Chapter 4: Death


"Everyone knew they were too late; Celestia Karin von Liebtrud was dead."


The cathedral seemed to freeze over as everyone watched the heiress fall limply to the ground in horror. Rebecca was the first to react as she caught the girl's head and lay her on her lap. The brunette forced back her tears. They wouldn't do anything.

As black blood gushed out of Celestia's body, she began to revert back to her true appearance. Her eyes were back as amber as they were the moment before her rebirth as an Assassin, the dragon on her waist was gone, and her blood was turning red again. She was human again, if only for a short time.

Timoteo arrived not a moment later, but at the sight of the wound, realization hit him. Bert and Rolando came to the sight next, with the latter falling to his knees and the former hanging his head low with his hands balled into fists. Leonardo, too, was on his knees, refusing to look up.

Everyone knew they were too late; Celestia Karin von Liebtrud was dead.

And then, a familiar presence was felt.

Black mist rose from the ground and formed into a dark figure all Assassins would never forget. He was its personification. It was the one certainty of all living things. All living things feared it. He was its incarnate.

He was…

Death.

Death was small, too small, about the same height as Leonardo. He was frail, and both deathly thin and pale. His entire person was covered by a cloak that only revealed his mouth and hands which held onto a scythe which none of them had ever seen before, but they felt as if they knew its purpose.

"I've come to collect payment." His voice that drawled boomed throughout the ruins. Everyone's heads snapped to him in complete and utter shock. They knew… They knew what he was talking about, and they just couldn't believe it!

Bert grabbed the boy by his cloak and lifted him up. "What're you talking about!? There's no way she could've broken the terms of her contract!"

Death waved his hand and Bert's arms immediately let go of him by force. "Allow me to explain." He snapped. "Celestia Karin von Liebtrud's agreement with me was that she would never get attached to anyone, and she proved that she had in fact gotten attached when she saved that boy's," he pointed his scythe at Leonardo whose had was still hanging lower, "life."

Rebecca snapped. "No! That's not fair!"

"Oh, is it now?" Death tilted its head to the side and grinned. "May I remind you that she agreed to this. She signed the contract. And now… she has to pay. If there are no more questions then please move aside," he continued in a stressed tone, "it is quite troublesome to reap a soul once the body is dead."

Rolando's head snapped up. "You mean… She's still alive?" He was staring at Celestia's body now, who was indeed breathing very strainly and slowly.

Death grinned. "Very much so, but after she's reaped, she'll be nothing more than a living corpse, a zombie, if you will, and yet she'll be as alive as any of you were before ReBirth." He raised his scythe after a moment of silence. "Any more interruptions?"

Silence…

Death was quick to move, his scythe was brought down quicker than an eye could blink. A black orb of light materialized in his left hand. The audience stared at it in grief. Celestia grew heavy and her warmth began to fade in Rebecca's arm as she was robbed of her little drop of life. That dark, malicious orb was nothing else but the poor girl's soul and all her grief and hatred made manifest.

Black mist then began to shroud Death and he returned to the dark pits of the Netherworld, leaving the girl's friend to their sorrow. But not everyone was grieving. For him it was exactly what he wanted, and he laughed maniacally.

This was his Absolute Vengeance.

"Look at you all!" He mocked. "Grieving over such a worthlessdeath! How stupid!" Francisco showed himself to them, smirking. He raised his arms to his sides and looked at the starry sky. "Even the Heavens celebrate with me!" He laughed harder.

Bert and Rolando ran to strike him down, but at the sound of a growl, they were stopped. It was furious and filled with hate. Both turned just in time to see Leonardo's forest green eyes turn pitch black, with the left one's pupil turning into a golden dragon.

"Worthless!? " He roared. "WORTHLESS!?" The boy launched himself onto Francisco who simply swatted him to the side like a fly. Leonardo was then enveloped by a dark glow as his new form took over.

Timoteo knew what that was, and was quick to take Celestia from Rebecca's arms and make a run for it. The remaining three followed closely behind, running for their lives.

Leonardo struck the man with his new claws, but they made contact with nothing. Francisco had escaped. The boy let out a roar filled with power and loathing, easily destroying the hill and leaving a crater in its wake.

He would find the man who killed his family, and he would kill him as slowly and as painfully as possible. Leonardo Fiore van Rosenbaum would get his revenge. Even if it meant for his body to be taken.


{ ~ * * * ~ }


Francisco panted as he barely managed to escape the explosion. The right side of his body was burnt very badly, to the point that his eyeball was just there. He collapsed onto the ground from the pain.

The man groaned. He would get that snotty little brat for what he had done to his perfect face, to his perfect body! And he would make sure that it would hurt.


{ ~ * * * ~ }


Leonardo fell unconscious after the burst of power and woke to find himself being carried by Bert on his back. His mind flew back to what had just transpired, and he hated himself. Everything was his fault. Everybody probably hates him too.

Bert, noticing that the boy was awake, set him down, seemingly knowing his thoughts and leaving him to figure himself out. The boy walked meters behind them, looking like a zombie himself. Leonardo rushed to his room afterwards, but he didn't bathe. He let himself fall asleep covered in his mentor's blood.


{ ~ * * * ~ }


The next morning was Celestia's birthday, but no one was celebrating. The girl was alive but dead. Nothing more than a zombie. What was the use of celebrating?

Leonardo walked down the steps, the blood having dried out on his person. Rolando took one look at him before growing pissed. The boy had no right to wear her blood!

"What are you still doing here!?" He snapped at the boy who was sitting at the bottom step, all hunched up and sad. "You've no right to wear her blood; you've no right to show your stupid face to us!"

When the boy didn't reply, it only angered him more. Rolando grabbed the boy by the scruff of his neck and dragged him to the door. "I never want to see your face again, got that!?"

"Stop!" Rebecca shrieked as she saw Rolando about to kick the boy. "Rolando, stop!"

But Rolando didn't listen. He would make this thing pay for what he did to Celestia. It was his entire fault anyway.

Timoteo arrived at the scene then. He immediately restrained Rolando. "Calm down, Rol!"

"Like hell am I calming down!" He roared. "That little spawn almost had her killed, and now she's just a zombie! Rolando managed to break free of his friend's hold of him then and then launched a punch to the boy's face, but it never connected for Celestia had caught it just in time.

The girl glared at Rolando, before tossing him aside. Celestia then knelt down before Leonardo, who was staring at her in disbelief, and patted his head. Everyone else stared with the same disbelief as the boy as the girl walked off.

Perhaps… there was still hope to return her back to her prior form. It wasn't over yet. And they would all get their revenge.