The Ardtrean Chronicles: Morality

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She found her friends where she had left them, awestruck at the sight beneath them. Two races tearing each other apart, the smell of blood and ripped flesh wafting over the field, she grabbed Detalia’s arm.
“We need to go now.”
“Go where?”
“I can’t go in there! I’m a Lycan! And right now would not be a good time when they are attacking my kind!”
“You are not like those Lycans, you are a different race than they are like I am a different race of Vampire and Spiros is a different race of Sealie. We are the new generation and we can put a stop to this. Right now is the perfect time to go in because you will go in acting as my prisoner.”
“Vitania I really don’t think--.”
But she was stopped by a clawed hand running across her cheek, Vitania’s nails scratching deep and causing her to howl out in pain which was drowned out by the noise below them. She growled deep and glared at her friend.
“What the hell did you do that for!?”
“To make this “capture” seem at least a little realistic, now hit me.”
“I, I can’t just hit you Vitania.”
Vitania let fly another blow, this time she punched her hard in the upper thigh, causing a spasm and Detalia fell to the ground. Without thinking she changed and took a bite out of Vitania’s shin and knocked her on her feet with one blow to the lower jaw. Vitania rubbed her face and moved quick as her Lycan friend lunged for her again. Spiros watched, unsure what to do, as the two girls rolled back and forth in the grass. Within five minutes they were both bloody and out of breath; Vitania with a bleeding nose and black eye, torn shin and twisted ankle, Detalia with the torn cheek, cut lip, charley horse and bruised arms. They eventually sat up and looked at each other, Vitania grinning and Detalia unsure of how to respond to the happiness displayed on her friends face.
Vitania eventually convinced her to go in cuffs conjured embarrassingly by Spiros, and led her behind the bloody mass to the gates of Drean.
The guard looked through the hole and Vitania flashed her fangs at him.
“I caught one.”
“You aren’t dressed in any battle gear.”
“That’s because I’m not part of the army, but if you don’t believe why I’m fighting it’s my dad the Lycans have caught, and I want to question my catch away from the battlefield.”
“You’re Vitania?”
She raised her eyebrow but no look of concern shown on her face.
“Yes, and who are you?”
“Mork, I’m a friend of Sycons’ and I’ve heard a lot about you.”
Vitania concentrated hard to keep the blushing to a pale pink.
“Hey that’s great, how about we stand here and catch up on what Sycon has told you hmm?” She gave a sarcastic gesture in his direction.
He looked her up and down and eventually opened the door, examining her and Detalia as they walked through. He was staring at Detalia who walked through the gates with her. Concerned and confused Vitania leaned forward to kick her along and whispered, “pretend you’re in pain,” and after a few seconds she started to whimper and her steps started to falter. After locking the gates, Mork guided them to the interrogation room on the far west side of the Virals’ main battle preparation grounds.
“Mork, I will need more weapons for battle when I am done, could you tell me where the armoury is?”
“Normally we aren’t supposed to just let people go in there.”
“Mork, I am the daughter of Kynthelig Masters, you should know I can be trusted.”
“All I know about you is that you’re hot and the half-breed daughter of a Vampire who quit the Viral and who has never been to Ardtrea before.”
Vitania just stood there, keeping her emotions low and her brain high, and she smiled.
“What you know is what the Elders want you to know, and what Sycon has told you. I have been to Ardtrea, and I have a vague idea where the armoury is; nowhere near the battle preparation room and is on the East side. I know my history and I know you are bound by the law to assist a Vampire in need of it. Half Vampire or not, that still requires half your help, like telling me where it is.”
He stared at her for a few moments, thinking and considering what she had said. Finally he let a large sigh.
“In the East wing, the door right after the oldest armoured statue, but you didn’t hear it from me.”
After a few moments Mork left the room, and Vitania started yelling at Detalia, shouting random questions about what she knew and how to get into Saphyr and where her father was being held, all while Spiros snuck in through the window and started healing the two of them as best he could.
When they were done Vitania opened the door just a crack and made sure Mork or no other guard was standing there. When she had made sure the hall was clear, she motioned for Detalia and Spiros to follow, and the three of them made their way silently through the empty battle preparation ground, hearing the faint clash of metal on metal outside. Vitania suddenly felt very at home, and as they entered the main living space of the most Eldest Vampires, she just wanted to find a four poster bed with satin sheets and crawl in and go to sleep forever, to forget what she was and all her problems.
Spiros prodded her on the shoulder and woke her from her day dream to point out shadows coming advancing on them. Quickly finding an unlocked door they slipped inside, peering through the keyhole at the Viral guards making their rounds. They held their breath as they stopped for a moment, smelling the air and looking confused. One turned and opened the door opposite them and the other started to come towards their door.
The guards turned and Vitania saw Mork advance on them.
“You know you aren’t supposed to enter the rooms unless there has been an indication of a break in and since I stand at the gate, I would know if anyone got in.”
“It smells like Lycan here.”
Vitania could sense Detalia start to sweat.
“I let in a Vampire with a Lycan prisoner; she was questioning her and then came here to the armoury to get more supplies for battle. You probably smell it off her.”
Mork looked directly at the keyhole behind the guards back. The guards shrugged their shoulders and continued down the hall in the opposite direction that he had come. He must have gone back to the room and seen them missing. She wondered why he wasn’t turning them in; it couldn’t all be because of Sycon. But if it was, she owed Sycon more than she was willing to admit.
Once the hall was silent again they exited the room and only had to go a couple feet farther before they saw the statue of the oldest battle armour, the first battle outfit of the Viral some thousands of years ago. She found the door conveniently unlocked and when they walked into the room the feeling around them become a melange of emotions. Fear and uncertainty radiated from Spiros, a Faerie where in their culture they are never taught to fight and he was the only one now to see the Viral armoury, amazement from Detalia seeing the extremely different ranges of weapons, and excitement and passion from Vitania, scanning the room for something specific she knew would be in here.
Spiros stayed back near the door, glaring at the gleaming instruments of destruction, as Detalia and Vitania walked the room. Detalia carefully ran her claws over some of them, picking them up and rolling them over in her paws. Vitania watched her carefully, the instruments were made of material that only Vampires should have been able to handle, yet she could pick them up without harm, and could come into Drean without harm. Her thoughts were distracted from Detalia once she turned to find what she was looking for.
Laying twelve feet long at full length, it gleamed in the low light from the end of the room. At one end it had two large blades and just proximal to those were two slightly smaller blades, made from forged Melia. The exact tip was chiselled off into a fine point, and throughout the shaft were carvings of runes that she now recognized; courage, strength, agility, immortality. The opposite end was carved down into different faces, the personalities of the races that had been banned. One Vampire, one Lycan, one Sealie, and one Warlock that had gone against the races and dipped into the dark magic of the Underworld, creating a weapon they themselves would eventually lose control of. Forged in the depths of the Underworld holding a little bit of every power and contained within the glimmering black mineral that was Iremande; was the most powerful, most dangerous, and most forbidden weapon in all of Ardtrea: The Wick of Kadenza.
Spiros was suddenly beside her as she was pressing her hands on the glass.
“You aren’t seriously considering what I think you’re considering are you?”
“I’m not considering anything, I already know I’m taking it, I mean I broke mine so I need a replacement right.”
Spiros floated between Vitania and the case, Detalia watching from the sidelines.
“I knew you were a little different than regular Vampires but this is completely insane! No one in the history of its making has been able to handle this weapon! Not even its creators!”
“And from what I have understood from every history manuscript was that they had a common problem: the Wick was forged in, and with, materials from the Underworld which meant only an Underworlder would have been able to control it regardless of the powers instilled inside it. But letting an Underworlder free and to control something that powerful would just be stupid.”
“You’re not exactly talking sense right now either. While it theoretically makes sense, you’re not an Underworlder, you’re only half an Underworlder”
“That’s still more than anyone else. I have the right blood from both species. The common sense and upbringing of a Vampire and the blood of an Underworlder, it gives me an edge. I have to at least try; it could give me an advantage in what is happening out there. Do you really want a worldwide war again?”
Spiros stayed standing between Vitania and the case when Detalia piped up.
“I think she should give it a shot.”
Spiros looked shocked and Vitania turned to see Detalia with tears in her eyes.
“I don’t know what is going on out there but anything that can change and take my Tal away from me needs to be stopped. If that, weapon, can help do that and maybe bring him back,” her voice got small and she started playing nervously with her paws, “then I vote for giving it a try.”
Vitania nodded, even though she and Detalia both knew nothing would give Detalia Tal back, she pushed a still stunned, floating Spiros away from her. She placed her hands on the smooth glass and pushed. At first nothing happened and she stepped back again, observing the case in front of her wondering if there was a trick to the case she was missing. While she was staring she noticed the same kind of fog from the candle, appear around the case and around her. She widened her stance and held back the nauseous feeling in her stomach from memory and focused on what was happening in front of her. The case melted away, leaving nothing but a black fog covering the floor and the Wick of Kadenza completely exposed. She walked forward timidly, placing her hands carefully over the staff of black Iremande.
When her fingers connected with the cool, black metal, her hand melded to its shape. Instantly she felt a surge go through her body, her first thought was that this must be what it feels like to be electrocuted. It wasn’t painful, it was just a surge. She could feel all her muscle contracting and relaxing, her brain pumping hard and her eyes beginning to burn. She stared as the Wick began to rise, stopping when her hands was at a ninety degree angle to her body, the staff and her now vertically parallel and coming to rest on the floor beside her.
Vitania stared at the staff for a long time, the feeling of pins and needles still coursing through her entire body. She was unaware of what exactly had just happened, but she wasn’t hurt, she was still standing, and Spiros and Detalia were staring at her, mouths gaping.
“Are you, okay?”
“I feel okay,” which was a bit of a lie but at the same time she felt pretty good for what was going on, “do I look any different?”
They shook their heads and she took a deep breath and took a step away from the case. She moved quietly, the Wick coming with her. She placed both hands on the staff and felt a little tingle, but the initial surge was over, and twirled it around testing the weight of it in her hands.
It was surprisingly light, and moved gracefully with her body. It felt so much better than her old Wick, so much sturdier and almost like it belonged in her hands.
“You are the craziest Vampire I know.”
She shot an astonished Spiros a look and saw that the fog on the floor had disappeared.
“We should go.”
They exited the armoury and started to run down the hall towards the grand entrance and ran unexpectedly into the two guards that had passed before. They stared dumbfounded at the Wick of Kadenza, and before they could attack and seize Vitania, she lunged for them. She could see every move before it happened, the way they were unsheathing their swords, could sense their fear as she met them halfway. Using the blunt side of the Wick, she darted under their blows and pinpointed the nervous endings on their neck, creating a spasm and rendering them both unconscious.
Detalia looked mortified but Spiros rubbed her arm and ushered her on, cooing at her like he was talking to a child.
“They aren’t hurt; they are just going to have a nice nap.”
They made it through the rest of the way without problems and were home free until they realized Mork would still be at the front gate. And once he saw what she had, not even Sycons stories could get her off the hook. She tried her best to hide it until the last possible second but he was too quick for her, and was already ready to fight. They stopped a few feet from each other, him staring at the Wick of Kadenza and she staring at his astonished face.
“How did you--?”
“I don’t want to hurt you Mork.”
“You can’t leave with that.”
“I have to; it’s the only thing that can stop this madness.”
“Are you serious? It will only make matters worse for you, and your father.”
“This is the only way I will be able to save my father and my mother, from whatever dangers they face.”
He looked past her to Detalia and Spiros.
“You’re friends with a Lycan and a Faerie?”
“I sure as hell am. I grew up somewhere where everyone is supposed to be equal, and you are innocent until proven guilty. So far, although Spiros has been a bit of a pain in my ass, neither of them have presented a threat to myself or my species. We are the new generation of Ardtrea, why don’t we use what we’ve learned and move forward into the future, not stay in the past our fathers made for us.”
She stared Mork down defiantly. She didn’t necessarily know if what she was saying was right, but she did know she believed it. They were already breaking so many traditions, Detalia and her just being friends, let alone being friends with a Sealie, and protecting each other like family.
“We may just look like confused species, but we’ve grown into more than that and seen each other for real people, not threats.”
He stared back for some time, time enough that it felt like the battle would be over before she even got out there. When he said nothing nor moved, she took the opportunity and walked, very calmly, past him and the three of them slipped through the front gate.
The battle was definitely far from over, and there had been more bloodshed in the time they were searching than she had thought.
The Vampires were being pushed dangerously backwards, closer to the gates of Drean than Vitania had expected. Apparently the Vampires they had for their army weren’t enough. She didn’t want to pick sides but she needed to do something or her entire race would be wiped out before her eyes. Without a thought she jumped in, unprepared and enraged.
For some time no one noticed the young, female Vampire, without armour, in the middle of the blood and gore, knocking out warriors and shedding only a few drops of blood with what seemed like little to no effort. She used the sword fighting skills she had learned from Ryzhak and parried, swung and came down with easy vengeance on the victim she had chosen. She realized now that Ryzhak had never taught her any move that would kill or seriously injure another creature; dislocate a joint or render unconscious maybe but nothing too serious, although it was convenient in her world if she was ever to be attacked, just knocking out the opponent in the middle of a war seemed less than helpful.
She eventually heard a familiar howl and turned to see Detalia and Spiros surrounded, pulled into the midst of battle. Spiros was doing his best to protect her and Detalia was trying not to let her fear get the best of her but Vitania could see her strength was failing. She just wasn’t cut out for battle.
Vitania launched herself from where she stood a few feet and swung the Wick in a circle, a grand gray line of mist surrounding the trio, and you could hear the hiss a mile away. Some of the older Vampires around them noticed the Wick of Kadenza immediately and backed away, fearing the creature that could possibly possess. Still hissing Vitania eased forward, causing the circle around them to grow larger, and incidentally attract more attention to her new weapon.
The closest battles around them went silent, and the silence spread around the battle field. For a while you could just hear the low hiss and throaty noise coming from Vitania, standing in battle stance, eyes black and fangs bared, protecting her friends. In the distance she felt the steps of authority and lowered her voice just enough to hear it coming from beside her.
Looking up she saw the Elder of the Lycans, smug expression and sarcastically clapping his hands, walking steadily towards their trio. He stopped a few feet away, eyes lazily resting on the Wick gripped tightly in Vitania’s hands.
“Look at you, daddy’s little girl all grown up, fighting with big kid weapons now.”
Vitania breathed slow, burying her emotions, allowing everything to go silent until the only thing she was focused on was The Elder.
“You should try it sometime Princess.” Was all that came out of her mouth.
“Tsk, tsk. Saucy now aren’t we? What happened to the cautious youngling that was in my home but not a few weeks ago?”
She heard a whisper go through the crowds speaking of betrayal.
“We wouldn’t have gone anywhere near Saphyr if there wasn’t a dead Fate outside its city limits.”
“That does not mean we had anything to do with it.”
“I never said it did, just commenting on why we were close to you in the first place. But you seem pretty keen on defending something you had nothing to do with.”
This time his expression changed, looking like he had smelled something foul.
“I would hold your tongue young Vampire.”
He pursed his lips in an annoyed but sinister way, and snapped his fingers. The two guards that had been behind him now moved in front, carrying with them the frail, limp, shell of her father. He looked up slowly, looking much older than his years and eyed her. He looked from her to the Wick and she could tell there was something wrong about the way he looked at her; there was no disappointment, no fear, and no pain. It was almost as if he was looking at her in awe or admiration.
“I have the ability to destroy what you hold most dear to your heart.”
With a snap the guards broke his left forearm and he cried out in pain, the sound of his bone snapping washed over Vitania like a cold wave and concentrating as hard as she could, attempted to swallow the rising anger in her blood. The noise of his cry was so loud and so shrieking she almost had to cover her ears. It resulted in whooping laughter form the Lyvian and a melange of hisses and screams from the Viral.
Training from Yerlexia disappeared and something else inside her took over. She felt it rise from her toes, the white hot anger; it made her muscles ache, made her vision clearer and she gripped the shaft of the Wick hard as without warning she lunged forward at the Elder Lycan who was still laughing uncontrollably at the pain her father was in. She screamed, giving him just enough warning to look up and see the gleam of the razor sharp Melia connect right between the eyes, and swipe with black fury completely through him as if the creature standing in front of her was butter. Bones nor muscle, regardless of species, didn’t stand a chance against the power that she held in her hands.
As the now two halves of the Elder fell limply to the sides, the silence that had befallen over the crowd didn’t last long and the Lyvian began their revengeful cries and turned on the Viral, fighting harder than before. Vitania stood still, defending her father from the two guards that had just let the Elder fall.
Her cry sounded strong to those around her but she could feel the shake in her vocal cords and the tears her body would not let her cry, he flew to her instantly.
“Get him out of here, I don’t care where you take him just get him somewhere safe!”
“But, Detalia--.”
“I will protect her; now get him out of here!”
She watched her father try to protest but Spiros was much stronger than he was at the moment and scooped him up with ease, flying in the direction of the forest. Vitania scanned the crowd looking for Detalia, her heart starting to race when she couldn’t find her. Spiros had only been gone seconds how could she have already disappeared. Eventually she heard a familiar battle cry and turned to see she had Changed fully and was battling against her own kind alongside some very confused members of the Viral. As she watched Detalia she started to feel it, a disturbance that shook her entire being right down to her core.
She searched around her for cause of the disturbance, and her eyes rested on a large Lycan that had targeted Detalia. It was almost seven feet tall and fur black like the night, darker than any Lycan she had ever seen. The eyes were an odd color between yellow and green and the lust that was foaming at the mouth she sensed, would not be quenched until its jaws were around her throat. It was running through the crowd, as if no one could even see him or harm him with the way he moved; quicker, with more agility, bending around the fighting and every blow.
Vitania started to move and her watched the world around her slow down, her vision changing. It was like the battle had become stationary so that she too could she ran through and around the blurs of moving silver. She weaved her body around swords and claws, snapping jaws and hissing fangs as Detalia turned to see Vitania running towards her. She didn’t have time to duck but Vitania cleared her easily, as Detalia’s attacker launched so did Vitania, and brought the Wick up, slicing him across the abdomen.
Tal let out a low growl and landed on all fours, turning to stare at Vitania who was holding position between him and his ex-girlfriend. Panting and claws digging into the ground he stood on his hind legs and Vitania watched her incision heal itself and a smile spread across his face.
“Traitor.” Vitania let out an usually throaty tone even for her.
“How could I be a traitor to a Vampire?”
“I wasn’t talking about me.”
She turned slightly to see Detalia, who looked small and weak, eyes tearing at the fact Tal had just tried to go in for a kill. She walked around Vitania to get close to him, reaching out.
He launched himself forward and snapped his jaws with a growl, laughing when Detalia cowered behind Vitania. He circled them, the rest of the battle seemingly ignorant as to what was going on between the three of them.
“I wish I had had more time with you Detalia; to teach you to hate the Vampires as I do, so you could know the torture it was when you wanted to help her, the torture of being in the same vicinity of two of those disgusting Night Children.”
“But they were our friends!”
“No,” the response came out in an angry growl, “they were your friends. You still had enough human tendencies left in you to make you care about such arrogant creatures. If you think they are humble than think about it; think about how Vitania just knows exactly what she was doing, how she was the leader, how she now holds one of the most powerful weapons in the history of Ardtrea. And tell me she isn’t arrogant.”
Vitania stared, completely disgusted at when she was hearing. Vampires had designed the treaty, written down that the law was above any species, and that no one species was above the other, that every creature would be respected and treated as equals. The Lycans were the ones who started this battle, broken the treaty and their promise to Ardtrea. She knew she never should have trusted him; the Hate was bred into him like a disease.
“You never should have come to us Vitania. The second I saw you I knew what you were. You sealed your own fate by going against your instincts and trusting a species you were bred to hate.”
“You’re wrong. I wasn’t bred to hate anyone or anything. I was brought up that there were creatures in my world that belonged somewhere else for everyones’ safety including their own. Yes I went behind what I was taught, but it gave me Detalia, and Spiros, and Sycon, friends I don’t have to hide around. Friends I never thought I would be able to have. You have betrayed all of Ardtrea by making a deal with a Demon.”
Tal started laughing in a way that made Vitania’s blood boil, he was mocking her, he didn’t care that she knew his secret. He stood back from them as what little light set in the sky started to disappear, a superior smile across his face.
“Now who will you save? Your friend, or your boyfriend?”
The sky went black and a dark funnel resembling a tornado dropped to the ground in the middle of the battle, parting the crowd like the red sea, and a sinister smile curved his lips as he gazed up at it.
As if she had been waiting for his cue, Midian stepped out of the spiral cloud towering way above the battle field, fifty or sixty feet, arms wide open and an evil smile on her face. Her eyes bore down on Vitania and she couldn’t help but give out a small chuckle. With a wave of her hand she was suddenly holding a small cage, the top in her fingertips, she swung it back and forth, the prisoner inside bouncing around. She laughed at the painful groans coming from behind the bars, and brought the cage down closer so Vitania could see inside.
Beaten and bloody, Sycon lain at the bottom of the cage, his skin much paler than a Vampires should be, border lining gray. He looked up at Vitania who was shocked, his eyes falling to the Wick and a smile crossed his face.
“So it is true, you are half of them.”
“You see, little Vampire, because of what you are, the people you care for are the ones that will always pay the price. Unfortunately, your little boy toy here bit you just enough to drink some of your blood-” Vitania reached up and touched her lip, remembering , “-so instead of trying to capture you, I just need him.”
She flicked her head towards the cage where Sycon was now laying still, his blood and energy so completely drained by Midian, he couldn’t even look up at her.
Vitania’s stomach dropped and she wanted to run to him, to do something to get him out of there. She held the Wick strong in both hands and turned her stare towards Midian, who was still sneering down at her.
“You are the weakest demon I know.”
She could feel her blood start to boil and as hard as she tried to control it, she knew her emotions were getting the best of her. Midian stopped laughing and raised her eyebrow unimpressed.
“Excuse me?”
“Instead of going for the killer prize, you went for the weaker link, the creature that you knew wouldn’t be able to stand up to you. Just so you could feel all powerful, when really you’re just a banished, pathetic, cowardly excuse for a Demon.”
She put a condescending emphasis on the last word, and she felt the air change as Midian became enraged. Vitania stood ready for a battle and cleared her mind, feeling her surroundings. Tal behind her, ready to strike, Midian in front of her holding Sycon, Detalia off to the side frightened and unsure, her own body which had gone rigid, her eyes dilated, and a light presence that was growing.
Once Tal jumped, it set in motion all the possible events that had gone through her mind.
“Spiros, grab Sycon!”
She saw the flash of wings whip by her as she turned and caught Tal in the chest with the carved end of the Wick. She turned to see Midian in front of her and felt the back of the demons hand come up and throw her from her stance. Her face burned and she could feel it getting wet and sticky. Ignoring she parried Midians’ second blow and brought the Wick down on her shoulder.
A demons scream is one of the worst sounds, she decided, that Vitania had ever heard. It was like someone had broken a mirror and then used the shards against a chalkboard and a china plate, then thrown an aerosol can into a fire so it could admit a high pitched noise right before it burst. Her sense of smell was the next to be assaulted as the blood that spewed from the gash in Midians’ shoulder joint caused by the Wick of Kadenza gave off such a foul order, even some of the Lyvian and Viral members started to be sick to their stomach. Where the blade had cut the flesh was burning, causing pain and almost cauterizing simultaneously. The blood that came from the wound was black and had the consistency of tar, dripping sludge onto her forearm. The smell that came from it didn’t generate the regular iron taste in her mouth, it made her stomach churn and her tongue sting. It smelled like flesh that had been dead for weeks, eaten by a creature of the damned, and then thrown up again
While she was trying to keep the contents her stomach down Spiros had targeted the cage but never got there because Tal had jumped for him, catching him around the waist and tumbling to the ground. Detalia had seen Tal attack Spiros and ran for the two of them fighting, jumping and wrapping her jaws around Tal’s throat, causing him to let out a small yelp.
When Detalia landed she threw Tal on the ground and stood between him and Spiros, growling and pacing. Tal stood on all fours, rubbing the back of his neck, surprised but laughing disbelieving.
“You’re protecting the Faerie now?”
“He’s done more for me in the last few weeks that proves him to be a better man than you could ever be.”
Their voices were throaty and canine like as they growled to each other.
“I told you he wanted you. You’re disgusting, a Faerie and Lycan .”
Detalia jumped quicker than Tal expected and she tore a chunk out of his leg. He brought his paw up scratched her exposed side. They tore back and forth into each other while Spiros watched stunned.
Vitania stood out of breath, stunned and covered in Midians blood, still holding the Wick. Midian stood in front of her, her wounds still open, the black ooze dripping all over her skin.
Every time she used the Wick to cut flesh, a type of surge went through the staff that made Vitania shake. With every blow her energy deteriorated, it was taking a lot more to use this weapon than she thought and Midian knew she was slowing down.
“You should do more research on dangerous items before you decide to steal them Night Child.”
She was slightly out of breath but compared to Vitania she could run a marathon. As a demon she was already unable to die, but she could still feel pain, and whatever the Wick was doing to her, the wounds weren’t able to heal, or at least not heal as quickly.
“All I need to know is that so far no creature has been able to touch it, and I have already managed to do that.”
She breathed heavy as she spoke, her vision beginning to lose its clarity.
“So you know then that with each blow you strike at me, not only is it stealing your energy but stealing part of you?”
Vitania, still huffing, looked at Midian with feigned interest.
“That’s right,” her voice came out soft and belittling, “every time you use the Wick of Kadenza a piece of you becomes a part of it; your energy, your body, your soul. There is a reason why no one has been able to control it. You may have part of its creation inside of you, but that still leaves half of you vulnerable. And half of anything is useless.
She didn’t believe her, or at least she didn’t want to. She could feel it zapping her energy but all she had to do was let go of it to regain it. If she let go Midian would pick it up, and a demon with something that powerful would be much more dangerous, even thinking about giving her the opportunity was stupid.
“I never thought you would be so stupid wearing yourself out trying to hurt a demon, but it’s just as well. If you’re weak you’re easier to catch.”
“I thought you said you didn’t need me.”
“Oh no, I never said that. I simply stated that he was the easier catch. His blood was just enough to test if it would do what we wanted. Turns out it does exactly what we wanted, possibly even better than what we hoped for, but we would need all your blood to get what we really want.”
Vitania’s heart was sinking, she was still going to be taken before she could find her mother. She got ready to try again and gripped the shaft of her weapon tight, but before she had a chance to try the demon screamed in more surprise than pain and when she turned Vitania was in shock to see Sycon attached to her back, his teeth sunk in to skin.
His face was pained as he was accidently ingesting the sludge coming from her wound, his skin turning a darker shade of gray. She reached back and grabbed him by his shirt and held him in front of her, a look of amusement surprise on her face. He looked like a completely different being in her hands.
“I will fight you until I die before I will let you take Vitania anywhere.”
“Such a gentleman.”
She scoffed and yelled to Tal.
“Change of plans! We’re leaving, and we’re going to keep him.”
Vitania was terrified as she saw Sycon look at her, a look of selfless satisfaction knowing she would be safe.
“No. No! Sycon you can’t do this, you were free!”
She was running for the hand that held him but was deflected by Midians’ free limb.
“Sorry Vampire, but this is what happens when you can’t take responsibility for what you are. Like I said, the ones you care for are the ones that get hurt.”
With that the ground opened up beneath them to reveal what looked like the inside of a volcano. Small jagged rocks protruded from the sides of the chasm through the smoke and fog that was colored black and orange, and giving off a significant amount of heat. Flying, crawling and swimming were black figures, gracefully moving through the rising steam, letting off low hisses and growls, disappearing into nothingness.
“Looks fun doesn’t it?”
She dangled Sycon over the pit and smiled at Vitania who yelled at the demon, her voice beginning to shake, her body shutting down. She was going to lose.
“How can I take responsibility when it isn’t even my fault?”
“Isn’t it?”
Vitania stared at Midian, mouth gaping. My fate was decided before I was born, it can’t be my fault.
“If it is not your fault, then are you willing to let someone else take the fall for you?”
Midian raised one eyebrow as the side of her mouth curled. Vitania’s stance broke and she took off at a run.
Launching herself over Lycans and Vampires alike, and jumping from a nearby boulder, she almost flew through the air Wick in hand, ready to puncture every inch of the demon in front of her until she was nothing more that sticky, black puddles on the battlefield.
The sickening, bone cracking noise that gave Vitania disturbing comfort in knowing she had made contact, never came. Instead you heard the sound of wind gushing and an equally disturbing connection of bone on bone, and felt the ground shake as Vitania was thrown some feet into the bloody dirt.
“Do you really think a weapon as simple as that could come between me and what I want Vampire? Then your race is more intelligently deprived than I could have imagined. Say good bye to your boyfriend, Vïdalia.
The name Midian spoke washed over her, in a threatening tone that made her organs shiver and her head spin.
When the flash came the plains were levelled, the whole war knocked to the ground. But even from her stomach Vitania watched as Midian looked like she was being sucked into the ground. Sycon watched her from Midians fist, his eyes bearing into her sole in a way she couldn’t have imagined. Like thunder after lightening, when the light disappeared a wave of energy swept over her. It made her skin crawl as it touched every part of her; every bone, every muscle, every thought, and every breath, was surrounded by this energy. In an instant it was over, she stood on her knees, eyes watching the now charred patch of grass where there was just a gaping hole to the Underworld.
She looked up to see Detalia and Spiros running towards her, trying to avoid the advancing Viral and Lyvian. She saw the blurry vision of the sky above her, felt the pulse of the wick in her hand, and then she saw only black.

“Gray stone.”
“Gold forgery.”
“Blue light.”
Again she awoke she was in a cold sweat, breathing heavy, looking at the gray stone walls. She wasn’t in prison they said, or in any trouble. She was just being held against her will, not allowed to do anything or talk to anyone, until The Spire had figured out what she was and if she was dangerous. The Wick of Kadenza was still leaning against the stone in the corner, standing tall and it made her feel better, it meant they had tried to move it and again failed.
She looked around the room and could still see the faint glow of ancient symbols, powerful enough magic to keep her and the Wick safe inside the Spire.
As she laid there and tried to position herself around the first class springs in her back, she thought about the last couple weeks, how much destruction she had caused.
Her father was being questioned day in and day out about her mother and her mothers’ whereabouts, Detalia and Tal had been at each other’s throats, Spiros had been assigned from his home to protect them and Sycon-. She closed her eyes and tried to prevent the tears from burning, like they did every time she thought of him. They barely knew each other but he had given himself to the Underworld for her, let Midian take him.
She had wondered if maybe she only liked him because he was there, he was around, he gave her attention, that maybe because as another Vampire he would be able to understand some of her pain. But now she knew that would never have been the case. He grew up in Ardtrea, in a place where he was normal and where he didn’t need to hide. Now she wasn’t just half a Vampire either, she was half an Underworlder as well, and because of that he was being experimented on somewhere in the Underworld in her place. He gave himself up for her and she just stood there and let him do it.
She laid there, wallowing in her self-pity, letting tears stain and then dry her face, listening to nothing but the silence around her. She didn’t know how long she had been staring into the corner at her glimmering weapon, when she realized there was a silhouette on the wall parallel to where she had been watching. She didn’t need to see the wings to hear them fluttering.
“Isn’t this just a first rate hotel, do they have room service?”
Vitania gave a low hiss in response, annoyed but slightly comforted at his arrogant jokes in the present situation, he chuckled in response.
“Seriously though, are you ready to go?”
“Ready to go? Where?”
“Anywhere but here.”
A male voice came from behind Spiros, unfamiliar and jagged. Floating behind him was another Faerie, one she didn’t remember seeing in the Majestry. He was tall, much taller than Spiros even, with dark blue hair like the night sky before dawn and glowing eyes that shone like the stars.
“We are here to break you out.”

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