Meet Again -SP Version-
Written By Illuminet
Disclaimer: The cast of characters from Makai Kingdom : Chronicles Of The Sacred Tome don't belong to me, but are the rightful property of N.I.S (Nippon Ichi Software) America.
"...'-Indicate Flash backs
She waited patiently on the altar, surrounded by blood, the crimson liquid giving off the coppery scent of death. The inlaid surface of the marble floors were cut with a small grove to let the blood stream down perfectly like a river down the small stairway. Even if disturbing to the normal eye, he looked on with out a trace of emotion on his visage. As the Sacred Tome, he could hover over the blood that flowed beneath him and avoid contact.
His tone, despite sounding calm, was thick with barely suppressed anger, confusion, and some other emotion too hard to detect as he said her name, his blank eyes narrowing as he gazed at the woman before him. She looked quite lovely in that wedding dress of hers. Every bit of her features were immaculate in it's presentation. Her short, golden blond hair was brushed and placed perfectly as it shown under the flowing white veil on her head. The wedding dress was similar to her veil, the material translucent enough to see the beautiful curves of her perfect body. Her skin looked especially smooth and soft to the touch as it was accentuated by her light clothing. He had to admit, she looked good in white. But now was not the time to take in appearances...time was not on his side. Actually, time was not on either of their sides.
"I've been waiting for you, Zetta, my love...I hope our blood soaked wedding is to your liking. Once the ceremony is over, we can finally rest in peace in each other's arms."
She held out one gloved hand towards him. He grunted in disgust.
"There must be some other way...!"
He said through clenched teeth as he closed his eyes. She clasped her hands over her chest, lowering her head.
"You know there isn't, my love...the curse will take your life in only a short amount of time, and my illness will claim mine soon as well. So...let us die together."
She said simply. She held out her arms, welcoming him into an embrace, but he backed away, his gaze leaving her's to look to the side.
"I'll never choose death when there's a fighting chance. I will break this stupid curse."
He affirmed with no hesitation. Her pretty smile faltered slightly as she lowered her head, letting bangs of hair fall over her eyes.
"Then you'll just have to kill me, won't you? Don't forget that your Netherworld is still at my mercy. I could crush it at my own whim."
She stated, her voice confident. He growled.
His rage was growing. She remained calm, her cool gaze unwavering against his eyes as they glowed dimly. Small beams of light surrounded her, before tearing her dress apart, and she stood in her normal attire.
"The choice is yours, my love. Either let us die here together, or kill me and save your Netherworld. There is no getting around this dilemma. So..."
Using her power, she confined a small army of combatants to the cathedral, surrounding him. His brows knitted together in annoyance and anger, not sure of what to do.
"...which will it be?"
She finished. He opened his eyes, his expression blank and unreadable.
"You weak pathetic human...where is the person who wanted power...power to nearly match my own? You should have been using your life to find a cure for your illness. But you acted like a worthless idiot and didn't. Salome..."
He said, his voice devoid of feeling. He teleported to the bottom of the cathedral's steps.
"...I remember you accepting it when you wanted to become my apprentice, that I was allowed to take your life should you become a burden in some sort of way...that was our contract...what bound us even to this day. That is exactly what you've become...just a pathetic former student...very well, fight as hard as you want to, but your old master will have your life right here and now!"
With that, he confined his own legion of powerful battle slaves to do his bidding. A few hours later, and their confrontation was over. He, of course, emerged as the victor. She kneeled in front of the altar, each cough forcing blood out of her mouth. He got close to her, his eyes glowing intensely, signs he was preparing to strike her down with his Zetta Beam technique. It was the only offensive ability he retained after becoming one with the Sacred Tome, but it was still a powerful attack none the less.
"Finally...I've gotten what I've really wanted for so long..."
She muttered out in a low, broken voice. His eyes lost their glow as he continued to look at her questioningly.
"What you really wanted...?"
He asked. The answer dawned on him soon after he said those words.
"That's screwed up! You...wanted me to kill you."
He declared, hardly believing the ludicrous nature of her's. He honestly believed she had gone insane from depression or something.
"Heh...I know what you think of it, Zetta...maybe your right, but this is something I can't pretend that I didn't want."
She said softly, tears starting to fall freely down her cheek.
"Overlords Mana energy can become strong enough to protect against any disease...why didn't you just build up enough Mana to fight it? You should have never let it manifest so far that it was impossible to cure yourself...you...fool..."
Something within him felt as if a part of him was dying along with her, but he couldn't understand what it was.
'What is this...? Why do I feel so hollow inside? Salome...what is she doing to me? I can't be grieving over her...no way! That's impossible, I'm Zetta, the most bad-ass freaking Overlord in the entire cosmos!'
He kept thinking to himself. He lost that train of thought when he saw her slump forward even further to the ground.
"Zetta...do you love me?"
Her voice was labored with pain and fatigue, yet she still brought her head up to regard him with the same patience she showed the previous two times she asked him.
His response was just a low, surprised noise coming from his mouth. Her smile became melancholy as she lifted her head towards the sky. She knew all along he would not say the words she longed to hear, even though she was on her death bed at this moment.
"Heh...I knew you wouldn't give me an answer..."
Her eyes closed slowly.
"That's my Lord Zetta...the invincible, mighty Overlord I know and love..."
She said, before her body was racked with more forceful coughs. It was said that when people die, no matter what the race or the culture, their entire lives will flash before their very eyes. She had experienced it once before, life times worth of memories going by in her mind in only a few brief seconds. There were only a few she truly dwelled on, however. The ones that led her to meet him, the very man to save her soul.
"Who are you? Why are you here?"
The samurai had asked, katana ready to be drawn should the need occur. The priestess simply kept her head bowed low.
"My name is Salome. I've come here to aid you and your band of warriors in your battles against King Drake III."
She said truthfully to the samurai. His gaze showed no sign of being impressed with her words.
"Go home, woman. We will be heading off to that demon's Netherworld shortly. We have no need for someone who would prove to be only a liability."
He said firmly, walking away with his comrades. She stood up, not allowing him to leave just yet.
"I won't be a liability. If I somehow am, then you can take my life yourself. I'd call that a fair compromise, wouldn't you?"
She said, her voice unwavering in it's resolved. He turned to give her a side long glance.
"Eh? You have a determination I've not seen in many people during my travels. Tell me...why are you so fixated on wanting to go to King Drake III's Netherworld and kill him so badly?"
"Revenge. It was his cohorts that ravaged my village while I was gone. I want to pay him back the favor for what he did to my friends and family."
She answered. He turned around completely to fully regard her.
"Revenge, huh? An admirable motive if I ever heard one. Very well, you might as well come along with us then since your obviously strong enough to track us down like this. I have a feeling you'll be a lot more reliable then you truly appear. I am..."
He began, but she beat him to the answer.
"Seedle. The powerful Samurai Brave who wishes to put an end to King Drake's reign of terror upon our world. It will be an honor to fight along side you."
She said. A smile graced his lips.
"So you have heard of me. Well then, let us be off. I believe this will be the start of a beautiful friendship. I welcome you to our rag tag band of heroes, Lady Salome."
Her limbs could barely support her against the cold marble floor.
"Master Seedle, we should turn back. We've stayed on their home turf for far too long. The demons on King Drake's Netherworld are far more powerful than the ones he sent to our world. Many of our own troops have been acting strange since we got here, and others have even turned on us. The air...it reeks of evil."
One of the soldiers said. Seedle growled deeply within his throat, turning swiftly to grasp the man around the neck.
"Bastard! Do you see that ahead of us? Do you?"
Seedle said forcefully as he pointed his katana at the towering and twisted structure that was King Drake III's Castle in the distance, a few miles away from the camp.
"Once we get to that Castle and kill Drake, we can finally be set free from this forsaken burden. Are you really telling me your all quitting on me here when we are so close to our goal?"
He continued his angry tirade, before pushing the soldier to the ground. Seedle took a few calming breaths before sheathing his katana.
"Look...I admit that I was responsible for the death of the others...I misjudged them and their strengths, when I should have fully analyzed them better before bringing them here. But we've come too far to just throw in towel now. But if we falter any more as a group as we already have, then we truly will be doomed. Only a couple more brigands stand between us and Drake. If we can just keep ourselves alive a bit longer, and cleave Drake's head from his shoulders, both we and our families can finally stop sleeping in terror that demons will ransack them. So please, stand with me just a little longer. One more day."
Seedle's powerful speech calmed many of the soldiers nerves, Salome being one of them. It was as the one soldier said though, and many of the warriors had fallen due to the weaknesses in their hearts, or so everyone believed. She too had been feeling the effects this world seemed to pulse with. Perhaps a corruption that filled the bodies of human beings that were not demon class or greater.
She let out a hushed sigh, thinking back to that night where so many things had gone wrong at the time. Of course, here and now, she was with no regrets any longer.
Seedle had been meditating in his tent. He mulled over what his fellow comrade said to him earlier.
"Maybe he's right...there is something..."
He gripped his sheathed blade tightly when he felt someone's presence. But it was one he recognized.
"May I come in, Seedle?"
She asked softly to him from outside. He lowered his weapon.
He said, and she walked opened the flap of the tent before walking inside. He smiled when he saw her.
"Lady Salome. I'm glad you came here actually. I want to ask you something..."
He continued speaking as she sat by him. She did not say anything, so he merely continued to speak.
"Do you think it was wise of me to lead all of you here? I mean, what he said was valid...something in the air maybe the cause of our falling members strange behavior. I... think even I'm starting to feel the effects of something here as well...something I can't seem to grasp or explain very well."
He sighed after giving his small talk, flustered about what was really the right thing to do, if any.
She finally said. He looked up to her in confusion.
He had been taken aback by what she just said. Something was wrong. But for the life of either of them, they could not figure out what.
"I'm asking you to kiss me."
She said, a smile forming on her lips. A beautiful smile, but it seemed false in it's appearance. He had been taken in by the heat of the moment, grabbing hold of both of her arms gently as he brought his face closer to her's. Their lips nearly brushed one another's when yelling broke the spell between them.
"MASTER SEEDLE! WE'RE BEING AMBUSHED!"
Her physical vision was becoming dark and hazy. That time she had not been herself, the influence of the Netherworld evil power made her act off based upon her admiration for Seedle. She knew in her heart of hearts that she did not love him in that way, they did spur a love relationship. Otherwise she would have never questioned herself so much back then as to why she asked him for a kiss. The ambush that night had led to her being captured and taken to King Drake himself. Even with his tremendous level of Mana power, she somehow was able to prevail in striking him down. That had been her first true physical encounter with obtaining the raw force that was Mana energy. A power so great, it could manifest anything to reality as long as the wielder of it had enough willingly to expend, or else it could mean death.
Their ranks had dwindled considerably. The Brave party was able to get to the castle, but she had luckily survived. Unfortunately, King Drake was able to narrowly escape death and now they had to hunt him down again. Several nights of toil had awaited everyone, and the fatigue was clear to see.
"Lady Salome was able to gain so much power from defeating King Drake on her own. I wonder if we'll be bestowed with such power once we can kill him. I just want to go home..."
She heard some people talking to one another outside of her tent. With the gain in Mana, she no longer felt so susceptible to the Netherworld's dark energy. A welcoming feel compared to her first time traveling through the Netherworld with Seedle's Braves.
"Are you still awake, Salome?"
She glanced up as Seedle peeked his head through the entrance flap. She gave him a slight smile.
"It's a little tough to sleep when I'm worrying about the others. Damn...If I hadn't let King Drake slip past my grasp, we could have all been home by now."
She said, a sorrowful sigh leaving her parted lips. He placed a comforting hand upon her shoulder.
"It can't always be helped. We have to make do with what we can..."
He wanted to say more, but he seemed to stop talking suddenly for no apparent reason. His other hand went to his own face, rubbing against his forehead as if something was wrong. She turned to face him, but the mass of silver hair fell over his facial features.
"...Salome, you...do love me...don't you?"
He asked, though his words were somewhat strained. She lowered her head, her face becoming grim.
"Seedle...I admire and respect you above all others, but...no, I don't think I love you in that way. That night...I don't know how to explain it."
She answered, yet he did not acknowledge her. She kind of expected this kind of reaction, but she hoped he'd understand she was not trying to lead anything on at all, but something on the night of the invasion had altered her mind. As crazy as it sounded, the Netherworld's dark energy was most likely the cause. She had become more in tune to the Netherworld's workings, though the Netherworld was just as confusing if not more so than it was dangerous.
"Salome, you do love me enough, right?"
His voice returned to it's normal strong pitch, but at the same time, it sounded flawed to her ears.
"Seedle, didn't you just hear what I..."
Before she even finished, she had been pinned against the ground by the samurai's weight, his hands grasping her shoulders and his legs pinning her own, holding her steady as she began to squirm and struggle.
"Salome...I need it..."
He said huskily, his hot breath caressing her neck as his head laid against her own.
She pushed against him with her arms, but his frame was much too heavy for her to budge.
"Give me your power, Salome. The power you obtained from Drake himself. With it I could track him down quickly and we can all go home afterwards. Isn't that what you want?"
He said, his voice barely above a whisper. She kept struggling, but he still physically overpowered her, and she did not have enough confidence to test out the abilities gained from the Mana Drake possessed since she had no idea of their effects, either for herself or others.
"Seedle...you've been tainted...you would never try to do this to me...snap out of it, Seedle! Remember who you are! Fight it!"
Her words did not reach him. He spared her a malicious grin.
"Salome...I'm tired of waiting like this...I want you so badly, don't you see? If you truly loved me, you would give yourself to me, right?"
He brought his left up to cover her mouth, clamping her jaw shut so any noise she made was muffled. His right hand went down to grasp one of her breasts roughly, and his mouth laid a trail of kisses down the side of her slender neck. She squirmed even harder as she pounded into his chest with her fists and scratched at him with her finger nails, but he was invulnerable to the pain. Tears formed at the side of her eyes, but she did not give up, her arms frantically reaching out for anything to possibly knock him unconscious with. All she was able to grab was the small dagger by her makeshift bed. She forced his head up as much as she could before bringing the dagger to stab into his right eye. He let a furious roar escape his lips as she pulled the dagger free and pushed him off her while he was disoriented and clutching his bleeding face.
"YOU FUCKING BITCH!"
He followed swiftly after her, cutting the flap of the tent with his weapon as she rushed through it to run outside. She was still a bit far away from the main camp since she was one of the few women traveling in Seedle's party. This detail proved beneficial for Seedle as he brought his free hand out to grab her and spin her completely back to face him. He dropped his sword and slammed his hand over her mouth before she could scream, his other arm holding her against his body.
"Heh...your not going anywhere..."
He whispered viciously in her ear. She did the only thing she could, and plunged the dagger into his heart. His surprise was eminent in his one good eye, and blood trickled from his mouth.
His voice gargled weakly. He soon fell to his knees, clasping his hands over the gaping wound, but began rising up slowly. She didn't give him the chance to do so in her distraught state, before plunging the dagger into his chest again and again until he lay dead at her feet. She held the gleaming, bloodied blade shakily that it almost fell from her grasp to the ground. She released a staggering breath from her lungs and she kneeled to the ground in fatigue of the horrifying experience. She heard the accompanying footsteps of some of the others.
She had been too emotionally disturbed by the whole incident, and so she willingly gave up her life to the ones who branded her a traitor, wishing only that she had been stronger at the time.
His voice was feint against her senses, sure signs that she was slipping away from him steadily. She looked up, and he appeared as only a blurry mass of red amongst mostly white. She smiled, the vision before her reminding her so much of their first meeting. A piece of memory that had become very dear to her heart.
She woke up, not understanding what was going on. She stood up, surveying her surroundings.
'I died...then how is it I still breathe...? That I still live. Where is this place? It looks different from King Drake's Netherworld...'
Her train of thought was broken by a deep voice.
"What business do you have here?"
The voice could not be pinpointed because it sounded as if it came from every direction. She looked about frantically, but was met with no one.
"Where am I? Who are you?"
She said, her eyes kept peering about in hopes of locating the owner of the voice.
"Hmm? Are you some sort of newbie? Your in the Netherworld, of course."
He responded. Her body tensed as her eyes narrowed at his words.
"Are you one of King Drake's subordinates then?"
She asked with disdain. The voice did not answer her for a while, as if pondering her question.
"Heh heh heh! King Drake? Who the hell is he? If he's an Overlord, he must not be very powerful if I've never heard of him before."
He answered finally. His tone held a lot of arrogance in his statements, as if he couldn't possibly imagine ever being under someone else in terms of power.
"You never told me who you are yet."
She told him, her eyes darting about to see if she could make his form out amongst the darkness. She suddenly felt a strange aura emanating from behind her, so she turned swiftly around. What she saw made a small gasp leave her mouth. The mysterious man before her was quite a sight to behold. His skin was somewhat pale, but his face was still a handsome one to see, his eyes were completely void of pupils, with long black tattoo like markings over them. His dark crimson hair was very long, dancing about his head like actual fire. His obvious favorite color must have been black, because he was decked out in nothing but clothing with that same hue. From his long flowing inlaid red cape down to his heavy boots, almost everything he wore was black, save for the red leather straps around wrists and ankles, as well as the straps that held his cape on his body. A long jagged black blade was held in his right arm. She notice a violet colored energy arising from his closed fist as he tap the sword ever so slightly against his shoulder, and that's when she felt it. Tremendous energy that was far beyond even King Drake's. His arrogant smirk became a grin as he gauged her reaction.
"The name is Zetta. And I intend to become the most powerful Overlord in history."
He said, the violet energy swirling around him like a coiling serpent. She could only gape in awe.
"Such power...how can anyone obtain the power like you have gained?"
She asked, trying to keep her voice as level as possible.
"Ha! Don't you know anything, woman? Everything in the universe is composed of Mana. You can conquer the lives of others in order to harvest Mana for yourself, but the masses are usually far too weak to provide such boosts in power, so you've got to aim for much higher standards. For me, it's not just about conquering the lives of others, but of worlds as well. Someday I will make sure that my own Netherworld and I swell with the greatest Mana than any other Overlord or their Netherworlds can obtain and I'll make sure my name goes down in history for all eternity! I don't give a damn how long it takes, I'll will achieve my goal at any cost, no matter how steep the price must be. That is the strength of my dedication."
He explained, his eyes glowing in excitement.
'Conquering worlds can eventually lead to that kind of power? That power...I want it. I want to experience it for myself...but where to begin? Up until now, I was unaware that there were more Overlords than just King Drake. There could be thousands of them...each with their own Netherworld...'
Her thoughts were cut off as he took one step forward in her direction.
"I have to admit, however, I'm rather intrigued with someone like you. You almost have the power necessary to become an Overlord classed demon. I've never met someone who could be on the brink of becoming an Overlord themselves. I wonder if killing you would prove worthwhile to my conquest?"
He stated, taking another step in her direction, swinging his sword from his shoulder down to his side as he gripped it tightly, looking ready to thrust the black blade through her heart.
"Wait...please spare me."
As much as she hated to beg to an Overlord, a being she hated, she wanted to try and achieve the power to rival his own. Then maybe she could stop every Overlord out there from harming another backwater world again like King Drake did to her own. She just needed a chance to become more powerful.
"Why should I, woman? What can you offer me that will be of any use?"
He asked, taking yet another step forward.
"We can help each other, since we both want the same thing. I want to be more powerful as well, and with you, I believe I can achieve that. In turn, I help you conquer your worlds to become more powerful as well."
She declared. One of his brows rose up questioningly.
"And everyone wins in the end, huh? Tell me something...why do you want the kind of power that I can wield? Give me a reason to consider."
He demanded calmly.
"When I was still just an ordinary human, I had been betrayed by my own people. I was too weak to change the flow of events from occurring, but I want to make sure it won't repeat. With a power like your own, I could make sure to keep all those bothersome problems away for as long as live."
She said, her voice filled with as much conviction as she could muster. She didn't feel it was necessary to tell him her agenda was only half true, and that she wanted to defeat every Overlord to save other worlds from their tyranny as well. He looked at her, his mouth in a thin line upon his face as he considered her words.
"Eh? Your ambitions...they almost match my own. Not only do I want to become the strongest, but I also want to be able to halt any Overlord who wants to get in my way and take over my Netherworld once I do become the strongest, because there will always be someone who wants to take over...perhaps I've misjudged you, woman. Maybe I should make you my apprentice and we can both get what we want after all. With a little extra help, I could conquer worlds that much faster...very well, if you want power so badly, then you'll become a student of mine!..."
He declared, and she was too overjoyed with this chance to get payback for everything, that she cut off with her own words.
"Thank you very much! I..."
Before she could finish saying anymore, he interrupted, turning his back and hefting his weapon across his shoulder again.
"...On one condition..."
He stated firmly. She was taken by surprise as the violent flames in his fist began to intensify, and his hair moved with more furor. What was he doing?
She squeaked out uncharacteristically. He turned to regard her with a half way glance of his empty gaze.
"Seeing as I have spared your life, it belongs to me now. This is the contract that will forever bind us, should you fail to live up to my expectations or if you pass my tutelage and become a true Overlord, no matter what the case...if you become in any way a burden to my goals and ambitions...I'll kill you..."
He turned back around swifter then she could ever imagine, his palm aimed at her, as nearly his entire arm was engulfed in violet flames. His power grew even greater, and she realized he had been hiding most of it from her in the first place, and he still most likely was still hiding the true depths of power within him. She could only kneel as awe took over her even more. The winds generated were intense, almost strong enough to sweep her off her feet. His eyes became dark crimson as he glared down at her.
"Say it, apprentice of mine, or die in obscurity as the worthless human being you once were!"
He ordered, his voice bordering on a deep feral growl. A few beads of sweat slid down the side of her face, and her eyes were wide, signally her fright. Yet she was still somehow able to speak evenly to him.
"Yes. I will abide by your condition, master. Should I become a burden at any time, my life is yours for the taking."
She felt as if she would crack under the pressure, but he was satisfied, and with the closing of his hand into a fist, so too did his power retreat. He turned his back on her once more.
He asked simply. She lowered her head, giving a sorrowful smile.
'Heh...it's strange, that I would be branded a traitor even though I was only trying to defend my dignity against Seedle...that everything was just a big misunderstanding. Yet at this very moment, such a title seems befitting, because despite my good intentions...I'm still becoming something both they and I despise so much...then maybe this is karma.'
She looked up to her new master, his back still to her.
"My name is Salome. Salome the Traitor."
"Zetta...I can see it...your body, so manly and strong...please fight the curse and live on for me, my love..."
She said, her strength seeping out of her faster and faster. Back then, she never planned to eventually fall in love. That's when her plans started to change. As selfish as it was, she believed herself entitled to some of her own desires now that she was no longer human. She was an Overlord, and if she felt like truly and genuinely helping Zetta become the strongest Overlord there was, then she would damn well do as she pleased. Love made people do things that more often than not could be viewed as crazy or insane. Overlords were no exception. She would give him everything she could, regardless if he never reciprocated her feelings for him.
His voice was nearly inaudible to her ears. It could have been her imagination by now, but she responded anyway.
"Zetta...I love you...and I always will..."
She now lay on the ground, completely motionless. He was so confused with the strange emotions he was feeling. Emotions that he was unaware existed. Emotions that seemed both comforting yet distraught all at once. His body began to glow fiercely with a crimson glow as spheres of light began entering him. He was beyond simply being surprised. He was nearly a thousand times stronger than ever.
"Where is all this Mana coming from...? So much power...these feelings...they are practically identical to the first time I became the strongest Overlord!"
His own words make him look towards Salome's fading body. He gritted his teeth in shock, as if a revelation rushed into his core.
Without a second thought he teleported back to his personal space where his Netherworld resided.
Pram the Oracle and Trenia sat in silence as the television set went static before turning off. The two turned around as Zetta came teleporting in. It was easy to see his sad expression upon his face.
Pram was sure what more to say so she didn't. He looked at her, his eyes seeming just the barest of shades darker than normal.
"Pram...please tell me what to do."
Even his voice sounded pathetically weak to her ears. Pram's eyes shown with concern.
'What happened...? This can't be Lord Zetta. The same Lord Zetta who took over the entire cosmos nearly by himself.'
She thought as she looked at him. His eyes narrowed slightly in annoyance.
"Please Pram...I need your help! Tell me what to do!"
He ordered sharply, making the Oracle cringe slightly.
'This is my fault...he's not the same person anymore...this wasn't what I wanted...my plaything to become like this.'
She wasn't sure what to tell him since she had read the Sacred Tome to find out about the future. Thought she felt she only had two options to bring up.
"Well, it depends on you, Zetta. Do you want to focus on breaking the curse, or getting your body back first and foremost?"
She asked. He looked at her with a puzzled expression.
"What are you talking about? I don't care about all that. Tell me how to bring Salome back to life, damn it! You're the Oracle so tell what to do!"
He demanded furiously. Pram looked at him with such surprise, her eyes were as big as saucers. The sight made Trenia giggle slightly.
'What the hell! He's still thinking about Salome now over his own desires...wait a minute...it's impossible...'
Her eyes regained their normal length.
"...you love her!"
She blurted out her unspoken thought. Her words brought a large blush to his face, but he tried to pretend as if he were angry instead and failed miserably.
"S...Shut up! You're an Overlord, damn it! Stop speaking like a pathetic human. I just...need to a...ask her a very important question, that's all!"
He said, but his small stutter gave him away easily. Trenia giggled even more, and Pram looked nervous.
'I want to help him, but what can I do without the knowledge of the Sacred Tome...wait just a darn minute! This isn't like me at all. We just have to...'
She had been losing her baring for quite awhile now since being humiliated by Trenia sometime earlier, but she began rapidly gaining it back at this moment. She wanted to undo her mistakes, and she only knew of one way to possibly do it.
"Zetta...we need to use the Sacred Tome...that'll fix everything and Salome should return to the Netherworld."
She said with as much authority as possible. He simply looked questioningly at her.
"Are you sure? Salome's an Overlord classed level of demon, so to wish her back would require a costly sacrifice of Mana."
He voiced his question verbally, thinking of the consequences behind such a powerful wish. Silence was all that went between them for a small while before Pram came forward.
"...I'll do it."
She said finally.
He was interrupted as she glared at him.
"I'm Pram the freaking Oracle, damn it! You don't have the right to tell me what to do, so hurry up and open to a blank page, already."
She demanded, sounding insulted that he question her. He simply obliged as she took a pencil and wrote in her wish, "Lady Salome will be revived under the name of Pram the Oracle". Unfortunately, nothing positive occurred, and instead, her wish was beginning to fade.
"It's not working..."
She muttered sadly. Zetta growled in frustration. She glare at the page furiously.
"How dare the cosmos imply I don't have the Mana powerful enough to revive a deceased Overlord! I took over my father's Netherworld when I was only two, you hear me? NOW GRANT MY WISH!"
She roared as a white sphere generated around her like a bubble, her power rising. She transformed her body into one more suitable to release her higher level of Mana energy. The wish started to show as boldly as it did before, and Trenia saw as a black portal emerged, housing Salome's transparent body.
"Whew...The Gate of the Dead opened, so it's working then."
The mysterious girl said to herself
He called out to her sleeping figure as she became more and more opaque to everyone's eyes. Sweat began gather by Pram's brows.
'Come on...just a little bit more...!'
Pram continued to focus on keeping the wish alive. It was as Zetta said, it took a ton of Mana to try and revive an Overlord. Too great was everyone's excitement, no one noticed as The Overlord of the Underworld, Seedle, teleported by Pram.
With a fierce battle cry, Seedle struck Pram down with his katana, who screamed in agony from straining herself to make her wish come true. Pram fell to the ground, her body reverting back to it's former state. Her wish completely vanished off the page.
'Zetta...I'm sorry, I couldn't...'
Pram feinted from the powerful attack, and Seedle laughed in his insane state, fulfilling his desire to banish Salome forever. Zetta growled at despicable Overlord.
His eyes began to glow brightly in his fury.
"I have something to ask Salome, and your not getting in my way of bringing her back, you hear me?"
He demanded gruffly, and Seedle's laughter subsided.
"Let me guess... You became even more powerful once she died, didn't you?"
He asked almost casually. Zetta's eyes widened in surprise.
"How the hell did you know that?"
He asked the Samurai Overlord. Seedle chuckled slightly
"Oh please Zetta, you've been practically molded by Salome herself. Just a big fake Overlord."
He responded. Zetta growled, denial showing on his face.
He roared at the Overlord. Seedle's good eye gleamed with delight.
"On the contrary, I think you should know the truth. Salome was never truly sick in the first place so that's not the reason she left you all those years ago. Once she left, she slowly began giving you and your Netherworld Mana from her own body and Netherworld. That's why you were able to soar over the rest of us in terms of power. Ironic isn't it? The man who wants to save her was the very man who was putting her to her own death in the first place. She loved you so much she was willing to sacrifice her own health in order to make you the strongest. And to think if she had only chosen me, the power she had would have been mine. Regardless...such a tragic end for you two lovebirds, eh? Why don't I send you to join her, that is if there is an afterlife for those who die in the netherworld. Ha Ha Ha Ha!"
With that, he dashed towards Zetta, drawing another katana with his left hand and ready to cleave the Sacred Tome into little pieces. Lightning struck down, deflecting the attack, Alexander coming in between the two to face Seedle.
"I don't think so, bastard! I'm the one who get's to kill Zetta, got it?"
Alexander said arrogantly. Seedle growled in annoyance.
"Stupid kid. You dare to interfere with me twice?"
He said with barely controlled anger. Alexander bristled as electricity cracked around him.
"That's my line! How many times do I have to say it? You're the punk interfering with my match with Zetta!"
He slammed his fist into the ground letting lightning shower around Seedle, before encasing him in a large sphere of electricity that left Seedle roaring in pain.
"Take this! Vanishing Bolt!"
Alexander pushed Seedle far away from Zetta and the others, both of them fading in the distance, though they were the last things on Zetta's mind.
"So it's like he said...then this really is the way it's suppose to end?..."
He said to himself lowering his head at a loss of what to do. Seedle's words struck a sore point within him.
"...I'm just some false Overlord that a dead human woman created?"
His voice was barely level and bordered on being a growl.
He was barely audible, and Trenia barely heard it as she took a step forward.
Her voice went ignored by him.
"I never gave her permission to do this! I wanted to become stronger by my own way! I don't care if your method was the fastest way to achieve my wish Salome, I refuse to be held responsible for your death! When I revive you, you and me are going to have some business to settle, understand? Damn it all to hell...!"
He kept on cursing non stop in his tirade. Trenia pouted.
"Aw man, this sucks!"
He stopped to look at her questioningly.
"What's wrong with you?"
He asked, wondering what she was talking about. She let out a sigh.
"I was hoping this new freedom would lead me out of this place, but I can't. Oh well...you've done well though, Zetta."
She complimented him. He looked even more confused.
"Huh? For what?"
He wasn't sure where she was getting at, but she didn't seem so airheaded like he remembered.
"Well you see, I was hoping to be free of this place and let you feel what it was like to lose everything and remain the Sacred Tome for a while, but since it's clear I can't escape, I guess now as good a time as any to set things back to normal."
She said. He raised an eyebrow.
"What can you do to rectify the situation?"
He continued with his questioning. She giggled.
"Zetta, I'm actually the essence of the Sacred Tome, the soul that was confined there before you confined with the book and ejected my soul out. That's the reason I knew so much about the book and of events that would occur in the first place. Being the Sacred Tome means I know everything!"
She explained to him. Zetta gritted his teeth together in anger, his right eye twitching.
"You...you knew everything that was going to happen to me, yet you still remained quiet about it all the way through?"
He said, barely able to contain himself from blasting her down with a Zetta Beam. She smiled innocently at him.
She said enthusiastically. His eyes narrowed as he seethed.
He muttered under his breath.
"You think I'll ever forgive you for this?"
Containing his anger was becoming harder and harder to do.
"Can you really blame me? You were always obsessed with becoming the strongest out there and arrogant enough to make me sick. But you've changed...I actually kind of like you now. Being free like this was a lot of fun too since you've were confined into the Sacred Tome."
She stated. He sighed in frustration.
"Glad to see one of us did. Can you please tell me how to return to normal now?"
He said sarcastically. She giggled.
"Sure. I just need to confine myself with the book the same way you did to me. Now, you're a lot stronger than me, so if you resist in any way when you feel the pushing sensation of being freed from the book, the results could be catastrophic, so just go with the flow instead and it will all be over in a little while. You might also want to close your eyes so your more in tune with the feel."
She instructed. He did as she said and she embraced him, closing her own eyes as well.
Soon the world went completely white. He soon woke up, finding himself staring at the familiar high ceiling of his castle. He realized he lay on his back. He sat up, looking at his own legs. His eyes widened in joy as he stood up to full height.
"Ha Ha Ha! I'm back! Man, am I one handsome devil!"
He said, gazing down upon his visage in the mirror like surface of the clean floor. His body, his castle, his Netherworld...everything had returned back to how it used to be. He then noticed the Sacred Tome had returned to it's normal glowing blue hue and floated a few feet away.
"Okay, Zetta, make your wish!"
Trenia spoke to him. He was a bit surprised, but remembered she was the Sacred Tome after all.
He said in a small voice, something uncharacteristic for him. Trenia giggled at his expense, knowing every reason for his hesitation.
"Hey, there's no reason to be shy. I mean, I know what your going to wish for anyway and the exact words your going to use as well."
She replied. His blush became more apparent.
"Right...you still know everything, don't you?"
He said, stroking his chin with his hand.
She said cheerily. She then floated closer to him before flipping to a blank page. Zetta closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was up to him now to put his Mana power to the test. Since Pram had been interfered with, there was no way to tell how much Mana was truly necessary to complete the process. He knew he could at least open the Gate of the Dead, but everything after that would be treading on unknown territory.
He sighed, her name sounding from his mouth. His mind needed to be filled with nothing but her. If his obsession for power overruled him, his wish might not become realized. So he started to reflect upon the past in hopes of easing his worry of the present.
He commanded, and she lunged at him, striking downward with her crystal clear short sword, but he deflected it easily, before striking her in the stomach with the flat of his black sword. She almost fell on her back, but was able to gain her balance before that could happen. This time he charged at her, coming with a two handed horizontal sweep of his blade, which she barely jumped over, sending a fire ball down at his direction. He merely smirked as he swung outward with his cape to crush the magic attack in it's wake, before jumping after her to ram her with his shoulder, sending her face first to the ground. He landed, kicking her on her back before aiming his sword at her throat.
"You have to stop fighting with that polite human technique. Demons don't play fair and by the rules. Those who were humans in their former lives won't last long if they want to engage in a fair battle. Your magic has lead us to victory, but when the enemy get's too close to you, I always have to jump in because they swarm you. You've got to learn how to take on all those bastards both long and close range in order to survive in combat, got it? That's why you've lost to me 2711 times in just this week alone."
He explained, removing the blade from her neck and stepping away, allowing her to get back up. He held his sword at the ready.
He declared, and she fought with more vigor, enough to surprise him momentarily with quick and precise attacks that left him on the defensive. She then knocked his weapon free from his grip with a rushing thrust, tackling him down to the ground. She had straddled his waist, her sword aimed at his throat.
"That's 2711 to 1 now."
She said, as she smirked down at him. He showed a small grin.
"Pretty good. You overwhelmed your opponent. Good thing you're a quick learner...too bad your not quick at all, though."
Soon he had her on her back, having rolled her over along with him so that he was on top, aiming her own weapon at her.
"Looks like it's 2712 after all, huh?"
He said smugly. He leaned closer to her face when he noticed something.
"Hey, why are your cheeks all red. Don't tell me you caught a cold now."
He said in exasperation. She shook her head.
"It's nothing, we've just never been in this position before."
She said shyly. He was in between her legs, pressing his body against her own to keep her immobile. He still didn't see what the problem was.
"Your strange, Salome..."
He said as he got up off her, though she did not move from her spot on the ground, her face still red and her breathing faster than usual to his ears as he retrieved his sword and faced her.
"Get up already. Three more spars and we will be done for the day."
His face had only the barest hint of a smile on. That was the first time she had toppled him and almost succeeding in beating him in a match. He had still been too obsessed with becoming more powerful then, it had never crossed his mind of the sexual implications behind the way he lay on top of her.
He had been practicing against all of his soldiers in the courtyard. They never stood a chance, and he beat them down mercilessly. Sweat covered his body, leaving a shiny sheen across his body. He was still greatly fatigued by a match against Salome earlier that day, and he was already the strongest Overlord now, but he wasn't strong enough should they gang up on him and try and dethrone him. It was rare for Overlord's to do such things as there was almost always a conflict of interest in the way between them, but it was not impossible. So he needed to surpass himself nearly a hundred fold.
"Zetta, take it easy on them, they still need to guard the castle."
Salome said from behind him. He spared her a sidelong glance.
"Shut up! I have always been aware of that. But I need to become even more powerful, or else my kingdom could be crushed. And I'd rather die than let that happen. So they will be used for my training, the same way you are used for my training."
He declared, beginning to walk away as the soldiers stood up warily and got back to their duties. She followed him back into the castle.
"Zetta, there is no way your going to become powerful enough to fully protect your kingdom. No Overlord can and you know it."
She tried to reason with him, but he simply brushed her off, heading straight for his chambers and slamming the door in her face. He didn't really care what she thought lately. She had been acting strangely around him for some time. His only guess that she had become too weak minded to become even an Overlord
He had been neglecting everyone including her as a person, treating them as mere objects to consummate his training even further. It had only been a few days after that night, he had been informed she left his Netherworld, but he had never noticed the first day when she truly left. It had been a few days after that time she left that he heard she had become an Overlord and had her own Netherworld, the farthest one away from his in fact. He had all but forgotten any matter concerning her, overjoyed when he realized his Mana power was growing more rapidly after her leaving. He cringed at the thought, remembering Seedle's words to him about the real reason she left. Even now it was hard to comprehend she would love him that much to give him all the Mana she possessed. And he never saw her again until only the past few recent events when she and the others aided in restoring his Netherworld.
The battle had just ended in the dank mine, and he was just about to go through the next corridor when her voice stopped him.
He turned around, recognizing her voice easily as she teleported right beside him.
"Salome...what do you want?"
He said bluntly, looking away from her. She sighed.
"Why the cold shoulder? It really has been a long time since we've been alone like this."
She said . He snorted in annoyance.
"You're the one who left me, remember. I don't see why I owe you any favors."
He responded in his same cold manner.
"Heh...you really haven't changed at all. Still so cold as always."
She said softly. He gave her a small glance.
"What were you expecting from me? Onto other matters...Was what Seedle said true? About you being sick?"
He asked, making his intentions known. She leaned against the cave wall.
"Yes...I've fallen ill, just like he says. Are you concerned about me?"
Her question was laced with a slight chance of hope in her voice. Why? He didn't know.
"I'll say! Someone like you had so much potential for greatness being stomped out by some strange disease. Such a waste..."
He told her. She gazed at him with sad eyes. He looked away in disgust.
"Why are you looking at me like that? What, were you expecting me to hold you and comfort you tenderly with kind words or something?"
He said almost mockingly. Her next words threw him for a loop, however.
"Don't you love me, Zetta?"
She asked in a soft tone. He felt as if he had been crushed under a ton of bricks.
"What? Don't get all girly and mushy like some human on me now. You're an Overlord, dammit!"
He spouted out, before rushing away and leaving her behind.
'Damn...even though I'm back in my normal body, I'm still thinking like a damn softie here. Stupid after effect of the Sacred Tome probably.'
His brows knitted in slight anger. He rubbed his forehead, trying to regain his concentration.
'Come on Zetta, got to focus on reviving Salome.'
He mentally said to himself.
"Zetta...when you first became the strongest Overlord...what did it feel like?"
She asked him. He didn't see what this had to do with her bleeding problem, though.
"That's not important..."
He replied, but could say no more as she interrupted with a more stern voice.
"Please...tell me what it felt like."
She said to him. So he decided to abide by her request.
"...it felt good. No, it felt beyond great. To have accomplished my life long dream...I don't think I'll ever be able to feel it again...the immense elation at fulfilling such a desire after so much time was spent trying to achieve it."
He tried to keep his emotions in check, but it was obvious even to him that he failed in doing that. He felt as if he would practically bounce off the wall with delight from remembering the happiest moment of his life.
"I'm glad to hear you say that."
She said to him, showing a happy smile to him despite her condition. She then asked him something else.
"...can you do me a favor?"
Not seeing any problem in hearing her out a bit more, he didn't hesitate to reply.
He asked, letting his curiousness get the better of him.
She gazed at him strangely, his name rolling off her tongue in a manner that was oddly pleasing to his ears, though he couldn't guess why. She looked at him with the happiest smile, and the brightest eyes than he had ever seen on anyone else.
"...will you marry me?"
He had been baffled beyond belief. So greatly, he couldn't bring himself to retort even a little bit. So he had left her there instead, not a single remark able to leave his mouth.
"Zetta, I know your worried that even you might not be able to pull this off. But I assure you everything will be fine. I'm the Sacred Tome, remember. If I say it, it will be true."
Trenia replied to him, feeling his uneasiness.
"You could have just said that sooner to me. Now you've seen all those damn embarrassing memories of mine."
He grumbled out.
"Don't worry, I've known about those memories for a long time. Besides, my saying you will do it won't just instantly instill you with the confidence you'll need. Plus, you can't think of holding any Mana back for the wish either. If looking back to the past will make you realize that more completely, then it's the best thing to do. I believe your ready now, that's all."
She said to him. He took a deep breath.
"I suppose...let's give it a shot then, Trenia."
He said, grasping a pencil and preparing to mark his wish on the book. He wrote "My beloved Salome shall be revived under my name, Lord Zetta". He felt his body lose Mana the instant the wish had been made. He closed his eyes in concentration, allowing himself to release as much Mana as he could to keep the wish processing. He held more appreciation for Pram now that he was experiencing the fulfillment of Mana required to make his wish come true for himself firsthand.
"Zetta! It's working, the Gate of the Dead opened!"
Trenia informed him. He felt his breathing become labored.
He didn't dare open his eyes for fear of losing concentration for some reason. He only had one chance and he had to make it count.
"Zetta, she's...Zetta, can you hear me? Hey...Zetta..."
Trenia's voice faded from his hearing, and he felt as if he were falling.
'What's happening...my body feels so numb...like I don't have it again.'
Darkness was all that enshrouded him. He felt nothing. As if he didn't exist at all.
'Am I dead?'
He pondered to himself, coming to the conclusion that he didn't think so if he was still able to ponder like this.
A feint voice spoke out to him. He now felt his body again. It was lying against something cold.
He recognized her voice instantly, opening his eyes, only to be blinded by a bright light. His sight adjusted to normal, and he saw the most beautiful sight in the world to him: Salome's face looking down upon his.
"Your alive...then my wish was granted!"
His voice was glad with the result, but his body complained about losing so much Mana all at once. Salome helped him into a seating position on the floor. He clasped his forehead, racked with a headache.
"You took a nasty spill there Zetta, but I knew you were thickheaded enough to survive the fall."
Trenia said. He looked at the Sacred Tome skeptically.
He said with a sarcastic tone.
"Zetta, why did you revive me? I thought I was just a burden to you."
Salome said, her eyes focused on his. He tried to appear angry and glared at her.
"I'm not going to be held responsible for killing you, that's all. And to piss Seedle off if that prick survived Alex's attack."
He told her.
"Don't be bashful Zetta. You know it's because you realized you actually do love her, so you wanted to bring her back and spend the rest of your life with her at your side."
Trenia said. Zetta exploded in rage and embarrassment.
"Shut up! I don't give a damn about Salome at all, okay? After Seedle told me the truth, I simply wanted to bring her back to not be responsible for her death. Don't get your facts mixed up, you stupid book!"
He growled at the floating book, his cheeks red as he sweated profusely. Another voice came in on the conversation.
"Oh please, Zetta. You chose to revive her over getting your body back or removing the curse even before Seedle showed up in the picture. You love her, plain and simple."
Everyone turned to see Pram entering the room. Zetta was infuriated.
"Gah! Pram, shut your trap. I don't love her. I said I had to ask her a question. That ass, Seedle, just came along and answered it for me."
He really didn't want to have to deal with all of those accusations of his actions when he had a splitting headache. Yet another voice came in on the conversation.
"Heh! So then why revive Lady Salome afterwards? Just for the hell of it? Come on, Zetta, your way too out of it to even put up a decent verbal argument, so just kiss her already, dammit!"
Alexander said as he walked in, standing beside Pram. Zetta's right eye twitched irritably.
"Alex, you son of a bitch! Your in on this too? This is some kind of conspiracy."
Zetta angrily muttered.
"That's enough, everyone."
Salome stated. Zetta looked relieved.
"Finally, someone sane jumps in to end all this lying nonsense."
He said. Salome smiled sweetly at him.
"I'm already aware of his feelings. I mean, he did refer to me as his beloved after all."
She said, and Zetta's eyes nearly popped out of his head.
"Salome...! Wait a minute...Trenia, you little bitch! You showed Salome my wish!"
His cheeks were flushed deeply red. Trenia giggled.
"I didn't just show her it. I had to tell her about it first and foremost."
She said, her blunt honesty shining through. He clasped his head in his hands.
"I'm too tired to deal with this. Just leave me alone."
He muttered out between his fingers.
" See ya, Zetta. I'll let you off easy this time."
Alexander said as he walked away.
"Guess I'll just take Trenia back to the Forbidden Library."
Pram said as she held the Sacred Tome.
"You kids have fun now."
Trenia said jokingly before she was taken with Pram. Zetta just sighed miserably.
"Someone just kill me now. I'll never be seen as the most Bad-Ass freaking Overlord after this pathetic display of authority."
He said to himself.
"Even if that's just a figure of speech, it's not that funny, Zetta. You still have The One's curse after all."
Salome said. He looked up at her.
"That's true. Having revived you, I'm not sure if I'll have the Mana to be able to counteract the curse anymore. Regardless if my chances are close to nil, I won't give up until it's all over."
He said, his determination returning.
"Wrong. We won't give up until it's all over."
She corrected him. He sighed.
"Stop throwing your life away for me, Salome. I never wanted it in the first place. Just live your own life."
He told her, raising up to leave now that his headache subsided. She didn't give him the chance, embracing him from behind.
"You are my life, Zetta. That's just how much I love you. So please...stop pushing me away."
She said, pressing her cheek against his back, her arms tightening around his waist. He turned around in the embrace until he faced her.
There were a lot of things he wanted to say to her, but everything was lost when her lips sealed over his in a chaste kiss. All of his problems faded away in the brief moment of bliss shared between them, to be handled for another day.
Note: An extremely long one-shot fiction. It kind of spurred upon me after seeing the normal ending. I should have written the dialogue from the game down to make this story easier, but like an idiot, I forgot to and ended up using memorization. All credit goes to Bella for giving me a translated summary of one of the Makai (or Phantom, in this case) Kingdom novels based off Salome. Because the summary was fairly short and just gave me tidbits of what the true story behind it is, a lot of interpretation went into writing this story on my part. In fact, much of this story alters the ending to fit some areas that I would have liked to have seen in the game. I got a case of writer's block near the end, hence the rushed feel of it, which I apologize for. Hopefully this story is still okay for the most part...