Chapter Twenty-Three: Interesting...
The stood outside the moat of the half breed castle. The drawbridge was broken, and the walls seemed to be crumbling. Thankfully, there was no water in the moat, that was also falling into itself.
Nightingale stood next to her bondmate and the young Dbogt "Little Brother." He had come to report a bit of disturbing news to the young half breed. Apparently, her young friend Faas had been dead for years, and also the man called "Grey" had also been dead for quite some time.
Devika, the young lady who had a large crush on Akio, had come to visit earlier, before they had made the long and perilous (annoying, very much so) journey to the Kingdom of Shining Stars. She had much to report about the moments of remaining demons, and magical creatures in the inner parts of the realm. She also was kind enough to give all the members of the party good luck charms.
That all lead to Nightingale standing at the gates of her real home. It was supposed to be something monumental and ground shaking, but really, she just wanted to get this nightmare over with.
Faiamitsukai looked up at her curiously. *Are you ready?*
"To go in?" Nightingale asked absently staring at the splintered draw bridge that was propped up against the crumbling stone arch way.
"Of course, but we aren't really waiting for me," Nightingale grasp the hilt of her sword. She was waiting for her "comrades" to join her. They had been preparing for some time now, all expecting difficult battle ahead.
*It's funny, it's just like out of one of those books you read to me when I was little.* She looked over to Little Brother who was waiting for the gathering to wish Gale luck.
Nightingale snorted, "Right."
It seemed like forever before Horatio and Uzziel had finished their preparations. They looked like their usually selves, except Horatio's bow was polished and restrung and his lyre was in better condition than it had been. They both looked like they could take on the entire world. The elf nodded to Nightingale and she gave him a respectable nod back. Why not? He could be the last hot guy she ever had the chance of meeting and getting along with.
Akio, dressed in his usual attire, with his magical gloves and little rose talisman. Ymir was prancing besides him, and the only thing that was really different was that Akio had his large wings out. The stopped besides Gale and Faia with smiles on their faces.
Gabriel slipped out from seemingly nowhere. She had decided to sneak up on the gathering people. Aziz had decided to decorate her with small flowers for the occasion. (He had an odd sense anyway.) Speaking of the unicorn, he trotted up to the group in human form. He was grasping his newly polished staff and his talisman in his other hand.
Nyx came alone, with her shield in hand. Nin had been left in charge of all the creatures who were too weak to fight or who had decided not to. The young blonde had said she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself, so Nin had agreed to take charge.
Roberta had her staff in hand, she was dressed like she usually was and she appeared to be ready to face her worst nightmare. Provocare was by her side, humming happily. He was not clueless, far from it, he was just happy to see this story would be coming to a close very shortly.
Adrastos, white robes and all, came down the beaten path with the Haken queen by his side. Valora looked ecstatic to go into battle, she was prancing like a war horse.
"Is everyone ready?" Nightingale said looking back over her shoulder.
The group nodded or said their yes of agreement.
"Then let's head out."
"Good luck," Little Brother whispered as they set off.
The half breed bit her lip. The group had been separated, she and Faia were now pinned to a wall in between magical attacks from both sides. "Faia," Nightingale whispered as a small fireball formed into her hand, "Can you hit them with your Fury Flame or maybe your Snow Beads?"
*Fury Flame--but do we really want to kill them?*
"We don't have much of a choice, regrettably, unless you have some alternative."
*I wish I did.*
Nightingale sighed, "All right. On the count of three." Faia nodded. "One. Two. THREE!"
They both charged letting out massive balls of fire, the enemy had now way to defend themselves. Nightingale and Faiamitsukai were heading to the inner chamber of the castle, and nothing was going to stop them.
Akio watched as the minions before him crumpled into piles. Ymir was taking his anger out on the guards who were trying to pin him down. Somehow everyone had been separated, and brought to different corners of the Half Breed Castle. The demon growled and concentrated a large amount dark magic into his gloves. "Are you idiots going to tell us where we need to go, or are we going to have to obliterate you all?"
They only responded by attacking him with more vigor.
"If that's your answer... I hope you think it's worth it." With that he let his dark magic fill the area, and a good amount of the minions fell to the ground dead.
Akio watched as several run by him on fire. Apparently Ymir's attack had missed its mark by a bit.
Nyx's shield clanged as a few attackers bounced off. "Aziz! Gabriel!" There was a sickening thump as bodies hit the wall. It was followed by various thuds and knocking of wood. The young woman peered over her shield to catch sight of the panting Aziz and Gabriel with her back arched and wings flared.
"We need to get out of here," Aziz said between pants.
*What we need to do is find the others!*
"Easier said than done," Nyx said as she shuddered behind the weight of someone smashing against her shield. "I don't know how much more I can take of this."
Gabriel let out a deep growl, *Not for much longer, we're going to clear a path!*
Adrastos stood at the doorway of the throne room. Provocare and Roberta were to his left, Valora stood to his right. "Are you sure about this?" Valora asked curiously.
"I have to face her sooner or later, and we're the only ones here."
"We can wait," Provocare suggested.
Adrastos sighed, "I'm going in." He reached for the door knob and struggled to pull the giant doors open. After a good ten minutes he finally opened it far enough to fit him and Valora through. What they found inside was more interesting than they had expected. Ava was sitting on the throne with her legs crossed in a skimpy blue bikini. Her silver hair was disheveled and reached down to her waist. She had a smirk painted on her face as she spoke.
"My dear brother, I'm so happy to see you and your... friend?" She eyed Valora.
"My bondmate," Adrastos growled.
Roberta slipped in, shortly followed by Provocare who she held back, he was chattering about something shiny once again.
Ava froze, "Roberta? How DARE you return!"
"It's nice to see you too mother," She whispered as she tugged on Provocare's sleeve. He was now a puddle on the floor whimpering about his toaster.
The enraged platinum haired woman stood up in her furry and walked down the few stairs that set the throne apart from the rest of the room. Suddenly, without the slightest incantation a ball of energy formed in her hand. Adrastos felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up, this was no ordinary magic, this was something far stronger than even he, a Grand Sage, had not even mastered. Slowly, Adrastos backed up, and nodding to Valora, who had all ready caught on and was tugging on Provocare.
Bob had already chanted a spell quietly and was ready to erect a barrier at any moment. The furious Ava took another set forward, and the world seemed to go silent. Suddenly there was a loud crash as the doors flew open.
Horatio was on the other side, along with his large bunny dragon. He looked like he had been through hell and back, and was ready to break down and cry. However he had his bow ready and pointed at Ava. "So this is the villain we've been searching for?" He whispered, though it echoed in the chamber.
"Villain?" Ava smirked as the energy grew larger, "Me? I just wanted to improve the world, is that too much to ask?"
"Our mother said it was a sin to lie, Ava." Adrastos growled.
"It's cute for you to say that Adrastos. You never were someone who enjoyed telling the full truth to people. Do you associates even know what and who you really are? I bet your bondmate doesn't even know who you are!"
"You know, old lady, you talk too much," said a voice of a figure that appeared near the doorway. The lighting obscured the face of the person, but the voice was easy to recognize. Nightingale, tattered and bruised had arrived with Faiamitsukai by her side.
"Nightingale is right, you really do talk too much," Nyx had appeared, with Aziz and Gabriel by her side. The minions had done a great number on them.
"Pshaw. I have never been through such an complex," the young Akio snorted as he strolled in with his dragon Ymir.
*Since everyone is here, I suppose we can get the show on the road.* Faia grinned, *I love the smell of roast evil in the morning.*
"You think you can defeat me so easily!" The silver haired woman screamed at the top of her lungs.
"You think after all the shit you put us through that we'd lay down and take your beating?" Provocare said from his corner. Everyone's eyes shot over to him, surprised. "I may be only a Guardian, but I'm not going to let you play games with me."
"How cute. The heroes are now all making a stand and are going to defeat me. The greatest part is, no matter what they do they can't kill the real evil. If they defeat me, they'll die by his hands, if they don't defeat me they'll be dead." Ava was practically singing to herself.
'Faia,' Nightingale thought to her bondmate, 'We hit her with all we have. Fire, and then I can hit her with a spiritual attack.'
'On the count of three.'
*THREE!* Faia used her furry flame without hesitation as she flew above the "front line's" heads. Nightingale quickly chanted her usual fireball spell and launched it at Ava.
The fire sizzled and Ava screamed bloody murder. The flames died around her as she growled and let loose an unusual energy spell.
The group watched the ground in front of them, this was going to be a lot harder than they thought it was going to be at first.
"The little half Shade is going to kill me along with her little dragon." Ava cackled.
"This woman loves to repeat herself," Akio muttered.
"She's possessed, and she's being controlled like I was," Adrastos said as Valora growled deeply.
"This woman, your sister, needs to be stopped," Valora looked to Provocare. "Can't you do anything, you're the master of spiritual magic."
"I... know how to kill her, but with the magic she's using I'm sure she could just reflect it back at me." Provocare shrugged, "Countering her with fire magic seems like the best option."
Nightingale was panting, the whole room had just heard something she wanted to keep a secret. Oh well, they had not seemed to notice all that much. "All we need to do is tag team."
"She's right," Horatio said gleefully, "We're basically an invincible team to begin with, we have all types of magic, so one thing has to be able to take her down."
"Let's begin then," Akio said as he walked forward, and past Nightingale, Adrastos and company. "I'll start with black magic, Ymir will follow with his strongest attack. Then it's up to you guys what you want to do." With that Akio began his incantation.
Working together, it did not take very long to defeat Ava. It was like watching a doll fall to the ground. She was clutching her arm as she curled up in a ball on the floor. Nightingale had walked up to her briskly and was kneeling at her head. "So,you were talking about a higher level of evil?"
Roberta sprinted forward, to her mother's side, "Mom!"
Ava twitched and groaned in pain. "Where am I?"
"Mom, are you all right?" Roberta was kneeling by her mother.
"What exactly is going on?" She struggled to sit up and look around. Her eyes went from Nightingale, Bob, and they fell and remained on her brother's face. "Adrastos?"
He looked away, and felt Valora nudge him softly. He still refused to look at his sister.
"This... Oh gods. Oh God." Ava whimpered. "That means he's coming."
"Who?" Nightingale pressed.
The room fell silent. Interesting.