Chapter Seventeen--- Shattering

Valon opened bleary eyes, blinking hard to block out the harsh light that filtered into his vision. The bed he was lying in was quite comfortable but it wasn't his bed…holding his head in his head, Valon groaned. Memories of the past few days raced through his mind like a nightmare, flashing images and sounds at him until it all blurred together and he wretched on to the floor. Wiping the bile from his lips, he rolled back in bed, tears in his eyes. When he was young and he and Arethyst used to play at being Soldiers. It had all seemed so glorious then, so…honorable. The Second War had taught him otherwise.

"I see you're awake." A strangely familiar woman strode in with all the confidence of a Squadron Leader on the verge of victory. Valon stared at her a moment, taking in the braided twist of silver that hung down her back, the silver eyes that held the almost violent amethyst starburst in the middle and the pale skin. Something about her…

"Forget me already, big brother?" Valon stared at her for a while longer, not really believing it this impressive, intimidating, fearless woman had once been the scrawny little girl he'd called sister. He'd fought beside this woman, been saved by her. It was so odd to remember her as the wide eyed girl with dreams too big for her 10 years. Valon struggled to sit up but she moved to his side and forced none to gently back down.

"Rest brother. You've earned it." A smile was granted him and he heaved a sigh. It was finally over. Something nagged him, something like an itch at the back of his mind, yelling at him to remember. When he did, he flung himself out of bed so fast, Arethyst was startled and stumbled backwards before she shoved him into bed again.

"Rei…Rei is being looked after. I've seen to it see gets the very best care immediately. No easy, task mind you." Arethyst pursed her lips in a very adult fashion and crossed her hands behind her back.

"I have over 500,000 wounded soldiers here. More than half of them will not make it, no matter how hard we try." She caught his marveling expression and scowled.

"That number is a pittance to what we started with. Dante's contingencies alone numbered 500,000 men. Only 2,000 made it through the first battle and even fewer survived until the end." Pale fists clenched into fists behind her back and Arethyst scowled herself for her lack of control. A sigh was heard and she sank to the edge of the bed.

"It was an audacious victory, Valon. You know this as well as I but I fear the cost may have been too high." Valon nodded as the woman stood once more, ever the picture of control and impassiveness.

"Rei is sleeping now. We'll call you if her condition changes." Valon's green eyes watched his sister has she quickly exited the room, the faint sound of sniffles greeting his ears.

Saedyn wandered the Great Hall with a heavy heart. Since Dante's mother died, there had been a heaviness in the Palace Saedyn had never felt before. Dante was unusually quiet and Saedyn couldn't help but be sorry that she'd been the one to tell him that his mother would not last the night. Wondering about the violet eyed man she called friend, she went to find him, hoping he would be in better spirits today.

Eventually she did find him, in the library overlooking the Azurian Plains. He stared out at the now muddy battlefields he had stood on not two days ago, the same field that had been saturated with blood. The rain had washed away the blood but Saedyn could tell Dante still saw it.

"Dante?" Dante turned to her slowly with a faint smile. He gestured for her to come to the window he stood at.

"Look Sade, the sun has come out. I…it's silly. I feel…I feel like it's going to be ok now. But I still see…I still see my men…" Dante looked away from her, closing his eyes as if trying to block out the horrible memories.

"Dante, your men knew of the sacrifice they would make and they willingly made it for their families and for you. Honor that memory and be a good king." Her small hand rested on his shoulder and Dante blushed very slightly, taking her hand in his.

"I fear I may lose my way." Saedyn smiled rising up onto her toes, pressing a kiss to his cheek.

"Then I willing guide you."

Donovan entered the Middle Kingdom under the cloak of darkness. It was the perfect timing now that that fool Konai had gone and instigated a war and lost it. Pitiful Donovan thought, walking down the empty streets. The Realms were in their weakness stage; recovery. With most of their militia spent, Donovan could finally crush them. He'd been waiting for this day for almost twenty years.

Entering the Palace, Donovan formed his plan. He would have to kill that Shazian bitch first. That would be easy. During recovery, no one expected another attack and with the Gate Keeper gone, Donovan would be free to take over. Then he would find his son. It would be easier to convince the boy of his innocence and win him over. The sheer joy of being reunited with his father would blind him to Donovan's true intentions. Once Donovan had the Shaze and Angelic Kingdoms in his grasp, the rest of the kingdoms would soon falter and crumble.

What Donovan couldn't see was that in a room not far away a boy and a girl stood waiting. The boy he called son was not as trusting as Donovan hoped nor was he blind to his father's sins. However there was one person Donovan forgot about, someone who could see him.

And that person was Saedyn.

A.n: Wooooo!!!!!! 21685 for my first year at Nano-ing! yay me!! My goal was 20k so I win!!! Enjoi this all!!! Kay, read faster, my goodness.
Sorceress Fujin: I DID IT!!!!!-DIES-