Something To Fight For

The Battle For Auriel's Bow

Serana stared into Arthius' eyes, as if she was looking for something inside of them. She suddenly blinked, pulling herself out of whatever trance she was in before. She slowly took a step back, staring down at the floor. She slowly pulled her hood over her face as she mulled over her thoughts. Arthius watched her, scorning himself for what he might have just done.

"Why did you do that?" it came out as a whisper from her lips. Arthius thought of an excuse or a reason or anything to say other than what he really wanted to say. After a few moments though, he could see the effects of making Serana wait for the answer she needed. He sighed slightly before stepping in front of her and placing his hand on her chin and raising her head to meet his gaze. Serana refused to look into his eyes again and continued to gaze downward, awaiting his response.

"Because…gods damnit I don't know Serana…" Arthius said, barely able to get the words out. Serana paused, unsure if she heard correctly. Serana slowly raised her eyes and looked at Arthius, who now had a tired expression on his face. She stared at him, unsure if she should be happy or sad that she knew he would say that.

"Look, Arthius, I'm flattered but...look there's more important matters we need to attend to so…let's just wait, alright?" Serana said. Arthius nodded before putting his glove back on, a bit disappointed. Serana put her hood back on as she passed Arthius, pausing as she walked by him. Arthius glanced at her, raising an eyebrow.

"Serana-"

"Let's just…continue, shall we?" she said as she walked towards the door. Arthius sighed in as he grabbed the potions and followed. They returned back into the other room before walking through the next door. They continued through the corridor, the entire time, Arthius stared into the back of Serana's head. Serana knew he was staring at her, and it pained her to know this. She felt ashamed for what she had just done. Sure, the kiss they had was on both their parts, but treating him as though it wasn't was on her.

"All I want is to stop my father, that's my priority, but I don't think I can do it without Arthius. I can't have him focusing on anything else, but I don't want to hurt him either…though I know that the idea of that is all it is or all that it can be, an idea" She was also hoping that whatever this was, it wouldn't stall them any more than it already has. Serana thought of this, the thought of being with Arthius in such a way. Even after the thought of defeating her father, it still seemed strange to her. Serana was torn from her thought as she noticed the sound of Arthius' footsteps cease, and turned to face him. Arthius was staring at a golden ruby necklace that was hanging from a frozen falmer's hand.

"Arthius, what are you doing?" Serana asked as she crossed her arms, slowly trailing back to her previous thoughts. Arthius quickly glanced at her for a moment before returning his gaze to the necklace.

"I'm sorry, just…old habits" Arthius said as he stared at the glimmering jewelry. Serana waited for a few moments as Arthius just stared at it, questioning more on her own wants and desires. After a few more moments, she realized that they were still standing there, staring at the necklace.

"Arthius, just grab it so-"Serana was cut off as the falmer exploded when Arthius placed his hand on the necklace. Arthius and Serana jumped back in shock, completely unexpecting the falmer to explode. They both stared at the remains of the falmer on the ground, after a few moments Arthius burst out laughing. Serana simply relaxed before turning back to the path. Arthius looked towards her, maintaining a small grin as he sighed. As they walked, Arthius continued to pick up items from the frozen falmer. It wasn't until the sanctum path lead into a tunnel that Arthius found an interesting item. In a frozen falmers hand hung a circlet with a strange enchantment on it. Arthius held the circlet in his hand, awaiting the patterned glow that would appear, indicating the enchantment that was placed upon the item. Serana approached Arthius, hoping to be of some assistance so that they may continue.

"What is it?" Serana asked, simultaneously looking back to the path with eagerness. Arthius stared at the circlet in his hands, unsure of the pattern. Serana glanced at it for a moment before simply taking it from him.

"Well, we can probably take to the college…or something" Serana said as she placed the circlet in Arthius' pouch. Arthius nodded, understanding that there was much more important matters to be dealt with at the moment. Serana began down the path as soon as she placed the circlet in Arthius' pouch, feeling closer and closer to stopping her father with each step. After a few moments, the path lead into an icy trail in a small tunnel. On the other side seemed to be a frozen hallway, or whatever was left of it. Most of the room was frozen stone as it had caved in the wall. Arthius ducked below a low hanging icicle as he walked down the hall after Serana. He saw Serana standing still outside of the hall, as though she was frozen. Arthius quickened his pace and froze as he too saw the scene. It appeared to be a large frozen throne room, ice everywhere, even surrounding the throne as if it was some sort of barricade. Frozen Falmer and Chaurus lined the path to the throne, covered in a dark shadow as the only light in the room was a small gleam on the throne itself. Arthius and Serana slowly walked forward after exchanging a glance, noticing an elf placed upon the throne. A snow elf to be exact.

"Did you really come here expecting to claim Auriel's Bow?" The elf boomed, a strong gruff to his voice. Arthius and Serana stayed silent, awaiting his next words. Arthius could barely make out his figure because of the ice between them, but he figured he would have most of his brother's features.

"You've done exactly as I predicted and brought you're fetching companion to me" The elf continued. Serana glanced at Arthius for a moment before slowly realizing what the elf meant.

"Wait, is he…talking about me?" Serana asked. Arthius turned to her before the elf continued.

"Which, I'm sorry to say, means your usefulness is at an end!" The elf shouted.

"What is he talking about?" Arthius wondered. "I've done as he predicted…did he know we were coming?" Arthius shoved his thoughts aside as he readied himself. Arthius clenched his fist as he prepared a thu'um in himself, until he heard a cracking sound behind him. Arthius and Serana turned to see the Falmer and Chaurus breaking free from their frozen prisons.

"Get ready!" Serana shouted as she took out her dagger and prepared a lightning bolt in her other hand. Arthius pulled out his sword and shield as he glanced around them. A few chaurus charged him, making Arthius jump to the side to avoid. As the one who was now closest to him turned, he slashed across it, shattering it with his flame enchanted sword. He felt a great pain in the back of his left leg, letting out a grunt. Serana turned to see a chaurus dig it's pincers into Arthius' leg. She stabbed down at the chaurus in front of her, shattering it upon impact before sending a lightning bolt, shattering the chaurus behind Arthius. She let out a breath before she was tackled from the side by a frozen chaurus. She was pinned on her back as she dropped the dagger. She was stunned for a moment before watching the chaurus above her rush downwards, attempting to crush her throat. She used both hands to grab it and slowly begin pushing it away. She heard a tattering sound to her right and glanced to see another chaurus approaching her. Her eyes shot open as she turned back to the chaurus on top of her, using all of her strength to push it off. As she did this, she heard a shattering sound and saw the chaurus beside her crumble into pieces. She then pushed the chaurus off of her, making it tumble a bit on the ice. She charged a lightning bolt and shot it at the creature. The chaurus shattered, sending pieces across the floor. Serana sighed as a hand appeared in front of her. She smiled as she took Arthius' hand and was brought to her feet. It was then that they heard more shattering, followed by a small screech.

"Well, let's continue" Arthius said before he charged towards the Falmer. There were three Falmer before him, preparing to strike. Arthius quickly slashed down on the first, cutting deep into its side, the frozen Falmer growled as it slashed at Arthius. Arthius raised his shield, blocking the slash before sending his shield across the face of the falmer, shattering it. He quickly jumped back as another Falmer slashed at him. Arthius watched as more and more falmer were unfreezing. He cursed under his breath before ducking anther swipe. Serana continued to send bolts of lightning at the Falmer, seeing no end in sight. As she charged another shot, she quickly ducked a swipe from a Falmer that somehow eluded her sight. She quickly reached for her dagger to find it missing from its sheath. She cursed loudly as she placed both hands in front of her and blasted the flamer with a large blast of lightning, shattering it. Arthius continued to block attacks and send them back when he could, but he soon found himself being overwhelmed. He was clawed in the back, feeling the cold sharp claws dig into his skin. He screamed as he turned back, slashing down on the Falmer's head as hard as he could muster. He then turned back to the other flamer and forcefully bashed them with his shield, sending them a step back. Arthius then jumped back and readied his thu'um.

"YOL TOOR SHUL" Arthius shouted, sending a large wave of flame at the Falmer. Arthius bent over, regaining his breath as the falmer crumbled in the flame. Serana walked beside Arthius, glancing at the large tear in his back and the gash in his leg. She immediately put her hands on his back, making Arthius writhe in pain. She used whatever healing magic she could muster on his wounds. Arthius immediately felt better as the magic healed him, numbing the pain as it did.

"An impressive display, but a wasted effort!" The elf shouted at the two. Arthius immediately stood and turned to the elf, more than a bit annoyed.

"Enough of this, what are you talking about?! How did you know we were coming?!" Arthius shouted up at the elf. The elf scowled at Arthius, as if he had insulted him.

"You dare to delay me, to delay my plans?! You've delayed nothing but your own deaths!" The elf shouted as he raised his hand to the ceiling. A bright aura surrounded him as he clenched his hand, activating the spell. The room began to shake as he continued with his spell. Serana turned to Arthius, aware of what was happening.

"Arthius, watch out! He's pulling down the ceiling! "Serana shouted. Arthius turned to her before glancing upwards to see a large chunk of ice falling down upon him. Arthius was then pulled from the side, barely avoiding the ice as he tumbled to the ground with Serana. The both quickly scrambled to their feet as more ice began to fall around the room.

"FINISH THEM" The elf shouted as more Falmer broke free. Arthius grew furious as he turned to the group of Falmer. He lunged forward, slashing the head of a Falmer clean off of its body as he did. He quickly regained his stance and turned left, raising his shield to block a strike from a falmer before it crumbled as it was shot by a bolt of lightning. Arthius then turned to the two behind him, being stunned by a lightning bolt striking his right arm. Arthius clenched the hilt of the sword, thrusting it forward into the chest of the Falmer shaman. He then turned to Serana as she pulled her dagger out from the skull of the last Falmer. Arthius smirked before the elf shouted once more.

"THIS HAS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH! "The elf screamed as a purple summoning aura appeared in front of him. Arthius barely turned towards the elf before he was slammed aside by a large frost astronach. Arthius landed on his side, sliding across the icy floor as the astronach charged Serana. Serana sent bolt after bolt of lightning at the large creature. The bolts seemed to do nothing as it charged forward, making Serana back up continuously. Arthius scrambled to his feet, pulling out his crossbow and aiming it at the astronach. Arthius heard a whizzing sound and quickly ducked an ice spike. He turned to the frozen Falmer shaman and fired the bolt at it. The Falmer exploded in a haze of fire and lightning, destroying 3 others with it. Arthius then turned back to the astronach in time to see it slam Serana into a wall. Serana's back made impact with the wall with great force. She felt the wind knocked from her, barely able to look up at the astronach. She then bared her fangs as she lunged up at the astronach, using all of her strength into a punch to its core, hoping to shatter it. Her fist made impact, a cracking sound following. Serana howled in pain as she collapsed to her knees, but also heard the astronach fall back and shatter as it hit the ground. She immediately felt Arthius at her side, getting a rush of comfort within her. Serana slowly opened her eyes as she felt Arthius' hands on hers. She stared down at her bloody and broken hand, wincing as Arthius inspected it. She suddenly felt Arthius' hold tighten, making her wince even more as her hand was clenched. She glanced at him to see his face blank, the rage inside of him getting the better of him.

"No…I won't let you ruin centuries of preparations…" the elf spoke as he walked forward, the aura surrounding him intensifying as he spread his arms. Arthius scowled as he walked forward, ignoring the rumbling of the ground and the shaking of the ceiling.

"Stop this! Surrender and give us the bow, or we will take it, along with your damn life!" Arthius shouted.

"MY LIFE ENDED FAR BEFORE YOURS BEGAN!" The elf screamed as a large flash of light consumed everything in sight. Arthius felt himself being launched backwards, slamming into a wall, making everything go black.

It's time we stop this…continue what I started…He's all I have

Arthius opened his eyes, seeing nothing but a bright blue haze. His face was numb from the cold and he could feel a sharp sting in the back of his head. A loud ringing sound was all that he could hear. Arthius struggled to look up to see a figure standing above him, and Serana's voice soon entered his mind.

"..ius, are you alright? C'mon, we can do this, I know we can" she spoke as she kneeled beside him. Arthius lied flat on his stomach as he attempted to push himself up. Serana offered him her hand and he took it, pulling himself up.

"He's up there on the balcony, c'mon" Serana said as she turned and ascended the steps. Arthius scowled as he thought of the elf. He quickly grabbed his sword and shield and rushed towards the stairs. The night was black as they climbed the steps unto the balcony. Serana began up the left side of the staircase as Arthius ascended the second, being sure that the elf wasn't escaping. They met at the center with the elf holding his side, wounded sometime during the battle. Serana approached him as Arthius kept his gaze upon the elf.

"Enough, Vyrthur. Give us the bow!" Serana spoke sternly as she crossed her arms. The elf looked up scowling, a small trace of blood on his lips.

"How dare you. I was the Arch-Curate of Auri-El, girl. I had the ears of a god!" The elf spit back. Serana slightly tilted her head as she replied.

"Until the "Betrayed" corrupted you. Yes, yes. We've heard this sad story." Serana simply said. The elf glared at her as he continued.

"Gelebor and his kind are easily manipulated fools. Look into my eyes, Serana. You tell me what I am" The elf spoke. Arthius paused for a moment at the words that were just said.

"How…how does he know her?" Arthius pondered. As he looked back at the situation at hand, he noticed Serana was now blank faced as she stared into Vyrthur's eyes.

"You're…you're a vampire? But Auriel should have protected you…" Serana stumbled as she spoke.

"The moment I was infected by one of my own initiates, Auri-El turned his back on me. I'd swore I'd have my revenge, no matter what the cost" The elf growled.

"You want to take revenge…on a god?" Serana said, more composed and even a bit skeptical.

"Even I think that's a foolish plan" Arthius spoke as he leaned against a balcony, knowing that he had no input in this conversation. The elf turned to him and glared fiercely. Arthius simply ignored him as he continued.

"Auri-El himself may have been beyond my reach, but his influence on our world wasn't. All I needed was the blood of a vampire and his own weapon, Auriel's Bow "The elf said. Arthius pondered this as Serana mumbled to herself.

"The blood of a vampire…Auriel's Bow..." Serana said as she soon realized what he meant. Arthius removed himself from the balcony and took a step towards the elf.

"It was you…you created the prophecy…didn't you?" Arthius spoke. Serna stared at Vyrthur as he walked towards her with a grin.

"A prophecy that lacked a single, final ingredient…the blood of a pure vampire. The blood of a Daughter of Coldharbour" The elf spoke with anxiousness. Arthius was about to rush at the elf but Serana had been ahead of him. She grabbed him by his armor and lifted him in front of her, showing off her strength.

"You were waiting…all this time for someone with my blood to come along. Well too bad for you...I intend on keeping it. Let's see if your blood has any power left to it!" Serana said as she threw Vyrthur back. He used some sort of magic to halt himself from being tossed over the edge and landed on his feet in front of the two. Arthius immediately pulled his sword from it's sheathe and lunged at the elf. Vyrthur pulled out his dagger and parried the downwards slash from Arthius, quickly shooting an ice spike into Arthius' stomach. Arthius gagged as he was struck with the spike and took a step back as Serana shot lightning bolts at the elf. Vyrthur quickly casted a ward that blocked the shot as he fired a bolt back at Serana. She opened a ward herself but it broke as the bolt struck it, making Serana stumble back. She was then shot directly in the chest by another powerful lightning bolt sending her back and falling down the steps. Arthius clenched his hands as he charged forward again, slashing from the side. The elf brought his dagger down, parrying the sword again. Arthius growled as he put all his strength into a shield bash to the side of Vyrthur's head. The elf was sent stumbling back as Arthius prepared to strike him down. Arthius charged once more but was met with a large blast of lightning from the elf, sending him flying back and landing in a heap. Vyrthur panted as he attempted to catch his breath, he then heard a whizzing sound and turned to be struck by an ice spike in his right breast plate. He immediately shot a large spike back which sunk deep into Serana's stomach. Serana cried in pain but did not stop as she continued shooting ice spikes into the chest of the elf as she walked towards him. Vyrthur winced as each ice spike dug deeper into his armor, making him stumble back as they did. His back met with the railing as Serana continued firing as she approached. Vyrthur managed a lightning bolt in his right hand and launched it at Serana. Serana was struck in her left arm, a searing pain of electricity moving throughout her. She didn't let up as she continued firing with only her right hand. Vyrthur grunted as he felt the ice spikes begin to dig into his chest, making him cough blood. Serana ceased her fire as she grabbed Vyrthur by the chest plate and use all of her remaining strength to throw him over the railing before collapsing to the floor. Vyrthur grabbed the railing with his left hand as his body went over. He felt his arm be forcefully jerked out of its socket as he hung, making him scream in agony. He hung there for what seemed like hours, trying over and over again to lift himself up or at least grab the railing with his other hand. After many attempts Vyrthur finally grabbed the railing with his right hand, gripping onto it with all his might. He struggled as he slowly lifted himself up and placed his feet through the spaces of the rail. He slowly turned his head, staring down into the abyss. Vyrthur sighed as he stared at it, knowing he could have plunged into it.

"That was too close, I can't allow all of my work to go to waste" Vyrthur thought as he stared.

"All of my work, all of this waiting, is finally going to pay off. All I need to do now is extract the girl's blood, and I will finally have my revenge" Vyrthur expression changed to a wicked grin as he grasped the railing, preparing to pull himself over. Vyrthur grin widened as he turned back to the balcony. His grin stopped however, as Arthius' sword went completely through his chest.

Vyrthur stared at Arthius, bloody and lurched as he held his sword. He then glanced down at the hilt of the blade that seemed to be sticking to his chest, and the pool of red pouring from it. Vyrthur cringed as the blade began to burn in his chest. His mind raced to everything he hoped for, everything he had wanted, everything he spent so much time and effort into, slipping from his grasp. Vyrthur suddenly looked up at Arthius, slowly reaching his hands up and placing them on his shoulder.

"You…you must…it has to be you…please…continue…what I started…and…you shall reign…over men…as though…they're cattle…please…just…take the bow…use her blood…it must be you…" Vyrthur spoke between coughs of blood, barely able to speak. Arthius stared at the elf, overwhelmed by rage t what the elf had said.

"All the pain this prophecy has put her through, all the chaos and corruption…and you want me to finish it" Arthius spoke as he stared at the elf.

"Well you can damn well forget it, along with any other plans you will ever have. Now die…knowing that you failed" Arthius glared as he spoke, barely able to stand himself. He then pushed forward on his hilt, slowly making Vyrthur lean backwards. Vyrthur slowly slid back until he slid off the blade and off of the balcony, staring at the sky as he plummeted into the abyss. He made no sound as he fell, simply watching the distance fade. As he fell, he couldn't help but let a small smile appear on his lips as one final thought crept into his mind.

"I know he'll finish it...there's no denying it…he just doesn't know yet"



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