Scarlet Septette: Bloodstained Quill
And God gave him the name Ramiel to show his "mercy" …
And humans made the name Emilia, to "rival" even the thought of God
The devil… she took both, and made them her domain
- P.K. "Before the Septette Rang True"
Her claws shone scarlet in the moonlit night.
And their blades responded alike. Steel into flesh. Blood in the air. Screams of anger. Screams of pain. Stains on her dress and their armors. Stench of death.
But even after each blow she took and each man she felled in return, neither side would yield. Their members, although certainly finite, refused to dwindle. And her immortal body would heal anew in spite of any wound.
It had all happened one time too many for her to be blinded by rage completely, and so her mind was left to wonder: what motivated them to advance even as those around them died, why did those groups come time and time again after each failed expedition, what was the purpose behind this all?
What broke into her thoughts would have made a mortal's blood run cold.
Terrified, choking wails of a tortured child. And there, dragged by another group of steel-clad tormentors, was the slight, trembling body of her sister. Her sister.
Whether what punctured her side in the next instant was sword or arrow she didn't care, so intent she was on what was happening up ahead. Where her body failed, her spirit burned with renewed vigor, and already the air was thick with magic, spinning around her to form ancient scarlet curses.
It lasted a second, the rush, the heat, the screams, and then all those holding her down were no longer there.
But even as she lunged forward, spreading her tattered wings for whatever additional velocity they could provide, she knew she would be too late. That raised blade dripped with water, water called holy only because it could kill, and it was poised to take her only precious thing away from her.
A choked whisper rippled through the air.
That whisper alone seemed to shake the world. The whisper of a child who couldn't have spoken – too young to know words and too taken up crying in distress.
She had time enough to close her eyes and hug the ground.
Reality trembled, and, different from her own spell, this one spared her no mercy.
The force tore her from the floor and smacked into a wall before the roar of the first explosion could properly register in her head. Now facing the epicenter, she felt searing heat engulf her face, blinding light pulsating violently to find its way through her closed eyelids like it would through paper.
She lost track of what was happening immediately after. Spinning in the air, her ears ringing, her sight taken away, but oddly, she felt no pain, as if a sensation that mundane had to make lace for the inferno of disorder in her body.
There was no way for her fuzzy senses to tell her when it all ended; only her logical mind insisted it had to have ended at some point.
She reached out a trembling hand and pulled herself along the stone floor. She crawled like an insect, without opening her throbbing eyes to see the way. There was something, she was certain, something she had to do. Some purpose to this pain-inducing movement she just couldn't think clearly enough to recall. Although it felt so much like fear, she couldn't have been afraid, not with the inexplicable certainty that every threat around her was already dead.
The next time her hand tried to grasp onto stone, it landed on something wet. Her fingers disturbed the liquid, confirming it too thick to be water, and yes, her nostrils felt it, beneath the odors of burnt flesh and sweat, the wholesome aroma of blood.
Her body leapt forward by instinct, her tongue darting out and lapping the crimson substance up hungrily and needily, until her searching hands found the source and pulled it towards her awaiting fangs.
Every gulp sped her recovery up a hundredfold. Her wounds closed, dull aching left her, weary muscles refilled with strength. Almost instantly, the fog over her mind lifted.
She pushed herself off of the ground and scanned the area hastily. Even temporarily blinded as she had been, her nature as a nocturnal hunter allowed her to quickly make out shapes in the semi-darkness. Among the dozens of bodies spread all over the mansion grounds, only one gave the slightest hint of movement.
Her steps were fast and firm, but nevertheless she trembled in fearful anticipation of the sight of her failure.
There she was, wisps of muddled blonde hair shining in the moon's silvery light, the protrusions which never grew to be her wings digging into dirt and throwing dust up into the air, her entire form rocking minutely, ceaselessly.
Her sister was unharmed, obviously. Physical wounds were unnecessary for her to suffer. Each time she breathed, it was a struggle, it was a fight for survival, her small chest pushing forward, slowly, as if overcoming a great weight, and then collapsing instantly as she exhaled. But it was the eyes, the desperate eyes of a suffocating child, that spoke most of her torment.
"Is that what you wanted!" she roared "To make her suffer!? To make me watch her suffer!? Was that what your merciful God wanted? Is he satisfied?"
No one was left to answer her.
She kneeled in front of her sister and took the diminutive body, only five years younger but half her size, into her arms. Her calming whispers would do little to ease the suffering, but was there anything else she could do?
She straightened and scanned the area. Left; body upon iron-clad body. Right; rubble from the castle walls, hiding more corpses beneath it. But none of them. Her wings flapped and thrust her high into the air.
From this altitude, she could appreciate the carnage in its entirety. Body parts strewn across the place, collapsed portions of walls, small lakes of blood and so much useless steel reflecting the moonlight. But not one dismembered body was clad in black and white, not one enchanter had accompanied the attacking party.
She wouldn't find even a droplet of blood powerful enough to quench her sister's deadly thirst.
She clenched her teeth. She wanted to do something, anything. If she was the only one her sister could depend on for protection in this vile world, and this was the extent of her abilities, then was her sister really on her own?
Helplessness burned her from within until she could bear it no longer and it transformed into all-encompassing fury. She snapped her head to the side, fangs bared, and the town below her castle reflected in her crimson eyes.
Tomorrow, the moon would be full.
Tomorrow, they would pay.