A/N: After this chapter there are four more chapters left to post. In the meantime, read on.
Bells tolled, the sound of armor clashed rapidly against one another as demons hurried to their positions along the walls of Dis. Small hatches popped open from the outside walls, revealing hundreds of demon-crossbowmen and demon-archers. A series of clanks groaned, and chains whipped rapidly as a giant black metal gate came crashing to the ground. On said gate, were glowing Damned souls who were unfortunate to get themselves engraved. They couldn't move but only scream as they saw the mighty Akriloth walk towards the entrance in a typical giant fashion.
Demons behind the wall scrambled as they tried to put up extra defensive parameters. Some of the city's inhabitants realized what the coming of Akriloth meant and they had decided to ditch their homes and scrambled lower, into the Tombs of the Heretics. Once Akriloth got to a relative distance, thousands of arrows whizzed through the air. The Demon-Dragon God merely smirked as he took a deep breath and unleashed his devastating Hellfire. The arrows disintegrated, and any soul who was not quick to shut the latch, burnt to a crisp.
"Get ready guys, they're gonna be giving us everything they got." Ordered Simapiseel, his sword at the ready.
"Yet they failed to take us down during the battle. How much difficult can this be?" asked Kiara, preparing energy blasts in her hands.
"They now have the home advantage. Zsihek reld." (Stupid girl) he muttered in return. Kiara did however, hear the last bit and growled softly. She may not understand what he had said but it clearly sounded as an insult towards her. Regardless, she decided to let it slip by. There was more serious manner to deal with. Her grandfather roared loudly as he lowered his head and rammed with maximum effort to the colossus gate. An echoing groan bellowed from the gate, chains rattling and dust spewing from whatever corner it hid.
The demons retaliated by once more, barraging the group with whatever arrows they have. They could not penetrate the thick scales of Akriloth and neither that of Simapiseel's. But they did pose a threat to the remaining members of the party. They blasted away at all that came raining down on them whilst Akriloth prepared for another charge. He took a few steps back before launching himself to the ancient gate.
Cracks fissured through the black metal. Akriloth could see the demons running for whatever life they had left in this world. His neck shimmered once again as he released another volley of Hellfire. Whatever debris that was placed in front of the gate, was sent flying red-hot back into the city. Some debris even crashed into the crudely built towers that inhabitant the citizens of Dis. A different set of bells tolled, signaling for the demons to retreat; for the gate was lost.
Akriloth backed up once more and rammed the gate once again, this time knocking it out of its place. It creaked as it fell backward, the souls engraved within hollered in despair, knowing that they will be killed. The demons who weren't quick enough to escape, roared in shock as the gate fell down on top of them. A huge cloud of dust erupted upon impact, the screams rendering silent. Akriloth merely gusted it away with his wings, a devious grin appearing on his face as he slammed his massive paw on the fallen gate. A bright purple glow emitted from underneath, followed by purple smoke that rose high into the air, only to centralize over Kiara.
The White Dragoness raised her hand and the smoke seeped into her body. She grunted softly in pain, for she had never absorbed so many souls at once. She could feel her body burning up a bit, due to the amount of sin that each soul contained. The crosses on her body shined brightly as they expanded rapidly. Once Kiara absorbed all of the souls, she dropped her hand and leaned forward in agony.
"Kiara, you doing ok?" asked Reignor, gently pulling her back upright. He could see on her face the droplets of sweat running down her scales. Not to mention her eyes seemed to be a bit drowsy and darker colored. She looked at her uncle, her vision being blurry, his voice echoing within her head.
"Kiara? Come on snap out of it. You're gonna need to discharge all of those souls." Spoke Reignor once again. She looked at him with a light-headed expression.
"Discharge?" she whispered softly. She stood up in an intoxicated manner, barely keeping her balance on Akriloth's back as she trenched forward. Everything seemed to be fading slowly around her. She got close to Akriloth's neck, only to collapse onto the side of his spike. Akriloth continued barraging the city, destroying more towers, blocking roads that cut demons off from any hope of safety. As he continued his rampage, Kiara began to hear voices in her head, all whispering to her in multiple languages. She felt something grab hold of her arm and looked to see who it was.
"Kiara, you're gonna have to change in order to pull this off. There are a lot of souls in here that can be used in our assistance." Spoke her father. Now her vision was acting even more strangely, for everything around her seemed to be wobbly and distorted. The voices in her head were whispering one word repeatingly, change. Kiara grasped her head in agony and looked at her father, uncertain if it would be a wise decision.
"You sure…changing would make it…easier?" she asked. Agorak only nodded, but he knew the risk that was at hand. At her current form, her body cannot comprehend the amount of evil that she had absorbed. However, by changing to her older self, she can use all of that power and help carve out a path to the next circle. The only bad thing that could happen is Kiara succumbing to the sins and causing havoc for the group.
She mustered the strength and energy to focus. A black aura shrouded her body and she grunted in effort. Her scales rapidly changed color and she could feel her bones in her body shift back to her former self. Agorak took a few steps back and watched as the aura around her became a black ball. It slowly shrunk and outlined her body. He could see his daughter slowly crawling up into a ball. With a mighty roar, the ball expanded and revealed to the group the Kiara that they knew as the enemy.
Kiara gently leaned back, resting on the base of Akriloth's neck. Agorak took a few steps forward and spoke out his daughter's name. "Kiara?" To which she replied by fluttering her emerald eyes open. She raised her head and let out a deep sigh, the pain that she had to experience earlier, had vanished.
"Glad to see you are still with us. Care to teach these Damned a lesson?" asked her father with a devious grin. She looked down at her hands and slowly moved her fingers back and forth. A sinister smile crept on her face as she gazed back at her father. Without saying another word, she leapt high into the air and thundered off towards the general direction of where all the demons were at. She stopped them dead in their tracks when she landed a couple of feet, terrified to see such a being.
"Going somewhere?!" she stated coldly, rapidly building up energy. A red aura shrouded her body and the demons panicked, scattering everywhere. It didn't matter anymore; they either run back and get stomped by Akriloth, or get shredded by Kiara. The Dark Queen cackled manically as she opened her body, releasing a huge explosive blast. The group gasped in shock, seeing the size of the blast increasing…and heading for them.
"Take cover!" roared Spyro, pressing his body close to Akriloth's back. Akriloth folded his wings in front of him as the blast passed through him. It didn't last that long before the blast subdued. He lowered his wings and his eyes widened up a bit to see just how much destruction Kiara had unleashed.
"Everyone alright?" asked Simapiseel, clearing the dust off from his scales.
"Yeah, I'll live. But I might need new underwear." Muttered Reignor.
"By the Gods…" uttered Virgil.
"What you see? Holy shit…" gasped Agorak softly. From where they were standing, a huge part of the wall was gone and the ground had vanished, revealing the circle of Heresy. In the center of the blast, stood Kiara with two highly dense black orbs. The reddest aura one could ever imagine shrouded her body. Such devastation she created and she herself felt at peace. Slowly, Kiara rose through the air and headed for the center. She could see beneath her the remaining circles of the Inferno.
'I wonder if I could finish this all by casting one huge blast towards Cocytus.' Thought Kiara. But she knew, that such power required a lot of energy. The one that she had just unleashed was enough to create two extra supplies of energy for herself. However, she had other plans with the orbs. Dis was huge, considering it consisted the inner circles of the Inferno, and the circle of Anger was mostly made up by the first layer of the city.
It didn't take long for Kiara to reach the epicenter of Anger. She looked around the top layer of the city, seeing the horrified expression of the demons that had witnessed such chaos. They knew well that existence will come to a close. From where she was hovering, Akriloth and the rest of the gang looked like a small stone on the shores of a lake. Without warning, Kiara threw one orb at another part of the city, the same results as before occurred. A few seconds later, she casted the second orb at another part of the city, the explosion rocking all of Inferno.
She raised her hands once more, but this time streams of purple clustered in her hands. The amount of souls that lived in the Inferno was beyond counting. If it allowed Kiara to create another set of orbs, then it's best to assume that there was a LOT of Damned souls in Anger. Once again, Kiara casted the orbs to two different areas of the city. She repeated this for another seven times. All of that energy was enough for her to just decimate the first layer of Dis.
Akriloth and the others were left standing in the same spot of where the gate had fallen. They did not move an inch…at all. "Agorak…you weren't kidding about Kiara being the key to our victory." Uttered Spyro in shock. Agorak merely replied with a small nod, jaw agape as he watched Kiara prep another energy blast. This time however, the orb was much larger, and above her head. It rapidly grew in size, and the dark purple ball was ready in no time. Without wasting a second, Kiara threw down her hands, sending the giant energy ball towards Lake Cocytus.
"Is she mad?! That fucking idiot!" roared Simapiseel in anger.
"What now?" grouched Agorak. He was getting vexed that whenever Kiara did or said something, he would complain about it.
"That much energy will be enough to kill off the girl that you are trying to save! Plus, it won't be enough to kill Mephistopheles!" Stated Simapiseel. He stood up and flew off Akriloth's back, a bright orange glow shrouding his body. He was heading straight towards the energy blast and was hoping that he could stop it. Except there was one problem…it stopped itself.
"What the?!" gasped Kiara in shock. Her eyes widened in horror when she saw her attack come flying back at alarming speeds. Kiara was quick enough to dodge the blast, and they all watched as the energy blast went high into the air. Any Damned soul that was falling, watched in horror as they helplessly fell to their death. One could argue though that falling into the energy blast saved them a lot of time and pain from whatever they had to experience in the Inferno. It continued to rise until it could no longer be seen. However, a bright white light shined throughout the Inferno, followed by a thundering shockwave that sent Kiara and Simapiseel spiraling out of control. Chunks of rocks rained down on Hell, some being the size of an island.
Kiara and Simapiseel were able to regain control of their flight once the winds died down. The two were unaware that they had ended up near one another, and boy was the Armored Demon pissed.
"Ekeas! (Idiot!) Do you have any idea what you would have done?! You would have killed that soul that you were trying to save!"
"Galadrial is much tougher than you think! That blast would be enough to wreak havoc at Cocytus, and she would have survived!"
"ARGH! I'm getting so sick and tired of you doing as you wish! This mission would be over much faster if we didn't have to worry about your whory ass!" roared Simapiseel at the top of his lungs. Kiara roared furiously at her comrade and gave him a solid punch to the gut. His armor was no match to the Dark Mistress. Yet he mustered his strength and gave Kiara a backhand across the cheek. She roared in pain, feeling the sting of Simapiseel's armor peeling bits of flesh from her.
The two were ready to spill blood if it weren't for a concentrated roar that quite frankly, blew out their ears. They held their ears in pain, not being able to hear anything. A shadow loomed over them and they turned around to see Akriloth's steaming face. He grabbed hold of the two with his front paws and glided down, past the circle of Anger and tossed the two onto a ledge that led them into Heresy. The rest of the group jumped off and landed between the two, just so that no more blood could be shed. Akriloth latched himself onto the walls, his eyes glaring down upon the group.
Kiara and Simapiseel managed to recover their hearing and stood back up, both wanting badly to tear their flesh apart. Reignor and Spyro held Simapiseel back, whilst Agorak held Kiara tightly in his grasp.
"Let go of me! I want to teach that cunt a lesson as to why women are only worth staying home!"
"Then why don't you bring your metallic piss-stained ass back to my home, and settle this shit, with me making a fucking salad out of your corpse!" The two argued back and forth wildly for a few moments. Akriloth wanted to roar at the two once more, but he didn't want to blast everyone's ears out. Agorak had to give Kiara a small zap that caused her to body to go numb. Strangely enough, this calmed Simapiseel down and he stopped struggling against Spyro and Reignor. Agorak placed Kiara gently onto the ground, her body changing back to her newer self. The crosses on her body were small once again, symbolizing a depletion of soul energy.
"God, you two act like complete, immature brats at a playground! Can't the both of you get it through your thick skulls of not wanting to kill one another?!" hollered Agorak in anger.
"Keep that so called daughter of yours away from me and under control, boy!" responded Simapiseel, gritting his teeth in anger. Reignor was quick to stop his brother from doing something undeniably stupid.
"Cool it bro. We didn't come this far to start killing each other." Agorak shot Reignor a menacing glare before he scoffed in anger.
"Yeah I know how much you hate it when people say some shit like this. But we're gonna have to deal with it okay? Think about Galadrial man." He whispered.
"Yes, think about her." Echoed a voice. The group frantically searched around them for the source, except for Akriloth who simply turned his head and growled deeply.
"TYHWEZSAHWYDYZ." (Mephistopheles) boomed Akriloth. The group all locked eyes on the Devil, who was floating a few yards away from them. Galadrial was behind him, wearing a black choker around her neck. Her arms were tied with some kind of rope, but regardless, both the rope and the choker caused minute pain for the Purple Dragoness. They constantly burned her ghostly body and there was nothing she could about it.
"Now that is a name I had not heard in a long time. It seems that you miss being in your native state Akriloth. Don't deny it my friend. You always loved it when you destroyed all other demons against the fight for who had the right to claim your wife. And now here you are, back home. This is where you were born!" spoke the Devil. Akriloth merely replied with a soft growl. He wasn't going to deny it. He did miss this feeling, his true form. It sucked that he could only use it for a few minutes outside of Hell.
"But we're not here to talk about you now, are we? Hahaha, no of course not. If you guys don't mind, I would like to have a little chat with Kiara about her recent behavior." Demanded Mephistopheles. Kiara was able to move a bit, and she summoned her glasses so that she could see him clearly.
"If you got something to say, say it to all of us." She hissed in reply. Mephistopheles grabbed hold of Galadrial by the choker and dragged her with him as he phased into the wall. He reappeared behind Kiara, his arm wrapped her neck.
"You see, I admire the fact that you have so much power. However, this is my home and I warned you in Lust about taking other souls and using it to your will." Whispered the wispy figure.
"That's what-" Simapiseel was cut off with Akriloth sticking his tail into his friend's mouth.
"As I said before, there will be consequences if you continue to do such action. You feel it already when you absorbed all of those souls. You can feel their sins, all of the evil that was residing within them. You can feel it in your heart, that scorched mark from within." He said, as he placed his hand on Kiara's chest. Kiara yelled in pain, feeling the burden that came from all the souls she absorbed. Mephistopheles continued tormenting Kiara, and he kept an eye on the rest of the group to make sure they wouldn't try anything to stop him.
"Can't you feel it? Their sins? Their cry of anguish and despair? Can't you feel it all? The constant feeling of hunger, sadness, greediness, horniness, and anger that you try desperately to keep under control your body?" He pressed her chest even harder, causing more pain for the dragoness. It felt as if she was being slowly stabbed with a dagger into her heart. She felt a sense of relief when Mephistopheles vanished from the group and reappeared a few yards away from down the hall. Agorak helped Kiara up to her feet, holding her against his body so that she didn't get touched by Mephistopheles.
"Of course, I would be telling you, young lady, that if you continue such actions, you will reach a limit and you will no longer be able to hold it in. The amount of negativity that you hold will destroy you from within. However, knowing how you would be acting, you would continue as such, even going as far as dying just so you can save dear Galadrial. But, me being the devil, I love me some cruel irony."
With a flick of his finger, Kiara felt something bulge from her stomach. She could feel it climb her throat, and before she realized it, she puked out a small black orb from her mouth. The orb travelled to Mephistopheles hands and he chuckled sinisterly.
"No…don't you do it you freak!" hissed Agorak. He knew what was going to happen. With another whisk of his finger, Galadrial popped up from underneath. Mephistopheles forced her onto her knees.
"Daddy…please help." Wept Galadrial softly. The group heard something crack, but it was only Mephistopheles crushing the black orb into dust. He pulled Galadrial's head back with one hand, and in the other he sprinkled down the black dust. Galadrial roared in agony as the dust settled all over her scales. The sound of her scales hissing caused everyone to cringe a bit. Agorak watched helplessly, seeing his beloved daughter being tortured before his very eyes.
Once all of the dust had settled, Mephistopheles let go of Galadrial who fell forward. She squirmed around in torment. She could see all of the horrifying things that the souls had done and how it related to her. She felt the never ending hunger in her stomach, even though she could eat a lot like her father when she was still in the plain of the living. She felt the burning of living such a wealthy life that her parents provided, how she never had to work in life. She merely asked and received.
The perverted thoughts that poisoned her mind, she was practically hallucinating about all of her wildest fantasies. She felt her insides steaming in agony. Not only that, she also felt her heart and mind being branded for the small amounts of anger that had occurred throughout her life. The worst, being when she yelled at Arwen upon finding out Kiara was still alive. That moment alone caused tremendous pain in her head and chest.
All of this was happening rapidly within Galadrial's head and the group could do nothing but watch with the most horrifying expression on their faces…all but Agorak. Without any saying, he unleashed a massive burst of energy and stampeded the Devil. Mephistopheles cackled madly as he raised a finger and stopped the raging Dragon-God within an inch from his nose. Agorak could not do anything, he was stuck in place.
"Guess I popped someone's blood vessel. I was just about to leave, but you being this close to me has given me other ideas. No, not those." He raised his hand, placing three fingers on Agorak's chest. Agorak gasped softly as he felt something being pulled from his heart. That quickly escalated into horrible pain when Mephistopheles yanked three black orbs from within. The orbs fused into one, unholy, large orb of tar. Agorak's face went cold when he realized just what he had done. He could hardly speak when he watched Mephistopheles grab hold of Galadrial's head once more.
"Any last words that you wish to say to your daughter? Oh I know! 'I love you darling, I love you too Daddy.' Or, how about this! 'Don't worry sweetie, everything will be alright!' HAHAHAHAAAAA! Pathetic!" mocked the Devil. He raised the orb high into the air and brought it down onto the Purple Dragoness' head. Before it made an impact, Galadrial could see her father shed a few tears. Time slowed down as the Dragon-God watched the orb come crashing down on his precious baby's head.
The orb cracked and black tar gushed all over Galadrial. She screamed at an even higher pitch, enough to make everyone but Mephistopheles cover their ears. Agorak could not, for he was still locked in place. He closed his eyes, squeezing out more tears from the corners of his eyes. Unfortunately, he felt Mephistopheles stick his fingers on Agorak's forehead and forced open his eyes.
"Watch as Galadrial bears the Sins of the Father. The faithful has lost her faith, the incorruptible has become corrupted, and the true innocent has given way to the sins of man…like all others before her!" His words sounded like death upon Agorak's ears. He watched in agony as his daughter suffered the sins that had built up in his heart for countless of years. Not a drop of the tar fell from her body. It stayed on her like glue; coursing rivers of black down her scales. Her cry of anguish became even more disturbing when the black tar oozed into her mouth. Tried all she could to spit out the tar, it continued to seep down her throat, burning her wind pipe and esophagus. It reminded Agorak mostly of all the enemies' throats that he slashed off during the course of his lifetime, that very sound was now coming from his daughter.
No one helped; they were petrified with fear and shock. Not even the mighty Akriloth could do anything to save his granddaughter. Simapiseel couldn't stand the sight and he shifted his gaze to the floor. Spyro and Reignor felt their limbs quiver, never had either of them seen such cruelty being laid upon another individual.
Mephistopheles chuckled softly with a pitch of madness. Even though he was only in a spirit form, he felt so pleased about the amount of damage he has created. He let Agorak go, who collapsed on his knees and wept like he never wept before. Even Kiara was brought to tears, and once again this was all about her past catching up to her. She recalls how badly she wanted to torment Agorak before Godith revealed to them that she was Kiara's mother. She recalls the very words that she stated to Agorak, about how badly she wanted him to shed tears…tears of blood to be exact.
However, just seeing the most omnipotent being brought to his knees by witnessing the most horrid thing that any father would not even dare think about. "How the mighty have fallen. I hardly broke a sweat, and already I have you all trembling before me. Of course, I know you lot very well. You won't be giving up right? You'll venture forward to Lake Cocytus and put an end to this madness. Am I right?" spoke Mephistopheles, eyeing the group. The only thing he could hear was the gargling cries of Galadrial, and the soft weeping that emitted from Kiara and Agorak.
"Please…stop it." Whispered Agorak. The Devil's eyes lit up with much glee. "I'm sorry can you speak up? It's kinda loud in here."
"Please…I beg of you!" cried out Agorak.
"Beg of me for what? Don't leave me hanging here friend."
"I don't want to see my daughter suffer any more!" sulked Agorak, completely breaking down. Everyone in the area witnessed what they believed to be impossible. The Dragon-God of the West…had finally been broke.
"And what are you willing to do, to end it?" whispered Mephistopheles, kneeling down next to him. Without any sign of hesitation, he stated his terms. "I'd give my soul to you. Just don't hurt her anymore!"
"NO! DON'T DO SUCH A THING!" Agorak lifted his head in shock, hearing Galadrial speak through all the tar, all the evil that was trying to overtake her body.
"Think about mom! Our family! C-C…Celia! O…Our f…friends! All of the things…that we've….worked hard for! Is…my soul…worth all of it?! I….Is it….worth losing it all?" Galadrial managed to say. "DL Mark…he didn't die…just so you can…give up! K…Keep going opsola! (father) K…Kick this fucker's ass!"
Of course Mephistopheles was not pleased to hear this. "In case you haven't figured it out, she will eventually succumb to your sins. All in a matter of time, but do know this! You Kiara should be careful. For every soul you think about absorbing from now on, it will only speed up Galadrial's demise! If you so much care about the shitsvile kind of family that you cherish, then you would know what is best for your sister!"
"D…Don't listen to him! D…Do what you…must! I…I…I can handle….this…bullshit!" cried out Galadrial. Mephistopheles was about ready to strangle Galadrial, if it weren't for a canon like attack that sent the Devil flying down the hall. Akriloth had heard enough of his arch nemesis' babbling.
"ZYY UAI OS PAPUSIZ." (See you at Cocytus) bellowed Akriloth. Galadrial let out a small smile to her family and friends before a chain appeared around her choker and yanked her with much force down the hall. The group remained silently still for a few moments, trying all they could to ease their shaky bodies. Agorak struggled to bring himself back up, his daughter's words of encouragement was touching, but he could not bear the thought that his precious gem is forcibly stained by his sins.
He jumped a bit when he felt Spyro helping him to his feet. "Easy there friend, the going may have just gotten harder, but we always rise through this." Giving him a gentle pat on the back.
"But…but this is different…than all of those that were before." Agorak replied softly. Spyro chuckled softly. "Agorak man, don't you remember? You and DL Mark were the ones who always taught me, Cynder, and all of our friends that no matter how bleak the outcome may be, no matter how demoralizing and devastating our enemies can be upon us, we shall always prevail because of two things. Do you remember what those two things you mentioned to us when we first met?" Agorak thought for a while, but the answer did not come to him.
"One, we're immortal. We can die as many times as they can try by killing us, we'll keep coming back stronger. Two, the enemy do not know what the true meaning of love is. They do not know what it means to raise a family, to be compassionate towards others; they do not know what it means to have a heart. With these two thoughts in mind, they do not stand a chance.
"This situation is no different from the rest of the encounters we had. Yes, we are dealing with the Devil here but you are not alone in this battle. Don't be thinking that just because you fail, it won't mean that others will. Remember, he has to deal with a handful of powerhouses like us. He will do all the horrible things that we wish to never experience. Yet it was you, my friend, you who always managed to pull us through the most discomforting moments of our lives, with your audacious behavior. It's time that we pay you back, not individually, but as a whole. Even those who are not present with us, we will help."
Spyro's prompting speech worked like a charm. Not only had it helped comfort Agorak, it put everyone else at ease. "Such words, I had not heard in a long time, and I do mean a long time. Thank you Spyro." Replied Agorak by giving the Purple Dragon a friendly hug. Spyro totally didn't see it coming, but he went with the flow.
"Now there's the guy that I met all those years ago. We will not falter on this mission." Said Spyro once more before the two separated. Virgil helped Kiara back up to her feet and the group was determined to move onward.
"Alright, here's the plan. Akriloth and I will go around and find another way to the lower levels. In addition, we will try our best to wreak havoc so that in the final battle, Mephistopheles will not be able to obtain the strength he needs. I do wish you luck though, the Tombs of the Heretics are not a nice place to go through." Spoke Simapiseel as he climbed onto Akriloth's head. Before anyone could ask any questions, the ancient duo detached themselves from the wall and whooshed away, leaving behind the group of now 5 to harrowing task of trending through Heresy.
"Here you will find the heretics and followers of every cult and pagan sect, all buried together in eternal fire. These tombs remained closed, from Jehoshaphat and The Last Judgment, they return with the bodies left above." Piped Virgil as the group traveled through the amber lit halls.
"So in modern talk…just believing a different God from the one GOD that we all believe in, is enough to get you sent here." Questioned Reignor.
"Not just believing other Gods, claiming to be fortune tellers, working with dark magic, claiming to be witches or wizards, etc. That sort of thing." Added Spyro.
"I feel bad for the church that opened up a few months ago that set up an entire religion based off of us." Sighed Agorak softly. Reignor let out a soft chuckle, for he couldn't believe that there were some people went to extreme measures as to worshiping them.
"What?! So now we are a part of some people's beliefs system? I know it's wrong, but for me it feels kinda cool." Agorak merely gave him a questionable look.
"I'm not saying that I would go all out for such actions, due to free will, but look at this place. It's just a bunch of red hot iron coffins stacked together and being baked slowly. How bad can it-" To which Reignor was cut off when Virgil stopped him from becoming BBQ. There were large, thin insertions in the wall that suddenly projected flames in front of them. It also unleashed a death-defying shriek as the sounds of baking souls echoed throughout the halls.
"-be?...I take back everything I just said." Grouched Reignor.
"Seems that we got to time this right if we want to make it across." Said Spyro, counting off in his head the time between each burst. They watched and waited, each of them getting the timing in their heads.
"Okay, we only got a 5 second opening between them. Cross a bunch and stop before one of them, got it?" stated Agorak. The gang nodded in agreement, and thus they followed the rhythm of the blasts. They were getting closer and closer to a large opening, until one of the heavy armored demons came strolling along. Having noticed the Dracovians, it let out a gargled roar at them and ran to a lever that was off to the side. Its hand was on the lever if it weren't for an energy blast that sent it flying far back into the wall. Another blast was casted and the demon could not get out of the way in time. It roared in agony, seeing the bright blast coming right at him. Agorak was quick on the draw to prevent them from being melted cheese.
"I'd be cautious of such actions from now on. There are those who do not wish to come across with, nor bring about their attention." Warned the poet.
"I understand Virgil, but if the situation calls for it, I will perform the necessary action required to not having us being killed." Replied Agorak. Nonetheless, they went forward, being cautious about any wondering demon and traps that could ensnarl them. Surprisingly, their walk through the Tombs was oddly quiet. Despite the sounds of fire blasts baking whatever Damned souls that were infused into their coffins, there had not been any signs of activity. They soon arrived to a medium sized room and startled a bit, for they felt a tremble from above.
"You all felt that right?" asked Spyro.
"Yep, some giant demon following us?" replied Reignor. A faint explosion could be heard, followed by more trembling.
"Nah, that's just Dad. He better be careful though, I don't want to end up like Phlegyas." Responded Agorak with a small smile. Everyone but Kiara continued to follow Virgil, for the White Dragoness was awestruck by a carved sculpture in the wall. It appeared to be a man wearing robes; in one hand he held a staff that had the skull of cattle on top of it. In the other hand, it looked to be like some sort of fire ball. Around his neck was some sort of cloth that had bizarre text. On top of his head, were multiple cattle skulls, stuck together and placed upside down on the scalp of the man. Beneath his feet is what appeared to be religious symbols, such as the Cross, the Star of David, and the Crescent Moon.
Kiara startled a bit when she felt someone grab hold of her arm. "Come now Kiara, we can look at this sort of stuff later." Whispered Reignor, feeling uncertain of what lurked around them.
"Sorry about that Reignor, it's just that sculpture had caught my attention. It seems so weird in detail, yet it looked so-" Kiara stopped dead in her words when she turned to look at the sculpture once more, except it wasn't there.
"-real? Agorak, you mentioned that this place was more than just a spot for false believers. You said something about people claiming to be things that they aren't?"
"People who claim to be fortune tellers, wizards, witches, what you getting at?" he asked. Reignor and Kiara looked at each other with slight worry, and they had every right to be worried. A set of dark circles appeared in the ground with purple flames. Out from the ground came those very men that Kiara saw earlier, except they were very thin, lost almost all facial features, and their skin were charred. One of them swirled his staff around and boomed. "OADRIAX!" Black flames whooshed behind the men and the Dracovians, signaling that only one group will be victorious.
"Oh great, as if Ancient Jerusalem didn't have enough of this guys in the first place." Grouched Agorak, twirling out his duel pistols out and morphing them into shotguns once again. He aimed and fired the massive slug at the Black Magicians, only to see the slug stopping just short of their faces.
"Ooookay? That was not supposed to happen." Said Agorak softly. The Black Magician merely waved his hand and the 6 gauge slug clattered onto the floor. He looked at the White Dragon God with a devious smile and laughed maniacally as he charged towards him. Agorak tried desperately once more, firing his guns, but alas the same results occurred.
"Your weapons will do no harm to them, nor will those energy attacks! You must fight them physically!" shouted Virgil, clashing staffs with one of the Black Magicians.
"Guess I will have to go Asura on their asses!" hissed Agorak, flipping his guns around and violently bashing one of the Black Magician's face in with the butt of the shotguns. Like their previous quarrel in Greed, many other demons came out of hiding and joined in the fight. Alas, the conflict was rather short. Even though they were fighting against experts of Black Magic, the groups training with Akriloth all those weeks ago, made these demons look like kindergarteners.
Reignor was the only member of the group who still had his sword, so he simply swiped away whatever magic that the Magicians had casted. He swirled his way close to them and gave them a good slice down the middle, if they weren't fast enough to teleport away from him. Spyro did the same thing, except he just rammed the Magicians into the wall with his horns and pounded them into oblivion. Any demon that tried to score a cheap shot on Spyro, only meet his sharp teeth as he crunched their skulls away.
Agorak swatted the attacks and went after the Magicians that were teleporting themselves away from the group so that they could cast more attacks on them. Then again, how could you when the Dragon God of the West grabs hold of you and shatters your spine with his knee? Kiara just went overkill with her tail. All she did was stab the living crap out of all the demons that tried to swarm her. Despite the ownage, Kiara refrained herself from absorbing any of their souls. She knew well that Mephistopheles will keep hold of his words, and she didn't want to harm her sister any more.
The fight was over as quickly as it started, for there was only one Black Magician left. The barriers had dropped and he teleported himself far away from the group. He began chanting and dancing about, perhaps calling for reinforcement or attempting to revive his fallen comrades. Agorak decided to take a chance and whipped out Aussir, in pistol form and steadied his aim. He pulled the trigger….just for a boulder to crash onto the Magician.
"...I didn't even fire…yet that just happened." Said Agorak, blinking a few times to make sure he wasn't hallucinating. He twirled his gun back into his coat before feeling some pebbles falling onto his head.
"Damn, I don't like the looks of this place. It can come down on us any minute now." Said Spyro. They could see dust falling through the cracks and pieces of rocks chipping away from the ceiling.
"We must tread quickly. The exeunt isn't far." Stated Virgil. Another tremble could be felt and a large chunk of rock chipped away. Virgil wasn't aware of the boulder that was coming down on him, but Kiara moved blazingly quick and tackled the poet to safety.
"Come on, this place is falling apart! Leg it!" Reignor shouted as he ran the carved path in front of them. Kiara hoisted Virgil back up to his feet and the group of 5 ran as fast as they could to their only chance of survival. It had gotten so intense that the ground began to crumble behind them. Boulders ahead of them had smashed huge parts of the path, sometimes taking it out completely, making it extremely tedious to traverse through. What was worse was that they also had to avoid large rock spikes from jabbing their heads in.
"I can see the exit! It's just ahead!" shouted Agorak. They didn't care what the next circle was; all they cared was not becoming fossils in the Inferno. However, Fate had other plans, for the exit got caved in, sealing the Dracovians in the Tombs.
"Fuck! Now what?!" shouted Spyro over the crumbling. He practically danced around, doing all he could to avoid the rocks.
"We're gonna have to blast an entrance open then! Quickly! Focus fire!" shouted Agorak. Everyone but Virgil was preparing energy blasts in their hands, but the shaking was too much for them to handle. A large boulder fell in between the group, causing huge cracks in the ground to sprout. Reignor and Kiara jumped over the boulder to reunite with Agorak, Spyro and Virgil. They hugged the wall as their surroundings were quickly dissipating. With sheer luck, Virgil spotted a small entrance just a few meters ahead of them. Without saying a word, he made his way to the opening and motioned for the group to follow. Spyro and Agorak were quick to get in, Kiara and Reignor were right behind.
However the ground began to cave in and the two had to jump it. Kiara made the leap easily, but Reignor was a tad short. He couldn't get a firm grip on his landing and slipped. He was however, able to grasp hold of the ledge. He could see beneath him the black bottomless abyss and hoped that his strength didn't fail him at this moment. He struggled to hoist himself up, but the amount of shaking was too much and the ledge he held on also gave way.
Thankfully, Kiara was quick to save her uncle. She dove for his hand and without any moment's notice, pulled Reignor up with such force, back onto better grounds. But they weren't in the clear zone yet. They hooved it as hard as they could, seeing the narrow crack of light at the end of the tunnel. Both dove for freedom, and just perfectly, for the narrow opening too had caved in behind them. The two laid there on the ground, gasping for air.
"Thanks…for the save Kiara." Panted Reignor. Kiara got herself back up and merely waved gleefully in response.
"It was no biggy. Damn, these glasses keep on breaking. I swear these things are made in the shittiest part of China." Grouched Kiara, summoning a new pair of spectacles for herself. When she did put them back on, she felt her heart skip a beat, for the next level of Hell was in front of the group.
"My friends, within this remaining cavern, there are 3 more circles, one below another, each filled with accursed spirits. The first ring is wholly of the violent. Because violence can be done in 3 persons, in 3 rounds it is divided: violence unto one's neighbor, unto one's self, and unto God." Piped Virgil. Just beneath them was a huge coursing river of boiling blood. The sound of the blood boiling and souls wailing in agony was loud enough for them to hear it up on the cliffs.
"Good God…what is that smell?" Agorak asked, covering his nose and mouth with his shirt.
"That would be the smell of blood, vaporized into the air. Took me a while to get used to it when I had committed that slaughtering of troops a while back. Gosh, that felt so long ago." Muttered Kiara.
"And you still owe us 25,000 of our finest. Just finding another 25,000 kick-ass troops is not easy missy." Stated her father.
"So Violence is #7, fraud is #8, and treason is #9, why are these sins so much more damning than all the others? You think that what we have been through the worst parts already." Spoke Reignor.
"Of every sin that gains hatred in Heaven, fraud, because it is peculiar to man, is the most displeasing to God. Therefore the fraudulent, and then the traitors are the lowest, and more woe assails them then all the rest." Replied Virgil.
"So what does that mean for the violent? What does that make of them?" asked Spyro.
"Because their sins are of the flesh, which is less offending, unlike the sins of malice, which goes against nature herself." Before any more questions could be asked, the walls just a few meters away from them, burst open, and out emerged Akriloth and Simapiseel who too were covered in dust.
"Ah, glad to see you lot still alive. Akriloth was a bit worried that he might have accidentally killed one of you in the process of getting his sorry butt down here." Joked Simapiseel. Akriloth gave a low growl to his friend, who in turn laughed some more.
"Ahahaha! Come now Akriloth, your size and power is what gave you such a reputation here in the Inferno. But, you know well the pros and cons of being kinda large." There was some snickering down below, and the duo looked down at the gang.
"Well I can definitely think of something pro for being large." Giggled Kiara softly. Agorak, Spyro and Reignor chuckled softly. They knew very well what she meant. Akriloth merely gave his granddaughter a silly look before lowering his tail so that the group can climb up.
"Pardon me for misunderstanding, but what's the laughter about size?" asked Virgil.
"I'll explain it to you later Virgil." Sighed Simapiseel with an embarrassed look. The group took their seats and Akriloth marched down the cliff towards the boiling river of blood. As they got closer, they noticed that the bubbles bursting on the top, was not the blood, but the Damned Souls. The Dracovians could hear the icky liquid squishing against the Damned, souls gasping as they struggled to stay afloat in the river, gagging as the taste of infinite mixed blood rushed their down throats.
"Jesus…and prior to my change, Lucifer told me that circle 8 was horrible. Yet this is just the first part of Violence…" muttered Kiara softly. She could not imagine the amount of pain that she would have to go through if she had been judged to Violence, despite her true calling being in Cocytus. She recalls the amount of killing she had done before being purged, the amount of people that she caused suffering to. However, the worst was yet to come.
Akriloth stopped at the edge of the river bank and scanned the surroundings. There were hardly any rocks that poked out from the river, and there wasn't an area large enough for him to simply glide across the river. He looked down at the river and dipped just a fraction of his paw in, only to feel scorching pain. He grunted softly, shaking his paw to ease the pain.
"I take it that a simple crossing is not possible for us?" asked Simapiseel. But Akriloth was determined to cross the river. He climbed up on top of some rocks to gain higher ground, but no luck. He arched his head around and eyed Kiara.
"What? Did I do something wrong?" she asked.
"No, I think he wants your help for something. Go up top and see what he needs." Ordered Agorak. Kiara complied, sitting herself next to Simapiseel.
"Okay Gramps, what's the hassle?" Akriloth motioned with his paw to the river. "I don't think I can do much with that." Akriloth let out a soft grunt; he brought his paw to his chest and motioned it across the river.
"You want to cross the river? I wouldn't risk it. Last thing we need to deal with is dragging your burnt ass around. Then again, you could try and cross it, and I'll just have to summon a crap load of Senzu beans for you." Akriloth nodded in agreement, without letting out a depressing sigh of course.
"But remember one thing, you don't know how deep it is." She added.
"Thanks, we know that already. Anything else?" snapped Simapiseel. Kiara didn't bother looking back. She just clenched her fists before heading back down to the others.
"So what's the plan?" asked Spyro.
"We might have to cross it. Akriloth will be hurt from this ordeal, but if I summon some beans for him; this won't be at all bad. The only issue is that we don't know how deep it is, so you guys might have to rush up on top of his head to avoid being scorched." Kiara replied, eyeing each member of the party. They unanimously agreed with the plan and gave the green light to go. Akriloth took a few steps back, building up the courage to keep their quest alive.
He was about to make the run for it, if the sound of heavy footing didn't catch the group's attention. From the corner of their eyes, came along the massive Minotaur who was roughly the same size as Akriloth. He wore clads of gigantic Ancient Greek golden armor, and in his hands he held a massive War-ax that was roughly the size of Akriloth's head and neck attached. The Minotaur trenched upwards the river, and he too noticed the massive red Ancient Demon Dragon that stood on the riverbank. The two locked eyes with one another and the Minotaur roared loudly as he raised his war-ax high into the air.
Akriloth shifted to the side, just as the ax came crashing down into the ground. The amount of force created a crater of reasonable size, as well as rocketing plums of dust and rock into the air. The Minotaur quickly raised his ax back up, just in time to block an attack from Akriloth. Akriloth clamped his massive jaws onto the handle of the ax, growling violently at the Minotaur. The Minotaur roared ferociously at the Demon God, by delivering a solid head-butt. Akriloth staggered a bit, clutching his head with his paw, but he let it slide for the Minotaur brought his massive fist to Akriloth's jaw.
The force of the punch echoed throughout the cavern, his companions trying all they could to cling on. The Minotaur landed another blow in Akriloth's face, causing the Demon Dragon to wobble a bit. The Minotaur clasped his hands together, ax still in hand. He raised it high once again, but Akriloth wasn't going to take it anymore. With much force, he lobbed his head across the Minotaur's face. The beast roared in agony, feeling blood trickling down from its cheeks. What surprised him and everyone else was that Akriloth hoisted himself on his hind legs and began to lay a beating like he usually would do in his human form.
Akriloth delivered a vicious uppercut, followed by a slug to the left side of the beast's armor. Massive cracks appeared in the armor and the Minotaur, blinded by rage, tried to counter. It was mere child's play for the Demon-Dragon God. He dodged the clumsy attack, and with amazing agility, grabbed the Minotaur's head and delivered a devastating knee to the brute's face. The Minotaur dropped his ax, which plummeted into the boiling river. Before he could get a hold of his footing, Akriloth jumped into the air and performed a spinning high-kick. The sound of the Minotaur's skull and neck bones shattering was loud for all to hear.
The beast fell towards the ground, his body thundering the cavern. Akriloth landed back on all fours with a huge smile on his face. He turned his head around to see if his party members were still with him…and they weren't. He felt a small amount of worry at first, but it quickly subsided when he noticed 6 small dots clinging onto the wall. He couldn't help but let out a gurgling deep laugh, for everyone had blasted small holes in the wall so that they could stay safe from the fight.
"Dad…since when the hell could you fight on your hind legs?" asked Agorak. Akriloth simply made the gesture that he had been able to for a long time, but he didn't really feel it to be necessary to do such a thing.
"Regardless, that was still a cool site to see." Replied Reignor, floating back onto his father's back.
"Shall we try that plan again? Or is there something else on your mind?" asked Kiara. Akriloth thought about it for a bit, noticing the dead Minotaur and his war-ax. A pleasing growl erupted from his throat, and the group watched in confusion as to what the demon had in mind. Akriloth took hold of the war-ax with his tail and rolled over the Minotaur's body.
"Oh God don't tell me you're gonna-"SQUISH! Spyro practically squirmed at the sight of Akriloth shoving the handle of the war-ax up the Minotaur's ass, and he wedged it deep. He took hold of the Minotaur's body once again with his tail and tossed it into the river. The body bobbed a bit as streams of steam emerged from the body and without warning, Akriloth made a leap of kingdoms for the body. Amazingly, his idea worked, for the blade of the war-ax prevented Akriloth to sink into the river. With another mighty leap, he managed to jump across the river, and landed with a thundering thud onto solid ground. The Minotaur's body meanwhile, continued to follow the current of the river and was soon gone from eyesight.
"Wow. That was quite an idea. A bit bizarre, but it sure beats swimming at sizzling temperatures." Piped Simapiseel.
"Just out of curiosity, Virgil, is that still the river Styx?" asked Kiara.
"No my dear madam, it is not. What we have traversed is the Phlegethon, the 3rd river in Hell. On an island called Crete there is a mountain called Ada, once glad with waters, but now barren. Within stands a great figure of an old man, his head fashioned of gold, his arms and breasts of pure silver, and at the fork of brass, down from there of iron except the right foot which is baked of clay. His flowing teas force a passage in the cavern. Their course is from rock to rock, into this valley, where they form Acheron, Styx, and here the Phlegethon. Over the cliff and down, and when there is no more descending they collect and form Lake Cocytus. There you will see…I shall not describe it."
"What? What is it that we shall see?" pleaded Kiara.
"Not what we will see….more like what we can now see." Shuddered Agorak. All eyes etched forward as the group saw deep into the fog, an infinite amount of trees…trees that were made entirely out of the Damned Souls. However, they did not appear murky and mashed together like the forest that the gang witnessed when entering Anger. Each tree was made up of one soul, and in each center of said tree they could see the faces of the Damned.
"Are those, faces? Embedded within the bark?" asked Spyro.
"One may lie violent hands upon one's self. And therefore, in this place, those who deprive themselves of their lives repent in vain. Look well, and you will see things that make my words incredible. When the soul quits a body from which it uprooted itself, Minos judges it to the 7th circle. There it sprouts shoots up like a sapling, no body, only the pain. For it is unjust that any soul possess that of which it robbed itself."
"But some of these people do not belong here! There are those who were practically harassed, bullied, even left embarrassed by others who did not respect the value of that person's life! How come they get the easy pass but someone who suffered so much is left to rot in this place?!" hissed Kiara.
Virgil would have responded in his usual poetic response, if it weren't for Agorak who replied in a rather quiet tone. "Because GOD gave the universe life, gave each and every one of us life. Even the darkest and the foulest of creatures were given life. Yes, there are those who do not respect life and we just passed by them. To which, I must say is a much better punishment. To see the very people who had no respect for life and vowed for bloodshed, drown and boil in said blood is rather satisfying to witness."
"However, just because others cause pain for you, does not mean that one should try and end it by casting his or her own life away. You're only going to satisfy the people who hurt you, and hurt your loved ones even more. We all have ups and downs in life, and we have all experienced some of the harshest moments in our immortal life. We are all going through a tough time right now, and even though this is the bleakest time of our lives, we continue forth, hoping to live on. Extinguishing the hope, thought, or will of living just means you don't care anymore about life, and only seek a selfish desire to end it all."
"Unfortunately, there are those in this universe that do just that and here they are laid to rest. Painless? No. But arguably, this form of punishment isn't as harsh as being boiled in the blood of your victims." The group was rather quiet once he had finished. Words spoken in such a way by Agorak usually meant that something related to that topic was very personal to him.
"So…you lost someone to suicide before?" Kiara asked. Agorak sighed deeply.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked." She replied quickly, seeing how much it troubled her father.
"A few of our children had done such an act, but they did redeem themselves and were resurrected into the world. However, there is only one who still remains in here, somewhere in this depressing forest. His name is Tobor, which in Draconic means-"
"Life." Spoke Reignor softly. Silence fell upon the gang once more; the sound of Akriloth walking through the woods was even quiet. The Demon-God was cautious of where he stepped, for he did feel pity and sorrow for the Damned Souls who are stuck in such environment.
"Agorak, perhaps we can find him. I can purge him, bring him back home." Piped Kiara, hoping to brighten up the mood.
"We tried it, dozens of times after his death. Each attempt resulting in failure, for in order for the soul to return to the world of the Living, they must admit the fact that he or she had done wrong, and is willing to endure the suffering to return home. Tobor…is like many of the souls here in this round. He ended his life to escape the pain and always told me that why should he return? He found it to be soothing and relaxing that there are others here who feel the same as him. He believes that just returning to the world would cause him more suffering and he doesn't want to deal with it anymore. And each time, Godith and I would plead with him that things change, people change. The world has changed much since the 10th century."
"Christ, he's that old?" Spyro asked in surprise.
"Yes. He was a fine lad. Full of energy and love as a child. But because of the time-frame, there were things about him that society would just skewer if they knew."
"I take it he was, of different orientation?" Simapiseel asked.
"Correct. But leave it to the fucking narrow-minded that if something isn't normal, kill it with fire. Why? Cause the LORD said so. And don't get me started that it's stated in the Torah and Bible. I read those scriptures countless of times in my life. It never changed! Yes, it was weird for two men and two women to be in love with one another. This universe is full of weird things that many would want to just get rid of. But I always ask them this question, every time, and the answer was all the same. If gays and lesbians are wrong in GOD's plan, then why did HE create them? Allowed them to exist and continue to exist?"
"I take it that many of the people would just stutter, try coming up with an answer and then just point at you and cry heresy. Am I right?" asked Reignor.
"That was what life was like for those who society would hunt down. If you weren't considered normal, you ought to be dead and burn in Hell for eternity. I find it more ludicrous with Christians and the Muslims. Jesus went around teaching about love and forgiveness. What did the Christians and Muslims do during the Dark Ages, in the Renaissance Era, the Enlightenment, through all the advances in philosophy and education? Continue on persecuting those who were deemed wrong of the norm and gave them a horrid life. Why? Because it's stated in the Bible and Quran! Fucking idiots, those are the ones who are now burning in the Inferno because they ignored the very teaching about what Christ had done during his time. Loving everyone, no matter who they were and forgiving the most sinful of sinners."
"But, wouldn't that make you a hypocrite for punishing those who done wrong to others, because they didn't follow Christ's teachings?" Spyro asked.
"Yes Spyro. I've noticed it a lot of times in my life. Hence why I tend to keep quiet about religious ideology. I'll be saying what certain things truly mean, and then not do it, thus making me a big fat mark for Hypocrisy in the 8th circle. I forgot which divide it was in, but we'll see it soon. If anything, DL Mark was the much more forgiving person. I'm not." Stated Agorak with a strict tone at the end. And like that, the subject was dropped from the thoughts of everyone's mind.
They walked onward, following the narrow clear path that lead them through the forest. All was quiet till they heard the sound of distorting, echoing screams coming nearby.
"Just what exactly was that?" Kiara asked. Unbeknownst to the group, they didn't realize that just above their heads, was a bunch of pinkish-purple fruits. They looked like apples from the distance, but they were anything but apples. Much like Newton's experience with the apple, one of the fruit simply fell off from the tree branch, and plopped down onto Kiara's head. It's exploded on her, gushing black liquid across her skull. However, it pulsated and let out a black aurora, and let out a screech like the screams they heard just moments ago.
Kiara fell face first against Akriloth's back and struggled desperately to keep her eyes open. Her vision was blackened, her head spinning, and she could feel her body acting out on its own. She stood up against her will and slumped all over the place. She could not hear the sound of her comrades trying to aid her, only the screams that filled her eardrums. She didn't realize that her own body decided to jump off from Akriloth's back and was heading right for a sharp branch on the forest ground.
With mere inches from her chest, she felt a powerful yank from her tail and was able to see once more. The black goop plopped off from her head and fell onto the branch. All she could see was the branch shriveling up and turning into decayed ash in a matter of seconds. She gasped softly at the sight, not wanting to believe that she was that close to just ending her own life. With a powerful hoist, she was thrown back up and got caught by Reignor.
"You alright? You had us worried for a moment there." He asked. Kiara clutched Reignor's hand tightly, her heart beating rapidly from the event. She looked at him in shock.
"Did…Did my body try to commit suicide?!"
"Regrettably, yes. Those apples you see hanging from the branches of the trees, are known here as Suicide Fruits. The bigger the drop, the bigger the radius of the Fruit's life-taking power. You're lucky that I was here missy, otherwise you'd be a part of someone's tree." Spoke Simapiseel before flying back up onto Akriloth's head. Reignor eased Kiara gently to onto the mighty dragon's back, Kiara not wanting to leave the comfort of her uncle after what just happened. Agorak and Spyro were now on the lookout for any fruit that would harm them, thus only the sound of a mini-cannon and energy blasts could be heard for an untold amount of minutes.
The trek stretched for a rangy amount of time for the White Dragoness, her body relaxing from the near death experience. Her mind was so phased out that she failed to notice the change in atmosphere as the Dracovians exeunt from the Suicide Woods.
"Christ, how much more despair do we have to see?" whispered Reignor. Kiara looked at him in confusion before she realized that she was still in the Inferno. She detached from her uncle and gasped softly, bearing the same expression as the rest of her comrades.
"A desert? And…a fort? What is this place?" asked Spyro softly. A circle of high velocity wind blowing sand howled before them. Within said sandstorm, they could see hundreds of Damned wailing as they desperately try to cover their body from the shredding and tearing effects of the sand. There was no sign of the wind dying down whatsoever. Not far from their left, they could see the Phlegethon picking up speed as its blood water zigzagged its way through the desert.
"Violence may be done against the Deity, by denying Him in the heart. The 7 kings who besieged Thebes reside here. They feared not that vengeance." Spoke Virgil.
"Well, that answers my question about what happens to the Crusaders and Extremists." Muttered Agorak, his soul-piercing black eyes locking onto a Damned who wore metal armor and had a shield. It was nothing but bones and it constantly flinched when a large brush of sand scrapped away its bones even more.
"Alright guys cover your eyes and hold on tight. Things are gonna get a bit rough. Akriloth, just follow the river. That should lead us to Fraud. But be quick about it. Don't stop for anything. If you got to mow down whatever is in your way, do so without a thought." Ordered Simapiseel. Akriloth let out a deep growl of agreement. He brought his wings close to his face, shielding as much sand as possible from his Hellfire eyes. He bellowed loudly in the howling wind as he charged off towards the river.
The moment he stepped in, Damned souls burst from the sand dunes, armed with swords, crossbows, trebuchets, pikes, and giant ballistas. Without any warning, a huge spear went flying across the horizon, just missing the Demon Dragon God by inches across his face. However, he could not rely on his allies for any help, and he only hoped that the Crusaders and the rest of the Damned Souls were rusty from their time in the sand.
More Damned popped out from the dunes, their numbers exceeding a million rapidly. Akriloth growled softly, the fact that these unfortunate souls had no idea who they were dealing with. He opened his mouth wide open and began to rapidly discharge fireballs, the sound of multiple explosions sending body parts and military equipment flying into the air drowning out the howling sandstorm. Without any sign of slowing down, the Demon God plowed through rows of legions, swiping, stomping, flicking, and kicking away anything that lay before him.
His thundering steps shook the bones of the Damned that realized just how much trouble they were in. Alas, they remained vigilant and continued onwards with their attack. A huge gust of wind puckered Akriloth across his face, causing him to stagger a bit. This was the opportunity that many Damned needed and they unlashed a volley of black arrows. The sound of millions of arrows amplified tremendously as they whizzed through the sandstorm with stunning precision. Akriloth could only see a sheet of blackness threatening to engulf him. He growled softly, his markings glowing brightly. With a sudden jerk, Akriloth raised his head high, eyes widening, followed by a deep rumbling pulse wave.
All the sand around him scattered away and the arrows began to bounce off, several feet before the dragon's eyes. His allies wondered what why they weren't being pelted by sand and gazed softly at the sight of what Akriloth's power could do.
"Wow…didn't expect a shield of this size to be created. Trust me I tried this several times before and I end up tiring myself out." Spoke Reignor in awe. Surrounding Akriloth was a white pulsing shield, and on the other side they could see a wall of sand that was being held back. In front were the sea of arrows that simply bounced off the shield, making a small pecking sound against the barrier, followed by a clatter as they fall on top of each other.
Akriloth let out a deep huff and walked towards their objective. "Uh Gramps? Why the slow walk?" Kiara asked.
"Because such power-usage requires quite amount of concentration, plus the size and power usage of this shield is not easy for us to use. Hence why we prefer to use rapid speed maneuvers to dodge our opponents attack. It's just much easier to dodge than to make a barrier around us." Answered Spyro with a small smile, proudly displaying his knowledge of his abilities.
"Man don't be so boastful, Spyro. After all, I am the one who thought you practically everything you know." Scoffed Agorak.
Spyro groaned softly. "Ohh, why can't I for once just have my time in the spotlight?" whimpered the Purple Legend, hanging his head low. This gave the group a small laughter, almost making them forget the environment they are in. However, as Akriloth marched forward slowly, the sound of arrows pelting against the shield increased in quantity. Even the massive barrage of ballistas and trebuchets increased, keeping the group on edge.
Thankfully, Akriloth was able to keep the shield up as he approached the entrance to next level of Hell. Yet it was as if the Damned faced such threat beforehand, for the entrance was heavily fortified. More archers, ballistas, trebuchets, even early models of cannons were positioned. Not alone that, there were also legions of pykemen; they seemed very happy to partake in another battle as grand as this.
The mighty Dragon God stopped at the sound of cannons firing. He watched as the ball smashed against the shield, the ball crackling against the barrier before it got sent flying back into the rows Damned. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of ranged attacks began to lay waste to Akriloth's Shield. Thunderous crackles could be heard as the projectiles bounced off the shield at a much faster pace. Simapiseel noticed that his friend was having trouble with the opposing force, and any moment they waste, was a moment closer to being smacked hard by a wall of sand around them.
"Alright guys listen up! The entrance to Fraud is a few hundred yards from us. However, it is deep behind enemy lines and not to mention, we will be blasted by the sand everywhere! Any suggestions?!" yelled the Armored Demon over the crackling of the shield. The gang looked at one another, unsure if a solution is even possible in such situation.
"Well, I can always absorb their souls from a distance. But I don't want to harm Galadrial if what Mephistopheles said was true." Growled Kiara softly. She desperately wanted to just decimate the opposition with her own two hands. She didn't care if it would cost her life in the process.
"No. As bleak as this situation may be, I'm not going to allow you to do something that would harm Galadrial in the making." Stated Agorak. Everyone looked at the White-Dragon God in surprise. Usually he would be the one who can think of a way out of such mess, but it was clear that given to what had happened to him earlier, this was a different side of Agorak altogether. The continuation of the bombardment against their defenses increased, making their time even more crucial.
Without any saying, Spyro decided to jump off Akriloth's back and headed straight for the front line.
"What is that idiot doing?!" roared Simapiseel. Spyro ran fast towards the shield, and stopped just mere inches from it. Akriloth looked down at Spyro in confusion, wondering just what this dragon was doing. However, Spyro felt rather confident.
'Alright, this shield is very protective. I can't jump out of this thing, nor can anything enter. But, if I time this just right, I can use my Earth abilities to clear us a path, or annihilate the Damned in front of us. I just got to wait for the shield to go down and make my move on the dot.' Thought Spyro, as he took a stand with two green orbs in his hands.
"Argh, man have I been such a fool. I forgot all these years that Spyro has Earth like abilities. Add on our training, and he can do all sorts of things." Chuckled Agorak.
"Akriloth get ready!" boomed Spyro over the thundering bombardment. His response was him simply repositioning his feet, his eyes bearing a keen fix on the entrance to Fraud. At this point, the shield began to flicker rapidly. All of them were prepared to face the full blast of the sandstorm and the barrage of enemy units. Speaking of which, the Damned fired a volley in union, the sound of the projectiles howling in the air as they slammed into the barrier. An electrical-shatter drowned out the howling wind as the shield broke up into thousands of fragments.
With a mighty roar, Spyro unleashed the Earthly powers from within with such ferocity, that time itself stopped. The Legendary Purple Dragon slammed his fists into the ground, unleashing huge towers of sandstone into the Damned Legions. The screaming of ghastly souls echoed as they got thrown high into the sandstorm. The dragon grunted in pain as he felt the brunt of the sandstorm pepper him, but Spyro wasn't done yet. He raised his left hand, slamming it back down into the ground which unearthed gigantic jagged rocks from beneath. The Damned could do nothing but scream as they plummeted to the razor rocks.
Raising his right hand, Spyro clenched it and punched the ground, resulting in the earth to shockwave across as far as the eye can see. Such power was enough to disrupt the Damned from the offensive attack. It damaged all of their ranged weapons, and disbanded all known opposition. At this point, Akriloth roared loudly and charged off. Despite the ungodly storm, Spyro was able to latch onto the end of Akriloth's tail. The earth thundered as the mighty Demon-Dragon God followed the river. Seeing the entrance being just a few hundred yards away, the titan leapt into the air, casting a shadow over darkness itself.
"Everyone hold on!" yelled Simapiseel. The Dracovians clutched Akriloth's scales as tightly as they could. The sand had ceased to pelt their faces and felt a jet of cool air slash across their face. Behind them the river Phlegethon roared over the cliff; the harrowing noise of souls screaming as they were sent off the edge deeper into the Inferno. Light had suddenly vanished, and darkness ensnarled them all.
"…and that's pretty much how I met DL Mark and Agorak." Spoke Mark the Dragon King, finishing his story about his encounter with the Dragon Lord/God for the first time to Alyona. The demonic blacksmith had spent the last hour forging and re-forging two special orders for an old friend. She had asked many questions about DK Mar: his origins, his place in society, if he has been virtuous, his family, etc. She found that having a soul worthy of talking to whilst forging was quite relaxing and enjoyable.
"You should write a book about it. Make some small cash on the side-line. I'm fairly confident that the folks you rule over would buy it in an instant." Smiled Alyona as she placed her mighty demonic hammer down to the side. She let out a satisfying sigh as she rose up a bluish-crimson great sword that seemed to dwarf DK Mark alone.
"Wow, so that is now Agorak's new blade? Looks freaking badass." He said with a small smile. The new blade was 2 inches longer, and an inch wider. It also bore 6 golden, evenly spaced symbols, engraved in the ancient markings of Rhefugi. Alyona gave the sword a few swings, the ringing of the blade echoed ominously in the canyon.
"Ahh, I'm so pleased with how this metal came out. I seriously think that this is the best thing that I had ever re-forged. Of course, Aki's new blade is the best that I have forged. Both I must admit, make me quite jovial about myself." Said Alyona with satisfied expression. She thrust Agorak's sword into the hard demonic rock; the metal going through as if it were butter. She turned about and took hold of Akriloth's new blade. It was slightly shorter than Agorak's piece, but it had more of a panzer-gray color. It did not have the ability to split into two however.
"Well now, I guess it is adieu for us. I do wish that we had more time to spend, but alas that is what we are short of for today. I will however, wish ye luck on the upcoming battle. Should you guys win, I might consider returning to the Upper World." Spoke Alyona with a pinch of sadness. She placed the two blades in their newly built sheaths and was about ready to give them to her friend, if hadn't a pair of metal clanking bring their attention.
DK Mark let out a gasp of surprise, for it was none other than Demitri and Celia who were drenched in blood, guts, and unfortunately, feces. "Wha the? How did you guys get here?! Especially you Demitri! You should be resting!" he shouted, his arms flailing about.
"I came because I wasn't gonna sit back, watching Warfang burn in anger by our own people, nor let my soul mate be defiled by a monster who cares nothing but himself!" hissed Demitri, swishing his scythe clean of blood stains. Celia on the other hand, pressed her back against the wall and slid down. She was gasping desperately for air and rest. She weakly flicked off the stains from her armor and hair, and was a bit startled when DK Mark came to assist.
"And what's your reason for this journey?" Celia glanced at him, but she motioned with her hands that she could barely speak. "You don't happen to have water?" she asked hoarsely. DK Mark let out an uncertain sigh, until Alyona popped in with a bowl.
"Here you are, madam. It may not be pure water, but there is a small stream of water that goes through the cracks of the Inferno. It may be a bit tainted from the countless amounts of souls buried in the walls, plus ash rocks, but at least it ain't shit or blood." Spoke the blacksmith with a smile. She wasn't the least bit surprised when Celia just brought her mouth to the bowl and slurped it all up in one go.
Celia's expression showed signs of bitterness, but it did quench her thirst. "I thank you for your generosity. How the others managed to get through is beyond my guess."
"Oh, so you know Agorak as well?" Alyona asked. For her, the amount of new friendly faces seemed to be quite the thing for her happiness today.
"Of course I know Agorak. Biologically speaking, I am DL Mark's cousin. But since his sudden and last, heroic act, I'm not technically related to Agorak anymore. I just know him now as a friend of my cousin."
"Mark, just how many people are you connected to?" Alyona asked to the Dragon King.
"Hehe, oh I don't know, a few dozen?" he said with a small smile.
"I hate to interrupt, but Celia and I are on a tight schedule. We want to catch up with the others quickly." Stated Demitri.
"I'm not sure how you managed to get here without getting lost, but good luck going through the rest of the Inferno if you want to…wait a second. So even though I can give you the blades, you have no clue on how to meet up with them, right?" Alyona asked.
"Yeah, about that…"muttered DK Mark. The blacksmith merely sighed in defeat.
"So that means that I-"
"Which means going through Dis where-"
"Yep." Alyona took her gloves off, and pressed her face against her demonic hands in frustration.
"I swear to GOD, I'm going to hate this."
"And that's what we are here for!" piped Celia with a smile.
"Eh, since you put it that way, it shouldn't be that bad. We'll take the shortcut that I take to get some rest. It is a bit narrow to go through, but it does get through Greed quite easily." She walked over to her workbench and gathered up some materials for her re-entry to the lower levels.
"Alright, I'm good to go. You are, however taking these." She first tossed Agorak's blade at the Dragon King. DK Mark merely wept as he saw the blackened sheath come down on him, for he realized that only a few people could carry Agorak's blade in the first place. He wasn't one of them.
The sound of bones snapping under tremendous weight, followed by a scream, echoed throughout the canyon. Demitri and Celia rushed desperately to their comrade's aid, but alas, they couldn't lift the blade off. Alyona gazed in disbelief. They knew Agorak and the others, but they can't lift up a blade that was built for him.
"You seriously mean to tell me that you can't carry a sword made out of Katchin for shit in your life?"
"Akriloth didn't really teach us how to deal with Katchin, since this stuff was more of Agorak's specialty!" groaned Demitri, trying strenuously to lift the blade. He however had to cease such action, for he felt something off about his robotic arm. He and Celia moved to the side when Alyona kicked the blade in the air, hoisted DK Mark, caught said blade, and smacked it against DK Mark's back with the hilt. The bones snapped back in place, and the Dragon King let out a stiff grunt.
"Fine, I'll carry these things. I'm not that good in combat ever since the War, so you three better keep me safe as I guide you through the back-alleys of the Inferno." The three nodded in agreement, and off they went into the fiery abyss, to find their companions.
An earth-shattering thunder echoed throughout the dimly lit cavern. Cracks fissured throughout the ground, with human-sized rocks falling from the walls of the Circle. Akriloth raised his head slowly, gazing his golden sun glazed eyes over the dimly blue lit cavern. He exhaled heavily, a large trail of vapor exiting from his mouth. Here was the Eight Circle, Malebolge; The Evil Pockets.
"Is everyone present?" asked Reignor. Looking back, he could see that all but Spyro were accounted for. He leaned over to the side and spotted Spyro who detached himself from Akriloth's tail. The Dragon King showed no signs of injury, and he gazed upon his surroundings. From his standpoint, he could see how Malebolge was divided. There were ten ditches, each one being smaller than the previous one ditch, and all were connected by a bridge that went through the middle. Behind them was the roaring bloody waterfall of the Phlegethon, which continued to descend ever deeper into the abyss.
A strong gust of wind breezed down upon him, and it was then did he realize that it was quite chilly. Looking up, he could see the cliff of the burning sands being a speck in his eyes. How far they had descended from the Light above! He startled a bit when he heard a voice call out to him from above.
"Hey Spyro! Come up here, it's safer and surprisingly warmer than it is down there!" piped Kiara.
"Yes it's cold, but I'm sure that I can handle myself down here." Oh, such timing could not have been better. Not far from their location, the sound of countless whips cracking and screams of Damned filled the Dracovians with much fear. They inched close to the edge and could see, in the Bolgia of Panderers and Seducers, horned demons that stood above the Damned with whips fashioned of thorns fashioned out of the sins of those damned in this Bolgia. In one direction, marched the Panderers, and in the other, were the Seducers.
"My liege, please! For should a living soul fall into any of the Bolgia that is not of your place, that soul which has perished will forever be punished. Please, cometh up to safety." Begged Virgil. No one had ever seen Spyro climb up so quickly before.
"I'm good, don't know what you're talking about." He said with his arms crossed along with a nervous smile on his face. Alas, it was to no avail for his friends knew deep within what he felt in his chest.
"Try not to wonder off guys. Knowing Mephistopheles, he wouldn't hesitate fighting us here. Or worse, send whatever minions he has left in here to attack us and cast us down into the ditches." Stated Simapiseel. He eyed the area with a keen look, he knew just how horrid this part of Hell is.
"In addition, don't try to chat with anyone here. This is the circle of Fraud. I'm a bit surprised that the Geryon didn't try to encounter us." He added.
"Perhaps it knew that we are here and to not mess with us when Akriloth is here eh?" smiled Reignor softly. His father let out a puff of smoke along with a small smile. He motioned with his head that they are proceeding forth. The Dracovians didn't for a second think about letting their guard down as they crossed over the first bridge. At the center point of the arch-bridge, they looked down in awe and horror, seeing just what was happening beneath them. Akriloth was cautious, for he didn't want to make any error on these ancient structures. He wasn't sure if the structures could even support his massive weight.
Nonetheless, the trip downward was quiet, excluding the wailing beneath them, and smooth. They passed over the ditches of shit-filled flatterers, feet burning simoniacs, head-twisting fortune tellers, and sludge covered grafters. They came to a stop upon the ditch of the lead wearing Hypocrites.
"To think that they would have fixed the bridge after all these years. Then again, we can always just climb down and back up to the other side." Whispered the Armored Demon to his friend. Whilst the two were discussing amongst themselves on what to do next, the rest of the gang were preparing for whatever encounter that dares to cross them.
"Alright guys, just a few more ditches and we are there, the heart of Hell itself." Stated Agorak coldly. He clenched his fist tightly, how badly he wanted to fight the Shade that brought him to his knees.
"Not without a sword you will. You sure you can partake the quarrel without your piece?" Reignor asked.
"My guns will be useless against him. Then again, what's the need for them? I will drive my fists down his throat!" hissed the White-Dragon God. Reignor merely smiled. That sort of talk usually drives fear into his allies and enemies alike, but he knows well about his brother.
"Heh, same old you brother. I still remember to this day how you would still fight those bullies, even though they outmatched you before you became a Dragon-Lord. Just remember this; you're not alone in this fight. You've got me, Dad, Kiara, Spyro, hell almost everyone is here to back you up."
"I know that Reig, and I thank you for that. But when the time comes, I get the kill." Said Agorak in a quite tone. The Silver Dragon-God nodded in agreement, along with a pat on the shoulders. The two looked around, seeing Spyro and Kiara talking to Virgil as they learn more about circle of Fraud. On top of their father, the two demon friends appeared to have worked out the final thoughts of their path.
Another gust of wind came down on them, reminding them about the blistering cold. "Oh great, if I get a cold from this, Mom won't be pleased." Chuckled Agorak softly. Reignor couldn't help but laugh along as well. "Here we are in Hell and you're worried about catching a cold? Oh Agorak you always tend to find the bright side of a dim situation." Their attention was brought when Simapiseel whistled to the gang.
"Oi freshies! Here's the plan. We are gonna have to walk across the walls of the ditches in order to get to another bridge. It's gonna be a bit shaky, but it will have to-" He was cut off for Akriloth let out an ear-deafening roar in anger. His markings shimmered brightly and tremendous warmth rose from his scales.
"Okay, seriously Onledasw (Akriloth), you don't have to-" Simapiseel was quite for he spotted what made the Demon-Dragon God vex.
"Is everything alright up there?" Kiara asked. The two didn't respond, so she climbed up her grandfather's neck and gasped softly once she got a good view. The rest did the same, and she heard a deep grumble from within the throats of the Dracovians.
On the opposite side of the broken bridge, was Mephistopheles in his Shade-form. On his left, a severely weaken Galadrial who was on her knees, hands tied, head slouched down. Her spirit form wasn't bright, in the center a large black outline of her heart. They could the veins of her body lighting up with the tar of sins that was brought down on her.
"Galadrial! Galadrial sweety can you hear me?!" bellowed Agorak. She made no movement.
"You prick! What did you to her?!" roared Reignor. Mephistopheles merely chuckled softly as he walked around Galadrial.
"Me? Oh such accusations. I told you earlier that eventually the sins of her father will overcome her purity and faithfulness. I wasn't surprised that you Kiara, held back on boosting your own power with that technique of yours. It's always the same. People hold back so they don't harm the ones they are trying to save."
"Enough babbling! Are you going to continue being a coward and hide in the shadows?! Or are you ready to fight us all?!" yelled Spyro, preparing an energy ball in one hand.
"You fools, always wanting to rush into battle. No sense of patience I might add. How do you keep calm during times of peace? Then again, I wonder how your wife is doing. You better hope that she isn't attending your half-brother with special care." Chuckled the Devil. This really whined Spyro up, he made the energy ball bigger and was about to cast it if it weren't for Virgil who stopped him.
"Take calm sire! Your wrath bring damage upon the Lady you wish to save." Spyro grunted softly in defeat and disarmed the energy ball.
"HAH! Once more proving my point of holding back. Oh this quarrel of ours will be fun for me."
"You shut that serpent tongue of yours up! Are you here to yap all day or what?!" hissed Agorak. Mephistopheles sighed deeply; these folks weren't being fun at all.
"I see. You all are here to settle this dispute and get this damsel back. You'll have a shot at me boy, but only if you succeed through this next stage." Spoke Mephistopheles with a stern tone. Agorak and the others jumped down from Akriloth's back. They stood in a line at the edge of the bridge, awaiting combat.
"Bring it then! We passed through so much of the Inferno, what else could you possibly throw at us?!" The most sinister smile ever to exist appeared on the Devil's face. He looked at the gang, down at Galadrial, and then back at them again. He then walked over to Galadrial and without touching; he waved his hand upward, causing Galadrial to raise her head up high. The sound of gasps and shocks echoed in the ever-wailing cavern.
All could see how lifeless Galadrial appeared to be. Her eyes as white as ghost, no pupils, very wide, and her face covered in streams of black. Agorak felt as if his own daughter was looking directly at him, and that whatever she'll do next, it will torment him.
"Father…you lied. Those people that…you've killed. I can hear them…screaming. The innocent...wondering why their loved ones are gone. Others…wondering why they had to die by your hands. Many had trusted you…and you've turned your back on them!" A dark aura blast emerged from her the pushed the group back a bit.
"Galadrial, you're talking nonsense! I've always taught you to do right, and I've done my best to follow those teachings that I had implemented!" pleaded Agorak.
"LIAR!" An even bigger aura blast expelled from her. Without question, it drove fear into the Dracovians. Her eyes shifted to anger. "The amount of evil you have committed I cannot even begin with! Liar, thief, plunderer, silver-tongued, traitor, murderer!" They watched in fear as Galadrial slowly stood up. A thick, black aura shrouded her body. Her body was rapidly healing and she broke off the chains from her hands with ease.
"Galadrial, please! You are poisoned! Please sister, allow us to help you!" pleaded Kiara. She felt even more frightened when Galadrial locked eyes with hers.
"Sister? SISTER?! Coming from a whore like you, you aren't even close to being related to me!" Galadrial clenched her head in agony and roared loudly. Her head was throbbing violently. The black veins rapidly expanded and a black mist exited from her mouth. It shrouded her body and grew rapidly. No one made a move, for they felt Galadrial's power level rise way past their expectation.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present to you, your challenge! In a few moments, you'll have to face off against the damsel in distress in order to get to me! HAHAHA!" cackled Mephistopheles. He turned about and proceeded to walk towards his domain. He did feel something off though. He quickly looked back and saw the fury in Agorak's and Kiara's eyes as they charged right at him. He simply smirked when a gigantic tail swiped them hard. The duo yelled in agony as they were sent flying to the high walls of the ditch.
From the black smoke, all could see just what had been formed. A large body of a dragoness that was roughly half the size of Akriloth, she was on all fours, her scales bearing a very rough, deep purple appearance. The spikes on her back were large and sharp, her tail transformed into two, one being a mace and the other a spear. Her wings were titanic yet had her tissue were bloody red. Her underbelly remained golden, but like her scales, they took on a rough appearance, as if she looked heavily armored.
Alas, the fumes fully cleared away and all could see in terror the face that none shall ever forget. Galadrial's horns had shifted all together. They now appeared as a ram, in addition with several horns on the side of her head. Her eyes were white as before, but she bore no lips, thus exposing her teeth.
"HAHAHAHA! BEHOLD! The Queen of your demise and your own personal Hell!" Mephistopheles was more interested in the groups expression than what Galadrial had become. His face lit up with glee when he realized just what else he could do. 'Although this is pretty redundant, it will slow them and weaken them greatly for my encounter.' Thought the Devil. He raised his hands, cones of darkness shrouded his finger and he zapped it towards the center of the Inferno.
'This is the last time they will ever be able to be resuscitated. After this, it's permanent.' Winds kicked up violently as they brushed past everyone. The Dracovians tried to hold on from the sudden blast, Galadrial and Mephistopheles remained unaffected.
"Oh, and one more thing." Said the Devil as he turned to face the group once more. The winds died down, but a dark mist crept up on their feet.
"Let me guess…all of our enemies fighting once again. Jeez, can you be any more unoriginal?" sighed Reignor as he withdrew his sword.
"Who said it was all of them?" Reignor gave the Devil a quizzical look, and with a snap of his fingers, three large shades appeared just behind Galadrial, roughly her size. All teaming with tremendous energy that brought fear into the Dracovian hearts.
"Oh, it feels so good to be back. HAH! You dumbasses thought you got rid of us for good eh? WRONG!" cackled Perdition. Off to the side, Agorak and Kiara had climbed up to the top of the ridge. Both were stupefied to see the old trio of evil to be alive once again.
"Why? Why these three again? They never leave!" cried Kiara softly. The sight of her three torturers brought back painful memories. How she once trusted them dearly quickly turned into a day she'll never forget. Her thoughts were drawn away when she heard her father growl deeply in anger.
"That bastard, how dare he alter like that!" Kiara pondered what he meant and gazed at Lucifer. She gasped softly when she saw that his eyes were replaced with sapphire eyes, the ones that Godith had slashed out in anger.
"It appears that my new looks struck a chord within you, Agorak. Then again, I had to think of something else since you ripped out my eyes!" bellowed Lucifer. He let out a powerful aura that shook the cavern, and brought fear into all souls present.
"Agorak…that power. I-I-It's not the same! It's so powerful! And we have to fight Mephistopheles right after?! I won't even be-"
"Kiara! Get a hold of yourself. I too am surprised by this sudden change. But we mustn't forget why we are here. I will save Galadrial, no matter the cost! Even if it means to go through our former nemesis who have a dramatic power boost, then so be it!" Stated Agorak boldly. He clenched his fists tightly and without a second thought, drastically increased his power output. He yelled mightily and blasted off towards his enemies. Lucifer did not hesitate to flap his titanic wings and meet with Agorak in a brutal clash of fists.
Kiara watched on the side in awe as Reignor went head to head against Satan, Spyro and Perdition were facing each other off in a shoot-out of energy blasts, Virgil managed to flee to safety so that he doesn't get caught in the crossfire of deity quarrels. She noticed that Akriloth and Simapiseel attempted to cut off Mephistopheles from entering the final circle.
"Really Akriloth? You think that just standing in front of me will stop me?" he asked. His response was the Demon-Dragon God getting up close and roaring point blank in his face.
"Don't think that we'll let you flee so easily coward! I owe him a favor and quite frankly, being there to help kick your ass sounds quite satisfying for me since you made me end up here to being with!" shouted Simapiseel. Once again, Mephistopheles looked at the two, appearing quite annoyed with the two.
"I see. Very well then. If it's a fight you guys want, it's a fight you two shall get!" roared the Devil. With the quickest of speeds he flicked the titan with ease towards the center. The entrance to Lake Cocytus from Fraud was through a small passage in the walls. However, Akriloth and Simapiseel were sent flying into the walls, broke through them and fell down several meters to the ice below. The loudest thud thundered throughout the Inferno, yet it seemed to have brought no attention to anyone, but Kiara.
'Shit! I gotta help the two! I'm fairly certain that everyone can take care of the rest with ease.' Thought Kiara as she flew across the Bolgia towards the entrance. She looked down at the battlefield, seeing tons of craters already, along with the bridges being destroyed and the Damned in each ditch along, along with the demons, running around in full panic as the battle raged on.
One detail though, made Kiara stop. She landed near the entrance of the next circle and gazed for a bit. "Hold on, where's Galadrial?" she asked to herself softly. She had a horrid feeling in her gut that her answer…was right behind her. She dared not turn around for she felt a stream of hot air exhale from Galadrial.
"Right here you bitch!" thundered Galadrial, swiping Kiara with her massive claw into a wall. Kiara roared in pain as she went through probably 20m of solid rock before coming to a stop. Galadrial wasted no time in smashing the wall into pieces. In a small crater, she found Kiara dazed, spectacles smashed, and struggling to get back up on her feet. Galadrial wasted no time in scooping up her sister with a claw, and with tremendous force send her flying through multiple walls across the Circle of Fraud.
Kiara came to a rest when she hit the wall near the waterfall from their decent. Not even 30 seconds and she is already broken. The raw power that Galadrial had acquired from the sins that were forced onto her was beyond logic and reasoning. Kiara groaned as she tried to get out of the crater from the wall. Of course, Galadrial allowed her no chance of easiness and came charging in, her mace tail at the ready. Kiara's eyes widened in shock, and with whatever strength she had left, dodge the deathly blow from her sister. Huge pieces of rock tumbled down to the ground below, and Galadrial grunted softly in anger. How badly she just wanted to kill Kiara, but seeing her sister on the ground, struggling to get up, and with the drastic size difference, she felt wanting more of this torment.
"Tell me, sister; was it all worth it for traveling this far to rescue me? To stop Mephistopheles?" she asked. Looking down at Kiara, she seemed like an ant in comparison. Her eyes were narrow and keen; she was debating what to do next. She was a bit surprised when she saw the white spec on the ground make movement.
Kiara's legs were shaking as she tried to stand. Blood ran down from her forehead, her vision was blurrier than a blizzard whiteout. She turned around slowly to look at what monstrosity Galadrial has become. She raised her hand slowly, and pointed at her.
"L…Look at yourself. See how…hideous you've b-b-become? I don't think Demitri or DL Mark…would appreciate that-" She was knocked to the side a few meters just from Galadrial slamming her massive claw into the ground next to her.
"Don't you dare speak to me about DL Mark or Demitri! They are as guilty as you and Agorak!" snarled the Demonic Purple Dragoness. Once again, Kiara struggled to her feet, despite her body begging to rest.
"And Godith? O-O-Our mother?" This time Kiara managed to dodge in a clumsy manner from Galadrial's spear tail.
"EVERYONE! Once you're all dead, I shall ascend to the surface and bring about a plague to them all!" she boomed.
"Well then…if it kills me, then I'll do whatever it takes to stop you and get you back to normal!" She let out a burst of energy to at least boost up her mobility. As predicted, Kiara dodged Galadrial's titanic jaws and ran as fast as she could for some form of decent cover. She needs to rest in order for her body and stamina to regenerate. Alas, Galadrial read her like a book and brought down her tail on the White Mistress. Kiara barreled roll out the way, but not without suffering a deep slash across her thigh. She hissed in pain and jumped up into the air, hoping to at least fly away from the Demon Titan.
To no avail for Galadrial was quick and she snatched Kiara out of the air with a firm grip in her claw. She landed back down, slammed Kiara to the wall and began to scrape her sister against the crude rocks. Kiara roared in sheer agony, she could feel her scales being shredded away, her wings on the verge of snapping off, and her crest being grinded. Galadrial ran with great speeds across the wall for a few more seconds before jumping into the air and tossing Kiara violently into the ground. A huge plume of smoke and dust shrouded her vision, but she wiped it away with ease with her wings.
She growled softly, for where there was supposed to be a crater, was in fact a large hole that revealed the path of the Phlegethon travelling underground. 'So that's how the river ends up in Cocytus. Lucky whore. She'll be able to regenerate whilst she swims down the river, assuming she doesn't drown.' She turned her attention to the rest of the fight that was going on. She could see as Lucifer, Satan, and Perdition had the upper hand in their battle. She could easily assist them in destroying her friends and family, but again, her mind was too focused on Kiara.
'They don't need assistance. Those idiots will die soon. As much as I like this power, I hate this bulk form. It really brings my speed down. And I want to find Kiara before she has a chance to fight back.' She thought. She took a deep breath and exhaled black mist once again. It shrouded her body and she felt a sigh of relief as she shrank down in size. Her body was back to the size before her sudden transformation, except she wasn't in a ghostly form. She looked down at her hands and noticed her scales being deep purple, with streaks of black veins all over her body. The only change she could tell was that she had lips once again.
'Good, I don't want to taste dirt ever again.' She thought. She flapped her wings as she blazed through the battlefield, cutting across everyone. All of her friends and family stopped for a brief moment, for they were startled to see her in a different form. This allowed her comrades to lay a devastating blow into them which either sent them flying or on the floor in tremendous pain. She passed by with a sinister smile towards the center. She managed to find a small opening area that showed where the river flowed into Lake Cocytus. Galadrial quickly descended and hovered above the river, waiting patiently for her sister to come out.
A/N: The fight for the fate of the universe seems to be in the hands of the enemies! Will the Dracovians stage a comeback and succeed? Or perish in the Inferno? Find out next time on R.O.D!