The streets of Infernias typically, a pleasant place when I visit, is now crowded, instead of the regular chatter. The roads are a mixture of cheers and rebellion for my trial. The Realm and its people are at odds with one another as some are seeking my freedom. While others seek my demise, my head held high. A defense mechanism that I have taught myself this past year. Being the Lupir Queen, I will not allow my sentence to give those dealing it the glory of seeing my weakness. In honesty, fear was something that I refused to feel, instead with this trial and the death of the only man that I have grown to love; this seems fitting. Something that I am embracing with arms wide open in hopes that the visions of seeing Leonard's limp body being erased from my mind, the looks on his face when I had cleaned his body. An examination of peaceful slumber. I had to fight the urge to wake him up. It seemed cruel to call Arianna to perform the Revival Ritual as Death had taken him so gently. Despite the pain that I had felt from him when his wounds were busted open. By the magik that Cryptika had flowing around the small cabin. His presence seemed warming almost as if he were merely resting.
I now stood in front of Ammon, the Siren ruler, his dark eyes entirely on me, his strong face cold, colder than the blizzards of Halcyon. His robe absent now, as his attire was that of any other creatures, our eyes locked. His gaze seeking the death penalty for my responsibility in the love triangle that his brother and my alter ego. Both were now lying dead in some grave somewhere. The guard threw me to the pavement, "You will show your higher power some respect, you have no authority here, trash."
I swallowed my anger and the iron taste of blood in my mouth. I looked at the young man who had unknowingly signed his death warrant should I make it out of this mess alive. His icy blue eyes glared daggers into my brown eyes, if not for Ammon speaking up. The glares could and would have brought bloodshed, "This creature that stands before us this day has some skeletons in her closet, skeletons that have finally come to the light of day." The sounds of murmurs picked up. "This Lupir that we have so graciously allowed her into our inner circle is nothing but a cutthroat. She has silently used our fears to control us. Yet, she hides behind an innocent child, a child that is one of us, an innocent six-year-old child who has not only taken the life of a great ruler. But also my older brother, however, with these charges against her. I will give this creature permission to defend herself. The reason being she is expecting.
More importantly, before his departure, her husband signed a treaty with us. So with these two reasons she deserves a chance to give us her side, as well as her motives for why she would go behind the back of a man that she 'loved.'" His tone of my love towards Leonard sickened me; the only thing to keep my retort to myself was my fangs clamping down on my tongue to the point of sharp pain radiating through it. "Speak now, Lupir, because I won't regret these words, you and Leonard won't be joining one another in death, for even he had 'some' decency."
I stood to my feet, the crowd backing away a pace or two. However, Felix and Ammon stood unmoved. "You may accuse me of whatever you want Ammon, you and you're little toy here." I motioned my head towards Felix, "You can both beat me to the ground, do whatever you desire. But one thing I deeply advise is that you leave your judgments of my husband to yourselves, as he is no longer here to defend himself. My motives for creating Cryptika are simple. The protection for my family, she served her purposes, and I no longer needed her. So I sought to destroy her, and now that I have, I won't lose a wink of sleep over her or her fling. Her one night stand, your cockroach of a brother Ara Crimson, both are worm bait as they should be," Ammon's face reddened with anger, "You talked about my partner, it was bound to bite you where it shouldn't, Ammon."
I heard chains clatter behind me. As
I saw Ammon hold his hand up to dismiss whatever Felix was plotting, "I see in your expressions, Graceona, that you desire death, but. That would be doing you a kindness, and I'm not in a generous mood after your accusations, so you are to be forgiven from my hands, however." He stopped with a sick smile as his gaze went to the crowd, "Kyra, however, she will pay gravely for your error."
"Kyra, I haven't seen her in a year, try again, Ammon." I casually let the words flow from my lips in hopes of hiding my fears.
Ammon exploded into a fit of laughter, the whispers among the crowd now hushed, as I stared icily at him. Finally, he stopped, "My dear Graceona, you amuse me with your cocky smiles and lack of know-how."
I looked at him. My look seemed to be the one that he had expected, "That is correct, Graceona, your time away from your daughter has cost you. For you see, the man that you have so eagerly welcomed into your home, told secrets too, not all is what it seems." He snapped his fingers, "Darin, bring in our guest of honor."
Moments later, the sight of Darin dragging a beaten and banged up, Kyra, along behind him, her situation outraged me. A soulless look in Darin's eyes; however, the smile showed that mind control was far from his motives. Kyra looked at me as I looked at her. Her eyes gentle though not tearless, she seemed ready for this outcome, as if she knew this was going to happen.
I placed my hand on my wrist band waiting impatiently for my gem to form, "What does Kyra have to do with this Ammon, this is between us!" My fear never failed to betray me once it came to a loved one, but right now, watching what this deranged creature was commanding Darin to do. Once he was one of Leonard's followers and most trusted general's, looking at him now made my blood boil at his betrayal. In just a short period. My anger was clouding my judgment, causing the massive delay in time in my gems summonings.
Instead, the sound of a faint whistling from something traveling at high speeds alerted me. I looked at Ammon, "This has everything to do with Kyra, my dear delusional friend, you will soon learn to keep your rude remarks to yourself."
Soon the ringing of blades brought me to what was going on. It couldn't be, the Afflicted Ones they were here, but for what purpose? I looked at Kyra as she smiled as if to say everything is alright. How could they be so stupid to the threat roaming in the crowd, watching and waiting for their chance to attack?
A loud and mighty roar heard from above. Every eye now on the source as giant fireballs fell from the skies like rain the massive rain of fire crushed many that weren't alert in time as screams soon filled the streets and the people running in terror. The Spirit Warrior Rayth turned against his origins, by the lone Affliction warrior. Ammon looked at me then at Felix, who stood still. Darin looked around his hand, resting on his sword prepared for the confrontation that was sure to come.
The skies were turning a dark red, and the sight of seven black moons appeared as red liquid poured from the heavens. The liquid eating away at the grounds as acid would melt the insides, just like acid, the crimson drops were quick and ruthless. Rayth landed on the ground beside me with a powerful impact, the roar rang out as Ammon, Felix, and Darin stood on the podium, preparing for the onslaught.
I looked at the rider upon the great beast. A creature of beauty whose black leather attire, and long white hair seemed to glow a blood-red aura, and his eyes looked as the Afflicted Ones piercing eyes have been told, dark, soulless. Out for blood, his look colder than possibly Ammon could ever dare to draw forth. He was stunning. He leaped from the Great Spirit's back, landing on his feet with ease with a thud beside me, I looked at him. I felt my fear escalate. His dark eyes looked at me his expression of stone as he drew his weapon without looking away from me he then looked to Felix, for once I saw the little vermin squirm under the man's gaze. The death gaze was looking for its latest victim. The look made me think of Leonard's death glare. The two would surely become friends in thirty minutes. I continued to watch almost seeing a suggestion of a smile hidden by the scowl he wore. The man pointed his sword at Felix's neck, "Let's play a game shall we Ammon, the lives of the girl and the woman in trade for your brother's safe return and you live to fight another day," his voice dark as the gaze he wore.
Ammon looked at the man, "Ara is dead! There is no safe return."
"Mm-hmm, is your role model aware of your unbelief?"
Ammon looked at the man, "Why are you helping me?"
The man beside me, his lip turned upward, but his face still cold, "Believe me, Ammon, this has nothing to do with me helping you. Rather you live in this moment or not is entirely up to you, I'm just here for business. Once it comes to you, I would happily switch to your Executioner, fact. I could care less about you or this floating rock you Sirens want to call a Realm. Your opinions of the Seven Realms differ from mine, thus making me hate you. Ara never was my problem, just you."
Ammon looked at the man beside me, "Leonard Shepherd, death looks good on you, you had me fooled my good man-"
I looked at Leonard, who put his sword closer to Felix's neck, "Death? Now Ammon, just because you buried your brother doesn't mean I stayed underground."
Ammon tilted his head, looking daggers at me, "Graceona, were you involved in this?"
"Nope, this is new to me as well."
"I don't need to explain myself to my family Ammon. If I desire to confide in them, they shall know. I am not a child without a mind to think for myself," Leonard looked at the sky with a smile his eyes closed, "Graceona, had nothing to do with this, this is all my brainchild. Isn't that correct, my darling daughter?" Leonard opened his eyes, looking at Kyra, who wore a smile and eyes filled with tears.
I looked at him, "Why not tell me this, Leonard. I was willing to die for you?"
He looked at me, his cold face-melting just a little, "It wasn't time for you to know, but you dying here isn't your fate." Leonard smiled, looking at Felix as I heard flesh rip, a scream from pain, and Felix fell to his knees. "Now back to the issue at hand, I'll give you another day at life in exchange I want what is mine, I always get what I want."
Ammon looked at Darin, "Release her, Darin. There is no need for us to die here, not because of the Shepherd Clan."
Darin released Kyra who then ran to us, she wrapped her arms around Leonard's neck, weeping. Leonard wrapped his free arm around her, holding her close. His gaze still on Felix then with a kick he sent Felix face-first to the ground. Sheathing his sword looking at Darin, "You have done well, Darin, you may return to the base, your next assignment is with Christian."
Darin smiled, walking away from us. "Kyra, you and Graceona get back to the base and get taken care of I'll be there when you arrive."
Kyra looked at him, confused.
He looked at her walking her to Rayth. As the mighty beast sat down, allowing us to set before a word could be said, Leonard silently ordered the spirit to take flight.
(Leonard's Point Of View)
I looked at Ammon his expression, that of anger, either anger at my words or Graceona's words or a mix of the two. I grinned, putting my hands in my pants pocket, "Calm down Fido, you shall have your revenge, unfortunately for you, not today."
I felt as one large wing come from my back, and I took flight allowing the Realm to become what it was before my summoning.