** Nicolae's POV*****
I glared at the Siren Elder that stood motionless in the door frame, Ara and I had never seen eye to eye. And now to find out that he and Cryptika were together, not only as a threat towards the seven realms…but a couple, the heavy fabrics of the cloak covered Ara's face. It angered me, to think that my mother had been so trusting towards her life-long enemy, and it also caused my blood to boil once remembering the false things that Cryptika had filled my head with, I am a leader to these people. It was about time I acted like it, instead of the Shepherd Prince of Beauty. I bit my lower lip, tasting the iron coming into my mouth.
"Dad? Are you asleep in there?" Arianna's voice brought me back to reality. I looked at her.
"No, I've come to realize something that should have already been obvious." I exhaled the breath that had been held.
She sat on the bed, "You can't blame yourself for the betrayal, she even had me fooled, but it's still not too late to show Cryptika who the better half is." I looked at the phone in my hands, throwing it only for Arianna to catch it. "You're not getting this back until you calm down, perhaps I should be the one sending you to your room."
I sighed, "What would Leonard do if he was put in this situation?" I sat down on the bed beside her.
She looked at me with a look that spoke, 'isn't it obvious?' But she sighed, "Well, first, I imagine he wouldn't be as easily betrayed by her, and second I imagine him ripping her head off her shoulders and feeding her remains to any sewer rat that would wish to feast on her. Those are my top two theories."
I looked at her, "Leonard's not that crazy; he's silent, rude, and hard to understand, but I don't think he's into dismembering, not all vampires desire blood bathes, that was just our ancestors and our father."
She smiled, "As much as I enjoy talking about my ancestors on the vampire side, we need to save the reminiscing for a better time, this is a war we're fighting. A war bringing the Eternal Calm, we need to remain focused."
I sighed looking to Ara, "should we eliminate him, he's been here the entire time, he knows everything we have talked about."
"The Affliction magik is dealing with him if it hasn't already done away with him." She stood up walking to the vampire, removing his hood, his pale skin bruised his once lavender eyes now black, and lifeless. His once black hair far whiter than mine, a look of pain forever etched on his face. "No need to worry about him saying anything," Arianna closed his eyes, placing a hand on his chest as the lifeless creature went limp falling to the floor with a loud thump. She looked at me, the look on her face a look of grief. "Well, one down, one to go." She turned, walking towards the door.
"You seem to regret your decision, was he an ex-boyfriend, your first crush?"
"No, that title belongs to another creature, Ara was my cousin. He use to be innocent and so wise, but black magik corrupted him, I've seen him a few times growing up, he was my only comfort in the Forbidden Realm, and also at the orphanage. Cryptika will pay for this…" she looked at Ara, "I promise." Without another word, she left the room.
** Leonards's POV*****
I was awoken from another horrid nightmare, the same horror that always rears it's ugly head into my dreams. The fear of running down a long dark corridor, the only light that is allowed in the tight space, is the sunlight of red. The passage was keeping me from my father and brother, who fought outside of the structure, running but never tiring, never reaching the battle just outside its walls. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I sighed, looking around, the bed that I was lying on becoming uncomfortable, more uncomfortable than perhaps my injuries. To my surprise, my injuries were at bay. However, my body felt wet. My forehead felt like…sweat, but that was impossible, vampires never sweat. Deciding to investigate further, I reach a hand to my forehead, finding I was not sweating, but blood, I looked at the once white hospital blanket covering me seeing it stained a deep red. I sat up as the pain pierced my body, clenching my teeth, and fists holding back the screams. The feelings of not being alone in the room swept over me after gathering control of the pain. I forced my attention on finding out the aura that lingered in the once peaceful cabin.
"The mighty prince of war, at my mercy. Tell me Leonard? Why should I spare your life when you and you're brother are coming against me?"
I looked to see a figure in the shadows, her haunting blue eyes, familiar…but not the eyes of compassion, and concern that her former host wears, but the looks of destruction and vengeance in her eyes.
"Cryptika," despite my condition a grin found it's way to my lips, "did my brother finally come to his senses and throw you to the side, it's about time he grows a spine." Cryptika stared at me, the only sign of her magik being triggered.
"Your brother allowed that petty little Siren brat to take down Ara. Now it's only fair that I take someone she loves." Cryptika walked from the shadows.
"Well, love triangles do tend to get messy, and you're not woman enough to manipulate two men for very long." I stared at her as the pain in my body intensified. Feeling my wounds tear open and bones re-breaking, the familiar crimson haze covered the surroundings, I stood to my feet glaring at her, a sick smile covered her lips.
"Affliction magik isn't only for the Siren's benefit, though Ara absorbed it. With his passing, it became a part of me."
I couldn't move, I couldn't think, not even about the burning and shooting needles of pain-inflicting my body. I was powerless to stop this. Shortly I felt my body growing tense, freezing in place, the blood haze started to grow dim by the second. Then I felt a cold hand on my forehead as I fell to the floor, not hard, but I was being guided to the floor my body growing limp as darkness surrounded me.
** Graceona's POV*****
I looked at Leonard taking my jacket off, covering his up with it. I kissed his lips, stroking his head, looking at Cryptika, standing to my feet. "I applaud your efforts Cryptika; however, this 'Afflication' ability is only passed down to Vipir from their Siren parents; this ability you used is nothing but cheap sorcery."
"You're delusional Graceona, see him, he's fading, and there is nothing you can do to save him, he's at Hades Gates right now, where he needs to be."
I played with the gem in my pocket, "You're funny, Cryptika, but I'm in no joking mood. yes, Leonard's life form is fading, but nothing is dealing with your children's knock off of a powerful spell, substitution never is as powerful as the real thing."
Cryptika looked at Leonard as did I, he's healing magik was in full effect, I smiled as I pulled my gem from my pocket and it became a double-edged scythe, "You little witch, what have you done?"
I looked at her, "Witch …it's Lupir Queen to you, you were correct in your statement about the Affliction magik not being used just for Siren's benefit…that statement is accurate, one other race of people wield the ability, and more powerful than the Siren's. My warriors and myself, the Lupir's. And since I am only part of a being, a figment of my imagination, what would make you think that I would allow you to harm the man that I enjoy and love. The father of my children," I bit my lower lips not even bothering to compose myself, "O poor little Cryptika, no one around to bother to care about your pains, Ara…poor Ara, he's the real victim in this. I'm not only the Queen of Lupir. I am one who keeps up with my studies; Ara was brainwashed; he never loved you. You used his corruption due to the black magik art to wrap him around your finger. If he were not troubled, you wouldn't have gotten near him so easily." I gently touched the lower blade to Leonard's chest as fire covered him. Still, he remained unmoved. I jerked my weapon in Cryptika's direction for her to move as she has done, so I directed the light from around Leonard to separate into three balls and pointed at the pest that was once part of me.
She dodged all of them only to stagger, "What have you done!"
I looked at her extending my hand as her body started to open up, soon it exploded, bursting her in half. "That, my dear Cryptika, is what the real extent to the Affliction magik is capable of."
I got a book of matches from my pocket, lighting them throwing them on Cryptika's remains. My scythe became a gem once more, I placed it in my pocket, bending down to Leonard removing my jacket. Though covered in blood, he didn't walk away from this battle unharmed from the Affliction attempt.
** Arianna's POV*****
I got to the living room sitting down in the recliner, thinking of Ara's downfall. It was the hardest thing to do to keep from crying. I would not allow myself to show weakness, I looked at the phone in my hands. As it started to vibrate, turning it around. Graceona's name read on the caller ID. I pressed the talk button, placing the phone to my ear."
"The war is over, Arianna, it has barely ended. But, I fear you have made a mistake in your judgment. Your handlings with Ara was unjust."
"What do you mean? I read his mind!"
Graceona chuckled on the other line, "My dear, sweet child. Though your powers have returned to you, you still haven't mastered the abilities to use those powers. Ara was the victim in this little game, not the villain, Ara, was on my side. But Afflictions can turn on you, you performed the Revival Ritual in the woods…am I correct?"
"H..How did you get this information. Did someone tell you?"
"We Lupir's are researchers, mind readers, we can manipulate the minds …you're afraid, afraid of rejection amongst the vampires, however, though my husband has had a rocky past with your people…so have I, but your mother is not dead as you thought. She sleeps under a spell cast on her years after your birth and kidnapping, by your very own grandfather, she resides in the cave entering into Halcyon and Infernias."
"How do I know I can trust you?"
"Simple, I desire your help, as you need mine as well. Unlike you, I cannot perform the Revival Ritual, and I have an unborn child who has never seen their father that now is roaming between life and death. I have what you need to be with Ara. I'm on your side, Arianna, Vipir's and Lupir's have always been allies, we still to this day roam together. Call one another friend, sister, brother. We are warriors feared because we have always stood with one another. As a wife and a mother, I am asking your assistance, and I will offer mine to you as well. We are leaders born to bring this world into order."
"What happened to Uncle Leonard?"
Graceona grew silent, I could feel the woman tear up, "his powers mixed with Cryptika, he's."
"Don't say it, Graceona, please no."
The line grew silent on my end as I looked up to see my father had heard the conversation, without another word spoken I screamed throwing the phone as it busted to pieces on the marble floor, not being able to look at my father any longer I ran from the room.