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This article, The Devil Inside, is the property of Noire.
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For the Previous Chapter, see: Leopard in Knight's Clothing

Alternatively, to view the series'Index, see: Set Out!

Fire and Hammer

"Gottes Gerechtigkeit Zerschlagung!"

"Fire Make: Wall!"

The two attacks clashed, creating both an immense wall of fire that raged across the field and an explosion just infront of it. His eye twitching, Gottes turned to Conway and asked "...What the hell do you think you're doing?" Oblivious to the question, the Fire Make Mage simply continued fuelling the Flame Wall with his magic before replying "Helping you?"

"Helping me? I told you not to get in my way"

"And I'm not getting in your way am I?"

"Of course you are! You just sent a wall of fire infront of me just as I was about to run forwards!"

"Well yeah, but that's because a couple of those guys were about to hit you!"

"That's why I used the Gottes Gerechtigkeit Zerschlagung!"

Mocking Gottes, Conway argued "Pfft, Gottes Gerech-what now? You trying to become a suicide bomber or something?"

"I'll have you know, it would take much more than an explosion to kill me!"

"Oh? Well then how about a pillar of fire from your feet?"

Gripping his Hammer with both hands, Gottes turned towards the onslaught of enemies and said "Trust me, I would love that, I could use that to show you how strong I am however, right now there's a bunch of people we have to beat up right now"

Clicking his tongue in annoyance, Conway simply commented "Well that's a shame but anyways...don't you think those guys move a bit weirdly? It's as if they don't even care if they die or not"

Swinging his hammer, Gottes caught a knight in the stomach before following through, sending him crashing into his allies. Hefting his hammer onto his shoulder, he replied "That's true...what if they're all puppets?"

Swinging his arm, a blaze of fire erupted from his hand as Conway said "Idiot, how does that make any sense? They scream when they get burned and grunt when you hit them" Throwing the blaze into the distance, he watched as it exploded, defeating several of the knights that were marching towards the citadel. Continuing their battle, the two fighters worked in conjunction, barely holding back the army from invading the citadel. Swinging his hammer, Gottes caught several of the knights and sent them flying, jumping back as Conway sent a trail of fire blazing directly into the army. With the Witch Hunter taking care of anybody coming close, while the Fire Mage mostly just threw destructive spells into the crowd, it was impossible to imagine that their teamwork would fail.

Back to back with Gottes, Conway asked "Hey...do you think they may have been possessed?" Huffing at the question and the strain he was experiencing, Gottes said "How would I know? Is there a magic that takes over thousands of people?" Grimacing, Conway argued "There are a few...but they normally would have run out of magic by now"

Ducking, Gottes swung randomly, hitting another knight in the head before a blade waa flung towards Conway.

"Watch Out!"

Before the blade hit Conway, it distorted into a mishappen pile of bent steel which was then redirected towards the army, hitting a knight with such force that he was sent flying backwards. Staring at the Mage in confusion, Gottes asked "What the hell was that?"

"What was what?"

"...Nevermind, just don't die next time"

"...OK?"

Generating a large amount of fire around him, Conway molded it into a shape before yelling out "Fire Make: Dragon". The Flames turned into a Dragon that rushed towards the army, scorching several of the knights and incinerating even more. Watching the decimation happen, Gottes commented "You know...you could have done that much earlier...right?" "Probably" "Well then why didn't you do it before?" "I just remembered I could do that"

Looking at Conway with irritation, Gottes simply muttered "Idiot" before continuing to observe the Dragon take care of the army on its own.

Saving Cocytus

"Three, Two, One!"

His hands covered in blood, Mirone pushed down on Silas' chest, attempting to create an impromptu defibrillator. Pushing down once more, his efforts only succeeded in causing blood to splatter out of Silas' mouth. Hearing Mithra's whimper, Mirone swore before gathering the bandages once more. Tightening them, he wrapped it around Silas' chest before once again pushing down on his chest. From underneath his palms, the heartbeat was becoming much fainter, it resembled a tiny, fragile, beating clockwork that was held in the palm of his hands. Heavily panting, Mirone once again pushed down at Silas' chest, the one thing he knew how to do.

"Damn it...Silas, I'm not going to let you die!"

Punching Silas' chest, Mirone got up and turned around, taking a step outside. Alarmed by his action, Mithra also got up and ran towards him, grabbing his arm and asking "Wait, what're you doing? Silas...he's still alive!"

Staring at the blood soaked body, he shook his head and said "Right now... what he needs is medical attention, not some guy pumping the blood out of his body. Stay with him, Tethe' should be back soon enough"

"What? What's Tethe' gonna do in a situation like this?"

"Nothing much, maybe provide moral support"

Slamming her hands down upon the table, Mithra cried out as she practically screamed "Mirone! This isn't a game! Silas could die right now and you're just going to leave?"

Scratching his neck awkwardly at the sudden accusation, the warrior simply shrugged before walking out of the corridor and into the daylight, stepping onto the dry sand that was the Arena. Looking straight ahead, he observed as Dante viciously attacked his pale looking opponent, pounding him with several punches that could easily wreck a building. Narrowing his eyes, Mirone stared at the opponent before taking a step forward. He didn't like it but it was about time he joined the fray. Saving Cocytus could wait, right now he had to defend his home.

Through the Steel

A clash of metal and then sparks flew from the blades. Shifting her feet, the red haired woman swung at her opponent, her blade easily shredding through his armour as if it were made of paper. Using the momentum from her swing, she turned around, raising the blade to block an overhead strike from another opponent. With ease and through years of experience, she shifted to the side, nudging her blade so that it was side to side with her opponent's blade. Slicing straight down, her blade made a clean, straight cut that ran from his head to his stomach. Drawing it back, she lunged forwards, stabbing him straight into the heart. Twisting it once it was inside, the red haired woman once more drew it out, attacking another opponent who had tried to sneak up onto her. Bashing him with several heavy blows, she began to smile, eyes slowly widening as she observed her blade clash with his; before it slid into an opening and cleanly severed his head.

The head flew up and landed behind her by a fair distance. Gathering around, a large number of opponents surrounded her before charging all at once, intent on taking her down. In a mad smile, the red haired woman began to slash and stab at her opponents as if she were in a frenzied trance. Madly grinning, she hacked at her opponents, shouting with every time that she attacked "DIE DIE DIE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" Relishing in the blood that was flying everywhere, her attacks only grew stronger and wilder as the battle drew on. Lunging forward, her blade ran straight through one of her opponents, before wildly turning her body, shredding it through his and into another's. Jumping up a fair distance, she raised her left hand however, upon remembering that magic was sealed within the citadel; said "...ah, now I'm sad" before resorting to attacking with her blade from above.

Observing his sister's rampage from afar, Serum sat on a roof crosslegged, observing the destruction occuring around him with a neutral expression. Homes were being burnt, people were perhaps being slaughtered and he held no doubt that Silas was struggling to survive however, he did nothing. As a mage from Pergrande, Serum held no obligations to the country Seven, nor did he hold any responsibilities to the citadel Pilse Navarina. And yet, if that was all true...why was he feeling such strong feelings to fight? Forcing himself to stay seated, Serum observed his hand, seeing it tense up into a fist, just begging to hold his swords. Giving a heavy sigh, he focused upon Florence's mad rampage. His only responsibility right now, as her brother, was to ensure that she didn't die. It was a cold hearted resolve yet, it was what made Serum who he was right now.

Quickly jumping to the right, he barely dodged a blade as it plunged into the roof, the exact same position he was in just a second ago. Frowning, both blades leapt into his hands as he flung the Venom Reaper, watching as it extended like an unnatural whip, seeing it wrap around his attacker's arm. Yanking his blade backwards, Serum pulled the attacker towards him to a close enough distance. Thrusting his left arm forward, his other blade; the Ram Rapier, tore through the attacker's body in a massive burst of speed, instantly killing him. Seeing his body fall to the ground without a hint of pity in his face, Serum turned around to continue watching Florence hold her own against the large group. Giving off another heavy sigh, Serum sat back down, choosing to watch her fight rather than participate in matters that didn't concern him.

Why?

Jumping up, Dante lashed out with his right leg, catching his opponent in the side; sending him soaring further up towards the sky. Flipping backwards, he landed upon the sand before dashing forwards, intent on pummelling Diaros the moment he was within reach. However, while within the air, Diaros twisted his body, so that he was now facing the ground. Free falling downwards, he landed on the sand in an explosion of force, causing a large cloud of sand to burst out of the ground. Rubbing his eyes and coughing, Dante was pummeled with several bone shattering blows, staggering backwards with each hit. Once outside of the sand cloud, he grabbed his opponent's arm, stopping the barrage of hits for a moment. With Diaros' arm within his grip, Dante began to hit back, engaging in a frenzied duel of hard punches. After a while, he moved in, shoving his opponent's torso with his right shoulder before straightening his back. His right hand still grabbing Diaros' left arm, Dante raised it and brutally elbowed him in the face, erupting a yell of pain from his opponent.

With the hard elbow, Dante followed up with a left hook and then a kick to the stomach before grabbing his arm with full strength and flipped him over, crashing him into the sand. Once on the ground, Dante grabbed Diaros' face with his left hand and raised him before swiftly turning, tossing him into the arena's wall. Seeing the crack in the wall, Dante was satisfied with his current strength. Even without his magic he could still put up a dominant fight.

"...is that all?"

Flinching, Dante looked towards the large crater in the wall. Narrowing his eyes, he called out "What? Not impressed?"

"Honestly? This is a little bit weaker than what I would consider average"

Out of the crater Diaros walked out as if he hadn't taken any damage at all. Casually yawning, he rubbed his nose as he said "The only thing that actually hurt was that elbow I took to the nose. Apart from that, everything else felt like you were trying to poke me rather than defeat me...what's wrong Phantom King?"

Feeling uneasy from the current situation, the Phantom King merely said "Nothing really, just that I've been holding myself back" before dashing towards Diaros. Jumping into the air, he lashed out with a right punch that barely missed before landing, throwing out a left punch. The left punch was easily blocked by his opponent who then proceeded to grab Dante's elbow, pushing it in with such force that it almost broke. Landing a heavy blow to his stomach, Dante withdrew himself from Diaros' grip before jumping back, creating a considerable distance between them. Frowning for a while, he broke the silence and asked "...Why're you doing this?"

Raising his eyebrow, Diaros said "Didn't I already tell you? My Master ordered me"

"That's a little bit sketchy...telling you to destroy a northern city...was there any reason for that?"

"Who knows. Now then, since you asked me a question, it's only fair I ask you one right?"

"Makes sense..."

"Perfect. I'm attacking this citadel, you have no ties to this place so why're you fighting me?"

"I'm sorry what?"

"From what I heard, you're originally from Fiore...you hold no obligations, no responsibilities, no debts or any relations to Seven, much less Pilse Navarina. You're a mercenary and you were the apprentice of one of the greatest mages in history. So why would you defend a city composed entirely of non-mages?"

Shrugging, Dante casually walked towards Diaros. Starting to complain, he whined "Oh poor me! You're right! I should be going out with the finest ladies, maybe even snag myself a band of mages that'll do my ever bidding! But nope, instead I'm helping out with a citadel because I'm a good guy. And besides, who knows? Maybe playing the role of hero will get me the hottest one in this country"

"...Do you actually believe that?"

"Well yeah I mean, there're like, 1.5 million people within this citadel. Chances are that at least one of 'em's gonna be the fair maiden right?"

Rubbing his eyes, Diaros mentally recalled the conversation he had held with his Master;


"Oh right, before you go I think you should know...there's a highly unlikley chance but it IS possible that a man by the name of Dante Royard would be within the city"

"Why should I be aware of him?"

"Hmm how should I say this...well, I haven't exactly fought him but, I have watched him fight. He's certainly without a doubt amongst the strongest mages I have ever encountered"

"I see..."

" I may as well add that he's a very respectable man. Oh yes. If it wasn't for the situation I was in right now, I would; without a single trace of hesitation, go to him and ask him to take me as his apprentice"

"Is he really that amazing Master?"

"Yes he is...which is also why he holds the greatest threat to Fabula Nova. If you get the chance, eliminate him. Otherwise, flee from him, I still need you alive for my plans"

"Yes master..."


Watching the man that his Master admired fantasizing about a possible result from this battle, Diaros couldn't help but see Dante in a slightly dull light. Irratably sighing, he called Dante out of his fantasy trance before saying "I...I really hate you. You know that?"

Merely shrugging, Dante once more charged towards his opponent, intent on pummelling him to the extent that he would regret standing back up. He swung his right fist at Diaros however, the pale man easily caught it with his right hand. Raising an eyebrow, Dante asked "Oh? Not dodging anymore?"

But, unlike the previous times, Diaros didn't have a cocky attitude. Dead serious, with sharpened eyes, he said to Dante "No...it's about high time I got rid of you" His right hand began to glow red and, with a mere nudge, sent a broadsword straight through Dante's arm. Screaming at the heavy wound, the Phantom King jumped backwards, only to be yanked forwards by Diaros' arm. Attempting to dodge another sword, Dante started pounding his opponent with several blows, strong enough to be able to shatter buildings with ease. However, Diaros stood still, unaffected by these blows and instead attempted to wound Dante once more. Raising his right arm, a sword quite literally grew out of a faint red glow in his hand, until it was hovering from his palm. The blade, now a deep purple, swivelled so that it's tip was facing Dante's chest. Cooly observing the Phantom King, Diaros proclaimed in a steady voice "This blade...is the deadliest one in my arsenal. Laced with poison said to have taken down a Wyvern in a single drop"

"Hard to believe..."

"Be as it may, the deep purple of this blade was made from the bones of a Dragon"

"Ok, now I know you're lying"

Smirking, Diaros simply shrugged before sending the blade towards Dante. A moment before the hissing poison penetrated Dante's skin, it was deflected by a large blade in the form of a halberd. The blade twisted and a wooden polearm with a metal casing plunged into Diaros' neck, aiming at an acute pressure point. Before he could even react, the blade twisted once again, beating Diaros in the stomach and then smacking him in the back of his neck. The blade swung towards his arm but, before it could lop it off he reacted, rolling to the side and then, using the wall of the arena as a boost, jumping towards the center, a considerable distance away from Dante and the new attacker.

Looking in awe at the new arrival, he stared as the attacked introduced himself: "The sexy soldier, saviour of Pilse Navarina and the Axe man of this Citadel; Mirone Picoros at your service!"

Steady Stage


Outside the Citadel- Conway and Gottes


The dragon had continued to raze the enemies, with the occasional knight that managed to evade it being destroyed by Gottes' hammer. Although an unorthodox method, the pair managed to create what was essentially a perfect example of teamwork. Slightly bored now, Gottes turned to Conway, casually asking "Say...how much magic does that Dragon actually take up?"

"Hmm? Well I dunno, quite alot I guess?"

"But...you've been keeping it up for a while now"

"True, that's very true..."

Staring at the Fire Mage, Gottes expected an answer however, upon not getting an explanation, he simply sighed and continued watching the massacre the Dragon was creating. Breathing Fire, it scattered what was now left of the invading army. The flames scorched the very earth itself, as well as incinerating anything unlucky enough to so much as touch it. Behind of them, the citadel was fairly decently damaged, despite the combined efforts of Conway and Gottes, it seemed as if the invading force were attacking from different angles rather than a single point. However, that was the citadel's job, not theirs. Watching the dragon destroy the hundreds of knights that were left by the dozens, Gottes narrowed his eyes, darting frantically as if he were looking for a fly.

Noticing Gottes' rapid eye movements, Conway asked "Something Wrong?"

"Actually yes, don't you sense something's off?"

Raising an eyebrow, the Fire Mage looked up, staring at the blue sky, ignoring the screams and roars that were originating right in front of him. After a while, he casually said "...nope?"

Sighing, the Witch Hunter explained "Can't you feel it? It's as if a ridiculous amount of Magic is heading our way"

Taking in what he just said, Conway thought to himself "...well, I suppose the Dragon has become a little bit weaker than usual" Looking at the Dragon, he sarcastically asked "So what, is it like another army?"

Once again sighing, Gottes shrugged his shoulders, indicating that he couldn't really tell. Hefting his hammer, he swung it a couple of times to flex his arms before setting it on the ground, using it as an arm rest. His eyes focused on the Dragon, the Magic Thief noticed how, as long as they had the dragon it was unimaginable for them to be defeated. Closing his eyes, he reflected upon the fact that if it wasn't for the search of that man with the long hair, he wouldn't even be anywhere near this citadel...although a non magic place didn't sound too bad. With his sense of sight shut off, Gottes' hearing became sharper, allowing him to detect a lofty, carefree voice singing a while away in the Distance;

"~Fast rode the knight

With spurs, hot and reeking~"

His eyes snapping open in alarm, Gottes turned to the Fire Mage to warn him however, from the expression on Conway's face, it was more than clear that he was aware of their presence.

"~Ever waving an eager sword~; come on Seifer, your turn!"

Over the din of a roaring dragon and several people screaming, a dull, unenthusiastic voice replied "~To save my Lady~...is this really necessary N-" before Gottes could catch the other man's name, the Dragon roared once again, blocking off "Seifer's" voice.

"No not really but I thought it'd be ironic since there are all these knights and all...say, why's there a Dragon here?"

"I'm pretty sure it's a magic spell, probably a molding magic?"

Oh...ok

From what Conway and Gottes could deduce, the two people hadn't even appeared over the hill and yet, their presence was overwhelming. The Fire Dragon reared it's head however, in a single moment it exploded into a cloud of cinders, halting the great massacre it had brought upon the invading knights. Pale faced, Conway brought both hands up and crossed them over each other, before uttering Fire Make...Wall! Upon casting the spell, he flung both arms outwards, creating a wall formed of a raging inferno so intense that Gottes could barely stand it. But the situation was understandable, the two of them had destroyed Conway's Fire Dragon without even touching it.

"Alright..." Conway panted "This is what we're gonna do. I'll keep this wall up and as soon as possible, we run back into the citadel, there's no way in hell we're going to survive against somebody like that"

"Running away before you even fight?" Gottes taunted

Incredulously looking at Gottes, Conway said "Yes, yes I am. Did you see that? They took down a Fire Make Dragon without even being close to it! What do you think'll happen if they get close to us?"

"Who knows?"

From behind of them, a velvety voice called out "Ah yes see, this is the problem..."

Flinching and alert with danger, the pair turned around, only to see nobody behind of them. "~Be-hind you~" the voice sang out. Once again turning around, the pair witnessed a flash of purple before collapsing onto the ground.

Watching his superior cut down the two fighters with his trademark blade, Seifer called out "Hey...you know they're still alive right?"

Smirking, the purple haired man said "Of course, it would be a bit dog if I were to leave them alive right?"

Raising an eyebrow, Seifer asked "...Dog?" before walking forwards, stepping through the fire wall as if it were nothing but hot air.

"Oh right...yeah you wouldn't know what that means...anyways, shall we continue?"

"If you want to"

The pair, one purple haired and one with white hair, easily blasted open the citadel's gates before casually walking inside, more than prepared to wreak havoc and bring the end to the Anti Mage Citadel.


Inside the Citadel- Florence and Serum


Watching her have perhaps the time of her life, slaughtering anybody and everybody unlucky enough to be caught within her sights, Serum hopped from one roof to the other, carefully dispatching the occasional knight, intent on circling around Florence so as to not be caught by her. Drawing his blade, he swung it at a knight climbing the building he was on, watching the blade soar and slice the knight's armour in a whip like movement. Retracting the blade, he hopped once more however, in mid jump Serum felt an immense amount of magic radiating from one of the citadel's gates. Barely managing to land, the pressure was insane, and also slightly confusing. They were within the citadel, so how could magic be felt?

Craning his neck, he looked at the direction, distinctly catching sight of two men, one with purple hair and the other with white. Just observing them frightened Serum, to the extent that he leapt down, slaughtering all the knights before getting to Florence. Her blade flashing in and out of her opponent's bodies, she turned around, only to be met with the sight of Serum pale faced.

"Oh hi Serum! Sorry but I'm a little bit busy right now!"

Panting heavily, he dodged a strike from a knight, lashing back with a powerful thrust that tore through the enemy's body. The source of the pressure was getting much closer...there was almost no doubt in Serum's mind the pair were responsible for that. Grabbing his sister's arm, he shouted at her "We need to run now!"

Raising an eyebrow, Florence used her other arm to push a knight away, kicking it in the stomach while doing so. Ducking to dodge the swipe from a sword, she curiously asked "I don't get it Serum, why do we need to run?"

His grip on Florence's arm getting stronger, he explained "That's because, can't you feel it? This massive amount of pressure, we're gonna get slaughtered!"

"What? What pressure?"

"~Yeah, what pressure?~"

Both of their eyes widening, the twins looked up, seeing a purple haired man brandishing a large, two handed blade with a single arm. The man himself was perched upon Serum's arm with a pose suggesting as if he was simply balancing on a thick wall. Fear overriding his senses, Serum swung at the man with his Ram Rapier, only for the man to jump and land a while away. Beside of him, Florence was on all fours, desperately gasping for breath. It was clear that the mere presence of this man created such a pressure that she had trouble breathing. Even Serum could barely stay standing and he had hardly even done anything.

From beside of the purple haired man, another man with White Hair walked next to him, almost doubling the amount of pressure the twins were feeling. Pouting, the purple haired man sarcastically whined "Seifer...those two tried to attack me"

With an unenthusiastic expression, Seifer replied "Well if you think about it, it's all because you're walking around throwing off your magic like an idiot N-" Before Seifer could utter his companion's name, a scream from a knight resounded through the air, drowning out Seifer's words.

Frowning, he remarked "Hey...why is it that everysingle time I try to say your name, some loud sound interrupts me?"

Raising an eyebrow, the purple man haired casually asked "Does that actually happen?"

"Of course it does. For example, by any chance do you like cheese N-"

As soon as he attempted to utter the name, a nearby explosion occured, drowning out Seifer's voice. Putting a finger to his chin, the purple haired man wondered out loud "Huh...I wonder why that happens?"

Slightly irritated, the White Haired man argued "Are you sure it's not your magic or anything?"

Casually waving a hand, he replied "Pfft oh please, magic doesn't work inside this citadel remember?" Turning to Serum and Florence who were now on the ground, practically wheezing for oxygen, he walked over to them before saying "Hmm...these two seem a little bit weaker than the ones at the gate don't you think so?"

"I wouldn't really know, you got them before they could even move. If they hit back then I would be able to judge them...by the way, why did I even have to go with you?"

His hand squeezing Serums cheeks, he stretched them and started playing with them as he said "Well...I didn't really feel like getting lost and all...and also I didn't know if this was the right place or not"

"Right...yeah whatever anyways can we move on already? Diaros is only a bit closer"

Pretending to be annoyed, the man said "Fine fine, well let's go then" before leaving Serum alone and walking towards the Arena.

As the pair walked away, Serum stayed on the ground, barely being able to breathe however, he doubted Florence was even conscious. With half closed eyes, he mentally cursed, realizing that Silas was most likely still at the Arena with Mithra...


The Arena- Dante, Diaros, Jinx, Mirone, Mithra, Silas and Tethe'


The purple blade swung down, almost cutting into Dante's arm, to which it narrowly missed. Moving in a full swing, Diaros let the tip of his blade scratch the sand, emitting a hissing sound as it did so. Observing the steam that originated from the sand contacting with the blade, Dante noted to himself to take caution with the blade still in battle.

Leaping back, he put his right arm out, at which point with a wordless approval, Mirone jumped on and then off of the arm, using it as a boost. Twisting in mid air, he dug his halberd into the sand, before using it as a vault, swinging his foot into Diaros' jaw. Taking the blow, the corpse grabbed Mirone's leg and proceeded to swing his blade into it, intent on slicing the limb off. With intuition kicking in, Mirone himself swung his halberd at Diaros, forcing him to block it with his blade. Taking the opportunity, Dante ran in, lashing out with a brutal punch that connected with his opponent's right rib, cracking it in an instant.

His face scrunched up, the pale faced man swung Mirone around, slamming him into Dante before letting go and jumping back. Panting, he kept his stance up, realizing that if the Phantom King had swung any harder, his lung would have been pierced. Taking a deep breath, he looked around, attempting to sense any further traces of magic. His master should be arriving soon however...so far there was absolutely nothing. Looking back at his opponents, he observed as they began to whisper to each other in a heated argument.

"What, what do you mean Silas could die? Didn't you treat him?"

"Ah...yeah about that..." Mirone awkwardly started "I think a doctor is better?"

Exploding, Dante yelled "WHAT? Does this citadel even have a doctor?"

"Not that I know of but you never know, one might pop up at any second?"

Fuming and shaking his head, the Phantom King changed the topic, beginning to pay attention to Diaros. With narrowed eyes, he began "Anyways...have you noticed that red light from his right hand?"

Nodding, Mirone said "Yeah...do you think it has something to do with his magic?"

"It probably is his magic...I'll go attack, as soon as there's an opening, you jump in alright?"

"...Do I get permission to cut you down if you're in the way?"

Taking a glance at his "ally", Dante smirked before saying "Go for it...if you can cut through me"

Charging at Diaros, he suddenly rolled forward, balancing on the palm of his hands before twisting his lower body, swinging his legs at his opponent in a windmill like motion. Quickly standing up, he prepped himself to run at his opponent once more, but Mirone quite literally jumped in, leaping off of Dante's back and swinging down with both arms at Diaros. However, within mid swing, a ridiculous amount of pressure made itself known.

Awkwardly landing, Mirone stared with a bewildered expression on his face, the pressure beginning to crush him. His eyes level with the ground, he watched as the sand almost vibrated, moving in sporadic jolts every second that passed. From the corner of his eye, Mirone watched as Dante also collapsed, but managed to stay on his knees rather than on the floor like he had.

"...Diaros...where is the Cocytus?"

His sight snapping from Dante to the origin of the voice, Mirone saw a fairly tall person, his features darkened by the sun shining on his back. The pressure he was feeling was overwhelming and there was almost no doubt in his mind that it was from the arrival of the person who seemed to be quite familiar with Diaros.

"...Master...you're pretty early"

"Don't avoid my question. Where is the Cocytus?"

Even from his position on the ground, Mirone could tell that his opponent was clearly scared. His breath had gotten slightly quicker and with his reply, his voice seemed to be a few pitches higher.

"He...I think he might be in the shed over there"

Pointing towards the building where Diaros had seen Mirone exit out of, he watched as his master turned around, carefully observing it. Without another word, his master left him, walking towards the shed. Breathing a sigh of relief that he had been spared from his master's wrath, Diaros turned to the still collapsed pair, commenting "I wouldn't blame you for being on the ground. I'm only standing because I have to be with him almost everyday"

Bringing his right arm up, Diaros' hand glowed a faint red before another blade grew out of the light. This one a simple white blade with a red hilt, Diaros uttered "Well...I may as well kill you two while I still can. Master won't be pleased but still, you'll get in my way later on so..." Swinging his blade down, Dante narrowed his eyes, still staring at the sand as he recalled his past.

Born into the house of Royard...captured by Dark Mages...being taught by Maximillian...was everything going to end here?

The shadow of the blade in Diaros' arm swung down but, before it made contact with the Phantom King's neck, it was stopped by Seifer. Looking at his superior, Diaros asked "...What do you think you're doing?"

"As you said...N won't be pleased if somebody such as the Phantom King dies hell, you shouldn't even be fighting him"

Looking slightly disapointed; Diaros then pointed at Mirone, asking "Well...what about him?"

The silver haired man staring at the collapsed Axe Man, Seifer considered for a second before declining "No. N specifically told you not to kill anybody, did he not?"

"Wait what?"

"Hmm?"

"...he said not to kill anybody?"

"That's certainly true, why do you ask?"

If possible, Diaros paled, muttering "Uhh...I may have stabbed the Cocytus with a few swords"

Raising an eyebrow, Seifer turned to the shed where his companion should be. Detecting no furious burst of magic, he turned back to Diaros, commenting "Well...he doesn't seem angry. Looks like Cocytus is still alive then?"

As soon as the words left his lips, the Shed became enveloped in a thick, Green Light that stayed for a few seconds before fading away. Sighing, Seifer sat down cross legged, commenting "This...may take a while then" Before setting his sights on a still bowed Dante. Lifting the ridiculous pressure he had been emitting for the past few minutes, he watched as the Phantom King suddenly gasped for air, leaping up and standing in a fighting stance. Casually waving his hand, Seifer said "Don't bother, just sit down, knowing N...he'll probably take another 10 minutes so let's just sit down and talk shall we?"

Frowning, Dante still stood in his fighting stance, completely aware that he was up against Diaros and somebody who was even stronger than Diaros. There was no way he would win this one but...it wouldn't hurt to try and extort some information right?

"...Tell me about who that guy was and what he wants with Silas"

"Sure"

Surprised and abit Taken back by the white haired man's sudden agreement, Diaros began to speak Dante's mind "...Seifer...are you retarded? What do you think master will do if he finds out you told everything about our group?"

Taking a glance at the Corpse, the Leader casually said "Naa, it'll be alright. Besides, even if I go so far as to tell Mr. Royard here about our goals, it's not like he can do anything about it, am I right?"

As Diaros stayed silent, Seifer took it as an answer and began telling Dante a story. "Phantom King...I can't actually tell you what N wants with Cocytus, mainly because I actually have no clue but let me tell you the grand tale of the past of N, as well as who...no, what he is"

Back from the Dead

He was in a dark void; there was no light and yet, he could still see his body. From the way he was bobbing up and down, he assumed he was floating or at least, seperated from anything to stand on...

Craning his neck and seeing nothing else, he began to scat, uttering absolutely random noises; hoping for some format of echo. "Boop...Boop...Boop...Buzz!" His voice the sole physical evidence that he existed, died down within the darkness as he stood there, floating in some place he didn't even know existed in reality.

Looking around, the silence and the ever constant void of darkness irritated him. Now that he thought about it...who was he? Frowning, he struggled to recall who he was or even what he was before hearing an unfamiliar sound. A constant tapping noise, it steadily became louder as the source came closer to him by the second. From within the darkness, a figure came out, and for an unknown reason he felt somewhat at ease, as if he knew the figure.

Surrounded by a faint glow that didn't do much to erase the darkness, the figure had an unusual body that somewhat resembled his; two arms, two legs, a body and a head, the difference being that this one had purple hair and had some kind of fabric covering his body. Rather than using his legs, the purple haired man more or less floated towards him, holding an everlasting smile of content.

The purple haired figure walked towards him and once he was close enough to be able to grab him with ease, the man spoke "...Hello good sir, are you aware of where you are present date and time?"

Shakin his head, he looked at the man spoke as well "Not quite sure who I am actually"

Chuckling, the man said "Well...I guessed that something like this would happen...oh well anyways I'll bring you back right now"

"...back? From where?"

Raising an eyebrow, the man questioned "you honestly don't think you've been here forever right?"

Shrugging, he said "I don't know who I am...or where I am actually"

"Ah yes well you'll figure that out soon enough anyways..."

The darkness began to retract, it was becoming white from behind of his sight as if he was being thrown into a tunnel of pure white. Looking around, he saw nothing but white before being thrown headfirst into another scene of a dark room, but this time he wasn't floating rather, on his back with a somewhat painful ache in his stomach. Looking around, he quickly spotted the purple haired man from earlier standing over him with the same smile as before. Leaning over, the man simply said:

Welcome back to the living Mr. Cocytus~


Thank you for reading this chapter. And if you actually want to, by all means please read the next chapter Chasing a Zombie

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