Chapter 5: The Weapon

She woke up with the taste of dirt in her mouth. Her memory was foggy at what had happened before, or how many hours ago it had been. She blinked and darkened images flashed in her memory, like motions in stormy darkness illuminated by flashes of lightning.

Around her, the room was in chaos--what small sunlight peered in through the foundry's window illuminated it well. There were patches of blood in the dirt, shattered racks of weapons, swords and knives strewn around carelessly. Only herself and one other remained in the room.

Her only company she had was a corpse--a man, far older than herself, slumped over his furnace, a long sword buried to the hilt between his shoulder blades. She walked over to him, her fingers gliding over the hilt of the sword, as if she could read the memory from the weapon.

They attacked, she thought, pulling the half-charred man from the furnace. His blackened and burnt features stared back at her with hollow, horrified eyes. In the struggle, they threw him in his own furnace. She looked up at the racks of weapons, only a few of which still hung unmolested.

They took weapons, as well.

She looked back at the door.

They were surprised by someone, attacking from behind, she pondered, crouching at the door. There was a small patch of blood next to a knife and a small curved sword lying in the sand. Despite the dirt and soot, its blade shone bright. Bright enough for anyone but herself to see her reflection. There was a cruel slash of red, caked and drying to black on its edge.

Human blood. The blacker dust . . .must be vampire blood.

She held the blade, cradling it thoughtfully. The sun caught the tip, shining a glint of sunlight onto it, as if blessing the sword. She looked around the room, as if catching a strange scent in the air.

And something else was here as well, she thought, the hairs on the back of her neck standing straight up.

A spirit.

She sighed. It was as if the sword she held were a key and her memory, now unlocked, finally flooded back to her. She could recall, as perfectly as if she had been there herself, the battle. How the two vampires masquerading as desert nomads had forced their way in, caught the man unawares, and were then ambushed by someone else, who was stuck by this blade, and, crawling alone the floor, reached for another.

Her eyes narrowed, gathering her black hair behind her and using a small leather string to tie it into a ponytail. The vampires and the other girl were long gone--at least six hours to a day before she'd awoke on the floor of the foundry. Six hours on this sphere would allow them to make good time travelling, even on foot in the open desert.

She knew then what she had to do. First, she would see to the man. Then she would destroy the blade she held, and take one of her own. The owner of this hut wouldn’t need them anymore.

And then she would find the girl named Vertiga Scylla.

* * *

Grune rocketed towards Darken with all the speed the dragon could bring to bear. Burning air streamed from his nostrils as he flew on, determined to teach this half-breed upstart a lesson he'd never forget, assuming he survived it at all.

Despite himself, despite the red-hot anger that gripped his heart like a vise, he found himself remembering happier times, with Dhuron and the rest of their clan. When they'd still deluded themselves into thinking there was only their world, the world of dragons, and they were rulers of it. For seventeen generations they ruled every clan, from the poison dragons in the East to the water dragons in the South. They were the first clan to ever be strong enough to rule every clan in Ladon.

We believed this place was all the world there was, he thought. Happy illusions those damned Angels were more than happy to disabuse us of.

I cannot turn back time, but I can pay this one back for it.

There was a flash from where Darken hovered. Grune reached out with his clawed fingers. At this speed, they'd pierce Darken's armor and the flesh behind it and he'd smash him into the rock walls.

He flew through Darken, slamming into the rock wall by himself. He put his hands out to catch himself, anchoring his body against the wall as he looked behind him.

"Illusions," Grune sneered to Darken. "If you think simple tricks will save you, you wouldn’t be more wrong whelp. They only anger me more."

Grune belched a fireball at Darken, who turned and dodged the projectile, raising his hands and pointing towards Grune. A bolt of pale blue energy fired forward and struck the wall he was anchored to, crumbling it and causing him to fall. Grune spread his wings and took to the air again, as Darken flew towards him, arms out, ready for another blast, at point-blank range this time.

Grune waited until Darken was close enough, closed his wings, and as he fell, snaked his tail around Darken's waist, throwing him down into the canyon below as he spread his wings again.

Darken slammed into the bottom of the canyon onto a small bank near a stream of lava. Grune's lips pulled back from his teeth and he belched a stream of fire at the lava, superheating it and causing it to burst into flame.

He'll run out of air in the close confines of the quarry with the fire that strong, he thought. Then I can collect what remains.

He began circling the burning canyon. Despite his presumption, Grune found himself impressed with Darken's willingness to challenge him again.

Perhaps he does possess some of his father's courage after all, he thought.

If any of his body is left after the fire burns itself out, I shall bury him next to his father, as a testament to his courage.

He was about to glide into the canyon on the far side of the blaze when Darken roared out of canyon, face darkened with soot and ash, blue eyes blazing with fury.

Grune was caught unawares by the half-breed's speed and maneuverability and found himself caught across the jaw with a hard punch. It surprised him more than it hurt, but there was something different about this punch as opposed to pitiful strikes they'd exchanged on their first encounter.

Darken seized Grune's wrists as Grune tried to get the leverage to kick him off his body and still stay aloft. But it was more difficult somehow. Something was sapping his strength, making it difficult to bring the force to bear to repel Darken.

As he shook his wings, trying to beat them to stay aloft he understood.

Snow, he thought.

He's using . . .magic. Not raw power, actual magic--!

Grune twisted one arm free and struck Darken with his tail. Darken tumbled backwards, his wings easily keeping him aloft. He fired again at Grune, sending him tumbling down to the fiery canyon below.

Grune saw Darken banking above him, preparing to dive and press the attack. He wasn't left waiting long--Darken caught him in the stomach, propelling him at high speed to the bottom of the canyon, just as Grune had intended to do to him earlier.

They struck the ground with such force it left a crater. Darken lifted Grune out of the crater, then blasted Grune into a rock wall with another strange bolt of magic.

Grune's chest heaved, unable to get a breath with the fire still raging behind them. He rose unsteadily to his feed, cradling his side with his arm.

"You . . .you weren't this powerful before," he growled.

"I've had a little time to think, Grune," Darken said. "I know a little more about how to beat you, now."

"You've hurt me, boy, but you’re a fool to think you have a hope of beating me," Grune sneered. "What could you possibly know that could gain you victory?"

Darken bit his lip, his fury stoked by Grune's goading.

He screamed, the echo ricocheting off the walls of the canyon. Even in the thinning, scorching air Grune could feel the force of the sound vibrating his very bones and the earth below him.

There was a rumbling sound, quiet at first, but then louder than the scream, Grune looked up as the canyon began to collapse. Small pebbled were followed soon by huge boulders. He wrapped his wings around himself and crouched down as the rocks covered him.

Darken took a few steps forward, unsteady and light-headed as he surveyed his handiwork.

"Well, for one thing, I know that sound doesn’t travel far . . .in canyons . . . like this," he said, his unsteadiness giving way to vertigo as he fell forwards, the breath stolen from him by the fire and the scream.

* * *

Vantiga looked at the device in his hands and frowned. The unblinking, amoeba-like eye showed the two scouts they'd sent out from the dig the day before heading back, but there had been no contact since they'd turned back.

Kirone looked over her shoulder as she supervised Monstructor explaining the workings of the Beast. "Problems, Vantiga?"

"Our two scouts are returning as ordered, but haven’t made contact yet," he said. "It's . . .irregular."

"These are strange times," Kirone said. "Order them to split up and find the nearest human settlement and take it for us. We're working on something here."

"But shouldn't we consolidate our forces here and move as one?"

"No," Kirone said. "According to our friend here, we'll need them elsewhere."

"Yes," Monstructor said. "The ones you've given me will power the Beast a little of the way, but we'll need more, much more, for what you propose."

"What is he talking about?" Vantiga asked.

"Tell him," Kirone said curtly. Monstructor stepped forward, his squirrelly nervous eyes darting back and forth between Kirone and Vantiga.

"Long ago, the Beasts were our weapons of war, against our enemies, the Fennec," Monstructor said. "They matched their skill with magic against our technology, and for a time, beat us and drove us here, but then we discovered a way to use their methods against them. To bridge their magic and out technology."

"The Beasts?" Vantiga asked.

Monstructor nodded. "Yes, yes. Weapons of great power--technology powered by the spirits, in the same way ferromancers bind a spirit to a blade. A spirit is summoned and bound into the shell. The process drives them mad, but creates a potent weapon that can be unleashed on one's enemies."

"A bomb," Vantiga said.

"Of a sort," Monstructor said.

"Monstructor tells me sacrifice is the only way to activate them," Kirone said.

"Yes, my lady," he said. "The blood of our own people was necessary to activate them at first, and after the Fennec sealed their power, I had to give of myself to keep this one alive, even a little."

He raised his metal arm, looking through his fingers at Vantiga.

"My men--?"

"Feeding the Beast, you might say."

Vantiga tried to restrain his anger. "Are you telling me this . . .thing . . .is feeding off their remains?!"

"Only their life energy," Monstructor said. "I will return them to you when the Beast is brought to full power."

"Return them?" Vantiga said. "Are you saying you can restore them to life?"

Monstructor shook his head. "I will make them better than they were, and return them to you. You may trust me, Vantiga.

"Look at the excellent job I did on myself."

"My Lady--"

"Don’t start with me, Vantiga," Kirone said. "It's necessary, for the moment. But I will hold Monstructor to his word about resurrecting them. One Beast doesn't replace our need for an army, after all. For now, we have to rely on their sacrifice. Your scouts, I hope, will allow us to effect a more permanent solution to our problem."

"Sacrificing one of the settlements will give us the power to activate all the remaining Beasts," Monstructor said. "The blood of an entire city will power them, and us, for as long as we need."

Kirone bit her lip, smiling as she folded her arms over her chest.

"Well then, if you’re quite ready, Monstructor, get us underway."

Monstructor nodded, his hands, metal and otherwise, gliding over a strange set of keys. There was a rumble that shuddered through the interior of the machine, one that shook the three of them violently for a few minutes, then settled into a pronounced vibration, then only a small hum that surged through the ship.

Outside, the sand vibrated away, and then the harder packed dirt underneath gave way as the Beast burst from its sandy prison. It was a hideous thing--a roughly spherical shape surrounding an enthroned, skeletal figure. Where the figure's hands and feet would have been were the heads of serpents.

As it rose like an evil moon above the desert, the sand revealed the bottom of the spherical beast tapered into the shape of a grinning skull, tons of sand pouring from its empty eyes and mouth like the tears of time.

* * *

Darken rose first, his lungs filling with air that despite being the usual scorching shock to his lungs was the sweetest he'd ever breathed. He quickly got his feet, eyeing the result of the rockslide he'd created with the scream.

Wow, he thought. I didn’t think I had that in me. Of course, I wish I’d known I would have enough air to breathe and scream with the fire going.

Live and learn, I guess.

He stood, still wobbly on his legs as he looked behind him. The fire had burnt out and there was no sign that Grune had dug himself out of the rockslide. He stared at it as he tried to clear his head.

Have I killed him? Darken thought, the awful icy grip of fear racing through him. I've never killed anyone before . . .and even though I hated him so for what he said, I didn't think it would be my uncle.

He wrapped his arms around himself, suddenly feeling cold. The Clasp had told him what he needed to know, about how the dragons commanded Ladon through the air thanks to the hot winds that were ideal for them to glide on, told him that using his magic to generate cold could weaken them and that he could generate sound loud enough to bring the canyon down on him.

He looked at the jeweled Clasp accusingly. Did you tell me how to kill him, too? I don't have that many extant relatives as it is, and I didn't--

The sight of some of the rocks blasting away and hurling towards him jarred him out of his reverie. He folded his wings in front of himself to shield his face from the flying debris, whipping them open in time to see Grune, enraged and bloodied, rise from the rocks.

"You should have killed me when you had the chance," he said. "Blood or no blood of mine, there can be only one outcome now."

"YES THERE IS!" A voice walled from above. Shadows crossed over Darken and Grune, followed by the quiet scraping thuds of people landing all around them. Darken recognized them at once, and recognized the import of their weapons readied and pointing at he and Grune just as much.

"Come to witness me drowning this whelp in a pool of magma, my brethren?" Grune said.

"No," Arkus said, stepping forward, spear held horizontally between the two combatants. "This battle is ended."

"The battle doesn’t end until one of us is dead," Grune said, pushing past Arkus. "He challenged me, and honor must be satisfied."

To more Dragons stepped forward, blocking him with crossed spears.

"Honor has been satisfied, Grune," Arkus said. "He's proven himself. He is your brother's son, however different he looks. His fire is as ours."

Grune looked at Arkus, then at the rest of his clan. His first impulse was to condemn them as traitors to him.

Then he looked at Darken. His first thought this time, more than the rage at his angelic features, was the beginning of respect. Even challenging him again after he'd shamed him in front of all of them took fire, never mind fighting him to a standstill.

Darken's eyes met Grune's. Despite the exhaustion he felt in every extremity, he'd fight Grune until both of them died, if that was what it took. If Grune was determined to provoke him and prove his mettle, Darken wouldn't disappoint him.

Unless there was another way.

Grune pushed the spears crossed before him apart, looking his nephew up and down. The tension in his muscles began to relax. "Yes," he said. "Your fire is as ours Darken. You have earned Grune's respect, but not my place ruling this clan."

"That's fine," Darken said a little weakly. "I'm no leader. Does this . . .mean the fight's over?"

Grune threw his head back and laughed, slapping Darken hard on the shoulder. Darken winced quietly as everyone else around them laughed.

"Yes, Darken, our fight is finished," Grune said. "Now, we celebrate."

"Wonderful," Darken said, rubbing his injured shoulder. "What are we celebrating?"

Grune's lips peeled back in a toothy grin. "A new member of our clan. My nephew returning to the fold. Back to the cave, my brethren. We'll prepare a feast."

* * *

Maryna sat facing the rather severe man standing on the other side of the desk. His red suit marked him as a member of the Imperial Court; the sword sheathed at his waist and the scar over his eye marked him as a veteran of combat. At his neck was a golden Eagle Clasp, holding a black jewel in its beak. Beside him Alecto stood, arms folded, trying to look as severe as he did.

"You present us with a difficult dilemma, Lady Cyclade," the man said, rising from his chair. "What you've done is a violation of one of our most severe Imperial edicts. A violation of this sort would ordinarily carry the penalty of death. For you, a consort-royal, however, we're not sure how to proceed. After all, no one's broken the edict before you. So what are we to do with you?"

"You'll pardon my asking, Lord Sandalphon, but what exactly did I do that was so wrong?" Maryna said, sitting prim and upright in the backless chair swallowed by his shadow. "How is consulting with a relative, consulting our history, punishable in the same way as would treason be?"

"Travel's been restricted since the war," Alecto said. "One of the conditions of the treaty. Paraphernalia aiding in travel outside of the provided gates is prohibited."

"That wasn't part of the treaty," Maryna said, touching her Eagle Clasp. "I know, I've read it. It was a decision made years ago by my consort's grandfather."

"Very well, then," Sandalphon said, taking a deep breath. "It's for your own safety, Lady Cyclade. Hostile races rule these Spheres. Ones who do not take unannounced violations of their territories kindly."

"Then why do you have the map and the ability to open a Gate to one of the Spheres?" Maryna asked.

"We require it for your protection," Alecto said coolly.

"I didn’t ask you, I asked him," Maryna said, pointing to Sandalphon. "You fought with my great-grandfather in the war, Sandalphon, you survived. You were there when they locked the Spheres away from us.

"I want to know why."

"I have no explanation, Lady Cyclade," Sandalphon said. "I would be curious, however, to know your sudden interest in traveling elsewhere."

"You'll learn nothing more from her today," a voice called from behind Maryna as the doors to Sandalphon's office swung open. A younger Angel, flanked by two red-robed Seraphim strode inside. Maryna stifled a smile.

Sandalphon and Alecto stiffened to attention. "Prince Sachiel," he said. "You honor us with your presence."

Sachiel nodded to them, then looked down at his consort. "I'd heard you were placed under arrest," he said, resting a white-gloved hand on her shoulder. He looked at Sandalphon. "

"I'd like to know why."

"We merely wanted her for questioning, Your Highness," Sandalphon said.

"Your consort was caught accessing forbidden information in the Crystal Forever," Alecto said, stepping between her father and Sachiel. "She was apprehended and brought here, fairly and legally--"

"Alecto," Sandalphon cautioned.

"No, Father," she said, her voice hissing. "We're expected to protect them with our lives, and if we sometimes have to do it in spite of their natures, then so be it."

"Forgive my daughter, Your Highness," Sandalphon said. "She speaks out of turn."

Sachiel looked down at Maryna. "Is this true?"

"I went to the Crystal Forever to speak to my great-grandfather," she said. "Whatever we talked about, I should think it's none of their business."

"It is if it's more than reminiscence," Sandalphon said. He turned to Sachiel. "She accessed information on the war, and on travelling between Spheres on her own. Knowledge is a weapon after all, and dangerous in the wrong hands."

Sachiel stood behind Maryna as she rose from her chair. "You did? Even I'm not permitted to do that."

"Well, it started as a simple hobby, something to stave off the boredom," Maryna said. "But the more evasive people got when I asked about something that happened a generation ago, well, that only made me more curious."

Sachiel shook his head for a moment and sighed quietly. Your curiosity's going to get you in bad trouble one of these days, Maryna. "All right," he said. "I agree that she shouldn't be allowed unrestricted travel between the Spheres."

Thanks for taking my side, Maryna thought, looking over her shoulder at him.

"But isn’t there another way she could be permitted to see the Spheres on her own? Without dragging her to the dungeons?"

"We're not going to bend the law for one errant--"

"Alecto, be silent," Sandalphon said. He turned to Sachiel. "We're not entirely sure how to proceed ourselves--no one has ever been changed with this crime, certainly no one from the Royal Court. We have no specific punishment to fit the crime.

"What do you propose?"

* * *

The celebration of Darken's joining the clan had lasted on into the night, long enough for Darken to get plenty more bruises on top of the ones he'd sustained in the fight with Grune.

It's like night and day, he thought, sitting around the fires with Arkus and two other dragon's he'd not yet learnt the names of. Before they were friendly, but never this friendly.

Now they treat me like family.

All except for the hitting, anyway. If this keeps up I'll be hurting more from the party than I will the fight.

He jumped as he felt a clawed hand on his shoulder and turned to look up.

It was Grune.

"It is time," he said quietly. "Come with me."

The pair of them walked out of the cave, staring out at night on Ladon. In the distance, still-active volcanoes blasted lava forth, igniting the horizon line and darkening the skies to a forbidding purplish-black.

"Where are we going?" Darken asked, his hair blowing into his eyes from the hot wind.

Grune stared up at the mountain before them, walking to the rock face and beginning to climb. "Up. No flying--with our hands alone."

Darken started up after him. He'd learnt early on how to climb--living in the temple so many years, it had been hard to resist the impulse. Whether among the statues and rock faces of the Temple or the trees in the forests, climbing had been his first skill.

Hand over hand they climbed for an hour, reaching a rocky peak overlooking a range of mountains that stretched like a thorny serpent into the distance. Sheltered under a smaller crag was a pile of rocks.

A burial mound, Darken thought.

"Yes," Grune said, answering his nephew's silent question. "Here lies the remains of Dhuron. My brother. Your father."

"His body was returned to us, the circumstances of his death, we never knew," Grune said. "We suspected the Angels, given who your mother was and the scandal that both our races suffered at their joining. I brought his body here, alone. Watched as he burned for three days.

"I have never returned until this night."

"Why?" Darken asked.

"Because," Grune said. "The last time I saw your father alive, we made arrangements for what would happen in the event of his death. You were soon to be born, but whomever sought his death and your mother's must have been closing in."

"So he made arrangements?" Darken said. "My mother did the same thing."

"She was wise, for an Angel," Grune admitted. "Her fire, like yours, was as ours. In any case, Dhuron's final words to me were to bring you here when you came of age and found your way to us."

"If this was all prearranged," Darken asked, wrapping his wings around himself. "Then why the fight?"

"Your blood was as ours, but for Dragons, the fires within tell us true," Grune said, walking to the burial mound. "You had to prove yourself."

"That was part of the arrangement, then?"

"No," Grune said, lifting something from the head of the mound. "That was my doing. To see if you were worthy of your father's legacy. And this."

He stepped into the spare light. He was carrying a long ebony spear, with a large curved blade on one end, a handle jutting from just behind the blade.

"This is the Blackfang," Grune said. "Your father's weapon. He entrusted it to me years ago, to give to you when the time was right."

He tossed it to Darken, who spread his wings and caught the spear with an outstretched arm. He hefted the weapon in his hands, testing it. It was strong but flexible, and, like his Eagle Clasp, possessed of a kind of power he could feel within it.

More than that, he could feel his father's essence within it. It was the closest he'd ever felt to him.

"Grune," he said, bringing the butt of the spear to rest beside him. "Thank you. I never knew my father, never had any idea who he was or what he was like. I have no memory of him, but holding this . . .I at least feel like I have a heritage."

"You do, and if I may say, a noble one," Grune said. "You have proven yourself to me and to you father's memory. He left that for you, telling me you would need it for trials to come."

Darken sighed. More mysterious stuff about the future and a destiny everyone seemed to know more about than I do, he thought ruefully.

"You've taken his gift, now receive mine, nephew," Grune said. "When you need us, call and our clan will stand by your side and fight. You are one of us, and no matter where you go now, you are not alone."

* * *

The vampire known as Ragesh stalked through the sands of the open desert alone, hating himself for giving the compass to Lumekh when he parted company with him. They'd received word to split up and look for settlements from Vantiga sometime around sunset, and before parting company, they'd halved their belonging between them.

And fool that I am, I traded the compass for one of the swords, he thought. Imagining I’d need protection in this strange world more than direction. After all, it's all open sand with a few rocks, how hard could it be to find a town? We'd found one easily enough last night.

So now, Ragesh slogged alone through the fine sands, feeling his armor crawl. The parasites don't seem to enjoy the feel of sand between them, he thought. And so they take it out on me.

Perhaps they know what a fool I am. If so, they learned the lesson swifter than I have.

He passed into an outcropping of rock, an island in a sea of alabaster sand. He leaned against one of the larger rocks, attempting to get his bearings.

Surely from this vantage there must be some reference, he thought. Some point on the horizon. The glow of torch flame, something to indicate a town or a house somewhere in this forsaken place.

He frowned, gritting his teeth and baring his fangs.


He sighed and leaned against the rock. The idea of finding a household and turning the villagers seemed less like an assignment and more like a delightful diversion. His hunger was gnawing at him as insistently as the parasite armor.

He was about to get back underway when he heard something stirring in the rocks. His hand went to the precious sword he'd traded for.

"Who's there?"

Nothing. He sighed and nearly relaxed when the sound came again.

He drew his sword this time. They'd spent the afternoon learning what these blades could do. Being they were andric metal and spirit blades besides, they'd been amazed by the power they could bring to bear.

It had certainly been enough to deal with the rocks he and Lumekh had destroyed in the desert.

Still no sign.

Ragesh became dimly aware of a sound cutting through the air above him, a keening cry of metal, as if someone had struck a sword from someone's hand. It sailed over his head, then became louder.

In fact it was a sword and it landed before him in the sand, its blade, marked with angry-looking orange runes began to pulse and glow with almost living energy. Ragesh was about to move towards it when he was hurled backwards by an explosion of purple flame.

"You've stolen enough blades, I think," a voice said. It had the youthful silkiness of a child's but with an undercurrent of menace, like thunder. Out of the flames strode a young woman, clad in white armor, the heat from the fire blowing her white hair around her face, silhouetting her glowing purple eyes in darkness.

"Who--" Ragesh began drawing his sword. He'd barely lifted it in front of him before a slash of purple flame sliced away his hands.

"Nice blade," the woman said, catching his crossed and severed forearms with the tip of her sword, hurling both high into the sky.

"Mine's better," she said quietly and gestured to the flying blade. There was another keening cry of metal and the sword exploded high above their heads. Then she shoved Ragesh against the rock and stabbed him through the stomach. Ragesh screamed in pain as she drove the sword in until the barbs near the hilt sliced into his abdomen.

Through the pain he pondered the impossibility that a girl that slight could even lift the sword, much less wield it so effectively.

"The other one," she said, leaning in close. "WHERE IS HE?"

"I . . .don’t know . . .he took the compass . . .we split up . . ." Ragesh managed weakly.

"Split up," she repeated. "And you don’t know where."

"N-no . . ."

"Then you’re no help at all."

A bolt of purple flame seared from the hilt of the sword down into Ragesh, scorching him into ash, then scattering the ashes with a flat booming noise. The woman stood alone now, in the darkness of the desert.

"You promised me you'd help me find them and make them pay," she said.

And I will, a voice said in her head. It was quiet, but rumbled like an oncoming storm in her mind. Now that we know what attacked you in your father's foundry, it will be a simple matter to home in on them. Tracking is one of my gifts.

"So it won’t take all day to find the other one," she replied, hatefully.

I give you my word, the voice said. I gave you the power you asked for to drive them off, and the same power has destroyed this one. I will give you the power to complete your revenge.

Trust in me. After all, who loves you more than I do?

I am your humble servant, Vertiga Scylla.

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