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 The Fourth King arc I

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Flynn
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PostSubject: The Fourth King arc I    Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:12 pm

(Rough draft)


Trenner Keyn

--It was that Vampire child from the council room months ago.

Trenner returned himself to a solemn stance, hands under his coat. "You". Under the layers of cloth, Trenner carefully unraveled the leather ties on his side arm. A long, curved blade with an almost sickle-like angle with a wide circular joint at the end-- the one Oura had given him on his office crowning over ninety years ago. He kept it hidden then. He kept it hidden now. "You're that hunter from the council. The one Oura was with.. Yes, I'd remember that face anywhere".

Sumaru Amaya
kept quiet, but the expression on his face spoke volumes. It wasn't cold, but detached. His emotional capacity had reached a limit after that happened to Xixas.. and here, on these fields of tall grass where red and green mix in an ocean of murder, sung to sleep by the cries of those who would never rise again, he was at his breaking point. Every moment the Vampire boy's eyes closed, he could see that little smirk on Xixas's face. That fucking little smirk as he died-- by Sumaru's hand so easily. He could have stopped the attack. He could have slipped away, he could have blocked, he could have done something; he could have done anything but he did nothing except smile, and in that single fraction of a second, with he tiniest flicker of warmth, Sumaru saw him again. He saw Xixas Averall, king of Concuclare, Ghost of Steppes himself, he who will last forever. And then he saw him die. As his ethereal jagged claws ripped through the Sicarian's chest, he only felt cold. And loss. And abandonment all over again.




"I can hear music".




Those words would haunt him. He could hear them ringing through his ears like cracked chimes, he could feel the warmth of Xixas' life blood seeping into his clothing and he could forever feel those stains in his skin.

-I don't regret killing Xixas. I don't regret that I did it for power. I regret that I didn't gain it-

He had told that to Azumai after the first month following the loss of Xixas.

Azumai.

Azumai kept him held together. While not entirely sure how he felt about his companion, Sumaru knew he cared for Azumai deeply. In what way, he still couldn't say. Nothing felt right, nothing felt.. Solid. Somebody to talk to, to listen to, to acknowledge and be acknowledged in return. It was obvious he did care.

But here he was, in the middle of the Coven backlines, surrounded by Vampires desperately clawing to life in a final attempt at survival and existence, fervently denying the reality that after this battle, there would be no more Vampire race.

Sumaru slid his sword from the dirt and held it lazily at his side, posture empty of intent. "You're a sad excuse, Trenner. Look at you". Sumaru craned his head to the side, ragged stately silver hair falling over his cheek. "Pathetic trash. How the mighty have fallen".


Trenner

"Finally. Something we agree on"
. His sarcasm fell flat.. As it wasn't truly sarcasm. Trenner hated himself. He had come here to die, but he needed to accomplish something first. His lengthy knife was unraveled and now in his hand, still hidden under his cloak just in case. "I'm here to find somebody. Corren Astius Gray, the Seraph. I'm sure you know him. I'm sure he's here if my calculations are correct. If you see him, I'd appreciate it if you let me know before removing my head" said Trenner, humorlessly. "Pray tell, hunter. Why are you here on this field of death? Have you come to die as well?".


Sumaru

It didn't matter why Trenner would be looking for Corren Gray. The question of "why" hadn't even registered in his mind, only an action of "how". Sumaru began walking forward with a dead man's stride, the tip of his black blade dragging against the ground.

T

Trenner smirked as if told an only slightly joke. He lashed his knife in front of him in a ready defense, blade held back-hand and sideways. "I understand. Waste no words on a dead man, right?".


S

"Oura". The word came from his lips as if dragged on sandpaper, rough and pained. Sumaru's steps slid on the dirt, each movement rustling long grass that had yet to be bathed in blood. The constant roar and clang and whoosh of death, steel, and magic singing around them, but nothing approached, as if they were encompassed in a bubble outside of reality, watching the world turn. He stopped just outside Trenner's striking range and twisted his sword in his grip so the edge faced upward. If Trenner Keyn made an attack, he'd lose his arm. "Tell me what happened.". It wasn't a question. It was an order, and in those words, a promise.


Azumai

Slipping through the brush, rife with prey masquerading as predator, as a rain of red kissed the sea of green, Azumai raced through the battlefield, merely a spectre; a shadow of a shadow. Each movement was keen with the intent of avoiding a stray magical conduit, but careful not to lose sight of the boy in her sights. She moved with grace, tied by fear, but fueled by purpose.

Azumai kept close on Sumaru's trail, slipping passed her brothers and sisters as they all marched into the heart of the fire. If she were on her own time, there would be no hesitation in raising her hands and eyes for the Coven. Azumai loved her people. As she wandered the continent in search of something worth searching for, never had she found a place as true to her heart as the lands of her own people. A bond not only of blood, but of heart. However, she was very aware the faults of her people. There were those who had fallen, there were those who were sinking.

There were so many who needed to be saved. Meeting Sumaru Amaya had taught her this.

-..There.-

Passing a trail of fallen bodies, slain in a fashion Azumai decided not to recognize, she found Sumaru. He strode forward, posture lethally lax as he lumbered at.. Is that Trenner Keyn..?

Keeping her ethereal specter behind a forest of brush, she watched with sharp eyes, examining every ounce of body language, tone, words spoken, and movement with desperate accuracy.


T

-Oura-

"Oura.." That one word still dominated his whole world of thoughts. His sister. His little sister. She was so right for this world. After what he had done, he'd never see her again. No matter the chances, he just.. Knew. He wouldn't ever see Oura again. To the child..-

"Oura is gone. I'm positive you've seen our headlines". His face was solemn, his body shivering in.. A jumbled mess of emotions his body could not physically hold. He clutched at his robe with his free hand. "She's gone". He had to be vague. The secrets of what truly happened on the night of her execution.. He can only tell the Seraph.


S

It wasn't before, but now, Sumaru's body had begun to veil itself in shadow. Flickers from his body grasping at the air, as if pulling the world into eternal darkness. "Oura is gone" he repeated at Trenner. He knew what that meant. So many people actually cared for, those bastards who had forced him to feel something for them, they always left. "Who?".

Sumaru paused. Trenner did not speak. "Who is responsible, Keyn?".


T

-I am-




-I am responsible-




-It's because of me-



He had told himself a thousand times. And he would tell himself a thousand more until he couldn't anymore. He had sent her on that mission. He knew the stakes. He understood how the council would take failure. He knew what kind of risk it entailed. The council may have been the ones responsible for losing Oura, for losing himself, but it was his actions that sparked the flame. There was no excusing that. He had to take responsibility for his actions.

His hand was shaking the tiniest bit. The tears of anguish and regret fell free now as they had so many times before as he turned his gaze up to the hunter. With a cracked, broken voice filled with sorrow, Trenner told him.

"Me".


A

Azumai winced, the magic keeping her form together loosening for just a moment until she reigned in her focus to keep the hound together. Steps of a frontrunner scout approached, soft sliding of dirt her only warning. She ducked into the grass. Trenner..

Sumaru might be blind to it through his rage and despair, but it was like staring through a window for her. She had had a muggy mind often enough to tell when somebody was speaking in a deranged mind. Trenner Keyn felt responsible, but that was it. He knew the truth.. But he wasn't speaking it. In the instant the ex-councilhead spoke, Sumaru was already moving.


S v T

An immediate lunge, lurching his body to the side to deliver a horizontal strike to the collar. It was fast, but not impossible to follow. At least, not for Trenner Keyn.

Trenner ducked, pushing his body backwards with a Vampire's agility to fall backwards and throw himself back right. He pointed the dagger forward like a rapier and lunged with his body held tight and his arm like a viper, sending several swift jabs at the hunter boy.

All of them landed, as if Sumaru Amaya wasn't even trying to dodge. In reality, he wasn't.

It felt so welcome. The pain, so sharp and screaming, it cleared his mind. The fog in his eyes began to burn away as the pain in his body began to take hold. The blood that dripped from his wounds, the evil of loss and death and abandonment leaking from his body as it had filled him to a breaking point.

As he bled down over his eyes and chest and arms, streaks of red painting him like war stripes. Sumaru glowered at Trenner and smiled with a predator's assurance.

Instantly, the combat resumed. Trenner engaged again, using Sumaru's own sight to see through his eyes and direct his attacks. He targeted the boy's blind spots, earning score of hits with the massive knife and dodging each of Sumaru's unpracticed strikes. It felt almost cautious to Trenner. If the boy couldn't fight him, why was he smiling? Had he finally gone mad..? Well, so had Trenner.

A whisper at first. But to Azumai who lie in the brush near them, it spoke volumes.

"Pain Packer".

Trenner's eyes went wide as he attempted to gauge what happened next. Sumaru's body, moving impossibly fast in comparison to his previous motions, delivered a swift kick to Trenner's gut. It shoved his stomach in and Trenner vomited blood for only a moment. -What?!- The sudden burst of power and dexterity. What game is this?!

Sumaru stepped forward, this time his own volley of attacks met their mark slice after slice. He cut with precision yet without grace, no intent to kill, only inflict pain. Trenner back stepped and snarled in rage. He couldn't track the boy's movements anymore, even when borrowing his sight.. But that's impossible. Even he cannot track his own movements, but he fights with such agility?! What kind of instinctual monster..- He had no time to think as Sumaru approached again. This time, he showed even less mercy as he began to sever flesh and bone.


A

Azumai watched with held breath, praying this would end somehow with them both walking away, or limping, she didn't care. Two of her kind, brethren, were under the intent to shed blood and to take a life. She began to breath at a quickened pace. Too many. Too many of her race are being murdered in this genocide. Brothers, sisters, family she had yet to meet and had a lifetime to find, were all dying in this motley war, driving themselves mad. And here, two on the same side, two who she knew personally, were going to end each other out of their own madness. It drove her body into a fit of panic, anger, and defiance.

The battle had already passed the ten minute mark. Sumaru stood as motionless as the grave, but Trenner stood, more like hunched. He held the bloody stump of his left arm where Sumaru had severed Keyn's hand, no time to stop the bleeding. His face was a mess with one eye closed in a bloody, flesh-torn mess. His clothes were ragged, unable to hide the gouges in his skin. It was apparent Sumaru had taken time to make every rip into Trenner's body count. The amount of blood he had lost is lethal, and both of them knew it.

She had to stop it. She could stop it. It was is if the entire world ignored them and only she could see them.. It drove her insane, but there was no other choice. Solidifying her body into corporeal form, she sprinted into the clearning that had been flattened by the battle. Her eyes dead set.

Sumaru angled his sword with Trenner heart in a slow, agonizing movement. "My only regret, Trenner Keyn, is I didn't make you suffer longer"-- and lunged. Azumai careened her sprint and threw her body in an aim to push Sumaru off course, but she knew she would be too late.

Her friends, her family, her entire race of people, her people. She would not allow any of them to die any longer. Azumai, gathering all the magic, she-


S

She jumped in the way. Every single microsecond, he felt it. He felt it all over again as his blade sheared through Azumai's chest, through her heart, and out back out to severe her spine at the curved angle he had intended for Trenner. His eyes went wide.

"Azu-" she fell against him, her body like a feather as he caught her. His sword vanished in a wisp of smoke as he tried to support her and keep her body upright. "No. No, I can't---- I can't what have I...". He looked down at her. The whites of her eyes were already turning red with blood as her heart spasmed and pumped blood in a stagnant panic into her body. Her eyes fluttered as she tried to see, but all the world was black. Her body struggled as she attempted to lift her arm, only her Vampiric traits keeping her alive for a few precious seconds longer. Sumaru hiccuped and grasped at her hand, holding it tight in his. "Azumai!".

She looked up at him as blood fell from her lips. She reached up with a shivering touch and tapped his cheek. Without a voice, she mouthed "No more". He knew, even without her voice. "Azumai, please. Please don't leave me alone.. I can't.. I can't. Not anymore".

Azumai shook her head slowly and with the tiniest smile on her lips, whispered. "No more".

Sumaru grasped at her hand again. "Just don't talk. I can stabilize you. There has to be somebody.. Anybody-- Corren! He's here, right?! He can--"

She was already dead.

Upon seeing the light leave her eyes, Sumaru's body lost control. She slowly slid from his arms to the cold, unforgiving earth. Her eternal grave, a battlefield of loss and betrayal and hate and death, killing what she loved most. Her people.

Trenner Keyn grunted in pain as his body began to lose life. He lie on his back now, barely held up by his elbow as he watched Azumai's death unfold as she attempted to protect them both in vain. Sumaru's ears perked up as he noticed Trenner again. He stood. And he stared at Trenner. His eyes wide, his mouth just a little open, tears falling from his left eye alone. Trenner began to throw himself backward, his face contorting in pain and fury. A sliver of paper grasped in his bloody hand. He held that paper as if it were the only thing keeping him alive.

For every move he made to back away, Sumaru took a step. In a second, he stood over Trenner Keyn and leaned down until his face, a mask of pure agony was only inches away from the dying ex-councilhead.

"Roar of the Shadow Dragon".

In a single second, the stream of screeching black energy vaporized the upper half of Trenner Keyn of the Vampire Covens, leaving only the charred lower half of a body in a bloody cloak. As death released its grip on Keyn's life, Keyn released his own grip. The paper in his hand stumbled in the wind before Sumaru snatched it out of the air, intent on making sure nothing from the Vampire remains unbroken.

It was a letter. Soaked in blood and torn on the edges, it was impossible to read. The only words were the few that scattered across the page.




To the child drifting out
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