The Warmth of the Hearth

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This Fight of Ours

A rain of ash and lightning, the hair-splitting hum of electricity, fills up the entire ballroom. Two figures, colossal in terms of power, glaring at each other in anticipation. Noah Skye takes a step, hand outstretched behind him as a crackling purple light slithers around it. Kein obliges, closing the distance between them.

A splash of black and indigo, clashing together in swift and constant motions. Thunder roars with each strike, lightning shooting out of Noah’s palms as Kein staggers backward, his smoke in time with the tempo of their fight. Unrelenting, Noah aggressively pushes forward in huge heaving strikes.

“You’ve gone soft Kein.” Noah snarls, eyes manic with the adrenaline. He studies Kein as they move, counter after counter as Noah continues to be on the offensive. Kein’s eyes sweep to the other side of the room as a group of young students crawl their way out of the doors. Noah notices, a grin now forming on his face. “Are you afraid of hurting them? Is that why you’re holding back?” Thunder booms above them, dark clouds now looming over the broken Academy. “You really think you should be worried about them right now?”

A loose wall groans above the students, now on its way to crushing them. Kein panics, sending a blanket of smoke above the children, just in time to save them. A sharp blow hits his stomach with a boom in that small opening, a pain worth a thousand needles pierces Kein as he goes flying, crashing against the concrete wall.

Noah laughs, amused by the irony of a demon saving lives. “What happened to that demon who murdered mercilessly? Making orphans out of children and burning whole cities who stood defenseless as you approached, where is the demon I know?” He delivers a swift kick to Kein’s stomach, still stunned from the previous hit. “For centuries, you have instilled fear into our godfathers. Fear he who brings chaos in his wake! A demon bathing in the blood of his enemies, a ruthless killer!” Noah crouches down, jeering at the now seemingly powerless Kein. “Where is the Ripper that I know?”

A smile. A large blade of sharpened smoke extends from Kein’s palms as Noah barely blocks it with a wall of wind. “Don’t underestimate me Skye.” Kein slowly pushes himself up, a huge grin on his face. He loosens the white tie around his neck, his black suit now torn apart to reveal skin. Blood drips down the side of his mouth, trickling down on the corners of his smile. “I can still rip you apart.”

Carson stands on the sideline, following the plan laid out by Kein. I’ll pin him down, you do what you do when you see an opening. His eyes fall on the battle occurring in front of him, Kein and Skye dancing in a blurry mixture of black and purple. The building shakes with every attack being dealt. “There’s no way he pins him down.” Carson mutters, astonished by the sight.

“Kein!” Thora Loft calls out from the back of the room, the ends of her dress now tattered, dangling behind her. “Skye, get away from him!” She screams, both arms extended towards sky. An enormous gust of wind gushes from her to her target as her eyes burn a violent white.

The wind pauses as Noah extends a bloodied hand towards Thora, her wind now obeying him.

He overruled her control? Carson’s eyes widen as he witnesses the once all-out attack by Thora turn into imminent danger for her. She ducks out of the way as she continues to throw blades towards Noah, only to be overruled by Skye once again. A trail of black smoke sneaks behind Noah, now blocked off by a wall of crimson. “I can’t let you do that.” Carson speaks to a now glaring Kein.

“Carson!” A familiar voice calls out to him as he fends off the darkness. Liz? “Don’t do this!” She screams at him, now running towards the battleground. It’s dangerous here! Ethan Skye appears behind her, looking at him with a blank stare. “Stay away Elizabeth!”

Thora doesn’t falter in her attacks as Noah’s attacks grow weaker, having to focus on fighting both of them at the same time. He’s cornered. They push him backwards when a strong cold wind blasts them away, followed by thick wooden roots attempting to entangle them from the ground. Thora is swept off by Kein, badly beaten as the roots freeze in place.

“Mind if we join in?” Varsha Mistral enters, accompanied by the bulky Rolan Alder. “Three on two seems fair, don’t you think so deary?” She asks Kein who was now catching his breath. “Oh my, for a demon, I must say that you look absolutely stunning! What do you say to being my own personal pet when all of this is over?” She laughs, licking her lips as she eyes Kein from head to toe.

“For someone from the high houses, you are absolutely wonderful at being a bitch.” Thora snarls, ready to crush her skull. “Allow me to put an end to your barking, the sight of your wretched face is now starting to irritate me.” The mark glows as she feels a surge of borrowed power flow within her.

“Thora, your body…” Kein speaks, knowing the strain this decision brings upon her.

She turns to smile at Kein, her eyes welling up with tears. “I cannot lose you again, so we fight this together. I’m with you now, and I won’t ever leave your side.” Her eyes embracing his. He nods, a cloak of black smoke furiously swirling around him. “Good.”

“The lad’s looking hella dangerous now. I say we prepare ourselves for a fucking beating!” Alder speaks, readying his mace as the earth beneath him stirs.

Varsha Mistral readies herself as well, frost now tainting the palms of her hand. “Agreed.”

Noah Skye smiles, the lightning now forming a bright purple cloak around him. Crackling, the sound of live electricity is felt in the entire room. “It’s been a pleasure Kein.” He speaks, his voice arrogant. “But I’m afraid time is up.”

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