Arthius wrapped his arms around Serana, pulling her closer. They hadn't broken from their kiss since they began, but Arthius didn't even notice, nothing else mattered at the moment. Serana couldn't believe what was happening, there were times she hated Arthius, wanted to bed him, thought of him as her best friend, even like a brother, but what she felt about him now, the others couldn't even compare. After a few more moments, Serana broke the kiss slowly, looking down at the floor. She then turned her head and rested it on Arthius' shoulder as Arthius rested his chin on hers.
"Arthius," Serana began after a long silence "I don't think this is right. I mean, we've never showed-"
"You're thinking about when you told me that turning someone is intimate, aren't you?" Arthius asked, cutting her off "And you've never turned someone before, so you don't know if both people are supposed to feel this way"
"Yeah, basically" Serana said with her usual plain tone "Look, I don't know if this is how it is now, or if it will wear off, or- something. I just don't know. I'm just saying this because I don't want one of us to get hurt" Serana grew slightly tense " We just have too much at stake for false emotions to be dragging us down. We have enough on our plate as is, and I don't think we-"
She was cut off as Arthius put his hand on the sides of her head placed her in front of him. He then pulled her into a passionate kiss. Serana basically melted and became putty in his arms as all the fear and anxiety washed out of her. She placed her hands on his chest as he broke from the kiss.
"Let's go find your mother, alright?" Arthius said with a smile. Serana responded by resting her head on his shoulder again.
"In a moment" She said. Arthius chuckled before putting his hands on her hips and returning his chin to her shoulder again. They soon separated and Arthius began to descend the steps. Serana watched with concern, and Arthius noticed this. Arthius smirked at Serana before taking on a full sprint into the portal.
"Arthius! Damnit!" Serana shouted as she rushed in after him. As she ran through, all she saw was the purple darken She felt lighter for some reason, and before she knew it, she ran straight into the back of Arthius. She fell on her backside cursing aloud. She looked up to see Arthius standing still, and she didn't enjoy how he barely moved. She stood up and looked around at what had frozen Arthius. The land was gray and barren with ancient constructs crumbling or pieces scattered throughout the land. Souls were walking about, moaning in their misery. She looked up at a nightmarish sky, with specters flying around.
"Gods" Serana said as she scoped the area "My mother must have been terrified to come here"
"The entire place looks…dead" Arthius' eyes widened as he heard himself "You know, coming from the other end it feels rather awkward to use that term" Arthius said as he looked towards Serana. She looked back at him with an annoyed expression. Arthius smiled at this as he put his hand to her cheek. Serana put her hand over his and took a step towards him. Arthius shook his head slightly before removing his hand.
"Okay, this might become an issue" Arthius said as he looked away. Serana smiled as she grabbed the front of his armor and pulled him into a kiss. She broke it and smiled intensely as she stared into his eyes.
"Oh, well I hope we can overcome it" Serana said as she put her hand around his head.
"You need to work on your self-control" Arthius smirked at her.
"If I didn't, I would have ripped your head off by now" Serana said plainly as she released him "Plus, you started it"
Arthius chuckled as he began to descend the steps. Serana followed, releasing the breath she's been holding in for so long. She was truly terrified of all of this, it's not that she didn't trust Arthius, she's just scared of being alone again.
"What in the divines are you doing?" Arthius heard as he walked down the gray path. "You're the damn dragonborn, not some vampire's lover!" Arthius released an annoyed huff. "And now, it can be the other way around" Arthius thought. He had actually become a damn vampire, the thing that he vowed to destroy. He slightly turned to Serana, watching as she stared at the ground. This woman that came out of nowhere, with daddy issues with a mad vampire lord who plots to destroy the sun, has completely taken control of Arthius' life. And he had absolutely no idea.
As they continued to walk, Arthius heard a loud growl as he turned to the right. They were approached by what seemed to be three floating skeletons from the waist up, shrouded in darkness.
"Serana!" Arthius shouted as they grew closer. Serana's eyes sprang open as she looked at the creatures. She gave Arthius an annoyed look before continuing down the path, leaving Arthius to face them alone.
The first lunged as Arthius blocked its axe, the he swung his sword to its side destroying it. He charged the other two, bashing one back while he stabbed the other one. He turned to the stunned skeleton as he cut it down quickly. Arthius looked at the remains of the creatures before looking at Serana who was simply watching.
"Well, that was pathetic" Arthius said as he sheathed his sword. Serana raised an eyebrow at him. Arthius smirked as he began down the path once again, but as he passed her, she grabbed him by the arm. He turned to her as she looked at him out of the corner of her eye.
"This might not be the best place to do this" Arthius said calmly as he began wrap his arms around her. She placed her head on his shoulder, putting her hand on his breast plate.
"Probably not, but it seems as though we're not getting over this anytime soon…so I figure…" She then looked up at Arthius with a small smile. Arthius leaned in and kissed her passionately. She leaned into him as he tightened his arms around her waist. Serana grinned as she put her forehead to Arthius'.
"Ok, I feel as though we should try and delay this for a while, at least until we find the scroll" Serana said. Arthius flicked her in the temple. Serana winced before looking up at him. Arthius smiled down at her, raising an eyebrow.
"You started it" he said with a smirk. Serana smiled at him before turning towards the path once again.
"Well done, way to make a fool of yourself once again" The voice in Arthius' head spoke. He couldn't disagree as the warrior in him grew impatient of the romantic crap. If this was a side effect of being turned, he didn't enjoy it, or maybe he did. He wasn't even sure anymore as he followed Serana towards a large keep surrounded by some sort of magical barrier. They ascended the steps as Arthius saw a woman inside. She wore the same kind of royal vampire armor Serana wore.
"Mother?" Serana said as she rushed towards the barrier. Arthius watched as the woman's eyes sprang open, but not with joy.
"Maker…it can't be…Serana?!" the woman spoke as she approached the barrier.
"Is it really you? I can't believe it!" Serana said with pure joy "How do we get inside? We need to talk"
"Serana? What are you doing here? Where's your father?" the woman asked. Arthius wasn't exactly surprised at the fact that the woman didn't exactly give Serana a warm welcome. From what he had heard from Serana she seemed like a bit of a bitch. Even then, he couldn't help but somehow feel hurt, like as if she had said something to him. He looked over to Serana to see the excitement in her face drain, as she went back to a plain expression. He knew she was hurt, but it wasn't so much of a gut feeling as it was as if she had just plainly told him. And all he could think about was breaking through the barrier and snapping her mother's neck for causing Serana pain.
"Gods, what in oblivion is the matter with me!?" Arthius thought as he paid attention to the situation at hand.
"Mother, he doesn't know we're here. Look, I don't have time to explain" Serana explained. She seemed to ignore everything she had just said as she continued on.
"I must have failed. Harkon's found a way to decipher the prophecy hasn't he?" The woman asked as if she already knew the answer. Like a mother who caught her child in the act and is only asking to see if they will tell the truth.
"No, you've got it all wrong. We're here to stop the prophecy" Serana replied. Valerica looked at her daughter a moment before she noticed someone standing behind her.
"Wait a moment…you've brought a stranger here? Have you lost your mind?!" She asked as she stared at Arthius. Arthius looked up at her, glancing at Serana.
"No, you don't-"Serana began before she was cut off.
"You. Come forward. I would speak with you" she said, pointing a finger at Arthius. Arthius calmly approached the barrier as the woman looked him up and down.
"So, how is it that a vampire of mixed blood is in the company of my daughter?" she asked. Arthius scoffed slightly, as if he were insulted.
"If you think that I would harm her, you're mistaken. I was the one that saved her from your idiotic plans" Arthius said.
"I find your choice of words interesting considering that Serana is in far more danger now than she was following my "Idiotic plan". Serana has sacrificed everything to prevent Harkon-"
"Sacrifice?!" Arthius broke in "You sealed her away in a tomb without her own consent!" The woman kept her calm face, just like Serana would.
"And why do you think that is? You think I'd have the audacity seal my daughter in that tomb for the protection of her elder scroll alone?" She began. Arthius was slightly taken back by this. Fearing that he might hear what he's been thinking all along.
"The scrolls are merely a means to an end. The key to the Tyranny of the Sun is Serana herself" The woman said. Arthius closed his eyes, and let the words sink in. When he didn't reply, the woman continued.
"When I fled Castle Volkihar, I fled with two elder scrolls. The scroll I presume you found with Serana speaks of Auriel and his arcane weapon, Auriel's Bow. The second scroll declares that "The Blood of Coldharbour's Daughter will blind the eye of the Dragon"
"As in either you or Serana" Arthius said.
"Now you're beginning to see why I wanted to protect Serana, and why I've kept the other elder scroll as far from her as possible" The woman stated.
"So Harkon means to kill her" Arthius said.
"In his eyes, she'd be dying for the good of all vampires" she said plainly.
"I would never allow that to happen" Arthius said with a small growl.
"And how exactly do you plan on completing the prophecy without the death of my daughter?" she asked.
"I'll kill Harkon" Arthius quickly replied.
"If you believe that, then you're a bigger fool than I originally suspected. Don't you think I weighed that option before I enacted my plans?" she asked.
"Have you even considered Serana's opinion in this?" Arthius questioned as his rage built.
"You care nothing for Serana or our plight" she said. Arthius grew furious as she continued.
"You see the Tyranny of the Sun as your chance at deification, and like Harkon you won't hesitate to destroy anything that stands in your path" She said as she turned back to Serana.
"This stranger may call himself a vampire, but he knows nothing of our struggle. Why should I entrust you to him?" she glared slightly. Serana stepped forward, standing beside Arthius.
"This "stranger" has done more for me in the brief time I've known him than you've done in centuries!" Serana glared right back at her mother. "And I'm willing to do so much more" Arthius grew annoyed at the voice in his head.
"How dare you! I gave up everything I cared about to protect you from that fanatic you call a father!" the woman spoke angrily.
"Yes, he's a fanatic…he's changed. But he's still my father. Why can't you understand how that makes me feel?" Serana asked. The woman put her hand to her forehead.
"Oh, Serana. If you'd only open your eyes. The moment your father discovers your role in the prophecy, that he needs your blood, you'd be in terrible danger." She spoke.
"So to protect me you decided to shut me away from everything I cared about? You never asked me if hiding me in that tomb was the best course of action, you just expected me to follow you blindly" Serana spoke, as she had been holding this in for far too long. "Both of you were obsessed with your own paths. Your motivations might have been different but in the end, I'm still just a pawn to you, too. I want us to be a family again. But I don't know if we can ever have that. Maybe we don't deserve that happiness. Maybe it isn't for us. But we have to stop him. Before he goes too far. And to do that, we need the elder scroll" Serana said calmly, her previous anger was satisfied.
"I'm sorry, Serana. I didn't know…I didn't see. I allowed my hatred for your father to estrange us for too long. Forgive me. If you want the elder scroll, it's yours" she said as she turned back to Arthius. "Your intentions are still somewhat unclear to me. But for Serana's sake, I'll assist you in any way that I can"
"Do you have the scroll with you?" Arthius asked, his anger subsided.
"Yes, I've kept it safely secured here ever since I was imprisoned. Fortunately, you're in a position to breach the barrier that surrounds these ruins."
"What do we do?" Arthius asked, a bit annoyed at all the trouble they must go through.
"You need to locate the tallest rocky spires that surround these ruins. At their bases, the barrier's energy is being drawn from unfortunate souls that have been exiled here. Destroy the keepers that are tending them, and it should bring the barrier down" she explained. Arthius turned towards Serana before he heard Valerica speak up again.
"One more word of warning. There's a dragon that calls itself Durnehviir roaming the cairn. Be wary of him. The ideal masters have charged him with overseeing the keepers, and will undoubtedly intervene if you're perceived as a threat" she said.
"We will return shortly" Arthius said with a nod. He walked down the steps and Serana glanced at her mother once more before following him. As they walked Arthius looked over to her.
"Seems like you're still upset at your mother" Arthius said with some concern. Serana glanced at him.
"I feel a bit better after speaking to her, but I guess I should be after she locked me away" Serana said plainly.
"But if she didn't, you might not have ever met me" Arthius said with a smirk. Serana suddenly stopped walking. As did Arthius. She gave him an annoyed look before it slowly turned into a smile. She laughed at what he said before walking to him and placing her hands on his head.
"I should be upset at that, but I feel as though it was cute enough for you to get away with it" she said as she leaned in. It was a relieving kiss, and Arthius didn't care at all that she broke her own deal.
"Gods" Valerica said as she put her hand to her forehead. She had been thinking about what her daughter had said, she then looked up to barely make two figures holding each other in the far distance. "My daughter is in love with that fool"