OOOOH MY GOODNESS. This chapter toooook fooooreeeeeveeeer! I'm not one for big battle scenes. Hopefully it is convening enough for everybody. Sorry for such a long wait for this chapter. I knew that I could never commit to an update schedule (hits self with rubber mallet) Sheesh! Anywhoo, I will be leaving on an adventure in 11 day's time, so I do not know if I will have time to update before then. During my trip, I will be gone for 10 days... so I'm gonna try my darn-tootinest to get the next chapter up before I leave... but of course I shouldn't make promises because I'm notorious for BREAKING THEM! Thank you so much for all of you who have stuck with me and my flaky update schedule, your support really means a lot! Please enjoy and what-nots!

Chapter 16- Parting Ways

Feeling rundown and weak, Filia stared at the approaching Dragons, feeling hopeless and powerless.

"I can't handle them." Filia sighed in defeat, as sweat and blood dripped down from her brow, falling from the side of her face, and then finally falling from her chin. It wasn't just her body that felt run down, her spirit had took the plunge as well. For the moment, Xellos, Val, Daé, even the Dragons who were defending her were in the back of her head. She was on her last leg, feeling as though this could be the end. She was exhausted, and she felt trapped. From the distance she saw the hooded figures appearing.

So the way she saw it, she had a choice.

Be taken by the Dragons, who no doubt were taking her to the Dragon elder, for some unwanted drama, or be taken by the Monsters, for an unknown horror. Either way, she couldn't decide what was worst.

The ever present flicker of hope that was inside her, told her that of course she had a third choice, which was to fight. Fight with everything she had. But what ever she had, it was proving not to be good enough.

Xellos muttered something beside her, though she barely caught what it was, as she let her mace slip from her hands. By this action, the Dragons who were staring her down took this as an invitation as they began to advance on her.


As if a spark of life lit inside her heart, she snapped her gaze back at the pursuers, this time with more confidence as Filia stood her ground, strong and with new found resolve.

"I can't handle them," She admitted in honesty, "- in this form."

She touched her chest, as she felt a familiar warmth begin to emerge from her chest, as she took a deep, breath.

One word came from Xellos, this time loud and clear. "Filia." It was low, dark, and threatening. Filia also noticed something else in the tone of the Mazoku, almost something like fear.

Whatever Xellos was afraid of, it didn't matter to Filia now. Even though the sound of his voice echoed in the back of her head repeatedly, she pretended to not hear him, as she began to glow in a soft, but powerful golden light.

Time seemed to halt for Filia as she transformed. For just a few moments, all the fighting and blood shed was placed in the back of her mind, as she took on her Dragon form, her true form. The warmth from her chest grew as it spread throughout her whole body, as she felt her form begin to change.

If the sensation wasn't so relieving, she would have felt slightly embarrassed from the public display of nudity. But it was done and over with before any could really take notice, and with a sigh, she uncurled her wings, and spread them out wide.

It had been years since Filia had taken her true form. An her appearance proved it. Her youthful scales were stronger and had a darker, more mature tint to them. Her wide an innocent eyes had sharpened over the years, showing her transition from being a 'teenage' Dragon, to a fully grown dragon. Her talons were longer and sharper, her frame had grown slender and longer, and her tail had fully evolved into it's full glory. She truly was an adult Dragon now, she admired.

Which meant she was more powerful than ever.

Flexing her fist, she turned her gaze to the Dragons who had been advancing toward her, prepared to take them on.

The Dimos dragons were stronger than her, but not quicker. Before they reached her, she sprung in the air, challenging them to follow her.

The sensation was almost euphoric, as she took to the skies for the first time in ages. The feeling of the wind rushing between her wings, blowing her golden mane back as she soared higher and higher made her heart rush with excitement, as she lead the group of Dragons, which grew in numbers in a chase.

Filia began to take the battle more seriously as she felt a tight, pain growing in her stomach. She couldn't place where the pain came from, but she had a hunch it had something to do with Xellos, and when he injected her with miasma.

Gaining a fair lead on the pursuing Dragons, she quickly flipped around to face the Dragons, and yelled out, "Laser Breath" as a beam of energy shot from her mouth, and took out a few of the pursuing Dragons.

The unaffected Dragons flew past the damaged ones, in hot pursuit of Filia. Without a second thought, Filia turned and quickly began to speed forward once more.

"I've got to think of a better plan!" Filia cried out as she pushed herself to fly faster.

Xellos watched as Filia flew across the sky, with a swarm of furious Dimos Dragon's chasing after her. A noticeable frown had wormed it's way onto his face, as he watched her with focus.

Hadn't he warned her, time and time again not to do exactly what she had just done? But then, when had Filia ever listened to Xellos? Even if it was for her own self preservation, the stubborn Dragon would do the opposite of what he told her just because, well.. it was him.

At this point Xellos couldn't even be mad at her for it. Things were progressing from worst to terrible in an alarming rate, and he would never be able to complete his mission for Beastmaster with the way Filia was foolishly giving herself up to the enemy like she was now.

Why couldn't she had ran like Val had suggested? As always she had to stand her ground with her silly, and useless acts of selflessness. Those acts, that will undoubtedly be her undoing.

As Xellos continued to broad over Filia and her actions, an enemy came behind him and took a seat on one of the uprooted tree trunks that ways laying near the Monster, as she tried to see what he was looking at.

It didn't take her long to find the source of his attention. It was almost impossible to miss.

Xellos had noticed the arrival of a new enemy, but for the time he continued to watch Filia as she kept baiting the Dimos Dragons, before turning back to send out a feeble attack. At this rate she was going to were herself out, and the remaining Dragons who were pursing her would take that chance to take her down.

After moments of watching the battle, the Monster who had came to observe Xellos grew bored, as she began to talk to herself, to free herself from the silence.

"Blood, blood, fire, then more blood." She cooed in a low but childish voice from behind him, tempting his focus.

"Ay-ay-ay, there are beast in the sky." The eerie voice said to nobody, as it followed the words with a very, annoying laugh. Like a hyena and a duck. Finally Xellos turned from the events of the sky, to see what, and who was behind him.

The Monster was staring right at him with a wide grin. She moved her neck like a snake as she adjusted her gaze on him, keeping her swirly pupil's locked on to his shards.

She looked like pure madness.

Insanity had never came in such a bright package. The Monster, who took the appearance of a thirteen year old girl, had bright neon features, and sunburnt tan skin. Her hair, which was bright, tangerine orange, was shaved into a mohawk, with the long hair tossed over the side of her head. She had bright neon clothes, ripped stockings, and a long dagger attached at her hip.

Her eyes were wide, with small irises that had swirled pupil's. The color was a familiar frosty blue, that was almost white. They remained unblinking as they continued to stare at him, all the while she wiggled her neck all around.

"Sunlight, moonlight, or starlight? No matter where the good comes from, the darkness always finds a place to root." She stated as she continued to grin.

"Good day." Xellos addressed the clearly insane Monster. "Lovely weather were having."

"Indeed, we are." She grinned wider, which made her smile look unnatural. "A perfect day for blood."

"You wouldn't happen to be the one who brought the lesser demons here, would you?" Xellos asked in his usual cheery, but polite voice.

"Why yes. Yes I did, Priest of Lord Beastmaster."

"Ah, so you know who I am? Well that takes away the joy of introducing myself."

"If you wish, you always could. Just because I already know doesn't mean that you can't speak freely." She continued to grin.

"Well I could never refuse such a honest request. My name is Xellos, Priest to Greater Lord Beastmaster."

"How unpleasantly nice to meet you, Xel-hos." She accented his name. "I guess the polite thing to do would be to introduce myself as well." She stated, but said nothing as she continued to stare at him.

After a moment of being caught in her gaze, waiting for her to introduce herself, Xellos realized the Monster was teasing him. After clearing his throat, he replied, "It's okay, you don't have to."

"Alright, then I will." She laughed without unclenching her teeth apart. A sweat drop fell from Xellos as he kept his poker-face. This girl, was a real weirdo.

"My name is Quintessa, the fourth General of my Master, now in charge of the A.O.T.D.A.M for the W.o.S." She waved her arm around, as she gave a curt bow. "I believe you killed my brother, Quincy." She mentioned, but gave him no time to reply. "BUT," She responded with zest, "-I'm rather glad you did. He was going a little insane from the power he was given." Quintessa said as she began to cackle. "Quinten and Qwin are both gone as well. Each monster was made, and disposed of. All trials before me. However I will not go mad from the power like my brothers. No-no-no-siree." She continued to laugh insanely.

"Ah." Xellos replied, awkwardly. Clearly, she was already insane. In between annoying quip's with the Monster Girl, Xellos continued to keep an eye on Filia. Never knowing when he would need to jump in.

"Well?" She asked him, her grin falling slightly as she looked at him expectantly, noticing his distractions.

"Yes,What is it?" Xellos responded politely, leading her half of his attention.

"Are you not going to ask me what the A.O.T.D.A.M or the W.o.S is?"

"Oh, of course I will. Please tell me what they mean." Xellos responded back apologetically, though he didn't really see what he was apologetic for.

Quintessa looked at him suspiciously, as if he asked her something truly bizarre, before responding, "I can't tell you that. Why would you even ask?"

Okay, Xellos thought to himself, this is getting me nowhere.

"-But if I were to tell you,-" She went on talking, though not directly to him. "-even though it's forbidden by Master Domink,-" She paused as she flipped her hair to fall on the other side of her head. "I would tell you that the A.O.T.D.A.M stands for the Abduction of the Dragons and Mages. Which is going to be only the opening act of the War of Severance." As soon as she said the word 'war', her unnatural grin spread across her face once more.

"The War of Severance?" Xellos questioned out loud. "What is the War of Severance?"

Quintessa's deranged grin instantly changed to a look of fury. "You tricked me into telling you naughty things." She accused him. "Even though ham is meat, it still can be sweet." She glared.

"Uh- I'm...sorry?" Xellos apologized, though he was confused. It was apparent that this Monster didn't have an ounce of sense to her. Her mood swings were too unpredictable Xellos noticed.

"Well, even the mountain's can bleed." Quintessa threatened as strange magic circles began to appear in her fist. "After all, my dear brother has been lost, and your to blame. How could I not avenge him, even if he was a sociopath." She grinned as she stood up. "Besides, if I take care of you, Master would be very pleased."

"Oh dear, you wish to fight? How unfortunate." Xellos sighed as he looked at the girl with sadness. Though it was just acting, Xellos really didn't to be distracted from the fight in the sky.

"Fighting is what war is for, isn't it?" She grinned as she tossed the energy rings from her left finger to her right one, all the while grinning madly.

Xellos placed his staff in front of him as he prepared for her attack, not wanting to hesitate to get the annoyance out of his way.

"Oh no, silly Xel-hos." She shook her head at him. "I won't be fighting you," As she began to point to the sky. "Obviously, I will be fighting her." She laughed before she fazed away.

Opening his eyes, to follower movement better, Xellos chased after her into the astral plane, only seconds behind her...

"I can't believe the hooded figures from Zoana are here as well!" Daé shouted in shock as Val kept them airborne. "This situation just went from terrible to... whatever is worse than terrible!" She panicked as Val gave a snort.

The sky was turning hot pink as the evening sun began to fall. And as the sky grew pinkish, below them where the battling continued, the flames from various spells and Dragon's breaths spread across the now ruined village, setting a blaze to the earth.

An things only got worse when the Mazoku appeared.

There was many more lesser demons in hoods this time. Their numbers probably had tripled since the attack on Zoana. Once they appeared, they quickly went after whoever was nearest to them. The worked swift, and efficiently, as they took care of their enemies.

Which was bad news for the Dragons and mages.

Daé watched in horror as the hooded lesser demon grabbed mages who were sending attacks toward there opponents, and fazed away with them before they even had a chance to defend themselves. This was easy when there were many more Monsters to grab and go.

The Monsters then would return as quickly as they weeded through their enemies, talking out all the mages on the battlefield.

Daé clutched on to the chains tighter, as she threw up a barrier around herself and Val as a precaution.

It didn't take very long for most of the mages to be taken, then the true horror began.

The Hooded figures turned their attention to the Dragons after most of the mages were gone. It didn't matter if it was the Dragons from the village, or the Dragons who came to the village in search of Filia, they just began taking them out.

It was one of the most frightening things Daé had ever seen. The hooded figures got close to a Dragon, then sent out a dark, black whirlwind in their direction. Upon contact, the cursed magic ripped through the Dragon's body, before there was nothing left. Almost as if it vaporized them on the spot.

So that was the reason there was no trace of the missing dragons, Val thought to himself in revulsion as he watched the scene's take place around him. He didn't flinch as Daé tightened her grip on him once more. Turning his attention from the hooded figures, Val then began to searched for his mother. It was time to get out of the area. This was a battle it would be safer to retreat from than to fight.

As soon as he caught sight of Filia, who was still being chased by some Dimos Dragons, he quickly gave Daé a warning before soaring after his mother.

Being much quicker than the other Dragons, it didn't take him anytime to reach her side, as he drew close enough to her to speak.

"Mom,-" He shouted out to her telepathically, "-we have to get out of here, things have gotten too dangerous."

"We have to make sure that Evelyn and everyone is safe first!" Filia yelled out to her son as she pushed herself forward with all the strength she could muster. "I'm not going to abandon them."

"We don't have time to argue about this!" Val commanded in an authoritative voice, "We can come back after the lesser demon's have left. I can't lose you or Daé!"

"We're going to get through this, just like we always have!" She shouted back to him in a panic, "-You're not going to lose me!"

"Not in the physical sense at least!" Shouted a girlish voice as Quintessa appeared far ahead of Filia and Val. Her gaze remained crazed as she stared down the approaching Dragons with blood lust. "Because once I slay you, your body will just fall down to the earth like a bag of useless bone and muscle." She laughed as she threw the energy in a underhanded pitch, hurling the green energy blade's flying toward Filia who didn't have time to slow down to avoid impact.

Only a few meters in front of Filia, Xellos appeared as he took the full impact of the attack head on.

The energy ripped through Xellos on the astral plane, as it took out a large chunk of his physical body. Letting out a painful scream, Xellos crumpled in the air as the pain from the attack weakened him.

"XELLOS!" Filia shouted in fear as she looked past him to look at the girl who threw the attack. The look the girl was sending them sent chills down Filia's spine. The colorful girl smiled a wicked, snakelike smile at the Mazoku who was in agony.

"Hurts doesn't it?" Quintessa questioned as she fazed over closer to Xellos as she stared down at him with mild interest. "It's a special kind of attack, that Lord Domink taught me to help deal with pest such as you." She laughed as she formed another green energy attack in her hands. "He has given me powers that no Monster could ever dream of!" The tangerine haired Monster announced as she continued to laugh confidently.

"Xellos!" Filia shouted in despair as she floated near him, with Val close to her side.

"I knew that the only way to get you to be hit by it however, was to send it toward your precious pet." Quintessa admitted as she continued grin senselessly. "And you fell right for it!"

As Quintessa continued to laugh in a frenzy, she remained wide open for an attack, which Daé didn't miss. Without a second thought, she knew what attack to send.

"RA-TILT!" Shouted Daé in rage, sending the blue-flamed spell toward the maniacally laughing Monster, who only dodged it seconds before it hit, only being hit by the spell by her left foot. Quintessa let out a roar of pain along with Xellos, as she snapped her gaze toward Daé. "WHY YOU!" She shouted as she fazed in front of Daé, perching herself on the back of Val's neck. "Your gonna pay for that!"

Quintessa grabbed a full fist of hair from on top of Daé's head, pulling her close to her face. "You think your gonna just..." The monster started to yell at her in a rage, as her expression slowly changed from uproar to confusion, for a few seconds before she shouted out- "Hey, it's you!"

Her confused expression changed into a wicked, unnaturally large grin. "Oh how lucky, for me that is. I have a special destination for you."

"Stay away from me!" Daé shouted as she tried to smack Quintessa's grip away from her hair, which triggered the Monster to grab her tighter.

Val let out a threatening growl as he felt the two girls on the back of his neck. Unable to throw Quintessa off, without worrying about Daé.

"How did you get through my Barrier?" Daé questioned the Monster as she continued to struggle under the Monster's grasp.

"Oh, this lovely Dagger here. It's enchanted. It allows me to pass through any barrier, or dimention. It is a nifty little thing. It does other things as well." The Monster gabbed as Daé desperately tried to be released in vain. "Now then, onward to our next destination! I think you take priority over little Xellipoo over there." Quintessa declared as she pulled Daé up from her seat on Val's neck by her hair, causing the girl to cry out in pain.

"After all, I've done enough damage to take him out for a short while." She whispered to Daé evilly, before fazing away with her.

Filia had quickly flown over to Xellos, transformed back in to her human form, and transported them back down on the ground below hidden out of sight by some trees that had not been damaged during the battle. They were a good distance from the flames, but the smoke was slowly flooding it's way near where they were.

"Xellos hold on!" Filia shouted in fear as she placed him on the ground gently. Her eyes began to well up as she looked over the damage of his body. "No! You can't die!"

"I'm not dying, idiot." Xellos said sourly as he gritted his teeth. His strength was fading fast, and he wasn't able to hold onto his body for very much longer. "Filia, I am going to have to rest on the astral plane."

"No, no please don't leave me!" Filia cried out as she placed her hands on his chest where his wound was. "Maybe- maybe I can heal you like you did for me!" She sobbed in hysterics as she let her hands begin to glow with holy light.

"That's not necessary." Xellos instructed as he grabbed her wrist before it could touch his wounds. "Listen, you need to get out of here. Find a safe place to hide, and when I have healed, I will find you."

Filia stared down at him with wide fearful eyes. Most of the blood on her face had dried, leaving a gritty trail of dirt, sweat and blood down the sides of her face. This fused with the now dripping tears that were in her eyes as she began to shake her head. The smoke had began to accumulate around them and it was making it hard for Filia to breathe.

"Xellos please don't go." She sobbed quietly as she let out a shallow cough.

Xellos stared up at her with his violet eyes weakly. "Filia, go." He commanded sincerely, before he faded away.

Filia gasped fearfully as she touched the ground where he once was. "Xellos! Xellos come back!" She shouted in terror, as tears began to flow excessively out her eyes. It didn't take long for the smoke to take over Filia before she passed out from inhaling to much.

As she laid there unconscious, a Dimos Dragon quickly grabbed her, and began to flee the battle with many of the remaining Dragons.

With the leave of Quintessa, many of the lesser demon's began to leave the battle as well. After all, they had obviously won. Though few had stayed behind to take care of the remaining Dragons.

Daemon took out a large sum of the stranglers, as he began to assess the damage. It didn't take him long however, to find Val hoovering over the city, blood dripping from his fist as he floated high above the destroyed village.

Just looking at the face of the Dragon told Daemon all he need to know.

Someone had been taken.

Val gave out a loud, enraged roar that wasn't heard by any of his party members.