the uncovered window and looking out into the blanketing fog, unaware of Artemis’ presence. The young man looked tired and his usually bright green eyes seemed duller in the soft light.
Eric had stopped pacing when Johar reentered the room and he easily caught the meat the was thrown to him. He scowled as it was raw and he wasn’t one of Johar’s monsters but the order to eat made him grit his teeth and sit unable to stop himself as he feverishly ate what was given to him. It tasted as he expected, chewy, bland, hard to swallow, and he heard one of the soldiers laugh a little too loudly, feeling their eyes on him. He’d also been ordered to try using his wings and they subconsciously stretched, fanning open and flapping a little as he stood. Eric tried flapping his wings a few times but it felt like he was just moving his arms, well moving a pair of arms.
He tried jumping and fluttering a bit but he was just like a bird who hadn’t learned to fly yet, flapping and fluttering and getting nowhere. Again the hybrid heard a few of the soldiers laughing again. Finally an elf called out mockingly.
“Go jump out the window, then you’ll be able to fly!” They laughed again and Eric looked over, glaring, but it had been an order from a light, unintentional but an order nevertheless. He turned away from the snickering group and walked towards one of the windows, pushing on the frame to try and open it. The window was locked and had sat worn and weathered together over the years. He pushed at the window frame again before turning his attention to the glass and punching it.
“Oh Shit!” The window cracked and he heard the soldier’s curse behind him, their footsteps rushing towards him. He punched the window again, breaking a jagged hole through it and he was pushing the rest of the weaken glass away, about to climb out when the soldier’s grabbed him and one of the Light ordered him to stop. With that he did, not fighting as they pulling him back and he stood still with a few soldiers around him and a few inspecting the window he’d broken.
“Fucking Hell.” One of them spat and another finally caught on and punched the one who had made the joke in the arm.
“Don’t give him any more orders, directly on indirectly.” One mumbled to another and the word spread to the rest of the soldiers. Eric just looked down at his cut up hand, he could see the small slices and cuts where the glass shards were stuck, healing slowly, but it was quick enough for him to notice. He didn’t pay the soldiers around him any mind till one drew their sword and shooed him back, watching him retreat back to the middle of the room before they sheathed it and looked back towards the window.
Ryuu tensed as the window opened and he jumped back, trying to get to the far side of the room as the two vampires pounced on him.
“No! Stop!” He gasped and felt the sharp pain of Theodore biting him. His hand pushed back against the vampire before Romeo yanked on his torn up arm and he gasped, being pulled between the two. He then heard Liz shouting as she kicked open the door. He felt Romeo let go of him and soon the two Vampires were hissing, both darting out the open window as fast as they’d entered. The Summoner slowly sat up, holding his neck and he felt Liz rush over to him.
“Wait.. I can’t go out there.” He hoarsely whispered and he saw Liz look at him frightened for his life.
“You have to,” She said, still supporting his weight. “You might die if you don’t.” He looked down at this notion and let Liz lead him out. Quickly they made their way to a servant’s wing where most of the human servants and some lower guests were hiding waiting out the night of madness. Some were hurt but none as badly as Ryuu was. He was quickly ushered into a room and a healer began tending to him as his vision swam and he struggled to stay awake.
This All Demon had too much power. She felt sorry for this world. Good thing he was not interested in an ending world like Muerte . With just one push she was just in random place. She had just travelled miles? The Ba'al gulped, nervous that she would not be able to pay anything. Maybe he would just let it go due to time? Pushing aside these thoughts, Artemis observed her surroundings. Good thing was that she was still invisible so she was much safer in there. She saw the manor and hesitated before going towards the door. She called Joseph but then realised she was still mute so sighed silently and snuck in. She looked around, wondering whose manor it was.
Soon Juno was done and she quickly gathered the cleaning stuff and hurried out. The stain was cleaned but the smell still remained. Johar entered the room again with a piece of meat. If he wanted to fight, He had to be kept strong so bread was not going to grant him mich stamina for his training. He just threw the meat at the hybrid. "Eat. After that, try to use your wings. You are useless on the earth." And with that, he walked out again as he was sure that Eric would obey his orders.
A werewolf's bite is the most painful injury. But soon someone came which made the pain feel dull and unimportant. The scent of blood was heavy in his bedroom which dragged the vampires in of course. Under the effect of the All Demon presence, they were silent and bloodthirsty, moving around with no sound, almost having no presence.
The window opened and the cold wind rushed in but nobody showed up. As the curtains moved wildly, two shadows appeared and disappeared behind the curtains. Then, Ryuu was tackled down on floor and Theo hissed in his ear before biting into the poor victim's neck. Romeo couldn't wait and just grabbed on the injured arm to feast on the fresh wound. Maybe it was Ryuu's end but...
"G-get away from him!" Liz had kicked open the door and was holding a sword offensively towards the two vampires who just ignored her and kept drinking from Ryuu. Liz gritted her teeth and suddenly charged forward, managing to get their attention. Theodore immediately pulled out his sword and smacked away the sword from her hands, making her yelp and stand back. Romeo leaped at her but she had a back up.plan. The blonde threw a small bottle at Romeo' s face. It broke and the garlic powder went into his mouth and eyes. Immediately Romeo shrieked and held his swelling face. Theodore covered his nose from the horrible smell of garlic. They were not in their right mind so they saw no reason to insist staying here. They just wanted blood so the two Dark hissed and fled from the window. Liz sighed in relief then rushed to Ryuu's side."R-ryuu!" She became pale seeing his injury then quickly ripped off a part of her dress and tied it tightly. She then supported his weight to take him to a healer which was not Dark and crazed. "H-hold on..." She took her sword again and held it firmly before walking Ryuu out.
Karim looked at Artemis with just a glance when she touched his arm. She was being much braver now. “[b To no man’s land. Heh, heh. Artemis?]” He said in a questioning voice, sounding like he didn’t take any offence to being called just like Lilith. “[b Where do you think I took Joseph?]” He asked, turning to her and opening his massive wings as he faced her.
“[b You want to be taken to him, fine, I can arrange that, but this is the last favor you get from me… I hope you have something precious that you don’t mind losing. Because this deal is going to cost you dearly.]” With that, he gave her a sharp push back, and as she stumbled, blinking, she was suddenly in another place, the light of dawn creeping over the rocks and a thick fog lying as far around as she could see. There was a well sized manor behind her and the front door was slightly ajar. Other than that there was nothing by the fog, the light, and the wind.
Eric growled as his head was yanked up on and his jaw tightened at the order. Come to his senses. He rolled when Johar threw him and he caught himself from sliding into the monster’s corpse. He slowly stood again as the minister left him and he began to pace around, one hand still on his head as he walking. He wasn’t completely alone, there were soldiers all around the room and most of them were either watching him and watching outside. Some of them were even chatting among themselves like nothing had happened. Eric didn’t go near any of them as he walked. When Juno came in, he stopped and looked towards her, but he didn’t watch her for very long and he just continued to pace, avoiding going near her as well.
“No..” Ryuu winced, croaking out his protest while Dosia just laughed and spun away. Sorit’s greenish yellow eyes never left him and his right ear only flicked as he was given permission to attack. The werewolf’s jaws opened wide and he ducked his head down, snapping them closed over Ryuu’s left shoulder. The man suddenly shrieked and he began to struggle but there wasn’t any getting away. He was left wailing as he felt his left arm being shredded in Sorit’s teeth but slowly, slowly the pain made him come to his senses.
He, of course, hadn’t left without his arrow and with his right arm he reached for it, crying out as Sorit chewed at his hand, ruthlessly yanking and shaking his head from time to time. The arrow then was in his side and Sorit jumped at the shallow stab, snarling and turning to snap at the minor annoyance. It was enough of a distraction for Ryuu to pull himself back and he watched as his arrow was yanked out. Then the Werewolf turned back to him, teeth bared and bloodied. Maybe the pain didn’t bring all of the dark back to their former selves.
Seeing the slightest step forwards from the wolf, Ryuu ran back down the way he’d come, blood dripping down from his ruined arm. Terror shot through him as he heard Sorit’s swift pounding steps behind him and he rounded a corner sharply, seeing his room, with the absence of the two fighting females, and he sprinted for it. The werewolf’s claws scraped the floor and a loud growl echoed in the hall. The Summoner had just enough time to slam his door shut before he heard Sorit ram into it. Snarling and growling at the other side. That soon turned into quiet sniffing and after a few minutes silence. But Ryuu didn’t dare open the door again.
He’d lost his arrow fleeing so he wouldn’t be able to do any powerful summons quickly. It now lay just outside of Dosia’s chamber door, but he didn’t think about that for long. He just sniffled and walked back to his bed, holding his arm in pain and eventually wrapping it up in his jacket, hoping he wouldn’t bleed out.
Hours?! Artemis huffed again and glared daggers at Karim's back. What he said next, which sounded meaningless to Artemis made her rise an eyebrow and approach the All Demon with more bravery. "New ages? You mean everything is going to fall apart?" She felt her heart sink at the thought. Changing didn't always mean good. Realising that she was not going to get anywhere by trying to get answers from Karim, She sighed in defeat. "Stealing one's will is not any better than death, if not worse." The Ba'al mumbled before suddenly touching Karim's arm so slightly, just to prove she was determined and serious about it. "Take me to Joseph. At least he is not passing a foolish 'test'. He wanted to go to the no man lands...So I will take him there. He is only a human, he shouldn't get caught in middle of war [b you] escalated." Her hand dropped to her side, the female looking away. "In other words, you [b created]. By [i mating] with a human being. As desperate as your [b mother] to have a seed." She felt anger growing in her. She wanted to attack but swallowed down the rage and tool a deep breath, repeating with a much softer tone.
"Take me to Joseph."
Johar smirked in pleasure, now getting the idea of Eric actually being useful in the war. He could tear up any Dark...soon. His smirked changed into a frown when Eric again acted strange and paranoid.Johar didn't approve of this.He couldn't just fool around and faint after any single murder. Growling, the minister rushed to the hybrid threateningly and reached down, grabbing a horn to pull him up again. He stared into his eyes, hissing. "Pathetic, come to your senses!" He gave a rough shake to his by his horn before throwing him across the room on the blood puddle on the monsters. He left then, letting Eric be by himself. Cyan entered after a while and sighed seeing the mess he had to clean. But then he grinned to himself. He didn't have to do the dirty work. Juno was not to just sleep and eat all the time. He only did the favour of dragging the corpse of monster out to feed it to other monsters before fetching Juno.
The kid came with bucket and mop, hardly keeping her balance with the heavy objects as she stumbled in. She set the bucket and mop down, picking a cloth to wipe on the mess, her face pale but working hard to finish in time. She didn't even react to Eric, scared to get a beating from the teenage servant for slacking.
"Sorit. You are scaring our flyyyy~" Dosia cooed and approached the two with a tilted head. She hugged the wolf and rubbed his neck lovingly, looking down at the still tackled Ryuu. Her eight eyes glowed sinisterly as grinned wide. "But you are right. He came here without permission. Why does this 'Light slave' thinks he is better than us?" She scratched Sorit's ears, purring softly into them. "Let's make this night unforgettable for him. Then he realises [b I] should be the one he is scared of. Not the useless queen of Light." Chuckling, she stood and twirled again. "Sorit, please teach him a lesson. I am not kind the whole time. He had his chance and 'dared' to mock my kingdom so...if he likes to be imprisoned and tortured that much...I will grant it~ How generous of me. After this small lesson, you will hang to my web forever until I decide to feed on you. Isn't this wonderful, lapdog? This is just how you want the Dark to be! Meanie and cruel, Let's see how your darling queen wants to save you!" She laughed and twirled more, letting Sorit do whatever he wanted except killing him instantly.
Karim looked back at Artemis coolly and stated, “[b You never said how you wished to be brought back here but you made it painfully clear why you wanted to come back.]” He said watching her stand ridged and frown annoyed.
“[b Also, why I interfere should be none of your concern. Eric is just passing another test I’ve set out for him. He won’t be killed from this, I’ve made sure of that. But for your form here…]” He paused looking at her and he finally gestured towards her with one clawed hand. “[b You should be back to… ‘Normal’ I guess in a few more hours. Able to be seen and heard and do things just as you were able to before.]” He said it like that fixed everything and he turned away from her, but he didn’t leave.
“[b It’s been so long, and so fruitless.]” He said solemnly, not giving any context to what he was talking about. “[b Waiting all these years will do that, but new ages begin all the time. This will be no different.]”
Eric waited for the monster to charge again and he swiftly danced out of it’s path. He then heard what the minister said and he looked over his shoulder, his golden eyes burning with as much hate as he could show. The monster charged towards him again and he disappeared in a blur to meet it. He aimed to finish this quickly. First two deep slices appeared on both the monster’s front and back leg on it’s left side and it fell over, kicking and snarling. Then another fast cut ripped upwards from it’s right flank to the side of its neck and blood squirted up, spraying a little on Eric as he stood over the dying monster. The harder he pressed with his touch, the deeper the cuts were and the spray of blood seemed to dull his senses just enough that he developed another headache.
Wincing, he brought a hand up to his head before a paranoia slowly set in. What was he actually doing here? He glanced over with just his eyes from behind his hand and he could see Johar’s slight expression. What was the minister planning? His alertness had suddenly jumped for some reason and he looked away from Johar, biting his tongue and stepping back from the monster’s corpse. His hands were sticky with blood and the headache was slowly growing. He needed another order, another action, the idle hurt and was too much with the sudden paranoia too. He crouched down again and squeezed his eyes shut, holding his head in both of his hands and he felt his breathing pick up.
This was the same reaction Eric had given after he’d answered Johar’s questions the best he could. Shutting down and blocking out all everything could.
Ryuu wanted to wonder, wanted to walk and see and hear and discover the secrets of the castle. When he was grabbed that desire turned into the want to flee and escape, and luckily he did. He hear the birds song and he slowly followed after it, vaguely knowing where he was going. He paused at the threshold of her doorway and started towards Dosia, seeing her room covered in spider's silk and spun into a large nonsense like web. He stood still as she smiled and spun and he hardly notice the growling behind him before a heavy coarse furred creature pounced on him. The wind was knocked out of his lungs and he saw the silver and brown furred werewolf standing over him, teeth bared and eyes, wide and wild.
Sorit had reverted to his primal instinct and his deep desire to protect Dosia showed through this. He knew Ryuu couldn’t be trusted and he knew the Summoner only meant harm to his Queen. The werewolf snarled and opened his jaws, snapping his teeth down at the pinned man in an aggressive manner. He was trying to decide how to get rid of him and he didn’t notice that Dosia had stopped twirling.
Expecting this to be another failure, Artemis immediately sat up once she heard Karim. Looking to her side, she saw him and it was quite a pleasure finally somebody was seeing her in this world. "How...then how can I call you?" She suddenly said in frustration before shaking her head. What was She saying?! She wasn't there to just nag about ways of communication. She stood to look taller and more in control while she was not. She boldly looked up into his eyes, trying to sound firm and brave. "This...this is not a form we agreed on. You never even mentioned to change me into a useless ghost! I can't even talk-" That was when she realised it that for some reasons, She could hear her voice. It was weak, like coming from a far place. After this noticeable pause, Artemis clenched her fists. "This is like cheating! This is NOT what I wanted...Also...what...what are you doing...with Eric...and...and...interfering in a war...wanting the Light to win and...Arghh...Why don't you leave Eric alone!" She did her best to shout out the last part as she stomped on ground angrily but it was a weak aggressive whisper.
The wound Eric laid on the bull's eye made it only more thirsty for his blood. It gave out a roar and stomped its heavy hooves on the floor, the floor shaking and dusts rising. It stretched his jaws opened and revealed its pointy deadly teeth, saliva running down its fur. It's round eyes glowed red and it charged again this time faster along with snapping jaws to bite his head off.
Johar, impressed with Eric's ability to rid himself from the chains in a blink. Maybe he was not going to be so useless after all. Since it was the first night, He would go easy on him. But it didn't mean he had all the time in world to watch a simple battle.
"You have one minute to finish it off, each seconds delay is a whip lash on the child."
Once Ryuu stepped into the hallway, he could feel it was not a silent night. Whispers, steps and heaving breaths echoed through the walls. It was like everything was alive and aware. He could feel the atmosphere tense, like the place could blow up anytime soon. Shadows were crawling on the walls and invisible eyes were set on the Summoner. Suddenly he was grabbed on leg by a warm thing.
The Succubus Duchess. But...she wasn't the cool collected creature anymore. She was panting heavily, hugging his leg and stroking it lovingly and in a needy way. Once she looked up at him, He could see the crazed look in her eyes and the lustful expression as she licked her lips.
"Ooohhh~ Only a kiss, only a kiss..." She almost begged and tried to reach up to him with a greedy grin but she was yanked away by another stranger female and they started rolling on floor, fighting. It gave the lucky Ryuu to escape. Some birds passed above his head, chirping loudly. But among all those low noises one stood out.
Somebody was singing in a silky tone
More like humming a song.
A very chilling but strangely familiar song.
It was echoing through the hallways and led into the queen's chambers.
Dressed in a loose, sleeping gown, Dosia was humming a song she had never sung before. In other words, She never had sung anything at all. She twirled around and went to another corner with smooth moves, her face hidden beneath her hair as moved her hands slowly and rhythmically in a corner. Once she looked back with a drunken smile and a dreamy expression like she was sleep walking, she revealed a thread hanging from her mouth and as the moonlight shone in her room, it revealed a giant spider web in the chambers. She twirled again and her bangs went out of way, showing eight pitch black eyes on her grinning face.
There was silence before a soft wind breezed around her and the All Demon’s voice reached her ears. “[b You don’t need to do that anymore.]” He was standing a little ways from her, still under the tree. His large wings outlined his form and the starry pinpoints on his skin blended with the night sky behind him. His golden eyes looked down towards Artemis and he stood before her, waiting for her to reply.
“[i Yess…]” Eric hissed in a seething voice. He’d nodded first to show he understood but he remembered what happened the last time he didn’t speak. The chains gave him little slack but it was enough for him to stand a few inches from the wall, his arms at his sides. He stared towards the bull like monster as Johar stepped aside and he narrowed his eyes at the order, bracing his stance. He then stilled as a hissing, sizzling sound came from the chains. The same sound that Johar had heard before in the paradise room. The chains began to turn brittle and weaken and Eric continued to stand his ground. He waited till the monster was only inches from him before he leapt back, and the bull hit the wall, trying to gouge him with its horns.
At that moment the chains broke and the demon lashed out. The monster bellowed and staggered back, it’s three horns having missed Eric’s frame and there were five slices across its eyes, right where the skin of his fingers had grazed the monster. He’d attempted to claw at the monster and ended up cutting it with just his skin, just like Karim. With the monster distracted, he bolted from where he was cornered, running a few meters away before turning and watching the monster, still stepping back till he felt he was a safe distance away from it.
The All Demon’s presence and activity had indeed made most of the Dark more alert and powerful. Ryuu was finally hit by the surge of the dark power and it woke him from his sleep, his nerves tingling and a heavy feeling invading his mind.
Something felt… Off to say the least.
He sat up in bed, his ice blue eyes scanning the room around him. Nothing was out of place or seemed a miss but still he didn’t feel completely right. The feeling was enough to make him get up, dress and slowly pace to the door, quietly slipping out of his room to carefully roam the castle.
Artemis didn't follow them to the tower. She couldn't so anything for them in that state so she had to try and find Karim instead. She had many things to tell him but she hoped she would not lose her temper and get herself killed instead. The Ba'al didn't know how to call him this time so decided to use the old ways. Maybe hibernating could help? She easily got out of the castle and chose a tree to lay under. Relaxing sloely, she focused on calling Karim as her eyes started closing.
It was not a long way to the tower yet it seemed like to take forever for Juno as she desperately tried to keep up with with the blue haired boy's horse since he had warned her not to fall behind. Johar had an eye on Eric, his gaze almost burning holes on the demon. Once they reached the tower, Eric was taken to the highest part of the tower which was built for arenas and training for elite slaves, though they did not survive for long once they were not needed. Cyan took the panting Juno to the basement.
They chained Eric to the wall and Johar stood in the middle of the room. "From now on, you will be trained under [b my] watch. One disobedience and the girl will lose a finger, understood?" The minister glared at the prisoner and then stepped aside, revealing a bull like monster, growling in an offensive position. "Now, get yourself free and fight it." Johar ordered and the monster charged at the bound Eric with its three horns pointed. The floor shook under it as it charged.
Eric only saw her drop the mirror. He couldn’t see her reaction and he didn’t see her excuse. He just looked away again and back towards Juno. She didn’t deserve to be dragged into this. He closed his eyes again and was still, not saying anything else, not waiting for Artemis to do anything more, just being still. A few minutes later, he could hear something above him. A few sets of footsteps, agitated voices. Eric looked over towards the Trap door again and stayed waiting.
“So that’s what we have to work with. Naivety. Weakness.” She sighed irritably as they left the dungeon and she placed a hand her forehead. “He’s at least being more cooperative… Have him brought up to the east bell tower. Find out what he can and cannot do and,” She paused and looked back at Johar. “See if he can actually fly with those wings.” Eric might be some use to the war after all.
The devil and the child had been pulled out of the paradise room. Eric had been stilled by an order from one of the guards though he still looked extremely upset, like an animal that had been kicked one to many times. He didn’t struggle or fight as the group of guards passed him and Juno on to a patrol of waiting soldiers that were accompanying Johar. Cyan would be watching the girl and Eric glared back at the minister with narrowed eyes, his head lifted up and his wings closed tightly. He didn’t realize they were leaving the castle till he noticed the dark night sky above them and Eric gritted his teeth together, clearly wanting to resist but he was seemingly unable to. The bell tower wasn’t far from the castle and very few were awake at this time of night.
[b Why does it matter to you?]
The question caught her off guard, making her drop the mirror and she felt her stomach turn as her face reddened. Sheesh, what the hell was happening to her. Artemis swallowed before folding her arms and looking away. It was a relief Eric was not looking at her reflection anymore. Because she didn't know what she would do if he saw her ridiculous blush and embarrassed eyes. Snapping out of it, The little Ba'al also looked away and folded her arms. There did not have to be any reasons. She just felt like it. Yes. That should explain.
There was still a reflection of her on the dropped mirror. 'Because it disgusts me to see a pathetic loser like you! Even thinking of your pouting around sickens me! Damn you!' Artemis stuck our her tongue and looked away again with a silent huff.
Negomin's shouts and growls were silenced when the lid was put back in place. Philip shivered seeing Valrie paying attention to him but at the mention of Joseph his back stiffened and confusion washed over him. What did she mean? What had happened to Joseph?! Before he could even talk the soldiers took him away to place him in another cell.
Johar noticed Valerie was not in her best mood. So it took him some time before he cleared his throat and explained with a catious tone while keeping up with her impatient steps. "My queen, he is no longer fighting back but claims that he is not aware of Karim's intentions and the change is pushing him too much...he doesn't even seem to have the enough stamina for the change. Light magic still dmaages him and he still naive with his new body. He is not a problem anymore, I can assure you."
“...!” Eric was startled and yanked himself back as Artemis struck him with the mirror. He didn’t catch what she was saying till she repeated the last word again and again.
He stared at the cracked mirror and he forced himself to look at where she really was, even if he couldn’t see her. He pressed his lips together and slowly sat backup, crossing his legs and resting his arms on his knees. Eric didn’t say anything back to her, not another word. He just looked away and glared up towards the trapdoor. His sore shoulder wasn’t bothering him very much and he began to wonder.
“So what?” He suddenly asked. “Why does it matter to you?” Eric’s voice had a strange calm to it and he kept his gaze away from where she was.
“Ha!” Valerie laughed at Negomin’s claim. Her rule was not over, it was far from it. She looked down into the pit, down on the ancient dragon and she forced back the smile she wanted for give. “You know not of what you speak.” She said in a soft, musing voice. “Light is infinite while the dark is only ever there when there is something for it to hide behind. But war is also war. The Dark has waged it so I will answer. There is no Avoiding what is to come!” She tightened her grip on the sword and began to pace around the pit.
Seeing Negomin spread her wings and start to change, she looked towards her captain and nodded for the seal to be placed again. The only reason the pit was so blindingly dark was because it had a lid. A large rolling, circular slab of rock that was fitted over top of the pit and sat level with the ground. It was difficult to move by hand, but the Light had made a way to make the cage work. If Negomin broke the walls than the slab would fall, crushing her. After hearing everything that the dragon had said, The Grey Queen decided that they were done talking. Her warning fell on deaf ears and the Queen waited for her to be sealed away from the light again before she turned towards Philip.
“You are Joseph’s follower, correct? Not his brother’s?” She asked walking over to him and looking at him with her sharp eyes. “Tell me do you have any idea where he could have gone if he were to disappear to some place, safe for himself?” She asked and she noticed Philip’s eyes widen. Joseph was far gone by now but it still didn’t mean that he couldn’t be found again.
Upon his hesitation, Valerie looked away and she noticed Johar, standing near the doorway to the stairs that lead away from the pit. She looked back to the soldiers and told them to ‘take care of him,’ before she turned away and walked over towards the stairs. “Johar.” She said with an off putting cold tone and she walked past him, expecting him to follow and way what he needed to say while they walked. She hadn’t expected to see him so soon but since he was here, she decided that he better have learned something of use.
Artemis' eyes widened slightly as she heard of his past. The All Demon just kept pushing him beyond his limits to change him into a complete demon. That sounded quite pathetic to the Ba'al. If he was so obsessed in having a powerful demon seed, then why did he even choose a human female to be the carrier? She shook her head then noticed Eric sitting back down admitting his defeat. This pissrd her off. She hated that attitude. As long as his heart was beating, He had no right to bow down to the selfish creatures of this world. She lost her temper again and suddenly charged at the hybrid with the mirror in her hand. She whacked him on head with it, the mirror cracking and revealing the angry face of Artemis who seemed to be shouting out something until she was out of breath, panting like a worn out bull. She then started mouthing,
'Stupid.Loser.Can't even fight for yourself. COWARD!'
She shook her fist at him, dying to bruise him.
Negomin had gone...mad, wild and savage. There were no hint of sympathy or worry in her eyes anynore. Her wide crimson eyes glued onto the form of the queen up there and a growl echoed through the pit. "[b Gray Queen.]" She called back and pulled on the chains which restricted her limbs, the rattling sound adding to the tension. "So you could not even protect your [b OWN] land's balance and even brought the Greater Dark here? Unforgivable! Unforgivable! The Mother of Nature will turn against you and twist the world in a way you have never seen before. Your time and age is over. If you have the smallest respect for the ancient rules, [b AVOID THE CHAOTIC WAR]!" Scales started appearing on her face, as she roared out more. "A war between Light and Dark has no winner but misery! Once the rules are broken...The ancient guardians will be awakened. I'm warning you...Stop messing with the balance. There will be a time when even the immortal is not safe." The ground started shaking as her wings spreads out, putting pressure on the walls.
Eric frowned as she mouthed the words she wanted to say, but after a few moments he got it and his shoulders slumped. “No.... I didn’t.” He said looking. “Do you remember when I told you that my power could kill me if I used it too much? This is just Karim’s way of fixing that, He tried to make me like this before but…” He winced at the memory and shook his head. “I was able to convince him not to.”
He glanced back towards Artemis then looked over his shoulder towards little Juno. She was still asleep and she’d curled up even more after he’d stood and stepped away from her. “I don’t know what to do…” He sighed walking back over to the child and sitting down beside her. “Even if they weren’t using someone’s life against me, I still feel like I can’t say no. He did something else to me… Like… My will isn’t all mine anymore.” Eric sighed again and covered his face with one hand, still looking away from the mirror and Artemis.
“... I see.” Valerie paused when the housecarl hesitated slightly about what to do. “I will go down to see her.” She said, taking a few minutes to get something before she headed down to the dungeon. Around her waist was a belt and hanging from the belt was a sword of light, almost like the same one Ryuu had used to keep the Monsters at bay. The only difference was that Valerie knew how to use it as a weapon instead of a deterrent.
Down in the dungeon above the pit, she saw that Philip had been pulled out and was being tended to by two healers. He’d been near her when she went mad and she’d grazed him, but not too badly. There were many soldiers about, some muttering and other just watching on. And down in the pit, Negomin was snarling. “Dragon!” She finally called, looking down towards the red eyed girl and seeing the vicious look that she had. “You wanted to talk,” She continued, and stepped closer to the edge of the pit, “So let’s talk.”
Artemis just stared as he asked his question then flinched when he just hit the bull's eye by guessing she had made another deal with the All Demon. She gritted her teeth together, now feeling stupid for dealing with the untrustworthy demon. Just because to see Eric again...what was wrong with her?! Artemis noticed him approaching her and even though he couldn't see her or even feel, she felt uneasy seeing his wings and horns. Yes, he now looked much like her people but the little Ba'al preferred his original appearance; Especially when Karim forced this upon him. Now it was not any time to regret. She opened her mouth and tried to ask if he was okay then remembered it was not going to work. Her expression fell but she tried to mimic the words with her lips.
'Yes. I did. For a personal reason. Your horns...'
She pointed at her head then her shoulders.
'You always had them?'
It was hard understanding her silent but she tried to help with her hands and gestures.
Nobody dared to disturb Valerie but after an hour or so a housecarl had to ruin her peace by knocking on the door and coming in hesitantly. He was a bit pale and his eyes looked troubled. "Your highness...the dragon we captured...Is making quite a fuss in the dungeon. She wants to see you." He didn't feel the need to say that she threatened to change into her dragon form even with the magical chains they used. She started it all when Karim appeared. His presence just drove her crazy and snapped her out of depression. "Shall we...bring her here or..."
This treatment felt strange. Ryuu was usually playing the role that little Weasel had and he felt a little guilty for accepting the pampering. He watched the boy change into his animal form and race around excitedly, enforcing that little feeling of guilt. “Thank you Weasel.” He said again and watching the boy change back into his human form, grinning before he left the room, closing the door behind him. By now it was dark outside and the curtains had been left open. The Summoner laid on his side, dwelling over what Dosia had told him in the garden and he slowly drifted off to sleep.
The sharp jolt of the mirror hitting him woke Eric and he sat up too fast, growling quietly and trying to regain his bearings. He glancing around, seeing that the monsters weren’t close enough to be bothering them and Juno was still asleep. He continued to look around till he spotted the little reflective object floating around in mid air. He glanced up to see if it was attached to anything but it wasn’t. And he watched as it turned and he noticed the reflection of someone that he thought he’d never see again.
“Artemis?!” He gasped and quickly climbed to his feet, staring at the mirror and looking towards where it was reflecting. She should be there but, he couldn’t see anything, he could only see her through the mirror. “What is this?” He asked confusion in his voice. “Why are you back here? I thought you wanted to go back to Muerte. Did it not work? Wait… Did you…? Is this another…?” He swallowed and stepped closer to where she should be standing. “Did you make another deal with him? Is that why you’re back here?”
The Grey Queen stayed out in the field for a long time after Karim disappeared and when the sun had just about set, she turned and walked back to the Castle. She said nothing, showed nothing as she walked from the elite Light that had been watching. Many of them wanted to know what she’d said to the All Demon and if she’d agreed to his deal. But still not a word from her.
She walked with a few bold warriors following after her but once they reached her wing of the castle, her housecarls barred the way, not letting any of the guests through after her. She’d have to tell them sometime, but tonight she would not. With a soft sigh, she walked to her study and dropped the cloak on the table, looking down at the map she’d been charting herself. There was a plan, a good plan, something to help win the war. But her little spy on the other side hadn’t sent another letter like he’d promised to. Maybe tomorrow but she highly doubted it.
“What has happened?” She wondered aloud, leaning down on the table and closing her eyes, her back to the door and her mind racing.
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