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Nightfall - Reopening for new peeps

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Vex stood at the doorway, his gaze piercing the dark veil that clouded the shafts of light coming through the few openings along the walls. It was not exactly impossible to percieve, but his eyes certainly gave him an edge. The insides were ruined, yet certainly held a sense of power that was barely affected by the wear and tear of time. A carpet that once held an azure blue color was spread down along the corridor and still sparkled faintly to reveal the few spots of gold still left on it. Following it down and to the far side of the room, one could make out a throne that rose almost as high as Vex himself now was, including his new horns. Though obviously decayed, its tarnished golden surface still gave off a weak gleam and revealed the matching dark blue velvet. It had definitely seen better days, as a small hole in the roof just above the seat had drenched the fabric with rainwater, and its acidic properties had started dissolving the once vibrant color.

Along the corridor, one could see a multitude of columns that stretched on at both sides. The few missing pillars Vex could see were often found lodged somewhere in a wall or shattered into tiny chunks of marble. It probably was quite the challenge to explain to tourists just what could send slabs of rock of both that size and weight flying through the air with such force, or to crush them into specks of a really miniscule size with the tools of that era. The aura within the throne room was dark, laced with power that did not belong to any other being he had gazed into. Even Seghil did not hold that much strength - then again, he had never managed to gaze at the man himself, but only at his shades.

Turning his gaze toward Dusk, however, Vex immediately straightened up. The sorceress seemed stressed, and it very much so - with his spectral eyes, he could see her inner core practically burning like a supernova, unlike anything he had really seen before.

"Are... you okay?" He asked, though it was evident she was not alright, as he took a step forward with a concerned gaze. Seconds after his words, however, her once slightly leant frame completely turned to support itself on the wall next to her body. Her figure was shaking, and her lips were trying to say something, anything, but no voice came from her.

Suddenly, Dusk spoke to him, making the Thresher's eyes go wide with a mixed assortment of feelings. Confusion, worry, even a hint of fright rushed through his expression as he stared at her, then gave her only a weak nod in response before her legs lost their remaining strength. Immediately, the spectre moved forward, barely managing to catch her frame by kneeling down and stretching his arms forward. Within his hands, she felt weak, her breath rapid and her body almost flaming hot. Silently, the reaper rose from the floor, then turned forward.

"Okay... just hold on and tell me if it gets too bad..." Vex replied as he stared into the dark room, then took a long breath for himself. Then, turning toward Dusk for a second to give her a reassuring nod, he turned toward the throne in the distance and took a step inside. His shoes slightly grazed the ruined carpet as he walked deeper into the room, the details within becoming clearer to his standard gaze. Finally, he stopped under a small breach within the room that cast down light onto them and flooded it with cold air.

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Isaac had been kissed.

By Ellecia.

This was still taking a moment to process.

His eyes widened and he moved back slightly, concerned, as he almost fell off the dragon. He didn't overreact, he just blinked in surprise for a second.

"E-Ellecia, you're wel-welcome, but..." he coughed, befuddled. "I-I see.. I'm happy to see you are fine.. as well, of course."

He shook his head to clear his thoughts and nodded.

"Please. Take me to him as quickly as you can. I know we shouldn't have given her her power back so quickly, but we had no time to waste... Limbo was..."

Wait, why had they had to leave so quickly? And still, three years? That was still a thought in the back of his mind. He'd have to understand it all. And try to remember what had happened too.

He lifted Aurora with both hands as his dragon gently grasped them both with a hand and helped them down to the ground. He turned back to the beast, truly grateful for its assistance.

"Thanks, Kaiser." he said. "I know I ask more of you than I should."

"So long as my master is someone worthy of the dominion of the shadows... I will always be willing to serve.." Kaiser replied, nodding. "I shall return to the abyss until you have need of me again... But please, don't let that woman die after all we've done... It would have all been in vain.."

"Right." Isaac replied, as the great dragon dissipated into shadowy fragments that melted away into the air.

"Alright, Ellecia... where to?" Isaac asked kindly, making sure Aurora was comfortable as he moved her to laying on his back.




She remembered light. A lot of light. Dancing. Celebrations. Even now, her hands moved as though clasped in the hands of her partner, as they moved along the castle floor in an almost eternal waltz...

She began to hum some forgotten tune, her body too weak to do anything else. She saw Vex, of course.. but her eyesight was hazy now.

"We need... to go upstairs... I had a ... a ... bed...room..." she whispered, trying desperately to speak. "My room... I left... I left it in my room... The... the gift..."

She couldn't speak very clearly. Her words were exhausted and fragile, almost as though they were glass.

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It was strange to march into a room that was part of a legend, a myth, and find things that somehow made it seem realistic, even if not by much. The throne in front of him, whilst no longer gleaming with the standard finish that gold had, was still glowing in front of his spectral gaze. The traces of energy left along its surface were reminescent of a humanoid, albeit of size that would certainly almost match Vex in height and shape. Of course, by now, the energy was fading away and only a faint outline was visible, but it still added a new layer of mystery to the alleged king's throne and the way it had obtained such marks of power, able to last what he would consider a few centuries... if not far, far more than that.

The Thresher turned his gaze back to the one in his arms after losing interest in the worn throne. Dusk was weak physically, and he knew that it was because of her soul - right now, it was burning with vigor that seemed impossible for her weakness and swirling throughout her body in forms that he had not seen before. Her hands, now that he noticed them, were shakily moving in a pattern that he did not recognize at first... but soon connected with a most peculiar type of dance that appeared often in ballrooms, the elegant waltz. Simultaneously, a weak, yet audible hum of a tune long forgotten and unrecognizeable even for the spectre came from her parted lips and filled the once silent throne room. Her gaze wandered ever so slightly toward the reaper, but he was sure that it was hard to make out anything by the way her pupils rapidly dilated and contracted.

The words that came from her, albeit only a weak whisper, were picked up by the cautious Thresher. In return, he gave a quick nod and spotted something at his side.

Slowly, he turned to his right with the weak sorceress still held in his arms and saw a lengthy staircase that stretched itself up to the second level of the castle. This, if he was right about the castle's layout, would lead him to the second floor and to the rooms overlooking the front courtyard. Swallowing softly, he started to ascend the stairs, making sure to not move too quickly in order to not shake the already weak woman in his hands. The feelings within his core were mixed - excitement, fear, worry and others all spun an intricate web and constricted him, making him tense and serious.

Finally, after a long time of carefully climbing the long stairway, he reached the top and gazed into the corridor that was in front of him. Slowly, he walked down its length whilst simultaneously inspecting anything that would give him a hint of the bedroom's whereabouts. However, to his suprise, most of the rooms were practically void of objects. There was one which still held a disheveled dummy, indicating it was a training area, and another with an assortment of metallic junk and other items that showed it was a storage room, but the rest of the floor was almost eerily empty.

At the end of the lengthy hallway was a lone door that seemed in better condition that the others. Hints of red restrictive tape told him that this was probably an off-limits area before everything went to hell. With a quick yet careful move, he lifted his right leg and kicked the door open, making it slam into the inside wall and then drop to the floor, its hinges no longer able to keep it in place. Before him was yet another stairwell, which he silently ascended with Dusk in his arms. They were in a slight spiral from lower left to upper right and led him to the third floor, which, if he was right, was the last one.

His earlier doubts had been confirmed once he found his way through the small archway and into the lengthy hall. The carpet along the floor still held a blue color and even had stripes of gold that stretched out in double lines along both of its edges, whilst a few banners of the same design, but with the addition of a strange circular shape in the middle, hung randomly from the walls and swung with the small breeze that had followed him up here. Silently, the Thresher moved forward, his eyes zipping around in an attempt to guess which room truly was Dusk's.

Suddenly, one of the doors on his right swung open. Though he had stopped dead in his tracks in shock, he was sure that he had seen magic pushing it out, as if beckoning for them to enter. He gave Dusk a quick look, then nodded and turned forward. Approaching the open doorway, he slowly took a breath... and walked in.

Now, Vex could tell he was going crazy... or something very, very strange was happening.

There were burning candles. The chandelier, as well as the candle holders that covered the room's walls, were all emitting light from what appeared to be the most medieval-in-appearance wax candles he had ever seen.

As for the room itself, it seemed to be in a condition that was very much unlike the rest of the castle. The lone bed opposite of the entrance was wrapped in clean white blankets of linen, over which matching covers and pillows of velvet of a crimson color were placed. Both the designs on the velvet and the color told him they were of a period that would probably match the castle's creation. To his right, on the wall that also held the door, was a large fireplace, made of smooth dark marble and covered in golden decorations that went along the stone's edges and gave the entire thing a new feeling of nobility. Currently, it was unlit - however, embers were evident within the ash that covered the fireplace itself. To the left and right of the bed were two windows that were also draped with, well, drapes - thin, well-decorated, elegant and translucent white linen ones in front and thick, obscuring gray velvet ones toward the outside. The gray ones were open, allowing the little amounts of light that still came from the storm outside to make its way inside. Along with all those, there were a couple chairs and a coffee table of dark mahogany placed at the right side of the door, finished with with velvet seats and intricate carvings, as well as a soft carpet of a black and white mix that covered the floor. It was, all in all, almost like an illusion - however, Vex knew there was no trickery or magic.

The door shut itself behind them as the Thresher stepped forward, treading onto the soft carpet and walking forward. He was confused, unable to even react to what was in front of his eyes... yet, he was strangely drawn toward the bed. He walked to it, then set Dusk down so she could lay on it and suddenly regained his senses, evident by the way he slightly took a step back and shook his head.

"What the hell..." Vex spoke as he took a second to look down at his own hands. He had lost all of his sense from the moment he had entered to the moment he had set Dusk down on the bed. Baffled and practically out of his mind, the Thresher looked up at the sorceress and stood in silence, waiting for something to happen.

Edited by KuroKishi

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Ellecia nodded and motioned for Isaac to follow. From where they were, it would be a bit of a walk and most likely they'd run into a few issues on the way, but Arthur's tanks were spread out and they weren't terribly fast with the cluttered, debris filled streets. Then there was the likelihood that one of the Neuvhorn's were in the area.

"Don't you go getting mushy on me, it's not in your character. Anyway, the statehouse is a little ways away. I caught you while I was out on my patrol shift. Right now, Vylain and Se'Lene are at the safe house, while Azheim took the lower sectors to patrol. Everyone else went on the frontline with An'Zul and Luthinia to try and keep the main forces away from what remains of Nightfall."

"Gihi! Well, if it isn't Miss Ellecia with... Oh? Is this the one Dad speaks about? The Shadow that chases the Sun? Gihi! As they say, you pick your own poison, right?"

Ellecia swiveled on her heel, a torrent of flame surrounding her body for a moment until she realized who had just appeared. Eyes widening, the dragonoid ran up to the other girl and embraced her.

"Nira! This is certainly a wonderful surprise, seeing you here. I didn't think you were still in the city?"

"Geh! Get off me, it's gross. Anyway, yeah... I'm in the city, Dad told me to stay here with Aira and Vira to make sure no one finds our home. Of course, I do most the work lately, since Aira's too lazy and Vira refuses to leave his collection. It pisses me off, but Dad wouldn't be too happy if we all just sat around."

Ellecia tilted her head to the side for a moment, placing a finger under her chin and then returned her gaze to Nira. So, three of them were still in the city which would mean there were Adarhites still around. Maybe with their assistance, they could bulk defenses where the breaches were and work on cleaning house of uninvited guests.

"So, with..."



"The Adarhites are one thing, you'll have to ask them directly, but we can't help you try to retake Nightfall. Dad gave us specific instructions. I'm sorry, but we can't help you... however, if we just so happen to cross paths while you're cleaning up..."

"Ah! Thank you, Nira! That'd be great! Anyway, we gotta get Aurora to the safehouse, so... see you later?"

"No promises! If we cross paths, we cross paths... it's not like I'm gonna purposely come out and look for you, okay?"

"I knew I could rely on you! It was nice seeing you, you should stop by sometime. Se'Lene would appreciate the visit."

"Gihi! I'll think about it. Now go, I'll deal with this silly tin can for you."

As Ellecia nodded, Nira dipped away and moments later, the sound of a tank firing echoed through the streets. Yet, there was a severe lack of a follow-up explosion of any sort. Of course, the look on Ellecia's face and the slight shiver seemed to indicate something.

"I'm going to warn you now, Isaac. Out of all of Master Seghil's children, Vira and Nira are the two you never wish to irritate... or Kira, while we're on the subject, but she's really difficult to break out of her shell. Anyway, just don't provoke any of them... for any reason."

From there, Ellecia led Isaac down a series of corridors and back alleys until they came to a road littered with debris, one of the buildings having been knocked over as if something large had pushed it down. Yet, Ellecia lead Isaac to a building just behind it, a three-story construct that looked like an old restaurant-inn mixes. As they neared, the door opened slightly to reveal Vylain, but as he opened it more... something unexpected was revealed. At first, there had been a shimmer, but once the door opened completely there was nothing. Vylain's left arm was completely gone.

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The town was indeed in shambles. Whatever Nightfall had once been - dark, shady, and decrepit, yes, but a city - was now completely hidden in black and broken slabs of stone and wood. The bar where he would sit and drink with Vex on occasion (and sometimes even Dusk) was vacant now, destroyed. A bottle of whiskey was all that remained, which he grabbed and placed on his waist as some sort of memory to it.

People other than Ellecia were fighting of course. All around him, he heard the sounds of conflict - explosions, gunfire, magical spells being cast, and it all sounded so close, yet distant. He still couldn't believe this had all happened in three years.

"I'm assuming it used to be worse, back when it began?" Isaac wagered, concerned. Of course, it had to have been. He didn't doubt several thousands had already died on both sides. Friends of his, perhaps, or people he barely knew. Whoever they were.. may they rest in peace, he supposed. Nothing for them now.

He could already see the safehouse looming above them now, regardless of whether Ellecia said it was or not. It was one of the only buildings still standing.

"An'zul and Luthinia, eh?" Isaac made a mental note not to help them. Call him petty, but after what had occurred to her power and how rude they had been, he didn't really have the inclination to assist them.

As soon as the new woman showed up, however, Isaac immediately felt more protective of Aurora. Whatever side she was aligned with, Isaac didn't like the feel of this.. Nira person. Like the other... daughters, of Seghil, she had a feeling of power and cruelty that didn't sit well with him, especially with Aurora on his back.

As for Aurora, she was still shaking uncontrollably and her body felt far too hot to be normal. If she was a mortal, Isaac didn't doubt she would have turned to cinder now. She needed help, and quickly.

He gave up paying attention to Ellecia and Nira's conversation halfway through. He was more concerned with Aurora's position on his back and their goal. Nothing else really mattered.

Isaac made a mental note not to agitate Nira and the other sisters, but that note had already been made countless times before. But the mental note was forgotten when the door to the safehouse opened, and Vylain revealed himself.

"Vyla-" Isaac began, pleased, but his hand fell when he noticed the man's arm was missing, and how his face showed his emotion.

"...What.. what has happened in these three years...?" Isaac asked.




The room smelled familiar. The whole castle smelled familiar. But now there was no more feeling, no more sensing. She could only hear what had already happened. As Vex carried her down the dark hallways and up the steps to the higher rooms, she could only hang limply upon him, unable to even move. She was almost comatose.

Whatever they saw on the way, she had seen before, in detail, beautiful. Tapestries now torn that had hung from the walls. Chalices and mugs that she herself had drank from, now dim and covered in layers of dust and rust. Bedroom doors she had knocked on, now worm-eaten and rotted - all except for one.

Her own door, which hung loosely but steadily on its hinges, barely clinging to some semblance of what it had once been.

Unseen by Vex, she had waved her hand at it, causing it to open before him. He seemed stunned, but she simply gestured to the bed.

As she laid upon it, she immediately felt the pull of a dream, and motioned for the door.

"...I need... a cup ... of wine... the cup there.. on the table.... Fill it... The kitchen... below... Two floors... All I need... The last bottle.... I put the spell on it... I hope it's still there... Should be.. Behind the picture... Of Mer....Merlin..."

She placed her head on the pillow. For some reason, this bed made her feel at home, comfortable, safe... and why wouldn't it?

It WAS her bed.

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"Oh, look who it is. 'Hero' boy finally returns and guess who he brings with him? My sister, who lingers between life and death while our own father now lies in ashes scattered through the air. Ugh... get her in here before you're spotted. Ellecia, continue your rounds, I'll see what I can do."

Ellecia paused in the street, her mouth open and a hand stretched out in front of her, as if she wanted to retort, but it slowly dropped to her side as she nodded her head and turned around. A few moments later, she was gone, back on her patrol around the area to make sure none of Arthur's tanks were nearing their current safehouse.

"What happened, Mr. Hero? You really want to know what happened? I'll explain as you put my sister down.

As you know, the war started shortly after Father passed his Judgement on Aurora. Of course, rather than staying here, using that power Master Seghil gifted to you to protect our home, you ran off somewhere to try and get it back. Now that you've accomplished such a task, you bring her back tilting heavily on the edge and expect one of us to know how to fix this?

Anyway, I'm getting off track, am I not? That first year was the worst, especially for us. Arthur sent hundreds of those tanks and two of his Knights to Nightfall. Were it not for Master Seghil's children and our Father, we'd all probably be dead right now. Instead, I lost an arm trying to protect Se'Lene and she's still recovering."

At this point, Vylain pointed towards one of the corners, revealing Se'Lene laying on one of the couches, draped in a blanket and breathing rather heavily. Yet, something was also different about her. Se'Lene was larger in several aspects and had a few unique characteristics that separated her from the rest of the family. Instead of draconic ears or a tail, hers much resembled that of a canine's traits.

"Even she still helps in that condition, calling on the aid of the beasts and animals that roam the streets to help gather information, but since she's resting we have to patrol ourselves. Anyway... there's nothing I can actually do to help, I only said I'd try to encourage and reassure Ellecia."




Kira, who had been quietly following behind Vex and the weakened sorceress, perked up and stared back in the direction they had came. Looking at Vex after he had placed the girl on the bed, she waited until he turned to see her to raise her hand and pointed towards where they came.

"Nn. They're coming. I sense a Knight as well, a rather troublesome one at that."

From outside, hundreds of different machines, men and beasts were marching up to the castle with a singular man leading them from the front. Unlike the rest, who wore modernized variants of battle armor, this man wore a suit of old, bearing a red cross on his chest and a magnificent sword at his waist. Yet, once they reached a certain point, the man held up an arm, halting all those who were behind him in their tracks.

"One of the Devil's children is here. This will be even more exciting than I originally believed. Remember men, our swords do not falter, our wings can not be clipped, and our hearts can not be swayed. Even if we face death itself, we will continue to push forward until we have slain the evil that plagues our world.

March forward, men! Today, one of the devil's own children will fall!"

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"Nice to see you again too, Eisernkopf." Isaac joked, walking past him into the room where Se'Lene lay, wounded.

But his entire mood fell as Vylain spoke. As the dragon talked, Isaac lowered Aurora gently onto the couch opposite Se'Lene, covering her as lightly as he could so that the heat could escape. He considered removing clothing as well, but he had no idea what she was wearing underneath, and deigned not to take chances... But if it meant she would die if he didn't...

"....I'm going to give my beloved a cold bath." Isaac finally decided, turning to Vylain. "And not for any reason other than to cool her down. Where is the bathroom? Cooling her off is the best I can do, if you don't have any better ideas."

He certainly didn't want to see Aurora naked because of this, but if Vylain honestly had no other options in mind, then what was he to do? She was burning, and it wasn't safe for that to continue - that was for sure...


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"Don't lie to yourself, little shadow wielder, you actually wish to take full advantage of this situation to see what she looks like without clothes."

A familiar presence appeared in the center of the room, but Vylain remained in the seat he had taken, showing little to no reaction to one of Seghil's shade's appearances.

Approaching the seat in which Aurora now rested in, the shade placed a hand underneath her chin, tilting her head back ever so slightly and then lightly pulled up on it. This motion caused her to stir, her eyes fluttering open and she sat up under her own strength, breathing and panting heavily. Yet, before her or Isaac could speak, the shade smacked her across the face with enough force that she rolled across the floor a couple of times before coming to a halt, facing in the direction the shade was in.

"So, young Shadowborne, how does that make you feel? Does it irritate you? Does it enrage you? If I struck her again, what would you do?"

As if to emphasize his point, the shade reappeared kneeling next to Aurora, a fist drawn back into the air while the shapeless shaded face and dark red eyes stared at Isaac. Yet, despite all of this, Vylain remained in his seat, watching the door the two had come through just moments ago.

"I wouldn't do anything brash, child of the shadows, this Shade isn't like the other ones you've met before. I'm very certain this one was sent with a purpose, but what purpose that is we'll have to find out."

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The blackness and chill of both gun barrels were already firmly placed at two points on the Shade's head before Vylain could even speak or respond. One was pointed at the left temple, the other underneath the Shade's chin, pointing upward.

"You'll kill me first, then." Isaac commanded sternly. "Because you know damn well I won't let you harm meine Sonne while I still breathe."

He made no other motion than that. It could only be assumed that he had used Aurora's own shadow to appear here in front of her, separating her from Seghil's Shade with a determined gaze.

He knew for a fact he was outmatched. He'd fought Shades before but this one was not like the ones he fought in the training ground. This one was obviously made for this purpose, hand-forged, and not just simply materialized. Its aura reminded Isaac that he wasn't standing in the presence of a mortal, but of a being akin to a god, and it wasn't pleased with him in the slightest.

Well, to be frank, he wasn't pleased with IT either - or him, as it were.

He had reacted without thinking, of course. The moment the Shade's hand had made even the slightest action of hostile contact, he had moved. And now he didn't know what to do. But he wasn't about to show this Shade that he didn't. He was going to be confident, no matter how foolish it was. With Aurora behind him, and two guns his first means of defense, he wasn't going to let this Shade have any ground.

"I may have made a deal with you for this power, and I may not matter much to you, and it may seem futile and irritating to you that I make these decisions... but I love her, ja? And love makes men do dumb things."

He made a tighter grip on the guns in his hand. The Shade probably didn't care much about them, but they felt right in his hands again.

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This reaction came as no surprise to the shade, with the guns already pointed at lethal points, the shade had also molded a blade that was firmly pressed to Isaac's chest. A white grin formed on the shade's dark face, its eyes brightening at the welcomed response.

"Indeed, feeling helpless and unable to do anything makes one feel... almost like their heart is being ripped out, ja?"

Of course, before Isaac could make even the slightest movement, the shade warped them into a different area of the city, an open space that had already been razed by the war, and the new now had a relatively reasonable set distance set between the two of them. Isaac was on one end of the opening, while Seghil's shade stood casually on the other.

"As you may have well already perceived, I am not one of the shades you have faced in the past. I was molded for a specific task, one in which specifically deals with the situation at hand. That is to say, I was designed specifically to enrage you and to fight you. You're free to decline the challenge, as you should know I prefer giving everyone a choice in the manner, but I'm also your only hope at saving the dragonoid from imploding here in the near future. For now, she's stabilized, I had to knock her sense back into alignment, but that was merely a temporary fix.

Your brash reaction, albeit expected, prevented me from finishing. So, now she's simply a ticking time bomb. I'll put it into a perspective you might be able to understand. Sometimes, you've just got to hit it with a hammer to fix it.

Now, with that in mind, do you intend to humor me with a fight or shall I return to whence I came and watch as the being you cherish caves to her power, consuming her?"

Raising a hand up, the shade motioned for Isaac to take the first move. By this point, the Shadowborne should at least understand that if he allowed the shade to take action first, it was going to be a short match and probably wouldn't end in his favor. Of course, the match wasn't intended to fall into Isaac's favor to begin with, the shade just wanted to judge how far this being was willing to go for a single life.

"One last question, what would you sacrifice first, the world or Aurora?"

Edited by zakku_uchiha

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The blade was only poking his chest for a short time before he was in an open area, razed by war and devastation. The bleak nature of the area filled him with almost mandatory melancholy. However, though Seghil may have done it on purpose, Isaac DID recognize this area, even with it being fully destroyed.

It was the remains of the eastern area of Sector C, one of his favorite haunts, now reduced to ruin and rubble by unknown forces.

"I would choose Aurora, simply so that I did not die alone, selfish or no." Isaac replied. "But you knew that."

He drew both of his guns from the holster, sighing. He knew damn well this fight was futile but what other choice did he have but to try? He wouldn't go down without making sure the Shade at least knew he could pose a threat, no matter how slight.

Bracing for impact, he leapt through several shadows down the path, but the Shade would sense the magic use, so he sent out a few other shadows as well to divert his attention. He doubted it would work but anything he could do now to try and achieve some semblance of victory, he would. Especially against this certain opponent.

Two shots, one from each pistol, aimed at the Shade's chest and skull. He then proceeded to hurl seven balls of shadowflame, black and purple, which hissed as they left the comfort of his hand and the ground around the Shade, from every direction he could make them fire from. But he wasn't finished yet.

The sky above them began to swirl with a vortex as he summoned the darkness of the clouds and air that the war had caused to assist him. Hordes of drakes, formed of the darkness, began to pour from the sky onto the Shade, firing their own flame, all aimed at his form.

To ensure that it was difficult to dodge, the Shade would find shadows attempting to cling to his own legs, to hold him in place.

"For meine Sonne... I would do anything.." Isaac swore quietly, as an army of his own shades converged on the Shade of Seghil.

And probably for nothing.

Edited by Thaelasan

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Vex could only stare at Dusk with a baffled expression as she told him what to do next. She was almost in a coma, her soul ripping itself apart within her and making her burn up both physically and mentally... yet, her words spoke of a bottle of wine, hidden behind a picture of 'Merlin', laced with a spell sometime long, long ago.

Right now, everything seemed like a hazy dream to him. A broken castle, strangely with areas still not affected that badly by time. A sorceress that apparently recalled things within said castle, which he believed was impossible, as he had never heard of her coming to England - then again, there were a lot more things he didn't know about her... but, come on, there was no way she would know the place of 'Merlin's picture and would hide a bottle of imbued wine behind it.

Deciding to leave this trail of thought before his head started hurting, he instead turned his attention back to the hallway he had been moments ago. The sound of footsteps approaching made him turn right to face the doorway and wait for someone to come through it. Sure enough, it was the person he was expecting it to be, Kira. What he did not expect, however, was for her to speak of a hostile force approaching the castle outside... with a 'rather troublesome Knight' in tow.

At this point, the Thresher's head felt like a mess. Nothing really made that much sense to him. By chance, he had decided to visit the one castle that harbored memories of his past life... only to find Dusk, which was apparently remembering something from long ago, and Kira, whom he had not only expected to appear, but to also transfer him souls in a way he did not really find comfortable. Now, with talk of a strange Knight, it all made much less sense than before.

He gathered his breath in a futile attempt to somehow supress the headache now creeping into his mind... and let out a drawn-out sigh in frustration. Then, after opening his eyes, he turned to the door and walked forward. Silently, he took hold of Kira's arm and pulled her into the corridor, then shut the door behind him and placed a ward on it for good measure. Afterwards, he gazed back at Kira.

"Sorry for being rough, but my head's a mess right now and I really need some things cleared out..." The Thresher spoke as he leaned onto the door, clutching softly at his head as it pulsed with pain. Soon after, however, he groaned and pushed himself off.

"Right... since even you called that Knight troublesome, I presume he'll be tough for me to deal with, so I'll ask for your help right now - in two ways. Help me fight off the attackers and answer a few questions I have about what happened. Please." Vex spoke to the young woman in front of him, then started walking down with the faint hope she was following him too.

"Okay... so, in order to keep it short... I'll ask three things - how long have we been in Limbo, what is this new war, and whom are you - as in, Seghil and his children - currently fighting?" His questions came one after the other, seeking only short answers that would satiate his pained mind with enough answers so it would shut up for a few seconds and allow him to focus.


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For a moment, everything seemed like it just came to a pause, the shadows ceased in their tracks and the bullets sat idle in the air. Yet, the sounds of battle in the distance continued to echo in the air, indicating time had not been halted. Instead, Seghil's shade held its arms out to the side, as if shrugging and then lowered them back to its sides.

"A reasonable answer, now let me ask you something else. You call yourself Shadowborne, one who was born and raised in the darkness, no? Your people inherited the power of Kaiser, claiming it as their own and using it to aid in their former techniques. Yet, I was the one who gifted your people with the demon, a means to search for a child that would pique my interest. Needless to say, I was not disappointed, as you not only took on all of Kaiser for yourself, but even betrayed and killed your own family with that power.

Now, you believe yourself some master of the shadows, when it was I who gave you such capabilities. You are one born out of the shadow, while I AM the shadow, the darkness, all of that which your power relies on. Still, even knowing that yourself, you faced against with me, nothing being withheld."

As he spoke, the attacks in which Isaac had lashed out against him began to turn, to face towards Isaac with little resistance against the shade's command.

"Do not fret, young one, this was never about whether you would win or lose. It is the effort you made against a foe you knew you couldn't defeat and the outcome of said effort. Never once have I pitted you against something that would not teach you a lesson or has there been a moment in which you have not gained knowledge from one of my trials? Do you understand, yet? Everything I have done has been for, not just your own, but the betterment of those around you. Still, you have rebelled against me, even lashing out at me when you should have known that if I intended to kill someone I would have done so. Hence why I must harm you now."

As the shade finished, every attack that had been aimed at it now returned to Isaac, lashing out at him until there was nothing left. Seghil's shade now stood over Isaac and knelt down beside him, its bright red eyes staring ominously into Isaac's own gaze.

"One last question, before I return to finishing my intended task with your beloved, what is it you see in my now? Do you still see me as everyone else does? A demon, a devil who only feels pleasure from watching as the world struggles, playing idle games with the beings of this world like they are my own pieces to do with as I please?"




Kira looked on as the Thresher strode off towards the front of the castle, listing off a series of questions as he went. Looking at the door he had just placed a ward on, the girl tapped it with her knuckles then walked away.

"Nn. Three years have passed since Father started the war and your time in the Pocket. As for who we face, if you haven't figured it out, we are fighting against King Arthur and his army, along with the Knights of the Round."

Once they had reached the ballroom, Kira paused and looked up into the sky, through the hole in the ceiling that let it just enough light to illuminate the surrounding area.

"As for the Knight, it is Sir Galahad and he is indeed... troublesome."

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The familiar cold of a gun barrel pressed against the back of the Shade's head as a slight chuckle escaped exhausted lips. The Isaac which the Shade had been standing over was absorbed by Isaac's own shadow as he coughed with a bit of pleasure.

If the Shade cared to look, Isaac hadn't made it away unscathed. His head was bleeding slightly as it dripped down his cheek and from the bottom of his chin onto the ground. His free arm was grasping his gun arm where the leather had been torn and slashed by one of his own Shades, leaving blood coursing from the flesh.

"You're right. I'm not yet a true Shadow. I still bleed. I still feel pain. I'm still... alive. I still regret. I remember the murder, the death. I remember what I did, and I can't throw it away like you seem to be able to do." Isaac cocked the gun smoothly, knowing that the Shade's counterattack could come from any direction. In fact, this probably wasn't even the real Shade, but he continued to speak regardless.

"And what I see right now is a king who just wants to make sure his followers don't disappoint him... But I also see an enemy who just hurt my beloved. As such, I'm currently conflicted. I'm sure there's another way to help her other than slamming your fist into her skull. And if there is, then tell me. And if you don't, I'll find it out on my own."

It hadn't been easy to get behind the Shade in the first place. At the first sign of resistance, his instincts had taken hold. It hadn't taken long to realize that his servants no longer served him, for they were tied to him, parts of him, and they were rebelling. Any shade he made other than his own would have turned upon him - so he didn't make a Shade, he simply waited for the first slash, then created a dark void as quickly as he could, absorbing as many of the shades that jumped within.

Then, right as the last Shade had hit him, he had switched places with it, punching it to the ground in order to fake his defeat, and then hiding in its shadow.

The Shade had most likely foreseen this, but he didn't mind. He just wanted to show the Shade that he at least knew the basics of illusion and deceit - the true power of Shadow.

"Unless you just wish to punch her to spite me? Then perhaps it would change my view of you, Seghil, no matter if you gave me these gifts or not. And if anyone would punch her... prove to me that that's the only option, and it isn't just a joke meant to enrage me, Seghil... Please."

He pleaded, almost, with the Shade, knowing that it held full power here.

"If anything at all, prove to me - prove to me that that's the only way to save her. Tell me why, why you have to hit my beloved. Why that's the only option. Because in your ...infinite knowledge, you HAVE to know another way."

He let the gun hang back loosely at his side, not willing to aim it at this man anymore. Not if he could help it.

"I don't want to hate you, Seghil. You may have tricked me and given me gifts that took from me what I truly wanted, and you may have helped Venheim take my beloved's power away... And, honestly, I wanted to end you for what you did, back when I was arrogant and spiteful, but then I realized you're right. You did do it for some larger purpose, ja?

I don't want to fight you, or shoot you, or attack you, when I don't have to. I swore to serve you in return for this power, and I intend to keep that vow for as long as this power keeps Aurora and myself safe. But you need to tell me who our true enemies are. Who we're fighting. And I will kill them without question, Lord Seghil."

He added that last part almost curtly.

"And tell me that the only way to save the one I love is to hurt her so badly."

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As the Shade before Isaac began to fade away, dispersing in the air as if it were ashes from a fire, Seghil's voice rang out from atop Isaac's head. Little by little, did the Shade reveal itself once again, extracting itself from the very shadows across Isaac's body. Simultaneously, Isaac would feel drained and weak, empty and lacking any form of control at the moment.

"You should have learned from the first time you pointed that gun at my head, that I'm always prepared to retaliate.

As for an answer to your question, I guess you'll just have to find out the hard way, won't you?"

Once the Shade had completely extracted itself, it revealed that it also had Aurora with it. Holding her with a shadow by one of her arms, the Shade lifted her up in front of it so that she hung just a few inches from the ground and drew back its arm. Swinging forward, there was a brilliant flash of light as its fist collided with her chest. Of course, the surrounding area began to steam and cackle as a beam of light shot into the sky from Aurora's body. Were it not for a bubble around Isaac, placed on him by the Shade, not even his shadows would have been able to completely protect him from this light.

Finally, with a heavy sigh, the Shade completed the motion and the young dragonoid swung in the air for a moment before it collected the rest of her body into a cradle-like position.

"You are truly a fool if you think I never considered a different alternative. To think I would hit anyone simply to spite you. Tomorrow morning, your power should be back to its normal capacity, but I can't say the same about her. Still, she's in good health now and should wake up by morning. Nira will be in the area if there are any problems and if I must, I will send Mira for some added assistance, but mind you she is incredibly busy maintaining the flow of dark energy that this war is encompassing the Earth with."

As his final words left his lips, the Shade once again dispersed without a trace, leaving Isaac with Aurora in his lap. How he would feel about the event that just transpired would be up to whether or not the fact Aurora was now stable and back at a reasonable temperature compared to before.

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Isaac feel to the ground, as the Shade had predicted. Not even Mira had made him feel as exhausted and broken as this simple figment of Seghil had. But he'd wanted to rest anyway. After all of that...

So he couldn't stop him. He couldn't stop him anyway. Of course he couldn't. Why did he even believe he could? For what reason did he even think he had a chance?

Yet, within him burned the prideful ambition that every single mortal man and woman had to feel at some point - the ambition that made him believe, even on a slim margin, that he could make this man respect him at least. And he would probably die trying to make it real.

But for now he could only lay upon the ground, now his turn to be exhausted and weak. He realized now he hadn't slept in those three weeks in Limbo. He couldn't have. Or if he had, perhaps it had been for a fleeting moment, or a span of seconds, or an hour... time was unable to be comprehended within the Pocket. It was an almost inconceivable truth, rather than a manufactured possibility. In a sense, time was more of a lord than the man who calculated it.

So, in short, lethargic and losing consciousness, he could only watch as Seghil brought his fist upon Aurora, and brought about a great, shining light.

It burned.... even with the barrier... it burned. He felt it, and in that moment, he remembered what his mother had warned him about the Sun. It felt both as a warming, benevolent touch, and a burning, furious wrath. And it was his to either protect or watch as it faded away.

"...You... wouldn't need to betray... my trust.. would you... anyway.." Isaac grinned from where he lay. "Wouldn't... serve ... a purpose..."

The light faded, and she now fell gently onto him where he was laying. But now she had weight to her. She felt... healthier, he supposed. And that's all he could really hope for.

"I suppose... I should say... danke, Seghil." Isaac muttered, half-conscious now. He probably shouldn't slumber here, in this war-torn area, but at the same time, with Aurora in his arms, safe and alive, and with his own body struggling to even move, he couldn't help it.

As the Shade left, Isaac waved weakly.

"Auf Wiedersehen." Isaac said quietly, then placed his hand back down around Aurora's waist, hugging her close. With the last bit of his strength, before he passed out, he formed a fragile shadow barrier around them both, hopeful it would last for at least a while.

Edited by Thaelasan

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"Gihi! Look at you, sleep out here like there isn't a war going on around you. Makes me sick, really and what's this? Aww, what a cute little barrier. Gihi! At least you still put forth the effort. I should really just leave you here, let one of them damn tin cans take you out, but Dad instructed me not to let you die tonight."

Nira tilted her head to the side, sticking her finger in her mouth and acting as if she were gagging. Looking around the area, she heaved a sigh and proceeded to scratch the back of her head before looking back at where Isaac and Aurora laid.

"Tch, I guess I'll stay in the area until one of the Sekher children show up. Dad wouldn't be very happy with me if I disobeyed one of his orders. Still, I bet his shade put more effort in fixing your girlfriend than he did fighting you. Gihi!"

Dashing off, Nira proceeded to secure the area of any stray soldiers or would be attackers. At least they provided her a sense of entertainment.

By the time Azheim came through the area, it was already well past midnight and the only indicator Nira had been there at all was a little note written on Isaac's face saying, 'All yours, Gihi!' Of course, Nira was watching from atop one of the many destroyed towers, her presence hidden primarily not to entice anything that was looking for trouble. Albeit, this was her time now, so if anything attacked this late, they were either gutsy or something to be concerned about. Just behind her, a shade placed a hand on top of her head, but she shooed it away shortly after.

"You did well today."

"Why are you so focused on them lately?"

"I'm merely observing a piece to see if I need to tamper with it somemore or if it'll go down the right path. Surely, you understand?"

"I think you're being too generous. Should have let her explode."

"Now, now, not only would that have been a bad path, but I would've lost more than just one piece."

"You could just use us, your children, for the roles they're supposed to fill."

"Ah, but each of you will have a very important role coming soon. Now, I need you to do me one last favor before you go back home."

"Gi... I'll go find it. Should be in the same area we found it last time, no?"

"That's my girl, you remember very well. Just make sure it stays alive this time. I don't want to run into another dilemma like before."

Nira sighed, but nodded and watched as the shade disappeared. Shortly after, she too vanished, beginning the search for the requested target.

Edited by zakku_uchiha

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Vex came to a stop at the end of the ballroom as Kira spoke the answers of the three questions from its other entrance, then promptly stopped a bit behind him herself. He slowly turned around to gaze at her, his whole expression filled with even more confusion that before. Silently, he turned his entire body and crossed his arms, then put his head down and shut his eyes for a second.

"So.... you mean to tell me..." He muttered as he backed up and into the shut ballroom door, then leaned slightly on it and raised his head.

"It's been... three whole years?" The Thresher exclaimed yet again, his eyes wide open in unwavering shock. Shaking his head side to side in disbelief, he placed a hand over his mouth and simply stood, unable to accept what had been told to him. Even if he knew it would be true, as these parts of the world were never this ravaged by war, he couldn't take it as the truth. The three weeks he had counted down minute by minute within that dark abyss... were tiny in comparison with the time that had been really lost. He had been missing from the Sekher's side for three entire years... he had been far from Ellecia, Vylain, Azheim, Se'Lene and the others for so long...

"Unbelieveable..." He spoke after minutes of silence, unclasping his hand and instead running it through the new hair he had gotten earlier. Pushing himself off the wall, he let out a lengthy sigh and simply stood, still not quite having managed to get the concept together.

"So, it's King Arthur, just as I expected..." He added soon afterward, giving himself a nod. The circle he had seen on that banner, though faded, was most certainly a representation of the Knights of the Round Table. Twelve swords, twelve seats... it all fit with what he had seen so far. He had not heard much of the man - actually, barely anything but whispers of his actual existence - but he was able to formulate the fact he was very much real and was currently waging war against Seghil. But... why were they here, in a castle that was supposedly once Arthur's? What was happening to Dusk? There was still a mess of questions left in his mind, pounding at his head and wishing for an answer... but he immediately shut the down, forcing them into the depths of his thoughts, as he heard something from behind the door.

Instinctively, Vex turned toward it, took a couple steps forward, and lifted his leg into a kick. As if planned, a soldier marched up to the door and swung it open, just in time to be greeted by the reaper's blow and get sent flying back into the other two behind him. The three, obviously suprised by the gesture but well-experienced to know not to slack off, immediately got to their feet.

"A shame, really, but no matter how fast your instincts are, it won't be enough." Vex spoke as he disappeared and reappeared, only leaving a crimson flash where he had been standing moments ago. The startled soldiers immediately turned to try and confront their attacker, but he was already at their throats.

He first went for the most inexperienced, as he would, in the worst case, act as a meat shield for the weapons in their hands. Reappearing behind the one at the back that was hardly clutching her weapon, he tied his arms around her neck and snapped it with a quick move. Pushing her to the floor so she would fall face-first, he disappeared, leaving barely any time for the other two to notice him as they finally turned to face their comrade.

A lone click rang out from behind the two as they watched in horror what had happened to the woman, its source being the spectre's fingers as they snapped together. In response to his command, the mark shone, releasing a burst of electricity fueled by the dying soldier's soul. The two veterans shook violently as the white thunder tore through them, leaving them burnt and probably brain-dead.

There was no time to waste. He knew he had to hurry. Dusk was vulnerable, and they were, at best, two against a dozen. He was sure he could pick up more than a hundred outside, though...

"We better get moving. I want to at least stabilize Dusk so she can defend herself before we have to face Galahad." The Thresher muttered as he leapt into action, leaping over the remains of the three opponents he had faced earlier and dashing toward the stairs. Sounds came from underneath, meaning that people were downstairs. In response, his hands combusted, fire spreading over them in a spectacular manner and pulsing brightly with strength. He found himself in front of a squadron of fighters once he was at the end of the stairs, facing down ten or so barrels directly pointed at him. It was illogical for them to shoot - and he knew that they probably were aware of that, too - so he would play it safe and not let the shots hit him. They could be, for all he knew, purified.

Raising both his hands palm-first, he launched a cloud of fire at the men in front of him. They immediately fired at him, but he blocked their shots with barriers raised mentally beforehand. Quickly, some slipped behind their makeshift covers - others, though, were burnt down, their entire heads left featureless, charred and with no hair.

Immediately, he empowered his legs with lighting and dashed forward into the few that had remained. He could spot a couple that were wielding melee weapons, now that he was close, but it did not matter - they were not strong enough to kill him.

The Thresher raised a barrier in front of himself as another hail of bullets flew at him from the other shooters. As he approached the group, however, he gathered his force and prepared a telekinetic spell. Leaping forward and over a barricade, he slammed into the ground, sending a shockwave of air and power out that sent the men flying into the walls. Then, with a roar, he cut them apart, invisible blades of compressed energy moving through them and rending their entire bodies. Once he was done, the corridor seemed like a bloodbath. The blood on the floor slowly seeped into the azure carpet and a weak aroma of copper spread through the air.

Though this was not the way he would ever treat a human, he was now in a hurry.

He had to help Dusk.

He had to find Isaac.

He had to return to Nightfall.

No matter what the cost.

Silently, the Thresher rushed down the corridor, the blood left along his uniform slowly dripping off and onto the ground and nearby walls.

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Do not fret, young Shadowborne. You are safe, for now. You can think Nira for that.


The girl from earlier with the strange laugh?


The very same. Though I do expect she may desire some form of recompense, I doubt she'll ever ask for it. It seems her father has seen you favorably, and desires your well-being.


Well aren't I lucky...


Consider this, Isaac. You could be dead, or you could be in debt to Seghil. Which do you prefer?


I don't doubt that if I died, somehow... I'd still be in debt to him.


I think you're right.




He turned over slightly, feeling for something that might be there. As he moved his hands and feet around, he felt something pressing against him. In his tired mind, he simply placed a hand upon it before feeling something soft.

Something, that in his male mind, seemed familiar as though it was something desired. Strange. He felt the intense urge to find out what this was, and quickly.

He opened his eyes.

Aurora was leaning over him, her body half pressed against his, her eyes confused. He cocked his head slightly, sharing the emotion. For a long while, the two of them simply gazed at each other, and he could only feel intense pleasure, joy, and excitement at seeing her awake, looking more healthy, and alive.

He wasn't sure what he felt after looking down and finding his right hand grasping something on her body that wasn't proper in open settings.

"Are you enjoying the feeling?" Aurora blinked, smiling slightly. "Because I'm not sure how I should respond."

"Should I let go of your chest?" Isaac asked politely.

"Again, I'm not sure. I don't know if I should say no, but considering that my sister is watching us, I think it would be best if you did for now."

Reluctantly, he released his hold, then realized what she had just said. He turned quickly, his face concerned, only to see the golden, piercing eyes of another of the Sekher line observing him intently.

"How long has she been staring at me-.... Us?" Isaac asked.

"Perhaps the whole time." Aurora moved the hair from her face slightly. "I can't be sure, of course. I did only wake up within the last two hours."

"Ah!? And why not wake me up as well, meine Sonne?!"

"As long as you're sleeping, I don't have to fear that you'll whisk me away on another adventure." she smirked, taking a sip from a cup that Isaac could only assume contained tea or coffee. "At least let me enjoy my morning before you decide we need to go fight Seghil himself."

"I would never!" Isaac sat up to his full height, stretching slightly. "At least, not right now."

"I heard it all from Azheim." Aurora shrugged, placing the cup back down. "I can't particularly recall anything vivid about last night. I do remember the pain, slightly, from being sick and weak. And I do remember you facing Seghil, and then I remember nothing further."

"Are you feeling better, at least?" Isaac asked, hopeful.

"If I say no, will you attend to my every whim?" Aurora laid one hand on her hand, eyes half closed, smiling pleasantly.

"I would do that anyway."

"Perhaps one day I will abuse that privilege. I hope you're prepared." Aurora hugged him lightly, sighing. "But for now, my sister seems quite intrigued in what we're doing."

"Which one is that? Se...Se'Lay?"

"Se'Lene, darling." Aurora replied. "Though she looks older now than you may remember."

"Why is that?"

"The Wright."

"It does that to people?"

"Not necessarily, but hers was late." Aurora commented. "It was the one I went to, if you recall."

"Ah. I see." Isaac said, leaning back in the couch.

"Is she one of the ones that doesn't like me for taking you away?" Isaac asked.

"You'd have to ask her yourself." Aurora replied.

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"Azheim, you should have left him alone for Arthur's men to bag and tag. Groping a woman's breast, in front of her sister, and not even caring? I didn't think you'd make such a bold move after being reunited with us again. For a moment, I had been excited about your return. Unfortunately, it seems like I'm gonna have to wring your... nnggghhh."

"You shouldn't get so wrapped up in their afairs, Se'Lene. They're adults, they can do what they please."

"Guh, you should think for yourself."

As Vylain spoke, seemingly calm, the aura around his body came off as something much more sinister. He had even gone as far as constructing a silver left arm for himself, that was currently clenched into a tight fist. Se'Lene, on the other hand, had her ears laying flat on her head and her tail was frizzed, a deep growl resonating within the pit of her stomach and her throat.

"It'd probably be best if you started your patrol. Azheim will be accompanying you, considering Aurora is still recovering and Ellecia is on her rest cycle. If you have any objections, then feel free to consult with my brother over there and see just how lenient he'll be. I'm almost certain he's not in the best of moods right now, so I'd suggest you follow my advice."

"And Aurora, please, for once in these recent events, stay where you are and get some rest. Your body still hasn't completely stabilized and going out there will just put both of you in unnecessary danger. Arthur's tanks are the least of our worries."

"Mhm, Ellecia spotted a Knight this morning, most likely Sir Hector. I've god some eyes in the sky around the area and, if anything, Vylain and myself will..."

"YOU will stay with Aurora and wake Ellecia, then ALL THREE of you will evacuate while I hold them off. Even with a lost arm, I still stand a better chance at getting out alive. Anyway, yes, if you are going to be staying here, Isaac Ebner, you will also be placed on patrols. Understood?"

"I'm ready to go. Meet me in front when you finish saying your farewells."




((I'll edit with Kira probably in the morning if not later tonight.))

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Isaac sighed, rubbing the back of his head.

"Of course, as soon as meine Sonne and I can be together and safe, I must once again rise to serve Seghil's needs, ja? I suppose I should expect this by now."

He straightened his jacket and pulled his gloves on tightly, grinning. He also ignored Vylain's possible attack, knowing the man's sister-loving ways. However, he catalogued this moment for future chuckles.

"So you really ARE going to go? Why don't we just run already?" Aurora sighed, leaning forward.

Isaac turned around, confused. Never in his life did he think he'd hear her speak such words.

"The battle-hungry maiden wishes to elope with this German shadowborne? And why is that?" Isaac asked, taking her hand in his.

"Because, Isaac, I don't owe anything to my family or Seghil. They stole my power, they beat the hell out of you, and they sealed me for most of my life in a tower. And then they make you fight Seghil alone to protect me while they stand back and hate you for loving me." she shot Vylain and Se'Lene a glare. "I should mourn my father's death.. but a part of me is relieved he's gone."

She looked at the ground, ashamed.

"I was supposed to be a great dragoness like the rest of my sisters, able to handle myself... and then I am locked away like a treasure. My own family takes my power away. My own blood. And they do it because I spoke out against my father when he told me to stay away from you. So I ask you again - why are we even helping them any more? Just... I don't care if we die... I just want to be away from them, from this, from Seghil. I really do, Isaac."

Isaac frowned, then sighed.

"I want to go with you, and I hate saying this, but I made a deal with Seghil for the power to save your power and protect your light."

"I know." Aurora responded, frowning.

"So, I have to pay it back... But surely he can't starve us some time alone - finally - if this all ends well? So, I'll go out there, I'll keep this place safe, and you rest. I want to see my Sun again when I return, as powerful and bright as she was before... That'll keep me going, I promise."

"Do you still have the amulet?" Aurora asked, reaching into her own dress to produce her own.

"Of course." Isaac reached into his jacket pocket. The familiar crystal and metal almost seemed to come alive under his fingertips. He smiled, holding it out.

"Then don't lose it... Keep it close. And even if you're fighting a hundred knights..."

"I'll answer your call, I promise. I owe you that much, and far more." Isaac said, kissing her gently.

When they were finished, Isaac turned to Vylain and Azheim, his shadow swirling around him. If someone were to look - very close - beyond him, they would see the ethereal form of Kaiser, his eternal guardian, his extension of himself, hovering just behind. Isaac's two guns were ready to be drawn, both hanging on his hip. His jacket - though torn from last night - still looked formidable (and in Isaac's hopeful mind, "badass"), and covered him comfortably. He looked at Vylain, and something flashed in his eye.

"I collected this.. by the way, Eisenkopf." he said, reaching into his pocket. He withdrew the dagger Venheim left, one of the last pieces of the Dragon Lord lost when he perished. He placed it on the table in front of Vylain, bowing.

"I may not have liked your father for what he did but he was a man who deserved respect. I know this may not be the time but I thought you should have this fragment of him. It does belong to your family after all." he commented, shrugging. "I hope it gives a bit of comfort."

He then walked past Vylain, patting the man on his false, silver left-arm as he did, and headed to Azheim, holding out his hand to shake.

"I suppose you're now more mature than you were when I saw you fighting with Ellecia three years ago?" Isaac grinned. "Very well, and you probably expect me not to hold you back. I expect you to do the same, deal?"

He then gave one last look to Aurora, who gave him a slightly despondent, but hopeful gaze.

"If anything, you make sure she makes it out alive, ja?" he said to Se'Lene.

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As Isaac left the safehouse, offering his hand to Azheim, the dragonoid turned away and walked off, whether Isaac was following or not. For a moment, he walked in silence, looking around the area and making a few checks before coming to a complete stop and facing the Shadowborne. His gaze was stern and filled with the very ice that he represented as the dragonoid stared at the shadow walker.

"You seem to think this is all a big game, that the Master granted you that power for your own abuse, that this war is irrelevant to you simply because your with your beloved. Are you even concerned about what's going on around the world right now? It's been three years since Master Seghil announced the start of the war and the first thing you considered was not the safety of your home, but my sister's stripped power that you didn't even know if you could actually get it back.

I pity you, shadow walker. You don't seem to focus on the big picture, rather you look at the small things that could have been dealt with at a later time. What was it you always say, 'meine Sonne' or some other form of German gibberish? Your sun? Hah! You probably wouldn't feel that way had she been anything other than a being of Light. Before you go spouting at the mouth about how you would still feel the same way, look at it like this, our Father probably wouldn't have gone to the lengths he did to 'protect' her had she been anything other than Light. Meaning, she wouldn't despise the family like she does, she would have been more inclined to follow the customs and traditions and she wouldn't have become the tainted being she is to this day."

Azheim turned, looking out at the remains of the city and clicking his tongue inside his mouth. By this point, there was a slight layer of frost covering his body, but it soon began to fade as he stretched out his arms and then crouched down.

"This was the corner where I met Ness, an elvish woman that was born in a tribe the resided to the North. They had been attacked by a group of half-demons who had betrayed Master Seghil. Miss Mira dealt with them as quickly as she could, but many elves had already fallen to their cursed blades. Ness lost her Mother and little brother and now, I don't even know if I lost her, but I fight because this was our home and I want her to come back to the place we considered the safest in the world.

You seem to think this whole thing revolves around you, that you are the centerpiece in this little story you got going on in your head, but there are many others who are fighting for their loved ones right now, regardless if they're coming back in a box or not. If I had been in the Master's place, having seen how you perform, I would turn you back into the mortal you were and let you fend for yourself. Even now, I considered letting you patrol on your own accord, but if you encountered a Knight you would be on your own. See if that power the Master provided you is enough to fend yourself from a Knight of the Round."




"Nn. I was merely instructed to observe, not to assist nor to take action if I saw it necessary. If Sir Galahad reaches the interior of the castle and there has been no progress in discovering the secrets left by that woman, then I simply suggest you flee and do so quickly."

Kira was now looking at the thresher, her eyes as empty as the tone in her voice had been. Suddenly, her gaze shifted, looking back up through the hole just as a whistling noise became prominent in the area. Then, an explosion shook the construct from the ground up, a few cracks tearing into the stone floor as dust began to fill the air. Adjusting her gaze once more, Kira pointed a finger in the direction of the entrance.

"You forget that the war has spread. This is why you should be able to make it on your own, now that Sir Galahad's men have been distracted by another force outside."

Again, an explosion rattled the building, tears and cracks threatening to dismantle the entire construct. Kira's odd piece of headgear had manifested itself by now, the tendrils currently hanging limp from the item.

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The Thresher continued moving down the second floor hallway quickly, rooms flying by him so quickly he could barely notice their outlines. However, he suddenly dug his feet into the ground and came to a grinding halt, then turned back around. Dashing back down the distance he had covered just moments ago, he stopped in front of the massacre he had caused and took a step forward. Taking a deep breath, he shut his eyes, put his hands together and focused. A muttered prayer yet again of Latin origins came from him and spread itself through the air, his voice a weak and quiet ghostly whisper that was laced with echoes of other voices.

It took a while, but soon, he came to an end and let his own voice fade away into the nothingness. These men, though on Arthur's side, were still mortals that did not deserve to die. They were soldiers made for combat, sure, but their lives were on the line only because they had something to fight for back at home.

Suddenly, Vex opened his eyes yet again and let his arms fall to his sides, then stared out at the other side of the corridor. He quietly watched the spiral staircase at the far end, then noticed a faint sign of energy going down the stairs. Sure enough, seconds later, Kira silently appeared around the corner, her standard, almost featureless face staring back at him.

Crossing his arms as she began to speak to him, he listened intently and gazed back into her own eyes. Crimson swirls gazed back into her own emotionless turquoise ones as told him of the things he had been worried about. Just as he expected, Galahad was too dangerous for him to fight against - he had to prioritise helping Dusk and then fleeing or fighting, depending on what shape she was in. At the first part of her words, he gave a short but appreciative nod.

"Well... though I do wish you could help me more, so that we could possibly deal with Galahad so I wouldn't have to hurry, I understand that you know you have to do only what you've been ordered to. As such, I won't hold it back against you. Hell, you've helped me enough already, so I cannot ask for anything more without it being too troublesome." The Thresher replied with a casual wave of his hand to signify his understanding of her own words. He nodded softly in response as he let his arms drop to his sides and began to turn around.

A sudden powerful explosion, however, shook the entire building. The Thresher managed to keep himself steady quite easily and let out a soft, annoyed sigh. He lifted his gaze up to look back at Kira as she noticed the new thing he also had - the appearance of a new, third side at Tintagel Castle's conflict. A wide grin appeared across the reaper's face as he turned around.

"Luck is really on our side today..." He muttered as he started stepping forward, but came to a stop soon and turned around to look at Kira. His eyes wandered over her headwear and the new addition of tendrils that had appeared rather suddenly. After a second, he slightly smirked and turned around.

"Nice hat," Vex spoke as he channeled electricity into his feet, then promptly launched off, disappearing with only an afterimage and a loud sound left because of his speed. He moved down the corridor quickly and reached the main staircase, then literally glided down its length by using magic to create a skateboard-like platform and descend down the stairs smoothly by sliding along its steps.

Landing at the bottom inside of the throne room, Vex immediately turned toward the left and stared down into the distance. Past the pile of rubble that had dropped from the ceiling after the first explosion and left a sizeable hole in it, he could see the entrance he had come through earlier. From it, he could hear a multitude of sounds - metal clashing against metal, screams of pain and sounds of gunfire filled his ears and made him slightly worry. What made him disappear, however, was the loud roar of a man that came from the outside, but travelled through with such power that it felt as if someone yelled just from next to him.

After crossing the throne room and walking into the corridor on the other side, he followed the isolated walkway and reached the doors at the end. Pushing them open with ease, he appeared in the dining room that he had often passed through as a child. Silently, he continued onward, moving past some of the ruined chairs and the worn table and reaching the other side of the room. Walking through the large archway, he entered the large medieval kitchen and looked around.

"A picture of Merlin, a picture of Merlin..." The Thresher muttered as he shuffled around, his hands moving around to clear away the dust off the few portraits on the walls. A lone minute passed by until he came to a stop in front of a rather large one between two sizeable statues. Feeling a wave of importance from it, he wiped the portrait's dust away and stared at the picture on the other side... which was, unfortunately, now only charred. Hints of red showed themselves from the edges of the burnt circle left in the old portrait. Silently, he flipped it upward with his hand and found a normal wall - however, by activating his spectral gaze, he could spot it was only a great illusion and that the contents of the secret compartment behind the framework were still there.

Pushing his hand through the magical enchantment, the Thresher wrapped his hands around the small bottle and pulled it out before letting the portrait fall back in its place. He lifted the strange sealed vial to his face and gazed into it. The concoction was a mostly clear, bubbly color with hints of golden color within it and a few herbs still whirling around inside. It glowed faintly with a yellow glare and pulsated brightly on a spiritual level.

"This must be it..." Vex spoke as he clutched the vial carefully and turned around, then rushed through the archway. He did not wish to risk using magic around this spell-water, as it was old and could lose its potency or power because of a bad reaction to other magic. Quickly, he began to make his way back to Dusk's own bedroom. He could hear the growing sounds of conflict from the throne room, and he could only hope that Galahad had not made his way into the room itself.


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He won't make it in time with the wine, you know that. But you sent him away for it for that reason, didn't you?


Of course. Otherwise, he would have seen what I truly was....


And you worry that he would have turned us away?


He may have interfered... and we can't risk that... But at least I left him..


A path out? How very courteous of you...


I couldn't leave him to die. He's not part of this. He's just...


A bystander?


No... I'm sure he's more than that...


Then why leave him?


...Because I don't want him... or Isaac.. or any of them... to die...


But without them, you might be the one to fall.


It's what I was raised to do.


What will you do now?


...I.... I don't know...


Then shall we lead you?


....Please... help me.




It was silent in the room now. No more breathing from the woman who had recently been laying on the bed. No more sounds of the covers rustling as she struggled to fight against whatever force was laying itself upon her mind.

The wine, a placebo. Of course, she had hidden it, as a girl, but only for her to one day drink it as she died. But now was not that time. Still, it was sad for her to have to leave such a delicious vintage to go to waste.

Which was why there was the letter at the foot of the bed, with the simple message:

"The wall is false. Use it to escape. Find the lying stone upon it. Follow the path. Leave the castle below. Rise up. And enjoy the wine. Consider it a thank you gift to an old friend.

I loved you and Isaac very much... you were as older brothers to me. Don't hate me for leaving you... please.

If you saw, you wouldn't understand. You wouldn't see Dusk anymore. You'd... you'd see something else.

And you may not accept it.

Farewell - Dusk."




Outside of the castle, a small grate lifted to reveal a female head, but not a familiar one. Long, black and white hair fell down a back. Long robes of magical origin covered a beautiful, tall, and slender form, not like the woman who she had once been. And certainly more... endowed than her previous incarnation.

She grinned, feeling the freedom of this new body but understanding what it meant as well. She sighed, the cold, night air chilling her to the bone. She was still alive. She had remembered. And now she knew what her purpose was.

Her black, feathered wings outstretched, and she left the ground, and Vex, behind.





Isaac could only laugh as Azheim spoke, laugh, and laugh hard. He allowed all of the wind to leave him before wiping tears from his eyes, his smile sly.

"You're such an unnecessary ass, Azheim." Isaac said, straightening his jacket. "Concerned about the past? What I may or may not have done? And you tell me to worry about now or then?"

He pointed at the shining horizon, filled with light and blue hues. Before them, in contrast, lie a broken, shattered landscape, swarming with enemies who were threats to their lives. This, he knew Azheim should understand.

"You see out there? You tell me there is danger. Death. You tell me to patrol with you and protect against something. You think I desire what I have been given and you think that your words sting me because you believe me arrogant. How funny."

He stepped forward, the shadow drake rematerializing from the darkness it was borne from and preparing for the ascent into the bright horizon. A void of black energy began to coalesce from the feeble shadows he could muster. The day might have weakened him, but not enough for him to be deterred. A large, shadowy barrier began to cover him and the dragon like a dome.

"Perhaps it was her light which attracted me. Now it is only her. And I will see that light - and her - protected, unlike you. There are men with strength, and there are men with ambition, and there are men with both... and there are men with neither."

He jumped onto the dragon's back, getting comfortable. Kaiser grinned in preparation. The dome was almost completely closed now.

"Your own king - Seghil - taught me that. You say you failed to defend the one you loved and you're using it to wound me. Very well. I regret your loss. But I won't let it happen to me, because I'm a selfish, egotistical German with general disregard for everyone but me and those I deem worthy. I know my faults, Azheim. You don't have to repeat them."

The great wings spread. The wind grew strong. The darkness in the air seemed to welcome its child. The barrier was sealed. Within, Isaac was a blur to normal vision, the exterior of the bubble glassy and dark.

"But I WAS chosen by Seghil, and you cannot deny that. And perhaps it is the fact I am such an arrogant mortal that I piss you off to such ends. Good. I like seeing you angry. You can hate me and call you what you wish. And I will say '**** you' Azheim, and that's where our conversations will end."

He gave a stern glance to the dragon, his face smiling but his eyes filled with rage.

"I do not fear you. You do not fear me. No matter what we do, this will not change. And as such, we treat each other with mutual respect or hatred. But until this over, I will help you, and you may help me, and we will have a fair trade. And when it is over, I will leave you, I will go far away with Aurora, and you will never see either of us again. Look forward to that day, Azheim. I hope it pleases you each night it grows closer. Because it pleases me to know that one day I will be free of you Sekhers, your rude, arrogant natures, and your attitudes because you know more than me. And I know you do. And I don't give a censorkip.gif."

He held up his middle finger to the young dragon lord with a grin as his own dragon lifted itself into the air, soaring into the night. With the help of the barrier, he would at least avoid the sunshafts and the weakening as best he could. But he doubted it would hide him from more than just sunbeams.

"And remember, don't stay out too late!" Isaac yelled back behind him as he began his own patrol, searching along the roads. He honestly didn't give a damn what spotted him right now. He needed something to take out his naked aggression on. Knight or no.

Edited by Thaelasan

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As Isaac was lifting off and the ice surrounding Azheim began to form a thick coat on his body, something else in the air sent the Shadowborne crashing back into the ground. Before Isaac could turn and see his attacker, another figure twisted him over from his position and placed a heavy foot to his chest and pushed him closer into the ground. If Isaac attempted to escape his current predicament, he'd come to realize that his thoughts weren't connecting with the rest of his body and his efforts were simply in vain, but now he could see who it was that he was dealing with.

"Here I am, coming to check up on my sister, who I heard just recently returned, and what is the first thing I see? You, disrespecting my brother, my family, simply because you seem to think we don't care about or own. Let me tell you this, Vylain, Ellecia and Se'Lene didn't even attend family meals, much less leave their rooms, for a week after we stripped my sister of her ability.

Now, before you go gloating about how you were chosen by the Master, you do understand that the entire Sekher family was personally selected by him. Of course, Father, my brother and I are the only ones who have seen the Master in the flesh... I guess it's flesh... which is much more than you've ever seen. So, I guess that's another point for our side.

Anyway, I'm rambling, I hate rambling and my brother is eager to go see how Aurora is faring after your little escapade into the Pocket. As for your egotistical, selfish ass self, you can continue to patrol alone... and without this silly bubble. If you're so strong now, then you shouldn't require a bubble to keep from getting burnt. Voluuc doesn't need such things and he fights on the front lines."

As she stepped off the shadow walker, the bubble deteriorated and a pressure formed on Isaac's chest that he would discover the reasoning in just a moment. Luthinia looked up at the other figure, who still hung in the air, a menacing purple glare staring down at the Shadowborne and then shifted to the female dragoness. A white-gold stare looked at Isaac for a moment before she sighed and turned away.

"Here, I honestly thought you would have changed, spending three weeks in Master's Pocket to think on what it was and who you were. I appreciate you would go to such lengths to make my deprived sister happy, after what Father had put her through for centuries. Some of our Father's last words were to make sure we don't make those same mistakes, to open our arms to the relationship our sister had gotten into and to try to extend our grasp so that we could welcome you as a part of our family. Do you see how difficult that is when you are an absolute ass to us, simply because we did as we were instructed because that was how we were raised long before you were even born?

I can't welcome 'this' sort of persona into our family, but I've already decided to reinstate Aurora's Wright and her title. That, too, was one of Father's wishes. I can't change what happened in the past, I can't say Aurora will forgive us, much less wish to be a part of the family again. Yet, I'm sure by this point, Vylain has recited Father's last words and wishes to her. If you still feel so reluctant to see that we are trying to be more open, then you can take on An'Zul and let out that pent up rage you've got bottled up. It'd probably be smarter than trying to find a Knight to take it out on."

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