All right, let's get this show on the road. Things will get hectic as I balance around 5 or 6 stories. So please be patient if this one is not updated, okay?
Let's get started!
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Masquerade in the Night
by Green Phantom Queen
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Chapter 19-Circinus, the Dividers
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Randy knew from experience that going into battle was going to be tricky. No one would know what was going to happen when it came to a fight, and due to him leading four other members of the Circus into battle, he was getting nervous.
He was trying his hardest to meditate, but the worry about him being responsible for the deaths of everyone in the group frightened him. What if he screwed up? Would the spirits of his friends be angry at him for causing his death? He shivered as sweat covered his face, as more and more thoughts rang in his mind...all that he was focused on was making sure he was able to support everyone.
Everyone else was already practicing on a couple of targets—all created from mud, grass, leaves and twigs—the thoughts of destroying those jesters clear in their minds. How dare they tried to kill some of their own....they would pay.
"How could they?!" Shannon yelled punching one of the trees with his bare fists. "When I get my hands on them, Dynamo will definitely constrict them like the mice they are."
"Not unless we burn them to a crisp!" Matt replied back as he exhaled a gust of fire onto a bull's eye. "I can't believe they tried to kill you, Jeff!"
"I'm just as pissed as you are, Matt!" John added, his hands growing into fierce wolf paws. "No one will do that as long as I'm around."
"Guys!" Randy snapped opening one eye. "You being pissed off at the jesters is making me nervous!"
"You'll be more than nervous when I get done with you." The five looked up to see one of the jesters—the one with long brown hair—staring right at them. Jumping from one of the thick branches of the trees, he flipped in the air before landing gracefully in front of the Circus members.
"You're HBK!" Jeff yelled, pointing at the jester. "How dare you try and kill me!"
"I have a name you know." The jester grinned. "I'm Shawn Michaels, the Heart Break Kid, and one half of the jesters of the Circus of Freedom?"
"The Circus of Freedom?" Shannon repeated. "But that Circus got destroyed eight years ago by..." Matt immediately clamped a hand on his friend's mouth before he could finish the sentence.
"By the ringleader of your circus, right?" Shawn finished. "Hunter and I saw him amongst the flames before we could escape....he was the one....you called him Gangrel, right?"
"Gangrel wasn't even in Symphoni!" Jeff cried out. "He...he..." He turned to Matt. "Where was he when the fire broke out?"
"I'm not sure, exactly." Matt replied. "He hasn't told us anything about his past at all..."
"So that means he did kill the Circus!" Shawn screamed. "And if you won't tell me, guess I'll have to send him a message!" In a blink of an eye, there were now seven clones of Shawn Michaels surrounding the group, each of them wielding the face of anger of the original.
"Oh crap." Shannon muttered. "This is going to be—ack!" He didn't finish when one of them kick him in the jaw, causing him to fall down. The boot soon stepped on his neck, making it harder to breathe.
"Shannon!" Jeff cried as two of the clones grabbed his arms and waist. "No! Let me go!"
"Jeff!" Matt screamed as two more of the dopplegangers moved in front of him. Anger was on his face as he cried, "Die!" He inhaled and soon let out a gout of flames which soon turned them both to ashes. He didn't waste any time as he pushed the clone off of Shannon.
"Thanks for that." Moore muttered as he sat up. "A couple of seconds later, I would've asked you for a knife to kill you with!" Matt rolled his eyes as he soon got pummeled by the sixth clone, causing him to be on his stomach and being pinned to the ground.
"This is getting annoying!" Randy snarled, as his spellbook levitated around him. "Time to end this once and for all!" His eyes started to glow as his staff was raised into the air.
"I summon the spirits of Lestat and David Heath!" He chanted. "Come out, and reveal the true story that day!"
"That's a good idea!" John cried as he was fighting the real Shawn. "If we show David Heath onto the field, then we can prove Gangrel is innocent!" He soon felt a hand around his neck as he felt one of the clones choke him, the real one ready to strike.
"Get off of me!" Jeff yelled as he stepped on the foot on one of the clones. Turning around, he quickly removed the one that was trapping his arms and soon released two orbs of fire at them directly. The effect incinerated them both to ashes as he did the same thing to the one that was trapping his brother.
Shannon prepared his flute, Dynamo slithering around his legs. Matt was straining to get out of the grip from the clones on top of him. John was soon kicked in the face and fell with a thud. Jeff was punching some of more clones with his fiery fists while Randy lifted his hands in the air.
"Appear now!" He cried as a bright light engulfed the entire area. Everyone was waiting, waiting for an answer to finally help end things once and for all. And to their surprise...
The light faded, and nothing was there. No spirits, no David Heath and no Lestat.
"This can't be right!" Randy said in a panic. "But they're supposed to be dead! This doesn't make sense!"
"Yeah, well neither does this!" Shannon immediately played a few notes on the flute, pressing his lips on the hole as the notes flew in the air. Dynamo immediately slithered to the real Shawn and looked up at him.
"Snake!" Shawn screamed seeing the reptile inched closer and closer. The little thing flicked its tongue into the air, and then striked.
And then, all that was heard was a scream before Shannon waltzed in and whacked Shawn on the head with his flute. The blow knocked him out, and thus all of the clones soon dispersed.
"All right, this is weird." said Jeff. "Why didn't David Heath and Lestat when Randy told them to? They died...right?"
"That's right, Jeff...he did." Matt answered back. "The newspaper clippings said so..."
"But then, why weren't they summoned?" John asked Randy. "Are you sure you're doing it right?"
"Of course I was!" Randy snapped back. "I've never received a bad end from the other side though....something is wrong."
"Either way," said Shannon as Dynamo came back to its owner. "We need to take this guy back to whomever wants him, it's no use to have this guy near us when Dusk's around."
John soon let himself transform into a wolf and knelt down near the fallen jester. With a small whine he started to lick his face as to wake him up.
"John!" Randy hissed, pulling John away by the scruff of his neck. "What are you doing? He's the enemy!"
"I know," John replied, the words escaping the wolf's lips. "But you have to feel sorry for them, they were full of anger because they lost their family thanks to Dusk...do you think that's going to happen to us later on?"
Randy couldn't reply. Instead. He and the other Circus members just stared at the jester slowly waking up. Shawn placed a hand on his forehead as John panted in delight.
"Man...what happened to me?" Shawn asked in confusion. He then stared at the members of the Dream Circus. "And who are you supposed to be?"
"Don't you remember us?" Jeff asked shyly. "You tried to kill me with a knife...and your partner pinned my brother down to the ground."
"I did...all of that?" Shawn asked in confusion. "No...that can't be right...last I remember is being sent into that jail cell, and then being knocked out. I don't recall hurting an innocent child."
"This doesn't make any sense!" Shannon exclaimed. "What's going on here?!"
"Shawn," said Randy, kneeling close to the jester. "I think you're suffering from a split personality...this is your 'fake' personality, while your 'real' personality is a jester who wants revenge. It may be hard to understand but...well..." He placed his hand on Shawn's forehead, a light aura glowing faintly from his palm and fingertips. Shawn gasped when he saw memories combine and merge together...
"Damn," Shannon replied seeing the site. "How did you know that?"
"If he was possessed, I would've seen it." Randy explained. "There's no spirit harming him, except of a 'double' that was created. It was most likely formed when both Shawn and his partner were knocked unconscious by the effect...then they could pass as local civilians, while deep down, they continue their jester ways."
The glowing stopped as Randy stepped back. Shawn slowly started to stand up, trying to understand what was going on. There was some silence as he stared into the eyes of the young boys, before he ran away from them.
"Come back!" Jeff cried, only for Matt to stop him.
"Let him go, Jeff." said Matt as they watched Shawn disappear into the forest. "Let him see what has happened."
John whined as he laid his head near Randy's feet. "That was scary...I hope the others are all right. He murmured.
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"Mew." Stryker replied as Adam patted her head. She was seeing her master and the veteran members of the Dream Circus getting prepared for battle. Paul was concentrating on making sculptures of ice and Brian was firing blasts of black energy while flying in the air. Ashley, Maria and Mickie were using their staffs to attack makeshift targets.. Adam was wrapping black crystals on his crafted arrows, making sure that they were tied with the pieces of string. "I don't like this." He muttered. "This is the third time Dusk has appeared...in the span of about two weeks."
"That doesn't make sense." said Maria. "And the strange thing is...we don't even know why he transformed the last two times; Molly and Prince Jeri were there the first time that happened, and when we met Eve he transformed in front of us after she screamed...is there a connection to these events that we don't know?"
"Connection or not, we have to make sure those jesters pay." said Ashley. "If they mess with one member of the Circus, they mess with all of us."
"I'm with you, Ash." Paul replied. "Time to squash him like a bug!"
"That was my line!" The Circus members looked to see the taller jester appear, brandishing a large sledgehammer. The size of it alone made them worried; it could've been used to help a giant repair his own castle!
"RUN!" Brian replied as they split into two groups. The blonde barbarian soon slammed the hammer onto the ground, causing the earth to rumble a bit from the force. Adam placed Stryker onto his shoulder as he fired a couple of arrows at the man. Unfortunately, the man lifted the hammer just in time, pushing the arrows away.
"Damn it!" Adam cried, trying to supply his bow with more arrows. "This guy is strong!"
"Yeah, but where there's strength, there's a decrease in speed." said Paul, rushing toward the guy. "Come and get me, you big orc!"
"My name is Triple H!" The jester snapped as he dragged his hammer to where Paul was. The white jester raised his hands as a spike of ice rose from the ground, coming in contact with the weapon. "And you guys are going to pay!"
"What did we ever do to you?!" Adam exclaimed. "We've never seen you before in our life!"
"But you're with him!" Triple H hissed. "The one who caused the fire at the Freedom Circus eight years ago! The one that killed everyone except me and Shawn."
"Freedom Circus?!" The group cried, Stryker yowling at the name.
"But Gangrel was never near the Freedom Circus!" Brian exclaimed. "He was....he was..." He turned to Ashley and Maria. "Do you guys remember anything about his past?"
"Except for the fact that he had a huge for a memory before meeting us, and the fact that he wanted to create a Circus of Dreams, no." Ashley replied.
"He never talks about it either." Maria added.
Triple H snarled. "So you guys are hiding something, aren't you?!" He swung his hammer to the three who immediately dodged it at the last second. The trees that they were hiding from soon were smashed and fell on the ground with rumbling thuds.
"Fire!" said Ashley, using her Twinkle Star staff to fire a storm of stars at the jester. Triple H groaned as he was hit directly by the projectiles, but otherwise was still standing.
"Take this!" Maria cried as her staff transformed into a rainbow crossbow. She fired it at her target, a globby bolt of paint soon making in contact with her target. An explosion of rainbow colored smoke surrounded the radius, and when it was gone, it revealed the jester in chains while the hammer was at his side, out of reach.
"Attack everyone!" Adam cried, firing a few arrows at the target as he ran toward him. "Make sure he's down for the count!"
As he neared Triple H, the jester grinned, pulling his arms from his restraints until they broke. Instantly, he grabbed onto the handle of his hammer, ready to swing it at the unsuspecting archer.
"Adam, look out!" Mickie cried brandishing her Blustery Wind Staff. She let out a gust of wind that pushed the lion tamer to the side. Just in time too, as the mallet slammed on the spot where Adam was originally standing.
Brian swooped down from the air and grabbed onto the handle of the hammer. Unfortunately...it was heavy, so heavy that Brian couldn't move it away and was stuck trying to grab it.
"Damn it!" He hissed. "That thing must weigh a ton!"
"How about I help you?" Brian looked up to see the mallet whack him in the face causing him to scream and fall to the ground with a thud.
"Oh, that's it!" said Maria. "Everyone attack with their own projectiles!"
Paul brought out a good chunk of ice and threw it in the air. Stealing Mickie's wand he whacked the piece of ice as it was falling. The sound of a crack was heard and the projectile toward the target. With a small explosion the target was it.
"Fire in the hole!" He stated before Mickie bashed him on the head. Mickie then twirled her staff in the air, letting out a gust of air to hit the jester.
Paul gripped his hands as sharp icicles were formed. He threw them great precision; thanks to the tornado, they moved quicker than usual, causing the jester to turn around and swing his hammer at the ice and smash them to bits.
"Over here!" Triple H turned to see three arrows pierce through his left arm, causing him to hiss in pain. It was then followed by a couple of stars, two blobs of rainbow paint and a couple orbs of black energy.
"The Game's going to kill you all!" Triple H yelled using his right hand to swing the hammer. All of the projectiles soon got destroyed by the hammer's head. "Now come out here and fight me!"
"This is nuts!" said Brian. "That hammer is too heavy for us to carry on our own and that guy has enough strength to carry it to destroy our projectiles!"
"We might as well making a big circle around him and fire all our projectiles!" Ashley muttered sarcastically. She then noticed the look in her friends' eyes. "Um...I was only joking!"
"Circle him!" Ashley sighed as she followed everyone to create a circle, each member at least 10 feet away from the target.
"FIRE AT WILL!" Adam cried releasing an arrow. Each of the Circus performers fired their magic at the opponent, a small clearing of smoke appeared at the attacks.
"Did it work?" asked Maria as they stared at the site. "Did we get him!"
"Just wish you did!" The smoke cleared, revealing the jester unharmed, but very pissed off. Gripping onto the hammer, it was raised in the air, not once did Triple H show any sign of fatigue.
"We're...going to die." Adam stated as Stryker mewed sadly. "Goodbye, Stryker. Nice seeing you."
Suddenly something was heard....everyone turned to see Shawn landing a swift kick to his partner's jaw, causing the jester to fall down, hammer in hand. The six Circus members screamed as they scrambled out of the way. The hammer fell back with a heavy thud, most likely causing a giant crater from the impact.
"Guys!" Adam turned to see Randy and his small group running toward them panting for breath. "You won't believe what we found out!"
"Aside from the fact that the jester we fought wields a giant mallet?!" Brian exclaimed. "I mean, that thing was HUGE!"
"Well, it turns out that both David Heath and Lestat aren't spirits." said Shannon. "Randy tried summoning them in our fight against the brunette jester and nothing worked!"
"And it turns out that both jesters are suffering from multiple personality disorder." Matt added. "Say, how's Jay and the others?"
"Most likely getting killed by that little boy." said Shawn, walking up to the Dream Circus. "Please accept my apology for what Hunter and I have done to you all."
"Well, you're going to have to explain that to Gangrel once he's knocked unconscious." said Matt. "Speaking of which...where is he anyway?"
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"This is just great." Jay muttered under his breath as he looked at the Bomb Sphere in his hand. "This guy is out of control!"
Dusk was at the broken remains of the marketplace, sitting at the top of the water fountain. He was staring intently at the group that was supposed to fight him with sick glee. Surrounding them were the black flames that formed a ring entrapping the seven. Originally, the fight went into the forest, but dusk was playing a game of chase and lured them into the town square, entrapping them inside the ring of fire. This was not good.
"Anyone have any ideas?" asked Mike. "I'll go with anything that works!"
"Here's one." said Ken. "We scatter and try to confuse him!" He brought out his Lunati Puppet, the white haired woman appearing in front of her master. "If he's attacked in different areas, then he won't make it!"
Mike brought out his shield—which he carried with him on such an occasion—throwing it to the small boy. Molly accompanied him by throwing a couple of her darts as she ran in a circle.
"I get it!" said Eve. "Due to her speed, Molly can throw all her darts all around the area with relative ease! Due to them being thrown at different times, Dusk can't block all of them at..."
Dusk smirked as a black sphere surrounded his body. The shield and the darts bounced off and fell to the ground with a clatter.
"Or maybe not." Eve replied.
"Those little things can't hurt me." Dusk giggled amongst the crackling of the fire. " It'll take more than a place and some knives to hurt me...Mommy and Daddy made me invincible after all."
"Who are these child's parents?" asked Eve. Jay whispered something into her ear. "Oh goodness...."
"How about I attack you now?!" The fallen weapons soon started to levitate off the ground with an evil glow, then fired themselves at the six.
"Duck!" said Prince Jeri as the group tried to run from the projectiles. Unfortunately, Dusk yawned as he let the shield whiz by Mike's head like a buzz saw, and the darts follow the others as if they were homing beacons. Prince Lestat managed to roll away from one just in time with Lestat still in his arms.
"This ends now!" said Jay, bringing out a Rainy Sphere. Smashing it with his hands, a huge torrent of rain appeared above the group. Unfortunately, the water could not dowse the black blaze that surrounded the group, and one of the darts cut through Jay's arms.
"A simple Sphere cannot douse these flames." Dusk replied. "How are you going to beat me with those things alone?"
Ken launched Lunati into the air, white paper fans brandished into six of the arms. She threw them at the enemy, each of them ready to slice the Guardian of Harmonia to pieces. Dusk turned around and put his hands in front of his face to block the blows. Jay used the time to throw his Bomb Sphere into the air, then used his trident to whack it like it was a baseball.
A small 'boom' was heard as Dusk was hit full force with the blow.
Eve opened her eyes to see the darts drop to the ground with a thud. "Thank goodness," She replied, breathing a sigh of relief. The siren looked up to see Dusk stare at the group with anger.
"That's not going to work!" Dusk laughed. "It'll take more than a cheap toy and a little fire to stop me!"
"Eve," Mike hissed. "Sing to him...that worked the last time.
Eve nodded her head and took in a deep breath. Then she let out a soft note and clasped her hands together. Orbs of many different colored lights began to float around her as she continued her song. Dusk's eyes started to grow heavy as the melody continued.
"It's working." Molly whispered. "Keep singing, Eve!"
Eve continued to sing as everyone else stared in awe. The lights circled and formed around Dusk who was slowly nodding off to sleep. Then...the orbs disintegrating into nothing, and Eve was pushed back by an unknown force, causing her fallen body to nearly land near the fire.
"That's not going to work either." Dusk sang. "You're going to have to do better than that!"
"Oh, we will you monster!" Dusk turned to see Triple H wielding his massive hammer from outside the fiery barrier. "You're going to pay for what you did to our Circus."
"Just don't kill him!" Shawn whispered to his partner. "If we kill him, we're going to die."
"I'm not going to hurt him, watch." Triple H lifted the hammer in to the air and soon swung it down so the head was going to hit Dusk squarely on the head.
"There's a dome protecting us!" Dusk smirked. "How can your little hammer stop..." The hammer head smashed onto the dome, and it broke into pieces. The flames disintegrated into nothing as the group sighed.
"Now for you!" Dusk's eyes widened when he saw the hammer head reaching him. Time slowed down as Triple H lightly tapped him on the head...but the force of it was enough to make him fall off of the fountain and hit the ground unconscious.
"This hammer was a gift from Chyna." Triple H explained. "She gave it to me around eight years ago for the celebration of the 5-year anniversary of the Freedom Circus. It can grow to the size I want it to be, and I'm the only one who could wield it. That also means I can control how hard I hammer things in with this thing."
"Does this mean you're both on our side now?" asked Prince Jeri with some fear, recalling what had happened earlier that morning.
"Well, they will be." said Adam as the rest of the Dream Circus came. "But first, we have to make sure Gangrel is back at the Camp, and that these two 'veterans' apologize for their actions to King Vincent."
"So they aren't going to go all psycho on us and not do any more trouble?" asked Molly, picking up her weapons. "Because I'm still a bit miffed that they nearly tried to kill Prince Jeri."
"Don't worry, don't worry." said Adam. "Things are going to work out...what could possibly go wrong?"
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"HE WHAT?!" King Vince roared. "Are you trying to tell me that the future heir to my thrown is one of those damn jesters?!"
Appearing in the castle the next day, Adam, Jay and the new residents to the Dream Circus were standing in front of the King and his wife. The yell scared the group, sort of knowing that he was going to react in that manner.
"You were saying?" asked Jay to his brother. "And after what you said about my big mouth back at Vivace!"
"Well you can't blame him, sir." said Adam. "They got knocked unconscious after an incident happened in Symphoni eight years ago. Then they must've wandered here and that's how everything happened."
"Apparently, every time they were asleep or got knocked out, their personalities would switch." said Ken, bringing out a scroll to the king. In the morning they are the regular people and act as if they never were jesters, but at night...they prank the villagers for a night of fun."
"When we met up with Hunter this morning, he must've been in his 'normal' state." Mike added. "Then somehow they fell unconscious and soon tackled us when we performed today. And when Eve screeched and knocked them unconscious, they reverted back to 'normal' once more."
"That means that they must've received blows to their heads after we got the reward money!" Prince Jeri concluded. "Then they must've escaped and followed us...and that's when trouble appeared.
"So...it was no one's fault?" asked Queen Linda. "Oh my..."
"Actually, it sort of is someone's fault." said Molly. "Have you ever heard of the Guardian of Harmonia?"
"I've been taught about the mythology of this land, and I've never heard that it had a Guardian." Vince answered.
"Well, you're about to learn." said Adam. "Apparently Gaea and Darkness created a son long, long ago to help be like a judge of all the people living there. But then, evil men hurt Darkness and caused their son to go on a rampage...and then the boy's soul was sealed, and he was known as Dusk."
"From what we pieced together Dusk appeared eight years ago in Symphoni and destroyed the Freedom Circus." Jay explained. "But there were two boys named David Heath and Lestat who looked similar to Gangrel and Dusk, respectively. But when Randy—who is a necromancer—tried to call on their spirits, there was no reply. And Dusk is inside Gangrel's body...so it doesn't make any sense."
"And please don't tell him about it." Molly begged. "If the old man finds out, things will get worse! And we already got the problems of Darkness awakening."
"All right, I'll stay quiet about it and will give both Hunter and Shawn reprimands for their actions." said Vince. "But I'll have to explain to Stephanie that her wedding is off."
"No it won't!" said Prince Jeri. "Hunter, I mean Triple H, stated that once they avenged the Freedom Circus by helping us, they'll have the wedding! And we've already met up with two of the six Guardians!"
"These kids think up of everything, don't they?" Linda laughed. "Now where are you off to?"
"Don't know." said Jay, shrugging his shoulders. "We need a break from traveling and to just heal ourselves after what happened here...can you recommend a place for us to stay?"
"I think I know of a place." said Vince with a smile on his face.
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The seven members of the Circus soon came back to the others who were already clearing up breakfast dishes. There was a nervous aura, probably due to the events that happened the night before. Stryker and Lestat ran up to their masters, purring in delight.
"So," asked Brian. "What's the verdict?"
"Hunter and Shawn are free!" Prince Jeri cried. "And Hunter's wedding is put off until the day he arrives back here!"
"We're also taking a break from performing and traveling, also." said Adam, reaching for a scroll in his bag. "We're off to the Laree Farm!"
Mickie...who was washing the dishes...nearly broke the one in her hands. "The...what?" She asked in a timid voice.
"The Laree Farm!" Jay repeated. "They're friends with the McMahon family and are arranging us to stay with them for three days. Since it's a very short distance from here, then we'll reach there by lunch!"
"Great." Mickie uttered sarcastically. "I'll meet up with Mom and Dad again."
"Wait." said Mike, looking utterly bewildered. "You are from Laree Farms?"
"Yeah." The contortionist replied. "But my 'parents' were too busy with the farm that I couldn't stand it. One day I was trying to help one of the stray cats in the barn, but I fell and landed on my back pretty badly. My parents thought I was doing all those 'crazy stuff' like the Circus people did and beat me, only making my pain worse. Then...about two months after the incident, Gangrel appeared and healed my body. He then gave me the opportunity to run away from home, which I did. I was taught to use my body in a way not possible, and I am forever in his debt." She stared sadly at her reflection in the soapy dish. "I'd thought I never have to see them again."
"It's only going to be three whole days, and then you'll be with us after that!" said Maria, hugging her friend. "Now come on, let's do these dishes before we head off."
"Let me help you with that." said Molly, walking up to the two. "I'm good at cleaning."
While the chores were being done, Gangrel was slowly waking up, he felt something on his back and started to itch at it. He looked at the three mirrors on his makeshift table...his eyes widening to see small feathery wings—one white and one black—sticking out of his back.
Daybreak...He thought in his mind. What's going on?
He heard no response as he closed his eyes shut, trying to make the site of things go away. He opened them once more, and found the wings to have disappeared, and he let out a sigh of relief.
Unfortunately, he did not see two important things. First, was that Dusk was laughing like a maniac, knowing that Gangrel was getting closer and closer to losing himself completely.
The second, was that the wing tattoos that Gangrel had not thought about for some time were already melding together down his spine.
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How will Mickie's parents react when the Dream Circus reach the Laree Farm?
What is in store for the newest members of the Dream Circus?
When will Dusk strike next?
And is there any hope to save Gangrel?
All this and more in the next chapter.
Until then, read and review!