Something To Fight For
Arthius gripped the railing as the ship moved forward, sinking into the thick fog. He slowly inhaled, the cold, thick air filling his nostrils as he stared ahead into the nothingness of the fog. After a moment, he turned to look at Serana as she stared boldly ahead, staring at the castle without even being able to see it. Arthius grinned slightly at this, rolling his head slightly as he felt his eagerness for the battle. He turned away from the railing and approached Agmaer.
"We have the troops set up as we discussed earlier?" Arthius asked. Agmaer crossed his arms, nodding to him.
"A mage with great skill in Restoration magic in each boat, a few trained archers, and the rest footmen" Agmaer confirmed. Arthius nodded as he began to turn around, pausing before turning back to Agmaer.
"Do you know if any of them have a large fear of dragons?" Arthius asked. Agmaer was thrown off by his question, looking bewildered at the mention of it. Arthius sighed as he waved Agmaer off before walking back to the front of the ship.
Arthius approached Serana as she stared into the fog. He put his hands on the railing beside her, staring out as she did.
"So...how are we planning on doing this?" Serana spoke. Arthius kept his gaze straight ahead, waiting a moment before speaking.
"Well assuming we get close enough to start loading troops off the ship, we're planning to take the majority though the gates as the rest cut us an opening, once inside we-" Arthius was cut off as a loud whirring sound beckoned the sound of an incoming object. Through the fog above roared a mighty flaming ball.
"MAGES!" Arthius shouted. From the other boats came forward the mages he requested to raise large wards. Fireballs roared from the skies, impacting the wards and shaking the boats as they smashed against the magical barriers. Arthius grabbed Serana and pulled her back from the front of the ship as a fireball crashed down before them, engulfing the front of the ship in flame. Arthius rushed forward, looking over the ship's side and preparing his thu'um.
"Fo Krah Diin" Arthius shouted, sending a wave of frost across the flames. He was then grabbed by the back of his collar and pulled back over the railing, turning to see Serana nod to him before turning back forward. He could hear the water crashing ahead of him, signaling their distance to the shore. Arthius turned back, seeing the heavily damaged ships that followed theirs. He quickly rushed past the companions as they readied themselves to the back of the ship.
"READY TO DOCK!" Arthius shouted to the warriors behind him. He turned back to the front of the boat and rushed forward, gripping the railing once more as he readied for impact. A moment later, the bottom of the boat made impact with the sand underneath the surface and it slowly came to a stop. The sound of the other boats ceasing their sails and coming to a stop came suddenly. Arthius paused for a moment as the other warriors came rushing out of their boats to the island. He heard behind him as the others rushed off the ship, only the tug at his arm from Serana woke him from his trance. She nodded to him and he nodded back, eyeing Agmaer making his way down the side of the ship on the ladder. Arthius and Serana followed, stepping into the shallow water at the shore before turning with the group towards the castle. As they went forward, the fog gave them nothing to see, as though a thick cloud blocked the two groups from eachother. It was then that the sound of something coming went through the air. The group paused for a moment before Arthius immediately raised his shield, pulling Serana down behind it. The sound of shattering came down upon them as ice spikes rained from the skies. Arthius held his shield firm as the spikes exploded on the other side of it. The sounds of shattering and the grunts of men and women filled the air. After what appeared to be hours, the shattering ceased. Arthius slowly rose, holding his sword high, unsure of who was still standing. He took in a deep breath before roaring as he charged forward. The screams and shouts behind him muffled the noise of clattering weapons and footsteps as they charged forward. Arthius felt the rocky pathway below him as he broke through the fog and the castle stood before him, guarded by vampires and gargoyles all down the entry way. the vampires readied themselves as they summoned spells as the gargoyles charged forward.
"MAGES, CAST WARDS AROUND US!" Agmaer shouted behind him, the ward quickly covered them as bolts of lightning and spikes crashed against it.
"Buy me a moment Agmaer, I need to prepare something" Arthius said back to Agmaer. He nodded back to Arthius before calling men to the front of the ward, including the twins. The group rushed forward, colliding with the gargoyles as they entered the magical barrier. Arthius stood back, staring at the walkway up to the gate, preparing his thu'um.
Here's hoping it's big enough he thought.
Dur Neh Viir
Arthius shouted. The floor on the walkway opened up, sending many vampires falling inside of it. The hole emitted a purple aura as the roar of a dragon shot through the air. Most of the vampires froze as they stared at the hole, as did some of the soldiers as they prepared their bows. Suddenly a massive dragon soared from the hole into the sky, the force blowing back some of the vampires that stood nearby. The soldiers gazed in both fear and amazement as the dragon soared through the air. Serana gripped Arthius' wrist, getting his attention.
"Arthius, isn't that-" She began.
"Yes, and now he's our ally, I'll explain later but I think we should focus on the task at hand" Arthius said as he stepped forward. "Durnehviir!" He shouted. The mighty dragon slowed itself, flying in one place as it looked down at Arthius.
"It is good to be free Dovahkiin, how may I aid you" The dragon spoke. The vampires and soldiers alike stared as they heard him speak. Arthius smirked as he met the dragon's eyes.
"What you do best" Arthius said as he raised his sword once more. Durnehhviir roared loudly before turning and facing the vampires that stood on the pathway to the gate.
Diil Qoth Zaam
Durnehviir shouted, summoning the skeletal warriors from the soul cairn which immediately attacked the vampires. Arthius smiled before roaring again as he charged forward. The men hesitated but followed Agmaer as they charged with him. Arthius charged forward colliding his shield against a vampire that was distracted by a boneman. He heard impact around him as the two groups finally collided. He stepped over the knocked down vampire as he raised his shield, bashing into another before stabbing forward, cutting through its stomach. He turned in the crowd to the right, blocking a slash down from another vampire's axe. He was able to push it back, just for it to be shot through the chest with an ice spike. Arthius turned to his right to see Serana give him as small nod before she was engaged by another vampire. Arthius turned back to feel his energy be sapped by him. He quickly dashed forward, ramming into the vampire and stabbing it once it was down.
The two groups were now scattered, the entirety of the front side of the island was a mix of vampires fighting soldiers, soldiers fighting vampires, ice spikes impaling men and women as arrows rained down on creatures of the night. Arthius ducked a swing before thrusting his sword up into the side of the vampire. It hissed down at him as it raised it axe once more. it was then struck across the face by Serana, sending it collapsing to the ground. Arthius smiled at her as she glanced around. He then turned, meeting back to back with her once more.
"So, any sign of Agmaer?" Arthius asked. Serana grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him down as a spike soared overhead.
"No, haven't seen him in the bustle" Serana said. Arthius forced Serana down as he braced for a charging vampire. He quickly grappled it, sending it over his shoulder and landing on its back in front of Serana. It scowled at her before she quickly stabbed down through the throat. Arthius yanked her back to her feet, keeping his shield in front of her as he did.
"It's time we move in, we have to find him and his group, come on" Arthius said. Serana turned and followed him as they made their way through the crowd. Arthius kept his shield up, slashing any vampires that came near him as Serana shot as many as she could as they went through. Arthius finally spotted Agmaer and his men further up the entrance way. He quickly charged forward, slicing down a vampire that one of his men had been struggling with. The sounds of clashing and shouting intensified as Arthius grabbed Agmaer by the shoulder. Agmaer turned to him quickly, ready to swing. His face immediately changed from one of intensity to one of calmness.
"Arthius, are we ready?" Agmaer yelled over the loud surrounding. Arthius nodded, glancing back at Serana. She stared forward at the castle, and Arthius wasn't sure what was going through her mind at that point. He turned back to Agmaer as he readied his men. Arthius motioned towards Serana to ready herself as he prepared for their charge inside. Suddenly he heard a crash and his vision was obscured as the Gargoyles sprang to life beside them. The group was crashed into by two of the beasts, sending two of the soldiers over the side of the walkway. Arthius was able to peer an eye open to see a Gargoyle tackle him. His back collided with the small stone railing on the side of the walkway. Arthius grabbed the beast by it's throat, struggling to keep it's fangs away from himself. An ice spike sank into its back and partially stuck out its front. Arthius turned the beast and dragged it over the railing to fall. He turned back to serana as she was knocked down by another Gargoyle.
Arthius shouted, sending him forward and sinking his blade deep into the throat of the beast. It collapsed to its side with a huff as Serana stared up at Arthius. He quickly helped her to her feet as he quickly scanned for Agmaer. He spotted him pulling a Gargoyle off of a dead soldier and stabbing it in the back. Arthius quickly grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around.
"Agmaer, we need to go, let the rest of the men handle these with the dragon" Arthius said over the sounds of battle. Agmaer hesitated for a moment before nodding and grabbing a few other men. Arthius turned back to Serana and nodded to her as he rushed towards the front doors of the castle. He quickly grabbed the handle and pulled, to no success. He inhaled as he took a step back, preparing himself.
Fus Ro Dah
Arthius shouted, sending the doors flying inwards. He wobbled a bit and went down on a knee as the soldiers from Agmaer's group as well as the twins rushed inside. Serana knelt down and placed her hands on Arthius' shoulders.
"Are you alright?" she asked with a worried expression. Arthius quickly nodded as he slowly stood up.
"I'm fine, don't worry about me, we've come too far to start worrying now" Arthius said s he pushed himself on. Serana watched for a moment before quickly following him inside the castle. Serana paused as her eyes adjusted to the indoors, spotting a soldier being shot through the chest and falling from the balcony. She heard screams and the sounds of both the sounds of fire and ice from within the mess hall. She quickly rushed forward, overlooking the large room to see the head vampires engaging the many soldiers that charged them. From across the room, she watched as Agmaer and a few of his men fought Orthjolf. She looked down to see Arthius in fierce battle with Garen, another one of her father's members. She quickly rushed down the steps, blasting an ice spike into one of the blood hounds as it tore apart another soldier. She was blocked off as the crowd swarmed around her as she moved towards the two, and she had no choice but fight alongside the other warriors until she reached them. Arthius ducked a swing from the mace and quickly sprang, attempting to cut down the vampire. A spike of ice shot from its' hand, forcing Arthius to raise his he did, a bloodhound flanked him from the side, causing Arthius to raise his sheild as the hound bounced off of it. Arthius quickly stabbed down through it as he began to turn back to the vampire. The vampire rushed him, almost immediately after the hound had been dispatched of and bashed into Arthius with unnatural strength. Arthius was sent back, slamming into the wall. His shield was knocked aside and he was quickly grabbed by the throat, the sheer force of the cold, stone-like hand against his throat made him gag. The Dunmer hissed at him as it pressed down on his throat.
"I've existed in this world far longer than any of your ancestors even set foot on-" Garen paused as he quickly grabbed Arthius' wrist as it swung at him with his sword. The elf grinned wickedly at Arthius before sending electricity through his arm. Arthius screamed, dropping the blade. The sword clunked on to the ground, making Arthius wildly attempt to place his foot over it in an attempt to bring it towards him. The elf pressed against his throat even harder before kicking the sword sending it sliding away. Arthius readied his thu'um for a moment, but before he could open his mouth, he felt his own building thu'um evaporate. He felt his own breath and energy escape with it, leaving him almost limp in the elf's hand. The elf kept its eyes on Arthius as it watched his life force slowly drain, savoring the kill.
"As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I've existed on this world far longer than any of your ancestors even set foot on-" He was cut short quite literally as Arthius' blade quickly slashed down from his nape to the front of his throat, sending his head rolling down in front of him. Arthius gasped as he sank down, as did the elf in front of him. He glanced up to see Serana staring down at her hands with a pained expression, and he glanced down to see his blade at her feet. Arthius quickly realized the situation and stumbled up, grabbing the back of her hands and turning them towards him. He flinched at the sight of the searing flesh on her hands.
"So, does this mean we're even for the times you stopped the mutts?" Serana said with a small smile, though Arthius could see the pain behind it. Arthius sighed as he shook his head, pulling out a healing potion and a rag,tearing it in two and dousing them in the liquid. Without warning, Arthius grabbed her wrists and wrapped each piece tightly around each. Serana cringed as a small whimper came out, though the pain slowly faded as she felt the liquids cool her burns. Arthius quickly reached down and picked up his sword, inspecting it.
"Damn Meridia. Are you able to cast spells?" Arthius asked. Serana attempted to summon an ice spike as she stared down at her hands, pulling her head back as an ice spike shot out. Serana stared at the ceiling at the ice spike that almost took her head off, slowly looking back down at Arthius.
"Y-yes, I can still cast spells" she said hesitantly. After a moment she glanced over at him suddenly.
"What's wrong with you?" she asked. Arthius paused as he stared at her, quickly glancing to the side to see another hound charge at them. He quickly stepped in front of Serana, stabbing down through the hound in midair as it lunged at her. The beast whined for a moment before lying still. Arthius pulled his sword out and turned towards the staircase leading further into the castle.
"Come on" Arthius said as he began towards the stairs. Serana sighed, hoping to question him later. She quickly hurried after him as he ascended the staircase. Orthjolf roared as Agmaer's axe sank into his chest. He shakily raised his hands to Agmaer's head, tightening them around his throat. Agmaer growled before putting his boot on Orthjolf's stomach and pushing him back, yanking the axe from the vampire's chest. Orthjolf screamed as he was pushed back, barely catching himself. He looked up just in time to see the front of Agmaer's axe approach him once more before it sank deep in between his eyes. Orthjolf was still before Agmaer ripped the axe from the vampire's skull, leaving a bloody chasm going down his face as he collapsed. Arthius glanced at the scene on the balcony as he ascended the steps, chuckling as he reached the top of the steps. As he turned the corner, he heard a whizzing sound through the air before whatever was sent made impact. Arthius turned to see the high elf standing down the corridor, holding his hand out towards the opening that lead to the balcony. Another ice spike flew, digging deep into Agmaer's chest as the one before had. He was sent over the railing and crashed through the table below. Arthius stared at the elf as a small smile appeared on its' face as it caught sight of Arthius.
"I suppose I should have thanked him for ridding me of that pest at last" The elf said. Arthius clenched the sword in his hands, his arm shaking as he firmly squeezed the handle. As he began to take a step forward, the elf summoned a spell in his hand that Arthius recognized, but just didn't expect. His mind wiped clean of rage and immediately filled with the thought of the vampire standing to his right. With the shield in his left hand, he held it in front of them as e turned to her and shielded her with his body as he heard blast coming at them. The force knocked him and Serana to the ground as the heat tinged his hairs. Serana gagged as the flames of the fireball seemed to yank the breath from her. Arthius rose and turned to the elf to meet another fireball directly. He quickly rose his shield before being blasted back again. Serana hesitated as she rose behind Arthius, attempting to ready an ice spike. Another fireball was shot at her and Arthius lunged forward to cut it off, draining his strength as he took shot after shot of the spell. As Arthius' back bumped into Serana after another shot she scowled at the elf.
"Using fire against your own kind?" Serana growled before Arthius shoved her back as another blast shot impact knocked Arthius to the ground, leaving Serana defenseless as she stared at the elf.
"You blind child, you expect me too much of me" The elf said as he raised his hand in Serana's direction. he smirked as another fireball readied in his hand, then quickly turned around and fired as Vilkas charged at him. The nord dove to the side as the blast came at him, exploding where he once stood and launching him into the wall. The elf turned around as he heard footsteps and quickly ducked a swing from Serana's dagger. He quickly raised his hand, landing a blow in her stomach. Serana gagged before being grabbed by the throat and picked up. She dangled, breathless as the elf held her in place.
"Come now, getting close in hopes I would avoid using the spell?" He smirked before squeezing her throat once more before throwing her back as he prepared another fireball in his other hand. Serana landed in a heap, a small smile appearing on her face.
Yol Toor Shul
The elf turned to be engulfed in the flame, screaming as it burned his flesh. Arthius stood, panting as he stared at the elf burn. It dropped to its' knees as it burned, shaking for a few moments. Suddenly, he screamed as he lunged forward with its sword which was now blackened by the flame. Serana shot a spike into it, sending it stumbling back. The elf gagged as it prepared a fireball, raising it's hand at the fallen Serana. Vilkas then sent his sword through the elf's back, sinking it completely through the elf until the hilt met its' back. The elf gagged as it was slowly lifted with the blade into the air, its' feet dangling as it was slowly being lifted inch by inch. He felt like he was in the air for an eternity but was only off the ground for a few seconds before Vilkas roughly shook him off the blade and onto the ground where he lied still. Arthius helped a winded Serana back to her feet, keeping an eye on Vilkas out of the corner of his eye. Once she was on her feet Arthius turned to face Vilkas with a cold expression , keeping Serana behind him. As Vilkas looked up, he paused as he caught Arthius' glance. Even with the chaos surrounding them there seemed to be a sudden silence as they stared, just for a moment before Vilkas turned away.
"Get in there and finish the job, I'll tend to the boy" Vilkas said as he walked away, turning the corner and descending the steps into the crowd below. Arthius watched him until he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked back at Serana as she stared at him.
"Come on, we have to go end this" She spoke. Arthius sighed as he nodded to her before following her to a gated off doorway that lead into the cathedral. As they entered, a sudden chill went through Arthius as the scene set out before him. The floors were scattered with bones as a carpet, torn apart by time led to the steps of what seemed to be some sort of fountain, filled to the brim with blood. A figure stood beside it, basked in the shadows.
"Serana, my darling" A voice spoke from it, causing Serana to clench onto her dagger as the two of them stepped forward. "I see you still favor keeping a pet" Serana took a few steps forward before stopping, keeping her hand on her dagger as she did.
"You know why we're here" she spoke. Arthius could see that she was holding back, unsure if it was rage or fear, but he knew she was holding in something. The figure emerged from the shadows, slowly walking to the front of the fountain as he ran his hand across its edge.
"Of course I do" He said as he put his hands behind himself "You truly disappoint me, Serana. You've taken everything I've provided for you and thrown it all away for this...pathetic being" Harkon said coldly, as though he was simply scolding his daughter for getting herself into trouble.
"Provided for me? Are you insane?" Serna said. She kept her cool as she spoke, but Arthius was ready to step in once he saw it right to do so. "You've destroyed our family. You've killed other vampires. All over some prophecy that we barely understand. but no more. I'm done with you" She said as she pulled out her dagger. Arthius stood back, keeping his eyes firmly on Harkon. "You will not touch him!"
Harkon seemed a bit amused at this as he crossed his arms, watching her for a moment before speaking.
"Serana, my daughter, your voice drips with the venom of your mother's influence. How alike you've become" Harkon said with a small smile.
"No...because unlike her I'm not afraid of you, not anymore" Serana spoke with a small growl as she prepared an ice spike in her other hand. the corner of Harkon's lip twitched for a moment before it spread into a smile. Arthius slowly reached back for the bow as Harkon spoke.
"How truly alike the two of you have become. Those were the same exact words she used when we found her in the Soul Cairn " Harkon spoke. At once, it seemed the world had stopped. The room had gone dead silent, even with the chaos ensuing outside the doors not a single sound was made. Arthius' hand twitched as it grazed the bow. He stared at Harkon and could hear the sound of Serana' spike fade from her hand.
"Where is she?" Serana said, Arthius snapped back to reality as he reached and firmly took the bow in his hand. Harkon smirked as he slowly took a few steps back, walking to one of the small arcs beside the fountain and reaching down pulling out a bound and beaten Valerica. Arthius felt his breath increase as he looked at the vampire. Her face was swollen and bruised, a dry trail of blood ran down the side of her head to her now torn and bloody royal wear that matched Serana's. Her features were cold and clammy, even for a vampire and she looked as though she couldn't stand. Harkon held her by the collar as he slowly brought her forward. Her eyes were sunken and it was clear that she had lost her strength long ago.
"Mother!" Serena cried as she stepped forward, pausing as Harkon firmly pulled Valerica to him and putting his hand on her throat.
"Really Serana, did you think I wouldn't know my daughter had returned to my castle? This is my home Serana, and nothing enters or leaves without my knowing of it" He said firmly as he tightened his grip on her throat.
"Father, please, don't hurt her" Serana said as she put her hand up. Arthius cursed under his breath as he slowly released his grip on the bow. He had them, with all the planning and everything they did, he simply had them now. He couldn't imagine what Serana was feeling right now, and the last thing he wanted was to do something stupid. Arthius fought back the urges to step forward, make a move, but he could slowly feel the temptation rising inside of him. As he glared at Harkon, the small movement beside of the vampire took his notice as he saw Valerica's chest slowly rise, much pain being expressed as she did. Arthius sighed as the fight faded from him, concentrating back on Harkon.
Harkon smirked at his daughter as he slowly slid his hand across Valerica's throat.
"I will say this once, daughter. Relinquish the bow to me, that's all I ask of you" Harkon spoke. Arthius glanced at Serana as she glanced at him. For a moment, he could see the desperation in her eyes before she turned back to her father.
"No...no, not after what-" Serana began but was cut off by her father.
"YOU WILL GIVE ME THE BOW OR WATCH YOUR MOTHER SLAIN BEFORE YOU! Now, give the bow to me" Harkon spoke, his voice demanding authority and obedience. Serana stood still, Arthius stared at her, unsure of what she would say. Slowly she turned back to Arthius, her head to the floor as she did.
"Arthius...give me the bow" Serana said, defeated. Arthius clenched his fist as he glared at Harkon before he looked back to Serana.
"No, I'm not going to give up the bow, Serana" Arthius spoke coldly.
"Arthius, I'm not asking you to give me your opinion, give me the bow" she said.
"And then what? Have you thought it through, Serana? What happens when we give him the bow?" Arthius said.
"That doesn't matter at the moment, Arthius. We can-" Serana began.
"No, we can't, because I'm not giving the bow to him" Arthius said.
"Arthius, my mother-" She began again.
"Your mother made me promise to protect you and that's exactly-" It was his turn to be disrupted.
"I don't care what you think is protecting me...but making me watch her die…" Serana stopped. She looked up at Arthius, revealing the broken expression she wore. Arthius couldn't help it, he just couldn't stand it. He slowly reached back and took the bow from its place, squeezing it before bringing it in front of him. As Serana reached for it, they heard a crackle before something impacted flesh. They turned to see Valerica holding her palm to her chest, where an ice spike was now sticking out of. She gagged for a moment before collapsing to the floor. Harkon cursed loudly as he turned to face the two. Serana gagged, trying to speak, choking on her own words as she shakily began walking towards her mother.
"GIVE ME THE BOW!" Harkon screamed as charged at them, morphing in an explosion of darkness as he did. Arthius grabbed Serana and threw her aside before turning and bracing himself as Harkon rammed into him. Arthius was sent back, gaining his balance and rolling. He landed on his feet, quickly pulling a sun hollowed arrow that the snow elf had given him and plucking it on the string as Harkon charged. He fired, catching Harkon in the shoulder. An explosion of light came from the arrow, burning Harkon. He screamed before backing up, now entirely in the form of the beast. Arthius took the moment to rush over to Serana as she kneeled on one of the staircases on the sides of the room.
"Serana, come on" Arthius said, glancing back as Harkon began raising skeletons.
"Arthius...my mother…" Serana said weakly.
"We can deal with that later, right now we have to fight" Arthius demanded.
"But, I can't-" Serana began. Arthius roughly grabbed her by the back of her collar and hoisted her up, turning her to face him.
"We did not do everything we did, what your mother fought so hard for, just for us to sit down and cry like damn children. Now pick yourself up and fight, I need you!" Arthius yelled. Serana froze for a moment, staring at Arthius a bit shaken before slowly nodding. Arthius released her and turned around with another arrow in his quiver, shooting a skeleton's skull off it's body. The head flew back into another skeleton before exploding and destroying it as well. Serana slowly caught her breath as she wiped the tears from her eyes. She glared at her father for a moment before turning to Arthius as he fought. She summoned and ice spike in her hand and fired it at one of the skeletons as she moved up the stairs, firing as she went up. Arthius shot another skeleton before turning the bow sideways and blocking a downward swing from an armored skeleton's war axe. He raised his boot and kicked it hard in the stomach, sending it toppling back. Arthius put the bow away as he pulled out his sword and shield before charging at the creature. He ducked a swing before thrusting his sword out, stabbing the skeleton through the center and jerking his sword across its' side. He rose to thrash his shield out to an oncoming sword, knocking it behind the skeleton and leaving it exposed as Arthius cut its' head off.
Harkon stood atop the walkways over Arthius, glaring down as he summoned a life drain spell in his hand. He quickly leaned back to avoid an ice spike. He turned to see the cold glare of his daughter directed at him.
"You will not take anyone else from me" Serana growled. Harkon boiled as he roared, backing up as he shot spell after spell at his daughter, gliding by the ice spikes she sent at him. Serana paced quickly across her side of the balcony as she shot, wincing as every few shots would graze her. She allowed one to strike her as she took aim, firing an ice spike that landed in Harkon's arm. Harkon screamed as he was engulfed in bats, moving toward her at a rapid pace. Serana fired at the swarm but to no prevail as he suddenly appeared beside her. Serana turned, pulling out her dagger only to be struck across the face. Her back collided with the barricade before she was grabbed by the throat. She winced as the pressured was put on her neck, slowly opening her eyes to the glaring Harkon. He roughly through her back, sending her toppling over the railing. Serana caught herself, dangling as she held on to the railing. She quickly glanced down, gasping at how much further the ground seemed from where she was. She looked back up to see her father raising his hand once more, summoning a spell as he looked down at her. Suddenly he growled as an arrow sunk into his shoulder, sending him toppling back before it exploded. Serana sighed as she heard Arthius below her.
"Drop down, I've got you" He said. Serana released the railing, falling for a moment before being caught in the waist. She gave Arthius a small smile as he set her down. Arthius stared up at the balcony, squeezing his sword as A gargoyle burst to life beside them. He turned and slashed at its' head, only for it to be caught by the beast. Serana backed up as another came to life behind her. She turned and fired an ice spike which landed directly in its' stomach. It roared as it charged at her, slashing down as she raised her dagger. She was able to stab it through the hand as it slashed down, receiving a roar. Harkon floated down the steps to the platform beside Serana, summoning a spell as he did. Serana quickly raised her open palm to the gargoyle's throat before launching an ice spike through it. She quickly engaged her father once more, dodging spells as quickly as she cast them. Arthius pulled his sword from the gargoyle's skull, taking a glance at Serana and her father battle. Arthius looked up at the walkways that connected to one another above him, a small grin appearing on his face. He crouched down, taking to the shadows as he snuck up the staircase, hoping nocturnal would throw him a bone at this moment.
Serana fell to a knee as she was hit by another spell. Harkon growled as he charged another spell before launching it at his daughter. Serana grunted as the impact dropped her to her hands. Harkon held his next shot as he looked down at her, changing the spell to a summon. He summoned a few skeletons, watching as they slowly surrounded the fallen Serana.
"You know, Serana. I really should have dispatched of you and your traitor mother ages ago" Harkon spoke coldly. Serana clenched her fist, still to weak to stand. Harkon sighed as he crossed his arms, the skeletons readying to deliver the final blow. "Ah well, better late than never I suppose. Dispose of her" Harkon said.
Zun Haal Viik
The weapons of the skeletons were thrown around the room, leaving them defenseless. Serana immediately began draining the closest one of its' power. Slowly regaining her strength.
Wuld Nah Kest
Harkon turned in the direction of the shout, to immediately be tackled with massive impact. He was sent back, slamming into the corner. He barely had time to react as he was then bashed across the face with a shield. Harkon growled as he slashed down, catching nothing but air as Arthius ducked down. Arthius charged forward, slamming Harkon into the wall once more. Harkon roared as he slashed down, slashing across his shield. Arthius swung his sword, his arm being grabbed by Harkon and thrown aside before being struck across the face and sent back. Arthius staggered for a moment before being charged by Harkon. He blocked another slash before swinging his shield, hitting Harkon's shoulder. As harkon was turned by the impact, he used the momentum to slash across Arthius' chest. Arthius grunted as the claws barely went through the armor, cutting into him, seething at the sting. Harkon readied a drain spell as Arthius rushed at him, shooting it at Arthius' center. It struck Arthius head on, but Arthius didn't let it faze him as he charged Harkon once more, but ran into the swarm of bats Harkon had dispersed into. Arthius swatted as he was encased in the swarm until he was free of it. he quickly turned to be rushed and be tackled into the corner. Harkon shot his hand up and grabbed Arthius' throat. Arthius was slowly lifted, gagging as Harkon pressed his throat. Harkon raised his other hand, and Arthius saw his opportunity. As Harkon raised his hand, Arthius quickly stabbed into it, sinking his sword through his hand and into the wall beside them. Harkon screamed as he dropped Arthius, gripping the handle only to be met with far more pain. Arthius rolled out of the way before turning back to the pinned Harkon.
Yol Toor Shul
Harkon was engulfed in flame, screaming as the fire burned him. Arthius turned to Serana as she finished off the last few skeletons. She shot an ice spike into the skull of the fallen skeleton beneath her boot before turning to Arthius, sighing a smile as she saw he was alright.
"Serana, listen to me closely. I need you to go find Durnehviir, tell him "Nir Bormah"."Nir Bormah" alright? Make sure he gets the message, I can hold off your father. Go now" Arthius spoke, staring into Serana's eyes as he did. Serana ran it over in her head for a moment before nodding. She paused for a moment before quickly embracing Arthius with a hug, sighing as she couldn't shake a sudden nervousness.
"Don't die" she simply said before breaking herself free from him and rushing out the doors. She sprinted through the crowd as she made her way to the front of the castle. Arthius turned as Harkon screamed at the top of his lungs, pulling the sword out of the wall and freeing his hand, he threw it across the room as he glared at Arthius with intensity that could shake the souls of any man.
"NO MORE, THIS ENDS NOW!" Harkon roared as he charged. Arthius pulled out his bow, readying another arrow at Harkon.
Serana arrived at the front of the castle,searching all around for the dragon before simply screaming his name. A moment later, Durnehviir landed in front of her. he was scarred and tired, but still looked ready to fight.
"Greetings Alok-Dilon. To what do you seek this Dov for?" The dragon spoke. Serana ran the words through her head once again before speaking.
"Nir, Bormah. That's what Arthius wanted me to tell you" Serana said, glancing around as the sound of screaming rang her ears. Durnehviir paused for a moment before slowly leaning in to Serana. Serana stood still as the dragon's snout basically came in contact with her. Durnehviir then inhaled, taking a moment before flapping his wings and taking to the skies once more. Serana watched him, a bit unsure as to what had just happened, but simply turned back to the castle and headed back to Arthius.
Arthius gripped the sides of the bow, pushing Harkon back with it. Harkon swiped down wildly at Arthius as the handle of the bow was pressed against his throat as he swung down at the pinned Arthius. Arthius quickly took a breath before shifting his body to the right, swinging the bow with him, cracking Harkon in the side of the head. Harkon was stunned for a moment before Arthius raised his boot and kicked Harkon away. He pulled out another arrow and aimed it, firing at Harkon just as he had dispersed into bats once more. Arthius took the opportunity to dash for his sword on the staircase. Arthius dashed up the stairs, the swarm of bats now on top of him. As he closed in on his sword, the swarm of bats landed in front of him and Harkon appeared from it. Arthius swung with his bow once again but halted as an aura surrounded him. He was then thrust upward, slamming into the ceiling and back down, smashing into the staircase. Harkon held him to the floor with his Vampiric grip for another moment before slowly raising him, another arrow pointed in his face when he did. Harkon quickly tossed Arthius to the side, sending the arrow deep into his shoulder, splitting the muscle as it did and partially sticking out the other end. Harkon screamed as Arthius was sent through the railing on the other side of the room. The vampire lord slowly reached up to his shoulder when the arrow suddenly exploded, engulfing him in light. Arthius smirked as he heard this, almost chuckling if not for the fact that he was almost positive he had broken a rib in that fall. A small trail of blood was leaking from the corner of his mouth as he smirked, showing off a minimal amount of his damage. Just then, the door opened as Serana rushed back in. Arthius almost laughed if not for the fact that he choked on a cough. Seran glanced at her father who was now slowly crawling to the back of the cathedral. She glanced around until she saw Arthius lying on the stairs beside the shattered railing beside him. She rushed over to him, He was lying on his back, his left arm stretching out to the wall and his other wrapped around his midsection. She felt for his pulse for a moment before slowly raising his head. Arthius met her eyes with a smile as his head was brought up. Serana sighed as she moved forward, pressing her forehead to his.
"Damnit, don't scare me like that" Serana said with a sigh.
"Come on...we're not finished yet...unless I'm just really lucky...and he was killed by that last shot" Arthius spoke painfully with a smile. Serana nodded as she removed her head from his, noticing a glimmer around the edge of Arthius' arm that held his mid. She slowly raised his arm, revealing a tear in his armor from which blood was seeping out of. Serana glanced back up at Arthius who was still smiling.
"Ah...so that's what...was hurting" he said. He cast a healing spell as Serana slowly got up.
"Do your best to heal, Arthius. I can deal with my father" Serana said. Arthius sighed as he let his wound slowly heal, giving her a small nod. Serana turned to where her father was before, finding him a few feet closer to the fountain. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that her mother had moved herself to the wall, leaving a large trail of blood as she did. Serana was relieved to see this, but she knew she had to defeat her father before going to her mother. She quickly turned back to Harkon, summoning an ice spike in her hand. Harkon was still crawling to the fountain when Serana stepped in front of him. He looked up at her, glaring at her for a moment before speaking.
"How dare you...I am saving us...I was saving all vampires...and your damn mother...both of you try to escape me...and when you return...you throw away everything for a mortal" Harkon spoke. Serana simply stared down at her father as she raised her hand at him, readying the shot.
"And what do you think they'll do to you once this is over, Serana? Do you simply think...they will keep you? I am your father...I will care for-" Harkon was then kicked in the side of the head. Serana clenched her fist as she kicked him again.
"Don't speak to me, don't even think about claiming to be my father after everything you've done" Serana screamed down at him. She then rose her hand again, aiming it at Harkon's head. She looked at him one more time, glaring into his eyes. Harkon stared back, then smiled. Serana then fired, the spike sinking in the ground as the swarm of bats rushed past her to the fountain. Harkon reappeared over the fountain, a red aura surrounding him. Serana shot another spike, but it seemed to disintegrate as it made contact with the aura surrounding him. Serana could see his wounds heal, and the power that he was rapidly gaining. The aura faded and Harkon slowly looked back up at Serana. Serana paused before firing another ice spike, though it missed as Harkon flew down and rushed at her. Before she could comprehend what had happened, Serana was slammed against the doors that led inside the cathedral. Harkon roared as he slashed up her side. Serana screamed before stabbing her dagger into Harkon's arm. Harkon backed up, holding his arm. Serana fell to her knees as she held her side, looking up to see her father rushing her again. Her head was then slammed against the doors, Serana felt everything go numb as she was roughly grabbed by the hair. She felt herself being dragged slowly across the floor. Her vision was blurry but she could make out enough to know she was being dragged back to the fountain.
"I WILL HAVE YOUR BLOOD, AND I WILL SAVE OUR KIND!" Harkon roared as they approached the fountain. Serana began to struggle, swinging at her father. He simply slammed her against the floor. Serana tried to fight, but she felt drained. She had gone all out the entire battle, and now it was catching up to her. As Harkon approached the fountain, he paused as he heard something. A sort of whistle could be heard throughout the room, slowly getting louder and more intense at each moment. Suddenly the back of the room exploded, sending the fountain flying towards Harkon. He quickly ducked, turning and watching as the fountain smashed through the doors. He turned back to see a large hole where the wall used to be, and a large dragon filling the hole. Before he could react, he felt himself be pushed towards the beast from behind. The dragon snapped at him, catching him in the arm. Harkon screamed as the massive jaws of the dragon crushed his arm. Harkon growled as he summoned his strongest drain spell and unleashed it on the beast. The dragon roared as it jerked its' head to the side sending Harkon flying into the wall. Durnehviir roared,sending blue flames which consumed Harkon, he screamed as he was drained of his magic. Harkon put everything he had to morph into his bats once more. He flew towards the dragon, the bats fading as they were burned. Harkon appeared in front of the Dragon quickly striking with his claw pointed, stabbing into its' eye. Durnehviir roared out in pain as Harkon continued his assault on the dragon, slashing at every vital spot he could see. Durnehviir readied his thu'um once more, but was met with one final blast of draining from Harkon. Durnehviir slowly began to sink back until he lopsided and fell out of the hole, smashing more of the wall as he went, fading back to the soul cairn. Harkon stood strong as he glared down at where the beast once was. The cold sea air meeting his wounds, making him wince. He looked around, staring at the thick fog for a moment as he caught his breath.
Lok Vah Koor
Harkon turned to see where it had come from, just in time to see Arthius standing in the center of the room with the bow pointed directly at him. He then felt the sun's rays hitting his back, and looked down to see he was consumed in the sunlight. Harkon's head shot up to Arthius, glaring at him with much ferocity.
"YOU-" Harkon began. Arthius released the arrow, sending it flying directly into Harkon's chest. Harkon immediately burst into flame, the sunlight exploding on his skin. Harkon flailed as the light consumed him, staggering as he began to move towards Arthius. Suddenly Serana stepped in front of him, raising her boot and kicking him hard in the chest. Harkon stumbled back, before falling over the edge. His scream was then muffled as he fell, leaving nothing but silence. Arthius stared at the hole, slowly lowering the bow.
"Me" he said. Serana glanced to the side and immediately rushed to where her mother was. Arthius looked over to see Valerica sitting against the wall, only a few feet from the edge, and in the sunlight could see that she was pale, too pale. He slowly walked over, putting his bow back as he watched Valerica whisper to her daughter, before slowly turning to him. Arthius paused before slowly walking beside her and crouching down. Valerica smiled at him, weakly, but it was a smile either way.
"Arthius...I wanted to thank you...for watching over my daughter" Valerica spoke weakly. Arthius glanced at Serana who was kneeling beside her mother opposite of him.
"I promised I would, and I will keep that promise" Arthius said. Valerica smiled again at him.
"That is all I needed to hear" She spoke slowly before resting her head back against the wall and staring up at the ceiling. Serana stared at her for a moment before looking at Arthius who was looking down at the floor. She then quickly turned back to her mother, quickly standing. and looking down at her.
"Mother" Serana called for her, but to no response. Arthius sighed as he stood, slowly walking over toward Serana.
"Mother?" Serana said again. Arthius stood beside her watching as the tears filled her eyes. Arthius slowly raised his hand and reached for her shoulder, until it was suddenly grabbed. Arthius turned to see the burnt and scarred face of Harkon as it madly glared at him.
"I WILL KILL YOU" He roared as he raised his sword in his other hand, barely able to hold on to it. Serana turned and stabbed her dagger deep into the throat of her father. Arthius reached up and grabbed Harkon's sword, stabbing it deep into his chest. Harkon stared wildly at Arthius, before using the last bit of strength he had to push himself back as hard as he could, clinging to Arthius the entire time. Serana reached out, but was only able to graze Arthius' arm before he was sent over the edge, falling to the sea below. Arthius stared up, slowly gasping for air as he realized he hadn't breathed for a few moments. Sound faded out as he watched Serana get further and further away. He felt himself go numb as he made impact, almost glad he couldn't feel his arm being pulled out of it's socket by his own stachel as it crashed into the sea along with him. He sank into the deep, wondering why he didn't feel cold. After a moment, he began to feel again, and realized how weak he felt, and how good sleep would feel.
It was at that moment that he realized that he couldn't sleep. he wasn't doesn't done yet, and death wasn't an option. With everything he had, he kicked towards the surface, gagging at the pain that shot through his entire body, forcing him to choke as the cold squeezed him. He shook violently at the pain and the cold, feeling very ounce of breath leave his body as he floated in the darkness.
Serana didn't remember anything that happened after she watched Arthius fall, but she found herself running across the beach. She arrived at the water's edge looking out over the surface. She searched for what seemed like hours before she saw a hand peirce out of the water. She couldn't launch herself into the freezing waters fast enough as she raced towards the hand, grabbing the ebony gauntlet and jerking it up. Arthius shot up from the water in front of her before being slowly pulled back to land. Serana crawled on the beach, frozen and out of breath, dragging Arthius behind her. She collapsed on the warm sand, actually enjoying the sun on her skin. After a few moments, she heard Arthius begin to move and opened her eyes to see him lying beside her, a silver circlet shining in the sunlight.
"The enchantment...it was waterbreathing" Arthius said, chuckling before his head went back in the sand. Serana stared for a moment before allowing her head to sink back as well..
A few hours later, the rest of the vampires had been finished off and Aela found the two on the beach. She quickly turned back, calling for Farkas to fetch some men and a couple of healers. As she turned back, she crossed her arms as she looked at them. Aela sighed a small smile as she looked at both of them.
"Looks like a pair to me" She said softly. Serana was able to walk but Farkas basically had to carry Arthius back to the front of the castle alone as the rest of the group went ahead of them, except Serana of course.
"This reminds me of when we got piss drunk after a successful job" Arthius smiled. Farkas chuckled as he readjusted Arthius' arm over his shoulder.
"Except I'm the one carrying you" Farkas said.
"Gods, I didn't remember much from those nights but I remember how damn heavy you are" Arthius said.
"Better than staying a whelp like you" Farkas grunted, making Arthius laugh. They made their way to the front of the castle, just in time to see Agmaer, basically consumed by bandages and surrounded by healers who were trying to keep him still.
"...the vampire menace. We, my brothers and sisters, have saved Skyrim from a fate worse than death. For Isran, and for all those who fell in this effort, we will celebrate!" Agmaer shouted. A roar of cheers erupted from the crowd, though pained, bruised and beaten, were proud.
"I can handle it from here, Farkas" Serana spoke as she slowly put Arthius' arm around her shoulder. Farkas nodded to her before making his way through the crowd to the other watched him go before turning to Arthius.
"So...what now?" She asked. Arthius raised a brow at her.
"I mean...what will you have of me? You said that once we were done-" Serana was then muffled by his hand. She shook as the cold metal of his gauntlet pressed against her lips.
"I'm tired...let's just focus on getting me home for the time being, alright?" Arthius said. Serana paused before simply nodding. Arthius sighed as he shifted himself on Serana, attempting to get bit more comfort as they waited for the rest of the group to finish their post battle celebrations before sailing back to the shore.
As night approached, Serana found herself sitting alone in a room at the winking skeever. Arthius was in another room, still recovering from his wounds. Serana stared blankly at the wall, wrapping her arms around herself. She was finally alone, left with nothing but her own thoughts. She didn't know when the thoughts of her mother entered her mind, but there was no sign of them leaving. Serana doubled over finding it harder to breathe with each passing moment. She held her chest, almost gagging at the intense pain she felt. Her hands trembled as her vision blurred, she felt her legs pull her down as she landed on the floor, her head in her knees. A pained gasp came from her as she tried to catch her breath. She had no idea how he got there but she found herself clinging to Arthius as he sat beside her, holding her close to him as she silently bawled into his chest. She felt it all at once, rewatching the scene before her over and over again. Hours later, Arthius leaned back, resting his head on the furs of the bed as Serana rested her head on his lap as she slept. He stared at the dark ceiling, tired but knowing that he wouldn't find sleep soon. He thought of everything, the pain Serana had put him through, and the life she had saved him from. He thought of her side, her losses, and even her future. He thought of Rena, wondering what she would think of this, but mostly of what she'd want him to do. He hoped for an answer, or to at least hear her voice again. After a few moments, he sighed as he knew that probably wasn't going to happen. At that moment, Serana turned her body, facing him as she slept. Arthius stared down at her, chuckling at how peaceful she looked, and almost laughing as he realized this was the same room that they almost tore apart. He thought of all their fights, everything they said to each other, the words that cut deeply, but he could only find joy in them now. Arthius sighed once more before slowly bringing his knees up to his chest. Serana was slowly awoken from her sleep, allowing Arthius a glimpse at her eyes once more.
"Arthius...what is it?" Serana asked. Arthius chuckled before reaching down and putting his arms under her legs and picking her up. He turned around and set her on her bed, sighing at how heavy she felt to him with his bruises.
"I'm going back to bed, rest up. We're heading home in the morning" Arthius said before turning to the door. Serana watched him as he walked through the door, leaving her room.
"Home" Serana said in a whisper before settling into the bed.
It had been a few days since their battle, and Arthius had mostly recovered from his wounds. He sat at the water's edge in a simple tunic, looking over the lake beside his manor, petting his saber cat as it gnawed on an old bone it had taken a liking to beside him. He scratched it behind its' ears for a moment before looking down at it chewing on the dry bone.
"Gnaw" he said, causing the Saber Cat to look up at him.
"You like that? It could work, simple but it could work" he said as he scratched its' head again as it continued staring at him.
"You're not even listening are you?" Arthius said before turning back to the water. After a few moments, he sighed as he go up and headed back to his home. As he entered the house, the Saber Cat rushed past his legs, hitting Arthius' leg with the bone it held in its' mouth, and rushing into the library where it sat beside Serana as she read. Arthius passed the library, simply getting a look at Serana before walking past with a sigh. They hadn't talked much in the past few days, and Lydia leaving for private affairs in Whiterun made it a bit more lonely in the house. It was for the best as Serana wasn't as friendly as she was the last time the two had spoken. Arthius entered his room, removing his tunic as he got into his bed.
Serana sighed as she sat in the dark, gripping the satchel of blood potions before rising from her seat and heading to the doors of the manor for the third night. She had no idea where she would go, or what she would do but she couldn't think of a good reason to stay. As Serana approached the doors, she froze as she raised her hand to the handle. She sighed and lowered her hand simply standing in front of the doors in the darkness, her mind racing and freezing her feet to the ground. She couldn't help but to turn around, glancing up at the doors that led into Arthius' room. After a few moments, she forced a foot forward, and then another until she found herself at the staircase. Serana took in a shaky breath, putting her hand on the railing but immediately pulling it back, as though it burned her. She froze in place for a few more moments before taking another deep breath and placing her hand on the railing once more. Serana slowly made her way up the staircase, with each step her feet felt heavier and heavier. She was out of breath by the time she had reached the doors, still unsure why she did this. Slowly, her hand raised from her side, grazing the wood, and quickly pushing the door open enough to look through. Serana slowly leaned in, glancing in to see Arthius fast asleep in his bed. After a moment, she took a step back down the stairs, but felt herself leaning forward. Another deep breath, Serana found herself in the open doorway, feeling more than uncomfortable as she stared at Arthius as he slept. Serana wanted to just leave, turn and run out the doors, but she knew there was a reason she was there, a reason she went to him. After a few moments, Serana wanted a reason, a reason to stay, that's what she told herself anyways. If even he couldn't find a reason then she could leave. Surprised at her own speed compared to her past movements, she found herself at his side already. She hesitated before putting her hand on his shoulder and shaking him a bit more roughly than she meant to.
"Arthius...what- I mean why.." Serana began, almost cursing as she realized she had no idea what to say. Arthius exhaled, getting out a small yawn as he looked around before seeing Serana beside his bed.
"Serana? What is it?" he asked. Serana felt like an idiot, just standing there with nothing to say. Her mind raced until she realized she was just standing there, silent as Arthius looked at her.
"Why..why am I here?" she asked, just trying to say something. Arthius sighed as he sat up, rubbing his eye as he did.
"Why? Because I invited you here, and you agreed...well you went along with it but still" Arthius said. Serana crossed her arms, a bit aggravated.
"No, that;s not what I meant...why did you invite me here?" Serana asked.
"To annoy Lydia" Arthius chuckled. Serana sighed as she turned and began walking towards the doors.
"Nevermind" Serana said, feeling insulted as she stepped to the foot of the bed. Arthius quickly leaned forward and grabbed her by the wrist, sighing as he pulled, sending her topping on the bed in front of him. Serana pushed herself up to meet Arthius face to face.
"I invited you here because I wanted you here, it's that simple" Arthius said, giving a her a reassuring nod before leaning back and lying back down. Serana stayed there, staring at him as she mulled over what he had said. She still considered leaving, but she had one more question.
"Arthius?" She asked. Arthius yawned for a moment, before wiping his brow.
"Yeah" he said.
"Why did you stay...I want the real answer this time" She asked, now that she was on the other side she wanted his reason, hoping it would be the answer she could give herself. Arthius sighed as he readjusted himself in his bed, beginning to doze off.
"I stayed...honestly, because you didn't want me to leave, and I couldn't find a better reason to leave" Arthius said. Serana froze as he said this, pushing herself up and sitting at the foot of the bed. She thought about what he had said, putting every reason he thought she should leave against it. It wasn't until many hours later in the darkness that she realized her conclusion, looking back at Arthius in the darkness.
The sun was barely rising as Arthius opened an eye, blinking a few times as he shifted a bit, turning onto his back. Arthius looked up to see Serana smiling down at him. Serana smiled down at him as she held his head in her lap as he slept, holding him close to her as she sat up through the night.
"Serana..when did-" Arthius was cut off as Serana brought him close and pressed her lips to his cheek before pulling him into her for a tight hug. Arthius was a bit confused, but simply sighed and let Serana do whatever she was doing. Serana smiled as she held him to her, realizing that the biggest reason for her not to leave him, was because he wouldn't be with her. After a few more moments she released Arthius, and quickly got up and went to the doors. Arthius watched her with a puzzled expression until she stopped at the doors and turned to him.
"So...what are we doing today?" Serana asked. Arthius looked at her for a moment before smiling and rising from his bed.
The walk to Falkreath was uneventful but he enjoyed living in this part of Skyrim because of the seasonal changes. Winter brought snow, covering the land in pure white showing off skyrim's true weather. Spring brought out the beautiful colors of nature and wild game to hunt, even if the Jarl kills most of them. But this walk was different as he glanced to his side at the vampire girl walking beside him, staring out at the lake, taking in the land he called home as the beauty that it was.
As Serana stared out, she found herself smiling at the littlest things. It wasn't until last night, as she held Arthius close to her, that she realized something. In all of her existence, he was the first person she felt she could wake up each and every day for. She realized that he wasn't just her closest friend, but something she couldn't live without, and everything up to this point didn't matter. She turned to him as he looked forward, moving to him and placing her head on his shoulder.
Because he wasn't just someone in her life, he was a meaning to her. A reason stay alive, a reason to be happy. He was something that she could cherish, something that she would never give up, and never leave. Something she would protect with all her being.
Something to Fight For