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    Dance With the Devil

    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,310

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 13th September 2023, 4:29 pm



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    Saffron had been expecting Seberg to focus on her. While the rogue Rhaegarian certainly had an appreciation for Scourge, if only because Scourge was a tough son of a bitch, Saffron’s magical ability was of great interest to Seberg. Her ability to grow stronger as she fought was directly in tandem with his own blood marker that essentially gave him the same benefit, resulting in an upward spiral of ever increasing violence that he seemed fixated on. So, the blonde had mentally prepared herself to be the focal point of his efforts, and taken strides to make sure that she gave herself as much of a jump start as possible with the stored energy in her arm, if only so that she could reach a higher tier of power without having to get her ass handed to her first.

    But she knew that his blood marker had an edge over her Energy Barbarian, so while she was certainly fighting all out, much of her attention was simply geared toward making sure he wasn’t putting her out of commission before she could find an opportunity to wound him with her hidden weapon. They exchanged blows rapid fire, both of them often striking out with one limb while blocking an incoming hit with another, Saffron doing everything she could to keep his attention while Scourge took up a post further away where he could loose deadly ranged attacks. It was a strategy that hadn’t really worked the last time they’d tried it, but that wasn’t the point. They weren’t here to try anything new – weapon aside; they were just here to keep him busy long enough for Maker to hopefully be killed.

    A narrow miss from one of Scourge’s attacks caught Seberg’s eye, and Saffron attempted to capitalize on the brief distraction, throwing a hard punch. She barely had time to form a bewildered expression as he snatched her by the arm and yanked. Normally, she would have just let him pull the synthetic limb off just to throw him off his guard; she did have ways of getting it back quickly in a battle. But with the weapon tucked away inside, she wasn’t willing to risk being parted from the limb. So instead she gave a wide eyed “Oop..!” in surprise as she was sent rocketing through the air toward Scourge. Before she could work out her own landing, the Rhaegarian was coming down directly on top of her. Saffron grunted from the impact of his kick, which swiftly knocked all the wind out of her, and then once more as she felt her body form a small crater in the ground.

    She wasn’t sure how many seconds she spent in a daze, clawing her way stubbornly back to her feet, but when she did get back up Saffron was pretty pissed. Her golden aura became even more intense, her hair turning almost into fire as it had in the last fight as she whipped her crimson eyes toward where Seberg was now scuffling with Scourge. However, unlike when this happened in the last battle, she still had a great deal more fighting energy left in her. By the time he had sent Scourge off and turned to re-engage her, Saffron was already done charging up an attack with her synthetic arm.

    “Dodge this, asshole..!” The force of the blast that launched from the arm was powerful enough to rock her back a step, the high caliber energy bullet screeching through the distance between them where he’d find that it would bend against the laws of physics to home in on him wherever he turned. Whether he found a way to evade it or not, she wasted no time hurling herself back into the fray with him, with renewed vigor and speed, using her prosthetic and the bracer on her other arm to fire off smaller blasts that she either found ways to incorporate into her melee attacks or used to forcefully push herself in certain directions.


    Khelben was aware of the wayward hand that had found his backside, of course. It was kind of hard to miss. However, the Xocili didn’t stop to comment or even think on it. It was hardly Vriko’s fault, given the tiny size of the room they currently occupied, and even then he was far too focused on what he needed to do. So once she indicated she was ready to move out, he opened the door and off they both went.

    It took only a minute or two to establish the connection to Knowhere so Quentin could form the link, and Khelben quickly installed several encrypted softwares that would hopefully help battle against any kind of technological resistance, or at least notify him with enough time for him to act. He’d let the alarm go off so that the clones would know he was there, giving Vriko what he hoped would be a relatively clear path to handle her end of things. However, he could already sense several heat signatures heading his way.

    Shifting his focus, he turned his attention toward the door just as it opened. While Khelben himself did not possess magic, he had spent a long enough time with Silver Wolf to learn how to combat against it, not to mention he had made a number of enhancements some time ago to his sword to incorporate some magical tech from Earthland. Withdrawing his large broadsword from his back, he held the weapon comfortably in one hand and the just as large sheath in the other. Just as several of Maker’s clones filed into the room, he activated a setting on the sheath that caused either edge of it to extend slightly with a blue force field, turning it into a shield just in time to deflect the first couple pot shots that were hurled his direction.

    “Gentlemen,” he greeted them whimsically, before leaping forward to engage them. The Xocili maneuvered himself with an expert grace that could only speak to experience far beyond his age. Despite the size of his sword that he held with a single hand, his strikes were swift and precise even as he used his sheathshield to defend himself against many of Maker’s attacks. Whatever got past his shield would land home on the armoring he had inlaid into his tactical suit, the outfit shimmering slightly every time it absorbed an attack. The suit didn’t prevent him from taking damage entirely, of course; plenty of hits would still get through, and not all of the were easily brushed aside. Even the armoring had a limit on how much it could block at one time, meaning that whatever residual damage was left still soaked through to his body.

    There was a momentary pause in his battle when an explosion rocked the ship. Khelben took advantage of the distraction to run his blade through the nearest Maker, cleaving the clone’s body from stomach to shoulder. A few seconds later, Vriko’s voice sounded in his ear announcing that she had destroyed the Myn and was on her way to meet with him. “Well, they’re certainly not being sporting, but I’ve been involved in worse scrapes,” was his candid response, the man doing his best to sound cheerful though the background of battle noise beyond his microphone suggested that things were a bit hectic. “None I can recall at the moment…” His comment was cut off with a grunt as he raised his shield up to block an empowered punch from a clone, the force of it causing him to skid back several feet, leaving his shield arm feeling numb from the impact. “If these clones are weak, I can’t say I’ve too many complaints about not fighting the real thing, that’s for sure.”


    In comparison to everything happening billions of lightyears away, Serilda and Mythal seemed to practically be on vacation. Granted, it was a very morose and grim vacation. She couldn’t hear what Quentin was saying to Mythal, but all things considered they weren’t expecting too much trouble on their end of things. If anything did go wrong, it was likely to happen on Khelben’s side. Serilda only hoped the Xocili was up to the task, were that the case. While Mercury was still willing to speak up for her brother’s abilities, he’d find that faith in him was hard to come by from practically everyone else in Mercury’s life.

    Both of the Rune Knights were quite surprised as the statues around them started glowing with purple veins and eyes. Bewildered, Mythal questioned Quentin while Serilda withdrew her recently refurbished scimitars, which she supposed couldn’t really be called scimitars anymore as they lacked the curvature they once had and were now more akin to elegant, sleek long swords. Not wanting to damage the statues of what had once been the bodies of the Terrans, she defaulted to slapping them back with the flats of her blades or using her magic to push them away.

    “Done,” was her crisp reply when Mythal recommended a perimeter, the Voidwalker erecting a large sphere around them that would shield them both from above and below, the impenetrable shield all but invisible except for the slight shimmer of golden stardust. Mythal had put up his own barrier as well, providing them with a double layer of protection. At least, temporarily. A frustrated growl drew her attention as her fiance admitted that he wouldn’t be able to keep up his shield as he would need to devote most of his magical energy to Quentin. “It’s fine. My barrier should more than suffice; they won’t be able to get past it.” The statutes were creepy to watch as they slammed and clawed around them in a circle, and even her nerves couldn’t help but shiver at the ever increasing numbers… but ultimately, they didn’t appear to be very strong. “You just focus on helping Quentin. I’ll stand watch.”


    Mercury was having the time of her life, both the real one and the clone. The battle had kicked off just as planned, with Blade and Vandrad separating Maker from the clone so they could keep him busy and start whittling him down. Meanwhile, her clone was fully engaged with Ego, the two women trading blows in rapid succession while the real Mercury took several convincing pot shots with her bow from a distance. “Merciala” leaped into the air as an array of blaster fire careened her way, a jetpack on her back lifting her up into the air and away where she could stay on the move.

    A blast could be heard from the ship, and Merciala smirked as Zemenar informed everyone that Vriko had successfully destroyed the Myn. A cursory glance at Maker was enough to confirm that he’d heard the commotion, now aware that this was a multi-faceted attack but unable to break away from Vandrad and his brother to address it. She turned her attention back to Ego and “Mercury”. “Ego – it’s time,” the disguised Xocili relayed through the comms. Mercury would have preferred to give it a bit more to give Khelben, Serilda, and Mythal as much buffer as possible to get the transfer of Terran souls done, but Mercury also had to take Scourge and Saffron into account. The fact that Seberg hadn’t shown up yet was a good sign, but the longer the pair spent warring with the assassin, the more likely it was that one or both of them would die, and considering that Zemenar hadn’t given them an update on that front she could only assume that they hadn’t managed to wipe out Seberg or his blood marker.

    They simply couldn’t afford to waste anymore time.

    With the endgame in sight, “Mercury” flashed Ego a smirk as their battle built, their magical energies radiating off of them with such intensity that the ruins of the du Wolff manor around them paid the price, what little rubble and debris there was reducing to less than ash. When Ego’s final strike hit, the clone’s shriek split the sky as mind numbing agony coursed through her body. She stumbled back, clutching her head and screaming again, her voice going hoarse as her vocal cords strained from the effort. The same sickly energy that had nearly killed Maker during their last fight was now eating her up… except unlike when Maker was injured, Mercury had taken the blow directly to her torso. There would be no cutting off the corrupted body part in an attempt to save her life, as doing so would still kill her in the end.

    When Maker found his way to her, the battle seemed silent for a moment as the party paused to watch their one time friend as she convulsed and shivered in Maker’s arms, the corruption spreading through her body like a wildfire. Her body was burning up before their eyes, her screams choked off only by the gasping sobs of horrific anguish that caused tears to roll down her cheeks. “Mak- ker…” Her hands fumbled at him weakly, and already she was having trouble keeping her eyes on him, the emerald orbs glazing over as they started to drift. “H- help… me…” There was almost no strength to the whimper, Ego’s special brand of Energy Monarch fast-acting and merciless. Finally, with a few gurgled hiccups, her body slowly slumped to lifelessness, the rise and fall of her chest coming to a stop.

    Several long seconds passed as the weight of the moment settled, seconds enough to confirm her death that not even Maker would be able to predict what would follow. Just as the Terran would start to turn his gaze toward his enemies, Mercury’s clone moved swiftly. With a feral grunt and a determined expression, she snapped her blade forward, plunging it into Maker’s chest and right through his heart, the blade protruding through his back almost down to the hilt. She looked him dead in the eyes even as another strike landed a split second after the first, an arrow of glass shredding through his throat from the back where it poked out just below his adam’s apple.

    The clone smirked. It was a look Maker would more than recognize, the self same expression of smug satisfaction from the very real sociopath that was buried deep within her, the one that she’d given to Sabine and Zifu, and even him in the past. “Gods, I deserve an Oscar,” she said, as much to herself as to everyone else, though her next words were aimed at the Terran. “Did you really believe I would side with you? After everything that you've done?”

    “Hear this now, Maker: I would never betray Vandrad or his family.” Slowly, Maker would find Merciala approaching from behind him, coming around his peripheral vision until she was standing in his field of vision. Merciala dropped into a crouch so she was eye to eye with Maker, a stern expression of deep rooted hatred on her face. The clone in Maker’s arms disappeared into a puff of ether. And as she spoke again, her disguise would melt away, revealing her true form beneath.

    "I would never choose you."
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 2529/4236 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 13th September 2023, 6:11 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    Seberg twisted around instantly to face Saffron, now that Scourge was momentarily thrown away. His head cocked to the side slightly as she yelled at him, suggesting he dodge when she released a blast out of her mechanical arm. He moved to the side in preparation… only to find it twisting towards him. “Hah!” he laughed as he was forced to make a last minute twist of his body to avoid the blast, only for it to circle back around towards him. And Saffron was smartly rushing in to join, hoping that he would be forced to pick and choose when to dodge and when to fight, buying her some time. It was clever, oh so clever! He was actually impressed!

    His fighting style changed again. He fell down onto all fours and began rushing towards her. As her first few attacks came in, he dodged around her with the speed of the fastest creature alive, morphing around her strikes and follow up blasts and swiping at her legs, her sides, anything he could. At the same time, he bounced around the battlefield, the energy bullet still following after him. It would force Saffron into a defensive position, as keeping up with him was near impossible. They had seemingly reached a stalemate, with him unable to fully hurt her and she fully able to chase him. But then Scourge came rushing out of the rubble, rock and stone exploding outwards as the energy-cloaked former Dread Master zipped in front of Seberg, landing a heavy punch to his face. But Seberg was already twisting his head back, grinning as his body suddenly lurched to the side… and revealed the energy bullet rocketing in from behind. And in a move that was more horrifying than impressive, his arm swung forward to hit the bullet from behind and slam it into Scourge’s body.

    It exploded, sending the two flying away from one another. Seberg flipped through the air and landed in a crouch once more, his hands hanging by his sides with his fingers still splayed violently. Scourge managed to land on the ground out of the explosion, though the top half of his gi had been incinerated in the blast. Snorting, the former Dread Master reached up and pulled off the remnants of his gi top, ripping them off of his body and throwing them onto the ground. “Look at you glow,” Seberg remarked to Saffron before he took a deep inhale. “You two are starting to get serious. I suppose I should as well.” His limbs pulsed as renewed strength pumped into his muscles, the ground cracking beneath his feet. With another laugh, he rushed back in just as Scourge joined Saffron in the assault once more.




    It wouldn’t take Vriko very long to find Knowhere; the sounds of battle were echoing down the hall, a loud beacon for her to follow. She came rushing in quickly, her steps indistinguishable against the sounds of the Maker clones attacking. In a flurry of movement, she weaved between them, slicing bodies into pieces as she came sliding in front of Khelben, just as another Maker clone was bringing his blade down. He seemed to swing through Vriko… only no wound opened on her torso. Instead, she slowly lifted her blade up and away, as if she had just swung at him. “Full Counter,” she said coolly. The full brunt of the clone’s attack, added into her own strength, slammed into the clone, decimating him into meaty chunks that splattered on the nearby wall.

    She took a moment to catch her breath, turning to look at Khelben. “Worse scrapes, huh?” she was able to ask him in that brief moment of peace. But the sound of more footsteps approaching drew her attention to the other hallway. She flicked her sword away from her, spraying gore along the wall and cleaning her blade in one easy motion before it would be coated again. “We have a timeframe on how long this is going to take?” she asked into the headset as she jumped back into battle with the clones, dodging blasts to bury herself among their ranks.




    “My connections are growing but… I still have a long way to go,” Quentin spoke into Mythal’s mind. He could feel the strain in the Sage’s voice, the act of trying to talk, communicate with the dead and focus on a ritual taking its toll.

    “Any kind of guesstimate. Somethin’ we can go by,” Mythal spoke up as he looked at the husks. They had begun to pile up against the barriers that both he and Serilda had created, quite literally climbing on top of one another. They lay against the shield with their faces looking at them, groaning and moaning as their undead, soulless eyes stared at the pair behind the invisible wall.

    “Minutes… maybe… I don’t know… I’m sorry…” Quentin replied.

    Mythal growled softly in annoyance, though not necessarily at Quentin. Already the situation had escalated and he simply couldn’t imagine what it was like on Earthland. “Alright, just keep workin’, Quentin. We ain’t gotta timeframe. It’ll be done when it gets done,” Mythal spoke into the headset, shooting a glance over to Serilda. “We’ve got a planet of undead husks trying to get to us. Not sure what’s happenin’ but the Terran’s bodies are… moving.”




    Though things were definitely getting more complicated across all situations, it seemed that the one against Maker was going to be pulled off. Vandrad and Blade had kept him off balance, refusing to allow him to get close to Mercury so they could work together. And Ego and Merciala had been keeping ‘Mercury’ occupied, fighting with such believable killing intent that it had to be real. Frankly it was; the clone was just that and it perishing wasn’t going to hurt the actual Mercury. But it was important that they time it right and given how many minutes had already passed since they knew that Saffron and Scourge were fighting for their very lives. Merciala gave the word and the clone flashed the knowing smirk that she needed.

    Ego cackled as she twisted her arm around ‘Mercury’s’ defense and landed the killing blow. Her toxic energy rushed into the clone’s torso as it knocked her back and she began to wail in utter agony. Already the magic went to work, breaking down her atoms from the inside, draining her body of life as quickly as an acidic liquid would break down matter.

    Maker spun to look at Mercury, his eyes widening. “Mercury!!” he screamed, his magical power exploding off of him as he rushed to her, ignoring Vandrad and Blade honing in on him. But as he rushed to the clone, the future king and Terran slowed their approach, opting to watch instead as he went to the woman. He landed practically on his knees to catch her as she fell, holding her in his arms as she violently shook. “Mercury… Mercury…” he said softly, looking down at her. The damage was already too well spread; there was nothing he could do to stop it, even if he wanted to. His eyes wavered as she begged him to help her, his hand reaching up to gently caress her cheek. “No…no…” he muttered pitifully as she gagged and choked and finally settled, her body going limp in his arms.

    Time seemed to come to a standstill for the Terran as he looked at the lifeless form of the woman. He didn’t even realize that tears were in his eyes, his breath caught and held in his lungs. The first person besides himself that he had ever trusted, that he’d ever really cared for… and now she was gone. Killed by the same people that she had once been allied with. His mouth, hanging agape in agony and sorrow, began to close into a bared snarl. His shoulders rose and fell heavily as his own anger began to bubble over, his breath coming in and out in pained growls. His head snapped up to look directly at Ego, filled with killing intent unlike anything he had ever shown before.

    But he didn’t get a chance to act. Sharp, agonizing pain filled his entire torso and he gasped as his eyes turned to look down… to find the corpse of Mercury having shifted, burying her blade into his chest. She’d impaled him so deeply that the blade was poking out of his back, blood coating the metal and running down his clothing. A rasp of pain escaped his throat… only to find another agonizing pain shooting through him as an arrow punctured the back of his neck and protruded out the front. His eyes were bulging as thick rivers of purple blood poured out of the holes in his neck, filling his throat and mouth. The clone was smirking at him, proclaiming that she deserved an award. Then she asked him if he really had truly believed she would stay by his side after everything he had done.

    Another voice spoke behind him, that of the bounty hunter. He gurgled and coughed up blood as he managed to turn to face Merciala as she stated that she would never betray Vandrad. Suddenly the clone was gone, disappearing into magical smoke as if she’d never been anything but. And that was the truth, wasn’t it? She had never been real; she had been some creation of Mercury’s. Realization caught up to him too fast as Merciala’s disguise fell away and revealed the real Mercury beneath, stating plainly and coldly that she would never choose him. Maker was able to find the strength to stumble to his feet, reaching up to grab at the arrow in his throat but unable to remove it. He looked around at each person surrounding him, unable to speak but the glare he was giving each of them speaking volumes more than he could ever put into words.

    When he finally came to a stop, a loud gunshot rang out. Maker’s head snapped back and he was knocked several feet away from where he’d been standing as he hit the ashen soil hard. Just as Vandrad had suggested, Hosrius had waited for the perfect shot and when the Terran had stopped and even looked at him, he’d pulled the trigger, burying a bullet into the maniac’s head.

    Vandrad didn’t wait long after the Terran’s body had gone still. Magical energy funneled into his hand and he sent it straight at the corpse in a deadly beam. When he cut off the flow, smoke billowed off the freshly burnt ground, with no trace of Maker left in its wake. Finally Vandrad let out a sigh and let his Empowerment disappear off of him.

    “Did… we get him?” Hosrius asked over the headset.

    "Unless he can come back from ash, I believe we did,” Vandrad said, watching the spot for a moment longer before he turned to the rest of the group. "Zemenar, we’ve dealt with Maker. Give us an update on the rest of the teams so we can split up accordingly. We need to go and extract Saffron and Scourge as well as aid Vriko and Khelben.”

    A rumble of thunder rolled over the sky and as Vandrad glanced up, he saw that storm clouds had rolled in. That was strange; there hadn’t been a cloud in the sky moments ago and there definitely wasn’t any indication of approaching storms. It was then that he felt something; he couldn’t even properly call it his magical sense. It was something specific, something unique… it was as if Energy Monarch itself was sounding an alarm inside of him.

    “Vandrad…” Ego spoke up, having felt it too.

    Yet before Vandrad could speak, a familiar voice spoke from all around them. “I should really be thanking you all,” the dulcet, yet no-less angry voice of Maker echoed across the entire valley. “I had allowed myself to… feel. To care. To believe that someone could possibly be my equal. I let my guard down for the first time in my life… and I very nearly died because of it. You have shown me the truth that I’ve always known; I can only rely on me. No one else has the capacity, has the will, to perfect this universe save for me.”

    Vandrad and Ego suddenly turned towards the ship’s entrance and there stood Maker. Blood was still fresh on his neck, lips and body but the wounds that had been inflicted on him were already healing. The look in his eye was deranged, filled with unbridled rage that could only come from heartbreak and betrayal. Blade exploded from his spot, rushing at his brother as quickly as possible. He roared as she came upon Maker, sword at the ready and swinging at the Terran’s neck…

    Only for the blade to explode upon impact. Blade only had a moment to register the broken weapon before he was flying backwards, an invisible shockwave overwhelming him and continuing forward to slam into the rest of the group. It would be hard enough to push them back, force them into defensive positions so as to not lose their footing. Maker’s form began to glow, a ball of light overwhelming him and hiding him in it for several seconds.

    And then it exploded outwards, shards of light that fluttered upwards like leaves falling in reverse. Maker had transformed; his mohawk had exploded into full, upright hand, spiked and stiff not unlike the way Vandrad’s hair changed. A glowing structure hung behind him, two circles around an upside-down cross. Even his clothes had changed, more regal and unscathed from battle. His hands hung down by his sides as he floated in the air before them, eyes closed as he reveled in his own increase in magical power.

    "Everyone, get ready!” Vandrad yelled as his Empowerment overtook him again.

    “There is no ready, Vandrad. There is only the extinction,” Maker’s voice boomed out of him as his eyes slid open. His arms came up in front of him, palms facing one another on top and on bottom. Magic formed in the space between his hands, a throbbing light that began to grow brighter with each passing nanosecond. And before Vandrad could say anything else…

    “Energy Master Control Secret Art: Disable.”

    As quickly as the Empowerment had overtaken Vandrad, it disappeared. The cobalt aura of his burned up, as if the fire had been put out aggressively. The future king stared in horrified shock as he flexed his arms, trying to draw his magical power out. Similarly, Ego’s burning green flames sputtered out and in a flashed of light, Patricia had returned, collapsing to her knees.

    “What… what did you do?” Patricia asked in bewilderment.

    “I locked away your ability to use Energy Monarch. It will not be used against me, its usurper, its superior form. And I will not suffer you all any longer,” Maker replied as he gently waved his hands in front of him. The symbol on his back suddenly burst with light and thick, jagged bolts of magical lightning came rushing at the group, aiming to incinerate them to ash in one single blow.




    Scourge had been in the middle of giving himself some room away from Seberg when it hit. His Empowerment burned up as well, leaving him powerless as he stood there, shocked. “What?!” he asked no one as he, too, tried to pull from his magical core.

    Seberg already saw his opening, the former Dread Master leaving him wide open. He zipped away from Saffron and appeared in front of Scourge, slamming his fist into the man’s sternum. Scourge, unprotected with any kind of magical defenses, gasped, spittle flying from his mouth, as all the air in his lungs was punched out and his entire torso seemed to concave around the hit. He was sent flying back into the rubble of a building, disappearing once more under the collapsing ruins as Seberg turned to Saffron. “He’s starting to look more like a liability than anything else,” he informed the blonde as he rushed at her, now even more invigorated with bloodlust as he began to charge at her again.

    But, even to his surprise, Scourge reappeared. And he had changed; he was sporting a tail and red fur covered it and the entirety of his upper torso. His hair had grown as well, more like a mane than anything else. He took advantage of Seberg’s moment of surprise and slammed a fist into his chest as well, pushing through and sending the rogue Rhaegarian flying into another one of the ruins. “Shut your goddamn mouth,” Scourge hissed as he reached up to clutch at the spot where Seberg had hit him. His chest was definitely damaged, red and bruising already. It felt like his chestplate was cracked, if not altogether broken.

    And without Energy Monarch, somehow inexplicably torn from him, he couldn’t fully heal it at that moment. He growled as he shook off the pain as best he could. It didn’t matter; he wasn’t going to let broken bones stop him from backing up Saffron. “I don’t have Energy Monarch anymore,” he told Saffron as the rubble began to move, Seberg’s cackle echoing out from it. “Something’s happened. Something bad.”

    “And I don’t know what we can do about it.”






    Words: 2895/8979 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 683
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 7,124,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 14th September 2023, 9:40 am

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Khelben was a little in over his head. Well, more than a little. He knew he could hold his own for a little longer, but if Vriko wasn’t able to get to him soon he was going to have to start taking some drastic measures. Luckily, he knew she was close. He could see her approaching clear as day on his radars, having been able to track her since they arrived on the ship, and sure enough just as he was starting to get backed into a corner the raven haired maiden swept into the room, striking down several clones with almost distracting precision. In truth, he was trying not to stare at the beautiful sight of the woman, whose collected composure, undeniable strength, and cool grace tickled a part of his psyche that he immediately stamped down before it could bubble into a fully cohesive thought.

    “You’ve clearly never fought a hoard Nazru,” was his simple, somewhat playful retort, though he grimaced at the splatterings of Maker viscera on the wall. Their moment of peace was short lived, however. If his scanners hadn’t alerted him to the incoming wave of enemies, the sound of their footsteps were a dead giveaway. Khelben settled his stance once more, shield up and sword primed while Vriko inquired as to how much longer it would take for the transfer of Knowhere to reach completion.

    The Xocili jumped into the fray with her as they awaited the response from the Rune Knights. Now that he had some back up, Khelben switched tactics. Slipping between a couple of Maker clones, he deftly sliced one in half with his sword while blocking an incoming blast from the other. Turning his shield sideways so that it was perpendicular to the ground, he sliced it up in a thick backward arc, the edge of the shield carving flesh as easily as his melee weapon did. While he was focused on the fight, he listened in for the final word from Mythal, which unfortunately wasn’t much of an answer: Quentin was working as fast as he could, but they had no reliable time estimate. Apparently the bodies of the dead had also come to life and were trying to get to them, though it sounded like they weren’t having much trouble holding them off.

    “Well, that’s not a horrifying image,” he muttered at the thought, far too busy at the moment to truly comprehend the idea of the dead coming back to life, or some kind of fabricated animation as it were. Deftly twirling the oversized blade in his fingertips he held it in reverse with the wide billet protecting him from incoming attacks. Meanwhile, he pointed the top of his shield at a grouping of clones and unleashed a series of blasts from the hidden barrel in the shield, the weapon benefiting from the energy his chest piece had been absorbing and channeling to the shield throughout the fight. “We’re outnumbered, but not necessarily outmatched. Keep doing what you’re doing – we should be able to keep buying you time for a while longer, yet.”


    Serilda’s nose was wrinkled in a mixture of pity and distaste. The sight of the bodies climbing up and over one another was a type of nightmare fuel that she simply hadn’t asked for or needed in her life. At the same time, her heart ached at the knowledge of who these people had once been, and the affront to nature that was being afforded to them. “I certainly could have lived without the experience,” was her only response to Khelben’s remark about the imagery.

    With a resigned sigh, she reached out to the Void space beyond the wall. In a blink, all of the husks simply exploded into dust, giving them a temporary reprieve. There would be more soon enough, but as durable as her shields were, even they would have worn down over time. As painful and dirty as it felt having to destroy the bodies of those they were trying to save, she knew they had little other choice. And, were she the one in their shoes, she would have much preferred that someone do whatever it took to keep her corpse from being desecrated in such a disgusting and disrespectful way.


    Mercury could have bathed in Maker’s shock. All he could do was gurgle at her as she revealed her hand, and her deception, watching in real time as the realization washed over him during his dying breaths. He somehow found the strength to stand to face her, to face them all, casting his judgemental glare upon each of them until a shot rang out from the distance. The bullet hit Maker with such velocity that it sent him flying off his feet, his fully limp corpse slapping the ground hard. They had just enough time to observe the expertly placed wound that Hosrius had lodged in the Terran’s head before Vandrad vaporized what was left of the body to secure their victory.

    And Mercury did her best to revel in the win, but it wasn’t fully committed. Not that she had any lingering feelings for the man they had just killed. No, her pity well was dried up, and the only thing that she would ever miss about the man was the challenge he provided her – and, admittedly, the sex. Rather, it was her paranoia, her life long friend that had always kept her sharp, even when it wasn’t always warranted. An enemy as crafty as Maker always had contingencies in place. They’d all seen it before, and as much of his trust as she had earned, she knew there was still a lot that he had never told her.

    Yet some time passed and nothing seemed to happen. Vandrad spoke into the communicators to ask Zemenar for an update on everyone else. “All parties are still accounted for. Vriko and Khelben are still fighting off clones, but holding their own. The transfer is in progress but no solid estimate on how much time for completion. The corpses of the Terrans have been animated as a result of the transfer, but are so far not posing much of a danger to Mythal and Serilda. Scourge and Saffron’s feeds are still live, but they haven’t had the luxury of reporting in. Seberg is demanding all of their attention, and so far they seem to have not found an opening to strike with the Myn.”

    No sooner had he given the update when a peal of thunder clapped across the sky, causing the hair on Mercury’s neck to stiffen. She had only just started to settle into a sense of relaxation, but all of it washed away as an all too familiar voice seemed to echo from the air all around them. Mercury snapped into a battle stance once more, notching another arrow to her bow, her sensors scrambling to help determine the source. There was no way.. Simply no way! Vandrad vaporized him. Whoever this was, it had to be a clone. Unless Maker had performed a similar trick, and maybe all this time she had also not spent with the real Terran? Her mind was racing to calculate an answer that she could really only guestimate at.

    And yet, as the group turned to witness the man walking down the gangplank, Mercury couldn’t help but feel a bit of psychotic excitement in her. Oh, there was plenty of shock and hatred in her stare, but there was no stopping the tugging of her lips into a sardonic smirk as the man who had very much been her rival over the last few years lived up to the title now. He looked much the same, and yet entirely different, his head more full of hair, with far more regal clothing and even some kind of aura of light rings behind him that were reminiscent of halos.

    Blade immediately snapped into action, launching himself at his brother for another killing strike. But his weapon merely shattered upon impact with Maker’s skin, and a sonic wave blasted the younger Terran back. Like the others, Mercury braced herself to keep from being tossed back, grinding her heels into the earth and leaning forward into the ferocious wind to maintain her balance. The line of them banded together, Vandrad tapping back into his empowerment and telling them to be on their guard.

    If only it were that simple.

    Maker opened his eyes and gathered energy between his palms, telling Vandrad plainly that there would be no readiness, only their demise. And then he chanted a controlling spell. Mercury frowned in confusion for the briefest of seconds before horror washed over her face. Vandrad and Patricia had both lost access to their magic, the doctor reverting to her original form with a bewildered stare. When prompted, Maker explained that he had locked away their use of Energy Monarch. He was not giving them a chance to fight, having been pushed beyond the realm of charity and now upon a plane where they were merely insects to crush without thought beneath his heel. A cold chill raced down Mercury’s spine as she blinked at Vandrad and Patty, almost unable to comprehend what had happened. How had he found a way to accomplish this without utilizing the Myn?

    She wouldn’t have time to theorize about it. She felt the electricity even before he sent it, the energy building behind him and causing every fiber of her muscles to tingle. He intended on vaporizing them all in one swift blow.

    Luckily, this was one more failsafe that she had implemented, the last ace up her sleeve. Mercury had hoped that, should her betrayal not result in the desired effect, he would utilize a lightning based attack against her, as she had modified the biology of her clone enough to lead him to believe that an overabundance of lightning would result in critical life failure. Whether he had bought into the subtle deceit or whether he simply felt the flavor of lightning was best suited to his wrath, Mercury simply wasn’t going to argue it.

    Banishing her bow into storage, Mercury conjured a large metal rod at the exact moment that Maker unleashed his attack. As the lightning streaked through the air, it suddenly jerked and veered off course, every single ray of it zipping toward the Xocili in what he would likely assume was a last ditch sacrifice to save her friends and her fiance. Billions of volts of electricity slammed into the end of the rod and to her body, wrapping around her light a thick cloud that would blind anyone who looked at it directly, but it was not a scream they heard coming from the epicenter. No, the somewhat undignified sound of slurping drifted out across the air as Mercury quickly and deftly sucked the element in. It was more power than she’d ever consumed before, the lightning not only replenishing her energy and magical reserves but sending her body into overdrive.

    With a ferocious roar, prismatic light exploded from her, the brilliant and shimmering energy filling the air for hundreds of meters and briefly causing a full white out. When it faded, Mercury had taken on her own change. Her flesh seemed to have burned away, covered in thick metal plating that was more true to the synthetic being that she was. Her skin had paled, with place traces eching along the plating of her body from face to toes. There were mechanical protrusions around her jaw, joints, and other places around her body, though her short purple hair remained. Her eyes had gone fully robotic, with glowing pink irises like LED lighting that burned bright against the blackness of her pupil and sclera. She was radiating with tremendous power of unknown origin, a technicolor aura of light clinging to her body even as color changing arcs of miniature lighting danced along her form.

    “You know,” she told Maker calmly, stretching her neck to limber it up. Even her voice sounded slightly more robotic, with a synthetic element to it that had never been present before. “This is better. Putting you down that easily was a bit anticlimactic after all this build up, so if you want to give me the opportunity to kill you twice… I am more than happy to oblige.” There was a sound like a turbo engine revving up, and Mercury snapped out into the sky, her body converting into a bolt of prismatic lightning as she jolted toward Maker in the blink of an eye, only to reappear before him with barely inches between them, already swinging.


    Unsurprisingly, Seberg was thrilled at the new tactic that Saffron had thrown his way. That was fine with her. She didn’t care if he was enjoying himself, she only cared if she kept him busy – being able to actually hurt him, if she accomplished that, would merely be bonus points. He laughed as he realized the bullet would follow him, eager to put himself to the challenge of evading the blast even as Saffron engaged him in an attempt to distract him and push him to his limits. He dropped to all fours and galloped at her like a beast, moving faster than she could quite keep up with. She growled and simply kept herself moving, unafraid to be put on the defensive when her defense would only boost her offense in the end, ultimately bringing them to a relatively evenly matched standoff.

    Scourge’s timing was as convenient as ever, the former Dread Master seeing an opening to crack his fist into their foe’s face and not hesitating to take it. In the process of taking the hit, Seberg somehow managed to twist himself around to reveal the energy bullet. Saffron only had enough time for her eyes to go wide, the understanding hitting her before she could even get a conscious thought let alone speak out to Scourge in warning. All she could do was watch in horror as Seberg punched the bullet, purposefully setting it off at point blank range to make sure that Scourge took the full brunt of the attack as much as Seberg himself did, both men rocketing away from each other from the impact.

    Annoyed, but certain that Scourge could more than handle any of her attacks, she scowled at Seberg as he gave her a moment to breathe, which the blonde did deeply. She wasn’t gasping and ragged just yet, but she was sure it wouldn’t be long before her energy started to fade, with not even the adrenaline of a fight for her life to keep her going. They’d have to find a sure opening for her strike, and they’d have to find it soon. Seberg remarked to Saffron about her glowing, and the blonde spat a wad of blood out of her mouth. “Yeah listen, you can hit me all you want but I’m gonna ask that you don’t hit on me, if it’s all the same to you,” she retorted with her usual sass. He commented about electing to take things seriously, a renewed surge of energy causing the ground at his feet to crack. Saffron sank into a readied stance. “Blah blah blah, blood marker bullshit – just shut up and fight me, limpdick.”

    When he was done posturing they jumped right back into it, with Saffron doing her best to ignore the sudden edge he had over her, though her own abilities at least kept the gap from widening so far that she couldn’t retaliate. Scourge had burst from the rubble to join them, the three going toe to toe once again as Saffron and her partner worked in tandem to try to put him down. Things were going about as well as they had been, which was to say good enough but not necessarily stellar, when suddenly Scourge’s empowerment dropped.

    The only reason Saffron got a chance to look bewildered was because Seberg had seen his opening and zipped away from Saffron to land a hard punch that sent Scourge soaring back into a building. A chill ran down her spine as she wondered what had just happened. Everything had been just fine, or as much as it could be, literally seconds ago, and then he simply loses power? No, it was more than that.

    Somewhere deep in her core, she knew it had nothing at all to do with Scourge himself. Saffron glared at Seberg as he returned his gaze to her, quipping about Scourge being a liability. She wouldn’t get a chance to respond before he came rushing at her again, her fists practically white from how tight they were, but then Scourge appeared once more, so quickly that even Seberg was unprepared for it. Telling Seberg to shut his mouth, he punched their enemy directly in the sternum and send the Rhaegarian flying. Meanwhile, Saffron couldn’t help but stare at Scourge, her brows scrunched in unreadable scrutiny. “Bro, come on, you can’t be more attractive while sporting a tail. That’s just wrong, and it feels wrong, and now I’m just disgusted with myself.”

    The humor lasted for only a moment as she observed the wound on his chest that wasn’t healing up as quickly as it should have been. In fact, it didn’t appear to be healing at all. Saffron swore when he admitted that his access to Energy Monarch had been cut off. She was right – something was terribly wrong, and like Scourge she doubted it was in their control to fix. “Something happened to Vandrad.” It wasn’t a question. There was no denying the evidence in front of them. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the time to question or research it. All they could do for the time being was be grateful that Scourge still had a backup magic that he could draw from.

    Seberg’s maniacal laughter drew their attention down to his temporary bed of rubble. “Well, the quicker we get an opening, the quicker we can worry about whatever else is happening. You good?” Presuming he was at least ready to keep the fight moving, she’d nod. “Then let’s shut this asshole up once and for all.” Resurging her energy once more, the pair raced back down to re-engage the Rhaegarian, the understanding that they were quickly running out of time looming over them like a thick miasma as they did.

    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 14th September 2023, 1:35 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    “Blade!”

    A voice echoed out from the very fringe reaches of his consciousness. He could hear rushing in his ears, pain in his abdomen beginning to rise up and send his nerves into high alert. A groan escaped his lips as the voice spoke up again.

    “Blade!”

    It was louder now and there was also the rumble of something. Possibly thunder or something else? Weakly, his eyes fluttered as his world began to rise back up to join the living one.

    “Blade!”

    Blade woke with a start, his consciousness fully returned. As he tried to move, he felt a sharp pain shoot through him from his right side. Wincing, he looked over and found a sharp point of stone sticking through his shoulder. His purple blood was coated in it and dripped down onto his body. A hand pressed itself on his other side and there was Hosrius, kneeling beside him.

    “Don’t move too much,” the Jirian said as he pulled up his armband. He put in a command and then bent over Blade, taking hold of his shoulder with both arms on his good side. “Alright, this is going to hurt a lot.”

    Blade expected a countdown but it never came as the Jirian pulled him off the rock. He let out a yell of pain as he was pulled free of the stone, blood beginning to pour out from the wound on both sides. Hosrius’ armband popped an opening and poured a foam over the front of the injury, causing the Terran to yelp in agony before turning the hose to the other side. The foam was steaming as it settled in and began to harden over the wound. “That’ll keep you from bleeding out. But that arm isn’t going to be any good.”

    “I don’t… care…” Blade growled, trying to stand up. “I can’t… stop…”

    “You will only be a hindrance,” Hosrius told him sternly, pushing down on the Terran’s shoulder and keeping him in place. As he looked back over his shoulder at the brightly glowing and somehow resurrected Maker, worry shone vibrant in his eyes. “At this point, I think we both are…”

    And they weren’t the only ones. Vandrad and Patricia could only stand in there in utter shock, robbed of their abilities to participate in the fight. As Maker resolved to wipe them out in one go, Vandrad could only grit his teeth as the powerful bolts of lightning surged from Maker’s halo, lacking a better description for it, and honed in on all of them. But Mercury was prepared, summoning a metal pipe that acted as a lighting rod. The lightning curled in and struck her, covering in crackling bolts of electricity that had to fall within the millions of volts range. Maker watched with the same frantic anger, lacking in amusement or smugness at the moment, as the woman he had just wept over seemingly threw her life away to protect everyone else. But Maker… somehow knew it was something more than that. Protection was one thing and self sacrifice was certainly another but it lacked strategy. Killing herself then would only delay everyone else’s death by seconds at minimum, minutes at most.

    No… this was something else. Yet another trick that she had planted to lead him in one direction so that it would work in her favor. The Mercury he’d been with had been a clone; it was entirely possible that the real Mercury could have altered parts of her biology to make him believe certain aspects. Such as her weakness to lightning, which he could already hear the sound of it being slurped up like a loud customer at a restaurant. His jaw tightened in further annoyance and anger, even as the light about her reached a breaking point and she released a guttural roar. Light zipped all around the battlefield as a new, transformed Mercury now stood before him and her allies. It was an impressive change, there was no doubting that; she looked even more mechanical and cybernetic than she ever did in her natural form. His eyes narrowed slightly; a Slayer of some kind? He’d researched the different types of magic on Earthland and knew when a Slayer consumed a certain amount of one element, they reached something called… Force.

    It all made sense -- irritating sense but sense nonetheless. He watched and waited as she addressed him, admitting that his prior ‘death’ had been unsatisfying in terms of payoff. If he was going to provide a second chance for her to make sure he was in the ground, she was happy to take her shot. And in movement that even he couldn’t fully follow, she was before him, already swinging her fist in at him. It came to a crashing halt against an invisible bubble, the shield flashing into existence with a roll of light from the impact. Cracks formed where her fist had hit but the barrier didn’t give way. In fact, it had already begun to repair itself. Maker, in spite of his anger, couldn’t help but laugh; a soft, menacing sound as he hovered in the air with his eyes closed. “I suppose I should throw everything you’ve ever told me into the trash. To think I had thought I had a partner…” Slowly his eyes opened to fix upon her face. “Your opportunity to kill me is here then, Mercury. But is it worth the life of your friends? Of your fiance?”

    His arm made a motion outwards and thousands of magical pellets materialized in the air above the entirety of the battlefield. His arm swung forward and the crackling pellets, fully formed of pure ethernano, surged downwards in an onslaught of explosive magical energy.

    Vandrad had very little time to react but instinct was faster than he could ever be prepared for. In a rush of fiery magical power, he connected to the Ark and roared as dreadether rushed up in a wave towards the pellets. It vaporized enough of them to save the area where they were, even as the rest of the grounds were treated to explosive impacts. Vandrad kept pulling from the Ark, a magical light popping up from his lower back and forming into a tail. His armor began to crack and break apart as his muscles expanded, snapping completely off his body as his hair began to grow down over his shoulders. Vibrant red hair rose out of his flesh to cover his arms and torso and with one final surge of energy, he completed his Take Over.

    It wasn’t as strong as it should be, or rather as strong as Scourge was capable of making it. And already the future king could feel Scourge’s connection to the Ark, meaning they were both drawing from it at the same time. That meant that the Dread Master must have been affected by Maker’s spell as well. The clock was ticking on how long both he and Scourge had in their Caliban forms. "Mercury, I’ve got this covered. Take care of that bastard,” he called out as he coated his arms in dreadether.

    “Do you now?!” Maker roared back with manic laughter. Energy surged outwards in the direction of Mercury, a shockwave meant to knock her back. Maker’s hands ignited with flames and then exploded into large, flowing funnels of fire as he began to spin like a top. The massive pillars roared in towards Vandrad and company, forcing the future king to rush the fire and slam his fist into it, dissipating the flames temporarily. But Maker continued to spin and his path took him towards the living ship as well. He’d concentrated the beam of fire so well that as it ripped through the ship, it cut the entire top half off cleanly, a melted line through the castle illusion. It flickered and gave way to its real form as the entire top half of the ship began to fall down towards the ground.

    Maker continued to laugh as he came around, bringing his arms together and focusing the pillars into one large column at Mercury. But even as he did that, more energy pellets appeared in the air, now completely focused on the area where Vandrad and the rest of the group were. Down they fell, halberd-shaped constructions of deadly light crashing towards the allied men and women.

    “Ah, ah, ah!” a voice called out as a green shield suddenly appeared over Vandrad, Patricia, Hosrius and Blade. The blasts exploded against the shield harmlessly, leaving smoky remains before the barrier dissipated. A loud buzz filled the air as none other than Genesis came soaring down from the sky, landing next to the future king and the doctor. “Sorry I’m late. But apparently I came right on time to check out this delicious, hairy form of yours, Vandrad,” Genesis remarked with a playful smirk, looking at Vandrad.

    "Genesis… how?” Vandrad asked, genuinely surprised.

    “Growing a conscience takes some time, at least for some. For Grubar, it took about a day and a half before the ship was filled with Scengar curses that I’d really rather not repeat and suddenly we were turning around,” Genesis replied as he flexed his hands, creating two small shields in his palms before dismissing them. “Hi daddy, it’s been awhile!” Genesis called as he leapt forward, his wings opening and buzzing as he took off and joined the battle. He sent two small shields rushing at the rogue Terran, exploding against the invisible shield.

    “Wait… if he’s here,” Patricia spoke up softly. Vandrad already knew the second part of her question before she asked it.

    Where was Grubar?




    Scourge was far too focused and honestly, in far too much pain, to give any answer to Saffron’s playful comment. Truly a damn shame that he would regret for the rest of his life, however short that would be, but he just couldn’t lose his momentum now. He nodded in agreement to her comment about something happening to Vandrad, the only reasonable explanation to what was happening to the Dread Master. Yet he could feel Vandrad’s draw from the Ark, meaning he was surely still alive… something Maker had done then. That was concerning.

    He couldn’t think about it any further than that. “Right there with you!” Scourge replied as he swung his hands forward, materializing the glowing scythe in them. He sent a wave of dreadether towards Seberg, who easily side stepped it and then moved to dodge Saffron’s follow up attack. With a sick cackle, he reengaged Saffron, once more peppering her with strikes and hits that would hopefully make her stronger. But he never stopped moving, dodging around like an expert boxer while still maintaining a wild sense to his fighting style.

    He would find an opening to land a kick into Saffron’s side. But he’d upped his strength considerably with it, an attack that was easily double the power of the others. It would be enough to send her flying once more, only this time the rogue Rhaegarian had planned ahead so that the blonde would go flying right into Scourge, just as he was moving into a new position. It would knock the two to the ground and Seberg would dash up into the air and come down towards them, a punch aimed at Saffron on top and, seemingly meant to go through them both.

    Yet it would never hit. Instead something else would hit [/i]him[/i]. He was so focused on Scourge and Saffron, his wild senses had never even alerted him to the heavy footfalls rushing in. But a massive tank of a creature slammed into him as he came down, tackling him and carrying him several feet before it spun around and sent him flying into another set of ruins. Scourge could only look up in absolute fucking shock as Grubar stood staring at the spot he’d just thrown the Rhaegarian.

    “Jumpy little shit, isn’t he?” the Scengar grunted.

    “Grubar..?” Scourge asked. “How?”

    “I had Genesis hack into your communication network; wasn’t hard since we were already connected to it in the first place. From there, he used that computer brain of his to triangulate everyone’s positions and we split up,” the Scengar punched his fists together. “He thought I should go help Hos but… I had to do right by you.” It was clear he was talking to Saffron, even though he wasn’t directly looking at her. “I know I have a lot more to do to make up for what I said but… I ain’t leaving. So might as well use me while I’m here.”

    Before he’d even fully finished his sentence, Seberg reappeared behind him, already in motion for a kick. It landed heavily against the Scengar’s armor, knocking him forward and the rogue Rhaegarian had already landed and dashed in front, his hand in a knife edge. As it came up to try and pierce Grubar’s armor, it connected… only enough to crack the plating. But the Scengar had slammed his hands around Seberg’s hand, stopping it before it went too deep.

    He looked down at Seberg with a glowing grin. Wait, glowing? Something was flickering behind his teeth. “Gotcha,” he said briefly. “FIRE DRAGON ROAR!” And with that chant, flames erupted from his mouth, completely swallowing up Seberg and bathing him in fire.

    As the fiery eruption pilfered out, Seberg was nowhere to be found. But a glance off to the side would find him crouched on another part of the ruins. Smoke billowed off his form, his skin blemished with ash but not nearly as burnt as it should be. He grinned down at Grubar, Saffron and Scourge. “This just keeps getting more fun…” he commended them, even as his muscles expanded further. His hair seemed to grow as well, sharper peaks that extended away from his head. He gripped the piece of ruin beneath him and shattered it before he charged in once more, clearly basking in the uneven odds and the new surprises that kept coming.






    Words: 2341 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    Last edited by Vandrad Ragnos on 14th September 2023, 7:30 pm; edited 1 time in total


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,310

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 14th September 2023, 5:17 pm



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    Her fist slammed into a barrier that erected itself around Maker just in time to absorb the impact, the bubble splintering without breaking. Mercury’s gaze took the sight in with a calculating expression, her mind already churning even as she continued her assault. Maker laughed, a mirthless sound that she simply ignored as he orated his assumption that he likely needed to wipe the slate clean of everything he had previously assumed he knew about her, lamenting how he once thought he’d had a partner. “Don’t take the emotional high ground with me, Maker. I was willing to give you a chance, was the only one who voiced alternative solutions behind closed doors. You really had me going for a while with your lies, making me think that everything you’d ever done went against how you truly wanted to live. I had compassion for you when no one else did… but the reality is that you were deceiving me as much as I was deceiving you.”

    He opened his eyes to look at her, inviting her to take her shot to kill him, yet wondering if the opportunity was worth the risk it would pose to those who remained. She never took her eyes from him, defiantly locking her gaze with his own as she used her internal sensors to monitor the location of the magical pellets he conjured over her allies. In truth, she had no way of knowing that Vandrad would be able to handle things. By all accounts, it should have been assumed that he had no access to any of his abilities. However, the fact was that Maker’s cancellation spell had only had an effect on Patricia and Vandrad, which meant that it was geared only toward Energy Monarch. There was always the chance that it could have affected the Ark – Maker certainly knew of the magic. But it seemed unlikely, and Mercury trusted Vandrad and his abilities implicitly, her cold and dark glare unwavering on her opponent; he would not be able to throw her off with such threats.

    Vandrad called out to insist that he had things in hand, which triggered further laughter from Maker. The Terran unleashed a shockwave of energy in her direction. Mercury grunted from the impact as she was tossed back, but that would hardly prevent her from retaliating. Even as she spun through the air, her sensors calculated his position from her. A spray of needle thin metallic shards darted through the sky, embedding themselves into the barrier around him while he spread fire about the place. The needles burst in a violent explosion of light, and while it attack did serve to further crack his shield, it was once more not enough to break it completely, the bubble repairing itself again as she found her footing.

    Mercury frowned as she soaked in the newly extrapolated data, adding it to the growing pile to forumate her next attack. She was distracted briefly by the sights of the ship being carved in two, the act breaking the illusion and revealing the husk for what it truly was while the top of it came crashing to the ground. Quickly she scanned what remained of the building, looking for the two life signatures that she had marked for Khelben and Vriko. While she knew that Vandrad was more than capable of handling himself, she was not as sure about her brother and Mythal’s sister… Luckily, it seemed they were still relatively safe in the bottom half of the ship that was still grounded, if surrounded by a continuous wave of clones.

    Her brief concern toward the other two inside the ship resulted in an opening for Maker to target her with beams of fire. Glowing runes appeared over both her palms, and a large mechanical shield knit itself together in front of her, the towering structure several meters tall and wide. She grunted with the effort of holding her spell in place as his flames slammed into the front of the shield, licking at its surface and turning it red hot, but otherwise blocking her from the attack long enough for her to evade it. She was of the mind to zip over to the other attack to consume the light based spell he’d cast over Vandrad and the others, if only to give herself another boost, but her radars caught the rapid approach of an unexpected lifesign that was quickly recognized.

    The last thing Mercury expected was for Genesis to return, and just in the nick of time, but she wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth – even if she would have several questions about it later. As the Xocili shook off the last of Maker’s fire and lightning bolted herself to a new location, there was a wild grin on her face as the homunculus charged into the fight with her, calling after Maker like a wayward father figure even as he threw a couple ranged attacks the Terran’s way. “Well, look who decided to show up after all,” Mercury teased the man, her eyes still locked on her foe. “You’re in luck, Genesis darling; we saved a piece of him for you. He’s being a pesky little coward, hiding behind that barrier… but I’m willing to bet that barrier has limits.” Her magic once more crackled around her, runes once more appearing from the tips of her fingers.

    “And I’m going to find them.”

    All around Maker in a full globe, hundreds if not thousands of high tech drones in the shape of golf ball sized spheres stitched themselves into existence. As the drones whirled around the barrier, they shot a continuous stream of technicolor laser light that aimed to burn away at the shield, hopefully at a quicker rate than it could replenish itself.


    Inside the ship, the fight was raging on much the same as it had been, though the seemingly never ending wave of clones was starting to get old. Surely there were a finite number of these things, Khelben thought to himself in irritation as he continued to swap between his sword and shield for various attacks. They had killed so many duplicates of Maker at this point that there almost wasn’t any clear place to walk. Still, he would have taken the steady fighting over what was to come.

    Suddenly, the entire ship jerked violently, causing all of them, clones included, to stumble and scramble to keep their footing. A large explosion and the creaking of metal scraping against metal was so loud that Khelben winced and had to fight to stop himself from covering his ears. The illusion of the castle glittered out of existence, leaving the pair standing in a much more alien looking setting unlike anything Khelben had ever seen before. Linked with the ship as he was, he quickly learned through the screaming alarms that the ship itself had been torn in half by an exterior attack. “What the hell is happening out there..?” he asked, more to himself than anyone else.

    The creaking metal above them alerted him almost as much as his radars did. A large portion of the ceiling was about to cave in on top of them. Throwing his sword at one of the clones and pinning it to the wall like a fly on a dart board, Khelben rushed toward Vriko. Even as his momentum carried him past her, he hooked his free arm around her waist and yanked her off her feet just as several tons of metal dropped down from above. The Xocili pulled her up against him as he tucked them into a roll, protecting her head and back with his shield as they tumbled across the ground to land in a heap on the other side of the rubble. When they came to a stop, he flopped onto his back, gasping for air even as all the kicked up dust sent him into a small coughing fit.

    “I don’t mean to rush you,” he groaned into the communicator, reaching out to the Rune Knights on the other end, “But things are starting to not look very good here. Whatever is going on with the fight outside, someone’s attack just tore through the ship and cut it in half.” Forcing himself to his feet, and offering Vriko a hand up if she needed or wanted it, his eyes darted to the machine. “Knowhere appears to be intact, but if this ship takes any more damage it’s going to collapse completely.”


    On the fight raged between Seberg, Scourge, and Saffron, the trio exchanging blows without let up, tapping into reserves of energy that far surpassed what they should have been able to hang onto by that point. The Rhaegarian landed a kick on Saffron’s side that the blonde wasn’t quick enough to block, taking the full brunt of it as she was launched right into Scourge. She grunted from the impact, the air rushing from her already burning lungs. She could see him coming down from above them, aiming to beat them both into the ground with her taking the most of the attack, but as Saffron mentally braced herself a large, solid blur came out of nowhere, slamming into the Rhaegarian and knocking him off course.

    Saffron and Scourge scrambled to recover… only for both of them to stare completely stunned  as they realized who had joined the party: Grubar. The Scengar spun like a top, hurling Seberg across the battlefield and commenting on how sprightly the man was. Scourge was the first to find his voice, questioning the alien’s presence. Grubar was quick to explain how he’d managed to track them down with Genesis’ help. He must have sensed the renewed anger washing over the blonde as residual hurt from their last time seeing each other mixed with her fury over the danger he’d just put himself in to come back, because even though he wasn’t looking at her he explained why he had chosen this fight instead of the one he was originally supposed to be a part of. She opened her mouth to call him ten kinds of stupid for just waltzing into the suicide mission, knowing that he didn’t have the kind of power he’d need to keep up with the likes of Seberg, and the last thing she needed was to watch him die, but he kept talking, smartly not giving her a chance to say anything as he insisted that he wasn’t leaving and that was that.

    Seberg appeared behind the extraterrestrial and Saffron’s eyes went wide, anger replaced with terror as her eyes turned a rare shade of orange to reflect her fear. “GRUBAR!!” she shrieked as the Scengar was kicked away, the blonde watching almost in slow motion as the Rhaegarian aimed to pierce him through with his hand… only for it to find no purchase beyond Grubar’s armor, which cracked but did not break as Grubar had somehow miraculously managed to catch the limb in his own large hands. Even before she saw the glow she could feel it: the swirling build up of ethernano from deep within his core. Saffron’s jaw dropped completely as Grubar unleashed a belly full of fire upon the Rhaegarian in a fire slayer’s roar.

    “What the fuck?!” She sounded almost more offended than impressed. When the hell had Grubar gotten his hands on magic?! Her befuddled stare was interrupted only by the sound of Seberg’s voice, Saffron whipping her head around and instinctively putting herself back in a battle stance as she looked up at the tall ruin where he perched, laughing over his eagerness at the development. As he took a moment to once again power up like a fucking asshole, Saffron snapped her annoyed gaze back on Grubar. “I am not done with you,” she informed him hotly. Still, a keen eye would be able to see the increased vigor within her, the life that had sparked within her spirit at both the knowledge that he had come back and that she wouldn’t have to watch him get steamrolled before her eyes as the fight picked back up.

    It seemed Genesis had been right.
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 2034 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
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    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 14th September 2023, 8:26 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    Vandrad was completely on the defensive. The Ark granted him a lot of abilities, many of which he hadn’t tapped into or properly utilized, but none of the ones that he had used gave him flight. He’d always paired Energy Monarch with the alternative power. Now without his original magic, he was able to give himself superhuman ability with Caliban but even that wasn’t wholly practiced. It was only under Victoria’s training had he even been able to tap into it and he was nowhere near Scourge when it came to controlling its magical drain. But if he didn’t use it, he would be completely and utterly powerless and unable to protect the likes of Patricia, Hosrius and Blade. Already the Terran warrior had been injured enough to get out of the battle but it could only get worse if Maker decided to take his attention off of Mercury for even a moment.

    But the rogue Terran seemed to be thinking of everything, all at once. He’d used his flames to attack the group on the ground as well as the ship, sacrificing the unique vessel that he’d once marveled over and showcased with such pride. He knew it was compromised, he could feel it in his very core and so, rather than let it fall, he had resorted to burning everything to the ground. He’d sliced off the top half of the ship, letting it fall to the ground with a thunderous crash that kicked up ash and dirt all over while melted pieces of the now fully materialized ship dripped down to the surface. Then he’d focused his fire on Mercury, temporarily focused on the ship, thereby betraying that there were people inside that she was concerned about. He wasn’t able to hit her properly but he’d pushed her back.

    Only for someone else to join, just in time to save Vandrad and company. The homunculus came soaring down from the skies not unlike a hero from the story books, utilizing his unique shielding to protect the attack group that wasn’t Mercury and then launching himself into the battle, pounding his weak attacks against the Terran’s shield. Maker’s eyes flitted over to the homunculus with disdain. “Genesis…” he growled.

    “The one and only, daddy,” Genesis said with a chuckle as he glanced at Mercury. “Every barrier has limits and I’m more than happy to back up that fine ass of yours to find its breaking point.” The homunculus grinned as he summoned more orbs and tossed them against the shield, causing it to flash into existence with each impact.

    So she knew Genesis personally. The way they spoke to one another, with such friendly, jovial comfort. She’d sought him out, no doubt thanks in part to Hosrius and Blade. Maker’s rage grew ever stronger as more magical power surged up from inside of him, his halos growing brighter. His shield intensified just in time for Mercury to summon a full squadron of drones that completely surrounded him. Lasers burst to life from the devices, peppering his shield with impact after impact. The shield was fully alight as it was hit, rapidly repairing itself just a beat faster than the blasts that hit. “ENOUGH!” Maker roared as another shockwave ripped off of him, this time made up of an intensive, dense wind that would crush the drones all around them.

    But he wasn’t done. His hands snapped out and the ground began to rumble throughout the entire area. And much to the surprise of everyone present, the ship he’d just cut in half began to pull itself from the ground, lifted by some unseen force. Maker’s body twisted back, as if he was preparing to throw a javelin… which it seemed was exactly what he was going to do. With a grunt of effort, his arm flung forward and the ship would go flying, tossed away from the battlefield and seemingly destined to crash into the forested area beyond the perimeter of the former du Wolff lands. He seemed confident that in doing so would put the people inside in extreme danger, possibly resulting in the ship exploding.




    Vriko was so focused on the fighting, she almost missed the sudden change in background. As she finished dicing up a clone, her brow furrowed as she realized that the stony backdrop had changed into something much more alien and weird. There was also the sudden rumble, which she thought was just from the battle outside. She continued to focus on her battle, unaware of the ceiling rapidly losing stability and threatening to fall. The first time she became aware of it was when an arm was suddenly around her waist. “What the-?” she asked as Khelben essentially tackled her out of the way of the falling ceiling, rolling on the ground with him holding her close.

    When they came to a stop, she found herself on top of him. A full sensory overload hit her as she realized how close he was, the smell of his body, the warmth of him against her, even with their clothing on. Her blush was as bright as a fully illuminated light as she pushed herself up and off of lying on top of him, only to find herself essentially straddling him. She looked back at where they had been, finding jagged metal pieces of the ceiling occupying the space they had just been. Khelben was talking into the headset, addressing the Rune Knights on Teras Prime and asking them to hurry up in the nicest way possible, given their situation.

    Not that it was improving. The ship rumbled and loud screeching as the metal was unceremoniously manipulated filled the hall. It felt like the entire ship was trying to life… which made Vriko painfully aware that they were, in fact, probably being lifted up. “You gotta be fucking kidding me!” she cursed, her embarrassment forgotten. Twisting her katana around, she reached down with one hand to tug at Khelben’s suit, enough to stretch it slightly off his body. With a single thrust, she buried her katana through it and into the floor beneath as she held onto it, and him, for dear life as the ship was then thrown, causing the room to lose all sense of gravity.




    While Mercury was dealing with keeping the ship from getting too far or taking too much damage, Maker’s hands extended towards the ground. Once more the earth rumbled beneath the feet of Vandrad and company, the soil splitting before rocky mounds began to thrust up from below. The future king grabbed Patricia around the waist and leapt into the air just as the ground shot up from beneath them and Genesis was forced to throw one of his shields around Blade and Hosrius, the rock column sending them flying up. The homunculus moved to go and catch them but a loud crack of lightning shot out of Maker’s hands, zapping him and immobilizing him. The rogue Rhaegarian motioned his crackling hand down and slammed Genesis into the ground, even as Hosrius and Blade crashed to the ground. The shield burst upon impact, scattering the two bounty hunters on the cracked and broken ground, both men lying motionless.

    He disconnected his stream of lightning, just in case Mercury decided to dart in and suck it up for an additional energy boost. Instead his hands spun inward towards his chest, once more making the same shape they had when he’d disconnected Vandrad and Patricia’s Energy Monarch. The air pressure began to intensify, gravity seeming to jump up several levels and pressing down into the broken soil below. It forced Vandrad and Patricia to the ground, even as Maker drew from their locked away Energy Monarch to increase his own magical power.

    Genesis flew up beside Mercury, capable of handling the increased gravity… if only barely. “His mastery of his own Energy Monarch is annoyingly impressive. And that shield of his has a ridiculous threshold. I can only think of one thing that might shatter it.” A shield globe wrapped around him as he looked at the powered up Xocili. “Distract him for me. When you see me coming down, hit him with everything you got. Together… I think we just might do it.”

    He let out a small laugh. “It’s been fun, Mercury. I’d hoped to party with you one more time but… well, that’s just the way things work out.” With what apparently seemed to be a farewell, he shot up into the air, his wings buzzing loudly as he ascended high into the sky. He would continue his ascent until had passed just into the thermosphere. Once there he stopped and began to pull in energy from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. His body shook from the effort, the spots on his chitin covering beginning to gently glow…




    “How about we just survive this before you make any promises?” Grubar was able to tell Saffron before Seberg was suddenly upon them again. Scourge and Saffron joined in and the melee between the four picked up. Slayer lacrima or not, Grubar was still the weakest of the group, getting knocked around and only managing to avoid major damage because of his natural resilience being boosted by his slayer abilities. But he held on, fighting with all of his might right along with Scourge and Saffron.

    But the battle was beginning to turn. Scourge and Saffron had been fighting for what felt like hours at that point and the exhaustion that came from that near constant stream of powering themselves was beginning to wear and it was showing. Meanwhile Seberg, though covered in soot, cuts, bruises and blemishes seemed to be going just as strong, if not getting stronger. And it would only be a few more minutes of constant fighting that one of them was bound to make a mistake that would, almost certainly cost them their life.

    Scourge seemingly was the one that did. As he finished up an attack, suddenly his Caliban form seemingly reached its limit. Just like that, he returned to his base form, eyes wide in surprise as he realized his time had run out. Seberg grinned as he quite literally kicked off Grubar and launched himself at the former Dread Master, his killing intent so strong that it was almost palpable. But just as his punch came in, Scourge’s lips twitched into a smirk. A final burst of magical power adjusted his trajectory, putting him just beyond the reach of the punch but still close to the rogue Rhaegarian. With both hands, he wrapped himself around Seberg’s arm and pulled back.

    Seberg growled and brought up his other hand to quickly free himself. But Grubar had seen Scourge’s opening and read it correctly. He, too, had caught himself after being kicked off of and charged in, slamming his entire eight-foot frame into Seberg and grabbing his other arm. They would only be able to hold him for a second… but it was the second that they needed.

    “Now Saffron!” came the combined yell from both men, using whatever leftover strength they had to open Seberg completely up, removing any kind of defense for the briefest of moments.






    Words: 1868/4209 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 15th September 2023, 2:08 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Maker was not very pleased to see his wayward creation, and given the way his face twitched at the interaction between Genesis and Mercury, he was equally displeased to realize that they were already familiar with one another – perhaps too familiar for Maker’s tastes. The two voiced their plan to help one another tear down the Terran’s barrier and got to work, Genesis hurling some of his own attacks while Mercury summoned a small legion of drones to bore high powered lasers at the shield. Maker’s defense was keeping up with her attack, but only barely. Mercury grinned, hands already raising to up the stakes.

    Her enemy reached his own breaking point first, roaring that he’d had enough and releasing a shockwave of power that vaporized her drones in one fell swoop. Despite the loss of her drones, she was still smiling, knowing that he would only be so angry if they were proving to be more of a match than he’d anticipated. No surprise, at least on her part. Mercury had always hidden the true depths of her power to make herself unassuming, and up until recently he thought he was aware of the extent of her limits based off what he could sense of her clone. Now, not only was he dealing with her true power, but he was facing more than what she had even known she could do up until this moment. Mercury knew that she could achieve a slayer form, of course; all slayers could. But she never had managed to achieve it before now. It was exhilarating…

    …but at the same time, she was keenly aware of how quickly her mana reserves were being burned off. This form was not one she would be able to maintain indefinitely.

    Her smile settled into a confused frown before morphing into a full grimace of frustration and concern as the ground around them rumbled. She could see the ship being lifted from its resting point and cursed mentally, knowing that he’d read her well enough to realize she had allies inside the vessel. And unfortunately, she wasn’t as confident in Vriko and Khelben as she was with Vandrad. At least, not for something like this. Her eyes went wide as she analyzed Maker’s posture and realized he was going to hurl the ship, destroying it and everyone inside, even his own clones and all of his research.

    With a growl, Mercury once more sank into the form of a lightning bolt and streaked several hundred meters in the direction that Maker launched the vessel. Reforming herself up in the air in the line of its trajectory, she unleashed a spell that she’d hadn’t used for some time, back when she was far weaker than she was now. Two towering gauntlets knitted themselves together in the air, massive robotic hands that were easily as tall as the ship itself. Pantomiming the movement with her own body, the gauntlets followed her movements as she caught the ship, allowing the force of its momentum to push her back some so that she could bring it to a safer, slower stop rather than an instant jarring one that surely would have been as catastrophic as the impact with the ground would have. Grunting with the effort, sweat pouring down her face, Mercury was finally able to slow the vessel until she could set it down more gently in a spot where it was, hopefully, out of Maker’s reach for the time being.

    Khelben?!

    We’re fine.

    It was all the confirmation she needed. Without bothering to send another message, Mercury bolted back to the battle so quickly that she tore a trench through the ground in her wake.


    Khelben continued to be utterly oblivious to Vriko’s embarrassment, far more focused on doing whatever it took to keep both of them alive. As they rolled to a stop, Vriko on top of him, he merely laid on his back, gasping for air and talking into the communicator to keep Serilda and Mythal up to date on the state of things on the ship. No sooner had he relayed the information than things suddenly got much, much worse. The jerking of the ship prevented them from standing, both of them glancing around anxiously as Vriko voiced her annoyance. The ship was being lifted, and that couldn’t mean anything good.

    As concerning as that was, however, something far more pressing suddenly caught Khelben’s attention. Vriko was yanking on his shirt hard enough to almost lift him up by it, straddling him with her katana raised high. His eyes went wide. “V-Vriko?” As the sword came down he gave an involuntary yelp of surprise, the blade piercing through his clothing, though not through him, to pin him to the ground just as the ship was thrown. The increased velocity caused them both to hold on to one another tightly to keep themselves as stationary as possible. Khelben’s mind was racing, but he simply couldn’t think of any way this ended other than a crash. At best, Knowhere – along with the rest of the ship – would be destroyed causing Quentin’s ritual to fail. At worst, Vriko and Khelben would also die in the process.

    Everything happened so fast that it took him a moment to catch up. His sensors detected a life sign somewhere outside the ship and then suddenly the vessel was slowing down. He only knew it was Mercury when her message popped up in his mind. Knowing she had abandoned the battle to save them, he merely shot off a quick response to assure her they were alive, and almost as soon as it was sent, Mercury was off again faster than he could register the disappearance.

    “Mercury,” was his one word explanation to Vriko, helping her fill in the gaps as to why they weren’t dead yet. He was dripping black blood down his cheek from a hit he’d taken from one of the clones earlier, and he was absolutely coated in dirt and debris from the ship being tossed around. It was only then that he was able to focus on his connection to Knowhere, his face draining of its color. Khelben swore in Xocili, and once Vriko had released him from her katana he lurched up to his feet, forcing himself to stand at the console.

    “Mythal, we have a problem.” His voice was controlled, but there was a very palpable panic in it, his fingers racing on the keyboard. “I’m guessing at the exact details, but my assumption is that Maker used his magic to throw the ship. Mercury managed to stop us safely before we could crash, but between that and the earlier damage we’re quickly losing power. I’m rerouting any excess power I can to Knowhere, but the entire ship is failing, and there will be no reserves for me to draw from. We’ve got about ninety seconds before total system failure..!

    To make matters worse, they were not the only ones that survived the crash. He could sense yet more clones approaching beyond the rubble. “Vriko! We’ve got more company!” he warned her as he frantically did everything he could to draw out the power as long as possible, hoping beyond hope that the ritual was almost done.


    Aside from Saffron’s increased worry that Grubar was going to become a casualty in a situation where she and Scourge could do very little to protect him, she couldn’t help but to be grateful for the back up. Her lungs felt like they were on fire, the blonde pushing forward out of little more than pure, unadulterated spite by this point. Unfortunately, while Grubar was faring leagues better than she ever could have expected, the Scengar simply was not at the level he needed to be in order to give them an edge against an opponent like Seberg, especially when she and Scourge were already low on energy. They weren’t going to be able to keep this up for much longer.

    Much longer at all. Saffron was almost horrified to see Scourge’s form disappear, the former Dread Master looking like a deer in headlights. Ever the predator, Seberg ripped around to take his opening… only for Scourge to reveal his hand, using his magic to give him just a big enough boost to snatch Seberg by the arm in an attempt to grapple him. Almost in the same motion, Grubar flung himself out to take the Rhaegarian by his other arm, preventing him from freeing himself right away as the two manhandled him into a temporary stalemate.

    She was already moving by the time they called her name, the blonde taking every last reserve of stored energy she had left in her arm and using it to heighten her speed faster than she’d ever gone before. With a guttural cry, she threw her punch directly at the center of Seberg’s chest. At the exact moment of impact, the compartment in her prosthetic snapped open and the syringe jabbed sharply into the Rhaegarian, piercing cloth and flesh alike to inject the Myn directly into his bloodstream.

    Out of instinct, Saffron leaped backward again, putting several feet between herself and the Rhaegarian, stumbling down to a crouch on one knee. Her body felt like jello, and she was trembling with exhaustion. Her limit had been reached, and even she knew it. All she could do was kneel there, gasping for air as she watched Seberg and thinking to herself that the weapon she was given had better deliver, because if it didn’t…

    All three of them were moments away from death.


    Mercury came back just as Maker was finishing up with a lightning attack on her comrades, smartly knowing better than to give her any more unintentional boosts of power. She growled in defiance as she felt the gravity increase, pushing more energy into her thrusters to keep her airborne and trying not to think about how much additional energy the effort was taking out of her. The trick with the ship was a cheap shot, and it had made her angry, her synthetic gaze seeming to pierce Maker behind his shield when none of her attacks thus far had managed to do so.

    Just as she was calculating her next move, Genesis flew up beside her, mobile if struggling in the gravity. He candidly remarked about Maker’s mastery of Energy Monarch, as well as the impressive threshold of his father’s shield. He could only think of one thing that might break it down. The appearance of Genesis’ own shield around him caught the Xocili’s eye and she turned to look at him as he asked her for a distraction so he could give her an opening. She could sense it in his voice, but that didn’t make it any easier to hear him say goodbye to her.  Her instinct was to insist that he not do anything stupid at the risk of his own life, and for just a moment she opened her mouth to say as much…

    …But just as quickly, her words failed her. She had only known Genesis a short time, but that had been more than enough to understand him well. He knew Maker better than anyone, and if he believed that the only move was one that was likely to forfeit his life, Mercury simply didn’t have any grounds to argue with him over it. Maybe if Vandrad, Patricia, Blade, and Hosrius were still able to fight it would be a different story, but they were completely incapacitated. Mercury and Genesis were the only ones left, and they had a job to do. Maker needed to be put down, at all costs.

    Not that the knowledge made it any easier. She fought back the sudden stinging in her eyes as she looked upon him for the last time, forcing a sad, if genuine smile. “I’ll just have to host an orgy in your honor. Thank you, Genesis…” Mercury simply couldn’t bring herself to tell him how much she’d miss him,  knowing the very words would break her resolve then and there. Yet her pain at what was to come only grew worse and worse as she watched him fly away, a terrible wrenching in her chest and her stomach nearly making her head swim. The tears began to pour from her cheeks in full rivers as she did her best to push Genesis from her mind, and failed.

    If she couldn’t deny her emotion, then she would use it. Her wet eyes snapped back to Maker with a crazed rage that was fueled by her grief. “MAKER! YOU BETTER COME UP WITH SOMETHING MORE CLEVER THAN HIDING BEHIND THAT SHIELD LIKE A FUCKING COWARD,” Mercury screamed at him, “BECAUSE IT IS NOT GOING TO BE ENOUGH TO PROTECT YOU FROM ME!

    Furiously, she tapped into his chip, the one he used to communicate with his clones. It was damaged and fried beyond use when it came to its intended purpose, but it was still her technology… and it was already inside the barrier with him. If Genesis needed a distraction, then she was going to make sure he had it. Mercury crammed her magic into the device, using it as a catalyst as searing hot light and lightning magic surged directly into his body from the chip. Almost in the same motion, she summoned a thick mist of shimmering grease that completely encompassed the exterior of his shield and, with a snap, a bolt of lightning jumped from her fingertips, lighting the oil on fire until his shield was consumed by a raging prismatic inferno, the flames licking at the shield as well as blocking his sight to the outside.

    Whether he found a way to dismiss the flames or not, the first thing he would see when they disappeared was the shadowed palms of her colossal floating gauntlets as they clapped together on either side of him, taking the sphere of his shield in hand. Bellowing in determination, she threw him and his shield both down to the ground, which shuddered as it gave way from the force of the impact. No sooner had it come to rest than she reared back her arms once more, the floating hands mirroring her motions as she swung her fists one after the other, pummeling the shield over and over, and driving it further into the ground with each strike while the earth itself groaned and quaked in protest.

    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 15th September 2023, 5:12 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    There were a lot of things that Vriko wasn’t but she did happen to be very creative when it came to moments of improvisations. That wasn’t a skill that she was born with; she had that particular ability beat into her by the likes of Serethar and Archimedes during her training. The ability to quickly maneuver out of a situation that was turning around against her and gaining the advantage again. So when she felt the ship moving, she knew it wasn’t under the guidance of the vehicle itself. Someone else was moving it and she highly doubted it was Vandrad, Mercury or anyone else she knew down there. And it wasn’t like the hallway was lined with seats that they could strap into. So with a slight pull and a hard stab, she pinned Khelben to the floor and hung onto him for dear life as the ship was thrown, the world around them shifting as gravity pulled at them seemingly from all sides. She’d worry about holding so tightly to him later, if there was a later. The way things were going, the ship was probably going to explode once it hit, killing them and destroying everything on board. One mission failed.

    But as she was just beginning to prepare herself for that end, she could feel the slight pull of gravity in a different form. It was in the direction they were going but it also felt like the floor was pressing against them. That meant they were… slowing down? She didn’t dare lift her head up from Khelben’s chest, just in case some loose object smacked her and caused her to lose her grip. But he said Mercury’s name and she could only assume that the Xocili woman had found some way to save them. The last thing she wanted was to owe Mercury anything… but she couldn’t help but say a silent, internal thanks to the woman’s interference. Within seconds they had stopped and been set down, the ship shuddering as it came to rest. She pulled herself up from him, pulling the katana out of his shirt and making a note to apologize about it later. She stood up slowly, only for Khelben to practically jump to his feet and race to the console for Knowhere. As he explained, the ship was losing power, which meant that Knowhere was in trouble of losing power as well. He was doing his best to take whatever leftover energy the ship had left to funnel it into the living database but everything was failing right after the other and they were down to ninety seconds before catastrophe struck.

    Vriko’s eyes snapped to the Xocili as he yelled for her, informing her that more clones were coming. “Why can’t you all just die?” she growled as she once more charged towards Maker clones, crawling and cutting their way through the debris. “Keep that damn thing online as long as you can, Khelben. I’ll keep these guys focused on me.”

    “How noble but you--” One of the Maker clones was starting to spit out something smarmy and she stopped it before it went too far, cutting his head off right at the mouth. And then once more she was in the thick of it, weaving between enemies and magical blasts to cut down as many of the insufferable clones as she could, buying Khelben as much time as he could possibly get for Mythal and Quentin.



    Mythal had been forced to sit on the ground, his magical power severely drained. As he sat with his head hung, he lifted his eyes as Zemenar’s voice came through, informing him of the situation with Knowhere. “Son of a bitch… won’t make it easy,” the Darkness Slayer groaned. “Quentin, give me some good news…”

    “I wish I could but unfortunately, ninety seconds won’t be nearly enough time to secure all of the remaining spirits. At absolute maximum, drawing as much energy as I can, I could make it three minutes,” Quentin told him, sounding just as if not as exhausted as Mythal.

    “Khelben… Quentin can’t do ninety seconds. Maybe double that if he really tries, which he’s definitely gonna start doin’ now,” Mythal said, both informing the other Xocili and telling Quentin what to do in one breath. His senses picked up on something and he lifted his head to see a wave of husks racing at them, a tidal wave of undead bodies groaning and hustling as much as their decrepit limbs would allow them. “Seri, better… reinforce your shield… just have to hold for thirty more seconds.” Mythal was panting softly at that point. He could feel the increased strain on his magic and he closed his eyes, giving a small shake of his head to focus on staying awake. He knew that Quentin could still work if he were to pass out…

    But if something went wrong and the husks got in… he’d be a liability to Serilda. Not that he wasn’t that already. This damn day just couldn’t get any more complicated.




    And yet it could.

    Vandrad had never felt as useless, including the short amount of time that he had been without his magic. All he could do was play protector and he wasn’t even managing to pull that off as well as he’d have liked. He’d managed to grab Patty before the ground gave way and Genesis had flown in for a last minute grab of Hosrius and Blade but one bolt of electricity had been enough to take the homunculus’ attention away from that. Both of the alien bounty hunters had crashed to the ground and were incapacitated from what the future king could see. As he landed with Patricia, Maker took hold of the gravity in the area and intensified it, causing Vandrad to buckle under its weight. He held Patricia up as best he could, drawing even more from the Ark than he wanted. Already the bottom of the barrel was beginning to show, between him and Scourge pulling from it at the same time. He had maybe a minute before he lost the Take Over and then he would be pushed down too.

    Maker was reveling in the pain he was causing to the group on the ground. From where he was, he could see Hosrius and Blade struggling, pushing the side of the Jirian’s face down into broken stone fragments, undoubtedly cutting into his flesh. Blade was lying on his back, his limbs splayed out as the ground cracked and gave way beneath him, pushing him into a humanoid-shaped crater that would be his tomb. And there were Mercury and Genesis, the only two that had managed to stay empowered, just barely managing to keep themselves from crashing to the ground below. Maker’s eyes narrowed as he watched his creation’s shield surround him and then he was off, soaring up into the sky. Attempting to run away or seek help from somewhere else? It wouldn’t matter; he’d just need to focus a different element around the homunculus and bring him crashing back down…

    But before he could do that, Mercury’s scream drew his attention to her. Even from where he was, he could see the tears flowing from her eyes, feel the rage pouring out through her words. He snarled in his own fury, earnestly angered further by the fact that she felt she had any right to be angry. His hands flashed as he exuded more energy into the gravity, looking to put real hurt on the people on the ground… but then his head was exploding with pain. He let out an anguished yell as the right side of his face was filled with searing hot pain unlike anything he’d ever felt before. His one good eye snapped around in frenzied concern and rage for the perpetrator and found none. But then he realized it was the chip; the damn upgrade that she had created for him to work with his clones. She’d hacked into it and was turning it against him.

    “MERCURY!” he roared as he threw his right hand up to that side of his face, his flesh already beginning to bubble and burn away from the attack. His other hand attempted to move forward, ready to unleash hell upon her with more of his own attacks but she had already begun the next part of her assault. Grease wrapped around his shield and exploded into flames, making his entire world a flaming inferno. He seethed between clenched teeth as his left eye snapped around and looked at the fire that billowed off of his shield. Pulling his right hand away, he waved it in front of him and created a slipstream of air that robbed the fire of its oxygen, putting it out in one motion.

    But she wasn’t done. His good eye went wide as two massive mechanical hands slammed together around his shield, taking a firm grip of it and pressing in on him. He snarled as he threw his hands out to reinforce his shield with his magic, amending the cracks as they formed but unable to do much of anything else. Then he was moving, the hamster in a ball at the whim of the hands that held it. Down he went, tossed to the ground with such force that he left a round crater in his wake, his body bouncing inside the shield violently. He barely had time to look up before the first fist came crashing down, slamming into the shield and pushing him and his globe further into his crevasse. Slam, slam, slam -- the giant fists punched his shield over and over and over, the ground bending away with each new impact and further abusing the former du Wolff lands.

    With a thought, he forced gravity around the single point of the chip in his head and crushed it until it was nothing but atoms. The right side of his face was maimed and scorched, his once pristine green skin darkened and bubbled. Yet he couldn’t worry about that as he funneled even more magic outward and warped the shield into hands as well. But rather than counter her attacks, he teleported out of the dent, reappearing in front of Mercury. Both hands snapped around her, squeezing her in place as he roared. “YOU WILL NOT WIN. YOU ARE NOTHING. A PEBBLE ON MY PATH, A HINDRANCE TO MY JOURNEY! YOU AND THIS ENTIRE PLANET WILL BURN BEFORE MY WRATH!” He bellowed at her, his voice filled with pain and rage. He took her and tossed her away from him as the hands began to fill with magical energy.

    Far above them, in the upper echelons of the atmosphere, Genesis was glowing bright. He strained to move his body, the sheer amount of energy gathered in his body so overwhelming that the slightest bit of lost concentration and he would explode. His pupils were gone, washed over by the glow of his sclera. And then he fell, body going limp for only a moment before it adjusted, diving head first towards the surface and gaining momentum with each passing second, every passing foot. A sonic boom shot off of his dive bombing form, rending clouds into wisps as he came soaring downwards. The first sign of his approach was the odd show of light that seemed to be getting closer, just beyond the dark storm clouds. But as he got closer, the dark plumes were torn asunder, revealing the glowing meteor that was the homunculus.

    Counting that Mercury had seen it and followed through on her word to unleash hell on Maker, the rogue Terran was once more forced on the defense. He pulled his arms close to his chest as he pushed magic outwards against her assault and, for the first time since the battle started, the shield would begin to shrink in. It would get closer and closer to his body, the Terran forced to relieve space for durability and losing tremendously. Finally, just as it was merely an outline around him, Maker managed to look up. His single eye opened wide as he saw the rapidly approaching object.

    “HI DAD!” Genesis screamed above the roar of his fiery approach. “GIVE ME A HUG!”

    “NO!” Maker screamed as he brought up his right hand in a last ditch effort to defend himself, to use some kind of magic to push him away, anything! But it was far too late. The speed in which Genesis hit made it impossible to fully see him hitting Maker but there was no escape from the massive detonation that followed. Fire and heated air shot out in a terrifying display of carnage, swallowing up the area. The shockwave from the impact was powerful enough to send everyone flying away no matter how strong their magic was, flinging them away from ground zero with prejudice. The sound of it would travel for miles, along with the sight of the mushroom cloud that began to grow up towards the sky.




    It had come down to the wire and, frankly, the timely arrival of Grubar. If he lived to admit it, Scourge would be the first to say that he probably wouldn’t have been able to grapple Seberg and keep him off balance to give Saffron her opening, at least not without sacrificing his life in doing so. But as he laid his trap and the rogue Rhaegarian leapt right into it, he pulled whatever leftover magic was in the Ark to him and gave himself a push out of the way of his hit. His hands wrapped around Seberg’s limb tight and he pushed himself forward with the grab, pulling the man’s arm with him. And Grubar, bless his massive alien soul, followed suit with the other arm. And Saffron had already been moving, anticipating their acts, moving with such determination that she became nearly a blur. Yet Seberg was still able to pull his arm free of Grubar and slam it into the Scengar, knocking him away and then shot it over to Scourge, punching him with enough force to knock him away too. But he was not fast enough to stop the blonde, half-cocked to throw a punch at her when her fist slammed into his chest. For the briefest of seconds, he wanted to laugh; that sacrifice for just one punch?

    But then he felt it; a sharp pain jab into him. He leapt away from her just as she jumped back, looking down to find some kind of metal syringe stuck in him. The plunger was fully depressed as well. He pulled the casing out, looking at it briefly before he crushed it in his hand and began to laugh. “Poison?! That was your hail mary? Oh you poor idiots; no one told you? Poison doesn’t work on me. My Blood Marker will purge that right out of my system. But that is very annoying. So for that, I think I’m going to break all of your legs first and see how you crawl.”

    He took a single step towards Saffron… and stopped. The amusement in his face seemed to pause and then melt into confusion as he felt something wrong. “What… what the hell was that?” he asked her, reaching down to tear his shirt open to look at the wound. Thick, purple-black blemishes were already running underneath his skin in all directions. He clawed at his torso, leaving deep gashes as he stumbled back, his breathing picking up in a panic. “No. No!” he cried as the dark mark wrapped up around his neck and crossed over his face. And with a sudden gasp, his entire body stiffened. He stood there like a statue, staring wide-eyed at some realm beyond any of their comprehension. And then he fell, falling backwards and landing heavily on the ground behind him.

    Scourge pulled himself up from where he’d landed, half-sitting up as he looked at Seberg lying on the ground motionless. Grubar managed to push himself out of the ruins he’d been thrown into, thick dark green blood running down the sides of his face as he panted in pain. “Did… did we do it?” he asked, trying to take a step forward and falling onto his hands and knees.

    “Not… until he’s dead,” Scourge said with a grimace as he forced himself onto his knees, his entire body aching.

    He was just about to tell Saffron to do just that when a far off explosion shook everything around them. The ground rumbled and the shockwave came moments later, hitting with enough force to bend the trees around them and send the fragments of ruins they had broken off flying about. Grubar was knocked over from the pressure, sliding against another ruin and grunting when he hit it. Scourge just barely managed to hang onto the ground to keep from completely falling over.

    “That came… from where the rest of them are,” Scourge said as he turned to look in the direction, a mixture of exhaustion and concern filling his face. But that was nothing in comparison to what overwhelmed him as he turned back and saw before him.

    Seberg was back on his feet and he had changed. The blemishes that had corrupted his skin had taken on a spiral pattern over his body and had even extended beyond his flesh, hanging off of him in flapping strips. His clothes had been dissolved in the after effect of the Myn and the lower half of his body was completely coated in the black-purple substance. His eyes had changed too, his sclera as black as pitch with glowing orange pupils. And they were firmly focused on Saffron.

    “You bitch,” he growled, his hands flexing slightly. “You thought you could take me out with this?! There is nothing stronger than me, not even this!” His muscles flexed and a wave of terrible power resonated off of him, filling each of their veins with a dread so palpable that their bodies would refuse to move. He raised his right hand, the back of it facing Saffron, and the malicious energy wrapped itself around his limb. “You tried to take it away from me. I can feel it in this, your intent, your… goal.” His fury-filled face twisted with wicked delight. “I’ve decided you’re going to die first. I’m going to run you through with this same weapon you tried to use on me. And then you’ll get to lie there, bleeding and listening as your friends are torn apart. And when you try to access that power of yours, that glowing magic that makes you oh so unique… you’ll find it gone. The last thought you’ll ever have is how you died, useless and powerless to save anyone.”

    The energy around him kicked up, the air growing tense and even more dreadful. Scourge could only watch in absolute horror, his body refusing to listen to anything his brain tried to tell it. Time seemed to slow for him as the reality of what he was watching came crashing down in his mind. He was about to watch Saffron be killed, impaled on Seberg’s hand and robbed of the magic that she loved so much. Images flashed in his mind; memories of all the times he’d been with her. From the first moment they had met in Fairy Tail, her fierce, spunky attitude that carried cutting if not amusing words. And from that moment on, he had been fascinated with her. She’d come to him, looking for something exciting and it had brought them closer than he had ever imagined.

    The knowledge that he would never see her smile again, feel the warmth of her body against him as they snuggled close. Her laughter filling the room as they laid and watched some outrageous show she’d found. Teasing messages sent to his iLac, poking fun at him and trying to distract him. It was all going to come to an end and he was going to be forced to watch it. His heart was throbbing in his ears and yet all he could hear was silence, frozen in the moment before tragedy was sure to strike. And somehow, in that moment, he became aware of the return of his magic. It was small and weak but Energy Monarch was there; enough for one single teleportation.

    He could run. If he could will his hand to his head, he could teleport far away before Seberg got to him, before Seberg even got to Saffron. He could escape and never have to watch her die. It would make him a coward… but…

    “I am not the man that puts himself in harm’s way for others; I’m the one that figures out the way to avoid such needless self-sacrifice. There is nothing and no one that can change that fact about me. I am Scourge, Vandrad. And it would truly be asinine to try and hide that fact under a different moniker just to humor other people.”

    His own words flashed in his mind as he once more stood before Vandrad, laughing off the future king’s attempts to humanize him. That’s right; he was Scourge, the weapon of the Dread Masters. He had been brought up to destroy and upend, to tear down the ruling towers of the gods and demons and bring power back to humanity. He was a tool that would bring satisfaction through worser actions, not through any other means. The memory kept playing, with Vandrad staring at him with silent but steely scrutiny. He remarked about misjudging Scourge and walking away, insisting that their break was over. And that was it, the solidifying factor that he needed to-

    "But…” Vandrad stopped, his back still to Scourge. Both versions of the former Dread Master balked, staring in surprise. "Then again, maybe you’re the one misjudging yourself. Because when you find someone worth fighting with, fighting for... your entire perspective changes. I’d be a fool to deny it, having gone through it myself.” The future king turned to look over his shoulder at Scourge. "Those chains of yours will feel like nothing when you realize it yourself. And then nothing will stop you from doing what you have to.”

    Was it some trick of his mind? Had he blocked that part of the memory out under an ocean of denial? The small fluttering in his stomach every time he gazed into Saffron’s eyes. The stupid smile that came across his face as she lay on his chest, ingrained in whatever mindless drivel was on the screen for them. The comfort, the safety, the trust, all of the emotions and feelings that he had denied experiencing were breaking through his carefully crafted walls and hitting him harder than Seberg ever could. And if his own stupid, denying self was stronger than any of the Rhaegarian bastard’s punches, then his dread, his aura of paralyzing fear… it was nothing to him. And nothing would stop him from saving the woman he did truly, genuinely and deeply care for.

    Maybe even love.

    Time was still moving slowly as Seberg exploded from his spot, rushing at Saffron with his arm primed and ready to strike. And even as he moved slowly, floating through the air like some guided marionette, Scourge’s body shifted as well. Every inch that Seberg moved, the former Dread Master matched, his arm rising up in equal measure. A stupid, self-amused smirk tugged on his lips despite what he knew was coming, what he was doing. His eyes stared glued to the back of Saffron’s head, imagining her face, that same smile he had grown so fond of. And as his fingers found his forehead, he knew what he had to do.

    Damn you, Vandrad. You knew back then, didn’t you?

    Saffron would suddenly be pushed, the last of Scourge’s physical strength coming through as he materialized mid-movement. She would be shoved out of the way, shoved to the ground and away from the danger. And when she wound turn around, she would find Scourge standing where she had just been, fully impaled by Seberg’s hand. The black limb stuck out from his back, covered in gore and dripping with blood as the rogue Rhaegarian stared in earnest shock at the man that he had just run through. Scourge let out a ragged, wet cough that spilled blood from his lips, even as the Myn coating Seberg’s hand surged up in through the open wound.

    The rogue Rhaegarian ripped his arm out, Scourge’s body jerking forward from the sudden removal that sprayed even more blood to the ground. His body remained standing for a moment longer before slowly it began to topple backwards, almost seeming to fall in slow motion. And yet that stupid smile of his remained, coated in his own ichor, staring at Seberg as he fell. He had no quip, no snark to throw at the Rhaegarian about missing his mark. None of that mattered. He hit the ground with a wet splat, his body completely limp and somehow even that didn’t matter.

    All that mattered to him… was that he had finally found someone he was willing to put above himself. Someone that made him feel… human.







    Words: 4151/8360 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Serilda Sinclair
    Serilda Sinclair

    Ice Queen


    Ice Queen

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    Lineage : Scion of the Void King
    Position : Goddess of Conviction
    Faction : The Rune Knights
    Posts : 1362
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Voidwalking
    Second Skill: Sword of Wrath
    Third Skill: Cruorthurgy

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Serilda Sinclair 15th September 2023, 9:39 pm

    Seri Banner
    Conviction never shames nor condemns us.
    It calls us back to who we truly are.
    She’d warned him, and yet Maker was still wholly unprepared for the direct, point blank strike that had no need to pass through his barrier. He roared her name to the heavens, but Mercury barely even heard him, her anger and anguish so loud in her ears that everything else sounded muffled by comparison. She moved from one attack to the next, engulfing him in an inferno to match her passion, but despite its power it was little more than a misdirect. Her true aim was the gauntlets, crafting them while he was busy with his torment and blinded to the world so that by the time he extinguished the flames it was far too late. All he could do was pour the entirety of his focus into the shield so that he would not find himself crushed beneath the palms of her spell, and even then she refused to let up. Pounding him in the earth, all thought and tact was gone, Mercury little more than a frenzied blur of emotion as she beat him over and over into the ground, using his own body to carve out his tomb.

    Mercury was vaguely aware of the chip’s destruction, though she had mostly stopped concentrating on it. She recognized when her connection to the device severed but continued to pummel him without letup until he was forced to teleport away, leaving the safety of his cocoon to appear before her. The Xocili was so focused on her offense that even she didn’t have the speed of mind enough to adjust so quickly, Maker wrapping his arms around her in an attempt to pin her own down and prevent her from further using her gauntlet spell. She stared him directly in the eye with a feral snarl as he screamed in her face, insisting that she was little more than a slight trip hazard, one who was nothing and meant nothing, either to him or his goals. Were she in a more composed frame of might, she might have caught the emotion in the declaration and called him on it, used it against him to nettle him further, but as it was she was already too far gone. This fight was no longer about who could outwit or out-calculate the other – this was hatred; hatred built on a foundation of broken respect, broken pride, and even though neither would care to admit it at that moment… a bit of broken desire as well.

    There simply had never been two so equal of mind and science and discovery. Together, they could have shattered the universe and remade it to their liking, had the chips fallen another way. But the hands had been dealt, and they were both all in, hellbent on purging the other from existence.

    She wouldn’t get the chance to say anything to him as he tossed her aside, the Xocili quickly using her magic to control her spin and keep herself upright, screeching to a halt midair on all fours like she’d been skidding on the ground. Maker was charging for another attack, but Mercury could feel Genesis’ approach, her sensors catching his rapid descent and calculating his impact based on his trajectory and his ever increasing speed. In a breath, she summoned a dozen or more clones of herself, each of them hovering around Maker with the same determined fury. The Mercurys all held their palms facing together, a ball of prismatic light forming in the space between all of their hands. When they pulled them back to charge, a line of glittering runes of various shapes and colors, all of them at least twice as tall as Mercury herself, popped into existence in rapid succession.

    And just as the Terran realized the incoming danger from above, the spell was unleashed. Each of the runes starting from the furthest back exploded with magical energy, slamming into its predecessor and building up power from each sequential collision until it reached their hands. The Mercurys channeled the magic into insanely potent beams of the purest light, each of them slamming into the Terran from all sides, not only wearing away at his barrier but also pinning him down, ensuring that there would be no escape from the homunculus shaped meteor that was bearing down on him.

    “GENESIS!” she screamed just before the impact, her heart well and truly breaking as she watched her friend die, tears dropping from her eyes so large that they shook off her face in droplets before they even had a chance to kiss her cheeks.

    And then the shockwave hit. Every single one of her clones dissolved in an instant and Mercury was sent flying away with such force that she could barely comprehend it, let alone have any control over her landing.


    Serilda grit her teeth in frustration, feeling useless. In any other circumstance, she would have teleported back to Earthland by now to lend a helping hand in one of the fights, certain that Mythal and Quentin would have been fine on their own for a few minutes, but these damned corpses were keeping her grounded. Not that she was reluctant to stay, nor was she upset to use her energy and focus to protect her fiance, but it was difficult for her to stop thinking about how much simpler things would have been if this one, annoyingly pitiful attempt at resistance hadn’t occurred, so she could step in to another place that was sorely in need of backup.

    But this was her assignment, and it was her duty to help ensure that Knowhere’s transfer went off without a hitch. She intended on doing just that, come hell or high water. And considering Khelben’s last transmission, it seemed hell itself was imminent. All they needed was time… just a little more time…

    Mythal suggested she redouble her shield, which the Voidwalker certainly did and more. As she pumped back up power into the barrier with one hand, she used the other to summon a small legion of Bloodletter soldiers, the nephilim forming in perfect harmonious lines. “Handle it,” was Serilda’s only instruction, and they were off, easily passing through the barrier and whittling down the bodies to take some of the pressure off of her shield.


    The former Collector had little choice but to trust Vriko to handle the incoming attacks as he scrambled to do anything he could to draw out the power of the ship. His anxiety only rose when Mythal told him a minute and a half wouldn’t be enough. Quentin needed at least double that, at minimum, and Khelben had absolutely zero idea how he was going to accomplish that. Even he could hear Mythal’s exhaustion on the other end of the communicator; the knight sounded like he was going to pass out. They were so close, so close, and he was in a full blown panic, grasping at straws that seemed to dissolve into nothing in his hand. He didn’t know what to do. Mercury had vouched for him, put his trust in him – everyone had put their trust in him, when he knew he deserved nothing but their scorn and their hatred, and here he was about to let them all down again at the cost of the extinction of yet another race of people. The only thing he could think to do was try to reroute not the power, but the data of Knowhere itself to a more stable database, but he couldn’t find any other computers that were still online, and any of them would have been at risk of power failure just as quickly.

    It was then the idea dawned on him.

    It was a horrible idea, but it was the only thing he could think of. He had no idea what would happen as a result, but if he had to find time to save the Terrans then he would do it, even if it cost him his life. “Stand by,” he warned Mythal, “There’s going to be a slight hiccup.” It was all the explanation the knight would get, as Khelben simply did not have enough time to explain what he was going to do, not when literally every single second counted.

    With a determined look, Khelben closed his eyes and merged his mind with the ship, interlinking with it directly. All he needed was a working computer that could last long enough to finish the transfer… and he himself was the perfect, and only, such receptacle. Locating Knowhere, he took hold of the remaining data and started streaming it into his own head, downloading the knowledge straight to his mind as fast as he could. Mythal and Quentin would suddenly find the connection cut off, the link to Knowhere severed. Khelbe wasn’t aware of the guttural bellow that escaped his lips, the pain of all the information filling him to the brim. It felt like he was being seared from the inside, but he refused to stop until every last file was ripped from the ship’s network and rattling around in his own mind.

    With about half a minute left to spare, he had fully uploaded everything to himself. Khelben stumbled back, complete and utter agony at the overload of information, much more than was ever meant to fill a single brain, even one as mechanical as his. He growled and moaned in pain, fighting and forcing it back even as he dropped to his knees, refusing to give up. Gritting his teeth so hard he was sure they had cracked, he opened up his mind and located Quentin’s frequency, connecting himself to it.

    Once more the data was flowing, but this time with Khelben as its source. The archmage and Mythal both wouldn’t have to question what he had done, both of them more than capable of sensing Khelben’s own spirit and mind tracing through the connection, his soul completely open to them as he uploaded everything to Quentin as steadily as he could. But the horrifying truth that all three of them would recognize was that while Khelben had bought them time, it wasn’t much. A transfer like this took power, power that Khelben didn’t have. It was rapidly eating up his own life force to accomplish, and at the rate it was being consumed it still didn’t seem likely that he could hold out long enough for Quentin to finish. If only he could get more power, if only he could find something, anything that could fuel him long enough to get the job done.

    That was when he felt it. He could have never described it if he tried, but something changed, like an upgrade to his biology. No… like entirely new software being installed. There was a breath of pause as everything seemed to come to a standstill… and then he felt it rushing through him. With a roar, Khelben threw his head back and his body became engulfed in deep blue flames. Magic – his magic – ignited around and within him, supercharging his life and his spirit and his energy, shoveling power into the transfer like hot coals to a flame. The connection strengthened, stabilized, and then increased until every last bit of data had been sent through the ether to the receptacle on Terras Prime.

    And when the transfer was at last complete, the flames flickered out from around him. Khelben breathed a sigh of relief, a peaceful smile on his lips… before he slumped to the floor and succumbed to darkness.


    Saffron almost couldn’t believe that she’d managed to land the hit. By the time she reached the Rhaegarian, he had already managed to wrest himself free of Scourge and Grubar both, and was turning his gaze upon her. For one blessed moment, she’d been the quicker, the syringe jamming into his chest and injecting him with the Myn, the blonde leaping away as Seberg snatched the receptacle. He shattered it in his hand with a laugh, mocking their attempted use at poison and claiming that such a paltry strategy was equally as useless against him, his Blood Marker capable of purging it before it could do any good.

    Even as he locked his gaze on Saffron, threatening to break her legs, she only continued to watch him warily, expectantly, more concerned with observing him than listening to him. Finally, he stopped, not taking more than a single step toward her before his crazed smile drained from his face. He was feeling it now, confusion writ in his brows as he questioned what she had done. Seberg tore his shirt open to reveal the wound, which sported an unsightly purple and black bruise or marking of some kind that quickly spread across his skin. She grimaced as he began to tear at his own flesh, only continuing to watch out of a stubborn and grotesque fascination while he screamed and panicked until his entire body stiffened. With a gasp, he fell back onto the ground.

    All three of them watched the motionless body with tense uncertainty. Grubar spoke first, wondering if they had been successful, to which Scourge confirmed they had not beaten him unless he was dead. Saffron was of a similar sentiment. She barely had enough energy to even stand, the blonde working up the gumption to move so she could wrap them up in the safety of a double tap of blaster fire straight through Seberg’s skull. The blonde would fucking crawl if she had to.

    A sudden, faraway explosion rocked the earth around them. Saffron gasped in surprise, wobbled, and fell hard on her side. When the shockwave hit, she didn’t have the energy to resist it, her exhausted body tossed back several yards before her synthetic hand hooked a piece of rebar, her digits locking around it and holding her firmly in place until the dust settled, where she once more fell hard onto the ground with a pained cry. She glanced at the horizon in fear and awe at the mushroom cloud that had formed with a lump in the back of her throat, even as Scourge confirmed that the location was where the others were fighting Maker.

    So drained was Saffron that she was the last to notice Seberg’s return, the dark sound of his voice causing her head to swivel toward him. Her eyes were wide as saucers and she paled as she recognized the energy clinging to his body. She didn’t have words as he berated her, flexing his muscles with anger and renewed energy. The Fairy Tail mage fell back onto her ass, paralyzed by an all too familiar dread. It was exactly how she felt in Pergrande, after the Paladins had severed her arm. She desperately fought the flashbacks and failed, her consciousness flipping back and forth between the present and the past, the blonde stuck to the dirt of a rubbled hamlet one second and crawling through snow with a trail of blood behind her the next.

    She was too terrified to even whimper as he informed her that he was going to kill her first, using his new power to rob her of her magic and keeping her alive long enough to listen as he murdered her friends, hell bent on making sure she understood how powerless she really was when she had no magic left to back her up. The last thought she would ever have, he claimed, was how she will have failed to save any of them.

    There was no way for her to process what happened next. She remembered Seberg charging her, the panic rising so quickly she didn’t even attempt to make a last ditch effort to tap into her power, and then suddenly she was being shoved. Her body rolled along the ground several feet, knocking the air from her lungs and replacing her terror with shock. Now more confused than anything else, she forced herself to turn around to see what had happened.

    And the sight turned her blood cold as ice.

    There stood Scourge, standing where she had just been. Seberg’s arm was punctured fully through the former Dread Master’s body, the black limb coated in blood and viscera, the black Myn flickering up and soaking into Scourge’s open wound. The Rhaegarian looked as shocked as everyone else. “NOO!” she shrieked, practically tearing her vocal chords as Seberg ripped his hand free and causing Scourge’s blood to fall freely. Somehow she was cognizant of her partner’s expression, a stupid smile on his stupid face, as self-satisfied as he ever was. Saffron was frozen to the ground, her eyes glued to the man as he slumped and hit the ground in a lifeless heap.

    It was the only sound she somehow heard over the roaring in her ears, a high pitched wine increasing in frequency until her mind shattered. Something washed over her like a wave of cool water, clarity pushing everything from her mind until it was empty of all thought, all distraction, all emotion. Despite all her training under Vandrad and Scourge both, Saffron had never been able to use her magic quite like them. It was a subset of Energy Monarch, one that did not afford her the same abilities that they did. She was simply unable to embrace ethernano like them, unable to heal herself from the residual energy of the world around her, or even to use it to craft spells such as blasts and beams. Sure, Saffron had potentially unlimited potential determined by how much damage she could tank, but that could only take her so far. She had always been content with that, just happy to have control over her own magic when she had once feared she never would, never coveting what was not her own.

    Not now. No longer. Energy Barbarian simply wasn’t good enough. If she was truly a wielder of the same class of power as Energy Monarch, then she refused to believe that she couldn’t tap into the broader aspects of the magic like Scourge and Vandrad could. And right now, she was determined to make Seberg pay at the hands of Scourge’s brand of magic. So, Saffron opened her mind, opened her senses, blocking out everything else and searching the world around her, seeking out the ethernano in the air, the ground, and the lingering traces of magic leftover from the battle, pulling it toward her and commanding it to her beck and call.

    What she summoned, however, was something far different. Not truly knowing what she was looking for, Saffron didn’t understand that what she felt was not exactly what her mentor and friend used. She sensed the ethernano, the energy seeming to weave itself through the threads of everything around her, but it was more than that. There was almost a sentience that seemed to speak to her without words, imparting understanding. She could sense everything, feel everything: Grubar’s exhaustion and panic; Seberg’s simmering rage and manic delight; Scourge… he was breathing. His soul was still present, if wavering, but it was there. And through all of it and in all of it was something that tied all of them together in mind, body, magic, spirit… everything, all wrapped up with nature and the world itself. No… the universe. Suddenly, she understood: The ethernano, if that was indeed what she was sensing, was in all things, and if she could control ethernano… she could control everything.

    At some point, she had risen to her feet. Before their eyes, a glittering gold light shimmered from her back as a large pair of wings formed from her shoulder blades, forming into pristine white feathers. A golden halo formed loosely behind her head. Her eyes turned solid white from sclera to pupil as she turned an unsettlingly calm gaze upon Seberg. In her hand, an ornate sword of white-gold light materialized, not unlike Scourge’s energy scythe.

    With an unspoken command, she raised her hand toward Seberg and made a beckoning motion. The result was his body being pulled toward her by an unseen force as he came careening toward her only to come to a jarring stop inches from her face. Saffron tilted her head slightly. “I see you for what you are,” she told him, her voice soft and ethereal but no less lacking in power, almost like something or someone else was speaking through her. Without bothering to elaborate on what she meant, on what she saw, Saffron continued. “You have always been so strong. The strongest. An unstoppable force, made so by an ability that both guarantees your victory and strength while also protecting you from death. But what happens when those two instincts conflict with one another, I wonder?”

    Something would wash over him then. A suggestion entered his mind and gave birth to a compulsion, a single desire… to take his own life. And Saffron would merely watch with emotionless curiosity to see if Seberg could overcome his own strength to stop from killing himself.

    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mythal Ragnos
    Mythal Ragnos

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    Lineage : Heir to Darkness
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    Age : 36
    Mentor : Nessa Cordelia Lux (Former)
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Kami No Ken Sutairu O Taosu
    Second Skill: Kingdom Darkness Embodiment
    Third Skill: Soul Stone/Trickster's Illusions

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Mythal Ragnos 16th September 2023, 2:37 pm

    LIGHT
    &
    DARK

    “What do you mean by hiccup?” Both Mythal and Quentin asked at the same time, with the Sage putting forth his question inside of the Darkness Slayer’s mind and he, in turn, asking it into the headset. The realization that they were not only running out of time but weren’t going to complete the ritual fully was a daunting one, something Mythal refused to say out loud. He hadn’t expressed any request or demand from Khelbel to address the problem on his side, believing that the Xocili was doing everything he could. In truth, he knew Quentin was doing everything he could too. It was just… the situation had gotten away from them, removing any advantages they had and forcing them into what was going to end up being a failure. Sure, they would have saved most of Teras Prime’s people but not all, not given everything they were dealing with.

    But it seemed Khelben had come up with something, some act that he hadn’t felt the need to discuss any further than to give them warning. All Mythal could do was look confused until suddenly, the connection was cut off. His eyes went wide and he could even hear Quentin gasp inside his head. “He… severed the connection,” Mythal said in shock. “We’re not gettin’ anything. Quentin, what..?”

    “I don’t know. I have only what I have and I’m just about finished with it but… without the rest of the information, there will be hundreds of Terrans that will not be reunited with their souls.” The Sage sighed inside of Mythal’s head. “Unfortunately, that is what we’ll have to settle for. At this distance, I can force another connection without Khelben aiding us. We are without options, Mythal.”

    “Damnit!” Mythal cursed, slamming his hand into the ground. They had been so close. But Khelben had said hiccup; he’d used that word specifically. It couldn’t have been anything else, especially given the timing between the warning and the sudden disconnect. The passing seconds ticked by so slowly, it felt like they were hours. The Darkness Slayer didn’t want to give up hope, to believe that they’d come this close and gotten this far, only to trip at the goal.

    When the connection reformed, it was different. Mythal’s eyes widened as he realized that the information was connected to a different receptacle; that of Khelben’s body, mind and soul. And the force of the connection, the pressure of the transferring information was burning his souls to embers. “Mythal, stop him!” Quentin yelled in his head. “He is burning his soul away and it still won’t complete the transfer. He is throwing his life away for almost nothing!”

    Mythal opened his mouth to speak when suddenly the two of them felt a rush of power. Khelben had pulled out some kind of strength and had rapidly increased the transfer rate, information flowing so fast that the predetermined time limit from before was swiftly dwindling down. “That’s it, he’s done it!” Quentin yelled in celebration, even as they felt the connection come to an abrupt halt.

    “Son of a…”

    “Bitch!” Vriko finished the curse, the siblings somehow sharing the same sentiment despite the lightyears apart from one another. She’d heard Khelben yelling, looking over at him as he had writhed with a pain that she didn’t properly understand. And then all of a sudden he was on fire, wrapped up in blue flames that seemed to originate from him. All she could do was take quick looks at him between fighting before he finally finished what display of power he’d pulled out of his ass and collapsed on the floor.

    Of course the clones saw this as a tactical advantage they could use. Several of them turned their hands towards the unconscious Khelben, releasing blasts of magic directly at him. Vriko swiftly darted around the joined group and in front of the beams, her sword temporarily sheathed before it snapped out. “Full Counter!” she roared, pulling just the smallest sliver of her Blessing to reflect the magical attacks back with added strength. Then she bent down, hoisted Khelben up onto her shoulder and began to run in the opposite direction. “Please tell me Khelben collapsing means we’re done here!” she yelled into her headset, even as she slid and leapt down a hallway just in time to avoid magical beams following after her.

    “Yeah, yeah he… did it. Is he..?” Mythal asked.

    “Alive but completely out. And I have no idea how to use the stupid gun that Mercury gave him,” she growled as she came running to a dead end, sliding to a stop. “Is there anything else on this ship we need?”

    “I don’t think so? Mercury didn’t mention anythin’ else, she may just have wanted to keep the ship to study it,” Mythal replied, struggling to get to his feet.

    “Well she can study whatever I leave behind,” Vriko insisted as she dropped Khelben on the ground as gently as she was capable. She whirled around, hand on her sword as she saw the remaining clones racing towards her. A loud thrum rumbled the ship as Vriko’s eyes lit up with red-pink flames and then, with one swing of her sword, a blinding ray of powerful divine magic exploded out of her. It vaporized the ship as it quickly moved, swallowing up the clones and reducing them to memories before the rest of the ship was turned to ash. It died out halfway through its trip, ripping out one side of the ship's hull and creating a large hole that was bordered with fluttering butterflies. Once more Vriko picked up Khelben and leapt out of the hole, landing on the outside of the ship and then took off away from the mushroom cloud left in the wake of Genesis’ sacrificial dive.

    Mythal sighed as balanced himself on the machinery they had brought. “Quentin, how we lookin’?”

    “Transfer was one hundred percent uploaded. I am almost done with the last vestiges of the ritual so I should have something tangible in the next couple of minutes. As you can see, it’s already having an effect.” Though he couldn’t point, Mythal could feel the Sage indicating out towards the battlefield, where Serilda’s Bloodletters were keeping the husks at bay. At an alarming rate, the undead bodies were crumbling to ash, breaking apart as the souls that had been trapped in the world were rightfully reunited.

    “That’s a relief…” The Darkness Slayer nodded softly. “Lux is still helpin’ you, I’m guessin’, since I haven’t seen him.”

    A pause. “No, he… said he had rounded up everyone. I thought he’d perhaps gone about on a stroll but it is odd that he hasn’t come to pander for gratitude.” Mythal could feel Quentin open a mental connection to Lux, though it would only be one sided for the Sage. “Lux, are you milling about on the world? We’ve managed to finish the… What?” Another pause. “Lux, why are you.. how are you already on your way back to Earthland? What if Mythal had needed help? Yes, I understand Serilda is with him but… What do you mean you were asked a favor?” Mythal blinked as he felt Quentin react with visceral surprise and shock.

    “What do you mean you kept one?!”






    “Well that was pointless,” Seberg remarked dismissively as Scourge crumbled to the ground before him, an arm-sized hole in his abdomen. The rogue Rhaegarian flexed his hand and looked down at the blood on it with a mixture of disgust and annoyance; emotions he wasn’t used to having. “All these dramatic heroics only delay the inevitable.”

    Movement caught his attention, his eyes turning away from the body of the former Dread Master and towards Saffron who was… standing. Not only was she standing but she was glowing. A second wind perhaps? Seberg snorted and smirked as he turned to face the woman but… something was off. He could feel it already, his brows furrowing as he watched a pair of wings sprout from her shoulders, majestic extra limbs that extended into full feathered extremities. A halo sizzled into existence over her head and her eyes melted away into a glowing white miasma. A sword forged itself into existence within her grip, composed of golden, glowing light.

    Why… did the sight seem almost familiar?

    Her hand rose up towards him and he prepared for an attack, already taking a step in to counter it. But instead of any kind of attack, he was suddenly lifted up. Something had grabbed him, some invisible force that gripped him with such strength he was unable to move. His eyes widened as he was yanked through the air towards her, only coming to a stop when he was inches from her face. She addressed him, telling him that she saw him for what he was. A chill ran through his bones at the words; there was no way that she knew. She continued, commending his strength and the marker that had made him so. It had worked in tandem to make him impossible to surpass and nearly impossible to kill. But she wondered what would happen if she put the two innate abilities into conflict with one another..

    Something switched in the back of his mind. His hand, still coated in the Myn, suddenly jerked up and towards his throat, his other hand rushing up to grab it by the wrist. Somehow he’d found the strength to overcome the force holding him, at least on one limb. But his own strength was combating against him, rising up to try and overcome his will to life. The pointed claws on his fingers inched ever closer to his neck as Seberg wrestled with himself, his eyes flicking between his arm and her calm, almost disinterested face. How was this happening? What was she doing to him? What was this feeling that was washing over him, drowning out the suggestion, drowning out his own will, swallowing up all other emotions or thoughts and making his bones feel like twigs and his muscles jelly?

    Fear. He’d seen it countless times on others but never, in his entire life, had he felt it in himself. He couldn’t even be angry about it, as the fear just wiped away his rage. A cold, permanent hand seemed to be looming over him, a promise to bring him to a place he’d never considered he would come near. He let out a panic-stricken yell as he shifted his neck, just in time for his hand to come in aggressively. He sliced his neck enough to bleed, as well as fresh Myn to enter his system. But now that he had control over it, he willed it, more out of his response for flee, to undo the programming she had instilled in him. And with a thought, he activated his magic, pausing time at a new level after his awakening.

    But his intent wasn’t to launch an attack. No, the hunter’s desire for strength, to complete his hunt, had been completely washed away. Off he ran, running away like the coward he’d never been, tears stinging the corners of his eyes. He didn’t look back to see if she had, somehow, broken through his time stop, his only thoughts on running and surviving.

    The time stop would come to a halt after Seberg had made it far enough away. And in the cold, terrifying silence that followed, Grubar could only stare at the horrifying marvel that he had just witnessed.




    The aftermath of Genesis’ sacrifice was massive, literally. The explosion had completely changed the landscape, one that had already been horribly marred by a bomb and the battle that came years after. What had become an uneven, ashen battleground was now nothing more than a crater, its epicenter nearly fifty yards in the earth below the former baseline. Smoke still filled the area, the mushroom plume looming above like a dark, ominous warning sign for anyone near enough to see it.

    Vandrad woke up with a start. Half of his body was covered in debris and he slowly pushed himself up, using his hands to shove off whatever rock and stone had fallen on him. He got to his feet with a soft grunt of exertion, his body screaming at him over the fact that he dared move. He’d grabbed Patricia again and tossed her next to Blade and Hosrius and when he saw Genesis coming down, he had slammed his feet into the ground and put himself between the resulting blast and the others. Holding his ground and tanking the explosion had ripped away whatever leftover magic he’d had left and then he had been thrown into the slipstream left after the shockwave. Somewhere in that, he’d hit the ground hard enough to make him black out.

    He looked around for the others but nothing stood out at first. And he was too weak and exhausted to properly use his magic to seek out their signatures. His eyes turned towards the crater, staring down at its core. If everyone else was alive, he would find them in a moment. First, he needed to confirm that they had actually gotten Maker this time.

    Otherwise, it wouldn’t matter.

    The first good sign was the connection to Energy Monarch, now returned. Maker had drained most of his magical power but there was still enough for him to gently float into the air and down into the crater. As he neared the outlier of the impact zone, he set himself down on the ground, stumbling slightly and falling to a single knee. As the smoke began to clear, a shadow on the ground began to come into view. Vandrad panted softly as he stared at the figure, slowly becoming more detailed. Finally he could see it for what it was; Genesis’ body. It was completely drained of its color, gray and cracked all over. One of its arms was gone and even more pieces of it were cracking and turning to ash as he watched. He was face down but he didn’t need to see the eyes to know that Genesis was no longer there.

    Vandrad began to get to his feet once more, groaning gently as he got onto both feet. If they were lucky, Genesis had completely vaporized Maker on his spot. After all, he was having to deal with a full assault from Mercury before the homunculus had come crashing down on top of him.

    He was able to take a single step forward when suddenly a rush of power erupted from behind the smoke, illuminating a massive shadow. An aura ripped through the billowing smog as a tremendous, intimidating figure stood mere feet away from Genesis’ body, standing easily at ten feet tall. It was… Maker. The only reason Vandrad knew was because he could see the left side of his face was still the same green skin, the same vengeful, angry eyes burning with fury. But his right side had changed; his skin had turned a sickly purple, made up seemingly of some kind of miasma that dripped from his flesh. His right arm was swollen with the same substance, making the limb eight times the size it usually would be. His body had grown somehow and as Vandrad’s minimal magical senses picked up on the energy signature that was pulsing off of him, the future king’s breath caught in his throat.

    It was dreadether. A low, manic chuckle rumbled out of Maker’s throat as he stared down at Vandrad, veins fully extended out of his forehead. “You can sense it, can’t you? Yes, it’s what you think it is, Vandrad. Plucked from the deepest regions of Kingdom Darkness itself. I was always so fascinated with the Ark, with its construction and utility. So few can access it; Scourge and you, to be precise. But I wanted… no, I needed to see how I could utilize it. It took plenty of scans and testing but I found fragments, ancient fragments, within the realm that Faera claims kingdom in. I plucked my own sample and fused it with my created version of Energy Monarch, resulting in Energy Master Control. The ruler of all Energy Monarchs; the god of ethernano and beyond.”

    Vandrad’s lips parted in a snarl as he stared up at the smug monstrosity. His fingers rolled into his palms and tightened into fists as he took a weakened fighting stance, trying to call upon his magical energy but finding nothing coming. Still, he wouldn’t go down on his knees. He would die on his feet if it came to that.

    Maker chuckled again as his massive right arm came up and pointed at Vandrad. “I admire the spirit, Vandrad. But this is where you end. You and this entire planet. You all need to pay for the actions you have taken against me.” Darkstarlight flared up on Maker’s fingers, growing brighter and humming as they built in power. And with a loud chime, they would shoot forward, zipping through the air in jagged turns as they sought to surround Vandrad on all sides and rip through his body like tissue paper.

    As the beams of Kingdom Darkness power came in, time came to an abrupt stop. Vandrad was aware of it but he was as frozen as the rest of the world. Everything was silent as it stood frozen… save for a growing sound. As it got closer, the future king realized that it was some kind of… humming. He heard the footfalls and some voice humming a tune he didn’t recognize and within a few seconds -- could he call it that when time wasn’t moving forward? -- the presence was behind him. “Boy oh boy, what a pickle,” the voice said, tsking softly. “You have to give Maker credit, he made sure there was no direction you could dodge in. Unfortunately for him, this isn’t your day of fate. If this were any other Maker from any other universe, maybe it’d be different. But not this one.”

    Vandrad’s consciousness tried to will his body to turn, to look at whoever was talking to see who it was. But the voice was familiar; it was the same one he’d heard countless times over the last year or so. The mysterious voice that had seemingly spoken about events as they were unfolding with awareness, even predetermined understanding. Vandrad felt a hand on his shoulder. “You’ve peaked in the window of the court of the multiverse, Vandrad. Pretty impressive for someone all on their own. But now…”

    “Now it’s time for me to let you take a step inside.”

    As time began to move again, the beams that had come racing in towards Vandrad began to curl. Curl away the man like opposing magnets, unwilling to get any closer to their target. As the world returned to normal, the darkstarlight beams zipped past Vandrad and soared towards the walls of the crater, hitting and exploding in bright flashes of corrupted light.

    Maker was staring at Vandrad, whose stance had gone limp. His arms hung by his sides and his head hung over his chest. But as the rogue Terran watched, a new aura and a new power surrounded him. A white-blue aura wrapped around the future king, with glittering particles materializing in the air around him as they rose up and disappeared. His hair had slightly shifted into sharper spikes. His head slowly rose up from resting on his chest, his eyes shut at first. But when his head straightened out, his eyes snapped open and revealed silver irises beneath.

    “What… is this?” Maker asked, staring wide-eyed at the sight before him. His fingers once more ignited in glowing darkstarlight and shot out more beams towards Vandrad, only to watch in horror as they wrapped around Vandrad once and then shot off in different directions, exploding against the walls of the crater. “W-What?” he asked in wonder.

    Vandrad was gone. But he wasn’t. He’d moved from his spot, no use of magic to teleport, no burst of power to send him rocketing forward. He was just now in front of Maker, arm already pulled back. The rogue Terran threw up his arm, forcing his shield out and Vandrad’s fist slammed into it… and it exploded inwards. “WHAT?!” he roared in shock as Vandrad had moved again. This time he didn’t see where he was but he felt it, the future king’s leg slamming into his disfigured arm and sending him flying. He slammed into the crater wall, carving a deep hole with his body as Vandrad gracefully landed on the ground.

    With a thunderous roar, Maker’s aura burst to life around him, ripping the ground to shreds as he shot out from the hole and back towards Vandrad. The future king shifted, taking a soft step to the side as he avoided Maker’s flying punch, his back to the rogue Terran, who was earnestly horrified at the easy dodge. But he didn’t have long to stare, as Vandrad’s leg kicked back and up, burying itself into Maker’s side and sending him into the sky. Maker’s pained yell echoed out over the land as he spun wildly into the air. He came to a stop when Vandrad was suddenly above him, catching him by his hair. The cold, unfeeling silver eyes sent a deep fear into the Terran’s very soul and he wrenched himself back and away, a good portion of his hair being torn out because of it. “DIE!” he roared as he thrust his hand forward and unleashed a massive beam of magic.

    Vandrad roared but it was not like a normal scream. It carried a depth, a cacophonous echo that seemed above and beyond the realm for any mortal person to reach. And the air -- no, reality rippled from the force of the yell, literal waves of interrupted existence radiating out from the future king. It ripped the beam asunder and slammed into Maker and flowed out into the land below. And the phenomenon that followed was beyond description.

    Each person within the range of it would see different things but there would be a daunted understanding of what it was. Different images, flashes of different scenes and people would play out before them as each person saw memories that weren’t their own but were. Fragments unwillingly torn from other universes, other possible lives, would play in front of the people on the battleground all at once.

    A truly terrible spectacle and one that hit Maker that hardest, being the closest to Vandrad. He yelled in confused agony, pulling back from Vandrad as he stared forward, trapped in the memories of other Maker’s lives. With a shuddering growl, he reached up with his left hand and smacked himself in the face to free himself, shaking away the images. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!” Maker roared as he turned back towards Vandrad only to find him gone. He spun around, looking for the future king and finally spotted up, several meters up above him. And then he was rushing at him, pushed off an invisible object that no one could even see. He’d leapt off reality itself, used existence as a jumping off point as he dove in towards Maker.

    The rogue Terran funneled all of his magic into his shield and thrust it in front of him. When Vandrad’s fist hit it, another devastating shockwave erupted from the focal point, though it didn’t push the two clashing men away. In fact, energy wrapped around the two of them and created a typhoon of power, hard hitting gusts of wind ripping through the air. Fragments left in and around the crater from the previous explosion were pulled up into the funnel, circling around the two men like they were brilliant stars and the debris moons. Maker grunted and hissed with effort, pouring every ounce of magic into keeping his shield from breaking. And Vandrad just continued to stare at him, cold, calculated, seemingly lacking effort even as they reached a standoff.

    Down on the ground, buried under a heap of dirt and stone, Blade’s eyes fluttered open. He’d once more been knocked out, the agony of being pressed down and the impact from the explosion robbing him of consciousness. As he awoke, he felt pain all over his body… but there was also a dull light in front of him. As his eyes opened more, his vision cleared and he found a familiar face looking at him. “Heya space warrior,” Lux greeted the Terran with a wave. “Got someone here that wanted to help you out.”

    Before Blade could even speak, which would have been hard considering how dry and worn his throat was, Lux pressed his hand against his head. And in a flash, Blade found himself standing in an open field. He blinked away the sudden change in light, raising his hand to cover his eyes as they adjusted. And when they had, he found himself… looking out over Teras Prime. The strip of open fields and grassland that had been protected by the government. The place he and his family had gone to dozens of times when he was a child.

    “Hey little brother.”

    Blade turned around and stopped, eyes as wide as plates. There standing before him, looking exactly like he did the last time he saw him, was Halcyon.



    STATISTICS
    HP: x/y
    MP: x/y
    Spells Used: list them here
    Abilities Active: list them and their effects here
    Weapons Equipped: list/link them here
    Monsters Killed: list here
    Other Notes: reeeeeee this should scroll if you type too much
    IVYLEAF33



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
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    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 16th September 2023, 6:47 pm



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    Saffron’s composure never wavered. Even as Seberg’s corrupted hand snapped up to pierce his own neck, his other limb reacting instinctively to stop the attack, she continued to stand there barely a hair’s breadth from him, watching his struggle with detached interest. She was the scientist to his lab rat, the goddess to his insignificant existence, looking upon him without recognition toward his humanity. He was an object, a momentary point of interest that would soon flicker and burn out, and when he was gone she would merely cast him aside and forget he had ever been. Not even the fear and terror on his face meant anything to her.

    Finally, he found the strength and wherewithal to land a strategic attack with the corrupted limb, hurting himself enough to break the connection but not enough to mortally wound himself. In the instant that he was free of her control, Seberg used his time stopping magic to bring the world to a halt. Except he did not attack her – he ran. Saffron merely watched him go, unaffected by his spell, her unsettling gaze tracing after him until he was out of sight. Then her gaze turned to Scourge. He was still and unmoving, though that had more to do with the lingering effects of Seberg’s spell, which would only remain for a brief moment.

    Slowly, she walked over and knelt beside him, her gaze still somewhat detached, though there was a softness to her expression. Her sword disappeared in a glimmering puff, and she hovered her hands over the hole in his torso. The same glowing energy that had crafted her weapon and her halo shimmered from the wound and began to knit itself slowly back together. It was in the middle of this process that the effects of Seberg’s spell wore off, the rest of the world catching up. She had only been affording a handful of seconds at most to begin her healing while there was no passing time to allow him to continue to bleed out, but those few seconds that Seberg had granted her would make the difference between saving her friend.

    As her spell wove itself, Saffron studied his face softly. Something began to tickle at the back of her mind, the sight of him and the blood that had pooled around him penetrating through to the woman she truly was. Her control faltered as her humanity called out to her, beckoning her gently out of her trance. Slowly, she sank back into her own mind and emotion returned to her face as tears began to drip from her blue eyes. Her healing continued the last leg of the journey to make his body whole again, though the deep bruising that showed through the tear in his clothing suggested that there was still internal damage that would need to be addressed with immediacy.

    By the time she came back down, the halo and wings were gone. Saffron was crying in earnest as if Scourge had just been run through only seconds ago rather than minutes. “N-no, no, please…” Her fingers shook as she pulled his head up into her lap, cradling him close to her chest, one hand cupping his cheek with her forehead pressed against his while her tears dripped heavily onto him. “Not like this… please don’t leave me like this…” Saffron’s eyes darted around to take him in, her mind scrambling for some kind of answer, some way to save him from a wound that she was fully in denial had likely already taken his life.

    And that was when she gasped. Such was her shock at what she was seeing that she abruptly stopped crying, if only for a moment. “W-what..?” the blonde stammered, her hand moving to his torso and staring at it in wide eyed disbelief. It… was whole. Bruised and still hemorrhaging from the inside, but whole, at least enough that he wouldn’t die from bleeding out. Saffron stared in complete and utter confusion. She had seen Seberg impale him, the Rhaegarian’s limb having run Scourge through almost to the elbow, his organs and innards spilling out of a gaping wound. So why and how was his body intact?

    Her gaze snapped up and she glanced around in a panic, clearly looking for Seberg and just as perplexed to see he was gone. The only other one there was Grubar. “What happened?” Saffron asked him. “Where is Seberg?” Then, after a moment to actually study and process the Scengar’s expression, she added, “Why are you looking at me like that…?”


    Mercury was numb to the world around her, barely conscious of her forced flight that sent her hundreds of meters away, her body crashing through trees and ruins to roll and skid to a stop, carving a deep crack through the earth as she did so. She knew she should stand, knew that she needed to get up and head back to confirm the job had been done, to make absolutely sure that Maker was dead, but she simply couldn’t do it. Her body betrayed her as the grief bubbled to the surface and she simply laid there, curled up in a tight ball. She was beaten and bruised, bleeding from multiple lacerations and absolutely caked in dirt and grime, soot and ash. So deep was the aching pain throughout her body that it felt like she was on fire, her muscles screaming at even the smallest tremble of movement, let alone at the thought of forcing herself to stand.

    But she barely even noticed any of that. Her sobbing came in loud wails, snot dripping down from her nose and mixing in with her tears. Genesis was gone, and that knowledge tore through her unlike anything she’d ever felt before, anything she’d ever known it was possible to feel. Sure, she had almost lost Vandrad once… but by the time she had found out about the attack it had been over, and he was still alive, even if the doctors were still fighting to keep him that way. This was the first time she had ever truly felt loss, had to cope with the death of someone she’d cared for, someone who was dear to her despite the little amount of time they had really known one another. Genesis had been a kindred spirit, and the knowledge that she would never see or speak to him again had left her in a daze of emotional anguish.

    Feeling sick to her stomach, she rolled over just in time to expel what little content there was in her stomach. The bile was so strong that she could taste the acid in her nose, but the act had somewhat brought her back her sense of awareness. Mercury wasn’t sure how long she’d been laying there. It could have been seconds, it could have been hours.

    Given that she had never been able to sense energy in the traditional sense, she wasn’t aware that anything was happening until she heard chimes, a loud and foreboding sound that rang out across the land, Immediately her attention snapped up to where the battle with Maker was taking place, seeing the glow of some kind of dark magic that had a touch of familiarity to it. And if someone was still casting spells of such caliber, it could only mean one thing: Maker was still alive. “No..” she whimpered, allowing herself a moment of despair when none were there to witness it. How could he still be alive? There was simply no way that he could have survived the power that Genesis and she had pulverized him with at the end. The mushroom cloud was still billowing into the sky from the homunculus’ impact, a veritable nuclear bomb that had struck the Terran point blank.

    Then anger began to boil into her again. How dare he. How dare he continue to live when Genesis had perished. The man had given his life, and Maker would make it mean nothing. If nothing else, rage pushed her to her feet, her bones and muscles crying out in agony. She stumbled to a knee. The exhaustion she felt was blinding. The Force form she had used had more than taken its toll on her, the form now gone but its effects leaving her feeling like she’d been fighting without letup for days. Ignoring it as best she could, she stubbornly pushed to her feet once more, using a tree to steady herself. With a flick, Mercury dredged up some energy to summon her translocator, opening a portal and unceremoniously dumping herself back into the battlegrounds.

    The sight that greeted her nearly washed away her fury, her eyes wide as her mouth hung open. Maker was indeed still alive, though he had turned into an ugly and horrendous thing, one entire half of his body purple and bulbous and mutated beyond recognition. However, he wasn’t the only one who caught her attention. Vandrad was there too, his magic restored, but she did not recognize the empowerment that he used. She barely even recognized her fiance, who was outmaneuvering Maker so effortlessly that the Terran seemed about at his wits end. Mercury wanted nothing more than to jump back into the fray to help, to finish her mission to put Maker down, to avenge the loss of her friend…

    …but she knew she could not. Her reserves of magic and energy were so low it was a wonder that she was even standing. If she tried to get involved, all she would do was get in Vandrad’s way. “I believe in you,” she whispered. Then, gritting her teeth, she put herself to work doing something she could help with: locating Patricia, Hosrius, and Blade. She could still sense them all nearby, their life signs still active, though they had been buried under the rubble of Genesis’ strike. If nothing else, she could make sure that no one else that she cared for died that day.

    She was in the middle of digging out whom she assumed was Patty, when Vandrad roared. She shrieked and covered her ears, cowering at the strange feeling that had come over her. There were images in her head, memories playing out in a flash, overlapping one another and gone almost more quickly than she could comprehend them, but at the same time so vivid and clear that she would never forget. Memories of her continued oppression with the Nazru, memories with her family, with her still living mother in a world where they had never been enslaved… memories with Vandrad… memories with Gren… even with Maker. All the scenes rushed through her mind like a film reel, as lucid as if she had lived them herself, yet none of them were her own.

    When the display was over, Mercury was sitting hard on her ass and trembling from head to toe. Maker’s scream snapped her gaze back in the direction of the battle, demanding to know what Vandrad had done to him. Was Vandrad the one who had sparked the images? What in the world was going on?

    Questions she would not get answers to now. Gritting her teeth, she rolled back over to her hands and knees and started digging out the doctor once more, using the fumes of her strength to dislodge rubble and boulders so she could free the trapped woman.
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 1901/3935 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
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    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
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    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 16th September 2023, 8:32 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    Grubar, for lack of a better phrase, had no fucking idea how to explain what he’d just witnessed. First Seberg had stood back up after the impact of whatever they had injected him with and promised to kill Saffron. Then Scourge was there, pushing her out of the way and taking the hit that ran him right through. Then Saffron hadn’t gotten up in some kind of trance, summoned a sword a pair of massive fucking wings and manhandled Seberg like he was her own personal toy. Then he had tried to stab himself with his own hand and then he was gone and Saffron suddenly was over by Scourge. He would watch in utter awe as her wings and halo disappeared, even as she was already beginning to fix the hole in his gut. Then she was crying and pleading with him.

    The Scengar forced himself to his feet, grunting in pain but pushing through as he limped over to the blonde woman. By that point, she was utterly flummoxed and as she turned her gaze to him, she asked what happened, where Seberg had gone and why he was staring at her in such a way. “Saff…” Grubar said, still staring at her in wonder. “You… had these wings. And a ring over your head and a sword. You… grabbed Seberg and tried to make ‘em kill himself. Then he was gone and you were here and you were… healin’ him…” he said, gesturing to the unconscious Scourge. “You… don’t remember?”

    That was something else entirely. Had she blacked out and done all of that without even realizing it? It was kind of horrifying to think about. But that was something they could worry about later; she may have healed most of Scourge’s injury but the deep bruising still didn’t paint a good picture about the damage inside. He bent down and gently pulled the headset off of Scourge’s ear. “Yo, dunno who is on the other side of this thing but it’s Grubar. Seberg’s gone; whatever you did to him didn’t work but he ran away because…” His gaze shifted over to Saffron for a moment before he continued. “Doesn’t matter, he retreated. But Scourge ain’t looking so good. He’s injured… sort of. Damnit, hard to explain and we don’t have a lot of time. Get someone here to help…”

    “And what the hell is going on with the others?”




    Blade could only stand and stare in wonder as he looked upon the living face of his brother. “Halcyon… how..?”

    “It seems you’ve made a lot of… interesting friends in your travels, Raeran,” Halcyon said with a chuckle as he moved closer to the other Terran.

    Blade frowned and shook his head. “I gave up that name long ago, Halcyon. When I failed to stop Maker. When he…”

    “I know.” Blade’s eyes snapped up to his older brother, which brought a semi-amused smirk to his face. “The man knitting our souls back together explained it to me. Once I was caught up, I knew I couldn’t allow myself to be attached to the rest of the Collective.” He reached out and took Blade by the shoulders, looking him over. “Look at you. So old now. And tired; I can see the exhaustion in your eyes, brother.”

    Blade allowed himself a small moment of amusement, snorting. “It has been a long couple of years, brother.” His eyes shone with emotion and he threw himself forward, hugging Halcyon tight to him. His older brother returned the hug just as hard. “I have missed you so much…”

    “And I you,” Halcon replied softly. The hug lasted for several long beats before finally he pulled back. “It seems Eriladar is still alive as well.”

    “He has become the monstrosity that we always knew he would become and worse. The things he has done…” Blade shook his head in disgust.

    “What our people made him,” Halcyon corrected him gently.

    Blade’s brow furrowed, his head tilting slightly. “W-What? What do you mean?”

    “Quentin explained everything he’d heard, up to and including what Maker had told… I believe Mercury was her name. I’ll admit that portions of his story are fiction, twisted to make himself look fully the victim… but he is not entirely incorrect. But there will be time for that later. Right now, he has become something that will endanger everyone in the galaxy. And I have come to help you.” Halcyon reached behind him and when his hand came back, the broken handle of Blade’s sword was in his grip.

    “How did you..?” Blade began to ask.

    “Lux told me to tell you ‘this is Mythal’s trick. That means you only get to do it once so make it count.’.” The elder Terran chuckled. “Our people have lent a bit of their spiritual energy to Lux and he has brought it and me to you.” He held the handle out to Blade, who took it gently into his hands. Immediately a beam of light sprouted from the broken guard, forming into a humming, glowing sword not unlike how Mythal would bring out Hopebringer.

    “Are you..? Will you be gone, once this is over?”  Blade asked quietly, his eyes peeling away from the sword to look at Halcyon once more.

    The elder brother smiled. “No. I will be right here when the battle is ended. I will never leave you alone again, valonqar. That I promise you.” And then he gave Blade a playful punch in the shoulder.

    The standoff above the crater was still raging, a veritable hurricane of debris and vicious winds surrounding Maker and Vandrad. Neither seemed to be gaining the advantage over the other. But as Mercury began digging out Patricia, beaten up and barely conscious, one more explosion would draw attention away from the whirling scene above. As the rocks and stone settled, a figure would come soaring out from the newly created hole, Blade soaring up into the sky. In his hand was his sword, now alight with the spiritual energy of his people. And flying up right beside him was none other than Lux.

    “It’s about time I got to help kill a big boss!” the Lightbringer cackled as he soared ahead of the Terran. Light energy funneled into his hands as he looked over his shoulder at Blade. “I’ll clear the way, space man!” And as he threw his hands forward, bolts of light erupted from his hands just as they came upon the field of debris and death. The crackling rays of light ripped through the soaring pieces of stone, breaking them apart as the pair flew into the storm and headed straight for Maker.

    Blade barely registered Lux’s words, though somehow, deep inside, he understood what was being said to him. His eyes were solely focused on Maker, the massive mutated form of his brother still clashing with Vandrad. His hand tightened on his handle as he felt the strain on his body; Lux had apparently done a patch job on his shoulder while he was talking to Halcyon but he was still weak, depleted. The runes surrounding him began to flicker as his pools began to run dry.

    Then he felt… something. Some kind of refreshing energy that was refilling his pools, if only barely. He looked back and there, on the ground below, was Patricia, having been pulled from the rubble by Mercury. She had awakened enough to throw her hand up and utilizing the minimal power of Energy Monarch that had replenished, she had combined it with her Arc of Time magic to shoot a single blast at him, enough to refresh him, to keep him from falling then and there.

    But he would still need more to get to Maker.

    “Lux!” Blade called out. “I… I need you to throw me,” Blade called out to the Seal.

    Lux turned his head to look back around and shook his head, a wry smirk on his face. “All you mortals are all the same, so limited.” With that snarky comment spat out, he slammed on the metaphorical brakes and gave Blade enough time to catch up. From there he grabbed the man’s free hand and began to twirl in his spot, a second tornado within the larger one. “Alright boy scout, make… it… count!” He came back around and sent Blade soaring upwards, throwing an aura of light around him to protect him from any of the debris.

    Up above, Maker was snarling and roaring with rage. Vandrad still wasn’t budging and his magic pools were running dry. He’d already been pushed beyond his limits and he was running out of options. But there was a glow that was quickly beginning to grow brighter that he could just barely see out of his peripheral vision. He turned his head enough to look and his eyes shot wide as he saw Blade soaring up towards him, wielding some kind of enhanced sword. “No… you will not…” he growled through his exhaustion, pulling his malformed arm back while his good one stayed put forward. He would simply extend his shield around and block the attack, preventing the last ditch effort. Then he could simply grab Maker and use him against Vandrad. It was the perfect plan…

    Except that Vandrad knew Blade was coming. His fist opened up and grabbed Maker’s shield, fingers piercing the energy field like it was a tangible ball. And then his arm jerked away and to the side, shredding the shield to glittering fragments. Maker was stunned, frozen as he stared at the fluttering remains of his protective shield. He barely even heard his brother’s scream.

    “MAAKKEERR!!” The Terran warrior was screaming at the top of his lungs as he came upon Maker. The malformed madman, the rogue Terran, could only stare as Blade’s arm swung. There was no sound, no skin-crawling noise of the blade tearing through flesh. There was just a streak of golden light as Blade soared past Maker, the aura around him dissipating and the sword shattering, leaving only the hilt once more. But behind him, Maker had been cut in two, sliced around his midsection and ripping through both his arms.

    Blade wouldn’t get far. Vandrad appeared in front of him and grabbed him by the collar, stopping him from flying any further. With his other hand, he pointed it at the top of Maker’s body, now falling towards the ground. A dark, smoky orb floated out of the tumbling torso and up into Vandrad’s hand. His fingers closed around it and the orb shattered into millions of pieces, fragments that flit into the air and dissipated.

    Maker hit the ground hard, slamming into the side of the crater and making a brand new one. The other half of his body had dissolved on the way down, leaving his upper portion as the only remnant of him at all. Down came Vandrad and Blade, the future king setting down the Terran warrior. Then all at once, whatever power had been fueling him ran out, the special aura snapping out of existence. Vandrad’s eyes rolled up into his head and he collapsed backwards onto the ground, fully unconscious.

    Blade bent down to check on Vandrad, finding his pulse strong, despite his injuries. Summoning whatever leftover strength he had, he pushed himself to his feet and hobbled over to where Maker had fallen. Rather than the giant that had just been in the sky before, all that remained was a normal sized Terran, albeit in terrible shape. His right side had lost its purplish tint, now gray and sloughing off of his body like runny ichor. Maker was remarkably still breathing, though it was ragged and short. Blood coated the area all around him, pouring out from the stumps of his arms and his torso.

    His right eye turned slowly towards Blade as he came into view. “Min…otia…” he said softly, his voice ragged. “I should have… known it would be you…”

    Blade was silent for a long beat as he took in the sight of his brother. “Who is Minotia, Maker? For it is not me. When I was…” He stopped, breathing in deeply and swallowing hard. “When I was still your brother, I was called Raeran.”

    “Rae…ran…yes, I see…” Maker let out a small chuckle, causing him to cough up blood. “Of course. Mother’s old… rhyme. Raeran, he ran…”

    In spite of the situation, in spite of the overwhelming hatred he had for Maker, Blade couldn’t help but smile a little at the mention of their mother’s old playful tease. He knelt down. “Who is Minotia, Maker? Why do you think I’m him?”

    Maker considered him for a long moment, lips opening and closing softly. Finally he sighed. “It doesn’t… matter. It’s all over. All of my… plans. Everything I’ve… built for. Dashed to pieces… Just because I deigned to… because I allowed myself to… care for her.”

    Maker coughed again, more blood spitting up over his chin. “Tell Mercury… tell her when I see her in Hell… we’ll have a lot to talk about.” His lips pulled back into a soft, self amused smile, his lips coated in his own blood. And with one last exhale, the light in his eyes flickered out, his chest falling and going still finally.

    Maker was dead. The battle was finally over.






    Words: 2226 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
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    Posts : 683
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 17th September 2023, 9:14 am

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    The Scengar lurched himself up to his feet, moving himself over to Saffron with some effort. He had taken a hell of a beating, even for the short amount of time he’d been involved in the fight, but he was still alive. Eventually Saffron would give him ten kinds of hell for the fright he’d put her in, and for the mean things he’d said two days before, but right now her mind was just trying to catch up to the situation.

    She stared at Grubar, completely flummoxed as he described the form she had taken on, the things she had done to Seberg, and the way she had apparently healed the vast majority of Scourge’s injury. “I… I did what..?” she asked him. Her face had paled at the knowledge that she had somehow convinced Seberg to try to take his own life, and the way she looked back down at Scourge’s injury was like it was something completely alien. Grubar asked if she remembered any of it. “No. No, I just…”

    Saffron scrambled, trying to piece things together. She remembered Seberg threatening her, the fear that had paralyzed her as the gripping realization of her impending death had washed over her. She remembered being shoved and turning back to see Scourge… and then she had been kneeling next to him, crying and cradling him in her arms, pleading for him to live. How had she gotten there? There was no recollection in her mind as to how she had physically gotten from where she had been sprawled on the ground to where she was sitting now.

    The blonde probably could have wracked her mind for hours trying to figure it out, but Grubar did not give her the time. Reaching down, the Scengar plucked Scourge’s earpiece and put it on, announcing himself. “Grubar..?” Zemenar’s voice came through Saffron’s own communicator, sounding as shocked as Saffron and Scourge had looked when Grubar had shown up. The Scengar continued, summarizing the situation as best he could before cutting himself off and insisting that the details could wait. Seberg was gone, the fight was over, but Scourge was in dire need of medical assistance and they needed an extraction fast, as well as an update on everyone else.

    Everything came crashing back down for Saffron at the mention that Scourge wasn’t entirely out of the woods just yet. Her tears reformed, and then redoubled. Sobbing in earnest, she pulled the limp man back up to her chest, holding him tightly and rocking back and forth in her spot, lost to the rest of the conversation.

    “Stand by. A medical team will be there as soon as we triangulate your location.” They’d had rough coordinates of course, but those had been to put Scourge and Saffron outside the hamlet. If the medics appeared there and had to travel to them by foot, that would only waste time. In the meantime, Zemenar continued his report. “Those tasked with the transferal of Knowhere completed their mission, but we’ve lost all contact with the team fighting Maker. They thought they had killed him, but he came back. None have reported in. I can’t even connect with Mercury to reach her. We are trying to re-establish contact, but currently we have zero eyes on the situation.”

    Zemenar was doing well to keep himself under control, but it was clear that he was worried. As he spoke, one of Ever’s portals opened up and a few medics and healers rushed through. A stretcher was materialized. Saffron was oblivious to the faces around her as gentle hands and soft words encouraged her to let the former Dread Master go so they could help him. As she stood, her eyes were glued to him in a glaze, watching as if in a dream as he was lifted onto the hovering gurney and rushed through the portal back to New Rhaegar. The panic set back in once he was out of sight, a sharp spike of anxiety stabbing directly into her core as she struggled with the knowledge that he may yet die, that she may never get to talk to him again, to hear his voice or his laugh, see the pleased little smirk on his face every time she sassed him, or the rare moments of innocent brightness and life in his eyes every time she introduced him to some mundane bit of entertainment as she slowly dug him out from rock he’d been living under all his life.

    Her vision grayed. Saffron’s eyes rolled toward the back of her head, and she fainted.


    Mercury managed to find Patricia. The doctor was in rough shape, but alive and awake – if barely. “I’ve got you,” the Xocili said, dislodging the last bit of rubble and pulling her free. The battle was still raging above them, but Mercury did her best to ignore it, knowing that doing so would only frustrate her over the knowledge that she couldn’t get back in to help.

    A nearby explosion caused her to yelp in surprise, instinctively using her body to cover Patty protectively. She snapped her gaze over to the area in question, and what she saw caused her eyes to widen. Soaring through the air was Blade wielding some energy based sword, and in front of him was… “Is that Lux?” What the hell was the Seal doing here? Wasn’t he supposed to be on Teras Prime helping Mythal and Quentin? Mercury watched in awe as Lux cleared a path for Blade, and she probably would have continued to do so if she hadn’t seen Patty cast a spell out of the corner of her eye. Whatever the doctor had done, it was clearly aimed at Blade, though Mercury wasn’t sure to what purpose. She turned back and gaped as Lux took hold of Blade, spinning him around like a top and launching him at light speed toward the battle.

    Everything happened in a flash. It wasn’t so much that she saw Blade’s strike land as she saw the after effects of it. Vandrad rushed to catch Blade to keep him from falling. Maker, however, was plummeting to the ground, shorn completely in half. His entire lower torso disintegrated before it even hit the floor, while the other slapped the surface of the Earth with such force that another crater was formed. There was a pause, the silence and calm thicker than any smoke in the air, before Vandrad’s empowerment faded and he collapsed. Mercury could still read his vitals from here and knew he was alive just as much as she knew that Maker was finally, truly dying.

    With a hard gulp, she forced her trembling body back into submission. “Stay here,” she told the doctor. “I think… I think it’s finally over. Don’t move too much. Just try to relax. I have to go find Hosrius.”

    Leaving Patty for the time being, Mercury stumbled and wobbled her way to the area where Blade had emerged from, sensing the Jirian’s life signs in the same area and locating the pile of debris that had entrapped him. “Hang on, Hos… I’m getting you out of there…” With just as much strain and grunted effort, Mercury slowly shifted the large rocks and ruins to free her friend. When she finally pulled him free, Mercury fell on her back and gasped heavily, her body screaming for respite and rest. Not yet, she told herself.

    By the time she, Patricia and Hosrius had gathered themselves enough to regroup with the others, Maker was dead. Mercury cast the corpse a lingering glance, an unreadable look on her face as she took in the sight of him. Shaking herself free of her reverie, she limped over to Vandrad and collapsed beside him. Leaning over him, she rested her forehead on top of his as she finally allowed herself to relax.

    After a few long seconds she finally realized that she had several messages from her father trying to get an update. Mercury hadn’t even noticed that their communicators had been fried out at some point during the battle. She sent a quick word back to assure him that they were still alive, all except for Genesis and Maker. Mercury didn’t have the magical energy to teleport them back to New Rhaegar, but her father assured her that they would send others to extract them. With that settled, Mercury gave Vandrad a shaky kiss on the forehead before pulling herself back up to a sitting position and forcing herself to her feet to approach Blade with audible effort.

    Dropping down to where he was kneeling beside his brother, she mustered up the strength to wrap her arms around the lone surviving Terran. Mercury didn’t say a word, just held him tightly in silent understanding of the situation, of the internal conflict he was surely feeling between the relief of success and the loss of a man that was still very much his brother. If anyone knew what it was like to still care for family despite having every reason to hate them, it was her. She just wanted him to know he wasn’t alone, wanted him to know it was okay to give in to the sorrow. After all, fresh tears were dripping from her own eyes…

    …and these ones were not for Genesis.

    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 17th September 2023, 1:39 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    Grubar had, surprisingly, anticipated Saffron losing consciousness. He couldn’t really predict it but considering how hard she had been sobbing and whatever the hell power she had just used, it only made sense that at some point, her body was gonna pass out. He spoke to Zemenar asking for help and at the mention that Scourge was still in danger, the blonde woman began to weep once more. The older Xocili informed the Scengar that they had completed the transfer of Knowhere but the team that had been fighting Maker was out of communication. Considering the massive explosion that just rocked the area they were at, that was hardly a surprise. He sounded worried, as any father would be in that situation. “Yeah, we heard and saw some kind of giant explosion a bit ago. Don’t know what from but…” he let out a small sigh. “I’m sure they’re fine.”

    A portal appeared and several healers came rushing through. They had to gently pull Saffron away from holding Scourge, telling her they would take care of him from there. Grubar moved to stand beside her, resting his hand on her shoulder. Sure, they weren’t anywhere near good at the moment; he imagined he was in for an earful once everything was said and done. But he was the only foundation of care she had at the moment and he wasn’t about to ignore her silence, desperate need for grounding. Unfortunately, that was when everything caught up and she toppled over. The Scengar caught her and hoisted her up into his arms. “It’s alright, kid. I got ya,” he told her gently as he followed the rest of the healers through the portal to New Rhaegar, planning to find somewhere for the Fairy Tail mage to lie down.

    She’d earned it. And hopefully, by the time she woke up, she would be in for good news. That was the only thing he could hope for




    Hosrius was likewise unconscious, though he looked far worse than Blade had. Maker had been unusually cruel to the Jirian, using the gravity alteration to push his face into sharp shrapnel and gravel. Hosrius’ face was a mess, blood seeping out from wounds that were still filled with rock and sediment. But other than a few bruised ribs and a sprain or two, that was the worst of his injuries. He was alive, which was a better outcome than they could have hoped for. Patricia had managed to push herself up to her feet, wobbly and her clothes and utter mess but somehow still having the strength to stand. She wandered over to Mercury and Hosrius, kneeling down next to the Jirian. “Go ahead, I’ll stay with him. Just in case,” she said softly, sitting down next to Hosrius.

    Blade was quiet as he sat kneeling in front of Maker. A cold feeling had washed over him… and he hadn’t quite figured out if it was satisfaction or agony. His careful nature told him to take precautions, cut Maker’s head off just to make sure he was well and truly dead. But reason proved itself champion in that moment, understanding that his brother was well and truly gone and there was no trick, no deception at play. Maybe that’s why he was so cold; he’d been hunting his brother for so long, he’d never actually imagined the end of the road. And yet here they were, one sibling dead and the other his murderer and there was no satisfaction to be found.

    He didn’t even hear Mercury approach until her arms were wrapping around him. He broke from his reverie enough to look down at her limbs, tightly encasing him in a warm hug. He reached up and lay a single hand on her arm while his other gently reached up towards his face. She must have leaned over and dropped some tears on him in doing so. But as he felt the warm flow, he realized they were coming from his own eyes. It felt silly to be weeping over Maker’s death yet sense rarely overwhelmed how one felt inside. Villain that he was, he was still his kin.

    He would stay there for quite some time. The next time he reconnected with the world, the battlefield was bustling with activity. Portals had opened in several different places and healers were picking up those that couldn’t move themselves. Vandrad, Patricia and Hosrius were all taken away on stretchers to receive medical treatment. Blade finally pulled himself to his feet as Themesycia approached him and Mercury. “We’ve received word that Quentin is finishing up the last bits of his spell but almost all your people were saved. There was one that--”

    “My brother, yes,” Blade spoke up softly, turning to look at that former duchess. “Lux brought him here. I believe he’s still merged with me at the moment.”

    Themesycia nodded in understanding before she gestured to Maker’s body. “What would you like us to do with this?” It was a sensitive subject and her tone conveyed her understanding of that fact. Disrespecting the maniac’s corpse seemed due, if only because of his actions, but no one person felt any desire to do so explicitly, if only out of respect for the Terran warrior that still lived.

    “We should burn it. Turn it to ash like he did the rest of my people.” His tone was not cruel, even if his words sounded as such. If anything, it seemed he was resigned in the understanding that he was the only one of his people that hadn’t perished, physically, and he’d rather they all share the same fate.

    The former duchess would nod again. “Come, you two need to be checked out and healed. I believe you all are overdue for some rest,” she said, reaching out to take Mercury’s hand and giving it a gentle squeeze as she turned to look at Genesis, being gently tended to by some healers. “He will be missed. We’re working on crafting a device to keep what is left of his body intact. He deserves a proper burial and I’d like to honor him by putting him on New Rhaegar.”

    “Thank you,” Blade said softly. “In spite of his creation, he proved a better person than Maker ever was. The only thing I ask is that you remove one of his fingers. Grubar will need proof of death to complete his bounty and a biological component, even one as degraded as that, will work.” He reached up and placed his hand on his head. “I think I need… to lie down.”

    “I understand. Come, I’ll take you myself,” Themesycia said, sliding her arm under his and holding him up. Blade would take one last look at Maker and Genesis before nodding and walking along with her towards an open portal.




    Several days had passed since the battle by the time that Saffron woke up. Surprisingly -- or perhaps not so -- she had been the last one that had remained out after the events that had taken place. Vandrad had been the first to wake up, having expended a decent amount of his magic and suffered several minor injuries that his latent abilities had all but taken care of. After that, it was a sequence of different people coming back to the land of the living and being given the rundown of everything that had happened, both in the battle and afterward.

    When the Fairy Tail mage awoke, she would find herself in a single room. It was late afternoon, the orange glow of the descending sun pouring in through the large window. The room was rather large but it lacked a lot of the medical equipment that most people would expect in such a place. A computer chair, built to lean back and accommodate overnight guests, sat near the window facing her bed. And in it was Hosrius, staring out the window. Or rather, it looked like he was. The entire right side of his face was bandaged up with some kind of blue mechanical compression pad, digital and magical symbols flickering over the translucent material.

    His head turned back to her as she woke, his eye widening as a warm smile pulled on his face. “Hey, about time you stopped sleeping,” he said, pushing himself up off the chair so he could walk over to the bed. “How’re you feeling?”






    Words: 1400/3626 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,310

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 17th September 2023, 3:08 pm



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    The first thing she felt was warmth.

    Somewhere in the distant recesses of her mind, she recognized that she was laying down on a padded, if somewhat stiff, surface. There was a mild heat on her face, and light from the sun reddened the underside of her eyelids. She could hear the gentle beeping of a monitor of some kind. Consciousness swam slowly into her, the blonde becoming more and more aware of the waking world and the dull ache that spread through her entire body.

    She groaned, the first sign that the other occupant in the room would have that she was stirring. It took some time for her to will her eyes open, the lids heavy from how long and how deeply she’d been asleep. Saffron blinked slowly several times, an annoyed frown on her face as her eyes refused to adjust to the afternoon light right away. A familiar voice gave her the determination to force them to stay open, settling the purple orbs on Hosrius with a couple more blinks. His face was heavily bandaged, so it took her a moment to realize who was there. He was smiling down at her, remarking about how long she’d been sleeping and asked how she felt.

    “Like I was skull fucked by a freight train,” she managed to croak out, her voice dry and hoarse. A cough overcame her. Her mouth was as dry as sandpaper. Presuming he gave her some water from the pitcher that was sitting nearby, Saffron would drink it carefully, if greedily. Once she could talk again without choking on her own tongue, she asked, “How long have I been out?”

    The answer he gave didn’t hit as hard as it probably should have. Three days was a long time, albeit certainly a reasonable number based on what she’d gone through. But she seemed less alarmed or confused so much as accepting the simple fact with a blank nod, her expression betraying that she was still catching up to everything a bit. Saffron was trying to remember what had led to her being here, her memory a bit hazy and foggy, coming in random pieces that were out of sequence. “Did we win..? What happened?”

    As if she’d been suddenly stricken with a burst of energy, her eyes went wide. She remembered, or at least most of it. Saffron jumped up on the bed, or at least as well as she could, which was to say not very well at all. It was more of a slow crawl to try to sit up. “Scourge!” Her irises turned orange with worry, the blonde giving Hosrius an almost pleading look. “Is… is he…?” She couldn’t even bring herself to ask the question, terrified at what the answer might be.
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 463 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 17th September 2023, 3:30 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    “Well that’s almost what happened, if Grubar is to be believed,” Hosrius said with a chuckle. He was already reaching over to grab the pitcher of water and fill a glass, handing it over for her to take. Once she had finished, he took the glass again and filled it with water, placing it on the side table so it was close enough for her to reach if she wanted more. Now that she could speak properly, she asked how long she had been unconscious. “Three days. You’re the last one to wake up, surprisingly. But it sounds like you used a power you never even thought you had so it’s understandable that it wiped you out.” He took another glass and poured himself some water as she processed that bit of information.

    But she wasn’t quiet for long and she turned her attention to the next important question; asking if they had won. He smiled down at her. “Well, I highly doubt I’d be here to talk to you if we didn’t,” he joked, inserting some humor in the moment before he continued. “Yes, we won. Unfortunately Genesis was forced to sacrifice his life to make it happen and I… really wasn’t much help. But Maker is dead, Knowhere is safe and Seberg… well, you scared the absolute piss out of him. For all intents and purposes, we succeeded.” The fact that they had only lost one person was damn near a miracle, all things considered. Still, the loss of the homunculus was still great.

    As if the knowledge of everything she was hearing sparked her memory to life, she was suddenly trying to push herself up into a sitting position. She called for Scourge, her eyes snapping to the Jirian and looking for some kind of answer. “Relax, Saff. Take a breath, okay?” Hosrius said, leaning down to place his hands on her shoulders. “Scourge is alive. Cyrene says if you hadn’t healed his wounds, he wouldn’t be but he is alive. He had some damage to his organs but she was able to fix what you didn’t. He’s still got some bruising and he’s going to be moving with a limp for a bit but… he’ll make a full recovery. He’s a few rooms down; Cyrene won’t let him get out of bed or else it would have been him sitting here as well.”

    He gave her a warm smile. “It’s okay.” And with that, he pulled her into a hug, wrapping his arms around her and holding her close. “Grubar told me what he had seen, what little that was. I know that Seberg…” He couldn’t even bring himself to say that Seberg had almost killed her. Saying it outloud would have made it more real, made it hit him harder than it already was. After a moment, he sighed and pulled back. “Everyone’s milling about but if you’re feeling up to it… we could go see him. I know he’s been dying to know when you woke up.”






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    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
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    Experience : 1,310

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 17th September 2023, 4:21 pm



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    Right… she’d forgotten all about what Grubar had told her. Most of the tail end of the fight was a bit of a blur in her head. Saffron still didn’t remember much of anything of what happened, the blonde still coming out of the fog of what had been apparently three days worth of sleep.

    She asked him broadly what had happened and if they’d won, to which Hosrius teased that he likely wouldn’t be standing there talking to her if they hadn’t. A soft snort escaped her nostrils, but it was a valid enough point. He informed her that they did in fact win, though Genesis had sacrificed himself to make sure it happened. Her shoulders drooped a bit at the news. She hadn’t really known Genesis all that well. She’d only seen him a handful of times and they really hadn’t talked much. Still, he’d been nice enough, if even more of a horn dog than Mercury or any Rhaegarian could boast. So while she wasn’t morose or truly put out by the knowledge, it was still sad.

    Luckily his act had not been in vain. Maker was dead. Vriko and the others had managed to secure and save Knowhere, and while Seberg was still alive, she was reminded that she had supposedly sent him running with his tail between his legs. It was that reminder that opened the floodgate for most of the rest of her memories to return. The blonde attempted to sit up hastily asking about Scourge, and Hosrius steadied her by the shoulders, telling her to relax. He assured her that Scourge was alive, and a visible wave of relief overcame her. According to Cyrene, Scourge would have died if Saffron hadn’t intervened. He had some organ damage, but the Rhaegarian healer had been able to pick up Saffron’s slack and repair everything else that the Fairy Tail wizard had not. He would have a limp for a while, but otherwise would make a full recovery, and it seemed the only reason he hadn’t been in the room was because Cyrene refused to let him out of bed.

    Saffron gave her friend a slow nod, her mind processing what she could only chalk up to a miracle. Before she knew it, Hosrius was pulling her into a deep hug. The act caught Saffron by surprise, her eyes widening briefly as her mind errored out. While she and Hosrius were close, they didn’t exactly embrace one another on a regular basis. It wasn’t until he spoke up to explain that Grubar had told him what he’d seen, the Jirian’s voice trailing off at the mention of Seberg, that she understood. He didn’t need to finish the sentence. Her own arms wrapped around him tightly, content to just have a private moment of emotional support with her best friend. “I know,” she told him quietly, a rare show of tenderness in her voice. “I was scared for you, too. Especially when we saw the explosion. The shockwave hit us so hard, I… I honestly couldn’t imagine anyone surviving it. If Seberg hadn’t chosen that exact moment to make his move, I probably would have been panicking. I’m glad you’re still here, Hos…”

    After a moment they separated, the Jirian releasing a sigh. He told her that everyone was just kind of hanging around, recuperating and otherwise waiting for her to wake up. Inquiring about how she was feeling, he offered to help her go see Scourge. The Dread Master had apparently been quite fidgety to be notified the moment she woke. The comment brough another realization to her. Trevor. She had to notify him, too. He was probably worried sick about her, and no one there had his contact information to tell him that she was okay.

    For a brief moment the impulse to drop everything else to get her phone came over her… but just as quickly, she forced herself to set it aside. Saffron did want to talk to him and put him at ease, but he would surely have a lot of questions that she wasn’t quite ready to answer yet. She was still well within the week that she’d asked him to give her before assuming the worst. It was definitely a high priority for her to reach out, but she knew a few more hours to regain her strength and get caught up with everyone wouldn’t make things any worse for the man than it already was.

    “Y-yeah, definitely. But first… are you okay?” Saffron nodded to the medical patch on his face. He looked like he’d taken as much of a beating as her. Both of them were covered in bandages, and she could feel the dull throbbing of bruising, but all in all she didn’t seem to have as much damage on her as she’d expected; Cyrene’s doing, most likely. Still, before she made any other moves she wanted to check on Hosrius while he was there with her.

    Once that was settled, she tried her hand at standing. Saffron’s movements were slow and unsteady, the blonde requiring Hosrius’ assistance, but she managed to find her feet, however weakly. A brief glance in a mirror told her that someone had been keeping her hair brushed while she was out, which she appreciated, the locks showcasing a slight bit of bed head but otherwise looking like it had been cleaned and combed since the fight. Holding on to Hosrius’ arm, she allowed him to walk her slowly down the hallway toward Scourge’s room, doing her best to ignore the building lump in her throat as they made the short journey.
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 940/1403 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 17th September 2023, 5:01 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    It was true that Hosrius and Saffron showed their affection for one another in less physical ways. The truth was, he’d realized, like her, that she was the closest friend he’d ever had and that included Grubar. He’d never felt as close to someone as he was with her, at least not in a long time. And he’d been forced to live with the thought for the entire timeline of the battle that he may never see her again. But to see her again, fairly uninjured and having escaped certain death, had been an overwhelming feeling and the Jirian couldn’t help but reach out to hug her. “If it weren’t for Vandrad, I don’t think Blade, Patricia or I would have. He threw himself in front of the blast and absorbed it with his magic, basically draining himself at the same time. But we still got knocked around and buried under rocks. I know that we don’t usually do this kind of thing but… I resisted back before we left, when I thought you were going to your death. I promised myself I wouldn’t let an opportunity pass again.”

    He asked if she wanted to see Scourge and she admitted she did but also asked if he was okay. “Oh this? Just trying a new look,” he said with a laugh, patting the compression pad. “Maker did some crazy things with his magic; apparently he had some kind of hyper-inflated version of Energy Monarch. He was able to manipulate gravity and pushed my face into gravel like he was trying to… how was it put? ‘Trying to bully me out of my lunch money’ I believe is what I was told. I’m going to have some scarring but nothing serious, no damage to my eye. Just means I’ll look more rugged than pretty from now on.”

    With that matter settled, he helped her get to her feet. She was still a bit wobbly and took a moment to find any kind of steadiness in her legs but after a moment, she was ready to move. He kept his arm out for her to hold as they moved out of the room and down the hallway. Hosrius watched her as they came upon the door, unable to sense her uneasiness but knowing there were definitely some nerves firing off. As they rounded the corner, they found a room not unlike the one that she had been set up in.

    Scourge was sitting up in bed, staring out the window. His lower half was covered by a blanket but his top was covered by a hospital gown. He had a bandage wrapped around his forehead and some gauze taped to the side of his neck. He didn’t see them enter, apparently lost in his own little world at the moment. “Off in your own little world and here I am bringing you a visitor,” Hosrius spoke up, pulling the former Dread Master’s attention to them.

    His eyes went wide immediately. “Saffron!” he gasped, already reaching down to throw off the flimsy hospital blanket and swing his legs over.

    “Hey, don’t make me bring Cyrene in here. She told you to stay in bed until she says so. So keep your ass there, I’ll bring her to you,” Hosrius chastised the injured man. Scourge tsk’d, a sound not unlike the noise that Vandrad made when he was annoyed. But reluctantly, he swung his legs back up and adjusted the blanket. Hosrius continued with Saffron, bringing her around the other side of the bed and grabbing the extra chair as he did. He swung it around and eased it into place so she could sit right beside him. “There, see? She’s alright.”

    Are you alright?” Scourge asked, looking at Saffron. “Grubar had told me some things and it sounded like you were mostly okay but I…” his voice trailed off.

    Hosrius glanced between the two before he cleared his throat. “Well, I just remembered that I… was going to go check on Patricia. I’ll be gone for a few minutes so uh… you two play nice,” he added playfully, wagging his finger between the two before he took his leave, casting them a glance in the doorway before he disappeared out of sight.

    “Not exactly coy, is he?” Scourge remarked with a small amused snort. Then his eyes settled on Saffron once more. “I was relieved to hear you were okay. I had no idea if I had… really done much of anything beyond delaying Seberg.”






    Words: 752/4881 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,310

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 17th September 2023, 6:13 pm



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    Saffron wanted very few things more in that moment than to see Scourge, to witness with her own eyes that he was alive, but she refused to simply overlook Hosrius. She didn’t know how long the Jirian had been sitting in the room with her, waiting for her to wake, and she didn’t want him to think that she didn’t care about his wellbeing, though she was sure he wouldn’t be worried about her thinking that way. Still, she took the time to check on him too, asking if he was alright and indicating the bandages on his face.

    He’d already explained that it had been a close call during the detonation, with Vandrad’s quick thinking being the only thing that stood between him and Patricia’s demise. He admitted that he’d thought about hugging her before the battle, knowing what the stakes were, but hadn’t been able to do it at the time, instead promising himself that he’d make up for it afterwards should he get the chance. As far as the compress on his face, he laughed and teased that he was just trying a new look. Then, more seriously, he informed her that Maker had proven far more of a challenge than they had anticipated, which was saying a lot considering how much planning had gone into the attack. Apparently the Terran’s version of Energy Monarch had contained abilities outside the realm of what any of them were used to, including gravity manipulation.

    And it seemed Maker had taken some punishment out on Hosrius in particular. Unsurprising, considering how close the Jirian had come to killing him years back. He’d used his gravity control to bury Hosrius with a prejudice. Hosrius would have quite a bit of scarring, but would otherwise be okay. He wasn’t even going to lose an eye, claiming that he’d just be sporting a more roguish charm. Saffron snorted again, a small, wry smirk tugging on her lips. “Well, something had to help your face, I guess,” she teased, ever the sassy one.

    By then she was ready to see Scourge. Hosrius helped her get up, the blonde thankful that her hospital attire included pants and a full top that wasn’t sporting a giant hole in the back. The blonde did her best not to hold onto his arm too tightly, but her nerves were getting the best of her, despite the good news. Sure, Scourge was alive and awake, but he was still bed ridden. She could only imagine Cyrene was being strict with him for a reason. Honestly, she imagined that the healer likely would have preferred if Saffron stayed in bed, too… but naturally her best friend had taken the role of accomplice rather than enforcer. At least, with her.

    They entered the room, the two of them seeing him before he saw them, the man staring quietly out of the window. As Saffron took a gulp, swallowing back a surge of emotion at the sight of him sitting up and alert, if covered in bandages like she was. Hosrius teased the man about staring off into space when he had a visitor, and the moment Scourge noticed her he practically fell out of the bed trying to get up to see her. It was certainly a very animated reaction out of him, which she noted as odd but didn’t put too much thought into for the moment.

    Hosrius scolded him, insisting that if he didn’t calm down he’d call Cyrene in to put him right. At the promise that Saffron would be brought over to him, and with a derisive snort that was really more characteristic of Vandrad, Scourge relented and settled himself back in the bed. She allowed herself to be escorted to the side of the bed, where Hosrius pulled up a chair for her and helped ease her into it, gently insisting that she was alright.

    Scourge still asked anyway, referring a bit to what Grubar had told him but still worrying all the same. “I feel better than you look,” she quipped, her nerves practically demanding that she hide them behind her usual spicy humor, but the weighty silence that followed the comment betrayed her. Clearing his throat, Hosrius made a not so smooth exit with an obviously fabricated excuse, warning both of them to place nice with each other. “I always play nice,” she insisted with a small smirk.

    Once backward glance from the Jirian and he was gone, leaving the two of them alone. Scourge remarked about the lack of subtlety and Saffron shook her head in amusement. “Not even a little.”

    Suddenly nervous, she forced herself to turn and look at him when he put his attention on her, telling her how relieved he was to hear she was okay and admitting that he wasn’t sure if his act had done much of anything to save her. Saffron didn’t say anything at first, her brows twitching as her usual mask of confidence faltered. She chewed on the inside of her lip nervously, her eyes having a rough time maintaining contact with his. “You’re an idiot,” Saffron finally told him, a slight hitch in her voice as she bit back a shuddered breath. Her tone was softer and kinder than the words themselves would otherwise suggest on the surface. There was a great deal of emotion in her eyes as she finally looked back up at him. “You shouldn’t have done that. If you had the strength to move, you should have gotten out to fight another day. Everyone here needs you for far more important fights…”

    It was clear what she was getting at. Scourge was unique, and had access to not just one but two magics that were going to be crucial in the battles to come, ones that Saffron herself was still learning about. In comparison to him, she was expendable at best, a liability at worst. “It wasn’t worth risking your life and your magic over. I still should have died. I don’t even know how I’m still alive…” From her tone it was clear that she was aware of what happened, or at least what she had been told had happened, but it still didn’t make any sense to her.

    Pushing that aside for now, she cleared her throat and took a breath to calm herself, hoping that she looked more brave and collected than she felt. “Are you… feeling okay? Did…” The blonde swallowed, working up the gumption to ask a question that she clearly feared the answer to. “Your… your magic…?”
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 1094/2497 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    Last edited by Saffron Remington on 21st September 2023, 7:08 am; edited 1 time in total


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 17th September 2023, 7:26 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    Scourge had both been prepared and totally unprepared for Saffron to come strolling into his room. He had expected that someone would have notified him first, given him a heads up so he could screw his head on straight and find a way to properly prepare himself for everything that was going to come with that. He’d had a lot of time to think, at least as far as he was concerned. He had never expected to wake up again but instead he’d woken up nearly a full day after the battle. He was sore and in pain but no doubt alive because there was no way in hell that his afterlife was going to involve Vandrad at all. He’d been ordered to bed rest by the sharp-tongued but no less attractive Cyrene, who was not moved by any attempts of charm to allow him free range. So there he had sat, lost in his own thoughts and refusing to talk about them to anyone until he had figured it out himself.

    So yeah, a little heads up would have been nice. But as he turned to look at Hosrius, a quick and witty retort already loaded up, it died in his throat at the sight of the blonde mage. Protective instinct shot through him, nearly pushing him out of bed until the Jirian was quick to warn him of the consequences of doing that. So with a Vandrad-like noise that he would earnestly never forgive himself for, he returned to his spot, eyes flicking between Hosrius and Saffron even as he brought her over. Despite the Jirian’s comment, he still asked if she was okay and she was quick to insist that she felt better than he looked. That helped ease the tension in him, the former Dread Master letting out a small laugh. “Then you must feel right as rain since we all know even injured, I look fantastic,” he returned back, giving both of them a flash of his usual charming smirk.

    Hosrius seemed to sense that they needed a moment and excused himself, though he wasn’t exactly attempting to play it off well. Both Scourge and Saffron remarked over the matter in a shared point of view, finding a small moment of joint humor before falling silent once more. He’d rehearsed this in his head a number of times and yet now that the moment was here, he found himself stumbling over himself yet again. Luckily she broke the tension, though perhaps not in the best manner. She called him an idiot, though her tone was far kinder than the words and the way her voice wavered spoke to the anxiety she was feeling beneath. As he stared at her, she told him that he shouldn’t have done what he’d done. As she saw it, the strength he had was better served getting away so that he could fight in future battles. “No,” he told her simply. “Even before whatever strange power you pulled out to save Grubar and I, I would never agree with that. Magic power and strength hardly makes up for everything you bring to the table.” His tone was soft, sentimental even. It was a good start but he was still balking at getting any deeper.

    She went on to say that her life wasn’t worth the risk, especially as there was no logical explanation to why she had survived. “It was worth the risk. I would do it again without question. Even if it bought you mere moments more or living, that is still a chance for you to show everyone what I’ve always known; you’re just as unique as Vandrad or any of the rest of them.” He’d heard about whatever force she had tapped into that had sent Seberg scurrying away like a rat and though there was absolutely no way he could have predicted it, it was clear that even in spite of that, he believed her life mattered more than his.
    Well arguing with her wasn’t exactly the best start to his proclamation but frankly, she was making him all sorts of frustrated with her self deprecation that she seemed to believe was reality. She asked how he was feeling and continued the thread, taking a moment to collect the courage to ask the real question; his magic. He stared at her for a long moment before he sighed. “Yeah… about that.”

    He raised his hand and a ball of magical energy popped into existence. He flexed his hand so that the ball bounced up and came back down to hover above his palm. “No explanation to why it didn’t affect me. Vandrad theorized that maybe the Ark counteracted its effects but considering it worked on him…” Scourge stared at the ball for a moment longer before he closed his hand around it, pulling the magic back inside of him. “It’s possible whatever you did to me could have taken care of it as well but… well, there’s no way to test it. So I’m stuck without answers but still capable of using my magic. I’d call it lucky if it wasn’t so frustratingly confusing.”

    He sighed as he shifted his body slightly to look at her. “Listen Saffron, I have something I need to get off my chest. And if I don’t do it now, I may never work up the nerve again.” Okay, he’d opened the door, now he just needed to follow through with it. He stared at her for a second, which felt like minutes to him, and he swallowed hard. “I know we… superficially and unspokenly kind of set our own boundaries for what our relationship had been. We were friends that would occasionally, rather consistently actually, sleep together. And I thought I was fine with that… no, that’s not how I want to…” he groaned and shook his head.

    Finally he lifted his head up and looked at her again. “When I was there, watching Seberg prepare to kill you… I couldn’t bear the thought of it. Of never hearing your voice again, of never… seeing you smile again. Hearing some spitfire comment or your stupid giggle when we watch those dumb horror shows. Something in me refused to accept that and with what little energy I had, I did what I had to to try and prevent that bastard from robbing me of you. Even if it cost me my life. Because as much as I’ve tried to deny it or tell myself I’m incapable, I have feelings for you, Saffron. Complicated, confusing feelings but feelings nonetheless. And I know, I know that makes everything we’ve had more difficult moving forward but… we almost died. And I wasn’t going to let another moment go without letting you know how I felt.”






    Words: 1131/6012 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,310

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 18th September 2023, 10:58 am



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    It wasn’t that Saffron didn’t think much of herself, or felt that her life wasn’t important. She was a very confident woman that knew her worth, though there was certainly something to be said for the traumas she’d experienced in the not so recent past with her ex. Addy had been very abuse to her emotionally, and it had taken Saffron a long time to learn how to start loving herself again after clawing her way out of the abuse cycle. Perhaps, in her insecurity over the situation, Saffron was projecting a bit of that broke part of her that still lingered under the surface beneath all her charm and confidence and thrill seeking. But more than that, she was still a soldier after all this time. She had been trained to think tactically, to get the job done, and to view herself as a tool more often than as a person. As far as she was concerned, it had been a foolish move on his part that by all rights shouldn’t have made a difference. Once the chips had fallen, Saffron and Grubar were screwed, with or without him, and he could have at least lived on to avenge them and make sure Seberg was put down on another day, not to mention everything with Faera and the other things that went bump in the night that Scourge was destined to face, someday, alongside Vandrad. As far as she was concerned, when it came to the bigger picture, she just wasn’t as influential or imperative as the rest of her friends.

    Yet, Scourge insisted that her mindset on it was wrong. His life and his power did not trump the value he placed on her life, and he had felt that way even before she’d found a way to pull some strange and overpowered bullshit miracle out of her ass. As far as he was concerned, the risk he had taken to try to save her was worth it, and as he insisted that he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again another small lump formed in her throat. Saffron earnestly wasn’t sure why he was so insistent with his stance and view that seemed so opposite of her own. It wasn’t that she didn’t think he cared about her; she knew he did. But she also knew he was pragmatic. Throwing his life away for something that served no purpose… it just wasn’t Scourge. They had both gone into the fight with Seberg knowing that one or both of them would die, and while they never said it aloud the understanding had always been that the more likely of them to perish was Saffron by a long shot. Yet, they were both of the agreement that taking Seberg down by any means necessary was the most important thing. Scourge’s act to save Saffron didn’t contribute to that goal. If anything, it hindered it.

    It wasn’t the most productive of discussions, the blonde still not sure she agreed with him but recognizing that he wasn’t going to budge on the matter. So instead she changed topics, asking him about his magic. Next to Scourge actually dying, the prospect of him losing his magic was the worst possible outcome, so naturally she was concerned. Luckily, it seemed she did not need to be. After a tense moment of silence he lifted his hand and conjured a small but stable orb of energy, bouncing it in his hand like one would a baseball. Saffron released a deep sigh of relief through her nostrils, unaware that she’d been holding her breath until that moment. He explained that for whatever reason the Myn that Seberg had stolen had not effected the former Dread Master. Vandrad attempted to theorize that the Ark may have had something to do with it, but the logic did fall flat when compared to the fact that Vandrad himself had been crippled by it despite also having the Ark. Scourge suspected it more than likely had something to do with whatever Saffron had done to save him, though there wasn’t any way to prove it.

    Her gaze dropped for a moment in a mixture of embarrassment and contemplation. She supposed it was possible. Saffron wasn’t particularly a fan of the idea that she had done some big grand magical gesture that was well outside her normal wheelhouse, nor the fact that she had no recollection of actually doing it… but if there was a chance that it had saved not only Scourge’s life but also his power, she was happy to accept it for what it was, confirmed or not.

    She was about to say as much when he shifted to look at her more directly. Her violet gaze flicked back up to him as he asked for her attention, insisting that he needed to tell her something while he had the resolve to do it. It was a odd way to start a conversation and the way her brows furrowed in confusion would tell him she thought as much. She waited for him to say something, equally more perplexed that he seemed to be having so much trouble, before he mustered up a bit more gumption and actually started talking again.

    He opened with outright addressing their relationship, specifically the casual, if consistent, friends with benefits status that they’d had for a while. Saffron’s eyes were already wide in surprise at the subject matter itself, bewildered as to why he was bringing it up. And though she didn’t interrupt him, her brows twitched in confusion when he remarked that he thought he had been fine with what they had been doing, a statement that naturally lead one to believe there was a “but” incoming before he cut himself off in frustration. Saffron was, naturally, looking at him like he’d grown a third eye, her jaw sightly agape as the former Dread Master’s usual charm and eloquence had been exchanged for an almost anxious stammering that was not characteristic of him.

    Even before he started up again, Saffron had an inkling of what he was trying to get at, though it was a realization that was wrapped up in a fog of disbelief. There was simply no way that Scourge was trying to say what she thought he was. They’d both accepted from the start that what they had, what they were, was temporary. Partially because they all knew that he was going to get around to sleeping with Mercury eventually, which would take Saffron off the table, but mostly because it had always been obvious that he wasn’t exactly the type for commitment. Saffron had always been fine with that. She hadn’t been looking for anything like that anyway, the blonde still reaching out her feelers romantically and just putting herself out there after a long time of having shut herself away after everything with Addy. It was as much true with Trevor as it was with Scourge, though she did see more potential with Trevor if only because she understood that Scourge would never be interested in anything long term, with her or with anyone.

    And yet, the former Dread Master floored her by admitting that he’d been hit hard by the knowledge that Seberg was going to kill her. He went down a list of things that he would miss out on with her presence gone, innocent and mundane things that he claimed he couldn’t bear to lose. Her cheeks were steadily turning a deep shade of pink, overwhelmed and stunned to silence at how sentimental he was being with her as he insisted that he’d risked his life because, despite what he had previously thought about himself, he did harbor strong, romantic feelings for her. She drew in a quiet, slow, but deep breath at the confession, an unspoken emotion rolling over her like the gentle lapping of a wave on the beach as her eyes one more turned the exact same shade of rosy pink that they had before the fight with Seberg. Scourge voiced his understanding that his honesty likely complicated things, but given everything they had gone through he refused to bottle his feelings up any longer.

    His words had had a profound, visible effect on her, the blonde swallowing hard despite the fact that her mouth had gone paper dry. It wasn’t necessarily a confession of love, and she understood that, but that didn’t change the way it hit her, nor the perspective she gained over all his actions since the moment he risked his life. Her chest felt like it was swelling, a tightness in her stomach that spoke to an almost trembling elation. With or without the color of her eyes, he would know merely by looking at her that he’d made her happy beyond words, the blonde never suspecting for even a moment that he would ever think of her that way.

    But at the back of her mind, gnawing gently away at an otherwise blissful moment, was Trevor. She could still see the look on his face when she’d said goodbye to him last, the knowledge that he might also never see her again etching his face with concern and fear. She’d felt the same as he, forcing herself to give him the truth straight and simple, and to get out before she could crumble under the weight of losing her chance to see where things developed with him. It was equally as gut wrenching to imagine losing him as it had been to watch Scourge almost lose his life, a thought that brought a stark and terrifying realization to her.

    She didn’t realize she’d started to tear up. “Damnit,” Saffron voiced softly, more at her display of emotions than his admission, looking away for a moment to try and gain her composure and to wipe the moisture away before it could fall. “You just can’t make anything simple, can you?” A shaky laugh escaped her lips as she teased him, more to buy herself time to process everything as much as to ease the weight of the emotions they were both feeling.

    Yet in spite of her best efforts, it wouldn’t take very long before fighting the tears became useless. She cried quietly for several long seconds as she struggled to find her voice. When she did, it was hitched and quiet. “It all happened so fast,” Saffron started, now just as unsure of where to start as Scourge had been only moments ago. “One second I just… I knew I was going to die… and t-then I was… on the ground, and… and looking up at you… and his arm was through your chest…” A sob choked her for a brief moment as she recalled the sight, but she gathered herself and forced onward. “There was s-so much b-blood and… and your guts were… “ She couldn’t even bring herself to finish the statement. “I saw the Myn soaking up into your wound and then you fell, and I just… I knew there was nothing I could do…”

    She wiped some of the snot from her face with the hem of her shirt. “I don’t remember what happened. Not… not entirely… All I remember is… is looking at you… l-laying there and not moving and… it still felt like it was my heart he’d ripped out. I just wanted to make him pay… I didn’t just want to kill him, I wanted to hurt him. I remember…” Saffron paused, taking a breath and trying to steady herself. “I was… was trying to use Energy Monarch. That’s the last thing I r-remember, was trying to open myself up and… and use my magic like y-you do. And I felt… something… I don’t know what…”

    “The next thing I knew I w-was sitting with you in my lap… and I was crying and pleading for you to… to stay… and the hole…. in- in your chest was just gone, and Seberg was gone, and Grubar was staring at me, telling me all these scary things that I don’t remember doing…” Finally, she looked up at him again, her eyes a deep ocean of blue as her tears redoubled. “I thought I had lost you.”
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 2037/4534 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    Last edited by Saffron Remington on 21st September 2023, 7:09 am; edited 1 time in total


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 18th September 2023, 5:03 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    For the longest time, Scourge didn’t believe he was capable of love. Granted, that was because his world had been shaped by the controlling hands and words of the Dread Masters and they had always made sure to reinforce the fact that he was barely human in their eyes. But after some time, even once the charm of their lessons had begun to fade, he still earnestly believed it. After all, how could he feel something that he’d never experienced? He was a borderline sociopath that acted as required to succeed in whatever task he’d put before him. He felt no guilt or remorse over the men or women he had been forced to kill, save for the ones that the Masters had, once again, forced him to. He was witty, quippy and all too willing to share a bed with anyone that could keep up with him. And that’s what it had been with Saffron.

    Yet over time, something had changed. The mutual understanding that, at some point, he would end up sleeping with Mercury slowly began to take a one sided belief. It wasn’t that he wasn’t attracted to Mercury any longer, nor was he stopping flirting with her when given the opportunity. He just didn’t feel any desire to… go through with anything. He was satisfied with the one partner he had, if only because she proved she wasn’t just capable of keeping up with him physically but mentally and spiritually as well. Their friendship meant more to him than just the occasional romp or viewing party -- she’d become someone he could trust, confide in and find comfort in. They were the seeds of love that he couldn’t recognize and it wasn’t until he almost lost her that the blinders came up and revealed to him what he’d been hiding from all along.

    So rather than slide back to where they were comfortable, he decided to speak from the heart. Losing his usual cool edge, he stumbled over himself in a confession that he would swear had been rehearsed but everything he had practiced seemed to disappear into smoke. Instead he had to improvise, telling her exactly what he felt for her. And her reaction seemed… positive enough. She seemed relieved -- no, she seemed happy to hear the confession, as if she had been harboring those same feelings and probably believed they’d never be reciprocated. It made the sense of dread that hung over him over his bundled words break away, his heart pounding in his ears loudly.

    She was silent for a moment as tears teased the corner of her eyes. She cursed softly and looked away, trying to clear away the tears before they fell. She insisted that he didn’t make things easy. He let out a soft laugh. “If I made things easy, you wouldn’t have kept me around this long,” he teased her back, a flash of his usual smirk crossing his face as he kept his eyes on her. At some point, she just gave up trying to wipe away the tears, her emotions far too strong to be controlled. When she spoke, her voice was quiet and somber as she recalled the trauma, going through each moment leading up to his being impaled. Scourge’s brow lowered a bit, frowning softly in acknowledgement of how awful it must have been to watch.

    She spoke about looking at him, limp and unmoving and how she suddenly felt a desire, a need, to make Seberg pay. She said she had tried to use Energy Monarch similar to how he did, trying to expand her ability so that she could do something, anything. And she had felt something but feeling it was the last thing she remembered before she was suddenly on the ground with Scourge in her lap. She was begging him to stay, even as she noticed the injury had been healed and Seberg was gone and Grubar was telling her that she’d done a lot of terrifying, unexplainable things. Finally she looked up at him, eyes wide and as blue as the ocean itself and spoke of her she had thought he was lost to her. He shifted in his bed gently, easing himself to the edge so that he could better reach out and take her mechanical hand in his. “I know… and I’m sorry. I know it’s just as unfair for me to have sacrificed myself and made you go through the same thing I was scared of. But you didn’t lose me, Saffron; you saved me. And I’ll ever be able to thank you enough for that.”

    He squeezed her hand and gave her a soft, meaningful smile, even as he reached up with his other hand to wipe away a stray tear from his eye. “And now we’re here, alive. Granted, you’re in much better condition than I am but that’s hardly a stretch from the usual,” he said with a small playful chuckle. “I’m sorry that it took me thinking you were going to die for me to get over my damage and realize how I feel. If I had known before…” he trailed off and gave a small shake of his head. “Well, I don’t know if it would have made things better or worse. But at least I would have done right by you. As you know, I’ve have… years of trauma that numbed me to anything emotional, at least when it came to real emotions, especially around myself. But you… you broke through all of that without even trying. No one has made me feel like a real person before. I always felt like I was less than others, not worthy of care or affection. And though I’m sure others would argue that what we show one another is hardly affection, it always felt right and… perfect.”

    He let a small smile return to his face. “Hardly the place for such a declaration but… I’m glad I got a chance to say it.”






    Words: 999/7011 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,310

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 19th September 2023, 10:32 am



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    Saffron was sure that Scourge already knew the greater beats of what had happened, and probably in better detail than she did considering the amnesia. But the blonde hadn’t really gotten the chance to really cope with what had happened or just talk about it with anyone yet, so she had really needed to get the experience off of her chest. Her intention hadn’t been to do that practically first thing upon seeing him again, but his open and heartfelt confession had practically demanded that she face how scared she truly had been for his life.

    Somehow she managed to get through the whole thing, despite her weeping. Sensing she needed comfort, Scourge inched his way closer to the edge of the bed so he could reach out and take her hand. The blonde’s fingers instinctively wrapped tightly around his own in return, doing her best to calm herself even as he apologized for putting her through the very thing that he himself had been too afraid to endure. But, he assured her that not only had she not lost him, but she had managed to save his life against all odds, which he claimed he’d never be able to thank her properly for. Her lips turned up in a smile that was small but no less bright, regardless of the moisture in them. She was surprised to see that he was crying too, if not quite as fully as she was, the man wiping a tear from his own eye as he reiterated that both of them were still alive, even if she looked better than he did. Saffron laughed softly. “Don’t take it too hard on yourself; not everyone can be as amazing as I am,” she teased back. The humor helped to ground her once more, the blonde pulling a tissue from the nearby side table so she could wipe her eyes and blow her nose.

    Her expression softened as he apologized that it had taken her nearly dying for him to realize how he felt about her. Scourge wasn’t sure if knowing ahead of time would have really changed much about how everything went down, but at least he could have taken the time to address everything with her appropriately. She was of course well aware of his less than ideal upbringing and how it had shaped him as a person, the blonde nodding quietly in acknowledgement of it all. He’d convinced himself he wasn’t capable of anything deeper than surface emotion, but claimed that she had disproved that without much effort. Her eyes turned blue again briefly when he spoke about having never felt like a real person before, like he was unworthy of care because his life wasn’t as valuable as that of those with more conventional origins. Yet despite the fact that their version of giving one another affection was a bit more spicy than that of most other couples, it had always struck a peaceful chord in him.


    “I’m glad you did, too,” was her sincere response. She returned his smile in equal measure, happy just to see him alive and happy. “It certainly wasn’t anything I ever expected to hear, even if I had…” Saffron’s voice trailed off for a moment and she glanced away, taking a breath to steady herself. “Gods, I can’t believe you’re gonna actually make me say it out loud, and directly to your insufferable face, no less.” She shook her head with a wry smirk. “I’ve known for a bit… That my feelings for you were stronger than they should be. And trust me, I was very annoyed with myself for harboring anything at all for a guy so confident in all his charm that he gave me a fucking business card when we first met, and has the single most edgelord name in existence.”

    She shot him a teasing look and continued, a bit more soberly. “I never said anything because I was certain you weren’t looking for anything like that, with me or with anyone. And to be fair, I really wasn’t either. You know better than most that I have my own damage I’m still healing from, and that I hadn’t really opened myself up to anyone in a while… romantically. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship with it, I guess, or… put you under any kind of pressure to consider something that you weren’t interested in. But the truth is, I do really… really like you.” The final statement was gentle but no less firm, Saffron’s gaze practically locked on his own to make sure he understood her sincerity, even pulling his hand up against her chest so that she could hold it tightly with both of her own.

    “And that… unfortunately… is where this actually gets complicated.” She swallowed hard. “Because I also really like Trevor.” There wasn’t any way that she could soften a statement like that, and a mere glance at her face would be enough to betray how awful she felt about having to say it. “I wasn’t… ever planning on things reaching where they did with him. Honestly, he’s a lot like you: Flirts with nearly everything that moves and gets around a bit, treats my sass as a challenge, and is extra to the point of being cringe at times. I apparently have a type when it comes to men and I hate every fucking second of it.”

    Saffron let out a dry laugh, and then forced herself to continue. “Anyway… when he first indicated that he was interested in exploring something more, I… I almost said no. I kept thinking about you and what we had, and wasn’t really sure if I wanted to let that go, but… I knew you weren’t looking for any commitments, and probably never would be. I didn’t want to stubbornly hold on to a flame that wouldn’t be reciprocated, and in the process pass up a chance with someone that might someday want something more steady. We haven’t… put any labels on ourselves,” she admitted. “But… I don’t think we are far from that… or… or were far from that… Gods, I don’t even know now.”

    She did her very best not to start crying again, taking in a deep breath to keep herself calm and reaching up with a hand to rub her forehead in a mixture of frustration and, more strongly, anxiety. One the one hand Saffron was elated and overjoyed to know that Scourge shared her feelings, but there was no denying how she felt about Trevor either. And while she did her best not to let Addy’s voice slip into her head, Saffron couldn’t shake the feeling like she had just admitted to cheating on Scourge. “I can’t just go back to him and call things off and act like I don’t care for him as much as I do. That’s not fair to him, especially when the last conversation I had with him was… was warning him that I was going on a job that I might not come back from. I don’t want to treat him like a placeholder, you know..?”

    “But I also don’t want you to think…” Her voice trailed off as she once again had to pause to keep herself reigned in. “I don’t want you to think that I don’t care as much for you as I do, because I really, really do, and I just wish… fuck…” Saffron leaned forward and buried her face in her hands. This was an absolute mess, a complete disaster. How had this happened? She didn’t know what to do or what to say, caught between her feelings for Scourge and her feelings for Trevor, and there simply was no way to spin this where one or all of them didn’t wind up hurt in the end. And despite the fact that her better judgment knew it wasn’t, despite the fact that she knew she had not done anything wrong, Saffron couldn’t stop the all too familiar words in her head that this was somehow all her fault.
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 1355/5889 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    Last edited by Saffron Remington on 21st September 2023, 7:09 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 779
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 8,075,256

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 19th September 2023, 12:59 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 RJtajUnz_o

    It was all too relieving to hear how glad she was that he had gotten the chance to tell her how he felt. Saffron continued, admitting that she had never expected to hear it and trailed off on a thought as she took a moment to center herself, giving him sass for essentially forcing her to speak her thoughts. Apparently she had been harboring feelings for him for some time as well. It had annoyed her to no end, considering his reliance on his charm, his outrageous name and the fact that he had given her a business card the first time they met. He chuckled softly even as she continued, saying that she hadn’t said anything because she knew he wasn’t on the lookout for anything serious. To be fair, she wasn’t either, she’d been hurt from her last relationship and wasn’t really open to anything romantic. But it had happened and she had chosen not to put their friendship in danger or pressure him to have to make a choice between being with her or not. Understandable, given the way he was and how he had spoken about the matter. But she finished her thought by saying that she really did like him, taking his hand and pulling it to her chest so she could hold it tight.

    It was a perfect romantic moment that he never thought he’d have. Sure, he’d had steamy moments before but nothing that really felt like the same kind of enchantment. It seemed they were moving towards the next step, both of them taking a leap into something he was wholly ignorant of and one she had been avoiding due to her trauma. But before he could even process what came next, everything came to a halt as she stated that his words about it being complicated were true and expressed her attachment to Trevor. He’d completely forgotten about the other man in her life, the one that she had casually started sleeping with besides him. She’d talked about Trevor a fair number of times and Scourge had been all gung-ho that she see what she could explore with him. After all, he was hardly the jealous type and he was so far in denial at that point that he never considered anything beyond.

    “Right… Trevor…” he said softly. He could tell just felt terrible having to bring it up, even as she explained that she hadn’t planned on any kind of relationship with Trevor coming either. It seemed he was similar to Scourge in a lot of ways; flirtatious, charming, impressed by her fiery attitude rather than intimidated and apparently pretty extra. As she said, she had a type and she was not a fan of it at all. “Such a curse to be attracted to charming men who aren’t scared away,” he added his own humorous quip, trying to alleviate some of the tension that had filled the room.

    She had apparently had a moment of hesitation when Trevor had made the indication that he was ready for something more. Her thoughts had gone to Scourge and what she already had with him, seemingly unwilling to part with it. But given the knowledge of what he had supposedly wanted, she didn’t want to carry a candle for him that would never be returned and pass up on the chance for something real, something steady and true. They didn’t have any labels but it seemed they had progressed enough that something definitive would have been coming or should have been coming, though that had all been thrown into a state of disarray because of everything he’d said.

    Well he felt like an idiot. Not because he’d waited too long or missed his shot, clearly that wasn’t the case and he wouldn’t have felt guilt for that anyways. Or at least, he believed he wouldn’t. No, he just felt terrible for putting Saffron in a difficult situation. He could see how frustrated and anxious she was, rubbing her head and trying to settle herself down. It was the absolute last thing he wanted and probably the last thing she needed at the time. She insisted that she couldn’t just go and break things off with Trevor like he was nothing; she did truly care for him and doing so wouldn’t be fair to him or her feelings either. Especially given the fact that she had told him that she might not come back at their last conversation, giving him a heads up to the mission ahead of time.

    But she didn’t want him to believe that she didn’t care for him or that he was lower in some kind of made up competition for her affection because she did really like him as well. Her emotions boiled over and she buried her head in her hands. Scourge did not wait long to push himself up a bit on the bed and slid closer to take both of her hands in his. “Saffron, breathe for me,” he urged her gently, holding her hands tight as he let her anxiety simmer up and down as it was wont to do. “First off, I’m not worried at all about how much you care for me or Trevor whatsoever. I know you wouldn’t be having this reaction if we didn’t matter a lot to you and it really doesn’t matter who is above who. I’m not one of those men that believes the heart can only truly want one person; call it my emotional damage but I understand that anyone can feel desire and affection for multiple people at once.”

    He gave her a small, assuring smile once she would look up at him. “But clearly you have some things you need to process, as well as talk with Trevor about. I’m not going to urge you to make any decisions on the matter; that isn’t my right. And no matter what, I will always care for you and will be happy for you no matter what you want. Besides, maybe Trevor is a modern man and can get behind a thruple?” he added the last part as a joke, simply wanting to break her anxiety and get her to laugh or call him an idiot -- either way would work. “So take a beat. We’ve been through a lot and probably need some time to settle. I’m not saying we alienate ourselves from each other but I think it’s right that I let you work out things that you need to and if you need me, I’ll always be there.”

    He gave her hands a reassuring squeeze. He would hold her gaze for a long few beats, giving her a soft smile so she would know he would understand. She was in an impossible situation, one that he couldn’t possibly understand. And while it had been meant as a joke, he didn’t see any reason for Saffron not to consider staying close to both him and Trevor. But that was hardly a topic that could be brought up so soon after his admission and without her seeing where her and Trevor were and what could possibly be in the future for them. He couldn’t find it in him to be selfish like that, which was a miracle in and of itself. It seemed a lot of things could change after almost dying. Speaking of…

    “But I have been thinking lately. Now that you and Vandrad have both felt it appropriate to point out that clinging to my ‘name’ the Dread Masters gave me is a bit ‘cringe’ as you would put it, it got me wondering. Perhaps a change is in order. Say what you will about near death experiences but they clearly provide wonderful moments of clarity. So… let’s say Seberg did kill someone then. He killed Scourge. The weapon of the Dread Masters is no more. Instead, I’ll have a real name. I had considered going by the surname Ragnos, since technically I am a clone but that felt like clinging to something that doesn’t mean anything to me. And I’ve had a list of different aliases that are just remnants of who I once was. So I decided; something fresh and new.” He flashed a confident smile. “You’re looking at a man reborn by the name of Cedric Thane. Hopefully that is far less edgy for you.”






    Words: 1394/8405 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos @Saffron Remington | © marzia at shine & gs.


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    Saffron Remington
    Saffron Remington

    Player 
    Lineage : Aspect of Pluto
    Position : None
    Posts : 253
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,310

    Dance With the Devil - Page 2 Empty Re: Dance With the Devil

    Post by Saffron Remington 19th September 2023, 4:43 pm



    COME AT ME AND YOU'LL SEE
    I'M MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

    --- YOU THINK THAT YOU'LL BREAK ME, YOU'RE GONNA FIND IN TIME ---
    It seemed Scourge had forgotten about Trevor.

    Saffron hated giving him the reminder, the guilt already weighing on her conscience. In truth, she really hadn’t even spoken to Scourge much in detail about Trevor. Mostly just odd remarks and occasional stories here and there, but not really enough for Scourge to have any idea of how close the two had grown to one another. Even now she didn’t want to talk too much about the Confidence International guildmaster, not wanting to hurt Scourge’s feelings, but the little she did say about Trevor brought a smirk to the former Dread Master’s face. He teased her about what a curse it was for her to be attracted to charismatic men that weren’t intimidated by her, causing her to roll her eyes and bringing a temporary, if small, smirk to her lips.

    But the expression was short lived as Saffron decided that Scourge was owed some answers and some honesty, getting a bit into how things had started with Trevor and where they stood. The blonde was torn on the right way to approach any of this, not wanting to discredit either man but also not wanting to hurt them either, which she was convinced she was doing right at that very moment. Unlike Scourge and Trevor, Saffron wasn’t as quick to accept the idea of something like polyamory. Sure she had plenty of exposure to Rhaegarians by that point, and her exposure to them had at least numbed her from feeling like it was outright unnatural. Clearly, it worked for a lot of them and she could at least be around that kind of stuff without feeling weird about it… but it wasn’t really something she understood, at least not to the point of ever considering it for herself. It was simply too foreign of a concept. Sure, it was totally possible to be attracted to more than one person and to feel strongly for them, but at the end of the day she believed in finding “the one”.

    Her anxiety reached a point where she couldn’t even speak anymore, Saffron certain that she was just making things worse with every word she said. She buried her face in her hands, her tears refreshing, but she wouldn’t be in the position long before Scourge scooted himself closer to her, taking both of her hands in his and asking her to breathe. While she was having difficulty meeting his eyes, she did at least make the effort, sucking back the quiet sobs and taking a deep, if shaky breath. He insisted that he wasn’t fretting over where he and Trevor stood against one another in her life, knowing and accepting how much she cared for them both and reminding her that he was closer in line to a Rhaegarian when it came to matters of the heart. He admitted that was possibly his trauma talking, but it was true nonetheless.

    She could sense him trying to get her to look at him, the blonde almost anxiously forcing herself to do so and finding his calm, warm, captivating smile awaiting her. He understood that she might need some time, and that she certainly needed to talk some things over with Trevor, but he didn’t expect her to make any decisions or even any changes at all. He just planned on caring for her and wanting her happiness above all… though not without a remark about wondering if Trevor might be interested in a thruple. The tease finally broke through her sorrow, Saffron laughing quietly even as she rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You’re a fucking moron,” she quipped, though she was still smirking.

    Pleased with himself, he encouraged her to take some time to relax and not worry about the situation as much as she was. He didn’t need her to distance herself from him either, a remark that was almost eerily like he was reading her mind and predicting what she was thinking she’d have to do to handle things appropriately. No matter what, he’d give her whatever room she needed to work things out, and promised he’d always be by her side. Once again her eyes turned the delicate pink color that he could likely surmise at this point was the color she got whenever she was having a strong romantic notion. They simply looked at each other for a few long seconds, Saffron well and truly lost in his eyes. “Son of a bitch..” Her wry smirk returned, though it still rang more strongly with affection than anything else. “You were supposed to be an unbearable, scarcely tolerable jackass. Why did you have to turn out to be so wonderful…?”

    Saffron was on the cusp of another thought when he gently veered topics, alerting her that there was something else he’d been giving some thought to. Apparently, Vandrad had also been on the train of telling Scourge it was time to let go of the “name” that the Dread Masters had anointed him with upon his birth, and he’d finally been giving the comments some serious consideration, if only because near death had a way of putting things into perspective. As such, he declared that Seberg had, in fact, killed Scourge, denouncing his former life as a Dread Master savior in its entirety. Instead, he would take a “real” name. She was listening intently as he gave a brief overview of his thought process in reaching his decision, and all the options he’d overlooked, before informing her that he’d settled on the name of Cedric Thane.

    She was smiling in full by the time he finished talking, Saffron simply happy that he’d made such a large step in not just healing from his past, but also treating himself with the respect he deserved, acknowledging himself as a living person with emotions instead of an unthinking tool. “It’s certainly a bit on the cavalier side, which is right up your alley,” she teased with a dry snort, but her expression softened immediately afterward, as did her voice. “But it suits you… and I think it’s perfect.”

    The Fairy Tail mage squeezed his hands, holding them tightly as she once more found herself simply looking at him. “Cedric…” Saffron worked up her gumption, using the excuse of his new name to prod herself forward. “I know this is… probably really selfish of me, after… everything we just talked about, but… Would it be okay if I kissed you..? I don’t want to make any of this worse, but I just… I almost lost you, and…” She lost the words, though she was sure she really didn’t need to fill in the blanks any further. After everything that had happened, and everything that had been said over the last several minutes, she just needed to feel close to him, to show him in some way how important he was in her life, and to thank him for everything he’d done.

    Presuming he didn’t deny her request, Saffron would chew on her lip with a rare display of shyness before carefully pushing herself out of her seat so she could instead sit on the edge of his bed facing him. When their mouths met, she kissed him with a tenderness that wouldn’t take long to become more passionate, though not necessarily out of a desire to push anything beyond a kiss. It was merely all of her feelings, all of her affection and care for him forcing its way to the surface in a way that neither of them had shared before, and made all the sweeter by the fact that this was the first time in a couple months since they’d had such an exchange. She wrapped her arms around his neck, holding him close and losing herself in the taste of his lips, in his scent, his warmth, and just everything about him.

    When they finally parted, she chose to still stay by him, leaning back with him and burying her face into his chest so they could simply lie there and hold one another for a time; a physical assurance for them both that they had survived and come out on the other side of an impossible fight, together.

    “Thank you... for saving my life."
    deltra of gangnam style

    WORDS: 1375/7264 | TAGS: @Vandrad Ragnos @Mercury Arseneault @Serilda Sinclair @Mythal Ragnos


    Last edited by Saffron Remington on 21st September 2023, 7:10 am; edited 2 times in total


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      Current date/time is 26th May 2024, 7:55 pm