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Code: Realize - Children of the Moon Ch.12~Impey~"Luna, sweetie?  Are you okay?"I placed a tentative hand on her shoulder, shaking her lightly to get her attention while she quickly blinked and her eyes lost that creepy listlessly staring look. She seemed a little shocked that she was sitting in the passenger seat of my sweet little automobile, and even more surprised that we were parked in front of a large but slightly ramshackle building filled with kids of all ages peeping out of every window and doorway they could. "I'm fine. Where are we?" She said with a small shake of her head like she was getting rid of whatever mental place she had been to."Remember what I told you? This is the orphanage that Mrs. Ernestine runs. You remember Clair, the little girl you rescued? Well, she and all the other kids live here. Their the ones that we baked the pies for." Crap! I shouldn't have mentioned the pies. First her pretty face paled completely white as a one of Fran's coats before coloring a bright red when all the blood in her body flushed her cheeks all the way down to her neck. Her eyes darted about frantically, finding Saint standing on the doorstep of the orphanage and casually chatting with Mrs. Ernestine while some of the older kids took custody of the lemon pies that he was carrying. She was probably still worried about us getting caught in the kitchen being a little 'busy'. My poor baby vanished completely the whole time Saint and I were loading up the sweet desserts and when she did come back, now fully dressed in a pretty longsleeve light green shirt with fluff of a white jabot at the neck. She had kept the tiered black skirt that ended at her knees, but added a chocolate colored corset to her outfit that matched her boots. Her ears were tied down again with the ribbon I had gave her, leaving her pretty hair mostly loose in silky waves. She had barely met Saint's eyes before she climbed in the car and zoned out. "You don't have to worry about Saint saying anything about... You know" I winked but she didn't catch it. "Sainty-G is a gentleman and gentlemen don't rat out stuff like that."Something sparkled in the gloomy depths of her eyes, I think it was laughter and it was only a moment later that I found out I was right! Luna cupped her hand over her lips, hiding a shy smile and a sweet little bubble of laughter that had me feeling like I was walking on air. Then her eyes flashed to the kids starting to trickle out the front door despite Mrs. Ernestine's best efforts, little legs running just as fast as they could. "You better get ready, sweetie, because the natives are coming for ya.""Impey, what if they find out what I am?" She hurriedly whispered."Don't worry, these little guys couldn't care less. You're a brand new buddy to them." I barely got out the last few words before a little body slammed into my legs, quickly followed by the impact of two more. "Vampire attack!" I crowed, quickly scooping up one of the little ones attached to my leg and held her high in the air while she squealed with delight. Once the kids realized that someone new was waiting to be greeted, they all fell on her at once.She didn't have to worry. The kids positively adored her! A little rough and tumble blond six year old boy named Billy grabbed her hands and dragged her towards the house, a slightly smaller girl with glasses and shaggy red hair named Sara hanging on to her fluffy tail with a death grip like it was her new favorite toy. That was only the start of the adventure as more of the kids swamped her, including her in all the games and little activities. It was totally awesome and she always had the biggest happy smile on her face, plus one or two kids chasing after her tail and another small one petting her ears after the ribbon mysteriously disappeared from her hair.I really hated to leave, but Saint reminded me that a very important lady was waiting for us, so we did only with promises that Luna would come back soon and that I would bring my Orinthopter back too. Then we were off and on our way to meet the queen.As we drove, the buildings gradually turned into mansions lining the streets as they steadily grew larger and more luxurious until one massive glittering building dominated the entire area. Buckingham palace, the tall and dignified heart of London and the home of our very lovely ruler was the tallest of the entire area, looming over the other buildings with the sides of the building starting to turn the lightest shade of orange from the sun starting to set. I pulled the automobile into park and swiveled in my seat, a bubble of laughter coming out of my throat as Luna's pretty golden eyes bugged out at the sight of the palace. "You okay, honeybunch?""Um... Yeah." She stepped out as Saint opened the door for her."I'm not surprised. Buckingham Palace is quite a stunning surprise for those who are unfamiliar with it." Saint chuckled as he offered Luna his arm. She smiled shyly but accepted, walking beside the count with her head shyly turned down but still peeping out from under her bangs with wide eyes taking in every sight that followed.Leonhardt was standing by the door, shoulders stiff and back straight in a soldier's position. He nodded briefly as we climbed the steps. "Hey there, Old Man. How's it going?" I gave a jaunty wave and a smile as we reached the top and I think he was about to swallow his finely waxed mustache. My sweet Luna thought it was funny anyway, hiding a chuckle behind her hand while Saint just continued to calmly smile like he always does as he politely introduced her to the captain of the British Army.Leonhardt roughly cleared his throat. "Good evening! Thank you for arriving so promptly!"Luna cringed slightly, taking a half step behind me just from the sheer loudness of his voice. I couldn't blame her, the old guy was kinda loud to begin with, so he probably did scare her just a little bit."Her majesty is waiting for you! Come along!" With that said, Leonhardt turned sharply on his heel and led us inside the palace. As we walked further into the glittering halls, I noticed that there was an increasing amount of soldiers littering the hallway as we followed along behind Leonhardt, all standing perfectly to attention and armed with a military issue rifle in one hand. Security had really beefed up around the place since I had visited here last. They must be worried that Pesky Remus is going to try something. Hmm... Pesky Remus, I gotta think of a better name than that for him."Impey?" A gentle little tug on my hand interrupted my thoughts and I looked down to see Luna curiously gazing up at me. "Impey, Sir Leonhardt asked us to step in."Oops. I turned to see a rather impatient looking Leonhardt gesturing for us to step inside the regal throne room. Saint was already walking ahead, creepy happy Saint smile in place, and I scurried up behind him with Luna having switched to my arm instead of Saint's. The room was large and wide, but what occupied the center Queen Victoria was sitting on the throne, looking regal and totally beautiful of course. At the base of her throne stood the Marquis and Van Helsing, one smiling fondly towards us and the other presenting his typical grumpy glasses scowl.Leonhardt clasped one arm over his heart and bowed forward at the waist. "Your Majesty, I have brought them here as you requested.""Thank you, Leonhardt. Excellent work as always." Victoria stood up in a single smooth motion, sauntering forwards towards us with her eyes flickering over both Luna and myself with such sharp motions that I was starting to feel like a prized cow being judged before heading to the butcher. When her gaze fully transferred to solely land on Luna, inspecting each and every portion of her from the top of her head to the soles of her boots, I saw my darling's shoulders shake with a soft sigh before she raised her head and gazed back at the queen of England with a somber gaze."Why thank you, Ma'am! I count it my highest honor to receive such high praise from yourself." Clasping his right arm to his chest once again, Leonhardt tilted forward into a respectful bow for the queen once again, distracting her just long enough that I reached out and threaded my fingers through Luna's for a reassuring squeeze. An action that was quickly returned as she squeezed hard enough that my fingers almost popped right out of their sockets. My lips stretched in a tight smile as Saint and I bowed forward towards her highness, using what feeling I had left in my hand to gently tug on Luna's hand so that she might catch on to the picture. She did, dipping down into an proper curtsy."Good evening, Your Highness. May I present Ms. Luna Iselda as you requested along with Mr. Barbicane." Saint introduced us with a light wave of his hand."Thank you for coming, young lady." She smiled towards Luna before turning towards me. "And to you as well, Mr. Barbicane. It has been quite a while since your memorable presence has made itself known in these halls. I understand you have been kept quite busy with the way things have unfortunately progressed.""Yeah, it's been a while. Vicky-Q. I promise I won't break any fancy paintings this time." I saw Leonhardt's face turn about 12 different shades of a furious purple at my nickname for the queen, his hand flexing against his sword like he was itching to strangle me. The Marquis gave a flicker of an amused smile before he quickly composed his features into the polite mask he normally wore, as was Saint as they both proclaimed a rather calm air. Van Helsing was still scowling, his arms crossed over his chest and I think he might have been mentally trying to set me on fire."How dare you refer to her royal highness in such a manner! Apologize at once!" Leonhardt blustered but Queen Victoria merely waving him off with her hand."It's fine, Leonhardt. I do find the nickname rather amusing." Her head lightly tossed back with a small chilling laugh that sent a whole river of bone chilling shivers crawling down my spine. Victoria could be a little creepy when she laughed, like old lady who has a knife hidden behind her back while offering you cookies creepy. Whatever her plan was, I would be beside my babycakes the whole way. Sobering up, she walked directly in front of Luna who was timidly meeting her intimidating gaze. "Ms. Luna, I'm sure you realize the reason I have summoned you here this evening?""Yes, Your Highness. Because I was held prisoner as one of Remus's underground fighters and I was a witness and participant in the experiments that he conducted in Issac Beckford's research.""That is correct. It has not escaped my attention that you were most certainly traumatized from the encounter, but the experience has also granted you with a unique knowledge of the inner workings of his mind and his ridiculous plans to take over London using that rebuilt toy of his. Besides yourself, there is one other person who might contain some of the puzzles pieces of knowledge that we need to stop Lord Hasting. You may have heard of him through your companions,  Nemo. A former scientist of the Royal Society whose involvement in Code: Realize led to his arrest and jailing. He is currently serving his lifetime sentence in jail and under close supervision." Queen Victoria ruffled her cape on her arms as she slowly strolled back and forth, her heels making an unnerving click-click-click sound against the floors.I scratched at the back of my neck with one hand. "Nemo? He would have the knowledge of how to raise the Nautilus up or build a new one but since he's been in prison, shouldn't Scotland Yard have already interrogated him?""That task has been reserved for you, dear brother. Since learning of Lord Hasting's activities, Nemo has refused to speak with anyone except his best buddy who truly understands the miracle of science as well as he does." Out of the corner of my eye, I saw  a figure slink slink out of the shadows at the corner of the room, prompting a low growl from Luna and even a hand slowly lowering to his sword from Leonhardt. Tall and slender like myself, but with a considerable amount of female curves to her body that made her most devastatingly beautiful. My sultry baby sister Eva strolled towards us with hungry predator's gaze, raised one elegant hand and smoothed her palm along her neatly upswept scarlet hair that coiled tight at the back of her head in a bun, decorated only by a small glimmering golden hairstick slid right through the center. "If you ask me, the man is an fool who should have been locked in an insane asylum rather than a prison."Her crimson dress, so slender and molded to her upper figure that it was almost improper before it loosely fell into waves of fabric around her legs and feet, fluttered around her legs as she walked, almost hiding the large shaggy dog padding along at her side. Neve, a battle trained Irish Wolfhound that was as tall as some small ponies I had seen before, swept the surroundings with a searching gaze of twinkling dark eyes buried deep in the shaggy charcoal grey hair that covered her face. The motion was echoed by Eva's own emerald eyes as she sauntered over to join us, only to pause when her eyes met Saint's slitted icy blue ones. The air suddenly grew real stiff and thick like it does before a thunderstorm hits, and I could almost see the lightning flashing between them before Saint ever so slowly bowed in Eva's direction. "Lady Barbicane." His voice was ever so smooth, ever so chillingly polite that I was half expecting snowflakes to start falling right then and there."Count Saint-Germain" She returned favor with an equally frosty curtsy. "Your presence here is quite the surprise to me. As is yours, brother."Casually tossing a wink in my sis's direction, I quickly pecked a kiss on Luna's cheek that made her giggle slightly. "Well, helping beautiful ladies with their troubles and saving the world from wackjobs is just a day in the life of the incredible Mr. Impey. ya know?""Impey Barbicane," A woman in a golden yellow soldier's uniform shirt, a vibrant blue and yellow plaid skirt that reached her knees, and tall black boots stepped out of the shadows behind my Sis. Zadora, her friend and frequent partner in the darker things that Eva did for the queen. Zadora's voice was still heavily colored by her wild accent, bringing to mind wide open fields and a fierce wanderlust to roam across the land. I was kinda surprised that she still hadn't lost that by now, she was trained to be a lady just like Sis instead of just a housekeeper like she worked for Sis in between jobs for Vicky-Q. "You managed to catch yourself a werewolf, eh? I'm surprised that she didn't eat you yet."I heard Luna gasp softly as she took in the full effect of the head full of wild dark curls that fell past her shoulders, flawless features with snapping blue-green eyes that could cut you just as easily as a well sharpened knife. Zadora did have a shocking resemblance to Cardia, if you didn't notice the mechanical left leg similar to Sisi's, but that was where the resemblance stopped. Zadora and my sister were friends from as far back as I could remember, both being trained assassins for the queen but Zadora. Somehow she had been raised by a gypsy family, her missing limb not a problem for them as she had used a wooden one until I met her and Eva asked me to build a leg for her friend once she saw how I had built Sisi's. She didn't pay us any further mind as she went about greeting both the Marquis and Leonhardt with a hug before stopping right in front of Van."Hello, Abraham." Zadora ignored the others as she turned on Van Helsing with a small smile of delight, who I also noticed was coolly returned her burning gaze with a blank stare of his own."Good Evening, Zadora." His eyes never left her face as Zadora sauntered forward and planted a big ole honking kiss right on Van Helsing's cheek. Whoa! Hold everything! I think my jaw just dropped completely open but I lost feeling in all my limbs from shock! Van and Zadora? Together maybe? Somebody was actually putting up with Grumpy Four Eyes willingly? I managed to rip my eyes away from the scene as Van politely motioned her away, his scowl now deeper than ever and I thought he might actually shoot a happily giggling Zadora as she skipped away towards the queen with his rock salt shells, and glanced towards my Sis who was actually rolling her own eyes in response. So... maybe not then. Or not yet?"Impey, don't stare. It's not very polite." Two slender fingers prodded the skin under my jaw, pushing it neatly back into place, as Luna whispered softly in my ear."Thank you Zadora." I glanced up to see Queen Victoria had taken control of the conversation in just that little snap. "Were you able to persuade Nemo to reveal his expertise?""Sadly, no." Eva reached up a slender hand to twirl the ends of her braid around one finger, her scarlet painted lips pushing up into a slight pout while she continued. "Despite our most persuasive techniques, Mr. Nemo continued to insist that he would only speak to my brother. One item that he did mention was that he did not have a estimate on what Lord Hasting was doing. He even seemed rather surprised by our mention of him.""I see," A peculiar smile, almost a little bit motherly, crossed Victoria's features as she turned back to Luna with that piercing gaze. "Ms. Iselda. Would you be willing to answer a few questions in regards to Lord Hasting?"I saw her throat bob as she swallowed hard, her ears quivering under the band of the ribbon and her hand squeezing mine again, but Luna shifted her shoulders back slightly and looked Queen Victoria right in the eyes. "With all due respect, Your Highness, that's why I am here.""Excellent!" A sharp little squeak cheeped out of my throat as Luna squeezed my fingers harder, losing a little blood flow there while the Queen smiled so broadly that I wondered if maybe she had a little shark somewhere in her bloodline. You know, I saw a picture of one of those babies in a book of Fran's. All sharp teeth and bloodthirsty actions. That's exactly what I got from Queen Victoria, she was a really beautiful lady on the surface, smart too, but the British Empire was her baby and she would make like a shark to protect it. "Let's begin.""Don't worry, Luna sweetie. It's going to be okay. I'll be right here if you need me." I promised her. I really meant it too. Somebody would have to drag my unconscious body out of here if they wanted me out. I think Van Helsing came close to that when I started crying again when Victoria started quizzing Luna about her knowledge of who and what she encountered during the fighting rings, and when Eva started to rapid fire lethal questions about Remus's activities and did she know this person or that person, Grumpy Glasses pulled out his shotgun and started forcing me back against the wall. Zadora was even worse, her crazy-ass questions nearly pulling my sweet little fuzzy darling into frustrated tears. Thank goodness for the Marquis. He was so sweet to her, patting her shoulder and trying to calm her down like she was one of his grandkids who were upset. By the time they were finished, Luna had spilled her emotional guts like three times, ended up so exhausted that she fell asleep in the automobile on the ride home. I hope it really helped them, and Queen Victoria and the Marquis did apologize for stressing her so much. Luna just shyly smiled and waved it off, but I could tell she was still really upset. Something else the Queen did provide us with was a special letter of permission to see Nemo in his prison cell and stamped with her special seal of approval to be used tomorrow morning. Luna meeting Nemo, this will be something to remember, but I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad one.Luna didn't say that much during dinner, and by nightfall she was gone outside. Running through the grassy forest and the meadow out behind the mansion in full fuzzy wolf form, every now and then she would stop to howl, a bone shaking predator's call that had shivers crawling up my spine except they were the good kind this time. I spent the whole evening gazing out the window and watching her race around in the grass. She looked so happy and so sweet, I wanted to join her so bad but I didn't want to interrupt the me time she needed really badly, but it did give me a little idea.Note to self: make Luna a bigger doggy door for wolf form. She won't fit through Sisi's door.The next morning, we rushed through breakfast so that we could hop in the automobile and cruise on down to the prison. The guards were super friendly and helpful, waving us on through once we explained who we were and showed them the letter of permission that Queen Victoria had gave us last night. The lower floors of the prison were pretty crowded, but as we climbed the stairs into the higher levels, it started to clear out until there was only like one or two. According to the guard at the entrance, Nemo was supposed to be on floor number seven, but when we reached the floor, it was a little bit of a surprise to find it completely empty."Nemo's cell was supposed to be on this floor." I walked around, looking in at the various empty cells. Normally you could hear the guy before you ever saw him with his loud voice and everything, but the only thing I could hear was a slight sputtering sound. Almost like someone was trying to talk while choking or something. I frowned, glancing over to where Luna was pacing the hallway with her perky little nose tilted up to catch the scents in the air. She must have sensed something because her lovely features were drawn down into a puzzled frown. "Something wrong, Luna?""I don't know." She paced back and forth again, the tucked down portions of her ears were straining at her ribbon and her tail had dropped down from underneath her skirt to swish through the air with sharp slashing motions. "I can hear someone talking, but I can't quite tell where they are. It's coming from somewhere above, that I can tell. Maybe they are on the next floor up?""Maybe the guard got a little mixed up. Let's go!" Luna followed right behind me as we climbed up to the next and final floor of the prison... and I stopped dead in the doorway while she plowed straight into my back.With his back pressed against the wall and his thin legs kicking vainly at the air, Nemo was sputtering muffled nonsense against the thick stony hand wrapped around his throat and mouth. His golden goggles covered his eyes, but I could tell by the panicked expression on his face that he needed help bad.I had heard about Gargoyles before, but I hadn't seen one personally besides the little garden statues that a lot of people kept. However the  guy that was easily holding up Nemo with one hand beat the heck out of any rumor I had heard before. Taller than me by a foot with a heavy compact body that looked like it was carved straight out of granite, and I do mean straight because the guy literally looked like he was made out of rock! His fingers were as large as sausages, each one topped by a long razor sharp claw. A pair of large wings grew from his back, veined and webbed like a bat's except for a matching claw at the top of the folded up joint. When he noticed that we were standing there, he turned and snarled, exposing sharp darting dark eyes and a jutting jaw with a few gaps where fangs were missing."For the love of all that is holy, Gerald! Hold that blasted idiot still!" Luna let out a low rumbling growl and bared her fangs in the same instant that I heard that unmistakable voice along with the click of a cane against the floor. Remus lurched into view from behind the gargoyle's wings, a sweet smelling cloth held in his free hand that he pressed against Nemo's face while he leaned heavily on his cane with the other. His scarred face twisted up in a sneering grimace as he noticed that he now had an audience. "Oh, it's you!""R-R-R-Remus!" Luna's long rumbling growl sounded positively ferocious as she started to charge forward before I caught her shoulder, her hands curved and sharp nails ready to claw along with her jaws and fangs twisted up into a snarl. Her ears had sprung free, the pointed tips flickering angrily flicking back and forth along with her tail. "Let him go!""Oh, him?" He casually tossed a glance towards Nemo whose struggling was now slowing as what I suspected was Chloroform took hold. "As unlikely as this idiot is, I do find myself in need of him to achieve my ultimate goals since he was the original pilot of the Nautilus. So just step aside and witness the glory that shall rise with the Nautilus II!""Wackjob, just lay off the-" I had started forward toward the gargoyle holding a now limp Nemo, but Luna was already stomping towards him, claws and fangs bared and her eyes so intensely focused on the gargoyle that I thought the dude might go up in flames. Instead, the stone dude handed off Nemo to Remus, squaring up like a wrestler and arms spread in waiting to grab Luna as she stalked closer.I wasn't expecting her to take the gargoyle's hands, twist them around and up behind his back, and slam him into the wall like she was slinging a bag of rice. The whole wall shook from the weight of the impact of the heavy body, and a few marble white fangs went bouncing across the floor as the guy staggered around with a slightly dazed stare, one hand holding on tight to what had to be an aching head before he slumped down to the floor. "Let the man go, Remus!" Luna growled as she stalked right up to Remus, staring him eye to eye, and plucked Nemo right out of his arms before slinging his slender body over her shoulder like he was nothing more than a doll."Well, aren't you brave. Showing off your alpha female side for your new boyfriend, are you?" I didn't think the smirk on Remus's face could grow any worse, but it did. Before I knew it, I was standing in front of Luna, showing off a dangerous smile of my own, and crossing my arms over my chest."Wackjob, there's something you need to know about the incredible Mr. Impey and my darling Luna. She doesn't have to be something she's not for me, she's perfect in every way. It had to be that there's something up with you if you couldn't see that, and you tried to make her into something she's not. But whatever crazy scheme you've got cooked up, you're not going to succeed. Queen Victoria herself is after you along with the British army, and we've got a few powerful friends as well. So, you know, you could just give it up now and save everybody a whole bunch of trouble."For a hunched up guy, Remus was pretty quick with a uppercut aimed towards my belly that I easily caught with one hand. It only seemed to enrage him more though, his pale face turning a bright shade of violent red as he started trying to pummel me with his fists. "How dare you, a common leech, chastise me for what I can or cannot do! You are nothing! A disgusting scum that needs to be eliminated from this world! How dare you call me a fool? You are all fools and I will see you all eliminated if it's the last thing I do!"Remus never landed a blow because I picked him up by the back of his shirt collar, legs and arms swinging wildly as he dangled in the air. A thin trail of white foam dripped from his lips, his golden eyes rolling wildly from side to side like a mad animal. "Geez," I whistled through my teeth, "Dude, relax! Luna, what do you think I should do with him?"She shrugged and puffed a breath out to blow away a piece of Nemo's long pale hair that landed on her face, hefting his squirming body back up into place on her shoulder since he was starting to wake up. "Put him in one of the cells and see if you can drag Gerald the Gargoyle into a different one, I guess.""Do you idiots really think that I would only come with one beast as my minion?" Remus started spouting off again as I carried him into one of the cells. I frowned, starting to open my mouth to reply when I felt something small and cold hit my neck. A shadowy darkness immediately started spreading across my vision, blotting out everything I could see as my muscles just felt like they died. I couldn't raise my arms or move my legs, much less my mouth when I tried to warn Luna to look out."Impey-mfff!" Luna's voice sounded so far away, like she was screaming over a big valley or something but then it just cut off like someone had muffled her voice. I tried to move, I had to get to her, but nothing worked at all. Dimly, I was aware of something picking me up, but a deep throbbing ache in my skull pulled me away from everything into a dark world of silence.
Amor Non Exurat Flamma Ch.7"Are we there yet?" Prompto whined for what had to be the eighth million time. With his shoulders drooped and his arms folded across his chest to conserve any warmth that he did have, the violet colored bruises and weeping red scratches covering his freckled cheeks and extending down his arms, and his chattering teeth that moved the the whole time he spoke. Vassa's favorite chocobuddy was the pure picture of misery as their little party tromped through the extent of the Greyshire Grotto."Not yet," Gladio growled once again, voice booming off the ice covered walls like a Coeurl's thunderous roar from the sheer annoyance of Prompto's never ending demand to know how close they were to their destination. The sound was quickly followed by another one of Prompto's heart wrenching groans as he trudges on once again into the deepest, darkest depths of the icy cave.Vassa sighed, forcing herself to keep treading along by pushing one foot in front of the other. She could so easily relate to Prompto's feelings of despair. It felt like they had been walking for hours after the quick  but extremely brutal dispatch of the ShieldShears that had left all of them tired and sore from the unexpected quick blows of the heavy claws. Well, all of them except for Gladio. The burly shield had never stopped moving even after nearly being crushed between two of the massive hard shelled bodies. Instead, he was following close alongside a slightly limping and ice frosted Noctis as they walked deeper and deeper into the ever winding path to the heart of the grotto.Currently they crept along a narrow ledge just barely wide enough to fit their feet, the ice encrusted stalactites hanging from the ceiling were like giant razor sharp teeth just waiting to descend down in a single crushing bite. A shiver coiled thick around her spine, raising a fine sheen of goosebumps across her skin beneath the protective layer of her jacket. She clenched her arms tighter around herself, tugging her jacket closer to her figure to try and ward off some of the glacial chill while she trailed behind Noctis. Poor PomPom, he's probably freezing to death right now. She thought, but barely cast a quick glance upwards to the shivering blonde ahead of her before returning her gaze to her feet so that she wouldn't lose her balance and fall into the murky depths of the cave lingering below, but her mind wandered over the a particular fact.The majority of thoughts that was troubling her mind was the strange way that Noctis had barely seemed to notice the chill himself, somber faced leading the way though the winding pathways and caverns like he was being guided by some inner compass towards the fabled treasure. It was strange the way that he had become so quiet, only occasionally speaking to them in response to something they said. It was strange for him not to quip the sarcastic remarks that he normally dealt with a slight Noctis smirk. She really hoped that maybe it was the influence of his ancestor's royal tomb at work here and not just some evil ancient relic that might have been forgotten about till now and was preying on the king's mind. At least the attacks by the daemons had stopped for now, the only thing being the occasional small Imp or a blobby Flan appearing in their path. They had nearly been overwhelmed at first by the crowded masses of the chattering purple skin, sharp clawed creatures that barely came up to her knee, but their bony bodies were extremely agile particularly when sitting on the golden crescent moon they carried on their backs that rendered them capable of a hovering flight. A nuisance they may be, but a dangerous nuisance still the same when faced with a pack of twenty imps all chattering their sharp teeth for human blood.The attacks had come so often that not a single one of them flinched when one of the others called "Imp!" or "Flan!", quickly followed by a weapon sinking into the daemon in question before it could harm their companion. The most notable time that Vassa herself had flinched was when Prompto's gun fired off a shot that went whistling past her left ear in a blast of heated air, exterminating the maliciously grinning Imp that had crawled down the walls in a swirl of dark miasma and shattered ice. Prompto had eagerly apologized for her fright of course, but the favor was soon returned to both him and Gladio when her blades sailed through the air mere inches from their necks and into the Flans behind them, earning a squealing squeak from the blonde but a mere lazy glance and raised eyebrow from Gladio himself.Her mind returned to the present as they left the narrow ledge and emerged into what appeared to be a wider path that split into two large mouth-like caverns that laid ahead. A steady stream of frosty air blew up from some hidden depths in each of the caverns, freezing any warmth that Vassa had until she was shivering just as badly as Prompto was. Gladio was still walking just behind a stoic Noctis, warily glancing around in a constant scan for threats that were quickly ended with one swift thrust of his sword. Ignis, herself, and Prompto all trailed just behind them, effectively forming a little human train as they chugged through the icy lair and it's approaching."Hey, Ig! Shouldn't we be getting close to the center of the cave by now? We've been walking forever. Is either of these two caves going to take us to the tomb?" As he spoke, Prompto's voice took on a slightly nasal pitch as it echoed off the ice frosted walls. He shifted his weight from foot to foot as he walked in an odd little hopping maneuver that matched the shivering motion of his bare arms wrapped around his ribs and the chattering ring of his jaw.PomPom's getting so pale, he really is freezing to death. I hope he's not getting hypothermia."That was the very question in my mind, Prompto. Gladio, Noct, would you be so kind as to pause for a moment while I check the map?" With a slight creak of his frost covered gloves, Ignis retrieved the folded map from the inner pocket of his jacket and spread the fragile paper across the nearest flat ice covered surface, a small ledge that jutted out from the wall like a small shelf. "Noct, do you have any further feelings or imput that might be of use to us in determining the direction?" Ignis directed his gaze towards the blue eyed king who was currently gazing down the path toward the cavern to the left, the ring of scattered frost stretching around the exterior of his glasses was one that mirrored Vassa's own."Not really," Noctis shrugged, a light scattering of ice shaking loose from his shoulders. "I'm just feeling something from over there." He pointed towards the left most cavern. The very same one that seemed to be leaking the most frigid air of all. Vassa shivered again as she fought off a yawn that threatened to nearly split her jaws in half. Maybe it wouldn't hurt anything if she just rested her eyes for a moment..."V, Flan!" Her heavy eyelids that had been so near to closing snapped open in the same instant that the sickeningly sweet smell assaulted her nostrils. Her right wrist snapped back on instinct, her blades coming to her hands with just a single mental tug as the whirl and hiss of Noctis's warping abilities left a trail of shimmering blue magic up to the ceiling of the cave. He was hanging by one arm, the blade nearly being driven to the hilt in the ice as a sludgy blue ooze slowly dripped down onto the cave floor around her. "Yech! Really not a fan of these mushy things." Noct grumbled as he warped himself back down onto the floor beside her."Looks like these things don't really care for your royal opinion." Gladio growled while his hands were already filled by his large broadsword, the slap of metal against squishy daemon flesh was one that echoed off the walls as a squishy sucking sound. Dripping down from the ceiling as a product of the nightmare they came from, the Flans oozed down and reformed themselves into the roaring, golden glowing eyed mass with jelly-like body that could absorb most physical attacks. Quickly forming arm-like protrusions from their bodies, the Flans slowly started advancing towards the group with the slapping thud of their arms meeting the ice like the drumbeats of war. "Holy shit, how many of them are there?" Prompto quickly said as he fired off a second round of bullets that was quickly absorbed by the bodies's of the Flans. With a steady rhythm born from countless praise , Vassa alternated an arching throw of her blades followed by a quick charge forward to deal out a strong cross punch to the jiggly flesh before retreating out of range with a quick backflip as she recalled her blades. Something blue caught the edge of her vision, and once she righted herself up before snapping forward with a quick slinging motion, she swiveled about to see that one of the sweet scented daemons was sneaking up behind Prompto with an arm already extended for one of the bone breaking slaps.Her heart thudded in her chest, the breath caught somewhere between her ribs and her throat as she tried and failed to find her own way through the melee to feint off the blow quickly approaching her friend. Gladio wasn't any closer than she was, and neither was Ignis. Both men were locked in combat with a difficult Flan of their own. On the other hand, Noctis would be capable of reaching him if he warped. "Noct! Prompto!" She raised her arm high in the air and frantically pointed it towards the blonde who was now under attack by the Flan.Noctis nodded once, flinging his sword with all his strength in a single massive thrust as his body vanished in a trail of sparkling Lucian blue after it, coming to a halt only once his blade had firmly exterminated the Flan right through the center of it's jelly like body. "Say your prayers.""Thanks, buddy." Prompto slapped Noct on the shoulder, flashing a reckless grin as he fired off another shot. Vassa raised her arms above her head to block the incoming blow from her own Flan and the ring of the soft flesh on her steel blades was loud, but not loud enough to prevent her from hearing the subtle oddities of the sound crackling more than it should. Wait... that's not-"Noctis! Prompto! Vassa! Get away from there!" She barely registered Gladio's call before the ground beneath her feet crumbled away, a blizzard of icy shards and sharp rocks pelting her exposed skin as a curious weightless sensation enveloped her. Time seemed to slow, measured only by the frantic beating of her heart as her arms pinwheeled through the air but there was nothing for her to hold on to. The thunder of crumbling ground and ice roared in her ears, drowning out the fear filled scream that was ripping from her throat and the shouts of Gladio and Ignis as she spiraled through the air like a windblown snowflake.Then suddenly it stopped.Her body painfully smacked into the ground, something deep inside her cracking with the blow and then she couldn't breath. What air she had burned like fire, scorching her insides as her limbs refused to move. She could feel her eyes bulging, burning from the icy grit and leaking hot tears down her cheeks as she tried and failed to pull air into her aching chest. Shit... This is it... This is how I'm going to die."Vassa! Vassa, oh shit!" Noctis's voice, thick and raspy from his own screams, sounded from somewhere above her head. It was dark, too dark for her to see anything after the small flashlight clipped to her jacket had broken in the fall, or perhaps it was simply her eyes were too weak and failing to see any light that might have remained.  She could certainly feel his hands prodding her body to roll over, and a soft squeak bubbled from her throat as she tried and failed to shift onto her back. "Um... Shit! Don't close your eyes! Just hold on!" The hands left her, the quick rustling of frantic hands searching through clothes indicating that Noctis was searching for something he had stored previously. "Shit, shit, shit!" His voice cursed even quicker, seemed almost oddly funny to her in a way.Ignis would pitch a hissy fit if he heard Noct cursing that way. Language unbecoming a prince and all that. That's funny, I don't remember Uncle Regis ever cursing except that time when he smashed his toe against his desk. I think he broke it too. Hot and thick, something bitter with the tang of iron filtered across her tongue. She wheezed out a weak cough, feeling the liquid dribble past her lips and land against the jagged ice poking against her cheek. Suddenly her stiff fingers were folded around something vaguely soft and feather shaped, a surge of heat rushing through her bones with such strength that it almost felt like she was burning alive. She gasped, her back arching up with the strength of her suddenly clear breath as whatever inside her that had been broken returned into place with a neat click. The muscles along her arms and legs contracted, pushing her onto her hands and knees as she scrambled up to stand on her own two feet."Vassa, you okay?" Two hands landed on each one of her shoulders, providing a steadying grip as she blankly nodded and forced herself to swallow against the lump of bitter bile that was nearly bursting free from her throat. That lump was quickly tossed away as she felt herself being tugged into one of Noctis's rare but deeply clinging hugs. "Don't do that again. I was worried about you." He whispered into her ear and she felt the slightest trickle of a hot tear against her neck that contrasted with the cold tickle of the tips of his ice frosted hair ticked against the side of her face.Her tongue didn't work right at first, too large and too thick for proper words, but she finally managed to speak as she gratefully returned Noct's heartfelt hug. "S'okay. I'm okay. You okay? Where's PomPom?"Noctis released her except for a hand on her arm so that she wouldn't lose him in the darkness. "I'm fine, but I don't know. You were the first one I found and I thought you were... you know."Vassa nodded, but she wasn't sure if he could see the action. "Maybe he fell just a little bit further away?""Yeah, I guess. It's dark as shit in here. Can't see a thing." The creak of Noct's leather boots crunched the ice below the soles of his feet with every step. Even though the Phoenix Down had restored her health, her energy was certainly lacking as she found herself leaning heavily on Noct's shoulder for support as they tried to carefully feel their way through the darkness, mentally hoping that her next step wouldn't be her last. They had venture a fair distance when something started to glow far in the distance. The figurative light at the end of the tunnel."Hey! Need... A little... Help here!" A normally perky voice called out into the frigid air. Prompto's voice. He sounded like he was in pain. So much pain that her heart twisted deep inside her still sore chest at just the thought. She picked up her speed, hobbling slightly on a slightly swollen foot, but eagerly rushed to find out the fate of her friend.
Code: Realize - Children of the Moon Ch. 13~Luna~"Louve."My head was pounding, splitting pains racing up through the sides of my skull like lightening bolts in a clear sky. A soft whimper crept from my throat as I pushed my hands against my sensitive ears to try and protect myself from any further pain."Louve. Louve, reveillez-vous!" The insisting voice was harsh and deep, a crackling rumble of rocks crunching under a boot. When I didn't respond, the owner of the voice prodded my shoulder with one sharp talon. I blinked open my eyes and immediately groaned, a thin stream of light pierced straight through my eyes and up to my aching head with needle sharp intensity. "This is not time for sleep! You must raise, Louve!" The talons pricked my shoulder as a heavy hand fully descended, thick fingers clenching painfully tight in what felt like a prob for bones beneath my skin. I yelped, slashing my fingernails against the hand as I rolled up onto my knees. The blow bounced harmlessly off of thick stone like skin as the hand withdrew amidst a deep rolling thunder like chuckle.My eyes narrowed to slits, both from the pain of my aching head and to try and make sense of my surroundings. It was a small cell, almost similar to the prison cells I just seen previously, with a door of vertical iron bars as thick as my wrist framing the entrance. Bright lights were shining from somewhere beyond the door, illuminating a hulking figure that filled the majority of the space. I couldn't see the figure's face, but I knew the scent. "Gerald, what are you doing here?""I come to return favor to a friend, oui? You are in need of help to rescue votre amant?" His thick french accent was as thick and smooth as a lazy river, muddling what words of English he did speak into an almost french sound sprinkled with words of true french that he didn't know the English equivalent of. "You helped me, I help you. Is easy, non?""But Remus still has your family! I wasn't able to help you at all! You're still here, still working for him!" The last word left my lips as an anguished cry, one that ripped a choked gasp from my throat as tears started to roll down my face. I had promised Gerald I would help rescue his beloved wife and daughter from Remus's clutches, seen the love shining in his eyes as he swore he would come back to them, someday, somehow. I had spent so many nights whispering plots and plans between the bars of our cages only to learn that Remus was watching our every move with one of his mocking smiles in places as we tried and failed to rescue his family. The scars on my body were nothing compared to what I had hoped against hope that Gerald and his family had made it to freedom, but somehow I knew they were still here. My friend still being forced to dirty his hands with innocent blood.Gerald nodded, his dark eyes slipping into a slightly hooded expression with the heavy lids falling forward. One hand roughly shoved through the fringe of dark hair cropped close to his skull, briefly flashing a glimpse of the pointed ears resting almost human like on either side of his skull, before he raised his eyes back to mine. "Did we succeed, non. Did you keep your word, oui. Your honor is more important than the consequences of our actions. Comprenez vous? You are honorable, and I am honored to call you amie. Not many have pleasure of being named honorable by the Gargouille." His massive chest puffed out with that last statement like he had just bestowed some massive honor on my head, and in a way it was. Honor was something the Gargoyles, or Gargouille as they called themselves, valued above all others. Gerald had told me once that a Gargouille would die before they would break their word. And that was something I was afraid would happen."I'm sure Remus had you promise not to let me escape or help me in any way. I appreciate it so much that you want to help me, but you can't do anything at all."At this, Gerald looked mildly affronted. Staring down at me like I was a mischievous child with a glare that would have scared a lesser person had I not know that he was indeed my friend, a slight shiver of fear still grabbed my spine with icy claws and skittered across my skin. "Louve, do not judge the Gargouille, is bad mistake that many have made. Any promise can be made, many can also be casse, but there are ways to do none. It would be problem if I saw you escape, oui? But if I try to stop you, and you best me, is no problem." With that said, he angled out his jutting jaw and exposed the soft tender skin underneath his throat. "Make it look good."Thanks to their heavily armored skin, a gargoyle did not have many weak spots across their stout bodies. One of the most vulnerable ones was the area underneath their throat where a single blow could knock out a fully grown male, one that Gerald was now willingly allowing me to strike as I saw fit. "You're sure?" He nodded at my question, dark eyes narrowing as I clenched my right hand and drew back my arm.Wham!I closed my eyes at the last second, hissing through my teeth as my bare knuckles encounter his still strong skin. Gerald barely blinked, his stout head bobbing lightly with the lingering effects of my blow. "Is that it? You have grown soft, Louve."Wham!The second blow actually sent him teetering back on his heels, eyelids dropping to briefly shield his crossed eyes from my sight before he reared back up with a heavy snort through his nose. "Better, but still-"Wham!I hissed through my teeth, one eye squinting up in pain as I cradled my sore right hand in my left, tentatively poking Gerald's prone body with the toe of my boot. He was out, completely laid spread out on his back with his wings fanned beneath his spine, and left the door wide open for me to escape. I silently whispered him my thanks as I hopped over his body and started out with one goal. To find Impey.It wasn't as easy as it sounded. As soon as I stepped out of the corridor I was in,  I nearly ran face to face with one of the dark clothed and beaked masked men of Twilight's foot soldiers if it hadn't been for a quick dodge on my part. The further I continued into whatever location we had been transported revealed that it was some kind of massive airship, the staff being more and more soldiers of both Twilight and Remus's own dark clothed assassins in his personal service. Why was there so many members of Twilight aboard this ship? Remus had more than enough of his own men to run this ship, or he previously had in the past. Was there some new alliance between the organization and Remus?I couldn't stop for too long and consider that question. Instead, I kicked off my boots and padded off through the halls in my bare feet, gaining a little bit of silence from the repeated strike of the heels of my boots against the flooring. My ears twisted this way and that, catching the unfamiliar sounds that echoed throughout this huge place from all directions. A triple set of footsteps solidified and increased in tempo as they approached from up ahead, and I whipped my head back and forth to search for a place to hide. There, in the shadows between two steam belching pipes was a small spaces just large enough for my body if I curled tightly enough. I didn't take time to think, diving for the spot in the shadows just as two of the dark cloaked and beak masked soldiers of Twilight rounded the upcoming corner. They past by without even paying me the slightest bit of attention, too focused on whatever duty they had to preform."I've got to find Impey." I murmured to myself once I was sure they had passed and I crept out of my hiding place. My nerves felt like they were on fire with worry, both from the part that I couldn't trace Impey by his scent because all I could smell was steam, oil, and Twilight members, but also that I had been unconscious for period of time, and I knew exactly what kind of damage Remus could wreck in even the briefest of moments.I kept on, slinking through the shadows and hiding behind pipes and crates whenever I came upon a masked member of Twilight. I wish I had paid more attention to Impey when he was muttering about airship layouts and things, because I had no idea if I was traveling up or down, or even my exact position in the ship. It was an endless maze of pipes, machine workings that I had no idea what they even were, and corridors leading to more corridors. Gerald's deception wouldn't remain undiscovered forever, someone would notice I was gone and then they would find me.Where was Impey?I keep heading in the direction ahead of me until I come to a cross section of paths, one leading left, the other leading right. Both seemed completely identical except... something was off coming from the left. Angling my head, I tilted my nose up into the air and twisted my ears, trying but still failing to catch just a few little sounds that trickled down through the hallway. I couldn't even tell exactly what they were, except that it was something that sounded partially like a moan? A sudden gust of air swept down through the hallway, and brought a scent that I was all too familiar with.The bitterly sweet tang of misery.There's no other choice, I rush down through the left hall as fast as I dared. My bare feet soundlessly slapping against the metal pathway until I come across two Twilight soldiers advancing in my direction. A startled squawk and a hand reaching for their swords was the response they had to my sudden appearance, but I didn't give them any time to act further or sound an alarm. My fist crunched against the mask of the first, followed by my foot planting in the second's gut as they both go flying backwards to skitter along the hall. A second swift but firm punch to the head sends both into the land of unconsciousness, leaving their bodies as limp as dolls as I drag them into the shadows, hiding them in a gap formed between two pipes.I followed the scent down the corridor till I came to a certain door. One kick knocked it down, the metal falling flat against the flooring as I nearly gagged from the smell that came rolling out. Misery and death, fear and hate. As soon as I stepped inside, I was met with so many eyes that it felt like they were willing to kill me right where I stood. More stone skinned Gargoyles hunched over in their too small cages. Half dried Mermaid held in water filled glass tubs barely large enough to contain their scaled tails, much less their entire bodies. Delicate Fae, their upturned features and pointed ears visible while their translucent wings were pinned behind their fragile boned bodies with iron spikes. Starved vampires, their ribs almost as prominent as the fangs that drooped from their gums, and even a few nearly bald werewolves shifted fully into the wolf all filed the cages and cells contained inside the room nearly to the bursting point.My heart squeezed in my chest. I knew some of these faces in passing, survivors of the ring that had walked past my cage only to fight again the next day. They would kill in an instant when freed, no mercy left in their haunted eyes. It killed me to walk past them and ignore their cries, my brethren in blood and hunger, but I had someone to find.I followed the trail of his scent as it slowly thickened, weaving between cages of howling voices and searching hands to the very back where a few cells were embedded in the wall. "Impey, are you there?" I hissed while pressing my hands against the thick metal bars, trying to peer through the darkness inside the cell."Luna! My precious sweet angel! I was so worried about you! Are you okay?" Somewhere in the darkest parts of the cell, I heard something metallic hit the ground and Impey's form bounced out of the shadows to thread his long arms through the bars. A slight tint of purple covers one cheek, but otherwise he seems fine, happy even as he smiles so broadly while gently tracing down my cheek with his fingers. "I just knew that my beautiful, smart darling would break out of whatever cage he tried to put you in, kicking major ass while you went, but I was on my way out of here to find you just in case you needed a little Mr. Impey assistance."My ears twisted straight back, catching the first threads of the incoming footsteps of Twilight soldiers. "I'm fine, but I won't be for much longer. Twilight minions are coming fast!" Hurriedly glancing over my shoulder, I saw the door to this room open and the first of many of the beaked masked men enter inside, a long silver saber held in hand and ready to fight."Don't worry about them, you just scooch your gorgeous little self right over there." He pointed to a gap in the wall between two empty cages. "And don't worry about a thing. Mr. Impey's got a little lesson to teach these guys as a gentleman fully powered on the sweet, sweet energy of love! Just trust me." He finished with a wink.I slid to the shadows just as he requested, wedging my body right into the gap but able to spring out in a single moment if I was needed. A total of three Twilight soldiers and two of Remus's own black clad men approached Impey's cell, pausing just as they reached his door and gazing around to try and find me. My fingers curled into my fists, adrenaline roaring through my veins in case I needed to fight. I trusted Impey, that I knew for sure, but there was always events of fate that no one could control. Vaguely I saw him shifting in the shadows of his cell, a light mechanical ticking counting off that almost sounded clock-like. At the back of my mind, I recalled something Van Helsing or Lupin had said once, about Impey's inventions exploding more often than not.I should have listened.The door to Impey's cell blew straight off it's hinges with a huge explosion of steam, the weight of the door knocking the men down and completely out of the fight as more small pieces of assorted metal and other objects flew through the air. Wait a minute... was that a toilet lid? In response to the thunderous explosion, the chattering wail of the imprisoned sub-races reached a near deafening peak, screaming their fury out to the skies. It was nearly enough to drown out Impey's victorious crowing as he stepped out of his cell and carefully maneuvered around the limp bodies. "Heh, How you baddies like that? It was just a taste of the power of Mr. Impey's super powerful steam gun.""Steam gun?" I looked to where the previously white toilet lid was now firmly embedded into the opposite wall. "Sorry, but it looks more like you made a bomb with a toilet.""Well... You're partially right. I needed a sturdy vessel to contain the build up of steam made from a portable NeoSteam engine that I usually keep a spare in my pocket. It was a good thing I did too, plus the toilet lid also served as the ammunition, but I only had one shot so I had to make it count."I felt my jaw go slightly slack as I stared as his brightly grinning face in pure awe. That was either one of the most brilliant weapons I've ever heard of, or the most outrageous. I'd decide later.Impey casually sauntered forward, delicately laying one arm around my waist and the other around my shoulders so his hand could cup the back of my neck, tilting my face up so I could gaze into the deep green expanse of his eyes. "Thanks so much for coming back for me. It made me so very happy that you couldn't possibly believe it. I'm so glad you weren't hurt. I would rip this ship apart with my bare hands if he hurt you again." His lips briefly brushed the top of my head in a gentle but quick kiss. "Now, what do you say we get out of this place?"I gazed around at the sad, hungry eyes glaring at us with so much madness glittering so deep in the depths. I would come back for them and free them from their cages, that I would silently promise them their freedom and one day they too would feel the grass beneath their feet and smell the sweet scent of fresh air. So it was with a breaking heart that I followed Impey away from this prison and all it's miserable souls containing within.Thanks to Impey's superior knowledge about airships in general, we were able to avoid most of the patrolling groups of Twilight soldiers flowing through the ship. However, the exit was still not the easiest location to find."And... That's another dead end." Impey sighed as he looked down the shadowy length of another corridor. I started to look myself, but the approaching sound of voices from somewhere close by that had my eyes stretching wide with alarm. Impey must have heard it as well, his own head snapping around so fast that his long braid banged into his shoulder. "C'mere, quick!" He hissed, motioning me with his hand to slide behind a protruding length of pipe. It was a tight fit with both of our bodies pressed tightly together, but what I could see through a tiny gap in the piping overrode any discomfort I had.A hidden section of the wall opposite the corridor we had just walked down, revealing Remus's hunched figure leaning heavily on his cane while he spoke to another gentleman that I didn't recognize. Elegantly dressed in a long cream colored coat and a thick burgundy scarf wrapped around his neck. His long grey hair draped down from his dark top hat to end somewhere about his shoulders, a matching thick mustache and a small pointed beard of matching grey adoring his lightly age wrinkled face. A glittering gold monocle covered his left eye, the gold matching the ornate snake shaped top of his own walking cane. A few more Twilight soldiers and Remus's own minions stood to attention throughout the room, but was else laid there was breathtaking.I gasped in shock at the beautiful blue crystal that occupied the center of the room, carved and cut to resemble a lush bush filled with rose blossoms. It's beauty was so breathtaking that for a moment, I thought it was real. The delicate petals, lush leaves, and twinning stems all sparkling beneath the humming lights that it seemed like an insult that so many dark wires were attached to the crystal and spread across the floor like a thick mass of dark snakes. Placed on either side, I recognized the shape of Impey's invention on the left, but a similar but slightly different object was placed on the right. Both were connected to the crystal rose by lengths of finer wires."He did it... He rebuilt Cardia's Horologium and he's using it to power the ship. That's why he needed my Gravity Alleviator and the old man's. The new crystal is too large and the weight of this big ole ship is too much. It wouldn't fly without them." Impey whispered in awe directly in my ear, but I don't think he was actually speaking to me. As beautiful as it was, I couldn't help but see it as a weapon of death and destruction as long as it was in Remus's hands."How can we stop it?""We can't. At least, not right now." I felt my hopes sink like a stone falling through water and Impey rushed to explain. "If we can break off a small piece of that crystal and escape through that door way over there." I followed his finger that pointed past where Remus and the unknown man were standing to a small circular bay door was embedded in the wall."That's impossible! We'd have to fly to be able to reach that! It's madness to try and charge right through."Impey lays a hand on my shoulder, shifting around to stand in front of me on his knees and granted me the full view of big emerald eyes brimming full of unsaid emotion and a cocky grin on his lips. "Well now, I think we stand a pretty good chance of success if I do say so myself. Mr. Impey always comes through in a pinch. However, I do need to know one thing. Do you trust me?"My tongue darted nervously along the lower edge of my lip, my throat suddenly bone dry as Impey patiently waited for my answer. "Yes... Yes, I trust you."His smile grew even broader till his cheeks were so crinkled up that his eyes were smushed to slits. "That's just what I needed to hear, as long as you say you love me and trust me," He rushed forward so fast and scooped up my body in his arms that for one brief second, I couldn't tell which direction was up or down. I squealed, my hands flying up to grab ahold of his neck as he ran forward in a headlong charge straight towards the crystal. Remus cursed as he saw us coming, bellowing orders to the stunned soldiers gaping at our sudden appearance in shock. "Even I can fly powered on the wings of love!"I tucked my head in the curve of Impey's neck, winching in anticipation of the sharp pain of the saber thrusts to come, but it never happened. At the very last moment, Impey leaped high into the air, sailing above their heads and ending in a spinning kick that dislodged a thick pipe that ran along the wall. Clouds of great choking steam rolled out of the now severed pipe like a foggy morning rolling across the moor, instantly stalling everyone in their tracks save for Impey's headlong charge."Grab me a big ole chunk of that, will you Honey Bunch?" I nodded as Impey slowed down slightly, leaning back in his arms to reach out towards a long branch of the Horologium crystal. It was cold, but hard. My hands nearly sliding off of the thick thorny stem if it hadn't been for the stinging thorns driving deep into my palms. The pain was sharp and deep, drawing a deep rumbling growl from my throat, but I held tight as Impey took his next powerful step and the entire branch filled with blossoms broke off with a sharp crack."Stop them! Don't let her break it!" Remus ordered out, but it was too late. The instant the crack appeared in the crystal, a strange humming sound roared through the ship, sending several light flashing in a dizziness inducing pattern that made my head spin. Impey kept going, his target now the hangar door that opened with one swift kick of his boot against the control panel.The door opened with a soft mechanical whirl, revealing a beautiful blue sky lightly peppered with small smears of thin meringue like white clouds. The buffet of the wind churned up by the ship's engines thundered against my skull, ripping my hair free to toss about my head, and nearly sucking us out into the freedom of the skies beyond. "There's nowhere you fools can run unless you sprout wings!" Remus crowed out loud, his voice echoing around the room in repeated peals of mocking laughter. "Get them!"The soldiers charged forward on command, feet stomping and blades extended like they intended to run us through while those that had cloaks were nearly pulled out from the force of the wind. My hands clutched tighter against the shard of crystal, red blood mixing with the blue inner light to create a slight magenta hue as a thick coating of panic started to take hold of my nerves. This was a mistake. There was no way out. We were going to die."Luna, It's all right. No matter what happens, you just trust me. Okay?" Impey's arms tightened around my body, keeping me carefully cradled against his chest as he leaped up without the slightest hesitation into the churning air and empty blue sky. Remus screamed something, or perhaps I did, but it was lost to the beating of the air whipping alongside my head. My eyes were torn wide open, completely unable to shut as I watched the ship fade into a small speck sitting in the sky. The ground below rapidly grows larger, the lumpy landscape of downtown London steadily growing clearer as I could begin to make out the shapes of the individual buildings."Impey, We're going to die!" I screamed out as the air rushed to grab the words from my lips and tossed them away into the calm skies above. "Why did you do this?""Luna, don't worry. I told you to trust me, didn't I?" He laughs and hugs me closer to his body. "We're good, you just wait and see!"The wait wasn't long, a distant dark shape was zooming through the air at a rapid speed, quickly becoming clearer as I recognized the golden metal hull and the rapidly beating wings. The Orinithoper! But Impey was here with me, so who was driving the flying machine?"Impey! Luna!" A familiar female voice called, the soft tone almost drowned out by the wind as I saw a smiling figure with dark chocolate curls and big teal eyes piloting the flying machine with an expert hand. Cardia, and she wasn't alone. Lupin stood at her back, opening a small door in the cockpit to fling a rope out as the machine zoomed towards us."See? Told ya! We're totally fine as long as we've got friends like my beautiful darling angel Cardia on my side." Impey reached out and snagged the rope ladder with an easy movement, looking up into Lupin's lightly scowling face before adding a few more words. "Oh, yeah. And you too, Lupin!"The gentleman thief sighed heavily. "You two made it. You know, you really had me worried." Cardia tips the flying machine back out of the steep dive she had pulled it in in order to catch us and into a level flight pattern."How did you find us?" I called up to the ship."Ask Impey, it was his device that signaled us that you two were in danger." Cardia giggled with a smile, angling the machine in a drifting downward pattern towards London.I did just as she asked, glancing over at the broadly grinning engineer as he produced a small golden pocketwatch flashing with a little red light in the face of the dial. "You see this? It's a high tech tracking device capable of emitting an emergency signal and vibrates when the other half of the locator is within range. I set it off the signal when I woke up in my cell and made sure that the Orinithoper was approaching before I leaped out into the sky. I wouldn't have jumped if I wasn't sure that we would both be safe. I promised you that I wouldn't hurt you and I have every intention of keeping that promise." A thin thread of alarm crept into his gaze as he noticed that I wasn't exactly responding to his chatter. "Luna? You okay, sweet baby pie?""I'm okay, just a little shocked at how amazing you really are."A slight blush crept up his cheeks as he smiled so hard that I thought his face would crack in half. "I know, it's an experience really. Some people never recover from the realization.""And some people are simply amazed that someone like him can exist." Lupin shot off from above, earning a playful banter from Impey as they shot insults back and forth like only a pair of old friends can do. I could hear Cardia laughing up above as she piloted the Orinithoper into a descent, but I quickly threw a glance up at the tiny dot of the lurking ship up above, wondering just what Remus had planned next.
Amor Non Exurat Flamma - Ch.2~Chapter 2~"Night" Vassa smiled and waved her hand towards the older gentleman currently managing the reception desk of the Citadel. The man slightly inclined his head in a nod of respect towards the departing lady as she ventured out into the city of Insomnia for the night. The moon was high and the sky was dark by the time Vassa had finished her work, a very long and very trying day, but if everything went according to plan, tomorrow's events should go smoothly for Noctis's royal departure. The key word being should. With her car keys in hand, she walked towards the parking garage for the royal staff sitting adjacent to the massive skyscraper known as the Citadel and the residence of Lucis's ruling kingdom and the Crownsguard. A sparkling jewel in a city that was a modern marvel, she was proud to call it her home even though she did not technically live there anymore since she had moved into her own apartment further in the city as had Noct when they both started high school, a request of King Regis so that they could experience the most normal life possible. Spotting her little grey sedan, she pressed twice on the unlock button and the interior lights flashed twice as the door unlocked with a quick click. A rather plain car compared to what the other members of the staff and the royal family drove, her trusty grey car was dependable in it's own right as she slid into the seat for one of her most hated activities, driving.The streets of Insomnia were surprisingly empty that evening as she crept towards Noctis's apartment with a slow and steady speed that a turtle might have outran, but she arrived and wheeled into a parking space just vacated by another resident. Stepping out, she made sure that her Citadel attire of a dark pencil skirt that ended at her knees and an elegantly crafted long sleeve white blouse were all perfectly straight before beginning the long ascent up to her cousin's apartment. She quickly jogged up the steps with smooth steps, rejecting the elevator in favor of a little extra exercise for the evening, with her heels clicking loudly against the winding metal staircase leading up to Noctis's penthouse apartment. A tantalizingly sweet aroma floated through the air as she neared the top, gripping her stomach with a dull ache of hunger that reminded her she hadn't eaten anything since the hurried lunch she had wolfed down earlier that day before some other new disaster decided to descend upon her. Ignis had apparently been baking in addition to attempting to pack Noctis's belongings, to feed the hungry masses before they revolted on him was her guess.She was panting lightly when she reached the top of the staircase and exited out to the hallway outside of the royal penthouse. It was so quiet. Too quiet actually. She hesitated before knocking, right arm upraised and knuckles poised for contact with the entrance but a flicker of doubt flashed quick in her eyes. Perhaps she had been too late and Ignis, Prompto, and Gladious had already departed for their own respective apartments for a good night's rest and a sleeping Noctis was the only one inside. She pursed her lips in thought, considering the option of going in and risking the wrath of a sleep-grumpy goblin or simply returning to her own apartment when she heard a string of familiar beeping noises that brought a smile curling the edges of her own lips. "Oh, yeah! Gotcha!""You're going down, Blondy!"Deciding against the knock, she reached down and twisted the doorknob open."Hey, guys! What's up?" Vassa called as she stepped inside, four sets of bodies were gathered around in a semi circle formed by the cushy tan sofa that was backed up to the wall of windows overlooking Insomnia. Noctis occupied the portion closest to her and the door, his blue eyes completely focused on the flashing lights of the game currently playing on the cell phone in his hands. "Hey, Shadow. About time you made it." The prince of Lucis said without even glancing up from his current activity, the distinctive sounds of King's Knight coming out of the smaller speakers told her that their shared favorite game was the current reason while all four men were so totally immersed in the virtual world. "Yeah, I thought we needed to send a search and rescue party to find you." Prompto said, his fingers flying over the screen of his phone in quick jabbing motions that she feared he might accidentally break the delicate screen with his forceful movements. The springs in his end of the  sofa squeaked as he bounced slightly with excitement, a direct contrast to the loosely focused stance of Ignis as he sat on the opposite end of the sofa with his long legs casually crossed at the knee and his phone balanced in his lap. On the end, Gladious was the only one who wasn't completely focused on the game at hand. His well-muscled arms were crossed over his broad chest, an angry scowl directed down onto the phone in his lap as he watched the battle with undisguised disgust. His reddish streaked brown eyes briefly flickered up to hers before returning down to the screen to watch the results of the currently raging battle play out.Surprisingly, the apartment was free of the discarded used clothes, empty drink bottles, old cup noodle containers, and all the other random crap that her cousin had a tendency to accumulate across every available surface despite Ignis's most effective cleaning efforts. She ran her fingers across the small dining table occupying the center of the kitchen and was pleasantly surprised to find that her fingers came away clean. The boys must have worked overtime to make the apartment sparkle like this."Vassa, would you do me a favor and taste the sweets I baked earlier? It's a new recipe and I managed to retain one particularly for you without the unexpected removal of any of my digits from this ravenous lot." One slender gloved hand pointed over to the counter in Noctis's small kitchen while Ignis's intensely focused eyes never left the screen. "Sure thing," Vassa's mouth was already watering from merely smelling the tantalizing aroma, and she crossed over to the kitchen in four quick steps with her target already in sight. A small domed plastic bowl held a scrumptiously flaky square pastry baked to perfectly crisp golden brown and filled with a fluffy white cream that just peaked out from the edges like a small child playing peek-a-boo. She flipped the lid off with a quick flick of her fingers and sat it aside, carefully lifting the delicate work of culinary art to her lips. She gave a slight moan of appreciation as the crunch of the outer layers gave way to a sweetened softer dough inside that coupled with the rich but light vanilla flavored cream so nicely that it was like she had tasted her own portion of heaven herself. "Iggy, I swear. You've got to be the best chef of all time! This is awesome! Your best yet!" She complemented between bites.A slight hint of rose pink rose to color the chef in question's cheeks as his fingers tapped rapidly against the screen, much to Noctis's groans of frustration that quickly followed. "Shadow. Come here and join in. The Prince of Pain needs the Kickass Queen on his team.""Yeah, come on over and take a seat! Gladio's already been kicked so we could use a new fourth for the last round." Prompto scooted over with a quick bounce, creating a small sliver of space between him and Ignis would perfectly fit her smaller body."Thanks, but no thanks. I don't think so tonight." She settled between the bouncy blonde and the stoic advisor and was immediately wrapped within the scent of Ignis's Ebony and sage tinted cologne and Prompto's gunpowder tinged fruit scent, letting out a small sigh of relief as she kicked off her shoes and let her tired feet rest from the endless journey of the day's events. "So what's up with that, Gladio? You're usually not the first one out?" She directed her question towards the burly shield."Tell that to that little shit over there." Gladio pointed a finger towards the prince of pain himself. "The little goblin over there hid in a barrel and shot me in the back.""You're just mad because I thought of it first before you could shoot me." Noctis popped back as the game gave a particularly loud whistle. Vassa laughed as she watched the prince and shield bicker, alternating between looking over Prompto's and Ignis's shoulders to see who held the current advantage and occasionally offering her advice up to one of the two for a high scoring combo. "Vassa, I checked my phone earlier and I noticed that there was a distinct lack of items that required my attention. Quite frankly, based on the status of the events prior to my departure, I was expecting more than the small list I saw there." Ignis's elegantly cultured voice murmured softly in her ear, prompting her to turn her gaze away from Prompto's screen and up to meet the laser like focus of his deep emerald eyes before they returned to the screen below. "I do hope that you weren't holding off on any issues that had arose, now were you?"Even with the lightest touch of a teasing accusation that colored his words, a light guilty blush flamed her cheeks because she might or might not have put off a few of the more obnoxious demands to be dealt with tomorrow... or a few days down the line. "It simply wasn't that much that had to be dealt with." She shrugged. Yes, she was lying, but it was worth it since Ignis was going to be driving her princely cousin around Eos for the following days Ignis glanced back up once, suspicion glowing in the depths of the emerald orbs as he could tell the slight clipped tone of a lie, but decided that it wasn't worth the fight as he returned to the game at hand.Despite Vassa's best intentions to stay awake, it wasn't long before the heavy weight of exhaustion pressed down on her eyelids with undeniable influence and she toppled over slightly to her right onto a warm shoulder that smelled of sage and Ebony, easily falling asleep within mere moments of her eyelids fluttering shut. The softest of breezes caressed her face, gently tugging her slumbering mind into wakefulness  as she blinked against the sudden invading rays of bright light invading her sight. A crystal blue sky above shone bright with wondrous rays of pure sunshine sparkling down below. The air was perfumed with a sweet fragrance that seemed familiar, but yet the name slipped from her grasp like ink through her fingers. She frowned as something tickled the skin of her forearm and she glanced down, expecting a bug or some other sort of creature, but it was the velvety petal of a  violet Sylleblossom. She gasped, her grey eyes stretching wide as she raised up to see that she was sitting in a field of the most beautiful Sylleblossoms that she had ever seen, an completely endless sea of deep violet petals that gently bobbed and swayed with the lightest kiss of a breeze. This must be a dream because she was just in Noctis's apartment before..."Do not be afraid, gentle one." Instinct had her springing to her feet, her hands already in preparation to summon the small diamond shaped throwing daggers she frequently used in battle but for the first time in recent memory, the blades did not come. Instead, her fingers stayed empty as she brought her fists up into a crouched fight position before she finally realized the identity of the speaker and stumbled to her feet in a hurried bow.Gentiana. The high messenger of the Astrals themselves.A woman of ethereal beauty with a stream of long raven hair flowing to her waist, delicately carved features resting underneath a thick fringe of bangs that only served to highlight her flawless porcelain skin. A rich black gown covered her from neck to ankle save for the high cut front that allowed her to step freely in her thigh high black boots. A thin ribbon-like shawl of the purest white draped about her shoulders and contrasted sharply with the long sleeves and wrapped bodice of her gown, but the most striking of all was the olive green shade of her eyes that held the promise of an ancient power than a human could never hope to wield. "Listen well, Gentle One," She spoke once more. "For the world is changing quickly and the darkness is coming. Heed the call of the past and the call of the future. Cling tight to the bonds of friendship and love as they are strong and will not be severed no matter the weight of stress placed upon them. The King, the Sharpshooter, the Shield, and the Strategist will be in need of the Gentle One's strength in the coming days far more than is known." Vassa frowned in confusion, her grey eyes glowing with disbelief and self doubt as she shook her head in denial. "Gentiana, what do you mean? I have no strength to give. You must have meant to speak with Noctis-" "No, Gentle One." The Messenger's voice was softly spoken but firm with the resolve of the ages. "Each member will have a destiny to fulfill, and the Gentle One is no different. Remember the bonds and it will provide the strength when the body is tired and weak. Do not doubt the importance of these words because one day the life of the Gentle One may depend upon them."A subtle kiss of ice cold wind tugged at Vassa's mind, rendering the answering reply on her tongue mute and void as a sudden weight pulled down on her form. Unable to stand their own weight any longer, her legs collapsed beneath as her body fell into the cradle of the velvety violet petals below. Her vision dulled, the surroundings quickly becoming fuzzy like she had lost her glasses while the encroaching darkness slowly claimed her until the last thing she could see was Gentiana's softly smiling face.
Tears and Blood - Prologue Part 2 (Edited)One Month Later: On a sunny afternoon, a horse-drawn carriage was riding along a road in the Romanian countryside. Its passengers included a Romanian couple and a skinny Japanese business man in his thirties with dark hair and wearing glasses. “Hi,” the Japanese man politely greeted the couple. “I am Yuuto Sabanto. I’m a real estate agent from Japan.” “Welcome,” the Romanian woman welcomed the foreigner. “What brings you to our country?” “Well, I’m meeting with a client to discuss purchasing real estate in my country,” Sabanto explained. However, his conversation was cut off by a sudden bump in the road that shook the carriage. “Oh driver, could you slow down a bit?” “No!” the Romanian man disagreed. He had a deadly serious expression on his face. “The sun is setting. We must get to the village before nightfall.” The carriage eventually arrived in a little town. The townsfolk greeted the passengers as they disembarked. The coachman started handing luggage to the passengers. However, when he tried handing Sabanto his luggage, he refused to take it. “Oh no, please don’t take my luggage down,” the Japanese real estate agent politely said. “I’m not staying. I have to meeting someone at Borgo Pass tonight.” The coachman didn’t like the sound of that and tried to disagree in his native language. A portly mustached barkeeper noticed this and asked the driver what was the matter in their native language. Once the driver was done explaining, the barkeeper walked over to the Japanese man. “No, please put that back,” Sabanto said. “Excuse me, sir,” the barkeeper said. “Is there a problem?” “Well you see,” Sabanto explained. “I have to be at Borgo Pass tonight.” “What for?” the barkeeper curiously asked. “Another carriage will be arriving to take me to a very important client?” “Who?” The barkeeper’s curiosity was turning into nervousness. “An aristocrat named Prince Vlad, he owns a castle in the mountains. I’m here to do business with him.” The barkeeper turned to his wife, who was standing outside at the entrance of the bar. Both had looks of absolute fear plastered over their faces. The wife made hand motion in the sign of the cross. “The castle in the Carpathian Mountains?” the barkeeper nervously asked. “That’s right,” Sabanto obliviously confirmed. “No, no! You mustn’t go there!” the barkeeper pleaded. “The creatures living in that castle are not human beings.” “What are talking about?” Sabanto asked confused. “A terrible and nearly forgotten evil returned just a month ago,” the barkeeper explained. “It made its home in that godforsaken castle in the mountains. The man you seek is not who you think he is. He is a creature of the night that can take the forms of a wolf and a bat. He leaves his coffin at night, and feeds on the blood of the living!” “But that’s just superstition,” the Japanese business man said disbelieving. “Please sir,” the barkeeper pleaded once again. “Stay indoors where it is safe.” “But you don’t understand, I have to go. He is expecting me.” Realizing there was no way to convince the poor man to stay, the barkeeper’s wife walked up to him and handed him a necklace with a cross on it. “If you must go, then for your mother’s sake please take this,” she said sorrowfully. “It will protect you.” Reluctantly, Sabanto accepted the gift believing it would help ease their concerns. “I appreciate your concern, but don’t worry. It’s only a business trip, I’ll be fine,” he unsuccessfully reassured them. “Sayonara,” he big them farewell as he climbed back into the carriage. As they watched the carriage drive away, the people all looked as if they were attending a funeral. They had just met this poor foreign visitor and now knew they would never see him again. Some were saying prayers for him. One was an old gypsy woman with a cloudy right eye. “Oh merciful God,” she chanted. “May you have mercy on his soul.” Later after sunset, the carriage was parked at the crossroads of Borgo Pass. While waiting for the other carriage to arrive, Sabanto was browsing on his mobile phone while the driver was anxiously sitting in his seat trying to keep it together. Eventually, a mysterious black carriage pulled by two black horses with glowing red eyes rode up to the road and stopped at the crossroads next to the other carriage. The driver was a tall pale man wearing black robes, black gloves, and a black coachman hat. The man’s face looked unnatural, like that of a recently deceased corpse with dark eyes and sharp-pointed buck teeth. The sight of this man made the driver feel more unnerved than before. Sabanto disembarked, grabbed his luggage, and approached the new carriage. “Is this the carriage scheduled to take me to meet Prince Vlad?” he asked the driver. The coachman said nothing and just stared at the Japanese man with a creepy ominous look on his face. Eventually, he nodded his head in confirmation and took the man’s luggage. Then he motioned him to the door of the carriage which suddenly opened by itself much to the surprise of Sabanto and the other driver, who made a cross sign motion with his hand and immediately drove off. The Japanese businessman entered the carriage and the door closed behind him. Once he was seated, the carriage began riding down the dark rode. As they made their journey, Sabanto began to hear some ominous howls and looked out his window to see several shadowy four-legged creatures like big canines with glowing red eyes watching and following the carriage as it drove by. A brief flash of moonlight let him see that they were wolves. But there something off about these animals, the look in their eyes didn’t seem natural. Eventually, the wolves stopped following the carriage as it came closer and closer to a castle sitting at the edge of a cliff in the distance. The castle looked huge with multiple towers of many different sizes. The carriage drove through the open gates and into the courtyard. Once they were through, the gates closed behind them. Once it stopped, Sabanto disembarked and found himself standing in front of the castle entrance. Two huge towering doors stood before him. He walked up and was about to knock, but before he could even touch one of the doors, they opened. There was no one on the other side, no sign of anyone who could have opened the doors. Cautiously, Sabanto walked inside. He was beginning to suspect that perhaps there may be some justification to the villagers’ paranoia. The interior of the castle looked grim and foreboding. The only sources of light in the room were from candles sitting on furniture, hanging on the walls, and from the ceiling. Cobwebs were seen in multiple parts of the room. Suddenly, he saw a light coming down a dark stairway toward him. As it got closer, he saw that it was a candlestick held in the left hand of a deathly-looking old man. The man was tall and wore long black robes with a big collar. The robes were decorated with red patterns in the shape of dragons, gems, and golden jewelry. He had long white hair and a mustache, his skin was wrinkly and almost as white as his hair, his ears were pointed, his hands were wrinkly with hair growing on the backs and his fingernails were long pointy. A few rings were worn on each hand. His eyes were red and had an unnatural and inhuman look to them. Seeing those eyes staring at him sent a shiver down Sabanto’s spine as the ominous-looking man drew closer. “I am…” the man introduced himself in a noble-sounding and commanding Romanian accent. “Vlad.” “Nice to meet you, prince,” Sabanto replied politely. “I’m Yuuto Sabanto, the real estate agent from Japan you sent for.” “I bid you welcome to my home,” Vlad welcomed him. “Enter freely of your own will and may you leave behind some of the happiness you bring with you. Orlok.” Sabanto turned to see the coachman who brought him standing in the doorway. He was not wearing his hat and showed his bald hairless pale head, pointed ears, and face in greater detail. He was also not wearing his gloves which showed his long pointy fingernails. The man stood emotionless and awaiting instructions. “Take Mr. Sabanto’s things up to his room,” Vlad commanded. “Yes master,” Orlok replied giving a bow and leaving to fetch Sabanto’s luggage from the carriage. “Come, you must be hungry,” the prince said to his guest. “I’ve had dinner prepared for you.” “Thank you, sir,” Sabanto replied and began following his creepy host. The prince led his guest to a dimly lit dining room where lots of Romanian dishes were sitting on golden platters on one end of a long dining table. Vlad sat at the end while Sabanto sat to his left. “Excuse me if I don’t eat with you,” the old prince said. “I have already dined.” He watched as Sabanto put a few pieces of food on his plate and try them. “It’s all really good,” the real estate agent complimented. “Glad you like. I look forward to trying some of the ‘sustenance’ of your country,” Vlad said. “Well sir, you’re in for a treat,” Sabanto replied. “Ow!” While cutting some food, he accidentally his finger. Blood was seen dripping from the wound. Unbeknownst to Sabanto, Vlad’s eyes started glowing bright red when he saw the blood. He opened his mouth slightly revealing two fangs. The prince got up from his seat and started walking toward his guest with his hand stretched out. The look in his eyes was like that of a hungry animal ready to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. But before he could do anything, he noticed the cross from the barkeeper’s wife hanging around the real estate agent’s neck. The prince averted his eyes from the holy object. “It’s alright,” Sabanto assured. “Just a little scratch.” The prince turned back to his guest. The vicious glow in his eyes was gone and he seemed to have regained his senses. “Are you a religious man, Mr. Sabanto?” “Not really. Are you?” “God, Satan,” Vlad replied with contempt in his tone. “They’re both the same, petty, manipulative, and using others as pawns in a twisted game against one another.” There was a long and creepily awkward silence before the prince changed the subject. “May I offer you some Transylvanian wine?” “Sure,” his guest replied. The prince fetched a bottle and poured some into Sabanto’s glass. “It’s good,” the Japanese agent complimented. “Won’t you have some?” “I never drink… wine,” Vlad declined. Later that night, Vlad showed Sabanto to his bedroom. He saw that his servant, Orlok, had brought the luggage just as instructed. “I will meet with you again tomorrow evening,” the prince said. “Until then make yourself at home.” “Why evening?” Sabanto asked. “I am very… busy during the daytime,” the prince suspiciously replied. Suddenly, the sound of wolves howling was heard outside the window. Sabanto looked creeped out by the noise while Vlad seemed to enjoy it. “Listen,” the prince said passionately. “The children of the night. What music they make. Good night, Mr. Sabanto.” “Good night, Prince Vlad.” The old prince left the room and the door mysteriously closed by itself behind him leaving his disturbed guest to try and get as much of a good night sleep as he could. Tomorrow evening, Sabanto was sitting in his room on his bed browsing on his phone. It was difficult due to the lack of signal, but he managed to access a few things on his phone. “Is that one of those mobile phones I’ve heard so much about?” Prince Vlad asked suddenly appearing in the room giving the real estate agent a startle. “Yes, it is,” Sabanto confirmed. “Is there a problem?” “Not at all,” the prince assured. “I’ve been out of touch with the technology of the current era and would like to learn more about these devices humans use nowadays. I’m planning on purchasing one of those devices myself and must know how it works.” “Well,” Sabanto held up his phone so his host could have a better view of the screen. “This can act as more than just a phone you can take with you anywhere. For instance, it can be a camera too.” He stood up and aimed his phone at the old prince. “Smile,” he said taking a picture. “Alright, let’s see…” He looked in his photo gallery, but then a look of confusion and disappointment formed on his face. “That’s strange. I could’ve sworn you were in this scene.” The picture he had taken was of the wall behind the prince, but the prince wasn’t appearing at all in the photo. “Nevermind that, please continue,” Vlad urged. “Alright, you can also access the internet and the web,” Sabanto continued. “That’s where people nowadays go to find information for almost everything. Before you came in, I was checking out recently posted magazine articles,” the real estate agent explained holding up his phone and showing a slideshow of Japanese magazine covers. He swiped his finger across the screen every few seconds to show his host the many pictures he could view. “Wait! Go back,” Vlad suddenly ordered. Something among the slideshow caught his eye. Sabanto swiped back once. “More.” He swiped back again. “Stop.” He stopped at a magazine cover featuring a young woman, approximately 16, with brown hair and green eyes. “This one was published three days ago,” Sabanto said. “May I?” Vlad reached over and grabbed the phone. Sabanto released his phone and allowed his host to hold it. The prince held the phone in front of his face and stared obsessively at the picture. “Her name is Miki Makimura,” the real estate agent told him. “She’s high school student working part-time as a model and is the star of Kamigaku High’s track and field team.” He noticed the prince was still staring at the picture. “I know, she’s pretty cute isn’t she?” “Beautiful!” Vlad responded in a disturbing tone. He gently ran his fingernails across the screen with a lustful and passionate look in his eyes. Then he snapped out of it and handed the phone back to his guest. “Athletes, Mr. Sabanto,” he said in his normal tone. “I’ve heard of them. The exercises they perform is said to get the blood pumping through their bodies. Blood, Mr. Sabanto, is life.” There was a long silence between the two men for a moment. Sabanto stared at Vlad with a creeped out expression. “Come,” the prince broke the silence. “We have business to discuss.” The two men sat in chairs in front of a big fireplace in a dimly lit room. Sabanto placed papers and a pen on a coffee table standing between them. “Sign here and here,” he instructed his client pointing to a couple areas on the papers. The prince did exactly as instructed. “Congratulations. You are now the owner of these estates. May I ask, why are you purchasing five estates in this region of Japan and in such isolated areas?” “I have friends that I am inviting to travel with me to your country and most of them like their privacy,” Vlad replied. “Which reminds me, I’ll need you to teach the language of your country while you’re here. If I’m going to stay there, I’ll need to know how to speak fluently with people.” “Understood. Is that an ancestor?” Sabanto asked looking up at a big painting hanging over the fireplace. The painting depicted a man with long black hair and a mustache dressed in shining armor wearing a red cape and wielding a sword. “I can see the resemblance.” “He was a member of the Order of the Dragon,” Vlad replied staring up at the painting with a look of nostalgia. “An ancient society long disbanded. However, a new order may rise one day.” After their business was taken care of, the prince led his guest back to his room. “I will be busy for a couple hours,” Vlad informed. “I would advise that you don’t go venturing around the castle by yourself. There are dark secrets lurking in these walls that some are never meant to find out.” “I understand,” Sabanto replied. Sometime had passed and Sabanto sat in his room browsing on his phone. He had removed his business coat and the crucifix to get comfortable. Eventually, he started losing the connection and walked over to the window to try and get a better one. However, he saw something outside that demanded his attention more and filled him with fright. He spotted what looked like his host crawling along one of the castle walls like a lizard. He had seen many strange things during his trip that he did his best to put up with, but this was too much. Not bothering to grab his luggage or put on a coat, Sabanto ran out of his room and down the hall making his way to the entrance of the castle. But when he finally reached the doors, he found them to be locked tight. Desperate and completely forgetting about his host’s warning, the Japanese real estate agent began searching the castle for another way out. The scared foreigner eventually found himself in a room with four stone coffins. Three smaller ones lined up side-by-side on one side of the room and one bigger one was located on the other side. Curiously, he walked over to examine the three smaller coffins, none of them had names carved on them. Then he walked over to the bigger one and saw a name carved in big clear letters, DRACULA. Suddenly, he heard a noise from the shadows, it sounded like a woman giggling. “Who’s there?” the nervous man called to the voice. No one answered. “Show yourself!” He only heard the giggling again. Sabanto ran out of the room and into the hall. He heard the giggling coming from a nearby door. He opened it and saw that it was some kind of dimly lit study room. There was a desk sitting in the middle of the room with two chairs in front of it. Bookshelves filled with books stood on all sides of the room. There was so little light that the corners of the room where completely covered in shadows. Sabanto cautiously walked into the center of the room. Then he heard the giggling again, only this time it sounded like more than one woman. “Is anybody there?” the nervous real estate agent asked. Slowly, three figures started emerging from the shadowy corners of the room. After taking a few steps into the light, they revealed themselves to be three gorgeous, exotic, scantily dressed young women. Each one had different colored hair and wore a different colored, almost see through dress with gold jewelry that revealed their shoulders, cleavage, midriff and legs. One wore a white dress and had nicely combed blonde hair, another wore a pink dress and had curly brunette hair, and the other wore a black dress and had long naturally hanging black hair. The Japanese man found himself backed into one of the two chairs sitting the middle of the room as he was surrounded by the three women. The women slowly drew closer and closer to him with lustful and hungry eyes. “Who are you? What do you want?” Sabanto nervously asked as the women were now standing right in front of him inches away. The three women said nothing, they just made lustful moans and giggling sounds as they invaded his personal space. They started rubbing their hands up and down his body, along his arms and legs. One undid the buttons on his shirt and started rubbing his bare chest. The other two were brushing his hair and suggestively licking his cheeks. The foreign visitor wanted to resist this show of debauchery, but for some reason he found himself powerless to stop them. Eventually, his vision started getting fuzzy as he found himself slowly losing consciousness. Soon, he could see the faces of all three women staring at him hungrily. “You can go first,” the brunette said to the blonde. “Should I?” the blonde asked. “I insist,” the black haired one insisted. “Very well,” the blonde said as her face drew closer to Sabanto’s. The business man thought he saw two little fangs as she opened her mouth. Then she started moving toward his neck with those bared fangs. But before he could feel the sting of those fangs pierce his neck, a loud noise like the sound of a door being flung open was heard followed by an angry male voice yelling something in Romanian. Everyone turned to see Prince Vlad standing in the doorway pointing toward them. His eyes were glowing bright red with rage. The mysterious trio of women immediately backed away from the drowsy real estate agent and huddled fearfully in a corner as the elderly prince drew closer. “How dare you touch him!” Vlad furiously scolded the women. “This man belongs to me!” “Must they always belong to you?” the black haired woman whimpered. The prince approached the women and his rage seemed to die down. “I need him for now,” he explained in a calmer and gentler tone. “He has a purpose to serve for the coming war. And with his help, we will get a new addition to our family.” Hearing this made the women giggle with excitement as they began fawning over the prince like obedient dogs fawning over their master. “But are we to have nothing tonight?” the brunette woman asked pleadingly. The prince smiled and reached into his robes. He pulled out a bag that seemed to move as if there was something alive inside it. He handed the bag to the women who gathered around it excitedly. The three women squealed with delight when they opened it. The sound of a baby crying was heard amongst the squealing. Sabanto, who had been watching the entire thing despite his fuzzy vision and fading consciousness, was sickened and horrified by what he had just witnessed. Vlad turned his attention from the women to his anxious guest. He approached him and knelt down until his face was inches from Sabanto’s. The Japanese man found himself staring into the eyes of his host unable to look away. The prince swung his robes around so that they covered their faces in darkness. Sabanto felt as if he were in a dark place and the only thing he could see was the prince’s face with that devilish grin revealing two sharp fangs just like the women and those glowing sinister red eyes that seemed to stare right into his very soul....
Prince of Egypt Crossover Ch 2I do not own Inuyasha, One piece, Naruto, Bleach, Pokemon and Mortal KombatIn another room where two large statues are on each side. On right side Naraku was sitting on it. While Inuyasha was whistling."Well, that went well." Inuyasha replied as he sews a bag."Just go away." Naraku replied."Could have been worse." Inuyasha replied."The weak link in the chain." That's what he called me." Naraku replied as Inuyasha sighs and continues sewing a bag."Well, you are rather pathetic." Inuyasha replied."Irresponsible, ignorant of the traditions. He practically accused me of bringing down the dynasty." Naraku replied."Yeah, I can see it now. There go the pyramids!" Inuyasha replied as he laughs while Naraku jumps down from the statue."You can laugh all about it!" Naraku replied as Inuyasha approaches to a bowl filled with wine."Statues cracking and toppling over. The Nile drying up." Inuyasha replied as he fills the bag up with wine and ties it into a knot."Single-handedly, you will manage to bring the greatest kingdom on earth to ruin." Inuyasha replied as he went a the balcony while Naraku."Tell me this, Inuyasha. Tell me this. Why is it that every time you start something, I'm the one who ends up being in trouble?" Naraku asked as Inuyasha drops a bag filled with wine onto both Shang Tsung and Quan Chi and quickly hides. The two screamed in disbelief. Naraku sees the two drenched in wine."Ah, man!" Shang Tsung replied."Oh!" Quan Chi added as Shang Tsung sees Naraku up on the balcony."Ah! Naraku! You're in big trouble, young man!" Shang Tsung shouted."Naraku, get down here! I think you owe us an apology." Quan Chi replied."Oh, my new thing!" Shang Tsung shouted.I am so upset!" Quan Chi added as Naraku looks at Inuyasha who was holding a bowl filled with wine."You might as well." Inuyasha replied as Naraku grabs "By the power of Ra, you'll pay for this!" Shang Tsung shouted"We're gonna tell the Pharaoh!" Quan Chi added as Naraku grabs the bowl filled with wine and dumps it on them."Oh, look at me! I'm drenched again!" Shang Tsung shouted"Hey. I figured it out. You know what your problem is, Naraku?" Inuyasha asked as he and Naraku began to walk away from the balcony."What?" Naraku replied"You care too much." Inuyasha answered as Naraku grabs his wife."And your problem is, you don't care at all." Naraku replied as he spins Inuyasha's wig around."Oh, in that case, I suppose you care a lot more than I do that we're late for the banquet, for example." Inuyasha replied as he took his wig off revealing his white hair with dog ears and put the wig on. Which made Naraku frown.Inuyasha and Naraku ran down the stairs along with Yumichika who was trying neat Inuyasha's wig."I'm done for. Father will kill me." Naraku replied as Inuyasha pushes Yumichika out"Don't worry. Nobody will even notice us coming in." Inuyasha replied as the two approaches to the stage where all the people cheered while Shao Kahn and Sindel clapped when they arrived."Nobody will even notice." Naraku replied as Sindel approaches both Inuyasha and Naraku."Ah, the young princes." Sindel replied as she hugs them."Naraku, you were just named prince regent. You are now responsible for overseeing all the temples. I suggest you get over there and thank your father." Sindel replied as she pushes Naraku towards Shao Kahn."Apparently, Inuyasha, someone thought he just needed the opportunity." Sindel replied as Inuyasha sees Naraku talking to Shao Kahn and he approaches the two."My Lord Pharaoh. I propose that the sorcerer and the necromancer offer tribute to their new regent." Inuyasha replied as both Shang Tsung and Quan Chi were eating and drinking wine."An excellent idea. " Shao Kahn replied."Shang Tsung! Quan Chi!" Shao Kahn replied as the two stopped and looks at Shao Kahn."Quan Chi." Shang Tsung replied."Hmm?" Quan Chi replied."The Midian girl." Shang Tsung replied."That's a good idea!" Quan Chi replied."Go get her." Shang Tsung replied as Quan Chi went to get something while Shang Tsung stands at spot light which got Naraku, Inuyasha and everyone's attention."By the power of Ra, we present for your delegation and delight, an exotic apparition stolen from a faraway land." Shang Tsung announced as he summons a huge box and opened revealing to be a a camel Pokemon Numel and a girl named Kagome which caught both Inuyasha and Naraku's attention."We offer you this delicate desert flower." Shang Tsung replied as he pulls Kagome off of the Numel by pulling a rope tied on her hands. Which made the crowd laugh and the girl was near at both the Dog Youkai hybrid and Spider Youkai."Let us inspect this desert flower." Naraku replied as he puts his hand on her chin and make her look at him but Kagome tries to bite his fingers."More like a desert cobra." Naraku replied as Inuyasha laughs at him."Not much of a snake charmer, are you?" Inuyasha said in a sarcastic way."That's why I give her to you." Naraku replied as he pushes Inuyasha towards Kagome."No, that's generous, but." Inuyasha replied as Kagome gets mad at him."I won't be given to anyone. Especially an arrogant, pampered palace brat!" Kagome shouted as Naraku chuckled."Are you going to let her talk to you like that?" Naraku asked."You will show the proper respect for a prince of Egypt." Inuyasha replied."But I am showing you all the respect you deserve. None!" Kagome shouted as she pulls the off Shang Tsung's hands and using it as a whip which all the guards approaches to her."No. Wait! Be still." Inuyasha replied as he grabs the rope which Kagome tries to fight back."Untie this rope! I demand you set me free!" Kagome shouted."Be still." Inuyasha replied."Let go!" Kagome shouted as Inuyasha sees a fountain behind the girl."As you wish." Inuyasha replied as he lets go the rope which made Kagome fell into a fountain. The crowd began to laugh at her especially Naraku but Sindel frowned at him and was embarrassed."You there! Have her dried off, and sent to Prince Inuyasha's chambers. If it pleases you." Naraku replied as Yumichika helps Kagome out of the fountain. He and Inuyasha approaches to Shao Kahn."Father, my first act as regent, is to appoint Inuyasha." Naraku replied as he took off a ring off his hand and put it on Inuyasha."As royal chief architect." Naraku announced as the crowd cheer, which Inuyasha sees Yumichika and Kagome leaving. She glares at him and left. Which Inuyasha felt bad.
Prince of Egypt Crossover Ch 3I do not own Inuyasha, One piece, Bleach, Naruto and Mortal KombatInuyasha enters his bedroom and sees Kagome sitting on a bed."Well, right." Inuyasha replied as he opens the curtains revealing to be Yumichika tied up along with a Houndoom and a Mightyena. He sees sheets tied on a pillar that Kagome escaped. Inuyasha ran towards the balcony and sees Kagome and her Numel heading out of the palace which the camel Pokemon made noises "Shh. Come on." Kagome replied as Inuyasha climbs down and sees the guards coming towards Kagome's path."Guards." Inuyasha replied as both the guards looks at him"Prince Inuyasha." Both Chameleon and Noob Saibot replied as Kagome didn't move when she sees the dog Youkai hybrid."Uh, there's a... a man tied up in my room. Well, look into it." Inuyasha replied."Right away, sire." Both Chameleon and Noob Saibot replied as they ran into the palace. Inuyasha turns and sees Kagome left so he follows her until he finally caught up to her. He hides while Kagome was at the well with a woman named Rukia and a demon named Sesshomaru."Please, I need water. I have a long journey ahead of me." Kagome replied. "May God protect you." Rukia replied as she pours water into a jug and Kagome gets on her Numel."Thank you. Hut-hut!" Kagome shouted as she and her Numel ran towards the exit of Egypt so he ran out and sees Kagome leaving Egypt.Suddenly a glass shattered which scares Inuyasha a little."Oh. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I... Oh, please forgive me. I... I didn't expect to see you here, of all places, at-at-at our door. Mmm, at last!" Rukia replied as Inuyasha looks at her."At last?" Inuyasha replied as Sesshomaru looks at him."Didn't I tell you, Sesshomaru? I knew he would return to us when he was ready." Rukia replied."Rukia, do you want us flogged?" Sesshomaru asked"I knew you cared about our freedom." Rukia replied."Rukia!" Sesshomaru replied"Freedom? Why would I care about that?" Inuyasha asked."Because you're... Well, you're our brother." Rukia answered"What?" Inuyasha replied."Be..." Rukia replied as she sighs."They never told you?" Rukia asked "Who never told me what?" Inuyasha replied."But you're here. You must know." Rukia replied as she tries to touch Inuyasha."Be careful, slave!" Inuyasha replied as Sesshomaru grabs Rukia."Oh, my good prince. Um, she's- she's exhausted from the day's work. Uh, not that it was too much. We... We quite enjoyed it. But-but she's confused and knows not to whom she speaks." Sesshomaru replied."I know to whom I speak, Sesshomaru." Rukia replied as she pulls her arm away from Sesshomaru."I know who you are. And you are not a prince of Egypt." Rukia replied."Rukia." Sesshomaru replied."What did you say?" Inuyasha asked as Sesshomaru places himself behind Rukia from Inuyasha."Your Highness, pay her no heed." Sesshomaru replied as he grabs Rukia in order to leave."C-come, Rukia. May I discuss something with you?" Sesshomaru asked."No, Sesshomaru. No! Please, Inuyasha, you must believe!" Rukia shouted"That's enough." Sesshomaru replied."You were born of our mother, Izayoi. Rukia replied."Stop it." Sesshomaru replied as Rukia pulls herself away from Sesshomaru."You are our brother!" Rukia shouted."Now you go too far. You shall be punished." Inuyasha replied as Sesshomaru ran in front of him."No! Please, uh, Your Highness. She's crazy. She's very crazy. We beg your forgiveness." Sesshomaru replied as he walks in front of Rukia."Please, Rukia, let us go." Sesshomaru replied as he grabs the soul reaper."No, Sesshomaru. Our mother set you adrift in a basket in order to save your life." Rukia replied as Inuyasha was confused."Save my life? From who?" Inuyasha asked."Ask the man that you call "Father." Rukia answered."How dare you." Inuyasha replied"God saved you to be our deliverer." Rukia replied as Inuyasha approaches to her."Enough of this." Inuyasha replied as Sesshomaru shook his head and knew that he and Rukia are going to be punished."And you are, Inuyasha. You are the deliverer." Rukia replied as Inuyasha grabs her."I said, enough!" Inuyasha shouted as he pulls Rukia down and let's her go."You will regret this night." Inuyasha replied as he walks away but Rukia began to sing a song that Izayoi sang to Inuyasha when he was baby.Hush now, my baby, be still, love don't cry. Sleep as you're rocked by the stream.Inuyasha stops walking when he heard her singing.Sleep and remember my last lullaby. So I'll be with you when you dream.Inuyasha turns when he sees Rukia crying so he ran away from her but he bumps into a man which he got scared."Did you see him? It's Inuyasha." A man replied as Inuyasha ran and sees his home. While he ran and he began to sing.Gleaming in the moonlight, cool and clean and all I've ever known. All I ever wanted. Inuyasha ran into the palace stops at a pillar and starts walking in the palace.Sweet perfumes of incense, and graceful rooms of alabaster stone. All I ever wanted.This is my home. With my father mother, brother. Oh, so noble oh, so strong. Inuyasha enters his bedroom with all the stuff decorated in his room.Now I am home, here among my trappings and belongings, I belong. The Houndoom and the Mightyena ran towards Inuyasha and began to lick him.And if anybody doubts it, they couldn't be more wrong. Inuyasha enters in another room and he held a sword from the holder and sees all the hieroglyphics on the wall.I am a sovereign prince of Egypt. A son of the proud history that's shown etched on every wall. Surely this is all I ever wanted. All I ever wanted. All I ever wanted.Inuyasha steps back on a pillar and sat. The dog Youkai hybrid sat down and went to sleep.He woke up being as a hieroglyphic on the wall and looks around. Shao Kahn points at him then the guards ran at Inuyasha. So he ran and hides in a bush.The guards continue running on the wall which they went into a village. All the women screamed when the approaches to them. All the guards began to took all the babies who are boys taken away from their mothers.Izayoi, Rukia and Sesshomaru ran away from the guards. They hid when the guards ran upstairs so they continues running while Inuyasha follows them. The three ran into the forest that the guards didn't see them. Rukia puts the basket down near the river. Inuyasha sees Izayoi puts baby Inuyasha in the basket, putting the lid on the basket and pushes the basket into the river. Inuyasha began to cry that his mother saved him.The Guards chases him which he fell into a river along with the babies where the Feraligatrs. A shadow appears on him.Inuyasha woke up from a nightmare he had so he headed into a temple filled with hieroglyphics. Looking around with a torch in his hand until Inuyasha found it. He sees Shao Kahn pointing at a guard holding a baby, the other guards throwing the babies into a river with Feraligatrs.Inuyasha drops a torch in his hand and kneel down which he began to cry. Shao Kahn approaches to him and puts his hand on Inuyasha's head."The people grew too numerous. They might have risen against us." Shao Kahn replied as Inuyasha looks at him."Father, tell me you didn't do this?" Inuyasha asked as Shao Kahn looks at him."Inuyasha, sometimes, for the greater good, sacrifices must be made." Shao Kahn answered as Inuyasha stands up and looks at him."Sacrifices?" Inuyasha replied as Shao Kahn hugs him."Oh, my son. They were only slaves." Shao Kahn answered as Inuyasha steps back away from him and the Dog Youkai hybrid ran off.At the river Inuyasha sat down where all the Swannas swarm at."Inuyasha?" Sindel replied as she walks down the stairs."Is this where you found me?" Inuyasha asked as Sindel approaches to him."Inuyasha, please try to understand." Sindel replied as Inuyasha looks at her."So... So everything I thought, everything I am, is a lie." Inuyasha replied."No. You are our son, and we love you." Sindel replied."Why did you choose me?" Inuyasha asked"We didn't, Inuyasha. The gods did." Sindel answered as she sat down next to Inuyasha and sang her song.This is your home, my son, here the river brought you, and it's here the river meant to be your home. Now you know the truth, love. Now forget and be content, when the gods send you a blessing, you don't ask why it was sent.Inuyasha hugs Sindel where all the Swannas are at.
Prince of Egypt Crossover Ch 4I do not own Inuyasha, One piece, Bleach, Naruto, Pokemon, One Punch Man and Mortal KombatOutside of the temple Naraku puts down the scrolls on the table. Which both Quan Chi and Shang Tsung are listening to him."Last night, the gods granted me a vision. I'm not merely going to restore this temple, I will make it more grand, more splendid than any other one in Egypt." Naraku replied as Inuyasha looks at all the slaves working and getting whipped by the guards which he sighs. Suddenly getting grabbed by Naraku."Inuyasha! Look. Fate has turned our little misadventure into a great opportunity." Naraku replied as he and Inuyasha were walking"Get up, old man!" Kobra shouted as Inuyasha turns and sees him with a old man named Silver Fang."Father will be so pleased." Sesshomaru replied."Put your back into it! Faster!" Kobra shouted as Rukia sees him while Sesshomaru was working. "This is just the beginning. A gateway will open to an entire new city of white limestone, more dazzling than the sun." Naraku replied as The two Youkai princes went towards a tent where Quan Chi and Shang Tsung is at."And here, a statue of Hapi." Naraku replied as Inuyasha turns seeing Kobra harassing Silver Fang."I said, hurry!" Kobra shouted as Inuyasha turns away."Two great column halls." Naraku replied as Kobra hits Silver Fang with a whip which Inuyasha and Rukia got mad."Stop it!" Rukia shouted as she was to stop Kobra."Rukia, no!" Sesshomaru shouted "Somebody's got to stop this!" Rukia shouted as she was grabbed by Sesshomaru."There's nothing we can do." Sesshomaru replied as Kobra began to hit Silver Fang with whip.Inuyasha ran from Naraku and his group. Which he sees Silver Fang screaming in agony. The Dog Youkai hybrid began to ran towards them."Stop it. Stop. Stop it! Leave that man alone!" Inuyasha shouted as Naraku turns and sees him."Inuyasha!" Naraku shouted as Kobra was about to whip Silver Fang but Inuyasha pushes him off the wooden floor. Which Kobra fell down and crashed into some wood. Killing him instantly. All the slaves approaches to Kobra."Out of my way. Out of my way. Move!" Kano shouted as he pushes the slaves away and sees Kobra who is now dead and blood began to spill due to the fall."Who did this?" Kano asked as all the people look up and sees Inuyasha."Up there!" Hotaru shouted."It's him." Dairou added."Up there." Kabal replied as Inuyasha realized that he killed a guard which he turns making the slaves frightened along with Rukia and Sesshomaru. So he ran away but Rukia grabs him."Inuyasha." Rukia shouted as Inuyasha sees her and ran away but ends up rolling down. Naraku grabs him."Inuyasha, what's going on?" Naraku asked as Inuyasha pushes him away."Inuyasha!" Naraku shouted as Inuyasha ran out of the temple. As the Dog Youkai hybrid ran out of the palace, he sees Naraku riding on his Phantom steed chariot."Inuyasha!" Naraku shouted as he blocks Inuyasha with his chariot."Let me go!" Inuyasha shouted as he was to leave."No, wait." Naraku replied."You saw what happened. I just killed a man." Inuyasha replied as Naraku exits his Phantom steed chariot and follows him."We can take care of that. I will make it so it never happened." Naraku replied."Nothing you can say can change what I've done." Inuyasha replied as Naraku continues following and blocking his path."I am Egypt! The Morning and The Evening Star! If I say "Day is Night," it will be written, and you will be what I say you are! I say you are innocent." Naraku replied."What you say does not matter. You don't understand. I can't stay here any longer." Inuyasha shouted as he pushes Naraku away."Inuyasha!" Naraku replied as Inuyasha turns around."No! All I've ever known to be true is a lie. I'm not who you think I am." Inuyasha replied."What are you talking about?" Naraku asked."Go ask the man I once called "Father." Inuyasha answered as he walks away."Inuyasha? Please." Naraku replied."Good-bye, brother." Inuyasha replied as he ran away from Naraku and Egypt."Inuyasha! Inuyasha!" Naraku shouted as Inuyasha continues running through the desert, walking down by winds and climbing on canyons.As Inuyasha travels he trips on a rock which his sandal broke. He took it off along with jewelry but stops when he looked at the ring that Naraku gave to him so kept it on his finger and took off the wig revealing his white hair with dog ears. Inuyasha threw the wig onto the ground as the sandstorm appears and covers him with sand.A Numel walks under Inuyasha, which it sniffs and grabs his hair by its teeth."Oww!" Inuyasha shouted as the Numel lets go of him and spat on his face. Inuyasha sees the Numel walking away with Bags and a bag filled with water. Inuyasha got out of the sand and follows the Numel."Hey, wait. Please." Inuyasha replied as he grabs on a bag while the Numel continues walking.Unknownly Sheep Pokemon Mareeps appears as Numel stops at the pond filled with water which Inuyasha began to drink the water which made Flairees opens his mouth.Suddenly there was a huge scream"What are you doing?" A voice shouted."Help!" Another voice added as Inuyasha gets up and sees Shippo, Konohamaru, and Tatsumaki fighting with two men named Sektor and Cryrax at a well."Let our sheep drink!" Shippo shouted."Leave us alone!" Konohamaru added."Get away!" Tatsumaki replied as they kept screaming."Stop it!" Sektor shouted as Inuyasha sees a branch holding the two Numels and began to untie the ropes."My father's the high priest of Midian. You're going to be in big trouble." Shippo shouted as he and the other two were being held and pushed by Sekor and Cyrax."Hey, you. Aren't these your camels?" Inuyasha shouted as the two turn towards him holding the two Numels. "Hut-hut!" Inuyasha shouted as the two Numels ran off."No, no! No, no!" Sektor shouted as he and Cyrax chases the two Camel Pokemon."Wait! Wait, stop!" Cyrax shouted as Shippo, Konohamaru and Tatsumaki looks at Inuyasha. Which he lays on the ground but falls into a well. The three approaches the well and began pulling the rope as Kagome approaches to them."What are you three doing?" Kagome asked."We're trying to get the funny man out of the well." Shippo answered as Kagome approaches to the well."Trying to get the funny man out of the well. Well, that's one I've never heard before." Kagome replied."Help!" Inuyasha shouted as Kagome was shocked that someone is in the well."Oh, my. Oh, uh, don't worry down there! Uh, we'll get you out. Hold on!" Kagome shouted as she grabs onto the rope that her brother Shippo and his friends held on.They began to pull Inuyasha up which made Kagome recognized him."You." Kagome replied."Huh?" Inuyasha replied as Kagome lets go of the rope which made Inuyasha fall back into a well again and she began walk away. Konohamaru and Tatsumaki looks at Shippo."And That's why father says she'll never get married." Shippo replied.
Detective Conan

Mature Content

Mature Content


Mature Content

Death Note

Mature Content

Yu Yu Hakusho
A Christmas to Remember Pt 1 - Kurama / YYHakusho by Sarah-Lazic
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Anger | Bully!Asuka x Reader | NGEAsuka was as fierce as the shade of her hair.You never asked for any of this. In the first place, you didn't want to even pilot an EVA, but had become involved involuntarily because of your family. It didn't matter how well you did in the seat either, it never seemed like it was enough.At least, not for her. From day 1 she'd seemed to have it out for you, leering at you from across corridors, bitching ceaselessly about how you were an 'embarrassment to NERV', and even getting physical sometimes. While it started out with the simple threat of a raised fist now and then, it eventually evolved into her cruelly enough pinching and punching at times.It got to the point where you'd avoid taking the elevator with her. Several minutes could pass in there, and they'd feel like an eternity if she was around.Yet one day, simply put, you felt sick of it. If Rei could show you enough respect despite her standoffish nature, why couldn't somebody like Asuka do the same? It was her own fault that she didn't have enough maturity to act professional around here, if anyone was worth a write up it was her.So you decided to do something about it. Filing a report with Kaji would surely do the trick.It was so...lethargic. Actually calling her out for what she'd been doing for months now, and watching as Kaji took it quite seriously, diligently taking notes on everything you were saying. When you were on your way back from speaking to him you silently wondered why the hell you hadn't just come out and said something earlier.Silly...Hell, why not take the elevator from now on? The next day, you decided it was high time that you did just that. No more need to hesitate.Stepping inside, you smiled to yourself, feeling a little cocky about it all. If she gave you any stress today then you'd just bide your time knowing that she was going to be dealt with appropriately, if she hadn't been already. Kaji had insisted he would act upon it immediately, and you believed him.As you leaned up against the wall you sighed to yourself, relaxing and folding your arms. Today you could just focus on your duties, sure you would perform even better than usual now that some of the stress wasn't weighing on your mind anymore.At least...that was what you had hoped for. Unfortunately, life wasn't going to be quite so kind with you. Not with her around.The doors opened mid-way through your journey, and you looked up, instantly freezing when you saw her there. Although you sought to be confident, you couldn't deny the way she made you shake a little while you were standing inside. Just recalling all the trouble she had given you was enough but......Her face.Those sapphire eyes of hers were staring through you like two daggers, sharply piercing. Where her pupils might have once been noticeable, they had shrunken to the tiniest of pinpricks, and her teeth were clearly grit within her jaw.“You.”One simple word, dripping with menace.Instinctively you slammed your hand out against the button to shut the doors, but she was a step ahead, her pallid hand shooting up and piercing the gap between the metal before it could shut. Ripping it separate again, she stormed up to you in a blur.With one simple singular motion, the edge of her arm flew up and connected with your neck, thrusting you back, slamming you into the wall with an echo.“Ghh-!” you grunted as she hit you, instantly choking under the pressure. Asuka was remarkably strong, not that you were the type to work out all that often...“You talked to Kaji, didn't you?”Her words came out in a seething drawl while her free hand pressed the button for the highest floor, canceling your initial command. This elevator was fast, but not that fast, and you instantly knew you were in for it.“DIDN'T YOU!?”Her sudden roar made you jolt, her pressure against your front never letting up, only growing stronger still. It felt like she wanted to straight up kill you.“...I...I had to say something Asuka...I couldn't let this go on...” you uttered in a trembling tone, not sure how on earth you were supposed to get out of this.“Did you, really?” she asked, her tone simmering with fury, “So you think it's okay to just ruin my life, is that it?”You've been ruining my life for the past half a year.Trying to get across that much, you only found yourself silenced by the way she was holding you up against the elevator wall, your neck suffering.“...I really should kill you...” she uttered suddenly, causing your eyes to widen, “-Just thinking about the number of times you've pissed me annoying it is to even have to look at your stupid fucking face...and now you've gone and tried to ruin what I have with Kaji...”Her teeth grit openly as if she were some feral animal. You could scarcely imagine how badly she wanted to hurt you in that moment. How badly she had been wanting to do it for a while now.“I should have taken my chance before. I could have slaughtered you out on the field, I know far better how to pilot an EVA anyway!” the girl only seemed to be losing her cool more and more with every passing second, “You're nothing but a waste of space!”It didn't surprise you, hearing that from her. It seemed to be exactly how she had been feeling towards you for quite some time now.“'re right...” you finally choked out, “...I...I know you liked Kaji wonder you're mad...”In fact, it was less a case of 'knowing' so much as it was a hazarded guess. Yet when you said as much, Asuka's reaction spoke volumes. Her blue eyes widened and seemed bewildered.“...What the fuck are you saying, huh? don't know anything!”“It's true then...” your eyes fluttered a little bit. Why did you have to be so damn weak? She was really going to make you faint right now...There was a tense pause, her gaze flickering all around your face as she seemed to be struggling to process what you'd said. Then, all of a sudden, her arm moved. Air surged back into your lungs and you reached up to clasp your neck, shuddering and choking. A stray tear dripped from the strain, the relief.“...I hate you...”Asuka clenched her fists by her sides, looking down so her fringe fell across her eyeline, “I really wish you were dead. I really really wish you'd just go and die already.”“...Yeah...I'm not surprised...” you grunted, rubbing your throat shakily and pulling away from the wall, “You've hated me from the first day I came here...”Brushing feebly past her shoulder, you exited onto the top floor.Fuck it, you'd take the stairs.Asuka remained behind. Wordlessly, she turned her body towards the wall, listening to the mechanical hum of the doors sliding shut again, sealing her in there with all her rotten thoughts and triggered little worries.Her fist flew out in a blur of pink, smacking metal and drawing blood from her knuckle.Why?Still, she couldn't understand it. Sure, she always thought that Kaji was the one too. The stubbled man was someone she fawned over as if he were her destined one.Yet it was when you'd first shown up that things had shifted. For some reason that stupid face of yours was one she struggled to shake from her mind. You were always popping up in her head. Out on the field she couldn't focus, just thinking about you.Only you, all the time. It was infuriating, she wanted to blame you for it somehow. Wanted to rip you right out of her life so she didn't have to think about you anymore.WHY!?Why then...did it slightly break her heart to think of losing you at all?
Evangelion - The End and After, Book 2. Ch 6. by KarolyBurnford
Saint Seiya
Sleeping with the Scorpion Chp 2 by Sarah-Lazic
Black Butler

Mature Content

Bey Blade
Vampire Knight

Mature Content

Misty's Christmas Gift Chapter 3 Chapter 3: Misty's Decision "Are you serious, Kalin?!" yelled Crow. "You're not even dressed up properly!""Was he always like this, Yusei, Crow, Jack? You know, this weird dude when you guys lived in Satellite?" asked Leo."Of course not!" snapped Jack, as he face-palmed into his right hand. "Sure, Kalin was a natural leader, and he did play tricks on the other gang leaders. But not like this!""When you first met him, you didn't know he was a Psychic Duelist, correct?" asked Luna.Yusei, Crow, and Jack all nodded at her question. "Kalin told me after we defeated Lawton a couple of years ago that during our duel, that he felt some strange surge of energy flowing through him. I wonder if that was his psychic powers awakening?" stated Yusei."For reals?" asked Crow."Why did you not tell me or Crow about this sooner?!" yelled Jack."I'm sorry, Crow, Jack," sighed Yusei. "It's just that I couldn't find a good opportunity to do so.""I'm not 100% certain why, but every Psychic Duelist's abilities awaken at different rates," replied Akiza. "For me, my powers came when I was 10. And according to Yusei, Kalin's didn't come until very recently."Kalin smiled at Misty and asked her: "So, what would it be, ma'am? Do you accept my offer?"Misty closed her eyes trying to comprehend all this before turning her back on Kalin and the group. "I-I-I need to think about this!" She then flew back into her room and slammed the door in the death god's face.Kalin sighed in defeat as he turned towards the others. "Darn it, I blew my chance to show my abilities!"Yusei placed a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder. "Kalin…you did your best…""I'm not satisfied by this, Yusei!" gritted Kalin. "Am I not good enough to be a psychic?"Yusei turned to look at Kalin sternly in the face. "Kalin, listen to me! Don't let what happened today stop you from achieving your goals! You are a talented Psychic Duelist!""Yusei…"muttered Kalin.Yusei is right!" added Akiza. "Before we dueled, I always saw myself as a reject and a failure. He taught me to never give in to anger and to always keep pushing forward.""Hey, you can always use your powers on criminals!" joked Crow."Or maybe use it to drive fast!" laughed Jack."Or perhaps find another person who lost another family member," added Luna."Or play a really cool match of Duel Monsters!" smiled Leo.Kalin smiled a little. "Guys, thank you.""Let's go grab something to eat," said Yusei. Everyone nodded and began to walk towards the elevator. However, before they could press the button, the door to Misty's room suddenly sprang open. The team turned towards the noise in shock when they saw Misty standing before them, fully dressed."Wait! Mr. Death God!" yelled Misty. "I-I've made my decision! I accept your offer! Please let me see my brother!""M-Misty?" murmured Kalin in surprise. He then cleared his throat and smiled, resuming his "Death God" persona. "Er, excellent, ma'am. However, before our deal is complete, there is still one more fulfillment you must make.""What is it?" asked Misty."My, um, servants who have summoned me here have informed me of a certain play of yours called 'The Legend of Princess Kaguya'. I find it quite intriguing, as I have always been fond of human cultures.""Of course you may watch it, Mr. Death God," bowed Misty."Thank you, ma'am," smiled Kalin. "Now, shall we be off?"Misty nodded and entered the elevator with the rest of the team. While they were heading down, Jack couldn't take Kalin's wacky acting anymore and grumbled in his ear."Kalin, who are you calling 'your servants'?! We're your friends!""Jack, I'm just simply acting!" replied Kalin. "Can't you take the joke?""Since when did you tell jokes?" snapped Jack. "In all my years of knowing you, you were never the one for jokes!""Boys, calm down, before Misty hears you," sighed Akiza. Yusei couldn't help but chuckle.The Enforcers and Misty left the hotel and walked several blocks to the site where the once-proud Arcadia Movement headquarters once stood. After hearing the evidence Yusei gathered during his battle with Sayer, The Public Service Bureau declared the Arcadia Movement a terrorist organization and ordered the building completely demolished. In its place was an open memorial dedicated to the victims of the Movement's crimes."Here we are. The site where the Arcadia Movement used to be," said Akiza."I feel a great sadness," said Luna. "It's as if the duel spirits are crying out to their masters.""Could it be, that we can find Toby here?" asked Leo."I'm sure of it," replied Yusei. "Let's look for his name."The Enforcers proceeded to search all over the memorial for the name 'Toby Tredwell'. In the meantime, Misty remained quiet, not knowing what to say. Luna caught sight of the actress' confusion and asked her a question."Lady Misty? Are you alright?""Are you certain your friend can help me speak with Toby?" asked Misty."I'm sure he can. You just got to believe in him!" smiled Luna.Crow found the name and pointed triumphantly: "There's his name! Toby Tredwell, correct?"Misty nodded. "Yes, that's his name." Kalin walked up to the plaque and took a deep breath. "Alright, everyone, stand back and keep quiet. I will now proceed to summon Toby here." He put his hands on the memorial, closed his eyes, and began to concentrate. The Enforcers and Misty stood about 10 feet away from the memorial in silence, praying that their plan would work.
Love Hina

Mature Content

The Beast That I Am 6 by OrionPax09
Purple Haze: Definitive Edition Chapter 9 by RuuRuu-Chan
Ao no Exorcist

Mature Content

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

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The Labyrinth of Magic

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Mature Content

Pandora Hearts
Skip Beat

Mature Content

Nanatsu no Taizai

Mature Content

Strike Witches
Strike Witches Assault Chapter 1 by Jake-Jakers
Kill la Kill
Psycho Pass
PSYCHO-PASS : C. M - Dirty Little Secret (pt. 37)
PART 37 – Dirty Little SecretGino still had that blank stare when she closed the door behind them. He was absent-minded, not really aware of his surroundings, or even of Shizuka’s presence in those first few moments. He was too preoccupied with Sae’s condition to think about anything else. To Shizuka, he seemed drained. Empty. Numb. Defeated, even. His whole life started crumbling aroung him. His private situation… his job… his associates… his friends… his family… everything about his current state was affecting him. Suffocating him, even. To summarize… it was getting to him on all levels. Emotional… intellectual… social, any and all. It started eating him on the inside. The best indicator was his hue. He wasn’t able to fight the overall pressure anymore, not even when he attempted masking it as anger. He was just… plainly, heavily hit.While he was thinking about the emptiness he currently felt… he became aware of one thing. The warmth of her fingers over his own. In comparison, his hand felt much colder. She wasn’t aware she was still holding him ‘till the moment he pulled out his hand. He stepped away to remove his shoes. Once he did that, Gino leaned against her door, taking a deep, slow breath. She anxiously anticipated him to start falling apart… but Ginoza was too stern to let it show. Showing even this much… was disturbing enough for him. He always bottled his emotions. “Is Sae-san… at the hospital?” she asked, opening the first button on his pea coat, thinking about how his coats were really well-tailored and pretty refined. Made of best materials. Comfortable. Simple in design… but elegant. True representation of Gino. Only then… she realized how her simple act of help could be misinterpreted. She slowly put her hands down and he picked up unbuttoning where she stopped. After he was done, he handed the coat back to her so she could put it away to dry. He did the same with his suit. “I transferred mom to Okinawa,” Gino responded softly. Shizuka nodded, thinking how she’d probably do the same in his place. He made another brief pause before he spoke again. “I won’t have her in the hospital anymore. I hired a nurse to look over her, she is sending me reports every couple of hours. I also have an AI assistant working the security. I provided something of a home-clinic for her… since…”His voice cracked. He took a moment. Since doctors don’t have much hope. She knew how hospitals were in general. She also knew about the disease that Sae faced. Painful memories resurfaced… and she felt so sad about Nobuchika. “How is she now?” Shizuka threaded carefully, in case he was too sensitive to open up further regarding this topic. He looked aside. He swallowed, and took another deep breath. “Silent… looking at one point through the window… without response. She doesn’t show signs that she can hear me anymore. It feels like talking to a doll now. Breathing… living doll… that occasionally blinks in her wheelchair. She doesn’t hear. She doesn’t react. She used to at least demonstrate signs of comprehension. But now… she is completely out of reach.” How must it hurt… to feel so alone in this world. Shizuka at least had Mio… Sayo… and Kogami. Even Ginoza, for he never strayed too far when she needed him to be around for her. But, Gino… seemingly didn’t have that kind of support. Not from Masaoka… from Kogami… not even Shizuka. He felt like they all failed him. Abandoned him. It made the whole thing even more difficult. “I am sure she will recover, Gino. I know it’s a bit preposterous of me to assume that, since I am not a medical worker or anything… but, based on what I know about your mom, I honestly believe she will get better. She is a strong woman… and the mere fact that she is still resisting her illness, and not giving in, means that she cares about you. That she won’t stop fighting. For… she isn’t fighting just for her sake… she is fighting for you too. So… please… don’t despair. Sae-san will get better. You will see.” She softly touched his hair, removing the lock away so she could meet his gaze. “After this… I wish I could say I believe that will happen,” he said.She remembered it. That feeling of being utterly useless when your parent gets into a vegetative state. How hard… it was to know you are doing everything you can… but you can’t ultimately do anything for them. “I look in her eyes… and I can’t find her anymore,” he whispered. Shizuka’s eyes were gleaming… because she was getting teary. He saw his reflection in those orange-pigmented irises.“She will pull through,” she insisted, and he wasn’t sure who she tried to convince with those words. “The doctor says… that I should reconsider…” Putting her off the life-support system. Shorten the agony. Yes… she knew.“But you hadn’t… as I know you won’t either,” Shizuka stated. “Listen… there are new pharmaceutical solutions for this. New ways to treat…” Even when she spoke, she knew he’d dislike those remarks. “If those were of any help, don’t you think Hana would still be alive today?” he asked. He wasn’t trying to be mean… he just made a valid contra-argument. “When mom was ill… medical trials weren’t as promising as they are now,” Shizuka pointed out without resentment. She could forgive his words when he was like this. Because… it wasn’t just him talking… it was the pain. The despair. The bitterness and self-loathing… for not being able to do more. It was the anticipation that was hard to deal with… not the outcome. He slowly touched where her hand was just a moment ago. “I should probably leave,” Ginoza said, already regretting his decision to come at her house. Too much pent-up energy. Too many unresolved emotions. And in this state… he might not have control over his impulses. Or his anger. He might end up making things worse. “Before you try out my baguettes?” she smiled, trying to lighten the mood. “They are from this morning, but still edible. Or… at least… I think they are edible.”Gino liked bread delicacies. He loved all types of baked goods. He just wasn’t sure it was good idea to stay with her. Especially tonight, and especially there. “Seriously, you never change. Trying to bribe me with food like we are still children,” he uttered, removing his tie and putting it around his shoulders.She gloated a bit, removing her suit jacket, putting it away to dry next to Gino’s coat. Since she got wet in the rain, the fabric of her shirt became a bit transparent and revealed parts of her figure. Not much, since she didn’t get soaked like he did… but still. He tried not to look and yet, he grazed her with his eyes. The first three buttons were opened; she always had her collar loosened a bit. He saw lines of her bra, forming shapes underneath the white overlay. Navy-blue lace. And a lot of lace. He blushed. Fool. Where the Hell do you think you are looking at?Still… he kept his eyes on her for a moment longer than he planned. Then, he averted his gaze, looking around her apartment to see if she made any changes since the last time he’s visited. Her home always looked modern, and quite cozy. Turquoise and black tones were dominant in the whole space; these colors spread through her living room and the hall in variations. Shizuka preferred futuristic style when it came to interior decoration (of course, when she didn’t use holographic overlays). She had those walls with neon illumination that gave city-like look to interior to the interior. In the corner, there was still that hideous vase where she kept her fake plant. Shizuka was never good at keeping real plants alive long enough. More than once, she’d come to ask on his advice about handling greenery with a serious look on her face… and he’d always find it hilarious. Well… at least her cactus was alive.She still kept everything intact. The same way as it was when she moved in with Kogami. The only addition was a fish tank in her living room, with a single betta fish that lively swum around, displaying all those vivid blue and purple colors. Shizuka named it Archie, for unknown reasons. For a girl that kept killing plants, she was good at taking care of her little water-pet. And good at keeping small reminders of Kogami all around. Being alone with her… at this point… just provoked additional frustration on Gino’s part.“I am making that tea that I lured you in with. In the meantime, you can take a shower so you don’t get sick. There are clean towels, and… well, I’ll have to improvise the clothes.”She already disappeared into her bathroom and started looking.“Are you seriously bringing me Kogami’s old clothes to wear?” he raised his eyebrow, pure disbelief in his voice, but Shizuka laughed, finding it funny. “Why wouldn’t I? You are of almost the same height,” she teased, but Gino wasn’t amused. He put his cravat over the chair. He also unbuttoned his shirt, hesitantly revealing his torso. There was a bit of inner turmoil in him… he wasn’t comfortable with removing his clothes in front of her, regardless of what he felt for her. But, he wasn’t going to lose his face in front of her just because she was experienced and he wasn’t. So, he kept removing the shirt, pretending it wasn’t a big deal. Surprisingly, he managed to fool her. He also put another thing to the test – her own reaction. “I won’t wear his things, Akibara.” Akibara. Already official treatment, huh? “Okay, okay… I was joking, take it easy,” she uttered, thinking how easily he lit up. He was like a match, catching fire of his own anger. “I would, but again… this place is still practically a Shinya-shrine. It’s almost like you are worshiping him or something,” Gino said, pulling the fabrics from his shoulders. Shizuka didn’t want to look… but her curiosity got the better of her. Not because she didn’t know how he’d look… but because she wondered of how much he’s changed. Both were looking at one another with corners of their eyes, wondering how the other would react. Shizuka always found him handsome. His neck… his collar bone, his muscular tone. Despite not having nearly as many defined muscles as Kogami did, Gino still had well-shaped, normal-looking torso. Shizuka expected him to be more slim, maybe because of his height… but he wasn’t all that thin. He was athletic and it surprised her a bit. She was staring, confused a bit. Was he… training? No, that wasn’t like Gino. Maybe those just were… good Masaoka genes or something. Gino folded his shirt, handing it to her. She realized she was out of breath… and she couldn’t find words for a moment. “Er… I’ll go to your apartment and take some things of yours. Luckily, you live a minute away, so I will also feed Dime. Come on – go in, or you will catch a cold.”Like a couple, he thought. It felt almost like they were a couple. Except they weren’t. He was pleased to see her so nervous, though. If she was indifferent, seeing him like this… he’d know he didn’t stand a chance. But… now… “I am tired of this farce, Shizuka.”She froze. “I’ll… get back in a minute. Take a shower, calm down a bit, and we will talk when you get… more sensible,” she said, almost bumping into him while passing him by in order to take his key-card from his coat. He grabbed her wrist, making her turn to face him. Not roughly… but it made her stop. “You really think that pajama party would help at this point?” he asked cynically. Shizuka gulped… trying to think fast. But his fingers on her wrist felt almost electrifying. What’s the best way to avoid this? Smile. Smile, Shizuka. “Actually, I do. Baths and pajamas always make everything better,” she said, trying to make as if everything was okay. Except it wasn’t. “Don’t,” he said. “What?” She was trying so hard. Too hard, in his opinion.“Don’t pretend that we are okay. Everything is wrong here. I don’t need your pity, Shizuka. I can appreciate you wanting me to stay, but I don’t want to feel like a total loser because of it,” he stated. The atmosphere turned grim pretty fast.Shizuka sighed, thinking how hopeless he has been. Pitying him? She was sorry about the whole situation with Sae, but she wasn’t pitying him. Stupid Gino. “Nobuchika… don’t be such a hardass. It’s not cool.” “Well, sorry for not being Kogami, Akibara. Cool is not my forte, and with you… it seems like hardass is my default mode.” She now showed she got angry. Her expression was furious. “Must you always compare yourself to Shinya?” her voice was surprisingly calm. Shinya. Just the way she spoke his name… made his blood boil in that moment. He was already sensitive, this only added fuel to the fire.Shinya was kissing those lips. Seeing her expressions while she made love to him. His girl, he thought. And every single thing in this damn place reminded him of that fact.“Why don’t you tell me?” he asked back, looking at her with burning, defiant eyes. “Tell you what? You are the one who is always comparing yourself to him.” “And you are the one who pities me for it, Akibara. Isn’t it the reason you made me come here? Out of pity?” She had to shut this debate down before they both say or do something they’d regret. “Don’t be such a child,” she said, pulling her hand out of his grip. He frowned. “Also, don’t be so stubborn! Pitying you? I should pity you, since you are stupid enough to believe I am doing this out of pity. In fact… I should punch you or something.”“Why don’t you, then?” he asked, closing the space between her and him. She took a step back. And there they were again. He was right… it was a bad idea to get him here. She really thought they could go back to being what they were before. She obviously miscalculated. She really believed that she could provide comfort when the world crumbled around him. But, evidently… she judged him badly. “You can be there for me, but I can’t be there for you?” she asked. “How’s that fair?”“It’s not. Because this isn’t what it used to be. So… what’s the point, then?” Ginoza towered over her, fully straightening his back. He demanded his response. She was trying to keep looking at his eyes instead of his naked torso. It was hard, because it was distracting. And if she is honest… it was alluring. She knew how his lips tasted… but now, she was wondering how his skin felt like. Get to your senses. Now. You aren’t in love with Gino, that disappeared years ago. Stop acting like some stupid girl, Akibara.“Point of what?” she asked, aware that she was stalling. And yet… she couldn’t do anything else but stall. Her lip trembled, she had to bite it. “Of me being here?” his gaze was strict now. Very Ginoza-like. Response-demanding. Nerve wrecking. Very... no. She won’t think this way. She won’t see him that way. She just won’t. Half naked or not… she won’t give in. She can’t. “I just thought we could hang around. Like before…” she whispered. “We did talk like before… haven’t we? I know you’d get my desperation regarding my mom. I knew I could talk to you. Like you can talk to me. But, anything else… we are threading on thin ice. There’s a line… that separates what you are to me… and what I am to you. Which is… imbalanced, really. Because, I am honest about how I feel… and you aren’t.” “What are you saying?” she asked, trying to intimidate him by her own attitude. “It’s obvious, isn’t it? And I hate repeating myself.” “Gino, you are taking this way too far.” “No, I am taking it where it should be, because I am fed up by how I am treated.”It seemed… the cat was out of the bag. A lot of cats, actually. “I thought it was because of Sae… but I was selfish enough to believe I didn’t affect your state so much,” she said. “Everything… contributed to my state. Not just you. But, you did affect my Psycho-Pass. I can’t lie to you about it… not even to make you feel better about it. I am not Kogami.” Didn’t she know that. He made it perfectly clear.“I saw your report… when I went to Karanomori’s lab to do my regular check-up. I thought you were doing fine, and yet… your Psycho-Pass became murky again. Gino… are you even taking therapy?” “And that’s exactly why I told you it was pity, Akibara. The very last thing I wanted to see,” he said.“Shizuka,” she lowered her tone on purpose since he rose his own, “I am not Akibara, I am still your Shizuka… Nobuchika.” She gently whispered his name again. She tried to reason with him. What were they doing to themselves? “Mine?” his tone was filled with irony. “You are all but mine… Akibara.” His eyes were relentless. Her heart was skipping beats after that statement. She tried to reason with him. Her last attempt.“Don’t make me a stranger. Don’t antagonize me. I hate to be the cause of your deteriorated state… because I am not your enemy. Let’s fix our relationship. Let’s get you better. I wish for nothing than to be on good terms with you again. Let’s heal each other’s Psycho-Passes. We can do it. After all… you are my…” He couldn’t hear it once more, it was just too much.“I told you to never say that fucking word. Ever again.” Gino really had intimidating, piercing eyes. It seemed she never fully saw that, not until now. She wasn’t on the receiving end before, so she didn't know. But now… “From the moment you were shot and were brought to hospital… I wanted to say it. I wanted to admit… what I really felt. I came to see you, and… I saw him with you. I threw the flowers in the garbage, because I felt my feelings belonged in there. See… each time an opportunity presents itself… you chose him and slip from my arms into his own. Despite of it, I can still tell we aren’t done, you and me. And I guess we will never be, because… deep down… you know what lingers underneath when you are around me. Just like I know what it is when I am around you.” He wasn’t supposed to say it, she thought.“Nobuchika, don’t…” she tried… but she was aware it would be pointless. It was too late... for anything else but this. It was a simple, hard, cold truth.“Don’t? I need to, Akibara. I need to, or I will go overboard,” he put everything in his self-control. He didn’t move a finger. He didn’t even change his expression. He just stood there… in front of her… and she felt cornered. Especially when he lowered down his face towards hers. She remembered how well he could kiss. The anticipation was making her blush, despite her attempt to keep calm. Gino saw that. “All this time, you had the upper-hand. With everything that happened… even after the Butcher… you still managed to pull away. As true escapist would. Meanwhile, the rest of us had to suppress. To struggle with individual feelings, each one of us. Yes, even Shinya. Did he tell you his own CC rose? Of course he hadn’t. And you… even with the mind of an Enforcer… even after such violence that you survived… you managed to float right up to the surface. Psycho-Leap. Tell me, how is that fair?”“I know it’s not… and I never asked of you to…” “Hana did. Remember? On her death bed. She asked me to take care of you. And I came to the point where I can’t even keep that promise.” He seemed genuinely defeated by that thought.“Is your hue really that corrupted… because of how you feel about us?” she whispered. She could see her reflection in those beautiful, green eyes.“What do you think?” he asked back. “I don’t want you to suffer because of me, Nobuchika. I don’t want… to keep hurting you. If my presence affects you so negatively, I will ask for transfer.”She didn’t see other solution. Maybe she should leave Division One for good. “And leave Kogami behind? I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t think you’d be able to give him up under any circumstances.” “If it will help with your hue, I will do it,” she firmly stood by her conviction.“It wouldn’t help my hue anyway,” Gino responded. “Then, what can I do?” she asked. “What can I do to make things right between you and me? How can I help you with your Psycho-Pass?” “Your absence wouldn’t change a thing,” he got angry again. “Because, the way I feel has nothing to do with you being present in Division One or not. It has to do with something else.”He recalled her in the moment Division One got in that horrid place. How bad she looked. How… exposed, bruised, bloody and desperate she looked. “The moment I thought you were raped and killed… made me freeze on the spot. I only thought about how… I did nothing. Told you nothing… and how I couldn’t save you… and something in that moment clouded my hue.” “Nobuchika… just stop. Stop…” “No, Shizuka, we get to settle this once and for all. Imagine my relief when I saw you were alive. But again… you became a latent criminal… and for a while, I had to battle the rage in me. The poisoning disappointment that kept messing with my color. And still… I felt the same way I feel about you now. Enforcer or not… nothing has changed. You are still you, and I cared the same way. But time and time again, you make me feel stupid whenever you run back to him. Even tonight, you were with Shinya. Weren’t you?” She didn’t answer. She didn’t even have to.“I smell Spinel on you. Despite the rain. I can even sense dash of his cologne. Can you even tell… how tormenting it is for me?”Think about your Psycho-Pass. Think of his as well. “Nobu, please. Stop. For both of our sake, stop.” He couldn’t, though.“We could keep the pretense. Go by your scenery, even. I could go take that shower, and you could go to my place and take my clothes. We could have that tea, we could have those baguettes of yours, and you could propose me opening up some more to you, just to make my color better. You are like that. We could talk about the case, or even how you are finally getting back to your old self. I could be like Kogami, and spare you all the stress just to keep your hue from becoming like his, and keeping you on the other side of that glass, and far from rehabilitation center. Keep you as Shepherd Two. I could be that partner you need, a neighbor that keeps you company and spends some nice, cozy time at home with you when you feel like it… except I set the boundaries clear. I am not the friend you used to have. Not that kind anyway.” She could feel the tension ripping her on the inside. He grabbed her face, but it wasn’t like she was surprised this time. His thumb slowly traced her lower lip. She didn’t even twitch. It was like… she was terrified, and also curious to see what he’d do next. “What kind then?” she asked. “What kind of friend can you be, Nobuchika Ginoza?” Her voice hadn’t betrayed her this time. It was firm. Gino suddenly pushed her against the wall, pinning both her wrists next to her head. She gasped, almost letting that scream out. Almost. “The same kind as Kogami,” he said, lowering his face entirely to align with her own. She couldn’t believe her ears. She couldn’t believe this was coming from Ginoza. Her Ginoza. But, it was… and he was saying what he was saying. “Admit it,” he insisted, whispering against her ear. He kept her hands in his grip, refusing to let her break free. That wasn’t an option this time.“Just admit it already, Shizuka… if not to me, then to you alone. If not aloud, then within yourself. Admit that thing… that all three of us already know. You want him… but you also want me. Like I want you,” Gino said, making her heart-rate rise again. “Gino, I can’t,” she said. “I can’t want you, it’s just not right,” she added in a much lower tone. He pressed himself against her, and it was more difficult to thing straight. His skin felt warm for a change. “No one asks you what is right or wrong at this point, Shizuka. The only thing you need to admit is the truth. It's pretty simple. Do you want me?” She could feel the warmth of his breath on her lips. He was standing too close to her now. “I don’t,” she uttered. She couldn’t say it. She couldn’t. Because of Kogami. She can’t do this to him. Or to herself.“Has anyone told you… that your lip twitches a bit when you lie?” Gino asked. It was funny how Sayo pointed that out just a while ago.“Nobu… you don’t want to do this to Kogami… or to you. Think of your Psycho-Pass,” she felt his lips against her neck, shuddering when the wet trail lowered down her skin. No… no. “I am thinking about my Psycho-Pass,” he said. “In fact… if I remember correctly… sex is a way to treat someone’s hue. Shinya’s own crime coefficient dropped significantly after he got back with you, as politely pointed out by Shion.”His hand reached her nape. He grabbed a handful of her hair, making her neck even more exposed to his lips. His fingers weren’t rough, though. Nor was that pull. “Is that what I am now? Some… mean to treat hues?” she tried to push him away, but he firmly kept her against the cold surface. His tongue slid down to her collar bone. A moan escaped her lips when he started sucking her skin, leaving his mark on it. She gasped again.“No, just a liar,” Gino softly stated. She felt so warm… so soft. “Shinya…” she wanted to stop him. Gino put his lips over her own, angrily swallowing her words. Whatever those were. His tongue slipped over hers, overwhelmingly pushing it. She had to fight him. The feeling was too intense. Too exciting. She hated how she liked his taste… his movements… and his newly-found confidence. So natural... the way their bodies aligned. “What happens between the two of us… stays between the two of us,” he stated. “You don’t mean…” “Friends can have secrets, can’t they?” he mocked. Both of his hands slid down her back. “Think of what you are doing. We will never be the same after this!” “That is the plan,” he pointed out.“Think of Kogami,” she plead. “Please, Gino… even if we do this… your hue might suffer even more. The guilt might destroy us both. This isn’t the way.” “Resist me, then. Show me you don’t want me. Because, all I can hear now… are some weak, half-baked and shallow words, Shizuka. Not convincing enough to make me stop.” “Gino!” “Nobuchika. At times like this… you ought to call me Nobuchika,” he corrected her, reaching for the buttons on her shirt. “No...” she anxiously watched his fingers move. “Stop me then, Shizuka. Systema. Silat. Any of those will do. After all, you were trained for it. You can stop someone like me.” Button by button, he slowly revealed parts of her own torso. “Nobu… no,” she whispered, covering her face. His hand reached for the button on her pants. She panicked. She grabbed his wrist, holding it firmly. “For once, say yes, Shizuka. And just for once, say it’s alright to want us both. The truth might as well set you free.” He kissed her anew, more deeply than before. He was rough… displaying the raw need that she feared to indulge. But, despite that fear... she found that she did want him. It wasn’t even a secret anymore. She wanted this… his body against hers. His lips, mercilessly working her own. His tongue… battling hers. She wanted all of it. He was more passionate than she could have ever imagined. And he was learning fast. For someone who didn’t have any experience… it appeared that Gino was natural. She run her fingers through his hair. It was soft as silk, beautiful. She removed it to look at his face, loving that determination in his eyes. “What a dirty secret to keep,” she whispered, letting him pull her shirt down her shoulders. “You are an escapist,” Gino even managed to smile in that moment. “I am sure you’ll think of a way to forget about this if it becomes too… burdensome.” “Don’t bet on it,” she said, and he kissed her again. “Some secrets stay stuck. They can be too hard to erase.”Gino kind of counted on it. She kissed him next. She was slowly, but surely starting to give in. The way he wanted her to. She didn't have strength to fight him anymore....
Madoka Magica
Natsume's Book of Friends
Trinity Blood
Code Geass
[CM] RC: DispatchA/N: Hi everyone,Apologies for the length of time it has taken for another chapter for Roanapur Connection to be done. It has been quite a hectic 14 months that is for sure from work having gotten much busier during this period, to moving homes myself and Blackmanaburning. Personal struggles that have impacted our ability to write the next planned main chapter 9 months after we started it. Along with also recruitment for RC not having gone as planned that has led to jumbling of chapters and rewrites etc. that’s still ongoing and another reason why there has been no update for ages. And our whole way of life being disrupted by the ongoing Convid-19 virus has not helped either with the anxiety, stress and uncertainly of it all stopped myself from writing while I am on furlough from work.Again I wish there was more updates more often, but everyone working on RC as part of DeadlyViperQuill team that I mentioned in wanting to set up in my last A/N note which I had a logo done for it by Wenart on DA. As there would be no RC without the people that work on it.Which is currently me, Blackmambauk lead of the project, my dear friends Blackmanaburning, AnneauxDeLaCroix and hopefully 2 more members that I hope to announce in the near future, have commitments and a lot going on at the moment that hampers our ability to work on RC as much as we want to.Anyway’s enough on all of that, here is the first chapter written by AnneauxDeLaCroix, we are very happy to finally get this chance to work together on a project after two years since we first made contact and from there have become very close friends with the other having been a real help during difficult times we both have had since. I am truly honoured to work with a writer of her high calibre and she has done a marvellous job on introducing a character we are both very fond of and who we feel has so much potential to explore that her main series never did. But let me pass you over to Cat now who will detail her thoughts. Thanks again for all views and favs etc across the web for RC BlackMambauk--A/N: And now, Cat. I knew very little about Code Geass before taking on this project. Seeing it through BlackMambauk’s eyes has been an absolute joy, and his letting me explore the characters more in-depth by creating these backgrounds that define them is exhilarating. I love this project and the intense amount of support it’s received. I look forward to working on it further. Stay safe and healthy.Please enjoy Dispatch.Love,Cat--DispatchCatherine LaCroix 2020“Our war is being fought by children?"- Duke Leland non BritanniaOne[Date: 13/04/1995 ATB, Time: Unknown, San Diego, Britannia]There was an art to playing a practical joke. Anyone could swap hair-wax for honey or cover a chair in paste. But a veritable, well-thought-out prank took time, finesse, a clever mind, and a little luck.Anna struck gold the day she’d overheard Leland during an evening shift in the local tavern. The man maintained a habitual schedule that functioned like clockwork. Wake and dress, read for exactly one hour, enjoy lunch at his favorite restaurant, drinks with peers in the tavern during the evenings, in bed by 10 pm. He never deviated. At first, Anna found it difficult to believe that he kept to the same routine day in and day out. To a girl 15 years of age, it seemed mind-numbingly dull. Sure enough, however, his rear was in the same seat at the bar—to the minute!—every night. He was a man you could set your watch by.He was the perfect target.And so, unbeknownst to Leland, a plan began to take form. Nothing lethal, of course. Just a few touches with enough flair to cause the maximum amount of embarrassment and discomfort. The commoners of the city held fast to a kind of secretive communication network. Where even the servants of nobles could exchange information with the beggars in the streets. They were the heartbeat of Britannia and the pulse of Anna’s plan.Following the quick, underhanded passing of a uniform, Anna found herself inside of Leland’s estate. She’d been told that he commonly employed and fired servants, oftentimes in the same day. Her presence would easily go unnoticed. And with his renowned vanity, there was little chance of him recognizing her from the tavern. So long as she kept her violet eyes glued to the ground.Anna’s heart raced in excitement as she moved about the manor, ignoring the curious glances from other servants in the hallways. Eventually, she made her way into the kitchen, searching for his morning breakfast tray. The glint of polished silver caught her eye and she knew she’d found it. A pot of deep, golden tea, a spread of fresh-baked pastries, and the book that held his recent attentions. With otherworldly dexterity, she cracked a tiny vial over the teapot and swapped his reading for one with a similar, plain cover. That was assuming he would have the chance to read before the potent aphrodisiac kicked in. Well, in that case, the book’s unsavory subject matter could only help him, really.With extreme difficulty, Anna maintained a straight face as she carried the tray to his room-length table. No other guests sat beside him and for a few heartbeats, she wondered how lonely it must have felt. Even so, she knew that table would have costed more than the combination of everything she owned. The thought strengthened her resolve.She slid the tray in front of him, pouring a cup of tea with the grace of a servant in practice for years. He nodded without so much as a glance in her direction, chose a pastry, and took a deep sip from his teacup.Anna hurried away, loitering in the drawing-room for only a moment to let loose a string of silent giggles. Leland’s day was far from over. She made her way to the stables.Leland’s best and most favored horse was a prize-winning mare. She was sleek, powerful, and jet-black from nose to tail.“We’ve the same hair, you and I,” Anna murmured, gently running her fingers through the horse’s thick mane. “Perhaps one day I’ll share your strength.”The mare nickered as if to reply, “Perhaps.”Anna smiled. For as long as she could remember, she’d shared an affinity with creatures of equine lineage.“A’int seen you ‘round here at all,” an unfamiliar voice interrupted her thoughts. A young man stood a few stalls down, watching her carefully. From his attire, he was clearly a servant.“First day, actually,” Anna replied easily. Lies had a way of rolling off of her tongue like honey.“M’lord doesn’t let new servants touch Aubrey.” He nodded toward the horse. “Even lookin’ at ‘er is a good way to get a whippin’.”“He asked me to ready her for travel.” Anna did her best to look confused. “Maybe he didn’t know I’m new.”While he studied her deciding on what to say next, Anna found a blanket, saddle, bit, and reigns. A handful of years past, she’d committed preparing a horse for riding to muscle memory. To the servant’s credit, his eyebrows raised in surprise.“You been around horses before?” he asked.“A few times.”“Is today a special ‘ccasion? M’lord usually takes a different horse for pleasure rides.”Anna shrugged. “Dunno. Just doing what I’m told.”He shook his head, clearly befuddled.Perfect.Anna unlatched the hook on the stall’s door, gently leading Aubrey over the hay-covered floor.“Ready to run like hell?” she whispered so the young man wouldn’t hear.Aubrey flicked her ears.When Anna reached the main gate of the estate, she checked behind her before carefully pushing against the polished iron. In one swift movement, she hooked one foot in a stirrup and swung herself atop of Aubrey. She noticed too late that the servant had followed her out and was now yelling strings of profanities. Loudly.“Yah!” She kicked at Aubrey’s sides and they were off in a flash.She made for the small patches of woods that twined through the city. The more out of sight she stayed, the better. Only a handful of times did she have to ride out in the open where one group of trees and another began. Confused nobles and commoners alike spared her a quick glance. But, at the speed they were going, it would have looked like a blur.Anna had never met a horse like Aubrey, and their bodies fell into an immediate synchronization. Anna felt like an extension of her mount; something more than her ‘rider.’ She made minor changes to the positioning of her legs and the directions in which she leaned whenever she felt a shift in Aubrey’s muscles. And the speed! Not for a second was Anna afraid they’d run into a tree or an innocent passerby. Aubrey’s reactions and timing to whatever obstacles lay in their path was something beyond perfection. Their heartbeats aligned. The cool wind on Anna’s face and the scent of the trees was exhilarating. She never wanted that moment to end.However, as many extravagant practical jokes suffered, there’d been a snitch.“You there! Stop!” A bellow sounded behind her.She glanced over her shoulder to see a broad-shouldered, wheat-haired man catching up to her on his own grey stallion.“Damn,” she cursed beneath her breath. But she wasn’t giving up that easy. “C’mon, Aubrey.”Despite the horse’s heavy panting, Aubrey’s pace accelerated. Anna leaned in, closing the distance between her own body and her mount’s. The trees passed in one, continuous green blur. When they reached the end of one green cluster, Aubrey leaped into the next—sailing over two merchant carts and one very confused toddler.“By order of the Royal Guard! I command you to stop!” Came another shout.She was in deep. And still, the adrenaline pounding in her ears urged her to keep going.So, she did.Aubrey and Anna galloped in seven-meter strides; both of their breathing came in short gasps. She could feel the desire of the beast to keep pushing; both within and without.And then, as the town ended and the true forest began, Anna pulled her steed short of a huge, rushing river. In her excitement, she’d made a huge miscalculation in direction. Sharp, poignant memories struck her like bolts of lightning. Attempting to cross that very same river on her favorite horse. The tide crashing against them with an intensity the surface concealed so well. Her lovely steed’s legs caving beneath the pressure until she too was swept into the current. The desperate—almost human—cries of her drowning mare while Anna flailed in a last-ditch effort to save her.“—that horse, immediately!” The bellowing broke her thoughts and dragged her back to the present moment.A cold sweat mingled with the perspiration of excitement from the chase. Anna found that her breathing came in rasps. She closed her eyes for a moment, regaining her composure.“Are you daft, girl? Dismount that creature immediately!” he repeated.With clumsy movements, Anna dismounted. She hadn’t noticed how badly her hands were shaking.“Do you realize what you’ve done, girl?” The man’s pale cheeks were a deep red. His breathing came in haggard spurts.“Took a ride on my horse?” she replied, her eyes dropping to the ground.“That is Lord Leland’s mare, you insufferable brat. Do you know the punishment for stolen property?” he spat.“For a commoner? Death, I believe.” A third party joined in on their conversation.Anna’s stomach twisted into knots as Lord Leland appeared from the forest on another steed. He shifted uncomfortably astride his mount and, despite her overwhelming fear, Anna forced herself to hide the smile that threatened her lips. Their gazes locked and understanding glittered in Leland’s eyes.“The servant girl this morning. That was you. What in the seven hells did you put into my tea?” Leland readjusted again.“Schisandra and clary sage, m’lord,” she mumbled.His lips pursed in puzzlement, but his companion’s scowl relaxed. Anna swore she could see the ghost of a smile twitch at the corner of his mouth.Anna took it as a good time to apologize. She fell to her knees and clasped her hands against her breast. “It was a joke, sir. Honest. I was going to return your horse. The herbs will wear off in a few hours. Your book is still in your kitchen.”Silence stood between them for some time. The sound of the river tugged at Anna’s memory, but she pushed it away.“I’ve never seen anyone ride like that,” the blonde noble commented at last. “Where did you learn, girl?”“I dunno. I guess I just picked it up,” she replied truthfully.“Ruben, she poisoned my tea and stole my horse. This cannot go unpunished.” Color rose to Leland’s face.“Let’s bring her before the Council, then.”“I’ve half a mind to toss her in the river, instead." Anna shivered but said nothing.Leland sighed, conceding to some unspoken agreement between both men. “Before the council, then.”Anna moved to remount Aubrey. Leland made a sharp hissing sound between his teeth. “You’ll walk her back, girl. Mount her again and I’ll cut off your hand.”Petting Aubrey’s graceful neck, Anna silently thanked her for the best ride of her life. She took up the reins and slowly followed the men on foot.—The thin soles of Anna’s shoes were nearly worn-through by the time they reached the council hall. The walk back was uncomfortably quiet, save a few words exchanged between Leland and Ruben. She didn’t dare complain of the ache in her legs or the sting of sharp rocks against her feet. There was the option of taking the easier cobblestone paths, but Leland’s anger was palpable, and any small punishment he could force upon her in the interim would have to suffice. And so, they dragged her through the unkempt patches of forest.Beyond the pain and her growling stomach when she realized that she hadn’t eaten all day, the worst of it all was getting caught. Only one other time had she ever been ferreted out in the midst of a practical joke, and it hadn’t held nearly the weight of this one.Once Leland and Ruben had dismounted, Anna handed Aubrey’s reigns to her rightful owner. He snatched them out of her hand, glancing at her attire as if for the first time.“You stole one of my uniforms?” The edge to his words hadn’t left.“Borrowed, sir.” Anna followed his gaze to the skirts. She hadn’t noticed that they’d been dirtied and torn by the surrounding branches that snagged at the flowing fabrics during her ride.“Destroyed, more like. Do you know what a single uniform costs me?” He rubbed at his temples. “A commoner wouldn’t make that in a year!”“I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t know—” Anna stammered.Leland rose a hand as if to strike her.“Leland,” Ruben interrupted. “We can worry about that later. Come now.”Anna braced for a blow that never came. Leland inhaled sharply and dropped his arm.Ruben led the way into the building and Anna followed, keeping her head bowed and eyes low. Well-dressed men and women moved purposefully about the building, exchanging brief pleasantries with each other in passing. Lines of desks flanked each side of the hall, and the scent of disinfectant mingled with expensive perfumes in the air—like a medical facility, Anna thought. She felt entirely out of place.Leland and Ruben exchanged a few low, heated words with one of the men behind a desk. Anna could barely hear them. Her adrenaline had long since turned to fear when she realized that this could be it. This could be the dumbest thing she’d ever done. And she might die for it.At last, the man seemed to relent to the nobles, and the small group entered a large room. It was fully lit by a multitude of windows and a few strategically placed gas lamps. Three long tables formed a U shape in its center; each one staffed with eight men. Only a handful of women sat amongst their ranks and Anna wondered why.A tall, distinct man in the center of the middle table addressed them. “Lord Leland, Lord Ruben. How can the council assist you this day?”“Your Honor, this young lady you see before you—” Ruben began.Leland didn’t give him a chance. “This abhorrent commoner stole one of my uniforms, poisoned my tea—”“I’d hardly call it ‘poison,’ sir,” Anna murmured.“Do not interrupt me!” Leland snapped. “She removed a prized book from my collection, tricked my other servants, and then proceeded to steal my most valuable horse.”“Borrowed!” Anna corrected.Ruben caught her eye and gave her one sharp shake of his head. Leland’s fists balled and his knuckles turned white.“Apologies, m’lords,” she added quickly.“How old are you, dear?” One of the women to the leader’s left asked.“Fifteen, my lady.”“Fifteen,” she repeated slowly, features deep in thought. “You accuse a fifteen-year-old girl of attempted murder, two counts of theft, and purposeful deception. Is that correct, Lord Leland?”“Yes, Your Honor,” he replied.“She is considered an adult in this council’s eyes,” another man added. “She must be tried as an adult.”“If these accusations are true, she could be hanged for such crimes,” the council leader noted, his words heavy.“I see this as sufficient punishment.” Leland’s tone was like ice and sent shivers down Anna’s spine.“With all due respect, Your Honors, I don’t believe she meant any undue harm. Death may be—excuse my assumptions of course—a little extreme?” To Anna’s surprise, Ruben chimed in for the first time.“Do you have a history with this girl?” Another man asked.“No, sir. However, she seems to have a latent talent that may be wasted should we decide to end her life.”“What would you suggest, then?”“Indentured servitude? Perhaps to Lord Leland himself?” Ruben shrugged.“I do not want that brat anywhere near my estate,” Leland hissed.Anna thought of the high she had while riding Aubrey. How she could navigate the terrain with a shred of thought. She was barely making enough to make ends meet at the tavern; indentured servitude would be a slow death in its own right. She could strategize better than anyone she knew, and snap decisions came to her easily.“Let me join the war effort,” she said suddenly. Her words held the confidence of a woman twice her age.All twenty-four members of the council locked eyes on her, then broke into laughter.“I’m serious!” she shouted, a cold sweat breaking on her back. “Maybe I am just a commoner. But I know you need more knights. Better knights.”She glanced at the two men beside her. Leland’s face warred between fury and confusion. Ruben, however. Ruben looked at her approvingly. He wasn’t laughing.“I never would have caught her on that horse had it not been for the river,” Ruben said in her defense.The laughter died. Their attention moved to Ruben.“Your Honors, I have never seen a man ride a horse as she did. Her preparations for this elaborate prank show a strategic, complicated mind. I agree with her.”“Ruben, how dare you speak of her in such a way?” Leland was livid. “The war? This is who we want to represent our country?”“If she can’t keep up with the others, she’ll die anyway.” Ruben shrugged. “In which case, you’d have the punishment that you seek.”“She’s a fifteen-year-old girl that can ride a horse. I don’t call those solid qualifications,” Leland snapped.“She is very young,” one of the men at the table noted. “However, due to…extenuating circumstances, we’ve lowered the age of enlistment.”“We have children defending Britannia?” Leland laughed dryly. “This girl is a thief, not a strategist. Any lad half her age could ride a horse.”“It’s true, she could cause more trouble than good should we allow her to join.” One of the men shifted uncomfortably. “Especially with the current landscape of the war. It’s a risky choice.”“Leland, you know this wasn’t done out of malicious intent. Come to your senses,” Ruben interjected. “Surely, your pride isn’t worth a young woman’s life?”There was a tense silence between Leland and Ruben.“Lord Leland? What say you?” The leader of the council asked at last.At that moment, Anna knew she could risk nothing. She’d promised herself not to use the ace in her sleeve unless it was a life or death situation. And this was it.“My lord?” she called, tugging gently on Leland’s sleeve.He looked down at her, meeting her gaze.That was all she needed.Summoning every ounce of will, she invaded Leland’s thoughts as easily as if she were rifling through his bureau. His anger, hate, and agitation burned her own consciousness like wildfire. The true battle began."Say: ‘Let her join.’” Anna fought to fit herself not only within his thoughts but his body. She struggled to make his lips form the words as if they were her own."What the hell are you doing to me?” Leland pushed back, attempting to eject her from his mind.Anna had to work fast and get him to relent. His thoughts were set completely on not saying the words she needed him to. She took advantage of this and tried wiggling his fingers. They responded. As Leland, she placed a hand on her own shoulder.It was a strange experience, looking down at herself through Leland’s eyes. Her face was complacent enough while she worked to take control of the man’s faculties.“What in God’s name are you?” His mind screamed.“Right now? I’m you.”He shifted his concentration to remove his hand from her shoulder. Now was her chance.“Ruben’s right. Let her join.” The words were hers but came from Leland’s mouth. In his voice.“Lord Leland? You’re sure?” The council leader asked.Leland’s consciousness lost the force of focus the more he fought against her. His thoughts were spread across his entire body; like she’d invaded his every nerve. She settled into his shell and won control of his senses.“I’m sure. If she dies in the field, at least it will be for the good of the country.” Anna added a sigh and a shrug to punctuate his consent.Leland’s own emotions began to transition in turn. Anger into acceptance. Hate into reluctance. Agitation into exhaustion. The feelings and words Anna imprinted into him became his reality. His mind and body grew more accustomed to the sensations of her control by the second. From that point on, she could use him as a shell whenever she needed; and he would never know the difference.Confident that his mind was sufficiently changed, she returned her consciousness to her own body.Ruben looked at Leland in surprise. “Good of you to have a change of heart, friend.”“It’s settled, then.” The council leader lifted a quill and dipped it in ink. “For this contract, I need your name, please.”“It’s Marianne, sir,” she stated her full name proudly and bowed. “Thank you for your time.” TwoThe walk home felt like years. Muscles Anna forgot existed hurt like hell, her thin shoes had developed thumb-sized holes in the soles. Small rocks took the opportunity to their advantage and slipped inside the leather, scraping against the bare flesh of her feet. She remembered that she only had one pair left, she’d have to be careful with them. Though, it wasn’t as if she’d expected to walk nearly three miles in a single day. If she’d had it her way, Leland or Ruben would have given her a horse to ride home. But, forcing that out of Leland would have been too obvious. Even more obvious than his sudden change of heart. She hoped that at least Ruben didn’t suspect her.When she reached her meager cottage, she leaned her forehead against the door and let her hand rest on the handle. A part of her wished desperately to see her parents on the other side; to run to the warm, welcoming arms of her mother, accept the light scolding of her father—though he was as calculating as she. Maybe if she recalled them with enough clarity, they would be there.She turned the handle and entered. Dark and quiet as always. The sun was low on the horizon so she lit one of the few oil lamps she owned. “You used your Geass,” a voice stated. “Why?”Anna jumped in surprise, not expecting a visitor. Especially not this one.“C.C.?” She asked, searching the room. “I thought you’d be gone a few days?”“That isn’t important. Why did you use your Geass?” she repeated.Anna finally spotted C.C., sitting in the far corner of the miniature common room, golden eyes peering over a teacup. Anna sighed, removed her destroyed shoes, and sunk into the only sitting chair she hadn’t sold. The adrenaline that had fueled her had evaporated and the energy it took to manipulate Leland had wreaked havoc on her mental state. “I was to be hung in the village square. As an example.”“For what?”Anna didn’t want to admit it. C.C. had cautioned her a dozen times on the potential consequences of playing pranks on the wrong people. “For…stealing a noble’s horse.”“I didn’t think you a common thief.” C.C. set her teacup down and stretched her arms above her head, her emerald hair falling in pools around her crossed legs. “You don’t need the money, after all.”“I was going to give it back. It was… I just…” Anna brushed her dark hair away from her eyes and cradled her face in her hands. She suddenly felt the worst headache she’d ever experienced.“You wanted to play a joke on Leland. I could feel it, you know. His rage, the intent to kill you. I heard the two of you war inside of his mind. I told you your mischievous nature would land you in hot water.”“I know,” she groaned into her palms. “I know. I know. I know.”“You joined the war,” another statement. “You promised to use your Geass to get you away from death. Instead, you’ve shrouded yourself in it.”Anna buckled beneath the full weight of her words and shivered. For that brief moment inside the courtroom, she’d felt much older and wiser than all of them. Now, she couldn’t have felt more obscure.“You are not a fool, Marianne. What is it you’re trying to accomplish?”“I want to be something, C.C. I have no family left. No true friends. You’re all I have. And what have I done so far? Play jokes on people and master horse-riding.” Anna rubbed her temples, revealing indignant features carved into her lovely face.“You’re just a girl. I saw how those men looked at you. They expect you to die as soon as you step foot into training.”“I want to show them what ‘just a girl’ can do,” Anna replied hotly. “I could use my Geass—” “For more than saving your own life?” C.C. sighed. “I gave it to you to save you. Do you not remember?”“You taught my body how to swim,” Anna murmured, pulling her knees to her chest. Her underskirts were dirtied and torn. Leland had taken away his house’s uniform before allowing Anna to go on her way. “And I promised you I’d only use it for myself. This would still be using it for myself.”“You’re twisting your own words.” C.C. took another sip of her tea. “You remember incorrectly.”Anna locked her gaze and was instantly transported to the day that C.C. had bestowed upon her with the power she’d used against Leland. The memory struck her like an arrow, all sensations returning to her as if the experience were happening all over again. Rushing water filled her mouth and nostrils, choking her, her horse screamed in the distance. Anna had never learned how to swim. She was going to die with her horse.“Stop it!” Anna shrieked. “Please! Stop.”The hallucination vanished. Anna shook in her chair, her head buried in her arms.“Like all humans before you, you will do what you wish. I can’t stop you.” C.C. stood; her slim figure posed proudly in the lamplight. “However, you should think before you act.”Anna waited until the witch left the room before allowing the sobs to consume her. ThreeAnna had a month to prepare for military life. She found the thought both laughable and terrifying. Her personal belongings fit in one small suitcase, and the money she’d stashed beneath a few loose floorboards for years was easily stowed between her thin clothing. Physically, she was ready to be whisked away to training within a day. Mentally, however, she wasn’t so sure.The afternoon after the enlistment decision was finalized, she strolled through the forest surrounding her cottage. C.C. was off doing whatever it was she did in her time away.“Did I make the right decision?” she pondered aloud. “Mom? Dad? Did I really mess up this time?”She would never know the answer, of course. Her parents had passed five years before, leaving her an orphan at ten. Anna was determined to not be dragged helplessly through the orphanage and foster care system. The dirtied, homeless children on streets spoke volumes in terms of lack of care. She’d sold everything she could to any who would buy from a ten-year-old, paid for her hideaway in full, then stashed the remainder for food, clothing, and small comforts.The calling of birds lulled her into a drift of memory while she walked. She’d met C.C. when she was eleven, the woman was one of the only people who had never looked at Anna as a simple, hopeless child. And, for Anna, C.C. was the only friend she could trust. At thirteen, C.C. revealed to her the truth of her power after rescuing her from drowning; after Anna had lost her favorite horse. Imprinting the power that C.C. called “Geass” directly into her very soul. Anna had only ever used it once before Leland—it terrified and excited her.A shrill cry of fear stopped Anna in her tracks. On the ground before her lie a large bird of prey. One wing was broken in multiple places, and it struggled to move away from her with claws and one working wing.“Well, hello there,” Anna called gently, crouching to make herself smaller. “It’s okay, I won’t hurt you.”It screeched again, but its movements slowed. The feathers were chestnut brown in color, its beak a gradient of bright yellow into black. A hawk. Anna had only ever seen them circling the sky around the patches of forests and trees, but never up close.“It’s okay. I can help,” she soothed and inched closer.Its dark eyes bored into hers, and its struggling slowed. Anna tore a section of cloth from her skirt and wrapped it around her hand. If it bit her, the beak would go right through and its long talons appeared just as sharp, but at least the fabric offered minimal protection.“I have some food back home. I can get you some meat, too.” Anna continued her advance, painstakingly slow. “We can heal your wing.”Another noise escaped from the bird, but it sounded more like a curious chirp than the terrified cry it had admitted only moments before. She was within arms reach. With a confident hand, she carefully extended her arm towards its talons. Animals could sense the fear of humans; the scent, quivering limbs, the sound of rushed breaths. She’d learned as much with horses. If the hawk would fight back, it would hurt like hell whether no matter her confidence levels. It was far better to take charge of the situation.“That’s it. You’ll be okay,” she murmured, her fingers touching its talons.The hawk tested the fabric on her hand, grasping at its edge and releasing it. Anna wrapped her thumb around one of its claws, giving it a hold for lifting itself from the ground. She held her breath as the hawk recognized the opportunity, and grasped her hand with its second claw. It beat its good wing against the ground and in a moment, stood stalwart on the back of her fist. Its broken wing hung awkwardly at its side, but it maintained balance with Anna’s help. The talons dug through the fabric and into her skin—Anna could feel a slow trickle of blood where they pierced and the fabric was soon blotted with her blood. But, she couldn’t feel it. The adrenaline that sped her heart as she held such a powerful being nulled all pain.“I have a stable you can live in, too. I’ll take very good care of you,” she murmured, daring not stroke the bird with her other hand. She took a few test steps towards home and felt its claws dig deeper. It was relying on her with its life. “I promise. You’ll be back to perfect health in no time.”Over the next few weeks, Anna turned the abandoned stable into a muse for her hawk. There were plenty of mice and rats within it to catch, but she also supplied meat from the butcher. She purchased leather gloves and materials to create a make-shift stint for its wing. C.C. said little of the bird but watched in genuine curiosity while Anna cared for the creature.When the time came for Anna to leave for training, the hawk’s wing was healed enough for it to fly freely. But, instead of returning to its forest as Anna had expected for it to do, it followed her everywhere. Into the unknown. Into war.
Yuri On Ice
What one doesn't know part 6The library was unlike anything he had seen before. Back in Japan, he was used to seeing Hon-Ya or “book specialty stores”. These places were generally not well-lit and smelled of old books. There were alphabetically organizes bookshelves, featuring old Japanese classics either by Murakami or Ishiguro. In those bookstores, book-nerds would get together and discuss their favorite authors and their most recent reads. There was zero space to sit down, and you would have to walk around the bookshelves to search for friends or lovers who might be in another aisle, as the bookshelf would be as high as the ceiling would allow. Sometimes you could hear a mother asking her child where they went, and then a small response would come from the 4 or 5-year-old who had wandered off to another aisle. The library Victor had casually led him to, after eating his late-night snack, reminded him more out of something he had seen in a Disney movie. Was it the one where the prince turned into a beast? It even featured artificial lights, a stair propped up against one of the bookshelves, instead of the rickety stool he was used to using back home. In front of the large open windows, a small bench had been placed. Dazai could imagine himself in this reading nook on sunny days, where the sun would come in through the windows, providing the perfect light for reading. ‘So, Victor.. why are we here?’ Dazai asked, after having soaked in the environment. Victor smiled upon seeing Dazai’s raised eyebrow. He paused for a few seconds and crossed his legs, looking down. ‘I thought that this would be a good opportunity to look at recent cases, what if this isn’t the first time?’ Dazai felt that in his own way, Victor was truly concerned for his partner. This only hurt a little; since his phone rang the exact moment he felt like there was someone who had come between them as brothers. Victor noticed that the ringtone kept on playing, while Dazai seemed preoccupied with this own thoughts. ‘So you don’t think-’ Victor started. ‘Osamu speaking’ Dazai said, having snapped out of whatever had been going on. He had to use his business voice. ‘Hello? Yes, this is the detective from Japan speaking.’ After a short silence, Victor walked off to admire the gardens, allowing Dazai some space for his phone-call. ‘This is Mr. Prisoner, calling from Australia. One of my students has just been found in the shower. His wrists were attached to the shower, and I just..’ ‘I’m currently in Russia on business, but could you please elaborate on the location of the shower?’ ‘Yes. At the back of the dance studio, I currently own. Is there any way I could e-mail you some pictures so you can assess the situation before I call the police?’ ‘I will, and I will get back to you on whether a visit from my side will be in order. In the meantime, I am sorry for your loss. And Mr. Prisoner, thank you for calling.’ Dazai shot Victor an apologetic look. ‘I’m afraid your prediction was spot-on. I’m suspecting another murder in Australia. The same MO. The killer left them tied to the shower at the back of a dance studio. The time frame seems to be a match as well. He’ll be sending me some pictures for the confirmation soon’. The pictures arrived within ten minutes, but it only took them a glance to see that these cases were definitely related. Victor was adamant about staying in the library as if he was scared to go home at this point. ‘I’ll have some chazuke sent up to you, just head over to the unsolved/uncommon murder section. You might see something I overlooked.’ This was the Victor I knew. If Victor was really being honest with himself, he would have to admit that he was enjoying his time out of the rink. Seeing Dazai here, reminded him of his old self, and the pranks they used to pull on each other. Of course, this was all before Victor was forced into ice-skating to facilitate international travel for his manager. Yuri had become mildly obsessed with being on par with Victor, and during the times he was sweating it out in the rink, Victor liked to come here. He would sit in the reading nook with this espresso, and read up on unsolved murder mysteries. Occasionally, his gaze would wander off to the rose garden, thinking about life. After Dazai’s chazuke arrived, Victor told him about his visits to the palace. Dazai in response was quite intrigued. Victor? Reading? This is the same guy who had trouble staying in one place back when he was 19 years old. He had trouble imagining the small tornado he remembered Victor to be, to sit down, even just for an afternoon. The concept seemed foreign to him. “I guess that while I was out solving murders, Victor changed as well,” he thought to himself. And so they sat, side by side, well into the night. They had a table brought to them, so they could sit in the reading nook. Bourbon on one side, a book on the other. Occasionally they would break the silence to discuss any information in perceived relation to the current case. But more often than not, they were still. The only sound that echoed was the occasional turning of pages. Meanwhile, Yuri’s patience was being tested. He had played “fetch” with Makkachin until he had gotten sick of it. He had played peekaboo until he got bored. He had re-watched an entire anime and still, his thoughts would not quiet down. What if Victor had gone back to his family? What if he had gotten on a plane? What if he wasn’t in the country anymore without even telling him he left?! What if he had encountered an old flame on his way back from Dazai? What if Dazai was the flame? Why did they meet alone? Was this Victor’s way of excluding him? Up until recently, he couldn’t imagine Victor keeping secrets from him. But now? He was wavering. He reasoned that it was probably the lack of sleep that was making him this way, but it didn’t 100% convince him. What if Victor didn’t like him anymore? What if he had gotten bored with him? Yuri yawned and glanced at the clock once more. Six A.M. what could possibly be so interesting for it to interfere with Victor’s training schedule? Back at the palace, Victor and Dazai called it a ‘night’ at 7 A.M. not much later after Yuri decided to go to sleep. Dazai’s phone buzzed inside his coat, causing him to stir in his sleep. When he decided to pick up, the phone had already quit ringing. ‘Victor,’ he croaked ‘it’s 11 A.M. now, won’t he be worried?’ For a second, Victor deliberated on whether he wanted to call or text. If he was being truthful, he hadn’t thought about it at all. As a person, he was not good at keeping in touch, and relationships were generally not on his radar. He, however, loved mysteries. They could swallow him whole. ‘To be really honest, I forgot’ he said, shooting Dazai a modest but coy smile. Reluctantly, he pulled out his phone, a modern, silver item with a picture of Makkachin at the back. ‘I’ll just text Yuri instead, he’ll probably still be asleep’. If Victor was being really honest with himself, he wasn’t looking forward to what he categorized as being a ‘needy rant’. After sending a short text message, and realizing the date, Victor had to swiftly say goodbye to Dazai. Dazai, on the other hand, was eager to leave. Last night, he had found a possible lead. After thanking Victor for his food and hospitality, Dazai headed off to England, as he had a clue to who the next victim of this serial killer might be....

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torako-art Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2018
Hello! I've just joined Deviantart. Looking forward to reading and writing fanfics!
Scaley-Randy Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Welcome to the group :D
torako-art Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2018
earthpoem Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2017
Hi, can you please make a folder for Koutetsujou no Kabaneri? 
Scaley-Randy Featured By Owner May 6, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Done, sorry about the wait, I've been a bit busy ^^;
earthpoem Featured By Owner May 8, 2017
thank you! don't apologize, I know life comes first 
Scaley-Randy Featured By Owner May 8, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for understanding :)
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NickRoberts10 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for accepting me. Glad to be part of the group.
faniki Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016
Scaley-Randy Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Welcome aboard :D
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