A/N: This is it! The final chapter! Read!
Response to anonymous reviewers:
machi: Read and find out what happens next! Thanks so much for your review!
priestessmykala: Thank you for your review and here's the last chapter!
TIFFANY: Thanks so much for a review! I appreciated every comment! No worries about the mistake!
coffee-n-cream: The battle is here and it's one thing after the other! Thank you for taking the time to review my story. I love comments!
Lina: I'm so sorry you're upset. You're always welcome to send me a private message if you need to talk it out with someone. I still must thank you highly for taking the time to respond to the chapter. I really hope you're feeling better hug
luz: Wow, if this were made into an OVA (probably made less confusing too) that would be amazing. I wanted more from the OVA too! I hope I satisfied you a bit though with the final chapter. The brother's make some big strides to save their beloved Wolfram! Thank you so much for reviewing!
Pandakyut: I love teasers, I'm sorry! Thanks for reviewing! I hope you enjoy my upcoming KKM fics, then. Sorry your eyes sting but hopefully it was worth it!
AM592161: You'll find your answer in here! Thank you for taking the time to review my story so enjoy the final chapter!
Warnings: Violence (of course), death
Spoilers: References to Julia's soul
Thanks for pushing me to finish this story, reviewers! I love you all!
Murata stared in absolute and unrestricted wonder. "This is it," he exclaimed, fingers twitching in anticipated fearful arousal.
"Your Majesty!" Gunter wailed from the far side, jerking against the putrid restraints with desperateness.
The origin of Gunter's distress and Murata's piqued interest stood with glorious essence, between a seething Wolfram and grinning Sagira. The two entities of Yuri and Khalid had spawned into one opposing threat, one worth battling the other two forces.
Wolfram's blackened eyes and pale face tightened in protest to his new obstacle. "MOVE," a voice of gloom commanded with the force of a monstrous beast.
The Demon King challenged Wolfram's peril with a booming retort, "No."
Instead of frowning in response to the refusal, Wolfram's lips only quirked back into a smile of sorts. "Then I'll do it for you," he hissed, extending a thin hand into a lethal gesture.
The cyclone of inferno discharged with brutal force and The Demon King tensed his muscles as a precaution. His hand rose and his water dragons screeched at the silent demand. The slithering beasts roared and snaked around one another as they charted a course for a head on collision.
The dragons shrieked upon the inferno's powerful impact but their mouths ripped open, releasing a magnificent display of crashing waves. The opposing forces generated sounds of such intensity one would mistake it for the roar and pounding of a god's battle cry.
Wolfram growled and shot his arm upward. The inferno mimicked his action and the trick forced the water dragons into a short state of confusion. Without a split second passing, Wolfram shot out his other hand, where a roaring lion charged forth and pounded against the water.
"This is dangerous," Murata whispered, darting his eyes between the two.
Conrad cast a glance at his eldest brother who struggled against Sagira still. "What do you refer to?" he hesitantly asked, swallowing his frantic helplessness.
Murata crawled over debris to inspect the situation closer. "Normally, Lord von Bielefeld reacts on impulse but not this time. That…thing inside of him is processing tactics. That, added with Lord von Bielefeld's powerful magic cannot be good."
Unconsciously clenching a fist, Conrad rasped, "Wolfram." He snatched Murata's arm quickly and dragged the boy toward where Gwendel and Yosak were restrained. "Come!"
Wolfram's eye caught the motion of various individuals, both his companions and the villagers, scurrying for safety. The Demon King, still maintaining the strength of his dragons, insisted, "These are innocent individuals you will harm with your power! You cannot control It!"
"I control everything now!" the blonde screamed, his rage flaming his already prevailing abilities. Slapping his hands together, the two cyclones melted into a monster of a tornado before hurling toward Sagira and The Demon King.
Grunting, The Demon King jerked the invisible reigns of his beasts and prepared for a counter-attack. Calculating the massive threat, his body brightened and his glow radiated with persistence.
Sagira finally pitched Gwendel aside and stepped beside The King. "Play fire with fire, boy," he cooed. "Watch the big boys play, baby brother."
The Demon King's crimson eyes electrified at the comment.
Indulging in the reaction, Sagira tilted his head back and his lips parted. A gaseous murky darkness oozed from his mouth and then his eyes, swallowing the entirety of his body with quick pace. The King stared in repulsion as the body teleported, for lack of a better term, and appeared atop the tornado.
In less than two seconds, Sagira returned to The Demon King's side and the manifestation of Wolfram's powers withered away like dust. "Y-You!" Wolfram roared, fisting his hands and drawing forth more sparks.
"W-What was that?!" Gunter cried, rubbing his sore arms. Kicking aside the last of his limp restraints, the man gratefully accepted his sword from Conrad.
Murata swallowed and managed to clarify, "Sagira has memorized the spells that were once forgotten due to the scrolls being ripped. He…must have manipulated time for his body to move so quickly."
"This is why the scrolls were meant to be destroyed," Yosak sighed, staring hard at the fuming blonde. "No one should have this sort of power."
The three peered over to Conrad, who stood upon a rock. "This…can't be. We can't leave it like this for them to kill each other."
Murata frowned and muttered, "Lord Weller…"
"I won't accept Wolfram's defeat to whatever lies within him! Never!"
The Demon King raised Morgif high into the air and slashed at Sagira's cackling form. The man easily flipped back and launched forward. Manipulating the speed of time on his form, Sagira hurled a kick to The Demon King's face but it lacked in swiftness still.
Using Khalid's knowledge of similar spells, The Demon King vanished from the man's view and manifested above him with such speed, Sagira failed to react. With looming eyes, The Demon King bellowed and pounded a wave of water over Sagira.
The man screamed in horror but Wolfram's flames danced over The Demon King's body, obligating The King to halt his attack on Sagira. With just enough swiftness, The Demon King leapt to the side as Wolfram's flaming body nearly pummeling him into the ground.
"He's mine to kill!" Wolfram sneered, glaring back at the man and failing to recall Sagira's presence before him.
Sagira took the opening and crushed the palms of his hands against Wolfram's chest. The dark shadow shot over and around Wolfram's body, ensnaring the body in a tangled mess. "Yes! Got you!" Sagira cheered, narrowing his eyes in a glee.
Wolfram cried out in protest as the hands crawled into his chest as they once have done. His hands snatched at the intrusive arms and fire devoured them both in one gulp. Sagira groaned but only invaded further, pressing his hands until the wrists vanished.
"Wolfram!" The Demon King bellowed and he melted into the shadows to appear beside his fiancé.
The blonde hung limply, impaled by Sagira's arms.
"You won't use him!" The King roared and slashed with Morgif.
An electrical spark punched Morgif out of The Demon King's grasp before the hand latched around The King's neck, effectively throttling and shocking the young man. The sharpness of the pain was enough to render The Demon King useless in an attack.
"Now you're finally mine to use," Sagira whispered but his delight darkened into raw perplexity. "Let's push you just a bit more."
Wolfram's lips were spreading into a nasty grin. The boy's hands rose once more and gripped Sagira with venom while his eyes snapped open. The lips parted and light chuckles tore loose from the Prince's throat as he tore his nails into the dark substance that was Sagira's arms.
The black coloration of Wolfram's eyes darkened even further until oblivion harbored within them. His powers shot out massive sparks and Sagira struggled to maintain dominance. His initial plan retreated and the man cursed as he leapt back and consequently, released The Demon King.
"So, you want to do this force by force, eh?" Sagira inquired and he stole a peek at The Demon King. "One against two for each of us?"
The Demon King clenched his fist and disregarded Morgif's lonely moan from behind. "Wolfram, you must stop this."
Wolfram's arm discharged to the side and two gargantuan felines screeched to life. "I'm not through, yet."
The three poised for battle.
Sagira twitched first.
The three mighty forces charged forward at one another.
Gwendel croaked and cruelly coughed until his lungs practically collapsed. The man, with mighty effort, pressed his hands against the brutal ground and glared long enough until his vision stood still.
"I…can't last long," he admitted to himself, coughing once more.
"A…Are you in need of assistance?"
The man strained to lift his head up and observe a familiar servant girl extending her hand in a kind offering. "Y…You," Gwendel rasped before another violent fits of cough overtook him.
"Gwendel," the familiar voice of Rashid soothed and a hand kindly patted the man's back. "I'm so sorry about all this."
The girl knelt beside Gwendel and lightly stroked his back. A warmth of gentle healing spread throughout his bodies, calming the coughs. Though he did not improve in overall condition, Gwendel gratefully accepted the touch.
Rashid glanced at the girl and frowned, sadness overcoming him.
"We are sorry, Rashid," the servant girl insisted, smiling but the intention was lost.
"W-Why are you…helping me? I'm your…enemy…" Gwendel managed to ask.
The girl's eyes brimmed with threatening tears and she peered back toward the battling trio. "It…was not suppose to be like this," she begged, pressing a hand to her face.
Gwendel's deep groan startled her as he sat back, panting. "What…do you mean?" he gasped, vision faltering once more. "Isn't…that thing…protecting your people?"
"Our Prince and King…Your King…Rashid…no one was supposed to get hurt like this," she confessed. "We don't want to see someone else's kingdom fall so that we can thrive."
Rashid watched Wolfram leap from Sagira's advances. "There must be a way."
With a faint mumble, Gwendel asked, "Do…you know…how to stop this?"
The girl flushed in useless abandon but her eyes held determination. Behind Gwendel, he sensed many others of the Sulterian culture scuffling closer to him, Rashid, and the girl. With a suspicious gleam to his eyes, Gwendel surveyed them. Old, weak, young, and strong mourned over his decaying body.
The girl stood and her tainted eye smoldered.
"Their movements are so fast," Murata exclaimed, still captivated by the battle as he walked and crawled over broken walls. Whenever two or more forces collided, a horrible explosion was fashioned with such intensity that it would rattle the ground beneath them.
Conrad stole another glance to the center of the battlefield. "There's not telling how long Khalid can stay fused with His Highness or if any of them can really outdo the other," he declared with severe gravity.
"Somehow I feel like His Eminence won't accept defeat," Yosak murmured.
"The entity is manipulating him!" Gunter added with fear. "Surely he had agreed to submit to save His Majesty but look at them now!"
"Gwendel's still far away," Conrad suddenly announced, cautious to stay a safe distance from the battle. The more he observed the battle, the more his impulses and instincts killed his logic. "This…isn't…right…"
Murata narrowed his eyes to better analyze the situation. "Their power is fading!"
"What? Who?" Gunter demanded, following the Great Sage's line of sight.
"Shibuya! He and Khalid are splitting!"
Conrad's eyes widened. "Yuri…"
Yosak hissed and shook his head. "This isn't go-who! CAPTAIN!"
"CONRART! What are you doing?!" Gunter screamed as the brunette dashed with great speed toward his godson. "CONRART!"
The Demon King stumbled and grasped the wound at his hip with a harsh grip. He sensed the two personalities within him fading in their unison strength and he quickly contemplated an alternative.
"Looks like someone is about to split," Sagira laughed, flinging a wave of force at the tired opponent.
Wolfram leapt at Sagira with his animal manifestations. They collided with the attack intended for The King and the lions clawed Sagira's blow to a dismal death. Untouched, Wolfram glanced at The King for the briefest moment before chucking another herd of flames at Sagira.
The Demon King almost appreciated the two occupied with one another for he succumbed to his exhaustion and collapsed. "Why am I so tired?" he demanded, mouth agape to inhale large quantities of air.
The pain shot through his nerves with enough speed to render The King speechless. As his brain processed the assault on his body, he screamed and clutched at his arms, a bright light crushing his form.
Wolfram and Sagira ceased their conflict to shield their eyes from the miniature explosion. The light was swift to dim and two bodies sprawled themselves upon the desolate field. They groaned and moaned before returning to the present reality of the battle.
"N-No," Khalid hissed, gaping at his hands. "Why am I so drained?"
Yuri flinched, agony overtaking his sore limbs. "W-Wolfram…"
It was Sagira who cackled and broke their rambling. "Oh, I see now. This is the consequence of not fending and gathering power for yourself," he spat, gleaming at Wolfram.
Wolfram's lips twitched again. "You devoted yourself to me, servant. I gave you your powers and I can, with time, draw them back out," he clarified, grinning. "It just took me a while to do it."
"No!" Khalid seethed, crushing his fists against the ground. "No! No!"
Yuri gaped helplessly at Wolfram. "Wolfram," he begged, crawling to his knees. "Please…I know you're there, inside. Please stop this."
The blonde's flames silenced Yuri's prattling. The dark eyes, though empty, were clearly focused on the double black. For a moment, Yuri suspected the blonde was standing before him without the assistance of a dark entity.
"Why don't I suggest your next move?" Sagira inquired and with little effort, he sprung forth two dark shadows with crystals upon their foreheads. Their arms slithered until they molded a deadly weapon of choice before they dashed toward the fallen duo.
"No!" Wolfram growled, preparing to prevent the attack from pounding against Yuri.
Wolfram's new reflex scorched out a blaze to snatch the shadows. Sagira grinned and with a snap of his fingers, the shadows melted, vanishing. However, the attack Wolfram set continued its onslaught and Conrad's back was all his dark eyes managed to capture before the scream echoed.
In a quick effort, Wolfram silenced the attack but even before the smoke fluttered to the skies, he sensed the pungent odor of death creeping upon them. Conrad's back was a disarray of bloody chaos, his skin scarred and uniform shredded. What was once a palette of creamy skin left much to be desired as Conrad angled his head and vomited a spew of blood.
"Where…when…did…" Wolfram failed to formulate words as his subconscious digested what he had just done.
The man vomited again and blood poured loose from his lips as he collapsed upon his protected godson. "C…CONRAD!" Yuri shrieked, clutching at the man's body as gently as possible but with enough force to employ his healing powers. "Conrad!"
"Oops, guess I aimed poorly and you did the damage for me," the voice of Sagira admitted with falsity.
Wolfram's fire withered away though the electrical glimmers continued to dance upon his skin. Staring in alarm, the blonde whispered, "Con…rart…"
"Captain!" Yosak cried, leaping over tattered earth. His face revealed his terror. "No…we were too late to stop him."
Gunter crawled over rocks and collapsed beside Yuri. "Conrart! Conrart! Say something!" he demanded, gripping the man in unwanted horror. "You fool..."
Rushing to their side, Khalid, too, assisted. "What have you done?" he breathed, gawking at Wolfram.
Tensing at the question, Wolfram could only gape. The raw agony of the circumstance touched Wolfram from deep within his cage and his body trembled with violent spasms. He shouted and clutched at himself in an effort to stop the rattling.
"N…No…He was in the way!" the blonde argued with himself, now grasping clumps of his hair. "They'll get in the way! All of them! I can't…protect…"
Conrad's eyes fluttered but he caught Yuri's face looming over his own. "Y…uri…for…forgive me….please…"
"Don't talk, Conrad!" Yuri demanded, tears already trickling in clumps. He longed to simultaneously reach Wolfram and aid to Conrad's decaying form but the situation hindered both.
The brunette hissed but managed to croak, "K…Khalid…"
The King of Sulteri leaned closer. "Yes?" he asked, frowning with suspicion and failing to ignore Wolfram frantic mumbling.
"I…won't…make it at this rate…" Conrad heaved.
"Don't talk such stupidity!" Khalid snapped, glaring down at the dying figure.
Murata understood Conrad's subliminal message and he nearly laughed at the insanity of it. "Lord Weller, such a thing will sadden Shibuya," he explained. "We don't know the effects it will have on you."
Yuri snapped his head up. "Wh…What? What will? Wait…Wait, no!"
Clenching his fists in realization, Khalid interjected, "No. I won't do that. The only thing that can stop Wolfram's rage is your king."
"Me?" Yuri asked, frowning and frantic at the simultaneous commotion.
Quickly, Khalid clarified. "Think about it. If there's a manifestation of dark magic, so there is for white magic. It rested within a gentle soul but she is no-"
"This talk is insulting me," Sagira growled, starling the others back to the man. "Remember me, I see. I'm not done having fun yet."
Yuri's eyes flicked behind the man to a trembling Wolfram and helplessness overtook the double black. "What are we going to do?" he questioned, holding Conrad's hand more tightly. "What can we do?"
Skin prickling at Sagira's voice, Khalid bit his lip and spoke in a low voice to Conrad. "I will do as you demand but on different terms. Wolfram's rampage will begin at any moment."
"Ooh, looks like he'll be dead soon," Sagira commented, stroking his bottom lip. "Pity. I wanted to torture him to death. Well, I still have the rest of you still."
A screech ripped through the air and the others barely had the rapid response to witness Wolfram latching onto Sagira. The boy's arm snuck around the man's waist with enough momentum to fling him off the ground and crashing upon the surface.
Fire swallowed the two and their cries overtook the battlefield. Their struggle for dominance played within the curtains of flames and the others stared in wonder. All, that is, except Khalid who remained hunched over Conrad's form for a few more moments.
Sagira repeatedly failed to alter the movement of time and as his frustration grew, so did Wolfram's intensity. The boy screamed and swung the man by a flaming whip over the earth with wicked force. He lifted the man up again and pitched him through a cluster of trees, snapping their trunks in one fluid motion.
"I'll kill you!" Wolfram's voice boomed. The boys arms tore loose and thousands of blazing darts shot at Sagira's form.
Laughing, Sagira raised his hands, stilling the incoming assault. "You may have the raw power but I have the knowledge of magic that should never have existed. I'll harness you yet, Prince!"
The darts reversed and assailed straight toward Wolfram.
At a safer distance, Khalid gasped and pulled away, his powers still draining. "I barely have enough of left but it's successful," he rasped, startling Yuri.
Yuri glanced at the tired man before down at his godfather. Gasping in shock, Yuri only gazed as Conrad's skin lapped and thread itself back together, forming new and tougher skin. As the wounds licked themselves clean, Conrad parted his eyes.
It was Conrad's newest accessory that sent the others yelling in alarm.
"Captain," Yosak exclaimed as the brunette stood with renewed strength, his right eye glistening with a bloody color.
Conrad peered toward his comrades and smiled specifically at Yuri. Never having felt more powerful, Conrad clenched his hands to test the brute strength beneath his fingertips. "I protect you and all you stand for, Yuri. Please, trust me."
"Conrad, no! I…You don't have to do this!" Yuri sobbed, clutching the man's arm with desperateness.
The man lightly pried his godson's fingers off but assured the boy, "The antithesis of dark is light and that's what's inside of you, Yuri. We've all seen it grow and now you'll have to call it out on your own."
Khalid, over Wolfram and Sagira's screaming, added, "It's a risky attempt but it's all we have at this point."
Yosak's eyes slide to Yuri. "You mean…"
"Oh, how I had hoped we could avoid this," Gunter wept, grasping Yuri in a tight embrace. "We can't let him though! What if it doesn't work?!"
"W-What is it?" Yuri asked, frightened.
Murata elaborated, "When the two opposing forces entangle, there is an impasse reached. Sagira should not be killed by Lord von Bielefeld. Whatever lies inside of him feeds of all the negative in our world. Killing Sagira will only increase our Prince's spree."
Gunter fought back the tears but inserted, "It is true. The more the host is satisfied with feeding the negativity, the more erratic the power grows. That is why…"
"Why what?" Yuri dared to ask, now ogling Wolfram's clash.
Murata, with little emotion, completed, "It's why the host often dies and the power transports into another. There is such a thing as too much power, Shibuya. It kills."
"We'll allow for an opening and then you go to him, Your Highness," Khalid stated with the saddest of smiles. "It seems it's come down to you."
"B-But, wait!" Yuri demanded, flickering his attention to the individuals of his group.
Conrad glanced once more to the double black. "Grab his hand, Yuri," the man said before sprinting toward the tumbling duo with Khalid.
Yosak snatched Yuri's arm and said, "When the time's right. We'll guide you there, Your Majesty."
Yuri stared helplessly at the two men darting away.
"Shibuya, listen to me," Murata demanded, grasping the boy's shoulder. "Normally, the host would die but this is where Sagira will make his attack."
Yuri narrowed his eyes. "What sort of attack?" he rapidly inquired, practically yelling.
Murata cast his gaze toward the struggling duo. "Sagira has discovered a method of harnessing Lord von Bielefeld once he reaches the threshold."
"Yes, when that thing inside Lord von Bielefeld breaks completely free. Sagira is only pushing him, feeding the rage, until something worse happens. Lord Weller's near death was nearly enough to reach that threshold," Murata elaborated.
Yuri swallowed and grasped his chest. "So then…that's when I…"
Yosak was the first to interject.
"We have only one chance at this."
Sagira tore loose from Wolfram's ensnarement and pitched a blow to the boy, reeling the Prince backward. Wolfram groaned as he regained a proper footing to launch another cyclone of flames at the man.
"It's not enough," Wolfram uttered with little amusement. Every waking second worsened his trembling body that thirst for more supremacy. His rage had yet to be quenched.
Yes, that's it.
His body straightened in realization and his grin even startled Sagira.
"Yes," the blonde murmured, raising an arm. "I'll kill anyone that interferes."
Sagira's own smile lengthened. "I see you've yet to reach your full potential. Why don't we push it just a bit more?" he teased, flicking his eyes toward Khalid and Conrad's running forms.
Conrad bellowed as his newly enhanced talents permitted him to hurl his blade at Sagira. The sadistic man retaliated with a strike of his own and a dart to the side. "You too, huh? You don't even have the use of stones inside of you. How do you expect to defeat me?"
The blow ripped through Conrad's arm, shredding layers of the skin. The Bad winced but his determination and wrath retained their intensity. "I don't," Conrad rasped, flinging his fist into the other's face.
Sagira growled at the impact of the blow and stumbled back. The attack left no marks and Sagira charged forward, pitching attacks one after the other at the barely younger man. Conrad depended on his heightened senses, which succeeded in dodging most of the blows.
From behind, Khalid roared and commanded slaves of the shadows to charge at his brother. Wolfram growled in irritation and discharged strings of attack at the two interferences. "Out of my way! He is mine to kill!"
Deflecting the attacks, Conrad and Khalid continued their assault on Sagira, effectively distracting the man from their initial tactic. Wolfram seethed and stomped five feet closer. "I will not be ignored…"
The earth beneath Wolfram's feet groaned. It pitched upward, ensnaring his limbs and coating them with thick layers of dirt and roots. "W…What is this?!" the Prince yelled, jerking against the restraints but sensing a powerful force.
Everyone managed to steal a glance behind Wolfram where an army marched forward.
"Gwendel!" Yuri bellowed in relief. "He's okay!"
"What is going on?" Khalid gasped, leaping aside from Sagira's blow. "Those…my people!"
The entire population of Red Eye positioned themselves behind Gwendel, who led the group into the battlefield. Their ages and strength varied but their intent carried the same principle. Their eyes brightened upon each closing step until they stood only mere feet behind Wolfram.
"You! How dare you treat me this way! I'll kill you all too!" the entity within Wolfram howled.
The servant girl raised her hand and pointed accusingly at Wolfram. "From this point on, your servants renounce their obedience to you."
Wolfram's tantrum rattled the world but still the ensnarement would not weaken in defense. "You will all rot away! I will kill every one of you!"
Gwendel's cracked voice still held its dominance as he yelled, "They will not rot until you are put to rest! There is one spell you have not learned yet because I destroyed its documentation for a situation like this."
Sagira narrowed his eyes. "What? Only one spell, is it?"
"It's a spell that will eat at your powers and it exists…here," Gwendel insisted and his index finger uncurled to point to his temple. "And I have just enough power to execute it now, thanks to these people."
At the statement, the members of Khalid's culture clasped their hands in a mockery of prayer and chanted simultaneously. Gwendel too, shut his eyes and focused his memory into the chant.
The spell took its first effect and Sagira abruptly collapsed to his knees, shrieking and convulsing.
"W-What is this?" Conrad breathed, stepping aside from the shrieking man. To his side, Wolfram's head jerked back, his own screams tangling with Sagira's.
Khalid was the next to crumble beneath the chanting as he cradled his head. Conrad flinched and fell victim after the King of Sulteri collapsed and the brunette groaned as his body deteriorated to the ground. The pain intensified and despite the efforts, yells and screams were escaping their lips.
"What's happening to them?!" Yuri cried, horrified.
Murata analyzed the screams and replied, "It's like blowing a whistle only dogs can hear, Shibuya. Only this targets their own members though I'm not sure what it's exactly doing to them."
"Gwendel was produced out of Sagira's magic so the spell is capable of harming him too," Gunter declared, both fascinated and terrified.
"It's killing them!" Yosak screamed.
Gwendel shouted in anguish as his body plowed into the ground, the spell taking effect on all the individuals, who all writhed and convulsed in misery. With the force of one hand, he thrust his upper body partially upward to observe Sagira and Wolfram. "Wol…fram…"
Let me out. All of me. He will kill you. Your King will fall next.
Wolfram temporarily gained access to his body as he caught Yuri shouting and rushing toward them. "Yuri," he whispered. "I'll …"
Numb to the misery the spell produced upon his conscious, Wolfram shut his eyes and succumbed to the entity's desires. The rumbling of the earth ceased and everyone sensed the sudden disturbance among the silence.
Then it began.
A disease unexpectedly crept up through Wolfram's veins like the roots of a plant claiming its territory.
As it overtook Wolfram, Conrad had gathered his strength and crawled over to his eldest brother. "G…Gwendel…"
Gwendel groaned, body deteriorating. "I…I know it won't hold…but…I know…what…do," he coughed, failing to convey his message.
The moans, screams, and sobs of decaying Red Eye members shook Conrad and he held his brother tightly. "You know….what?" he hissed, wincing at the pounding against his head.
It was then Gwendel saw his brother's eye and he smirked amongst his distress. "Yo…You too…? One…thing…left….save…Wolf…ugh."
"Gw…Gwendel," Conrad whispered as the larger man's body wilted and hung lifeless. The lethality of whatever had plagued their bodies overwhelmed Conrad and despite his struggle against it, his body withered and collapsed beside Gwendel's.
Though seemingly in death, their eyes fluttered with life and gaped at Wolfram even as their vision dispersed.
Yuri screamed and sobbed as the two bodies both sprawled across the ground. Gunter latched onto the boy and cradled him from the reality of the battle. "Don't look, Your Majesty!" the man begged, embracing his king with fervor.
Murata scrutinized the scene before him and murmured, "The worst is yet to come."
Wolfram's eyes thrived with life once more and an enormous and terrifying light shattered his restraints. The beast within moaned as his skin, discolored by the blotchy illness, lightened in its shade, contrasting the marks upon his strengthening body.
The boys' eyes, still plagued with darkness, split in half with the scarring of a red slit forming. Puffs of embers sparked with each breath of air inhaled and Wolfram's lips spread widely.
"Yes," It hissed, relishing on its freedom.
Clutching at his middle section, Sagira croaked, "F…Finally…"
Khalid, sprawled upon the ground, watched Wolfram's body flaming with darkened life. "Wolfram…What have I done to you," he mumbled, battling sleep.
Wolfram clenched his fist and the spell was whipped aside, alleviating those from their agony. He took languid trots until he resided at the center of the field, demanding attention. The blonde surveyed a panting Sagira, flicked his eyes over a broken Khalid, and fixated his attention upon Yuri, Gunter, and Yosak.
"You will be the first," Wolfram sneered, stepping toward Yuri. "Once you are dead, he will have nothing to restrain me by."
Yuri's eyes increased with horror and yet he felt his body far too exhausted to call forth any powers. "Wolfram.," he whispered, silently praying his powers would unleash any moment. "Wait!"
"No!" Gunter shouted, thrusting Yuri behind him. Yosak grimaced at Wolfram's eyes when they flared at Gunter's protest.
Without hesitation, Wolfram's eyes glimmered and the man's limbs were snapped. With a twitch of his head, flames leapt from Wolfram's body and tore Gunter's apart, marring it witch burns. Despite Gunter's croaks and sudden screams, Wolfram hurled the charring body with barbed flames, pitching it aside from his target.
As the man flailed to calm the fires, Yuri remained motionless, struck with a vision of Wolfram that haunted him.
The blonde extended his hand, cupping Yuri's face. The mere touch, though gentle, scorched Yuri's face and he instinctively wrenched away. Wolfram snatched at his throat then, dissolving the skin beneath his fingertips.
Yuri shrieked, clawing at Wolfram's arms in impulse, his body thrashing against the attack. "W-W-WOLFRAM!"
"Yu…ri," Conrad rasped, mind shrieking, cursing, and begging at his body to move.
Wolfram's lips melted into a frown and he croaked. His release of Yuri was abrupt and the double black gagged for air yet still peered up. Khalid's own hands wound around Wolfram's throat…
Nearly startled, Wolfram stared down at Yuri though he addressed Khalid, "I suggest you let go."
Khalid tightened his grip and croaked, "No."
With a mighty motion, Wolfram's body flared up until his entire body drowned in the firestorm. Khalid maintained his grip for the slightest moment longer yet the fire nipped his skin and his healing abilities lagged.
He yanked backward but his poised body implicated another round of fighting.
Wolfram grinned; his eyes the only visible feature among the fire, and prepared for the onslaught.
Khalid stilled at the blondes sudden stillness.
"What did you…do to me?" the voice within Wolfram barked, hands pressing against the temples of his skull. "You! You did something to me!"
Before Khalid could retort the opposite, a blow pitched him face first into the ground. The King groaned in response but Sagira's foot against his skull prevented any further movement. The Bad laughed and raised his hand to strike the final blow.
Wolfram's final bellow contained enough force to propel Sagira's body away from Khalid's shattered one. Those who could witnessed as the blotched skin of Wolfram's peeled to reveal his healthy glow and the slits of his eyes stretched before molding into his typical pupils.
Yuri, nerves and muscle torn at the neck, leaned over the spoiled body of Gunter, where he administered the healing process. His attention however did not divert from Wolfram for a moment.
It was Sagira scream of rage that sparked Murata's response. "Amazing," the Great Sage breathed, fascinated despite the rotting smell of flesh and moans of the hurting surrounding him. Even as he rushed beside Yosak to Yuri's side, his eyes stayed upon Wolfram.
Yosak fell beside his fallen comrade. Assisting Yuri, he peeked at Wolfram. "What's happening now?"
"I'm…back," Wolfram announced to himself but the others still caught the statement. He panted, clutching his chest in exhaustion. His vision returned and he blinked until his hands were visible to him. "I did it."
"Our plan failed," Murata confessed, almost sad, "but Lord von Bielefeld tamed It."
"How?" asked Yuri, pressing his free hand to his own damaged skin.
"He wasn't expecting us to save him from the beginning."
Sagira's tantrum distracted him from bothering to address the current situation. Wolfram glowered at the man as his body radiated with enhanced abilities. As his strength increased, so did that of those harboring Wolfram's power.
The brothers of Wolfram snapped to attention as their strength revisited their bodies. Gwendel was quick to declare, "Our plan of attack was wrong is what I was trying to say."
Conrad stood, cradling his arm as it healed. "Wrong?"
"Yes, we've been planning our plan around that thing inside Wolfram taking over. Yet there was another route that the people of Sulteri suggested to me," Gwendel clarified, groaning at his healing limbs.
Conrad caught the implication and finished, "Wolfram would save himself."
"You underestimated him," Rashid gently said, eyes softening as he stepped from among his recovering people.
Gwendel finally curled a lip into a smile. "Fire against fire can be effective. The spell worked well," he murmured, peering to his brother. "We're not done yet."
The people scuffled into standing positions, smiling at the two brothers. "We're ready," one of them asserted, fisting his hands in eagerness.
To Gwendel, Conrad asked, "What would have happened if it didn't go as you planned?"
Fixated on Wolfram's form, Gwendel's heart ached. "I don't know."
"So what now?" Conrad inquired, suspecting his assistance was required.
"Though you and I are special cases," Gwendel began, rubbing his sore neck, "Our newfound strength and abilities originate from the same source. Now that Wolfram is in control, we will assist him."
Swallowing his nervousness, Conrad nodded in understanding. "A-Ah, I see."
Rashid stared at the center of the commotion and wondered if it was too late.
Witnessing the crowd from the opposite side, Yuri allowed his anxiety to ease back slightly. "The-They're okay…"
"They cannot die now, Shibuya," Murata reminded the double black, brushing his uniform from the particles of debris and dust. "They will support Lord von Bielefeld during his brawl with Sagira."
Yuri clenched his fists, his own strength planting its own source. "I was a match when I was with Khalid but…I know we can all still help him! We must stop Sagira!" he declared.
Gunter, flinching, reported, "Y-Yes, Your Majesty. Wolfram cannot remain in control for much time. He needs…balance."
"Me," Yuri acknowledged, nervously darting his gaze between Wolfram and Sagira.
Murata smirked furtively. "Indeed. I'll stay beside Lord Christ's side, Yosak."
Yosak clasped Yuri's arm and nodded. "Will do. Come, Your Majesty!"
With a parting glance, Yuri darted beside Yosak and into the eye of the hurricane.
At this center, Sagira's tantrum ceased as his thoughts concocted an alternative. "Fine, then. If I must, I'll go all out," he growled, steadying his position. "If you won't submit to what lies within you, I'll do it for the both of us."
"No!" Khalid rasped, grateful for his returned abilities. He charged toward his elder brother but was clawed by the corpses beneath the dirt, hindering his intention. "Stop, Sagira! It's over!"
"It's never over," Sagira hissed.
Sagira tilted his head back and parted his lips again. Dark wisps of gas trembled toward the sky and his eyes wept a discolored bloody liquid. An ominous moan rattled the world as the entity that harbored within Sagira, identical to Wolfram's, tore its limbs free.
Back hunched, putrefying tentacles wavered from the gaping holes of Sagira's now scarred back. They trembled and tangled with one another until they fashioned into arms, wings, and claws. The same veined disease crept over Sagira's pale skin as his arms blackened, their hands cradling the gaseous substance that was once used to transport from one body to another. As the man groaned in its agony, the power it fed him intensified until the beast was satisfied.
Sagira's face snapped up and expectedly, the only remnants of his eyes were two red slits snuggled within the comfort of black orifices. The man grinned, lapping his tongue along his stretched lips, tasting himself.
Sparkling with maddened energy, Sagira barked out a triumphant laugh, relishing in his transformation.
"Wolfram!" Yuri shouted, his body brightening with a gentle glow with each step. Yosak ushered the boy as he refrained from nearing the blonde.
"Good luck, kid," Yosak whispered, eyes proud.
The blonde averted his gaze from the crazed man to greet Yuri. "Y-Yuri," he breathed, wrenching away from the boy's touch. "You don't want to touch me."
Yuri, startled for a moment, softened his expression. "It's okay, Wolfram. I know you did what you did to save us, not the other way around. What's important now is that you're fine and everyone is alive," he persisted, extending his hand.
The Prince only ogled the hand with hesitance until Yuri assured, "I trust you, Wolf. You're stronger than all of this."
Despite his still reluctant mind, Wolfram smiled with confidence and clasped his fiancé's hand. The touch torched Yuri and he cried out but yelled, "No! Don't let go."
With a tenacious grip and floating above the pain, the double black clasped Wolfram's free hand, sparking his body ablaze. Wolfram shouted in horror but maintained Yuri's determinacy by tightening their held hands.
"Yuri!" Conrad cried yet Gwendel held his body back.
Yuri's body emanated a cerulean shade of light and the pain quickly dissipated into a numbing throb starting from his fingertips. The presence of The Demon King, though not manifesting in his demeanor, granted Yuri his powerful talents. The pendant upon his necklace brightened a beautiful color of hope.
With a squeeze of his hands, Yuri opened his eyes to observe Wolfram doing the same. "Hey," he murmured, a sense of hope filling the area.
"Hi," Wolfram whispered back, clutching Yuri's hand with fondness.
"You ready?" the double black asked, his hair lightly fluttering while his powers translated onto his body.
Wolfram released one of Yuri's hands and faced Sagira. "Yes," he confirmed, his body brightening at the man's psychotic gleam.
"This will not work!" Khalid hollered toward them. They only glanced at him and the King of Sulteri cursed. "They don't understand…."
Khalid peered over the landscape, grappling with a decision. Wolfram and Yuri yelled in unison to swarm Sagira with a flaming tsunami as the man cackled and charged toward them.
Heart withering at the battle, Khalid clutched at his chest and glared at the ground. "It is all that can be done," he mumbled to himself. Situation him a safer distance away, Khalid peered at his hands and began to chant his spell.
"Focus!" Gwendel growled, eye glittering with the others as they fed and guided Wolfram's attack.
"Gwendel!" Conrad cried as two shadow beasts manifested at their feet. One latched and snaked around Conrad and the other, Gwendel.
Snarling, Gwendel instructed the population of Sulteri. "D-Don't stop!" he commanded, battling the shadow with all his efforts.
Both the shadows screeched and latched their mouth at the faces of the men, suckling on them. Their efforts to remove the beasts withered immensely as the brothers' vigor was devoured from them.
The beasts released the two men and they crumbled to the ground, virtually unharmed. The monsters moaned and melted back into the ground, vanishing from their sight.
"What was that?" gasped Conrad, stroking his face to detect no permanent harm. A throbbing sensation plagued his entire body and he noticed a slice on his face. "They drew blood?"
Gwendel blinked and sensed the missing link. Quickly he snatched Conrad's face and examined it. "Your eye…"
"Yours too," Conrad breathed, frowning. "You have a cut on your face as well. But…why?"
"It's quite sad," Murata stated, startling the men.
Conrad leapt to his feet. "Gunter!" he snapped witnessing Yosak cradling the man upon his back as they neared the crowd.
"He'll be okay," Yosak reported, winking. In concurrence, Gunter weakly smiled.
Gwendel returned the focus on Murata. "What is sad?" he inquired, slightly dizzy from the powers drained.
"You two were special cases so Khalid could easily remove your seals," Murata continued, watching Wolfram and Yuri counter attack after attack. "He has decided to ultimately silence Sagira."
Suspiciously, Conrad pressed, "What? Why didn't he do it before?"
Murata replied, "It comes with a heavy price."
The others only stared, unable to grasp the connection.
Murata, with a coat of sympathy to his words, smiled lightly and killed the silence. "You know, for what it's worth, I think somewhere within him, Khalid does carry love for Lord von Bielefeld."
"This isn't getting us anywhere," Yuri announced, his water dragons barely deflecting another blow from Sagira.
Wolfram's flames waltzed over the dragons and snared one of Sagira's tentacles. "I'm…feeling a bit strange, Yuri. I think I'm losing consciousness again," he confessed, sweat perusing his face as he failed to ignore the entity's screaming fit within his mind.
"Hang in there, Wolf!" Yuri encouraged, holding the hand with passion.
With fluttering vision, Wolfram countered Sagira's assault, hurling the man back. Sagira landed gracefully upon the ground and cooed, "If I attack your comrades, maybe I can push you into that state once more."
Panicked, Wolfram molded his flames and pitched his raging lions toward the man as Sagira charged toward the others. "Stop!" the blonde screamed, sensing the monster within him grinning in promised delight.
Sagira hurtled his rapid body toward Gwendel and the others with the promise of death painting his face. "Without your connection to It, you'll die!" the man snarled to two eldest brothers.
An obstacle tore through the shadows and Khalid assembled his body in a swift motion before his brother. "Sagira!" he roared and wrapped his discoloring arms around the other man's waist.
"What's this?" Sagira teased. "Hoping to coax some brotherly sympathy out of-w-wait! What are you doing?!"
Khalid pressed his chin into the man's shoulder to prevent any physical escape. Enduring the agony of the tentacles and Sagira's rage, Khalid yelled for all to hear. "We should have never existed! Our powers should have never entered this world!"
"STOP IT!" Sagira screamed, unable to counter the spell. "You'll die as well, fool! KHALID!"
Defeat streamed over Khalid's face and the man glanced to Wolfram and smiled. "Forgive me for everything, my Prince. I will not forget you even in death," he insisted, his smile crawling into his eyes.
Wolfram stared as the gray matter tainting Khalid's hands crawled over the two bodies, hardening within seconds; the same matter that had ensnared Namir.
"Khalid," Wolfram abruptly begged. "W-Wait! Your entire country will follow this fate!"
"It's okay," a soldier behind Conrad insisted, with enough volume in his voice for Wolfram to hear. "We were unwanted to begin with. Perhaps it's time to accept that reality and just…fade away."
"No!" Yuri hollered as the spell began creeping toward the villagers of Sulteri.
Rashid clasped a hand over his mouth and rushed toward Khalid. "Khalid!" he practically sobbed, reaching toward the man.
"STOP!" Khalid shrieked, eyes wide with determination. "You touch me and you'll join this fate, Uncle."
"No," Rashid whispered, fingers twitching, desperate to grab their nephew. "All of you…Namir too? Gone…"
Khalid flinched as Sagira's teeth tore his skin into ribbons of mutilated flesh. "I-It's okay, Uncle," Khalid assured, smiling faintly. "I never wanted you to get involved."
Wolfram screamed as the spell sped up its process. "Khalid!"
Rashid glanced to the blonde and murmured, "Why, Khalid? Why all of this?"
"I…did what I thought best for…my people," Khalid gasped, grunting. "B-But I knew only you could survive. You are good…help…Wolf…ram…"
One by one, the plague overtook those with the red eye seal at a much quicker rate. A mother clutched at her sniffling child as the girl whimpered, "I'm scared."
"It's just a bad dream," the mother assured just as her and her child's body stilled and hardened with a sheen gloss.
"We have to stop this," Conrad insisted, rushing toward those still thriving. "Stop this, Khalid!"
Murata, eyes focused on Khalid, retorted, "Khalid has made his decision, Lord Weller, and so has the country of Sulteri."
Wolfram neared Khalid with terrified steps with Yuri beside him. Sagira snarled but regardless, the Prince of Sulteri stretched out a hand. "Khalid," he pleaded once more, his rage dispersing into despair.
You don't…deserve this, Wolfram begged to speak despite his rage toward the man. "Khalid," was all he could say.
Khalid smiled and laughed once though its purpose lost meaning. "You know…there is something I wanted more than to save my people."
Forgetting his previous statement, Khalid finally released a pitiful chuckle. "It wasn't supposed to end like this."
The gray matter finally crept over the man's face, a mixture of sadness and guilt forever solidified. In his arms, Sagira's mutated form stilled, his lips parted in an endless and quiet scream of unacknowledged defeat.
The entity within Wolfram moaned and crept deep within its host, accepting its slumber, and the Prince was rendered helpless. It slept just as Its servants did now.
Beside him, Yuri shut his eyes with vigor though he failed to stop the tears.
Collapsing to the ground, Wolfram released a final shriek for the lost country.
"You sure about this?" Yuri inquired, tightening his hold on Wolfram's hand. At his sore hip, Morgif moaned sadly.
Rashid nodded once in a slow confirmation as he gazed at Namir's statue, which had been unharmed by the explosions, and the one trapping Sagira and Khalid. "Yeah," he concurred. "I think he would have wanted it."
Wolfram stared at the statue, acknowledging the bitter tale that was once the country of Sulteri.
To Yosak, Yuri inquired, "Did you figure it out?"
The spy affirmed the comment. "The blood of demon tribesmen is an ingredient used for that spell Khalid used. It explains why he was after it in the past I suppose."
"So there was one other person who knew how to kill what can't be killed," Gwendel added, crossing his arms. "The thing within Wolfram knows it and he used it to save Namir from torture and we know Sagira was aware of it. Khalid knew it too though…"
"Now there is no one, technically," Murata reminded them, paying his respects to the frozen man. "To go so far for your country and have it end this way…"
"It's sad," Yuri commented. "Was it pointless?"
Wolfram barked, "Of course it wasn't! Don't…Don't say that."
Murata encouraged the blonde's outburst. "He's right. This entire ordeal has taught us a great deal, hasn't it?"
"But at the price of an entire country, an entire culture," Conrad murmured. "One that would have proved their worth in this world."
Though the words were bitter, the infliction of sadness troubled the others. "There can't always be a happy ending," Murata declared, watching the statues, searching for a signal of life.
"…It's unfair," Wolfram whispered, fisting his free hand. "The ones who need the help, the ones who cry for help…to have them all die…"
Silence overtook the party.
"Come on," Yosak finally interrupted. "The troops should be here soon enough to help us get back."
"Is there really nothing we can do?" pressed Yuri, glancing around the others.
Rashid sighed and shut his eyes. "Sulteri is gone, Your Majesty. All that remains are these statues. My people, their statues have been destroyed but we mustn't destroy these ones."
Murata smiled and added, "What began as such a little thing produces much misery, Shibuya."
Like a papercut, Wolfram's unconscious mind whispered, recalling the words Namir had spoke to him during his torture session. Wolfram suspected the voice was the teasing albeit comforting tune of the power within him.
"Khalid was right," the blonde admitted. "Those spells should have never existed."
"Your Majesty?" Rashid began. "If it's not too much, is it possible to somehow extend your territory to here? I…I want the statues to be protected and the horned beasts still need this environment."
Yuri smiled with his eyes. "Of course but…what about you, Rashid? We'll need someone like you in my cabinet."
The man released a bitter chuckle but his eyes beamed with hope. "I cannot thank you enough, Your Majesty."
"Let's go then," Gwendel murmured.
The party offered Khalid a final respectful glance before drifting toward the woods, where they would wait for the troops. "Murata," Yuri began, settling on a patch of grass, indulging in the disturbing peace. "Can I ask how you knew so much, as usual?"
"Well, Lord von Christ knew a lot too," Murata accused, smiling. "He just did research."
"But I didn't find out about it until you were already here," Gunter responded, recovering on a make shift cot.
Murata scratched the back of his head. "Well, I guess you caught me," he laughed, sticking a tongue out.
"You're quite cheerful considering all that's happened," Wolfram muttered but silently enjoyed the sour humor. Anything would cheer him up in their current predicament.
The Great Sage stared ahead, observing the quiet and appreciating the peace. "It was in me in a past life," he confessed.
"What?!" Yuri spat, flabbergasted at the comment. "F-For real?"
Murata shrugged lightly. "Details aren't necessary but to be blunt, yes."
Wolfram sulked and decided to shift the attention toward another subject. "What of this light within Yuri you were mentioning to me earlier?"
At the comment, Murata sighed almost happily. "Khalid sensed it. Don't you all? Don't you remember the soul…"
"Julia," Conrad whispered, eyes softening at the recollection of his comrade. The brunette glanced at the pendant on Yuri's necklace.
Everyone remained silent, appreciating Julia's indirect assistance.
After the polite moment of peace, Yuri asked, "Hey, are the pieces of the scrolls destroyed?"
"Yes," Conrad informed, settling down beside Wolfram. Gwendel stood but at a suspiciously close proximity to Wolfram as if to reassure himself that the blonde was very much alive and well.
"Yes?" Conrad asked, peering toward his brother's voice.
Wolfram clenched his fists and he abruptly snapped, "What's with you two going off and becoming member of a crazy cult?! This is why I can't leave you alone with Yuri! He either cheats or you all get into trouble!"
Gwendel and Conrad blinked but absorbed no hatred from the blonde. The ex-prince of Sulteri trembled with threatening sobs and his intent was translated well.
Boldly, Conrad pressed his hand to Wolfram's head and replied, "You're welcome, Wolfram. Thank you too."
"You're all…so…difficult," Wolfram grumbled, vigorously rubbing his eyes and for once, he did not shy away from his brother's touch.
Murata laughed and inserted, "At least we're all alive, no? I'm sure your daughter has been missing you greatly."
"It'll be great to see everyone again. It feels like so much time has passed," Yuri confessed, holding Wolfram's hand now even as he lightly blushed.
"We nearly die and you're all so…cheery again!" Wolfram growled, sniffling.
Beside him, Yuri reclined against the blonde's back and rubbed against his comrade. "Glad to have you back, too, Wolf."
"Hm?" Yuri pressed, smiling kindly.
Rashid chuckled at the two. "Now, now…"
Yuri smiled gently and stared toward the wasteland of what was once a rich culture. "Yeah, I suppose I am," he admitted.
Sensing the distress, Wolfram followed his fiancé's eyes.
Down the hill's descending path of broken grass, over the crumbled walls and tattered fabrics of Sulteri's country, and within the center of a shattered room, did the statues reside.
Khalid's captured soul forlornly smiled.
All I ever desired, more than to save Sulteri…
Was for you to acknowledge how much I did love you…
Wow, so in one chapter I managed to make Wolfram go Dark Sasuke! and Super Saiyen 3 and have Sagira go Crazy Gaara! I wonder if I should be proud.
So…a bitter look at romance and life at the end so not a totally happy ending. I introduced lots of OCs and killed practically them all.
Did you enjoy the ride? I hope so!
I have more KKM fics to come (easier to follow than Papercut too, heh). But I need your opinion. How do you feel about a story that mostly takes place in Yuri's world? Don't mistake this as an AU but rather, the gang flushed to Earth where the plot occurs?
Thanks so much to every single reviewer. It helped me develop with concrit and just motivated me with each comment. I cannot ever thank you enough.
So give yourself a hand for without your comments, I wouldn't have bothered to finish!
Until the next tale,