Author: Melissa Norvell PM
MXM MXF FXF. There are those who question the credibility of a legend and those who believe every word. Faced with the injustices done to him, the legend returns to redeem himself and soon everyone will learn the tragic truth.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Chapters: 96 - Words: 428,871 - Reviews: 1,577 - Favs: 82 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 03-19-13 - Published: 05-27-07 - id: 2367530
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I'm back with another update to this story. It's actually in the home stretch for ending. I gained a few new fans and that makes me happy. Thank you for sticking with me until the story ended, as well as those who have followed me for the 5+ years I've written on it. I'm glad I could hold your attention for this long.
Please enjoy chapter 94!
Chapter 94: Domina
By: Melissa Norvell
Hiroshima cracked an eye open. The hardwood floors were cold to the touch as he rose up, stretching his wings as he glanced around at the rest of his team mates. Everyone lay on the floor, dressed in their Japanese attire. "Huh? Where the hell are we?" He muttered to himself as he arose and examined his surroundings.
The floors were marked like a grid, consisting of a black and white checker board pattern. Chess pieces littered the floor, strewn out in all directions, as if they had been shrunken and laid on a chess game. Two giant, marble knight pieces loomed above them, decked out in armor with their swords poised for battle and fierce expressions written on their faces, carved forever in a moment of tenacity.
Then, something caught his eye. "You…"
Before him stood a diminutive girl, her body was thin and nearly non gender, minus her small breasts. She was clad in a black lace dress with long sleeves and a round collar. Beneath it, she wore a white, silk dress of the same length. This girl sported a bob cut, and her hair and large eyes were a dark, forest green. On her feet here black, shiny flats and sprouting from her shoulder blades were small, black, feathered wings.
"It's been a long time, hasn't it?" She spoke, her voice surprisingly mature for something that would come from someone who stood four foot eight.
"Eve, why are you here? When you show up, things are usually bad." Hiroshima knew that girl was like a walking omen. The fact that she was here was anything but happy.
"I've come here to take you back to hell." Her orders were simple, and now that she had found him, her deed could be completed.
"Why?" Hiroshima didn't like the sound of it, nor did he want to return to that place. He still had something to accomplish in the mortal world.
Chichiri pulled himself up slowly and rubbed his head. "Ugh…Are we in another world? Please don't say where in another dimension or something!" Violently, he looked around at his surroundings to make sure nothing was too weird.
"You're in Domina." Eve educated him on their location.
Fife was the next to sit up. Opening his eyes, he caught wind of the last thing the small girl had uttered. "Domina?"
"Yes, Domina, the gothic battle field."
"Battle field, eh? Sounds like my mind of place." Hiroshima flashed a smirk and swung the Crimson over his shoulder as he rose.
Tsurugi sat on the ground as the other stirred awake around him. "Blood and guts have always been your kind of thing, Hiro-kun."
"Hey! Where's Ko?" Keiji drew the attention of his team mates as they glanced around to discover his realization. The white-haired girl was nowhere to be found.
"Did we leave her behind?" Zangetsu wondered aloud. The only thing he remembered is being engulfed in a strange, white light that Azmy sent out from her body.
Tsurugi stood with a serious expression. "No, she's here in Domina. She just got separated from everyone."
"Perhaps I can assist you." Eve decided that getting into their group might be her best bet. She can keep track of the renegade dark angel on the way, and send him back to hell when the opportunity arose.
"Huh?" Keiji heard the new voice and glanced towards its projection, only to find the small girl standing there.
"Who are you?" Zangetsu asked the question that reeled through all of their minds.
Eve bowed politely. "My name is Eve, and I am a dark angel. Hiroshima and I are brother and sister."
This was shocking news, and Chichiri couldn't contain a comment even if he wanted to. "What? You're related to Hiroshima?" It wasn't like there were a lot of similarities between them. Even was short and had abnormally small wings, while Hiroshima was tall and lanky. The only real similarity was that they were both pale and had the same hair color, although Eve's was a lighter shade.
"She's actually my half-sibling. We have the same father, but different mothers." Hiroshima noted. There were reasons why they looked so different, but that was really no one's business.
"Well, father isn't exactly the most faithful person around." Eve noted. He had many children and was quite a promiscuous individual. So many had loved him, and so many had left him.
"Hmpf. He gave me away, what do I care?" The legend closed his eyes and frowned, his voice like cutting steel to his sister's words.
"He had his reasons, you know." They both knew the reason Hiroshima was sent to Earth. No matter how much he hated his life on the mortal plane, it served a greater purpose.
"He can blow it out of his ass."
Before the fight could escalade, Chichiri decided to change the subject. "This place is weird."
"Yes, there aren't really any people here." Zangetsu noted. No signs of buildings, nor were there any towns. It was just all chess board. The skies were gray, and nothing existed but black and white in monochrome.
"They're all in battle." Eve noted.
"In battle?" Keiji was confused. What battle was so huge that the whole population of the world had to be involved?
"Yes, there are two sides of opposition in Domina: the White Side and the Black Side. Each color runs half of the land, but lately the White Side has gone corrupt."
"Corrupt? Why?" Zangetsu thought it strange that something like the color white could be seen as corrupt from any angle, much less a corrupt one. The land was confusing and he had not been there but a few moments.
"Because of the arrival of the White Queen."
"The White Queen?" Chichiri was lost. Who the hell was that and why was she important?
"Yes, the White Queen is a very powerful ruler. She had the previous White King executed. She also had his royal court banished, as well as any followers who remained loyal to him. No one has seen them in years and they are all rumored to be dead." Eve explained the events of Domina to give them a better understanding on the situation they had stepped in to. Things in this land were a mess, and the battles were getting more and more out of control every day that the mysterious White Queen appeared.
"Years? Wait…You mean this wasn't just a recent thing?" Chichiri thought he had just come in on developing problems, but they had preexisted this entire time.
Eve shook her head. "No, this has been going on for ten years."
"Ten years?!" The blonde was shocked that this was an ongoing thing. Surely the people of Domina would have been able to apprehend the White Queen by now. At least, that's what he thought, anyway.
"What do you know about the White Queen?" Hiroshima was interested. He might as well engage in battle in this new world. At least it was better than sitting on his ass and doing nothing. Not to mention, the whole situation sounded interesting to him, as well as the mechanics of Domina in general. It truly was like a chess board in every aspect.
Eve went on to explain that the White Queen was very powerful and her reasons for ruling Domina were obscure. She did know that she was trying to abolish the Black Side of Domina's people, and that she had a series of strong knights that served beneath her.
"Where is the White Queen?" Zangetsu inquired. For that matter, where were the fights that she had spoken of earlier? The lack of people made him feel uneasy. The only sounds that could be heard were the sounds of their conversation. It was the ultimate sense of being alone.
"She resides in the garden of human cages."
Chichiri's face lit up in horror. Did he hear that right? "Excuse me! The garden of what?"
"That garden of human cages." The location rolled off of the angel's thin lips as if it were a mundane topic.
"Do you know how creepy that sounds?" It wasn't any place he wanted to go. Human cages? He would rather stay alone than even fathom if they were cages made for humans or from humans. Either way, it was creepy and he didn't really want to see them.
"She keeps humans in cages?" Why did Keiji have to keep talking about it? It made his skin crawl.
"She only keeps the key holders there." Eve cleared up any misunderstandings that they could have formed from hearing minimal information on the topic at hand. It wasn't exactly the slave situation or horror element they had been thinking about.
"They key holders?" There were a lot of pieces in this puzzle, and every time he thought he understood what was going on, Zangetsu was introduced to a new series of factors.
Eve informed them at the world contained hidden chests. Each of the chests had a key inside of it. The keys were used to unlock magical items. The more key holders that were on a team, the more access your team would have to the flow of magic in Zameln and the more powerful a team would become.
"There is a drawback, however." Eve's expression turned grave.
"What's that?" Chichiri wasn't sure he wanted to ask, but he did nonetheless.
"They key holder has to be willing to work with you, or their power lies dormant within the chest." Just because a team had key holders, it didn't mean that they wanted to work with their respected team.
"So, no one gets the power at all?" Keiji wondered how that worked. What did the teams do with the key holders they possessed that were reluctant to give them their powers?
"So, how do you become a key holder?" Zangetsu thought that if someone on their team became a key holder that it would give them a better chance if they were thrown into battle. Maybe they could even have multiple key holders to increase their strength.
"There are four key holders in Domina. All are skilled and all are female." Eve informed them of the common factors present in the preexisting key holders.
"So, there are no make key holders in Domina at all?" Keiji questioned. That was very odd. Was it a job that was specifically created for the female gender, or was it merely a coincidence that all of the present key holders happened to be of one gender?
"No." Eve confirmed her prior information. Unless a new one cropped up that she could not detect, there were only four key holders.
"That's biased." Fife's cheerful voice interrupted their conversation.
"Fife!" Keiji shouted in irritation and snapped his head back to the vampire who merely stood there with that same smile plastered to his face.
"Whose side are you on, Eve?" Zangetsu assumed that she had to be on someone's side, considering she held enough knowledge to have been in the world for quite some time now.
"I work for the Black King, Charles Grey." The angel noted.
"Charles Grey? Like the tea?" Chichiri found it a stupid question when it poured from his lips, but it was too late now. He had already asked it.
A bead of sweat ran down the back of the small girl's head. "Yes, like the tea."
"What does Charles Grey want with the land?" Zangetsu wondered. If the White Side was corrupt, then what was the Black Side going to do? What were their plans in all of this chess board chaos? What was their aim? Their mission?
Eve went on to explain that King Charles Grey actually rightfully owned Domina. He was the rightful king. He and the former White King, Claude Crane, shared Axis Power over the land, until King Claude was assassinated by a mysterious girl who descended from the sky and called herself the White Queen. After the incident, she began to rule and the stability of the land was broken. It was thrown into constant war.
The small angel had faith that King Charles Grey could change the world. He wanted to save the key holders, who were so wrongfully imprisoned by the Queen and her knights.
"Do you think he'd help us find Ko?" Chichiri was worried about her state of being. What if the White Queen got a hold of Ko? What if she was in one of those disgusting human cages, even though she wasn't a key holder? What if she was being tortured or something? The thoughts consumed him and picked at his brain, eating him alive with anxiety.
Eve looked thoughtful for a moment. "If anyone would know her whereabouts, than he would." Charles was one of the most knowledgeable people in Domina. It was very likely that he would know where Ko was or at least as little as whose side she was on.
"Can you take us to him?" Chichiri would gladly do whatever he asked if he could tell them something about her.
Eve told them that she could certainly take them, and instructed the group to follow her. They traveled through the chess figures and made their way to a massive gothic castle that was pitch black with pointed towers and what looked like a giant fan blade on a pillar that contained a clock hand with a black sun at one end and a black crescent moon at the other.
The sounds that the fan blade made as it rotated were like loud, booming winds. The group stood before it, gazing at it with intense eyes. Most of them had never seen a castle so unique, or so creepy looking.
"What the hell kind of castle is this?" Hiroshima didn't know what to make of it. He had seen some pretty massive castles. The one in Pandemonium, in Hell put this one to shame, but the thing that stuck out most to him was the fan blade and weird clock hand. Besides being artistic and strange, did they really serve a purpose?
"This is Nightshade Castle." Eve introduced them to the home of the Black King.
Chichiri couldn't keep his eyes off of it. "Man, that's freaky looking."
"Why is there a giant fan on it?" Zangetsu asked the question Hiroshima had silently been wondering about. He hadn't seen anything like it in any of the worlds that he'd been in so far.
"Nightshade Castle generates its own power. It's very self-sufficient." The angel informed them of the blade's purpose. It had been that way as long as she existed in this world.
Hiroshima's main point of focus wasn't really the giant wind turbine, but it was something minute that no one else had noticed. After noticing the large details, he had his chance to scan the castle for any semblance of activity and what he found was strange. "Hey, why are there no guards?"
Chichiri blinked. When he glanced around, he noticed that Hiroshima was right. There were no guards…no people, or anything. "Yeah, doesn't that seem kind of careless?"
"They don't need guards." Eve stated. There were reasons that the castle lacked in security, reasons that they would come to find out.
"What do you mean?" The blonde had never heard of a castle with no guards. What kind of weird world was this? It was hard to put together the fact that there was constant war for ten years and this place didn't have any guards. It was mind blowing to think it even existed this long without being seized by the White Side.
Was it protected by magic or something?
"You'll eventually meet them." Eve was obscure. It only left Chichiri wondering further on her cryptic words.
"In Nightshade Castle, there is a two-man killing squad."
"Two?" Fife blinked. Did she mean to say that only two people guarded the entire castle? What kind of people did King Charles have around? They must have been exceptional fighters. He could only imagine what kind of impeccable guards they must have been.
"You mean, only two people patrol this whole castle? How is that possible?" Keiji was skeptical. How could two people cover that entire place? What if they were barraged with an army? How could two people keep the castle safe and the King out of harm's way? It seemed illogical and a bad choice in general for someone who was supposed to be a king.
Tsurugi thought about it for a minute, concentrating his energy on the draw bridge that served as an entrance to the giant building. From within the castle, he could sense strong powers from within. They were dark powers, powers that only a certain type of person…if he could deem them as such, could possess. They were more like dark servants than valiant knights, beings the angels were very close to. "I get it now." Yes, that's exactly who they were. The harbringers of death and doom. "These two can. Trust me."
"Do we need to watch out for them?" Keiji asked as their feet pounded across the painted wood of the blackened drawbridge.
The group began to walk across the wooden surface. Soon, they entered the castle and came to what looked like an empty ball room. The floor was made of black marble that was polished to perfection. As the group walked across it, they could see their mirror image in the black floor. The curtains were luxurious black velvet with gold trim and the furniture was red and gold Victorian style pieces. They made the entire room feel as if it were something someone would imagine a vampire living in.
It was actually quite dismal with its gray walls. Everyone stopped and looked around at the room, mystified by the interior and color scheme.
"What a dismal ball room, but well polished." Tsurugi complimented the décor.
"It looks like a glorified dungeon room." Chichiri retorted. All it lacked were cell door and come chains with cuffs on the ends and it would have been perfect.
Suddenly, something glinted from above and flew towards him, nearly taking his head off if he hadn't dodged out of the way. The object stuck into the floor, gouging out a piece of the precious marble.
"What in the hell was that?!" The blonde screamed as he clutched his chest. His heart was beating so fast he thought that it might jump out of his throat. His blue eyes looked up at the black railing that traveled across the upper level of the room.
His gaze stopped on a small girl, who was about the size of Eve with a more curvaceous body. She wore attire similar to Alice from Alice in Wonderland. A blue dress that was knee length with poofy sleeves, and a white apron with frills at the bottom, knee length socks with horizontal black and white stripes, black mary janes, and black gloves with longer white gloves under them that extended to her elbows. Both gloves were tied with large, blue ribbons. Her expression was serious and she wore a black eye patch with blue frills around the outer edge. The girl's uncovered eye was cat-like and dark blue, in contrast to her long, blue hair that was pulled into pig tails on either side that cascaded to her butt and were held up by large, red bows.
"Who the hell are you?"
Chichiri was answered by Eve, who uttered the name Kizoku in an octave above a whisper. The blonde band member repeated the name in question and was then informed that she was one of the members of the two man killing squad.
"But, she's so small. She's even shorter than you and you're four foot tall." Chichiri was amazed that such a diminutive girl could even throw a weapon like that. It was amazing that she was a killer, much less someone who was deemed to be able to patrol the entire castle.
"Four foot eight inches, but that's not important. Don't let her looks fool you, she's stronger than I am." Eve told him. She knew Kizoku fairly well, and if there was ever a mistake that anyone could make, it was to underestimate her because she looked like a cute, little girl.
"State your business here." Kizoku demanded and pointed towards the suspicious looking group of travelers.
Eve turned to her. "We're here to see King Charles Grey. We have personal business with him regarding a missing person."
Kizoku looked thoughtful for a moment, resting her pointed chin on her hands. "Your clothes don't look very familiar. What land are you from?"
"I'm from hell." Hiroshima was the first to answer.
"I'm from heaven." Tsurugi answered second.
"I'm from Japan." Chichiri was third.
"Same." Keiji agreed.
"I'm from a land far away." Zangetsu didn't give his exact location, due to his oath as a ninja. Any personal information would be regarded as a secret that few knew of. This was to ensure that no attacks could be made against him or his home land.
"I'm from Sumeria." The vampire prince stated.
"Hm…" Kizoku stared at Zangetsu. The fact that he didn't give away his location irritated her, but the others seemed a little legit. "I have a proposition for you all."
"What would that be?" Fife wondered what her intentions were. No doubt she was going to put them through some sort of test or something. Well, that would be his first guess.
"If you can defeat my partner, I'll grant you permission to see the king." Fife knew it was going to be a test. The only question now was the identity of her partner and what type of person he or she would be.
"Your partner?" Chichiri didn't have a good feeling about this. Somehow, he had the feeling that her partner was going to be some big shot, hard to beat fighter.
"Yes, he's a shinigami."
"A…shinigami?" This was definitely NOT good.
"Yes, a death god, or grim reaper. You are also a shinigami, aren't you Miss Kizoku?" Tsurugi asked. He had a feeling about the girl since she appeared and the fact that she had a scythe was also a dead giveaway. Not to mention her thick, dark aura.
Blue lips curved into a smile. "How observant of you. Yes, I am."
"Who is this shinigami in question?" Hiroshima wanted to see who their eventual opponent would be.
"It's me!" A dramatic, feminine voice called from the railing across the room.
Their sights were directed to a shinigami who had the face of a drag queen, with long eye lashes, pointed teeth and striking yellow and blue eyes. His hair was long and purple, cascading to his heels. His bangs were pulled down and spike out to the sides in order to see his face. Glasses adorned his face, the bottom of the frames were black. He wore a long, gray Victorian jacket and flared pants that a woman of high class would wear as well as a cravat around his neck. Giving a playful wink, the tall man blew Hiroshima a kiss.
The dark angel recoiled with a look of irritation and disgust. "Great, a flaming fruitcake."
"So cute…and yet, so harsh." The shinigami placed the back of his hand to his forehead and swooned. "Good thing I'm a sadist or I'd be horribly offended."
Inside of the castle, Soel was on the edge of one of the large stars that were suspended from the ceiling. She was dressed in a white corset, with a flowing white skirt that was dangerously short in front, but tapered to her feet in the back. The girl looked over all of the plush, white furniture that littered the room. Below her was a mighty throne of gold, red and white. The walls were a brilliant hue, more pristine than the purest winter snow.
Glancing down at her white shoes, onto the chess board floor, a small smile crossed her face. 'So, this will be their new starting point. Beyond this, the world will now be my chess board and with the pieces in place, I'll be there to capture you, my legend.'
Vespa sat on the ground, panting as her pale legs stuck out to either side of her brilliant red and white layers of kimono. She clutched a staff close to her, using it as an anchor to help her not fall over. Momentarily, her vision would fade but snap back in intervals. 'I can't believe that this happened right under my nose. How could I have been so careless? I just hope that Kizoku can pull through for me. Beyond this point, I can no longer control where they end up.'
"Eve…Kizoku…Keep the legend safe."
Slowly, Ko cracked her eyes open to be greeted by a series of gathered bars. She was lying on her back, with one leg dangling out of some sort of platform. Whatever she was in, it resembled a cage. She was afraid to sit up, so she merely continued to stare at the bars. "Where am I?"
After the haze left her, Ko slowly at up and rubbed her head, only to feel a head band. Confusion crossed her face. 'Huh? I wasn't wearing this before.' Glancing down, she saw that her legs were in shackles and she was wearing a red and black Victorian style dress with layers of frills and ruffles. 'What is this?'
A golden key dangled around her neck, suspended from a silver chain as she glanced around at the other cages around her. There were four in all. They all had one girl each in them, but one. The girls all were young and had similar keys hanging around their necks. Her heart raced. What in the world was this? Whatever it was, it was definitely creepy and it gave her an eerie feeling. 'What is this? Who are these girls?'
"Hey!" The white-haired girl called out, grabbing the bars. It was then that she noticed the keys around their necks. Then, a flashback made its way into her mind, recalling what happened moments after she woke up in Domina.
The girl cracked her eyes open to find that something metal was glinting beside of her. Sitting up, Ko saw that it was a key of sorts. She picked it up, holding it to the grey skies around Domina and noticing how it sparkled in comparison.
'That key I picked up! They all have similar ones…but why? What does that mean?' Ko wondered, trying to piece everything together, but before she could she was interrupted with a familiar voice.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't one of our intrepid heroes. Who knew you'd turn out to be a key holder." Eclipse walked up to the cage containing the white-haired ninja, who shot her a defiant glare.
"But that's quite fortunate for us. Now we have all of the keys but one and we can rule this simple-minded world easily. This makes the White Queen very happy." The woman smiled.
"White Queen? What are you talking about?" Eclipse might as well have been speaking in riddles. She didn't understand any of what she was talking about. What was a key holder? Why was she in a cage? Who was the White Queen?
"Soon you'll find out. We're going to use you to our advantage."
"So, you're going to use me as bait? In theory, that doesn't make any sense."
"What do you mean?"
"Why wouldn't you just grab Hiroshima while we were all passed out? Why get me and lure them here when you could have done it the easy way?" If these were the best people Soel had working for her, then she needed to reevaluate her prowess at finding proper underlings. They really were horrible.
"What do you mean?" Fable walked up beside of her with a confused expression. "You were by yourself, lying in a dirty field when we found you."
"What?" It was Ko's turn to be confused. Wasn't anyone else there with her? 'How did that happen? Wasn't I transported with everyone by Azmy's spell?'
"We found you alone." Eclipse confirmed it. 'It seems that the distortion we made ten years ago in this land must still be affecting this world. If they just now appeared and separately at that, then who knows where the legend is…or if he's alone.'
A dark smile crept to her face at the thought of Hiroshima's possible exile. "This may be the moment we've been waiting for."
…To Be Continued
A/N: Another chapter updated and some new characters are introduced. My next update will more than likely be next week. I don't have as many stories to update now that I've finished My Sister's Keeper, so this one should be getting more attention as far as updates go.
If anyone's around anymore, please review and tell me what you think!