Master

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Chapter 53

A/N - Please don’t play the song until told, it’s best to wait til the right time

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Lincoln’s P.O.V

“Master, when you finish beating all the bad guys, and this is all over, what do you want to do first?”

I find myself frowning while I try to think of an answer to Kalem’s sudden question.

It’d quite literally come out of nowhere. Not too long ago, we were rutting against one another, sharing each desperate breath before we’d spent ourselves completely. I’d thought Kalem had fallen asleep in the exhausted tangle of limb we’d fallen in, but apparently not.

“Do you not know?” Kalem asks when I don’t immediately answer, his messy head of brown lifting to reveal a small pout that made my heart try to pump again. “It’s okay if you don’t know Lincoln. Sometimes questions can be really hard.”

My lips spread, “They can be, but I do know what I want to do,” I reply as I pull him closer, intertwining our fingers atop my chest so I could have more to him, “I’m just having trouble finding my words, love. You’ve sapped me.”

I’d started trying to use Kalem’s word of the week with him to help him learn, and while I was sure that was part of the reason his pout morphed into a massive grin, it was too proud to be the only reason.

My boy clearly took pride in draining me. There was no denying it with the giggles he made against my chest.

“I’m not sorry,” Kalem replies, his devious smile growing wider by the second.

I loved these sides to my boy, the mix of sweet and sinful, innocent and wrecked, that somehow converged inside of him. It was intoxicating.

Shaking my head, I pull my love in for a kiss that has him relaxing against me like wet sand. The ease of it makes warmth flood my insides, attempting to fill me with the light he carried so freely within him and shared so graciously with me.

“When this is all over, and our enemies are no more,” I whisper against his lips, “I plan to show you the world, love.”

Kalem frowns a little, his head tipping as if he’d never even considered such a thing while such thoughts were what kept me going.

During the lengthy excursions we made to weaken Diablos, where I could only think of returning to my love, I filled my mind with all the ways we’d enjoy the fruits of our labour in the future.

I wanted to show him everything and be there to see his reactions to it all.

How would Kalem react to having a monkey on his shoulder? Would he burn with excitement and love or be too terrified to move? I couldn’t wait to see the first time he would see rain, I knew he’d love the open pour from within my arms.

I imagined the rainforests of South America would take his breath away, as would the unruly cold of Iceland in the winter months. And what of a trip at sea - would my love be prone to seasickness?

That was only within our realm; there were treasures beyond it that I couldn’t wait to show with him, knowing he’d love them all.

"I’d enjoy showing you the better parts of this world,” I continue as I run my free hand through his hair, pushing it back so I can see all of him. “You’ve seen so much of the worst, too much. I want to offer you a different perspective.”

Kalem’s lips quickly spread into an excitable smile as he wiggles above me, interest sparking behind his hazel eyes, “What kinds of things would you show me, Master?”

How could someone say everything in their mind, all at once?

“You’d probably try to pop up and touch the Northern Lights, so that should be our first stop,” I declare, the idea already setting sail in my mind with just that statement.

“What’s so special about the Northern Lights?” Kalem challenges, his chin raising just a little, “I never try to pop and touch the lights at home.”

“Not anymore, no,” My subtle tease makes Kalem’s cheeks burn bright before he tries to burrow into my arm. Chuckling, I pull him free with some effort, “the Northern Lights are one of this world’s most stunning, natural beauties. No words I could ever use to describe it could do it justice.” Kalem’s eyes sparkle with interest, “I promise you will love it.”

“What else?” He spurs, his excitement rushing to take flight now. “From there, I’d have to take you somewhere with a lot of sunshine. You’d probably never want to leave the ocean if we went to one of the many beautiful islands of the Caribbean or the Pacific.”

“But the ocean is water,” Kalem points out with a sudden frown, “you hate lots of water.”

I can’t help my grimace.

The truth was that I’d never enjoyed large bodies of water for personal reasons. It did nothing for me but sour my mood, but Kalem had convinced himself at some point that I didn’t like water because the elf loved it.

Apparently, the curtain rod loved the water, especially river water, which only explained why he was so horrid to me. It made sense that such a disgusting creature would love water in such a fashion.

However, Kalem thought it was the only thing standing between me and the elf being friends.

Blatant nonsense.

“That is true, but I love you more and making you happy is the greatest gift to me,” I reply while I let my fingers trail down to Kalem’s cheek. He immediately leans into it, his eyes falling shut as he presses a kiss to my palm, “so when this is all over, we’ll see the world together, love. Every inch of it, even the parts with lots of water.”

“Okay,” Kalem mumbles against me, his heart hammering hard. “I’ll be happy with making messes all day-” I can’t help my snort, “and I didn’t know if I would enjoy these special Northern Lights or all those islands, but I really love you Master, and I know I’ll love seeing anything new once you’re there with me.”

My heart fills with futile notions of beating again as Kalem’s words wrap around me, holding me close with all the affection he so happily doused me in.

My voice is slightly hoarse when I reply.

“I can not wait, my love.”

The pull of Lyrra forces me to return to the present, to this painful, warped reality that had somehow become my own.

I’d hoped it was a nightmare, prayed for it to be false, but the sound of vampires readying to fight was familiar and too true to deny.

The poignant scent of blood wafting the air, the screech of sleek armour being adorned, the feel of Lyrra burning bright with vampires braced to follow my every command.

I knew the signs of war well. This was real.

Still, my fingers clench shut, trying to catch the ghostly warmth that had filled them in my memories only to find cold emptiness instead.

The tears try to come, but I don’t let them fall.

I’d get him back, and once I did, the scar I’d leave on these wretched vermin would be so deep on the earth that no other would dare threaten our peace again. I would see it so.

“Lincoln, we’re ready.”

With a nod, I wrap my hand around the familiar steel that sat like lead between my fingers as I rise to my feet.

It’d been a long time since I’d taken my sword in hand, and yet it still felt like an extension of me that had never been put to rest, as did the battle armour on my frame.

They were all pieces of another time, of the only time vampires had all fought as one.

Almost four millenniums ago, yet when I looked at the sleek double-edged sword, I could still see that battle so plainly.

A sky turned blood red by dark magic, falling with the daggers that would slice so many of us down before we’d even begun. Hundreds fell, and thousands more died, but no matter how much it ached, we had no choice but to carry on, even against magic at that scale.

It was impossible to face - an assured death sentence, but so was the alternative.

So we’d fought, and at the end of it, they’d fallen to us.

The few was remained watched on while I took my place before them as executioner. On their knees, bound as we’d been, they’d cursed us all, not realizing that they couldn’t condemn their own creations.

I’d pressed the more favourable blade of my sword against the vulnerable skin, memorizing their hateful gazes before I sliced a single path across all their throats.

I could never forget the sight of their eyes rolling, their bodies going limp while their blood sept into the foundations of what would eventually become my home.

It had taken time, too many losses, but in the end, they died.
The same would be made true today because my enemies always died.

When I lift my gaze to Malcolm, who stood within the entry of my makeshift tent, I study the worry in his grey eyes that was the only soft thing about him.

Malcolm had never worn armour. Its inability to morph with him rendered his shifting, but today he wore a black material like nothing I’d ever seen before. Made from some foreign scale, it stuck to him like a second skin, pulsing as if it were alive, but that was undoubtedly the elf’s ever-present magic.

“Do not tell me you worry for me,” I grind out as I step forward, “I don’t want to hear it now.”

We were as close as we’d ever been to Diablos, with all our forces gathered and ready to fight. I’d waited as they’d insisted I do until they were all here, but I would not wait any longer.

Kalem couldn’t wait any longer.

“I-I,” Malcolm struggles for words, his voice cracking slightly as his torment turns visible, “I’ve seen something.”

I stop, my body stiffening as I prepare for the worst, for a revelation that would try to snuff out what little light I had left.

“Does he live?” It’s poisoned agony to speak the words from my tongue, but I force them out anyway.

A single nod, “Yes, but y-”

“It doesn’t matter,”

“Lincoln!” Malcolm argues, the pain in his voice saying more than I wanted to hear.

“It does not matter!” I bellow, silencing him before he could share any more. “If Kalem lives through this, then... it does not matter.”

The pained, fretted look behind Malcolm’s eyes said that it did, that nothing else mattered, but he kept quiet for me.

We both knew that regardless of what the outcome might be, I’d put Kalem before anything or anyone.

Closing the space between us, I rest a steadying hand on his shoulder, “Do you stand with me?”

“Always,” he confirms without hesitation. Letting his hand fall on top of mine, he grips it painfully, almost desperately, “to the end.”

I allow myself just that moment, that single moment, to accept what came next.

If this was to be my end, then I was ready.

As we emerge from the covering, my eyes take a moment to adjust to the unfamiliar terrain of parched grounds and infrequent clifftops that made up the majority of these desertlands, as well as the gathered battle-ready warriors that made up my clan.

From the deepest corners of the earth, every member of our allied clans all stood before me.

I’d called, and they’d answered, all of them.

My connection to each of them was nearly blinding, to the point that it made my nerves thrum. I could feel them all through Lyrra; their will to fight and see my command through - the one that still seared them through like a brand.

“Kill them all,”

Cutting through their lined formation, I take note of our numbers, from the now transformed members of the Anouk clan to the towering members of the Amaris Clan, surfaced from their iced fortress for the first time in history.

Pride tried to swell within, but it withers within moments when I reach the front of our brigade and pass my gaze over Diablos’ force.

We’d known beforehand that we would be vastly outnumbered, but seeing it in person was something else entirely.

They more than doubled our numbers. They almost tripled them now.

From our height leverage, the entire of Diablos’ camp could be seen, unconcealed by magic as we’d assumed it would be. There was a barrier there that stomped all our initial attempts to enter but didn’t hinder our vision.

He wanted us to see it all, to look upon their numbers and know that they eclipsed ours.

Like ants pouring from a nest, bodies stood below, readied as we were in battle lines with three at the forefront that could be no other but Diablos and his allies.

I could feel his gaze burning through me as I was sure he could feel mine, closer now than we’d been since the beginning.

My body vibrated, anxious and desperate to release the barely contained rage that had all but consumed me since I learned that my love had been taken away from me. But I keep it locked within, knowing it’d be better released when the time came.

Still, the temptation was there as I focused my gaze on Diablos. There’d be no greater gift on this world than seeing the light drain from his eyes.

Before I could act on such impulses, power surges from the ground below in a brief warning before Aias and Wequie appear with cross features that said it all.

They couldn’t find him.

“I felt him, felt his power stronger than ever before, but it hard to say whether or not he is still there,” Aias reports quickly, his golden eyes burning with hatred, “the barrier around them taints the air; it blurs the message.”

“But you break through it?” I ask, which causes the elf’s lip to curl upwards.

“Of course, I can. But if Kalem is there, then the moment I breakthrough we put him at risk. You’ll need to attack at the same moment to force their entire brigade directly at you.”

That was enough for me.

If Kalem were there, then we’d save him and kill them all, and if he weren’t, then we’d kill them all anyway.

“The moment you find him, you take him to the castle and keep him safe,” I bite out, which he curtly agrees to, “if he’s not there, then...”

“I’ll find him,” Aias promises, the look in his eyes saying he’d allow nothing else.

I nod, not bothering to ask how he’d manage it.

Aias and I had our differences, but we didn’t doubt each other’s strengths. He’d find him.

“There’s another play at hand,” Wequie interjects while he palms one of his daggers, “newborns seem to make up their bulk. They’re all erratic and untrained. They must be barely turned because they were so frantic they could barely hold their line. They don’t seem ready, and yet...”

And yet, Diablos stood proudly at the front of them all.

Diablos was made for war, specifically for the brutality needed to cut down any force. Warfare was where he shone.

If they didn’t appear ready, it was because he wanted us to think they weren’t.

“He has a plan, but so do we,” I reply with a glance at Malcolm, “we will not lose this.”

A single hesitant nod. It was enough.

“When that barrier falls, we attack. We all do,” I say, letting the command carry through my forces, “not a single life is to be speared. Not one.”

“Yes, Pylen,”

This ended today.

Descending faster than the eye could see, I stop where the barrier sparks before me, the stench of Thoras magic making my teeth grate.

My clan follows without fault, taking their positions and holding them in wait for the moment they’d be allowed to reign terror.

On the other side, with a smile I knew all too well stood Diablos and others I loathed to recognize.

As expected, Lysander, the sixth of our kind, stood beside Diablos, yet his presence still had Malcolm stiffening at my side. Beside them was Iona, the third, whose presence surprised me more than I wished it did.

Lysander wanted revenge, that I knew, but Iona had never liked bloodshed, despite how well her gift to morph any weaponry from blood worked for it. We’d thought she’d stay out of this, apparently not.

But I could not worry about that, only trust that Malcolm would do what needed to be done by killing Lysander and that Wequie would find the strength to do the same to Iona.

I let my gaze settle on Diablos.

It was different than when he’d visited through magic - seeing him again.

Diablos’ presence had always been immense, something impossible to miss, but with the promise of bloodshed so close, it was barbaric.

Adorned in his former battle armour as I was, Dialos stood with his lips and chin coated crimson to mark the bloodied smile on his face. When his reddened eyes meet mine, I catch the way they spark with delight.

Diablos stood as if there weren’t hundreds of thousands behind him, as if he were about to take us all on his own and still believed he’d win.

Almost five millenniums since I’d ignored his pleas to stay, and somehow, he’d remained the same; a picture of eager bloodlust that was a perfect embodiment of what they made him to be - a weapon.

(A/N - I would replay this song for the rest of the chapter if I were you guys, it REALLY sets the mood. It’s Redemption by Mitchell Broom)

“Lincoln!” He shouts, voice carrying far too much excitement, “it has been far too long.”

I don’t reply, only tightening my grip on my sword while I wait.

“I thought this day would never come, why, with you cowering behind your castle walls,” he recounts while he wraps his arm around his trusted spear.

It was such a simple tool, primitive in nature but no less lethal in battle.

So many often fell to its trap, its simplicity tricking them into thinking they had the upper hand, but I knew better. I’d been at Diablos’ side, watched him wield his weapon of death to slaughter thousands in the cruellest fashions.

I suspected it was the only thing in this world he’d ever loved.

“The first,” he mocks, “the best of us,” his smile turns sly, “hiding like a battered animal.”

Anger splinters inside of me, my grip on my sword’s handle threatening to break my bones.

“With that, you could understand why I had to take matters into my own hands and reclaim my slave.”

It’s Malcolm’s hold on me that stops me from attacking, his bruising grip that punctures my skin and keeps me still while I bare my fangs.

“If you’ve harmed him, I’ll stretch your death out for an eternity,” I vow in a near seethe while fear nearly tramples my soul.

“Pleasant thing, I’ve told you that before. So morally just, endlessly faithful and trusting of you,” Diablos’ smile turns vile, “I hope you can still love what’s left of him.”

Karios, Sterling and Alexander’s added pressure holds me.

“But all that hardly matters,” he continues while he pulls his spear free from the ground and straightens, “all that matters now... is death. That yours shall be from my hand is only fitting.”

Readying himself as if he too were waiting for the barrier to fall, Diablos’ eyes turn pitch black, his taunting pleasure morphing into focused intent within a moment.

I shake myself free and take a similar stance as I wait, fangs bared and hungry to tear life from them all.

With Kalem’s innocent smile fresh in my mind, his messy curls atop my chest, I settle in to the feel of Lyrra, into the full power that was all mine.

I’d kill them all. Tear their limbs free from their sockets and spray their blood across these lands, imprinting them in them forever.

Tense, strained seconds pass just as foreign magic surges up from beneath the ground, making the desert dirt crack and shatter as the barrier blazes brightly with a yellow hue.

It sparks and vibrates, almost retaliating in response to the power that was undoubtedly Aias’.

Letting my hold on my clan fasten, I hold steady as I watch as Aias falls in his true form from the parting sky above as if riding the lightning bolt that strikes the barrier at its centre. Sparking and fraying, it resists Aias until he buries his sword deep with a shout that rattles the entire desert.

Rendered to ash, the barrier finally collapses as Aias plunges in with a battle cry that ignites us all.

I don’t waste a moment.

Freeing my hold on Lyrra, I let my power run free to cripple as many as I could on the other side, forcing them to stay glued to their places while I send our front line forward.

In a blur, they rush past me with fangs bared and weapons taunt as they jump and soar through the air like freed arrows aimed to meet their target.

While they fly and the rest charge, I head straight for the one who’d started it all.

Our blades meet in a jarring clash that sends vibrations rattling through us both that shake the ground below us, causing it the splinter into a million tiny spiderwebs.

Only inches away, Diablos’ eyes glint while he smiles at me from over my blade, a low laugh building up his throat. I sneer as I push him back until my sword is free to fly, swinging through the air to slice his head clean from his head.

Dodging, he quickly moves back enough to swivel his spear around his back so it could strike me on its return. I block it and use our second clash to push forward, forcing him back with the same power I bolster my clan with.

Lyrra burns beneath my skin, brighter than ever before as I try to keep hold of their additional forces. I just had to keep them stagnant until enough of them were dead that the playing field was levelled, or I stole a moment to focus enough to bring them to ash.

The task lessens my control on my clan, but they flourish without me, carving all in their path to pieces.

All around us, the sound of war fills the air; the fleeting slice of flesh being torn open, the puncture of fangs into skin, the stench of clotted blood, and the agonized calls that come from those who fall in one final act to paint the dirt crimson.

The first loss of my own chars me.

I knew it was coming, had tried to prepare myself for it, but nothing could’ve prepared me what the sudden, cold and harsh disconnection from my clanmate could feel like.

It was death in the simplest terms; a piece of me died with them, falling like what I imagined a severed limb to feel like.

The burn of it nearly blinds me, fraying my mind enough to let a few of our enemy free from my grasp.

Diablos strikes on my faltering without hesitation.

Launching his spear in one swift move, he immediately advances behind it the moment it leaves his fingertips. He knew it wouldn’t meet his target, but my parry was what he after.

The second the spear spins past my head, Diablos fills my vision, all sharp fangs and hungry eyes as his hands try to grab me.

I bring my order forth, pulling them forward in time to grab hold of him and drag him down before his fingers had a chance to connect. Afraid to lose another, I immediately disperse them before he could take their lives from me too and instead bury him in a pile of his own fighters.

My mind takes that moment to zone in on the chaos spilling all around us.

A blur of bodies moving, launching at one another with the aim of death that had so many bodies falling limply to the ground.

It was a massacre, one we were favoured to lose if we didn’t change the tide to this.

Gathering the strongest of my order around me, I compile them into a makeshift barrier they were used to, to kill any who tried to attack me. With their protection, I focus my energy on seizing as many of those against us as I could, but the ones I ensnare are not nearly enough, not even the bulk.

I could feel them through Lyrra, but couldn’t sink my hold into them for some reason.

I lift my gaze just as three vamps charge at Alexander. She catches two, tears them apart within a second but the third slips through her grasp, burying their fangs into her neck while their fingers dug into her skull.

Chest seizing, I rush forward, reaching for them with Lyrra, searching desperately for something I could connect to so I could kill them where they stood, but there was nothing there.

No bond, no waiting hold for me to sink into, only the infant start to one that was barely there.

By the time I tear the vampire from her, Alexander falls limply in my arms, her eyes barely reaching mine before the light behind them fades, and I feel her leave.

Agony floods me, the pain of it excruciating enough to drag an anguished shout from my throat.

I should’ve stopped it, should’ve killed those measly vampires and yet even as my hand wrapped around the throat of the last one and squeezed until their eyes popped free from its sockets, there was still nothing to connect to.

This didn’t make sense.

Even witch magic couldn’t sever the bond between other vampires and me, only our markers, the ones who’d created it, but they were dead.

It should’ve been physically impossible, and yet... Alexander was at my feet, eyes unseeing.

A roar brings my attention back to Diablos as he frees himself by butchering the vampires I’d buried him in. Guileless to kill his own, he seethes, his rage a live volatile thing, but I could only see red now.

He braces himself a second before I charge at him.

While my speed lets me drag him along the lands, I spread all of my own in the crosshairs afar, letting him slam against his own disgusting vermin until a push from his sends us both toppling.

I find my footing as I skid against the dirt, nails digging tracks within the dirt as I halt and charge again.

Fueled by anger and pain, I bring my sword down in attack after attack, swiping viciously at him while I still struggle to find a hold of those who remain free from my control.

The ones who tore through the air like starving animals, no sense behind their eyes but hunger and the need to kill that was almost primal.

It was like something wasn’t there, like they were missing a piece of them. Behind their bloodied eyes was nothing but their bloodlust, but not from a need to fight, but to feed.

Before Diablos can try to strike again, the ground beneath us trembles slightly.

I sense it easily, the warning surge of the earth’s energy swelling that I’d come to look out for with Aias, but Diablos doesn’t recognize it, not until the ground beneath his feet raises, sending him skyward before a blast of wind catapulted him to the other side of the battlefield.

“He’s not here,” Aias says before he even fills the space, his words coming around me like a whisper that wind had carried to my ears before he appeared in from of me.

Adorned in spotless silver armour that covered his entire frame, his real frame that towered above me with the long sword that rested in his hands, “I killed all their witches and stripped back their magic, their attempts at trickery, but he is not here.”

It was both a relief and new fear, because if Kalem wasn’t here, then where was he?

“Find him,” It’s a plea.

Aias’ now silvered eyes grow wide with poorly hidden shock as he sneaks a glance at the war around us.

“Stick to the plan, and find,” I press to draw his eyes back, “he’s more important.”

Whether he wanted to argue the point or not, vampires weren’t his to protect. Kalem was one of his own, an elf, and he’d said it himself that he was sworn to protect all elves. Kalem came first.

And yet, Aias’ eyes parted again, zoning in to where Malcolm fought viciously with Lysander.

Shifting between forms like a vicious nightmare, Malcolm gave the fight his all. Still, Lysander’s foresight had him avoiding every near-death call, making every attempt to attack from Malcolm near redundant.

But Aias knew, just as I did, that Malcolm was nothing if not enduring; he’d find a way through.

With a parting nod, the winds pick up around us, circling Aias in a mighty torrent that wrapped around him until there was nothing left to him but the fading effects of his power.

Facing the battlefield once more from this elevated ground, I force myself to breathe past the pain of more of my clan falling, using the agony to focus it on the opposing forces I did have a hold of.

I let the torment of losing this clan of people I cared for, loved and protected, overtake me like it had when I almost lost Wequie, until it parts from me in a violent storm that sent thousands crumbling to dust before my eyes.

It wasn’t all of them, not nearly enough, but it was enough to tilt the scale.

While some stopped to stare in shock, the glimmering gold of the Amaris Clan flashed beneath the full moon as their members reacted faster than any other on the battlegrounds. Charging forward with their wide-necked, sickle blades, they take their given chance and attack.

Too fast for even my eyes to see, mutilated remains and severed limbs fall in their wake, the only evidence of their presence.

Mirroring their tactics within my own, I send my clan forward, knowing we could win this if we diminished their numbers.

My body stiffens, instinctual flaring with alarm bells as a shiver raced up my spine.

That split-second warning gives me a single moment to twist out of the way before Diablos’ spear buries itself where I stood only a moment ago.

Only a heartbeat behind it, Diablos crashes into me, sending us both to the ground in an attempt to overpower.

My sword’s upper blade finds his chest before his hands can reach my neck.

Burying the blade in deep, I revel in his hiss as I cast him back before immediately getting to my feet.

Blood sprouts from the incision unabandoned, but Diablos only smiles when he glances down to it and swipes the finger along for a taste.

Not willing to play his sick games, I rush him, meeting him just as he frees his spear to block me, “Do you see it now,” he taunts in a ravenous growl as he tries to swipe for my feet only to swing round for my back, earning a nick from my forearm that draws the first of my blood, “why you won’t win this?”

I ignore his chatter, focusing on returning the favour as I slide my sword down his leg that earns a trail of blood before it closes.

We weren’t built to fight one another, not like this.
This entire fight was stalling, until one of us gained the higher ground to tear the other’s head free with our bare hands.

“I figured it out during our last battle,” Diablos reveals, his voice turning nearly salacious, “you were too busy to see it, to notice the way the fresh ones fought on their own.”

I blink at him, mind struggling to take it in the revelation.

I knew it was a distraction, but I couldn’t fight against it when so many of the free pieces that had ricocheted around my mind slotted into place.

It was why I had such trouble controlling the vampires in our earliest fights. Why the ones who were free now were so manic and desperate - they were likely starved beyond measure. It was why Diablos settled here, where he could turn as many as he wanted.

They were newborns, fresh ones—more than likely less than a day old.

I couldn’t get a hold of a bond that was still forming.

“Ah, you see it,” Diablos confirms with a smile that I barely glimpse as my feet are torn from beneath me.

Driving me off the edge of the clifftop, I watch as more newborns than I could count dive after me, eyes bloodshot and hungry while Diablos watched from behind them.

Even knowing it’s futile, I try to latch onto them, to kill them before their outstretched hands could reach me, but when my back meets the ground, and they swarm me, no command from Lyrra stops them.

I fight them, using my strength and speed to slaughter them with ease, but for every one I killed another, appeared, all attacking in unison.

Blood coated my skin and dripped from blades that sliced them apart, but it didn’t stop the onslaught of newborns who willingly kept attacking.

I reach for Lyrra to bring my own to me, only to stop when I feel so many burn free from Lyrra when they try.

Every attempt to advance to me was struck down as it created an opening to be struck down.

I’d have to handle this on my own then. That wasn’t something that wouldn’t have been an undertaking if I didn’t glimpse Diablos’ frame circling me through the avalanche of bodies already trying to kill me.

It’s then that Diablos’ plan comes clear to me.

The second he saw an opening, he’d strike. But if I prepared for it and took my eyes off the newborns, their joint attacks would be my end. To bring my clan to my aid would kill them and likely tip the scales to their advantage again.

It was a choice; either my clan would die, or I would.

But there was still one vampire I could control.

Withdrawing my power entirely, I free my control from the thousands on both sides as I prepare to focus it all on just one.

I’d never liked controlling Diablos; he was the first I could, and they’d made me inflict all manner of cruel commands on him to see if the chain was as unrelenting as they wished it to be. Every time his crimson eyes met mine, teeming with fear and agony, it’d broken another piece of my still-forming mind.

The first promise I’d ever made to another had been to Diablos - never to control him.

It was one I’d never broken. Even in our battle against our makers, he’d fought on his own, but this was different.

He wasn’t the frightened vampire who’d been brought into a world against his will. This was a sick and twisted manifestation of that person that needed to be put to rest.

Diablos needed to die, now.

So while he circles me like prey and I fight off this neverending sea of newborns, I let Lyrra flood my veins, swelling with unrelinquished power that I prepare for the echo of the man I’d once known.

Freeing it all, I cast it forward with one single focus, one target.

Diablos’ black eyes flicker the moment he feels it, a sliver of alarm setting in as I send the command for his body to break itself down.

But it doesn’t.

He buckles under the wait of it, his knees buckling, but he remains whole.

I press harder, the command blaring loud enough to make him grit his teeth and shake slightly, but still, he doesn’t fall.

My chest tightens, momentary panic crossing through me enough to give the newborns an opening to dig their fangs into every part of me they could.

Blood oozes from me while they tear skin free, forcing a shout from my lips while they all hold me down, each trying to earn purchase while they present me to their leader.

“You didn’t think I’d truly fight you with that power of yours still crippling me,” Diablos sneers while he straightens against the unyielding weight of Lyrra.

I could feel him pushing back against it through the bond, fighting until it gives, snaps free in a deafening crack that renders any connection that still remained useless.

Tightening his hold on his spear, Diablos levels me with a gaze blazing with enough hatred to send an angel to hell.

Gone were the taunts, the mind games and trickery, only the deep-rooted will to kill as he launched himself forward, spearhead aimed for my skull.

But it doesn’t connect. It never gets the chance to as the night skies somehow become even darker, blackening as if an eclipse was setting in.

Diablos’ posied frame disappears from my sight, hurled away by a force that made my skin raise with alarm and everything turn to static to my ears.

The newborns above me turn to dust, their tortured eyes fading to nothing under a power that wasn’t my own.

I try to peer up through the darkness for the source, but that’s all there is, neverending, terrorizing darkness... in the shape of colossal leather wings.

“Kalem?”

---------------

I don’t what it is with me and cliffhangers these days, I really don’t. But AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Thoughts???

What did we think of the fighting? The war we’ve all been waiting for? Diablos? His plan? All our favourite?

ughhhh, Alexander’s death!!!! BAWLING. It’s the worst type of death cause she’s not really that major but she’s been here the whole time ughhh. I literally did not want to do that, tried to fight my own hands. I still can’t believe that happened.

This is the first time I’ve ever written like a proper battle scene I think, so this was actually really fucking hard. Like my eyes are burning and this song is now burned into my head forever lool.

I’ve had this fight in my head for forever now, and I really wanted to get it out in words. I’m not sure if I did I good a job but, hopefully, you guys enjoyed it the way I did!

Now for the cliffhanger! AHHH!! Theories????

Next up is a Patreon Extra and then Master again so don’t worry, the next update should be soon enough.

Please, please vote and leave comments and thoughts!! I’d love to hear back since this was a major chapter.

Until next time,
Byeeeeeeeeeeee Humanssssssssssssss

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