As they walked along, Wylfred's inherited sword seemed to add more weight to him with each step. The sheath swung uneasily on his back, only adding onto the unapproachable air that hung around Wyl like a cloud. The young male hadn't had a single attempt made on him for much-needed conversation. Even Cheripha had seemed to give up on the gloomy teenager. Wyl now felt bad for being so vague to the young woman, and making himself sound like an absolute lunatic. He knew it was wrong to blame Gwendal for something he didn't do, but Wyl's heart was truly gone. The teenager suddenly slowed, but his lack of movement went unnoticed by the others, who were already a good way in front of him. They seemed to be forgetting his presence. How fitting. However, for whatever reason, Cheripha glanced over her shoulder only to stop herself and turn around completely. Her eyes bore light into his dark soul, and it made Wylfred uncomfortable.

"Wyl?" Cheripha questioned, staring intently at the older male, her eyes speaking unspoken questions. She was seeking answers desperately, and Wyl knew he couldn't keep the truth from her much longer. How come Wyl only felt guilty for not telling Tilte about Ancel, but when it came to any other person, he was willing to keep them in the dark and not share the secret of Mistress Hel with any of them. Suddenly a soft yet nonexistent hand brushed against Wyl's shoulder, startling him. He looked to his right, out of the corner of his eye, identified the maiden who had since become his personal assistant of sorts.

"It's not wise if you told her about what you do, Master. She would know the cause of her death when it comes down to it."

Wyl remained silent, eyes turned back to an inquisitive Cheripha, so Ailyth continued in a softer tone, "...You have fallen in love with her, have you not, Master?"

"Yes," Wyl whispered, closing his eyes and hanging his head. In a few moments, he felt arms around his waist, and the young man opened troubled crystal orbs to see who had embraced him so suddenly. When he saw who it was, his heart clenched bitterly.

"You said yes? Will you tell me now?" Cheripha asked quietly.

Wyl didn't consider long before nodding his head and taking the hand of the younger female and leading her away from the others so that they could seek freely...and in private.

"I made an path I regret making," Wyl started, as he stood on the edge of a tiny cliff, that was more like a large hill that was cut off abruptly. When the word 'regret' parted from his lips, he saw Ailyth appear with that glint in her eye.

"Regret?" Cheripha asked, drawing the light-haired male's attention back to her.

"No, not regret," Wyl said, carefully restating his deceleration, "I made an oath that will leave very alone. But I no longer care. I am doing what I must to achieve my own goal."

"What are you trying to achieve?"

"I am going to slay the 'Chooser of the Slain,' and lay her broken wings t the feet of Mistress Hel," Wyl recited, continuing before Cheripha could get anything in, "This pact made me take the life of my best friend. He was named Ancel. Of course I didn't mean to kill him, but I was being guided by Mistress Hel, and she taught me how to use the Plume. And it doesn't stop at Ancel. I have taken the life of one other and stained my plume with sin."

"You mean...?"

"Perhaps it is not fair to grant one superhuman power for one battle in exchange for their life, but rarely do they notice. Only the most observant of men will notice the change. But all in all, I decide the fate of my companions. And in the end, it will be only I left to defeat the Death Goddess." Wyl hazarded a glance at Cheripha, and the look he revived was anything but unexpected. She had a look of horror spread across her facial features, and she seemed suddenly tense as she was hit with reality, full-force. But Wyl felt no better after telling her this like he'd hoped to. Ailyth still stood invisibly in the background, her face betraying nary a shard of emotion.

"So, Gwendal and Lieselotte and I are just your pawns?!"


"We trusted you! How could you do this to us?! To ME?! You took my father from me! Why didn't you tell me earlier?!"

"My feelings got in the way," Wyl stated flatly.

"Feelings? Feelings?! How can a man like you have feelings?!"

"I don't. Not for anyone else. It's...just you," Wyl sighed, "I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to hate me for taking your father. But now you feel half of my pain. At least your father wasn't taken by the Valkyrie."

Cheripha threw her arms by her side and stared daggers at her traveling companion. Well, he had been right. Telling her had unleashed the dragon within her. The dragon of hatred and anger and despair. Three emotions that should ever be paired together no matter the circumstance. Suddenly Cheripha turned on her heel and ran off. In the corner, Ailyth resumed her 'human' form.

"You've gotten your heart broken, haven't you, Master?"

Wyl took a moment before answering, yet his eyes remained glued to the spot where Cheripha had just been, "Yes."

"She'll inform the others."

"See to it that she doesn't."

Ailyth nodded, "Whatever you wish, Master. I will do anything that helps Mistress Hel's cause."

Wyl nodded silently before closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose in agitation. He loved her but now how only course of action was to kill her. How much could Ailyth do to prevent the others from being told? However, Wyl's usual cold fa├žade took over and he headed back to where the others surely awaited him, so they could continue to their next battle. But this time it was going to be different.

:P hey y'all! My thumbs are sore from being cracked multiple times while I typed this up on my handy dandy iPhone! I promise I'll try to make upcoming chapters more enjoyable. Until then, please hang in there with me!

:3 no angry mobs please? Obedient children will be rewarded with milkshakes and fries!