When Love Turns Macabre

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Armory

“Shh! It’s me, calm down.” A familiar, gentle bass hushed. Saphira breathed an eased sigh, turning over her shoulder with a wide grin.

“Mako!” She whispered, relieved to finally have found him.

“Come on, I found the armory. We need to snatch a sword and bail ASAP.” He pulled her out of the column and raced down the halls by lamp light broken in multicolored, stained glass sunlight intervals. He had a purloined set of armor placed over his cloak, his skull wrapped in the familiar blue monster mask to save energy.

They fled to the chamber of weapons, Mako holding the door shut behind him. They had no pursuers, but Mako wouldn’t do without the precaution.

“Pick one. Make sure you’re comfortable with the weight and everything, we can’t afford slack.” Mako warned, grip on the handle ready to pull. Saphira paused in awe at the size of the place, even more weapons of much better luster waiting in the confines. She didn’t have to search too far, tossing her ruined blade aside and picking up a shining, pristine sword with a guard made of steel and a blade made of crystal.

Saphira took the bone grip in both hands, flexing her fingers over it one by one and giving a weak smirk. She cut the air with some test swings. The weight was comfortable, heavy but easy to dance and weave with. There was a familiarity in her movements. Strength in her step and grace in the way she cleaved. Mako realized he may not have to teach her much of anything if her muscles had kept their memory.

His thoughts were interrupted by a loud bang at the door behind him. He pulled as hard as he could against the strain on the other side. Saphira looked for a window or back exit, finding the other walls smooth.

“This is getting difficult to hold..!” Mako groaned, a stream of emerald spirit wrapping around his arms, strengthening his grip. Saphira sharply inhaled and shook her head.

“Mako, there’s no other way out!” She called. Mako winced, losing his hold on the door. The guards burst through the door, spears to the pair’s throats backing them to the center of the armory. Mako grit his teeth, looking at her and clenching his fist, a twinge of piercing pain stabbing his core.

“Hm, I didn’t think we’d find the runt of the pests in our own den.” The demon purred as he stepped out of the crowd. His armor glistened in the lamp-light, a terrifying glint in his sharp eyes. Mako ignored the nagging instinct in his skull telling him to vanish and flee. He wasn’t going to leave her here alone.

“Who are you calling a runt!” Saphira barked, shakily carrying the sword in front of herself.

“You, dear. I thought you were taught better than to run into obvious danger. Seems you creatures aren’t as smart as I thought.” Luxur chuckled. Mako furrowed his brow, his grip slacked a moment in his confusion.

“You-! Argh!” Saphira bit her tongue, barely containing her rage in her tiny body.

Mako drew his scythe, ripping off the breastplate and releasing his wings. The humans gasped, murmuring among each other. Luxur squinted, his smile never dropping.

“I thought something felt off about you,” Luxur raised his fists, spiked knuckles decorated his hands, “Death himself is protecting you, is he?” Saphira rolled her shoulders, looking to Mako for confirmation. He didn’t move, didn’t even return her gaze. His eyes were stuck to the demon.

“That is none of your business.” She growled finally, Mako’s silence not helping. Luxur cocked his head, the spear handlers taking the cue to get behind the pair and stand at attention, surrounding them. The grin on the demon sent a shiver through Saphira. She hesitantly stepped back. Mako stood stiff, waiting for the demon to make a move, silent.

“I should’ve known. After all, a zombie needs it’s keeper, doesn’t it?”

The spearmen jabbed at them, nicking Saphira’s arm before she had prepared herself. She cut through the poles that jabbed at her, the metal heads falling to the stone floor rendering the spears virtually worthless. She launched at the men behind them, keeping them away from the reaper.

Luxur threw a right hook at Mako, connecting with the scythe grip blocking his knuckles. Mako’s fierce mask hid his face, the horns arching back, toothy scowl catching the surprised noise involuntarily escaping him from the force of the blow. Luxur swung his left, then right again, going in for a swift kick at his legs. Mako met each blow with his scythe, silent and immovable.

“Hmph, guess I shouldn’t underestimate you.” Luxur decided.

Mako growled in reply with his mask tipped, his horns appeared tall on his head. Luxur kept his chin down, his chipped, broken horns much smaller than the faux replicas on the mask. A crinkle on his brow, creased in twitching rage at the sight. Luxur leaped at him, Mako swinging the scythe down on him before he could try again, catching him in the air and throwing him to the ground.

Luxur hit the floor hard, rolling onto his side and picking himself up swiftly. He rubbed his stomach and tightened his fists until his knuckles turned white. Mako scanned the ring of mortals surrounding them, catching a still glint on one of the breastplates ahead. Saphira skidded past him, wiping blood off her lips and returning to her own battle.

Her sword didn’t cut as well as she thought it would, but the wounds it caused were well enough. She cut through replacement spears as soon as they lunged at her. They grew agitated, and she couldn’t help but laugh.

They tossed the spear poles aside and took the secondary swords from their hips, crashing blades with her.

Saphira pushed away from the crowding blades, crying out as steel sliced her skin. She clasped the gash and checked the amount of blood. She ducked under a stray arch and swept the legs out from under her attacker. She stabbed into their arm between the pieces of armor. The man howled, folding in pain.

Saphira backed into Mako and panted, casting another desperate look at him. Mako had his eyes stuck at some unknown point above them. His arm hung somewhat limp, Luxur bleeding profusely from a deep cut to his bicep climbing up to his neck. His devilish grin is unwavering.

“We’ll be leaving,” Mako muttered, launching into the air with her in tow. Luxur turned to an adorned, gaping man blocking the doorway.

“You idiot, get them! Close the skylight, something!” He ordered. The adorned one blinked and flipped the switches under the skylight, aimless and confused. Mako covered Saphira and broke through the window, faltering in altitude a moment before scaling the kingdom and fleeing.

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