Noctis bolted towards the trees as fast as his legs could take him. In his panic, he took no notice of anything else around himself but for his destination. After leaving the pavement, he stumbled over some rocks and almost fell to the ground. The man was clumsily able to regain his balance before he fell over and then made it into the cover of the forest.
There was no relief once he'd arrived. Noctis knew he was not safe. In near darkness, the young man continued forward, fear forcing him. He pushed past thick foliage and branches, getting some cuts in the process. He didn't pause when heard the sound of someone else entering the forest behind him. His terror increased but all it did was spur him to try and run faster. He just needed to lose those monsters somehow. It was his only hope. Perhaps then, he could survive this night.
Noctis let out a frightened cry when he heard something gaining on him, much faster than he thought possible. Whatever it was sped through the underbrush. The man felt a dark aura and could almost feel something reach for him. He swore he felt his heart almost stop. But instead of a monstrous hand latching onto him, all Noctis heard was a startled cry, one not his own. Too inhuman, it belonged to whichever of the monsters was behind him. There was the sound of branches breaking and a thud as something was knocked away. Then laughter.
"Bastard!" One voice hissed out, not sounding as angry as it was before. Even through his fear, Noctis recognized it as Somnus.
"Just making this a little more interesting. Wouldn't want our fun to end too soon now would we?" Despite the abnormal and sinister quality the voice now held, Noctis recognized this second voice as belonging to Ardyn.
Noctis did not hear the response as he used this time to get as much distance from the two Daemons as he could. Faintly, he could hear sounds like the two were fighting once more. There came another thud, some more chillingly inhuman cries and then a loud crack. Then the sound of something far larger than either Daemon hitting the ground resounded across the night. More laughter, but it was a different voice than the first time.
A tree had likely broken in the struggle between the monsters, Noctis thought to himself. He shuddered in fright, realizing the creatures chasing him could easily break him. The fleeing man knew he could not allow himself to get caught. He could not stand against them.
For a short time, Noctis thought he'd lost his pursuers. Despite his exhaustion and the many times he'd almost run headlong into a tree, he had forced himself to continue until he could no more. And now, for some time, there had been no sound of pursuit.
The man stopped for a reprieve, leaning against the trunk of a large tree. His clothing was dirty and torn in several places, having caught on several rather sharp branches. Noctis had even tripped twice and fallen face first onto the ground. He knew if he survived he'd have some nasty bruises for the next week.
Noctis gasped for breath, the sound harsh in the silence around him. He attempted his best to slow his breathing so it was not as loud. The less sound he made, the better. The man's mouth was painfully dry and he found himself wishing for water.
Though he was now certain Daemons existed after finally witnessing one of them in full, Noctis still found this truth to believe. A part of him felt as if this were some awful nightmare and he would soon awaken from it. But the sharp ache in his chest and the pain of his bruises made the man well aware this was no dream.
When Noctis tried to use his phone, he realized quickly it had no service. Like his car, it was not working. Perhaps the monsters had something to do with it or he was just that unlucky. The man berated himself for being fooled by Ardyn. He'd been stupid too, not telling anyone where he was going this night. He should have told someone about all of this but he'd been too worried what they may think of him. He felt they'd just believe he was crazy. Noctis knew too late he should have trusted his friends and family so he would not have ended up in this situation.
But it was far too late for regrets now. All Noctis could do was try and survive this night and somehow find help. There was little he could do against the monsters himself. He had no weapons with him and he'd dropped the empty gun. It had been useless without bullets anyway. The man remembered reading silver was useful against Daemons but he hadn't anything silver on him. If he managed to get back to his car, the man hoped he could pick up the blades Ardyn brought with him if he left them lying on the ground.
Noctis understood his best option was to try and find the main road and pray for someone to pass by so he could hitch a ride. He was worried however, as he felt he would be far easier to find that way. The monsters likely knew he'd attempt something like that. They were much faster than him and at least one of them had wings. Noctis wasn't sure of Ardyn as he hadn't waited around to see what kind of creature he'd transformed into.
After allowing himself several minutes to rest, Noctis breathing slowed down and he began to cautiously move. He had no idea where he was or where he should go. He'd attempted to run in one direction as he fled but there had been too many obstacles in his way. He'd gotten confused and now no longer knew which direction he'd come from. The man could barely see the moon or stars to try and orient himself, though he wasn't sure he'd be able to manage to do so anyway. He'd never paid much attention to them before.
Noctis froze when he heard something rustling from somewhere around him. With aching legs, he quickly bolted into the midst of several nearby bushes and crouched down low until he felt he could no longer be seen. His fear spiking once more, the young man held his breath and waited. After a minute, there was a soft squeak and something tiny scurried past the bushes.
It was nothing but a small animal, likely a mouse.
Despite his situation, the dark haired man smiled. Softly, he let out a relieved sigh. He was still safe. Noctis carefully crept out of the bushes and stood up. He glanced around himself, hoping to see some sign of where he should go. But he could see nothing that would aid him.
And so Noctis decided to just choose a direction at random and just go. It was better than staying in place. But before the young man could take a step, he heard a faint sound. He thought it might be a bird flying around until something large crashed into him from behind.
Noctis let out a pained grunt as he was roughly shoved onto the ground with something heavy landing on top of him. It was on his lower back and his legs were pinned down thanks to the weight of it. Despite that, the man immediately attempted to push himself up so he could run but a clawed hand grabbed the back of his neck and pressed down hard. The force of it slammed Noctis's upper body back onto the ground.
Feeling the hand of one of the monsters, Noctis felt a chill run through him.
"Found you," Somnus hissed, his voice coming from right near his ear. His voice was garbled and inhuman but Noctis could still understand the words. The Daemon then chuckled and his grip tightened painfully. His claws dug into the flesh of the man pinned down. Noctis could feel blood beginning to trickle down his neck as his skin was punctured. "And the game ends... Any last words?"
The human beneath the Daemon could utter nothing in response to the monster. Noctis opened his mouth to try but no words came out. He was too frightened to beg or plead even if it may save his life. He instead began to hyperventilate when he realized he might just die in a few moments.
"Nothing?" Somnus seemed disappointed at the lack of answer though he was still greatly enjoying the fear he was causing. This was what he loved most about the hunt, observing the sheer terror his prey felt once they were caught. He could hear the man's heartbeat pounding madly beneath him. Somnus found the greatest thrill in stalking his victims, causing them weeks or months of distress before finally claiming their lives. Noctis had been fun to toy around with these past few months.
"What if I offer you a choice? I am feeling quite generous tonight," Somnus offered with a vicious smile that his victim could not see from his position. "Shall I snap your neck, killing you in an instant? Or would you prefer a slower death? One where you are given some fleeting hope of escape?"
Somnus hummed, "if you do not answer, I may just have to make the decision for you... Perhaps I'll instead slice you open and let you bleed in the dirt like a filthy animal. Or perhaps I'll shatter every bone in your body one by one until the shock of it finally stills your heart."
After hearing the potentially painful ways he might die, Noctis's increasing terror allowed him to break free from his paralysis. He tried to roll out from beneath the creature but Somnus's weight and hold were too much. The man then tried to claw at the hand pinning him, using all his strength to gouge at the Daemon's skin. It was not effective in the slightest and Noctis only managed to break a few of his own nails in the human then tried to thrash about, writhing every which way to break free from the monstrous grasp on him. But that too was ineffective and only caused the claws digging into his neck to do more damage.
Somnus only laughed in response to it all.
Exhausted by that pitiful struggle after fleeing for so long, Noctis let out a soft sob of pure despair. He couldn't break free.
I'm going to die here.
The thought repeated in Noctis's mind over and over again. He was terrified. He didn't want to die, especially not like this. With tears in his eyes, the man began to think about the others in his life.
Noctis knew his dad was going to be devastated and wouldn't be able to handle his son's death. After his wife passed away, Regis Lucis Caelum had only his son as his last living family. His own parents had passed away long before Noctis was born. Regis had done all he could for his son so he could have a good life. Noctis was grateful but always found it hard to express his feelings, especially later in life. The young man hadn't thanked his dad for everything he'd done for him. Noctis now wished he'd done it, or could somehow have the opportunity to do it. He could only pray his dad would be alright when his boy didn't come home.
Noctis also thought about his friends. Gladio, Ignis and Prompto. They'd be devastated once they realized he was not coming back. The four of them were such a tight knit group and had been for years. Noctis had even promised his friend Prompto that he'd be over for his birthday later this week. Would he think Noctis bailed on him if no one found his body? Would it lay decomposing in this forest for years until he was discovered by some random passerby? Would his dad and friends hold onto hope that he was alive and spend every day of that in pain waiting for him to come home?
Noctis's thoughts were cut short when Somnus was once again knocked away. The Daemon's claws left gashes on his neck as they were torn off. The young man gasped in pain and clutched at the back of his neck with one hand. He felt a warm stream of wetness but the wounds inflicted as deep as he thought they'd be. He wasn't going to bleed out from them at least.
"Damn it, Ardyn!" Somnus roared at the other monster. Noctis turned towards him and found Somnus on all fours, his eyes glowing bright and his mouth twisted in a vicious snarl. His wings were flared out, making him appear larger. The Daemon was not completely transformed like he was during their first encounter this night. His body retained a human-like figure, though everything else about him was visibly inhuman.
The young man turned his head to look at his savior, seeing another monster nearby. This one had a more purplish tint to his caparace but he was similar looking Somnus. Like him, he had wings but his were much larger. He lacked the horns however and his body was bulkier than Somnus's. If he too could do something similar to Somnus, then he was not completely transformed either.
"Your own fault, brother. You had your chance but you do seem to like the sound of your own voice," Ardyn grinned, his golden eyes equally as bright and his fangs glinting in the bit of moonlight shining down from above.
Brother? Noctis thought to himself. They were siblings? Had these two planned this or something?
"Hah!" Somnus scoffed, allowing his wings to settle and then moved to stand on two legs. He crossed his arms. "You're one to talk. You have the biggest mouth out of the two of us and you know it."
"Perhaps I do. But at least I know when to keep it shut. Looks like the game is still on," Ardyn smirked. "You should have finished it when you had the chance. You always are too keen on drawing it out."
Somnus rolled his golden eyes. Ardyn drew it out his hunts just as much, sometimes even more than he did.
"Ah, the years have not matured you in the slightest." Ardyn tutted seeing such a childish response, "I had-"
The purple tinted monster could say little else as he was tackled by his brother. Noctis covered his ears when Ardyn let out a pained screech. Somnus sank his claws deep into Ardyn's hide, which had caused such a reaction. The human's ears rang from the ear-splitting sound but he took that chance he was given.
Once more, Noctis ran.
It was pure luck that Noctis lasted as long as he did. He was still alive, even hours after the start of the pursuit. He wasn't able to see much in the forest around him. Bits of moonlight able to penetrate the thick foliage from above allowed the human some visibility in the darkness. The young man found himself tripping over and stumbling into what felt like everything in his path.
Noctis's harsh, desperate panting was far too loud in the night. His legs burned and his throat and lungs felt like they had been scratched with glass. Every breath and step hurt. The man's neck and the wounds on it were rather painful still. He had attempted to cover them with a crude bandage by tearing off a piece of his shirt. He was unsure if it would help any but it was better than nothing.
But no matter how much his body ached, Noctis continued forward. To stop meant being caught. And being caught would only mean death.
Somnus and Ardyn easily caught up to Noctis whenever he thought got away. Perhaps they waited to let him get far enough away to think he'd escaped before coming for him. Even when Noctis tried to hide, his every hiding spot was discovered no matter where it was.
Whenever one of the brothers was about to kill him, the other would push him away. Ardyn had been about to tear Noctis's throat last time when Somnus snapped his brother's neck with visible glee. Another time, Somnus had a branch driven through his back as he held Noctis up by his throat. The monsters were able to survive and heal from mortal wounds with ease.
It was unnerving how much amusement the Daemons got out of hurting each other and hunting Noctis. The human could hear their laughter as they fought and insulted one another. They were sometimes angry but it seemed more playful than anything really serious.
Noctis had managed to do some damage to the monsters but it hadn't seemed to stop either creature. The young man had managed to drive a branch through Ardyn's eye once. Somnus was nearby and just laughed as his brother roared in pain. The purple tinted creature seemed to grow angry at the laughter and immediately went for Somnus instead of Noctis.
After the last fight between the brothers, Noctis didn't see them for a while. He stumbled and then collapsed against the bark of a large tree. He could hear nothing pursuing him. The man wondered what time it was but he had no way to tell. He'd lost his phone somewhere.
Noctis's legs gave up and he slipped to the ground. He was exhausted, more so than he'd ever been in his entire life. He didn't think he could go on like this. He was beginning to feel like it would be easier to just give up. To let either of the Daemons kill him so this night of terror could just end. The man tried not to give into these thoughts, however.
Noctis attempted to get up but found he couldn't. His legs were like jelly, too shaky and aching fiercely. Giving up on standing for the moment, he leaned back against the trunk. He'd just rest for a minute or two and then try again.
The man only meant to rest for a few moments, no more. But due to his exhaustion, he instead passed out.
Noctis awoke to darkness and silence. He was confused when he found himself not in his bed, but sitting somewhere in the woods with his entire body in aching.
The young man's head shot up in alarm when he recalled the events of the night. He realized he must have fallen asleep as he tried to rest. He didn't know what time it was or how long he'd been asleep. He hadn't been caught yet but it was probably best to get up and leave.
"Ahhh!" Noctis couldn't help but scream when he saw he was not alone. There right in front of him was one of the Daemons.
The winged creature casually laying near him, far too close for comfort, stirred. It raised its horned head and opened its mouth to yawn. Its fangs were on full display for several moments.
It was Somnus.
"So the boy has finally decided to awaken," a guttural, growling voice hissed out from somewhere behind Noctis. That was obviously Ardyn and he sounded rather annoyed.
Noctis, meanwhile, was panicking. He couldn't move, frozen in place at the knowledge he'd been asleep with both Daemons nearby. They could have easily killed him but decided against it. They'd instead waited for their pretty to awaken on his own.
"Ah, good. Though, I was able to have quite an enjoyable nap in the meantime," Somnus stretched out his body and his joints popped.
"Your ability to sleep in almost any place or position confounds me," Ardyn stated, walking into view and then looking over at Noctis. His golden gaze caused Noctis's breath to stop for a moment. Noctis flinched back, cowering back into the trunk. "And it seems you've passed that trait on to your descendant."
Descendant? Noctis thought to himself in confusion. So these two were brothers and somehow related to him? Well that might explain Somnus's resemblance to Noctis. But even if that was the case, it did not matter. It did not look like either monster would spare Noctis even though they might be family.
"Well, now that we've all been allowed a bit of rest, the hunt must continue," Somnus chuckled. He stepped away from Noctis. Ardyn proceeded to do the same. "Now, go on."
Noctis was startled, looking between the two of them. Was this some sort of trick?
"You really should run," Ardyn suggested, his mouth opening in a wicked grin and displaying his fangs when the human stayed where he was.
Noctis didn't waste any more time after that. He took Ardyn's suggestion and bolted.
Another few encounters passed with Noctis being 'saved' by the other brother. By this time, the young man could barely run. He staggered through the forest, his body feeling like lead.
The dark haired man repeated this in his mind so he would not give into his own despair. The urge to give up was growing stronger. It was getting too hard to resist the urge to just sit and wait for the Daemons to find him. He was so tired.
Too preoccupied with his thoughts, Noctis almost missed it. There was a light coming from somewhere ahead of him. It was faint at first but steadily growing stronger. The man stared, unable to comprehend what he was seeing at first. A sound came to him then, the thrum of an engine.
There was a vehicle nearby.
There were several more moments of confusion until Noctis realized that he was near the road... And someone was coming. Hope bloomed within him. All his doubts and despair vanished. This was his chance to make it out of here!
With his last bit of energy, Noctis staggered towards the light. He made it to the road and saw that there was indeed a vehicle. And not just one, but two, that were coming towards him. He looked back into the forest, praying neither monster would jump out and drag him away from help.
"Please!" Noctis screamed as he stepped into the middle of the road as the cars neared. This was dangerous but he had no choice. He was dead if he didn't get out of here.
The first vehicle, a dark blue van, slowed to a stop in front of Noctis. The car behind it, a smaller white sedan, slowed and stopped as well. The driver of the van, a older looking gentleman and a similarly aged woman beside him looked confused to see a ragged, desperate looking young man out in the middle of nowhere.
"You alright?" Gary, the driver of the blue vehicle, asked as Noctis sat in his vehicle beside their pet dog. The collar around the canine said 'Smoky'. It was a fitting name for the little grey pitbull. His fur was several shades of grey, resembling smoke. The dog looked at Noctis curiously before turning away to settle down on the seat beside him.
Noctis had stumbled upon a family driving home after their vacation. The van held the parents, dog and luggage while the car behind them held the rest of the family.
"... Yeah," Noctis sniffled, his eyes watering. He wasn't but he was trying to keep it together. Though he felt such utter relief that he was now around other people, the man still didn't feel safe. He doubted he ever would now. All he wanted right now was to go home. He wanted to see his dad and his friends. Maybe then he would feel safe again.
"Must have been scary out there all alone," Anise, the man's wife said, maybe trying to initiate a conversation. "But you're safe now. We'll get you back home and you can sort out your car situation another day."
Noctis felt guilty for lying but he knew no one would believe his story about Daemons. He instead told the couple that his car broke down last night and that he'd been chased off the road by a bear when he tried to look for help. He'd then said he'd gotten lost trying to run away and spent the rest of the night trying to find the road again. Noctis's appearance, the damage to his clothing and wounds on the back of his neck 'proved' his story to the couple.
The driver and his wife had been nothing but kind and sympathetic. They'd allowed him a space in their vehicle and planned to drive him back to the city and the nearest hospital to get checked out.
"It... It was. A lot," Noctis said in response. However long he lived, the young man knew have nightmares of what had transpired. He didn't elaborate to Anise. Perhaps his voice gave something away as the woman gave him a sympathetic look and didn't try to say anything else. She took a few moments to rummage around the front and offered Noctis a bottle of water and a granola bar. The young man took both gratefully.
They drove onwards, the only sound coming from songs on the radio.
As the car moved, Noctis's eyes scanned the darkness outside. He was restless and afraid. He prayed Somnus and Ardyn would not come for him and hurt this family in the process. From his own experience, Somnus never appeared before others so hopefully they'd both stay away now that Noctis was not alone.
The dark-haired man also hoped he could find something to save himself as the car travelled back towards the city. He didn't think this would be the end of this. He might have escaped the monsters this time but they could easily come for him again. Noctis would forever have to be on guard, forever wary. Even if neither Daemon came for him, he'd always have the fear that they would. Noctis would need to figure out some way to defend himself in case they did. And perhaps he would finally reveal the truth of what had happened to his dad and friends, whatever the outcome of that might be.
Noctis's life from now on might not be easy but he was not going to give up. He wouldn't let the Daemons kill him so easily.
"He got away," Somnus stated, not looking upset as he sat upon a large branch high up in a tree and watched the two cars drive off. It was a little embarrassing that he'd let the boy escape. He'd just been having so much fun, more than he'd had in a long time.
"You do not appear angry," Ardyn mused while leaning against the trunk of the same tree but at ground level.
"I can find him again no matter where he tries to hide himself. He is one of mine," Somnus shrugged. It was hard for those marked by a Daemon to escape. More so for those who shared blood with one. If he wished to, Somnus could easily find his descendant the very next night. But he found that he did not have the desire to end it so quickly. This hunt had been quite enjoyable. The fear both he and his brother had instilled in the boy would not fade for a while. To make the most of what they'd done, it would be best to be patient with the next encounter.
Somnus had picked up Noctis's phone from where he'd dropped it. He was planning on sending it to him sometime in the future. He felt it would be best to wait a year, maybe even a few and then return it. He wondered what kind of expression the boy would make when he was forced to relive the memories and fears of this night by such a simple gesture. He wanted to see it but knew he'd have to be patient for such a thing to come to pass.
"I have always wondered why you go after your descendants as you do," Ardyn mused. "Do you miss the family you once had? Is this some twisted form of regaining the family I took you from?"
Ardyn's words startled his brother. Mostly because they were true. Somnus only enslaved or turned those related to him. The rest of his prey was always killed with their souls free to flee into the afterlife.
"Even if that was the case, could you blame me? I was never able to have such a life thanks to someone here," Somnus snapped. His family fled once they'd learned what happened to him and Ardyn. Daemons usually killed, enslaved or turned those they were once close in life and his wife knew it. Somnus never tried to find his family, perhaps a tiny bit of humanity remaining in him dissuading him from actively searching for them.
Though Somnus might have had some reservations about harming his wife and children, he did not for their descendants. When he encountered his great grandson, a man named Tontritus, many years later, he'd felt nothing but excitement at the thought of taking the man's soul. He'd killed him without hesitation as there was no other way of getting a hold of a human's soul until it was freed from their body. But Daemons had the ability to take the soul and then corrupt it before forcing it back into said body.
Depending on the level of corruption, the human would either be enslaved or turned into a Daemon. The body would heal but the scars from whatever wounds they suffered before death rarely faded. Somnus's human form still had the scar on his chest where Ardyn had ripped out his heart.
Somnus found that the presence of Tontritus seemed to fill an emptiness inside of him that had been growing for some time. And so the Daemon continued to enslave or turn any family he came across in his life. He never actively searched for them but if any of the Caelum line were unlucky enough to cross their ancestor's path, they were doomed. Noctis had ended up catching Somnus's attention when he visited a coffee shop with a blonde haired friend of his. Somnus had been sitting at another table, idly browsing articles of his many previous victims. He'd only recently arrived in the city after a spree of murders in previous one. Since that day, the Daemon had been stalking the young man, intent on adding him to his family of servants.
"The blame lies with you," Ardyn returned coldly, "you started this by abandoning me."
"No, that was you all you brother. Always trying to be a savior," Somnus hissed down at Ardyn, "well that backfired, didn't it?"
"Well, if someone hadn't fallen into my trap perhaps we would not be in this situation now. I had never known you to be that stupid. I taught you better than that. You should have killed me. It was your own foolishness that led to this… And I will admit, perhaps me to my own fate."
"I was grieving," Somnus shrugged, not denying it. He really had been quite stupid. They'd always known people who became Daemons lost themselves. They were still capable of feeling but their desire to hunt and kill would never fade. Even if they deigned not to kill their loved ones, they would of course murder countless others. It was better to put them down before they could hurt or turn anyone else. Both Somnus and Ardyn had been too stupid to listen to the warnings drilled into them all their lives.
Somnus should have never trusted Ardyn's facade. His plea for help had seemed so real. And maybe it had been. Perhaps his brother's Daemon side had taken over as soon and Somnus let down his guard. Ardyn had later admitted he did not want to be alone and maybe that's why he'd done as he did. The elder brother wasted no time in ending Somnus's life and corrupting his body and soul as soon as he had the chance.
"I occasionally find myself wondering what kind of people we would have been," Somnus admitted.
"No. You can clearly see that I quite enjoy this life. It is just an interesting thought."
There was silence as the two brothers became lost in their memories. It was broken by Ardyn's voice, "I suppose this game ends in a draw?"
"It does. However, the next will have me the winner," Somnus shook himself of the memories of the past as he said this.
"You want to try again so soon? You don't want to draw it out?" Ardyn questioned. He knew Somnus too well.
"No, not the boy. He can wait. Perhaps in a few years. Or maybe we can go for the father instead. I recall he too lives," Somnus hummed in thought. He began to wonder if that was the better option. The fear and despair Noctis would show might be so much sweeter if Somnus killed the elder Caelum first. Perhaps he'd then use him to taunt the younger, Regis having no choice but to obey his master's commands. "In the meantime there are plenty of other humans to choose from."
"And you want me around to join?" Ardyn sounded surprised.
"Well… We've just reunited after so long. Do you want to leave so soon? You don't want to stay a while?"
"Ah. So am I to assume you've missed me?" Ardyn turned his head to smirk up at his brother.
"We have not had time to catch up in quite some time," Somnus responded, not quite admitting such a thing even if it was true. "And I have not been this entertained since your last visit."
"I can agree with you on that," Ardyn laughed. This night really had been enjoyable. Things had been getting rather boring, and perhaps a little lonely, hunting humans as he did. It would be a nice change to have company again, as long as the two of them did not cause too much damage from their inevitable fights. They'd gotten along quite well as humans but their tempers were much more volatile as Daemons.
"And now, if you do not mind, I shall be taking my leave. I am in need of another nap," Somnus yawned, feeling a little tired from all the excitement today.
"Not at all," Ardyn responded. "I think I shall do something similar once I gather my belongings."
It would be wise to clean up any evidence of their presence here. Ardyn's torn clothing and daggers were still on the ground near Noctis's vehicle. The young man might try to tell the world Daemons existed but very few would believe such a thing without evidence. It was best to leaving nothing behind, no matter how insignificant it might seem.
"As you wish," and with that Somnus jumped off of his perch. His wings beat hard and he flew away without a goodbye as the sun began to peak over the horizon. Ardyn did not mind, they'd see each other again soon. And some unlucky human or few would end up having a rather bad time in whatever game they decided upon next. He hoped the hunt would be as entertaining as Noctis's had been.
And if not, there were many more humans to choose from. And once enough time had passed, they'd return for Noctis. Ardyn was looking forward to that hunt as much as Somnus was. He wondered if the boy would put up more of a fight now that he knew of Daemons. Ardyn could only hope. It would be more fun that way.