The pain shot through Ursa once more and her legs gave way as the cold once again took her nerves and made her feel as if they stone statues that she had no control over.
Across her frozen fingers a dark purple liquid began to slide down with a cold sting that left her trembling in fear.
"Finally" she whispered as mist left her mouth as if it was a great puff of smoke from the mouth of Drake.
The lowest levels of the Ashikage sublevels were surprisingly far warmer than the cold tundra like middle level.
Even with the warm embrace of the massive library that she occupied for these forbidden acts, she still felt as though a blizzard was constantly dancing across her skin.
"Once more " she thought as she looked at the book resting upon the table before her.
The book was so ancient that it's pages had hardened and Ursa feared that they might break from her touch.
She once again went through one of her families many ancient Grimoires with the forbidden knowledge on how to call upon the powers of darkness, from the land of shadow. She would bind the shadows to her will and push her power beyond anything that she had previously imagined.
She closed her eyes and began to focus as she drew the specific energy that composed much of her energy core. Her inner organs felt as though they were being pulled thin by some powerful force that returned pain to her numb limbs.
Not even drawing power for an Alpha-Spell matched the power of drawing the cold touch of darkness. But alas she managed as a dark flame appeared before her, the fire was so cold that the aura around it stung her.
The flames danced around her in a beautiful hypnotic dance that seemed to absorb the heat and light out of the world around her. With each passing second the room got dimmer and dimmer until Ursa was soon to be drowned into a lightless darkness.
"Ursa!" the shocked voice of a man called to her and broke her concentration.
The dark flames vanished from the world as if they had never been there in the first place. The warmth returned to the room and light was once more bright.
Standing at the stone door was her uncle Hanzo with the boy giant Benkei towering behind him. The facial expressions drawn upon their faces could only best be described as sheer unspeakable terror.
"What are you doing!?" Hanzo demanded in anger as he stomped towards her.
He grabbed her right arm with a tight grip that managed to cause to wince. Ursa was surprised by the strength that the wizard possessed, she did know that wizard's tended to be stronger than the common man.
"What the hell was that young lady?!" He demanded as his grip ever tightened, but Ursa was able to finally wrestle her way out of it.
"It was some simple Dark energy, that's all" she could not face the man who was obviously flabbergasted by her answer as was Benkei who's facial expression as she caught a glimpse of it was disgust.
"Simple Dark energy!?" Hanzo was so enraged by her words that his voice was of a abnormally high pitch that Ursa swore it shook glass.
"Simple Dark energy is the reason the earth is nothing but well... nothing!" He continued with his voice getting even louder.
"I can control it!" She shouted back, though she did not have much belief in her words.
"It's not about control Ursa, that stuff will control you, corrupt you, how could you be so foolish!" he shouted back at her.
"You don't understand".
How could he, Ursa was no fool nor was she extremely prideful. She had seen the fighters in this tournament, their might at arms far outstripped her own. Her own defeat at Christian's younger sister had brutally reminded her of this, the possibility of her father dropping to his death because of his monster of a father.
" What don't i understand girl? " his voice was more tempered this time as he cooled down.
Seeing him cool down his temper, also tempered the raging inferno that burned within her. Though some of the anger still held onto her heart like a mad mans grip.
"You don't understand what it feels likes to be this weak while the freaking sword of Damocles is hanging over thousands around you and the you are walking on damn eggshells. You think that i simply want to try this power, i need to do it because it's my duty!" Water filled into Ursa's eyes and made her visions cloud as her body trembled from the vice grip that had locked her heart.
She felt Hanzos arms wrap themselves around her in and soft comforting way as he drew her into a warm embrace. Her tears soaked his cloths as if they had been dipped into salty water.
Hanzo turned to Benkei and he softly said " Please leave us".
Benkei nodded in agreement and left the room. The door made a great sound that shook the room as it was closed, leaving only the two of them.
"Its okay, get it out, get it out" Hanzo said as he ran his hand through his hair softly.
It felt like Ursa and Hanzo were in their embrace for hours as the fresh salt tears were purged from the girls system.
Finally Hanzo let Ursa go and she stood on her own with puffy blood shot eyes and sniffles as the last remaining thing from her weeping.
"Ursa, are you sure that are capable of carrying this twisted power, of walking the path that it will present before you?" Her uncle asked as his eyes scanned her face like two search lights would into the very darkness she sought to bind and break.
Ursa rubbed the remaining tears from her face and stood as tall as she could make herself. She cleared her voice, so that her voice wouldn't be strained or broken, betraying her intended words.
"I am, I have conviction. I might not be aiming to create another Alpha-Spell, i am aiming to use this power that is natural to me and do my duties to my family".
As she spoke she felt a serge of confidence bursting into her like some kind of a drug that set passion into the mad hearts of men and she liked it.
Hanzo didn't seem to shear the burning flame within her. He remained silent and thoughtful as she answered his question.
" Duty to family should have it's limits Ursa. For duty my father treated us like pawns and sent us on a quest for the head families position at utter curse point. For duty is the reason your grandfather gave us a weapon long before he even bothered to name us. Duty must have a reason and worth to it, this has non of that to it ".
" I know that, but i won't stop, i can never stop until i win this, so with or without you, i will pick up any advantage i can get" a fire burned within her as she spoke to her uncle shoes face still held scepticism over her words.
" You still won't be able to control it in anyway " she wanted to yell at him and tell him to shut up and leave, but the truth behind his words could not be disputed.
Ursa was no deluded fool, she knew just how difficult controlling and binding the dark powers would be. She was no wizard after all, but Hanzo was.
"You can teach me " controlling the finer arts of magic was something Hanzo could help her achieve.
"No!" Hanzo almost looked repulsed as he sharply answered her.
"Help or i will do it myself" truthfully Ursa didn't believe that she could accomplish anything but give herself a busted arm.
Hanzo sighed as his mind seemed to be working through his answer as he focused his eyes on Ursa and she glared back with as much steel in her to show the old man of how serious she was.
After what seemed to be a whole hour of nothing but a glaring contest between the two of them, Hanzo relented with a sigh and slump of his shoulders.
"I can teach you, but you first have to swear to follow anything i say and i mean it Ursa. I don't want you corrupted into some twisted parody of yourself" he said in a scolding manner most similar to a mother before her young.
" You are going to be the genuine end of me kid" he said with a heavy sigh as he rubbed the side of his head as if a headache had overtaken him.
He rummage through some old materials and he pulled out a purple and gold gauntlet.
"Give me your right hand" he placed the thing over her hand and as it swallowed her hand, it felt numb from the cold metal.
"Now kid, let's start".
Silver sails, large shimmering glints of silver under the guiding hand of a moon. Silver sails stalking the sea, silver sails no one can see and silver sails mean the end of any they see.
The large sheets of clothe that reflected the gentle glow of the moon to Juno had long lost their practical use upon these vessel's, rather they remained as a reminder of a time when the most elite of the Lunar kingdom's army had cut their mark into history with silver sails mixed with blood and salt water.
She should have been pleased by all logical sense, Zodiac might have been liquefied into the rest of her kingdom's armed forces, but she had kept her rank was was simply transferred to a fellow well to do order.
The bits of spray of ocean water that managed to make it to the deck of the massive vessel felt like metaphorical slaps to the face.
Juno had seen looks hidden when others thought she could not see and words spoken were she ought not to hear them that carried the same weight behind them both.
She knew that her once proud order of the Zodiac, the most powerful and useful body of the Lunar kingdom's armed forces had fallen and her as well as their remaining members were treated as sloppy seconds no one wanted.
She raised her eyes at the silver moon that shone brightly over the calm sea. The soft rippling waters reminded her of simpler times, when she and many others strived for Zodiac and weren't treated as no more than common traitor's.
"There she is" the bellowing voice of Aries or rather Brandon Hillsmith since their old titles served nothing now but a mocking joke by their peers or small vestiges of respect by those they once served besides.
Aries had not decided to brave the cool air of the deck alone. Besides him were her sister, Scorpio and Sagittarius. The last legends of Zodiac reduced to this was rather pitiful for Juno to behold.
"Hey kid, what are you doing here, sky gazing?" There was a slur to the giant elf's speech pattern that told her that sweet selena had graced his lips this night.
"You are drunk" she stated in a manner lady Nimue had done whenever anyone was acting in a disgraceful manner.
A pity then that it had no effect on him as Aries burst into laughter as if he found her and his transgression amusing.
"Oh come on kid don't be like the boss, your too young to have a stick up your backside" a unfortunate effect of Aries being drunk was that he was left with very few inhibitions and said whatever came to his mind.
"Aries!" Juno shrieked in horror at the blatant blasphemy that Aries had dared to utter, amongst them no doubt.
That made him bellow in even greater laughter so loud that the entire damn ship must have been made aware by now.
She look to her sister in the hopes of getting some back up, but Leo remained rather impassive as did Sagittarius, while Scorpio simply sulked in the shadows like some kind of child denied sweets by their parents.
"Of course he is drunk as well " she could feel the ladies disappointed eyes resting upon them from that place.
"Oh come on child, a little Sweet Selena here and there. Can't see that good stuff go the waste with a good conscious" Aries stumbled forward a bit and then the smell of the disgusting brew hit Juno.
Her eyes watered and she gagged as the concoction that was more akin to rotten wet flowers that any kind of alcohol assaulted her.
"That garbage is cheap and not good for your health Aries" finally her sister spoke silencing the laughing elf who now whimpered like a scolded child.
Juno was both pleased to see that her sister was still walking the path had lady Nimue had set before them. On the other had she envied the power that her sister bore in arms and respect.
" Oh come on boss it isn't that bad. Besides, we are about to run suicide smack dead against Avalon, my health is the least of my problems " Aries muttered the last part.
"Don't say that!" Scorpio snapped at Aries "We are going in, doing what needs to be done and we leave that's it. The Avalonians won't be a challenge in the slightest".
Aries turned to the Scorpio who was glaring to holes through the bigger man, though the elf didn't show any offense to the other mans rude gesture.
" I didn't know that you care so much about the rest of us Serren " the use of his now official name was a clear jab at Scorpio who began to tremble in anger.
Juno could see her sister stiffen as she looked ready to jump and separate the two should needs be. Ever since their order was ended and their lady taken, Scorpio had been rather unstable in his bouts of madness and childish pettiness.
The fool had once challenged one of the Admirals to a sparing match after he heard them slandering the name of their lady. He had been lucky to walk away with his life, though his right leg was another story unfortunately.
A permanent limp remained and it had limited the once untouchable Scorpio. Should the two of them clash, Juno knew which one of the two them would win, and it wouldn't be the guy with a limp in his leg.
"My name is Scorpio, it is the name our lady gave me" his tail began to rise and Aries grinned like a madman anticipating the fight.
What came next was a loud sharp sound that was greater than any laugh Aries could master. The sound was more akin to a raw and it passed them hard enough to knock the two fools off of their feet, though her and Sagittarius remained standing albeit with pained eardrums.
"Behave, such behavior is unbecoming of two members of the Silver Sails, do not make me do this again" Leo for a brief second reminded Juno of their lady with that threat.
Scorpio arose to his feet and was ready to pick a fight with Leo but the voice of the silent centaur Sagittarius stopped him.
"Scorpio, remember yourself least Leo remind you of it".
Scorpio took some deep breaths as if the cool nights hair would dampen the fires that had been stroked within him.
" I am not a Silver Sailor. I am a Zodiac warrior " the name Silver Sailor was spoken with such distain one would imagine that the word was his mortal enemy.
"There is no more Zodiac you witless oaf. Our lady Nimue is long taken from us and we serve the Admirals now, so cease your complaining you child and live a life" each word was cold, without a fury behind and Juno knew those hurt Scorpio more than any heated words.
"I don't serve those children...".
" You serve the state, so watch yourself Scorpio. I will not take such unpatriotic statements so lightly" Sagittarius reached for the bow he always kept behind his back.
"Our lady will return to us, regardless of what you fools say" Scorpio pointed at them all accusingly before he turned and walked back into the bowls of the ship.
"Why is he such a baby, man i need another drink" Aries rubbed his head as he always did when he was very guilty of something.
"You should not have antagonised him again" Leo said as she looked him straight in the eye.
"He needs to stop being a damn stick in the mud. He who seats above knows any little damn thing about our lady offends. I mean the idiot once tried to fight an Admiral" the big elf answered.
"As unpatriotic as he was it was still unprofessional of you Aries" Sagittarius replied to the ram of Zodiac as he trotted around.
"Oh come on, why is everyone being so mean" the big man pouted.
"You are a parent Aries, try and behave respectfully" Leo reminded the man.
"You guys are no fun, Mira and Aton are better company than you" Aries made his leave as he stumbled around for the stairs leading back down to the ship.
"I too must depart Leo, Juno. The Admirals want an inspection of our artillery weapons tomorrow" the centaur bowed in respect before he trotted of, refusing to awaiting their answer.
"You should go and get some sleep, tomorrow is drill day" Leo ordered her and some part of Juno wanted to shrink away from her sister's cold eyes but alas she held her ground.
A silent battle of their wills followed and perhaps Juno would have won had she had more spine, but today the Lioness won out over the girl.
Juno turned from her sister and cast one last look at the silver sails that blew under the wind.
"Silver sails will come for Avalon and non who see it shall live on" she declared to the silver sheet's.
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos