(Hey everyone! I'm back with another chapter! Now before you read i want to let you know that I wanted to encounter the Black Widow in a different way. Just like with Tigerman, it will be in a dangerous situation. Anyway,I'm going to shut up now and let you read it. Here is the next chapter! I hope you enjoy it! ^.^)

Quest 7

"Fateful Reunion"

"Aiden...is that really you?"

Reya couldn't believe her eyes! Was it him, or was it some kind of trick her mind was playing on her? She started to walk towards him, expecting him to disappear. As she got closer, he got more descriptive and detailed. Confusion clouded her thoughts as she looked at him. He was dirty from head to toe, his face was pale and his eyes lifeless. She looked down to his hands, which were dirty and bloody. Did he dig himself out of his grave? She felt like throwing up at the thought that he had to dig himself up. The guilt grabbed at Reya like she had a knife in her back. Was he not dead? Did she leave him there to die? A sigh from Aiden broke Reya's thoughts. He was giving off a weird smirk, like Reya had made a joke or something.

"I think so, last time I checked anyway. Don't tell me you have forgotten me already, Reya." his gaze was strange and ominous...like it wasn't even him at all.

"A-Aiden..." Reya's voice became shaky as she was trying to stop herself from crying and running over to him. "You're dead...well...you were..." she turned to face Clouse and Risa who were just as shocked and confused as she was. She noticed Clouses' eyes widen in shock as he yelled out to her.

"Reya! Behind you!"

As she turned around, a tight and painful grip encircled her neck as Aiden grabbed her throat.

"Reya! Aiden what are you doing! STOP!" Risa yelled out to him but he just stood there with his hand around Reya's throat.

It hurt...she couldn't breathe! Trying desperately to break free, she grabbed on to Aiden's wrists to try and pry his hands off her throat. Realizing what she was doing, Aiden fought back by slamming her into the nearest wall.

"A-Aiden...stop...your" she choked trying to get some air in her lungs "hurting me." his grip grew tighter and tighter. Was she going to die?

"Why did you leave me! It was you and that stupid pendents fault that I died! You left me there to die, Reya! I will never forgive you!"

Reya couldn't believe what she was hearing. Aiden blamed her for his death? There was no way he could think that after everything he said to her that terrible day. Her vision started to fail on her...her hands dropped to her sides as Aiden held her against the wall.

"Aiden stop! Let her go! You died protecting her remember? Please Aiden...let her go."

Aiden quickly turned his head to Clouse and Risa with an evil glare.

"You're one to talk, Clouse! You and Risa ran away like a bunch of cowards and didn't bother to help us! I should kill you for not helping me!"

Aiden suddenly let Reya go and grabbed his sword from its hilt next to Reya. He began running toward Clouse, yelling in rage. Reya began coughing and gasping for air as she watched Clouse dodged Aiden's attacks. He wasn't going to be able to dodge anymore if she didn't do something. As the fight went on, Risa saw something on Aiden's back, she couldn't get a good view so she went to another side of the room for a better look. She felt uneasy as she watched her brother desperately dodging Aiden's attacks. She looked on Aiden's back and noticed something glowing, it was a...flower? It had had five different colored petals and emitted a unnatural glow which almost seemed to go around Aiden's whole body. A yell from Aiden broke her thoughts and saw him running wildly toward her brother. Clouse braced himself to dodge but as he looked, Aiden was coming at him fast. Really fast...too fast for him to dodge this time.

"Damn! How did he get faster all of a sudden!* he awaited the blow but...nothing. Just a strong push against his shoulder caused him to fall backwards away from Aiden's attack. He looked to see who pushed him and gasped in horror as Reya, narrowly dodging the blade, was struck on her shoulder by Aiden's blade. She quickly grabbed her arm, the blood oozing through her fingers and down her arm. She winced in pain and stood up. She held her arms out, protecting Clouse in case Aiden attacked again.

"Reya...w-why did you do that?"

Reya was silent for a few minutes but turned her head towards him. "I...didn't want him to hurt you. He is mad at me so...this is between me and him, okay?"

Clouse couldn't say anything. The look on Reya's face said it all...she wanted everyone to be safe. Even if it meant she would be the one to take the fall. Clouse expected Aiden to go for the final blow...but he was just standing there. In Aiden's mind flashes of the night he died returned to him and his lifeless eyes streamed tears of guilt. "R-Reya..." he started screaming and holding his head. He fell to the floor in a bundled up heap and began writhing in pain and confusion.

"A-Aiden..." *Is he regaining his consciousness?* Clouse just looked at him...wondering how he became this way.

Risa ran to Reya and Clouse pointing to Aiden's back.

"Clouse, Reya, look on his back. What is that? It has an unnatural aura to it. I think that thing is controlling him!"

"C-Clouse..." Aiden was fighting his own body trying to gain control. "Y-you have...to...kill me. P-Please..."

"A-Aiden I...you know I can't do that."

"You have to...I don't...know how long I...can stop...myself."

"NO!" everyone looked to see Reya almost to tears.

"R...Reya..."

"No...I just got you back! You can't do this to me! You can't expect me to go through this again after all I have been through!" she clenched her fist, fighting back the tears threatening to stream down her cheeks.

"I have an idea...Aiden try as hard as you can to continue to control your body. Reya and Risa, grab both of Aiden's arms." All did as they were told and Clouse walked behind Aiden. "Okay...now comes the hard part...I'm going to cut the flower from his back but..."

"But what? What's wrong Clouse, just do it." Risa prodded.

"It's not that simple...for all we know the flower could have a tie to the whole body meaning..."

"Meaning what?" Reya asked. Concern in her voice.

"Meaning that if I cut the flower, Aiden could die. However if we don't do this, we will have to kill him anyway...so either way you look at it, he might die."

"Do it."

Everyone stared at Aiden with worried eyes.

"Hey... don't look at me like that. If anything I...would rather risk dying this way rather than...forcing one of you to kill me. I believe in you guys...and I know you can do it." everyone could tell that Aiden was trying with all his might to keep control of his body.

"Risa let's trade places. You know the makings of the body and pressure points. You have a better idea as to where this thing would take hold of him. Which makes you the better person to strike the flower so you can hit it in the right spot."

"Okay...I'll do it."

Aiden looked over to Reya who was staring into space trying not to lose control of herself. She had to stay calm, for Aiden and for everyone else. Aiden's body suddenly began thrashing around.

"Hurry...I'm losing...control!" Reya and Clouse held on for dear life trying to keep Aiden's body still.

"Hurry up Risa!"

"Okay, okay, don't rush me! I have to find a good spot." she focused and looked at all the pressure points on the body. When she finally found one, she lifted the sword. "Here we go! Pray this works!" she pierced the sword into the middle and jammed it in an upward angle. Aiden flinched back and collapsed on the floor. Reya grabbed him and started yelling his name.

"Aiden! AIDEN! He's not waking up! We have to get him to a doctor now!"

"I'll go run out and get some of the guards to carry him." Clouse immediately ran out and made his way through the tunnels of the well.

"Hurry!" Reya screamed. Something caught her eye in the corner of the room. There was a shadowy figure on the ceiling but as quickly as it came...it quickly disappeared.

*What was that?* Reya thought.

Eversun City

A small spider demon watches as the guards of the palace carry a young man into the palace on a stretcher. A look of hatred plastered his face as the adventurers follow right behind. He gazed at the sapphire pendent around the young Shura's neck.

*If only those three were asleep! I could have easily taken that pendent from the girls head! Mistress will be so angry with me! Not only that but when she hears that the spell on the boy is broken...* a shudder ran through the spider demon's body.

He quickly changed back to his human disguise and left the area. Running through the center of town, he makes his way to the north gate. Hiding himself in a narrow alley he notices a woman with long brown hair, purple face tattoos and a dark pink dress waiting for him. He got down on one knee and bowed.

"The boy is...not under the spell anymore mistress."

"Yes, I know. No matter, I have other ways to bring that girl to me."

"Will the boy die?" the demon asked excitedly.

"No...he regained his consciousness when the girl got hurt. That means he will have a strong will to live."

"Dammit! Now he will want revenge mistress. What do we do-"

"QUIET! I have another plan. Direct orders from Phoenix herself. There is another human that she has taken control of. She is sending him to me as a servant. He is far better than that other boy."

"Who is it my most evil queen?" the demon asked curiously.

"All in good time, my pet. I want to pay our little pendent keeper a visit."

Emperors Palace

Reya sat at the edge of the medical cot. The apothecary was preparing some potions while the doctor was cleaning Aidens' wounds. She smiled weakly, relieved that he was alive. The steady rise and fall of his chest proved that. What happened down there? Who was controlling Aiden and how did they revive him? Could it have been the mysterious figure she saw leaving the scene? Those questions repeated themselves over and over in her head. For now she was thankful that Aiden was alive...that was all that mattered to her right now. The doctor placed his hand on her shoulder.

"The worst is over. We just need to check on him every now and then. We will constantly wash and re-dress his wounds. Once the potions are done, he will recover with lots of rest." he began to walk out of the room when he turned around to speak to her again. "You should go get some sleep. He will be fine with the apothecary. If you have anymore pain, come back to see me and I will give you some more medicine for your arm, okay?"

"Okay...thank you."

"Alright, I will see you bright and early in a few days to check and see how your arm is doing. Until then, please get some sleep. It's not good for a warrior like yourself to not get any rest."

Reya didn't want to leave Aiden alone, but exhaustion began to tug at her so she decided to head back to the rooms.

"Don't worry, I'll look after him. Oh and here is that potion for the pain."

"Thank you."

She left the doctor's room and began walking down the hall. She didn't realize how tired she was until everything was said and done. She opened the door the suite where she was staying with Clouse and Risa. As she entered, Clouse and Risa quickly stood up, awaiting news of their friend.

"Is he okay?" he asked

"Yeah...the worst is pretty much over. He just needs some rest."

"Thank god..." he sighed in relief and plopped back onto the couch.

"It's the real Aiden right? You don't think its another trap to get your pendent is it?" Risa asked curiously

"I know it's him! Think about it...if it wasn't him, and some other demon, wouldn't he have killed me without hesitation?"

"True but you never know. Demons can be pretty crafty."

"Well, let's get some sleep. We all need it after what happened tonight."

"Sounds good to me. Not like we have anything else better to do. I'm SO tired, I could sleep all week if I could."

Everyone entered their own rooms while yelling goodnight to each other. The room remained quiet and all went to sleep.

Three days later...

"Reya! NO!" Aiden shot up from his bed from a nightmare. A sharp pain pierced his chest and he quickly grabbed it. He looked around the room, wondering where he was. His chest and his hands were bandaged and the room smelled like herbs. A woman was tending to a bowl with herbs and oils inside. She was pounding it into medicine. Hearing his scream, she turned around in surprise and smiled.

"You're finally awake. The young Shura will be happy to hear this. How do you feel?"

"Like I got hit by runaway carriage...what happened?" he continued to grab his chest. The bandages had now been tainted with blood.

"You had terrible scratches on your knuckles and fingers. As well as a deep wound in your chest. It's remarkable that your still alive after a injury like that. Gods be praised for your miraculous recovery. I'll go get the doctor and we'll see if you can leave, okay?" she walked out of the room and went down the hall.

Aiden sat there for a few minutes. Thinking about his injuries. That's right! The fire...and Muso...Reya was in danger! Where was she? Was she okay? Did she escape from the demon? The apothecary did say there was a Shura girl here...that she would be happy to know that he was awake. Was it Reya? Aiden didn't want to wait, he immediately got up and stepped out of the room. He was amazed at the incredible architecture of the building. He continued to walk down the hall and he saw two large double doors at the end of the hall. A woman was walking by with some towels and breakfast trays. She was humming a light tune and talking to herself every now and then.

"Excuse me, where am I?" he asked

"Huh? You don't know? Your in the palace. I'm just leaving the hero and her friends' room. The two sylphs went to town and the young Shura is in the courtyard with all the children. She is quite the character. Most heroes I've seen are pompous and ignorant, greedy and selfish! It puts the heroes of old to shame. Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work."

"Where is the courtyard?" he asked

"You can go down this hall, take a left, then there should be to sliding doors. It takes you to the porch just near the courtyard. Or you can go through the heroes room, they have full access to the courtyard. Are you a friend?"

"Yes, ma'am. I've known her since childhood."

"Aww, how sweet. Well I'm sure she will be happy to see you." she glanced down at hes chest and blushed, but soon realized that there was blood on the bandages. "Should you be up? The doctor is out on errands right now."

"I'll be fine. I just reopened it. I'll go back as soon as I've seen the hero. Did you happen to hear her name by any chance?"

"Yes...um...let me see...what was her name again...I believe it was Reya. If I'm not mistaken."

"Great. Thank you!" he ran off and went into the room that the servant just came out of. He stared in awe at the room that had been given to them. *I wonder how she managed to pay for this.* he thought to himself as he looked around the room. He noticed a school uniform hanging on a clothesline on the porch. It was ripped up and there were a few small bloodstains on it. Did she get hurt? Just as he was stepping out to the courtyard, a sweet melody entered his ears. A light, what seemed like heavenly, voice was singing a lullaby. He looked around and saw Reya with a bunch of children. He listened to the song intently and realized it was the same song that her mother use to sing to them when they were kids.

"Children, it's time for breakfast! Come on in!" a servant called from the right.

Reya patted a little boy on the head and smiled. She started to walk toward the doors where he was and suddenly gasped as she looked at him. It was quiet between the two and Reya suddenly placed her hands over her mouth. Tears began to well up in her eyes and streamed down her cheeks. Aiden stepped off the porch slowly and continued to walk towards her. Reya ran towards him, her heart racing in delight and anxiety. They collided into an embrace and Reya began to sob in Aiden's chest.

"Aiden! Oh, Aiden! You're awake...you're awake! Thank the gods!" she continued to sob.

Aiden was quiet...he had never heard Reya cry this hard before. The time passing as they embraced felt like an eternity. He could finally hold the woman he loved. Just in this moment, he had never been so happy to be alive. Holding the woman he loved was all that mattered to him and nothing could stop him from loving her. He remembered that day as he laid dying, how he told her he loved her...just as he slipped away, he saw her lips spell out 'I love you' and he remembered smiling...glad that he protected her...but unfortunately, with his own life. He remembered how desperately he wanted to live and stay by her side. What seemed like a few minutes turned out to be two days before the strange woman brought him back to life. That woman! She was the one who put the spell on him! She was the one who controlled him! A feeling of anger welled up inside of him. He then calmed himself down, fearing that he would worry Reya. He grabbed her arms and realized one of them was bandaged. He looked at it...a feeling of guilt drilling into his heart.

"Did I do that to you?" he asked asked as he stared at the bandages that encircled her small, delicate arm.

"Yeah...but technically it wasn't you-" she grabbed her arm and looked at him with concerned eyes as he cut her off.

"How could I be so stupid! Hurting you like that!" Aiden clenched his fists in anger.

"Aiden...it wasn't your fault. You were being controlled. I should be the one asking how you're doing." she placed her hands on his chest in reassurance, wondering why he was out of bed and not resting.

"I'm...okay." Aiden grew silent and Reya hugged him tightly.

"Why aren't you in bed? Your wounds haven't fully healed yet and you must still be exhausted!"

"I'm fine, really. I just...couldn't stop thinking of you. When the apothecary told me you were here, I had to see you. I just...can't believe I'm alive. It almost makes you think if there's a catch."

"What? No! You can't disappear! Not again!" she buried her head in his chest, holding him as tightly as she could.

Aiden ran his fingers through Reya's dark brown hair.

"Don't worry...I'm not going anywhere. I promise."

"I'm just glad you're alive...that's all I want." she continued to hold onto him. Praying that she would stay with him forever.

"Reya...I'm so sorry. You must have gone through a lot after that day..." memories of that awful day flashed into Aiden's mind. He felt so sorry for her. What happened that day after he died? Did Reya kill the demon? Or did he escape?

"Yeah...it was hard, but that demon got what was coming to him. Even...even if at one point he was our friend." a look of sadness clouded Reya's eyes.

"Friend? I wouldn't of called Muso MY friend. He was such an asshole! To think he was a demon all this time...bastard got what he deserved for hurting you like that."

"I guess..."

It got quiet between the two again when Clouse and Risa entered the courtyard from a gate near the city.

"Reya! We gotta go! There's trouble in the city, there is an evil demon holding a little boy hostage and...um...am I interrupting?"

Clouse and Risa just stared at the two embracing each other. They both blushed bright red and quickly got off each other. Clouse and Risa's eyes widened when they realized who the boy was.

"Aiden! Oh my god you're awake! How are you feeling man!"

"Hey Clouse...Risa...how are you guys? Sorry for worrying you like that."

"No worries! However, we have a big problem! Reya we have to go, now!"

"Why? What's going on Clouse?" Reya looked at him with worried eyes.

"There's some kind of demon disguised as a human. He is holding a little boy hostage and yelling 'Find the pendent bearer or this child dies!' or something like that. We have to go help him!"

"Okay, Aiden stay here, your wounds haven't fully healed and another fight won't do you any good. Hopefully all will go well and no one gets hurt."

"Let me come too. I'll help."

"No...I won't lose you again...not after what happened that day. Please...just stay here." she ran off with Clouse and Risa, then disappeared from sight. As Reya, Clouse and Risa ran past the palace to the town center, they ran into Councilman Reese.

"Councilman Reese! Do me a huge favor and go make sure that Aiden doesn't leave our room. He is no condition to fight and needs to rest."

"Very well, heroine. I will do as you command."

"If I find out he has left, I will hold you responsible! Trust me...you do NOT want to piss me off. Got it?"

Councilman Reese just stood there. He nodded and ran to the palace.

"Reya...don't you think that was a bit much?" Risa asked

"Nope. He'll be fine as long as he does that simple task.

A humorous sigh came from Clouse.

"Yeah, but his is Aiden we're talking about. You know how stubborn he can be. I'm sure he'll think of a clever way to get by him."

They continued walking towards the crowd, wondering what to expect when they got there.

Aiden didn't want to stay. He wanted to go with the others. He quickly went inside and got dressed into some clothes and picked up his sword.

"You're not thinking about leaving are you? Your wounds haven't healed yet." a shrill voice scared Aiden and he quickly turned around.

"Who are you?" Aiden asked

"I am Councilman Reese. I have been sent by the emperor and your Shura friend to make sure you don't leave this room."

"They might need my help. I'm going too." Aiden placed his sword in its hilt and made his way to the door. Councilman Reese, realizing what he was doing, got in front of him and gave Aiden a stern look.

"I can not break a promise, Mr. Aiden. Miss Reya will have my hide if I let you go."

"Well...what if I asked you nicely? Will that work?"

Councilman Reese shook his head in a dismissive manner. "Absolutely not!"

"Well this is a problem. Guess I have no choice then do I?"

"Yes. You must stay here and let your wounds heal. A warrior who doesn't rest is a dead warrior, I always say. A warrior has a duty to the people and for their-" he continued to lecture on, giving Aiden a perfect chance to escape. He ran through the courtyard when he heard Councilman Reese yelling at him.

"Mr. Aiden! Come back! You can't go, it's too dangerous! Mr. Aiden!"

"Sorry! I need to go get some training in. I'll apologize to Reya for you!" he ran out the gate and headed for town square. He heard screaming coming from the north so he headed in that direction. As he got closer and closer, he heard Reya's voice in the distance.

"Let the boy go! Who are you?"

He finally took a sharp right turn towards the commotion when he finally saw the large crow of people. Reya, Clouse and Risa were in the front looking up. Aiden glanced up and saw a man holding on to a small boy. The little boy was crying out to his mother, who was screaming out to him as well.

"Listen up! If you don't want the boy to die, you'll do as I say. Got it?" he held a blade to the boy's throat.

"Don't hurt him! Okay. What do you want?" Reya gave the signal for everyone to calm down and put away their weapons.

"I want you pendent. Now give it to me!"

"My pendent! What the hell is so special about it? Everyone wants this damn thing! Why?" Reya clenched her mother's pendent in anger.

"You don't know? Well now it all makes sense! And here I thought you were the daughter of Layle and Udinae...guess I was mistaken."

"How do you know about my parents?" Reya yelled in shock

"Reya!" Clouse, Risa and Reya turned around to see Aiden making his way through the crowd. He gets through and stands next to Reya, placing his hand on her shoulder. "Are you okay?" he looked up at the kidnapper and began to shake his fist at him. "Who the **** are you? What do you want with Reya!"

"hahahahaha, well well well, if it isn't the little pawn we used to get that pendent. Glad to see you back on your feet. Hey, why don't you come help me out here. hahahahaha." he just continued to laugh in an obnoxious manner.

"Quit braying like a damn donkey and tell us what the hell you want!" Reya yelled.

"And why should we, halfbreed?" another voice was heard and right next to the man was a woman. Clad in a dark pink dress she had purple face tattoos and long brown hair. She looked at Reya with ominous eyes and gave off a smirk of disgust.

"YOU! What do you want with Reya?" Aiden shouted at the woman, hands on his blade ready to unsheathe it.

"Simple. She gives me the pendent, and I'll let the little boy go. Now...give it to me." she held out her hand in anticipation. A look of victory plastered on her face.

"Who are you?" Reya asked. Angry that so many demons wanted her pendent so badly.

"You want to know? Then come to the Ferrel Family Crypt. All your pathetic questions will be answered. Don't come and the boy, along with all the other children I've taken, will die."

"You tell me about my pendent NOW! I'm tired of playing games with you!" Reya was ready to charge at her but then stopped herself. Realizing that she would put the little boy in more danger than normal.

"Hahahahaha...all in good time halfbreed...all in good time."

"STOOOOOOP!" Reya tried her best but they both disappeared in a grey smoke...taking the boy with them.

"No..." Reya's head just slumped down. She failed that mother who's child was in danger...she couldn't do anything but watch as he was taken away by yet another demon who wanted the pendent.

Aiden clenched his fists in anger as he watched helplessly as Reya blamed herself for what happened. What did these demons want with a simple pendent? As long as she had the pendent, she would continuously by in danger. He walked over to Reya and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She looked at him, her eyes full of sorrow and anger.

"I couldn't save him...what am I going to tell the mother?" she just walked into him, her forehead resting on his chest.

"It's okay...we'll get them. Don't worry about a thing." he held her close trying to reassure her that it wasn't her fault.

"What do we do?" Reya asked between mild whimpers.

"We'll go after them...and then...we WILL kill her."

(Wow that took a while to write. This is probably the longest one I have done! I mostly wanted to bring out the scene between Reya and Aiden. Overall I hope you all liked it and I hope it made up for the long wait. Who is the strange woman and what is she up to? Who is the other boy that Phoenix has sent to serve this woman? Guess we'll find out in the next chapter. Well review, comment, and rate. Look forward to the next one! ^.^ Next Chapter: Pursuit)