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These Bloody Streets: Requiem for Allies! [IC]

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-----Sookie-----

It felt really weird when Sookie stepped back onto the Prideux estate. It was so massive in its grandeur. The way she usually took was through the back--there was at least fifty acres of woodlands in the back of their property that gave way to the rolling hills and vineyards in the front. She doubted that that was a natural occurrence; more than likely they were magically induced. She’d seen these wards in this forest used once before and the sight of seeing tree branches wrap around and rip thirty people apart was extremely disturbing.

 

Sookie was wearing the same thing she always wore, loose fitting clothing that her small frame hardly fit. A black hoody that fell a few inches below her thigh, over a pair of university sweatpants she stole from somebody because--for the thirty fifth time that she would undoubtedly never hear the end of from Elizabeth--she lost her enchanted necklace that let her keep her clothes when she transformed. She had on a pair of grey and pink Nike sneakers with a blue Nike check mark.

 

She’d been trying to get here for nearly six months now. It wasn’t easy for her, especially considering that she was basically on foot the entire time and she started Canada. She was able to trade work for travel on a small trading boat that was crossing the Atlantic. Initially that was going to take her straight from--what was once Hallifax--to what is--and to some extent still is--France where it would have been a simple light jog for several days to the Prideux’s castle.

 

Things, however, always have a way of fucking up for her.

 

Somehow, they ended up in Norway for a quick stop that ended in her being kicked off the ship. Apparently a sarcastic werewolf didn’t sit tight with them. Especially with the lunar cycle approaching a full moon soon. Of course, though, they didn’t understand that she wouldn’t transform into an uncontrollable monster when that happened. The world has become significantly more tolerant of the supernatural, that much is for certain, however there are still stereotypes, like that one, going around. She trekked on foot--or paw more accurately--from Norway to France. The only stroke of good luck she got was when the remnants of the season adjustments caused by the fall and disarray of the fairies caused for the entire Baltic and North sea’s to be frozen over, making it so that she didn’t have to find a boat across and could just walk it.

 

The palpable feeling of generations of power and magic rushed into Sookie as she crossed the threshold of their property--the ancestral wards recognizing her as a dear friend and enveloping her in their protection. The closer she got to the castle, the more anxious she got.

 

“Three fuckin’ years,” She mumbled to herself, “Jesus Christ.” She sighed, “I do not feeling like dealing with her.” Sookie could already smell the familiar scents of the Prideux family. Elizabeth’s stuck out though, she had a strange smell--the smell of the atmosphere just after a serious thunderstorm, wet, calm, relaxing, relieving.

 

-----Elizabeth-----

A vapid pounding rapped at the side door, “Gaah,” She said out loud, irritated. She was in the middle of cooking lunch. Eli, who usually did almost all the cooking, was out with Jinkama, something about a new cave in Marseille that Jinkama wanted to go diving in. Now she was stuck with Willow--the most worthless human being in the world, besides when it come to killing--to prepare lunch for all the children. Which meant boxed macaroni, because someone she found a way to burn water. “I’m not playing these games with you deviants anymore! Stop it, I’m trying to cook you guys lunch!”

 

Again the pounding continued and this time Elizabeth slammed the box of macaroni and cheese down and whipped open the door, “What?!”

 

The breath left her body and she was left gasping for words as she saw it was Sookie, “Sookie! Oh my god!” Sookie opened her mouth to say something, but Elizabeth continued, “You’re pregnant?! Like third trimester pregnant!”

 

“No, I’m just fat” Sookie said, walking through the door, bypassing the speechless Elizabeth. “ ‘You’re pregnant?’--”she imitated mockingly--”Yes of course I’m pregnant, dumby.” She paused, “And I’m hungry.” She went to the macaroni and cheese that was already prepared and grabbed a handful, downing it, “Jesus, did you burn the water?”  

 

-----Sookie-----

It had been about four years since Sookie came back to them. She realized the only logical thing to do would be to mooch off of her rich friends. Which is what she was planning on doing for a long, long while. And, in her defense, there’s literally an unlimited amount bedrooms in the Prideux castle. So she doesn’t consider it mooching, and also they are the ones mooching off her fantastic presence and sense of humour.

 

Her original goal, which was to find her own species of wolf, was a complete failure. She spent two years running through the rural wilderness of Canada with another werewolf clan, fighting and defending their territory from other werewolf clans that were moving in and trying to take over. When she found out she was pregnant, she knew she didn’t have much choice on where to go.

 

The wolf clan that she associated with was in no way a stable home. Raising her children in the supernatural equivalent of a biker-gang isn’t something she was interested in doing, no matter how much she enjoyed the no rules life style. At the end of the day there was only one option, and that was back to France.

 

Sookie had six children. Basically a liter.

 

All six of them were completely out of control. They currently had very little control over their transformations. One minute a happy four year old would end up turning into an angry tiny werewolf because he had to go to bed. It was, needless to say, and extreme headache.

The hardest part for Sookie though, wasn’t managing the wild demon-spawn-wolf children she had, it was watching her foul mouth in front of children.

 

Currently, all the children were in their wolf form dashing across the country side with Sookie not far behind. They had to do this almost every day; three hours of heavy physical activity like running or else they’d destroy the house. Whatever omnipotent being mixed the angst, teeth, and claws of a puppy with a young child, clearly had a maid to clean up the messes.

 

This time, though, they were going a little farther out. Sookie instinctively extended her sense and put her guard up a little higher--a life of living on edge and fighting will do that to you. Also, if the tendencies of a young child and a wolf mixed together are bad; it’d be hard to imagine the tendencies of a protective mother wolf with that of a human mother.

 

A fox dashed out and Sookie cringed.

 

All six children dashed after it, throwing caution to the wind. Sookie did as well, a steady jog, she wasn’t in her wolf form but she could still keep up. Her special species of werewolf letting her wolf powers transcend into her human form. As they approached the property line she began to try and calm the kids down but she knew it was no use. They weren’t going to stop until they get the fox.

 

Weird, She thought, That thing's fast as fuck. She focused a little harder and realized that it didn’t have a scent, or a heartbeat, or blood. Ariel must be playing a trick on us or something Even as she said it she knew it didn’t make sense. They crossed the property line, and the wards faded, and her sense could fully expand, and she could fully sense the trap they’d walked into. The fox stopped cold and Arya, her daughter, the fastest of all the kids and with a thick, red coat. was centimeters away from her jaws catching it in the throat.

 

In an instant Sookie switched gears and dashed forward. She lunged and caught Arya, somersaulting with her tucked in her arms. The fake fox exploded, sending shrapnel in all directions. She heard some of her children whimper as the metal shards stuck into them. Fortunately she had caught Arya, even with their healing abilities a blow like that to the head would have killed her.

 

Sookie roared, “Go! Run back home!” Arya stood petrified for a moment, before Sookie threw her in the direction she needed to go, fight or flight taking over, and Arya took off. Getting back into the protection of the wards as quickly as she had left. Fortunately, they had enough werewolf in them to sense danger and react accordingly--to some extent. Sookie took in her surroundings while she ran towards her other kids, she could smell several different scents, nothing familiar, and heard seven different sets of foot steps.

 

They were fast too.

 

Almost before she could get there, there was an armored man with a large, two handed sword--wielding it much more capably than any normal human should be able to. The sword came down in a quick arc to catch one of her retreating kids. Sookie’s bare fist punched the edge of the blade and the metal broke on her knuckles, snapping clean off and stopping his advance. She whipped her hand back, throwing blood on the property line, alerting the wards--and hopefully everyone else--to danger.

 

Three kids left She thought, all the others were back inside the wards.

 

The next men had ropes and chains and scooped up her kids easily. They weren’t just regular chains and nets, they all had some form of silver laced in  them--ending any fight they had to try and escape. Silver completely nullifies any healing abilities a werewolf has and essentially immobilises them. To a grown adult it’s torture, but to a child it’s worse.

 

Sookie’s rage was palpable. Her hand began to transform and her fingernails elongated, in an instant she was over to them and her hand grabbed a man by the throat and crushed it, a satisfying crack and flow of blood ensuing. The next man charged her, dropping his silver laced chains and netting and reaching for his sidearm--an exquisite revolver. Sookie closed the distance in an instant and had her clawed hand through his chest and out the other side--ripping his heart to shreds.

 

Two more across the property line, Her heart started beating faster, and her thoughts became muffled into verbalizations, “Joshua. Where’s Joshua?” She scanned quickly and effectively and she saw him running towards the property line, relieved she began to as well.

 

Four arrows sped through the air towards Joshua. Sookie dashed forward, catching three and one digging deep into her thigh. She turned to see how Joshua was doing. He was so close. He had to be across the line now. She was devastated to see him in the hands of some strange man, unconscious. A knife to his throat.

 

She slowly reached down and ripped the arrow out of her leg. In the next few seconds of silence the bleeding slowed and almost stopped.

 

“Damn Sookie,” The man laughed, “We only got one. We were sure we could catch all of you with those guys. To bad I suppose.” The knife dug deeper.

 

“Wait!” Sookie yelled, “Don’t.” She was mad. Extremely so. “What do you--”

 

With a boom and clash of thunder Elizabeth was next to her; enchanted bow in hand, arrow nocked and ready to fly. Ariel a moment later. Most likely Willow would be hiding, waiting for an opportunity to strike.  

 

“Damn, we weren’t fast enough.” The man said, “Listen Sookie, you really shouldn’t have pissed off our friends in Canada. Now we have to off you and all your filthy kids.”

 

Sookie didn’t respond. Instead she just shook with anger.


 

-----Elizabeth-----

Elizabeth had never seen Sookie like this before. She was in a seemingly uncontrollable fit of rage. Fear was driving her emotions and sending her almost rabid. The most frustrating part was that she was completely conflicted, if she rushed him he would slice Joshua’s throat open and then by the time they handled him, Joshua would surely have bled out. Seeing her speechless from anxiety, seeing her eyes wide with terror, and seeing this wretched filth with his hands on Joshua, made Elizabeth mad irate.

 

Her enchanted bow quivered with power and sent surges of it throughout her arms, down her spine, fueling the already growing fire in her belly. She’d been practicing religiously with her magical weapon and getting to see some real world application was going to be fantastic. Ariel was standing to the left of Elizabeth, offset only a little. Elizabeth spoke to her in a careful and hushed tone, “When this starts I’m jumping back to get distance, about six hundred feet.” The electric bow line hissed with energy, as if anticipating what would happen next, “You won’t see it. Willow is in the shadows somewhere I beli--”

 

-----Ariel-----

Fifteen arrows hissed through the air, cutting off Elizabeth. Ariel spoke fast and controlled in an indecipherable gibberish, the arrows stopped halfway, floating in the air. Through her peripheral vision, Ariel saw a brief flash of light--Elizabeth was gone, electricity coursing through her veins and charging her movements to almost untraceable speeds. Three of the goons came out of nowhere and rushed Ariel, one approaching her head on, and two others coming behind him in a V shape, most likely to flank her. She spoke something incoherent to normal ears--this time significantly louder--and the arrows that were frozen in place dashed forward as fast as if they were just shot out of the same bow and skewered all three men--five arrows striking each man direction in the back of the head.

 

She jumped to the side, towards Sookie and Ariel, who didn’t tend to show much emotion, was visibly shocked at to see that Sookie was still slumped over, silently watching her unconscious son. He was caught in an awkward transition halfway between wolf and man. She couldn’t move, her body physically refusing to move as the bastard held her son in iron grip, knife cutting into his throat and a small trickle of blood running down his neck.

 

The man holding Joshua whistled loudly,catching everyone’s attention. “A Namer! Good lord we haven’t seen one of your kind in generations, tens of generations.” The knife cut deeper into Joshua’s throat and he whimpered slightly, semiconscious. “You’re forgetting I’m in control, Bitch. And now here I am with a fuck load of dead men. Our requests weren’t terrible, either, Sookie if we could have had a moment to talk things out. Sad. Now I have to kill your kids, your friends, and drag you ba--”

 

-----Willow-----

Willow, as always, was a complete blur of motion. Her tight black leggings, black tank top, and black hair making her a complete blur of darkness that was all but invisible in the shadows of the trees around them. She was behind him, her one small hand digging deep into his thick tricep muscle, emanating a strange purple glow and the other angled upwards at the base of his skull--aimed at his brain stem--hand was completely sheathed in a cold, black aura.

 

“Thank god, our intel was correct, you’re here too.” He spoke, unphased by his seemingly imminent death, “Mommy and Daddy were really mad at you after--”

 

“Shut up.” Willow said, “You’re not in control anymore” Her eyes were distant, cold, “Who are you?” Her questions were simple, concise. She wasn’t one to mince words when fighting, she didn’t really care all that much about her opponent. As soon as she got answers they needed she would waste him and they’d begin a speedy retreat back into the safety of the Prideux castle where they could figure out what exactly is going on.

 

Seeing Sookie this off disturbed even Willow, one of the most callous of the group. Something was definitely off here about this man. During her Hiatus away Sookie became significantly stronger, stronger than her probably, and while Willow didn’t know a lot about wolves, she assumed that Sookie’s wolfish motherly instinct would have her ripping this man to shreds; but for some reason she was petrified.  

 

The man laughed.

 

It became abundantly clear to Willow that nothing good was going to come out of this conversation. She was going to end it, quickly, she didn’t have time to torture the man as he deserved. Her hand was positioned in a spear roughly three inches from the base of his brain stem, in less than a second she could close the gap and end his life, then grab the boy, shake some sense into Sookie, and be on their way.

 

Even before she began to contract her muscles to begin the motion to jab her hand into his neck, she became completely enveloped in a sense of extreme vertigo. She couldn’t make sense of the world anymore, she stumbled over and fell to the ground--not from lack of muscle control or anything along those lines, but just from a complete confusion. Everything she told her body to do it did the opposite. Everything she perceived and heard, all her senses, were backwards to what was actually happening in the world.

 

When the equilibrium between the fluid in your ears and what your eyes physically portray aren’t in sync the human body can’t process what’s happening, causing an intense and disturbing motion sickness. She tried to recover and dashed backwards, which ended up being forwards and she completely collapsed, her legs doing the opposite. She laid on the ground, trying to make sense of things, hoping that the others weren’t experiencing the same effects.

 

Three seconds, She concentrated, I need to recover and move in three seconds, if everything is backwards this is but a simple hurdle I have to jump. She gagged and held down her vomit, Push motion sickness aside. You can fight while you're sick, you’ve fought while you’ve been poisoned worse than this before.

-----Sookie-----

Whatever strange spell came over Willow, it actually ended up helping the situation as a whole.

Willow’s purple aura of power creates a complete simulation of pain and, since the man holding Joshua could see willows hand engulfing his left tricep--the arm holding Joshua--he didn’t realize that when Willow moved it would move her hand, thus beginning the effects of her ability. Her purple aura creates the illusion to the body of an injury that doesn’t exist, so it was as if the man had a complete severed tricep and a partially severed bicep--causing him to lose almost all control of left arm.

 

The arm holding Joshua.

 

The only thing stopping Sookie from smashing his face in.

 

The moment that Sookie’s bestial gaze saw him waver, like a wolf sensing the perfect moment to tackle its prey, Sookie had covered the distance in one massive leap--superman punching him square in the face. Her fist dug deep, smashing his nose straight back, flattening the bone and cartilage. Her fist dug deeper and deeper, snapping his head back and breaking his neck. He was dead before he hit the ground.

 

The next moment Sookie was in her wolf-form, flawless white, bigger than a horse and had her son by the nape of his neck. When his instincts sensed Sookie switching forms, and probably the danger of the whole situation, even though he was unconscious he transformed as well. Granted, he was not anywhere the size of Sookie. At the age of four, his wolf-form was merely the size of a small, sixty pound dog. Sookie had his unconscious form by the nape of his neck and in the next instant she had her four legs splayed over Willow, providing a shield while she got her bearings. Willow carefully got up and ungracefully--something not characteristic to her whatsoever--regained her footing. Her eyes were bloodshot and her face pale, she was swaying back and forth, her right arm grabbing a thick handful of Sookie’s fur for support.

 

-----Willow-----

The next few things happened very quickly, and it was impossible for Willow in her current state to follow them. Sharp and loud crackles of electricity boomed around them, sound following seconds after flashes. The forest was completely eviscerated--tree’s split in half, lit on fire, and huge craters in the ground. Elizabeth and Sookie were both seeings things she could not focus on, slowly she was regaining her senses, pushing the strange sickness in the back of her mind.

 

As clarity returned Willow read into a pretty disconcerting site. There was certainly a lot of something coming towards them, now what exactly that something was she couldn’t be to sure of. And also, whatever it was, there was a lot of it. A man shaped blob was running through the forest, as it got closer it’s features became more defined. It was a pinkish red, and it looked like a wax, partially melted, figure. Elizabeth’s arrows--which have an incredible destructive power, were simply passing through these things, then exploding into whatever was behind them. Leaving gaping holes in the creatures and then doing the brunt of their damage to the landscape behind them.

 

Willow concentrated when she spoke to Sookie, who was just as confused about the situation as she was, “I’m going to climb on top of you, I can’t run as is. And that thing out there isn’t what did this to me, there’s a lot more going on here than we’re aware of.”

 

The ground quivered and shook, separating in front of them and forming a gaping gash in the earth eight feet wide and ten feet deep. The brow of Ariel’s head had trickled sweat on it and she spoke to them, “Sookie what she said, Elizabeth and I will catch up to you two. Take care of your son. Elijah and Jinkama already have the rest back inside the castle by now.

 

Sookie growled her agreement and under the cover fire of Elizabeth they dashed back towards the Prideux property line--probably about fifteen miles away. As they got closer they could still here the pounding thunder of Elizabeth’s blows. Crossing the property line was a relieving feeling; as soon as they did so the protective wards completely enveloped them with a palpable feeling of safety and security. Willow’s symptoms completely disappeared--balance and proper motor function returning to her in an instant.

 

As they cleared through the forests bordering the property line and came upon the rolling hills and vineyards that were more iconic to the estate, Sookie picked up speed. The wind whistled by them and once Willow was completely sure she whatever curse was put on her had passed she jumped off Sookie and again was a blur--dashing forward faster than her, to the castle, providing an invisible and unnecessary escort. Just in case.

 

-----Sookie-----

 

Sookie Burst through the doors now in human form, sweatpants and a hoody on thanks to Elizabeth’s handy-dandy-form changing charm. Joshua was in her hands, terrified but alive. He had his face burrowed into her shoulder and she tried to remain calm, for his sake, as she looked for her other children. She could sense they were all here--she could smell and hear them.

 

“There all in the west wing of the building, in the wine cellar. Elijah is with them.” Willow was next to Sookie now, walking down the stairs with her as she went towards the sounds of children. “Cern is on the roof, Jinkama is at the main entrance. I’m going to go to the back entrance to watch for Ariel and Elizabeth.” And at that Willow was gone, as silently as she appeared. It never ceased to amaze Sookie how she could evade every one of her sharp senses--even her sense of smell.  Sookie came through the doors and tried to smile for her kids, but when she saw them all she wanted to do was cry. She had never felt as much terror as she did right then at that moment.

 

Elijah stood up, “I’m going outside, Sookie, stay here.” Elijah was barely wearing clothes. He had been jerked awake in bed, presumably. He had on a pair of basketball shorts and combat boots that were untied. His well muscled chest and arms completely exposed. He had his sword in hand and in an instant he gated away from her.

 

-----Elijah-----

 

Cern was with Elijah when he appeared next to Jinkama. They were at the main entrance. Elijah spoke, anger in his voice, “They went south, we’re gonna track them down. Elizabeth and Ariel are already back as well.”

 

Jinkama smiled, “Damn right we are! It’s Bull shit that they saw all the fighting and we got none of it!”

 

Cern nodded and then snapped his head. Two figures walked towards them. “What the fuck?” He said, baffled, “How are they not incinerated by the wards.”

 

Elijah’s eyes widened, “They’re nobody we know.”

 

“Well then, they’re going to die,” in an instant a bow and an arrow materialized in his hands and Cern dashed forward, firing off arrows at the figures. Elijah in an instant was behind him his sword sending lances of emerald green energy all around them.

 

Worse yet, more figures approached from the west side of the estate. Nothing familiar to any of them. “How are they getting through the wards?” Jinkama cursed and dashed off.

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The Pengallion Mansion, England…

 

The mansion was a sight of modern marvel, if not a bit ostentatious when compared to the rustic landscape, with its sleek design of glass walls and hard corners. It was comfortably big, while not reaching the extensiveness of somewhere like the Prideux Estate, and sported massive grounds. It had taken many months to obtain planning permission to build it but once that was out of the way, it only took 8 months to build and finish. This wasn’t really a surprise when the building had been helped along by a little bit of magic.

Zane was proud of it, despite is size compared to Elizabeth’s place, and smiled as he sat outside on the front lawn. He had chosen a charcoal three-piece suit today, paired with a dark blue shirt and complimenting red tie. Silver cufflinks in the shape of small flames were at his wrists and he matched them with his silver pocket watch that was fastened correctly to his waistcoat. In the years since he had married, he had cut his hair down to a couple of inches and swept it back over his head; this style made his bronze eyes stand out much more than previously.

A rare bit of sun had brightened the sky of southern England and Zane had taken the seat to enjoy it while it lasted, filling the time he had now all the major magical threats of the world had been dealt with and the supernatural was transitioning into the norm without too much trouble. That and the vast amount of money he had inherited from his late father meant he could pretty much relax. It didn’t last very long as he heard the automatic glass doors open behind him and the sound of heels on stone as his wife walked down to the lawn to him.

Ellie came up behind Zane and leant forward onto his shoulder, leaning forward until the ball of light in her right hand was visible. The smile that Zane had flashed at her arrival disappeared as he looked into the light, surprise taking its place. “He’s actually calling for help? Where is he?”

“I was as surprised as you; he’s at the Prideux Estate.”

Ellie was wearing a sleeveless, knee length dress that hugged her figure tightly. It was dark turquoise in colour and matched well with the black belt around her waist, fastened with a silver clasp, and black knee high boots. She also wore a large, plush, fur coat that hung to the back of her knees, the collar flickering as if alight with flame. She had let her dark chocolate hair grow out and it now ran down her back to her waist; a golden net mounted with rubies rested atop her head, running from her forehead to the back of her neck. A matching necklace of gold and rubies hung around her neck.

“So let’s go.” Zane said and stood up, turning around to rest a hand on Ellie’s shoulder. “Ticket to France please.” He said with a smile and Ellie laughed as both she and Zane disappeared in a flash of light that shot into the sky.

==================================================================================

The Prideux Estate, France…

 

Jinkama bolted west, leaving the two initial invaders to Cern and Elijah. As he ran, his shoulder length nest of blueness whipping behind him, he pulled a hair tie from his pocket and quickly tied the hair into a ponytail. Then he gripped the black t-shirt he was wearing and pulled outwards, ripping the cheap fabric and leaving him bare-chested. Now Jinkama wore only his loose fitting white trousers, fastened at the waist with a silver locked belt, and his ankle length boots that were plated in metal. Then, with a shine of light like sun of a mirror, Jinkama’s flush pink skin changed colour to that of gold.

“I’ve been busting to test out Aura X!” he said to himself as the two westward invaders came into clearer view.

The two were clearly a pair as they wore the same kind of futuristic samurai armour and both carried glowing samurai swords; although one of them was left handed. Jinkama dashed at them without so much as a quip and both samurai reacted, their swords swinging down to strike at Jinkama’s shoulders. Jinkama ignored the blades, it had been a very long time since something could cut through his Aura, and stepped forwards to deliver a double blow to the pair’s stomachs. He was surprised when the blades struck and didn’t break, and apparently the samurai were surprised when they didn’t cut through him as the three of them came to a standstill with their blades held against Jinkama’s golden skin.

For a second no one said anything and then Jinkama smiled. “So, boys, what next?” The two of them looked at each other but before either could do anything, Jinkama spun violently, bending around their blades, and landed a fist in each of their faces sending them tumbling backwards. As Jinkama stopped to see what damage he had caused, three blurred figures shot past him, towards the estate. Not planning on letting that happen, Jinkama took a step to follow them and found the right handed samurai grabbing his shoulder to prevent him moving. With surprising strength, Right-hand through Jinkama behind him where he crashed into the floor and Left-hand stepped in to drive his sword into Jinkama’s neck, where it stopped dead.

Me against these two, Elijah and Cern against those two, Ariel and Elizabeth not back yet, Sookie looking after her children, and Willow god knows where; Seems like I’ll need to call in some back up. Jinkama thought quickly and then flipped his left arm so the wrist was uppermost, revealing a black tattoo in the form of a single line with flames running its length. He punched Left-hand, knocking him reeling again, and quickly ran a finger the length of the tattoo, lighting it up as he went. With that done, he spun to his feet, knocking back Right-hand who had started towards him and grinned from ear-to-ear.

“Right, together now or this won’t be fun.” He said as a flash of light landed next to him.

==================================================================================

The Prideux Estate, France…

Ellie and Zane appeared in a flash of light and the two of them instantly took in the armoured Samurai facing off against the golden Jinkama, which was a surprise for Ellie but not for Zane, who had trained with him like that.

“Three invaders, towards the house, chop chop.” He said and then blocked one of the samurai as they moved to stop Ellie and Zane from quickly moving off.

Zane immediately picked out the blurs with his enhanced eyes and raised both hands. Two large silver pistols, similar to a Desert Eagle, appeared out of thin air and dropped into each of his hands and without hesitation he pulled the triggers; his right finger pulling twice. Blue bars of energy shot out of the pistols to match the trigger pulls, about a metre in length, and passed the blurs like they were moving in slow motion. Once they passed them, they suddenly jerked back the way they had come and struck the blurs middle mass. Immediately the three of them were thrown backwards and crashed into the floor to create a small crater.

“Two on the right are mine.” Zane said and dashed forward with his enhanced speed to face his selection.

Ellie sighed, Zane had been craving a proper fight for a while now, and opened her hand to summon in a wooden staff carved with flames. She dropped it forward where it stopped an inch from the ground and then stepped up onto it. Ellie rode the staff like a surfboard and gently lowered herself in front of the invader Zane had left her.
“Now, now, care to tell me who you are?” She asked politely, hovering in front of him.

He stood up, rubbing his chest where Zane’s shot had apparently hit him, and looked at her with surprising hate. He was taller than her by a few inches, as were most people, and had a head of shockingly red hair that stuck up in all directions. He was wearing what appeared to be a paramilitary suit complete with black assault rifle. He raised it and Ellie laughed.

“Silly boy, behave yourself.” She chuckeld and suddenly the man was engulfed in flames from head-to-toe.

==================================================================================

Zane stopped in front of his pair and levelled a pistol on each one, his suit jacket moving in the light breeze. “Now, I suggest you leave the premises before things get really ugly.”

The figure under his left hand pistol was a large, bald man who was wearing an armoured singlet with matching boots. The figure under Zane’s right hand pistol was a girl who looked no more than 14 and was wearing a school uniform reminiscent of an English prep school. Both of them stood up in unison and brushed themselves down.

Zane frowned. "Maybe I should have stipulated that you not move, or weren't the guns obvious enough for you?"

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Reason had spent quiet a while after the battle just wandering. Almost 4 years. Her incredibly messy lineage made it impossible for her to settle anywhere. The supernatural as a whole had been merged in with normal people, but she was an outcast, even among the supernatural.

When you're the combination of at least 7 things, there aren't many places that will treat you with hospitably. So for a while she just spent her time going from place to place, looking for somewhere to belong.

Of the entire world, there was only one place that ever treated her like she belonged. From all of her life there was only one place she could feel at home. The Priduex Estate.

Eventually, Reason gave up. Her mother had died long ago and she was increasingly unsuccessful at ever tracing her father. Nowhere accepted her, not humans, not monsters. She was alone. So she decided to live in the one place she knew she would never be hated, the place where she lived with the people whom she had once fought beside.

====================

It was strange to hear such a commotion in the estate. She ran as quickly as she could out of her room. She pulled her bubblegum pink hair into a tight ponytail, and she slung on a coat overtop of her vintage coke t-shirt as she sped to leave the mansion. Sookie ran by and seemed incredibly distraught, clutching on of her wolf-children close, “What's happening, Sookie?” Reason asked, but Sookie just sobbed as she walked hurried, completely ignoring her. “Shit.” Reason muttered. She touched the small gray key that hung on the string around her neck. The power coursed through her and she burst through the front doors. Blasts of lights and clashes of fighting was all around her.

Two wings sprung out from her back, the one on the left was a beautiful white feathered wing, and the other was dark and closer to a bat, leathery, but more gray and soft. With a single flap she flew into the air. She started to build up power, and as she focused her magic, a lightning bolt slashed across the clouds and it began to rain. She looked down and saw Jinkama fighting off two samurai-ish guys, and holding his own. There were figures she didn't recognize everywhere. Towards the east she saw another figure making it's way towards the house with no one to stop him.

Thunder clapped loudly in her ears as a bolt of lightning struck her, charging her body with magical electricity. She blasted downwards towards the ground, landing so hard in front of the guy that she created a small crater around her.

“Get away from here!!” Reason shouted at him as she stood up. Her cute and petite looks began to be overshadowed by the physical changes she was going through as she changed into her battle mode. Her short pink hair began to grow longer and streak through with raven black. Her ears began to close into a point at the top, her fangs began to extend and the skin around her fingers and hands began to change to black-and-gray scales with sharp nails at the end.

“Huh?” The guy said. His voice was fairly deep. He stood at around 7 feet tall, far above Reason. He was clad in armor that seemed to be made of other pieces of armor cobbled together to fit his huge frame. “I was told this place had some of the strongest warriors of the Supernatural world!? And all I get to fight is this..” He sniffed the air, “this mud-blooded mutt?

Reason's nostrils flared with anger. “MUTT!?” She shouted, and charged forward, collapsing her wings against her back in a burst of speed. She threw her fist into his chest, feeling his armor dent, she pushed the lightning magic out of her arm and into the man. She quickly spun and tried to land a kick on his face. As she spun through the air, the man launched a hand up and grabbed her leg out of the air.

He held her there for a moment, grinning stupidly.”Struck a nerve, did I?” He chuckled.

Little bit.” Reason retorted as she threw up her hands and blasted a single shot of dark magic into his face.

ARRRGGGHH” He shouted, dropping her. Reason spun in the air again, to land on her feet and bound backwards, away from the guy. He stood there dazed a little as he regained his footing.

He looked up at her again and wiped some blood off of his face. “That was a bitch of a thing to do.” he said in his deep and almost booming voice, and besides from the bloody nose, he seemed to be overall, okay.

Reason's eyes went from soft green to a harsh red in her left eye and piercing silver in her right eye with a blink. She barred her fangs. “Why are you here?” She asked him through clenched teeth, as she assumed a battle-ready stance.

He laughed shortly. “Questions come later.” he said. “If at all...” He paused shortly. “If you survive.”

Reason gave a shout as another lightning bolt came from the sky and struck her in a thunderous clap. “Try me.” She muttered, before once again launching herself at him. He roared in delight as he propelled himself at her as well.

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-----Elijah-----

The men that Cern and Elijah fought went down with ease, “Werid,” Elijah verbalized as he glanced around, “these are some pretty weak lackies to send through by themselves.”

“Agreed,” Cern assessed, “however I’m more concerned with the fact that the wards are completely immobilised.”

 

Elijah glanced around, none of his allies weren’t near him, Jinkama had dashed off away. He could see Reason and she seemed to have her battle under control. Eliabeth still isn’t back, he thought, I need to find her, I’ll go to where she intercepted Sookie’s attackers. “Cern I’m--” Elijah’s sentence was interrupted by the concussive force of somethings punch. Cern had the fist of Vampire in his hand. Something that, since Ryuzaki’s dominance over all vampires, Elijah hadn’t seen in quite some time. It didn’t seem extraordinary, by any means, it was a she and she was wearing a long t-shirt dress came halfway down her thighs. Cern had quickly stepped to the side and caught her speared hand by the wrist, only needing one hand.

 

“Get to Elizabeth and figure out what the hell is going on here. I’ll take care of anything that gets through her.” Cern’s words were absolute and he extended his right hand and a curved, one handed sword materialized. The vampire in his grasp screeched as Cern separated her arm from her body with one clean blow. As she jumped back Cern lunged forward and instantly there was a matching sword in hsi left hand, slashing across the vampires throat. He kicked her knee and it blew out, she fell onto Cern’s sword going into her chest.

 

When he turned around, Elijah was gone, and out of his peripheral vision he noticed three figures walking forward. He confronted him, pointing both blades at them. “You gonna’ disappoint me like she did?” he gestured to the dead vampire at his feet.

 

-----Elizabeth-----

Elizabeth had gotten seasick when she was child, once. Nothing helped, not closing her eyes, not taking deep breaths, not even focusing on something else. This, Elizabeth noted, was similar to that, but more horrendous. She couldn’t really breathe anymore, and walking was definitely out of the question. She was doing her best not to vomit, and it was an uphill battle. “Ariel,” She called trying to stand, “Ariel, are you alri--” She was cut off from her dry heaving, once she got that under control,  she continued, “are you alright, Ariel?”

 

Currently, Ariel wasn’t near Elizabeth. Elizabeth thought she was, but actually a young boy stood in front of Elizabeth. The boy was wearing jeans and a loose fitting t-shirt. His skin was pale white and his hair pitch black. In his hand was an eight inch kitchen knife and in his other hand he had a pocket watch. The pocket watch was open, the hands were spinning rapidly, haphazardly in all directions. He was missing an eye--an open hole where it should have been. Next to him was an elderly women, leather wrinkly skin. In her hand was a crystal ball, she spoke to him, “Why is she not completely immobilized, Zolda?” The elderly women wasn’t angry, just impatient.

 

“I’m sorry, Grandma.” The boy said and began to concentrate harder, the watch’s hands moved and spun more rapidly and in more haphazardly. “She’s quite determined.”

 

The crystal ball had swirling colors and arcs of electricity bouncing off it, “Careful now, we must keep her alive. The only way I can get past these words and let our minions through is by fooling them, and she must be alive for that to work.”  

 

“Yes, Grandma.” The boy smiled, walking closer to Elizabeth, “But, please, I can at least play with her?” He had the knife next to the now collapsed Elizabeth. She was beginning to convulse, the whole world around her spinning and jerking in all directions.

 

“Oh, yes of course, dear.” The elderly women said, “Just don’t get your clothes dirty.”  

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- Zane Pengallion -

The two figures had stood up and brushed themselves down and Zane had let them do so without further instruction they not move.  When they were both done, they both levelled their gazes on Zane and he couldn’t help but let a small grin slid out. “Now then…care to expl….” He started when the girl’s hands blurred and Zane’s keen eyes picked up a number of thin metal needles flying in his direction. Nearly lazily, Zane used the barrels of his two pistols to knock the needs out of the air before they hit him.

 

Now with no pistol levelled at him, the large, armoured singlet wearing man approached with surprising speed and swung down a tree-trunk of a right arm at Zane’s head. With the needles dealt with, Zane turned and caught the arm on the back of his left forearm and took the weight for a second before pushing outwards and diverting the blow to his side. Using the wrestler’s momentum against him, Zane got both his pistols against the man’s chest and pulled the triggers simultaneously. Blue energy flashed and the man was sent flying backwards, flipping head over heels a few times before coming to a stop.

 

Not that Zane was concentrating on him as he spun and levelled a pistol on where the girl had been standing moments ago. Now, she was flipping over his head and a chain appeared in her hands, extending and catching Zane around the neck. However, with one pistol levelled, the other had been held up and Zane managed to get the barrel between the chain and his neck, stopping it from strangling him. The girl’s falling momentum jerked him backwards and Zane realised that she was now in line with the pistol that was pointed into the air thanks to her chain. He pulled the trigger and the blue bolt shot out and caught the girl in her shoulder, spinning her in the air.

 

The chain came loose and Zane quickly pulled free of it, spinning and levelling both pistols on where the girl was about to land. However at the last second, the girl seemed to change trajectory in mid-air and she started moving sideways. Zane changed his aim and fired off a few shots as the girl started to circle around him; where his shots hit the ground, debris was thrown into the air.

 

As Zane tracked the girl to keep her in his sights, the light died at his side and he glanced left to see the wrestler had gotten back to his feet and was now close enough to attack. Bracing for impact, Zane took a double-handed axe handle blow to his right shoulder but spun with it to avoid most of the damage. As he spun the guns faded away and Zane called forward his circular shield on his left arm and his longsword in his right hand. The wrestler was surprised at the change of weaponry and Zane took advantage by slamming the edge of the shield into the man’s gut. He bent over with a gasp for air and Zane quickly swung upwards with his sword and sliced into the man’s face.

 

The blow was shallow but an arc of blood was sprayed into the air and the man’s head was flung back. Zane spun quickly and sliced the man across the belly; his superior sword cutting through the man’s armour like it was butter. The wrestler cried out and grabbed at his belly but Zane jerked forward and caught him in the bridge of his nose with his shield edge. Back the wrestler’s head went again and Zane stepped forward and sliced the inside of the wrestler’s right knee, then circled around him and sliced the outside of the wrestler’s left knee. The man dropped heavily to his knees and Zane cut a large gash into his back.

 

On the peak of the rotation he used to cut the man’s back, Zane saw the weighted end of a Kusarigama weapon flying at him from the hands of the girl; the source of the chain from earlier. In record speed his sword and shield disappeared and his two pistols took their place. One shot the weight from the air, knocking it into the floor where the girl quickly pulled it back to her, and the other shot the man in the back of the head with a blue bolt, causing him to face plant into the dirt.

 

The girl was quick on her feet and closed the distance between them quickly, aiming a slicing attack with the sickle part of her weapon. Zane swayed backwards to avoid the blade and fired up at her face. Impressively she dodged the attack with a jerk of her head and spun to send the weight and chain to hit him in the chest. Zane rolled forward, under the chain and past the girl and as he rounded his pistols on her, Ellie’s voice appeared in his head.

 

Try to take one of them alive, would you? We need to find out who they are and how they managed to get in here without the wards working.

 

Zane didn’t reply, simply sending an affirmative noise as he rolled past another spinning attack by the girl and was surprised when she dodged his shots once again. He snarled but it was drowned out as the wrestler roared and appeared behind Zane. Having enough of the man, Zane pointed one of his pistols at him and pulled the trigger twice.

 

Instead of the normal blue bolt, two red bolts fired off and pierced the man through the chest; leaving two holes where the man’s heart had used to be. While he had done that, the girl had jumped into the air and sent her sickle spinning towards him, chain in tow. Zane easily dodged the blow and with a quick switch to his sword and shield, he tangled her chain in his sword and pierced it into the ground, forcing the girl towards him by standing on her chain and jerking her forwards. The girl threw some more needles mid-flight but Zane blocked them with his shield and when she was within range he slammed the edge into her spine and knocked her to the floor.

 

She screamed and Zane hit her again, shattering a vertebra about halfway up her back. As she cried out again, the pain clear in her voice, Zane forced a foot under her chest and kicked upwards, giving him room to grasp the girl around the throat. He lifted upwards and as he did so, the girl seemed to digitize before disappearing completely. Zane pulled his sword free from the ground, letting the Kusarigama fall to the floor and then switched the sword and shield back to his pistols before turning and looking to see where Ellie had gotten to.

==================================================================================

- Eleanor Pengallion -

The soldier in front of her screamed as the fire engulfed him and then stopped when he realised that the fire seemed not to affect him. Ellie smiled and let out a small chuckle before waving her hand and making the flame disappear. “Come now, why would I want to kill you when you have to answer my questions?” She chuckled again and the soldier replied by raising his rifle and firing a burst of rounds.

 

Ellie, anticipating the attack, fell backwards to avoid the bullets and then continued the flip, placing a hand on the floor for stability and ended up on one knee with the hand still pressed firmly against the ground. She looked up and the ground began to freeze until a long path of it was between her and under the soldier’s boots. Another burst of rounds fired off but Ellie rolled to dodge them and raised her hand to send a blast of force into the soldier’s chest. He took a step back to steady himself but it slipped on the ice and he ended up on his back.

 

As he struggled to get back to his feet, Ellie appeared next to him and placed the base of her staff on his neck, balancing on his Adams apple without any real force. “You are clearly outmatched, my friend, how about you give up and we can have a nice chat?” The man snarled and managed to spin, using the ice to his advantage, until he had wrapped his legs around her staff in an MMA style movement. Before Ellie could react, he had braced and her staff broke in two places.

 

She stepped back with a noise of indignation and cursed. “I liked that one.” She said as the soldier scrambled to his feet and levelled his rifle at her. However, they were close enough that Ellie simply stepped forward and clasped a hand around the barrel of the weapon. Immediately it started to heat up and even before the solider could drop the weapon it melted into a puddle of molten metal on the ground.

 

Trained as he clearly was, the soldier quickly dropped his hands and drew a pistol that had been holstered on his belt. Ellie however, placed both of her hands on either side of his face in a gentle caress. Instantly swirling lines of green started to cover his face, coming from her hands. “I’ve just poisoned you, so you know. Naturally, I’m the only one who can cure it. So, how about that chat?” The Solider replied by placing the muzzle of his pistol to her chest.

 

Ellie sighed and grabbed the pistol, where it started to vibrate before falling apart into its component pieces. The soldier looked surprised but quickly drew a knife and jabbed it forward. Ellie blocked it with her hand, allowing the blade to pass through the palm of her hand until it stopped. Ellie pushed lightly on his chest and in his surprise, the solider let go of his knife and watched as Ellie lifted her hand and held it in front of her face.

 

“Ow.” She said before pulling the blade free and throwing it behind her, keeping her gaze on the blood that was now dripping from her hand. As both Ellie and the soldier watch the blood drip, he suddenly wavered and dropped to one knee. “Did you forget my poison, my dear?” she said and lowered her hand to look at him. “Just agree to talk to me and I’ll cure it.” The soldier grimaced and shook his head from side to side. “Seriously?” she asked and he nodded.

 

She sent a quick psychic message to Zane, telling him to capture one of his, and then looked down at the soldier who was looking at her as if waiting for something. “oh…” she suddenly said. “You think I’m going to save you regardless? Because I’m on the side of ‘good’?” She chuckled and patted the man on his fiery red hair. “Poor boy; I haven’t been that naïve for a long time. Nighty night.” The man stared at her as froth started at his lips before he collapsed forward, dead.

 

“Well, shit.” Ellie said and linked back to Zane to ask whether he had managed to capture one. When he confirmed he had, she smiled. “Well, at least we’ll have one to question.” She said before walking in Zane’s direction.

==================================================================================

- Jinkama Ryukin -

Both left-hand and right-hand struck simultaneously with their blades but Jinkama quickly deflected both of them and delivered a double blow to each of their faces, forcing them backwards. They struck again and Jinkama blocked again before countering again. Well, it seems the joints really are the weak spots. He thought as he knocked left-hand’s blade away and stepped in to catch its sword elbow. He gripped tightly and rotated suddenly and the joint popped out of place. Right-hand swung in and Jinkama hopped back to avoid the blow and dropped to one knee to strike at Right-hand’s right knee and popped it out of place with an expertly placed knuckle punch.

 

Noticing that Jinkama was planning, the two samurai started attacking more ferociously and with more speed. Left-hand had switched sword hands so Jinkama got confused which was which as they switched positions and attack relentlessly. However, he knocked each attack away and in between each of the attacks he managed to get in and dislocate the other arm on Left-hand and Right-hand’s non sword arm. Suddenly the two withdrew from close quarters and Jinkama nearly fell over from the sudden change.

 

They both look at him and Jinkama imagines their expressions behind their masks. Then, without warning, they turned to face each other and pierced each other’s chests with their swords. Jinkama actually jerked back with surprise and then shook his head in disappointment.


“Seriously? I get the guys who chicken out and kill themselves instead of fighting to the end?” He sighed dramatically and turned around to head back to the Estate and Cern and Elijah. However, before he had taken more than three steps, a noise behind him made Jinkama turn around.

 

The two samurai seemed to take liquid form and slammed into each other, swirling around until they formed one single fighter. It still wore their armour, if with more plates, but it now sported four arms and four glowing blades. Jinkama’s smile spread from ear-to-ear. “Oh, no, this is much better!” he said and charged forward.

 

The super samurai went on the immediate attack and started a lightning fast series of attacks. Jinkama could still block the blades, they seemed not to have changed despite doubling in number, and so he knocked the attacks away until he was back in ultra-close range. With a quick series of grabbing attacks of his own, he had dislocated the super samurai’s four arms and they hung limply by its side. With a sigh of disappointment, he took a stance and delivered a powerful blow to his opponents open chest, caving in the armour and sending it flying backwards where it came to a stop lying on its back, finished.

 

“Bloody weaklings.” Jinkama said and brushed invisible dust from his hands.

 

For a second he felt something brush his arm and as he turned to see what had happened, it felt like someone had tugged the floor out from under him as he was sent tumbling through the air. He landed back on the ground in a heap and quickly got back to his feet. Jinkama spun around quickly, trying to see what had happened but he felt something brush across the back of his ankle and once again, he was sent tumbling through the air. This time, Jinkama managed to adjust himself and landed on his feet.

 

“Ok, ass wipe, fight me like a warrior!” he shouted when a presence suddenly appeared behind him. He tried to turn around but something prevented him from doing so.

 

“Oh dear mage.” The figure said, his voice light and jovial. “I hear you’ve been inappropriate with my little sister.” Before Jinkama could answer he felt something run across his throat and suddenly something warm and wet started to stream down his chest. He looked down and saw the redness and could only make one conclusion; this was his blood. In his shock, his golden skin returned to normal and he fell to his knees. “Don’t be mistaken, little mage. I did not come here to fight you; I came here to kill you.” Without a sound the figure disappeared, Jinkama only aware because he was now free to move.

 

Not that he could with his throat cut and his blood leaving his body at an extreme rate. Thinking as fast as his blood deprived brain could go, he raised his right hand and a translucent aura appeared over his index finger and thumb. He took a deep breath and jammed the two fingers into his wound. The pain shook through his body but he ignored it as he found the end of the arteries the figure had cut and created a tiny aura over the severed ends, thus stopping the blood flow. This would only slow his death, however, as his brain was soon going to run out of the oxygen his blood provided it. 3 minutes probably, 4 since I’m so awesome. Was his last thoughts before he fell face first into the ground and the blackness took him.

==================================================================================

- Zane Pengallion -

Zane and Ellie hadn’t split up too far so they had met back together merely minutes after they had finished with their opponents. They stood close to each other and were discussing what was going on.

 

“How is it possible for them to be within the wards with no repercussions?” Zane asked, all his weapons in his vaults.

 

Ellie shook her head. “This is all very strange. However, with the prisoner you captured, we should be able to get some answers very soon. Let’s make sure everyone else here is sorted and safe though.” It was at this point she realised it was raining and looked over to a flash of lightning. “That’s no Prideux lightning, is Reason here?”

 

Zane shrugged. “That makes it likely. Should we go see what she’s up to?”

 

“I’ll head to her, you head to the main entrance, I sense Elijah and Cern in combat.” Ellie said and the two touched hands before starting to walk off.

 

However, before Zane had taken more than a single step, something brushed his arm and he suddenly felt himself flying through the air, head over heels before he crashed into the ground. He heard a light cry and saw that the same thing had happened to Ellie. What the…? He thought as something brushed his right leg and once again both he and Ellie were flung into the air. As he tumbled, as if the ground had been pulled from under him like a rug, he glanced around and his keen eyes notices something attached to his leg where he had felt the light brush. When the pair landed in a crash, he glanced at Ellie and saw the same thing on her left arm.

 

This time he felt nothing but the two of them were flung into the air for a third time. This time, however, Zane guessed what he was looking for and he summoned his sword into his right hand. With a twisting motion, his sword flashed quickly and he cut through what appeared to be super thin wires that were attached to him where he had felt whatever touch him. As they started to descend, Zane sliced across where he could see them attached to Ellie. No longer being pulled, the two of them managed to align themselves and land without trouble. Ellie with a plume of air before gently landing on the floor, and Zane with a heavy thud onto his feet.

 

Before either of them could move, Zane felt the brush again but this time he immediately sliced through the wires on both him and Ellie before they were sent flying. Without a word, the pair spun back-to-back and started searching to see what was attacking them. In a blur of motion, a tall figure appeared before Zane, clapping slowly.

 

He was taller than Zane by nearly two clear feet and was as thin as a stick, with a pointed chin and high cheekbones. His black hair had been styled into dreadlocks that hung to his chin and he had green eyes that seemed to reflect the light. He was wearing a pair of black suit trousers with a black shirt, the sleeves rolled up to just below his elbow, and his feet were bare. A rough brown poncho was resting on his shoulders.

 

“To think it would be the experiment that would see through my tricks.” The man said, his voice mocking.


Zane snarled and his sword and shield combo disappeared and he switched to his guns, firing off two red bolts instantly. The man didn’t move and the bolts seemed to bend around him and disappear into the distance. He tilted his head disapprovingly and shook his finger. Zane started forward but Ellie caught him by the wrist and he felt something pass over his entire body.

 

“I’ve cause a slick spell; he shouldn’t be able to attach those strings to us anymore.” She said and Zane nodded. Suddenly a long flat blade, like that from a Stanley knife, pierced his chest about an inch to the right of his central vault storage device. He looked down and frowned as Ellie gasped.

 

Zane made his left gun disappear and pulled the blade free of his chest, revealing it had no blood on its surface and none was leaking from the apparent wound. He threw the blade to the ground and summoned his shield. The man watched him with a strange twinkle in his eyes. “This next time he attacks, I’ll end this.” Zane said with a snarl as Ellie readied herself behind him.

 

“Good, I’ll provide backup; like old times.”

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Willow pushed her short black hair out of her face--tieing the chin-length and paper thin hair back into a tight pony tail. She was staring at Jinkama’s neck, tilting her head like a confused dog. She had a needle and thread and some kitchen towels. She was pressing up against his neck with them, probably doing more harm than good. She was clearly no help in this situation. Jinkama and Willow were currently involved in a relationship and Willow’s inability to express emotion probably made it difficult, at least eighty-five percent of the time. This was one of those times where her inability to feel, almost anything, came in handy. “It’s as I thought,” She told the unconscious Jinkama, “to Ellie we go!” She picked Jinkama up in a fireman’s carry and dashed off towards where she had seen Ellie and Zane gathered.

 

“Good, I’ll provide backup; like old times” Ellie said, ready for battle.

 

Willow dropped Jinkama with a loud thump, “Ellie,” she gestured to Jinkama and spoke, her voice deadpan, “he’s about to die.” She stepped forward on the right of Zane and her eyes glossed over. “Octavious,” she said under her breath. She bowed her head down.

 

She really hated her family, and now they had followed her here. She hated them for a number of reasons. First and foremost was because they were just flat out mean. Second off because she was an outcast among them, her powers weren’t all that worthwhile in the killing game--maiming and torturing, sure--when her attacks only created the illusion of pain, something that doesn’t compare to well to the actual thing. And third, her oldest brother was a sick and twisted freak.

 

“I’ve learned some new things,” Her voice was a whisper, “and I’m glad I get to thank you.”

 

Octavious ticked off his fingers and counted down, goading her, “This is the, what? Eleventh time you’ve run away now? It’s really quite old, Willow. As much as torturing whoever you end up with is enjoyable for me, I’m really sick of doing it.”

 

Willow kept her head bowed, she ignored Octavious, “All that running, it’s why i’m so fast.” She raised her head up and, in the next instant, she was gone. Zane’s eye’s widened, Zane was one whose keen eyes wouldn’t lose track of much, however even if he knew the precise millisecond that Willow dashed forward, he still didn’t think he’d be able to track her.

 

She was on top of her brother, straddling his shoulder, legs pulled back and locking his arms to the side. Her body was contorted and she bent over, whispering in his ear, “I get to thank you for making me hide, so I can contort my body. I get to thank you for making me fast, from running away.” She was giving Zane an opening, and she doubt it would last long. Her brother hadn’t seen her in years, and since the last time they’d fought she’d grown considerably.

 

Even then, the last time she let loose and flipped her mental switch she was thirteen and not a fraction of what she was now. There was no way he could have anticipated her movements in that moment.

 

However, for someone like her brother, he wasn’t going to be surprised twice.

 

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Reason landed several kicks and punches on the other combatant before taking a stern kick to the chest, sending her flying backwards. She slid along the ground, kicking up dirt, and cutting a crater through the ground.

She slowly staggered to her feet and spat out blood. “You son of a bitch.” Reason said as she wiped the blood from her mouth.

The large man she was fight laughed at her. “I was promised a FIGHT!” His voice boomed.

“Then a FIGHT YOU'LL GET!” Reason shouted back. Her hair was now even longer, still in it's ponytail. It reached down to her waist and was streaked through with pink and silver and black. Two more wings burst out of her back, about half the size of her other wings, and set lower on her back and they looked like insect wings.

A lightning strike hit her again and silver key at her chest merged with skin, and pulled itself into her sternum. She let out a massive yell into the power coursed through her. The front of her shirt had been torn, revealing dark gray veins that coursed out from the point the Stone had entered her.

She launched herself forward with incredible speed, far faster than the human eye could follow. Her feet raced along the ground and her four wings collapsed on her back. When she reached the man, she crouched down and propelled herself upwards towards his belly as he he face downwards. Her hands were in front of her face, pointed upwards. She tore a hole straight through him, pushing herself off the ground with her wings, and in the blink of an eye, pulling herself directly through him.

She flew into the air and made a small loop, and landed on the ground in front of the disemboweled man. His face was frozen with fear as he looked from his stomach to Reason standing in front of him. She tossed whatever organ she had in her hands on the ground, it discharging small shock of electricity as it splat on the ground.

“Fight enough for you?” She said, chuckling to herself. She licked some of the blood off of her lips

“H-how?” He said before finally slumping over.

She grinned widely barring her fangs, and wiping some of the blood off of her forehead. She licked it off and the laughed to herself.

Another figure walked up. She wore a tight black shirt that showed off her stomach and her shoulders and tight black pants that ended just bellow her thighs. She had long silver hair and a sword slung across her back.

“Well aren't you ugly?” She said to Reason as she walked closer to the mansion.

A large smile twisted across Reason's face and her four wings spread wide. “Last boy who said that to got slapped and didn't get to take me to prom.” Reason hunkered down into a battle stance.

“You'll find I'm quite a bit better at dancing then him anyway!” She said, unsheathing her sword with one hand on her last word. She grabbed the hilt with both of her hands and launched herself into the air.

Reason launched herself towards her, using her wings to blast herself off the ground. She spun mid-air and kicked the sword the girl had and followed through with a solid punch to her face. The woman yelped in pain, and spun herself to try to kick Reason in the stomach. Reason blocked it quickly, but the woman used it to push off and send herself backwards.

The woman flipped through the air and landed on her feet. Reason floated down to the ground on her wings, landing softly.

“Not that good a dance partner, I must say.” Reason said. “Do you at least have a name? I'm Reason.”

She brandished her sword, pointing back towards Reason. “Reason, huh? My name's Tekania.”

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- Eleanor Pengallion -

With her eyes locked on this new arrival, Ellie heard the body hit the ground beside her but it was only when Willow spoke that she glanced across. She immediately took in Willow and the fact that Jinkama was on his back with a large gash where his throat should be. Willow stated that he was about to die, which Ellie internally agreed with, and then turned to the new arrival and spoke his name. What followed next between Willow, Zane, and this Octavius was a mystery to Ellie as she knelt down next to Jinkama and focused on saving his life.

 

Without touching anything, she ran her hand over the wound slowly, taking in what had happened. The slash wasn’t actually that deep in that it only cut through Jinkama’s carotid arteries and the top layer of flesh in between. Whatever weapon had been used had missed his trachea and the parts in that area; Ellie guessed this had been deliberate to cause a certain effect on the person slashed. Then she sensed magic pulsing from the wound and another sweep of her hand told her it was Jinkama’s own magical energies. Then it dawned on her; whatever Jinkama had done in his own wound was the only reason he was still alive.

 

With both the wound and Jinkama’s preventative methods diagnosed, Ellie got to work in actually healing it and saving Jinkama’s life. First she pushed her fingers into the wound until she felt them come across Jinkama’s barriers. Luckily he had used his first iteration and so it took Ellie less than a second to unravel it and dispel them. With that done, Jinkama’s blocked blood flow spurted into the air in a high arc. He’s going to need more blood after this, I wonder what type he is? A quick barrier spell of her own prevented the blood from covering for her as she took the arteries in her fingers and started kneading her own life force into Jinkama’s cells.

 

It was the most effective method of healing Ellie knew and usually magical based being stayed away from it as if you used it too much, you would die. However, Ellie knew that simply reattaching the severed pipes wouldn’t be dangerous. It took a minute but then colour started to return to Jinkama’s face as the blood flow was restored. With that done, she switched to more conventional healing magic, pulling in energy from the nature around her, and moved her finger over the neck wound as if she was smudging a chalk drawing. The wound closed and Jinkama looked as good as knew, except he was unconscious.

 

Ellie started to turn away, to lend a hand to Zane and Willow when she noticed something sticking out of the back of Jinkama’s neck. She turned his head to the side and found 6 hair-thin wires sticking out of the flesh of the nape of his neck. When Ellie tied to pull them free they didn’t budge an inch. Using her scanning magic again, she followed the wires down and was surprised when she found that they carried on to the base of his pine, intertwining around the vertebrae of his spine.

 

“What in blazes.” She said, looking up towards where Zane and Willow confronted the intimidating Octavius.

==================================================================================

- Octavius --

Willow had indeed improved as Octavius didn’t even react when she dashed forward and settled on his shoulders, pulling his arms up and out so he looked like a scarecrow. As she boasted in his ear, rightly so as well, Octavius instead let out a sigh, even as the suited man ahead of him readied an attack. Her lock was good, even he could admit that, but in the time she claimed she had become strong, Octavius had been killing some of the most important and people in the world. Killing them in such a way that no-one had even realised they had been dead for a couple of days.

 

It appears my little sister has forgotten what I am, what she is meant to be. He thought and then turned his head at an angle so he could look at Willow’s face.

 

“Oh dear sister, I’m so proud.” There was no sarcasm to his tone, he was actually proud of her growth. “But I’m going to have to bring you back, in pieces if needs be; do you remember Helsinki? That old couple? What I do to your new friends will be much worse.”

 

Before Willow could answer, the suited man acted and their sibling conversation was cut off.

==================================================================================

- Zane Pengallion -

Zane didn’t know why his face showed surprise when he lost sight of Willow for a second; she had always been Ryuzaki level of fast when she wanted to. He didn’t know how strong this Octavius was supposed to be, but Zane could tell the man hadn’t expected Willow to catch him in the lock she had on him. This gave Zane a unique opportunity to get in a free attack before things turned sour. He glanced back at Ellie as she worked on the disabled Jinkama and then focused his attention back on Octavius.

 

Time to put an end to this. He thought as he switched out his shield for his second pistol again. He raised them to Octavius’ chest and then lowered it so he was aiming at his lower legs; he didn’t want to accidently hit Willow if Octavius tried to dodge. In a flash, he pulled the triggers on his pistols and four red bars of light shot out and aimed to pierce Octavius through the knees and waist.

 

As the energy neared him, Octavius dropped his gaze from Willow and locked his intense green eyes on Zane. The bolts drew closer and Zane expected Octavius to dodge at any second, but he didn’t and the shots took him through the locations Zane had aimed at. However, they apparently did no damage as Octavius’ form distorted and then faded away; this left Willow to drop to the floor with a hint of surprise. Nothing happened for a second and then Octavius appeared a number of feet away with a smile on his face. Zane instantly fired another 3 shots but the figure distorted and disappeared again.

 

Zane didn’t try to find him and instead dashed forward until he slid to a stop next to Willow, who was still sitting low on one knee. “Who the hell is this guy, Willow? He moves like you?” Suddenly, Octavius appeared above Zane, inverted so their heads were nearly touching. Octavius reached up and moved to grasp Zane’s head in his hands, clearly going to snap his neck with ease.

 

Willow was as fast as ever as she whipped out Zane’s feet from beneath him and dropped him to the floor and out of Octavius’ current reach. As he fell, Zane levelled his pistoled into the air and fired three more red shots; these missed as well and Zane rolled backwards and back up onto his feet, Willow stood in front and slightly to the right of him.

 

Three more thin, flat blades suddenly appeared in Zane’s chest and he looked down in annoyance. He dispersed one pistol and pulled out the blades that lacked blood from around his centre vault storage. As before, the blades were clean and no blood appeared to on Zane’s cloths; the only evidence he had been stabbed the holes in his waistcoat and shirt. Willow looked at him with her blank face and Zane took it to be a question.

 

He shrugged and turned slowly to see if he could pick up some kind of trace of where Octavius had moved to. He dispersed his two pistols and summoned his shield onto his left arm. With that done, Zane dropped to one knee and rested the edge of the circular shield on the ground to his side.

 

“Come on, have at thee.” He said and the iris’ of his eyes shrunk to near pinpricks.

==================================================================================

The Realm of the Elementals, Ring of Fire…

- Michael Sanderford -

Despite is incorporeal form and the fact he was currently in a state of living flame, the feeling stuck Michael as if he was sat back on earth. It wasn’t anything dreadful or anything powerful enough to worry him, but it struck a nerve inside of him. The mass of flame before him seemed to notice his thoughts and swirled around him until it formed into a face that looked like a fox had crossed with a spider.

 

“What is it? What do you sense?” The mouth of the fox-spider hybrid didn’t move but the voice echoed around the area as if shouted at full volume.

 

Michael floated laterally and aimed his own voice at the head of the monster. “Nothing important, father, just something from the human realm.”

 

“The human realm? It has been many years since you have last step foot there.”

 

“It has been 8 years, father, since my last visit on Eleanor’s wedding day. Even then, I only attended since she wanted me to walk her down the aisle.” Michael’s form warped into that of his human body for a second before it returned to its malleable form.

 

“Strange customs, humans have.” The creature said and then smiled grotesquely. “Again, now. And prove to me your worth.” 3 spheres of what appeared to by the purest flame, like 3 suns, grew in front of the creature and Michael’s changing form hovered in front of it.

 

“A pitiful attempt to scare me, father. Now, come.”

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God damn fucking phone and fucking formatting and piece of shit damn phone blasted technology worse than fucking snap chat. 

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-----Ariel-----

The litle boy stalked her Elizabeth, his one remaining eye was wide open and a smile stretched from ear to ear. Ariel was well hidden in a tree, high off the ground, and the two assassin's down below were preoccupied with Elizabeth. Just a moment longer, Elizabeth, she thought trying not to so much as breath, I need understand how her magic works. The magic that the elderly women was using was the likes of something Ariel had never experienced, trying to interpret the flow of it was like trying to read a book in another language--a problem she hasn’t had in centuries.

As the boy got nearer, Ariel realized she had no choice but to act--if Elizabeth had any permanent damage occur to her while Ariel stood by and watched Ariel would never be able to forgive herself. She jumped down, out of the branches, and as she did she spoke the words of fire. Fire erupted around her body as she fell, when she landed she added verbs and nouns, adjectives and articles--strange syllables rolling off her tongue. The air around the young boy and elderly women became oxygen rich and fed the fire like gasoline; exploding violently, igniting an orange and blue blaze thousands of degrees.

Ariel had Elizabeth in an awkward fireman’s carry--Elizabeth was significantly larger than Ariel, a thousand year old mind trapped in an eight year old's body. She made it work, though, and was in a full sprint towards the manor. Maybe ten minutes of unperturbed running passed before Elizabeth came to, snapping into consciousness and flailing about. The two of them rolled across the ground and Elizabeth was grabbing at her head.

“Fuck!” She screamed, “It feels like someone has a metal bucket over my head and pounding it with a hammer.” Her eyes were bloodshot. She continued to moan before she could feel the same sense of nausea sweeping through her again. “Nope, not gonna happen!” She exclaimed, “Ariel, grab on!” In less than a second Ariel had gripped her by her pant leg with her left hand, when she felt her tug Elizabeth yelled again just as the sensation was reaching a crescendo of pain, “À la maison!” Her words sent a vibration of magical energy through the air, now that she was back within the magical property lines of he Priduex estate, she could use certain spells again.

The little boy, Ariel noticed, was ungodly fast. She completely lost sight of him as he dashed forward, clothes burnt and torn, skin dirty with ash but otherwise unperturbed. He led with his weapon and as it neared them, Elizabeth’s transportation spell pushed him back, purple lightning arcing onto the metal knife and electrocuting the boy--sending him flying backwards. Their body’s became purple lightning that shot into the sky, then came crashing down.

As they were in mid-air, Elizabeth noticed Reason fighting someone. She took aim and, with a flash of purple light and the smelt of burnt hair and clothing, they landed on top of the women, aiming to send thousands of volts and hundreds of amps of electricity into the swordsmen.

 

-----Elizabeth-----

Never in her life had Elizabeth had seen this happen, as far as she knew never in her grandmothers life had anything like this happened--and that covered nearly two hundred years. Needless to say she was ashamed. She was considered the current best and brightest of her family; what with Matthew being gone and all, and as the “best and brightest” she let this happen.  All the while she was rolling on the ground in pain, unable to do anything but vomit. As much as she was ashamed, she was even more pissed.

Purple electricity coursed around her body in wild arcs, sparking, burning off bits of clothes and singeing the ends of her hair. Down her arms and up her neck and around her face, her veins became illuminated a bright purple, as if a glowing purple blood pumped through them. She put her fingers to her forehead and focused on the damaged wards and spells that protected her home. She was disconcerted by what she found, There’s nothing wrong with any of these, it’s all perfectly functioning... Then how in the hell is--”No, no, no,” She said as she fell to her knees, again overwhelmed by the same sense of vertigo that struck her before.

 

-----Ariel-----

Ariel was next to Reason, glad that they had some back up now. The Elderly women and the young, one eyed boy were back. The boy was clearly hit hardest by Ariel’s attack, his shirt was tattered with holes and the edges were black. His hair, too, was also burnt from her. The leather-skinned and wrinkled old women was perfectly fine--Ariel was disturbed by that, she watched the fire erupt around her and consumed her. She didn’t expect her to die from that, but she certainly expected for her clothes to be at least a little ruffled afterwards.

The young boy still held the pocket watch in his free hand, the knife in the other, “Grandmother,” his voice was furious with rage, high pitched and angry, “the young boy is fast and has strange power that incapacitate you, but I believe it only affects one person at a time, the lack of wards I’m attributing to that old woman’s crystal ball.” Reason nodded at Ariel.

The old women spoke to the boy, “Please dear keep focus on the girl while you eliminate those lot, don’t let her get up.”

 

-----Willow-----

In Willow’s peripheral vision, she caught site of Ariel and Elizabeth; returning a brilliant flash of purple light. Divided, Willow noted, they were weakened, especially with Jinkama down and even more especially against her older brother. She spoke in Ellie’s direction, “We need to get over to Reason and Ariel.” Her sentence was cut off by the sudden appearance of her brother, hands inches away from Ellie’s chin and head, attempting for a swift neck-break maneuver.

Willow somersaulted into a handspring and that put the heel of her foot into her brother face, pushing him back. Zane was next to her in an instant covering her flank, his eyes searching for Octavious. Without thinking, Willow grabbed Jinkama and dashed for the others, her thinking was to get the injured together and regroup everybody else. She’d been working with Zane and Ellie long enough to know that she didn’t need to worry about them, that much. She took the heaviest burden, she assumed, by grabbing the unconscious loaf that is Jinkama.

Her brother didn’t intercept them, a serious red flag to Willow. The worst part about fighting her family was that, after working with them for twenty years, was seeing how brutally efficient they were. Every footstep was planned, every minute of the attack would be. This, Willow knew, was no exception.

While she was concerned, her brother attacked saying, “Little sister, you’ve gotten sloppy.” When she sensed him she threw Jinkama to the ground, attempting to free her hands, and when she went to position them in front of her chest her brother grabbed them and drove his forehead into the bridge of her nose--smashing the cartilage and bone with an audible crunch. Getting hit in the head like that made Willow distinctly remember something, and remembering is something Willow doesn’t like to do--the past is a scary road for that winded through a dark forest. It numbed her from most things in life, giving her a distinct edge, letting her separate emotion and pain from killing. Emotion and pain is typically how her father manipulated her family. There was something about Willlow, though, that they just couldn’t stand. Whether it was her eye color, a bright green, that was different than the rest of her family, the fact that she was much smaller than the rest of them, or the fact that she never listened like they wanted her to, whatever it was it drove them to treat her like complete garbage. From an early age that was her life, it pushed her away and, as much as it ruined her, it also built her. Gave her new skills that she could employ just by separating herself from reality, letting her mind and instincts take over, ignoring pain and emotion.

As Zane’s blade cut deep into her gut, piercing out the other side of her back, she went into that place. He tried, Willow assumed, to stab Octavius in the back while both his arms were preoccupied. It wasn’t Zane’s fault, her brother was just as fast, not, she noticed, faster than her. She thought she was the fastest but this brief exchange had made her realize just how wrong she was. Another thing Zane did in his dash forward was trip a small wire that Octavius had placed as a trap.

Sixty flat and razor sharp blades flew through the air, coming from concealed locations, triggered by the broken tripwire. In Willow’s semi-conscious state of combat she pushed herself deep into Zane’s blade and up against his chest. In her current state, Willow knew that she wouldn’t be able to defeat her brother--not with a whole in her chest--and she also knew that she had one more trick, one more attack up her sleeve.

Willow’s hands blurred and moved in circles, arcs, zig zags, catching all the blades that were intended for Zane’s back. She leaned limp against Zane, her head on his shoulder, and whispered, “Ignore my brother, the little boy.” Octavius was next to Zane now, Ellie immobilised with her head in his hands. Her eyes were wide, she was startled. Also, Zane noted, that her head and body was covered in blood.

Not her blood, Octavius blood. Octavious, also found, that his hands didn’t word properly and he was able to get the dexterity and muscle movement required to deliver a sharp enough motion to crack his neck. There was, also, a whole in his chest. His eyes went wide as he glared at Willow, “How dare you, slut.” He began to scream, “you dare alter the powers blessed to you?!”

Willow couldn’t talk much, she was in a lot of pain. Her attack would work in such a manner that any of the damage she received was reflected on her target, however she kept all the pain. Octavius came to this conclusion as well, noting the fading purple strings that connected each individual wound from their corresponding point on Willow’s body to Octavius’’ body. Willow smiled, even though in pain. Octavius had a smear of her blood on his forehead from her. Your first mistake brother, Willow though, your first mistake in twenty years.

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“Huh.” Reason muttered as 200 pounds of purple lightning stuck the girl she was posed for combat with. From within the lightning emerged Ariel and Elizabeth. Reason followed Ariel's line of vision as Elizabeth curled up on the ground. The old woman and the small boy were there. Ariel's brief explanation of the two was all she needed. Reason nodded, and grunted through her sharp teeth.

“If that's the case, I know exactly what to do.” Reason said. She collapsed her two sets of wings flat against her back, and set her feet on the ground in a runner's pose. She stretched out her arms and held her hands, half clenched together.

In her right hand, a small ball of blue electricity gathered, sparking up her arm and grabbing the ground with sharp tendrils as she built up magic. In her left hand, a bright white light shone as she brought in light magic as well.

“YOU LET HER GO!” Reason shouted as she charged the boy, her arms still outstretched. Her incredible speed made her impossible to track with the human eye. She moved in to swipe at the boy with her left hand.

She discharged all the magic she had built up, letting out a bright white flash at him, blasting light magic at him. She threw her left hand down on the ground and used it to spin around and throw a kick at the boy's feet before bouncing herself upwards, somersaulting through the air, and landing past him, and dashing towards the old woman.

She moved as quickly as her feet would compel her towards the old lady, crouching low and shoving both of her hands towards the woman, lightning crackling the entire way, arcing to and fro.

The follow-up to her attack was to leap backwards again, and ready herself for another attack.

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- Zane Pengallion -

Zane cursed as Octavius moved and his own sword pierced Willow through the chest. He had been so careful earlier when Willow had been in the potential crossfire of his pistols. But he knew he had always been less careful when using his sword; he hadn’t trained as much in it lately because he had always had them, instead focusing on his pistols. His lament did not last long however, as he realised he had triggered some sort of trap and a number of blades were flying towards his back; he wasn’t worried, they would barely cut him probably. He was surprised, however, when Willow pulled deep onto his blade and into his chest so she could reach around him to catch the blades in her hand. It was at this point he realised something was strange with the way his weapon pierced Willow’s chest.

 

It moved strangely, like it wasn’t solidly stuck in her flesh, but he couldn’t focus on it when Willow whispered into his ear to forget Octavius. I don’t think so. Zane said just as the crazed assassin appeared with Ellie in his clutches. He snarled, fearing he would go straight for the kill, but realised that he was injured. Zane wasn’t sure when that had happened; he hadn’t seen any of them do anything of any particular danger to the man. Then he focused in on the exact wounds and realised what had happened. Some kind of link between Willow and this Octavius guy? He thought as he noticed the blood pouring from Octavius’ wounds.

 

But no blood on Willow? He noticed, glancing down at the girl. He made his sword disappear, leaving no wound on Willow, and let her drop to one knee; she wasn’t completely undamaged then. With Octavius cursing Willow and apparently unable to act, Zane took the initiative and raised his newly summoned pistol. At first, he was going to shoot the man through the chest, multiple times, then he wondered if that would somehow effect Willow so instead he fired a single shot that pierced him through the shoulder.

 

Nothing happened to him, apart from a surprised look, but Willow cried out as a neat hole appeared in her shoulder. “Sorry.” Zane said and then dropped to one knee beside her. “Sorry again.” And he shot her through the knee.

 

As he suspected, nothing happened to her, but Octavius cried out as a hole appeared in his knee, causing him to let Ellie go and stumble backwards.

 

“You bastard!” he screamed, spittle coming from his mouth. But Zane ignored him and fired twice more at Willow, this time through her stomach. Octavius screamed again as the wounds appeared in his stomach and he managed to throw two straight blades at Zane.

 

The Blades took him in the wrist and blood spurted into the air and he had to make his gun disappear to prevent himself from dropping it. As he did this, Octavius disappeared and his voice echoed around Zane’s head.

 

“The next time we meet, I’ll kill you first; you won’t even know I’m there. Keep looking over your shoulder!” then the voice disappeared and Zane as left with a shocked Willow and Ellie and an unconscious Jinkama.

 

“So this went well.” He muttered as he left Willow to go and take a knee next to Ellie.

==================================================================================

- Eleanor Pengallion -

Ellie couldn’t think, couldn’t move. One moment she had been looking at Willow and Zane taking on the strange, tall man, and then that man had his hands wrapped around her head in a dangerous manner. She could feel the warm liquid wetting her shoulders and back, and she was scared he had already wounded her despite the fact she felt no pain. Inwardly she cursed and screamed and cried; when Michael had blessed her as a Salamander above Salamanders, she had been elated; after the Winter War, none had survived and this made her the only one recognised in the world at this time since Michael was the only qualified person to name a person as an official fire mage.

 

At that time, taking Michael’s teaching into hand, she had decided she would be more useful, more decisive when battle came to her. She wouldn’t cower from the hard choices or leave the killing to Zane; god knows he had done enough of that for plenty of lifetimes. Now, without doing anything except kill some lackey and heal Jinkama, she was about to die.

 

She breathed heavily through her nose, expecting the killing blow to come any second and was surprised when Zane shot the man behind her; she thought he would be too fast and kill her outright. However, she was released and she fell to her knees, nearly on the verge of tears although she managed to keep them in.

 

Ellie didn’t notice what went on then, the next thing happened was Zane kneeling next to her and resting a hand on her cheek.

 

“Hey, Ellie, you okay there?” she looked up and when her eyes met his, she couldn’t help but smile, the tears that had nearly sprung forth sinking deep again. She nodded and Zane stood up, pulling her with him. “You’re not about to start crying are you?” he said it with a smile and she hit him lightly on the shoulder.

 

“Like hell, Zane.” She pulled away and held out her hand, allowing her staff to fly into it. “Come on, Jinkama needs a blood transfusion of he’s going to be dead anyway. What about Willow?”

 

Zane looked at her with a frown. “I’m not entirely sure, she was linked with Octavius somehow, each’s wounds affecting each other’s; I don’t really get it.” He paused and looked down at his bleeding wrist, but dismissed it after checking it still moved. “She doesn’t seem seriously injured though.”

 

“Well, leave me with them, you go and find Reason and the others; it looks like this attack is coming to an end.” Ellie said and then moved over to Willow.

 

“I’m on it.” Zane summoned his pistols again, and started running across to where he had seen Reason previously.

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-----Willow-----

 

The invisible wounds left on her body ached--it would take the better part of a day for the pain to go away. Even though she would face no permanent damage, unlike her brother, from the attacks she would still have to deal with the lingering side effects for some time. For the time being, it felt as if her insides were spilling out her chest; she also couldn’t move her arms. She turned her head to observer Reason’s battle with her Grandmother and younger brother, Brink.

 

Reason’s attacks were quick; quick enough to throw her little brother off balance and crashing to the ground. Willow couldn’t make out what was of her Grandmother, but it looked as if Reason’s lightning landed a clean blow. She spun in the air, backwards and just as she landed Willow caught side of Brink--he was a blur of motion, face afire with rage and frustration. His knife was in his hand and it didn’t look like Reason knew he was their. As her feet made contact, he struck. His strike was as quick and vicious and silent as snakes; he was holding the knife backwards in his right hand and he was ducked low, standing up as he drove the blade upwards at an angle, under Reason’s armpit and in between the slits of her ribs--aiming for the vital organs protected there. Reason’s feet still hadn’t touched the ground at this point, as her feet would touch the ground is when Brink’s knife would make contact. Willow tried to move, had she not been injured in such a way she could have covered the distance easily and countered, but as things stood it appeared she would have to watch Reason die.

 

-----Elijah-----

Reason’s body seemingly disappeared. Elijah had crafted a gate a few inches above where her feet would hit the ground--instead of landing and steadying herself, a move that would have delivered an almost fatal blow to her, she instead disappeared into a few feet behind Ariel who was in front of the incapacitated Elizabeth. Elijah’s trick had thrown off the boy’s timing, so instead of stabbing her he nicked her tricep--hopefully it wasn’t to severe, however the boy’s blade looked wicked sharp.  

 

Elijah made a gate below himself that he let swallow him, appearing to the side of the boy, he swung with his sword, concentrating and letting the green swirls of energy wrap around the blade and amplify his blow--propelling it faster than anything he could do by his muscles alone. His aim was the pocket watch that he was dangling from a silver chain; he had been informed by Ariel moments ago that she thinks that is what is the cause of Elizabeth’s strange ailment. He was inches away from the dangling chain, before the boy snatched it upwards--narrowly avoid the magical blow that would have shattered it into hundreds of tiny pieces and gears.

 

In a flash the boy was balanced on his blade, seemingly weightless. He was holding up his right wrist so that Elijah could clearly see the wristwatch he was wearing. Elijah couldn’t look away and as he was staring at it he noticed the hands began to move in separate directions, the second hand began to tick back and forth in the same strange, broken manner. Sound and light began to stretch and distort in Elijah’s eyes. Colors inverted and swapped, images appeared to melt, and the worst of it all was that he couldn’t look away. He was lost in the madness that was this child’s strange magic.

 

It ended in a quick instant, snapping Elijah back into the reality at hand, which was the boy standing on the flat edge of his sword. The only difference was that now the boy had a skinny tip of Cern’s rapier piercing through the wristwatch and out the other side of his wrist. The boy hissed and jumped back, dashing backwards to escape the bite of Cern’s blade. Cern pulled his rapier back--blood and bits of tendons from the boy’s wrist dripping off the tip of the blade--and re-poised his body, dashing forward to follow him and jabbing ten times per second, the boy barely dodging each blow.

 

“Enough of this!” The old woman's voice pierced, she was noticeably irritated now, completely frazzled and angered by Reason’s lightning. “Crystal ball,” her voice gathered power with it, shaking the air around them, “Capture!” A large bubble of clear blue energy surrounded the group--even catching Zane at the edge of it. All of them were caught unable to move; even the young boy. Cern’s blade was frozen still, centimeters away from the center of his forehead--saving him from a lethal blow. The old women placed a pointed and ragged finger to a spot on her crystal ball, which was levitating in the air in front of her, and dragged it across the edge until she was clear of the ball and her finger was pointing away from it. The boy’s body followed the movement of her finger, to scale with the bubble and the ball. When he was clear of her spell he breathed heavily, clearly frustrated by his evident defeat at the hands of Cern’s superior speed and more so at the hands of the silent and elite teamwork between Reason, Elijah, and Cern.  Black needles of energy began to form around the crystal ball in all directions, at least thirty of them, likewise the same needles formed around the group, several needles pointing at an individual person.

 

Just as the old woman was about to pierce her black spears through the bodies of the group, Ellie jetted past and around them. “Forget about me?!” She yelled, her body a jet of flame. Her hand formed into the shape of a gun, her index finger pointed at the women. She was about seven feet away, her feet skidding to stop and leaving burn marks in the grass. A concentrated lance of blue fire--like something coming out of an oversized blowtorch--lashed out of the tip of her finger and devoured the women. The boy dashed towards Ellie, however she had anticipated that as well. When he was close to her--within a three foot radius to be precise--a pentagram of fire formed around them. Ellie smiled. The boy’s eyes widened. They were both consumed in a pillar of blue and orange flame.

 

-----Elizabeth-----

 

The spell vanished in an instant and Elizabeth regained some of her perception and senses. She shook her head and placed her fingers to her temples. No time to think, her mind raced, just call out to them, to the ancestors. To my family. Speak to them. The change in the atmosphere was instant. The sky darkened further, Reason's magic being overwhelmed by the Prideux wards. Heavy rain, torrential rain of ungodly proportions, began to pound and purple lightning crackled throughout the sky. Men and women--well at one time they were men and women--appeared around them, dozens of them. They were corporeal in existence, composed of crackling purple electricity. They moved, dashing forward. The young boy and the older women--both tattered from Ellie’s surprise attack--began to flee.

 

All around them the sky fell and crashed with bursts of lightning. Every step they took, the roots and plants warped upwards and grabbed onto them; slowing their movements. Thunder and lightning pounded downwards, enveloping. The old women had out her crystal ball and it was glowing black, tendrils swirling around her like an octopus, blocking most. One of the tendrils reached out and grab the boy--unconscious now--by the leg, he was limp. Her body began to distort and contort--the crystal ball sucking it in. When her body disappeared inside the ball it exploded, sending shards in every direction. Precise lightning strike smashed into the thousands of shards before they could injure anybody, the wards taking care of their own.

 

Elizabeth fell to her knees, exhausted and in pain.




 

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- Eleanor Pengallion -

The rain was like being underwater as it thundered down onto the Prideux Estate, lightning crackling above with thunder booming. Ellie rubbed her eyes to clear them of water but it didn’t help as the moment she moved her hand away, they were filled again. She guessed the wards were cleansing the grounds of all the foreign magic the invaders had left behind; ensuring they hadn’t left anything behind they should not have. Ellie looked across to where Zane and the others were, her vision impaired somewhat by the rain, and frowned.

 

She raised her hand, expecting her staff to fly into it, when she remembered her former opponent had broken it. Making a mental note to make a new one later, she locked eyes with Zane and tilted her head back towards where Jinkama and Willow was; the latter limping slowly in their direction. Zane nodded and stood up making his weapons disappear and glancing down at his wounded wrist.

 

Ellie noticed the wrist and as Zane came next to her she took it in her hands. As she had done with Jinkama earlier, she pulled in nature magic and rubbed her fingers over the wound, causing it to seal up as if it had never been there.

 

“Thanks.” Zane said and then continued towards Willow and Jinkama.

 

“No problem.” Ellie said and then turned to follow him. She paused and turned back to Elijah. “Oh, Elijah, would you be as kind as to open a Gateway to the Healing Chamber; I feel both Jinkama and Willow will need a bed.” Elijah looked like he was about to say something but then apparently changed his mind as he raised his hand and a door-sized Gateway appeared next to Jinkama’s unconscious body. “Thank you. I’ll get them sorted and then I’ll meet up with you guys later to discuss what the hell happened here.” Elijah nodded and Ellie turned and walked to where Zane was talking to Willow.

 

She walked past them, paying them no mind, and stopped next to Jinkama. With a wave of her hand, he lifted off the floor on an invisible stretcher and she gestured towards the Gateway beside her. He floated through unobstructed and Ellie followed, calling to Zane as she did. “Come on, Zane, don’t keep Elijah waiting.”

==================================================================================

- Zane Pengallion -

“Can you walk?” He asked Willow as he stopped beside her.

 

Willow looked completely uninjured, as she normally did after a fight, but Zane knew something was wrong because she was still knelt down where he had left her to go and join Reason and the others. Her arms were hanging limply by her sides and if he looked closely he could see that her whole body was shaking; probably with the effort of keeping upright. Whatever she had done to Octavius, it had taken a toll on her own body as well.

 

“Of course.” She replied and then got to her feet; tilting precariously until she managed to regain control.

 

“Come on then, Elijah’s opened a Gate back to the Estate.” Zane said and gestured to where Ellie had just taken Jinkama. “Jinkama’s going to the Healing Chamber; you should probably go as well.” Zane took a couple of steps towards the Gate and then looked back to see if Willow would follow; he guessed she wouldn’t get far.

 

Willow started to step towards him and then stumbled, catching herself before she actually fell over. Zane watched as she tried a second time and then walked up next to her. “I’m glad your arms are numb; I like the way my head faces.” He said before sweeping her off her feet and into his arms; one arm beneath her knees, the other at her back.

 

“Put me down.” She said but Zane shook his head.

 

“We’ll be here all day if I let you stumble through the Gate yourself. So bear with it until we’re through.” He carried her through the Gate and it closed behind him.

 

They were now in a long room in the Estate; running along one edge was a number of beds, each with medical equipment in cupboards next to them. Although most healing done was magical, sometimes some old fashioned hard work was needed. Ellie had placed Jinkama on one of the beds and was now looking through an ice drawer full of blood packs; useful for Vampires in need and blood transfusions alike. Apparently she found the one she needed because she took it over to Jinkama and hooked it up, ensuring the IV was fully in.

 

When Zane walked in and placed Willow on the bed next to Jinkama she turned to him. “He’ll be conscious soon, but I’ll need Ariel to take a look at the wires in his spine, I don’t want to risk damaging them by removing them with my magic. She’ll have to speak to them.”

 

Zane nodded. “Fair enough; I’m sure they’ll be here soon, Liz looked exhausted.” Ellie nodded in reply as she wiped away the rain on her forehead. “You should go and get changed, I’ll hang here until you get back and then I can get changed.”

 

“Thanks.” Ellie said and then exited the room, heading to the quarters Liz always kept ready for them.

==================================================================================

- Octavius -

“That fucking bitch!” Octavius screamed into the darkness of the room he was stood in. All that was visible was a rectangle of light that shone through the cracks around the door. “Next time I’ll kill her without hesitation!” The wounds he had received were bleeding profusely but he ignored them as he paced around the room in a circle. “Then I’ll kill that bastard, then the rest of them. I won’t be made a fool of like this!” he screamed again and the door slid open to reveal a feminine figure. She stepped into the room and closed the door behind her, hiding Octavius’ wounds from sight.

 

“Calm yourself, son, you are just bringing more shame.” The woman said, her voice melodious and calming.

 

“Shame! That bitch is the shameful one!” Octavius snapped and then held back the next remark he was going to make.

 

“You all brought shame to the Vaunik family this day; you, my mother, and Brink.” The woman said, remaining still even as Octavius continued his pacing.

 

“They failed?” He asked, calming himself from his outburst.

 

“As much as you; apparently the Winter Heroes are more formidable then you imagined.”

 

“Ha! The Winter Heroes were paltry, only Willow got in my way.” Octavius waved his hand dismissively and then grimaced at the pain that bounced around his body. He was glad his mother could not see his expression.

 

“As I warned you before you ran off, do not underestimate them; you barely scratched their surface from what I observed. Just be glad the Master Vampire is occupied with other things.”

 

Octavius didn’t reply to that, he knew that Ryuzaki would have slain him fairly quickly; only his speed would have saved him.

 

“Now I owe our client an explanation and a guarantee that next time we won’t fail as you have today.” The woman said and turned to leave, stopping only when Octavius laid a hand on her shoulder.

 

“I apologise, I have brought shame to the family.” He let go and his mother turned back to him. “Leave Willow to me, I’ll take care of her.”

 

“You will kill who I tell you to kill and no-one else. Now get yourself healed up; I have need of you.”

 

“Of course, Mother.”

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The battle was over.

With the wards back in place there was no immediate danger to the Estate, which was good for the injured who needed treatment.

The rain washed over Reason in waves, pouring down the contours in her face and down her clothes. She dropped down to her knees and gripped her arm. She took a deep breath and focused herself to try to return to human form.

Her wings collapsed down and then merged with her back again, leaving four distinct holes in the back of her shirt and jacket. Her mouth morphed back to human too as her fangs shrank back down. Her eyes resumed their green color, but a hint of silver and red remained sprinkled through each. Her hair shortened and resumed it's natural pink color and her hands resumed their slender look.

She just began to catch her breath when a blue lightning bolt struck her. She put her hands on the ground as the electricity coursed through her and focused in on her the top of her sternum. Then in a burst of light, Reason screamed as the Stone of Spring formed and pulled itself from her chest.

She began to breath heavily and her own sweat mixed with the falling rain. She stood up slowly, grabbing the stone key off the ground before spinning around to join the rest of them. She grabbed her arm again. The rain stung on her wound, but it was nothing compared to some of the others.

She stumbled back towards Elijah. “Is everyone safe?” She asked him, surveying the fields around her. She took a deep breath when something struck her. Sookie. “Elijah, I need you to send me to Sookie, can you do that?”

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-----Sookie-----

 

Sookie was in her wolf form, running across the landscape. She felt the twinge of power as the Prideux wards reworked themselves and defended the estate. She was worried about her friends, somewhat, but she knew they could handle themselves. She was extremely concerned about her children, but she also knew that they ancient magic built into the brick and mortar of that castle would keep them just as safe--if not safer--than if she herself were right by their side. She sensed something and that’s why she left. It was one of her rather darkest fears come to fruition; something that she was hoping she would never have deal with, but in the back of her mind always knew she would.

When she stepped across the property line, they lunged at her. All of them were in their human forms and there were three of them. In a flash Sookie transformed back into a human--her best form for combat such as this. They didn’t expect her to be able to transform as quickly as she could--They were always so easy to catch off guard....she thought. The one that was directly in front of her squared his chest up wit hers and raised both hands to his face. He dashed forward faster than any normal human could; his right hand springing forward.

Sookie ducked down and dashed forward, within his guard. As she got with his guard she sprung upwards, driving the top of her head into the bottom of his jaw. He took a step back and Sookie stepped back as well, giving herself more space to dash forward again and punch the man square in the sternum--she felt his bones shatter with a satisfying crack--inhuman or not he was going to be out for a minute with an injury like that. The other two came from each side, they would, she knew, try to grab her limbs and restrain her. Her legs tensed as she forced her werewolf magic into them--the muscles bulged and her pants tightened. Just as the two men got close to her she lunged back, putting fifteen feet between them and her. She jumped forward then, same as before, only this time she lunged slightly to the right and flipped in the air, stopping herself against a tree with her feet. This put her directly behind one of the men. She jumped off the tree, the instant her feet made contact with it. The man’s enhanced senses caused him to be able to track her, he turned his head at the moment she jumped off the tree. Sookie’s fist caught the side of his jaw--breaking it and knocking him unconscious. The third man was faster than the other two. He ran forward the moment Sookie’s fist connected--staying hidden in Sookie’s blindspot that the body of the other man created. He caught Sookie by the leg and swung her around. Sookie’s body smacked into the ground with a loud thud. The wind was knocked out of her for a moment, but she didn’t let it slow her down. She sat up, but the man was on her, a rock he had picked up from the ground in his hand. He swung it down, Sookie moved her head to the side and the rock smashed into the dirt. She lunged up, fast. Her teeth made contact with the skin of the man’s neck and Sookie bit down, hard; her werewolf magic pouring into her teeth, turning them into fangs. Blood squirted and poured--she’d pierced his carotid artery.

Sookie stood up. She was winded from her brief encounter. Her intention wasn’t to kill him, she knew he was a werewolf like her. She’d probably met him once or twice a few years ago. The others were unconscious and were probably going to be for a while. She sniffed the air, she could smell the scent of her old brothers and sisters in the air. She growled.

Well fuck, in the back of my head, she cursed internally, I always wondered what would happen when i left. Looks like this is it. I’m not seen as a member of the pack anymore. She transformed back into a wolf, she could smell something in the direction of the graveyard, a hodge podge of familiar scents and unfamiliar ones. She didn’t pick up on it until now, when she was outside the property lines of the estate--those damn wards always got in the way of her keen sense of smell. She backtracked back to the graveyard and was there shortly, the smell was overwhelming.

When she got to the graveyard, she went silent with rage. She was back in human form, on her knees, pounding at the ground. Tears welled in her eyes. Damnit! Shit! God Fucking Damnit! She stood up, red faced and clenched fists. Her eyes had gone bestial, her nails extended into claws that dug into her hands; blood spilling from them and dripping to her feet. Her clenched teeth had become sharpened canine fangs. She took in everything, the sights, the sounds, the smells, everything. She was going to beat this image into her memory, then beat it back into whoever did it.

Ryuk’s grave had been dug up, canine paw prints everywhere. His metallic corpse was gone and his grave marker shattered. Sookie had forced so much of her werewolf magic into her body now that she’d broken past the minimal amount of resistance the Prideux wards put on her senses. The three that she had fought earlier were definitely here. Along with another werewolf and another person. She didn’t recognize the unfamiliar person’s scent, but she could clearly make out the scent of the fourth werewolf. It was Darius; the father of her children.

 

-----Wine Cellar, Prideux Manor-----

A rectangular door of green light flashed into existence out of nowhere--illuminating the dimly lit room. Reason stepped through cautiously, she called out for Sookie as the gate vanished into nonexistence. The room was deathly quiet--too quiet, she noticed. Packing a cluster of human four year olds into a room would cause enough chaos, when you put a group of were-four year olds in a room the result is a cacophony of chaos, children screaming, and dog barking. None of that was present here.

The lights all went out. Reason was left in the dark. Four figures moved to her right and she sprung for them, when she did, it struck her. Three wolves fifty-sixty pounds barreled into her and knocked her off balance. The rest of them followed suit, covering Reason in dog slobber, fur, and scratches from there claws.

“Mommy said that if we hunted like she taught us and got you, then you’d get us ice cream!”  One of the lot had transformed back into a human now and was sitting by Reason’s head, a handful of pink hair in her hand.

Another one added, “Mommy said that you would take us rabbit hunting too!”

 

-----Elijah-----

After he sent Reason to Sookie, Elijah rushed over to Elizabeth who was sitting down clutching her forehead with her hands. “Liz, are you okay?’ Elijah kneeled down, resting his wait on his sword.

“Yes,” She said, eyes clinched, breathing deeply, “yes, I think so. That was weird, whatever that child’s magic is it, it’s an insane spell.”

Elijah nodded, “He’d certainly have killed me had it not been for Cern back there.”

Elizabeth stood up, shaking off the pain. “I’m going to Ellie, we need to get a counter strategy up and then we--” Elijah cut her off.

“No, we can rest for a moment.” He shook his head. “You should go talk to Ellie, yes, but for Christ’s sake Ellie at least let the after effects wear off.” Elizabeth was about to argue with him, but she could tell Elijah wasn’t hearing it. He had been talking for a while to her about calming down, ever since she took over Matthew’s responsibilities actually. “Here’s a gate to Ellie and Zane’s room, I’m going to the healing chamber to be with Willow and Jinkama--the girl was just stabbed through the heart and somehow--” Elijah faded away as he disappeared into a gate, leaving another one right open next to Elizabeth. As he left she smiled. I wish sometimes he wasn’t so gentile. And fuck off, i’m totally not “calming down”. I’m getting pissed off.

 

-----Elizabeth-----

 

Ellie and Zane had one of the best rooms in the house, by far. It came complete with its own private bathroom, balcony, kitchen, and study. Basically, it was an apartment. Ellie had just stepped through the doorway when Elizabeth surprised her by gating into the room. “Awesome! Perfect timing!” Elizabeth said to Ellie, “Who. The. Fuck. Were. Those. Ass holes!” Elizabeth was furious, lightning crackling off her body. It was more of a rhetorical question, really, as she continued on, “We are going to rip them limb from limb! And where in the fuck is Ryuzaki?!”

 

-----Elijah-----

Willow was vomiting into a trashcan when Elijah walked through. Jinkama was looking significantly better already--his skin not nearly as pale. Zane was waiting patiently next to him. “Well we certainly have gotten pretty rusty.” Elijah joked walking in, “Willow I couldn’t help but notice--”

“That was my family.” She said, in her usual, solemn and dead pan way, “well some of them. My mother, father, and little sister weren’t there.” She went back to heaving inside the trash can, “If they had been we would definitely be dead right now.”

Elijah nodded, “Well, that’s disconcerting.”

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- Ryuzaki -

“Why are we here, boy?” The man questioned, stood on a branch above where Ryuzaki was perched.

 

Ryuzaki narrowed his eyes at how the man addressed him but didn’t question it. “To fulfil a promise I made a few years ago. I’m actually a bit late because of you.”

 

“Well, that’s a shame. Let’s get on with it then.” With a light hop, the figure fell past Ryuzaki and landed soundlessly on the hard packed dirt ground below; Ryuzaki followed just as silently.

 

Ki Ling matched Ryuzaki in height perfectly, except that he had a few extra inches where his black mohawk stuck up above his head, dropping slightly at the tips. His eyes shone gold and a number of piercings dotted his face; two small rings on his right nostril, two bars through his left eyebrow’s outer end, a central spike on his bottom lip, two rings on the top of his right ear, and a single spike of gold hung from his left earlobe. Kai wore a simple chest plate of leather over a bare chest with matching bracers, faded blue jeans, and a pair of sand coloured work boots sporting steel toecaps. Embedded at the centre of his armoured chest piece was a crystal in the shape of a cross.

 

Ryuzaki was dressed remarkably similarly, except more expensively. He wore his cuirass of black metal, plated from neck to waist, over his bare chest, and matching bracers. His loose trousers were black and were tucked into high boots of brown leather, tied tightly at the front with laces. A matching crystal cross was mounted at the centre of his armour also. He had grown his hair out in recent years and it now brushed his shoulders, loose, and his golden eyes were as bright as ever. The mark given to him by Nahadoth on Ezralda's death was still as fresh as ever; the skin of his right arm to the shoulder was charcoal grey with ice blue cracks running through it.

 

As Ryuzaki took a step forward, taking a breath to call out, a wooden arrow passed behind him aiming directly for the side of Ki’s head. Ki’s arm moved in a blur and caught the arrow without much of an effort.

 

“I would suggest, your majesty…” he said, not even bothering to look around at who had attacked him. “…that if you wish for your younglings to live to a ripe old age, you teach them to gauge the strength of their target before attacking them.”

 

A figure stepped out of the other side of the small clearing the Master Vampire’s had landed in, and smiled. He was a fraction shorter than the pair but was well muscled and his skin was tanned brown; he wore nothing except a pair of denim shorts that hung to his knees and what appeared to be a crown of leaves and twigs rested atop his curly brown hair.

 

“Apologies, but they can get rambunctious sometimes.” Jayden said. “William, Leona, to me.” Two small figures appeared either side of Ryuzaki and Ki, quickly running past them and standing next to Jayden, one on each side. “Now, apologise to them.”

 

The boy, William, who was stood on Jayden’s right, stepped forward and dropped to one knee. He was the spitting image of Jayden, with dark skin and brown hair styled into a ponytail of dreadlocks. Even his piercing blue eyes matched; despite the fact he looked no older than thirteen years old.

 

“Apologies on behalf of the Spring Crown; we mean no harm or offense.” He said, bowing his head.

 

“I don’t need anyone apologising on my behalf!” Leona said, puffing out her chest from where she was stood on Jayden’s left. “I can do so myself.”

 

Jayden laughed loudly and pulled William to his feet by the collar of his open shirt. “Okay, no need to be so formal.” Then he turned to Leona. “And you may be the Princess but you’re not the Crown, not yet.” Leona blushed and her chest deflated. Jayden’s smile suddenly disappeared. “Well, I suppose I shouldn’t speak too soon.” He took a step forward and pulled William and Leona together, so they were shoulder to shoulder in front of him. He removed his crown, taking a knee, and held it out to Leona; she took it with a smile and instantly put it on her head.

 

Jayden couldn’t help but smile again. “I was going to remind you what I said about wearing the crown but I suppose that’s a bit redundant this time.”

 

“What’s going on, dad?” William asked, his intense eyes staring at Jayden.

 

Jayden let out a small sigh. “Remember I told you that I was fulfilling a promise? And at the end of that promise, I had to confront the one I made it to?” Both Leona and William nodded. “Well, the man behind me is the one I was talking about. I’ve actually managed to get a few extra months with you. My time is due now, but remember that as long as Spring exists, so will I.” William seemed about to cry and Jayden ruffled his head. “You stick close to Leona, yeah? I expect you to protect her and the whole of the Spring Fae when I’m gone.” William nodded and rubbed his eyes to stop tears from actually falling. Jayden then looked back at Leona. “You continue your teaching under Elyssa, ok? You’ll be Queen soon and a good one at that. Listen to her advice but remember that you are the one in charge.” Leona nodded and Jayden got back to his feet.

 

“Now, both of you head back now; tell Elyssa what is about to happen here. She’ll know what she needs to do.” Leona and William both nodded again and both reached into the air beside them, opening doorways to the Spring Realm. They both walked through them and the doorways disappeared, leaving Jayden alone with Ryuzaki and Ki. He turned to face them.

 

“So, you managed to sort Spring out in the time I gave you?” Ryuzaki asked.

 

Jayden nodded and smiled. “The boy, William, is the Guardian of the Spring Fae; he’s an exceptional fighter with a strong sense of duty. After this, half of my strength will go to him.” he paused before continuing. “The girl is Leona, she will be the Queen. Upon my death, all my rights and power as King will pass to her by the correct passages. Also, the other half of my strength will go to her.”

 

Ryuzaki nodded. “How many do you number?”

 

“Currently there are 53 Spring Fae. About 5 months after The Winter War, I managed to locate a group of 6 full bloods who had been hiding out in Japan. From there, well, you get the idea.” Jayden smiled. He then walked forward until he was a pace in front of Ryuzaki and got down to his knees, sitting on them and bowing his head.

 

“What are you doing?” Ryuzaki asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Accepting my punishment.” Jayden replied.

 

Ryuzaki grinned. “I’m not going to execute you, Jayden.” Jayden looked up, shocked. “Oh, I’m going to kill you, but we used to be friends, I’m not going to let you sit there and die.” Jayden frowned and got back to his feet slowly.

 

“Then what?”

 

Ryuzaki grinned again. “Fight me, and fall like the warrior you are.”

 

Jayden’s eyes began to sparkle. “Oh? And what if I win.”

 

Ryuzaki let out a bark of a laugh and then disappeared. Jayden spread his stance and raised his right hand, catching Ryuzaki’s leg as he attempted to strike him in the head. “You caught it?” he said as he pulled his leg free and landed in a crouch.

 

“I am fairy royalty after all!” Jayden cried and leapt forward.

 

Ryuzaki caught the punch with no effort and caught Jayden in the stomach with a kick strong enough to send him flying upwards through the canopy above them. Ryuzaki jumped after him, bouncing of the trees to speed up, and grabbed him by the leg before he could fly too far. He pulled down sharply and slammed Jayden into the top of another tree. It gave way immediately and Ryuzaki kept pulling down, tearing the trunk in half until Jayden hit the floor.

 

Jayden pulled his leg free and flipped backwards, kicking Ryuzaki in the chin as he did, and a lightning bolt shot down from the sky, engulfing the vampire. Ryuzaki ignored it and leapt forward, his skin already healing from the burns, punching Jayden in the chest. Jayden felt his sternum crack as he was sent forcefully backwards, crashing through six or seven trees before coming to a stop. As Ryuzaki dashed forward, thin branches burst from the ground and attempted to constrict around him.

 

He countered the attack by spinning like a bullet, tearing the skinny branches to shreds, and appeared to deliver an overhead axe kick. Jayden took the blow to his right shoulder, his feet being forced into the ground, and then grabbed Ryuzaki’s leg. He pulled down sharply and Ryuzaki’s leg snapped at the knee like a dry twig. Ryuzaki let out another bark of laughter and spun around, knocking Jayden away with the broken limb. His healing fixed it nearly immediately and he delivered another kick to Jayden’s face.

 

With a quick lean-back, Jayden managed to avoid a broken nose, but Ryuzaki stepped in again and delivered a punishing upper to his kidney. He cried out but jerked forward and slammed his head into Ryuzaki’s nose and broke it in return. Ryuzaki paid it no mind and grabbed the back of Jayden’s head in both hands, pulling him down to knee him in the face. Jayden blocked the attack with both hands grabbing the approaching knee and then with a twist of his waist he sent Ryuzaki flying through a number of trees for himself.

 

Jayden smiled and placed both hands on the floor as large trees exploded out of the ground around him. Ryuzaki was entwined in thick branches, thin branches, leaves, flowers, thorns, and a bunch of other stuff as Jayden took an elevator of a tree trunk straight upwards. A number of lightning bolts appeared from the sky above and struck Jayden where he stood, now the highest point in the nearby area. Ryuzaki burst from the new foliage and flew towards Jayden’s position like a rocket.

 

A bolt of lightning sprung to meet him and Ryuzaki was surprised to find himself face-to-face with Jayden’s fairy form. His crystalline body was dark blue in colour and tree roots covered his lower arms and lower legs like armour. A single crack where his eyes would have been was filled with lightning and more of it passed through cracks that covered his entire body.

 

“Come on, Ryuzaki, let’s not hold back!” Jayden’s voice said from below the smooth rock where his mouth should be.

 

“You were always strong, Jayden!” Ryuzaki called back and delivered another punch to Jayden’s kidney. This time he put some force into the blow and Jayden cried out as cracks emanated out from where the bunch had struck. Lightning filled the cracks immediately and Jayden returned the blow with a direct punch to Ryuzaki’s chest.

 

Thunder roared with the blow as lightning crackled and Ryuzaki was sent speeding to the earth where he contacted like a meteor, creating a deep crater in the earth. Jayden appeared mounted on his chest with his right hand held pack, ready to punch. It was engulfed in a boosted armour of tree roots with an aura of flame and lightning and when he punched Ryuzaki, this time in the face, fire burst from the ground as lightning stuck from above.

 

He let fly a number of punches before Ryuzaki stopped the fist with an open palm, his wrecked face restoring back to normal in a matter of seconds. “Nice.” He said and then punched Jayden in the stomach.

 

The blow burst through him and parts of his crystalline skin was sent flying into the air, his tanned human skin being revealed below it, covered in blood. Ryuzaki grabbed the back of his head and punched him in the stomach again, with the same result; flying shards of crystal and blood. Jayden moved to head-butt him but Ryuzaki beat him to the punch as his face crashed into Jayden’s.

 

He reared backwards and Ryuzaki took the opportunity to roll him over so he was now mounted on top. He pushed Jayden’s head back into the dirt and punched him directly in the face. Lightning flowed into the cracks as they spread across his head and neck but Ryuzaki ignored it as he punched again and again. Jayden’s human face was now revealed, his nose crushed, cheekbones fractured and forehead practically caved in, covered in blood.  He smiled, showing missing teeth, and laid spread his arms wide.

 

“You’ve gotten stronger.” He managed in a slur.

 

“So have you.” Ryuzaki replied and then drove his right hand through his chest with his fingers speared, when he felt them touch dirt he stopped.

 

Blood spurt from Jayden’s mouth but his smile remained. “Leave my body here, would you?” he said as his crystalline body fell away to reveal his human form completely, broken bones and all. “Elyssa…will…want it.” His eyes closed and Ryuzaki pulled his hand back, covered in blood.

 

He stood up and flicked his right hand back and forth, getting rid of as much of the blood as he could. “Yeah, I will.” As he stepped away from the body, Ki appeared at his side.

 

“Well, that was messy.” He said, frowning at Jayden’s body.

 

Ryuzaki nodded. “It needed to be; that was me from 10 years ago.”

 

Ki shook his head. “You are a confusing one. Come on, Andrei will want to know where we got to.” With that said, the two Master Vampire’s disappeared.

 

==================================================================================

- Eleanor Pengallion -

Ellie had barely entered through the door when a Gateway opened and Elizabeth stepped through, rage permeating of her; along with the lightning. Ellie quickly cast a misdirection spell around her, meaning any stray lightning that flew her way would miss, and then took a seat on one of the sofa’s that were sat in the middle of the room. It was like a living room and it was where Ellie talked to visitor’s she entertained whenever she was staying at the Prideux Estate. With a wave of her hand, Ellie summoned a pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt, decorated with a cartoon flame. She hadn’t been to the Estate recently so her clothes were very limited in choice.

 

Gesturing Elizabeth to be patient, which caused another crackling of lightning, Ellie quickly changed, sending her wet clothes into basket in the corner.

 

“Right, so first of all, I have no idea who attacked the Estate. Jinkama summoned me via a tattoo I gave him a couple of years ago; surprising actually, as Jinkama’s not the one to call for back up.” She smiled. “As for Ryuzaki, I haven’t seen him in many years; he didn’t even come to my wedding, remember? The best bet would be to ask Sookie, she’s more likely to know than me.” Elizabeth was still stood up, anger rolling off her. “Would you calm down?”

 

- Zane Pengallion -

Zane’s suit was practically dry now and Ellie had still to appear but he made no move to leave Jinkama and Willow alone. He was hanging his jacket on the corner of a free bed when a Gateway opened and Elijah stepped through and watched as Willow puked into a trash can for the hundredth time. He listened to their brief exchange before opting him himself.

 

“Well, that Octavius fellow was a hardass piece of work. But what the hell was your family doing here, Willow?” he waved his own question away and turned to Elijah. “Anyway, I managed to capture one of the attackers…” he raised his right hand and tapped the small diamond embedded under his wrist. “…so we can interrogate her when we’re ready. Also, what happened to Ariel? Ellie said she needs to take a look at Jinkama’s spine, there is some kind of wire embedded there and she was cautious to remove them herself with them near such an important place.”

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-----Elizabeth-----

     "No, no, no," Elizabeth said in response to Ellie, "I asked Sookie some time ago where he was and she didn't know either." She pursed her lips at Ellie, "And I will not calm down! Are you mad, women?!" Her lightning started to cackle again, misdirected by Ellie's spell, burning holes in the carpet. "When was the last time someone did this to us! US!" She was fuming and, at this point, she could see what Ellie was talking about. She took a few deep breaths. "Well I suppose we could calm down for moment." She was running through the fight in her head again, "First and foremost that strange vertigo spell, that needs a counter ready for it right away. And also that old hag's magic was quite formidable. Next time we'll be ready, though!" 

 

-----Willow-----

     "I've been fighting with my older brother since I could walk and I've never bested him once," Willow said to Zane, clutching at her stomach, "I don't even know what kind of skills or magics or powers he uses. The most I've been able to discover is those accursed strings that he's always pulling people around with." She sat back upright, breathing deeply, "I'm way faster than him, though." She said, oddly out of character she smiled--something that she only did rarely and when she was overcome with emotion. She'd never bested her brother before, That evil fucking dick. "I never even took these off." She gestured to her hands, they still had the finger less gloves on them. Underneath the gloves and spreading halfway down her forearms were bandages. "These simulate a massive amount of weight each--courtesy of Elizabeth of course--and I have them on my shins, too. I'm not saying that I could kill him, but I think we've done a fair enough job misleading him so far." 

 

-----Elijah-----

     Elijah nodded his head along with what Willow was saying, he, too, hadn't done much this fight. Him and Cern had cornered that little boy for a short moment before being caught in some strange time-freezing spell. He changed subjects to answer Zane's question, "Ariel is off doing Ariel things, I honestly couldn't tell you where she went." He shrugged, "Cern is gone, too. Knowing Cern he's probably having some really annoying self-reflection moment. But, again, I can't speak for Ariel. I'm sure she'll be back, though, after all the worst thing we can do right now is be separated." 

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- Eleanor Pengallion -

Ellie raised an eyebrow as Liz got angrier, her lightning actually burning the carpet before she seemed to realise that Ellie was right. “Sookie doesn’t know? That’s a surprise, I thought Ryuzaki told her everything. I suppose Michael may know but, as you know, he’s in his father’s realm and hasn’t been out since the wedding. I doubt he’d respond if I asked him if he knew where Ryuzaki had gone; certainly his father would be pissed.” Ellie gestured to the opposite sofa to her and Liz reluctantly took a seat. “Mmm, I did not experience this vertigo spell and I only saw the old woman’s, so you’ll have to describe them as much as you can if I’m to be of any help.”

 

“Michael taught me a few things about magic deconstruction and analysis but without a ready source to test it one, we’re going to have to go with a catch-all type of anti-magic.” She leant back and lifted her hand to take a mug that had floated in from the kitchen. “oh, did you want something as well?”

 

- Zane Pengallion -

“Those wires were pretty annoying; they seemed to be able to latch onto anything. Ellie seemed to think her spell would stop it but of course, you intervened before we got a chance to prove it; maybe the fact he didn’t try it again gives us a clue.” Zane said, nodding as Willow explained that without her weights she would be able to move faster than Octavius. Zane thought this was probably true, they seemed to be matched in speed in the fight so as long as Octavius wasn’t holding back, Willow would be able to out-run him. Of course, how useful that would prove to be would be proven next time he appeared; which Zane figured would happen eventually.

 

As with Willow, he too hadn’t gone full out against Octavius so he figured he’d be able to keep up next time. Probably not in speed, but that wasn’t one of Zane’s better points in combat. He frowned and crossed his arms in front of him. “I agree, if your family comes back before them, things could prove to be troublesome.” He paused and then leant back against the wall behind him. “I presume this will wear off on itself…” he gestured to Willow’s retching and she managed a nod “…and without Ariel, Jinkama can sleep away. So, Elijah, how about we go play cops with my prisoner?”

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One minute Reason was scared, the next she was covered in Sookie's furry rugrats.

One of the smaller children had ended up in human form on her head, a handful of pink hair. Reason sat up, pulling the child off her head.

“Did she really say that? Ice Cream?” Reason asked, looking around at the five other children sitting around the cellar. Some of them nodded at her. “Do any of you know where mommy went?” Reason asked. As she looked around the room at the six faces. The child in her arms frowned at Reason and shook her head.

“Mommy said to wait here for you.” Amanda said from in Reason's arms.

“Did she?” Reason paused and looked at all of the faces around her. “How about we get some Ice Cream with Aunty Reason, eh?” Reason stood up, holding Amanda in her arms, which was not hard due to Reason's superhuman strength, but probably looked pretty strange considering how big the kids had grown up to be.

She put Amanda down, who then dropped some of Reason's hair onto the ground, little pink strands scattered across the dark stone floor.

“All right everyone, we can go, but all five of you have to promise to stay close to me, and don't wander off.” The children all nodded vigorously, some of them mumbling “Yes, Aunt Reason.”

As Reason and her merry band of Werepups made their way down the cold halls under the estate, Reason shivered. She felt a shift in power. Something strong changed with the Spring Fae. Something strong enough that it could be felt by a mutt like her behind the barriers of the estate.

Joshua grabbed Reason's hand and tugged. “Is everything okay?” He asked her, concern hinting at his voice. The other children had slowed.

“Yeah it's...” Reason paused. “It's fine don't worry about it.” She looked at him and gave him a grin. “Everything will be alright, don't worry kiddo.” She said, and ruffled his hair. Her words made her feel sick to the stomach, considering how powerful the foes were, they're going to give them a run for their money if they have to fight again. But next time we'll be ready She told herself.

In the kitchen, Reason opened up the massive freezer and pulled out cartons of ice cream. A variety of flavors spread across the counter. She reached into the cabinet and pulled out seven bowls, putting them on the counter, and scooping out big bowls for all the kids, each of the flavor they requested. Reason got herself a bowl of vanilla, to take the edge off of the post battle stress, as her adrenaline had begun to wear down as well, and the sick feeling in her stomach grew.

She put away all the ice cream, and turned to the kids. “Now remember, the freezer is enchanted not to open for anyone under the age of 18.” She sung out in a teasing tone. All the children giggled, and heard Zoe mutter “Aunty Reason is sooo old.” Reason grabbed her bowl of ice cream and stuck her tongue out at the children, making them all laugh again. Reason spotted a cup floating down the room and into the hallway.

Stay here kids, okay?” She said, and heard most of them mumble confirmations between bites of ice cream, and she followed the cup.

It went down the hall a short ways and turned into the living room where it was grabbed out of the air by Eleanor. She leaned in the doorway, about to make her presence known, when a bolt of lightning shot out from Liz. Reason quickly blocked the bolt with the spoon she had in her hand, absorbing the lightning through her hand.

So girls, what's with the the little powwow?” Reason asked, taking another spoonful of ice cream. There was an air of shock with her appearance, as she was probably unexpected. “I took Sookie's rugrats out of the cellar to get ice cream and saw your cup fly in.” She said taking a pause to eat another spoonful of ice cream. “Any ideas what the hell that even was?”

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-----Elijah-----

Cold water splashed against the hard stone floor; the large space was dimly lit with several dusty lamps. There was a large table inverted so that the man strapped down to it was angled with his head inches from the ground and his feet in the air. Zane was holding a cloth over his mouth. Eljiah continued pouring water down on him. The technique, known as waterboarding, would simulate the feeling of drowning without actually drowning him. The angle of the head creates the effect of every sinus cavity filling with water, but the lungs remain filled with oxygen preventing asphyxiation. It was cruel, yes, but this man was also very resistant.

 

Elijah pushed on the back end of the table and it shot up, Zane letting the cloth fall. The man coughed up water and it flooded from his nose. His face was reddened and his eyes puffy. “You don’t intimidate me,” he coughed out between heavy and exhausted breaths, “I trust,” pausing again for breath, barely staying conscious, “in the man,” he coughed up more water, “who will cure me of my ailment.” I’td been about three days since they started torturing him. He was feisty, Elijah and Zane both credited him with that, but he was definitely wearing down.

 

Elijah nodded his head, “Good on you, buddy, but, you see, you hurt some people who are really important to me,” he got closer, inches away, voice and eyes going dead, the pressure of his magic and essence and strength bearing down like a crushing weight on the man's chest, growing exponentially with every word “so we are going to hurt you.” He stepped back, walking over to a deep sink and washing his hands. He spoke over his shoulder, “We are going to keep hurting you until you tell us why you did what you did and who else is involved.” This is the first time Elijah had actually told him he wanted anything. Before every time the man spoke he was greeted with muted silence from the two of them. Ellie and Elizabeth had both tried to crack the man's mind using different types of magic, but his thoughts had the equivalent of military grade encryption software. A little flicker of hope shone in his eyes then, like maybe he could survive this altercation after all. Elijah let that flicker burn, he blew on it next, “That's all it takes. That's it.” He got closer, green energy whipping and swirling around the man. The air becoming heavy, and again Elijah's presence became overwhelming, “Then you will die.” Elijah dumped a bucket of cold water on the man's small fire now, “But first you have to want to die.”

 

-----Ariel-----

Jinkama’s location was carefully changed from the healing chamber to one of the topmost rooms in the highest tower of the Prideux castle. Historically, this room has been a workshop for generations. A large pentagram was carved into the old wood of the floor. Ariel was knelt down next to Jinkama, speaking in rushed strange tones. Her eyes were closed and her ears twitched noticeably several times every few seconds. Elizabeth and Ellie stood on opposites sides at the rim of the Pentagram. The Pentagram was glowing a fierce orange where Ellie stood and a calming purple where Elizabeth stood. In the room was a massive dry erase board--Elizabeth couldn't stand the feeling of chalk on her hands. The dry erase board had a written language on it that only Ariel knew. Michael at one time had deciphered enough of it for a spell, or so Ariel remembered.

 

It had taken Ariel two sleepless days without stopping so much as to have a meal to crack the strange nameless string that weaved itself throughout Jinkama's nervous system and spinal cord. One thing was evident, that just pulling it out was not an option, she could, of course, but there was most likely the risk of causing Jinkama serious and irreversible pain.

 

Once the string spoke to her, it screamed.

 

It was weird, she noted, shed only heard about this during her initial training and acceptance into the society that taught her The Names of Things.

 

She remembered, Everything has a name, Ariel, a story. Nothing has the same name and nothing has the same story. That rock over there has a unique name and has seen empires built and crumple around it, once it was maybe part of a house that had children. As you live your life, from here on out, nothing will stop talking to you. Silence is henceforth abandoned, you will never again find solace in the quiet serenity of an afternoon alone.

 

Then she shuddered.

 

If it is every quiet, child, RUN. There are things, lost magics, dark magics, evil magics, that have seen such demented and twisted things that they scream and cry and beg to be burnt or to be shredded so they can be something else. Those things are silenced by the hands of those that make them commit such atrocities. Those things can even scare other things into silence. You must be careful, silent things are a disease that must be liberated. You must talk to them, convince them that it is safe and to speak. Never forget, Ariel, everything has a name and a story it wants to tell.

 

This was indeed one of the more trying trials Ariel has ever experienced. It was pushing the brink of her sanity, she could feel her fragile mind beginning to break. She knew that if that happened, any effort to let Jinkama escape this unscathed would be mute.

 

-----Elizabeth-----

Maintaining the circle was easy work,especially for mages the caliber of Ellie and Elizabeth. Sprinkled on the grounds were many different fresh herbs and plants, the life of these things were being sucked out and fed into Jinkama--that way as soon as portions of the string were removed by Ariel it would be almost instantly healed. It was a spelled that, more or less, required concentration rather than power, and with Ariel guiding all the magical energy to where it needed to go this was a walk in the park for the two of them.

 

Elizabeth wasn't concerned about any of thay, though, she was concerned entirely with Ariel.

 

When Ariel’s mind is put through tremendous amounts of stress or pain a darker side of her starts to come out. It's a side that Elizabeth had only seen a few times, most recently when her hand got cut off, and its a side that doesn't have the finite control and concentration needed for a procedure such as this. When it comes to fighting, Elizabeth would pick Schizophrenic borderline Ariel nine times out of ten, but when it comes to precision work, the sane dead-pan Ariel is the only one who can do the job.

 

Just a little longer, Elizabeth thought to herself, we are about finished. Shouldn't be anymore than ten minutes now. The energy rushed out of the circle with a quick whoosh, Ariel had broken it finally. It looked as if there work was complete--Jinkama groaning audibly in an irritable fashion. The strings didn't seem to affect him to much, it was the potential of what they could do that scared everybody; except Jinkama of course who stubbornly refused their efforts.

 

Elizabeth walked over to Ariel and placed a hand on her shoulder, Ariel was clammy and pale. Her eyes were glazed over and she definitely looked like she needed a full meal and a good night's rest. “You can rest now, if you want Ariel, Ellie and I will take care of the rest.”

 

Ariel mumbled a muted response and left, leaving Ellie, Jinkama, and Elizabeth to their own devices.

 

-----Willow-----

 

The outpost was one of the largest in Europe, as Willow recalled, looking at the hand drawn map she purchased from a vendor an hour or so ago. It was located in what used to be the port city of Marseille and--while still remaining a port city--it also acted as a last refuge of humanity after the destruction caused by Ezralda. As a result of being one of the largest cities left, it also has one of the highest crime rates. Willow found herself renting a small room in one of the slums of the city. The room she had rented for the night was modest at best--maybe three hundred square feet, with a nightstand, desk, and twin sized bed. On the desk was an oil powered lamp that she had turned on--its faint yellow light barely dimming the room. She’d gone here on her own volition; she didn’t even tell the others she was leaving. Her mission was simple: gather as much information as possible about the Crescent Moon alliance.

 

She’d only briefly heard of them being mentioned before when she worked with her family, they were led by a mysterious masked man. Their ultimate goal she didn’t know, their size she didn’t know, even a method of contact she didn’t know. Every time they met it was directly with her father, and a few moments later he would task the family with their next mission. The missions were never easy, for that matter, either. Typically it involved mass coordination between all of them. They also didn’t tend to be straightforward assassinations, typically they were used as distractions while the real objective was obtained in silence.

 

“Which,” She cursed allowed, “is exactly what they did to us.” She had a meeting set up with a rather suspicious man--more accurately he set it up with her. He followed her down an alleyway and confronted her. Of course she’d known he was following her, and when she went to strike at him he caught her speared hand by the wrist, this was when he told her where to meet up with him. She assumed he was part of some organized crime syndicate down here; they were notorious for scouting out talented people in a very similar fashion.

 

She checked the time via a large clock on the wall--it was just now coming to be sunset. The small bar he told her to meet at would take her at least a twenty minute walk to get to. She’d need to leave now if she wanted to get there early enough to scout the perimeter for traps or ambushes. She stood up--pushing the chair out from the small desk and folded the map into a square and shoved it into her satchel.

 

-----Sookie-----

 

It’d been three days since she’d left and began tracing the scent of Ryuk and her former pack. Ultimately, she’d realized how futile it was; anything she did stumble upon would be trap and for the most part the pack covered their scent well. The few chances she did catch a wiff it was immediately stifled. Even her enhanced sense of smell couldn’t trace a helicopter. She was only a few miles away now from the Prideux estate. It was a small abandoned town, as things got worse for humanity they must have abandoned it for a more urban and populated area--safety in numbers, as they say. And as she got closer she couldn’t help but wonder how Reason was holding up dealing with all the children.

 

Gunfire, a piercing four second hum of automatic gunfire shredded through the air towards her. She was in her wolf form, and with a small effort of will transformed back into her human form while lunging forward--decreasing her size. One of the bullets caught her in the calf--knicking the back of her muscle. It was only surface damage, she noted, but it would still hurt like hell. The bullet wasn’t any normal bullet--it wreaked with the acidic smell of silver. The wound would take some time to heal. Whoever her opponent was right now--it wasn’t going to be an easy victory for her.

 

She tracked her vision in the direction of fire, and was greeted with several more bursts of automatic fire. She forced her werewolf powers into her arms and feet, into all her senses--not letting the beast inside her completely take over but giving the leash some slack. Her muscles bulged and stretched and her hair grew quickly, becoming white. Her eyes became animal in shape and her fingernails grew into sharp claws. Her blonde hair became scruffled and white in color.

 

She spun and ran forward, ducking low and sprinting the distance between her and the shooter. The gunfire was coming from an angle out of a doorway in a rundown concrete building. She was easily angled now on her approach so that the gunfire couldn’t hit her, however she was sure that running through the doorway would be suicide. Instead she would try a more unconventional approach. When she was roughly ten meters away from the building, she crouched and then jumped up, into to the building through a window. The glass shattered easily.

 

Before her feet could make contact with the ground a grenade exploded. It sent shrapnel all throughout her chest and arms--she had raised her arms to cover her face an instant before the grenade went off. The blast crippled the floor she was standing on and she was sent tumbling down to first floor--where she was greeted yet again by gunfire. She didn’t let this slow her down, though, she knew even as she was falling that the primary threat shifted from whoever threw the grenade to whoever was shooting the gun--which now that she could see it she could tell it was a stationary machine gun.

 

Despite being riddled with holes now she dashed forward, bounding back and forth so that the gunman would have a tougher time tracking her. As she got closer she ducked in low and shot upwards, using her legs and the full momentum of her body to give a devastating uppercut to the gunman--severing his neck from his spinal cord and leaving him limp and motionless. She spun around and took cover behind the gun, letting her wounds close and stop bleeding, taking in all her surroundings and letting her senses take everything in.

 

I can smell something else here, She assessed, but I can’t see or hear anything. Not even breaths.  

 

A flash of movement came her way and she lunged back, careful not to put weight on her damaged. A throwing knife ricocheted off the mounted machine gun and into the wall next to her. She moved, forward in that direction, propelling herself faster than her assailant could keep up. He was on a stairwell, she saw. The stairwell didn’t really go anywhere else now that the second floor was ins shambles from the grenade--The one he presumably had thrown, she thought.

 

She stepped up onto the stairwell and faced her opponent. He had several small throwing knives floating around him, and two large knives in his hands--one held backwards and the other forwards. He was wearing a BMX helmet so she couldn’t get a good look at his face. In the small stairwell, Sookie could already see the vast disadvantage she’d be at. Welp, she thought as she ascended the stairs, I hope you didn’t like your ribs.

 

The man sent the knives at her in a storm of sharp metal, however she was faster. He’s just a low-grade lackey. Shit. here I thought I was going to have some trouble with this guy. When the first of the knives got close to her, she accelerated forward, faster than the man could track, and reappeared in front of him--her right leg extended and delivering a devastating side kick that sent him flying up the stairwell and into the damaged second floor. He struggled to get up, coughing blood and cursing. Sookie was next to him now. She laughed and kicked him down the hole she had fallen through.

 

He landed on his back--knocking him unconscious--and then Sookie landed on top of him. “Damn it!” She cursed, “Now I have to wait for you to wake up. Fuck.”


 

-----Willow-----

She was sitting in the backroom of a privately owned club, she had a plate of untouched food in front of her, it was some sort of chicken stew served over rice in a large bowl. It smelt good, but she didn’t trust it. In fact, she didn’t trust this whole situation. When she walked through the door, the staff directed her through the kitchen, up to another story, and then to a secluded private room setting for her meeting. She imagined that this person she was meeting with was pretty important to warrant this kind of attention and respect in a building run by whatever organized crime syndicate owned it.

 

After about a half hour of waiting the man she met in the alleyway finally came in. He was wearing a green leather vest over a black long sleeve t-shirt. He had two katanas strapped in an X across his back and he was wearing a black bandana across his forehead. One of his eyes looked greyed out and useless, the other was green and fully aware. He had on fingerless gloves as well. He lit a cigarette as he sat down at the table. He readjusted himself, though, taking off his sheathed katanas and placing them to his side so that he could sit more comfortably. After that he took the gloves off and put his hands in his lap, leaning backwards.  

 

Willow didn’t want to waste time, she was supposed to be on the road back to the Prideux estate by now, “So, the Crescent Moon…” she asked.

“Yes, yes,” He said, pulling his left hand up from under the table to ash his cigarette on to the floor. He blew the smoke into the room, “They are a pesky bunch, supposedly they all have a curse on them or something or other.” He coughed into his hand, “I believe they want to achieve some type of eternal night; something or other like that.” There was an awkward several seconds of silence as he inhaled and exhaled smoke.

As he lowered his left hand, Willow’s attention was drawn to the tattoo on it, a night sky with shining white stars, covering everything from wrists to knuckles. She asked, “And, that’s all you know?” She was confused, “Not to sound paranoid or anything,” she shifted directions, a few things didn’t add up in this situation, “but how did you know I was here, and why exactly are you helping me.”

He tapped the box of cigarettes against the table and made another pop out. Still using his left hand he flicked the cigarette onto the floor and put the box up to his mouth, pulling another cigarette out, but not lighting it. Just sort of sucking on the filter. “Well, I’d really like to work with you guys, honestly.” Willow tilted her head when he said this, the “Heroes of Winter” as they’ve become known as were notorious, so it didn’t entirely surprise her. “I’d love to help rid this world of evil--fight the good fight, all that jazz.”

 

Willow nodded her head and couldn’t help but come off as irritated, “Well we aren’t taking any applications at the moment,” She barely got any information from this ass hole, nothing that she hadn’t learned on the streets a day ago anyways. He brought his right hand up and in it he had a lighter, probably pulled out of his trouser pockets. With his left hand he cupped the front of the cigarette and flicked the lighter with his right, sparking into a flame. His tattoos went together on his two hands, on his left he had the stars and dark night, and on his right hand he had the same starry night, only there was a crescent moon in corner.

 

Willows eyes shot open and she somersaulted backwards over the chair, kicking the table upwards and putting it between them--cutting off his visual of her. She didn’t believe in coincidences, her family had taught her that, and this was definitely not one. It was a trap and she walked right into it. The level of skill this man had was still unknown to her, however she was already at a serious disadvantage--her normal surprise fighting tactics were entirely out of the question. In addition to that, he seemed like he knew a lot about her.

 

She was almost to the door when all of her instincts screamed to turn around at her. She did, and was barely able to avoid the several slashed the man made at her with his blades. In the instant she kicked up the table, the man must have grabbed his swords and unsheathed them. He didn’t have their sheaths on his back, they were still laying on the ground. She danced around them effortlessly, her speed seeming far superior to his. Change of tactics, she analyzed, I’m going to immobilise him then retreat.

 

She dashed forward, inside his guards, rotating on her heel as she did. Her right hand glowed purple and formed a spear and she shoved it right through his chest. The man reacted quickly, jumping backwards, his body suspended in the air for a moment with both his feet on the wall opposite to Willow. Damn, he moves faster than I thought, doesn’t matter, I got him. She squeezed her right hand and the purple smudge on his chest grew and convulsed, It should feel like his heart and lungs are ruptured.” As the man moved, she was confused to see that it had literally no effect on him, Shit. No time to fix it. Adjust and respond.

 

He jumped from the wall, and his swords right sword was in Willow’s guard before she could move. She ducked and it went over head, his follow up was several quick and precise stabs with his left sword. She dodged each of them barely, one caught her across her cheek and left a deep gash. I need to finish this fast, these are too close of quarters for me to fight.

 

She flipped her switch.

 

Her whole body went on autopilot. She was killing machine, everything about her was bred to kill and fight. When she needed to, she could rely on those instincts in a fight and her body could react before her brain told it too. Easy. She thought, her body and mind becoming two separate entities, a sort of lethal-out-of-body experience. Her assailant changed his footing as his feet hit the ground, no longer relying on his initial jump. The sword in his right hand flipped backwards in an instant and he brought his left sword across his body to guard.

 

In the next instant had her arm guards off, relieving the weight and stress it put on her body, letting her move faster than before, faster than possibly ever. She hadn’t taken them off in a long while and she’d been systematically increasing the weight. It was going to be a surprise against Jinkama the next time they sparred--she still hadn’t bested him yet. As the man pulled his left sword from in front of him, and brought his right sword down on her--his larger stature giving him a foot and a half height difference. His right sword was held backwards in his hand, coming down quickly to skewer willow to the floor.

 

His sword struck empty air and went right into the floor.

 

She had jumped to the ceiling, faster than his eyes could follow, and was perched in the corner; her incredible momentum still thrusting her upside down body into the roof, her ankles and knees bending with the force. When he pulled his sword out of the wooden floor, she struck. Her body moved again faster than her mind could tell it too--relying on instincts and a solid decade of brutal training. To the man’s credit, He was just as fast. Her small fists pummeled his body successfully several times--leaving large purple smudges, amplifying internal pain that wasn’t actually their. Her magic seemed to have no effect, on him. He laughed at her. “Illusions are pointless, little girl, especially--”

 

She was on him, in the same extremely effective hold she’d used against her brother, trapping him in a scarecrow type pose. Her legs catching his arms and his head was in her hands. She looked down at him, eye’s dead, “You don’t have time talk.” She said, hands around his chin and the side of his head. She wrenched his head up and as she did he moved it with her. Angling his still lit cigarette into her face he blew at her. Willow was attempted finishing move was countered with scalding hot smoke and ash in her eyes and all around her face.  

 

She jumped off him and kicked him into the wall with the door, again trapping her in the room. Her vision was blurred terribly and she could already feel blisters forming. Time to run. Her body and mind were on cue this time, she dashed forward in what appeared to be another attack, however it was really just a feint. She was met with a flurry of blows that she couldn’t avoid. She didn’t waste time thinking about her next move--which probably saved her life. The man didn’t have time to readjust his stance from when he pushed her away and he dropped his left sword--she had put a surprising amount of force when she had him locked in place that it surprised even her--his left arm was dislocated it seemed. In the several feet between them she dashed forward, fast as ever, however now it seemed like the man could suddenly track her. She picked up his fallen sword. He smirked at her and stepped forward.

 

Tracking Willow and responding to her are two entirely different things. While his eyes could follow her, all he could do was raise the back end of his sword up--he still had a reverse grip from before--and plant the butt of his handle square into her nose; a rather sore spot from her previous battle with her brother. Again it broke--filling her mouth and the floor with her blood. She didn’t stop, though, she kept running through the blow, knocking him off balance, and shoving him through the door--breaking the fragile thing. The fell in a tangle and each of them rolled to the side.

 

Willow turned down the hallway and bolted, knowing that in her current state--broken nose, burnt face, and in complete ignorance of her opponent--she wouldn’t win. She wasn’t like the others with overwhelming offenses or defenses to counteract ignorance in a battle--she was an assassin, if she didn’t have surprise she didn’t have anything. The man tried to follow her, however, as he moved her found the left sword Willow grabbed earlier sticking through his loose fitting, longsleeve t-shirt and into the ground. “Fucking. God. Shit!” He cursed as he struggled to pull it out. He laughed, “Pretty good, Bitch!” He called at her. She didn’t stop--if there was one enemy there would be more waiting for her.

 

While running she flicked the quick release tabs at her ankle weights, breaking them free and making her essentially weightless to her own muscles. She was in and out of the tavern in a flash--literally. She even surprised herself at her ability to move unseen and unheard. She danced in the shadows, stepping faster than anyone in the room could trace her, dancing around them weightlessly, spinning and jumping and dashing and ducking. The bouncer at the front of the door caught sight of her, though, she couldn’t stay undetectable forever.

 

His death was quick, she jumped over him in a flip and, while in mid air, grabbed his head and twisted it grotesquely--a sickening crack of fluid and bone silencing the bar. She landed on the other side of him, outside on the pavement, the bouncers dead body bent backwards to her level. She let go of him and he fell lifeless to the floor. Before a single patron could respond, she vanished into the night, dashing up onto the roof tops and making a full on sprint for the prideux estate.

 

Let’s see, it’s only a few hundred miles, I think. I should be able to do that in a few hours. She tried to calm her body down and force the adrenaline away, however she was still shaking. She was also covered in a lot more cuts and bruises than she initially had thought. Her clothing was in tatters. She thought for a moment about calling for help, but decided against it--They probably still have their hands full dealing with things as is.  

 

-----Elijah-----

 

Elijah and Zane stood a few levels up above the basement where they currently had their prisoner. Elijah was getting fed up with it. He was fed up with a lot of things actually. He was a patient man, especially when it came to Elizabeth, and especially when it came to helping out his friends, but this was pushing his patience to its limits. If you would have asked him a few years ago to torture somebody for information he would have said, “Fuck no, what are we, Nazi’s?” They’d gone so long without any immediate threat to his friends and him, and now, once again, they find themselves knocking on death’s door.

 

They’d gotten next to nothing out of the man they were torturing the man--and to be fair he probably didn't know anything either. Elijah turned to Zane, “Well, hopefully Willow has turned up more information about these bastards, you wanna do the talking next?” Elijah shrugged his shoulders, “I don't know how much farther we should take this.”

 

-----Arafel-----

He'd been chained to a chair for a week's now and was surviving on stale bread and moldy water. His body was beginning to shut down, he was extremely ill, and he hallucinated a lot--probably from dehydration he guessed. Also, probably because he'd been kept in the dark for all but a few hours each day, and the few hours he was given light he was being beat in some grotesque way, shape, or form. This day, however, had proven exceptionally painfully.

 

He wasn't given stale bread or modly water that morning, and it surprised him so much he gobbled the food without chewing--nearly choking to death--for fear that someone would take it away. He was escorted from his small dungeon like cell into an even more disturbing one. He was Sat in a chair, strapped down, and then injected with a syringe. A new man walked in, he hadn't seen him before.

 

“Hello, Arafel”, he said, his voice carried some strange connonatstion with it. As if it were a snake that was going to bite him, “My name is Caine” Arafels eyes were nearly swollen shut so all he could see was the blurred figure of a black haired man speaking, “I'm really tired of asking you nicely so now we are going to stop being nice.” He placed his middle and index finger on Arafels head. “Please, turn back time for me, on my whole body, to reverse the curse that was laid upon me.”

 

Arafel spit at the man. To Arafels surprise, a tooth came with his glob of spit. Well damn, he internalized, I would have looked so much cooler had my front tooth not come out. His impaired vision made it so that he couldn't see whether or not his bloody saliva made contact, but it had its desired effect. He was about to say something snarky when he became overwhelmed with the worst feeling imaginable.

Something was wriggling underneath the skin of his forehead, digging into bone, painful and irritating. He shook back and forth and screamed, rubbing his wrists and ankles raw in their bindings, smashing his head back and forth against the headrest on the chair. “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!” He shouted.

 

It stopped just as suddenly as it had begun, he could feel blood pouring down his face, obscuring his already obscured vision. He could feel the man's breath on his ear, he was close,  “That isn't even a fraction of the pain I can put you through. Next I'm going to so that inside your ear canal.” There was a long silent pause before Arafel really realized what the man said.

 

He was about to speak when he heard a door open and the voice of a child, “Father, it is Willow they found her!” From the tone it sounded like a young girl, “Please, please, please, let's go catch her! She's on her way back and she's hurt!” Arafel was using this distraction to gather all of his last remaining energy and send out a distress call, hoping to God that the person he was calling would hear it.

 

The man spoke to the girl, “I suppose it is about that time. Go get your mother, dear, we’ll be leaving now. Did you make sure to sharpen your knife like I showed you?” The man addressed Arafel as an afterthought, “Don't go anywhere, I'll be back in a little while. Ill make sure to have somebody come check on you, though!”

 

When Arafel heard the door close he released the signal. It manifested itself in front of him as a small flame, flickering and dancing in the still room. It was a young flame elemental, a servant in their hierarchy. “Get Michael. Tell him,” he shuddered, he was in so much pain, “tell him where I and and that Arafel needs him. Tell him Everybody needs him.” He coughed up blood and heard the door open, “Now go!” He shouted and the being shot itself away, leaving a scorching third degree burn on Arafels arm. He couldn't actually use magic so he had to sacrifice a part of his own body for the spell.

 

-----Sookie-----

She’d decided just to kill man that ambushed her. It wasn't worth Sookie's time to wait around for him to wake up and, besides that, she missed her kids a lot. There was definitely more of them that were supposed to be there, though, she could tell just by the amount of food and equipment that was in that building. Most likely they were monitoring the Prideux property lines.

 

Sookie’s train of thought was broken by the smell of blood and within the next few moments the appearance of a bruised, battered, and burnt Willow. Willow panted, leaning on her, she looked exhausted. “Jesus Christ, Willow are you okay?”

 

“No, no, no, we need to get back.” It took willow nearly a full minute to muster up those words, pausing for a breath every few seconds. When she finally got herself together she spoke more clearly, “I fought a really strong guy.” Willow put a lot of emphasis on that, “I almost died strong.” Sookie nodded her head and transformed gracefully into her large wolf form.

 

Her awesome-courtesy-of-Elizabeth-thought-to-speech collar converted her wolfish growl to human words, “Hop on, shut up, clearly you almost died. You guys are all such fucking losers, ya’ know that?”

 

-----Willow-----

They were inside the, now destroyed, playroom. It was a large room filled with dolls, action figures, and soft plushy carpet. It was even painted with fun playful colors everywhere. Sookie's devil spawn had ruined that, they were all simultaneously attacking their mother, she wasn’t in her wolf form and a few of her children were. The more rowdy ones were attempting to bite her. She usually met this with a firm backhand or quick dodge.

 

Willow described her encounter to Reason. Sookie couldn't much be bothered since she had six children to attend to. The whole time though she made sure to insult and harass Reason for her baby sitting tactics, “Reason, I really feel like you could have played with them more.” Followed by, “Why the fuck would you cuss in front of my goddamn kids?! Only I can do that God damnit.” And then finally, “Oh great Reason now look at all the words they know. If CPS was still a thing they would totally get called on me.” And then sometimes, “Where did you learn that?!”

 

Willow said to Reason, “We got lucky before, if my father and mother had attacked then we'd certainly be dead.” She was trying to put into words how dangerous her family was, “Operating together, as a team, I believe my family could take down a Ryuzaki-caliber target,” she nodded her head, “That's why they bred me to be fast, to compensate for that. Each one of my siblings has a different specialization that makes them part of a cohesive fighting team, entrapping their opponent in a trap that leaves them dead.”

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- Zane Pengallion -

Zane stood with his arms crossed in front of his chest, a frown on his face. Today he had chosen a white three-piece suit with red shirt and black tie; he had taken his jacket off for the interrogation and rolled his sleeves up though. In the days of trying to get information out of the girl he had captured, Zane had left any talking to Elijah so far. Not that they had done much talking until there last session. He had been genuinely surprised when neither Liz nor Ellie could infiltrate her mind through their magic; it meant the protection her mind was top notch. This meant that they’d had to resort to physical torture, waterboarding being their most recent choice.

 

“I don’t want to give up.” Zane said in response to Elijah’s thought. “She knows something; I can see it in her eyes. But short of starting to cut limbs off, we’re running out of things we can threaten her with.” Elijah looked at him as if to say cutting off limbs wasn’t an option. Zane smiled. “I wasn’t suggesting we do that. But I have got an idea, come on.” He turned and walked off, Elijah in tow, heading down towards the cell the girl was in.

 

Zane didn’t pause and walked straight into the room, allowing Elijah to close the door behind them. The girl opened her eyes from where she had been resting her head against the back of the table she was strapped to and glared at Zane. Her face had returned to its normal colour after her previous ordeal but her eyes were still partially puffy.

 

Neither of the men said anything as Zane walked past her and grabbed a wheeled table that had been pushed against the wall; as he pulled it into view, the girl saw it had many small weapons laying on it as well as her blazer she had been wearing previously. Zane started with that as he picked it up and held it in front of her.

 

“This is good stuff.” He ran his hand along the outside and nodded. “Feels like felt, but will protect you from pretty much anything ranging from swords to artillery shells; I’d love to know where you got it from.” The girl just looked at him and Zane placed it back on the table. “Perhaps another time then.” Zane then started to run his hand over the many weapons, picking a few up here and then. There were thin needles, circular throwing stars, small knives, even a pair of hatchets; it had been everything they had found on her person. Zane picked up her kusarigama and lazily spun it around him. “I’ve never used one of these before. I’ve always wondered how people manage to get the chain to do whatever they wanted.” He glanced at the girl but she still said nothing so he stopped the weapon and placed it back on the table before moving across and standing next to her.

 

“You know, I was thinking about using your own weapons to torture you further in ways that would cause you the greatest pain.” He spoke somewhat jovially, but a deadly undertone could be heard. “But I have a feeling you could outlast anything I could do to you with them. So I’ve got a better idea.” He reached into his collar and pulled out a thin silver chain that ended with an angled crystal of a dark blue. “A link to my better half.” He said and then squeezed the crystal gently. It lit up for a second and then the light disappeared and Zane replaced the necklace below his shirt. “So while we wait, how about telling me what the inside of my vault was like? I’ve never put a living thing that could talk in there before.”

 

- Jinkama -

Jinkama felt the faint chill coming from the wood beneath his chest but he ignored it, instead focusing on Ariel as she chanted away beside him. He had been surprised upon waking up from his encounter to find that nothing appeared to be wrong with him. Ellie had had to explain about the wires in his spine and how they could cause irreparable damage if they weren’t removed carefully. At first he had been stubborn and refused the help Ariel had offered, instead deciding to find out where Willow had run off to. However, under the combined efforts of Ellie, Liz, Elijah, and Zane he was convinced to remain and let Ariel fix him.

 

So here he was in a tower of the Prideux Estate, Ellie and Liz maintaining the circle around him while Ariel spoke in her strange language. He had been lying there for a long while now and had long since passed into boredom; if he had been able to, he probably would have gotten up and walked away. Suddenly the energy around him rushed away quickly and Jinkama felt four lines of pain run down his back. He cried out as the wires pulled themselves free of his spine, straight through his skin and landed on the floor next to him.

 

“Son of a bitch!” He could feel the blood from the wounds seeping down his back but didn’t move as Ellie came up and knelt beside him; Liz had walked straight past and instead gone to Ariel, who looked exhausted.

 

“Don’t be a cry-baby.” Ellie said as she ran her hand down his back, her magical energies seeping into him. “Ariel did well; there won’t be any lasting damage.” Increasing her energy, Jinkama felt the wounds starting to heal quickly.

 

“Fucking bitch.” Jinkama said and knocked his head against the wooden floor. Ellie stopped suddenly and jabbed a finger into his wound.

 

“That wasn’t very nice.” She said.

 

“Ow.” Jinkama replied, turning his head as far as he could to look at Ellie. “I wasn’t talking about Ariel; I was talking about the bitch that took me down.”

 

Ellie narrowed her eyes and then continued the healing process. Using the remnants of the circle’s healing herbs, Jinkama’s wounds disappeared completely and he stood up, stretching his muscles in the process. “What do you mean?”

 

Ariel had left now and Liz walked over to the pair. “You okay?”

 

“That fucker took me out like I was some kind of fucking rookie; I’m just pissed off at myself.” Jinkama said and brushed his hands through his hair. “Aura X was supposed to be pretty much impenetrable. “

 

“I’m not so sure it isn’t.” Ellie said, stroking her chin thoughtfully. “I could feel some strange waves coming off Willow’s brother.” Jinkama frowned; part of Ellie’s explanation upon his waking was the fact that it was Willow’s family attacking them. “I have a feeling he was pulling something on us.”

 

“What kind of stuff?” Liz asked.

 

“Jinkama, suit up.” Ellie said and Jinkama paused before activating his Aura X and turning his skin golden. Ellie pulled Liz by the arm until they were stood on the other side of the room to him. “Don’t move, Jinkama.” She said loudly before lowering her voice to talk to Liz. “Right, hit him with a strong bolt.”

 

Liz looked surprised for a second before Ellie urged her on. She shrugged and lightning gathered around her right hand before she threw it at Jinkama. It struck him in the left shoulder but his aura did the job as it arced around him harmlessly.

 

“Ellie?” he questioned but she waved her hand dismissively.

 

She summoned a ball of fire in her hand and quickly turned to Jinkama, firing it off as a bright beam of white light. It stuck Jinkama in the same place as the lightning but did the same amount of damage; which is to say none at all. Liz charged another lightning bolt in her left hand as Ellie charged another fireball; they attacked together and Ellie threaded in some of her invisible force that weaved the two attacks together where they struck Jinkama in the chest.

 

As with the two previous attacks, it surrounded him but did no damage. “Ok Ellie, what are you trying to prove.”

 

Ellie and Liz walked back over to Jinkama where Ellie ran her hand along his shoulder, probing his aura magic with her own. “See, I don’t think Octavius forced his way past your Aura which I’ve just proved isn’t weak. Something else went down, so don’t beat yourself up over it.” Before Jinkama could retort, the jewelled headpiece Ellie was wearing started to glow. “Oh, Zane is calling; I’ll catch you two later.” With that she headed out of the room and left Jinkama and Liz alone.

 

“I’m going to go and hit something, thank Ariel for me would you.” Jinkama said and Liz nodded as he headed for the door himself.

 

- Eleanor Pengallion -

She knocked twice on the metal door that led into the interrogation room Zane and Elijah were using on the girl he had captured. The latter opened the door and Ellie entered to see Zane casually leaning on the table the girl was strapped to. When she entered, he stood up and walked across to her, allowing her to step in so Elijah could shut the door.

 

“You need me?” she questioned. She frowned as she remembered trying to enter the girl’s mind magically and being repelled by an impressive defence. “I don’t think there’s much I can do to help you here.” Zane smiled and ushered her in where he whispered his idea to her, when he was done, Ellie frowned again. “Are you sure?”

 

“Certain.” He replied.

 

She walked across to the girl, who was staring at her, and stopped when she was behind her. Ellie then raised her hands and placed them either side of the girl’s head. “You ready?” She asked.

 

“Didn’t you try this before? You won’t be able to read my mind.” The girl said.

 

Ellie leaned in close so she could whisper into the girl’s ear. “I’m not going to read your mind.” The girl gasped suddenly as Ellie started. “Do you feel that?” Ellie asked, still whispering. “The pressure?” The girl gasped again and a noise escaped her mouth as if she had tried to reply. “Oh, I wouldn’t do that; you may bite your tongue.” Ellie’s whispers held no emotion. “So, the pressure? What about if I pull?” Another gasp from the girl. “Or twist?” The girl’s eyes widened and a small squeak sounded from her throat.

 

Ellie moved her hands away from the girl’s head slowly until they were a couple of inches from touching. The girl drew in a couple of raspy breaths. “Do you know what a lobotomy is?” Ellie whispered, not expecting an answer. “This way will be a little bit more messy, cutting is better than tearing, but this way I don’t have to cut open your skull.”

 

The girl let out a small scream, followed by more ragged breaths. One of them sounded slightly different. “What was that?” Zane said, stepping in front of the girl and lifting her chin where it had dropped to her chest. “What did you say?”

 

The girl looked like she wasn’t about to reply but another tug by Ellie made her cry out. “Zennith. His name is Zennith.”

 

“Who is he?” Zane asked, Ellie’s hands still primed either side of the girl’s head.

 

“He gives us our missions. He has a base in Brazil, that’s where he told us to attack you.”

 

“Brazil is a big place, can you be more specific?” Zane asked, the joviality gone from his voice completely.

 

“Carapicuiba, Sao Paolo. Lakeside.” She said through gritted teeth.

 

Ellie dropped her hands to her sides and the girl let out a sigh relief. Zane gestured to her and Ellie walked across to stand by the door. “So, do you want to die?” he asked

 

She took a couple of seconds to calm her breathing before replying. “I’m already dead.”

 

“As you say.” Zane said and summoned his sword before driving it between her breasts and into her heart. Blood gurgled at her mouth for a second before she went limp, the life completely gone from her. Ellie and Elijah didn’t comment as he walked past them and into the corridor outside of the room; they followed and closed the door behind them. “We need to meet with the others and plan. If Willow has returned, even better, she’ll have more information.”

 

“What were you doing to her, Ellie?” Elijah asked, turning to face her. Zane was the one who answered.

 

“What I asked; she was moving her brain with her magic, physically. Come on, let’s go find the others.”

 

- Fiona -

The room Fiona was sat in was pitch black; she never used the lights as they didn’t serve her any function. However, when the door slid open suddenly, the room was flooded with the light from the corridor. The room was unfurnished except for the leather sofa Fiona was sat on; her knees were pressed together and her hands rested on her lap.

 

Someone with small feet ran into the room and Fiona felt a small hand clasp around her own. “Mother, Willow has been found and Father says we can go catch her! Come on!”

 

“Calm yourself, child.” Fiona said and stood up.

 

She was wearing knee high black leather boots with a modest heel, tight fitting blue trousers tucked into the boots, a light blue vest, and a thin hoody that matched her trousers in colour and sported a white zip fastened at the front. Strangely the top half of her head was covered by what appeared to be a solid iron helmet. It was about half an inch thick and ran from the top of her nose to the back of her head at the same height. To elongated semi-circles had been cut into the sides to reveal her ears and a raised ridge ran down its centre. Her straight blonde hair came out of the back of the helmet and stopped just past her shoulders.

 

“Caine?” The man appeared in the doorway and Fiona turned her head towards him.

 

“Come, Fiona, let’s go and retrieve our daughter.” He said and Fiona let herself be pulled towards the door by the young girl.

 

- Michael Sanderford -

He had finished his training for the day, or for what he counted as a day in the realm of the fire elementals. Michael floated in his non-corporeal form and let the fiery energy of the realm surround and empower him. He had never felt so saturated in power; he had never thought his father would actually help him. As he floated there, he felt a disturbance in the realm’s barriers near him; a sure sign an elemental was passing from the human world to their home one. What was strange was that very few elementals had access to the area Michael was currently in; the part that was ruled directly by his father.

 

He turned his attention to the small ball of fire that approached him, a servant of little importance. It conveyed a message and if Michael had eyebrows, they would have raised in surprise. The only person he had left any means with to contact him had been Ellie, if Arafel had somehow figured out a way to do it then things were probably dire. Michael thought he may have to return to the human world.

 

Even as the thought formed in his head, the fire warped above him and turned into his father’s elemental form in the fiery realm. “Father, I think I may need to leave.” Voices didn’t exist in the fire realm but Michael always imagined they did when he spoke with his father.

 

“I am still training you.” His father replied.

 

“And I thank you for all you have taught me so far, but I can’t ignore a cry for help from my friends.”

 

“You’re human friends.” The disdain in his father’s not-voice was clear.

 

“Yes. I am your son, a fire elemental, but I am also a human too. I can’t just sit here.”

 

“Fine. Go if you must. I won’t await your return but if you do, I’ll offer my training once again.”

 

“Thank you, father.” With that, Michael concentrated and started forging his human form out of the flames around him; he didn’t want to startle his old friends by appearing as a flickering man of flame.

 

- Zennith -

 “Axion, come here.” Zennith said, gesturing to the small boy who was playing at the water’s edge. As he approached, Zennith’s phone started to ring. He pulled it out and answered it quickly. “Boss.” He said and listened as the man on the other end spoke. “Yes, I got the alert moments ago, I’m packing up now.” He paused again. “She held out as long as we expected.” Another pause. “I’ve left the breadcrumbs, if they aren’t completely stupid, they’ll be able to follow it.” The man spoke a couple of words and Zennith nodded. “I’ve met the family, I’d be surprised if anyone could escape them; especially with all of them there.” The man on the other end of the phone spoke again and hung up, leaving Zennith to slip his phone back into his pocket.

 

Axion now stood next to him and Zennith crouched down to look him in the eye. “I need to get to Chicago, care to give an old man a lift?” he laughed and Axion rested his hand on Zennith’s arm. In a blur, the pair disappeared.

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On behalf of AnimeFreak

 

 

-----Caine-----

He took inventory of his supplies--strapped to his body were about fifteen kunai knives, one large combat knife, and in a pouch clipped to his belt he had almost twenty tiny shuriken. He put on his large black coat. In his coat were various other weapons hidden. Young Melanie had run off to find her mother, and he was still looking for her twin brother, Brink. Upon walking into Brink’s bedroom, he found him.

 

The boy had been severely disciplined for his disgusting failure before, “Have you learned your lesson, Son?”

He wouldn't make eye contact, “Yes, Father.”

“Would you like to redeem yourself?”

“Yes, Father.” Again, no eye contact, staring at the floor.

“Good, then go find your grandmother and meet us at the patio; we’ll be punishing your older sister.”

 

-----Willow-----

She was looking for Jinkama, but instead found Elijah, Zane, and Ellie. They filled her in on Brazil and that being the suspected base of operations for these Crescent Moon folk. “Well, I suppose I should fill you in on what I found then.”

 

Ellie cut her off though, “We should get everyone together in the conference room. We all need to be on the same page and whatnot.”

 

Willow nodded her head in aggreement, Elijah turned to her and said, “Jinkama is also out of surgery if you want to see him, Willow.”

 

She brushed Elijah off, “He’ll be fine, I'm sure.” Shrugging she said, “I'm a bit pissed at him for getting his ass handed to him so quickly by my brother.” Elijah couldnt help but burst in laugher, Ellie's eyes widened at willow’s callous, and Zane had to turn away to conceal his smile, “Ill see him when I see him.”

 

-----In Marseille, at the aftermath of Willow's battle-----

 

“Yes, Boss,” he answered his phone with a peeved tone, “Uh huh, uh huh, got it, yes, alright Ill call you back.” He hung up the phone, annoyed, and lit a cigarette. His clothes were ripped but that was about it. Willow, he assessed, was a serious push over. “All I gotta’ fuckin’ do is not let her get the first move. Fuckin’ mook.”

 

He took out a cloth and wiped down his sword, a few men entered the room. “Bridger,” he was sweaty and out of breath, “we just got a call, they know about Brazil. Also that family is moving.”

 

“Shit,” he said standing up, his knees popping and cracking, “well couldn't be helped I guess.” He reached behind himself and resheathed his swords. “I haven't decided yet where I'll be going, either Brazil or to the Prideux estate, either.” He walked down the stairs and through the bar, despite the assassinated bouncer it was business as usual--a new bouncer taking his place. Eight people stood up as he came down and followed him. They were varying in height, size, body structure, and skin color. Three were female and five were male. They stepped outside and continued down the street walking in silence.

 

When he was sure no one was following him, he pulled out his phone and pushed the first number he had saved to speed dial.

 

-----Caine-----

He was standing outside on the marble patio, his entire fighting force, his entire family, around him. His phone buzzed in his pocket. He answered, “And whom may I have the pleasure of speaking with? The Hawk? The Shield? The Mind?”

“Shut up,” he said, the façade of his accident now gone, “you know you'll only ever speak with The Mind.”

“What do you need? I'm speaking with my family on how to best kill the vermin we've been tasked with.”

“I fought with your daughter, she was mediocre at best.” The man laughed on the other end of the phone, “had I had chosen to have one other body there she would be dead.”

“Ahhh,” Caine said smiling, “but then you would be dead.”

 

Caine closed his phone and broke it in his hand easily, he turned back to his Mother and was blunt, “You have one. Single. Job.” He wasn't surprised that they couldn't do it by themselves last time, but he was still irritated, “Literally one job. These wards are pesky, yes, but now that you've seen them--

“Hush, boy, I already have a counter spell ready for there entire ward matrix. I was up the last three nights doing it.”

“Well Mother I wish you would have just don't that from the start. Honestly, winging something so delicate as that? Your specialty is always anti-magic. Understand that.” Caine turned to everybody then, except for his eldest son who was nowhere to be found. He knew his son though, he'd be there soon, “Remember your place, I shouldn't even be needing to say this. I will oversee and interveen if necessary. We need to eliminate them before the Master Vampire returns from his hiatus, and then strike Ryuzaki as one cohesive unit.”

 

-----The Mind-----

It was a military prototype, back before the collapse of the world and what became known as the War of Winter. It could travel at three times the speed of sound, carry a nuclear pay load, and fit up to fifteen people. Due to degraded capability, it could now only travel the speed of sound and there also weren't really any nuclear payloads to deliver. Besides him, many people considered him a weapon of mass destruction. It didn't take him long to approach South America.

 

He slowed the plane down and approached for a vertical landing, one of the most useful features of his jet. He hoped to get there before the others left, but it appeared as though he just missed them. “No matter,” he said stepping into the large facility they used as their capital for operations for this particular continent. “I'll just meet them in Chicago. I just need to drop something off anyways.”

 

She was wearing a pair of lightweight boots, cargo pants, and a tight Kevlar vest. Underneath the best she had on a tank top. A purple bandanna held back her long black hair

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-----Misa, a few weeks ago-----

 

Her primary goal was to get ahold of Elizabeth, Ellie, Michael, or really any of the Heroes she fought with some time ago.

 

I need to find a trusting mage who can send some type of signal towards them, then Elijah can get to me and I can get out of here, tell them about the Crescent Moon and how close they are.

 

She approached the building she’d been suggested to. It was early still early, a hollowed out convenience store of sorts, glass doors that used to slide open automatically but don't anymore. A neon sign illuminated on the front building read “7/11”. This outpost seemed to have a functioning power grid.

 

She pushed the doors open with ease and entered cautiously, her hand wavering over her concealed kukri, she wouldn't want to use her falchion in close quarters like that. The motion sensor lights flickered on and illuminated the room, the store still had remnants of what once was a convenience store, aisles and a counter with a register. An arrow on a sign led to a stairwell going up, just as the man in the bazaar had told her it would. She walked into the darkened stairwell, at the end she noticed the faint, orange glow of candlelight.

 

She stepped passed the threshold and into the candlelit room that was probably once an office. A round table was in the center of the room and at it sat a woman. She was wearing a crimson red outfit, it was a dress with cutoff sleeves, under that was a black shirt. Her hair was nearly white, short and spiky in the back, and her face was young. She didn't speak to Misa, and instead gestured for her to sit down. Misa went to the nearest chair and did

 

She does not match the description of who the man told me I’d be meeting. The women I'm supposed to see here is old and Armenian.

 

The women spoke to Misa and her voice was harsh and raspy, as if she wasn't use to speaking, “Please, tell me what brings you--”

 

Misa drive her Kukri into the woman's right eye, digging and twisting. She pulled back, jarring her small blade free and standing with her back to the exit, ready to flee. She brought the kukri up to her face in a guard, all senses on high alert, “That was, literally, the worst cover I’ve ever seen,” Misa mocked, “my specific instructions to my liason here were--”

 

The women stood up and Misa tensed. Where her right eye used to be dripped with blood that pooled on the table and the floor--she didn't appear to show any pain whatsoever, though. Misa preemptively began pumping her demon magic into her body, a small enough amount just to heighten her perceptions, this women was certainly inhuman, the extent of which Misa was still trying to determine.

 

The floor beneath the women exploded beneath the force of her feet as she dashed forward, shattering the support beams as she launched forward at Misa. Misa lept backwards and back flipped down the stairs, narrowly evading the crushing grip of her opponent. The women corrected her trajectory just as Misa backflipped, again shattering the building with her leap. This time, Misa couldn't react and was hit hard. The women had led with her shoulder, pounding Misa in the chest and sending her through the glass doors. Misa regained her footing quickly, not trying to think about her wounds and instead just trying to stay alive. She pulled out her falchion and pointed it at the destroyed building. The women emerged, Misa’s kukri sticking out the side of her head.

 

Is she some type of puppet? No, focus on that later, I need to get my kukri back.

 

She smiled, her fangs elongating and her eyes dilating, “Fortunately, I’m well fed.”

 

Her skin became tinted red and a red aura gloomed off her body, her muscles got physically bigger, her body staging sleek though. In a flash she dashed forward, her sword her out to her side with her right hand, whistling through the air. Her opponent was unphased by her advance, she crouched and dashed forward. Misa’s sword swung fast in a lateral arc, the women raised her fist and punched the sword, nearly breaking Misa's wrist from the force of it being transferred through the metal and to her hand.

 

Misa’s left hand darted forward like a viper, clutching onto the kukri and yanking it, driving the women with it to the ground. When she hit the ground, Misa jarred the kukri harder and deeper, caving in her exceptionally hard skull. Misa didn't stop, she pulled the kukri free and reversed her one handed grip on her falchion so she was holding it backwards, and drove it through the center of the woman's chest.

 

She stood up and took a deep breath, it was then that she noticed the dead bodies littered around her. She'd been too focused on the women to fully pay attention, but there was several of them. One of them was the man she talked to earlier about setting up the magical consult, the others were probably his family. She wiped her kukri clean and sheathed it on the back of her thigh, then she wrapped her hand around her blade, unconvinced the threat had passed.

 

The faintest patter of footsteps behind her made her swing full circle, ripping her sword free. A massive beast of a man was only meters away from her, he screamed a war cry and lunged, rearing back with his right fist. Misa saw the attack coming and raised her sword to block, turning it so the broad side would catch his fist, she held on to the back of her sword with the palm of her hand for added support.

 

The man's fist exploded with more force than she could have thought even possible, even with her enhanced muscles he broke her guard, forcing her to step back and sending her sword falling to the ground. She cursed as she saw his left fist exploding forward. She pushed more demonic magic into her body at the last second, getting ready to duck out of the way and then counter. He was a slow and powerful type of fighter, Misa could tell, so all she needed to do was be faster.

 

Her left hand blurred and went to her side, snatching her Kukri. The man's left fist brushed past the top of Misa's head, sending a powerful shockwave in its wake. Misa sprung up just the man reset his pose to throw another powerful right handed blow.

 

I can take a few hits from his left, but if he catches me with a right handed punch I don't know if I'll be able to stand back up.

 

The man's fist drew back in a powerful uppercut. Easy, I'll spin and stab him in the throat with my kukri, then make my escape. Misa turned and, as she did, she felt her left knee explode in pain. She glanced down to see the women whom she thought was dead kneeled over, both hands around Misa's right leg and crushing her knee. The women's bloody and disfigured head dripping blood at Misa's feet.  Misa’s distracted gaze was forced skyward as the man's fist made contact underneath her jaw. Her body seemed to float off the ground for a few seconds, the force of the man's punch jarred her entire body and nearly made her blackout.

 

Her body went on autopilot and her demon, for a brief second, was let loose.

 

Misa’s left leg thrusted forward and kicked into the man's chest, sending him several meters backwards, stumbling to regain his footing. Next, her right and left hands wrapped around the woman's neck and Misa wretched backwards, severing the woman's head in a gruesome display of gore. By this time, the man was running back ready to attack again. Misa spun and picked up her fallen sword--her injury to her leg slowing her down severely. The man's right fist came hard and fast and ducked the blow--it was a feint though, she got nailed square in the face by his left hand. She was thrown backwards tumbling.

 

Misa regained herself and steadied her footing, careful not to out weight in her right leg. As it stood. She wiped her nose with her sleeve and it came away wet with blood, the metallic iron of her own blood filled her mouth.

 

I am not going to survive this battle. She thought, her mind racing. She didn't want to, but it looked like she was going to have to give her inner demon even more power than she felt comfortable doing. Fortunately I'm well fed…The last time I did this it resulted in a massacre, I'll have to push it just to the brink of my control.

 

The man was coming at her now, and Misa focused on her inner demon, coaxing it out and feeding it and forcing it to come out. The demon roared inside her in response, red aura flooding off Misa's body and filling the twilight air around her with the essecne of bloodlust and murder.

 

Her tired muscles didn't quiver anymore, her wounds stopped bleeding, her leg stopped aching. The man was close now, his right fist rearing back just as before only this time her prepared more power behind this blow than any other. Misa raised her sword just as she did originally in the beginning of the fight. His fist made contact with her falchion.

 

The man's wrist and fist shattered underneath the force of his own blow. Misa was relentless in her pursuit. She slashed in a powerful downwards arc, slicing open his chest and spewing blood. As he fell forward she dropped her Kukri and grabbed his hair, bashing his face into the cement several times, shattering the pavement. She stood up and grabbed her weapons, taking deep heaving breaths.

 

I've never pushed my limits like this, She thought, I'm still in control though. If I can maintain this state for another ten minutes I can escape and focus on recovery.

 

Misa ran down the road, completely aware that she was still in extreme danger. The street in this area of town before was busy, and now it was completely deserted. She could tell she was still in the enemy's grasp. In front of her, Misa saw another two figures. One man, clad in crimson red just as all the others, holding a longsword and a shield--straight out of the middle ages. The other figure was another women, she had a long bow and was Asian in ethnicity.

 

Misa didn't stop, she raised her falchion and ran faster, there's no way the can anticipate my strength and speed. She moved faster and aimed for the knight, she didn't want another close quarters battle and was fairly confident she could outrun any archers arrows, her sword was met by his shield casually, the knight barely flinching under her strength. She turned her head and readied her Kukri for the archer, but to Misa’s shock she had vanished.

 

The knight pushed against Misa and she reset her stance, he brought his sword down in a powerful slash and she spun inside his guard and around his shirld, her Kukri coming up digging deep into his throat. Just as Misa’s kukri would have met flesh, she felt the sting of several arrows as the flashed into her arm, wrist, hand, and then deflected the kukri.

 

Her left hand went limp at her side and her deflected kukri fell to the ground. The knight pulled back his head and drove it into Misa’s face, blinding her for a brief moment and sending her stumbling backwards.

 

She spun and turned unwilling to give up, I have no choice. I have to let this thing take over, afterwards there's going to be a bloodbath. She swung her sword and, as she did, her body pushed passed every physical and mental barrier she’d put in place. The demonic power inside her surfing forth. The knight raised his shield but Misa was faster, she ducked lower into a crouch and cut off both his legs halfway down his shins. He fell and as he did Misa saw more arrows than she could count flying at her. They peppered her body, some sticking out, some flying all the way through her. She went to jump at the archer, now she could smell her, far away perched ontop a building.

 

In this state and I can leap that in a single bound.

 

She reared back and, just as her feet left the ground, she felt her back explode in pain and was sent flying several meters forward, tumbling through ground and drilling a crater into it. She jumped out of the crater, and dashed at her new assailant. She wasn’t surprised to see it was the same boxer-style fighter she had fought before. These warriors are resilient.  He was wearing a different uniform now, though, he was all clad in a crimson and black armor. Over his face was a solid metal mask with a large X for him to see out of. His fists were glowing with a fiery red energy, reverberating power. As Misa ran forward, she was met with several arrows from all directions flying at her legs, pinning them to the ground.

 

She ran free of them, tearing the muscles in her legs to shreds and, even as she was now overwhelmed with power, she was still shocked into stopping at the site of the women standing before her, behind and to the right of the boxer. She was wearing the same style crimson and black armor as the boxer. In her left hand was a shortsword and in her right hand was a spear. Protruding from her back was a pair of wings, the wings consisted of the same fiery red energy that surrounded the boxers fists.  Her face was the same as the women she had just decapitated. In the next instant, though, the woman’s face was covered up with a metal mask, just as the boxers.

 

Misa collapsed to the ground, defeated. The knight, now clad in a similar armor as the others appeared behind her, completely unphased and not wounded at all from his amputated feet. He drove her sword into her back. She collapsed to the ground in a pool of blood, gasping for breath.

 

“Don’t worry,” An extremely familiar voice said to her, “I’m not going to let you die.”

 

She pondered for a moment, she knew she’d hear the voice somewhere before. “Samantha?” She rasped, coughing, “”No, no, you died? We saw you die. Ryuk and I, we watched it.”

 

“Shhhh,” The voice Misa could now tell was coming out of the woman's mouth, “don’t worry about any of that right now.”

 

-----Misa-----

 

She’d just managed to escape from the room they were holding her in. She could smell blood, a lot of it, and she knew it was somebody that she knew. The familiar scent filled her nostrils and left her drooling. It was her insatiable bloodlust that gave her the motivation to break free--for weeks now they’d only given her the bare minimum she need to survive, hardly enough to recover from the excessive injuries she had. She was so injured that she couldn’t walk anymore, instead she was dragging her body with her hands against the wall, barely able to support herself. The guard over her cell that she killed was bled dry, she could already feel her body beginning to repair its vital functions. It still wasn’t going to be enough though.

 

She could hear men yelling in another room, “So who’d you call, bitch boy?”

She could hear someone spit.

She heard the hum of an electric drill and then a scream of pain.

She looked through the threshold, finally beginning to get full control of her legs again.

She saw a lot of blood.

She blacked out.

 

The next thing she knew, she was standing over Arafel--Arafel? How did I know that was his name? Who was he again? Is he a friend? The hunger and bloodlust inside her was making her lose her mind. Doesn’t matter, I guess, just more food.

 

She stalked towards Arafel, still strapped down and unmoving.

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