Dean stood frozen by confusion as the wind whipped snow in his face. He stood and watched as the girl who only moments ago was inside of a rock that fell from the sky approached the wounded Ice Dragon.
"Hello, My name is Aster, and I will be your end." She said to it. The dragon raised it's head high and let out a horrific screech of defiance at her words. Aster smiled big, extending her left arm from her body. She opened her hand and it burst into flames. Dean watched her wide-eyed.
"If you're ready to begin." She asked. The dragon roared in response.
"Then prepare to taste death." She said coldly. Her right arm extended to match her left, fire exploding on it as she opened her hand. Clenching her hands into tight fists, she took off at a sprint towards the dragon. It let out a bellow and copied Aster, racing forward at a frightening speed.
The two met and Aster jumped up high, her arms behind her, fists still flaming. When she was level with the beast's head she brought her fists forward fast, headache punching it. Her fists burned through a foot or two of it's skull. The dragon wailed in agony, and began violently swinging it's head back and forth, trying to throw Aster off. She opened her left hand and plunged it through her opponent's good eye, hanging onto the melting ice skull behind it.
In response the dragon threw it's head up and swung it down as hard as it could, flinging the girl to the ground. She landed on her back, only slightly winded.
Dean finally shook free of his paralysis, rushing over to his brother. He saw a large pool of blood under his head, but checked his pulse and found he was still alive. He put Sam over his shoulder and began trudging towards Saliene's body off to the right. He tried not to watch as Aster and the Ice Dragon went at it, but he could still hear the battle cries from both sides. Ice melting, fire burning.
He finally reached Saliene and set Sam down up against the ice pillar and started digging her out of the snow. After he set her up against the ice next to Sam. Without thinking he slowly stroked his hand across her cheek, which despite being cold was softer than cashmere. Even though he knew he should, he didn't scold himself for it, either.
Turning his attention back to the fight, Dean saw the Ice Dragon was still melting slow, but pretty badly injured. It was still putting up a hell of a fight though, but so was Aster. Her hair was animated, billowing in a non-existent breeze as it flared around her skull. Like her fists, it was on fire as well. Or, rather, it WAS fire.
The dragon, now blinded, drew it's head back, arcing it from above and facing down towards Aster. It opened it's mouth and a sort of energy began forming in the back of it's throat. Blue swirling fire erupted moments later and soared straight for Aster. She quickly enabled a shield of fire to surround her, evaporating the blast like nothing. The fire blinked out and again her hair and fists were the only things left burning.
She again began racing towards the beast. But this time, Dean noticed, the dragon remained still. He realized quickly that it was planning on knocking her out with it's tail like it did to Sam and Saliene. With that he sped towards the creature, Flare Orb in hand.
It was still focused on Aster, not noticing Dean's presence. He came up behind the girl, who didn't see him either. He was a little surprised but figured the snow was capturing the sound of his footsteps. As she reached the dragon Dean pushed her out of the way just as it swung its tail, it barely missed. The creature opened it's mouth to ready for another cold fire attack, and that's just what Dean was counting on. He took his last two orbs and threw them at the dragon's mouth, they went in and slid down it's throat.
The Ice Dragon was furious, it was thrashing about madly now. Then of course the orbs went off inside of it, one exploding low in it's neck and the other in it's stomach. Shards of ice flew from the wounds, landing on the snow and ice below the monster. Aster recovered from Dean's throw, shooting a glare at him before launching herself up and punching her right fist through the beast's chest and grabbing it's heart in her hand. The dragon finally fell, heart melted in Aster's hand. She removed it and wiped off the water on her outfit.
Before she did anything else, she let loose a fire that enveloped the dragon, slowly melting its whole body. No evidence would remain, save the blood pool where Sammy was laying and the meteorite. But even those would be covered by snow soon, indistinguishable from the rest of the snowy scene. Aster turned and walked towards Dean, still gasping from the effort of the battle and fighting of the nipping cold.
"That was some good work there, you look like you've done this kind of thing before." She said. He half smiled at the comment.
"I've been around the block a few times. What about you? You said you were from Nelco, are you a friend of Saliene's?" He asked. Her eyebrow raised at the question, her gaze turning to Saliene's form set next to Sam.
"No, but I've heard a lot about her and her family. She's a good person, I believe. I came here because I sensed a Nelcian about to wreak havoc, though. I had no idea she was in the area, to be frank, I didn't know if she was still alive." She replied. Dean nodded his head along.
"Well let's talk about this more later. First we need to get back to Saliene's, and also get her and Sam back if you don't mind carrying one." He said. She smiled sweetly.
"Sure, glad to be of assistance. Who do you want me to lug?" She asked. Dean said, without missing a beat,
"Wow, I can't believe I'm really meeting you, the legendary Aster Alma." Saliene said. Her and Sam had regained consciousness a few minutes ago. Dean and Aster had explained all of what happened after they got knocked out. They were all gathered in the living room now, warm and toasty at last.
"Oh stop it, I'm not all that great. Saved a few lives a few times, nothing big." Aster replied, but her smile said otherwise.
"No need to be modest, you saved Nelco from the I.M.! I can't imagine.. I've never actually seen.. Is he scary?" Saliene asked. Aster had a flash of an expression she couldn't read but it was already gone, replaced by a cocky smile.
"Scary? Pah! He's just a big hulking asshole with horns. I've seen scarier baby Kele'keke' before." She laughed. Saliene laughed with her.
"Aaah, amazing. So you're Flamata Kingdom's heir? Must be a stressful job, you should stay for a few days, take a vacation." Saliene suggested. Sam was laying on the couch, mute, bandage around his head. Dean was sitting in the chair, Saliene and Aster shared the love seat across from him.
"That sounds nice, I'll take you up on that offer. But first, I didn't only come here to save your ass from that Ice Dragon. Now that I know you're alive there's something we need to discuss. I have to tell you something very important, trouble is brewing. And it's big, bigger than anything Nelco's history books have ever seen before." She said grimly. Saliene was all ears now, face serious and expressionless.
"What kind of trouble?" Saliene asked. Aster looked down before responding, as if not wanted to have to say the words.
"It has to do with page Zero." She told her. Saliene took in such a huge gasp of breath that would've made a human choke and cough.
"No, no it can't be.. Already?" She asked sorrowfully.
"Yes, I am afraid so. Tia Nime' Bowtakeyy is the Reader of page Zero, the page's text revealed itself about three or four Earth days ago. It speaks of, of the I.M. returning, more powerful than ever." She continued. Saliene's face was all shock and disbelief. Dean's was confusion up the yin yang.
"Wait a second here!" He called out, the two girls snapped their heads in his direction, startled.
"Sorry," He held up a hand apologetically.
"But I think both of you have forgotten I have no idea what page Zero, or this Instant Message that apparently is so God-damned evil, is. So if you please, elaborate." He spoke. Aster looked at Saliene, nodding then sighing.
"Page Zero is found in the Safire Book, a book that is said to tell secrets of the past and future to those who can read it. Thing is, it's one Reader per page, so you can imagine how long it took us to find someone who could read a page that only appears if they're around," She said, remembering it herself.
"By the way, major pain in my ass that was. Anyways, page Zero was said to hold information of the return of true evil that could eliminate my world and yours as we both know them. But in addition, also has info on how to stop this apocalypse. I.M. doesn't stand for "instant message" either. It stands for.." Aster trailed off, unable to bring herself to speak the words.
"The Invisible Man." Saliene said without haste. Aster, shocked, turned her head to the girl. Dean's eyebrow raised at the thing's name.
"The Invisible Man? That sounds like a kid's name for the monster in his closet. What kind of dignified villain calls himself something like that?" He asked. Saliene hung her head, done speaking. Aster was the one who responded.
"Because that isn't his real name. His real name is Chastenhezorum. Or "Chains Cannot Contain The Evil" in English." Dean couldn't think of anything to say to that.
"You were right though, that's what most call him, in attempt to make him seem like just some scary story." Her face turned dark.
"But he's much more than some story. He is as real as you or me." She finished.
"Well is it that bad? You said you defeated him before right?" Dean said. Aster furrowed her brows together.
"It isn't that simple. He was hard to defeat, many Nelcian warriors died in the battle, and I almost lost my sister, Sona." She said grimly.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know." He replied. Clearing his throat, he continued.
"So is this guy your world's version of the Devil?" He asked. Saliene finally looked up, and she was the one to speak.
"Yes, I suppose you could say that. But believe you me, Dean. He is much more horrific than Crowley could ever be. He isn't some demon, he IS death, he IS evil. He embodies those things." She said.
"Then how are we supposed to beat him this time if he's so bad?" He asked. Aster answered him this time.
"By reading page Zero, of course. It says how to defeat him once and for all. The only quirk is that I'm going to have to return to Nelco to fetch Tia and have her help, not only because she can read page Zero, but because she's a Nelcian too. She comes from Black Night Kingdom, the home of Vampire Dragons." She said. Dean sighed, more Vampires and monsters, great. He thought. But at least they're on our side. He added in his head.
"Also, when the time comes to battle, it will have to be Saliene who kills him." Aster said. Dean's eye grew wide.
"What do you mean, why her?" He demanded.
"Because she is the wielder of the Safire Sword, the only weapon in the universe that can slay the I.M. It's made from the bones of all twenty Nelcian races, even the ones who have died out. Additionally, it holds the power of all the original twenty Power Sconces. Those are floating spheres that are above each kingdom, giving it power, magic, food, water, everything really. Lastly, when the battle is about to begin I will go to Nelco and get some other important people who can help us, like my sister. We should be fine if we do everything correctly." She explained.
"But I still don't understand, why can't anyone else kill this thing? It's not like this sword has Saliene's name engraved in the blade." Dean said, upset.
"Dean, I'm really sorry but it might as well have her name carved into it. Anyone else who tries to hold it will be shocked by it's power. No one else can handle it, only she can. It chooses its wielder, and it chose Saliene a long, long time ago. Before she was born, before Vampires even existed on your planet." Aster finished. Dean still wasn't satisfied, but couldn't argue anymore. Saliene had a sorrowful expression on her face, but said nothing. Sam was of course resting on her couch, but he was still listening to all that was being said.
"If there are no other questions, I will make my leave for Nelco. I should return in about three Earth days, which is one day on Nelco. Until then, take care of yourselves. And don't get killed, please." She smiled. Saliene and Aster rose as Saliene lead her to the back door. She didn't want to disappear in front of her house, obviously. They said their goodbyes and Aster vanished with a flash of orange light.
Saliene walked back into the room, looking exhausted still.
"I'm going to go upstairs to rest some more, I'll be back down in an hour or two to make lunch." She said, and began walking off. Dean was standing by the couch where Sam was laying. He started to move towards her but Sam's arm suddenly jutted out from his side and he firmly grasped his brother's wrist.
"Dean.. Let her go, man..." He murmured. Dean shot his brother a look, but he couldn't say no to Sammy, he was already feeling shitty enough. Dean looked up at the stairs in the middle of the house, just catching Saline's last step before she was out of sight. He slumped down on the floor, defeated while Sam silently patted his shoulder.
*Author's Note: Hey guys! How's it going?! :D Good? Good! Well I thing this is coming along nicely, but what do you guys think? Any comments mean a lot to me :) Thanks for reading!