Teresa's pulse had risen ever faster as the yoma in the suits discussed her fate amongst themselves. She was surrounded, and by enemies that were many times stronger than herself, mere yoma, an enemy which should have been one the most easiest of prey. She missed her yoki more than ever, and only now realised just how much she had taken it for granted. Her thirst for that energetic yoki bordered on desperation, a sliver of fear momentarily corrupted her usual perfect form.

At her current level of strength, she found that the struggle to stay alive was simply getting to her. It didn't matter how good she was, there were certain limitation to her body that made things very difficult for her. But even so she did not think to yield her blade, and held firm against the the many yoma that had been edging closer.

Her fuming eyes often turned on to Marcus, wondering why he did not even seem to take any notice of her. It was rather improper, but for some reason it bothered her more that it should have and she didn't know why that was.

"Gentlemen, In a moment her strength shall return and then we are all dead," Marcus said as he addressed the yoma in formal manner. "So whatever you want done to her needs to happen now."

The yoma in the white suit responded: "So the effects ware off that quickly? is the second time less effective?

Did he say Second time?

Teresa looked over at Marcus in disbelief, feeling a chill run down her spine when he finally made eye contact with her.

"What does that mean? Second time? Marcus! answer me!" Teresa yelled.

"Marcus's abilities were paramount to your resurrection. " A yoma said off from the side.

"You owe him quite a lot, in fact." Another said.

Teresa found herself intrigued, but even if that were true, she still she wished nothing more than to remove his head for his treachery. The yoma on the other hand had a similar fate in her head. If these goons truly were the leaders of the organisation, she would love it if she could kill them all where they stood. Their numbers were the only barrier from that currently happening, but Teresa knew that if she was quick enough, she just may be able to kill most of them.

The one in the white suit dared to approach her closer. His smuck grin and frightening stare cemented him as the leader of the pack. She counted the steps remaining until he was within range of her blade. She had noticed his footing was rather careful,which was something that was to be expected after all.

He stopped a safe distance away from her, closely watched by the dozen other yoma brutes that kept a watchful eye upon him.

"As of now you are our property, and that is all that you are permitted to know." he said.

Teresa didn't say a word; merely standing as still as a statue with her eyes firmly locked on to him. She had thought about trying her luck and simply going for him now, but the distance was simply too great for it to be done successfully.

Not close enough...

There were too many variables to consider, and her incredible insecurity about her diminished powers served only to weaken her resolve ever so slightly. If she sprang for him now, the other yoma would have plenty of time to block her off and that would be bad news for her.

"Nothing to say? Well I suppose that you agree to these conditions then," He said, taking a few steps closer towards her.

"If you don't speak to me, we have other ways of making you." He said, taking another step closer towards her.

That's about right.

Teresa's infamous smile crept upon her lips as she looked upon him with chilling eyes.

"With the current distance between us," she said in a serene tone. "There is a really good chance I can kill you where you stand."

He paused and looked at her with an enchanted expression. "If my dear you can indeed kill me before the others react, then I will meet my end happily knowing It was by the strongest creature ever to exist."

A faint smile grew across her lips as the wavy haired haired woman suddenly dashed for him. The others tried to stop her, but as she predicted, they weren't fast enough. The window for death was in grasp, but but she did not take it. Instead, she simply poked her blade into the yoma's neck instead, keeping the others at bay. The harsh tip of her silvery weapon buried deeply into his humanly looking flesh with, the blood that came out vile purple instead.

"Hey boss mind if we have a little chat?" Teresa said.

The other yoma seemed rather freaked out by the situation but Teresa knew there was nothing they could do to protect their leader at this point. She held the blade firmly against him, his life in her hands. Her gaze never straying from the surrounding yoma threat.

"You...I like you..."

"I only have a question or two... " Teresa said calmly.

The yoma laughed lightly to himself, and she noticed there was not even a sliver of fear in him. " Go ahead. Ask me."

She decided to be a little mean and pierce the lining of his throat a little with the tip of her sword. She was not sadistic, but when she saw the blood of yoma, her body became flooded with a strange excitement.

"How... do you plan to control the strongest creature?"

He grinned at her initially before pulling out a cigar and a lighter from his pocket.

"Do you mind if I?"

Teresa grew a little irritated. "No...go ahead..."

He manoeuvred his hand around her blade as he placed the cigar in his mouth, and with the other lighting it with a metallic lighter. He took a deep breath from it and exhaled.

"There were others like you, strong ones like you... There was Titania the immortal, demonblade Gorth, Double bladed Lissandra, Maximus the cannibal, Audet the grand duelist, and so many others...but only a select few stand out from the crowd, and even fewer deserve to be preserved. But no matter how strong they became, we've always had our ways in controlling them, or rather, controlling their minds..."

"i'll need you to fill me in on the Mind control part." Teresa said.

The yoma laughed chillingly: "You know what? why not Duel me, one on one. If you win, you get to go free, but If I win you work for us. How does that sound?"

Teresa was surprised by such a ridiculous offer. It seemed quite absurd that even if she were to win the promise would be honoured. Everything about it screamed of deception and lies, but she wasn't currently in a situation to pick and choose. Even without her yoma powers, she was still deadly with a claymore in hand and could kill him effortlessly. Her stare flickered between him and the others madly, deciding whether she should go for the kill or not.

He signalled the other yoma to back away, and they did, allowing the two of them a good amount of space within the street to have a proper fight. Her blade was still pressed against his neck as she noticed one of the yoma toss a claymore into the ground beside them.

"Do you take me for a fool?" Teresa warned.

"Will the strongest claymore in existence not accept my challenge?"

She grunted to herself, and after taking a moment to contemplate the situation for a while longer, she withdrew her sword from his neck cautiously.

"Very well then," Teresa said.

The other yoma simply watched just like he said, and did not appear to even look aggressive whatsoever. Merely passively observing.

The man in the white suit picked up the claymore next to him and stared into her eyes with his own bloodshot ones.

"If you win, you are free to go, remember that. But if you lose..." He repeated.

Teresa was still quite skeptical, but given the situation she simply didn't have much of a choice, and chose to play along to this most interesting duel he had started. In her mind she was preparing for an easy victory, but there was another part of her that made her more skeptical about things. It was rare to meet a yoma that associated itself with weapons, but the way this one held on to his blade made it obvious he was a skilled warrior.

Her notice of the dragon lord staring uncontrollably at her newfound situation did not wane on her. Him and the dozens of other yoma seemed just as interested in the fight as the next. Watching as if she was some form of entertainment. She hated it.

Not wasting any time, Teresa went for the offensive, meeting him blade for blade as they exchanged in, at first, gentle swordplay. She sized her opponent up and observed closely with each passing parry and block the both of them had made to each other. Neither her nor the yoma appeared strained by their efforts, and both had no issues with keeping up, at least, for now. Just as she suspected his movements and coordination were of an excellent quality, at a level that rivalled her own, but there were immediate flaws in his attacks that she was quick to notice and take note of. It was apparent that he was good, but not quite as good as herself.

"I have to admit, you fight well for a yoma." Teresa said.

The man smiled at her. "We never get tired and we never grow old. I've been a master duelist for centuries. it's become somewhat of a hobby of mine, and i've noticed i'm become very good at it."

"I quite agree." Teresa said.

"Thanks to Marcus, you are physically inferior to me in every way. It is not possible for you to win, so you should just give up. It is hopeless for you."

"I don't think so."

She swooped in again on him, changing her fighting style at random times to deliver unpredictable blows his extra experience, she hoped, cannot hope to counter. She had no doubt about his story as his technical skills were impressive, however it was still not at a level she would consider to be near perfection, not like hers. She capitalised on every one is his mistakes, and in a show of pure skill, managed to slice off his sword arm in a single clean swoop.

An arch of blood erupted from him, staining his clean clothes with the colour of death. Teresa wasted no opportunity and went for the killing blow as soon as she could.

"Riveting..." The yoma said before Teresa's blade cut off his head clean from his body.

There was nothing but silence as the headless yoma fell flat against the ground beneath her feet with the head rolling against the ground. The others appeared rather dumbstruck, as if such a thing wasn't supposed to happen, or that it shouldn't happen.

Teresa was not expecting such a difficult fight, and hoped the others were't anywhere near as good as this one was. Yoma were usually quite predictable to her, but in this place she obviously had quite a bit to still learn about them.

She expected some sort of a reaction from the others but there was nothing. Instead they didn't even seem to care at all. They are stared at her in complete silence, seemingly more excited than she would expected to be after they lost their dear leader.

-"The boss is dead..." One of the yoma said.

-"What now?"

-"We simply continue on."

-" We shall select a new leader after this."

-"But first we need to finnish business at hand."

It was then when she noticed one of the men in the suits was none other than Rubel. She didn't recognise him at first because he wasn't wearing his infamous hat, and had most of his face covered by a dark cloak instead. He appeared rather passive, and hadn't said much if anything at all.

Now I definitely should have seen this coming...

Of course he would be here...

"It is time, bring her in..." one of the yoma said.

The distinct sound of stone cold metallic footsteps against the cobblestone floor permeated the streets. Teresa turned over to see an approaching woman with a familiar pair of silver eyes. Her Hair was white as snow, long and straight that almost reached her thighs. She had a pretty face, but it was overly sad and cold, with eyes that seemed just a bit too worn for somebody like herself. She was unarmed, and didn't appear very threatening at first glance

"You...What is your name? number? rank? " Teresa said heartily to the approaching claymore.

There was no response from her, and Teresa could immediately sense that something was not right. The claymore's eyes were overly baron, with almost no sense of life behind them.

"It's a little sad..." Teresa said mockingly at her. "that you knowingly serve the yoma...and they don't even allow you to wield a weapon..."

But the claymore said nothing, merely staring at the ground whilst walking carelessly towards her.

"Did they give you a gag order now?" Teresa said.

"You're wasting your time. This one doesn't understand language. Only certain commands." one of the yoma in a suits said.

Another grinned. " I'm sure you've heard of the term anti warrior?"

"Anti warrior..." Teresa said.

"Violetta is a sensory type that has reached a level of yoki perception that is unparalleled in this world. She has the ability to infiltrate the very aura from another person, read their thoughts, and most exciting of all, she is able to destroy memories in just about anyone."

"I see. So that is exactly what you plan to do to me next. Make me into an obedient slave..." Teresa said.

"That is correct."

"Well, Im sure Violetta had a lovely personality before you made her use her own technique on herself." Teresa said.

-"Who needs henchmen who think? in the long run, it is such a waste of time."

Teresa wasn't amused. If what they said was true, this could be the bad for her.

Rubel finally broke his silence and addressed all the others;

"We did promise to let her go...aren't we being a bit hasty with all the mind destroying?"

"She wasn't even supposed to win! " a yoma to his right said.

"Subject Teresa is no doubt our finest creation. She isn't going anywhere." another said.

Another tapped him across the shoulder. "We thank you for all the advice you have given us, Rubel, but you are already standing on thin ice."

Rubel appeared a little off, even nervous for some reason, and Teresa was very quick to pick up on this. She observed for a moment longer at the way the men argued amongst each other, but her thoughts soon loomed on her ways of escape instead. She wasn't necessarily thrilled about fighting every single one of them and the dozens others that protected them, but when that time came, she knew there may not have been another way.

She grew tired of listening to them bicker about her, so she looked to the ground and noticed a large rock close to where she stood. She picked up, aimed it, and threw speedily towards them. Much to her amusement it hit Rubel in the face, and the scrawny man fell to the floor from the impact, pronging alarm from the others.

Two of the yoma brutes attempted to flank her from the side of the buildings- but she saw them coming. With clever movements she propelled herself around them as they attacked her, managing to slice one across its midsection, gauging out a shower of its guts.

But it didn't go down, and a couple others now joined in to attack her, barking at her like a pack of starving wild dogs.

Her claymore was soaked in purple blood, and already her body ached like it had never before. She had always considered herself rather fit, but the lengthy confrontation was beginning to get to her stamina. Before, when things got challenging she would simply borrow from her incredible powers to annihilate her enemies, but this time it was not possible. She had fell victim to relying on her yoki more than she should. It was something Rafaela once told her, and their was an ounce of truth to it. Without her yoki, she felt far more vulnerable than she ever had, and suddenly regretted the years of neglecting her training.

She didn't have time to properly think about it as the yoma with the open gut charged for her, but she tumbled off to the side to avoid it's most obvious attacks. She used all her strength as she attempted to slice the yoma in half, but was not strong enough to make it through all the way.

To her horror the dying creature managed to knock her blade away from her hands, grab her by the neck, and squeeze so tight that she couldn't even breathe. Her blade was halfway through his torso and yet he was still alive, and still possessing crushing strength that could snap her neck. Her body screamed for the incredible yoki to save her, but there was no response, and she was already out of options.

The claymore Violetta approached her, and placed her hands on her head as if preparing for some type of ritual. She knew it was probably over, and unless a Miracle came to save her, she was as good as dead.

Teresa didn't know why, but in her sorrow she looked over at Marcus in a last ditch effort, but her plea for mercy did not seem to appease him. She closed her eyes and prepared for her end. Even though the stranglehold across her neck was merciless, She could still feel a tingling sensation of Violetta's fingers that ran across her head, knowing it may be the last thing she will ever feel.

But then she heard a whistling sound, followed by a gust of wind and then suddenly the sound of bone breaking before her. Something flew by her, breaking the yoma's arms, and releasing it's chocking grip on her. She was released, and momentarily dazzled by what just happened.

An arrow?

She looked over and did see that which she suspected. A black arrow implanted deep into the the side of a building beside her with the arm of the yoma implanted across it. Curiously, she attempted to trace with her eyes where it could have possibly come from but was eerily unsuccessful. It was far too dark to properly make out anything.

"What was that? are we under attack?" One of the yoma in the suits said in a panic.

"It can't be one of ours..." Another said.

They all turned over to Marcus looking for answers, but the man didn't seem particularly enthused by the sudden attention.

"I have no idea where that came from...actually..." he said.

Teresa wasn't sure what to make out of it, but she did not waste any time. She raced for her blade and ran for the nearest of the yoma, decapitating it with ease, with the rest of the others surrounding her exactly how she suspected, making it only easier for her to take them out.

When she killed yet another of them, there were times when she could not avoid a scratch across the side of her leg or arm from one of their claws, making the blood flow all the way down to the ground. The wound stung, yet it did nothing to stop her trying what she sought to.

But there were a little too many after a while, and Teresa realised she was soon in the fight of her life as a dozen others joined in. Some of them didn't simply fight with their claws, instead they wielded a claymore just like herself, complicating the situation even further for herself.

She heard the howl of another arrow race near her, impacting into the skull of a yoma behind her. She took advantage of this distraction, and sliced apart two remaining other yoma, just as another barrage of arrows had taken out half a dozen others that were attempting to flank her.

With just a little bit of help she managed to kill enough of them until there were only a couple left between her and the so called leaders in the suits.

-"What the? "how is she so ridiculously overpowered?" One yoma said.

-"We need to stop her! at this rate she'll kill us all!"

"Marcus! stop her!"

"Protect us!"

Teresa could sense the panic of the others, but interestingly it was Rubel and Marcus amongst them that appeared calm and composed instead. It almost seemed as if they knew something she didn't.

Amongst the chaos of combat, she noticed Marcus pull out what appeared to be the silver of a blade from under his clothes. The yoma noticed too late, but one by one their heads were removed from their bodies as Marcus slaughtered every last one of them, their numbers dwindling one by one.

"Marcus! what the!-?" One of them yelled just as his life was severed in an instant.

-"You!"

-"Get! Get away from me!"

-"What the hell?!"

Their expensive suits were stained in a hue of purple as they attempted to flee their execution in their desperation. Panics and screams were what came from them now, as opposed to their elitist attitude they had shown to her before.

The screaming stopped when the last of the suits had fallen, and the remaining yoma brutes that were still alive were ended quickly by him. It became immediately apparent that his strength had miraculously returned, or more likely, it never had gone anywhere in the first place.

Marcus had spared only one in his onslaught, Rubel, who stood unscathed surrounded by a grave of his peers. Teresa had almost expected that to happen, and was not particularly surprised to see it so. She knew Rubel knew a whole lot more than he ever let out.

"It's all over. The beginning of the end has begun." Marcus said.

"...What's going on here..." Teresa said in an annoyed tone.

"Everything is going according to plan Teresa. No need to worry." Rubel said.

"What plan?" she asked.

"The end of the organisation." Rubel said.

She was not naive enough to believe his words entirely, and knew there was an element of the situation he was not telling her.

There was the sound of coughing over to their side, and all attention turned to a single dying yoma in a blood-soaked suit, coughing out blood from his injuries. Marcus was the only one to approached him, and when he stopped in front of him, the dying yoma fell into hysterical laughter.

"So you work for us for decades...only to betray us now? I don't believe it." the yoma said.

"A large part of the organisation has been destroyed with the death of you lot. Good riddance." Marcus said.

"...I didn't think you were so naive Marcus."

But Marcus silenced him by stabbing him in the chest and twisting the blade in the wound.

When the yoma fell lifeless, the claymore Violetta's face suddenly lit up with a sense of emotion, a look of revelation in her face. It wasn't quite clear whether she appeared happy or sad about the situation, but there was a genuine look of confusion and a deep sense of emotional concern from her. Teresa had noticed this was rather odd as the claymore hadn't shown any sense of emotion before at all.

"Your masters are dead. Now you are free." Marcus said with a smile.

The woman said nothing as was to be expected, but for some reason appeared to be terribly interested in Teresa more than anything. She picked up a sword one of the other yoma had dropped, and walked towards her with a sense of hostility.

Teresa was forced to draw her blade when Violetta approached her closer than she was comfortable with. Her face was lifeless as usual, but her eyes were starting to form tears. It was a strange sight, but at the same time it was also a deeply sad sight also, as Teresa suspected she may be dealing with someone who wasn't entirely conscious.

Violetta struck her with the sword, but Teresa parried it soundly. The woman was not bad in her movements, just not particularly good either. It was obvious this warrior had not even seen many battles in her life. Her technique was sloppy, even for a lower rank, and only just managed to make her struggle only just a little. Even the extra strength and speed Violetta possessed was not enough to overcome her superior combat skill.

"Cut it out! What's your deal with me?" Teresa said.

She ducked to avoid Violetta's decapitation attempt, and only just managed to evade the next attack as she raced to make some space between them.

Teresa was exhausted, growing endlessly tired off all this fighting. Violetta was a lousy Claymore, but a claymore nonetheless. Her bones shook from the impact of their exchanges, and at times she could feel the woman would probably overpower her if she wasn't careful.

Marcus and the others simply watched on, looking quite unsure about what to do in this situation.

"I don't really want to hurt you...but I will." Teresa insisted.

But Violetta would not listen, and Teresa was growing increasingly agitated. If she wanted to she could probably kill the Claymore in three, perhaps four simple moves, but she chose against it. She did not wish to take the life of the innocent, and would do all she could to prevent that from happening.

"This is your last chance!" Teresa said.

"I won't strike at you!"

"I will not!"

Violetta charged for her, and when Teresa realised she could not be stopped, she stabbed her blade into the claymore's chest- ending their battle.

The harsh steel pierced the woman's flesh, releasing a torrent of bright red blood. The sight and colour was horrific, and it pained Teresa inside to witness the unmistakable moans of pain from another.

You give me no choice.

I'm sorry...

Goodbye.

As Teresa was about to pull her blade out from her chest, she was stunned to notice the claymore gently laughing before her. It was a half attempt at a laugh, and it almost seemed as if it was out of relief of all things. Contrary to before, she acted as though she were a completely different person, and for the first time there appeared to be somebody alive behind that doll face of hers.

"So this...is what death feels like..." Violetta said so softly it could barely be heard.

Teresa couldn't believe what she saw, or rather, what she heard from the seemingly mute girl. She could barely hold on to the blade that pierced Violetta's chest, and felt an unfathomable guilt creep into her insides.. She couldn't find it in herself to pull the blade back out, as doing so would probably bring the claymores life to an immediate end.

"Why would you do this? Why walk right into my sword?" Teresa asked, horrified.

The girl smiled pretentiously at her. Her voice so weak no others could hear what she said.

"My mind has never gone...that was a lie I've made them believe for so long...for so long i've managed to fool them...to hide the pain I felt inside...to hide from the torture...yes...to hide from the torture..."

"But you no longer have to hide." Teresa said.

"I just want to die. Please just finnish it."

"What kind of attitude is that? You're not going to die! this is merely a flesh wound, You'll be alright... my name is Teresa and I will look after you." Teresa said frantically.

"Teresa...Now my pain will finally go away...thank you."

"If you stay still, perhaps I can save your life." Teresa said, as she thought whether to to pull the blade out or not.

Violetta nodded lightly, and with her last ounce of strength she kissed Teresa on the forehead before her body collapsed against her knees lifelessly. The life that was in her eyes had left her, and Teresa found herself in complete shock as she stared at the lifeless face of the now dead woman. She was so sure there was nobody alive in that body, even convincing herself that the woman wasn't even entirely human. She felt an incredible sense of guilt inside for what she had done, and a sense of worthlessness and misery engulfed her thoughts.

Teresa wasn't sure what was going on anymore. Everything seemed like it was set up. Everything seemed fake. She regretted ever leaving her friends to satisfy her unfounded curiosity of Marcus which ended in total disaster.

She pulled her claymore out of Violetta's dead form, and couldn't bare to look at dreaded sight of red that now stained it.

Marcus approached her, but she could not find it in herself to face him, let alone talk to him. She was not interested in him anymore. She was mad.

"That Claymore could not think, so therefore she was not even alive. Don't feel guilty for what had to be done." Marcus said.

Teresa refused an immediate response, and sheathed her blade against her back without showing any emotion to him.

"...Do you want to talk now? i'll explain everything. And this time it's for real." He said.

"You've done what you came to do, so there is no reason for me to be here, Marcus." Teresa said.

"Yeah but..."

"And Rubel," Teresa said as she looked over at him. "I suppose you set this whole thing up?"

"Of course I did. I needed to draw out these high ranking figures within the organisation, and after a bit of hyping you up, the idiots all decided to have a personal look at you. You could say they were dying to meet you."

"I apologise for earlier..." Marcus said, appearing genuinely regretful. " I didn't want to tell you because I needed you to have a genuine reaction to their arrival for the mission to be a success. You surely understand, Teresa."

"Fuck off." Teresa sneered.

She turned to leave them, ignoring the reaction of both Marcus and Rubel. She couldn't wait until her powers returned to normal, and to get back to the others and pretend like this never happened.

She scurried through the streets to leave the town, on the lookout for any enemy that may jump her from the many dark. Much to her relief there was nothing to stop her from leaving and soon she reached the outer wall of the town. She climbed the side of the wall a little further away, and entering the wilderness outside.

The serene sounds of nature engulfed her, and the new atmosphere was exactly what she needed to clear her troubled mind. It was incredibly dark and her humanly eyes could not see much during such a time. The full moon above provided only little streams of light that penetrated the canopy high above. It was quiet, and the sound of isolation had never felt so sweet than it did now.

Initially Teresa thought she may run into Skye, but the girl was nowhere to be seen. Teresa didn't think much of it, and had already been walking for a while when she arrived by a large running lake she remembered passing by earlier. With this discovery she knew she was going in the right direction that led back to the others.

There was a breaking in the forest caused by the moving water, revealing the majesty of the night sky in all its glory to Teresa. Unlike the pitch black darkness from before, it was quite refreshing to see the full moon and all the many stars that glistened so beautifully up above.

Teresa tried to focus her thoughts on where she was, but tried as she may, she could not get the horrific pictures of death out of her mind. She thought of herself as resilient, but the way Violetta looked at her during her last few moments was incredibly confronting. Taking the life of another wasn't anything new to her, but the life of an innocent was something else entirely. Though she did not know this person at all, she still felt like she had failed a close friend.

She sighed and walked over into the moving water, until her feet were drenched in the calming liquid. It was freezing and painful to her skin, but it gave relief to the aching souls of her feet.

Teresa was tired. She unsheathed her claymore and soaked it in the running water, attempting to wash off that dreaded colour of red. It was far too staining for her eyes to look at, and she wished more than anything she could wash away what she felt inside as well.

But before she was finished cleaning it all the way, she noticed a simple rustle in the leaves over to her side.

Skye?

No...

it's someone else...

She didn't know who it was, but when she could hear what sounded like maniacal laughter, she could feel her insides twist out from disgust. From the darkness she noticed the sparkle of a pair of silver eyes, and soon noticed someone she wasn't expecting to see.

"Ophelia?" Teresa said, utterly stunned.

Ophelia licked her lips as she approached closer towards the river. Teresa had her hand across her sword, but didn't appear to be prepared to use it. Or at least hope she wouldn't have to.

"I could have sworn your hair was the blondest of all...but now it's gone all black... quite odd that is, and your yoki, I can't sense a thing..." Ophelia said.

"What are you doing all the way out here?"

"I was supposed to be meeting some people nearby, but when I arrived, there was nothing but a mangled mess. You wouldn't have something to do with that would you?" Ophelia snarled.

"The only ones to die tonight were yoma." Teresa said.

Ophelia drew her weapon as she approached Teresa ever closer. She stood at the edge of the river.

"...You killed that mindless bitch didn't you?"

"Who?"

"Violetta. We've been trying to draw her out in the open for quite some time...but now that she's dead things are a whole lot different now. I suspect It must have been all Marcus's doing... Where is that dragon man anyway? is he with you?"

Teresa looked away embarrassed.

"No, he isn't."

"Oh really? what happened I wonder?"

Teresa grew just a little bit nervous as Ophelia stepped into the river, her hand tightly clenching on her sword. She still looked very much like any other warrior of the organisation, down to the silver eyes and infamous battle suit, but Teresa knew she was an awakened being, a creature that surpassed a human in every physical way. Yoma were one thing, but there was no possible way she could compete with someone as powerful as Ophelia, at least not until her powers returned.

Teresa stood her ground as the awakened approached her, eyeing her with a snakeish look of desire.

"I bet you're wondering how I'm still alive. You thought you killed me earlier didn't you? But so many make the mistake of going for the neck. If you wanted me dead, you have to cut my head clean off, nobody gets that..." Ophelia said.

"I don't know how I could possibly have made that mistake..." Teresa said.

"That's right, You did get your head cut off by Priscilla once before didn't you? How is it like to come back from the dead?" Ophelia said.

"Exhausting."

Armed and prepared, she awaited for the incoming swing of a claymore to mark the beginning of their battle. Teresa didn't have much time to react when Ophelia suddenly charged at her.

"Is that all you've got! I thought you'd be better! Teresa of the faint smile!" Ophelia yelled.

The edge of Ophelia's blade was always just a little too close to her head, even sometimes scraping at the tips of her hair as she struggled to parry the incoming strikes.

"Your rank...it was number four?" Teresa said.

"It was." Ophelia said.

"It should have been higher."

"Tell me about it..."

Even though she possessed human levels of strength, she had managed to outplay her awakened opponent most of the time. At times she noticed a sliver of gold chant within Ophelia's eyes, and she couldn't react fast enough to save her leg from cuts from Ophelia's sword. Pain soared into her body, and she lost her footing for only a brief moment as the her wounds numbed her briefly.

But she had no time to rest. The howl of Ophelia's blade threatened to end her, but she was quick enough to avoid it and react with haste. Her metallic weapon rattled from the exchanges, a testament to the difference in strength between them.

Teresa danced through whatever Ophelia threw at her, managing to outplay her opponent and land a kick across the side of Ophelia's head, followed by a powerful kick to the chest that stunned the awakened momentarily.

"Is this how Clare and you first met?" Teresa said.

"Now that you mention it, yes, it went something similar to this."

Ophelia went for the engage yet again, and Teresa soon figured out the weaknesses, or rather faults, she found in the awakend's movements. They were minor, but she took advantage of each and every mistake to the fullest.

"This is just too much fun! So much more fun than Clare ever was!"

Teresa only narrowly avoided a dirty low strike by Ophelia, but was helpless to stop the awakened from moving in behind her, and wrapping her hands around her body in a chokehold. Tried as she may she could not escape the monstrous grip of Ophelia as she held on like a vice grip that only got tighter the more she struggled. Her lungs felt like they were going to collapse, and her bones almost snap from the pressure. Teresa had never been handled in such a manner before, and found it incredibly distressing.

"So how are you related to Clare I wonder? Let's see if you squirm like Clare did too..." Ophelia hissed behind into her ear, smiling in delight at Teresa's hopeless attempts to escape.

Teresa wasn't sure what Ophelia was planning, but as soon as she felt a pair of sharp fangs grind against her skin, it became painfully obvious. Was she to be the toy of an awakened?or the food of one? was that to be her fate?

-"Ophelia! that's quite enough! Let go of her now!" Another female voice said.

Teresa wouldn't usually be thrilled to see Roxanne approach her, but this time she had to admit that her arrival came as a bit of a relief.

"Don't try to ruin my fun..." Ophelia snarled back, still maintaining her hold on Teresa.

"You said you wouldn't hurt her!" Roxanne said.

Ophelia giggled. "Well I lied. Get over it. How can i not take advantage of this situation! she's defenceless!"

"Don't you know It's incredibly rude to handle someone like that! have you no class?!"

Teresa blinked once, and suddenly the incredible pressure that kept her immobilised was gone as Ophelia released her from the hold. Her body almost collapsed from the ordeal, and she struggled to get back her breath, panting like she never had before.

Roxanne approached her with a look of concern. Her genuinely was questionable at best, as Teresa had long since suspected she may have had other motives in doing what she did.

"I'm so sorry about that...really...that just wasn't fair..." Roxanne said as he inspected her.

As Teresa caught her breath, there were waves of concern building up from within. She was was not entirely comfortable with the girl's obsessive closeness towards her, but yet again far preferred that to the treatment Ophelia had thrown at her.

"What's up with your yoki? are you alright?" Roxanne asked.

"It's temporary... What are you really doing here Roxanne..."" Teresa said.

The girl moved away from her and smiled with a seemingly genuine manner.

"I've only discovered this recently...but Ophelia doesn't work for the organisation, instead, she works for some awakened faction...interesting huh?"

"Awakened have their own society?" Teresa said.

"You'd be surprised whats out here. I would have never guessed it. There are a lot of others out there who want a piece of you... " Ophelia said.

Roxanne placed her hands across her shoulders with a look of concern,

"Where is Marcus? did he leave you? What a jerk! You must have had an awful night! But don't you worry...i'll protect you! " Roxanne said with a malevolent smile.


I've wanted to complicate things a little and throw a few twists and turns into the story. It will progress faster from now on, and things will start to come together nicely in future chapters I hope. I'm sorry for the slow updates, but I do not wish to rush this story and have a few things up my sleve that you guys will hopefully enjoy. If you like this story, please comment and let me know any thoughts or ideas you may have.

thanks for reading.