Tsukihime is the property of Type-Moon. Melty Blood is the property of Type-Moon and French-Bread. Melty Blood is the property of Type-Moon and Ecole Software. All additional references and parodies belong to their respective owners.

Chapter 7: Night of Wallachia I

Arcueid glanced off to the northwest with a pensive look on her expression as she ran her fingers along the fabric of the carpet beneath her. "Something's wrong out there." The blonde spoke up, trying to stare past the wall on the other side of their apartment as she leaned against wall next to the exit of their room.

"What do you mean, you stupid vampire?" Elesia's voice cut through the sound of bubbling liquids as she stepped away from the electric oven. The blue haired woman wiped her hands off on a moist rag from next to the sink before walking up to Arcueid.

Arcueid briefly glanced at Elesia before dismissively looking back in the direction she had been facing.

"Don't ignore me, dammit!" Elesia loudly complained. "I hate when you get like this!"

"It's Nanaya." Arcueid mused, making Elesia freeze up. "Even though he no longer lives with the Tohno, that air of misfortune around him I sensed earlier got stronger all of a sudden."

Elesia froze in front of the oven. "You mean...the wraths, right?" She asked.

"Yes." Arcueid hesitated. "Don't worry. It's nothing like a Demon possession." She hummed. "Or Roa's equivalent."

Elesia turned away from the burning food in front of her. The soup bubbling in front of her was ignored in favor of the vampire, which she pierced through with cold stare. "Still, I don't understand why you'd leave something like that on him." She growled, angry at her long time acquaintance.

"It wasn't harmful." Arcueid drawled. "It was doing the opposite, even. He reacted faster than a normal person should have. Plus his agility was much more impressive when the wraith latched onto him." She sounded a bit confused, feeling like she was lost in an old memory. "Plus...there was something familiar about it."

"Are you sure it isn't this city's boundary field messing with your senses? Even I can't tell up from down in this mess."

"You're going to burn our food." Arcueid's nose wrinkled as she complained.

Elesia gestured back in the direction of the stove. Her magic circuits flashed. The sound of boiling food instantly stopped. The smell of cooking food took longer to vanish.

"That's an abuse of Magic."

"Cry more, 'Phantasmoon'."

Both women shared a faint smile.

"No, I don't think so. I could tell right away that the boy wasn't possessed." Arcueid tapped the side of her temples, left eye briefly flashing gold. "The eyes are a window to the soul. He took off those glasses you gave him and used his frightful Mystic Eyes."

"They weren't red, then?"

"No, blue. He's still clean."

"Was he suspicious about how you knew about his eyes?"

"No. Shiki Ryougi is a convenient excuse for people to be wary around Japanese people with Mystic Eyes."

Elesia closed her eyes. "Power attracts power, huh?" She muttered the bitter truth, reaching up to rub the nape of her neck tiredly.

"Are you going to be alright?" Arcueid asked, eyes narrowing slightly. "If it's too much work, we can give up on investigating the Tohno. You're already pulling double shift on me by patrolling and going to that school."

"You need to conserve your power by resting in the day." Elesia shook her head. "I'd be nothing but a load to you if I had you wandering around."

"Well...you warned me about Nanaya's eyes." Arcueid flashed a perky smile Elesia's way. "I surely appreciate not having to turn one of my humans into bloody mist."

"We aren't yours, stupid vampire." Elesia muttered, cleaning her hands against a moist rag she had near the sink. "Despite your claims of sovereignty."

"Still...do we want to keep Nanaya out of this? He's clean, but that adopted family of his might not be. Especially with everything we've found out about how this barrier is set up."

Elesia considered the situation. "Let's talk to him. He has a right to know what's going on in his home town." She concluded with certainty in her tone.

"Ignorance is the greatest sin of them all?"

Elesia remembered waking up in a broken church, staring up at the blonde before her in a gown spun of silver and gold.

"Of course. There can be no forgiveness for that." Elesia replied, trying to shake the image away before she could remember the bodies around her.

"I'd forgive you." Arcueid had a sad smile on her face.

"You've done plenty for me already by introducing me to Aoko." Elesia shook her head as she looked away from Arcueid. "So the least I can do for you now is to use Ciel to completely annihilate that monster from your world." She growled, Magic gathering in her left fist, countless bubbles of blue light floating around her hand in an unbroken chain.

Elesia closed her eyes – remembering the mountains of corpses created at her clawed hands.

"Then I can die too."

An unforgiving snow storm pelted their group with chunks of ice, causing them to cinch their magical reinforced capes tightly onto their bodies to prevent heat from escaping out into the hungry white void. Boots which had been hurriedly thrown on their feet fought desperately for traction as they leaned forward against the winds to even take a step forwards.

The twelve knights that remained had split off into six groups, with Sion sticking with Riesbyfe as she was the one holding onto the ritual rubbing gleaned off Atlas' contract. Her unit consisted of the shield bearing knight, Sion, and a spear wielding knight.

The six groups split slightly apart with Riesbyfe's in the center of the formation.

"Can you read me, over?" Sion adjusted the harness beneath her cloak, trying to filter through heavy static caused by the snow as she and her unit relied on miniature radios to simply speak to each other over the thick snow.

Eric, the spear wielder, glanced at Sion and fell back slightly from where he had been leading.

"What is it, Miss Atlasia?" He asked, brown hair ruffling in the chill winds.

Sion winced slightly at her goof up, but the older man merely smiled.

"We won't need that procedure." The static did a good job of hiding his amusement. "No transmission beyond extremely short range thanks to this storm."

Sion nodded, and simply held up the chained whip she had been given. "Should I keep this? Wouldn't it be better in Miss Riesbyfe or your hands?" She wondered, the metal jingling slightly as she held it towards him.

"Best if you keep yourself armed." Sion was interrupted by Riesbyfe, who shifted her large weapon to the side. "With this storm we can't tell when someone gets attacked. Best if you hold onto the weapon just in case."

Sion was faintly disturbed that the two knights were being so blunt, but realized that it was probably foolishness in the extreme to not realize what their chances were. She glanced up at the boundary field high in the sky, seperating them from the rest of the world. Ripples of light, reflected by the frozen water in the skies, danced far above her reach.

Just like this mission was going completely out of her calculations.

"Are you alright?"

"I will be. I just need to set up that weapon you had me build, right?" Sion shook her head as she tried to shake off the grim thoughts in her mind. "Tell me, what do you know about the Night of Wallachia?" She pressed the two knights with her.

"It sucks blood." Riesbyfe shrugged, resting her shield against her shoulder. "We kill it."

Sion's eyebrow twitched as Eric laughed.

"Well..." The spearsman replied as he tested a snowbank with his spear, watching it break apart at the slightest prod as they moved past it. "It's like our weapons, right? It takes on concepts. The last group of knights that killed it didn't have to deal with snow."

"Not really." Sion wrapped her whip around the latch on her cloak. "Its reality marble takes in fears and manifests them, specifically." The other group had fought Wallachia in an arid part of the world. Several of the knights had come back nearly dehydrated husks of their former selves. "I don't think it can apply conceptual ideas to itself."

"Hmph." Riesbyfe snorted. "Fears or concepts. It'll still go down once we stab it enough."

"Gah!" Tonio Bianchetti let out a muffled squeak as the ape like Wendigo made him stagger backwards with a clipped blow to his sternum. His fingers tightened against the enchanted axe in his grip as he rolled backwards, letting the weapon fly at the monster.

The beast swept to the side, dodging the axe. It flashed yellowed teeth at him, beady eyes shining with blood thirsty malice.

"Not dying yet, Kong." The knight jerked his hand, causing the axe to suddenly spin back and slam into the back of the Wendigo's back.

It let out a bellow of rage, misty breath erupting from the depths of its mouth as the axe ground deeper into its body, making the large creature stagger towards the knight. The man rushed forwards to finish it off with a glow from his spiked guantlets, but the ape's face erupted in a burst of gore as a dozen knives slammed into its face.

The Wendigo let out a wet rattle before it fell onto its side.

"That was my kill." He complained, reaching forwards and ripping the axe from the Wendigo's back. His partner merely smiled and shrugged, making her knives vanished from the bodies of the three beasts in their clearing.

"I have enough knives to spare." Elias Jönsson joustled the large pack around her hip. "What's some more between friends?"

A bright flash of light preceeded a thunderous roar as a bolt of lightning tore down from the heavens and promptly split the male knight in half. The female knife wielder let out a scream of agony as her eyes were blinded by an explosion of white light. Her body was lifted into the air and roughly thrown away as an explosion rocked the clearing, rock and dirt raining down noisily.

Her breath rapidly puffed out before her lips as she groped about in the loose snow.

"Hm...what's this...?" A strong, masculine voice spoke up above Elias, the snow crunching loudly before heavy footsteps. "It seems my aim isn't as exact as his was." She gagged as her entire face was palmed by the man's hand.

"Let me g-" Elias's voice cut off into a gurgle as her neck was easily snapped.

The dark figure holding the limply dangling woman casually flung it away, body warping as the desperate fear both knights had felt a split second before their deaths made his form more tangible as he stepped back into the snow storm, vanishing into it despite his dark skin tone.

The Heinemann siblings, four of them in total, sharply looked up once they heard the explosion. The four knights, knowing what Tatari was capable of doing, quickly moved towards the flash of light in the distance, the two squads cutting through the snowy embarkments.

"Damn it, I can't believe that Tatari was able to use a boundary field this time!"

"Isn't like we can blame the locals, Leon. They can't control what they believe in."

They went quiet after that, flooding their bodies with prana as they prepared themselves for combat. Their silver watches, Mystic Codes that allowed their usage of their combination boundary field, were readied as they saw a tall feminine figure make her way through the snow.

The sound of a chain rattling could be heard.

The four knights, trained for years to stay unflinchingly composed, balked as the snow storm parted, revealing the woman in the flesh. Their senses inverted as the four of them were slammed with an overwhelming curse, causing their vision to blacken as foreign prana surged into their bodies.

They lowered their weapons as they stared rapturously at the woman.

Her hair was like spun gold, with a impish smile and shining eyes, projecting her force of personality into them at first sight. Their gazes grew increasingly lustful the longer they stared at her, dressed only in the flimsiest of pink silk outfits.

"Get out of the way!" One of the brothers roared, reaching for and drawing forth his knife. Before the other three could react, he had buried it into his brother's throat, spilling a fount of blood as he threw himself like a wild animal towards the smug looking blonde.

"You son of a bitch, she's mine!"

The woman's smile turned slightly mocking as she saw the three remaining men begin to grapple at her bare feet, unbothered by the cold nor the dying croaks of the fourth brother, who was lying in a pool of blood. When one of the men desperately reached for her bare ankle, she simply took a step back and wagged a finger at him.

"Nuh uh. Only the winner gets me." She breathed, voice intoxicating the brothers to even greater violence as she simply twirled with the chain tied to her neck, following the links of into the storm as she wondered where her master had gone.

The blonde paced over to the dying brother and plucked his knife as she waited for the final fool to crawl out of the melee a few feet away from her.

"We're almost there!" Eric called out to them as they ascended the final peak. The winds were biting into them deeply at this point. "Get the weapon unsealed, Stridberg!" Riesbyfe unslung a large package from her back, setting it down amongst the snow.

"Alright, let me see how badly the parts were mangled." Sion muttered as she walked up past Riesbyfe and began to rummage through the box. The frame for the latest invention that Atlas had created the church – the Black Barrel Replica, gleamed within. As she quickly made to assemble the weapon, she felt the presence of Riesbyfe next to her.

"What is it?" She wondered.

"You okay?"

Sion blinked and actually looked up in surprise. Riesbyfe was standing guard, moving herself to keep as much snow from hitting her in the face as she possibly could.

"Yes, I am." Sion blinked.

"Oh, okay." Riesbyfe faintly smiled, expression genuine.

"...why would you ask?" The alchemist pressed as she moved back to assembling the weapon.

"Not many people are comfortable after their first kill. Even if it's something inhuman." Riesbyfe drawled, shifting in place as she brought her shield down to cover Sion a little bit more. "I'm glad you're tougher than I expected. All the other alchemists up to now have been needle necks that screamed and locked up."

"Well, excuse me for not training myself more." Sion's eyebrow twitched.

Riesbyfe laughed. "No, no! It's okay! You've got your head screwed on straight, so it's okay if you don't know everything right away." She reached down and ruffled Sion's hair, sending her cap askew.

"What do you mean by that?" Sion asked, slightly offended as she began to load the gun.

"You've got the instincts of a fighter. You actually did great." Riesbyfe nodded. "You just need a little bit of practice and you'd be all set."

Despite herself, Sion found herself smirking at the ridiculousness as she finished assembling the gun and drawing it out of the box of seals. "Those instincts are things I've plundered from others." She replied, trying to throw the older girl off.

"Hm...then you have a very fine eye for thieving!" Riesbyfe clapped her hands. "Keep it up." Sion laughed as she finished her preparations. Both women had ascended next to Eric as they looked over a pitch black city.

"Ready?" Eric wondered.

Sion slammed the clip of bullets into the gun.

The city was a frozen graveyard when they arrived. Corpses lay scattered about, ripped to pieces on the snowy streets. The faces of several buildings along the street they were prowling down showed that the bricks had been practically scooped out, several dusty body buried beneath masonry and support beams.

With a start, Sion realized that not a single drop of blood could be seen despite the gore and destruction.

"Finally noticed it?" Riesbyfe asked with a flinty smile. "Unlike some other monsters, the Night of Wallachia leaves the bodies behind."

"Why's that?" Sion asked, damning her own curiousity a few moments later. "It creates more fear for the survivors, right?"

"We'll have to remove the head of the beast before it gets too powerful." Riesbyfe replied, shifting the shield shaped pile bunker she was holding.

Eric held a hand up, making the two women pause as he moved to scout ahead, once he was ahead by a block, he waved them forwards. The three of them kept low to the ground, only pausing when they could hear the howl of another Wendigo in the distance.

What's going on out there?Was that the other knights moving into the city? Sion thought, moving her hand towards the whip on her hip. Their group quickly fell back, using the ruins of a coffee shop as cover, when the roars of the ape like beasts grew louder.

The ground beneath their feet trembled, forcing them to tense as a group of humans, screaming for their lives, rushed across the street in front of them, followed by three Wendigo. Riesbyfe and Eric traded a glance before nodding.

Both of them let out their own roars as they leapt over behind cover, knocking over a green and white sign of a crowned woman as they rushed the Wendigo. The beasts let out cries of shock before Eric and Riesbyfe slammed into two of them, the stake on the end of Riesbyfe's shield stabbing into her target just as Eric's spear did.

The third ape let out a cry of fury as it turned to crush Riesbyfe's back beneath its fists, but Sion sprang up and let loose with her whip. The chain tore through the flesh along its arm, ripping sinew and skin apart easily as the beast howled as it stumbled backwards as Sion rushed forwards, lashing out with blow after blow.

The Wendigo that Riesbyfe and Eric had pierced desperately began to struggle, their fists clawing at the knights. Eric growled and leaned forwards, pressing the Wendigo away from him with his spear, but Riesbyfe received several blows to her shoulders as she barely dodged having her head get pulped. "Fuck you!" She cried as she triggered a switch within her shield.

With a loud thud the spike on the end of her shield fired deeper into the body of the ape she was facing. Blood and spittle flew from the Wendigo's mouth, eyes shrinking to pinpoints as the force of the explosion was threw the monster's body away from her like a rag doll.

Riesbyfe hissed, arms trembling as her shield rumbled, another blessed silver stake sliding out of her shield. She glanced over to see that Eric had managed to pin his target to the ground and was waiting on it to bleed out. Off to the side, she could see five people huddling beneath the ruins of the coffee shop, but she paid them no further attention than that for now as she saw Sion get knocked back by her opponent.

The Wendigo breathed out a cone of ice and snow at the fallen alchemist, but Riesbyfe imposed herself between the girl and the monster, feeling her arms go numb as the full force of the ape's attack smashed into her shield.

"Riesbyfe!" Sion shouted in surprise, trying to pull herself back to her hands and knees as Riesbyfe was forced to crouch down in front of her, holding up her massive shield at an angle to keep them covered as small pieces of ice rained down on top of them from above

Their protection screeched as the shield was pelted by razor sharp iciciles at frightening speeds.

"Stay down!" Riesbyfe shouted, arms screaming as she forced her arms into holding the shield as snow piled down on top of it.

Eric, seeing his Wendigo's struggles finally end, turned towards the two women in alarm. Quickly palming a throwing knife from inside his cloak, he launched it towards the Wendigo. The beast let out a stunned yelp as the blade stuck into its side, forcing it to cut off its attack.

The beast's eyes flashed as it turned towards Eric, fog pouring out of its lips.

The male knight let out a curse as he rushed the monster, his bloody spear sliding out of the corpse he had taken out.

Sion and Riesbyfe sprang to their feet, with the former drawing Black Barrel Replica and taking aim. However, she wasn't able to pull the trigger quickly enough. Just as the Wendigo's head vanished as her gun fired, Eric was impaled by three icicles without any mercy.

Blood flew into the air as the male knight crashed onto his back, spear flying away from his loose grip to embed itself into the ground. The heavier body of the Wendigo sent up a plume of snow as it fell onto its side.

Sion gasped for breath, slumping to her knees in shock from the recoil of the weapon.

"Eric!" Riesbyfe gripped her shield tightly as she ran to her fellow knight's side. Once she was by his side, she finally let her shield drop to the ground as she stared down at his pale, lifeless face. "No!"

The humans that had observed all of this began to stumble out, the majority of them looking shellshocked. Two of them, seeing the raw rage on the silver haired knight's face, chose to pull their number closer to Sion.

"Miss! Were you sent here to save us?" Their cries shook Sion out of her slight daze as she stared at the gooey mess that was left of the Wendigo's skull.

"I..." Sion shook her head to compose herself. She glanced up at the frantic looking group arrayed around her. "N-no, we were here to stop the creatures attacking the city." She reluctantly stated the truth.


Getting more control over herself, Sion coolly rose to her feet, snow falling off her cloak. "I apologize but the creature that's attacking will not rest until it's stopped." She replied to their anger and shock, trying to make them understand. "Even if we took you with us out of here, we would be hunted down and killed like dogs."

One of the town's people, a large woman, growled and reached to grabbed Sion. Her arm was stopped in mid-air as Riesbyfe's hand gripped her wrist.

"She's right." Riesbyfe droned, voice harsh and low as she stared at the townspeople. Hints of moisture were in her eyes as she glanced over at Sion. "Don't try to aggitate them." She complained.

Sion nodded, accepting the knight's rebuke.

"So, what? We run until we're slaughtered?" The woman that Riesbyfe was holding yelled at the impassive knight. "It's your responsibility to protect us!"

"Look how well that ended for my friend." Riesbyfe snapped, making the woman flinch. She shoved the woman's arm away from herself as she continued. "What drove you five to even be out here in the first place?"

A slim teenager pulled the stunned woman away from Riesbyfe.

"The town is done for. We wanted to live, so we ran away from that man." A middle aged woman spoke up, shivering from the cold. "He sent those monkeys to drag us back to city hall along with everyone else."

"We need to go." Riesbyfe glanced back at Sion. "We can't let it finish off the rest of this town. It'll be impossible to stop it if it consumes the rest of their blood."

The alchemist glanced over at the fearful humans. "...alright." She reluctantly agreed to the knight's demand.

"Wait!" One of the survivors shouted, rushing the two women. He jerked to a halt when a shining string flew out from beneath Sion's mantle and pierced his head.

"Sleep." Sion commanded, overriding the man's control of his own motorfunctions as he collapsed at her feet.

The remaining four people screamed and started to run, but two of them were swiftly smashed into unconsciousness by Riesbyfe, who rushed after them. One of them collapsed as Sion stabbed into the back of her neck with her etherlite while the last one successfully fled.

"...tch." Riesbyfe scowled in the direction of the runner. "He's a goner." She sadly shook her head as she wrote him off to the beast's in the snow storm. "Finish up with them and we'll move them inside this store." She thumbed in the direction of the destroyed coffee shop, already slinging Sion's first victim across her shoulders as she dragged him into the shop.

Sion quietly started rewriting the memories of the other two that Riesbyfe had knocked out. "What about Eric?" She spoke up, shifting through the memories of the night that the two below her experienced, editing their memories.

Riesbyfe glanced in the direction of her fellow knight. "We'll carry him a block away, destroy his brain, and bury him in the snow." She replied in a monotone. "Only our team knows about the replica. I don't want Wallachia knowing if it turns him."

"Alright then, let's go." Sion agreed as she dusted her hands off. Both women grabbed the last two humans and dragged them into the rubble, covering them with broken pieces of chairs and tables before walking away, each of them using one arm to carry the corpse of their ally between them.

In her other hand, Sion held onto Eric's old spear.

Justine Bois kept a firm grip on the hilt of her sword as she and her partner entered the meeting sight. Roman Still, her partner, relaxed as they saw the Japanese knight in front of him.

"You're a great sight to see." Roman called out, grinning at Takane. His cheerful greeting to his friend died away when he saw the blood splattered on his robes as Takane Hamaguchi approached their group. "Where's...?"

"She's dead, Mister Still." Takane shook his head, nervously palming a blue gemstone in his hand. "Some freaking giant broke through a wall of a building we were passing and pulled her in before I could even blink."

Justine tensed as her eyes narrowed sharply at Takane.

"D-don't look at me that way, Miss Bois. I used one of my gems to destroy her head before he could do anything to her." Takane took a step back from the woman.

"Wait, you didn't even try to help her?" Roman demanded angrily.

"Nothing worked on him! My gems couldn't pierce his skin and Miss Cruz's water magic just slipped off whenever she tried to burn his hand away." Takane defended himself, tone harsh as he glared at the two of them. They hadn't had to see that viciously glowing red eye as closely as he had! "I had to use up half of my gems just to get here in one piece!"

Justine tiredly sighed as she looked around them. "I suppose we have to move on, then." They had to double back a few times when they caught the sound of a chain on the wind. She doubted anyone else would arrive here after they did.

"And that's where you should be wrong." Riesbyfe's voice cut through the wind, which had died down significantly inside the town. The silver haired woman was being followed closely by the Atlas alchemist.

"So he's dead too, huh..." Justine sadly spoke up as she saw her countryman's bloody spear in Riesbyfe's other hand.

"Sorry Bois..." Riesbyfe awkwardly consoled her rival. She quickly glanced around the area, expression falling as she came to a troubling conclusion. "Has it really gotten so powerful that it took nine of us down so easily?"

"Regardless, we've found out from the locals that Wallachia is trying to sacrifice the remaining townspeople over by city hall." Sion spoke up, directing everyone's attention back to her. "I was able to read the location from their minds. It's best that we go before it's too late."

"Then let's go. We won't let the deaths tonight go to waste." Justine focused her attention on Roman and Riesbyfe. "I'll trust you two to protect us going in, right?"

Both knights nodded, expressions firming. With that, the group of five headed out towards the west, lead by the alchemist. Riesbyfe let her pace slow down a little as she moved towards Justine. The swordswoman glanced up at her rival, but Riesbyfe simply handed over the spear.

"When it was all said and done, I think he would have wanted you to have it instead of me." Riesbyfe simply responded. Stunned silent, the swordswoman simply accepted the spear as the silver haired woman continued. "I'm sorry I couldn't save him, Justine."

Justine's heart ached.

"Don't sell yourself so short." Justine took the spear from Riesbyfe with shaky fingers. "You are every bit as important too."

Riesbyfe gave Justine a faintly morbid smile as she moved back to Sion's side.

What a classic way to end a rivalry, Eric.

Sion had a look of distaste on her face as she gazed through her binocular. Down below, a giant of a man was reclining on the steps of what her stolen memories told her was city hall. A woman with a minimal outfit was leaning up against his lap, a bronze collar and chain leading up to the man's fist. Both of them were gazing down below as two apes flayed a man apart with their claws.

The woman covered her lips with the back of her hand, but her blue eyes were dancing with mirth.

The giant was simply gazing upon everything with a bored expression, his single red eye glowing softly.

"That's them, huh?" Riesbyfe softly spoke up besides Sion, setting down her own binoculars as she gazed at the three knights that remained. "Or are they curses like the apes? Can you tell which of them is the manifestation? Still? Hamaguchi?"

The group's two mages had difficult looks on their faces as they gazed upon group. Occasionally, one or the other would have to forcibly glance away from the direction of the blonde woman.

"Remember what she represents." Justine quietly hissed, ripping the binoculars away from the two men.

"I'm...not sure. The both of them are on another level compared to the Wendigo that manifested due to the curse." The American shook his head. He looked like he wanted to say something more when he gazed at the blonde, but he chewed on his lip instead, drawing his bible out from his mantle.

"Furthermore, that man was the one that killed Miss Cruz." Takane nodded in agreement with his American counterpart's analysis. "These gemstones I wield had the prana of several of the Church's magi fed into them. They should have killed him."

"So, we're going to have to rely on the Black Barrel Replica." Riesbyfe spoke up, when the other three knights glanced at her in alarm, the silver haired woman merely sighed. "Surprise." She drawled, completely unenthused.

"Don't blame her." Sion called out before the other three knights could say anything. "Your order requested that we attempt to mass produce the Lance of Longinus." She shook her head, sending her braid flying back and forth. "Unfortunately, this is going to have to be our first real trial."

"That's..." Justine hissed in outrage, but the unhinged laughter of Takane and Roman caused her to look at the two men in shock. "What are you tw...ugh!" Roman's fist smashed the woman in the face, knocking her back onto her rear. She quickly scrambled backwards as he pounced at her direction.

Riesbyfe hauled Sion away by the back of her cloak as Takane threw a blue gem at where the alchemist had been crouching. The blast of the gem threw Riesbyfe and Sion backwards as the japanese man drew more and more gems from inside his mantle.

"My, my, what foolish mortals you all are." Roman spoke, voice feminine and husky. "I think I'll see if I can kill you all before Master Alcides grows bored of his toys." With that, both of the men went back to back, Roman ripping out pages from his bible and Takane facing the three women.

The sheets of paper glowed before they rose around the two of them, spinning around them like a barrier.

Two massive Wendigo landed next to the men, snarling at the three women and throwing themselves at them.

"No!" Justine cursed as she leapt back from a sphere of flame that was lobbed at her by Takane. With a vicious snarl, she swung Eric's spear, cleaving the sphere in two and dispelling the attack. Several more were launched at her, forcing her past Riesbyfe and Sion.

The silver haired knight was desperately blocking one of the ape's ice attacks with her shield. The force of this monster's attack was much worse than before, forcing the knight to quickly give ground. The second Wendigo chased after Sion, who was desperately trying to keep back with the chain whip.

"My, you three have much better armaments than the others before you." Takane admired. The man sacrificed another gemstone, summoning a sphere of wind that was launched towards Sion, but Justine moved into its path, breaking the magecraft apart with the spear. "But why won't you show us this 'Black Barrel Replica'?"

For a bizarre, almost perverse in its awkwardness, Sion almost felt inclined to grant the woman's voice her answer.

"Don't!" Riesbyfe shouted over the concentrated storm she was desperately fighting against. "It's an enchantment!"

"Hahah. This is why I like men much more than women. Those that have known the touch of a man are so persistent in seeking it out again." Takane's expression was cruel as he casually launched half of his spheres at Justine. "Please die so I can play with this innocent one, okay?"

On that command, the Wendigo that had been pressing Sion back surged forwards, smashing the alchemist aside as it roared its own breath attack at Riesbyfe. Both Justine and Riesbyfe were both consumed by elemental fury as the spheres of elemental attacks simply overwhelmed Justine at the same time that Riesbyfe was blindsided by the attack of the second Wendigo.

Justine let out a short cry as her body was consumed by flame, a shadowy sphere locking her screams within it. Riesbyfe didn't even have a chance to shout before her body was completely covered by a thick coat of ice from head to toe.

"No!" Sion snarled, stumbling onto one knee. Fury filled her as she dropped her whip and gripped her gun tightly as she fired on the two apes' unprotected backs. Two thin purple rays of light erupted out from the smoking barrel, consuming the upper bodies of the massive Wendigo in a blink of an eye.

The alchemist rolled to her side as the ground she was standing on erupted into ragged ice as a sphere of ice slammed down on top of her former location.

"My! That's rather frightening." Takane mused, looking a bit disappointed that he had missed as only five spheres of elemental magic surrounded him now. "We can't have this near Master Alcides, no no. I'll have to protect him..."

Sion began to back away from the two men as they began to step towards her.

"I wanted to play with you, but you're too dangerous..." A leer crossed Roman's face as he moved next to Takane, the pages of the bible surrounding the two protectively. "So, I'll just have to live vivaciously through these boys."

Unseen by the three, thin, hairline cracks formed along the surface of the shadowy sphere and the ice covering.

"You monster." Sion hissed, bounding backwards as Takane swung the sphere of elemental power in her direction, making her desperately dodge away from the attacks. Her own attempts at striking back with her etherlite were simply blocked by pages of the bible, the sheets as solid and unyielding as steel.

"No, that was my mother." Roman replied. "I'm Aphr-what?"

He spun back around as the shadowy sphere shattered. A bloody, burnt figure trembled within a circle of ash for a moment before flinging the partially melted remains of a spear straight through his chest, piercing the barrier of scripture.

Roman wheezed before he collapsed, taking the barrier down with him.

With her final sigh, Justine collapsed, fingers unlocking from the sheathe of her undamaged sword.

Takane, who was stunned for a brief moment, was no match for Black Barrel, the weapon's hollow point round being less effective against another human, but still every bit as capable of splattering their brains across the street.

The spheres, no longer under control, went out of control, annihilating an area a good three feet in every direction from Takane's spot.

Sion gasped, heart thundering inside her chest from terror at her near miss with disaster. Her eyes cleared as she glanced towards Riesbyfe. She quickly raced across the annihilated streets towards the silver haired woman, mind racing as she tried to figure out how to save her.

The fractures on the ice covering Riesbyfe widened

Then she heard the voice of what was presumably Alcides – booming across the heavens.

"My good mortal," Sion's desperate attempts at finding the man were met by the sight of a bronze giant in the distance, moving in her direction from the direction of city hall. "You, who have survived this Night until the end, are worthy to speak to my esteemed self."

The blonde woman behind him flashed an angry glare to Sion, but her head was bowed with a tug of her collar by the large man.

Sion's vision went red as she gazed upon the man that had slaughtered everyone. Her index finger rubbed along the firing pin of her Replica.

"Hoo? What would that rebellous look be for?" Alcides grinned, showing off sharp fangs at her. "Master Zepia values you, but that does not mean that you need be in one piece before you are turned, child."

When Sion went pale, Alcides began to laugh, a hearty, rich sound.

"The sins of the father always come back to haunt the children, don't they?" Alcides asked as he reached into his leather tunic, drawing out a bottle of blue liquid. "But then, that's a story that's told in all religions. Including this 'Church' of yours."

"Master Zepia said..."

"Hush, Aphrodite. Yours isn't to question me." Alcides growled at the blonde, shutting her up. He turned his gaze back towards Sion. "You don't deserve to be turned by Master Zepia yet, but don't worry..."

His red eye flashed.

"I, the Sovereign, can always refine you with a few Labors." Golden power surged up his arm and into the bottle of liquid. The bottle shattered within his massive hand with a simple squeeze just as the snow storm around them went still.

"Nine Lives Storm!" Alcides roared, throwing his hand into the skies above as a downpour of rain came down hard on the city.

Sion screamed as the first drop struck her, burning into her skin, followed by several more. The wooden buildings around them were quickly lit aflame as agony quickly consumed Sion, but before her mind was forcibly shut down she heard the distinct sound of something shattering besides her.

"Hm...my old body and the True Ancestor are back." Shiki Tohno mused, several of the co-opted youkai in the city lending him their eyes as he observed the True Ancestor and Elesia within the city. The youkai, nature spirits themselves, were almost instrincally drawn to the blonde beauty through their mutual connection.

The best early warning system he could create.

Shiki returned away from his landscape view of Misaki's skyline when the phone on his desk began to ring. "This is Shiki, go ahead." The teenager spoke up, answering the line as he calmly drank in the moonlight hitting him in the face.

"Oniichan, this is Akiha." His sister's voice made Shiki disconnect his senses, banishing the image of Arcueid from his mind's eye, "I wanted to see if you were going to be coming home tonight."

Shiki softly smiled. "I'm sorry, but it's turned out that we'll be too busy finishing moving everything into the Shrine. I won't be around until tomorrow night." He paused. "Did Hisui cook for you?" He worried.

Akiha's rich laugh bounced around his office. "No, we went out to eat." She replied happily. "Don't let her hear you ask that, though."

"Well, you'll have to survive without Kohaku until dinner. Should be easy with class tomorrow, right?" Shiki reached for his desk and grabbed a pen, lightly rolling it around in his hands.

"Mmm...oniichan," Akiha's tone grew slightly guarded. "I wanted to call you for a consultation too."

Shiki blinked, "Go on..." He sounded intrigued as he leaned up against his desk.

"I...talked to Shiki-niichan."

The pen snapped in the older brother's hands. "Oh, and what did you talk about?" He coolly asked, ignoring the ink dripping onto the front of his suit.

"...I want him to come back home with Miyako-chan." Akiha regally stated, ignoring the tone that Shiki had used. "Father adopted him. He's as much of a member of our family as Kohaku and Hisui-chan." She quickly concluded, trying to reinforce her words.

Or maybe that's just what you're using as an excuse. Shiki thought, face twisting into a scowl.

"Is that so?" He simply said. "Well, you're the head of the family now."

If only because the other heads overruled me before I could remove them.

"Miyako-chan is all alone whenever you send Shiki-niichan off on errands too. This will be good for them, you'll see."

"Mmm...of course, Akiha-chan."

"Good, then they should be moving withiin two days. Hisui-chan will be getting their rooms ready. Come be a responsible big brother and greet them warmly tomorrow, okay?" With that, the connection was dropped as Akiha disconnected.

"Fufufu, she always has to get the last word, huh?" Kohaku's voice spoke. Shiki looked less than impressed when he glanced over towards his apprentice, who was sticking her head into his office.

"You'll lose that head if you're not careful." Shiki warned the redhead as she pushed the door the rest of the way open and strode into the room.

"Oh my, would you add my head to your collection, then?"

"You're not that special, sorry."

Kohaku reached for her chest, clutching at the spot over her heart. Despite the energetic motions as she squirmed back and forth and slight smile on her face, her golden eyes were cool as she focused on Shiki.

"That hurt. It really hurt." Kohaku shook her head. "Almost as much as when Makihi-"

"Kohaku." Shiki narrowed his eyes at the girl, who's smile widened a little bit more.

"Shrine has been brought online." The redhead mechanically intoned, running a hand through her loose red hair. "Operating systems and power are suboptimal."

"Where's your ribbon?" Shiki wondered, noticing the lack of such on her head. The girl merely shrugged.

"Shiki gave it to me. I don't want it to be bloodier than it already became."

"Hmph. That's fine, then." Shiki turned his back on the maid and continued to gaze out at the moon. "You're dismissed."

"Oh good. I've been dying to try out my latest copy of Castlevania."

"Is that so?" Shiki leaned back into his seat as he started looking for the two invaders again. "How is it?"

Kohaku, who was at the exit to Shiki's office, paused in surprise at that question.

"Spoiler: The vampire dies." She replied.

Shiki's laughter followed Kohaku out of the room.

Wise Up!

Gods and Elemental Spirits

What is a god?

A miserable pile of sec-

Actually, it's a combination of faith and a common elemental! Elementals are spiritual bodies of animals and nature itself. Kojiro isn't considered an elemental despite being a spiritual entity. Why's that?

He's a ghost. Wraiths of humans aren't considered part of nature.

Shut up.

Elementals can take on human shape, but you have to remember that they have very alien thought processes despite that. Think of our youkai or the faeries of England. Arcueid herself is considered an Elemental too. The highest model.

How do I know that? Let's say I dream of scary cats and tigers when I sleep. They grant answers to all of life's mysteries.

If humans believe strongly enough in something, our home planet of Gaia may allow one of her elementals, children of her will, to graduate up to what you or I call 'God'.

Gods possess frightful abilities, able to use Marble Phantasm or even a type of magecraft called a 'Reality Marble' at will. They also possess all manner of other powerful skills and magicks that we granted to them with our belief.

In the end they're governed by human belief, though. If we stop believing in them, they'll go back to being an elemental.

Oh yeah! By the way...

There's a very thin line between Demon and God.

On a scale of one to Arucied: Gods are about lemon meringue pie.

Sorry, I was never very good with power levels...