Cursed sword Soul Edge
Tira pulled Amy out of her hiding place by brutally grabbing her. Amy pushed her away, quickly got up and began to run away again from Tira.
-Hey! I found you! It's my turn to hide! Yelled Tira.
-Okay! Okay! Then hide, I'll go count! Said Amy hoping the crazy girl will hide and she will be able to get away. But she didn't dare to stop running.
-Hum… No. This game is boring, suddenly said Tira with her raspy voice. She screamed to Amy who was still running away.
-You stay here! Come back at once! You're such a pain!
Tira changed voice again.
-Let me handle it! Hey come back! We're friends, right?
Tira threw her ringblade at Amy who dodged under it and kept running but while running past the ringblade, she grabbed it and tried to get away with it. Then that crazy girl will be disarmed.
-Hey! My Eiserne Drossel! No fair! You got two weapons and I have none!
Tira began to run after Amy. She was quickly catching up with Amy who was still running toward the battlefield. She suddenly tumbled over Amy and landed in front of her while laughing crazily. Amy stopped in surprise and then told Tira, while still trying to look unimpressed and to catch her breath:
-Look…pff pff… I have enough of your stupid games…pff …I have enough of you. You leave me alone or I kill you. In a painful way…
-Isn't that a game also? Asked Tira, a little confused.
Amy quickly stabbed at Tira who swiftly evaded before she tried to kick Amy. But Amy slashed at Tira again and cut into the crazy girl's right shoulder. Tira screamed and parried Amy's next strike with her gloved hand before she quickly grabbed Amy's left arm.
-Gimme my Eiserne Drossel!
Tira was now trying to get her weapon back, holding Amy left arm while she was extending her hand to get her weapon that Amy was holding in her right hand.
-You want your stupid weapon? Take it!
And Amy threw it as far as she could. Tira let go of Amy and began to go after it while Amy began to run again but suddenly Tira changed her mind and came back. She quickly tackled Amy on the ground and immobilized her in her grip.
-Wait… You'll go… I don't want that… I really don't want that… I'll be sad…
And she hit Amy on the head, knocking her out.
As Raphael was lying down, he noticed that he fell exactly where he had fell one years ago; on his blood puddle that stained the floor. Raphael stared at it while almost unconscious, remembering this day… Deeply burned, his back aching, he now didn't have any strength left and stayed groggy, looking at the stain, remembering last time like a long forgotten memory, almost like if it was somebody else's life. He suddenly remembered Amy and wondered why he left her. All seemed so ridiculous now, so futile…
But as he was lying down still groggy, he suddenly heard the sound of weapons clashing together behind him. The noise made him regain his senses and he turned to see Marienbard and Jacqueline trying to strike at the Azure knight. They had finally taken care of Azola who was lying down, her tentacles, arms and legs all cut out like Raphael had done before to the undead he once fought. Looking at his minions striking at Nightmare, Raphael wondered: he had ordered them to stay away, they still disobeyed… and weren't they supposed to obey Nightmare as he had said? Or at least not attack him? Was Nightmare bluffing when he told him that?
Whatever the reason, Raphael was glad they came and he would certainly not refuse their help now. He was even glad to hear Jacqueline's annoying voice. But they didn't help for long: Nightmare swiftly brushed them aside with a powerful swing of his sword sending them away: Jacqueline fell down on the unconscious Auguste before she fainted and Marienbard fell into the fire and rolled outside of the firewall.
But this interruption gave enough time for Raphael to gather his resolve again; he was really wounded but he had regained his will to fight. He took back his rapier and rose up on his feet. He staggered on his legs, being still dizzy yet he decided to act cheekily. To act this way always gave him courage when he needed it.
-Weren't my servants supposed to serve you, oh so powerful knight? I cannot help but notice that they still seemed very loyal to me…
-I don't need them; I just want their souls… Now offer your soul to me!
Raphael stayed proud and arrogant while he wondered again what to do: apart from mocking he didn't felt very confident in anything. His fragile rapier was not much to destroy an armour and he didn't know if the strikes he made to the evil energy had any effect on Nightmare while the sickening effect he felt, scared him. It also seems to takes an eternity to cut his demonic arm. But no matter, if he had faith in himself, he could win. He had talent in fighting and Nightmare was already wounded at his arm. …But much less wounded than him, his pessimistic side reminded him but Raphael quickly dismissed this annoying thought. He would not listen to those pessimistic voices! There was still much he could do to damage him…
Looking again at the monster, trying to find a weak spot, while evading his killer attacks, Raphael suddenly realised something: Soul Edge… Like last time, I could pierce the eye! Why didn't I think about that sooner? Soul Edge and Nightmare are the same! I destroy Soul Edge and Nightmare dies! Maybe. Silly panic… Why did it get the best of me? But no matter, now I shall win!
Even if what remained to do was the hardest part, piercing Soul Edge's eye, Raphael suddenly felt more confident. He did it once, he could do it again. Yet last time Nightmare didn't move, this time he was swinging his sword wildly around never letting it go slowly and Raphael also had to concentrate on evading the powerful strikes besides hitting the weak spot.
But after many attempts, Raphael succeeded in hitting the eye. As his blade pierced the eye, Nightmare suddenly screamed in pain and swung his sword at Raphael.
-I'm through with you!
Raphael didn't have time to evade the smashing strike and received it in the stomach before he got projected by the impact of the hit into the remaining church benches. Nightmare seemed now in pain as he was growling while moving toward Raphael who was still lying down among the scattered benches.
-Grrr… This will only serve to anger me…
He violently swung his sword toward Raphael.
-Receive the punishment... of darkness!
Raphael, who was still painfully feeling his many wounds, evaded the sword trajectory in a clumsy way, almost tripping down before he fell flat on his face some feet farther. He would have rather avoid the strike in a more graceful way but what mattered was that he avoided it. Nightmare once again destroyed the ground where the sword landed and came toward Raphael again. But Raphael was too wounded now; he had just fallen on his stomach wound, and he felt he would probably not be able to evade the next strike. So before Nightmare smashed his sword into him, he used his now feared power: he quickly disappeared into mist and reappeared outside of the firewall, painfully getting up as Nightmare smashed the ground where he was again. Raphael leaned on the stone wall holding his stomach; he needed to rest for a while. But Nightmare turned toward him and walked across the fire without any trouble, coming at Raphael again. Raphael widened his eyes in surprise then thought he had been stupid to think this would have slowed him down.
Not being able to rest, he then screamed and launched at Nightmare once more, trying to pierce the eye again since it seemed to have weakened him a bit. But he missed and Nightmare swung his sword at him again and slammed him back into the firewall area before he re-entered it again too. Raphael painfully got up. He taunted Nightmare again.
-You're scared that I will soon kill you, n'est-ce pas? You fear me now!
Nightmare swung his sword at him and Raphael fell down again trying to evade it but rolled away and quickly got up again. Raphael walked around Nightmare for a while trying to find an occasion to hit the eye again while evading Nightmare's attempts to hit him. Suddenly Raphael tripped on Azola's body and fell down. Nightmare then swung his sword at him. Raphael suddenly thought this was the moment to strike since Nightmare always took some time to get his sword from the floor. So he concentrated on rolling away to evade the deadly strike as Nightmare sword hit the ground while completely smashing Azola's body in two, and swiftly rolled back to strike at the eye and pierced it again. Nightmare screamed once more and writhed in agony. He told Raphael who was now getting up:
-Didn't you heard the woman's explanation for her daughter? You're the same… You'll die if I die…You need my energy to live.
For a second Raphael hesitated. He wondered if what Nightmare said was true. Then he would kill Amy, himself and the little girl… But he quickly brushed the thought aside.
-We'll see about that! You didn't create me, I was a human before, by doing this, I think I could only get rid of you instead! Everybody will get rid of you!
And he lifted his sword in the air to set it ablaze before he pierced the eye once more now that Nightmare was weakened and too slow to react.
-Time to perish!
Nightmare let go an horrible scream of agony and fell down in a loud crashing noise, the evil energy inside his stomach seemed to fade away as the firewall began to go out. Raphael fell on his knees, panting and groaning in pain while he stared at Nightmare in a mix of relief and disbelief, holding his stomach wound in pain.
As Nightmare lay down destroyed before him, Raphael gradually began to realise that he just vanquished Nightmare. Well, not entirely but he would just need Soul Calibur to destroy him once and for all and all that remained in his path was probably that king Algol which he will easily dispatch feeling more confident now that he won over Nightmare. Truly realizing his enemy's defeat, Raphael began to laugh exultantly, feeling much relieved.
-It looks like I have the last laugh after all…
He laughed again.
Now that he had realised he had won, his wounds seemed so much less serious and hurtful than before! Soul Calibur was near! His new world was near! Despite his injuries, he had completely regained his stamina.
He looked again at the defeated Nightmare and then looked at Soul Edge.
-It seems this powerful king Algol don't have Soul Edge already… He didn't have time already to come and take it… I shall have time to go to the throne room then and wait for him to get Soul Calibur…
He gazed at Soul Edge again: The pierced eye, that had some kind of black pus now leaking from it, was still staring at him intensely and despite the ugliness of the sword, Raphael felt the attraction the sword was still having on him; it seemed afraid and angry… yet it also seemed to try to attract Raphael to it. This damn sword… yet so attracting…He didn't need Soul Calibur… He had Soul Edge right here…
-Since I am infected by it, Soul Edge wants me to become part of it… I must not touch it… It wants to drain my soul…
But his mind began to think strangely: Who cares? He had already lost parts of his soul to Soul Edge, with this he would be whole again… He would be reunited with his lost parts, all the lost parts… the fragments… He would be complete! He was incomplete now until he would merge with Soul Edge… That was his goal, to be complete again… His Soul was part of Soul Edge… Raphael began to be confused about his identity: he didn't know anymore if he was Raphael Sorel or Soul Edge.
-Master?… Raphael? Suddenly asked Jacqueline looking at him in worry.
Raphael was annoyed that she distracted him from his great goal and answered quite rudely to her.
-Euh… Hum… Are you alright?
It took some times for Raphael to answer since he was still confused. What just happened? Who was he?
Raphael looked at both his maids who were inquiring about him and slowly came back to reality.
-…Are you alright…?
-… Yes. …I am alright…
He looked around him again but when he gazed at Soul Edge, he turned his gaze away. He did not want to be possessed by this evil sword! He remembered that Soul Calibur was the one he had to acquire, not this evil sword… He told his maids:
-We do not have any time to lose! Follow me before this monster awakes or revives himself!
-He will? Asked Jacqueline in panic.
-To be honest, I do not know. But he may. I doubt very much I destroyed it completely since Soul Edge is not, but Soul Calibur shall secure it all!
And he began to run toward the stairs on the far side of the chapel. Jacqueline followed and Marienbard who walked painfully with her wounds looked at Auguste who was slowly regaining conscience but seemed too wounded to fight, before she slowly followed her master.
Amy woke up. Tira was now sitting on her back and had taken back her ringblade which lay down beside her.
-Ah! You're awake! Goody!
Amy had hoped it was all a nightmare but it seemed it was real. The painful reality came even more to her realisation when Tira grabbed her pigtails and pulled them toward her, forcing Amy in a very painful position for her neck and her back.
-How do you do that? Your pigtails? I would like to have pretty curly pigtails such as these! I'm not good to do my hair, I would like some help… But I'm good to dye them! I could teach you! I could teach you how to dye… your hair! Pun! Hahahaha! And you tell me how you do your hair!
When Amy didn't answer, Tira got upset and turned into gloomy mode.
-So you don't want to tell me instead? You don't want to share your beauty secrets with me?
Tira slowly approached her face near Amy's ear (or rather pulled Amy's head closer to her by pulling even more on her pigtails) and whispered.
-Are you afraid? …vampire?
Suddenly she gave an elbow smash on Amy's head, releasing her grab on the pigtails and sending Amy's face brutally in the dirt.
She then took Amy's arm and brutally folded it behind her back sending pain in Amy's arm and back.
As Amy screamed, Tira got exited.
-Did it hurt? Tell me it hurts.
Amy tried to get out of this hold but the more she fought, the more Tira was hurting her. The pain was horrible and Amy lost courage again; she couldn't find a way to get out of the crazy girl's hold. She thought her last hour was coming.
-Ungh…. The end… Pain…
Tira gave one last painful wrestling hold to Amy who moaned in pain and then Tira got up. She swung her Eiserne Drossel and slashed again at Amy legs repeatedly. Amy screamed as blood poured from her wounds.
-I really don't want you to go again! You stay forever here!
Amy tried to get up but her legs were too painful to move. But if she didn't do anything, this crazy girl will kill her after she played with her, giving her unbearable sufferings. But she was wounded everywhere; Tira had pulled her arm so violently that Amy wondered if she broke it or dislocated it and her legs where now useless with the slashing Tira just did. All she could do was wait for death and hope it would be faster than Tira intended it to be.
She suddenly thought of her father. Some hope came back to her: She screamed from the top of her lungs hoping that he was indeed in Ostrheinsburg and that he would hear her. She was still far from the castle and the battlefield noises that were much closer to the castle, may cover her voice but she had to try.
Tira bended over to Amy.
-Awww… you're calling your daddy… isn't cute? You miss him? Don't worry, I'll keep you company... until you're destroyed.
Tira sat on Amy again and began to brutally comb Amy's hair trying to do her hair while pulling on it violently.
-Now where were we? We where discussing beauty tips!
-Ungh… I won't forgive you… said Amy as her eyes became teary from the intensity of the pain and the despair she felt.
Tira interrupted her by violently pushing her head down in the dirt again and then caught back Amy's pigtails to bring her back to her. Amy's bleeding nose and teary cheeks were now all dirtied by the sand in her face.
-Naughty children must be punished! sshhh! Don't you know it's late? People are sleeping! Don't scream like that! Stop… screaming!
Raphael was really excited; he will reach the throne room soon and finally get his hands on the so coveted Soul Calibur! He finished climbing the stairs from a nimbly and graceful pace, almost gamboling, when he reached the fifth floor, the floor of the throne room! He was now walking quickly and resolutely in a large gallery. He was getting nearer to the sword by the minute! Marienbard and Jacqueline had difficulties following his excited brisk paced walk. Unlike him, they still felt the pain from the fights with Nightmare and his servants. But he didn't slow down for them. In fact, he didn't even remember they were there. Like his own wounds, they didn't even exist in his eyes anymore as he was too obsessed by Soul Calibur. He had destroyed all who dared oppose him, even Nightmare and no remaining enemy seemed strong enough to stand against him as he walked victoriously in the castle, confidently getting nearer to the throne room, to King Algol and the coveted sword.
But as he was quickly moving forward, Raphael, suddenly heard something. A cry… A scream, from Amy… She said papa… Amy haven't used that childish naming for a long time and she used it only when she was really scared, sad or distressed.
He stopped, straighten up and looked around him as he pricked up his ears. Jacqueline breathlessly caught up to him.
-What is it… pff… pff …master…? Asked Jacqueline in worry as she was catching her breath while not approaching Raphael too close, fearing another slap in the face.
-Did you hear something?
-…Non…? pff…pff… she answered, looking fearfully around her.
Raphael suddenly straightened up again.
-I can hear it again! It's Amy! She's calling me! It comes from outside!
Raphael ran to the nearest window and looked outside. He only saw ravens cawing and gathering in the wood on a hill in the distance, the other side of the river.
-Why are those ravens gathering there? Something is strange… We must get there!
Raphael ran back toward the stairs and carelessly shoved Marienbard, who had just finished climbing the stairs, out of his way to go back downstairs, almost making her fall down. He ran across the chapel where Auguste painfully got up and wondering what was going on, quickly followed him, and continued to go down the stairs where he also didn't stop for Siegfried who was now climbing the stairs, trying to find Nightmare or Raphael.
-Get out of my way! Shouted Raphael as he violently shoved Siegfried down the stairs
Siegfried tumbled down until he reached the stair's landing and when he painfully got up, Raphael and his minions, who quickly followed behind despite their wounds, were gone. But by the powerful shoving he received, Siegfried could tell that Raphael didn't seem dying anymore even though he did look barely alive with his ripped, bloodied and burned clothes. Siegfried also wondered:
-So he really was the one who faced Nightmare… What did he do with Soul Edge? He didn't seem to have it… Is Nightmare still alive and Raphael was fleeing from him? Could make sense…
Siegfried forgot about Raphael for now and began to climb the stairs even faster.
Meanwhile, Amy was now trying to suppress her cries as she knew it would please too much this crazy girl torturing her. Sometime, she could not and a sudden sob or groan of pain escaped from her mouth. Tira clapped and laughed cruelly in an excited way at each sound Amy made.
Raphael suddenly entered the glade where they were. What he saw appalled him: The sight of his daughter, her face all dirtied by sand, blood and tears, her hair untidy, her pretty pigtails mostly undone, put him in a state of panic. His eyes widened in worry and fear.
Seing his daughter in such a position was already unbearable but he recognized the crazy girl who was holding Amy at her mercy and he knew she was totally insane and sadistic. The girl's appearance had changed since they met; she didn't have the same strange hair color and must have returned to her normal hair color which seemed dark brown but Raphael still recognized her: she had the same crazy and cruel glint in her eyes. His heart stopped for a second then began to beat faster for Amy. He thought she was safe at home! Soul Edge had been tormenting so many parents; now his own child was threatened!