Mamoru could only stare, swallowing and blinking in a odd sort of shock and confusion. Watching mutely as Queen Serenity disappeared serenely into the very depths of the Crystal Pillar. As soon as he regained his senses, he released a roar of blind fury.
"Ruin!" He bellowed, unsheathing his sword. Which was humming in his hands, glowing a brilliant gold now as he charged all of his powers into it. He was no longer conscious of his actions, merely following the whispers that urged him within his soul. Thrusting the blade into the twilight pillar, which slipped into it's glass surface smoothly, as easily as it would through yielding flesh. Imbedding it all the way in to the very hilt, then he closed his eyes focusing upon the four elder powers now seeded deep within him. Channeling those powers as a twisting current through the blade and into the pillar, syncing himself to Tartarus itself.
All at once he was confronted by the complete Madness of the Abyss. The howls and screams of the damned echoed around the ghostly fog that was this reality. Mamoru could no longer feel his body. It was as if his spirit had been sucked away into the pillar.
"No...this is not what I wanted to happen?" He breathed...as sudden terror gripped him. He was lost to Tartarus as well now, just like his friends...like the Queen.
"Remember..." A ethereal voice echoed around him. A deep yet gentle voice that spoke with both authority and compassion for him.
As if a dam had burst, the last of Morpheus's seal binding his memories shattered into oblivion. The week he had shared with Little Serenity exploded from it's cage, bombarding him with flashes of memory both sweet and cruel. He understood...finally he could grasp the power's granted to him by fate. Without fear or compromise, he reached for the four swirling strands of power that was his true Godhood and held tight.
A primal scream tore from his soul as he was bound the great powers once more. The threads flared in blinding flashes of lights, before fading away within him. His connection to the four powers now complete. The pillar began to vibrate in response, the twilight glow magnified and rebounding through out it's facets.
Mamoru body reformed inside the pillar, as soon as his vision cleared of the white nothingness of passing through realities. His golden eyes were hunting through the swirling currents of souls, floating around him. It was like being trapped beneath the ocean, the space around him was murky and mysterious. Translucent forms brushed past him, with dull grey eyes and absent expressions. They had no real bodies, merely the remembrance of what their faces may have been in life. With trailing spiritual energy swirling from a faint outline of their necks. Odd moaning ghosts, wreathed in a spectrum of tragic emotions. Trapped in their hells, twisted from their final thoughts before being consumed.
Mamoru had to fight to refocus himself on a singular task, their intense emotions seeking to consume him as well. He needed to find his friends...the queen. He needed to save them. His eagerness just dive into the depths of hell tempered by the fact that Ruin was also hiding within theses currents of souls.
With his puppet long since destroyed, he was hurting, weakened perhaps...desperate most definatly. Leaving him only in pure spirit, cowering somewhere in the endless confusion of flowing souls. He had masked his dark spirit, as a lost soul, lurking now in the depths of the pillar. Watching and waiting for Mamoru to get a little to close...then he would be his...
Mamoru sank beneath the eddies, his soul made flesh diving into the depths of the pillar, trying to stay alert to the spirits floating around him. The chaos of souls soon swelling, becoming a confusing current that pulled him ever downward. He allowed the current to drag him down, his mind becoming dizzy, griping his sword hilt tighter seeking to clear his head of the numbing moans that echoed around him. Focuing himself on a singular thought of pulling his friends free of Tartarus.
The powers of the four elder gods, hummed within him a searing heat that burned just beneath his skin. He could control that immense power a bit better now, could command it enough no longer destroy all, yet holding those powers in check put a great strain on his mind and body.
When before with the seal still binding his true self, the immense power had been slamming against his bound spirit like it was a wall. Like a dam ready to burst but with nowhere to go, seeking to destroy the vessel that held it trapped. Now Mamoru could release as much or as little of the Elder Gods powers as needed, a spiritual valve now in place to help him control them.
Darkness began to gather around him as he moved deeper, absorbing the twilight glow, slowly consuming what light there was. Still he pushed himself deeper, steadfast and focused upon finding the souls of his friends, or the Queen hidden in the endless depths. Pushing aside his concerns and trepidation that Ruin was lurking somewhere near by. He needed to reach them, release them before Ruin found him, before Tartarus consumed their souls. Yet, he could sense the Dark God was hunting him, feel the monster's cold stare watching silently from his unknown hiding place.
As the black recesses of Tartarus surrounded him, Mamoru cast his dream energy into his blade that he had raised before him. The blade glowed to life, casting a warmth upon the darkness illuminating a small portion before him. Suddenly he found Kunsite, his stoic face hovering inches from his own. Frozen in fear, the swordsman's steel blue eyes glaring back at Mamoru.
"Kunsite..." Mamoru breathed, then set to work, placing his palm upon the man's forehead. He focused his soul magic upon him, bathing him in power as he tore his soul from Tartarus as gently as he could.
Kunsite's body once trapped in hell faded away back to the Dark Realms in a flash of golden light. Mamoru did not choose a perticular place for the man to reform, just sending him somewhere back in the Fortress. It took enough of his energy to pull his soul free, he needed to conserve enough power to pull the rest free as well.
Taking a calming breath, Mamoru kicked his legs to propel himself ever deeper searching for another frozen body.
Ruin chuckled slyly he now had his opportunity, moving with slow easy strokes towards his prey within the concealing darkness. As Mamoru set to work upon the rest of his friends sending one by one back to life. Transporting them away from Tartarus, hoping that when they appeared back in the Fortress it wasn't in the middle of a battle.
So was so focused upon them he had no time to react, when Ruin struck. Suddenly feeling icy cold tendrils gripping his wrist. It was as if his body was drenched in cold rain, his soul freezing in place unable to move. Only able to blink mutely, as another more vile pressence entered his soul. Memory flashes of his boyish self touching the ice wall within the cavern back in Elysian rose in his mind.
"My boy...it is like finally finding my way home." A deep resonating voice hummed seductively in his mind, his spirit now shuddering with revulsion. As Ruin, settled himself comfortably once more inside Mamoru's soul. Sendings shivers of dread through out his body.
He recognized this dark aura as Ruin now possessing his body and soul once more. He had been over confident...arrogant to just blindly dive into the depths to save his friends. Thinking that with the Elder powers alone he might have had a chance to protect himself...perhaps have been aware enough to see Ruin sneaking up beneath him.
Mamoru began to curse and swear at his rash choices. He should have been more cautious, moved more slowly, kept a better eye out for the demon...something.
The twilight glow once spreading through the pillar began to dim, the energies of Dream and Holy wilting as Tartarus was once more under Ruin's control. His new puppet offering him all the power and dominion over four of his siblings. He began to laugh with smug satisfaction, reclaiming his Thorne had been to easy it seemed. The boy had been a righteous fool, so focused on saving others, he had blindly sacrificed himself yet agian. Ruin was quite happy that trait was still strong in his more matured version.
Selene's naked form sobbed into Morpheus's dark robes as they watched everything unfold from their plane of existence above all. The white nothingness of possibilies that was the Elder Plane spread out before and behind the two Elder Gods.
"No...it can't end like this!" She cried, gripping his robes. Her silver eyes pleading with her brother, with fate to turn once more in their favour. "Take mercy...mother. On my child. Give him strength...please I beg you to intervene." She wailed into the white nothingness that was the Elder Plane, the living essence of what remained of the One God.
Morpheus felt for her, holding her tightly against his chest. His own heart aching at how the forks had played out. They had barely no power anymore, none of them did. Having seeded all that were into the scared blades of the Swords of Light and Dark. All they could do was watch and pray their dark saviour could find the power with him himself to cast Ruin out of his soul.
Mamoru was cold as stone now...his very soul frozen... his greater self cast aside. As Ruin paraded his body within the dark pillar with self satisfaction. Mamoru felt his will to fight draining away, a sluggish melancholy wrapping around his very essence. His mind was strangely calm, peaceful and free of thought. He found forming the simplest of idea's a struggle. Vaguely he understood, that this was the feeling of Ruin devouring him. Slowly destroying his soul one flimsy layer at a time, seeding himself within his body and taking over his magic like a virus.
"I may have lost the Marboroshi...but there is a Zuishou buried deep within you. My boy." Ruin chuckled with anticipation. His spiritual talons, tearing away at Mamoru's soul seeking to uncover the crystal hidden deep within him.
Small flares of warning stabbed his mind, then withered and were quickly forgotten. As Ruin kept up his silent assault towards Mamoru's crystal.
Mamoru soul remained a complacent victim to Ruin...unwilling to fight against the Elder God's dominion. It was the heady smell of roses, that shocked his senses first. Then the darkness that had been consuming him brightened, his soul began to warm from it's frozen state. His vison clearing to the image of lush green grass, a twinkling starlit sky of stars with a huge navy moon hovering over an ancient oak tree. The soft cries and gasps of pleasure drew him away from the tree, downwards between his bracing arms to find his Usako's beautiful face. Her lithe body rocking softly beneath him. Her sweet face glowing in the blissful state of wonder and exhilaration. Of making love to him for the first time. Her wide serene blue eyes staring up at him, filled with such love and tenderness his heart was softening from it's state of stone.
"I love you...Mamo-chan..." She breathed, raising a delicate hand to cup his cheek. Paying him a knowing smile of complete connection he only felt with her. "Now and for always...I am forever yours." She finished, her eyes so very clear, so very pure and unrestrained with her passion for him. As she proclaimed her never ending love, articulating in only a few words its ultimate depth and strength.
"You mean everthing to me...Serenity. You are all that is good in my life. I will always love you." He responded, breathlessly proclaiming his own love for her as delved himself deeply within her. Pushing them both towards the final completion of their soul bond. A Love that would be powerful enough to reshape the Realms themselves.
He watched with awe, exhilaration of his own rushing through him. As the most stunning creature he had ever laid eyes on, tremble beneath him. Welcoming him, holding him in the most intimate ways as he brought her on ward to true bliss.
Golden hair a casscade behind her, the very strands weaving into the lush grass of their secret rose garden. Her delicate hands holding tight to his shoulder's as he took her body, softly, passionately into her first encounter with love making.
Suddenly arching her back, pressing her perfect breasts into his chest, craning her neck back as pure ecstasy claimed her.
It was then Mamoru felt her inner self pull mercilessly upon him, sending him over the edge in waves of that same esctasy. They shared this final moment together, claiming a power destined for only them.
"Endymion!" She cried out to the stars above, then the explosion with out sound slammed into him.
Ruin began to laugh softly, as a golden glow began to strobe before his minds eye. "The Yuemui no Kinzuishou..."
Ruin's evil soul reached for the flashing golden light...just as his fingers twitched near it, seeking to grasp it. The light flared to a blinding inferno, casting Ruin aside with a blast of Dream power far superior to anything he had ever endured before. The God screamed in pain and rage, shielding his soul with darkness as the explosion of power tore him out of Mamoru.
Mamoru gasped in searing pain, his body curling up under the stress of having Ruin's soul ripped free. The raw Dream Magic now bathing his body in healing light.
The light began to grow, intensifying and rebounding within the fragile confines of the pillar. The dark crystal was already weakened from being tainted with foreign magic, now it started to crack under the strain of trying to contain the Yuemui no Kinzuishou now releasing from Mamoru's soul and reforming itself into the Golden Crystal once more.
The pillar released a piercing scream into the eerie half light of the cathedral. The three combatants stopped fighting for a moment, Rubeus staring in horror towards the pillar now glowing gold. While Luna and Artemis glanced over their blood covered shoulder's, smelling the crystal's death with their heightened senses. Before returning their attention back to Rubeus with low snarls. Rubeus reluctantly ignored the pillar, to refocus upon his battle, gripping his twin blades tightly. As a massive crevass extended down the dark crystal, from the sharp peek towards the pillar's base. An ever increasing ringing now accenting the crystals wail. Before it shattered, exploding into a thousand shards, raining down upon the ruins of the red velvet dais. Leaving only Mamoru standing tall, imbued with a even greater connection to his Dream Magic. His body glowing like the sun made flesh, hand outstretched as a golden crystal bead formed in his palm. The center piece of the Elysian's crown once more a solid object to draw strength from.
Rubeus took in the demise of the pillar with a curt nod, his master was now either dead or lost to the currents of the Abyss. He wasn't a coward...far from it. But he wasn't stupid either, a man powerful enough to destroy the Dark Crystal pillar was most definitely a foe he could not conquer. There was no need for him to stick around and face death. He crossed his swords, sheathing them at his hips in a swift flourish before shimmering away. Reality bent and twisted around him as he faded, leaving Luna and Artemis darting back towards the dais.
"Mamoru!" Luna shouted, her paws charging down the aisle with Artemis at her heels.
Mamoru paid her a weak smile, his body shaking with exhaustion. Before crumpling face first to the cold dark marble floor, still clutching the Golden Crystal tight in a fist. His sword clatering out his limp hand. He had nothing left to give...
Rubeus stood upon the stone rotunda of the outer keep, arms crossed over his dark red breast plate. Glowing red eyes narrowing as he surveyed his armies failed final gambit. His soldier's bodies littering the barren field and bridge as the White Moon forces were now penetrating his walls. With the help of the Horde, they had broken through the main gate. Pushing his men into the courtyard, his strategy was null now. Unable to call upon his Demon's still lurking in wait in the forest's rim. Due to being a little busy fighting off two wild Mau! The fortress was lost...and so to the battle.
He felt nothing, no rage or disappointment as to how things turned out. Just far to old to care. With a grunt and a sigh, he turned from staring mutely at the bridge strewn with bodies. Confronting the looming pressence of a living mountain of battle rage.
Mot stood, heaving one breath after another. His armour bathed in the blood and guts of the fallen, his favourite broad sword gripped securely in his large hand. A huge blade with a curved tip, very useful for cleaving and gutting his foes. Bestial eyes filled with satisfaction at finally killing his way up the battlements to take on the Dark Moon's leader. The dreaded general, who had laid waist to his tribe years ago.
The Crimson Rubeus.
Mot never said a word, with a murderous snarl he leaped for him sword slashing for his throat. As the blow fell, Mot released a triumphant howl to the Dead Moon above. Rubeus merely raised an arm in defence, his metal greave taking the impact with a resounding clang.
"Seriously..." Rubeus muttered, chuckling at how ineffective this monster's attack was.
"You have always been the driving force in our lives." A cool, raspy voice drew Rubeus's attention away from Mot's furious glare up to the higher battlements backing the tower. A man dressed in full black cloth, stood smugly above him. His long dark cowl pulled tight over his face, casting his indentity in shadow. Only his miss matched eyes glowered down at him. Full of a determination to wear his blood upon his own hands.
Rubeus admired that steel look in the demon's eyes, giving the man dressed in black a weak smile of acknowledgment.
Then sighed tiredly, he had dealt with zealots out to kill him far to many times to count. Being a WarLord of the Dark Realms it kinda came with the territory.
Set let fly with two dagger's in the next moment, Rubeus cast a fire ball from his palm leaping away from Mot. The raging ball of fire consumed the hurling knives instantly, the flames upon Rubeus's head flared with his rising battle lust.
"Two against one...not fair odds." He commented dryly, with a smirk. Landing smoothly on his feet a few meters away on the curving parapet of the forward keeps outer balcony.
Mot smiled smugly at the statement as Set leaped down beside him.
"To you..." Rubeus laughed sarcasticly, releasing his swords to aid in balance upon the narrow edge of the curving rotunda as he darted away further along the balcony. Leaping back down to the stone floor and sheathing his swords once he had gained a few yards. The flickering light from the torches set in the tower's outer stone work gleaming upon the metal. A cold wind blew off the silent battle field below as the three warriors stood their ground, wondering who would make the first move now.
"Tell me monster's what was it that I did to become such an important figure in your lives?" He chuckled with mild interest.
"You led an army through the Spine, wiping out Horde Tribes decades ago. For what reason, we still don't know." Set crossed his arms over his wiry chest, wondering if his greatest enemy would actually reveal the reason's behind killing his people. Leaving him and his brother orphans at such a young age, ending up being raised by each other on the streets of countless cities all over the Dark Realms. It had been a harsh up bringing, but it had made their bond to each other strong and unbreakable.
"Really..." Rubeus thought about it for a second, drawing a blank. He had killed so many lower demon's, angels, lower god and goddess's, even humans' in Ruin's name over of the last thousand years. Truly he had lost count and interest as to why. He just did as he was told, without remorse. Killing as Ruin bid with out comment. Becoming nothing more then a weapon for the Demon God's whims.
"The killing, after a while, it becomes blended into a contentious blur." Rubeus shrugged uncaring about his heartlessness.
"Bastard! You killed my mother, and shoved her head upon a pike to rot before our own home cave!" Mot roared, his face twisting in rage. Instantly losing control of his higher reasoning, becoming the demon he truly was. The horrible memories of his childhood self stumbling out of the protection of the forest with his older brother Set after the raid. Several other young Hordlings who had ran for their lives earlier that morning, followed them back to the series of caves in their hidden glen deep in the Spine. Finding his mother's bloody remains smouldering in a pile along with the rest of their village, and unfortuante children unable to escape the invading soldiers, all buried and set aflame in a central pit.
Mot had stumbled half blind with tears, to the mouth of their cave only to find her head speared upon a metal pole. Her golden brown eyes staring dull and lifeless down upon him. Her long reddish brown hair blowing in the summer breeze, gentle rounded face with her once greenish leathery skin now paled in death. How she had been the most precious person in his young life, the first creature of beauty he had ever known.
Mot threw Set aside harshly in his rising fury. Set grunted, startled by the impact of his larger brother's gruff hand sending him to the stone ground. Set raised his face from the cold stone, realizing to late his brother had lost his control, allowing the demon to reign over his mind.
They had spent their lives working from one Dark Royal Family or Demon Lord just to track down this man. Now finally their lives purpose was at hand and Mot had lost his precious control!
"Brother!" Set jumped back to his feet bellowing out to Mot, his voice vibrating off the stones in desperation.
Rubeus had anticipated the monster's attack, as Mot raised his curving broad sword slashing downward towards the War Lords chest. Rubeus spun away from the blow with mocking laughter, then leaped upward to the rim of the battlements wall to avoid Mot's returning blow. Unsheathing his swords once again for balance.
"Hold still...you little bitch!" Mot roared, swinging blindly over the battlements walls as Rubeus raced away along the wall with light feet. Leaping just behind Set, once more sheathing his swords, with an eager smile. He was enjoying playing with them, he wanted the fight to last a little bit longer.
Set rolled away from the man, pulling out his last two dagger's.
Mot charged again, only to have Rubeus dodge and parry several more blows with his greaves, without even unsheathing his weapons. The sheer arrogance of the War Lord was making his blood boil!
The once powerful Horde warrior was heaving for breath now, sweat pouring down his face and blinding him. Mot snorted, spitting upon the stones in frustration before wiping away his sweat tainted by the blood and dirt already marring his leathery face.
"The bastard's way to fast..." He muttered, glancing bitterly over to his brother now standing beside him. "And I think he is reading me mind!"
Set grunted in acknowledgement before they attacked in unison. The added threat made Rubeus release his twin dark bladed swords. In a moment they were a flurry of ringing steel, and slashing blades. Set sought to thrust his daggers between the chinks in Rubeus's armour while the Immortal was distracted with keeping and enraged Mot at bay. But Rubeus was far to fast for both of them, parrying Mot enough to thrust a foot into Set's face. Knocking the demon back with a busted nose to the stones once more.
Mot bellowed as his brother went down, his face a mess of blood, oozing from his nose soaking the mask that covered the scars around his mouth.
Mot put all of his force behind another strike of his broad sword knowing Rubeus would parry. The massive steel sword catching the WarLords twin blades crossed as a shield over his shocked face. The swords snapped under the intense impact, half the blades clattering to the stones. Leaving the Immortal stunned with two broken swords still clutched in his slowly dropping hands. The Horde Demon's blade sunken deeply into his shoulder blade past his once proud dark red ribbed plated armour.
"Well played..." Rubeus muttered, dropping his swords to the ground in an act of defeat. Lulling the demon with the anticipation of victory. As he twisted a hand to the back of his leather belt and scabbard. Fingers curling around his most familiar of weapons, the red leather hilt of his baton...his syphon.
In one swift motion, far beyond Mot capabilities to see. The Immortal was on his feet, ignoring the ever deeping wound by Mot's blade still wedged into his shoulder guard. Mot wailed in both anguish and agony as Rubeus brought the tip of his baton to larger demon's temple, tapping Mot's soul with a terrible smile of satisfaction spreading across his face. As the powerful Mot collapsed to his knees before the Immortal his soul snapping and twisting from his control. The Hordes broad sword relaxed, the blade lossening from his position in Rubeus's shoulder, before clattering out of his grasp to the stones. Mot's soul was now completely dominated by Rubeus, his body was now merely a puppet for the Immortals use.
Set raised his head up in time find his brother leering over his hunched form, his long sword drawn in a downward blow towards the back of his exposed neck. He noticed mildly, a single tear escaped his younger brother's left eye to roll gently down his leathery cheek. A moment later, Set's head fell to the stones with a wet smack, his body crumpling soon afterward. As his dark clothed head bounced away a few yards to rest silently in the shadows of the torch light from the outside of the Keep.
Rubeus's delightful laughter echoed over the courtyard, as Mot charged away down the battlements a living weapon for the Immortals amusement.
Luna and Artemis stood guard over Mamoru's body, as he rested and reclaimed some of his energy. Kunsite was the first to make it back into the darkened sanctuary of the destroyed cathedral. Having woken up in the Great Hall of the Castle, he had fought his way back to his King's side. He scrambled down the aisle on uncertain feet, his head still swimming in a dizzy haze, body weakened from the effects Tartarus.
"Is he? He questioned, his face pale. Blue eyes dull and grim, as he fell to his knees before Mamoru's head. His long silver hair was plastered to his forehead, from a heavy sweat of enduring constant battles all the way back.
"He is resting." Luna answered, giving her front paw a satisfied lick enjoying the sweet taste of Rubeus's blood.
"What's it like out there, I can hear the fighting just outside the Chapel now?" Artemis's rounded ears swivelled nervously as another round of screams and crashes echoed from beyond the wood and mortar walls. The stained glass windows that still remained intact, were now filtering in a warmer dawn glow from outside.
"The fighting is now inside the yard..." Neph stated gruffly.
Kunsite turned to stare over his shoulder, while the two cats merely glance up. Finding Nephrite hobbling forward on a twisted ankle, an arm draped over Jupiter's silver shoulder plate. Dragging the tip of his broad sword on the central red carpet. The Senshi was passing Neph dark bitter glares. As she helped him down the aisle.
"What happened to you?" Kunsite huffed.
"Neph thought I got myself in a pinch out there near the stables, with a couple Dark Moon Soldier's. " Jupiter began mockingly.
"It was you versus six?" Neph began..."you do the math!" He ranted.
"Anyway, our dear Nephrite was crossing the upper battlements at the time. Saw I was in 'trouble', and decided his best manoeuvre to save me was to leap off the twenty foot wall to my side. " Jupiter finished, with a grimace.
Kunsite palmed his face, groaning. Neph had a huge heart...not a big brain mind you, but a huge heart. Especially when it came to Makoto.
"I can only imagine." Kunsite responded bitterly, getting a threatening glare from Neph.
"Yeah, he lands, twists his ankle. Is completely useless, leaving me to defend myself anyway. Thankfully being a Thunder Goddess has a few perks. " She smirked, the tip of her broad sword, hanging off her back still glowing slightly, smoke curling around her boots.
"Really, feeling the love. Here." Neph muttered, as Jupiter practically dropped him into a near by pew. He sat glowering at her and then down to his dark leather boots, while she mutely ignored him. His pride was hurt and so was his feelings. Makoto was just to worried over Mamoru to want to deal with his sore temper over the failed attempt at coming to her rescue.
"How is he?" She asked breathlessly, hovering over his prone body like a nervous mother.
"Breathing...what more do you want?" Luna commented dryly, her nerves were so frayed she was barely keeping her temper in check.
Jupiter took her irritation in stride understanding the Mau was exhausted, it was just her way.
"Urgh..." Mamoru groaned, his body twitching briefly in a strange spasmodic way, as he slowly gained consciousness.
"Endy..." Kunsite knelt once more at his side, helping the man rise on shaky uncertain legs.
"I'm...k...I'm ust...fine." He slurred, his head spinning and vision a blurry mess that was lacking colour.
"Yeah...fine. I bet." Kunsite offered bitterly. He watched mutely as Mamoru pressed the Yuimei no Kinzuishou into the hilt of his sword. Using his dream magic's transforming power to bind it to the swords golden cross guards.
Kunsite then began ushering Mamoru forward down the aisle one tentative step after another. The rest following cautiously behind, keeping an eye out for attack even though the church was empty.
"We need to get you out of here..." Kunsite took control, as they reached the quaint confines of the naive, the small foyer that sat at the front of the chapel.
"Luna, Artemis you are on point. Jupiter forward guard, Neph your the rear and stop moaning or I will break your god damn leg and give you a reason!" Kunsite finished losing his temper, on his hobbling begrudging soldier limping behind them all.
Neph instantly got control of himself, standing strong on both legs once more. Biting down on the pain, it was more then just a twisted ankle and bruised ego but he would never admit it. He had been acting out a bit hoping for a little sympathy from his Makoto, sadly receiving none. So he returned to being the stoic, controlled soldier he was.
Mamoru took a deep breath, reaching to his hilt to pull his crystal free. Calming his mind, gripping his golden crystal firmly urging it to heal him. It responded with a mild humming from within the compression of his palm, sending comforting warmth throughout his body and mind. In moments, his head cleared and his muscles relaxed from their strain. He was alert and revitalized once more. The sounds of battle raged beyond the thin walls of the church, keeping everyone alert and on edge.
"I'm fine Kunsite, let go." He commanded, pulling off Kunsite bracing arm. To regard Neph, finding the man standing as strong as he could. Though his left leg was trembling, and he was incredibly pale. His eyes were dilated, and a sheen of sweat was bathed over his face, trailing down his neck to collect beneath his bronze chain link chest armour..
"Neph..." Mamoru approached slowly, as if the man might bolt if he moved to quickly.
"I'm fine sire. " He muttered. "Just a twisted ankle, it can wait till we are past the Fortress walls. "
"Kunsite, Luna, Artemis. Outside stand guard. I want a moment with Nephrite." He commanded sternly over his shoulder.
Kunsite nodded moving through the open doors followed by Luna and Artemis.
"Mako...you too." Mamoru stated a bit more loudly, when the Senshi refused to move out of the door. Casting Neph very worried looks now, understanding he was covering up greater wounds, beneath all the blood and gore covering his chain link shirt, leather armoured pants and sleeveless great coat.
As soon as Jupiter reluctantly took her leave to stand guard outside, releasing her broad sword from her back sheath. Mamoru reguarded Neph with a serious air.
While Mako continued to cast nervous looks over her shoulder armour back at Mamoru, just barely taking her leave to stand just to the side of the doorway.
He was now pressing his hands over Neph's torso and legs ascertaining all the damage.
"I need to see what I'm looking at, Neph. You are bleeding out profusely." He commented softly, his hands compressing at the base of the man's broad back.
"Not here..." Neph muttered weakly, spots finally appearing in his vision. Not wanting to lose face or seem weak in front of Makoto.
"Neph she's outside..." Mamoru relented, helping the man out of his heavy leather coat. He understood the male need to stay strong, even when you weren't. Neph saw himself as Mako's protector, even through the Senshi was probably a stronger fighter.
Neph groaned in rising pain, as the weight of the coat lifted off his frame. Mamoru could already guess what gruesome injury awaited his eyes when he noticed the shredded back of the man's coat. The chain links beneath were bent and torn free from each other in a ragged series of four lines.
"Claw marks..." Mamoru breathed.
"Yeah, got nailed pretty bad from a Snatcher when I first charged into this place." Neph agreed. He had been blind sided by a monster when he first entered the Chapel, to eager to get to Mako's side and protect her when he heard the beasts and her battle cries.
"So you have bleeding out ever since." Mamoru was amazed the man was still standing. Nephrite was very strong...be it pysical or pure stubborn will power keeping him standing but Mamoru had a great respect for him. He had endured a grave wound, and the draining effects of Hell and he was still standing, gripping his broad sword tight ready to face even more battle.
He gasped in horror, as he lifted the broken chain aside to view the damage. Four deep smoking gashes greeted him, the blood still oozing darkly from the wounds.
"Poison..." Mamoru muttered, cringing at the ghastly sight.
"Yeah..." Neph growled out in pain; "I got no magic, so the poison can't affect my soul... Still burns like a bitch though."
Mamoru merely nodded, setting to work. Neph released a soothing moan as his back was enshrouded in golden light. A moment later, Mamoru had grasped his left ankle as well, healing it with a burst of gold energy.
"And a twisted ankle finished you off?" He chuckled, shaking his head.
"Yeah..." Neph breathed, his skin tingling and raw were his sire had healed him.
Neph left his long heavy leather vest on the floor, it was so shredded at the back it was useless.
With a disgruntled sound of disgust he tapped the blood soaked garment bitterly with his boot, before leaving the church after Mamoru.
As soon as he ducked out of the shadows of the naive, entering the faint dawn light on the stone steps just before the double oak doors. Jupiter moved into his path, they were naturally the same height. But standing on a lower step, she was now at least a head shorter. Her gentle face turned upward to pierce him with moist, worried emerald eyes. Her long brunette pony tail was flying wildly, behind her. A few stray strands falling over her face. Her silver armour marred and dented by the nights battle she looked both deadly and beautiful to him.
"Mako?" He questioned, paying her a brief glance. Though his face was covered in dried blood, his green eyes shone through with a deep fondness towards her.
Jupiter sheathed her sword upon her back, her instincts as a warrior screamed that they did not have this time for this. What was left of the Dark Moon Forces were now engaged in their final combat in the courtyard behind them. But the woman inside her won for this moment.
She grabbed his mail shirt just under the collar, as she rose up on her tip toes. Claiming his lips with hers for a short passionate kiss.
"You ever not tell me your that hurt again. I will kill you myself." She hissed in his face, startling him. Then dashed away to the other's waiting behind an over turned wagon further on.
Neph merely nodded mutely, his own sword still gripped tight in his hand. A slow smug smile gracing his face. He had finally earned another kiss from her, this was a good start.
They slowly and cautiously moved through the courtyards maze of crates, wagon's and other siege equipment scattered about on the damp trampled dirt. Getting into a few skirmishes with Dark Moon Soldier's that had been seeking escape, towards the Castles Postern Gate. A smaller version of the main gate set behind the Great Hall.
The group dispatched them quickly before continuing on, making it only a few more yards finding hell steeds racing about the yard in terror. At one point Kunsite had debated trying to catch them by the reigns but they were just to scared and jumpy to chance getting in to close. Mounting up would have gotten them out of the castle quickly, but not safely. With all the solider's trapped in cramped fighting quarter's within the yard, it wasn't such a good plan.
As they drew near the massive iron front gates the cries of battle grew more fierce, filled with panic and terror. Coming up on the the long wooden and grey mortar stables, crouching low as they past the weakened leaning structure.
An inhuman roar echoed out over the battlefield just beyond their hiding spot, of a pile of straw and manure. Mamoru's blood grew cold at the pain and anguish in that inhuman call.
"Mot..." He breathed recognizing his deep baritone vibrating over the wind.
Kunsite grimaced, moving first out of cover. Twin swords catching the light of the new dawn, as the ghostly sky began to brighten. With Jupiter and Neph following behind, broad swords held in a defencive manner over their chests. Luna gave Mamoru a meaningful look before bounded away with Artemis.
Mamoru gave the dark panther a grim nod, understanding the Mau's silent demand.
(Stay alive!) The cat called back to him in his mind.
Mamoru chuckled, their relationship sure had changed in the last few months.
"Mamoru-san..." A high pitched voice called out to him from within the straw.
Mamoru crouched low, sword held poised, ready to strike, the tiny voice catching him off guard.
"Tuxy?" He inquired softly, finding a tiny pink nose sniffing the air just past the clumps of straw and hopefully mud.
"Mot's gone nuts!" The mouse darted out of the straw and up Mamoru's arm, finding a safe place once more on the man's silver shoulder guard. As the mouse broke out of the straw, he released a cloud of rancid stench from the molding waste in the manure. Mamoru had to clutch his nose briefly and breath through his mouth, to keep the sour smell out.
It was then the normal shouts and clangs of metal on metal was pierced by a scream of agony. The battle sounds shattered by the sounds of a man he recognized, screaming to his death.
Mamoru raced around the straw pile. Coming face to face with the raw intensity of the battle before the gates. Mot had become a raging monster, laying waste to any who got in his path be they friend or foe. Rampaging through the ranks of soldier's surrounding him, cleaving heads and gutting any who got to close or sought to contain him. Now the ground was a slaughter house, damp with the blood and gore of the last of the two armies.
Higher up on the battlements, just past the large wooden gate house, nearing the main gate. Mamoru caught sight of the same warrior in dark red plate, his head a living flame. Mercury had him cornered near the back turret on the upper parapet, just before the heavy iron porticullis. Zoi had been corralling the War Lord with her, now he was a living fire ball falling from the wall to the blood stained ground below. The Immortal gloated smugly as Zoi fell, his laughter caught short as Mercury hurled a pillar of ice towards him.
"Shabon Spray!" She screamed, crossing her arms over her blue leather tunic. Sending a roaring current of ice cold water towards Zoi. Dousing the flames, leaving his charred body to strike the stones below with a wet dead sound.
"Zoi!" Mamoru was then summoning all his healing magic, as he leaped over the dead. Charging across the struggling battlefield of soldiers, towards his dear friend. Tuxy yelped in fright, his tiny hands clutching valiantly to his shoulder guard as Mamoru moved swiftly through the carnage. Dodging and twisting away from confrontations. If unable to avoid, he engaged with a vigour to claim victory quickly. Cleaving heads from shoulders or inflicting such fierce wounds, leaving his adversaries crippled and bleeding out upon the dirt.
Out of the corner of his eyes he saw Mot now engaged with Kunsite, Jupiter and Neph. Holding all three back due his superior strength alone. His more elaborate sword work abandoned to blind rage, as he roared and slashed at them with his curved broad sword.
Glancing on the other side of the gate, he found Jed scaling the wall to aid Mercury above. He wanted to help his friends fight, but right now Zoi needed his healing most. So he pushed aside his anxiousness, and focused on getting to the gate.
Finding his friend a mass of blackened smouldering flesh, silent and unmoving.
"Zoi..." Mamoru gasped, panting and unable to breath. The sweet scent of burnt skin thick around the man's remains. Setting his sword down nearby, yet within easy reach. Mamoru, pulled the Yuimei no Kinzuishou from it's hilt, before he hovered his hands nervously over Zoi's destroyed body. Wondering morbidly if he was dead?
Then weakly, Zoi made a faint sound.
Mamoru finally breathed, gripping his crystal in one hand while laying his other hand upon him and pushing his golden glow into his body.
"Stay with me buddy...your going to be alright." He kept a wary eye about himself, as he cast his healing spell. Tuxy scampered down Mamoru's arm to stand nervously on his hind legs near Zoi's burnt body.
Mamoru watched with horror as Kunsite was next to receive a mortal blow, managing to parry the Horde Demon's strike with one of his blades. As a Dark Moon soldier advanced unnoticed from behind, stabbing him in the back with his sword, between the divide of the silver chest plate and girdle. Kunsite shouted in irritation as he was wounded, spinning away from Mot. His swords high, cleaving the soldier's head in a dual strike. The man fell dead at the silver haired man's feet. As he then staggered away clutching his side in a vain attempt to hold the blood in.
Mamoru's heart was thundering in his ears, as he quickened his healing upon Zoi. Leaving the fine boned man naked, and defenceless under the gate. His skin pink and flawless once more. Charging away to deal with Kunsite, catching sight of Luna and Artemis again aiding Jed and Mercury up on the battlements with the War Lord...the Crimson Rubeus.
"Be still." Mamoru chastised, sheathing his sword with the crystal at his hip. Raising his hands in a defensive manner, as Kunsite now delirious from blood loss attempted to kill him with his swords. Dropping them weakly to his sides as her realised it was his king coming to his aid.
Mamoru pinned the man against the cold stone wall, with one hand to his chest, as he pressed his palm against the wound at backside, lighting up the man's armour in a golden light.
Once complete, Mamoru was off again charging for Mot this time. Needing to stop this senseless killing.
What the hell had happened to the Horde Demon? Did he lose control of his Demonic nature to the blood lust? Or was it something else?
"Mot!" Mamoru bellowed, his sword up to parry the Demon as the giant turned with a snarl. Leaving Jupiter and Neph panting and out of breath to focus on Mamoru. The huge Horde demon was a monster to fight, and they were already exhausted. From fighting the The Keeper's Guardian Snatcher's and the draining effect of Tartarus it had all taken its toll upon his friends.
"Get control of yourself!" Mamoru caught his strike with the flat of his sword, pushing the beast back with a shove. Mot lurched backwards, blood pouring from a nasty slash across his temple from a earlier fight.
"Kill me..." He growled between clenched teeth. His beastial eyes shimmering with anguish, unable to control his body. Only through his mental training was he able to gain enough control of his mind to understand what he had done, what he was being forced to do. He had slaughtered his brother, his own people...all because he hadn't been strong enough to fight off the Immortal's controlling soul magic.
"Mot?" Mamoru leaped back as Mot roared in rage, slamming his broad sword down. If Mamoru hadn't backed up, the Demon would have sundered him in two. From neck to navel...
"KILLLLLL MEEEEEE!" He roared to the sky, blood and spit flying from his bellowing mouth.
Mamoru stared in horror at his teacher..and mentor. Willing himself to find the resolve, the courage to end this man life.
Mamoru's sword hummed to life in his hands, his eyes turning golden as he called for his elder power of Dream.
"As you wish my friend. " Mamoru stated with a resignation in his voice. Understanding the mighty warrior wanted an honourable death, by the hand of a dear friend. He wanted his ramage to end...
He took Mot on with all his strength, using all the tactics and mental controls the Demon had taught him. Knowing when engaged in feirce combat the Demon inside would roar forth and seek to claim his own mind, a selfish primal creature that only wished to taste the blood of his prey, to revel in the fear of the fallen.
The battle was intense, fuelled with dire emotions as Mamoru ducked his blows, thrusting out with strikes against the Horde's defences. Soon gaining a few glancing blows against the Demon, adding even more blood to the gore upon the demons armour.
Mot was a force of great strength, slamming his sword again and again against Mamoru. Backing him mercilessly towards the gate. Mamoru felt his legs trembling from the exertion of trying to out power the Demon, to absorb his intense blows, he had to out manoeuvre this monster or Mot would most definatly deliver a crippling strike soon.
Sweat was pouring down his face, dripping off his nose, and trickling into his eyes. As Mamoru was forced once again to parry the Demon's huge sword, with his own long sword shielding over his head.
Mot brought Mamoru to his knees upon his next blow, Mamoru wailed in pain, as the bones in his sword arm shattered upon the broad swords impact. The magic blade of his rune sword would not break or bend to the strike, so it was Mamoru's bones that took the force unable to withstand the power behind the strike.
Mot brought his sword up, for the killing strike, his eyes sad that Mamoru was unable to best him...he had had the vision that this was to be the man who took his life? He did not understand how his fate had changed.
Then he felt the piercing of cold steel sinking into his gut, glancing down in shock to find Mamoru had picked up a poleaxe. From the dead fingers of a fellow White Moon soldier's corpse that had been lying at their feet. Thrusting the spear upward with his free hand deep into the Horde Demon's gut, upward through his lungs eventually piercing his heart.
Mot smiled weakly, falling to his knees before Mamoru.
"Thank you..." He whispered with admiration, crumpling amid the dead upon the courtyard. His eyes dimming, his soul falling away to peace.
Mamoru remained on his knees, panting and struggling to breath. His mind was burdened with so many unanswered questions concerning what had happened to his dear friend, wondering if this was truly the end of the war. If Ruin had been banished back to the Abyss when he had shattered the dark pillar?
Slowly rising to his feet, he healed his broken arm as he resumed the battle knowing he had one last foe to defeat.
Finding with bitter relief that the Demon with the flaming head of hair had disappeared from the battlments. Mecury, Luna, Artmis and Jed were making their way back down to the yard, on a narrow staircase built along corner turret of the main gate.
In moments all his friends surrounded him, Zoi having found a discarded brown robe to wear for modesty. Taken off one of the dead no doubt, Tuxy sat upon the dusty blondes shoulder sniffing the air. They left the fortress in silence, lost to their own thoughts towards the future now that this war was over.
As they crossed the extended wood and stone bridge from the gate, morbidly taking in the grey petrified corpses of long lost comrades and enemies alike. A faint light was warming the horizon of barren stone trees along the rolling hills beyond. The Dark Realms had been claimed by the Abyss...there was nothing left. This Realm would have to be resurrected now, just like Elysian.
As they neared the end of the bridge, a swirling silver vortex awaited them.
(Mamo-chan...) Serenity's voice echoed out to him through the portal. Calling through their link full of hope and eagerness to see him again after so very long apart.
(Usako...I'm coming home. Kami...I've missed you.) He called back, his voice tired yet exhilarated to be returning to her side once more.
He walked briskly into the silver portal, with all his friends in tow.
His first vison of returning home, was the winter shrouded backyard covered in a layer of crisp frost. His sweet Serenity, dressed in her flowing white and silk dress of royalty, kneeling in supplication upon the wooden platform attached to the back bedroom the Senshi used. The Maboroshi no Ginzoishou glowing brightly, as she clutched it to her chest. Her golden tails snapping wildly in the power currents she was controlling. Her crescent moon flaring upon her brow, long golden bangs fluttering away from her forehead. Rei and Mina were standing respectfully behind her. Dressed for the weather in jeans and snow boots, Rei in a bright red winter jacket, while Mina was in a black pea coat. A silver grey lynx lay with a curious expression upon the deck's wood floor nearby, her soft blue eyes searching the portal for her own loved ones.
The divider to the girls bedroom was open with a young man, of wild brunette hair and a gentle face. Mamoru didn't recognize the boy standing dumb struck in the divider's doorway. In a white t-shirt, grey flowing cotton pants and a frilly apron tied up in front.
The portal snapped closed as soon as the last of their group stepped out upon the frozen grass.
The crystal in Serenity's hands began to grow dull in her hands, returning to it's dormant state. She released the crystal bead swiftly from her slender hand, it swung back upon her pale breast attached to the same silver chain as her promise ring and their star locket.
"MAMORU!" She screamed, tears flowing down her cheeks as she exploded off the back deck. All her fear and sadness lifting away, dispersing upon the universe like a fading dark cloud. Racing across the yard and into his embrace. Crashing into him at full force, her momentum slamming him laughing joyfully to the ground on his back. She straddled his waist, uncaring about how undignified, or lewd it might be when she was only in some flimsy silk gown. She proceeded to plead his name over and over, as she bathed his face in soft sweet kisses, her tears falling upon him like the most cherished rain. After a few moments, he cupped her face fondly with both hands, as she lifted herself up from kissing him softly upon his left temple. A smile so bright and full pulling upon her lips, she seemed to be glowing as brightly as her crystal once was.
"Your really here...you home!" she exclaimed her voice breaking, body trembling above him. Finally able to touch him, to hold him once more. Her deepest wish and greatest dream finally coming true. He was alive...he was home!
"I will never leave you again...I promise. " He breathed, drawing her down and capturing her lips with his in a lingering kiss of pure passion and endless love.
Serenity fell against him, folding her slender arms behind his neck to hold him against her lips extending the kiss. Humming with delight against him, as his armour fell away to his normal cotton shirt and pants. Feeling the stiffening of his arousal now brushing against her core, as she was straddling his waist inadvertenly pressing herself intimately against him.
Mamoru chuckled, as she subtly acknowledged their mutual attraction, with her soft sound of approval.
"Shall we continue this else where? " He offered slyly, as she pulled away from the kiss with an eager smile of her own.
She climbed off of him momentarily, rushing to the arms of Makoto and Ami. Who had also powered down to their common clothes. Mako in a similar deep green flowing gown that barely covered her breasts or hips, Ami as well wore a similar garment in sky blue. Serenity cried against them for a brief time, so very happy to have her family safe and home again. Her life was once more bright and complete. Mako and Ami held her tight for a few moments, so very relieved to have made it back to her side.
"Mother!" Serenity cried, pulling away from Mako and Ami when she caught sight of Luna padding over to her. Scrambling onto her knees to embrass the dark lavender panther in a tight hug, burying her face into the cats fur wailing in anguish once more over the death of her other mother. Now Luna was the only parent she had left.
(My cub...)Luna sent the broken girl, lovingly. (I have missed you...) She purred, nuzzling Serenity's cheek with her pink nose until the girls sobs fell silent.
Tuxy was the last to greet her, climbing up onto her palm to receive a much dreamed about nuzzle against her cheek.
"My princess is now a queen." He stated in a squeaky, struggling voice. So over come with emotion, he had a hard time controlling his tone. Sniffing and rubbing a pink finger under his dripping nose. As Serenity gave him a warm, yet sad smile.
In time she drew back to Mamoru's side, holding his hand tight as they made their way towards the house. His guards merely smiled knowingly, as the lover's departed. Understanding that their introduction to the new Queen of the White Moon could wait. Thier Royal couple was eager to finish their long awaited reunioun, alone in the peace and solitude of their bedroom.
The new young man cast Mamoru an odd look, before moving aside to let the lovers pass unhindered. Soon Yuichiro was departing the yard in search of his mistress. As the Senshi and Endymion's Guards settled in. Luna and Artemis remained out on the back deck, cleaning and rekindling their relationship with their grown daughter, Diana.
Rubeus stood solemnly before the broken shards of the dark crystal, now scattered over the back of the church. His glowing red eyes scanning the various sized, shattered remains curiously. The night had fallen once more, the chapels main chamber once more cast in the flickering torch light of the scones that still remained intact in the nearly destroyed chapel. The Immortal was wondering what he was to do now, what had happened to his master? The fortress was gone, should he return to Wise man's side in the Mortal Plane? Or should he take this oppratunity to just disappear, he was very tired of his Master's endless revenge.
Slowly, sluggishly, two pale well muscled arms plunged threw the surface of a massive chunk of Tartarus crystal deep in the shadows of the broken steeple. Moving with stiff jerky movements the arms grasped the sides of the crystal coffin like fragment, rising a broad wiry torso from the depths of hell itself. The strange body was slick with a mucus like film as if the Abyss was giving birth to this new male body. Climbing slowly out of the crystal, revealing an aristocratic face with thin shoulder length platinum blonde hair and fierce ice blue eyes. The man wore a vile sneer, and sourness to his expressions filled loathing and vengeance. He took one shaky step after another, towards the silent Demon man with flaming hair, standing in the torch light just before the broken pews.
Rubeus turned suddenly, as he heard soft steps approaching him from the shadows of the crystals remains.
"Prince Diamonde?" He breathed in awe, believing the arrogant royal had gotten himself killed months ago while under The Lord of Shadow's command.
"Yes..." Diamonde hissed, his ice blue eyes flaring with the power of an Elder God.
"I wish to return to my Grandfather...we have much to discuss." He stated cooly, a vile smile pulling upon his lips.
Rubeus merely nodded, ushering his naked Prince out of the chapel to find clothes. They would head to the Mortal Realm by first light tomorrow.
A small, almost tiny, Hell Thrall emerged from the same chunk of Tartarus crystal. Crawling weakly out of the same large shard as Diamonde. Moving in a sluggish almost drunken manner. Its mind filled with the hoste souls, last thoughts before it was consumed by Ruin. It bore the same overly large head, hands and feet. With slender, almost childlike arms and legs. It's torso was that of a small man, well muscled with skin a black as night. The most striking feature of this particular Hell Thrall was that it had bright ice blue eyes. That sat in beady repose on the side of his bulbous head. It made slow, steady progress down the aisle a singular thought driving it...
Alright that's it! Stay tuned for the last arc...Symphony of Ages coming in June.
A big thanks to all my reviewers! If it wasn't for your input I don't know if I would have the drive to update so frequently.
PoisonIvy89,Twillight Princess,sm2013,regine.c,PSYCHOplusLOGIST, Guest:you know who you are. =)
AM9,REDWOLF47, ParamoreandPATD, 8,narsenic,Mzmiami,tryntee13,shermsgirl,
Also I want thank the new reviews I've gotten on Moonlight Rhapsody. PreparedforZombies, Thank you for the wonderful review. Moon, This was the second part of the story. I hope you enjoyed it.
I am grateful to you all for taking the time to give me a review!