Book III

Chapter 29

After bringing Ethan to the nurse's office, Lillie had gone to class while Loki had skipped class. He had never intended to go from the beginning anyway. He had only agreed to go to school with Lillie to keep his end of the deal like she had for him.

Loki had been feeling lethargic for the last few days. His injuries should have been almost healed by now, but they weren't at all. Loki had been feeling lightheaded and there was an odd chill that went through him. Since he had nothing else to do, he rested on the school roof and decided to do so until school ended... whenever that was.

"So... you didn't end up going to class in the end?"

Loki snapped his attention to the voice coming from behind him to see Lillie standing there with a small smile over her lips.

"I only came to school because I was keeping my word on that deal I made with you," Loki stated in a serious tone as he got to his feet and stumbled backwards. His vision blurred and rubbed his temple hoping this feeling would go away. Lillie bent down to examine Loki and then proceeded to put a hand over his forehead.

"You're really warm…"

Loki pulled away from her and gave her a cold stare. "I'm fine..." he trailed off as he cleared his throat feeling like something was stuck in it. Then he coughed. Then he coughed again... and coughed worse than before. Lillie tried to hold him up giving him a concern look though she seemed to be observing him.

"There might be... a reason why... you're getting sick," Lillie began. She had a troubled expression over her face as she wondered if that shadow being, the guardian, had 'infected' Loki considering how desperate he seemed to be to gain energy to look like he had lost control of all his senses. The guardian had a chance to drain her, but he never took it and instead had run away looking completely lost and confused. That guardian worried her for some reason... or was it concern for him?

Loki had an eerily calm, cold expression over his face as he narrowed his piercing silver eye on Lillie. Lillie had an expression that she knew something but had kept silent about it. What was she hiding? Loki wondered why he was becoming worse than before and he wanted to know.

"You know what's happening to me," Loki stated in an almost accusing tone," Are you going to elaborate?" Lillie frowned as she looked uncomfortable by Loki's piercing gaze and diverted her gaze.

"It doesn't matter if I know or don't. We should find Stark since his bookstore is the closest to the school. Maybe he can find a way to heal you."

Stark let out a loud bored sigh as he continued examining the book watching as the pages changed into a subject that he wanted to know more about.

Across the page, it began to tell a story about a hunter who wanted to obtain power in order to be able to defend his village from the supernatural creatures that preyed on them. This hunter decided that every dead supernatural creature he would consume them hoping their strength and power would flow into him and he would gain it.

As he continued to kill and consume after many years, he realized little by little he was growing stronger, and that his aging seemed to slow slightly. Eventually he had figure out how to call on the dead and he began to perfect this skill. From then on, it carried through the generations of his bloodline. The story had ended.

Stark was left with even more questions than answers. The story had been more of an old tale to tell to children than the real story of how hunter families had come to possess their powers.

"You lead quite an interesting life here, Anselm."

Stark had a weary look over his face as he glared at male that looked to be around seventeen taking a step closer to him. He sensed the underlying bloodthirst and sadistic air that crackled around this menacing male.

The male's lips began to quirk into a small, mischievous smirk as he took a step closer towards Stark. The male had streaks of green and blue in his black hair. His eyes seemed to continue to change colors from purple to green to blue and repeating once again.

"Once leading armies of demons to war… and now stuck in a bookstore… Don't you want more than this?"

Stark forced a bad boy smirk as his gaze darkened on the male.

"And what business is it to you how I choose to live? How do you even know anything about my past?"

"Your Hellraine is weak. Weak to believe that she can lead a peaceful life amongst humans without being chased… She'll always be hunted... just like her predecessors," the male sneered. Stark's gaze had darkened at the male's words.

"You better have something better to say to me than this. You didn't come here to lecture me about how I live or how she lives. There is something more to this little meeting."

The male chuckled low in his throat putting his hands into the sides of his pant pocket.

"True, but you could use my help. Allies are important just so you know," the male said. Stark leaned over the counter with a darkened look in his emerald green eyes.

"I don't even know who the hell you are," Stark said coldly. The male gave a small, insidious grin at Stark.

"Zavid, one of the Dogs to the elder Hellraine."

Without any hesitation, Stark swung his arm as his black sword appeared in his hand millimeters from beheading Zavid. Zavid leaped back still with that smirk over his lips.

"I take it… you don't like the elder Hellraine. Feeling's mutual, Anselm."

Stark stood on the counter glaring down at Zavid as a sadistic glint passed through his eyes.

"What makes you believe I'll trust you enough to let you help? I don't care for any pitiful past that you're going to give me an earful on just so I could feel sorry for you," Stark retorted as he leaped off from the counter racing towards Zavid and slashed horizontally at Zavid.

"I prefer not to reminisce... as exciting as you make that sound," Zavid said with an underlying sarcasm. Zavid didn't hesitate to grab the blade of the black sword as his palms began to bleed. He blinked a couple of times shivering like electricity had went through him. "Woo… damn. You're going to get yourself killed by this sword… but I understand the thrill of something trying to eat away at you. You have always been that screwed up," Zavid commented darkly. Stark shoved Zavid back as he round house kicked him straight through the bookstore window into the sidewalk. Zavid had recovered.

Stark walked through the broken window with a rather dark, sardonic smirk across his lips and disappeared from his place. Zavid simply stood there in a laid-back manner with his hands in his pant pocket as Stark appeared on his side with the black sword at his throat.

"You must be realizing your stupidity," Stark spoke coldly. Zavid gave a side glance at Stark.

"Do you even know what the dogs of the Hellraine even are?" Zavid questioned firmly between clenched teeth and he wasn't expecting an answer from Stark. "From the look on your face, you don't have a single idea about them. They're warriors. Warriors that were trained to kill any that opposed him. Warriors that are eternally bound and cursed to his bloodline. In other words, a fancy way to say enslaved."

Michaela entered into an old rundown house with an indecipherable look over his face as he stared at the broken staircase and looked down at the creaky floors wondering if it would give in under his weight.

The mark on the left side of his neck began to burn causing him to look around in alert trying to find something. He quickly turned around to slash violently. His claws went straight through a dark cloud that was gathering. Michaela bit his lower lip as he took a step back.

Two crimson dots appeared in the cloud glowering at him. Michaela seemed agitated as he swallowed hard at the apparition. "Y-you're more dangerous… in this form…"

"Is that so? The one who bought you as a child in that horrible slave trade is scary to you now?" the figure questioned in an intimidating manner. "The first lesson I've given you as a child seems to have gone out the window. You let your emotions get the best of you."

Michaela quickly hid his agitation and fear and asked," What is it this time?"

"Is that annoyance I hear? Is this how you speak to your master? Don't you remember what I told you to do?"

"I did what you wanted... Everything... will be like you want it to be," Michaela said in an even tone. Michaela could feel the figure's satisfaction. It almost seemed to smile evilly even though there was no mouth visible within the black air that it was made up of.

Michaela's eyes widened as he felt a pain shoot through his spine sending him falling to his knees. He slowly looked up at the shadowed figure.

"What did I do? How can you still do this to me?" Michaela inquired in confusion. The tattoo on the side of his neck weren't the only ones on his body. It ran down his spine, over his heart, ankles and wrists. They were a way to enslave a demon to a bloodline.

The figure's crimson eyes narrowed on Michaela.

"You are still marked… Marked as the property of the Ezraes. Your weakness is the reason for your pain, Kai. I taught you better. I trained you better."

Michaela didn't respond. There was nothing he could say that this being before him wouldn't hurt him for. He felt a chilling grasp over his head. Then the mark on the side of his neck began to sting like millions of knives were stabbing into him. He couldn't hold himself up any more from the pain as his agonized screams carried throughout the area, but just like always, in his entire immortal life, no one would save him.