They approached an assortment of ruined pillars guarded by a few of the skeletal beings.
"Those…things are back" Arthius said simply, knowing of what little threat the actually pose. Serana gave him a smile before sending three ice spikes through the beings, killing them instantly.
"For future reference, they're known as mist men" Serana said as she dispelled her ice spike. Arthius smiled at this.
"you mean they Were called mist men" he said as he surveyed the scene, watching as they disintegrated. Serana grinned before slowly approaching Arthius and putting her hands on his chest smiled into her eyesand put his forehead to hers. She closed her eyes, and as she began to lean in to kiss him, Arthius quickly sidestepped. Sending her crashing to the floor. Arthius almost laughed at how her arms flailed as she fell onto her face. Serana looked up at Arthius with a hatred he's never seen before, he almost jumped back in fear. Her expression slowly changed back to a calm one as she slowly got up and brushed herself off.
"You seem to have fallen down" Arthius said with a chuckle. Serana slowly walked to him again and stood in front of him with her arms at her sides. She looked him in the eyes for a moment before speaking.
"Arthius?" she called for his attention plainly.
"Yes?" Arthius replied. In less than a heartbeat, Serana had her hand around Arthius' throat and was choking the life from him. She slowly pulled him down to his knees as he fought to free himself.
"Please look at me" She said to him. Arthius looked her in the eyes, still unable to get a breath. "If it isn't too much trouble, please don't toy with my feelings again. Do you understand?" she spoke in such a calm voice as she choked the life out of him. Arthius violently nodded before she raised him to his feet and let him go. Before he could breathe, she gave him rough kiss, aking sure he still could'nt get a single breath of air. She then pushed him down onto his back as he gasped violently for air.
"Glad to hear it" she said with a smirk. Arthius lied there in sience, his chest didn't rise at all and Serana could'nt even sense him.
"Arthius?" Serana asked as she approached him. As she approached his side, he grabbed her by the ankle and pulled her down. Forcing a small shriek from her as she was pulled on top of him. Arthius laughed loudly as she looked down at him with shocked eyes. She then sat on top of him, forcing the air from his chest to be squeezed out. Arthius then flpped her over to her back and placed himself atop. She struggled, and Arthius soon pinned her arms down as he placed a large kiss on her ips. Serana closed her eyes and stopped struggling. After the kiss was broken, she smiled up at him.
"You know, if we would have just done that in the first place, we wouldn't have had to do any of this nonsense" she said as she placed her hand on his cheek.
"I enjoy mixing things up" Arthius said with a smirk. Serana then hit him in the jaw with a right hook, sending him off of her. As she stood up, Arthius looked up at her with questioning eyes.
"What was that for?" Arthius asked.
"I told you not to play with my emotions. Acting dead counts" she said in a matter of fact kind of tone. Arthius lifted himself from the ground, trying as hard as he could to ignore whatever the voice in his head was saying. They approached some sort well between the pillars, it had a strange magical platform on top that glowed mixes of whites and purples. Serana eyed it cautiously as Arthius looked over it. He then stepped onto it. Serana cried in horror as Arthius exploded into black smoke. She began to panic but soon felt his life source not far from where she was. "How do I feel his life source?" she questioned to herself. She was somewhat aware that some feelings were going to rise from her turning him. But ever since then, she feels more than just a bond with him. She feels some sort of magical force is telling her what she should know about him. She figured she should save these thoughts for later as she stepped onto the platform after Arthius and was consumed by darkness. She opened her eyes to see Arthius finishing off a mist man. As she surveyed the area, she noticed that they were quite high up in some sort of tower overlooking the entire plain of the soul cairn. She approached Arthius as he pulled his sword free from the mist man as it collapsed to the ground.
"I'm assuming the guardian is up here?" Arthius asked without looking at Serana.
"One would assume so" Serana said plainly. They turned the corner and ascended a flight of stairs. As they turned another corner, the saw spirits appearing to be bowing, and once they approached, an arrow whizzed above their heads. They turned to see a large skeletal being shrouded in darkness, wearing some sort of white armor, though it looked gray in the lighting.
"Guess that's it" Serana said.
Arthius smirked as he charged forward, evading arrows that came towards him. The Guardian began to raise its bow to smack Arthius with it, but as it came down Arthius side stepped and plunged his sword through the guardian's mid-section. Arthius smirked as he looked up to see it looking down at him. "Oh gods" Arthius thought as it grabbed him by the face. Before it could do anything else, it was shot in the chest with an ice spike, stunning it. Arthius took the time to slash large gashes into it before it threw him across the floor, sending him sliding to the edge of the tower. Serana seeing this, sprinted forward, dove and grabbed his arm as he was about to slide off the tower. He was dangling by his left arm as Serana was on her stomach, overlooking the side of the tower using her left arm to push herself up and the right to hold onto Arthius. Arthius looked about as he realized where he was. Serana noticed the panic on his face as she began to pull him up.
"Please don't tell me you're afraid of heights" she pleaded. Arthius shook his head.
"No, I'm afraid of plummeting to my death" he said as he looked up at her. His eyes widened as he saw the guardian stand above Serana. It raised its boot preparing to crush her as Arthius shouted.
"Serana!" he shouted Serana took a quick glance before using all of her strength to basically throw Arthius on top of the tower. He landed on his foot and he heard a loud snap. He shouted in pain as Serana turned onto her back. The creature stomped down on Serana's midsection, cracking a rib. Serana screamed in pain as a trail of blood left the corner of her mouth. Arthius watched as he struggled to stand, but he collapsed immediately. He looked towards Serana as she looked back at him, with nothing but fear, pain, and hope filling her eyes. Arthius immediately grew furious, far more than ever before. He began to rise suddenly, but he noticed that he wasn't standing. He watched as his skin turned gray, his hands turn into claws, and his jaw stretching into fangs. He was a vampire lord. Arthius roared at the guardian before rushing towards it with great rage. It looked up before it was grabbed by Arthius and pulled off of Serana. Arthius flew back and slammed the guardian against the wall before viciously slashing at it, tearing bone and armor off of it until it was barely an outline of a figure. Arthius then picked it up with one hand and hovered towards the edge of the tower. He held it over the edge a few moments, until it slowly raised its arm towards Arthius. Arthius smirked before charging his magical grip and sending the creature flying off of the tower to fall to its death. Arthius watched as it fell, letting every fiber of rage consume him. He then roared at the top of his lungs before shifting back into his human form. He looked over at Serana with a smirk, and then he saw her face. She looked appalled at what she had just witnessed, and Arthius knew why. Serana never used her lord form, even though it may have helped in some situations. She never let herself do such a thing because it was a corrupt form and Arthius couldn't help but enjoy it. Though he always denied it, he had a feeling this was what he was meant to be. Arthius walked backwards until he hit the wall, and slid down it until he was sitting down. He looked down at his hands. He heard Serana slowly rise to her hands and knees before she crawled over to him, sitting beside him with a huff.
"You could help a woman out you know" she said giving him a small smile. Arthius didn't even bother to look up. Serana frowned as she laid her head back against the wall.
"Arthius, you did the right thing, you saved me. Well, after I saved you but no matter" Serana said. Arthius still didn't look up but responded.
"It's not that, it's that I enjoyed it" Arthius spoke. Serana looked down, unsure of what to say as Arthius added on.
"I'm just like your father" Arthius said. Serana turned to Arthius, she then punched him extremely hard in the cheek. Arthius fell before he became furious. He rose quickly and turned to Serana before grabbing her throat and lifting her off the ground. He snarled into her eyes before yelling.
"Damnit Serana! This is not the damn time to screw around!" he shouted in her face. It was then that he noticed the searing pain in his ankle as he dropped Serana and fell to one knee. Serana landed on her side, shouting as she felt her rib protest. She glared at Arthius a moment before rising to her knees. She slowly approached him as he gave her a warning look. She kept her face calm as she knelt in front of him. She put her hands around his head and rubbed the back of it before speaking.
"Arthius, I'll say this once, you are nothing like my father. He's willing to sacrifice everything for his own gain. While you risk your life to protect the lives of those around you. That's why you are the harbinger of the companions. It's why you're the dragonborn. And it's why I'm here" Serana said with a very kind smile. Arthius looked at her with sad eyes before he put his forehead to her shoulder. She held him there for a long while until a thought went through her head.
"It's why I love you" Serana didn't know what to think of this. There were times she thought she loved him, but maybe they were just thoughts. Maybe all of this was just childish lust. She couldn't risk loving Arthius now that her father wanted him dead, and the amount of times he almost did die. She felt her eyes water but didn't allow a tear to fall. Arthius was the one who was in pain, and he didn't need to comfort her now. She wouldn't allow him to.
"I'm sorry" Arthius said as he raised his head. Serana gave him a small smile.
"You don't have to apologize for everything Arthius. Sometimes things just happen, and there's nothing you can do about it" Serana said as she began to rise. She felt her rib again before falling back down. Arthius mirrored her actions when he felt his ankle pop.
"Okay, we can rest for a few minutes" Arthius said as he rested against the wall. Serana nodded before sitting next to him and leaning on his shoulder. A few hours and about fifteen healing potions later, they stepped back onto the platform and back to the ground. Arthius walked ahead, not glancing at Serana. She noticed this but didn't say anything, nagging at him wouldn't help him. The other guardians weren't an issue as Arthius shot his explosive bolts as Serana shot spikes. As they started to walk back, they came across an alter with many spirits surrounding it. Arthius simply walked forward unsheathing his sword. The mist men charged at him, as Arthius swung his sword to one side cutting a mist man through the waist before slashing down another. The third slashed down as he parried and slashed off the head of another before stabbing through the previous one. Serana watched, slightly attracted at the way he danced through his enemies with such grace. Arthius approached the alter and picked up what seemed to be a horse head. As soon as he lifted it from the alter, a skeletal horse with a bluish purple flame coming from the inside of it. Serana charged an ice spike as Arthius petted its long nose. It neighed and Arthius laughed as he stoked it down the back.
"That thing is disturbing" Serana spoke crossing her arms. "You know that it's magical right? You know, the thing that you hate. The thing that could possibly blot out the sun and end life as you know it"
"I don't care, this is a beautiful creature" Arthius said as he began to mount it.
"Well, you don't like magic" Serana said pouting playfully. Arthius smiled at her, holding out his hand. Serana grinned broadly as she took his hand and side rode on the horse. She didn't really sit on the bones, but instead there was some sort of force holding her, like a cushion. Arthius was excited to ride this skeletal being, and as soon as Serana held his waist, he whipped the reins and the horse dashed off at great speed. Arthius noticed that he didn't even need to hold the reins as something was holding him to the seat.
"I have no idea how this works but I love it!" Arthius exclaimed as Serana laughed behind him. They stopped in front of the barrier and Arthius dismounted. As he held his hand to help Serana, she smirked at him before hopping off the horse.
"Don't be a woman" Serana said plainly as she brushed by a stunned Arthius. Arthius watched her ascend the steps and followed. Serana's mother was waiting for them on top of the steps, now that the barrier was down. She approached them as she spoke.
"You managed to destroy all three keepers? Impressive" she said as she put her hands on her hip. Arthius merely nodded.
"Can we have the scroll now?" Arthius said with an annoyed tone. Valerica raised an eyebrow at him.
"Yes. This way. Please follow me. Keep watch for Durnehviir, with the barrier down, he's almost certain to investigate" she said as she began to walk back to the keep. Serana walked ahead of her, and Arthius noticed that she paused when Serana passed her. He pondered why she did that as he followed them into a large courtyard.
"Wait…I hear something" Serana hesitated. As Arthius began to ask what she had heard, a large dragon roared from the other side of the courtyard as lighting struck down.
"It's Durnehviir…he's here. Defend yourselves!" Valerica exclaimed as she unsheathed her ebony sword. Arthius took out his crossbow and readied himself. "Give me a break! C'mon now, this is ridiculous!" he thought.