Blood Oath

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The Chapel

Since first breaking through the gates to the chapel several days ago, Seamus and Corvic have been using their flashing and flickering abilities to slowly diminish the forces within, creating openings for the rebels outside to penetrate the chapel as well. They have been systematically fighting or sneaking their way through each courtyard on each level, steadily rising toward the very top of the chapel.

Now both of them stand in front of a set of gigantic metals doors, a dozen fallen guards on the floor behind them. “This is it,” Corvic is laughing. “This is the inner sanctuary. Lord Glasstien must be beyond these doors. So, hurry up and use that Arma of yours, manservant.”

“You mean marshal, right?” Seamus’s right eyebrow twitches in annoyance. He is fully aware that he is Row’s servant, but that does not mean he enjoys be told so by her obnoxious older brother.

Corvic watches as Seamus rears back and flings the gigantic ball of metal at the doors, which prove to be equally strong if not more so. “What’s the meaning of this?” he is shocked. “Why can't you break through? So far you have shattered every barricade in this maze with that thing. We’ve left a splintered mess of metal and wood in our wake.”

“Even Arma have their limits,” Seamus sighs. “Why don’t you try using yours?”

“This?” Corvic holds up the chain scythe he has been dangling from his wrist for a while. Seamus is fully aware that it is Arma Lita, the weapon that drove the bloodsucker Besking insane and caused him to attack Row and Seamus the first time they came to Glass Gate. “It’s no good against metal.”

“What exactly is its power?” Seamus is curious. He leans against the nearest wall and slides to the floor with the intention of resting while he listens.

Corvic does the same before answering. “It acted as an extension of Genlock and could probably be just as strong when held by the Red Warrior. I’ve only had it for a while now. Every one of my disciples that ever tried to wield it was eventually driven mad. Besking lasted the longest though.”

“You keep talking about your disciples. Does that mean you have followers that worship you?” Seamus cocks his head.

“There are a few bloodsuckers and ghouls that still think of me as their leader but the majority of them have fallen to the demigods over the course of the past forty years,” Corvic heaves another sigh. If he is distraught over the loss of his loyal servants he does a good job of pretending not to care.

“Forty years? You had followers when you were ten?” Seamus is surprised.

“I was rather popular when I was younger.” Corvic flashes him a fanged grin. “I accidentally revealed the fact that I was a bloodsucker to my father though and ended up being banished from Massmede. My brother came with me to protect me but by the time I gathered all of my followers, he had disappeared off somewhere and I haven’t seen him since. I can only assume he encountered one of the nine and was dealt with swiftly.”

“Wow, not even a hint of remorse,” Seamus mocks him.

“Sorry for being an emotionless bloodsucker,” Corvic betrays a hint of annoyance.

“Wait, your father found out you were a bloodsucker? Doesn’t that mean he knew your mother was one too?” Seamus asks.

“I think he assumed I was actually a ghoul; that I had run astray at some point and been drained of my life force. He was like that; he never wanted to see what was right in front of his face. He would never believe his darling wife was a monster even if she bit him; not after all he sacrificed for her.”

Seamus is reminded of what Row said to him about bloodsuckers taking over the family lines of lords. By refusing to allow Lord Ironglave to consort with a single concubine, she effectively ended the line of human Ironglaves and doomed the rest of his descendents to persecution and perhaps death. It really is a cruel thing to do.

“Come on, we’ve had enough time to rest.” Corvic stands and stretches. “I think I’ve figured out a way inside.” He strides towards one of the large oval shaped holes in the wall that is used as a window for people wanting to look out at the courtyard below the tall structure that makes up the inner sanctuary of the chapel, which they are on the top floor of.

“How come it’s not cold up here?” Seamus asks while following Corvic.

“These walls are double layered with steam rising up from a hot spring beneath the entire chapel,” Corvic answers.

“How do you know so much about Glass Gate?” Seamus is impressed. “How long have you lived here?”

“Long enough to traverse the entire city twice over.” Corvic smiles proudly. “I have been planning my assault on Iron Grove since the day Turok first set foot in it. When you live for as long as I do, you realize how much free time you have. I could have waited centuries to make my move but I doubt I will ever find someone as useful to me as Castine. No, this has to happen during his lifetime or it is all for not.”

“So what is your plan?” Seamus pokes his head out the window next to Corvic’s. Considering how reckless the bloodsucker was in his assault on the chapel he does not hold much hope for any ideas from him.

“Look there.” Corvic gestures to another window on the side of the chapel wall.

“Does that lead into the inner sanctuary?” Seamus gasps. “Why haven’t they boarded it up?”

“They need to be able to see what is happening outside, don’t they?” Corvic explains. “They don’t think we can make it there from here.”

“Normal people can't make it there from here,” Seamus retorts while trying to hide a grin.

“We’re not normal people,” Corvic announces proudly. Before Seamus has even blinked, the bloodsucker has disappeared in another flash and landed on the ledge directly below the window. Seamus is still smiling as he leaps out after him. Immediately the passage of time around him slows as he activates Turok’s power. He runs along the side of the building with enough momentum to keep himself from falling off and plummeting to his death hundreds of feet below in the courtyard.

With the power of the Jade Behemoth, Seamus is actually able to see how Corvic moves as he flashes from the ledge, reappearing already inside the inner sanctuary. He kicks off the ledge with such force that human eyes can not follow him. He actually uses the blinking of anyone watching to appear invisible for a fleeting moment. Of course, after spending several days scaling the massive chapel with Corvic, this is nothing Seamus has not seen before.

A moment later, Seamus has flickered into the inner sanctuary as well. Corvic is already standing on one side of the room with a menacing smile on his face. There are two other occupants. One is a stout woman wearing thick blue robes with several flowing layers and with long blonde hair visible down her back. The other is an older man with silvery grey hair and a prominent beard.

“Grand Bishop Tasler and Lord Glasstien I presume.” Corvic bows politely.

“Who might you be?” Lord Glasstien frowns at him. “If you are one of Castine’s marshals I do not recognize you.”

“Stay back, milord. This man is a bloodsucker.” Tasler raises a golden staff with glyph like engravings on the side. She holds it in front of Lord Glasstien like a barrier preventing him from sharing the same space as a filthy bloodsucker.

“I am wounded by your actions, milady,” Corvic pretends to pout. “Perhaps you would be more willing to commune with my manservant.” He gestures to Seamus.

“Don’t involve me in your drabble,” Seamus grumbles.

“Hold your tongue, boy!” Lord Glasstien bellows at him. “I will not be insulted in my own sanctuary. Do you two have any idea the wrath you have brought upon yourselves? Pray you die quickly.”

“I think he’s misunderstanding something.” Corvic gives Seamus an inquisitive look, meant to annoy Lord Glasstien more than anything. “Do you not realize how we got here? Where are your loyal guards, Lord Glasstien? Dead, they are all dead. My servant and I have spent the last three days systematically eliminating each and every one of them. Those that we did not encounter on our way here will soon be killed by our friends who are now sweeping through the lower part of the chapel. You’re finished, Lord Glasstien.”

“I'm not your servant,” Seamus mutters to himself.

“I do pity the young.” Lord Glasstien shakes his head disappointedly. “Always rushing into confrontations without properly preparing themselves.”

“Shall I enlighten them?” Tasler twirls her staff ominously.

“Do as you please with them,” he snickers while backing away and eventually seating himself in the Grand Bishop’s throne chair.

“Really?” Corvic is trying not to laugh. “What can a lowly human do against a royal bloodsucker?”

“Oh, so you’re a royal?” Tasler pretends to be intrigued. “I do apologize for my earlier statements. Of course a royal such as yourself is welcome in my sanctuary. Shall I fetch you some tea?”

Corvic grits his teeth in annoyance. He does not take kindly to being mocked. The moment he flashes from view, Tasler slams her staff on the floor, creating a flash of white light that blinds everyone. Corvic reappears in the darkest corner, shielding his eyes which are glowing red now. “Nasty little trick you’ve got there,” Tasler continues to taunt him. “I don’t enjoy not being able to see my opponent but I think I can make it about even, don’t you think?”

“What are you?” Corvic spits angrily, baring his white fangs.

“I am a holy mage,” Tasler answers. “This is Arma Sephil. Do you like it?”

“An Arma?” Corvic sputters in disbelief. “Whose?”

“This particular Arma is designed for use by magicians. I suppose Salazar could have used it but most demigods would find it worthless. My ancestor, Master Ledon Pence, created it for his wife.”

“He made a second forbidden weapon?” Corvic hisses while flashing out of sight again. Once more he is unable to move far as Tasler fills the room with blinding light again.

“I asked you to stop doing that, didn’t I?” She frowns at him disappointedly. “Honestly, what did you children think you were walking into?”

“I am no child!” Corvic disappears and reappears directly behind her, with his eyes completely closed. “Bloodsuckers can see with their ears and noses,” he informs her while slashing her across the back with his steel fingernails.

She stumbles forward a few feet before scratching a line across the floor between them. A sudden wall of light rises up, splitting the room in half with her and Seamus on one side and Corvic on the other side with Lord Glasstien. “What is this?” Corvic touches the barrier, only to rear back in pain when it burns his fingers.

“That wasn’t very smart, Tasler,” Lord Glasstien scolds his servant. “How exactly do you plan to fight the bloodsucker now that you can't even reach him?”

“Am I to understand that she can not penetrate her own barrier?” Corvic is intrigued. “Ha, this works out fine for me.” He turns toward Lord Glasstien, expecting him to still be sitting atop the throne. He is shocked to find him already standing directly in front of him.

Seamus is able to see it with his glowing green eyes; somehow the old man was able to move faster than even Corvic, leaving a trail of white light in his wake. He grabs Corvic by the throat and slams him against the wall of light, which burns the bloodsucker’s face the moment he touches it. “Did you think you were unique?” Lord Glasstien laughs. “I too hold the power of King Doryan. I am actually an entire generation older than you, meaning I am twice the god you are.”

“I'm still a bloodsucker though.” Corvic pulls the old man towards him and bites his shoulder. Lord Glasstien shrieks as a large chunk of flesh is ripped from him, exposing the bone beneath. His eyes are gleaming eerily as he backs away from Corvic, breathing heavily while clutching his wound. “That was delicious,” Corvic laughs shrilly. “What was that? Is that what the descendent of a god tastes like? Is that what I taste like? I'll have to try feeding on Row later.”

“Sick twisted vile creature!” Tasler screams while striking against her own barrier with her staff. It is no use though. She used a great deal of power to make it and it will take almost twice as much to break it.

“Was your plan to trap me on this side with you?” Seamus asks calmly. “Did you think I would be easier to deal with because he kept calling me his servant? I'm afraid you have been mislead, Grand Bishop.” Seamus’s eyes cycle through three separate colors as Tasler turns around to face him. She instantly backs away in fear. “That’s right, it is not Corvic you should be afraid of.” He flickers in front of her, causing her to stumble back into her own barrier, which does not burn her like it did Corvic.

“It’s meant to purify filthy bloodsuckers,” she explains in a meek voice.

“And what about demigods?” Seamus touches the white light. It sears his skin only slightly but the damage is quickly healed by his shape shifting power. He can assume that as a human who allows a bloodsucker to feed on him repeatedly, he is not exactly what one would consider pure. However, it has been a while since he last saw his mistress and his life force has been almost completely restored. Suddenly he is extremely concerned about Row. It is not like her to resort to feeding on random humans. She is most definitely growing weak in his absence. He must not keep her waiting much longer.

“Don’t let your guard down!” Tasler shouts at him while sending a wave of light out from her staff, which very nearly slices Seamus in half.

“Is this perhaps the first time you have ever fought with someone?” Seamus asks in confusion. “Are you hoping I'll just surrender after coming all this way?”

“Don’t take me for a fool!” Tasler becomes defensive. It seems he is correct. Despite coming from a talented lineage, she has never actually had to wield a weapon against a real foe before. She does not have the resolve to actually injure him. With this knowledge, Seamus is also losing his will to fight. He has sworn to do whatever it takes to protect his mistress and obey her orders but that does not mean he has to hurt people needlessly. “You’re, you’re laughing at me,” Tasler stutters. “You think I won't fight you seriously.”

“I don’t think you have the will,” Seamus admits.

“I'll show you.” She sends out another wave of light. This one slices through one of the rafters of the chapel, bringing it crashing down on Seamus’s head.

He manages to flicker out of the way in time though. “If you really mean to fight me, then I should try to end this quickly,” Seamus sighs.

“Stop mocking me!” Tasler refuses to be taken lightly. Seamus flickers again as she sends two more waves of light, trying to chop him off at the knees and neck.

Despite her weak resolve, she is still wielding a dangerous weapon and Seamus knows better than to let his guard down. It is almost too easy though. He holds the powers of four separate demigods. It is not likely that he will ever meet an opponent stronger than him ever again. Of course, he still has no idea how he would stand against the Red Warrior. Last time they fought he ended up fleeing for his life.

In an attempt to end the standoff as soon as possible, Seamus goes on the offensive, flickering in front of Tasler and grabbing hold of her staff. She clings on tightly though, causing the glyphs on the side to glow hot enough to burn him and herself. Seamus flickers away to recover with Wan’s power but Tasler is left to try healing herself with a green light much like the one Minto and Kalina always use.

On the other side of the barrier, Lord Glasstien is having a difficult time just managing to stay away from Corvic. The normally starved bloodsucker is taking full advantage of his first meal in a long time; the life force of a descendent of a god at that. It is taking everything Lord Glasstien has just to flee faster than Corvic can follow. The wound on his shoulder is not bleeding but the bone is still visible. It does not look like it will be healing any time soon.

“Where are you going, old man?” Corvic taunts him. “Weren’t you just bragging about your superior lineage? I'm half the god you are, right? What exactly was King Doryan’s power? I'm assuming it had something to do with pushing one’s body beyond its limits. That would explain why I’ve always been able to move faster than the eye can see. It works even better when I am desperate.” He flashes in front of Lord Glasstien to make a point.

“I'll never understand your kind.” He grits his teeth while drawing a small blade from the sleeve of his robe. Corvic knocks it out of his hand with ease though.

“Don’t you despise me?” Corvic leans his face close to the lord’s menacingly. “Your bishop has insulted me twice since I arrived. Don’t all humans share the same disrespect for my kind?”

“You know nothing about humans,” Glasstien spits in disgust. “You preach about how unfairly we judge you while hating us all the same. If only more humans and bloodsuckers thought like my son and his wife.”

“Oh,” Corvic is taken aback. “Did I hear you correctly? Your son’s wife is a bloodsucker? This explains so much. Wait, you have a granddaughter, don’t you? She must be a bloodsucker as well. Oh this is too good,” Corvic is all out laughing now. “Who would have thought that old strict Lord Glasstien would have a soft spot for bloodsuckers? No wonder you banished the demigods from your city. Wow, if Castine knew this, we wouldn’t have even needed to start this whole rebellion.”

“I think you’re making a mistake, young bloodsucker,” Glasstien chuckles. “I am no friend to your kind. I do what I must to protect my granddaughter but that does not mean I condone what she is. I'm of an older generation, child. When we are faced with a difficult decision we sweep it under the rug and refuse to deal with it head on. I may have banished the demigods years ago but I never made a formal announcement. I continued to let my only granddaughter’s kind suffer at the hands of prejudice humans like myself.”

“At least you admit your failings.” Corvic bows elegantly. “Perhaps you could make the announcement now. I'm sure it would appease Castine and put an end to all this fighting.”

Lord Glasstien shakes his head slowly. “Again, I'm afraid you haven’t heard me. I was not and will never be prepared to accept my son’s wife and neither is the world. Even if Castine manages to sway this entire city, the other lords will never hear of it, not until every single one of their bloodlines has been brought down just like yours and mine. Yes, I know who you are, Corvic Ironglave of Iron Grove. You disappoint me, boy. Go back home and leave Castine to face his punishment.”

Corvic shakes his head solemnly. “While you may be absolutely right about the other lords, I have already told you… it is too late. This was your last chance. The last of your guards have fallen. Glass Gate is ours.” Corvic shoves his fist through Lord Glasstien’s chest, tearing into his flesh with his steel fingernails. “Your time is over, my lord.”

“Maybe, maybe not.” Lord Glasstien is still smiling as he limps away from Corvic, touching a shaky hand to the wall of the chapel for support. It is glowing white with the last of his power. The wall promptly explodes in a shower of rock and dust falling to the courtyard below.

“Up there, I can see them!” several male voices shout in response.

“What?” Corvic stares out at the scene below. Rather than the rebels he expected to see, the courtyard is filled with soldiers from three separate territories, all being led by one woman in dark blue robes. “You!” Corvic grabs Lord Glasstien by his collar.

“It warms my heart to know that I still have allies in the other territories,” he sighs happily. “Please do not harm my granddaughter. She is, after all, one of your kind.” Corvic tosses the old man out through the opening in the wall without saying anything. He watches with a frown as the lord of Glass Gate impacts with the ground, dying instantly.

“My god, he’s killed Lord Glasstien!” the men below shout. “After him.”

Corvic sighs deeply as he sits down on the throne in the now much more open chapel. The warm air wafting through the hollow walls from the hot spring below is overshadowed by the wind from outside. In a matter of minutes the inner sanctuary will be overrun by over a hundred soldiers. He will have to fight in a battle he knows he can not win. It does not matter though. He has come this far and there is no turning back. For now he can simply enjoy his small victory.

Seamus is distracted by the wall of the chapel exploding and the screams from below. So much so that Tasler is actually able to slice him with a few of her light waves. As usual, his power to heal himself almost immediately makes it all for not. The grand bishop is growing tired while Seamus has not even broken a sweat.

“I have failed.” She collapses to her knees when she realizes that her lord has already been killed.

“What did you expect?” Seamus grumbles. The moment she trapped Corvic alone with Lord Glasstien she had sealed his fate. No matter how powerful the old man assumed he was, Corvic is the bloodsucker who took on two demigods and survived. Lord Glasstien must have severely underestimated him. That or he already knew he was not going to survive this encounter and still wanted to face Corvic alone for some reason. Perhaps there was something he had to tell him.

“What’s going on in there?” Seamus can already hear the voices of the soldiers outside the metal doors he and Corvic circumvented.

“Stand aside.” A feminine voice rings out louder than the others.

Seamus can't quite place it but it sounds familiar. To his amazement, the metal doors suddenly dissolve into nothing more than dust, giving way to the silhouette of a woman holding a long double bladed staff. “No.” He backs towards the barrier of light in the middle of the room. “Why are you here?”

“I can not begin to express how disappointed I am in you, Seamus,” Maumolla sighs while holding out a blood soaked piece of paper, the very same one brought all the way to the top of the Raldesh Mountains by a dying white dove. “Do you understand what you have done?” she asks in a stern voice. “Do you understand what I must do?”

“Oh thank god,” Tasler sighs with relief. “I was afraid no one was coming. I held him off for as long as I could but it was not enough. Lord Glasstien is dead.”

“You did well,” Maumolla consoles her. “I shall take it from here.” She stalks across the room toward the barrier of light in the center.

“I'm your opponent.” Seamus steps into her path. He knows full well she plans to destroy Corvic for what he has done, just like Grand Bishop Carcan and Louwits in Sliver Bay. He can see the blood surrounding a hole in the front of her shirt and can assume something already injured her terribly on her way here, yet she has no actual wound. Her ability to heal herself is something to be feared.

“I will fight you first, if that is what you desire.” Maumolla takes a stance. Seamus nods in response. As far as he knows she has the power of only one demigod while he holds four. In his mind this one sided fight will not last long. Despite being overconfident, Seamus does not plan to give Maumolla a chance to strike first.

The startled woman leaps back away from him as his right sleeve is shredded by Arma Scov unraveling itself. She is immediately forced to dodge a second time as Arma Sorn flies at her from the left. She is actually impressed by Seamus’s initiative. She responds with one of her simpler attacks, slinging shards off from her staff at him. Normally Seamus could simply ignore small projectiles like these and heal from them later but after glimpsing her memories, he knows the secret of Arma Vec; it drains the energy out of anything it touches.

Seamus manages to dodge all of the blade shards by using Turok’s power. He then flickers from in front of Maumolla to behind her, leaving a trail of wire in his wake from Arma Scov. Maumolla gasps as she is suddenly drawn into the air by the razor sharp string and suspended by her limbs in a splayed out position. Seamus then uses Arma Sorn to knock her staff out of her hand, rendering her defenseless.

“Alright, stay still,” he coos softly. “As long as you do not move, it won't cut you.” Maumolla is taken aback by his apparent concern for her. She was almost sure his intention was to kill her the same way he has ended all of the other demigods he has encountered so far.

Slowly Maumolla shifts her aura to her arms and legs with Brecha’s power. No matter how much strength she focuses though, she can't seem to pull the wires far enough before they simply tighten again. She is incapable of generating the necessary amount of momentum to simply rip the wire out of the walls Seamus has anchored it to. “I warned you not to struggle,” he scolds her. “That thing will peel your skin off faster than even you can heal.”

Seamus’s eyes travel along Maumolla’s limbs as he waits for Arma Scov to draw blood. Something is wrong though. So far the razor wire has yet to even penetrate her skin. “What is this?” Seamus raises a confused eyebrow.

Maumolla is not even paying attention to him though. She has closed her eyes and is trying to focus on her staff, which is lying on the stone floor a few feet away. Seamus is startled when three bumps suddenly jut out of the side of it, pushing it off the floor and launching it into the air. Maumolla catches it in her right hand and spins it around as best she can despite her movement still being restricted.

Seamus lunges for her but he is too slow. The moment Arma Vec touches Arma Scov, it begins to absorb it. The thin wire slides into the staff like a snake slithering down a hole. Seamus wraps the end of the wire around his wrist tightly but it does no good. The razor string actually severs his hand before disappearing into Arma Vec completely. “No.” Seamus shakes his head in disbelief as his hand starts to re-grow. He has just lost his favorite of all of his weapons.

“Well, this is interesting.” Maumolla transforms her staff into a white razor wire the moment she lands on her feet. It coils around her wrist repeatedly, creating a thin layer of metal like a gauntlet. “Careful not to move too much or it’ll cut you,” she gives Seamus the same warning he gave he before punching him in the side of the face. The razor wire actually shreds part of his cheek.

Seamus stumbles backwards dizzily as he heals his wounds. Despite his obvious anguish at losing Arma Scov, he can not afford to let his guard down. After glancing at Arma Sorn for a moment, and deciding not to risk losing another powerful weapon, Seamus resorts to using Wan’s power to change himself into something more dangerous. His teeth begin to grow sharper as he crouches down on his hands like an animal.

He has chosen to turn into a wolf for reasons unknown. Perhaps it is the most dangerous thing he can fathom at the moment. Maumolla steps back but her trailing leg is caught by Seamus’s powerful jaws. His teeth tear the bottom part of her robe to shreds but they are unable to penetrate her skin. Seamus whimpers like an injured dog as Maumolla kicks him hard enough to send him flying into the barrier of light behind him.

“What have you done?” he gasps as his form returns to normal. He can see the red glow in her eyes. She has inherited the one power Seamus was unable to overcome. “It’s not fair.” He shakes his head in disbelief.

Maumolla nods in agreement. She has experienced the same sinking feeling multiple times in her life. The worst time was when she was fighting in the arena of Sliver Bay against the original Maumolla and was furious when she realized that her opponent was a full-fledged demigod with an Arma. It was not a fair fight at all. Then again, nothing about her life has ever been fair.

Seamus flickers from sight as Maumolla’s metal encased hand impacts with the barrier exactly where he stood a moment ago. The white light is immediately absorbed by her energy leaching Arma. The entire barrier dissipates before her eyes. The moment she blinks, she is knocked backwards off her feet by Corvic, who she has just released from his prison. When she lands on her back, he stomps on her chest but vanishes before she can touch him with Arma Vec.

“I’ve been looking for you for a long time, Corvic,” she mutters as she stands up cautiously. From the Red Warrior’s memories she knows he does not fight head on. He is always slinking in the shadows, waiting for the chance to strike. Neither of his attacks were able to damage her stone hard skin but he has proven it possible to knock her off balance.

She spins around in response to a noise only to find Seamus standing before her. His hands look like they are made of metal, a result of his shape shifting powers to be sure. When he punches her stomach she actually feels a slight bit of pain. It seems even the Red Warrior’s power has its limit. She can not rely on it for everything. Instead she blocks his next punch with her own metal encased hand. Seamus screams while stumbling backwards as his skin is promptly absorbed by the metal eating weapon.

A smile spreads across Maumolla’s face as she moves her hand closer, drawing the iron out of his blood through his raw flesh and weakening him. Seamus’s face becomes more and more pale as he looks like he might pass out at any moment. Maumolla only falters when she is interrupted by Corvic, who digs his fingernails into her spine as hard as he can the moment he flashes behind her. Having fed on Lord Glasstien he actually has some of the glowing white aura the old man demonstrated and is actually able to penetrate her tough exterior.

“Wow, that actually hurts.” Maumolla reaches over her shoulder and grabs him by his arm, swinging him up over the top of her head, smashing his trailing legs into one of the rafters above and bringing him crashing down on the stone floor, creating cracks like Brand always did.

Corvic spits out a mouthful of blood as he stares up at the completely unfazed demigod. Any injury he managed to inflict has already healed itself with the combined abilities of the Titian Witch and the Violet Champion. He on the other hand is a complete mess. His legs are twisted uselessly after having hit the rafters above. The same sinking feeling is starting to affect him as well. This fight is not fair.

Maumolla raises her right leg into the air, preparing to bring it down on his skull. Corvic barely manages to lift his right arm, bringing Arma Lita up from his belt. Maumolla hesitates for a moment as a sense of longing overtakes her. It has been over ten years since the Red Warrior last held his own Arma. She wants it badly.

Corvic flashes away as soon as Maumolla tries to grab Arma Lita. He reappears seated atop one of the rafters, dangling his useless legs in the air. His eyes are glowing red with a slight ring of white around the edge. The chain of Arma Lita is wrapped around his wrist and the scythe is swinging back and forth. “Give that to me,” Maumolla hisses at him through gritted teeth.

“Can you hear them?” Corvic cups his ear. “Can you hear the voices? No one who has ever held this weapon has ever known peace.”

“That’s because you’re not me.” She leaps a good twelve feet into the air in an attempt to grab the dangling scythe. It slides against her hand, failing to slice her but she can not hold on as she falls back to the floor below, making a crater when she lands.

“I do have a knack for killing demigods. Perhaps I should try it out on you,” some of Corvic’s confidence has returned.

“Why are you smiling?” Maumolla’s voice starts to tremble. “How can you sit there with a smile on your face like this is not all your fault?”

“I'm merely a piece in the puzzle of Lord Glasstien’s demise,” Corvic disagrees.

“Not him, me!” Maumolla screams. “You are the one that killed Genlock. You are the one that pushed Maumolla over the edge again. You took the one thing that was keeping her sane and you destroyed it. You destroyed it and you created me.” Her eyes are cycling between four separate colors.

“Oh.” The smile fades from Corvic’s face. He knew she was using the power of the Red Warrior alongside her own but now he can see that she has inherited Ardine’s and Brecha’s powers as well. His heart is beating loudly in his chest. This fight has gone from unfair to impossible. He can not win. There is not even a remote possibility. “Run!” he shouts at Seamus while flashing from view.

Maumolla uses Brecha’s power to focus both her purple and red aura’s on her feet and kicks off the floor again. It actually starts to crumble beneath her as she launches herself at Corvic. He becomes visible again the moment she reaches him. The metal wire around her hand unravels and wraps itself around him instead. He tries to use Arma Lita to cut it but it is immediately absorbed by the white metal.

As the pair starts to fall from the rafters, Maumolla repositions him beneath her. They smash through the crumbling floor below and the next several levels, coming to a stop only when they reach the stone courtyard. The crater around them is twice as large as any Brand ever managed to form and there is a hole straight through Corvic’s chest from Maumolla’s foot, still glowing both purple and red.

He wheezes helplessly as he tries to escape the binds of the white wire around him but it is no use. He almost seems to be vibrating in place as he fails to flash from view. “This is for everything you put me through,” Maumolla whispers as she kneels down on his chest. He tries to jerk his head away as she touches her hands to the sides of his head. Her eyes are glowing bright blue and purple as she pours more energy than he can hold into him.

Seamus flickers from the inner sanctuary to the ground below in time to see Maumolla release Corvic. She uncoils her white wire from around him and steps back as he starts to convulse with the energy coursing through him. His eyes are glowing brighter than ever while also pouring blood. His skin is starting to sear black like he is burning from the inside out.

“No!” Seamus hears a shout from the entrance to the courtyard.

“What are you doing here?” He turns to face his mistress. Row is being led into the courtyard by several soldiers. Her arms are chained behind her back but that does not stop her from sprinting towards her brother as he continues to convulse on the ground.

“It’s too late.” Maumolla catches her by the trailing chain so she can not reach him. Corvic suddenly stops moving, lying perfectly still in the center of the crater.

“Why?” Row screams at the woman holding her back.

“He deserved it,” Maumolla answers bluntly. “He is the reason for all of this.”

“But he was my brother,” Row wails. “I need him. He can't be dead. Seamus, kill her!” she gives her servant an order.

Maumolla tosses Row away while lifting her staff, which has transformed back into its normal shape, in time to block another punch from Seamus’s metal hands, which have managed to restore themselves. Again Arma Vec simply absorbs the metal, ripping it from Seamus’s skin and eliciting a pained scream.

“Seamus, use stone!” Row shouts while scampering across the ground from where she landed and sliding into the crater to check on her brother. Dutifully Seamus’s hands turn to stone as he shifts forms again. Maumolla blocks with her staff but is shocked when the slender white metal bends and snaps. His fist connects with her chest, shaking her body to the core and snapping one of her ribs.

Her breathing becomes labored as the shard of bone punctures one of her lungs. Seamus does not let up though. He punches her repeatedly in the sternum, cracking her bones with every hit. She has not mastered how to maintain the power of the Red Warrior constantly and it shows. She uses Brecha’s power to focus as much of her aura on her front as possible, only to have Seamus flicker behind her and continue his assault across her back.

She actually falls to her knees, cracking the ground when she hits it. She is gripping the two broken halves of her staff tightly making sure not to let either one go. Slowly the one in her right hand transforms into Arma Tua, which she slashes Seamus with while spinning around. His stomach splits open, allowing some of his guts to spill out. He stumbles backwards while flapping his mouth wordlessly in shock. He had forgotten what it felt like to be cut by Arma Tua.

Maumolla’s breathing is more erratic than before. She is trying to focus her aura on multiple parts of her body at once. As soon as Seamus has closed the hole in his stomach, he flickers in front of her, not wanting to give her a the time to recover. Her eyes glow orange the moment he touches her though. Row can actually see his green aura leaving him and encompassing Maumolla, who promptly flickers back to a safe distance again.

“What did you do?” Seamus shouts while trying to activate Turok’s power to no avail. “Give it back!” His eyes glow bright yellow as Arma Venture protrudes from his forehead. He does not know if he will be able to control Maumolla but he has to try.

Before he can even try to give her an order, Maumolla has flickered in front of him and head knocked him the same way Brand always does. Seamus falls backwards in shock as what remains of Arma Venture shatters before his eyes. The chipped pieces of antler fall uselessly at his feet. Looking up he can see one of Maumolla’s eyes glowing orange and the other one yellow. She has just used Brecha’s power to absorb the Golden Clairvoyance as well.

Seamus scampers back along the ground in panic. He has only one useful power left. “Here.” Maumolla slices his forearm with Arma Tua. “Go on, heal from that.” Seamus shakes his head slowly. “I can't take your last power until you use it,” she informs him. “Shift you form so already.”

“No!” he refuses outright. “You can take all of my other powers but you’re not getting the Silver Shape Shifter. I need it. I'll die without it.”

“You’re too reckless,” Maumolla scolds him. “You’ve become reliant on a power that is not yours. Give it to me.”

Seamus knows that Brecha’s power does not actually allow her to steal his powers. She is simply absorbing his stored aura like Row does when she feeds on him. Eventually it will wear off and the power will return to him. Unfortunately he will be defenseless long enough for her to kill him and take the rapture.

“Come on, just do it already!” Maumolla slashes him across the chest with Arma Tua, slicing several of his ribs.

Seamus starts to sputter as blood fills his lungs. He will die in less than a minute if he does not activate Wan’s power. A look of relief washes over both Maumolla’s and Row’s faces when his eyes finally turn silver. He almost seems to be crying though. Maumolla waits for the wound on his chest to heal completely before she touches his shoulder, absorbing his last useful ability.

Seamus sits on the ground staring up at her in utter terror. He has just lost everything. “Please don’t hurt him!” Row leaps out of the crater, leaving Corvic’s body behind. “He’s all I have.” She cowers down in front of Seamus.

“I promise,” Maumolla whispers while brushing past her and touching the sides of Seamus’s head. He jolts in shock as the energy starts to flow into him.

“Stop! What are you doing?” Row scratches at Maumolla’s hands to no avail. She can assume that this is what happened to her brother.

“Stand back.” Maumolla lifts Row and tosses her away as a beam of mixed light shines down from the sky, encompassing Maumolla and Seamus together. Row can see four separate glows moving from Seamus’s eyes to Maumolla’s as he actually loses his powers permanently.

The moment the rapture ends, Maumolla flickers a few feet away, allowing Row to rush to her servant’s aid. “Seamus, are you alright? What did she do to you?” She hugs him tightly. Slowly he sits up properly and starts to stroke the back of her head.

“Ma’am!” all of the soldiers that have been watching stand to attention when Maumolla turns to face them.

“The nine hereby withdraw from the service of men,” she addresses them sternly.

“What?” they are all utterly confused.

“I now hold the powers of all nine demigods and I hereby revoke our offer to protect and serve humanity. You will hence forth rely on yourselves.”

“You can't do that. You can't abandon us,” they are all furious.

“I can do whatever I want.” She flickers from view, leaving them all screaming in anger.

Slowly the noise dies down until all of the soldiers are now surrounding Seamus and Row. “What should we do with them?”

Seamus brings Row’s face close to his neck and pushes her fangs into him so that she can finally replenish her strength. He will be unable to fight anymore, meaning she will have to survive on her own from now on. “Throw them in the dungeon with Sir Castine and his marshals!” Token’s voice rises above all of the rest. “We shall let the new Lord Glasstien judge them when he arrives.”

Just prior to the rebellion, Lord Glasstien’s son and his family had gone on a trip to visit one of the neighboring territories, removing them from harm’s way. With Lord Glasstien’s death, his son has officially inherited his title and his territory. He has also inherited to the responsibility of judging all involved in the rebellion who survived. “It’ll be alright,” Seamus assures Row as they lift her away from him by the chains still on her wrists.

“I'm sorry I made you do this,” she mopes as they bind his wrists as well.

“You just wanted to help your brother.” He forces himself to smile. Row glances at the crater where Corvic is still lying. Her attempts to revive him were futile. Even if she had enough life force to give him he was already dead. Ordering Seamus to save him was completely pointless. They involved themselves in this needless rebellion for nothing.
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