The Next Day
The amalgamation of corrupt flesh pulsed, violet skin beating in rapid succession like a living heart.
As above it, her illusion hovered; Azkel gazed down upon the bulb of corruption.
Veins of violet light growing out of it and covering the entire dimly lit room’s floor, walls and ceiling. A dark energy flowed through these hundreds of veins, going into the strange organ as it slowly grew larger with every pulse.
“The monster annihilated the Orcin’s core horde in a single breath Madam…” Dread reported in its ghastly voice as it and their last associate, Vein, kneeled before her and the organ. “The rate of deaths was far less than we had anticipated, I deeply apologise for my Shaman’s failure!”
“No, oh no my dear Dread. This is still good, we are so close now…Just one more, one more genocide and we’ll be ready to begin the summoning ritual!” Azkel exclaimed with a joyful yet horrid giggle. “Vein,” she then turned to the other, her eyes shining with excitement. “How goes our preparations?”
“Three Ley Points have at this point been turned to Negative Spirit mistress, those being Sinbeni, and both sides of Druvia. We have Dumatra, Drak’Mor, S’sern and New Druv remaining to choose from, yet as you say we only need one more.” The pale man which was Vein explained, “While there is little to do on Dumatra and Drak’Mor, S’sern and New Druv are great choices indeed.”
“Well? And?~” Azkel urged on.
“Preparations have already undergone, conflict between S’sern and New Druv has already begun. The High Elves are too paranoid, and the Mer too prideful. Neither will be able to resist the bait we’re about to plant.” Vein said, chuckling coldly in amusement right after.
Azkel then glanced at the room around them, “And this new hide-out? Have you made sure you were not followed?”
“Impossible Madam,” Dread then stepped back in, “I removed every trace of our teleportation, that damn Dragon will not be able to find us again.”
Azkel’s expression suddenly turning into a grimace then, “Erikathyr…Oh how I wish I could tear that drake’s snotty grin off his snout!...Those Spirit Beasts were a present from father! Ugh, his time will come…” Azkel mused, as she returned to smiling coldly, her gaze returning to the miasmic heart beneath her. “Once my minion is summoned…Once I merge with it using Brazath pet’s research! I…I Azkel will surpass my brothers…” Her eyes maniacal as she then gazed down at her minions. “Queen of the 8th hell they shall call me! Father will have no choice but to raise my position once I’ve gained that power!” She laughed, a dreadful cackle sending needles of cold into her minions’ bones.
“Y-Yes mistress…You shall reign supreme upon this realm as well!” Vein announced sheepishly, while Dread simply remained silent.
“Yes…Yes I shall! Kekeke~” Azkel chuckled…
As the entire room suddenly rumbled, cutting her amusement off.
The Deviless hissed, “What? What was that!?” glancing in between her minions, she only saw confusion as they rose to their feet.
Again the entire room shuddered, as quake after quake was then followed by a chilling silence.
“Who…” Azkel mused, as she noticed a shadow standing behind her minions.
“Your finale.” Then spoke out a whisper.
In The Meantime
Undead roamed the dark tunnels dozens of feet below the ground, from rotting corpses carrying crates of supplies larger than any normal human could carry, to skeletal warriors standing in the sides watching the process seemingly immobile.
Amongst them roamed many a mage too, some undead from their pale skins and rotting features, while others still alive albeit the mishaps of their magic also affecting their appearance in some other way.
These were remnants of the Assassin’s Pact, making the necessary preparations for their new base of operations after the last move. Necromancers and other Dark magicians casting protective magic along the tunnels, halls and rooms. Undead minions stocking up the storage rooms, and other sorts of demonic creatures aiding.
All the while dark smoky figures roamed the tunnels, unseen by the rest but fully aware of their existence, the Pact’s shadows kept watch over all.
The base was noisy, as everyone moved around with their own task. Yet it was calm, each mercenary or cultist seeming to have no rush in their steps…Something which quickly changed, as the ceiling came crashing down upon one of the main halls.
Immediately chaos ensued, as shadows clashed with shadows, as Pyra landed amongst the rubble brightly aglow. Her gaze rising to a group of mages before her, she suddenly turned into a blur, appearing before them.
The ground beneath her quaked and shattered, as her gauntlets rushed forth, a blast of electricity surging ahead before any of them could speak a single word. The entire group of mages fell to the floor then, stunned by the martial spell.
Pyra loomed over them, watching as her Dreadblades massacred the rest within the hall, dozens of them taking form out of shadow beside her. “Spread out, kill everyone, destroy everything. Leave not a trace.” She ordered in elven, and with barely a nod the entire platoon of Xilfir turned into a rush of shadow, dispersing into the nearby tunnels.
Pyra herself popped her shoulders and neck, before kneeling down and grasping one cultist by the neck. She raised the aged man up, holding him two feet from the ground. “Where is it?” She asked, her eyes shining fiercely as several more figures appeared beside her.
A surge of energy rushed from her arm and into the mage, Makaela then snatching him from Pyra’s hand and slamming him into the ground. “Lower? Higher? South or North?...” Makaela hissed, “Where is the core.”
A flood of shadows then rushing down from the hole they came from as she said that; hundreds more of Dreadblades filled the Pact base.
“T-Three floors…below…E-East wing…” The mage managed to say through the numbness which filled his body, “M-Mercy-” He then tried to say, going ignored as Makaela released him then.
His head exploding into a puddle of flesh and blood as Pyra’s gauntlet smashed down into it.
“Mercy?” Makaela chuckled, “What is that?” She mused, gesturing for her officers to move, they each then stood aside and around Pyra.
“Three floors lower?” Pyra asked but needed no answer as she then raised her fists high and together, “Down we go!” then slamming both down and into the ground below, collapsing the floor around them.
Again, she punched right through the floor as they fell, collapsing it too before slamming down into the next. Three floors down Pyra punched through, a mountain of rubble laying below her now as the rest faded out of the shadows nearby.
Ascal whistled, as he and Zentha gazed up at the massive hole. “That can’t be good for the infrastructure.” He mused, watching then as Makaela continued onwards.
And they followed, two rushes of shadow following after a third, as a bright blur of light that was Pyra kept in pace with them.
Each of them coming to stand before a closed doorway, they watched as their sister and general’s body faded into the ethereal then.
“Soul School; Spirit Form; Ghost Body.” Makaela whispered in chant, as she then stepped right through the wooden doors. Ceasing her spell then, immediately she faded into invisibility.
Approaching the two confused mages ahead, unseen by the both of them, but fully being stared at by the ethereal Devil which hovered above.
“Who?...” Azkel asked with wide furious eyes.
“Your finale,” Makaela mused, as her hands rushed, lunging into Dread and Vein’s throats the two mages temporary found themselves unable to speak or chant.
Her invisibility dissipated, Makaela now fully stood before them and blades unsheathing from her sides. Her hands blurred with speed, as her long talon-like daggers slashed ahead of her, Vein tried to retreat and raise his staff up defensively…
Yet the meagre wood was no match for the blades, as a thin layer of ethereal energy covered them.
They cleaved right through the staff, digging then into the mages’ throats and slicing them open.
“Kill her!” Azkel ordered, her tone enraged as her voice made the very room shudder once more.
“Oh put a sock in it.” Ascal said, appearing beside the beating organ and waving his right hand at her projection, “Dark Arts; Static!” He chanted, watching with great amusement as Azkel’s anger rose, watching as her form disappeared entirely.
Makaela loomed over the two fallen mages, but backed away, as Dread then suddenly rose back up.
Making out the mage’s throat from their now ruined cloak, Makaela only saw bone beneath the dark cloth.
“Undeath School; Skeletal form…” Dread finished his silent chant, as the clothing he wore quickly seemed to lose much of what it hid below.
Beside him, Vein lay gurgling on his own blood, yet the mage smiled as he waved his hand over the deep wound…The blood, then suddenly gushing back inside, the flesh and skin closing too and leaving a pulsating scar. “Hemomancy; Vampiric Body.” He too finished his silent spell, and the scar settled.
“Hmph, two higher casters.” Makaela mused as the two then turned to stand back to back, Dread facing her and Vein facing Ascal.
“You cannot slay us! This is our domain!” Vein exclaimed with a cackle, throwing his now broken staff aside, he raised his hand forth. “Hemomancy; Blood make!” He chanted and blood gushed out of his palm, quickly forming a long crimson staff into his hand.
“And we, are the immortal brothers.” Dread coldly added, waving his hands apart as a mist of greenish smoke spread out from him and into the entire room. “Undeath School; Bone Abomination!” Dread chanted, as his skeletal jaw clattered as if chuckling.
As each wall within the room then crumbled, revealing twelve goliaths of bone rising from within.
Makaela though seemed unamused, she simply gestured forwards. “No, you’re not.” She said, as two figures rushed past her then.
Pyra charged forth, too fast to make out other than as a streak of golden light, she came to stand before Dread’s wide open arms.
Her right gauntlet held back, as she grinned widely. “Custom Cast; Thunderous Smite!” She chanted, her fist turning into a blur as it resonated with powerful sound. Punching forth, Pyra’s gauntlet smashed into Dread’s chest, barely a millisecond of collision before her fist’s trembling ceased.
Dread then felt a monstrous force fill him, his gaze rising to meet Pyra’s…right before his skeletal body suddenly exploded into thousands of shards. The force though continued onwards, sending Vein flying forward and smacking into the room’s wall. The mage groaned as he pulled himself out of the crumbled stone, having been sent flying with such force that his appearance had even been slightly flattened.
“Hemomancy; Flesh recovery!” Vein chanted, groaning in further pain as his body bulged up back into normal. Glancing about he watched his brother’s minions fall immobile to the ground, his own eyes widening as he turned, finding nothing more than a pile of white dust before him.
It was all that remained of Dread.
“No…Brother…You! You will pay-” He tried to shout in fury, but paused as a beauty suddenly appeared before him.
“Custom cast; Demon’s Gaze.” A whisper purred into his ears.
Zentha faded out of the shadows mere inches from Vein, her thin yet voluptuous body leaning against him as a toxic mist slowly flowed out of her very skin. Her eyes, shining a bright green, Vein found himself unable to look away.
“Custom cast; Medusa’s Scale.”
He shuddered at her touch, as her hand dragged along his chin, her breasts, stomach and legs pushing on his front…
Vein then shrieked in agony, as his pale skin began to turn green wherever she touched, filling him with pain beyond the norm. He fell to his knees yet tried to hold onto her, breathing heavily as he continued to scream, the patches of green slowly growing to cover his entire body.
Zentha leaned away, allowing him to fall fully to the ground, she simply watched coldly as the mage shrivelled up into a dry dead corpse.
“Ascal, reconnect the bitch.” Makaela said, moving to stand before the still beating heart of miasma.
“Ah…sure.” Ascal said with some discomfort, having been staring at the dying Vein before she spoke. He waved his hand at the same space as before, “Dark Arts; Static; Clear.” He chanted, and the space above the heart then shuddered, as Azkel’s form returned.
Standing with her back to them, they watched as the Deviless’ illusion turned around to face Makaela. Silently she glanced around, first at Vein and then at Dread’s collapsed minions. Anger filling her gaze as it settled on Makaela, opening her mouth to speak yet being cut off right then.
“You might ask, how did we find you?” Makaela spoke in an amused tone, smirking at the Deviless’s annoyance. “Master’s genius showed us the way. You collect energy through the deaths of others, through conflict and ruin. That energy collection is slow, but not because of the method of collection…We wondered, what would happen if a mass of beings were killed in battle within mere moments?”
Again, Azkel’s mouth opened to speak.
Yet again Makaela cut her off.
“It created a massive flow of negative spirit, a flow which led us here. Right. To. You.” Makaela said dramatically, waving her hands at the room around them. “I’m sorry honey but you’re really fucked up this time around~” Makaela chuckled.
And Azkel’s fury then peaked, “I will come to your little realm…Personally…I will capture you, your master and every other minion you both have…Watch…You will all watch as I torture then kill your families before you…” The Deviless hissed, as crimson energy boiled up around her.
“Hah!” Makaela though simply laughed, “I welcome you to come, I would…Love to tear your fucking heart out.” She exclaimed, her voice rumbling across the room as a golden glow now permeated her entire body. “But I must thank you…” She then said, her amusement returning as she laid her hand over the beating heart. “We will make good use of this, so go tell your father, just how much you’ve helped the enemy out. I’m sure, he will reward you appropriately. Won’t he?” Makaela asked, her gaze returning to Azkel…
As the Deviless’s eyes were no longer filled with rage, but instead terror.
“Ahah~” Makaela giggled, “Hit the nail right on the head haven’t I? Oh yes, I’m sure you’ll be able to come here once dear old daddy Kurzan finds out that you not only failed in your mission to summon the Arch-Devil, but handed us the very energy source you’ve been collecting all this time…My I wish I could be there to see the ensuing spanking~”
Azkel’s expression trembled now, her gaze seemingly staring off into nothingness as her lips pursed and quivered.
Makaela leaned onto the heart then, smiling widely with atrociously amused eyes, “You’re going to lose your riches. Your land. Your titles. Your very name…And if I’ve been paying attention enough…Kurzan might just kill you no?”
Azkel did not respond, she simply lay paling with every word, shock filling her mind at the thought.
“But there is a way out.” Makaela then said, fully regaining the Deviless’s attention…
“Wh-What?” Azkel asked shakily.
And Makaela’s smile then widened…
“Master offers you a deal, one which you simply cannot refuse.”