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Nightfall - Reopening for new peeps

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"Yes, that's right, look at me with those eyes... look deep inside of me and realize... the mistake you just made."


Smirking, the succubus grabbed the back of the reaper's head and made sure they kept eye contact. Despite being in such a damaged state, the shadow still retained immense strength, but refrained from using too much just enough to keep Vex from trying to pull away.


"Look into my eyes and see the sins you, the pure one, have made since you entered this city, this new life. Are you even worthy of being the next Grim?"

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Vex felt confused as Natalia's copy talked about a mistake he'd made. The hand that wrapped around the back of his head was also something strange - why would she keep eye contact with him? He jerked back, but the force was truly focused toward holding him in place.

"Eh? My sins?" The Thresher replied as he attempted to draw the blades out of the shadow's body. His left arm was stuck, but the right one seemed loose. Maybe he could free it after a bit of struggling. He immediately started to move it around whilst still staring directly at the succubus' eyes. Thankfully, the soul of such a shadow was already nonexistant, and the core in its place was damaged beyond belief... however, his hopes suddenly evaporated when he finally focused enough to sense who truly the soul hidden within the demon was. With a shocked expression, he jerked his head backward in an attempt to break eye contact but failed.

"H-how are you... what the heck is my soul doing within you?!" The Chain Reaper exclaimed as he freed his right hand and attempted to push her face so they were no longer in eye contact. However, her other free arm stopped his already weak attempts. Though it would look like a saucy session to a normal observer from the side, the reaper knew this was a fight for his own life. This was proven by a strange, sudden sting that pulsed through his core. The core of the shadow was dying off, which thus forced his ability to shift its focus on whatever was left within the body. That was his soul. How had she done this? No one before had really known of any trick, even Threshers themselves, that could turn a visual-based ability such as his around. The Gorgon effect was famous for using reflective surfaces, but, after a lot of coercing and a drink, Vex had tried that with no ill effects on him. Now, however, he could truly feel his soul within this strange copy, as if it was a true mirror.

"Dammit..." The spectre spoke out as he felt his soul start falling apart. It was being rapidly shredded by pulses of his own energy. The pain that accompanied the feeling was something he'd never been a witness of. Was this agony what his victims went through in their last moments? A loud cry of pain escaped through his lips as he felt his conciousness falter. Of course, his eyes would continue to work and damage him if he were to lose it here, but... the succubus was holding on too hard, and her magical drain was too powerful because of the body-on-body contact.

"...I'm..." Vex attempted to speak, but choked on his own breath as he felt a powerful blast rip the central part of his soul. His soul cried out in pain, whilst his body finally gave up. The Thresher's head dropped on the succubus' own face, their gaze still locked.




Vex immediately woke up with a worried expression. All he could see was a clear blue sky above him. He could feel the warm grass tickle his body, which would be confusing, had he noticed he wasn't clothed. Quietly, the Thresher placed both hands on the ground and pushed himself off and up to his feet. He took a look around in order to sate his curiosity. All around him was a long plain of grass. The green color stretched out as far as he could see, then soon faded together with the blue hue of the sky. Clouds of different sizes slowly appeared high above him, with one steadily approaching the sun. From the position of the solar body, he could tell it was theoretically around noon.

"Where... am I?" The Thresher curiously asked, as if awaiting an answer. At first, none came. However, slowly, he heard footsteps approaching from behind him. Quickly, the spectre turned around to look at who was coming. His face turned to one of shock when he saw who it truly was.

"Yo." The clothed man said as he stepped forward, then quietly lifted his head to stare back at the reaper. The two met their gazes, and for a moment, it was truly like a mirror. After the man smiled lightly at the being in front of him, Vex was truly sure of it. This was Victor Exton... a human being, born with luck in his blood, who won in terms of prosperity but lost life itself to avenge his comrades. This was what he looked and behaved like before, well, his human counterpart lost its life.

"You want to remain like that forever, mate?" Victor asked curiously, his English accent shining through. Immediately, the suprised Thresher shut his wide open mouth and carefully shook his head in denial. The soldier smirked lightly and nodded to his Nightfall counterpart.

"So... this the first time you're close to dying, I take it." He spoke out and earned a silent nod from the ethereal being in front of him. Drawing a breath, the mercenary turned to his left and started to quietly walk forward. He seemed strangely careless.

"Yes..." Vex answered as he stepped forward to follow him. His body glistened in the warm sunlight, causing the grass around him to shine brightly. Whilst his human counterpart was careless and calm, his expression, posture and walking method could easily tell anyone he was stressed. Worried, even.

"Mm... both of us know you already died once. You sure you wanna die again?" The human being asked as it came to a stop and looked up at the sky. One hand came to cover his eyes as he turned to look at the shining sun, then dropped back to his side when he looked downward. Moments passed by quietly as the reaper wondered about his words. He'd already stopped and was next to Victor. This was a really strange moment. Did he really want to fail his past? Did he still have something to live for?

I... I already died once. I caused so much pain when I wasn't even that well-known... and here in Nightfall, I'm part of a royal family. No... I couldn't bear to hurt any of them. They are strong, yes, but... the Sekhers are a family of respect. My loss would be something remembered. Not for long, but... there's people who don't deserve that. He thought to himself as he crossed his arms and stared around. No giving up now. He'd survive this, no matter what.


"...No." Vex finally answered, confidence evident in his voice, as he turned to stare at his old self. Both shared a moment of eye contact, then smirked. After a second, the two were laughing, with their voices still managing to overlap into an echo - even though, well, one already had an echo of its own. Slowly, the two came to a stop, then looked at eachother again. Victor raised his fist up, and Vex met it with his own. They nodded at eachother silently, then turned to stare forward again.

"Good. Hope you keep thinking like that, cause it's about to get scary." Victor spoke out as his face turned serious, causing even the reaper himself to feel worried. Footsteps suddenly came from the distance, as well as sounds of grass being burnt. Vex turned around to look what was causing the sounds. There, in the distance... he could see a lone, white figure. Slowly, it stepped through the fields of grass and approached them. The grass around it lit up brightly in white flames which slowly started to move along the field and toward them. More details slowly became recognizable as he approached. He was wearing a strange set of armor, fashioned from skeletons of many creatures. The strange protective suit still held a sense of royalty, even if it seemed rugged and, well, rather unsettling. The creature's face confirmed Vex's thoughts - this was another Thresher. His facial structure was truly unique. He had shallow cheekbones, a sleek and sharp nose, and both his rows of teeth locked together in an impressive bite. His eyes, however, were the thing that truly made him curious. Their shape was akin to an eagle's sharpness, yet also clearly reminescent of the style of Egyptians. The power within them was truly impressive, though - he felt as if he was staring back at a dragon, a being renowned for its strength.

"So... you're the next one, young Vex?" The Thresher spoke out as he stepped forward, making the afforementioned react with suprise. This... this was Grim, wasn't it? What was the white reaper doing here?

"Or, at least, you're supposed to be the next, but... well... you're kind of dying." The reaper continued as he started to pace back and forth. He stopped, turned toward the sun and then back toward Vex. Pity was visible in his eyes, as well as slight disappointment - this was supposed to be the new Thresher who'd claim his essence? He was dying to a copy made by Seghil - and, though they were powerful, they were far weaker than Grim's magical abilities. Vex quietly stepped forward and turned toward his white guest.

"Listen to me, Grim... I won't go down as easily as you think." He spoke out with confidence filling his tone, causing the other Thresher's eyebrows to rise in curiosity. What was making this rather young adult act as if he was strong enough to challenge him? Was it a wish? Was it a promise? What power made him stronger? He was silenced, however, when the Chain Reaper stepped in front of the other two and turned around to look at them. The killer's eyes were shining a deep red.

"I... I still have a lot to live for. People to keep alive, people to see as they mature, people to save, deeds and quests to be finished... and, most of all, I am a living memorial. I hold the sins of the others so that they may find peace after the end of their troublesome lives. I have sinned far more than the usual criminal by killing so many, but... I'm aware of it. I know what I've done, and what would happen, were I not to do it. I consider everything before I do it... and, even if it kills me, I have to stay alive." Vex spoke out seriously to them, then watched their reactions. For a moment. A sharp pain within his chest echoed out through the mental realm as a huge tear to appeared in the sky.

"I... think he's waking up." Victor spoke out as it stared at the formation in the sky. Vex nodded softly, whilst Grim merely crossed his arms and lightly smiled. He approached Vex quietly and placed an arm on his right shoulder.

"Now... you might just have the chance. I'm willing to give you a try, but... if you fail, I take your body for myself. I can use it to live through you. In return, I shall... help you out right now. How does that sound?" Grim called out, then extended his left hand forward. The world shook yet again as another pain echoed out through him, causing another tear to appear in the sky.

"I..." Vex struggled to choose as he felt the world around him slowly disappear. The grass that usually filled the plain slowly withered away, whilst the sun in the sky was blocked by a thick array of clouds. Tears and cuts opened themselves left and right as he attempted to choose what he'd do.

"Not a lot of time left on the clock, I'm afraid..." Grim spoke out as the tears slowly started to envelop the sky. They then spread onto the ground, which loudly cracked in protest. The ground below them crumbled slowly into the abyss, indicating that it was time to choose, or die.

"I... I want to live." The Chain Reaper spoke out, earning a grin from the white spectre that stood opposite of him. He extended his arm out and shook the other reaper's hand, thus sealing the deal. Even before he had the chance to pull it back, however, a bolt of energy coarsed from Grim and into Vex's body. The Thresher crumbled to the floor because of the sudden impulse which had yet again shut him down. The last thing he saw was the grin on the white reaper's face slowly fade into darkness...




Suddenly, Vex's eyes shone again. This time, however, white energy fluctuated out of control and flew out, forming rings of power around his eyes. He lifted his head up, and, for a moment, his visage was similar to Grim's. He released a powerful roar in the demon's face as he took over Vex's body. The blades along his free arm grew as he momentarily lifted it up. He then swung toward the right, causing the blades to run through the shadow's neck and chop it off in one go. Moments went by in silence as the Thresher continued to stare at his opponent. Then, as soon as life faded away from the soulless corpse, the Thresher's eyes went dark. Seconds later, he crashed next to Natalia, whose body started to turn into evaporating shadows.

Edited by KuroKishi

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It had been over a month since the Sekher's had left for Se'Lene's Wright and upon their return, all Ellecia could think about was crashing on her bed. Along with Se'Lene's passage into adulthood, the other heirs had also been shifted about. Ellecia had proved herself in battle, skill and knowledge, moving her into the fifth heir position, Se'Lene proved tougher than her appearance and now holds the sixth position. Their eldest siblings still retain the first and second spots, Vylain also retained his position as the third heir, but Voluuc stepped into Aurora's spot as fourth. Vii'Ghil willingly dropped into Ellecia's original position as the eighth heir and Aurora was completely unwilling to participate, dropping her to the twelfth heir spot. Azheim stepped up to seventh position, swapping with his brother and the other two siblings remained in their original spots.

With the Wright complete and their positions rearranged, all that mattered to most of them was getting back into their home and laying down in their respective beds. This is exactly where Ellecia went first, flopping down into the soft embrace of her cushions, flinging her shoes off simultaneously. For a moment, she just laid there, face buried into her pillow, unmoving until she heard a knock on her door. Peering back, she saw Azheim leaning in the frame, his arms crossed while he stared at the ground somewhat reluctantly. Sitting up, Ellecia motioned for him to enter and take a seat, to which he obliged and pulled up a chair, placing it between the doorway and her bed.

"You know, we spent centuries fighting each other and all I have to show for it is one rank, but you... I guess our sisters shouldn't be underestimated."

"Se'Lene was definitely a surprise, but it was her very lack of inexperience that was the reason behind why I was able to hold her off."

"What do you think Father is going to do about Aurora? What she did out there, throwing the battle and not even focusing..."

"I've heard that she's possibly going to be separated. Banned from the household and stripped of her name and birthright."

Simultaneously, the two looked down at the ground, uncertain how to feel about such a case. Ellecia felt guilty, for if she hadn't invited Isaac within their household, this issue wouldn't have arisen. Still, Aurora had always been rebellious and their father had always been slightly overbearing, going unnecessary lengths to make sure she stayed safe. Yet, for her to disgrace an honor bound tradition, such as the Wright... even that was something Ellecia would not appreciate.

"We won't know until her official Judgement this weekend. I know Father personally requested Master Seghil's attendance, so I can only presume... never mind."

Looking at his sister for a moment, Azheim eventually let out an exaggerated sigh and stood. Pushing the chair back in the corner, he walked up to his sister and placed a hand on her shoulder, to which she looked up at his half-smile. From the corner of her mouth, her lips raised into a mirrored version, knowing he was trying to console her.

"I'll let you get some rest and I'll be sure to grab you when dinner is ready. So... see ya."

With that, Azheim left the room, turning left into the hallway and making his way back to his own room. Meanwhile, Ellecia remained in her sitting position, pondering how things were going to turn out before laying back down and staring blankly at her ceiling.

Edited by zakku_uchiha

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He emerged from the depths, holding the head of the final beast who dared to stand in his way, a grin plastered upon his face, a statement to the challenges he'd been given.

A month. It had been month. But here, time moved slowly. He had been fighting for more than a month, perhaps a year. His body was refined now, the shadows having accepted him - fully - as one of their own.

Sure, at the beginning, it had been a hassle. He'd had to learn how to fully be engulfed by the shadows, become one of them. He could now create blades from the shadows themselves, move the shadows at will, control them. And his own shadow now fought alongside him.

The Darkness... now... that was his to control.

He had defeated Seghil's creation, Lucifer, who was no simple feat. But after crushing him, he had made it his mission to destroy the rest of the training area.

Now, standing on the final precipice that allowed a person to traverse back to the world outside, he held the head aloft, laughing. A loud yell of triumph bellowed from within him, the sound deafened by the roar of the vortex below.

"I RETURN, AURORA, MEINE SONNE...." he yelled, above the sound of the churning magics. "No man, no KING, and no GOD will stop me from taking you for my own..."

He threw the head behind him. His jacket had long since been torn to shreds during fights, so he'd gotten rid of it. His naked upper body was covered in bloodstains from his many battles, as well as three new scars that he'd taken a liking to.

Without another word, he fell from the precipice, arms extended. Soon, he would reenter the world of the living... and he would forge a new destiny for himself.

He who coveted the Sun...

and the woman who embodied it.

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"You know... you might want to rephrase that just a bit mister newly born shadow walker. When you say King, I can only imagine you're referring to King Sekher. Now, God? Don't make me laugh! You're still their plaything, no matter what kind of training you go through. Unless you're referring to Papa, in which case, that's a whole different subject on its own."

Hanging in the air, her 'tail' swaying in a manner similar to a cat's for a brief moment before wrapping around her legs, Mira grinned her familiar toothy grin as the boy emerged with a sense of victory. Looking beyond to see if Vex was approaching as well. Surely he hadn't fallen within the last stretch, but then again that's usually when disaster always struck. In Isaac's case, it was this very moment that would put him to the test. Landing on the ground, Mira let out a rather large yawn, stretching her arms out above her head. As they dropped back down to her side, the shadows beneath her vanished.

"Okay, Shadowborne, for your final test... let's see how long you can last against me, neh? I say last merely because you stand no chance against me if I decided to consume you. As for your love bite... well... you lost that opportunity, but I do have another gift for you. Something you're probably familiar with. You'll probably need any help you can get to fight against Master Venheim."

As per usual, Mira didn't wait for a response from the young man, appearing just beside him with a knee into his gut. Typical and usually something that could be dulled with the aid of barriers and such, but to Isaac's misfortune (and something he'd soon discover), Mira was playing a bit more seriously now. Barriers, shadowfication, any of his natural shadow capabilities that would lessen the damage had been nullified, as if drained away from him the instant her knee connected. Which could have potentially confused Isaac, as the only way she had ever drained anything was from a bite. Yet...

"Only handicap I'm giving you is I promise I won't drain you completely of that... 'God-like' power you've obtained. Everything else, I promise it'll make you reconsider just how powerful you think you are. Now, enough with the small talk, please come and try to entertain me."

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"Fight you?" Isaac spat. "Don't make me laugh."

The impact from her knee had knocked the wind out of him, slightly, but he hadn't exactly been a weakling without his power to shield himself. His constant physical and mental training - even before this arena - had left him with muscles that comforted him from the blow - if only slightly. Thankfully, he had tightened them on impulse, knowing how she was apt to strike on a whim.

"I am not arrogant. I am not cocky." he stated, furious. "But I will say this: I am ready to face that censorkip.gif*** who has forsaken his daughter to me, and then, anyone who dares to stand between me and Meine Sonne. Now, if that includes you.."

The Darkness did not swirl around him. Instead, he stood, using only a basic fighting stance. He had no intention of using his new Dark power as a crutch to beat this girl. No. He would face her in combat without his magical abilities. He had been waiting for too long to see her at least notice how strong he was - no matter how much Seghil's power dwarfed his own.

"You've served a powerful lord for years. It would please me if I at least saw a small smile of approval from that sadistic face of yours, ja?" Isaac grinned, fists bared.

Behind them, the exit vortex began to close. Isaac was also feeling slightly confused.

Just how long was Vex going to be? Not that he wanted help fighting Mira, but he DID want Vex to watch.

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"Meine sonne this meine sonne that, yet you aren't even aware that that very light you seek is more than likely going to be taken away. Let me explain something to you..."

Mira smirked as she appeared right beside the boy, spinning into a kick that sent him flying. Holding the pose for a moment, Mira watched as he skidded across the ground and eventually came to a halt. Sure, he was indeed tougher than he was before, but if he was going to be all fisticuffs and try to show how much stronger he was.

"A noble dragon who has disgraced the family name is either executed for treason or stripped of everything they were entitled. In her case, she will no longer be Aurora Lithil Sekher, the Light of the Sekhers. No longer will she bear the light you cherish so much, despite it being the very reason for your demise. No, she I'll be a simple dragonoid with nothing more than what strength and skills she has trained in. I don't think I need to explain why she's being stripped of everything, now do I?"

Standing straight, Mira stared at the boy from a distance, her 'tail' lingering just behind her. A powerful gust of warm air, flicked through the area, threatening to tear Mira's jacket away, to no avail. As seconds passed, the atmosphere began to grow tense, a heavy and dark energy seeming to begin pressing down on anything that dared stand against it. Nearby trees groaned, while the grass was pressed flat to the ground.

"Tell me, Isaac, what are you willing to give up just so you can be with her? Would you give up your heart, your powers, your very existence? Let me ask this, is there a hole in your memory, like something was removed from your life that you just can't remember? Neh?"

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He held up his arm as the kick impacted, though the velocity carried over to him, and sent him soaring. He shook his hand a bit to alleviate the pain as he stood back to his full height, now a bit irritated.

Her words made no sense. Stripped of everything? Her powers? Her name?

"As cliched as it may sound, yes." he replied, annoyed. "I will have Aurora, regardless of her status. I need nothing else. And as for memories..."

He stood back into a new stance, fists bared again.

"I don't require those."

Running forward, he leaped to a new height so as to avoid oncoming attacks. The pressure which seemed to pushing down everything around him would not halt his advance. He flipped while in the air, coming down with his heel upon Mira's grinning visage.

If only he could wipe that sadistic smirk from her face...

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Sparks exploded into the air, sending dust and debris everywhere and is it settled, Isaac's foot was just centimeters from Mira's smirking face. A field of energy holding his attack back and repelling him back a few feet.

"Memories, huh? Do you even know what it is you're saying? Do you know what that entails? You wouldn't even know who you are, much less who she is, if you gave up your memories. Romantic, yes, but stupid."

Again, the pressure in the atmosphere increased, some of the smaller trees giving way to the invisible force while the larger ones continued to cry and bend against their will. Mira tapped her wrist, implying that Isaac wasn't making any progress.

"Was it not you who said... what was it... face anyone who stands between you and your light? I'm not even on Master Venheim's level yet and yet..."

A wave of energy exploded off of her body, creating an indention and ending the struggle of the nearby trees. Behind her, the 'tail' was now twice her body size, glowing slightly and giving off a menacing aurora. Mira's grin had grown more sinister as the waves of energy continued to ripple off her body and tear into the ground.

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"I'm no fool, Mira." Isaac retorted, leaping backward as quickly as possible in order to handle the brunt of the force she was emitting. "I know that using my shadows feeds your own attacks. You're a sponge."

The pressure was beginning to push upon him now, causing him to grit his teeth with the force his own body was having to give out in order to keep standing.

But he wouldn't let that stop him. Grunting, he charged forward, feinting and then moving behind her to grab her tail-like appendage.

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"This should be the end..." A lone, warped voice echoed out from a cavern, buried deep into the ground. As the figure that it belonged to came into view, only revealed by the soft glow of a small fireplace built not too long ago, it stopped, turned toward the wall and lifted up an arm. The warmth of the crimson gauntlet caused the air to shimmer softly, whilst it softly illuminated the wall that was opposite of the creature.

"It truly is the 31st day, yes..." It remarked softly as it stared for a moment at the wall's markings. Then, it put its hand up front, extended a lone index finger and dug it into the stone wall's surface. A loud, almost ear-splitting screech echoed out through the tunnels as the thing created a single line on the smooth shape. Toward its left were six identical clusters of five, all made by using the usual prisoner's method - four vertical lines crossed by a fifth horizontal one.

A lone sigh escaped the strange person's lips as he turned away from the wall, obviously no longer interested in it. His shape slowly approached the exit that was once freely usable, but had been covered by rocks a few weeks ago. Of course... this was an obstacle that his old self would find a big hassle - or, at the very least, a small problem. However... this no longer applied for this new 'him'. He pulled back his crimson arm and stopped for a second. Spirals of white flew out at random from the top of his fist, then tightened around his armored lower arm.

After a moment of bracing, he pushed off with his leg and launched forward. The collision with the pile of rubble was almost nonexistant, as the stream of hot air alone caused by the punch was more than enough to deal with the so-called issue. The chunks of rock and mud blasted back rather haphazardly through the tunnel and flew out until they either reached its end or dug somewhere into the passageway's length. The unknown man started to follow the narrow tunnel that slowly but surely became wider and brighter. The sound of air howling outside filled his ears that were once used to the complete silence of the underground dome. Finally, he took a step on vegetation, and stepped out and onto a plain of grass.

Well, for one thing, that was the only thing he could truly see. Around the large plain of grass that stretched out a couple of kilometers was... mainly darkness.

It wasn't exactly only darkness, per se - he could still notice the land under the thick shroud of black. However, it was corrupt... or cursed.

Whilst it didn't truly matter which of the two the soil was, both issues meant one thing. Treading these lands would be most unwise, as they were already claimed by the nocturnal ones.

For all he knew, it could be Isaac. It could also very well be the creatures of shadow that had attacked them on their first days here.

It did not matter one bit.


The strange man turned forward, his eyes focusing on a strange anomaly in the air. Down the distance of the 'plain', around the place where trees once resided but was now only a graveyard of stumps and rocks, was a most unusual shape that floated on seemingly nothing.

It was jagged, yet somehow smooth. It seemed to randomly distort every so often, causing cracks to appear along its invisible edge and the glow from inside to disappear at random.

"A rift tear..." The creature exclaimed as it stared at the abnormality. It slowly started to walk forward, its legs easily flattening the weak grass that was already losing its strength because of a lack of nearby nutrition and animal inhabitants.

The distance between him and the object of interest turned short, as the man found himself in front of it before he could even count a whole minute's pass.

Slowly, he extended his right arm, which was still coated by white. The extremity on the end of his limb slowly rose up, then dipped into the portal that was now open. Sparks of power flew out from the hole as his hand went in deeper, but he quickly pulled it out as he heard something unusual. In his panic, he had passed up the momentary exit, as the entrance to the void suddenly sucked itself in, turned into a tiny sphere and then dropped abruptly off the face of the Earth.

That was his only ticket out, was it not?! How could he miss it?!

The man's eyes turned wide in fear as he looked around, his whole visage panicked. He rushed around and about, attempting to see if the gap would appear from another angle. However... nothing seemed to help.

I have a deal, boy... a voice within his mind echoed out, causing the man to fall silent momentarily.

In return for letting me use your body for a moment, I will get you through to the other side. It offered, its tone filled with both interest, evil and... honesty?

The strange person seemed to slowly calm down after hearing the other voice. He let out a random chuckle and shook his head, but softly nodded afterwards. Apparently, he had accepted the deal. A blank look spread along his face as his body suddenly dropped to its knees. His head dropped down low, whislt his entire figure hunched over toward the front.

Suddenly, the soft, bright red color stemming from his eyes turned even brighter and brighter... until it grew white. The color of his gauntlets was warped, too. It was now a creamy white.

Slowly, the man rose off of the ground. Legs shaking a tiny bit, he approached a seemingly random point and stared around for a couple of moments.

As if on cue, he finally noticed what he was looking for. Quietly, he drew back the sleeve on his right arm, then placed it at the tip of the anomaly. His fingers and palm lined up and turned his hand into a single, spear-like jabbing form.

"Tear, fall, crumble..." The 'young man' whispered, his voice having warped beyond its usual self, and then pressed inward. Charges of energy zapped along his arm as he grunted, but kept on digging into the tiny loophole. Slowly, his hand went in deeper and deeper, until the matter gave away.

Not wasting any time the moment his first hand was inside, he dug the other one in, too. With both arms twisted so they were inverse, he started to pull the entrance open. Bolts of energy coursed over the top of his gauntlets, causing him to grunt in pain, but he continued nonetheless. Steam came off his hands as he finally forced the gap to open enough for him to fit through. In a matter of seconds, the man grabbed the edge, jumped up and vaulted inside leg-first.


With a weirdly-sounding thud, the man emerged on the other side of the strange anomaly's entrance. He winced as the hole behind him snapped shut, then shook his hands, the feeling of warmth in them still not having faded away. After a moment of cooling, he placed his palm flat on the ground and pushed off, then got to his feet. Now that he had a moment, he raised his gaze up and looked around. All he could see... was both nothing and everything.

The first thing one's eyes could see was... darkness. It was infinite, one could say. One could lose himself in this interdimensional abyss, were he to fall down into the dark. Thankfully, he had guessed correctly that there would be no floor to speak of, so he had prematurely conjured some energy platforms to stay on the track.

Speaking of energy, bolts of power that he had never seen before ocassionally filled the empty void. Their flash brought life to the dark, even if for mere seconds, and kept things illuminated rather well, even if the source of light was prone to switching randomly. Looking forward, across the gap one had come from... one would see nothing.

At least, nothing, if one was an usual observer.

You see... when one tore through dimensions, it would take far longer than one would think for the link to mend and disappear completely.

For one thing, the pathway would linger for hours, if not days, after the last succesful passage or relinking. For another... every tear in the fabric of space and time left a marker.

These special markers... were what one could call weaknesses in the triple space model.

If he could aim well enough at such an obscure detail... he'd easily reopen a void break to the other side without even trying.

"I'll handle this." The young man spoke out to himself, his voice having returned to normal, as he stepped forward. His appearance shifted back to its usual self - red glow from the eyes and red gauntlets.

The orbs on his face grew larger, the energy within them starting to loop extremely rapidly, as they began to shine a dark crimson. Gazing at practically nothing and trying to find the only weak chain in the fence... was easier said than done.

A pissed-off sigh echoed out from his lips as he stared, noticing that the rift was showing signs of weakening. The link was not strong, it seemed, for it was falling apart when this passageway was, at best, opened a few hours ago.

Keeping quiet, the man drew back both his gauntlets and focused. His eyes snapped shut as he listened to something barely audible...

Then, as if randomly, both his hands went out and forward. They delivered a double palm blow to the imaginary wall in front of him, the energy behind the hit focused directly on one point.

At first, nothing happened. Then... his hands slowly started to sink in.

Satisfaction spreading along his face, he rapidly dug inward and pushed on. His gauntlets went forward and felt the nip of the air outside. Sounds of a battle filled his ears as he struggled to grasp the edges of the hole.

The creature struggled onward, his lips starting to mutter an incantation known by many of his kind. Seconds passed by as his voice grew lower and ended the chatter, after which his whole body quivered. A soul shot out from his chest and floated forward, into the hole.

Finally, the shard of power that he had let out flooded into his hands, causing them to glow bright with fire. He let out a powerful roar as his hands dug in, grasped the edges tightly and then pulled apart.

A bright flash of light took over his eyes as the material that split the dimensions tore apart, revealing the other side of the world. Then, as soon as it was big enough, he went through the tiny weakness.

The last thing he felt as he passed the point of no avail was a burst of power unlike anything else.


Back in reality, just as Mira and Isaac were fighting, the air toward their right started to act up. Bolts of energy rushed out from a random point in the space, then flew out until they met ground, tree or were stopped by the air.

However... slowly, it turned. Two shapes of a translucent material whirled around the small point. They seemed to be grasping it and trying to open it.

Then, it suddenly happened.

The air that had barely started showing hints of tearing suddenly shone with a bright, white color that was even percieveable in reality as a flash of silver.

Next thing they knew... the shapes suddenly materialized and turned into a pair of material gauntlets, which seemed to grasp an undefined edge and pull it open. Through the hole that had been opened, one could see darkness... and a peculiar suit.

Finally, after struggling for a while, the man swung through to the other side, landing softly on the ground outside as the hole behind him fell apart on itself and released an explosive force. Groaning softly as the echo faded away, the man rose up. That... was Vex.

His appearance was quite a bit different. First of all, his body was definitely more emphasised. Muscles were spread overall along his form, now quite more developed than the ones he had whilst still serving the Sekhers. His face... was now a bit more unusual. Instead of a lone, flat skeletal face with features that floated seemingly randomly... it was now more like a mask stuck to a real person's face. Of course, there was nothing to prove he actually had something under this black cover... but now, it was more like a theatre mask on a real head. He had ears and a prominent jawline that ended with the one of the black bone structure. His hair was conjoined with the bones that usually went over its top, but it was now a whole lot smoother. Of course, his body was still ethereal, its skin a transparent crimson and its hair a less translucent dark... but it was much better than what he had before.

His accessories and features were not that different. The small change in his getup was a strange, spiky collar that spread out from around his neckline and widened toward the back. It fell down to his shoulders, which were now better emphasised, and then flowed naturally into the costume's form. The place where it ended was also the start of a long cloak that gracefully fell to the bottom of his legs. It was solid, unlike the other details on his body. Its outside color was white, and it was red on the inside.

His glowing elements... were now a bit changed. Instead of a pure crimson, they now always had features of both black, white and red. His boots were a solid white, and his gauntlets... were special. The plates along the fingers were red, the plates along the arm were white, and the chainmail and joints were black.

His eyes had turned even more serious than before... and the glow that came from them was now visibly stronger. An aura of crimson, laced with white, flowed out toward the sides of his eyes and then disappeared in the air. His iris was a constant swirl of white and red, with a black core constantly growing bigger or smaller in the centre.

Finally... the main difference was prominent in Vex's clothing. The once black coat with black pants, white shirt and black tie was now... a white coat and pants, a red shirt and a black tie. Everything had sharp angles that made him look like an elite, from the corners of his shoulders and elbows to the edges of the ends of the fabric. He held a true feeling of regality that before was missing in his more... simple, old self.

"At your throats already, you two?" Immediately, Vex began, not even bothering with pleasantries, as he stared at the two fighters. He crossed his arms, smirked softly and took up his traditional stature, then proceeded to observe the conflict in front of him. Unconciously, his right hand threw a wave at Isaac. The two hadn't really seen eachother since the second day of training, and, well... they had a lot to speak about.

Edited by KuroKishi

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"You're no fool? I wonder."

Mira rolled forward, her 'tail' swinging as she came to a halt and knocking Isaac off his intended course. So, now he wanted to go after it? Just as she turned to face Isaac once more, the rift tore open and out stepped Vex, looking rather impressive compared to before. Were it not for the current series of events, Mira would have loved the opportunity to see how he tasted.

"Well, hello there. Changed your wardrobe, I see and you smell grim and of death. It's wonderful! If I weren't so busy playing with Isaac already, I'd love to take you for a test ride, but instead... how about you play with yourself?"

From her 'tail' a dark shadow shot out at Vex, barely missing him and burying into the ground just behind where he stood. Slowly, it began to rise and take shape, reflecting the image of Vex from prior to his entry into the separate dimension. Smirking, Mira winked at Vex before returning her attention to Isaac.

"Yes, I am a sponge and just about everyone within my Papa's city could be my next meal. If I wanted to, you would have been a mortal long before a word could even pass through those lips of yours. Especially now that you're relying on that power you had buried deep inside you. Anyway, unless you still feel the need to try and prove yourself to me, to try and wipe this smirk from my face, I'm done here. You probably won't defeat King Venheim, but he'll acknowledge your improvement. I'll warn you now, it might be pointless. Aurora's Judgment has probably already been passed."

Unlike before, Mira sneered, a sinister meaning behind the expression. Almost as if this had been intended from the beginning, to delay Isaac from going to the Sekher residence and potentially halting the young dragonoid's Judgment. Turning her back to the Shadowborne, Mira waved a hand in the air and before Isaac could say anything, she was gone.

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"Ah... starting off with a retrospective? I suppose that's the fairest, but these shadows... they've done their part by far." Vex replied as he narrowly avoided the projectile that was thrown his way, then momentarily flipped back using his entire body to get some distance. After a couple of the wheels, he did a third, which launched him into the air. With a graceful twist that sent his cloak whirling around his body, he landed on the ground and immediately threw a look at the small cloud of smoke.

Shadows twisted around within the shroud caused by the impact, taking shape and changing themselves rapidly to another form. A bright red glow burst out from within the curtain of grey, quite reminescent of the colored aura that flowed out of Vex's eyes.

Finally, it came. Stepping out of the scattered dust with a chilling laughter was a shadow - or, rather, good old Vex... at least, to anyone that hadn't seen the charade from a moment ago.

You wish to handle this, or? A voice from within the Chain Reaper spoke with him, causing him to shut his eyes for a moment.

Yes. Let me be the judge of myself. The spectre replied to the entity within it, then broke the mental link down. A slow sigh escaped Vex's lips as he cracked his neck, as well as his knuckles. Then, he reopened his eyes and threw a look at his old persona. It was slightly lower than him... and, in the dark, would probably look more menacing.

"Look at what we have here... prince Charming..." The dark Vex spoke, then cackled softly as his visage turned darker. His body was rapidly covered in barriers that soon made it impossible for anyone to see what was inside, but they were blown away momentarily by an explosive release of spiritual energy. From the sarcophagus emerged the empowered, 'dark' Chain Reaper. His appearance had shifted to have white skin, crimson clothing and glowing, dark red eyes.

"Tis a shame my future looks like a pretty boy, and not a fighter..." He continued, his feet causing him to stop with a quick move. His hand momentarily swung around at his side and conjured a chained hook. With another laugh, he prepared to throw it...

"And I have to say... 'tis a real shame my old self couldn't recognize power..." A sudden voice echoed out from behind the dark persona, causing its eyes to widen with shock. It attempted to act, barriers raising up behind it to stop any blow... but it was far too late.

Vex's hand shone brightly in a white color as he practically teleported behind his old clone. It was, in reality, an elementally-augmented move, but the speed that it was made at seemed to border instantaneous transportation.

He pulled back his fist as soon as he was spotted and moved it forward. The empowered strike clashed with the barriers, which fought back... but caved not a second later, the power behind the attack too much to withhold.

A pained gasp came from the dark Vex as he looked back forward, mouth opened and expression twisted in pain. He gazed downward slowly, then noticed the forearm that had pierced his waist and was now softly shining with spiraling white strands of energy. The shade's eyes glowed brightly as it activated the ability of the spectre. However, this proved to be futile.

Immediately after noticing the change of energy flow in his opponent, Vex drew back his arm. He then threw both of them at the man's neck and graspsed it firmly. Without warning, he planted a knee in the enemy's back, then proceeded to twist with his hands. The pressure proved too much as a loud crack resonated from the clone's body.

Seconds faded away as the reality of the situation finally became known. The still shocked shadow started to fall apart and turn into embers, its life having been cut off less than a minute after its creation. Vex simply observed as the figure that had once been in his hands lay on the ground, then promptly disappeared. He sighed softly as the process came to an end, then dusted his hands off. Finally, he turned around to look at Mira and gave her a short nod.

"There's your test." The Chain Reaper exclaimed as he crossed his arms again. He knew that she would often absorb any energy that came into contact with her or her clones, so he had only resorted to physical blows. The punch he'd sent... was something different that couldn't exactly be absorbed. It was complicated, even to him, and he hadn't bothered to ask Grim how it worked... but, it could do its job well, apparently, so it didn't really matter.

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There is nothing worse than a man with something to protect.

Many stories have depicted the fury, the strength, the raw power, of a man who has nothing to lose. But this is false. The true threat is those who DO have something to lose, and will do anything in their power to see it saved.

Their lives.

Their memories.

And, most importantly, the ones they love.

And if those chosen few are ever placed within harm's way, then may a man make gods and kings bow before them as they go upon their holy crusade to see those things saved.

And may justice be done.




Isaac wiped his chin. Blood trickled from a wound that had been left across his lip, from where Mira's tail had slammed into his face. Fortunately, his own dark power had regenerative qualities more than ever before.

Just a moment ago, the bottom half of his skull had been shattered from the impact, but now new skin had already replaced the torn flesh, leaving nothing more than a cut where the wound had been.

He popped his jaw back into place with little ceremony, his eyes filled with a fury that the original Isaac would never have shown. He gave a glance to Vex, then turned back forward.

He would not waste precious time on words or anything of that sort. Already, he was running forward, ignoring Vex's battle with his Shadow self. He could handle himself. There were more important matters.

He reached out a hand, his eyes grim. Shadows coalesced around his fingers, familiar, and warm. From their depths emerged a familiar handcannon, decorated in ornate silver and ebony. He gripped the butt of the gun with tight fingers, his index laying with preparation on the trigger.

His eyes were narrowed in concentration as he dashed forward, heading towards a place he had not seen in a month - to the outside world: Castle Sekher.

What had happened in his absence? Why was Aurora being held for Judgement? What did Mira even mean?

The shadows began to grow and wrap around him as he ran through them, leaving traces of black darkness behind him with every step. His own shadow had long ago left his side, jumping alongside him, deviating from his path, reflecting his movements. Unlike himself, the shadow had a gun in its left hand, though the shape was the same as Isaac's.

Mira... Seghil... Venheim...

These three, narcissistic beings who oversaw the movements and actions of those below in Nightfall.. Only a month ago, Isaac hadn't been affiliated with these nobles at all. He'd been comfortably weaker, living down in Sector C, where the scum of the city dwelt. But, here, dashing along the rooftops of his old haunts, he had had only one thing in mind.

Several people below him saw nothing but a shade as he continued on his set course to the Sekher Manor. Of course, they questioned why this cocky German would look so determined. What could have had him in such turmoil?

But the answer was simple.





The sun, she sat, awaiting trial,

for the codes that she defiled.

Her honor stained, her light dim,

she stared in hope of seeing him.


Out the window, her gaze, it lay,

hoping, praying, til the day,

that he returned for her hand,

to whisk her away from this land.


The clouds, so cruel, obscureth her sight,

as shining day turned to night.

That darkness, abyssmal, evil shade,

her heart, once proud, forlorn, it made.


But the clock ticked incessantly,

leaving her wondering where was he,

the one who had sworn to protect,

the sun that shone on his heart, defect.


Soon, her light, t'would be quelled,

and her crimes would be unveiled.

Before the sky that had loved her so,

the high sun would be laid low.




Aurora had her had laid upon her hands, staring grimly out the window where the night sky had mocked her for countless days now. She had been sent home early from the Wright, her actions having damned her.

But the single action that had made her be punished so, the reason behind her sins was simple: She had questioned her father's decisions during the Wright. He had made a verdict, and she had questioned it.

Not even the Sun of the Sekher could do something so foolish. Her father was timeless, immortal. To speak out against him was to speak out against the wisdom of something akin to gods.

So here she sat, her crime so severe that the siblings were gossiping that she would lose her title, her name, and her powers, ... reduced to nothing more than a dragonness trained in combat. No more mastery of the light.

The only thing that slightly redeemed this horrible fate was the fact that - exile from her family meant... freedom. Freedom from her overbearing father. Freedom from her siblings and their gazes. Freedom from all of this..

IF her father didn't simply see fit to execute her in some fashion, of course.

But still, if she DID die... he would be sad, of course. Yes, him. The German man which had fascinated her so.

She laughed slightly.

They had yet to even have their bout... How shameful.. that she should die without fulfilling her promise to him.

She sighed, crying slightly.

She was going to die, wasn't she?...

She held out her hands to the night sky, reaching through the barred window feebly, trying in vain to grasp a star from it. But to no avail.

Not even a dim Sun can tear a star from the blanket of night.





"You're an idiot, you know that, right?"‏

Standing in front of Isaac, barring his path through one of the many alleys that was necessary for him to enter to reach the Sekher Manor, was a familiar woman, dressed in black. She sighed, her arms crossed, as he stood in front of her, his face filled with determination.

"Step aside."‏ Isaac commanded. His voice was stern.

"Why are you even doing this, Isaac? For a girl you met like... a month ago. You wouldn't have done this sort of censorkip.gif for me."‏ Dusk replied, brushing a bit of dust from her elbow.

"Because our relationship was not that way."‏

"What WAY?"‏ Dusk asked, one eye closed in disinterest.

"Are you saying you had feelings for me?"‏

"PFFFFFT. No." Dusk waved hand dismissively. "But I do think you're going overboard. She's long gone. Seghil and the Sekhers already locked the place up for the Judgement."‏

"That means little. I'll get in no matter what."‏

"Wow. You ARE mental."‏

"Are you going to help me or are you going to insult me?"‏

"A little of both, I guess. I had no one to pick on for a month.."‏ Dusk yawned, stretching.


"You know, I found it funny what Mira thought of you.."‏

"Mira? You know that censorkip.gif*?"‏

"Not personally, but she does stop by on occasion. After all, we both share a fascination with... power."‏


"Not so. Perhaps she is a bit sadistic and overbearing, but she means well... if only a bit misguided."‏ Dusk held up her hands, shrugging. "But that's not important. What is important is that you're going to need my help."

"Why is that?" Isaac asked.

"Well.. let's see.." Dusk put a finger to her lips, feigning thought. "What are you really dealing with here..?"

She held out her hand in front of Isaac, counting things off her fingers.

"One.. a pissed-off castle king who has lived for millenia, has powers that far exceed yours. He's strong enough to lift that massive sword of his like a one-handed blade. Oh, and he can also breathe fire and manipulate elements. That's a plus for him.

Two... A girl who can devour energy, physical or magical, reducing her victims to shriveled husks. I've seen it happen - it's not pretty. And if she decides to interfere, you'll be in deep censorkip.gif.

Three... Every single one of the OTHER heirs of the Sekher, each of whom - though not as strong as their dear father - possess powers of their own and combat that has been taught to them since they hatched from their cute, little eggs.

Oh, and four.. the ****ing king of Nightfall himself - Seghil. Hahahahaha... yeah if he's decided to be in the middle of this you're done. I'm sorry but I have no faith in you beating him."

"He won't interfere." Isaac said, placing a hand on her shoulder to move her aside. She resisted, frowning.

"He has wards." she whispered, sighing. "But they have a flaw. Mira told me about it once."

"What's that?" Isaac asked, concerned.

"Seghil's wards are based on immortals, not mortals... So.. if your powers were taken away from you for a time, enough to reduce you to a mortal... you could enter through them safely." Dusk cocked her head, smiling whimsically.

"And how would that be possible?" Isaac asked, dreading the answer.‏

"A simple energy siphon.. I suppose you could ask Mira to help.. But I doubt you'd do that... So why not me?"‏

"What the hell do you mean?"‏

"Mira may be a sponge in the sense that she can absorb limitless power... but that spell.. ability.. is based on an old vampyric spell from a forgotten era."‏


"Oh. And before you ask - yes, Seghil invented it."‏

"Oh. Glorious.... So what does it entail?"

"You need a place to store the energy.. and you need a focus to drain it."

"Stop being cryptic, Dusk. Please." Isaac stated, rolling his eyes. Time was of the essence, and Aurora's Judgement was drawing nearer...

"I have to bite you."

The two stood in silence for a long while, the sound of the night wind the only thing breaking it.


"I'll be more gentle than Mira, I swear!" Dusk said sincerely. "But we don't have time to get a proper needle or other focus, and I have a crystal to store the power on me! It's the only way!"

"....Just get it over with.." Isaac said, baring his neck.

"Oh god no. That's too kinky." Dusk waved her hand. "Did Mira always do it there? You don't have to, you know. You can just do the arm."

"Oh." Isaac said, holding out his arm willingly.

Dusk opened her mouth with an ahh sound, placing her canines on Isaac's forearm. As he watched she bit - just enough to draw blood.

As he watched, the black energy within him swirled, drawing itself slowly within Dusk's form and being redirected into a small crystal in her right hand. After a few minutes, she removed herself from his arm, wiping her teeth with a cloth and then using the same one to rub his arm.

"You need to hurry. I didn't expect THAT sort of power... It's regenerating rapidly.." Dusk warned, holding out the crystal. "Keep this in case of emergency... And be careful, dammit. You won't be able to love the girl if you're dead."

He accepted it graciously, placing it in his pocket, and then embraced Dusk with a grin.

"As always, you're a great help to me, mein Frau." Isaac said, taking off again into a brisk run.

Dusk watched him for a bit before flying up into the air. When she was sure he was out of sight, she reached into a bag at her side and retrieved another crystal, which was filled with the same black, familiar energy.

"And one for the road.. of course.. As payment.." she said quietly.




Isaac ran forward at full speed, his shadow echoing his movements as he darted along the final alleyway of Sector A, which would lead him near the center of the city - and Sekher Manor.

The hole in the castle had been repaired, but now, great walls of some invisible - yet perceptible - energy surrounded the entirety of the castle's walls. They hummed with force.

"...Seghil..." Isaac said, muttering a prayer as he entered them.

Nothing happened. A slight tingle went through him as he passed through the barrier. His shadow reemerged from below him, pointing.

He followed the direction of its finger.


The girl was looking down at them, her eyes wide, her horns visible even in this dim light. But he couldn't get a good look from his perspective.

"....Isaac.." she mouthed, quietly. He waved, grinning.

He made a gesture to tell her to wait on her, then pounded his chest and turned back to the door.

A pair of guards stood at the gateway, their faces stoic. Considering tonight was so important - especially with such an heir receiving the Judgement - Isaac doubted he could talk his way in. He held out his gun but Aurora made a slight noise to get his attention.

She shook her head furiously. Isaac groaned inwardly.

He shrugged, confused. She frowned at him, pointing at the guards as best she could, dragging her finger along her throat, and then shaking her head.

No. You can't kill them. she was saying.

Isaac sighed.

Turning to his shadow, he gave a thumbs up. The two of them rushed the guards, who tried to raise their weapons. Isaac grabbed one of them by the throat and pushed him down while his shadow drop-kicked the other through the door.

"That's one way to get in." Isaac said, grinning. He high-fived the shadow nonchalantly and turned back to the guard who was now standing to his feet. The other one was out cold, the metal of the door having knocked him unconscious.

"INTR-" the guard began, before Isaac punched him hard enough to send him flying into the ward.

Meant for immortals.

Dragons were naturally immortal.

The ward shocked the dragon into submission.

"That looked painful." Isaac said, hands on his hips. He felt a bit more jovial now, his target in sight. As long as everything continued to go this smoothly...

A few more guards blocked his way. He knocked them each to the ground, his Shadow and himself moving in perfect unison as they ran up each flight of stairs to reach Aurora's floor. And it all seemed to be going well, until...




"You dare to enter the halls of the Sekher.. on such a night?"

The sound of grinding steel echoed along the stone floors of the castle as Isaac came up to the sixth floor.

Standing before him was a massive dragonkin, a large, intimidating "sword" bared in one of its giant hands. It couldn't really be called a sword. It looked more like he had just torn a slab of metal from some unknown contraption and sharpened it, giving it a hilt.

"Trying to be like old Father Sekher, right?"

"I could never be like him. But you know not of that, intruder." the beast growled, baring the blade with ferocity. "I was given one order, one directive. In the absence of the loyal vassal, Vex... I am the next to prevent invasion on this night. Should you wish to go further, I will take lethal action against you. This is your last warning."

"Do you believe it will make me turn back?" Isaac asked.

"Not at all. I am not here to beat you... Only ensure that you do not interfere." the beast said, cracking its neck as it raised the sword. "And I will make sure of that."

"I respect your loyalty." Isaac stated, taking his own battle posture.

The blade was fast. As soon as Isaac even seemed remotely prepared to battle, the sheet of metal came down at him with immense force. Isaac rolled to the side, surprised. He hadn't expected this level of speed from such a titanic creature.

This was going to be more difficult than he previously imagined. He sent his shadow around as he ran forward, climbing atop the sword the beast wielded.

"That is... inconsequential." the being sighed, tossing the sword forward so that Isaac was sent flying from it. He then came back down again to slash Isaac in half. Isaac rolled, adrenaline rushing through him, the shadows erecting a barrier against the blade.

He teleported through the shadows, landing on the beast's face.

"Do you really think it will be that simple? To defeat a loyal vassal of the Sekher?" the being said, irritated. Isaac drew back his fist and punched the beast with the force of the shadows, hearing a satisfying crack from the thing's skull.

"How... droll.." the beast said, grabbing Isaac from his face and throwing him aside. Isaac retaliated, rushing to deliver two blows to the thing's stomach with more force than before. It stumbled slightly, then let out a guttural howl. Isaac heard the sound of metal from behind.

More guards!?

Grunting, he slid under the thing's legs and began to make a run for the stairs, just as the massive blade slashed through the steps he had just walked on.

"I will stop you." the creature stated, shoving its blade into the ceiling above it. Stone and cobble fell from the sky as Isaac struggled to run above him. The beast kept shoving the sword through the stone, Isaac barely avoiding being guillotined from below.

Finally, he leaped up the next flight of stairs as the stones of the previous floor fell below him. Another loud yell of anger came from below him, as well as the sound of wings.

Was he really going to-

A head burst from the stone as the great beast came flying through the ground in front of Isaac, the sword slashing in a wide arc. Isaac ducked, the blade cutting through two rooms next to him and coming to a rest behind the thing.


"Not if I have a damn thing to say about it..." Isaac said, grasping his gun. He shot off two bullets into the beast's stomach before coming in with a kick, his shadow firing as well. But the bullets did negligible damage. The creature sighed, disappointed.

"A mortal given power by Seghil should do more to entertain me... To think, I was worried you would be a threat." the thing said, bringing its blade back around. Isaac's rage began to grow as he thought about what the thing had just said - insulting him, and now it stood in his way.


He needed power.

No longer would he hide what he had been keeping within, if doing so meant losing Aurora now.

Shadows brimmed from his body as blades of darkness erupted from his back and hands. He ran forward, slashing across the thing's stomach, slicing the blade it carried in half. Blood and innards began to fly as the pained yells of fury as it released its grip on the blade and placed both hands on its stomach in shock.

"You... ... Bested me... so easily... You were... toying with me...?" the thing whispered, as Isaac bared the his blade at him.

"I won't kill you." Isaac sighed, beginning to put his sword away. "Aurora said-"

"I'm dead.. as it is.... I have failed Venheim... and that means my sentence.. will be death.. Well.. I suppose... I died honorably..."

The creature stepped backward twice, blood flowing from it. Finally, it came to rest before the hole it had created moments before.

"Farewell, Shadowborne..." it muttered, falling backward. The sounds of breaking stone as it descended accompanied its final fall to its demise.

Isaac wiped the sweat from his forehead. He needed to continue his journey.




Aurora continued to stare out the window. She had heard the sounds of conflict - but what could she do about them? Seghil's wards on her door prevented her escape, as well as the ones on her window. She could do nothing but hope for his success, and it infuriated her.

"...Please.. Just let him live..." Aurora whispered to a star far off. "As the last wish of a dying sun."

Then, there came a noise behind her.

The sound of knocking.

Aurora turned as the door opened, revealing a slightly bloody - but alive - Isaac Ebner, who leaned against the threshold, his shadow standing by him.

"I think... your manor should work on.. how it treats guests..." Isaac gasped. "That's the second time I've been... treated like this..."

"We won't ever see this place again... If you were to free me now... I want to leave it as badly as you do.." Aurora said, placing her hands on the ward Seghil had created. "But... Seghil's ward."

Isaac punched it, grimacing.

"Right... That's a problem... ja?" Isaac sighed, confused. Time was of the essence. He frowned, crossing his arms.

Here he was, with Aurora staring at him from the other side of an invisible wall, and all he could do was ponder how to get through it. Finally, he coughed.

And then punched a hole in the wall next to her.

"Of course..." Isaac laughed, sighing.

There was no ward there. Seghil had been playing mind games with Aurora the whole time. He had only warded the door... not the walls.

"..He... He... tricked me..." Aurora said, appalled. "He... he told me that.."

"It doesn't matter." Isaac said, pulling her through the hole.

"You're free now."

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"Why am I not surprised that you are the cause of all this commotion. Not that your wretched smell isn't permeating through the manor already. Now, unhand my sister and let me see just how... formidable Master Seghil's gift really is."

From the beginning, Vylain was coated by his silver layering, significantly denser in appearance compared to prior occurrences. Unseen behind the sheen of his skin, was the glimmer of a protective ward, a specialty of the defensive dragonoid. Looking at his sister with slight disdain, Vylain refocused on Isaac before him and turned his back towards the Shadowborne.

"You have 2 minutes to get past me and outside of the manor. Father's Judgement is absolute within the residence, so if you are still on the property, even a second too late, Aurora's Judgement will be passed. So, hellspawn, do you think you can make it beyond me, even with my back turned, I doubt even with your new gift... you WILL fail."

As Vylain looked back once more, his eyes were filled with both sincerity, but also with a pleading glimmer. Knowing that his sister faced even death at this point, it pained him to be forced to prevent her rescue, but knowing that her rescuer was the cause behind everything that was happening. Some of the blame he had also directed to Ellecia, for her invitation, but even she hadn't known what sort of events would be held.

"One last piece of information, this ward was only meant to be temporary. Do you think she'll be able to pass through the main ward as she is?"

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Isaac turned to look at Aurora, who gazed at him with a mixture of pleading, irritation, and confusion. Her own brother, who loved her so dearly, was being forced to face her in conflict - or rather him - for the worth of her own life, and for her salvation.

The very thought of her being so helpless was infuriating. This proud warrior woman, who had wanted to fight him, with the light of hope in her eyes that he would provide a challenge, being forced to depend on him because she could not strike against her own family.

Well, if they wished to snuff out a light.

They would have to face its shadow first.

The inky blackness that had once surrounded him burned like black flame from his exposed torso, making the scars from his training that much more prevalent. His eyes grew red, the once familiar shadowform that he had shown only once was now much more intimidating, far more than it had been previous to his training.

"You are not the Shadow. That is self-depreciating, and removes your will from it. You are not giving yourself to a mass, you are forcing a mass to obey you.. that is where the true strength comes from. A true man bows to no one but his own might. Seghil is a man like that, who serves no man, and look where he is.

One day, when you no longer are forced to serve him, perhaps you may also become that strong. But since you serve no one but him, you should not be forced to serve the shadows you wish to call upon. Strength comes from obedience, but from mutual benefit.

Your shadow is you. You are not your shadow.

As he thought back to Kaiser's words during the training - when the demon was allowed to speak with him, which was little - the shadow of his own form began to take shape, growing to become a monstrous beast that seemed reminiscent of a drake. Shadowy, ebony fangs grew from a maw of pitch-black night, while burning red eyes reminded one that this shadow was very much alive.

But there are others besides me who live among the shadows, who call it home. I was but one of many beasts born of the darkness of nightmares, of child-frightening fantasies. We are shapeless, given form by mental desire. You see a shape within the night, and we take it upon us. Normally, we cannot act, we cannot strike. We do not desire to harm those of the light, who fear us nonetheless because we cannot be understood.

But if we were to be called upon, from our domains, and found a master we found strong enough to serve, then we would serve them loyally..

The shade continued to grow in size, massive wings unfurling from its back as Isaac laid a hand upon its neck, rubbing it softly. He helped Aurora to sit upon it, to protect her.


He turned back to Vylain, his eyes appearing remorseful. He actually had respect for Vylain, a being who had used his powers to protect his family for millenia, defending them against beasts Isaac had probably never seen before. But now, in this instant, they were not comrades or allies - they were forced enemies. Perhaps, one day, when this was over, they could meet again, and actually become brothers as Isaac had wished... But not in this moment.

The shade stood to its full height, now on two legs. A long, sinister, black blade emerged from its hands, sliding outward.

And we would defend what our masters sought to protect, without question, and with every ounce of our own strength... Such is the honor of the shadow.

"I will not fight you, Vylain." Isaac stated firmly, allowing his hands to fall to his sides. "Because I would have to kill you, as that is the only way to stop you. You cannot be stunned or held in thrall. And I don't think Aurora would forgive me if you died. But you probably also wish to prove to me you can survive. You don't have to prove anything. I know for a damn fact you're strong, and you've defended this glorious woman and her sisters since before I was born.

But now things have changed, and I love her, immensely. I will devote my shadows and my soul to defending this precious light, as you have. You see, mein freund, we share a common goal... Which also means you have a choice...

You could fight me here, and one of us would die, and if I died, then you would be forced to give Aurora to your father and watch her suffer. But then there are two others:

You leave us to escape and tell your father that I will be facing him soon, not you, for the true hand of Aurora. He already accepted my duel, and he cannot refuse to fight me for an offering - Aurora's life, which I feel I do not deserve, but will do my best to earn.

Or... You leave with us, Vylain, which I know you will not do, because you still have your family to protect. But both of us have honor and pride we need to throw aside here because the only thing we truly need to worry about is Aurora's well-being.. and if you can't agree with me on that, Dragon of Silver... Then I suppose we will have to fight after all.."

He laid a hand on the black dragon's leg, which shuddered, the heavy breaths of the beast showing that it truly lived.

"But, if you did actually wish to leave with Aurora and I, join us and your once-friend Vex, and help us to live... I will offer you every ounce of my newfound power to help you reform this family, and see your father understand that Aurora does not hate you or the rest of your loved ones."

The way Isaac spoke was certainly different than from the day he left to train, but something also seemed odd about the way he moved. He seemed more confident, and valued life far more, as though something had occurred during that month...

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Vylain stood in silence for a period, seemingly contemplating Isaac's request to join forces rather than be forced to 'protect' his sister in an undermining fashion. Yet, none of these events would have escalated to such conditions had it not been for this boy to begin with. Moments passed and still he remained silent, then suddenly a chuckle resonated deep in his throat that soon became a dull laugh, as if he had just heard a bad joke. Looking at the Shadowborne with a piercing gaze, Vylain took a step forward.


"Join you? Reform our broken family? Do you forget who it is that caused us to fall apart to begin with? Were it not for you, none of this mess would have occurred. Our blood engraved us with the methods we live by, it's not something you can just alter simply because of a farfetched romance.

Of course, I can't blame you entirely. We treated my sister as a pet, locking her within this very household so she is not tainted by the darkness that consumes the light. Furthermore, I wished to prevent having to reveal such information, but her rebellious nature derives from the human blood within her. A witch, as powerful as she was beautiful, brought Aurora into this world and passed away shortly after conceiving my dearest sister.

Yes, Aurora is a half-blood, but she is just as powerful, if not more so, as the rest of us. Forgive us for holding such knowledge from you, my sister, but know that father was still very proud."


Vylain met Aurora's gaze for just a brief moment before he suddenly tensed and shuddered as a powerful presence made itself known. Rather, an overwhelming pair that was approaching. Looking to Isaac, Vylain sneered as he returned to his normal, humanoid form.


"You should have just fought me."


Stepping to the side, Vylain revealed a pair of humanoids whose very presence made the stone crack and shudder, while the wooden floors groaned under each step. First, a girl with mid-length, brunette hair, dark skin and a pair of glowing white eyes that had a wild gaze entered. She wore a pair of khaki colored, cut-off short, a pair of black thigh highs, boots that reached up to her knees, a black and white striped t-shirt and a dark brown vest, that emphasized her bust size, over it. Around her wrists, were a pair of black, leather guards that came short of her elbows and left a little bit of space between the pair of red, fingerless gloves on her hands.

Behind her, a boy who was just slightly taller than her stepped through the doorway. Ebony hair that covered his ears and grew just slightly past the nape of his neck, deterred the set of dark eyes set upon his facial features that were further covered by a dull gray scarf. His attire was lack luster compared to the girl's. Only bearing a pair of black slacks, an unbuttoned black top revealing a white undershirt and a pair of black combat boots. Straps hung from each hip, dropping to his knees and he wore a similar pair of red, fingerless gloves.


"Oh, what do we have here? Another of Master Seghil's experiments gone array? You smell of demon blood and dark spawn. So, I'm guessing it's you who has been causing all the ruckus in our home. No, not guessing, it IS you. Tell me, do you plan on taking responsibility for all this damage, destruction and death? Yes, we saw the servant you slew. Pity, but no elegance or charm to it at all. Much like that mockery you have standing there. An'Zul, brother, if you would, please?"


As the other boy, revealed to be An'Zul, took a step forward the menacing aura seemingly doubled. Stretching his arm out, as An'Zul cupped his hand, the shadow drake seemingly began to squirm. Yanking his hand down, the creature now laid on the ground, it's head laying next to An'Zul's boot and soon began to wriggle and writhe. Moments later, it burst apart like a balloon and returned to the shadows whence it came. Dropping his arm back to his side, An'Zul stepped back and the girl stepped forward, approaching Aurora and lifting her head up by her chin.


"We're here on Father's behalf and Master Seghil's order. You see, it's time to revoke your family privileges and strip away that power which made you so precious. I can't say it will be painless, but Master Seghil requested we leave just enough to ensure you don't die. Now, please hold still and don't struggle, I don't want to mess up and accidentally kill you."


Smiling, the girl proceeded to place her other hand upon Aurora's forehead and when she did, the entire room lit up. An'Zul merely stood by, but Vylain had to cover his eyes. Despite his sister's cries during this process, he knew there was nothing he could do. Nothing to protect her from this agony of being stripped of her immortality and her powers. This had been the third case in the Sekher family history in which a child had been transitioned from a powerful beast to a mere human.


"Now that that is over with, allow me to introduce myself properly. My name is Luthinia Xel Sekher, second heir to the Sekher family line. This is An'Zul Kir Sekher, the first heir to the family line and my precious companion. If there are any... issues, well, let's just hope your gift is strong enough to keep you alive. Anyway, feel free to take her wherever. Just be ready for Master Seghil's message later."

Edited by zakku_uchiha

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"Oh, you've got to be kidding me..." Vex exclaimed as he took a gander toward the horizon. Though it had been only mere seconds since Isaac had headed off, he had blasted through the reaper's sensory field and was now well on his way to the castle of the Sekher family.

Shutting his eyes, the Thresher's body suddenly bursted out, causing a wide area around him to be unexpectedly flattened under the white heat that emerged from him. The flash went on for quite some time, and once it subsided, he was left changed. His clothes now ended in curly, flame-like shapes that floated gently in the breeze, and a new bright white color streamed from his feet, hands and eyes. Bolts of electricity crackled through the air as he started to slowly move forward. At least, at first, as he seemed to gradually go faster.

As if gaining speed just by continuing this motion, the Chain Reaper continued to run on. The effect rapidly kicked in as he focused on the kinetic energy within his body and pushed it beyond its usual boundaries. His world warped and soon turned into a semi-white blur as he shot forward whilst moving rapidly through the fields. Any observer from the side would only spot what appeared to be a white bright comet that would blast past and leave behind only a loud aftershock.

Though the lead that Isaac had on him was more than he could cover in this 'speed mode', Vex knew that it would be the quickest way for him to get there. Plus, he had always wanted to test this elemental power, since it was easier to do it somewhere out in the open and not the underground tunnels that he had been using to train during the last month.

The spectre moved directly along the fields and slowly started to notice something approaching him. It was undoubtedly the city walls. Rushing down the path that was familiar to him, he appeared and then promptly disappeared at the gates, leaving the guardians on it completely baffled.

Passing through the first checkpoint in his way with a boom that sent the guards down on the floor, the reaper kept moving forth determinedly. Though he was a bit slower now, as the city was full of turns and corners, his movement still caused glass to shatter and pushed people down onto the floor.

Isaac, Aurora, hold on... Vex thought to himself as he turned a left corner and boosted forward with a clap of thunder, causing him to slingshot down the main street. Without hesitation, he muttered a couple words, then dove toward the ground and slammed it with both his hands. Another strike of lighting resonated through the startled sector as he used magic yet again, sending him flying over the gate. Spreading out the cloak on his back experimentally, the reaper glided with unmatched speed over the buildings of the next sector and then came down just past the gate. Slamming into the floor feet-first, the spectre rolled forward to decrease the damage to his body and then zapped forward yet again, leaving no time for the baffled guards to find out just who had decided to leave the hole in the ground past the entrance.

Tired breaths started to come from the Chain Reaper as he neared the Sekher manor. As soon as he noticed it, he began to instinctively slow down - stopping after using a spell that would override his friction meant that he had to remove the magical effect a few moments earlier so as to not fly past his mark. Drawing back the energy coursing through his body, Vex finally came in proper contact with the floor, then immediately fell on his back and dug his legs into the tiles along the road, promptly breaking them off and sending them flying in random directions.

After leaving a trail of destruction that seemed to be caused by a meteor and was unbelieveably long, the spectre came to a stop right in the front of the familiar castle. Rising up immediately, Vex dashed forward, toward the entrance...

And promptly slammed into a barrier of energy which sent jolts through his body and threw him backward. He sailed through the air and finally came to a stop by slamming into the wall of the building across the manor's entrance.


A few seconds passed by as the reaper regained his senses and shook his head.

You should be thankful that you were still supercharged. I neutralized some of the shock that was bound to go through your body by using the energy within it. Grim spoke from within him, a sly grin spread along his skeletal features.

Groaning at the numbness in his body, the Chain Reaper rose from his position and shook his head, then looked back up.

So... this is the power of Seghil's ward. Vex thought to himself as he moved forward a little, his frame still slightly red because of the heat that had enveloped it only moments ago. Approaching the wall of energy that he could percieve clearly, he tried to place a hand on it... but stopped when he heard a strange noise from his right.

Turning immediately, the reaper came into eye contact with one... and then many more dragon knights.

"The Drake Legion?! What the heck are you doing here?!" He exclaimed as he drew back from the wall and went to the opposite side of the street, his gaze narrowing at the many dragonoids standing in front of him. These were obviously nowhere as powerful as the Sekhers, for they possesed no abilities and were way more reptilian than the former, but they still shared two very important traits - immortality and high resistance. What these men lacked in magical prowess was also semi-negated by their skill with a blade, lance or halberd.

"We're here because of you, White Flash," One of the Drakes stepped forward, bearing the Insignia of the Templars. Though it took a moment for Vex's shuffled and neglected memory to kick in, he soon recalled who this truly was, causing his narrow eyes to turn wide with suprise. A guardian knight, leader of Nightfall's order force - Phoebe, the Bright Lancer.

"You caused a ton of destruction whilst moving to this sector... and, well, you definitely did not pass by unnoticed." The Drake spoke, adjusting its massive right forearm guard, and then turned to gaze directly at the spectre in front. Chills ran down Vex's spine as the two looked at eachother for what seemed like forever.

"Now... Vex, royal Sehrx of the Sekher family and... what I like to call a 'flashy' rascal," Phoebe began, earning a few reptilian snickers from his fellow legionnaires, "I suggest you give up before this escalates any further and you, well, lose your head."

Swallowing loudly, the Chain Reaper weighed his options. He still wished to assist Isaac and Aurora... but legends of the Drake Legion had taught him not to mess with them, even as a joke. Now, they were facing him, with the intent of capture or death. A group of 30 elites, known to keep the order within the city, no matter what the threat... against a lone Thresher with magical powers and a simple, enhanced physique.

He couldn't really beat them... but, at the same time, he wouldn't just fall down in their feet.

"Mm... well, I'll risk my head, Phoebe, general of Drakes and Lance of Light. Even if my life is on the line, I'm bound by an oath of honor to continue my fight..." Vex replied to the warriors, then drew back a few more steps. Sighing softly, he lifted his right hand and conjured a bright red flame.

"Now... die!" He suddenly replied with wide eyes, sending the mass of magic past the front line and hitting the midst of the legion. The energy from within the ball of fire spread out and burst upward, sending walls of flame up and around the soldiers. Of course, as expected, barely any of the dragonoids were affected, so they continued to stand confidently... which was a mistake.

"Dominatus!" He exclaimed suddenly, his hand turning into a loose ball from its original, open palm shape. The flame seemingly obeyed his request as it started to warp upward and rapidly tightened its grasp onto the squad of dragonoids. Rather quickly, the group of drakes was hidden by a sphere of flame. Finally, Vex took the loosely-opened fist form and then pressed his fingers together tightly, causing the ball of flame to collapse on itself. The pressure proved too much, and then...

A burst of fire suddenly erupted from the location of the anomaly, sending streams of fire in all directions. Averting his gaze for a second to avoid the flash of light, Vex turned back forward and gazed at the legionnaires. Some of them were lying on the ground, their scales besieged by the cursed flame... and yet, most were still on their feet and were seemingly shrugging off the cursed inferno's effects.

Even blinking proved to be troublesome as Vex felt a disturbance in the air and instinctively moved, barely avoiding the attack that Phoebe had launched at him. The master lancer had dashed forward and had pierced the edge of his cloak, which would be the center of his chest, had he not shifted his position.

With his eyes barely managing to widen before the second attack, the Chain Reaper leaped backward and avoided the stab that attempted to disable one of his limbs. Now, he knew that he was supposed to be on the defensive. At least... if he didn't wish to risk... and had time.

The sound from the air reverbated and the reaper battlemage followed it precisely, then drew his fist back. Coating the forearm with Grim's power, he sent a punch through the air. Strangely, even if aimed at nothing, it collided with the Bright Lancer's shoulder and sent him backward, though not by much. However, it bought the Thresher some very useful time, which he immediately took advantage of.

"Catena!" Vex spoke out, his hand immediately stretching out palm-first toward his opponent. Before the dragonoid had time to react, a burst of magic shot out from his open palm and twisted around the beast's legs. Soon, it materialized in the form of a bright white chain that bound him to the ground. It twisted up his body as the magic poured from the reaper's hand and soon covered his entire body. Then, at once, it quickly untangled itself. The spikes along its edge dug into the man's body, but the chain ripped through the skin... and soon, the Lance of Light was left bloodied and torn. With a suprised expression, the beast fell to its knees and then remained flat on the ground. His wounds were not a lot, but he had severed all of the muscles and their connections, so the warrior was left defenseless until his skin regenerated. That process was, of course, very quick for the Drakes, but it still gave him a few minutes.

Realizing that their main fighter was out of the game, the other dragonoids immediately rose to the occasion. They were already used to do nothing during such patrols, having only observed their leader slay one fool after the other. That did not, of course, mean they were any less prepared. It only meant that they rarely saw battle during guard duty.

Coating both his arms with spirals of energy, the Thresher instinctively approached his foes and prepared to fight. Avoiding a lance sent toward his face, he took hold of the weapon's shaft and pulled back at it, then delivered a skull-crushing blow to the dragonoid's face.

With no time to waste, he moved on, making use of the leverage from the pole in his hand to swing the wounded body around and hit a couple of the approaching fighters, causing all three to slam around. One of them flew into the barrier's edge and collided with it. A scream of agony escaped the legionnaire's mouth as he was shocked by the ward which sent him unconcious.

Something I can make use of...! Vex noted mentally as he observed the process, then promptly let go of the lance. He then launched off the ground with a barely-muttered incanation and landed on the other side of the street. Taking a deep breath, the reaper mage prepared a spell...


And then, it all became hell.

Aurora's voice, filled with agonizing pain, filled his ears as she screamed out. His eyes widened as he froze, the incantations that were pouring out of his mouth coming to a sudden halt.

Quickly acting during this moment of weakness, a few of the soldiers rushed forward and attacked him. Unable to defend himself, Vex's body was impaled by a couple lances and swords.

Gasps of pain escaped his lips as he shook, wishing that he could act... but his mind was crushed. He barely swallowed, a wave of new feelings rushing over him.



You were late, Vex.

I was... late...

Yes, you were late.

How... was I...

You couldn't get through that ward, Vex.

Why... did I...

Vex. You couldn't do any-

... I was useless.

No! You did what you co-


Calm down, Thre-



Without warning, the Thresher's body suddenly erupted, waves of energy rushing around in a wide area. Blasts of unknown force sent the nearby buildings crumbling, whilst the drakes were blown back and came to contact with the ward of the property or the buildings in the distance, both of which managed to knock them out rather effectively. Even the ward itself seemed to struggle against the power stemming from Vex's body as it shook. Of course, it wouldn't break so easily and it was not actually the ward's power that was being moved, but the space around it was warped by the energy sent from the reaper's core.

Unexpectedly, the Chain Reaper's body flared up, a white flash expanding into a bright cyclone of flame and starting to circle his form.

Powerful roars came from the storm's insides as flashes of white and red changed the color of the cyclone. A ray of white light flew out from the eye of the storm and into the sky, illuminating the clouds over the city for a period of time.

Then, in the end, everything came back. The cyclone, the blasts of air... all of it returned toward the singularity that originated from the reaper's body and faded into him.

Once he was finally visible, Vex was... different. His clothing had turned dark, whilst his gauntlets and inner part of the cloak were now dark red. The wounds that had been spread along his body were completely gone, and he was standing with his arms crossed. An aura of anger and darkness spread from this new... dark 'prince' Vex.

Launching forward, the Thresher seemingly disappeared and reappeared in front of the wall of energy. His eyes glowed a true blood red and he stared at the ward for a moment... then punched forward. Unlike the last time, the spectre's hand did not collide with the wall. Instead, it somehow tore through the fabric of reality and pierced the wall, as his hand emerged on the other side.

Wasting no time, Vex tore in with his other hand and broke the fabric yet again, then created a new tear to get inside. Breaking through the dimensions in order to move around this obstacle, the reaper emerged on the other side, but kept the tunnel open. Immediately, he disappeared and continued to move forward, his form barely distinguishable for the average observer as a blur of dark.

"Get back." Vex muttered as he appeared between Luthinia and Aurora, then, without a moment of hesitation, pressed his hands onto the front of her body and pushed her back with all his force. Though it would barely move her, as she was one of the strongest heirs, he knew that he could break her contact... and he was ready to suffer the consequences.

A moment later, the spectre reappeared next to Isaac, his arms crossed in their usual manner. Dark fog emerged from around the lips of his open maw as he watched the others, his appearance seemingly more beastial and raw than usual.

"Luthinia, An'Zul..." Vex began as he observed the two, his gaze going quickly over their figures to note any changes in their appearance since the last time he'd seen them. He turned for a moment to look at Vylain, but only shared a sad look with the silver dragonoid before turning around toward the main heirs.

"Welcome to your home... and thank you both for finishing your Master's task. It pains me to see that this is the moment of our reunion, as this is the second time I've had the honor of meeting you... but I hope you can forgive my intrusive touch and bad manners." The reaper continued, his voice filled with hate and cracking at times because of the rush of emotions struggling to send him over the edge. None of the usual respect that was present in the way he spoke before was present in this form. It seemed primal, almost beast-like... and he felt it suited him just fine right now.


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Isaac's laugh echoed from the depths of wherever he was now as the woman finished her incantation.

"Did you really think so poorly of your MASTER'S gifts, though you yourself earned them? What a pair of fools." Isaac said, standing from where he was on the outside of the castle.

"My creator sends his regards to you lollygagging draconids." Isaac waved, falling backward from the window as the "Isaac" that Vylain and the pair had been speaking to - as well as the Aurora - dissolved in nothingness.

But never forget, young Shadowborne, that the greatest skill of those of the shadow is deception. Lies. Trickery. A mockery of the Light. The reason why shadow exists is to reflect the light and obstruct the view of the sun.

So, if strength alone will not help you, swallow your pride, and flee... using the shadows to hide your escape.

Isaac was already far past the ward, Aurora in his arms, covered in shadow which camouflaged her magical aura.

Another thing that he had remembered was that he served Seghil. And Seghil was the sort of man who made sure that his followers could freely move about his castle - which most likely had wards similar to the ones outside the castle. So, if they sensed Seghil's power upon the person passing through...

Thus, by covering himself in shadow, and doing the same to Aurora, he had discovered that - indeed - Seghil was that sort of master... and secretly thanked him.

This had all been orchestrated by Seghil, he was sure. Everything was. And if Seghil hadn't wanted him to escape, he would have shown up personally...

Which Isaac didn't doubt may happen soon, but hoped it wouldn't. Seghil probably wouldn't interfere personally either. But he also doubted Seghil had true interest in the Judgement, other than doing his part to protect it. However, that was probably more of a "Yeah, I'm your buddy, I'll help a BIT I guess..." rather than "NO. Can't have intruders!"

Seghil, from how Dusk described him, didn't work like that.

"I've only met the guy once, but that's as much as I wanted to know about him. He's strong as hell, that much is certain, and he's on an entirely different level from anyone in this city. Period. If the guy wants you dead, you're dead the moment he thinks of it. And if he wants you for more than that... Well, just hope that the job is easy, because you're going to do it, end of discussion."

Isaac had doubted her then... but now, after all this... He couldn't doubt her words any longer.

In any case, he needed to book it. He'd felt how much that dragon woman had drained from his Shadow Aurora, and he'd also felt the power of An'zul on his shadow dragon. Both of them... He didn't want to be anywhere near them as he was. All this fighting and making those clones have his power level and Aurora's... he was drained. He needed to rest. But he had no idea how far he needed to run to escape them.

All he could do was keep running, and hope that those two dragons were held back for long enough that he could get away.

"They can't follow past Sector C."

Isaac suddenly looked down, confused. Aurora was smiling, pleased.

"Why not, meine Frau?" Isaac asked, concerned.

"Because of the code. Seghil doesn't want his favorites to show their powers to those in Sector D. Only the higher class know they even exist. He wouldn't let them past the walls... yet."

"Yet...?" Isaac asked, completely vexed now.

"...Yet." Aurora responded slyly.

"I just hope Vex gets out of there easily... I didn't expect him to show his face.." Isaac sighed, continuing to dash through the alleys. He had reentered the city main district, and people were giving him those familiar, befuddled glances.

"I've never seen the main city before!" Aurora said, excited and pleased, her hair trailing behind them both as Isaac ran. "I wish... I wish I could stay and see more of it."

"We will spend days here later when this is over. This... this I swear to you." Isaac stated firmly, continuing his mad break for Sector D.




"This is a crazy idea."

"But it's my idea."

"Your ideas are crazy." Dusk said flatly, crossing her arms.

"Please." Isaac begged.

Behind him, Aurora stood, hopeful.

"There is no way that I can make a shield tough enough to shroud you from Seghil's gaze." Dusk said.

"But it doesn't have to shroud from him. Just the two dragon siblings. And Venheim. Just for a while." Isaac said. "And quickly."

"There are almost no written barrier spells that could do that... But.." she sighed. "There is a Light-based Barrier spell, but it would shine like a lightbulb if Aurora were to do it, and she's the only one here who can."

"Is there a way we can disguise it?" Isaac asked.

"With your shadows, I guess... but if they were smart enough to look for shadow magic..."

"We can hope they aren't. How do we do it?" Isaac questioned.


(( I may add more later.

Zakku I tried to tell you but you didn't listen. :3 ))



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After Vex had made his appearance, Luthinia merely smirked, holding out her hand to hold off her brother from doing something unnecessary. Striding up to the reaper, she placed a hand on his shoulder and almost instantaneously, he reverted back to his standard form. Unlike Mira's siphoning abilities, there was no pain or feeling of weakness and he certainly didn't feel drained. No, it would have been a similar feeling as to if he had simply deactivated his own powers.


Of course, this wasn't the end of it as her grip grew firm to the point Vex's bone's would seem to be creaking under the pressure. With little to no time to react, Vex went from standing before her to hanging in the air by her grasp, looking at the remains of the floor he had just been smashed through. Pulling the reaper up to eye level, she once again smiled at him, set him down and gently smacked his cheek.


"There is only one being in this world I allow to touch my chest and that's ZuZu. Do it again, I'll rip your arm off, 'kay?"


By this point, Vylain had also returned to his regular, humanoid form with his head hung. Luthinia approached him and lifted his head so that she may look directly into his eyes. Scuffling his air, the heiress pulled up a seat and casually sat down in what remained within the room, holding out a golden gem that faintly glowed. Vylain's eyes widened slightly and he leaned in closer to look at the glimmering item.


"This is what I was told to take. Poor boy thinks he managed to get her away unscathed, but she is my sister. Besides, the shadow didn't even smell like her, but... Nevermind that, Master will be making his grand announcement soon and I'll soon have to end my siphoning of my sister's aura. Anyway, guard it or whatever, that's our ex-sister's only remaining ties to this family.

Ah! Yes, Vex, feel free to tell your friend that her situation is under control and trying to shroud her from me is useless.

Wait... never mind, he'll get the message. Especially when what remining power she does have isn't sufficient in producing said barrier. You can tell him this, however, 'Seghil has planned everything and has a plan for everything.' Simple, right?

Well, with that being done, it's time to find Master and await his announcement. Goodbye for now, hopefully we'll be on the same side, next we meet."


Within that same moment, they suddenly vanished, the room seemingly returning to life as if it had been a paused movie resuming its showing. Vylain slumped to the floor, the golden crystal in his hand, his gaze focused completely on the shimmering object. It was almost as long as his hand and slightly thicker than the handle of a knife.


"I wish I could request you to return this crystal to Aurora, but it's literally a seal crystal. What power is sealed within it is power that will never be seen again. Seghil designed it for a multitude of possibilities. One of them, and probably the primary, was to seal away enemies or items, capture it within the crystal and put it on display like a collectible. I've seen creatures from various worlds sealed within such a crystal and, despite what you may think, they have remained very much alive."


((Short... I might add more later or just further iterate details in my next post.))

Edited by zakku_uchiha

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"I can't!"

Aurora fell to the ground, despondent. Her hair fell down onto the ground as though reminiscent of her own tears, which fell freely from her face. Her hopelessness was tangible and contagious. Isaac shifted anxiously from left to right, confused.

"What happened? Did they touch her?" Dusk asked, concerned. "And who was it?"

"Some dragonness and her brother!" Isaac said, throwing up his arms in dismay. "She said his name was An'Zul! That's all!"

"An'zul?! You got THEIR attention? Just what the hell have you been doing without me Isaac?!" Dusk pushed him backward furiously. "Messing with the Venheim family! Becoming a servant of Seghil! Turning on me and leaving me for a month! You haven't told me what you've done at all, and now you bring this now-depleted girl and ask for my help to protect her!? I can't help you - or rather, I WON'T - until you tell me exactly what you did."

Isaac sighed, reluctant, but finally crossed both his arms and looked to the ceiling to avoid meeting her gaze.

"I honestly love Aurora, and somehow by doing so I caused her to revolt against her father-"

"I DID THAT FREELY! It's not your fault. It's not.." Aurora placed a hand to her forehead, fingers clenched. "It's not your fault. I swear. It's just..."

"-and thus now Seghil has gotten involved in this strange, little plot. I don't know what he's planning. Oh... and uh..."


"I challenged... Master Venheim."

Dusk placed a hand on her face firmly and sighed so audibly that it seemed all the air in the room was blown away.

"You challenged a Dragon Ancient."

"I did it out of just cause."

"You did it to get in Aurora's pants."

"That is NOT true!" Isaac protested. "That is NOT the reason."

"Isn't it? Would you have gotten involved if she HADN'T have been there?... No! See? You know I'm right! You're so brainless you let your emotions get the best of you every damn time. I told you one day you'd get thrown too deep... And Master Venheim... You're... You're a fool Isaac. A born fool. I can't help you more than this. There's nothing I can do for her or you."

"Can't she get her powers back? What did they do to her?"

Dusk sighed again and held out her hand, chanting some unintelligible tongue until finally she seemed content. After that, she pulled her hand back, wincing.

"Well, she's damned - to her family anyway." Dusk said. "Utterly useless. Worse than useless. You're better off finding another girl, Isaac. She's drained."

"Don't talk about her like that-"


Isaac stood, unable to move, as Dusk placed a hand on his shoulder and gave him a stern gaze. They stood that way for a while, both immobile, both unwilling to speak.

"You know, I liked you once." Dusk admitted. "I did. We got along well together. You did your job. You did everything I needed you to do. And you're the only man who listened to me obediently and didn't ask questions about my past."

"Yes but-"

"That's the only reason I'm helping you at all right now. And you can trust me when I say - she's finished, Isaac. And... somehow.. it's your fault."

Isaac was visibly crestfallen as he heard the last words of that statement. He grabbed her shoulders firmly.

"No. There has to be a way. There's always a way. Not after all I did to protect her. Not after all that.."

"You saved me from being executed..." Aurora said quietly.

"Which means little if you can't even protect yourself. You can barely call yourself immortal now. Your soul is clinging to the tiniest fragment - spark - of power within you like some kind of greedy animal. It's depressing, to say the least." Dusk gestured slightly, leaning against a table. "Seghil teaches his students well. I haven't seen this sort of siphon be cast since the Second War..."

"The what?"

"Never mind that." Dusk waved Isaac's question away dismissively. "What matters is that that sort of siphon doesn't work based on a seal. It's based on a stasis."

"A stasis?"

"Like..." Dusk held up both of her hands trying hard to make motions that seemed 'legible'. "Basically, you have your power in one hand, and a focus in the other with your standard seal, right?"

Isaac thought back to how Dusk drained him and nodded knowingly.

"Well, there are deviations from that basic equation. Mira, for example, BECOMES the focus, and was raised by Seghil to be the greatest focus imaginable. Her only real ability is a limitless mana pool, which she can never fill.. Which also means she always craves more. In fact, it's almost like a curse, I think. That she never feels complete. But I suppose it's the life she wanted."

"So what's the real important tidbit here?" Isaac asked, hands on his hips.

"There is a way to trap the magic between the focus... Or rather, trap it IN the focus... but... not in it... Well, IN it... but not in IT. Look, you know how time and space mean nothing to Seghil and the others, right? And Vex? And you?"


"Imagine power being teleported but never reaching the other side."

"...How is that even possible?"

"By being placed in a limbo within all planes, by being trapped in a world no living being can enter for too long, but immortals walk freely. Now, it LOOKS like the magic is held within a crystal, but is instead trapped in this limbo, forever drifting eternally."

"So... It's still retrievable?" Isaac suggested.

"Are you an idiot?" Dusk crossed her arms. "...I mean I guess it could be, but you'd have to enter that limbo as a living being, and Seghil's sent so much stuff to that plane it's probably filled with monsters as strong as himself, if not stronger. Then it's the matter of finding it, which would be almost impossible, given that there is no sense of location there. It's a place that does not exist in space or time. It has no real location."

"But can I get to it?"

"Yes but why?" Dusk raised an eyebrow. "Let me guess: You want to use your fancy, new Seghil powers to enter limbo through some means, wander around until you get the power, and then return somehow? All for Aurora? The hell are you? Some sort of hero in a book?"

"If I have to be, I will be, for meine Sonne." Isaac replied firmly.

"You're an absolute fool, you know that?" Dusk said, exasperated. "Fine. Fine. I haven't been able to stop you yet."

"Then how do I get to limbo? How do I save Aurora?" Isaac asked.

"Well... there are numerous ways to get there... But getting out is the hard part." Dusk said.

"Let's worry about the entrance first."

"You could get Seghil to send you himself, but I doubt he would do it so freely to a servant of his. Especially if Venheim found out. And since An'Zul and Lithuania are involved, I doubt they'd be happy if their master betrayed them like that... not that he'd care, but he likes having faithful servants.

There is a one in 10000000000000000000000000 chance at any given moment in time that a portal to limbo could open up for a split second anywhere in this world. In fact, they're appearing around us constantly, but our chances of using them are nil. You'd be vaporized the moment it shut.

Then there's that world that Seghil sent you to... I don't doubt it's another world... on the edge of limbo, since you say you were in there longer than a month. But you aged slightly, which wouldn't happen in limbo.

Finally, the other two ways are to either rip a portal yourself which would require every bit of your power and leave you drained for roughly 3 days, ... which means you couldn't go and save Aurora... or,..."


"Have a servant of limbo or servant of Seghil send you themselves... Which brings the question.... I wonder which side Mira is on?"


"Mira normally enjoys playing a sort of game with Seghil, trying to one-up him, though she knows it's futile... But would she be willing to send you to limbo?"

"You expect me to make a deal with that witch?" Isaac asked.

This whole time, Aurora had been quietly crying, hiding her face. Finally, she had stopped, and was now standing to her full height. She leaned against Isaac, smiling.

"It's fine if I don't have my powers, right? I'm free now... Free... Free to be out here... among the populace... Free to see the stars from the perfect height... Free to live..."

"You are... but I do not feel we've truly won... Until you are able to live that way as a Sun again."

"Don't do it." Aurora said firmly. "Dusk is right... Limbo is... Limbo is not a place you simply go... And it's not worth it... if my family leaves me alone now... if everything is alright... then it's alright. I don't mind being this way. I'll get used to it."

Isaac frowned at her, then lifted her chin so she looked him in the eyes.

"I won't let you have to do that." he swore. "I won't let you have to live that way."


"You said before you wished for me to prove my worth, ja?" Isaac asked, grinning. "Limbo doesn't sound too bad. I'll be in and out. It'll be easy. And then, you'll have your powers back. Just.. just leave it to me!"

He pounded his naked chest once, proud.

There was a silence in the room before Dusk spoke.

"Not that you're not attractive, but you left one of your jackets in the other room. Go put it on." she giggled. "It just doesn't seem the same."

"Nein.. It really doesn't." Isaac agreed. He headed into the aforementioned room, waving behind himself as he left. When he was out of earshot, Aurora turned to Dusk.

"Can he.. can he really do it?" she asked, concerned.

Dusk shrugged.

"I've never known him to fail." she said. "But... Well, if he has a plan in mind, he normally sees it through... Especially if Vex comes too."

"How well do those two know each other?"

"They're basically brothers. I'm serious." Dusk said, face sincere. "They're closer than Isaac and I ever got."

"I see." Aurora placed her hands over her lap area standing and gazing in the direction he went.

"I suppose, if he did indeed succeed... I would owe him greatly..." Aurora said, slightly melancholy.

"If you're worried if he'll demand some sort of sexual favor or something forget it." Dusk said.

"Why's that?" Aurora asked, suddenly confused.

"He's never done IT before." Dusk emphasized. Aurora understood immediately, her eyes wide.

"Him? Never?" Aurora asked.

"Nope. He may seem like it, but he never wanted to be tied down or do that sort of thing with a woman he didn't consider a challenge. Of strength I mean. Like power-wise... You get the idea."

".....Intriguing..." Aurora smiled a bit. "I shall remember that..."

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Though Vex had felt a lot of things through his life, there were a set few which were still foreign. One was the pleasure of one's body, the other was the pain of one's ultimate demise... and... the third was what he thought of as a 'reset' - a complete paradigm shift that would turn him completely opposite of what he was just a second ago with him not even having time to react. And, well, that was exactly what Luthinia had suddenly done.

As the heiress approached him after his 'bravado', she placed a hand on his shoulder. The pressure that she applied to it was definitely important, but there was something that almost slipped past the pain unnoticed. There was a tiny sliver of magic from within her that entered his body... and even when it felt too weak to do anything, it managed to do the unthinkable.

Flooding into his mind and core, the small spark burst out at once and bound itself to him. As if a slave of this new magic, he was taken control of and his core was forced to sending a signal through his memory and will. The world seemed to fade into white as the spell took effect, warping the rage boiling within the spectre and forcing it to actually disintegrate whilst also keeping him rooted. Unable to even react to this new, different sensation, the Chain Reaper remained as he felt the intent of murder slip out of his body and leave it, as if he had heard nothing seconds ago. With the rush of emotions that had triggered his change also left his new form, as the parasite within his body flushed the magic out and then reintegrated it into his own being, as if he had never unleashed it. Then, as if it had done its duty, the small bolt unlatched itself and promptly retraced itself until it reentered Luthinia's own body.

"How..." Vex muttered as he swiftly regained control of his senses and turned his eyes to gaze at the woman in front of him. How did she warp his own soul and force it to obey her wish so easily? As a spectral denizen, Threshers were one of few that were often very hard to take control of... and yet, she had spun him into her web with barely any real effort on her part.

Eyes going wide at the sudden twitch even he could feel from the female's muscles, the spectre immediately braced his body - and just in time, as he came crashing through a couple walls, the floor and maybe something else, all whilst being held by Luthinia.

After the attack, which occured so quickly that he couldn't even feel the wounds on his body as soon as they were inflicted, Vex painfully inhaled and let himself be dropped to his feet. Though he was a being of power and was definitely quite tall, he felt that this woman had just used him as one would use a stick to break through pottery.

Trying to avoid the pain that now flared along his entire body, the reaper shared a moment of eye contact with Luthinia. Though there was still some form of anger visible in his expression, it was offset by another sensation - the will to live another day.

"...Duly noted, mistress..." Vex replied to the woman's words as she held his chin up, but forcefully pulled his head away from her grasp. Though it seemed not to fit this current situation's mood, he had truly not wished to go for such special parts of the woman's body. Still, it was done, and the only thing he could do was suck it up and go on. He already had things far more important to think about, after all. If it meant that Aurora and Isaac got out free, he'd do things far worse than going for an 'inappropriate touch'.


Feeling some new irritation arise from within him at the next words coming from the dragonoid, Vex tried his best to keep calm and listened to what they had to say. He mentally cursed himself as his suspicion of Aurora's flawless escape was confirmed.

So, she truly was drained... maybe not killed, but... she no longer has the power to be called a Sekher. Gritting his teeth at the annoying news, the Thresher stared at the two across him until they disappeared.

With their disappearance, he dropped to his knees and placed both hands forth. Then, he started to slam them down on the ground, each of the hits followed by an insult aimed at his own being.

"Idiot... mongrel... slug..." The man trailed off, his simplistic whimpers audible only to the best of ears, and kept on sending blows at the already ruined floor. Time seemed to pass by as the spectre continued on and only increased the power of his punches. The bones along his hands seemed to groan and crack in protest as he punished himself, having drawn ethereal blood long ago but still not feeling content.

Only after one of the multiple set of hits did the reaper stop, his throat seemingly begging for a breath as his lungs hurriedly inhaled and exhaled. A few moments passed by until Vex finally calmed down and placed both hands on the ground. Ignoring the flares of pain that shot up his arms, he pushed off with his damaged fingers and got to his feet. One could see an overwhelming sea of negativeness in his gaze that seemed to border a person that often thought of ending it all.

Quietly shuffling forward and dragging his damaged frame forward, the Thresher moved to the last dragonoid in the room. He gazed at the crystal in the man's hands and let out another soft curse, but averted his eyes soon afterward. Instead, the spectre focused on Vylain himself.

"Sir, get up. It's not befitting of you to remain on the floor like that..." The servant muttered, his hands grasping the man's arm and drawing him to his feet. Whilst still holding on to him, Vex moved the heir of Silver to a chair and let him take a seat, then backed away.

"That crystal... I know where the power hidden within is, as Isaac probably also does... yet I doubt we can simply barge in that part of reality. Seghil has definitely sent more than energy to that place - I'd bet that it's full of hostile creatures, armies of the past and even beings not of this world." The spectre spoke, his voice strained unnaturally. There was a wound along his throat and neck that made speaking a problem of the ages, but still, he bit back the pain and continued.

"It matters not. Sir... no, Vylain... it doesn't matter who brought this... misfortune to your house. It could be Ellecia, it could be Aurora... it could even be me, seeing as I was the one first approached by the heirs, which led to their first meeting with that woman and Isaac. Those details do not matter one bit. Fate cannot be avoided, no matter what..." The man continued, his lips allowing yet another insulting slur or two to escape. Frustration was obviously overcoming Vex, yet he felt powerless... which was the worst one could feel like during a time of need, such as this one.

"What matters now... is how we will react. Your Father has evidently chosen this punishment for his own daughter. Of course, I know that both of us respect that man well, no matter what... but, as much as we owe him for our lives, Vylain... we still are to grant Aurora any happiness. Look - a man that has barely known her for more than a month has earned her sympathies and has managed to make her truly happy. What are we doing? Did you not promise to do the best for the Heir of Light, no matter what happened to her? Did I not?" He asked, even whilst knowing the reply to both the questions he had posed. Shaking his head for a second, he placed a damaged hand on the dragonoid's shoulder and bent down to make eye contact with him.

"Vylain... I know that Venheim is your Father, and you have a lot of respect for him... but, do you think he is truly the one that should stay on the throne? He may have the power... but, over the course of my reign in this home, I have only seen him shun you and the others. Yes, his goal may be to improve you... but so is the goal of any parent. By not allowing you to make any mistake, punishing you for every error and straying from his path and making you face eachother just to keep a hierarchy... he has kept all of the family a cold society. Hell, the only two heirs I know that relate well to eachother naturally are Ellecia and Azheim, and both of us know that's because they're rebellious and free-spirited. The others... are not as much." Vex concluded with a soft sigh, brushing his hair back with his hand and taking a step back. He turned his back to Vylain and stepped forward to the entrance, but stopped once he reached it.

"I cannot, shall not and will not force you to join us. You have a family to protect, just like I did once... and at least I will respect your choice, should you wish to remain by your father's side and defend the others. However... if you wish to see a bright future in front of the Sekhers... one which is filled with a true family... where Aurora, the one which you promised to keep safe, is happy... and everyone has their freedom of choice... you should not remain with your father. He is not a man that sways, and he will not take your ideas to heart. I wish not to slay him... but, if I have to, I will. I owe this to Aurora, to Ellecia, to Azheim... to all of you... and, well, so do you, sir." The Thresher spoke, then stepped out of the door and shut it behind him. Turning his gaze forward, he watched the street and checked it for any movement. Thankfully, it turned out to be abandoned. The Drakes could not stay here and wait for the ward to be cast away, as Nightfall was a dynamic, endangered city. This meant that the Thresher had a moment to escape.

Grim... please...

Shh. I'll take care of it. This... may hurt, but bear with it.


The reaper's eyes shone a white as he disappeared, then reappeared on the other side. Then, Vex finally regained control and dropped to his knees, blood flowing down the edges of his mouth and dripping on the ground.

"Guh..." He muttered as he struggled to clear his throat, the translucent dark red solution filling up his airways and trying to block them up. A few coughs finally managed to force the blobs of crimson out and drop them to the floor.

"No time to waste..." The Thresher spoke as he rose to his feet once again and ignored the pain welling up from his chest, then started to limp onward. He had a vague idea of where he could find Isaac and where he could also lose the legionnaires easily...

"Sector D..." He seemed to answer himself as he entered a small alleyway and, after making sure nobody could see him, dropped down and shut his eyes. Focusing the energy within him, he drew out one of the souls that Grim had captured and broke it apart, then let the energy flow into his body.

Sparks came from him as the wounds started to seal themselves, whilst new blood rapidly generated itself in his tissue. It truly tired him more than usual, as this forced everything within him to overdrive so as to repair everything quicker... but, at least, he would move at a quicker pace.




"Eh..." Vex spoke to himself as he finally emerged from the gate of sector D and entered this level of the city. He threw his gaze around wildly as he walked onto the main street. He didn't truly knew where Isaac would go specifically... but it was surely this sector. It was, after all, easier to escape from in case they needed to flee from the city's guards, and was a place anyone of high power would think twice before entering.

Deciding that he probably would find trouble quicker by simply wandering and trying to spot him, he instead turned to magic. Ducking into an empty alleyway and shutting his eyes, the Thresher ignited the power of his eyes and reopened them, then focused.

He knew the shape and color of Isaac's aura very well, and he could easily recognize it. Plus, Aurora's bright - albeit now weak - aura would be close by, too, so the two polar opposites would be easily distuingishable in this sea of essences.

Wandering down the lengthy dark corridor, Vex surveyed everything around him. Swirls of power flowed from his crimson eyes as he searched for something familiar... and, after what seemed like an eternity, he saw it.

A shape of black, darker than the natural color of soulless objects, filled more space than the inhabitant of its room would. As if that was not unnatural enough... there was a small, translucent light. Though it was hard to notice, like a star just appearing after a sunset... it pulsated with power that he could never mistake.

Isaac and Aurora.

Removing the effect from his eyes, he dashed out of the alleyway and ran forward through the street. Ignoring the gazes that turned to focus on him, he disappeared into another hidden section between the buildings and came to a stop.

With a couple moves that he calcuated quickly, the Thresher ran up a wall, flipped backward and dove onto the roof of the building. Then, without warning, he opened the window that lead into the room which Isaac was in, grasped the edge and flipped leg-first inside.

"Yo, knight in dark armour," Vex spoke as he swung through the opening and landed on the floor, right next to the man that was still putting on a leather jacket. Turning around to quickly seal the window, he then threw a look at Isaac.

"You did it, damn madman... you got your princess out of the tower she was locked in, and you're still alive!" He replied, obviously appealing to the good side of things that had occured, and smiled at the Shadowborne. There was a hint of pain in his eyes, but he suppressed it - right now, with the victim sitting in the next room, it wasn't the right spot to discuss it with a negative mindset. He silently put his right arm and balled it into a fist, then gestured at it.

Edited by KuroKishi

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Isaac flipped his jacket on quickly and happily returned the gesture, pressing his fist to the other man's with a great amount of impact. He wasn't worried about breaking the man's fist - not anymore. They were both immensely more powerful.

And now they could actually talk like civilized adults about what had happened.

"Willkommen." Isaac replied, absolutely pleased.

"VEX!" Aurora yelled, dashing forward, even in her weakened state, and embracing the large man happily. Isaac coughed.

"I didn't get that sort of welcome.." he said despondently.

"Yes, but if I hug you that easily, you wouldn't enjoy it as much, would you?" Aurora pushed him backward a bit, grinning. "After all, don't you want to earn such shows of devotion?"

"Would still be nice.. after the rescue..." Isaac, crossed his arms, pouting mockingly. In fact, he managed to look slightly adorable.

She leaned up and kissed him on his cheek.

Isaac stood, dumbfounded, for a long moment.

"Better?" Aurora asked, patting his shoulder.

"..B-be..b-better...." Isaac stammered suddenly. He quickly turned away to the side, confused and embarrassed. Aurora gave him a small, cocky grin.

"Perhaps you are good when it comes to combat, but I suppose in affairs of the heart you are inexperienced, Sir Isaac?" Aurora asked, leaning forward.

"Dusk told you, didn't she?" Isaac asked, annoyed.

"I have no idea what you mean." Dusk said innocently as she leaned against the doorframe of the room, comfortable. "But my time here is done. The sun will be rising soon, and I'm feeling tired."

"You won't stay up tonight, of all nights?" Isaac asked, confused. "In fact, where do you even sleep?"

"Not even a moment into a current romance and you ask where another woman's room is, in front of your own beloved?" Dusk asked slyly. "Why, I didn't know you were such a dog."

"Right..." Isaac rolled his eyes. "Fine. Go about your business."

"I don't believe I asked for his permission." Dusk said, looking at Aurora with a shrug. "Stay safe, Light of the Sekher. God knows we need all the light we can get down here. We don't need all of it getting taken away..."

She placed her hand on the door as she prepared to leave. She seemed reluctant.

"Isaac, I'll talk to some of my friends for you." she said suddenly, sighing. "Get you some supplies over here. Get some defense. They're not much, but they'd be willing to defend the Light of the Sekher, if they thought she was here. But that's all I can do for you. You've started a war with something as close to a god we can get down here, and his children, and perhaps even the king of this damn city... I don't know what to say other than... Good luck, I suppose."

She walked out of the door, Isaac watching her leave with a forlorn gaze. She had always helped him, no matter the problem.

"Danke, Dusk." Isaac whispered as she left. Aurora waved as well.

"She's right, you know. The sun shall be up soon." Aurora said, turning to him. "Normally, at this time of night, I would be far asleep, for there was no point for me to even be awake unless my family required me."

"So.. you've never stayed up all night before?" Isaac yawned, grinning.

"Not at all." Aurora replied, actually a bit afraid to admit it. "I know I seem like I would be the rebellious type to do so, but my father strictly forbade me from doing it... And I know if I had, he would have known, somehow... You don't go against father's wishes."

There was a silence between them for a moment as they both understood that fact.

"Isaac, I have a quite serious question for you." Aurora said quietly.

"Ja?" Isaac said as he stretched a bit and searched for a place to sleep. He hadn't straightened up this base in a while. To be honest, he wanted to make sure Aurora would be comfortable before himself.

"What drew you to me?"

"Your actions, your beauty, and that light within you that didn't seem to dim, like an eternal sun." Isaac said, without hesitation.

"That was... quite quick." Aurora said, moving out of his way as he moved a few things from the sleeping area.

"Of course, meine Sonne." Isaac responded. "I have thought of the answer to this every day since my training began, so I would be sure I was right in it. And I am. You have the sort of light that's worth protecting. And I failed to truly protect it."

He turned to her, frowning.

"And I won't do it again." he swore, then turned back to his work, gathering a few blankets. He had made sure they were cleaned before he had left this place before.

Isaac was the sort of man who had multiple homes, to ensure that he always had a place to lay low, or sleep - something taught to him by Vex, after a mishap with a local gang. Vex had taught him how to make a place look like it hadn't been lived in, so that no one checked it out, and in these parts of the city, no one would think twice to check a run down building. No one sold them either. He talked to the right people - including Dusk - to prevent that from happening.

So, all the things in those bases were cleaned, but looked unused, so that others who came were none the wiser.

"So.. where shall I sleep?" Aurora asked the important question that hung in the air.

Isaac turned, smirking.

"If you think THAT question will cause me some embarrassment, it won't." Isaac assured. "You may sleep with me, or sleep alone. I have guest beds. I allow a lot of people to stay here when they need to lay low for a while, like myself."

"I didn't know you were such a gentleman." Aurora commented pleasantly.

"We of the shadows should always stick together." Isaac pointed to Vex. "I would have died by now if it wasn't for this lord of bones."

"I see... I had no idea you two owed so much to each other.." Aurora placed a finger to her chin.

"Oh yes." Isaac smiled in fond memory. "We've been in our share of fights and scrapes. I would gladly use my life to defend his if I had to. He deserves that much."

"I only hope you don't have to." Aurora sighed. "If one of you - or both of you - were to die for my sake... I hold you both dear to myself, for various reasons... Vex, because he was always a friend to me, though I did not love him, I did think of him as more of family than any of my brothers or sisters, or my own father. He was a mentor, a guardian, and he told me stories of the outside world when I was younger... And you, Isaac, who actually took me to this world, despite the danger.. That's why I turned upon my father."

"I wanted to know. What exactly did you say to him to piss him off?" Isaac asked.

"He told me that once we returned from the Wright, he had Judged that I could no longer approach you, speak to you, or speak of you, and that he would retrieve the pendant I gave you - which he somehow discovered I gave - and see it destroyed. He said you were shadow scum, and would ruin his family if you had the chance, and that for a pureblood such as myself to ...breed with you would be absolute disaster. I simply told him he could... er..."

She shifted slightly, blushing.

"I told him in no kind terms that he could breed with himself." she admitted. "I thought of you when I said it."

Isaac's mouth was agape, the blanket falling from his hands. He then proceed to clap hard, laughing.

"YES. THAT IS ABSOLUTE GENIUS! Absolutely glorious! Wunderbar!" Isaac said. "The Heir of the Sun and beloved of the Sekher family was the one who finally told that pretentious prick to censorkip.gif himself!"

She chuckled slightly.

"I can tell you are a bit pleased by this.." she said. "I'm happy. I hoped you would approve."

"I do more than approve." Isaac said, embracing her and lifting her into the air. "I believe you are definitely my sort of woman. No mistake now."

"You doubted it?" Aurora said jokingly. She held him close in return.

After a long moment, Isaac turned to Vex as he held her, pleased.

"I'm happy that in this moment, you chose me over Venheim, Vex." Isaac said happily.

Edited by Thaelasan

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Relishing the impact from the friendly gesture the two often shared, Vex simply stood and continued to smile, his eyes staring silently at the Shadowborne. The marks on their hands shone with power as the two momentarily bumped their fists together, the power from each of the bretheren flooding into the other and reacting with the mark's arcane spell.

"Danke sehr, Schattenbruder." The Thresher responded in german, rather suprisingly, as he dropped his arm down and offered a toothy grin. Perhaps he knew more of the language than he let on? Perhaps he knew other languages, too? Or perhaps he had just learned that phrase in an attempt to try and suprise Isaac? It'd remain a mystery, as long as the other man didn't ask him about it.

Turning his gaze toward the lone entrance to the room, the spectre spotted a familiar figure emerge from it and yell out his name - Aurora. Suprised by her speed, he was slightly shifted by her sudden embrace, but managed to steel himself quickly afterwards. Not letting on the mix of dark emotions that ran inside of him, the reaper silently placed his unmarked hand on her back and returned the gesture wholeheartedly. The warmth from her body was quite unlike the amount of energy within her... and her behaviour, as a whole, seemed to be quite positive.

Relieved by the fact that Aurora seemed to enjoy her freedom more than she worried about her life, Vex dropped his arm down and stared at Isaac with a small smirk. Though his eyes still let on more than happiness, for now, he, his heart and mind were all calm.

Watching the Shadowborne's reaction to this gesture of happiness made the Chain Reaper slightly chuckle. For a man of shadows that used to kill and torture people not too long ago, he could fake a pout rather effectively... especially if he could earn a peck by Aurora.

However, once word passed of his 'inaptitude' in affairs of love, the Thresher could barely hold back. He walked to a wall, leaned on it and crossed his arms. Though trying to act serious, anyone could see his grimace shift every so often in an attempt to hide the snickers that tried to let his current mood be known.

It truly was baffling that Isaac did not know anything about courtship. After all, one would expect a man of mystery such as himself to be a true lady killer. However, Vex could recall his reactions when he was spoken to by these maidens, and... well, though it was extremely funny and definitely worthy of being retold, he would keep that information to himself. Isaac already got enough teasing by those two, and they didn't know things that the Thresher knew. Said things would cause him to turn redder than the inside color of his cloak.


"Ah, shite." Vex muttered as he broke out of his thoughts and noticed the door get closed by Dusk. He pushed himself off the wall and reached out at the handle with his hand... but once he sensed her aura disappear, he came to a stop.

"And I was just about to ask her something about magic..." He grumbled, mostly to himself, as he returned to his comfortable leaning position with a soft sigh. His arcane prowess was not the most important thing right now, and he was sure that Dusk had way more on her hands just about now. She probably didn't have time to give him an hour-long lesson on theory just so he could learn how to use thunder.

Staring at his right gauntlet for a moment, the Thresher slowly opened and shut his hand, feeling the skin and bone from his ethereal body push up against the chain and plates of the protective armor.

Though he didn't like to admit it, he sometimes felt like a stranger within someone else. A skeleton of black that contained all he was, along with a almost-real body that shone and was see-through, but could touch just fine... this sometimes made him feel like bones in a ball of jelly. Of course, he did have a core that guided all his senses and mind to make him as human as possible, but, at best, he was a good mirror copy of a human.

He also had heard his species described as hellspawn. Though it took him a bit of time to learn what that meant, he soon found out. He was apparently one of many thought to be 'born in hell's depths' - that is, an infernal prison harboring the most cruel of deities, beings and thoughts.

Most other species he knew that also befitted hellspawn did just what one would think they would do. Devils, for instance, would cause misfortune anywhere they went and use some fancy powers to either appear - or be, if a physical - really horryfying. They would kill people for fun by maiming them or simply posessing them, then letting the spirits within rip them apart.

Threshers were also a part of this group. Monsters gathering other essences to satiate their neverending hunger for strength, they would wander the lands and murder both animate and inanimate, in order to gain power. He had often heard of tyrannic spectres that seemed unkillable and were known as lords of terror. Also, every Thresher was often born already malefic, as their lives before death would often replicate their thinking process post mortem.

Why, however, did he keep his own mind? How? Mira confirmed that it was thanks to his goal of 'vengeance' and 'retribution' he still kept himself as human as he could... but why was he not a bloodthirsty beast from the start? He died in the midst of battle, with blood on his hands... but still kept the same mindset and morality that had been set by him from the start of his life. It was baffling, to say the least. Did Seghil have any work in this?


"I'm sorry, lord of bones?" Vex immediately replied as he sensed himself being referenced, then comically mimicked Isaac's earlier pout. Though he was sure his chilling demeanor didn't quite do the task as flawlessly as his partner had done it, it was probably worth the effort.

At Aurora's words about both of them, the Thresher could only silently nod and smile. He got off the wall and crossed his arms once again with a soft smile that let on he was pleased by his description.

In truth, one could say Vex was Aurora's bigger brother. Yes, he was not a dragonoid Sekher, and yes, there was no blood relation of other methods between the two... but he had done more for her in his time with the Sekhers than anyone else. Vylain was friendlier, yes, but he was mostly a wall, ready to keep any invader away from her. Her father? Cold as always. He'd have a talk or two with her about her life, but it was mostly guidelines that she needed to follow, not discussion.

In truth, the only one that Aurora could speak as human to human would was Vex. He still recalled some of the numerous days he would spent in front of the young half-blood princess, staring softly at her two reptilian eyes. Her questions were often funny, but he answered them as sincerely as he could. He described the outside world to her in such detail that she could draw a, well, childish representation of a forest when she was as young as six. All of her illustrations included one detail - a star. Somewhere in the sky, at all times, one could see a dot of gold left on the parchment. When confronted about it, the young Aurora would often respond that 'it's the Sun'. Once Vex thought about it and connected the link to the dragonoid, he told her to not imagine that she was a far away observer. Instead, he suggested her to try drawing her, as if she was outside, wandering amongst the trees and feeling the breeze of the chilly air outside as the sun disappeared over the horizon. He could still recall the first drawing she made with her within it. She was so happy that Venheim seriously asked what the reaper had done to make her burst out like that. He replied with one sentence that still sent chills down his spine every time he recalled it.

I merely 'set her free', master.


Snapping out of his thoughts, the Thresher noticed what was happening in front of him and then promptly raised his eyebrows confusedly. With Isaac laughing louder than he had ever done before and Aurora having joined him... he could only crack a smile. Of course, had he known the reason for their joy, he'd probably fall to the floor and laugh until next dawn, but... maybe it was for the better. He could, after all, watch the two as they enjoyed their company.

"Eh?" Vex spoke out rather bluntly as he shook his head clear and turned to Isaac, then finally made a proper mental note of his words. With a soft 'Oh!', he dropped his arms to his sides and softly smirked.

"I think you shouldn't have even worried I would pick him over you, Isaac." The Thresher began his response as he put his hands together and stepped forward.

"I may be a servant of the Sekher family... but that, by no means, means I'm a direct slave to that man. I've bound myself to a name, not to one king. For me, defending even Aurora would be the equivalent of protecting the Sekhers." The reaper continued as he stepped back, leaning softly on the wall and crossing his arms. Then, he made eye contact with Isaac before continuing.

"Remember, my friend. A man chooses, a slave obeys. I never let myself became a slave. I might have served the Sekher name, but I did so under my own will. It was my own choice. This... is simply what I think is right, as a man that swore to defend the honor of this family. I am no slave, no puppy dog... I made my own choice from the moment I joined the Sekhers, and now, I am simply following it through. Being on your side... just makes it feel all the better." Vex finished, throwing a small smile onto his face and staring dead into the Shadowborne's eyes before finally pushing himself off the wall. Slightly yawning, he snapped a multitude of his joints with reflexive moves and then shifted his gaze to the surroundings.

"So... where am I sleeping?" He asked, cocking an eyebrow.

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