Tainted Blood

Book III

Chapter 30

Cerberus felt lonely. His master had disappeared for a long time leaving him all alone. Cerberus decided to find Lillie. Lillie seemed nice and she would play with him and may be able to find his master. He followed Lillie's scent into a forest clearing sniffing at the ground going in circles in the area. Then he sniffed the air and gave a short whimper.

Cerberus could smell Lillie around this spot but… she wasn't here. He was confused. Why wasn't Lillie here? He wanted someone to pet him, play with him, or at least talk to him even if he didn't understand everything they said to him. He howled into the night upset and abandoned.

Lillie had her hands cupped against Alexis' cheeks. She frowned when nothing happened. Alexis stared at her for a long moment.

"Are you… having trouble performing?" he questioned with a frown. Lillie scrunched up her nose.

"It can happen," she cried. It was that pocketknife's fault. It had drained her powers and her senses along with it. Lillie always saw her powers as a different part of her. The darker side of her… Dangerous… Currently she could hear it whispering to her.

The howl snapped her out of it causing her attention to turn towards the sliding door. It sounded like it was right outside of it. Lillie raced towards the sliding door causing Alexis to grab her in time to prevent her from fleeing.

"Cerberus, is that you?" she questioned more to herself and cried," CERBERUS, SAVE ME! Get me out of this temple! If you hear me follow my voice! If it's not Cerberus, then don't come! I don't want to be eaten by wolves! Heck I almost did once!"

"No one can hear you. It's difficult to even come into this place let alone leave. Wrath made sure that he allowed only certain demons to leave his hideout. No one can see this temple either since he wanted to stay hidden," Alexis explained. Lillie bit her lower lip.

She hated being trapped. It made her desperate to find a way out. It didn't help she was feeling miserable and alone over her revelation about Stark and Caleb... The reality that they may not really care about her. She turned to Alexis.

He can help you… a voice kept whispering to her. It was her instincts telling her what she should do.

"There is a way to free you," she said. Alexis seemed to have a puzzled look not responding as Lillie continued," Wrath has a hold of your weakness. It's why he's capable of controlling you with his dark powers. The longer you stay controlled by the shadows… the more you'll end up not remembering who you are… and soon you'll be a shade of yourself."

She stared at him conflicted on her decision that was floating in the back of her mind. She didn't need a lot of her shadow powers to infuse it into her blood. It was what made the black blood. It was what flowed through her guardians.

He'll be able to help you… You are trapped in this place… Who knows what could happen to you. He's capable of helping you… Make him one… the voice continued.

Alexis couldn't register what she was saying. It was as if darkness was blocking that part of his judgment telling him he had to be loyal to Wrath... Obey him. He was attempting to register that memory fighting through the darkness despite how painful it felt the closer he got to it. It made him feel guilty and shame…

The darkness made those feelings disappear… but from time to time he could fight it. Then he would let it control him again because he didn't like those feelings.

Suddenly Lillie shoved him through the sliding door catching Alexis off guard as she ended up sitting on him pinning him to the ground.

"You might forgive me… you might not… but I can't let you be controlled for your weaknesses or pain," Lillie said as she shoved her hand into Alexis' chest squeezing his heart causing him to be unable to do anything against her. Alexis grimaced at the pain that it sent through his body feeling the tug of his heart. Before he knew it, he had blacked out.

Stark and Caleb had raced downstairs after defeating their enemies and hearing Wrath calling them out. They found Wrath standing in the middle of the foyer. Loki was standing there in an offensive position ready to fight.

"The Hellraine has a name. It's Lillie," Stark stated in an obnoxious tone towards Wrath. Wrath chuckled deep in his throat turning his gaze towards Stark, which was behind him.

"She isn't the Hellraine. Have you forgotten someone trapped below between this plane and Hell," Wrath questioned pointing downwards to the floor with his index finger. Stark's gaze darkened as he managed a bad boy smirk.

"What can he do down there? He can't be freed," Stark answered. Wrath smirked.

"Are you sure about that?"

Stark clicked his tongue. Caleb looked slightly irritated as his jaw worked. He looked uneasy.

"Why are you here?" Loki asked in a serious tone. Wrath narrowed his eyes at Loki.

"Convince you to save your Hellraine from some rather dangerous humans, who know how to resurrect the dead," Wrath answered.

"Why would you care about her?" Stark questioned. Wrath raised a brow.

"Why wouldn't I? You know how much the dark god cared about her. He may be trapped, but he still… cares," Wrath exclaimed in a sinister manner causing the three of them to be more suspicious of his intentions.

Then Wrath turned to give an intimidating smirk towards Caleb.

"You're awfully quiet… Is there something you want to tell the class, Werewolf?" Wrath sneered," Something involving your family." Caleb bit his lip as his gaze turned dangerous and his jaw worked.

"What are you trying to get at? That's none of your business," Caleb snarled maliciously and raced at Wrath. His hand began to become enveloped by what seemed to be shadows and he slashed at Wrath viciously with his sharp claws.

Wrath had avoided it but it seemed like a shadow came afterwards. It nearly slashed him if he hadn't taken a huge sidestep away. It seemed to go past Wrath and maul the floor apart.

"Big reaction for someone who has nothing to hide," Wrath remarked slyly causing Caleb to direct his attack towards Wrath's throat. With a fleeting move, something seemed to hit Caleb back. Caleb slid on his back into the wall.

"Before that distraction, I was trying to convince you about the Sasaki family. Your Hellraine is rather stubborn when it comes to taking a human life even though it may mean her being controlled by them. I'm sure none of you are willing to be a puppet to the Sasaki family," Wrath exclaimed. Loki had a rather eerie calm expression on his face even though inside he was asking millions of questions about what was going on.

"What are you saying?" Loki questioned icily.

"You're new… You obviously don't know. Hellraines can control their guardians. You gained a guardian's power. You didn't think it was for free, did you?" Wrath said in a dark tone. Seeing Loki's perturbed expression, Wrath continued," You obviously have a lot to learn."

"I sure as hell don't want Lillie to be controlled by some human family. It involves me too. I am not falling prey to some stupid family," Stark exclaimed and then smirked arrogantly," But it doesn't mean we need your help to handle some humans. So thanks for the warning."

Wrath laughed at what Stark had said to him.

"What can any of you do? Do you really think you can conquer the world with just three guardians and a very weakened Hellraine?" Wrath questioned incredulously and continued," Don't think you're unstoppable because you haven't met an enemy you couldn't defeat. There will always be someone who will be better and stronger than you all put together."

"It's not just them," a voice spoke from above them. Wrath looked upwards to see Zero leaning against the railings with his pale blue eyes directed at Wrath with a small smile," I will help them."

Wrath's brow furrowed.

"The Sasaki family won't be defeated by a questionable being, a weakened Hellraine, and three guardians. Don't make me laugh!"

Cerberus smelt blood in the air causing him to cock his head towards that direction. He began to sniff at the ground desperately walking towards where the blood trailed. Cerberus could smell other things other than the blood. There were demons surrounding the place. He seemed to have found an opening into the temple.

He looked around looking slightly confused as to how he could've missed the big building. Then he saw Lillie backing away from a male lying on the ground motionless. Lillie was covered in blood. Cerberus raced towards Lillie worried for her safety. His master worried for Lillie and so he did too.

Lillie was surprised to see Cerberus poking at her with his nose looking joyous to see her.

"Cerberus? You're here!" Lillie cried and then froze looking skeptical," Why are you here?"

Alexis slowly opened his eyes inhaling a deep breath. He attempted to get up but his limbs felt weak. He directed a gaze at Lillie causing her to flinch.

"What did you do to me?"

Lillie bit her lower lip. Alexis seemed to roll into a ball clenching at his chest. He screamed out in pain holding his head with his other hand. He began to reach out towards her.

Cerberus leaped in front of her growling hostilely at Alexis. He attempted to leap at Alexis, but Lillie had grabbed Cerberus' tail.

"You're just going to end up dying… again," Lillie said causing Cerberus to look puzzled at what he should do.

"My body feels like it's being swallowed by… something," Alexis said in a hoarse tone as he glanced at her," What did you do to me?"

Lillie swallowed hard at what Alexis was saying. Before she knew it, Alexis was beginning to slowly be engulfed by the shadows and began to slowly get up. In a blink of an eye, he was in front of her. Half of his face enveloped by the shadows causing his eye to glow crimson while his other eye remained his normal color.

He brought his claws down on her causing Lillie to roll out of the way as the shadows extended his reach causing him to destroy the path in front of him. Cerberus had dodged it and raced at Alexis biting down on his arm. Alexis shoved Cerberus off him and wildly attacked Lillie.

All his attacks barely missed her but Lillie could tell… he seemed to be losing it.

The shadows weren't easy to grasp. It was an inner battle to gain control over them. Most of the ones that had taken her blood would die or turn insane.

Lillie got up attempting to get out of the forest as Cerberus followed after her. Alexis, who was now fully engulfed by the shadows, came at her closing the distance. Alexis had red tattoos beginning to appear covering his left arm, neck, and the side of his face and his left side of his stomach. It resembled swirls of a snake tail taking shape into vines and intricate pictures.

Lillie had reached the edge of the clearing but realized she had ended up back in the same spot. She couldn't leave this place. Alexis had been right that there would be no way out of here unless Wrath would allow it. Alexis might be one of the ones able to come and go freely. Turning Alexis into a guardian may not have been the best idea, but she hated seeing anyone be controlled like a puppet by the powers that were given from the Hellraine blood.

With her weakened, Lillie needed Alexis to control his new dark powers… or she was dead.