Okay, it's nearly as long as the last chapter. I'm sorry. But I've really pushed to get this chapter finished as my school year starts. I'm such an awful and mean writer, making you all wait the way I do. Believe me; I scold myself enough for all of you.

Once again, thank you too all the readers that are sticking with me, and who write me those encouraging emails and reviews. (We've broken 50 reviews. Yay!) You're the ones that give me the kick in the backside or the reminder that someone is actually reading and that's what keeps me writing. Though it may be little by little. Honestly, I try!

Thanks to Umi-chan for the "pimp-age". That flips right back to her. If you need more reading that updates more quickly than I do, look to Umi-chan for several spectacular fics. And if you happen to read Labyrinth fics here are some authors I highly recommend looking at: Puplerhino, Cormak3032, Scattered Logic, The Hooded Crow, and Mithril's (read 'Look at Me'). There, now I've given you other spectacular writers to tide yourselves over with when I lack in the way of updating or writing.

Now, more little notes like last time!

Umi-chan - Thanks again. The certainty of a review from you always makes me smile.

blazingIcEph0enix - I'm going to kill you with the lack of updates aren't I?

Like Cats - I have read about the similarities between Rei and Umi and I'm agreeing more and more.

Keidochan, sylversuicune-88, Fuji - I'm glad you all are enjoying the story

Clow Angel - Thanks, and I'm glad you're getting a good feel for Armatus. Lol

Aranami-koi - Wow, someone who has looked at my websites! Oh and did I ever love writing in that slap.

On with the story!

Disclaimer: Rayearth is the property of CLAMP/Kodansha, not me obviously! Original characters do belong to me though. Please R&R. ^_^




Author: Blue Angel Samui

Chapter Seven: Pathway through the Mist

Umi sat hunched on her bed, absentmindedly curling her hair around her finger. She was still seething with anger from her encounter with Armatus earlier. In a huff she sprang to her feet to walk to the fireplace and vigorously jab at the flames with the poker. Her attack on the log abruptly ended when she heard a timid tap on her door. She arched and eyebrow and called out, "Who is it?"

She barely heard the hushed reply of "It's Selena, Umi."

Umi's shoulders relaxed and she let the poker drop to the ground with a clatter as she hurried to the door. After a battle with the lock she cracked it and smiled when she saw Selena but momentarily paused to look past her and down the stairway.

"Expecting someone else?" Selena questioned as she slipped into the room and eyed the discarded poker.

"I happened to run into Armatus earlier."

Selena's brow knitted together in worry. "He didn't do anything to you did he? Are you alright?"

Umi laughed lightly as she walked to the thin window and look into the night sky. "I can handle myself, don't worry."

Selena decided not to push the topic any further and sat down on the bed. "I thought that I could go over the basic spells that you can attempt without much fear of the barrier's effects. Then I'll give you a description of Desdemona's room and what you may need to do to help open the pathway. I spoke with Helena and she gave me some clues as to what you can look for to help you."

Umi looked up in concern. "Aren't you coming with me?"

"No, I'll be your lookout. We wouldn't want Armatus to walk in and find you. I can keep him distracted."

"Right, good plan," Umi agreed as she cracked her knuckles. She was ready for immediate action.

"What magics can you use Umi?"

"I have power over water basically. Well, I usually do..."

Selena's lips curled into a small smirk as Umi mumbled an obscenity or two about the magic barrier. "Mainly just attacks? No healing spells?"

Umi finished her rant and flopped on the bed. "Pretty much. Healing tends to be Fuu's specialty."

"I'm afraid that your magic is pretty much useless to you at this point then. I'm sorry. Basic spells along the lines of healing, sleep, disguise, and the like can usually be pulled off. Unless you have some sway over the barrier."

"Which we don't." Umi sighed and stared at the ceiling. "So, tell me what you can so we can get started. I'm in the mood to play espionage."


The heavy wood door gave a muffled thud when she closed it behind her. Umi leaned on the door and looked over the former Priestess's room. From what she could tell, she was in a small common room for company. The room was comfortably furnished but cold and spotless. It was hard to make out everything clearly in the dark but Umi wasn't willing to risk lighting a lamp or torch. With a fleeting glance back towards the door and a prayer that Selena wouldn't be forced to deal with Armatus Umi carefully ventured her way through the room.

She made her way to the small doorway emitting a faint glow on the other side of the room. Peering into the inner bedchamber sheepishly Umi caught sight of the balcony Selena had mentioned. Umi slowly crept to the open doorway that led onto the moonlit balcony. The eerie, rhythmic music of the waves crashing on the shore below couldn't block out the deafening sound of her heart rapidly pounding in her ears. Slipping quickly onto the waiting balcony she checked the surroundings to see if anyone could possibly see her from some unknown window or balcony. The fog swirled calmly in the distance and a chilled wind swept over Umi as she let out a relieved breath to not find any unwanted spectators.

Looking left she spotted a thin stone stairway that hugged the outer wall of the castle. Umi approached the stairway and leaned over the balcony railing to catch a glimpse of where the stairs exactly lead. Satisfied, she let the stairway carry her down its course, turning on itself to lead her to a platform directly under the balcony. Umi looked up to the arching pillars that supported the balcony on the small outstretch of land leading to a cliff.

"It will call to you," she repeated Selena's only clue softly as she looked out to the wall of mist from the platform. What the hell could that mean? Would the mist speak to her? After waiting patiently for the "call" that never came from the cool wall of fog in the distance Umi turned to look at the pillar to her right. Running her fingers over the intricate carvings in the cool stone Umi examined the structure hoping to find something. Nothing unusual grabbed her attention. Biting her lip, she held her breath as she proceeded to examine the other column.

She was searching blindly, she knew, and the hopelessness of the whole situation set in. How could she have thought that she could find and use a protected secret of Satoria? Umi slowly sank to her knees, her fingers still running over the pillar. With a shuttered sigh she rested her forehead on the column and clenched her eyes shut. What was she doing? She had so desperately wanted to reach Clef and had taken the challenge with her usual determination but she had no idea what she was looking for! Her self pity had her close to tears before her determination and pride made her bite them back as she settled into a much more comfortable mix of aggravation and anger.

It was then that she finally took notice of it. A soft high pitched sound, almost a bird chirp that abruptly ended. It was so quiet that Umi had not even recognized it as an added instrument to the music the crashing waves made on the rocky shore below. The chirp sounded again and Umi abruptly stood up and turned to face the shadowed castle wall behind her. Silently waiting, the chirp sounded again and Umi moved to the wall, hands stretched in front of her. The moonlight that had guided her search and movements so far did not reach the back wall and she squinted as she searched the wall for the source of the noise.

The wall was covered in carvings, but Umi couldn't positively identify what any of them were. Running her fingers over the cold stone Umi stopped and examined an interesting carving her wandering hands had found. Drawing nearer to her discovery Umi tilted her head in surprise as she recognized the outline of a small bird. Its wings were outstretched and Umi eyes widened in the realization that this carved bird was an exact match to the bird "the Power" held clasped to her chest on the carved stone wall. Another chirp seemingly from the unmoving stone bird satisfied Umi that her search had led her to the correct place.

She didn't know how or what to do next though. Absentmindedly she ran her finger down the outline of the bird's back. With a gasp of shock Umi stepped back from the wall as the stone bird's visible eye snapped open to display a small glimmering ruby. The stone creaked and the bird began to stretch and slowly remove itself from the very wall. The ruby eyed bird's stone gray coloring seeped from its form to reveal crisp white feathers. With another twitch a live, small white bird sat perched in the hole of the stone wall its stone counterpart once occupied. It chirped loudly to Umi and tilted its head as it looked at her, seemingly sizing her up.

Umi looked at the bird breathlessly in amazement. She spun on her heal as the bird swiftly flew past her ear toward the barrier of fog. Distraught that her only clue may be trying to escape Umi sprinted after the small bird but slowed when she reached the edge of the platform and stepped onto the surrounding cliff. Lightly placing one foot in front of the other, as if testing the ground's sturdiness, Umi approached the cliff's edge. The little bird sat waiting for her, perched on the gnarled and twisted branch of a dead tree that clung to the edge of the cliff.

Unsure what to do next and not wanting to scare the odd little bird away Umi slowly extended her arm towards the bird. Unknowingly her lips came together to make a soft noise to the bird as she would beacon to a kitten or puppy. She hunched forward as she slowly held her open palm to the bird. The bird daintily hopped down the branch's length toward Umi's hand and a small smile graced the Water Knight's lips. With remarkable speed the bird flew from the branch and landed on Umi's index finger long enough to pierce her fingertip with its razor sharp beak.

Umi pulled her hand back with a start in shock and the bird reseated itself on the branch. Questioningly Umi examined the impressively large gash on her finer before she looked at the bird again. It seemed to be waiting for her to do something. Against her better judgment Umi held her breath and offered her open hand to the odd creature again. The bird delicately landed on the palm of her hand and lowered its head to her finger. Her eyes widened in shock as the bird began to drink up the crimson blood pooling at the wound on her finger. Her amazement only increased as the bird's pure white chest feathers began to show the same red color of her blood. The color seemed to seep its way across the bird's feathers until its entire underbelly was a thick blood red.

As the bird drank Umi examined the creature. It seemed to grow slightly larger as it drank and the shock of the whole proceedings kept her from stopping the bird. It was when the bird finished its meal and turned to stare at her that the moonlight helped her catch sight of a thin string attached to the now larger bird's leg. It was as thin as a spider's web and shimmered in the moonlight. It led back to the stone wall behind them from what Umi could tell.

The break in the bird's actions led Umi to quietly speak to it. "I can only hope that you will help me now that you've helped yourself to my blood." The bird tilted its head as it listened and its ruby eyes sparkled in the moonlight. "I need to open the pathway to Satoria. The Master Mage of Cephiro is waiting on the other side of the barrier of fog. I need him to be able to reach the castle safely."

Nodding in understanding the bird took off into the fog with amazing speed, the shimmering silver strand trailing behind it. Umi watched it disappear into the mist with baited breath. Bowing her head she prayed that the bird would find Clef waiting and bring him to Satoria's and her aid.


The onsets of a headache kept Clef from finding much rest that evening though he feigned sleep to comfort his companions. He used the time to meditate hoping that results would hone his senses and revive his reflexes as much as the much needed sleep that eluded him would. Finally fed up with waiting Clef cleared his mind and took up searching though the barrier of mist still seated under the tree. His efforts still refused to reward him.

As Clef began to entertain serious thoughts of just taking his chances and diving blindly into the mist with the hopes he would reach Satoria, a red light flashed in his mind. Clef's eyes shot open and he swiftly stood, taking a firm hold on his staff as he rushed to the rocky shore.

Hikaru looked up from the fire to catch Clef in his haste and questioningly called out to him, "Clef?" Fuu rose from her seat next to a snoozing Ferio to stand next to Hikaru.

The mage stumbled over his own feet in his haste and clumsily trudged into the chilling water. Hikaru and Fuu, followed by the concerned trio of men, sprinted to the shore. The Master Mage wadded into the water until it reached his thighs, paying no mind to his audience that was accumulating on the slippery rocks behind him. Roughly running a wet hand through his long bangs Clef raised his staff in the air and Hikaru let out a loud gasp of surprise as it morphed into a threatening, but intricately designed, dagger. Firmly grasping the dagger in his right hand Clef looked to the fog once more as he tensed his left hand and exposed his palm. He showed no signs of discomfort as he pierced the skin of his palm with the dagger and slowly dragged the metal down his life line. The cut was deep and ugly and was quickly overflowing with blood. Extending his cupped, blood filled hand, to the fog he let his other slightly shaking hand fall to his side.

"Clef what are you doing?!" screamed out Fuu in concern. Had the Master Mage just lost it? She and Ferio started out to him unsure if he was stable or in need of aid. But the two froze in their spots when Clef spun to glare at them with forceful look and his fingers tensed on the dagger. It was then that the barely audible bird call was heard.

They watched with shocked expressions as a small red and white bird appeared in the mist and headed towards them. It slowed and gracefully landed on Clef's bleeding hand. Clef's staff morphed back to its original form and he rested it on his shoulder as he carefully stroked the back feathers of the bird.

"Clef what is that thing?" asked Ferio as he raised an eyebrow.

"What is it doing?" Hikaru's eyes grew wide as the bird daintily lowered its head to drink the blood pooling in Clef's hand. Slowly the bright red coloring on its chest began to spread to its wings and back.

"This is a blood bird," Clef looked up from the creature to see Hikaru shoot him an uneasy look. "It will lead us to Satoria. It requires an exchange of blood for its help." He ran a finger over the bird again and admired its new full red coloring. "It appears it has finished its meal. Fuu, would you be so kind?"

He slowly waded back to the shore, the ruby bird now happily resting on his shoulder. Fuu held her hand over Clef's and tried to search the Mage's eyes as her healing wind swirled about them, leaving Clef's hand in a slightly better state before he hurriedly pulled away.

Ascot approached Clef cautiously and looked at the bird with great interest. "How will this lead us, when even the Master Mage can not find a way?"

Clef carefully analyzed the bal's tone and was satisfied to find no scorn or sarcasm, but genuine interest. The boy looked up to Clef almost sheepishly as he extended a finger toward the bird, asking permission to examine the creature further. With a curt nod from Clef, Ascot stepped closer and puckered his lips to make a high pitched bird chirp. The blood bird jerked its head to the side and examined the young man before it easily flew to his outstretched finger.

"If you look a little more closely your question will be answered," Clef continued coolly as he busied himself by picking leaves from his jacket and cloak.

Lantis moved to tower over Ascot and carefully raised a finger into the thin air as if tracing something. He looked up to see confused faces staring back at him. His emotionless voice finally broke through the silence, "Look carefully."

He carefully twisted his hand and his lips curled into a slight smile as Fuu let out a rather loud sound of understanding. The others watched as the moonlight reflected and sparkled on the twisting, remarkably thin strand attached to the bird.

"What is that? It's so thin," Hikaru said in amazement as she moved closer to examine the strand.

"It's as thin as a spider's web," remarked Ferio.

"That tiny strand attached to our little friend will help guide us to the castle. My guess is that the strand was woven by the Priestess and enchanted so the guide wouldn't get lost." Clef calmly stated as he turned to smile down at a remarkably silent Mokona. "Since you are here, perhaps you could be of assistance?" he continued as he motioned toward the water.

Mokona hopped into the air with a loud "Pu", and in a bright flash of yellow light a remarkably elaborate boat appeared before them.

"This key to our journey has only led me to think that perhaps the High Priestess is coming to our aide. Or someone else who knows the secrets to the mist," stated Clef as he surveyed the boat and nonchalantly tossed Mokona aboard.

"Which means it could be Armatus leading us to a trap," said Ferio in an unenthusiastic voice.

"But what choice do we have? We have no other way to reach Satoria." Fuu's calm and final tone left no room for further comment.

A cool wind of worry blew over them as they silently agreed on their course of action and set about clearing any remains from their fire. Swiftly the men helped the ladies onto the vessel and took their own seats. Ascot sat close to the arching bow of the boat, keeping an eye on where the blood bird had perched itself. Mokona hopped onto his lap playfully tried to get the little bird's attention that appeared to be purposefully ignoring it. Clef fought the urge to remain a standing stone sentinel at the stern of the boat and solemnly took a seat at the very back of the boat propping one leg up against one side of the boat as he leaned on the other.

The rest of the voyagers were more than happy to once again leave him to his thoughts as the boat began to swiftly move into the fog on its own accord. Clef peered out past the blood bird's perch and unknowingly tensed his left hand. He clenched his teeth with tension and roughly ran his fingers repeatedly over the ugly cut left by his blade, not completely healed by Fuu's magic. What would they encounter when the reached the shoreline of Satoria? He held one of the most revered positions in Cephiro and yet he felt powerless. If one hair on Umi's head was harmed, he swore on all of Cephiro. She would give them hell though. A satisfied smirk played on his lips. His angel would not disappoint. Her strength never ceased to amaze him. And damnation! This boat was moving entirely too slow for his taste. He looked down at his hand in surprise went he felt his fingers glide over warm liquid.

He looked blankly at his reopened cut, entranced by the warm blood that once again flowed do to his carelessness. Imagined, horrifying images of her blood stained face flashed before him and he blinked them away with a shake of the head. He shouldn't harbor such fear, tension and rage he noted as he muttered a quiet spell and mended his wound. Feelings like those led to lack of focus and carelessness which he couldn't risk now. It had been years since he felt so many emotions take precedence over his reasoning. He had sacrificed such normal behavior when he began his studies to become Master Mage. The fact that Armatus hadn't been able to completely sacrifice what was required of him, as Clef had done, and that had led to these current problems, angered Clef. He, himself, had sacrificed and understood similar pains. But then, Umi had helped him feel more alive again. He felt young again. She was almost his sanity at times it seemed. He gazed back into the fog with a deadly glint in his eyes. How stupid of Armatus to take that from him.


Selena had watched Umi slip unnoticed into Desdemona's former chambers. Concealed in the shadows of the dimly lit hallway, Selena kept careful guard over the High Priestess's door. Her fingers traced repetitive circles into the fabric of her dress in her anxiety. So far, nothing had interfered with their plan. She prayed that Umi would be able to discover the secrets to parting the mists in what little time they had.

The scrape of metal on metal as a door latch was opened made Selena sink further into the shadows. Her head turned to watch the connecting hallway. Armatus, reading a piece of parchment, determinedly stalked down the hallway from his study and down the wing's connecting staircase. Selena watched his head disappear down the steps and she listened as his footsteps faded off.

Her eyes wandered towards the direction of Armatus's study and then back to the room she was guarding. Armatus had left his study unattended! This was her chance to search for Umi's ovum. But if she left to search for it, she would be leaving Umi without any guard. Umi had stressed the item's importance in her fighting though!

Biting her lip Selena gave one last glance to the room Umi had slipped into and hurriedly made her way to Armatus's study. The large door was cracked open and a warm glow emanated from the room. Selena cautiously approached the thick wooden door and carefully laid her hand on the door handle. With a slight push the door swung open and Selena slipped into the cramped room. The room was lined in bookcases that were filled with ancient books and untidily stacked papers. A large wood desk sat in the center of the room, opposite of a small fire place. A fire was not lit but a small oil lamp burned brightly on the desk.

Selena quickly moved behind the desk and looked over its surface. Various papers were scattered about in languages she couldn't read. She bit her tongue in frustration as she realized that she didn't know what exactly an "ovum" looked like. She would just have to hope she would know what it was if she came across it. Pulling her long raven hair over her shoulder, Selena ran her hands over the papers and down to the cool metal handle of one of the desk's drawers which wouldn't slide open. With a hardy tug the stubborn drawer shifted forward and revealed the contents of several quills and a bottle of ink. The drawer below it was just as difficult to dislodge from its spot and only held a large stack of parchment.

Turning her attention to the set of drawers on the other side of the desk Selena wrapped her slender fingers around the handle of the larger lower drawer. Expecting the drawer to be uncooperative like the last two she gave the drawer a forceful jerk. She nearly squeaked out of surprise as the drawer easily slid from its position and almost came completely from the desk. Much to Selena's chagrin it was empty. Eyeing the final drawer just above the one she was now closing Selena prayed that it held what she was looking for. She couldn't spare the time to search through much more of the room without risking being caught. What if this "ovum" was hidden in a secret book with its insides hollowed out? It would take her ages to go though each of the books in the cases. Or worse yet, Armatus may have hid it in an entirely different room or may carry it with him.

"No sense worrying about that yet," she whispered her hand curled around the final drawer's handle.

The drawer slid forward and Selena's hopes fell when it only revealed a few spare replacement wicks for the oil lamp perched on the desktop. Disappointed, Selena began to close the drawer when she suddenly paused and opened it again. Reaching over to the first desk drawer she determinedly pulled it out as far as it would allow. Selena looked over the two drawers, noting that the "spare wick" drawer did not open as far as the drawer full of quills. Slipping her hand past the wicks, Selena ran her fingers along the back wall of the drawer. A smile crept across her lips as her fingers slipped into a long, carved crevice in the wood. Slowly she pulled at the wall and a smaller inset compartment appeared inside the drawer.

Lying in the hidden compartment was a small white glove with a large blue gem fixed to the top. Selena carefully lifted the glove from the drawer and examined it in the warm light of the lamp. It wasn't big enough to fit a man's hand she noted. When she ran her finger over the blue gem the faint face of a red eyed dragon appeared in the stone. She gasped and the dropped the glove on the desk and was mildly relieved to see the dragon fade away.

Carefully she replaced the compartment in the drawer and closed the open drawers. Noting that nothing appeared out of place on the desk Selena triumphantly took the glove in her hand and made her way to the study's entrance. She was positive that the glove was Umi's "ovum" and she was ecstatic with the thought of Umi having its aid in their fight.


Umi took one final look to the mist and hastened back to the stone stairway. When she had just reached the upper balcony the echoing, clicking sounds of heavy footsteps from inside the High Priestess's room made Umi freeze and plaster herself to the wall just next to the doorway. Umi's heart shot into her throat. The only way out of the Priestess's chambers was through the one doorway leading to the hallway and there was no where to hide on the platform below or on the balcony. How was she going to get to that hallway?

Risking a look Umi edged to the doorway and quickly glanced inside the dark room. Nothing. Her stomach knotted as she mentally raced through her dwindling options. Stilling her shaking hands she silently crept into the inner bedchamber. She was midway through the room when she froze after hearing the shuffling footsteps in the outer connected room. Panicking, Umi looked to the adjoining doorway leading to her room and then to the large bed set against the center of the room's back wall. Quickly she moved through the darkness and in a hastened decision crouched beside the bed and carefully inched and crawled under the bed. It was a tight fit as Umi laid on her stomach under the bed. Her hands were pulled up next to her face as she strained her neck to keep watch over her limited view of the doorway to the outer room.

She was sure the frantic pounding of her heart could have easily been heard by anyone close enough. It was practically deafening to her as she fought to control and silence her rapid breathing. The sound of footsteps grew louder as a dark figure approached the doorway and the knot in the sapphire haired girl's stomach pulled tighter. She saw them then, Armatus's thick leather boots, as he paused in the doorframe for what seemed like an eternity. Did he already know she was here? Without a word he slowly sauntered into the room his boots clicking on the stone floor with each step. Umi watched his boots approach her hiding spot, pause and face the bed. Clenching her eyes shut, feeling very much like a frightened child, Umi waited. The footsteps sounded again and Umi's eyes flew open to watch Armatus walk onto the balcony. Letting out a hushed shuttered breath Umi edged her body to the far end of the bed, never letting her eyes leave his boots.

Armatus walked to the very edge of the balcony and leaned on the railing, his arms crossed in front of him. Surveyed the fog barrier and he let his head drop in thought. How long could he stay here Umi wondered? She didn't think hiding under the former Priestess's bed all night was the best choice, she needed to get back to Selena and to her room so they could try to meet Clef. The longer she stayed where she was, the more likely it was that Armatus would find her. Licking her dry lips Umi pulled herself from under the bed but stayed low, keeping the bed between her and the clueless Armatus. She just needed to get to the outer room and then sprint for the hallway.

First closing her eyes in a silent prayer Umi made another quick check on Armatus by peaking over the bed. He hadn't moved. Hopefully he wasn't about to. Keeping low to the ground Umi crept from behind the bed and carefully placed one foot in front of the other. Her instincts told her to run like hell but she couldn't risk making a noise and alerting the Mage. Her strides quickened when she closed in on the doorway to the other room and she silently slipped through the door and rested her back against the wall. Rather proud of herself Umi took a moment to pull away the stay hair strands that had attached themselves to the corners of her mouth when she had been hiding. She was halfway there!

"Here kitty kitty." his liquid silk voice resonated from the inner bedchamber and swam through the tension thick air. Umi's breath caught in her throat as she paused before she moved to sprint.

In a flash he had her right arm pulled high above her head in a vice grip. Her back and left arm were firmly pinned against his abdomen by his left arm encircling her waist. His height was an advantage as he leaned back slightly pulling her feet from the ground. A surprised shriek and fearful whimper escaped her lips in the speed of his unexpected attack and her response brought a wicked grin to his lips. His heated breath on her neck made her feel ill. She clenched her eyes shut and tried to weakly hide her face in her raised arm.

"Whatever could this kitten be doing sneaking around this part of the castle?" His head was right next to hers and he leaned over her shoulder further to press his mouth against her cheek as he spoke. "Maybe this time she really was waiting to see me? Since she has found some way of blocking me from seeing her. Hmmm?"

He laughed at her lack of a response and slowly lowered her raised arm, snaking it in front of her chest. She struggled but his grip on her was firm and his hand guided her much smaller hand over her left shoulder to his face. Running a rough finger over the gash on her index finger he was rewarded when the wound reopened and her blood began to pool at the cut and slowly trickle down her finger. Umi let a small hiss of pain slip from her.

"What a shame, she wasn't here for me. The kitty has been hunting little birds has she?" He ran his tongue along her pried open palm and up her finger, collecting the oozing blood. He then took her whole finger into his mouth and sucked the blood from her cut.

When his tongue met her skin her eyes widened in horror and she wildly flailed her legs. "Get off of me!" her screech carried well through the empty room. He drew her hand from his mouth and pinned it against her chest. She fought him viciously, making him focus entirely on keeping his hold on her.

"While it was helpful that you've lead Clef straight to me, my patience for you is wearing thin!" he growled.

"You coward!" she screamed as she threw herself about wildly. "You wouldn't be so brave if I had my sword or use of my magic!"

As his vice grip began to slip she brought her heel down firmly on the arch of his foot. He let out a mild noise of pain and bent them both forward. Not prepared for his reaction Umi threw her head back and was rewarded with a hot, blinding, flash of pain as they firmly hit heads. They both cried out and Umi landed on the floor with a painful thud as he released her. Cradling the back of her head with a hand the blue haired girl pulled herself from the cold floor and fuzzily looked over her shoulder at her attacker.

Armatus was bent forward, holding his head in his hands and rubbing his eyes as he hissed out a stream of profanities. Trying to blink away the nauseating spots that impaired his vision, his eyes cleared in time to watch the Water Knight desperately scramble and crawl across floor towards the door. He let out a loud animal like growl and stormed toward her as she fought against her long, restraining skirts.

"Where do you think you could hide?" His large hand swooped down and tangled itself in her hair. She flailed her outstretched arm toward the door handle but let out another scream when her head was roughly yanked backward. "You have been a very - naughty - kitty!" his voice grew darker with each word.

In a clumsy panic she savagely tried to strike him while she clawed at his hand knotted in her hair. With satisfaction she felt her nails rip down the side of his cheek. Tears streamed freely down her face and her plea for help from the distant Clef was the last thing that escaped her before his hand firmly covered her mouth. She bit his hand with all the strength she could muster and he yelped in pain.

"Enough!" he spit.

Umi's head began to spin and she desperately fought against the magic laden sleep that weighed down on her eyes. She could barely move her limbs when she felt herself being roughly hoisted over Armatus's shoulder and darkness consumed her.


End of Chapter Seven



Oooooo, this chapter was action packed. What will happen next? Stay tuned for Chapter Eight. Thank you for reading and for sticking with me. I know it is horrible of me to take so long with each chapter. Reviews and emails are always welcomed and appreciated.





Sapphire Elegance (An Umi Ryuuzaki shrine!)